Blackjack Strategy To Win At Real Online Casinos in Canada

Quintin van Wyk by Quintin van Wyk Reading time: 17min

Of all of the genres that you can find in an online casino, blackjack is one of the most strategic. In fact, using the right blackjack strategies can often be the difference between the house having a small advantage and a large one. This difference can make a serious difference in real money games, and considering that it's one of the most popular titles for Canadian players, it's easy to consider it a priority to learn how to play correctly. That's why we're offering you an overview of all of the most important strategic concepts in this genre down below.

playing blackjack online

Important Tips To Keep In Mind When Playing Online Blackjack for Real Money

Online blackjack strategy can be broken up into different parts that all come together in one overall plan and approach. However, when you're first starting out, you may not want to go all-in on every little thing. To help make it easier to dip your toes into the waters of basic blackjack strategy, we're starting you out with some straightforward tips that can make a big difference in your sessions right away. These points represent the foundation that you'll build your overall approach on. Just like when building a house, if that foundation isn't strong, then it's not good. We also recommend testing these tips in demo mode when you play blackjack for free prior to making a real money deposit in 2024.

Know The Rules

It may seem silly to start with something this simple, but a lot of people assume that the rules are the same for all styles of the game when that's not the case. This is especially the case when playing on the Internet when you'll typically find more variety than playing in a brick and mortar location. Therefore, the basis of blackjack online strategy is really knowing the game you're playing and what the particulars are of the rule set. If you treat this seriously, then you can often find options that you didn't know were available at the tables. Take a look at our guide to blackjack rules to learn everything about the game before incorporating a strategy.

Choose the Right Blackjack Variant

The natural next step once you are more familiar with the rule sets and payout rates of a given game is to actually pick and choose which tables to play at. In general, you may want to focus on titles that have a higher RTP percentage. This simply means that you'll have a higher payout rate if you play correctly. In what follows, we'll show you five games in this genre that have some of the highest RTP ratings out there. These are all great picks from the expert team at to start with if you're not sure which game to focus on.

  • European Blackjack European Blackjack - 99.38%

    Many software providers like Microgaming offer European Blackjack. The main difference in this game is that the dealer does not peek at the down card to start off the hand.

  • Progressive Progressive - 96.10%

    Betsoft and a number of other developers have progressive blackjack tables available. You typically hit the jackpot with a side bet or by getting a hand that starts with three sevens in the same suit or some similar combination.

  • Blackjack Switch Blackjack Switch - 99.42%

    Primarily known for being available from Playtech, this title allows you to switch cards between two starting hands before play begins. This adds an extra layer of skill that isn't seen in other types of titles.

  • Spanish 21 Spanish 21 - 99.60%

    When you take all of the "10" cards out of the deck, you're left with the Spanish 48-card deck that is at the focus of this game, which is available from Microgaming and other providers.

  • Free Bet Blackjack Free Bet Blackjack - 98.96%

    This game is more well-known for being a part of the live dealer offering from Evolution Gaming. You get free double downs and free splits in common situations in this game to make the play go quicker for obvious strategic options.

Have a Budget

Every blackjack winning strategy needs a bankroll management component included in it. This includes starting with a budget of how much you want to put into your play and then using that amount as effectively as possible. In most cases, you'll want to divide that starting bankroll up by a set number (100 or 200 are common amounts), and this will give you the maximum bet size that you should make on a single wager. While it's one of the most basic blackjack strategies, it's also one of the most critical and should not be ignored.

Check the Payout Table?

One of the key features of this genre is that starting with an ace and a 10-point card gives you an automatic win in most cases. Additionally, most games give you a bonus payout as a reward. While winning hands typically pay out at 1:1, these natural 21 prizes are usually larger and range from 6:5 all the way up to 2:1 with 3:2 being a pretty common amount in the middle. The higher this amount, the better your payout rate will be with all else being equal. Make sure that you check the pay table for the 3 to 2 payout using our reference chart below.

Blackjack Bet Blackjack Payout C$1 C$1.50 C$2 C$3 C$3 C$4.50 C$4 C$6 C$5 C$7.50 C$10 C$15 C$20 C$30 C$25 C$37.50 C$50 C$75 C$100 C$150

Luck and Skill are Key Components

This is a genre where the combination of luck and skill really defines the experience. You can use winning blackjack strategies on every hand but have an unlucky run of cards and end up way down. On the flip side, someone can completely ignore blackjack basic strategy but get lucky and have a sizable win overall. While you can't control the luck side of the equation, you can control the skill end of things, and that's why learning the proper approaches, tips and tactics is such a critical part of the game when you're at the tables.

3:2 vs 6:5 Blackjack

The payout rates for simple blackjack strategy approaches don't just come down to how good the decisions are in the hands. They also come down to how much you get paid when you have 21 on your first two cards. For example, getting paid at 6:5 is worse than getting paid at 3:2, and you'll have to make up the difference somewhere if you want to have the same payout rate in the long run. A lot of making this up comes down to knowing how to play your hands properly with other changes in rule sets between the games.

Both games can be fine to play, but we prefer the options with 3:2 (and 2:1 if we can get them). The main reason is that these titles lead to an overall lower volatility. Fewer big swings means fewer chances for bad runs of cards that lead us to a loss regardless of how well we have played as a whole.

first steps in blackjack

What to Do with Your First 2 Cards Dealt

When you receive your initial two cards, the choice you make will set the stage for the remainder of the hand. That's why the most important part of any blackjack strategy card will include the parts that only pertain to the two starting cards like when to double, surrender and split. These are moves that you can't take back once you've made them, and since they affect the bet sizing as well, they have more of an impact on your bottom line when you make a mistake. In the following, we lay out exactly what each option does to help you avoid these issues.

  • Take Insurance - Yes or No: Insurance is a small side bet placed that wins if the dealer has a natural 21. It's considered a hedge against the dealer having the strongest hand available since it forces you to automatically lose.
  • Stand: When you stand, your turn comes to an end immediately. That means you can receive no more cards, and you can also not manipulate your bet size at all. It's the definitive end to your round of play.
  • Hit: The idea of hitting is simple: You receive one more card, the bet size stays the same, and it continues to be your turn. Outside of standing, hitting is the most common option seen on any blackjack strategy chart.
  • Double Down: Learning when to double (and when not to double) is critical because it doubles the size of your wager. Additionally, it adds exactly one more card to your hand, and in most cases, it ends play for your hand as well.
  • Split: When both of your cards show the same rank, you'll be given the option to split them. This allows you to add another wager equal to the size of the first while splitting the two cards to form two new hands.
  • Surrender: Not always available as an option depending on the rules of the particular table you're at, surrendering does two things. First, it gives you back half of your wager while giving the other half to the house. Second, it ends your hand and gives your cards up completely.

Blackjack Strategy Chart - An Important Tool

Having a simple blackjack basic strategy chart handy is one of the best things you can do to help improve the quality of your play without having to memorize a bunch of information. They're completely legal to use online, and some sites will even offer one built straight into the interface. However, the main mistake that some players make it that they have a generalized chart for the genre as a whole instead of a specialized chart made for that particular variation that they're enjoying. If you avoid that issue, then they're a great tool that can only help your bottom line.

basic blackjack strategy

Basic Blackjack Strategy Rules to Play By

As you can see from everything that goes into it, the best strategy for blackjack includes being able to make good decisions in the hand more than anything else. While things like game selection are definitely useful, none of that matters so much if you make lots of mistakes when deciding how to play once you're in the middle of a hand. In what follows, we want to walk you through a handful of rules and tips to use that apply to virtually all styles in the genre. If you keep these in mind, you'll know how to play most hands well.

  1. No matter the situation, you should not take the insurance side bet. It's simply a trap bet that has a much higher house edge than anything else in the game.
  2. You should always split pairs of aces and eights when the option is available. However, in no peek style games like the European version, you shouldn't split eights of the dealer is showing an ace.
  3. With virtually no exceptions, the rule for playing a total of 11 is to double down if the option is there.
  4. Do not split pairs of fives or ten-point cards regardless of the situation. There's no realistic situation where it's the best choice.
  5. The most favorable card that you can see for the dealer is a six, so be ultra aggressive with doubles and even splits to increase the bet size because their chances of busting out are at their highest.
  6. If you're facing a dealer showing a 2 or 3, then you should typically hit with a hard 12 or 13 total in most cases.
  7. When surrendering is available as an option, use it really sparingly and only in the worst situations like when you have a hard 15 or 16 against a dealer showing a ten-point card or ace.

What is the Soft 17 Rule?

The house needs a simple rule about when to hit and when to stand when it's the dealer's turn. However, there's an option when the dealer shows a soft 17. Some games have the dealer hit, and some have the dealer stand in that scenario. Most online casino blackjack strategies for this game don't change much depending on which way this rule goes. With that said, there are some fringe cases here and there where how you play will change based on which version of this rule is being used. Regardless, it's something that won't affect your play much in most realistic cases.

What is a Soft Hand

Every blackjack basic strategy card will show a different set of actions to take when you have a soft hand. The idea of a soft hand is that you have an ace that is being counted as 11 points without it breaking you over a total of 21. You can be particularly aggressive, especially with doubling, against these hands because it's impossible to bust out by only receiving a single card. In essence, if you were to go over 21 with a hit or double, the hand sort of "resets" itself by dropping that ace from being worth 11 points to being worth a single point.

What is a Hard Hand

The default view for a blackjack chart will be for hard hands. These are the opposite of soft hands in that they do not include an ace that's being counted as 11 points. They're less flexible because you don't have that backup option of the ace's value dropping down from 11 to 1 like you do with soft hands. With that said, the core of all real money blackjack strategy is in learning how to play these hands properly. That's because, as a simple matter of fact, they make up the vast majority of hands that you'll hold.

Knowing When to Split and When Not To

Splitting correctly gets into the realm of blackjack advanced strategy once you're past the basics of always splitting aces and eights while never splitting fives and ten-point cards. In most cases, you'll be more likely to split low cards (2s, 3s, 4s, 6s and 7s) when you're facing a dealer showing a seven or below. For nines, you have an atypical situation where you should split unless you're facing an ace, a ten or a seven. That seven situation seems a bit odd, but it's because standing will give you a total of 18 against a dealer seven when you instantly win if the dealer pulls a ten.

Playing Pairs Explained

Generally speaking, a big part of learning how to read blackjack strategy chart suggestions is figuring out how to read the handling of pairs. A pair is when both of your starting cards have the same rank (eg: 8-8 or A-A), and the process for using a chart and deciding how to play these hands goes as follows. Start by looking to see if you should split. If not, then you simply play it as any other hard hand and refer to that part of the chart accordingly. It's a straightforward process, but it can be tricky if you're starting out.

Doubling Down Explained

Doubling is probably the single part of real money online casino blackjack strategy that the most people get wrong the largest percentage of the time. Because it combines three different elements (adding exactly one card, increasing your bet size and ending your turn), it's a complicated idea and can be misapplied pretty easily without players realizing it. In short, you should double if you have a hard hand in the 9 to 11 range facing a dealer card lower than your total. Additionally, you should double with soft hands when facing low dealer cards in a lot of scenarios.

Casino Blackjack Strategy Checklist for Every Real Money Round

Having the right model for thinking through a hand is the easiest way to get good at this game. One way to approach this is to simply have a checklist to follow once you're dealt your cards. We'll offer you a starting checklist here that you can expand on later on once you get into more advanced strategic territory.

  • Is my hand hard or soft?
  • If I can split, is it appropriate here?
  • If doubling is available, is this situation right for it?
  • Do I have an unfavorable hand where surrendering is the right option?
  • Should I hit or stand?

Does Live Dealer Blackjack Use The Same Strategies?

In most cases, the general ideas involved are the same whether you're playing in a live dealer blackjack game or using a standard RNG table online. For example, Evolution blackjack strategy will be the same if the rules are the same as a more typical online game. However, where this changes is if you're playing a variation that's not available outside of the live dealer style that has different rules or side bets than usual. A great example of this is Lightning Blackjack by Evolution Gaming that gives random multipliers based on certain cards appearing.

how to win blackjack

How to Win Blackjack Strategies For New Canada Casino Players

Putting together your entire approach and bringing everything into one cohesive plan is what this game is all about, and that's really the highest level of strategy in the general sense. This includes the decisions you make at the tables, but it also includes things like which promotions you take advantage of, how you handle your bankroll management and which titles you choose to play. Here we want to walk you through the individual components and how to put them together to maximize your overall chances of getting the type of experience that you want to have.

Find A Bonus You Can Use to Play Table Games

If you want to maximize your chances of coming out ahead overall, then top blackjack bonuses are a key part of that. In short, you should make sure to find bonus offers that allow you to play table games in general. Many of these are available, and they basically amount to giving you value for your play at the tables that would have happened anyway. The key thing to understand here is to make sure that you know the terms and conditions so that you don't accidentally do something that isn't allowed, which could get your bonus revoked.

  • Blackjack Ballroom

    Blackjack Ballroom Gives New Players $500 To Play Table Games

    We recommend that players try out Blackjack Ballroom and the promotions that they have available. One reason, other than the name, is that they have several styles with well over a dozen different variations of the game to try. Additionally, you'll earn up to C$500 in bonuses across your initial three deposits. This includes 100% up to C$150, 50% up to C$200 and 25% up to C$150 on your first, second and third deposits, respectively. It's tough to find a better welcome package for fans of this particular genre.

Use a Basic Blackjack Betting Strategy

Your blackjack bet strategy is how you decide to vary the size of your wagers as you progress through your sessions. Some people like to increase or decrease their bet sizes after wins or losses, for example, and this can create patterns that sometimes have names. The Martingale and Fibonacci styles are probably the two most common examples. The former doubles your bet size after a loss while the latter increases your bet size according to the Fibonacci sequence of numbers (ie: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc.).

Avoid Betting High Amounts

Forming up the best blackjack betting strategy for you as an individual is what you're really after here because there are numerous betting styles that are equally reasonable. A good place to start is to simply follow solid bankroll management guidelines to find the maximum wager that you'll ever place on a single hand. From there, you can play with different wager amounts under that maximum in different orders based on how you're feeling about your current play and other factors.

Set a Budget for How Much You Can Afford to Lose

Before any discussion of how to manipulate your bet sizing starts, you have to know your budget. That's why setting your budget ahead of time is the way to go. This puts you in a position where you can figure out your own personal blackjack casino strategy that caters to the limits that you have put in place for yourself. On the one hand, this gives you reasonable parameters to work inside of so that you never end up betting too much on a given hand. On the other hand, it also helps you to better organize your money.

Best Canada Online Casinos Recommended in 2024

There are certain sites that we recommend over others for players who are really into online blackjack betting strategy and bonuses. We have used a proprietary set of criteria with a special rating system to come up with these suggestions that we have broken down for you in the following.

  1. 1 Sign-Up Offer 100% Match Bonus Up To $1600
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  9. 9 Sign-Up Offer 400% Match Bonus Up To $4
  10. 10 Sign-Up Offer 100% Match Bonus Up To $1500
  11. Load More

Choose a No Deposit Bonus and Win for Free

No deposit offers put you in a position to have chances to win real money prizes without having to add anything to your account. It's a great risk to reward proposition, but many of them do not allow you to play this game. However, if you find one that does, or if you cash out winnings that you then use for a deposit somewhere else, they can be a great opportunity for your blackjack basic strategy practice since you don't have to worry so much about losing since the funds were essentially free to begin with.

Have a Small Budget? Try Minimum Deposit Casinos

While no deposit offers aren't usually viable for this genre, you can still get in on the action without having to break the bank. Some casinos allow for deposits of as little as $1, but those also don't usually allow you to play this game. However, many $5 casino sites have simple promotions that let you play table games. Additionally, most casinos with a $10 minimum deposit allow for play at these tables with the promotions, bonuses and special offers that they bring to the table.

  • $5 Minimum Deposit $5 Minimum Deposit -

    When you play for $5, you'll often see combination deals with free spins and deposit bonuses. These bonuses can frequently be used to play table games as well.

  • $10 Min Deposit $10 Min Deposit -

    It's rare to see any serious game restrictions with the welcome bonuses available at $10 online casinos. This makes them perfect if you want to enjoy these games without a big commitment.

Use Free Games to Boost Your Blackjack Strategy Skills

No matter if you're just starting out or if you're a seasoned veteran of the genre, we're sure that our suggested approaches to the game can be helpful. However, you may want to practice all of these strategies before you jump in to play with real money, and that's where no deposit blackjack bonuses come into play. Even if you just want some time to get familiar with your best blackjack strategy chart, it's a great way to do it because the conditions can be exactly the same as if you were playing for real.


  • What is a Blackjack strategy card?

    This is a simple chart that shows you the best way to play all hands.
  • What's the best casino bonus to claim in Canada for this game?

    We like the C$500 welcome package from Blackjack Ballroom.
  • How do I increase my chances of winning blackjack?

    Learning solid game selection and basic strategy are the best ways to increase your odds of winning.
  • Are there instructions on how to read blackjack strategy chart?

    Yes, the charts themselves make it very clear on how to read them.
  • What is the best blackjack betting strategy for real money wins?

    Using what's called basic strategy will show you the right way to play to boost your chances of winning your hands.
  • What's the number one tip for how to win at online Blackjack?

    Keep your bets reasonably small so that you don't go on a big losing streak right away.
  • Why is this game so popular?

    It has an excellent combination of luck and skill.
  • Is this a game of chance or skill?

    This game includes element of both skill and chance, which makes it that much more exciting.
  • What are the odds of winning blackjack with basic strategy?

    The payout rates in some of these games can reach over 99%.
  • How can I practise my skill without risking any money?

    Yes, demo and free play versions allow you to practice with no risk.
About the Author
 Quintin van Wyk
Quintin van Wyk - Lead Editor

Quintin is a strategic wordsmith and avid gambling enthusiast who has been editing and writing content for the iGaming industry for over 10 years. With the gaming industry constantly expanding and evolving, he is ready to guide both newcomers and experienced players with comprehensive news articles, unbiased casino reviews and informative how-to guides you can trust.