Nanolayer black phosphorus (BP) is a direct bandgap semiconducting two dimensional crystal, showing immense promise for future nanoelectronic devices. Here, we report the effect of high-k dielectric and ionic-liquid gate in BP field effect transistors (BP FET). An ambipolar behavior is observed in pristine BP FETs with current modulation of 104. With a high-k HfO2 encapsulation, we observed identical switching performance in the BP FETs, however, with noticeable enhancement in mobility at room temperature. In comparison to the pristine device, the HfO2 encapsulation showed a contrasting decrease in mobility at lower temperatures. BP FETs with electric double layer ionic liquid gate showed a drastic improvement in the subthreshold swing (SS) to 173 mV/dec and operation voltages less than 0.5 V in comparison to solid state SiO2 back gated devices. Our results elucidate the effect of different electrostatic conditions on BP transistor channels and open up ways for further exploration of their prospects for nanoelectronic devices and circuits.