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Guide to Online Blackjack in Canada

Blackjack is one of the world’s most popular card games, especially at online casinos in Canada. Gamblers love the combination of skill and chance that lead to big wins when they go head to head against the dealer.

If you’re new to the game or need a refresher course, we’ve got you covered with our online blackjack guide explaining everything you need to know to win. Canadian online blackjack has many variations, but in the end, players always try to end up with a score higher than the dealer without going over 21.

Before you will beat the dealer, you can practice with our free blackjack game, or head to one of our recommended Canadian online blackjack casinos to start playing:

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A bit of History 

While the origins of Blackjack are fiercely debated, it is reasonable to assume that it started in France in the 1700s. The original game was called ‘’Vingt-et-Un’’, which is translated as 21. 

You may ask then why the name Blackjack is now used. This is also a historic tale back to a time when a special 10:1 payout was made on the game for landing an Ace of spades and a black Jack (Jack of Clubs or Spades). While the 10:1 odds have fallen away in modern times, the name stuck.

Before you will beat the dealer, you can practice with our free blackjack game, or head to one of our recommended Canadian online blackjack casinos to start playing:

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Why Should I Play Blackjack? 

There are a few reasons that players that have never played Blackjack should try it: 

There really are endless advantages to being able to play this famous game, so start right here by learning the basics.

How to Play Blackjack  

Before starting the game, you need to know a few things: 

Playing blackjack online is easy for veterans and newbies alike. Here’s our step-to-step guide: 

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For more on blackjack rules, you can also check out our great video series:



Blackjack Glossary

Bust / Bust CardWhen your cards add up to over 21, you’re bust.NaturalGetting 21 with two cards, same as blackjack sometimes and also sometimes called a natural 21.
Basic strategyA system that you can memorize to tell you the best action to take with any hand.PaintSlang for any picture card.
Double downWhen you’ve seen your hand you can double down by putting down a second bet and draw an extra card.Pitch gameA blackjack game when the dealer’s using one or two decks.
Even moneyWhen the dealer has an ace and the player has blackjack, the player can take even money. It’s a form of insurance against the dealer beating you with their own blackjack.PloppyA player who doesn’t understand the basic playing strategy.
Face-Down GameA game where the first two cards dealt to players are face down.PushWhen the player and the dealer both have hands with the same total.
Five Card CharlieWhen you reach five cards without busting.SoftAny hand with An ace valued as 11.
Flat betPutting the same bet on successive rounds.SplitIf a player is dealt two cards of the same value, they can opt to play each of them as separate hands and place two identical bets.
Hard handAny hand that does not include an Ace counted as 11.StandTo ask for no more cards.
Heads UpA single player competing against the dealer.StiffAny hand where drawing another card could result in a bust.
HitTo ask the dealer for another card.SurrenderTo give up on your hand and get back half of your bet.
Hole cardThe dealer’s second card, which is dealt face down and which the players can’t see.Third baseThe player to the dealer’s right – so the last person to act.
InsuranceIf the dealer has an Ace, the player can place a side bet that’s half the value of the original bet. If the dealer has blackjack, the player gets the bet and the value of the original bet back. If the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, all the money is lost.UpcardThe card that the dealer shows.

Free Blackjack Online

The top Canadian online casino brands offer free blackjack demo games that give you the chance to practice your strategy without risking real money. You can find several versions of free blackjack games including European, Atlantic City, MH bonus, Streep, Spanish Blackjack and more. Use these free online blackjack simulators as an opportunity to learn the rules.

Try out different versions of online blackjack, develop better strategy, or simply play for fun. So, whether you’re a beginner blackjack player that wants to know the game better and get some practice before betting for real money, or an advanced player looking to try out some advanced strategies, free blackjack trainer games can get you up and running without any risk.

Blackjack Games’ Variations

As we mentioned, casinos offer many variations of blackjack. You can play the game using only one deck or several decks. In some games, the dealer follows different rules (such as hitting or standing on a soft 17). Payouts also vary. Below we explain some of the different online blackjack variations.

  • European Blackjack – The dealer does receive a hole card and does not win automatically if he or she is dealt 21.
  • Blackjack Switch – Players are allowed to play two hands at once against the dealer, allowing for more hands in a shorter span.
  • Pontoon blackjack – The dealer is not dealt a hole card, and a dealer 21 is not an automatic loss for all the players, like in other versions of blackjack. There are more regulations on the player — an Ace in a pre-double hand always counts as 1 post-double, and players can only draw once on split Aces. Hands featuring an Ace and a 10/face card are called “Pontoons” and pay out extra winnings.
  • Double Exposure – In this game, the dealer places all of his cards face up, so players always know what the dealer has. The catch is that the dealer wins all ties.
  • Spanish 21 – Spanish decks contain 48 cards counting 2-9 plus the Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces. The game is mostly the same as standard blackjack, though players receive bonuses for things like having been dealt a 7-7-7 hand.
  • Blackjack Surrender – Some blackjack games give players the option to surrender. You won’t take advantage of this option often if you’re following optimal blackjack strategy, but it can help. If the table you’re at has dealers stand on a soft 17, you’ll want to surrender a 16 versus a 9, 10 or Ace, and 15 versus a 10. If the dealer hits on a soft 17, surrender 15 versus a 10 or Ace; 16 versus a 9, 10 or Ace; 17 versus an Ace; and an 8-8 versus an Ace.
  • Progressive Blackjack  This is the big money game, for those in search of the millions! Similar to regular blackjack, Progressive Blackjack differs only in that it offers players an optional side bet for a chance to win an accumulating progressive jackpot. Players take chunks of the jackpot by drawing Aces. The more Aces drawn, the bigger the share of the pot received. If a player draws four Aces in a single hand, he or she wins the entire pot.


Final Thoughts

There’s a reason blackjack and all its variants have become such a casino mainstay. The game offers a fun and challenging way for players to test their own online blackjack strategy while offering the chance for extended entertainment at minimal cost.

A great online game, blackjack has also become a favourite among gamblers who play on smartphones, and just about all mobile casinos feature a quality blackjack game. If you haven’t yet done so, check out the blackjack offerings at Royal Vegas, one of our Five-star recommended casinos.

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