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How to Play Spanish 21

Spanish 21 - Blue Lake Casino Hotel

How to Play Spanish 21

at Blue Lake Casino Hotel

Blue Lake Casino offers a wide variety of exciting games that are fun to play and give you a great chance of winning a lot of money. You can spend many hours exploring all the different games we offer, or you can concentrate your time with one or two games that are your favorites. You’ll never run out of options when you visit Blue Lake casino.

Spanish 21 is one of our most popular table games, and it is growing in popularity as more people discover it. Here is how to play Spanish 21 and everything you should know about it.

What is Spanish 21?

Spanish 21 may sound like some exotic new game, but it’s actually a game that most people already know: Blackjack. The difference lies in the different winning options there are based on the card combinations you get. The basic rules of the game are the same, which makes it accessible for newcomers, but there are variations that make it more interesting for those looking to change up their game.

Basic Rules of Spanish 21

The basic rules of Spanish 21 are the same as Blackjack. The goal of the game is to get a hand that totals 21 — or as close to it without going over.

Game play starts with each player and the dealer getting two cards. Typically, one card is dealt face down and the other is dealt face up. In some instances, players are dealt both cards face up, while the dealer is given one card face down.

After receiving your first cards, you can then decide to “hit,” meaning to get another card, or “stand,” meaning you keep your hand as it is. You can hit as many times as you like until you reach 21 or go over.

A key difference between Blackjack and Spanish 21 is that all 10s are removed from the deck in Spanish 21.

A Blackjack occurs when the first two cards that are dealt equal 21 — a combination of a face card (Jack, Queen, or King) and an Ace (which can have a value of 1 or 11, depending on your hand). If the dealer gets a Blackjack, they win automatically. Otherwise, any player who reaches 21 or gets closer to it than the dealer will win their bets.

Spanish 21 - Blue Lake Casino Hotel

How to Play Spanish 21

Once you know the basics of Blackjack, you know the basics of Spanish 21. However, there are some more advanced rules that you’ll want to learn to expand your options for winning and to enhance your enjoyment of the game.


The objective in Spanish 21 is the same as it is in Blackjack: To get 21 or as close to it as possible without going over.

The primary differences in game play for Spanish 21 lie in remembering that you do not have 10s in the deck and taking advantage of different betting strategies, which can give you payouts for different combinations. Those combinations are:

  • 5 Card 21: Pays 3-2
  • 6 Card 21: Pays 2-1
  • 7+ Card 21: Pays 3-1
  • 6-7-8 Mixed: Pays 3-2
  • 6-7-8 Suited: Pays 2-1
  • 6-7-8 Spaded: Pays 3-1
  • 7-7-7 Mixed: Pays 3-2
  • 7-7-7 Suited: Pays 2-1
  • 7-7-7 Spaded: Pays 3-1


The dealer automatically wins if they get a Blackjack. However, if the dealer’s face up card is not a Jack, Queen, King, or Ace, you can be certain that they do not have a Blackjack. Therefore, you should try to get your hand as close to 21 as possible. If your hand does not have a high value, you should hit.


If you feel that your hand is as close to 21 as you think it will go, you should stand, or stop accepting cards. You may stand with a hand as low as 14 as there is a good chance that you could get a face card with your next card. You just have to decide on your own risk tolerance to know when to stand.


If you don’t feel confident in your chances of winning, you can surrender. That means that you give up half of your bet, and you forfeit the hand. This can be a good strategy if you are reasonably confident that you won’t win since you’ll only lose half the bet and not all of it.

Double Down

If you feel that you need only one more card to win, you can double down. Typically, players who have a hand valued at 11 will double down because there is a good chance that the next card could be a face card, taking them to 21. Doubling down means that you double your bet and you get only one more card.


If your first two cards are a pair, you can choose to split them into two hands. You will have to put your starting bet on the second hand, and then you can play them both independently, hitting as needed, and betting as you like.

Take Insurance

If the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, you can choose to take insurance for half of your original bet. If the dealer does end up getting 21, you will be paid out 2-1.

Basic Strategy

Knowing all the rules for Spanish 21 is key to your success. Familiarize yourself with all of the ways that you can make 21, be sure to understand all of the betting options (including splitting, doubling down, and surrendering), and know the payouts for Spanish 21. With this knowledge, you can make informed choices about when to hit and stand and how to bet. The rest of the game is entirely up to chance.

  • Some things to keep in mind:
  • A player’s natural Blackjack beats the dealer’s Blackjack every time.
  • Late surrender is allowed in Spanish 21.
  • It’s possible to surrender after doubling down.
  • Players can split aces multiple times.
  • Players can double down after splitting.

Tips to Win at Spanish 21

Tips and strategies for Spanish 21 can get quite extensive, covering a variety of possible hands. Here are some highlights to keep in mind:

  • Always hit on hands valued at a hard 4 through 8 or 12
  • Always hit on hands valued at a soft 13 or 14 (“soft” hands are made with an Ace)
  • Always double down on a hand valued at 11
  • Always stand on hands valued at a hard 18 or higher
  • Never split a pair of 4s or 5s
  • Always stand with a pair of 10s
  • Always split a pair of Aces

Again, this list can get quite extensive. Start small by memorizing a few of these tips. Once you get more familiar with the game and these strategies feel like second-nature, study some additional tips to add to your repertoire.

Spanish 21 Etiquette

Etiquette in Spanish 21 is the same as etiquette in Blackjack. You never sit at a table unless you are playing. Make sure you know the minimum bets at the table, and be prepared to plan your game play around it.

Know the hand gestures for play. Tap the table in front of you with a finger to indicate that you want to hit, or get another card. Wave your hand over your cards if you want to stand. If you’d like to double down, pick up the appropriate amount of chips and place them next to your original bet, then point with one finger. If you’d like to split, do the same thing with your chips, but hold up two fingers in a V-shape.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Spanish 21 More Difficult than Regular Blackjack?

    No. The rules are nearly the same. The only difference in gameplay is that Spanish 21 uses decks with the 10s removed, and there are more options for betting.

  • How Does the Payout Structure in Spanish 21 Differ from Regular Blackjack

    Specific bets are available in Spanish 21 that are not available in Blackjack. These include:

    • 5 Card 21: Pays 3-2
    • 6 Card 21: Pays 2-1
    • 7+ Card 21: Pays 3-1
    • 6-7-8 Mixed: Pays 3-2
    • 6-7-8 Suited: Pays 2-1
    • 6-7-8 Spaded: Pays 3-1
    • 7-7-7 Mixed: Pays 3-2
    • 7-7-7 Suited: Pays 2-1
    • 7-7-7 Spaded: Pays 3-1
  • Can You Count Cards in Spanish 21?

    Yes. Your count will change since the deck will not include any 10s. You also must know how many decks are being used in the game to get a proper count.

  • How Popular is Spanish 21 in Casinos?

    It is growing in popularity as many people are learning about how easy and fun it is to play, while also offering new and exciting opportunities to win.

Play Spanish 21 at Blue Lake Casino

Blue Lake Casino Hotel is glad to offer Spanish 21, along with Blackjack and many other table games. Spanish 21 offers hours of fun play for all kinds of players, and the unique betting options give you new chances to win. Ask our dealers or any of our other friendly staff for information about the game or bets if you aren’t sure about any of the rules. When you’re done gaming, grab a meal or a drink at one of our many on-site establishments, or treat yourself to a night in our luxury hotel.