Play Online Blackjack in Canada – Top Sites & Guide
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games, and for good reason.
It’s fun, relatively simple to learn, and has a lower house edge than most games!
Keep reading to discover the best blackjack sites for Canada, how to play blackjack, and tips to improve your winning chances.
Best Online Blackjack Sites in Canada
Advantages of Playing Blackjack Online
Unsure whether you should play online or land-based blackjack? Check out these advantages when playing online!
Claim a Blackjack Bonus
Unlike land-based casinos, you can enjoy blackjack bonuses that increase your bankroll and allow you to play with more value for money.
Expect to get bonuses that go up as high as $600!
Why get dressed and venture to the nearest casino when you can do it from the comfort of your home?
There’s no dress code, you don’t need to pay an entrance fee, and there’s no need to drive. These are all pros in our book!
Play at Your Pace
You always have more pressure when you’re sitting across a dealer who’s waiting for your next move.
When playing online, the pressure is off and you can take all the time you need. You can also consult blackjack strategy charts to help you make the best decision.
Benefit from Better Payouts
Brick-and-mortar casinos need to cover the expenses of running a building. This is why online blackjack tends to have better payouts than land-based blackjack.
What Should I Look for in a Blackjack Site?
There are plenty of online blackjack sites, but which should you choose? We keep the following factors in mind when making our selection:
Safety and Reputation
You want to find a blackjack site that is reputable and safe, with appropriate gambling licenses like the UKGC, MGA or Kahnawake License.
This ensures that your money and data will stay secure, and that you have a pleasant gambling experience.
You want to find a casino that not only offers classic online blackjack, but also other types like Blackjack Switch, Spanish 21, and more. Live blackjack is a must in our books!
Why should you wait for your hard-earned cash? When we select a blackjack site, we expect it to have a fast payout process that does not exceed 3 days.
How to Play Blackjack
You now know what to look out for when searching for blackjack sites, but how do you actually play the game?
The various blackjack terms might be confusing at first, but blackjack is actually one of the easiest casino games to understand.
Unlike games like poker, a game of online blackjack is played against the dealer, and your objective is always to beat the dealer.
To do so, you need to reach the highest hand value without exceeding 21 points (hence the name 21). If you go over 21, you bust the game.
The cards have different values:
- Aces are worth 1 or 11 points
- Numbers from 2 to 9 are worth their numerical value. The 4 card adds 4 points, the 3 adds 3 and so on
- The 10, Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 10 points each.
As you would expect, some card combinations are better than others.
The strongest combination in this game is the Ace with a card worth 10 points. With this pair, you reach 21 points and win that round!
This card combination is the coveted ‘natural blackjack’ and is what gives the game its name.
If you are dealt a natural blackjack, you automatically WIN that round! You will also get a bigger payout, as we will see later on.
Now that we’ve got the basics over with, let’s see how a round of blackjack plays out:
A Step-by-Step Guide to Playing Online Blackjack
As soon as the round starts, you’ll be dealt two cards.
The dealer also gets two cards: one face up and one face down!
In case the card facing up is an Ace or a 10-point card, the dealer will take a look at the second card to check for blackjack.
At this point, if neither you nor the dealer have 21 points on the first set of cards (this would be an automatic win), it’s up to you to make the next move!
You will see a few options at the side of your screen:
Let’s see what each option covers:
After checking your cards, if you’re happy with your value, you can ‘stand’ and not ask for any more cards.
This is the most common option when you already have a combination that is between 18 and 20 points!
If you think your hand value is too far away from 21, you can draw another card.
This is an action you can repeat until you decide to ‘stand’ or bust. As explained before, a bust is when you’re left with more than 21 points in your hand.
Of course, knowing when to hit or stand is what makes the difference between a bad, good or excellent player.
Another move you can make is to double your bet. This move means that if you’ve originally bet $10, and you’ve drawn your first two cards, you can decide to double the bet to $20.
Normally, the rules only allow you to double down when your score is 9, 10 or 11.
However, there are variants of online blackjack where you can always double down.
Do keep in mind that this move carries some risk.
Doubling the initial bet forces you to draw only ONE more card and confirm the stand.
If you end up with an unsatisfactory hand, you’ll also lose twice as much.
This is an option that you won’t often see at online blackjack games. When it’s offered, this option allows you to give up your hand and keep half of your original bet.
Did you get two identical cards with the same value?
You can ask for a ‘split’, which splits your hand in two. But, you’ll have to place a second identical bet on the second hand.
In other words, you split the game but double the bet!
So when should you ask for a ‘split’?
If you have two cards of equal value, don’t ask for another card if the total point value of the cards is higher than 12. The odds of getting a 10-point card are still high.
Having two Aces is a typical situation where players always ask for a ‘split’. If the two equal cards are Aces, the play will end after you ‘split’ the game and receive the second card for each hand.
A notification might pop up, asking you if you want to take insurance.
With this type of side bet, you always guarantee half of the amount you’ve wagered. In other words, if you bet $10 and have the chance to take insurance, you’ll only lose $5 if you lose the bet.
So insurance is always a good option, right?
It might seem like the right choice because you’re minimizing your possible losses.
The truth is, mathematics proves gamblers lose more than they win with this insurance in the long run.
In fact, we recommend that you never take insurance and stick to the other actions.
That’s how to play online blackjack in a nutshell! Let’s summarize what we’ve covered:
How do you beat the dealer?
- By drawing a hand value that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand.
- By the dealer drawing a hand value that goes over 21.
- By drawing a hand value of 21 on your first two cards, when the dealer does not.
How do you lose to the dealer?
- Your hand value exceeds 21.
- The dealers hand has a greater value than yours at the end of the round.
What to Avoid?
- Refrain from using the surrender action.
- Never take insurance.
What’s the Difference between a Hard Hand and Soft Hand in Blackjack?
Another term you’ll frequently find for online blackjack games is a ‘hard hand’ or a ‘soft hand’.
If one of the two cards you have is an Ace, you have a ‘soft’ hand. This is because the Ace can either be a 1 or an 11, which gives you more flexibility.
On the other hand, a ‘hard’ hand is a hand that does not contain an ace and is rigid.
What are the Odds and Payouts of Blackjack?
Payouts for classic blackjack are easy to understand.
For a normal bet win, the payout is 1:1. That is, if you bet $20, you would get another $20.
When you get a natural blackjack, the payout is 3:2, that is, if you bet $10, your payout would be $15.
You will find blackjack game variations that pay lower payouts than 3:2 for natural blackjack.
We recommend you always stick to a game with a 3:2 payout for natural blackjack as anything lower than that will significantly impact your RTP.
What about the blackjack house edge?
If you use basic strategy, the house edge in blackjack is only around 0.5%.
With no strategy, the house edge for the casino creeps up to 2%.
This is still a low house edge compared to most casino games like roulette and Hold ’em.
Apart from classic blackjack, there are a number of popular blackjack variations that you can play for real money at Canadian betting sites. Let’s have a look:
Blackjack Switch has a lot of similarities to classic blackjack, with some important differences:
- You are dealt two hands instead of one.
- You can exchange the top two cards between hands, which can give you the possibility of improving your hands.
- Natural blackjacks are only paid 1:1 instead of 3:2.
- A dealer hard 22 pushes all player hands except a natural.
We do not recommend you choose Blackjack Switch because the lack of a 3:2 natural blackjack payout is a big disadvantage.
With progressive blackjack, you can place an additional $1 side bet contributing to a progressive jackpot.
You have the chance to win jackpots for special card combinations. These card combinations involve Ace combinations ranging from 2 to 4, and you get a differing payout depending on your combo.
Progressive blackjack games can increase both the game’s thrill and your bankroll!
Spanish 21 has a few differences that set it apart from classic blackjack:
- The player’s 21 always beats the dealer’s 21.
- It does not contain any 10-points cards. This means that reaching 21 requires a lot more cards.
- There is the opportunity for additional payouts based on specific card combinations.
These combinations include:
|A 21 with a 5-card hand||3:2|
|A 21 with a 6-card hand||2:1|
|A 21 with a 7-card hand||3:1|
|A 21 with 6,7,8 of mixed suits||3:2|
|A 21 with 7,7,7 of mixed suits||3:2|
|6.7,8 or 7,7,7 of same suit||2:1|
|6,7,8 or 7,7,7 of spades||3:1|
Live Casino Blackjack
You can enjoy the thrill of a casino from the comfort of your home thanks to live casino blackjack.
During live casino blackjack, you play against a dealer who’s streaming live from a casino.
The rules will vary depending on which table and blackjack variation you choose.
Top Tips to Win at Blackjack
Whichever blackjack variety you choose, your aim should always be the same:
Have fun, play responsibly, but also keep the house edge as low as possible.
This ensures you’re getting the best value for money in the long run. We won’t delve into advanced blackjack strategy here, but these few tips can help you go a long way!
Follow Basic Strategy
We’ve already mentioned this, but using some basic blackjack strategy can definitely help reduce the house edge.
Before you play a game of blackjack, take some time to look up a chart which shows you which action to take based on the hand values you have. Make the effort to memorise it, or even use it during the game itself!
Do Not Stand on ‘Soft 17’
If you have a soft 17 (an ace + another card), your two options should be ‘hit’ or ‘double’. A soft 17 hand cannot bust when taking a hit.
Avoid Betting Systems like the Martingale
You might find blackjack guides encouraging to use betting strategies like the Martingale. This system requires you to double your previous stake for every losing bet you make.
Contrary to what these guides tell you, this system can be a dangerous one that quickly burns through your bankroll.
We suggest you avoid such a high-risk strategy and practice good bankroll management instead.
Ready to Play Online Blackjack?
In this guide, we’ve covered where to play blackjack in Canada, how to play, and how to make the most out of your blackjack experience.
Test your knowledge at one of our top blackjack sites today!
What is the best online blackjack site?
Our recommendations for the best blackjack sites in Canada include Bodog and Betway. However, the best online blackjack site is dependent on your preferences.
Can you play blackjack with real money online?
Absolutely! You can check out our list of top blackjack sites for Canada for our recommendations.
Is it illegal to play blackjack online?
No, it’s not illegal to play blackjack online. There are plenty of reputable and accessible casino sites available to Canadian players.
Is playing blackjack online worth it?
It definitely is! You can benefit from bonuses, more blackjack variety, and a lower house edge than land-based blackjack.