Blindfold Poker

For some reason, the  video poker game I created several years ago is now one of the most popular casino games in the Blindfold Game series.

poker hand and chips

I first created Blindfold Video Poker – it emulates Las Vegas style video poker machines.  One fan wanted more of a poker experience, so he sent me a link to an online poker site. At this site, instead of playing poker against other players, you play against a computer dealer with very strict rules, in one of 7 different games.

For example, in Three Card Poker, you start by making an initial bet.  Next you and the dealer are dealt three cards each, face-down.  After you look at your cards, you can either fold and lose the bet, or bet the same amount again.

Then you and the dealer show your cards.  If your hand is better, you win.  If the dealer’s hand is better, you lose.  If you won, and you had a good hand (like 3 of a kind), you can win several times what you originally bet.

There are two  side bets you can make in this game that makes it more interesting.  Regardless of who won, if you win one of the side bets, you can get a lot more money.

The side bet called “Pair Plus” pays you (even if you lost to the dealer) if you have a pair or better in your hand.  The best payout on Pair Plus bets is 40 to 1 for a straight flush.

The side bet called “6-Card Bonus” combines your three cards with the dealer’s three cards, and the best 5 cards out of those 6 cards determines the payoff.  A royal flush pays off at 1000 to 1.

When playing Three Card Poker included in Blindfold Video Poker, you must consider about 3 different strategies at once: beating the dealer, winning the Pair Plus bet, and winning the 6 Card Bonus bet.  We’ve added several Dealer Poker games like Three Card Poker to the Video Poker game, and we’ll be adding more.

Click to download Blindfold Video Poker:


Blindfold Bop Gesture Game for TVIs

A TVI is a teacher of a visually impaired person, and I hear from TVIs often to create games to make teaching orientation and mobility skills easier.

finger gesture on screen

Blindfold Bop Gesture Game – previously named Bop – was discussed in a recent blog, was originally suggested by Ben P. of the Braille Institute in Los Angeles.  One of the missions of the Braille Institute is to help the local community become more familiar with mobile technology.

First, Blindfold Bop Gesture Game you through some initial practice making gestures.  In Learn Game, each time you time make a gesture on the screen, it tells you what the gesture was.  For blind person who has never used a mobile device, Learn Game removes a much of the anxiety of using this new technology.

Luke D., one of the blind testers who also works with newly blind students, suggested a major improvement for the app.  Since people new to the iPhone are not familiar with many of the voice-over gestures, he wanted a way that someone could play the game before they mastered voice-over gestures.

Now there’s a setting in the game to use the Student Mode, which can be set up by a TVI.  Once in Student Mode, you are given instructions on exactly what to do at each step.  For example, as the game starts, it says “Pick a game by swiping up or down with one finger, then tap twice with one finger”.

The student, working with their TVI, will continue with Learn Game until a handful of gestures are well understood and then moves to the easy practice game.  And since the Student Mode menu is so easy, the student will practice on their own.

We are starting to get requests from school get a copy of the game for all the teachers.  To train your clients with Blindfold Bop Gesture Game, tap here:





Blindfold Sea Battle stories

A week ago, I wrote about Blindfold Sea Battle, a variant of the Battleship game.

Since then, it’s been written up in several blogs, include Diane Brauner’s Path’s to Technology hosted at the Perkins School.  She will be writing several more posts about how to use Sea Battle for educational purposes as part of her “conference season”.

Sea Battle logo

I also learned that people have created their own variants of Battleship, and I just added those to the game.  In the normal game, you and your opponent alternate turns, trying to guess where each other’s ships are located.

In the “Shoot Till Miss” variant, you get to shoot again if your missile hits your opponent’s ship.  It makes the game go a little faster and helps you sink a ship faster once you’ve found it.

In the “Shots For Ships” variant, you get one shot for each of your ships still floating.  For example, at the start of the game, both you and the computer have 5 ships, so you can take 5 shots.  Once one of your ships are sunk, you can then only take 4 shots.  This variant makes game play even faster.

Here’s a typical email for game improvements:

By the way, I’m really enjoying Sea Battle.  I have just a few tiny suggestions if you don’t mind.  First, at the end, I’m often curious as to where my opponents ships that I missed were.  Could you have it tell us?  Also, could you give us a feature that tells us which squares are open in a particular column or row?  Could this be certain gestures so that we can use it when we want to instead of it being automatic, or could we have a setting so it could be either auto or manual?   I know it sounds like I’m criticizing, probably, especially when I put this at the end of my email.  I don’t intend that at all.  Just asking if it’s possible.  I really like the game, especially when I sink the computer’s ships!  Hahahahahahahahahaha!  Thanks for reading, and keep up the good work!  (smiles)

Some of the sounds she was refering to can be heard here:


or here:

You can download the game here:

Demostración del juego Blindfold Gesture Bop

About a week ago, I was contacted by Gerardo Corripio, who publishes a blog on accessible apps for the Spanish speaking world.  He wanted to demonstrate some of the Blindfold games, and was especially intrigued by Blindfold Gesture Bop.

Here’s a link to his Spanish blog:

And here’s his recording of a 4 minute audio demonstration of the game, in Spanish:

Gerardo said that even though the games are spoken in English, many Spanish visually impaired people play them.  I told him that we may translate the games to other languages in the future.

You can get Blindfold Gesture Bop here:



Blindfold Battleship

After I built Blindfold 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, several teachers of visually impaired students wanted more games to improve grid navigation skills.

One person suggested the game Battleship, which is played on a 10 by 10 grid.  Our version is called Blindfold Sea Battle.

You and your opponent have 5 ships to place on your board, and ships vary from 2 to 5 spots long.  For example, the largest ship, a carrier, is 5 spots long, and can be placed horizontally or vertically, such as in position A1 to A5, or in A1 to E1, where rows are the letters A through J and columns are the numbers 1 to 10.   Once both you and the computer player have placed ships, you alternate turns trying to guess where each other’s ships are.

When you guess a location, such as E5, you hear a missile launching and either a splash in the water if the missile missed, or an explosion when it hits.  Once you hit all the ship’s spots, it sinks.  The player who sinks the opponent’s ships first wins the game.

The first major enhancement requested was for faster ship placement.  While the computer player’s ships were automatically placed, you had to move to a spot on the grid, and swipe left or down to place your ship.  We added automatic random ship placement for you as well; now game is much faster.

About 20 years ago, Nick Berry, a technology consultant and president of DataGenetics, a data mining company based in Seattle, had meticulously laid out several strategies that improves your chances of sinking your opponent’s ships before she sinks yours.

His methods are battle-tested: Berry created computer algorithms to employ his strategies in hundreds of millions of simulations so he could calculate their respective success rates.   He found that the optimal way to play is to only guess at alternating spots.  For example, if you check spots A1 and A3, and both are misses, then a horizontally placed ship cannot be in spot A2.  Likewise, if you check spot A2 and C2 and both are misses, then a vertically placed ship cannot be in spot B2.


Using this strategy, you can eliminate half of the spots when searching for a ship.  Once you have hit a ship, you need to check that spot’s neighboring spots in all directions, to figure out where the ship lies.

You can get Blindfold Sea Battle here: