How to Play a 12 vs. a Dealer's 2 Upcard?

How to Play a 12 vs. a Dealer’s 2 Upcard?

How to Play a 12 vs. a Dealer’s 2 Upcard?

One of the more common mistakes in blackjack occurs when the player is being dealt an initial hand of 12 when the dealer shows an upcard of 2. The catch comes in when the player blunders by being afraid of hitting their 12 because their dealer will most likely draw a picture card, thus the player busts. With the numerous misconceptions on the correct way to play this hand, you certainly must be confused. Here, we are going to discuss the right way of playing blackjack perfectly with your 12.


  1. First, we begin by looking at some basic facts of this hand

Most players do not hit 12, believing that the dealer may draw a 10 from the hole; therefore, they’d rather not risk busting when the dealer’s upcard is weak. You should note that when holding a 12, there are only four cards that can bust you. These are any Jack, Queen, King, and any 10. This means that you’ve got a 65% survival chance. Also, five cards will offer a 17 through 21 hand; any card from 5 to 9.

When the dealer has a 2 upcard, he has a 65% chance of achieving a 17 through 21 and a 35% possibility of busting.

If you choose to hit, you are likely to lose 63% of the time and win 37% of the time. But when you decide to stand, you’ll lose 65% of the time and win 35% of the time.


  1. What does that translate to?

Firstly, when the dealer’s upcard is a 2, he may not be as vulnerable to busting as he would, say, with a 4, 5, or even 6 upcard. Again, your busting probabilities may not be as high as you think. Consequently, you may be better off hitting the twelve instead of choosing to stand.

Since you win 35% and lose 65% of the time by standing on 12 against the dealer’s 2, the outcome will certainly not be great. Let’s say, if you bet one dollar for every hand, you’ll have lost an average of $30 after 100 hands. Nonetheless, there is a better option, hitting 12.


When hitting, you have a 2% more chance of winning compared to choosing to stand. By playing a single dollar for each hand, you’ll only lose an average of $26 on every 100 hands. In comparison, you would have saved some $4, unlike when standing.

 In addition, if your 12 features a pair of 6s, you can choose to split your 6s and place two hands against a dealer’s uphand. In return, you will have increased the chances of winning up to 43% of the time. As a result, beginning with a 6 is much better compared to starting with a 12. This option enables you to minimize your overall losses.

If your 12 consists of three or more cards, for example, 2-3-6-A, this should be a no-brainer. Regardless of the number of cards composing your 12, follow the above strategy by hitting when the dealer shows an upcard of 2.

I believe that by now, I’ve clarified your doubt’s on whether to hit or stand when laying a 12 against a dealer’s 2.


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