Early Surrender
  • A casino near my home (Vancouver, Canada) offers the following game:

    6 deck, Hit soft 17, Double after split, double any two, and early surrender.

    Well at least I think it is early surrender... The dealer has no hole card but when I lose a double down against a dealer blackjack or I lose a split I only lose my original bet.

    Can someone confirm that this format is early surrender? I will adjust my basic strategy accordingly. I think that A-5 count could be sufficient to gain an edge in this format.
  • That is not early surrender. It sounds like the equivalent of a no surrender game where the dealer has a hole card.
  • Sorry for the confusion. I still have the ability to surrender after receiving my first two cards. The dealer has no hole card so doesnt check for blackjack. If I say surrender, the dealer places little surrender chips on my cards. I assume that this is done in case the dealer has a blackjack. I think if the dealer has a blackjack I lose my entire bet.
  • Technically, early surrender lets you surrender _before_ the dealer checks for blackjack and you lose 1/2 your bet, period. Late surrender lets you surrender after the dealer has checked for blackjack - if he has 21 you lose your entire bet, otherwise you just lose 1/2 of your bet. This is what I have found in Vegas and the Mississippi coast casinos (late surrender). If you treat surrender like insurance, you can make it a expectation-increasing proposition since a dealer ace-up on a high count says "take insurance". It could also say "surrender" in other cases such as 15 against a 9 with a big count.

    Beyond that, when the dealer has no hole card, or when he does and doesn't check for BJ until everyone has played their hand, there are two variants.

    (1) if the dealer gets BJ, you lose your _original_ bet. IE if you doubled or split, you don't lose everything.

    (2) if the dealer gets BJ, you lose everything including doubled and splits. This hurts and increases the house edge.

    I've never thought about the effect that just "eating all the extra cards" caused by checking for BJ after every player has played has on the game, as I have not played any BJ games where this is done. I have seen some of the variants at various casinos, such as spanish 21, superfun 21, and other variations that I don't play because I have not studied the appropriate basic strategies for the variants at all and don't intend to unless normal BJ goes away...
  • After further review I have found this format to be equivalent to late surrender. After surrendering, the dealer places a surrender token on my chips. If the dealer has blackjack, I lose my entire bet. If the dealer does not have blackjack then I'm paid 50% of my bet. I originally thought this was early surrender because I was able to surrender before the dealer checked but the "surrender token" allows the dealer to check before actually paying me.

    I think the format I'm playing is like Austrailian rules no hole card. When the dealer gets blackjack I only lose my original bet PLUS I lose any bets in which I bust. I now no longer split 8's against 10 because the dealer might have blackjack and I have the potential to bust both hands and lose twice the money when the dealer has bj. I have been hitting in this situation but I'm thinking maybe I should be surrendering... Any suggestions?
  • Sorry but I will plead ignorance. I have not played any games where the dealer either had no hole card, or did but played "no peek".

    Normal surrender rules for stand on any 17 say surrender 15 vs 10 or 16 vs 9, 10 or A. If you play games where the dealer must hit a soft 17, add surrender 15 vs A as well. But for no-peek, which is essentially what you are playing, I'm not sure of the proper strategy. I make it a point to know the strategy for the games I play, perfectly. But I don't even look at strategy for games I won't see...

    Good luck however. I like to play online (for free) for "tune-up" and really hate the oddball games I find, ie no double after split, double only on certain combinations, etc... I find such games to be more annoying than fun because they prevent me from playing my instantaneous thought.. One I tried a long while back had the "no peek" policy and I hated it personally. :)

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