Caribbean 21 Blackjack
Caribbean 21 blackjack is a popular variation that can be found at the best online casinos. It was created to give players an enhanced gambling experience, with different rules and gameplay.
This guide will show you the basic rules and gameplay setup of Caribbean 21 blackjack. Get explanations of whenever the game differs from traditional blackjack. After that, you’ll find a useful list of the reputable RTG-powered online casinos where Caribbean 21 blackjack can be played safely and securely. We’ll introduce you to basic blackjack strategy elements for this innovative new addition to the virtual casino floor, including the house edge against you and how to incorporate optimal play.
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Rules and How to Play
Caribbean 21 blackjack is simply an expansion of classic blackjack, so unless otherwise noted, the basic rules remain the same across both games.
Thus, all players begin the game by placing a mandatory ante bet, and the objective of the game is to reach a total of 21, or closest to it, without going over or “busting.”
The standard 52-card deck of playing cards is used in Caribbean 21 blackjack, and according to RealTime Gaming, the software utilizes a virtual shoe containing 255 decks. Each card between 2 and 10 holds a value equal to its numerical rank. The face cards (J, Q, K) each holds a value of 10, while aces hold a value of 1 only (unlike most other forms of blackjack, in which aces can be valued at either 1 or 11).
Caribbean 21 Blackjack Rules
Caribbean 21 blackjack is a creation based on adjusting the standard rules of basic blackjack, so it should be helpful to run through each of these changes individually, explaining the rule itself while also discussing the ways in which it affects a player’s overall gameplay experience:
Aces are Valued as 1 Only, Not 1/11
In a major departure from almost all blackjack variants, Caribbean 21 values the aces in the deck as 1 only. Normally, aces can be valued as either 1 or 11 depending on the player’s current need, but in this game, aces hold the lowest possible value.
Game’s Best Hand, “Caribbean 21,” Two 10-Value Cards and an Ace
Since aces aren’t valued as either 1 or 11 in this game, making a traditional blackjack (any 10-value card plus an ace) is impossible. Instead, the best possible hand is the “Caribbean 21,” which occurs when you hold two 10-value cards along with an ace to create a 21 total. Should you make a Caribbean 21 blackjack, this 21-total outranks all other 21 totals.
Caribbean 21’s Pay 3 to 2, All Other Winning Wagers Pay Even Money
Just like in regular blackjack, making the game’s best hand entitles players to a premium payout of 3 to 2 on their total wager. This includes the ante bet and any other bets made for doubling down or splitting. Any other winning hand aside from Caribbean 21s will result in an even money payout on all wagers.
All Ties are Won by the Dealer
In order to compensate for some of the more generous rules in the game, Caribbean 21 blackjack penalizes players by deeming all tied totals a win for the dealer. In regular blackjack, and most variants, when the dealer’s hand ties the player’s hand, the result is a push, with the player receiving their wagers In this game, however, tying the dealer’s total is no better than going bust, as the dealer will claim all wagers in the event of a tie.
The Dealer Receives Only One Up Card at Start
Taken from the “European” form of blackjack, this rule mandates that the dealer receives only a single up card to begin each hand. The dealer will wait until all player actions have been completed before receiving their second card and completing their starting hand.
Players Can Split Any Two Cards, Not Just Pairs
Another major shift from ordinary blackjack, this rule allows players to split their original two card hand no matter what those two cards are. Normally, players must hold a pair, or identical cards, in order to split. When splitting a hand, players must place an additional wager equal to their ante bet, and the dealer will then separate the two cards and deal a single card to each, forming two new two-card hands.
Players Can Double Down Holding Any Number of Cards, and Re-Doubling is Allowed
Unlike many forms of blackjack, which limit the option to double down to two card hands only, Caribbean 21 blackjack allows players to double down when they hold two or more cards. Doubling down requires the player to place an additional wager equal to their ante bet, and the dealer will then complete the hand by distributing one more card. Players may also choose to double down for the second time, known as redoubling when the situation calls.
Players Can Double Down After Splitting
Once the player has decided to split two cards into two new hands, they may also double down on one or both of these new holdings. Doubling down after a split follows the same double down rules described in the preceding entry.
Players Can Surrender Their Hand at Any Time
Whenever the player determines that their chances of winning a particular hand are slim to none, they may elect to surrender. This move results in the dealer returning half of the total pending wagers, while the player forfeits the hand entirely.
Players Can Take Insurance Against a Dealer Caribbean 21
Whenever the dealer’s up card shows an ace, the player may elect to purchase insurance against the next two cards resulting in a Caribbean 21 blackjack. The cost of insurance is exactly one-half of the player’s current total wagers at the time the transaction occurs. Players can take insurance at any point in the hand. When the dealer does happen to turn over two 10-value cards to transform their ace up card into a Caribbean 21 blackjack, the player’s insurance bet will be paid out at 9 to 1. As the player’s total wager increases (through double downs or splits), they can also increase the size of their insurance bet, so long as it doesn’t exceed one-half of the total wagers in play.
As you can see by studying the rules and explanations above, the heart of Caribbean 21 is the game’s allowance for splitting any two cards and redoubling. To offset these player-friendly rules, Caribbean 21 blackjack ensures the house a decent edge by turning all tied totals into a win for the dealer. By removing the element of pushes from the game, Caribbean 21 blackjack creates a more volatile gameplay experience, one sure to please thrill-seeking players who prefer gambling it up over grinding it out.
Best Places to Play Caribbean 21 Blackjack
As a property of RealTime Gaming (RTG), the game of Caribbean 21 blackjack is available on any number of online casino platforms which are powered by the industry leading software provider.
One word of caution, however, concerning the role of so-called “rogue” operators. With dozens, if not hundreds, of client casinos, existing around the world, RealTime Gaming (RTG) is simply unable to ensure the overall integrity of each operator. This means that for every RTG-powered online casino you might find out there, there’s an equal amount of rogue operators doing business in an unscrupulous manner.
Thankfully, longtime players and industry watchdogs have taken the time to review every major RealTime Gaming client casino within the crowded marketplace. The product of this research is a division between “verified” online casinos, or those known to provide prompt customer service, fair play, and efficient banking transactions, and rogue operators who have lost the collective trust of their customer base.
The list below highlights several of the most popular RTG-powered online casinos which fall into the verified category. So during your subsequent search for a Caribbean 21 blackjack table, take care to limit your real money action exclusively to the safe, trusted sites listed here:
Caribbean 21 Blackjack Strategy
In order to play your cards right given any possible scenario at the Caribbean 21 blackjack table, it’s vital to consult the detailed basic strategy chart. Compiled by the foremost authority on casino game probability, Michael Shackelford of Wizard of Odds renown, this chart provides the optimal decision for any situation based on your cards and the dealer’s up card.
By sticking to Shackleford’s tried and true methodology, players can reduce their house edge in Caribbean 21 blackjack to a staggeringly low 0.19 percent. When compared to traditional blackjack, which carries a house edge under 0.50 percent for basic strategy players, and a 1.5 percent for those relying on their intuition, Caribbean 21 blackjack provides an incredible bargain.
Generally speaking, variations on classic games are designed to entice unsophisticated players, adding bells and whistles to the basic game for the sake of entertainment, while running up the house edge in the process. In the case of Caribbean 21 blackjack, the game’s bargain basement house edge makes it one of the best bets in all casino gambling.
This may be the reason that the would-be millionaire mentioned in the introduction attempted to overcome the house edge using software scripting programs. That player’s attempt to game the system ultimately failed, but as savvy players know, a game like Caribbean 21 blackjack can be played profitably on its own, simply based on the low house edge alone.
Caribbean 21 Blackjack History
The hybrid table game known as Caribbean 21 blackjack was designed and developed by online casino software developer RealTime Gaming (RTG).
RealTime Gaming (RTG) is a respected figure within the online gambling industry, providing cutting edge software suites to dozens of client casinos operating all across the planet. While the RealTime Gaming (RTG) brand is typically associated with the internet’s leading selection of virtual slot machine designs, the company is also a comprehensive provider of casino game software, including hybrid table games like Caribbean 21 blackjack.
As the name suggests, Caribbean 21 is an offshoot of classic blackjack, and aside from a few crucial changes to the rules and setup, this new version adheres closely to the foundation established by its predecessor.
Caribbean 21 Popularity
The game gained a certain level of notoriety back in 2003, after a player on the HamptonCasino.com platform managed to win $1.3 million while playing Caribbean 21 blackjack. As detailed here in a news report by NBC News, the player’s windfall was soon contested by RealTime Gaming (RTG), as the company maintained that illegal software scripting was used to gain an advantage over the game’s software. This fiasco led to Caribbean 21 blackjack being pulled from the table games menu on many RTG-powered casinos, at least until security enhancements could be installed to prevent other players from utilizing software scripts to overcome the house edge against them.
With more and more players discovering the world of online casino gambling each and every day, the number of people encountering new variations on old favorites continues to increase. If you’re interested in learning more about the game of Caribbean 21 blackjack, this page was written with you in mind.