Introduction to the Surrender Strategy

Knowing when to surrender can make or break your blackjack game, so it’s an important strategy to be familiar with when playing games that offer this option. It’s a simple enough strategy to get down and can really help save your bet when you’ve been dealt a tough hand and the dealer appears to be racking in the high cards. At the same time, it’s important to understand how the strategy works, so you don’t surrender too often and lose out on a good hand – it happens to many novice players. The surrender option is best thought of as a security blanket that’s there if you need it, but shouldn’t be utilised too often.

The essence of the surrender strategy is that you’re given the option to end your hand (usually after the first two cards are dealt) in exchange for forfeiting half your bet. So if your cards don’t look like they’ll stack up against the dealer’s, you can save at least some of your wager (often 50%) and move on to the next deal – it’s that simple.

Best Online Casinos To Play

  • play atLeoVegas LeoVegas review LeoVegas

    Up to £400 in Welcome Bonus Offers + 100 Spins

    Leo Vegas, owned by the Swedish-based LeoVegasGaming Ltd is a real favourite for UK online casino punters. Whilst the site has great deal to offer, including a large number of game suppliers

    Get a 45 Free Spins- No Deposit sign-up Bonus & up to £400 in Welcome Bonus Offers + 100 Spins.45 Free Spins: 45 Free Spins available on Book of Dead game only. Must be claimed on the ‘My Offers’ page within 14 days of sign-up. Free Spins have a £0.10 value each and expire 7 days from claim. 35x wagering requirement on eligible slots before winnings are converted to cash. Casino Deposit Package: Deposits of £10, £20, £50 or £100 matched with a bonus offer of same value (14 day expiry).Total of four (4) Deposit bonuses + bonus spins offers available. 35x real money cash wagering of bonus offer amount must be met (30 days from deposit) before bonus is credited in cash. Spins credited upon deposits; under £50 – 10 Bonus Spins; £50 or over – 25 Bonus Spins. Spins on Book of Dead only, 3 day expiry, winnings paid in cash.www.begambleaware.org

  • play atCasino.com Casino.com review Casino.com

    100% up to £100 + 200 spins!

    With over 200 online slots by leading developers like Established back in 2008, Casino.com has certainly weathered the storms and been in the market long enough to understand what players need and how to offer it. The casino is a part of the Mansion Group

    NEW CUSTOMERS. SPINS: 20 ON REGISTRATION, 180 AFTER DEPOSIT, WINNINGS GIVEN AS BONUS FUNDS, 20X WAGERING. SPINS AND BONUS WAGERING ON AGE OF THE GODS GAMES ONLY. WELCOME BONUS: £20 MIN DEPOSIT, MAX BONUS £100, WAGERING 40X. GAME WEIGHTS APPLY. BETTING LIMITS: SLOTS – £5 ALL OTHER GAMES – 10% OF BONUS AMOUNT. T&CS APPLY.

  • play atMr Green Mr Green review Mr Green

    Up to £100 match Deposit Bonus + 200 Bonus Spins

    Mr. Green comes with very high commendations. Named the best online casino of the year by Gaming Awards in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and adding to this list of achievements

    Terms and Conditions apply. New players only. 18+. 35x wagering applies to Bonus Cash and Bonus Spins. Deposit of £20+ unlocks a 100% Match Bonus up to £100 in Bonus Cash, subsequent wager of £20+ on slots unlocks 100 Bonus Spins and 20 Bonus Spins per day over 5 days on selected games. www.begambleaware.org

  • play atCasino Calzone Casino Calzone review Casino Calzone

    100% up to £100 & up to 100,000 Cal’s Cash

    Casino Calzone features a fun, cartoon-style design with the site set in an Italian pizzeria where you are welcomed by your host Cal. The design encapsulates the trend for newer online casinos to move away from the traditional ‘Vegas look’

    *Newly registered UK players. The welcome offer is a 100% reload bonus up to £100 & a total of up to 100,000 Cal’s Cash (on a deposit of £10-£49) or up to 130,000 Cal’s Cash (on a deposit of £50+) when you make your 1st deposit.Min deposit to claim offer is £10. Deposit via Skrill, Neteller or Pre-paid cards are NOT eligible.Cal’s Cash are valid for each calendar day only.The 1st 20,000 or 50,000 Cal’s Cash (depending on the 1st deposit amount) will be credited upon the 1st deposit. Login is required during the following 4 days to claim the remaining 80,000 Cal’s Cash (20,000 Cal’s Cash per day).Wagering requirements 60x the bonus funds within 30 days.Max cashout amount of £2000. T&Cs Apply.

  • play atWilliam Hill William Hill review William Hill

    100% BUY IN BONUS + 50 FREE SPINS

    William Hill, best known for its’ name in sports betting and with thousands of high street branches across the U.K. has also spent years making serious waves online with sports, poker and casino betting

    *18+. Opt in required. New customers to Casino page only. 1x per customer. Min. Buy in £10. Bonus value 100% of Buy in. Max. Bonus £300. 40x Wagering, Max Redeemable £4,000. 50 Free Spins with x35 wagering will be awarded after the Buy in Bonus is completed, Max Redeemable £1,000. Bonus expires after 7 days. Stake contributions, player, country, currency, game restrictions and terms apply.

To Surrender, or Not to Surrender

The key to the strategy is knowing when to (and when not to) surrender. There’s a simple table that helps you learn which hands, when faced against the dealer’s face card, are the best to surrender on. Get these tables memorised and you’ll be upping your winning chances the next time you hit the felt (or want to show off on your weekly poker night).

The most basic surrender strategy is all based on the dealer’s move when they have a soft 17.

When the dealer hits on a soft 17:

  • Surrender if the dealer is showing a 10 or Ace and you have a hard 15, or
  • Surrender if the dealer is showing a 9, 10 or Ace and you have a hard 16, or
  • Surrender if the dealer is showing an Ace and you have a pair of 8s or a hard 17

When the dealer stands on a soft 17:

  • Surrender if the dealer is showing a 10 and you have a hard 15, or
  • Surrender if the dealer is showing a 9, 10 or Ace and you have a hard 16.

If you follow the table, you’ll want to surrender whenever both you and the dealer have hands in the same row as below. For example, when the dealer hits a soft 17 (with a 9, 10 or Ace showing) and you have a hard 16, it’s in your advantage to surrender.

Your Hand Dealer Hits on Soft 17 Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Hard 15 10 or Ace 10
Hard 16 9, 10, or Ace 9, 10 or Ace
8-8 Ace
Hard 17 Ace

 

In the two spots where there’s just a dash present, it’s better to play the hand – so really, the number of variations in which you should surrender is quite small. You can start improving your game by simply carrying a printout of this table with you until, eventually, memorisation makes your gameplay even smoother.

Pros and Cons of the Surrender Strategy

With many casino card games, it never hurts to know strategies and memorise tables as they’ll generally help your odds in betting. That being said, strategies can change for different games, so while having a table like this memorised for classic blackjack would be extremely handy, it won’t be as helpful in games with multiple decks. In those games, there are other tables that you can learn, specific to the number of decks and sometimes even the variations in game rules.

The fact is the rules in blackjack games can vary quite a bit, so although it is important to know a basic strategy like when to surrender, it’s also important not to get stuck in the strategy itself. Players who aren’t confident enough with their strategy can be prone to surrendering too often. However, if you get comfortable with the table and the rules before you play, this strategy can really reduce your losses with poor hands and the general idea notion can be applied to multiple game variations.

The Bottom Line

The surrender strategy is a good one to know: it’s not too complicated, even for the most novice of players, and can save you plenty of potential losses when facing a tough decision. Start with the table to understand the basics and eventually memorisation will kick in and this strategy will be second nature.