Surrendering in Blackjack

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Surrendering in blackjack is sometimes offered by the casino. A few online casinos have a game called "Blackjack Surrender" that has the surrender option for blackjack.

The idea behind surrendering is that if you get a hand you do not like, you can choose not to play your cards, waive the proverbial white flag and fold your hand. When you surrender, you will receive half your bet back.

At a live casino, I make it a habit to ask the dealer before my first hand if they offer surrendering. This is not posted at the table like "Blackjack Pays 3 to 2" or "Insurance Pays 2 to 1" or "Dealer must draw to" notifications.

Surrender hand signal

To surrender while playing at a live casino, wait until it is your turn with the dealer and verbally say "surrender". The dealer will then ask you to give the surrender hand signal so the cameras can see. The hand signal is to place your index finger on the table and to draw an imaginary horizontal line, like you are drawing a line in the sand between you and the dealer.

I actually make it a point to verbally say it the first time to the dealer, especially if no one has surrendered at the table. The surrender hand signal at first could look like a "hit" signal, especially if the dealer is fast and hasn't seen a surrender at the table in a long time.

Early Surrender vs. Late Surrender

There are actually two different types of surrendering in blackjack. They are Early Surrender and Late Surrender. The only difference between the two is if you are allowed to surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack. If you can surrender before a dealer blackjack, that is Early Surrender. Late Surrender is only offered after the dealer checks for blackjack.

To this day, having played a few million hands of blackjack at a couple dozen casinos and over 100 online casinos, I have never seen Early Surrender offered.

Strategy for Surrendering in Blackjack

There are only a handful of times you should surrender. The correct blackjack strategy to surrender include the following circumstances:

1. You have 16 (including 8,8) and the dealer shows a 9, 10, or Ace

2. You have 15 and the dealer shows a 10 or Ace

3. You have 17 and the dealer shows an Ace

That's all that you should surrender. In every other scenario, the odds are not there to surrender.

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