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Are Blackjack & 21 The Same Game?

Blackjack is the most popular casino table game in the world. If you're an avid fan, you might have heard the term '21' thrown around casino floors or online platforms. If you're wondering if blackjack and 21 are the same game, you've come to the right place.

Are Blackjack & 21 The Same Game?

Yes, blackjack and 21 are the same game. People started to refer to blackjack as 21 as early as the 1700s. When the game started catching on in France, players would call it 'vingt-et-un', meaning 21 in French. So, although blackjack and 21 are the same game, some players could also be referring to the Spanish 21 game when they use the term '21'.

The slight confusion comes about because the game's origins are still uncertain. While some players credit France as the birthplace, others cite Spain as the first place blackjack emerged. However, one fact remains true for all; the game became popular fast and continues to draw in audiences from all parts of the world.

What's The Difference Between Blackjack And 21?

Sure, blackjack and 21 could be the same casino game, but there are notable differences between them. For example;

21 or Spanish 21 uses a different number of decks

Spanish 21 has a 48 card deck, while French blackjack (single deck blackjack) uses 52 cards.

Missing 10's

Spanish blackjack doesn't use the number 10. Instead, the dealer removes these cards from the deck.

Side bets

Classic blackjack doesn't usually allow any side bets. 21, on the other hand, can let you make a wide range of side bets while also taking insurance and potentially paying out in the same ratios.

Hitting 21

If both the player and dealer hit 21, the player wins in Spanish 21. However, there is no cashing out in French blackjack if the dealer and player hit 21.

Why Do People Think Blackjack & 21 Are Different Games?

Usually, most people don't think blackjack and 21 are the same game because 21 is often called Spanish 21. Since most players associate blackjack with having French origins, they could believe Spanish 21 is an iteration of blackjack or a different game that emerged from Spain.

How Does Spanish 21 Work?

Spanish 21 and French blackjack might be the same game at the core, but the former could have a different play system. Let's look at some blackjack game rules below;

Late surrender: Spanish 21 allows late surrender. If the dealer doesn't hit blackjack, the player can surrender or receive half their bet back before exiting the game.

Double after split: If players have 2 matching value cards, they can split them into separate hands. A double bet afterwards is permitted.

Re-splitting aces: Spanish 21 allows re-splitting aces. Splits in up to 4 hands are possible.

Player 21 always wins: A player 21 win is possible even though your cards match the dealer's.

Double on any number of cards: The player can do this on their turn.

Hit and double down: Players can hit and double down after aces split.

Surrender after doubling: A 'double down rescue' is possible in Spanish 21. The player can forfeit an amount equal to an original bet after a double.


So, are blackjack & 21 the same game? Yes, they are, but they have slight differences between them worth noting. We hope you can now differentiate the two.

*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time.