Surrendering to Blackjack

Okay, this is more about a play used in blackjack rather than some romantical notion of giving in to desires hidden beneath the surface.

Players in blackjack have one of the most awesome ways to exit a round of blackjack in which the odds are just too high against them to win: surrender. Sometimes the underdog stays under. And if it looks like a round is just not in your favor, you need to get out.

With this blackjack rule, players can give up half of their original wager, keep the other half and exit the round. There is no other cost for exiting a round other than that half of your original wager.

Not too bad considering blackjack and poker are the only casino games that give players a way out of an unfavorable round—and poker players have to give up all of their wager. So, blackjack players, we have it pretty nice.

Surrender comes in two varieties: late and early.

Late surrender allows the player to surrender after the dealer has checked for blackjack. Only after he has checked can surrender be chosen. So if the dealer does have a natural blackjack you are just out of luck. But if you are able to make the play, it can increase your edge by 0.08%.

And while that 0.08% is not too bad, early surrender fives you an even bigger boost: 0.24%. The reason for the larger boost is because players can surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack. Once you surrender, even if the dealer does have a natural blackjack, you still have only lost half of your wager.

But there are only a few times in which surrender is meant to be used. This is not a play to be used like a petulant child does a temper tantrum. A basic strategy chart can tell you when the best times to surrender are.

In fact, that is your homework—find out when the best times to surrender are. The answers will be posted tomorrow morning.