Blackjack Surrender is a blackjack variation that includes an option for a player to surrender their hand when they face specific dealer card combinations. It is a strange and rare variant of blackjack that basically adds the opposite of a side bet to blackjack—unlike the insurance side bet found in most games of blackjack, the option to surrender in blackjack allows you to stop playing rather than play another betting game.
What’s in it for the player? In Blackjack Surrender, a player who surrenders their bet against a stacked dealer hand earns back half of their bet. The benefit for the house is that the other half of the bet goes to the casino’s coffers.
The surrender in blackjack option is only available to players after the first two cards are dealt. For more specific rules, you have to decide which form of surrender you’re playing. In Early Surrender, you can surrender right off the bat, the dealer takes half of your bet, returns the other half, and the game starts over. Late surrender games are a little different. Late surrender blackjack means the dealer puts a dummy chip on your bet to mark your late surrendered bet then shows their cards to you. If the dealer holds a blackjack, your entire bet is still lost. Early blackjack surrender blackjack options are more advantageous to the gambler, but at the right time, either surrender option can help.
Knowing when to surrender is a key to understanding Blackjack Surrender odds. If you’re going to play Blackjack Surrender, surrender at the right time, such as with a hand of 16. A player 16 against a dealer’s 10 gives the players a less than 25% chance of beating the house. Surrendering that bet cuts your losses.
But don’t get caught up in the idea of cutting your losses. The house wants you to think that way so you abuse the surrender in blackjack. In fact, odds show that you should only surrender when you hold a hard 16 against a dealer’s Ace, 10, or 9. Some players will surrender with a hard 15 against a dealer’s 10, but that’s up to you.
Casinos offer Blackjack Surrender because most people don’t know how to play it and it earns them quick cash. If you have to play Surrender Blackjack, use the surrender option sparingly or else you’re handing cash to the casino.