US20090054130A1 - System, Apparatus, and Method For Calculating Bets In Casino Table Games, In Particular For Poker Games - Google Patents

System, Apparatus, and Method For Calculating Bets In Casino Table Games, In Particular For Poker Games Download PDF

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US20090054130A1
US20090054130A1 US11791371 US79137107A US2009054130A1 US 20090054130 A1 US20090054130 A1 US 20090054130A1 US 11791371 US11791371 US 11791371 US 79137107 A US79137107 A US 79137107A US 2009054130 A1 US2009054130 A1 US 2009054130A1
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area
player
reading
system
apparatus
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Abandoned
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US11791371
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Emmanuel Gelinotte
Lionel Cazalis
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Gaming Partners International
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Gaming Partners International
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F1/00Card games
    • A63F1/06Card games appurtenances
    • A63F1/18Score computers; Miscellaneous indicators
    • 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
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00003Types of board games
    • A63F3/00157Casino or betting games
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F1/00Coin inlet arrangements; Coins specially adapted to operate coin-freed mechanisms
    • G07F1/06Coins specially adapted to operate coin-freed mechanisms
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3216Construction aspects of a gaming system, e.g. housing, seats, ergonomic aspects
    • G07F17/322Casino tables, e.g. tables having integrated screens, chip detection means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3244Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes
    • G07F17/3251Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes involving media of variable value, e.g. programmable cards, programmable tokens
    • 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
    • A63F1/06Card games appurtenances
    • A63F1/067Tables or similar supporting structures
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F1/00Card games
    • A63F2001/005Poker

Abstract

System, in particular for counting bets in a table game utilizing chips each equipped with a radio-frequency identification microcircuit, data in the microcircuit indicating the value of the chip, where the system includes at least one area for reading data written in the radio-frequency identification microcircuits, each reading area including antenna apparatus for reading data from each chip in the reading area, and further includes apparatus for computing a total amount corresponding to the sum of those values, there being at least one reading area on said tabletop.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • Aspects of the present invention relate to a system, apparatus, and method for evaluating bets placed utilizing chips, for instance in casino table games, and particularly poker games. An aspect of the invention further relates to a method able to utilize such a system. An aspect of the invention will be described in its utilization for certain forms of the game of poker. Of course, the invention can also be utilized for other forms of the game of poker or for other casino table games.
  • 2. Discussion of Background Information
  • The Texas Hold'em game of poker, like its variants, is organized around a central pot consisting of all the bets of the players. When one of the players is a winner, he takes the pot, and if there are several winners they share the pot. It is important to note that in this card game all players are playing against each other, as opposed to other casino games in which the players are playing against the dealer, that is to say against the casino. Thus, the casino cannot win anything in this game in the role of player. This is why most casinos take a commission from the central pot. This commission, which generally varies from 2% to 20%, is taken at the end of each hand before the winner(s) take(s) possession of their winnings. This way of working applies in most casinos in the normal playing or “cash game” mode.
  • There is a playing mode other than the “cash game” mode, which is called the “tournament” mode. In that mode, most casinos do not take a commission during the game because the players pay a fixed buy-in. On the other hand, casinos track the classification of the players for the entire tournament, that is to say their position in the classification table. To produce this classification, the casino periodically counts and determines the value of the chips held by each player.
  • All these counting operations take up a dealer's time and can be a source of errors. Each count is generally effected by a dealer in his head. This also slows down the game and therefore reduces the number of rounds possible in a given time, and thus the possibilities of revenue for the casino.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • An aspect object of the invention is a system, an apparatus, and a method for reducing the counting time at the same time as significantly reducing the risk of counting errors.
  • A first aspect of the invention is provided by a counting system, in particular for counting bets in a table game utilizing chips each equipped with a radio-frequency identification microcircuit. The microcircuit includes data that indicates the value of the chip. The counting system includes a gaming tabletop and further includes at least one area for reading data written in the radio-frequency identification microcircuits, in that each reading area includes antenna apparatus for reading data from each chip in said reading area, and in that the system further includes apparatus for computing a total amount corresponding to the sum of the values of the chips, there being at least one reading area on the tabletop. The data indicating the value of the chip can be the value of the chip itself or a serial number identifying the chip and enabling the value of the chip to be obtained from a database.
  • Such a system advantageously includes apparatus for initiating reading, thus enabling reading to be effected at a specific time, for example when the player whose turn it is to play has finished placing his bet. These initiating apparatus are in this case advantageously adapted to be activated by a dealer. Alternatively, the initiating apparatus can be automatic, and adapted to verify for example that the last bet is a possible bet according to the rules of the game and that the bet has not changed for a certain time or when a marker chip called the button was passed to the next player.
  • The antenna apparatus advantageously include at least one antenna, preferably positioned under a gaming mat that covers the tabletop, and an RFID-type reader connected to the antenna. A reading area, especially if it is of large size, can advantageously include a plurality of overlapping antennas and multiplexing apparatus for reading the antennas of the area sequentially. The microcircuit equipping each chip can include individual identification data for each chip and the system can include single counting apparatus such that the value of the same chip is counted only once if it is read by at least two antennas of the same reading area.
  • The reading area can advantageously include a bet area, generally called the pot, preferably in a central area of the tabletop, the total amount of the corresponding values forming a pot total. If the playing tabletop is of large size, it generally includes a plurality of bet areas, for example a central pot and two secondary pots, and in this case the computation apparatus are advantageously adapted to add the values of the pots together, the total amount of the corresponding values forming a global pot total.
  • The computation apparatus can include apparatus for computing an amount that is a function of the pot amounts, for example a percentage to be taken to remunerate the casino. Apparatus are preferably provided for setting parameters of this function, for example to take account of the criteria of the casino and regulations to which the casino is subject according to the country in which it is located (commission rate, pot rounding method, take commission if equal, etc.) and how they change.
  • The system can further include apparatus for storing one or more of the computed amounts. For example, there can be provision for storing the successive values of the pot and authorizing the comparison of two or more successive values. This makes it possible to verify that the last bet is an authorized bet. In the game of poker, an authorized bet is one that is identical to or double the preceding bet.
  • The at least one reading area can also include a player area for reading the values of the chips that a player holds at a given time. In a simplified version of the system, this area can be common to a plurality of players, for example coincident with a bet area on the tabletop, and the computation apparatus can include apparatus for assigning the sum of the chips to a given one of several players. A common player area can also be included in apparatus movable relative to the playing tabletop and such that the player area is brought near to each player; likewise, the computation apparatus can include apparatus for assigning the sum of the chips to a given one of several players; the mobile apparatus can be of the trolley on wheels type.
  • In a more complete version, the player area is an area specific to each player and advantageously in the vicinity of a place assigned to a specific player.
  • Such a system can also include apparatus for identifying the position of a button on the tabletop, preferably in a reading area, for example in a player area, assigned to each player individually.
  • The microcircuit of each chip advantageously includes unique identification data for each chip and the system includes apparatus for identifying each chip placed in a reading area. In this case the system advantageously includes database apparatus and apparatus for comparing the unique identification data of each chip with the database.
  • The system can include a plurality of groups of antennas, multiplexed antennas assigned to one or more reading areas, the data collected by said antennas being read by a respective RFID reader assigned to each group; said RFID readers can be synchronized with each other, for example according to the principle of the patent EP1766589.
  • The system can further include a reading area in a commission teller station, apparatus for automatically computing the sum of the values of the commission chips in the commission teller station and read in said reading area, and apparatus for comparing that sum with the amount computed from the values of the chips in the bet area. Automatic cross-checking of these amounts is then possible.
  • Such a system is particularly suitable for equipping a poker gaming table.
  • A device according to the invention for broadcasting a table game, in particular a poker game, for example by television or via the Internet, includes such a counting system and apparatus for displaying information deduced automatically from data read in the reading areas. That information can include, for example: the amount of the bet, the action taken by the player who has just placed a bet, or the sum held by a given player at a given time.
  • A solution according to a second aspect of the invention is provided by a method for determining the value of bets in a table game, in particular a poker game, using chips each equipped with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) microcircuit containing data indicating the value of the chip, the method including the following:
  • the chips bet are placed in a specific reading area, called the bet area,
  • after each player places his bet, reading of the values of the chips in the bet area is initiated,
  • the read values are added.
  • Such a method can further provide for an amount to be computed as a function of the sum of the values of the chips bet. That amount can be the commission taken by the casino on the bets.
  • To follow phases of the game, successive sums of bets in the bet area can be stored and differences between two successive sums compared. It is therefore possible to tell, for example, if there is no bet or if the bet is equal to or greater than the preceding bet, and to deduce from this the action taken by the player who has just placed his bet, for example call, raise, etc. It is also possible to verify in this way that the amount bet corresponds to a possible action, where applicable if that amount corresponds to an action stated by the player who placed the bet.
  • If the microcircuit of each chip includes unique identification data for the chip, the method can include reading that identification data. Such reading can verify the authenticity of the chip placed in a reading area, in particular in the bet area, preferably by comparison with a database of chips operated by the casino. Furthermore, the method can provide for each chip to be assigned to an identified player. That assignment is advantageously modified each time that the chip changes position during the game.
  • In such a method according to the invention, the value of the chips held by each player at a given time can be computed, preferably at the beginning and/or at the end of the game, for example using an area for reading the chips held by the players, called the player area. To compute the value of the chips that they hold, the players at the same table can be invited in succession to place their chips in a reading area. That reading area can be the bet area, to which a player area function is temporarily assigned, or a specific common player area, which is preferably mobile. A player area carried by a trolley on wheels can then be utilized, for example.
  • Instead of using a common player area, an individual player area can be utilized, preferably placed on the gaming tabletop in front of each player, where he naturally puts his chips during the game. The use of such an individual player area can indicate in real time each player's reserve of chips and the amount of that reserve.
  • In a method according to aspects of the invention, to individualize a specific player, for example to know which player is placing a bet, a button can additionally be utilized that is itself equipped with an RFID microcircuit that is placed in the individual player area, for example, or in a reading area specifically provided for the button and assigned individually to the player.
  • For the purposes of verifying chip transfers, a method according to aspects of the invention can further provide that:
  • a reading area is provided in a commission teller station;
  • the sum of the values of the commission chips in said commission teller station is computed automatically by apparatus of said reading area; then
  • that sum is compared to the result of adding the values of the chips in the bet area.
  • Aspects of this disclosure are directed to a counting system for counting bets in a table game utilizing chips each equipped with a radio-frequency identification microcircuit, data in the radio-frequency identification microcircuit indicating the value of the chip, the system including a gaming tabletop, at least one reading area for reading data written in the radio-frequency identification microcircuits, each reading area including antenna apparatus that reads data from each chip in the reading area, and the system further including computing apparatus that computes a total amount corresponding to a sum of chip values, there being at least one reading area on the tabletop. The system can further include apparatus that initiates reading. The antenna apparatus can include (a) at least one antenna, optionally positioned under a gaming mat that covers the tabletop, and (b) an RFID-type reader connected to the at least one antenna. The at least one of the at least one reading area can include a plurality of overlapping antennas and multiplexing apparatus for reading sequentially the antennas of the at least one of the at least one reading area. The at least one reading area can be a plurality of reading areas including a plurality of antennas and wherein the system further includes multiplexing apparatus for reading sequentially the antennas of the reading areas. The microcircuits can include individual identification data of each chip and the system further includes unique counting apparatus for counting once only the value of a chip read by at least two antennas of the at least one of the at least one reading area. The at least one reading area can includes at least one bet area or pot, optionally located in a central area of the tabletop, the total amount of the values corresponding to the chips in the at least one bet area or pot forming a pot total. There can be a plurality of bet areas or pots that optionally can be a central pot and two secondary pots, and in that the computation apparatus are adapted to add the values of the pots together. The computation apparatus can include apparatus that computes an amount that is a function of the pot total. The system can further include apparatus that sets parameters of the function. The at least one reading area can include at least one player area for reading the chips held by a player at a given time. The player area can coincide with a bet area on the tabletop and the computation apparatus can include apparatus that assigns the chips to a given player of a plurality of players. The player area can be an area specific to a player on the tabletop in the vicinity of a place assigned to a specific player. The player area can be mobile, optionally by way of a trolley on wheels relative to the tabletop and adapted to be moved close to each player, and the computation apparatus includes apparatus that assigns the sum of the chips to a given player of a plurality of players. The system can further include apparatus that identifies a position of a button on the tabletop, optionally in a reading area assigned to each player individually. The microcircuit can include unique identification data for each chip and the system can further include apparatus that identifies each chip in the reading area. The system can further include a plurality of groups of antennas, multiplexed antennas assigned to one or more reading areas, the data collected by the antennas being read by a respective RFID reader assigned to each group, and the RFID readers are optionally synchronized with each other. The system can further include a reading area in a commission teller station, apparatus that automatically computes a sum of the values of commission chips in the commission teller station by the reading area, and apparatus that compares the sum of the values of commission chips in the commission teller station with the amount computed from the values of the chips in the bet area. The system can further include apparatus that stores one or more of the computed amounts. The system can equip a poker gaming table.
  • Aspects of this disclosure are directed to a device for broadcasting a table game, optionally a poker game, optionally by television or via the Internet, including a system as discussed above, which includes apparatus that displays information deduced automatically from data read in the reading areas.
  • Aspects of this disclosure are directed to a method for determining the value of bets in a table game, optionally a poker game, utilizing chips each equipped with an RFID microcircuit containing data indicating the value of the chip, including:
  • placing the chips bet in a specific reading area called the bet area,
  • after each player places his bet, initiating reading of the values of the chips in the bet area,
  • adding the read values.
  • The method can further include computing an amount that is a function of the sum of the values of the chips bet. The method can further include storing sums successively bet and comparing the differences between two successive sums. The method can further include deducing an action undertaken by a player. The method can further include verifying that the sum bet corresponds to a possible action, where applicable an action stated by the player who placed the bet. The microcircuit in each chip can include unique identification data, wherein the method further includes reading identification data. The method can further include deducing authenticity of each chip in a reading area, optionally by comparison with a database. The method can further include assigning each chip to an identified player. The method can further include modifying an assignment of a chip each time that it changes hands. The method can further include computing a value of the chips held by each player at a given time optionally at least one of, at a beginning and at an end of a game, utilizing a reading area for the chips held by the players, or a player area. The method can further include inviting each player at the same table successively to place his chips in a reading area. The method can further include utilizing the bet area to which a player area function is assigned. The method can further include utilizing a specific common player area that is optionally mobile. The method can further include utilizing an individual player area on the playing tabletop in front of each player. The method can further include utilizing the individual player area to determine in real time the reserve of chips of each player. The method can further include utilizing a button that is equipped with an RFID microcircuit and is placed in the individual player area to individualize a specific player.
  • The method can further include:
  • providing a reading area in a commission teller station;
  • automatically computing the sum of the values of the commission chips in the commission teller station and read in the reading area and then
      • comparing the sum of the values of the commission chips in the commission teller station to a result of adding the values read in the bet area.
  • Aspects of this disclosure are directed to a method of broadcasting a table game, optionally a poker game, optionally by television or via the Internet, including displaying information deduced automatically from data read in reading areas.
  • The table game can be a poker game. The table game can be broadcast by television or via the Internet. The specific common player area can be mobile. The value can be computed at least one of, at a beginning or at an end of a game. The deducing can be accomplished by comparison with a database. The RFID readers can be synchronized with each other. The apparatus for identifying the position of a button on the tabletop can be in a reading area assigned to each player individually. The player area can be mobile by a trolley on wheels. The at least one bet area or pot can be located in a central area of the tabletop. The at least one antenna can be positioned under a gaming mat that covers a tabletop.
  • Aspects of this invention are directed to a combination of a table and chips for a table game, including: chips each equipped with a radio-frequency identification microcircuit, data in the radio-frequency identification microcircuit indicating the value of the chip; a gaming tabletop having at least one reading area for reading data written in the radio-frequency identification microcircuits, each reading area including antenna apparatus that reads data from each chip in the reading area, and the system further including computing apparatus that computes a total amount corresponding to a sum of chip values, there being at least one reading area on the tabletop.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The following description, given with reference to the appended drawings, explains aspects of the invention and points out its advantages. In the drawings:
  • FIG. 1 is a simplified representation of a poker table equipped with a system according to aspects of the invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic representation of a system according to aspects of the invention in its application to a bet area; and
  • FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic representation of a system according to aspects of the invention including a plurality of reading areas.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
  • FIG. 1 represents a poker table constructed to accommodate a dealer in a cut-out in the tabletop 2 of the table 1 and several players. Although a Texas Hold'Em poker table accommodates ten players, only eight player places are shown in FIG. 1, to simplify the drawing. The tabletop 2 is covered with a playing mat on which the place 8 of each player at the table is delimited by stripes represented by double lines in FIG. 1. The playing tabletop 2 further includes pots, that is to say areas intended to receive chips bet by players. There are three of these bet areas, a central main pot 4 and two secondary pots 5 on respective opposite sides of the main pot 4. Here these areas are rectangular and are also delimited on the playing mat by stripes represented by double lines in the figures.
  • FIG. 2 shows more particularly an application of a counting system 10 according to aspects of the invention to the main pot 4. Chips 6 have been bet and placed in the pot. Each chip is equipped with a radio-frequency microcircuit 7 buried in the material of the chip and represented in dashed line. The system 10 includes antenna apparatus formed of two antennas 11. The two antennas overlap each other and together surround the whole of the pot. These antennas 11 are therefore able to receive data contained in the microcircuit of any chip placed in the pot 4. The antennas are under the playing mat that covers the playing tabletop 2 and therefore remain invisible.
  • Each of the antennas 11 is individually connected to a multiplexer 12 adapted to process the antennas 11 sequentially. The multiplexer 12 is itself connected to an RFID reader 13 for reading the data received by the antennas 11. Once appropriately processed by the reader 13, the data is transferred to computation apparatus to which the reader 13 is connected, for example a central processor unit 16 of a microcomputer. The FIG. 3 system further includes storage apparatus 17 for storing the results obtained after processing of the data by the central processor unit 16.
  • To ensure that reading is effected at the appropriate time, apparatus 14 are provided to initiate reading when that time comes. Here these apparatus are represented by a button 14 accessible to the dealer 15. Accordingly, in the case of reading the bet area 4, the dealer can wait for a player to finish placing his bet before initiating reading. Thus the amount of the bet stated by the player can be determined and verified as soon as it is placed and before the next player places his bet. Thanks to the successive values of the pot stored in the memory 17, each bet can be determined from the difference between two successive pot values.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, the place 8 of each player can be equipped with one or more antennas 11. In FIG. 1, to simplify the drawing, only the antennas 11 equipping one of the places 8 are represented. As in the case of the main pot 4, the player area 8 is equipped with two overlapping antennas 11, to ensure substantially total coverage of its area. Accordingly, as in the case of the pot areas, it is possible to determine the value of the chips that a player places in his player area 8.
  • In addition to the value of the chip it equips, the microcircuit can include identification data that is preferably unique to the chip. In particular, it can include for example the name of the casino that issued the chip and/or a serial number of the chip. The chip can therefore be listed in a database 19 of the casino (see FIG. 3). A chip can therefore be associated with a player at any time. Accordingly, as soon as a player places his chips, the chips can be identified and associated with the identity of a player.
  • FIG. 3 shows diagrammatically a system including the functions described hereinabove and others not yet described.
  • Shown in the upper portion of the figure are the antennas 11 equipping the bet areas 4 and 5 connected to a multiplexer/reader system 12, 13 controlled by a button 14 accessible to the dealer 15. Shown in the lower portion are the antennas 11 equipping the player areas 8, similarly connected to another multiplexer/reader system 12, 13 controlled by a button 24 accessible to the dealer 15.
  • As shown in FIG. 3, this system can equip a plurality of tables, utilizing the same computation apparatus 16, the same storage apparatus 17 and the same database apparatus 19.
  • A mobile player area 9 is provided for tables of the system that do not have player areas equipped with antennas 11. This mobile player area 9 is advantageously on a trolley that can be moved from player to player at the same table or even from one table to another if required. In the FIG. 3 embodiment, the mobile player area 9 is equipped with an RFID antenna 21 whose reader 13 is connected to a relay antenna 18, for example a WiFi antenna, for transmitting data relating to the chips deposited by each player in the area 9. Another relay antenna 18 collects this data and forwards it to the computation apparatus 16. This specific multiplexer/reader combination 12, 13 can advantageously be further equipped with initiating apparatus not shown in FIG. 3. In a fully equipped version, the system can be constructed to take the place of a dealer.
  • Of course, the present invention is not limited to the embodiments represented and described above by way of illustrative and nonlimiting example.
  • For example, the computation apparatus can be common to a set of gaming tables equipped with the device according to the invention. Furthermore, the computation, memory and database apparatus can be part of the same computer. The connections between different elements, in particular the antennas, the readers and/or the computation apparatus, can be cable or wireless connections, for example using a WiFi type technology.
  • The initiating apparatus can be unique to the same gaming table including both bet areas and player areas, i.e. on each initiation all the areas are read systematically.
  • Instead of having a plurality of multiplexers and a plurality of readers, the system can include a single multiplexer associated with a single reader able to group together all the antennas of the same gaming table, for example.
  • Rather than intentional initiation by a dealer, there can be provision for initiating the reading of data automatically. That initiation can be generated by moving a button equipped with a radio-frequency microcircuit over the playing tabletop. The position of the button then determines the order of play and the progression of the game. This variant, more complex and more costly, nevertheless addresses the same problems but even faster and with an even more detailed level of collection of information.
  • There can also be provision for reading to be effected continuously, and for automatic sampling of values to be stored, for example every tenth of a second. The change of player can be detected if it is the value of a new player area that is modified, which is a sign that the preceding bet has been completed, which amounts to initiation, and taking account of the latest values obtained before changing player.
  • On each initiation, there can be stored in the storage apparatus the amount of the pot, its rounded off value and the value of a commission, as a function of the value of the pot, with a view to the production of reports intended for the management of the casino.
  • Thanks to the system according to the invention and the automatic radio-frequency measurements, the dealer is no longer obliged to count the chips in the pot by hand and to compute in his head the rounded off value and the amount of the commission. In prior art practice, the dealer counts and memorizes the chips as and when they are added to the pot. Thus the proposed system speeds up the game, so that there can therefore be more hands in the same time and therefore a higher commission for the casino.
  • To utilize the system according to the invention in the tournament mode, as well as reading the values of the pots, as explained hereinabove, the computation apparatus automatically counts the chips of the players and stores their respective values in the storage apparatus in order to effect a regular classification of the players with respect to each other. It is the chips placed in the player areas that are counted.
  • If in a system according to the invention the area in front of each player has no antennas, a bet area can be utilized to count the chips held by the players, for example. In this case, during the counting procedure, each player in turn is invited to place all his chips in the bet area.
  • A screen for displaying the bet and visible to the dealer can further be provided on the playing table. The dealer can therefore verify that the player has bet the correct amount and that that amount corresponds to the stated action (call, raise, etc.). In practice, to initiate reading, a touch-sensitive screen is utilized in preference to a button. Furthermore, such a screen is entirely suitable for displaying some or all of the information obtained by the system according to the invention.
  • The automatic determination of the individual bets and the pots can also be utilized to communicate information electronically to other systems or screens, for example video control desks, for example for television broadcasting of poker tournaments.
  • Moreover, each player uses the player area for his reserve of chips. During a game, when he places a bet, and for the time it takes to make up his bet, he places his chips temporarily in an intermediate area of the mat beyond his player area and short of a bet area, in order to show them clearly. The dealer then gathers up the chips the player has bet and places them in the bet area. It can be advantageous for a system according to the invention to include reading apparatus in this intermediate area, possibly in front of each individual player, in order to be able to read and analyze chips that are put there temporarily, in particular to ensure that a bet is correct before it is gathered in by the dealer. Furthermore, if a set of cards is utilized also equipped with RFID microcircuits, this intermediate reading area can be utilized to identify the cards that are placed in it. The possibility of using such cards has been demonstrated by the company Magellan Tech in particular.

Claims (54)

  1. 1-39. (canceled)
  2. 40. A counting system for counting bets in a table game utilizing chips each equipped with a radio-frequency identification microcircuit, data in said radio-frequency identification microcircuit indicating the value of the chip, the system comprising: a gaming tabletop, at least one reading area for reading data written in said radio-frequency identification microcircuits, each reading area comprising antenna apparatus that reads data from each chip in said reading area, and said system further comprising computing apparatus that computes a total amount corresponding to a sum of chip values, there being at least one reading area on said tabletop.
  3. 41. The system of claim 40, further comprising apparatus that initiates reading.
  4. 42. The system of claim 40, wherein the antenna apparatus comprises (a) at least one antenna, optionally positioned under a gaming mat that covers the tabletop, and (b) an RFID-type reader connected to said at least one antenna.
  5. 43. The system of to claim 40, wherein at least one of said at least one reading area comprises a plurality of overlapping antennas and multiplexing apparatus for reading sequentially the antennas of said at least one of the at least one reading area.
  6. 44. The system of claim 40, wherein said at least one reading area is a plurality of reading areas comprising a plurality of antennas and wherein said system further comprises multiplexing apparatus for reading sequentially the antennas of said reading areas.
  7. 45. The system of claim 43, wherein said microcircuits comprise individual identification data of each chip and the system further comprises unique counting apparatus for counting once only the value of a chip read by at least two antennas of said at least one of the at least one reading area.
  8. 46. The system of claim 40, wherein the at least one reading area comprises at least one bet area or pot, optionally located in a central area of the tabletop, the total amount of the values corresponding to the chips in the at least one bet area or pot forming a pot total.
  9. 47. The system of claim 46, wherein there is a plurality of bet areas or pots that optionally can be a central pot and two secondary pots, and in that the computation apparatus are adapted to add the values of the pots together.
  10. 48. The system of claim 46, wherein the computation apparatus comprises apparatus that computes an amount that is a function of the pot total.
  11. 49. The system of claim 48, further comprising apparatus that sets parameters of the function.
  12. 50. The system of claim 40, wherein the at least one reading area comprises at least one player area for reading the chips held by a player at a given time.
  13. 51. The system of claim 50, wherein the player area coincides with a bet area on the tabletop and the computation apparatus comprises apparatus that assigns the chips to a given player of a plurality of players.
  14. 52. The system of claim 50, wherein the player area is an area specific to a player on the tabletop in the vicinity of a place assigned to a specific player.
  15. 53. The system of claim 50, wherein the player area is mobile, optionally by way of a trolley on wheels, relative to the tabletop and adapted to be moved close to each player, and the computation apparatus comprises apparatus that assigns the sum of the chips to a given player of a plurality of players.
  16. 54. The system of claim 40, further comprising apparatus that identifies a position of a button on the tabletop, optionally in a reading area assigned to each player individually.
  17. 55. The system of claim 40, wherein the microcircuit includes unique identification data for each chip and in that the system further comprises apparatus that identifies each chip in the reading area.
  18. 56. The system of claim 40, further comprising a plurality of groups of antennas, multiplexed antennas assigned to one or more reading areas, the data collected by said antennas is read by a respective RFID reader assigned to each group, and said RFID readers are optionally synchronized with each other.
  19. 57. The system of claim 40, further comprising a reading area in a commission teller station, apparatus that automatically computes a sum of the values of commission chips in said commission teller station by said reading area, and apparatus that compares the sum of the values of commission chips in said commission teller station with the amount computed from the values of the chips in the bet area.
  20. 58. The system of claim 40, further comprising apparatus that stores one or more of the computed amounts.
  21. 59. The system of claim 40, which equips a poker gaming table.
  22. 60. A device for broadcasting a table game, optionally a poker game, optionally by television or via the Internet, comprising a system according to claim 40, which includes apparatus that displays information deduced automatically from data read in the reading areas.
  23. 61. A method for determining the value of bets in a table game, optionally a poker game, utilizing chips each equipped with an RFID microcircuit containing data indicating the value of the chip, comprising:
    placing the chips bet in a specific reading area called the bet area,
    after each player places his bet, initiating reading of the values of the chips in the bet area,
    adding said read values.
  24. 62. The method of claim 61, further comprising computing an amount that is a function of the sum of the values of the chips bet.
  25. 63. A method for following phases of the game utilizing the method of claim 61, comprising storing sums successively bet and comparing the differences between two successive sums.
  26. 64. The method of claim 63, further comprising deducing an action undertaken by a player.
  27. 65. The method of claim 63, further comprising verifying that the sum bet corresponds to a possible action, where applicable an action stated by the player who placed the bet.
  28. 66. The method of claim 61, wherein the microcircuit in each chip includes unique identification data, wherein said method further comprises reading identification data.
  29. 67. The method of claim 66, further comprising deducing authenticity of each chip in a reading area, optionally by comparison with a database.
  30. 68. The method of claim 66, further comprising assigning each chip to an identified player.
  31. 69. The method of claim 68, further comprising modifying an assignment of a chip each time that it changes hands.
  32. 70. The method of claim 61, further comprising computing a value of the chips held by each player at a given time, optionally at least one of, at a beginning and at an end of a game, utilizing a reading area for the chips held by the players, or a player area.
  33. 71. The method of claim 70, further comprising inviting each player at the same table successively to place his chips in a reading area.
  34. 72. The method of claim 71, further comprising utilizing the bet area, to which a player area function is assigned.
  35. 73. The method of claim 71, further comprising utilizing a specific common player area that is optionally mobile.
  36. 74. The method of claim 70, further comprising utilizing an individual player area on the playing tabletop in front of each player.
  37. 75. The method of claim 74, further comprising utilizing the individual player area to determine in real time the reserve of chips of each player.
  38. 76. The method of claim 75, further comprising utilizing a button that is equipped with an RFID microcircuit and is placed in the individual player area to individualize a specific player.
  39. 77. The method of claim 70, further comprising:
    providing a reading area in a commission teller station;
    automatically computing the sum of the values of the commission chips in said commission teller station and read in said reading area; and then
    comparing the sum of the values of the commission chips in said commission teller station to a result of adding the values read in the bet area.
  40. 78. A method of broadcasting a table game, optionally a poker game, optionally by television or via the Internet, comprising displaying information deduced automatically from data read in reading areas.
  41. 79. The method of claim 78 wherein, said table game is a poker game.
  42. 80. The method of claim 78 wherein, the table game is broadcast by television or via the Internet.
  43. 81. The method of claim 73 wherein, the specific common player area is mobile.
  44. 82. The method of claim 70 wherein, the value is computed at least one of, at a beginning or at an end of a game.
  45. 83. The method of claim 67 wherein, said deducing is accomplished by comparison with a database.
  46. 84. The method of claim 61 wherein, the table game is a poker game.
  47. 85. The method of claim 60 wherein, said table game is a poker game.
  48. 86. The method of claim 60 wherein, the table game is broadcast by television or via the Internet.
  49. 87. The system of claim 56 wherein, said RFID readers are synchronized with each other.
  50. 88. The system of claim 54 wherein, the apparatus for identifying the position of a button on the tabletop is in a reading area assigned to each player individually.
  51. 89. The system of claim 53 wherein, the player area is mobile by a trolley on wheels.
  52. 90. The system of claim 46 wherein, the at least one bet area or pot is located in a central area of the tabletop.
  53. 91. The system of claim 42, wherein said at least one antenna is positioned under a gaming mat that covers a tabletop.
  54. 92. A combination of a table and chips for a table game, comprising:
    chips each equipped with a radio-frequency identification microcircuit, data in said radio-frequency identification microcircuit indicating the value of the chip;
    a gaming tabletop having at least one reading area for reading data written in said radio-frequency identification microcircuits, each reading area comprising antenna apparatus that reads data from each chip in said reading area, and said system further comprising computing apparatus that computes a total amount corresponding to a sum of chip values, there being at least one reading area on said tabletop.
US11791371 2007-04-27 2007-04-27 System, Apparatus, and Method For Calculating Bets In Casino Table Games, In Particular For Poker Games Abandoned US20090054130A1 (en)

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US (1) US20090054130A1 (en)
EP (1) EP2142266A1 (en)
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CA2603750A1 (en) 2008-10-27 application
WO2008132291A1 (en) 2008-11-06 application

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