You enjoy gambling but insist on playing games with a low house edge? If so, Playtech’s Blackjack Surrender is one game you most definitely should check out. It utilizes 6 standard decks of cards, which are automatically reshuffled by the software at the end of each round. The virtual dealer must stand on all 17s, both soft and hard, while the liberal doubling rules further decrease the advantage of Playtech-powered casinos.
This is a multiple-hand blackjack variation where players can place wagers in up to 5 betting spots at the same time. The augmented graphics and sound effects further contribute to this popular blackjack variation’s authenticity. The gaming controls and interface are user-friendly enough to render the gameplay digestible for both inexperienced and skilled players. However, the greatest appeal of Blackjack Surrender lies in its low house edge, which stands at 0.34% only with optimal strategy.
Hitting and Standing in Blackjack Surrender
A round of play starts with the player posting the desired amount in chips in one or more betting spots on the virtual table. Cards are then dealt face-up for the player whereas the virtual dealer gets their first card exposed and the second one face-down. When the dealer reveals a ten-value card like 10, J, Q, or K, they check their hole card for a blackjack before the player gets to act.
The variation follows the standard Las Vegas Strip rules. You can hit your hand if unsatisfied with its total until you reach a value you are confident in or bust. If you deem your hand strong enough, you have the option to decline drawing more cards by clicking the Stand button.
Players qualify for a payout if they outdraw the dealer with a better hand total, when they have a blackjack against any regular dealer total, or when the dealer has busted but the player has not exceeded 21. Blackjacks pay 3 to 2 while regular winning hands offer even-money payouts. A push occurs when the player and the dealer both have hands with the same total.
Playtech developers have equipped Blackjack Surrender with one intriguing twist. The game pays for what is known as a 7-card Charlie. This is a special hand for the player because it consists of seven cards that total 21 or less and it is an automatic winner no matter what the dealer’s hand is. The 7-card Charlie rule applies to split hands as well.
Splitting Decisions in Blackjack Surrender
Blackjack Surrender allows you to split any pair of cards, including unlike courts like K-Q or Q-J, for example. The second split card is covered with another bet that equals your original stake. The dealer then automatically draws additional cards to each split. The player can then hit as many times as they want.
One exception to this rule is made for split Aces, in which case the player receives only one extra card on each Ace. On the occasion of the player receiving a ten-value card next to a split Ace, the hand is considered an ordinary 21 and does not award the 3-to-2 payout for blackjacks. Blackjack Surrender does not support resplitting – you can split only once to two hands.
Doubling Decisions in Blackjack Surrender
The liberal rules pertaining to doubling down further increase the appeal of this classic blackjack variation. Here, you can double on any two cards regardless of their total if you believe you are in a good enough position that will allow you to beat the dealer by drawing only one more card. When you double, your wager becomes twice the original amount. You can make this move even on two-card totals after a split.
The Late Surrender Rule
One key trait of this Playtech game is the late surrender rule which leads to a house edge reduction of 0.07%. This may not seem like much but it really saves you money over the long haul. Under the late surrender rule, players can fold any starting hand they deem a sure loser, in which case they are reimbursed with half of their original stake.
When the virtual dealer exposes an Ace, players must first accept or decline insurance on their main bets. If the dealer has a blackjack after peeking under their hole card, the player automatically loses unless they, too, have a natural. However, if the dealer’s hand is not a blackjack, the player is granted the right to exercise the surrender move.
Blackjack Surrender dealers check their exposed Aces for blackjacks but only after the player has accepted or declined to buy insurance. The insurance is basically a side bet which has nothing to do with you winning or losing your main wager.
When the player accepts insurance, a bet equal to half their original stake is deducted from their balance. Provided that the dealer does have a natural, the insurance pays at odds of 2 to 1 but the player loses their main hand unless it is also a blackjack.
You lose the insurance bet if the dealer does not have a blackjack. In this case, you continue playing your hand as usual. And one last piece of advice. Insuring your hands against dealer blackjacks may seem like a good idea but it is not. Basic strategy players should always decline insurance because it yields a higher house edge of 7.40% in 6-deck games like Blackjack Surrender.