Hand-throwing makes mathematical sense in some scenarios
In most casinos a blackjack version is played where the face down card is automatically scanned and it is checked whether this card has a value of 10 or an Ace. If the dealer does not reveal whether he has a natural blackjack (value of 21 with two cards).
He then pauses before continuing with the hand to allow players to give up the hand. Most players know about the surrender rule, but below is a good example if this is their first time hearing about this unusual act.
In some situations, players have been dealt a very bad hand based on the card that is face up with the dealer. Imagine having a hand such as a 9 and a 7 (total of 16) against the dealer’s face-up 10, then it is quite difficult to determine whether to take a card or not. At least, if you stick to basic strategy, there is always an optimal decision you can make, but even when you make this decision, you lose more often than you win.
In order to escape these usual actions, players must verbally indicate that they are choosing the surrender option in unpleasant situations like this. When you surrender a hand, you give half of your bet to the dealer, and you receive half of your bet back.
In the case of a £ 10 bet, the player must hand in £ 5, but keep the 5 they might have normally lost. Many blackjack players avoid this bet because they believe that the odds of the dealer going over 21 are greater than the perfect card being drawn.
And in most cases, these players are right too. In all kinds of scenarios, the surrender bet produces a lower expected payout percentage for players. But when these specific cases show up, hand surrender is a strategy for getting more profit out of your game.
We use our example above for a moment; where you have a hard 16 against the dealer’s face-up 10.
Of course, if your hand is a hard 16 of 8-8, you should always split this hand no matter what the dealer’s face-up card is. When in doubt, remember: “Always split aces and eights”.
You can fold in the hope that the dealer will go over 21, or you can hit in the hope that you receive a low card to improve your hand. Or you can surrender the hand and get 50% of your bet back. To see which is the best choice, see the statistics below:
Win and loss percentages for a Hard 16 against the dealer’s 10
- Passing: Your win rate is 22.8% and your loss rate is 77.2%. Your average loss per 100 euros is in this case € 54.40.
- Hitting: Your win rate is 23.4% and your loss rate is 76.6%. Your average loss per 100 euros is in this case € 53.20.
- Surrender: Your win percentage is 50% of the bet and your loss percentage is 50% of the bet. Your average loss per 100 euros is in this case € 50.00.
As the table shows, passing on a hard 16 against the dealer’s 10 is worse than hitting or throwing up. However, surrendering the hand will give you the best winning percentage, which is $ 50 back. In all scenarios, surrender is the best choice in a situation such as a hard 16 against a 9 or 10 from the dealer or a hard 15 against a 10.