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Blackjack Surrender Rule: What Is It & When Should You Use It?

Blackjack Surrender Rule: What Is It & When Should You Use It?

Blackjack is a popular casino game that offers many different playing variations and rules. If you are new to the game, you might not know some versions can offer the surrender rule.

So, we've compiled this piece to discuss the ins and outs of the surrender rule, including; what it is, the differences between a late and early surrender, if it’s the same as insurance, what hands may be the best to potentially surrender and more!

What Is Surrender In Blackjack? 

The surrender rule in blackjack is an option that allows you to give up your hand and lose only half your bet rather than the full amount. It can be a get-out option for those hands that might not necessarily go your way and gives you room to cut your potential losses in situations where the chances of winning may be low.

There are generally two types of surrender in blackjack: late surrender and early surrender. Let's discuss them in more detail below.

Late Surrender VS Early Surrender 

In late surrender, you can only surrender after the dealer checks their hand for a blackjack. This means that if the dealer does have a blackjack, you cannot surrender, and you would lose the full amount (100%) of your bet. However, if the dealer does not have a blackjack, you can choose to use the late surrender rule, which would forfeit your hand for only half the bet amount (50%).

The late surrender option is typically less effective than the early surrender option, but it can still potentially work in your favour. For example, if used effectively, the late surrender option has the potential to drop the house edge by 0.07% - 0.09%, respectively.

In early surrender, you can surrender before the dealer checks their hand for a blackjack. If implemented and used correctly, the early surrender rule can dramatically decrease the house's edge. For example, if the dealer has an Ace and the early surrender rule is used, it can potentially decrease the house edge by 0.39%.

However, the early surrender option tends to be less common than the late surrender option. In addition, if your preferred UK casino offers this rule, it may be best to check the rest of the game's rules before starting to play.

When Should You Surrender In Blackjack? 

The decision to surrender can be based on your hand and the dealer's upcard. In general, it may be best to surrender if dealt a hand that will most likely lose. It can also depend on the blackjack version being played and the number of decks.

In general, it can be best to surrender if your hand is a hard 14, 15 or 16, and the dealer's upcard is a 9, 10, or Ace. That is because your chances of winning the hand may be very low in this situation. 

Another good time to possibly surrender is if you have a pair of 8s, and the dealer's upcard is an Ace. In this case, you may only have a chance of winning by splitting the pair, but the chances of winning may still be low.

Before any surrender, it can be a good idea to consider the number of decks used in the game. Typically, the more decks used, the higher the dealer's average hand. That means the dealer's chances of having a good hand can be higher, and surrendering might be a better option in some cases.

It's also important to note that while the surrender rule can be a great way to cut your potential losses, it can also have a negative impact on any possible winnings in the long run. Therefore, it's important to use it strategically and sparingly.

Is Surrender The Same As Insurance? 

Surrender and insurance are two different options in blackjack, and they should not be confused with one another. 

Insurance is offered as a side bet against the dealer. For the insurance bet to be paid out, the dealer's upcard must be an Ace, and it allows you to protect yourself against the dealer's potential blackjack. 

For example, you can wager half of your bet that the dealer has an ace and a 10, and if proven to be accurate, you would receive a payout at 2:1. But if this is not the case, then you'd lose half of your bet.

On the other hand, surrender is an option that allows you to give up your hand and lose only half your bet rather than the total amount. Insurance and surrender may be offered at different times in the game and serve different purposes.

Is Surrender a Good Bet?

While surrender can be a valuable tool for players looking to improve their chances of winning, keep in mind that it can also have a negative impact on any winnings in the long run. 

Therefore, before deciding if it is a good bet, consider why you want to use it and try to use it strategically. Of course, the answer to this also depends on what type of surrender option you are using.

In general, the late surrender bet can be less ideal than the early surrender, but that does not mean it doesn’t have the potential to be a good bet. It just means it can be slightly more inconvenient in the long run as compared to the early surrender option. 

So, whether or not a surrender is a good betting option depends on the blackjack game you are playing, your preferences, reasons and how often you use it.

What Hands Should You Surrender In Blackjack? 

The general rule is that you should surrender a hard 15 or 16 when the dealer's upcard is a 9, 10 or Ace. Other hands you could potentially surrender include:

Possible Early Surrender Options:

  • If the dealer has a 10 and up, consider surrendering if you have a 14, 15 or 16.
  • You can surrender a pair of 8s if the dealer's upcard is an Ace
  • You may surrender if you have a hand of a hard 12-16 and the dealer's upcard is a 7 or higher. 
  • Or if the dealer hits a soft 17 and you have a hard 4.

Potential Late Surrender Options:

  • If the game uses 4 or more decks and the dealer has a 9 and up, you may surrender if you have a 16.
  • Surrender 15 and 16, and 17 if the dealer has 10 and over.
  • Surrender a 16 if the dealer stands on 17s
  • Surrender 15, 16, or 17 if the dealer hits a soft 17.

Blackjack Surrender Hand Signal

The proper hand signal for surrendering in blackjack is to draw a line beneath your cards, palm down. You can draw this line using a single finger, two fingers or your whole hand.

However, some live dealers prefer you use verbal cues and hand signals, so check with the dealer. Also, ensure that your hand signal is clear and that the dealer did not miss it.

*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time.