When you are dealt a pair of 6s in the game of blackjack you have two viable playing options:

1. Split
2. Hit

Which blackjack strategy you should invoke depends upon what the dealerâ€™s upcard is, the number of decks of cards being used, and whether double down after pair splitting is allowed.

The basic playing strategy for a single- and double-deck game where doubling down after pair splitting is not allowed (NDAS) is to

If the blackjack rules allow doubling down after pair splitting (DAS)

• You should also split against a dealerâ€™s upcard of 7 (Illustrate splitting against 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.)

In a multi-deck game, the basic playing strategy is

• If NDAS, split against a dealerâ€™s upcard of 3 through 6; otherwise hit
• If DAS, split against dealerâ€™s upcard of 2 through 6; otherwise hit

The following color-coded charts summarize the basic strategy for a pair of 6s (Note: P = Split; H = Hit.)

Single-Deck with NDAS

 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A P P P P P H H H H H

Single-Deck with DAS

 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A P P P P P P H H H H

Double-Deck with NDAS

 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A P P P P P H H H H H

Double-Deck with DAS

 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A P P P P P P H H H H

Multi-Deck with NDAS

 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A H P P P P H H H H H

Multi-Deck with DAS

 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A P P P P P H H H H H

## REASON FOR SPLITTING

Splitting 6s becomes the better option than hitting if it meets one of these criteria:
• You will win more money on average
or
• You will lose less money on average
or
• You will turn a losing hand into a winning hand on average
Suppose you are playing a double-deck game with DAS and the dealerâ€™s upcard is a 2. You are the underdog regardless which strategy you invoke; however, splitting has a less negative expectation than hitting, making it the better play. (In other words, youâ€™ll lose less money in the long run by playing two hands, each starting with a 6, than by playing one hand starting with a total of 12.)

In a multi-deck game with NDAS, hitting 6s against a dealerâ€™s 2 is a non-intuitive play.  This is another example where invoking either strategy (hitting or splitting) results in a negative expectation of winning; however, when you hit, you will lose slightly less money than splitting in the long run, making it the better play.

Another non-intuitive play is to split 6s against a dealerâ€™s 7 upcard in single- and double-deck games with DAS.  With the favorable option of DAS, when you split 6s and draw, say, a 5 to one or both 6s, you have a favorable total of 11 to double. With DAS, pair splitting has a less negative expectation than hitting against a dealerâ€™s 7 upcard, making it the better play.

You may find the following two rules an easy way to remember how to play your 6s:

• In a single- and double-deck game with DAS, split 6s against dealerâ€™s 2â€’7; otherwise hit. If NDAS, split against 2â€’6.
• In a multi-deck game with DAS, split 6s against dealer upcard of 2â€’6; otherwise hit; if NDAS, split against 3â€’6.

## RESPLITTING 6S

If the playing rules allow you to resplit, then it is advantageous for you to do so. For example, if you are dealt a pair of 6s against a dealerâ€™s 5 upcard, you should split them. Suppose on the first 6, you are dealt another 6 on the draw.  You should resplit to form a third hand.  If the casino allows resplits up to a total of four hands, then you should resplit again if you are dealt another 6. Resplitting pairs is a player-favorable option that you should always take advantage of.

## SUMMARY

You will always win more or lose less if you follow the above basic playing strategy for splitting or hitting a pair of 6s.

For a complete basic playing strategy for any set of playing rules, consult Chapter 3 in the Ultimate Blackjack Strategy Guide.