Blackjack Surrender and Insurance Rules
Some may think that surrendering in a blackjack game seems like a cowardly move, as surrendering half your bet to the casino seems like a dead end and you would not stand to gain anything. On the contrary, by surrendering your hand, both parties can profit but not many players understand that. If you put the surrender option into good use, it can benefit you. However, if you misuse it, you may also lose all of your money.
Before touching on when is the right time to choose this option, we have to understand what surrendering is all about. Initially, after you have received your first two cards, you may surrender your hand discreetly. If so, you indicate this to the dealer verbally or by using a slashing hand signal (placing your finger on the layout and moving it right to left behind your chips).
Then, the dealer will remove your cards and half of your bet ends up in his chip tray. Thus, your chance of playing hand has been forfeited and the 50% of your bet is retained by the casino. To know whether surrendering is allowed in a casino, simply look at the rules on a placard on the table or simply consult the dealer.
Now, when should you surrender and when you ought not to?
First, be careful before using the surrender move. Though it reduces your losses, you will have no chance to win. However, by continuing to play without busting, you will have an opportunity to win later on. The tip is to surrender only when you are at your greatest detriment. Then, make sure you know the method on how to surrender, either by slashing or telling the dealer of your wish to surrender. It is norm to be allowed surrender only on the first two dealt cards, but some casinos may have variations of the rule.
If the total of your cards is 15 or 16, you should surrender, you would not win, and you have high risk of going bust if you hit another card. You should only play on provided you have other hands. In other situations, do not surrender, as there are chances of winning. Do not base your decisions on hunches. Consider the probabilities instead.
You have to realize that in blackjack, there are innumerable possibilities of surrendering in a tournament, as your goal is to beat the other players, not the dealer. Thus, surrendering is used to close the distance between you and your opponents.
What is Blackjack Insurance? Insurance is a side bet that is independent of the main bet which pays a ratio of 2:1. However, this option is only available if the dealer’s up card is an Ace. This is to insure the players from making a loss if the dealer makes Blackjack.
How does insurance work?
Since Insurance pays on a ratio of 2:1, if the dealer gets a blackjack, the player who chose this option will lose his original wager but gets paid on the Insurance bet. However, if the player gets a blackjack, he may also take the insurance which is equal to his main wager. A fully insured blackjack is also referred to as ‘even money’ and is paid out immediately. This is why players usually take a maximum insurance of half the value of their original bet. So either way, they will not make much of a loss.
Unfortunately, like all skills, Insurance is a skill that sounds simple but requires proper understanding and proficiency to employ in a game of Blackjack. If you are a good card counter, blackjack insurance may be an advantage for you.
For example, if you are playing a multi-hand, face up single deck game. If you observe around you and notice that two of the other player’s exposed hand does not contain a 10 card, it is wise to choose Insurance. This is because there are 16 in 47 remaining cards are tens (four 10s, four Jacks, four Queens and four Kings). The possibility of the dealer drawing a 10 card is 1 in 3. Which is why, if you’re not possibly going to get a Blackjack, insurance is the way to go to cut your losses.
Let’s face the fact; losing money is an expected outcome in insurance bets because the dealer is probably going to blackjack less than one-third of the time. However, as I’ve mentioned before, the blackjack insurance is strictly independent of the main wager. If you aim to cut your losses, this may be the way to go. If not, strategy and proper planning combined with skills is the better way to win.