Blackjack Surrender

Uses and Value of Blackjack Surrender

Blackjack surrender is a player option that some casinos offer at their blackjack table, and hails from the old brick and mortar casino cities where the casinos were mandated to provide this exit option to blackjack players. Nowadays this option is not a common practice online, but is certainly becoming more considered as an option because statistically there are some advantages to using the option.

The appearance and usage of blackjack surrender has become even more pronounced with the specific production of a version of blackjack that is even officially called Blackjack Surrender. This version is a standard game of blackjack, just with the surrender rule highlighted.

Statistical Perspective and Value

The blackjack surrender rule states that players may choose to give up, or surrender, half the bet they have placed, rather than play out the hand. From a mathematical perspective, any hand that would cost the player more than 50% of their bet is worse than surrendering and utilising blackjack surrender would be their best option. Not considering pushes, an expected loss of over 50% means the player is more than 75% likely to lose the hand.

The blackjack surrender bet is often considered by players to be a sucker bet, and that they are showing distinct signs of cowardice by using the option. To the brazen gambler who simply enjoys the thrill of the stake, using blackjack surrender may seem counter-intuitive and giving up half their bet when they could just as easily win the hand something not to be contemplated.

The Argument Against Surrender

These bullish players are correct up to a point in that with a card game there is always a chance of winning, and statistically, if they surrender four times, then it would have been better to have played the four hands and won once rather than surrendering. But, in reality, players that consider their blackjack play over a long period will want to surrender since this will work out to be the cheaper option in the longer run.

There are two types of blackjack surrender. Early surrender and late surrender, and early surrender is best. The names refer to whether or not a dealer checks their hand for a natural blackjack when an Ace or 10 value card is showing before players may make the surrender decision. Some casino regulations don’t do peeking, and the dealer would not check the hand until players had all made their playing decisions.

Knowing the Numbers is Key

The most common form of surrender is the late version, and is less value than an early blackjack surrender because if the dealer checks and finds a natural, players will lose their full bets before being able to surrender.

The dealer is going to bust 23% of the time when having a 10 value card as the face-up card. A total of 20 will be achieved 21. 41% of the time, and even when the dealer shows and Ace and does not have blackjack they are going to end up with a total of 19 or more 46% of the time. Busting is only 17% likely, making blackjack surrender a valid option.

Late blackjack surrender, when used correctly, and the tables regarding the use of the option are widely available, adds to the player’s edge by a modest .1%. The odds and uses of blackjack surrender obviously improve slightly when players count the cards.