Lightning Baccarat - Review and Casinos 2020
Evolution Gaming’s Lightning Baccarat offers chances for players to win much larger payouts than they typically would in a game from this genre thanks to the special lightning card dynamic. You can pick up multipliers on your wins as a result worth up to more than 300,000 times your original bet size, some of the largest possible wins available in any live dealer game.
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An Introduction to Lightning Baccarat
For some players, Baccarat is a bit too slow-paced for what they like, even for table game players. It’s not that the speed of the game is slow since it’s on pace or faster than most other similar titles. Instead, it’s that the best wagers in the game pay 1:1 or less, which leads to a very low volatility and few possibilities for booking major wins in your sessions.
Evolution Gaming’s Lightning Baccarat changes this dynamic by introducing a gameplay mechanic that gives you opportunities to win hundreds or thousands times your bet size.
While we’ll get into the details of these mechanics further below, it’s important to point out that the core of the gameplay is still the same, so you don’t have to worry about learning a whole new set of rules and a completely different gameplay procedure. If you’re a fan of Baccarat, then you’ll be able to jump right in and enjoy your play.
Rules and Winning Payouts
The rules for the Lightning Baccarat live dealer tables aren’t incredibly complicated, but there is a little bit to learn before you can fully understand what’s going on. In what follows, we’ll break down the gameplay procedure, how point totals are calculated and what the payouts look like for different types of wins.
The Gameplay Procedure
The procedure for this game is similar to other forms of Baccarat, but it has its own differences that can throw you off a little when you first play if you aren’t expected it. We’ll give a quick break down of how each hand goes here and then go more detailed as we go along.
- You start by placing a wager on one of five types of bets: player, banker, player pair, banker pair or tie.
- Once your bet is placed, between two and four lightning cards will be chosen and placed in the bottom-left corner of the screen. Each of them will have an associated multiplier listed with them just above the card that ranges from 2x to 8x.
- The player and banker hands are dealt on the table with two cards each. Despite being called the “player hand,” cards aren’t actually dealt to any player. It’s more to just name the position on the table.
- A set of house rules are used to determine if each hand will receive a third card. Those house rules aren’t particularly important since they are tedious and since the player never has to make a decision about them, but they’re available in the rules listing if it’s something you’re interested in.
- Once the hands are dealt, the bets are resolved. The player and banker hands win if each individual hand wins (see point total explanation below), and a tie bet wins if the point totals of the two hands tie. The player and banker pair hands win if the first two cards to the respective hand are of the same rank.
- If you win, you’re paid according to the winning pay table, which can include multipliers from the lightning cards as noted further down.
- After the winning bets are resolved and the losing bets are removed, the process starts over again.
Once you understand this procedure, you can hop into looking at how point totals and winnings are calculated.
Lightning Baccarat Point Totals
The way that hands are scored in this game is fairly straightforward but can be confusing at first if you mistakenly think that it’s the same as blackjack. The game looks a lot like blackjack, so it’s an easy misconception to have.
Here’s a quick overview of how the points work:
- Aces count as one point.
- The cards two through ten count as the number of points shown on the card.
- Jacks, Queens and Kings count as zero points (or ten points, it makes no difference).
What’s important to note is that the score of each hand is based only on the “ones” digit of the total. For example, if you have a total of 17 on the player hand, that scores as a 7 instead of a 17.
The winning hand is that with the highest score, so if the banker hand has 15, but the player hand has 6, the score is actually 5-6 in favor of the player hand.
Payouts and Lightning Cards
There are some new rules added to Lightning Baccarat that you won’t find in other variations of the game, and these have to do with the Lightning Cards and how they affect the payouts. We’re going to break up wagers into two groups here to show how the payouts are affected.
Player and Banker Bets
The base payouts for the player and banker wagers are the same as standard blackjack provided that there are no lightning cards involved.
- Player Hand Payout – Even money, 1:1
- Banker Hand Payout – 5 percent commission, 19:20
This happens because the banker hand actually has a better chance of winning than the player hand because of the rules on how each side can get another card.
From there, if you have a Lightning Card in a winning hand for either of these bets, then you’ll get the associated multiplier applied to your win. In essence, you’ll simply multiply your bet by the value shown above the given Lightning Card in the bottom-left corner of the screen to the left of where your bets are shown for the hand.
You can also get two Lightning Cards to make up the same hand, and if you do that, then things get pretty crazy because those two multipliers are multiplied by each other to give your total multiplier for the win. If you have two Lightning Cards in a winning player hand, for example, and they had multipliers of 5x and 8x, then your total multiplier on your win would be a very strong 40x.
Pair and Tie Bets
Without any Lighting Cards involved, the pair bet for either hand (player hand pair or banker hand pair) will pay 11:1. However, if you do get at least one Lightning Card in that hand, then instead of the multiplier being multiplied by 11, it’ll be multiplied by 9 instead. With a 5x multiplier, for example, your win won’t be 55x, but it’ll be 45x instead.
With the tie bet, things are a little more complicated because four total cards are involved. That means you can get up to four Lightning Cards that are all multiplied together, which leads to a few things you need to know.
- A tie win with no Lightning Cards pays at 9:1.
- A tie win with Lightning Cards multiplies your total multiplier by 5:1 instead of 9:1.
- Wins worth up to more than 300,000 times your bet are available on the tie bet as a result.
- This makes the tie bet much more viable than in other forms of the game.
- The most you can win on a single hand in this game is €500,000, and any wins on a single hand in excess of that will not be awarded.
That makes the tie wager more interesting than the trap bet that it usually is, and the same kind of thing happens with the pair wagers to different extents.
Strategy in Lightning Baccarat
The overall best strategy here is to take your pick between the player and banker bets while generally leaving the pair and tie bets alone. While the volatility is lower on these two wagers, they have a higher payout rate than the tie or pair.
However, if you really want chances for a real life-changing sum of money, then the tie bet can scratch that itch, which is something that you don’t always find in a table game, particularly without some kind of progressive tied in.
The pair bet is pretty useless, however. It doesn’t have the higher chances of winning huge payouts like the tie bet, but it has a higher house edge than the banker or pair bets, so it’s not a particularly good wager either way.
It’s easy to understand why a lot of players consider Evolution Gaming’s Lightning Baccarat live game to be the best live dealer Baccarat game running online. The Lightning Card game mechanic adds a lot of action and makes the tie bet more viable than we’ve ever seen it before.