The Spanish variation of Blackjack, known as Spanish 21 or simply Spanish Blackjack, is a popular variation of the game with rules that favor the player
This entertaining variation of blackjack offers the opportunity to get massive payouts on hands that total 21, do things like Hitting or Doubling after splitting Aces plus a very unique option called “Double-Down Rescue”.
Understanding the Rules of Spanish 21
The most remarkable characteristic of Spanish 21 is that it’s played using a Spanish deck, which is a standard deck of 52 cards where all 10-value cards have been removed (10′s, Jacks, Queens and Kings). So effectively youre playing with decks of 48 cards, not 52.
The obvious consequence of not having any 10-value cards in the decks is that players and the dealer cannot draw a natural 21, which clearly favors the house.
So, how is Spanish 21 attractive for players then? Well, to make up for this, casinos have also introduced a series of rule variations that will balance the odds. One good example of this is that players are much more likely to create a hand of 21 using 5,6 or 7 cards which features a payout as high as 50:1.
So the upside of not having 10 value cards is that the frequency of “Bust” hands is much lower and the likelihood of creating 21 hands using multiple cards is much higher.
Spanish Blackjack is usually played using either 6 or 8 decks of cards but this can vary depending on the casino. Whats important to highlight is that as the number of decks decreases, the players edge increases.
In Spanish 21, players are allowed to Split and re-Split hands, even after splitting Aces. It is also possible to Hit/Double-Down after splitting including after splitting Aces and Doubling Down is not restricted to any specific hand values.
In Spanish 21 you can also Surrender after Doubling Down. This Late Surrender option is known as “Double-Down Rescue” and it entitles players to keep the amount of their original stake.
One important rule that applies to Spanish Blackjack is that the dealer must Hit on soft 17′s. This is important because the effect of this is that the house’s edge is increased by 0.22% when this rule applies.
In this game, the players 21 will win against a dealers 21 but theres a different payout for this hand depending on how many cards make up this 21 hand.
When you create a hand that is 21 in value using 5 cards, the payout is 3:2 but if players form a 21 hand with 6 cards the payout is 2:1. Lastly, a 21-hand using 7+ cards offers a payout of 3:2.
Another way to get a return on your bet of 3:2 is by forming a 21-hand using a six,seven and eight or using 3 7s of different suits. When you this hand is built using cards of the same suit, it will payout at 2:1 and if you can build it using only Spades it will return your bet at 3:1.
Lastly, a suited hand of triple 7′s when the dealer’s up card is also a 7 will return your bet at a massive 50:1.
In conclusion, Spanish 21 is a unique and fun version of blackjack that features exceptional rules and payouts. Something that makes this game stand out from the rest is that unlike other games that require players to place an additional side bet to qualify for high payouts based, in Spanish Blackjack these payouts are available as part of your standard blackjack stake.