To Split or Not To Split a Pair of Sevens

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a pair of sevens being flipped up by a player checking their hole cards on a poker surface with the dealer shuffling cards in the background
BetMGM Jun 20, 2024, 7:34 AM

The question of whether or not to split a pair of 7s in blackjack is one that gamblers frequently debate and for which there are different answers and opinions. Whichever solution you favor, it’s always important to take a seat at the table in live dealer blackjack with a clear strategy in mind for this eventuality. It’s also important to be fully aware of the blackjack rules of the house, including how many decks you’re playing with, as this information can change the outcome of your decision.

How to play 7s in blackjack is a decision only the player can make, which, in turn, depends on how you see the cards you’ve been dealt. It also requires you to weigh up the odds, given what the dealer’s cards are and how your chances stack up against the house.

So, what are your options?

1. Split: One Losing Hand or Two Winning Ones?

If you’re dealt a single 7, that’s considered a good start. But being dealt a pair can be considered risky, giving you a potentially losing hand. But splitting a pair of 7s can minimize your losses and improve your win rate.  It can also help your odds of turning a poor hand into two better ones.

If you’re playing multi-deck blackjack and the dealer is sitting with anything from a 2 through 7, most players would say that’s when to split 7s. That way, you can convert a bad hand into two potentially winning ones or at least draw with the dealer — which is also a good outcome. If you’re playing a single deck game, consider splitting if the dealer has anything from a 2 to an 8. If you decide to split, you’ll need to place an additional bet for the second hand equal to the value of the first. Only then will the dealer deal you more cards. If you’re playing at an online casino, look for the button that allows you to do this.

2. Hit

If the dealer in a multi-deck casino table game is showing any card from an 8 through to an ace, the general consensus amongst skilled players is that you should hit. If you split in this case, your two hands are likely to be weaker than the dealer’s and a loss will be coming your way. Do you split 7s in blackjack? In a single deck game, some house rules will say you must hit on 7 if the dealer has a 9 or an ace.

3. Surrender

When do you split in blackjack? How you know whether it’s best to surrender may well depend on what the house allows. If you close and surrender, half of your wager will go to the house — but at least you save the other half of your bet and live to play another hand. In this case surrendering with a pair of 7s can be seen as a wise decision. When you’re playing on an online gambling site they may not offer surrender in a single deck game, so again, check the rules. If you play a losing hand, just dust yourself off, get back up and take the lesson as one of many learned. If the option to surrender isn’t available, you should take option 2 and hit.

What Not To Do With a Pair of 7s

Something you definitely shouldn’t do with a pair of 7s is double down. Holding cards that total anything over 11 gives you a much higher chance of going bust, so choose any other option but this. Also, never split if the house rules are “no double after a split” (NDAS.)

Blackjack is a game of skill and there are many variations of the rules. These will always impact a player’s strategy. It’s essential to play each and every hand to its best advantage. Having a figurative ace up your sleeve and knowing what your best odds are when you’re dealt a pair of 7s — or in fact any other pair — will depend on what the dealer’s upcard is. Knowing the likelihood of you or the dealer pulling a given combination or sequence of cards also requires players to be observant. You’ll need to watch what cards have already been dealt and weigh up what’s likely to come next.

Practice all the scenarios and never forget that it’s what the dealer’s holding that should inform any decision you take. The dealer is required to keep drawing until they get to 17 or higher so there’s always the chance that they’ll go bust before you. Don’t forget that gambling is always about statistical probabilities and there are never any guarantees. That said, playing a strategic game and knowing when to split, hit or surrender is all part of the fun.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.