Card counting the iPhone way (or Cheating 2.0)

Two weekends ago, for Valentine’s Day, Sara and I decided to spend it up in the mountains, and the closest one we found, with enough fun, was Genting Highlands (going down to 18°C is good for us living near the Equator). Besides the trip being absolutely fun, we had intentions of visiting the casino to try our hand on the tables — unfortunately for us, it was crowded and there wasn’t even a single seat free on any table!

She asked me about card counting and how its done. I explained a little, and somehow we got onto conversation that you cannot bring laptops into casinos (I remember Crown Casino, in Melbourne will ask you to keep it at the coat check). Genting was surprisingly lax. She then asked me what about if it was on her iPhone or something – since these phones are significantly powerful enough.

I thought about it for a bit, and said, “Yeah, its definitely possible”. Upon further thinking, I figured it can’t be that hard to hack up even. So it comes to me as no surprise to see that someone else has already done so :-)

It seems Hi Lo does this and more. Available from the iTunes App Store for a mere USD$0.99, even! Its most definitely illegal (two more apps, Card Counter, and Blackjack Card Counter exist even), and you can be thrown out of the casino for this.

Today, maybe an astute casino security manager will look for iPhones. But tomorrow, there may be apps like this on Android phones, heck, even on Nokia’s Symbian platform (the 5800 XpressMusic has a touch screen that may be ideal for this). I wonder when casinos will start sending mobile phones to the coat check (the guards are already looking out for camera phones, etc. that point to the casino floor — this is especially the case at Crown where there are restaurants inside the casino grounds).

What about a mobile application that communicates with the cloud? Offload processing, and you can run simulations that are even more demanding for games like baccarat or roulette. Or is the common smartphone today, capable of it? Hmm…