As previously mentioned, you don’t have to be a maths whiz to master blackjack card counting. For example, with the Hi-Low method, all you need to know is how to add and subtract by one from a count of 0. You still need to be good at mental arithmetic. If this is not your case, developers have thought of you, by proposing applications allowing players to count cards directly on their smartphones.
How do these apps work?
Using the famous card counting techniques, these applications calculate the value of the cards dealt by the dealer in order to determine the value of the remaining cards in the shoe. With these card counters, the player can choose the right moment to bet large sums. To do this, the user must press a part of the screen, depending on the value of the card dealt. For example, if the card drawn by the dealer is a low card, i.e. a 2, 3, 4, 5 or a 6, this card will be worth -1 point. The player will have to press the “-” slider, located on the right or left side of the screen. When you have to bet big, the software will warn you by vibrating your smartphone discreetly. With these applications, players no longer need to mentally keep track of the total count of their calculations and can therefore, in theory, master card counting methods more easily.
A wide range of applications
The first application was released in 2009, under the name “Blackjack Card Counter”. Players could find it on the Apple Store for a small fee of $2.39. The app offered players a tutorial on the many systems of card counting, a table listing the basic strategy, a training mode with different difficulty levels and a feature that allowed the app to be used with the iPhone screen turned off, so as not to arouse the suspicions of casinos. We were unable to find this application in the Apple Store. However, many other applications have been released since then, some free, some paid, but all offering the same service: counting cards to hit the jackpot.
The limits of this method
As you can imagine, since 2009, casinos have been aware of these applications and have therefore taken the necessary measures to counter this cheating. Indeed, if counting cards in blackjack is not illegal, using an electronic device to beat the dealer is totally forbidden and punished by law. It is therefore absolutely impossible to use this method at a blackjack table.
Furthermore, at the time, some experts reported that the media buzz generated by the appearance of these applications could have been set up by the land-based casinos themselves. Indeed, the casinos’ turnover has dropped considerably, to the benefit of their virtual counterparts. It would therefore have been extremely profitable for land-based casinos to return to the limelight, making headlines in the press.