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Of all the card games that you could play in a casino, blackjack is probably the most popular one. The simple card game is dealt in casinos around the world and it was one of the first table games ever introduced in online casinos as well.
Today, online casinos offer dozens of different versions of the game of blackjack, with each offering slight differences in the rules, payouts and expected return. If you have played blackjack before, you will know what the game is all about, but even if you haven’t this guide will help introduce you to the game of blackjack and its basic rules.
We also bring you the list of best online casinos for Canadian blackjack players and explain in detail what you should be looking for in an online casino when it comes to playing blackjack. Keep on reading and learn all the most important things that every blackjack player should know.
Start Playing Blackjack: The Basic Rules and Strategy
The game of blackjack is played between the player and the dealer, unlike a game like poker that is played between players. The basic idea of the game is for player to have a final sum of cards as close as possible to 21, but no higher than that. The numbered cards are worth as many points as the number on them, while royalty cards are each worth ten points. The ace can be worth one or eleven points, depending on what suits the player’s hand better.
The game of blackjack starts with the dealer dealing two cards to the player and two cards to himself. One of the dealer’s cards is facing up, while the other if facing down. From this point on, the player can choose to draw more cards or stand. The player’s strategy is based around getting as close to 21 as possible or letting the dealer bust by making more than 21 points in his hand.
While the player can choose to draw as many cards as he wants, the dealer has to play a fixed strategy. Once the player stands, the dealer will turn over his other card and continue drawing until he has 17 or more. The dealer will not draw at 17 and will always draw at 16. If the dealer busts, the player wins the hand. On the other hand, if the player busts, the dealer does not need to play at all.
Doubling down is one of the most important strategies in the game of blackjack. When the player is dealt his first two cards, he is given an option to double his bet. Doubling down is often a good idea when you are dealt 11 points on your first two cards as there is a very good chance of drawing to 21, 20 or 19 on the first cards.
When the bet is doubled down, the payouts are also doubled, which means you stand to win four times your initial bet. The player may not double down if he is dealt a blackjack, in which case a payout of 1.5:1 is paid out immediately and there is no further play, unless the dealer has blackjack as well.
Splitting and Resplitting
If the player is dealt a pair on the initial two cards, he can split that pair, forming two separate hands. The player must pay an additional bet for his new hand and will receive one additional card on each of his two hands. The player can proceed to double down on his bets in some versions and can hit or stand as he pleases.
If the player is dealt further pairs after splitting his hand, most versions allow him to continue splitting these pairs up to three times. Depending on the version of the game you are playing, you may be allowed to double down on each of these hands or split fewer or more times. The player can split any two face cards but this is usually not a good idea as keeping the 20 is better value.
Basic Blackjack Tips
In order to play blackjack the best possible way and eliminate casino edge as much as possible, you should play every hand according to the bacis strategy sheet, which is available for download online. However, if you don’t want to look at the sheet every single hand, here are a few of the most important tips that you should keep in mind to avoid making big mistakes:
- Never hit hard 17 or better (17 or better without an ace)
- Never stand on 11 or lower
- Never hit 12 to 16 if the dealer’s cards is 4, 5 or 6
- Hit 12 to 16 if the dealer’s cards is 7 or better
- Always hit soft 17 or less (17 or less with an ace)
- Always double 10 against any card other than 10 or Ace
- Always double 11 against any card other than Ace
If you follow these basic strategy tips for real money blackjack, you will never do too bad and you should be able to stand up to the dealer. Keep in mind that the casino does always have a small edge even if you play perfectly, but this edge will not make much of a difference in the short term if you play your cards right.
Blackjack Versions: Choose Your Blackjack Table
Over the years, blackjack has evolved in many ways and multiple variations of the game have appeared both in brick and mortar and online casinos. The various versions of the game of blackjack offer slight adjustments to the rules which can be both good and bad for the players. Some of the most popular versions of the game of blackjack you will find in online casinos include:
- Vegas Strip Blackjack: The game allows players to double down on any two cards, re-split up to three times and double down after splitting aces.
- Pontoon: In this British version, having 21 is called Pontoon instead of Blackjack, any five card hand beats everything but a Pontoon, players can split up to two times and hit after the split.
- Blackjack Switch: Players can switch the second cards of their split hand. Blackjack pays even money in this game.
- Perfect Pairs: Players can only split up to two times, and can only split aces once. Players can place side bets on what kind of cards they will be dealt.
Aside from these, Canadian online casinos offer many other versions of the game of blackjack which are less popular but definitely entertaining and worth a shot. You can try them all by signing up with one of the top online casinos for table game players.
Choose Your Real Money Blackjack Casino
Real money blackjack is offered at pretty much all online casinos out there, but not every site gives players the same options. For the best experience as a blackjack player, you will want to choose an online casino that offers games by many different software developers and one that is not heavily oriented on video slots.
Online casinos with a heavy slots focus tend to only offer several blackjack variations which is not ideal for blackjack players. Some of the other, more versatile online casinos, offer dozens of different blackjack games powered by multiple top software developers which you can pick from.
Some of the main things you should look for in a casino when you want to play blackjack include:
- Number of blackjack variations
- Live blackjack games
- Bonuses and their playability on blackjack tables
- Customer support and banking options
- Casino licenses and credibility
We recommend playing at online casinos that can be rated highly in each of these categories. With so many online casinos that accept Canadian casino players out there, there is little reason to play at any site that will not provide you with a top level of service in every sense.
To help you out, we have created a list of online casinos that are ideal for blackjack players, and you can have a look at that list on this page. Pick any of the online casinos on out top blackjack casinos list and you will be in for a royal treatment without a doubt.
Play Real Money Blackjack with Live Dealers
Playing virtual blackjack against the computer can be a lot of fun, but playing the popular card game against a real dealer adds an extra element of excitement to it. Fortunately, online casinos now offer live blackjack games hosted in brick and mortar casinos around the world and brought to your homes by the likes of Ezugi, Evolution Gaming and NetEnt.
Live blackjack games provide the full experience of playing the game in a real casino, just as you would on the Las Vegas Strip or in Monte Carlo. The games are dealt by attractive dealers and in a flashy casino atmosphere, giving the real action junkies all the satisfaction that the virtual game simply can’t provide.
Picking any of the top blackjack online casinos from our list will give you a chance to play at some of the numerous live blackjack tables that are available for play around the clock. Simply sign up and move into the live casino lobby in order to pick the live blackjack table you prefer.
Start Counting to 21
Blackjack is one of the most interesting card games in the world and certainly one of the most popular. To this day, the game has captured the imaginations of countless players worldwide and there is no reason for you not to be the next to try your luck at the green felt.
Thanks to our partner online casinos, you can sign up and start playing for free today, and as a Canadian casino player you can receive countless bonuses and promotions that will help move your blackjack bankroll in the right direction.
All it takes to start playing blackjack for real money is to create an account with one of these online casinos and choose your game. You are just minutes away from getting straight into the action, so don’t hesitate and make your first steps in the world of online blackjack today.
Is there difference between live and online blackjack?
For the most part no! Online blackjack copies the rules of the live game in most cases, but there are some versions in online casinos that you may have not had a chance to play in your local casino.
What do I need to play online?
All you need to play real money blackjack online is a desktop computer or mobile device that can run the games and an account with one of the many online casinos that offer real money blackjack.
Can I play with a bonus?
Online casinos provide many bonuses, but not all are suitable for blackjack players. If you are intent on playing blackjack with a bonus, make sure you find a bonus that is meant for table games players. This way, you will be able to meet the wagering requirement at the blackjack tables.
Can I play for free?
Yes! Before depositing money and playing real money blackjack, most online casinos will allow you to try their blackjack games in practice mode and play with play money chips which have no real value.
What is the best version of blackjack?
There are many versions of blackjack and for the most part there is very little difference in value for the players. We recommend starting with the classic game and learning the rules before learning other variations and trying them out.
What is live casino blackjack?
Live casino blackjack allows you to play real money blackjack on the internet against real world dealers. Live games usually require higher minimum bets but are extremely fun to play.