Blackjack Surrender is allowed at some games where you can surrender your hand to the dealer for half of your initial stake in return.
It’s an option or tactic that can be used to control your losses when you’re seemingly faced with a weak hand against a dealer’s strong open card.
There are two different ways to surrender your hand.
In this guide, useful for both beginners and pros, you will learn:
If you already know what Blackjack Surrender is and are chomping to get playing, you should try one of these casinos. If not, I’ll explain the Late and Early Surrender rules.
I believe the only natural way to play Blackjack online is to play with actual human dealers, which is why this page is all about live Blackjack. There are certainly RNG blackjack games with Surrender, but I don’t think RNG card games are worth playing.
Late surrender is far more common than early surrender because it’s the less favourable option for the player. You still get to surrender your lousy hand, but crucially, you can only do so after the dealer has peaked for Blackjack.
This means you lose the option to surrender your hand when you see that the dealer has an Ace. With early surrender, you will surrender your hand almost every time you see an Ace, but you don’t get a chance to with late surrender. The dealer will show a Blackjack if he has it, and you’ll lose the hand.
Late surrender only reduces the house edge by about 0.08%.
Most of the reduction of house edge from the Surrender rule comes from the scenario in which the dealer is holding an Ace, and you forfeit your hand before the dealer even checks for Blackjack.
With Late Surrender, you can still protect yourself from a dealer Blackjack – in a scenario where they first get a ten followed by an Ace – but this doesn’t affect the house edge as much as the protection against an Ace followed by a 10.
As a general strategy guide and the first ground rule, you should only consider surrendering when the dealer has an Ace or a 10, in addition to a special case where you surrender to a nine if you have 16.
If the dealer continues playing when showing an Ace, it’s because the down card is not a ten. But be wary of an Ace being a strong first card to have, so be aware that you might have a fight on your hands!
You will want to surrender two-card hands that lose more than 50% of the time against a ten or an Ace (and the one hand that loses a lot to a 9).
Let’s see what those are.
I’ll remind you that it’s better for you if the dealer must Stand on Soft 17 as he can no longer improve his hand, and this is the rule you217;ll see 99% of the time in live blackjack.
I’;m also including the correct decisions for when the dealer Hits on Soft 17. This is a rule used only by the Visionary iGaming Blackjack game that offers Late Surrender.
|Your Cards||Dealers Cards|
|9||10||A (Soft17)||A (Hard 17)|
|15||Hit||Surrender||Surrender / Hit||Surrender|
15 and 16 are the worst hands you can have. Many players wrongfully believe that 15 is actually a good hand and that it may eventually hold up against the dealer, but the truth is, this is a losing hand no matter what you do.
You’re simply limiting your losses by surrendering a 15 to a 10 or an Ace.
If you Stand, you will lose between -0.59 and -0.77 units, depending on table rules, and if you Hit, you will lose around -0.65 units, regardless of table rules. That’s why losing -0.5 units by surrendering is a superior choice.
The same goes for 16. You will lose between -0.62 and -0.77 units against an Ace depending on table rules if you Stand and will lose -0.66 if you hit.
I believe by now it’s blatantly obvious to you why Surrender is an excellent option to have at your disposal.
If your hand totals are 16 and are coming from an 8-8, then the odds are even worse than for 16’s.
Early Surrender is your weapon against the dealer’s Blackjack 8211; an Ace followed by a ten or a ten followed by an Ace.
The early surrender option lets you surrender your hand and lose half of your initial stake before the dealer peaks for Blackjack.
This is the best option for the players as Early Surrender can significantly reduce the house edge.
Early surrendering against the dealer’s Ace decreases the house edge by 0.39%, while an early surrender against a ten-value card reduces the house edge by 0.24%.
You can reduce the house edge by about 0.63% if you use early Surrender properly.
Early Surrender has a basic rule that you will surrender your hand immediately whenever you see an Ace, as this is where your advantage comes from.
You will only keep your hand against an Ace if it’s already strong – 18, 19, 20 or 21 – or if it can become a strong one with a 10/Ace, which means your initial hand value is an 8, 9 or 10.
Now that we have that most important part covered, you should also surrender against a 10, but to a lesser degree.
Compared to playing against an Ace, you will keep totals 12, 13 and 17 and let go of totals 14, 15 and 16.
In addition, you will also surrender a 16 against a 9.
All this is pretty easy to remember, especially as the Hit/Stand on Soft 17 rule doesn’t make a difference. The exception is if you have 2-2 and the dealer Hits on Soft 17. In that particular case, you’ll surrender to an Ace.
Generally, surrender to an Ace unless you have a strong hand, surrender 14 to 16 against a 10, and surrender a 16 against everything.
|Your Cards||Dealers Cards|
|9||10||A (Soft17)||A (Hard 17)|
|5, 6, 7||Hit||Hit||Surrender||Surrender|
|8, 9, 10||Hit||Hit||Hit||Hit|
In live blackjack at a land-based casino, you can Surrender by swiping your finger behind the chips in a cutting motion, suggesting that you want to cut half of your bet.
In online play, you’ll see an extra button that says Surrender.
Here are all the live blackjack games with Surrender and the online casinos where you can play them.
Surrender in Blackjack lets you save half of your bet by folding the hand before it goes up against the dealer’s hand when your chances to win the hand are slim.
Blackjack Surrender is one of the table rules that is favourable for the player as it reduces the house edge. Surrender is very beneficial for controlling your losses when you’ve got a weak hand and are up against a strong dealer card.
Most players ignore Surrender because they think it’s for quitters or players who are too cautious. Surrender is an incredibly valuable tool for reducing your losses. Like in Texas Hold’em poker, folding the hand is necessary when the situation requires it.
Surrender is the only way to fold a Blackjack hand. Think of it as an added playing option. In addition to knowing when to Hit, Stand or Split, knowing when to Surrender should also be in your arsenal of weapons against the dealer.
Professional players are happy to see a table with Surrender and are experts in using the rule to their advantage.
Since we already know the rankings of all blackjack hands and the chances of winning a hand, math can tell us precisely when it is favourable for us to keep playing and when it is advantageous to fold to reduce the losses.
When you Surrender, you lose half of your bet, for an expected value of -0.50 units on a 1 unit bet.
If your two cards against the dealer’s up card produce an expected value of -0.51 or less, it’s better to Surrender than to keep playing.
While many players ignore the Surrender rule because they think it’s not something you should do, I hope that after reading this guide, you understand that Surrender is a very favourable rule and a way to squeeze more expected value out of your blackjack hands.
Early Surrender is undoubtedly the one rule that hurts the house the most. Other favourable rules, such as Stand on Soft 17, Six-Card Charlie, Double Down on Any Card, Draw to Split Aces, and Double Down After Split, only affect the house edge by around 0.20% apiece.
Blackjack surrender is a special table rule that lets you forfeit your hand and lose only half of your stake while the other half is returned.
It depends on the circumstances. You can be given an option of Early Surrender or Late Surrender, and in either case, you should only surrender when it’s worth it – when you’d lose more than -0.50 units if you’d proceed to play an unfavourable hand.
People surrender in blackjack if they have a weak starting hand against a strong dealer’s up card.
No, this is a very favourable table rule, and it is a rare sight in land-based casinos and online play, in RNG and live versions. But there are several Surrender games that you can play, as explained on this page.
To show the dealer your intent to surrender, run your index finger behind the bet you’ve placed on the table, indicating that you want to ‘cut’ half of it.
Yes, you can surrender in select blackjack games. The best live blackjack games that allow Surrender are listed on this page.