No one likes to admit defeat. Especially when money is involved. This is probably why many blackjack player for-go the option to surrender when the house rules allow for it.
But what a good blackjack player has to keep in mind is the overall picture, not just one round. What surrender does is let you out of a hand that you are more than likely going to lose, for half the cost.
When a player decides to surrender, he makes the decision when his turn to play comes. He can either surrender or play out his hand. If surrender is chosen, he loses half of his wager and surrenders his cards—the round is over for him.
So it is like folding in poker except you do not lose all of your money.
And even though players do not lose all of their money when they surrender they are still hesitant to do so. It simply comes down to not wanting to admit defeat.
The key to making a successful surrender is when you chose to do so, and there are only four instances in good blackjack strategy when you should surrender: when you have a hard 16 and the dealer is showing a 9, 10 or Ace; and when you have a hard 15 when the dealer is showing a 10.
Those are hands that you are most likely going to lose. In regards to blackjack strategy, which is used to minimize your losses to help increase your overall odds, your best odds for those hands is to surrender. Surrendering and losing only half of your wager is more advantageous in both the short and long run than not surrendering and losing all of your wager.
So while it might feel a bit like a defeat in that round, know that you are coming out better for surrendering.
So ask yourself which you would rather lose: half of your wager or all of it?