What Is Surrender in Blackjack? 

What Is Surrender in Blackjack? 

Understanding what you can and cannot do in blackjack will give you a much better chance of not only winning, but also actually enjoying yourself. After all, it’s quite annoying when you’re unsure how to play a game – but you see others doing all sorts of tactics that take you by surprise. 

When learning how to play blackjack, knowing when to surrender – and what it even is in the first place – is a good idea. While you’ll want to avoid doing so where possible, you can improve your chances of getting back into the game if you deal your cards wisely. 

So, what exactly does it mean to surrender in blackjack? Does more than one option exist, and are you out of the game altogether if you surrender? Keep reading and you’ll discover the answers to each of these questions. 

What Is Surrender in Blackjack? 

When you surrender in blackjack, you can fold your hand if you feel like you’re in a poor position to make anything of what you have. You can use this strategy once you’ve seen your first two cards – and by the time you see these, you should have a pretty good idea of whether you’re going to get something that’s worth sticking with or not. 

Surrendering in blackjack provides the opportunity to reset and, ideally, receive a better hand when you get your next set of cards. On top of that, you can also choose when in the game you want to surrender – but we’ll speak about that in more depth later. 

When Would You Surrender? 

As already mentioned, surrendering in blackjack isn’t something you do when you have a strong hand and think you can get close to 21 without busting. Instead, it’s more of an option for those instances where you’ve seen the cards that your dealer has dealt – and you don’t think you have a good chance of winning. 

Surrendering in blackjack is something that you should think very carefully about. It doesn’t come for free, and the rules also vary quite significantly depending on where you play. As a result, we would advise against including it as a mainstay part of your strategy. Instead, think of it as something you can use where needed – in situations where it’s permitted. 

Are There Different Types of Surrender in Blackjack?

When learning about surrender in blackjack, it’s important to remember that there’s more than one version. Generally speaking, you can choose from two different options: early surrender and late surrender. 

If you’re at the beginning of a game in blackjack, you can choose the early surrender before someone else takes their turn. The early surrender involves giving up half of your bet and also not using your hand. The player, as a result, has a significant advantage compared to if they went ahead with their hand. 

Another scenario in which you can surrender is when your cards have been dealt, and this is known as the late surrender. Generally speaking, you’re much more likely to see this rule implemented in any casino you go into these days. 

The same rule of losing half your bet applies, but your advantage isn’t as much as if you chose an early surrender instead. 

Is Surrendering in Blackjack the Same Online and Offline?

Many blackjack rules and strategies are universal, with the Martingale strategy being one such thing that you can use both online and offline. Surrendering, however, is quite complicated in comparison. 

Because of how big an advantage the player has over the house when using an early surrender, it’s quite unlikely to see this rule allowed in casinos nowadays. Your best option is to do some research on the venue you’re planning to visit beforehand; if you can’t find any information online, the dealer should be able to give you more guidance while you’re there. 

While the late surrender is much more common than the early version these days, you still aren’t going to see it in every casino. Like when trying an early surrender, your best choice is to research each casino you plan to visit in advance. 

See also: When to Hit on Blackjack?

When you play online blackjack, the rules related to surrendering will often vary. However, in the instances where you’re allowed to surrender, it will often be a late surrender only that is allowed. With this in mind, you should think about how you can potentially improve your chances of achieving success in a normal game – even without potential surrendering and whatnot. 

How to Signal for a Surrender in Blackjack

Are you playing blackjack at an online or land-based casino that allows you to surrender? If so, you’ll need to know how to signal that you want to do this. 

In many cases, you can signal for a surrender in blackjack by swiping right behind your cards and chips with your index finger. Think about how you would unlock the old iPhones, and you’re pretty much halfway there. 

However, different casinos have different rules for how you can signal a surrender. If you’re in doubt, you can also tell the dealer upfront. 

Do I Need to Place a Bet to Surrender in Blackjack? 

When you surrender in blackjack, you will have to give up half of your bet. This is somewhat similar to insurance, which we’ll talk about later, where you pay half of your bet on top of what you’ve already staked. The main difference, however, is that you receive half your bet back when you surrender in blackjack. 

In actual monetary terms, how much you receive back therefore depends on the number you staked in the first place. Nonetheless, even though you get half of your bet back, it’s still important to remember that surrendering in blackjack is not free. Therefore, it isn’t something you should do each time. 

Am I Out of the Game Altogether if I Surrender in Blackjack?

When playing blackjack and learning different terms, it’s important to remember what will keep you in the game. Sometimes, you’re out of the game altogether if something happens; busting by going above 21 is a prime example of this. 

The good news is that when you surrender in blackjack, you aren’t out of the game completely. Instead, what will typically happen is you’ll give over half of your cards and everything will continue. 

If the dealer has blackjack, however, surrendering won’t make a difference. In those instances, you will still lose. 

Blackjack Surrender Strategy: Is It the Only Option? 

Now that you’ve learned about what surrendering means in blackjack, we can begin looking at whether it’s the only option you have. The simple answer is no; you will sometimes find a selection of other things that you can try if you’d like to improve a bad hand in blackjack. 

See also: When to Split in Blackjack?


The main alternative to surrendering in blackjack is insurance. When you take up insurance, you’ll pay 50% of your original stake to the dealer. Rather than being a main bet, however, insurance works as more of something on the side. 

You will typically place an insurance bet if the dealer has an Ace, but it’s something that you should use sparingly. In most cases, you’ll be forced to do that anyway; many casinos only let players place insurance bets once or twice per game, and you might not be allowed to do so whatsoever in some cases. 

Is Blackjack Surrender Available Everywhere?

While much of blackjack requires a mixture of skills and luck, you can still enhance your chances of winning by picking a game type that fits your preferences better. With that in mind, it’s worth knowing whether you can surrender in every place you play. 

The short answer is no – blackjack surrendering is not available everywhere. For casinos, it wouldn’t make sense in many cases to offer the option free-willingly. One primary reason behind this is that it decreases the house advantage, especially if we talk about placing an early surrender. 

If you play blackjack online, you’ll often only have the option to perform a late surrender – and in some cases, you might find that you can’t do either. As we’ve mentioned in this guide, you shouldn’t excessively rely on the blackjack surrender. 

Blackjack Surrender Rules 

Blackjack surrender rules vary depending on where you play the game. In some cases, casinos might cap the number of times you’re allowed to do this – and in many instances, the option won’t be on the table whatsoever. 

If you surrender in blackjack, the main thing to keep in mind is how you signal. Like we mentioned, you’ll often need to swipe right. But this isn’t always how things go, so it’s worth double-checking with your dealer to ensure that you get things right. 

blackjack surrender rules game

Surrender in Blackjack: All That You Need to Know in One Place 

Learning about what surrendering is in blackjack will make it much easier for you to ensure that you get things right while playing. On top of that, you will also make sure that you only use this tactic when doing so is absolutely necessary. 

When you know what you’re doing, the early and late surrender in blackjack can serve as an excellent way to limit your losses. Moreover, you might find that it’s a great way to get better cards in future hands. 

Considering how the strategy isn’t universally accepted, however, it’s not something that you should overly rely on. Nonetheless, now that you’ve read this guide, you have at least a basic understanding of when it might serve you well. 

See also: What Is Insurance in Blackjack?