US20080006996A1 - Method for making a secondary wager on a primary game of chance - Google Patents

Method for making a secondary wager on a primary game of chance Download PDF

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US20080006996A1
US20080006996A1 US11/749,389 US74938907A US2008006996A1 US 20080006996 A1 US20080006996 A1 US 20080006996A1 US 74938907 A US74938907 A US 74938907A US 2008006996 A1 US2008006996 A1 US 2008006996A1
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secondary wager
player
outcome
secondary
wager
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Michael Frankel
Peter Frankel
Susan Frankel
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Frankel Gaming Inc
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Frankel Gaming Inc
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Assigned to FRANKEL GAMING, INC. reassignment FRANKEL GAMING, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: FRANKEL, MICHAEL, FRANKEL, PETER, FRANKEL, SUSAN
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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
    • 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
    • G07F17/3244Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes

Abstract

Disclosed in this specification is a method for making a secondary wager on a primary game. In one embodiment, the outcome of the secondary wager is determined independently of the outcome of the primary game. The odds of winning the secondary game change from one round to the next. In certain aspects of the invention, a chip is provided to help track the current number of favorable outcomes of the secondary wager.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of priority of co-pending U.S. patent application 60/818,682 (filed Jul. 5, 2006) and 60/818,683 (filed Jul. 5, 2006).
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates, in one embodiment, to a method for making a series of secondary wagers on multiple rounds of a primary game of chance. The outcome of the secondary wager is determined independent of the outcome of the primary game. The odds of winning the secondary wager vary depending on the current number of sequentially favorable outcomes such that the odds of winning the wager change with each success.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Conventional games of chance are played in gaming establishments across the world. Professional establishments, such as casinos, invest a great deal of energy developing new and entertaining ways to play games of chance that will both entice customers to play the game, and still afford a modest “house advantage” that makes profit possible.
  • One method of enhancing a game of chance is to permit a “side bet” or secondary wager to be made on the primary game. To win the secondary wager one must often win a sequence of games in a row and thus qualify for a bonus jackpot. U.S. Pat. No. 5,042,810 to Williams (Roulette Apparatus) discloses a roulette wheel that includes such a bonus jackpot. The roulette apparatus of Williams may pay a bonus jackpot to the winner of the primary game (e.g. roulette) upon the occurrence of a specified condition (e.g. when a number occurs three times in a row). A similar game is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 5,593,161 to Boylan et al. (Wagering Game with a Set of Rounds and Bets) wherein a player makes a secondary wager on a predetermined number of rounds of a primary game. If the player wins all of the rounds, the player is rewarded with a bonus jackpot. Another roulette game with a bonus jackpot is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,743,798 to Adams et al. (Apparatus for Playing a Roulette Game Including a Progressive Jackpot). In each of the aforementioned games, if the player is to win the bonus jackpot, the player must also win the primary game. Thus, winning of the jackpot is dependent upon winning the primary game.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,048,833 to Lamie (Apparatus for Detecting a Series of Game Outcomes) teaches a similar method for accumulating a bonus jackpot. Lamie discloses a slot machine that determines the odds of successfully completing a number of hypothetical games. During play, if the actual outcome falls to match the hypothetical outcome, then the jackpot is increased. If the actual outcome meets the hypothetical outcome, then the bonus jackpot is paid out. Much like Williams, the player cannot win the bonus jackpot unless the player also wins the primary game.
  • U.S. Pat. RE38,982 (Gambling Game System and Methods) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,934,998 (Blackjack Game System and Methods), both to Forte et al., disclose multiple bonus jackpots that are paid out at certain frequencies—the larger the jackpot, the less frequently the payout is made. The bonus jackpots are paid out upon the occurrence of a certain condition, and the player does not make a secondary wager or choose the conditions to be wagered upon. The player is often detached from the wagering process, and as such the game is less enjoyable than a game with more player involvement.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,570,885 (Electronic Gaming System and Method for Multiple Play Wagering) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,718,431 (Gaming System and Method for Multiple Play Wagering), both to Ornstein, teach a method of placing a secondary wager on consecutive wins of a primary game. To win the secondary wager, the player must necessarily win the primary game. A similar wagering system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,679,492 to Markowiak (Method of Playing a Better Game Using Special Payoff Tables) that uses special “win buttons” to track the number of consecutive wins. Markowiak's invention changes the house edge in each round of play to favor the player by increasing the payout. It is important to note that the chance of winning each individual round remains constant. Such an arrangement attempts to induce the player to continue betting. Unfortunately, this same arrangement also increases the chances that a player will strike a large jackpot, and thus reduces the casino's profit. Furthermore, like most of the prior art, to win the secondary wager the player must also win the primary game.
  • One game in which a player can win the secondary wager, but lose the primary game is “Caribbean Stud.” The player can elect to make a secondary wager on his or her hand. If the player's hand meets predetermined criteria, then the player wins a bonus jackpot. For example, if the player's hand is a flush, then the player may win $50 from the jackpot fund. If the player's hand is a straight flush, then the player may win 10% of the total in a progressive jackpot fund. It is important to note that the outcome of the secondary wager is determined independent of the outcome of the primary game. For example, the aforementioned flush may be insufficient to beat the house's hand. In such an instance the player would lose the primary game, but still win the secondary wager. Unfortunately, the player has no control over the wagering criteria—such criteria is predetermined by the house, not the player. Therefore, player involvement is limited and the game is less enjoyable. Moreover, the odds of winning the secondary wager are constant. For example, the chance of obtaining a flush is the same from one round of the game to the next. It would be more exciting for the player if the odds of winning change with each round of play.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention comprises, in one form thereof, a method for making a secondary wager on a primary game. Such method is comprised of the steps of (1) affording an opportunity to make a primary wager on each round of a primary game, (2) affording an opportunity to make a secondary wager on each round of the primary game, (3) affording an opportunity to play a multiplicity of rounds of the primary game, (4) if the secondary wager was made, determining the outcome of the secondary wager wherein the odds of winning the secondary wager change with each sequential win of the secondary wager. The outcome of the secondary wager is determined independently of the outcome of the primary game.
  • An advantage of the present invention is that the player may be rewarded for winning the secondary wager even if the primary game is lost, thus the game is more rewarding.
  • A further advantage is the additional stimulation provided by offering the player the chance to infrequently win a large bonus jackpot, while also offering the chance to more frequently win a smaller jackpot.
  • A still further advantage is the added excitement caused by the changing odds of winning the secondary wager. Such changing odds provide the casino with the ability to construct a profitable payout table while maintaining player interest.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present invention is disclosed with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a flow diagram of one method of making a secondary wager;
  • FIG. 2 is a depiction of four chips for use with certain embodiments of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a flow diagram of one method of use for the chips of FIG. 2; and
  • FIG. 4 is a depiction of a typical roulette table layout.
  • Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. The examples set out herein illustrate several embodiments of the invention but should not be construed as limiting the nature or scope of the invention in any manner.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • FIG. 1 is a flow diagram of one method 100 for use with the present invention. Method 100 is initiated in step 102, wherein a player is afforded the opportunity to make a primary wager on a round of a primary game. Such an opportunity may be afforded by any suitable entity such as an individual, an electronic game machine (such as a computer or hand-held device), a network-based computer game (such as an internet gambling web site), a dealer representing a gaming establishment or casino, and the like. In this specification such an entity is generically referred to as the “house.” If the opportunity is accepted, then the method will continue and step 104 will be executed. If the opportunity is not accepted, then the house continues to afford such offers until a player is found.
  • In step 104 of method 100, a player is afforded an opportunity to make a secondary wager on the primary game of step 102. To accept such an opportunity the player must provide a stake (e.g. a chip, token, currency, or other thing of value) to wager. In one embodiment, the opportunities of steps 102 and 104 are afforded by the same house. In another embodiment, the opportunities of step 102 and 104 are afforded by two different houses. For example, a first house may be running the primary game while a second house, which is watching the primary game, is running the secondary wager. Furthermore, it is important to note that, in some embodiments, the player who accepts the opportunity of step 102 is not the same player who accepts the opportunity of step 104. For example, a first player may be playing the primary game, while a second player makes secondary wagers on the indicia generated during the play of the primary game. In another embodiment, it is the same player who accepts the opportunities of both steps 102 and 104. If the opportunity to make a secondary wager (step 104) is not accepted, the primary game can be played (see steps 106 and 110) in accordance with established rules.
  • The criteria of the secondary wager is preferably selected by the player during the execution of step 104 in accordance with the terms set forth by the house on such wagers. For example, the house terms may require a player to select a single lot of four numbers from a possible thirty-six numbers. The player then selects which lot is chosen as the criteria. The player can change the criteria during each round of wagering. Such an arrangement increases the level of involvement of the player and helps to promote enjoyment of the game. In one embodiment, the terms so imposed on the player cause the odds of winning the secondary wager to change depending on the number of times the player has received a favorable outcome on the secondary wager. In one such embodiment, the odds of winning the secondary wager decrease (i.e. the house edge increases) with each sequential round of play of the secondary wager. Such an embodiment is discussed in detail elsewhere in this specification.
  • The house can establish the terms of the secondary wager such that the secondary wager may, or may not, conflict with the primary game. In the following example, the primary game is Blackjack, the player holds a hand of seventeen, and the secondary wager is won by receiving a nineteen or greater. The player of the primary game may be influenced to request a “hit” in an attempt to win the secondary wager despite the risk such a “hit” poses to winning the primary game. This presents the player with a conflict—should the player request a “hit” in an attempt to win the secondary wager, despite the risk of losing the primary game? In one embodiment, the terms imposed by the house are constructed in such a way so as to avoid influencing the strategy for optimal play of the primary game. One means for avoiding such a conflict is for the house to establish rules of secondary wager wherein the value of the hand is determined prior to requesting any hits. Other means for avoiding such a conflict would be apparent to one skilled in the art. In another embodiment, such a conflict is not avoided, as it may add to the enjoyment of the game.
  • in step 106 of method 100, the primary game is played in accordance with rules established by the house. Any suitable primary game can be used in conjunction with method 100 so long as some indicia is generated which can be wagered upon. By way of illustration, and not limitation, one can play roulette and bet upon the occurrence of one or more numbers, specified tots of numbers, color, or the like. One can play blackjack and bet upon the occurrence of a natural twenty-one by either the house or the player, upon the occurrence of a certain card holding or combination by either the house or the player, upon either the house or the player “going bust” or not “going bust,” upon the occurrence of either the house or the player winning, upon the occurrence of either the house or the player having at least a specific point count, and the like. Many other suitable games will become apparent to one skilled in the art after benefiting from reading this specification. Such other games are considered within the scope of this invention.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, in step 108 of method 100 it is determined whether or not a secondary wager was made in step 104 and appropriate action is taken. If no secondary wager was made, then the primary game is played in accordance with established rules (step 110). Thereafter, the player of the primary game can choose to play again (return to step 102) or quit the game (step 122). Even if a wager was made in a prior round, the player of the secondary wager need not wager on every sequential round of the primary game. In one such embodiment, the player makes secondary wagers on certain rounds that are selected at the player's discretion. In another embodiment, such wagers are made on certain rounds in accordance with the terms prescribed by the house (e.g. upon an event occurring, every other round, or every round). Alternatively, if a secondary wager was made in step 104 then step 112 is executed wherein the outcome of such secondary wager is determined.
  • In step 112 of method 100 the outcome of the secondary wager is determined. The outcome of the secondary wager is determined by comparing the criteria of the secondary wager that was selected by the player (see step 104) with the indicia generated during play of the primary game (step 106) and/or is determined in the same manner as the outcome of the primary game. In accordance with a preferred embodiment, the outcome of the secondary wager (step 112) is determined independently of the outcome of the primary game (step 110). In other words, the outcome of the primary game does not necessitate the outcome of the secondary wager. In one embodiment, the outcome of the secondary wager is independently determined such that the outcome of the primary game is one factor in the outcome of the secondary wager, but is not the sole determinant. Thus it is possible to win the primary game, but lose the secondary wager. In another embodiment, the outcome of the secondary wager is independently determined such that the outcome of the primary game is irrelevant to the outcome of the secondary wager. Thus, for example, it is possible for the player of the primary game to lose such game while the player of the secondary wager may win the wager despite the fact that both games are dependent on the same indicia. Additionally, since such outcomes are determined independently, the player of the secondary wager need not play the primary game at all.
  • There are a finite number of possible outcome scenarios of the secondary wager. In a first outcome scenario, there are two possible outcomes—favorable and unfavorable. In a second outcome scenario, there are three possible outcomes—favorable, unfavorable, and tie (or “push”). In both the first and second outcome scenarios, the number of sequential favorable outcomes is tracked (i.e. the streaks of the secondary wager are counted). It is noteworthy that the number of favorable outcomes is tracked on a player by player basis. Thus, when there are multiple players, each player may have a different current number of favorable outcomes. In some embodiments, a tie may be treated as a favorable outcome. In other embodiments, a tie is treated as an unfavorable outcome. In other embodiments, a tie is treated as a null round with regard to the secondary wager. Such a null round is neither favorable nor unfavorable. In such an embodiment, the number of favorable outcomes is not incremented nor is it reinitialized. For certain primary games, specific events may be designated as a tie round. For example, in one embodiment, when the primary game is Blackjack and the player split pairs in the primary game, such a round is treated as a null round in the secondary wager. In another example, a tie in the primary game is treated as a null round in the secondary wager, but initiates a new round of primary game play that replaces the previous round (i.e. a “do-over”).
  • Referring to step 114, if the outcome of the secondary wager is unfavorable to the player, then step 114 is executed. In step 114 the house confiscates the stake made by such player and sets the number of favorable outcomes to an initial value. For example, the number of favorable outcomes may be set to zero. After the secondary wager has been resolved in a manner unfavorable to the player, the primary game can still be played normally (step 110). In one embodiment, a payout is made prior to resetting the number of favorable outcomes.
  • Should the outcome of the secondary wager be resolved in favor of the player, then step 116 is executed. Step 116 increments the number of favorable outcomes, preferably by an integer. For example if, prior to step 110, the current number of favorable outcomes was zero, then such number is incremented to one. If, prior to step 110, the current number of favorable outcomes was two, then such number is incremented to three. Once the number of favorable outcomes has been incremented, a determination is made as to whether a payout is proper. Such a determination is made in step 118.
  • In step 118′ a determination is made as to whether a payout is proper. Depending on the specific embodiment being played and the terms set forth by the house, a number of factors influence such a determination. In one embodiment, there is a maximum number of favorable outcomes, such that a player is required to take a payout when the maximum number is reached. In one such embodiment, the player is not permitted to take a payout until such a maximum number is reached. In another such embodiment, the player is permitted to receive a payout during step 118 at the player's discretion. As shown in FIG. 1, if such a payout is taken, the number of favorable outcomes is set to the initial value (i.e. the number is reinitialized) (see step 114). If a payout is not taken, then primary game play continues (step 110). Thereafter another opportunity to make a secondary wager is afforded wherein the updated value of the number of favorable outcomes is carried forward. In another embodiment, the player receives a payout and the counter is incremented, rather than reinitialized.
  • When a payout is taken in accordance with step 118, such a payout is preferably made in accordance with a predetermined payout table. A payout table correlates the number of favorable outcomes and the terms of the house to the payout amount. The details of such payout tables are discussed elsewhere in this specification. In one embodiment, the payout table and the house terms are constructed such that the payout may be made only if all rounds of the wager are won. Alternatively, a lesser amount may be paid out for winning fewer than all of the rounds of the wager. The amounts won may be a fixed ratio, such as paying ten dollars for every one dollar wagered for winning round two. In another embodiment, a payout is a percentage of a jackpot (10% of the jackpot for completing three rounds, 50% of the jackpot for completing four rounds, etc.). Such a jackpot may be a fixed jackpot, a progressive jackpot, a random or quasi-random jackpot, a mystery jackpot, etc. The progressive jackpot may be correlated with the sum of the previous secondary wagers that were lost by prior players. Alternatively, such losses may be paid into a hidden jackpot that is used to re-seed a displayed progressive jackpot. Many other payout schemes are known to those skilled in the art and are contemplated for use with the present invention.
  • Chip Indicating the Number of Favorable Outcomes
  • Referring now to FIG. 2, in one embodiment of the invention, a chip or marker which indicates the number of favorable outcomes is provided to help track how many rounds of the secondary wager have been favorably completed. In one embodiment, the chip is a digital object such as an identifier displayed on an electronic screen. In another embodiment, the chip is a physical object, such as a ceramic chip, similar to the circular chips commonly found in casinos. Such a chip bears distinctive markings, colors, or has a distinctive size that indicates the current number of favorable outcomes. Examples of such chips are shown in FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 2 is a depiction of four chips for use with certain embodiments of the present invention. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, the chips are physical objects. FIG. 2 illustrates chips 200, 202, 204 and 206 which correspond to the chips for four individual rounds of a four round secondary wager. Referring to chip 200 it can be seen that chip 200 bears an indicator of the number of favorable outcomes that have been completed. On chip 200, such an indication is made by round indicator 208 which is the phrase “round one.” If the player wins the secondary wager and thereby maintains control of the chip, then the “round one” chip indicates that one favorable outcome has been received.
  • In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, the terms imposed by the house on a “round one” wager cause the player to select a single lot of four numbers (a “corner” bet) by placing the chip on the intersection of four adjoining numbers on a roulette table layout (see FIG. 4). It the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, the terms imposed by the house (i.e. the requirement to select a lot of four numbers) are indicated by wager indicator 210 which is the phrase “four numbers.” The chips may also bear markings, colors or other indicia to indicate association with a particular player position or player. Additionally, the chips may optionally bear the name of the game being played. In the embodiment depicted, the name indicator 212 notifies the player that the chip 200 is used in conjunction with a game named “4321Jackpot.” Naturally, other indicia, such as a casino name, can be selected or name indicator 212 may be omitted entirely.
  • Method of Using Chip
  • In one embodiment the chips previously described are used to help track the current round by exchanging the current chip for an incremented chip. Such a method is illustrated in FIG. 3.
  • FIG. 3 is a flow diagram of method 300 wherein the current chip is exchanged for an incremented chip upon a favorable outcome of the secondary wager. Method 300 is initiated by step 302.
  • In step 302, the player of the secondary wager purchases a “round one” chip from the house. For example, the player may purchase chip 200 which bears round indicator 208 indicating it is a “round one” chip. The purchaser of the chip agrees to abide by the terms of the secondary wager set forth by the house. For example, such terms may include a limit of four rounds of wagering.
  • In step 304 the current chip is used as the stake in a secondary wager. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 3 the secondary wager has two possible outcomes—favorable and unfavorable. In the event the outcome is favorable, step 310 is executed. If the outcome is unfavorable, step 306 is executed. In another embodiment, not shown, the outcome is a tie and the house terms of the particular embodiment determine the appropriate action.
  • In step 306, which is executed if the wager has been resolved in a manner unfavorable to the player, the house confiscates the current chip. The term “confiscates” need not refer to a physical act. For example, a computer game of roulette may “confiscate” a digital chip. In one embodiment, the secondary wager ends upon such an unfavorable resolution and no payout is made. In another embodiment, a payout is made after the current chip is confiscated (i.e. step 308 is executed). Such a payout is made in accordance with a payout table that correlates the current number of favorable outcomes to a payout value.
  • In step 310, which is executed upon receiving a favorable outcome, a decision is made either to exchange the current chip for an incremented chip or to end the wager and receive a payout. Such a decision is made in accordance with the terms set forth by the house which may limit the options available to the player. An incremented chip is a chip that bears a round indicator that has been incremented to be one round greater than the current round. For example, a “round one” chip would be exchanged for a “round two” chip. Similarly, a “round two” chip would be exchanged for a “round three” chip. In another embodiment, the payout for the current round is made upon favorable resolution of the secondary wager—the chip need not be exchanged for such a payout.
  • In step 310 the player may decide to terminate wager play and receive a payout (step 308). The house may impose certain terms on such a termination of play. In one embodiment, the house requires the player to play a minimum number of rounds before the player can decide to take a payout. In another embodiment, the player can decide to take a payout in exchange for the current chip during step 310, wherein the payout is determined in accordance with a payout table. In yet another embodiment, the player receives a payout and exchanges the current chip for an incremented chip.
  • Referring again to step 310, which is executed upon a favorable outcome, the player may decide to not terminate play and alternatively exchange the current chip for an incremented chip. The incremented chip is then used as the stake as the secondary wager (step 304) is repeated.
  • EXAMPLE 1
  • To help clarify the invention an example of method 300 is given hereafter. Such an example is merely illustrative, and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention in any way. The present example uses roulette as the primary game upon which the secondary wager is made. Other games may be equally suitable.
  • in step 302 of method 300 a player purchases a “round one” chip 200 (see FIG. 2) for one dollar. In accordance with the terms of the house, the player selects one lot of four numbers (see wage indicator 210) as the criteria. In a version using a physical roulette table, such a selection may be accomplished by the player placing a chip at the interstices of four adjacent numbers on the roulette table. When the primary game is played, the roulette wheel produces a number (the indicia). Based upon the comparison of the number to the criteria selected by the player, the result of the secondary wager is determined. In the present example, the roulette wheel produces one of the four numbers selected and the result is favorable to the player. Thus the player maintains control of the “round one” chip and step 310 is executed.
  • In step 310 the player decides whether to surrender the current chip for a payout (step 308) or to exchange the chip for a “round two” chip (chip 202 of FIG. 2). In the present example, the player elects to exchange the “round one” chip for a “round two” chip. Accordingly, the house performs the exchange. The player then repeats step 304 using the “round two” chip as the current stake.
  • In the second round of step 304, the secondary wager is once again resolved. Should the outcome prove unfavorable, the “round two” chip will be confiscated by the house. In one embodiment, there is no payout for such an unfavorable outcome despite the favorable outcome of round one. In another embodiment, the player receives a payout for having received one favorable outcome and surrenders the chip. In the present example, the outcome of the second round of step 304 was favorable. The player then repeats step 310 and decides whether to surrender the “round two” chip for a payout (which will correspond to two favorable outcomes) or to exchange the “round two” chip for a “round three” chip. In the instant scenario, the player exchanges the current chip for a “round three” chip and repeats step 304 again.
  • In the third round of step 304, the secondary wager is resolved once again. Should the outcome prove unfavorable, the “round three” chip will be confiscated as described elsewhere in this specification. Should the outcome prove favorable, the player may either surrender the chip and receive a payout (corresponding to three favorable outcomes) or exchange the chip for a “round four” chip. In the instant scenario, the player exchanges the current chip for a “round four” chip and repeats step 304.
  • In the fourth round of step 304, the secondary wager is resolved again. In accordance with the terms set forth by the house there are a maximum of four rounds in the present embodiment. Therefore, even if the wager is resolved in a favorable manner, the chip cannot be exchanged for an incremented chip and the player must surrender the chip and take a payout. Notwithstanding this exception, the fourth round is played out in a manner analogous to the previous rounds.
  • EXAMPLE 2
  • The invention has been described in general terms in accordance with the method 100 of FIG. 1. To further clarify the invention, another example of the invention is described wherein thirty-eight slot (American) roulette is the primary game. As would be apparent to one skilled in the art, other styles of roulette are also known and may be used in conjunction with the present invention. The following example is illustrative only, and is not intended to limit the invention to a single embodiment. Such an example uses the following house terms: There are a maximum of four rounds of the secondary wager. Once the initial secondary wager is made then the wagering player must bet on each subsequent round of roulette. During the first round one lot of four numbers must be selected as the wager criteria (a “corner” bet). On the second round the players must select one lot of three numbers (a “street” bet). On the third round, one lot of two numbers is selected (a “split” bet). On the fourth and final round, a single number is selected (a “straight-up” bet). After the secondary wager is resolved, the player may optionally choose to surrender the current round's chip for a payout in lieu of advancement to the next round. In other embodiments, alternative betting terms are permitted, such as “even money” bets, “column” bets, and “six-line” bets.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, a method 100 is provided for making a secondary wager on a primary game which, in the present example, is roulette. In step 102, a player is afforded the opportunity to make a primary wager on a round of roulette in accordance with established rules of roulette. For example, the player may choose to wager on the occurrence of a single number, a lot of eighteen numbers (one of two possible colors, or even or odd numbers), a lot of four, three, or two numbers, and the like. See FIG. 4.
  • In step 104 of method 100, an opportunity is afforded to make a secondary wager on the game of roulette. Should a player make such a secondary wager, the player provides something of value (e.g. cash, chips valued as cash equivalents, credits in an electronic machine, etc.) in exchange for a chip that indicates the current number of favorable outcomes received so far. For example, the player of the roulette game may pay one dollar in currency and receive chip 200 (see FIG. 2) which bears round indicator 208
  • In step 108 of method 100, it is determined whether or not a secondary wager was made. In the event a secondary wager was not made, the primary roulette game continues in accordance with established play (see steps 110 and 122). In the event a secondary wager was made, the outcome of the secondary wager is determined (step 112) by comparing the criteria selected by the player (i.e. which lot of four numbers was selected) with the number generated by the primary game of roulette. If the roulette wheel indicates that none of the four numbers were selected, the outcome of the secondary wager is unfavorable. If one of the four numbers was selected, the outcome of the secondary wager is favorable. It is important to note that the outcome of the secondary game is determined independent of the outcome of the primary game. For example, the primary wager may be the number 14. The secondary wager may be the number 12. If the wheel generates the number 12 during play of the primary game, then the primary game is lost but the secondary wager is won.
  • In the event that the secondary wager is unfavorable, step 114 is executed. In step 114 the chip is confiscated and the current number of favorable outcomes for that player is reinitialized. In one embodiment, not shown, a payout is made in accordance with a payout table even upon an unfavorable outcome.
  • For example, in one embodiment, upon an unfavorable outcome, the chip is confiscated and no payout is made. The current number of favorable outcomes for that player is reinitialized.
  • By way of further illustration, in another embodiment, upon an unfavorable outcome the chip is confiscated and a payout is made. Such a payout is made in accordance with the current number of favorable outcomes, Since the instant round ended unfavorably, the current number of favorable outcomes is unchanged relative to the previous round. After such a payout is made the current number of favorable outcomes is thereafter reinitialized.
  • In the event the secondary wager is favorable, step 116 is executed. In step 116, the number of favorable outcomes is incremented. In the present embodiment, the current chip may be exchanged for an incremented chip to help track the number of favorable outcomes (see FIG. 3). For example, current chip 200 (the current stake) may be exchanged for incremented chip 202 (the new stake). In those embodiments where a favorable outcome is received, but the player opts to not continue wagering, a payout is taken in step 118 in accordance with the current number of favorable outcomes and the current chip 200 is surrendered.
  • In step 118, which is executed after receiving a favorable outcome on the secondary wager, it is determined if a payout is proper. In one embodiment, the players are afforded the opportunity to surrender the current chip and receive a payout. Should the players avail themselves of such an opportunity, the chip is surrendered, a payout is made in accordance with a predetermined payout table, and the current number of favorable outcomes is reinitialized (step 114). Should the players not surrender the chip, the chip is used in a fresh round of secondary wage making (i.e. the incremented chip becomes the current chip as step 104 is repeated). In another embodiment, the player is not afforded the opportunity to surrender the chip for a payout and wagering of the incremented chip in a subsequent round is required.
  • Each of the subsequent rounds and the initial round differ from one another in that the terms of the secondary wager change with each round such that the odds of winning the wager also change. In one embodiment, the terms of the secondary wager change such that the odds of winning the secondary wager decrease. For example, if, during the first round the player must select four numbers on a thirty-eight slot roulette wheel, then the odds of winning is four in thirty-eight (about 11%). During the second round, in accordance with the house terms, the player must select three numbers on a thirty-eight slot wheel. Thus the odds of winning the second round is three in thirty-eight (about 8%). During the third round, the player must select two numbers, thereby allowing a two in thirty-eight chance of winning (about 5%). Daring the fourth round, the player must select one number, thus the chance of winning is one in thirty-eight (3%). Thus, it is clear that on each successive round the odds of winning the instant round change. In the embodiment described, the odds steadily decrease. In other embodiments, the odds could steadily increase, or the odds could vacillate as rounds are played. The payout table is constructed such that the reward is inversely related to odds of winning the current round.
  • A sample payout table is illustrated in Table 1. The payout is for each $1 wagered.
  • TABLE 1 Odds of a Favorable Number of Favorable Outcome in the Instant Outcomes Round Payout 0 0 1 4:38 0 2 3:38 0 3 2:38 $500 4 1:38 $50,000
  • An alternative sample payout table for use with the present invention is shown in Table 2. The payout is for each $1 wagered. Methods for calculating the house edge for a given payout table are well known. In the example portrayed in table 2, the house edge is about 13%. In other words, the house expects to pay out about eighty-seven cents for each dollar wagered.
  • TABLE 2 Odds of a Favorable Number of Favorable Outcome in the Instant Outcomes Round Payout 0 0 1 4:38 $1 2 3:38 $10 3 2:38 $250 4 1:38 $50,000
  • In the embodiment depicted in Table 2, there is a relatively high probability of winning the first round of secondary betting (about 11%). Advantageously, this encourages players to make secondary wagers as they feel they are being rewarded often. As a further advantage, the payout amounts are relatively small so it is likely the casino can run such a secondary wager system profitably. In those embodiments where players are permitted to receive a payout and exit the game before all of the rounds have been played, the players are faced with the decision—should they accept their current reward or risk such reward in the hope of gaining more? Many players find such a decision exciting and will play the game specifically to receive such a sensation.
  • In the previous example, the house terms included a 4-3-2-1 betting pattern. Other house terms are also contemplated. For example, a 5-4-3-2-1 pattern may be used. In another embodiment, the terms include a 1-2-3-4 pattern. In yet another embodiment, the pattern is a 3-2-1 pattern. One payout table for use with such a 3-2-1 pattern is illustrated in Table 3.
  • TABLE 3 Odds of a Favorable Number of Favorable Outcome in the Instant Outcomes Round Payout 0 0 1 3:38 $1 2 2:38 $110 3 1:38 $2,000
  • Many, but not all, of the examples discussed thus far use roulette as the primary game of chance. As previously discussed, other primary games may also be played. By way of illustration, and not limitation, one may play a game of Blackjack. One such game of Blackjack is discussed below.
  • In one embodiment, the primary game is Blackjack and secondary wagers are placed on the occurrence of receiving a hand with at least a certain value in the present embodiment, there are three rounds of secondary wagering. To win the first round of the secondary wager, the hand must have a value of seventeen or greater. To win the second round of the secondary wager, the hand must have a value of eighteen or greater. To win the third round, the hand must have a value of nineteen or greater. In one embodiment, the value of the hand is determined after the dealing of hand is completed but before any additional draws are taken (i.e. a “natural” hand). In another embodiment, the value of the hand is determined after all additional draws have been taken and the player has elected to “stand.”
  • While the invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof to adapt to particular situations without departing from the scope of the invention. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiments disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope and spirit of the appended claims.

Claims (25)

1. A method of playing a wagering game comprising the steps of:
(a) establishing rules of play for a primary game that may be played in a series of rounds,
(b) affording a player an opportunity to make a primary wager on each round of the primary game in accordance with the established rules of the primary game,
(c) establishing rules of play for a secondary wager to be played substantially concurrently with the primary game wherein the odds of receiving a favorable outcome of the secondary wager depend upon the current number of favorable outcomes of the secondary wager and the outcome of the secondary wager is determined independently of the outcome of the primary game, wherein
(i) if the outcome of the secondary wager is unfavorable, then the current number of favorable outcomes is set to an initial value,
(ii) if the outcome of the secondary wager is favorable, then the current number of favorable outcomes is incremented,
(d) affording a player an opportunity to make a secondary wager on a series of rounds of play of the primary game,
(e) playing a series of rounds of the primary game in accordance with the established rules,
(f) determining if a secondary wager was made, wherein if the secondary wager was made, determining the outcome of the secondary wager.
2. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein if the outcome of the secondary wager is favorable, then the player of the secondary wager is afforded the opportunity to make another secondary wager on the next round of the primary game.
3. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein if the outcome of the secondary wager is unfavorable, the player of the secondary wager is afforded the opportunity to be rewarded with a payout in accordance with the current number of favorable outcomes, and thereafter the current number of favorable outcomes is set to the initial value.
4. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein if the outcome of the secondary wager is favorable, the player of the secondary wager is afforded the opportunity to be rewarded with a payout in accordance with the current number of favorable outcomes, and the current number of favorable outcomes is incremented.
5. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein the player recited in step (b) and the player recited in step (d) are the same player.
6. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein the player recited in step (b) and the player recited in step (d) are different players.
7. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein during the opportunity to make a secondary wager, the player of the secondary wager selects criteria of the secondary wager in accordance with the established rules of the secondary wager.
8. A method of playing a wagering game comprising the steps of:
(a) establishing rules of play for a primary game that may be played in a series of rounds,
(b) affording a player an opportunity to make a primary wager on each round of the primary game in accordance with the established rules of the primary game,
(c) establishing rules of play for a secondary wager to be played substantially concurrently with the primary game wherein a chip is wagered, and the odds of receiving a favorable outcome of the secondary wager depend upon the current number of favorable outcomes of the secondary wager and the outcome of the secondary wager is determined independently of the outcome of the primary game, wherein
(i) if the outcome of the secondary wager is unfavorable, then the current number of favorable outcomes is set to an initial value and the chip is confiscated,
(ii) if the outcome of the secondary wager is favorable, then the current number of favorable outcomes is incremented and the chip is either:
(1) exchanged for an incremented chip which is used in a subsequent round of secondary wagering, or
(2) surrendered for a payout which is dependent upon the current number of favorable outcomes and reinitializing the number of favorable outcomes,
(d) affording a player an opportunity to make a secondary wager on a series of rounds of play of the primary game,
(e) playing a series of rounds of the primary game in accordance with the established rules,
(f) determining if a secondary wager was made, wherein if the secondary wager was made, determining the outcome of the secondary wager.
9. The method as recited in claim 8, wherein if the chip is exchanged for an incremented chip which is used in a subsequent round of secondary wagering, then a payout is made which is dependent upon the current number of favorable outcomes.
10. The method as recited in claim 8, wherein if the outcome of the secondary wager is unfavorable a payout is made which is dependent upon the current number of favorable outcomes prior to setting of the current number of favorable outcomes to the initial value.
11. The method as recited in claim 10, wherein during the opportunity to make a secondary wager, the player of the secondary wager selects criteria of the secondary wager in accordance with the established rules of the secondary wager.
12. A method of playing a roulette game comprising the steps of:
(a) establishing rules of play for a roulette game that may be played in a series of rounds,
(b) affording a player an opportunity to make a primary wager on each round of the roulette game in accordance with the established rules of the roulette game,
(c) establishing rules of play for a secondary wager to be played substantially concurrently with the roulette game wherein a chip is wagered, and the odds of receiving a favorable outcome of the secondary wager depend upon the current number of favorable outcomes of the secondary wager and the outcome of the secondary wager is determined independently of the outcome of the roulette game, wherein
(i) if the outcome of the secondary wager is unfavorable, then the current number of favorable outcomes is set to an initial value and the chip is confiscated,
(ii) if the outcome of the secondary wager is favorable, then the current number of favorable outcomes is incremented and the chip is either:
(1) exchanged for an incremented chip which is used in a subsequent round of secondary wagering, or
(2) surrendered for a payout which is dependent upon the current number of favorable outcomes and reinitializing the number of favorable outcomes,
(d) affording a player an opportunity to make a secondary wager on a series of rounds of play of the roulette game, the player of the secondary wager selecting criteria of the secondary wager in accordance with the established rules of the secondary wager,
(e) playing a series of rounds of the roulette game in accordance with the established rules,
(f) determining if a secondary wager was made, wherein if the secondary wager was made, determining the outcome of the secondary wager.
13. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the player of the roulette game and the player of the secondary wager are different players.
14. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the player of the roulette game and the player of the secondary wager are the same player.
15. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein there is a maximum number of rounds of secondary wagering imposed by the rules of the secondary wager.
16. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the odds of winning the secondary wager change such that the odds decrease with each successive round of secondary wagering.
17. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the odds of winning the secondary wager change such that the odds fluctuate on each successive round of secondary wagering.
18. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the odds of winning the secondary wager change such that the odds increase with each successive round of secondary wagering.
19. The method as recited in claim 16, wherein there is a maximum of four rounds of secondary wagering, and in the first such round the rules of the secondary wager require a corner bet.
20. The method as recited in claim 16, wherein there is a maximum of N rounds of secondary wagering, and in the first such round the rules of the secondary wager require N numbers be selected, wherein N is an integer between one and five.
21. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein there is a maximum of four rounds of secondary wagering, and in the first such round the rules of the secondary wager require a corner bet.
22. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein if the outcome of the secondary wager is unfavorable, further comprising the step of providing the player of the secondary wager a payout which is dependent upon the current number of favorable outcomes, and thereafter the current number of favorable outcomes to set to the initial value.
23. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the outcome of the secondary wager is determined independently of the outcome of the roulette game such that the outcome of the roulette game does not influence the outcome of the secondary wager.
24. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the outcome of the secondary wager is determined independently of the outcome of the roulette game such that the outcome of the roulette game influences, but does not necessitate, the outcome of the secondary wager.
25. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein when the chip is exchanged for an incremented chip the player of the secondary wager receives a payout which is dependent upon the current number of favorable outcomes.
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