Title:
Method of playing tic tac toe poker
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An electronic video gaming machine programmed to play a multi-hand five-card (or seven-card) draw poker (or stud poker) game that includes the use of a three by three matrix of nine cards. This three by three matrix of cards generates eight three-card hands (i.e., three horizontal rows, three vertical columns, and two diagonals). These cards are used in combination with two (or four) communal cards dealt to the player and situated adjacent to the three by three matrix to complete the five (or seven) card poker hand. The player makes a credit wager on each of the eight play hands (pay-lines) the player is interested in wagering on. The player also makes a wager on the anticipated number of winning hands that will be obtained. One standard fifty-two-card deck (with or without jokers) is typically used in a single play round. In the draw poker version, the player may decide to hold any number of cards contained in the three by three matrix or decide to discard any or all nine cards. Replacement cards for the non-held cards are dealt in each location. Each of the eight different five (or seven) card hands are analyzed to determine its poker hand ranking and winning hands are paid in accordance with a pay table provided. A player who achieves multiple winning hands will be eligible for a bonus payout. A player who achieves a winning hand on all eight pay-lines will be eligible for a progressive bonus jackpot.



Inventors:
Khal, Sami D. (Henderson, NV, US)
Application Number:
10/167220
Publication Date:
12/12/2002
Filing Date:
06/10/2002
Assignee:
KHAL SAMI D.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00; A63F3/00; (IPC1-7): A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BROCKETTI, JULIE K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kevin J. Snyder (701 N. Green Valley Pkwy, Suite 200, Henderson, NV, 89074, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method of playing a poker game, comprising the steps of: (a) dealing eight poker hands each consisting of three cards face-up by dealing nine cards face-up in a three by three card matrix arrangement, creating three horizontal poker hands, three vertical poker hands and two diagonal poker hands; (b) dealing two communal cards face down; (c) a player making a wager on the number of winning hands that will be obtained; (d) turning face-up the two communal cards; (e) determining the number of winning hands obtained by comparing each of said poker hands, in conjunction with said two communal cards, using poker hand rank as the criteria for comparison to determine a winning hand; and (f) paying the player a pre-established amount based on the number of winning hands actually obtained and number of winning hands wagered to be obtained.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the number of communal cards consist of four.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein all cards are initially dealt face-down and all cards are turned over at the same time.

4. The method of claim 2, wherein all cards are initially dealt face-down and all cards are turned over at the same time.

5. A method of playing a poker game, comprising the steps of: (a) dealing eight poker hands each consisting of three cards face-up by dealing nine cards face-up in a three by three card matrix arrangement, creating three horizontal poker hands, three vertical poker hands and two diagonal poker hands; (b) dealing two communal cards face down; (c) a player making a wager on one, two, three, four, five, six, seven or all eight poker hands; (d) a player making a wager on and selecting the number of winning hands that will be obtained; (e) turning face-up the two communal cards; (f) determining the poker hand ranking of the resulting cards of all eight hands; (g) determining the number of winning hands obtained by comparing each of said poker hands, in conjunction with said two communal cards, using poker hand rank as the criteria for comparison to determine a winning hand; (h) paying the player a pre-established amount based on the poker hand rankings obtained; (i) paying the player a pre-established amount based on the number of winning hands actually obtained and number of winning hands wagered and selected to be obtained.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the number of communal cards consist of four.

7. A method of playing a poker game, comprising the steps of: (a) dealing eight poker hands each consisting of three cards face-down by dealing nine cards face-down in a three by three card matrix arrangement, creating three horizontal poker hands, three vertical poker hands and two diagonal poker hands; (b) dealing two communal cards face down; (c) a player making a wager on one, two, three, four, five, six, seven or all eight poker hands; (d) a player making a wager on and selecting the number of winning hands that will be obtained; (e) turning face-up all the cards including the two communal cards; (f) determining the poker hand ranking of the resulting cards of all eight hands; (g) selecting none, one or more of the face-up cards to be held; (h) discarding the cards not selected to be held and replacing each of these cards with another card; (i) determining the number of winning hands actually obtained by comparing each of said poker hands, in conjunction with said two communal cards, using poker hand rank as the criteria for comparison to determine a winning hand; (j) paying the player a pre-established amount based on the poker hand rankings obtained; (k) paying the player a pre-established amount based on the number of winning hands actually obtained and number of winning hands wagered and selected to be obtained.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the number of communal cards consist of four.

9. The method of claim 5, wherein a bonus payout occurs if all eight hands contain a poker hand ranking.

10. The method of claim 7, wherein a bonus payout occurs if all eight hands contain a poker hand ranking.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is entitled to the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/297809 filed Jun. 12, 2001 entitled “METHOD OF PLAYING TIC TAC TOE POKER”.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The use of electronic machines to play games of chance has become an increasingly popular form of entertainment. The most popular type of electronic game of chance has been slot machines. However, another extremely popular electronic game of chance has been video poker. Introduced in the 1970's upon the advent of the computer chip, video poker has come into its own as a form of electronic gaming. A typical video poker machine holds a strong resemblance to regular slot machines and can be found in either tabletop form or an upright desk top unit.

[0003] The majority of video poker games are based on five-card draw poker. In five-card draw poker, players are originally dealt five cards. The player is then given the opportunity to discard one, two, three, four or all of them to try and improve their hand. New cards are dealt to replace the discarded ones and the final five cards decide the outcome of the bet. The bet must be placed before the initial draw of the cards and can't be changed once play starts. The pay out is based upon the poker hand ranking obtained by the player.

[0004] The conventional poker hand ranking that are considered winning combinations are a Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four-of-a-Kind, A Full House, A Flush, A Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, with Jacks or Better needed to win. A Royal Flush, which has the biggest payout, is considered the highest hand possible and consists of Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 all of the same suit (e.g., Ace of Spades, King of Spades, Queen of Spades, Jack of Spades and 10 of Spades). Straight Flush is the second highest hand possible and consists of five cards in a row, all of the same suit (e.g., 2 of Hearts, 3 of Hearts, 4 of Hearts, 5 of Hearts and 6 of Hearts). The next highest hand is Four-of-a-Kind which consists of four cards all of the same rank and one of a different value (e.g., 8, 8, 8, 8, and Queen). The next highest is the Full House which is a hand consisting of three cards of the same rank and the other two cards of the same rank (e.g., 2, 2, 2, 4 and 4). The next highest is the Flush which consists of five cards all of the same suit (e.g., 4 of Clubs, 6 of Clubs, 10 of Clubs, Jack of Clubs and Ace of Clubs). The next highest is a Straight which consists of five cards in a row but not of the same suit (e.g., Ace of Diamonds, King of Clubs, Queen of Hearts, Jack of Spades and 10 of Hearts). The next highest is Three-of-a-Kind which consists of three cards of the same rank and two that are not (e.g., 7, 7, 7, Ace and Queen). Finally, the lowest poker hand ranking which is considered a winning combination is Two Pair which consists of two cards of the same rank and three that are not (e.g., Jack, Jack, 10, 5, and 2). Typically in order to obtain a winning hand on Two Pairs the pair must be a pair of Jacks or better (i.e., Pair of Jacks, Pair of Queens, Pair of Kings or Pair of Aces).

[0005] Through the years modifications to the classic video draw poker machine have been made to include the use of wild cards such as twos (2s) “Deuces Wild” and Jokers “Jokers Wild” as wild cards. The pay table is adjusted to recognize the changing odds for achieving various poker hands when wild cards are involved. Additionally, a payout for Five-of-a-Kind (e.g., Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace and Joker) have been added when playing with wild cards and Jokers.

[0006] In an attempt to attract new players and increase player betting, video poker machine manufactures and casinos have developed modifications to the traditional single hand video poker games to include higher payouts on certain poker hand rankings. For example, games such as “Bonus Poker”, “Double Bonus Poker”, and “Triple Bonus Poker” have been created and all provide relatively large payouts for the higher-ranking poker hands while providing smaller payouts for the lower ranking poker hands.

[0007] Additionally, modifications have been made to include the ability to play multiple hands during one play session. For example a game called “Triple Play Poker” (U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,873) was developed which involves a card game in which three rows of five cards are dealt to a player. The player places a separate bet on the three rows of cards. One row of five cards are dealt all face up. The player selects none, one or more of the face up cards from the first row as cards to be held. The cards that are held are duplicated from the first row into all of the other rows. Replacement cards for the non-selected cards are dealt into the first row. Additional cards are also dealt to all of the other rows so that each row is a five card hand. The poker hand ranking of each five card hand by row is determined. The player is then paid for any winning poker hands based on a pay table and the amount of the player's wager. Also, a game called “Floater Bonus Poker” (U.S. Pat. No. 6,220,959) has been developed which initially displays to the player a five-by-five matrix of twenty-five cards. This five-by-five matrix generates twelve five-card hands- five horizontal rows, five vertical columns and two diagonals. The player can make a wager on any number of hands including wagering on all twelve hands. Five separate decks are used one for each row of cards. The player may select one card from each horizontal row to be held and the selected card is also duplicated into an adjacent row location in that row. Replacement cards for the discarded cards are dealt into each horizontal row. Each of the twelve different five card hands are analyzed to determine its poker hand ranking and winning hands are paid in accordance with a pay table.

[0008] It is an object of the present invention to provide a new form of video poker game that uses a three by three matrix of cards and two (or four) communal cards which allows the player to wager on multiple poker hands up to eight on each round of play and therefore increasing the revenue handle of the games by allowing and encouraging players to increase the number of credits wagered on each play session.

[0009] It is a feature of the present invention to provide a multi-hand screen display to play five card (or seven card) draw (or stud) poker game that includes the use of a three by three matrix of nine cards and two (or four) communal cards.

[0010] It is a feature of the present invention to provide a payout for any player who correctly pre-selects the number of winning hands obtained on one play session.

[0011] It is an additional feature of the present invention to provide for a bonus jackpot payout for any player who achieves multiple winning hands and a progressive bonus jackpot for any player who achieves winning hands on all eight pay-lines.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] An electronic video gaming machine is programmed to play a multi-hand video poker game which initially displays to the player a three by three matrix of nine cards face-up (or face-down). The player is also displayed two cards side by side to each other and adjacent to the three by three matrix face down which are considered as community cards. This allows the player to play up to eight five card draw poker hands during a single play round by using the two community cards in combination with the eight different three card combinations provided in the three by three card matrix to create eight five card hands. Eight five card hands are obtained by using, in combination with the two community cards, the three horizontal rows of three cards, the three vertical columns of three cards and the two diagonal lines of three cards contained in the three by three card matrix. The player makes a wager on each of the eight different five card hand combinations. The player also makes a wager on the number of winning hands he anticipates in obtaining.

[0013] One standard fifty-two-card deck of playing cards are used during a single round of play. After the player makes his wagers, the machine then turns over the cards and displays them on the screen. The player then selects which cards in the three by three matrix he will hold and which cards he will discard. The cards not held are then replaced by new cards face-up that are provided after the player decides to draw. Each of the eight different five card hands are analyzed to determine its poker ranking and the amount wagered by the player and winning hands are paid in accordance with a pay table. The player is informed of each winning hand through the use of video highlighting features on the display screen.

[0014] In an alternative embodiment, the eight different five card hands are analyzed after the initial deal for winning hand combinations. In this stud poker version, the player is paid for those winning hand combinations that are achieved after the initial deal based on a separate stud poker pay table feature. In this embodiment all cards including the two communal cards are turned over at the same time after initial wager is made.

[0015] In an alternative embodiment, the two community cards are replaced by four cards arranged side by side in a horizontal row adjacent to the three by three card matrix similar to the arrangement in the five card game. The game is then played the same way as the five-card poker game, however, seven cards are used and the best five card combinations out of each seven-card hand is analyzed for a winning hand.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 shows the screen display of the three by three card matrix of the present invention and showing the eight different pay-lines.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a typical screen display showing the method of play of the present invention after the initial deal of the cards for the five-card hand version.

[0018] FIG. 3 is a typical screen display showing the method of play of the present invention after the initial deal of the cards for the seven-card hand version.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] An electronic video poker gaming machine is used to practice the method of the present invention. The electronic video poker gaming machine has electronic computer controls, coin hopper, coin-in handling equipment, currency-in and casino ticket-in handling equipment and video display. The video screen displays the cards dealt to the player and the player makes his selection of cards to hold by touching the card locations on the video screen using conventional touch screen technology. Alternatively, buttons to select the cards to be held may be provided on a conventional button panel.

[0020] A schematic representation of the video screen display of the electronic video poker gaming machine used to practice the present invention is shown generally at FIG. 2 and FIG. 3.

[0021] In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, eight pay lines are provided so that the player has the opportunity to achieve winning card combinations along any of the eight pay lines. As shown in FIG. 1, there are three pay lines 10, 20, 30 along the horizontal rows; three pay lines 40, 50, 60 along the vertical columns; and two pay lines 70 and 80 along the diagonals of the matrix. The cards are dealt from a single standard deck of fifty-two playing cards. Alternatively, in another preferred embodiment of the present invention, one (1) to four (4) jokers are added to the card deck that act as wild cards.

[0022] In the five-card version, a player makes a wager to activate each pay line on which the player wishes to be eligible to achieve a winning five-card hand. The player also bets on the number of rank hands the player anticipates on obtaining (e.g., player bets that he will obtain four hands with a pair of Jacks or better). Any suitable wagering scheme can be used so that the player can wager any number of coins, tokens or credits on any one or more of the pay lines. When the player starts his wagering, the video display screen shows all cards in the three by three matrix face-up but not the two community cards.

[0023] The cards are shuffled electronically prior to the commencement of the initial deal of cards. On the initial deal of cards, two community cards are dealt face down—the first community card 100 and the second community card 110. Also dealt face down are nine additional cards in a three by three matrix as shown in FIG. 2.

[0024] Any suitable manner of dealing can be provided. In one embodiment of the present invention, each horizontal row of cards is dealt from a separate deck of cards. Row 10 is dealt from one deck of cards, Row 20 is dealt from a separate deck and Row 30 is dealt from another deck, while the two community cards are dealt from another deck (see FIG. 1 and FIG. 2). Alternatively, in the preferred embodiment, all of the cards are dealt from a single deck of cards or all of the cards can be dealt from two or more multiple decks of cards that have been all shuffled together.

[0025] The player then selects which cards he will hold and which cards he will discard in the three by three matrix. In an alternative embodiment of the game, the player may also discard the two community cards in addition to the matrix cards while another embodiment the player is not allowed to discard the community cards. The cards not held are then replaced by new cards that are provided after the player decides to draw. Each of the eight different five card hands are analyzed to determine its poker ranking and the amount wagered by the player and winning hands are paid in accordance with a pay table. The machine will notify and indicate to the player what pay-lines have won and the amount paid to the player. In the preferred embodiment, the player receives a bonus payout if more than one pay-line provides a winning combination and a progressive feature can be added so that a player who obtains a winning combination on all eight hands wins a progressive jackpot. The player also receives a payout if he correctly pre-selected the number of winning hands he selected.

[0026] In the seven-card version, a player makes a wager to activate each pay line on which the player wishes to be eligible to achieve a winning seven-card hand. Any suitable wagering scheme can be used so that the player can wager any number of coins, tokens or credits on any one or more of the pay lines. But in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the player would wager on each of the eight pay lines. When the player starts his wagering, the video display screen shows all cards in the three by three matrix face-up but not the four community cards, which are dealt face-down.

[0027] The cards are shuffled electronically prior to the commencement of the initial deal of cards. On the initial deal of cards, four community cards are dealt face down—the first community card 120, the second community card 130, the third community card 140 and the fourth community card 150. Dealt face-up are nine additional cards in a three by three matrix as shown in FIG. 3.

[0028] Any suitable manner of dealing can be provided. In one embodiment of the present invention, each horizontal row of cards is dealt from a separate deck of cards. Row 10 is dealt from one deck of cards, Row 20 is dealt from a separate deck and row 30 is dealt from another deck while the four community cards are dealt from another deck (see FIG. 1 and FIG. 3). Alternatively, in the preferred embodiment, all of the cards are dealt from a single deck of cards or all of the cards can be dealt from two or more multiple decks of cards that have been all shuffled together.

[0029] The player then selects which cards he will hold and which cards he will discard in the three by three matrix. In an alternative embodiment of the game, the player may also discard the four community cards in addition to the matrix cards while another embodiment the player is not allowed to discard the community cards. The cards not held are then replaced by new cards that are provided after the player decides to draw. Each of the eight different five card hands are analyzed to determine its poker ranking and the amount wagered by the player and winning hands are paid in accordance with a pay table. The machine will notify and indicate to the player what pay-lines have won and the amount paid to the player. In the preferred embodiment, the player receives a bonus payout if more than one pay-line provides a winning combination and a progressive feature can be added so that a player who obtains a winning combination on all eight hands wins a progressive jackpot.

[0030] While the invention has been illustrated with respect to several specific embodiments thereof, these embodiments should be considered as illustrative rather than limiting. Various modifications and additions may be made and will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

Conclusion, Ramification and Scope of Invention

[0031] Thus the reader will see that the poker game invention provides additional and significant features that the current prior art is lacking. The invention allows the player to play multiple poker hands in one play session and to wager on the number of winning hands the player may obtain. This is very attractive to video poker players since it gives them an incentive to play multiple hands during one play session.

[0032] While my above description contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification one of the preferred embodiments thereof. Many other variations are possible.

[0033] Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined not by the embodiment(s) illustrated, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.