Casinos in Nevada were warned by gambling regulators to keep an eye out for a card-counting program that runs on the iPhone and iPod Touch that illegally helps players beat the house in blackjack.
Card counting itself is not illegal under Nevada gambling laws, but getting electronic help to count cards is a felony.
In blackjack, card counting techniques help players determine when they are likely to win a hand and adjust their bets accordingly. Casinos were warned last week by the Nevada Gaming Control Board in a memo (pdf). Nevada learned of the program from gambling regulators in California, where officials at an Indian casino found customers using it and tipped state authorities.
The memo says the app is called Blackjack Card Counting program and describes how it works: “The program calculates the “True Count” and does it significantly more accurately. The card counting program uses a choice of four (4) card counting strategies. For each strategy the user presses the button that contains the face cards as they are drawn from the deck. Depending on the strategy and on the value of the card the button will either add or subtract 1 or 2 from the “Running Count.” It can also be used in “stealth mode.”
A quick search of the iTunes store for “card count,” showed several card counting apps, it’s not clear which one the casinos were warned about.