CA2220878A1 - Blackjack game system and methods - Google Patents

Blackjack game system and methods

Info

Publication number
CA2220878A1
CA2220878A1 CA 2220878 CA2220878A CA2220878A1 CA 2220878 A1 CA2220878 A1 CA 2220878A1 CA 2220878 CA2220878 CA 2220878 CA 2220878 A CA2220878 A CA 2220878A CA 2220878 A1 CA2220878 A1 CA 2220878A1
Authority
CA
Canada
Prior art keywords
player
dealer
jackpot
game
count value
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA 2220878
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Steven L. Forte
Randy D. Sines
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
DigiDeal Corp
Original Assignee
Steven L. Forte
Casinovations, Inc.
Randy D. Sines
Sines & Forte
Digideal Corporation
Cvi Technology, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US08/439,687 priority Critical patent/US5586766A/en
Priority to US08/439,687 priority
Application filed by Steven L. Forte, Casinovations, Inc., Randy D. Sines, Sines & Forte, Digideal Corporation, Cvi Technology, Inc. filed Critical Steven L. Forte
Publication of CA2220878A1 publication Critical patent/CA2220878A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

Links

Abstract

A blackjack or other card game system (10, 200, 300, 400, 600) having a plurality of player counters (40, 510, 540) which count the blackjack hands or other player jackpot tally events dealt to players. The system also includes at least one dealer counter (40, 510, 540) which counts the number of bust hands of the dealer or other dealer jackpot tally events. Displays (22, 202, 203, 451-456) are included for both the dealer and players to indicate the counts. The counters are typically zeroed at the end of each hand if a tally event has not occurred. Jackpots are awarded when the tally counts exceed predefined thresholds. A tabletop retrofit game system (205, 405) is shown for mounting upon blackjack tables. A special round of play having modified rules can be used as part of the jackpot award.

Description

CA 02220878 1997-ll-12 W 096/35490 PCT~US95/12908 DESCR~PTIO N
BLACKJACK GAME SYSTEM AND METHODS
TerhniA-al Field This invention relates to game systems and methods for playing the casino card game 6 allclllalively called bl~rkj~rk, casino twenty-one, or simply twenty-one.
U ~d Art The card game twenty-one or bl~rkj~rk is a very popular card game. It is particularly popular as a casino card game involving betting. In casinos the house holds the dealer hand.
In cardrooms, the house often by law is prohibited from holding the dealer hand, and one ~o of the other players is dealer. The basic object of the game is to obtain a co~ .ed card count which beats the count of the dealer without going over twenty-one. The game is played with a Cull~lllùll card deck or multiple decks having fifty two cards in four suits. Each suit has an ace, ll~l.elically indexed cards from two to ten, and the face cards. The face cards are jacks, queens and kings. Multiple decks can be cullllJhled together.
In the play of bl~rkj~rk the dealer initially deals two cards to each player and the dealer. The cards are dealt one at a time around the table. The initial two cards to the players are either dealt both facedown or both faceup, .I~ g upon the rules of the particular casino or c~dlùolll involved.
The dealer receives one card faceup and the other initial card facedown. The faceup card is also called the "upcard". The face-down card is also called the "hole card". An initial wager is placed before dealing the first two cards. After the first two cards are dealt to all players, each player is offered a variety of options inrln~iing: sr~n~ling, hitting, splitting and doubling down. The player directs the dealer to deal zero, one or more additional cards to that particular player. Limits of betting, rules, and play vary between gaming establ i~l .,, ,.~. ,l ~ .
If the player's total hand count exceeds twenty-one, then the player loses and this is often called a "bust". If the player stands with cards which count a total of twenty-one or less, then he is still in and the next player makes similar ~eci~ionc about betting and ~ iitiQn~l cards.
The dealer plays last and is h~llu~;Led by the house to hold when a certain count is achieved, typically 17 or higher.
3D The best possible hand occurs when a player or dealer has a ten-count card and an ace after l~,.,C;vhlg the first two cards. This hand is referred to ~ ;vcly as a "bl~rkj~ck"
or "natural". A natural hand is a winning hand unless the opposing dealer or player also has a natural, in which case the play is called a push and neither the player or dealer involved lose their bet or collect from the other. A player who is dealt a natural hand is typically 36 entitled to a bonus, such as equal to one and a half times the player's bet. All players lose if the dealer is initially dealt a natural hand, unless a player also has a natural. This is true except in the case when the player has taken what is called '~h~ul~lce~ (an amount usually equal to half the player's original bet).
A hand rY~ee~ling twenty-one is referred to as a "bust"or "bust hand" for both players t and dealers. Players who are still in play win the hand when a dealer goes bust. The dealer swins when a player busts.
B1ArkjArk has become one of the most popular casino card games. However, in manycasinos it does not have the same popularity as gambling attractions which offer large jackpots, for example slot ",Arl,i"~c. In b1ArkjAck winnings for each hand are limited to the amount wagered or a small multiple of the players' bets. This is in contrast to slot m~rhint~s 0which can often be played for a chance of winning very large jackpots.
Some casinos have implemP-ntl-d jackpots in the game of blArkjAck For in~t~nre, one blackjack variation awards a jackpot to players ~eceivillg four like value cards in the same hand. Another variation offers a jackpot for players lcceivhlg, in a single hand, seven cards which total twenty-one. These _l~plvacl1es have not been cull.lllcl.;ially ~ignifirAnt The lack 5of lt~"lse has ~palel,lly been due to the absence of any logical relationship between the game of b1ArkjAt~k as it is normally played and the events which trigger such a jackpot. The lack of response may also be due eo the infrequency of such jackpot events which is needed by the casino to make it possible to offer the jackpot.
Jackpots for b1ArLj~rk have also been impeded by the difficulty in finding a jackpot zoevent which is of s-lmri~nt interest to players and of a snffiritqnt1y low probability that the casino can afford to pay a jackpot on that event.
A related problem is that prior art card games offering jackpots are limited in their flexibility to offer dirr~,len~ types of jackpots. In order to attract players, it is desirable to display large jackpot dollar amounts. However, these large jackpots are by neces~ily 25relatively infrequent events. Thus if a card game picks four seven cards as a jackpot hand, they have used an infrequent event which does not hold player ~ttrnti()n Thus there is a need for a card game system which can offer both large hlrlc~luelll jackpots and smaller more frequent jackpots which willbetter hold the player's desire to ccntimlP playing the game.
The hlvc;lllive game system and m,othl~flc described below are revolutionary in 30providing a blArkjA~k or other card game which allows both large infrequent jackpots and smaller more frequent jackpots to be offered. It further allows a casino to offer 1iherAli7Pd b1~LjAfk rules. This is accomplished without sacrificing the desirable aspects of playing b1ArkjAck which have made the game so popular.
Brief Des_. ;"lion of the D. ~ j,D
3s Fig. 1 is a top view of a game system in accoldance with a pler~ d embodimeM of the invention.

W 096/35490 PCTrUS95/12908 Fig. 2 is a front view of the game system shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is an enlarged view of a dealer console in acco~dallce with a preferred embodiment of the invention.
Fig. 4 is an enlarged view of a player console in accoldallce with a preferred embodiment of the invention.
Fig. S is a simplified block ~ gr~m of a preferred control sys~em for the game system of Fig. 1.
Fig. 6 is a simplified block diagram of a player console control circuit in accol-ld,-ce with a plcrculcd embodiment of the invention.
Fig. 7 is a block diagram of a plc~l~,d control unit in accolda,lce with the invention.
Fig. 8 is a block diagram of a plerellcd dealer console control circuit in accolddllce with the invention.
Figs. 9 and 10 are block diagrams showing a plc~cllcd player console control circuit in accolddllce with the invention.
1~i Fig. 11 is a top plan view of an ~ r~ ;Vc game system accordil,g to this invention.
Fig. 12 is a front elevational view of a bl~r~j~r~ table fitted with the alternative game system shown in Fig. 11.
Fig. 13 is a top plan view of a further ~llr.~ ive cl~lI)odhllclll game system of this invention moun~d upon a bl~r~j~r~ table.
2l1 Fig. 14 is a top plan view of a still further ~ vc cllll~odilllcllL game system module according to this invention llloullLed upon a bl~Lj~l table.
Fig. 15 is a top plan view similar to Fig. 14 also showing cards, betting chips, and colored tabletop m~rking~ which aid in player hlLcl~lcLdLion of the game system module in co",bi"dlion with the table covering design.
2!i Fig. 16 is an enlarged top plan view of the game system module shown in Figs. 14 and 15 in isolation from other parts of the game system.
Fig. 17 is a side elevational view of the game system module shown in Fig. 16. The ul~lJo~i~e side view is a mirror image of this view.
Fig. 18 is a rear elevational view of the game system module shown in Fig. 16.
3~l Fig. 19 is a front elevational view of the game system module shown in Fig. 17.
Fig. 20 is a scl~ lir block diagram ill~ l;.,g a p.~ d electronic construction used in the Cil-;ui~ly inrillded as part of the game system module of Fig. 16.
Fig. 21 is a front elevational view of a plercllcd video card game d~)dld~U~
hlcullJold~ g a novel game system accol.lhlg to this invention.

CA 02220878 1997-ll-12 W 096/35490 PCTrUS95/12908 Best Modes for Carrvin~ Out the Invention and Disclosure of Invention The inventions described herein define novel card games and mrtho-lc. The card game is most preferably bl~r~ rk The novel games can pay attractive jackpots based upon seqnPnti~l occulle~lces of jackpot triggering events. These jackpo~ triggering or jackpot tally 5 events are counted to provide player and dealer count values which must achieve a threshold value to result in a jackpot award. The jackpol tally events are most p~crcldbly required to occur in a seq~lPnre of c~n~ecl~tive hands. The typical consecutive jackpot tally events are dealer busts and conseculive non-dealer player natural hands (bl~r~ c~ hands). The natural hands of the player are winning hands. The busts of the dealer are losing hands.The invention can further include having several bl~r~ rl~ tables which share a common jackpot, thereby hlcreasi,lg the size of available jackpots.
As in conventional bl~r~j~rl~ a game played in accoldance with the invention involves a dealer and at least one non-dealer player. A plurality of non-dealer players are typically involved but only one non-dealer player is Il~CPss ~.y. One pl~,rcll~d embodiment 5 of the invention described herein ~ccommorl~tes up to seven players, in addition to the dealer.
The game includes dealing a series of card hands to each player and to the dealer in accorddnce with co,.. l.l bl~r~j~cl~ playing procedures. The hands are dealt by initially dealing two rounds of single cards to the dealer and each non-dealer player, thus giving each 2~ player two cards.
The game includes cuulllillg and Ill~ g a player count value for the players.
The player count values indicate the current number of player jackpot tally events which the player has to his credit. The jackpot tally events or jackpot hands are p,ef.,ldbly credited in serially co,-~e.;~l~ ;ve runs, such as serially co..~e--ul ;ve oc-;u,~ ,ces of a natural or b! ~ rk 25 hand. Other events can all~,."dlively count toward a jackpot count sllffiri.ont to produce a jackpot award. Two ten cards might be an ~It~rn~tive jackpot tally event hand, which when obtained col-~e~ l;vcly lead to a jackpot award. Alltlllalivcly~ the non-dealer players may be given a jackpot tally count when the dealer has a natural hand. This could be preceded or followed by one or more player natural or naturals leading to a jackpot award. A further 30 possible player jackpot tally event might be al I ~ ul ~ble to a player's jackpot count when the player obtains a total card count of twenty or twenty-one, even though more than the initial two cards were required to produce the twenty-one hand count.
The game also inrh~ cv~ ;..g or u~ .wise ...~ .;..;.,g a dealer count value which the number of co.-~ecul;ve bust or other dealer event jackpot hands dealt to the35 dealer. These dealer jackpot tally events can include a dealer bust hand or a dealer natural hand. Other dealer jackpot tally events are also possible. All~ ely, dealer events such CA 02220878 1997-ll-12 W 096135490 PCT~US95/12908 s as busts can be credited to the coun~s of players or used to offer incre~ed jackpots for non-dealer players during the next consec~llivc hand or other subsequ~Pnt play.
The counting steps are plcrclably accomplished by providing at least one player counter and a dealer counter. The coulllel~ are plcrclably electronic c~ ..lr-., capable of 5 lc~ .hlg multiple jackpot count values for multiple players and the dealer.
After dealing the initial two cards to hirnself and each player, the dealer i~lPntifiPc all players who have been dealt natural or other jackpot hands in the current hand being played. The dealer then h~. .e,~cnl~ the player count values of all players i-lPntifiP~ as having been dealt natural or other jackpot-count hands. In another embodiment the dealer la hlcl.,.llcllL~ after all hands are fully played out. The hand is played out with the .~
players, and the dealer h.c.c...c..l~ the dealer count value if the dealer is dealt a bust hand or other dealer tally jackpot hands.
The game also p.crc.al)ly includes zeroing the player count values of all players not i-iPntifiPd as having been dealt natural or other player jackpot count hands in the current hand. ~ ition~11y the game in~ rlPc zeroing the dealer count value if the dealer has not been dealt a bust or other dealer jackpot count hand in the current hand. An end-of-hand device is adv~nt~eoucly operated by the dealer at the end of each hand to ~ "~lir~lly initiate the zeroing steps.
The plefe.l~,d mPthndc acco~.li--g to this invention further include dv~,aldillg a bonus zo or jackpot, referred to as a player bonus, to any player whose player count value meets or exceeds a pre~iPfinPd player count value threshold. For inCt~nre, a first natural bonus of perhaps ~50 is awarded to any player whose player count value meets or exceeds a first prerlPfinP~ player count value threshold of three. For example, this count ;".l;r~ that the player has been dealt at least three coJ-~e~ ivc natural card hands. A second natural bonus 25 of perhaps $500 is awdlded to any player whose player count value meets or exceeds a second pre~lPfinPd player count value threshold of four. This j"-lir,.l.~c that the player has been dealt four cQIl~ec~ivc natural card hands. Plo~l~,.,;,ivcly i..~;leasi-.g player bonuses are awarded for coll~ ,ol~i--gly hlclcd~illg player count values.
In a similar manner, the plef~,~lcd mPth~lc of the invention include awarding a bonus 30 or jackpot, referred to as a "bust" or dealer jackpot bonus, to all the players at a particular table when the dealer jackpot tally event count exceeds a preAefinpd dealer jackpot count value threshold. For in.ct~nre, a first bust bonus of $50 is awarded to all players when the dealer jackpot count value meets or exceeds a first pred~PfinPd dealer count value of five.
This inr1ir~tPC that the dealer has been dealt five co..secu~ivc bust card hands. A second bus~
35 bonus of $100 is awarded to all active players when the dealer jackpot count value meets or exceeds a second pre~PfinPd dealer count value of six. This in-lir~tPs that the dealer has W 096/35490 PCTrUS95112908 been dealt six col-ce~ ive bust card hands. Progressively hlclcd~illg bust bonuses are awarded for c.~llc.,~olldingly increasing dealer coum values.
Because of the st~ti.ctir~lly low probability of any player being dealt cr~ncecntive natural hands, or of the dealer being dealt consecutive bust hands, relatively large bonuses 5 or jackpots can be provided. It is believed that jackpots of up to a million dollars could be offered in col,jullclion with a game played in accordance with the invention. Furthermore, it is believed that the plcscllce of large jackpols, in addition to the norrnal Will~lhlgS of bl~rkj~(k, will be attractive enough to allow casino operators to collect a small per hand ~,ul~,hal~e or "ante" for each hand of bl~rkj~r'~ played in accol.lallce with the m~th~tlc of this 10 invention. Such an ante could be used to fund the jackpots and can also allow more ihPr~li7Pd bl~kj~ck rules during each hand. Alternatively, the predr~ bonus count ~m~untc can be set to assure a suitable improved margin for the casino.
Figs. 1 and 2 show an improved bl~rkj~rk table in accoldd,lce with a plGrcllcd embodiment of the invention, generally rlPcign~t.od by the lcr~cllce numeral 10. Table 10 includes a tabletop 12 having a conventional felt playing surface. Table top playing surface 12 can be provided with collvclllional ,.~ g~ colle~,~olldillg to seven player positions 14 arranged in an arc about a dealer position 16. Table 10 also includes a chip tray 18 for storing gaming chips. The table is ~,u~olled by a pedestal 17.
Table 10 includes two status displays which are coll-le.;Lcd to display player jackpot 20 count values and the dealer jackpot count values. In a plèrcllcd version, the player count values co~ olld to the number of c.-,-cec~ive natural hands dealt to the players. The dealer count values corresponding to the number of con.cec~live bust hands dealt to the dealer. One of the displays is positioned for viewing by the dealer, ~lcr~,ldbly in the form of a dealer console 20. The other display is advantageously position~d for viewing by the 25 players, such as in the form of player console 22. Both of the status displays are advantageously Ill..~lll.?d to playing surface 12. Dealer and player consoles 20 and 22 are provided to monitor and display the current status of the game. Specffilr~lly~ the consoles display the current number of consecutive natural hands which have been dealt to each player and the current number of col-cec~ ve bust hands which have been dealt to the 30 dealer. Dealer console 20 ~Mition~lly provides input functions to allow the dealer or o~ àlor to signal the oc~;ullcllce of natural or bust hands.
Fig. 3 shows dealer console 20 in detail. It is mounted flush with playing surface 12, facing upwardly, plcr~ably at a position ~djar~ont to the dealer. It includes a lli~,."l"~-lir l~l.~ ~,l ~I;on of a bl~Lj~ table, inrhltling a plurality of numeric indicators co.l~ ondillg 36 to the dealer and ~ xi...- ~. number of players. Seven i,~di.,alol, 24 are ~",~ cd in an arc to collc.,~(Jnd to the seven player positions at the bl~rkj~rk table. An eighth intlir~ror 25, W 096/35490 PCT~US95/12908 positioned at or near the ce~ oilll of the arc, col.e~onds to the dealer's position. The in-iir~tors are positioned on the face of console 20 in a layout .cim~ ting the arrangement of the actual dealer and players relative to table 10. Each numeric indicator isadvantageously a seven-segm.ont LED (light emitting diode), capable of displaying a single 5 digit in the range of zero through nine.
Dealer console 20 further comprises a player key 26 for each player. Each playerkey 26 is manually operable to indicate or signal that the player has been dealt a natural or other jackpot hand. More specifir~lly, each player key 26 is a mc.l.b.ane-type switch which is depressible by the dealer to increment an individual player's count value when said 10 individual player has been dealt a natural hand. Each player key is positioned ~ rent a numeric indicator. A numeric indicator 24 and a player key 26 are thus position~d to co..c~ond to each player. Dealer console 20 also includes a dealer key 28 which is depressible or otl.c-wise manually operable to indicate or signal that the dealer has been dealt a bust hand, and to ill~;lClllClll the dealer's count value when the dealer has been dealt s a bust hand. Dealer key 28 is posili~ n~d ~ljac~ont numeric indicator 25. A~lu~liàLc legends are printed on the keys. For inct~nre, the player keys are labelled "1"through "7 The dealer key is labelled "D". The player keys and, dealer key 28 are preferably ~-I~I-.I,.al.e-type ~wi~chcs. Ca,uaC;iLivc or other types of keys or ~wil~;hes can also be used to allow the dealer to signal the OC~,ur~cnCc of player jackpot and dealer jackpot hands.
Finally, dealer console 20 includes a pair of locking key~wiLcl~cs 30 and 32. The functions of these kcy~wilclles will be explained in more detail below. In general, key~wilches 30 and 32 are operable by a floor m~n~ger and by a pit boss, rc~c~;liv~:ly, to reset the game control circuits or to implement other system control functions.
Fig.4 shows player console 22. Console 22 is adva..l~eou:,ly adapted for mounting 25 to table 10 by a pair of ~ U-I~;Ug struts 27. It is positioned to face away from the dealer and, toward the players. Player console 22 includes a numeric i..dicalo. 34 for each player, ~rr~ng.od in an arc similarly to hldicàu~ 24 of dealer console 20. Player console 22 also includes a ~-uln~,ic h~dicàlOl 35 for the dealer, positioned centrally within of the arc formed by numeric indicators 34. Console 22 does not include player keys or a dealer key. The 30 numeric indicators of player console 22 are preferably similar or ;cl.onti~ to the in-lir~tor.c used in dealer console 20. However, the dealer and player displays are oriented oppositely with regard the arc direction to reflect the dirrcrcnl pc,~c~ res of the table as viewed by players and the dealer. Because the hldica~.~ are allallged like the players about table 10, players can i.----~ 1y ~csoei~t~ each of the indicators with a specific player or dealer 3~ position.

CA 02220878 l997-ll-l2 W 096135490 PCTrUS95/12908 Player console 22 also preferably includes a pro~a.l.lll~hle signboard or textual display 36. Programmable signboard 36 is of a type which can be controlled through a digital co""",."ir~tion~ port. It is preferably a matrix-type display, having individual pixels which are illlll,,i.,~lPd or activated to present selected messages across the top of player console 22.
5 Signboard 36 is capable of forming scrolling or flashing messages for added visual impact and to serve as an attraction to draw players to the game system.
While h~ el~ive forms of dealer and player consoles are shown and described, v,tri~tion~ are of course possible. For instance, it may be desirable in some situations to utilize a single matrix or pixel-type display, such as cc,llllll- nly used in conjunction with o personal culll~uLels, in place of the discrete numeric indicators of each status display. Such a display would be controlled by sorLwalc to display individual count values in the desired a~.d,~g~ .l A display such as this might also incolllo.a~ "touch" input features, so that the dealer could signal natural or bust hands by simply touching a ~iPcigntrp~cl area of the display rather than discrete keys. A l~ cu~;ular matrix display could also be pro~l~---lRd to 15 incorporate the textual display or signboard ~ ru~Pd above. Alternatively, some CUIII~O~ of the consoles, such as the numeric indicators, might be physicallypositionpd around the table, rather than grouped as described above.
In addition to the status displays, table 10 also advantageously includes an end-of-hand device 38 (Fig. 1) which is positioned for manual operation by the dealer at the end 20 of each hand to signal the end of the hand. End-of-hand device 38 is p~er~lably a co~v~--Lional poker slide into which the ante chips from the players deposited before each hand. At the end of the hand, the dealer operates the poker slide to accept the deposited chips. The poker slide includes a sensor or switch (not shown) which is cul-l~P~lPd to the control unit 40 in order to zero the player count values of players who were not dealt natural 25 hands in the previous hand. It also serves to trigger zeroing of the dealer count value if the dealer was not dealt a bust hand in the previous hand.
Fig. 5 shows a simplified block tli~gr~m of a p.~rt;lled control system for the game system ~es~rihed above. It co...l,.ises three units: a progla l----able control unit or controller 40, a dealer console circuit 42, and a player console circuit 44. In actual practice, control 30 unit 40 is physicallyi~col~ laLed with dealer console circuit 42. For ~ oses of expl~n~ti--n, however, control unit 40 and dealer console circuit 42 are described below as two separate circuits. Either con~tguration is~cc~lul;hle~
Control unit 40 is c~ nnPcted to dealer console circuit 42 by a number of individual parallel lines,collectivelyr.,rtl.,llced bythe numeral 46. Control unit40cu"""~ r~tps with 35 player console circuit 44 through first and second serial signals 48 and 50. As shown in W 096/3S490 PCTrUS95/12908 Fig. 6, first serial signal 48 is c~,llllcclcd from control unit 40 to p~ lll able signboard 36 of player console 22. Second serial signal ~0 is connected from control unit 40 to a numeric indicator control circuit 52. Pro~.d.. ~hle signboard 36 is a conventional cullllllclcially available product which can be cnmm~n-led by control unit 40 to display various textual !~ mPcs~gpc in a variety of formats. Numeric indicator control circuit 52 is a custom circuit, described below, which allows control unit 40 to command player console 22 to display the player count values and the dealer coum value. A third, optional serial signal 51 can be used to co.. ..;r~t.o with a master or slave bl~ table as ~iccllcced below.
Control unit 40 is plcrclably a microprocessor-based logic circuit, prù~ lled to10 monitor the player and dealer keys and to control the indicators and displays of game table 10. It is co~ to c.~ i the nu-lc~ic indicators of dealer console 20 and player console 22. as well as to c...l..,.~ l plog~ hle signboard 36 through first serial signal.
It is also conn~cted to be .sign~lle(~ by the player keys, the dealer key, and the end-of-hand device. More specifir~lly~ control unit 40 is prog.~ll,.led to provide and ",~ ;.;" a plurality ~s of Cvulll~..S or counter IC~ . A player counter is Ill~ d for each player and a dealer counter is ~ r~l for the dealer. Each player counter counts and ..,~iste.:, the player count value for a particular player. The dealer counter counts and l~i;,L~ the dealer count value.
As .l;.~ d above, the player count values indicate the number of consecllfive 20 natural hands dealt to individual players. The dealer count value i~ lPc the number of cr~ e~-l;v-e bust hands dealt to the dealer. The cu..,.l. . are plerc.dbly ,..~;,.I;.;,.~d in one or more lni~,~u~ucessor le~ cl~ or in read/write IllClllOly ~.oç~ d with a mic.u,urocessor.
Dealer console 20 and player console 22 are colllRcLcd to receive i-r.. ,~ n from the player and dealer Cuu~ and to display such h~rull..dlion to the players and the dealer.
25Control unit 40 might ~ .--,-I;vcly be (1~osignPd with circuit cl~ other than -liclu~locessol-related c(jlllpollcllls. For inct~n~e, control unit 40 could alv ~ u~ly be nPnt~od with discrete logic gates or with plog,~ hle gate arrays. However, a mi.;l.,~loce,,~or-based system allows a degree of flexibilitywhich is ~o5irahle as culll~alcd with other types of circuits.
Regardless of the specific means of imple.. ~ on, control unit 40 forms means for keeping a count and selectively i...,.~ ..l;..g individual players' player count values in .,,..I,ollse to oper~ti~ the player keys collc~on~;lillg to said individual players. Control unit 40 also forms means for hl ;lc~ l;llg the dealer count value in l~,~,uollse to ope~alillg the dealer key. ~ inn~11y, control unit 40 forms means for zeroing, at the end of each hand, 35 the count values of players which were not dealt a natural hand in the previous hand. It also serves as a means for zeroing, at the end of each hand, the dealer COUM value if the dealer W 096/35490 PCT~US95112908 was not dealt a bust hand in the previous hand. Said zeroing filnrti~nc are advantageously performed in Ic~onse to ulJtlalhlg end-of-hand device 38 al the end of each hand.
Furthermore, control unit 40 is pro~ llled and forms means for displaying the dealer count value and the player coun~ values of all the players. In the plc~llcd embodiment of the invention. control unit 40 is further p~u~ lPd to culllllland ~.lu~lalllllable signboard 36 of dealer console 22 to indicate the award of the natural and bust bonuses tliccnc.sed above for consecutive natural or bust hands. Plo~lallunable signboard 36 can also be used to display other lllessagcs, such as current jackpot amounts, attractions messages, or other useful hlrul.lldlion.
o Fig. 7 shows control unit 40 in more detail. It comprises a pro~lalll-llable data pfocessol or llliclu~ul'ocessor 60, asso..ialcd with pluglalll llltllwly 62 and data lllClllUly 64.
Program IIICIIIUl,~/ 62 typically culllpli~eS a read-only memory or erasable read-only memory.
Data IllClllOl.y 64 typically culll~ es read/write memory. Data lllCllloly 64 is ,ulerl ~ably non-volatile memory such as battery-backed memory. The various c.,lll~o~ of control unit 40 c~ ir~te through a cullvclllional address/data bus 66.
Control unit 40 includes three cc,llvclllional serial port interface chips or intpgratlod cireuits, tl~cign~tPd in Fig. 7 by the Icr~,c,lce numerals 67, 68, and 69. These ehips provide three serial ports, coll~ onding to serial signals 48, 50, and 51 of Fig. 5. First and seeon serial signals 48 and 50 are co.~.~fclrd to player console 22. Third serial signal 51 is intrn-~d to be used for cu~ ir~tinnc with a host CGIIl~ulc~ or other bl~r~ c'~ tables as rl.occrihed below.
Control unit 40 also includes three parallel I/O ehips, llesign~d in Fig. 7 by the lcrcltncc mlm.oralc 70, 71, and 72. The first two I/O ehips 70 and 71 each accept eight inputs. The third I/O chip 72 has eight output lines.
Fig. 8 shows dealer console circuit 42, whieh ineludes numeric in-lir~forc 24 and 25.
Eaeh numerie indieator culll~ es a coll~clllional LED hllicalOl in culllbillalion with a diserete eontrol ehip or hlLe~lalcd eireuit. The numerie in(lir~tor.c are multiplexed to reeeive a culllllloll four bit binary c~.l....~n~l signal, Culll~ illg the individual signals D01, D02, D04, and D08. D01, D02, D04, and D08 are produced by I/O ehip 72 (Fig. 7), in ~c~ol)se to 30 c.. ~.~.. lC from lllicioplùccssor 60. Eaeh indieator also aeeepts one of a set of eight ehip seleet signals~ (1 SELl-SEL8. SELl-SEL8 are ~ d byathree-to-eight deeoder78 whieh is driven by a set of dealer eonsole seleet lines DSELl-DSEL3. DSELl-DSEL3 are pl~duccd by I/O ehip 72 (Fig. 7), again in response to co...~ lC from miclo~loeessor 60. Miclv~uccssor 60 is plo~;lall-llled to co.. ~ numerie indieators, through I/O ehip 72.
35 to display the player eount values and the dealer eoum value.

W O 96/35490 PCT~US95112908 Fig. 8 also shows player keys 26 dealer key 28 and k~y~wiL-;hes 30 and 32. Each of these switches hac a first terminal co""e. led to ground, and a second tPnnin~l cu.,nr~-lpd to an input of I/O chip 70 or 71. The player and dealer keys are connected to I/O chip 71 through signal lines DSWl through DSW8. Kt;y~wil~_hes 30 and 32 are co""c~led to I/O
5 chip 70 through signal lines KSWl and KSW2. End-of-hand deviee 38 (shown only in Fig.
1) is co""e.;led to an input of I/O chip 70 through an input signal EOH (Fig. 7).
K~y~wilches 30 and 32 are used to alter the O~aLillg mode of the system for providing control filnrtionc. For in.ct~nre, one of the kc~y~wi~l_hes is operable by a floor Illdllagel to allow the floor manager to adjust counter totals. When activated, this k~y~wiLel o allows individual cou"Lt:~ to be selectively i"crr...- .IPCI by repeatedly d~le~shlg the applo~lidlt: player or dealer keys. The other of the k~y~wiL~ hes is operable by a casino pit boss to enable other control functions such as specifying jackpot ~...u....l~ and display modes.
The player and dealer swil~hes are used to input the ~r~/~lidl;: h~l"~alion.
In a~ hiûn tû the indieators and swiLcl~es ~ u~ ed above, eontrol unit 40 includes fivemode switches, labelled 80,col~ lrd to inputs of I/O chip 70. These ~wil~ cs are used to select O~.~alillg ehalacl~ Lics of the gaming system. It is cv,.lr .,~ t~d that mode switches 80 will be used prirnarily to specify to ,,,icluplucessor 60 whether garne table 10 should operate in a stand-alone, master mode or as a slave to another table or to a master c~.. l. ~~tr. When acting as a slave, jackpot .. -u-.l~ would be controlled by a master table zo or CUIII~ ., and table 10 would report game status to the master table or CUIII1.~ . This would allow a plurality of tables to share a en..~..,o-- jackpot, and would allow ",ol,ilolil,g of game status ~rom a ceMral location. Mode ~wil~lles 80 are also used to specify the address of game table 10 when it is ol)e.dlillg as a slave. Other functions might be ~ccoci~t-od with mode ~wilcLes 80 in the future.
Figs. 9 and 10 show numeric in-lir~tor control circuit 52. Numeric ill~ or control circuit 52 is nearly idPntir~l to the co",l,i"alion of control unit 40 and dealer console circuit 42, shown in Figs. 7 and 8, except that it inrl~ Pc only a single serial interface ehip and a single parallel I/O chip, and it does not include any swilcl,es. Thus, mlrn~ric. in-lir~tor control circuit 52 colll~lises a plO~ hle data ~iocessor or micluplucessor 90, ~CSo~ rd with read-only prograrn lllellluly 92 and read/write data IllClllOl,y 94. The co~ one~ of nurneric h~dic~lol control circuit 52 cu"..".~.,ir~l~ through a cu,,v~ .,lional address/data bus 96.
Nurnerie i~dicàlor eontrol eircuit 52 I-Ullllt:llllUle inrlrld.-5 a co"~"liol~l serial port intrrf~re chip or i,,le~làl~d circuit 96, and a parallel I/O chip 98. I/O chip 98 has eight output lines.
As shown in Pig. 10 nurneric i"dicdlor control circuit 52 also includes nurneric35 indicators 34 and 35. Each numeric hlldicalor culll~liSeS a cull-v~.,lional LED i"-li~lor in eu,~lbinà~ion with a diserete eontrol ehip or i"leglal~d cireuit. The nurneric indicators are CA 02220878 l997-ll-l2 W 096/35490 PCTrUS9~/12908 multiplexed to receive a Cu~ llOll four bit binary cn.,....~ signal, cu",~ hlg the individual signals P0l, P02, P04, and P08. POl,P02,P04, and P08 are produced by ItO chip 98 (Fig.
9), in response to co... ~ from microprocessor 90. Each indicator also accepts one of a set of eight chip select signals design~t~d SELl through SEL8. SELl through SEL8 are generated by a three-to-eight decoder 99 which is driven by a set of player select lines PSELl through PSEL3. PSELl through PSEL3 are produced by ItO chip 98 (Fig. 9), again in response to co........ ~ ls from microprocessor 90. MieluL~lucessor 90 is plo~ ed to cu.. ,~ l numeric inrli~tors 34 and 35, through I/O chip 98, to display the player count values and the dealer count value in response to serial comm~n.l~ from control unit 40 0 through serial signal 50.
The game system described retains all the features of collv~ ional casino bl~r~i~rk In addition, it provides variety jackpot features or dir~.e.,. jackpot possibilities. The game system, as a result, is more exciting to play than conventional bl~r~i~rk- When playing in accû~ddllce with the methods of the invention, players have the hope not only of winning individual hands, but of also winning jackpots based on con~ec.-tive hands or other seq--enti~l jackpot tally events. The increase in potential whlllill~ is likely to make the game even more popular than cullvellLional forms of bl~r~ c~ Furtherrnore, the added desirability of potential jackpot winnings should make it possible to collect hand sulcllàlg~,s or antes and to thus increase revenues of gaming establi.cl~.. - .~. .Atl-litinn~lly, the procedures may allow 20 more liber~li7Pd rules of play.
Figs. 1l and 12 show an ~lle~ ive gaming system 200 accoldillg to this invention.
Gaming system 200is an electronic retrofit tabletop game system constructed to be llluullLed upon a ~liuldàld bl~r~j~rk table l0. Table 10 is as described above in connPction with the embodiment shown in Fig. 1, inrlu~ing six player positions 14 and playing surface 12.
25 Gaming system 200 includes a first or central module 201 and two side m~llles202 and 203.
Central module 201 has a low profile and is positioned in a central location upon the bl~rkj~r~ table ~ cPnt to the dealer's position 16. The port side module 202is at the dealer's left and the sL~ll)oal.l side module 203is at the dealer's right. Central module 201 includes a chip tray 218 ~ Pnt the dealer position which has a plurality of leceivhlg 30 troughs for holding gaming chips (not shown).
The central module 201 preferably includes a central module housing 205. Housing205 has a top member with an upper surface 206. Housing 205 aiso has a lower or bottom member 207 which rests upon the upper playing surface 12 of gaming table 10. The top and bottom ...- ..l,. ~ are joined by a p.~ Pr emh~nbmPnt or curb wall 209. The leading or 35 front edge 208 of curb wall 209 rests upon the upper playing surface of gaming ~able l0.
The curb is plef.,.dbly constructed so as to provide a front wall which is sloped at a suitable W 096/35490 PCTrUS95112908 angle, such as in the range of 30-60~ from horizontal. This inclined or sloped col~Llu~;Lion provides improved utility for hqn~ling of cards by the dealer, reduced risk of injury to the dealer's hands and arms when w(jlhhlg over the curb, and improved visibilityfor the displays m~ unt~d thereon. As shown in Figs. 11 and 12, the top edge of the curb is plcrclabiy flush 5 with the upper surface of the central module top lll, lll~CI 206.
Housing 205 defines an interior cavity within which are mounted various electronic CU~ JO1ICIIl~ and wiring associated with the control system 40 and displays,switches and other components which are described more specifically elsewhere herein. The housing of central module 205 is constructed so as to provide a mPrhqnirqlly inLcgl~Lled unit colll~illillg such internal co~ onclll~. Such a central module can be easily moved to a gaming table and placed in the position shown in Fig. 11.
A series of indica~or displays 210 are arranged along curb 209. Displays 210 include six player displays 211-216. A dealer display 217 is located in the center. Displays 210 plcfcl~,bly include an array of individually controllable light bars. The light bars for displays t.~ 210 ~Icrcl~bly extend along the front face of curb 209 and also along the upper surface 206 to thereby provide good visibilityfor the dealer from above and players from the front. As shown, each display light bar can be individually lit to indicate from one to five cul.se.;uLiv~
jackpot hands. The display is unlit when there has not been a jackpot hand in the plccedillg play for which the player still has credit. In the case of dealer display 217 the light bars can za be lit to indicate one to five co~e~ ;ve dealer bust hands.
Central module 205 also plef~,~ably includes player keys 223 and dealer key 224.Keys 223 and 224 are similar in function to keys 26 and 28 described above. Keys 223 and 224 are conveniently positioned for a~;Liv~.Lion by the dealer just after h,qn-ilinE cards to and from the players.
Central module 205 is also ~lcÇe.~bly provided with a deposit slot 242 which allows the dealer to deposit cash used by players to l~urchasc gaming chips. Deposit slot 242 communicates through the central module to provide money pass through into a cùllc~olldillg deposit slot (not shown) formed through the blq~L-j,qrL- table 10.
As shown, the plerell~d gaming system 200 further includes a port side module 202.
30 Port side module 202 is adapted to connect with a back wall 245 of the central module 205.
Side module 202 cu. l. l~ with the central module in a manner which places the side module in an ~ l;"g oliel-L~lion. This is adv,qn~,qgeollsly ,q~ccomrli~h~l using r~ ..r..~ (not shown). Side module 202 is also su~ulled upon the surface of ga-m-ing table 10. The ouLl)o~d end of the side module can also be ,qt~,q~h~d to the table using a suitable clip (not 35 shown) which slides under the padded p. ;...~ of the bl~ Lja. L table.

CA 02220878 1997-ll-12 W 096/354~0 PCTrUS95/12908 Gaming system 200 also preferably includes a ~L~lI,oald side module 203. Starboard side module 203 is similar in cons~ruction to port side module 202 in several respects. It is plcr~.ably fastened to the central module and is ~uL~polied upon the gaming table in similar fashions. It ~tlflition~lly includes a dealer con~rol panel 251 having a series of dealer coMrols 5 252. Dealer controls 252 include the key switches, similar to switches 30 and 32 described above. Additional coMrols are shown merely to suggest possible controls used to operate the ~ led side panel displays described below.
Side mn~ P~ 202 and 203 also p~crc-~bly include side panel displays 254 mounted upon the front faces 246 of the side m~ lles. Side panel displays can be printed material o or electronic displays of fixed or alterable display capabilities. One embodiment includes variable electronic displays which can be scrolled to present a moving message. Another embodiment shows fixed hlru~ alion in(lir~ting betting ranges for the bl~k~ table. A still further embodiment allows a cul~bi~alion of fixed h.~....~lion on table betting ranges coupled with a scrolling or fl~hing display sign which presents an ~ aclillg ~l~cssàge clçsignPd to bring players to the table. Other ~ItPrn~tive display modes are also possible.
The details of particular displays 254 willvary dc~endc~-l upon the particular co,l..llcl.;ially available display chosen.
The front faces 246 of side mt ~lnlPs 202 and 203 are also advantageously provided with printed material .li.~l,ç.. ~ 260 which hold printed rule p~mphletc 261. Rule p~mph 261 advantageously present hlrullllalion about the particular jackpot ~.. u.. l~; and seq -Pnti~l event c~,llll,h alions which pay jackpots at the particular bl~r~j~rl~ table involved.
Gaming system 200 is particularly advantageous in providing a add-on or retrofitgaming system which can be brought to an existing bl~r~i~r~ table and be fitted thereon with minimal expense. Once fitted, the blP~ rk table can then be used to perform the novel 25 gaming mPthn-lc accc..di..g to this inveMion.
Fig. 13 shows a further all~,...alive embodiment of gaming system 300 similar tosystem 200. In the embodiment of Fig. 13 the central module is con~l~lred as an annular c~ ..l or curb 301 which extends partially around the dealer position. The central module is co.~llucled as an annular curb band or ring. An infield area 302 is within the 30 curb, and is open to expose the bl~r~ tabletop surface 12. The light bar displays 210 are mt)untPd upon the annular curb-shaped central module. This construction does not require a slot 242 but instead allows a similar slot 343 already formed through the tabletop to function without il..~cdallce. Otherwise system 300 is similar to system 200 and similar ~,f~ c .. l.- -.~ have been used in both c-.. ~o.~ for similar features.

CA 02220878 1997-ll-12 W 096/35490 PCT~US9S/12908 Fig. 14 shows a p-crcllGd garne sys~em 400 accol.li-lg to this invention. Game system 400 has llUIII~,I OUS CC III~OIlClll:j which are sirnilar to other syslems described above, speçifir~lly game systems 10, 200, and 300.
Table 410 is similar to table 10 but is provided with a tabletop playing surface 412 5 whichhas a special design and .~,~rki"g ~ g~ l which works inconjunction withagame system central module 405 which is centrally located upon the playing surface at a central module rest location 415. Table 410 has sixnon-dealer player positions 421-426 and a dealer position 427. Other IlUlll~Cl~i of players are possible. Tabletop 412 has player zones 431-436 which are ~ oci~t.-d with player positions 421426, rc~e~_lively. Each player zone is 0 dcl,la,~ ed by player zone boundary ~ lk;~ 413. The space 417 i.. f~ ly in front of central module 405 is left open or can be used for p~ l pl~s~,.llalion of the game name or other hlrul 1 l l~l ir~n Adjacent to each player zone are visual leader designs or 1..~l k iug ~ 441446 which act as a direct visual tabletop indicators between the player position and ~o~ lrd player zone, 5 and the corresponding player count displays 451~56 which are arranged along the sides of module 405. As shown, the visual leader Ill~lkill~ 451456 COIII~ illg arcuate bands which extend from the heads of each player zone toward the central module. The visual leader Il.~.k;.,g!~ 451-456 are most prcr~,.ably colored in contrast to the other portions of the player surface, and in l..~ i which are dirf~,~c~ll from the ~ rr.~l visual leader m~rking bands.
20 Fig. 15 shows the visual leader bands shaded for a specific color cc.lllbil~lion, but IlUlllcl~U~
~1lr~ll-l;vc color s~ llPs are possible. Visual leader ll'~lk;l~ 451-456 also ~lcfclably include leader syrnbols 458 which as shown are star designs which help to direct the viewer's ~ntir~n along the leader bands toward the player count displays.
Each player zone 431-436 is plcrclably provided with a chip betting area 438.
2s Betting areas 438 are used to ~e~-;rir~lly provide an area of the playing surface upon which chips being bet must be placed.
Table 410 also includes a chip rack 418 and bill deposit slot 442.
Fig. 15 is similar to Fig. 14 with the additional ~ ;on of betting chips 439within chip betting areas 438. Also shown are playing cards 449. The visual leader Ill~.k;l~gx 30 451 and 456 are shown shaded for the color red, I..~ ;l,g~ 452 and 455 are shown shaded for the color purple, and Ill~lkillg.~ 453 and 454 are shown shaded for the color green. This provides ~r1hir~n~1 visual contrast between the dirr~ players' Il.~.kil.g~.
Figs. 16-19 show the pr~;rtll~;d central game system module 405 in greater detail.
Game system module 405 has a front 401 which is oriented toward the player side of table 35 410 during normal use. Module 405 also has a rear 402 which is normally oriented toward the dealer position 427. A first side 403 and second side 404 extend between the front and rear of the module. A top surface 406 is advantageously provided with player keys 471-476 which c.~llc;;,yond to player positions 421-426, res~el;Lively. Player keys 471-476 are used to hlcl~lllelll the player count value stored in the associated player counter. As shown there is one player key which is depressed to illclelllelll one player counter. AlLt:Llldlively, more 5 than one player counter may be used in particular ch~ res to count differing types of player jackpot tally events. However, for purposes of operational simplicity, the single counter, single player key construction is most preferred. Player jackpot tally events are subject to various rules of play but will typically include a player bl~rki~rk or similar winning hand; a dealer bl~r~j~rk hand may be used as an equivalent, as in-lir~rrd below; or a player 0 receiving a pair of ten-count cards may also result in a player jackpot tally event.
Module 405 also plcrt:ldLly includes a first dealer key 477. As shown, the first dealer key 477 is used to hl~ llc;llL the player COUlll_~. This action causes the dealer playing event, such as a dealer natural or bl~rkj~rk hand, to fi-nrti~n as a player jackpot tally event.
Thus each player in the hand receives a hlclelll~llLdl addition to his or her player count value ~5 due to the dealer having r~ceived a bi~rkj~rl~ hand or other Lligg,elillg event as d~lr~...;.-~d by the rules of play. Alternatively, the dealer tally event can be used to hlc;~ lL a separate dealer bl~r~j~rk counter (second dealer counter) which is distinct from the individual player COUll~
Module 405 further ~l~,f~,~dl)ly includes a second dealer key 478. As shown, thezo second dealer key 478 is used to hl,l~ lll the dealer bust counter (first dealer counter) which lCgi~lel:~ the dealer jackpot tally event count. The dealer receives a hlcl~ llldl a~l-litinn to his or her dealer jackpot count value due to the dealer having received a bust hand or other triggering dealer jackpot tally event as d~l~ ~...i..~d by the rules of play.
Module 405 still further includes a log key 479 which functions as an end-of-hand 25 device which is depressed or olll~ ,vi~e activated at the end of each hand. Under typical play the activation of the end-of-hand log key 479 will result in the zeroing processes dcsclibed above being effected to reset the COulllel~ which should be reset to zero under the con-liti~ n~ present in that game and given the specifics of play. Log key 479 also tr~n~l~t~s I~lll~Uldl.y events to cause the apploplidle player cu~ . to be hl.~ d in plc~ l;on 30 for the hand.
Module 405 also includes a control key switch 480 which is adapted to receive a security key used by a dealer, pit boss or floor manager to reset or backup play of the module.
Module 405 further includes the player count displays 451-456 along the sides of the 35 module. The player count displays shown are adv~nt~geo -cly discrete LED (light emitting diode) clF~ 459 which light up as individually controlled. The player count displays ~ = - ~

W 096135490 PCTrUS95/12908 17 indicate player jackpot count values of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 as shown by turning on the same number of elem~ntc. Each player count display is advantageously rendered more recognizable by an optional player count display border 409. When module 405 is placed on the table, the player count display borders 409 preferably are positioned to align with the 5 borders between the ~ rent visual leader bands 441~46 to further aid in the easy alion of play by all viewers.
Fig. 20 shows an electronic srl~ ic block t~i~gr~m of a plcr~ d ele~ unics ~;h~,uilly 500 used in module 405. The pl~r~ ,d electronics include a main power supply 501 which is co~ d to a supply of ~ . "~ g current power, such as a typical 110 volt AC
o power source. AlLt~ ive~ly, the AC line electrical power source and power supply 501 can be l~laced by a suitable battery power source.
The output from power supply 501 pl~r~lably produces a -12 volt direct curren~ (DC) output. This output is used to power other portions of the circuit as inrlif ~ted at the symbol A. The output of power supply 501 is advantageously coupled to a second power supply 502 which produces an output which is preferably a -5 volt direct current power source in-iir~tf-d by the symbol B. The output of power supply 501 is also plertl~bly coupled to a third power circuit 503 which provides iLIe~ldliull of a battery backup circuit powered by battery 504 to pleS~../e data during periods of power hll~llul)lion. UnillL~,Ilu~l~ble S volt DC power is supplied to a micro-controller 510 via circuit 503. Circuit 503 also provides a reset signal to zo micro-controller 510 in lc~onse to a reset switch (not shown).
Micro-controller 510 is provided with a clock crystal 511 which allows the micro-controller to ..~ i.. an internal clock. Micro-controller 510 has an audio output signal which is electrically co..l-~ ed to an audio effects ~ul)cir~uil 520. Audio effects ~ub~ ;ui 520 provides audio output to a speaker 522 which provides chimes or other desired audio 25 effects to attracts patrons, signal a winning jackpot, or provide other sounds as desired.
Micro-controller 510 is co~ d to two serial-to-parallel LED driver circuits 531 and 532. The outputs from circuits 531 and 532 are CO....f ~ d to the player count i...li. ~lor.
459 for displays 451-456.
Micro-controller 510 receives signals from a key pad shift register 540. Key pad shift 30 register 540 is c~ u~t~d to the key ~wilclles 471-480. Signals from shift register 540 are ~roce:,~ed in micro-controller to provide the int1if~te-d c~ulllhlg and zeroing r.~ nc i-..li~''.l-d htl~;-labuv~-Micro-controller 510 isalso adv~ u~ y c~ le-d to aserial port 550whichcan be used to int~ fe the central module 405 with an ancillary display sign (not shown) but 35 sirnilar in col~llu~;lion and function to displays 22, 202, and 203 e~rl~inf-~l above.

W 096/35490 PCTrUS95112908 Fig. 21 shows a further card gaming system 600 which functions in acco~.lance with this invention. Gaming system 600 is adap~ed to perform the novel methods for playing card games, such as bl~rLj~r~ as described herein Ga~ning system 600 includes a video card game m~rhinP 601. Machine 601 includes a side unit 602 which includes a bill validator 603 5 and a player account and itlPntifir~tion card reader 604. Bill validator 603 reads Illollclaly bills and upon validation accep~s the bills and posts credits to the player's accoun~ in the gaming m~rhinP. Player account and identification card reader 604 is a card reading device, such as an ~ .",~d m~gn~tir~lly coded credit or bus-ticket-type card reader, well known in the art. Reader 604 is used to either provide an account balance to the gaming m~rhinr 10 against which a player can charge bets, and/or provide user irlrrltifir~tinn for ve~ifir~tirJn and user tracking hlru~ alion used by the casino to monitor against gaming fraud and to better ",t~ olll~l behavior and desires. Video garning m~rhinr 600 also includes a coin insert or feed 640 which is used to insert coins in lieu of the bill validator 603 or an account card read by reader 604.
Gaming system 600 further plcr~,lably includes a main display 610 which is ~Icrtlably a cathode ray tube, liquid crystal display, or similar elc~,l,u,u~ally controlled display. Display 610 is used to display various hlrc"~,aLion either to attract a player or for use during the play of the game. In particular for the playing of bl~rL~j~rk the main display is used to show dealer cards 611 and 612 and player cards 613 and 614. Card 611 is the dealer down card 20 and is shown bl~rl~nPd to indicate it is face-down. Card 612 is the dealer's up card and is shown face-up. Both player cards 613 and 614 are shown face-up.
In the upper portion is a jackpot counter display section 620 forrning a part of the main display 610. Jackpot counter displayhas three COullLtl:~ pictured. The upper line 621 ;"~ r~ the number of player first jackpot tally events are credited. In this case the upper 25 line in~1ir~tr5 the nurnber of bl~rLj~L hands which the player has either received or been credited due to bl~r~ L- by the player or the dealer. The second line 622 of the jackpot display in-iir~t~ the number of twenty-count hands ~eceived by the player which qualify as second jackpot tally events. The third line 623 i"~lir~-~rs the number of dealer busts which are inrlnrl~cl in the dealer first jackpot tally events. In the preferred form the jackpot tally 30 events which led to the in~lir~t~d counts shown in lines 621-623 are due to qualifying events occl~rring in a sequ~onti~l manner, most l)lcrtlably in con~e~ ;vcly seq~rnti~lly hands.
AlLtlllaLivcly, the rules of play may make various s~ 1 patterns qualifying events for ~ul~oses of being counted in one or more of the jackpot tally event cu~"l~ . For eY~nple, co~ c~ ve seql~nres of any particular card hands may lead to events being tallied in the 35 jackpot tallycuu~.lr~.~. Conse~;ulive 20-count hands, con~ecntive l9-count hands, co,~ llivc 18-count hands, multi-card (more than 2 card) 21-count hands, bl~- Lj~L~ of a specific suit, W 096/35490 PCTrUS95/12908 red-suit bl~rl~ja~l~.c, black-suit bl~r~jarl~c, and many other culllbhldlions of cards which when they occur in a defined sequPnti~l pattern over a series of played hands can lead to a jackpot threshold being met and the player receiving a jackpo~ payout. The seq~uPnti~i occu~ ce allows the gaming establichmpnt to adjust the payout schedule to include both extremely high 5 payouts for very infrequent events, and when desired or in the altP n~tive relatively smaller jackpot payouts with greater frequency. This greatly enh~.,r.~s the appeal of the game to the player.
Gaming m~rhin~ 600 also plert:lably includes a payûut schedule 628. Payout schedule 628 is advantageously po~itionPd upon the front of gaming m~rhin.~: 600 above the ~o main display 610. Payout schedule 628 can either be a printed posting ûr can be hlr~llllaliûn displayed upon a second electrûnic display, sirnilar to rnain display 610. It is al~ rely possible for the payout schedule and other hlfc...llalion to be provided upon a portiûn of the main display. The main display may be made larger to ~reo"""n~te the various hlru..l.dlion ~.ei.cnlcd thereon.
In the plc~l~cd video bl~rlj~cl~ "~r.h;"~. 600 there is typically a single non-dealer playér. Machine 600 is eyui~ed with a series of option keys 630 which are advantageously ~..,...g~d beneath the main display. All.,lllalivcly, the option keys can be provided in the form of a touch screen display having touch control options which are activated by bring a person's finger into ~lo~ ily or contact at the ~.o~liàle location upon the display screen.
20 As shown, the card gaming l~arh;~,P 600 is provided with key ~wil~,hes 631-636 which have specific functions. As shown, key 631 is used to hit the player so that another card is dealt to the player. Key 632 is used to indicate the player's choice to stand and not receive further cards. Key 633 is used to indicate the player's choice to double. Key 634 is used to split the players initial two cards and play two hands ~imnlt~nPoll~ly. Key 635 is used to 25 instruct the ~ I;..P to payout any ~rcnm--l~t~d Wii~llillgS. Key 636 is used to start the deal of another card hand.
Video card ...afh;~.P 600 also l!rcr.,.ably inr~ lPc a payout tray 650 into which is dc~osiLed coins or other Willllillg~ in l.,~,~orlsc to the player's choice to payout, as in-lir~tPcl by acli~ g key 635.
Video card gaming m~rhinP 600 also advantagc~ ly includes an attraction display 660. Display 660 is used to indicate a jackpot a-m--ount which can be m~hinP-specific and ~ie~-",;l,~l in part by rules of play which are also specific to the particular m~rhinP being used.
Gaming ",~,1,;"~ 600 is co.~l..lclcd using previously known video card gaming 35 m~rhinP terhn-logy adapted as needed to achieve the features and fimrtion~ indicated herein. Such gaming .,.a~l,;l,f s are Icnown from prior developmem and are collllllon1y used in connPcti(m with video poker. video blqr~jqrk, and other games. Such m~rhinPs are suitably progra~ l,ed according to this invention so as ~o provide the features described herein and to perform the novel mPthn-lc and related ploce~es used in this invention.
Current mqrhin~s have pro~lall~lli,lg capability which will allow the novel games of this invention to be played thereon. Such play can be sch~ lPd either with an ante by the player, or without an ante dt~clldillg upon the desires of the gaming çstq-hli.chmPnt It is also possible to have the jackpot features of this invention apply during some games and not during others depending upon the be~ placed by the player or by other optional choice.
In another plcrcllcd form of the invention the mPthnrlc of playing are mn~ifiPd to 0 provide another aspect of play which is herein temmed a special or showdown round. There can be a singular special round or multiple special rounds. The special or showdown round is initiated by first d~e~.,-i--;--g whether any player has a player count value which mee~s or exceeds a special round player threshold amount, in which case such player becomes a special player. The status as a special player allows the special player to play in a special round or ~s rounds of cards to be played. The particular count or other ~ uil~lllcllls for the special round player threshold will depend upon the ante, special round payouts, and other palO~llcLcl~ of the game needed to provide a profitable operation. If profit is not the only conci~lP.nqti-n, then other factors may de~c ...;..P the exact special round threshold amount.
In the ~Icr.,.l~d mPth~ -lc, the count of a player's counter inr1irqting the number of 20 cu.~.~e~ ive jackpot tally events will be considered in d~ ...;..;..g whether the player has reached the special round threshold. For example a player may obtain a player count value on the player's qccociqtP~I player coun~er which equals or exceeds 5. In such an example the player would be conci-lPred a special player. AlL~,~llalivcly~ the special round threshold could be reached using other types of couMed events on a separate and distinct special round z~ counter. However, such an altemative approach complicates the mPthl flc and they are not inrhl-iPd in the most plercllcd mPtho~c used in table game versions. Video systems, such ~s system 600, easily can implement this type of complexity.
When a player meets or exceeds the special round threshold amount, the dealer ~,.Ç~Illls by ~lPcl-qring that a special round threshold has been attqinp~l In the p~efcll~d 30 ~ ,o~lC the special round or rounds willbe played illl~ rly after the dealer declares that a player has reached the special round threshold amount. AlL~.l,aLively, the ~I;Iilllllrl,l of the special round threshold amount could cullccival~ly result in a special round of play which could be delayed in some ;Il~ cc. However, i.. P-l;,.l~ play of the special round or rounds is plcrcllcd.
In the at least one special round, a variety of rules of play can be implPmPntPd Most typically the rules nomlally considered r,~ ...P..~;.l to the ~-.,~...,d game being W 096/3549~ PCTrUS9S/12908 played, e.g. bl~rLj~rlr, are contimlPd and special jackpot or Whlllillg:> rules will apply.
However, as the plcrellcd embodiment described below will in~lic~te7 the rules changes associated with the special round can be r.,..~ and deviate outside normal rules.
In the preferred mpthod~ of this invention the special round involves ~u~endillg play for one or more of the players other than the special player. Typically,all players except the special player and dealer will be suspended until after the special round is completed.
Al~ alivcly, the dealer can also suspend play to the dealer; although this form is not the most pleÇclled. It is also further ~ ivèly possible for two players to .cim--lt~n~ously reach the special round threshold at the same time. In this case multiple special rounds can 10 be done se~ r..~;~lly, or other modified rules could apply to allow cim--lt~nRous playbytwo special players.
After the dealer has declared a special round, the special player then engages in the play of the special round or rounds. In a plefe~lcd form of this invention, the special round involves playing a single round of b~ ki~rlr~ which prcrelal)ly involves playing a single round 15 of bl~r~j~rl~ with the special player cim~llt~n~oucly playing multiple hands. The ~lefellcd special round can be a single round wherein the special player cimlllt~nroucly plays the entire table (except for the dealer), for excu.,~lc 6 or 7 hands. All~.llalivcly, the equivalent number of hands could be played consecutively in a series of special rounds. It is also collLelll~lated that a series of special rounds could be dealt each providing the special player with one or zo more hands which are played sim--l~n~ooucly.
The~hand or mnltirle hands played by the special player during the special round or rounds, are typically played in a regular fashion with most regular rules of the casino game applying. However, it is ple~.lèd that the jackpot ;.. ~u.. ~ are fixed for the special round and it is ~n~irip~tec~ that no bet or ante is required for the special round. Rather, the player Z5 receives the special round as a payoff or award for having reached the special round threshold amount. In this regard the special round acts as part or all of the player jackpot bonus for leachi"g a particular threshold player count value.
The mrtho-~c of this h,~,~,.,Lioll can further include paying or ~ll,e~wi~e c~waldhlg a special round jackpot at the conclusion of the special round or rounds. The special round 30 jackpot is preferably dép~,ndcnL upon the number of special round qualifying events which have occurred. For eY~mrle the methods can advantageously be pr~ctired with the player jackpot tally events being a natural or hand count of either 20 or 21. Either of these can for convenience be referred to as a "highhand". Similarly,the special round can be placliced such that the player receives a special round player event count which is equal to the number 35 of special round qualifying events received by the player during the special round or rounds.
The special round jackpot award for a special round or rounds would thus be (lel~n~

CA 02220878 l997-ll-l2 W 096/35490 PCT~US95/12908 upon the special round player qualifying even~ COUM. For example, if the special player was dealt sixhands during a special round, and the player had three hands which counted twenty and three hands that counted seventeen, then the special player's qualifying event count would be three.
Special round jackpot payouts could be 5~hp~ pd as follows: Zero high hands - $25;
one high hand - $25; two high hands - $25; three high hands -$125; four high hands - $200;
five high hands - $500; sixhigh hands - $12,500. Since the special player is only playing six hands in the single special round, then only six high hands are possible.
To provide better play, and because of the pl~r._~led use of the special round as a o jackpot bonus, it is also preferred that the special round carries with it some ~ ul~lic cash or prize jackpot award. This award or special round alll~.",~l;c jackpot willbe awarded as a result of playing the special round or rounds. For example, if the player count has reached a value of five and a player is declared special and a special round is played, then a ",;";"",."
jackpot might be $25. Such a ",;";""",- special round jackpot amount would, for example, 5 apply if the special player did not receive a high hand for any of the multiple hands being played by the special player during the special round or rounds.
Methods accoldi,.g to this invention can further advantageously include playing the special round with both the special player and dealer being dealt hands. In such a ~.~,f~ ,d form of the invention, the special round jackpot or payout schPrlnle can be ~Ir~. .IIIi~Pd in-20 part by considering the hand or hands of the dealer which occur during the special round orrounds being played. This is advantageously done by dt:lelll.i..i..g a dealer special round qualifying event count. For example, the dealer can have one or more dealer special round qualifying events. Such dealer special round qualifying events can be ~soc;~d with a particular hand or hands, such as a dealer bust hand. AlL.,~lld~ively, it may be possible to z5 include other dealer special hand uuLCulll~.S in addition to or in lieu of a dealer bust, such as dealer hl~r~ rl~ natural hands. The particular dealer special round qualifying events allowed will affect the special jackpot payout srhpri~llp~ In the p~oposed payout srhpfillle given above, the dealer bust hands are only considered in cuulll;l)g the number of dealer special round qualifying events. The srhPdllle also is based upon a single special round with 30 multiple hands simlllt~nPously played by the special player. Acco~di..~sly, the dealer special round qualifying event count is one if there is a bust and zero if the dealer does not bust.
The payout s~hP~ lP given above can be doubled for all player special round qualifying event counts, should the dealer have a bust hand and have a dealer event count of one. Other a~ Ja.,Les are ~ ;vely possible using a ~imrlifiPd or more complPY matrix of events, 35 either special round player events or special round dealer events.

In another preferred form of the invention, the ~u~l~el~cion of one or more players during the special round can reduce interest on the part of the players who have been suspended. To offset this effect, it is desirable for the methods to also include ~wc~ldillg a suspended player or players a s-lcrPn.1Pd player award if the special player or players receive an award. This secondaly or suspended player award can be variable dependent upon the jackpot the special player wins. This ,..~;,..;.;".c imerest of the suspended players and places them in the position of also being an effective winner along with the special player but the awards will be ~i~nifir~ntly smaller.
The mtothndc accoldi~lg to this invention can be utilized in various parts by combining 10 one or more mPthndc with other aspects or mPthnrlc as taught herein. For example, the special round or rounds can either not be added to other m--thntlc described above, or the special round or rounds in various implemPntin~ forms can be added as an award for reaching a particular player count value. Similarly,the special round mPthnflc can be utilized on a video card game ."~hi,.~, such as ~ hh~P 600.

Claims (5)

1. A method for playing a series of hands of the card game blackjack or casino twenty-one involving a dealer and at least one player. comprising the following steps:
providing at least one player counter which is capable of registering at least one player count value for each player, the player counters serving to register player count values indicating the number of player jackpot tally events which are attributable to each player;
dealing a card hand to the at least one player;
identifying all players who qualify for a player jackpot tally event;
incrementing the at least one player counter to selectively increase the player count values for players identified in the prior step as qualifying for a player jackpot tally event;
awarding a first player jackpot bonus to any player whose player count value meets or exceeds a first player jackpot threshold.
2. A method as recited in claim 1 wherein the player jackpot tally events include natural hands dealt to the player.
3. A method as recited in claim 1 wherein the player jackpot tally events include natural hands dealt to the dealer.
4. A method as recited in claim 1 and further comprising awarding a second player jackpot bonus to any player whose player count value which meets or exceeds a second player jackpot threshold; wherein the second player jackpot threshold is greater than the first player jackpot threshold and the second player jackpot bonus is greater than the first player jackpot bonus.
5. A method as recited in claim 1 wherein the step of incrementing the player count values includes manually operating a player key corresponding to each player identified as qualifying for a player jackpot tally event in the current hand being played.6. A method as recited in claim 1 further comprising zeroing the at least one player counter to zero for all players not identified as qualifying for a player jackpot tally event after the current hand being played.
7. A method as recited in claim 1 and further comprising:
providing a dealer counter which is capable of registering multiple dealer countvalues indicating the number of dealer jackpot tally events;
incrementing the dealer counter to selectively increase the dealer count value if a dealer jackpot tally event occurs;
zeroing the dealer count value to zero if a dealer jackpot tally event does not occur in the current hand being played;
displaying the dealer count value;

awarding a first dealer jackpot bonus to said players when the dealer count value meets or exceeds a first dealer jackpot threshold.
8. A method as recited in claim 7 wherein the dealer jackpot tally event includes a bust hand dealt to the dealer.
9. A method as recited in claim 7 and further comprising awarding a second dealer jackpot bonus to all players when the dealer count value meets or exceeds a second dealer jackpot threshold; wherein the second dealer jackpot threshold is greater than the first dealer jackpot threshold and the second dealer jackpot bonus is greater than the first dealer jackpot bonus.
10. A method as recited in claim 7 wherein the step of incrementing the dealer count value includes manually operating a dealer key.
11. A method as recited in claim 7 and further comprising:
awarding a second player jackpot bonus to any player whose player count value meets or exceeds a second player jackpot threshold;
wherein the second player jackpot threshold is greater than the first player jackpot threshold and the second player jackpot bonus is greater than the first player jackpot bonus;
awarding a second dealer jackpot bonus to all players when the dealer count value meets or exceeds a second dealer jackpot threshold;
wherein the second dealer jackpot threshold is greater than the first dealer jackpot threshold, and the second dealer jackpot bonus is greater than the first dealer jackpot bonus.
12. A method for playing a series of hands of the card game blackjack or casino twenty-one involving a dealer and at least one player, comprising the following steps:
providing at least one electronic player counter which is capable of registeringmultiple player count values for each player, the player count values indicating the number of consecutive natural hands dealt to individual players;
providing an electronic dealer counter which registers multiple dealer count values indicating the number of consecutive bust hands dealt to the dealer;
dealing a card hand to each player and to the dealer;
identifying all players who have been dealt natural hands in the current hand being played;
manually operating a player key corresponding to each player identified in the prior step as having been dealt a natural hand;
manually operating a dealer key if the dealer has been dealt a bust hand in the current hand being played;
incrementing said at least one electronic player counter to count player count values in response to operating the player keys corresponding to said individual players;

incrementing said electronic dealer counter to count the dealer count value in response to operating the dealer key;
zeroing said at least one electronic player counter to a zero value for all players not identified as having been dealt natural hands in the current hand being played;
zeroing said dealer counter to zero the dealer count value if the dealer has not been dealt a bust hand in the current hand being played;
displaying the dealer count value and the player count values of all the players;
awarding a first natural bonus to any player whose player count value meets a first player jackpot threshold;
awarding a first bust bonus to said players when the dealer count value meets a first dealer jackpot threshold.
13. A method as recited in claim 12 and further comprising operating an end-of-hand device at the end of each hand, the zeroing steps being performed in response to operating the end-of-hand device.
14. A method as recited in claim 12 and further comprising awarding a second natural bonus to any player whose player count value meets a second player jackpot threshold; wherein the second player jackpot threshold is greater than the first player jackpot threshold and the second natural bonus is greater than the first natural bonus.
15. A method as recited in claim 12 and further comprising awarding a second bust bonus to all the players when the dealer count value meets a second dealer jackpot threshold; wherein the second predefined dealer count value is greater than the first predefined dealer count value and the second bust bonus is greater than the first bust bonus.
16. A method as recited in claim 12 and further comprising;
awarding a second natural bonus to any player whose player count value which meets a second player jackpot threshold;
wherein the second player jackpot threshold is greater than the first player jackpot threshold and the second natural bonus is greater than the first natural bonus;
awarding a second bust bonus to all the players when the dealer count value exceeds a second dealer jackpot threshold;
wherein the second dealer jackpot threshold is greater than the first dealer jackpot threshold and the second bust bonus is greater than the first bust bonus.
17. A game system for playing the card game blackjack or casino twenty-one, comprising:
a plurality of electronic player counters capable of registering multiple player count values for players, the player count values indicating the number of player jackpot tally events attributable to a particular player;

means for selectively incrementing the player counters to change player count values for players who have qualified for a player jackpot tally event;
means for zeroing the player count values of players who should have their player count values changed to zero;
at least one display for displaying at least one player count value.
18. A game system as recited in claim 17 and further comprising a player key foreach player, each player key being operable to indicate that the player qualifies for a player jackpot tally event;
and wherein said means for selectively incrementing the player count values is responsive to the player keys to increment the player count values.
19. A game system as recited in claim 17 and further comprising a player key foreach player, each player key being operable to indicate that the player qualifies for a player jackpot tally event;
and wherein:
said means for selectively incrementing the player count values is responsive to the player keys to increment the player count values;
the display includes a numeric indicator for each player, each player key being positioned adjacent a corresponding numeric indicator.
20. A game system as recited in claim 17 and further comprising a controller connected to said plurality of electronic player counters and to said at least one display; said controller being operable to analyze the player count values held by said player counters and to control said at least one display to indicate a first player jackpot bonus for any player whose player count value meets or exceeds a first player jackpot threshold.
21. A game system as recited in claim 17 wherein there are at least two displays, one of the displays being positioned for viewing by the dealer, and another of the displays being positioned for viewing by the players.
22. A game system as recited in claim 17 wherein the game system includes a table-top unit which is sufficiently small to allow a dealer to deal cards about the table-top unit.
23. A game system as recited in claim 17 wherein the game system includes a table-top unit having an array of display lights along side edges thereof.
24. A game system as recited in claim 17 wherein the game system includes a tabletop unit having an array of display lights along side edges thereof;
and further comprising a tabletop markings which associate different portions of said array of display lights with associated player table positions.

25. A game system as recited in claim 17 wherein the game system includes a video display which displays the cards being played and at least one player count value.
26. A game system as recited in claim 17 and further comprising:
an electronic dealer counter for registering a dealer count value indicating thenumber of consecutive dealer jackpot tally events attributable to the dealer;
means for selectively incrementing the dealer counter to change the dealer countvalue if the dealer has qualified for a dealer jackpot tally event in the previous hand;
means for zeroing the dealer counter to a zero dealer count value if the dealer has not qualified for a dealer jackpot tally event in the previous hand;
said display being responsive to the dealer counter to display the dealer count value.
27. A game system as recited in claim 26 and further comprising:
a dealer key which is operable to indicate that the dealer has qualified for a dealer jackpot tally event;
said means for selectively incrementing the dealer counter being responsive to the dealer key to increment the dealer count value.
28. A game system as recited in claim 26 wherein the means for zeroing includes an end-of-hand device which is manually operable to signal the end of each hand.29. An electronic retrofit tabletop game system for mounting upon a blackjack table to allow playing an enhanced blackjack or casino twenty-one card gambling game, comprising:
a central module which rests upon an upper surface of the blackjack table;
a plurality of electronic player counters capable of registering multiple player count values for each player, the player count values indicating the number of consecutive player jackpot tally events attributable to a particular player;
a plurality of player keys mounted upon the central module for selectively incrementing the player counters to change player count values for players who have qualified for a player jackpot tally event;
means for zeroing the player count values of players who have not qualified for a player jackpot tally event;
an electronic dealer counter for registering a dealer count value indicating thenumber of consecutive dealer jackpot tally events attributable to the dealer;
means for selectively incrementing the dealer counter to change the dealer countvalue if the dealer has qualified for a dealer jackpot tally event;
means for zeroing the dealer counter to a zero dealer count value if the dealer has not qualified for a dealer jackpot tally event;

a plurality of player status displays which are connected to receive information from the plurality of electronic player counters to display the player count values;
at least one dealer status display which is connected to receive information from the electronic dealer counter to display the dealer count value.
30. A game system as recited in claim 29 wherein the game system includes a table-top unit having an array of display lights along side edges thereof.
31. A game system as recited in claim 29 wherein the game system includes a tabletop unit having an array of display lights along side edges thereof;
and further comprising a tabletop markings which associate different portions of said array of display lights with associated player table positions.
32. A game system as recited in claim 29 wherein the game system includes a video display which displays the cards being played and at least one player count value.
33. A game system according to claim 29 and further comprising an embankment wall forming part of the central module which is arranged partially around the dealer position; said status displays being positioned at least partially upon said embankment wall.
34. A game system according to claim 29 wherein said player keys are mounted upon the central module in positions adjacent to player seating locations.
35. A game system according to claim 29 and further comprising at least one sidemodule having displayed information thereon.
36. A game system according to claim 29 and further comprising at least one sidemodule having an electronic display along a front surface thereof.
37. A game system according to claim 29 and further comprising port and starboard side modules connected to the central module and having displayed information thereon.
38. A game system according to claim 29 and further comprising port and starboard side modules connected to the central module; said port and starboard side modules having electronic displays along front surfaces thereof.
39. A method for playing a series of hands of a card game involving a dealer andat least one player, comprising the following steps:
providing at least one player counter which is capable of registering at least one player count value for each player, said at least one player count value being a variable quantity, the player counters serving to register player count values indicating the number of player jackpot tally events which are countable for each player;
dealing a card hand to each player;
identifying all players who qualify for a player jackpot tally event;

incrementing the at least one player counter to selectively increase the player count values for players identified in the prior step as qualifying for a player jackpot tally event;
displaying the player count values of all players;
awarding a first player jackpot bonus lo any player whose player count value which meets or exceeds a first player jackpot threshold.
40. A method as recited in claim 39 further comprising zeroing the at least one player counter to zero for all players not identified as qualifying for a player jackpot tally event after the current hand being played.
41. A method as recited in claim 39 wherein the player jackpot tally events include winning hands dealt to the player.
42. A method as recited in claim 39 wherein the player jackpot tally events include winning hands dealt to a dealer.
43. A method as recited in claim 39 wherein the player jackpot tally events include losing hands dealt to a dealer.
44. A method as recited in claim 39 and further comprising awarding a second player jackpot bonus to any player whose player count value which meets or exceeds a second player jackpot threshold; wherein the second player jackpot threshold is greater than the first player jackpot threshold and the second player jackpot bonus is greater than the first player jackpot bonus.
45. A method as recited in claim 39 wherein the step of incrementing the player count values includes manually operating a player key corresponding to each player identified as qualifying for a player jackpot tally event in the current hand being played.46. A method for playing a series of hands of a card game involving a dealer andat least one player, comprising the following steps:
providing at least one player counter which is capable of registering at least one player count value for each player, the player counters serving to register player count values indicating the number of player jackpot tally events which are attributable to each player;
dealing a card hand to the at least one player;
identifying all players who qualify for a player jackpot tally event;
incrementing the at least one player counter to selectively increase the player count values for players identified in the prior step as qualifying for a player jackpot tally event;
determining whether any player whose player count value meets or exceeds a special round threshold amount in which case such player becomes a special player;
providing at least one special round at which the special player whose player count value met or exceeded the special round player threshold is allowed to play under special rules in an effort to achieve a special round jackpot.

47. A method according to claim 46 wherein the special round involves:
counting the number of special round player qualifying events which occur during the at least one special round;
awarding a special round jackpot which is dependent upon the number of special round player qualifying events which occur during the at least one special round.
48. A method according to claim 46 wherein the special round involves:
counting the number of special round player qualifying events which occur during the at least one special round;
counting the number of special round dealer qualifying events which occur during the at least one special round;
awarding a special round jackpot which is dependent upon the number of special round player qualifying events and the number of special round dealer qualifying events which occur during the at least one special round.
49. A method according to claim 46 wherein the special round involves allowing the special player to play multiple hands simultaneously during at least one special round.
50. A method according to claim 46 wherein the special round involves suspending play for all players except the dealer and special player.
51. A method according to claim 46 wherein the special round involves allowing the special player to play multiple hands simultaneously during at least one special round of play, said special player playing in opposition to the dealer.
52. A method according to claim 46 wherein the special round involves allowing the special player to play multiple hands simultaneously during at least one special round of play, said special player being the only player allowed to play.
53. A method according to claim 46 further comprising awarding a suspended player award to players who have been suspended by play of the special round.
54. A method according to claim 46 further comprising awarding a suspended player award to players who have been suspended by play of the special round, said suspended player award being dependent upon an amout awarded to the special player as a special round jackpot.
CA 2220878 1994-05-13 1995-10-13 Blackjack game system and methods Abandoned CA2220878A1 (en)

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US08/439,687 1995-05-12

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