Dealing with a Hard 12

Stiff hands are the worst to get. It mostly comes from the feeling that like we’re going to lose that round. But stiff hands give players the feeling of futility. This is because stiff hands are so difficult to win with.

Blackjack players can expect to be dealt a stiff hand 43% of the time when playing. Which isn’t too bad, but when there is a run of low cards and you kept being dealt stiff hands it feels like more than 43% of the time. But remember that for every run of low cards there will be a run of high cards.

The reason for the higher percentage of stiff hands in blackjack versus strong hands is because there are more stiff hands than strong hands. What makes it worse is that if you are dealt a low total, something lower than a hard 12, it can be fairly easy to hit and wind up with a stiff hand.

But not all stiff hands in blackjack are as bad as they seem, namely a hard 12 is not as bad as being dealt a hard 13 through 16. The reason for this is that a hard 12 has a little bit more flexibility.

With a hard 13 through 16 basic strategy advise to stand if the dealer has a 2 through 6 showing. If the dealer has a 7 or higher blackjack players are advised to hit. So blackjack players are hitting half of the time and standing the other half. But this isn’t so with a hard 12.

In blackjack hitting implies that there is a chance to better your hand. With a hard 12 basic strategy says to hit against a dealer’s up card of 2 and 3. So blackjack players have two more opportunities to better the chances of their hard 12.

As for as blackjack odds, players stand a chance of winning 37% of the time if they hit against a dealer’s 2 or 3. Now if you were to stand a hard 12 against a dealer’s 2 or 3 you would only have a 35% chance of winning. I know, it doesn’t sound like a lot but when holding a stiff hand any improved chances you can get you take.

Hitting may not give you a win for that round of blackjack, but you do get a slightly improved shot at winning against a dealer’s 2 or 3. This is more of a case of trying to improve your chances and trying to minimize your loses as best you can.