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Lucky Lucky Blackjack

Everyone needs a little luck at the casino, and many people rely on a bit (or more) of superstition in order to get fortune on their side. Whether that means a special routine, a lucky friend, or some other charm, it’s only natural to feel a little more confident when you have a special something making you feel as though nothing can go wrong.

Luck is a major theme in Lucky Lucky Blackjack, an online casino game developed by NYX Gaming. Of course, you’ll need a mix of good fortune and skillful play to come out on top in this game, as understanding strategy has always been an important part of any version of blackjack. But you’ll also have the opportunity to take a chance on the “Lucky Lucky” side bet, one that will pay off handsomely if you can emulate the old three-reel slot machines and match three sevens across the board.

How to Play

If you’re a veteran blackjack player, then the rules of this game will come as second nature to you. But if you’re relatively new to this casino favorite, then we’ll guide you through how to play Lucky Lucky Blackjack, including the specific rules used in this variant of the game – one that uses a mix of player-friendly rules and a few that are better for the house.

Blackjack is a game in which cards are dealt out of a shoe of six decks of standard playing cards. The object for the player is to beat the dealer by making a hand that is closer to a value of 21 points than the dealer without going over that number.

This version offers you the opportunity to play up to three hands at once. At the start of each round, you may make bets on up to three different betting spots. Optionally, you may also make a side bet on any hand that you are playing. We’ll talk more about this side bet in a later section, as it is entirely voluntary: you can play this game for any stakes you like with no obligation to take this secondary wager.

Each hand you play will be dealt two cards face up, while the dealer’s hand will get one card face up and one face down (the “hole card”). Every card has a value that adds to the score of your hand. Numbered cards are worth their printed value, while face cards are worth ten. Aces are normally worth 11, but can also be worth one point if they would otherwise take a player over the magic total of 21.

The best possible starting hand – an ace and a ten-point card, worth 21 points – is called a blackjack, making it the game’s namesake. This hand will win against any dealer hand, other than a blackjack of their own, in which case the result is a push. If the dealer has an ace or ten showing, they will check for blackjack to see if the hand should end immediately; if the up card is an ace, they will also offer insurance to the player hands. This bet costs half as much as the wager on the hand; if the dealer does end up having a blackjack, then it will pay out at 2-1.

Assuming there are no blackjacks, the player will then have the chance to improve each of their hands, if they wish to do so. There are four different actions that can be taken while playing, though some are only available in limited situations. Here’s a breakdown of what you could do during play:

  • Stand: If you’re satisfied with your hand, you can stand – a move that means you’ll take no further cards and stick with what you have so far.
  • Hit: If you want a new card, you can choose to hit. The dealer will give you one more card, after which you can make another decision to hit or stand.
  • Double Down: If you’re confident in your ability to win a hand, you can double down by placing a second bet equal to your initial wager. In this case, you’ll be given one more card, after which you must stand on whatever total you have. This option is only available on your initial two card hand; in addition, this version of the game only allows you to double down on a total of 9, 10, or 11.
  • Split: If you have two cards of the same rank – such as two jacks or two sevens – you may start your action by splitting them into two separate hands. Each of these hands will be dealt a second card, and each will be played independently for a full bet. In this game, no further splits are allowed after this initial split; however, you may fully play out both hands, even if you have split aces.

There are two ways in which your action might end. First, if you stand on any total, the action will move to the next player. Secondly, making a total of 22 or more will cause your hand to bust. When this happens, you lose immediately: all bets on that hand are lost. The game will automatically stand for you if you have a total of 21, but all other decisions are entirely up to you.

Once all player hands have either stood or busted, it’s the dealer’s turn to act. First, the dealer will reveal its face down card. Then, they will play out their hand based on a very simple set of rules. If the dealer has 16 or less, they will always hit; if the dealer has 17 or more, they will always stand.

If the dealer busts, all remaining player hands automatically win. If the dealer stands, players that have a higher score than the dealer win, while those with a lower score lose (ties are resolved as pushes). All player wins earn even money, with the exception of blackjacks, which pay out at 3-2 odds.

At this point, you’ll have the opportunity to make your bets for the next hand. This version even offers up a couple of handy buttons: rebet, if you want to repeat your wagers exactly, or 2x rebet, if you’d like to double your previous bets. Note that the cards that were used in the last hand will be reshuffled into the shoe each time, meaning you are always playing out of a “fresh” shoe each round.

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Lucky Lucky Blackjack

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Feeling Lucky?

Then there is that Lucky Lucky side bet that is available on every hand. Unlike the main action, there’s no skill involved here: the result of each bet is entirely decided by the mix of your two cards and the dealer’s up card. Certain combinations will earn you money, while all others lose on the spot.

The best thing you can see is a whole lot of sevens, especially if they are of the same suit. However, any total (between the three cards) of 19 to 21 will earn you at least a small prize. In addition, all prizes are larger if all three cards share the same suit. Here’s the breakdown of what you can expect to win on this wager:

  • Total of 19 or 20: 2-1
  • Total of 21: 3-1
  • Total of 21, All Cards Suited: 15-1
  • 6-7-8: 25-1
  • 7-7-7: 50-1
  • 6-7-8, All Cards Suited: 100-1
  • 7-7-7, All Cards Suited: 200-1

Playing the Percentages

Overall, this version of blackjack is a pretty good one for players. The mix of positive and negative rules works out to a house edge of just 0.37%, and that’s hard to beat at most casinos.

Of course, this is a game of strategy, so you won’t get those excellent odds just by showing up and playing at random. Instead, you’ll want to use what’s known as “basic strategy,” making the correct plays for every possible situation you might find yourself in. Thankfully, there is no requirement to memorize any of this, as charts that fully detail these strategies are widely available on the Internet.

In addition, we can give you an even quicker, simple guide to use if you just want a strategy that will help you avoid big mistakes without getting too complex. Here’s a quick set of guidelines you can use, based on a strategy developed by Michael Shackleford:

  • For this strategy, note that hands are considered “hard” unless they have an ace that still counts as 11 points, in which case they are “soft.”
  • You should never take insurance when offered by the dealer.

Hard Hands

  • Double down with 9 against a dealer showing 3-6. Double down with a 10 or 11 if you have a larger total than the dealer.
  • Hit with any other total of 11 or less.
  • Stand with any total of 17 or more.
  • With totals of 12-16, hit against a dealer 2-6, and stand against a dealer 7 or higher.

Soft Hands

  • Hit with a total of 18 or less.
  • Stand with a total of 19 or more.

Splitting

  • Always split pairs of eights or aces.
  • Never split fours, fives, or tens.
  • For other pairs, split if the dealer is showing a 2-6, but do not split against a 7 or higher.

This strategy should keep you within a couple tenths of a percent of the optimal theoretical returns. By the way, if you’re curious about the side bet, Lucky Lucky comes with a house edge of about 5.86%. That’s hardly outrageous in the world of casino bonus bets, but it’s not great, either; even if you enjoy this option, you should probably either play it for much less than your blackjack wagers, or just once in a while for a change of pace.

A Visually Appealing and Fun Variant

Lucky Lucky Blackjack stands on its own as a fairly good version of blackjack, but there are a few added touches that we’d like to point out. The game is a joy to interact with, thanks to a visually attractive and easy to navigate interface that is simultaneously slick but easy to use. The action could be a bit faster, but that’s hardly a major issue, and there are a few ways to speed things up: for instance, there is an option to turn off insurance offers if you never plan to take them (as we recommend), and a button allows you to speed up payments at the end of each round. There are also some excellent dealer voice effects, which you can turn off if you start to find them annoying.

Overall, the combination of great presentation and excellent odds make this one of the better online blackjack games we’ve played in a while. If you’ve been looking for a new Internet version of 21 to play, then Lucky Lucky Blackjack is well worth a try.

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