Strategy for Spanish 21 – My Best Tips

Spanish 21, Poker, Cards, Ace, Jack, Tables

Welcome to my guide to Spanish 21 strategy! In this post, I show you the rules that make this game favorable over other blackjack variants, how to take advantage of them, what to avoid when playing, and much more.

If you want to formulate a strategy that gives you the best chance possible of winning Spanish 21, and you want to know where you can play it online, this article was written with you in mind.

Spanish 21 Basic Strategy Tips

Here are some tips for forming a Spanish 21 basic strategy. These are applicable to beginners with no knowledge of the game.

More advanced players can use them, too, but will probably find more value in the next section.

Play Spanish 21 with Favorable Rules

There are some Spanish 21 rules that are universal, such as that all 10s are removed from decks or that either six or eight decks will be used in the game.

However, there are other rules that vary from casino to casinos, and they can have a big impact on game outcomes.

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For example, Spanish 21 variable rules include whether the dealer can hit or stand on soft 17 and whether redoubling is allowed. You want to look for variants where the dealer must stand on soft 17 and where redoubling is allowed up to three times.

One of the most favorable rules in Spanish 21 for players is the ability to surrender late, but there are some casinos that don’t allow this. Looking around for variants that have the maximum number of favorable rules is just common sense.

Avoid the ‘Match the Dealer’ Side Bet

One of the most enticing Spanish 21 bets is a side bet called ‘Match the Dealer’. If you make it, and one of your initial cards matches or outranks the dealer’s up card, you’ll win a hefty 18-1 payout.

However, the house edge on this bet is significantly higher than blackjack overall. Whereas blackjack as a whole has a house edge of 0.5%, this side bet has a house edge of about 3%.

If you’re going to make this bet, do it when you have a stack of chips you’ve won from the casino, and only make it once or twice. Experienced blackjack players know that this game is all about grinding out a profit, and these side bets are literally designed to distract you from doing so.

Fully Understand Spanish 21 Rules

To make up for the removal of the 10s, which only helps the dealer, Spanish 21 has several favorable rules that benefit players. Fully understanding these rules will help you form the best 21 Spanish strategy possible.

Here are some of the best things about Spanish 21:

  • You always win with a hand worth 21.
  • A player’s natural blackjack beats the dealer’s blackjack every time.
  • Late surrender is allowed in Spanish 21.
  • It’s also possible to surrender after doubling down.
  • Players can split aces multiple times.
  • Players can double down after splitting.
  • A five-card hand worth 21 pays 3 to 2.
  • A six-card hand worth 21 pays 2 to 1.
  • A seven-card hand worth 21 pays 3 to 1.

Commit these rules to memory so that you can take full advantage of opportunities as they arise during gameplay. There are no Spanish 21 strategy tips greater than mastery of the game.

Learn How to Take Advantage of Spanish 21 Bonuses

As you’ll see when you visit some of the best blackjack sites that offer Spanish 21, most of them have bonuses for both new and existing players.

Here’s a secret many of the casinos won’t tell you; due to its low house edge, blackjack doesn’t count as much when wagering bonuses as games like slots or keno. This is called game weighting.

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If you read the small print, you’ll find that most card games have 10% game weighting, whereas pure chance games like slots have 100% game weighting. This means that for every $1 you wager on slots, $1 counts, whereas every $1 you wager on Spanish 21, $0.10 counts.

However, there are casinos that offer bonuses specifically for card games that have more favorable terms. For example, Wild Casino, which offers Spanish 21 under the name Pirate 21, offers blackjack tournaments, special bonuses for card players, and more.

In my experience, boosting your bankroll with fair casino bonuses is probably the best strategy tip for every game, including Spanish 21. More chips equals more hands and, thus, more chances to win, and when those chips come at the expense of the casino, you literally have nothing to lose.

Spanish 21 Card Counting

Can you card count in Spanish 21? Yes, you can, and I wrote a detailed guide to Spanish 21 card counting here.

I recommend you click the link and read the more in-depth blog post on the subject, but to give you a snapshot here, Spanish 21 card counting is very different due to the absence of the 10s.

There are various systems specifically for this blackjack variant, and the usual ones won’t work unless tweaked for Spanish 21. Keep that in mind when forming a basic strategy for Spanish 21.

Where to Play Spanish 21 Online

Spanish 21 is widely available at casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere. However, unless you live near those casinos, you’re better off playing it online.

US players can enjoy Spanish 21 under the name Pirate 21 at Wild Casino. This crypto-friendly casino site offers new players a welcome bonus worth $5,000, and it has regular blackjack tournaments. Wild Casino will pay you quickly when you win, which is one of the main reasons I recommend it.

Players from elsewhere can Play Pirate 21 at PlayAmo Casino. This site has a generous welcome bonus, plenty of blackjack variants, ongoing promotions for loyal players, and it accepts popular cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum. It’s one of my top-rated online casinos.

Gavin Lucas
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About Gavin Lucas
Hi! I’m Gavin Lucas, a gambling enthusiast with a particular love for video slots and live casino games. I have been writing about gambling online since 2015, and am always keen to try new games as soon as they’re released. Other than gambling, I’m obsessed with technology and I've written numerous articles for CoinGeek on the topic. I’m fascinated by how online gambling will be changed by blockchain technology, micropayments, and the Metaverse. Having tested several blockchain casinos already, I believe I can see what casinos will look like 10 years from now, and I enjoy sharing that vision with others.