Another short one today (man, it feels good to be lazy!) -
If you like to gamble, odds are (heh heh heh) you'll want to win money rather than lose money. While we all know that the house always has the edge (how do you think they paid for all those fancy casinos?), there are a few things one can do to get the odds as close as possible. The first, and most important, step is to choose a game with a low house advantage. This means you need to stay away from the slot machines and keno parlors, and belly up to the tables - the craps table, the baccarat table, or the blackjack table. Craps is a little more involved than I want to discuss now (perhaps later), but if blackjack is played with proper strategy, one can bring the house edge down to somewhere around 0.2% - 0.7% (better odds with fewer decks). A house edge of 0.5%, for example, means that, on average, for every dollar that a player bets, the house will keep 0.5 cents, and the player will win 99.5 cents. Of course, if you were to actually bet a dollar, either you would lose and the house keep that dollar, or you would win and receive the payout. Lowering the house edge helps you out in the long run.
On to strategy - here is how you should play blackjack:
Thinking about counting cards? That can give you the edge, but it may be a little too involved for the average Joe. Good luck; if you're not especially mathematically inclined, you can passively count cards - as more low cards (2's through 6's) have been played, the deck strengthens for the player - increase your bet size. As more high cards (10's and Aces) have been played, the house gains more of an advantage - decrease your bet size.
And that's that, a quick tutorial on cutting down the house advantage in blackjack. Of course, bet with your head, not over it, and don't let another player ruin your time. I hate listening to so-called blackjack "experts" whine about how some blackjack rookie was hitting when he shouldn't, thus taking all the good cards and ruining the deck. Newsflash: the cards are RANDOM, you don't know what's next any more than I do. I'm making fun of you the whole time you are complaining!