17 Feb

Evolution’s Live Speed Blackjack Rules

How to play Speed Blackjack Live, Evolution’s ultra-fast live dealer 21 where quickness determines order of play.

How to Play Speed Blackjack LiveSpeed Blackjack is a new live dealer 21 game from the award-winning minds of Evolution Gaming. It takes a few concepts from the most successful blackjack variants of all time, and tosses in a mind-blowing modification that changes everything. Unlike every game before it, the seating arrangement means absolutely nothing. The quickest player to make a decision is the first to play.

Evolution debuted this new title at the 2020 ICE Totally Gaming expo in London, where it received boisterous applause from those lucky enough to experience it first hand. Its creators are heralding it as “the fastest blackjack game yet, with no waiting for other players”. According to reports, Live Speed Blackjack runs approximately 30% faster than Evolution’s other live dealer blackjack games.

How to Play Speed Blackjack Live

There’s nothing much out of the ordinary in the rules of Speed Blackjack, aside from one thing. There is a unique rule that alters the standard position of first to act. It gives priority to the player who is the quickest to choose how to play their hand, as opposed to the one in the first seating position.

For example, if the player in seat 3 chooses to take a card by Hit, Double, or Split before anyone else, the dealer will respond, playing their hand first. Play continues in this fashion – first come, first serve – until all hands are finalized, either by Stand or Bust.

The base game rules are as follows, worthy of an RTP of 99.29% (house edge 0.71%) with basic strategy applied:

Specific Rules of Play

  • Decks: 8
  • Soft 17: Dealer Stands
  • Doubling: Yes, on any first 2 cards
  • Splitting: Yes, only once
  • Double after Split: No
  • Resplit Aces: No
  • Draw to Split Aces: No
  • Surrender: No
  • Dealer Checks for Blackjack: Yes
  • Blackjack Pays: 3 to 2

Live Speed Blackjack Side Bets

This game comes with two optional side bets, 21+3 and Perfect Pairs; both common among Evolution’s live dealer blackjack suite. Their hand requirements and pay tables are listed below.

Perfect Pairs

Perfect Pairs is an optional side bet that is determined by the first two cards dealt to the player’s initial hand (i.e. not after splitting), and will win or lose irrespective of the results of the base game hand. If the cards are a pair, the bet wins. If the pair is the same color, or same suit, the payout increases.

Player’s Hand is… Payout
Perfect Pairs (Same Suits) 25:1
Colored Pair (Same Color Suits) 12:1
Mixed Pair (One Black, One Red) 6:1
House Edge 4.10%

21+3

This is another optional side bet that is based on the combination of the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s face-up card. Much like a game of 3-card poker, if these cards combine to achieve a high enough hand, the bet wins, irrespective of base game results.

Player’s First 2 Cards + Dealer’s Up-Card… Payout
Suited 3 of a Kind 100:1
Straight Flush 40:1
3 of a Kind 30:1
Straight 10:1
Flush 5:1
House Edge 3.70%

Strategy for Speed Blackjack

The strategy for this game is similar to any other, wherein players can achieve the optimal RTP by making only decisions that beget the highest probability of winning. In this case, following basic strategy will grant an RTP of 99.29%.

The following charts detail correct play for Hard Hand totals, Soft Hand totals, and Paired Hands. Use the appropriate chart for your hand, scroll down to your hand total on the left, then choose the corresponding action from the right column, based on the dealer’s up-card.

How to Decide a Player’s Hard Hand

A hard hand is one with a stable total that does not include an 11-point Ace.

Hard Total Correction action based on Dealer’s Up-Card
4-8 Hit
9 Double against 3-6, otherwise Hit
10 Double against 2-9, otherwise Hit
11 Double against 2-10, otherwise Hit
12 Stand against 4-6, otherwise Hit
13-16 Stand against 2-6, otherwise Hit
17-21 Stand

How to Decide a Player’s Soft Hand

A soft hand is one with a flexible total that includes an 11-point Ace.

Soft Total Correction action based on Dealer’s Up-Card
13-14 Double against 5-6, otherwise Hit
15-16 Double against 4-6, otherwise Hit
17 Double against 3-6, otherwise Hit
18 Double against 3-6, Hit on 9-A, otherwise Stand
19-21 Stand

How to Decide a Player’s Paired Hand

Knowing how to play Speed Blackjack Live when dealt a pair to start is imperative to achieving an optimal RTP. However, by the game’s rules, you can only split once per hand. If this charts directs you to split, but you cannot do so, please refer to the above charts for the correct action.

Pairs Correction action based on Dealer’s Up-Card
2-2 Split against 4-7, otherwise Hit
3-3 Split against 4-7, otherwise Hit
4-4 Hit
5-5 Double against 2-9, otherwise Hit
6-6 Split against 3-6, otherwise Hit
7-7 Split against 2-7, otherwise Hit
8-8 Split
9-9 Split against 2-6 or 8-9, otherwise Stand
10-10 Stand
A-A Split

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