Is Surrendering a Good Idea in Blackjack?

Is Surrendering a Good Idea in Blackjack?

Playing blackjack is one of the best ideas you could have when logging into an online casino. There are numerous bets with terrible odds that are a losing game, but the gambler has a chance with blackjack. It’s a simple game to learn with good odds.

Blackjack surrender is one option that might draw a confused look, though.

Blackjack isn’t a complicating game in the casino. The goal is to finish closest to 21 without going over and busting. Easy enough, but becoming a master blackjack strategist can take years to master.

These might be the most two misunderstood options for blackjack players. Should you surrender in blackjack or take insurance?

For the purposes of this evaluation, we’re looking at what blackjack surrender is at the blackjack table and the pros and cons. It’s important to point out that if the dealer has blackjack, you won’t have the option to surrender.

Surrendering is only available after the dealer checks for a blackjack. There are rare tables where surrender is available before the dealer checks, but these are close to extinct with only ultra high-limit tables offering it. For the purposes of this breakdown, we are using late surrender blackjack rules.

Not every blackjack table will offer the surrender option, but most online blackjack has surrender blackjack. It’s hard to find surrender blackjack in Las Vegas these days. You’ll have to head to the high-limit room for surrendering.

It’s important to play online blackjack at the top blackjack sites if you want the full experience.

What Is Surrender In Blackjack?

Before we get into whether it’s important to implement a blackjack surrender strategy, let’s talk about what blackjack surrender is at the table. As its name implies, surrendering your hand is the gist of surrendering at blackjack.

How Does Blackjack Surrender Work?
After cards are dealt, the player will have the option to surrender his hand after evaluating what the dealer has against their hand. If your choose to surrender, your cards will be discarded and you must wait for the next round.

No, this doesn’t mean the player will be refunded his money, or at least all of it. The odds would be heavily stacked against the house if this was the case.

When a player surrenders his hand, the house will collect 50% of your bet. The other half will go back into your stack.

Playing side bets are often a bad decision in blackjack, including taking insurance. However, surrendering at blackjack can sometimes be a good option.

Casinos often don’t offer these kinds of bets when it works against them. There is a reason why surrendering is only available in the high-limit room, though.

Pros of Blackjack Surrender

Blackjack Surrender Strategy

There is a strategy that can be implemented for surrendering. This can’t be said for most bets and options in the online casino.

There are times when you should surrender. If you can identify the hands where you should surrender, don’t hesitate to throw away your cards and retain half of your bet.

When should you surrender at blackjack? When your odds of winning are worse than 50%. It sounds simple, but you’ll have to know when the odds are against your hand.

Having a 16 is the most common hand to surrender. If the player has a 16 to the dealer’s 9, 10, or 17, they should surrender the hand at a table with four or more decks, which is the most common game online.

The player with a 15 will have to remember that surrendering on a dealer’s 10 or 17 is advised as well. For a 17, there is only one scenario where you should surrender and this is against a dealer’s hard 17.

Remember that you should evaluate the hand to surrender if your cards are a 15, 16, or 17. With a bit of practice, you should be able to memorize a surrender blackjack strategy in no time.

Reduces The House Edge

There is a reason why blackjack surrender is primarily only allowed in high-limit games. Any game that favors the player will only go to the tables with the highest limits.

It depends on the casino, but the good news is that online casinos have lower limits for surrendering.

What kind of an odds improvement are we talking about by playing at a blackjack table with surrender rules? If you can locate an early surrender table before the dealer checks for blackjack, then this reduces the house edge by 0.39% against a dealer’s Ace and 0.24% versus a ten.

A late surrender table isn’t as strong, but a 0.1% reduction in a house edge can add up over time.

Cons of Blackjack Surrender

Must Be Played Properly

The house edge we refer to above is if the player uses the blackjack surrender rule properly. It can work against the player if you’re surrendering improperly.

Similar to reducing the house edge by playing basic strategy, to obtain the best odds of winning, the player has to follow the proper strategy of when and when not to surrender.

Fortunately, memorizing surrender rules doesn’t take nearly as much time as memorizing basic strategy. We noted the basic strategy for late surrender blackjack above. With online blackjack, you can easily refer to what your best move should be.

Takes Away The Gamble

You are probably playing blackjack for the fun factor and not to get rich. Winning money is only a bonus. Even following the surrender rules perfectly doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to win.

Throwing in the towel and waving the white towel can often feel a bit hollow.

The most important part of gambling, especially casino betting, is to have a fun time and not take things too seriously. Of course, nobody is looking to lose, but there are some people that want the “let it ride” mentality and do not want to surrender their cards and give up on a hand.


The surrender rule for blackjack is a dying breed on the casino floor. Pop into the high-limit room if your budget allows for betting $100 or more a hand. However, it’s still a viable option at online casinos that have top blackjack sites.

We only recommend surrendering if you know what you’re doing. Blindly surrendering on a whim is not a good idea.

If you can’t remember anything else, remember that 16 versus a ten or face card is a definite surrender. That’s the worst and most frustrating hand in blackjack. Just surrender and move on to the next hand.

To answer the original question: is surrendering a good idea in blackjack? It depends on the situation.

About the Author
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Kyle Eve
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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