Playtech is widely recognized for delivering some of the most original table games out there and Lucky Blackjack serves as the perfect example to back up this statement with. This time around, the software developers have taken the traditional game of 21 and have turned it on its head.
Lucky Blackjack stands out from other variations released by the supplier in that here the players are betting on the dealer’s hand instead of receiving their own two-card hands as is the case in conventional blackjack.
The game is played with a single deck of 52 cards and the virtual dealer stands on all 17s. The average theoretical return in the game ranges between 96.60% and 85.08%, depending on which dealer total you back with a bet. Let’s take a closer look at this intriguing variation’s rules.
Rules and Gameplay in Lucky Blackjack
This Playtech creation is unique in that players indeed rely solely on luck when it comes to winning a round since no decisions are involved in this game whatsoever. Here you are betting on the outcome of the dealer’s hand and try to guess its final total. Respectively, the layout has seven betting boxes, shaped like hexagons, for each possible dealer outcome you can wager on.
As the virtual dealer must draw to at least 16 and stands on all 17s, the player can only bet on dealer totals of 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, a blackjack, and a bust. The gameplay starts with the player posting their desired amount in chips within the hexagon box containing the dealer outcome they want to back. For instance, you can place one chip on a dealer outcome of 19 and three chips in the BJ hexagon. Any of the two outcomes can earn you a payout.
After you have posted your wagers, the software will deal two cards for the starting hand of the dealer. The dealer flips over their hole card and continues to draw until they either arrive at their standing position with totals 17 through 21 or bust.
You receive a payout if the dealer has obtained a total you have chosen to back. To continue with the above example, you win when the dealer gets either 18 or a blackjack. The amount you have won is immediately added to your available casino balance and this round of play ends. The software then reshuffles the deck and you are ready for the next hand.
Payouts in Lucky Blackjack
As you can probably see, Lucky Blackjack bears a closer semblance to the game of roulette than it does to 21. Everything here is based on luck because there is no decision-making on your behalf and the dealer abides by the fixed rules of the house.
Respectively, the payouts awarded on winning rounds are influenced by the mathematical probability of the dealer reaching a specific total. A dealer bust offers the lowest return of 2 to 1 because the probability of this outcome occurring is significantly high at 28.36%.
A dealer hand of 17 awards a payout of 5 to 1 and has a likelihood of 14.58%. The next best payer is a dealer hand of 18 which returns 6 to 1 and occurs roughly 13.81% of the time. Players can earn a payout of 6 to 1 for dealer totals of 19 which have roughly the same probability as a dealer 18, around 13.48%.
Payouts of 4 to 1 are awarded for a dealer 20 because this outcome has a higher likelihood of occurring at 17.58%. Multi-card totals of 21 result in a payout of 12 to 1 but the probability here drops to 7.37%. Naturally, a dealer blackjack offers the highest returns of 19 units per every unit bet because the likelihood of this happening stands at 4.83%.
House Edge in Lucky Blackjack
Lucky Blackjack is indeed an intriguing game with a nice twist and rules that are simple enough to follow even if you have never played traditional blackjack before. Unfortunately, the game’s unconventional structure and simplicity come at the expense of a higher house edge.
Upon closer examination, it is easy to see the lowest house edge you fight here exceeds 3%. This may not seem like much when compared to some craps bets and American Roulette but is still rather high for a game that otherwise yields a house edge of half a percent or so with optimal play.
Our final verdict is you better leave Lucky Blackjack alone and pick a more standard variation, where you can make your own decisions in accordance with basic strategy and reduce the house edge to a more tolerable percentage.