The idea of using systems (any systematic approach that attempts to bring
the house edge down to a point where you are playing an even game, or
have gained a consistent advantage) in blackjack is inherently appealing
because of the fact that blackjack is a game of skill. In a game of skill
the house edge is a variable, which changes with your playing ability.
Mathematics still play a large role of course, as there are limits on
how much that house edge can move. Playing conditions contribute to how
close you can get to a fair game. Blackjack systems can alter our play
to be as perfect as possible, and take advantage of any weaknesses in
the playing conditions. A blackjack
strategy on the other hand works within the playing conditions and
only changes your playing method. The aspects of the playing conditions
that set the tone of the game are the number of decks being used, how
far those decks are dealt into before being reshuffled, the exact rules
the dealer plays with, and one or two rules that apply to the player.
The most famous of all blackjack systems, card
counting, is a very effective method for gaining an advantage over
the casino, but requires just the right table to play at. It's easier
to count cards if you have fewer decks, absentminded dealers, and a desirable
set of dealer/player rules. To learn the basics of card counting systems
and count for yourself, read up!
The majority of gambling systems can be dismissed out of hand as fraudulent.
Many games in the casino have an incontrovertible, unchangeable house
edge. It matters little what approach, systematic or not, that is taken
to the game, the results will be the same over the long run. It's important
to distinguish between the long run and the short run in any gambling
arena, and when evaluating blackjack systems, or any system for that matter.
A system should give you an advantage over the long run, which is reflected
in more short term wins than losses, but don't think you can win every