Types of blackjack

Blackjack is an immensely popular card game in casinos world wide and it is not surprising to see that there are many different types of black jack available, online as well as offline. Most types of blackjack are played using a so called French decks (“normal decks”) with 52 cards per deck and no jokers. Often, a shoe (card box) is filled with eight decks mixed together at the blackjack table. It is however possible to find single-deck blackjack as well.

Types of black jack

There are no hard-and-fast rules for when a game stops being considered a type of blackjack and is recognized as a game in its own right, so a game that you encounter as “special blackjack” in one casino can be offered as non-blackjack in another gambling house.

Here are a few examples of different types of blackjack and other games where the objective is to get as close to 21 as possible without going bust.

Within each type of blackjack, different casinos can employ different rules so it is important to learn the rules of your particular table before you start wagering your money. Some casinos will for instance let you keep your wager when you tie with the dealer, while others will take your money if the tie is below 20. Some types of blackjack give you the opportunity to surrender your hand midway, while others offer a special bonus when you get a blackjack using the jack of spades. These are just a few examples of how blackjack rules can vary from table to table, even within the same type of blackjack.

Spanish 21 – one example of the many black jack types

Spanish 21 is a blackjack variant owned by Masque Publishing Inc. When casinos do not wish to pay the licensing fee to Masque Publishing, they normally offer the game under the name Spanish Blackjack instead – often with slightly changed rules to avoid legal problems.

Spanish 21 is played with six or eight French decks where all the 10:s have been removed. Thus, each deck is comprised of just 48 cards instead of 52.

Just like in traditional blackjack, an ace is worth 1 or 11 points, face cards are worth ten points, and all the other cards are worth their numerical value. Also, the dealer must hit och 16 and stay on 17. At so called S17-tables (soft seventeen), the dealer must hit on a soft 17. At H17 tables, the dealer must stand on a soft 17. S17-tables decreases the house edge and are thus beneficial for the player. Masque Publishing maintains a list of venues where you can find S17-tables.

Hitting, standing and splitting follow the same rules as standard blackjack and doubling after splitting is always allowed. You can split to a maximum of four hands.

The pay out rules for Spanish 21 differ significantly from standard black jack types. A player with a blackjack always get paid 3:2 in Spanish 21, even when the dealer has a blackjack as well. Also, insurance pays 2:1 in Spanish 21 even though there are four less ten-point cards per deck. This puts the house edge for insurance at a whopping 24,7% for this type of black jack.

These are just a few examples of Spanish 21 rules; for a complete list consult the casino you wish to play in.