The objective of blackjack is to get a hand value that is closer to 21 than the dealerís hand value but without the hand value exceeding 21. When a hand value exceeds 21 it is known as "bust" in blackjack parlance.
The blackjack game commences with the players placing their bets. Then the dealer dealing two cards face up to each player and two to himself, of which only one is face up. In some blackjack casinos the playersí cards are dealt face down so that the players cannot see the cards of other players. Each player has to decide if he wants to "hit" or "stand". To hit means to ask for another card and to stand means to be satisfied with the cards he is holding. The player can keep on hitting till he busts. He then loses his wager and the blackjack game ends for him. If the player decides to stand then as per blackjack rules it is the dealerís turn to take additional cards. The dealer does not make in decisions in blackjack. He continues taking cards till he reaches a hand value of 17 or more. If he busts in the process then the players who have not bust win. If the blackjack dealer does not bust then the blackjack rules require that the hand values be compared. The players whose hand values are greater than the dealerís win the blackjack deal. The players whose hand values are less than the dealerís lose the blackjack deal. If the hand values are the same the blackjack deal is tied. The wins are paid out at 1:1. In cases of the player losing he forfeits his wager and in case the deal is tied the wager is returned to the player.
If the player wins with a "blackjack" he is paid out at 3:2. A blackjack is a special two-card hand with once card being an ace and the other card being a ten or a picture card. The ace is valued at 11 therefore the hand has a value of 21, which is the highest possible value.
Apart from hit and stand the blackjack rules give the player two other options. One is "double down". After the player sees his two cards and the dealers face up card he has the option to double his stakes. If he fancies his chances of winning he places another wager identical to his earlier one and then the blackjack deal proceeds as before. The other option is "split". If the playerís two cards of identical denominations then he can place an additional bet equal to his earlier one and play the blackjack deal as two independent hands.