Blackjack or 21? Is it the same thing?

You might know this worldwide famous game by the name Blackjack or, alternately, the 21. This name is mainly due to the fact that if the player scores more than 21 points without winning the game, the game is automatically over. Historically, Blackjack started being popular in France around the year 1700 and it was commonly known as the “vintage-et-un” (21 in French).

Blackjack, also known as twenty-one, is the most widely played casino banking game in the world. The popularity of this thrilling game is due to many factors, including its excitement and the relatively small house edge, with this last one increasing according to the number of decks used during the game (from 0.17% with a single deck game to 0.65% in 8 deck card games). 

If you're a fan of online casino games, you've probably heard that Blackjack is sometimes called 21. Although many people assume that Blackjack and 21 are the same game, there are actually some important differences between the two games. It is a common mistake for beginners to assume that 21 and Blackjack are the same game under different names. Although they may look like the same game, there are several differences between them, including rules, strategy and winning odds.

For starters, these games are not even played with the same types of card decks. In the game 21 a deck different from Blackjack is used, called the Spanish deck. 

Read carefully the next paragraphs to make sure you understand the difference between these different online Blackjack games before deciding in which one you feel like placing your bet. 

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Spanish Blackjack or Spanish 21

This popular version of Blackjack is commonly known as Spanish Blackjack or Spanish 21. The Spanish 21 is believed to have emerged from other French games, such as Chemin de Fer and French Ferme, with the main goal of reaching the number 21, but always surpassing the dealer's value to win the bet. It is a variation of the game that can be found in both online and land-based casinos. In fact, it's a game most players know and love, making it one of the most popular variations.

Even though sometimes players think Blackjack and 21 are the same casino card game, the truth is that there are substantial differences, starting from the fact that the Spanish 21 is played on a Blackjack table with a different layout and with a different type of cards deck – the Spanish deck with 48 cards.

In the Spanish Blackjack, one of the biggest differences is the absence of the number 10. In this game the cards with the number 10 are removed from the deck. The game can be played with six or eight decks. Spanish 21 is played with 48-card Spanish decks, although standard French suited 52-card decks are used with the 4 ten-spot cards removed. All cards have the same values as in Blackjack. Spanish 21 can be a fun game to play if you know Blackjack and want to try something different.

Why is Spanish Blackjack a player’s favourite?

Spanish 21 or Spanish Blackjack, even though a recent variant of Blackjack, it has quickly become one of the most popular varieties of Blackjack. This variation is a player’s favorite because it offers a faster game packed with action, alongside the fact that it gives players a greater chance of winning. 

What makes Spanish Blackjack more exciting? Well, for starters, in this game, doubling is allowed after splitting, double redemption is also allowed and a player can choose to surrender after doubling, losing only the original bet. 

And what makes Spanish Blackjack more appealing to the players? Not only do the rules and options of this version make the game more packed with constant action, this version can also be more beneficial to the player, both in land-based casinos and online casinos. For example, the player 21 beats dealer 21 and late delivery is allowed. With optimal play, the house edge of a Spanish 21 table is lower than that of a Blackjack table with the same rules on hitting or standing on soft 17.

Match the dealer 

We have already talked about how Spanish 21 Blackjack has different rules, but one of them really stands out from the crowd. The existence of this optional side bet, called match the dealer, is one of the things that differentiates it from the classic Blackjack 21 card game and that makes players thrilled to play it. This special bet will compare the players’ cards with the dealer’s up card.

Matching the rank of the dealer's card pays 4:1 on a six-deck game, and 3:1 on an eight-deck game, while a "perfect match" of rank and suit pays 9:1 on six decks and 12:1 on eight decks. While this side bet has a house edge of approximately 3%, significantly higher than the edge of the main game, it is one of the lowest house edges of any Blackjack side bet. Spanish 21 matches the dealer odds are overall better, which makes a lot of players looking for casinos offering this game. Luckily, you don’t need to look any more, because we have this casino game and much more at your disposal here in your trusted online casino, Tuskcasino.com. 

Why should I choose to play Spanish 21?

If you already know how to play the classic Blackjack and want to spice things up with new rules, new options and new chances of winning prizes, Spanish 21 might just be the game for you. However, even though the house advantage is small and the player has a lot of benefits and bonus hands in this version, before you start playing Spanish 21 you should be well aware that these special features that play in favor of the player are there not only to make game more exciting but also to compensate the fact that all 10s were removed. This means that your strategy can’t be the same as the one used to play a traditional Blackjack game. Why is that? Because with all 10 removed, the ratio of low to high cards differs. Typically, in traditional Blackjack four out of 13 cards in Blackjack are worth 10 (30.8%). In this game, this proportion is reduced to three in 12 (only 25%). In conclusion, these significant differences in rules have a big effect on game strategy and therefore we advise you to adapt your game plan accordingly.

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