What is Blackjack Surrender: An In-Depth Guide (2024)

Blackjack is a popular game of patience, concentration, and strategy. It’s straightforward for most gamblers — you get dealt two cards, draw and try to get as close to 21, or bust a hand.

Enter the Blackjack Surrender variant, which adds unique twists to the classic game. This rule is one of the least known moves, yet the much-discussed topic in the Blackjack game.

This article will help you understand what Blackjack surrender is, how the rule works, the two main types, and the best time to use it.

Highlights of the Post

  • Blackjack Surrender is an optional move, as not every casino offers it.
  • It gives Blackjack enthusiasts a massive advantage over the casino.
  • Surrendering decreases the built-in house edge by allowing players to fold their hands and recoup a portion of their bet.
  • There are two types of surrender in Blackjack: early and late surrender.
  • Total and composition-dependent strategies show players how to signal surrender in Blackjack based on the player’s hand and the dealer’s face-up card.
  • Early and late surrender strategies differ, and players should be familiar with both.
  • There are specific scenarios where it is recommended to use the early surrender rule.
  • The late surrender rule is advantageous in certain situations as well.

If you’ve ever played at the table games section of one of these online casinos, you’re aware that numerous Blackjack variants exist online.

Among them is the Blackjack Surrender.

There are two trains of thought when it comes to this game:

  • It’s a game for quitters.
  • It’s the best variant out there.

Yet, there is so much more to find out about this rule. Players have two options for surrendering: early or late. This article will walk you through a more detailed guide to Blackjack surrender.

What Is A Blackjack Surrender?

What is Blackjack Surrender: An In-Depth Guide (1)

In a Blackjack table that allows the surrender option, players can fold their hands before drawing their new cards.

By choosing to surrender, it allows them to cut their losses and reclaim half of the player’s initial stake.

Surrendering in Blackjack is a special move found in specific game versions. Online casinos feature an extra button to activate this special feature.

Reduces The House Advantage

Blackjack Surrender isn’t as popular as the four moves, partly because not every casino offers this move. In many cases, providing the option free willingly wouldn’t make sense.

One primary reason is that it decreases the House Edge. Players usually have five main options in the game: hit, stand, split, or double down, and the option to surrender their hand.

What is Blackjack Surrender: An In-Depth Guide (2)

How to Play Blackjack Surrender

If you’re already familiar with Blackjack, you know how to play Blackjack surrender, too. It follows the same basic Blackjack rules of 21.

In addition to knowing when’s the best time to hit, stand, and split – you need to know when it’s best to surrender and forfeit your deck before you hand your bet to the casino.

Blackjack surrender can be further classified into two subcategories: early and late surrender. Let’s explore them in more detail.

Early Surrender Blackjack

This surrender rule is rarely available, but it’s a golden opportunity for the players. You may receive half your wager back before the dealer checks for Blackjack or asks for insurance.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Check if the table allows early surrender. Confirm whether the casino table offers the option of surrendering early before playing.
  2. Consider the dealer’s card. If the dealer shows an Ace or 10, you may throw your cards before the dealer checks for Blackjack, boosting your payout by 0.39% or 0.24%.
  3. Be aware of other table rules. Understand additional table rules that may compensate for the early surrender advantage, such as the dealer drawing an extra card on a soft 17.
  4. Assess your hand against the dealer’s Ace. Only surrender if your cards indicate a low chance of winning against the dealer’s Ace.

Here are some of the pros and cons of this rule:


  • Lowers house advantage by 0.62%.
  • Rate of return increases if a dealer shows an ace and 10.


  • Not available in all casinos.
Why Isn’t There Any More Early Surrender Option?

Early surrender significantly impacts the casino’s advantage, reducing it by 0.63%. This rule is even more influential than changing the number of decks in the game.

This is not to say that casinos won’t offer early surrender; many still do, especially online casinos.

But they make up for it with other rule changes that chisel away the benefit you get from the early surrender rule.

Late Surrender Blackjack

Late surrenders lower the dealer’s advantage by 0.07%. This rule is more prevalent in today’s biggest casinos, primarily because it only affects the house edge less than an early surrender option.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Understand late surrender. This allows players to forfeit their hand in return for half their initial bet.
  2. Timing is the key. Late surrender is available only AFTER the dealer checks for Blackjack, and its effectiveness decreases from 0.05% to 0.1%.
  3. Verbal and gesture cues. Verbally declare surrender and trace a horizontal line behind your wager with your forefinger in shoe games.
  4. Consider probability. Surrender if you have less than a 50% chance of beating the dealer’s up card, considering house rules and the number of decks in play.

Remember, if dealers get a natural Blackjack, players can’t surrender and automatically lose their entire bet.

Players can use the late surrender rule only when dealers can’t get a natural.

Here are some of the pros and cons of this rule:


  • More prevalent than early surrender.
  • Limits your loss to 50%.


  • You still lose 50% of your wager
Total Dependent vs. Composition Dependent

In addition to understanding the rules and mechanics of early and late surrender, players should also be familiar with total dependent and composition-dependent strategies.

These strategies determine when it is optimal to use the surrender option based on the player’s hand and the dealer’s face-up card.

Total Dependent Explained

All Blackjack players aim to reduce the house edge and beat the dealer. In a “Total dependent” strategy, they consider only the total of their first two cards when deciding to surrender.

It also considers whether the player’s hand is soft or hard and whether splitting, doubling, or surrendering is possible.

The following are the late surrender total dependent strategy charts showing when to surrender based on the player’s hand, number of decks, and the dealer’s up card.


Y = Yes (Surrender)

N = No (Do not surrender)

*The rightmost column indicates the dealer’s ace, whether the dealer stands (S17) or hits (H17) on a soft 17.

Late Surrender One Deck Total Dependent
Dealer’s Card
Player’s Hand910A (S17)A (H17)
Late Surrender Two Decks Total Dependent
Dealer’s Card
Player’s Hand910A (S17)A (H17)
Late Surrender Four or More Deck Total Dependent
Dealer’s Card
Player’s Hand910A (S17)A (H17)
Composition Dependent Explained

On the other hand, the “Composition dependent” (C-D) strategy looks at all the cards in a player’s hand, not just the total; thus, allowing more options to lower the house edge.

There are specific card compositions in your hand that can make it more beneficial to deviate from the basic strategy.

The following tables show the best time to surrender, given your hand’s total, the dealer’s up card, and the number of decks.

If the dealer has an ace showing, whether they hit (H17) or stand on a soft 17 (a hand that has an ace valued at 11) can affect your strategy.

Late Surrender One Deck Composition Dependent
Dealer’s Card
Player’s Hand910A (S17)A (H17)
15Never9+6, 10+5Never9+6, 10+5
16NeverAlways10+69+6, 10+6
Late Surrender Two Deck Composition Dependent
Dealer’s Card
Player’s Hand910A (S17)A (H17)
15Never9+6, 10+5Never9+6, 10+5
16NeverAlwaysAlways9+7, 10+6

In a double deck table, it is recommended to surrender your 8+8 hand when the dealer has a soft 17 showing, but only if the game doesn’t allow you to double down after splitting.

Late Surrender Four or Six Deck Composition Dependent
Dealer’s Card
Player’s Hand910A (S17)A (H17)
15Never9+6, 10+5NeverAlways

The C-D eight-deck is similar to the T-D strategy. In other words, the composition of the player’s hand doesn’t matter for surrender purposes.

Strategies in Blackjack Surrender

Strategies for tables with early and late surrender options are different enough that even each ideal playing style is unique to the other. Here’s a basic guide for both early and late surrender.

When to Use the Early Surrender Rule.

This rule may be enticing in many scenarios, but it’s best to exercise it only in a handful of situations. Here are the top three strategies where it is recommended to forfeit your initial wager.

  • If the Dealer has a 10-point Card, and you have a hard total between 14 to 16.
This is a difficult terrain since you have a very narrow playing field; thus, surrendering early is advisable.
  • If the Dealer’s up card is an Ace, and you have either 33, 66, 77, or 88.

Though in other conditions, these cards are great to split and continue, but in cases where the dealer shows an Ace, it’s always preferable to make an early surrender.

  • If the Dealer is showing an Ace, and your hand doesn’t have a total between 8 and 11.

If your draw is between 5-7, your hand is bust. Unless you kept a stellar count, you’d be in dangerous territory. The early surrender option helps cut any significant losses.

When to Use the Late Surrender Rule.

Following the previous tip, though it may be tempting to use in many table cases, here are the top three tactics to remember if you play at a table with a late surrender rule.

  • If the Dealer’s up card is an Ace, and you have a total hand of 17.

When the dealer stands (S17) on a soft 17, it’s always best to surrender in this scenario. If not, just disregard this rule.

  • If the Dealer shows a 10-point hand or an Ace, and you have a total hand of 16.

Regardless if the dealer stands or hits on a soft 17, you must surrender if you find yourself in this position.

  • If the Dealer reveals an Ace, and your total hand is 15.

Except if you’re playing a game where the dealer must hit a soft 17.

When to Avoid an Early Surrender.

Here are some common mistakes Blackjack players make with the early surrender rule:

  • The Dealer reveals a 10-point card, and your hand total is 14.

If you have a combination of 9-5 or a 10-4 hand in a single-deck Blackjack or a combo of 10-4 in a double-deck Blackjack, always stay in the game.

  • The Dealer reveals a 10-point card, and your hand is 88.

When you play in a single-deck Blackjack variant that allows doubling after a split, you shouldn’t surrender early.

When to Avoid a Late Surrender.

Regardless of how tempting it is to use your late surrender option, remember to stay away from it in these two scenarios:

  • Your hand total is 16, and the Dealer reveals a 9.

Whether the dealer displays a 10 or a 9 makes a big difference. If the dealer shows a 9, you’re less likely to bust than the dealer. Therefore, don’t give up.

  • Your hand total is either 15 or 17, and the Dealer stands on a soft 17.

It may seem counterintuitive, but it may save you money. You’ll realize why it nearly always works once you witness this in late surrender Blackjack.

The Bottomline

Blackjack surrender is not simply giving up and receiving nothing. Rather, it is a strategic approach in which players recognize their weak hand and the likelihood of losing.

Consequently, they conclude the game prematurely and retrieve half of their initial bet (unless the dealer holds a Blackjack).

By grasping the mechanics and incorporating helpful Blackjack tips, players can enjoy gambling free-play Blackjack with the surrender option or even try their luck with real money bets.


Do most casinos allow you to surrender in Blackjack?

All casinos are different and have various variants of Blackjack games, each with a different set of rules. Some have an early surrender option, and some only offer late surrender.

Can you surrender in Blackjack after splitting?

Although rare, some tables offer variations of this surrender, where players can still play the second hand. But remember, this is NOT available in all casinos.

Is Blackjack a luck or strategy?

Mathematics plays a big role in Blackjack as a strategy — not luck — and it can help you win the game.

What is the best Blackjack strategy?

Double Down on 11 is one of the best opening hands for players. This move enables them to optimize their winnings over the long haul and make the most of their circ*mstances.

Who is more likely to win in Blackjack?

In a Blackjack game, the player’s chances of winning are 42.22%. The dealer’s winning odds are a little greater at 49.1%, while the remaining 8.48% represents the probability of a tie.

List of Sources:








What is Blackjack Surrender: An In-Depth Guide (2024)


What is a surrender in blackjack? ›

Surrender is simply an optional rule in blackjack that allows you to give up half your bet after you have seen your first two cards and the dealer up card. If your hand has less than a 50 percent chance of winning against the dealer, then it's time to consider surrender.

What is surrender payout in blackjack? ›

If a player decides to surrender, then they accept to have half of their original bet returned to them (essentially voluntarily taking a 50% loss) and they are immediately withdrawn from the round.

Is surrender a good bet in blackjack? ›

The hands that you surrender in blackjack are all losers. For that reason, there is no way to win money with them at all. However, the half bet that you lose by surrendering is less than you would lose by playing the hand, which means you are actually saving money in the long run.

What are the rules of surrender? ›

Surrender is always unconditional, since it is not subject to a convention between the opposing parties. In international law, an isolated member of the armed forces or members of a formation who surrender are considered hors de combat and must not be made the object of attack.

Do most casinos allow surrender in blackjack? ›

There is a reason why blackjack surrender is primarily only allowed in high-limit games. Any game that favors the player will only go to the tables with the highest limits. It depends on the casino, but the good news is that online casinos have lower limits for surrendering.

Should you hit stand or surrender in blackjack? ›

When holding nine or less or 12-16 it's best to hit, but stand on a total of 17 or more. If the dealer's card is a four, five or six it is vital you do not bust. It is common practice to hit on eight or less, but stand on anything 12 or higher.

Do you hit or stay at 15 on blackjack? ›

15 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit. 14 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit. 13 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit. 12 stands against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit.

How does surrender value work? ›

How does it work? Cash surrender value is the actual amount of money you will receive if you choose to terminate a permanent life insurance policy before its maturity date, or before you die. That value differs from your life insurance policy's cash value which is the total sum compiled in your policy's cash account.

What is the surrender payout? ›

Definition: It is the amount the policyholder will get from the life insurance company if he decides to exit the policy before maturity. Description: A mid-term surrender would result in the policyholder getting a sum of what has been allocated towards savings and the earnings thereon.

What is the cash surrender value rule? ›

The cash surrender value is essentially the refund of the accumulated reserve and is calculated by subtracting the cost of insuring the policyholder from the excess level of premiums that have been paid by the policyholder.

What is the best amount to bet on blackjack? ›

This principle applies equally to the blackjack table. With the same $100 in your pocket, you should stick to stakes that will give you the best chance to remain in the game and even make a profit. So betting $5 on the blackjack table makes sense. You are betting 5% of your starting bankroll.

What is a good number to stop on blackjack? ›

Finally, when the dealer's up card is a fair one, 2 or 3, the player should stop with a total of 13 or higher. With a soft hand, the general strategy is to keep hitting until a total of at least 18 is reached. Thus, with an ace and a six (7 or 17), the player would not stop at 17, but would hit.

Is blackjack a strategy or luck? ›

The game of blackjack is a wonderful amalgamation of chance and skill. Luck is required to get the best combination of cards, skill is required to get the score of 21 correctly, and chance is necessary to make the bold winning move.

Should you hold on 15 in blackjack? ›

Question: “When should I hit on my 15?” Sam says: “Always hit a hard 15 when the dealer's up-card is a 7 through an ace. If you stand on that 15, you will win 25.36 percent of the time and lose 74.64 percent of the time. That makes a net loss of 49.28 percent.

What is the difference between surrender and late surrender in blackjack? ›

Early surrender permits a player to relinquish half her wager even if the dealer has a blackjack. With late surrender, if the dealer possesses a blackjack, the player loses her complete bet.

What is the 17 rule in blackjack? ›

When the dealer has served every player, the dealers face-down card is turned up. If the total is 17 or more, it must stand. If the total is 16 or under, they must take a card. The dealer must continue to take cards until the total is 17 or more, at which point the dealer must stand.

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