Double Double Down: Spanish 21 Play After the Double

March 21, 2014


In Spanish 21, there's a very particular rule set that means that you have to learn how to play with the 48-card deck as well as how to play within the bounds that are created by a collection of atypical rules. One of those rules is the "double double down" rule that gives you multiple options after doubling that you don't normally have. Generally speaking, you would be forced to stand after doubling, but with this game, you also have the option to surrender or even double again. You need to learn a particular set of rules if you want to learn to play these double double down scenarios well.

First off, most of your double double down hands are going to be hard, but for soft hands, the right play is pretty simple. With 19 or higher, always stand, and with 17 or lower, always double. With an 18, you should stand unless you're facing a four, five or six, and you should double in those three cases. Like we said, there's not much to it.

With hard hands, however, it's much different. The weak dealer cards in these scenarios are sevens and lower, and the strong cards are eight and higher. If you have a hard total of 16 or lower up against a card that's eight or higher, then you're going to always be surrendering unless you hold an eight through twelve. With a nine through eleven, you always double again. With an eight, double against eight or nine and fold against ten or ace. With a 12, double only against and eight and surrender otherwise.

If you're facing a card that's seven or lower, you're never going to surrender. Generally, you're going to always stand with a 12 or higher and always double with an 11 or lower. There are two exceptions to this. You should stand with a six against a two, and you should double with a 12 against a seven.

If you have a hard hand and you're facing an eight or higher, then your standing point is going to be 17. You'll always stand with 17 or higher unless you have exactly 17 against an ace, and in that particular instance, it's better to fold. Overall, the double double down strategies aren't particularly difficult to learn, but they do add another layer of complexity to the game.