Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Is Spanish 21 Beatable Through Card Counting?

Some blackjack experts have sworn that card counting Spanish 21 offers only a negligible advantage and thus is not worth the time and effort. Others have taken the completely contrary view that not only is it beatable but it offers more percentage profits than card counting any regular standard blackjack game. I have thoroughly looked into this issue and my conclusion is that Spanish 21 can be beaten through counting cards, although it is not as profitable as card counting optimum blackjack games.

Is it worth it? Absolutely! Because most casinos are still in the dark about successful card counting Spanish 21, you can probably play a lot longer avoiding the heat. I imagine that in a while casinos will start getting hip to counting Spanish 21 cards, but now is the time to jump on the gravy train.

A few Spanish 21 Card Counting Pointers: (from Bill Zender's Casino-ology

The basic strategy is different because there are a number of play options that are not available in standard 21.

The rules of Spanish 21 allows for redoubling, draws to split Aces, and doubling on any number of cards.

The removal of the four 10’s per deck requires a different conversion system from running count to true count. Since there are 48 cards per deck instead of the standard 52, true count conversion changes from dividing by a whole deck to dividing by fraction of the decks.

Using a Hi-Low count system, the run count starts off from the top of a six deck shoe at -24 (four 10’s X 6 decks). If you were to count down the entire six decks (288 cards) you would end with an “even” count.

Using the Hi-Low count, the true count pivot point (when the player gains the advantage over the house) is -2. In the regular game of blackjack the pivot point is +1.

The higher percentages of Aces in the shoe (4 in 48) partially offset the effect from the reduced number 10’s.

Because of the reduced number of 10’s in the shoe, Insurance is never profitable. The index number for Insurance is +7 TC, which Walker explains, may never occur in a life time of playing Spanish 21.

The game requires only a limited number of play indices to gain a maximum advantage.

Similar to the use of Schlesinger’s “The Illustrious 18”, there are only nineteen important indices to remember and use (twenty if you include Insurance).