Bahama Bonus is a variant of blackjack created by Shuffle Master that is derived from Spanish 21. This is why we categorized it under that game.
Bahama Bonus Blackjack uses a stripped-down deck without any 10s or Jokers. The removal of 10s increases the percentage of high-value cards remaining in the deck, which favors the player.
Some of the casinos where it is offered include Agua Caliente, Tulalip, and Silver Reef Casino.
Bahama Bonus Blackjack Rules
The goal of the game is to beat the dealer by getting a hand value as close to 21 as possible without going over. Players make bets against the dealer to play each round.
Each player is dealt 2 face-up cards. The dealer gets one face-up card and one face-down card. Card values are standard with face cards counting as 10 and Aces counting as 1 or 11.
After checking for blackjack, players can choose to stand, hit, double down, split, or surrender once per round.
- Insurance: If the dealer’s upcard is an ace, players can take insurance by betting up to half their original wager. This pays 2:1 if the dealer has blackjack.
- Doubling Down: Players can double their bet after the initial deal and receive one additional card. They can double down on any number of cards.
- Splitting Pairs: Any pairs, including Aces, can be split up to 3 times for a total of 4 hands. The original bet goes on one hand and an equal bet is placed on the other.
- Surrender: Players can surrender half their bet after the deal as long as the dealer does not have blackjack.
After all players have acted, the dealer will reveal their facedown card and play out their hand according to fixed rules:
- The dealer must hit on any hand a total of soft 17 or less.
- The dealer must stand on soft 18 or higher.
If the player’s final hand beats the dealer’s hand without exceeding 21, the player wins even money on their bet (1:1). If players bust or have a lower hand than the dealer, they lose their bet.
Specific Payouts and Odds
Below you can find the payouts and odds for specific combinations. This is not a side bet.
|21 consisting of five cards
|21 consisting of six cards
|21 consisting of more than seven cards
|6, 7, 8 of different suits
|6, 7, 8 suited
|6, 7, 8 (Spades)
|7, 7, 7 of different suits
|7, 7, 7 suited
|7, 7, 7 (Spades)
Match the Dealer
The Match the Dealer side bet wins if either of the player’s first two cards match the dealer’s up or down card in rank. The bet sizing must be the same or lower than your regular wager.
|One Non-Suited Match
|Two Non-Suited Matches
|One Suited Match
|One Non-Suited Match & One Suited Match
|Two Suited Matches
The Progressive side bet is an optional bet that players can make in addition to their main Bahama Bonus wager.
The bet considers the best possible four-card hand made by combining each player’s first two cards with the dealer’s initial two cards.
If the player and dealer cards together make a premium qualifying hand, the progressive pays out according to the pay table below:
|Four of a Kind of the same color
|Four of a Kind
|Three of a Kind of the same color
|Three of a Kind
For example, if the player has the 4♦ and 4♥️ and the dealer has the 4♣ and 4♠️, this would qualify for the max jackpot.
If multiple players can hit jackpots on the same hand, the payout will be split up between them.
The basic strategy for Bahama Bonus Blackjack is similar to Spanish 21 strategy. Below you can find some tips.
Go For More Blackjacks
Since blackjacks pay out 1.5x your bet, you should take every opportunity to increase your chances of getting more. Always split aces and eights to try for two BJ hands instead of one.
Double Down Generously
With the tens removed from the deck, there are fewer possible dealer bust cards. Take advantage by doubling down whenever you have 9, 10, or 11 vs the dealer’s 3-6 upcard. Doubling soft hands with an ace is also a good play.
Watch the Dealer’s Upcard
Since the dealer has to stand on soft 17, their upcard greatly impacts their chances of busting. If they have a 5 or 6 showing, stand more often on your 12-16 totals. If they have a 3 or 4, hit more aggressively.
Just don’t let the tropical theme make you forget you need to play smart to come out ahead!