Tangam Visual Recognition Software: Card Demo
This is a demo video of the TableEye visual recognition software developed by Tangam Gaming Inc. This software can be integrated with any existing casino surveillance system, without the need for casinos to upgrade any of their existing equipment. Any standard eye in the sky surveillance camera can be hooked up to the TableEye video analytics system. The system interprets the video signal to recognize gaming objects, such as cut cards, ID numbers, gaming checks and most importantly values of playing cards. This demo is an unedited real time recording that shows how quickly the system is able to interpret all the relevant gaming objects. For the purpose of this demo video the system is simply displaying values of playing cards as they are being dealt face up on the layout (in the chip demo video you can see how the same software can recognize casino checks). In a live gaming situation, however, the system doesn't just interpret objects on screen but uses the data to run several simultaneous analytics. At the time of this writing there are two systems available, for two separate casino games: TableEye21 for blackjack and TableEyeBacc for baccarat.
One of the most impressive features is the speed at which the system is able to interpret the values of playing cards, even if the cards are overlapping or laid out at an angle. One big advantage is that the system works with any standard playing cards, so the casino doesn't have to spend extra money for any kind of special playing cards.
This software can be used as a stand-alone system, but most interestingly, it is designed with an open interface that enables it to be integrated with any existing RFID systems. An RFID system is able to track every single chip throughout the casino, as each chip has its own unique ID tag. An RFID-enabled gaming table tracks all the wagers and payout in real time and the TableEye system analyses the actual play. This enables the casino to monitor their games beyond human capabilities and alerts the staff to any irregularities. The system also tracks the action to award player comps and generates reports for dealer efficiency. Any gathered data is stored on a hard drive along with the real-time video recordings so that any round of play can easily be recalled at any point in the future, should there ever be the need to have a closer look.
The following four screen shots show how the TableEye21 system displays analytics for the game of blackjack. These screen shots show samples of charts, metrics, game recall for any given round and surveillance footage playback. Clicking on these sample thumbnails will open high-resolution images.
When TableEye21 is integrated with an RFID system it really makes it difficult for cheats, advantage players and card counters to go unnoticed for any long periods of time, unless they are really resourceful in devising strategies to go around it. If used correctly, this software can really assist the casino in flagging any kind of suspect players, with minimal effort on the part of the people monitoring the games. Let's imagine, for a moment, what a casino may have to do to have a complete oversight on their players and analyze them for the purpose of identifying potential card counters.
Without this software casinos would have to take shortcuts and only look at players that already fall into the "person on interest" category, for whatever reason. But let's imagine a theoretical situation where the casinos would actually employ a person to watch every player in real time.
The person monitoring the games would have to be an expert at card counting and advantage play. That person would have to simultaneously consider every possibility and run several counts at the same time, in order to truly "chart out" mental statistics. Also, that person would have to simultaneously play-out various known strategies that card counters use to throw-off casinos and consider every possible variation in basic strategy that a card counter may use to gain advantage of a high or a low count. This person would have to analyze the game for possible key-card strategies, knowledge of hole cards (if used), tracking possible slugs, and so on. All this would require tremendous concentration on the part of the person monitoring the game. And where, one might ask, would a casino be able to find such genius, in the first place? But the software can do all this, and more, without ever blinking or taking a break.
If one player on first base always happens to be placing a high bet before the first card dealt is a 10 or an Ace, the software will alert security for possible marked cards. If a sequence of cards is dealt out that is consistent with a pickup stack, the system will alert security. If a player always bets high on a positive count, or if another player consistently varies basic strategy decisions in a way that happens to coincide with the count, the system will alert security. In short, any known advantage play or cheating strategy can be programmed into the system to alert security the moment any player, anywhere in the casino, happens to be playing in ways consistent with any such strategies.
The TableEyeBacc system is used to track the game of baccarat. The following three screen shots show how the system may display alerts, a callback of any specific round and a playback of the eye in the sky video recording.
Historically, some of the biggest baccarat scams involved slugs and inside help. Baccarat slug scams require the players to record a sequence of cards on an earlier round, so the dealer can pick up the cards without disturbing them and later perform a false shuffle. The players play against each other on random rounds, letting the house win only commissions, but when the slug hits they all bet according to a known outcome. Of course, there can be more subtleties involved, but in essence that is how baccarat slugs work. It should also be noted that the above-described scenario will not work in casinos that use brand new cards on every shoe, which is now a widely-accepted procedure for all baccarat games where players touch the cards and automatic shufflers are not used (although there are still some casinos that have not yet adopted this procedure). Regardless what procedures some casinos may or may not have, there is no chance that a false-shuffle baccarat slug scam would go undetected when this software system is in use. This system will record all the sequences of cards, as they are being dealt, and compare them with any of the previously-dealt sequences stored inside the computer memory. In addition to tracking slugs the system performs many other analytics and records statistics.
As technology evolves and becomes more affordable, more and more casinos will become equipped with these kind of state of the art surveillance systems. Anyone trying to cheat in a casino environment equipped with such technology doesn't really have much of a chance to stay under the radars. Uninformed casino cheats may try some of the old tricks, but they don't really have much chance to succeed.
Of course, there is no such thing as a 100% foolproof security system. Any system can be beat and sometimes the simplest of tricks can be used to beat the most advanced security systems. I am not going to go into many details, listing possibilities to beat this system, but I can mention one possibility where this system can be used to the cheat's advantage.
First of all, it is a known fact that the biggest casino scams always involved some kind of help on the inside. This is not likely to change in the future. This software system may be impressive, but it's just as good as the people that monitor the system. The possibility of an inside job always exists, if surveillance is not properly set up. For example, this system keeps track of a count, as a game of blackjack is being played. The person monitoring the game will know, with very little effort, when the count is high. What stops this person from sending a text message to an accomplice? Of course, the system will flag a suspect player, but only if the player has been playing long enough to have a history. And of course, in this hypothetical scenario, the person that receives the alert from the system is the same person that sent the message to the accomplice, in the first place. This hypothetical scenario is not a full proof cheating strategy, by any stretch of the imagination. I am merely mentioning it as a hypothetical example to make a point that security systems are only as secure as the people that have been entrusted to operate them.