This is a technique named after Standford Wong, the pen name for the legendary author of “Professional Blackjack” and other gambling books. It’s not that Stanford invented the technique, but many of the users were Wong’s students.
It is when you stand beside or behind a blackjack table and count the cards and then decide to sit down at the table when the deck is favorable to you as the player. It is also called “back-counting,” because you’re counting cards from behind the players.
It is mostly used when there are several decks in play because it allows the wonger to spend some time counting cards. If only a couple of decks are being used, the wonger doesn’t have a chance to get a good count on the deck before it’s shuffled.
By sitting down when the deck has become favorable, you can make relatively larger bets at once, hopefully without drawing suspicion. If you’ve been at a table a while and suddenly start making bigger bets, the pit boss may consider that a sign that you’re counting cards and know the deck is suddenly favorable.
Some casinos try to negate wonging by having a “no mid-shoe entry” policy. However, that can be difficult to enforce, so it still can be done effectively.
There is also a technique called Semi-wonging, where you actually leave the table at a predetermined point in the count. For instance, you may have sat down when the count was +8, but decide to leave the table if the count falls to +4.
The most obvious advantage is that you only play when the deck is favorable to you. You don’t have to make minimum bets because you’re only playing when the count is highly favorable, allowing for maximum bets for you.
With bankroll management a vital concern, not having to waste time and money with minimal bets when the deck is not favorable, is a huge advantage. The bigger you can bet, the more you can win, in a shorter period of time.
Though standing around and counting cards can be relatively simple, it can also be noticed by casino surveillance. The casino will eventually realize that you observe tables for a bit and then sit down and make relatively large bets.
Despite sitting down when the deck is favorable, there’s no telling how long the deck will remain this way. You will of course want to get up when the deck starts cooling down. Casinos become wary of card counting when a player sits down for only a couple of hands, gets up and perhaps watches a few hands and then sits down again. You don’t want to be that obvious.
Wonging has been around since probably the 1970s. It can still be done effectively today if it is thoroughly understood and practiced.
In terms of doing it effectively, you need to be able to count cards from a distance, without drawing attention to yourself.
As a wonger, you probably won’t have your table mates happy with you because you sit down and start winning, while they have suffered through all the bad hands! Just tell them you’ve brought them luck, since the deck is now favorable for all players!