Lightning Blackjack is a live dealer blackjack game released by Evolution in 2021. It represents the next step in the evolution of live casino blackjack – pardon the pun. It’s one of Evolution’s flagship projects for the year and is easily the most innovative game of online 21 we’ve seen in a while.
By introducing a system of multipliers, Lighting Blackjack promises to bring your blackjack payouts to a whole new level. Of course, live blackjack games with multipliers are nothing truly new. Quantum Blackjack by Playtech is a prominent example of this sub-genre. However, Evolution took a different approach with this release, and it's unlike anything else on the market today.
The rules of Lightning Blackjack are pretty much a standard game of online 21. The dealer stands on a 21, and you can play the usual options of Hit, Stand, Double, or Split. That said, you can only split once per hand, and you can’t double after a split. Beyond that, if you’re familiar with basic blackjack rules, you’ll know how to play Lightning Blackjack. It’s just worth noting that this is a common draw variant, which means all players share the same hand. Your decisions, however, are completely your own. An unlimited number of people can play Lightning Blackjack tables at any one time.
The big twist comes when you win your first hand. Essentially, all bets come with a 100% Lightning Fee. This means that a standard win leaves you with no returns. Instead, you secure a multiplier for the next round. This Lightning Multiplier ranges from 2x to 8x, which is randomly generated. If you win this next round, you stand to win up to 8x your initial stake!
However, this multiplier always remains tied to the stake you used to win it. If you increase the stake between two rounds, only a part of this increased stake will be multiplied. However, if you decrease it, the decreased amount is multiplied. In other words – pick one stake amount and try to stick with it.
When we initially tried out Evolution Lightning Blackjack, we had our reservations. A game in which you don’t win anything in the first round doesn’t sound appealing. However, this is merely a matter of strategy – all it takes is some patience. With luck, you can end up with 8 times your initial stake, which is more than worth it even with the Lightning fee.
If you’re still doubtful, the RTP speaks volumes. Sitting at 99.59%, Lightning Blackjack RTP offers a remarkably low house edge. It seems the system of multipliers is worthwhile in the long run, according to the math.
Beyond the multipliers, the payouts are actually quite standard. A win pays even money, blackjack pays 3:2, and insurance is another option with the usual 2:1.
The genius of Lightning Blackjack is that it’s still the classic 21 that you know and love. The innovations add to the payout structure, but the core gameplay loop is still the same. That means that Lightning Blackjack strategies are the same as general-purpose blackjack strategies. You can simply use the basic charts to determine the best wins. The only limitations are that you can’t double after a stake.
Also, because of how changing the stake can affect your multipliers, we recommend splitting your bankroll into even units. Always use the same unit as a stake, and you won’t run into any issues.
This game is one of the most anticipated live casino games of the past few years. It’s also made by a trusted industry leader. The expectations and hype surrounding Lightning Blackjack were high, and we’re glad to say Evolution delivered. The system of multipliers may not be for everyone, but that 99.59% RTP is quite strong no matter how you look at it.