Winning Without Counting (Dr. Wong)
  • The same man who created 'Basic Strategy' wrote this book. I've followed it and it's worked for me, just wondering if anyone else has had success with it?

    - Morrotho
  • It was Dr. Thorp that created "Basic Strategy".

    I do have Wongs book Winning Without Counting, but I haven't read it for a long time.
  • How long did the casinos wait until they changed some rules because of BS? A year, two years, etc.
  • Not sure, but still BS works. The winning without counting is basically teaching that if you play with some guidelines, and base your betting schemes off of that, you can still win.

    Read it, it really does work.
  • midnite said:
    It was Dr. Thorp that created "Basic Strategy".

    I do have Wongs book Winning Without Counting, but I haven't read it for a long time.


    Actually, Midnite, both you are Morrotho are wrong. Basic strategy was "created" (Midnite's word) by Roger Baldwin in the mid '50's. Thorp used Baldwin's treatise as a basis for "Beat the House" in the 60's.........and then basic strategy was further refined by Julian Braun in the 70's.

    Regards.....Grifter
  • Yeah, thanks for that...to be honest I should have reworded it as 'Dr. Wong is a respected figure'. I think he crafted a counting system. Anyhow, my main point is that he created another book based off of strategies for leaving when that .5% house advantage fluctuated in your favor.
  • Using the Basic strategy will give you an edge alright. Counting complements that by increasing the edge you get from Basic Strategy.
  • Appetite said:
    Using the Basic strategy will give you an edge alright. Counting complements that by increasing the edge you get from Basic Strategy.


    You would need more than exceptional rules for a game to have an edge with only using basic strategy.

    The best shoe games in the country have a house edge of .26% against BS
    The best double deck games have a house edge of .19% against BS
    Currently the few good single deck games have an edge of .18% against Bs

    Not long ago there was a double deck game with about a .12% edge but all of these are still house advantages against basic strategy.

    Sure, you will find promotions with things like blackjack paying 2-1, where you will have an edge against BS, but without some exceptional rule, the last games with a player advantage against BS, were the old single deck games where the dealer stayed on soft 17 and on these games the house edge was on .02% on our side.

    You need to count or employ other advantage methods to get an edge over the game.

    ihate17
  • jimpenn said:
    How long did the casinos wait until they changed some rules because of BS? A year, two years, etc.


    The rules were changed as a result of Thorp's book, "Beat the Dealer", which employed card counting to overcome the house's edge over basic strategy.

    ihate17
  • morrotho said:
    Yeah, thanks for that...to be honest I should have reworded it as 'Dr. Wong is a respected figure'. I think he crafted a counting system. Anyhow, my main point is that he created another book based off of strategies for leaving when that .5% house advantage fluctuated in your favor.


    I believe the book you mentioned is written by a David Popik and though I have not read it, I have noticed that absolutely no advantage player blackjack sites sell this book. So, my guess it is the use of some sort of basic strategy with a betting system, which means it does not and can not work mathematically!

    But who is Dr. Wong? Never heard of him. Is it a takeoff on Stanford Wong, who wrote "Professional Blackjack, Blackjack Secrets and Basic Blackjack" and is a recognized expert but is no doctor?????????????????????
    I have also searched bj21.com (Stanford Wong's site) blackjackinfo.com and a couple of other real blackjack sites and there is no mention of your Dr Wong.

    ihate17
  • The book Winning Without Counting was by Stanford Wong. (1978)

    It is almost thirty years old and very outdated.

    He talks about playing the warps, tells, six card Charlie's and kinesics.

    Six card Charlie- If you draw six cards without busting, you win, even if the dealer makes 21.

    Kinesics- A systematic study of the relationship between body language and communication.
  • The power of observations- I haven't read that book, but if you could find a good single deck game, we have a maybe.

    In single deck, one extra ten in the pack will give a plus count. Because single deck has so few rounds it is possible, with a little practice, to know the approximate status of the deck. Also, while you are doing that, be aware of the aces that have fallen per quarter deck and the basic strategy variations that are so close to neutral that you can play more accurately. You should increase your bet in relation to the small card large card ratio and when an excess of aces remain in the pack. There are situations when a rash of small cards will be played and your bet should increase in relation to the ratio. Generally, none of this should apply to 2,3,4,6,8 deck games. However, in Renzeys book you will find several good plays for multi-deck games. Some people, like Grifter, can judge a DD game, to some extend, if he is not counting. That kind of savy comes with a great deal of experience.

    Like counting, it takes practice.
  • midnite said:
    The book Winning Without Counting was by Stanford Wong. (1978)

    It is almost thirty years old and very outdated.

    He talks about playing the warps, tells, six card Charlie's and kinesics.

    Six card Charlie- If you draw six cards without busting, you win, even if the dealer makes 21.

    Kinesics- A systematic study of the relationship between body language and communication.


    The fact that there is another, more recent book, by the same name and the use of the Dr., thru me off.

    ihate17
  • Is Stanford Wong a Dr.? I know it's just his pseudonym.
  • Wong's real name is John Ferguson, and yes he is a doctor......His Phd is in Finance if I remember right..........Grifter
  • So, basically this 'winning without counting' gives a management technique for betting. Basically striking at the right times....I began to wonder about something, something that I've 'kinda' tried, but seems pretty sure-fire:

    Say you play double your average hand when you're even-money.
    You get up one hand and stop.
    You play with a bankroll of 30 hands.

    Now, think in terms like this: You have 3000 dollars. You play 100 dollar hands, 200 when you're even. You play Basic Strategy, and play like a calculator no matter what. You don't leave until your 30 hands are gone.

    I think the MOST hands I was ever down at a casino when I came back and won was 27, and that was due to some huge bets I lost, bets I shouldn't have pressed. So, to basically say: 30 hands to win 1, but that 1 hand to be worth it....I know there's a .5% house advantage when the table is playing basic strategy, but a tiny advantage like that fluctuates. Why not just stop when it fluctuated in your direction?

    Any time I've ever been at the casino (and I usually play with at least 30 hands), I've been up at least 1 hand. Most of the time, it's been in the beginning of the session.


    Any thoughts?
  • morrotho said:
    So, basically this 'winning without counting' gives a management technique for betting. Basically striking at the right times....I began to wonder about something, something that I've 'kinda' tried, but seems pretty sure-fire:

    Say you play double your average hand when you're even-money.
    You get up one hand and stop.
    You play with a bankroll of 30 hands.

    Now, think in terms like this: You have 3000 dollars. You play 100 dollar hands, 200 when you're even. You play Basic Strategy, and play like a calculator no matter what. You don't leave until your 30 hands are gone.

    I think the MOST hands I was ever down at a casino when I came back and won was 27, and that was due to some huge bets I lost, bets I shouldn't have pressed. So, to basically say: 30 hands to win 1, but that 1 hand to be worth it....I know there's a .5% house advantage when the table is playing basic strategy, but a tiny advantage like that fluctuates. Why not just stop when it fluctuated in your direction?

    Any time I've ever been at the casino (and I usually play with at least 30 hands), I've been up at least 1 hand. Most of the time, it's been in the beginning of the session.


    Any thoughts?


    What you're doing here is treating every session as if their independant of the other sessions you've played - that's the flaw with this system and why it won't work. You should think of all your blackjack play as one long session.
    Basically all a stop cap like this one on a win will do is cause you to have a lot of small winning sessions and a few - albeit infrequent - big losing sessions.

    RJT.
  • Here's the simple test to understand the flaw...

    Sit down and start dealing hands and record _every_ result, win lose or draw. Do this for something like 500 rounds at least. Now, starting at the first hand, figure out how much you will bet each hand, and turn that string of win/lose/push results into strings of amounts. Start at the first hand, bet on each one until you end up ahead. Stop and start a new string. Once you are done, look at how many "strings" you left when ahead. And then look at the rest to see how much you lost. You might win 3/4 of your sessions playing like that, but you are going to lose money long-term.

    That's what you are missing. There is no way whatsoever to exploit this kind of stuff until _after_ all the rounds have been played. So give up trying to somehow adjust your bets based on anything other than a card counting system or prior knowledge about upcoming cards. Sessions just don't exist other than to leave a pit before playing long enough to give away what you are doing... or to eat.. but not to end a losing streak...
  • morrotho said:
    So, basically this 'winning without counting' gives a management technique for betting. Basically striking at the right times....I began to wonder about something, something that I've 'kinda' tried, but seems pretty sure-fire:

    Say you play double your average hand when you're even-money.
    You get up one hand and stop.
    You play with a bankroll of 30 hands.

    Now, think in terms like this: You have 3000 dollars. You play 100 dollar hands, 200 when you're even. You play Basic Strategy, and play like a calculator no matter what. You don't leave until your 30 hands are gone.

    I think the MOST hands I was ever down at a casino when I came back and won was 27, and that was due to some huge bets I lost, bets I shouldn't have pressed. So, to basically say: 30 hands to win 1, but that 1 hand to be worth it....I know there's a .5% house advantage when the table is playing basic strategy, but a tiny advantage like that fluctuates. Why not just stop when it fluctuated in your direction?

    Any time I've ever been at the casino (and I usually play with at least 30 hands), I've been up at least 1 hand. Most of the time, it's been in the beginning of the session.


    Any thoughts?


    Whew! You are one lucky guy alright, if that's the case. Doubling up every win you get will just double your chances of losing it back twice faster. Unless you have a mathematical basis for increasing your bets and not just the gut feel alone, only then may you risk such. Basic Strategy gives you just a teeny-weeny bit of an edge. I suggest that you just play flat betting if you are using Basic Strategy only. My experience yielded good results flat-betting with BS, but not as marginal as when you count.

    But please don't get us wrong. What we are merely suggesting is for you to improve your play with factual basis so you do not end up like most gamblers. Your system works for you, then fine. It's good to have a contingency though once everything starts falling apart. We are all on one side here, against the casino odds.
  • I appreciate the responses. You guys are right. The wins as opposed to the losses are significantly dissimilar. I guess a lot of the reason I have been really lucky is because I'm looking at something like : I've won the last 22 playing sessions online, but you may be 2-1 and have double the money I've won. I think experience is a hard thing to explain, but it plays a huge role in this. In the beginning, I wouldn't be able to really get that sense of when my luck was about to change.

    For example, I've had a day where I've been down about 20+ hands the whole day, and after 9.5 hours of playing, my luck finally changed. Now, my buddy was sitting at the table with me, and although I was playing single units when I was down with little variance, he was betting all over the place. I was down 200 dollars (20 hands), and he was down 700-something. Once the shoe of cards got hot, we both had that gut feeling because we're both avid players. Based upon my system though, and him based upon his style...he went from -700 to +350, and down to -50 by the end of the shoe. I went from -200 to +110 by the end of the shoe. He had the chance to win a lot more than me, but because of that freelance style of his, it really ended up hurting him in the end. I played even-keel and I walked out a winner.

    I know people can look at the slight house advantage and say you're always going to lose....but look at it like this, for example: You say that if I bet double when I'm even-money, I have a chance to lose twice as much. That's a difference of one hand though. The reward is greater than the risk. If it was me playing double on one of my last 5 hands, it would put me in a position where the risk would be great than the reward to me.

    I've come to the conclusion that perhaps I'm just a very lucky person. Like I said, I hopped on here to see if 23-session win streaks and 16 session win streaks were normal amongst avid gamblers, but I see that they're not. I'm know a lot of people are probably college graduates here, and I'll be graduating in May myself.....I learned something in one of my classes that really shed light on this whole thing:

    You say that each session is like a hand, but it's not. You won't win 23 hands in a row. So, each session isn't like one hand. Secondly, if you look at a blackjack session as a diversified stock portfolio, you'll know that there's slow declines and slow climbs. You need to get into the habit of making a mental marker of when it's about to climb, and press bets by about 1/2 the average hand. It's hard to explain, but it's experience. We're talking about a game with under 1% advantage here.

    I will admit, counting cards will maximize the wins, but even counting cards gives you a 1% advantage. Wouldn't you rather just stop when the .5% house edge fluctuates? You can count and press when there's a high positive count, or you can bet big when you're in the plus, or even.

    Being down to your last 5 hands, and being at your first 5 hands are two totally different situations. Betting bigger within your first 5 hands has much more of a benefit than betting bigger with your last 5 hands. If you can't understand that, then tell me I'll lose someday, and I'll let everyone on this forum know when, and how I lost. But, this simple self-control strategy has worked for me, and I've been told my Casino workers that what I've done in the casino is something they've never seen in their life, done legit. So, try it. If you have a disease and can't control yourself, don't try it. Count. Turn it into a mental grindout for a .5 - 1% advantage. I'll take my .5% disadvantage and wait until the edge fluctuates into my favor, and I'll strike appropriately.

    - M
  • morrotho said:
    I appreciate the responses. You guys are right. The wins as opposed to the losses are significantly dissimilar. I guess a lot of the reason I have been really lucky is because I'm looking at something like : I've won the last 22 playing sessions online, but you may be 2-1 and have double the money I've won. I think experience is a hard thing to explain, but it plays a huge role in this. In the beginning, I wouldn't be able to really get that sense of when my luck was about to change.

    For example, I've had a day where I've been down about 20+ hands the whole day, and after 9.5 hours of playing, my luck finally changed. Now, my buddy was sitting at the table with me, and although I was playing single units when I was down with little variance, he was betting all over the place. I was down 200 dollars (20 hands), and he was down 700-something. Once the shoe of cards got hot, we both had that gut feeling because we're both avid players. Based upon my system though, and him based upon his style...he went from -700 to +350, and down to -50 by the end of the shoe. I went from -200 to +110 by the end of the shoe. He had the chance to win a lot more than me, but because of that freelance style of his, it really ended up hurting him in the end. I played even-keel and I walked out a winner.

    I know people can look at the slight house advantage and say you're always going to lose....but look at it like this, for example: You say that if I bet double when I'm even-money, I have a chance to lose twice as much. That's a difference of one hand though. The reward is greater than the risk. If it was me playing double on one of my last 5 hands, it would put me in a position where the risk would be great than the reward to me.

    I've come to the conclusion that perhaps I'm just a very lucky person. Like I said, I hopped on here to see if 23-session win streaks and 16 session win streaks were normal amongst avid gamblers, but I see that they're not. I'm know a lot of people are probably college graduates here, and I'll be graduating in May myself.....I learned something in one of my classes that really shed light on this whole thing:

    You say that each session is like a hand, but it's not. You won't win 23 hands in a row. So, each session isn't like one hand.


    That's why we don't talk about "winning sessions". To most of us, a session is just a period of time where we sit at a table and play. We stop to avoid playing too long and attracting attention, not because we are ahead or behind. That is irrelevant for such a short period of time...


    Secondly, if you look at a blackjack session as a diversified stock portfolio, you'll know that there's slow declines and slow climbs. You need to get into the habit of making a mental marker of when it's about to climb, and press bets by about 1/2 the average hand. It's hard to explain, but it's experience. We're talking about a game with under 1% advantage here.


    What you just described is absolutely impossible to do. "making a mental marker when it is about to climb, and ...". How do you know it is about to climb? Not possible. Otherwise bet your house and become rich...



    I will admit, counting cards will maximize the wins, but even counting cards gives you a 1% advantage. Wouldn't you rather just stop when the .5% house edge fluctuates? You can count and press when there's a high positive count, or you can bet big when you're in the plus, or even.

    Being down to your last 5 hands, and being at your first 5 hands are two totally different situations.


    Again, that is wrong. If you flip 100 heads in a row, what is the probability that the next flip will be a tail? one out of two or 1/2. The same is true of blackjack, unless you count cards... Believing anything else is a sure recipe for going broke..

    Betting bigger within your first 5 hands has much more of a benefit than betting bigger with your last 5 hands. If you can't understand that, then tell me I'll lose someday, and I'll let everyone on this forum know when, and how I lost. But, this simple self-control strategy has worked for me, and I've been told my Casino workers that what I've done in the casino is something they've never seen in their life, done legit. So, try it. If you have a disease and can't control yourself, don't try it. Count. Turn it into a mental grindout for a .5 - 1% advantage. I'll take my .5% disadvantage and wait until the edge fluctuates into my favor, and I'll strike appropriately.

    - M

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