• Playing 4-4 vs. 6 in Blackjack

    Here's the situation:
    Us: 4,4
    Them: 6

    You're playing in a four deck game where doubling down after splits is allowed. You're dealt a pair of fours, while the dealer gives himself the rather disadvantageous upcard of 6. You are confronted with three possible decisions here: whether to hit the hand, split, or double down. But you can only do one of them. Which one of these is the proper choice?

    On the surface, it may look like any of the three might work. The question is to what degree.

    Actually, it's pretty simple.

    If you split this hand up in a multi-deck game, what you are in effect doing is opting for two hands with a four upcard against the dealer's six, and hoping that he breaks. But even with a six showing, the dealer is only going to break about 43% of the time, so you had BETTER be able to make hands with your four. In the multiple deck game, that's a difficult thing to do.

    You could double down here, but you will wind up a winner only a little over 49% of the time (as opposed to 45% losses), which isn't that bad. 

    If you always split the hand up, you'll both win AND lose about 48% of the time (the rest are pushes). Splitting is not the way to go here.

    Do something very simple here - just treat the pair of fours as a hard total of 8, and plug it into your Basic Strategy, which dictates that you HIT the hand. You'll win an average of about eleven more times than you lose for every hundred hands.

    US vs. THEM Blackjack Strategy Series
    An Analysis
    By Charles Jay

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