WO2002018023A1 - Casino game and device therefor - Google Patents

Casino game and device therefor Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2002018023A1
WO2002018023A1 PCT/GB2001/003944 GB0103944W WO0218023A1 WO 2002018023 A1 WO2002018023 A1 WO 2002018023A1 GB 0103944 W GB0103944 W GB 0103944W WO 0218023 A1 WO0218023 A1 WO 0218023A1
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WO
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
player
pot
hand
cards
game
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Application number
PCT/GB2001/003944
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French (fr)
Inventor
Keller David G. De
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Aquarius Productions Limited
John Huxley Limited
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00003Types of board games
    • A63F3/00157Casino or betting games
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/326Game play aspects of gaming systems
    • G07F17/3262Player actions which determine the course of the game, e.g. selecting a prize to be won, outcome to be achieved, game to be played
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00003Types of board games
    • A63F3/00157Casino or betting games
    • A63F2003/00167Casino or betting games with a jackpot

Abstract

A device for playing certain house and player banked casino games and games therefore are set forth including bet detectors (58) and a processor (102, 104) which perform certain calculations based upon the detected wagers to allocate funds to the house or jackpots (106, 108). For house banked games such as Blackjack, a new pot wager is added and detected. Further, for certain games, outcomes are selected where the house wins the aggregated pot wagers to dispense with the need for a commission. For player banked games such as Poker, a portion of the pot is allocated to fund a jackpot feature. Also set forth is a new Poker game suitable for implementation of the device.

Description

CASINO GAME AND DEVICE THEREFOR

Field of the Invention The present invention relates to methods for playing a casino game in the nature of Poker, Blackjack, Baccarat or other traditional card game using one or more decks of conventional playing cards.

Background of the Invention

Poker. Poker is a popular card game throughout the world. There are numerous forms of Poker and the main divisions are: Draw Poker, in which all of a player's cards are unknown to his opponents and Stud Poker, in which some of the player's cards are face up and others face down. Within the above two broad categories numerous variations exist with "Holdem" or "Texas Holdem" being a popular example. In "Holdem" each player makes an ante wager and is dealt two cards face down. After a betting interval three communal cards are dealt face up. A second betting interval follows and the dealer then reveals a fourth communal card. Another betting round follows after which the dealer reveals the final, fifth, communal card and a final betting round occurs and the player with the highest Poker ranked hand assembled from their own 2 cards and the five communal cards wins the pot.

Poker takes one of three forms: live or cardroom Poker where players compete against one another but the games are controlled and supervised by a house dealer who removes a house levy either in the form of a participation fee or as a percentage of winning hands; electronic video machines offering various forms of Poker; and Poker played as a "bankers game" either where the game involves players in contest with the dealer's hand or where the object is for the players to obtain a hand based on hierarchical Poker rankings. In both versions of Banker games the house enjoys a favorable advantage based on a paytable that is structured in such a way that the pay-offs are not based on the true mathematical odds, or rules of play so structured that the house has a favorable edge. The growth in casinos has prompted the introduction of new games and variations to established games. Numerous patents have been granted in this particular field. For example, in U.S. Patents 4,836,553 and 4,948,134 (Suttle et al.) a casino type Poker game is disclosed in which players each play against a dealer (a banked game). If a player wins, he receives a bonus payment depending on the Poker rank of his hand. Various patents disclose casino type games where for example a standard deck is modified, for example, U.S. Patent 5,423,551 (Stravinsky) where cards are dealt from two standard decks of fifty two cards plus eighteen special cards; U.S. Patent 5,540,444 (Nguyen) discloses a deck of cards consisting of thirty two cards; U.S. Patent 5,397,128 (Hesse et al.) discloses a casino game where cards are assigned certain values and the object is to hit a total 9 in total count or value. Breeding Pat. No. 5,417,430 discloses a Poker banker game in which the players place three bets at the outset but as the game unfolds the players are given the option of withdrawing two of their wagers. Potter et al Pat No. 5,494,295 disclose an invention which provides a method whereby a plurality of hand ranking rules can be utilized within a single type wagering game.

It is to be noted that Poker in casinos (excluding video style machines) and other card games as well take two distinct forms and method of operation;

"player banked" games where players compete against one another for a pot and "house banked" games where players do not compete against one another but against the house either in terms of competing with a dealer or where there is no dealer hand and the object is to reach certain winning combinations. With reference to some popular Poker game variations, there are known

Poker game variations such as Caribbean Stud and Let It Ride where players try to obtain a hand which results in a pay off based upon a predetermined schedule of winning hands as well, for at least Caribbean Stud, as against the dealer. While these game appeal to novice and occasional players, it is believed that such games do not appeal to serious card room players. Serious players prefer games such as Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Stud Poker, e.g. 7- card Stud where players play against one another to win a pot.

Because Poker is a player banked game, the casino (house) exacts a levy or "rake" on each pot to fund the game for the players. With reference to electronic, video casino games the prior art discloses a number of Poker type games. Video Draw Poker is the most widely played of such games and is a house banked variation of Draw Poker. In Video Draw Poker, a player places a wager of 1-5 units and a hand of five cards composed of electronically produced visual representation are displayed on a monitor. The player has the option of discarding some or all of the cards and receiving replacements which are selected by the machine's processor from memory. If the player's hand corresponds to one of the hands based on Poker ranking he wins the corresponding award displayed on the paytable. The award is multiplied by the number of units bet. Video Draw Poker appears in a progressive jackpot form - a player qualifies for the progressive jackpot provided he wagers the maximum number of units permissible (usually 5). The pay table is selected, in conjunction with the statistical probability of certain hands being obtained, to provide a profit for the house.

A Poker related game is as described in my United States Patent No. 5,975,529 (the '529 patent) the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference. In this game the players make two wagers, one against the house and a pot wager to be resolved against the players. A predetermined number of cards are dealt, e.g. two cards to each player and three community cards.

From the community and two player cards, each player forms a five card Poker hand. Wagers are resolved by comparing the rankings of player hands, inter se and to a predetermined pay schedule. A drawback of this game is that to fund jackpots or the hosting of the game, the casino may have to exact a levy on the aggregated pot wagers.

There is a need for a game method where players both compete against one another to win an assembled pot and against the house, e.g. to obtain a winning hand as determined by a predetermined schedule of winning hands and where they have the opportunity to receive bonus payments by achieving certain winning Poker hands/combinations.

There is a need for an electronic Poker game which combines the aspects of card room Poker where players vie against one another, as by linking gaming machines, to win a pot and where players also try to assemble a winning hand as determined by a predetermined schedule of winning hands to be paid by the house (casino). Further there is need for a game which avoids the pot levy for the players and which can be adapted to fund other jackpots. Blackjack. Baccarat, Other House Banked Games Blackjack, also known as "21" is popular and has been played in casinos for many years. The rules of the game of Blackjack are well known to those skilled in the art. Blackjack-like games such as SPANISH 21® described in U.S. Patent 5,615,888 issued April 1 , 1997 to Lofink et al the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference, have been created. Some of these games include the feature of an additional or side wager to fund and participate in a jackpot feature for the game based upon the player's hand. In these games the side wager is optional and is not mandatory

As hereinafter used, the term Blackjack or Blackjack-like or Blackjack- style game refers not only to the basic Blackjack game with its variations but also the aforementioned and other games which are like Blackjack.

Other variations include that described in Le Vasseur U.S. Patent 5,257,789 where a player can play a single hand against multiple dealer's hands and String U.S. Patent 5,649,705 where a player can elect to wager upon whether the player or dealer will obtain a winning hand.

Baccarat is a game akin to Blackjack in that the house collects and pays all wagers, i.e. the player is playing against the house, and the object of the game is to obtain a final hand having a value, as determined by the rules of the game, closest to a target value. In Blackjack, the target value is 21 whereas in Baccarat the values are determined modulo ten and the target value is 9. The rules of play of conventional Baccarat are well known.

A drawback of conventional Baccarat is that the house must keep track of and assess commissions on winning, Banker hand, wagers. A further drawback is that the third card draw rules are complex and difficult for novice players to understand. The third card draw rules are strict leaving the players with no opportunity to use strategy or hunches to opt to obtain or not obtain a third card. Yet another drawback is that the players play to the surrogate Banker or Player hands and thus cannot rely on their own individual luck.

Further, in conventional Baccarat the players have only one opportunity to receive a payoff, e.g. a winning wager on one of the Banker or Player hands or winning the tie bet.

There is also a casino poker game known as CARRIBEAN STUD® which is as described in U.S. Patent No. 4,836,553 issued June 6, 1989 to

Suttle et al., the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference. In this game a player makes an ante wager and five cards are dealt to each player and to the dealer, four of the five dealer's cards dealt face down. To continue play the player makes an additional wager and the dealer reveals his hand. If the dealer's hand does not qualify by having at least an Ace-King, the player wins even money on their ante wager and their second wager is returned. If the dealer does qualify, the dealer's hand is compared to the player's hand with the higher Poker ranked hand declared the winner. If the player's hand has one of a schedule of holdings, the player also receives a bonus payout.

In Breeding U.S. Patent No. 5,288,081 issued February 22, 1994, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference, another Poker game known as LET IT RIDE® is described. In this game the player makes initially three separate wagers and three cards are dealt to the player and two community, cards are dealt face down. Based upon the player's three cards, they may leave or withdraw one of their wagers. The dealer then reveals one of the community cards and the player again has the option of leaving or withdrawing another one of their wagers. The dealer then reveals the second face down card and resolves the player's hand against a predetermined schedule of winning outcomes.

In both LET IT RIDE® and CARRIBEAN STUD® games it has been known to provide for an optional jackpot wager which is paid to the player based upon a predetermined schedule of jackpot hands. It is to be noted that insofar as Blackjack, Baccarat, the game according to the '529 patent and other games such as Pai Gow, Let It Ride®, Caribbean Stud® and the like, either the player competes against a dealer hand or there are dealt community or communal cards used by all players to form their hand. It is another object of the present invention to provide a game which dispenses with the need to exact a levy on the game, such as in Baccarat, and which still provides a mechanism for the casino to make a profit and fund jackpots. Summary of the Invention

There is therefor provided according to the present invention a device and method for playing games which provides, for player banked games, for the player to have additional wagering opportunities to win during a hand of play and which provides for funding for the host casino (house) to receive payment for hosting of play and for funding of jackpots. For house banked games, it provides for additional opportunities for the players to wager and win during a hand of play, for funding jackpots and for eliminating the requirement of exacting a commission on certain player winnings.

Accordingly, in one aspect of the present invention, a gaming station for playing a house banked card game between a plurality of players and the house is set forth for playing a card game having established rules for each player to make a game wager on their hand of play and for winning or losing their game wager based upon comparison of their hand of play to an opposing hand of the house. The game may be, for example, Blackjack, Baccarat, Chermin de Fer, Pai Gow or variation thereof where the player wagers on their

hand and wins or loses based upon a comparison of their hand to a competing

hand, e.g. the dealer's Blackjack hand, the opposing Banker or Player hand

(Baccarat) or the like. The gaming station may be a computer terminal for each player in a gaming area or table or through the Internet or it may be a gaming table configured for the play of the game. The station includes a display defining for each player a player position for each participating player, each player position including a detector to detect the placing of a pot wager and issue a signal in response thereto. For a video display, the processor links the displays for the players of the game and means such as a token acceptor or other wager input means are provides. For a live gaming table, a bet detector such as an optical sensor or other electronic or mechanical sensor, detects the placement or receipt of a gaming token. A processor receives said signals from the detectors to sum the amount of said pot wagers to form a pot. Each player wins or loses their game wagers based upon the rules of the game and comparison of the house hand to the player hand the player with the highest ranking hand according to the rules of the game wins the pot. To provide additional revenue to the house and/or to eliminate the requirement for exacting a commission on player wins (e.g. winning Banker hands in Baccarat), at least a portion of the pot is won by the house when the house hand has a predetermined holding. The processor is configured to issue signals to award any portion of the pot won by the house to the house.

Further, the processor may be configured to allocate a portion of the pot to a jackpot fund to be won by one or more players having predetermined jackpot hands.

For a player banked game such as Poker or variations thereof where players, according to the rules of the game receive playing cards, make one or more wagers to form a pot and the player with the highest ranking hand according to the rules of the game winning the pot, the station includes said display for each player including the detector to detect the placing of a pot wager and issue a signal in response thereto. A processor receives the signals from the detectors to sum the amount of said pot wagers to form the pot, the processor allocating a portion of the pot to the house to fund the hosting of the game. Means are provides for a player to register a second wager, said second wagers won and paid by the house to a player having one of a plurality of game ranking hands, regardless of whether or not the player wins the pot. Also means are provided, including the processor, for awarding the remaining portion of the pot to the player having the highest ranking game hand and clearing said sum.

Also set forth is a new player banked game.

Brief Description of the Drawings FIG. 1 shows an example of a layout for the play of a Blackjack- style, house banked, game according to the present method;

FIG.2 shows an enlarged view of one of the player's betting areas of Fig. 1 with certain payoffs listed therefor;

FIG. 3 shows an example of a layout for the play of a Baccarat-style game according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a diagram for a station for playing the games;

FIG. 5 shows a layout for playing various embodiments of player banked games according to the present invention where community cards are used; FIG. 6 is a diagram for stations for playing the game from remote or linked locations;

FIG. 7 is a schematic outline of a computer system according to the invention for playing the games, and FIG 8 is a flowchart illustrating the operation of the system of FIG. 7 for playing of a game in accordance with the invention. Description

Broadly, the present invention for house banked games, is directed to a base game where each player makes a wager and playing cards are dealt and summed or compared according to the rules of the game and winning or losing is based upon comparison of a player hand to that of the house. While the description herein is directed by way of example to Blackjack-style games, where the players vie against a dealer's hand, and in another aspect to Baccarat style games, where the player wagers on a Player or Banker hand and wins or loses depending upon which hand wins. It is to be understood that the concepts, description and claims as recited herein apply to other games such as Let it Ride, Caribbean Stud, Pai Gow and the like. The variations are below, separately described. Blackjack-style Games. The present invention comprises a method for playing such a Blackjack- type wagering game which utilizes at least one deck of playing cards. While the present Blackjack-type wagering game will be described for use at a gaming table with one or more players, it should be noted that the game can be adapted to be played on an electronic or video gaming machine with multiple player stations all playing against a single dealer and all players competing between one another for a pot of pooled wagers or in a live or virtual format presented over the Internet. Referring to FIG. 1 , a table layout 10, upon which the modified Blackjack game of the present invention is played, is schematically shown. The layout is preferably mounted on top of a conventional type gaming table (not shown). A plurality of playing locations 12 are provided along the periphery of the table. Typically, there are seven playing locations. Each of the playing locations has the following designated areas associated therewith: betting areas 16 and 18.

A dealer's location 22 is provided and has a chip rack 24 to contain the chips paid and collected during the play of the game.

A round of the modified Blackjack game of the present invention is begun by each player placing first and second wagers, the first wager placed in the betting area 16 and the second wager in the betting area 18 respectively. The wager on the betting area 16 constitutes the traditional wager associated with the game of Blackjack, namely, a house banked contest between each player's hand and the dealer's hand. The wager on the betting area 18 constitutes a feature found in the modified method of play of the present invention, namely, the pot bet.

The second wagers placed in areas 18 may be combined by the dealer into a pot accumulated at the center of the table. Or, as described below, the pot wagers may be detected by a suitable detector which issues signals to a processor for summing of the detected wagers into the pot.

Once the players have placed their first and second wagers the dealer deals two cards to each of the players and to the dealer. The round or hand of Blackjack then proceeds in a manner known in the art and according to the rules of the game. After the initial deal, the dealer first settles with each player separately with regard to their wagers on the betting areas 16. Each player in turn, may either "stand" (on his first two cards, or at any later time), or may request additional card(s). A player may continue to draw additional cards, but once he stands he may draw no more cards. All additional cards received by the player are usually dealt face up. If an additional card puts the player's hand count over 21 , he must show his cards and the dealer collects his first and second wagers. This player has busted and is no longer in the hand. When every player, except the dealer, has either completed their hand to a final holding represent a final count not exceeding twenty-one or busted and dropped from the hand, the dealer turns up his face-down card. Casino rules may specify that the dealer must take additional cards as long as his total is 16 or less and must stand when his total reaches 17 or more. If the dealer goes over 21 he loses the hand and pays each player remaining in the hand. When the dealer completes his hand, he collects from each player having a lower count, pays each player having a higher count, and has a stand-off (push or draw) with each player having the same count. Under the rules of Blackjack, a player has the option regarding his wager on the betting area 16, if his first two cards are a pair, such as two sevens or two Jacks, to play them as two different hands. When the player who 'split' turn comes, he turns both cards face up and places another wager in the amount of his first wager on betting area 16 and an additional second wager in area 18 for each split hand. The player then plays and completes each of his hands separately.

All of the conventional features of the Blackjack-style game as they apply to the wager on the betting area 16 may be utilized by the player in the method of the present invention. A player may 'double down' and take 'insurance' on his hand as the conventional manner of play according to what the rules will permit.

Having settled all bets in relation to the first wagers placed in the betting areas 16 for Blackjack the dealer then once again examines each player's hand in relation to the second wagers. Those players who busted are no longer in the hand and do not qualify for the pot accumulated from the second wagers. Players that 'split' their cards into two hands qualify for the pot/pooled wagers in terms of both hands. Alternatively, only one of the hands, e.g. the first hand qualifies for the pot/pooled wagered. The dealer determines which player(s) has a count of 21 or alternatively which of the players has the highest count closest to 21 and awards all the aggregated second wagers representing the pot to such player less a levy or vigorish (often referred to as a "rake"). In the event of two or more players hold the highest count, the pot is shared on an equal basis. In the event of all players 'busting,' having a total in excess of 21 , a levy is deducted from the winnings and the remainder of the winnings are carried forward to the next hand.

In a preferred embodiment of the modified method of playing the game, the second wagers placed in the betting areas 18 are combined with a jackpot feature and a portion of the wagers are allocated to fund the jackpot. The jackpot paytable is comprised of a series of ranked hands with an ascending order of fixed odds or alternatively the jackpot will be a progressive jackpot. In the latter case the major jackpot will be represented by the current total displayed on a win meter and the minor jackpots a combination of a percentage of the major jackpot total and fixed amounts. The betting areas 18 are drawn onto the playing surface/layout 10 or may be defined by sensors which are either magnetic, or fitted with optical eyes or capacitors to determine the placing of pot wagers, a portion of which automatically increments the current jackpot total by a determined amount. Table A as illustrated below is a specimen paytable of a jackpot feature to be combined with the pot bets in the betting areas 18.

Table A

Three suited 4s Progressive Jackpot Three unsuited 4s 50% of Jackpot

Two suited 4s 25% of Jackpot

Two unsuited 4s 10% of Jackpot

Alternatively, the awards could be fixed amounts such as suggested in Table B below. Table B

Three suited 4s $15,000

Three unsuited 4s $10,000

Two suited 4s $5000 Two unsuited 4s $500

FIG. 2 illustrates an enlarged view of the betting area 16 which may have indicated adjacent thereto the various jackpot combinations and the payoffs for each. To provide a profit on the pot wagers according to the present invention, certain dealer (house) hands are designated as hands or card combinations wherein the pot is won by the dealer to the exclusion of the players. For example, if the dealer's hand is comprised of an Ace - King combination, the dealer (house) would win the pot. It is believed that the frequency at which the house will win the pot provides a 1.2% vigourish to the casino which can be used to provide a profit to the casinos in lieu of a levy. Other combinations or a plurality of combinations can be selected to increase or decrease the vigourish. A player remaining in the hand (he has not previously busted) who has a predetermined jackpot holding such as those set forth in Table A is awarded the corresponding jackpot regardless of whether or not he wins the Blackjack first wager or the pot bet. All wagers and awards are separately determined. In accordance with the method of the present invention a player may lose both first and second wagers yet qualify for a payout on the jackpot feature.

It is to be understood that the jackpot holdings and payouts of Tables A and B are suggestive only in that the casino may adopt different holdings and payouts. As a further embodiment, the second wagers accumulated to form the pot could be awarded based upon (i) the highest count of the first two cards or (ii) the player(s) having a Blackjack.

As yet a further embodiment, a separate jackpot wager could be made in addition to the first and second wagers. Thus a player, under this embodiment, would be required to make a first wager to participate in the basic Blackjack game, a second wager to form the inter-player pot and a separate jackpot wager directed to the jackpot component of the game. The automatic, dealer pot winning hands could then be used to simply increase the profit to the casino and/or augment the separate jackpot wagers, with the jackpot being primarily funded from the separate jackpot wagers. To accommodate the three separate wagers, three areas would be denoted on the layout therefor.

As a further feature a portion of the jackpot may be allocated to fund a bad beat or a big beat jackpot. A bad beat jackpot award would occur If a player loses the pot to a player having a higher value hand and the losing player has a predetermined holding of cards. In a bad beat condition, the pot losing player would be awarded at least a portion of the jackpot. Additionally the player having the higher valued hand may be awarded a portion of the jackpot as well as awarding a portion of the jackpot to the other players at the table.

As but an example, a bad beat jackpot may be provided where the pot winning player has a non-suited Ace-10 and the losing player has a hand of 10 - 10 of Spades. In this occurrence, the losing player would be awarded 50% of the assembled bad beat jackpot, the winning player with the non-suited A-10 awarded 25% of the jackpot and the other players playing that hand at the table awarded on a pro rata basis the remaining 25% of the jackpot. Other combinations may be provided for a bad beat award as well as providing a different schedule of payouts.

A big beat is the converse to a bad beat. In this case the player who won, e.g. the player with the non-suited Ace - 10, would be awarded the larger percentage of the jackpot with the loser having the qualifying holding, e.g. 10 - 10 of Spades, receiving the smaller portion. Baccarat-style Games.

With reference to FIG. 3 the method of the present invention will be described in connection with a Baccarat-style game. While the present method will be described for use at a gaming table with one or more players, it should be noted that the game can be adapted to be played on an electronic or video gaming machine or over the Internet, with multiple player stations all playing against a single dealer and all players competing between one another for a pot of pooled wagers.

To play the game each player makes a first ante wager on either a Player hand or a Banker hand to be presented during play of the game. For this purpose, a layout 50 may be provided including a plurality or, for example

seven, player positions 52a-g. At each position 52a-g there is provided a

number of wagering areas adapted to accept wagers made by the player. A

Player area 54 is provided at each position 52a-g in which the player may place the first ante wager to indicate that he is wagering upon the Player hand controlled by the player. Similarly there is a Banker area 56 in which a player may place their first ante wager to indicate that the player is wagering upon the Banker hand controlled by the dealer. Also each position 52a-g has associated therewith a pot wager area 58 in which the player places their second ante, or pot, wager according to the present invention. The pot wager area 58 may include detectors, such as optical, electrical or mechanical sensors, to sense acceptance of the mandatory pot wager by each player and issue a signal. Also provided on the layout is a tie wager area 60 denoting each player position 52a-g as by being numbered one through seven. A check rack 24 is provided to contain chips used during the play of the game.

To play the game according to this embodiment, each player places their first ante wager in one of the Player or Banker areas 54,56 to signify which hand (Banker or Player) the player is wagering upon. The amount wagered may be dictated by table minimums or maximums. The player is also required to place a second ante (pot) wager in the pot wager area 58. The amount of the second ante wager may also be dictated by table minimums or maximums and the amounts wagered by the players as their second ante wagers will typically be the same for each player, e.g. five dollars. With reference to FIG. 4, there is shown a station 100 for facilitating the play of the game. It should be understood that the station 100 can be used for any of the games and methods referred to herein. The station 100 may be embodied as a gaming table including the detectors 58 at each player position 12. Each detector 58 may be an optical, electrical or mechanical detector configured to sense the placement or registry of the pot wager. Each detector 58, in response to the placement of a pot wager, sends a signal to a processor 102. The processor 102 is configured to at 104 sum the pot wagers to define the entire pot. At 106 the processor 102 is configured to allocate a portion of the summed amount (pot) to the house for additional profit for providing or hosting the game. If desired, at 108 the processor 102 may also be configured to allocate a portion of the summed pot to fund any jackpots. The allocated portion may be attributed to a display to display the current value of any provided jackpots. Once the pot is awarded, the dealer with a switch 110 can re-set the processor 102 and detectors 58 for the next game.

Returning to the play of the game, after the players have made their second ante wagers, the wagers are collected into a pot on the table or may remain placed on the detectors 58. Each player also has the option, should they so desire, to place a tie bet by passing the amount of the tie wager to the dealer who places the tie wager in the corresponding player position in the tie wager area 60. Thus if the player at position 7 places a tie wager, that wager would be placed in the position denoted as "7" in the tie wager area 60 to signify this wager. After the players have each made their first and second ante wagers and any optional tie wager, the dealer for the game deals two cards to each player as that player's Player hand and two cards in the middle of the layout 50 designated as the Banker hand. The cards are typically dealt from a shoe containing a plurality of standard decks of playing cards as, for example, six decks. The player Hand cards may be dealt face up with none, both or one of the Dealer's hand cards dealt face up. Each player values the cards of their hand, modulo ten, according to the rules of conventional Baccarat. Alternatively the face cards can have a value of ten and Aces count as one or eleven which, because the hands are summed modulo ten, will obtain the same hand valuations as in conventional Baccarat. The dealer also examines the value of the initial two cards of the Banker hand. If the value is eight or nine, the dealer exposes the Banker hand and the players may not draw any third cards to their hands and all wagers are resolved as described below.

If the Banker's hand does not have a two card value of 8 or 9, the player's assess their Player's hands. If the Player's hand value is 0-6, a third card is dealt to the Player hand. Alternatively, the player may opt to receive a third card. If the Player's hand has a value of 7-9, no third card may be received and the two card value is the Player hand final value. If a third card is dealt or the player opts to take a third card, that card's value is added to the two initial cards, modulo ten, to obtain a final Player hand value. After all player's have completed their respective Player hands, the dealer exposes the Banker hand. If the value of the Banker's hand is 7-9, the dealer may not deal a third card to the Banker hand and the two card values becomes the final Banker hand value. If the Banker hand initial two cards have a value of 0-6, the dealer deals a third card to the Banker hand, the value of which is added to the initial two cards (modulo ten) to arrive at a final Banker hand value. Thus the third card draw rules are easy to understand and symmetrical with respect to the Banker and Player hands. In one embodiment, where either a Player hand or the Banker hand has an initial value of 0-6, draw of a third card is required. In another embodiment, the player is provided with the option of drawing or not drawing a third card. It is to be understood that these third card draw rules may be modified to only be in effect when the initial values of the hands are 0-5. In still a further embodiment, rather than applying the third card draw rules at all times to the Banker hand, where any Player hand has an initial value of 8 or 9 (a Natural in Baccarat), the Banker as to this Player hand value is precluded from drawing a third card. Thus if a Player hand has an initial value of 8 or 9, the dealer when he first exposes the Banker hand of the initial two cards would resolve that Player hand before drawing any third cards if required. After resolution of any Natural Player hand(s), the dealer would deal a third card to the Banker hand if required and thereafter resolve the remaining Player hands.

Each player's first wager is resolved in order by comparing the Banker's hand final value to each of the player's individual Player hand values. If the Banker hand has a higher value than that player's Player hand, e.g. is closer to the target value of 9, the highest value which can be obtained, the Banker hand is the winner. Conversely if the player's Player hand has a higher final value than that of the Banker, the Player hand is the winner. Hands of the same values are ties. Once as to each player it is determined which of the Player or Banker hands is the winner (or a tie occurs), the dealer determines which hand the player wagered upon with his first wager. If a player has wagered upon the Banker hand and the Banker hand is the winner that player is paid 1:1 based upon his first wager. If the player has wagered upon the Banker hand and the Player hand is the winner, the player loses his first wager. Conversely, if the player has wagered upon the Player hand and the Player hand is the winner the player is paid 1 :1 for his first wager. If the player has wagered upon the Player hand and the Banker hand is the winner, the player loses his first wager. If for any player his Player hand ties with the Banker hand, there is no action regarding the player's first ante wager, i.e. the first wager is neither won not lost. If the tying player has made a tie wager, the player wins the tie wager and is paid 8:1 on the tie wager.

Regarding ties, to provide a vigourish to the casino, certain tie wagers may be deemed losers. For example, ties at 1 or 2 would be declared losers for the player's first ante wagers regardless of whether they wagered upon the Banker or the Player hand. This provides the casino with a vigourish for the basic game of about 1.18%. Other losing tie value(s) may be selected. By making a tie wager a player may insure winning even in the event of a tie at a losing value.

After the players' first ante wagers have been decided, collected and paid, the second ante (pot) wagers are resolved. The aggregated pot of the second ante wagers is paid to the player or players having the highest Player hand values. For example, if the highest Player hand value is 6, that player would be awarded the pot regardless of whether or not the player won his first ante wager. The awarding of the pot is independent of whether or not the player wins the first ante wager thereby giving the player an opportunity to win even though he lost his first ante wager.

To provide a profit to the casino and/or dispense with the need to extract a commission, the present invention includes designating certain Banker hand combinations as winning the aggregated pot. For example, if the Banker's hand first two cards are an Ace - 8, the house (Banker) would win the pot the exclusion of the players. By providing for occasional pot wins for the house, a suitable vigourish can be maintained. A progressive jackpot may be funded as described above and may award a portion of the jackpot to any player having a predetermined Player hand holding. The jackpot or a portion of which may be awarded, for example, to any player having a Player hand with any one of the following holdings, again regardless of whether or not the player has won the first ante wager or the second ante wager aggregate pot,

Jackpot Holdings

Three 3s

Three 3s (same suit) Three 3s (spades) Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind (same suit) Three of a Kind (spades) Ace, Ace, 7 (same suit) Ace, Ace 7 (spades)

Other jackpot holdings may be provided. If a player has a Player hand with a jackpot holding, he would be paid the corresponding jackpot payoff represented by a fixed amount or a percentage of the pot funded aggregate jackpot.

Additionally or alternatively a bad beat or a big beat jackpot can be provides and funded via a portion of the pot wagers.. As but an example, a bad beat jackpot could be awarded where a player having a Player hand of a first ranking loses the pot to a player having a Player hand with a second ranking. For example, the second ranking may be preselected as a two card Natural (a hand value of 9) of an unsuited 3 and 6 and the losing player second ranking is a two card hand of two 9s of Spades. In that event, the losing player would be awarded 50% of the progressively accumulated bad beat jackpot, the winning player 25% and all other players at the table who had participated in the round of play 25% of the jackpot on a pro rata basis. Conversely, for a big beat jackpot, the winning player with the unsuited 3 and 6 would be awarded the larger portion of the jackpot. Like the Blackjack game described above, the jackpots for the Baccarat- style game may be funded by a separate, third, side wager such that the house winning of the pots can be used to increase the profit to the casino and/or to augment the funding of jackpots.

For Caribbean Stud/Let It Ride/Pai Gow With this game, the present invention includes, in addition to the wagers made according to its method of play described above, each player makes a pot wager, the pot wagers accumulated into a pot. Again, detectors may be used to register and sum the pot wagers. As described below, the player at the table, regardless of whether they win any of the Caribbean Stud game wagers, still has the opportunity to win the pot by having the highest ranking Poker hand among the players at the table.

To play the game each player makes their Caribbean Stud outcome wager(s) according to the rules of the game. Additionally, according to the present invention, each player makes a pot wager to compete against the other players at the table for the best hand.

With respect to the pot wagers, the player with the highest Poker hand showing wins the aggregated pot wagers. The pot wagers are a bet solely between the players and do not involve a wager against or to be paid by the house (casino).

At the start of each game and prior to receiving cards all players make their pot and game outcome wagers. Cards are then dealt according to the rules of the game and the outcome wagers are resolved, also according to the rules of the game.

In addition to any jackpots provided according to the known rues of play, any jackpot to be paid to a player for obtaining a specific outcome, e.g. a Royal Flush, any bad beat or big beat jackpot or simply to increase the profit for the casino, the present invention includes designating certain dealer hand card combinations as hands where the house (dealer) wins the pot to the exclusion of the players. By providing an occasional house win of the pot, a vigourish can be set to provide additional profit to the casino. For example, if the dealer's Caribbean Stud hand has an Ace-King combination and that is deemed a pot winning combination for the house, it is believed that the house will have a vigourish of an additional 1.2% created by the occasional house wins of the pot. A further embodiment of the present invention, wherein a progressive or fixed jackpot is a feature of the game, is so structured that the jackpot is divided into a primary jackpot with a Royal Flush being the winning combination and a secondary jackpot being awarded in a designated bad beat or big beat situation in the manner suggested above.

After the outcome wagers have been resolved by comparing the player's hands to that of the dealer and by comparing each player's hand to the predetermined pay out schedule, the players' final hands are compared to determine which player has the highest ranking hand. The player having the highest ranking hand is awarded all of the pot wagers made (unless the pot has already been won by the house). Players having equally ranked hands share equally in the award of the pot wagers. Thus it can be seen that the players have multiple opportunities to win and by providing for occasional house wins of the pot, additional profit can be made by the casino.

Pai Gow, like Caribbean Stud, includes a dealer hand. Like the improvement to Caribbean Stud described above, the present invention includes providing for Pai Gow that each player also make a pot wager which is won by the player having the highest ranking Poker hand. While normally the house does not participate in the winning, losing or funding of the pot, to provide an additional vigourish and/or to eliminate the need to collect commissions, certain house hand combinations are deemed hands where the house (dealer) wins the pot. For example, if the Dealer's first two cards dealt include Ace-King, or if the hand includes and Ace-King, or suited Ace-King, the house wins the pot. For Let It Ride, the game is played according to its known version, with each player making three outcome wagers of the same amount, receiving two cards and the dealer dealing three community cards, two cards face down and one face up. As community cards are revealed the player has the opportunity to withdraw up to two of his outcome wagers. Ultimately, the player's cards are revealed and combined with the community cards to form a five card Poker hand. The hand is compared to a predetermined pay schedule based upon the rankings of Poker hands.

According to the present invention, in addition to each player making outcome wagers according top the rules of the game, each player makes a pot wager, the pot wagers aggregated into a pot. After the game outcome wagers have been resolved, the pot is awarded to the player having the highest ranking Poker hand (using his and the community cards). In the case of ties, the pot is split or carried over to the next hand.

The present invention also contemplates the house exacting a vigoursh in relation to the pot to provide additional profit to the casino. According to the present invention, this vigourish is obtained by designating certain community card combinations as pot winning outcomes for the house. For example if the first two revealed or any of the community cards include an Ace-King, combination, the house (dealer) would win the pot. The occasional wins of the pot can provide additional revenue to the casino or support a more liberal pay table for the game. Poker The method can also apply to Poker games where community cards are dealt and a pot is involved. In addition to the game of Showdown Poker, according to my prior patent described above, this method would apply to traditional Poker where the casino extracts a levy on each pot.

According to the present invention, instead of extracting a levy to fund the game, certain community card combinations or holdings such as by designating the first two community cards dealt (or exposed) as a pot winning combination for the house. In this fashion, the occasional winning of the pot by the house will provide sufficient vigourish to dispense with the need to exact a levy on the each pot. For Player banked games, in a preferred embodiment of the table game version of the present invention, a gaming layout 10' is provided having a surface as illustrated in FIG. 5 for playing the game using, preferably, a single deck of standard playing cards. The method employs the same basic priority or ranking of five card hands according to the rules of Poker familiar to players and as set forth in Table 2.

TABLE 2

Royal Flush Straight Flush Four-of-a-Kind Full House Flush Straight 3-of-a-Kind Two Pair One Pair

High Card(s)

Referring to FIG. 5 the layout 10' (semi-circular) again a configuration familiar to players. A rack 12' is provided for housing the chips/checks used during play of the game of the method. The layout 10' has locations 14' for the players and a location 16' for the dealer. Between the dealer and player locations 16', 14' is an area 18' marked to define the areas wherein the community cards, according to one embodiment of the game, are positioned by the dealer during play of the game. The area 18' which designates the position of the dealer's/community cards can be denoted to position from two to five community cards or with no markings for community cards for those embodiments where no community cards are used. Each player location 14' has associated therewith an ante wager area 20' and a bet area 21' for the reception of players' wagers during play of the game. The ante wager areas 20' may be denoted by symbols situated in front of each player as may each bet area 21'. Also provided at each player position 14' is a pot wager area 22' which may be denoted by lettering, a casino logo or a stylized pot as shown in FIG. 5.

According to one embodiment of the invention, each pot wager area 22' may include a detector 58 for issuing signals to a processor 102 and arranged as shown in FIG. 4.

As described below, the ante wagers made by the players are directed to a paytable ranking of the final hand assembled by the player during play. The pot areas 22' are directed to pot wagers as hereinafter described. The pot wagers are aggregated into a pot to be vied for between the players.

In the method of the game of the present invention, the objects of the method are twofold: 1) to make a Poker hand, using individual cards and the community cards (if provided), which corresponds to a predetermined paytable of hands, and;

2) to win the pot and any raise wagers at the table by assembling the highest ranking Poker hand among all the players at the table vying therefor. In the case of the first object, the house payment schedule, or paytable, lists a series of Poker hands with corresponding pay-offs. These payoffs correspond to the ante and to the optional "bet" wager, equal in value to the ante wager made by the player. The players make their ante (outcome) wager prior to receiving their initial cards. In one embodiment of the method of the invention the ante wager is optional, in another embodiment, the ante wager is mandatory. Having examined their first three cards in the various versions of the method, the players have the option of doubling down (i.e. doubling) their ante wager. Thus, with respect to the ante wager and any double down wagers, as hereinafter described, the player is playing against the house by trying to obtain a final hand which corresponds to one of the hands listed in the established paytable.

In the case of the second object and with respect to the pot wager (and any raise wagers added to the pot), the player with the highest Poker hand showing wins the pot and raise wagers. The pot and raise wagers is a bet solely between the players (and a designated house player, or dealer, as provided according to one embodiment of the game) as to who will have the winning, highest ranked, hand among the participants. The Method Of Play

At the start of each game and prior to receiving cards all players make their outcome ("ante") wager by placing their bet in area 20'. Each player also places a first pot wager in betting area 22'. Where a detector 58 is included, each detector 58 detects the pot wagers and sends signals to the processor 102 which sums the values. The ante wager may be mandatory or optional and the amounts of both initial wagers may be dictated by house minimums and maximums. In one embodiment of the method, the pot cannot be raised, in a second embodiment of the game the option exists to raise the pot at each established betting interval and in a third embodiment multiple pot raises can be made at each betting interval.

In the live game version, the dealer shuffles the cards and deals cards to each player (and community cards if provided therefor) according to any one of the following, predetermined schedules of grouped dealing sequences. Sequence 1 According to this version of the game, three cards are dealt to each player, two cards face up, and one card face down. At this point the player has the option of increasing ("raising") their pot wager based upon the three cards dealt. In addition the players have the option of doubling down (increasing) their ante wager in the area 21 ' on the layout 10' provided such increase is equal in value to their original ante wager. Any pot raises are placed (and detected) in area 22' on the layout 10'. If any one player raises the pot, all other players must match ("see") the raise or be eliminated as a participant for the pot aspect of the game. After all players have exercised their option to raise, see or decline raising, the dealer deals thee community cards face up in area 18 players have the option to once again raise the pot wager. The dealer then deals a final card to each player face down and the players have the option of a final raise of the pot wager. Thereafter, the players reveal their cards for resolution of the wagers. As to the pot and any raise wagers, the accumulated pot wagers and any raise wagers is won by the player at the table with the highest ranking, five card hand which can be assembled from the seven card hand consisting of the player's four cards and the community cards which are shared by which all players. Thus, each player uses the three community cards in area 18' with their three cards to have a seven card hand from which the player forms the highest ranking five card Poker hand. Those players who declined to see any raise wagers are excluded from winning the pot aspect of the game.

In awarding the pot to the winning player, the casino hosting the game and providing the dealer, may exact a levy on the pot to provide a profit to the casino for hosting the game. The levy may be, for example 5% of each pot. The processor 102 (FIG. 4) allocates the levy as desired and the amount of the levy is subtracted from the pot. Further, if two or may players have the tied, highest ranking hands, the pot, less any levy, may be split equally or carried over to the next hand.

After the pot aspect of the game has been resolved, each player's hand is examined to determine if the player has a hand ranking which corresponds to a schedule of winning Poker hands. For example, each player's hand may be compared to the following schedule to determine if the player is entitled to a corresponding prize:

Table 1

Royal Flush 200 to 1

Straight Flush 25 to 1

4-Of-A-Kind 12 to 1

Full House 5 to 1

Flush 3 to 1

Straight 2 to 1

3-Of-A-Kind 1 to 1

Two Pair Push

Other pay table schedules may be adopted. If a player, for example, had made a $10 ante wager and have a five card flush, they would be paid, regardless if they won, lost or did not participate in the pot aspect of the game,

$30.

Sequence 2

This embodiment of the game is similar to that of Sequence 1 , except that instead of three community cards, each player is dealt three cards face up. Thus there are no community or shared cards, and each player forms their hand from their own, individual hands dealt to them.

Sequence 3 This embodiment of the game is similar to that of Sequence 1. Each player is dealt three cards, two face up and one face down. Two community cards are dealt face up and thereafter, each player is dealt two additional cards, one face up and one face down. Sequence 4

This sequence is like that of Sequence 3 except that the two community cards are dealt face down and, the dealer in one version may expose both cards simultaneously and in a second version each card is separately revealed and thereafter, each player is dealt two additional cards, one face up and one face down.

Sequence 5

This sequence is like that of Sequence 3 except that instead of community cards, each player is dealt those two cards face up. That is, the player is dealt three initial cards, two face up and one face down, then is dealt two cards face up and finally is dealt two more cards, one face up and the other face down. The players do not share any community cards.

Regardless of the sequence of the dealing of cards, each player is provided at least one opportunity to raise the pot. In one embodiment of the method of the invention, the players have the option of participating in the outcome aspects of the game (aside from the pot) by making an ante wager and, having examined their first cards, have the option to increase, e.g. double, their ante wager, provided such bet is equal to their initial ante wager. In a second embodiment, irrespective of the sequence of the dealing of the cards, the players must make a mandatory ante bet to participate in the outcome aspects of the game and having examined their first cards have the option to double their ante bet, provided such bet is equal in value to their initial wager.

Jackpot Additionally, the game may be provided with a jackpot component funded by either a levy on the pot or by separate wagers made by the players. The jackpot is progressive, that is, the contributions such as a percentage of each pot or jackpot side wager continues to grow the jackpot until it is won. The jackpot may be initially funded at some "seed" amount to elicit interest in the jackpot. The processor 102 calculates and allocates any jackpot levy.

According to one aspect, to win the jackpot the player must assemble one or more selected Poker hands, e.g. Royal Flush, Straight Flush, etc.; and providing a jackpot pay table paying at least a portion to a player obtaining the designated jackpot outcome. Those players that qualify as winners are paid out according to the current jackpot pay-table. Co-winners share the jackpot as an aggregate.

The jackpot can also be fixed. Bad Beat Jackpot/Big Beat Jackpot

A further embodiment of the present invention, wherein a progressive or fixed jackpot is a feature of the game, is so structured that primary and secondary portions of the jackpot are awarded based upon the final hands held by two or more players. In one aspect, a bad beat jackpot, when a first wins the pot with a designated hand defeating another player with a different designated hand, the defeated player is awarded the primary jackpot portion, e.g. 50% and the winning player receives 25% with another portion, e.g. the remaining 25% of the jackpot awarded to the other players at the table as an envy bonus.. For example, if a first player has a final hand of at least a full house of Aces over tens and loses the pot to another, second player, the first player would be awarded the first portion of the jackpot and the second player would be awarded the secondary jackpot in addition to winning the pot. The awarding of the bad beat jackpots occurs in addition to the awarding of the pot and any winning outcome.

In another embodiment, given the example above, the winning, second player would be awarded the primary jackpot with the losing player awarded the secondary jackpot. This is referred to herein as the big beat jackpot and requires the winning player to one of a schedule of pot winning hands and the second highest ranking hand to have one of a schedule of hands. That is, for example, the winning player may be required to have a four-of-a-kind with the second highest ranking hand being a full house. No Levy In the foregoing game, to make hosting of the game profitable, the house typically exacts a levy on the pot. To avoid the aspects of exacting a levy, the following method may be employed. For those dealing sequences described above which include community cards, if the community cards have a predetermined constituency, the pot is won by the house without further action by the players. For example, if upon dealing the community cards, the first two community cards include an Ace and a King, the house would win the pot. It is believed that this feature provides approximately a 1.2% house advantage and sufficient profit to pay for hosting of the game. Other and more house winning combinations may be used. The house winning combinations could apply to the non-dealt cards, i.e. certain of the remaining cards in the deck after each player receives his individual and/or community cards in games that use community cards. Examples of house winning combinations that apply either to the community cards or the non-dealt cards are: a. any two out of three community or non-dealt cards that include an Ace and King, giving the house about a 3.4% advantage; b. the first two community or non-dealt cards include an Ace and a

King or a Queen, giving the house an advantage of 2.4%; c. the first two community cards or non-dealt cards include an Ace and a King, giving the house an advantage of about 1.2%; d. the first two community cards or non-dealt cards comprise a King or higher giving the house an advantage of 2.1% e. the first two community cards or non-dealt cards comprise a three or lower, i.e. 2-2, 2-3 or 3-3, giving the house an advantage of about 2.1%; and f. the first two community cards or non-dealt cards are two of the same specified suit, e.g. two spades, giving the house an advantage of about 5.9%.

When the above method of the house winning the pot or a proportion thereof is employed, the house need not calculate and exact a levy upon the pot. Another advantage is that the speed of play of the game is increased

The method of the present invention can be applied to games where there are no community cards. In the well known game of Pai Gow Poker, players assemble two Poker hands from their seven cards, a five card high hand and a lower ranking two card low hand. The players compete against the dealer's likewise assembled two Poker hands. The casino has a small edge over the players. To compensate for this near equity, the casino levies a 5% commission on all winning player hands. The imposition and administration of a levy slows the game down. The application of a method whereby the house wins all "pushes" (ties) in Pai Gow (i.e. in those situations where the players neither win nor lose) based upon either the dealer's first two dealt or exposed cards or the first two non-dealt cards comprising a predetermined combination will speed up the game and generate sufficient profit for the casino to dispense with the need to exact a levy on winnings. That is, in the event of a push and the dealer's exposed cards or the first two exposed cards comprise a predetermined card or combination, e.g. an Ace - King, the dealer would win the pushes. This feature can be used regardless of whether there is a pot component for the game. In addition where a pot is a feature of the Pai Gow Poker game, the same method described above can be employed to generate a profit on the pot component.

The casino cardroom game of Seven Card Stud Poker does not have community cards as a feature of the game. To dispense with the casino practice of exacting a levy on each pot for hosting the game and to provide a profit, the method of the present invention where the house occasionally wins the pot or a portion of the pot can be used. The house winning combinations a. - .f above can apply to the non-dealt cards for Seven card Stud.

As is the case with various forms of method of the present invention, casino cardroom games such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha both employ community cards as features. The house winning combinations described above can be used in these games as well to dispense with the need to exact a levy.

The method of the present invention coupled with a paytable would transform casino cardroom games such as Texas Hold'em, Omaha and Seven

Card Stud and other cardroom games into Banker games. Casinos would now profit on both the pot component and the outcome (pay table) component. Players will be rewarded for skillful play based on challenging their opponents by raising the stakes in the pot, bluffing and by using optimal strategy to improve their hands. At present a cardroom player may end up with a high ranking hand, for example, a straight flush and win only a small pot. The application of a pay table to the cardroom game would reward the player with a high ranking hand in that he might win a small pot but would receive a substantial win according to the pay table.

The method, of the present invention can be adapted and played on a video game machine device in various forms and would embrace traditional cardroom games as described above and can be played as either a live or virtual game over the Internet. The method of a pot wager combined with a jackpot feature and the House winning the pot wagers when certain designated dealer, community, or non_dealt card combinations arise can be applied to three card poker games be they stud or draw poker varieties. According to the video version, the player would make the ante and pot wagers whereupon the cards would be dealt in any one of the above described sequences with the notable difference that the machine would also display a house or casino hand against which the player plays. The player may raise the pot wager and ante bet wager which the casino or virtual hand would see. Both aspects of the pot and outcome (ante) wagers would be resolved as described above. Jackpots may be provided for obtaining certain outcomes, for a bad beat or for a big beat as described above.

The method of the present invention can also be played on a multistation video version where a number of players compete, either against one another for the pot and individually against a pay table, or where the players

compete against themselves and a dealer.

In an Internet or computer linked version 200 of either a house or player

banked game as described above, players would be linked through the Internet to a site 202 hosting the game as shown in FIG. 6. Through the host 202, a computer issues hands to remote player stations 204 which may be dedicated terminals, or personal computers. Each station 204 has a display 106 for the player to see the the displayed cards for the players as well as means for a player to enter the wagers. Controls such as a touch screen display, keyboard or mouse enable the players to control the action.

It is to be understood that the present invention is subject to many modifications and changes without departing form the spirit and scope of the appended claims. It will be appreciated that the games described and claimed herein may be implemented in electronic form to varying degrees. Thus, referring to Figure 4, the detector 58 senses the placement of a pot wager and processor 102 increments a pot amount, and optionally allocates a portion to fund a jackpot (108). Where the game is implemented "live" in a casino, a dealer may deal cards to a player, assess winning and losing hands, pay out appropriate amounts to players and signal the outcome to the processor 102 to update or clear the pot amount, jackpot fund etc. It is also known to implement card games almost wholly electronically, either in a casino location or over a computer network, such as the internet. The player is dealt cards from notional deck, the cards being "dealt" and displayed on a screen under the control of a processor or computer program as well known in the art, the player inputs wagers through a slot or by decrementing a credit or electronic wallet, and issues instructions to draw cards etc. via a push button or touch screen control. The processor is configured by the program to determine the outcome of the game based on the cards dealt, and in accordance with the rules set forth above and to issue an award or credit to a player with a winning hand, including any jackpot payout. Such apparatus for a single player at one location playing Blackjack or Poker is well known, as is apparatus for multiple players at a gaming location, giving the feel of playing at a table with other players.

Referring to Figure 7, display screens 301a, 301b, etc are incorporated in a table top, a slot machine or the like. The display screens 301 may be touch sensitive screens to enable input of instructions by a player "touching" an appropriate icon on the display, or push-buttons or a keyboard may be provided adjacent the display.

The displays are driven by a processor, CPU 302, via a display driver 303 and bus 320. CPU 302 displays instructions to a player, icons for a player to input commands as indicated above, and representations of playing cards. CPU 302 receives player commands and responds to the commands in response to operating instructions or a program stored in RAM 304. The instructions in RAM 304 include rules for playing a card game such as modified Blackjack as set forth above in relation to Figures 1 to 6, and rules for determining the payout of a Jackpot prize, for example. In quiescent mode, the display 301 displays a screen inviting a player to play. The player will start play by opening a credit - by inputting coins, bills or chips into a slot, by swiping a magnetic card, or inputting an account number etc., as well known in the art, at payment unit 305 adjacent the display 301 or via a keyboard, etc., connected to the bus 320. Instructions are then input by the player in response to prompts displayed on the display 301 by CPU 302. The instructions are received by CPU 302 which displays appropriate screens as the play progresses, including displaying cards dealt from a notional deck of cards. The value of the cards dealt to respective players (in effect the screen locations) is stored in memory 321.

As the player inputs a command relating to a wager, CPU 302 increments a memory 307, 308, 309 and decrements the players credit by the amount of the wager. The CPU 302 increments memories 307, 308, 309 in accordance with the game being played and the wager being made.

Thus, for example, memory 307 may store the ante-wager for each player, a separate location in memory 307 being allocated to each player, and the stored value is used subsequently to calculate the player's winnings, if any, based on the outcome of the player's hand and the rules of the game. Memory 308 may store players' pot wagers, players competing with each other for the amount in the pot, and memory 309 may store a jackpot amount which accumulates jackpot entries or a proportion of other wagers and is "used" to pay jackpot winnings.

At the end of the game or hand, CPU 302 determines which player or players have won in accordance with the game rules stored in the program in

RAM 304 and makes a payout to a player by increasing the players credit at display 301. Payment unit 305 may include a facility for returning cash to a player, as well known in the art, or adding credit to a player's card or account, for example.

Displays 301 may be distributed at a single table location, allowing players to see each others cards, or a players cards can be displayed on a central screen as the CPU 302, acting as a dealer, progresses the game. Displays 301 may also be distributed about a casino, in which case for a multiple player game it may be desirable to display on each display the hands of the dealer (CPU 302) and other players. The system may also operate over a net work, such as a WAN or the internet. In this case the players may pay by credit or debit card, an e-wallet, or have an account with the game operator, By way of example, Figure 8 shows a flow chart for the game of

Blackjack which was described earlier with reference to Figure 1, controlled by the operation of CPU 302 in Figure 7. At step SO1 , the player will indicate a desire to start the game, for example by pressing the display and /or inputting a credit at slot 305. CPU 302 then displays a screen inviting the player to input the required wagers. The screen could be in the form a layout as illustrated in

Figure 1 , for example, for the game of Blackjack, on the basis that the player will be familiar with the appearance of the standard gaming table, and the player may input the wager by pressing on an appropriate icon where a touch sensitive display screen is provided. The first or ante wager is input and memory M1 is incremented, storing the ante-wager for that particular player at step S03. At step S04, the player inputs a second pot wager and memory M2 is incremented in order to store the total number of pot wagers input by all the players. At this stage, CPU 302 may allocate a portion of the pot to a house account (the vigourish), or a proportion of the pot to a jackpot pool (memory M3) depending on how the game has been set up. It will be appreciated that the CPU 302 will be most preferably sufficiently fast or powerful to deal with multiple players at a time, so that players do not feel a sense of queuing. A time-out may be provided to eliminate any player who does not respond quickly enough, the player wagers being refunded and the pots reduced accordingly.

Shown in dashed outline is the optional step SO3 where a player is invited to input a third wager in order to take part in the jackpot pool, and that third wager may itself then be used to increment the jackpot pool M3. At step SO8 the players play the game, in effect interacting with the CPU

302 which takes the part of the dealer, displaying appropriate cards to the players. In the case of Blackjack where the dealer takes part in the game, the CPU 302 will also display, on display 301 or at another location, the hand of cards dealt to the dealer. Cards are dealt by the processor 302 and the cards dealt to each player are stored in memory 321.

At step S10 CPU winning players are determined by CPU 302 based on the card values stored in memory 321 and according to the normal rules of Blackjack, which are stored in RAM 304. Electronic implementations of the game Blackjack are well known and details of the program need not be described in detail here. At step S11 the CPU 302 increments the players credit

(which is displayed on display 301) with any winnings for the player, and memory M1 is cleared.

At step S12 the hands of all the players (the hands which have not busted) are compared and then the pot wager (stored in memory M2) is awarded to the player or players with the winning hands, the higher value hands in the case of Blackjack, at step S13, and memory M2 is cleared.

At step S14 the player hands (which have not busted) are compared with a look-up table stored in RAM 304 to determine whether a player has won a jackpot, and the appropriate jackpot is awarded at step S 5, jackpot pool M3 being decremented at step S16 when the player is credited.

CPU 302 stores the values of the cards dealt to each player during the course of the game, and this will include the sequence in which the cards are dealt in order to determine a jackpot payout which is based on the first two cards dealt, for example. Memory 321 is cleared at the end of the game.

It will be appreciated that when we refer to memories 307, 308, 309, 321 these need not be discrete or separate memories but simply designated areas of a memory. Similarly, the 'cards' of a pack may stored in a database and assigned an appropriate label when 'dealt' to a player, for example. Also it may be desirable to store a transaction log for a predetermined period of time in order to deal with any player or house queries, as known in the art.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A gaming station for playing a house banked card game between a plurality of players and the house, said game having established rules for each player to make a game wager on their hand of play and for winning or losing their game wager based upon comparison of their hand of play to an opposing hand of the house, said station comprising: a display defining for each player a player position for each participating player, each player position including a detector to detect the placing of a pot wager and issue a signal in response thereto; a processor to receive said signals from the detectors to sum the amount of said pot wagers to form a pot, each player winning or losing their game wagers based upon the rules of the game and comparison of the house hand to the player hand the player with the highest ranking hand according to the rules of the game winning the pot, at least a portion of the pot won by the house where the house hand has a predetermined holding; and said processor issuing signals to award any portion of the pot won by the house to the house.
2. The gaming station of claim 1 a game including a jackpot, the station further including said processor allocating a portion of the pot to fund said jackpot.
3. A gaming station for a player banked card game between a plurality of players and hosted by a gaming house, each player receiving playing cards, making one or more wagers to form a pot and the player with the highest ranking hand according to the rules of the game winning the pot, said station comprising: a display defining, for each player, a player position for each participating player, each player position including a detector to detect the placing of a pot wager and issue a signal in response thereto; a processor to receive said signals from the detectors to sum the amount of said pot wagers to form said pot, said processor allocating a portion of the pot to the house; means for a player to enter a second wager, said second wagers won and paid by the house to a player having one of a plurality of game ranking hands; and means, including said processor, for awarding the remaining portion of the pot to the player having the highest ranking game hand and clearing said sum.
4. The station of claim 3 including said processor allocating a second portion of said pot sum to fund a jackpot to be won by a player having a predetermined game hand.
5. A method for playing a modified casino card game wherein each player makes a first wager to participate in the game according to the rules thereof and a second pot wager, said pot wagers aggregated to form a pot and where in addition cards are presented as either a dealer hand or communal cards and where the house exacts a levy on the pot to fund the game and/or a jackpot, said method comprising: each player making a pot wager, said pot wagers aggregated to form a pot; for each hand, (i) resolving the first wagers according to the rules of the game and (ii) awarding the pot to the player having the highest ranking hand at the table; designating at least one dealer or community hand holding as pot winning card combinations; and in the event said cards dealt as dealer/communal cards have a pot winning combination, awarding the pot to the house.
6. The method of claim 5 where the game is Blackjack including a dealer hand and player hands, further including designating said pot winning combination as a dealer hand of Ace-King.
7. The method of claim 5 wherein the game is Baccarat including a Banker hand and at least one player hand, further including designating a Banker hand of Ace-8 as said pot winning combination.
8. The method of claim 5 wherein the game includes at least a pair of community cards further including designating a community hand including an Ace-king combination as said pot winning combination.
9. A method for playing a casino game between a plurality of players using playing cards comprising:
the players making a pot wager and a first outcome wager, all pot
wagers aggregated to form a pot; presenting cards to each player for a seven card hand according to any one of the following grouped game dealing sequences,
1. (a) 2 cards face up, one card face down to each player, (b) 3 community cards face up to be shared by all players, and (c) 1 card to each player face down,
2. (a) 2 cards face down, 1 card face up to each player, (b) 3 cards face up to each player, and
(c) 1 card face down to each player,
3. (a) 2 cards face down, 1 card face up to each player,
(b) 2 community cards face up to be shared by all players, and
(c) 1 card face up, 1 card face down to each player,
4. (a) 2 cards face down, one card face up to each player,
(b) 2 community cards face down to be shared by all 0 players, said community cards revealed during play, and
(c) 1 card face up and one card face down to each player,
5. (a) 2 cards face up, 1 card face down to each 5 player,
(b) 2 cards face up to each player, and
(c) 1 card face up, 1 card face down to each player, each player's final hand determined by the highest ranking five card hand
according to the rules of Poker; o each player at least after the presentment of the first group of cards of the selected dealing sequence exercising the option of raising their pot wager, if
any one player raises, each other player must match the raise, any player who
declines to match disqualified from winning the pot; at least one player after receiving his first group of cards optionally
5 doubling their outcome wager; comparing the rankings of the players hands, the player with the highest ranking final hand declared the winner of the pot; and assessing the ranking of each player's final hand and paying the player or collecting the outcome wagers based upon comparison of the players final hand outcome to a predetermined schedule of winning outcomes.
10. The method of claim 9 further including the casino hosting the game exacting a levy on the pot as payment.
11. The method of claims 9 further including a casino playing one of the player's hands, winning casino hands providing a profit to the casino for hosting the game.
12. The method of claim 9 including allocating a portion of the pot to form a jackpot, designating selected outcomes as jackpot outcomes and awarding the jackpot to at least one player participating on the jackpot outcome.
13. The method of claim 12 including awarding the player a primary jackpot portion if a player has a final hand outcome of a first preselected ranking and a secondary jackpot portion to another player in that round of play has a preselected hand of a lower ranking.
14. The method of claim 9 including providing a schedule of winning outcomes and payoffs according to Table 1 , Table 1
Royal Flush 250 to 1
Straight Flush 100 to 1
4-Of-A-Kind 25 to 1
Full House 9 to 1
Flush 7 to 1
Straight 5 to 1 3-Of-A-Kind 3 to 1
Two Pair 2 to 1
Jacks or better Push
15. The method of claim 9 wherein community cards are presented, the method further including designating at least one community card holding as a losing holding whereby at least a portion of the pot is won by the casino. 16. The method of claim 9 including designating at least one non-dealt holding as a losing holding whereby at least a portion of the pot is won by the casino. 17. The method of claim 9 further including a dealer's hand, said players' final hand are compared to the dealer's and designating one of a predetermined holding of the dealer's hand as a losing holding where at least a portion of the pot is won by the casino. 18. A method for playing a casino game between a plurality of players using a deck of playing cards comprising: the players making a pot wager and a first outcome wager, all pot wagers aggregated to form a pot; presenting cards to each player in at least a first group and then a second group for at least a seven card hand, each player's final hand determined by the highest ranking five card hand according to the rules of
Poker; each player after presentment of the first group of cards exercising the option of raising their pot wager, if any one player raises, each other player must match the raise, any player who declines to match disqualified from winning the pot; at least one player after receiving his first group of cards doubling their outcome wager; comparing the rankings of the players hands, the player with the highest ranking final hand declared the winner of the pot; assessing the ranking of each player's final hand and paying the player or collecting the outcome wagers based upon comparison of the players final hand outcome to a predetermined schedule of winning outcomes; and if at least one non-dealt card remaining in the deck constitutes a predetermined holding, at least a portion of the pot won by the casino. 19. A method for playing a casino game between a plurality of players using a deck of playing cards comprising: the players making a pot wager and a first outcome wager, all pot wagers aggregated to form a pot; presenting cards to each player in at least a first group and a group of community cards to be shared by the players for at least a seven card hand, each player's final hand determined by the highest ranking five card hand according to the rules of Poker; each player after presentment of the first group of cards exercising the option of raising their pot wager, if any one player raises, each other player must match the raise, any player who declines to match disqualified from winning the pot; at least one player after receiving his first group of cards doubling their outcome wager; comparing the rankings of the players hands, the player with the highest ranking final hand declared the winner of the pot; assessing the ranking of each player's final hand and paying the player or collecting the outcome wagers based upon comparison of the players final hand outcome to a predetermined schedule of winning outcomes; and if at least one community card constitutes a predetermined holding, at least a portion of the pot won by the casino.
20. A method for playing a casino game between a plurality of players using a deck of playing cards comprising: presenting cards to each player in at least a first group and then a second group for at least a seven card hand, each player's final hand determined by the highest ranking five card hand according to the rules of Poker; the players making a pot wager and a first outcome wager, all pot wagers aggregated to form a pot; each player exercising the option of raising their pot wager, if any one player raises, each other player must match the raise, any player who declines to match disqualified from winning the pot; at least one player after receiving his first group of cards doubling their outcome wager; comparing the rankings of the players hands, the player with the highest ranking final hand declared the winner of the pot; assessing the ranking of each player's final hand and paying the player or collecting the outcome wagers based upon comparison of the players final hand outcome to a predetermined schedule of winning outcomes; and . if at least one non-dealt card remaining in the deck constitutes a predetermined holding, at least a portion of the wagers won by the casino.
21. An improved method for playing a Pai Gow Poker game between players and a dealer wherein each player makes a wager to play the game and for eliminating levies on player winning hands, the method comprising: selecting one or more of the dealer's cards as a push-winning holding; and when a push is declared between a player and the dealer according to the rules Pai Gow Poker, declaring the dealer the winning if the dealer's cards have a push winning holding and collecting the player's wager.
22. A method for playing a casino game between a plurality of players using a deck of playing cards comprising: the players making a pot wager and a first outcome wager, all pot wagers aggregated to form a pot; presenting cards to each player in at least a first group and then a second group for at least a seven card hand, each player's final hand determined by the highest ranking five card hand according to the rules of
Poker; at least one player after receiving his first group of cards doubling their outcome wager; comparing the rankings of the players hands, the player with the highest ranking final hand declared the winner of the pot; assessing the ranking of each player's final hand and paying the player or collecting the outcome wagers based upon comparison of the players final hand outcome to a predetermined schedule of winning outcomes; and if at least one non-dealt card remaining in the deck constitutes a predetermined holding, at least a portion of the pot won by the casino. 23. Apparatus for playing a game as defined in any one of claims 5 to 22, the apparatus comprising: a display or displays for displaying representations of playing cards at one or more player positions, means for receiving an input from a player to indicate participation in the game, the input including a wager, means for receiving one or more instructions from the player, the instructions governing the progress of the game, means for displaying one or more playing card representations on the display at the player position in accordance with the input and the instruction from the player, the displayed cards forming the player's hand, means for storing the value of the displayed cards forming the player's
hand, means for determining the outcome of the game by reference to the player's hand and the rules of the game, and means for rewarding the player in accordance with the determined outcome.
PCT/GB2001/003944 1995-09-11 2001-09-03 Casino game and device therefor WO2002018023A1 (en)

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US09653048 US6719291B1 (en) 1999-01-28 2000-09-01 Method and system for playing a casino game
US09/653,048 2000-09-01
US09/692,410 2000-10-18
US09692410 US6467771B1 (en) 1995-09-11 2000-10-18 Casino game and device therefor

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