Pros and cons
- The use of 48 decks makes the game wild and unpredictable
- Late surrender options helps players when dealer has 21
- Unlike traditional Blackjack, the player wins with 21, even if the deal has 21 as well
- Changes from traditional Blackjack take time to master
The Spanish 21 Blackjack encourages players to draw more cards than in the traditional version of the game, upping the action as the cards go flying over and over again.
Spanish 21 for Canadians
To all of our players joining us from Canada, you can find Spanish 21 online games available at popular Canadian casinos. Plenty of Canadian online casinos offer sleek Spanish 21 tables with high payouts. You can find this high quality online game at casinos like Royal Vegas Casino and 7Sultans Online Casino, just to name a few.
Spanish 21 Rules
Based on the rules of blackjack, Spanish 21 was first introduced to Nevada casinos in 1995. The game features 48 card decks with six or eight decks dealt from a shoe, or continuous shuffling machine. Spanish 21 is played on a online blackjack table with a custom layout.
Similar to blackjack, the game must hit on 16 and stand on 17. Some versions of this game require the dealer to either hit or stand on a soft 17. Any hand that contains an ace counted as an 11 is a soft hand. Therefore, an ace-6 hand and an ace-3-3 hand are both soft 17 hands. The “soft 17 rule” requires the dealer to hit on soft 17. Other versions require the dealer to stand on a soft 17. Both versions have different odds of winnings, which we will go over later. First let’s go over the basics of how to play Spanish 21:
Step 1: Dealing the First Hand
Like in a game of blackjack, this game begins when the dealer gives himself a card and gives each player two cards each, facing up or down depending on the game.
Step 2: 21, Stand, or Hit
Now the player must determine the value of the hand and the dealer’s hand. A hand that equals 21 with an ace and a 10, wins blackjack. If the dealer has 21, the player loses. If neither hand equals 21, players have the following choices:
Stand/Hold: The person whose hand equals or reaches closest to 21 wins. So if you have a hand very close to 21, such as 19 or 20, you have a high chance of beating the dealer. In this situation, you can choose to hold or stand by not receiving any more cards.
Hit: This means the player receives an additional card for another chance of reaching 21. You may hit as many times as you wish, but remember that any hand exceeding 21 loses.
Winning Spanish 21
The person between the dealer and the player who reaches the closest or equals 21 wins the game. If the hand exceeds 21, this is a bust, and the person loses. Unlike in blackjack, when the dealer and player both reach 21, the player wins.
Spanish 21 Pays:
- Five card 21 pays 3 to 2
- Six card 21 pays 2 to 1
- Seven card or more 21 pays 3 to 1
- 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of mixed suits pays 3 to 2
- 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of the same suits pays 2 to 1
- 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of spades pays 3 to 1
- Suited 7-7-7 when the dealer has a seven face up pays $1000 for bets of $5-$24 and $5000 for bets of $25 or over. All other players also receive a $50 “envy bonus.”
Unlike blackjack, the game has additional rules in the player’s favor:
- Late surrender – The dealer checks for a natural (21 on the first two cards). If he doesn’t have it, then you may surrender and get half their bet back in exchange for relinquishing the right to play on.
- Double down after split – Doubling down after splits means if you are dealt a pair, you can split them. Then you have a chance to play an additional wager equal to the original on the second hand.
- The player can double on any amount of cards.
- Redoubling – Some casinos allow players to “redouble” up to three times.
- The player can hit and double down after splitting aces
- Double down rescue – The player can surrender after doubling. In this case, the player forfeits an amount equal to his original bet.
- Insurance – When a dealer has an Ace, they may offer insurance to players. A player can purchase insurance for the amount of half of their original bet.
Spanish 21 Odds
As we mentioned earlier, you have different variations of Spanish 21 in which the dealer can hit on a soft 17 or stand on a soft 17. Both of these variations have a different house edge, the advantage that the casino has over the player. The house edge also changes depending on whether the shoe includes 6 or 8 card decks.
Hit on 17 with 6 decks: 078% house edge
Hit on 17 with 8 decks: 080% house edge
Stand on 17 with 6 decks: 037% house edge
Stand on 17 with 8 decks: 038% house edge
Hit on 17 with redoubling with 6 decks: 0.42% house edge
Hit on 17 with redoubling with 8 decks: 0.45% house edge
You can compare the house edge of Spanish 21 to other games at the casino. Below, you can review the house edge for some of the most popular casino games such as:
- Baccarat:1.24% house edge
- Slot machines: 2-15% house edge
- Blackjack: 0.28% house edge
Top 5 Spanish 21 Strategy Tips
- Hit more often than in blackjack – Since the game has fewer 10 value cards, there is a lower risk of busting in a lot of hands compared to blackjack. Therefore, you have a better chance of winning by drawing another card here.
- Practice makes perfect– Because Spanish 21 has many rules and variations; we suggest practicing on demo games before you play with real money. Many online casinos offer free Spanish 21 games so you can try the game risk-free. When you feel more comfortable with the game, you will win more when you play it for real money.
- Know your limits – At Online-casinos-canada.ca, we encourage our players to practice responsible gaming and never bet more than you can afford. When you play Spanish 21 online, you can set betting limits with the gambling site. In this way, the casino will cut you off once you reach betting limits, keeping gambling profitable and fun.
- Know the odds – Different casinos and versions of Spanish 21 have better odds. Learning the house edge and chances of winning will help you make better bets and win more.
- Review strategy charts – You can find plenty of Spanish 21 strategy online charts that give specific instructions on what move to make according to the exact cards you have been dealt. These guidelines will help you make the best decision and win more money.
So what are you waiting for? Find out for yourself what makes this game a fun variation of the classic casino favorite, blackjack. Spanish 21 casino games offer plenty advantages to players with a relatively low house edge. What’s even better is that you can find plenty of exciting variations available on your computer or mobile device at online casinos in Canada. Try your luck and play Spanish 21 games online.