The Wong Halves Count Blackjack System

The Wong Halves Count is one of the most complex Blackjack card counting systems ever created. When it comes to card counting formulas in Blackjack complexity usually equates to higher accuracy. The harder a count system is to understand and implement, the greater the potential advantage. The Wong Halves Count method was developed by John Ferguson in 1975 and detailed in the book Professional Blackjack. John preferred to use the pen name Stanford Wong so that is how I will refer to him in this article. Stanford is probably the most notable Blackjack expert in the world. In 1975 Wong developed one of the first computer programs that analyzed the odds in Blackjack. The terms “wong” and “wonging” are still widely used by Blackjack players. Wonging is basically watching a Blackjack table and counting cards. Once the count reveals an advantage to the player you sit down and start playing for as long as the advantage holds. Many casinos implemented a rule that prohibits players from getting into a game in the middle of a shoe.

The Wong Halves Count should not be attempted if you do not have any experience with card counting. The only exception would be for those who are naturally good at mathematics and experienced with Blackjack in general. Beginners should start out with the 10 Count for single deck Blackjack and the Red 7 Count for multi-deck games.

How To Use The Wong Halves Count Blackjack System

The Wong Halves Count is notoriously complex because the card values range from -.5 to +1.5. If you thought the -1 and +1 most systems used was tough then this is definitely a card counting system that you should avoid. There are five different values in the Wong Halves Count, so even gifted card counters will need to put many practice hours in using this formula before trying it at a real money Blackjack table. Here is a chart on the Wong Halves card values.

wong halves count system

Tip – Many Blackjack players that use the Wong Halves Count double all of the values listed above. Although larger numbers are always more difficult to add and subtract at a nosey and fast moving Blackjack table it may be worth it because you end up with whole numbers.

The Wong Halves card counting system does require a true count. You can find the true count by dividing your running count by the number of decks left in the shoe. If your running count is at +9 and there are you have gone through roughly three out of six decks your true count is +3 (+9 divided by 3).

Whenever your true count is higher than zero you are more like to win and should increase your wager. Here is a practice hand that you can use to test out the Wong Halves Count on. To keep things simple we will assume that there are four decks left in the shoe and your running count was at zero before this hand was dealt.

  • Player 1: 2h-9s- 2c
  • Player 2: 10c-5s
  • Player 3: 3s-6d-Ah
  • You: 4c-Kd
  • Dealer: 3s-7d-Kc

Your running count using the Wong Halves formula would be +2.5. the true count would be a +.6. You should probably wait for your true count to be greater than 1 to increase your bet. I say this because a true count like .6 could easily be in the negative after next hand. It will look suspicious if you change your bet size every hand or even every other hand. If you use the doubling tip mentioned above you will need to double the number of decks remaining in order to maintain accuracy.

Risks Of Wonging At Brick & Mortar Casinos

Using the Wong Halves Count while you play isn’t as detectable as wonging. I would advise caution if you plan on wonging. As I mentioned above, wonging is watching a Blackjack game and counting cards using the Wong Halves Count system without actually playing. Jumping in the game when there is a definite player advantage and jumping out when there isn’t an advantage. Casino security personnel have been trained to watch out for this sort of thing. You may not get dumped in the alley beaten and bloody like some movies portray, but they may ask you to leave and/or ban you from the casino if they suspect you of wonging.