System of back counting
Back counting or "Wonging" is seen as the way to use all other possible blackjack counting systems rather than a special counting technique. This method introduced by Stanford Wong consists in watching the tables and counting cards prior to entering the game, or "wonging in", as soon as the player decides blackjack probabilities are favorable enough. The player then is able to increase or reduce his or her betting amount according to the changes in advantage. Some players choose to make bets of the same size, which is called "flat betting".
Card counter may "wong" in and out of the game, depending on how favorable the conditions are. Some back counters shift tables when the decks are shuffled.
It is considered that back counting is most efficient with multiple-deck games, or shoe games, although it is still possible to make profit in single-deck and double-deck blackjack, or pitch games:
- Games with cards dealt from a shoe, where the dealer doesn't have to shuffle the cards too often, allow back counters to stay at the same table longer.
- It is often not permitted to make "mid-shoe" entrance to the pitch games, which makes back counting impossible.
- Most casinos take more measures to ward off card counters in pitch games rather than in multiple-deck games with cards dealt from a shoe, especially as the card counter will have lower advantage in shoe games.
- The players applying back counting don't have to play unfavorable hands. Instead they choose the most appropriate moment to enter the game with the highest advantage. Together with a perfect basic blackjack strategy it is possible to make substantial profit.
- The player doesn't have to change the size of bets too often. It is sometimes possible that the players applying back counting keep making "flat bets", i.e. bets of the same size.
- The player who takes to back counting seldom plays each game long enough to get comps from a casino (certain free items services given to players to encourage them to continue gambling, such as free drinks and meals or even free hotel rooms).
- There is an opportunity that the player who joins in the middle of the game irritates other superstitious players who may believe this makes bad effect on the cards.
- It is also very possible that the casino authorities pay attention to players who change tables too often and especially to the ones who makes dramatic changes in the size of their bets according to changes in advantage. Card counting is surely legal, but the casinos are private property and may choose to ban entrance to the known card counters.