21st Century Blackjack

We've thoroughly reviewed the 21st Century blackjack game, including the rules of playing, the basic strategy, and more information to help you. 

The 21st-century blackjack game is a unique variant that is legal in California casinos. It follows the rules of the traditional 21 blackjack but also has some significant differences. Moreover, this game was invented by a California company called Casino Game Concepts to counter the 1860 law that explicitly prohibited playing blackjack and other real money games. Though this game shares many things with blackjack, it is unique enough not to be deemed illegal under the law. What makes this variant stand out from other blackjack games is there is no busting. By the end of this guide, you will know what 21st Century blackjack is, the rules to follow, and the best strategy you can apply to win more.

The Basics of 21st Century Blackjack Game

At first, you might confuse 21st Century Blackjack with a classic blackjack game. In both games, the objective is to get a hand close to 21 without exceeding it. Your total value must beat that of the dealer to win.

A standard 21st Century blackjack uses 2 to 8 decks, and all cards are dealt from a shoe. It is not very different from what happens in a live casino game. What's unique in this game is that decks include a joker, making it a 53-card game and not the usual 52 cards. The joker is wild, and it can help a player get a natural hand of 22 - the best hand in 21st Century Blackjack.

While this may sound confusing, especially to beginners, the game mechanics become clear after playing it for a while. If you know how to play the classic blackjack, you will not have a big challenge getting around in this version.

Similar to blackjack, the role of the dealer passes around the table from one player to the next until the end of the game session. Since players compete against each other, the house only takes its rake for hosting the game.

21st Century Blackjack Game Rules

As you expect, a game like 21st Century blackjack comes with some special rules to follow. Here are the rules you must familiarize yourself with when playing this game at any online casino:

  • The highest hand value in 21 Century blackjack is 22 or a natural. This hand is formed by 2 jokers, a joker, an ace, or two aces.
  • A natural hand for both the player and the dealer results in a push.
  • The dealer or banker button moves from one player to another as the game progresses, and it stays with a player for a specific number of hands.
  • The game has a bet limit, but players are free to bet that limit in each betting round.
  • Players may hit on any hand up to a maximum of 12.
  • In this game, players can double down on 11 or 12 and draw two cards.
  • A player with a joker cannot double down, surrender or split.
  • A dealer can stand on any hand from a minimum of a hard 18 and higher.
  • If both the player and dealer have a natural hand, the game ends in a push.
  • Splitting aces is allowed in 21st Century Blackjack.
  • If both the player and dealer have hands exceeding 22, the outcome if a push if the player's hand value is lower than the dealer's.
  • A player cannot hit if the dealer's face-up card is a joker.
  • Both the dealer and player hit on soft 18 or less and stand on hard 18 or more.

However, you should understand that these rules may vary depending on the casino you are playing at.

How to Play 21st Century Blackjack

Like other regular blackjack games, the rules of playing 21st-century blackjack are straightforward. Remember, you will be playing with 2 and 8 decks of cards, including a joker. The number of players can range anywhere between 8 and 10. Though the card values are the same as a standard blackjack game, the key difference is cards 2 to 9 have a face value. Also, cards 10 to Kings have a value of 10 points each, and the aces have value of 1 or 11. Remember, a joker has no value in this game, but it can give a hand value of 22 if it appears with another card.

In 21st century blackjack, each player is dealt two cards and can make several decisions based on the cards. The moves one can make are:

  • Hit: drawing additional cards to boost the hand.
  • Stand: maintain the initial 2 cards and draw no more cards.
  • Double Down: doubling the initial wager and then taking additional cards.
  • Split: dividing a hand with 2 cards of identical value into separate hands to increase the chances of winning.
  • Surrender: to give up your hand and half of your original wager.

Differences Between 21st Century Blackjack and Classic Blackjack

You don't have to be an expert player to identify the differences between 21st century blackjack and classic blackjack games. So, the following points are what differentiates these two games:

21st century blackjack is played with multiple decks (2 to 8), including 1 joker in each deck.

The joker acts as a wild in 21st century blackjack and assists the player in getting a hand of 22.

There is no dealer in 21st century blackjack, but banker responsibility moves from one player to another.

Any hand that exceeds 21 is a push and not a bust in regular blackjack games.

The casino only benefits from the charges of hosting the game but does not have the edge over players.

Players are free to go up to 3 bet rounds on a hand, using the three betting circles marked on the table.

A player in the 21st century can wager on another player's hand by placing chips in their circle, but this is not possible in regular blackjack.

A player cannot bust 21st century blackjack for getting a total of 21 since the highest hand value is 22.

A player can bet on other hands in 21st century blackjack and win if the hand wins or lose if it loses.


21st century blackjack is a thrilling card game. Though it is only available in land-based casinos, it is designed with new exciting features. The rules of playing this variant are slightly different from the standard blackjack. If you are a regular player, this is the best version to challenge your skills. Additionally, if you always dream of becoming a dealer at a blackjack table, this is the game to check out. We hope developers will eventually create an online version of the 21st century blackjack game.

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