02.19.09

Latest iPhone Application has Casinos Worried: Blackjack Card Counting Aid

Posted in Gambling News, Blackjack at 8:24 pm by Mike

Card Counting made easy with your iPhoneJust off the international media scene, Nevada’s Gaming Control Board has released a warning about an iPhone application said to make card counting more accessible to the average blackjack player.

According to the release, the Northern California Tribal Casino originally caught wind of the program called “A Blackjack Card Counter,” which can be downloaded and used on either an iPhone or an iPod Touch.

Released on Jan. 15, the application gives users a choice of four card-counting strategies and calculates “significantly more accurately,” according to the Gaming Control Board.

In a memorandum that the Nevada Gaming Control Board circulated to casinos, board member Randall Sayre sounded the alarm about Blackjack Card Counter, an iPhone application that sells for $1.99 on Apple Inc.’s App Store.

“This program can be utilized on either the Apple iPhone or the Apple iPod Touch portable music player,” Sayre said in the memo (download PDF). “Once this program is installed on the phone through the iTunes Web site, it can make counting cards easy.”

It’s currently being advertised with an “As Seen on CNN” stamp for $1.99.

Among the application’s features is a “Stealth Mode,” which shuts off the iPhone screen - making the phone appear to be turned off. However, the user can still continue to track cards by pressing the screen at the spots where the keys would normally show.

Computerworld reports that Blackjack Card Counter is not the only app for card counting on the App Store. The rival “Card Counter,”  a “card-counting practice program”, sells for $2.99. Card Counter is more popular than Blackjack Card Counter; the former is currently No. 30 on the App Store’s list of best-selling games.

Is it legal? 

“Just as a reminder, use of this type of program or possession of a device with this type of program on it — with the intent to use it - in a licensed gaming establishment, is a violation of NRS 465.075,” said Sayre. Counting cards with a device is a felony under Nevada law and is punishable by prison terms of between one and six years, or a fine of no more than $10,000, for the first offense.

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