Caribbean 21 is a variation of blackjack that does not differ greatly from the standard rules, although there are some subtle differences that need to be kept in mind when playing. If you are new to this card game it’s important to get a grounding in the base blackjack rules before learning how to play Caribbean 21.
The biggest difference between a standard game of blackjack and the Caribbean 21 version is that an Ace is worth only 1 point, rather than the soft 11 or 1 you are normally faced with. This unfavourable ruling is somewhat tempered by other rule changes surrounding splitting and surrendering, which bring the game closer to a level footing.
Online casinos with Caribbean 21
While it is not identical to the traditional rules of Caribbean 21, the RealTime Gaming blackjack title called Caribbean 21 is pretty close to the mark. The only major difference is that the game has a 52-card deck, rather than using eight standard decks in the shoe.
Not very common online, Caribbean 21 is found frequently at land-based gambling venues in the USA, including at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. If you are looking for a more common blackjack variation for online play start here.
Caribbean 21 rules
Caribbean 21 differs somewhat from other versions of blackjack, although at face value, the game is quite similar with all the game’s base rules remaining intact.
Although the base rules are quite similar, you need to keep the slight variations in mind so that you do not make any silly mistakes.
Caribbean 21 is played with eight standard decks. One of the biggest differences between blackjack and this game is that an Ace is worth only 1 – a far cry from the 1 or 11 in other forms of blackjack. This throws the game wide open because a lot more depends on hitting the third card in order to get to 21.
The aim of the game is still to get as close to 21 as possible and the way to win is to get closer to 21 than the dealer. The game starts with each player placing a bet. This is then followed by the dealer dealing two cards to each player. The dealer only gets one card face up. Players then have the option of standing, hitting, splitting or surrendering. You are also able to double down with two or more cards as well as doubling down after a split.
As you can see, the base rules are quite the same as conventional blackjack. However, there are a set of rules that apply to Caribbean 21 which make this game very unique.
Caribbean 21 key rules
- Each card is valued according to their number with picture cards being worth 10 and Aces being worth 1.
- You can split any two cards, including Aces, and then receive one new card per split card
- You are allowed to surrender your hand after splitting.
- The highest possible hand you can hope to achieve is Caribbean 21, which is made up of two cards of a ten value and an Ace – this will pay you out 3:2 where all other winning hands pay out 1:1.
- You may consider taking insurance if you see that the dealer’s first card is an Ace – this can be up to half of your bet and if the dealer ends up hitting another two cards of a ten value then you will be paid out 9:1.
- The most important rule to get your head around is the fact that Aces are only worth 1 and are in essence no longer the most important cards in the deck. You will now be looking out for the ten value cards to get as close to 21 as possible.