Understanding Early & Late Surrender in Blackjack

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BetMGM Jan 19, 2024, 9:41 AM

There are many online casino games, but few offer the simplicity of blackjack. But while blackjack is undoubtedly easy to pick up and play, it has some rules that novice players may not know about. One of these rules is the blackjack surrender rule. 

Carry on reading to learn all you need to know about surrendering in blackjack.

What Is a Surrender in Blackjack?

In some blackjack variations, you don’t have to assume that the game is over if you receive a starting hand that is unlikely to help you win. In specific blackjack games, you can use the surrender rule to reduce your overall losses and lower the house edge in the long run. This rule allows you to forfeit a portion of your wager to immediately end the game and eliminate the risk of losing your entire bet. 

In blackjack games where the surrender rule is applicable, you’ll likely come across two different versions of the rule: the early or late surrender. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between an early and late surrender.

The Differences Between Early and Late Surrender

Whether you’re playing digital or live dealer blackjack, if the surrender rule is active, you can use it to help reduce your total losses.

Early Surrender

An early surrender is the option to surrender after you’ve received your hand and after the dealer has checked their hand for blackjack, but before the dealer reveals their second card. This surrender option reduces the house edge by 0.62%, and you’ll get half of your wager back if you decide to surrender early.

Late Surrender

A late surrender is available after the dealer has revealed the cards and they don’t have a natural blackjack. Under these circumstances, you can forfeit your hand and receive half of your bet back. This surrender option has a negligible impact on the house edge, which could be as little as 0.1%.

The Blackjack Surrender Strategy

There are many blackjack strategies to help you win, including blackjack surrender strategies. Here’s what you should know about implementing a surrender strategy to help reduce your losses.

The early surrender rule can help you reduce your chances of losing if you have a weak hand with a low chance of winning. A weak hand is contextual, depending on several conditions. These conditions are whether your hand is soft or hard, the dealer’s up card, and the number of decks used in the game. According to the Wizard of Odds’ article “Blackjack Surrender: What it is and When to do it,” you should surrender when facing a dealer ace if you have a hard 5–7, a hard 12–17, or a pair of 3s, 6s, 7s, or 8s. If the dealer has a 10 and you have a pair of 7s or 8s or a hard 14–16, you should also surrender early.

The late surrender rule can help you reduce your losses if you also understand how to use it. In the Wizard of Odds article previously mentioned, they list the conditions when you should use this rule to your advantage:

  • When the game uses one deck, you should surrender when the dealer has a hard 17, and you have 15, when the dealer has 10 or soft or hard 17 and you have 16, or when the dealer has a hard 17 and you have 17.
  • When the game uses two decks, you should surrender when the dealer has a 10 or hard 17, and you have 15; when the dealer has a 10, soft or hard 17, and you have 16; or when the dealer has a hard 17, and you have 17.
  • When the game uses four or more decks, you should surrender when the dealer has a 10 or hard 17 and you have 15; when the dealer has a 9, 10, or soft or hard 17 and you have 16; or when the dealer has a hard 17, and you have 17.

Place Your Bets on Blackjack and Other Great Casino Games at BetMGM

If you want to put your newfound knowledge to the test in your favorite blackjack game or wager on other exciting online casino games, be sure to check out all the gambling excitement waiting for you at BetMGM. BetMGM is an online casino with an incredible range of blackjack games, including thrilling titles like Blackjack Pro, Blackjack Live, and Blackjack Xchange. 

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.