Spanish 21 Blackjack

Spanish 21 Blackjack image

If you enjoy blackjack, then why not play Spanish 21, a variation of the classic casino game with even more player advantages. From doubling down after splits to late surrenders, Spanish 21 has exciting rule variations to keep the game entertaining and lucrative. Whether you’re new to the game or looking for player tips, we’ve got all the information to get you started right here.

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 an online blackjack table with a custom layout.

Similar to blackjack, in Spanish 21 must hit on 16 and stand on 17. Some versions of Spanish 21 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, Spanish 21 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, in Spanish 21, 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, Spanish 21 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 mean 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

  1. Hit more often than in blackjack – Since Spanish 21 has fewer than 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 in Spanish 21.
  1. Practice makes perfect– Because Spanish 21 has many rules and variations; we suggest practising 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 Spanish 21 games for real money.
  1. Know your limits – At, we encourage our players to practise responsible gaming and never bet more than they 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Review Spanish 21 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 Spanish 21 a fun variation of the classic casino favorite, blackjack. Spanish 21 casino games offer plenty of 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.