Understanding the Surrenders in Blackjack

So, my dear blackjack players, I have been giving some more thought to the rules of Double Attack Blackjack and it has me thinking about late surrender and surrender in blackjack in general. Late surrender is one of two ways for a blackjack player to exit a round without losing all of their wager. But there are two different types of surrender and it pays to know the difference between the two.

First we are going to look at late surrender. A lot of novice players assume that because of the word ‘late’ in the title it means that late surrender is the preferred of the two. And while either form of surrender is better than no surrender, late takes a backseat to early surrender. Here’s why:

In order for a player to make a late surrender, he has to wait for the dealer to check to see if he has a natural blackjack. Only after checking can a player choose to give up half of their wager and surrender. If the dealer has a natural blackjack, then the player cannot make a late surrender. But despite that one drawback, late surrender can help a player’s edge by giving them a boost of 0.08%. This is because on the occasions that they can still surrender, they only lose half of their wager and not all of it, like they would if the dealer has a natural.

Early surrender, as compared to late surrender, allows the player to exit a blackjack round before the dealer checks to see if he has a natural blackjack. This significantly boosts the player’s blackjack edge, with a boost of 0.24%. The biggest difference is that once a player surrenders and gives up half of his wager, he can still keep the other half even the dealer has a natural blackjack. That is where the difference in the boost to the player’s edge is.

Between the two, early surrender is the preferred way to go, but it is less common than late surrender. That being said, if the only option is to play in a game of blackjack with late surrender or in a game with no surrender, go with the one that offers at least one form of surrender—that is if the other house rules are not too steep.