The so-called Spanish 21 Blackjack is a blackjack variation owned by Masque Publishing Inc., a publishing company from Colorado. It is highly popular in the USA and Europe and is often one of the best bets in casinos. Depending on the blackjack rules, it may be even better than standard blackjack. In Malaysia and Australia, Blackjack Spanish 21 is known as Pontoon, although with big rule differences.
In online variations, Spanish 21 is the only blackjack online variant which offers Super Bonus, although the chances of hitting it are pretty low, standing at 1:668 382 for 6-deck games and 1:549 188 for 8-deck games. However, the thought of having Lady Luck on your side is certainly exciting.
The Difference Between Blackjack and Spanish 21
There are a few differences between standard blackjack and the Spanish 21 variation. First, Spanish 21 allows the player to win with a score of 21 even if the dealer has the same. Spanish 21 also has a special bonus for a 7-card 21, which makes it all the more exciting.
Compared to standard blackjack, Spanish 21 uses a 52-card deck, but without the four tens. This leaves the deck with 12 high-value cards and due to their importance, the deck is in the house’s favor. The game is usually played with 6-8 decks of cards.
Doubling is allowed on any cards unlike in blackjack where you can double on the first 2 cards only. Some variations also offer re-doubling which is called double down rescue or forfeit. Even after doubling down, surrendering is still an option, which is another major difference between Spanish 21 and blackjack.
The ace is one of the most valuable cards in Spanish 21 as there are no tens. It appears more often than in traditional blackjack and is pretty favorable for players. The blackjack pays 3:2 even if the dealer has it as well.
Unlike traditional blackjack, Spanish 21 players shouldn’t fear suspension from the game as most casinos don’t consider Spanish 21 a game suitable for card counting. The small cards in this blackjack variation are far more valuable than in standard blackjack due to the bonuses for 5, 6 and 7-card blackjack. This makes Spanish 21 much less effective for card counting than blackjack. However, under the right circumstances, counting cards in Spanish 21 can be very profitable.
Match the Dealer
Match the Dealer is a pretty common side bet in Spanish 21. It allows the player to win if the rank of one or two of their two initial cards matches the up card of the dealer. If the cards match, they payout is bigger. Some casinos offer a second Match the Dealer bet where the player can win if one or both of their initial two cards match the dealer’s hole card.
Spanish 21 is certainly a great variant of blackjack which offers huge chances of winning and adds a nice twist to the game of blackjack. It may be harder to learn than standard blackjack, but once you master it, it is thrilling to play.