Blackjack Early Surrender vs. Blackjack Late Surrender

Blackjack School

Some blackjack versions allow players to surrender their hands immediately following the initial deal if they feel that they have little chance of winning the hand. The advantage offered by the surrender rule is that it allows the player to retain half of their original bet rather than play the hopeless hand and lose the whole bet.

There are two types of surrender; Early Surrender and Late Surrender. There are fundamental differences between them that you need to be aware of prior to starting to play surrender blackjack.

Blackjack Early Surrender

Early surrender allows you to surrender your hand right after you were dealt your cards and before the dealer checks their own cards to see if they got a natural blackjack. When using early surrender you will forfeit half your original wager.

This form of surrender is the most advantageous type of surrender because you have the option to surrender regardless of the hand the dealer is holding. Unfortunately this type of surrender is slowly disappearing from the casinos.

The reason for that is that a casino that is offering early surrender blackjack games lowers its own house edge over the player. However most casinos that still offer this rule usually compensate for it with a different rule that returns the edge they lost by offering early surrender.

When to opt for Early Surrender

  • Dealer shows an Ace and you have a hard 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 or 17
  • Dealer shows an Ace and you have a pair of 3’s, 6’s, 7’s or 8’s
  • Dealer shows a 10-valued card and you have a hard 14, 15, 16 or a pair of 7’s or 8’s
  • In 2 deck game when dealer shows a soft 17 and you have a pair of 2’s.
When not to opt for Early Surrender
  • In single deck blackjack, you should never surrender a 10-valued card against the dealer’s 4 and 10 or 5 and 9.
  • In 2 deck blackjack, you should never surrender a 10-valued card against the dealer’s 4 and 10.
Blackjack Late Surrender

Late surrender allows you to surrender your hand for the cost of half your original bet, but only after the dealer has checked his hand to make sure they did not get a natural blackjack. If the dealer has a natural blackjack then you will not be allowed to surrender and will lose your entire original bet.

This type of surrender does not lower the house edge the same as early surrender does, but it still lowers it and is more advantageous to the player than playing blackjack without the option of surrender.

Late surrender is a common rule that is applied to some blackjack games in casinos all over the world and in most online casinos. In land casinos you will often be required to ask the dealer if late surrender is offered on that blackjack table because most casinos do not overly emphasize this option for obvious reasons.

When to opt for Late Surrender

  • Dealer shows an Ace or 10-valued card and you have a hand total of 15
  • Dealer shows an Ace or 10-valued card and you have a hand total of 16 (including pair 8’s)
  • Dealer shows an Ace and you have a hand total of 17
When not to opt for Late Surrender
  • In single deck blackjack when dealer stands on soft 17 - if the dealer shows a 9, 10 or an Ace and you have a hand total of 15
  • In single deck blackjack when dealer shows a 9 and you have a hand total of 16
  • In single deck blackjack when dealer stands on soft 17 – if the dealer shows 9 or 10 and you have a hand total of 17

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