Blackjack surrender: What is it, Rules, How and when to use it?

Do you find the concept of surrender in the game of blackjack perplexing? Did you know that you can forfeit half of your hand when you decide to use blackjack surrender

Well, you are not alone.

In fact, we don’t blame you for this. After all, this option is really not used by many players, and many blackjack tables do not even offer it. This surrender bet in blackjack is the most misunderstood move in the game. In fact, when playing blackjack, whether in a traditional or online casino, surrendering hands seems like a cowardly thing to do. 

How are you expected to win when you give half of your bet to the casino? For a beginner player, this appears to be just another sucker bet. If thoughts like these race through your mind, continue to read, and you will be amazed to learn both the player as well as the casino benefit from this option of playing.

What does it mean to surrender in blackjack?

As you know, there are many actions that you can take when playing a 21 game, right after getting the first two cards. For instance, you can “stand” (no more cards), “double down” (double the initial bet amount), or “hit” (get an extra card). 

Blackjack surrender is also one of these options. You simply surrender rather than standing, doubling, or hitting. If you surrender, it means you think that the dealer will likely have a higher score than yours. So, your cards are not sufficient enough to beat the dealer’s hand.

Many novice players think it is a bad move, but professional players clearly know that using the surrender option can possibly save tons of money. When you decide to surrender in blackjack, you keep half of your original bet, and the casino keeps the other half. 

Many traditional and virtual casinos offer the surrender option. When playing in brick-and-mortar casinos, you can surrender by making an appropriate gesture, while at an online casino, it is done by clicking on the corresponding button. Players can greatly benefit from this move when they have the worse hands. They get an opportunity to get some of their money back in situations when they are bound to lose. 

How does blackjack surrender work?

In the game of blackjack, surrendering is similar to folding in poker. But in this game, there are two flavours of surrenders: Early surrender and late surrender. In order to use surrender to your advantage, it is vital to understand the differences between these two.

Early surrender in blackjack: 

Early surrender means you quit your hand immediately after the cards are dealt and pay only half of your initial bet before the dealer checks for a natural blackjack. Having an option of early surrender is advantageous for you. This is because the opportunity to use early surrender reduces the house advantage of the game by 0.63%.

Late surrender in blackjack: 

The late surrender allows you to forfeit your bad hand, the same as early surrender. However, unlike an early surrender, you can only do so once the dealer checks for a blackjack. If the dealer has blackjack, you cannot surrender; thus you will lose your entire bet. But, if the dealer does not have a blackjack, you can take half of your bet back. The late surrender in blackjack can reduce the house edge by 0.1%. 

Blackjack surrender rules

There isn’t much of a difference between the traditional game and those that feature the option to surrender. Your objective of the game remains the same – to beat the dealer with a score of 21 (or close to it) without going over wins. While the black rules found at casinos are the same. In most casinos, the blackjack surrender rules are almost the same. They are as follows:

  1. You can surrender any total of two cards.
  2. You cannot opt to surrender if you have acted on your hand. In other words, you cannot surrender after standing, doubling down, hitting, taking insurance, or splitting.

How and when to use blackjack surrender

It is important to know what hands you should surrender in the game of blackjack. This is a crucial tool, but it is beneficial only when used right. There might be some situation where the dealer might have the upper hand, but in reality, you have a greater chance of winning. Or you might think that your hand is best, but the dealer has the advantage. The dealer’s card, your total point, and the number of cards in the deck should all be considered when making the decision.

Although it might seem logical to surrender your hand when your winning chances are not good. After all, isn’t it a safe way to save half of your wager than to lose the total bet? Surrender is best used when your hands are either medium-strength or weak.

Let’s assume that the dealer will always stand on 17, even if it is a soft 17. If the dealer hits on soft 17, the rules on when to surrender in blackjack may slightly differ. 

Mostly, you should surrender when the dealer’s up card is either a 9, 10, or ace, and you have 16. This is because 16 isn’t a good enough hand to win if the dealer stands on 17. The odds are in the dealer’s hand, and if you hit, you can possibly be bust, and the dealer might have a blackjack. So, surrendering is one of the best blackjack game strategies. It is also completely up to you; if you believe that the dealer does not have a blackjack or you believe that you can hit and get a 5, then by all means, you can stay in the game. 

The only time you should not surrender in the game is when you have been dealt a pair of 8s. In such a scenario, you should split your hand. In this case, spitting the hand would give you a chance to make a better hand than the initial 16, which were already dealt.

The second time you should surrender is if you have 15 and the dealer’s up card is 10. Again, it is risky to hit on 15, as doing so will leave you in a difficult spot. By surrendering this hand, you will get more of your stakes back than if you choose to play.

Surrender in blackjack can help you avoid losing a lot of money, if it is correctly used and in proper situations. Don’t be afraid to surrender and take home at least 50% of the stake amount. Also, many proficient players choose the surrender option in order to make the most out of the gaming session. So, measure your odds and then come to a decision. If you are new to the game and want to learn to play blackjack online for free, Gamentio allows you to give it a try. It is best to follow blackjack tips and tricks and reduce the house edge on each hand, to increase your winning chances. Download the app and sign up today for free, and don’t forget to take up the welcome bonus to give you a helping start.  

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