US 20050029744 A1
A casino-style wagering game is disclosed. The method includes the steps of placing a first multiple-part bet to participate in a first poker game against a pay table with predetermined winning outcomes and payout odds. Players may place an optional side bet to play a second poker-type game against a separate pay table, using a partial hand of cards dealt to each player. After the side bet game is resolved against the side bet pay table, additional cards are provided and the base game is then resolved against the base game pay table.
1. A method of playing a wagering game, comprising:
placing a first multiple part wager to participate in a first poker-type game;
optionally placing a side bet wager to participate in a second poker-type game played against a pay table;
dealing a partial hand for the first poker-type game consisting of multiple cards to each player who placed a first wager, the partial hand for the first poker-type game being a complete hand for the second poker-type game;
providing community cards to complete partial hands in the first poker-type game; and
resolving each player's multiple part wager according to the rules of the first poker-type game and resolving the second poker-type wager according to a predetermined hierarchy of poker hands in a pay table.
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18. A method of playing a live casino table card game with physical cards comprising:
placing a multiple part wager to participate in a casino wagering first poker game against a pay table in which a partial hand of at least two cards is first dealt and later completed for each player;
placing an optional single part wager to play a second poker-type game against a pay table using all cards in each player's partial hand;
dealing a partial hand of cards to each player;
providing additional cards to complete each player's hand; and
resolving each player's wagers in the first poker game and the second poker-type game against two different pay tables.
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This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/016,436, filed Apr. 29, 2002, titled Player Banked Three Card Poker and Associated Games, which in turn is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/249,118 filed Feb. 2, 1999 which in turn is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/170,092 filed Oct. 13, 1998, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,237,916 issued May 29, 2001, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/889,919 filed Jul. 10, 1997 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,056,641 issued May 2, 2000, which is a division of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/504,023 filed Jul. 19, 1995, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,685,774 issued Nov. 11, 1997.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to games, more particularly to card-type games that are suitable for use in gaming establishments, and more particularly to combination poker-type card games with side bets that are suitable for use in gaming establishments.
2. Background of the Art
Casinos and leisure establishments continually require new games to offer their clientele. Such games are generally required to enable each player to play against a banker (who usually also acts as dealer) provided by the casino, rather than against other players. Alternatively, in a “card room” game each player may have the option to act as banker, while the establishment runs the game on behalf of the banker and takes fees from the players.
Players typically enjoy games which can be played rapidly and which offer players a plurality of choices. A plurality of choices heightens player interest in games. It would therefore be desirable to provide card games comprising a plurality of new wagering options.
LET IT RIDE BONUS® Poker, as disclosed in Breeding, U.S. Pat. No. 6,334,614, entitled MULTI-TIERED WAGERING METHOD AND GAME, the content of which is hereby incorporated by reference, and the more basic play of LET IT RIDE® casino table poker game as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,273,424 and 5,288,081 disclose a primary card game in which the player plays a 5 card poker game. In the base game, a player makes a three-part wager on the occurrence of one of a number of predetermined winning hands. Each player is dealt three cards, and the dealer is also dealt three cards. One dealer card is discarded, and the other two cards are placed face down on the table. The player may withdraw a first portion of his bet after he has examined his partial three-card hand. The community cards are used by each player to form a five-card hand. After the dealer turns the first community card face up, the player is given the opportunity to withdraw a second portion of his bet. The third bet must remain at risk.
Standard poker rankings are used to determine the hierarchy of payouts. The hands that pay (highest to lowest) in a typical LET IT RIDE® basic game are: royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, and a pair. Each winning hand pays odds, and all winning outcomes and corresponding payout odds are listed in a pay table. Optionally, the player can place a side bet on the occurrence of certain high ranking hands within the predetermined winning outcomes in the base game. Both the player cards and the dealer's common cards are used to define the player's hand and corresponding hand ranking in the side bet game. Players are required to make a multiple part bet, and can optionally withdraw part of the bet upon viewing some of the cards.
There are many wagering games used for gambling. Such games should be exciting to arouse players' interest and uncomplicated so they can be understood easily by a large number of players. Ideally, the games should include more than one wagering opportunity during the course of the game, yet be able to be played rapidly to a wager resolving outcome. Exciting play, the opportunity to make more than one wager and rapid wager resolution enhance players' interest and enjoyment because the frequency of betting opportunities and bet resolutions is increased.
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. Wagering games, including wagering games for casino play, with multiple wagering opportunities are known. U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,861,041 and 5,087,405 (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.
It is always desirable to provide alternative games with different play ambience to the casino.
In one form of the invention, a casino wagering game is provided that provides the player with a specific number of cards to be used in an underlying bet withdrawal game such as the three cards provided in LET IT RIDE® casino table poker game. The underlying game is played in its normal manner. The player may make a side wager on a fixed-number card game, such as Three Card Poker game based on the specific number of cards provided the player or a fewer number of cards (e.g., two card poker when three are provided to the player for LET IT RIDE® casino table poker game). The three cards in the player's hand making the side wager may be evaluated to determine if there is a bonus hand present, and the side bet is resolved for a bonus hand before the underlying game continues.
The three card hand against a pay table must be played in conjunction with another card game where three cards or more are initially provided to the player. The side bet game is not played against a dealer, but is played against a pay table. The preferred method of play is where the underlying game is LET IT RIDE® casino table poker game and exactly three cards are dealt to the player and also where there are two community cards that are not material to the Three Card Poker side bet event.
Embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which:
The game according to the present invention includes an underlying bet withdrawal game, particularly a variant of LET IT RIDE® casino table poker game, a wild card variant thereof, or the like in which a first number of cards is first provided to the player as a partial hand for use in the underlying game, but in which the player does not actually receive additional cards that are deposited into the players hand. Rather, the underlying game is played with community cards. A general description of the play of a popular variant of this game, LET IT RIDE® casino table stud poker game is described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,288,081 and 6,273,424, which are incorporated herein in their entirety for their disclosure of the game and its components, apparatus, materials and structures. A summary of that disclosure is a wagering game that may be played with any convenient, traditional or non-traditional gaming format or gaming elements.
For the purposes of this disclosure, “game elements” or “gaming elements” means information used by a player or dealer to participate in the game such as the face value of cards, the face value of a die or dice, slot symbols, angular positions on a wheel or reel game, cards (e.g., from a standard or non-standard playing deck), symbols on a reel, dice, tiles or the like. A preferred medium of play is with a single, typical (standard) fifty-two card poker deck (with or without jokers, or with cards removed as with Spanish Twenty-One™ where tens are removed from the deck and other rules are instituted) and a specific preferred game broadly involves the generally well recognized and accepted set of rules, procedures and wager-resolving outcomes of five card poker. The game method comprises each player placing an initial, multi-part wager, such as a two-part, three-part, four-part, or more-part wager to participate in the game. The game is initiated such as with dice being rolled (some or all of the dice in a bar game, for example) or cards are dealt by a dealer.
In a preferred game, a dealer deals three player's cards face down to each player and two community cards face down to the dealer. Players inspect or “sweat” their cards, and the dealer asks, “take it or leave it?” with regard to a first part of the initial bet. Players can choose to retrieve or remove from play the first part of their initial bet, or leave the first part in play or at risk, based on the value of the three cards in their hand. The dealer then turns over one of the dealer's community cards and the dealer's query is repeated with regard to the second part of the initial bet. Players can choose to retrieve or remove from play the second part of their initial bet or leave the second part in play or at risk, based on the value of the four cards consisting of the three cards in the player's hand and the exposed dealer's card. Players have no option with the third part of the bet. Finally, all cards are shown and the payouts and collections are resolved according to the ranking of the poker hand of each player, i.e., the players are not playing against each other or the dealer. This widely played game is known as LET IT RIDE® stud poker.
One aspect of the invention is a method of playing a wagering game, comprising the steps of: a) placing a single part first wager to participate in a casino three-card poker-type game; b) each player optionally placing a side bet wager against a pay table on attaining a predetermined rank in the first cards dealt to each player, c) a dealer dealing a hand consisting of three cards to each player who placed a first wager; d) resolving the side bet wager either before or after play of the underlying game, and e) resolving each player's hand according to a predetermined hierarchy of poker-type game outcomes with respect to the underlying game (e.g., LET IT RIDE® casino table game). Payouts are preferably made on the side bet wager when the player obtains a predetermined winning outcome. In one form of the game, all payouts on both the side bet wager and the underlying game pay odds (and/or a jackpot or progressive jackpot value). That is, all payouts are made in proportion to the amount wagered, with the higher ranking poker hands paying a higher payout multiple than the lower ranking hands. Payouts are made to the player on the side bet wager for one of a plurality of predetermined winning Three Card Poker game outcomes. Preferably, all payouts are made in proportion to the first amount wagered.
Payout odds typically are printed on the playing surface and are referred to as a “pay table”. An exemplary pay table for a three card poker game of the present invention is outlined below:
The standard poker rankings in the LET IT RIDE® casino table poker game are presented in the following descending order: Royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair and a pair. According to a preferred form of the invention, four of a kind, full house and two pair are not included in the three card poker pay table as those outcomes require more than three cards. A royal flush beats a straight flush in Five Card Poker. In three card poker, the order of certain hands (flush, straight and three of a kind) is inverted. The change in ranking is dictated by the frequency of occurrence of those hands. Although the minimum winning card combination in this example is a pair, the invention contemplates other minimum hands, such as a single face card or a high ranking pair, such as a pair of 10's or better. Proportional payouts are typically between 1:1 and 5000:1 against the individual parts of the three part wager in a LET IT RIDE® casino table poker game, although other payout schemes are contemplated.
In another form of the invention, at least one but fewer than all payouts are proportional to the single part Three Card Poker side bet wager and separately the underlying LET IT RIDE® casino table poker game wagers. Payout methods may include fixed amounts (regardless of the amount wagered), odds payouts (payment of the amount wagered times the pay table multiple), or a percentage of a jackpot or a jackpot amount. The pay table may contain one or a combination of different payout methods, according to the invention.
Alternatively, an aspect of the invention may be described as a two-part casino wagering game comprising a first part of 1) placing a single first side bet wager to participate in a first pay table poker-type game (e.g., Three Card Poker game) and a second Ante wager to play in an underlying game; 2) a dealer dealing a partial hand (of three cards) to each player who placed an Ante wager; 3) resolving the player partial hands against a plurality of predetermined winning poker outcomes; and 4) resolving each player's final hand (comprising the player's partial hand and community cards) against a payout table providing payouts for predetermined ranks of poker-type hands. It is usual for at least some payouts to be proportional to the single part wagers (both the side bet wager and each of the for example three part wagers in LET IT RIDE® casino table poker game) in resolving hands for obtaining a predetermined rank of hand. Predetermined winning poker outcomes have proportional payouts pay odds. “Odds” in this context means payouts that are proportional to the player's wagers (that is, multiples of the wagers), not progressive payouts, fixed payout amounts or payouts that are part of or an entire pot.
According to an example of the present invention, the above-identified step defines some, but not necessarily all of the entire game play method. Additional steps and wagers may be added, such as progressive jackpot wagers, and wagers against the table (e.g., player banked wagers for one-on-one player versus player competitions).
The dealer may also act as banker. The player's cards may be dealt unseen or seen. The cards preferably form a standard 52-card deck, although one or more wild cards (such as a joker(s)) may be used. The hand preferably consists of three cards, but in some instances, it might be desirable to deal the players one or more additional cards, and allow the player a discard to arrive at the best three card hand, with appropriately lower pay table odds provided. In another example of the invention, players receive three cards, but have the option to discard one or more cards and have them replaced with additional cards, forming a three card “draw” hand. An additional wager to pay for the draw card may be required.
In the case of one preferred three card version of the side bet game, hands are preferably ranked as follows, where A=ace, K=king, Q=queen, J=jack and numbers 10 to 2 designate the other cards:
STRAIGHT FLUSH: Three cards of one suit in sequence
TRIPS: Three cards of one Rank
RUN: Three cards of mixed suits in sequence
FLUSH: Three cards of One Suit
PAIR: Two cards of the Same Rank
HIGH CARD (a hand comprising none of the above combinations)
Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various other names may be used for the hands in the illustrative hierarchy set forth herein. Other hierarchy's are contemplated. For example, TRIPS may also be known as three of a kind or PRILE; and a RUN may also be known as a STRAIGHT.
The payout may be made in accordance with a predetermined scale. For example, one possible payout scheme is as follows:
The payouts may be at different rates that are proportional to the original wager, but not necessarily whole number multipliers, such as 2 to 1 or 14 to 5 for a pair. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the payouts may be varied without departing from the scope of the present invention. In other forms of the invention, at least some of the payouts are fixed in amount regardless of the amount wagered, are a percentage of a jackpot or progressive jackpot amount. Payouts with multipliers that are not whole integers are better suited for video game formats, where payouts are automatically calculated and dispensed.
The method may further comprise the step of permitting or requiring a player to place a wager on a fixed or variable extra bonus jackpot, but this is a less preferred embodiment in some instances. For example, when a game is offered in a California card room, players bank the game. In order for players to feel they can afford to bank a particular game, the payout odds must be kept low enough to prevent players from avoiding their turn banking the game. The bonus payouts are therefore preferably eliminated in player-banked versions of the invention. Higher payout odds are acceptable in a more traditional Las Vegas style casino where the house banks the game.
Another embodiment of the present invention comprises the steps of: designating at least one playing card indicia as a wild indicia; placing a single part wager to participate in a casino three-card poker-type game; a dealer dealing a hand consisting of three cards to each player who placed a wager; and playing a three-card poker-type hand wherein said wild indicia is used where present in any of said hands; resolving each player's hand according to predetermined poker rules, wherein at least some payouts proportional to the single part wager are made for obtaining a predetermined winning hand.
In an alternative three-card embodiment of the present invention, each player receives two standard playing cards plus a wild card that the player combines with the standard cards to make a best three-card hand. The payout scale and predetermined ranks may be chosen or modified to reflect the increased probability of a high ranking hand being produced. A common wild card or a common card may also be used, again with pay tables modified to reflect the increased potential or at least changed potential for higher ranked hands.
Such wild cards serve to add excitement and create higher hand values. Wild cards could also be designed to be retained permanently by players and if decorated appropriately by an issuing casino or the like would serve the dual purpose of a playing card and a promotional item. Wild cards may be used in this way in conjunction with other forms of card games. Alternatively, the wild card can be printed on the player area of the layout.
The invention also provides game apparatus for use in playing the card-type games of the present invention. For example, the games of the present invention are readily adaptable for play on a video gaming device. For example, one aspect of the present invention comprises an apparatus for playing a card-type game comprising: display element (e.g., board, screen, table cards, play sheet, etc.) for informing at least one player of a hierarchy of a plurality of possible hands and a predetermined plurality of winning card combinations and corresponding payout odds; an area or position for receiving at least one wager selection from a plurality of wagering options by at least one player, wherein the wagering comprises whether a player's hand attains at least one of said predetermined plurality of winning combinations; and a surface or display area for displaying a plurality of indicia of playing cards to form at least one player's three-card hand.
The apparatus may also incorporate a chip tray to receive playing chips, the chip tray being placed in a position adjacent to or otherwise convenient to the dealer. The apparatus may also incorporate an area or receptacle for cards not in play and a shuffler and card shoe. The apparatus may comprise a rigid playing surface of board, plastic or other suitable material or may comprise a cloth or other flexible material defining a playing surface. A cloth playing surface is commonly referred to in the industry as a layout.
In a preferred form, the surface is of generally semi-circular form, the dealer's playing area being located proximate the straight edge of the playing surface or centrally thereof and the players' playing areas being disposed side-by-side in arcuate array adjacent the curved edge of the playing surface.
The various embodiments of the present invention are directed to three-card poker-type games wherein indicia of playing cards are displayed to at least one or more players. As used herein, the phrase “indicia of playing cards” is meant to include actual playing cards, as well as images of playing cards displayed either mechanically, electro-mechanically, electronically or otherwise. For example, it is well within the scope of the present invention to display indicia of playing cards on an actual board game, on a mechanical slot machine, on an electronic gaming device, on another video screen, on video displays at individual player positions (with cards generated by a random selection device, such as a random number generator associated with a set of visual data of card elements) or utilizing another form of image generation such as holography. Similarly, the phrase “indicia of wild cards” as used herein may include jokers from a standard deck of playing cards but may also comprise other indicia that, according to rules of the game, may be used for at least one other value.
Each player takes a place at one of the areas 16 (a-g). The game is played as a round as will be described below. In an example of the invention that includes the player placing a bet against a pay table, each player wagers that the rank of his hand will exceed a minimum predetermined value. On one example, the minimum value is a pair. The game can be played with a standard 52-card deck, or a modified deck, such as a deck with the lower ranking cards (2's, 3's, 4's and 5's) stripped out, for example. At the commencement of the game, each player decides whether to play the particular round by wagering against the “PAIR PLUS” (the first) wager. “PAIR PLUS” is a designation meaning that the poker ranking of the hand must include a pair or better. The gaming chips used in the Pair Plus wager may be of any conventional kind and are available in a number of denominations such as are well known within the art. If the player wishes (alternatively or in addition) to make a wager based on the value of his hand, he places an appropriate token or chip on PAIR PLUS area (40 a-g) of his playing area. In the present example, the rules of the game provide that payouts will be made according to a displayed payout schedule with “PAIR PLUS” payouts starting at a pair or better. In a preferred three-card version of the side bet game, hands are preferably ranked according to the following hierarchy, though other rankings may be used:
BRAG: Three of one suit in sequence
TRIPS: Three of One Rank
RUN: Three of mixed suits in sequence
FLUSH: Three of One Suit
PAIR: Two of Same Rank
ACE is high, but can be low in 3-2-A Sequence.
The payout schedule may be varied in accordance with rules of the game and/or by the casino. For example, one preferred PAIR PLUS payout schedule is as follows:
The display area 22 may include a PAIR PLUS pay table and other pay tables associated with the base game, if the rules of the game require pay tables. Pay tables may appear on the playing surface 12, on a “how to play” card (also known as a “rack card”), or on a plaquard within the view of the players. It is also desirable to position the pay tables proximate the dealer to assist the dealer in resolving the hands. In an alternative arrangement, details of payouts and any extra bonus payouts may be marked on separate displays, such as vertical or supported signs on the table top.
When the above wager is in place on area 40 a-g, the dealer preferably shuffles the cards (manually or with an automated shuffling apparatus 32) and then deals a three-card hand to each player position 19 (a-g) and two cards to the community positions 21. The cards may initially be dealt to the players face up or face down, depending upon casino policy.
The side bet wager on Three Card Poker bonus event is placed by each player in positions 40 a, 40 b, 40 c, 40 d, 40 e, 40 f and 40 g, respectively. The three equal bets to participate in the base game are placed on positions 22 a, b and c. Players may play the base game, the side bet game, or both.
The novel methods of the present invention may be played utilizing playing cards as illustrated above, or on an electrical or electromechanical device such as a gaming machine. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that suitable controls can be provided for receiving the necessary input and therefore will not be described in detail herein. While the gaming device is intended for play by a single player against the playing device, it is also within the scope of the present invention to provide a multi-unit video format wherein a plurality of players may play against each other and/or against a dealer Similarly, from the present description, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the novel games of the present invention are readily adaptable for play either within a gaming establishment or at a remote location, such as on a terminal provided in a commercial aircraft, in a hotel room within a casino, or on the internet, for example. Furthermore, the game is readily adaptable to a scratch card format.
From the present description, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications may be made without department from the scope of the present invention. For example, the naming of the wagers, the naming and/or ranking of any hand, the payout schedule and predetermined winning or losing ranks may be varied in accordance with the requirements of the casino. The table layout may be varied from that described and shown. The rules may be varied, or additional rules imposed, within the scope of the invention.
In particular, there may be introduced a further option of a player wagering on an additional high odds payout wager or on a fixed or variable jackpot in either the Three Card Poker game or the LET IT RIDE® casino table poker game which is paid out in accordance with rules of the casino on a premium hand. Examples of odds available could be 5000 to 1 or more against a royal flush—ace, king, queen suited or up to 250,000 to 1 or more against consecutive straight flushes.
If the game incorporates a jackpot or a numerical hand value wager, separate designated wagering areas may be provided for these wagers. These may be incorporated at any convenient position on the players' playing areas. The display stand, the wild and promotional card may also be modified or omitted as desired. Whilst the game is described particularly for play in a gaming establishment, it is not limited in this respect and may also be played for example in a domestic environment or in the format of a video game, slot machine, parlor game, lottery-style game or the like.
Although one preferred format of the present invention permits the play of a three-card side bet game as part of a five-card poker hand, other formats are possible. For example, if the base game is a four-card poker game and the players are dealt three cards each, the “PAIRS PLUS” side bet game would be played with three of four car in the base game. Alternatively, a four card base game might require the players to receive two cards each, and in this case the “PAIRS PLUS” game would be played with two cards, or the player's two cards plus one dealer card, community card or other designated card. When the number of cards in the “PAIRS PLUS” hand is changed, the winning payouts and winning card combinations must be modified as is well known by those skilled in the art.
It is also not necessary that the base game utilize “common” cards. A “PAIRS PLUS” game with two to five cards, preferably two to three cards, can be combined with any poker-type game that initially deals out partial hands. If, for example, the base was a modified form of five-card stud poker, and the rules required the dealing of two to three player cards prior to a round of betting, the “PAIRS PLUS” game could be resolved before additional cards are dealt. An important aspect of the present invention is that a partial hand is dealt to the player and the “PAIRS PLUS” game is played with the partial hand.
All of the apparatus, devices and methods disclosed and claimed herein can be made and executed without undue experimentation in light of the present disclosure. While the apparatus, devices and methods of this invention have been described in terms of both generic descriptions and preferred embodiments, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that variations may be applied to the apparatus, devices and methods described herein without departing from the concept and scope of the invention. More specifically, it will be apparent that certain elements, components, steps, and sequences that are functionally related to the preferred embodiments may be substituted for the elements, components, steps, and sequences described and/or claimed herein while the same of similar results would be achieved. All such similar substitutions and modifications apparent to those skilled in the art are deemed to be within the scope and concept of the invention as defined by the appended claims.