Rules & Gameplay
Classic blackjack uses the regular blackjack rules, which means that your goal, as a player, is to have a better hand than the dealer, while not going over 21. Aces are counted as 1 or 11, all picture cards have a value of 10, while the rest of the cards maintain their designated values.
The dealer must draw on 16 or lower and must stand at 17 or higher, so nothing changes in that regard either. If the player receives an Ace and a 10 (or a picture card) on the first deal, he or she has the blackjack (or Natural). The usual payout is for making a blackjack is 3:2, unless the dealer makes one as well, in which case it is a push (draw).
A player receives two cards, face up, while the dealer receives one card face up and another card face down. The dealer’s up card is important in determining your strategy. You can always ask for another card (Hit) or decide to pass the action to the dealer (Stand). If you Hit and your total count exceeds 21, however, you will Bust, and the dealer wins automatically, without having to draw.
Although a lot of your knowledge from any form of the game can be applied to classic blackjack, there are certain things that need to be emphasized to help you make the most at the tables.
- Splitting: whenever you are dealt a pair in blackjack, you are allowed to split it. However, you need to know that in classic blackjack, you are only allowed one split per hand. This means that if you split Aces and receive another Ace in one of your hands, you will not be able to re-split that hand again. Other than that, standard splitting rules and considerations, explained in our main blackjack article, still apply (always split 8s and Aces, never split 10s, etc.).
- Doubling: the same rules apply as in regular blackjack variations. You can double down after the first two cards; you will then receive just one more card and will not be allowed to ask for more. Your hand will stand as is.
- Insurance: most classic blackjack games do offer an option of insurance, but as you may have heard already – this is a sucker’s bet. With the bet paying 1:1 and the likelihood of the dealer flipping over blackjack after showing an Ace or a Ten being 30%, it doesn’t take a math wizard to figure out why this is a losing proposition.
Other than this advice, you should also apply the basic strategy, which is as efficient for classic blackjack games as it is for other game variations. Knowing when to hit and when to stand based on the dealer’s up card and your holdings can make a huge difference.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Classic Blackjack
When played in a live casino, classic blackjack can be a very advantageous game, especially if the deck is not shuffled after every hand. Of course, this is not something you will encounter often, but when you do, make sure to take advantage of it. If you have a basic knowledge of card counting, this will be a great opportunity to put your skills to work.
Another advantage of the live classic blackjack is the fact that dealer deals the cards from his hand instead of using a shoe. While this may not be of a great importance for too many players out there, there are certainly those who are simply not too keen on a shoe and are always afraid of games being rigged. This way, you get to see the deck right before your eyes and such concerns are removed.
One thing that some players may not like is the fact that most Canadian online casinos will only allow you to play one hand at the time. Those who love fast-paced action could become bored rather quickly playing classic blackjack because there isn’t that much going on at the table.
If you are looking to play this game variation, check out our selection of the best online casinos for players from Canada and take your pick. Most of them will offer classic blackjack, so it gets down to which one you like the most in terms of their bonus offer and the overall design.