US20120264496A1 - SkillBet™ Method, System, and Computer Program Product for Online Gaming - Google Patents

SkillBet™ Method, System, and Computer Program Product for Online Gaming Download PDF

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US20120264496A1
US20120264496A1 US13420811 US201213420811A US2012264496A1 US 20120264496 A1 US20120264496 A1 US 20120264496A1 US 13420811 US13420811 US 13420811 US 201213420811 A US201213420811 A US 201213420811A US 2012264496 A1 US2012264496 A1 US 2012264496A1
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user
game
computer
amount
users
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Paul Behrman
Christophe Prevost
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Paul Behrman
Christophe Prevost
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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
    • 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
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/08Raffle games that can be played by a fairly large number of people
    • A63F3/081Raffle games that can be played by a fairly large number of people electric
    • 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
    • A63F3/08Raffle games that can be played by a fairly large number of people
    • A63F3/081Raffle games that can be played by a fairly large number of people electric
    • A63F2003/082Raffle games that can be played by a fairly large number of people electric with remote participants
    • A63F2003/088Raffle games that can be played by a fairly large number of people electric with remote participants played via Internet

Abstract

A computer implemented method, system, and software for an online gaming system to permit users to measure and improve their skill at playing games that include both chance and skill by competing against computer system players (directly or indirectly), and then comparing their performance against another user who has played an identical game. Games may comprise: cards (i.e., poker and blackjack), roulette, craps, backgammon, and chess. In SkillBet™, users play against computer players in identical games, and then compare their game results against the other users. Because users are presented the same game options as the other users, the winner is determined by the user's superior skill In Total Skill, users play a game against each other, while duplicate computer players play an identical game. The winner is the user who outperformed his/her duplicate computer player.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • The present application claims priority benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119 (e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/476,609 filed Apr. 18, 2011 by Paul J. Behrman, entitled “Full Skill Poker™”; and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/491,214 filed May 29, 2011 by Paul J. Behrman, entitled “Total Skill Poker”; and U.S. The present application incorporates the foregoing disclosures herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • 1. Technical Field
  • The present invention relates to computer implemented methods of playing games of chance against a computer, and for comparing two or more players' performance and thus their skill based upon the outcome of identical computer games.
  • 2. Discussion of the Related Art
  • Games include both elements of chance and elements of skill In some cases, games such as chess have a very high degree of skill and a very low degree of chance. In other cases, games such as roulette have a very high degree of chance and a very low degree of skill
  • The chance element of a game is usually influenced by some randomizing device on which contestants may (or may not) wager money or something of monetary value. Common means of adding chance to games include rolling dice, spinning tops, dealing different cards to each player, spinning roulette wheels or drawing numbered balls from a container.
  • Games of chance may also have elements of skill This is especially true where the player or players have decisions to make based upon previous or incomplete knowledge, such as poker, blackjack, or backgammon. In other games like roulette and baccarat the player may only choose the amount of bet and the thing he/she wants to bet on, the rest is up to chance, therefore these games are still considered games of chance with relatively low amounts of skills required. The distinction between ‘chance’ and ‘skill’ is relevant in jurisdictions where wagering on chance games is illegal or at least regulated, and skill games are not.
  • Therefore, there is a need within the gaming industry, for an online system to permit users to measure and improve their skill at playing a game of partial chance and partial skill by competing against a computer system (directly or indirectly), and comparing their performance against another who has played the same game (e.g., hand) in the same situation.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY
  • A computer implemented method, system, and computer program product to allow people to legally wager on games of chance in card rooms or using the Internet, social networks, smart phones, tablets and other computer devices by maximizing the skill involved in the game and minimizing the role of chance. Two or more system users (i.e., human players) can compete against each other (and wager against each other) by playing games against a computer program, or duplicate computer programs.
  • The present invention comprises two main types of computer simulated games: SkillBet™ (i.e., SkillBet™ Live and SkillBet™ Challenge) and Total Skill Unlike other peer-to-peer games of chance, SkillBet™ comprises skills tests whereby the performances of two users faced with identical situations are compared, and the more successful user wins the game. Similarly, in Total Skill two users play against each other, while a duplicate game is played by a computer, and whichever user outperforms their computer counterpart is the winner.
  • SkillBet ™ Total Skill
    Direct Opponent Computer Human
    Duplicate Opponent Human Computer
  • In SkillBet™, two or more users play directly against identical computer programs, wherein the system users are dealt the exact same cards (or game options—i.e. dice, backgammon, chess, etc.) as each other, and the computer players are dealt the exact same cards as the other computer program, and the same community cards are shown to the users. In both SkillBet™ Challenge and Live games, players complete the exact same designated number of minimum hands (e.g., 30 hands) wherein they are dealt the same cards per each hand, and against the exact same computer players (who are also dealt the same cards per each hand and who make the same decision—i.e., fold, call, raise, etc.). If, for example, User A wins 10 chips from a computer program and User B wins 14 chips from the same duplicate computer program, then User B has outplayed User A to the tune of 4 chips, and therefore User A owes User B 4 chips.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention called SkillBet™ Live, 2 or more system users can play against each other in real-time by logging into the system online, and selecting the same game. After the users (i.e., A and B) complete one hand of the game, their score against their respective computer player(s) is compared to each other. Whichever user (A or B) wins the most (or losses the least) against their respective computer player(s) is awarded the difference in their score versus the other human player.
  • In another similar embodiment called SkillBet™ Challenge, the users (i.e., A and B) do not need to log into the computer system and play at the same time. The users can play at staggered start times, wherein they are on the system concurrently but not playing the same hand; and/or one user must complete the game before the other can start. For example, after User A completes the 30 hands and the score is saved, then User B has a limited time to log into the system and complete the same 30 hands. In a preferred embodiment, the time limit is 36 hours, but other time limits are within the scope of the invention (i.e., one hour to one week). After User B′s final score is determined, the system compares it to User A′s final score. The user with the highest score is then awarded the entire token amount—i.e., “Winner Takes All”.
  • As such, the present invention comprises a computer implemented method, software, and system for SkillBet™ Live and SkillBet™ Challenge enabling users to play a card game minimizing the effect of chance, comprising: a processor; a memory; a computerized graphical interface displaying two or more identical, mirrored card games comprising one user and at least one computer player per game; and, software stored on a computer-readable medium which, when loaded and run by the processor, causes the processor to perform steps of: creating the graphical interface display; dealing identical cards from simulated decks to all the mirrored players in the games, wherein the user in the first game receives identical cards as the user in the second game; and the computer player(s) in the first game receives identical cards as the computer player(s) in the second game; determining the score of each user after each hand as compared to the computer player(s) at their table; comparing the points scored by each user to the other user(s) at said identical table(s); and, awarding the difference in points to the user with the higher score. The games occur concurrently (i.e., SkillBet™ Live) or the first user completes a game and challenges another user (i.e., SkillBet™ Challenge).
  • In Total Skill, two or more users play directly against each other and each of their performances is compared to each of their respective duplicate computer programs. To illustrate, assume user A is dealt two Kings and user B is dealt two Aces; user B wins 40 chips from user A (who was conventionally unlucky to be dealt a slightly worse hand that user B). Separately, two identical computer programs replay the same hands, in the same position, with the same starting chip counts. If the computer program with the two Aces wins 50 chips from the identical computer program with two Kings, then the winner in this case is the user who was dealt the two Kings, user A. In this hand, user A won 10 chips more than his duplicate computer program and user B won 10 chips less than his duplicate computer program. Therefore, user B owes user A 10 chips.
  • The present invention comprises a computer implemented method, software, and system for Total Skill enabling players to play a card game minimizing the effect of chance, comprising: a processor; a memory; a computerized gaming table interface comprising a display of two identical card tables, wherein a first table comprises at least two users competing, and a second table comprises at least two computer players competing; and, software stored on a computer-readable medium which, when loaded and run by the processor, causes the processor to perform steps of: (a) dealing cards from a simulated deck to users at said first table, and dealing identical cards to computer players at said second table; and (b) determining the winner of said users and the winning amount(1), and the winner of said computer players and the winning amount(2); wherein if amount(1) is greater than or equal to amount(2), then awarding the winning user the difference between amount(1) and amount(2); and, wherein if amount(1) is less than amount(2), then awarding the losing user the difference between amount(1) and amount(2).
  • The present invention covers not only games of cards (e.g., poker, blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, 3 Card Poker, etc.), but additional games, such as roulette, craps, chess, and backgammon. SkillBet™ games comprise a computer-implemented method, system, and computer program product for playing a game demonstrating the skill level of the users playing against duplicate computer players, the comprising: creating a computerized graphical interface displaying two or more identical, mirrored games comprising one user and at least one computer player per game; presenting identical game options to all mirrored players, wherein each user in the first game receives identical options as the user in the second game; and the computer player(s) in the first game receives identical options as the computer player(s) in the second game; determining the score of each user after each game as compared to their respective computer player(s); comparing the points scored by each user to the other user(s) in said identical games(s); and, awarding the difference in points to the user with the higher score.
  • Likewise, Total Skill games comprise a computer-implemented method, system, and computer program product for playing a game demonstrating the skill level of the users against computer players playing a duplicate game, comprising: creating two computerized gaming images, wherein the first image displays users playing a game and the second image displays computer players playing a duplicate game; presenting each user and their duplicate computer player with the same game options; determining the winner of said users and the winning amount(1), and the winner of said computer players and the winning amount(2); if amount(1) is greater than or equal to amount(2), then awarding the winning user the difference between amount(1) and amount(2); and, if amount(1) is less than amount(2), then awarding the losing user the difference between amount(1) and amount(2).
  • Another aspect of the present invention is the use of specific steps/methods to remove the effect of a user's “luck” so as to make the game an evaluation of a user's skill Factors for removing the luck or chance from a game comprise: a) Players and their opponents (human or computer) receive the same cards; b) use of artificial intelligence to create identical situations; c) use of the same community cards; d) same cards are drawn; e) same deck is used for both opponents (users); and f) calculating a user's expected value (i.e., the average value of their holding based on all the possible cards that can still be dealt in the hand).
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present invention will now be described in the following detailed description of exemplary embodiments of the invention and with reference to the attached drawings, in which dimensions of components and features shown are chosen for convenience and clarity of presentation and are not necessarily shown to scale. Generally, only structures, elements or parts that are germane to the discussion are shown in the figure.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates the system architecture of networked gaming devices.
  • FIG. 2 is a flowchart of steps in users selecting and playing an online game.
  • FIG. 3 is a flowchart of steps in two players engaging in a game of SkillBet™Live
  • Poker.
  • FIG. 4 is a flowchart of steps in two players engaging in a game of SkillBet™Challenge Poker.
  • FIG. 5 is a flowchart of steps in two players engaging in a game of Total Skill Poker.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Provided herein is a detailed description of this invention. It is to be understood, however, that this invention may be embodied in various forms, and that the suggested (or proposed) embodiments are only possible implementations (or examples for a feasible embodiments, or materializations) of this invention. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis and/or principle for the claims, and/or as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ this invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.
  • Glossary of Terms
  • As used herein, the term “electronic communications device” refers to any local computing device such as a smartphone, hand-held “palm top” computer, laptop computer, desktop computer, terminal, PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), PIM (Personal Information Manager), network computer, wireless communicator (such as a cellular or satellite telephone), or a multi-user computing system, etc. which is capable of communicating with a remote or server computer via the remote network. The device may contain an output device such as a CRT or LCD screen or plasma display, a manual data entry device such as a keyboard, keypad, touch screen, voice recognition system, pen stylus, or other such manual input devices as are commonly known in the art. The user's electronic communications device further comprises a graphical interface that may display an image of the game in play.
  • As used herein the term “server” computer is used to describe any computing device that stores and runs a computer program of the present invention, houses the system database, and communicates periodically with the users' computing devices program. The server system facilitates the collection and distribution of content to and from a multiplicity of users' electronic communication devices. The system server computer consists of one or multiple high speed CPU's (Central Processing Unit(s), primary memory (i.e., RAM) and secondary storage device(s) (i.e., hard disk drives). The application programs, operating system and the database management programs may all run on the same computing device as in a traditional “main frame” type of configuration or several, individual yet interconnected computing devices as in a traditional “multi-tier user-server” configuration as is well known in the art. The server system is coupled to the remote network (such as the Internet). The server system executes a (or multiple depending on the server system configuration) server program(s). The server system and the user program have communications facilities to allow user electronic communications devices to connect to and communicate with the server program(s) such that the server program(s) can communicate with and exchange information with a multiplicity of user's devices.
  • As used herein, the term “software” comprises program instruction adapted for execution by a hardware element, such as a processor, wherein the instruction comprise commands that when executed cause the processor to perform a corresponding set of commands. The software may be written or coded using a programming language, and stored using any type of computer-readable media or machine-readable media well known in the art. Examples of software in the present invention comprise any software components, programs, applications, computer programs, application programs, system programs, machine programs, and operating system software.
  • As used herein, the term “module” refers to a portion of a computer program that carries out a specific function and may be used alone or combined with other modules of the same program.
  • System Architecture
  • As illustrated in FIG. 1, the present invention comprises one or more electronic communications device in communication via a network with a server system housing computer software for online gaming and a database of user records. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the software computer program runs on the system server and is accessed through the user's web browser.
  • The electronic communications device may also be mobile device (i.e., smartphone) running an application comprising the online gaming modules of the present invention. The application program provides full functionality of the present invention to run computer programming modules on the user's device or on the system server. Alternatively, the application may be accessed at a third party website (e.g., Facebook).
  • The application and the system software computer program comprise a computer readable medium containing computer executable instructions to carry out the methods of participating in a variety of online gaming systems in accordance with the present invention, such as SkillBet™ poker, SkillBet™ blackjack, SkillBet™ craps, SkillBet™ roulette, SkillBet™ backgammon, SkillBet™ Ultimate Texas Hold'em, and SkillBet™ 3 card poker, etc.
  • Numerous different types of computer programs could be utilized to facilitate this invention: Rule Based (e.g., computer instructions such as “if this, then do that”); Simulation Based; etc. The program can enable the user to play against: (a) random opponents (and neither player knows how they play but can learn during the specific session how the opponents play); (b) specific computer programs that players may have played against many times in the past; or (c) combination of (a) and (b).
  • The mobile application of the present invention may further comprise a native application, a web application, or a widget type application to carry out the online gaming methods. A native application is installed on the device, wherein it is either pre-installed on the device or it is downloaded from the Internet. It may be written in Java language to run on a variety of different types of devices; or it may be written in computer programming language for a specific type of device. Contrarily, a web application resides on the system server and is accessed via the Internet. It performs basically all the same task as a native application, usually by downloading part of the application to the device for local processing each time it is used. The web application software is written as Web pages in HTML and CSS, with the interactive parts in Java. Or the application can comprise a widget as a packaged/downloadable/installable web application; making it more like a traditional application than a web application; but like a web application uses HTML/CSS/JavaScript and access to the Internet.
  • The mobile application may further comprise online gaming modules that interface with a wireless network to allow users of mobile devices to create their System accounts, access a remote server, play against others also accessing such server, etc.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the user participates live in a card room and the computer program/opponent is made available to him/her. In this instance the card room is taking the place of the Internet for bringing people together to a common game.
  • By way of exemplification, the system of the present invention as illustrated in FIG. 1 comprises the following components. A Network (Internet) 110 wherein the term “network” is used to describe any public network such as the Internet or World Wide Web or any public or private network as may be developed in the future which provides a similar service as the present Internet. The User's computing device may connect to the network via a variety of methods such as a network card, wireless (cellular, satellite, microwave, infrared, radio, etc.) network, Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN), or any such means as necessary to communicate to a server computer connected directly or indirectly to the network (i.e., the Internet).
  • A System server 120 comprising: a means for connecting to the computer network (i.e., network card), a random access memory (RAM) for program execution, a hard disc for program storage, central processing unit (CPU), and a system database 130 of Users' records 140 comprising their game account information. The system also comprises web server software, and gaming management software of the present invention. A User computing device comprises an electronic communications device with web browser capabilities: a personal computer 150 (i.e., a desktop, laptop, netbook, etc.), or a mobile phone device 160 (i.e., smartphone). The User client computing device is configured to communicate with the system server via the network 110 (i.e. Internet) to enable users to play games online, including playing in chat rooms in real-time with other online players/users.
  • Computer Implemented Method
  • The process of the present invention is illustrated in the flowchart 200 of FIG. 2. In step 210, the user determines on what terms he/she wishes to play such as: Join club/league; Deposit money; Play for free; Receive credit (e.g., by presenting coupon, agreeing to certain terms, referring customers, winning credit). In step 220, the user selects the type of game to play, for example:
  • a. Blackjack, craps, roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, 3 card poker, jacks or better, backgammon, checkers, chess, etc.
    b. Poker: Texas hold'em; stud; etc.
    c. No Limit or Limit
    d. Cash games or Tournaments
    e. One opponent or multiple opponents
    f. Use of heads up display or not
    g. Hand histories allowed or not
    h. Stakes (e.g., antes, blinds, buy-ins)
    i. Private table or public table
    j. High speed or low speed
    k. Skip bad hands or not
    l. Number of required hands. To further reduce risk, one could require that a minimum number of hands be played.
    m. Type of opponent
      • i. Choose opponent. In this option, a player can view other players and their ratings, statistics, etc. and pick an opponent with whom he/she would like to play. If such an opponent is chosen, then that opponent can decide if he/she would like to play against this particular challenger.
      • ii. Be matched with similar opponent. In this option the user simply specifies which type of game he/she wishes to play and the program determines the opponent who most closely matches skill level (e.g., same rating perhaps rounded to the nearest 20 points). As the number of user's increases, ratings can be rounded to the nearest 10 points or 5 points.
        • 1. Importantly, the added skill in these two types of poker allows the calculation of a rating system or handicap. It could be calculated any number of ways; however, the inclusion of the rating system commonly used in chess or backgammon could be employed here or usage of an average handicap as commonly used in golf.
      • iii. Be matched with a random opponent. Here one may end up playing against an opponent much better or much worse than him/her.
  • In step 230, the user plays the game (i.e., is dealt a hand) against computer player(s). At a minimum, there is at least one computer player, but the user may play against more than one, such as two, three, or four computer players. In step 240, the user makes the best decisions he/she can (i.e., plays the hand of poker). In step 250, the user sees how much (dollars, points, etc.) he/she won in the hand (or session or grouping of hands). Note: by grouping a greater number of hands, additional luck can be removed from the game.
  • In step 260, the user sees how much his/her opponent—another human system user—won in the hand (or session) and therefore learns if he/she beat his/her opponent (for this hand or session) and by how much. The user views his steps of play one-by-one, and how his opponent played it differently.
  • In step 270, the user's account (cash balance or chip balance in the case of play money or tournaments) is adjusted accordingly. It can be adjusted on a dollar for dollar basis, a fraction thereof, or based on tournament equity. The user optionally can chat with the opponent about the hand or anything else.
  • Factors Removing Luck from the Game
  • The present invention further comprises methods or factors to remove a user's luck, or the randomness of the game, and thus emphasize the user's skill in winning. Factors comprise the following, as applied to poker as an exemplification.
  • In Factor 1, the system users (i.e., human players) and their opponents (human or computer) receive the same cards. In conventional poker the number of times players receive good hands is a material factor in the player's success in a session. Moreover, the number of times a player is dealt a very strong hand while his opponent has a slightly better or slightly worse hand (e.g., one player has a flush and another has a worse flush or one player has three of a kind and another has a higher three of a kind) can cause enormous swings based on chance. All of this type of chance is removed from SkillBet™ Poker.
  • In Factor 2, the skill of users against whom one plays is a significant variable in a standard poker game. This variable can be eliminated through the use of artificial intelligence (in SkillBet™Poker) which can be employed in different ways: (a) the same computer program can be made to play the same way against the same opponents. For example, it could play differently (yet be the exact same program) by mixing up its play (by use of random numbers) and by adjusting to the differing playing styles of its opponent; and, (b) the same actions: the program could be instructed to play precisely the same in certain situations (e.g., preflop actions that occur prior to the user's turn) or not.
  • In Factor 3, the same community cards are dealt to the users. Often in conventional poker one wins a lot or loses a lot based on the luck of the draw (e.g., if a spade comes or not). This type of luck is removed from the game of SkillBet™Poker.
  • In Factor 4, the same cards are drawn (in the case of draw poker).
  • In Factor 5, the identical randomly arranged decks are used for both opponents.
  • In Factor 6, equity based on expected value can be used to further reduce the role of chance. For example, if in the case of poker all players left in the hand are “all in” (e.g., the players in the hand have no money left in their stacks). In such a situation there are no additional decisions to be made during the hand. In this case, it is very easy to calculate (with the knowledge of all players' cards) each player's “expected value” (i.e., the average value of their holding based on all the possible cards that can still be dealt in the hand). This value can be utilized in determining how much money one's opponent won (i.e., based on expected value not based on what community card is dealt).
  • SkillBet™ Live and SkillBet™ Challenge
  • In a particular embodiment of the present invention called SkillBet™ Live, 2 or more system users can play against each other in real-time by logging into the system online, and selecting the same game (See FIG. 3, step 310). As shown in step 320, the game (e.g., poker) will start when both users are in the “chat room”, and the “Buy-in” amounts are deducted from the users' accounts by the system. Each user (i.e., User A and User B) proceeds to play the selected game against one or more computer players (i.e., two, three, four computer players, etc.). Each user (e.g., User A) can view the progress of his/her opponent (e.g., User B) during the game.
  • After the users (i.e., User A and User B) complete one hand of the game, their scores against their respective computer player(s) are compared (330). Whichever user (A or B) wins the most (or loses the least) against their respective computer player(s) is awarded the difference in his/her score versus the other user (340). For example, if User A wins 20 token on the hand, and User B win 15 tokens (with the same hand facing the same computer players), then User B owes User A 5 tokens, and the system credits User A's account 5 tokens, and deducts User B's account the same amount before the next hand of the game commences.
  • The users will continue to play through another 29 hands of the game, wherein the winner of each hand is determined and the users' accounts deducted/credited with the tokens after each hand (350). During the 30 hands, the players cannot win more or lose less than the required game Buy-In. After the 30th hand of the game, the players can continue to play hand-by-hand (360). When the users decide to quit the game, the system will calculate the score of the last hand and appropriately credit the winner's account (370).
  • SkillBet™ Challenge, as illustrated in FIG. 4, is similar to SkillBet™ Live, with the exception that the users (i.e., A and B) do not need to play at the same time. In both SkillBet™ Challenge and Live games, users/players complete the exact same 30 hands (they are dealt the same cards per each hand) and against the exact same computer players (who are also dealt the same cards per each hand and who make the same decision when faced with the same situation—i.e., fold, call, raise, etc.). After User A completes the 30 hands and the score is saved (410, 420), User B has a limited time to log into the system and complete the same 30 hands (430, 440). In a preferred embodiment, the time limit is 36 hours, but other time limits are within the scope of the invention (i.e., one hour to one week). After User B's final score is determined, the system compares it to User A's final score. The user with the highest score is then awarded all of the tokens (450)—i.e., “Winner Takes All”; and User B exits the game (460).
  • Total Skill Poker
  • In SkillBet™ Games, system users play directly against identical computer programs. The users can see how higher rated players played the exact same hand in the exact same situation against the exact same opponent.
  • In Total Skill Poker, system users play directly against each other and each of their performances is compared to each of their respective duplicate computer programs. Note: Poker is used as an example; this invention also includes the play of any game (e.g., blackjack, backgammon, craps, chess and roulette) in this capacity.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 5, User A competes directly against User B; and concurrently Computer Player C competes directly against Computer Player D (510). User A and Computer Player C are dealt the same cards, and User B and Computer Player D are dealt the same cards (520). User A wins the game, and the amount(1) that he/she won from User B is determined; while Computer Player C wins the game, and the amount(2) that it won from Computer Player D is determined (530). The skill level of User A as compared to User B is determined by comparing the amount User A won versus the amount Computer Player C won (540). If the amount User A won (i.e., Amount(1)) is more than or equal to the amount that Computer Player C won (i.e., Amount(2)), then User A wins against User B because User A demonstrated the same level or more skill than the computer players (550). User A is then awarded the difference between Amount (1) and Amount (2) (560).
  • But, if Amount(1) is less than Amount(2), then User B wins against User A because User B demonstrated more skill than User A as evidenced by the Computer Player C having won more than User A (570). User B is then awarded the difference between Amount (1) and Amount (2) (580).
  • EXEMPLIFICATIONS Example 1 SkillBet™ Poker
  • Two opponents are dealt the same hands, in the same situation, facing the same opponent (program), seeing the same community cards (in the case of No Limit Texas Hold'em for example). The determination of the winner is based upon the degree to which one player outplays the computer program. For example, if User A wins $30 from the computer program and User B wins $40 in the precise same situation, then User A owes User B $10.
  • One way that one can utilize SkillBet Poker is to have a professional (poker players for example) play numerous hands and provide written or spoken commentary regarding how to play the hand. Then future players can “play against the pro!” Players can then play the same hand of poker against the same opponent in the same situation as the professional. After one plays the hand, he/she can see if he/she played it better or worse than the professional and then hear or read why the professional played the hand the way he/she did. This use of SkillBet Poker is a training tool that will enable users to learn from highly skilled professionals.
  • Example 2 Total Skill Poker
  • Two human opponents are dealt a pair of Aces and a pair of Kings respectively. They play the hand out and the player with the Aces wins only $50. At this stage they do not know who won. They must compare how they did to the two duplicate computer players who were dealt the same cards in the same situation. In this example, the computer player with the Aces won $80 playing against the computer player dealt the Kings; therefore, the human with the Kings outplayed his human opponent with the Aces by $30! The fact that he was ‘unlucky’ and was dealt a slightly worse hand than Aces does not determine the winner. His skill level in only losing $50, when the computer player in the same situation lost $80 makes him the winner.
  • Example 3 SkillBet™ Blackjack
  • In blackjack, the player is dealt an initial two card hand with the option of drawing cards to bring the total value to 21 or less without exceeding it, so that the dealer will lose by having a lesser hand than the player or by exceeding 21. In SkillBet™ Blackjack, two players are dealt the same hand and play against a live or virtual dealer. The user who wins the largest amount against their computer player defeats the other user(s), wherein the user(s) and their respective computer player(s) are dealt the same cards. Additionally, one could increase the skill (versus luck) of this game by dealing the entire deck out and showing the players which cards are removed from the deck thereby enhancing the ability to count cards (and therefore enhance the skill level of the game).
  • Example 4 Skill Ultimate Texas Hold' em
  • This would be very similar to SkillBet™ Blackjack, but would use the casino table game called “Ultimate Texas Hold'em”. Like Skill Jack both participants would receive the same cards, would face the same automated dealer also holding the same cards (with the same remaining cards in the deck in the same order) at the two respective tables. The only variables that differ for both players are their actions.
  • Example 5 Skill 3 Card Poker
  • This would be very similar to Skill Jack (or SkillBet™ ), but would use the casino table game called “3 Card Poker”. Like Skill Jack both participants would receive the same cards, would face the same automated dealer also holding the same cards (with the same remaining cards in the deck in the same order) at the two respective tables. The only variables that differ for both players are their actions.
  • Example 6 Skill Craps
  • The common gambling game of craps could be made into a game of skill using this invention or as part of this invention. Two players could compete against each other by choosing bets to make. The luck of the roll would not determine the winner because if they both lose the same amount, then they tie when comparing their respective skill levels. The more skillful player would enhance his chances by making the smarter bets.
  • Enhancing the skill of this game (similar to counting cards in blackjack above), one could create a unique virtual dice that can only roll each of the 36 possible die combinations once. Therefore, by remembering which numbers have been rolled (aided by showing which combinations have rolled on the screen) certain bets would be dramatically more profitable than others.
  • For example, in Table 1, all six of the possible combinations that could roll 7 have already been rolled; therefore some bets (i.e., “Don't Pass” bet) can no longer be rolled and some bets are much more likely to win than otherwise.
  • TABLE 1
    1st Dice
    1 2 3 4 5 6
    2nd Dice 1 rolled rolled rolled
    2 rolled rolled rolled rolled
    3 rolled rolled rolled rolled rolled
    4 rolled
    5 rolled rolled rolled rolled
    6 rolled rolled
  • Example 7 SkillBet™ Roulette
  • Similar to craps above, one could have roulette work on this basis as well. Each time the ball falls into a number, the ball stays on that number and it can't be rolled again, which impacts the odds of numerous other bets. For example, if the first three spins resulted in three black numbers, then for the fourth spin those three black numbers could no longer be rolled. This would make wagering on red numbers in general more profitable (as well as other wagers on the roulette table).
  • Example 8 SkillBet™ and Total Skill Backgammon
  • Two players could play against the exact same computer program; thereby competing against each other with the same rolls of the dice—again removing much chance from this game. This, like all of the games mentioned previously, could be done as both SkillBet™ (where one's immediate opponent is the computer and the duplicate opponent is human) or Total Skill (where one's immediate opponent is human and the duplicate opponent is the computer).
  • While the present invention has been described with reference to a few specific embodiments, the description is illustrative of the invention and is not to be construed as limiting the invention. Various modifications may occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. For example, additional elements of skill can be added to each of these games such as: answering trivia questions, solving puzzles, and participating in dexterity contests (e.g., moving the cursor/mouse and selecting the desired bet—faster and more accurately than your opponent). And in the case of card games, the cards dealt can be recorded and shown to users to facilitate the skill based decisions associated with “counting cards” (i.e., recording or remembering which cards have been dealt and inferring which cards have not been dealt and are more likely to be dealt in the future).

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A computer system enabling users to play a card game minimizing the effect of chance, comprising:
    a processor;
    a computer memory;
    a computerized graphical interface displaying two or more identical, mirrored card games comprising one user and at least one computer player per game; and,
    software stored on a computer-readable medium which, when loaded and run by the processor, causes the processor to perform steps of:
    creating said graphical interface display;
    dealing identical cards from simulated decks to all the mirror players in said games, wherein the user in the first game receives cards identical to those received by the user in the second game; and the computer player(s) in the first game receives cards identical to those received by the computer player(s) in the second game;
    determining the score of each user after each hand as compared to the computer player(s) at their table;
    comparing the points scored by each user to the other user(s) at said identical table(s); and,
    awarding the difference in points to the user with the higher score.
  2. 2. The system of claim 1, wherein said card game comprises poker, draw poker, Limit Texas Hold'em, No Limit Texas Hold'em, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Stud Poker, and community card poker.
  3. 3. The system of claim 1, wherein said dealing of identical cards to each user occurs concurrently.
  4. 4. The system of claim 3, wherein said users complete a minimum of 30 hands of poker, and hand-to-hand thereafter.
  5. 5. The system of claim 3, wherein said game is poker and said gaming interface further comprises disclosing user's playing options in real-time comprising call, raise, fold, and the appropriate amount for said option.
  6. 6. The system of claim 4, wherein the maximum award for each hand is the buy-in amount.
  7. 7. The system of claim 1, wherein said dealing of identical cards to each user occurs non-concurrently, and within a designated time period after one user invites another user to play.
  8. 8. The system of claim 7, wherein said award comprises the sum of the buy-in amount of the losing user(s) minus the rake charged by the house.
  9. 9. A computer-implemented method for playing a card game, the method comprising,
    creating a computerized graphical interface displaying two or more identical, mirrored card games comprising one user and at least one computer player per game;
    dealing identical cards from simulated decks to all the mirrored users/players in said games, wherein the user in the first game receives cards identical to those received by the user in the second game; and the computer player(s) in the first game receives cards identical to those received by the computer player(s) in the second game;
    determining the score of each user after each hand as compared to his/her computer player(s) at their table;
    comparing the points scored by each user to the other user(s) at said identical table(s); and,
    awarding the difference in points to the user with the larger score.
  10. 10. The method of claim 8, wherein all users play against the computer player(s) at the same time.
  11. 11. The method of claim 9, wherein one user plays against the computer player(s) and issues an invitation to another user to play against identical computer player(s).
  12. 12. The method of claim 9, wherein said card game comprises poker, draw poker, Limit Texas Hold'em, No Limit Texas Hold'em, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Stud Poker, and community card poker.
  13. 13. A computer system enabling players to play a card game minimizing the effect of chance, comprising:
    a processor;
    a computer memory;
    a computerized gaming table interface comprising a display of two identical card tables, wherein a first table comprises at least two users competing, and a second table comprises at least two computer players competing; and,
    software stored on a computer-readable medium which, when loaded and run by the processor, causes the processor to perform steps of:
    dealing cards from a simulated deck to users at said first table, and dealing identical cards to computer players at said second table;
    determining the winner of said users and the winning amount(1), and the winner of said computer players and the winning amount(2);
    if amount(1) is greater than or equal to amount(2), then awarding the winning user the difference between amount(1) and amount(2); and,
    if amount(1) is less than amount(2), then awarding the losing user the difference between amount(1) and amount(2).
  14. 14. The system of claim 13, wherein said card game comprises poker, draw poker, Limit Texas Hold'em, No Limit Texas Hold'em, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Stud Poker, and community card poker.
  15. 15. A computer-implemented method for playing a card game, the method comprising:
    serving an electronic card game interface to a plurality of users comprising a display of two or more identical card tables, wherein one table comprises said users, and one table comprises a plurality of computer players representing said users;
    dealing cards from a simulated deck to said users at a first table;
    dealing identical representation of said cards to the computer players at a second table;
    determining the winner amongst said users and the winning amount(1), and the winner amongst said computer players and the winning amount(2);
    if amount(1) is greater than or equal to amount(2), then awarding the winning user the difference between amount(1) and amount(2); and,
    if amount(1) is less than amount(2), then awarding the losing user the difference between amount(1) and amount(2).
  16. 16. The method of claim 15, wherein said card game comprises poker, draw poker, Limit Texas Hold'em, No Limit Texas Hold'em, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Stud Poker, and community card poker.
  17. 17. A computer-implemented method for playing a game demonstrating the skill level of the users playing against duplicate computer players, the method comprising,
    creating a computerized graphical interface displaying two or more identical, mirrored games comprising one or more users and at least one computer player per game;
    presenting identical game options to all mirrored players, wherein each user in the first game receives identical options as the user in the second game; and the computer player(s) in the first game receives identical options as the computer player(s) in the second game;
    determining the score of each user after each game as compared to his/her computer player(s);
    comparing the points scored by each user to the other user(s) in said identical games(s); and,
    awarding the difference in points to the user with the larger score.
  18. 18. The method of claim 17, wherein said game comprises cards, craps, roulette, backgammon, and chess.
  19. 19. A computer-implemented method for playing a game demonstrating the skill level of the users against computer players playing a duplicate game, the method comprising,
    creating two computerized gaming images, wherein the first image displays users playing a game and the second image displays computer players playing a duplicate game;
    presenting each user and their duplicate computer player with the same game options;
    determining the winner of said users and the winning amount(1), and the winner of said computer players and the winning amount(2);
    if amount(1) is greater than or equal to amount(2), then awarding the winning user the difference between amount(1) and amount(2); and,
    if amount(1) is less than amount(2), then awarding the losing user the difference between amount(1) and amount(2).
  20. 20. The method of claim 19, wherein said game comprises cards, craps, roulette, backgammon, and chess.
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