When Should You Surrender at Blackjack?

Surrender is allowed at many casinos throughout the world. This includes ones on the Internet. Most players do not understand its benefits and often misplay hands due to not knowing the basic strategy of blackjack surrender.

Surrender is only offered at shoe blackjack games. Single and double deck blackjack games, even ones spread at online casinos, never allow surrender.

What is Surrender?

Surrender is where the house allows a player to fold before drawing cards. If a player chooses to surrender then half of the original wager is returned and the cards are removed from play. The action of a surrendered hand is over, even if the dealer busts. A player that wishes to surrender in a live game will run a finger behind the bet. Online games that offer surrender will have a button on the table.

Make sure to check the rules before playing to ensure that surrender is available.

When to Surrender at Blackjack

The strategy of blackjack surrender depends on whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17. There are only four instances when a player should surrender when the dealer stands on soft 17. There are seven times a player should surrender when the dealer hits a soft 17.

Players should surrender 16 against a 9, 10 or ace when the dealer stands on all 17’s. The exception is a pair of 8’s. Those should still be split against any dealer door card and never surrendered. A 15 hand should be surrendered versus a dealer’s 10-value card.

The rules change a little when the dealer hits a soft 17. The surrenders in the stay on 17 games also apply to the hit 17 games. Players will also surrender 15 and 17 against an ace. A pair of 8’s is still split against every hand except for when the dealer has an ace. In that case, it should be surrendered.

How Does Surrender Affect House Edge?

A game that offers surrender has a house advantage .08% lower than a game with similar rules but no surrender. Some casinos will try to lure players by placing placards on the table that state “surrender available”. These signs are common at Caesars Entertainment tables on the Las Vegas Strip. Most tables with these signs are games that pay 6-5 on a blackjack, which adds 1.39% to the house edge. Make sure to ask the dealer if the game pays 3-2 on a blackjack before throwing your cash on the table.

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