Play Online Blackjack
One of the world’s most popular card games, blackjack (also known as 21 or pontoon) is just as popular online. Its simplicity and ability to employ effective playing strategies to reduce the house edge making it a hit with online players from Canada. Whilst online blackjack casinos have created a number of variations of the game the ultimate goal is still the same, to get a higher card value than the dealer without busting over 21. See our best online blackjack Canada sites in the table below or read our detailed blackjack playing guide if you’re new to the game.
Note:For US gamblers in particular, I highly recommend visiting blackjackinfo.com’s online blackjack resource. The owner, Ken Smith, is a former blackjack professional and has created a website with truly insightful material. There is a free game and trainer available as well as an awesome card counting course if you ever wondered if it’s possible to beat the casino.
Top Online Blackjack Sites
How do we recommend our blackjack sites?
Each of our recommended blackjack sites have passed or exceeded the following criteria we use when reviewing sites
1) Game Selection: Each of our sites offers multiple variations of the game from Classic Blackjack to Atlantic City Blackjack to Spanish Blackjack, as well as some of the more unusual game variations such as multi-hand blackjack. As an example the Spin Palace Blackjack range of games contains over 30 different games
2) Graphics and Gameplay: Our recommended blackjack casinos are all powered by the top casino software companies be it Microgaming, Playtech or Net Entertainment. So as well as a great selection of different blackjack games you can be assured of Las Vegas style graphics and seamless online gameplay
Blackjack Learning Special: Common mistakes to avoid
How do I play blackjack online?
Follow these steps to play the game online:
1) Make a bet – this will depend upon the specific game and casino but you will either click an arrow up or down to raise or lower your bet or maneuver the chips according to the amount you want to bet
2) The cards are dealt – players are dealt two cards with both cards dealt face up, whilst the dealer is dealt one card. After the cards are dealt the value of your total hands will be shown according to the values of the cards. Cards from 2-10 have the face value, Jack, Queen and King are worth 10, whilst aces are worth 1 or 11 depending upon what’s best for the player.
3) Determine from your hand value and the value of the dealer’s hand whether to hit, stand or double down (see Blackjack terms below)
4) Players can continue until they decide to ‘stand’ or they ‘bust’. If you bust then you automatically lose your bets
5) The dealer then deals his 2nd hand – below 17 he must hit, 17 or more and he can stand. The dealer will continue to hit until he either reaches 17 or more, gets blackjack or goes bust
How do I win at Video Blackjack?
There are a variety of scenarios where you can win at the blackjack table:
1) If the dealer goes over 21 and you’re still in play i.e. you haven’t busted
2) If the dealer is still in the hand with 17, 18, 19 or 20 but your hands are higher
3) If you’re dealt with your first 2 cards an ace with either a 10, King, Queen or Jack that’s ‘blackjack’ and an automatic win
4) If you get blackjack and so does the dealer or you both reach the same hand value e.g. 20 then that’s a tie – you keep your bet
What are the payouts in Blackjack?
If you are dealt 20 and the dealer goes bust with 22 as an example then you get a 1 to 1 payout i.e. if you bet $50 then you win $50; in standard games, if you get ‘blackjack’ then the payouts are 3:2 whilst if there’s a tie then you keep your original bet. Some brick and mortar casinos in Vegas have reduced payout from 3:2 on a ‘blackjack’ to 5:6 as reported on Business Insider.
Here’s a complete rundown on payouts and house advantage on several of the most popular bj games:
|Slot Machine||House Advantage||Blackjack Pays||Game Platform|
|4||Half Double Blackjack||0.46%||3:2||Playtech|
|5||Multiplayer Blackjack Surrender||0.38%||3:2||Playtech|
|6||Live Unlimited Blackjack||0.59%||3:2||Playtech|
Blackjack terms explained
- Hit – Choosing another card with the value of this card adding to your total hand value
- Stand – When you stand you decide not to hit/draw any further cards. The total value of your hands will remain at what it was when you hit the stand button
- Split – Splitting is when you split your original two dealt cards which have the same value (e.g. x 2 6’s) into two separate hands. Each hand is then dealt a 2nd card and the game continues
- Bust – You go bust when your hand value is greater than 21. Going bust means automatically losing and you can only go bust after hitting, as the value of your first two cards can never be greater than 21.
- Insurance – Insurance is a side bet you can make when the dealer’s ‘face’ card is an ace. If the dealer gets blackjack with his 2nd dealt card then the insurance side bet will pay out at 2:1
- Surrender – Surrender is when you fold and give up half your bet after you consider you’ve been dealt a bad hand. Not all casinos and casino games offer the surrender option.
- Push – A push is a tied hand resulting in you keeping your original bet
- Hard Hand – A hand that can only have one value either because the two cards don’t contain an ace or because the hand is of a high enough value that the ace can only be worth one
- Soft Hand – A hand that contains an ace giving the card a value of one or 11
- Double Down – Doubling down is when you decide to take only one more card (hitting) before standing. To double down you must double your original bet.
What are the different types of blackjack games available online?
Here are some popular variations of the classic blackjack game that you can play online:
- Spanish Blackjack: In Spanish blackjack or Spanish 21 as it is known all the 10 value cards (10, King, Queen and Jack) are removed from the pack. Other than this the game’s rules are the same, you try and hit 21 or get a hand of a higher value than the dealer. Whilst the removal of the ‘10’ value cards increased the house edge, Spanish blackjack offer a number of quirky payouts for 5,6 and 7 card 21 combinations in the player’s favour. You can find
- Double Exposure: In double exposure, both dealer’s cards are shown face up, the flip side is that all ties go to the dealer and getting blackjack i.e. 21 on your first 2 cards pays out 1:1 instead of 3:2
- Atlantic City Blackjack: Atlantic City has the following rule difference to classic blackjack – you can double down on any two cards, double down on a split, split three times to make four hands but a split ace and a 10 makes 21 not blackjack
- Hi-Lo 13 Blackjack: This game is the same as standard or classic blackjack with the added twist that before you try and beat the dealer you make a side bet on the table as to whether the sum of your two cards will be lower than 13, 13 or higher than 13. For the sake of the Hi-Lo aces count as 1, but can still count as 11 to get ‘blackjack’. The Hi-Lo side bet increases the house edge a little, so it’s not a game we particularly recommend playing over classic blackjack unless the side betting specifically appeals to you.
- Blackjack Switch: This relatively new innovation from 2009 varies from traditional blackjack by the fact players are dealt with two hands, and they may swap cards between them. A natural blackjack is paid only at 1:1, and dealer doesn’t go bust on 22, instead, it becomes a push.
Can I play Blackjack online for free?
The answer to this, like it is for all casino games online is yes, you can play free online blackjack on demo or free mode at all our recommended blackjack sites.
In the case of blackjack, if you’ve never played before we recommend first playing on demo play so you can familiarize yourself with the game and begin to learn on which hands to hit and on which to stand etc. Once you’re ready though we really recommend moving to real money blackjack to try and win some money.
Bottom Line on Blackjack
Together with slots and roulette, internet blackjack makes up the ‘big 3’of the online casino games and for good reason – the basic rules are simple, you can employ strategies to help you win and its fun. Available in multiple versions across all our top Canada blackjack sites and on mobile casino sites, even if you’re more of a slots player blackjack is the one card game definitely worth trying.