Surrender: a little known option in Blackjack

Even if you’ve never played online Blackjack in Canada, you probably know about hitting and standing. Those are the two primary decisions in blackjack; hitting is when you choose to draw another card, and standing is when you stick with what you have. But these aren’t the only options you have at the table. You can also split, double down and take insurance – and in many games, including Classic Blackjack and The New Blackjack at Bodog Casino, you can surrender your hand. It will depend on the Blackjack rules of each game variant.

That’s right: After you receive your two cards and the dealer’s up-card is shown, you can choose to bail instead of playing out the hand. It’ll cost you half the amount of money you’ve bet, but you’ll get the other half back instead of risking the whole thing on a bad hand. So when should you use the surrender option?

Terms of Surrender

First, when you play, you need to know the difference between early and late surrender, and which of the two options your game allows. Early surrender is when you ditch your hand before the dealer checks for a blackjack (assuming his up-card is an Ace or a 10-value card). Late surrender is when you have to wait for the dealer to check first. Most of the games played today allow late surrender only, including Bodog Casino.

Early surrender is a much more potent weapon, since you can use it before the dealer turns over a natural blackjack for the win. But you can still use late surrender to whittle down the house edge. It’s a simple concept: Only surrender when you think your hand is going to lose more than 50% of the time. For example, if you’re playing blackjack with a standard six-deck shoe, you’ve got 16 in your hand, and the dealer is showing a Nine or higher, it’s time to surrender. Your chances of winning that hand are significantly less than 50%.

You should also surrender if you have 15 and the dealer is showing a card worth 10 points. And if the dealer hits on soft 17 (as they do at Bodog), then you can ditch your 15 and your 17 if the up-card is an Ace. That’s it – the full list of when to surrender late in blackjack, provided there are at least four decks in the shoe. Don’t forget about this useful weapon the next time you’re playing blackjack live or at Bodog Casino.