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Black Jack School


The Surrender Option in Blackjack
by Jason Green of Predictem.com

Surrender is an option in Blackjack that is offered by many casinos. Just like with any Blackjack options you have to know how to use the Surrender option the right way, as by doing so it can give you an advantage. Conversely by not knowing about the Surrender option and when to use it you can be wasting your money.

After the dealer deals you the two cards in Blackjack you can surrender the hand if you wish. If you decide to surrender your hand you can tell the dealer in a couple of ways. You can tell the dealer verbally that you want to surrender or you can also use a hand signal. The hand signal for surrendering your hand is to put your finger on the layout and move it from the right to the left. Many of the casinos these days prefer that you use the signal when you surrender the hand. With the Surrender option you are choosing to forfeit your chance to play the hand and the dealer will take half of your bet. Basically when you surrender your hand you will be losing half of your original bet you placed on that Blackjack hand. Considering that not all casinos allow for the Surrender option you can look at the rules placard on the table or simply ask the dealer if the Surrender option is available.

If you surrender your bet it would seem like it is a gutless play, as you can get more cards to try to improve your hand. But using the Surrender option correctly you can increase your chance of walking away from the table with more money that when you sat down.

When to Surrender Your Hand

It is obvious that you should surrender your hand when your chances of winning the hand are not good. Even if you automatically lose half of your bet it is much better than losing the whole bet, especially if the odds are stacked against you. Basically you should surrender your hand if your chances of winning that hand are less than 25%. What this means is that the casino has a better than 50% chance of winning the hand. If the edge that the casino has is greater than 50% than it is better, in the long run, to surrender your hand and lose half of your bet.

When you are at a Blackjack table that uses multiple decks you should surrender these hands.

- If you are dealt a 16 and the dealer is showing either a 9,10 face card, or Ace.
- If you are dealt a 15 and the dealer is showing either a 10 or a face card.

You should never surrender your hand if you are dealt a pair of 8's or a soft 15 or 16, which is a hand that has an Ace counted as 11. For example an Ace and a 5 is a soft 16 but you can add more cards to improve your hand and will not bust even if you get a 10 or face card.

If the dealer is showing an Ace you cannot surrender until they check their hand for a Blackjack. If they hit Blackjack you will lose your hand automatically. If the dealer does not have a Blackjack, with an Ace showing, and you have a 15 or 16 it is up to you if you want to surrender, but it is not a good idea because the casino's edge is not greater than 50%.

The reason that casinos offer the Surrender option is that many players are not experienced and will surrender on hands, such as 12 or 13. By doing this, overusing the Surrender option, you will be wasting your money as the chances of you winning are greater than 25%, unless you have a 15 or 16 and the dealer has a 9,10, face card, or Ace showing. If you use the Surrender option correctly it can increase your chances of winning money at the Blackjack tables.

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Interesting Facts

Did you know... that the chances (probability) of being dealt a blackjack is .024%, which equates to one BJ approximately every 42 hands dealt?