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Monday, October 24, 2022

Shuffling Cards

 Some time ago when doing simulation projects, we discovered some problems in code based random numbers.    We even tested them vs some physical machines.  To feed analytical simulation ofprocess.  Humans are well known to be terrible generators of randomness.  The article below points out that the problem is yet to be completely solved. 

On the Randomness of Automatic Card Shufflers   by Bruce Schneier

Many years ago, Matt Blaze and I talked about getting our hands on a casino-grade automatic shuffler and looking for vulnerabilities. We never did it—I remember that we didn’t even try very hard—but this article  shows that we probably would have found non-random properties:

…the executives had recently discovered that one of their machines had been hacked by a gang of hustlers. The gang used a hidden video camera to record the workings of the card shuffler through a glass window. The images, transmitted to an accomplice outside in the casino parking lot, were played back in slow motion to figure out the sequence of cards in the deck, which was then communicated back to the gamblers inside. The casino lost millions of dollars before the gang were finally caught. ... ' 

Its interesting that the comments point to further experience and research, including using a magician to detect regularity in in choice!

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