Blackjack, or 21, is a timeless classic. This real money game is popular at casino tables and in Canadian households alike, the simple rules making it the perfect card game. But the tactics and various rules can also turn this classic into a big money maker that stays interesting and enjoyable.
The card game is loved so much that there is even a Canadian version – said to have been played by coal miners – and now most commonly enjoyed by the Royal Canadian Navy. Called Stook, you may find it in your local casino, but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an online version as of yet.
Play at these best real money blackjack sites Canadian online casinos, all of which have several variations of the classic table game:
The rules to blackjack can vary quite a lot considering the simplicity of this real money game. The aim is to finish closer to 21 than the dealer without going over. Hands are dealt with two cards each. In some variants you might actually see the dealer’s first card, in others you don’t.
So when you have your two cards, the following values apply: numbers two to ten count at face value, then the face cards – Jack, Queen, King – count as ten each. The Ace can be a soft one, or hard eleven; it is your choice.
This first part is luck. Best case is that you draw a Blackjack – two cards equalling 21 straight off the bat. This combo usually pays out at increased odds. Of course, this is what you want to happen, but then where is the fun in getting that from every deal?
If you are playing a variant where you see the dealer’s first card and it’s an Ace, you have the option to make an insurance bet to cover the case that he has a blackjack. This will cost half of your original stake and once you’ve placed the insurance bet, the dealer will peek at his second card. If he has blackjack, then you lose your original stake but win the insurance bet at 2 to 1. It is a good safety net, especially if you are new to the game.
If neither hand has blackjack, then the true strategies come to life on your next decision. You get a few choices. Choose to hit for another card, but be careful not to go over 21 and bust your hand – an automatic win for your opponent. If you are happy with your value, you can stand.
If you get dealt two identical cards, you’ll also have the option to split. You bet a bit more to split your cards into two separate hands, then you play through each hand like normal. Look out for a double option to double your stake – great when you are confident about your numbers. Different tables vary, and on some you are forced to hit once and then stand on a split and double, so make sure you check the individual rules beforehand, which will depend on the software provider and the casino you’re playing at.
Sometimes two Aces win the hand as well – as is the case in Canadian Blackjack – but this isn’t common. A table that includes five-card tricks – and increased odds – is a brilliant treat to look out for. A trick is pulled off when you are able to hit for a five card hand without busting; you don’t even have to land on 21.
It should say on the table what value the dealer is forced to stand on. Usually, this is around 16 or 17. It’s great if the dealer gets a 15 and then has to hit because there is the risk of him busting.
On multi-hand tables, you will play one hand to its fullest, then the second, until you have stood them all. Then the deal will go, and all bets will be finalised.
Winning the game in standard fashion will earn you 1 to 1 odds, which is great real money value. Usually, you get 3 to 2 for a blackjack, and 2 to 1 on an insurance bet.
There are so many possibilities with blackjack that the house edge fluctuates. Playing to a strategy could see the house edge being as low as 0.5%, whereas if you dibble without a game plan, then you could be at a higher disadvantage of around 3%.
Play it right, and you are not going to find an easier real money game. Similar games for the house edge include craps and baccarat, which also dabble in a mixture of luck and strategy.
If you want to make the house edge better for you, then you’re going to need a strategy. Lucky for you, we have an article where you can read all about these tactics, and be one step closer to real money winnings. Read it here.
Blackjack is a great game to play on an app and is common offering in most casino apps. Casino.com, which provides apps for Android and Apple iOS users, even has a dedicated real money blackjack app as a separate download. It will allow for a fast and smooth transition to playing the real money game on mobile or tablet, on iPhone or iPad for those of you used to playing on your desktop or even only in person.
Real money blackjack live dealer games are a great way to play the game. Have your fellow Canadians by your side as you all take on the dealer together. All the real money blackjack Canada sites recommended in this review have a live dealer blackjack table.
Real money blackjack online games count for a percentage towards the casino playthrough of welcome bonuses, usually between 5-20%. Again, Casino.com has the best at 20% for all varieties of blackjack, and only a 40x wagering requirement. LeoVegas also offer an exciting bonus for their live casino. A matched deposit of 100% up to $250, the bonus has blackjack as a game that contributes 100% towards the wagering requirement, but at a steeper 70x wagering requirement.
As mentioned, you would sadly struggle to find Canadian blackjack at the online casinos. But there are several variations to enjoy. Play it on a single-hand table, or ride multi-hands, single decks or several, high roller or low stakes. Find the likes of Classic Pontoon or American Blackjack.
The simple yet strategic game of blackjack is waiting for you to master. Play the classic and find a strategy. Time and time again, you could keep playing this real money card game for a steady earner with each deal bringing new choices to make. Check out our casino reviews and visit our recommended Canadian blackjack sites now to put your new knowledge into action.