This game is based on the game played in Spain that's simply called '21'. Many card historians feel that blackjack (which is largely an American game) originated from 21. In Australia and Malaysia 21 is called Pontoon, and has slightly different rules.
Spanish blackjack is a lot of fun to play as a lot of decision making is involved, and bonuses available. The first difference is that a Spanish deck is used, in which there are no tens. In Microgaming's version of this game six decks are used.
The other things you need to note are as follows:
- Dealer peaks for blackjack on an ace or face card
- All pairs can be split, and aces can receive more than one card when split
- You can double down on any total and on any number of cards, even after a split
- Insurance is available, and pays 2-1
- Dealer must hit soft 17s, and stands on all other totals above 16
- Late surrender is available – this means you can surrender once the dealer has checked for blackjack but does not have it
- You can surrender after you have doubled down
There are also a number of bonuses:
- Three sevens of the same suit, and the dealer's face card is also a seven: 50-1
- Five card twenty-one: 3-2
- Six, seven and eight of mixed suits: 3-2
- Three sevens, mixed suits: 3-2
- Seven card (or more) twenty-one: 3-1
- Six, seven and eight of spades: 3-1
- Three sevens, all spades: 3-1
- Six card twenty-one: 2-1
- Six, seven and eight of same suit: 2-1
- Three sevens, same suit: 2-1
You do not have to side bet to receive these bonuses – they are paid based on your usual bet.
This game by Microgaming has five player positions but you can only play one of them. You can place a single wager between 1.00 and 200.00. All the controls are self-explanatory.
Spanish 21 has a great reputation for having a miniscule house edge. Depending on the bonuses and rule changes, the house edge can be as low as 0.4% and indeed in this version of the game the house edge is a little higher at 0.42% which puts it about level – returns wise – with 'normal' blackjack.
If you can learn and master the basic strategy associated with this version of the classic card game, then Spanish Blackjack makes a nice change from the usual blackjack rules.
More about blackjack
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