Blackjack is a game based on no small amount of luck. If you do not get the right cards and the dealer does, then it just will not be your day. However, there are a number of different tactics and strategies that you can carry out that will help to increase the amount of luck that you receive. One of these tactics is to carry out an instruction called surrendering.
What exactly is surrendering though, and when should you use it? We are going to go through all of the most important information that you will ever need to know when it comes to choosing when to surrender when playing blackjack.
Choosing to surrender in blackjack is one of the least used options. This is because once you have surrendered, there is no chance of winning. Your cards are taken in and you are out of the game. Many people see this as a poor move because they are guaranteed to make a loss. However, there is an upside to choosing to surrender.
When you choose to surrender, your cards will be taken back by the dealer, but half of your stake will be returned to you. You can only choose to surrender after your initial two cards have been dealt to you. Once you have received another card, the option is taken off the table.
Many players feel that surrendering is a poor choice to take, whether this is due to pride or a misplaced sense of loyalty to always playing the hand that they are dealt. However, choosing to surrender is often the most sensible choice. When you are playing blackjack, your aim is to lower the house edge as much as possible, and surrendering at the right time allows you to reduce the house edge even more than using usual tactics. It is also a reason why some people prefer blackjack to baccarat, as they feel the ability to influence the game through surrendering and personal tactics means that they are more in control of the house edge as well as their bankroll.
To put it simply, if you have been dealt a hand that you are sure will lose, then surrendering is the right option. Although you are still losing half of your stake, that is a better option than losing all of it. The maths that back this up is relatively easy to understand.
Because you are losing half of your stake if you have a 50/50 or better chance of winning with the cards you have been dealt, then it would not be worth surrendering. To map this statistically over time, you would come out with less money. However, if you have a less than 50/50 chance of winning, then the correct choice would be to surrender. If you mapped this out over time, then statistically you would come out with more money if you choose to surrender in those circumstances.
When is the right time to surrender? As with all blackjack hands, this depends on both what you have been dealt and what the dealer has been dealt. It is important to know the basics off the top of your head whenever the opportunity presents itself. While there are a huge number of different scenarios where surrendering would be the best decision, we are going to cover just the basics here.
There are two main hands where you should surrender, depending on what the dealer has, of course. Make sure to you remember that you need to see what the dealer has before you make your choice – this is an important part of decision-making in blackjack. The first is a hard 16, though there is an exception to this. If you have two 8s, then splitting the cards would be a better choice than surrendering. Any hard 16 combination except two 8s means that you need to check the dealer’s cards to see if you should surrender. If the dealer has an Ace, 9 or 10 showing, then surrendering would be the best choice for you.
The second hand that invokes the possibility of a surrender is a hard 15. This is a much easier one to remember as the surrender will only come into effect if the dealer has a 10 showing.
While surrendering will not earn you big wins, it is an important tactic. It reduces the house edge by almost 0.1%, and more importantly, it allows for a great deal of control over your bankroll. Because you will have half of your stake returned each time you surrender, it will give you a greater amount to play with in the long term.
It is important to find out before you begin playing if you can surrender or not. Not all blackjack games offer the ability to surrender. If you are playing a game and want to surrender only to find out that it is not an option, it could mess up your strategy in the long term.
Choosing a game that offers the ability to surrender impacts your strategy and as such is important to check before you begin playing. It is also important to check the rules around surrendering, as in some cases the surrender is not allowed until after the dealer has checked for a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, then the surrender will not be allowed in this case.
When it comes to choosing where to play blackjack, there is only one sensible choice. Here at Bitcasino, we offer some of the most enjoyable and engaging blackjack games on the market. You will be able to practice the skills you have learned and become a great player in no time at all.
Words: Sean McNulty
Images: Shutterstock & Bitcasino