Play Blackjack Online in Canada

Posted by Elliot Nield . Last updated:

Playing blackjack online is becoming increasingly popular in Canada. Our guide to online blackjack will teach you where to play blackjack online, how to play, and tips & strategies for winning big.

Where to Play Blackjack Online

These are our favourite sites for Canadian players to play blackjack online:

Blackjack Basics

five white playing card icons

Blackjack is a Card Game

The game is played on a standard 52 card deck. The suit of the cards you are given does not matter in blackjack.

three white playing card icons

Every Card Has a Numeric Value

Aces can be worth either 11 or 1 (depending on which is best for your hand), face cards (King, Queen, and Jack) are worth 10, and all other cards are worth their number.

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21 is the Goal

Put simply, the goal in blackjack is to attain a card hand that totals closer to 21 than the dealer, without going over 21. If you go over 21, you “bust” and lose.

How To Play Blackjack Online

While online blackjack can intimidating, the game is actually much simpler than it seems. Here’s how it works.

As mentioned above, you are given two face-up cards to start. The dealer gives themselves one card face-up and one card face-down. Then, you have the choice to hit or stand. If you hit, you receive one more card. You can keep hitting until you choose to stand, reach 21, or go over 21 (a bust). If you stand, you stop receiving cards, and it’s the dealer’s turn to turn over their face-down card and reveal their total.

The dealer has to keep hitting until their cards total 17. Whoever’s hand total is closest to 21 without going over, wins. If either of you go over 21, you bust and lose immediately. Getting 21, or a blackjack, isn’t an automatic win: there’s the chance you and the dealer will both reach 21, in which case you would tie.

An Example Hand of Blackjack

  • The player makes a bet.
  • The player receives cards from the dealer – a Queen and a 4. The dealer also has two cards, but only one – an 8 – is visible to the player.
  • The player adds up their cards and realizes that their total is only 14. They decide to hit and take another card – a 6.
  • Satisfied with their total of 20, the player stands.
  • The dealer reveals their other card – an Ace – bringing the total of their hand to 19.
  • Since the player’s total is closer to, but not exceeding 21, they win the round.
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How To Win at Blackjack

a player doubling down in a game of blackjack

Manage Your Bankroll

This bears repeating for all types of online gambling – have a bankroll strategy and stick to it. In blackjack, we recommend ensuring that each individual bet represents – at most, 5% of your total bankroll. For example, if you have $100 to play with, we recommend playing $5 hands at most.

a hand choosing to hit in a game of blackjack

Never Chase Losses

Blackjack in particular is a game of math. If you play wisely and follow sound strategy, you will gain the edge over the long term. Do not play recklessly and emotionally, and never abandon your blackjack strategy to win back anything you’ve lost.

a hand choosing to stand in blackjack

Capitalize on Good Hands

Use splitting and doubling down to maximize your wager amount on good hands. In online blackjack, being aggressive is required at times. If one more ten would give you a winning hand, take a calculated risk and double down.

When to Hit, Stand, Double Down, or Split

After the bets are placed and each player has received their two initial cards, you’ll have to choose whether you want to hit, stand, double down, or split. You’ll want to make this decision based on what’s in your hand, and what’s showing in the dealer’s hand.

When to Hit in Blackjack

When to Hit in Blackjack

A “hit” is simply asking for another card from the dealer

Depending on what the dealer is showing and the casino’s rules, a general strategy would be to ‘hit’ when your cards total 14 or less.

For example: if your cards total 12, it would be a good idea to hit. There’s a good chance of you getting a card under 10, so you probably won’t bust.

Here’s a cheat sheet for when you should hit or stand:

Hard Totals

Where your hand total occurs without an Ace.

Your Hand Dealer’s Up Card Hit or Stand?
11 or under Any card Hit
12 2, 3, 7 to 10, Ace Hit
12 4 to 6 Stand
13 to 16 2 to 6 Stand
13 to 16 7 to 10, Ace Hit
17 Any card Stand

Soft Totals

Where your hand includes an Ace, so the total is flexible.

Your Hand Dealer’s Up Card Hit or Stand?
Ace + 2 to 6 Any card Hit
Ace + 7 2 to 8 Stand
Ace + 7 9, 10, Ace Hit
Ace + 8 or 9 Any card Stand

 

When to Stand in Blackjack

When to Stand in Blackjack

“Standing” is choosing to receive no more cards from the dealer

A player would “stand” when they’re confident they have a high enough hand to beat the dealer, typically on hands that total 15 or more (depending on what the dealer is showing).

For example: If your cards total 17, you could definitely still choose to hit, but now there’s a greater chance of you getting a card that would put you over 21. Depending on what the dealer is showing in this scenario, it may be wiser to stand.

For more info on when to stand, check out the chart above under “Show More”.

When to Double Down in Blackjack

When to Double Down in Blackjack

“Doubling down” is choosing to double your original bet and committing to receiving only one more card from the dealer

As an example, a player should generally “double down” if their hand totals 10 or 11 and the dealer’s face-up card is less than 10, as the odds of the next card being a ten or face card is in the player’s favour in the long run. Again, this will depend on what the dealer is showing as well as the casino’s dealer rules.

Remember – doubling down doubles a player’s bet, and they only get one more card. If the player gets a good card and wins, they win double, but if they get a bad card and lose, they’ll lose double.

Here’s a cheat sheet for when you should double down:

Your Hand Double Down if the Dealer’s Up Card is:
9 3 to 6
10 2 to 9
11 2 to 10
A and 2 5 or 6
A and 3 5 or 6
A and 4 or 5 4, 5, or 6
A and 6 3 to 6
A and 7 2 to 6
A and 8 6
When to Split in Blackjack

When to Split in Blackjack

A “split” is only an option when a player is dealt a pair

“Splitting” a pair turns the original pair into two separate hands, doubling the amount of hands the player has on the table and doubling the bet in the process.

For example, if a player was dealt two 8s, they could split these. They would then have two hands worth 8 each, and receive an additional card for each hand. They’d then play these hands the same way they’d play one – choosing to hit, stand, double down, or even to split again.

Choosing when to split is a bit complicated, and depends on which pair you receive, and what the dealer’s showing. When you’re choosing to split, remember these three things:

  • Don’t split a winning hand. If you’re dealt two 10s, it’s tempting to double down, but don’t. If you’re dealt two 10s, you know you have twenty, which is likely a winning total. Hold tight.
  • Only split good cards. Remember, you’re turning these cards into new hands, so only split cards that you actually For example, if you’re dealt a pair of fours (a low, mathematically unfriendly card) there’s no point in splitting – you’ll just end up with extra hands full of fours.
  • Each time you split, your wager doubles. Just try to remember what you’re getting into – splitting doubles your potential winnings, but also your potential losses.

Here’s a cheat sheet for when to split:

Your Hand Split if the Dealer’s Up Card is:
2s, 3s 4 to 7
4s, 5s, 10s Don’t split
6s 3 to 6
7s 2 t0 7
8s Any card
9s 2 to 6, 8 or 9
Aces Any card

 

Featured Online Blackjack Casino of the Month

Online Blackjack Payouts

When playing blackjack, it’s important to find the top casinos which offer the best payout percentages. This will help make your bankroll last longer and give you the best chance of winning.

The standard blackjack casino payout is 3 to 2. While in recent years a number of casinos have switched to a 6 to 5 payout, we recommend never playing for less than 3 to 2. This means that for every $2 bet, the player would receive $3 back on a winning hand – 1.5x the initial wager. 

Traditionally, blackjack is the casino game with the highest overall payout percentage and the lowest house edge. While this varies across casinos, blackjack variations and individual games, by using a good strategy and choosing a game with favourable rules, you can find online blackjack games with a tiny (<0.5%) house edge.

Different Types of Online Blackjack

When you decide to play blackjack online, you have a host of options when it comes to the different variations of the game. Here are a few of the most popular options for Canadian players, but rest assured, there are plenty of other games that follow the objective of blackjack.

Classic Blackjack

Classic blackjack is the most traditional version of the game. It’s also sometimes called “Traditional Blackjack” or just “21”. It can be played with anywhere from one to eight decks of cards, but the most popular are 2-deck, 4-deck, 5-deck, and 6-deck.

It’s played exactly the way we described above – the dealer receives one card face-up and one card face-down, and the player receives two cards face-up. The player then decides whether to hit, stand, double down, or split.

Live Dealer Blackjack

In this popular Blackjack variation, players can enjoy a traditional casino experience while playing online as there is a live dealer in real-time dealing the cards. Live blackjack is a great option for players that want the live casino experience with the convenience of playing from their laptop or mobile device.

Spanish 21

This variation of real money online blackjack allows players late surrenders, doubling after a split, re-splitting aces, players 21 always wins, players blackjack beats dealer blackjack, a player may double down on any number of cards. There are also different payouts when a player hits 21. Whether it’s 5,6,7 card 21’s or three-suited 7’s.

European Blackjack

European blackjack is a popular variation with minor differences from traditional real money blackjack. One central difference is it only played with two decks of cards, where others use six to eight decks. There’s no hole card in the European variation of the game and the dealer doesn’t receive a second card until the player has completed their hand. Doubling down is also limited. In European blackjack, players can only double down if they have a hand of 9 through 11.

Single Deck Blackjack

This version of blackjack is only played with one deck. For years, single deck was the standard, but casinos began to mix in multiple decks to make card counting more difficult.

Double Exposure Blackjack

In double exposure, the dealer receives both cards face-up, which gives the player an advantage over their next move. To maintain the house edge, players are paid out even money if they get a blackjack rather than 3:2, and a tie results in the player losing their bet.

There are a few other rules: there are no surrenders, you can’t purchase insurance, and some games restrict doubling down and splitting based on your hand.

Atlantic City Blackjack

This version of blackjack is played with eight decks shuffled together. It is very similar to classic blackjack, but with a few twists. If the dealer receives an ace or any 10-valued card as their hole card, they will “peek” at the face-down card to check for a blackjack. If they have a blackjack, you’ll lose your initial bet.

Additionally, the dealer will stand on any soft 17 hand, and the player can only choose to surrender after the dealer has peeked.

Free Blackjack vs. Blackjack for Real Money

Most casinos offer a demo mode where you can play a selection of their games for free. This allows you to learn the rules, test your strategy and see how you like the casino before making a deposit. We recommend playing in demo mode until you understand how the game works. Of course, the inescapable downside of playing for free is that you can’t win money, and that bonuses and promotions for free players are incredibly rare. That’s why, once comfortable, many players choose to play for real money.  Blackjack is a great game whichever way you play, but check out the pros and cons of playing for real money to make sure you make the right decision.

Pros of Real Money Blackjack

  • Chance to win real money which can be cashed out
  • Increased level of excitement and entertainment
  • Ability to collect free casino bonuses
  • Huge variety of blackjack variations and game designs available
  • Live dealer tables are almost always exclusively for real money players

Cons of Real Money Blackjack

  • As with all real money games, there is a risk that you may lose money
  • You’ll have to register at a casino before you start playing

Best Canadian Real Money Blackjack Casinos

Canadian Blackjack Casino Minimum Deposit Welcome Bonus Payout Time Start Playing
Jackpot City $10 100% match up to $1,600 1-5 business days Jackpot City Blackjack
Royal Vegas Casino $10 100% match up to $1,200 1-5 days Royal Vegas Casino Blackjack
CasinoChan $25 100% match up to $1,500 + free spins Instantly to 5 days CasinoChan Blackjack
Ruby Fortune $10 100% match up to $750 1-7 business days Ruby Fortune Blackjack
All Slots Casino $10 100% match up to $1,500 1-5 days All Slots Casino Blackjack

Blackjack Glossary Terms

Blackjack Online FAQs

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