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Spanish Blackjack

S. Stoynova (editor) |

Spanish Blackjack – the Game Where 21 Will Always Win

Spanish BlackjackAmong the numerous versions of blackjack, there is the Spanish 21, or Spanish Blackjack as some players refer to the game. Despite its name, the game first appeared in Nevada, which is still the home of some of the biggest brick-and-mortar casinos in the US. Spanish Blackjack has extremely easy rules to grasp, with the basics of the game coinciding with the classic blackjack rules. That said, there are a few intricacies that make Spanish Blackjack a fun variation to explore.

While Spanish Blackjack can be found at numerous land-based casinos, you can easily discover multiple versions of the game online. While similar to classic blackjack, Spanish 21 offers some interesting payouts for different combinations totaling 21. To learn more about the rules and payouts of the game, you can check the rest of this review. In addition to the detailed coverage of the game’s rules, we will also provide the optimal strategy you can use to achieve the highest possible advantage while playing Spanish Blackjack.

Spanish Blackjack Rules

Spanish Blackjack RulesSince Spanish Blackjack is just a variation of the classic game, its basics remain the same. The main rules and the assigned value of the cards are also no different. In this game, your aim is to beat the dealer who is the only person you compete with. Even though there will most likely be other players sitting on the table, your goal is to form a strong hand whose total is better than the dealer’s hand. The maximum points that you are allowed to get are twenty-one and if you surpass this number, you automatically go bust, or in other words, you lose your bet. Most cards are worth their face value. As for Queens, Kings, Jacks, and Aces, these count as 10. Aces can be either one or eleven, depending on the players’ choice and needs.

Spanish Blackjack

Screenshot of Spanish Blackjack

These are the basics of the game which every player should get familiar with. Now, let’s proceed by taking into account the rule alterations in Spanish Blackjack. One of them is that unlike the classic game, this version is played with six or eight decks, each consisting of 48 playing cards instead of 52. The reason for that isall four tens being removed from each pack. This rule works entirely in favor of the casino and it is quite disadvantageous for the players as they have much better chances of winning if the deck is rich in tens.

However, in order to compensate for the missing tens and to make this version enticing and interesting, online casinos offer much more liberal rules and features. According one of them, whenever you get a hand that totals twenty-one you win automatically, regardless of the position of the dealer. Let’s have a look at the rest of the rules Spanish Blackjack has:

  • You are allowed to double down on any two initial cards, regardless of their suit and value
  • If you split a pair, you are permitted to hit and double down any cards afterward, including Aces
  • You are given the option to surrender after you have doubled down. In such situations, you give up your original bet but you get to keep your double down wager
  • You can also choose to take advantage of the late surrender option meaning that you give up half of your initial bet and keep the rest. You can perform this move only if the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack
  • It is also possible to re-split Aces
  • If you have blackjack and the dealer also has the same combination, in this variation you win and this time the result is not a tie
  • The dealer is required to hit on soft 17
  • This variation is a hole card game and thus, the dealer peeks for blackjack

Spanish Blackjack Payouts

Spanish Blackjack PayoutIn order to compensate for the fact that all of the tens are excluded from the game, this variation features the so-called Super Bonus Rule that offers different bonus payouts, depending on the cards you receive. This makes the game very interesting and enticing as it gives players new opportunities to win money. Let’s have a look at the bonus payouts this blackjack variation offers:

  • A five-card hand totaling 21 pays out at odds of 3:2
  • A six-card hand totaling 21 pays out at odds of 2:1
  • A seven-card hand totaling 21 pays out at odds of 3:1
  • If your hand consists of the following cards for a total of 21, including 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 whose suit is different, pays out at odds of 3:2
  • If the above-mentioned card combinations are all of the same suit, they pay out at odds of 2:1 and if these cards are all spades, the payout is 3:1
  • If you are lucky enough to get three 7s of the same suit when the dealer’s up card is also a seven, you will boost your bankroll with a payout of 50:1.

It should be noted that these bonuse payouts don’t apply if you have already doubled down or split a pair.

Some Spanish Blackjack variations feature other interesting side bets that are quite popular among blackjack fans under the name “Match the Dealer”. Players bet on whether either of their first two cards will be of the same rank as the dealer’s up card. Provided that they are of the same rank but of a different suit, the side bet pays out 4:1. But if the player’s two cards coincide with the dealer’s exposed card in terms of a suit and rank, then the payout climbs to 9:1. However, rookie players are advised to avoid “Match the Dealer” side bets as they increase the house edge.

Spanish Blackjack House Edge

Spanish Blackjack House EdgeThe fact that all tens are not included in this variation plays a crucial role as it increases the house edge significantly. However, it should be noted that there are various additional rules which have been designed to work in favor of the players. The house edge in Spanish Blackjack, just as in the rest of the variations, depends to a huge extent on a number of factors such as the automatic dealer’s play and the decks involved in the game.

You should bear in mind that the house edge is usually estimated, providing that players use the basic strategy. If the dealer hits on soft 17 and the game is played with eight decks of cards, the house edge is 0.80%. However if the dealer is required to stand on soft 17, then the house edge is much more beneficial – 0.38%.

If the dealer hits on soft 17 and you are not allowed to redouble, then the house edge is approximately 0.76%.

Optimal Strategy for Playing Spanish Blackjack

Spanish Optimal StrategyConsidering the reduced number of cards and the rule variations in Spanish Blackjack, you might have already suggested that this game requires a special strategy. What you should bear in mind when you are looking for the right optimal strategy for playing Spanish Blackjack is whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17. In the lines below, you can find some universal rules regardless of the game’s variation you intend to play:

  • Always hit if you have a hard 4 to 8
  • If you have a hard 9, your best move is to hit unless the dealer’s up card is 6 (then double down)
  • Provided that your hand totals 12, 13, or 14, then hit
  • Stand on hard totals of 18 through 21
  • If you have suited 7s and the dealer shows 7, then hit
  • Paired 4s, 5s, and 10s should not be split
  • If you have a pair of 8s and the dealer’s up card is an ace, then surrender, otherwise split
  • Provided that you have paired aces, then your best move is to split them

If you happen to have an Aceless hand totaling 16, then your options are determined by the dealer’s up card. If the dealer’s exposed card is 5 or 6, then it is best to stand. But if the dealer is showing a card from 7 through 10, then you have a green light to hit. Surrender only if the dealer’s up card is an ace.

On the Internet, you can find Spanish Blackjack basic strategy charts, where you can see the favorable moves in all possible situations. Some of the moves you have to make are determined by the number of cards your hand consists of. You will certainly need some time to learn the strategy, but your effort will not be in vain.

Spanish Blackjack Strategy Chart


  • Played with 48-card decks (10s removed).
  • Player blackjack (pontoon) beats dealer blackjack.
  • Player 21 beats dealer 21.
  • Double on any number of cards.
  • Re-double down once.
  • Surrender after doubling down.
  • 5-card 21 pays 3:2, 6-card 21 pays 2:1, 7+-card 21 pays 3:1.
  • Special payouts for 6/7/8 and 7/7/7 combinations.
  • 8 decks, Dealer hits soft 17, Dealer peeks for blackjack.
  • Double after split, Resplit up to 4 hands, Draw to split aces.
  • Surrender allowed.
Strategy When Player Has Not Doubled
Your HandThe up card of the dealer
Strategy Chart with Pair
PairThe up card of the dealer


  • H: Hit (Twist)
  • S: Stand (Stick)
  • D: Double if Possible, Otherwise Hit
  • D#: Double if your hand has # or fewer cards, otherwise hit
  • S#: Stand if your hand has # or fewer cards, otherwise hit
  • S*: Stand unless a 6/7/8 or 7/7/7 bonus is possible
  • P: Split (Pair)
  • P*: Split unless suited 7s (possible bonus)
  • R: Surrender if possible, otherwise Hit
Strategy When Player Has Doubled
Your HandThe up card of the dealer


  • S: Stand
  • D: Double
  • R: Surrender


ConclusionSpanish Blackjack is one of the most popular variations of the game which is played by a number of players all over the world. It features great bonuses which make it extremely appealing. Nowadays, this interesting variation can be found in many brick and mortar casinos as well as online due to the fact that it has proven to be very popular among blackjack players. It is undoubtedly a game which is worth a try however before doing so make sure that you get familiar with all of its rules and subtleties.

FAQ: Spanish Blackjack for Beginners

Spanish Blackjack, or Spanish 21, spices things up by removing all the tens from the deck, making it a bit trickier to win as tens are pretty handy in blackjack. But don’t worry, it balances out with some cool rules that can work in your favor, like always winning with a 21, even if the dealer has a 21 too!

Yes, you can! In Spanish Blackjack, you’re allowed to double down on any two cards you get, which means you can double your bet if you think your hand is strong. Plus, you can even double down after splitting pairs, giving you more chances to win big.

As already mentioned, Spanish Blackjack introduces some fun twists like the player’s blackjack always winning the game. If you hit blackjack (an ace and a face card), you win, even if the dealer also has blackjack. That’s a cool rule that you don’t find in regular variations of the card game, making Spanish Blackjack a bit more exciting.

Most certainly. Spanish Blackjack throws in some awesome bonus payouts for specific 21 combinations, like getting paid 3:2 for a five-card 21. These bonuses give you a chance to win more than the usual payouts, especially if you manage to land specific card combos.

Knowing when to hit or stand can be a bit tricky with the extra rules. Generally, you’ll want to hit when your hand is between 4 and 8, and stand on hard totals of 18 to 21. For everything in between, it’s good to check a basic strategy chart for Spanish Blackjack, which will guide you based on your hand and the dealer’s up card.