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Rules to Play Spanish 21 - Explanation of Game Basics

As Spanish 21 is a variant of blackjack, it is not surprising that some Spanish 21 rules are common with conventional blackjack’s ones; it can be said about the aim of these games (to beat a casino dealer with your card hand without exceeding 21 points), basic rules and card values.

Interesting fact: Spanish 21 is called to be Pontoon in Australia though it has nothing in common with British Pontoon except the name. So, do not mix these two games up! Australian Pontoon is actually Spanish 21 though it has some very small rule differences.

As well as at blackjack, cards for playing Spanish 21 have following values:

  • An Ace = 1 or 11 points
  • Face cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings) = 10 points
  • Small cards (9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2) are the same with their numbers.

Note! Spanish 21 is played without 10’s in a deck. 6-8 decks of 48 cards are used to play this variant of blackjack.

So, what are Spanish 21 rules?

As Spanish 21 is played without 10’s in a card deck, rules of this game were also changed a bit in a way to give some advantages to a player, though these rules can slightly vary in different casinos. Anyway, there are some bonuses for a player which can be found in every casino where Spanish 21 is played.

What are these bonuses?

  • If both a dealer and a player have 21 points, the winner will definitely be a player but never a dealer!
  • A player can split up to four hands and even Aces are allowed to split!
  • Any number of cards can be doubled by a player.
  • Though a player does not get bonuses after splitting and doubling, he can get them if has the following card variations:
  • 5 cards of 21 points (pays 3 to 2)
  • 6 cards of 21 points (pays 2 to 1)
  • 7 cards of 21 points (pays 3 to 1)
  • A combination of three cards 6-7-8 of different suits (pays 3 to 2); of the same suit (pays 2 to 1); of spades (pays 3 to 1)
  • A combination of three cards 7-7-7 of different suits (pays 3 to 2); of the same suit (pays 2 to 1); of spades (pays 3 to 1)

What about a dealer?

The absence of 10’s in Spanish 21 decks of cards gives a dealer advantages though additional bonuses for players make them to be not very noticeable.

A dealer has an opportunity to hit or stand when he has a soft 17 in his hand.

What is soft hand?

This is any hand where an Ace can be counted as 11 without busting (overcoming 21). For example, an Ace + 6 = 17 = soft hand (an Ace was counted as 11 points).

Note! There are also hard hands, when you count an Ace as 1 point because otherwise (if you count it as 11 points) you will bust. For example, an Ace + 9 + 7 = 17 = hard hand (an Ace was counted as 1 point, otherwise you would have 27 points and bust).

 

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