What is a 'Hard Total'?
A hard total is a term used in Blackjack when a player's cards can only add up to one total. If a player has an ace that he can use as a 1 pointer or an 11 pointer, he has a soft total. Due to the flexibility an ace provides, a player with a hard total is much more likely to lose against a player with a soft one. The probability of going bust on a hard hand from 12 to 21 is between 31 and 100%. The probability of going bust
on a hand 11 or under is 0%.
'Hard Total' Explained
Blackjack Hero has a list of strategies depending on a player's hard total. If their hard total is 8 or less they recommend that the player should twist because it is impossible for the player to go bust. There are two ways they recommend playing a hard 9. If the dealer's face up card is showing a 4, 5, or 6, the player should double down. Otherwise he should twist.A double down is when a player doubles his initial stake
at the point in the game where he feels he has an advantage over the dealer. Blackjack Hero states players should only double down on a hard total of ten if the dealer's face up cards are showing a 2 through to a 9. Similarly they should double down on an 11 if the dealer's face up cards are showing 2 through to 10, on a 12 if the dealer is showing a 4, 5, or 6, and on a 13 through to a 16 if the dealer is showing a 2 through to a 6. The players should twist at all other times except when their hard total is 17 through to 21. On a hard total from 17 to 21, players should always stick to avoid the risk of going bust.