Online Blackjack Surrender
Blackjack Surrender enjoys great popularity online because of its favourable rules and relatively low house edge. In this review, we’ll take a detailed look at the game and we’ll provide you with the basic strategy that will bring you optimal results, so make sure you read on.
The name of Blackjack Surrender derives from the game option ‘surrender’ which allows the players to give up their hand before the dealer reveals the face-down card. If such case, they get half their bet back. This is actually a quite advantageous option as it decreases the house edge with around 0.08%. Below you can see a quick overview of the rules of the game.
- Basic Game Rules
- Return to Player: 99.62% Blackjack pays: 3 to 2
- Decks: 6
- Insurance: yes
- Multihand: yes
- Side bets: no
- Surrender: yes
- Split and Double Rules
- Split: any pair
- Resplit: no
- Double: any two cards
- Double after split: yes
- Hit split aces: no
- Dealer Rules
- Stands: on soft 17
- Peeks for Blackjack: yes
- Special Game Rules: The player can play up to five hands at a time. Only late surrender allowed.
- Bonus:100% up to £150
- Bonus code:not required
- Wagering contribution:20%
Note that in this review we’ll talk only about the Blackjack Surrender variation which is developed by Playtech, as it is the most popular one. There’s also a Blackjack Surrender game offered by Real Time Gaming but it’s really rare to stumble upon it, so we’ve decided not to cover it in this article.
Rules of the Game
Your goal in Blackjack Surrender, as in any other blackjack game, is to have a better hand than the dealer. That means having a higher hand total without going over 21. If you go over 21, you lose your bet. All the cards count as their natural numbers, all face cards count as 10 and the ace counts as 1 or 11, whichever is more suitable for the player.
The Playtech version of the game is played on a virtual table where there are five betting boxes, given that you can play up to 5 hands at a time. As you can see in the screenshot below, the table also features information about the rules of the game. As in most blackjack variations, here a natural blackjack (an ace and a 10-valued card) pays 3 to 2, insurance pays 2 to 1 and the dealer stands on 17, including on a soft 17 (an ace and a 6).
The game begins after you’ve placed your bet and hit the ‘Deal’ button. You’ll be dealt two face-up cards, while the dealer will receive one face-up and one face-down card. If your initial hand totals 21, then you have a ‘blackjack’ or a ‘natural’ and you automatically win, otherwise the game will continue. If, on the other hand, the dealer’s upcard is ace or ten, then they’ll peek for blackjack before you even have the chance to choose your next move. If they have a blackjack you automatically lose the hand, if not you’ll be able to make your next move.
You have several options to choose from. You can hit (ask for another card), stand (end your turn by accepting your hand as it is), double your bet at the expense of receiving one and only one more card, or surrender your hand if you feel it’s not strong enough. If you surrender your hand before your turn is over you will receive half your bet back and thus cut your loss by 50%. If you have a pair, you’ll also have the option to split it in two.
As I already mentioned, in the case that the dealer’s upcard is an ace, you’ll be offered another bet, called ‘insurance’. It’s equal to half of your initial bet and it pays 2 to 1 in case that the dealer has a blackjack. That means that if the dealer does have a blackjack, you’ll get the value of your initial and insurance bet and end up not losing anything. If the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack you’ll lose only your insurance money and the game will continue.
After your turn is finished and in the case you haven’t ‘busted’, i.e. the total of your hand is 21 or less, it’s the dealer’s turn. The dealer plays according to preset rules: they hit if the total of their hand is 16 or lower and stand if it’s 17 or more. If the dealer busts and you haven’t, you win the hand. If they stand, then whoever has the higher hand total wins. If it’s a tie, or a ‘push’ as it’s called in blackjack, both you and the dealer get your bets back.
For those who don’t know, there are two types of surrender options in blackjack – late surrender, which is the most common one, and early surrender which is quite rare. The first allows you to surrender a weak hand in exchange for half of your bet only after the dealer has peeked for blackjack, while the second allows you to do that even before the dealer peeks. On that note, Playtech’s Blackjack Surrender features only late surrender.
House Edge – What Are Your Odds?
As any other casino game, Blackjack Surrender’s rules are thought out in such way so that the casino always has a slight advantage and wins in the long run. When it comes to Playtech’s Blackjack Surrender in particular, the rules and the options are set in such way that with an optimal strategy the return-to-player percentage is 99.62%. This means that, with the exception of Blackjack Switch and Pontoon, Blackjack Surrender is the blackjack variation with the lowest house edge – 0.38%.
Blackjack Surrender Strategy Chart
In order to achieve the best theoretical return-to-player percentage when you play Blackjack Surrender, you need to follow the strategy illustrated below. Still, with optimal strategy there will be a house edge of 0.38% which you can decrease and even overcome if you pick a nice bonus which is usable on the game. Of course, you can combine this strategy with a progressive betting strategy, like Martingale or Fibonacci, but if you do so you increase your chances of busting before you can wager your bonus. Therefore, I would advise you to pick a certain bet limit and stick to it throughout the whole process of wagering your bonus.
Bonus Offers Suitable for Playing Blackjack Surrender
As I already mentioned, picking a nice bonus to play Blackjack Surrender with can decrease and even turn around the house edge in your advantage. Of course, the most advantageous bonuses for the users are the welcome offers, so we’ve taken it upon us to check which Playtech casinos offer welcome bonuses that can be wagered on Blackjack Surrender. Here are the results:
As you can see in the table above, the wagering contribution of Blackjack Surrender is set at 20% at all the above-mentioned casinos, except for Ladbrokes where it is 5%. This means that if you, say, bet £100 on this game, only £20 will be considered for the clearing of the bonus. Casinos set this rule because blackjack is to a great extent a game of strategy and players can wager their bonuses way too easily on it, as opposed to on other casino games based purely on luck, such as slots and scratch cards. In fact, the wagering contribution of blackjack surrender is quite high. Take, Blackjack Switch for example. In most casino this game contributes only 5% toward the wagering requirement, while in others it doesn’t at all.
But anyways, the best bonus you can claim for playing this game is the one offered by William Hill. Don’t get distracted by the low bonus amount! It may be true that it’s lower than the ones offered by other casinos, but it is in fact the most advantageous one. If you take into account the house edge and the wagering contribution of the game together with the wagering requirements for the bonus, you can easily calculate that there’s a huge chance you end up with a win.
Yes, there are a couple of blackjack variations that have lower house edge, but choosing to play Blackjack Surrender with the right bonus might just be the best choice you’ve made in your gambling career so far. And the right bonus, in this case, is the one offered by William Hill because of its favourable conditions. If you’re ready to start playing Blackjack Surrender but want to learn more about the operator and their offer, then make sure you also check out our in-depth William Hill Casino review where we take a really close look at all aspects of this gambling giant.