What you want to do here, my friend, is beat the dealer’s total without going over 21 .
Blackjack is often called 21, however, the object of the game is not to get as close to 21 as possible, the object of the game is to beat the dealer! True, you go over 21 you lose, and you want to avoid that, but the real task here is to beat that dealer! Whenever this game is played, it is not a group game.
You are playing against the dealer, one player at a time. Sure, there might be many players around the table, but the dealer only plays with one player at a time. Scoring your hand is simple. Numbered cards are worth their number.
Face cards are each worth 10. Aces are worth either 1, in which case they are called “hard” ;, or 11 in which case they are called “soft” . That’s right, the ace can have two values, depending on which is most suitable. The ace can initially be worth 11, then, in the same hand convert to a 1 to avoid going over 21!
What you don’t want to do is “bust” , that’s when you go over 21. What you do want is your total to be less than or equal to 21, and the dealer’s total to be less than yours or over 21, then you win.
If nobody “busts”, then the higher total wins. In the event of a tie, no one wins and no one loses. A tie is called a “push” . Watch out though, some houses play that the house wins a push. This definitely increases their odds!
The game starts with you placing a bet. After everyone bets, the dealer deals two cards to each player and one to himself. Next, to make things a little more interesting, the dealer gives himself a second card face down. This is called the “hole card” .
Now you gotta show your guts! Do you take another card, and say “hit me” , or do you stick with what you got and pass to the dealer by saying “stand” or “stay” ( “stand” and “stay” mean the same thing). If you say “hit me” , the dealer will deal you another card and again ask if you want to hit or stand. Your play, of course depends on the total point score of your hand. Remember, you want to beat the dealer and not “bust” .
If you say “stand” , or “stay” , play is passed to another player or the dealer, whoever is next. The dealer must always continue taking cards until his total is 17 or more.
Like many card games, there are variations from place to place. Here are some different versions you may encounter from casino to casino.