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Fun 21


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.


Fun 21 Basic Strategy

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%.

Rule Variations

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%.

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