Spanish Blackjack

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How to Play Spanish 21 Blackjack – Rules Strategy & Tips

Spanish 21 is a variation of the standard game Blackjack with a few differences. This article concentrates on those differences and assumes you know the basic rules of Blackjack. This can be found in this separate article if you need a refresher.

Spanish 21 vs Blackjack

The main difference between Spanish 21 and most other forms of Blackjack is that it is played with a Spanish deck of cards that has 48 cards instead of the usual 52 – the deck is the same with all 10’s removed.

As a 10 is an important card in all forms of Blackjack, you would have thought that this gives a huge advantage to the House. You would be correct if that was the only change, however, a number of other features have been added in an attempt to offset this. Spanish 21 actually has a slightly better edge for the player than many forms of Blackjack.

Spanish 21 Rules

• Late Surrender is allowed, not just after your first 2 cards have been dealt

• You are able to Double after a Split

• You can re Split Aces

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• A hand with 21 always wins even if the Dealer also gets 21

• Blackjack always wins even if the Dealer also gets Blackjack

• You can Double at any time after as many cards as you wish

• You can normally Hit and Double after Splitting Aces – this can vary so is worth checking

• You can Surrender after Doubling, known as Double Down rescue. You lose your initial stake which is effectively getting back half your total outlay for the initial stake and the Double

Variation of Rules

Spanish 21 does have some variables which differ depending on where you play so be sure you check these before you start playing.

• Either 6 decks or 8 decks of cards are used

• The dealer can sometimes Hit or Stand on soft 17 – a hand that includes an Ace meaning the Dealer has 7 or 17

• Some casinos will allow you to Double a hand up to 3 times

• Some casinos will not pay the bonus amounts after you Split a hand

Above is an example of the layout for a Spanish 21 table. This particular version sees the Dealer stand on all 17’s, other than this you will see it is very similar to a standard Blackjack table.

Spanish 21 Odds & Payouts

Payouts and odds can be slightly different from regular Blackjack.

• A 5-card 21 pays 3 to 2, a 6-card 21 pays 2 to 1 and 7-card or higher 21 pays 3 to 1. This bonus doesn’t count if you have previously Doubled

• A hand consisting of 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of mixed suits pays 3 to 2, if suited it pays 2 to 1. Either of these hands with all Spades pays 3 to 1. Again, this doesn’t count if you have previously Doubled

• A suited 7-7-7 when the Dealer has a 7 face up pay $1,000 if your bet is between $5 and $24 and a whopping $5,000 Super Bonus if your bet was $25 or more. If you are playing live with other players, they will each receive a $50 ‘Envy Bonus’ if this comes in.

Spanish 21 Strategy

There are several variable rules for Spanish 21, which affect some of the decisions for an optimal strategy. The below Spanish 21 basic strategy is based on casinos that use 6 decks and the Dealer stands on a soft 17, which is the most common variation of the game.

Hard Hands – No Ace

Dealers Card
Your hand 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
4 to 8 H H H H H H H H H H
9 H H H H D4 H H H H H
10 D5 D5 D D D D4 D3 H H H
11 D4 D5 D5 D5 D5 D4 D4 D4 D3 D3
12 H H H H H H H H H H
13 H H H H H H H H H H
14 H H S4 S5 S4 H H H H H
15 S4 S5 S5 S6 S6 H H H H H
16 S5 S6 S6 S S H H H H H
17 S S S S S S S6 S6 S6 SR
18+ S S S S S S S S S S

H = Hit D = Double D2 = Double except Hit with x or more cards
SR = Surrender S = Stand S2 = Stand except Hit with x or more cards

Due to the bonus if you get 21 with 4 or more cards, in some instances it is best to Hit and go for these, in the above chart the number next to an action denotes the minimum number of cards you need in order to Hit as opposed to Stand or Double

Soft Hands – With an Ace

Dealers Card
Your hand 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
12-15 H H H H H H H H H H
16 H H H H D4 H H H H H
17 H H D3 D4 D5 H H H H H
18 S4 S4 D4 D5 D5 S6 S4 H H H
19-21 S S S S S S S S S S

H = Hit D = Double D2 = Double except Hit with x or more cards
S = Stand S2 = Stand except Hit with x or more cards

Due to the bonus if you get 21 with 4 or more cards, in some instances it is best to Hit and go for these, in the above chart the number next to an action denotes the minimum number of cards you need in order to Hit as opposed to Stand or Double.

Dealers Card
Your hand 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
2,2 SP SP SP SP SP SP SP H H H
3,3 SP SP SP SP SP SP SP H H H
6,6 H H SP SP SP H H H H H
7,7 SP SP SP SP SP SP* H H H H
8,8 SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP
9,9 S SP SP SP SP S SP SP S S
A,A SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP

H = Hit D = Double
S = Stand SP = Split SP* = Split except for Suited 7’s in which case Hit

Double Down Surrender when you have 12-16 Vs 8-A, 17 Vs A

Never Split 4’s, 5’s or 10’s

Spanish 21 Tips

There are many extra things to remember in Spanish 21 compared to standard Blackjack, remember the extra bonus payouts for getting 21 with 4 or more cards and getting 7-7-7 or 7-8-9. These don’t count if you were to Double though, so in situations where you feel you have a chance to hit these, ensure you follow the table above for the optimal chance of winning.

Don’t be afraid to Surrender – It is better to admit defeat and get some of your bet back in certain circumstances than continuing and losing it all when the odds are against you. Spanish 21 gives you the chance to Surrender at any time, ensure you make the most of it to stay ahead of the game.

Play for fun first if you want to learn the game properly – This is especially important when playing Spanish 21 as there are different features and rules than in standard Blackjack. We, therefore, recommend you play with free chips until you get the hang of this version when you have a better chance of finishing up.

Always play only with money you can afford to lose – this is the same for all casino games which should be fun – if you don’t enjoy it or are gambling with money you cannot afford to lose your mindset will not help the situation giving you a bigger chance of losing.

Play Spanish Blackjack for Fun

Spanish Blackjack

One of the most popular Blackjack variants, Spanish 21, has found its way to the online market, becoming a part of Microgaming’s regular and Gold series blackjack editions. Played with eight decks without 10 denomination cards, the game offers an additional paytable with higher potential payouts on specific hand combinations.

Game Rules and Features

Spanish blackjack employs the hole card dealing rule, where the dealer can peek for blackjack after getting a face card or an Ace. In this version dealer hits on soft 17 and the player can split both the same denomination and equal value cards and play the double down move on regular hand or after a split. Players are granted with the Late Surrender option (unless the dealer has a blackjack hand) as well as with a Double Down Rescue move, which allows you to forfeit the round even after doubling the bet.

Bonus payouts come with certain combinations of same and mixed suits, such as five, six and seven cards with 21 totals or 6-7-8 and triple 7 hand combos.

Payouts & RTP

Regular paytable brings 1:1, 2:1 and 3:2 odds for standard, insurance and blackjack win. Bonus payout odds can be extremely high (50:1!) for triple 7 in the same suit with a same denomination upcard. For five cards with total 21, the player gets 3:2 payout; the same goes for mixed suit 6-7-8 or 7-7-7. Seven cards amounting to 21, triple 7 and 6-7-8 of spades are paid according to 3:1 ratio. With six 21 total cards and same suit 6-7-8 or triple 7, the player gets 2:1 bet turnover. Bets range from $1 to $1,000, with 99.51% return to player.

There are certain blackjack combinations that will always follow the same pattern of rules. For example, most players will stand on hard 18 hands, hit on 12 through 14 soft totals, split Aces and double on hard 11 without any exception. Every move will naturally be measured against the dealer’s upcard. Sometimes you will want to take the risk and request an extra card on a slightly higher hand if it can lead to the dealer’s bust.

Microgaming Spanish Blackjack Summary

When players are concerned, Microgaming version of Spanish Blackjack is definitely one of the releases that incorporates some of the most beneficial set of rules – late surrender, re-double and best of all, tied 21 totals and Blackjack hands in favour of the player! For a upgraded version of the game, make sure to also check out the Gold Version of Spanish Blackjack. The gold version offers better graphics and sound. The overall game play has been enhanced in many ways.

Spanish 21 Card Game

How to Play Spanish 21

Spanish 21 is a fast-paced variation of blackjack that has become increasingly popular. The game is played on a standard blackjack table. The main difference between Spanish 21 compared to blackjack is the removal of all 10’s in the decks. Jacks, Queens, and Kings remain, but all natural 10’s are removed from every deck used at the table.

If you know much about blackjack you’re probably thinking that Spanish 21 holds a very high casino advantage. By removing all of the 10’s, Spanish 21 gains an increase in house advantage by about 25%. However, to compensate for removing the 10’s and the higher house advantage, there are very lucrative bonuses and additional rules, compared to blackjack, which bring the house advantage back down.

One of the most important rules in Spanish 21, that highly differs from blackjack, is the rule that a player’s 21 always beats a dealer’s 21. The additional rules and bonuses are listed below.

Bonus 21

When your cards equal 21 in Spanish 21, you might qualify for a Bonus 21. The chart below explains each type of bonus you can receive for achieving a total of 21.

Cards Suit Payout
5 Cards 21 3:2
6 Cards 21 2:1
7 or More Cards 21 3:1
6-7-8 Mixed Suit 3:2
6-7-8 Same Suit 2:1
6-7-8 Spades Only 3:1
7-7-7 Mixed Suit 3:2
7-7-7 Same Suit 2:1
7-7-7 Spades Only 3:1

Super Bonus

In Spanish 21, a player can receive the Super Bonus when they are holding suited 7-7-7 and the dealer draws a 7 in any suit. Bets from $5 to $24 pay a Super Bonus of $1000 and bets of $25 or more pay a Super Bonus of $5000. If a Super Bonus occurs, an Envy Bonus of $50 is paid to every other active player at the table. Both splitting and doubling void the Super Bonus.

Some casinos have slightly different rules for the Super Bonus so make sure to check the rules before playing.

Pair Splitting

When playing Spanish 21 you have the option of splitting any cards of equal value, including aces, to create a maximum of four hands. You have the option of hitting and doubling on any split hand. The Bonus 21 is paid out on split hands, but split hands void the Super Bonus.

Late Surrender

Spanish 21 offers a rule called late surrenders. Late surrenders is another additional rule that increases the odds of the player. If a player doesn’t like the first two cards that they are dealt, they have the option of surrendering and forfeiting half of their original bet, which completely removes them from the hand. However, surrendering is never allowed on a dealer’s blackjack.

Doubling Down

Players are allowed to double down once on any two or more cards, with any total, even after splitting. When a player chooses to double down, he can place any bet up to a maximum of his original bet. Bonus 21 payouts are voided on a hand that is doubled down.

Double Down Rescue

There is an additional rule in Spanish 21 concerning doubling down called double down rescue. With the double down rescue rule, if a player is not satisfied with his non-busted double down hand, he is allowed to rescue the doubled portion of his bet. If a player chooses to rescue their doubled down bet, he forfeits his original wager and is removed from the hand.

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