Blackjack is a big favorite among US online casino players for good reason. Actually make that 10 good reasons. We're talking, of course, about the number 10 and how it significantly changes the game.
There's nothing like being dealt an Ace for your first card, knowing that you've got 128 cards valued at 10 in a fresh 8-deck shoe working in your favor (remember, there are 16 cards valued at 10 in a deck of cards, including four tens, four Jacks, four Queens, and four Kings).
And there's nothing like seeing the dealer sit with a bust card like a 6, knowing that there's a good chance he'll smack himself with a 10, Jack, Queen, or King. That makes every US player casino pretty happy.
But what happens when you remove all the tens from the shoe? Welcome to Spanish 21, also known as Spanish Blackjack.
Spanish 21 takes the regular Blackjack game you know and love and removes all the tens from play. You've still got Jacks, Queens, and Kings to look forward to, but all the 10 cards (10 of diamonds, 10 of clubs, 10 of hearts, and 10 of spades) are out. In essence, Spanish Blackjack uses a 48-card deck and throws six of them into a shoe.
With Spanish 21, the house has a bigger edge than in regular Blackjack. So what's the point of playing the game in Vegas or at US online casinos if the house is more likely to hit what they need to win?
Spanish 21 Payouts
Well, with Spanish Blackjack, it's all about the payouts. Because of the larger house edge.
- • If you've got 21, you win—that's true even if the dealer has 21
- • Your Blackjack beats a dealer's Blackjack
- • A 5-card hand that totals 21 pays 3:2
- • A 6-card hand that totals 21 pays 2:1
- • A hand of 21 with seven cards or more pays 3:1
- • A 7-7-7 hand pays 3:2—or 2:1 if they're the same suit and 3:1 if they're all spades
- • A 6-7-8 of spades pays 2:1—and 3:1 if they're all spades
- Spanish 21 also comes with rules that favor the player:
- • You're allowed to split Aces, and then re-split them
- • You can hit on split Aces, and you can double down as well
- • You're allowed to double after a split (not all US player casinos let you do this)
- • You can double down on any number of cards
As you can see, Spanish 21 offers US online casino players tons of opportunity to make big gains based on what hand they have. Despite the higher house edge due to the absence of the tens, tons of players walk away from the Spanish Blackjack tables with big wins.