Blackjack monitoring software created by student

Complex algorithms analyse information captured by cameras

A 22-year-old computer graduate from the University of Dundee, Kris Zutis, has developed a computer system for detecting card counters and pinpointing dealer errors.

The system uses complex algorithms to analyse information captured by cameras set up in casinos, and started as a final year project in Zutis's Applied Computing degree, in which he worked closely with staff from Dundee's Gala Casino.

The system is already attracting worldwide attention, and was featured in the latest edition of the prestigious New Scientist magazine.

Zutis has been invited to showcase his system at the International Conference on Computer Vision Systems (ICVS), in Belgium this week, and has prepared a paper entitled 'Who's Counting?: Real-Time Blackjack Monitoring for Card Counting Detection'. The conference is a major international scientific forum for developments in applications of computer vision, and attracts some of the top names in the field each year.

Born in Latvia, Zutis moved to Scotland with his parents at the age of 10. He said of his project this week: "My system needs work to be commercially viable, but the potential has been demonstrated, and hopefully appearing at the conference will help generate some interest in helping me to develop it further.

"Computer vision was one of the options when it came to choosing subjects for our final year, and when it came to our final project, I started to think about combining what I was learning with something I was interested in and had enjoyed.

"I'm not a big gambler myself, but I do enjoy playing poker and I had originally intended my project to be related to that. It turned out that blackjack was far more suited to a computer vision system, and so I developed the system from there."

Zutis now works at the University of Dundee as a full-time research assistant with the School of Computing. The system he has developed detects the card counters by tracking the game as it progresses, monitoring the cards as the player does, and tracking the player's betting patterns.

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