Free Spanish 21 Blackjack

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Spanish 21, played with a shoe of 8 Spanish card decks, is basically standard blackjack with one major twist: Spanish decks do not contain 10s, skewing the deal further against the player. At first glance, this seems like it wouldn’t be worth playing due to the decreased odds, but Spanish 21 draws players in by offering bonuses for other combinations.

Without further ado, here is our in-depth play guide for Spanish 21, a popular blackjack variation:

First, a quick rundown of the rules of the game, which are fairly standard. Some highlights:

  • The dealer must hit until they reach a soft 17
  • Player 21 beats dealer 21
  • Very few limits on splits and double downs
  • The “late surrender” is allowed (if the dealer doesn’t have blackjack players can relinquish their bets to receive 50% back
  • 5 Hands can be played at one time

The objective, like most blackjack games is to reach 21 or have a higher card combination than the dealer without exceeding 21.


What are the Bonus Rules?

This is where Spanish 21 makes up for the seeming disadvantage to players. With the different bonus rules, the game ends up being one of the better bets compared to blackjack and its many other variations. Here is a rundown of the bonus combinations (which are not applicable after doubling down):

  • If a player achieves a hand of 21 with 5 cards, it pays out 3 to 2
  • If the player achieves a hand of 21 with 6 cards, it pays out 2 to 1
  • A 7 or more card 21 pays out 3 to 1
  • 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of mixed suit pays out 3 to 2
  • Same suit 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 pays out 2 to 1
  • 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of spades pays out 3-1
  • Same suit 7-7-7 when the dealer has 7 showing pays out a massive 50 to 1

Because of the game’s lack of 10s, it changes the dynamics of logic that we have come to know for many different blackjack games and their variations. Hitting on a 15, for example, comes with a slightly lower risk. On the other side of the coin, it is harder to hit a blackjack for players and the dealer.


Spanish 21 Implications on Strategy

Since one of the highest value cards is removed from Spanish 21 completely, players are forced to rethink decisions that come to be instinctive in standard blackjack. Lower cards are more common, bringing the unlimited double down rules into play.

There can also be three splits per hand (many blackjack games cap splits after one) so there is an increased potential for big wins here, as well as in all the bonus combinations.


The Bottom Line: Spanish 21

Spanish 21 does throw a curve ball when compared to standard blackjack mechanics, and thus does provide a change in pace to true blackjack enthusiasts looking for a new challenge

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