Stanford Wong - Blackjack Strategist

  • Stanford Wong is a pen name of one of the most famous blackjack players and strategist John Ferguson born year 1943. The memorable person, who seriously felt in love with the blackjack card game, studied it as a real science and due to his inquiring mind achieved a great success.

    It is believed that when John was about of his 6 he learned the tic tac toe kid-game rules. So while his friends were playing this game enthusiastically, our hero just planned the lossless strategy to employ. Since then Jack Ferguson never loses the tic tac toe kid-game.


    At his 12 he was already keen blackjack enthusiast. He used an office calculating machine to understand the games expectations and mechanism. Also John was fond of many educational books concerning the blackjack counting methods.

    Up to his 21 he kept his enthusiasm inside his genius brains only and after his full age put the theory in use.

    Thus John Ferguson started the pro gambling still being a Stanford University bachelor. He got his PhD in Statistics and well-known pseudonym simultaneously.

    First our hero wanted to be Nevada Smith but this nickname was already occupied. Then the John's PhD program fellow named him Stanford Wong no doubt. The firstname was borrowed from their alma mater and the Wong appeared to be a kind of mystification borrowed again from the East.

    All this time Stanford Wong never stops to perform gambling.


    The calculations invented by the young John Ferguson were no more applicable to perform as they possess only one deck usage. That time the Vegas casinos introduced the 4-deck blackjack card game and thus our hero was obliged to create new strategy.

    More complex and advanced statistic was needed to compete with the house successfully.

    Using the college computer Stanford Wong created a new strategy to tame the 4-deck blackjack. Roughly at the same time he published the first book of his - Professional Blackjack (1975).

    The book scored big successes. It was quoted as the bible of blackjack for sure. Thereby the new legend of blackjack had appeared.

    Since then Stanford Wong has written a lot of other books concerning the various casino activities. We may point out the following ones:

    • Winning Without Counting (1980)
    • Professional Video Poker (1991)
    • Basic Blackjack (1992)
    • Blackjack Secrets (1993)
    • Sharp Sports Betting (2001)
    • Wong on Dice(2005)

    Stanford Wong started his official site - bj21.com - dealing with different blackjack variations available in the US casinos and in some other countries.


    Today legendary Stanford Wong is out of play. He explains it in the following way:

    "I found the game to be a huge challenge when I was young. But, today, I've mastered the challenge, and I no longer need the money. That's the thing about blackjack, you have to be hungry to win at it. You have to go to casinos at four in the morning when the tables are empty, and you have to go for it. I no longer have the desire to do that."

Blackjack players

See moreBlackjack variations