Because of the Hollywood movies, we think that the blackjack meaning is limited to reaching 21 points all the time, but this is not the case.
On the contrary, reaching 21 points is an extremely rare event and more importantly, it is not essential to win the game.
There are other ways to beat the dealer, and once the cards have been dealt, the decisions you make can help you win the game even if you do not reach 21 points.
Surrender is just one of the blackjack betting options and more important than you think: if you know when and under what circumstances you should make this decision, blackjack surrender rule can become a highly effective blackjack basic playing strategy.
Indeed, this is exactly our purpose in this guide.
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What Does Surrender Mean?
As you already know, there are lots of actions you can take in blackjack games, right after getting the first two cards. For example, you can “hit” (get one more card), “stand” (no more cards), or “double” (double the initial bet amount).
Blackjack surrender is one of these options. Instead of hitting, standing or doubling, you just “surrender”. Surrendered meaning is that you think that the dealer is more likely to reach a higher score than you. So the cards in your hand are not enough to beat the dealer: He has more chances to reach 21 points (or a higher score than you).
In short, you “surrender”: This action means you lost that hand. You think that there is no point in continuing the game, so you will just leave the table and try your luck in the next round.
However, by surrendering, you also get half of your initial wager back. So, for example, if your bet was 10 EUR, you get 5 EUR of it after surrendering. In short, your loss will only be 5 EUR. And this is the “secret” of the blackjack surrender game.
If you use this correctly, sometimes getting the half of your initial bet will be the better result and may result in more winnings. This is the basic answer to in blackjack what is surrender question, and we will further explain it below.
Why Would You Surrender In Blackjack?
Simply put, blackjack players surrender because they think that the dealer has the better hand. Due to the rules of the game, the dealer gets two cards for himself and gives two cards to the player, at the start of a round.
However, one of the dealer’s card will be open – this is called a “hole card”. So the player can always see what is one of the dealer’s cards. This gives him an advantage: Based on this information (and based on his own cards) he can make an accurate prediction on which side has the better chance to win the game.
For example, if the dealer has a 10 and all you have is a 2 and 3, the dealer is much likely to win the game. This is just a simple example, but it explains what is surrender in blackjack: This betting option gives you the chance to recover half of your initial bet if you cannot to win that round.
As can be guessed, the “trick” here is knowing whether you can win that round or not, based on the open card of the dealer and your point total. We will discuss this topic below and give some blackjack tips about surrendering. For now, know that surrender is a powerful tool when used correctly and it can save you from great losses.
How Do You Surrender In Blackjack?
We should start with the basics. First of all, the answer to can you surrender in blackjack question is not always yes. There are some blackjack variants out there which do not allow players to surrender – they simply do not contain this option. So, before anything else, you must check the rules and see whether surrendering is possible or not. If you are playing at a brick-and-mortar casino, simply check the blackjack tables, this information is available on them. And if you are playing blackjack online at a casino site, you can open the paytable of the game and read the rules. In any case, make sure that surrendering is available as a betting option beforehand.
If the rules allow it, there are two ways of doing it: Right after the first dealing or during any time in the game. The first one is called “early surrender” and the other is called “late surrender”. And the answer to how to surrender in blackjack question will be different for both options, so let’s check them one by one.
• What is early surrender in blackjack?
This means you can use the surrender option right after you get the first two cards and before making any other decision. Basically, you cannot hit, stand, or double – you must surrender before all of these. In other words, surrendering should be your first and only decision. If you hit or stand, for example, you can’t use the surrender option anymore. Casinos that allow early surrendering are rare, but they still exist.
• What is late surrender in blackjack?
This means you can surrender even during the later stages of the game, for example, after hitting or standing. Basically, the game offers you the chance to leave the table anytime you want and still get half of your initial wager back. Blackjack casino games that use this rule are pretty common, and nowadays late surrendering is usually the only option you get.
• What is the hand signal for surrender in blackjack?
Do not use a hand signal. We know this is a pretty common question but it is also a great misconception. Hand signals in blackjack are pretty rare and almost none of the players use them. Moreover, they do not exist in online games. If you are playing at a land-based casino, you should not be using a hand signal. Surrendering ends the game immediately, so it is an important decision and must be used verbally. In other words, you must tell the dealer that you are surrendering the game – do not use any “hand signals”.
Blackjack surrender online, on the other hand, is made with clicking on the appropriate button. When it is your turn to make a move, you will see this option on the interface, you can simply click the button.
When Should You Surrender In Blackjack?
Knowing what hands to surrender in blackjack is of great importance: This is an important tool but it is useful only when used right. Sometimes the dealer may seem to have the upper hand but in reality, you have the better chance of winning. Or, your hand may seem amazing to you, but actually, the dealer has the advantage.
This decision should be made according to your point total, the dealer’s card, and the number of decks of cards. And like all other betting options in this game, we can prepare charts that show the best possible moves according to these criteria. Below, you can see blackjack surrender charts for different variants of the game.
Single Deck Blackjack Surrender Chart
Double Deck Blackjack Surrender Chart
Four Or More Decks Blackjack Surrender Chart
Basically, if you have 17 points in total (or higher) you should not think about surrendering at all, no matter how many decks are involved. And if your point total is less than 15, you should not think about surrendering: You can hit, stand, or double, according to your hand. (We prepared blackjack hand charts for these options in other guides, so take a look at them too.) Blackjack surrender is an option only if:
• You have 15, 16, or 17 points,
• The dealer has a 9, 10, K, Q, J, or Ace.
And the charts above show you what the best move will be for these conditions. Note that blackjack games in land-based casinos and online casinos are the same (and have the same blackjack odds), so these explanations can be used for both. Once again, surrendering will be a good option and save half of your bet when used right: Instead of losing it all, you get 50% of it back.
Blackjack Tips To Win Surrendering: How To Use This Option Efficiently
• Always ask the casino. If you are not sure whether a blackjack game supports surrendering or not, you can always ask the dealer. As mentioned above, this rule is literally printed on blackjack tables (with the payout value) but it is a good idea to get a confirmation from the dealer. And if you are playing an online blackjack game, you can double-check the paytable. Again, if surrendering is not allowed, you can simply pick a different game.
• In the long run, surrendering can improve the house edge of blackjack. It won’t change the blackjack odds table, but it will save you from losses. As a result, your RTP (return to player) ratio will increase and the house edge will decrease. In short, this is a really useful betting option.
• The charts above are not set in stone. They just offer the best possible probability, but they are not tailored for your game. Card counting is the best tactic you can use in blackjack, and it can define whether surrendering will be a good option or not. Because by counting the cards, you can understand whether the deck still has lots of 10s or not, for example. If you have 16 points against a dealer 10, the recommended decision will be surrendering, as we listed above. However, if you have counted the cards and saw that there are not any other 10s left, you can choose the opposite. Basically, these charts are not magical things that will help you win every game you play: You still must use other blackjack tactics and strategies too, in order to make a more accurate decision.
• Prefer single deck blackjack games. In order to improve your odds and maximize the efficiency of card counting, you should prefer single deck blackjack games, as long as possible. There is a very simple reason for this: Counting the cards in a single deck will be much more easy than counting the cards in 8 decks. When the deck count surpasses 4, even the mathematical savants will have trouble counting them all. Single-deck games, on the other hand, will be much easier to play.
• Stay away from “weird” variants. Blackjack is a game with many variants but not all of them offer the best odds. In general, the “classic” variants are best to play – they really have the lowest house edge values and surrendering makes sense because you can further decrease the house edge. But variants that include “bonus bets” (such as Blackjack Switch, Spanish 21, etc.) have much higher house edge rates. These type of games still have the option to surrender, but it is a pretty much useless option. Since your odds are already low in these variants, do not bother using surrender – you are less likely to win anyway. Stick with the classic and original variants.
• No hand signals. Once again, do not use a “hand signal” at land-based casinos to tell the dealer that you are surrendering. There are some sources that state “moving your index finger from left to right” will be enough to declare the surrendering, but do not and never use this. This is a very simple move and there is a big chance of making it accidentally. Remember that surrendering will end the game immediately, so if the dealer thinks you make the “move” he can end the game even if the cards are in your favor. State your intentions verbally and do not lose a hand just because you moved your fingers the wrong way.
• Do not surrender at the beginning. There are some sources that state that if you have a 3, 4, 5, or 6 against a dealer 10, you should surrender immediately, just because these are “hard hands to win”. There is no such thing. You should not immediately surrender just because the dealer has a 10 or Ace. Check your hand first and consider surrendering only if you have 15, 16, 17 points or more. If you have less than these, nobody can predict whether surrendering will be a good or bad thing for you. If you use this option unnecessarily, you will lose money – it is as simple as that. In short, wait for the right conditions.
• Practice as much as possible. Practice makes perfect and this is true for surrender in blackjack too. And you don’t need to spend a fortune on making practice: All online blackjack games can be played for free. In other words, you can test the efficiency of blackjack surrender yourself without taking any financial risks and see how useful it really is. The free-to-play versions of these games are identical to the real money versions in regards to rules, odds, and winning chances, so after making enough practice, you can start playing with real money and continue where you left off.
Use Blackjack Surrender Option Like A Pro
Well, we have answered what is surrender in blackjack question and we showed you how to use it efficiently. Now, you know everything about surrender in blackjack and ready to use it like a pro.
Find an online casino and using it: As we mentioned above, you can further decrease the house edge and limit your losses by surrendering in blackjack at the right time.
And if you need help on finding blackjack casino sites, we can still help you: We already picked the best online casinos to play blackjack for you, and all of them offer you games that include the option to surrender – you can start using what you have learned right now. Pick one of our recommended blackjack casinos, surrender at the right time, and win the game: See you at the tables!