How to play Spanish 21 - Rules, Tips, and Strategy

By Casinogurus

How to play Spanish 21 – Rules, Tips and Strategy

September 11, 2020 | 2402 Views

Besides the classic version of Blackjack online, countless other interesting variants stem from the original counterpart. Spanish 21, with its own unique set of rules, is one such alternative that merits recognition and possibly even a play if you see fit! Here our guide goes through its regulations, preliminary plan, and even points out a selection of online casinos to play the game.

What is Spanish 21 Blackjack?

Spanish 21 is a table game that was presented at brick and mortar casinos in 1995. The game is based on its classic counterpart, Blackjack. And while many of the casino game rules are predominantly identical, the game has many exciting regulations and twists of its own, just like many other variants that you can see online such as Blackjack Surrender, the game’s British cousin Pontoon, and various more.

Usually, the casino game is played using a custom table design that bears many similarities to that of Blackjack’s classic game. It’s played with 6-8 decks of cards. However, unlike other games, it eliminates all suited 10 cards. Still, all the Jacks, Queens, and Kings remain in the shoe. Therefore, 25% of the 10-count cards are missing.

Difference Between Spanish 21 and Blackjack

Is spanish 21 better than blackjack? Even if the classic table game, Blackjack, has been throughout for quite an extensive time, the Spanish 21 alternative has only been around for the last decade. Still, it has picked up at casinos both online and offline for one reason – its good rules. To understand how Spanish 21 works, a player needs to know how to play Blackjack in its classic model. While playing Spanish 21, you’ll notice the method is primarily synonymous with Blackjack’s definitive version. In the beginning stage of the game, you need to place your bets in the betting spot. The dealer then deals out the initial hand, and you’ll then have to choose your next move. The procedures in Spanish 21 are named the same – Hit, Split Stand, and Double.

Spanish 21 vs Blackjack Odds

In Blackjack, you always receive a 1:1 payout until you hit natural 21 with 2 cards. But in Spanish 21, you receive bigger payouts for specific events. In Spanish 21, when you hit 21 with 5 cards pays 3:2, 6 cards pays 2:1, and 7 cards pay 3:1. When you make 21 with 6,7,8 cards pays 3:2 or with 7,7,7 pays 3:2. Either of those 3 card hands suited pays 2:1 and 3 card hands in spades pay 3:1.

Quick rules for Spanish 21:

  • A players 21 always beats a dealer’s 21
  • A dealer can stand or hit on a soft 17;
  • Players can draw several cards after splitting Aces;
  • A player’s 21 also forever wins (even against a dealer blackjack);
  • Spanish 21 has reward payouts for hands like 6-7-8 and 5-card 21’s, also called “Perfect Charlie” (2-3-4-5-7), and for busted Perfect Charlies.
  • Four ten-spot cards discarded from every deck used. (Normally 6 to 8 decks are used);
  • A sum of 21 never pushes against a dealer’s 21;
  • Double after a split is conceded;
  • Some casinos permit redoubling up to 3 times;

Hit, Stand & Split Rule

You will be only be allowed to hit, stand, or break at any moment after you have placed your bet, and the dealer has given out an initial hand. However, we recommend taking a look at the Spanish 21 strategy sheet before deciding which move to execute. 

Late Surrender Rule

This rule allows you to surrender your hand late, which means that you can give up your hand at any moment for the loss of half your wager. Similar to Blackjack Surrender, this rule is hugely beneficial for the players. If you calculate your chances of striking the dealer’s hole card, you can reduce your losses by abandoning the hand and still getting half your bet back.

Re-splitting Rule

Another great advantage of playing with Spanish 21 rules is that you can split aces and re-split and double /redouble after splitting any pair. The late surrender rule still fits after splits and doublings; you might have a lot of money spent in one hand, but if it goes right to hell, it might be a good idea to get half your bet.

Matching the Dealer Side Bet Rule

Apart from the rule variations mentioned above, Spanish 21 usually has some bonus games and additional side bets attached to the regular gameplay. Possibly the most distinguished is the Match the Dealer side bet, which is also seen in classic Blackjack online games. The player won this bet if either one or both of the preliminary cards match the dealers’ face-up card. However, as with most side bets, these types of wagers should be avoided to increase your chances of succeeding.

Super Bonus Rule

Spanish 21 is possibly the only Blackjack online variant that offers a Super Bonus. And while the probability of actually hitting the Super Bonus is only about 1 in 668,382 in a six-deck play and 1 in 549,188 in a game with 8 decks, the thought of just having luck on your team while playing and hitting the Super Bonus is exceptionally thrilling.

Spanish 21 Basic Strategy

For various Blackjack veterans out there, Spanish 21 is considered one of the most effective variations of the game. And generally, the amount you can win will only be lucrative, provided that you follow the right strategy! While we would typically suggest using our basic Blackjack strategy sheet, we highly recommend using the Spanish 21 cheat sheet found below instead, which considers all the rules. If you analyze the chart and relate it with a regular blackjack strategy, you will notice a few exceptions, mainly due to the tens being dropped from the deck. Understanding it will help you lower the house edge and perhaps help you walk out of the casino with your head raised and your pockets a bit bigger than they were in the first place.

Spanish 21 Tips

1) Learn the Precise Moves to Make with the Spanish 21 Strategy Chart

With its various changes in rules, Spanish 21 is a tricky game to learn and will take some time. However, if you manage to understand the strategy that goes with its regulations, you can benefit profoundly. 

2) Don’t Draw for the Bonus Payouts

We strongly advise you not to draw for the bonus payouts, and you should nevermore place any new side bets if you have to pay extra to be qualified for them.

3) Don’t Surrender Too Often

Gamers who are new to the game of Blackjack usually tend to misuse the surrender option, especially if they have a record of regular blackjack play. Yet, it’s not always smart to do so. There are very few events in which it’s helpful to do so.

4) Drawing Another Card in Spanish 21 Won’t Always Make you Bust

The under-representation of 10-value cards reduces the risk of busting many hands; hence, it’s often more practical to draw another card in Spanish 21.


In conclusion, Spanish 21 is a fun and exciting variation of blackjack that offers players a unique set of rules and challenges. By understanding the basic rules of the game and implementing effective strategies, players can increase their chances of winning and enjoy the game to its fullest. In this blog post, we have explored the rules, tips, and strategies for playing Spanish 21, and hopefully, you have gained a better understanding of how to play and win at this exciting game. Whether you are a seasoned player or just starting, remember to play responsibly and have fun!