Blackjack originated in France in the 1700s where it was called vingt-et-un or twenty one. In blackjack, you do not play against other hands but the dealer across the table and the hand with the highest total emerges a winner so long as he doesn't exceed 21. Picture cards such as King, Queen and Jack are valued at 10 points each, with an ace at either 1 or 11 depending upon the hand and other cards taken at their numerical face values. The player with a total over 21 loses or busts. If both the dealer and the hand have the same total it is a push where neither of them wins, resulting in a draw.
The dealer has to follow a strict set of rules in blackjack where he has to pick another card if his total is less than 16 and must stand if he totals 17 or more. The dealer deals everybody at the table including himself two cards each, one of which the dealer's cards is face up while the other is face down. A hand of two-card amounting to 21 (a card with face value of 10 and an ace) is a 'blackjack' and subsequently declared the winner. Since, rules clearly state the dealer has to hit if his total is less than 16 and stand if he totals 17, any hand with a value of 17 points or more should never be hit.
Always pick a card that reads lesser when the dealer has a face value of 8 and above. The cards valued at 8 points till ace have lesser possibility of busting him and hence a hit on any hand less than 17 points is strongly recommended. The dealer has greater chances of busting when he shows cards that have a face value of 4, 5, or 6 so any hand with more than 11 points should be stood. Hitting anything lower than 12 and standing on hands above 16 points also ensures that you stay in the game much longer.
Doubling is something that can strengthen your position in the game and a player usually calls for it when he is sure he can have the upper hand over the dealer by doing so. Doubling should generally be done on a hand total of 8 and on a 10 if the dealer has card values between 2 to 9. The dealer has a higher bust percentage against face up cards 4, 5, and 6. Splitting in blackjack is applicable when both cards have the same value. It doubles the wager and two hands can be played at the same time. It is advisable to always split 7's, 8's and aces against a dealer's up card of the same or lesser value. If the dealer has an up card value of 4, 5 or 6 then your 2's and 3's must be split but a player should never split their own value cards of 4, 5, and 10.