Card counting has become tougher and tougher over the years. Casinos have refined their techniques for identifying card counters and are more efficient at it than ever before.
With that said, advantage players must be on the lookout for ways to gain an upper hand. One potential way to get the advantage over casinos involves counting cards in live dealer casinos.
Live dealer gambling sites, as you may know, stream blackjack games from a land-based studio. Therefore, you can successfully implement certain card counting techniques, such as “wonging in.”
The following guide discusses the basics of wonging in just in case you’re new to this concept. It also covers the feasibility of using this technique in live dealer blackjack.
What Is Wonging In?
The term “wonging in” is named after the famous gambling author Stanford Wong. Wong is credited with coming up with a unique concept to beat blackjack games, and it works exceptionally well.
Rather than sitting down at a blackjack table and counting cards immediately, he would stand off to the side and count. Wong then entered the game as soon as the count became favorable enough.
Now posted at blackjack tables around the world, the “no mid-shoe entry” rule prevents players from entering a game until the dealer starts a new shoe.
What’s the Advantage to Wonging In?
The goal of card counting is to determine when the shoe is in your favor. Once the shoe has enough aces and 10-value cards, you’ll stand a better chance of getting a natural blackjack. Furthermore, the dealer has higher odds of busting out while trying to reach a soft/hard 17.
In all other circumstances, the casino holds an advantage. When you place bets in these situations, you’re playing a negative-expectation (-EV) game.
Of course, you need to begin counting at the start of a shoe. Assuming you play the entire time you’re counting, then you’ll be placing bets in an -EV situation.
Wong devised a way to avoid placing -EV bets. By counting off to the side of games, he could enter immediately when the count became favorable enough.
When wonging in, you don’t even have to sit down right when the count becomes slightly favorable. You can wait for perfectly optimal situations (i.e. +4 true count) before taking a seat.
Wonging in helps you skip any situation where the casino holds an edge. Going further, it allows you to only place wagers in positive-expectation (+EV) scenarios.
How to Wong in With Live Dealer Blackjack
Live dealer blackjack doesn’t force you to stand off to the side of the table looking awkward while counting. Instead, you can count cards while watching through your smartphone or laptop.
The problem with live dealer blackjack and card counting, though, is that there’s not much deck penetration. Dealers often only go through between 40% and 50% of the shoe before shuffling.
Deck penetration is crucial when trying to make card counting profits. More deck penetration provides more confidence in your count.
Ideally, a game will feature 75% penetration or more. In this case, you can place large bets with more confidence when the count is in your favor.
Unlike land-based casinos, some live dealer casinos let you jump into games in the middle of shoes. Therefore, wonging in can be an effective technique to make money.
You won’t earn as much as if you were wonging in at a table with 75% deck penetration. Then again, games like this don’t even exist any longer due to the mid-shoe entry rule.
The key is that you can make some profits by wonging in on a live dealer table that allows up to 50% penetration.
Will a Live Dealer Casino Ban You?
Brick-and-mortar casinos across the US aren’t the only places that ban blackjack players. Live dealer gaming sites do the same thing sometimes.
Of course, live dealer casinos don’t have to worry about card counters as much due to the low deck penetration. They will take exception, though, to anybody they feel has figured out a way to consistently beat the game.
Somebody who’s wonging in, keeping an accurate count, and raising bets at just the right time can consistently win. They may be able to escape a live casino’s watchful eye for a while. If they get caught, though, they’ll get kicked off the site.
The best thing about getting banned from a live dealer casino is that you don’t need to suffer through an uncomfortable talk with security. Nevertheless, you will be booted from the site just like a land-based casino would do.
What Happens If You Get Banned From Blackjack?
If you successfully wong in, then you’ll face the very realistic chance of getting banned from a live dealer casino. The site will close your account and send you an email regarding the matter.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to give up the dream of counting cards at live online gambling sites. Here’s some advice for what to do if you get banned.
Find Another Live Dealer Casino
Live dealer blackjack used to be rare several years ago. Luckily, though, many online casinos now feature live gaming as well.
You May Need to Find an Entirely Different Live Dealer Studio
If you’re successfully counting cards and wonging in, then you might not just get banned from a single casino—you could be prohibited from any casino that uses the relevant live dealer studio’s products.
For example, you might get banned from playing Evolution Gaming’s live dealer blackjack. In this case, Evolution might ensure that you can’t play at any of the casinos they serve.
In this situation, you’ll need to find both a new live casino and studio. Fortunately, well over a dozen live dealer gaming studios exist throughout the industry.
Play High Paying Online Blackjack Games
The problem with getting prohibited at live dealer gambling sites is that your options will eventually run out. Of course, you may stop trying to count cards online well before this happens.
You’ll be facing a house edge when not counting cards. If you’re alright with this, though, then you might just want to play high-paying online blackjack games.
Some traditional online blackjack variations offer over 99.8% return to player. In this case, you’ll almost be on even footing with the house. You can win short-term profits with just a little luck on your side.
Count Cards at Land-Based Casinos Without Wonging In
Assuming you don’t want to give up the card counting dream, then you can target brick-and-mortar casinos. The catch, though, is that you won’t be able to wong in.
You also want to avoid games with 6:5 natural blackjack payouts. These tables will feature a high house edge that eats into any potential profits you might gain.
Our Conclusions About “Wonging In” in Blackjack
In answer to the title of this post, yes, you can wong into live dealer blackjack games. You just need to ensure that the relevant game allows mid-shoe entry.
Live dealer casinos don’t offer as much deck penetration as land-based casinos. With that said, wonging in won’t provide a tremendous advantage. Nevertheless, this technique can help you become profitable to some degree at real money blackjack.
You do, however, need to worry about getting banned if you’re successful enough. If this happens, then you can seek out another live dealer site or even start counting in land-based establishments. Again, though, brick-and-mortar casinos prevent you from wonging in.