At its most basic level, blackjack resembles other card games, as it is a comparison game — for the most part, an “I'll show you mine if you show me yours” kind of deal. However, unlike other card games, such as poker, where you compare your hand to other players', in blackjack you only compare your hand to what the dealer holds. There might be other people sitting at the table and playing blackjack when you are, but you are not playing against them. You are only playing against the dealer.
The goal in blackjack is simple. You want to beat the dealer in one of three ways, by:
Accumulating a hand of cards that is better than the point total, or score, that the dealer has, without going over 21 points.
Holding a hand with 21 points or fewer if the dealer goes over 21 points.
Getting a natural 21, or blackjack. This is a hand with an ace and a 10-value card.
That's pretty much all there is to it. Depending on where you are playing, you might find slight variations in the rules of the game, but the objective will be the same.
If you're thinking blackjack looks like a pretty simple game, you're right. At its basic level, blackjack is amazingly easy to play. You can sit at a blackjack table and play a few hands without knowing much about it at all. If you are a real newbie, the dealer might even help you along by asking you if you're sure about making certain plays. And if you are lucky enough, you might even come away a winner. But luck only goes so far in blackjack. If you want to protect your investment, there are better ways to approach the game.