Title:
Poker game in which player can play on with a higher pay table
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A player makes a wager on a first round of video poker. If the player achieves a winning hand combination on the first round of video poker, the player is offered the opportunity to play one or more hands of video poker against a higher pay table on the next round of video poker. The player may continue to play against the higher pay table as long as the player continues to achieve winning combinations during each round of play. If the player fails to achieve a winning combination during a round of play, the game resets to the initial lower pay table and the player starts over.



Inventors:
Moody, Ernest W. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
10/621768
Publication Date:
01/29/2004
Filing Date:
07/16/2003
Assignee:
MOODY ERNEST W.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00; (IPC1-7): A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COLLINS, DOLORES R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John, Edward Roethel (2290 S. JONES BLVD. #100, LAS VEGAS, NV, 89146, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method of playing a card game comprising: a) providing a first pay table and having a player make a wager to participate in the card game; b) playing a first round of play of the card game by displaying a first initial hand of at least five cards all face up to the player; c) the player selecting none, one or more of the face up cards from the first initial hand as cards to be held, discarding the unselected cards and displaying replacement cards for the discarded cards resulting in a first final hand; d) determining the poker hand ranking of the first final hand; e) if the poker hand ranking of the first final hand results in a winning hand combination, awarding the player a predetermined amount based on the amount of the wager; and f) allowing the player to either collect the award or to parlay the at least a portion of the award into a second round of play of the game in which a second pay table is used that has a different overall game return than the first pay table.

2. The method of claim 1 in which the second pay table has a higher overall game return than the first pay table.

3. The method of claim 1 in which the second round of play uses multiple hands.

4. The method of claim 3 in which the award won in the first round of play is allocated among the multiple hands.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is based on and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/319400, filed Jul. 16, 2002, entitled “Poker Game in Which Player Can Play On with a Higher Pay Table”.

[0002] This invention relates to a poker game, and more particularly to a poker game in which the player can utilize winnings from his previous hand to play on with one or more additional hands at a higher pay table.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] One of the classic casino games is video draw poker. A player makes a wager to be eligible to play the game. After an initial deal of five cards is displayed to the player on a video display screen, the player is allowed to discard and replace unwanted cards with replacement cards. The player attempts to achieve the highest possible poker hand from the starting five cards. Video poker games use poker hand rankings to determine winning combinations and a payout schedule is used to determine the amount awarded to the player for achieving a winning combination.

[0004] Casino games such as video draw poker offer the player a pay table that is based on the mathematical probabilities of the game being played. Pay tables are generally classified by the theoretical game return which is calculated by the payouts made to the player for each of the winning hand combinations listed in the pay table. For example, a pay table that has a theoretical game return of 98% is a better pay table for a player than a pay table that has a theoretical game return of 96%.

[0005] In traditional draw poker, a pay table has winning hand combinations when the player achieves a Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four-of-a-Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three-of-a-kind, Two Pair or a Pair of Jacks or Better.

[0006] Table 1 shows a typical draw poker pay table that has a theoretical game return of approximately 96%. 1

TABLE 1
DRAW POKERNUMBER OF COINS BET
POKER HAND12345
ROYAL FLUSH25050075010004000
STRAIGHT FLUSH50100150200250
FOUR-OF-A-KIND255075100125
FULL HOUSE816243240
FLUSH510152025
STRAIGHT48121620
THREE-OF-A-KIND3691215
TWO PAIR246810
JACKS OR BETTER12345

[0007] Table 2 shows a typical draw poker pay table that has a theoretical game return of approximately 98%. 2

TABLE 2
DRAW POKERNUMBER OF COINS BET
POKER HAND12345
ROYAL FLUSH25050075010004000
STRAIGHT FLUSH50100150200250
FOUR-OF-A-KIND255075100125
FULL HOUSE918273645
FLUSH612182430
STRAIGHT48121620
THREE-OF-A-KIND3691215
TWO PAIR246810
JACKS OR BETTER12345

[0008] An analysis of the two pay tables show that the payouts for a Full House and a Flush are higher in Table 2 than in Table 1. This simple change in the payouts for a Full House and a Flush are all that it takes to increase the theoretical game return. As is well known to sophisticated video poker players, it is to the player's advantage to play a video poker game with a higher theoretical game return.

[0009] In traditional video draw poker, a player typically wagers a maximum of five credits on each hand played by the player. It is to the advantage of the gaming establishment to provide players with video poker games that result in the player wagering more than five credits on each round of the game played. The higher the average wager per round played, the higher the revenue generated by the video poker gaming machine for the gaming establishment.

[0010] One of the reasons for the great commercial success of TRIPLE PLAY DRAW POKER® is the game results in a high average wager per round played. U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,873 (Moody) (the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by this reference) describes TRIPLE PLAY DRAW POKER® which is an electronic video gaming machine and method in which the player may play multiple hands at the same time. In the most successful commercial version of TRIPLE PLAY DRAW POKER®, the player makes a wager for each of three separate hands to be played by the player. One hand of five cards is dealt all face up. The player selects none, one or more of the face up cards from the first hand as cards to be held. The cards that are held are reused from the first hand into all of the other hands. Replacement cards for the non-selected cards are dealt into the first hand and additional cards are then dealt to the first hand, if needed, so that the first hand has five cards. Additional cards are also dealt to all of the other hands so that each hand is a five card hand. The poker hand ranking of each five card hand is determined row by row. The player is then paid for any winning poker hands based on a pay table and the amount of the player's wager.

[0011] A typical TRIPLE PLAY DRAW POKER® round of play results in the player making a wager of fifteen credits. It is a drawback of this game that some players do not like to have to wager fifteen credits to play all three hands. It is desirable to offer the player an alternative to wagering fifteen credits on each round of play while at the same time encouraging the player to increase the amount of his wager for a round of play whenever the player has achieved a winning hand on the previous round of play. In order to encourage the player to increase the amount of his wager, the player is offered a higher pay table when the player uses his winnings from the previous round of play to increase the amount of his wager.

[0012] Another multiple hand poker game is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6050568 (Hachquet) and U.S. Pat. No. 6,135,883 (Hachquet), the disclosure of each of these patents being incorporated herein. In the method of play disclosed in the Hachquet patents, a player is dealt two identical poker hands. The player may discard and draw replacement cards independently in each hand so that the player may, if he were so inclined, employ a different hold strategy for each hand. Winning hands will receive a payout according to a pay table.

[0013] It is an object of the present invention to provide a video poker game in which the player is offered the opportunity increase the amount of his wager by playing one or more hands of video poker against a higher pay table whenever the player has a winning event on the previous round of video poker.

[0014] It is a feature of the present invention that the player makes a wager on a first round of video poker. If the player achieves a winning hand combination on the first round of video poker, the player is offered the opportunity to play one or more hands of video poker against a higher pay table on the next round of video poker. The player may continue to play against the higher pay table as long as the player continues to achieve winning combinations during each round of play. If the player fails to achieve a winning combination during a round of play, the game resets to the initial lower pay table and the player starts over.

[0015] It is an advantage of the present invention that the player has the opportunity to increase his chances to have a winning video poker session by playing multiple hands of video poker against a higher pay table. It is to the advantage of the player to play as many hands as possible against the higher pay table. It is to the advantage of the gaming establishment to have players playing multiple hands at one time as this increases the average wager per round of play.

[0016] Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0017] A player makes a wager on a first round of video poker. If the player achieves a winning hand combination on the first round of video poker, the player is offered the opportunity to play one or more hands of video poker against a higher pay table on the next round of video poker. The player may continue to play against the higher pay table as long as the player continues to achieve winning combinations during each round of play. If the player fails to achieve a winning combination during a round of play, the game resets to the initial lower pay table and the player starts over.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] FIG. 1 shows a gaming machine that has been configured for the present invention and displays an initial deal of the cards.

[0019] FIG. 2 shows the card display after the player has selected which cards to hold and replacement cards have been dealt for the discarded cards.

[0020] FIG. 3 shows the card display after the player has elected to play on in the next round for three hands of cards.

[0021] FIG. 4 shows the card display after the player has selected which cards to hold and replacement cards have been dealt for the discarded cards.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0022] FIG. 1 shows generally at 10 a typical electronic video gaming machine that is configured to provide to the player the method of the present invention. The electronic video gaming machine 10 includes a conventional coin head 50 into which the player can insert coins or gaming tokens and a slot 52 which leads to a conventional bill acceptor mounted on the interior of the gaming machine and into which the player can insert paper currency. The use of coins, tokens or paper currency is the mechanism by which the player wagers on the poker hands the player wishes to play. As is also conventional in electronic video gaming machines, a credit meter display 22 is provided to show the amount of credits that the player has accrued on the gaming machine 10—either by inserting coins, tokens or paper currency or from winning plays achieved by the player. Whenever the player makes a wager, the amount of the wager is decremented from the credit meter display 22. Whenever the player achieves a winning play during the play of the game, the amount of the winning play is incremented on the credit meter display 22.

[0023] A conventional payout hopper is also located on the interior of the gaming machine and is used to dispense coins or tokens to the player into a payout tray 56 when the player wishes to collect any winning amounts the player has accrued. Other suitable and conventional payout mechanisms can be used, such as a ticket printer or other cashless payout devices.

[0024] The gaming machine 10 also includes a video screen display 20 of any suitable type upon which representations of playing cards are displayed. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, one or more hands can be displayed on the video screen display 20 at the same time. As shown in FIG. 1, a first hand: HAND ONE 60 is shown. Each hand would preferably have five card locations preferably from left to right in a horizontal row, although other manners of displaying single or multiple hands can be used. The video screen display 20 also contains a location at which the amount wagered on each hand is shown, for example, “Bet Per Hand” 24.

[0025] A button panel 40 is also provided on the gaming machine 10 and the buttons mounted on the button panel 40 are used by the player to control the operation of the gaming machine 10. Any suitable configuration of the buttons on the button panel can be used and, alternatively, conventional touch screen technology can be used for any or all of the buttons mounted on the button panel.

[0026] A typical button arrangement is shown on the button panel 40 in FIG. 1. A “BET ONE” button 42 is provided to allow the player to wager one credit at a time. A “BET MAX” button 44 is provided to allow the player to wager the maximum amount of credits permitted by the configuration of the gaming machine 10. Any number of credits can be set as the maximum amount that it is possible to wager on each hand and, typically, five credits will be the maximum number of credits for any particular hand. Alternatively, a BET ONE location 26 and a BET MAX location 28 can be provided on the video screen 20 to allow the player to wager by using conventional touch screen technology.

[0027] A conventional “DEAL/DRAW” button 46 is also provided on the button panel 40 which is used by the player to activate the initial deal of the cards at the deal stage of the method of play or the dealing of replacement cards at the draw stage of the method of play as is appropriate. Similarly, a DEAL/DRAW location 47 can be provided on the video screen 20 to allow the player to effect either the deal step or the draw step by using conventional touch screen technology.

[0028] The button panel 40 is also provided with five “CARD” buttons 48A, 48B, 48C, 48D and 48E associated with each horizontal card location on the video screen display: card button 48A is associated with the left most card location, card button 48B is associated with the second from the left card location, card button 48C is associated with the middle card location, card button 48D is associated with the second from the right card location and card button 48E is associated with the right most card location. Each card button is preferably aligned below the card locations so that the player can easily associate the appropriate card button with the appropriate card location.

[0029] The method of play of the various versions of the present invention will now be described.

Version #1

[0030] After the player has inserted an appropriate amount of coins, tokens or paper currency to add a sufficient amount of credits on the credit display meter 22, the player makes his initial wager which can be any amount of credits from one credit to the maximum number of credits allowed to be played on a single hand, typically five credits. The player may press the BET ONE button 42 one or more times to bet in single increments or the player may merely press the “BET MAX” button 44 and the maximum number of credits are applied, for example, five credits would be wagered. The player can also use the touch screen locations to make his wager as described above.

[0031] In this version of the present invention, the player begins with a single hand of video poker and in the example shown in FIG. 1, the player has wagered five credits.

[0032] After the player has completed his wagering selections, an initial five card video poker hand is displayed to the player. This hand is randomly selected from the fifty-two cards that comprise a standard deck of playing cards (unless one or more Jokers have been added to the deck of cards which would increase the number of cards in the deck). As shown in FIG. 1, for example, the player may be dealt in HAND ONE 60 the Jack of Hearts, Jack of Diamonds, Two of Hearts, Three of Hearts and Four of Hearts.

[0033] Also for this example, assume the player is playing a draw poker game of the format of Draw Poker in which the pay table presented to the player is shown in Table 3: 3

TABLE 3
DRAW POKERNUMBER OF COINS BET
POKER HAND12345
ROYAL FLUSH25050075010004000
STRAIGHT FLUSH50100150200250
FOUR-OF-A-KIND255075100125
FULL HOUSE816243240
FLUSH510152025
STRAIGHT48121620
THREE-OF-A-KIND3691215
TWO PAIR246810
JACKS OR BETTER12345

[0034] In accordance with the method of play of the present invention, this Table 3 is the pay table that is in effect during the play of the initial hand of video poker by the player.

[0035] The player then selects which cards to hold, if any, from the initially dealt cards. As is conventional, the player selects which cards to hold to pressing the hold buttons 48 associated with the desired card to be held. Alternatively, using touch screen technology, the player may also merely touch the screen image of the card the player wishes to hold.

[0036] Referring to the example, the player may select to hold the Jack of Hearts and the Jacks of Diamonds.

[0037] After the player has selected which cards he wishes to hold, the player presses the Deal/Draw button 46 (or the Deal/Draw location 47) and replacement cards for the non-selected cards are dealt and displayed so that the final hand 62 has five cards. As shown in FIG. 2, the player may receive as replacement cards, the Six of Clubs, the Jack of Spades and the Nine of Hearts. The player's final five card hand 62 is Three-of-a-Kind.

[0038] In accordance with Table 3, the player would be awarded fifteen credits for a Three-of-a-Kind.

[0039] Because the player has won on the first hand, the player has the option of collecting his award of fifteen credits or proceeding to an additional round of play using Table 4 as the pay table. 4

TABLE 4
DRAW POKERNUMBER OF COINS BET
POKER HAND12345
ROYAL FLUSH25050075010004000
STRAIGHT FLUSH50100150200250
FOUR-OF-A-KIND255075100125
FULL HOUSE918273645
FLUSH612182430
STRAIGHT48121620
THREE-OF-A-KIND3691215
TWO PAIR246810
JACKS OR BETTER12345

[0040] The player may parlay his fifteen credits that he has won into three hands of video poker all using the higher Table 2 pay table. The player may make exercise this option by pressing the “Collect Award” touch screen location 32 or the “Play on for 3 Hands” touch screen location 34 on the screen display 20. Any other suitable manner of allowing the player to make this choice may be provided, such as using appropriate buttons on the button panel 40.

[0041] As shown in FIG. 3, the player has chosen to play on and receives three hands at five credits each.

[0042] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the player is dealt three identical hands, e.g. each of HAND 71, HAND 73 and HAND 75 could be the Six of Clubs, the Four of Diamonds, the Seven of Hearts, the Eight of Clubs and the Ace of Spades. The player then plays these hands in accordance with the method of play disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,873 (Moody). The player selects none, one or more of the face up cards from one of the hands as cards to be held. The cards that are held are also held in all of the other hands. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, the player has elected to hold the Six of Clubs, the Four of Diamonds, the Seven of Hearts and the Eight of Clubs. In accordance with the method of play of U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,873, all of the cards held by the player are held in each of the three hands.

[0043] In one embodiment of the present invention, the replacement cards for each hand are dealt from the depleted deck of forty-seven cards (which represent the cards remaining from the original fifty-two card deck less the five initially dealt cards). Thus in completing each hand, the replacement cards are randomly selected from the remaining forty-seven cards. In this embodiment, the depleted forty-seven card deck is reshuffled electronically before the replacement cards are dealt to complete each hand.

[0044] In another embodiment of this version of the present invention, the replacement cards for HAND 72 are dealt from the depleted deck of forty-seven cards (which represent the cards remaining from the original fifty-two card deck less the five initially dealt cards). The replacement cards for the HAND 74 are dealt from the further depleted deck of cards remaining after the replacement cards have been dealt into HAND 72. The replacement cards for HAND 76 are dealt from the further depleted deck of cards remaining after the replacement cards have been dealt into HAND 72 and HAND 74.

[0045] Replacement cards for the non-selected cards are dealt into each of the hands so that each of the hands has five cards. The poker hand ranking of each five card hand is determined row by row. The player is then paid for any winning poker hands based on the higher pay table Table 4 and the amount of the player's wager.

[0046] For example, as shown in FIG. 4, the player receives as a replacement card the Two of Hearts in HAND 72 which results in a losing hand. The player also receives as a replacement card the Five of Spades in HAND 74 which results in a Straight which is a winning hand. And the player receives as a replacement card the King of Hearts in HAND 76 which results in a losing hand. The player receives an award of twenty credits.

[0047] Because the player has won on the first hand, the player has the option of collecting his award of twenty credits or proceeding to an additional round of play again using Table 4 as the pay table. As long as the player continues to win on each round of play, the player continues to stay at the higher pay table Table 4.

[0048] Because the player has won twenty credits on this round of play, the player may be offered the option of playing on for four hands at five credits each.

[0049] In accordance with the present invention, whatever credits are won by the player on a round of play may be parlayed into additional hands. If the player were to win five hundred credits on a particular round of play, the player could be offered the option to parlay those credits into another round of 125 hands at five credits each.

[0050] As a practical matter, the method of play could limit the player to playing no more than five hands on any one round. If the player were to win an award of say forty credits, the player could be provided the option of playing on for five hands at five credits each and the overage of fifteen credits would simply be added to the Credit Meter 22.

[0051] The number of hands offered to the player in the play on mode could also decrease. For example, if the player were playing five hands at five credits each and the player were to win only ten credits, the next round of the play on mode would only offer the player the option to play on for two hands at five credits each.

[0052] Eventually the player will have a round of play in which the player has no winning hands and the game would revert back to one hand of play at the lower pay table Table 3. Of course, at any time the player may decline to play on and any credits that the player has won on that round of play would be added to the Credit Meter 22 and the game would also revert back to one hand of play at the lower pay table Table 3.

Version #2

[0053] In a second version of the present invention, the player starts the game with multiple hands of cards, such as three hands as disclosed in TRIPLE PLAY DRAW POKER®.

[0054] The player makes a wager for each of three separate hands to be played by the player and, on the initial round of play, the lower pay table Table 3 is used. One hand of five cards is dealt all face up. The player selects none, one or more of the face up cards from the first hand as cards to be held. The cards that are held are reused from the first hand into all of the other hands. Replacement cards for the non-selected cards are dealt into the first hand and additional cards are then dealt to the first hand, if needed, so that the first hand has five cards. Additional cards are also dealt to all of the other hands so that each hand is a five card hand. The poker hand ranking of each five card hand is determined row by row.

[0055] Again, the replacement cards for the discarded cards may be chosen using either of the two embodiments described in connection with the first version of the present invention.

[0056] Whatever credits are won by the player on a round of play may be parlayed into additional hands on the next round of play and the higher pay table Table 4 would be used. Again as a practical matter, the method of play could limit the player to playing no more than five hands on any one round. If the player were to win an award of say forty credits, the player could be provided the option of playing on for five hands at five credits each and the overage of fifteen credits would simply be added to the Credit Meter 22.

[0057] In this version of the present invention, the number of hands offered to the player in the play on mode could also decrease. For example, if the player were playing five hands at five credits each and the player were to win only ten credits, the next round of the play on mode would only offer the player the option to play on for two hands at five credits each.

[0058] Eventually the player will have a round of play in which the player has no winning hands and the game would revert back to one hand of play at the lower pay table Table 3. Of course, at any time the player may decline to play on and any credits that the player has won on that round of play would be added to the Credit Meter 22 and the game would also revert back to one hand of play at the lower pay table Table 3.

[0059] Either version of the present invention can also be applied to the method of play described in the Hachquet patents in which the player may discard and draw replacement cards independently in each hand so that the player may, if he were so inclined, employ a different hold strategy for each hand.

[0060] Alternatively, either version of the present invention can also be applied to a method of play in which different cards are dealt into each hand, either from a single deck or from multiple decks.

[0061] The method of the present invention can be applied to any poker game format used for video poker including, but not limited to, Draw Poker, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, Triple Bonus Poker, Super Bonus Poker and the like. Each of these poker format would use a standard deck of fifty-two playing cards. It is also possible to practice the method of the present invention in poker game formats that include wild cards such as Deuces Wild, One-Eyed Jacks Wild and the like. Additional wild cards, such as one or more Jokers, may be added to the conventional fifty-two card deck to allow the method of the present invention to be played in poker game formats such as Jokers Wild, Deuces Joker Wild and the like.

[0062] Any suitable pay tables may be used as desired by the gaming establishment which is offering the method of play to its customers.

[0063] 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. Accordingly, the invention should not be limited by the foregoing description, but rather should be defined only by the following claims.