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Blackjack Surrender: When Is It Reasonable to End the Game?

Last update: May, 2024

Written by: Lisa Cheban Content writer
Blackjack Surrender: When Is It Reasonable to End the Game?

Giving up is never a pleasant thing, but we can assure our readers that sometimes it’s a better way to go. Especially when it comes to card tables in casinos, and this time we are going to discuss a blackjack table game. When you are dealt cards, you definitely count on good combinations. But when you see that things are getting worse, why not get half your bet back rather than lose it all? This game really has such an option – it’s called blackjack surrender. The thing is that blackjack is more of an endurance game. And even though you don’t win, your odds on a long-term basis are still higher. So, what is surrender in blackjack, and how to use this option wisely to play blackjack and win?

Basic Rules of Playing Blackjack

First of all, let’s take a look at the basic rules of playing this game. It’s played against the dealer and the goal of players is to beat them. Both a gambler and a dealer get two cards and one of the dealer’s cards is face-up. For now, a user has to decide whether to hit (get more cards) or to stand (go on playing with current cards).

Each card has its value (2-10 for lower cards and 10 for face cards). Combinations with an Ace are called soft, while the ones without this card are hard: for example, soft 17, hard 17, or hard 14. Blackjack rules determine the winner by the points.

The highest amount available is 21, but when a player or a dealer hits and gets more, they lose. Usually, there is 8-deck blackjack, but sometimes the amount of decks changes. The deck blackjack game has can influence the odds. Users can split cards when it’s reasonable. The rules can also determine whether the dealer hits on soft deck combinations.

Surrender in Blackjack: What Is It?

As we’ve mentioned, the goal of players is to get better cards than the dealer has. But what if the dealt cards are poor and the chance of winning the hand is low? Of course, users find out about it after the cards are dealt and the bet is placed. But blackjack tables offer a solution that may be useful in some cases: it’s the surrender option.

Simply put, surrender is an opportunity to end the game before losing it and grab half your original bet. There are two types of this option, but in most cases, dealers still check whether they have blackjack and gamblers can use this bonus feature only after that (if the dealer has the necessary combination, users lose and can’t surrender).

The basic strategy implies using surrender in blackjack when there are certain combinations of a dealer and of a player, and here we are to describe the cases when surrendering is the way to go to play this table game and double your winning chances. Doesn’t matter whether you play with one deck or several decks, the strategy with blackjack surrender may be helpful.

Types of Online Blackjack Surrender

Both online casinos represent only one type of this feature, though some real-life operators still have both. So we are going to describe both early surrender and late surrender: the difference, pros and cons, and the cases when they are necessary. Here we go!

Early Surrender

It’s pretty difficult to find the early surrender feature, though some casinos can still have it. The thing is that the house edge is cut by 0,63% when this feature is active, and that’s not what casino operators want to get. Moreover, operators (or software types) that provide users with this feature may compensate for that by making the other conditions tougher.

Well, so what is an early surrender? This option allows users to give up exactly after being dealt the cards. Dealers don’t check their cards and can’t reveal whether they have blackjack. This way, gamblers always have a chance to give up and get a half bet back, without taking additional risks and that’s an advantage.

Late Surrender

Meeting late surrender rules isn’t that difficult as this surrender rule is a must in most casinos and with any amount of decks. And it’s still profitable for players, though not as good as the previous one. According to this rule of surrender in blackjack, the dealer’s cards are checked before the option of blackjack surrender is available. The dealer checks the cards and if there is blackjack, the game is over for gamblers (though it can still be a draw if both a player and a croupier have this combination).

A tip: when visiting a real-life casino, remember to ask the dealer whether the late surrender rules are available. As gamblers who don’t ask may go on playing and losing without learning about the surrender blackjack opportunity.

When Should You Surrender?

When you play blackjack, there are different situations that may influence your strategy. Mainly, they are a rule the casino sets according to the time of blackjack surrender (early surrender or late surrender), your and the dealer’s cards.

First of all, let’s find out when the early surrender is necessary.

  1. When the dealer has an Ace and you have a hard 5-7 hand or 12-17 hand.
  2. When you hold a pair of 3-3, 6-6, 7-7, or 8-8. In most cases, it’s reasonable to split the pair hand to double your chances, but not when the dealer’s hand is soft (an open card of the dealer is an Ace).
  3. When the card of the dealer is Ten, and you have 14-16 points on hand, surrender is an option.

And the late surrender is actual in these cases.

  1. When the dealer shows a 10 or Ace and you have a hand of 16.
  2. When the dealer has an Ace card against your 15.
  3. When you have 17 on hand and the dealer’s hand includes an Ace (but when dealers hit on soft 17, ignore it).

While you shouldn’t apply the surrender rule in the following cases as now you have good chances to play online and win.

  1. When the dealer stands (isn’t hitting) on soft 17 and has 9, 10, or Ace.
  2. When you have 16 against the dealer’s 9.


To sum up the above, the surrender blackjack feature is an opportunity to play more safely and follow the strategy of playing only with a good hand, so you play with a kind of a bonus and double the chances of your bet to win in perspective. When the hand is weak, gamblers can give up and get half the money wager back. It’s reasonable to use the feature according to the strategy you follow and the cards you and the croupier have. And when you use our tips, the surrender rule is your helping hand in playing online blackjack. Though we wish you to have only the strongest hands during the game!


What is blackjack surrender?

In a nutshell, casino blackjack surrender is an opportunity for a gambler to take a look at the cards and give up when they are bad with a chance to lose half the bet rather than the whole amount of a wager. It’s more profitable than to play with a weak hand and lose the bet.

What types of blackjack surrender are available?

There are two types of this option: early surrender and late surrender. But most land-based and online blackjack games support only the second one as the first option dramatically minimizes the house edge.

When should a player surrender in blackjack?

The things that influence the necessity of this option are the dealer’s and the gambler’s deck cards and the number of decks. Plus, it’s important whether the dealer checks the cards (early surrender) or not (late surrender) and is standing on soft 17. And we provide a table with the rule of when and how to use the online blackjack surrender option to increase your odds to win the hand.

Do all games have the surrender option?

The surrender blackjack option is an advantage found in most online games and tables for money. But it’s quite difficult to find a game where both early surrender and late surrender will be available: mostly, only the second option takes place as the odds of the first one are much higher.

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