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A poker table card reader is a high-tech device that can read marked cards from less than an inch away. It is used by poker tournaments and TV production teams to keep track of the hands being played in a game. The device uses an infrared detector that can detect the markings of the cards. It then sends the information to a computer that can display it on a screen.
In order to make sure that a player’s card isn’t being recorded, the device has a camera on one side that can detect infrared light from the marks on the cards. This camera is hidden on a side of the gadget that appears solid, but is actually made from IR passband material that allows IR lights to pass. The device has an IR sensor and three hidden IR lights that illuminate the cards. It is for this reason that pointing a camera at the device reveals its three LEDs.
The IR sensor is connected to a motherboard that acts like the brain of the device. The motherboard translates the incoming IR signals and sends them to a computer installed in the table that can display the results on a screen. The computer can show real-time or delayed information about the cards that are being played.
The problem with such technology is that it alters a player’s behaviour. It forces players to hold their cards over the reading area for a second, and it isn’t always possible to do that.