What Is Blackjack Surrender?

Already an option on some other blackjack variant tables, Blackjack Surrender rules see the opportunity to Surrender take center stage. In essence, Blackjack Surrender is a twist on the classic game that allows players to limit their losses by getting out of poor hands with half of their stake intact. Below, we’ll be covering how that works as well as the top places to play and what sort of payouts you can expect.

How To Play Blackjack Surrender

If you're new to online blackjack, you'll find the general rules on our how to play blackjack page.

Step 1

Join a Suitable Table

As always, the goal with this variant is to reach 21 without going over it. When you’ve joined a table at a Blackjack Surrender online casino, and placed your bets, the dealer will deal two cards for you and two for them. In some situations, e.g. the dealer showing a face-up Ace, they’ll check for blackjack before the hand continues.

Blackjack Surrender table
Step 2

Hit? Stand? Surrender?

Looking at your hand, now is the time to decide whether you want to hit (take another card), stand (leave your hand as it is), split (split your hand in two) or double your bet. Of course, you also have the option to surrender a weak hand. Consult a basic strategy guide before doing so, as some “poor” hands can actually be worth playing. At land casinos, you can use the surrender hand signal, tracing a horizontal line between yourself and the dealer on the table, to indicate you'd like to surrender.

Hit

king 4 and reverse card
bitmap

Stand

king and 4 card
Step 3

Finish Things Off

When your hand is as good as it can possibly be, as long as it remains under 21, it’s time to hit Stand and see whether you’ve won or not. If you decided to Surrender instead of playing the hand, half of your stake will be returned to you instead.

king 4 and 5 card
Step 4

The Dealer Plays

Once the dealer has turned over their facedown card, they will, where appropriate, hit the hand to improve it but must stop when they hit any combination that makes 17. Whoever has the highest hand under 21 wins the round.

reverse and queen card

Special Rules of Blackjack Surrender

The surrender rule is one that many blackjack players will already know about, but there are some specific Blackjack Surrender rules that may not be so familiar. You'll find these rules apply to Playtech’s version of Blackjack Surrender, the most commonly available online game. Let’s take a look:

  • Late Surrender lets players surrender after the dealer has peeked for blackjack
  • Early Surrender, which is available “pre-peek”, is rare and not on offer at many tables
  • Insurance is still available, and pays 2 to 1 as usual
  • Dealer must draw to 16 and stands on all 17s
  • Players can double down after splitting
  • Decks 6
  • Player win 1/1
  • Player Blackjack 3/2
  • Push? Yes
  • Tied Blackjack Push
  • Dealer Stands on ALL 17 Yes
  • Dealer Stands on soft 17 Yes
  • Insurance bet pays 2/1
  • Surrender bet Yes
  • Split Yes
  • Re-split No
  • Expert Mode n/a
  • Double Down 9, 10, 11
  • Multi-Hands 1-5
  • SIDE BET: A-J spades n/a
  • SIDE BET: A-J any suit n/a
  • SIDE BET: Two suited cards n/a
  • SIDE BET: Any Pair n/a
  • SIDE BET: 3-of-a-kind n/a
  • SIDE BET: Red/Black Pair -
  • SIDE BET: Colored Pair -
  • SIDE BET: Perfect Pair -
  • House Edge 0.24%

Free Blackjack Surrender Reference Charts - Get Yours!

The introduction of a new option alongside Hit, Stand, Double and Split means that, as you would probably expect, basic strategy for Blackjack Surrender looks a little different to some other variants. Fortunately, we’ve got some free reference charts to help increase your odds of winning! It’s likely that you’ll eventually become familiar enough with Blackjack Surrender that the statistically “correct” moves become second nature. Until then, however, you may want to download the guide and keep it handy.

Pair splitting

Find out when to split your pair into two hands or keep it as it is.

Soft Totals

Make the most of the flexible value of an Ace card.

Hard Totals

Discover the best move for an inflexible hand.

Late Surrender

Learn when surrendering could work to your advantage.

Comparing Blackjack Surrender to Other Variants

As you’ll see from the table, Blackjack Surrender rules don’t really change things that much when it comes to payouts etc. Player wins and blackjack payouts, for example, look pretty similar to other traditional variants. You’ll also notice below that Live Dealer Blackjack Surrender isn’t something you should expect to find online.

Blackjack Variants Player Win (payout) Player Blackjack (payout) Live Dealer Mobile RTP
European
Player Win (payout) 1/1
Player Blackjack (payout) 3/2
Live Dealer Yes
Mobile Yes
RTP 99.6%
Surrender
Player Win (payout) 1/1
Player Blackjack (payout) 3/2
Live Dealer No
Mobile Yes
RTP 99.65%
Switch
Player Win (payout) 1/1
Player Blackjack (payout) 1/1
Live Dealer No
Mobile Yes
RTP 99.87%
Atlantic City
Player Win (payout) 1/1
Player Blackjack (payout) 3/2
Live Dealer Yes
Mobile Yes
RTP 99.6%
Perfect
Player Win (payout) 1/1
Player Blackjack (payout) 3/2
Live Dealer No
Mobile Yes
RTP 99.58%

What Makes Blackjack Surrender Stand Out from Other Blackjack Variants?

There’s a joke in the industry that Blackjack Surrender is a great choice for players who are often struck by bad luck: rather than slogging away trying to turn bad hand after bad hand into something profitable, Blackjack Surrender allows players to simply discard those hands and get half their money back. That’s a pretty powerful proposition for many online and offline gamblers.

Some new players make the mistake of thinking that the Surrender rule, a key feature of Blackjack Surrender, is a bad bet because it seems like you’re giving up. In fact, there are many situations in which it’s the smartest move to make to protect your bankroll so you can play for longer!

Maggie Sothern
Casino.org Blackjack Expert

Other Blackjack Variants You Can Play

Playing Blackjack Surrender on Mobile

Folks looking for a variation of blackjack to enjoy on the go could do a lot worse than Blackjack Surrender. Online casino mobile sites and apps allow players to enjoy the game on smartphones and tablets, and there’s a very good reason you might want to take advantage of that.

It might seem counterintuitive, since the game adds another button to the interface that some mobile blackjack players could already find cramped, but Blackjack Surrender is actually great for these users because it favors speedy play.

Whatever your device of choice – iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows Phone etc. – we think you’ll enjoy mobile versions of Blackjack Surrender. In 2020, mobile games from reputable providers are only getting better and that’s certainly true in this case. If it’s not offered at your venue of choice, you can always check out one of the other blackjack variations available.

Playing Blackjack Surrender on Mobile

Blackjack Surrender Strategy Tips

Playing Blackjack Surrender online requires a few adjustments to how you usually play the game…or at least it should if you want to put yourself in the best position to win. Here are a few pieces of advice we’d recommend:

Take Advantage of Surrender

A no-brainer, right? You’d be surprised. Some people, even when playing Blackjack Surrender online casino games, are afraid to hit that Surrender button. There are times when it’s the smartest move by far!

Avoid Insurance Bets

It would be easy to think that, because of the other rule changes in Blackjack Surrender, Insurance might now be a sensible move. That’s not the case, however, and it’s still best avoided.

Keep Tabs on Your Bankroll

Most players observe that, when playing Blackjack Surrender online,their bankroll grows at a pace that’s slower and steadier than some other variants. If yours keeps falling, take a break and check if your strategy is solid.

Take Your Time

Blackjack Surrender naturally favors a quicker pace, since there’s no need to agonize over whether to play weak hands that can be easily discarded. But there’s no rush in standard play – remember, with no live dealer version of Blackjack Surrender, you have all the time you need to plan your next move.

Where are the best places to play Blackjack Surrender for real money?

Discover More About Online Blackjack