In playing blackjack, or twenty-one, the object is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. If a player goes over 21, he automatically loses. If he is under 21 and the dealer is over, the player wins and the dealer loses.
Going over 21 is called going broke. If the player and dealer both have the same count, it is called a push and neither wins or loses.
If the player receives 21 with two cards, he has a blackjack, and the dealer pays one and one-half times the amount bet. If the dealer has a blackjack, he will collect all bets before he hits the players.
However, there are two exceptions when the dealer does not collect a bet: when a player takes insurance; and when a player also has a blackjack, in which case it is a push. When the player has a blackjack, he immediately turns his cards face up.
The player may stand or draw on any number. Drawing is called hitting and the player hits by scratching the table with the cards.
The player will always hit or take action on a hand less than 12, but it is sometimes wise to stand on 12 or over. A 12, 13, 14, 15, or 16 is called a stiff.
The stiff plays the most important role in scientific blackjack since the frequency requires the player to make almost constant decisions concerning them.
After the player has all the cards he wishes, the correct procedure is to place the corner of the cards under the wager.
If the player foes broke, his cards are turned face up. When all of the players are through hitting, the dealer then turns his hole card face up and hits his hand until he reaches 17 or over. I
n some casinos, the dealer must hit on soft 17 and in some casinos, he must stand on it.
A soft 17 is an ace and six, or any number of cards which add up to seven with an ace as one of the cards. Any hand not counting an ace is 11 is called a hard hand. In Reno, Carson City, Lake Tahoe, and downtown Las Vegas, Strip hotels have rule requiring the dealer to stand.
The rules are usually written on the table. It is to the advantage of the player for the dealer to stand on a soft 17.
Blackjack can be played with simple terms, but one must know the rules well enough in order for him to keep up.