The history of Blackjack dates back to the early 1700s, however it is unsure where it originated. Some say the French started blackjack first and some say the Romans were the pioneers. Over the years, the rules have changed a couple of times; resulting in the blackjack we know today and offered by any casino – both online and land based.
It is an entertaining game and its rules are pretty easy to learn. Aside of this, it is the game with the lowest house edge of a casino. This means your chances of winning are the highest of all when playing this game. We will explain you how to play blackjack and guide you through the different blackjack casinos in Canada so you can decide which blackjack casinos fits you best.
How do online blackjack casinos in Canada work?
In a Canadian online blackjack casino, you can play blackjack against the computer or against the dealer in the Live Casino. If you want to play against the computer, you’ll usually find these blackjack games under Table Games in the casino. But most people prefer playing against the dealer in the Live Casino as it gives them a human interaction. Live dealer games are streamed over the internet and you, the player, get to see all the action from the dealer and the table. The dealer in the online blackjack game will interact in the same way as he/she would interact to players in a physical casino.
Each table has several camera angles so you can choose from which side you want to follow the action. You can also find a social side of playing blackjack in the live casino as you are able to interact with the dealer and other players via the chat function.
A good thing to keep in mind is that most blackjack table games can be played for free at online blackjack casinos. This is a great way to practice the rules and strategies as a beginner. Simply don’t log into your casino account to play the blackjack table games for free.
Standard and VIP tables
In almost all online blackjack casinos, you’ll find blackjack tables different starting stake amounts. In Canada, most casinos have blackjack tables you can start playing with $2. VIP tables require a higher stake amount. A $50 bet is common to start playing at Blackjack VIP tables.
At online blackjack casinos in Canada, you’re always able to place your stake in Canadian dollars.
How to play online blackjack
Blackjack is a pretty easy and straightforward game. The rules are not difficult to learn and there are several strategies a player could use. What are the basic rules of Blackjack? It is often thought that you need to get as close to 21 points, closer than the dealer does. But this isn’t entirely correct. The goal is to beat the dealer.
The value of the cards is easy to understand:
1 or 11 points
King, Queen or Jack (the images)
The other cards
Same value as their number
The color and the symbols of the cards are irrelevant, only the numbers matter.
The dealer will hand out the cards clockwise. All players play against the dealer only, players don’t compete against each other.
First, you’ll place your bet amount. The dealer will hand two cards to every player at the table which are visible for everyone at the table.
The dealer hands himself two cards as well, but only one is visible for everyone. The dealer will only show his card after all players have finished their gameplay. The exception to this is when the dealer’s first face-up card is a ten or an ace. Then they’ll look at the second face-down card to see if they’ve gotten a natural blackjack. If the dealer has a natural, they collect all bets of all players who don’t have a natural. If both the dealer and another player has a natural blackjack, the bet is considered a tie and the player gets his stake back. The gameplay ends here.
You have a natural blackjack if your first two cards are an Ace and a 10 or one of the images. You’ll win 2,5 times your stake amount. Keep in mind that a natural blackjack is not the same as 21. If you managed to get 21, but the dealer has a blackjack, you’ll lose that hand.
A natural Blackjack with a $5 stake. You win 2.5 times your stake amount (your stake +1,5 x your stake amount winnings) resulting in $12.50.
If you didn’t win a natural blackjack (and most times you won’t) but you didn’t cross 21, the dealer will ask you if you you’d like another card. You can do either:
- Pass – You won’t get more cards.
- Hit – The dealer will give you another card, which will give you another point score. You can get as much cards as you want until you decide to either pass or until your total point score crosses 21. In the latter case, you’ll go bust and you lose your stake.
- Double/ Double Down – You double your stake and the dealer gives you another card. This is the last time to get another card. This could a good choice if your total is 10 or 11.
- Splitting – If you get two cards with the same value, you get the option to split them. If you do, you’ll double your original stake because you are playing ”twice”, with two separate hands. The dealer will split the cards and give you an extra card next to each split card. This means you now have two hands with two cards each. You can decide to pass, hit or double down for each hand separately.
The dealer round
Once all players have finished their rounds, it’s the dealer’s turn. He will now show his hidden card. Officially, the rule for the dealer in blackjack is to keep hitting until he has 17 or more, regardless of the outcome of the players at the table.
Blackjack house edge
As we’ve mentioned before, blackjack has the lowest house edge of all casino games. The house edge of a game is determined by using statistics collected over a large number of rounds. So, when playing only a couple of game rounds you won’t notice too much that the house has an edge. But should you be playing a significant amount of blackjack games, you will likely notice it.
A few different things have an impact on the house edge in blackjack.
3/2 or 6/5
The standard payout for a blackjack is 3 to 2, we advise you to always play at a blackjack table paying out 3 to 2. A blackjack that pays out 6 to 5, or any other payout less than 3 to 2, is a bad deal. Why is that? It makes a big difference in the expected outcome. If you have a winning blackjack hand in 3:2 blackjack, you get paid $3 for every $2 that you bet. But in 6:5, you get paid out $6 for every $5 that you bet.
The reason that casinos offer 6 to 5 blackjack is because their house edge increases by approximately 400% compared to offering 3 to 2 blackjack variant. In the latter blackjack variant, the house edge is about 0.50%. This means that for every $100 wagered, the house takes $0.50. In 6 to 5 blackjack, the edge goes up to almost 2%. This means that the house takes about $2 for every $100 wagered.
It will usually be written on each blackjack table whether you’re sitting at a 3:2 or 6:5 table. If it isn’t, be sure to check the game specifications or ask the dealer (if you’re playing at a live blackjack table).
Single Deck vs. Multiple Decks
Blackjack is played with at least 1 card deck which consists of 52 cards. It can be played with up to 6 card decks so that would mean that you’d be playing with 312 cards in total.
As you might have guessed, the more decks in the blackjack game, the higher the house edge. This means you’ll have more chances of winning with a single card deck. Blackjack with a single card desk is popular, especially amongst card counters who try to predict the next cards.
Basic Blackjack Strategy
As we’ve already mentioned, the house edge of blackjack is very low. Gambling experts agree that by following the basic Blackjack strategy, you can lower the house edge from 1-2% to 0.50%. This means your chances of winnings become as high as possible. Here are the rules of playing blackjack with the basic strategy:
- Stand when your hand is between 12 and 16 (a ”good” or high card) and the dealer has between 2 and 6 (a ”bad” or low card).
- Hit when your hand is 12-16 when the dealer has Ace-7.
- Always split 8s and Aces.
- Double 11 vs. the dealer’s 2-10
- Either hit or double 6-Aces.
The bottom line is that you make your decision whether to hit, stand, split or double based on the dealer’s card. Note that following this basic blackjack strategy won’t help you win at blackjack every single game round. It is meant to maximize your winning chances and minimize your losses.
A few of these tips are common sense. You probably won’t stand when your first hand is worth 4. And you’re likely not hitting if your first 2 cards added up to 20. The chance of losing the game would be very big then.
Special Blackjack rules
Not all blackjack games are exactly the same. There are a few rules that are different from each other. Sometimes there are even slightly different rules at different tables within the same casino.
Dealers hits or stands on a soft 17 – In most online blackjack casinos, the dealer will stand once his hand reaches 17. But in some casinos, the dealer is required to hit on a soft 17.
A soft 17 hand describes a hand worth 17 that includes an Ace, where the Ace counts as 1 or 11. A soft hand cannot go bust if take another card. A hard hand means a hand without an Ace and can go bust.
An example of a soft 17 is 6-Ace. The Ace counts as an 11, which totals to 17. If you take another card, there is a good chance you’ll surpass 21 which would make you bust. But by surpassing 21 with an Ace, you’ll get another chance by counting it as a 1 this time around. This way you’ll have an extra chance to beat the dealer.
A hard hand mean that the Ace counts as a 1. A hard 17 could be the combination of cards 6+8+2+Ace=17 Now you cannot make the Ace count as an 11 anymore and there is a large chance of surpassing 21 when hitting. Therefore, it is recommend to only hit whenever you’ve got a soft 17.
Surrender rule – In a blackjack game that offers the option to surrender, the player can fold his hand before drawing new cards. In this case, the player gets half of his original stake amount back.
Bet behind option – In case all seats are filled at the blackjack table of your choice, you could try out the Bet Behind function. It lets you Bet the player of your choice. If he wins his hand, you win too. If he loses, you lose your bet too. Therefore, it is wise to study a few players at the table beforehand. This way you can estimate if the player you’re betting on makes wise decisions or not.
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Best online blackjack casino welcome bonus
There aren’t that many online casinos in Canada that offer a welcome bonus to use on live casino games. Most welcome bonuses focus on slots and live casino games hardly (if at all) contribute towards the wagering requirements. Fortunately, we’ve found a couple of casinos who do offer an interesting casino welcome bonus to use on online blackjack games. Take a look at these online blackjack casinos below:
Online blackjack welcome bonus casino – LeoVegas
Players who want to play blackjack can enjoy LeoVegas Casino’s (LeoVegas Casino Review) interesting welcome package. After creating your account and making your initial deposit, you can benefit from 100% up to $1,000 bonus + $20 Golden Chips. Follow the steps below to activate the live casino bonus in your account:
- Select the ‘Live Casino Welcome Offer’ when creating your account
- Go to ‘My Offers’ page and click ‘Deposit’ on your Offer Card which will then trigger the LeoVegas Live Casino welcome bonus to play on online blackjack
- Wager your deposit amount 40x in LeoVegas Live Casino
- Click ‘Claim’ on your Offer Card to get 100% deposit bonus up to $1,000+ a Golden Chip to enjoy on eligible Playtech tables
For example: If you deposit $30 and wager your deposit amount 40x in LeoVegas Live Casino Lobby, you’ll receive $30 in real money + a Golden Chip worth $5
Online blackjack welcome bonus casino – Genesis
Genesis Casino is another casino in Canada welcoming their new players with a live casino bonus which can be used on online blackjack tables.
You get to benefit from a 100% bonus up to $100 in your account. A minimum deposit of $10 is sufficient to activate this online blackjack welcome bonus. Genesis is one of the best blackjack casinos in Canada. Find out why in our Genesis Casino review.
How to win in online blackjack – other strategies
When playing online casino blackjack, there are several strategies you could follow to improve your winning chances. It is important to keep in mind that blackjack, just like all casino games, have a house edge. This basically means that the casino always wins in the long run. After a long number of play rounds, the casino rakes in more winnings than the player. However, blackjack is one of the games with the lowest house edge. There are certainly some strategies that are widely used amongst casino players. We’ll explain you what the most common ones are:
Conservative Blackjack Strategy
- You start with the lowest possible stake amount (e.g. $1)
- If winning the next hand: Increase your stake amount by 1 unit
- If losing the next hand: go back to your original stake amount.
So, as long as you’re winning, you keep increasing your bet. But as soon as you’ve lost a hand, you go back to your original bet amount. This is considered a good way to stay in control of your spending.
Martingale Blackjack Strategy
The Martingale is quite the opposite of what the conservative strategy stands for. It is much more bold and risky. It is commonly used amongst advanced players who aren’t afraid of ”losing a lot to win more”.
In this blackjack strategy, you double your bet every time you lose. The main thought of this aggressive betting strategy is the idea that you need only one win to recover all previous losses. But of course, your spending budget needs to be large enough to play at such level. It is not recommended to follow this strategy if you’re a beginner – if at all.
1-3-2-6 Blackjack Strategy
This is a safer way of playing blackjack in which you don’t need an enormous bankroll.
In this strategy, you increase your stake amounts in a positive progression. It goes like this: let’s say you start with a stake of $5. In case you’ve won the hand, you’ll bet $15 (3 x $5). If you win this hand as well, your next stake will be $20. Should you win that hand as well, then your next and last bet will $30. When all four game rounds are won, you start the strategy over again.