wonging vs play all, an overview


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Wonging refers to the practice of leaving the table when the count drops very low (wonging out) or watching a game and counting without playing (wonging in). Generally wonging is better in large, crowded casinos with lots of tables, whereas a play all approach is necessary in smaller venues that may have only one game you want to play. For example Baccarat casino (now closed) in Edmonton had a very good game. Actually one of the best games on the planet, probably. The rules were like so :

H17, DAS, DA2, RSA, ES10. The ES10 rule in particular is quite favourable to the player in general, but to the counter in particular. Oh, and one more thing - they cut off a deck or less out of six decks.

Now this particular casino usually has 2 or 3 tables open on the main floor, and 1 table open in high limit or open upon request if there are no players. The main floor is very crowded and often there were vagrants there because of the nearby homeless shelter. Of course the main floor game was still quite playable because of the above listed conditions BUT in this situation, especially if you were getting the same penetration (high limit usually cut a little worse but let's imagine for the sake of the hypothetical they were cutting the same), and especially if the high limit game was heads up then it would be vastly superior. But there is only one table. So in this imagined situation based on a real game wonging would be a poor choice. The better approach is to play all, mostly because of the rounds per hour. Heads up with a quick dealer it is easy to get 200 rounds per hour if you can play at lightning speed. But only the slower main floor, with all the idiots coffeehousing and changing money etc. etc. you only get 70 rounds an hour. So, ceteris parabis, you are going to make 3x as much money playing the high limit game. Of course ceteris is not parabis but the essential point is that rounds per hour is very important, especially if the other conditions are the same or similar. Now if you could wong from one heads up high limit table to another then that would probably be better.

You can look at wonging as a 'leaving decision'. So many things can motivate you to leave a blackjack game. Crowded conditions are a big one. Other players slow down the game, costing you money and aggravation. The count dropping is another good reason to leave, especially if there are other good options nearby. A third reason to leave is if you have been playing there too long and want to employ more of a hit and run strategy. In some situations wonging is not really viable unless you are wonging to a different casino. That is the case if there is only one table or only one playable table in a small casino. But if you are a in a big casino with lots of different tables, and the conditions you are playing in are not that optimal, because it is crowded for example, then you should be more inclined to wong aggressively. But if you have a nice heads up game it would be counterproductive to quit and join another game with other people just because the tank dropped. It would probably be better to just play through, to suffer the modest expected loss from playing through the negative count, because of the higher rounds per hour of heads up play.

Another important time to wong is at tables with high minimums. It is a lot easier to suffer through a couple decks of -4 TC at a $5 table than it is at a $100 table. So higher limit tables should generally be wonged out more aggressively, whereas at lower limit tables, especially if you have a large spread then you can play through in order to preserve heads up play with a fast dealer.


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yep, yep.
and if anyone has access to the book Blackjack Attack. chapter 13 New Answers to Old Questions has an intriguing synopsis from a mathematical analysis that has rendered charts for three types of wonging approaches to where you have numbers related to true counts, shoe depth and optimal departure TC's for hi/lo . all that graphed. also has numbers such as bet ramp, avg bet, win/loss% and win/hour for the three types of approaches. (edit: also incorporates lag times)
good to have numbers already in mind while trying to deal with wonging around. personally i don't play blackjack much anymore, but just the concept of having numbers for strike and departure points is very, very interesting in a general sense far as dealing with time management and AP opportunities, sorta thing.
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this subject, wonging, has got to be the quintessential thing there is when it comes to advantage play. i tried to touch a bit upon it in this post: https://www.blackjackinfo.com/community/threads/its-all-about-time.54841/#post-491090
but anyway, yeah wonging. it's pretty much barely touched upon far as advantage play discussions go. well, it's written about extensively as i mentioned in the book Blackjack Attack. chapter 13 New Answers to Old Questions, that's for sure. thing is, i don't see it much discussed on sites, such as this and others. it's such an interesting aspect of advantage play, imho. and the thing is, it's not just salient for advantage play, but for so many aspects of human interaction such as business, science, politics, war, spys vs spys, sports, entertainment and social interactions. it's a really ancient, archaic primordial sort of thing that must hearken way, way back into our evolutionary roots.
and it's not just us people creatures that employ wonging, it's prevalent in the animal kingdom and even the plant kingdom.
again, a fascinating subject to delve into, imho.


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Fascinating subject this. As well as chapter 13 bja chapter 1 makes for interesting reading relating to wonging in on 8 deck games. I had point blank refused to play 8 deck before reading it, instead sticking to my trusted 6 deck games and wonging out. The three 8 deck games near me are in very busy venues that lend themselves to back counting. I decided to give wonging in a try on these 8 deck monsters and the results have been great so far. Patience is the key. I count through 2 decks and wont make a decision until then. 2nd session I didn't lay any money down for over an hour.