Spanish Blackjack

Spanish Blackjack is a popular variation of the standard game that is played with eight decks of only 48 cards.  Unlike standard decks of cards, those used in this version have removed all of the 10’s.  However, face cards with a value of 10 like the king, jack and queen are still present.

Typically, blackjack players consider many high cards in the playing deck an advantage, and fewer high cards benefits the dealer.  This is why Spanish Blackjack is sometimes considered a disadvantaged game to those who play it.  To counteract this effect, a few different rules are used in this game to compensate and swing favor back into the player’s court.

One such rule in Spanish Blackjack is that a blackjack pays 3:2.  In addition, a player’s blackjack will beat a dealer’s blackjack in the event of a tie between the two.  Other versions and standard blackjack refer to this as a “push”.

When a player and the dealer both have a 21, the player wins.  This situation may also be called a “push” in other blackjack games. 

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If a player feels that his or her hand stands no chance of winning, a surrender or “fold” is allowed.  This action, when taken by the player, allows forfeiture of only half of their bet.

Doubling down is also allowed in Spanish Blackjack on any number of cards.  When compared to standard games, this is only allowed on a player’s first two cards.

Surrendering is also allowed after doubling down if this strategy does not produce the desired results, and this rule is exclusive to Spanish Blackjack.  Re-doubling down is normally not an option in other versions, but Spanish Blackjack players are allowed to do so when they feel their hand will win.

One feature of Spanish Blackjack that truly sets it apart from others is the fact that splitting rules are extremely generous for the player.  Players are allowed to make four hands and split up to three times, and doubling down is allowed after a split.

When a player holds two cards with a value of 10 that are different, these may also be split.  Aces may also be split twice.

Additional advantages for the player in Spanish Blackjack are the bonuses paid in certain situations.  For example, a five-card 21 pays 3:2, a six-card 21 pays 2:1, and a seven-card or higher 21 pays 3:1.

3:2 payouts are given on a 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 hand of different suits.  When these same hands are in the same suit, payout is 2:1.  These hands in all spades pay 3:1.

Eight decks used in Spanish Blackjack allows for the above combinations quite often, but the biggest payout is given when the player holds triple 7’s of the same suit and the dealer has a face-up 7.  When this happens, the player is paid on a 50:1 basis.

Playing with these new rules, and using decks without the 10’s, requires completely different playing and betting strategies in Spanish Blackjack versus other versions of the game.