CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
This application is based on and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/486223, filed Jul. 10, 2003, entitled “Video Poker with Continuous Play.”
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates primarily to video poker games, and more particularly to video poker games in which the winning card combination is deleted from the hand and replaced with new cards until the player does not have a winning hand. The player plays multiple hands to start and each of the multiple hands are eliminated as the player fails to achieve a winning hand therein.
Video poker that is played on an electronic video poker gaming machine is designed to replicate the play of a hand of poker. Typically, the player is not playing against any other player's hands or against a dealer's hand; the player is simply attempting to achieve the highest ranking poker hand possible from the cards displayed to the player. The higher the ranking of the poker hand achieved by the player, the greater the player's winnings based on the number of coins, tokens or credits wagered by the player. Typically, a payout schedule is posted on the gaming machine to advise the player of the payoffs available for certain winning card combinations.
The forerunner of all electronic video poker gaming machines is the video Draw Poker machine that deals cards from a standard fifty-two card poker deck and displays a single five card hand to the player. The player then selects which of the five cards he wishes to hold (or discard depending on the format of the gaming machine). The draw poker machine then displays replacement cards for the cards the player has discarded. The player wins or loses based on conventional poker hand rankings for the resulting five card hand. In video Draw Poker, the conventional poker hand rankings that are winning combinations are a Royal Flush, a Straight Flush, a Four of a Kind, a Full House, a Flush, a Straight, a Three of a Kind, a Two Pair and a Pair of Jacks or Better. A payout table is established based on the number of coins wagered by the player and the type of poker hand achieved.
The classic draw poker machine has been modified to use Jokers as wild cards or to use Deuces (or even other cards) as wild cards. “Jokers Wild” and “Deuces Wild” draw poker still display to the player a single five card hand and allow the player to discard unwanted cards and receive replacement cards. The payout table is modified to recognize the differing odds for achieving various poker hands when wild cards are involved. Furthermore, different poker hand rankings are used in the pay table to recognize different winning combinations that can be achieved using wild cards.
There are also video stud poker games that simply dealt the player a five card hand. Whatever poker hand combination appears in the five card hand is the basis for making an award to a player. There is no discard step and no replacement step. Different pay table are used for video stud poker games since the probability of achieving winning hand combinations is much different than it would be in video draw poker games.
There have been attempts to adapt stud poker to an electronic video game format. One attempt involved a single player seven card stud game in which the player makes a first wager and initially received three cards face up. In one version of this game, the player has the option of making additional wagers before the player receives the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh cards. In another version, the player also has the option of making additional wagers before receiving the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh cards unless the player has already achieved a winning poker hand combination, in which case the player is not allowed to make additional wagers. In either version, the final seven cards are analyzed and the best five card hand is used to determine the poker hand ranking of the player's hand. A pay table is used based on five card poker hand rankings and the amount wagered by the player to determine the amount won by the player when he achieves a winning hand.
Another popular single player stud poker game is known as DOUBLE DOWN STUD poker. This game is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,100,137 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,167,413, the disclosures of each of which are incorporated herein by this reference. In DOUBLE DOWN STUD poker, the player makes a first wager and is dealt four cards all face up. The player may make an additional wager prior to receiving the fifth card. After the fifth card is dealt, the five card hand is compared to a pay table to determine if the player has a winning or losing card combination based on poker hand ranking.
Another stud poker game that has been adapted to a single player video poker format is a game known as LET IT RIDE®. In this game, the player makes a wager of three units at the start of each round of play. The player is then shown three cards face up. The player may decrease his wager by one unit or let all three wagers ride. The player is then shown a fourth card. The player may decrease his wager by one unit or let his wagers ride. The player is then shown a fifth card and the poker hand ranking of the final five card hand is used to determine winning or losing plays based on a pay table. The method of play of LET IT RIDE® is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,288,081, U.S. Pat. No. 5,417,430 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,544,892, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein.
Another stud poker game is a game known as Three Card Poker in which the player simply plays one or more three card stud poker hands. The pay table is based on three card poker hand rankings. Typical three card stud poker hand rankings are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,685,774 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,012,719, the disclosures of each of which are incorporated herein.
There has also been a game proposed by IGCA, under the name 3 HAND POKER, in which the player plays draw poker using a five card poker hand and two three card poker hands. Each of the three card poker hands are a subset of the five card poker hand. The player plays the five card poker hand as would be conventional in draw poker by holding the desired cards from the initial five card deal and receiving replacement cards for the discarded cards. The final five card hand is analyzed to determine whether it is a winning five card poker hand according to a five card poker hand pay table. The first three cards of the final five card hand are also analyzed to determine whether these three cards form a winning three card poker hand according to a three card poker hand pay table. Likewise, the last three cards of the final five card hand are also analyzed to determine whether these three cards form a winning three card poker hand according to a three card poker hand pay table.
There is also another electronic video poker game, also called 3 WAY-ACTION POKER, in which the player makes three wagers—the first wager is allocated to a five card stud poker hand, the second wager is allocated to a five card draw poker hand and the third wager is allocated to a seven card stud poker hand. The player is dealt five cards—this is the five card stud poker hand. The player discards and draws replacement cards to the five card hand—this is the five card draw poker hand. Finally, two additional cards are displayed to go with the final five card draw poker hand—these seven cards become the seven card stud poker hand. Each hand has its own pay table based on the mathematical probabilities of achieving various winning hand combinations relative to each type of poker hand.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,371,851 (Singer et al.) discloses a video stud poker game in which an initial hand of cards is dealt. If any payable subsets of these cards exist, then the player is prompted to select one of the payable subsets. The desired payable subset is selected by the player, the player receives an award and the payable subset is removed and replaced with other cards. This continues until no payable subsets exist.
None of the previous attempts to put stud poker on an electronic video poker gaming machine provide the player with the opportunity to play multiple hands of stud poker and to continue playing each hand of stud poker until each hand no longer has a winning card combination.
There are many poker formats used in video poker. The poker formats can be used in both draw poker games and stud poker games. These poker game formats include Jacks (or even Tens) or Better Draw Poker, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, Super Double Bonus Poker, Triple Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild Poker, Jokers Wild Poker, Deuces and Jokers Wild Poker, etc. Many electronic video poker gaming machines are provided with a menu so that the player can indicate his choice of the poker game format that the player wishes to play and the player then makes his wager based on upon that choice of poker game format. Each poker format has its own pay table associated therewith and each poker format can be adapted to both video stud poker games and video draw poker games.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an electronic video poker game that provides the player with multiple hands of stud poker, each hand having continuous play until the player has a losing hand.
It is a feature of the present invention to provide two or more stud poker hands at the beginning of each round of play. Each hand is played the same way in that each winning card combination in a stud poker hand is removed from the hand and replacement cards are displayed into the hand. This continues until there are no longer any winning card combinations in the hand. The game continues until all of the multiple stud poker hands have no winning card combinations.
It is an advantage of the present invention that the player is provided with multiple hands, each hand having continuous opportunities to receive awards for winning card combinations without having to make additional wagers. This gives the player a long play event time period and increases the revenue generated by the gaming machine on account of many hands of stud poker being played with the associated increase in the amount of the wagers for each round of play of the game.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description.
The game of the present invention is a modification to a conventional video poker game. The player makes a wager and is dealt a plurality of five card stud poker hands. The player is paid for any winning poker hand that is achieved in each of the plurality of stud poker hands. In each hand, the cards that consist of the winning card combination are removed. If a hand has no winning poker hand combination, the hand simply goes dead and is no longer played.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Replacement cards are displayed into each of the remaining poker hands for the removed cards. The player is again paid for a winning poker hands achieved and again the cards that consist of the winning card combination are removed from the hands. Replacement cards are again displayed into the poker hands for the removed cards. This continues until there is no longer a winning poker hand combination in any of the multiple stud poker hands.
FIG. 1 shows a representative electronic video gaming machine of the present invention including a typical screen display used in the method of play of the present invention.
FIG. 2 shows an enlarged view of the typical screen display of FIG. 1 used in the method of play of the present invention.
FIG. 3 shows a representative electronic video gaming machine of the present invention including a typical screen display used in the method of play of the present invention after the initial deal of the cards.
FIG. 4 shows a representative electronic video gaming machine of the present invention including a typical screen display used in the method of play of the present invention after the losing hands have been deleted and any winning card combinations have been removed from the other hands.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 5 shows a representative electronic video gaming machine of the present invention including a typical screen display used in the method of play of the present invention after the winning card combination has been removed from the hand and another group of replacement cards have been dealt into the hand.
The method of the present invention can be applied to any poker format used for video draw poker. FIG. 1 shows generally at 10 a typical electronic video gaming machine that is configured to provide to the player the method of the present invention. The electronic video gaming machine 10 includes a conventional coin head 50 into which the player can insert coins or gaming tokens and a slot 52 which leads to a conventional bill acceptor mounted on the interior of the gaming machine and into which the player can insert paper currency. The use of coins, tokens or paper currency is the mechanism by which the player wagers on the poker hands the player wishes to play. As is also conventional in electronic video gaming machines, a credit meter display 12 is provided to show the amount of credits that the player has accrued on the gaming machine 10—either by inserting coins, tokens or paper currency or from winning plays achieved by the player. Whenever the player makes a wager, the amount of the wager is decremented from the credit meter display 12. Whenever the player achieves a winning play during the play of the game, the amount of the winning play is incremented on the credit meter display 12. The credit meter 12 may show the amount in dollars and cents or it may show the amount as numerical credits.
A conventional payout hopper is also located on the interior of the gaming machine and is used to dispense coins or tokens to the player into a payout tray (not shown) when the player wishes to collect any winning amounts the player has accrued. Other suitable and conventional payout mechanisms can be used, such as a ticket printer or other cashless payout devices.
The gaming machine 10 also includes a video screen display 20 of any suitable type upon which representations of playing cards are displayed in a card display area 21. The card display area 21 shows a plurality of hands with each hand being shown as a vertical column, for example columns A-I when nine hands are shown, see FIG. 2. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, each hand would preferably have five cards with each card having its own row such as rows 1-5. Other manners of displaying the plurality of hands can be used. Thus any of the particular card locations can be identified by its column letter and its row number, such as the Six of Diamonds at card location A1.
The video screen display 20 also contains a plurality of other screen locations that indicate information to the player. A “Help” touch screen location 22 allows the player to receive a Help Screen with game explanation information if need by the player. A “Select Hands” touch screen location allows the player to select the number of hands to be played during a round of the game. A “Bet One” touch screen location 24 and a “Bet Max” touch screen location 25 allows the player to make wagers on each hand. Each time the player presses the “Bet One” touch screen location 24, a credit is wagered. The gaming machine 10 may be configured so that credit wagered is applied one hand at a time (for example, nine credits wagered would be applied so that each of the nine hands would have one credit wagered thereon) or the gaming machine 10 may be configured so that each credit is applied to a single hand until the maximum number of credits for that hand has been reached (for example, a wager of fifteen credits would result in three hands having five credits each wagered thereon and the other six hands would have no credits wagered thereon).
The “Bet Max” touch screen location 25 would apply the maximum number of credits to the maximum number of hands, for example five credits each on nine hands for a total wager of forty-five credits which is shown at “Total Bet” location 27. A “Paid” location 28 displays the amount of credits won the player during any particular round of play of the game.
The screen display 20 also has a plurality of locations that show the pay table 35 with each location showing the amount that can won by the player for achieving certain poker hand rankings.
A button panel 40 is also provided on the gaming machine 10 and the buttons mounted on the button panel 40 are used by the player to control the operation of the gaming machine 10. Any suitable configuration of the buttons on the button panel can be used and these buttons can be used alternatively to the touch screen technology described above by which the player interacts with the gaming machine 10. Any suitable arrangement of buttons may be used.
A typical button arrangement is shown on the button panel 40 in FIG. 1. A “Help” button 41 functions to allow the player to access the Help screen. A “Bet One” button 42 is provided to allow the player to wager one credit at a time. A “Bet Max” button 44 is provided to allow the player to wager the maximum amount of credits permitted by the configuration of the gaming machine 10.
A conventional “Deal” button 46 is also provided on the button panel 40 which is used by the player to activate the deal or display of the cards at each of the deal stages of the method of play. Similarly, a “Deal” touch screen location 47 can be provided on the video screen 20 to allow the player to effect the deal step by using conventional touch screen technology.
The button panel 40 can also be provided with nine “Hand” buttons 48A, 48B, 48C, 48D, 48E, 48F, 48G, 48H and 48I to allow the player to select to play from one to nine hands as desired. Each button is labeled with the number of hand associated with that button—for example, button 48A can say “One Hand” and button 48I can say “Nine Hands.”
The method of play of the present invention will now be described. After the player has inserted an appropriate amount of coins, tokens or paper currency to add a sufficient amount of credits on the credit display meter 22, the player makes his initial wager. The player may press the “Bet One” button 42 one or more times to bet in single increments or the player may merely press the “Bet Max” button 44 and the maximum number of credits are applied, for example, five credits on nine hands would be wagered. The player can also use the touch screen locations to make his wager as described above.
The preferred embodiment of the present invention is played using a standard fifty-two card deck. Nine hands (A through I) of five cards each, as shown by way of example in FIG. 3, are dealt to the player. Each hand is dealt from its own deck of cards. Each hand is displayed in the card display 21, preferably as nine hands oriented vertically—although any suitable orientation of the hands may be used.
The computer controls of the gaming machine analyze each hand and determine whether a winning hand combination has been achieved. As is conventional, the pay table 35 shows which card combinations are winning hand combinations.
Referring to FIG. 3, hands A, D, F, G and H are all losing hand combinations. Hand B has a Pair of Eights, hand C has Two Pair, hand E has a Pair of Tens and hand I has Two Pair and are all winning hand combinations.
Any suitable poker hand combinations can be designated was winning and losing hand combinations. The amount won by the player is determined according to a pay table based on the poker hand combination achieved by the player and the amount wagered by the player.
Typically, pay tables are determined based on the mathematical probability of certain poker combinations occurring during the play of the game and based on the desired theoretical hold percentage to be kept by the gaming establishment. Any suitable pay table may be used and a representative pay table is shown in Table 1.
| ||TABLE 1 |
| || |
| || |
| ||Poker Hand Combination ||Payout Odds |
| || |
| ||Less than Pair of 6's ||Losing Hand |
| ||Pair of 7's thru Aces || 1 for 1 |
| ||Two Pair || 4 for 1 |
| ||Three of a Kind || 5 for 1 |
| ||Straight || 10 for 1 |
| ||Flush || 15 for 1 |
| ||Full House || 25 for 1 |
| ||Four of a Kind || 100 for 1 |
| ||Four 2's, 3's or 4's || 250 for 1 |
| ||Four Aces || 300 for 1 |
| ||Four 2's, 3's or 4's with || 500 for 1 |
| ||a Kicker |
| ||Four Aces with a Kicker || 800 for 1 |
| ||Straight Flush || 200 for 1 |
| ||Royal Flush ||4000 for 1 |
| || |
In accordance with the method of play, the losing hands are no longer in play as is shown in FIG. 4 in which hands A, D, F, G and H are shown as merely card backs indicating that these hands are no longer active.
The winning card combinations in each of the winning hands are removed and replacement cards are displayed for the removed cards. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, the two Eights which are the winning card combination in hand B have been removed and replacement cards are displayed in hand B. The replacement cards are dealt from the depleted forty-seven card deck which comprises the original fifty-two card deck minus the five originally dealt cards.
As shown in FIG. 4, the two Eights are removed and the Seven of Clubs slides down from position B1 to position B3 and the two replacement cards are displayed in positions B1 and B2. This gives the effect of cards sliding down on the screen display and adds some animation to the play of the game. Alternatively, the replacement cards can be merely inserted into the empty positions that occur when the two Eights are removed. Either way is the same mathematically since the determination of winning card combinations is not dependent on the order of the cards.
Likewise in hand C, hand E and hand I, the winning card combinations in each hand are removed and replacement cards are displayed after the remaining cards slide down the screen display. As shown in FIG. 4, hand B, hand C and hand E are now losing hands and only hand I has a winning card combination of a Pair of Tens.
As shown in FIG. 5, the losing hands B, D and E are shown as merely card backs indicating that these hands are no longer active. In hand I, the winning card combination (the two Tens) have been removed, the remaining cards slide down the screen display and replacement cards are displayed for the removed cards. The replacement cards are dealt from the depleted forty-five card deck which comprises the original fifty-two card deck minus the five originally dealt cards and minus the two earlier replacement cards. Hand I is now a losing hand and the round of play of the game is over.
The method of play continues until all of the poker hands become losing hands. The player may play another round of the game by making a wager and pressing the Deal button or Deal screen display location.
While the example of the method of play described above is shown in conjunction with a Double Double Bonus Poker format, the method of play of the present invention can also be applied to any other variation of draw poker, such as simple Draw Poker, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Super Double Bonus Poker, Triple Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild Poker, Jokers Wild Poker, Deuces and Jokers Wild Poker, etc. Each of these video poker variations uses various arrangements of poker hand rankings as winning combinations. For the poker formats that use wild cards or Jokers, one or more cards may be designated as wild cards or one or more Jokers may be added to the deck of cards and the Jokers may then be used as wild cards for the Joker poker formats.
The method of play of the present invention may be applied to other poker variations such as three card poker, four card poker, six card poker, seven card poker or an even higher number of cards in a poker hand. Winning hand combinations are provided for each type of poker hand and a suitable pay table is presented to the player depending on how many cards will be in the final hand.
Any suitable pay table may be used and would be associated with the poker format being used by the player. As is known to those skilled in the art, pay tables are calculated based on the probability of the various winning card combinations occurring and the desired overall game return to be offered by the gaming establishment to the player.
While the invention has been illustrated with respect to several specific embodiments thereof, these embodiments should be considered as illustrative rather than limiting. Various modifications and additions may be made and will be apparent to those skilled in the art.