Stanford Wong

Stanford Wong used the name John Ferguson as his pen name.

John Ferguson was born in 1943 and is an author on gambling. He is renowned for authoring Professional Blackjack that was published in 1978 and is still running in print. He initially created a computer program titled "Blackjack Analyzer for his own personal use. It became the first blackjack odds analyzing software to be available commercially.

He has also appeared a number of times as a gambling expert or a blackjack contestant. He owns the publishing house Pi Yee Press. He is also a member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

Blackjack career:

At the age of twelve, he became interested in blackjack. He used an office calculator to figure out the expectations of blackjack. Since he could not legally play blackjack until he turned twenty-one years of age, he spent the time reading numerous books on blackjack. He also mastered card counting during this time.

In 1964 he commenced playing blackjack. At this time, he was also teaching at the San Francisco State University and doing PhD from Stanford University. He was not happy with his teaching life, so he agreed for a paltry salary of $1.00 during the fag end of the teaching term. He did this to avoid attending faculty meetings and for further pursuing of his blackjack and gambling career.

Pen name:

The part of his pen name "Wong" means a particular benefit technique in blackjack that John Ferguson made famous in the 1980's and called "wong" or "wonging." This involves watching the play of cards without actually betting any money. You wait until the count becomes beneficial and then bet while the count remains in the favor of the player and do not bet when it is not in favor of the player.

Accomplishments of Stanford Wong:

He has been a consultant for researchers and writers of blackjack. He commenced publishing monthly blackjack newsletters in 1979. These monthly newsletters grew into major journals soon. The journal has the terms and conditions of all blackjack games in casinos all over the world and information about their rules too.

He has written numerous books on gambling including Professional Blackjack, Blackjack Secrets, Basic Blackjack, Tournament Blackjack, Vegas Downtown Blackjack, and Winning without Counting. His first published book, Professional Blackjack, based on the strategy numbers for four-deck blackjack games.

In Vegas blackjack, they originally dealt from one deck, but the casinos decided to make it tougher to count cards several years later. This is when they introduced the four-deck blackjack. John Ferguson's calculations he made as a young man no longer applied. He knew that he needed more complex statistics to remain competitive against the house.