Online betting is very popular in Canada. There are no restrictive laws as in the United States, preventing Canadians from enjoying a couple of hands of blackjack after a hard day’s work.
Additionally, internet casinos that accept Canadian players are safe, secure, and here to stay. Because most of the brands featured on this web site do not operate in the United States market, they are not at risk of facing legal hurdles which could potentially impair their ability to pay out player funds. That’s one of the best advantages of being located in Canada.
Another advantage is that these brands focus almost exclusively on the Canadian demographic. As such, you can rest assured that your specific needs will be met. Often these needs come in the form of specific deposit option availability, such as instant echecks, or the compatibly with Canadian dollars. The good news is that these Canadian facing blackjack sites make it a priority to fulfill these needs and to delight their player base in the process.
Learn to Play Blackjack for Real Money in Canada Online and In Person
Technology has come a very long way in the last few decades. Not so long ago, anyone looking to play a real blackjack game had to visit a real casino to do it. Such limitation still exist in some parts of the world, but not Canada. Here in the Great White North, we share in all sorts of gambling privileges, from land casinos, to online casinos, to mobile (smartphone and tablet) casinos, playable from anywhere you have a secure internet connection.
In some ways, online and mobile casinos are superior to their terrestrial predecessors. What they lack in physical atmosphere and ambience, they more than make up for in convenience and game variety; not to mention the fact that you can play for real money, or just for fun. How many land casinos do you know that offer free entertainment? And I didn’t even get to the part where you can play live dealer blackjack online.
This guide will teach you how to do all of the things we just talked about, and more. We’ll kick things off with the basic rules of the game. Next, we’ll cover real money blackjack at land-based casinos in Canada. After that, we switch gears, detailing how to play online, mobile and “live” blackjack from Canada. Please use the Table of Contents as a reference to quickly find what you’re looking for.
Learn to Play Blackjack for Real Money in Canada
- HOW TO PLAY BLACKJACK
- LAND CASINOS
- ONLINE & MOBILE CASINOS
- Game Types
- Where to Play
Learn How to Play Blackjack
On the surface, blackjack is one of the simplest casino games to learn. The objective and rules are easily comprehendible. Mastering the game, especially to such a degree as to achieve advantage player status – well, that’s not so easy. But that’s a lesson for another day. You have to learn to crawl before you run a marathon!
Objective of the Game
The object in blackjack is to achieve a hand total that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s total, without going over. If your hand exceeds 21, it is a “bust”. You lose your bet. You’ll also lose if the dealer’s total is closer to 21 than your own (without busting). However, if your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, you win a payout of even money. Finishing in a tie is a “push”. You get your bet back; no win or loss.
It’s also possible to win a higher than even-money payout if you are dealt a “natural blackjack“. A natural blackjack is when your first two cards are an Ace and a 10 or Face Card, thereby totaling 21 with just two cards.
Let’s go over that one more time:
- Your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand. You win a payout of 1-to-1.
- Your hands busts with a total of 22 or more. You lose your bet.
- The dealer’s hand is closer to 21 than yours. You lose your bet.
- Your hand total is equal to the dealer’s, resulting in a tie. Your bet pushes (you get it back).
- You are dealt a natural blackjack. You win a payout of 3-to-2.
The Rules of Blackjack
In this section, we’ll discuss all the ways you can impact the total of your hand. There are multiple decisions you can make, based on the current circumstances of your hand. The dealer has to follow a much more strict set of rules. Before we get to those, let’s take a look at card ranks and values.
Each card has a specific value. Numbers 2-10 carry the value of their respective rank. All face cards are worth 10. Aces are the only cards with a variable value. An Ace is always worth 11, unless it causes the hand to bust. In this case, the value drops to 1. Thus, Aces count as 11 or 1; whichever is higher without busting the hand.
- 2-10 = face value
- Face Cards = 10
- Aces = 11 or 1
Player’s Hand Decisions – Freedom of Choice
There are various decision you can make, depending on your current hand total. If at any time, your hand total equal exactly 21, your hand automatically Stands. And of course, if you exceed 21, your hands Busts, you lose, and your turn is over. Otherwise, your options include:
Stand: To keep your current total, taking no additional cards. Your turn ends, and it becomes the next player or dealer’s turn to act.
Hit: To take one additional card. You will have the option to make another decision after receiving this card.
Double Down: To take one additional card, agreeing to automatically Stand on the total. Note that some blackjack rules restrict doubling to ‘double on first two cards only’, ‘double on total of 9, 10 or 11 only’, or ‘double on total of 10 or 11 only’.
When a player doubles down, they must double their original bet. For instance, a bet of $5 requires the addition of another $5, doubling the total bet to $10.
Split: A player may only split if their 2-card hand is made up of an exact pair. Suit is irrelevant, but the two cards must be equal in rank and value; (e.g. 8?-8?, or J?-J?, but not 10?-K?). When splitting, the cards are separated into two new hands. This requires another bet for the new hand, equal to the original bet.
A new card is dealt to the first hand. You’ll get to take action on this hand until you Stand or Bust. Then a second card is dealt to the new hand, followed by similar action.
Dealer’s Hand Decisions – House Rules
While the player is given freedom of choice, for the most part, the dealer is not. He must abide by house rules at all timers. The current total of his hands will always determine how he must act.
The most common misconception among new blackjack players is that following the house rules will give you a better chance of winning. Yes, the dealer does have a slight advantage. However, playing by house rules does not give players the same advantage. That’s because the dealer has leverage. He always gets to act last. To put it simply, you can bust, giving him the win, before he ever plays.
Here’s a quick run-down of the the house rules the dealer must follow. Note that a Hard 17 is a total of 17 that has no Ace, or an Ace that counts as 1. A Soft 17 is a total of 17 with an Ace that counts as 11.
If the dealer has…
- …16 or below, he must Hit.
- …18 or above, he must Stand.
- …Soft 17, he must Hit.
- …Hard 17, he must Stand.
Play-by-Play – Order of Events
To make sure you udnerstand exactly how to play real money blackjack, we offer this sample hand as basic run of events. We’ll assume there are 5 players (P1 – P5), plus the dealer. To make this as realistically probable as possible, I’m actually going to deal a real hand with physical cards as I go.
1. Placing of Bets
The hand starts with each player posting a bet within the table limits. If the limit is $10-$00, the minimum bet is $10, and the max $100.
2. Dealing of Hands
The dealer will give each player one card, and himself one card, all face down. He will then deal a second card to each player and to himself, this time face up. Here’s what the hands look like so far:
3. Time to Act
Each player will act in turn, starting with Player 1 (P1), and ending with the Dealer (DL)
- P1 turns up his face down card , revealing a hand. of 7♣-10♦. With a total of 17, he chooses to Stand.
- With 2♥-J♣, P2 decides to Hit his total of 12. He receives a J♦, resulting in a total of 22; Bust.
- P3 goes against all basic strategy, choosing to Split his Kings. (TIP: Don’t do this, boys and girls! I’m only doing it to show you how Splitting works.) Placing a second bet, he gets two hands. The first hand receives an 8♦. P3 Stands on a total of 18. Then the second hand is dealt 4♥. He Hits the 14, receiving 6♥. He Stands on 20.
- P4 decides to Double on 11. Placing an extra, equal size bet, he takes one additional card. It’s the 2♦. Despite the low total, he is forced to Stand on 13.
- P5 turns up A♦-Q♣ for a Blackjack. He instantly wins a payout of 3 to 2.
- All players have finished acting. Now it’s the dealer’s turn. He rolls over 3♠-2♠. By house rules, the dealer must Hit. He receives 6♠, increasing his total to 11. Again, he must Hit. Dealer receives 6♦, increasing his total to 17. Because it is a Hard 17, he must Stand.
4. Conclusion – Win, Lose or Push
|WIN 1:1 + Win 1:1
Availability of Blackjack at Canada’s Land Casinos
This one might surprise you a little. Not every casino in Canada hosts blackjack tables. In fact, if it has “Gaming Centre” in its name, it’s probably just a slots parlor. Check ahead to be sure. Generally, the sites with “casino” in their name are far more likely to host real blackjack tables.
In a land casino, you can expect to find a lot of people with a common set of goals; to have fun and hopefully win some money. It creates for a communal atmosphere, especially at the blackjack tables, where the dealer, or “house”, is the common enemy. When it comes to that energetic ambience, there’s really no comparison between land and online casino gambling.
So, the big advantage here is that you’re playing in a live, immersive setting. All five senses are aroused by the bright lights, coercive sounds, and a crowd of exuberant real people just like yourself.
Types of Land Casino Blackjack Games
There are a variety of different ways you can play blackjack in a terrestrial gambling hall. they include traditional live dealer tables, electronic tables, and common draw games with stadium seats.
Live Dealer Blackjack
These are the tables you’re probably expecting (or at least hoping) to find. They are blackjack tables, hosting real live dealers, who deal out actual cards. Each table hosts 5 to 7 players, depending on the seating arrangement. Fortunately, these are still the most common blackjack tables at land-based casinos. But that may not last too much longer, thanks to cheaper electronic tables, and more recent ‘stadium’ blackjack games.
In todays technological age, a lot of gambling halls are transitioning to electronic tables. You get a real chair, around a real table, but there’s no real cards or live dealer. It’s a wholly computer-generated experience.
Stadium Blackjack (Common Draw)
This is one of those new-age style blackjack games. Honestly, you’ll either love it or hate it. Here’s how it works. There is one central blackjack table where the dealer sits. In front of this, in ‘stadium seating’ fashion, there are single-player kiosks. Imagine a classroom full of school desks. That’s kind of what it looks like, but each row back is elevated a little higher than the last. On your kiosks digital screen, you’ll tap buttons to place bets and make decisions. By “common draw” rules, everyone is playing the same hand, but can choose their own way to play it based on standard rules.
Top Land Casinos w/ Blackjack in Canada by Province
|Blackjack Casinos of Alberta
|Cash Casino Calgary
|Century Casino Edmonton
|Copper Coulee Casino
|Eagle River Casino
|Elbow River Casino
|Great Northern Casino
|Jackpot Casino Red Deer
|PURE Casino Calgary
|PURE Casino Edmonton
|PURE Casino Lethbridge
|PURE Casino Yellowhead
|Rivers Casino & Ent. Centre
|Stoney Nakoda Casino
|Blackjack Casinos of British Columbia
|Casino of the Rockies
|Fort St. John
|Chances RimRock Gaming Centre
|Chances Salmon Arm
|Elements Casino Chilliwack
|Elements Casino Surrey
|Elements Casino Victoria
|Grand Villa Casino
|Hard Rock Casino
|Lake City Casino
|Parq Vancouver Casino Resort
|Playtime Casino Kelowna
|River Rock Casino
|Treasure Cove Casino & Bingo
|Blackjack Casinos of Manitoba
|Sand Hills Casino
|Shark Club Gaming Centre
Newfoundland & Labrador
|Blackjack Casinos of Newfoundland & Labrador
|None. Casino-style gaming is currently illegal in NL.
|Blackjack Casinos in Ontario
|Cascades Casino Chatham
|Elements Casino Brantford
|Elements Casino Flamboro
|Elements Casino Mohawk
|Fallsview Casino Resort
|Gateway Casino Innisfil
|Gateway Casino London
|Gateway Casino Woodstock
|Great Blue Heron Casino
|Shorelines Casino Belleville
|Shorelines Casino Peterborough
|Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands
|Pickering Casino Resort
|Rideau Carleton / Hard Rock Casino
|Starlight Casino Point Edward
Prince Edward Island
|Blackjack Casinos in P.E.I.
|Red Shores Casino
|Blackjack Casinos in Quebec
|Casino de Charlevoix
|Casino de Mont-Tremblant
|Casino de Montréal
|Casino du Lac-Leamy
|Salon de jeux de Québec
|Salon de jeux de Trois-Rivières
|Blackjack Casinos in Saskatchewan
|Bear Claw Casino & Hotel
|Casino Moose Jaw
|Dakota Dunes Casino
|Gold Eagle Casino
|Gold Horse Casino
|Northern Lights Casino
|Painted Hand Casino
Playing Blackjack for Real Money in Canada Online
The internet is the most life-changing invention of the last century, similar to the invention of the automobile in 1886. Cars gave us the ability to travel great distances in a fair amount of time. They expanded our ability to go to better schools, get better jobs, visit distant friends and family. The internet connects us with everyone, everywhere. It gives us the ability to do things from home that we never imagined possible. That includes the option to play casino games like blackjack, for real money, on a computer or mobile device.
Since the dawn of iGaming, there’s been regulatory discrepancies all across the globe. Some countries openly regulate it. Others strictly prohibit it. Here in Canada, we have one of the most liberal legislative outlooks. Multiple provinces regulate their own iGaming markets, but international operations are also able to accept Canadians without breaking any laws. Thus, we have access to the best of both worlds. We’ll discuss how these differ, and how to choose which is right for you, in a moment. First, let’s take a look at the three pre-requisites for iGaming.
To play online blackjack for real money, you’ll need a way to access online casinos; a computer, smartphone or tablet will do. You’ll also need a secure internet connection (home WiFi or mobile network to access the casinos from your device. Last, you’ll need a way to move funds in and out of your casino account. Those first two are pretty self-explanatory. So, let’s move on to payment methods.
Canadian Deposit & Withdrawal Options
To bet online, you need to have something available to bet with. For years, this simply meant money. Today, there’s two types of currency you could bet with; fiat currency (cash money) or crypto currency (digital tokens like Bitcoin).
Fiat Payments: This is still the most common option for online gaming deposits. Canadians have a lot of options when it comes to moving fiat money over the web. You can deposit with a credit or debit card, straight from a bank account with an eCheck, or via one of a handful of web wallets, or eWallets, like Neteller and Skrill. You can even deposit instantly from your online bank account with Interac.
Most deposit options are also eligible for withdrawals, except credit cards, of course. If you really like Interac, you can look for a casinos that accepts Interac deposits and withdrawals, because unfortunately, not all of them do. The same goes for debit cards, eWallets and bank transfers. And if nothing else is available, you can always request a cashout by cheque in the mail. It’s slower, yes, but it works.
Crypto Payments: In the last decade, crypto casinos have really gained traction. It’s not just Bitcoin casinos anymore, either. Today, casinos that accept crypto tend to offer a long list of digital coins. There’s Ether, Litecoin, Doge, Tether/USDT; there’s even one called CasinoCoin – the digital token designed for safe online gambling.
Types of Online Blackjack Games
Just as there are different types of blackjack games on land, there are a few variations online, too. The original online blackjack games were all computer-generated RNG games. Then we were introduced to ‘Live’ online casino gaming. That soon led to live dealer tables with common draw blackjack. you can read a brief description of each below.
RNG stand for Random Number Generator. The RNG rotates through a massive strain of digits at all times, until something happens to bring it to a halt. The resulting number determines what happens next.
An RNG blackjack game is one in which all results are based on that random, non-deterministic output. Before each hand, the virtual deck goes through a shuffling process (RNG numbers constantly rotating). The moment the player presses deal, the number comes to a halt. The output determines where each card lands in the deck. In this way, every hand has a wholly unpredictable outcome, based on the same probabilities of a physically shuffled deck of cards.
For the record, this is exactly how electronic blackjack games work at land casinos, too.
Live Dealer Blackjack
A live dealer blackjack game is one that takes place in a studio. The studio décor looks just like a casino, but it has no patrons. What it does have is real blackjack tables, real cards, and real professional dealers. They do their job amidst state-of-the-art video and audio equipment. Players access the games from their computer or mobile device, pressing buttons to make decisions and using a chat window to communicate with the dealer and other players.
In this way, online blackjack players are able to enjoy a live casino experience from the comfort of home. It’s as realistic as it gets.
Live Common Draw Blackjack
These are live dealer blackjack games, with a twist that mimics ‘stadium blackjack’ gaming at land casinos. Only one player hand is dealt. Every player at the table shares this hand, but makes their own individual decisions on how to play it. The major benefit here is that the table can accommodate an infinite number of players, instead of relying on open seating space.
Where to Play Online and Mobile Blackjack in Canada
There are two types of online casinos most Canadian players can access. We all have access to the international market. So long as you live in a province with its own, home-regulated iGaming market, you can also visit you local (domestic) operator.
Domestic Online Casinos Regualted in Canada
there are a number of advantages to domestic online casinos Because they are under local regulation by your own provincial government, should you have any issues, you have someone to turn to for help. Players don’t have to worry about the fairness of games either. They’re run by the same government agencies that operate your local land casinos. But there are a lot of limitations, as well.
Not all Canadian provinces actually host real money blackjack games. Most do, and more are considering expansion, but we’re far from nationwide availability. Each province that does host an iGaming operation only allows residents of their own province to deposit and play; a restriction known as ‘ring-fencing’. For example, Ontarians can’t gamble at BC’s website, and vice versa.
International Online Casinos Legal in Canada
The international iGaming market is vast. It presents a wealth of opportunities for players all over the world. However, it can also e a more dangerous atmosphere, if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Regulation is just as important as reputation. Trust comes with age in this business. A reliable site should be 2+ years old, licensed by a respectable regulatory authority, and have a long-standing reputation for customer satisfaction.
If you want access to more games, better promotions, crypto casinos and other features not found in Canada’s homegrown market, international casinos are the way to go. Just make sure you do your homework and only deposit at reputably licensed and regulated gambling sites.
Overview of Canada’s Blackjack Industry, Live & Online
In 1969, Canada’s Criminal Code was amended to give provincial and territorial governments authority over gaming activities within their boundaries. Operators of legal casinos began to appear throughout the country, and by the late 1980s, blackjack had become one of the most popular games from Edmonton and Calgary to Winnipeg. Today, all ten of Canada’s provinces feature at least one land-based casino offering blackjack.
Plenty of Blackjack Venues
By count, the greatest concentration of places to play blackjack is in British Columbia, with 42 casinos spread around the province, notably in three each in Vancouver and Victoria. Following behind is Ontario Province with many venues, including two casinos in Niagara Falls and the Canadian National Exhibition Casino in Toronto. The trend in both provinces, however, is to license no more than one casino per population center, so there are no Las Vegas-style “strips” or Atlantic City-like boardwalks.
Counter to that trend, Alberta Province also has dozens places to play blackjack, with seven of them concentrated in Calgary, while Edmonton has six of its own. In Manitoba Province, two of eight casinos are located in Winnipeg; in Quebec Province, three of ten are within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. In Saskatchewan, there are eight casinos with blackjack dotting the province from Moose Jaw to Regina.
Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, features two casinos where blackjack is offered. Newfoundland and Labrador Province has one. New Brunswick has tables within a 24,000-square-foot gaming space in Moncton, while Nova Scotia provides blackjack at casinos in Halifax and Sydney.
One of the most noteworthy gambling halls in the country is in the Yukon Territory—Diamond Tooth Gertie’s in Dawson City—which lays claim to being the nation’s oldest legal casino. It was originally established during the late 19th century Klondike Gold Rush and named after Gertrude Lovejoy, a dance hall queen who had a small diamond wedged between her two front teeth. Legend has it that she earned “a small fortune from the lonely, hard-working miners who sought companionship from her.”
Gertie’s reopened in the 21st century under the ownership and management of the Klondike Visitor’s Association. Its 8,000-square-foot gaming space contains 64 gaming machines and 12 tables for Blackjack, Poker and Roulette. Open every day from May to September, the venue also provides visitors with access to food and drink as well as the entertainment of the “Gertie Girls” dancing the can-can and recreating the early days of Dawson City.
Among Canada’s busiest casinos for blackjack action is the Caesars Windsor, just across the river from Detroit, Michigan. It is open 24 hours daily, with a 100,000-square-foot gaming space that accommodates eighty-four table games, including a wide variety of blackjack variations. But the largest Canadian casino by far is the Casino de Montreal in Quebec Province. Open round the clock, it covers 526,488 square feet of floor space with 131 tables and a huge number of blackjack games.
Blackjack in Canadian Cyberspace
In Canada, online gaming is illegal unless specifically allowed by provincial or territorial law, which is only gradually becoming the case. Initially, just one jurisdiction in Canada chose to offer blackjack online—the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. In 1996, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was formed to issue gaming licenses to online casinos, regular their operations and raise revenues for the Mohawk tribe.
Today, no fewer than 127 gaming web sites have been registered to operate from the autonomous nation within Quebec Province, most of them offering online blackjack. They include Bodog, Bovada, Intertops Casino and Red Flush Casino, to name just a few. By contrast, British Columbia didn’t become the first Canadian province to offer blackjack via the Internet until 2009. Québec Province joined in a year later by licensing a full-fledged online gambling site called Espacejeux.
For Canadians who require more access to online blackjack than the home-grown industry can provide, no fewer than 806 gaming sites worldwide welcome players domiciled in Canada, and more are being added almost daily. It seems like just a matter of time until the other Canadian provinces begin claiming a share of the action, too.