iPhone app for casino cheats

Feb. 17, 2009

OK, I'm sure there are ways to use this new Apple iPhone Card Counter application (link requires iTunes) that wouldn't be for cheating a casino, but to us in the security industry, I suspect that if you used this in a casino, you'd surely end up on the casino's version of the watch list. The video is below, but here's the quick summary. This application helps you "count cards". It tabulates the number of low cards and high cards and helps you learn to predict which card could be coming on the "hit".

So, first off, card counting is legal. It's just not accepted. You can count cards all you want in a casino on the Vegas strip, but two guys with earbuds and security badges on their coats might ask you to leave. Now, here's the deal with card counting -- it's not done with audibly reading off: "Jack of spades, three of hearts, seven of hearts, Ace of diamonds, ten of clubs..." It's a scam that the scam artists take time to practice so that casino surveillance directors and pit bosses don't immediately recognize it. In fact, they don't even have to memorize the cards -- what they do is do a "points count" of high cards, mid-level neutral cards, and low cards to simplify the counting.

Now you put some goofball who tries to count cards with an iPhone in front of him -- he's going to be immediately spotted. He's not going to be on Kevin Spacey's MIT team in the Sony Pictures movie 21. He's not going to even make the auditions for such a team. So while there's been some uproar over this application, I think it's really a bit of a snoozer. Sure, it could help train tomorrow's next generation of card counters, but let's be frank -- those scammers were going to learn the scam somewhere. And if you try to use this iPhone app at a Blackjack table, you deserve every bit of love that the casino security guys give you. On the bright side, at least the security team doesn't break legs any more.

Embedded video from CNN Video