For many, blackjack is the perfect casino game. It offers a mixture of strategy and luck; plus, the RTP is above 99% for most variants. Therefore, it’s no surprise that blackjack sites are commonplace on the internet.
If you’re just starting your online blackjack adventure, this guide is for you. It covers both RNG and live blackjack. Our expert team also tells you about the most popular blackjack variations, and you get honest information about using bonus funds at the blackjack table. Also, as Canada’s leading casino comparison website, we have the best online blackjack sites where you can sign up and start playing today.
How we rate and review the best blackjack sites
Blackjack has a global appeal, and as such, it is available at all online casinos that are worth their salt. However, some casinos are better than others, so choosing where to play can be a gamble in itself. Fortunately, Casino Select is on hand to help. We’ve rated and reviewed all of Canada’s licensed and regulated blackjack sites to bring you only the best of the best. Here are some of the key criteria we assess.
- Choice of blackjack variants
- Range of blackjack-friendly bonuses
- Deposit and withdrawal methods
- Payout times
- Customer support
- Mobile blackjack games
Along with roulette, blackjack was one of the original games in the early online casinos about 25 years ago. Since then, dozens of software developers have produced a wide array of blackjack titles.
A few providers stand out from the crowd. One example is Microgaming and its Gold Series. This is a whole collection of different variants ranging from European blackjack to Vegas Strip. The quality is outstanding on each game, with stylish graphics and ultra-smooth gameplay.
NetEnt also has some superb blackjack games in its portfolio. We highly recommend checking out its Professional Series. Other notable blackjack software providers are Yggdrasil, IGT, Play’n GO, and for live dealer games, Evolution Gaming.
Blackjack game variations
At our top blackjack sites, these are the most popular variations you can play.
- Classic blackjack
- Atlantic City blackjack
- Spanish 21
- Double Exposure blackjack
- Blackjack Switch
- Players’ Choice blackjack
- Vegas Single Deck blackjack
- European blackjack
- Vegas Downtown blackjack
- American blackjack
Using bonus funds while playing blackjack
You can use casino bonuses, such as match deposit offers, at the blackjack tables; however, you need to be aware of the game weighting rules.
Game weighting outlines what percentage each category of games will contribute towards clearing the casino bonus’ wagering requirement. Typically, blackjack is weighted at 5% – 10%. In plain language, this means that only 5% – 10% of each wager made with the bonus funds counts against the wagering.
- $100 bonus with 40x wagering and game weighting is 5% for blackjack.
- Total wagering: $100 x 40 = $4,000.
- For every $20 wagered, $1 (5%) is cleared from the $4,000 total wagering.
- If you only play blackjack, you must bet a total $80,000 to clear the $4,000 wagering requirement.
Live casino sites have taken over in recent years. For online players wanting a realistic playing experience, they are the go-to destination. Top live casino software providers like Evolution Gaming and NetEnt Live offer an assortment of live blackjack variations, and they operate tables that will fit any budget ranging from $0.50 a game up to $10,000.
Furthermore, compared to RNG blackjack, there are more promotions available at live tables. A popular offer is cashback on your losses. Normally, the wagering requirements for this type of promotion are far more player-friendly.
Blackjack on mobile
Blackjack is a classic table game that only uses a small handful of cards. This simplicity makes it ideal for smaller-screen mobile devices. The best blackjack sites have both computer-developed RNG and live games for mobile players. Although, you may not find some of the older RNG games as they are not compatible with touch-screen play.
To play online blackjack on a mobile, we suggest downloading the casino’s app if there is one available. These operate that bit faster and smoother; plus, they can be customized to match your preferences. However, even without an app, each of the blackjack sites we recommend has a mobile responsive web platform that offers above-average performance.
If you’re new to blackjack, don’t jump straight into real money games. All blackjack sites allow you to play their RNG games for free – sadly, live blackjack is excluded.
Free blackjack is more important than most other casino games because of the playing strategy involved. Your decision, whether to stand, hit, surrender, double or split affects the RTP. If you play the game according to the optimum strategy, the house edge will be below 1%. This is why free practice is crucial.
Quick how to play guide & rules
While the basics of online blackjack remain the same with most variants, there are tweaks to the rules that separate games like European blackjack from Double Exposure. However, before you start playing, it’s worth knowing the objective and key terms related to the game:
The objective of blackjack is simply to beat the dealer; this can be achieved by:
- Scoring 21 from your first two cards.
- Scoring less than 21 but still higher than the dealer. E.g. You 20 points – Dealer 19 points.
- Scoring less than 21 and the dealer going bust. E.g. You 16 points – Dealer 22 points.
Essential blackjack lingo:
- Blackjack: score 21 points with only two cards
- Hit: take another card
- Stand: stick with the point value you have
- Split: cards of the same value can be split, making 2 hands
- Double down: double the size of your bet before you hit one more card
- Surrender: fold your hand and get half of your stake back
- Bust: draw cards so you exceed 21 points
- Soft hand: a hand with an ace that is counted as 11 points (cannot bust if you hit)
- Hard hand: a hand with no ace or the ace is counted as 1 point.
The last term is ‘insurance’; you will be offered this if the dealer’s up-card is an ace. The odds versus the payout make this a terrible bet. Golden rule – never take insurance.
A sample hand of blackjack:
- You are dealt two cards face up, and the dealer has one card face up.
- Decide whether to hit or stand. Or, surrender, double down or split if available.
- After playing your hand, the dealer completes theirs, but only if you didn’t bust.
- If you win, the money is added to your balance. You can tie, which gives you your stake back.