9 Oct

Blackjack Surrender Rules: When to Give In

How to play Blackjack Surrender with a 99.65% RTP

How to Play Blackjack Surrender with a Fantastic 99.65% RTP

Argh, I surrender! That’s what the online casinos offering this game would like you to say. It’s called Blackjack Surrender, and the whole idea behind this title is to remind players that they have the option of utilizing the Early and Late Surrender rules. Of course, if you do, you’ll lose half of your bet by default.

There aren’t too many times you’ll want to take advantage of that option, but our Blackjack Surrender rules and strategy guide will help you make the most of every decision. Play your cards right on this game, and you’ll be competing against a house edge of just 0.35%, which equates to a fantastic long-term RTP of 99.65%.

How to Play Blackjack Surrender

This game was introduced by Playtech many years ago. It follows the same basic rules as another pro-player favorite, Vegas Strip Blackjack from Microgaming. It comes with a few perks, like the Early and Late Surrender rules mentioned before, as well as a 7 Card Charlie rule that states the player’s hand automatically wins (even money) if it draws to 7 cards without busting.

Playtech’s version of this game has the best house edge of 0.35% for players. If you find it available from any other digital software group, or at a walk-in casino, be wary. Odds are the rules will not precisely match those listed below. Every other version I’ve come across has a single twist in the rules, limiting players to double on 9, 10 or 11 only. This alone will jump the edge up to 0.62%, so watch out for it.

The rules of Blackjack Surrender, as imposed by Playtech, are as follows:

  • Decks: 6
  • Soft 17: Dealer Stands
  • Doubling: Yes, on any first two cards
  • Splitting: Yes, 1x only
  • Resplit Aces: No
  • Draw to Split Aces: No
  • Double after Split: Yes
  • Surrender: Early and Late Surrender
  • Dealer Checks for Blackjack: Yes
  • Tie for Blackjack: Push
  • 7 Card Charlie: 7 cards without busting pays 1 to 1
  • Blackjack Pays: 3 to 2

Blackjack Surrender Strategy Guide

This is one of the best paying RNG-based blackjack games in the Playtech stable, making it a good choice for those looking to apply perfect strategy. Since card counting isn’t an option, you won’t be able to turn the edge to your favor, but you should be able to keep a modest bankroll running for a good long while.

You’ll find a trio of strategy charts below. The first details how to respond in hard hand total situations. Next up is soft hand totals, followed by conditions for splitting pairs. Note that, despite the game’s name, conditions for surrendering are extremely rare; only on hard totals of 15 or 16 when the dealer is showing just the right cards.

How to Decide Hard Hands

A hard hand total is a hand that has no Ace valued at 11. Any hard total of 12 or more can be busted by a single hit. Comparing your hard total to the dealer’s up-card, the following decisions should be made to maintain the highest possible 99.65% RTP.

Hard Total Correct Action by Situation
8 & Under Hit
9 Double on Dealer’s 3-6; otherwise Hit
10 Double on Dealer’s 2-9; otherwise Hit
11 Double on Dealer’s 2-10; Hit against Ace
12 Stand on Dealer’s 4-6; otherwise Hit
13-14 Stand on Dealer’s 2-6; otherwise Hit
15 Stand on Dealer’s 2-6; Surrender against 10; otherwise Hit
16 Stand on Dealer’s 2-6; Surrender against 9-A; otherwise Hit
17-21 Stand

How to Decide Soft Total Hands

Soft totals are hands that involve an Ace valued at 11. If hit, this hand cannot bust. At worst, an Ace’s value drops from 11 to 1. Take note that surrendering is never the right option with a soft hand total.

Soft Total Correct Action by Situation
13-14 Double on dealer’s 5-6; otherwise Hit
15-16 Double on dealer’s 4-6, otherwise Hit
17 Double on dealer’s 3-6, otherwise Hit
18 Hit against 9-10; Double on 3-6; otherwise Stand
19 to 21 Stand

Conditions for Splitting Pairs

Some pairs are worth splitting. Others are not. The following diagram shows when it’s appropriate to split pairs in Blackjack Surrender, and how to react when it’s not. You’ll notice that it’s never recommended to surrender a pair.

Pair Correct Action by Situation
Ace-Ace Split
2-2 Split against Dealer’s 2-7; otherwise Hit
3-3 Split against Dealer’s 2-7; otherwise Hit
4-4 Split against Dealer’s 5-6; otherwise Hit
5-5 Double against Dealer’s 2-9; otherwise Hit
6-6 Split against Dealer’s 2-6; otherwise Hit
7-7 Split against Dealer’s 2-7; otherwise Hit
8-8 Split
9-9 Stand against 7 or 10-A; otherwise Split
10-10 Stand

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