Surrender is a powerful weapon for your blackjack strategy arsenal. It is a playing option that casinos don’t advertise or promote because it favors the player.
What Is Surrender?
Surrender is a playing option taken after your first two cards are dealt…if you tell the dealer you surrender, you will get half of your bet back. For example, if you are dealt a ten and a six for 16 against the dealer’s ten and you take the surrender option, the dealer would return half of your bet. There are two kinds of surrender:
1.) Early Surrender – You surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack (when the dealer’s upcard is a ten or ace).
2.) Late Surrender – You surrender after the dealer checks for blackjack.
Obviously, early surrender is the better of the two because you can get half of your bet back even when the dealer has blackjack. Unfortunately, this is why it’s difficult to find a casino that offers early surrender. Late surrender is more common, but you normally won’t see it spelled out with the other table rules. So just ask the dealer before you sit down or when you get to a situation when you want to surrender. You’ll find that casinos will have some tables that offer surrender and some that don’t. For instance, tables where cards are dealt from the dealer’s hands might not offer surrender; but if cards are dealt from a shoe or continuous shuffling machine, surrender would be available.
The Power of Surrender
The power of surrender is in the amount of money you save…just think of all the times that you have busted when hitting 15 or 16 against a dealer’s ace, ten, or even nine…how much money would you now have if you had half of your bet returned for each of those busts. Another way of considering the impact of surrender is realizing that it is equivalent to pushing or tying half of the time…which is significant for a stiff hand like 16 against a dealer’s ten.