Mazatzal Casino is the first in the state to bring Spanish 21 to its gaming tables -- and it is the only place to play it as well.
The casino has one table dedicated to this player-friendly game, according to Mike Thompson, table games manager for Mazatzal Casino.
The game uses a "Spanish" deck of cards, one with only 48 cards -- the 10s have been discarded. The game has multiple ways for players to win.
There are eight items that make Spanish 21 the best game in the card room for the player, marketing director Marc Kaplan said.
Spanish 21 is played like this:
- When a player makes 21 or blackjack, they automatically win, beating a dealer 21 or blackjack;
- Players can double down on two or more cards;
- There are bonus payoffs for five to seven cards making a player 21;
- A 6, 7 and 8 (totaling 21) in a player's hand earns a bonus payout;
- Match play -- when a player matches the dealer's card in a bet -- earns a bonus payout;
- A player making 21 with three 7's gets a bonus payout;
- A hand with three same-suit 7's gets a better payout;
- A super bonus payout is awarded to a player with three same-suited 7's when the dealer draws a 7 -- the payout is $1,000 if $25 or less has been bet or $5,000 when more than $25 has been bet.
"Spanish 21 is one of the oldest variations of blackjack," Thompson said. "It is very popular in Washington state, California, New Jersey and Mississippi."
He said the Mazatzal Casino initiated the drive for alternate blackjack games more than a year ago and pushed especially hard for Spanish 21. Thompson said they wanted the game not only for their clientele, but to help clarify aspects of the gaming compacts that were somewhat ambiguous.
Mazatzal Casino, honored as the place for the "Best Blackjack in AZ" by a nationwide gaming publication, "Casino Player Magazine," started Spanish 21 in its card room July 23, Thompson said. It can be played daily, beginning at 10 a.m.