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Publication numberUS20070111786 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/591,259
Publication dateMay 17, 2007
Filing dateOct 31, 2006
Priority dateAug 7, 2003
Publication number11591259, 591259, US 2007/0111786 A1, US 2007/111786 A1, US 20070111786 A1, US 20070111786A1, US 2007111786 A1, US 2007111786A1, US-A1-20070111786, US-A1-2007111786, US2007/0111786A1, US2007/111786A1, US20070111786 A1, US20070111786A1, US2007111786 A1, US2007111786A1
InventorsRoger Snow
Original AssigneeShuffle Master, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Progressive side bet with variable wagers
US 20070111786 A1
Abstract
A casino wagering game is played with a progressive jackpot and a second bonus event. At least one player places a wager to play a casino wagering game. The at least one player places a second wager that is optionally varying in amount wagered at the election of the player. The second wager enters both the progressive jackpot event and a second bonus event. The casino retains a portion of the second wager to become part of the progressive jackpot, while the second wager also is required to enter the at least one player in the second bonus event.
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Claims(18)
1. A method of playing a casino wagering game with a progressive jackpot and a second bonus event comprising:
at least one player placing a wager to play a casino wagering game;
the at least one player placing a second wager that is varying in amount to enter both the progressive jackpot event and an odds payout bonus hand event;
the casino retaining a portion of the second wager to become part of the progressive jackpot, while the second wager enters the at least one player in the odds payout bonus event.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the amount of the second wager may be varied at the choice of the at least one player.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein a fixed percentage of the second wager is dedicated to the progressive jackpot.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein a fixed amount of the second wager is dedicated to the progressive jackpot.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein the second bonus event provides a payout selected from the group: odds payout amount; an envy bonus, a fixed bonus award, a bad beat payout and a non-monetary award.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein a first pay table defines winning hands and corresponding payout odds on an odds payout bonus event.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein a second pay table defines winning poker hands and corresponding progressive payout amounts on the progressive jackpot event.
8. The method of claim 1 wherein an amount wagered by the at least one player on the second wager may be varied within a range of amounts predetermined by rules operating on play of the casino wagering game.
9. The method of claim 1 wherein the predetermined range of amounts for the second wager includes at least wagers that may be selected between $1.00 and $5.00.
10. The method of claim 6 wherein an amount wagered by the at least one player on the second wager may be varied within a range of amounts predetermined by rules operating on play of the casino wagering game.
11. The method of claim 6 wherein the predetermined range of amounts for the second wager includes at least wagers that may be selected between $1.00 and $5.00.
12. A method of playing a casino wagering game with a progressive jackpot and a second bonus event comprising:
at least one player placing a wager to play a casino wagering game;
the at least one player placing a second wager that is varying in amount to enter both the progressive jackpot event and a second bonus event;
the casino retaining a portion of the second wager to become part of the progressive jackpot, while the second wager also is required to enter the at least one player in the bonus event.
13. The method of claim 12 wherein an amount wagered by the at least one player on the second wager may be varied within a range of amounts predetermined by rules operating on play of the casino wagering game.
14. The method of claim 1 wherein the predetermined range of amounts for the second wager includes at least wagers that may be selected between $1.00 and $5.00.
15. A method for playing a game of Pai Gow poker played by a dealer and at least one player comprising:
the at least one player making a first wager on the game of Pai Gow poker;
the at least one player making an optional second wager to enter three distinct side bet events, at least one of the three side bet events comprising a progressive jackpot in which a portion of the second wager is used to fund a jackpot in the progressive jackpot event.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein the amount of the optional second wager may be selected by the player from within a range of amounts for the second wager allowed by rules of the Pai Gow poker, the range including more than a single value amount.
17. The method of claim 16 wherein after placing the optional second wager, dealing seven cards to the dealer and seven cards to the player, the player assembling a five card high hand and a two card low hand, the high hand having a ranking according to the ranking of hands of Poker greater than the low hand, and the dealer forming a five card high hand and a two card low hand, said high hand having a ranking according to the ranking of hands of Poker greater than the low hand.
18. The method of claim 15 wherein the at least one player's hand is exposed and resolved in comparison to the dealer's hands to determine the outcome of the Pai Gow poker game.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS DATA

This Application is a continuation-in-part of each of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/770,613, filed Feb. 2, 2004 and titled “SPECIAL MULTIPLIER BONUS GAME IN PAI GOW POKER VARIANT” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/637,380 filed Aug. 7, 2003 and titled “SPECIAL BONUS GAME IN PAI GOW POKER VARIANT.”

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to games of chance, particularly card games of chance, and more particularly to bonus games in casino table card games. The technology herein has particular application to games with progressive jackpot wagers where portions of the progressive wager contribute to the jackpot value. The invention has a highly desirable embodiment for use with the game of Pai Gow Poker as well as any game that has a progressive jackpot feature in combination with other jackpot or bonus features entered through a side bet wager. An example of the present invention is an improved version of the game of Pai Gow Poker that is intended to make the game more interesting and to increase revenues for casinos. The game includes a bonus event with a side wager.

2. Background of the Art

One significantly attractive feature in gaming is the desire to win a large amount of money or value without wagering a large amount in each play of a game. The development of the progressive jackpot based on contributory wagers has become an important attraction in most aspects of gaming. One of the most successful video or slot games has been the Wheel of Fortune® slot game, in which a small portion of each underlying wager is added to a progressively increasing jackpot. To enable contributions from the single wager, the payout frequency and payout amounts from the underlying game are reduced.

Caribbean Stud® poker invigorated variant poker games by emphasizing a fixed side bet wager on a progressive jackpot. A portion of the side bet wager is put into a progressive jackpot and payments are made for particularly high ranking hands. All payments on such hands are specifically withdrawn from a monitored jackpot fund, and all contribution to the jackpot is made from a portion of the side bet, after an initial staking of the jackpot with seed money. All other payments on bonus level hands come out of the underlying ante and play wagers, while retaining profits for the casino. The success of these games has stimulated attempts at other progressive and side bet wagers.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,863,041 (Boylan) describes a method of playing a Pai Gow poker wagering game in which an Ante bet is initially wagered and a Bonus bet is also wagered by at least one player. Seven cards are then dealt to each player and the dealer, and arranged into a two-card low hand and a five-card high hand. The ante bet of each player is then paid off to in the usual manner for Pai Gow poker. Thereafter, a best five out of seven card poker hand is arranged by the dealer for each player from the seven cards initially dealt to the player, and the bonus bet is paid off if the best poker hand has a poker rank equal to or better than a first predetermined rank (e.g., a straight) but less than a second predetermined rank (e.g., a royal flush or five-of-a-kind in a wild card game).

Next, the dealer determines whether the best poker hand of each player has a poker rank better than or equal to the second predetermined rank so that an auxiliary game of chance, such as rolling three dice, is then played to determine whether the bonus bet is paid off at a first payoff rate where the player is a loser or at a second payoff higher than the first payoff rate when the player is a winner in an auxiliary game. In addition, the dealer then determines whether each player has made a bonus bet of a predetermined minimum amount (exceeding the betting minimum), which is then paid off to other players if any other player has a best poker hand equal to or better than a third predetermined rank (four of a kind) in an event called an “envy” bet. The preferred method of play described in Boylan et al. includes three separate potential payments to each player making appropriate wagers as follows: 1) Standard Pai Gow Player versus Dealer; 2) Bonus Payment on Side Bet for Poker Hand; and 3) an “Envy” Payout. Boylan et al. therefore discloses a three-tier payout pai gow game in which there are two distinct wagers. Those two wagers are a Pai Gow wager and the bonus side bet wager. When the bonus side bet wager is of sufficient size (more than a minimum payment), the side bet wager enables both best 5-card poker hand bonuses and a bad beat bonus, each bonus event having different minimum ranks, although those ranks overlap.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,007,424 (Evers) describes a method, device and system for playing a new game of Pai Gow Poker. For a push, the player's high hand must have a higher ranking the dealer's and be Jacks or better. All other hands are losses. The method provides for greater payoffs if the player has one of a plurality of payoff qualifying holdings. The device includes a processor programmed to play the game according to the method. The system provides for linking devices to amass a progressive jackpot should the player obtain a qualifying holding. At least one pre-determined holding of the player's high hand is designated as a qualifying “bad beat” combination. If the player obtains the bad beat combination and loses the hand, the player is paid an amount according to a payout schedule.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,931,472 (Mostashari) describes an improved game of Pai Gow which includes offering the player an optional bonus wager. Should the tiles of the Player's hand match any predetermined bonus outcome tile combination, the Player receives a reward for their bonus wager regardless of whether or not the Player has won their hand according to the rules of Pai Gow.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,070,876 (Ko) describes an improved game of Pai Gow that includes offering the player an optional bonus wager. Should the tiles of the Player's hand match any predetermined bonus outcome tile combination, the Player receives a reward for their bonus wager regardless of whether or not the Player has won their hand according to the rules of Pai Gow. The game also provides the option to make a tie wager.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,113,103 (Ko) teaches a variation of Pai Gow Poker known as Dragon Poker. A player posts a wager and is dealt a first four of seven cards face down. A bank is dealt a first a first four of seven cards, three of which are dealt face up. The player is then given an option of surrendering and receiving a return of a portion of the wager. With the surrender, the player's participation in the game is at an end. The player who does not surrender is a surviving player who may be given an option of increasing the wager. The surviving player and the bank are each dealt three additional cards to enable formation of a player back hand and a player front hand and formation of a bank back hand and a bank front hand. After the hands are formed, the wager is resolved.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,584,486 (Franklin) describes a method of playing a game of Pai Gow poker comprising: a player placing a first wager; a player placing a jackpot bet; and a dealer dealing seven cards to himself and to said player. Each player arranges his/her cards into a low hand including two of said seven cards and a high hand including five of said seven cards. Each player evaluates the cards and determines whether the cards comprise a predetermined jackpot card holding of a low hand pair and a high hand of one of (i) four aces and the joker, (ii) a royal flush, (iii) a straight flush, (iv) four of a kind, (v) full house, (vi) flush or (vii) straight. Players are paid a jackpot amount if the player has a jackpot holding. The winner of the first wager is determined by comparing a low hand of said dealer to said low hand of said player and a high hand of said dealer to said high hand of said player.

U.S. Patent Publication No. 20060084505 (Yoseloff et al.) describes a multi-player platform that provides multiple player positions for live players to engage in an interactive wagering game with a virtual dealer and virtual cards comprising at least two player positions that enable live players to place wagers on the game. The game comprises the steps of: placing a wager on a Pai Gow game using Pai Gow hands of seven cards; providing the player in the Pai Gow game with the opportunity to place a side bet wager wherein the outcome of the side bet wager depends on achieving at least a predetermined minimum poker hand rank using the player's seven cards in the Pai Gow hand; providing cards to the player and the dealer to form the player's Pai Gow hand and the dealer's Pai Gow hand, respectively; resolving the Pai Gow game according to the rules of Pai Gow poker; determining the highest ranking poker hand possible using the cards in the player's Pai Gow hand if the player placed the side bet wager; comparing the highest ranking poker hand with the predetermined minimum poker hand rank if the player placed the side bet wager; and providing an award to the player if the highest ranking poker hand is of equal or greater rank than the predetermined minimum poker hand rank.

U.S. Patent Publication No. 20050269783 (Snow) describes a method of playing a casino table wagering game with at least two players comprises wagering on an underlying game where players may receive a bonus for obtaining a player hand of at least a predetermined rank; placing a side bet that at least one player of the at least two players will obtain a player hand of at least a predetermined rank; playing a hand of the casino table wagering game to conclusion; determining if at least one of the at least two players has obtained a player hand of said at least a predetermined rank; if a player has not obtained a player hand of at least a predetermined rank, but that player has placed the side bet that at least one player of the at least two players will obtain a player hand of at least a predetermined rank, and if another player has obtained a player hand of at least a predetermined rank, awarding that player a predetermined proportional share of the bonus for obtaining a player hand of at least a predetermined rank.

U.S. Patent Publication No. 20050170875 (Snow) describes a method of playing a Pai Gow Poker wagering card game. The method includes the steps of: a) a player placing a wager on a Pai Gow Poker game, b) players placing a second wager against a pay table on a separate poker-type game that uses each player's best five-card hands from each player, c) dealing seven-card hands from a set of cards to six player positions and to one dealer position; d) resolving the Pai Gow game and awarding bonuses to players making the second wager that have a best five-card hand that exceeds a predetermined rank; and e) awarding an additional bonus to players with hands that exceed the predetermined rank if the dealer's best five-card hand is equal to or less than a predetermined rank. An optional envy hand event may be included with the second wager or a special qualifying second or third wager.

Another known modification of the Pai Gow poker game has been played at “Harvey's Resort and Casino” in Tahoe, Nev. In this modified game, a bonus bet is made (in addition to the ante bet in the usual game for the five-card hand and two-card hand ranks to be compared with those of the dealer). This bonus bet is won at odds if the player has any five cards (best five-card poker hand of the seven cards dealt) which together rank above a straight (with the odds increasing for increasingly ranked hands). In addition, if a player makes a bonus bet above $5 (5 times the minimum), that player can additionally win a predetermined payoff if any other player has any best five-card hand forms a poker rank above four of a kind (with the payoff increasing for increasingly ranked hands). This type of payout is referred to in the industry as an “envy bonus”. Envy bonuses are typically won on another player's hand, not on one's own hand.

Although Pai Gow poker has achieved a level of success where it is present in most card rooms, it is desirable to provide additional features to the game that can make it even more attractive and successful.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The underlying technology of the present disclosure is the combination of two enabled events from a single wager, where one of the events is a progressive jackpot event that receives funding from the single wager and the other event may be a non-progressive bonus event that is enabled by the placement of the same single wager. Exemplary and non-limiting concepts within this technology include at least combinations of wagering events such as a progressive jackpot and one or more of: a bonus odds payout award, an envy bet award, a fixed bonus payout, a bad beat award, a non-monetary prize with a monetary value, and the like.

The underlying game may be any casino wagering event, such as casino table card games, slot devices, video wagering devices, card games, roulette games, dice games and the like. Additionally, because the size of the event wager under some circumstances can cause an increase in player payback, the size of the event wager selected by a player may vary from a minimum amount to a maximum amount, the range of variation predetermined by the casino or administrator.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a playing surface of an example of game play of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the play of any casino wagering system or game, where there is the desire to include a progressive jackpot event with a contributing wager, the jackpot contributing wager (e.g., referred to herein generically as an “event wager” to distinguish it from the ordinary underlying game wager) includes enablement of at least one separate bonus event because of the jackpot contributing wager. An amount or portion of the event wager is contributed to the increasing of a progressive jackpot, a portion funds a separate payout (fixed or odds payouts), and the remainder of the event wager is retained by the house as part of the house economic advantage in the game). This new technology described herein differs from known progressive wagers that have been treated as distinct and separate wagers in which placement of the progressive wager has a portion of the progressive wager added to the increasing progressive jackpot amount and the remainder is retained by the house, without influencing any other game events.

To appreciate the significant impact and technical distinction of this invention, the economic operation of wagers and casino profits on games have to be examined. In the development of games and wagers on games, the wagers allowed and the returns on winning wagers have to be designed so that there is a built-in house profit margin on average for each wager placed in a game. In limited instances, wagers with no house advantage are allowed. For instance, pot bets offer no house edge. In craps, the back-up odds wager provides about the only even money wager in a casino. That wager must be made after placement of the Come bet and the combination of the two wagers provides the house with an average return of about 0.18% on the average total wager. This is still the best wager in the casino for the player.

Other games and wagers in casinos have average house retention rates of about 1%, 5%, 10%, 20% and more on the average wager placed. Players are enticed to make these (on an accounting basis) higher household wagers because of the enjoyment of the game or the potential for extraordinarily large payouts on a relatively small wager. This is exactly one basis of enticement to play in the Progressive Jackpot events associated with certain casino games or machines. For example, in the play of Five-Card stud-type poker games, a typical progressive wager of exactly $1.00 (or one wagering unit, as in Europe, 1 Eurodollar) is wagered. Of that dollar, anywhere from 40% to 60% of the one unit wager is typically added to the progressive jackpot. Thus, without considering the relatively small seeding contribution of the casino, the house retains approximately 40% to 60% (respectively) of these wagers, even though the jackpot must be eventually won. A significant problem for the casino for this type of wager, even though it is quite rewarding, is that the wager is always one unit. There is absolutely no incentive for a player to place a larger Progressive Jackpot wager, even if that were possible (most systems allow for only a single unit wager), as the amount of the jackpot event payout does not alter with any change in the amount of the jackpot wager. The casino therefore earns a significant percentage on the jackpot wager, but the total retention by the house is minimized because the wager is relatively small (e.g., $1.00) compared to the ordinary wagers that may be placed in the underlying game (e.g., $5.00 minimum to $1,000.00 maximum). It is therefore desirable to find a way to increase the amount of and frequency of participation in Progressive Jackpot wagering events.

The underlying technology of the present disclosure is the combination of at least two enabled events from a single wager, where one of the events is a progressive jackpot event that receives funding from the single wager and the other event may be a non-progressive bonus event that is enabled by the placement of the single wager. Exemplary and non-limiting concepts within this technology include at least combinations of wagering events such as a progressive jackpot prize in combination with one or more of: a bonus odds payout award, an envy bonus award, a fixed bonus payout, a bad beat payout, a non-monetary prize with a monetary value, and the like.

The underlying game may be any casino wagering event, such as casino table card games, slot devices, video wagering devices, roulette games, dice games, interactive multi-player gaming machines and the like. In the play of slot or video machine systems, a selection button or automatic inclusion in the event wager may be provided. In table games, specific wagering positions may be provided on the table, including wagering positions that provide a signal (e.g., light or electronic signal) indicating the presence of a wager on that position. The use of RFID technology, proximity sensors, capacitive sensors, optical sensors or any other bet position sensors may also be used to determine not only the presence of the event wager and the specific player making that wager, but also the time when that wager is placed, so that late entry into such a wager may be prevented.

Additionally, because betting more on the event wager can potentially cause an increase in player payback, the size of the event wager selected by a player may vary from a minimum amount to a maximum amount, the range of variation predetermined by the casino or administrator. It is important to note that some wagers are paid back specifically in proportion to the size of the initial wager, as opposed to having a fixed jackpot. This proportional payback is usually defined in a paytable. The paytable lists the various bonus odds payouts for each winning hand. Typically, hands that have the lowest probability of occurrence pay the highest odds. For example, in typical 5-card poker paytables, the return on a wager for specific ranked hands might be, by way of a non-limiting example:

HAND PAYOUT ODDS
Royal Flush 1000:1  
Straight Flush 500:1 
Four-of-a-kind 250:1 
Full House 12:1 
Flush 8:1
Straight 6:1
Three-of-a-kind 3:1
Two pair 2:1
Pair 1:1

These types of payout odds may also be present in the event wager. The event wager may pay back different odds and therefore influence players to make higher wagers. Such a payout scheme is also believed to attract more players. For example, in a poker game, with the above paytable retained in the underlying game, the paytable for the added event wager might add any of the following paytables or alternative paytables:

TABLE 1
HAND PAYOUT ODDS
Royal Flush 2000:1
Straight Flush 1500:1
Four-of-a-kind  500:1
Full House  25:1

By eliminating some of the lower payouts and increasing the higher payouts on the highest hands, the payback and house retention are balanced.

TABLE 2
HAND PAYOUT ODDS
Royal Flush 500:1
Straight Flush 150:1
Four-of-a-kind 100:1
Full House  12:1
Flush  10:1
Straight  8:1
Three-of-a-kind  4:1

Here, the paytables have been constricted on both high and low ranking hands to make more commonly occurring hands pay better. A paytable with higher mid-range payouts attracts higher wagers, which still retain a significant house return on the event wager.

The percentage of the contribution to the Jackpot event from each event wager is also under the control of the casino and/or the administrator. The range may be small to large, and may vary over the life of the jackpot event. For example, a general contribution range might be, at any time during the play of the jackpot event, from 1-99% of the event wager. It is more likely that the contribution to the jackpot event would lie within the ranges of 5-95%,10-80%, 10-70%,10-60%, 10-50%, 20-80%, 15-75%, 15-60%, 15-50%, 15-40%, 20-40% and the like. The contributions may be higher at the opening of the jackpot event (e.g., 50%) to more rapidly increase the initial size of the jackpot (which may be seeded by the casino or administrator with an amount such as $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 or more), and then as the jackpot reaches a higher level, the amount of contribution may be increased or decreased to either attract more interest or increase the house retention on the wager (e.g., by changing the 50% contribution to 20% or 65%).

Or, a fixed contribution amount (such as $1.00, for a $5.00 minimum wager, for example) of the minimum allowable bet is an alternative contribution scheme for funding a jackpot.

One preferred form of the invention allows the player to place a bet between a minimum and a maximum. The fixed contribution amount guarantees that the progressive jackpot is funded, and the house maintains an edge on the bet.

The wager event of the present technology is clearly intended and enabled for use in a generic range of wagering events in a casino, on the internet, on wagering systems, and in inter-casino and intra casino gaming events, in televised wagering game shows, including combining the jackpot event among different games and events. The description emphasized below will discuss the use of the wager event with Pai Gow poker as a way of simplifying the discussion rather that detailing its application according to the rules of the many and varied games available within casinos and other gaming environments.

In connecting differing games, differing casinos or differing media (e.g., a live casino and an internet wagering connection), different percentages of the event wager may be apportioned among the progressive jackpot and the other game events. For example, the probability of a highest level jackpot event in the play of Let It Ride® stud poker may be significantly lower than the probability for the highest level jackpot event in a progressive blackjack jackpot event (e.g., five consecutive blackjack hands to a single player). To assure that each game is contributing to the jackpot increase in a “fair” apportionment, the blackjack game may contribute a higher proportion of the event wager (e.g., 60%) or percent of a minimum allowed wager, or fixed amount to the jackpot than does the Let It Ride® stud poker side bet (e.g., 20%). The different events, or even different locations (attempting to influence the location of initial wagers) may be the same or different as the choice of the game administrator.

The amount of the contribution to the progressive jackpot in any game may be controlled by the administrator on the basis of the desired rate of growth of the jackpot, the amount of house retention on wagers desired, and the amount of increase in bonus, fixed payouts, envy and/or bad beat payouts from the included wager, each and every one of which events influences the amount retained by the house from each wager in the event wager made by a player.

A preferred side bet wager bonus event is disclosed in pending U.S. Patent Publications 20050269783 (Snow) and 20050170875 (Snow), and are referred to as Fortune Pai Gow™ games. The content of the two referenced published applications are incorporated by reference in their entireties. All other variants of bonus events useful in casino games, whether or not used in Pai Gow poker may also be combined with or into the wager event of the present technology. That event includes a side bet and corresponding bonus event of the present invention, combined with the traditional game of Pai Gow poker. The bonus event does not in any way alter the strategy of play of the game. The bonus event requires no additional cards, and adds interest to the game.

Each player may make a first side bet wager to enter the bonus game, and may place a second side bet wager or a larger first side bet wager to enter an “envy hand” game event. The bonus game may be played and resolved before play of the Pai Gow game or after play of the Pai Gow game, but is preferably done after the play of the underlying Pai Gow game. The first side bet wager is made against a pay table, rather then against direct competitive rank play against other players and/or the house. The wager is made on whether the player's hand will exceed a minimum rank and will be paid according to the relative level of the rank achieved in a five card, best-of-seven cards poker hand. The players place the bonus bet or side bet in a designated area. After the basic game of Pai Gow is resolved, the dealer forms a best-of-seven cards five-card hand for each player, and payouts are made on the basis of those five-card hands having at least a minimum poker rank. After the five-card ranks are identified (and possibly after being paid), the dealer's hand is reviewed with respect to the highest possible five-card hand in the dealer's seven cards. If the dealer's best-of-seven five-card hand rank is less than a predetermined rank, e.g., an Ace-High Pai Gow (no hand of at least a rank of a pair), player's having made the first side bet wager will not have any bonus payout for a ranked hand multiplied or otherwise increased. If a second side bet wager or if a required minimum threshold amount for the first side bet wager has been made, then an envy wager event will be played. In an envy event, for players making the qualifying envy bet wager, the appearance in any player's hand of a five-card hand of at least a second predetermined rank will provide a basis for a special bonus to envy bet player's, except for the player who obtains the five-card hand of the at least second predetermined rank.

Among some of the features that can contribute to the unique play of preferred bonus games of the present technology include one or more of at least the following basic game play elements:

1) The underlying game is a table version of Pai Gow poker game.

2) A mandatory Ante wager is placed to play in an underlying Pai Gow poker game against the dealer's hands.

3) An optional or mandatory first side bet is placed at any time prior to the players viewing one or more cards to engage in a separately paying, side-bet wagering game against a pay table. The game is usually played with a standard deck without any jokers or a 53-card standard playing card deck with a single joker, as is the conventional Pai Gow game. Winnings are determined in the first side bet separate game by resolution of best-of-seven five-card poker hands of each player making the first side bet against a five-card poker ranking of hands in a pay table.

4) The separately paying game on this first side bet does not interfere with any underlying strategy in the play of the underlying Pai Gow game.

5) Before, after or during play of the game against the pay table, a best-of-seven five-card hand is established for the dealer.

6) The separate first side bet game is preferably played out after resolution of the underlying Pai Gow poker game. When the dealer's best-of-seven five-card poker hand has a low rank beneath or at a predetermined threshold (i.e., the dealer does not qualify), awards provided by the paytable on the first side bet game are increased, as by additive amounts, preferably a multiplier effect, or a combination of additive amount and/or multiplier effect.

The Pai Gow game is played to its normal conclusion, the separate game on the first bet having no possible influence on the Pai Gow game. The first side bet wager game against the pay table is played out (including the dealer hand evaluation bonus event), and when at least one player has made a qualifying or additional wager in an envy bet event, envy bet events are resolved.

The bonus event of the present invention may be played in connection with the above described Pai Gow game with first side bet.

The present game may be more generally described as follows. An underlying game of Pai Gow is played (with the side bets not being considered in this underlying game). That underlying game of Pai Gow is generally played in a manner similar to the following steps:

Ante wagers are made by each player in the underlying Pai Gow game. The wagers are made between a group of respective players against a dealer. The outcome of the game is determined by randomly ordered playing cards having various ranks and suits. Seven cards are dealt to each player and to the dealer. The seven cards dealt to each player are arranged or “set” by that player into a two-card low hand and a five-card high hand (and the player may in some instances actually seek advise from the dealer in arranging legally proper hands). The seven cards dealt to the dealer are set by the dealer into a two-card low hand and a five-card high hand, usually according to house rules as to how hands must be arranged. The respective five-card hands and two-card hands of each player and the dealer are compared. The ante bet of each player is paid off according to the rules of play of Pai Gow poker. A payout is made to the respective player if both the two-card hand and the five-card hand of the player have a higher poker rank than the respective two-card hand and five-card hand of the dealer. The bet is taken by the house if both the two-card hand and the five-card hand of the player have a lower poker rank than the respective two-card hand and five-card hand of the dealer. Bets are a push when only one of the two-card hand and five-card hand of the player has a higher poker rank than the respective two-card hand and five-card hand of the dealer. This is the basic manner in which the underlying game of Pai Gow is played. Other considerations in this play include the fact that the house will require a payment from each player that wins in the underlying game with the house rake or commission typically based upon the size of the wager made by the player in the underlying game.

In the modified Pai Gow poker game of the present invention, there are additional, but simple steps that are performed. At the beginning of the underlying Pai Gow poker game, the players have an optional or mandatory bonus event side bet wager that is or can be made. The amount of the side bet event wager may be independent of the underlying wager in the Pai Gow poker game. For example, the side bet wager may require a minimum of a $1.00 wager whether in a $5.00, $10.00, or $25.00 minimum bet Pai Gow poker game. The amount of this minimum wager may be varied according to the design of the game, the target house hold, and variations in the game that may be made by the house. In other forms of the invention, the minimum bet on the bonus event and the basic game are equal.

Considering only a bonus event with odds payouts at this time, the modified Pai Gow poker game of the invention would proceed as follows. After the play of the underlying Pai Gow poker game and the resolution of the game bets, the players (alone or with the assistance of the dealer) would then examine their seven cards and create a best five-card poker hand. This best five-card poker hand might actually be different from the five-card hand played during the Pai Gow poker game, because of strategy considerations. For example, it is a common strategy to split a Full House in Pai Gow poker to form a three-of-a-kind High Hand and a pair for the Low Hand to increase the likelihood of a win. If the best five-card hand exceeds a minimum rank (e.g., at least a straight), the player holding that five-card hand that at least exceeds the minimum rank is entitled to a bonus payout against a pay table. This bonus payout is in addition to the win in the underlying Pai Gow poker game. An example of a pay table for the bonus win on the side bet could be:

HAND PAYOUT ODDS
Royal Flush 100:1 
Straight Flush 25:1 
Four-of-a-Kind 10:1 
Full House 3:1
Flush 2:1
Three of a Kind 2:1
Straight  1:1.

At this time (that is, after the players have organized their best five-card poker hands and compared them to the pay table) or earlier in the play of the game, but after resolution of the underlying Pai Gow poker wager, the dealer arranges the dealer's seven cards into a best five-card poker hand. Where the best five-card poker hand falls at or under a threshold of a rank hand, that is has a rank equal to or less than a predetermined rank, a further bonus consideration is made in the side bet wager separate game.

A “Pai Gow” hand for purposes of this disclosure is defined as a hand in which no pairs (or higher) can be made from all seven cards in the hand. If the threshold for this additional bonus consideration is set at the Pai Gow hand level (as opposed to a pair of deuces or lower, a pair of 3's or lower, a pair of 4's or lower, or a King-High Pai Gow (i.e., there are no pairs or higher available and the highest card in the dealer's hand is a King, excluding and Ace-High Pai Gow hand), or a Queen-High Pai Gow, or a Jack-High Pai Gow, or a 10-High Pai Gow hand, etc.), the dealer's hand is reviewed for its best 5-Card rank. If the dealer's hand falls below or meets this threshold, an enhanced or additional bonus is available to all players that have their own bonus hand. For example, if the threshold dealer hand for the additional bonus is a King-High Pai Gow hand, and the dealer's hand has no flush and consists of Jack, 10, 9, 7, 5, 4, 2, the threshold has been met and the player with a ranked bonus hand will have the bonus hand pay out increased by means of an additive amount of a multiplier, or both. For further illustration, if the player had a high and low hand of a straight and a pair and had made an initial $10.00 Pai Gow wager and 1 $1.00 side bet wager, in this circumstance the player would be paid $10.00 (even money) less house commission (e.g., $0.50) on the Pai Gow poker game wager (assuming a win), would be entitled to $10.00 bonus for having the straight, and because of the dealer's low threshold hand, the $10.00 bonus would be multiplied to $20.00 (assuming 2 times for the additional bonus effect for the dealer having a low hand). The player would therefore receive his initial $10.00 wager and a return of $30.00 on both games, while losing the $1.00 side bet wager that is always collected by the house.

This play offers some significant benefits to the player and the house while increasing the potential for enjoyment by the players. First, there are no additional implements needed to add a bonus feature to Pai Gow poker, such as dice or a roulette-type wheel. The game does not allow for any change in strategy in the play of the underlying game. The bonus events may be quickly and easily determined.

EXAMPLES

An example of a round of play of a Pai Gow poker game with event wager side bet according to the present invention is described as follows. To simplify the description, only four players (1, 2, 3 and 4) are at the table in area 23, 24, 25 and 26 The table surface 10 is shown in FIG. 1. Six player hands and a dealer hand are dealt, as with traditional Pai Gow poker, with four residual cards. The jackpot event has been seeded by the casino with a starting amount of $10,000.00, and is displayed on progressive meter 32 located at the table by way of non-limiting example. A game controller 34 records the wagers made on electronic wagering sensors 26 a-d, and increments the meter 32.

In a preferred form of the invention, side bet sensors such as those described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,299,154 are used to register bets. The specification of this patent is herein incorporated by reference. Examples of suitable jackpot control hardware are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,364,104, the content of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

Players 1, 2, 3 and 4 place $5.00 wagers on betting circle 24 a-d, in the underlying Pai Gow game. Players 1 and 2 place wagers of $1.00, Player 3 places a wager of $5.00, and Player 4 places no wager, respectively, on areas 26 a, 26 b, 26 c and 26 d, the side bet event wager game that includes both a progressive wager (with a 20% of the minimum bet of $1.00, or $0.20 or event wager contribution to the jackpot amount). From this wager, the initial jackpot amount is increased by $0.20 per player. Player positions 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25, and the dealer's position 28 are dealt seven cards each from a starting deck of 53 cards (the standard 52-card playing deck and a joker). Each player and the dealer set their high and low hands and place them in the appropriate hand areas 34 a-d and 33. The presence of a bad beat event or envy bet event may or may not be included in this game. The inclusion of these events might be considered in adjusting, probably lowering, the contribution to the jackpot amount from the event wager.

The normal play of Pai Gow poker is undertaken, and the events of that play are immaterial to the play of the side bet wager. The hands are left on the table. At the conclusion of the Pai Gow game, the dealer reviews or arranges the players seven cards to identify a best five-card poker hand. The dealer may also arrange the dealer cards into a best five-card hand at this time, or wait to arrange the dealer's hand. This is an insignificant choice, as the dealer's hand is already fully exposed. The dealer examines the best five-card hands of all players to determine if any player entered into the first side bet wager game against the-pay table has a qualifying hand, that is a hand of at least a straight in the example of this game. The dealer's best five-card hand cards are displayed by the dealer at a central position 33 (e.g., where the dealer's hand had been previously located).

It is assumed in this example that the Pai Gow game has been resolved and the best five-card hands are Player 1—3-of-a-kind; Player 2—straight; Player 3—two pair; and Player 4—Full House. In this situation, Player 1 who entered the side bet pay table game, gets no bonus payment, the player's hand being below the threshold of a straight. Player 2 has a guaranteed bonus payout of 1:1 on the original Pai Gow wager because of the straight. Player 3 who entered the side bet pay table game, gets no bonus payment, the player's hand being below the threshold of a straight. Player 4 gets no bonus for the Full House, because no side bet wager against the pay table was made by Player 4. If there had been an envy wager event included in the event wagers of Players 1, 2 and 3, the players would respectively obtain (Player 1) a payback of 1× the envy payment for a Full house, (Player 2) a payback of 1× payment for a Full House and (Player 3) an envy payment of 5× the envy payment for a Full House. As understood in the art, the winning envy bonus hands may be the same hands that pay a bonus, a subset of those hands, or even different hands.

The bonus event in this example of the invention pays all or a portion of a progressive payout for certain winning hands, plus an odds payout amount for one or more of the same winning hands. An exemplary pay table shows the combinations of payouts possible by practicing an exemplary bonus event of the present invention:

HAND PROGRESSIVE PAYOUT ODDS
7 Card Straight Flush 100% 1000:1  
5 Aces 10% 500:1 
Royal Flush 200:1 
Straight Flush 50:1 
4 of a Kind 25:1 
Full House 5:1
Flush 4:1
Straight/3 of a Kind 2:1

Since Player 1 placed the event side bet of $1.00 and holds three of a kind, he wins $2.00. Player 2 holds a straight and placed the event side bet of $1.00 and wins $2.00. Player 3 placed a side bet wager of $5.00 and holds two pair and does not win. Player 4 did not place a side wager and does not win on this wager.

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.

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Referenced by
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US7584969 *Apr 19, 2007Sep 8, 2009Kenneth BrunellePai gow game with supplemental bet
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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/27
International ClassificationG06F19/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/322, G07F17/3258
European ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/32K12, G07F17/32C4D
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