A lot of people will tell you that you should learn strategies by playing Blackjack online, and they’re not wrong. Practice makes perfect!
Firstly, in case you have wandered over with no clue what this “Blackjack” feature is all about, we will give you a brief tutorial of what to expect when tackling the game. The goal of any Blackjack game is to beat the dealer’s hand without exceeding the limited 21 total. Both the players and the dealer are given two cards, to begin with. The players’ cards are face up and visible to all, whilst the dealer is allowed to have one of theirs hidden. The “21 total” we mentioned refers to the accumulative value of the cards in your hand. Face cards are worth 10, whilst the remaining cards are simply valued by the numbers already on them. The Ace’s value changes depending on what is needed. It can be counted as either one or 11, at the players’ discretion. If you end up going over the 21 limit then you have “bust” and the dealer wins, regardless of their hand.
Now, let us introduce you to the “Surrender Strategy”.
Upon initially hearing the name of this little trick you might find yourself feeling confused. Why on earth would you want to surrender?!
When used properly, the surrender strategy can be one of the most useful. Once you have analysed your initial two-card hand, and one of the dealer’s cards has been revealed, you may decide that your chances of winning are looking a little slim. If this is the case, you can forfeit your cards and surrender. The dealer then takes half of your staked bet and places your initial two cards into the discard tray. Essentially, surrendering means that you are forfeiting the right to play out your hand.
To surrender late means that you have waited for the dealer to look at their hidden card when they have shown a value of an Ace or ten, and for them to figure out if they have Blackjack. If they do have a total of 21 on their cards, then the option to surrender is no longer available and your entire bet will be lost – unless you yourself also have Blackjack. But when you are able to use the late surrender correctly, you will reduce the house edge by roughly 0.07% in multiple-deck games.
Early surrender is not always offered, especially in American casinos. But when this option is available, players can then surrender their hand to a dealer’s Ace or Face-up card before it is determined whether or not they have Blackjack. Early surrender can be much more favourable than the later version of the rule. Against an ace, an early surrender gives the player a 0.39% edge over the house whereas a Face card brings with it a 0.24% advantage. Together, these early surrenders will be valued to the player as a 0.63% aid in any six-deck game.
The rule of thumb, when wanting to utilise the surrender tactic to the best of your ability, is to surrender when your chance of winning is less than one out of four hands. This would give you a statistic disadvantage of less than 50%. Using this logic, you can then asses that if your hand has less than a 25% chance of winning – meaning that there is a 75% chance of a loss – then to surrender would be to save yourself money.