Splitting 10"s
  • I'm new to the message board, so please excuse my lack of experience and proper references. I usually play at the minimum tables using 6 decks. It seems to me that splitting 10's, when the dealer is showing either a 5 or 6, would be a good bet. Why is that so frown upon?
  • A pat hand of 20 is very strong, especially against a dealer upcard of 5 or 6. Although a starting value of 10 is also considered good against a 5 or 6, one is not guaranteed to get another 10 or possibly an ace when hitting on it. Why give up the strong possibility of a winning hand? There is also the possibility of the dealer pulling a strong hand. If you split your hand and got two stiffs, then you would find yourself out twice the amount of money.

    However, if you are a card counter, there are times this could be done. But in these situations, you, as a card counter, have information that most others don't have concerning the composition of the remaining cards. Splitting your tens could give yourself away as a card counter though. Even though I count cards, I generally avoid splitting tens since I don't want to tip off the pit critters or cause too many players at the table to get angry.
  • whoa nellie- don't split those 10's, no matter how tempting. Mathematically over the long run, if you hold on to your 20 every single time, not knowing a count, you will financially come out ahead by holding on to your 20. That's the fact. Now look at this scenario. Some people believe that one's decisions have an impact on their luck. Since it is widely well known that you never split 10's, if you end up "taking" the next person's 4 or 5 or 8, whatever he/she may need by doing something you shouldn't do like splitting 10's, this could, and does, cause a little ruckus. I for one am ready to drop my chips and throw down any time any where if someone doesn't like my decisions, but just know that other people will bitch. Let alone if you're on third base and split your 10's and you "take" a dealer's bust card and the whole table ends up losing. so just be ready to take some crap from others at the table if you split em.
  • Nellie said:
    I'm new to the message board, so please excuse my lack of experience and proper references. I usually play at the minimum tables using 6 decks. It seems to me that splitting 10's, when the dealer is showing either a 5 or 6, would be a good bet. Why is that so frown upon?

    Unfortunately, there’s a lot of really bad stuff written on blackjack. If you want to make it in this game you have to have a bankroll that’s discretionary money. It’s a tough grind.

    I’m more optimistic than most people about blackjack. I think it’s clearly possible for somebody starting out at blackjack to make quite a bit of money. It’s certainly not as hard as playing poker, or trying to beat sports betting. The good thing about blackjack is that it’s cut and dried. There is not much subjectivity to it. If you follow the books and you’re a reasonably intelligent guy, there really isn’t any reason you can’t make money.

    To me the contrast between blackjack and poker is clear. Poker you have the benefit that you can put in as many hours as you want. You’re not going to get barred. But, to make twenty or thirty dollars an hour at poker you have to be quite good. You have to beat a lot of real sharpies, guys who have been playing for years. To make twenty or thirty dollars an hour at blackjack is easy. You can do that after one month of study, as long as you don’t make mistakes. As long as you learn properly and you have the bankroll, that’s a very low win rate at blackjack.
  • OK, over the long haul, and considering table ethics, I can see that splitting 10's may not be the smartest of all moves. I can also see that I need to spend more time elevating my game beyond basic strategy. I'll read more, and start to explore ways to count, or at least try to track the cards already been played. This message board has been a great forum to see what other players are thinking and doing. Thanks for everyone's input.
  • I have now just passed the 5 year mark at counting cards in BJ. The most effective use of splitting 10's is to run off an obnoxious player at the table that makes the game miserable for others. Such players often stay right on top of the 3rd base player, giving him/her hell every time they violate "his idea of basic strategy whether it is really right or wrong". For example, hit that A7 with a dealer 10 up and get a 4 and he howls "you just ruined a good hand of 18..." Or someone joins or leaves mid-shoe and he howls "you are screwing up the flow of the cards." If the count is high, I usually split 10's the first chance I get and say "how's that for screwing up the flow of the cards?" If that doesn't run him off, I'll play 1 hand, then 2 hands, then 1 hand, _really_ screwing up "the flow of the cards". He will eventually storm off, everybody is happy, I go back to playing sanely, and no one in the pit says a thing except maybe the dealer says "great idea, splitting those 10's, thought he was going to have a stroke..." :)

    There are a few "index plays" that can be problematic, because they are well-known and can lead to quick detection. If your "act" is good enough, you can get away with a lot. If you are quiet and attentive, you can be "made" pretty quickly if you follow the count accurately with your bets and index plays...
  • I am PJ. (No relation to JP who also posts here.)
    I am not a 10-splitter, but tried it couple of times last month while playing heads up. Dealer was showing a 6. I won both times! I guess it was my night because splittin' 8's was working too. Oh, well, as only a Texan can say it, Ya'll have a great BJ year!

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