Surrender in Blackjack

The option of ‘surrendering’ in blackjack is one of the ‘newer’ rules, that was added to give the players a little bit of a ‘fighting chance’, so to speak. But not that many players actually know the details surrounding this rule; or are inclined to use it in any way, shape or form. This is because most players not only fail to understand a surrender as a legal move, but the odds behind it as well. *Note that not all casinos and/or variations of the Game offer surrender as an option, so be sure to consult the floor people before sitting at a table.

What is a Surrender?

A surrender is when the player forfeits (surrenders) half his bet in order to keep the other half. This is usually done in situations where the player knows that there is very little chance of beating the dealer; and from a purely mathematical perspective, giving half your chips is still better than losing all chips, or so I think. There are two types of surrender; early surrender and late surrender.

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Early Surrender

Most definitely the better of the two (for the player at least). It is called an early surrender, because the player don’t have to wait for the dealer to peak under his Hole Card to see if he has a Natural. As we know from basic Blackjack rules 101, if the dealer scores a Natural (has a total of 21 in his hand, before drawing any new cards), a dealer’s blackjack automatically wins over all non-blackjack hands. By not looking under his face-down card, the dealer has absolutely no way of knowing whether or not he has a Natural. A player can then ‘surrender’ his bet and lose only half his wager.

Late Surrender

Not many casinos like the idea of player not getting bust when the dealer has a Natural. That is why most variations of the game will have the Late Surrender rule instead. When playing at a Late Surrender table, you must always wait for the dealer to check under his Hole Card before surrendering. If the dealer has a Natural, then the player can do nothing, but forfeit his entire bet. If the dealer doesn’t have a Natural, the player is still free to surrender, should he wish to do so.

When to Surrender

You should be surrendering willy-nilly for no good reason. It might be only half your bet, but losing money is not what playing good Blackjack is all about. Figuring the odds is what the game is all about, and the odds are often in favour of the house. A late surrender will add about 0.1% to the players edge; which is still better than nothing. Surrender if the dealer has a 10 Card, or an Ace showing, and you don’t have anything good to fight back wish. A good example of this would be if the player has a 9,7 or a 10, 6 in his hand, and the dealer is showing a 9,10 or an Ace. The same goes if the player has a pair of 8s and the dealer is showing an Ace (you can split if doubling down after a split is permitted). Last but not least you should always surrender if you have a hard 15 (a hand, which the sum total equal 15, but not A+4) and the dealer is showing a 10, A.

Why Surrender?

True, a player can just play his hand and if luck would have it, win or lose respectively. Surrendering is considered somewhat of a ‘loser bet’; at least by the casino establishments. For people who are good at ‘counting card’, surrendering at certain points (as the count goes up for example) seems like a viable alternative to hitting.

More Articles Covering Blackjack

Blackjack Basics
Blackjack Rules
Blackjack Variations
Multi Hand Blackjack
Single Deck Blackjack Rules
Vegas Downtown Blackjack
Vegas Strip Blackjack Rules
Atlantic City Blackjack
How to Hit a Hand
Splitting Hands in Blackjack
Insurance in Blackjack
Surrender in Blackjack
Standing a Hand
Blackjack Double Down
Splitting Hands in Blackjack
Blackjack Odds
Blackjack Strategy for Playing Hands
Blackjack Cards and Hands Value


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