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Player Vs. Dealer: 9,9 Vs. 4

HERE'S THE SITUATION: You're in a multi-deck game and doubling down after split (DDAS) is an available option. You are dealt a pair of nines, while the dealer flips a four as his upcard. Do you split the nines, or treat the hand as an 18 and stay where you are, as you would with a hard 18 in the Basic Strategy?

THE CORRECT PLAY: Split the nines up. On balance, that is the best way to go, and we're going to illustrate that below.

THE EXPLANATION: You're likely going to win this hand if you decide stay with a hard 18 without splitting. In fact, you will win almost 53% of the time and lose just 35%. You may be asking yourself, "Hey, that's a great result!." That's true, for sure, but it's actually not going to be as big as if you split up the nines. Sure, your rate of winning is about the same, and the rate of your losses will actually be a little more (about 40%). But keep in mind that you're going to have doubling opportunities after you split, so you will have a gain, and an appreciable one, by executing a pair split here. Remember always that when the odds dictate it, you've got to consider getting as much money on the table as possible. You're going to hear that time and time again.