While this seems like a relatively simple answer, there are a few different scenarios to take note of to give you the best chances of winning, depending on what pair you are dealt and what card the dealer has. Note that the only pairs that you would never split on are 5’s and 10’s, as the total of 10 is best to hit or double down on and a total of 20 is best to stand on. NB: By splitting, you are doubling your initial bet.
In this instance, the chances of you winning with a total of 4, 6 or 14 are slim, so your odds are increased when you divide your pair into two separate hands. This gives you a chance of winning at least one of your hands rather than losing everything against the dealer. NB: It is important to note that if the dealer has an 8 or above, you should hit and NOT split cards.
While this is a low-chance incident, any other total that the dealer has would result in your hitting rather than splitting a pair of 4’s.
In this situation, with more picture cards than others in the decks, there is a strong chance of your drawing a 10 and going bust. When the dealer has a 7 or above, the chances of them reaching 17 and being able to stand increase, so you would hit or stand in this case.
While this is a widely-encompassing list and a challenging decision, it is only if the dealer has a card valued at 10 or 11 that you wouldn’t split the cards. This is because your total of 16 will be difficult to hit on and the dealer has a strong chance of getting 20 or 21. The outcome is not favourable in this instance, but it gives you the greatest chance of winning.
With a total of 18, the chances of you winning are relatively high, therefore unless the dealer has a strong chance of beating your tally, you would opt to stand. If the dealer has between 2 and 6 then you would have an opportunity to win with both new hands, whilst if the dealer has an 8 or 9 and the most prevalent valued card is a 10 so you are odds on to get beaten.
With a soft-12, the chances of you standing or hitting isn’t a sure-victory, so you would opt to split. With 10 being the most common card value as mentioned above, you have the potential to win both hands against the dealer. The only time this would not be true is if the dealer has an Ace, in which case you may want to opt for Insurance against Blackjack, albeit this is not always a popular choice.