What's a Lebanese gathering without a game of cards? More specifically, Arbaa' Miyyeh (400). Then again, what's a Lebanese game of cards without at least one massive argument? Those who enjoy 400 on a regular basis know the possible disaster that can come with a simple night of playing.
Either your partner is not picking up the signs and so you're losing, or the one in charge of writing down the scores is being a little deceitful with the accuracy of their actions.
What if there was an application for the sole purpose of keeping the peace during these games? An app that will do the calculations for you, error-free?
There is one Australian-Lebanese businessman who asked himself the exact same question. After searching endlessly and still coming up empty-handed, 31-year-old Michael Khouri took it upon himself to create an application that would bring peace of mind to card players.
This is where 400 Scoreboard made an appearance. It is the first application to allow people to input and calculate their scores digitally — leaving no room for human error or purposeful miscalculations.
"People always try to be sneaky with the score keeping on paper with scribbles and mistakes in calculations," Khouri told us.
He has witnessed the many arguments his family and friends have had over the years when playing 400. Some were simply hilarious quarrels while others "have destroyed friendships."
Although he has not been to Lebanon in the past eight years, he still has his fellow Lebanese in mind. With the hopes of ending all arguments related to the game - not just to keep his family and friends happy, but all 400 players around the world - Khouri, along with his app specialist friend Senadin, developed and released 400 Scoreboard to the world.
Of course, all good applications take time. For Khouri and Senadin, it was two years of planning and programming before finally perfecting its algorithm and deeming the app worthy of release in August 2019.
"We wanted to make sure it was perfect because the aim of the app is to avoid confusion - not create it. We went back and forth until we felt the user experience was simple, fast and game friendly," he explained to StepFeed.
The app not only acts as a scoreboard but as a game tutorial as well. There are clearly defined and detailed instructions on how to play the game, as well as how to score — for those who are just now learning the game or are interested in learning it.
Users are also given the option to customize the end result. For example, the most common score to end the game on is usually 41, however, some people prefer to end it on 51 or 61. The app was thus designed to cater to the users' many preferences.
In addition, all prior games played are logged on the app in case there's any confusion as to who won the last time, or the time before that, or before that, etc. Khouri is fully supportive of players' bragging rights, so he made sure they would be able to prove their win.
"We intentionally set it at the cost of a cup of coffee to be fair and affordable for everyone," he said.
The app 400 Scoreboard currently has a 70 percent off launch promotion. The best part? There are no in-app advertisements or purchases! No random pop-up ads to annoy players and distract them from their game.
If someone using the app is losing, there is no way they can put the blame on it like they would when using pen, paper, and mental calculations. It all comes down to the player and their strategy.