When to Surrender in Blackjack

Late Surrender

Late surrender means that the player may surrender his hand and lose half his bet only after the dealer checks for blackjack. The following basic strategy tables show when to surrender in blackjack (Y=yes, N=no) depending on the player’s total, dealer’s up card, and the number of decks. These tables are based on the dealer standing on a soft 17. Exceptions when the dealer hits a soft 17 are noted below each table.

1 Deck
Player’s
Hand
Dealer’s Card
9 10 A
15 N N N
16 N Y Y

Note: If dealer hits soft 17 then also surrender 15 and 17 against an ace.

2 Decks
Player’s
Hand
Dealer’s Card
9 10 A
15 N Y N
16 N Y Y

Note: If dealer hits soft 17 then also surrender 15 and 17 against an ace.

4 or More Decks
Player’s
Hand
Dealer’s Card
9 10 A
15 N Y N
16 Y Y Y

Note: If dealer hits soft 17 then also surrender 15 and 17 against an ace.

Exact card composition of the player’s hand can sometimes make it advantageous to deviate from the basic blackjack strategy tables above. The following tables show when exactly to surrender given the player’s total, dealer’s up card, and number of decks.

1 Deck
Player’s
Hand
Dealer’s Card
9 10 A
14 Never 7+7 Never
15 Never 9+6, 10+5 Never
16 Never Always 10+6

Note: If dealer hits soft 17 then also surrender 5+10, 6+9, 7+10 against ace.

2 Decks
Player’s
Hand
Dealer’s Card
9 10 A
15 Never 9+6, 10+5 Never
16 Never Always Always

Note: If dealer hits soft 17 then also surrender 5+10, 6+9, 7+10, 8+9 against ace.

4 or 6 Decks
Player’s
Hand
Dealer’s Card
9 10 A
15 Never 9+6, 10+5 Never
16 Always Always Always

Note: If dealer hits soft 17 then also surrender all 15’s and 17’s against
ace.

8 Decks
Player’s
Hand
Dealer’s Card
9 10 A
15 Never Always Never
16 Always Always Always

Note: If dealer hits soft 17 then also surrender all 15’s and 17’s against ace.

Early Surrender

Early surrender is a seldom found rule in which
the player may forfeit his hand and half his bet before the dealer checks for
blackjack. The strategy is different from late surrender only when the dealer
has a ten or ace showing. Following is a list for when to take early surrender
against a dealer 10 or ace, regardless of the rules, except as noted.

  • Dealer ace Vs. hard 5-7
  • Dealer ace Vs. hard 12-17
  • Dealer ace Vs. pair of 3’s, 6’s, 7’s, or 8’s.
  • Dealer 10 Vs. hard 14-16
  • Dealer 10 Vs. pair of 7’s or 8’s.

Exceptions:

  • Do not surrender 10 Vs. 4+10 or 5+9 in single deck
  • Do not surrender 10 Vs. 4+10 in double deck
  • Surrender dealer ace against pair of 2’s if dealer hits soft 17.

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