Lightning Blackjack is the newest live casino blackjack game by Evolution, introducing multipliers to the classic game of 21. Fittingly released in 2021, it is one of the software provider’s flagship projects for the year. In this review, we’ll answer some burning questions such as how Lightning Blackjack works and where we can play it.
Lightning Roulette made a huge impact on the live casino industry back when it was launched, and continues to be one of Evolution’s definitive releases. Baccarat has since received the same Lightning treatment, not to mention the game of Lightning Dice. It seems that Evolution has finally figured out a viable way to apply the same thinking to Blackjack. Considering the popularity of both 21 and Lightning games, this is one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2021.
The Lightning Blackjack game follows the same design logic of its ‘cousins.’ In other words, it retains everything people love about classic blackjack, but throws in an innovative multiplier mechanic for added excitement.
The core gameplay here is the same as in any live dealer blackjack game. Most casino fans are familiar with the basics of 21, which means that they’ll know how to play Evolution Lightning Blackjack as well. If you just want to understand the multipliers, scroll down to the Special Features section of this review.
The goal of the player is to draw cards as close to 21 as possible without going over. This score is then compared to the dealer’s hand, and the one closer to 21 wins. Your options are to either Hit, Stand, Double, or Split. Hitting means that you receive another card from the shoe, while Stand means that you simply stop drawing. All cards count towards the 21 needed, and most offer their face value as the score. However, Aces can count as either 1 or 11, while all 10+ cards count as a 10.
Splitting and doubling are both allowed. However, multipliers are used to increase the payout of the next game round. They can only multiply returns up to the fee paid in the previous round. In other words, only the bet before doubling is multiplied. If you split and win both hands, only one is multiplied. Also, doubling is not allowed after splitting, and you can only split once per hand.
Lightning Blackjack by Evolution works like a common draw variant of 21. This means that all players share the same hand. However, player decisions are completely independent. In other words, if you decide to Stand, the dealer will still keep drawing until 21. These new cards will only apply to the players that decided to Hit. As a bonus, this means that there will be an unlimited number of seats available at all times.
Live Casino Best Tips for Lightning Blackjack Live
- Lowering your stake after securing a multiplier will technically also lower your potential winnings. However, multipliers only multiply proportionally to the fee paid in the previous round.
- In other words, we suggest picking one standard stake amount and sticking with it throughout the session.
- The multiplier fee is mandatory with each bet. However, not playing it would effectively remove Lightning Blackjack multipliers. If you don’t want them, just play at regular blackjack live tables.
- Lightning Blackjack strategy is still just basic blackjack strategy. Sticking to blackjack charts is still the optimal solution.
Live Lightning Blackjack Payouts
If there’s anything the previous Lightning live casino games taught us, it’s that the multipliers don’t come for free. That also applies to how Lightning Blackjack payouts work. Specifically, every standard stake is essentially doubled to cover the Lightning Blackjack fee. In practice, this means that a standard winning hand doesn’t win anything. However, it provides a 2-25x multiplier applied to any winnings in the following round.
Beyond that, the Lightning Blackjack paytable is quite standard.
The good news is that Lightning Blackjack RTP is still quite amazing. 99.56% is great by live dealer blackjack standards – let alone compared to other casino games. Of course, the low Lightning Blackjack house edge of 0.44% assumes you’re playing optimally and that it’s a new shoe.
New to Live Blackjack?
Make sure to choose the game that suits your taste and budget. For more extensive guides on live blackjack basics, read this article.
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Evolution Lightning Blackjack bonus multipliers remain the biggest draw of this game. At first, we assumed they would work much like Quantum Blackjack by Playtech. That’s not the case, however. Instead, Evolution tried to keep the mechanics closer to the original intent of blackjack. You won’t be hunting for special multiplied cards. Instead, winning a round means that the payouts on the next round will be multiplied. Here is how Lightning Roulette multipliers work.
When you first fire up the game, you’ll be playing standard live casino blackjack. However, each stake comes with a 100% lightning fee. If you win the hand, a random multiplier between 2x and 25x will be assigned to you, depending on the winning hand. For instance, hands winning with 18 might have a 5x multiplier assigned, while hands willing with 21 might have 12x assigned. All are random, but stronger hands tend to provide higher multipliers.
This multiplier is applied to any winnings in the next round you play. However, increasing the stakes between the two rounds won’t increase the multiplied amount. Essentially, the Lightning fee you paid is the amount multiplied, not the current stake. That said, any standard blackjack wins will still be increased proportionally to the new stake.
The good news is that the multiplier sticks around between sessions. If you secure one and leave the game, you can pick it back up the next time you play Lighting Baccarat online.
If you lose the round while a multiplier is active, you’ll lose it. This is true even if you win the Insurance bet or the round pushes.
As a rule of thumb, Evolution Lightning games are focused on entertainment and a spectacular presentation. This implies a big, fancy studio and top-notch stream production. It also means there is only a single Lightning Blackjack table with English-speaking dealers. However, the Evolution interface allows you to change the UI language to English, Albanian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, or Vietnamese.
We expected a lot from this game, and we’re happy to say it delivered. It’s a completely new and unique concept – but we knew that already. However, we also expected that the special features meant that the RTP would take a hit. It didn’t, and Lightning Blackjack by Evolution is one of the most potentially profitable live casino blackjack games out there.
Needless to say, the overall design and presentation knocked it out of the park. The well-known Lightning art deco look is present and beautiful, as expected. The special mechanics might take some getting used to, though. They’re difficult to grasp at first – especially when you realize that non-multiplied wins pretty much don’t win anything. However, sacrificing a 1:1 win for a potentially 25:1 win is more than worth it in the long run. Lightning Blackjack passes every test with flying colors, and we recommend it to all live casino fans.
How does Lightning Blackjack work?
Lightning blackjack mostly works like any other live casino game of 21. However, every winning hand provides a multiplier for the next round you play. IF you win the following hand as well, you’ll eligible to win a payout up to 25 times the stake.
Where can I play Lightning Blackjack by Evolution?
Following the release, the game will be available at all live online casinos with Evolution games. You can find the list of the best Evolution casinos <a href=" https://www.livecasinos.com/software/evolution/ ">here</a>.
Can I play Lightning Blackjack on mobile?
Yes. Like most modern live dealer casino games, this title is fully optimized for mobile play. This comes with a slightly altered user interface, made to fit smaller screens. However, all regular Lightning Blackjack betting options are fully available.
What is the RTP in Evolution Lightning Blackjack?
Lightning Blackjack RTP adds up to 99.59%, assuming the optimal strategies are used. Since the gameplay uses standard 8-deck rules in which the dealer stands on a soft 17, Lightning Blackjack strategies are the same as in any game of 21. Also, this RTP score is exact only before any cards are drawn from the shoe.
Can I split in Lightning Blackjack?
Yes. You can split once per round. However, doubling is not allowed after splitting, and you will only receive one card after splitting Aces. Moreover, if both hands win, only the one with the stronger hand can be multiplied.