Blackjack in Canada | Best sites to play online Blackjack in 2019
The North American version of Twenty-One, Blackjack is one of the most popular card games of all time, right alongside poker. Some of its popularity stems from the fact that it is actually quite easy to understand the basics of the game, but if you plan to win though, you will need to know about the particular variant of the blackjack you are playing, and its many strategies in depth. Nevertheless, the fact that blackjack is relatively easy to learn is what attracts new players to the card game.
While a majority of the card games are now held in online casinos, the rules and the strategies are still the same as they always were. Let’s get into all that, as we delve deeper into the guide.
Best sites for playing online blackjack
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Do they offer live dealer blackjack?
Answer = YES
Understanding the Odds in Blackjack
In blackjack, one of the core elements of being a successful player is knowing what the odds are. By odds, we mean the comparative chances of winning vs. the probabilities of losing the hand you have. How well you are able to tell the odds of you winning vs losing will largely determine your performance in the game.
The other important factor will, of course, be the cards you have, but that is entirely dependent on luck, which nobody can estimate or control.
Winning in Blackjack
As mentioned above, winning has a lot to do with your ability to tell the odds and there’s a significant bit of mathematics involved here as well.
A good example of this would be in a situation where one player has a hand with a total value of 12 and at that very point, he should know that the odds of going bust will be exactly 31% if the player decides to add an extra card to his hand. If one of the other players has a total card value of 19 already, then his chances of going bust are 85% on adding a card to his hand, which means it’s mostly a bad idea at that point!
As you can see, this is applied mathematics and a player can only learn about multiple of such probabilities and percentages associated with each of the possible values by studying, memorizing, and practicing the calculations during actual card games. In case you are looking for a shortcut though, the general idea is that the higher your hand’s total value is, the more you are at the risk of losing on asking the dealer for a new card.
Probability of the Dealer
Blackjack is typically a game where all the players play against the dealer and not each other. You could have a weak hand and be thinking that hitting is the right option, but can you tell if the dealer has a weak hand as well? If he does, then things do not remain in your favor as much anymore. Therefore, being able to calculate the odds of the dealer is also just as important to winning, but it’s a tough calculation which will require some significant practice.
Never forget that depending on which version of blackjack you are playing, the dealer’s probabilities, exclusive advantages, as well as disadvantages will vary quite widely. Understand the variant of blackjack you are playing and its specific rules before starting with the game.
Canadian Online Blackjack: The Rules
Not that Canadian blackjack is any different from the usual blackjack games, but it all depends on the variant of the game that you are playing, and there are quite a few of them for sure. Nonetheless, the rules for the classic game are same for everyone online, so let’s go through the basics as we try to learn more about how to play classic blackjack.
Expect six decks of fifty-two cards to be shuffled together multiple times by the dealer, before taking in the bets from each player on the table. Once the bets are placed and finalized, the dealer will ask one of the players to cut the cards, which will put sixty to seventy cards from the 312-card deck, out of commission. The player who will cut the cards will be chosen in random and not in any predictable order.
The Objective and the Workings of Blackjack
To put it simply, the players are competing against the dealer to get a total value on each round, that is more than the total value of the cards that the dealer has, but without crossing 21. If the player gets a total value more than 21 at the end of the round, it’s called going bust or in other words, you lose!
Betting is done by placing chips in a specific betting section of the table. Each of the chips will hold a certain value in real money, but there can be different kinds of chips with different values, depending on the rules and settings of the particular casino.
In an online environment, the same is also true, but the entire scenario is simulated digitally, of course. The idea remains the same though, with chips holding monetary value.
The minimum and maximum size of each bet are set by the casino for general tables, as well as for high-stake tables. While the $2 - $500 range is the standard for lower and upper limits respectively in Canadian online casinos, it totally depends on the particular casino and the particular table as well.
Dealing and the Gameplay
The dealing in classic blackjack can be described in the following steps.
- The first card is dealt face up to each player and the dealer
- The second card is dealt face up to each player, but face down to the dealer
- The first player sitting left to the dealer begins the game
Now that everyone has two cards, each of them must decide whether they have a hand that requires standing or hitting.
If they decide to stand, they will stick to the original two cards they have and not take additional ones. Hitting is the decision to take an additional card from the deck. At this point, the following scenarios come into play.
- If the player stands, he will have a value of 21 or less
- If the value of the cards exceeds 21 for any player, they go bust and the dealer gets the amount they had bet
- At the end of the round, the dealer turns up the downfacing card to calculate his total value
- If the dealer’s cards have a value above 17, the dealer must stand
- If the dealer’s cards have a value lower than 17, the dealer must hit
Getting Acquainted with the Concepts
Different terms in blackjack mean different concepts, so you must memorize them even before sitting down for your first hand.
Ace: The value of the Ace can be either 1 or 11, and it is decided in favor of the player, which makes it a winning card on most occasions.
If the total value of the hand doesn’t cross 21 after considering the ace as having a value of 11, then the Ace will have a value of 11. If by considering it as 11, the total value becomes more than 21, the Ace would have a value of just 1.
Bust: When the player has cards with a total value more than 21
Hit: Asking the dealer for an additional card from the deck
Card Counting: A strategy that allows a player to predict whether the next card would be beneficial to him/her. It requires a brilliant mind to be able to do so, as well as years of practice.
Camouflage: Hiding the fact that the player is counting cards with a specialized strategy
Hard Hand: A hand without an ace, or a hand where the ace can only be valued as 1.
Intuitive/Natural/Blackjack: it’s a blackjack when the player gets a hand that has an ace and a 10/Jack/King/Queen, making the total naturally 21. The dealer must at that point immediately give the player 1.5x the amount he had bet.
House Edge: This is the percentage of each player’s bet that the casino expects to win/lose based on theory.
Strategies and Tips for Playing Blackjack Online in Canada
Each of the blackjack strategies deserves a single piece dedicated to it, but in brief, the following few should help the new players get started before they can understand the more advanced strategies of blackjack.
The Dealer’s Card: When the dealer’s visible card is a high value (7 - 10), continue to take cards until your hand’s total value is 17 or more (always less than 21).
Pair Splitting: If you have two cards of the same value, you have the option to split the pair, which means each of the cards will be used in two separate playable hands. This is particularly useful when you have the low-value twos and threes in a pair.
Side bets: Perfect Pairs and Insurance are two popular side bets that a lot of advanced players use to increase their chances of winning at least something from each hand. Unless you are really good though, the House Edge is too high against the players to recommend side bets.
Avoid casinos that have implemented a minimum of 6-5 for a blackjack payout since it increases the House Edge by 1.39%, as compared to the classic and much safer 3-2 minimum payout requirement for blackjack games.
Do these casinos offer Live Dealer Blackjack?
Yes, all of these casinos offer live dealer blackjack
Do these casinos offer different types of blackjack?
Yes they offer Atlantic City Blackjack Gold, Classic Blackjack Gold, Vegas Strip Blackjack Gold, Single Hand Blackjack, Multi-Hand Atlantic City Blackjack Gold and much more.
Can Canadian citizens play blackjack online for real money?
Yes, totally legal to play, deposit and withdraw winnings.