Surrender is an incredible play for blackjack players. It’s better than folding in poker. When you fold in poker you lose all of your wager. But for blackjack players who surrender, they can get out of a round that doesn’t look like it’s going to have a good outcome and only lose half of their wager. And that is why surrender is one of the most awesome plays that a blackjack player can make.
But late surrender is better than early surrender. The difference is that early surrender only allows you to exit before the dealer checks his hole card to see if he has blackjack.
In late surrender a player can still surrender after the dealer has check for blackjack; and even if the dealer does have blackjack, you can still leave the round only leaving half of your wager behind.
This comes in handy when you have a stiff hand like a hard 16 and the dealer has a 10 showing. So he checks and doesn’t have blackjack, but he still has that 10 showing. If you check your basic strategy chart you will see that when you have a hard 16 and the dealer has a 10 showing that the best recommended play is to surrender.
So surrender. You exit the round with only half of your wager lost rather than the more likely outcome of all your wager lost to the house.
So what does late surrender do to the house edge since it’s so player friendly?
Having the ability to exit a round of blackjack in which you know you’ve got a better chance of losing than winning will lower the house edge by 0.08%.
But for late surrender to be thoroughly effective you need to play it according to basic strategy. This means only surrendering when it advises you to do so and not to use it as an easy-out when you do not like the cards you have been dealt. Using late surrender as an easy-out can actually reverse the impact on the house edge because you’ll be losing more money over time rather than winning more.
So take advantage of late surrender when you find yourself at a blackjack table that allows for it. But only use it when basic strategy advises you to.