What are the rules of Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. In the genre of gambling card games, Blackjack is second only to poker. The chances are that you will play Blackjack at some point when cruising different online casinos in Canada. When that happens, it is beneficial to know the rules of Blackjack. On this page we will go through the basics including the cards, rules, what actions to take and of course; the top online casinos to play Blackjack at when gambling online in Canada.

It is worth noting that some people refer to Blackjack as Twenty-One. The reason being is that the objective of the game is to get a combination of cards equalling 21. The combination of a 10-value card and an Ace equals 21, which is most commonly referred to as a Blackjack. Originally, the game was called Twenty-One, where the combination of the Ace of Spades and either a Jack of Clubs or Jack of Spades was referred to as Blackjack. In the early days of this legendary card game, at the start of the 1800s, this combination gave a bonus payout, giving the player a larger win. The term Blackjack stuck, and this is what the game is called in casino sites all over Canada.

The value of cards in Blackjack

Traditional playing cards are used in Blackjack. The same type you probably have in your drawer at home. Most commonly, several decks of playing cards are used in casinos. The most common version of Blackjack uses six decks for a total of 312 cards.

The values of the cards are standard as well:

  • 2-10 represents the face value of the card.

  • Jack, Queen and King are all worth 10.

  • Ace is worth 1 or 11.

Here are our top 5 online casinos to play Blackjack at

All online casinos in Canada offer Blackjack. The main thing to look out for is how many live dealer tables are available and the availability of digital versions. And, of course, all the other aspects of choosing the best online casino; bonuses, payments and security. Below we listed our top 5 online casinos to play Blackjack at in Canada.

  1. LiveCasino

  2. LeoVegas

  3. Casino.com

  4. Wild Fortune

  5. Royal Panda

Blackjack rules and game flow

One dealer and several players can participate in a game of Blackjack. As we already highlighted, the objective of the game is to get 21, or as close to 21 without going higher (bust). Players take several actions throughout a round of Blackjack, and the dealer act according to pre-defined rules on what actions they need to take depending on the card values they have. Below we will outline all the basic steps and the rules of Blackjack. 

Betting and card distribution

The dealer shuffles all the cards to achieve a random distribution. In the case of digital Blackjack, this shuffling is replaced by a random number generator that deals the card every round. This effectively replaces the shuffling with the same outcome. On physical tables and live dealer Blackjack, it is a real-life dealer shuffling. When the shuffling is done. The dealer gives a plastic “cut” card to one of the players. The card is to be placed, so at least 60 to 75 cards are not dealt. These cards are “cut out” of the decks.

Before any cards are dealt, each player on the table who participates needs to place their bets. The action of placing bets means putting chips in the designated area of the table. Minimum and maximum wagering limits apply, and these limits vary depending on the casino and the table being played.

Once the bets are placed, the cards are dealt. The dealer will give each player a face-up card and one face-up card to herself. Another round of face-up cards is then dealt with to the player and finishes with dealing one face-down card to herself.

If there is a Blackjack, what happens?

If the two face-up cards received are an Ace and a 10-value card (11 + 10 = 21), then the player gets Blackjack. When this happens, and the dealers’ face-up card is neither a ten nor an Ace, the player is paid immediately. This is called a “natural” Blackjack and pays one and half times the bet.

If the dealers’ face-up card is either a ten or an Ace, not payout is made until the face-down card is revealed. Once that card is revealed, and the dealer also has Blackjack. The players’ hands with Blackjack are tied (money back), and all other players without Blackjack lose their hands.

Action to take as a player in Blackjack

A player has several decisions to make during each round of Blackjack. Mathematically, there are standard decisions to make depending on your cards and the face-up card of the dealer. These standard decisions are part of the optimal strategy for Blackjack, which, if used correctly, will yield better results over time. In this article, we will not go through any strategic aspects of Blackjack but rather just the basics and the rules of Blackjack. The two basic decisions are hitting and standing.

Drawing card (hit)

After the player is dealt their two cards. They can either hit or stand. In the majority of cases, a player will hit. Hitting means taking a third card. The third card adds to the total value of the hand. The player then again has the choice to hit or stand.

If the player draws another card and goes over 21, they go bust. They lose on the spot, and the dealer will collect the bets relating to that hand.

Standing

On the contrary, after two cards are dealt. The player can stand. No more cards will be dealt with the players’ hands. The total value is the final value of the hand from that point. The dealer will move on to the next player and then finalize their own cards.

Blackjack split

If the first two cards for the player have the same value, such as two 8s or two 10s, the player can decide to split the cards. When splitting, the two cards are separated and treated as two separate hands. When splitting, the original bet needs to be matched with a new bet of equal size. One bet on each separate hand.

The player then plays through the first hand, making a decision until standing or going bust. Then plays the second hand. Theoretically, another split could be done on the first or second hand if the new cards result in more instances of two cards with the same value. Generally, there are rules on how many splits can occur. This varies from online casino to online casino.

Double down in Blackjack

Another decision a player can make is to double their bet. This can only be done on the first two cards when the total value dealt is 9, 10 or 11. When this happens, the player can match their original bet with another bet of the same size and receive one more card. Regardless of what the third card is, when doubling down, that is the final card for the players’ hand.

Insurance in Blackjack

If the dealers’ face-up card is an Ace, all players are offered a side bet from the dealer. This side bet is called insurance, where half the size of the original bet is placed on the table. This insurance is a bet that the face-down card of the dealer is a 10-card which will result in a Blackjack for the dealer.

Each player can accept or decline the Blackjack insurance. Once all players have made a decision, the dealer looks at the face-down card. If the card is a 10-value, the card is immediately flipped over, and all players with insurance win their side bet and are paid double the insurance amount. Main bets are collected, hands with a natural Blackjack are tied, and all others are lost.

Typically, insurance offers should be declined. It is only beneficial to take the insurance if cards are being counted and there is a certainty that there is a high ratio of 10-cards left in the deck.

Side bets

There are three main side bets commonly available in Blackjack online. The first one we already covered above:

  • Insurance

  • Perfect Pairs

  • 21+3

Perfect Pairs

Perfect Pairs are paid out if the player is dealt two cards of the same kind. The combinations of paired cards and payouts are as follows:

  • Mixed pair (two cards of the same value but different color and suit) - pays 5:1

  • Colored pair (two cards of the same value and same color) - pays 12:1

  • Perfect pair (two identical cards) - pays 25:1

The payouts mentioned above are the general odds. Payouts may vary from online casino to online casino.

21+3

21+3 involves the two cards of the player and the turned-up card of the dealer. 21+3 have five different combinations and payouts:

  • Flush (all cards suited) - pays 5:1

  • Straight - (all cards connected consecutively) - pays 10:1

  • Three of a Kind (three of the same value, not same suit) - pays 30:1

  • Straight Flush (all cards connected consecutively and same suit) - 40:1

  • Suited Triple (three of the same value and suited) - 100:1

What happens when it is the dealers’ turn to play

When it is the dealer’s turn, they first turn up their face-down card. If it is a Blackjack, the round is over, and bets are collected accordingly. If the dealer does not have a Blackjack, she has to continue taking cards until she has 17 or above or goes bust.

End of the hand

Once the dealers’ hand is finished, the hand has ended. Each player matches up their hand against the dealer and bets are collected, and winnings are distributed according to the outcome of each hand. After that, a new hand is dealt, and the cycle repeats.

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