An interesting blackjack variant, Spanish Blackjack, is played with only 48 cards per deck. The number 10 cards are removed from the deck for this game. A number of specific hand combinations will also bring bonuses to this game. Spanish Blackjack offers some of the best odds that can be found in casino blackjack. Because the tens are removed from the pack, the house edge is substantially raised, however, the rules of the game, and the payouts that are offered when getting a 21, are great bonuses for players.
Removing the 10s gives the dealer about another 2% advantage over the players. The bonuses and rules that are specific to Spanish Blackjack certainly make up for the raised house edge, but only when the game is played optimally.
Special Spanish Blackjack Rule
In Spanish Blackjack, there is an important rule change that is in favor of the player. In regular blackjack, when both the dealer and a player have a blackjack in the same hand, it is considered a push or a tie, and the player simply gets their bet back. In Spanish Blackjack, the player’s blackjack will always beat a dealer’s blackjack.
Spanish Blackjack Payouts
There are different payouts for the different ways in which a hand with a total of 21 can be made up.
A blackjack is paid at 3:2. Making 21 with any of the following combinations pays at the odds listed below
- 5 cards is paid at 3:2
- 6 cards is paid at 2:1
- 7 or more cards is paid at 3:1
- 6, 7, and 8 is paid at 3:2
- three sevens in mixed suits is paid at 3:2
- three sevens of the same suit pays 2:1
- three sevens of spades pays 3:1
If 21 points were made as described in the list above, these payouts are also given to players hands that are the result of a split hand. If the hand with these combinations was split or doubled down, the above payouts are not applicable.
The Insurance bet is available, and is paid out at 2:1 just as it is paid out in other versions of blackjack. This bet is, in fact, far worse to take in Spanish Blackjack than in regular blackjack because the 10s have been taken out of the pack. In order to make this bet similar to the same bet in regular blackjack it would need to be paid out at odds of 4:1.
Spanish Blackjack allows players to split their hands with any cards of equal value. Picture cards do not have to be the same to split them. If they are the same point value, they can be split. Players can split up until a maximum of four hands. The rule when splitting Aces is the same as that for other cards. If any ten-value card is dealt to an Ace that has been split, the hand will still win against the dealer’s 21.
Other Spanish Blackjack Rules and Guidelines
The dealer deals himself a hole card. The dealer peeks at his hole card at the beginning of the hand. If he is holding a natural blackjack, the hand is not played out, and the dealer wins. For any other players that are also holding blackjack, they will beat the dealer.
Most casinos follow the same rules as traditional blackjack when it comes to the dealer standing. Usually the dealer hits on 16, and then stands on 17. Some casinos have the dealer hit on a soft 17. It is permitted to double after splitting.
Spanish Blackjack “Super Bonus”
Spanish Blackjack’s “super bonus” is paid out as $1,000 for bets that were placed under $25, and as $5,000 for bets played at more than that amount. This “super bonus” is paid to a player when the player is holding three sevens at the same time that the dealer is holding a seven. This is a lucky hand to have, and luck for all the others playing in that hand, each will receive $50, known as “envy money.” This bonus is not counted if the hand is split or doubled down.