US20070238506A1 - Method and apparatus for card printing - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for card printing Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070238506A1
US20070238506A1 US11/401,660 US40166006A US2007238506A1 US 20070238506 A1 US20070238506 A1 US 20070238506A1 US 40166006 A US40166006 A US 40166006A US 2007238506 A1 US2007238506 A1 US 2007238506A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
card
media
printed
cards
data
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11/401,660
Inventor
Clyde Ruckle
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IGT Inc
Progressive Gaming International Corp
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Progressive Gaming International Corp
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Publication date
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Priority to US11/401,660 priority Critical patent/US20070238506A1/en
Assigned to MIKOHN GAMING CORPORATION reassignment MIKOHN GAMING CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: RUCKLE, CLYDE ALLEN
Assigned to PROGRESSIVE GAMING INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION reassignment PROGRESSIVE GAMING INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION CHANGE OF NAME (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MIKOHN GAMING CORPORATION
Publication of US20070238506A1 publication Critical patent/US20070238506A1/en
Assigned to PRIVATE EQUITY MANAGEMENT GROUP FINANCIAL CORPORATION, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT reassignment PRIVATE EQUITY MANAGEMENT GROUP FINANCIAL CORPORATION, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: ENDX, INC. (USA), GAMES OF NEVADA, INC., MGC, INC., MIKOHN HOLDINGS, INC., MIKOHN INTERNATIONAL, INC., PGI (MACAO) LIMITED, PGIC HOLDINGS, LIMITED, PGIC NV, PRIMELINE GAMING TECHNOLOGIES, INC., PROGRESSIVE GAMES, INC., PROGRESSIVE GAMING INTERNATIONAL (GROUP) LTD., PROGRESSIVE GAMING INTERNATIONAL (UK) LTD., VIKING MERGER SUBSIDIARY, LLC
Assigned to INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY, AS AGENT reassignment INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY, AS AGENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: ENDX, INC. (USA), GAMES OF NEVADA, INC., MGC, INC., MIKOHN HOLDINGS, INC., MIKOHN INTERNATIONAL, INC., PGI (MACAO) LTD., PGIC HOLDINGS, LIMITED, PGIC NV, PRIMELINE GAMING TECHNOLOGIES, INC., PROGRESSIVE GAMES, INC., PROGRESSIVE GAMING INTERNATIONAL (GROUP) LTD., PROGRESSIVE GAMING INTERNATIONAL (UK) LTD., VIKING MERGER SUBSIDIARY, LLC
Assigned to IGT reassignment IGT ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: PRIVATE EQUITY MANAGEMENT GROUP FINANCIAL CORPORATION
Assigned to PRIVATE EQUITY MANAGEMENT GROUP FINANCIAL CORPORATION reassignment PRIVATE EQUITY MANAGEMENT GROUP FINANCIAL CORPORATION FORECLOSURE OF SECURED PARTY'S SECURITY INTEREST Assignors: PROGRESSIVE GAMING INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • A63F1/02Cards; Special shapes of cards
    • 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
    • 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
    • G07F17/3241Security aspects of a gaming system, e.g. detecting cheating, device integrity, surveillance
    • 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
    • A63F1/02Cards; Special shapes of cards
    • A63F2001/022Manufacturing of cards
    • 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

A printer system and method for printing media during a wagering game is disclosed. The system comprises a print device configured to receive blank media and print the blank media responsive to a request during the wagering game. A map corresponding to at least a suit and a value of at least one playing card of one or more decks of playing cards may be created and stored after receiving the request. Printed media configured as playing cards or coupons may be stored or distributed after printing with the print device during play of the wagering game. The playing cards may also be printed with authorization data. The system may further comprise a discard rack to receive and monitor playing cards discarded during play of the wagering game. Playing cards that are in the discard rack may be destroyed if they are authorized and retained if they are unauthorized.

Description

    1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to printing playing cards at gaming tables and, in particular, to systems, methods and apparatus for randomly generating playing card data and printing the cards at the gaming table prior to or during game play.
  • 2. RELATED ART
  • Gambling has become a popular form of entertainment in the United States and in numerous foreign countries. Although numerous wagering events are offered within the casino or other gaming environments, one of the most traditional and popular forms of wagering occurs at table games, which often utilized cards or tiles. As is widely understood, table games often utilize a playing surface, often called a felt, upon which a dealer or other game operator offers a wagering event to one or more players. Blackjack is one of the most common table games.
  • As compared to slot or video type games, traditional table games offer greater excitement for some players, group play, and often attract big money players, which can result in large profit margins for the casino. Prior art systems make use of various methods for dealing playing cards and accounting systems which provide a fully accurate real-time record of a player's time, average and actual wager and the house advantage.
  • Table games have a built-in house advantage as part of the mathematics of the game. Because table games are not computer controlled and not bound by the rigid software controlled routines, certain types of table games can be targets for players intending to gain an unfair advantage. One example of this comprises a sophisticated technique of card counting on the game of blackjack or card marking in a variety of different games. Card counting and card marking may turn the advantage from the house to the player. Thus, dealers or game operators may have difficulty offering the game in the intended manner.
  • To overcome these drawbacks, numerous game monitoring systems for table games have been developed, moreover, complex shoes have been developed that may automatically shuffle numerous decks of cards. In one example, these game monitoring systems combine tracking of cards and may track an amount bet with RFID (radio frequency identification) to determine if players are counting cards to gain an advantage over the house. Optical scanning of pre-printed playing cards may occur during the shuffle process or as the cards leave the shoe to track which cards are dealt to each player. Hence, in the prior art scanning of pre-printed cards is combined with some aspect of a playing card shuffler and playing card shoe from which cards are dealt, so that the rank and value of playing cards may be determined when a dealer removes a card from the playing card shoe. In this way, a casino or a table monitoring software may track which cards have been dealt to specific players around a table. In addition an accounting system may be used to analyze player decisions and determine the skill level of each player and guard against card swapping
  • While proposed prior art systems provide potentially accurate monitoring capability, such prior art systems can be undesirably complex and expensive. Automatic card shufflers with optical scanners that scan the cards may be undesirably complex, may misread cards, or may be prohibitively expensive to lease or buy.
  • The method and apparatus described below overcomes the drawbacks described above to insure game and playing card integrity and may further provide additional benefits.
  • SUMMARY
  • In one embodiment of the invention, a printer system for printing media during a wagering game is disclosed. The system, which may located on or at the gaming table, comprises a print device configured to receive blank or partially printed media. A portion of the printer system is responsive to a request during the wagering game to generate random numbers which are mapped to correspond to at least a suit and a value of at least one playing card of one or more decks of playing cards. The print device prints onto the media according to the map to generate printed playing cards for distribution during play of the wagering game. It is contemplated that at least a portion of the media may be pre-printed prior to printing of card data on the cards. The media may include a casino name or a design of the card used on the face of the card which does not contain suit and value information.
  • The system may further comprise at least one bin configured to store at least one printed media prior to dealing. The bin may be part of a card shoe which allows for cards to be pre-printed and then stored in the shoe prior to dealing. The card shoe provides at least one printed media during play of the wagering game.
  • As stated above, one or more random number generator (RNG) controller may be configured to randomly generate at least one number which may then be mapped to an image and/or alphanumeric data to generate a card value or card image. Additionally, at least one memory may be configured to store at least one map corresponding to at least one of image and alphanumeric data suitable for printing on the media by the print device.
  • In addition to or instead of playing card data, the printer system may be configured to print one or more coupon for distribution during play of the wagering game. For example, a portion of the printed media may comprise the following types data or information encoded data configured to secure the printed media, a table identifier, a dealer identifier, a card rank and value identifier, a media source identifier, an operator identifier and a card serial number.
  • The system may further comprise at least one discard rack configured to receive printed media. The discard rack may be in communication with a detection device to audit at least a portion of the printed media. Additionally, the system may comprise at least one server in communication with a database and the print system. The database may include at least one of image and alphanumeric data corresponding to at least a suit and a value of each playing card of the one or more decks of playing cards.
  • In another embodiment of the invention, a method for printing playing cards distributed during a wagering game is disclosed. The method comprises providing at least one print device configured to receive media. Furthermore, the method comprises responding to a request to generate random numbers which are then mapped into card values and ranks. The method then retrieves at least one of image and alphanumeric data based on the mapping to card values and prints the card data onto the media to create printed media for distribution during play of the wagering game.
  • In further steps of the method, data may be encoded or printed on at least a portion of printed media. Such encoded may authentic the printed media to allow for monitoring unauthorized cards. It is further contemplated that the media may be printed or pre-printed with at least one of the following: a time and date stamp, a table identifier, a dealer identifier, a card rank and value identifier, a media source identifier, a print device identifier, an operator identifier and/or a card serial number.
  • The method may provide a discard rack associated with the printer system and printed media may be received in the discard rack during play of the wagering game. The printed media may be monitored to determine when printed media is unauthorized. Authorized printed media may be destroyed and unauthorized printed media may be retained.
  • The method further includes storing at least one of the coupon image, coupon alphanumeric data, or jackpot award in a memory and selectively printing the coupon or jackpot award on a card or non-card media. This printed media may then be distributed as part of, during, or after game play.
  • Other systems, methods, features and advantages of the invention will be or will become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following figures and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the invention, and be protected by the accompanying claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention. In the figures, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the different views.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a block diagram of an example embodiment of a printer system in connection with a gaming table.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a block diagram of another embodiment of a printer system.
  • FIG. 3A illustrates an exemplary playing cards printed with the printer system shown in FIG. 1 or 2.
  • FIG. 3B illustrates an exemplary embodiment of playing cards printed with the printer system shown in FIG. 1 or 2.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a flow diagram of an exemplary embodiment of a method for implementing the printer system of FIG. 1 or 2.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a more thorough description of the present invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known features have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the invention.
  • It is known that various table games that are offered for play in the gaming industry. During many table games, playing cards are shuffled, dealt and monitored in the course of the table game as further described herein. The terms “playing cards” and “cards” may be used interchangeably in this disclosure according to their ordinary meaning as applied to a gaming environment. Without limiting the disclosure herein, several embodiments of using the printer system illustrated below may be applied to any gaming environment.
  • Furthermore, the term print device may include any conventional printer such as an ink-jet, laser-jet, dot matrix printer, thermal printer or any other type printer either currently develop or developed in the future. In another embodiment the term print device may also refer to any device that leaves a visible impression on a media upon which printing occurs. As such, the media may be converted into a printed media, and may be converted back into original or unprinted media depending on how the original media was converted into the printed media. For example, in one embodiment it is contemplated that the media may comprise energy dependent elements which become printed elements of the printed media when activated by an energy producing print device. When the energy dependent elements are deactivated, the printed media may be converted or recorded to its original state, such as a blank media or media with only pre-printed elements. In this disclosure, the term media refers to any kind of support material such as paper, card, plastic, semiconductor or magnetic material that may display one or more indicia.
  • In yet other embodiment, it is contemplated that the media may be configured as a display comprising one or more pixels communicating with one or more LED (light emitting device) in an integrated circuit. In operation when the LED is active, one or more pixels associated with the LED may change color, while when the LED is inactive no light may be emitted at the one or more pixels. In this way, the media may be altered to indicate the rank and value of a card. Such media comprising one or more LED may be recycled by de-activating the LED.
  • In yet another embodiment, it is contemplated that the media may comprise one or more magnetic pixels communicating with one or more magnetic fields. For example, the media may be configured as an integrated circuit comprising a two-dimensional array of micro-coils and may act as a display with magnetic pixels that may be turned on and off. As described above for an LED, media magnetic pixels may be reversibly altered to indicate the rank and value of a card. Of course, it may not be desirable to recycle such LED or magnetic pixel media because of the possibility of player tampering.
  • 1. Exemplary System Embodiments
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a block diagram of an example embodiment of a gaming table 100. This is but one possible table arrangement and layout and it is contemplated that one of ordinary skill in the art may arrive at other table arrangements to promote game play or accommodate a greater or fewer number of players. For example, it is contemplated that the method and apparatus described herein may be utilized with any game layout. Likewise, the table can be configured in a stand-up or sit down arrangement.
  • In this example embodiment gaming table 100 includes an outer edge 110 surrounding a generally flat top surface 120. The table 100 may also be configured to accommodate other types of traditional table games including, but not limited to, any type of blackjack, poker wherein the house only receives a percentage or rake from the pot of money wagered by the players, baccarat, pai gow, proprietary table games, or non-proprietary card table games which may use any combination of dice, wheels, or cards. Traditional table games include games of chance that use cards or dice, and tokens (also denoted as gaming chips), currency, currency equivalents or credit vouchers which may be of differing values. Of course, any table game may be played in a tournament format.
  • Traditional table games also include proprietary games such as Caribbean Stud® which include a progressive jackpot. Other proprietary traditional table games include poker games such as Three Card Poker®, Royal Match 21® and Texas Hold'em Bonus™, Progressive Texas Hold'em™ and blackjack games such as Monoply® Blackjack, Progressive Blackjack®, Blackjack Bullets™ and Matrix Blackjack™. Proprietary table games are table games for which a casino will lease or purchase from a manufacturer because the proprietary traditional table game is protected by the intellectual property of the manufacturer. The term “traditional table game” is used to distinguish from products offered by TableMAX® and Digideal's Digital 21™ which use video representations of cards. There are other non-traditional table games that have digital roulette wheels with video or digital images of dealers.
  • The following description illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the system with reference to playing a blackjack card game. Of course, without limiting the scope of the disclosure, the forms, types, and variations of the game are immaterial to the teachings of the present invention.
  • As is well known by a person skilled in the art, in a round of playing a blackjack card game, initially a hand comprising two cards may be dealt by a dealer to one or more players and to the dealer. The dealer may distribute cards to the players face-up from one or more decks of cards according to preestablished rules of the game. In other variations of the game, the dealer may deal cards face-down to the players. The dealer is dealt one card face-up and one card face-down (termed the hole card). During play of the game, each player may receive further cards (termed being hit) from the dealer to improve the player's hand. The dealer may discard (or according to the terminology of the art “burn”) one or more cards when dealing the cards to insure security of the game. Additionally, the dealer may discard a hand when a player folds the hand. When all players stand (in other words, cease requesting cards), playing card distribution to the one or more players ceases and the dealer may reveal the dealer's hand. The dealer may further deal cards to the dealer's hand. When no further cards are distributed to the dealer (known in the art as the dealer stands) the players' hands may be compared to the dealer's hand and a settlement may occur between the dealer and each player. The dealer may then dispose of all cards, and begin yet another round of play of the game.
  • In the course of play of the game, as discarded cards are accumulated, the dealer may initiate a shuffle of a prior art type of pre-printed deck or decks of cards. Usually, when configured with an automatic shuffler, a blank card (often red plastic) is positioned about three quarters of the way into the decks and when the blank card is detected, an automatic shuffle is initiated. Blackjack is played generally using anywhere from one to eight decks of cards. Shuffling before the end of the decks of cards is to prevent card counting. The main goal of card counting is for the player to increase the bet amount based on what cards have already been in play so that the remaining cards to be dealt are favorable to the player. The more cards that have been seen out of a finite number of decks of cards can give the card counter an advantage.
  • In this invention, the prior cards in play cannot be used to predict future cards because the random number generator represents an infinite number of decks of cards.
  • In the game of blackjack, player cheating may be attempted by a player or a team, which usually includes the player. Player cheating could take the form of card alteration by, for example, bending or marking or applying wax on a card (in other words, marking certain cards so the player knows the dealer's hole card). This type of cheating is illegal and thus differentiated from card counting in the game of blackjack. It will be appreciated that whenever a player's altered cards remain in the decks, one or more players may have an unfair advantage in the game.
  • As a result, decks of pre-printed cards are frequently removed and replaced with fresh decks depending on the speed of game play. As many as two thousand cards or more may be played per hour on a single blackjack table. Consequently, card wear generally dictates that decks are replaced daily, on alternate days, or even more often as needed. If an operator (also termed the house) of a blackjack game suspects cheating through card alteration, decks may be replaced more often. Given this replacement schedule, the cost of card deck replacement may be substantial.
  • In this example embodiment of a gaming table 100, there is an outer edge 110 of the table. One or more player stations 130 (also denoted herein as player locations) are provided and configured for use by a player to participate in a wagering game or a game of chance offered at the table such as blackjack. In this embodiment the player stations 130 comprise a player spot 140 wherein a player is dealt playing cards and may accumulate the player's tokens during the course of play. For example, the player may place original gaming chips (or tokens) and tokens that are won within the area of player spot 140 during the course of play.
  • In other embodiments, one or more wager spots 160 may be located in one or more other locations on the table surface 120. By way of example, a wager spot 160 may be located as shown in FIG. 1 and shared by more than one player. In operation, when a player makes a wager, a player takes tokens from the player's token zone and places them in the wager zone. In the specific case of blackjack, the wager spot 160 may be a portion of the table surface 120 denoted “Insurance”.
  • Additionally, the table 100 may comprise supplement bet spots, token buy-in spots and the like. Optionally, in another embodiment of the table 100, the table's player spots may be configured as card spots and associated card detection zones (not shown). Playing cards may be configured with elements detectable by the card detection zones. Such detection may be by various means including, but not limited to optical and UV scanning and radio wave scanning (better known as radio frequency identification or RFID).
  • In operation of a table having detection system, a player may receive cards from a dealer and place them on a player's card spot. Each player's cards may be detected in an associated card detection zone. Additionally, community cards may be dealt by the dealer onto the community card spots and optionally be detected in one or more community cards detection zones if so equipped. The wager spot 160 may also detect or provide space for display of community cards. Without limiting the disclosure, it will be appreciated that the table 100 may comprise any number of or combination of player spots, detection spots and associated detection zone, and the like as discussed above to achieve operation as described herein.
  • In one example embodiment the table may comprise a dealer station for a dealer. As is generally understood, the dealer may present the game from the dealer station by dealing cards to players. Associated with the dealer station may be one or more dealer spots (not shown in FIG. 1). The dealer spot is a location on or in some way associated with the table 100 and/or the dealer on which tokens or playing cards may be placed.
  • A dealer interface 180 (referred to as DI in FIG. 1) may also be placed near the dealer position. The dealer interface 180 comprises a user interface configured to allow the dealer to provide input to a printer system 170 and optionally receive output from the printer system. In various embodiments, the dealer interface 180 comprises one or more buttons, dials, display screens, lights or other illumination devices, speakers or other audible indicators, or analog dials, potentiometers, or keypads. Through use of the dealer interface 180, the dealer is able to provide input to the printer system 170 or receive data from the printer system.
  • In one embodiment, the dealer interface 180 may be configured to receive output from the printer system 170 regarding status of any printer component, such as whether the quantity of blank media is low and needs to be restocked. In another embodiment, the dealer interface 180 may be configured to alert the dealer when a suspicious card has been discarded in a discard card rack 150 located on the table 100. In yet another embodiment, the dealer interface 180 may be configured to communicate with a detection system (discussed above and not shown), a player tracking system (not shown) and an accounting system (as described above). Other components associated with the dealer interface 180 will be discussed below in the context of both FIGS. 1 and 2.
  • In FIG. 1 the printer system 170 may comprise one or more components such as one or more print devices 172 (denoted PRINTER in FIG. 1 and alternatively referred to as printer 172 in the disclosure hereinafter) and one or more shoe devices 174 (denoted SHOE in FIG. 1 and alternatively referred to as shoe 174 in the disclosure hereinafter). Furthermore, the printer system 170 may comprise printer system software such as firmware, drivers, programs associated with generating desired layouts on media supplied to printers 172 and the like. The printer system 170 may further comprise input and output ports (I/O) to interface with various devices such as the dealer interface 180 and one or more servers 192. Additionally, the printer system 170 may comprise other devices configured to interface with the printer system's I/O ports such as one or more displays, keyboards, pointing devices and data storage devices, as well as volatile (or temporary) memory and fixed memory (none shown, but well understood in the art). Of course, the one or more components may all be integrated into a single device.
  • In an exemplary embodiment printer 172 may be configured to receive media 220 (not shown in FIG. 1, but shown in FIG. 2 as Media), print the blank media on one or both sides of the media (if the blank media comprises cards) to produce printed media and queue the printed media in a hopper (bin or rack) in preparation for dealing printed media such as playing cards from shoe 174. Of course, the hopper may be integrated with shoe 174. In one embodiment it is contemplated that there may be no need for intermediary queuing if blank media 220 were printed at a speed commensurate with a need for printed media, in which case printed media could be delivered in a burst mode directly to shoe 174 on demand.
  • In yet another contemplated embodiment printer 172 may include one or more erasing components (not shown) that erase printed media to produce recycled blank media 220 prior to re-printing the media. The erasing components may be configured to receive printed media in other locations separate from printer 172 or the printer system 170.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, the printer system 170 may communicate with one or more servers 190 (denoted SERVER in FIG. 1). Servers 192 may include one or more databases 194 (denoted DATABASE in FIG. 1). Servers 192 may have various functions including, but not limited to randomly generating playing card indicia or random numbers suitable for use by the printer system 170. In operation, when servers 192 receive a command to provide data to the printer system 170 for a gaming table, servers 192 may invoke an RNG (random number generator controller or program) to map random numbers into cards, such as indicia (ranks or suits) and values (hereinafter denoted card map or card mapping) to create data that is to be printed on the media. The server 192 may also store the playing cards' map in memory (not shown) associated with the servers or in one or more databases 194. Alternatively, images (or alphanumeric data) corresponding to the playing cards may be stored instead of indicia and values. Without limiting the disclosure, the term “indicia” or “rank” as used herein refers to the suit of a card (commonly spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs) while the term “value” refers to whether the card is an ace, face card such as a king, or a numeric card with an ordinal number such as 2, 3 and so on up to 10. Colors may also be assigned to the printed media.
  • Furthermore, in yet another embodiment, images (and/or ranks and values) of less than or more than all cards of a standard deck may be created, such as through generation of random numbers and mapped or converted to images. In other words, in one embodiment a deck may be defined to comprise more or less than fifty-two cards of a standard deck of cards. When configured with more or less cards, the house (operator) may alter odds of winning a game and thereby alter house profits.
  • During game play, the playing cards are then be printed at a printer system 170 with printer 172. Card may be output to the table 100, such as by the dealer immediately after printing or stored in a holding bin at shoe 174. In an alternative embodiment of card mapping, card maps may be stored in a memory of printer system 170 instead of off-line on servers 192.
  • Servers 192 may additionally have other functions, such as tracking players to provide coupons (also termed “comps”) based on various aspects of players' behaviors. Without limiting the scope of the disclosure, behaviors that may trigger an award of player comps and subsequent printing of player coupons include amounts wagered, won, or lost, number of hands played by the player, or random events, such as a mystery award. Input from a player tracking system may also be utilized. Furthermore, servers 192 may provide accounting and auditing functions during play of a game.
  • In one aspect of the disclosure, images or alphanumeric data corresponding to one or more coupons 304 (see FIG. 3B and description below) may be generated, mapped to the above-described playing card decks and printed at printer 172 for distribution to one or more players before, during or after game play. Advantageously, players receiving coupons may be rewarded during play of a game and may be encouraged to continue play of the game. The printed coupons may include any text or any image to encourage further player game play. For example, coupons 304 may comprise offers for advantageous purchases (such as two for ones, discounted hotel accommodations, discounted theater tickets, and the like). In another aspect, coupons 304 may comprise bet enhancements during play of the game (such as “bet payoff is doubled”) or may act as wild cards, where a player may selectively designate the value and rank of a playing card to match with the player's current hand.
  • In another embodiment coupons may include a mystery card or special symbol (for example a coupon may have the letter M printed on the card). A mystery card is a card that provides an award independent of the game being played. The mystery card could be generated by a separate random number generator. The mystery card may entitle a player to one or more prizes or awards including but not limited to, jackpots, gaming chips, cash, and apparel. Alternatively, the mystery card may be configured to provide a progressive jackpot award. Additionally, coupons may be accumulated by players and utilized to make advantageous purchases or traded in for currency, tokens and the like to be used in the current game or any other game offered by the house.
  • In another aspect of the disclosure, servers 192 may communicate with the discard rack 150 to audit cards discarded by the dealer. In operation, as described above, during play of the game, the dealer discards cards into the discard rack 150. The discard rack 150 may comprise a detection device (not shown) configured to read a portion of each discarded card, such as a code, the card it self, such as suit and rank, or other aspect of the card, either visible to the human eye or not. When the cards are printed (see description above), a portion of the card may be encoded (see description below for further details). If a player introduces one or more playing cards that have been altered or were not originally printed at the table 100 by the printer system 170, the detector may communicate with server 190 or other device to alert the dealer or pit boss of the altered or non-original card. Additionally unauthorized or counterfeit cards may also be detected. In turn servers 192 may communicate with the dealer interface 180 and alert the dealer to require diversion of any unauthorized playing cards to a holding bin prior to removal for destruction of playing cards in the discard rack 150. Alternatively, the discard rack 150 may be configured with a shredder or other form of destruction mechanism to eliminate discarded cards. In one embodiment the unauthorized playing cards may be traced to specific players and be used as evidence of cheating. Of course, servers 192 may automatically initiate diversion of unauthorized playing cards without alerting the dealer at the dealer interface 180.
  • Encoding of cards as described above may be accomplished in a variety of ways. Encoding comprises placement of a code, either graphical, electrical, alpha, numeric or a combination thereof, on or in the media either before printing or as part of the printing process. Encoding may have various purposes including insuring security and preventing cheating by player such as palming of cards, wherein a player may attempt to remove cards or add unauthorized cards to a game. In one embodiment, encoding may comprise printing a bar code located on a portion of a card. The bar code may be only visible under UV light so as not to interfere with printed data located on the card. In an alternative embodiment, encoding may comprise embedding a tag (such as an RFID tag) in blank media or a magnetic stripe (with for example ink comprising magnetic particles) as is well understood in the art. Encoding may comprise including any type of data. In an exemplary embodiment, encoding may comprise printing one or more data fields including a time and date stamp. Further data fields may include a table identifier, dealer identifier, card rank and value identifier, media source identifier, house identifier, card serial number and the like or any other type information.
  • Dealer interface 180 may comprise an input/output port (not shown) that connects to an interface controller (not shown). The interface controller may be configured to control input and output from the dealer interface 180 to a detection system (not shown, but could be part of the server), an auditing system (shown as part of the server 192 associated with database 194 in FIG. 1) and printer system 170 and the like. The interface controller may comprise a micro-controller unit, memory, input and output devices, a predefined instruction set that is setup to allow the dealer to use the interface in a manner conducive to allow input and provide feedback to the dealer, or any other device or element configured to perform as described herein. The dealer interface 180 may create game data which may include: a shuffle indicator button (not shown), a game start button (not shown), and a one or more other buttons or inputs (not shown) which may be configured as desired to allow the printer system 170 or servers 192 to generate and map card data in a portion of the printer system or the servers.
  • In one embodiment printer system software or server software may be configured to generate random numbers (or as disclosed herein to map card decks) utilizing one or more software timing routines. When one or more decks are mapped by software, the mapped cards may include a flag to indicate that an electronic shuffle should occur. It is contemplated that the flag may be functionally similar to the above described blank card used in prior art automatic shufflers described above. Unless otherwise described, the term “shuffle” used in this disclosure means to generate random numbers and map images and data of playing card such as indicia (or ranks) and values, as well as any other data (such as coupons) in one to one correspondence with media (cards) that are to be printed by a printer system.
  • Significantly, in prior art systems, an automatic card shuffler which physically shuffled pre-printed card was utilized. According to the current disclosure, no automatic shuffler is required because the suit and rank of cards, to be printed, are generated based on random numbers and are then printed by the printer system 170. Since automatic shufflers are fairly costly to buy or lease, elimination of automatic shufflers by utilizing printer systems as described herein may achieve a cost advantage for operators.
  • Although operation of a gaming table is generally understood, a brief description is provided with focus on operation of the printer system as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 to aid in understanding. After the dealer presses the shuffle button, the printer system 170 in connection with the server 192 may generate random numbers that may be mapped into card values (rank and suit) and printed. The dealer may optionally select the number of decks to be generated, prior to an electronic re-shuffle occurring, or may select an infinite deck of cards be generated by the random number generator. Of course, players of a game may be pre-informed about the nature of the decks or card generation.
  • In one embodiment, an infinite deck of cards may comprise randomly generated playing cards selected from ranks and indicia of a standardized deck of fifty-two playing cards. However, in an infinite deck of cards, conceivably one or more of the playing cards having the same rank and value may be generated, printed and dealt in sequence on one or more occasions, so that the players and the dealer have no way of determining which cards may appear when dealt from the shoe by the dealer. Advantageously an infinite deck of playing cards obviates the possibility of card counting as described above.
  • Prior to the start of a new game, i.e. dealing of the cards, the dealer presses the game start button to indicate to the printer system that new cards may need to be generated or to the detection system that a new game is starting, and hence a new round of betting and dealing of cards from shoe 174. Additional steps of operation are discussed below in connection with the figures that follow.
  • Additionally, since new cards are continually printed at printer 172 and accumulated in shoe 174 or a bin associated with the shoe, the need to monitor for unauthorized playing cards or cheating based on use of unauthorized cards may be detected. At the end of the game, the dealer may provide input to printer system software and/or detection software signaling a new round of the game, bets are placed, detected, and cards may be printed and may be dealt from shoe 174. If the shoe is running low on cards, new random number generation may occur and mapping of the random numbers to cards values and rank may occur. During game play, detection software which monitors game play and betting, may receive input from the printer system 170 regarding cards that are dealt to each player and the dealer.
  • As an advantage to various embodiments of a printing system as disclosed herein as compared to prior art systems, in one embodiment the claimed method and apparatus avoids a reliance on card scanning equipment or radiofrequency card scanning equipment thereby reducing cost and complexity. Prior art systems that rely on card scanning to read the cards prior to and/or after dealing, may be undesirable. Card scanners proposed by prior art methods, require complex and expensive scanners, shoes, and scan processing equipment. The scan process as the card leaves the shoe may not accurately scan each card. In addition, special cards may be required to interface with the scanner. Each piece of equipment added to a gaming table would require additional regulatory approval and expense. This printing system is meant as an aid to casino personnel who are already in place to monitor traditional table games. Furthermore, it is contemplated that this printing system may offer cost savings to casino operators compared to other prior art systems.
  • In one embodiment, the printing system 170 may provide playing card inventory information within any casino or multi site casinos and may be managed by any software that is separate or part of a full player tracking system. A player tracking system may provide, at a moments notice, the entire token and/or playing card inventory, each shoe and each discard rack inventory, floating token and/or playing card inventory (tokens and/or cards not in play and not in the shuffler), and notification when an unauthorized token and/or playing card has been played.
  • Furthermore, a server 192 may comprise one or more computer programs having communication protocols configured to facilitate communication between the server and one or more other servers. It will be appreciated that communication protocols are understood by a person skilled in the art and may include internet and intranet protocols such as transmission control protocol (TCP), internet protocol (IP) and the like, and combinations thereof. As a result, the system shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 may interface with similar systems located at different locations to thereby create a networked detection system capable of tracking play as described herein at a number of different tables and accurately reporting each card dealt to each player station or position. Furthermore, the networked printer system may also be configured to provide cards to one or more tables from one or more central printers, or the server 192 may be shred by multiple tables thereby providing a single source for random number generation and/or card mapping. Such number or mapping information may then be sent to numerous printer systems 174, each located on a different table 100.
  • The printer system 170 may be configured in any desired manner, such as described below. The printer system 170 or discard rack may be configured to detect player cheating such as when a player introduces a playing card that is not part of an original card deck. In other embodiments, as discussed herein, the printer system 170 may be utilized for other monitoring and reporting functions. In one embodiment as described below, the printer system may be utilized during tournament play occurring at different tables to generate playing cards randomly.
  • In one embodiment the printer system 170 may be configured as one more dedicated player station printer system. In such a configuration, each player position would have a printer therewith. Each player's printer system may provide each player with cards during play of the game. Media may be fed to each player's printing system on an individualized or on a centralized basis. Of course, a player's printer system may increase the possibility of unauthorized player manipulation. Therefore, in this embodiment each player's printer system may be in communication with the dealer interface 180 to provide security and to facilitate smooth play of the game. One benefit of this player's printing system may be that players may have less opportunity to see a dealer's unrevealed bottom card thereby lessening any unfair playing advantage.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment of a printer system 200 wherein random number generation, number to card mapping, and print processing may occur at the table 100 itself such as with a controller or control logic, and not at server 192 as shown in FIG. 1. It will be appreciated that printer system 200 may also be located at one or more central sites and be configured to feed printed media to one or more gaming tables. According to FIG. 2, a print device 202 (denoted Printer in FIG. 2 and alternatively referred to as printer 202) communicates with a printer processor 204. The print device 202 may comprise any kind of printer as described above with reference to FIG. 1. Printer processor 204 may comprise hardware and software components that manipulate data to provide an input to the print device 202 to thereby generate one or more images on one or more media 220 (denoted Media in FIG. 2) to create printed media. As depicted herein, printer processor 204 may include firmware, such as computer code, instructions, one or more programs and the like that reside in memory or logic circuits to thereby control the operation of print device 202. Such firmware may comprise software loaded into flash memory or an EPROM (erasable programmable read only memory), and may be altered by downloading new computer code. Often firmware is updated when a new operating system needs to communicate with a peripheral device. When configured in a print device 202, the printer processor 204 may further comprise one or more print drivers. The term printer driver refers to software that converts data to be printed to a form specific to a printer.
  • Printer processor 204 may communicate with memory 208, such as ROM (as discussed above) and RAM (random access memory). Memory 208 may be suitably sized and may limit the speed at which print device 202 provides printed media. Generally, with larger sized memory 208, media 220 may be printed faster. Memory 208 may store various kinds of input data such as, but not limited to, random numbers, image data that may be mapped as rank and value of cards of one or more decks, coupons, and designs on cards, serial numbers, identifiers and the like.
  • Additionally the printer system 200 may comprise one or more on-board RNG (random number generator) controllers 206. RNG controllers 206 may include ROM or flash ROM including programmable code to provide random numbers as is well understood in the art. In operation RNG controller 206 provides random numbers which may be mapped into rank and value of cards, which may correspond to well shuffled decks of standard playing cards. For example, when the dealer (or an inbuilt software timer) requests a reshuffle of cards or simply additional cards, RNG controller 206 generates random numbers which are in turn mapped into corresponding to new cards. The map may comprise images, alpha data, numeric data or any combinations thereof.
  • According to FIG. 2, RNG controller 206 communicates with printer processor 204 to provide mapped data as described above. Furthermore, RNG controller 206 communicates with user interface 210. User interface 210 may comprise the dealer interface as described above, or any other type of user interface such as to permit re-programming of RNG controller 206 and/or printer processor 204. User interface 210 may comprise any kind of peripheral device which permits communication to and from RNG controller 206, such as a display, buttons, keyboard, mouse, stylus, tablet and the like.
  • RNG controller 206 may further communicate with input/out (I/O) interface 212. In operation, I/O interface 212 may receive mapping data for cards, coupons and the like as discussed above. I/O interface 212 may then communicate with tracking and/or accounting software 214 located on a server such as server 192 (refer to FIG. 1). In this way, auditing of authorized cards may be initiated and maintained while the cards are in play during a game. It is contemplated that when authorized printed cards are no longer in play, the cards may be destroyed (see discussion above). When cards are destroyed, after a pre-determined period of time, mapping data referring to the destroyed cards may be deleted. Otherwise, the quantity of mapping data may exceed the size limits of data storage. Of course, in an alternative scenario, mapped data may be off-loaded in the form of off-line storage media such as disks and tapes. It is understood that I/O interface 212 may also be incorporated as a portion of printer device 200.
  • As discussed above, one or more discard racks 216 may be associated with one or more servers 192. The discard rack 216 may also interface with card tracking and/or accounting software 214. In this way non-destroyed cards may be monitored as described above.
  • When print device 202 receives data from printer processor 204 and receives media 220, one or more playing cards 222 may be generated such as by printing. Playing cards 222 may be printed on one or both sides of the media 220. In an exemplary embodiment, one side or a portion of playing cards 222 may be pre-printed to increase throughput of newly printed playing cards.
  • When playing cards 222 are generated, but prior to dealing, the playing cards may be off-loaded and stored in a shoe bin/shoe device 218 in preparation for dealing by the dealer. The shoe bin/shoe device 218 may be configured as a unitary device or as separate combinations of one or more shoe bins and one or more shoes.
  • FIG. 3A illustrates a front view of an exemplary embodiment of playing cards 300 printed with the printer system 170 of FIG. 1 or printer system of FIG. 2. The playing cards 300 may be provided with other variations. For example, referring to FIG. 2, the media 220 and/or the printed media 222 may be considered as components of a printer system. In another embodiment the I/O interface 212 may be configured as a portion of the printer system 200. Furthermore, the tracking and/or accounting software 214, the discard rack 216, and the shoe bin/shoe 218, may also be configured as a printer system.
  • While FIG. 3A only illustrates a front view of three cards (printed media) with rank and values as shown, it will be appreciated that the cards may include any kind of image data or text. For example, the front view may show a coupon instead of or in addition to a playing card (as illustrated in FIG. 3B).
  • FIG. 3B illustrates a back view of an exemplary embodiment of playing cards printed with the printer system of FIG. 1 or FIG. 2. In two specific embodiments of printed cards (printed media) 302, FIG. 3B depicts a card printed as a “Two for One Comp” coupon 304, and behind the card 304 is a card printed “Royal Casino” 306 to identify where the card was printed. Of course any kind of imaging data may be printed on a card (printed media). As described above, imaging data may be non-visible, yet printed to provide security codes and the like on the card (or media). It will be appreciated that such non-visible imaging data may also be printed on a front side of the card. Mystery and progressive jackpot win data may also be printed on the printed media, either on the printed playing cards or on media that is not used as a playing card, to award the player the mystery or progressive jackpot. Hence, the random number generator or other device may randomly or deterministically print a mystery winner or progressive winner notification on a card, which is in turn provided to a player. As discussed above, the term printed means any procedure wherein a media receives and depicts image data, whether visible or non-visible. The image data may comprise text, symbols or a combination of both. Such printing may be created with visible inks, invisible inks that are activated by an energy source such as mechanical (utilizing one or more pressure sensors to detect differences in height of images on a surface), UV (ultraviolet), IR (infrared), electronic (such as electron beam or by activating pixels), magnetic (such as a stripe or by activating pixels).
  • 2. Exemplary Implementation of a Printer System
  • Referring to FIG. 4, an exemplary method for implementing a printer system is described. It will be appreciated that the steps of this exemplary method may be performed in any suitable order or manner.
  • With reference to FIG. 4, in step 400, a decision may be made as to whether media needs to be made accessible or loaded into a print device. The media may be provided in any suitable form including but not limited to individual and continuous sheets on any type of support such as paper, cardboard, plastic and the like. As described above, a portion of the media may be pre-printed or pre-formed to accept a mapped image corresponding to a playing card rank (or suit) and a value.
  • In step 402 if media needs to be restocked, the media is re-supplied to the print device. Otherwise, in step 404, an RNG controller associated with a printer system or with one or more servers communicating with a printer system may generate random numbers which are mapped to card values, such as rank and suit values. In one embodiment this step further comprises mapping of playing cards images onto the cards and also optionally mapping other data such as coupons, serial numbers and the like as described above, to create data representing one or more decks of cards. The image mapping may be stored (as described above) in a memory of the printer system. As described above, a controller or processor may respond to a timing flag in software associated with software or to a signal generated from a user interface such as a dealer interface to initiate an electronic re-shuffle, if the printing system is designated to reflect a certain number of card deck depth. In other embodiment the printing system may be configured with an endless deck thereby simply generating random numbers to reflect an infinitely deep shoe.
  • In step 406, images of the playing cards and/or other data may be printed on media. Prior to printing on the media, one or more mapped images may be retrieved from printer system memory to a print device. Printing may be done on an as needed basis or over time such that the cards are stored up and dispensed as needed. When blank media is configured as fan-fold sheets, after printing, individual sheets may be obtained by cutting, stamping or tearing operations.
  • In step 408, the printed media may be stored in one or more holding bins associated with one or more card shoes. Multiple holding bins may be associated with any one card shoe. It will be appreciated that the holding bins may be configured as a main holding bin configured to feed one or more card shoes located at one or more tables.
  • In step 410, a dealer may distribute the printed media such as playing cards from a card shoe to the players and to the dealer. In the course of play in step 412, the dealer may discard one or more printed media into a discard rack or at the end of a round of play of the game, the dealer may discard each player's printed media in the discard rack.
  • In step 414 a server may be configured to monitor the integrity of each printed media discarded in the discard rack. Such monitoring may be accomplished by optical scanning, bar code scanning, RFID scanning and any other methodology as is well understood in the art. Serial number and other encoded data (see discussion above) may be scanned to verify the integrity of printed media. As described above, unauthorized printed media may be retained in the discard rack, while authorized printed media may be destroyed in the discard rack or moved to a shredding device associated with the discard rack and destroyed therein. Alternatively, printed media may be recycled to blank media and re-printed.
  • In step 416, a determination of whether a remapping (electronic reshuffle) of the cards needs to be made, such as by generating additional random numbers which are then mapped into card values and ranks. If a reshuffle and additional printing is needed, a process according to step 400 regarding a need for blank media may be repeated. Otherwise, the method may return to step 410 where the dealer may distribute a new round of cards (printed media) and further play of the game may continue.
  • While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many more embodiments and implementations are possible that are within the scope of this invention. The features and elements described herein may be enabled or claimed individually or in any combination.

Claims (20)

1. A printer system for printing media on a table game comprising, in combination:
a random number generator configured to generator random numbers;
a processor configured to map the generated random numbers to at least card value and suit to create electronic card data; and
a print device configured to receive media and, responsive to a request to print cards, print at least one card based on the electronic card data to thereby create at least one printed card.
2. The system of claim 1, further comprising at least one bin configured to store at least one printed media, received from the print device, prior to dealing.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the at least one random number generator is located at a server.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein the printer is located at the table.
5. The system of claim 1, further comprising at least one memory configured to store at least one image and alphanumeric data suitable for printing on the media by the print device.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the processor is further configured to generate coupon data which is printed by the printer on a media for distribution during play of the wagering game.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein the processor is further configured to generate advertising data which is printed by the printer on a media for distribution during play of the wagering game.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein the processor is further configured to generate jackpot award data which is printed by the printer on a media for distribution during play of the wagering game to award a mystery award or progressive award to a player of the card game.
9. The system of claim 1, wherein the processor is further configured to generate data for printing a media, the data to be printed on the card comprising at least one of the following: encoded data configured to secure the printed media, a table identifier, a dealer identifier, a card rank and value identifier, a media source identifier, an operator identifier and a card serial number.
10. The system of claim 1, further comprising at least one discard rack configured to receive at least one printed media, the at least one discard rack in communication with a detection device to audit at least a portion of the at least one printed media.
11. The system of claim 1, further comprising a shoe configured to receive the printed cards and make the printed cards accessible for dealing of a card game.
12. A method for printing playing cards for distribution during a wagering game comprising:
providing at least one print device, accessible by a dealer of the wagering game, configured to receive and print on to a media;
generating random numbers;
mapping the random numbers to cards;
retrieving card data from memory based on the mapping of random numbers to playing cards, the card data utilized to print the cards;
printing on the media to create printed cards in response to the card data; and
providing the cards to at least one player during play of a wagering game.
13. The method of claim 12, wherein mapping the random numbers to cards comprises mapping one or more random numbers to a card value, rank and suit.
14. The method of claim 12, further comprising:
printing authorization data on at least a portion of media to create authorize printed media, wherein the authorization data comprises one or more of the following data: a time and date stamp, a table identifier, a dealer identifier, a card rank and value identifier, a media source identifier, a print device identifier, an operator identifier and a card serial number or other unique identification.
15. The method of claim 14, further comprising:
providing a discard rack associated with the printer system;
receiving printed media in the discard rack during play of the wagering game; and
monitoring the printed media to determine when printed media is unauthorized.
16. The method of claim 12, further comprising:
generating coupon data;
printing coupon data on to a card;
distributing the card with the coupon data to a player during play of the wagering game.
17. The method of claim 12, further comprising:
generating award data;
printing award data on to a card;
distributing the card with the award data to a player during play of the wagering game to thereby award a mystery jackpot or progressive jackpot to the player.
18. A printer system for printing media on a table game comprising, in combination:
a random number generator configured to one or more random numbers, wherein the random number generator is located at or is part of a remote server;
a processor configured to map the generated random numbers to at least one card value and suit to create electronic card data; and
a print device, located at a wagering table, configured to receive media and, responsive to a request to print cards, print at least one card based on the electronic card data to thereby create at least one printed card for use in a wagering game.
19. The system of claim 18, further comprising a shoe configured house the printer and provide the at least one printed card for dealing during the wagering game.
20. The system of claim 18, wherein the processor is further configured to generate jackpot award data which is printed by the printer on a media for distribution during play of the wagering game to award a mystery award or progressive award to a player of the card game.
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