Understanding the Basics: Variants Part 2

There are many more variants of blackjack that we can list in the space of 2 or 3 articles. Some of them are big, played in many casinos. Some of them are small and relatively rare, played in just 1 or 2 casinos. There are also variants that used to be played in many casinos but are no longer available, and ones that have only just started to become popular. In this article we will focus on more popular variants, helping you to learn about as many of them as possible.

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Spanish 21

This game is very popular with players, which is causing some issues in the blackjack community. Basically, whilst Spanish 21 may be fun and therefore good for newcomers, the house edge is very big and professional players tend to stay away from this game. Its popularity means it is more widespread than ever though and in some casinos it has replaced all forms of blackjack.

In Spanish 21 some of the picture cards are removed and a number of other rules are also tweaked in favor of the house. They often include some side bets and Insurance to entice newbies in, but as any professional will tell you, neither of these will work in your favor.

Blackjack Surrender

This game goes by a number of other names, all of which have one basic principle, which is the “surrender” option. This is better known as an “Early Surrender” as opposed to a “Late Surrender” and basically allows the player to sacrifice his hand early-on, getting a portion of his stake back. This is great for professionals and aspiring pros, as it increases variance due to the fact that you can give up on hands where your odds of getting a return are very low.

Face-Up Blackjack

This is very similar to Double Exposure Blackjack, only all cards, including the player’s, are dealt face-up, and not just the dealer’s cards. There can also be some other tweaks to the rules, but these are rarely anything major and are usually dependent on the individual casino.

Super Fun 21

This game is a variant of Spanish 21 and usually has a lot of side bets and extras. It was initially intended as a way to draw newbies to the blackjack table, where the casino would bleed them dry. This game has a high house edge and is generally avoided by professionals because of this. It is fun, but if you’re serious about your blackjack then it is probably best avoided.

Match Play 21

Another form of Spanish 21 that is becoming popular in land-based casinos, this game has all of the tens removed. This benefits the casino and not the player, at least over the long-haul. The benefits to this game is that there are usually some interesting side bets and bonus payments, but it’s still more of a gamble and is therefore not ideal for players looking to get the best return during extended play.