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Spanish 21 Blackjack
Spanish 21 (also known as 'pontoon' or Spanish blackjack) is a variant of blackjack that contains subtle differences from the European blackjack-style that you'll be familiar with on 21.co.uk. One of the main differences that can be found comes in the form of side bets as you'll be able to find unique side bets unavailable in any other variants. Another is the complete removal of the number 10 card which means that the game has more potential to last longer and players will need more cards to reach 21 and its surrounding numbers.
Spanish 21 Blackjack House Edge
When playing blackjack, the house edge can vary anywhere between 0 and 4.5%. This depends on a variety of factors ranging from the casino edge to player strategy. If you're playing the game online, then you won't be fighting against the heightened house edge and you'll only play against the standard house edge of Spanish 21 which is approximately 0.5%.
Be sure to check out any land casino you're entering before checking out what the house edge is, this will give you an indication of what to expect before you play.
How to Play Spanish Blackjack
If you're looking to play Spanish 21, the most important thing is that you know how to play blackjack. If you don't know how to play blackjack, we recommend checking out that blog first. Spanish 21 blackjack is played with a shoe of six decks, in comparison to other versions which can be played with four, six or eight decks, depending on where you play. Players begin with two cards with the aim of getting as close to 21 without hitting 22 or higher. Players will continue to 'hit' (the option to receive cards) until they make the decision to 'stand' (the option to stop receiving cards and end your turn). If playing 1 on 1 against a dealer, they will follow with the highest value duo winning. If playing on a table with other players, the remaining players will play until it is the dealers' turn, following this, all who beat the dealer wins.
One addition that Spanish 21 players have over classic blackjack players is that the split and insurance options are always available. Players can split paired cards and if either set of cards wins, this means that the total cost will be double the initial wager. Any winning hand pays out at the traditional blackjack odds of 1/1. Splitting can be particularly helpful when you have double aces as split aces give players the opportunity to land a 'blackjack' with two hands.
Types of Spanish 21 Blackjack
There are three platforms that you can typically play Spanish 21 blackjack with, these are:
Single Player Table Games - This option is recommended for players who prefer a personal experience, this will be a single-player blackjack game between the dealer and yourself. These games will typically have bonus payouts through side bets such as match the dealer.
Live Casino Games - On the other hand, these games are referred to as 'live dealer blackjack'. At an online casino, this is a game of blackjack that is broadcasted live from a studio with real-live blackjack dealers.
Land-Based blackjack Games - Finally we have Spanish 21 blackjack in its most common form. Spanish 21 is commonly played in land-based casinos with real-life dealers and other players. It is unlikely that this version will contain a side bet but if it does it will be made known to you before the game starts.
Spanish 21 Blackjack FAQs
Q. What is the difference between Spanish 21 blackjack and European blackjack?
Spanish 21 blackjack is a game that is played with six decks, in comparison to the eight-deck game found in land casinos for European blackjack. There are also an increased number of side bets, the option to play with Insurance and the number 10 card has been completely removed! Making the most popular card in traditional blackjack obsolete.
Q. What side bets can be found in Spanish 21 blackjack?
The most common side bet found in Spanish 21 blackjack is ‘match the dealer’ which is where players will aim to tie with the dealer for a bonus payout. A second common side bet that you may find is 'same suit', where players will bet on both of their starting cards being the same suit.
Q. Is Spanish 21 better than blackjack?
Many blackjack fans prefer the Spanish 21 format due to the reduced number of decks and the increased possibility of lower numbers, meaning that if a player has a number higher than 12 from their initial cards, they have a much higher chance of winning than they did previously. This game also maintains that if you have an ace and a face card, you will automatically win that round. So, for a lot of players, yes, Spanish 21 is better than standard blackjack.