CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
REFERENCE TO A SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to a method of playing a casino game and more specifically, to a method and apparatus for achieving an accurate randomly selected playing card, quickly, economically and in a secure fashion for determining the winners and losers.
Modern casinos face many challenges to maintain customer appeal, profitable games and security thereof. Higher costs of labor and operating expenses have put a strain on the existing table games. They usually have very low house advantages or earning power and are labor intensive. Additionally, the costs associated with ensuring that the games are operated honestly and fairly have become quite significant.
For example, the game of Roulette is played on a large table with an extensive layout, yet only seats five to six players. It requires a roulette wheel and bowl mechanism finely machined to a zero tolerance. This assembly must be monitored very closely to make sure that it is always spinning freely and level. The wheel usually has thirty-seven or thirty-eight slots on it. This creates a large number of different wagering propositions, which in turn are intimidating to the average player. Security-wise, a full table requires either two dealers or a supervisor and a dealer to monitor both the ball dropping into the wheel and the betting layout to deter selection manipulation and/or past-posting of a winning wager. In constant play, there will be about t2 twenty to thirty numbers selected per hour.
A Dice game servicing about a dozen players also requires a large table, three dealers, two table supervisors and an area supervisor. Two precision-made square dice are thrown by the player to determine winners and losers. These dice are zealously guarded and checked frequently to make sure that they haven't been tampered with as that could cost the casino dearly. A Dice table layout of betting both for and against the thirty-six different combinations also are intimidating to the average player.
A Blackjack table can service six to seven players with one dealer. Due to the nature of the game, there will be approximately sixty decisions per hour. With all of the publicity of using basic strategy, counting cards and optimum betting criteria, the average player has become very intimidated. They are reluctant to play the game in fear of not getting the best odds for their play or simply making a mistake.
Some new casino games such as Sic Bo, Pai Gow, Pai Gow Poker, Let It Ride, etc have surfaced over the years, but almost to a fault, are either intimidating or confusing or both.
The modern gambler is for the most part, not the old “break the bank at Monte Carlo” stereotype. Rather he has earmarked some funds for his entertainment and wants a more relaxed atmosphere. He wants the excitement of winning but won't be disappointed if he doesn't, as long as he had quality time in action at the game.
No matter what type of casino game is discussed, the common point of all of them is that they must be completely random at all times. Once that is achieved, payoffs can be adjusted to obtain the desired earning potential.
Wayne Smith in U.S. Pat. No. 6,264,200 states that dealing three cards off the top of the deck is a random event. While that might be true for the first time, two shuffles, two cuts and lo and behold, the same three cards are dealt again. And again. A very dangerous situation for the casino to be in. He also mentions that the dealer could continue dealing additional hands from the deck. True randomness is compromised by all of the previously played cards and gives the players intelligence of which wagers are more advantageous than others because of that. Case in point, just look at Blackjack.
Teofilo Gutierrez in Patent RE36,739 states that pairs of cards will be exposed until there is an unmatched pair. Then those cards will be wagered on as to which one will be matched up in subsequent deals. What if the first two cards made a pair and the second two cards were unmatched but one of them was the same as the first two cards. One match would be three times more likely than the other would, yet both would pay the same. Not a good position for the casino to be in. He also mentions that subsequent hands are played from the same deck. Again same as before, true randomness is compromised and gives the players an advantage.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The object of the present invention is a method and apparatus that is exciting to the player, fast moving, and easy to understand. For the casino, the present invention provides an economical and safe way to generate random playing card outcomes for wagering purposes with many decisions per hour, thereby increasing their earning potential.
According to the first aspect of the invention, a card game is played on a standard Blackjack style table with a replacement cover that has imprinted on it, a semi-circle Sequence Bar located in front of the chip tray. This Sequence Bar contains the imprints of the individual ranks of the deck in play, equally spaced upon it. The cover also contains a common wagering area in the center of the table, accessible by all players. This enables the Dealer to monitor and protect the game from defalcation and/or errors.
According to the second aspect of the invention, the game is played with a standard fifty-two card deck of cards, but that is not necessary. The Cut card is exposed and used to determine the Starting Point. The Starting Point shall be the next rank or sequence on the Sequence Bar, thus ensuring that a match will be made, if not before, on the end.
Cards from the deck are exposed and placed next to the Sequence Bar in order until a Match is made, thereby ending the hand. With the random selection of the Starting Point giving each of the ranks in the deck equal opportunity to be the first match, coupled with the random match selection thereafter, we have created an ideal random event economically, quickly, and safely.
A game in accordance with the invention builds excitement as the cards are played and Matches are not made, each player holding out hope for their selections to win.