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
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
Blackjack casino bonuses come in a whole host of shapes and sizes. Some are general offers which apply to virtually all games. Others are more specific to blackjack and other table and card games. Here’s an overview of the most common offers found at Canada’s online blackjack sites.
Matched deposit welcome bonuses
These offers are available to new customers. A typical matched deposit bonus is 100% up to $200, for example. The casino will stipulate the minimum deposit amount – which is usually $10 or $20 – required to claim the offer. Any amount equal to the minimum deposit up to $200 is then matched 100% by the casino, meaning you have twice as much cash to play with.
Of course, there’s a catch. These offers come with wagering requirements which must be cleared before a player can withdraw any winnings from the bonus.
Keep an eye open for rebate bonuses at the best blackjack casinos. Also known as refund bonuses, these offers work by giving a rebate on a player’s aggregated losses. For instance, a casino could offer a 10% rebate on losses playing at a specific blackjack table on Saturday and Sunday. Usually, you get the refund credited to your account on Monday. Most cashback offers are found at live blackjack casino sites.
Compared with a matched deposit, the wagering requirements on rebate bonuses tend to be far lower. A few casinos may give the cashback without any wagering, which makes these offers tremendous value.
A reload bonus is another type of matched deposit offer, but for existing players instead of new ones. Furthermore, the value of a reload bonus is normally less than a welcome offer. A casino may offer 50% up to $50, for example. However, there will still be wagering requirements involved, so it may not be that easy to make a profit.
While there are other terms and conditions, the value of a casino bonus is mostly judged by the wagering requirements (and game weighting rules). Unfortunately, due to the high RTP of blackjack, the casino will handicap these games.
Let’s take a matched deposit bonus with a 40x wagering requirement on the bonus amount. Therefore, if you get a $100 bonus, the wagering is 40 x $100 = $4,000. Next, you must review the game weighting rules. This is where the handicap comes into play.
While the total wagering is $4,000, the game weighting rules may say that only 10% of your blackjack bets contribute to clearing the wagering requirement. In a nutshell, you need to place $40,000 worth of bets on blackjack using only the original $100. If you achieve this, then you can withdraw the remaining amount.
The best blackjack bonuses are those with the lowest combined wagering and game weighting. For instance, you could find a live casino bonus with 80x wagering, but live blackjack games contribute 100% towards clearing it. This offer is more attractive than the one mentioned above.
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.
The best blackjack casinos in Canada offer several variants of this game from a number of leading software providers. With that said, a few gaming developers stand out from the crowd. These include:
Microgaming has been developing online casino games for more than 25 years. Its portfolio is brimming with a range of blackjack titles under its Gold Series label. Players can choose from variations like Classic Blackjack, European Blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack, Big Five Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack and several others.
Most of those games are available in single and multi-hand formats, too. Known for smooth gameplay and their low house edge, the Gold Series is the benchmark for RNG online casino blackjack.
Sonya Blackjack is Yggdrasil’s creation, and it’s one we recommend trying. Sonya is a computer animation who acts as the dealer. Her movements mimic those of a real-life blackjack croupier, so the game offers something different from other RNG variants. As this is one of the newer games, you can find Sonya at the best blackjack mobile casinos as well as on the desktop.
While NetEnt is well-known for producing some of the world’s favourite online slots, its Professional Series blackjack games shouldn’t be overlooked. The crisp graphics and clear sound deliver a high-quality gaming experience. Furthermore, some casinos offer low-limit, regular and high-limit versions, so it’s always easy to find a table to suit your budget.
The best live blackjack casinos are operated by Evolution Gaming. Blackjack fans can enjoy a plethora of games, including regular Live Blackjack, Speed Blackjack, Infinite Blackjack, Free Bet Blackjack and Power Blackjack. Additionally, there are standard tables for recreational players as well as VIP and Salon Prive gaming environments for the high rollers out there.
The games are streamed live from purpose-built studios and the live dealers are professionally trained. It’s the most authentic casino experience in Canada outside of visiting a land-based venue.
Blackjack Banking Methods
Whether you’re searching for the best blackjack mobile casinos or you want to play on a desktop, you need fast, convenient and secure payment methods for deposits and withdrawals. Our recommended blackjack sites have you covered. They provide numerous payment methods, including:
Online blackjack players in Canada can use either Interac or InstaDebit to make casino payments. In essence, it’s similar to an online bank transfer, but the player doesn’t have to share any of their financial details with the casino because the money is moved through the service provider. On the downside, InstaDebit is not as widely accepted as card payments. Some casinos may not process withdrawals using these methods, either.
Given that most people hold a debit card, this remains one of the most popular casino payment methods around. Although you must share your card details online, debit cards are highly secure. They also offer instant deposits and high payment limits. The main issue with using your debit card is that withdrawals can take between two and five days to reach your account.
Curiously, there aren’t many PayPal casinos in Canada, but blackjack enthusiasts can still use e-Wallets, such as ecoPayz and MuchBetter. E-Wallets offer a string of benefits, including multiple layers of security, instant deposits and fast withdrawals. However, some casinos exclude e-Wallet deposits from their welcome bonuses, and you may also be charged a fee for withdrawing from the e-Wallet to your bank account.