|Publication number||US20070235939 A1|
|Application number||US 11/733,878|
|Publication date||Oct 11, 2007|
|Filing date||Apr 11, 2007|
|Priority date||Sep 21, 2004|
|Publication number||11733878, 733878, US 2007/0235939 A1, US 2007/235939 A1, US 20070235939 A1, US 20070235939A1, US 2007235939 A1, US 2007235939A1, US-A1-20070235939, US-A1-2007235939, US2007/0235939A1, US2007/235939A1, US20070235939 A1, US20070235939A1, US2007235939 A1, US2007235939A1|
|Original Assignee||Taja Enterprises, Llc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (8), Classifications (6), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/254,563, filed Oct. 19, 2005, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/947,188, filed Sep. 21, 2004, both of which are hereby incorporated by reference as if set forth herein.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a group of wagering games where there is one group of gaming pieces commonly called the “Dealer hand”, at least one, and possibly more than one, group of gaming pieces called the “player hand”, and each group of gaming pieces is divided up into two sub-groups. The wagering games include Pai Gow Poker and Pai Gow (or Pai Gow Tiles).
2. The Prior Art
Numerous wagering games are known in the prior art. Many of them involve the parties each being given a hand, which consists of a group of cards, tiles, or other gaming pieces. This invention involves games where one of these hands is designated as the “Dealer Hand”. In some cases, this hand is called the “Player/Dealer Hand”, “House Hand” or the “Bank Hand”. In addition, a number of players can each have their own player hand. Players can wager on a player hand and in some circumstances they can wager on the Dealer Hand. During the play of the game, the gaming pieces are divided up into two or more sub-groups. The sub-groups are assigned a value, and the outcome of the wager is decided by comparing values of the sub-groups of the player hand to the sub-groups of the Dealer hand according to a criterion specified by the rules of the game.
The description of the invention discusses the Dealer and the players having “hands”. While a “hand” is normally considered to consist of a collection of playing cards, the word “hand” is used for convenience, and is not intended to restrict the invention to games played with collections of playing cards. For the purposes of this invention, a “hand” can also be a collection of tiles or dominos, the outcome of throwing one or more dice, or any other way of assigning a value to a Dealer and the players in order to decide wagers between them.
There are two well-known games that fall into the field of the present invention, although other lesser-known games have been created. These well known games are Pai Gow Poker and Pai Gow Tiles, also known as “Pai Gow.”
In these games, a hand is divided into sub-groups of playing pieces, which are also frequently called “hands”. To avoid confusion, the sub-groups will be referred to as “sub-hands”. In Pai Gow Poker, a hand of seven cards is divided into a five-card sub-hand and a two-card sub-hand. In Pai Gow, a hand of four tiles is divided into two sub-hands of two tiles each.
Another use of the word “hand” refers to playing the game. Playing a “hand” of Pai Gow or Pai Gow Poker consists of making wagers, dealing cards or tiles, dividing the cards or tiles (“setting the hands”), determining winners, and settling wagers.
In Pai Gow Poker and Pai Gow Tiles, the possible sub-hands are ranked. In Pai Gow Poker, the hand rankings of Poker are used, where the rankings are five of a kind, royal flush, straight flush, full house, etc. Pai Gow uses a ranking scheme where each pair of tiles has one of 102 possible rankings. The rankings are complex, with pairs usually beating unpaired tiles, and unpaired tiles being ranked based on the sum of the number of spots, but with many exceptions.
When the hands are divided into sub-hands, one of them must be higher ranked than the other. In Pai Gow Poker, the five-card sub-hand must always have a higher ranking than the two-card sub-hand. In Pai Gow, one of the sub-hands will be higher ranked. The higher ranked sub-hand is called the “back hand” and the lower ranked sub-hand is called the “front hand”, because of where the sub-hands are placed on the table after they are set.
These two games share a common method of deciding who wins. In both games the front hand of each player is compared to the front hand of the Dealer, and the back hand of each player is compared to the back hand of the Dealer. If both player hands beat both Dealer hands, then the player wins. If both Dealer hands beat both player hands, then the Dealer wins. If one player hand beats the corresponding Dealer hand, and the other Dealer hand beats the other player hand, then it is a “push” and no money changes hands.
If a player hand and the corresponding Dealer hand have the same value, then this is called a “copy”. A copy is treated as a win for the Dealer. Therefore, if one Dealer hand is higher than the corresponding player hand, and the other Dealer hand and corresponding player hand copy, then the Dealer wins the wager. Similarly, if one player hand is higher than the corresponding Dealer hand, and the other player and Dealer hands copy, then it is a push. Unlike many casino games where ties are pushes, in Pai Gow and Pai Gow Poker, copies are treated as wins for the Dealer.
A banking game is a game where all players are playing against the casino. The casino collects from losing players and pays the winners. A casino employee makes all the playing decisions involving the Dealer hand, typically according to a set of playing rules. In jurisdictions where banking games are allowed, typically the casino or the establishment operating the game (“the house”) funds the Dealer hand.
In jurisdictions where banking games are not allowed, players take turns acting as Dealer. In some other jurisdictions, one or more players may be agent(s) of the house, but other players may also take their turn to be Dealer. In all these cases, each time the game is played, a player is designated as “Player/Dealer”, puts up a wager, and receives a hand. All other players make a wager and receive a hand. These other players are trying to beat the hand of the Player/Dealer. If the player wins, the player is paid from the Player/Dealer's wager, if there is sufficient money to pay the Player. If the player loses, the player loses his/her wager to the Player/Dealer, if the Player/Dealer's wager was sufficient to cover the player's wager. Usually, there are some circumstances that are defined as a “push.” When a push occurs, no money changes hands.
There are many variations of how the Player/Dealer's wager is funded. Two or more parties may share in funding the wager. Two or more parties may make separate wagers, where the second or third wager only comes into play when wagers equal to the size of the first Player/Dealer wager have been settled.
In addition, there are different ways to fund wagers on the player hand. In the simplest case, each player wagers on a single hand. However, often more than one player may wager on a hand, and each player may wager on more than one hand.
The key characteristic of these games is that all players are restricted to one or two types of wagers. In all jurisdictions, the player can wager that a particular player hand will beat the Dealer's hand. This could be called a “Normal Bet”. In essence, they may bet that they can “beat the dealer”. And in some jurisdictions, the player can bet that the Dealer can beat all of the players.
In these games one possible outcome for both these wagers is a “push”, where no money changes hands. None of the wagering methods currently used in these games allow you to wager that a particular hand will push with the Dealer hand.
Traditional Baccarat has a tie bet. A player can bet that the Bank Hand and the player hand will tie. However, Baccarat is significantly different from the games in the field of the invention. In Baccarat, you start with a two-card hand and you sometimes add a card to the hand. There is no mechanism for dividing the cards into smaller groups.
Also, Baccarat uses a hand valuation method where each card has a value and the value of a hand is the sum of the values of the cards. The value of a hand is a number between 0 and 9. None of the games in the field of the Invention use this kind of hand valuation method. Pai Gow Poker uses the standard poker hand valuation method where the rankings are five of a kind, royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, etc. The value of a hand would be “two pair” or “an ace-king high”, not a numeric value. Pai Gow uses a valuation method that treats pairs as special, as well as certain other combinations of tiles. The sub-hands are not evaluated strictly based on the sum of the values of the individual tiles.
Finally, in Baccarat, a push occurs when the player and the Dealer hands tie. A tie is two hands with the same value. A push is when no money changes hands. Unlike Baccarat, in the games in the field of the present invention, there is no single value assigned to each hand, so there is no tie. And when the sub-hands are copies, it is not considered a push, but rather a win for the Dealer.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,394,456 introduces a tie bet for Blackjack. Just as with Baccarat, this game does not involve separating the hand into portions. Additionally, the hand values are numeric, and all pushes are ties. Blackjack does not fall into the field of the present invention.
U.S. Pat. No. 7,070,505 introduces a modified Tie Bet for Baccarat.
The present invention provides an improvement to the games of Pai Gow and Pai Gow Poker by adding a new wager that a particular player hand will push with the Dealer hand, called the “Push Bet.” This wager can be settled with the same pool of money that is used for bets that a player hand will win, or there can be a separate pool of money for this wager.
The Push Bet may be available at any time, or it may only be available if the same player makes another wager.
In one embodiment the Push Bet pays a multiple of the wager. In Pai Gow Poker, it might pay $13 for every $10 wagered. In another embodiment, the wager pays even money ($1 for every $1 wagered), but also qualifies the player to win a bonus based on other criteria, such as the value of his best five-card hand.
The exact payout will depend on the frequency of pushes in the particular game in question.
One advantage of the present invention is that the player has more wagering opportunities. Additional wagering opportunities mean more excitement for the players and more revenue for the casino.
The present invention also allows for the player to make a wager that could pay him more than the amount of his wager, which is not an option in a conventional Pai Gow or Pai Gow Poker game.
The invention also introduces the method of using separate pools of money to settle wagers that a hand will win against the Dealer Hand (Normal Bets) and wagers that a hand will push with the Dealer Hand (Push Bets).
Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that the following description of the present invention is illustrative only and not in any way limiting. Other embodiments of the invention will readily suggest themselves to such a skilled person.
For the description of a preferred embodiment, Pai Gow Poker with a Player/Dealer will be used. The game is played on a standard gaming table, with wagering stations for each player. A layout similar to layout 100 in
If the player wishes to make a Normal Bet that this hand will beat the Dealer hand, he can place a wager in one of the circles numbered 1 to 5. If the player wishes to place a wager larger than the normal table limit, he can place additional Normal Bets in the other numbered circles.
If a player wishes to make one or more Push Bets on this hand, the player can place these bets in the circles labeled “P1” to P5”.
In many casinos where there is a Player/Dealer, each player must pay a fee, called a “collection”, for each wager. This fee goes to the casino. The player would place this fee in the corresponding circles labeled “C”. In jurisdictions where banking games are allowed, collections are not usually required. In that case, these circles would not be part of the layout. There may not be marked areas for collections, even in casinos where collections are required to wager.
Layout 100 is illustrative only. Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that many other layouts are possible within the spirit of the present invention. The number of wagering areas, the way they are labeled, the shapes and sizes of the wagering spots, and the arrangement of these spots could all be modified. There could be separate spots for collections for Normal Bets and for Push Bets, or there could be no marked spots for collections at all.
To start the play of a hand, one player is designated as Player/Dealer. This player funds two Player/Dealer pools. One pool is used to settle Normal Bets and the other is used to settle Push Bets. The option to be Player/Dealer normally rotates around the table. Usually, after a player has been Player/Dealer for two hands, the option is offered to the next player to his left.
Other players may also contribute to the funding of either or both of the pools. This can take the form of sharing the pool, with participants sharing in the wins or losses, or with separate sub-pools that are used in order to settle the wagers.
Other parties make Normal Bets and/or Push Bets. All parties also place their collections on the table.
Once the wagering is complete, the collections are taken by the casino and a seven-card hand is dealt to each seat, including the seat of the Player/Dealer. Each participant divides his cards into a two-card hand and a five-card hand. The hands are evaluated using the normal method of evaluating Poker hands. Straights and flushes do not count in the two-card hand, so the highest possible two-card hand is a pair of aces.
After all the players have set their hands, the Player/Dealer also sets his hand. This may be according to a pre-determined set of rules or the Dealer may have the choice of dividing his hand into any legal set of two hands. In some circumstances, one or more player hands may also be set according to pre-determined rules.
After the Dealer hand is set, all hands are turned over and evaluated. The outcome may be determined according to the table 200 provided in
The Normal Bets are then settled using the Player/Dealer pool designated for that purpose. When the players win, they receive money from the Player/Dealer pool. When they lose, the money is paid to the Player/Dealer pool.
Then the Push Bets are settled. Winning Push Bets are paid from the pool designated for Push Bets. Losing Push Bets are paid to the pool designated for Push Bets.
In the preferred embodiment, Push Bets are paid even money. A player who wins gets his wager back and wins an amount equal to his Push-Bet wager. In addition everyone who makes a Push Bet is eligible for a bonus based on the best 5-card hand that can be made from the player's seven cards. For example, the player might be paid 200 times the wager for five Aces, 75 times the wager for a Royal Flush, 20 times the wager for a Straight Flush, 5 times the wager for a Four of a Kind, 2 times the wager for a Full House, and 1 times the wager for an Ace-High Flush.
Those or ordinary skill in the art will realize that many other pay schedules are possible. In addition, many other ways of determining when to pay a bonus are possible. The bonus could be based on any 5-card sub-hand, any two-card sub-hand, or some combination of more than one sub-hand. Bonuses could be paid for being dealt a hand with seven cards of the same suit or three pair or two different full houses.
In the preferred embodiment, a player does not need to win his Push Bet to qualify for the bonus. In other variations, the bonus would only be paid if the player won his Push Bet. This would make bonuses less frequent and the payoffs could be higher.
The preferred embodiment describes a game in which the players who make the wagers also make playing decisions for at least one of the hands. Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that in some embodiments, players might also make wagers on various hands without being involved in the playing decisions. A player might stand behind the seated players who make the decisions and make wagers, without identifying himself with a particular hand as a decision-maker. In addition, there might not even be any playing decisions available to be made.
In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the Push Bet does not require making another bet. The player does not have to make a Normal Bet to make a Push Bet. The placement of the Push Bet does not depend on the placement of another bet. In this respect, it is not a supplemental bet that depends on the existence of another bet or wager. Rather, the Push Bet may exist as an independent bet that can stand alone. In other embodiments, a player may be required to make a Normal Bet to make a Push bet. In some embodiments, the player must place both bets on the same hand. In other embodiments, a player might be allowed to make a Normal Bet on one hand and a Push Bet on another.
Also, in some of these embodiments, there would be no restriction on the relative size of the bets. In other embodiments, there could be restrictions. For example, there could be a rule that a Push Bet can be no larger than a Normal Bet, or that they must be the same size.
In the preferred embodiment, there are two Player/Dealer pools that are funded by the players. Many variations of how the wagers are funded are possible. In one embodiment, there are two pools, but only one is funded by the players. For example, the pool for Normal Wagers could be funded by a Player/Dealer and the pool for Push Bets could be funded by the casino. In this case, those who make a Push Bet may or may not be required to pay a collection.
In other embodiments, there would be a single pool that funds both Normal Bets and Push Bets. This pool could be funded by a Player/Dealer or by the Casino.
The preferred embodiment discloses a game with a Player/Dealer. Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that the present invention can also be used in banked games where all wagers are against the house or casino. When there is a single pool funded by a Player/Dealer, the order in which the wagers are settled could be significant. In the preferred embodiment, all Normal Bets are settled before any Push Bets. However, those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that it is possible to settle Push Bets before any Normal Bets. It is also possible to settle all wagers on a hand before moving on to the next hand. You might settle a Normal Bet on Hand 1 and a Push Bet on Hand 1, and then go on to settle wagers on the next Hand 2, Hand 3, etc.
In the preferred embodiment, Push Bets pay even money, and a bonus is also sometimes paid to those who make a Push Bet. Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that different payments are possible, with or without any bonuses. In one embodiment, a winning Push Bet is paid $13 for every $10 wagered and no bonuses are paid. However, many other options are possible.
In the preferred embodiment, the players are allowed to set their hand in any way that meets the requirement that the five-card sub-hand ranks higher than the two-card sub-hand. Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that there can be restrictions on how hands can be set for the purposes of deciding Push Bets. In one embodiment, the hand must be set according to a set of rules when deciding the Push Bet. This might require the player or the Player/Dealer to set his hand one way to decide any Normal Bets and then resetting the hand according to the rules in order to settle the Push Bet.
The preferred embodiment has both a Normal Bet and a Push Bet. Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that embodiments could be used that have a Push Bet and no Normal Bet.
Although the invention has been illustrated and described in detail herein, it is to be understood that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
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|US7487970||Sep 21, 2004||Feb 10, 2009||Taja Enterprises Llc||Pai-Gow poker game|
|US7641198||Apr 5, 2007||Jan 5, 2010||Taja Enterprises, Llc||Method for adding qualifier to casino games|
|US7699318||Oct 19, 2005||Apr 20, 2010||Taja Enterprises, Llc||Wagering method including a reverse bet|
|US7735831||Oct 20, 2008||Jun 15, 2010||Sklansky Games, Llc||Facilitated gaming system and method with equalizing criteria for facilitator|
|US7946911||Mar 2, 2009||May 24, 2011||Lieng Hong Vang||Community card pai gow|
|US20050269782 *||May 24, 2005||Dec 8, 2005||Sklansky David B||Facilitated gaming system and method with equalizing criteria for facilitator|
|US20110098105 *||Apr 28, 2011||Ryan William J||Supplemental wager methods and apparatus|
|International Classification||A63F1/00, A63F9/20|
|Cooperative Classification||A63F3/00157, A63F2001/005|
|May 18, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TAJA ENTERPRISES, LLC, NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KO, BERNARD CHUNG BON;REEL/FRAME:019315/0747
Effective date: 20070301