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iPhone's Card Counting Application Has Casinos Spooked

10 April 2009, Milton Shaw, Staff Writer


Ever since it was realized that the new iPhone has a card counting application, casinos around the world have been in damage control.  Most have made the move to ban iPhones from their premises.

But the problem with banning a device that is popular with so many consumers is that you tend to lose considerable patronage.  And this is the last thing casinos need right now having already lost players to online casinos.

Counting cards, and effectively betting to the running count is a skill that actually swings the mathematical edge of blackjack to the player's favor.  This means that all things being equal, a card counter will in the long run, on the balance of probability win more than he or she loses.  Now in theory, card counting isn't as difficult as it sounds.  You don't memorize every card dealt, but rather assign either -1 (10s and pictures), 0 (7 through 9), or +1 (2 through 6) to the cards dealt and keep a running number count in your head.  Basically the higher the number gets, the more you bet.

While it sounds very simple, its actually a very difficult thing to do (and not look like you're doing it!) with all the distractions of the casino environment.

The iPhone application allows players to easily keep a running count by tapping +1, 0, or -1 on the large multi touch screen.  Players can easily maintain an accurate count in even the most distracting of environments, which is precisely what casinos are worried about.

But for iPhone users with grand plans to use their new tool to play blackjack online, note that counting is totally useless at online casinos.  This is because each deal online is from a full virtual deck.  If this were not the case, players could not only count, but write down every single card dealt between deals and the casinos wouldn't stand a chance.

Of course, this is also the case for all mobile phone blackjack games.  So while you've got a great little card counting tool burning a hole in your pocket, its had to see how you can use it to make money playing blackjack.

Visit 4 Online Gambling for a discussion on blackjack strategy and card counting pages.

 

 

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