Title:
Method for enabling online gamblers to become the "house" and play against other users
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for enabling online gamblers to play with or against other gamblers, where a qualifying gambler acts as the “gambling house” for a limited time period, and is given the “house” odds. As an example, Player X (after fulfilling several conditions) may become the “house” or the “casino”, and other users will be able to play against Player X's casino rather then against the official “house” (this refers to the site owner, presumably operating with necessary licenses etc. using the casino software). In this way, qualifying players who become the “house” will benefit from “casino house” odds.



Inventors:
Lobel, Michael (Kfar Shmaryahu, IL)
Faingold, Arik (Petach Tikva, IL)
Application Number:
09/883937
Publication Date:
12/26/2002
Filing Date:
06/20/2001
Assignee:
BETTINGCORP LTD.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
G07F17/32; (IPC1-7): A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTRO, ARNOLD
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
C/O BILL POLKinghorn DIScovery Discovery,DR MARK FRIEDMAN LTD (900 FLoring Way, Upper Marlboro, MD, 20072, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method for enabling at least one online player to become the “casino house” and play against at least one other user, comprising the steps of: i. offering a qualifying player the ability to open and offer for other players a casino table game, such that said player becomes the “casino house”; ii. giving to said qualifying player the “house” odds while the said qualifying player is operating as the “house”; and iii. playing as the “house” against at least one other player.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein said casino table is a slot machine, such that said qualifying player views said slot machine while another user plays with said slot machine against said player.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein said qualifying player's “house” betting limits depend on the factors selected from the group of previous playing history of player, current cash position of player and qualifying points of player, such that said factors are calculated and displayed on a real time basis before each round is played.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein said qualifying player's odds depend on the factors selected from the group of previous playing history of said player, current cash position of said player and qualifying points of said player.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein said playing as the “house” by each player further comprises: a. earning credit points for each round played, by each player; b. qualifying to be the “house”; c. offering the casino to said player; d. inviting other players to play against said player; e. playing against the (original) player.

6. The method of claim 5, further comprising: i. deducting points from the player (house) during play; ii. disqualifying player as the house; and iii. relegating player to status of a regular player.

7. The method of claim 5, wherein said offering the “casino house” to a qualifying player further comprises providing alternative playing options selected from the group comprising placing a stop loss on said players account, requesting to cease being the house after winning or losing a certain amount, requesting to cease being the house after a certain number of rounds have been played, requesting to cease being the house after a certain amount of time has lapsed, customizing appearance of said house, customizing games played in said house, customizing number of players participating in said house and customizing the look and feel of said house.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein said games are selected from the group consisting of Black Jack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Progressive Caribbean Poker, Baccarrat, Craps, slot machines, video poker, poker, roulette, pai gow, craps, war, keno, red dog, let it ride, sic bo, and scratch cards.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein said playing as the “house” further comprises running a common accumulating and reducing jackpot for all of the “house” activity.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein said playing as the “house” further enables a plurality of players to become the “house” concurrently, and play against at least one other player simultaneously using the identical gaming software and hardware and administering, operating, maintenance and management system.

11. A method for enabling at least one online gambler to become the “casino house” for a limited period of time and play against at least one other user in events selected from the selection of casino table games, machine games and in the entire “casino”, such that the gamblers are not required to operate, administer, maintain or manage the event, comprising the steps of: i. offering a qualifying gambler the ability to open and offer for at least one other gambler a casino table game, such that said player becomes “house”, and dealer; ii. giving to said qualifying player the “house” odds while he said qualifying gambler is operating as the “house”; and iii. playing as the “house” against at least one other gambler.

Description:

FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a method for online gambling.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Online gambling typically incorporates similar methods to that of offline gambling, with the traditional setup whereby the “casino house” (a regular licensed casino) plays against one or more players. The challenge of gambling, wherein players risk something of value, such as money, for the chance of winning a prize, is usually predicated on the knowledge that a certain risk is inevitable, yet there are reasonable odds for winning. Moreover, players ordinarily demand to know that such odds are maintained by the “casino house”, and as such there is a certain trust in the fairness of the casino or house.

[0005] The field of online gambling, however, is often suspected or distrusted by players and potential players, for compliance with such standards of honesty and reliability. This is not necessarily owing to a negative history and bad reputation of individual gambling sites, but due to the fact that players are alone, and cannot see the house or the players in the house. In some online casinos there is a multi player feature where players can see other players' hands. What the players can never see or check is the random number generating system or the game engines, and even if these are checked and verified by auditors, there is nothing stopping the casino owners from making changes after the games are audited. To effectively check the odds, one would have to run continuous check programs on the software on a real time basis—which is impractical. As such, despite promises from the house that fairness reins, this is something which can often not be verified by players.

[0006] There is thus a widely recognized need for, and it would be highly advantageous to have, a system that can enable “casino houses” to offer guaranteed odds to players on casino games, and such that users can trust in the odds offered by the “house” and benefit from them, in order to provide users with additional incentive to gamble.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] According to the present invention there is provided a method for enabling online gamblers to gamble with other gamblers, where a gambler acting as the “house” is given the house odds using the same hardware and software that is used by the “casino” when it operates as the house. As an example, Player X (after fulfilling several conditions) may become the “house” or the “casino”, and other users will be able to play against Player X's casino rather then against the official casino “house” (this refers to the site owner, operating with necessary licenses etc. using the casino hardware and gaming engine software it has developed). In this way, qualifying players who become the “house” will benefit from “casino house” odds.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0008] The present invention relates to a method for gambling online, such that users play against other users, and certain qualifying users can be given the odds of the “casino house”.

[0009] The following description is presented to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention as provided in the context of a particular application and its requirements. Various modifications to the preferred embodiment will be apparent to those with skill in the art, and the general principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments. Therefore, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the particular embodiments shown and described, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and novel features herein disclosed.

[0010] Specifically, the present invention can be used to enable users to become the “house”, and in this capacity, to play with improved odds against other players.

[0011] The principles and operation of a system and a method according to the present invention may be better understood with reference to the following description:

[0012] There are three alternative ways of giving a player the odds of the “house”:

[0013] 1. Player X is able to offer and open a casino table (e.g. roulette, blackjack etc.) and be the “house” and dealer, or to view a slot machine while another user plays with it against him/her. While being the “house”, Player X enjoys the same casino odds as the casino house does and will profit from the slots and/or table profits as if s/he were operating the “casino house”.

[0014] In actual fact the “casino house” will continue to operate and administer the casino for the players. The casino house charges a commission as a percentage (say 1-1.5%) of the $ turnover of the games played between Player X and other players.

[0015] 2. Player X will be able to offer and open a casino table, and several participants will be able to participate at the same time in the game against him/her on a multiplayer basis.

[0016] 3. Player X will be able to offer and open an entire casino, working for him/her, with a multiplayer capability.

[0017] The “casino house” operates its online casino as usual, but with an addition. Each time a player plays a round of any game in one of the “casino house's” online games, irrespective of the amount wagered, s/he earns credit points. After earning a specific amount of credit points (e.g. 1000), the player will qualify to be the “house” and will be able to offer and open casino games as the “house” and invite other players to play against him/her. Other users who will enter the casino will be able to choose against which “house” they would like to play i.e. they may choose to play against other players who have qualified to be the “house” or they may choose to play against the “casino house”.

[0018] For example: if a user wants to play blackjack, s/he will get a screen with the available blackjack tables and their respective qualified owners who are the “house”, the screen will also show the maximum betting limits applicable to such a table as each table owner (or “house”) will be limited by different betting limits depending on their previous playing history, current cash position and qualifying points. In addition the user may also choose to play against the “casino house”.

[0019] Player X who has opened the table will have a dealer's screen view of the game, whereas the other player will see the regular screen.

[0020] During the time that Player X is operating as the “house”, points will be deducted from her/his points total for every round played, in this way Player X cannot remain the “house” for ever. Once Player X becomes unqualified s/he becomes a regular player again and can play against the “casino house” or against other players who have qualified to become the “house” thus accumulating new points to again qualify him/her to become the “house”.

[0021] The accumulation and deduction of points may not be influenced by the players' winnings or losses while a player is operating as a player or as a “house”. However, in additional embodiments of the present invention, these factors may be relevant in determining a player's status.

[0022] When a game is performed each of the players see the cards and the action going on from their point of view.

[0023] Each of the players have their own history pages and their own account history and details.

[0024] The casino house charges a commission as a percentage (1-1.5%) of the game turnover between the players for transactions when the “casino house” is not the house.

[0025] In order to qualify to become the “house” or the casino a player will have to deposit a minimum amount of money into his account at the “casino house” and will be required to play a certain amount of game rounds as a player against the “casino house” (the regular house) or against other players who have qualified to be the “house”. The gaming engine software and hardware used in either case is identical. The player will accumulate credit points based on his/her activity and will have a certain amount of money in his/her account based on whether he/she has won or lost while playing.

[0026] Once the player qualifies to “be” the house the player may deposit or withdraw funds from her/his account, leaving a certain balance in his/her account which the player may risk while operating as the “house”. Before being activated as the “house”, the player who has qualified will have to confirm (for example, by email and fax, or digital/personal signature) that s/he has deposited a certain amount of money into her/his account at the “casino house” and is willing to risk it while operating as the house.

[0027] The qualifying players will have to communicate (e.g. fax a copy of their credit card and a copy of an ID with a picture) relevant financial and identity data to the system.

[0028] Qualified players will be able to place stop losses on their account (i.e. if a player has $1000 in her/his account, other players may play against him/her while s/he is not online and s/he may wish to stop being the “house” if her/his total balance has reduced below $500, for example).

[0029] Similarly a player may place other conditions like stop being the “house” once s/he has won 500.

[0030] The system calculates the limits of bets for every round, which the playing player may bet against the qualifying player's “house” according to the qualifying player's cash balance and in line with the qualifying player's instructions.

[0031] Machine (e.g. slot machine) relating betting limits and prizes are also adjusted in accordance with the qualifying player's cash balance and instructions.

[0032] All Jackpots will be maintained and paid by the system (i.e by the “casino house” and will be common jackpots to all of the activity in the system. For example, if a jackpot accumulates in the Caribbean Poker game, the “casino house” will run a common jackpot for all of the Caribbean Poker games being played in the system whether played against the “casino house” or against a qualifying player's “house”. The system will deduct a commission or a percentage of the jackpot and will pay out the jackpot to the first winner irrespective of who the player has played against.

[0033] In stage 3—For a user/player to qualify to be the “casino” and be able to offer all of the casino games at once, s/he will have to deposit a larger amount of money as insurance. At a later stage the user will have the ability to customize her/his casino, which means control on colors, sizes, kind of cards, kind of chips and general look and feel of the casino, table or games s/he wishes to offer while operating as the “house”.

[0034] Getting Over the Matching Problem, and the Logic of Betting Against Other Players:

[0035] When a qualifying player has the ability to become the “house” and host other players then the credibility of the gaming software and/or hardware is not questioned since it applies to the “casino house” or Player X's “house” in the same manner. It is expected that some players may feel more comfortable to play against other players.

[0036] When a player plays against the “casino house” s/he doesn't have to pay a commission, but when s/he plays against another qualifying player's “house” then s/he or the qualifying player (depending on who has won a round) will have to pay the “casino house” a commission for operating maintaining and administering the plays and the system. Qualifying Players operating as the “house” will be prepared to pay this commission since they will be enjoying and benefiting from better odds i.e. “house” odds. Playing players will be prepared to pay this commission since the “casino house” offers more credit points when players play against each other, which means that players who have the desire to become the “house”, can achieve this goal much quicker by playing against other users.

[0037] A player cannot be the “house” forever. For each game that the player participates as the “house” or as the casino, s/he loses credit points. When the player's credit points are lower than a predetermined minimum qualifying limit, s/he becomes a regular player again, and has to earn more credit points to qualify again to become the “house”, irrespective of the player's winnings or losses as the “house”.

THE GAMES.

Black Jack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Baccarrat, Craps etc.

[0038] Stage 1.

[0039] Player X offers a blackjack table as the “house”. S/he views the table from the dealer's perspective.

[0040] The system will automatically calculate Player X's table limits and the player's betting limits before each round according to Player X's current cash balance and according to his/her other instructions.

[0041] In Caribbean Poker the jackpot will be kept in escrow by the “casino house” (i.e. by the system) and the jackpot portion of the winnings will be paid out (after commissions) by the “casino house” to the first winner, in accordance with the rules irrespective of whether the player has played against the “casino House” or against a qualifying player's “house”.

[0042] Stage 2.

[0043] Player X will be able to become the blackjack “house”. S/he will view the table from the dealer's perspective.

[0044] Several users will be able to participate at the same time against Player X. The betting limits will be calculated and divided between the participants according to Player X's cash status and instructions before each round. The table will be limited to a maximum of 4 players.

[0045] When a multiplayer event occurs, each user will see her/his side of the table from his or her position at the table and will see the cards of one or more of the other players.,

[0046] Player X will see all the users all at once from the dealer's perspective.

[0047] Caribbean Poker Jackpots are treated same as above.

Roulette

[0048] Stage 1.

[0049] Player X will be able to offer a roulette table as the “house”. S/he will see it from the dealer's perspective. Player X's table limits and the players' betting limits will be updated automatically before each round according to the Player X's cash balance and instructions.

[0050] Stage 2.

[0051] Several people will be able to place their chips.

[0052] Each user will have a view of all the chips on the table.

[0053] The betting limit will be divided equally between the regular participating Players.

[0054] A plurality of participants, optionally with a chosen maximum number, will be allowed.

Slots Machines & Video Poker.

[0055] Stage 1

[0056] Player X and the regular playing player will have the same view of the game.

[0057] The difference will be in the cash and account balances. Player X will see her/his balance, and the regular playing players will have their balances.

[0058] Once again the machine limits will be updated each round, and the winning prizes will be updated each round.

[0059] The foregoing description of the embodiments of the invention has been presented for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. It should be appreciated that many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. It is intended that the scope of the invention be limited not by this detailed description, but rather by the claims appended hereto.