Blackjack Surrender 2024: A Step-by-Step Guide

blackjack surrenderAt certain online casinos, you will find the option to “surrender” at some of the available blackjack tables.

Surrendering in blackjack is a form of strategy and of safe-guarding your hand when you recognize bad odds. It doesn’t make you a bad or cowardly player to surrender.

It’s also usually available for classic or American blackjack, rather than European.

Traditionally, blackjack games that offered the surrender option were for the high-roller games. So if you’re looking for the option, you may want to try the VIP Blackjack tables at your online or live casino.

Let’s take a look at the types of surrender options you’ll find. We will also break down when you should surrender, to optimize your strategy.

No surrender, Early Surrender or Late Surrender

Blackjack games will either not offer the option (“no surrender”), or offer the option at specific moments in the game.

You will be able to surrender if the dealer has an Ace as his upcard. If he does, there are chances that he may have a blackjack.

  • Early: you can surrender before a dealer checks for Blackjack
  • Late: after dealer has checked for blackjack and doesn’t have it

When you surrender, you get half your bet back. You will, of course, lose less money if you surrender earlier rather than later.

When To Surrender: Odds and Dealer Hands

There are a lot of strategy guides out there that will tell you when you absolutely should or absolutely shouldn’t surrender.

In the end, it really boils down to how you want to play, but it’s true that playing with the odds in mind can be lucrative.

First of all, you should know how many decks the dealer is using. If it’s a double-deck game or a 4-8 deck, then the odds will differ.

Knowing when to surrender basically depends on the dealer’s hand, and what he’s allowed to do. We’ll break down some relevant blackjack surrender terminology and then look at a few scenarios.

Blackjack Surrender Terms: Hard Hand vs Soft Hand

You will often see blackjack guides referring to a “hard” or “soft” score. This refers to the value of the ace, as the ace can be worth a 1 or an 11.

When the ace value is 1, the overall score is “soft”.

When the ace value is 11, the overall score is “hard”.

Here’s an example: a “soft 17” could be for instance, a 10+6+Ace. And a “hard 17” could be an Ace+6.

When to Surrender: Difference Blackjack Scenarios

As we mentioned further up, surrendering counts as a part of your strategy. We’ve compiled a list of recommendations-per-scenario made by blackjack experts to help you know when to surrender.

  1. Dealer with an ace as their upcard, must stand on 17

In this situation, if your score is anything under 16 then you may hit or stand as you please.

If your score is 16 however, surrender is your best option.

  1. Dealer with ace, must hit on all hard 17s

In some games, the general rule of “dealer stands on 17” will have this variant. Experts say that this decreases player edge; and so you should surrender if your score is at 15-16-17.

  1. Dealer with a 10-value card, must stand on 17

There are three general rules to follow here. If your score is:

  • 15: surrender
  • 16: surrender
  • 17: stand

These are of course rules based on your odds of winning against a dealer with such a hand. If you want to risk it, you’re free to hit or stand as you please.

  1. Dealer with a 9, must stand on 17

Again, here are the guidelines recommended by the experts:

  • 15: take a hit
  • 16: surrender
  • 17: stand