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Fun 21 is a similar game to Spanish 21. It can be found on cruise shops operated by Carnival. I have heard the game also go by the name Carnival 21, Dream 21 and Ultimate Fun 21.
The rules are based on blackjack, which I assume the reader is familiar with, with these changes and specifics:
- A shoe of eight 48-card Spanish decks is used. In this case, instead of 10's, the kings are removed from each deck.
- Dealer hits a soft 17.
- EARLY surrender is allowed on the first two cards.
- A player blackjack pays 3-2 and always wins.
- Otherwise, with neither side having a blackjack, a player 21-point hand always wins.
- If the player attains a 21-point hand with five cards or more, it shall immediately pay 3-2.
- The player may double on any number of cards.
- Double down rescue is allowed (surrendering after doubling).
- A player 6-7-8 and 7-7-7 in the original hand is an automatic winner and pays 3-2.
- Player may re-split any pair up to four times (for five hands).
- Player may draw to split aces.
Due to the obscurity of this game, I analyzed the strategy under an infinite-deck assumption. Thus, there may be a few very borderline plays where the strategy is off.
The player should invoke the Double Down Rescue option in the following situations:
- Player has 16 or less and dealer has an 8 to A up.
- Player has 17 and dealer has an A up.
I get a house edge of 0.58%. This was done with an infinite-deck assumption and adding 0.065% to adjust for an eight-deck shoe. I roughly say the margin of error in this house edge is 0.03%.
I have an unconfirmed report that some cruise ships pay 6-5 on a blackjack in this game. That would increase the house edge, all other things being equal, to 1.83%.
- Fun 21 (Cruise Ship Blackjack) — Discussion in my forum
- Fun 21 from Carnival Cruises — More discussion in my forum
Written by:Michael Shackleford