Can you use your cell phone when playing at US land based casinos?
At online casinos you can use your cell phone to play games, download casino apps or slot games apps. You can also talk with your friends or loved ones while playing at online casinos but what about using your cell phones at US land based casinos. Well there are certain rules at land based casinos to follow when you enter to play games.
There was a news in past years stating that casino regulators issued alert over iPhone card-counting app. At one of the California Indian casino someone used an iPhone based card counting system. This app caused a lot of fuss, and Nevada gaming regulators issued a general alert about it, warning Las Vegas casinos about its potential use in gameplay.
So what if you want to use an app on count cards or do card counting at a US casinos. The consensus seems to be that “skilled players” can count cards all they want; because they do not need an app to rely on and it’s not illegal. But if you do so in Vegas, however, the casinos may choose not to do business with you. Apparently, casinos will “back off” expert counters, i.e. show them the door, or possibly direct them to a less skill-based, more profitable gaming arena.
Card counting isn’t illegal but Las Vegas casinos can throw you out if you’re too obvious or too successful at it. You’re playing their game on their turf by their rules, and they don’t need to prove you’ve done anything wrong to throw you out and bar you from coming back.
That’s not the case across the country. In New Jersey, the case of Uston v. Resorts Internation Hotel Inc was decided in the gambler’s favor, as the state Supreme Court ultimately ruled that Atlantic City casinos could not bar skilled players. It’s different in Las Vegas—they can bully, harass, and back off customers so long as they stay within certain legal boundaries.
At the Nevada casinos they love the fact that blackjack is a game that is theoretically in the player’s advantage. This makes it popular and brings in a lot of incompetent players. At the same time, they hate the fact that a few very skilled people can take a lot of their money. They’re not going to throw you out when you are betting $2 to $5 at a time even if we’re counting well, but they’ll throw out the guy who bets $2 when the house has an advantage and $2,000 when the house is at a disadvantage.
So when it comes to Las Vegas, while thinking isn’t technically illegal, casinos can and will choose to kick you out when you think too much or too well. But using assistive devices like your iPhone or Android that is definitely illegal pretty much everywhere, whether you’re gaming in New Jersey, Nevada, or California. In Nevada, you can count in your head all you want, but the second you start using technological assistance, you’ve crossed a line and are committing a felony.
The Indian casino that first discovered the iPhone-based counting system alerted the California Bureau of Gambling control, which in turn sent out alerts to Nevada and other commissions around the country. In response, Nevada gambling regulators warned casinos to be on the alert for iPhone-based card counting utilities.
Nevada takes gambling cheats using phone apps very seriously. As with card counting application that operates in several modes, including a “stealth mode” where the screen is blanked, and can be operated by touching different zones on the screen. It can use up to four separate strategies for card counting.
In Nevada, each casino makes its own rules regarding the policing of electronic devices at gaming tables. Obviously not all devices are used to give players advantages. Casinos are well aware of the hazards though. Harrah’s Entertainment banned the iPhone at the World Series of Poker shortly after the iPhone debuted. With this latest system exposed and the flexibility and program ability of smart-phones on the rise, you can expect more crackdowns on electronic device use near the gaming tables.
Let us find out what the land casinos then want you to do.
You are not allowed to use any ‘computing device’ including phones, smartphones, calculators, etc. at any gaming table in Las Vegas. Also this policy varies from one casino to another. Some oft-seen rules, or rules of thumb to be aware of, are:
- Talking or texting at a table, while the game is going on, is often not permitted. Again, things might vary between properties (a number of Caesar’s casinos recently changed policies to allow for quick reading of texts and receiving a quick phone call during the game but no sending texts, for instance).
- If you need to send a quick text, it’s often wise to wait for a shuffle or get up and step back from the table.
- Do not take photos of the table game.
- Using cell phones while playing slots is fine.
- Avoid talking or texting at a poker table vs. other players (as opposed to variations of “poker” where you’re playing against the house).
- You are not allowed to use any gaming guide, card counting app when playing games.
Again, though, there is no uniform policy laid down by the gaming commission, county, state or city. Policies regarding cell phone usage at tables are laid out by the properties themselves. So, your best bet would be to ask a dealer upon sitting at a table what their policies might be. In general, though, it’s best to avoid talking on cell phones during play at tables, at least as a courtesy to other players. It’d be quite rude to leave other players at a blackjack table waiting while you were distracted with a phone call, for instance. Sending texts, during play, is also often inadvisable. Usage of cell phones on and around the gaming floor, when not seated at a table, is permissible.
Remember if you are seen using any cell phone game app like card counting app you may be asked to leave if your smartphone appears to be somewhere near the vicinity of table games.