US 20060033267 A1
A gambling method allows players to make one or more bets dependent upon the outcome of a gaming selection of three dice and a fourth dice containing 6 feng shui elements. The method can be played using a carousel wheel with an inner wheel divided into six inner wheel segments bearing the numbers 1 to 6, a middle wheel divided into six segments bearing the numbers 1 to 6, and an outer wheel divided into six outer segments bearing the numbers 1 to 6, while the six different feng shui choices are randomly varied and assigned to one of the outer wheel segments. The carousel can be spun so that each of the inner, the middle and the outer wheels rotate with its own independent degree of freedom, and the inner wheel and the middle wheel rotate in opposite directions when the carousel is spun.
1. A gambling method, comprising the steps of:
allowing at least one player to make one or more bets within the following two categories:
(1) one or more bets dependent upon the outcome of a gaming selection of three markers, each of the markers having a possibility of six different marker choices;
(2) a bet dependent upon the outcome of a gaming selection of a feng shui marker having a possibility of six different feng shui choices;
making the gaming selection for each of the three markers and the feng shui marker; and
settling the bets of the at least one player based upon the gaming selection for each of the three markers and the feng shui marker.
2. The gambling method of
3. The gambling method of
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5. The gambling method of
6. The gambling method of
7. The gambling method of
8. The gambling method of
9. The gambling method of
10. The method of
11. A carousel wheel for playing a Feng Shui Sic Bo game, comprising:
a carousel wheel with an inner wheel divided into six inner wheel segments, each of which bears a unique designation representing the numbers 1 through 6; a middle wheel divided into six segments, each of which bears a unique designation representing the numbers 1 through 6; and an outer wheel divided into at least six outer segments, each of which bears a unique designation representing the numbers 1 through 6; and
a set of Feng Shui markers, each of which uniquely represents a single unique Feng Shui designation, that can be randomly distributed in the inner wheel segments, the middle wheel segments and the outer wheel segments;
wherein the carousel can be spun so that each of the inner, the middle and the outer wheels rotate with different degrees of freedom and independently of one another; and
wherein after the carousel is spun, and each of inner, the middle and the outer wheels have rotated, said wheels will stop such that each of the inner wheel segments will align itself moving outwardly from the inner wheel with two of the middle wheel segments and four of the outer wheel segments.
12. The carousel wheel of
13. The carousel wheel of
14. The carousel wheel of
15. The carousel wheel of
16. The carousel wheel of
17. The carousel wheel of
This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/919,092, filed Aug. 16, 2004, the disclosure of which is specifically incorporated herein by reference, and is related to another patent application being filed concurrently herewith entitled “Method and Apparatus for the Casino Feng Shui Slot Machine Game,” the disclosure of which is also specifically incorporated herein by reference.
This invention is in the field of games of chance. In particular, this invention discloses a casino gaming method and apparatus requiring primarily luck for players to win. The game is used principally for entertaining and gambling purposes in casinos. The game concept is derived by adding the Chinese folk lore of Feng Shui as an extra dimension to the playing of the ancient Chinese dice game of Sic Bo (Tai Sai). Consequently, this game is expected to have a stronger appeal to people with Asian and Chinese heritage.
Sic Bo (table game), known to some people as Tai Sai, means dice pair in Chinese. It is an ancient Chinese game of chance. It may have originally used a pair of dice shaken between a plate and an overturned bowl, but today it commonly has three dice in a cage for tumbling. Extremely popular in Asian cultures, this exciting and engaging game is winning new converts in many casinos around the world. Sic Bo (table game, Tai Sai) is easy to play. The object is to pick the numbers or combinations that will appear on the dice when they come to rest after tumbling. There are 50 different ways to place bets, so players have plenty of choices with a range of payouts—some as high as 180-to-1.
Most casino Sic Bo tables offer the following types of bets (described below from top to bottom of the betting summary chart layout as depicted in
Small Bet (Under 11)
Small bets win when the point total of the three dice is between 4 and 10 (also expressed as “Under 11”). The payout is 1-to-1 unless there is a low Triple (Triple 1s, 2s or 3s), in which case the Small bet loses. There are 108 possible combinations of the three dice that add up to point totals under 11, and only 3 of them are Triples.
To win a Specific Double bet, two of the three dice must show the Double one selects. The payout is 10-to-1. There are six Specific doubles bets that one can make (and one can place bets on any or all of them for any tumbling). If the third dice also matches the Specific double number (in other words, when the result is a Triple), the Specific Double bet still wins.
To win a Specific Triple bet, all three of the dice must show the Specific Triple one selects. The payout is 180-to-1. There are six Specific Triples bets one can make (and one can place bets on any or all of them for any tumbling).
To win the Any Triple bet, all three of the dice must show the same number, but it can be any of the six possible numbers. This bet wins on any triple result. The payout is 30-to-1.
Big Bet (Over 10)
Big bets win when the point total of the three dice is between 11 and 17 (also expressed as “Over 10”). The payout is 1-to-1 unless there is a high Triple (Triple 4s, 5s or 6s), in which case the Big bet loses. There are 108 possible combinations of the three dice that add up to point totals over 10, and only 3 of them are Triples.
To win a Specific Total bet, all three of the dice must add up to the Specific Total one selects. The payout varies depending on the total selected, from 6-to-1 to 60 to-1 (as indicated in the betting chart layout shown in
To win a Pair match bet, two of the three of the dice must make the pair selected. The payout is 5-to-1 on each pair. There are fifteen Pair Match bets one can make (and one can place bets on any or all of them for any tumbling). Note that for a result with three single (for example 1, 4, 5), three of the Pair match bets will win (in this example: 1&4, 1&5 and 4&5).
If one places a wager on any of the six numbered boxes in the “Numbers Bet” area at the bottom of the betting summary chart layout shown in
Thus, if all three dice come up 4, any wager on the Number 4 die bet would pay 10-to-1. One can bet on as many individual Numbers as one likes.
Despite the fact that the game of Sic Bo could be found in Las Vegas casinos since the early 1950's, albeit only in a few small gambling joints, the game has never gained the same kind of popularity over the years as other casino games such as Black Jack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat and Poker. There are several reasons to explain this fact. First and foremost, Sic Bo has always been identified as a game of Chinese origin. From before the 1950's up till the time when Congress finally passed the Civil Rights Act of 1962, racial segregation existed, to various degrees and in various forms, in the United States, and this segregation helps to explain why the game of Sic Bo has been largely ignored by the general public until recently.
Second, the Sic Bo game itself is indeed very unique when compared with the other popular casino games. Sic Bo can be played very simply, like making the Small and Big bets as explained earlier above. On the other hand, playing the game can also be exceedingly complex as there are 50 different ways to make bets and it will take most players quite a long time to develop the kind of betting strategies that they would individually enjoy.
Third, Sic Bo is an ancient Chinese game played with very unsophisticated apparatus like three dice, a plate and a bowl. Virtually no changes have been made to this ancient apparatus as the game was passed down from hundreds of years ago to today. Usually there is an operator, one of the casino staff, who is responsible for the tumbling of the three dice using a relatively small “cage” and announcing the result. Players gather around the operator and place bets on a long and narrow table top displaying all the betting possibilities for the game. The result of the tumbling dice, as made known to the players by the operator, can only be verified by those few players immediately in the vicinity of the operator. The rest of the players, especially when there are many playing the game, who can be many feet away from the operator, have literally to take the operator's word for granted. This is perhaps the most serious weakness of the Sic Bo game, not to mention the remote yet realistic chance of encountering the “loaded dice” fraud, that must be dealt with if ever it can become a popular casino game in the business.
Finally, as more and more gambling visitors from Asia, especially from China, come to play in casinos in the U.S., the original game of Sic Bo, which albeit is by far their favorite game to play, carries with it a bad stigma as a reminder to them of the racially segregated America of yesteryears. Thus, something has to be done about this game in order to shift the attention of these Asian visitors coming to visit the US from America's imperfect past to being recognized as the cradle of racial diversity in the world of today.
The present invention of the Casino Feng Shui Sic Bo game is a direct result of a desire to overcome the deficiencies of the original Sic Bo game under the unique circumstances of America. Not only are the growing numbers of Asian tourists, especially from China, very important to America's tourist industry and economy, their understanding of the American people, particularly of their diverse societal culture and behavior, serves to sustain a strong relationship between US and China, thus contributing directly to the future stability and harmony of the world.
Thus, the present invention seeks to fulfill a long felt need among Chinese and Asian people who gamble in casinos in the United States, and still introduce a new twist to the ancient game of Sic Bo that will be appreciated and particularly appeal to persons of Chinese and Asian descent.
The present invention is generally directed to a gambling method in which players are allowed to make one or more bets dependent upon the outcome of a gaming selection of three markers, each of the markers having a possibility of six different marker choices and/or dependent upon the outcome of a gaming selection of a feng shui marker having a possibility of six different feng shui choices. The three markers are typically represented by dice with numbers 1 through 6, while the feng shui marker can be viewed as a fourth dice with six different feng shui markings.
In a first, separate group of aspects of the present invention, the three markers and the feng shui marker are contained in a carousel wheel with an inner wheel divided into six inner wheel segments, each of which bears one of the six different marker choices; a middle wheel divided into six segments, each of which bears one of the six different marker choices; and an outer wheel divided into six outer segments, each of which bears one of the six different marker choices; and wherein the six different feng shui choices are located in one of the inner wheel, the middle wheel or the outer wheels. The carousel can be spun so that each of the inner, the middle and the outer wheels rotate with its own independent degree of freedom, and it is preferred that the inner wheel and the middle wheel rotate in opposite directions when the carousel is spun. The six different feng shui markers can be located on any of the inner, middle or outer wheels, but it is especially preferred that they be located on the outer wheel, the distribution of each of the set of Feng Shui markers and/or the numbers 1 through 6 in the outer wheel segments is varied when the carousel is spun and all of the segments of any of the three wheels are of equal size so after the carousel is spun, and each of inner, the middle and the outer wheels have rotated, said wheels will stop such that each of the inner wheel segments will align itself moving outwardly from the inner wheel with one of the middle wheel segments and one of the outer wheel segments.
In other, separate aspects of the present invention, each of the three markers and the feng shui marker are electronically generated and represented on an electronic display mechanism while the game can be played by two or more players remotely located, each of which has an electronic device connected to the other players of the game.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved game of chance for use in casinos and elsewhere.
This and further objects and advantages will be apparent to those skilled in the art in connection with the drawings and the detailed description of the preferred embodiment set forth below.
The present invention takes advantage of the ancient Chinese game of Sic Bo (dice game), which is a favorite among Chinese gamblers, as a basis to incorporate an important playing feature into it based upon the Chinese folk culture of Feng Shui (Wind and Water). At the same time, the tumbling of the three dice in a cage is replaced, in an especially preferred embodiment, with the spinning motion of a carousel whose design relies upon a computer software program to control its spin. The randomness of tumbling the three dice is not only faithfully replicated via computer software by the carousel, the tumbling motion of the three dice and the outcome of the tumbling can also be directly projected onto a giant display screen as a beautiful, multicolor and spinning image for all players to see.
Feng Shui in Chinese means wind and water. Its origins date back several thousand years to ancient China. The geography of that vast land requires careful consideration when constructing a building since the mountain winds can be severe and the lower areas are prone to flooding. Thus for the ancient Chinese, Feng Shui literally means “luck engineering”. However, the ancient Chinese did not consider luck as synonymous with chance. To them luck was opportunity and they believed that even if presented with opportunity many of us do not act and grasp it with both hands. Today Feng Shui remains as both a fascinating and a revered living concept for the Chinese. They not only believe in Feng Shui, but also strive to improve it whenever and wherever possible in order to increase their opportunity, thereby enhancing their luck in whatever they are doing.
Practically speaking, this Chinese folk culture of Feng Shui could therefore be interpreted as an “art of professional placement” or “opportunity engineering”. For the modern Chinese, it is most important for them to seek harmony with Feng Shui, meaning for them to find or identify opportunities for themselves and then to pursue them. The six opportunities most recognized with Feng Shui are, respectively: 1) Wind or the ability to trend events; 2) Personal Wealth; 3) Fertility or the ability to add a male baby to the family; 4) Longevity; 5) Luck as in the winning of a lottery; and 6) Health. One is advised to constantly seek out these opportunities in the hope that they can be realized by executing the right strategies.
The incorporation of the concept of Feng Shui as an added playing feature to the ancient game of Sic Bo to Chinese gamblers is likened to the addition of butter to a steamed ear of fresh corn before eating to corn lovers. After all, if they can win more money at the gambling table by identifying and pursuing the prevailing Feng Shui, it would be the best of two worlds for them.
The “computer software carousel”, or simply referred to as the “carousel”, is created by custom computer software programs designed to meet the desired performance characteristics selected in conjunction with the inventive concepts set forth herein. In an especially preferred embodiment, the carousel is essentially a coplanar structure of three wheels, designated as the inner, the middle and outer wheel, respectively, all sharing a common axis and also commonly “geared” to only six possible angular positions. Each of the three wheels can rotate with their own degree of freedom. In other words, each wheel can either independently rotate in a clockwise direction, a counterclockwise direction or remain stationary. Both the inner and the middle wheel are divided up into six equal sectors (or segments) each of which spans an angular extent of 60 degrees out of a possible 360 degrees for a circle. The outer wheel is divided into twelve (12) equal sectors each spanning an angle of 30 degrees. The top 60° sector or quadrant is designated as the House's or Casino's domain pointer.
Because of the fact that the three wheels are commonly “geared” or “registered” to rotate in only intervals of 60 degrees, the wheels cannot arbitrarily be stopped with their sectors randomly registered in angles other than exactly 60 degrees. To add contents to the respective wheels, both the inner and the middle wheel are populated with the numbers of the six faces of a dice, namely one, two, three, four, five and six. For the outer wheel, six sectors are filled with the numbers of the six faces of a dice, like the inner and middle wheels. The other six sectors are filled with the six opportunities of Feng Shui identified earlier, namely Wind, Wealth, Fertility, Longevity, Luck and Health. The opportunity designators might be depicted by various symbols, or words, or a combination of the two, but it is especially preferred, for machines geared to cater to Chinese or Asian visitors, that the opportunity designators include a Chinese character representing the Feng Shui opportunity. When the three wheels of the carousel are made to rotate and stop randomly according to random number generator software (or, for those skilled in the art of computer programming, a pseudo random number generation program), their final positions with respect to the House's 60° domain pointer will also be random. Accordingly, with the exception of the addition of the six Feng Shui opportunity designators, the spinning and subsequent stopping of the three independent wheels of the carousel with respect to House's domain pointer is exactly likened to, and thus simulates, tumbling of three dice with each wheel being identified as one of three dice. Furthermore, a particular Feng Shui opportunity designator will also be randomly selected as indicated by the same pointer for every spin of the carousel or the tumbling for the three dice.
By replacing the tumbling of the three dice in a traditional Sic Bo game with the spinning of the computer software carousel, not only will a Feng Shui designator be randomly determined for a particular spin, the outcome of the tumbling for the Sic Bo game will also be determined by the stopping position of the carousel at the House's designated pointer. In this way, the Chinese folk culture of Feng Shui can readily be incorporated into the traditional Sic Bo game. Also, most of the deficiencies of the Sic Bo game as pointed out previously above have also been corrected.
The preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described in even greater detail by reference to the accompanying drawings.
All three wheels, 2, 3 and 4 are divided up equally into six segments of which 12 is an example for the inner wheel 2. The face number of a dice (one, two, three, four, five and six) occupy the six segments of each of the three wheels as shown in
The presently invented Feng Shui Sic Bo game takes advantage of the computer software carousel for incorporating the concept of Feng Shui into the Sic Bo game. In order to accomplish this, the outer wheel 16 of carousel 17 is divided equally into twelve (12) equal segments as shown in
Unlike the carousel 1 portrayed in
It is relatively easy and straight forward to play the presently invented Feng Shui Sic Bo game, especially for those who are already familiar with how Sic Bo is played. To play the Feng Shui Sic Bo game, one simply follows the way that a traditional the Sic Bo game is played with only an additional Feng Shui opportunity designator bet. For example, instead of placing a Small bet, one can now place a Small bet with a Feng Shui opportunity designator like Fertility with it, or Small bet Fertility. If after the spinning of the carousel 17, the total sum of the three dice (1,3,4) is 9 and less than 10 and the Feng Shui opportunity designator is Health (see
In a variant of the preferred embodiment, a player could be allowed to select any of the six possible 60 degrees quadrants as the Casino or House quadrant (thus, effectively, changing the location of the pointer), or a player could be allowed to make one or more bets based upon the outcome of multiple 60 degrees quadrants, in which case all of the bets for a single 60 degrees quadrant would be determined based upon what designators are within said quadrant, and this determination would not affect the results of the betting in another 60 degrees quadrant, except for the fact that the designators in one 60 degrees quadrant obviously could not end up in another 60 degrees quadrant. Thus, for example, if a player was allowed to place bets for six 60 degrees quadrants, and a Feng Shui bet was placed in each of the six 60 degrees quadrants, one of the Feng Shui bets would have to win (if it was not combined with a losing Sic Bo bet), while five would have to lose.
A Casino Feng Shui Sic Bo game, in accordance with the teachings set forth herein, can be designed to enhance many aspects of a player's gaming experience. The present invention creates an aesthetically pleasing, and interesting, display in which the player's attention is captured, and the player's enjoyment is increased, by watching the two dimensional rotation of the wheels in the carousel through different possibilities. In this sense, the present invention, or at least its display, is more akin to the spinning of a traditional money wheel or a roulette wheel, and thus it adds the enjoyment of anticipating exactly where the wheels will stop, while the player can view his or choices slowing spinning and coming close to, or in, or moving beyond, the designated selection point. Accordingly, in designing the software for the carousel, a designer can control the speed and timing of spinning the wheels to enhance a player's experience. In an especially preferred embodiment, the inner wheel will be designed to stop its rotation first, so the result of that spin (or simulated roll) is made known to the player, and then, after another brief period, the middle wheel stops its rotation, and then, after another brief period, the results for the outer wheel are displayed. It is believed that this presentation heightens the expectation and anticipation, and thus the pleasure of the player's gaming experience, especially since the Feng Shui indicator is not determined initially. This timing aspect of the present invention, as well as the anticipation tied to viewing spinning wheels, is different from traditional Sic Bo, when all three dice are rolled simultaneously, and believed to be an improvement.
From the foregoing, it should be readily apparent to a person of ordinary skill in the art that the present disclosure sets forth a novel game that can be customized to take advantage of, and appeal to, a specific niche demographic group—Chinese and Asian persons who enjoy gambling. While the novel game can also be enjoyed by persons of different heritage, it is particularly well-suited to Chinese and Asian persons because of their familiarity with Sic Bo and the appeal of Feng Shui.
While the invention has been described herein with reference to certain preferred embodiments, those embodiments have been presented by way of example only, and not to limit the scope of the invention. Additional embodiments thereof will be obvious to those skilled in the art having the benefit of this detailed description. Further modifications are also possible in alternative embodiments without departing from the inventive concepts described herein. For example, although the preferred embodiment has been described as using a carousel wheel in which the inner and middle wheels are rotated, while the outer wheel remains stationary and its designators are shuffled, a “carousel” can be designed, based upon the teachings set forth herein, in which all three wheels remain stationary, all of their designators are shuffled, and then they start to populate the wheels in a preselected order. Although such an embodiment is believed to be less desirable than the especially preferred embodiment described herein, especially because it lacks the unique aesthetic appeal of two wheels spinning in opposite directions, it would certainly be an improvement over what exists today.
Accordingly, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that further changes and modifications in the actual concepts described herein can readily be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosed inventions as defined by the following claims.