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Publication numberUS20050059448 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/660,466
Publication dateMar 17, 2005
Filing dateSep 11, 2003
Priority dateSep 11, 2003
Also published asWO2005025699A2, WO2005025699A3
Publication number10660466, 660466, US 2005/0059448 A1, US 2005/059448 A1, US 20050059448 A1, US 20050059448A1, US 2005059448 A1, US 2005059448A1, US-A1-20050059448, US-A1-2005059448, US2005/0059448A1, US2005/059448A1, US20050059448 A1, US20050059448A1, US2005059448 A1, US2005059448A1
InventorsScott Sims, Bob Marnell, Linn McKay, Marc Cram, Jeff LaSeur
Original AssigneeScott Sims, Bob Marnell, Mckay Linn, Marc Cram, Laseur Jeff
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for playing card game
US 20050059448 A1
Abstract
A method and apparatus for playing a card game is disclosed. A player places a wager and is dealt two playing cards. The player then selects one of two or more possible ranges, based upon the first and second cards dealt, wherein a third card may fall. After the player selects a range, a third card is dealt to the player and the player wins if the third card falls in the range selected. The players win may be based upon the amount wagered and the number of playing cards in the range selected.
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Claims(35)
1. A method of playing a card game comprising:
(a) providing a gaming device to a player;
(b) receiving a wager from the player at said gaming device;
(c) dealing two, face-up cards to the player from a deck of playing cards;
(d) displaying to the player two or more possible ranges in relation to said first two cards;
(e) allowing the player to select a range from among the two or more possible ranges; and
(f) dealing a third card to the player and evaluating whether or not said third card is in the range selected by the player.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein said gaming device includes a display of placeholders for 13 cards of each of 13 differing ranks.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein said display of placeholders displays the 13 cards as sunken areas such that when the cards are dealt they appear to fit into the depressions of their respective rank.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the player is paid based upon the wager, whether the range selected by the player is the range in which the third card falls, and a pay table.
5. The method of claim 4 wherein the pay table is based upon the number of cards present in each range.
6. The method of claim 5, wherein a bonus is awarded in certain instances where the third card is one or more of the middle cards of the range selected.
7. The method of claim 1 or 5 wherein multiple games are played from a single deck of cards.
8. The method of claim 1 or 5 wherein a bonus is awarded for selecting the rank of the third card.
9. The method of claim 1 or 5 wherein a bonus is awarded if the initial two cards dealt are of the same rank.
10. A method of claim 1 or 5 wherein a bonus is awarded if the third card is of the same suit as at least one of the first or second cards dealt.
11. The method of claim 1 or 5 wherein said two or more possible ranges include one or more of: lower than the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank as the lowest of the first two cards; a rank in between the rank of the first two cards; a rank equal to the highest rank of the first two cards; and a rank higher than the highest rank of the first two cards.
12. The method of claim 1 or 5 wherein said two or more possible ranges include one or more of: lower than the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank as the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank of either the first or second card when the first and second card are of adjacent ranks; a rank equal to the highest rank of the first two cards; and a rank higher than the highest rank of the first two cards.
13. A method of playing a card game comprising:
(a) receiving a wager from a player;
(b) dealing two cards to the player from a deck of playing cards;
(c) allowing the player to select a range from among two or more possible ranges in relation to said two playing cards;
(d) providing a pay table that is based upon the number of cards in each of the two or more ranges;
(e) dealing a third card; and
(f) providing the player with a win based upon the pay table and amount wagered if the third card is in the range selected by the player.
14. The method of claim 13 wherein said game is played on an electronic gaming machine.
15. The method of claim 14 wherein the two or more possible ranges in relation to said two playing cards are displayed to the player on the display of the electronic gaming machine.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein the display also contains a portion that shows the thirteen ranks of playing cards and displays the first two dealt cards in said portion.
17. The method of claim 13 wherein said two or more possible ranges include one or more of: lower than the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank as the lowest rank of the first two cards; a rank in between the rank of the first two cards; a rank equal to the highest rank of the two cards; and a rank higher than the highest rank of the first two cards.
18. The method of claim 13 wherein said two or more possible ranges include one or more of: lower than the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank as the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank of either the first or second card when the first and second card are of adjacent ranks; a rank equal to the highest rank of the first two cards; and a rank higher than the highest rank of the first two cards.
19. The method of claim 13 wherein a bonus is awarded when the third card is one or more of the middle cards of the ranges selected.
20. The method of claim 13 wherein a bonus is awarded if the third card is of the same suit as at least one of the first or second cards dealt.
21. The method of claim 13 where multiple games are played from a single deck of cards.
22. A gaming apparatus comprising:
(a) means of receiving a wager from a player;
(b) means for dealing a first and second card to a player;
(c) means for displaying two or more possible ranges based upon said first and second card dealt to said player;
(d) means for player selection of one of said possible ranges based upon said first and second card;
(e) means for dealing a third card to the player;
(f) means for evaluating the third card in comparison to the range selected by the player; and
(g) means for providing a payout when said third card is in the range selected by said player.
23. The apparatus of claim 22 including a pay table that is based upon the number of cards in each of said two or more possible ranges.
24. The apparatus of claim 22 or 23 wherein said two or more possible ranges include one or more of: lower than the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank as the lowest rank of the first two cards; a rank in between the rank of the first two cards; a rank equal to the highest rank of the first two cards; and a rank higher than the highest rank of the first two cards.
25. the method of claim 22 or 23 wherein said two or more possible ranges include one or more of: lower than the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank as the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank of either the first or second card when the first and second card are of adjacent ranks; a rank equal to the highest rank of the first two cards; and a rank higher than the highest rank of the first two cards.
26. The method of claim 22 or 23 wherein said gaming device includes a display of 13 cards of differing ranks.
27. The method of claim 26 wherein said display of 13 cards appear as sunken areas wherein the dealt cards appear to fit.
28. The method of claim 23 wherein said pay table is substantially as follows:
Hand Pay (1 credit bet) Match Pair (all 3 cards same) 24 Match One (higher or lower) 16  1 card 12 Either Higher or Lower 8  2 cards 6  3 cards 4  4 cards 3  5 cards (1, 2, 4, 5) 2 (middle card - 3) 4  6 cards 2  7 cards (1-3, 5-7) 1 (middle card - 4) 6  8 cards (1-3, 6-8) 1 (middle cards - 4 or 5) 3  9 cards (1-4, 6-9) 1 (middle card - 5) 4 10 cards (1-4, 7-10) 1 (middle cards - 5 or 6) 2 11 cards(1-5, 7-11) 1 (middle card - 6) 2 12 cards 1
(note: numbers in ( ) are relative to the range not specific card values)
29. The apparatus of claim 22 or 23 wherein said gaming apparatus is an electronic gaming machine.
30. An apparatus for playing a game of cards comprising:
(a) an electronic video poker type gaming machine;
(b) means for receiving a wager from a player;
(c) means for dealing a first and second card to the player;
(d) means for displaying two or more possible ranges based upon said first and second cards;
(e) means for allowing the player to select one of said ranges;
(f) means for dealing a third card to the player;
(g) means for providing an award to said player when said third card is in the range selected by the player; wherein said award is based in part on the number of cards in the range selected by the player.
31. A method of playing a three card game of cards comprising:
(a) placing a wager;
(b) dealing two cards to a player;
(c) the player selecting one of two or more possible ranges wherein a third card may fall;
(d) dealing said third card to said player and evaluating whether it falls in the range selected by the player;
(e) providing a payout to said player when said card falls in the range selected by the player where such payout is a multiple of the amount wagered, said multiple based upon the number of cards in the range selected by the player.
32. The method of claim 31 wherein said two or more possible ranges include one or more of: lower than the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank as the lowest rank of the first two cards; a rank in between the rank of the first two cards; a rank equal to the highest rank of the first two cards; and a rank higher than the highest rank of the first two cards.
33. The method of claim 31 wherein said two or more possible ranges include one or more of: lower than the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank as the lowest rank of the first two cards; the same rank of either the first or second card when the first and second card are of adjacent ranks; a rank equal to the highest rank of the first two cards; and a rank higher than the highest rank of the first two cards.
34. The method of claim 31 wherein a bonus is awarded in certain circumstances if the third card is one or more of the middle cards of the range selected.
35. The method of claim 35 wherein the payout table is substantially as follows:
Hand Pay (1 credit bet) Match Pair (all 3 cards same) 24 Match One (higher or lower) 16  1 card 12 Either Higher or Lower 8  2 cards 6  3 cards 4  4 cards 3  5 cards (1, 2, 4, 5) 2 (middle card - 3) 4  6 cards 2  7 cards (1-3, 5-7) 1 (middle card - 4) 6  8 cards (1-3, 6-8) 1 (middle cards - 4 or 5) 3  9 cards (1-4, 6-9) 1 (middle card - 5) 4 10 cards (1-4, 7-10) 1 (middle cards - 5 or 6) 2 11 cards (1-5, 7-11) 1 (middle card - 6) 2 12 cards 1
(note: numbers in ( ) are relative to the range not specific card values)
Description
BACKGROUND

This invention relates to an electronic card game that increases player enjoyment and participation. Electronic card games have become extremely popular in casinos and other establishments where gambling is authorized. The popularity of these games is based upon a combination of the games' aesthetic appearance as well as the game itself, including the rules and payout table of the game. One of the most popular types of electronic card games is electronic or video poker, of which there are many different varieties, i.e. Joker Poker, Acey Deucey, Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, and many others. The majority of video poker games are based upon a basic five card draw poker game, wherein the player is dealt an initial hand of five cards and then may elect to discard up to three cards, which are replaced with new cards to form a five card poker hand. The player is then paid any winnings in accordance with a set pay table.

Another gambling card game, that has not caught on in casinos, either electronically or otherwise, is Red Dog. In Red Dog, also called In Between and other names in other parts of the world, a player places a wager and is shown two cards face up. The player then is given the opportunity to place an additional wager on whether or not a third card will fall between the first two cards dealt. Variations on these games are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,547,246 and 6,406,024. The betting options in Red Dog are straightforward and lack much variety. Similarly, in poker games, a player has a single bet and then draws cards in order to attempt to establish a winning hand for that bet.

The present invention provides a fast moving game that provides the player with up to five betting options in a single card game. The game is easy to understand, allowing the player to play the game quickly with minimal instruction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An electronic card game is disclosed wherein a player makes a bet and is dealt two cards face up. The player is provided the option of choosing one of up to five ranges wherein the next card may fall. Those five possible ranges are: lower than the first two cards; equal to the lowest of the first two cards; higher than the lowest of the first two cards and lower than the highest of the first two cards; equal to the highest of the first two cards; or higher than both cards. The player then selects that range wherein he believes the next, third, card will fall; each range having a specific prize value associated with it. After the player selects a range, a third card is dealt and the player is paid if the third card falls in the selected range. Variations on the invention allow for bonuses to be paid if the third card falls in the middle of the selected range or is of the same rank as one or both of the first two cards.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a depiction of a display of the game having 13 separate spaces for each of the 13 ranks of playing cards where the first two cards, a four and a Queen, have been drawn and are shown on the display.

FIG. 1A shows the five ranges wherein the third card may fall, and therein the player may bet that the third card will fall, based on the initial deal of FIG. 1.

FIG. 2 is a depiction of the four portions of the display screen in a preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 shows the Range Selection portion of the display screen, which displays five possible ranges for the third cards, based upon an initial deal of a four and a ten.

FIG. 4 shows a preferred pay table for the game, including bonus pays for the middle card(s) in certain ranges.

FIG. 5 shows a standard poker button set modified in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 6 displays the Range Selection portion of the display, including possible payment amounts, for an initial deal of two threes.

FIG. 7 displays the Range Selection portion of the display, including possible payment amounts, for an initial deal of a two and a three.

FIG. 8 is a depiction of the Range Display portion of the display where the initial deal is a seven and a ten and a bonus is available for the middle card of the LOWER range.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The game of the present invention may be played on a standard type gaming platform with a place for the player to insert money, tokens or tickets, buttons and/or a touchscreen for the player to control the operation of the game, a display screen, and the additional lights, bells and signage such that the game is attractively displayed. Such gaming platforms are well known in the industry, as are the computer software and hardware on which a game such as that of the present invention may be programmed, displayed and played.

Play of the present invention is initiated by making a wager. Two cards are then dealt face up and displayed in the appropriate areas of the display. For example, in FIG. 1 it can be seen that the first two cards dealt are a four and a Queen. The card suit is not necessarily important to the basic game, although variations of the game can easily be envisioned wherein the suit of the cards dealt may be a factor. After the first two cards are dealt the player is provided with the opportunity to select the range in which the next card dealt will fall. That range may be the cards that are of a lower rank than both of the first two cards dealt; the card of the same rank as the lowest card dealt; the cards having a rank between the two cards dealt; the card of the same rank as the highest card dealt; or the cards having a higher rank than the highest card dealt. Those five ranges are also shown on the display, as in FIG. 1A. If the player selects the range in which the third card falls, he is awarded a payout, preferably based upon the amount wagered.

FIG. 2 shows a video game screen in a preferred embodiment of the present invention (20). The video screen is separated into four portions. A first portion (21), contains a standard poker layout of meters and buttons, modified such that the five hold keys are associated with each of five specific ranges in which the third card may fall. A second Range Display portion (22), preferably located above the first portion, consists of 13 areas (23) for each of the 13 card ranks in a standard deck of playing cards, two through Ace. These 13 areas are displayed as etched or recessed areas such that the cards, as dealt, appear to fit into the depressions. A third Range Selection portion (24), preferably above the second portion of the screen, displays up to five range choice areas. A fourth portion (25), displays a pay table.

FIG. 1A shows a depiction of the portion of the screen that displays each of the 13 card ranks (22) and also five ranges wherein the third card may be dealt if the initial two cards dealt are a four and a Queen. The player may be shown the five possible areas for the third card to fall into in the way shown in FIG. 1A, or in any imaginative way, such as by different colored lights, alternating blinking areas, or some other such display. As shown in FIG. 1A, the four (11) and the Queen (12) are displayed in their respective areas of the 13 card range display portion of the display. The five possible ranges wherein the third card may fall may be highlighted with different colors and/or light intensities circling all the cards in the respective range. For example in FIG. 1A, the first range, cards of a rank lower than four may be highlighted in blue (13), the four may be highlighted in yellow (14), cards of a rank in between a four and a ten might be highlighted in red (15), the ten might be highlighted in green (16) and cards of a rank higher than ten might be highlighted in orange (17). Of course, other colors or methods of highlighting the card ranges may be utilized as well.

The two drawn cards will also be shown in the range choice or range selection section of the screen (24). FIG. 3 shows the range choice or range selection section of the display when the initial deal is a four and a ten. The five possible ranges are again displayed and highlighted. Those ranges are: LOWER (31), which in this example where the initial deal is a four and a ten would consist of cards of the rank two or three; MATCH (32), which consists of the remaining cards in the deck having a rank of four; MIDDLE (33), which consists of cards having a rank between four and ten, namely cards of the rank six, seven, eight, and nine; MATCH (34), which consists of the remaining cards in the deck having a rank of ten; and HIGHER (35), which consists of cards of the rank higher than ten, namely Jack, Queen, King and Ace. The pay multiples for each of the five possible ranges may also be displayed (36).

The player is provided with a pay table based upon the number of cards in each range and therefore the likelihood that such card will be drawn. By way of example only, a preferred pay table is shown in FIG. 4. The pay table is preferably based upon the number of credits bet, as well as the number of cards in a range.

After the first two cards are dealt and the ranges are displayed, the player chooses the range in which he thinks the next card will fall, taking into consideration the possible payoffs based upon the pay table. The player may preferably select a range via either a touchscreen that allows the player to touch his chosen range on the Range Choice portion of the display (24) or via buttons on the gaming machine (21). These buttons may be the standard hold buttons for a video poker machine, modified to instead display the potential ranges: LOWER, MATCH LOWER, MIDDLE, MATCH HIGHER, and HIGHER. The button display of a preferred embodiment is shown in FIG. 5 (51).

After the player selects his range via either the touchscreen (24) or the buttons (41), he presses a deal or draw button (42) or otherwise signals the game to deal the third card. The third card is then dealt and evaluated and the player is paid in accordance with the pay table and whether or not he chose the correct range. For instance, if the player selects the LOWER range in our example with the four and the ten as initial cards and the third card dealt is a two, the player would be paid 6 times her initial bet. If the player had selected any other range, there would be no payout. Other payout formulas are of course available, but the preferred embodiment involves a payout that is a multiple of the initial amount bet.

The overall game play can be quite quick with each initial deal having variable prize values based upon that deal. This allows the player to select his or her own level of volatility for play. For instance, a player may consistently bet on the largest possible range, with a commensurately smaller payoff amount, if he or she desires the largest number of wins. Alternatively, a player may choose to bet on the smallest range(s) in order to maximize her payout if a win does occur. This flexibility makes the game attractive for a wide range of players and will keep game interest high during play, thereby increasing the length of time players play the game.

As a result of the first deal there may be certain instances where there are less than five ranges. For example if the initial deal is a two and an Ace, there can be no card lower than the lowest card or higher than the highest card. Therefore, there are only three ranges for this initial deal; between the two and the Ace, equal to the two or equal to the Ace. In this circumstance, the Range Display and Range Choice displays, and the player selection options are adjusted accordingly.

In addition, if the two cards dealt initially are identical, for example two sevens, there can be no “in-between” range. Further, if the initial two cards are both twos or both aces there can be no lower than or higher than range, respectively, as well. Again, Range Choice displays and player range selection options are altered in these situations to reflect only the available ranges. An initial deal of two threes and the resulting possible ranges, as displayed on the Range Choice display, are shown in FIG. 6. In certain embodiments of the game a bonus may be awarded for an initial deal of two cards of the same rank, a pair. In addition, alternatively, if a player is dealt an initial pair, she may be awarded a high payout if she bets that the third card will be of the same rank, and it is.

FIG. 7 displays the range choice screen when the initial deal is a two and a three. In this case there is no LOWER range and no MIDDLE range. In a preferred embodiment, when the initial two cards are adjacent, such as a two and a three, an EITHER range option is provided (71). The EITHER range allows the player to wager that the third card will be either the first or the second card dealt. This provides an alternate range selection option since the MIDDLE range is not available with adjacent cards.

The game may also be modified so that the middle card or cards in a range have a bonus associated with them. In a preferred embodiment, the middle card(s) of any range consisting of five, seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven cards would have a bonus; as can be seen from the sample pay table in FIG. 4. In this way, if the player selects one of these ranges of cards, she is awarded a bonus if the third card is a bonus card in the middle of that range.

FIG. 8 shows the Range display with an initial deal of a seven and a ten. The five possible ranges, LOWER (81), MATCH LOWER (82), MIDDLE (83), MATCH HIGHER (84) and HIGHER (85) are highlighted in various ways. In addition, the middle card of the five card LOWER range, in this case the four (86) is additionally highlighted as a middle bonus card. If the player selects the LOWER range and the third card is a four, the player is paid a bonus, in addition to his award for selecting the correct range.

The game described above may be modified in various ways in order to provide more game options. In one embodiment, multiple hands of the game are played from a single deck of cards. In this way, the odds may increase or decrease for specific pays as the cards are dealt; or, alternatively, the pay table may be reduced to account for the player's ability to increase his or her return by factoring into their play the previously dealt cards.

In another embodiment of the present invention the game may award the player a bonus for selecting a specific card in the selected range of cards. For example if the first two cards are a four and a Queen, a player that not only specified the range in between the two cards, but which also specified a seven, for example, would receive an additional payout for selecting the actual third card. In addition to receiving a bonus for selecting the correct third card, bonuses can be awarded for other events. For instance, if the first two cards dealt are the same suit a bonus could be awarded if the third card is of the same suit as the first two cards. The permutations are nearly endless.

As those skilled in the relevant art would know, the invention can be embodied in numerous forms of media such as, but not limited to, single player video slot machines, multi-player video slot machines, electronic games and devices, scratch-card formats, lottery terminals, software, as well as in-flight, home and Internet entertainment. The invention can readily be implemented as a computer program on a compact disc, DVD, etc. comprising a computer readable medium with recorded controlled logic to implement the features of the invention. Control logic can be loaded into the memory of a computer and executed by a central processing unit (CPU) to perform the various operations described herein.

The embodiments of the game set forth above are meant to teach certain aspects of the invention, including the best mode of implementation. Those embodiments, however, are offered by way of example only. The invention itself is not to be limited by any specific embodiment, but encompasses all embodiments, whether specifically described or not, and as disclosed in the following claims:

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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/11
International ClassificationA63F, G07F17/32, A63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/3293
European ClassificationG07F17/32P6, G07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 30, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES AUSTRALIA PTY LIMITED, AUS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SIMS, SCOTT;MARNELL, BOB;MCKAY, LINN;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:014944/0476;SIGNING DATES FROM 20040119 TO 20040120