US 20040229675 A1
A method for wagering on a plurality of outcomes where the outcomes are based on a series of events where each event includes a result having a number of items in a finishing order includes
selecting picks to predict the finishing order for at least one of a series of events, comparing the picks to each item in each event to determine an accuracy of the picks, and determining a prize based upon a number of correct picks.
1. A method for wagering on a plurality of outcomes where the outcomes are based on a series of events where each event includes a result having a number of items in a finishing order of comprising the steps of:
making selections to predict the finishing order for each event in a series of events;
comparing the selections to each item in each event to determine an accuracy of the selections; and
determining a prize based upon a number of correct selections.
2. The method as recited in
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5. The method as recited in
collecting information about upcoming events; and
printing a sheet or card to facilitate selection in accordance with the upcoming events.
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10. The method as recited in
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13. A method for wagering on a finishing order in a plurality of races comprising the steps of:
selecting picks to predict the finishing order for at least two races;
comparing the picks to an actual finishing order in each race to determine an accuracy of the picks; and
determining a prize based upon a number of correct picks.
14. The method as recited in
15. The method as recited in
collecting information about upcoming events; and
printing a sheet or card to facilitate pick selection in accordance with the upcoming events.
16. The method as recited in
17. The method as recited in
18. The method as recited in
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20. The method as recited in
 The present invention provides a new para-mutual type betting method and system, which is designed to provide a game with results based on a plurality of discreet events. In one embodiment the present invention provides a method for betting on horseracing and provides a product, which can compete with state lottery programs. The present invention provides betting sheets where a bettor can select a plurality of outcomes. The outcomes accumulate to provide an end result with a plurality of payoffs. The betting sheets may be distributed or purchased by the bettor or may be distributed as a promotional product. Further details will be described herein.
 It is to be understood that the present invention may be implemented on a computer or computer network, equipped with hardware and/or software for running and maintaining a system for implementing the present invention. The blocks shown in FIG. 1 may be implemented by such forms of hardware and software.
 Referring now in specific detail to the drawings in which like reference numerals identify similar or identical elements throughout the several views, and initially to FIG. 1, a flow diagram describing steps for a particularly useful embodiment will now be described with reference to horse racing. It is to be understood that the methods described herein are applicable to a plurality of different types of events. These events may include dog racing, sporting events, such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, tennis or others, or any other events, which have a defined outcome, i.e., a winner to be decided or determined but presently unknown. The events that the present invention is particularly concerned with are preferably sequential in nature. The predicted results of the bettor are determined after a series of events have occurred and the events accumulate in favor of or to the detriment of the bettor. Preferred embodiments employ an order of finish or finish position for the event or events to determine a score for a player or bettor.
 In the illustrative embodiment described with reference to FIG. 1, the system is comprised of a set of consecutively ordered events, e.g., races (preferably stakes races) which may be at the same or at various locations, such as, thoroughbred racetracks across the nation. The events may be closely timed in sequence to generate fast paced excitement as in a quick draw type game. The results of the events are preferably determined in a short amount of time. In block 10, races and participants are accumulated and stored to provide a database of possible outcomes of the events, in other words, the event participants are compiled and listed for use in the generation of game cards. This may be performed through use of a computer database or network. The information is preferably collected and stored so that it can be organized in accordance with the game of the present invention.
 In block 12, an illustrative betting card is generated based on the available data collected in block 10. In one example, a bettor picks twelve horses, in an exact order of finish (for example, win, place, show, and fourth in three different races), in one to twelve consecutively designated races. The number of exact order finishers should be at least equal to the number of paid picks. For example, Table 1 shows an example of a bet with results (see also FIG. 4). Six correct picks were made out of 12 available selections. This will be discussed in more detail hereinbelow.
 Since the races are continuing, players may enter into the game at each new race. For example, a second race in a set of races could be the first race of the next set of races for new players. Therefore, in block 12, cards may be generated in real-time to accommodate the next set of races, which are about to be run. Preferably, these betting cards or programs are posted in advance of betting.
 In block 14, wagers are accepted based on the type of bet and the type of game being played.
 In one embodiment, the bet size may be one dollar for each pick permutation (e.g., $9 for a card with 12 picks with a minimum of 4 picks, $2 for a card with 5 picks). Other embodiments are also contemplated, for example, the bet can be placed as a single fee for a whole card, for example, $1 per card. Wagers may be held in separate pools according to a number of correct picks possible in a particular set of races. For example, if the game includes 3 races, and 4 positions are included on the game card then 12 picks is the largest number of correct picks for that game. Pools may be generated for smaller numbers of correct picks from within the 12 pick pool (e.g., 4 correct picks, 5 correct picks, 6 correct picks . . . 12 correct picks) to provide additional incentives to play by increasing winning opportunities. For example, prizes for 11/12 picks or 10/12 picks and so on may be available. These smaller prizes are preferably associated with the amount of money collected as wagers for the 12 pick game.
 Minimum bet may be, e.g., $1.00 per pool pick in an event set. The minimum number of selections may be 4 in a 12-pick event set. Then, there are 9 possible pools in a 12-pick event set (e.g., one pool for each of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 correct picks. In an illustrative example, the total bet may be $9.00 for betting on all possible pools or variations in betting may be permitted such as $2.00 for a bet with five picks (which would include four or five correct picks). For $1.00, the bettor may get a chance to win a single pool anywhere from a 4 pick to twelve 12 pick. Multiple winners may be split according to a formula or by simply splitting the won pool.
 Other potential pools may include any number of possible picks (e.g., 10, 14 or other number of possible correct picks). Each game may have additional pools for lower numbers of picks as well. These smaller pools may include a portion of the money from the largest possible number of correct picks pool.
 To encourage betting on the higher number pools, when a pool is hit, it may award the accumulated money in that number pool, and any un-hit pools of lower numbers. Consecutively designated races may carry over amount in same number pools from race to race, and from day to day, throughout the year. To permit all players the opportunity to enter their wagers on any or all offerings, designated races may be scheduled not less than 10 minutes apart. This amount of time may be adjusted according to the circumstances.
 In block 15, the betting slips or mark-sense cards of present invention are preferably submitted to an agent or entered over the Internet or other network via an electronic interface, such as for example, a kiosk-like interface or a personal computer. The agent enters the data either manually or automatically by a card reader or similar device. A receipt or ticket may be issued to the player at the time the bet is placed, or an electronic confirmation may be returned to the player over the network. In this way, the player can determine if the selections or picks are correct, and appropriate action may be taken to correct errors.
 In block 16, pools based on the amount of betting, and the number of bets, carry over or spill over pools from previous games or any other circumstance may be employed to determine the purse or prizes. In one embodiment, a bet is placed for a given amount of money and the pay-off for given number of correct picks could be rewarded as the amount bet x prize/dollar bet to determine the amount won. In other embodiments, the amount won may be fixed per ticket purchased based on the type of event, the circumstances surrounding the events, odds, or any other criteria.
 In some embodiments, un-hit pools may spill over to the next set of races, thereby building potentially large payoffs in the pools. In still other embodiments, winners of a game may divide equally or unequally accumulated money in the pool which they hit, and all un-hit pools of a lesser number. For example, in one scenario, one winner has picked all 12 results and therefore wins the top prize or pool. However, if prizes are not awarded to bettor who has selected 10 or 11 correct results, and these pools have no winners, the top prize is supplemented by the 10 and 11 correct picks prize pools.
 The odds of picking the exact order of finish for the highest number pools (e.g., 10, 11 and 12 correct picks) can generate the potential for multimillion-dollar payouts, depending on the number of players.
 Determination of the pools and prize scenarios may further include handicapping by studying past performances of event participants, etc. Handicapping can increase the chances to pick a winner, which can make the game of the present invention more attractive to veteran horse players, and it will attract new players to the sport looking to better their chances of winning. Depending on the game, enhancements may be included by adding other races or events to a given game card to increase or decrease a player's score (e.g., number of correct picks). For example, a point may be awarded if a given horse finishes in second place or if a given team wins the third game. Enhancements may be employed to increase revenue for the house. For example, for an extra dollar, an event or outcome may be selected to enhance the overall score or to increase the amount of winnings for that player. For example, if a certain horse places in a predetermined position in, say, the third race, the player wins $50, or the player gets 2 points added to his/her score.
 In block 18, a result for a particular game is posted and winners are determined. After a result is posted, the money in each pool may be distributed to winners. In one embodiment, 90% of the money in each number pool hit is divided among winners as in para-mutual betting. The 10% remaining in the pool will carry over to the next consecutive set of races, for example, to seed the pool of the same number of picks.
 If no winner is declared for a particular number(s) of picks, the total money held would drop into the next set of consecutive races of an equal number. Un-hit pools may carry on indefinitely, and may be added to the same number pools in the next set of races offering at least the number of entries permitted by rule. The longer a pool is un-hit, the higher the eventual payout. Un-hit pools for second, third, etc., place prizes (or consolation pools) are preferably rolled up into the “highest number” pool, if there is no declared winner for the consolation pools.
 Un-hit pools may be employed by the house to make up for minus pools. Minus pools exist where the number of winners in a particular pool reduces the payout below one dollar ($1.00). In accordance with the invention, the next higher pool or pools may be employed to make up the difference. Minimums could be set for any pool equal to or in excess of one dollar.
 Where there is a minus pool, money or points to augment the deficit pool or pools may come from a next higher pool. Minimum payouts may be set for the lower number pools, for example, one dollar for a four pick pool, and five dollars for the five pick pool.
 Limits may be set on the maximum amount of money to be held in any pool. An un-hit pool exceeding such a limit would spill its excess money into the next lower numbered pool—after the results of a race putting a pool over the limit are posted. Winners of previous races should not affect advanced betting pools.
 The present invention has the potential to draw the attention of the media, bringing new fans to racing or other sporting or random events, which will be attracted to high payoffs on par with state lotteries. Although the present invention is illustratively described for 12 horse positions in three races, the method of the present invention can be practiced in many variations. For example, the methods of the present invention may be offered in other race configurations for one, two, three, four, six, or twelve races. Other configurations and variations are also contemplated. For in-person, real-time betting transactions, errors may occur in placing bets. Scratch entries and errors should be investigated upon turning in the betting slips or mark-sense cards. Confirmation slips or receipts may be issued.
 Scratch entries preferably will not cause a refund. The scratch entry may simply drop the bettor's wager to the next lower number of picks included in its para-mutual pool.
 To fairly equalize the odds for bettors playing different race offerings, by rule, a race may have a minimum number of entries when designated, and a limited number of scratched entries at post time. A race that drops below the limited number of entries will be considered as all entries scratched. No refunds will normally be made unless the bettor's picks drop below four.
 In a preferred embodiment, winners are determined by adding the number of correct picks that the player accumulated. Payouts are preferably based on the start race in which the bettor began to make his or her selections and the number of correct selections. A payout matrix (see e.g., FIGS. 2 and 3) can be generated and maintained by the sponsoring agent in block 20. This matrix may then be employed to determine the winnings based on start race, number of correct selections or picks and any carry over pools if applicable. In block 22, payouts are given to winning players upon submission of a receipt, playing card/slip or electronically, e.g., via Internet.
 Sponsoring Agency:
 A sponsoring agency may have sole ownership and complete authority in sanctioning betting organizations, and in the administration of all designated races. It is preferable that all transactions be reported to and recorded by the sponsoring agency. In this way, pools are determined and maintained, odds calculated and payouts are defined based on all the data collected. Betting organizations may include thoroughbred racetracks, off-track betting parlors, casinos or any other organization sanctioned by the sponsoring agency. Each betting organization may report to the sponsoring agency or may run games independently of the sponsoring agency, but under the agency's supervision. It is preferable that all participating betting organizations share injoint pools administered by the sponsoring agency. In this way, payouts may be larger and preferably rival state lotteries. In addition, designated races or betting opportunities are offered only in races at racetracks or venues approved by the sponsoring agency. It is noted that the game may be played independently by individuals or be carried out by organizations, in accordance with the present invention. To encourage fan participation, the sponsoring agency may guarantee minimum payouts in the higher number pools. The probability of randomly picking the exact order of finish for a 12 pick is very small, but significantly increased however, if bettors apply even minimal handicapping skill to their selections. The sponsoring and betting organizations should make every effort to give bettors every opportunity to become educated in handicapping.
 The sponsoring agency or approved organizations can offer, for free or purchase, instruction in techniques of handicapping as a means of assisting the bettor in interpreting published statistics on entries. The means of such instruction can be through videos, pamphlets, tout sheets, seminar and classes, in person, or via the Internet, or any other means.
 The sponsoring agency may be tasked with ensuring that racetracks and/or sporting or other events are sanctioned in their program and should have suitable and approved resources to be able to determine the exact order of finish within a reasonable degree of certainty. Accumulated interest on pool money held on deposit may be used by the sponsoring agency to support its operations and for the promotion of its games.
 The sponsoring agency preferably maintains books and records for game transactions, and provides and maintains a database, preferably a computer database which is employed in administering the game of the present invention. The game may be rum over a network, such as the Internet, or performed manually in a betting parlor or other facility. : The sponsoring agency will be responsible for establishing take-out for all participating organizations.
 Automated Bet Offerings:
 For automated betting embodiments, additional games or games features may be employed, some examples follow.
 Insurance: Computer implementation of bet data gathering may increase winning opportunities for a bettor's wager by including all lesser pools for a specified pick. For example, if a wager is placed on a pool for getting all 12 results correct, for an additional amount the bettor may include themselves in lesser pools, for example the 8 correct picks pool, the 9 correct picks pool, the 10 correct picks pool, and/or the 11 correct picks pool. Other pools may or may not be included.
 Pick & Mix: The computer may select from a portion of the top favorite picks, for example, six of the top favorite horses in each race, as can be best determined by the morning line, and the computer can randomly sort the order of finish in each race to make up the bettor's picks.
 Wild Pick: The computer may randomly select entries from the entire field in each race to complete the bettor's picks.
 Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, advanced betting on a single betting card (see e.g., FIG. 4) will be permitted, using the same picks in as many consecutive races as desirable. In the illustrative example, shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, picks may be made in many sets of races. Race sets are listed from A001-A0024 in column 100. Nine different pick games are shown in each of columns 102-118. To simplify this illustration, all pools for each race include an equal number of bets totaling $100.00 after takeout. The race column 100 indicates a starting race where the betting began.
 After the results of a set of events, such as races, the numbers indicated in FIG.3 represent an amount paid for a hit pool (i.e., a win). Amounts paid may actually be less of accumulated pools if the sponsoring agency takes a portion of the winnings, etc. In this example, the amounts of the winning pools include the amounts not won from all the pools above (same number of correct picks) and all un-hit lower number pools to the left (same start race, but fewer correct picks). The pools above are marked as “X” and the pools to the left are marked “Y”. The winning amount of a given box position is determined in this example by adding all of the X's and Y's of the same number in FIG. 3 plus the amount of the pool at that given box location. This means for example, all available pools above and to the left of a given box are part of a prize if there are no other winners above or to the left. This method of payout may be a called a “cumulative” payout. In other embodiments, only the actual pool corresponding to the start race and the numbers of correct picks may be employed.
 For example, if after 12 races, a players start race was A0004, and that player has 5 out of 12 picks correct; then, that player wins $600. The $600 is the result of adding the three $100 pools above the race A0004 position, 5 picks correct position (X2's) and adding to that the Y2's (to the left and above) and adding to that the amount of the A0004 race, 5 correct pick position (in this case $100). This results in a $600 payout. If more than one winner exists for the box (race A0004 and 5 correct picks), the pool is split between the number of winners. If there are other winners in the vicinity, this deducts the winnings from prizes further to the right or below the winning position. In this illustration, the 12 correct pick (column 118) pool carries over to race A0025 (not shown) since there were no winners. Likewise remaining entry pools in other areas of the chart, which are not collected, would carry over to future races. It is to be understood that other combinations and scenarios may be employed in accordance with the present invention.
 Referring to FIG. 4, an illustrative betting card 200 is shown in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. Card 200 indicates a betting slip for a three-race bet with up to 9 picks available. Card 200 may include a starting race indicator portion 202 which can be manually filled-in or filled in by computer. Alternately, the card may include an identifier number or be assigned one upon issuance. In region 204, the player indicates a number of picks that they chose to make. In this embodiment, a minimum of four picks is required. A check-off box 206 may be employed to indicate a number of picks, in this case 12 are indicated. A race or event number is indicated in region 208 as well as the place or position of the result (e.g., win, place, show, fourth, etc.). In an entry section 210, the horse number or other indicia is selected by the player or by the agent (e.g., by computer). The card is filled-in for the number of selections indicated, in this version 12. In this case, all 12 selections are made (indicated by shaded or darkened boxes in region 210.
 In region 212, an amount of wager is indicated. The amount may include any amount; however, denominations of between $1 to $10 are shown and may be selected. Other amounts are also contemplated. Additional games may also be indicated on card 200. In the embodiment shown, indicator regions 214, 216 and 218 are included for an insurance game, Pick & Mix game and Wild Pick game, respectively. With the insurance game option, a wager will be increased to include all lesser pick pools. An additional wager may be applicable. For Pick & Mix, entries are selected from favorites (e.g., favorite horses) at time of wager and randomly sorts order of finish for each race. Wild Pick randomly selects entries to complete the wager card. Other regions 220 may also be included to provide additional gaming options.
 Having described preferred embodiments for a gaming method based on finishing order (which are intended to be illustrative and not limiting), it is noted that modifications and variations can be made by persons skilled in the art in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that changes may be made in the particular embodiments of the invention disclosed which are within the scope and spirit of the invention as outlined by the appended claims. Having thus described the invention with the details and particularity required by the patent laws, what is claimed and desired protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims.
 This disclosure will present in detail the following description of preferred embodiments with reference to the following figures wherein:
FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a gaming method in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 shows a matrix of pools before payouts in an illustrative embodiment in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 shows the matrix of pools of FIG. 2 after payouts have been determined in the illustrative embodiment in accordance with the present invention wherein lesser pools are added to increase the payouts; and
FIG. 4 shows an illustrative betting card/slip for a three race bet in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
 1. Technical Field
 This disclosure relates to betting methods, and more particularly, to para-mutual betting methods based on the outcomes of multiple events.
 2. Description of the Related Art
 Many games exist in the gambling arena. As in any industry, the most popular games provide the best revenue. Players are attracted to fast-paced exciting games or games with a quick or instant result. The most popular games usually require the least amount of commitment by the player. For example, state lotteries provide quick picks to reduce the effort of lottery players in selecting lottery numbers.
 Other games with bingo-like selections of numbers are employed for both scheduled and instant drawings. These games are particularly appearing based on their simplicity and the payoff amounts, which can rise into the millions or tens of millions of dollars. Horse or dog racing provides an exciting alternative to casino gambling, but can tend to be complex since the variables and odds may be overwhelming for individuals especially novice bettors or first time bettor.
 It would be advantageous therefore to provide a gaming method, which combines the excitement of, e.g., horse racing, with the payoffs of state lotteries to gain the maximum amount of player draw. It also would be advantageous to provide such a game with simple rules to increase the number of players including first time players.
 A method for wagering on a plurality of outcomes where the outcomes are based on a series of events where each event includes a result having a number of items in a finishing order includes
 selecting picks to predict the finishing order for at least one of a series of events, comparing the picks to each item in each event to determine an accuracy of the picks, and determining a prize based upon a number of correct picks.
 In other methods, the series of events may include a series of races, the number of items may include race participants, and the finishing order may include an order in which the participants finish in a race. The method may include the steps of collecting information about upcoming events, and printing a sheet or card to facilitate pick selection in accordance with the upcoming events. The step of choosing an amount to wager may also be included. The step of determining a prize based upon a number of correct picks may include determining the prize based on carry over from un-hit pools. The un-hit pools may include pools created for games with a lower number of picks and/or pools for previous events. The step of selecting picks may be performed randomly by a computer or may be performed by selecting picks as a most likely outcome based on an independent source, which determines the most likely outcome at a fixed time before the events.
 The series of events may include sporting events and the number of items may include sports teams, and the finishing order may include an order in which the sports teams finish in an organization, e.g., based on wins or based on point spread.
 An alternate method for wagering on a finishing order in a plurality of races includes selecting picks to predict the finishing order for at least one race, comparing the picks to an actual finishing order in each race to determine an accuracy of the picks and determining a prize based upon a number of correct picks.
 These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments thereof, which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings.