At the recent DEFCON hackers conference, members of Google’s anti-fraud and abuse team presented the results of an investigation in to a smartphone-like device for cheating at card games such as Poker. The instrument, which they purchased from a Chinese seller for $1,300, can read through an entire deck of shuffled and stacked cards, telling its user exactly which suit and number will be drawn next. If the user selects options for the number of players and the game being played, the device will even accurately predict who has the winning hand.

The feat is accomplished with a marked deck of cards, infrared LEDs, and a black-and-white camera. The whole process is quite discreet. The cards are marked along the edges with IR ink invisible to the naked eye. The LEDs work through the device’s outer casing, such that their lights are hardly noticeable. And the camera is placed in order to read the card deck from a position laying down across the table.




In fact, a sealed-in-shrink-wrap deck of cards of the purchaser’s choice of brands is included in the package.


The device too is well disguised. It not only looks very much like a Samsung smartphone, it’s built on the Android operating system and will make calls and run standard apps.


In terms of getting the scan results, users have the option to receive audio signals via miniature earpiece (included), coded signals via a vibrating receiver that can be strapped to an arm or leg (also included), or the device can make subtle changes to the time it displays on-screen.

And just in case a smartphone on the table might arouse suspicion, the package also comes with an alternate Bluetooth-connected camera hidden in a car key fob (customizable with different car maker logos).