Surrendering is often seen as a bad move to take in life. Many people think it denotes weakness or failure. However, this is not the case. Choosing to surrender at the right time can be a sensible strategic decision. It allows you to fight another day when you have a better chance of winning. Just like everything else in life, this is also applicable to Blackjack. Surrendering in Blackjack is an option that’s available that gives players the opportunity to come back and play again at a later date.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes.
What is surrendering?
You are given the option to surrender after the first two cards are dealt to you. When this happens and you choose to accept the offer then you will receive half of your stake back, but will no longer take part in the game. This means that if you had placed a wager of R10 then you would get back R5. While it means you are still making a loss on each hand, it’s not as much of a loss as if you had continued to play and then lost the hand. For example if you surrender on two hands and get back a total of R10 from both of them, it means that your bankroll has an extra game in it compared to if you had played the hands through and lost them.
Can you always surrender?
Well, you can only surrender after the initial deal. So you can’t choose to hit and then decide afterwards you want to surrender. So if you’re going to decide to surrender then you should make sure you’re ready to decide when the hand is initially dealt.
It’s also important to know that not all Blackjack tables will offer the ability to surrender. So if using the surrender option is part of your strategy then it’s vital that you know if the table you intend to play at offers the choice or not.
When should you surrender?
Choosing when to surrender is often a very difficult choice to make. Many people don’t know the right time and they can also sometimes only look at their own cards. This is a mistake to start with because looking at the dealer card is also a vital piece of information. You need to know whether the dealer has a good hand too before you make your decision. This is obviously the case with a wide range of different Blackjack options.
For example, if you are dealt the absolute worst hand in Blackjack then you should surrender if the opportunity is there. What’s the worst hand? If you’re dealt a 10 and a 6 and the dealer is showing a 10 then this is widely regarded as the worst hand you can get. In fact you have a less than 25% chance of winning with this hand. When you think about it like that, if you have a less than 25% chance of winning then it makes much more sense to get back half of your stake if the opportunity is there.
Knowing that 16 with the dealer showing a 10 is a bad hand is a good way to go about deciding if you should surrender or not. If you have a hard 16 then there is only one time when you shouldn’t choose to surrender. That is when you have a pair of 8s. This is because you can split the cards into two new hands where you will have a better chance of winning.
This is just the starting point for when you should use the surrender option. There are other hands that you can be dealt where surrendering is the best choice for you. Just remember to look at all of the cards being shown before you make your decision.