After perusing The Wizard's EV charts for your total vs. dealer total, I have observed that in an infinite deck, the 8,8 split vs. 10 has on EV of $0.12 more per $100 wagered compared to surrender of the 8,8. Even PBJ shows this split as bad in a TC +4 or greater. I imagine the EV is slightly higher than 12 cents compared to surrender when you go to few decks, or if you stand or hit.
Now, most PBs and surveillance are familiar with the old adage "always split aces and 8's". This is one of the first rules we learn when we first learned basic strategy. It is engrained in our minds early on, and to do anything to the contrary implies that we have little knowledge of the game, to not do so. It is rather ploppiesh (new word) to not even know a 1st grade move such as that. It is with that speculation coupled with the EV cost being $0.12 per $100, that the value of this cover play, may be worthwhile. To break a cardinal rule of blackjack, and to do so "because we are scared to lose twice to a 20," would seem very amateur, wouldn't it. I mean, what counter in their right mind, would break a cardinal rule of blackjack?
Of course, the input of those more educated about the fine math involved in this play, are encouraged to offer their input. This decision is more costly than a "always stay 16" rule, but considering how seldom 8,8 vs. 10 is, it may be worth the extra cost. The impact of this decision should only be realized in low to mid counts, as the TC+4 and higher already are the point at which you do not split, according to PBJ hi/lo indices. So, let's hear some feedback on this one. What do you see as the pro's and con's of this play?