How to Count Wong Halves?
One of the most potent systems is the Wong Halves system. It is rather challenging. To get rid of the fractions, most users double the tag values. Most individuals utilize far more straightforward tactics, even though they are still in use, because the most recent studies do not reveal much difference. Initially, some individuals included aces in their side count when playing a single deck with Wong Halves. As a result of the complexity of this, the tables are no longer available in print.
Halves System: A Brief Overview of Its History
John Ferguson, who is more generally known in the online gambling world by the moniker of Stanford Wong, was the one who first presented the Wong Halves technique. This strategy gained tremendous popularity due to his profitable book Professional Blackjack, published in 1975.
Mr. Ferguson is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished blackjack players in the world because he devised one of the most accurate methods in the game’s history. In his efforts, the well-known book Beat the Dealer by Edward Thorp was a significant source of inspiration, which had a substantial role in developing his method.
The Wong Halves Card Counting System
Counting cards using the Wong Halves approach is a strategy that is considerably more sophisticated. In the first place, it is a form of advanced system that is classified as level III (level 3). Despite this, the fact that you are required to count numbers using decimals is the factor that distinguishes this system from the majority of other systems and makes it somewhat more complicated. Along the same lines as the method’s name, you are required to count halves, such as 0.5 or 1.5, which is typically a challenging task to accomplish.
When you have the level III factor, it implies that you are responsible for keeping track of up to three units of numbers on the positive and negative sides of the indices, such as (-1.5,-1,-0.5,0,+0.5,+1,+1.5). This extensive distribution must be monitored, particularly in a real game where you attempt to implement the optimal basic strategy and maintain an accurate count. Stanford Wong was the first person to come up with the strategy, and he described it in great depth in his book “Professional Blackjack” published in the 1970s.
How Does Wong Halves Operate?
Counting cards include doling out worth to each in the deck. This is the overarching concept behind the practice. Unlike other counting techniques, the Wong Halves method considers fractions when calculating the total number of items. Although this method of counting cards is more involved than other methods, it also offers a more precise estimation of the degree to which the player has an advantage over the other players. Within the framework of the Wong Halves technique, the following values are allocated to each of the playable cards:
As we can see, the value allocated to the 5s is the highest possible (+1.5). It has been demonstrated through mathematical analysis that these cards provide the player with the worst possible odds. On the other hand, the high cards that makeup hands of 20, 21, and blackjack are worth -1. This includes all of the high cards. Additionally, the system operates under the assumption that the deck’s nines tend to tilt the odds in the player’s favor. This is why the nines are assigned a negative value of -0.5.
A balanced system is the Wong Halves, characterized by the total value of all the cards in the deck being precisely zero. Consequently, before placing their wagers, players must transform the running count into an accurate one; nevertheless, more information will be provided below.
How to Use the Wong Halves Method?
Although the values appear simple enough to remember, putting them into practice is more complex. In a running total, adding and subtracting is simple. Therefore, if you are dealt a six, then a two, then an Ace, then an eight, then your running total would be 1, 1.5, 0.5, and taking into account that the eight does not count for anything, you would be left with 0.5 as your total so far.
However, the Wong Halves method is a balanced system, which means that once each deck is tallied, your count will return to zero. This is because the technique is balanced. Because of this, the running count needs to be turned into an accurate count while playing with several decks. This is accomplished by dividing the running count by the anticipated number of still available decks.
The True Count of Halves
In contrast to the running count, a tally that players keep track of continuously throughout the game, the genuine count considers the number of decks that still need to be played. Even though there are various approaches to determining the actual count, most players adhere to a straightforward and tried-and-true method. They divide the running count by the total number of decks in the shoe.
Continuing the last illustration, we have a running count of one. Considering that some cards have been burned and others have been dealt, there will be around five decks, half of which are still in the shoe. It is necessary to divide one by five to arrive at an accurate count of +0.20 if, at most, five decks of cards are left.
Because more significant counts represent better odds for the player, our actual count could be more outstanding. We require an accurate count of at least two to achieve an advantage over the house. This indicates that we will continue placing our minimal wager until the count reaches +2 or greater value. After that, we increase the wager size to maximize the potential earnings resulting from a favorable circumstance. It is recommended that the bets be increased in proportion to the count. When fewer players, it is only natural for them to place smaller bets.
It is generally accepted that card counting is an art that is only waiting to be learned, and the Wong Halves approach is typically only mastered by professional blackjack players. The strategy requires a significant amount of effort to be utilized correctly; however, once it is learned, it can be one of the most profitable strategies available.