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Blackjack Surrender

Blackjack Surrender is a unique variation of classic blackjack which gives players more chances to avoid losses early in each hand. Surrender rules reduce the house edge without massively changing the normal rules, making it perfect for experienced blackjack players looking to notch up their profits.

This variation is also susceptible to card counting: experienced counters can leverage the surrender rule to make guaranteed profits.

How to Play

The key difference between Blackjack Surrender and classic blackjack is the surrender rule.

  • Early surrender – Rarely offered in modern casinos because of the severe impact on house edge, early surrender allowed players to surrender (withdraw) their hand before the dealer peeks for blackjack. Leveraged with proper strategy, players used this to dodge bad losses whenever threatened and consistently beat the dealer.
  • Late surrender – Available at all Blackjack Surrender tables, late surrender means withdrawing your hand after the blackjack peek. This still offers a significant advantage and is one of the primary reasons why players love Blackjack Surrender.

Players love Blackjack Surrender because it allows them to reduce house edge without significantly altering their basic strategy or card counting technique. If you’re a new player, basic strategy is the optimal way to play every hand in blackjack. You can download ‘basic strategy cards’ which tell you how to play in every situation.

Practising and learning basic strategy is the key to success in blackjack. Since late surrender offers better odds of winning compared to classic blackjack, it’s the perfect game to practice on. If you find a demo RNG version of Blackjack Surrender (which makes it free to play) this is ideal.

Otherwise there are no significant differences between Surrender and classic blackjack. But while a subtle difference, the increase in profitability makes it highly sought-after by players.

Blackjack Surrender Rules

Even within specific variations, not all tables follow exactly the same rules. However, when playing Blackjack Surrender players will usually see both a 3:2 payout and the dealer standing on soft 17. This is a great start, since both factors lower the house edge.

Another generous rule is that the dealer will always peek for blackjack if dealt a 10-value card or ace. If the dealer has blackjack, they automatically win before any other moves are made. This rule actually improves the house edge, making it a huge plus point for Blackjack Surrender. Players can even make insurance bets to protect against a dealer blackjack. If insurance is used, the player gets a 3:1 payout if the dealer hits blackjack!

However, the safest way to avoid expensive losses, even with bad hands, is leveraging the surrender rule as discussed.

In most games, a natural blackjack is the best hand, followed by any other 21 combinations. But in Blackjack Surrender, there is the 7 Card Charlie: this is where a player is dealt 3 successive 7s, and it beats any other 21 total.

In terms of gameplay, it’s possible to split pairs up to 3 times (for 4 hands total) but players can only draw one new card if splitting aces. Doubling down is legal for any of these pairs, just remember that splitting into a 21 is not blackjack, it’s just a normal 21 and is therefore weak to a dealer 7 Card Charlie.

Try your surrender skills at the best casinos


While the early surrender rule has long since been abandoned by casinos, modern Blackjack Surrender is one of the most highly-valued blackjack variations among players. When combined with perfect basic strategy, the late surrender rule is guaranteed to reduce house edge. And in a game of small margins, this is invaluable.

In a nutshell, that’s the headline benefit of Blackjack Surrender. However, there are also less-discussed upsides. The game’s similarity to classic blackjack makes transitioning between variations incredibly easy. Even new players can adjust to the surrender rule with only minor strategic adjustments.

As far as we’re concerned, the only weakness for Blackjack Surrender is a lack of variation. Predictability is ideal for serious card counters and pro players, but more casual players are in it for the excitement. The hum-drum nature of Blackjack Surrender might cause some players to get bored and bet recklessly.

For any casual players out there, we 100% recommend Blackjack Surrender. However, if you feel your focus dropping, feel free to switch things up and spend 15 minutes trying out a more adventurous variation, then come back to Surrender once you’re ready to grind.

  • Published date: 2020-04-16 14:01
  • Modified date: 2020-05-03 07:46