Blackjack games are quite popular in land-based and online casinos. The reason for the massive popularity of most blackjack games is that you can employ strategies to maximize the potential of winning big rewards. Also, you can play blackjack games for fun or real money from the comfort of your home.
Nevertheless, you must understand that there are many types of blackjack on the market. Some variations are better than others, but they all follow the same rules. The objective is to get a hand close to 21 without exceeding.
The most popular blackjack variants people like to compare are Spanish 21 and the regular blackjack games. While these games share the same rules of play, the Spanish version combines all the best rules and even adds a few to make it more entertaining.
This article explains the main differences between the traditional blackjack game and Spanish 21. We've looked at rule variations, house edge, betting strategies, and much more.
Blackjack vs. Spanish 21 - The Key Differences
While the traditional blackjack game has several notable differences from Spanish 21, these two games remain very close cousins. This explains why you can find them almost at all online casinos.
In this section, we take a look at the notable differences, from the house edge to the playing rules. Of course, the rules vary from one casino to another.
The House Edge
The house edge is one of the first things you must consider when comparing regular blackjack and the Spanish 21 version. The biggest advantage is that both games allow players to use strategies to reduce the house edge in their favor.
If you are a beginner, the house edge is the mathematical advantage or profit the casino gets from your wagers. The percentage is an estimate based on probability, and it ensures the house profits in the long run.
Overall, the house edge of blackjack is lower than any other casino game. Players enjoy a low house edge of between 0.5% and 1.5% in blackjack games. However, you can only enjoy the low house edge if you apply an optimal strategy.
The best strategy will help you to make sound decisions depending on the situation in the game. Failure to use a basic strategy leaves you a relatively high house edge of between 4% and 5%.
As earlier mentioned, the house edge of a standard blackjack game is somewhere between 0.5% and 1.5%. But the case is quite different when it comes to Spanish 21, which has a lower house edge of 0.4%. Of course, you can only enjoy this low-edge if you use a perfect strategy.
The rules of a blackjack table game you are playing will determine whether the game will have good or bad odds. In many cases, Playing a game with flexible rules allow you to enjoy a lower house edge.
In standard blackjack, the rules allow players to split aces at least once without re-splitting. While other games allow you to re-split aces whenever they are dealt. However, the Spanish 21 deck comes with a new set of rules regarding splitting aces. This variant allows players to re-split aces up to four times. In addition, players can continue to hit and double down on the newly split aces to enhance the flexibility of the new hand.
When you play Spanish 21, you have the option to surrender, which means you give out half your bet. This option works like folding in poker games. The advantage of surrendering is that you get a chance to continue playing your hand. Though some people find this to be a risky option, it is better than failing to play at all.
Some blackjack games have the 'early surrender' option, which is not available in Spanish 21. Instead, you will find the 'late surrender' option, which allows you to surrender only after the dealer checks to see if there is a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, you cannot surrender because you will automatically lose the hand.
Many blackjack variations, including European blackjack, don't allow players to double down after splitting. The good news is that Spanish 21 has the option to double your bet after you have split aces. For example, if you are dealt two aces, and you decide to split them. You get two opportunities to land a blackjack and an equal 3:2 payoff.
Many players will want to double their bet in this case, and the advantage you get with the double down after splitting option.
Additionally, in a standard blackjack game, the player's natural blackjack versus the dealer's blackjack results in a push. Also, you should understand that a player blackjack beats a dealer blackjack when you play Spanish 21.
Another thing you must understand is that you are not allowed to double down on the first two cards in standard blackjack games. But this option is available when you play the Spanish deck.
The 'double-down rescue' option is unique to the Spanish 21 blackjack table game. This option allows players to surrender after doubling down. Rather than surrendering half their bet, players forfeit the original bet only. By doubling down, you must put a bet equal to the first bet.
The appealing thing about Spanish 21 blackjack is the wide range of bonus payouts on various hands. Similar to a natural, a five-card hand totaling 21 pays at 3:2. Getting a six-card hand pays 2:1, and seven or more cards pay off at 3:1.
Bonus payouts are not only limited to these hands. If you are dealt a hand 6, 7, and 8, you receive a payoff at 3:2. However, if the hands are suited, you get a payout of 2:1 and 3:1 payoff for getting one of the hands in the suit of spades.
Other blackjack rules variations, such as the number of decks or whether the dealer hits a soft 17, vary in online casinos.
Both Spanish 21 and regular blackjack games share some strategies. For instance, you can hit on any hard total of 8 or less in Spanish 21, just like in other blackjack games.
Double Down Strategy
Nevertheless, the strategy to double down is slightly complicated in this case because you must account for all the cards in your possession. The reason for this action is the bonus payouts you get when you hit a total of 21 with five cards or more.
Using an example, if you get a hard total of 9 in Spanish 21, you must hit unless the dealer's upcard is a 6. In that case, your option is to double down.
While the example may not appear to be complicated at this point, the case changes when you think of what to do with a hard total of 10. You can only hit a total of 10 if the dealer's card is 9, 10, or an ace.
But if the dealer's upcard is 8 or lower, the number of cards dealt will affect the option to double down. In this case, doubling down is only allowed if the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6. Also, you can still hit if the dealer has a 2 or 3 upcard and you have five or more cards.
If you have a total of 11, you are allowed to double down unless your cards versus the dealer up cards are as follows:
If the dealer has:
- A 2, 7, 8, or 9, you must hit with 4 cards or more
- A 3, 4, 5, or 6, you must hit with 5 cards or more
- A 10 or an ace, you must hit with 3 cards or more
This is one of the best strategies you can use to double down with hard totals. It's equally essential to understand how to double with a soft hand.
Additionally, players can double down on a soft 17 versus a 4, 5, or 6, unless they have a 3,4, or 5 cards. The best option, in this case, is to hit. Also, always double down on a soft 18 when the dealer stands on 4, 5, or 6.
Note that some situations require you to stand on a hard total of 17 unless the dealer has an 8, 9, and 10. Also, you are allowed to stand on a hard total of 18 or more in blackjack.
When mastering the Spanish 21 strategy, it is recommended to get a reliable website and print the rules variations to help you through. Many times, dealers don't care if you are using a strategy card or chart to maximize your winning opportunities.
How to Play Blackjack - Rules and Bet Types
As we've mentioned earlier, the rules of playing blackjack are simple, and the games deliver a thrilling experience, just like in real Las Vegas casinos. The reason for its enduring popularity is that it allows players to use strategies to lower odds in their favor. The odds are low even when you don't use a strategy, which makes it more likable.
A standard blackjack game is played with a deck of 52 cards, but some online casinos use several decks of cards. The objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer by getting a hand close to 21 without bursting. Unlike poker, where you play against each other, everyone plays against the blackjack dealer.
The playing cards have different values. All the picture cards have a value of 10, and the ace can be worth 1 or 11. Card suits don't have any value in blackjack.
At the beginning of each betting round in blackjack, both the player and the dealer get the initial two cards. Once the cards are dealt, the player has the option to stand, hit, surrender, split or double down.
The dealer is the last to make a decision. He must hit on 16 or less and always stand on 17 through 21. The player wins when the hand is bigger than the dealer's hand. However, it is considered a burst if the player's hand exceeds 21. In case both the player and dealer's hands have the same value, it is considered a push, and the player retains the original wager.
How to Play Spanish 21 - Rules and Bet Types
Spanish 21 is a highly entertaining variation of the popular traditional blackjack game. However, the rules in this variation are so different that it is considered a different game from blackjack.
Unlike many variations you will find out there, Spanish 21 is specifically designed by Masque publishing inc. The appealing thing about this game is the odds are much better than in the standard version.
The significant difference between the standard blackjack and Spanish 21 is the type of decks used. The Spanish deck features 48 cards instead of the usual 52 cards. This is because all the 10 are removed from the deck. All other picture cards remain and function the same way as in standard games.
This leaves players with more ways to win bonus payouts that can go up to $5,000. The additional ways for players to earn bonuses in Spanish 21 are:
- Super Bonus: The super bonus is won if a player has any three same suit cards like 7-7-7, and the dealer's upcard is also a 7. Note that the super bonus pays a fixed amount depending on the size of the wager. However, splitting or doubling down ends the super bonus round.
- Bonus 21 Payoffs: If you continue playing with the super bonus, you stand a chance to win a payment bonus multiplier for landing 7-7-7. Also, you win multipliers when you beat the dealer with a 21 containing 5 or more cards.
- Player Blackjack Always Wins: In Spanish 21, the player blackjack will always beat the dealer's blackjack. The blackjack payoffs at 3:2 odds.
- Players Total of 21 Always Wins: Getting a total hand of 21 always wins regardless of the hand of the dealer. Whenever a player makes 21, the payouts are automatically made before any additional cards are drawn.
- Insurance Bet: Spanish 21 features an insurance bet which is issued to the player when the player has an ace as the upcard. Players are given this side bet that allows them to purchase insurance against the dealer hitting a blackjack.
Blackjack and Spanish 21 - Which Game is a Better Game?
At this point, you might be confused about which variation you should play. As you can see, each blackjack game has its benefits and downsides. The choice depends on one's preferences and the purpose of playing.
While the main difference between the two games is the deck used, there are extra features that make Spanish 21 more appealing than the standard blackjack.
The first advantage of playing Spanish 21 is that you get the chance to late surrender. The late surrender is the best strategy because it increases your chances of winning.
Another thing we love about Spanish 21 is the double-down rescue rule that allows players to choose whether to stand or surrender.
Unlike in traditional blackjack games where players lose if the dealer has a blackjack, regardless of the cards at hand, 21 always wins in the Spanish variant.
Also, as we stated earlier, the house edge in Spanish 21 is lower than that of a standard blackjack game. Last but not least, there is less heat when you count cards in Spanish 21 than in any other blackjack game.
Conclusively, the benefits of playing Spanish 21 outweigh the standard blackjack games. If you are looking for a variant with a significant potential return, this is the best in the market.