OBJECTIVE OF SPANISH 21 : The final goal of Spanish 21 to create a hand as close to 21 as possible.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1 to 7 players
MATERIALS: A “Spanish” deck of 48 cards – with no 10s, casino chips or cash, and a blackjack table with a custom layout.
TYPE OF GAME: Card Draw Game
OVERVIEW OF SPANISH 21
The game is a variation of common blackjack and is also referred to as Pontoon in Australia and Malaysia. It’s played by up to 7 players on a custom blackjack table. The goal is to form a card hand that is closest to 21.
Bets are accepted at the beginning of the game and as rounds proceed, there will be no further increase or decrease in bet values. Any two-cards that score 21 will be considered a win over the dealer’s hand and be paid 3-2. The game can be played indefinitely, as long as there is an adequate bankroll.
The round starts with the croupier accepting bets from all players at the table. Once complete, all players will be dealt 2 cards from a shoe of 6-8 Spanish decks. Players will be allowed to assess their cards and choose to either hit, stand, split, or double, or surrender.
The dealer then compares the cards and pays out wagers as prescribed in the game’s rules.
GENERAL RULES OF PLAY
- Player’s 21 trumps dealer’s 21, always.
- A dealer can choose to hit or stand on a soft 17, unlike blackjack where they must hit.
- Redoubling can be allowed up to 3 times.
- A player can double at any number of cards.
- A player may surrender after doubling down to receive half of his wager.
- You can still surrender after the dealer checks for blackjack in the first round.
- The shoe will contain no 10s.
- Dealers must hit on 16.
- Doubling after splitting is allowed.
- Players can draw multiple cards after splitting Aces
- There are bonus payouts for selected hands.
HIT, STAND, SPLIT
In regards to which moves to make, the rules are similar to classic blackjack. Players are allowed to hit, stand or split at any point in the game, after the dealer has received your bets and dealt the initial hand.
LATE SURRENDER RULE
A late surrender means that a player is allowed to surrender their hand after the dealer looks for a blackjack. This is a great opportunity for players to cut losses. If you can manage to calculate the odds between your hand and the dealers, you’ll still be able to salvage at least half of your wager.
You can choose to split aces at any point in the game. Also, you’re allowed to double, re-double or re-split after your initial split. Late surrender also applies here, so if things go wrong, you’ll be able to get half your bet back.
MATCH THE DEALER RULE (SIDE BET)
Aside from rule variation from the original blackjack game guidelines, Spanish 21 also surprises players with bonus games and additional side bets within the gameplay. Match the Dealer is one such side bet. This bet is paid out whenever any of the initial cards match that of the cards that the dealer has face-up. However, as a rule, seasoned punters avoid this wager in order to secure their chances of winning.
SUPER BONUS RULE
The Super Bonus is another side bet, exclusive to Spanish 21. It is when a Player holds suited 7-7-7 while the dealer draws a 7 of any suit. and the Dealer. Depending on the shoe, either 6 or 8, the probability of scoring this bonus is about 1 in 668,382 and 1 in 549, 188, respectively.
The strategies to play Spanish 21 is very close to that of blackjack. As you would in the classic variation, you’ll need to be able to assess the probability of the cards with the dealer and gauge them against your own. And as with blackjack, there are strategy sheets for the outcomes possible in Spanish 21.
BASIC STRATEGY – DEALER HITS ON SOFT 17
BASIC STRATEGY – DEALER STANDS ON SOFT 17
BASIC STRATEGY – DEALER HITS ON SOFT 17, PLAYER HAS NOT DOUBLED
BONUS PAYOUT HANDS
- 6-7-8 of mixed suit pays out 2 to 1
- 6-7-8 of the same suit pays out 3 to 2
- Perfect Charlies are 5-card 21s
- Also known as 2-3-4-5-7
- Pays out 3 to 2
Many prefer this variation of blackjack as the odds are stacked in the player’s favor. Additionally, there are also bonus payouts for selected hands and from the looks of it, these can easily be scored. The game is one that everyone should try out, especially if you’re looking for an easy win against the dealer.