Some players call the game blackjack and some call it twenty-one.
No matter what you call it, the object of the game was best described in the title of Edward O Thorp's 1963 best selling book that started the blackjack revolution.
The title of the book and the objective of the game is Beat the Dealer!
Blackjack is played with one, two, four, six or eight decks of cards.
Some casino are also using continuous shuffling machine. A hand that does not have an ace is referred to as a Hard Hand because it has only one value.
In single and double deck games the dealer holds the cards and deals them out. A hand that contains an ace is referred to as a Soft Hand because the value can change. If you then draw a ten you now have a hard 14 because if you count the ace as 11 you would have 25, which would bust you.
In multi-deck games the cards are dealt out of a tray like box that is called a shoe. If you draw to a soft hand and the three cards total a number where counting an ace as eleven puts you over 21 then the hand becomes a hard hand. Blackjack is dealt on a special table that is shaped as a semi-circle.
The casinos are stating to look at continuous shufflers that are a shoe that shuffle as well as hold the cards. If the player busts he loses regardless if the dealer busts or not. Cards 2 - 10 are counted at face value without regards to their suit. There is a separate circle or square for each player.
In hand held games the cards are dealt face down and the player is allowed to pick up his cards. If your cards total higher than the dealer's cards without going over 21 you win. If your hand or the dealer's hand goes over 21 you "Bust." If you bust you automatically lose. When you sit down you must buy chips from the dealer or bring them from another table.
In a shoe game the cards are dealt face up to the player and you are not allowed to touch your cards. The player puts his bet in the betting circle if front of his space.
Only chips put in the betting circle count as your bet. For this example we will assume you are playing a multi-deck game and the cards are being dealt from a shoe. The dealer receives one card face up and one card face down known as the hole card. The position of the last person to act is called third base.
After the cards are dealt the dealer will ask each player in turn to make their decision. You will make your decision about how to play your hand based on the dealer's up card and the two cards that you were dealt.