The “early surrender” is not seen as often in modern blackjack as many players would like. Once upon a time it was a more prominent rule, but these days there are very few land-based and online casinos that give this as an option. In fact, as an example of how much the modern game dislikes this rule, it is the online casinos — the more recent vehicle for this historic game and the one that promises to take it into a new era — that feature it the least. You will find very few 3-2 blackjack games in Las Vegas that have this rule, although there are considerably more that play the late surrender rule, which we will discuss later in this article.
Early surrender allows players to give up half of their wager in any given hand and effectively stop that hand there and then. This is done before the dealer calls for blackjack and gives the player an option of retreat if they sense defeat on the horizon.
The early surrender rule is a fantastic rule for strong players who can learn to adopt it into their style of play and help them to increase their winning potential and decrease the edge that the house has over them. A good way to play the early surrender rule is if the dealer is showing an ace and the player has a hard hand with a weak number, anything from 5 to 7, which is difficult to draw, and from 12 to 17, which is unlikely to be strong enough against an ace and runs a high risk of going bust when hit. The early surrender option can save these hands and more often than not will help to save some of the player’s money.
An early surrender can also be taken when the player has a hard 14 and 16 and the dealer is showing a 10. Of course there are times when it shouldn’t be used, even when it looks like a viable option, but telling the difference between these times and the times when it should be used is what sets the pros apart from the amateurs.
The late surrender rule is more common and has also found its way into many online casinos. This option can only be applied after the dealer checks for blackjack, and the rules for when this should be used are very similar to the ones for early surrender. Learning how to master these two rules is becoming less of an asset in the game as fewer and fewer casinos make use of them, and in time even the online casinos might stop doing so, but for true aficionados of the game of blackjack then the surrender rules can give them a vital edge and help them to recover a lot of hands that they would otherwise consider to be useless.