Correct use of early or late surrender in blackjack can significantly reduce the house’s advantage over expert players.
Surrender can be present in several land-based casinos and numerous online casinos, and electronic table games; however, it is not as common as it previously was.
What Does It Mean To Surrender In Blackjack?
Surrender is a blackjack rule that permits you to surrender half of your bet after seeing your first two and the dealer-up cards.
It’s time to consider surrendering if your hand has less than a 50% probability of winning versus the dealer.
There are two kinds of surrender rules: early surrender and late surrender.
We’ll go through both, though early surrender in its original form, where other less favorable rule modifications haven’t diluted it, is becoming increasingly rare to come by.
Before the dealer checks the hole card for blackjack, you have the option of surrendering half of your bet. Because players might lose half their wager on poor hands vs. a dealer’s face-up card, this significantly impacts the house edge.
Early surrender resulted from certain dubious judgments made by the Casino Control Commission and early operators in Atlantic City, New Jersey when casinos were initially legalized in the late 1970s.
They came up with this new version of surrender in the hopes of luring players in and avoiding the dealers peeking at their hole card due to suspected collusion.
Even essential strategy players have a slight advantage because of a.6% reduction in the casino’s house edge.
This rule change was so disastrous that, in 1981, then-New Jersey Governor Byrne had to intervene and uphold the New Jersey Casino Control Commission’s decision to skip the normal public hearing process because they believed that continuing the early surrender rule for the 60 days required for public comment would put casino operators in “imminent peril.”
In today’s land-based casinos, such a powerful rule variant is uncommon.
If you discover it online, double-check all house rules because they’ve probably been changed to compensate for the house edge loss.
When the dealer has a 10 up, you should surrender 14, 15, or 16 if the rules appear logical.
If the dealer possesses an ace, you should concede hard 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17.
You should also surrender hard 4 if the dealer hits soft 17.
Surrender at a Late Hour
Late surrender differs from early surrender in that you can only surrender your hand and lose half your stake AFTER the dealer checks for blackjack.
The surrender option’s effectiveness is reduced to around.05 to.1 percent as a result of this.
When late surrender is used ideally on a 6 deck shoe with loose house rules, the edge shrinks from.42 percent to.35 percent, or about 20% overall.
When it’s accessible, late surrender can be another option to help us reduce the house edge.
While it should be evident at online casinos or e-tables, it is rarely mentioned on table signage or elsewhere at land-based casinos.
Ask the dealer if the surrender option is available and if it is late surrender or early surrender.
Not all casinos employ the same hand signals for surrender in blackjack, which adds to the confusion.
In general, while verbally signaling surrender, draw a horizontal line behind your bet with your index finger.
This is true for blackjack games played from a shoe.
Surrender protocols may change in casinos with handheld games, so if in question, ask your dealer about the proper etiquette for relinquishing your hand. They will gladly guide you through the process.
Any hands that don’t have at least a 50% chance of winning against the dealer’s upcard should be surrendered.
However, house regulations such as hit or stand on soft 17 and the number of decks in play will impact.
Here’s a rundown of the late surrender rules:
You should only surrender if you are dealt a 16 when the dealer has a 9 up, then only if there are four or more decks in the game.
If the dealer has a 10, you should always surrender if you have a 16, and you should also submit all 15s unless the game is played with only one deck.
If the dealer holds an ace, whether the house strikes soft 17 or stands complicates things.
No matter how many decks are in play, always surrender 16 if they stand on all 17s. Regardless of the number of decks, you should offer 15, 16, and 17 if they hit soft 17.
Composition Dependent vs. Total Dependent
The rules of play detailed above are for a game known as ‘total dependent,’ which means that you are only interested in the totals of your initial two cards to make a surrender decision.
There are guidelines for surrendering based on your hand’s composition, for as if you’re dealt a 9, 6 vs. an 8, 7. While both have a total of 15, they are made up of different card groups.
You should surrender 9, 6 but play out an 8, 7 if you examine this utilizing composition-dependent guidelines for the single deck game.
There are more than a dozen such exceptions, which might perplex newcomers to surrender alternatives in blackjack.
The minor advantage obtained is unlikely to be worth the increased difficulty and is best left to more experienced players.
So there you have it: a simple overview of early and late surrender, as well as the basic rules for earning the most significant advantage in blackjack. These can let you keep more of your money and play for more extended periods when used correctly.