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Player Vs. Dealer: 8,8 Vs. 10

HERE'S THE SITUATION: You're in a multiple deck game, and doubling down after split (DDAS) allowed. You're dealt a pair of eights, and the dealer has a ten value card showing. Do you split the eights or hit your two-card 16 here?

Conventional blackjack wisdom has always told you to split a pair of eights, no matter what. But hold on a second. That will give you two separate hands that have a starting point of eight, which on the surface would seem to put you in a weak position, especially as there is only one upcard (an Ace) better than what the dealer is showing. And you've now doubled the money you've put on the table.

People are sometimes quite apprehensive about doubling 11 against a 10. To some, this may look suicidal. This is a real moment of truth for blackjack players who are not masters of the Basic Strategy.

Actually, players will make their decision on this hand from among three possibilities --

They could STAND on the hand, which, in the multiple-deck game, is contrary to correct Basic Strategy. Standing in this situation will bring 77% losses.

They could HIT the hard 16, which under normal circumstances, would be consistent with the Basic Strategy, and which will produce losing hands at a 74% rate. However, this can be improved upon, with..........

The correct play, which is SPLITTING the eights, a move that will yield better results in the long run. For example, you will win 32.5% of the time by splitting, with only 57% losses, on the average. As you can see, this becomes a sizable gain over the other two options. Not that it is a winner, but it won't be as much of a loser.