At the ripe old age of 12, Stanford was calculating the odds to play blackjack successfully and it wasn’t long before card counting followed suit. Sadly, Wong still had a number of years to wait before he could put his learned theory into practice, but that he did in 1964. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Wong graduated from Stanford University with a PhD in Statistics and Finance, and it may not be a coincidence considering that the beginning of his studies coincided with his turning of age! It was also during this period that Stanford Wong became Stanford Wong; named thus by a fellow class mate wishing to reflect a combination of their esteemed institution and the “mystique of the orient”. Wong’s career at Stanford was illustrious and memorable – it’s reported that during his final year in the faculty he voluntarily accepted a salary of $1 in exchange for which he would be exempt from the usually compulsory attendance of staff meetings!
Wong faced a number of challenges in his unfolding career, not least of all was when the casinos switched from single deck to four-deck blackjack. Wong however rose to the challenge, recalculating his childhood equations and in 1975 was able to publish Professional Blackjack which provided strategy and understanding of four deck blackjack. Following the success of this book which became a foundational stone for blackjack learning, Wong went on to publish a number of other titles including Winning Without Counting, Basic Blackjack, and Sharp Sports Betting covering more than 2 decades and 3 gaming interests; blackjack, craps and sports betting. Today Stanford Wong is as known for his Blackjack Strategy as he is for his sports gambling and dice.
Stanford Wong’s contribution to the blackjack world is considerable. His blackjack odds calculator computer program called Blackjack Analyzer was originally designed for his own personal use but soon became the first commercially available software of this type, allowing a level of mathematical intellect that had hitherto been restricted to the genius’ to be accessed and utilized by the regular player. A further example of Wong’s influence would be ‘Wonging’; a well known strategy used by blackjack advantage players involving the counting of cards and entering the game only whilst the deal is advantageous – this strategy has in fact caused a shift in casino policy regarding jumping in mid-game.
Today Stanford is involved with a number of websites, and newsletters but no longer actively partakes in any of the games he writes about. He feels that he has mastered the strategies, has been honored with a place in the Blackjack Hall of Fame and has made his fair share; he now prefers to spend time with his grandchildren and family in California.