Knowing when to surrender in blackjack

Knowing when to surrender in blackjackSome blackjack players may regard surrendering as a shameful copout. But like all things in blackjack it’s not that simple. Surrendering isn’t just about calling it quits.

Believe it or not there’s quite a bit of strategy involved and if players don’t want to get caught out they should make sure that understand just what surrendering involves.

And for those players who regard surrendering unfavourably they need to understand that this is a strategic tactic that can save a player from losing face and all his/her gambling money. Bottom line; don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

Not all casinos offer players the option to surrender. It’s best to check before playing as this can be a lifesaver. There are even casinos which have a special version of blackjack known as “Blackjack Surrender” which gives players the option to surrender. Some real world casinos will post something near their blackjack tables about whether or not they allow players to surrender. At other casinos, players will need to ask the dealer.

The million dollar question is when to surrender. Obviously, this is a tactic which should only be used when the player has no chance of winning. Having an unfavourable hand isn’t a good enough reason to surrender. A player needs to be certain they can’t win with their hand before they consider throwing in the towel.

There are three main circumstances under which a player should surrender. Firstly, if a player has a hand with a total value of 16 and the dealer’s showing card is 9, 10 or Ace. In such a case, there’s a good chance that the dealer could have blackjack while the player has a stiff hand and could easily go bust.

The second instance in which a player should consider surrendering is if the player has 15 and the dealer’s showing card is either 10 or Ace.  Once again, there’s a good chance the dealer has blackjack and if not a very strong hand that will be near to impossible to beat with 15.

The last instance in which a player should consider surrendering is if the player has 17 and the dealer’s showing card is Ace. In such a case, the player could easily go bust when drawing another card. And the dealer could easily have blackjack. Players should never surrender hands such as a hard 12 or 13. In such a case, surrendering is weak and defeatist. A skilled player who knows enough about blackjack strategy could easily recover from such a hand.

There is some technique involved in surrendering. Firstly, a player will say “surrender” to the dealer. Some casinos have done away with this all together. A player will then draw an imaginary line on the blackjack table between the dealer and him/herself.  This is so the dealer won’t be mistaken and will also ensure that it gets caught on camera.  Once the dealer sees this hand signal, the player’s cards will be removed from the table. Half of the players bet will be returned and the other half will go to the casino.

There are two different types of surrender. There is early surrender and late surrender. These refer to when the player is allowed to surrender. Some casinos will allow one type and disallow another.

If a player is allowed to surrender before the dealer has checked for blackjack then early surrender is allowed. This is a type of surrender which is less commonly offered. Late surrender is when a player is only allowed to surrender once the dealer has checked for blackjack. This is an important distinction and players need to take note of the difference.

Surrender is something all blackjack players should know about and make part of their blackjack strategy. Once players fully grasp surrender, they’ll see that it can prove to be quite advantageous to players.Knowing when to surrender in blackjack can dramatically improve a player’s game.

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