Spanish 21 is a Blackjack variant played with a Spanish card deck which does not includes tens. This fast-paced Blackjack game is popular as Pontoon in Malaysia and Australia. Spanish 21, like every other variant, is played with the basic blackjack objective of beating the dealer’s hand by creating a hand that totals 21 or closer to 21.
Rules for Spanish 21
Although, the objective is the same Spanish 21 differs in many ways when compared to the classic Blackjack. Most of the difference lies in the game rules which include the card deck, as well as situations like Hit, Stand, Surrender, Double Down, Insurance and more.
- Spanish 21 allows players to double down after split, player can surrender after taking double down, player is also allowed to re-split Aces as well as hit and double even after splitting two aces.
- A major difference between Blackjack and Spanish 21 is the fact that in the latter, player’s 21 can beat the dealer’s 21.
- The player’s blackjack is paid 3:2, irrespective of the dealer’s Blackjack.
- Splitting is allowed up to four hands, including aces.
- Dealer is allowed to choose between Hit or Stand on a soft hand of 17.
Fact that this Blackjack game is played with around 6 to 8 Spanish decks, which includes 48 cards per deck due to the exclusion of cards of tens from each deck, also means that house edge is higher and odds are in the favor of the dealer’s side. To makeup for the absence of tens and higher house edge, Spanish 21 offers more favorable rules to players including better bonuses.
In blackjack a hand totaling 21 with five cards receives a 3:2 payout, a hand totaling 21 with 6 cards gets a payout of 2:1 and a hand that totals 21 with 7 or more cards means a payout of 3:1.
Similarly, a hand of 21 with a card combination of 6-7-8 in mixed suit, spades and same suit receives a payout of 3:2, 3:1 and 2:1, respectively. But theses bonuses are limited to hands that have not been doubled down or split.
In Spanish 21 Blackjack, if a player gets a suited hand combination with 7-7-7 when the dealer draws a 7 is any suit, the player gets a Super Bonus worth $1000 on a bet below $25 and a Super Bonus worth $5000 on a bet of $25 and above.
Spanish 21 and Card Counting
Card counting is quite effective in this blackjack variant, even with the absence of ten cards. In Spanish 21, occurrence of card that favor a player, such as Aces, is higher. For example, aces will occur in proportion of 1/12 rather than 1/13.