Blackjack Legends: Stanford Wong

John Ferguson, who is better known by his pen name Stanford Wong, has become legendary throughout the blackjack world for writing some game-changing blackjack books. In addition to this, he’s also created computer programs and techniques that have furthered blackjack strategy to a great degree. This being said, Stanford Wong is definitely a man worth looking at a little closer.

From the Classroom to the Felt

Like many other blackjack greats, Wong was a very smart man who earned a Ph.D from Stanford University, and taught classes there as well. While in the middle of both of these activities, he was also playing casino blackjack. Eventually, Wong got good enough to become a professional player through his card counting exploits. It’s during this time that he picked up the tips and techniques to write his legendary book Professional Blackjack.

After being printed in 1975, Professional Blackjack quickly became a success, and helped Wong achieve a great deal of respect within the blackjack community. Four years later, he started publishing a monthly newsletter called Current Blackjack News, which discussed the blackjack rules and happenings at various casinos around the world. Just like his book, Current Blackjack News became highly popular among players, and is still in print today at his website, BJ21.

Other Stanford Wong Works

Ferguson’s impressive blackjack resume also includes developing a computer program for blackjack. The program was called “Blackjack Analyzer,” and it came at a time when few blackjack odds calculators were available to the average person. This software was particularly helpful to beginning blackjack players who were sketchy on how the math behind the game worked.

Another important chapter of Stanford Wong’s career includes the technique that’s named after him – “Wonging.” Basically, Wonging involves counting cards at a blackjack table while not actually playing in the game; once the count becomes favorable, you take a seat and start betting big. Because of this practice, many casinos don’t allow players to jump into a game mid-shoe.

One last thing worth discussing with regards to Wong is how he wrote several other famous books besides Professional Blackjack. Some of these works include Blackjack Secrets, Basic Blackjack, Tournament Blackjack, Winning Without Counting, Downtown Vegas Blackjack, Professional Video Poker, Wong on Dice, Sharp Sports Betting and Optimal Strategy for Pai Gow Poker. As you can see, Stanford Wong was not only an expert in blackjack, but also in various other casino games too.



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