# Thread: Surrender or Split - Precedence

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## Surrender or Split - Precedence

Hello

I have often trouble in consolidating Basic Strategy and Index Plays when it comes to Surrender versus Split.
Let us start with Basic Strategy: Norm's book tells that you should first decide Surrender, then Split:

https://www.qfit.com/book/ModernBlackjackPage50.htm

which means that Surrender takes precedence over Split.
But when you have (8,8), this would mean to surrender this 16 and not split the Eights.
However, the Surrender tables list (8,8) separately from a non-pair 16:

https://www.qfit.com/book/ModernBlackjackPage51.htm

and the Surrender table for S17 says to not surrender a pair of Eights versus dealer Ten, which means that in this case, you should split the Eights, thus Split takes precedence over Surrender, in contradiction to above.
However, the Surrender table for H17 says to surrender a pair of Eights versus dealer Ace, which means you should not split them, and Surrender takes precedence.

It gets even more complicated when deviations from Basic Strategy for high counts come into play.
If you should Surrender 14 vs. Ten for high counts, e.g. in REKO:

https://www.qfit.com/book/ModernBlackjackPage73.htm

should you also surrender (7,7) vs. Ten (presumably not)?
But for Single Deck you should surrender it already in Basic Strategy, says page 51.

This stuff has been confusing me for years :-)

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Originally Posted by PinkChip
Hello

I have often trouble in consolidating Basic Strategy and Index Plays when it comes to Surrender versus Split.
Let us start with Basic Strategy: Norm's book tells that you should first decide Surrender, then Split:

https://www.qfit.com/book/ModernBlackjackPage50.htm

which means that Surrender takes precedence over Split.
But when you have (8,8), this would mean to surrender this 16 and not split the Eights.
However, the Surrender tables list (8,8) separately from a non-pair 16:

https://www.qfit.com/book/ModernBlackjackPage51.htm

and the Surrender table for S17 says to not surrender a pair of Eights versus dealer Ten, which means that in this case,
you should split the Eights, thus Split takes precedence over Surrender, in contradiction to above.
However, the Surrender table for H17 says to surrender a pair of Eights versus dealer Ace,
which means you should not split them, and Surrender takes precedence.

It gets even more complicated when index numbers come into play.
If you should Surrender 14 vs. Ten for high counts, e.g. in REKO:

https://www.qfit.com/book/ModernBlackjackPage73.htm

should you also surrender (7,7) vs. Ten (presumably not)?
But for Single Deck you should surrender it already in Basic Strategy, says page 51.

This stuff has been confusing me for years :-)
Wong’s Professional Blackjack 1994 edition
Early surrender page 91
Late surrender page 93

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Originally Posted by Freightman
Wong’s Professional Blackjack 1994 edition
Early surrender page 91
Late surrender page 93

Thank you very much! I have that book, but forgot these pages. Seems that it is really necessary to learn an extra Surrender table row for 8,8 and 7,7 pairs.
(Actually not astonishing since with a pair of Eights, you have more options and thus more EVs to compare than with 10,6 or 9,7).

4. 1 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
I found those charts (and the way CVCX is set up when looking at the basic strategy) to be confusing as well. Wizard of Odds puts together a chart that should clear up all your confusion - at least for basic strategy.

https://wizardofodds.com/games/black...ategy/4-decks/

Edit: I've also memorized the different versions of basic strategy for the two types of shoe games (S17 and H17), but you may find it easier just to memorize the composite version. I believe Norm calls out in his book that implementing the S17 version over the H17 when playing a H17 game, you're losing like .005% edge. Which is only half a penny for every \$100 bet. Your call whether that's worth anything to you. (Check those numbers, I could be off by a little bit).

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Originally Posted by SplitEm
I found those charts (and the way CVCX is set up when looking at the basic strategy) to be confusing as well. Wizard of Odds puts together a chart that should clear up all your confusion - at least for basic strategy.

https://wizardofodds.com/games/black...ategy/4-decks/

Edit: I've also memorized the different versions of basic strategy for the two types of shoe games (S17 and H17), but you may find it easier just to memorize the composite version. I believe Norm calls out in his book that implementing the S17 version over the H17 when playing a H17 game, you're losing like .005% edge. Which is only half a penny for every \$100 bet. Your call whether that's worth anything to you. (Check those numbers, I could be off by a little bit).
Thanks for the wizofoz link! Yes, the 0.005% are correct, but Norm also states that for a counter the difference is more than that. I currently try to streamline my playing strategy for counting and am concerned about the Surrender stuff, because

1.) Most BS tables are based on S17 of the good old times, but nowadays H17 is much more prevalent, especially for low stakes, which I would have to play.

2.) When I have a large bet out and get 14 or 17 versus dealer Ace, I would prefer to surrender (risk-averse play). The (7,7) hand is quite rare, but (10,4) or (10,7) occurs much more often.

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Originally Posted by PinkChip
Seems that it is really necessary to learn an extra Surrender table row for 8,8 and 7,7 pairs.
Yes, absolutely.

Don

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Originally Posted by PinkChip
I have often trouble in consolidating Basic Strategy and Index Plays when it comes to Surrender versus Split.
It's much simpler than you make it out to be. Surrender is the first play you consider (other than insurance) and takes priority over everything else. So, if the TC >= to the surrender index, you surrender. Period. If not, you move on to the other decisions. The point is, there is a hierarchy, or strict order, in which you are to consider the decisions, and they are: insure, surrender, split, double, hit, or stand.

Don

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Originally Posted by DSchles
...The point is, there is a hierarchy, or strict order, in which you are to consider the decisions, and they are: insure, surrender, split, double, hit, or stand.

Don
"Brevity is the soul of wit." --William Shakespeare.

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