5 Reasons Spanish 21 Is Better Than Blackjack

Man Holding Thumbs Up With a Spanish 21 Table Behind Him

Many gamblers claim that blackjack is the best game in the casino. In some casinos, blackjack is the best available game. But Spanish 21 is a better game than regular blackjack in many casinos.

Spanish 21 shares many rules with blackjack, but the overall rules of Spanish 21 are always better than in blackjack. But the main difference between the two games is the deck used.

Spanish 21 games use 28 card decks, and blackjack games use 52 card decks. The difference is Spanish 21 decks don’t have 10’s. In this post, you’re going to learn five reasons why Spanish 21 is better than blackjack.

1 – Late Surrender

Most regular blackjack games don’t allow surrender of any kind. Technically there are two different kinds of surrender in blackjack.

The first type is called early surrender. In early surrender, you can give up on your hand before the dealer checks for a blackjack. When you give up your hand, you receive half of your bet back. I’ve never found a blackjack game that uses the early surrender rule.

I’ve played at a few blackjack tables that have late surrender, but this isn’t a common rule. On the other hand, late surrender is one of the base rules for Spanish 21 games.

If you’re not familiar with why late surrender is a good rule, consider an example. If the dealer has an ace showing and you have a hard total of 16, you don’t have a good chance to win. In fact, it’s more profitable to surrender in this situation than to complete the hand.

The best strategy when you have a pair of 8’s in regular blackjack is to split the pair. But when you’re playing Spanish 21, the best strategy to play in Spanish 21 with a pair of 8’s is to surrender. Do you know why this is the best strategy?

When you’re playing Spanish 21, you have to consider the lack of 10’s in the deck whenever you’re trying to determine the best strategy. If you split a pair of 8’s in regular blackjack, you have all of the face cards and 10’s you can draw to have a total of 18. The deck has four fewer cards to give you an 18 in Spanish 21.

2 – Double Down Rescue

Double down rescue is a rule I’ve never seen used in a regular blackjack game. But it’s a standard rule in Spanish 21 games. And it’s a great rule that you can take advantage of often.

When you double down, you usually receive only one additional card and have to stand. With double down rescue, you double down and then get to decide if you want to stand or surrender.

For example, if you have a hard total of 10 and double down, which is the best strategy play, and receive a six, you have a hard 16. In regular blackjack, you’re stuck with a 16. In Spanish 21, you can double down rescue, and you only lose your original bet. You get the amount you used to double down back.

Spend a minute thinking about how useful double down rescue is. You need to double down in as many favorable situations as possible. You always need to make the bet when you have a statistical edge and can get twice as much money in play.

But sometimes, when you double down, you get a terrible card. For example, you have a hard 11 and draw a two or three. Double down rescue, when you use it correctly, can help you take advantage of profitable situations, and help you save money when things don’t go your way.

3 – 21 Always Wins

In regular blackjack games, when the dealer has a blackjack, all players lose, no matter what they have. So if you have a blackjack and the dealer has a blackjack, you still lose the hand.

In addition, if the dealer doesn’t start with a 21 and later draws to a 21, you win the hand if you have 21, even if you have to draw to get to 21. In regular blackjack games, when you and the dealer both have 21, the result is a push.

When a game uses the rule that a player with 21 always wins, like in Spanish 21, it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference. But how many times have you played regular blackjack and lost to a dealer blackjack when you had a blackjack or had to push with a 21?

Spanish 21 also uses many other rules that are more favorable than regular blackjack rules. If a regular blackjack game used the same rules as Spanish 21, you’d have an advantage over the casino when you played.

Of course, casinos aren’t in the habit of offering games where you have an advantage. The only reason why Spanish 21 offers such good rules is because the base game offers the casino a larger edge than regular blackjack games.

When you’re playing blackjack, you have a chance to win with a blackjack when you have an ace. To get a blackjack, you have to match a card worth 10 points with your ace. With a 52 card deck, there are 16 cards worth 10 points, but with a 48 card deck, there are only 13 cards worth 10 points.

4 – House Edge

Every casino game, and every casino wager, has a house edge. The house edge is shown as a percentage, and it tells you how much the casino makes from bets it accepts.

For example, a wager with a house edge of 5% makes an average of 5% on all of the bets the casino accepts. If the casino takes a total of $102,300 worth of bets over the course of a shift on the bet with a 5% house edge, the casino makes $5,115.

If the house edge on the same amount of total wagers is 1%, the casino makes $1,023.

From these examples, you can see that the wagers that have the lowest house edge give you a better chance to win and make your bankroll last longer.

Two People Playing Blackjack Table in Casino

The house edge for Spanish 21 varies from .38% to .8%. Notice that both ends of the range are below 1%, so Spanish 21 has a low house edge. You need to understand that if you want to play Spanish 21 with a low house edge, you have to learn how to use the best strategy on each hand.

The house edge for regular blackjack games varies from .3% to 2%. The exact edge depends on the combination of rules, and you also have to use the best strategy to achieve the lowest possible edge.

It’s possible to find a regular blackjack game with a lower house edge than Spanish 21, but on average, Spanish 21 has a lower house edge than blackjack.

5 – Less Heat When You Count Cards

The final reason why Spanish 21 is better than blackjack only applies to a small percentage of gamblers. But you should make sure that this applies to you.

Some gamblers learn how to count cards when they play blackjack, and they can get an edge by counting. You can also get an edge playing Spanish 21 by counting cards. Learning how to win by counting is challenging, but it’s worth the effort required to learn because once you learn, you can always play with an advantage.

The main problem card counters have is the casinos don’t want people counting cards. You won’t go to jail for counting cards, but the casinos can force you to stop playing. When casinos watch for card counters, it’s called heat.

While casinos aren’t stupid, they pay more attention to card counters at blackjack tables than at Spanish 21 tables. In other words, you’re less likely to get caught counting cards when you play Spanish 21 than when you play regular blackjack.

You still have to try not to get caught when you count at a Spanish 21 table, but you can get away with it longer than you can at a regular blackjack table in most casinos.

In Summary

Spanish 21 is a lot like blackjack, but it’s one of the variations that are not exactly like the classic game. The lack of 10’s in the deck takes a little getting used to, but after that, the game is about the same as blackjack.

Spanish 21 has some of the best blackjack rules you can find to make up for the lack of 10’s. Late surrender and double down rescue can save you a lot of money, and you don’t have to worry about having a great hand lose when the dealer has a 21.

Many Spanish 21 games have a lower house edge than regular blackjack games, and if you’re a card counter, Spanish 21 games have less heat than basic blackjack games.