Blackjack Coach

Article // Blackjack strategy

Real Men Will Never Surrender?

Should you ever surrender? Well, in blackjack there are some situations when surrendering is the correct way to play.

To surrender or not to surrender? Are you even allowed to surrender? It depends on the house rules. But if it's possible, there are few corner cases where you should surrender your game.

What does surrendering mean?#

Surrendering your game means that you automatically lose half of your bet size. This may sound rude and some gamblers think that's only giving free money to the house. However, you're playing a game based on mathematical odds and you should rely on them.

When should you surrender?#

There are three cards you don't want to see on dealer: ace, face card and a nine. Yes, nine is also included. And those cards cover nearly half of the deck (24 out of 52).

If you can't surrender, you must always hit

Even if you're allowed to surrender, you can never surrender against an ace. And if you can't surrender, you must always hit. This is rather easy to remember: whenever you're allowed to surrender: do it. And when it's not possible: hit.

You Will Surrender When...#

These are the situations where you must surrender to keep your gameplay solid:

  • Dealer has a face card, and you have 16, 15 or 14
  • Dealer has a nine, and you have 16...
  • ...however, if you have 8-8 against a nine, you must not surrender but split them

That's it, nothing too tricky. There are some variations of blackjack where 14 doesn't surrender against a face card. For instance, if there are low number of decks in use. But these are not standard European or American rules (like in case where 7-7-7 pays you an extra prize).

And remember: you're playing for yourself. If someone gets annoyed that you "ruined" his hand, it's his own problem - not yours.


Surrender can be considered as a tool for advanced players when done right. Surrendering offers you a bit less than 0.1% advantage so we're not talking about tremendous edge. But it's still in favour for the players.

Most of the time you'll notice that other players aren't even aware of surrendering their weak hand. Also remember that there are different variations of blackjack. Ensure that the table you sit on allows you to surrender.


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