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Stanford Wong

John Ferguson, who is better known by his pseudonym of Stanford Wong, is a gambling author and software developers who owns his own publishing house.  Although he is best known for being the author of the 1975 book entitled Professional Blackjack, he has written numerous other gambling-related books as well.  These include:

  • Basic Blackjack
  • Betting Cheap Claimers
  • Blackjack Secrets
  • Casino Tournament Strategy
  • Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gambling Like a Pro

Wong also developed one of the first blackjack odds analyzing software programs, which was named simply “Blackjack Analyzer” and he has participated in numerous blackjack tournaments.  He has also been on television on numerous occasions in interviews as a gambling expert.

Wong initially became fascinated with the game of blackjack while teaching a finance course at San Francisco State University while also working toward his Ph.D in Finance.  Bored with teaching and more interested in pursuing a gambling career, he actually agreed to a $1 salary for his last teaching term so he could skip out on faculty meetings and pursue his gambling career instead.

By 1979, Wong was publishing monthly blackjack newsletters, which ultimately grew into the professional blackjack player’s journal entitled Current Blackjack News.  In this journal, players could find information about blackjack casinos around the world.   The journal is still published on the 3rd of each month and is available through Wong’s professional website.

Wong began to make a true name for himself in the 1980s when he began watching the play of cards without wagering and jumping in only when the count became favorable for the player.  This practice soon became known as “wonging” and is the reason why many casinos will not permit mid-shoe entry at their tables.

Wong was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2002, but it is not the only game he has contributed his expertise to.  In his book Wong on Dice, he also discusses the proper dice throwing form to win at the game of craps.

Currently, Wong lives in La Jolla, California with his wife.  His publishing company, Pi Yee Press, is based in Las Vegas.
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