Lightning Blackjack is a live dealer game and one of the most successful Evolution Gaming releases. It is Evolution's take on the classic blackjack game, adding a few rules and features that make it more exciting.
In the review below, we'll tell you all about how to play Lightning Blackjack live, what rules to pay attention to, where to find the best Lightning Blackjack casinos, and more.
Best US Casinos to Play Lightning Blackjack Online
There is an abundance of online casinos that feature the Evolution Lightning Blackjack game, but only a few online casino operators are worth your money. After surveying the field, our experts agreed that these are the very best platforms to try this fantastic game.
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What Is Lightning Blackjack?
In many ways, Lightning Blackjack is the same as classic blackjack, but with a few elements that make it stand out. One of these is the Lightning Card multiplier, which ranges from 2x to 25x and gives players a chance for bigger wins every round. Like Infinite Blackjack, this version can host an unlimited number of players.
Lightning Blackjack is part of Evolution's Lightning series, a set of live casino games with electrifying visuals set in art deco-style studios that add to the game's entertainment factor. Every session is run by a friendly and attractive dealer that keeps players engaged. Due to its immense popularity, Lightning Blackjack is featured in almost all online casinos that host live dealer games from Evolution Gaming.
How to Play Lightning Blackjack
Playing Lightning Blackjack is just like playing any other live dealer game. Simply choose one of the top-rated casinos listed above, create an account, and complete a deposit. From there, find the game in the live dealer lobby, load it up, wait for the next betting round to begin, and start placing your bets.
The table limits may vary depending on the casino, but most feature a range between $1 and $10,000. Available chip denominations include 1, 2, 5, 25, 100, and 500.
Lightning Blackjack Rules and Features
If you're familiar with how to play blackjack, you'll fit right in, but if this is an entirely new game for you, here is a quick rundown of the rules.
The game has you pinned against a dealer in a race to 21. Cards 2 through 10 have their face value, picture cards are all worth ten points, and aces can have a value of either 1 or 11 depending on the situation. The goal is to have a higher point total than the dealer without going over 21 (busting).
This specific version of blackjack is played with eight decks, each containing 52 cards. The dealer stands on soft 17, and a draw (push) with the dealer is possible. You can split only once per hand, and when you split aces, you only receive one additional card. If you double, you also receive only one additional card. Blackjack wins pay 3:2. Interestingly enough, there are no side bets in Lightning Blackjack.
Now that we got the standard blackjack rules out of the way let's talk about the "Lightning rules" and what makes this version unique.
The first thing to note is the so-called Lightning Fee, a charge valued at 100% of your initial bet that gives you the chance to win with multipliers. If there's a push, you will get your stake back, but not the fee. There are no fees on splits and doubles.
After each betting round, the values 4–17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and blackjack each come with an assigned multiplier value. Multipliers can have random values of between 2x and 25x. Each value will have a multiplier equal to or higher than the value before it. So, for example, if 18 has a multiplier of 4x, 19 must have a value of 5x or greater.
The multiplier you win with will then be applied to the next round. For instance, if you win with 20 that has a multiplier of 5x, the win in the next round will come with a reward five times greater than usual. However, mind that the multiplier is only applied to your base bet and not the total bet (base bet + Lightning Fee).
Lightning Blackjack Strategy
Lightning Blackjack is played by the rules of standard blackjack, which means that you can also apply the basic blackjack betting strategy to Evolution Lightning Blackjack.
However, the difference between this and the standard game is the Lightning Fee and the multiplier, which change things significantly.
To those that are unfamiliar with the term, the basic blackjack strategy is a strategy that teaches you how to play optimally and minimize your risks. You'll have a sheet showing what to do in each situation once your hand and the dealer's upcard are revealed. Using the basic blackjack strategy won't guarantee a profit, but you'll at least bring the house edge to its minimum and expect small losses at worst.
You can apply this strategy to Lightning Blackjack, but it's not a good idea. Instead, it would be best to use a modified system that considers fees and multipliers. You can find this strategy in the game's help files, but be ready to invest some time into learning it, as it is highly complex. This complicates things, considering you only have around 15 seconds to decide on each play.
Also, take this strategy with a grain of salt, as its effectiveness hasn't been fully proven.
Lightning Blackjack Tips and Tricks
The wisest tip we can give you is never to chase the multipliers. If you have a 19 against the dealer's upcard of 4, it may be tempting to go for that 15x multiplier on blackjack. However, you should almost always stand in this situation.
Another general piece of advice is to pay attention to your bets and manage your bankroll as best as possible. This is a relatively fast-paced game, and you can quickly lose track of how much you're spending, mainly due to the Lightning Fee effectively doubling your initial bet amount each round.
How to Win at Lightning Blackjack
How to win at blackjack is simple, even when it comes to Lightning Blackjack; you must have a card total higher than the dealer while not going over 21. You'll need to connect a few wins to get the extra juice provided by the Lightning Multipliers, as the multiplier you win is only applied to the next game round. To extend your chances of winning, you should follow the modified strategy discussed earlier.
Lightning Blackjack RTP and House Edge
The official house edge of Lightning Blackjack is 0.44% (first hand only), meaning the RTP is 99.56%. However, this has been disputed, as some experts claim that the house edge goes as high as 17.6%.
How Do Multipliers Work?
Lightning Blackjack multipliers make this game different from any other blackjack variant. Values 4–17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and blackjack are each assigned multipliers after the betting round, and the multipliers can go from 2x to 25x.
The multipliers are not fully random because there are only six multiplier ranges. This ensures that the higher values always have higher multipliers or multipliers equal to the previous value. Here are the six multiplier ranges:
- 2x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, and 6x
- 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, and 8x
- 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 8x, and 12x
- 2x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 10x, and 15x
- 2x, 5x, 6x, 8x, 12x, and 20x
- 2x, 5x, 8x, 12x, 15x, and 25x
Once you win with a hand value that has a given multiplier, the multiplier will only be applied to the initial bet of your potential win in the next round. The multiplier is applied only to the stake and not the Lightning Fee.
Other Live Blackjack Games
If you love playing blackjack, especially live dealer blackjack, we suggest that you try some other awesome games from this category, such as VIP Blackjack, High Stakes Blackjack, Blackjack Party, and more.
We have written comprehensive reviews about these and many other games, so before playing, give them a quick read.
Other Popular Live Dealer Games
Live casino games are the most immersive way to gamble without visiting a land-based casino, so it's no wonder they've enjoyed massive popularity in the last several years. Apart from the blackjack games we discussed, there is an array of other classic games available in the live dealer form, such as live roulette, live baccarat, live craps, live poker, live dealer shows like Monopoly Live and Crazy Time, Cash or Crash, Deal or No Deal and more.
Similarly to Lightning Blackjack, Evolution also have Lightning Roulette, Lightning Dice and Lightning Baccarat in their Lightning series.
Lightning Blackjack FAQ
Where can I play Lightning Blackjack?
You can play live Lightning Blackjack in many regulated casinos, the best of which are listed at the top of this page.
Is Lightning Blackjack rigged?
Lightning Blackjack is produced by Evolution Gaming, a legit and tested live dealer provider with a stellar reputation in the igaming community. This suggests that the game is not rigged and that the outcomes are entirely fair.
How does Lightning Blackjack work?
Lightning Blackjack works like regular blackjack with a few added elements, such as randomly assigned multipliers and a Lightning Fee that equals your bet. There are also no side bets in Lightning Blackjack.