Blackjack Strategy: When to Surrender

Bet £10 and get £30 in free bets

Claim Now!

While some gamblers believe that Blackjack is purely luck-based, others enjoy using strategies to increase their chances of winning. There are many different techniques out there, but if none of them work then what do you do? If you’ve exhausted all your strategies and aren’t sure where to turn, there is still one thing you can do. One of the playing decisions available in some casinos is to surrender your hand. For those who aren’t sure, surrender works like this.

When the game begins, you can compare your initial two-card hand against the dealer’s upcard. At this point, if you think your chances of winning are low, you have the option to surrender your hand and give up half of the amount of your bet. If you decide to do this, the dealer will remove half of your wager and then place your cards in the discard tray. You’re then out of the game. Although you’ll lose half your bet by surrendering, there is the potential to lose much more if you stay in the game and lose the hand. While some people see surrendering as a weak decision, there are situations were it can certainly work in your favour. In this article, we explore the surrender Blackjack Strategy in more detail.

Mathematics Behind the Strategy

Before we discuss the surrender strategy, it’s important to understand the mathematics behind the method. As mentioned previously, when you surrender a hand you will lose half of your wager; therefore, it only makes sense to give up your hand when your expected loss from continuing the game is greater than 50%. In other words, you should surrender when your chances of winning are less than one out of four hands. If your hand has less than a 25% chance of winning, or a 75% chance of losing, you’ll save money in the long run by giving up the hand instead of playing it.

To further explain the mathematics, here is a real-world example. During a game of Blackjack, you’re dealt a 10 and a 6 and the dealer has an upcard of 10. Statistically, this is the worst hand you can get when you’re playing blackjack. After comparing your hand with the dealer’s upcard, you have three options on how to move forward: hit, stand, or surrender. If you hit, you have a 23.4% chance of winning and a 26.6% chance of losing. This means that your loss per £100 bet would be £53.20. If you stand, your chance of winning is 22.8% and your chance of losing is 77.2%. This means that your loss per £100 bet would be £54.40. If you surrender, you won’t win or lose; instead, you’ll give up 50% of your wager. If your initial bet was £100, this means that you’ll lose £50.00. With this information in mind, you’re likely to lose the least money by surrendering.

Basic Strategy

So now you understand the mathematics behind the strategy, but how do you know when to use it?

If you’re playing a six-deck game with the dealer standing on soft 17, you should surrender a hard 16 (apart from 8-8) against a dealer with a 9, 10, or Ace upcard. If the dealer has a 10 upcard, you should surrender a hard 15.

The strategy will differ slightly depending on the number of decks being used in the game. However, the basic rules stay the same regardless.

Tips and Tricks

Below, we explore some additional tips and tricks to keep in mind when deciding whether to surrender.

  • Keep in mind that not all casinos offer the option to surrender. If you’re unsure, contact the casino before hand if possible. If not, you could always ask the dealer before the game begins. Typically, if a casino offers surrender it will be stated on the rules placard that is located on each table.
  • In US casinos, you can only surrender after the dealer looks at his hole card when he shows an Ace or ten-valued card, to determine if he has a blackjack. If he does have blackjack, the option to surrender is no longer available. In this circumstance, you will lose the game unless you have a blackjack, too. This rule is known as ‘late surrender’.
  • In some casinos, you must announce to the dealer that you wish to surrender your hand by saying “surrender”. In other casinos, you’re allowed to use a hand signal for surrender. Typically, you must use your finger to draw an imaginary line from the left to right on the felt.

In Summary

Next time you’re playing blackjack, try out the surrender strategy if you’re all out of options. Although you’ll lose half your wager, you could save yourself money in the long run. Remember that not every casino offers the option to surrender, so it’s worth enquiring before your visit if you’re interested in using it. If you want to brush up on the game before your visit, why not practice blackjack online. As many betting sites offer free credit, you can enhance your skills without breaking the bank.

With so many online casinos available, it can be difficult to decide which one to use. Thankfully, we are here to help. At, we review a wide range of casinos and games so that we can let you know which ones are best. Additionally, we take into account any bonuses and promotions to help you get the most for your money. Due to the addictive nature of gambling, it’s important to consider your financial situation before using a physical or online casino.

100% welcome bonus up to £300

Claim Now!