I personally would never surrender.
Then you clearly don't understand the math involved. Not using surrender when appropriate is like asking the house to take ALL of your bet on hands that aren't likely to win instead of keeping half of it for yourself.
Frankly, I'm glad they don't offer surrender where I work because listening to players like yourself that don't understand it go on about how awful it is just isn't something I'd like to have to listen to.
When you make statements like:
I may f**** another player over but either way I always look out for the mighty #1
It illustrates pretty clearly that you don't understand the underlying mathematics of the game. From this statement it seems you believe your actions truly effect the other players. If you do, in fact, believe this I would suggest you stop throwing money away on a game that you don't really understand.
Or, you can continue to play the role of the ploppie and make the game profitably for players like Ibeatyouraces. Whatever, it's your time and money.
I use Surrender, but I'll say this: When I learned yesterday late Surrender's only worth + 0.08% against the House Edge (btw, thanks for that link, Mango), I was surprised. When I learned Surrender vs. A is worth less than + 0.01% of that + 0.08%, I was really, really surprised.
It sounds like you play single deck, a game I don't know, but in multi-deck (6/8), the math does sometimes support late Surrender:
Player's Hand: 9,7 vs. 10. Expected Losses per $1 bet:
1. Surrender - .500
2. Hit - .537
3. Stand - .538
So, in the long run, you can save yourself 4 cents per dollar by using Surrender. It's not a huge deal, but as my great aunt Julie always says, every little bit helps.
Here's a great chart of Hit vs Stand vs Double for all situations: http://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/appendix/9/8ds17r4/
Surrendering is donating. That's an auto donate. The casino will get to know that you are a player that they can count on getting 1/2 of the $$$ immediately therefore half of the battel is won for the casino righ there.
There should be no emotion in the decision. It is strictly mathematics. If both hit and stand have expected values worse than -50%, then surrender has the highest EV and should be the option you choose.
If surrender is not permitted, then you have to choose the option with the highest EV. If you have no other information, hitting is a slightly better EV so you choose that option. Give a single or double deck game, the presence of low value cards on the table changes the calculation so that you should stand. With a lot of decks, you don't have enough information unless you are counting.
This is also where the many variables comes into play as explained by others writers here. One more way to look at this stance is from multi hands player. If he has good hands on the other boxes, he may Stay and not hit, leave the results of either a low card or high to the dealer. It's calculated luck as he already has some other good hands for hedging.
I'm in agreement with the "all decisions are fluid with respect to additional knowledge of deck composition"... heck all decisions are fluid with regard to the Tray Lizard and highly influenced by the fluid she brings.
The trouble is that rules have to be applied and often players have difficulty remembering the rules even the players are sober and the night is younger than the bosses new wife.
Now surrender, and we are talking late surrender in this case. Early surrender is very rare now a days, all but gone. I will try to put into perspective just how valuable late surrender is to a card counter. In the last decade there have been two 'big' rule changes that the casino industry has implemented to increase their advantage over the player. The first is blackjack pays 6-5, which increases their advantage by 1.3 percent and almost makes the game unbeatable by counting methods. This is such a monumental change that I don't really consider it a change to blackjack. The rule changes the game completely, and I don't even consider this new game still blackjack. It's like changing baseball to where you are out after only 1 strike and still calling it baseball.
Now the second rule change is where the dealer hits soft 17. This rule which is now fairly widespread, increased the house advantage by .21% Now that doesn't seem like a whole lot. But in a standard 6 deck, dealer stand on soft 17 game, the house edge is about .43%. So you change to dealer hit soft 17 and the house edge goes to .64%. That is an increase of almost 50% advantage for the house. That is huge, but subtle enough that it didn't immediately turn off the masses.
Now late surrender. Played properly late surrender adds only .08% to the basic strategy player is who flat betting the same amount each hand. But it is worth much more to a card counter. Using proper strategy change plays (index plays) he surrenders even more hands and many of these surrender opportunities come when the count is in his favor and he has larger bets out. This increases the true advantage of late surrender to just about .20% for a card counter, with the exact percent being dependent on his spread and bet amounts. But let's take that .20 average. That almost completely offsets the dealer hit soft 17 rule that the casinos have implemented in the last decade. So, proper surrender play almost wipes out one of the houses big advanatge rules. It is huge for a card counter and easily can be the determining factor that changes a mediocre game into a much stronger opportunity.
For instances where surrender is not available, the change in EV using a composition-based decision is so small that it's not even worth the mental effort to use a complex set of rules and conditions. .002 EV change on a single hand, multiplied by the frequency at which that hand comes up (right around 1%, I think), is 0.00002. that's inconsequential in anyone's book.
Ok, first of all that rule about standing on 3 card 16 vs 10 and hitting on 2 card 16 vs 10 is a short cut. It is not the best approach. The best and most efficient approach is to use all information available, which is to say the count from all available seen cards both in this round and previous rounds.
Heh, true. I've learned an awful lot since I wrote that post.
Played properly late surrender adds only .08% to the basic strategy player is who flat betting the same amount each hand. But it is worth much more to a card counter. Using proper strategy change plays (index plays) he surrenders even more hands and many of these surrender opportunities come when the count is in his favor and he has larger bets out. This increases the true advantage of late surrender to just about .20% for a card counter, with the exact percent being dependent on his spread and bet amounts.
An additional benefit of proper surrender play for a card counter is not only the addition EV that he earns by playing the hand in question properly, but in most cases surrender saves a card or two [often leading to an extra hand at an advantage count before shuffling].
Thanks, those are both excellent points that I need to think some more about.