January 13, 2022 2 min read


Inventor Makes it Possible for the Blind to “Read” Playing Cards

In the US, laws dictate that any activity that can be carried out by an “average” person has to be accessible to everyone. Casinos have missed that mark, not offering a viable solution for the blind to sit down at a card table since playing cards don’t come in Braille. That could now change, though, as a card reader embedded with speakers has been developed by an inventor to help visually impaired people identify playing cards.

A Lightweight Solution to a Big Problem

The unidentified creator of the Novak Card Reader is from Justice, Illinois. He submitted the invention through the InventHelp platform, which was created in 1984 to assist budding inventors with developing ideas and applying for patents.

The card reader can scan playing cards with accuracy and then relay information to the user via a built-in speaker system. The scanner can identify the suit and number of the card and transmit that information to the visually impaired person via headphones.

This invention is unique and would allow blind people to access previously unreachable areas in society, such as casinos. The scanner is lightweight, portable and simple to use.

Braille cards are currently prohibited in casinos. Users are forbidden from bringing their own cards in order to avoid cheating. The Novak Card Reader would enable blind people to identify standard cards used in casinos, without affecting or altering their game.

Necessity is the Mother of All Invention

The inventor of the product stated that he created it for a friend who is blind to allow them to play with normal playing cards. They could also use this to read the cards in gambling establishments, as Braille cards aren’t allowed in casinos.

The Novak Card Reader is still awaiting patent approval. However, it is available for licensing and sale to manufacturers, as well as marketing companies.

Card readers already exist for online gaming platforms, but this novel approach to land-based table games could prove to be highly effective. Most casinos will likely scoff at the idea at first, concerned that the devices could be used to glean information from the dealer’s or opponents’ cards. However, the Novak Card Reader will ultimately find success.


Erik brings his unique writing talents and storytelling flare to cover a wide range of gambling topics. He has written for a number of industry-related publications over the years, providing insight into the constantly evolving world of gaming. A huge sports fan, he especially enjoys football and anything related to sports gambling. Erik is particularly interested in seeing how sports gambling and online gaming are transforming the larger gaming ecosystem.

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