Surrendering in Blackjack

If you've ever played a game of blackjack at either a land based or online casino you'll find that some games allow you the option of surrendering, but many players are not too sure what this is and more importantly if and when to use it.

Here we'll take a look at surrendering options as well as how and when you should be using them as part of your blackjack game play strategy.

Early Surrender

While very few land based and online casinos offer game with the Early Surrender rule, you may occasionally come across it in rarer game variants. Early Surrender simply allows you to give up half of your total bet in a game of blackjack and stop playing a particular hand. To qualify for early surrender you will have to make your decision prior to the Dealer checking for blackjack.

In a game offering the Early Surrender option, in order to maximise the value of it, you should only opt for early surrender in the following instances:

  • If the Dealer is showing an Ace and you are holding a hard total of 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, or 17.
  • If the Dealer has an Ace showing and you're holding a Pair of 3's, 6's, 7's or 8's.
  • If the Dealer has a Ten and you have a hard 14, 15, 16 or a Pair of 7's or 8's.

You should never under any circumstances take early surrender if you are playing a single deck Blackjack game and you are holding a ten when the dealer has a 4 and 10 or 5 and 9.

In a 2 deck blackjack game, avoid the early surrender option when you have a Ten against a 4 and and 10. Surrender the hand only if you have a pair of 2's and the Dealer has soft 17.

Late Surrender

The Late Surrender Blackjack rule is considerably more common than the Early Surrender option and can generally be found in blackjack games at both brick and mortar and online casinos alike. It allows you to surrender a hand for the cost of half your wager but can only be done after the Dealer checks for blackjack.

The need to surrender is not as common as one may think and as with every rule in the game, this option should be used according to sound basic blackjack strategy at the correct time in order to maximise its value and lower the house edge. Here we'll take a look at surrender strategy:

When to Avoid Late Surrender

  • Do not take Late Surrender in single deck games if you have a total of 15 and the Dealer has 9, 10 or in a game where the Dealer has to stand on soft 17 ‐ an Ace.
  • Do not take Late Surrender in a single hand game if the Dealer has nine and you're holding 16.
  • Avoid Late Surrender if you have a total of 17 in a single deck game where the dealer stands on soft 17 and the Dealer has 9, 10 or an Ace.

When to take Late Surrender

  • In a single deck game where the dealer hits on soft 17, if the Dealer has an Ace and you have 15, take Later Surrender.
  • If you hold a total of 16 and the dealer has a ten or Ace, surrender.
  • Surrender in a game where the dealer hits on soft 17 when the dealer has an Ace and you have 17.