If you can find Spanish 21 games at your casino, then it is worth giving them a try. The game is a close cousin of blackjack and offers increased payouts but with a novel twist – all the 10 cards are removed from the deck.
This article will look at the rules of Spanish 21, the odds, and your best strategy.
The fact all 10s are removed (the picture cards remain) means you are less likely to hit blackjack. However, other changes are in the player’s interest. Firstly, you can surrender in Spanish 21; effectively, you give up your hand, like folding in poker. When you do, you get half your bet back. While it’s obvious you cannot win following this move, the value derived from getting half your wager back is often better than keeping going spanish 21 and losing the whole lot.
However, be aware that in Spanish 21, only “late” surrender is allowed, which means you can only do so once the dealer has checked to see if he has a blackjack.
Another bonus of Spanish 21 is that you’re allowed to double down after splitting. You split and play on in most blackjack games, but the Spanish 21 version lets you double down – perfect if you split two aces. The aces advantage doesn’t end there – if you split aces and land another ace, you can re-split, getting even more money on the table in a favorable position. Setting aside the fact that the tens have been removed from the deck, the large number of picture cards still leaves you with many options to make 21.
The benefits of Spanish 21 keep coming. In blackjack, when you and the dealer make 21, you must push. But in Spanish 21, a player getting 21 wins automatically. The same applies if both player and dealer get blackjack – the player wins.
Another big bonus is the ability to double down after any number of cards dealt in Spanish 21. You can only double down after your first two cards in blackjack – for example, when you are dealt 8 and 3 to make 11. In Spanish 21, you spanish 21 might have 2 and a 6, take another card which is a 3, making 11 – now you can still double down. This is a big advantage, especially if the dealer is showing a weak upcard.