Blackjack Surrender - How and When Should You Use It? | LeoVegas NZ


Surrender allows players to forfeit half of their bet and exit the round and in blackjack it is an optional rule found in some blackjack games. This rule is divisive among players, with some viewing it as a strategic tool to manage bankroll effectively, while others find it diminishes the excitement of the game.

There are two main types of surrender in blackjack: early surrender and late surrender. Early surrender occurs before the dealer checks their hole card, and players usually surrender when the dealer shows an ace or a ten. Late surrender happens after the dealer checks for blackjack, and players can surrender if the dealer has a ten or an ace.

To signal surrender in a physical casino, players can verbally inform the dealer and use a universal hand signal by running their index finger behind their bet. In online games, the option to surrender is typically presented as a button, but it may only offer late surrender depending on the type of blackjack and game rules.

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Blackjack Surrender Guide

If you are a blackjack enthusiast or are still learning the game, you may have come across the term 'surrender'. One of the least known options in blackjack, it is only available at certain games and tables. However, it can help minimize losses when used effectively. In our essential guide, we discuss what the blackjack surrender option is and how you can use it to your advantage.


What is Surrender in Blackjack?

If you have played blackjack online, you know that there are countless variations. Surrender is an optional rule that can be played in some blackjack games now. If you are in a physical casino, then you should check if the game allows surrender before you begin.

Blackjack circle opinions on the blackjack surrender rule are divided. Some people think it dulls the excitement - a way to quit and retain the other half of your bet. Others think it's the best way to play blackjack - for the same reasons. For people who are serious about managing their bankroll, it comes out as the better option.

Most players consider using the late surrender rules an option when their hand has a less than 50% chance of beating the dealer. However, you can split this down into using either an early or late surrender - see below.

If you surrender, you stand to lose half of your stake (or keep half depending on your outlook) and then have to wait for the next round. The truth is, neither option does anything to increase the chance of you winning, it just allows you to keep a bet. In fact, in some cases, you may decrease winning odds by doing it. That is why the best tactic is to know your cards well.

How to Surrender in Blackjack

If you want to surrender, then you need to know basic rules and the correct etiquette. However, it will be different to play decisions when in a physical casino from games you play online.

In a brick-and-mortar casino, surrendering depends on the casino you are in. Most places want you to verbally engage and tell the dealer you are surrendering. However, a universal hand signal is also used. You need to run your index finger behind the bet you placed on the table. It is best to combine both of these hand signals so that the dealer gets a clear signal of your intent.

When playing online, you should be given the early surrender option as a button or icon. However, this will only appear when the option is available. Many games only give the choice of a late surrender. Make sure you check the game rules online to see which allows you early and late options.

When to Surrender in Blackjack?

There are two main types of surrender in blackjack: Early and late surrender. Each brings up a range of advantages, disadvantages and possibilities.

Early Surrender

Casinos often offer early or late surrender options as one of many blackjack rule variations. Some relate to the number of decks in play while others relate to if the dealer has to stand. An early blackjack surrender rules that can be played just before the other dealer stands and checks their hole card for blackjack. To do so, you must surrender half of your wager.

When the dealer shows an ace or a ten, you have the option to get rid ten value card of your hand. This lets the dealer check you forfeit half of your bet if you’re holding disadvantageous cards.

The early surrender rule is quite hard to and increasingly difficult to find in casino games. The reason for this is that it improves the return to the player by 0.39% when the dealer has an ace and 0.24% if they show a 10.

When you find a game that operates early surrender, don’t think you have found the golden ticket. Most casinos will take back the house edge in some other way. Check other rules that may be in play. A common one is that the dealer can take another card on a soft 17.

When to Early Surrender in Blackjack

There are a number of decks and few times when you may wish to surrender in blackjack. Generally, this is when the odds are against four or more decks against you and the dealer has an ace or 10. You should surrender early when:

  • The dealer has an ace and you have 5, 6 or 7.
  • When the dealer has an ace and you have a hard 12 to 17.
  • The dealer has an ace and you have a pair of 3s, 6s, 7s, or 8s.
  • When the dealer has a 10 and you have 14, 15, 16. However, if you are playing with one deck don’t surrender if you have 5 + 9 or 10 + 4.
  • The dealer has a 10 and you have a pair of 7s and 8s.

Late Surrender

Late surrender works the same way, except that this time you can only give up your cards after the dealer has checked for blackjack when he shows a 10 or ace. You lose regardless if the other dealer checks and has blackjack. If they don’t, then you can save half your stake. This reduces the effectiveness of the surrender option massively.

When to Surrender Late in Blackjack

Later surrenders should occur when you are holding 14, 15, 16, and 17. Below are the options.

  • Holding 14
    • In a single deck game, if you have 14 then surrender if the dealer has 10. You should also surrender on a 7 + 7 against an ace.
  • Holding 15
    • If you have a 15, always surrender 9 + 6 or 10 + 5 against a dealer's 10. This applies regardless of how many decks are in the game.
    • When single and double-deck games are in play, the rules change a little. Surrender 9+6 and 10+5 against the dealer's ace if he has a soft 17.
    • In games with more decks, such as 4 to 8 deck games, then give up any 15 to a 10 and ace on a soft 17.
  • Holding 16
    • Always surrender 8+8 to a dealer's ace. This applies no matter how many decks are in play.
    • In games with less than four decks, surrender to any 10 or ace.
    • In games with four or more, surrender to a 9, 10, or ace.
  • Holding 17
    • In all games, you should surrender if the dealer has an ace and hits on a soft 17. In games with only one deck, surrender 10 + 7 against a dealer's ace on a soft 17.

Pros and Cons of Blackjack Surrender

The pros of basic strategy of surrender are that it decreases the house's edge. It allows you to partially escape from bets that would have led to greater losses. This means your bankroll will last much longer. The disadvantages are that you are dealing with chance. You may pull out your hand and find that you would have won big. Though you protected yourself by banking on lower losses, the outcome is down to probability.

You will also find that not everywhere allows these games. Many land-based casinos will avoid them due to the difference in the house rules and edge.

Blackjack Surrender FAQ

Is it good to surrender in blackjack?

This all depends on your train of thought. Conservative players would suggest surrendering if your hand has less than two cards and a 50% chance of winning. However, you should take time to study the hands above and know your cards.

How do you signal surrender in blackjack?

The hand signal to surrender is to draw a line behind the bet itself. This should combine with a verbal indication that you want to surrender. As the hand signal is similar to that for split and the whole casino table may be noisy, using both will reinforce your decision and make sure the dealer is aware of your choice.

Should you ever surrender in blackjack?

Surrendering gives you a huge advantage multi deck blackjack, as it decreases the house edge. You get to take half your bet back on hands that would have lost. However, there is always the chance you may pull out from a winning hand. Blackjack basic strategy can also help to determine when it is a good time to surrender.

Can you surrender any hand in blackjack?

You can surrender any hand in blackjack, but it's a question of when. In late surrender blackjack, you can only surrender after the dealer has checked his hand and has been dealt a ten or ace.

Do you lose money if you surrender in blackjack?

If you surrender in a blackjack hand, you lose half of your wager. However, depending on the outcome, that means you could have saved half your money from loss. To ensure you are surrendering correctly, you need to look into the probability of different hands and when you should take the option.

Is surrender the same as insurance in blackjack?

Surrender and insurance are two different blackjack variations. Surrender allows you to give the dealer's upcard for your bet at certain points and keep half of your wager. Insurance is a side bet, which allows you to make a play if a dealer's up card is an ace. You bet against the dealer's hand being blackjack.

What is the difference between early and late surrender?

Early surrender can be used when the player has a 10-5, 9-6, 10-6, or 9-7 against a ten or an ace or a 9 when they have a 10-6 or a 9-7. On the other hand, late surrender can be used when the player has a single deck of hard 14 to 16 or pairs of four to eight decks of 7s and 8s against ten.

Can surrendering improve my overall long-term winnings?

Surrendering in blackjack can improve a player's overall long-term winnings if used correctly. Surrendering play blackjack allows a player basic strategy to reduce long-term losses in very disadvantageous situations, seeing that the probability of losing is over 50%.

How does surrendering affect the house edge?

Late surrender rules can reduce the dealer ace house edge by 0.07 percent when used properly in a six-deck game where the dealer hits soft 17. The early surrender rule is more uncommon because it improves the return to the player by 0.39% if the dealer shows an ace, and 0.24% if they show a ten.

What are blackjack surrender rules?

Surrendering allows a player to fold their hand before drawing new cards and receive half of their original bet back. The surrender option is available before the player draws any cards and before any other action is the initial bet is made.

What is the origin of the surrender rule at blackjack tables?

The surrender rule in blackjack was introduced in the early 1980s in Atlantic City. The original play was called early surrender, which meant players could abandon their hand and get half of their initial stake back before the dealer had checked for blackjack when starting with a ten-card or an ace.

Can you surrender after hitting in blackjack?

It is not possible to surrender after hitting in blackjack. Surrendering is an option that allows the player to fold their hand after they have seen their cards and the dealer upcards.

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