Everyone sitting at a blackjack table plays his hands against the dealer. It doesn't matter how the other fellow beside you plays blackjack hands, his moves has no direct effect on your moves. On top of all that, the dealer's doesn't even play the hands like any of the players. Part of the play of the hands in blackjack will definitely include the different moves that players can make. Another interesting thing to look at will be the rules that apply to different blackjack tables.
In blackjack, the dealer plays hands a whole lot differently from the way a player does. Blackjack dealers have to follow certain rules regarding how to play the dealer hand. We can say that they are not free to make decisions on their own, the decisions they have to make have already been made for them through the rules they have to follow. To figure out what rules apply to a specific blackjack table all you have to do is to look at the tabletop to find out.
The two most common rules you'll find are: dealer will stand on all seventeen's and dealer will hit on soft seventeen. The more common rule among these two will be that the dealer will stand on all seventeen. This means that the dealer will keep on hitting as long as the total for the dealer hand is less than seventeen. Once a total of 17 is reached then the dealer stands on that total. The other rule where the dealer will have to hit on a soft 17 will mean that if the dealer gets a soft 17 (e.g. Ace and a Six), he still gets to hit. Given this rule, the house edge goes a bit higher.
Players don't play the hands like a dealer. Instead, players make their own choices. Players may hit, stand, double down, split, take insurance, and if allowed, to surrender. Though players get a better legroom when it comes to the play of the hands in blackjack there are still some rules that they have to follow, of course.
It was mentioned that sometimes the option to surrender may be allowed or not in a casino or a particular blackjack table. Some blackjack games will either allow a late surrender or early surrender or neither of the two. Some blackjack tables may even have some restrictions on doubling. For example, sometimes a double after a split may be allowed, while some other blackjack tables will not permit such a move. You'll just have to check the house rules to see what rules apply to a blackjack game.
The play of the hands is different from player to dealer. Different rules govern both how the player plays his hands and rules also cover what moves the players may make.