Nevada casinos are on the alert for iPhone and iPod touch users looking to push the odds in their favor at the blackjack tables. The casinos are worried that gamblers will use one of the new card-counting apps that have made their way into the App Store in the past month or so.
According to a recent article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, operators of a Northern California Indian casino discovered customers using card-counting apps on their iPhones and alerted their counterparts in Nevada.
If you're not familiar with card counting (or haven't seen 21, the movie) it's a strategy of keeping track of the proportion of high cards (10 and up) to low cards in a deck. When the deck has more high cards than low cards remaining, the odds favor the player who will then start betting big.
The article doesn't say which card-counting apps the gamblers were using but according to a gaming official who was quoted, the app has four counting strategies and a "stealth" mode. The only one out of four card-counting apps in the App Store fitting that description is Poulet Maison's A Blackjack Card Counter. It's probably a coincidence though (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
In A Blackjack Card Counter's stealth mode, the iPhone's screen is blacked out but the you can still use a keypad to keep track of the count. You can also set the phone to vibrate when the count reaches a preset threshold. It looks to us like the fox is already in the chicken house (a translation of the French Poulet Maison).
A Blackjack Card Counter is one of three similar apps to enter the App Store recently. The other two are TMSOFT Card Counter ($1.99) and Bacon Bear Productions Card Counting Practice ($.99). Although, the emphasis with these (less expensive) apps is more on learning how to count cards rather than trying to beat the system.
Just remember that if you get caught counting cards in Nevada, you might go to jail or, worse, get your thumbs broken. Either way, you're not going to be doing much texting, for sure.