Evolution’s latest addition to the live casino blackjack portfolio will soon be available at top online casinos. It’s sure to be one of their most memorable games, which says a lot for a provider like Evolution. We’ve already written a review of the game, so you can check that out if you need some basic information.
Lightning blackjack is a completely unique product with mechanics we haven’t encountered before, though. With that in mind, let’s go through the details of how Lightning Blackjack works along with some strategy tips.
To play Lightning Blackjack, you’ll begin by putting up a stake. This is fairly usual, but you also need to remember that every Lightning Blackjack bet comes with a 100% Lightning fee. Every time you buy into a round, you’ll pay double. However, only the base stake – half of the total money you had to put up – will be used for payout calculations. The rest goes into covering the costs of the multiplier mechanics.
But doesn’t that mean that a simple blackjack win keeps you at zero, you might be wondering? Well, yes, but it all comes back around eventually. Bear with us for a moment.
The game then proceeds as a typical round of live blackjack, following standard rules. The dealer stands on a soft 17. You are allowed to split and double, but these calls can affect the multipliers.
Winning triggers the multiplier mechanic, so that’s what you’ll need to do. Again, you won’t earn any money at this point, unless you win with a blackjack, or you split or double during the round. Remember, the multiplier fee is applied only to the initial stake.
Winning applies a multiplier to any winnings secured in the following round. At the beginning of each round, random multipliers between 2x and 25x are applied to different hand values. For example, winning with a score of 18 might net you a 4x multiplier, but winning with 20 will earn 8x. These are different with each round, and always randomly assigned. They are divided into 17 or less, 18, 19, 20, 21, and Blackjack. The stronger the hand, the bigger the multiplier typically is.
If you win this second round, you’ll get an increased payout as per the assigned multiplier. If you lose, the multiplier and the fee are lost.
There are a few important things we have to note about the Lightning Blackjack game.
If you secure a multiplier and then increase the stake between the rounds, the payout will be only be multiplied up to the amount you used when you got it. Here’s an example. Let’s say you bet $10 on a round, win it, and secure a 4x multiplier. You then increase the stake to $20 and go into the next round. If you win, you’ll receive a payout of $60 in total: $10×4 for the multiplier, and $10×2 for the part of the stake that wasn’t multiplied. That part simply received the typical 1:1 blackjack payout.
Doubling works similarly. If you make a double call, only the initial stake qualifies for multipliers, and only that part can be multiplied. The rest follows standard blackjack payout rules. If you split, only one of the two hands will award or receives multipliers. It’s always the stronger hand, too.
The one exception to the above rules is if you decrease the stake. In that case, this new, smaller stake is being multiplied. It’s a bit sneaky on Evolution’s part, but it’s easy to avoid this rule. Just don’t lower the stakes if you have a multiplier.
The best part about this game is that it doesn’t change that much about our beloved game of 21. Lightning Blackjack rules have just a few caveats. Firstly, you can’t surrender. Secondly, you can only split your hand once. Thirdly, you can’t double after a split.
These rules are not exactly player-friendly, but the RTP remains quite strong at 99.59%.
Anyway, all this means you can simply rely on the trusty old blackjack basic strategy. Remember the charts, and you don’t have anything to worry about. Evolution Lightning Blackjack mostly just changes the payout structure. It’s all about winning 2 or more consecutive rounds for an increased return.
That’s all the Lightning Blackjack tips to win you’ll really need. Oh, bet insurance is also an option, and it’s as bad as it’s always been. Avoid it like the plague.
Lightning Blackjack from Evolution is overall an interesting concept and worth trying just for the novelty. Hopefully, we’ll see more of such creativity in online blackjack games.