Stanford Wong is a revered gambling author, whose 1975 book “Professional Blackjack” remains one of the best around on the subject of card counting and Blackjack strategy. Wong, whose real name is actually John Ferguson, was also responsible for the first piece of commercially available Blackjack hand analysis software, as well as owning his own publishing house.
“Professional Blackjack”, as the title implies, is not for the newcomer to the game of Blackjack. Yes, the book features a basic strategy guide, but it is crammed full with tables of statistics, charts and graphs and at times can be heavy reading. “Professional Blackjack” lacks the light-hearted stories of more modern Blackjack guides, which help to break up the monotony of what is essentially a detailed instructional manual. But the statistics contained within its pages remain as relevant as ever and “Professional Blackjack” is still rightly regarded as a must-have guide to the game.
Wong outlines a basic Blackjack strategy in “Professional Blackjack”, which should be enough to turn a novice into a winning player by itself, but the supporting tables and charts are designed to further increase the player’s edge over the house. Wong also writes about bankroll requirements and offers information on how to calculate a suitable bankroll for you.
“Professional Blackjack” teaches the reader about the importance of playing sufficient numbers of hands, in order to achieve the expected return, showing how to calculate expected win rates over a given time period. But the book isn’t simply a mathematical discussion; also discussed in depth is the psychological side of Blackjack, which should help to improve the player’s patience and discipline, as well as explaining how to correctly cover up the fact that you are counting cards, in order to avoid ejection from the casino.
“Professional Blackjack” offers analysis for every Blackjack variant that you can think of and while the mathematics involved are no different and the card counting techniques remain the same, the attitudes of the casinos towards counters most certainly have changed in the time since “Professional Blackjack” was first published. Despite a revision, the book’s general outlook is optimistic to say the least, but nevertheless, it remains a worthwhile read due to the sheer wealth of statistics and information it contains.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Pi Yee Press (Mar 1994)