Caribbean 21 Blackjack

This game was developed by Real Time Gaming, an online casino software developer. It is a variant of standard blackjack that has many differences that make it a challenge.  The first and biggest difference is that an Ace is only and always counted as 1.  It is never valued at an 11, so there is never a two-card “21” in this game.  A hand comprised of two 10-value cards and an Ace is the Caribbean 21.  As in standard blackjack, the objective is to beat the dealer’s hand, without going over 21.  Caribbean 21 beats all other hands totaling 21.

RULES

  • All cards are valued the same as in standard blackjack, except for the ACE, which is, at all times, valued at 1
  • The game starts with the player making a bet
  • Two cards are dealt face up to the player and one card is dealt face up to the dealer
  • The dealer does not take a hole card
  • The dealer does not take his final cards until the player has completed all his plays
  • The player can take insurance on whether the dealer will hit a Caribbean 21 if the dealer has an Ace up
  • Insurance can be taken at any time, up to half of the total amount bet at the time
  • The insurance bet pays out at 9 to 1 if the dealer gets two ten value cards as his 2nd and 3rd cards
  • The insurance bet is paid out at the end of the hand
  • The stand and hit moves are the same as standard blackjack
  • The player can double down at any time, even with more than 2 cards, this includes re-doubles, as well as doubles after splits
  • The player can split any two cards
  • The player can surrender at any time, forfeiting half of his total bet at the time

PAYOUTS

  • Dealer wins all ties
  • If the player is dealt a Caribbean 21, the payout is 3-2
  • If the player busts, he loses his bet
  • If the dealer busts, the player wins even money on his bet

HOUSE EDGE vs. STRATEGY

Following a basic strategy developed by Michael Shackelford, a top authority on casino game probabilities, for this version, the house edge can be as low as 0.19%, which is lower than many other blackjack variants.  To be noted though, the house edge on the insurance bet is 5.38% in this version, so that bet should not ever be taken, despite the tantalizing 9-1 payout.

ONLINE PLAY

Being a property of RTG (Real Time Gaming), Caribbean 21 blackjack can be found at many of the top online casinos, as RTG is considered a leading industry software provider.  Take a look at the list below for a few of the most reliable online casinos where you can enjoy a true game of Caribbean 21 blackjack.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The challenge and thrill of play Caribbean 21 lies in the player’s ability to split any two cards and re-doubling.  Because of those extreme player-friendly rules, the house gets a slight advantage back by ruling that all ties go to the dealer.  In other words, without the possibility of a “push,” Caribbean 21 blackjack makes for a more up and down game playing experience, sure to appeal to thrill-seeking players who prefer out right gambling on every hand, instead of a back and forth grind out with pushes.

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