The Surrender Option and When to Use it in Blackjack

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Many blackjack games will have an option to surrender under specific circumstances. The surrender option allows you to give up half of your bet in exchange for giving up your hand. In theory, always surrender if the dealer has such an overwhelming advantage that you will expect to lose your bet more than half the time. There aren’t many situations where this comes up in multi-deck blackjack because the house advantage on this game is fairly small.
It is advised to not surrender when you have a soft hand in online blackjack because those are the hands where you have a big advantage yourself. Even with this in mind, by effectively cutting your bet size in half in the worst possible situations, you can drastically improve your bottom line in the long run. There is only one situation where you should surrender with paired starting cards in multi-deck blackjack. If the dealer hits on a soft 17, then you should surrender whenever you have two eights against an ace. This is the absolute worst starting situation that you can have in blackjack with paired cards, so it’s not all that surprising that you should surrender here. If the dealer stands on a soft 17, however, then you should split instead.
Blackjack Surrender

Blackjack Surrender Option

With hard hands, your worst total to have is 16. You should always surrender with a hard 16 if you are facing a dealer nine, ten or ace. This is the same no matter how the dealer plays a soft 17. With a hard 15, always surrender against a ten. Strangely enough, it’s slightly better to hit than surrender with a hard 15 when facing an ace if the dealer stands on a soft 17. If the dealer hits on a soft 17, then you should just surrender. As you can see from these examples, the dealer has a bigger advantage in these situations if he or she hits on a soft 17.

Another rule to remember with the surrender rule in blackjack has to do with when you have a hard 17. Most people think you must stand with soft 17s. That’s almost true, but if you’re facing an ace with a dealer who hits on a soft 17, then you should surrender instead.

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