In most blackjack variants the player's strategy is dependent only on his hand value and not the number of cards that he has been dealt. This means that he has to refer to only one strategy card in order to execute optimum strategy. But there are blackjack variants that offer payouts based on the number of cards used to achieve a total of 21. In such cases the optimum strategy depends on the number of cards dealt to the player and players have to use a set of strategy cards. Super 21 Blackjack from Realtime Gaming (RTG) is one such game.
The rules of Super 21 are as follows. Most of them are similar to normal blackjack rules. The dealer hits on a soft 17. The player may double once any time. Players can split and play up to three hands at one time. They can continue to hit for each hand, unless the split was made for a pair of Aces, in which case they can only hit once for each hand. The usual insurance bet applies and players can surrender at any time.
The payouts in Super 21 must be noted carefully because they are crucial to the strategy. A dealt diamond blackjack pays 2 to 1. Blackjacks in all other suits pay even money. However, the player's blackjack beats the dealer's blackjack. A five card total of 21 and a six card total of 21 pay 2 to 1 but only on non doubled hands. A six card total of 20 or less on non doubled hands pays even money instantly without the dealer playing his hand. Normal wins pay even money and tied hands push, except for player blackjack.
The strategy cards are structured in the usual manner. The columns represent the dealer's face up card. The rows represent the player's hand value with separate sections for soft and hard totals. But players use four different strategy cards, the choice depending on the number of cards dealt. The first card is the Two Card Strategy Card to be used when the player makes his first move after receiving his dealt hand of two cards. After the player gets the third cards and does not bust he shifts to the Three Card Strategy Card to decide whether or not to take the fourth card. In this manner he shifts to the Four Card Strategy Card and the Five Card Strategy Card. The game is decided as soon as the sixth card is dealt. If the player does not bust then he wins outright.
As players move to the higher card they are obliged to take higher risks in order to try for the five card or six card total of 21 that pays 2 to 1. One example is being illustrated below. In the Two Card Strategy Card and the Three Card Strategy Card players should stand on totals of 13 if the dealers face up card is from 2 to 6. In the Four Card Strategy Card players will stand on a total of 13 only when the dealer's face up card is a six. In the Five Card Strategy Card players will never stand on a total of 13.
Super 21 can be played at all RTG online casinos. CasinoAdvisor recommends Aladdin's Gold, Club World, Cherry Red and Slots Oasis.