A Brief History of The Spanish 21 Card Game

Since we have Spanish 21 gaming tables at each one of our Washington casinos, we felt that it might help to share more information and history about the card game. Not only is Spanish 21 a fun and exciting table game, it has roots in one of the most classic casino games out there; Blackjack.

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino banking games in the entire world – the object is to reach 21 points or score better than the dealer without surpassing 21 points.

Spanish 21The precursor to Blackjack was a game called ‘twenty-one’. Twenty-One has an unknown origin, but it was first mentioned in a book by the author of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes. The story mentioning Twenty-One was titled Rinconete y Cortadillo, and was written between 1601 and 1602. Therefore, Twenty-One has been around at least as long as the beginning of the 17th century.

Spanish 21 is a variant of Blackjack, and the game is played with 48-card decks, missing the four tens. There’s no telling where ‘Spanish 21’ officially came from, but it may have been around as long as Twenty-One, since the characters in de Cervantes’ story played with a Spanish baraja deck. A baraja deck is missing eights, nines, and tens, and might have been around since as early as the 14th century in Spain. Spanish 21 as we know it is so named because it uses what is called a ‘Spanish deck’, with only 48 cards because it’s missing the ten cards.

It was first brought to casinos in Nevada in 1995. The story is that a casino employee in mid-level management was looking to spice up participation at his casino with a unique version of Blackjack. He found Spanish 21, and the game obviously became well-liked for casino gaming and entertainment.

These days, the Spanish 21 card game is widely played at Washington Gold’s casinos. We have at least two tables dedicated to Spanish 21 at each location throughout the Greater Seattle and Tri-Cities areas, and many locations have several more.

We welcome you to visit your neighborhood location and the play Spanish 21 card game at a Washington Gold casino!



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