If you’ve read any of my previous posts you know that I’m a huge fan of blackjack surrender as part of a winning blackjack strategy. From what I’ve seen at the tables most people don’t even know what surrender is and definitely don’t feel comfortable playing it. In this post I’ll give a quick overview of what blackjack surrender is and why I like it as a way to win more consistently.
The basics of blackjack surrender are simple – after the cards are dealt you can surrender your hand and take a 50% loss of your wager. So if you have a $50 bet on the table and you get a 16 while the dealer is showing a King you can surrender – you’ll get $25 of your original bet back and the dealer takes $25.
Why would you surrender? If you have a 15 or 16 and the dealer is showing a 9 or 10 the odds are not in your favor.
Why not hit? You will bust on the next card 54% of the time and even if you get a playable card the dealer still has good odds of turning a winning card.
Why not stay? If you stay the dealer will beat you on the first card 54% of the time so you’re odds are under 50/50 right off the bat.
The caveat here is that if you are a card counter you can adjust these odds slightly – also if you are a card counter you likely aren’t reading this post. I’d also add that I always split 8s so that is another situation where the surrender rules above can be adjusted.
In addition to the odds working against you when you are holding a 15 or 16 vs. a 9 or 10, surrender can also work as a great wager maximization strategy. Your can slow down your losses on poor odds hands which will give you more opportunities to play for higher values when the odds are in your favor.
You might get some dirty looks from other players, condescending comments from dealers, and questions from various players about using blackjack surrender, but I’ve learned that this is usually from people who don’t have a lot of experience and simply don’t understand the odds.
Hopefully this gives you a little more confidence on when and how to use surrender the next time you play blackjack.