Spanish blackjack is a blackjack variant which is fast gaining popularity in gambling and online gambling circles world over. The game is obviously based on traditional blackjack but it features several differences in game mechanics and in its actual rules. One of the most striking differences between Spanish blackjack and traditional blackjack is the fact that in Spanish blackjack, all natural 10’s are removed from the decks. Other high cards like jacks, queens, kings and aces remain in the deck, but there are no natural 10’s in Spanish blackjack. Those who know a thing or two about basic blackjack strategy and card counting are likely to be appalled by the lack of natural tens, simply because such a twist induces a massive increase in the house edge. As a matter of fact, by removing the natural tens from the deck one can obtain a 25% increase in the house advantage. Of course, if this were the only difference, nobody would play Spanish blackjack, but there are other differences in the rules too, which tweak the house edge right back to where it normally should be.
One such rule induces obvious advantages for players over the house: if the player and the House both manage to hit 21s, the player always wins. Also, those who hit a 21 may qualify for extra bonuses. Those lucky enough can even take down a massive super bonus, the odds on which are however quite adverse: players need to hold three sevens of the same suit in addition to which the dealer needs to draw seven as well – of any suit – in order for the super bonus to be awarded.
In Spanish blackjack, there aren’t any limitations on splitting. Any two cards of equal value can be split and players can thusly create a maximum number of 4 hands. Split hands can then be doubled at will, and they do in fact qualify for the above said extra bonuses as well. Split hands do not qualify for the super bonus however.
Another interesting Spanish blackjack rule is the one concerning late surrenders. Players are allowed to surrender if they do not like the first two cards that they are dealt. In this case, they forfeit 50% of their initial stake. One cannot surrender on a dealer 21 though.
Other rules concerning doubling down and a special one about double down rescue further increase the player’s odds. Double down rescue is basically about rescuing the doubled portion of a bet on a live doubled-down hand. Whenever a player takes advantage of this option he obviously forfeits his original bet and he doesn’t remain in the hand. Everything considered, Spanish blackjack is an interesting card game, especially suited for those who know their blackjack well and who don’t mind a little bit of extra flexibility in their game.