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Monitoring a person's play traditionally is done visually, by the dealer, floorperson, pitboss, and the eye in the sky (video surveillance). If one of these observers notices something unusual in a person's play, they will do what they can to either
MindPlay utilizes a specially-designed blackjack tabletop that incorporates many features to monitor players' actions:
As MindPlay monitors every card that has been played along with players' betting habits, it is also counting cards just as a card counter would do while sitting at the table. If MindPlay notices that bets are changing dramatically at the same time that a card counter would typically make those bets, MindPlay will notify casino officials that they may want to investigate further.
MindPlay tables cost around 20,000 USD.
Because MindPlay tends to thwart their efforts to beat a blackjack game, card counters generally avoid casinos which use the system and its competitors, and often circulate news of such installations on various Internet sites. Some card counters have tried to make the general public aware of the use of these systems, in an effort to convince others not to patronize the games. Indeed, MindPlay has been somewhat slow to spread among American casinos, partly because of the cost (which must be weighed against that of card-counters) and partly because of negative reaction by players.
In 2007 Bally stopped supporting MindPlay. The product was plagued by a host of problems, from the cameras not staying calibrated, to the controller boards malfunctioning. These technical problems along with the need for constant software maintenance by Bally staff contributed to the phasing out of this system.