Blackjack has been around for centuries, and if you’ve ever played a hand before, you are sure to understand the appeal. Unlike most casino games, online blackjack actually requires skill, strategy and expertise, and that’s probably the game’s greatest allure. Instead of leaving your future to chance, Canadian gamblers can take the wheel and actually direct their fortune intuitively. If you are tired of letting random number generators determine your fate, then pull up a chair; the tides are about to turn.
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Rules of Blackjack
Blackjack doesn’t require a lot of skill to learn, at least not the basics, but it could take you years to really perfect your strategy (more on that later). Start with understanding the rules, and then you can enjoy developing your moves over the next few months of entertaining gameplay.
Before we talk about the rules, you should know what cards you are playing with. Blackjack online is played with a deck of 52 cards. Cards 2-10 are taken at face value and all royalty cards are worth 10 points each. Aces have a sliding value scale; they can either be counted as one or 11, which makes for some interesting strategic plays. Now for the gameplay:
- Wagers are made prior to deal.
- One of the best parts of online blackjack games is that they allow you to play multiple hands at once, so you can really see some action fast. Decide how many hands you want to play on each round, and place your wagers by clicking on the coin denomination and then the hand(s) of choice.
- Now press Deal.
- Two cards will be dealt face up for each hand being played for the round, and two cards will be dealt to the dealer, one face up and one face down.
- Once you see your cards, you need to decide what you’ll do next. There are several options including:
- Hit: You’ll receive another card.
- Stand: You’re finished playing for this round.
- Split: You are essentially breaking your single hand into two hands, receiving a new card for each of the new hands.
- Insurance: You can bet that the dealer will make 21.
- Double: You can double your wager at this point in the game.
- If you have not reached a total of 21 even after receiving your third card, you will have the options previously mentioned. Play continues in this manner until you either bust (exceed a total of 21) or stand.
- Once you stand, the dealer turns over his second card and is dealt additional cards until the round ends either because the house rules of the dealer kick in or the dealer busts. House rules are generally that dealers must draw on 16 and stand on 17+.
- The winner is the player who gets the highest total without going over 21.
Odds in Blackjack
Everyone loves blackjack, but now here comes the part that few casinos will tell you. The house edge on an average online blackjack table can be brought down to as low as 0.5% if you, excuse the pun, play your cards right. Of course, if you don’t go in with a strategy, you are looking to raise the house edge up to 2%. How does this stand against other casino games? It’s the lowest you will find, so pounce on it now.
As we mentioned, online blackjack is not like most casino games, and you can actually take advantage of a well-devised strategy. Read our full blackjack strategy guide, and check out the tips below to learn a few things about doubling down, when to hit and when to stand and other subtle tricks that can make all the difference in a game of 21.
Top 10 Blackjack Tips
Take a tip from the tops in the game, and learn a thing or two about acing the blackjack challenge:
- Skip the card counting. If you are used to relying on this blackjack strategy, you can forget it. Online blackjack games are digitally run, so they’re shuffled after each round.
- Choose a version that you understand and enjoy. There are a lot of online blackjack variations and not all will be your cup of tea, so find the one that you truly love, whether it’s classic, double, multi or any other, and play that to the hilt.
- To bonus or not to bonus? Before you settle into a version of your favourite card challenge, check the casino rules about bonuses, particularly the welcome bonus. Many blackjack variants will not count or will only count slightly towards your bonus wager requirements, and what a shame to miss out on a bonus just because you didn’t read the fine print.
- Get good on the free online blackjack games before you start spending your real bankroll.
- It can be tedious memorizing all those tables of blackjack strategy points, but it can also be wonderfully advantageous. These strategies tell you the best move based on the dealer’s shown card, dramatically reducing the house edge in your favour.
- That being said, most people will opt for the easier, and still pretty effective cheat sheets that give you nearly all the information you need in a compact version.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a split. Splitting a hand, especially 8’s or aces, can give you an incredible advantage, possibly doubling your winnings or turning a potential bust into a second chance.
- Skip the insurance. Unlike in arenas where counting cards could lead to a profitable insurance wager, blackjack online will show you a loss more times than not on insurance bets.
- Know when to double down. There obviously can’t be a 100% guarantee on any card game, but doubling down when your cards total 11 or 10 will almost always prove more beneficial.
- Stand on 17. If your hand totals 17 or higher, the probability of you getting something that will make you bust is too high to play with. In these situations, you’re best bet is to stand.
Mobile Blackjack Options
Being one of the most cherished online casino games, blackjack is found amply represented on the mobile casinos field as well. Casino.com, All Slots, Spin Palace and Lucky247 are some of the best online casinos for playing everyone’s most adored card game ever. Available for both iOS and Android devices, you can even find several mobile casinos that will support Windows and Symbian phones.
If you love to play blackjack online, you’ll be thrilled to hear about all the fun variations game makers have come up with throughout the years. Sometimes the differences are so subtle, you won’t be able to tell what they are, and other times, you won’t even recognize the game as blackjack! Here are a few of our favourites:
- Single-hand, the classic
- Multi-hand, that comes in a variety such as the ones listed below
- Spanish blackjack
- Pontoon, get ready to guess
- Double exposure, two times the fun for everyone
- Switch, a neat twist
- Spanish 21, offers some quirks you’re gonna love
- Surrender, a backdoor out of flopping
Online blackjack is a game for the ages, offering something for everyone who is dealt into a hand. Whether you’re in it for the fun, the logic or the flavour, play blackjack at one of our world-renowned casinos from the casino reviews list, and see why this game has stood the test of time.