How to Split Poker Hands on the Play Table
Splitting your poker hand on the play table is a simple technique most players employ when they are playing draw or stud poker. Let’s say you are holding 2 cards of a same rank, such as two eights or two fives, you might choose to split the hand so that you have two separate pairs. Under normal circumstances, you would be advised not to split your hand, particularly if you have two tens or two face cards because of the nine percent edge against you. Statistically, it is recommended that you never split two tens or two face cards, but that is of course situational and you may in fact play your two tens as a stand alone hand if it is a very strong hand, in fact, you can stick to that strategy if you are comfortable with your hand and are in a position to do so.
Statistics Professor Stephen Manning from Australian electromechanical engineering program shows that if you have a choice of two cards of the same rank, for example, two eights, two fives, you have a 25.7 percent chance of getting another card of the same rank. If you have to split your hand, the chances are 38.6 percent for the first card to be the same as the one in your hand and 70.4 percent for the last card to also be the same as the one in your hand. The ultimate decision however depends on your hand. If you have two cards of the same rank, but also a third card, your chances of getting a card of the same rank are only 17.7 percent. If you have two cards of the same rank and also a fifth card, the chances are a little more than 40 percent – actually up slightly – of having the same hand.
Aside from the statistical argument, you also need to consider the odds of splitting your hand. If you have two tens or two face cards, that’s 26 percent chance you will split the hand. If you have two Aces, two Kings, two 40s, and two 50s, that’s 54 percent chance you will split the hand. Both of these hands are roughly 88 percent likely, or 1:1. So essentially the same as the coin flip mentioned earlier. Odds of punting the coin are 1:1, or 18.7 percent.
It is possible to bet out even when you hold a pair of aces, kings, or queens. If your next card on either of these hands is zero, and the Egp88 has a face card face down, in this case you will lose, unless the dealer also has a face card. In which case, the worst that can happen is that you tie. However, you can also win with a pair of aces, if the dealer also has a face card. This is done by noting that the dealer’s card is higher than your aces, or splits the aces in the two hands. Both of these hands are roughly 11 percent likely, or 2:1 odds. So, again, when you hold two cards of the same rank, you have roughly a 66 percent chance of winning, as opposed to the 1 percent in the coin flip example.