US20070129129A1 - Computer-based multiplayer multilanguage poker system with replay capability - Google Patents

Computer-based multiplayer multilanguage poker system with replay capability Download PDF

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US20070129129A1
US20070129129A1 US11292469 US29246905A US2007129129A1 US 20070129129 A1 US20070129129 A1 US 20070129129A1 US 11292469 US11292469 US 11292469 US 29246905 A US29246905 A US 29246905A US 2007129129 A1 US2007129129 A1 US 2007129129A1
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player
selected
system
players
dealer
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James Tinghitella
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James Tinghitella
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F1/00Card games
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3216Construction aspects of a gaming system, e.g. housing, seats, ergonomic aspects
    • G07F17/322Casino tables, e.g. tables having integrated screens, chip detection means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3286Type of games
    • G07F17/3293Card games, e.g. poker, canasta, black jack
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F1/00Card games
    • A63F2001/008Card games adapted for being playable on a screen
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00003Types of board games
    • A63F3/00157Casino or betting games
    • A63F2003/00164Casino tables

Abstract

The invention is related to computer-based gaming systems, and particularly to a computer-based multiplayer multi-language poker system with replay capability. In one embodiment, the system provides for a plurality of players to play a selected game of poker comprising: a central processing unit (CPU); software which directs play of a hand of poker that runs on the CPU; a plurality of player stations; and a plurality of communications connections to connect the CPU to each of the player stations. The software displays game and betting information to each player station. Each player station comprises a player input device configured to receive and transmit player bets and plays to the software. The software updates each player station on the play, requests plays and bets from the players, receives plays and bets, records plays and bets, and replays events of interest, such as hands, plays, or bets.

Description

    COPYRIGHT NOTICE
  • A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention is in the field of gaming systems and is related to computer-based gaming systems, and particularly to a computer-based multiplayer multi-language poker system with replay capability.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Gaming devices are common these days to allow players to engage in a wide variety of gaming activities including blackjack, roulette, slot machines, poker, and many others. Casinos and card rooms offering these activities in a lawful and often closely supervised manner are flourishing throughout the world. Certain locations such as Monaco are known primarily for these amenities, but they are available virtually wherever people reside or visit who can afford to engage in them. In the United States, gaming activities are common on Indian reservations and in states and localities where they are permitted. Legalized casinos are flourishing in Nevada, California, New Jersey, Mississippi, and in many other states. “Floating casinos” located on riverboats and ocean liners offer yet another approach to combining ever-popular gaming activities with other desirable activities such as sumptuous food, luxurious surroundings, travel, and comfort. A new and increasingly popular venue for gaming is the Internet.
  • Among gaming activities, poker has risen to a game of national prominence in recent years, with fans throughout the world avidly following the careers of star players and often themselves visiting casinos, card rooms, and/or playing at home to perfect their skills, to learn more about the game, and often, in a desire to win money. Television and the Internet have both helped fuel the rising tide of widespread enthusiasm for and fascination with the game of poker. For many, poker has become the only or the primary gaming activity of interest. For many others, poker is one of several highly enjoyable gaming activities. As Internet poker has flourished, further revenue and attention have been brought to the game of poker.
  • There are many reasons for the growing interest in poker. The rules can be learned relatively easily, yet poker offers the opportunity to integrate a unique combination of card-playing skill, player-reading skill, luck, and mastery of psychology, both the player's own psychology and the other players' psychologies.
  • Poker is still not as widespread in casinos as it could be. In terms of casino revenue per unit floor space devoted to the game, it continues to lag behind other casino games. Casinos may perceive poker rooms as requiring too much space and as generating too low revenues for the casino. Relative to other games, it is more labor intensive in terms of the employees required to deal the cards and perform other functions.
  • Each casino or card room has a designated number of table games. Some of these games involve players competing among themselves with a dealer facilitating the game without participating in the actual competition. Usually these games are some variation of poker. The house refers to the establishment licensed to host card games of chance, such as a casino or card room. The dealer is an employee of the house who acts in the house's interest and under its supervision. The dealer sits at a table where the card games are played. Since the house does not win or risk any of its money, it must somehow generate revenues to generate profit and to cover overhead of the dealer, supervisor, and fixed costs such as rent and utilities, and to generate profit. Typically the house will charge a designated percentage of each pot, usually with a ceiling. Recently, an increase in demand has occurred for poker at live casinos and card rooms. Since there are a limited number of positions at the few tables and high demand for those positions, the price to play goes up in the form of higher blinds or higher rates. There is also increased wait time to fill an empty position. Typically if the tables are full, the house creates a waiting list in which players are called to fill positions when other players stand up or leave the table.
  • The most dramatic gains in popularity of late have occurred in the exciting, easy to learn game of limit Texas Hold 'Em. The current invention is applicable to Texas Hold 'Em. At the same time, embodiments of the current invention are not limited to Texas Hold 'Em and can be employed with any poker game. The primary purposes of the dealers in current live casino and card room poker games include to shuffle and pass out cards, to make sure the bets are set, to collect the house percentage, to decide who has the winning hand, and to act as an official by settling any rule disputes between players. The invention eliminates the need for a live dealer by performing these functions according to the software, although the invention may also be used with a live dealer present.
  • Computerized devices to facilitate poker play have existed for a number of years. Past examples have not, in general, offered the ability for players speaking different languages to easily play with each other. Nor have past computerized poker devices comprised a player station for each player, wherein the player screen is configured to display game betting information to the player in a language selected by the player. Nor have past computerized poker devices had the capability to retrieve and transmit to a player station a hand, a play, or a bet of interest to a player, wherein the player station comprises a player screen, with the player screen then replaying the event on demand from the player. Nor have past computerized poker devices had the ability to bookmark hands, plays, or bets for subsequent retrieval and review. Nor have past computerized poker devices had the ability to calculate the relevant odds before each play and to transmit these odds to each player station. Nor have past computerized poker devices comprised a video camera capable of recording a player as the player places a bet and makes a play, with such video recordings being retrievable and replayable at a later time. Nor have past computerized poker devices comprised a an audio system capable of recording a player as the player places a bet and makes a play, with such audio recordings being retrievable and replayable at a later time. Nor have past computerized poker devices further comprised a poker table to which the poker stations are attached. Nor have past computerized poker devices included player stations comprising player screens. Nor have past computerized poker devices had the ability to deal cards electronically. Nor have past computerized poker devices operated in conjunction with real cards dealt by a live dealer. Nor have past computerized poker devices maintained a running tally of the electronic chips owned by each player. Nor have past computerized poker devices displayed the running tally of electronic chips to all players. Nor have past computerized poker devices operated in conjunction with real chips.
  • SUMMARY
  • Embodiments of the invention comprise a computer-based multiplayer poker system, suitable for use both at home and in a casino or card room setting, with a number of advantages over prior systems. Embodiments of the invention comprises a central processing unit (CPU), a plurality of player stations, a plurality of communications connections linking the CPU to each of the player stations, and software configured to conduct the play. Player stations comprise touch screens or other display and input device combinations. Player stations alternatively comprise display screen devices not associated with input devices. Embodiments of the invention further comprise a poker table to which the player stations are attached. Embodiments of the invention further comprise a dealer station attached to the poker table and linked to the CPU.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, the software allows each player to select a language in which information is provided. This makes it possible for players to compete against each other without having to understand a common language. For home use and for casino and card room use where permitted, the system has the capability to electronically record and store all game data for later retrieval and transmission to a player station one or more events of interest as specified by a player. According to embodiments of the invention, the player screen has the capability to replay the event of interest on demand from the player. For home use and for casino use and card room use where permitted, the system comprises a video camera capable of recording a player as the player places a bet and makes a play. According to embodiments of the invention, one or more recordings of interest can be retrieved at a later time and replayed. According to embodiments of the invention, the system comprises an appropriately cataloged library of games and hands that have been played in the past. According to embodiments of the invention, the library allows a player to generate any desired statistics regarding their play and performance. These features enable a player to improve his or her game.
  • The invention assists players in following the play of a hand and in selecting their play and bet when it is their turn. The invention therefore assists the flow of live card games, whether conducted at home, in a casino, a card room, or elsewhere. The invention also promotes the efficiency of poker play when used at casinos or card rooms, allowing more hands to be played in a given period of time. The invention eliminates the need for a dealer in live card games where the players compete against themselves and not the casino, card room, or house. A dealer may be used in conjunction with the system if desired. The system has the capacity to electronically record and store all game data. In a casino or card room application, the house can analyze the data. In a home application, players can analyze the data in order to improve their play. In the casino or card room setting, the invention is applicable to many different variations of poker in which the house risks none of its own money and can win no money. According to various embodiments, the system can be used with the presence of a live dealer or without a live dealer, with real cards or electronic cards, and with real chips or electronic chips.
  • The invention is designed to assist the players by computing complicated bets, making all players aware whom the action is on, meaning whose turn it is to bet and play, improving the efficiency of the game by allowing for a higher hand per hour rate, clearly stating the choices which make up the decision the players must make, and providing the establishment with all information on bets and plays.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, each player station comprises a touch screen, or other display and input device combination, whether or not a dealer is present. According to other embodiments of the invention, if a dealer is present, each player station comprises a display screen device and the dealer station comprises a touch screen, or other display and input device combination. Player and dealer stations may be placed anywhere in front of each player and the dealer, if one is present, and are not limited to any style or position of mounting. According to embodiments of the invention, a player can sign into their account using a secure password, thereby activating a player station. According to embodiments of the invention, each player has a swipe card with their personal information stored on it. Each player will swipe his or her swipe card through a swipe card reader device or into a card slot attached to a swipe card reader device to activate the player station and join a table. The player station is linked to the swipe card reader device. According to embodiments of the invention, no dedicated dealer is necessary. Each player in turn can accept the dealer's responsibility of ensuring the correct bets have been placed, the cards are flipped correctly, and each player acts according to the rules. Alternatively, according to embodiments of the invention, the system can assist the dealer in the particular game.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, the screen has the capability to allow players to create notes configured to appear on that player's screen and not on any other player's screen. According to embodiments of the invention, the system has the ability to accept notes from a player submitted to be displayed on that player's screen under designated circumstances. According to embodiments of the invention, the system has the ability to display, according to player specifications, odds relating to the play. According to embodiments of the invention, the system has the capability to display to all players the possible cards that can create a winning hand for a selected player. According to embodiments of the invention, the system has the capability to display to all players the odds of the dealing of a card that has been displayed. According to embodiments of the invention, displayed odds of the dealing of a displayed card are updated after each card is dealt.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, the system uses one of real chips and virtual chips. In a casino or card room setting, the house can determine the type of chips to be used in play, either real chips or virtual chips that are electronically displayed on the screens and stored on their cards and accounts. In a home play setting, the players can decide on the type of chips.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, the software is displayed through the player stations and, if a dealer is present, a dealer station. The player and dealer stations comprise touch screens, personal computers, laptops, handheld devices, and any other type of display and input device combination. Player stations alternatively comprise display screen devices not associated with input devices if a dealer is present. For home players, the display device of a player stations may also comprise a television screen. Player stations can be monitored and recorded by the house at any time.
  • The player station will prompt each player with simple and clear instructions on available options and the bets and plays to be selected. Dealers are prompted on all actions to be taken. For a player who is not dealing, when the action is on that player, the player must decide whether to check, bet, fold, call, raise, or re-raise depending on the circumstances. Once the player makes a decision, the player activates the appropriate cell on the touch screen, or other display and input device combination. Alternatively, if the player's player station is instead a display screen device, the dealer enters the play made by the player. Once the player's decision is entered, it becomes visible to every other player through his or her player station. The dealer is responsible for checking that the amount on the table matches what the screen indicates.
  • Sometimes the betting gets complicated during the course of a game, especially when someone goes “all in”. The system will automatically calculate the amount each player is risking based on the entry at the player station. The system also automatically tells a player the minimum bet to call another player's bet in order to stay in the hand. It is the dealer's responsibility to ensure that all bets correctly reflect what the system indicates and that the player with the winning hand collects the pot.
  • When community cards are flipped, the dealer must select and enter the cards into the system so they will be displayed on each player's player station. When each round of betting is complete, the dealer must acknowledge this on the screen in order for play to continue. When the game is complete and the players are ready to show each other their cards to find out who has won the hand, they must select and enter their cards into the screen so the system can calculate who won which amount. Alternatively, if the players' player stations are instead display screen devices, the dealer enters the players' cards into the dealer screen. It is also the dealer's responsibility to ensure that the cards the player shows match the cards entered into the system and to make appropriate corrections.
  • The system assists the flow of the live poker games being played in gaming establishments. The system provides players with clear instructions including available options at decision points. Each player's choices are clearly displayed on the player's screen. If a player's player station has an input device, when the player decides on a choice of options, he or she will enter the decision into the player station. If the input device is a touch screen, the player will touch the box on the screen for the appropriate action. If a player has a player station that is a display screen device, when the player decides on a choice of options, the dealer will enter the player's decision into the dealer station. After the player's decision is input into the system, the system receives the choice, records it, and moves on to the next player. The system makes all calculations and determines winners and losers. This feature limits problems attributable to human mistakes and cheating.
  • Texas Hold 'Em is an example of a game that can be played using embodiments of the invention. Texas Hold 'Em can be played with between two and ten people sitting at one table. The system described in this example is designed to complement and supplement the designated dealer at a casino or card room. The dealer will enter playing information into the system for each player. In a home setting, each individual player enters his or her information into the system. Each screen is functional at all times whether the player decides to use it or not.
  • The players may set up an account with their personal information by choosing a screen name for the other players to see on their screens instead of the number referring to the position they are in. If a player decides not to use the system, the screen can be turned off and the other players see the position number that the player is sitting at instead of a screen name. Players may set up an account at the casino or card room, at which time they will receive a swipe card, or they may sign up online, similar to setting up an e-mail account. When the player enters the poker room at the particular establishment, the player will be asked if he has an existing account. If the player does, then he or she will swipe or sign in. If not, he or she will be asked to set up an account before starting to play.
  • Once at the table, the establishment will decide if the players can enter their own playing information into the system. Otherwise, the dealer will enter playing information on his or her screen, and the players will only be able to view the information and offer corrections. At all times the screens will display an image of the table with the players' screen names or numbers, each player's chip count, who is on the button, who the action is on, the size of the pot, and what each player has acted out, which is either check, fold, bet, call, raise, or re-raise. When action is on a particular player, the screen will display his or her choices. Once he acts, the information will be entered into the system either by the dealer or player for all players to see. If the players enter their own playing information, they will only be able to do so when the action is on them. The rest of the time, they can only view what other players are doing, with no option to enter any information.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Preferred embodiment(s) of the present invention will be described in detail based on the following figures, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of the invention, according to which an example poker system includes a custom felted table, one of one or more player stations, a CPU and a communication connection between the player station and CPU.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates an embodiment of the invention, according to which an example poker system includes a custom felted table, a dealer station and six player stations.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of video taping players, dealers and the game itself.
  • FIG. 3A illustrates an embodiment of the design of the front side of one or more player screens.
  • FIG. 3B illustrates an embodiment of the design of the back side of one or more player screens.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of the player positions.
  • FIG. 4A illustrates another embodiment of the design of the front side of one or more player screens.
  • FIG. 4B illustrates another embodiment of the design of the back side of one or more player screens.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • An embodiment of the invention comprises a computer-based multiplayer card game system, suitable for use both at home and in a casino or card room setting, with a number of advantages over prior systems. The preferred embodiment of the system is for poker games and in particular Texas Hold 'Em. The preferred embodiment of the invention comprises a CPU, a plurality of player stations, a plurality of communications connections linking the CPU to each of the player stations, and software configured to conduct the play. Embodiments of the invention further comprise a poker table to which the player stations are attached. Embodiments of the invention eliminate the need for a dealer in live card games where the players compete against themselves and not the casino, card room, or house. A dealer may be used in conjunction with the system if desired. The system has the capacity to electronically record and store all game data.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of the invention, according to which an example poker system includes a custom felted table 120, one of one or more player stations 110, a CPU 130 and a communication connection 140 between the player station 110 and CPU 130. Table 120 does not have a dealer station. Instead, the dealer functions are performed by software on the CPU 130. Table 120 is specially designed to accommodate one or more player stations 110. Table 120 has a plurality of player stations 110, and each player station will have a communication connection 140 with the CPU 130. The player station 110 comprises a player screen 115 in front of the player at table 120. The player station 110 also comprises a bet placement spot 116 for chips in which the player will place bets during a game. The player station 110 also comprises a card placement area 118, designed to accommodate a player's hole cards. Once another player calls a bet, a dealer will take the chips from the bet placement spot 116 and place them in a main pot area, 125. When a player is dealt cards and decides to play a particular hand, the player will place the cards in the card placement area 118. If the player decide to fold, the player gives the cards to the dealer. Players can observe who still has cards in their card placement areas 118 to determine who is involved in a hand. Components of FIG. 1 can be placed in any convenient position, may be designed to any convenient size, and may be described using different terminology.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, centrally located on table 120 in FIG. 1 is a an example of how bets can be organized and separated in a clear manner for poker or other card games. In this example, on table 120 is a main pot area 125, into which a dealer gathers together all bets and chips that make up the pot. A majority of the chips will lie in the main pot area 125. The main pot area 125 may also be used for a first player to go “all in.” Designated side pot areas include first side pot area 926, which is used in case a second player goes “all in,” second side pot area 927, which is used in case a third player goes “all in,” third side pot area 128, which is used in case a fourth player goes “all in,” and fourth side pot area 129, which is used in case a fifth player goes “all in.” Only in the rare case will all side pot areas 12 6-9 be used. There is a slight chance, however, that more side pot areas are needed than the four side pot areas 12 6-9, in which case the area outside the boxes 124 will be used. The main and side pot area 12 5-9 labels on the table 120 may vary. Labels on the table 120 may also include general information such as the casino or card room name, the particular game, and applicable table stakes.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, no dedicated dealer is necessary. Each player in turn can accept the dealer's responsibility of ensuring the correct bets have been placed, the cards are flipped correctly, and each player acts according to the rules. Alternatively, according to embodiments of the invention, the system can assist the dealer in the particular game. This set of embodiments will be needed if local laws prevent players from acting as dealer. The system uses one or more of real cards and virtual cards. In a casino or card room setting, the house can determine the type of cards to be used in a given play, either real cards or virtual cards that are electronically displayed on the screen. In a home play setting, the players can decide on the type of cards. If real cards are used, an automatic shuffle machine can eliminate the need for the players to shuffle the cards.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates an embodiment of the invention, according to which an example poker system includes a custom felted table 220, a dealer station 205 and six player stations 210. Bet placement spots 216 are shown for each player, as well as card placement areas 218 designed to accommodate each player's hole cards. The dealer is responsible for dealing and collecting cards. The dealer collects all cards that have been folded or burned from the deck in a dead cards pile 208. These cards represent no meaning to the hand in play and are put face down. Table 220 is specially designed to accommodate the player stations 210 and dealer station 205. Each player station 210 and dealer station 205 have a communication connection 140 with the CPU 130 shown in FIG. 1.
  • Player stations 210 and dealer station 205 comprise touch screens, personal computers, laptops, handheld devices and any other display and input device combinations. Player stations 210 alternatively comprises display screen devices not associated with input devices if a dealer is present. For home players, the display screen device of a player stations may also comprise a television screen. Player stations 210 can be monitored and recorded by the house at any time. Player stations 210 may be placed anywhere in front of each player and are not limited to any style or position of mounting. According to embodiments of the invention, the player stations 210 are attached to a table 220 that is part of the system. According to other embodiments of the invention, the player stations 210 are attached to an existing table. The system software is displayed through the player stations 210.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, as in FIG. 1, centrally located on table 220 is a main pot area 225, where the dealer gathers together all bets and chips that make up the pot into one main pot. Table 220 comprises designated side pot areas 226, 227, 228 and 229, as also shown in FIG. 1. Table 220 also comprises an the area outside the boxes 224 to be used in case an additional side pot area is needed.
  • For home use and for casino and card room use where permitted, the system has the capability to electronically record and store all game data for later retrieval and transmission to a player station of one or more of hands, plays, and bets of interest as specified by a player. According to embodiments of the invention, the player station associated with the player has the capability to replay the event of interest on demand from the player.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of video taping players, dealers and the game itself. For home use, casino use and card room use where permitted, the system comprises a video camera capable of recording a player as the player places a bet and makes a play. At casinos or in card rooms, video cameras can be hidden or out in the open. Hidden video cameras are already used by casinos for security and game surveillance purposes. According to an embodiment of the invention, FIG. 3 shows placement of hidden ceiling video cameras 330 in the ceiling of a casino above custom felted table 320 for video taping players, dealers and the game. Further, network television uses hidden video cameras to record live poker games. According to an embodiment of the invention, FIG. 3 shows similar placement of table-side video cameras 340 to record the players, dealers and game. The table-top video cameras 350 of FIG. 3 show another embodiment of recording the players, dealers and game from a different angle. The video cameras of FIG. 3 can be placed in any convenient position in the casino, may be designed to any convenient size, may be hidden or out in the open, and may be described using different terminology.
  • FIG. 3A illustrates an embodiment of the design of the front side of one or more player screens. For home use, casino use and card room use where permitted, the system comprises microphones 314 in the player stations 310 capable of recording audio of the players, dealer and others present during game play.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, one or more recordings of interest, which can be one or more of electronic recordings, video camera recordings and audio recordings, can be retrieved by a player at a later time and replayed. Electronic and video camera recordings can be replayed on player screen 315 of player station 310 in FIG. 3A. Audio recordings can be replayed using speakers 313 of player station 310 in FIG. 3A. FIG. 3A also includes an audio on/off switch 309. According to embodiments of the invention, the recordings can be downloaded and saved to a player's own computer, handheld device or other device using a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port 311 of FIG. 3A connected to the CPU 130 of FIG. 1. According to embodiments of the invention, the recordings can also be downloaded from the CPU 130 of FIG. 1 via the Internet. The components of FIG. 3A can be placed in any convenient position, may be designed to any convenient size, and may be described using different terminology.
  • FIG. 3A also shows a swipe card reading device 312 attached to the top of a player station 310. According to embodiments of the invention, each player has a swipe card with personal information stored on it obtained from the casino. The player swipes the card through the swipe card reading device 312 to activate a player station 310 and join a game. According to embodiments of the invention, a player can sign into their account using a secure password, thereby activating a player station 310. The swipe card reading device 312 is electronically connected to the player station 310 to transfer information from a card to the player station and vice versa. The swipe card reading devices 312 may also be physically separate but still linked to the player station 310 or CPU 130 of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3B illustrates an embodiment of the design of the back side of one or more player screens 310. FIG. 3B also shows another embodiment of the swipe card reading device 312 attached instead to the side of the player station 310. According to embodiments of the invention, FIG. 3B shows how the back of the player station 310 can be used as a player's chip stack holder 317. The chip stack holder 317 is not a necessary component of the screen or system, but just a helpful tool to keep the chips organized.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of the player positions. FIG. 4 shows the player screens 410 having chip stack holders 417. There can be any number of player positions, however, the game of Texas Hold 'Em is limited to ten player positions and one dealer position.
  • FIG. 4A illustrates another embodiment of the design of the front side of the one or more player stations 410. This version of the player station 410 shows a card slot 411. The player inserts the swipe card into the card slot 411 to activate a player station 310 and join a game. The swipe card reading device for the card slot 411 is integrated into the player station 410 instead of attached externally to the player station 410.
  • FIG. 4B illustrates another embodiment of the design of the back side of the one or more player screens. The player stations 410 of FIG. 4B does not have an external swipe card reader. Instead, the player station has either no swipe card reader or an internal swipe card reader.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, the software running on CPU 130 in FIG. 1 allows each player to select a language in which information is provided. This makes it possible for players to compete against each other without having to understand a common language. If the system is used in a casino, the system may optionally be linked to other systems the house uses, such as but not limited to a sports book, keno games, and/or food and beverage services.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, the system comprises an appropriately cataloged library of games and hands that have been played in the past. According to embodiments of the invention, the library allows a player to generate any desired statistics regarding their play and performance. According to embodiments of the invention, the library is only accessible to players who obtain a subscription. According to embodiments of the invention, each player has the option to maintain his or her privacy and to be described generically in the statistics available to other players. These features enable a player to improve his or her game.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, a virtually unlimited range of statistics is available to players. Available statistics are virtually unlimited. It should be noted in the following examples that a range of numbers of players can be a single number of players, e.g., exactly six players at the table, or can be a span of numbers of players at the table, e.g., between six and eight players at the table. It should also be noted that where a selected criterion is a selected set of other players at the table, the set of other players may comprise one or more than one other players. As examples according to embodiments of the invention, said statistics include, but are not limited to: a) one or more of net financial gain-loss, won-lost record, and won-lost percentage by a selected player for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest; b) one or more of net financial gain-loss, won-lost record, and won-lost percentage by a selected player with respect to one or more other selected players for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest; c) one or more of number of hands and percentage of hands played by a selected player for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest; d) one or more of net financial gain-loss, won-lost record, and won-lost percentage by a selected player for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest; e) frequency of play by a selected player for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest; f) one or more of net financial gain-loss, won-lost record, and won-lost percentage by a selected player for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest.
  • An embodiment of the invention assists players in following the play of a hand and in selecting their play and bet when it is their turn. The invention therefore assists the flow of live card games, whether conducted at home, in a casino, a card room, or elsewhere. The invention also promotes the efficiency of poker play when used at casinos or card rooms, allowing more hands to be played in a given period of time. The invention eliminates the need for a dealer in live card games where the players compete against themselves and not the casino, card room, or house. A dealer may be used in conjunction with the system if desired.
  • The system has the capacity to electronically record and store all game data. In a casino or card room application, the house can analyze the data. In a home application, players can analyze the data in order to improve their play. In the casino or card room setting, the invention is applicable to many different variations of poker in which the house risks none of its own money and can win no money. The invention can be operated for use in a casino or card room setting consistently with any applicable house rules. According to various embodiments, the system can be used with the presence of a live dealer or without a live dealer, with real cards or electronic cards, and with real chips or electronic chips.
  • The following assumptions are made:
      • 1. The games are played against other players who have no affiliation with the house.
      • 2. There are many variations of games in which the dealer is a facilitator and not a player. As an example and due to its popularity, a sample hand of the poker game Texas Hold 'Em is described in detail. The system is capable of use with any poker game. Texas Hold 'Em is provided only as an example.
      • 3. Each player must be willing and able to use the software. The players must comply with stated terms of the individual establishment in which the actual game is located and hosted.
  • The invention is designed to assist the players by computing complicated bets, making all players aware whom the action is on, meaning whose turn it is to bet and play, improving the efficiency of the game by allowing for a higher hand per hour rate, clearly stating the choices which make up the decision the players must make, and providing the establishment with all information on bets and plays.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, each player station comprises a calculator for player use. According to embodiments of the invention, the player station has the capability to allow players to create notes configured to appear on that player's screen and not on any other player's screen. According to embodiments of the invention, the system has the ability to accept notes from a player submitted to be displayed on that player's screen under designated circumstances. This feature is useful to enable players to remind themselves about important points regarding the game that may otherwise be forgotten.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, the system has the ability to display, according to player specifications, odds relating to the play. According to embodiments of the invention, these player specifications of odds display can be submitted in advance. According to embodiments of the invention, these player specifications of odds display can be submitted over the Internet. According to embodiments of the invention, the system has the capability to display to all players the possible cards that can create a winning hand for a selected player. According to embodiments of the invention, the system has the capability to display to all players the odds of the dealing of a card that has been displayed. According to embodiments of the invention, displayed odds of the dealing of a displayed card are updated after each card is dealt.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, the system uses one or more of real chips and virtual chips. In a casino or card room setting, the house can determine the type of chips to be used in a given play, either real chips or virtual chips that are electronically displayed on the screens and stored on their cards and accounts. In a home play setting, the players can decide on the type of chips.
  • The player station will prompt each player with simple and clear instructions on available options and the bets and plays to be selected. Dealers are prompted on all actions to be taken. Once the dealer complies, the game continues. For a player who is not dealing, when the action is on that player, the player must decide whether to check, bet, fold, call, raise, or re-raise depending on the circumstances. Once the player makes a decision, the player must enter the decision into his or her player station. If the player station is a touch screen, or any other display and input device combination, the player enters his or her decision into his or her player station. If the player station is a touch screen, the player activates the appropriate cell on the touch screen. Alternatively, if the player's player station is instead a display screen device, the dealer enters the play made by the player. If the player decides to fold, that player must pass his or her cards to the dealer to be placed in the dead cards pile. If the player decides to check, that decision will also become visible to the other players through their player stations, and the action will move on to the next player. If the player decides to bet, the amount the player wishes to bet is entered into the system, and the amount will become visible to other players through their player stations. If the system is being operated using real chips, the player must set the amount that has been bet in front of himself or herself. Again, the player's decision is entered and becomes visible to every other player through his or her player station. The dealer is responsible for checking that the amount on the table matches what the screen indicates. If for any reason there is a problem or dispute, any player can stop play and alert a supervisor to sort out the issue.
  • Sometimes the betting gets complicated during the course of a game, especially when someone goes “all in”. The system will automatically calculate the amount each player is risking based on the entry at the player station. The system also automatically tells a player the minimum bet to call another player's bet in order to stay in the hand. It is the dealer's responsibility to ensure that all bets correctly reflect what the system indicates and that the player with the winning hand collects the pot.
  • When community cards are flipped, the dealer must select and enter the cards into the system so they will be displayed on each player's player station. When each round of betting is complete, the dealer must acknowledge this on the screen in order for play to continue. When the game is complete and the players are ready to show each other their cards to find out who has won the hand, they must select and enter their cards into the screen so the system can calculate who won which amount. It is the dealer's responsibility to ensure that the cards the player shows match the cards entered into the system and to make appropriate corrections.
  • The system will assist the flow of the live poker games being played in gaming establishments. The system provides players with clear instructions including available options at decision points. A player frequently has to choose between a range of options including whether to bet, check, or fold. If the player bets, he or she can call, raise, or re-raise, depending on the circumstances. These choices will be clearly displayed on the player's player station. When a player decides on a choice of options, he or she will enter the chosen option into the player station. Alternatively, if players have display screen devices, the dealer will enter the player's choice into the dealer station. After the player's decision is input into the system, the system receives the choice, records it, and moves on to the next player. The system makes all calculations and determines winners and losers. This feature limits problems attributable to human mistakes and cheating. The system is suitable for use in licensed gaming establishments and also for home use.
  • Texas Hold 'Em
  • Texas Hold 'Em is a popular variation of poker that many find easy to learn. A sample hand involving six players. Following is a simplified description of the game. The dealer shuffles the cards to be played, ensuring random order when the cards are passed out or dealt. Blinds are automatic bets by players before they see their cards to ensure action, or play. These blinds become part of the pot, the pool of money the winner takes. The blinds are rotated based on the position of a marker known as the button. The button is rotated clockwise around the table and represents the dealer's position if there is no permanent dealer. The software keeps track of the location of the button and displays the button's current location to all players. The deal begins with the player in the position to the left of the button, and this player is the first to act when betting begins. After each hand, the button is passed one position to the left, or clockwise around the table. The position to the left of the button is known as the small blind, while the person two positions to the left of the button is the big blind. The amounts of the blinds are pre-determined by the house. The rest of the players must match the amount of the big blind in order to continue with the play. If any players raises the amount currently at stake, all other players must match the amount in each round of betting, so that each player who wishes to continue has an equal amount of money in the pot. The only exception is when someone goes “all in” and side pots are created, as described elsewhere. Each player receives two hole cards face down, which only that player is able to look at until play is concluded. Then the person in the first position must make a decision. The first position is the player to the left of the big blind. The player who acts first once the hole cards are dealt is the player to the left of the big blind. Once this round of betting is completed, the flop cards are flipped on the table, or on the screen according to embodiments of this invention, so that they are visible to all players. Then the player who is still active and is closest to the left of the button is the first to act in each subsequent round of play. The decision that must be made is among these choices: 1) fold, i.e., throw your cards away without putting any money into the pot 2) post big blind, i.e., match the amount the big blind has in the pot 3) bet or raise, i.e., place an amount of money into the pot in which each other player must match, or call, in order to continue with the hand.
  • Once the player in the first position has made a decision, the action passes to the person to the immediate left and so on. Once the action gets back around to the small blind, the small blind has the same set of options except if another player has raised, in which case the small blind must match the amount each player has put into the pot. The big blind must also match any other bet in order to continue playing. However, if no other player has raised, the big blind may bet or check. If the player checks, this indicates they will keep their cards without placing any more money into the pot. Once all bets have been placed, the dealer will continue the hand. The dealer will burn one card, or take the top card and place it in the dead cards pile face down, then flip the next three cards off the top of the deck. These three cards are called the flop. Then another round of betting takes place in which the players must make a decision on whether to fold, check, or bet. The action is on the player to the left of the button. If the players check all around, or no one bets, the game continues. If a player bets, every other player must match that bet to continue in the game. If a player bets, another player may decide to raise, or increase the amount to continue. Another player may re-raise. Each player who wishes to continue the hand must match or call the amount the other players have put into the pot. If a player goes all in, they are risking all the chips they have. If a player is “all in” the opponents have the opportunity to continue betting among themselves. If this occurs, the player who is all in can only win from each player who has called the amount the player has risked, and no more. The other players then have what is referred to as a side pot, so called because not all remaining players participate in it. There can be more than one side pot in any given hand. Once the pot is set, the dealer burns the top card and flips the next card. This fourth card is called “the turn” or “Fourth Street.” The players have another round of betting, exactly like the last round. Then once the pot is set, the dealer burns one more card off the top, and flips the last card, which is called “Fifth Street” or “the river.” A final round of betting occurs. Once the pot is set, the players show their cards to determine the winner. The dealer must decide who actually wins the hand and gives the winner the money or chips. The winner is the remaining player who has the best five-card hand according to standard poker rules, using the five community cards along with that player's hole cards. There is a possibility that the best hand may be on the board, composed of the five community cards—the flop, the turn, and the river. If there is a tie, the tied players split the pot.
  • Texas Hold 'Em is an example of a game that can be played using embodiments of the invention. Texas Hold 'Em can be played with between two and ten people sitting at one table. The system described in this example is designed to complement and supplement the designated dealer at a casino or card room. The dealer will enter playing information into the system for each player. In a home setting, each individual player enters his or her information into the system.
  • Each screen is functional at all times whether the player decides to use it or not.
  • The players may set up an account with their personal information by choosing a screen name for the other players to see on their screens instead of the number referring to the position they are in. If a player decides not to use the system, the screen can be turned off and the other players see the position number that the player is sitting at instead of a screen name. Players may set up an account at the casino or card room, at which time they will receive a swipe card, or they may sign up online, similar to setting up an e-mail account. When the player enters the poker room at the particular establishment, the player will be asked if he has an existing account. If the player does, then he or she will swipe or sign in. If not, he or she will be asked to set up an account before starting to play.
  • Once at the table, the establishment will decide if the players can enter their own playing information into the system. Otherwise, the dealer will enter all playing information on his or her screen, and the players will only be able to view the information and offer corrections. At all times the screens will display an image of the table with the players' screen names or numbers, each player's chip count, who is on the button, who the action is on, the size of the pot, and what each player has acted out, which is either check, fold, bet, call, raise, or re-raise. When action is on a particular player, the screen will display his or her choices. Once he acts, the information will be entered into the system either by the dealer or player for all players to see. If the players enter their own playing information, they will only be able to do so when the action is on them. The rest of the time, they can only view what other players are doing, with no option to enter any information.
  • Example of a Hand of Texas Hold 'Em
  • Following is an embodiment of an example of a hand of Texas Hold 'Em played using the system described above. For purposes of this example, there are six players and a dealer. This example uses $1 chips but any standard denomination of chips may be used.
      • 1. Dealer verifies each players chip count and enters it into the system.
      • 2. Dealer verifies blinds are posted. Small blind is $1, and big blind is $2.
      • 3. Dealer passes out hole cards. Player 4 is on the button, player 5 is in small blind and player 6 is in big blind.
      • 4. Action is on player 1, whose screen displays the following three options:
        • Bet Fold Check
        • Player 1 bets 8 plus 2 for big blind.
      • 5. Dealer verifies that player 1 has placed 10 chips in front of himself, and the dealer enters the bet into the system.
      • 6. Action is on player 2, whose screen displays the following options:
        • Call 10 Fold Raise
        • Player 2 folds his or her hand.
      • 7. Dealer collects player 2's folded cards, places them in the dead cards pile and enters player 2's decision to fold into the system by his or her screen so that all screens reflect player 2's decision.
      • 8. Action is on player 3, whose screen displays the following options:
        • Call 10 Fold Raise
        • Player 3 calls 10.
      • 9. Dealer verifies that player 3 has placed 10 chips in front of himself, and the dealer enters the bet into the system.
      • 10. Action is on player 4, whose screen displays the following options:
        • Call 10 Fold Raise
        • Player 4 calls 10.
      • 11. Dealer verifies that player 4 has placed 10 chips in front of himself, and the dealer enters the bet into the system.
      • 12. Action is on player 5, the small blind, who has already posted $1 and whose screen therefore displays the following options:
        • Call 9 Fold Raise
        • Player 5 calls 9.
      • 13. Dealer verifies player 5 has a total of 10 chips in front of himself, and the dealer enters the bet into the system.
      • 14. Action is on player 6, the big blind, who has already posted $2 and whose screen therefore displays the following options:
        • Call 8 Fold Raise
        • Player 6 calls 8.
      • 15. Dealer verifies that player 6 has placed a total of 10 chips in front of himself, and the dealer enters the bet into the system.
      • At this point in the hand, each player screen and the dealer's screen displays the amount of money in the pot, which is $50.00. Each screen displays which player is on the button, and player 4 is on the button at this point. Each screen also displays who the action is on at any given point, and the action is on player 5 at this point. Each screen also displays the number of chips each player has and which players are still involved in the hand, for example “IN” or “OUT.” Thus, each screen displays that player 1 has 40 chips and is “IN,” player 2 has 100 chips and is “OUT,” player 3 has 200 chips and is “IN,” player 4 has 50 chips and is “IN,” player 5 has 70 chips and is “IN” and player 6 has 90 chips and is “IN.”
      • 16. Dealer burns 1 card face down, and reveals the next 3 cards, which make up the FLOP. In this example, the FLOP is the 10 of Spades, the 9 of Clubs and the King of Spades. Each card in the deck of cards is listed on the dealer's screen. The dealer selects these three cards from the list on his or her screen.
      • Each player screen and the dealer's screen displays the FLOP, which is the 10 of Spades, the 9 of Clubs and the King of Spades. Each screen also displays the amount of money in the pot, which is still $50.00. Each screen displays which player is on the button, and player 4 is still on the button at this point. Each screen also displays who the action is on at any given point, and the action is still on player 5. Each screen also displays the number of chips each player has, and these numbers are the same as in 15. above.
      • 17. Action is on player 5 whose screen displays the following options:
        • Fold Check Bet
        • Player 5 checks.
      • 18. Action is on player 6, whose screen displays the following options:
        • Fold Check Bet
        • Player 6 bets “all in” with 90.
      • 19. Dealer verifies 90 chips are bet, and the dealer enters the bet into the system.
      • 20. Action is on player 1, whose screen displays the following options:
        • Fold Call “all in” with 40.
        • Player 1 calls “all in” with 40.
      • 21. Dealer adds $40 from player 6 and $40 from player 1 to the main pot of $50 from the last round of betting, for a total of $130. Dealer creates a first side pot with the remaining $50 from player 6's bet. The amounts in the main pot and the first side pot are displayed on all screens.
      • 22. Action is on player 3, whose screen displays the following options:
        • Fold Call 90 Raise
        • Player 3 calls 90.
      • 23. Dealer places 40 in the main pot, and 50 in the side pot.
      • 24. Action is on player 4, whose screen displays the following options:
        • Fold Call 50 “all in”
        • Player 4 folds.
      • 25. Dealer collects player 4's hold cards, places the cards in the dead cards pile and enters player 4's decision to fold into the system on his or her screen so that all screens reflect player 4's decision.
      • 26. Action is on player 5, whose screen displays the following options:
        • Fold Call 70 “all in”
        • Player 5 calls “all in” with 70.
      • 27. Dealer places $40 in the main pot. Dealer creates a new first side pot into which he places the remaining $30 from player 5 and $30 each from players 3 and 6 from the original first side pot. Dealer creates a second side pot with the remaining $20 each from players 3 and 6 from the original first side pot. At this point, player 1 can only win the main pot, player 3 can win all pots, player 5 can win only the main pot and the first side pot, and player 6 can will all pots.
      • At this point in the hand, each player screen and the dealer's screen displays the amount of money in the main pot, which is $210.00. Each screen displays the amounts of money in the first and second side pots, which are $90 and $40, respectively. Each screen also displays the number of chips each player has and which players are still involved in the hand. Thus, each screen displays that player 1 has 40 chips and is “ALL IN,” player 2 has 100 chips and is “OUT,” player 3 has 110 chips and is “IN,” player 4 has 50 chips and is “OUT,” player 5 has 70 chips and is “ALL IN” and player 6 has 90 chips and is “ALL IN.”
      • 28. Dealer burns one card and flips the next, called Fourth Street or “the turn,” which is the 2 of Hearts. Dealer selects 2 of Hearts from the list of cards on his or her screen.
      • 29. Since there is only one player involved in the hand, player 3, who has money to wager but no one to wager with, the betting is over. However, if there had been two or more players with money to wager there would be another round of betting after Fifth Street or “the river” card is flipped.
      • 30. Dealer burns one card and flips the last community card, which is the Jack of Spades. Dealer selects Jack of Spades from the list of cards on his or her screen.
      • At this point in the hand, each player screen and the dealer's screen display the information as described in 27. above. Each screen also displays the board of community cards that the dealer has flipped on the table, which include the FLOP of 10 of Spades, 9 of Clubs and King of Spades from 16. above, as well as the 2 of Hearts and Jack of Spades from 28. and 30. above, respectively.
      • 31. Each player shows their hole cards. In this situation, where no more betting can occur, the players typically show their cards before Fourth and Fifth Street are dealt to determine who is ahead, or in the lead to win, and which cards would help each player. However, if betting can still occur, the players wait to reveal their cards until the end of the hand.
        • Player 5 shows Ace of Spades and Queen of Spades.
        • Player 6 shows Jack of Hearts and Queen of Hearts.
        • Player 1 shows 10 of Diamonds and 9 of Diamonds.
        • Player 3 shows K of Diamonds and 7 of Clubs.
      • 32. Dealer verifies each player's cards and enters them into the system.
      • At this point in the hand, each player screen and the dealer's screen display the information as described in 30. above. The screens also display all players' hole cards.
      • 33. The system calculates player 5 has a Royal Flush of Spades and wins the main pot and the first side pot for a total of $300.
      • 34. The system calculates that player 6 beats player 3 for the second side pot with a king high straight and player 6 wins $40.
      • The screens display the information as described in 32. above. The screens also display that player 5 wins the main pot and the first pot for $300 total, and that player 6 wins the second side for $40 total.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, a system is provided for allowing a plurality of players to play poker at a poker table, wherein said players need not speak a common language, comprising: a CPU; software capable of directing the CPU through the play of a hand of a selected game of poker; a plurality of player stations, wherein said player screen is configured to display game and betting information to said player in a language selected by said player and consistent with the instructions of said software, said player station further comprising a player input device configured to receive player bets and plays and further configured to transmit said bets and plays to said CPU; and a plurality of communications connections for connecting said CPU to each of said player stations, wherein said communications connections allow said CPU, in accordance with the instructions of said software, to update each player station on the play, requesting bets from the players, receiving bets, recording bets, requesting plays from the players, receiving plays, and recording plays.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, a system is provided for allowing a plurality of players to play poker at a poker table, with the ability to replay events of interest, wherein an event is defined as one of a hand, a play, and a bet, comprising: a CPU; software capable of directing the CPU through the play of a hand of a selected game of poker; a plurality of player stations, wherein said player screen is configured to display game and betting information to said player consistent with the instructions of said software, said player station further comprising a player input device configured to receive player bets and plays and further configured to transmit said bets and plays to said CPU; and a plurality of communications connections for connecting said CPU to each of said player stations, wherein said communications connections allow said CPU, in accordance with the instructions of said software, to update each player station on the play, requesting bets from the players, receiving bets, recording bets, requesting plays from the players, receiving plays, and recording plays, and wherein said CPU is configured to retrieve and transmit to said player station for replay an event of interest.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, the CPU can retrieve and transmit to said player station an event of interest, wherein an event is defined as one of a hand, a play, and a bet, said player station being configured to replay said event of interest. According to further embodiments of the invention, the CPU can bookmark events for retrieval and review. According to still other embodiments of the invention, the CPU is further configured to calculate the relevant odds before each play and to transmit said odds to each player station. According to still further embodiments of the invention, the system further comprises a video camera capable of making video recordings of a player as the player places a bet and makes a play. According to still further embodiments of the invention, the system further comprises a microphone for making audio recordings of a player as the player places a bet and makes a play. According to other embodiments of the invention, one or more of electronic, video and audio recordings of previous events of interest can be retrieved at a later time and replayed on display devices and through speakers.
  • According to still other embodiments of the invention, the system deals electronic cards. According to still further embodiments of the invention, the system operates in conjunction with real cards dealt by a live dealer. According to further embodiments of the invention, the system maintains a running tally of the electronic chips owned by each player. According to other embodiments of the invention, the electronic chip tally is displayed to all players. According to further embodiments of the invention, the system operates in conjunction with real chips. According to other embodiments of the invention, the player input device comprises a swipe card reader device capable of activating the player station and capable of receiving input by a player of player information stored on a swipe card.
  • System Implementation
  • In a typical implementation, the system includes player stations comprising player screens, a CPU, communications connections, and in some embodiments, a custom table. The invention is not limited to any particular number of player stations or to any specific type of component. Examples provided herein are given to illustrate the invention. Components of the invention can be placed in any convenient position, may be designed to any convenient size, and may be described using any appropriate terminology.
  • The CPU includes a computer display at each player station, and some form of graphical interface executing thereon, for example, a Unix Windows environment, a Mac OS, or a Microsoft Windows environment, or some other graphical application environment. It will be evident to one skilled in the art that embodiments of the invention can be equally used with other forms of graphical user interface (GUI).
  • Appropriate software coding can readily be prepared by skilled programmers based on the teachings of the present disclosure, as will be apparent to those skilled in the software art. Embodiments of the invention may also be implemented by the preparation of application-specific integrated circuits or by interconnecting an appropriate network of conventional component circuits, as will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art.
  • Embodiments of the present invention include a computer program product which is a storage medium (media) having instructions stored thereon/in which can be used to program a computer to perform any of the processes of the present invention. The storage medium can include, but is not limited to, any type of disk, including floppy disks, optical disks, DVD, CD-ROMs, microdrive, and magneto-optical disks, ROMs, RAMs, EPROMs, EEPROMs, DRAMs, VRAMs, flash memory devices, magnetic or optical cards, nanosystems, including molecular memory ICs, or any type of media or device suitable for storing instructions and/or data.
  • Stored on any one of the computer readable medium (media), embodiments of the present invention include software for controlling both the hardware of the general purpose/specialized CPU, computer or processor, and for enabling the computer or processor to interact with human players utilizing the results of embodiments of the present invention. Such software may include, but is not limited to, device drivers, operating systems, and user applications. Ultimately, such computer readable media further includes software for performing embodiments of the present invention, as described above.
  • Included in the software of the general/specialized CPU, computer or processor are software modules for implementing the teachings of the present invention, including, but not limited to, directing the play of a hand of a selected game of poker, displaying game and betting information to a player in a language selected by the player, and replaying an event of interest, wherein an event is defined as one of a hand, a play, and a bet, according to the processes of embodiments of the present invention.
  • Embodiments of the present invention may be conveniently implemented using a conventional general purpose or a specialized digital CPU, computer or processor programmed according to the teachings of the present disclosure, as will be apparent to those skilled in the computer art.
  • The foregoing description of the present invention has been provided for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to the practitioner skilled in the art. Particularly, it will be evident that the above-described features of directing the play of a hand of a selected game of poker, displaying game and betting information to a player in a language selected by the player, and replaying an event of interest, wherein an event is defined as one of a hand, a play, and a bet, can be incorporated into other types of software applications beyond those described. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application, thereby enabling others skilled in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments and with various modifications that are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the following claims and their equivalents.

Claims (43)

  1. 1. A computer system for allowing a plurality of players to play poker, comprising:
    a central processing unit;
    software which directs play of a hand of a selected game of poker that runs on the central processing unit;
    a plurality of player stations, wherein each player station comprises a player screen, wherein game and betting information is displayed to said player screen by said software, said player station further comprising a player input device configured to receive player bets and plays and further configured to transmit said bets and plays to said software; and
    a plurality of communications connections for connecting said central processing unit to each of said player stations, wherein said said software running on said central processing unit is capable of updating each player station on the play, requesting bets from the players, receiving bets, recording bets, requesting plays from the players, receiving plays, and recording plays, and replaying an event of interest, wherein said event of interest comprises one of a hand, a play, and a bet.
  2. 2. The system of claim 1, wherein each player station comprises a player screen configured to display game and betting information to said player in said player's selected language.
  3. 3. The system of claim 1, wherein each player station comprises a microphone for making audio recordings of the players, dealer and spectators of the game.
  4. 4. The system of claim 1, wherein each player station comprises one or more speakers.
  5. 5. The system of claim 5, wherein each player station comprises an on/off switch for the one or more speakers.
  6. 6. The system of claim 1, said system further comprising one or more video cameras capable of making video recordings of the players, dealer and game.
  7. 7. The system of claim 1, wherein said software can bookmark events for retrieval and review.
  8. 8. The system of claim 1, said software being further configured to calculate the relevant odds before each play and to transmit said odds to each player station.
  9. 9. The system of claim 1, said software being configured so as to have the capacity to electronically record and store all game data.
  10. 10. The system of claim 9, said game data comprising electronic, video and audio data.
  11. 11. The system of claims 9, wherein said software has the capability to retrieve and transmit to a player station one or more said electronic records relating to one or more events of interest as specified by a player associated with said player station.
  12. 12. The system of claim 9, wherein said software has the capability to replay one or more said electronic records relating to one or more events of interest on demand from a player associated with said player station.
  13. 13. The system of claim 9, wherein said software has the capability to download and save one or more said electronic records relating to one or more events of interest on demand from a player associated with said player station to another computer or device of the player.
  14. 14. The system of claims 13, wherein said downloading uses a USB port connected from said player station to the other computer or device.
  15. 15. The system of claim 1, further comprising an appropriately cataloged library of games and hands that have been played in the past.
  16. 16. The system of claim 15, wherein said library has the capability to generate, in response to a player request, specified statistics regarding data stored in said library.
  17. 17. The system of claim 15, wherein said library is only accessible to players who obtain a subscription.
  18. 18. The system of claim 15, wherein the system allows at least one player an option to maintain his or her privacy and to be described generically in the statistics available to other players.
  19. 19. The system of claim 18, wherein said statistics comprise one or more of:
    a) one or more of net financial gain-loss, won-lost record, and won-lost percentage by a selected player for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest;
    b) one or more of net financial gain-loss, won-lost record, and won-lost percentage by a selected player with respect to one or more other selected players for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest;
    c) one or more of number of hands and percentage of hands played by a selected player for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest;
    d) one or more of net financial gain-loss, won-lost record, and won-lost percentage by a selected player for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest;
    e) frequency of play by a selected player for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest; and
    f) one or more of net financial gain-loss, won-lost record, and won-lost percentage by a selected player for one or more of a selected table, a selected session, a selected day, a selected hand, a selected round, a selected range of numbers of players at the table, a selected set of other players at the table, and other selected criteria of interest.
  20. 20. The system of claim 1, further comprising a poker table to which said player stations are attached.
  21. 21. The system of claim 1, wherein said player stations comprise touch screen devices, personal computers, laptops, handheld devices, televisions and display screen devices.
  22. 22. The system of claim 1, wherein said system deals electronic cards.
  23. 23. The system of claim 1, wherein said system operates in conjunction with real cards dealt by a live dealer.
  24. 24. The system of claim 1, wherein said system maintains a running tally of the electronic chips owned by each player.
  25. 25. The system of claim 24, wherein said electronic chip tally is displayed to all players.
  26. 26. The system of claim 1, wherein said system operates in conjunction with real chips.
  27. 27. The system of claim 1, said system further comprising a card reading input device capable of activating said player station and capable of receiving input by a player of player information stored on a swipe card.
  28. 28. The system of claim 27, wherein the card reading device comprises a swipe card reading device or a slot card reading device.
  29. 29. The system of claim 1, wherein one or more of said screens comprises a calculator for player use.
  30. 30. The system of claim 1, wherein at least one of said screens has the capability to allow players to create notes configured to appear on that player's screen and not on any other player's screen.
  31. 31. The system of claim 1, wherein said software has the ability to accept notes from a player submitted to be displayed on that player's screen under designated circumstances.
  32. 32. The system of claim 1, wherein said software has the ability to display, according to player specifications, odds relating to the play.
  33. 33. The method of claim 32, wherein said player specifications can be submitted in advance.
  34. 34. The method of claim 32, wherein said player specifications can be submitted over the Internet.
  35. 35. The system of claim 1, wherein said system has the capability to display to all players the possible cards that can create a winning hand for a selected player.
  36. 36. The system of claim 1, wherein said software has the capability to display to all players the odds of the dealing of a card that has been displayed.
  37. 37. The system of claim 36, wherein said displayed odds are updated after each card is dealt.
  38. 38. The system of claim 1, wherein said player station comprises a chip stack holder.
  39. 39. A computer system for allowing a plurality of players and a dealer to play poker, comprising:
    a central processing unit;
    software which directs play of a hand of a selected game of poker that runs on the central processing unit;
    a plurality of player stations, wherein each player station comprises a player screen, wherein game and betting information is displayed to said player screen by said software;
    a dealer station, wherein the dealer station comprises a dealer screen, wherein game and betting information is displayed to said dealer screen by said software, said dealer station further comprising a dealer input device configured to receive player bets and plays entered by the dealer and further configured to transmit said bets and plays to said software; and
    a plurality of communications connections for connecting said central processing unit to each of said player stations, wherein said said software running on said central processing unit is capable of updating each player and dealer station on the play, requesting bets from the players, receiving bets, recording bets, requesting plays from the players, receiving plays, and recording plays, and replaying an event of interest, wherein said event of interest comprises one of a hand, a play, and a bet.
  40. 40. The system of claim 39, wherein dealer stations comprise touch screens, personal computers, laptops, handheld devices, and any other type of display and input device combination.
  41. 41. The system of claim 39, wherein player stations further comprise a player input device configured to receive player bets and plays entered by the player and further configured to transmit said bets and plays to said software.
  42. 42. The system of claim 41, wherein player stations further comprise touch screens, personal computers, laptops, handheld devices, and any other type of display and input device combination.
  43. 43. The system of claim 39, further comprising a poker table to which said player stations and dealer station are attached.
US11292469 2005-12-02 2005-12-02 Computer-based multiplayer multilanguage poker system with replay capability Abandoned US20070129129A1 (en)

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US20130231168A1 (en) * 2012-03-05 2013-09-05 Kevin William Rogers Systems, methods, and programs for playing and replaying an online game
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WO2013160769A3 (en) * 2012-04-24 2014-03-20 Sands China Ltd. Fast action baccarat
WO2013160769A2 (en) * 2012-04-24 2013-10-31 Sands China Ltd. Fast action baccarat

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