Spanish 21: With Liberal Blackjack Rules for the Player, This Is A Game Worth Playing

Spanish 21 is a variant of the casino table game of blackjack. If you like blackjack, you’ll enjoy playing Spanish 21. There are some liberal rules that benefit the player while enjoying a low house edge.

The Spanish was derived from some Spanish card games with 48 instead of 52 cards. The four 10′s are removed. With 24 to 32 cards removed from 6 or 8 deck games, the casino can liberate some rules from basic blackjack:

Player Friendly Rules

Players can double down once with two or more cards on any total, including after splitting.

Players may split cards of equal value, including aces up to 4 times.

Hitting and doubling on all split hands is allowed.

Late surrender is allowed

Double down rescue rule: After doubling if a player is dissatisfied with a non-busted hand, s/he may rescue (take back) the doubled portion and forfeit the original wager.

player hand totaling 21 always beats a dealer BJ – pays (up to) 3 to 1

Bonus payouts for being dealt 21 with more than 2 cards are very player friendly:

player hand with 5 cards totaling 21 – pays – 3 to 2

player hand with 6 cards totaling 21 – pays – 2 to 1

player hand with 7 cards totaling 21 – pays – 3 to 1

6-7-8 or 7-7-7 with mixed suits – pays – 3 to 2

6-7-8 or 7-7-7 with same suit – pays – 2 to 1

6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of spades – pays – 3 to 1

Bonus payouts always apply unless a dealer has a blackjack. Doubling on any hand also voids any bonus pays.

Super Bonus

In addition to the bonus payouts a Super Bonus is paid when a player has a suited 7-7-7 and the dealers up card is any 7:

$5 – $24 bet wins $1000

$25 + bet wins $5000

All other players will win $50 as an Envy Bonus.

Doubling down or splitting any hand voids all super bonus pays.

Bonus payouts always apply unless a dealer has a blackjack. Doubling on any hand also voids any bonus pays.

If all of this temptation isn’t enough to make you want to sit down and play there is also a side bet that you can make

Dealer Match

For a $1 minimum-up to the amount of your initial bet, a player can wager that either one or both of his cards will match the dealer’s up card. There are 5 payoffs:

One non-suited match – 3 to 1

Two non-suited matches – 6 to 1

One suited match – 12 to 1

One non-suited and one suited match – 15 to 1

Two suited matches – 21 to 1

House Benefit

There is an advantage however to the casinos that offer this game. With 25% of the 10 value cards removed:

· The dealer will bust less often.

· The player is dealt fewer blackjacks.

· Doubling down is less effective

House Edge

The house edge for Spanish 21 is 0.4% if dealer stands on soft seventeen, 0.7% if soft seventeen is hit. If the Dealer Match side bet is made, the edge jumps to about 3%.

Basic strategy differs from regular Blackjack, requiring study to get the maximum play value for your dollar.

Here are the Spanish 21 basic strategy plays:

Hand – D/Up Card – Action

5-9 – any – hit

w/5+card – 2-7 – hit

10-11 – 2-7 – double

10-11 – 8-A – hit

12-14 – any – hit

15-16 – 2-6 – Stand

15-16 – 7-A – hit

17-21 – any – stand

A3-A6 – any – hit

A7-21 – any – Stand

pr. 2-7 – 2-7 – split

pr. 8′s – any – split

pr. 9′s – 2-9 – split

pr. A’s – any – split

all other pr – any – play as hard hand

Three Card Blackjack, a Casino Table Game Where Players and Dealers Never Bust

The blackjack rules for the casino table game of Thee Card Blackjack vary in that the player is dealt three cards instead of two.

How Three Card Blackjack is Played

Three Card Blackjack is played with a standard 52-card deck. The objective of the game is for players to make the best blackjack hand to beat the dealer using two or three of their cards. Players or dealers cannot bust. Standing, Hitting, doubling, and pair splitting are not permitted, and a player blackjack always beats a dealer blackjack, however a blackjack pays even money instead of the traditional 3/2.

There are three betting positions, Ante, Ace Plus (optional side bet), and the Play Bet. Players must first make an ante wager. Also, the ace plus option if he or she chooses. The dealer pitches three cards face down to each player and three cards to his or herself. The two dealer cards are face down; one is face up.

Based on the value of the dealer’s up card, players must make one of two decisions after looking at their cards:

Fold – the ante wager is forfeited, but the ace plus wager if made will remain.

Raise – the player makes a play wager equal to the ante.

Here are some hand examples:

Player #1 – Has an A, 5, 4.

Player #2 – Has a 6, 7, and 9 (player cannot bust, so the 6 is not counted)

Player #3 – Has an A, 3, A

Dealer – Shows an 8-up card and a 10, 6, are face down.

Note that player #1 has a total of 20 (11 for the Ace, + 5 + 4 = 20) this player chooses to raise against the dealer 8. Player #2 has a total of 16 (9 + 7, = 16. The player chooses to fold. Player #3 has a total of 15 (11 + 1 for the two aces, plus 3 = 15.) He or she also folds, but the ace plus bet remains.

The dealer has a total of 18, so player #1 wins even money for the ante, raise, and ace plus bet. Player #2 loses the ante wager and ace plus bet if made, because no ace was dealt in that hand. Player #3 loses the ante wager but is paid 10/1 for two aces.

The dealer must have at least a 17 to open. If the dealer cannot open, the ante and raise bets will push, unless a player has a blackjack, for which even money will be paid. If the dealer can open, the higher hand wins.

Optional Ace Plus Wager

Here is the pay table for the optional ace plus wager, which pays even if the player loses the hand. Pay tables may vary between jurisdictions:

Ace, any, any – 1 to 1

Ace, ten, any – 3 to 1

Ace, ten, ten – 6 to 1

Ace, ace, any – 15 to 1

Ace, ace, ten – 25 – 1

Ace, ace, ace – 100 – 1

Strategy and House Edge

The strategy for a player’s total to raise against the dealer’s up card is as follows:

16 or less – Never raise

17 – Dealer 2

18 – Dealer 2 – 8

19 – Dealer 2 – 9

20, 21,- Always raise

The house edge for Three Card Blackjack is about 2% for the ante and play bets but increases to between 2.5 & 7% for the ace plus bet depending on the jurisdictions’ pay table.

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