The Collaborative International Dictionary
Vingt et un \Vingt` et` un"\ [F., twenty and one.] A game at cards, played by two or more persons. The fortune of each player depends upon obtaining from the dealer such cards that the sum of their pips, or spots, is twenty-one, or a number near to it; -- also called blackjack, or twenty-one.
Note: There are several variations (such as Caribbean blackjack). In the most common variation played in casinos, there is one dealer who plays for the house, and up to seven players. The players and dealer each receive two cards, the dealer's cards usually being one face up and one face down. The players each in turn decide whether they will request additional cards (``hit''), the objective being to reach a sum of card values as close as possible to twenty-one, without exceeding that number. If, on hitting, the player's total card values exceed 21, he has ``busted'', and lost his bet. Otherwise, the player wins only if his total card values exceed those of the dealer. ``picture cards'' (or ``face cards'', being the jack, queen, and king) are counted as having a value of ten. The ace may count as one or eleven, at the player's option. Other than to hit, there are also other possible actions by the player, such as to ``double down'' (receive only one additional card, while doubling the initial bet), or to ``split'' (if the first two cards have the same value).