Lightning Blackjack follows the same theme as Evolutions’ very successful Lightning Roulette, which uses multipliers to enhance wins.
We’ve been expecting a Lightning Blackjack from Evolution for a while. I’m pleased to say they have done an excellent job adding multipliers while maintaining the integrity of live blackjack rules.
If you know how to play Blackjack, you’ll be playing Lightning Blackjack without any problems and enjoy the additional payouts when the multipliers hit.
If you’re new to Blackjack, I’ll explain how to play, highlight the differences between other multiplier blackjacks, and cover a bit about strategy and the possible payouts.
The published RTP for the game is 99.56% (first-hand only). However, this is not the accurate RTP when including Multipliers hands.
The good people over at Wizard of Odds have calculated the house edge to be more like 17.6%, which is enormous.
The current recommendation is not to use Basic Blackjack Strategy on this game, as that is optimised for standard Blackjack.
Evolution has published a very comprehensive Lightning Blackjack Strategy, which you can read more about here.
Lightning Blackjack brings the chance of multiplier payouts to regular Blackjack. The game is played on one of Evolutions’ scalable Blackjack tables, allowing an unlimited number of players.
The Lightning element of Lightning Blackjack is just like a side bet. With this bet, you’ll collect a 2x to 25x payout by winning two consecutive hands.
A fee is payable each game round which is used to fund the payment of the multipliers. No rule changes have been made to the game, ensuring both experienced and new players can play without learning a new set of rules.
However, there is a need to explain how the lighting fee and multipliers work, so you can get the best experience while playing.
You pay a mandatory Lightning Fee of 100% of your initial bet each game round (think of it like a side bet that you win or lose).
Once betting time has closed, multipliers are assigned to each hand value for the game round and displayed behind the dealer.
Six ranges of multipliers can be randomly assigned to a game round in the order of hand values 4-17, 18, 19, 20, 21 & BJ.
The multiplier range chosen will directly impact the strategy you should use. You’ll find more info here.
If your hand beats the dealer, your main bet will be paid at 1:1 or 3:2 if it’s a blackjack. You’ll then be assigned the multiplier corresponding to your winning hand value. (If you already have a multiplier active, it will be paid per the terms explained below).
The multiplier is carried over to the next hand you play.
If you win a hand with an active multiplier (usually the next hand after you get the multiplier), the main bet (up to the value of the previous lighting fee) will be boosted by the multiplier. The remaining part is paid at the standard payout rates if the main bet is more than the previous lighting fee.
It sounds complicated, but it isn’t really.
You must understand that the multiplier only becomes active on the next hand you play and will only be applied if you win that hand.
If you lose, the lighting fee, the main bet, and the outstanding multiplier are lost.
Once you have won a multiplier you don’t have to use it straight away; you have up to 180 days to play the next hand. Some strategic thinking may be needed to ensure you use it at the right time.
Multipliers are randomly assigned to all hand values.
The possible multipliers are 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 8x, 12x and 25x.
A Winning hand can pay between 2x and 15x, while a Blackjack can pay between 6x and 25x.
Multipliers are assigned to hand values:
Lightning Blackjack is played to the following rules.
Both Lightning Blackjack and Quantum Blackjack have multipliers, but the games are played differently. Here are the main differences between the two.
If you’re new to playing live blackjack online, take a few moments to read How to Play Live Blackjack. You’ll get all the basics, saving you time and money when you come to play Lightning Blackjack.
If you’re an experienced Blackjack player, here’s how to play Lightning Blackjack.
Lightning Blackjack starts with “Betting Time” when you “Place your Bets”. It’s open for 15 seconds.
Bets start from as low as £1/€1 a hand and max out at £/€10,000.
The total Bet is the Main Bet + Lightning Fee.
Once betting time has closed, the RNG element of the game allocates the multipliers from six predefined ranges, which are applied to the hand values 4-17, 18, 19, 20, 21 & BJ.
As with regular blackjack, the dealer will give the player position an initial two cards and the dealer position two cards, with the first card facing up.
Should the dealer-up card show an Ace, players will be offered Insurance.
The dealer will check for Blackjack. If he has a BJ, the game round ends, and a new game begins. Those taking Insurance will get paid 2:1. The Lightning Fee and any active multiplier will be lost.
If no Ace is showing, players have one of four playing decisions to make:
The game will automatically decide for players who have failed to act within the decision’s time. For hands under 11, the hand will be hit. For hands 12 or over, the decision is to stand.
If the Player’s hand equals the dealer’s hand in value, the Player’s main bet is returned to them as a Push. The lightning fee is lost, as is any multiplier.
If the dealer wins, all bets, lightning fees and Multipliers are lost.
When the Player has a better hand than the dealer, the main bet is paid at even money unless it’s blackjack or if there is a multiplier in play. The multiplier will pay the bet amount up to the value of the lightning fee from the last round. If the bet amount is more, the difference will be paid at the prevailing rate for the hand (1:1 or 3:2).
The winning hand value is then compared to the assigned multiplier, and that will get carried over to the next game round the Player plays in.
If you win a round of lightning Blackjack, you’ll have been awarded a multiplier to carry forward to your next game round.
Now, you don’t have to play the next game or, in fact, any game rounds for up to 180 Days.
You can leave the game or stop playing for a few hands. The multiplier is only used when you place a bet on the table.
When you place the bet, the Multiplier value applied to that hand will be shown next to it.
Don’t forget that a Lightning fee will also be taken when you bet. So if you win this hand, you’ll get another multiplier to carry over to the next hand you play.
The multiplier is only paid on the bet value covered by the previous lightning fee. So if you have increased your stake, only the portion equalling the last fee lightning will receive the multiplier. The rest will be paid at even money or 3:2 if it’s a Blackjack.
Let’s take a quick look at how the betting works on Lightning Blackjack so that you can see the impact of the lighting fee on your bets.
A lightning Fee of 100% of the value of the main bet is taken at betting time. Let’s see what happens to the payouts for the different results types.
In each example, we have a £5 Bet and a £5 Lightning Fee – The Total Bet is £10.
You can see in this model that to make a profit; you have to have two consecutive wins (one to generate the multiplier and the second to use the multiplier). The second win must have at least a 4x multiplier to return a profit. A 2 x multiplier over two rounds will produce a net loss of £5, while a 3x multiplier will break even.
Usually, when playing Blackjack, you’d use Blackjack Basic Strategy. This ensures you play the hands optimally and gives the best chance for a return on investment.
However, a basic Strategy isn’t appropriate for Lightning Blackjack, as two hands need to be played to get the full benefit of the multipliers. The basic Strategy doesn’t consider that, so it can’t be used for Lightning Blackjack. But there is a strategy for lightning blackjack that Evolution has published.
Look at the options above – there is no way to vary the bets that will give you an advantage.
Increasing your bet for a round with a multiplier is no good because it increases the Lightning Fee for that round. The payout will be for the value of the lightning fee from the previous game, so there is no advantage to be gained. If you lost, you’d end up losing your bankroll more quickly.
If you reduced your bet on the game round with the multiplier, you wouldn’t get the total value of the multiplier, so again it’s not worth doing.
Either way, there is no advantage in changing the amounts you bet between the game rounds.
With all credit to them, Evolution has produced a modified strategy for lightning Blackjack. It’s tucked away in the help files, and quite honestly, it isn’t straightforward!
Each game round can apply a different set of multipliers, and there is a lightning blackjack strategy table for each.
Within the table is the option to pick the specific multiplier you’re playing; the table changes dynamically as you select the multiplier, giving you the optimal strategy for that particular game round.
What concerns me most about this strategy is two things:
There is a discussion at WizardofOdds, where minds more extraordinary than mine are going through the strategy to validate it. On the second, someone is bound to build an app to automate it at some time. When there is an update on either, I’ll post it here.
Beware: – This strategy will make you play hands as you’ve never played before. You’ll be doubling and splitting hands you wouldn’t normally do, and you’ll take cards when regular strategy would have you stand.
The lightning Blackjack strategy is not for the faint-hearted, so proceed with caution until you have either mastered the system or decided to play another version of Blackjack.
Click on the multiplier range for your game round to load the Evolution strategy page. Select the multiplier sequence for your game. When the table opens, select your hand’s multiplier, which will update the table to the optimal strategy.
At first look, the Return to Player looks promising for Lightning Blackjack, with a published RTP of 99.56%.
But if you look closely at the information, this is for the first hand out of the shoe.
Subsequent hands have to factor in the lightning fee and multipliers. So the RTP becomes variable from that point and is difficult to quantify.
A more realistic house edge has been calculated at that is more like 17.6% – which is an RTP of 82.4% – which is downright horrible.
If you look at the strategy section, you’ll see that this game is constructed to pay out consistently low, needing two consecutive hands to win, with a minimum of 3x to break even.
|Multiplier||2x to 25x|
Lightning Blackjack is Evolution’s version of live Blackjack with a twist. Random multipliers are added to payouts, depending on the points score of the player’s winning hand.
Lightning Blackjack is played just like regular Blackjack, but with the addition of a mandatory “Lightning Fee” equal to the value of the main bet taken at the start of each game round. From there, you play the game as usual, with the Lightning element being treated as a side bet that pays out after the player wins two consecutive hands.
The main difference is the Lightning Fee. All other aspects of the game are the same.
NO. To get the most from the game, you should use the strategy published by Evolution. Read more about it here.
The RTP for Lightning Blackjack is 99.56%, but this is only for the first hand from the shoe. Subsequent returns are impacted by the Lightning Fee, taken each game round so that the returns will be less, calculated at 82.4%.
If you fancy a change from regular Blackjack and getting a few winning hands paid at 25x, this could be the game for you. It’s an alternative to standard Blackjack but with more of a kick. It has the potential to pay out well when winning streaks occur, but on the flip side, it can ruin your bankroll in just a few hands.
Lightning Blackjack can be played online at most Evolution Live Casinos. You’ll find it in the Lobby under the Blackjack Tab. I play my Lightning Blackjack at Leo Vegas, which has all the different versions and dedicated tables with regular promotions.
Lightning Blackjack has multipliers from the value of 2x up to 25x. These are randomly assigned to hand values of 17 and Under, 18, 19, 20, 21 and Blackjack. Depending on the hand values and multiplier allocation, every winning hand will get a multiplier payout.
The official launch for Lightning Blackjack was on the 17th of November, 2021. However, from the 3rd of November 2021, it was available at Leo Vegas and VBet casinos.
I’ve been looking forward to Evolution releasing a lightning blackjack. I’ve heard Todd Haushalter talk about them wanting to create the game and find a way of not altering the core rules of Blackjack in doing so.
Well, they have achieved that with Lightning Blackjack.
The added mandatory lightning fee pays for the multipliers that are dished out, and what’s cute is you’re guaranteed to get a multiplier payout if you win the hand where it is active. So that is a nice hook.
However, when you look under the covers and examine how the lightning fee works and when the multipliers are applied, it’s all a bit of smoke and mirrors for my liking.
You have to win two consecutive game rounds to get any benefit from the multipliers. Because the lightning fee is taken each game round, the multiplier win must be at least 3x to break even over those two rounds and 4x if you want to creep into a profit.
Having played Blackjack for the past 30 years, I know it’s a streaky game. Runs of winning hands and equally losing hands happen regularly – I think the most I’ve had is eight wins in a row. Usually, it’s one or two, which, when playing lightning blackjack, means you’ll end up a loser quickly.
I don’t think this game will appeal to regular Blackjack players, who will likely prefer common blackjack side bets to pay a lightning fee for a max 25x payout.
I think it will attract the curious player, but if they get a run of losing hands, they are unlikely to stick around.
As an experiment, I compared ten hands I played on Lightning Blackjack with how the hands would have paid out under normal blackjack circumstances. The comparison was quite interesting.
I played ten hands, with a total bet on each hand of £10. That gives a total of £100. I won 4 hands, 2 of which had multipliers and one push.
A small difference. If the multipliers had been better, and by that, I mean more than 5x, I would have had a better return on Lightning Blackjack.
Note: I played Lightning Blackjack using Basic Strategy, which I know is not the most optimum strategy. Evolution has published a more suitable system, which should be used when playing.
Evolution has cornered the market with Multiplier games and an extensive live game catalogue offering bigger than standard wins.
Try these out if you’d like to experience other live casino games that have been given the lightning treatment.