In January 2020, Evolution Gaming announced the launch of their new Live Blackjack game – Speed Blackjack.
The game was announced as a super-fast Blackjack variant where one feature was changed – the dealing order. According to Evolution’s representatives, with this game, they have changed the way Blackjack has been played for the last hundred years. Stay tuned to learn how to play Live Speed Blackjack and make the most of it.
Basic Rules and Gameplay
Speed Blackjack is an 8-deck card game accepting up to 7 players at the same time. It is played by standard Vegas rules, meaning that the dealer gets two cards and peeks for a Blackjack. When it comes to game rules, it shares most of them with standard Blackjack. The player can double down on the first two cards and split any pair. If they split Aces, they can get only one card. As for the dealer, they stand on all 17s, both soft and hard. A natural pays 3:2 while Insurance pays 2:1.
Now, on to crucial differences between the regular version of the game and the Evolution fast-paced take on it. Speed Blackjack is from 30% to 40% faster than the standard game, which translates in time for betting and making decisions reduced by 7 seconds.
Initial two cards are dealt as usual, in the regular order, left to right. When the dealing of the first two cards is complete, players who have joined the table are offered to hit, stand, double down or split at the same time. The one who makes their decision first gets their next card first. Such a pattern is applied to all the players. Of course, those who decide to stand won’t get additional cards. The dealing order does not change the math of the game, though.
The game offers two new Autoplay features. If you have a hand worth more than 12 and you don’t make your decision in time, you will automatically stand. With a hand total of less than 11, failing to make a decision within the given time will automatically result in hitting.
Speed Blackjack Side Bets
A round of Live Speed Blackjack starts with the players placing the main bet. If they wish so, they can also play one of the side bets available at the table:
- Perfect Pairs: This optional wager pays when the first two cards create a pair. A payout is determined by the type of a pair with a mixed coloured pair paying 6:1, a pair of the same colour paying 12:1 and the perfect pair consisting of the same suit paying 25:1.
- 21+3: Another standard side bet available at Evolution Blackjack tables requires a qualifying poker hand to pay a prize. A flush earns you the lowest payout of 5:1, a straight wins 10:1 while a trips and straight flush pay 30:1 and 40:1 respectively. A suited trips grant the top prize worth 100:1.
Just like other Blackjack variants by the reputable provider, Speed Blackjack offers the Bet Behind option. Given that there are only 7 seats at the table, Bet Behind allows you to play the game by placing bets behind one or more of the players who have already joined it. You will see hot players as they have one or more gold medals next to their name. They indicate how many game rounds they have won so far. If you decide to make use of this option, you will be notified when one of the seats becomes free.
House Edge and RTP
This version of the game does not differ from other Blackjack games in Evolution’s portfolio when it comes to a house edge for the main bet or the side bets. When it comes to the main hand, a house edge sits at 0.71%, meaning that the expected return to player (RTP) is 99.29%.
As for the side bets, the Perfect Pairs side bet has a house margin of 4.1% and an RTP of 95.9% while the 21+3 bet has a house edge of 3.7% and an RTP of 96.3%.
How to Win at Live Speed Blackjack Table
There is no specific strategy you can use for this game variant. Since the math behind the game is the same as in the standard version, you should use the basic Blackjack strategy to play Speed Blackjack. Take your time and make decisions according to it or simply use a cheat sheet for the game where the dealer stands on all 17s. That will help you minimise the house edge to 0.71%, which is pretty low, we have to admit. Another useful piece of advice would be to manage your bankroll and stick to it without risking more than you can afford.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Playing Live Speed Blackjack
As you can see, when it comes to Speed Blackjack, it is all about the way additional cards are dealt. If you want to play Blackjack and you don’t want to wait for your turn, this game might be a perfect fit for you. This feature makes it ideal for seasoned players who are confident enough to make their decisions fast. As for other features, Speed Blackjack is an excellent variant with the rules favorable to the player, including the dealer standing on all 17s and a natural paying 3:2. A standard set of side bets makes it more attractive for those players who like to take risks for a chance to win bigger prizes.
Speaking of the disadvantages of playing the Evolution product, we have to mention that fast-paced gameplay may not be suitable for all players. Those who are new to the game of Blackjack may need more time to make decisions and the action at the table may confuse them. Keep in mind that if you don’t respond in time, the Autoplay feature may complete your moves in the way set by the developer.
As the industry first, Speed Blackjack is a great addition to the Evolution portfolio that gives players more control over the action at the table. We expect that it will be highly popular with experienced players who prefer playing casino games at a faster pace. Make sure to follow the basic strategy in order to make the most of the time you spend at the table.
Click here to visit Evolution Gaming-powered live casinos and give Speed Blackjack a try!