Spanish 21 vs. Blackjack | Which One Wins the Fight?

Written by: Jeremy Olson , Online Casino and Games Expert
4 minute read
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There’s an epic battle between two fan-favorite table games, and it’s a close fight. It’s Spanish 21 vs. Blackjack, and the question is, which is the better option? Unique decks separate the two. But only after diving into the pros and cons of each will you know which one prevails.

Blackjack is the table game of choice for many casino players. Its immense popularity has spawned many variations, one of the most notable being Spanish 21. The low house edge and the thrill of winning big on the felt draw millions of gamblers daily to land-based or online casinos. So, which one should you play?

What You Should Know About Spanish 21

Spanish 21 Blackjack Variant Cards and Flag Icon

The main difference in Spanish 21 doesn’t contain any 10s in its deck. The face cards remain, but the removal of four ten-valued cards leaves only 48 cards in the deck and causes hands full of small cards more often.

In this harder-to-find variant, the dealer ultimately gains an advantage from removing the tens. To help level the playing field, Spanish 21 has some extra player-friendly rules that apply throughout the round.

Additional Player-Friendly Rules

Several player-friendly rules more than help make up for the lack of 10s. Things like late surrender and double-down rescue are rare rules beyond this game. Match that up with the large bonus payouts, particularly the $5k Super Bonus, and it’s no wonder people love this variant.

Depending on the table, Spanish 21 typically consists of some or all of the following rules:

  • Suited 7-7-7 pays $1,000 for bets $5-$24
  • Suited 7-7-7 pays $5,000 for bets $25 and up
  • $50 “Envy Bonus” for other players in hand when suited 7-7-7 occurs
  • Mixed 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 hands pay 3:2
  • Suited 6-7-8 pays 2:1
  • 5 card 21 pays 3:2
  • 6 card 21 pays 2:1
  • 7 card 21 pays 3:1
  • You always win with 21
  • Late surrender
  • Double down on any number of cards
  • Double down rescue lets you surrender after doubling down to only sacrifice your original bet

Spanish 21 Pros and Cons

Ready to jump into Spanish 21? Check out the pros and cons of the game before you place your bets.


  • Several bonus payouts
  • Unique blackjack variation with no 10s
  • Several extra player-friendly rules


  • Missing 10s mean less natural 21s
  • Requires learning new strategy
  • Not as widely available

What You Should Know About Blackjack

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Blackjack needs no introduction. It launched in casinos in the 1950s and quickly spread in popularity due to its strategic nature and low house edge. It’s now a mainstay in almost every casino’s table game section.

The game uses a standard 52-card deck with 10s, improving your chances of scoring natural blackjacks. While many brick-and-mortar casinos favor a 6:5 payout for a natural 21 these days, online blackjack still has great single deck options with 3:2 natural blackjack payouts.

Blackjack Pros and Cons

Is classic blackjack better than Spanish 21? Consider these pros and cons when choosing which variant to play.


  • Available in every casino
  • Low stakes are available
  • Low house edge in ideal conditions


  • No big bonus payouts
  • The basic gameplay is less exciting
  • House edge fluctuates with rules

Spanish 21 vs. Blackjack | Which One Has Better Odds?

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Blackjack and Spanish 21 are two of the best casino games regarding odds. Both of these games give you a great chance to win under the right circumstances. Players should use optimal strategy tips to increase their odds of winning.

The rules at the table, natural 21 payouts, and basic strategies you employ all affect the house edge. Take a look at the house edge of each game and make an informed decision before playing for real money.

Classic Blackjack

If you can find a single-deck blackjack game where the dealer stands on soft 17 and you get 3:2 for a natural 21, you can get the house advantage under 0.2% with perfect gameplay. But, with less than favorable rules, the house edge can climb as high as 2%.

Spanish 21

The lowest house edge in Spanish 21 is around 0.4%, which is higher than the best blackjack game. However, with all the player-favorable rules, the highest house advantage is still typically under 1%.

The Results Are In & Both Games Are Winners!

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There are no losers in this fight. Your preference for old-school blackjack vs. Spanish 21 is a subjective matter. You can play both at real money online casinos or land-based gambling destinations.

You may appreciate the straightforward rules of classic blackjack. It is available in nearly every casino and features a 0.3%-0.5% house advantage under ideal circumstances.

If you’re tired of the same blackjack drill, then give Spanish Blackjack a shot. You’ll get a different challenge and strategy than the conventional version, with a 0.4% house edge on the suitable tables.

Jeremy Olson

Jeremy Olson Online Casino and Games Expert

Jeremy Olson is a research writer in the gambling industry who has covered poker, casino games, and sports betting since 2004. He converted bad beats in blackjack and poker into a passion to learn and now specializes in several areas of the online casino market.

Learn More About Jeremy