A lot of the time surrender is a play greeted with negative feelings. Many blackjack players feel that it is taking an easy way out or chickening out. But the truth is that it is a smart play to make, if available, in some instances.
Surrender is blackjack’s version of folding. It allows the player to bow out of the round. But unlike in poker, a player does not lose all of their bet for surrendering. In blackjack the player only loses half of their wager.
There are two types of surrender: early and late. In the early version the player can surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack. In the late version the dealer checks for blackjack first; only if he does not have a natural blackjack are players allowed to surrender. Early surrender favors players because it allows them out of the round even if the dealer has a blackjack.
According to basic strategy, the best times to surrender in blackjack are when you have a hard 15 against a dealer’s 10 and when you have a hard 16 against a dealer’s 9, 10 or Ace.
The reason these are the best times to surrender is because you have a difficult hand to do anything with and, the dealer has a strong starting point to either have a strong hand with his hole card or hit to build a strong hand. Your chances of winning with one of those hands against those dealer up cards is very small.
So given the ability to exit the round without losing all your wager—to surrender—is a better option that the more likely outcome, which is to lose and lose your entire wager too.
If you find a blackjack game, either an online blackjack game or one in a casino, that offers surrender play there. If you can find a blackjack game with early surrender do not walk away from that game.