Casinos warned: An iPhone app created to count cards

  • Chicago (IL) - Nevada gambling regulators have recently been issued warnings about an iPhone application used in California casinos that can counts cards. The app works on iPhone and iPod touch and helps users tip the odds in their favor by keeping track of which cards have been seen in blackjack with machine accuracy.

    Las Vegas has not seen the iPhone app used so far. However, the app was seen used at an Indian casino in California. Counting cards is not illegal in Nevada, though it is illegal to use a device to aid in counting.

    Apparently the application is not the highly advanced version many might suspect, such as having the iPhone sticking out of too short a pocket, then using the camera to image the cards, identify them with built-in recognition algorithms and broadcasting back via an earwig transmitter which moves to make. Not at all. Except for the ability to operate in a stealth mode (with the screen turned off), its overall four modes of operation appear to be part of a straight-forward application requiring manual input to be useful - something dealers and casino security will pick up on in short order.

    According to Las Vegas, the app is currently available at the iTunes App store. While the decision to allow or ban cell phones (including iPhones) is up to individual casino operators today, gaming regulators "eliminated the ban on cellular phones inside race and sports books" last year.