The surrender rule is a feature found in the blackjack surrender variation of the classic blackjack game. Most land-based casinos offer players surrender blackjack, but the variant is less commonly found at casino sites.
When you surrender in blackjack, you give up your hand after your initial deal because you feel that your chances of winning with the cards you’ve been dealt are slim. When you surrender, you’ll keep half of your initial wager, while the other half goes to the house. Additionally, you also have the option to continue playing with the initial hand you’ve been dealt with, but you’ll be risking losing your entire bet over an unfortunate hand.
Blackjack is more of an endurance game than anything else. Sometimes you’ll receive a good hand and other times you won’t. Your only task in this instance is to realize when to surrender and when its worth a play. Most dealers in real-life blackjack prefer that you voice your intent to surrender and not just signal intent using your hands. While online blackjack will have a surrender button to click when you wish to do so.
The overall objective of every player in blackjack is to beat the dealer. Getting a total of 21 is great, and although achieving this is one way of beating the dealer, it’s not the best possible way to beat the dealer. The most sought-after win in blackjack is to achieve a better hand than the dealer. This is why players are most concerned about what the dealer is showing and the rules surrounding whether a dealer should stand or hit on a soft 7. The surrender rule plays an important part in your overall strategy in trying to beat the dealer. If you see that your hand stands a very slim chance of beating the dealer, you are much better off surrendering the hand and moving onto your next set than to blast your bankroll because you are determined to play every hand regardless of whether it’s worth a play.
Surrender Rules in Blackjack
Each variant of a particular casino game has its own rules and regulations. That’s why it’s called a variant and not the classic version of the game whose rules come standard. Blackjack games that feature the option to surrender therefore have a unique set of rules as well. We’ve listed them below.
Rule 1: This rule applies to the dealer who is required to always stand on 17’s.
Rule 2: Any pair can be split, but this is done on a once off basis.
Rule 3: You are limited to taking one card after you have split Aces before having to stand.
Rule4: If any one of your split Aces receive a 10-point card, you get 21 rather than blackjack.
Rule 5: If a player hits blackjack in a blackjack surrender game, the payout is 3:2.
Rule 6: You get to double down in blackjack surrender.
Rule 7: A 7-card Charlie beats all other hands except for a natural blackjack.
Rule 8: The peek rule applies in blackjack surrender.
Blackjack Strategy: Early Surrender
The early surrender rule is not that common in a game of blackjack. It applies when a player surrenders and forfeits half his bet and his full hand before the dealer checks to see if you’ve got 21; otherwise known as ‘blackjack’. Here’s when you should take use the early surrender rule in blackjack:
When the dealer has an Ace versus your hand that has cards 5-7.
When the dealer has an Ace versus your hand that has cards 12-17.
When the dealer has an Ace versus your hand that consists of pairs of 3’s, 6’s, 7’s or 8’s.
When the dealer has a 10 versus your hand of 14-16.
When the dealer has a 10 versus your hand of 7’s or 8’s.
However, there are exceptions to the early surrender rule. Here’s when not to surrender to the dealers 10 or Ace card:
Do not surrender when the dealer has a 10 versus your 4 and 10, or 5 and 9 hand in a single deck.
Do not surrender to the dealer’s 10 versus your hand of 4 and 10 in a double deck.
Do not surrender to an 8 versus your 10 in a single deck when the double after split rule is effective.
Blackjack Strategy: Late Surrender
The late surrender rule is similar to the early surrender rule, except here you may surrender your cards and subsequently forfeit half your bet even after the dealer has checked for blackjack or 21. Here’s when you should use the late surrender rule:
If your hand is 14…
You should late surrender to the dealers 10 provided that you are playing with a single deck.
If the dealer hits on a soft 17 using a single deck of cards, and you have a 7 and 7 hand, you should surrender against the dealer’s Ace.
If your hand is 15 …
You should surrender if the dealer pulls an Ace and hits a soft 17 when your hand consists of card 9 and 6 or 10 and 5.
You should surrender if you have a hand consisting of a 9 and 6 or 10 and 5 in a game using 1-6 decks of cards.
You should surrender to the dealers 10 as well as an Ace where the dealer hits a soft 17 if you are playing with 4 to 8 decks of cards.
If your hand is 16…
You should surrender if the blackjack dealer has a 10 or an Ace value and you are playing with a single or double deck of cards.
Surrender to the dealers 9, 10, or Ace when you’re playing blackjack with four or more decks of cards.
If your hand total is 16 made up of two 8’s and the dealer hits a soft 17, you should only surrender to an Ace provided the double after the split rule is in play.