The Most Unusual Blackjack Game You’ve Never Played, Pirate 21

Pirate 21 Blackjack

Before the advent of online casinos, blackjack existed in only a few fundamental variations. The criteria varied slightly between tables. Both single- and double-deck activities were prevalent. Side wagers were uncommon.

With the advent of online gambling, numerous rule sets and a plethora of side wagers were introduced, including the unique blackjack game known as Pirate 21.


This blackjack variant is neither entirely novel nor widely played. According to my research, it first appeared more than a decade ago in 2004, when the now-defunct software company Diamond Games introduced it.


Betsoft and Nucleus Gaming, two prominent game developers, reintroduced it as an online blackjack game not long ago.


Variation in Rules and House Advantage

I am unable to comment on whether the regulations of the two variations of Pirate 21 blackjack are identical, as I have never played the original. It is strikingly similar to the more prevalent variant known as Spanish 21.


Even more so when comparing the numerous ways to win a hand, and that’s before the optional side bet enters into play.


Do not misunderstand; Pirate 21 will not give you a significant advantage over the casino. Indeed, it is a casino game. Every casino game has a house advantage, but if you’re searching for something a little bit different, Pirate 21 is the game for you.


In this instance, the house edge with a premium strategy is approximately 0.76 percent.

How To Play Blackjack Pirate


The objective of the game is identical to that of conventional blackjack. Every player’s objective is to attain a hand total of 21, or as close as possible without going bust. The participant wins if his or her hand is higher than the dealer’s without exceeding 21. Nonetheless, any hand totaling 21 automatically triumphs.


A participant may participate in up to three hands per game in Pirate 21, a multi-hand blackjack game. There are poker sites with table limits ranging from $1 to $1000 per hand.


Pirate 21 blackjack utilizes a ‘Pirate’ deck, or what is more commonly referred to as a ‘Spanish’ deck, as opposed to the standard deck.


This means the shoe contains no 10s.


In general, this is bad for players because it means fewer natural blackjacks will be dealt. However, in this blackjack game, any total of 21 wins automatically, regardless of whether it comprises of two or more cards.


Rules of the Pirate 21 Blackjack Game

The subsequent conditions apply:


Player 21 triumphs every time

Player blackjack defeats dealer blackjack

Any number of cards may be Doubled by a player.

Double after division

Re-split Aces

Double after dividing Aces

Late surrender

Double down capitulation (retreat after double)

Dealer reaches Soft 17 Pirate 21 ‘Match the Dealer’ Side Bet.


This optional side wager pays out if one of the player’s first two cards matches the dealer’s upcard. The side bet pays 4:1 if the corresponding card is of a different suit, and 9:1 if it is of the same suit.


If both cards match the up-card of the dealer, only the highest-paying match will be paid.






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