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Publication numberUS20040051247 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/245,995
Publication dateMar 18, 2004
Filing dateSep 17, 2002
Priority dateSep 17, 2002
Publication number10245995, 245995, US 2004/0051247 A1, US 2004/051247 A1, US 20040051247 A1, US 20040051247A1, US 2004051247 A1, US 2004051247A1, US-A1-20040051247, US-A1-2004051247, US2004/0051247A1, US2004/051247A1, US20040051247 A1, US20040051247A1, US2004051247 A1, US2004051247A1
InventorsRob Phillips
Original AssigneePhillips Rob L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus and method of enhancing a casino table game
US 20040051247 A1
Abstract
An apparatus and method of enhancing table wagering games such as Blackjack, Craps and Roulette. The method involves randomly selecting one or more players prior to each round, but after all wagers have been placed, of an underlying wagering game. The selection process may be conducted in a complimentary fashion or may require a player to first place an ante for participation in the selection process. Once the selection is made, the one or more selected players are then eligible to receive an enhanced reward based on the outcome of the underlying wagering game. For example, a selected player may be paid 2-1 on a winning Blackjack hand as compared to the conventional 1-1. In another example, the selected player may be paid 3-1 on two card “Blackjack” rather than the conventional 3-2. A first embodiment includes a random number generator and lighting units for randomly selecting and identifying selected players.
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Claims(23)
I claim:
1. A gaming table comprising:
a table top having a gaming layout depicted thereon;
a plurality of player positions arranged about said table top;
means for randomly selecting one or more of the player positions; and
one or more display indicators for identifying the one or more randomly selected player positions.
2. The gaming table of claim 1 wherein the means for randomly selecting the one or more player positions is a random number generator.
3. The gaming table of claim 1 wherein said plurality of display indicators are light emitting diodes.
4. The gaming table of claim 3 wherein said one or more light emitting diodes are incorporated into said table.
5. The gaming table of claim 1 wherein a player seated in the selected one or more player positions is provided with an opportunity at an enhanced gaming reward.
6. The gaming table of claim 5 wherein said enhanced gaming reward is based on the wagering game outcome of the one or more selected players.
7. A method of playing a wagering game at a table comprising the steps of:
accepting player wagers corresponding to the wagering game;
randomly selecting one or more player positions at said table;
identifying the one or more selected player positions;
conducting the wagering game; and
providing the one or more players associated with the one or more selected player positions an opportunity at an enhanced reward related to the wagering game outcome of the one or more selected players.
8. The method of claim 7 wherein said step of randomly selecting the one or more player positions is accomplished by means of a random number generator.
9. The method of claim 7 wherein the one or more selected player positions is identified by one or more display indicators integrated into the table.
10. The method of claim 7 wherein the one or more selected player positions is identified by a display for showing a alphanumeric number corresponding to the one or more player positions.
11. The method of claim 7 wherein the reward is an enhanced payout.
12. A method of enhancing a wagering game played at a gaming table comprising the steps of:
accepting player wagers corresponding to the wagering game;
randomly selecting one or more player positions at the table;
identifying the one or more selected player positions;
conducting the wagering game; and
providing one or more players corresponding to the one or more selected player positions with an enhanced wagering game payout should the one or more players achieve a predetermined wagering game outcome.
13. A gaming table comprising:
a table top having a gaming layout depicted thereon;
a plurality of player positions arranged about said table top; and
a plurality of display indicators incorporated into said table for identifying one or more player positions selected by a random number generator.
14. A system of enhancing a plurality of wagering games played at a plurality of gaming tables in a proximate location of one another comprising:
a centrally located random number generator in communication with the plurality of gaming tables, said centrally located random number generator generating a number corresponding to a gaming table player position upon request by a table wagering game operator;
identifying the selected player at the gaming table operated by the requesting operator;
conducting the wagering game; and
providing a player corresponding to the selected player position with an enhanced wagering game payout should the player achieve a predetermined wagering game outcome.
15. A gaming table comprising:
a table top having a gaming layout depicted thereon;
a plurality of player positions arranged about said table top;
a random number generator for selecting one or more player positions; and
a plurality of light emitting diodes placed adjacent each player position, one or more of said light emitting diodes corresponding to the one or more selected player positions being lighted upon said random selection.
16. A gaming table comprising:
a table top having a gaming layout depicted thereon;
a plurality of player positions arranged about said table;
means for randomly selecting one or more of the player positions; and
a display for displaying an alphanumeric symbol corresponding to said randomly selected player position.
17. The gaming table of claim 16 wherein said means for randomly selecting one or more player positions is a random number generator.
18. A method of enhancing a wagering game played at a gaming table comprising the steps of:
accepting a first player wager corresponding to the wagering game;
randomly selecting one or more player positions at the table;
identifying the one or more selected player positions;
conducting the wagering game; and
providing one or more players corresponding to the one or more selected player positions with a reward based on the random selection.
19. The method of claim 18 further including the step of accepting a second player wager as an ante corresponding to an opportunity at the reward.
20. The method of claim 18 wherein the reward is an enhanced wagering game payout should the one or more players achieve a predetermined wagering game outcome.
21. The method of claim 18 wherein said step of randomly selecting the one or more player positions is accomplished by means of a random number generator.
22. The method of claim 18 wherein the one or more selected player positions is identified by one or more display indicators integrated into the table.
23. The method of claim 18 wherein the one or more selected player positions is identified by a display for showing a alphanumeric number corresponding to the one or more player positions.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to wagering games. More particularly, an apparatus and method for complimenting current table wagering games including Blackjack, Roulette and Craps. The compliment is in the form of an opportunity at a pre-established bonus reward for one or more randomly selected players.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] As the popularity of legalized gaming continues to grow, so does the need for new and exciting wagering games. With the difficulty and cost of introducing new games of chance, many gambling establishments prefer modifications of existing games. Most notably, the traditional game of Blackjack continues to invoke the creation of game modifications designed to enhance the underlying game. For example, players are afforded countless side wagers, increased payouts corresponding to a true “Blackjack” and methods of repeatedly playing a single Blackjack hand.

[0003] While some of the new modifications have gained a level of popularity, they have, for one reason or another, not achieved an overwhelming popularity. Even more troublesome are the games of Roulette and Craps which have remained relatively unchanged since their inception. More particularly, table wagering games, including Blackjack, Craps and Roulette, continue to face pressure created by new innovations in computer-controlled wagering machines such as slot machines. A major problem with new table game modifications is that they tend to be complicated and invariably slow the pace of the underlying game. Unfortunately, the key to any successful wagering game, including any modification, is simplicity and the ability to play the game at a sufficiently quick pace. In other words, players must readily understand the modification and the game operator must be able to quickly implement the modification so that play of the underlying game is not slowed.

[0004] Accordingly, one embodiment of the present invention comprises means for first randomly selecting one or more table wagering game players and second providing an opportunity for an enhanced reward to the one or more selected players. By way of example, a selected Blackjack player may be afforded an enhanced payout for achieving a “Blackjack” or an increased payout for simply winning the hand. The embodiments of the present invention are both simple for players and quickly implemented by operators.

SUMMARY

[0005] While the objects of the present invention are too numerous to fully list, several are listed below for reference.

[0006] An object of the present invention is to provide a simple means for enhancing table wagering games.

[0007] Another object of the present invention is to provide an enhancement that is easy for an operator to implement.

[0008] Another object of the present invention is to provide players with more opportunities to profit at table wagering games.

[0009] Another object of the present invention is to provide a table layout including means for participating in the enhancement of the present invention.

[0010] Another object of the present invention is to provide a table layout that provides means for identifying one or more randomly selected players.

[0011] Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a table having means incorporated therein for randomly selecting a gaming player.

[0012] Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a retrofitted or manufactured wagering game table with means for randomly selecting one or more wagering game players.

[0013] Other objects will become evident as the present invention is described in detail below.

[0014] The objects of a first embodiment of the present invention are achieved by implementing a gaming table with a means for randomly selecting one or more table game players and means for identifying the one or more randomly selected players. The one or more randomly selected players is then afforded an opportunity at an enhanced reward based on the random selection. In alternative embodiments different means for randomly selecting the player are utilized. In another embodiment, players must first place a secondary predetermined wager (e.g. $1) to participate in the opportunity for an enhanced reward.

[0015] Accordingly, in a first embodiment a random number generator is actuated prior to each play, but after initial wagers have been placed, of an underlying wagering game. The random number generator then generates a number corresponding to a player table position. Preferably a plurality of lighted display units incorporated into a gaming table adjacent to each player position identifies the randomly selected player. Such an embodiment may be manufactured in new tables or retrofitted into existing wagering game tables. Based on the random selection one or more players is given the opportunity to win an enhanced reward. Alternative embodiments are described below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016]FIG. 1 is a top view of a table implementing a first embodiment of the present invention;

[0017]FIG. 2 is a top view of the table implementing a second embodiment of the present invention;

[0018]FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing an embodiment of the present invention wherein a random number generator is located at a wagering table;

[0019]FIG. 4 is a block diagram showing an alternative embodiment of the present invention incorporating a centrally located random number generator; and

[0020]FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing the steps of multiple embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0021] Reference is now made to the figures wherein like parts are referred to by like numerals throughout. FIG. 1 shows a table, generally designated as reference numeral 25, implementing a first embodiment of the present invention. While any wagering game and gaming table, including those used in Craps and Roulette, can be used to implement the first embodiment of the present invention, the detailed description herein refers to a Blackjack table as specifically shown in FIG. 1. The Blackjack table 25 includes six player positions 30-1 through 30-6 and a dealer position 32. The number of player positions can be more or less depending on the desire of the establishment operating the underlying wagering game. Each player position 30-1 through 30-6 has a corresponding wagering area 35-1 through 35-6 and card placement area 40-1 through 40-6 depicted on a table layout 45. The table layout 45 further includes an insurance wager area 50. A card reader 55 allows a dealer to check hole cards without risk of revealing the card's value to players. A chip rack 28 holds casino chips or cheques for paying players and is adjacent the dealer position 32.

[0022] As described above, the table 25 includes the conventional features of conventional Blackjack tables. However, the table 25 further includes six selected player indicators 60-1 through 60-6 placed adjacent each wagering area 35-1 through 35-6. In a first embodiment, the selected player indicators are lighting units 60-1 through 60-6 such as light emitting diodes (LEDs) in communication with a random number generator 100 (illustrated in FIG. 4). The communication can be by means of a wired system or wireless system. A conventional random number generator utilizes stored mathematical formulas to select a random number from a group of predetermined numbers. Random number generators are well known in the art and therefore are not discussed in further detail herein. A random number generator activation device 120 provides means for a gaming operator to cause the random number generator 100 to select a number. Once the random number generator selects a specific number between 1 and 6, the corresponding lighting unit 60-1 through 60-6 is illuminated to identify the selected player for that game. In this embodiment, it is also desirable, for maximizing the anticipation, to cause the lighting units 60-1 through 60-6 to alternatively illuminate and turn off until one of the lighting units 60-1 through 60-6 is selected and finally illuminated.

[0023] In another embodiment as shown in FIG. 2, the lighting units 60-7 through 60-12 are closely arranged adjacent the dealer's position 32 on the table 25 rather than placed adjacent the player positions 30-1 through 30-6. In this close arrangement, the lighting units 60-7 through 60-12 are numbered from left to right and correspond to the player positions 30-1 through 30-6.

[0024] Besides a random number generator, player selection means may include rolling a six-sided die or spinning an arrow having six unique outcomes. Moreover, any means of randomly selecting a player is contemplated by the instant invention.

[0025] Alternatively, the random number generator 100 may be placed in communication with a display device 110 (e.g. a seven segment display) (illustrated in FIG. 4). The display device 110 then displays the randomly generated number between 1 and 6 identifying the randomly selected player. Although the description herein focuses on one player being selected, it should be understood that more than one player may be selected prior to playing a wagering game.

[0026] Identifying the selected player may also be accomplished by placing a simple gaming indicia adjacent a selected player. For example, a button device similar to a Craps marker may be used to identify the selected player. Any means of identifying the player may be used without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Now referring to FIG. 4, the random number generator 100 is actuated by means of an activation device 120 mounted near the dealer position 32 and generates a number between 1 and 6 corresponding to each player position 30-1 through 30-6. The random number generator may use any conventional method of generating the random number. A shown in FIG. 5, it is also contemplated that a central or common random number generator 150 communicates with a plurality of wagering tables 25-1 through 25-N. The central random number generator 150 then acts to generate a random number for each wagering game table 25-1 through 25-N on request by a table wagering game operator. Requests are held in a queue and responded to in order as they arrive from the multiple wagering game tables 25-1 through 25-N. This embodiment eliminates the need for individual random number generators incorporated into, or located at, each wagering game table.

[0027] The present invention is described herein in terms of the wagering game of Blackjack, but it may be similarly implemented in any wagering game utilizing a table. Blackjack is traditionally played as follows: Players make wagers within a predetermined range of allowable wagers. A dealer then deals each player a first card (face down or up depending on the number of decks being used) in order from the dealer's left to right. Once each player has a first card, the dealer deals himself a first card in a face down position. Each player is then dealt a second card and the dealer deals himself a second card in a face up position. Should the dealer's face up card have a value of ten, the dealer checks his face down card with the card reader 55 to determine whether it is an Ace thereby giving the dealer “Blackjack” hand (two cards having a value of 21). If the dealer does not have “Blackjack” the game continues with each player taking any number of cards in an effort to get closer, without going over, to twenty-one than the dealer. Tie hands or push hands result in the player retaining the original wager. Players are paid even money on their winning wagers. A majority of gaming establishments offer 3-2 payouts on winning “Blackjack” hands. Although subtle rule changes are afforded by different gaming establishments, the general nature of Blackjack has been set forth above.

[0028] The embodiments of the present invention enhance any table wagering game, including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Let it RideŽ, Carribean Stud, etc, by randomly selecting one or more players prior to each play of the underlying game for a possible enhanced reward. Again, Blackjack is discussed throughout this description. The random selection process is controlled by the random number generator 100 actuated prior to each deal by the dealer utilizing the activation device 120. Once the one or more players is selected, the player(s) is afforded an opportunity to receive an enhanced reward. For example, the selected player may be eligible for an enhanced payout, such as 2-1 (rather than the conventional 1-1), if the selected player wins the Blackjack hand. In another example, the selected player may be eligible for an increased payout, such as 3-1 (rather than the conventional 3-2), associated with obtaining a “Blackjack.” In yet another example, the player may be afforded a 1-1 payout (rather than no payout) on a push hand. Yet another example, allows a selected player to “triple down” rather than “double down” on certain predetermined card combinations. The enhanced rewards or payouts are limitless and can be devised by any gaming establishment implementing the embodiments of the present invention.

[0029]FIG. 5 shows a flow chart detailing two embodiments of the present invention. At step 200, players place wagers according to the conventional rules of Blackjack. Once all wagers are placed, the dealer activates the random number generator at step 210. At steps 220 and 230 a player is selected and identified respectively. As described above, the identification may by means of LEDs, a display device or gaming indicia. At step 240, the underlying Blackjack is played according to the conventional rules of Blackjack. Once the dealer's hand is complete, the dealer identifies which played hands have won. Should the dealer determine that the randomly selected player has won the hand at step 250, the dealer then pays the player at step 260 the enhanced payout according to the rules of the implemented embodiment of the present invention. Should the player lose, the dealer collects the wager at step 270.

[0030] In an alternative embodiment, at step 280 (shown in dotted lines) the player pays a preselected wager to participate in the random selection process and corresponding opportunity at an enhanced reward. Much like the game of Carribean Stud, where players pay $1 to participate in a progressive jackpot, players may be required to place a modest $1 wager prior to each underlying wagering game to participate in the random selection process. This option is again left to the discretion of the gaming establishment.

[0031] Craps, Roulette, Carribean StudŽ, Let it RideŽ and any table wagering game can be complimented by the present invention. For example, randomly selected Roulette players may be provided with an enhanced payout, such as 40-1 rather than 35-1, if the player's wagered number appears. Alternatively, players may be given a wagering chip of a modest value (e.g. $1) for placement on the Roulette gaming table layout for the following spin of the Roulette wheel. In Craps, the player may be provided with an enhanced payout if the shooter rolls a point on the subsequent roll. In Carribean StudŽ, a selected player may be provided with an enhanced payout if the player obtains a winning hand. Similarly, any wagering table game can be complimented and enhanced by the present invention.

[0032] In another embodiment, a selected player is immediately awarded a bonus simply by being the selected player. For example, a selected player may be given a raffle ticket for each time the player is selected.

[0033] It should be understood that a selected player may be afforded a myriad of different reward opportunities besides enhanced payouts. In other words, the casino implementing the present invention may fashion any reward or reward opportunity desired. For example, players may be awarded points rather than enhanced payouts.

[0034] Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to a preferred embodiment, additional variations and modifications exist within the scope and spirit of the invention as described and defined in the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7144012Dec 27, 2005Dec 5, 2006Gail Lee GrigsbyDiejack
US8641533 *Sep 20, 2005Feb 4, 2014International Casino Systems Europe B.V.System and method for playing a progressive jackpot game, and player input device
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/274
International ClassificationA63F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/00157
European ClassificationA63F3/00A32