Strategy on When to Use the Blackjack Surrender Rule

Posted By: Date: 10/13/2012 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

There are many rules that can be applied and/or altered in the game of blackjack; well over 50 of them in fact. They could relate to anything from the number of decks and house way rules, to pay table adjustments. One particular rule that players should pay close attention to is the variable Surrender rule.

In some land-based and online casinos, certain blackjack variations will offer players an option to Surrender. This rule can be applied in one of two ways; an Early Surrender or a Late Surrender.

Early Surrender

The Early Surrender rule permits a player to check his hand and decide whether or not he wants to fold it before the dealer checks for blackjack. Obviously, the early surrender rule is only found in hole card blackjack games, where the dealer is required to check his hand for blackjack when his exposed card is an Ace, 10 or Face Card.

When a player chooses to take the early surrender option, they automatically forfeit half of their wager, but get to keep the other half. Once the dealer has checked for blackjack, surrendering is no longer an option.

Late Surrender

The Late Surrender rule permits a player to surrender their hand after the dealer has checked for blackjack, but before adding any additional wagers to their hand, and of course before busting. For example, a player may take an extra card, and if they are unhappy with the result, they may choose to surrender. If the player doubles down and/or busts, they can no longer surrender. The late surrender option is, however, still available when a player Splits their hand, because the wagers are separate on each hand. They may surrender one and keep the other, or surrender both.

Again, to surrender late is to forfeit half of the wager on the hand, but keep the other half.

In most instances, using any form of surrender is a bad idea. A player always loses when surrendering, which is exactly why some live and online casinos permit it. However, there are a few instances where surrendering is statistically the best option.

When to Apply Early Surrender

Early Surrender should only be invoked in the following instances:

  • If the dealer has an Ace showing and you have a hard total of 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 or 17. This includes pairs of 3’s, 6’s, 7’s and 8’s.
  • If the dealer has a 10 showing and you have a hard total of 14, 15 or 16, including pairs of 7’s or 8’s.
  • If the dealer has Ace showing and you have 2+2, only if rules state dealer Hits Soft 17.
  • Exceptions when dealer has 10 showing: If you have 4+10 in single or double deck blackjack, do not surrender; if you have 5+9 in single deck blackjack, do not surrender; if you have 8+8 in single deck blackjack and doubling is permitted after a split, do not surrender, split the 8’s.

When to Apply Late Surrender

Late Surrender should only be invoked in the following circumstances.

Single Deck Blackjack

  • Dealer has Ace showing and Hits Soft 17, and you have hard 15, 16 or 17.
  • Dealer has 10 or Ace showing and Stands on Soft 17, and you have hard 16.

Double Deck Blackjack

  • Dealer has Ace showing and Hits Soft 17, and you have hard 15, 16 or 17.
  • Dealer has Ace showing and Stands on Soft 17, and you have hard 16.
  • Dealer has 10 showing and you have hard total of 16.

4+ Decks Blackjack

  • Dealer has Ace showing and Hits Soft 17, and you have hard 15, 16 or 17.
  • Dealer has Ace showing and Stands on Soft 17, and you have hard 16.
  • Dealer has 10 showing and you have hard total of 15 or 16.
  • Dealer has 9 showing and you have hard total of 16.

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