Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20040056419 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/427,338
Publication dateMar 25, 2004
Filing dateMay 1, 2003
Priority dateSep 20, 2002
Publication number10427338, 427338, US 2004/0056419 A1, US 2004/056419 A1, US 20040056419 A1, US 20040056419A1, US 2004056419 A1, US 2004056419A1, US-A1-20040056419, US-A1-2004056419, US2004/0056419A1, US2004/056419A1, US20040056419 A1, US20040056419A1, US2004056419 A1, US2004056419A1
InventorsJohn Wirth
Original AssigneeWirth John E.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method for playing casino poker game
US 20040056419 A1
Abstract
A casino game, based on the rules of poker, wherein each player is dealt five cards, with an option to utilize a sixth card to improve the five-card hand. The game provides a player with three opportunities to win: 1) head-to-head competition against the dealer, with the higher poker hand winning; 2) competition for a common pot among the players, bonus payments for long-odds hands (e.g., straight or better). Because no player has an opportunity to increase his/her initial wager after the cards are dealt, the game proceeds rapidly.
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(18)
What is claimed is:
1. A method of playing a modified draw poker game comprising the following steps:
providing a table having a playing station for a dealer and playing stations for a plurality of players, each player station comprising a card playing area having first and second betting zones;
each player placing an ante wager in said first betting zone and a second wager in said second betting zone, the players' second wagers comprising a players pot;
the dealer dealing an initial, five-card hand, face down, to himself and to each player;
the dealer placing a common card at a location on the table;
providing an opportunity for each player to utilize said common card;
turning all cards to a face up position:
(a) the dealer collecting the ante wagers in said first betting zone from each player whose poker hand is lower in value than the dealer's hand;
(b) the dealer: i) returning the ante wager, and ii) paying an amount equal to the ante wager in said first betting zone to each player who has a higher poker hand than the dealer's hand;
(c) increasing the amount of the dealer's payment to a predetermined multiple of the ante wager for each player whose hand comprises a premium hand, provided that said premium hand comprises a higher poker hand than that of the dealer; and
(d) the dealer paying said players pot to the player having the highest poker hand.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein a percentage of said players pot is retained by the house.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein said percentage is equal to or greater than 2% and less than or equal to 5%.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein a player's right to employ said common card requires the player to place a pre-determined payment at a third zone at the player's playing station, and said payments are collected by the dealer upon completion of the hand.
5. The method of claim 4 wherein the payment for use of the common card is five dollars.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein said common card is dealt facedown.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein the initial five card hands are dealt to each player five-at-a-time.
8. The method of claim 1 wherein the initial five card hands are dealt to each player one-at-a-time.
9. The method of claim 1 wherein said predetermined wager in the second betting zone is five dollars.
10. The method of claim 1 wherein said ante wager in said first betting zone is a whole-dollar amount in the range of five dollars to twenty-five dollars.
11. The method of claim 1, further including:
providing an opportunity for the dealer to utilize said common card.
12. The method of claim 1 wherein said premium hand comprises three-of-a-kind or better.
13. The method of claim 1 wherein said premium hand comprises a straight or better.
14. The method of claim 1 wherein the predetermined multiple payment for a premium hand is based on the statistical rarity of said hand.
15. The method of claim 12 wherein the multiple applied to the following types of poker hands is:
Three of a Kind  2 to 1 Straight  3 to 1 Flush  5 to 1 Full House  7 to 1 Four of a Kind  20 to 1 Straight Flush 125 to 1 Royal Flush 250 to 1
16. The method of claim 13 wherein the multiple applied to the following types of poker hands is:
Straight  3 to 1 Flush  5 to 1 Full House  7 to 1 Four of a Kind  20 to 1 Straight Flush 125 to 1 Royal Flush 250 to 1
17. The method of claim 1 further providing an optional step which permits a player to participate in a progressive pot, said progressive pot comprising funds contributed by players over a plurality of games, said method comprising:
permitting a player to make a separate, one dollar bet at a predetermined region on the table prior to inspection of the player's cards; and
awarding the player the accumulated value of said progressive pot if the player's hand consists of a royal flush.
18. The method of claim 1 wherein said table comprises a 76 inch black jack table.
Description
    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 10/247,987, filed Sep. 20, 2002.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    In U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,845,906 and 6,113,101, the text of which is incorporated by reference herein, I described methods for playing wagering games which were based, in substantial part, on the rules of poker. As was the case with these earlier disclosures, the present invention relates generally to a playing card wagering game which is particularly applicable to a casino environment in which multiple players compete with themselves and with the house. The game in its variations can also be played in a home environment.
  • [0003]
    Wagering games, particularly those intended primarily for play in casinos, should provide players with a sense of participation and control, the opportunity to make decisions, and reasonable odds of winning, even though the odds favor the casino, house, dealer or banker. The game must also meet the requirements of regulatory agencies.
  • [0004]
    Wagering games, including wagering games for casino play with multiple wagering opportunities, are known. In addition to the above-mentioned patents, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,861,041 and 5,078,405 (both to Jones et al) disclose methods and apparatus for progressive jackpot gaming, respectively. The former patent discloses that a player may make an additional wager at the beginning of a hand, the outcome of the additional wager being determined by a predetermined arrangement of cards in the player's hand. U.S. Pat. No. 4,836,553 (to Suttle and Jones) discloses a modified version of a five card stud poker game.
  • [0005]
    Additional symbols may be added to the usual means of playing a game to increase wagering opportunities. This is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,098,107 (to Boylan et al). Somewhat similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 3,667,757 (to Holmberg) discloses a board game and apparatus, including a way to allow the player to make a choice with respect to several different alternative types of game play and risk-bearing strategies. The alternative play is based on providing cards with additional symbols and therefore, a new set of odds. The game and apparatus disclosed by Holmberg requires new sets of rules, relatively complicated procedures and time for a player to learn the game.
  • [0006]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,154,429 (to LeVasseur) involves the dealer playing multiple hands against a player's single hand, whereby the number of hands played in the same amount of time is increased.
  • [0007]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,437,462 (to Breeding) discloses a casino-type poker game wherein players are given an opportunity to withdraw at least a part of their bets before all the cards are dealt. The game employs at least one common card which can be used by all of the players.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    The present invention relates to a card game, in particular to a card game suitable for use in casinos, and to tables for playing the game. The game combines the concepts of draw poker with simultaneous play against a dealer (the house) and play against other players. Players who are dealt “premium hands” (as hereafter defined) can receive bonus payments, depending on the value of the hand. Because the players are not permitted to increase their wagers, the game moves rapidly.
  • [0009]
    The game follows the rules of stud poker, and a single, 52-card deck is used. Each player's poker hand is made from 5 dealt cards, with the right to use a common card to improve the dealt hand if the player so elects and pays the house for the privilege of using this common card. The dealer has same option as other players, i.e., to make the best five-card hand from six cards; however, the dealer does not pay to use the common card. Each player plays head-to-head against the dealer for one part of the wager, and against the other players or another part of the wager (the “common pot” or “Players Pot”). A bonus or “premium hands payout” provides the players with an opportunity to win a multiple of their ante wagers.
  • [0010]
    Premium or bonus pots have become very popular with the gaming public. This game incorporates a system for rewarding players having exceptional (statistically rare) hands, but unlike conventional games (e.g., Caribbean Stud) where players contribute to the makeup of that pot, the present game has a bonus system which does not require a direct contribution by the players. Casino games which provide bonus payouts for extraordinary hands generally limit such payments to truly outstanding hands—a straight or better. Although the practice of limiting premium payments to a straight or better could be maintained in the present game, statistical analysis indicates that the game will generate a profit to the house even if payouts are made to players having poker hands as low as three-of-a-kind. Accordingly, as used herein, a “premium hand” refers to poker hands of three-of-a-kind or better, or a straight or better, depending on the threshold set by the house.
  • [0011]
    No matter which threshold is adopted—three-of-a-kind or straight—a player will receive a bonus or premium payment from the house only if the player's hand is higher than that of the dealer. For example, if a player holds a straight and the dealer holds a flush, the player will loose his bet with the dealer and no bonus (premium) payout will be made.
  • [0012]
    In cases where a premium hand is eligible for a bonus payment, the amount of the bonus payment is based on the rarity of the hand. For example, if a first player has a hand containing three-of-a-kind, and a second player has a hand containing a straight flush (both hands higher than that of the dealer), the second player would receive a higher bonus payout than the first player. As the forgoing example illustrates, more than one player may receive a bonus payment in a given round.
  • [0013]
    From the house's perspective, providing an opportunity for a bonus payment for hands as low as three-of-a-kind should attract additional players to the table. Statistical analysis of the game demonstrates that the funds required to make the bonus payouts can be generated from the monies paid to the dealer (house) when players buy the right to employ a sixth card. Although the amount or cost of the right to use the sixth card can be varied, the suggested price in this game would be $5.00. Because premium payouts will not be an every-game occurrence, sufficient funds to seed and maintain this bonus pool can easily be obtained from amounts paid over the course of many hands.
  • [0014]
    The game would proceed as follows. The dealer (house) operates from a table playing station which provides easy access to the players. In addition to the dealer, the game can be played by as many as six players around the table, each operating from a playing station which has a card playing area and a betting area. Each player's betting area contains at least two wager zones: a first Ante zone, a second zone for wagers which form the “Players Pot” and a third zone for placing a payment for the right to use a sixth card if the player wishes to avail himself of this option. Each of the players stations also contains a region or zone where cards can be dealt.
  • [0015]
    The dealer's playing station is somewhat different than that of the players. In addition to a region or zone for placing the five cards dealt to the dealer, in a preferred embodiment, the dealer's playing station contains a marked area or zone for placement of a common card which can be utilized by any of the players, including the dealer. In a preferred embodiment, the dealer's playing station also contains a region or zone for maintaining a common Players Pot.
  • [0016]
    In a preferred method, play would commence as follows: Each player would place two wagers: an ante in a first zone which can be from $5.00 to $25.00 in whole dollar amounts; and an additional $5.00 wager in a second zone which will form part of the players pot. Although these table limits could be varied at the option of the house (e.g., $10.00 to $50.00 ante, and $10.00 for the players pot), the amount which can be wagered in the players pot is a fixed sum. Only the ante wager with the house can be varied, in whole-dollar amounts, and that wager only at the onset of play, before any cards have been dealt. In order to maintain the flow of play, there is no opportunity to raise any bet after the cards have been dealt. Since there is no qualifying hand by the dealer or minimum hand to open, all hands play and the players pot will be won each hand by the player with highest poker hand.
  • [0017]
    Five cards are dealt to each player, starting with a player adjacent to the dealer; the dealer being dealt last. The cards may be dealt from right-to-left or left-to-right. The cards are dealt one-at-a-time, unless a machine is used, in which case the cards may be dealt five-at-a-time. Individual players are permitted to play only one hand at a time.
  • [0018]
    At some point in the deal, the dealer places a single card in a “common card” zone region of the table. All cards—players, dealer's and the common card—are dealt face down.
  • [0019]
    The players look at their five cards and determine if they wish to fold, stand pat or utilize the sixth card or common card. A player desiring to fold surrenders his hand to the dealer and forfeits both of his original bets; the ante bet is collected by the dealer, and the bet in the players pot zone is retained for the player with the highest poker hand. If a player wishes to utilize the sixth card or common card, the player will place $5.00 in a designated area on the table in front of his playing station. The fact that a bet appears in this third area is an indicator to the dealer that the player is entitled to use the sixth card.
  • [0020]
    The sixth card can be used to improve players present five card hand but only five cards are used to make up players best hand. Upon completion of the hand, the extra card payments go to the house.
  • [0021]
    As noted above, it is envisioned that the receipts from players who opt to use the extra or common card will off-set any payments the house may make to players who have poker hands comprising three-of-a-kind or better. Players having these types of hands (a “bonus” hand) are entitled to a bonus or premium in addition to any wagers they may recover from the dealer or from other players through the “Players Pot.” One over-riding limitation on the right to receive a bonus payout is that the player's hand must be higher than that of the dealer. For example, a player holding a hand containing three fours, would not only loose to a dealer holding three fives, but that player would also not be entitled to a bonus payout. However, as described below, the player holding three fours could prevail in play against the other players and be entitled to the funds in the Players Pot.
  • [0022]
    As will be described in greater detail below, the wager in the Ante zone represents a bet between the player and the dealer. The wager in the player's second or Players Pot zone represents a bet with each of the remaining players, apart from the dealer. That is to say, except for a service charge or “rake” (described hereafter), the dealer is generally not eligible for any portion of the Players Pot (with one exception, described below).
  • [0023]
    Although the dealer does not participate as a player, the house may be entitled to a portion of the Players Pot as a service charge or “rake”. A commonly-used rake for casino card parlors is 5% of the pot. The 5% “rake” would be paid to the house when the “Players Pot” is finely won by a player. These suggestions concerning the amount of the house “rake” are for illustration only, and variations could be made at the option of the house.
  • [0024]
    With respect to the bets placed at each player's “Players Pot” zone, these wagers could be gathered by the dealer in the common Players Pot region on the table or left in front of the individual player at the option of the house.
  • [0025]
    After each player has made his or her decision with respect to the sixth card, the dealer would turn over and expose the five cards which were dealt to the dealer.
  • [0026]
    After the five cards dealt to the dealer have been exposed, the dealer exposes the common card. Irrespective of the result of this turn-over on the value of the dealer's hand, all dealer hands must play.
  • [0027]
    After the dealer's hand has been exposed, the dealer turns up each player's hand, starting from his left to right. The dealer pays an amount equal to the Ante wager in the first betting zone to each player who has a higher poker hand than the dealer, and collects the Ante bets from all of the players with lower hands than the dealer. All hands are left exposed for dealer to determine highest player hand and to distribute funds from player pot to that player. If the highest poker hands are of equal value, the players pot would be split.
  • [0028]
    In a preferred embodiment, if the player's hand is both: 1) higher than the dealer's hand; and, 2) of the type which constitutes a “bonus” band, then the player would receive a multiple of his bet. For example, if the player had anted $20, the dealer has a pair, and the player has two pairs, the player would receive his original $20 bet, plus $20 from the dealer. Given the same situation, but the player's hand comprising a full house, the player would receive his original $20 bet, plus $140 from the dealer (a 7:1 return in accordance with the following table). In those situations where a player and the dealer have hands of the same value, these hands result in a “push”, and no money is exchanged between the player and the dealer.
  • [0029]
    Similarly, in those rare situations where two players have identical winning hands, the players pot is split between the two players.
  • [0030]
    One additional advantage of the present game is that it can be played by up to six players on a standard 76 inch black jack table and does not require a large amount of floor space in a casino operation.
  • [0031]
    As to the amount of the bonus, in the preferred method, the bonus payouts by the dealer would be based on the amount a player has anted. Suggested payouts based on this system are as follows:
    Three of a Kind  2 to 1
    Straight  3 to 1
    Flush  5 to 1
    Full House  7 to 1
    Four of a Kind  20 to 1
    Straight Flush 125 to 1
    Royal Flush 250 to 1
  • [0032]
    Using the above table, and assuming that the player's hand is higher than that of the dealer, a player who has anted the minimum of $5.00 who holds a flush would be entitled to a payment of $25.00 from the dealer, plus return of the $5.00 ante bet.
  • [0033]
    The foregoing table of bonus payouts has been provided by way of example, only, and could be varied at the discretion of the house. In particular, the house might well decide to start the bonus payouts at hands comprising a straight or better.
  • [0034]
    The final stage of play involves head-to-head competition among the players. The wagers in this second zone, form a common, Players Pot. This pot will be paid to the player who has the highest poker hand each round.
  • [0035]
    As noted above, the dealer does not normally participate in the Players Pot (apart from the house “rake”).
  • [0036]
    There is one exception to the rule that the dealer is not eligible for the Common Players Pot. In the event that only one player is at the table, the house may play by placing a wager which is equivalent to the players pot wager (e.g., $5.00). This exception would only apply in the case where only one player is left at the table.
  • [0037]
    In summary, under the method described above, a player has three opportunities to win: 1) by having a higher poker hand in one-on-one play with the dealer; 2) by having the highest poker hand among all of the players at the table; and, 3) by having a “premium” or “bonus” hand (e.g., three-of-a-kind or better) which entitles the player to a premium payout from the house. Operation of the game can be further understood with reference to the description of apparatus for playing the game.
  • [0038]
    Finally, it should be possible to add a “progressive pot” option to the present game. Progressive pots, which are familiar to participants in casino poker games, provide a player with an option of contributing a small wager (e.g., $1.00) for the opportunity to win a relatively large sum of money in the event the player holds a royal flush. The normal procedure with respect to this option is to allow funds to accumulate over a long period of time, and to award the accumulated value of the progressive pot (less expenses and a house rake) to any player who has such a hand. In straight poker, the odds of being dealt five cards comprising a royal flush are in the neighborhood of 650,000:1. While providing players an opportunity to use a sixth card will reduce these odds, somewhat, nonetheless, statistics would predict a payout of several hundred thousand to one, which could further enhance the allure of the game.
  • [0039]
    Although certain apparatus constructed in accordance with the teachings of the invention is described herein, the scope of coverage of this patent is not limited thereto. On the contrary, this patent covers all embodiments of the teachings of the invention fairly falling within the scope of the appended claims either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
  • [0040]
    [0040]FIG. 1 is a plan view depicting a table which can be used for playing the casino poker game of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0041]
    Referring now to the drawing, FIG. 1 discloses a casino poker table at 10. Except for the legends on the surface, table 10 is structurally and dimensionally similar to a 76 inch blackjack table. That is, the distance between point A and point B is 76 inches. Table 10 has a generally semicircular shape and is provided with a recessed area 11 where a dealer can stand and have access to the cards and wagers of the players around the table. Immediately in front of recessed area 11 is a dealer's playing station 11 a where the dealer's cards can be dealt.
  • [0042]
    Six player areas or playing stations 12 a, 12 b, 12 c, 12 d, 12 e and 12 f are disposed along the arcuate side of table 10, across from dealer station 11 a. Each player's station 12 a through 12 f has corresponding player's card playing areas 13 a through 13 f, first betting zones 14 a through 14 f, second betting zones 15 a through 15 f, and common card betting areas 19 a through 19 f. Betting zones 14, 15 and common card areas 19 are defined by indicia (not shown) on the top of table 10.
  • [0043]
    In front of dealer's playing station 11 a is a dealer's card area 16 a, 16 b, 16 c, 16 d, 16 e for display of dealer's initial five cards, and a separate card area 17 for display of a sixth (common) card. The region in front of the dealer also contains a Players Pot zone 18 for holding chips or cash. Zone 18 could be labeled “Players Pot” to indicate its function.
  • [0044]
    As described in the preceding paragraphs, play commences by each player placing an ante wager in first and second betting zones 14 and 15. In one embodiment of the invention, the dealer then deals five cards to each of the players who has made an ante wager and players pot wager, placing five of the dealt cards in each player's card playing area 13. Cards are dealt from dealer's left to right, one-at-a-time. All cards, including those in dealer's area 16 a, 16 b, 16 c, 16 d, 16 e and 17 are dealt in a face-down position. After inspection of his/her cards, a player may desire to improve his or her original hand by using the as-yet unseen common card in location 17. A player wishing to use the common card places a $5.00 payment in his/her area 19 may place $5.00 in common card zone. In a preferred embodiment, the wagers in second betting zones 15 a-15 f would be moved by the dealer to Players Pot zone 18.
  • [0045]
    Play commences by the dealer turning the dealer's five cards in areas 16 a-16 e to a face-up position. At this point the sixth card at location 17 is turned over, as are all of the Players hands. Depending on the nature of the poker hand formed by the cards in area 16 a-16 f, the dealer may use the sixth card in area 17. All hands are left exposed.
  • [0046]
    The dealer's hand is compared with the hands of each of the players, in turn. If a player has a higher-value poker hand than the dealer, the wager at zone 14 will be returned to the player, together with an equal amount from the dealer. If the player has a premium hand (as defined above), he or she will receive a bonus payment from the dealer. On the other hand, if a player's hand is lower in value than that of the dealer, the wager at zone 14 will be surrendered to the dealer.
  • [0047]
    Finally, the hands of each of the players will be compared and the funds in Players Pot zone 18 (less any house rake) will be awarded to the player having the highest value hand.
  • [0048]
    Although a preferred embodiment has been described in detail, it should be understood that various changes and alterations can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3667757 *Mar 3, 1970Jun 6, 1972Eugene P HolmbergBoard game apparatus
US4836553 *Apr 18, 1988Jun 6, 1989Caribbean Stud Enterprises, Inc.Poker game
US4861041 *Jul 5, 1988Aug 29, 1989Caribbean Stud Enterprises, Inc.Methods of progressive jackpot gaming
US5078405 *Jun 5, 1989Jan 7, 1992Caribbean Stud Enterprises, Inc.Apparatus for progressive jackpot gaming
US5098107 *Mar 11, 1991Mar 24, 1992Bet Technology Inc.Method and apparatus for playing a wagering game
US5154429 *Feb 24, 1992Oct 13, 1992Four Queens, Inc.Method of playing multiple action blackjack
US5437462 *Feb 18, 1994Aug 1, 1995Shuffle Master, Inc.Wagering game
US5845906 *Jan 23, 1997Dec 8, 1998Wirth; John E.Method for playing casino poker game
US6113101 *Nov 16, 1998Sep 5, 2000Wirth; John E.Method and apparatus for playing casino poker game
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7114724 *Jul 1, 2004Oct 3, 2006Ritzer Sandy ACombination 3 card poker-baccarat gaming method and apparatus
US7654530 *Nov 7, 2006Feb 2, 2010Ray SmithCasino-type wagering game based on card color
US8118669Jan 13, 2009Feb 21, 2012IgtSystem and method for providing poker player tracking and bonus events
US8342955Jan 1, 2013Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty, Ltd.Gaming system and a method of gaming
US8795061Oct 10, 2007Aug 5, 2014IgtAutomated data collection system for casino table game environments
US8905834Nov 9, 2007Dec 9, 2014IgtTransparent card display
US9123198Nov 30, 2012Sep 1, 2015Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty LimitedGaming system and a method of gaming
US20050119052 *Sep 15, 2004Jun 2, 2005Russell Glen K.Player specific network
US20060001214 *Jul 1, 2004Jan 5, 2006Ritzer Sandy ACombination 3 card poker-baccarat gaming method and apparatus
US20070021171 *Mar 2, 2005Jan 25, 2007Pavlovich Efremov IMethod of entertainment "raise poker"
US20070045958 *Aug 30, 2005Mar 1, 2007Rader Richard MSystem and method for providing poker player tracking and bonus events
US20070085271 *Oct 14, 2005Apr 19, 2007Quintana Kelly TCasino poker-type game
US20080106037 *Nov 7, 2006May 8, 2008Ray SmithCasino-type wagering game based on card color
US20090121431 *Jan 13, 2009May 14, 2009IgtSystem and method for providing poker player tracking and bonus events
US20090124319 *Jan 13, 2009May 14, 2009IgtSystem and method for providing poker player tracking and bonus events
US20090227366 *Mar 10, 2009Sep 10, 2009Anthony Wayne BondGaming System and a Method of Gaming
US20110003642 *Sep 13, 2010Jan 6, 2011IgtPlayer specific network
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/274, 273/303, 273/292
International ClassificationA63F3/00, A63F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F1/00, A63F2001/005, A63F3/00157
European ClassificationA63F3/00A32, A63F1/00