Stanford Wong

Stanford Wong

Stanford Wong (born 1943) is a pseudonym for John Ferguson, a gambling author who is best known for his book "Professional Blackjack", which was first published in 1975 and is still in print. Wong's computer program "Blackjack Analyzer", initially created for personal use, was one of the first commercially available blackjack odds analyzing software. Wong has appeared on TV multiple times as a blackjack tournament contestant or as a gambling expert. He has his own publishing house, Pi Yee Press.


Wong began playing blackjack in 1976 while teaching finance courses at San Francisco State and getting his Ph.D in Finance from Stanford University in California. Not content with the teaching life, Wong agreed to be paid a salary of $1 for his last term of teaching at the school in order to not attend faculty meetings and to pursue his gambling career.

The term "wong" (v.) or "wonging" has come to mean a specific advantage technique in blackjack, which Wong made popular in the 1980s. It involves watching the play of cards in a game without actually wagering your own money, until the count becomes advantageous, and then stepping in and playing only while the count remains in the player's favor, and then stepping out again. "Wonging" is the reason that some casinos have signs on some blackjack tables saying, "No Mid-Shoe Entry," meaning that the players cannot start playing in the middle of the round.

He has reviewed or acted as a consultant for blackjack writers and researchers, including Don Schlesinger and Ian Andersen.

Wong is one of twelve members of the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

"Current Blackjack News"

In 1979, Wong began publishing monthly newsletters on the subject of blackjack. ["Basic Blackjack", p. 4] These grew into one of the major journals for professional blackjack players, Wong's "Current Blackjack News", ranking with Arnold Snyder's "Blackjack Forum". As of 2007, Wong's newsletter is published via Wong's official website.

The journal contains information about rules and conditions of blackjack games in casinos in the United States and some other countries.


Wong also wrote "Wong on Dice" which purports to show how the game of casino craps can be beaten through controlled dice throwing. Many blackjack experts are skeptical of Wong's craps claims and this is hotly disputed item -- unlike card counting in blackjack, which can be mathematically proven. Wong himself was initially skeptical of the proposition that dice can be controlled in craps.


The name "Stanford Wong" is a pseudonym. His first choice for a pen name was "Nevada Smith," but that name had been taken. "Stanford Wong" was selected by a friend in the PhD program by taking his alma mater as his first name and an Asian last name to provide the "mystique of the Orient". Wong's birth name is John Ferguson.

Wong resides in La Jolla, California with his wife. They have two grown children who are both college graduates and married. Wong's company Pi Yee Press is now based in Las Vegas. [cite web|url=|title=Stanford Wong Biography|]


* "Professional Blackjack"
* "Professional Video Poker"
* "Wong on Dice" (2006). Pi Yee Press [ (pdf)] . ISBN 0-935926-26-7
* "Blackjack Secrets"
* "Basic Blackjack" (1992). Pi Yee Press, ISBN 0-935926-19-4
* "Tournament Blackjack"
* "Tournament Craps"
* "Complete Idiot's Guide to Managing your T"
* "Optimal Strategy for Pai Gow Poker"
* "Vegas Downtown Blackjack"
* "Sharp Sports Betting"
* "Casino Tournament Strategy"
* "Betting Cheap Claimers"
* "Winning Without Counting"
* "Complete Idiot's Guide to Gambling Like a Pro"




External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Stanford Wong's Sharp Sports Betting]
* [ Blackjack Hero profile]
* [ Las Vegas Mercury article]
* [ American Casino Guide profile]

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