A lot of people have called or emailed me since the iPhone card counting app made news a few weeks ago. Since that time I have purchased an iPhone, and true to my word, I have not downloaded the card counting program. I have learned more about the app from watching several videos and viewing screenshots of the program, all of which confirm what I initially believed. This card counting app has absolutely no practical use. Aside from the fact that using the program in a casino is illegal, the application would be nearly impossible to use without being detected. The app does have a “stealth” mode, which causes the screen to go blank, but this makes inputting the count values even more difficult.
Legalities aside, in talking with several other members of the professional blackjack community, we all agree it is easier to count cards using natural ability and skill as compared to using an electronic device. A blackjack player who has put in the time to develop his or her card counting ability can scan the cards of a round and know the correct count in a fraction of the time it would take to enter all the count values manually. In this instance, man wins hands down over machine.
I bet few, if any of the people who used the application in casinos made significant money. Those who jumped at the chance to get rich quick probably did not take the time to learn perfect basic strategy. With average basic strategy strategy play, even mistake free use of the program is not enough to swing the odds in players’ favor. There is also the issue of money management. Even with perfect basic strategy and true count calculation, players’ must size their bets not only according to their advantage, but also relative to bankroll. Without proper money management, the extreme swings in blackjack will eventually wipe out any player’s bankroll, regardless of skill.
Tomorrow I’m headed to Vegas for the World Game Protection Conference, and I’m eager to get the inside scoop on what the casino world really thinks about the iPhone card counting app. The card counting counting program will surely be a topic of discussion as it involves both card counting and cheating technology. One of my goals is to learn how casinos view card counters in terms of their bottom line and the big picture of possible threats. Casinos are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of card counters and casino crime, but I imagine there’s not too much concern about the iPhone card counting app in the casino world since its limitations make it suitable only for home games.