The option to surrender in blackjack may not be so easy to find at a land-based casino but online there are plenty of options available. You can find blackjack games that have the surrender feature by tons of software suppliers at even more online casinos.
The feature is valued by a multitude of players as it allows them to minimize their losses. However, this advantage comes at a price which means that it affects the rest of the rules. Mostly, though, it is definitely worth it as the rules are hardly changed.
All you need to do in order to play blackjack surrender is sign up at an online casino of your choice that offers the game. That is, of course, if you wish to play with real money. Otherwise, you can easily find the game for free online. If you want to learn more about blackjack surrender, continue reading.
What is Surrender in Blackjack?
The surrender option in blackjack gives players the opportunity to give up their hand and receive half of their bet back. This can be done both online and in brick-and-mortar casinos. Online, it is done by clicking the corresponding button, while at land-based casinos, players need to make the appropriate hand gesture.
The option to surrender is available at different times in different games. Sometimes, it is available from the very beginning of the game, before the dealer has checked his hand for a natural blackjack. Other times, it is available only after, or only at specific times.
The surrender option basically allows players to quit while they are ahead. This possibility makes the game much more dynamic and less risky. As we said, when you surrender a hand, you receive half of your wager back which is quite the advantage.
Such an advantage, in fact, that it reduces the house edge by 0.07% – 0.09%. This may not seem like a significant difference but to the seasoned blackjack player, it is huge. It actually helps card counters a lot. The number of decks used in a blackjack surrender game varies as there are many variations of the classic game that feature the surrender option.
The surrender option is also quite valuable because it helps players minimize their losses. This puts them at better odds and allows for more strategic options. If you want to know more about blackjack surrender strategies, continue reading until the end of this article.
Difference in Rules
The differences that may come with the surrender option are actually plenty. If you are looking strictly for a game of blackjack surrender the differences may be few. However, if you are looking for a game that offers the option, then the differences multiply.
There are countless variations of the classic game of blackjack, especially online. Take a game like Match Play 21, for instance. This game offers the surrender option but it comes with so many other features as well. Most prominently, the game offers completely different payouts for combinations that usually have no effect on the game or final player result.
A game of blackjack surrender, on the other hand, will come with only a few slight differences. Such as when the dealer must hit or stand. Usually, the dealer’s will need to stand on all 17s in such variations. Sometimes, it must be even over 18. The number of decks used varies greatly as well. If you are a card counter, then finding a blackjack surrender game that utilizes only two decks of cards might be a bit of a challenge.
On the other hand, if a game is played by the late surrender rule, a player will only be able to surrender after the dealer has checked his hand for a natural blackjack. This might seem almost useless but for an experienced player, it still holds a lot of value.
Hands You Should Surrender
The hands you should surrender depend on the strategy you have decided to use. They also depend on your overall style of play. One player may decide that 14 is a hand that must be surrendered, another might keep it and wait for the dealer to bust. Of course, this also largely depends on the dealer’s hand.
The times when you should surrender a hand is when that hand has less than a 25% chance of winning in that particular scenario. There are plenty of charts online that will show you exactly what a hand’s chance of winning is. They map out every possible hand and you can easily use them to make up your mind about surrendering.
An example of such a situation is when the dealer’s up card is an ace. Imagine your hand amounts to 16. This is a hand that you cannot risk hitting and it also has a small chance of winning. In this case, you should surrender your hand.
Surrender is an option that should be used sparingly. After all, you are still going to lose half of your bet, so make sure that there is truly close to no chance of winning. The surrender feature is very useful but only in a handful of scenarios.
Hands You Should Never Surrender
There are plenty of good hands that should never be surrendered, for instance, anything over 17 as it has a solid chance of winning. However, hands that are below 17 fall into a bit of a gray zone. Once again, all of this highly depends on the dealer’s up card.
You should never surrender hands that stand a high chance of winning. For instance, hands that are below 10. You should always hit when that is the case. Splitting may also be a better option especially when it comes to a pair of aces.
Your personal approach to the game as well as your strategy will undeniably make a difference but you should always make sure that a hand is very likely to lose before surrendering it. There is no point in surrendering a hand that may still be useful and get you a win.
Of course, this changes when you take card counting into account. If you know what cards are left in the decks, then you should act accordingly. This means that in cases when you would usually surrender, card counting may tell you not to and you would be wise to listen.
Blackjack Surrender Strategies
In most strategies that take surrender into account, the times when a player must surrender are very few. Most often, you should only surrender if the dealer’s visible card is an ace, 10 value card, or 9. The number of decks in play is also important and should be taken into consideration. The rules of the specific game variation you are playing must also be taken into account.
Let us say that the game of your choosing is played with six decks and the dealer must hit on soft 17. Then, let us imagine that you are in the following situation: the dealer’s visible card is as described above, while your cards amount to hard 15, hard 17, or is a pair of 8s. If you have a hard 15 you should surrender against any of the high ranking dealer cards. If you have one of the other two options, then you should only surrender against a dealer ace.
However, if the dealer must stand on all soft 17s, your approach must change. In this case, if you have a hard 16 and the dealer’s face card is one of the aforementioned ones, then you should surrender. If you have a hard 15, surrender only when the dealer’s face card amounts to or is 10.
As we previously mentioned, this variation of blackjack is quite useful for players who use card counting. In this case, the strategy can help players figure out if a deck is hot or not which will make it easier to decide whether a hand should be surrendered or not.
For instance, if you know that there are still plenty of 10 cards left, then it might be a good idea to surrender hands such as a hard 14 up to a hard 17 against a dealer’s 9,10, or ace. On the other hand, if you know that most high-value cards have already been played, then you might want to draw another card where most people would not.
These are just some basic tips you can utilize when playing a variation of blackjack that has the surrender feature. As you can see, its use is very limited if you are not a card counter. But as we previously stated, this option puts you at better odds in any case. Make sure you use it wisely.