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Publication numberUS20090111551 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/923,468
Publication dateApr 30, 2009
Filing dateOct 24, 2007
Priority dateOct 24, 2007
Publication number11923468, 923468, US 2009/0111551 A1, US 2009/111551 A1, US 20090111551 A1, US 20090111551A1, US 2009111551 A1, US 2009111551A1, US-A1-20090111551, US-A1-2009111551, US2009/0111551A1, US2009/111551A1, US20090111551 A1, US20090111551A1, US2009111551 A1, US2009111551A1
InventorsMax S. Faulkner
Original AssigneeFaulkner Max S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Card game
US 20090111551 A1
Abstract
A method of playing a card game against the house. Optionally, before the cards are dealt, each player may place a bet. Then, a predetermined number of cards are dealt to each player. After the cards are dealt, each player decides whether to “Play” or “Surrender.” A surrendering player forfeits at least a portion of his/her bet, if one was placed. The game terminates for each surrendering player; however, the game continues for the other players. Optionally, each remaining player may bet a raise amount. Then, a hit card is selected from the deck and displayed to the remaining players. A player is a winner, if the player has a card with the same suit as the hit card and with a relationship with respect to the hit card, the relationship selected before the game as one selection from the following two choices: a value greater than the value of the hit card and a value less than the value of the hit card. Winning players who placed bets are paid a winning amount while losing players who bet forfeit a lose amount.
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Claims(25)
1. A method of playing a card game comprising:
dealing a predetermined number of cards to at least one player, each of the predetermined number of cards having a suit and a value;
displaying a hit card to the at least one player, the hit card having a suit and a value;
if one of the predetermined number of cards dealt to the at least one player has the same suit as the hit card and has a relationship with respect to the hit card, the relationship selected before the game as one selection from the following two choices: a value greater than the value of the hit card and a value less than the value of the hit card, determining the at least one player has won; and
if none of the predetermined number of cards dealt to the at least one player has the same suit as the hit card and has the selected relationship with respect to the hit card, determining the at least one player has lost.
2. The method of claim 1, further comprising,
before dealing the predetermined number of cards to the at least one player, receiving a bet amount from the at least one player;
allowing the at least one player to surrender; and
if the at least one player surrenders, returning a portion of the bet amount to the at least one player.
3. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
before the predetermined number of cards are dealt to the at least one player, receiving a bet amount from the at least one player; and
if the at least one player has won, returning the bet amount and paying the at least one player a winning amount.
4. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
after the predetermined number of cards are dealt to the at least one player, receiving a bet amount from the at least one player; and
if the at least one player has won, returning the bet amount and paying the at least one player a winning amount.
5. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
before the predetermined number of cards are dealt to the at least one player, receiving a bet amount from the at least one player;
after the predetermined number of cards are dealt to the at least one player, receiving a raise amount from the at least one player; and
if the at least one player has won,
returning the bet amount and the raise amount to the at least one player, and
paying the at least one player a winning amount.
6. The method of claim 1, further comprising, before the predetermined number of cards are dealt to the at least one player, receiving a bet from the at least one player and if the at least one player has lost, retaining at least a portion of the bet amount.
7. The method of claim 1, further comprising, after the predetermined number of cards are dealt to the at least one player, receiving a bet from the at least one player and if the at least one player has lost, retaining at least a portion of the bet amount.
8. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
before the predetermined number of cards are dealt to the at least one player, receiving a bet amount from the at least one player;
after the predetermined number of cards are dealt to the at least one player, receiving a raise amount from the at least one player;
allowing the at least one player to surrender;
if the at least one player surrenders, returning a portion of the bet amount to the at least one player;
if the at least one player has lost, retaining at least a portion of the bet amount and the raise amount; and
if the at least one player has won, returning the bet amount and the raise amount to the at least one player, and paying the at least one player a winning amount.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the winning amount is greater than or equal to a sum of the bet amount and the raise amount.
10. The method of claim 8, wherein if the at least one player surrenders, the portion of the bet amount returned to the at least one player comprises at least half of the bet amount.
11. The method of claim 8, wherein the winning amount is greater than or equal to the bet amount.
12. The method of claim 8, wherein if the at least one player loses, the portion of the bet amount retained is greater than the portion of the bet amount that would have been returned to the at least one player if the at least one player had surrendered.
13. The method of claim 8, wherein if the at least one player loses, the portion of the bet amount retained is greater than or equal to a sum of the bet amount and the raise amount.
14. A method of playing a card game against a house, the method comprising:
betting a bet amount;
receiving a predetermined number of cards, each of the predetermined number of cards having a suit and a value;
based on the predetermined number of cards received,
betting a raise amount, or
surrendering a portion of the bet amount to the house;
if one of the predetermined number of cards received has the same suit as a hit card and has a relationship with respect to the hit card, the relationship selected before the game as one selection from the following two choices: a value greater than the value of the hit card and a value less than the value of the hit card, receiving a win amount from the house; and
if none of the predetermined number of cards received has the same suit as a hit card and has the selected relationship, forfeiting a portion of a sum of the bet amount and the raise amount to the house.
15. The method of claim 14, wherein the win amount is greater than or equal to a sum of the bet amount and the raise amount.
16. The method of claim 14, wherein the portion of the bet amount surrendered to the house comprises at least half of the bet amount.
17. The method of claim 14, wherein the portion of a sum of the bet amount and the raise amount forfeited to the house is less than or equal to a sum of the bet amount and the raise amount.
18. A computer readable medium comprising a game module having computer-executable instructions for:
dealing a predetermined number of cards to at least one player, each card having a suit and a value;
displaying to the at least one player the predetermined number of cards dealt to the at least one player;
selecting a hit card having a suit and a value;
displaying the hit card to the at least one player; and
determining whether at least one of the predetermined number of cards dealt to the at least one player has the same suit as the hit card and has a relationship with respect to the hit card, the relationship selected before the game as one selection from the following two choices: a value greater than the value of the hit card and a value less than the value of the hit card.
19. The computer readable medium of claim 18, further comprising computer-executable instructions for:
receiving a bet amount from the at least one player;
if none of the predetermined number of cards dealt to the at least one player has the same suit as the hit card and one of the predetermined relationships, retaining the bet amount; and
if one of the predetermined number of cards dealt to the at least one player has the same suit as the hit card and one of the predetermined relationships, paying a winning amount to the at least one player.
20. The computer readable medium of claim 19, further comprising computer-executable instructions for
maintaining an account storing an amount available for betting by the at least one player;
subtracting the bet amount from the amount available for betting by the at least one player; and
adding the winning amount to the amount available for betting by the at least one player.
21. The computer readable medium of claim 18, further comprising computer-executable instructions for:
receiving a bet amount from the at least one player;
before displaying the hit card to the at least one player, determining whether the at least one player has surrendered; and
if the at least one player has surrendered, returning a portion of the bet amount to the at least one player.
22. The computer readable medium of claim 18, further comprising computer-executable instructions for:
before dealing the predetermined number of cards to the at least one player, receiving a bet amount from the at least one player;
after dealing the predetermined number of cards to the at least one player and before displaying the hit card to the at least one player, receiving a raise amount from the at least one player;
if none of the predetermined number of cards dealt to the at least one player has the same suit as the hit card and has a relationship with respect to the hit card, the relationship selected before the game as one selection from the following two choices: a value greater than the value of the hit card and a value less than the value of the hit card, determining a lose amount as a function of the bet amount and the raise amount; and
if one of the predetermined number of cards dealt to the at least one player has the same suit as the hit card and has the selected relationship, determining a winning amount as a function of the bet amount and the raise amount.
23. A system comprising:
a user interface;
a memory;
a data structure stored in the memory, the data structure representing a deck of cards, each card having a suit and a value;
a processor coupled to the user interface and the memory, the processor being configured to:
select a predetermined number of cards randomly from the data structure representing the deck of cards,
display the predetermined number of cards to a user using the user interface,
select a hit card randomly from the data structure representing the deck of cards,
display the hit card to the user using the user interface,
determine the user has won by determining at least one of the predetermined number of cards dealt to the user has the same suit as the hit card and has a relationship with respect to the hit card, the relationship selected before the game as one selection from the following two choices: a value greater than the value of the hit card and a value less than the value of the hit card,
determine the user has lost by determining none of the predetermined number of cards dealt to the user has the same suit as the hit card and has the selected relationship, and
use the user interface to communicate to the user whether the user has won or lost.
24. The system of claim 23, wherein the processor is further configured to receive an indication of a bet amount from the user before displaying the hit card to the user, if the user has lost, to calculate a lose amount as a function of the bet amount, and if the user has won, to calculate a winning amount as a function of the bet amount, the system further comprising an account stored in the memory, the account comprising an amount available to the user to bet, the processor being configured to add the win amount to the amount available to the user to bet and subtract the lose amount from the amount available to the user to bet.
25. The system of claim 24, wherein the processor is further configured to receive a request from the user to surrender before the hit card is displayed to the user, and if the processor receives a request to surrender from the user, to calculate a surrender amount as a function of the bet amount, and to subtract the surrender amount from the amount available to the user to bet.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is directed generally to card games and more particularly to methods of playing a card game.

2. Description of the Related Art

As an industry, gambling has grown steadily throughout the United States and the world. Like most forms of entertainment, popular forms of gaming come and go. A particular game that is popular for a period of time may subsequently experience a period of reduced interest. For example, most recently, a card game named “Texas Hold'em,” which is a poker variant, has become extremely popular. However, in the past, other card games, such as Five-Card Stud, were more popular. Therefore, an ongoing need exists in the gaming arts for new games. In particular, a need exists for new card games.

In recent years, gambling over a network, such as the internet, has become increasingly popular. Card games lend themselves well to network implementations. For example, Texas Hold'em may be played over the internet at many popular on-line gambling websites. However, as gambling trends come and go, a need exists for new on-line games, including card games.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

FIG. 1 is a flow diagram of an exemplary method of playing a card game according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of a playing surface for use with the method of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of hardware and an operating environment in conjunction with which implementations of the method of FIG. 1 may be practiced

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a game module implementation of the method of FIG. 1 in the hardware and an operating environment of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Aspects of the present invention relate to a method 12 (depicted in FIG. 1) of playing a game 10 (depicted in FIG. 2). The game 10 may be played with a standard deck of playing cards 14 or a portion thereof. A standard deck of cards 14 includes fifty-two cards. The cards are divided equally between four suits: hearts; clubs; diamonds; and spades. The game 10 considers all suits to be of equal value. Within each suit, each of the cards is assigned a unique value. By way of non-limiting example, the cards may be ranked according to value in descending order as follows: ace; king; queen; jack; 10; 9; 8; 7; 6; 5; 4; 3; and 2. However, as is apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, alternate rankings may be used and the invention is not limited to the ranking described.

Like many card games, the game 10 may be played in a single hand or may include multiple hands. During a hand, all of the cards 14 dealt at one time are played. A single hand of the game 10 includes all of the blocks depicted in the block diagram of FIG. 1. The game 10 may be played for entertainment and/or gambling purposes.

The game 10 is played by players (e.g., players 20A, 20B, 20C, 20D, and 20E). While for illustrative purposes FIG. 2 depicts five players 20A, 20B, 20C, 20D, and 20E, the game 10 may be played by any number of players. As is apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, two or more standard decks of cards 14 may be combined to accommodate a large number of players.

All of the players 20A-20E play the game 10 against a single opponent referred to as “the house” with the object of the game 10 being to beat the house. If a player loses, the house collects the player's bets. On the other hand, if a player wins, the house pays out any winnings. Sometimes, a dealer 50 is a proxy for the house. The house is generally a casino; however, this is not a requirement. The house may be one or more of the players 20A-20E, one or more third parties, a combination thereof, and the like. Optionally, the players 20A-20E may compete with one another based on the number of hands each wins, the amount each player wins, the amount each player loses, and the like.

The players 20A-20E may sit around a table 30 on which the cards 14 and bets in the form of currency, tokens, chips, and the like may be placed. The table 30 may include a betting area 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, and 40E for each player 20A, 20B, 20C, 20D, and 20E, respectively. Each betting area 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, and 40E may be located near (e.g., in front of) one of the players 20A, 20B, 20C, 20D, and 20E. For example, each bet placed by a particular player 20A may be placed in front of that player in his/her betting area 40A.

The table 30 may include a surrender area 45 in which cards 14 that have already been dealt to one or more of the players 20A-20E may be selectively placed during the game 10. If one or more of the players 20A-20E wishes to stop playing the game 10, cards dealt to any such players may be placed thereby in the surrender area 45.

Before the game 10 begins, the dealer 50 is identified. A dedicated dealer may be selected who is not one of the players 20A-20E of the game 10. For example, the dealer 50 may be a professional dealer provided by a casino. Alternatively, the dealer 50 may be identified by selecting one of the players 20A-20E to deal the cards.

With reference to FIG. 1, the method 12 will now be described. Before the cards 14 are dealt, if the method 12 is being used to gamble, in optional decision block 300, each of the players 20A-20E decide whether to place a bet. Each player that decides “YES” progresses to optional block 300. Players that decide “NO” proceeds to block 400.

In optional block 300, each player that decided to place a bet in optional decision block 300, bets a bet amount. The house may collect the bets or leave them in the betting areas 40A-40E. Those of ordinary skill in the art appreciate that the house may impose betting constraints. Under such circumstances, the bet placed in optional block 300 should conform to those constraints. For example, the house may impose what are commonly referred to as “house limits.” House limits specify a maximum bet amount that may be placed. Similarly, a minimum bet amount may be specified by the casino and/or the players 20A-20E. Further, a mandatory bet, such as an ante, may be required in optional block 300. After their bets are placed, the players progress to block 400

In block 400, the dealer 50 begins a hand by dealing a predetermined number of cards to each of the players 20A-20E. In FIG. 2, the cards dealt to each of the players 20A, 20B, 20C, 20D, and 20E are identified by reference numerals 52A, 52B, 52C, 52D, and 52E, respectively. The predetermined number of cards dealt to each of the players 20A-20E may be five. As is appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, the probability of winning may depend at least in part on the number of cards dealt to each of the players 20A-20E. Therefore, the predetermined number of cards dealt may be determined at least in part on a desired probability that a selected number of players will win the game 10 (i.e., beat the house).

The dealer 50 deals the predetermined number of cards to each of the players 20A-20E face down. While each of the players 20A-20E is permitted to look at his/her cards, the players 20A-20E may not reveal their cards to one another. If a player reveals his/her cards to another player, the player that revealed his/her cards is disqualified and may not participate in the remainder of the hand. Optionally, all players to whom the cards were revealed may be disqualified. Alternatively, if the cards are revealed to one or more players, those cards are revealed to all of the players 20A-20E.

The cards may be dealt to each of players 20A-20E one at a time, according to a dealing order (e.g., clockwise, counterclockwise, and the like) that may be based on a seating order of the players 20A-20E at the table 30. For example, dealing may begin with the player 20E to the immediate left of the dealer 50 and end with the player 20A to the immediate right of the dealer 50. In other words, a first card in the deck 12 is dealt the player 20E, a second card in the deck 12 is dealt to the player 20D, and so forth. After a card is dealt to the player 20A, the dealer 50 deals a second card to player 20E, and so forth until each of the players 20A-20E has the predetermined number of cards. In his example, the cards are dealt to the players 20A-20E in a clockwise fashion around the table 30.

The first player to whom cards are dealt may change at the start of each hand. The players 20A-20E may take turns being the first one to whom cards are dealt. For example, after the player 20E has been the first player to whom cards were dealt, at the start of the next hand, the player 20D may be the first player to whom cards are dealt. The first player may be selected at the beginning of a hand according to the seating order of the players 20A-20E at the table 30 (e.g., clockwise, counterclockwise, and the like).

Optionally, the dealer 50 also deals himself/herself the predetermined number of cards face down in the dealer's area 60. These cards are not played but may represent a dealer's hand. The dealer's hand may be dealt along with the cards dealt to the players 20A-20E, the dealer 50 being incorporated into the seating order and receiving his/her cards according to the seating order and the dealing order (clockwise, counterclockwise, and the like). The dealer 50 may occasionally be the first person to whom cards are dealt according to his/her place in the seating order and according to the dealing order (clockwise, counterclockwise, and the like). Alternatively, after cards have been dealt to the players 20A-20E, the dealer 50 may place the top predetermined number of cards remaining in the deck 12 in the dealer's area 60.

In decision block 500, each of the players 20A-20E decides whether to “Play” or “Surrender.” Because each player may see only his/her own cards, each of the players 20A-20E may consider only the value and suit of their own cards in decision block 500.

Then, in blocks 520 and 540, the players communicate the decision made in decision block 500 to one another. For example, if in decision block 500 the player 20A decided to “Play,” in block 520, he/she communicates his/her decision to “Play” to the other players 20B-20E. The player 20A may communicate his/her decision to “Play” by placing his/her cards face down on the table 30. If the player 20A placed a bet in optional block 200, the player 20A may place his/her cards face down near his/her betting area 40A. If the player's betting area 40A is in front of the player 20A, the player 20A may place his/her cards face down behind the betting area 40A.

If instead, in decision block 500, the player 20A decided to “Surrender,” in block 540, the player 20A communicates his/her decision to “Surrender” to the other players 20B-20E. A player may communicate a decision to “Surrender” by placing his/her cards face down on the table 30 in the surrender area 45. Cards placed in the surrender area 45 are referred to as “surrender cards.” Optionally, the dealer 50 places the surrender cards in a discard rack (not shown).

If the surrendering player placed a bet in optional block 300, in optional block 550, the surrendering player surrenders a surrender amount. The surrender amount may be determined as a function of the bet amount. In particular implementations, the surrender amount may include all or a portion of the bet amount (e.g., at most half of the bet amount). For example, the house may collect half of the bet amount in the surrendering player's betting area. The surrendering player may retain the other half. Alternatively, if the house collected the surrendering player's bet in block 300, the house may return half of the bet. The surrendering player forfeits the other half to the house.

The method 12 terminates with respect to each surrendering player; however, the method 12 continues for the other players by advancing to optional decision block 510.

In optional decision block 510, the non-surrendering players may optionally decide to “Raise,” (i.e., place an additional bet). If a player decides to “Raise,” in optional block 560, he/she communicates his/her decision to “Raise” to the other players. He/she may communicate his/her decision to “Raise” by announcing a raise amount, placing a raise amount on the table in his/her betting area, a combination thereof, and the like. Because a decision to “Raise” inherently includes a decision to “Play,” the player may also perform any of the actions that communicate a decision to “Play” in block 520.

In optional block 560, the player bets a raise amount. The player may bet the raise amount in the same manner the player placed the bet in block 300 (discussed above). Like any bet placed in block 300, the raise amount may be subject to constraints, such as house limits, minimum raise amounts, and the like.

Next in block 600, the dealer 50 selects a “hit” card 70 from the remaining cards in the deck 12 and displays it to the players 20A-20E. By way of non-limiting example, the dealer 50 may select the “hit” card 70 by burning the top card (i.e., placing it face down on the table, thereby removing it from the game 10) and displaying the next card in the deck 12 to the players 20A-20E (e.g., turning the next card in the deck 12 face up on the table 30). Alternatively, the dealer 50 may select the top card in the deck 12 as the “hit” card 70 and display it to the players 20A-20E.

After the “hit” card 70 is revealed to the players 20A-20E, in block 700, any of the players 20A-20E who did not decide to “Surrender” in block 500 turn their cards face up. Then, in block 700, their cards are compared to the “hit” card.

Decision block 720 determines whether any of the players 20A-20E who did not decide to “Surrender” in block 500 have won. Decision block 720 determines a player has won when the player has a single card that has both the same suit as the “hit” card and a value greater than the value of the “hit” card. Other implementations can have a player win with a value less than the value of the “hit” card rather than greater than the value of the “hit” card. In other words, in addition to being of the same suit as the “hit” card, the player's winning card has a relationship with respect to the “hit” card, the relationship selected before the game as one selection from the following two choices: a value greater than the value of the hit card and a value less than the value of the hit card. In optional block 800, each winning player that placed a bet, retains the bet amount (bet in block 300), retains the raise amount (bet in block 550), and receives from the house a winning amount. The winning amount may be calculated as a function of the bet amount and the raise amount. For example, the house may pay a winning player a winning amount equal to the sum of the bet amount (see block 300) and the raise amount (see block 550).

Decision block 720 determines a player has lost when the player does not have a single card that has both the same suit as the “hit” card and a value greater than the value of the “hit” card. In optional block 900, all losing players that bet and/or raised forfeit to the house at least a portion of the sum of the amount bet and the amount raised. The lose amount (i.e., the amount forfeited) may be calculated as a function of the bet amount and the raise amount. For example, losing players may forfeit more than half of the sum of the bet amount and the raise amount. In particular implementations, losing players forfeit both the bet amount and the raise amount. Preferably, the lose amount is greater than the surrender amount.

If multiple decks are used to play the game 10, it is possible that a player who does not have a single card that has both the same suit as the “hit” card and a value greater than the “hit” card may have a card that is identical to the “hit” card. In such cases, the hand may be considered a draw (i.e., the player neither wins nor loses, and any bet and/or raise placed are retained by the player). Alternatively, decision block 720 may determine the player has either lost or won.

Because a player that surrendered in blocks 500 and 540 may retain at least a portion (e.g., half) of the bet, if any, placed in block 300, a player that is dealt only cards having a low value may decide in decision block 500 to surrender and thereby reduce the amount of his/her forfeiture to the house. Alternatively, if a substantial number of the cards dealt to a player have the same suit, the player may conclude his/her odds of winning are low and decide in decision block 500 to surrender.

After blocks 800 and 900, the method 12 terminates. The dealer 50 may reassemble the deck 14 by collecting any cards removed from the deck during the hand (e.g., the cards dealt to the players and the dealer 50 and the “hit” card). At this point, a new hand may be started by returning to optional decision block 200.

FIG. 3 is a diagram of hardware and an operating environment in conjunction with which implementations of the method 12 of playing the game 10 may be practiced. The description of FIG. 3 is intended to provide a brief, general description of suitable computer hardware and a suitable computing environment in which implementations may be practiced. Although not required, implementations are described in the general context of computer-executable instructions, such as program modules, being executed by a computer, such as a personal computer. Generally, program modules include routines, programs, objects, components, data structures, etc., that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types.

Moreover, those skilled in the art will appreciate that implementations may be practiced with other computer system configurations, including hand-held devices, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based or programmable consumer electronics, network PCs, minicomputers, mainframe computers, and the like. Implementations may also be practiced in distributed computing environments where tasks are performed by remote processing devices that are linked through a communications network. In a distributed computing environment, program modules may be located in both local and remote memory storage devices.

The exemplary hardware and operating environment of FIG. 3 includes a general purpose computing device in the form of a computer 1020, including a processing unit 1021, a system memory 1022, and a system bus 1023 that operatively couples various system components, including the system memory 1022, to the processing unit 1021. There may be only one or there may be more than one processing unit 1021, such that the processor of computer 1020 comprises a single central-processing unit (CPU), or a plurality of processing units, commonly referred to as a parallel processing environment. The computer 1020 may be a conventional computer, a distributed computer, or any other type of computer.

The system bus 1023 may be any of several types of bus structures including a memory bus or memory controller, a peripheral bus, and a local bus using any of a variety of bus architectures. The system memory may also be referred to as simply the memory, and includes read only memory (ROM) 1024 and random access memory (RAM) 1025. A basic input/output system (BIOS) 1026, containing the basic routines that help to transfer information between elements within the computer 1020, such as during start-up, is stored in ROM 1024. The computer 1020 further includes a hard disk drive 1027 for reading from and writing to a hard disk, not shown, a magnetic disk drive 1028 for reading from or writing to a removable magnetic disk 1029, and an optical disk drive 1030 for reading from or writing to a removable optical disk 1031 such as a CD ROM or other optical media.

The hard disk drive 1027, magnetic disk drive 1028, and optical disk drive 1030 are connected to the system bus 1023 by a hard disk drive interface 1032, a magnetic disk drive interface 1033, and an optical disk drive interface 1034, respectively. The drives and their associated computer-readable media provide nonvolatile storage of computer-readable instructions, data structures, program modules and other data for the computer 1020. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that any type of computer-readable media which can store data that is accessible by a computer, such as magnetic cassettes, flash memory cards, digital video disks, Bernoulli cartridges, random access memories (RAMs), read only memories (ROMs), and the like, may be used in the exemplary operating environment.

A number of program modules may be stored on the hard disk 1027, magnetic disk 1029, optical disk 1031, ROM 1024, or RAM 1025, including an operating system 1035, one or more application programs 1036, other program modules 1037, and program data 1038. A user may enter commands and information into the personal computer 1020 through input devices such as a keyboard 1040 and pointing device 1042. Other input devices (not shown) may include a microphone, joystick, game pad, satellite dish, scanner, or the like. These and other input devices are often connected to the processing unit 1021 through a serial port interface 1046 that is coupled to the system bus, but may be connected by other interfaces, such as a parallel port, game port, or a universal serial bus (USB). A monitor 1047 or other type of display device is also connected to the system bus 1023 via an interface, such as a video adapter 1048. In addition to the monitor, computers typically include other peripheral output devices (not shown), such as speakers and printers.

The computer 1020 may operate in a networked environment using logical connections to one or more remote computers, such as remote computer 1049. These logical connections are achieved by a communication device coupled to or a part of the computer 1020, the local computer; implementations are not limited to a particular type of communications device. The remote computer 1049 may be another computer, a server, a router, a network PC, a client, a peer device or other common network node, and typically includes many or all of the elements described above relative to the computer 1020, although only a memory storage device 1050 has been illustrated in FIG. 3. The logical connections depicted in FIG. 3 include a local-area network (LAN) 1051 and a wide-area network (WAN) 1052. Such networking environments are commonplace in offices, enterprise-wide computer networks, intranets and the Internet.

When used in a LAN-networking environment, the computer 1020 is connected to the LAN 1051 through a network interface or adapter 1053, which is one type of communications device. When used in a WAN-networking environment, the computer 1020 typically includes a modem 1054, a type of communications device, or any other type of communications device for establishing communications over the WAN 1052, such as the Internet. The modem 1054, which may be internal or external, is connected to the system bus 1023 via the serial port interface 1046. In a networked environment, program modules depicted relative to the personal computer 1020, or portions thereof, may be stored in the remote memory storage device. It is appreciated that the network connections shown are exemplary and other means of and communications devices for establishing a communications link between the computers may be used.

As is appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, the method 12 of playing the game 10 may be implement as computer-executable instructions, such as program modules, stored in the memory 1022, executed by the processor 1021, and displayed to the user on the monitor 1047. The user may interact with the method (e.g., communicate his/her decision in block 500 and optionally in block 510) using one or more of the input devices (e.g., the keyboard 1040, the pointing device 1042, and the like) coupled to the processor 1021 by bus 1023.

The user may optionally select to be either a player of the game (e.g., the player 20A) or the house. If the user elects to be the house, the computer-executable instructions may include instructions implementing one or more virtual players. Methods of constructing virtual players of a game are well known in the art and will not be described herein.

In particular embodiments, the method 12 of playing the game 10 may be implemented at least in part on the remote computer 1049 functioning as a central server coupled to one or more client computing devices. Each of the players 20A-20E of the game 10 may operate one of the client computing devices, such as computer 1020, coupled to the remote computer 1049 via at least one of the networks 1051 and 1052. In such embodiments, the central server is considered the house against which all of the client computing devices play. The central server collects any bet amounts, disperses any winning amounts, and retains any forfeited amounts. Optionally, a portion of the method 12 may be implemented on each of the client computing devices operated by the players 20A-20E. In further implementations, the method 12 may be implemented as a distributed application across one or more peer computing devices. In both client/server and distributed architectures, one or more users may perform the method 12 simultaneously (i.e., play against the house together). Such users may be located remotely with respect to one another. Various implementations may also include one or more virtual players that alongside one or more users.

The method 12 may be implemented as one or more game modules each of which includes computer-executable instructions executable by a computer (e.g., computer 1020, remote computer 1049, and the like). Methods of implementing the one or more game modules of the method 12 using each of the aforementioned architectures (i.e., stand alone, client/server, distributed, and the like) are well known in the art and will not be described in detail.

Referring to FIG. 4, for ease of illustration, the game module(s) are described as a single game module 1200, however, as is apparent to those of ordinary skill, the various components of the game module 1200 may be divided into separate modules executed on one or more computing devices (e.g., computer 1020, remote computer 1049, and the like).

The game module 1200 includes a data structure 1300 representing the cards within the deck 14. The game module 1200 also includes deal instructions 1400 implementing block 400 by randomly selecting the predetermined number of cards for each player of the game from the data structure representing the deck 14. The deal instructions 1400 also randomly select the “hit” card (i.e., implement part of block 600) from the cards remaining in the deck (i.e., cards not dealt to the players). The deal instructions 1400 may also store the cards dealt to each of players and optionally cards dealt to the dealer (i.e., the dealer's hand). The deal instructions 1400 also store the cards dealt to each player so that the cards dealt to each non-surrendering player may be compared to the “hit” card.

The game module includes interface instructions 1500 for communicating with the players 20A-20E. The interface instructions 1500 present the players 20A-20E with the options available in the various decision blocks of the method 12 and receive and store each player's response thereto. For example, the interface instructions 1500 receive and store the bet amount, if any, bet by one or more players 20A-20E in optional block 300. The interface instructions 1500 receive and store the raise amount, if any, bet by one or more players 20A-20E in optional block 550. The interface instructions 1500 also receive and store the decision of each of the players in decision block 500 and optionally in decision blocks 200 and 510.

The interface instructions 1500 also include display instructions 1510 for displaying or otherwise communicating the cards selected for each player to the player for whom the cards were selected. The display instructions 1510 also display the “hit” card to at least the players who elected to play in block 500. Optionally, the display instructions 1510 may display the “hit” card to all of the players 20A-20E. The display instructions 1510 also optionally communicate the decision(s) of one of the players to the other players. Further, the display instructions 1510 may communicate the bet and raise amounts, if any, bet by one of the players to the other players. The display instructions 1510 also communicate to each player whether he/she has won or lost.

The instructions of the game module 1200 include surrender instructions 1600 that for each surrendering player, retain a portion of the amount bet by the player, if any, in block 300 and return a portion of the amount bet by the player, if any, in block 300.

The game module compares each player's cards to the “hit” card and determines whether each player has won or lost. Then, for each winning player, win instructions 1700 return the winning player's bet and raise amounts, if any, and pay a win amount to the winning player, if any is to be awarded. For each losing player, lose instructions 1800 retain at least a portion of the losing player's bet and raise amounts, if any.

As is apparent to those of ordinary skill, if the method 12 is being used to gamble, the game module may optionally include an accounting module 1900 that stores an amount each player has available to bet. The accounting module 1900 subtracts any lose amounts lost by a player from the amount available to that player. The accounting module 1900 also subtracts any bet amounts surrendered by a player from the amount available to that player. Additionally, the accounting module 1900 adds any winning amounts won by a player to the amount available to that player. The accounting module 1900 may also provide statistical information about each player's account, bets, and a combination thereof.

The accounting module and/or the game module 1200 may enforce any applicable betting constraints. Optionally, the game module 1200 may include betting instructions 1920 that store and implement betting constraints. The betting instructions 1920 may also store betting activity and provide betting information to the house, the players, and others.

The foregoing described embodiments depict different components contained within, or connected with, different other components. It is to be understood that such depicted architectures are merely exemplary, and that in fact many other architectures can be implemented which achieve the same functionality. In a conceptual sense, any arrangement of components to achieve the same functionality is effectively “associated” such that the desired functionality is achieved. Hence, any two components herein combined to achieve a particular functionality can be seen as “associated with” each other such that the desired functionality is achieved, irrespective of architectures or intermedial components. Likewise, any two components so associated can also be viewed as being “operably connected,” or “operably coupled,” to each other to achieve the desired functionality.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that, based upon the teachings herein, changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention and its broader aspects and, therefore, the appended claims are to encompass within their scope all such changes and modifications as are within the true spirit and scope of this invention. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the invention is solely defined by the appended claims. It will be understood by those within the art that, in general, terms used herein, and especially in the appended claims (e.g., bodies of the appended claims) are generally intended as “open” terms (e.g., the term “including” should be interpreted as “including but not limited to,” the term “having” should be interpreted as “having at least,” the term “includes” should be interpreted as “includes but is not limited to,” etc.). It will be further understood by those within the art that if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is intended, such an intent will be explicitly recited in the claim, and in the absence of such recitation no such intent is present. For example, as an aid to understanding, the following appended claims may contain usage of the introductory phrases “at least one” and “one or more” to introduce claim recitations. However, the use of such phrases should not be construed to imply that the introduction of a claim recitation by the indefinite articles “a” or “an” limits any particular claim containing such introduced claim recitation to inventions containing only one such recitation, even when the same claim includes the introductory phrases “one or more” or “at least one” and indefinite articles such as “a” or “an” (e.g., “a” and/or “an” should typically be interpreted to mean “at least one” or “one or more”); the same holds true for the use of definite articles used to introduce claim recitations. In addition, even if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is explicitly recited, those skilled in the art will recognize that such recitation should typically be interpreted to mean at least the recited number (e.g., the bare recitation of “two recitations,” without other modifiers, typically means at least two recitations, or two or more recitations).

Accordingly, the invention is not limited except as by the appended claims.

Classifications
U.S. Classification463/13, 273/303, 463/43
International ClassificationA63F9/24, A63F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3293, G07F17/322, G07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32C4D, G07F17/32P6, G07F17/32