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When Surrender Doesn’t Mean Giving Up: The Roulette Rule Every Player Should Know

June 7, 2024

When playing roulette, the dreaded green zero pocket means that players have hit a losing spin. 

Or does it?

Roulette has many variations, which means that some casinos play by different rules. The surrender rule isn’t offered by all online casinos, but it offers a way to shrink the house edge. 

Here’s the lowdown on the surrender rule and how every player can use it. 

Why the Surrender Rule is Important

There are many different types of bet you can place on roulette, but if the ball ever ends up in the green 0 or 00 pockets, it means that the casino has won. 

This is what creates the house edge in roulette, and it’s why the American roulette wheel is often seen as unfavourable. 

The European roulette wheel only has a single green 0 pocket while the American wheel has both a 0 and a 00. This means there are more chances for a player to lose on the American wheel, and increases the overall house edge to 5.26%.

The surrender rule takes this house advantage and slashes the odds for the casino, instantly making the wheel more attractive for players. 

What is the Surrender Rule?

The surrender rule only applies to the American roulette wheel and comes into effect if the spin finishes on either of the green 0 or 00 pockets. 

Normally, any spin landing on a zero pocket would be an automatic casino win. This means any bet would be lost, with the casino collecting the stake. 

When the surrender rule is in play, any spin which lands on either of the green zero pockets isn’t a complete loss. Players will only lose 50% of their stake, rather than 100%. 

The 50% which is given back to the player can either be left on the board to bet again, or it can be collected and kept. 

This change may seem relatively small but it cuts the house edge in half. Any casino operating with the surrender rule on American roulette only has a house edge of 2.63%.

The standard house edge for European roulette is 2.70%, so the presence of the surrender rule means that for the first time, the odds on American roulette are better for players. 

Limitations on the Surrender Rule

The surrender rule is applied automatically to the roulette wheel, so players don’t need to claim it or ask for it specifically. By betting at a casino that offers the surrender rule, players will enjoy the lower house edge from the start. 

However, not all bets enjoy the lower house edge that is offered by the surrender rule. It only comes into effect when an even-money outside bet is placed. 

In other words, if you adopt a higher-risk strategy that involves placing an inside bet, the surrender rule will not apply. This means you will be subject to the higher house edge of 5.26%, which is standard for most types of American roulette. 

If the application of the surrender rule sounds familiar, that’s because it’s virtually identical to the Le Partage rule. The only real difference is that Le Partage applies to French roulette, and the surrender rule is exclusively used in American roulette. 

Should Players Search for the Surrender Rule?

The American roulette wheel has many differences from the European wheel, which may be appealing, but the higher house edge can be a barrier to winning. An online casino offering the surrender rule means players can enjoy an outside, even-money bet on the American roulette wheel while simultaneously cutting the house edge. That’s the very definition of snatching a victory from the point of surrender, so what’s not to love?!