Surrender, Split, or Double Down? Advanced Blackjack Moves

Blackjack is a game of strategy and skill. While most players are familiar with the basic rules, such as hitting or standing, there are advanced moves that can significantly improve your chances of winning. In this article, we will discuss three such moves: surrender, split, and double down. These strategic options require careful consideration and knowledge of the game, but when used correctly, they can give you an edge over the house.


Surrender is a move that allows you to forfeit half of your bet and end your hand immediately. While it may seem counterintuitive to give up on a hand before seeing the dealer’s up-card, surrender can be a smart choice in certain situations. There are two types of surrender: early surrender and late surrender.

Early surrender: This move is only allowed before the dealer checks for a blackjack. With early surrender, you can give up your hand and lose only half of your original bet.

Late surrender: This move is more common and is offered after the dealer checks for a blackjack. With late surrender, you can surrender your hand and lose half of your bet if the dealer does not have a blackjack.

Surrender is most advantageous when you have a weak hand, such as a 15 or 16, and the dealer’s up-card is strong, such as a 9, 10, or Ace. By surrendering, you minimize your losses and give yourself a chance to play better hands in the future.


Splitting is a move that allows you to divide your initial two-card hand into two separate hands. This move is only possible when you have a pair of identical cards, such as two 8s or two Aces. Each of the split cards becomes the first card in a new hand, and you are required to make an additional bet equal to your original wager.

Splitting has several advantages. Firstly, it allows you to potentially turn one losing hand into two winning hands. Secondly, it gives you the opportunity to play with multiple hands and increase your chances of beating the dealer. However, not all pairs should be split.

Aces: It is almost always recommended to split Aces. By doing so, you have a chance to get a blackjack on each hand, which pays out at a higher rate.

8s: Similarly, it is advisable to split 8s. Holding a 16 is a weak hand, and splitting allows you to potentially improve your position.

Face cards and 10s: It is generally not recommended to split these pairs, as it is better to stand with a strong hand.

When deciding to split, always assess the dealer’s up-card and consider the basic strategy to make an informed decision.

Double Down

Double down is a move that allows you to double your initial bet and receive one additional card. This move is advantageous when you have a strong hand and the dealer’s up-card is weak. By doubling down, you increase your potential winnings.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when deciding to double down:

Hard 9 against dealer’s 3, 4, 5, or 6

Hard 10 or 11 against any dealer’s up-card

Soft 16 to 18 against dealer’s low cards

It’s important to note that when you double down, you will only receive one additional card, so choose your timing wisely. Additionally, ensure you have sufficient funds to double your bet, as it requires an additional wager.


Advanced moves in blackjack such as surrender, split, and double down can significantly improve your chances of winning. However, it’s crucial to understand the game and practice these moves before implementing them in a real game. Remember that there is no guarantee of winning, but with the right strategy, you can increase your overall success rate. So the next time you sit down at the blackjack table, consider these advanced moves and make informed decisions to maximize your potential winnings.

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