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Article // Blackjack strategy

The Curious Case of ”2”

Two? This card is known as ”Mini Ace” when dealer gets one. But it also provides lots of leeway for players. So it's time to dig deeper in this curious case.

Do you recall a moment where dealer has a two card and you're already convinced winning the round... then he finishes on 20 and you lose your bet? You might even feel nauseated and consider game being rigged or unfair since you were under assumption that he will bust.

What actually happened?#

Two is one of the trickiest card a dealer can have. Players are never safe against it since it can develop to a any kind of hand. Although it's a low card, it still goes a whole different category than 4-6 on dealer.

The nickname of two card is ”Mini Ace” and it has a good reason. It's mathematical value in blackjack is very close to nine card for the dealer. This is what most players are unaware of.

How to Survive Against a Two#

The basic strategy is:

  • If you have 12 or 13, you must hit
  • All paired hands will still be split (except face cards never split)...
  • ...with an exception of 4-4 which will only hit more
  • 11 and 10 will double down...
  • ...but soft hands never double down against a two

The good news are that bust-out rate of dealer's two card is ~35%, so every third hand will bust anyway.


Never underestimate the power of two card on dealer's hand. Keep your head calm, respect the situation and just follow the basic strategy.

And if you're short with bankroll, re-consider splitting of 2-2, 3-3 or 6-6. They have only a minor edge against dealer's two if you split them. And if the house rules doesn't offer you doubling down after split, never split those pairs against a two.


  • Samuli Hwrote:

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