Strategy for Surrendering in Blackjack

To maximize your chances of winning at casinos that provide surrender in blackjack, you need a solid surrender strategy. Many players use the surrender option far too frequently, losing more money than they would have if they had played without using it. The good news is that there isn’t much of a learning curve associated with a successful surrender approach.

If you don’t like your cards and want to terminate the hand immediately, you can surrender by giving up half of your bet. The risk of losing the whole wager is thereby removed. When all else fails, you always have the option of quitting early.


When to Give Up

The rules of the table, your cards, and the dealer’s up card all play a role in determining the appropriate “when to surrender” decision. The most important rule to us is whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17. If you want a higher success percentage when playing blackjack, use this basic surrender strategy:


In the event the dealer rolls a soft 17


If the dealer is showing a 10, you should surrender with a hard 15. If the dealer is showing a 9, 10, or Ace, you should surrender with a hard 16. If the dealer is presenting a pair of 8s, you should surrender with a hard 17.

When the dealer makes a soft 17


If you have a hard 15, and the dealer has a 10, you should surrender.

If the dealer’s up card is a 9, 10, or Ace, and you have a hard 16, you must surrender.

You can print these strategy charts to help you remember when to surrender. You should keep this card until you’re confident in your surrender tactics. It will not take too much time.

Concluding Remarks


You can win at blackjack without resorting to surrender very often. You might be tempted to give up more often than this, but you shouldn’t. Giving up half your bet while you still have a shot at winning the hand is a poor strategy.


If you surrender, you will automatically lose half of your stake. If you have less than a 25% probability of winning the hand, you should always resign. For a mathematical breakdown of blackjack surrender, check out the Blackjack Classroom’s dedicated page. By the way, I found that website to be a very useful resource.


You will lose more money in the long term if you surrender more often than is recommended. You’ll be fine if you follow the rules laid out here.

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