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August 8 LuckyLady

For those of you who aren’t familiar with surrender, it’s a player option that some casinos offer. When allowed, you may elect to give up half the amount you’ve bet rather than play out the hand. For the mathematically inclined, you can see that for those hands where your expectation is to lose more than 50% of your bet, surrender is a good deal. (Ignoring pushes, an expected loss of over 50% means you are more than 75% likely to lose the hand.) There are two types of surrender: early and late. Those terms refer to whether or not a dealer checks to see if s/he has a blackjack (when an Ace or 10 is showing) before you may make the surrender decision. In A.C., the type of surrender was ‘early’ which meant that you could give up half your bet before the dealer knew if s/he had a ‘natural’. That came about simply because state regulations didn’t allow ‘peeking’, so a dealer didn’t know what his hand was until all the players had made their playing decisions.

These days, the most common form of surrender is the ‘late’ version where the dealer checks for a natural and, if s/he doesn’t have it, then you may surrender. This is worth a lot less, since if the dealer does have a natural, s/he takes your bet before you can surrender. But, in spite of that restriction, surrender can still be of some value to you, if you use it properly.

Rule of thumb is if you have 10-6, 9-7, 8-8, 6-9, 10-5, to surrender which is an unfavorable hand vs a dealer showing an Ace, 10, or 9.  It’s very likely a losing hand, rather than losing the entire wager a surrender bet is rendered “surrendering” half the bet.  

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