Raspberry Pi Shuffler Is Computerized Card Shark

If you’re playing Texas Hold’em or other card games with a small group, you may get tired of shuffling over and over again. [3dprintedLife] was in just such a position, and realized there were no good automatic card shufflers in his budget. Instead, he elected to build one, and put in some extra functionality to corrupt the game to his whims.

The mechanicals of the machine took much development, as accurately handling and dispensing cards is a challenge, particularly with the loose tolerances of 3D printed parts. After developing a reliable transport mechanism, it was more than capable of shuffling a deck well with some basic commands.

However, the real magic comes from installing a camera and Raspberry Pi running OpenCV. This is capable of reading the value and suit of each card, and then stacking the deck in a particular order to suit the dealer’s wishes. It’s all controlled through a web interface and is capable of creating guaranteed wins in Blackjack and Texas Hold’em. Files are on Github for those eager to delve deeper into how the machine works.

The mechanism does such a beautiful job of shuffling, that your friends may not even notice the ruse. It goes to show that you should always have your wits about you when gambling with the aid of machines. Of course, if you wish only to create havoc, this Lego card machine gun may be more your speed. Video after the break.

[via Reddit]

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Vanquish Your Foes With Lego Playing Card Machine Gun

There was something exceptionally satisfying about those playground games of cops and robbers when we were young, but they were missing something in that a pretend gun made with your fingers lacks a certain Je ne sais quoi. Our youthful blood-lust demanded something a bit more real, and though the likes of NERF and other toys could supply it their lost projectiles came at a price not all parents could sustain. We’d have given anything for [Brick Experiment Channel]’s rapid-firing Lego playing card gun! (Video, embedded below.)

The principle is simple enough, one of the larger Lego road wheels is spun up to a respectable speed through a gear train from a pair of motors, it’s positioned over a channel through which playing cards are fed, and it picks each one up and accelerates it to a claimed 20 miles per hour. The card is fired off into the distance, ready to take down your Lego figure or plastic drinking cup enemies with maximum prejudice.

It’s clear some significant thought has gone into the firing platform design, with the cards sliding along smooth rails and the wheel sitting in a gap between the rails so that the natural springiness of the card can engage with it. The cards also emerge with a spin, due to the wheel being offset. The mechanism is completed with a third motor which acts as a feeder pushing individual cards from the deck into the main firing platform. This achieves an astonishing six cards per second, as can be seen in the video below the break.

We can see that this is a huge amount of fun, and we hope should any youngsters get their hands on it that there are not lurid tales of kids with playing card injuries. It’s not the first novelty projectile gun we’ve brought you, there have been numerous rubber band guns but our favourite is the automatic paper plane folder and launcher.

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A Raspberry Pi Rain Man In The Making

We see a lot of Raspberry Pis used to play games, but this is something entirely different from the latest RetroPie build. This Raspberry Pi is learning how to read playing cards, with the goal of becoming the ultimate card counting blackjack player.

If [Taxi-guy] hasn’t named his project Rain Man, we humbly suggest that he does so. Because a Pi that can count into a six-deck shoe would be quite a thing, even though it would never be allowed anywhere near a casino. Hurdle number one in counting cards is reading them, and [Taxi-guy] has done a solid job of leveraging the power of OpenCV on a Pi 3 for the task. His description in the video below is very detailed, but the approach is simple: find the cards in a PiCam image of the playing field using a combination of thresholding and contouring. Then, with the cards isolated, compare the rank and suit in the upper left corner of the rotated card image to prototype images to identify the card. The Pi provides enough horsepower to quickly identify an arbitrary number of non-overlapping cards; we assume [Taxi-guy] will have to address overlapping cards and decks that use different fonts at some point.

We’re keen to see this Pi playing blackjack someday. As he’s coding that up, he may want to look at algorithmic approaches to blackjack strategies, and the real odds of beating the house.

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Telepresence Robot Lets You Play A Hand Of Cards

Virtual card games proliferate the interwebs, but this card-playing telepresence device is unique. [Patrick] calls the project Vanna, and we’d bet that’s an homage to the tile-flipping TV star [Vanna White]. Much like she flips the blank tiles to reveal letters, this device can flip the hand of cards either face up or face down.

Each of the six card trays is connected to a stepper motor. The local player deals the hands, placing each card in a tray so that it faces the webcam for the remote player. That remote player has an on-screen interface that can discard by tilting the tray forward and dropping the card on its face, or play a card by tilting toward to the local player so they can see its face value. All becomes clear in the clip after the break.

The hardware is USB controlled from a Windows machine thanks to the PIC 18F4585 which controls it. But it should be quite simple to get it talking to the OS of your choice.

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