Online blackjack is one of the most popular casino card games in the world and it is certainly a favourite of many Canadian players. Digital and live version of online blackjack in Canada follow the same general rules as the traditional game you’ll find in today’s land-based casinos. The beauty, of course, is that when you play blackjack online, you have the convenience of playing whenever you want and even wherever you want if you choose to try your luck at beating the dealer on mobile.
You’ll find there are lots of great places to enjoy real money, free and live blackjack online in Canada. Check out these fantastic Canadian casinos!
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How to Play Blackjack
If you want to play blackjack games, you need to know the rules of Classic/Traditional Blackjack. Once you’ve got that under your belt, you’ll be ready to play blackjack online for fun for free, for real money or a live dealer version at any of the incredible casinos we recommend!
With that said, the first thing you need to now Canuck is that it doesn’t matter if you’re playing blackjack online or in a land-based casino, the basic rules of the game are the same. Yes, there is more than one variant of blackjack, and rules will vary from one type to the next, however, on the whole, the gameplay and the objective are based on classic blackjack.
Blackjack, also known as “Twenty-One” or “21”, is a comparing card game. The game is played with one or more standard playing card decks of 52 cards. Although several players can take part in the game at a blackjack table, unlike poker, players do not compete against one another. The only opponent of each player at the table is the dealer, with each player’s objective being to beat the dealer, by having more points than the dealer without exceeding 21 points. A win can be achieved in one of three ways:
- Achieve 21 points without going bust
- Have a final higher point score than the dealer without going over 21 points
- Have the dealer bust from drawing additional cards that lead to the dealer exceeding 21 points
With that said, here’s the classic blackjack step-by-step how to play guide:
- Blackjack can be played with one or up to eight decks of 52-card standard playing card decks.
- Your goal is to beat the dealer by getting 21 or as close to 21 as possible without going bust.
- Each card has a designated point value. These values are as follows:
- Aces count as 1 or 11
- Face cards (Kings, Queens, Jacks) count as 10
- Number cards (2 -10) count as their card number (e.g. 2 = 2 points, 5 = 5 points, etc.)
- A hand’s value is the sum of the point values of the individual cards in the hand. The only exception is “blackjack,” which is the highest hand you can achieve in the game and consists of only two cards: an Ace and any 10-point card (K, Q, J, 10). It outranks all other 21-point valued hands.
- Join the online blackjack table and place your bet.
- The dealer will deal you two cards face down and two cards to himself/herself. One of the dealer’s card will be dealt face up.
- If the dealer’s face up card is an Ace, the dealer will offer a side bet called “insurance.” This side bet pays 2 to 1 if the dealer’s face down card is any 10-point card. You do not have to partake in this bet, it is optional. If you would like to make a wager, your bet cannot be higher than half your initial wager.
- If the dealer has either a ten-point value card or an Ace showing (insurance is offered only when the face up card is an Ace), the dealer will check their face down card to see if he/she has blackjack. If they do, the game is over and all bets (except insurance) will lose, unless the player (you) also has blackjack, in which case you will neither win nor lose and your initial bet will be returned to you. This is called a “push”. If there was an insurance side bet in play, the dealer will payout to those who won that bet.
- If there is no dealer blackjack at the start of the game, play will begin with the player to the dealer’s immediate left. As a player, your options are as follows:
- Stand: Stay in the game but take no action, keeping the cards in your hand.
- Hit: Draw one more card. If the cards you draw total to more than 21 points you go bust (lose).
- Double: Double your bet and get only one more card.
- Split: If the initial two cards in your hand are a pair, or any two 10-point cards, you have the option of doubling your bet and separating your cards into two individual hands. The dealer will automatically deal a second card to each hand. From there, you can decide if you want to hit, stand or double on either hand as you normally would. The only exception is if you split Aces. In this case, each Ace receives only one card. Other points to keep in mind:
- If you should have pairs again from any initial split, usually you can continue to re-split up to a total of four hands.
- If you get a 10-point card and Ace after splitting, this counts as 21 points and not a blackjack.
- Sometimes doubling after splitting is not allowed and sometimes re-splitting aces is not allowed.
- Surrender: You can choose not to play out your hand and forfeit half your wager. This option is allowed only on the initial two cards. However, in some casinos, surrender is not permitted.
- After each player has had their turn, the dealer will reveal his/her facedown card. If the dealer has 16 points of less, he/she will draw another card.
- If the dealer exceeds 21 points and you have not yet bust, you will win. If the dealer doesn’t bust, you will also win if in the final score you have more points than the dealer without exceeding 21.
Online blackjack tips
Now that you know the general rules, here are a few handy tips to keep in mind when you play:
- Different variants have different rules – Just because you know the basic rules of the game doesn’t meant that you know how to play every version of blackjack online. Be sure to give the rules of the game you want to play a quick read before placing your bets to find out how the game operates, low and high table stakes, etc.
- Practice for free – You can play backjack free online. That’s one of the biggest perks of being able to play it on the web or via your mobile device! Learning the ropes by playing risk-free lets you get the hang of the games and try out different strategies without having to worry about depleting your bankroll!
- Use a basic blackjack strategy chart – Not sure when to Hit, Stand, Double Down or Split? When you’re first learning how to play, a basic blackjack strategy chart can be your best friend! These charts help you to determine what your best course of action might be based on the cards in your hand and the dealer’s face up card.
- Always and Nevers – As a general consensus among blackjack players, it is usually a good idea to:
- Always split 8’s and Aces
- Never split 10-valued cards
- Stand on 17
- Hit on 11
- Don’t spend money on insurance as it isn’t likely to help you win
- Your mission is to beat the dealer – Always remember the goal of blackjack is not to get as close to 21 as possible. Your goal is to beat the dealer!
- Keep your wits about you – Never forget that although you can improve your understanding of the odds and apply strategies to blackjack, ultimately, it is a game of chance and the odds are not in your favour. There is no guarantee that you will win, so be sure to play Blackjack online for fun and not just to win. Don’t rely on luck, know your limits, respect your bankroll and when the fun stops, STOP.
Common Blackjack Terms
When you play online blackjack in Canada, it also helps to know some of the common terms used in the game. The most notable include:
- Action – The amount of money that has been bet
- Bankroll – The amount of funds you have available for wagering
- Basic strategy – Considered to be the optimal playing strategy for blackjack
- Blackjack – Aside from being the name of the game, “blackjack” also refers to a player getting 21 points with their first two cards, also known as a “natural.”
- Blackjack insurance – An optional side bet if the dealer’s face up card is an Ace
- Bust – When a player or dealer’s hand surpasses 21 points, resulting in an instant loss
- Hit – When the player asks the dealer for another card
- Hole card – Concealed cards; the cards that are dealt face down.
- House edge – the proportion/percentage of the player’s bet that the casino theoretically anticipates on winning or losing.
- Push – When both the player and dealer have the same valued hand. No money is lost or gained and the player’s bet is returned to them.
Types of Blackjack Online
There’s more than one type of blackjack game. That said, when it comes to online casino blackjack, essentially, you have the choice to play blackjack online for free, for real money or play live dealer blackjack.
Free online blackjack
As the name implies, free blackjack online is any game of blackjack that you can play without having to wager any of your money. Just about every virtual variant of blackjack where your opponent is the computer can be accessed in a “free-play”, “demo” or “practice” mode.
Playing for free is a great way to practice, try out strategies, try new variants or simply have risk-free fun. You also can enjoy the convenience of playing free on both desktop and mobile. Just remember, since you’re not wagering real money, you can’t win real money either.
To play free online blackjack games here’s all you need to do:
- Find a casino that offers online blackjack games (e.g. try any of the recommended casinos we’ve reviewed in our list)
- Register a free player account – You may also be able to play the game without registering first. That said, it’s not uncommon for you to be required to join before you can gain access to the full library of games you can demo.
- Choose your game and play – Whether you’ve created an account or not, there’s no need to make a real money deposit. Simply select the online free blackjack game and play for as long as you like.
Real money blackjack
Playing online blackjack for real money in Canada means that you are ready to register at a Canada-friendly online casino, you have deposited funds into your casino account and you are choosing to bet these funds on blackjack games.
When you’re ready to try your luck at blackjack online for money, here’s all you need to do:
- Register at the legal and safe online casino that you like best
- Deposit funds into your account using your preferred payment method
- Choose the blackjack game you want to play (virtual or live)
- Place your bets
Popular virtual online blackjack games
There are a number of blackjack variants that you might come across during your gambling adventure. Aside from classic blackjack, which has already been described above in the rules section of this page, Examples of popular virtual blackjack online real money and free games include:
- Atlantic City Blackjack – Played with 8 decks. Dealer is allowed to peek at the hole card. Late surrender option and insurance are allowed.
- Double Exposure Blackjack – Players can see both the dealer’s cards.
- European Blackjack – Played with 2 decks. Players receive two cards dealt face up. The dealer is dealt one card face up and the player places his/her bet before the dealer is dealt a second card, this one face down.
- Spanish Blackjack/Spanish 21 – This game has no 10-valued cards, with all the other cards having the same value as in classic blackjack.
- Vegas Strip Blackjack – Played with 4 decks. Doubling down is allowed after the Aces are split. The dealer can peek at his/her hole card.
- Blackjack Switch – Players are allowed to switch between two pairs of cards. Cards are dealt face up and a hand can be improved by switching the cards between the two hands. There is a 1:1 payout for Blackjack in this version instead of the usual 3:2.
- Progressive Blackjack – Follows the same rules as classic blackjack with the exception that there is a side bet for a progressive jackpot. For the chance to win the jackpot, players need to make an additional CA$1 wager in addition to their main bet.
Remember that although all games of blackjack are based on classic blackjack rules, the way the games play out, what bets are and are not allowed, etc. varies from one variant to the next. MapleSlot highly recommends always reading the rules of any games you’ve never tried before prior to making real money bets to make sure you know how to play!
Blackjack live is easily a Canadian favourite. This real money version of the game is the most authentic version online because you play against real human dealers. The games are broadcasted in HD and in real-time from premium gambling studios operated by awarded-winning live casino software providers like Evolution Gaming and NetEnt Live.
Via web-casting technology, you can interact and chat with the professional live blackjack dealers in real-time as you take a virtual seat with other online and/or mobile players to see if you can beat the dealer.
Gaining access to live blackjack online is simple:
- Register an account with a casino that offers live blackjack in Canada
- Make a deposit
- Load the live casino
- Choose the live blackjack game you want to play
- Join the table. If the table is full you can wait until another player leaves or you can simply join another game as there are many offered.
Many of the virtual variants of blackjack can also be enjoyed live. There are also different versions of higher stakes games in the form of Live VIP Blackjack.
However, perhaps one of the most interesting versions of live casino blackjack for Canadian pl is Live Blackjack Party. This variant from Evolution is a low-stakes, 7-seat classic game of Blackjack that is hosted by two TV-trained dealers and a co-presenter. There’s music, bubbly chatter and you can take advantage of Evolution’s unique Bet Behind feature that lets you place bets behind 1 or more of the 7 players seated at the table.
Do keep in mind that if you were hoping to play online blackjack free in the live casino, this isn’t an option. Canadian players do have the option of watching games and checking out game rules for free, but if you want to join a table, you’ll need to make real money wager.
Blackjack in Canada
Canadians love blackjack. Why? Quite simply put, it’s fabulous! This game is centuries old and has stood the test of time because its fun, it’s thrilling, it’s easy to play, it’s quick and there’s a bit of strategy involved. As such, it is easily one of the most popular forms of gambling entertainment around.
Here’s a look at how online blackjack in Canada got started.
Blackjack’s History in Canada
The blackjack we Canucks know and love today is largely believed by researchers to be based on a slightly different game called “Vingt-et-un.” Being a true Canadian, you likely know this is the French word for “Twenty-One.” Vingt-et-un was first played in French casinos back in the 1700s.
That being said, Blackjack in its current form didn’t really become popular in North America until the 1930’s, at which point gambling became legal in Nevada. To attract players to the game away from the preferred poker and craps, American casinos began to offer lucrative bonuses to players if they managed to hit a black jack and the ace of spades. This is how the game became known as Blackjack, a reference to the hand that a player would need to get ten-to-one bonuses. Eventually, those bonuses were dropped once players acquired a taste for the game.
Canadian tourists came upon the game in Nevada during the mid 19th century and brought it back home, with the game soon being played in all provinces. Since then, it has steadily gained popularity in our country, with a few well-known Canadian gamblers cementing their place in blackjack history.
Among these include Brain Zembiac, a Winnipeg high roller who made headlines when he took a bet to get breast implants, and Monica Reeves, who is known worldwide as a blackjack pro and took part in the televised Ultimate Blackjack Tour.
As soon as online blackjack hit the Canadian scene, the card game has become more popular than ever.
Why Play Blackjack Online in Canada
- You can play blackjack online for fun – Play free online blackjack any time you want, any place you like.
- Enjoy blackjack on mobile – Got an iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone or tablet? Maybe you’ve got a Blackberry or Windows Phone? You can access blackjack games on most of today’s mobile devices directly from your mobile web browser. Some casinos also have apps for iOS and Android.
- Experience blackjack live – Interact with human dealers without ever having to leave the house or wherever you may roam. Authentic blackjack is at your fingertips with no need to step foot into a land-based casino.
- Diverse selection of games – Online blackjack offers way more variants than what you will find at a local real-world casino.
Plus, the best online blackjack in Canada is featured at casinos that also offer plenty of promotions, giving you the chance to take advantage of deposit bonuses and other perks that give you real money casino credits that you can use to play on your favourite game of Twenty-One.
Blackjack Final Thoughts
Online blackjack is an exciting casino game that is fun, quick to play and easy to learn. There are several variants of it to always keep it interesting and you can play it for free, for real money and live, online and on mobile any time of the day or night, at home or on-the-go.
That said, don’t just take our word for it! Instead, discover exciting online blackjack in Canada today at premium iGaming destinations. Not sure which online casino to choose? We recommend starting with the ones in our list!
Yes. Simply signup at a Canadian casino, make a deposit, pick your preferred Blackjack game and place your bets. Beat the dealer and you’ll win money!
Choose a legal casino that accepts players from Canada and make sure they offer blackjack games. Register a free account. You can play the blackjack games for free (with the exception of live games) or you can play the virtual or live titles for real money by making a deposit and betting on the games that you play with the funds in your account.
No. As long as you play at a safe and legit casino (such as any of the ones that we review and recommend) with a solid reputation for fairness, reliability and responsibility, you can trust that the games will perform optimally, securely and fairly.
Yes. If you play blackjack games for real money you can win money. However, never forget that it is a game of luck and wins are not guaranteed. You should never bet more than you can afford to lose.
No. These strategy charts are guides based on odds. There is no guarantee that following the chart will lead to a win.
Sign up at a casino that offers a new-player deposit bonus, ongoing promotions and/or VIP perks. In most cases, once you’ve been awarded a bonus, you can use the money on just about any of the casino’s games, including both virtual and live blackjack.
The best site is the one that offers you the experience that is most suited to the way you like to play, your interests, and one that meets all your expectations. Not sure what casino that might be? Let MapleSlot help you! Check out our in-depth online casino reviews and test out one of our recommendations for yourself.