Blackjack Variations

Just when you thought you had mastered Blackjack, you have now discovered a whole new crop of game variations

Just when you thought you had mastered Blackjack, you have now discovered a whole new crop of game variations: Spanish 21, Super Fun 21, 6.5 Single Deck, and Double Diamond. The new variations each require a variation to your application of the Basic Strategy if you want to improve your odds. The casinos are hoping that you will apply an original Basic Strategy version to the "new and improved" variations, thus restoring their previous edge over players. If you prefer to play the newer variations, adjust your Basic Strategy to accommodate the differences in game play. Know the rules of each variation, and learn the Basic Strategy for your selected variation before playing.

 

Variations on Garden Variety Blackjack

Garden variety Blackjack includes a number of less obvious variations, and they may vary from table to table within a casino or at the same online establishment.

The number of decks can vary from one to eight.

Some casinos require dealers to stand on a soft 17, a 17 that includes an Ace counted as an 11, while others require the dealer to hit on a soft 17. Usually, the dealer hits a soft 17, but not always.

Sometimes card shuffling is automated and continuous.


Spanish 21

Spanish 21 removes the 10s from the deck, while the Jacks, Queens and Kings remain in the deck. It uses 6 or 8 decks, and it offers relaxed rules for the player, including double down, surrender and ability to hit at any time. There are a number of extra payouts for certain 21-point combinations, including:

 

Spanish 21 removes the 10s from the deck, while the Jacks, Queens and Kings remain in the deck. It uses 6 or 8 decks, and it offers relaxed rules for the player, including double down, surrender and ability to hit at any time. There are a number of extra payouts for certain 21-point combinations, including:
6-7-8 7-7-7

There is a very high payout if the player gets a 7-7-7- of the same suit and the dealer's up card is also a 7. The payout can range from $1000 to $50,000, really good news for a lucky few. The other players at the table receive a small bonus in addition to the big winner.


Super Fun 21 Single Deck (AKA Double Diamond Blackjack)

 

As the name implies, Super Fun 21 is played with a single deck. Among the other differences is the payout for a Blackjack. For any Blackjack other than one comprised of two Diamond cards, the payout is 1:1. Double Diamond Blackjacks pay 2:1. There are a host of other relaxed rules similar to Spanish 21, rules that favor the player over the house. These rules have made the game a hit among recreational players. If you find this game in a casino, expect to stand in line for a seat. But wait, there's a catch: Super Fun 21, for all its relaxed rules, popularity and party atmosphere doubles the traditional house advantage against players who play traditional Blackjack and employ the Basic Strategy.

 

6:5 Blackjack Single Deck

 

This variation uses a single deck, but only pays 1.2:1 instead of 1.5:1 for a Blackjack. What the player receives on the one hand, the player gives up on the other.