Canadians love their beautiful wildlife, craft breweries, Montréal poutine and, of course, ice hockey. But you probably didn't know that many Canadians enjoy blackjack too! It has claimed its rightful place alongside other great games at provincial, First Nations and online casinos.
Introduction to Blackjack
Online blackjack is a member of 'Twenty-One' banking games. Blackjack is the most common member and the one that Canadians most recognize. The British version 'Pontoon' (Vingt-Un) and the French 'Vingt-et-Un' are also Twenty-One members. Interestingly, the origin of blackjack is not known with absolute certainty. However, there is a general perception that it most likely has Spanish roots. Records dating back to 1768 France were the first, followed by Great Britain (Vingt-Un) during the 1770s and the 1780s. Vingt-Un (Twenty-One) crossed the Atlantic and made its way to United States shores early in the 19th century. It would eventually make its way North of the US border into Canada.
What is Blackjack Online?
Blackjack online is an online card game that is played against a virtual dealer (blackjack simulator). As with a land-based casino, online blackjack is a game of chance but involves virtual playing cards (up to eight decks of 52 cards). The shuffling of live variant playing cards is replaced by virtual blackjack's random number generator (RNG) to ensure fairness. When you play online blackjack, you can be sure that the game is not cheating. For added comfort, the RNG of each blackjack game is tested and certified fair by an independent party. Most online casino games use incredible graphics, and online blackjack is no exception! Providers compete to standout with realistic visuals. The audio side is no slouch either, as online blackjack simulates the voices of professional live croupiers with pre-recorded messages. The goal of every provider is to come as close to the live blackjack casino experience as possible.
What is the Objective of Blackjack?
Part of the beauty of blackjack is that it is easy to play. The objective is to hold a hand of playing cards that comes as close to 21 without going over. Your opponent is always the dealer, whether you're playing against a virtual dealer online or a live blackjack table. In standard blackjack, there are three ways of defeating the dealer:
- A blackjack hand that's closer to 21 without going 'bust' (exceeding 21) than the dealer's hand for a 1:1 payout
- The blackjack dealer goes bust for a 1:1 payout
- A player's hand consisting of two cards that total 21 while the dealer's hand is less than 21 for a 3:2 payout
Although the objective of blackjack is straightforward, there are some variations to the rules that might allow you to make decisions that can lower your house edge. This makes it possible to reduce the house edge to as little as 0.2%-0.5%. These rules can also affect when you or the dealer must 'hit' (take additional cards). It's important to understand that blackjack is a game of probabilities. A player can use a blackjack strategy that determines your next action based on a mathematical approach.
Variants of Blackjack
From doughnuts to bagels – Canadians like choice! As we mentioned earlier, some variants of blackjack games have different rules that can affect the house edge. We take you through some of the most popular variants next.
Let's face it, Las Vegas is on the bucket list of many Canadians. After all, who wouldn't want the online blackjack 'Vegas experience'? We can't argue with that logic. However, the reality is most Canadians can't go down south to Vegas at the drop of a dime. Casinos in their home province might also be out of the question. But this doesn't mean that it's impossible to get the 'live casino experience.' A live blackjack online Canada casino is where Canadians can play blackjack live against a real-life dealer from the comfort of their living room - day or night! It brings back the social aspect of land-based casinos as you can chat to the dealer or other Canadians on the other side of the country. You can even see and hear the events taking place at all times via a high-definition stream.
Double Exposure Blackjack
In this variant, a player can view both of the dealer's cards instead of just one like in standard blackjack. To maintain Double Exposure Blackjack's house edge, a natural blackjack win payout is cut to even money instead of 3:2. Also, some restrictions apply to the decisions the player can make. Redrake Gaming has this variant called Blackjack Double Exposure.
Pontoon is less common than other forms of blackjack. The main highlights of this version are that players can double their stake every time they 'hit.' Also, players cannot stand when their hand is lower than 14. It is also possible to use five cards to create a winning hand of 21 rather than just two cards in other variants.
In this variant of blackjack, players can see the dealer's two-card hand. To maintain the house edge, a round ending in a player blackjack pays even money instead of 3:2. Furthermore, a tie hand goes to the dealer, and certain decisions are not permitted. Provider Redrake Gaming has a variant called Blackjack Double Exposure.
In the variant of Blackjack Surrender, a player has the option of giving up/surrendering at the cost of half their bet. The trick is to know when to use the option, which can save you money in the long run.
Multihand Blackjack is an online blackjack variant that allows you to play more than one single hand per round. For example, Multihand Blackjack from Pragmatic play allows players to play up to three hands.
High Roller Blackjack
High Roller Blackjack is mainly differentiated from other variants because of the higher minimum and maximum bet sizes. Examples include Blackjack VIP from iSoftbet and Blackjack VIP from Redrake Gaming.
Mobile Blackjack Online
In recent years, mobile blackjack popularity has grown exponentially in Canada. It makes sense, given that Canadians spend a lot of time away from home. Some Canadians spend an hour or more on public transport to or from work in cities like Toronto, Montréal or Vancouver. This time could be used to play a hand or two on your favourite blackjack game. It's nice to take a break from it all, which is when having your trusty mobile comes in handy during your 'me time' when you just want to play a few blackjack hands. A coffee shop like Tim Horton's, Second Cup or Starbucks can be the perfect escape. Mobile blackjack is optimized for iOS & Android devices in instant play from your web browser. Some casinos also let you download a casino app to your phone.
Real Money Online Blackjack
Far be it from us to turn down anything free, but there are a few reasons why you would want to play online blackjack real money games:
- Online blackjack and live blackjack are available at many online casinos.
- Live Blackjack variants using real-life dealers can only be played with funds in your player account.
- Playing real money online blackjack is much more exciting when you have money on the line.
- You cannot keep any money you win at blackjack online in free play mode.
- Online casino bonuses are only available when playing with real money.
Playing Free Online Blackjack
While we just told you why you would want to play online blackjack with real money, there are some reasons to play blackjack online free. They can be a great way of getting comfortable with an online casino or a blackjack game. There is no need to make a deposit to a player account, so there is no risk to your bankroll. With so much variety when you play blackjack online, it's great to be able to skate through the different variants from different providers until you find the right fit. Just don't count on playing free live blackjack games since those require a balance in your player account. If you're lucky, you may be able to join a live blackjack room and act as a spectator to watch the action.
Why Canadians Play Blackjack online?
There are several reasons to explain why Canadians enjoy blackjack online Canada, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference:
- Traditional online blackjack is easy to play and similar to land-based blackjack.
- There are plenty of blackjack variants to choose from.
- Using a blackjack strategy can cut the house edge to as low as 0.2%-0.5% in some variants.
- Live blackjack with side bets and features is available using real-life dealers.
Providers of Online Blackjack
Canadians will be spoilt for choice when it comes to online blackjack Canada casino providers. It's like walking into a delicious bagel shop and finding just about every possible combination imaginable. For example, there's iSoftBet, Yggdrasil, Playtech, Betsoft, NetEnt, Nextgen, Play'n GO, 1×2 Gaming and Microgaming. Take it from us that these blackjack providers are just for starters!
Closing Thoughts about Online Blackjack
Canadians who love card games that blend chance with a mathematical strategy are bound to love online blackjack. Here at OnlineCasinoList, we work hard to bring Canadians the best online blackjack real money casinos. While some players are happy to play at provincially-run online casinos like Ontario Lottery Gaming, the selection of OLG blackjack barely scratches the surface of offshore casinos. If you miss the human side of online blackjack, try live blackjack from leader developers like Evolution Gaming. It's the closest you can come to being in a casino without stepping foot in one. Live dealer blackjack and other variants may not be quite as miraculous as the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup, but it's sure close!