RideTheEdge
RideTheEdge
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Thanks for this post from:
Mission146Wizard
November 13th, 2021 at 7:09:16 AM permalink
This game seems like a good opportunity for someone with the motivation to exploit it.

Some thoughts:
- This seems to be much higher variance than normal blackjack.
- So, my intuition is that it is very exploitable. It would be very interesting to find out the change in EV per true count. With regular blackjack at about 0.5% per true count, I would not be surprised if this game had a change of 2% per true count. Maybe it's even higher? It's fun to dream.
- There is no penalty for increasing your bets when the count is high, though you only get the multiplier for the amount of your previous bet. So, easy to vary bets. It's probably good camouflage since it appears suboptimal to the casino.
- Although reducing your bet when you have a multiplier active and the count goes negative is costly, there is probably no need to do that since the multiplier is likely to make the next bet positive EV even with the negative count. Wait for a losing hand to reduce your bet or walk away.
- It will take a while for the casino to notice it is getting exploited, especially since this game will have such a huge edge against most players. Playing optimal (at least at first glance) and varying bets will make us look like a lucky fool.
- Memorizing a basic strategy for this game would be comparable to memorizing several basic strategies for regular blackjack.
- A strategy with index numbers based on the multiplier (similar to how a counter uses indices based on the count) might get pretty close.
- Memorizing a single table of index numbers is comparable in difficulty to what a counter does fairly early in their training.
- Memorizing several different basic strategies based on the multipliers seems much easier than learning a bunch of different VP games. I would guess it is similar to getting some proficiency at Ultimate X. I would think it not much different than memorizing different strategies for carnival games based on hole card information.

I should add that I don't play carnival games or video poker, so these observations may be way off base.

I see Mission already made a comment on shoe penetration and countability here: https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/questions-and-answers/advice/36630-evolution-lightning-blackjack/#post830453 Good news/bad news:
- Good: Since there is mention of shoe penetration, it's not played against a CSM (or online a new shuffle each hand) so exploit possible.
- Good: Poor penetration might not matter if the variance is high enough. How often have you had a true count of +2 or +3 early in a shoe?
- Bad: Very simple casino counter measure after all that work/study to exploit the game: use a CSM or (online) shuffle every hand.
Mission146
Mission146
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Thanks for this post from:
RideTheEdge
November 13th, 2021 at 7:38:55 AM permalink
RidetheEdge,

Thanks! Great post and I also theorized about countability in the article that I wrote about the game. As you mentioned, counting would almost certainly add something, though you would need to have a base starting strategy for the game to begin with. The nice thing about counting this is that the count would correlate to normal Blackjack counting due to the multipliers on the highest hand totals simultaneously being the highest (average and in fact) multipliers.

As to this:

Quote: RideTheEdge

- Although reducing your bet when you have a multiplier active and the count goes negative is costly, there is probably no need to do that since the multiplier is likely to make the next bet positive EV even with the negative count. Wait for a losing hand to reduce your bet or walk away.



(Quote clipped, relevance)

The site referenced by both myself and Wizard in our writings would have it that you don't necessarily have to use the multiplier right away, if you stop playing and that it will remain useable for up to 180 days until you decide to play again. Rather than play the next hand, you could simply wait for the count to go back to positive or you could just wait for the start of a new shoe and a neutral count. The neutral count would effectively be advantageous (unless your multiplier is small) because you will already be making a base bet that will be multiplied on a win.

I agree with what you have said about memorizing strategies. Of course, by varying bets with the count, you might not even need multiple strategies, but they would increase your value and opportunities, of course.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
RideTheEdge
RideTheEdge
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November 13th, 2021 at 9:04:38 AM permalink
Mission,

Good point about possibly only needing a single strategy. If it turns out that a single basic strategy has a return of 98.5 or so and the EV per true count is over 2%, then one can get started playing just basic strategy with bet variation. Add indices as you get practice if it ends up worthwhile.

At first glance your intuition that normal blackjack counting would work makes sense to me. I have no insight into how much is lost, if anything, using hi-lo vs. a count optimized for this game.
OnceDear
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OnceDear
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November 13th, 2021 at 11:12:11 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Okay, I've spent the good part of the week on this game. That said, please see my analysis of Lightning Blackjack. Warning, my analysis is based on conventional basic strategy, which is not appropriate for this game. If you do play basic strategy, expect to lose 17.63% of your original bet, on average.

I welcome all comments.
link to original post

I just gave it a try. £100 bankroll flat betting £1 (+£1 lightning fee)
One time while I had the multiplier active, I increased to £2, and it showed me that the multiplier was only applying to £1. So no strategy of raising bet while you have a multiplier.
I tried varying strategy to hit 12, 13, or 14 to try to activate some bigger multipliers. It didn't help.
The bankroll attrition to the lightning fee was relentless. Very quickly I was down to £70. I saw hardly any benefit from the multiplier, on those few times it worked.
I had a couple of back to back winning blackjacks, but they only recovered about £15 of my losses. Then back to losing steadily.
My first inclination is to say No Way is there a strategy that returns 99% I just can see no strategy variation that would increase the usefulness of the Lightning side bet. It's a complete mystery to me.
Card counting would have its work cut out, because penetration is about 50%
So.... I quit when my bankroll fell to £70 and switched to RNG AC blackjack. Won my way up to £101 to give me my 23rd consecutive winning session $;o)
Beware. The earth is NOT flat. Hit and run is not a winning strategy: Pressing into trends IS not a winning strategy: Progressives are not a winning strategy: Don't Buy It! .Don't even take it for free.
Wizard
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Wizard
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November 13th, 2021 at 4:46:02 PM permalink
Quote: OnceDear

If the multipliers are randomised at each round, is it true to say that the optimal strategy will change for every hand. That would make it impossible for a human to play optimal strategy. The 99.56% would be a pipe dream.
link to original post



There should need to be only as many strategies as possible multipliers. Same with Ultimate X Gold.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Wizard
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Wizard
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November 13th, 2021 at 4:49:07 PM permalink
Quote: OnceDear

I just gave it a try. £100 bankroll flat betting £1 (+£1 lightning fee)
link to original post



Did you collect any data on the multipliers?

Quote: RideTheEdge

This game seems like a good opportunity for someone with the motivation to exploit it.
link to original post



Outstanding post. I won't elaborate, lest I get accused of killing the play.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
OnceDear
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OnceDear
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November 14th, 2021 at 1:45:19 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Quote: OnceDear

I just gave it a try. £100 bankroll flat betting £1 (+£1 lightning fee)
link to original post



Did you collect any data on the multipliers?

No, I didn't collect data. I could record a video in spectator mode if it helps.
The bankroll attrition was relentless. I reckon a few months down the road, someone will disprove Evolutions claim of a possible 99.56% RTP. I sure as heck won't be playing it again.
Beware. The earth is NOT flat. Hit and run is not a winning strategy: Pressing into trends IS not a winning strategy: Progressives are not a winning strategy: Don't Buy It! .Don't even take it for free.
Mission146
Mission146
Joined: May 15, 2012
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November 14th, 2021 at 6:39:52 AM permalink
Quote: OnceDear



No, I didn't collect data. I could record a video in spectator mode if it helps.
The bankroll attrition was relentless. I reckon a few months down the road, someone will disprove Evolutions claim of a possible 99.56% RTP. I sure as heck won't be playing it again.
link to original post



You could probably just set it and forget it. How long can you go without making a bet before being booted from the game feed? I've never tried on any of them, so I don't know.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
OnceDear
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OnceDear
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Thanks for this post from:
Mission146
November 14th, 2021 at 6:58:57 AM permalink
Quote: Mission146

Quote: OnceDear



No, I didn't collect data. I could record a video in spectator mode if it helps.
The bankroll attrition was relentless. I reckon a few months down the road, someone will disprove Evolutions claim of a possible 99.56% RTP. I sure as heck won't be playing it again.
link to original post



You could probably just set it and forget it. How long can you go without making a bet before being booted from the game feed? I've never tried on any of them, so I don't know.
link to original post

Some online gaffs boot you out to 'the lobby' after 5 mins or so. But I think my place would let it run 30 mins or more.
Thinking back to RTP claims. If the strategy is significantly different to Basic strategy, then one would be getting a sub optimal RTP on the base part of the game. The more I think about it, the less I buy it. 99.56 in a pigs eye!
Beware. The earth is NOT flat. Hit and run is not a winning strategy: Pressing into trends IS not a winning strategy: Progressives are not a winning strategy: Don't Buy It! .Don't even take it for free.
OnceDear
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OnceDear
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November 14th, 2021 at 8:37:30 AM permalink
Another DIRTY RULE?

I just read the rules again. I see "All Payouts with a multiplier are included in the multiplier. For example, if you have a BlackJack and a multiplier, then only the multiplier will be applied."

To me, that means Blackjack is only being paid 1:1 x the multiplier.That's damned mean if it's true.
So, having wagered $1 (+$1 fee) with a multiplier of 2x coming forward from the previous round, you would only get $1 x 2 + $1 stake =$3. Thats just 50c 'benefit' from the multiplier that cost you a $1 fee to buy.

I do hope someone figures an exploit to whup this evil game!
Beware. The earth is NOT flat. Hit and run is not a winning strategy: Pressing into trends IS not a winning strategy: Progressives are not a winning strategy: Don't Buy It! .Don't even take it for free.

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