Playing 3-3 vs. 3 in Blackjack

Here's the situation:

You're playing in a multiple deck game which offers the option of doubling down after splitting. You are dealt a pair of threes, and the dealer also has a three showing. What is the correct play to make?

First, a little background.

With an upcard of three, the dealer will bust only 37.5% of the time, and will make a total of 19 or better at about a 36.5% rate. With a three standing alone, we can get cards like six, seven or eight that will put us in a possible situation where we can double.

The correct play here is to split the threes.

It's disappointing, but you're probably not going to be a winner with this set of parameters. Here we are trying to reduce our losses by taking the lesser of the two evils.

If you play this hand on the basis of a hard 6, you've got a real stiff. You're going to come home with a loser 54% of the time, with only about 42.5% winning hands.

You don't want to do that if you can play with split threes, especially if you can get the DDAS option. Split the threes up and you will win more than 44% of the hands, losing about 51%, constituting a little less than a 7% expectation.

Either way, you're going to have a losing situation in the long run. But don't hesitate to make the move to put more money on the table and split up the threes.   

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