Blackjack is a game of numbers, and anyone with a basic sense of mathematics can master it. While Blackjack, or 21 as it is commonly referred to, has one of the lowest house edges found in any casino game, there are a number of strategies one can implement to further decrease the advantage of the casino.
Study the Rules, Know the House Edge
The number one thing to consider before playing any game of Blackjack are the specific rules laid out for that game. Blackjack can be played in a multitude of ways. Some variations may have only the slightest adjustment in the rules, but every differential produces a new house edge, some more advantageous for the player than others.
The number of decks used in a game of blackjack will change the odds of the game. The rule of thumb here is this: The fewer decks used, the lower the house edge becomes. Thus it is important to seek out a game with the lowest amount of decks in play, the best being Single Deck Blackjack.
Also look at the payout structure. Blackjack traditionally pays 3:2 (i.e. $3 for a $2 bet). Modified rules may decrease the payout to 6:5, or as little as 1:1. This does not bode well for the player, increasing the house edge noticeably. Watch out for Single Deck Blackjack games with decreased payouts for Blackjack; it does not work in the player’s favor.
Other common variances are expressed as bonus bets and/or bonus payouts. In Perfect Pairs Blackjack, for example, a player can choose to make a bonus bet, and if he is dealt a perfect pair (such as 7+7), he receives a bonus payout on that bet. The more exact the match, the higher the payout would be; 7h+7s would not pay as much as 7h+7h. Be sure to read the rules fully so that you understand any bonus bets and payouts that may be available. Some of them can be quite beneficial to the player.
Use a Chart
Blackjack strategy charts are very easy to find. The trick is to find one that exactly matches the rules of the game you are playing. Many blackjack strategy sites will let you select all of the differentials from a drop down menu, like number of decks, Blackjack payout, Soft 17, additional bets/bonuses, etc. It then computes the rules and spits out a perfect blackjack strategy for that precise game.
The chart will show exactly what position a player should undertake in every possible situation. The purpose of the chart is to give the player the maximum payout potential, with the least amount of risk, per hand. Using such a strategy is essential to maintaining the lowest possible house edge in Blackjack.