3 Popular Blackjack Variants and How to Beat Them

Blackjack is the most popular version of table game in casinos. As a result, most casinos offer as many blackjack tables as all of their other table games combined.

Because of the popularity of blackjack, you can also find many games based on blackjack. Some of the blackjack variations are fun to play, and a few offer even better odds than some blackjack tables.

In this post, there are three popular blackjack variations covered. You’re going to learn what makes these games different than regular blackjack and how to beat these games.

3 Popular Blackjack Variants and How to Beat Them

1 – Spanish 21

Spanish 21 is a variation of blackjack that has almost every good blackjack rule that exists. The problem with Spanish 21 is that the game is played with a Spanish deck, which doesn’t include 10’s. So instead of using a 52 card deck, the game uses a deck with 48 cards.

Obviously, with four fewer cards you can use to make a blackjack, a Spanish deck is harder to win when it’s being used. Fewer 10’s offset the good rules in Spanish 21, but the game still has a low house edge overall.

Here are the rules for standard Spanish 21 games:

  • If you have three sevens that are suited and the dealer has a seven showing, you win $1,000 if you bet less than $24 and $5,000 if you bet $25 or more
  • If you have six, seven, and eight, or three sevens, it pays 3 to 2 if the suits don’t match, and it pays 2 to 1 if the suits match, and it pays 3 to 1 if all of your cards are spades
  • If you have a seven-card total of 21, you win 3 to 1, and with a six-card total of 21, you win 2 to 1, and with a five-card total of 21, you win 3 to 2
  • You can use the late surrender rule
  • You can split aces multiple times
  • You can double down after splitting pairs
  • If you and the dealer both have blackjack, you win
  • If you have 21, you always win
  • You can use the double down rescue rule
  • You can double down on any number of cards
  • You can double down after splitting a pair of aces

Blackjack games have a strategy that you can use to make the house edge lower. You can also use card counting to beat some blackjack games.

Spanish 21 also has a strategy that you can use to lower the house edge. But it’s not the same strategy you have to use when you play regular blackjack games—the removal of the 10’s changes the proper strategy quite a bit.

If you have a total of 11 and double down, there are only 12 cards in the deck worth 10 points, instead of 16 cards per deck in blackjack games that use a standard deck of cards.

The way to beat Spanish 21 is the same way you beat regular blackjack. You have to use the best strategy you can and count cards. When you count cards, and the remaining cards give you an edge, you bet more money.

However, you have to use a different counting strategy when you play Spanish 21 than when you play regular blackjack. The basic counting strategy works the same way, but the specifics are different because of the different deck in play.

2 – Blackjack Switch

Blackjack switch is a fun variant of blackjack that uses fairly standard rules. The main difference between blackjack and blackjack switch is that you play two hands when you play blackjack switch and only have to play one hand when you play regular blackjack.

You make two bets when you start a hand, just like you’re playing two regular hands. Then, when you receive your two hands, you can leave the cards where they are and play both hands as normal, or you can switch one card from each hand with a card from the other hand.

For example, if you have a hand with an ace and a three, and the other hand has a queen and a seven, you switch the queen and the three. After switching the cards, you have a hand with blackjack and a hand with a total of 10.

Here are the rules at most blackjack switch tables:

  • Dealer checks for blackjack with an ace or 10 value card showing and all player bets are lost except blackjack when the dealer has blackjack
  • You can double down on any two cards
  • You can split pairs until you have four hands
  • You can double down after splitting a pair
  • Blackjack pays 1 to 1
  • When the dealer has a total of 22, the hand is a push unless you have a blackjack

Blackjack switch has one of the lowest house edges of any blackjack game when you use the right strategy. It’s easy to decide whether to make a switch or not and once you make a switch or continue with your hands as they were dealt, you use basic blackjack strategy on each hand.

If you get comps for your play, you can play close to break even when you use the right strategies when you play blackjack switch. If you’re not a card counter, this is usually the best bet in the casino.

You can use card counting when you play blackjack switch, but the truth is that if you’re going to count cards, you’re better off playing regular blackjack games. This is because you can get a higher edge counting regular games with decent rules than counting blackjack switch.

3 – Super Fun 21

Super fun 21 is a blackjack variant that plays like a normal blackjack game. The differences between normal blackjack games and super fun 21 are found in the rules. Super fun 21 has many more favorable rules to the players and one bad rule for players that offset the advantages you get from the good rules.

Here are the main rules for super fun 21:

  • Blackjack pays 1 to 1, instead of 3 to 2 or 6 to 5 in regular blackjack games
  • You can double after splitting pairs
  • You can re-split pairs until you have four hands, including pairs of aces
  • You can double down on split hands, including aces
  • You can double down on any number of cards
  • You can use the double down rescue rule
  • You can use the late surrender rule
  • A six-card hand automatically wins if you don’t bust
  • If you get a total of 21 with five or more cards without doubling down, it pays 2 to 1
  • Your blackjack hands win, no matter what the dealer has
  • A blackjack with both cards in diamonds pays 2 to 1

Super fun 21 has a low house edge in comparison to other casino games. However, the house edge is comparable to the edge when you play regular blackjack games.

Just like the other games listed in this post and regular blackjack games, there’s a strategy you can use when you play super fun 21 to lower the house edge.

You can use card counting when you play super fun 21, but just like blackjack switch, if you’re going to count cards, you should play regular blackjack games with good rules.

Conclusion

Blackjack is still your best option if you want to use card counting to win in a casino. Spanish 21 is also a good option for card counters, but more blackjack tables are available than Spanish 21 tables.

However, if you’re not interested in counting cards and are looking for blackjack variations with a low house edge, the games listed in this post are good options. Blackjack switch is one of the best games when you can find it, as long as you use good strategy.

If you’re looking for a fun diversion from regular blackjack games, Spanish 21, blackjack switch, and super fun 21 a

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