Title:
Methods of playing Pai Gow games
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of playing Pai Gow Poker card or tile games include the steps of (a) affording each player an opportunity to place a SIDE BET; (b) affording each player an opportunity to place an ANTE wager to participate in the game; (c) randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players; (d) resolving the SIDE BET wagers based upon the result of the step of randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players according to a predetermined payout table. A set of three dice may be used to randomly determine the order of dealing the hands to players and the payoff table may include various payoff odds associated with predetermined results of rolls of the set of dice. The payout table may include payouts for rolling the same number on all three dice or payouts for rolling sequential numbers on all three dice. A gaming table layout may comprise a plurality of designated wager zones at each player position to enable a player to place a chip or token within one or more of the wager zones to make a SIDE BET on one or more of the predetermined winning results prior to play of the game. The game may be played on a variety of media, including regular paper playing cards or tiles at a table and electronic media, such as video machines at gaming establishments, standalone personal computers, personal computers on a network, and personal digital assistants (PDAs)



Inventors:
Frankel, Michael Andrew (New York, NY, US)
Frankel, Peter Charles (New York, NY, US)
Frankel, Susan Belinda (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/405139
Publication Date:
11/02/2006
Filing Date:
04/17/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/274
International Classes:
A63F3/08; A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BALDORI, JOSEPH B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Barclay Damon, LLP (Barclay Damon Tower 125 East Jefferson Street, Syracuse, NY, 13202, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a Pai Gow card or tile game comprising the steps of: (a) affording each player an opportunity to place at least one SIDE BET; (b) affording each player an opportunity to place at least one ANTE wager to participate in the game, (c) randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players by generating at least two indicia randomly selected from at least two sets of indicia; (d) after step (c) resolving said SIDE BET wagers based upon the result of said step of randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players according to a predetermined payout table which includes at least one payout amount paid when a player wagers that said at least two indicia match; and (e) after step (c) resolving said ANTE wager.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein step (c) comprises rolling at least two dice.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein step (c) comprises rolling three dice.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein said Pai Gow game is played on a live casino gaming table.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein said Pai Gow game is played on an electronic video gaming machine.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein said Pai Gow game is played on a personal computer.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the placement of the SIDE BET in step (a) is optional.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the placement of the SIDE BET in step (a) is mandatory.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein step (c) consists of rolling three dice.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein step (c) consists of generating three random numbers.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein said payout table includes payouts for winning wagers of one-one-one; two-two-two; three-three-three; four-four-four; five-five-five; six-six-six; and any three matching numbers.

12. A method of playing a Pai Gow card or tile game comprising the steps of: (a) affording each player an opportunity to place at least one SIDE BET; (b) affording each player an opportunity to place at least one ANTE wager to participate in the game, (c) randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players by generating at least two indicia randomly selected from at least two sets of indicia; (d) after step (c) resolving said SIDE BET wagers based upon the result of said step of randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players according to a predetermined payout table which includes at least one payout amount when a player wagers that said at least two indicia are in sequential order; and (e) after step (c) resolving said ANTE wager.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein step (c) comprises rolling at least two dice.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein step (c) comprises rolling three dice.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein said Pai Gow game is played on a live casino gaming table.

16. The method of claim 12, wherein said Pai Gow game is played on an electronic video gaming machine.

17. The method of claim 12, wherein said Pai Gow game is played on a personal computer.

18. The method of claim 12, wherein the placement of the SIDE BET in step (a) is optional.

19. The method of claim 12, wherein the placement of the SIDE BET in step (a) is mandatory.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein step (c) consists of rolling three dice.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein step (c) consists of generating three random numbers.

22. The method of claim 21, wherein said payout table includes payouts for winning wagers of one-two-three; two-three-four; four-five-six; and any three sequential numbers.

23. A method of playing a Pai Gow card or tile game comprising the steps of: (a) affording each player an opportunity to place at least one SIDE BET; (b) affording each player an opportunity to place at least one ANTE wager to participate in the game, (c) randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players by generating at least two indicia randomly selected from at least two sets of indicia; (d) after step (c) resolving said SIDE BET wagers based upon the result of said step of randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players according to a predetermined payout table which includes payouts for predetermined combinations of indicia selected from the group consisting of matching indicia and sequential indicia; and (e) after step (c) resolving said ANTE wager.

24. A method of playing a Pai Gow card or tile game comprising the steps of: (a) affording each player an opportunity to place at least one SIDE BET; (b) affording each player an opportunity to place at least one ANTE wager to participate in the game, (c) randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players by generating at least three indicia randomly selected from at least three identical sets of indicia; (d) after step (c) resolving said SIDE BET wagers based upon the result of said step of randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players according to a predetermined payout table which includes payouts for predetermined combinations of indicia selected from the group consisting of matching indicia and sequential indicia; and (e) after step (c) resolving said ANTE wager.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein each player has identical SIDE BET wagering options.

26. The method of claim 24, wherein the placement of the SIDE BET in step (a) is optional.

27. The method of claim 24, wherein the placement of the SIDE BET in step (a) is mandatory.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/676,044 filed on Apr. 29, 2005 (abandoned), and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/760,013 filed on Jan. 18, 2006, the priority of which is hereby claimed pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) and the entire disclosures of which are hereby incorporated herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to methods of Pai Gow games and more particularly pertains to variations of a conventional Pai Gow Poker card game and a conventional Pai Gow Tile game.

2. Description of the Related Technology

The conventional game of Pai Gow Poker is played in many casinos. The card version of the game is played with a single standard deck of 52 playing cards plus a Joker. The Joker is a wild card which can be used only as an ace, or to complete a straight, a flush or a straight flush. In some jurisdictions, the Joker may be completely wild, that is, of any selected rank or suit. The game is typically started by each player placing an ante or bet to participate in the game. In some variants of the game, the players place a first ante or bet for the so-called High Hand and a second ante or bet for the so-called Low Hand. A dealer, usually a casino employee, deals out seven hands of seven cards each. The dealer then places the hands in player or dealer positions depending on the result of a random number generator. In some casinos, the random number generator consists of a set of three dice, where the sum of the dice determines the position to receive the first hand. In other casinos, the random number generator consists of a digital electronic device built into the table and operative to display a number in the range of 1 through 7, which determines the position to receive the first hand. The dealer then places the remainder of the player and dealer hands in the player and dealer position following a counter-clockwise rotation from the first hand position. In some variants of the game, the deal rotation is clockwise.

As explained hereinafter, the players compete against the casino via the dealer. A player forms two hands from his seven-card holding. One hand, called a Low Hand, consists of two of the player's seven cards. The other hand, called a High Hand, consists of the remaining five cards of the player's original seven cards. In a similar manner, the dealer forms a High Hand and a Low Hand from his seven cards. The only requirement in forming the hands is that the Low Hand must be of a lower rank than the High Hand. The ranking of a hand is the same as in traditional poker with the exception that the Joker can be used to represent an Ace or to represent one card of either a straight or a flush. Because of the Joker, five Aces is the hand with the highest possible rank. When the player forms his Low Hand and his High Hand so that they are respectively higher in rank than the Low Hand and the High Hand of the dealer, the player is a winner and the dealer is a loser. Conversely, when the player forms his Low Hand and his High Hand so that they are respectively lower in rank than the Low Hand and the High Hand of the dealer, the player is a loser and the dealer is a winner. In cases where one of the player's hands is of the same rank as a corresponding one of the dealer's hands, the dealer's hand is deemed to be of higher rank than the player's hand. When the player's Low Hand is of a higher rank than the dealer's Low Hand and the player's High Hand is of lower rank than the dealer's High Hand, what is known as a push exists. Similarly, the push exists when the player's low Hand is of a lower rank than the dealer's Low Hand and the player's High Hand is of higher rank than the dealer's High Hand. When the push exists, there is no winner. A determination of a winner correspondingly determines the outcome of the bet between the player and the dealer. Hence, the wager is neither won nor lost when the push exists, but is rather refunded to the player. In some variants of the game, a push goes to the dealer or house, and the house wins the player's wager instead of refunding it to the player.

The tile version of the game is usually played with either six or seven player positions plus the dealer positions.

A variety of methods of playing card games, including methods of playing variations Pai Gow Poker, are reflected in the following U.S. patents:

Issue
U.S. Pat. No.InventorDateTitle
5,275,411BreedingJan. 4,Pai Gow Poker Machine
1994
5,584,486FranklinDec. 17,Jackpot Pai Gow Poker
1996
5,607,161SkratuliaMar. 4,Method Of Playing An
1997Improved Version Of The
Game Of Pai Gow Poker
5,863,041BoylanJan. 26,Pai Gow Poker With
1999Auxiliary Game
5,931,472KoAug. 3,Pai Gow Game
1999
6,007,424EversDec. 28,Pai Gow Poker Game
1999Method, Device And
System For Pushes
6,027,119De LisleFeb. 22,Method For Playing A
2000Card Game Game
6,062,565ChadbandMay 16,Method Of Bet Placement
2000And Wager Distribution
In Double- Hand Games
6,070,876KoJun. 6,Pai Gow Game
2000
6,270,078LeoneAug. 7,Method Of Playing An
2001Improved Version Of The
Game Of Pai Gow Poker
6,113,103MostashariSep. 5,Dragon Poker
2000
6,135,453SrichayapornOct. 24,Method And Apparatus For
2000Playing A High/Low
Poker Game
6,702,289FeolaMar. 9,Pai Gow Poker-Type Card
2004Game Of Chance Using A
Random Number Generator
With A Side Bet
USJonesAug. 21,Method Of Playing Card
2003/01557132003Games
A1

The entire disclosure of each of the foregoing patents and published patent application is hereby incorporated herein by this reference. The aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 6,702,289 issued to Feola, discloses a method of playing a Pai Gow Poker game which includes, in one aspect, a slide bet based on the result of a random number generator, such as a set of three dice or a digital electronic device, which is used to determine the first position to receive cards during the deal of a Pai Gow game. Each player position on a table layout is provided with seven spots, one for each player position and the dealer position. The player wagers on the number of the position to receive the first hand by placing a wager in one or more of the spots before the random number generator determines the first position to receive cards. The game may be played on a variety of media, including regular paper playing cards at a table and electronic media, such as video machines at gaming establishments, standalone personal computers, personal computers on a network, and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Methods of playing live and electronic versions of Pai Gow card and tile games according to example preferred embodiments of the invention include the steps of (a) affording each player an opportunity to place a SIDE BET; (b) affording each player an opportunity to place an ANTE wager to participate in the game; (c) randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players; and (d) resolving the SIDE BET wagers based upon the result of the step of randomly determining an order of dealing hands to players according to a predetermined payout table. A set of three dice may be used to randomly determine the order of dealing the hands to players and the payout table may include various payoff odds associated with predetermined results of rolls of the set of dice. The payout table may include payouts for rolling the same number on all three dice or payouts for rolling sequential numbers on all three dice. A gaming table layout may comprise a plurality of designated wager zones at each player position to enable a player to place a chip or token within one or more of the wager zones to make a SIDE BET on one or more of the predetermined winning results prior to play of the game. The game may be played on a variety of media, including regular paper playing cards or tiles at a table and electronic media, such as video machines at gaming establishments, standalone personal computers, personal computers on a network, and personal digital assistants (PDAs)

These and various other advantages and features of novelty that characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and forming a part hereof. However, for a better understanding of the invention, its advantages, and the objects obtained by its use, reference should be made to the drawings which form a further part hereof, and to the accompanying descriptive matter, in which there is illustrated and described a preferred embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1-A illustrates an example initial set up for a live casino table version of Pai Gow poker with six player locations and a deck of playing cards positioned adjacent a dealer position ready for dealing.

FIG. 1-B illustrates an example initial set up for a Pai Gow tile game with six player locations and tiles positioned adjacent a dealer position ready for dealing.

FIG. 2 illustrates an example pay table for determining the outcome of a side bet wager in a Pai Gow game according to a method of the present invention.

FIG. 3-A illustrates an example configuration of a table layout for a live casino table version of Pai Gow poker with a side bet wager according to the present invention.

FIG. 3-B illustrates an example configuration of a table layout for a live table version of a Pai Gow tile game with a side wager according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates an alternative pay table for determining the outcome of a side bet wager in a Pai Gow game according to a method of the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates an alternative configuration of a table layout for a live casino table version of Pai Gow poker with a side bet wager according to the present invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates another alternative configuration of a table layout for a live casino table version of Pai Gow poker with a side bet wager according to the present invention.

FIG. 7 illustrates yet another alternative pay table for determining the outcome of a side bet wager in a Pai Gow game according to the method of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Referring now to the drawings, wherein like numbers indicate corresponding elements throughout the several views, and referring in particular to FIGS. 1A, 3A, 5, and 6, one embodiment of a method of playing a Pai Cow poker card game according to the present invention may be implemented on a conventional type of casino gaming table layout 10 of the type used in casinos to play Twenty-One or Black Jack. Preferably, the table layout 10 includes a dealer position 20 adjacent a chip rack 30, and six player positions 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100 spaced around a curved perimeter of the layout 10, in a conventional manner. The table layout includes a felt surface 40 which may be imprinted or otherwise provided with various indicia to designate player positions 51, 61, 71, 81, 91, 101; and card hand positions 52, 62, 72, 82, 92, 102.

Inasmuch as the card game version of Pai Gow poker is typically played with 7-card hands dealt from a 53-card deck, a maximum of seven complete hands can be dealt using a single deck. In the event that more hands are desired, multiple decks may be employed and the cards dealt from a multi-deck shoe as in some versions of Twenty-One or Blackjack. In the case of electronic or personal computer variants, suitable programming may be employed to allow any desired number of hands.

As an alternative to a live casino table game version, the card and tile game methods disclosed by the present invention may be implemented on an electronic gaming device of the type employed by casinos for playing electronic game simulations, for example of the type generally known as video poker machines. Other alternative ways of playing card and tile games according to the methods of the present invention include software implementations on personal computers, either in stand alone modes, over local networks, or over the Internet. Accordingly, in conjunction with the instant application, the terms “cards,” “tiles”, “dealing,” “hand” and the like should be understood as encompassing both live games with a human dealer and one or more players, as well as electronic games with electronic representations of cards or tiles displayed on a video screen. Similarly, the terms “wager,” “bet,” and “side bet” should be understood as encompassing the use of currency, coins, chips, tokens, or electronic representations of value, in both live and electronic versions of implementation.

The game begins with one or more players placing an ANTE wager as a requirement to playing the game. In connection with a live version of the game, this can be accomplished, for example, by a player placing a conventional token or chip in an associated one of the bet or ante regions 51, 61, 71, 81, 91, or 101 designated on the felt surface 40 of the layout 10 of a conventional casino gaming table. In connection with an electronic version, a player may press an ANTE or WAGER button on an electronic gaming device, or may touch designated regions of a touch sensitive video screen.

As a preferred feature of the present invention, all players that elect to play the Pai Gow game by placing the ANTE wager are afforded an additional option to place a SIDE BET wager prior to the deal of cards or tiles. Alternatively, each player may be required to place a SIDE BET wager prior to the deal. The sequence of placing the ANTE wager and the SIDE BET wager is preferably irrelevant. In a live casino version of the game, the SIDE BET wager may be placed by a player positioning one or more tokens in betting regions disposed on the felt surface 40 of the layout 10 designated for the purpose. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the SIDE BET betting regions take the form of three arcuate segments 130, 140, and 150. The arcuate segment 130 is subdivided into individual player betting regions 131, 132, 133, 134, 135 and 136 corresponding to each player position. The betting regions 131 through 136 each bear indicia representing one face of three dice, with each of the betting regions 131 through 136 each preferably representing a different dice face. As shown in FIG. 5, region 131 represents dice indicia “one”; region 132 represents dice indicia “two”; region 133 represents dice indicia “three”; region 134 represents dice indicia “four”; region 135 represents dice indicia “five”; and region 136 represents dice indicia “six.”

The arcuate segment 140 is subdivided into individual player betting regions 141, 142, 143, 144, 145 and 146 corresponding to each player position. The betting regions 141 through 146 each bear indicia representing one face of three dice, with each of the betting regions 141 through 146 each preferably representing a different dice face. As shown in FIG. 5, region 141 represents dice indicia “one”; region 142 represents dice indicia “two”; region 143 represents dice indicia “three”; region 144 represents dice indicia “four”; region 145 represents dice indicia “five”; and region 146 represents dice indicia “six.”

The arcuate segment 150 bears the indicia “ANY TRIPLE”.

In play of a Pai Gow poker game according to the present invention, each player is afforded the option of placing at least one SIDE BET wager by placing at least one chip or token in one or more of the segments 130, 140, or 150, preferably within the regions associated with that particular player's position at the table. For example, a player seated at the table 10 at player position 50 would place an ANTE bet or wager in the betting zone or region 51 in order to participate in the Pai Gow game. The player would also have the option of placing one or more chips or tokens in the regions 131, 146, and 150. A SIDE BET wager placed in region 131 would signify that the player is betting that the random number generator, such as a set of three dice, will result in a dice roll of one-one-one. Similarly, a SIDE BET wager placed in region 146 would signify that the player is betting that the random number generator, such as a set of three dice, will result in a dice roll of six-six-six. A SIDE BET wager placed in region 150 would signify that the player is betting that the random number generator, such as a set of three dice, will result in a dice roll of any matching triple: one-one-one; two-two-two; three-three-three; four-four-four; five-five-five; or six-six-six. In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 5, players would be preferably limited to wagering on the regions within the arcuate segments 130 and 140 associated with their particular player position. For example, the player at position 50 could only make a SIDE BET wager on ANY TRIPLE, one-one-one; or six-six-six. Similarly, a player at position 61 could only make a SIDE BET wager on ANY TRIPLE, two-two-two; or five-five-five. Alternatively, the player may place a SIDE BET wager in any betting region of any of the segments, 130, 140, 150, either by the player directly placing a chip or token in the desired betting region or by the player asking the dealer to do so.

In the alternative embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6, the SIDE BET betting regions take the form of three arcuate segments 230, 240, and 250. The arcuate segment 230 is subdivided into individual player betting regions 231, 232, 233, 234, 235 and 236 corresponding to each player position. The betting regions 231 through 236 each bear indicia representing “3×” or “ANY TRIPLE”. The arcuate segment 240 is subdivided into individual player betting regions 241, 242, 243, 244, 245 and 246 corresponding to each player position. The betting regions 241 through 246 each bear indicia representing three faces of three dice, each designated as “one”, “two”, or “three” in correspondence with a face of a conventional die. In a similar manner, the arcuate segment 250 is subdivided into individual player betting regions 251, 252, 253, 254, 255 and 256 corresponding to each player position. The betting regions 251 through 256 each bear indicia representing three faces of three dice, each designated as “four”, “five”, or “six” in correspondence with a face of a conventional die. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6 allows each player to place one or more SIDE BET wagers, with each player having identical wagering options to make a SIDE BET wager by placing a chip or token on or more of the circular regions bearing the designations “one”, “two”, “three”, “four”, “five”, or “six”, or betting on the “3×” region.

After the step of wagering to play the Pai Gow poker game, and the step of affording each player an option to place the optional SIDE BET wager; a dealer activates a random number generator, such as an electronic digital device 45 operative to randomly generate and display at least two indicia randomly selected from at least two sets of indicia, or more preferably at least three indicia randomly selected from at least three sets of indicia. In the preferred form of the invention, each of the sets of indicia take the form of the numbers 1 through 6, or the faces of a conventional six-side die. As described previously, the sets of indicia may take the form of physical multi-sided objects or electronically generated random numbers, which may include representations of dice displayed on a video screen. Accordingly, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, the random number generator 45 displays three randomly selected indicia on a display or screen 47. Preferably, each of the three indicia are selected randomly from the set of indicia consisting of the whole numbers 1 through 6.

The dealer then resolves the SIDE BET wager(s) placed by players according to the indicia displayed by random number generator 45 on display 47 and a payout table 48 preferably imprinted on the felt surface 40 of the table layout 10. Alternatively, the dealer can wait until the ANTE wagers for the Pai Gow game are resolved in order to resolve the SIDE BET wagers. Example alternative payout tables are shown in FIGS. 2, 4, and 7, which illustrate odds paid on a player's winning SIDE BET wager. In addition to payouts for any winning wager on matching indicia such as three of a kind, the payout table, and associated indicia imprinted on the felt surface 40 of the table layout 10, may include payouts for sequential indicia such as one-two-three; two-three-four; three-four-five; four-five-six; or any 3 randomly selected sequential combination of indicia. As another alternative, wagers and associated payouts may be provided for any sum of indicia greater or less than a predetermined number, such as less than or equal to 9 or more than or equal to 12. Likewise, wagers and payouts may be provided if all of the dice are either of even value or of odd value. The amount, minimum amount, and maximum amount of the SIDE BET wagers can be determined according to house rules. While numeric indicia representing the face of dice is preferred, other indicia may also be employed, for example representing card suits, or card values, or other symbols or designations.

In addition to determining the result of the SIDE BET wagers, the result of the random number generator, such as electronic device 45 or the roll of three physical dice, is also used in a known manner to distribute the hands around the table. The dice are totaled and the dealer counts counter-clockwise, or clockwise in some variants, from a “chung” (or marker), which indicates where the deal begins and rotates around the table, passing from player to player at each hand. The dealer is typically counted as position no. 1, 8 or 15 where there are six player positions plus one dealer position.

In an electronic version of the game, the SIDE BET wager may be accomplished by touching regions of a touch sensitive type of screen, or by pushing appropriate buttons on the electronic gaming device. In personal computer variants of the game, a player may place wagers by pointing and clicking with a mouse or a touch pad.

After each of the players has placed the ANTE wager and decided whether to place a SIDE BET wager, in the card version of the game, the dealer deals seven 7-card hands and places them face-down adjacent to the chip tray. Cards are preferably dealt from a shuffled, standard 52-card deck of conventional playing cards, plus a Joker. The use of a standard 52+ Joker card deck allows seven card hands to be dealt to each of six players and to one dealer. In connection with an electronic version of the game, the dealing involves displaying electronic representations of seven cards on a video screen, actuated, for example, by a player pressing a DEAL button on a video gaming device.

A random number generator is then actuated to determine the order of placing the card hands around the table. In some casinos, the random number generator consists of a set of three dice, where the sum of the dice determines the position to receive the first hand. In other casinos, the random number generator consists of a digital electronic device built into the table and operative to display a number in the range of 1 through 7, which determines the position to receive the first hand. In accordance with one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the random number generator is operative to display three randomly selected indicia selected from three identical sets of indicia, preferably the whole numbers 1 through 6. The dealer then places the remainder of the player and dealer hands in the player and dealer position following a predetermined rotation, either clockwise or counter-clockwise from the first hand position. Indicia may be provided on the felt surface 40 of the table layout 10 to designate positions for placement of the hands, such as indicia 52, 62, 72, 82, 92, and 102 shown in FIG. 6.

Players are then afforded an opportunity to view their seven cards, and to divide the seven cards into two separate and distinct hands: a so-called High Hand consisting of two cards, and a so-called Low Hand consisting of five cards, in accordance with the known rules of Pai Gow poker and known variants thereof. In connection with an electronic version of the game, card designation may be accomplished by touching regions of a touch sensitive type of screen, or by pushing appropriate buttons on the electronic gaming device, or alternatively, a microprocessor may be programmed to arrange the cards into the High Hand and the Low Hand automatically.

In connection with the electronic version of the game, such designation may be performed by a microprocessor operating under control of software or firmware and operative to reveal electronic card representations from a face down to a face up orientation, and to move such card representations to designated regions on a video screen for viewing by a game player.

After the players split their 7-card hands into a HIGH HAND and a LOW HAND, the players' hands are compared to the dealer's hands, and the ANTE wagers resolved according to the conventional rules of Pai Gow poker or the known variants thereof.

A tile version of Pai Gow is based on an ancient Chinese game and is played conventionally with thirty-two so-called “tiles”, which are very similar to dominoes. One face of each tile is bifurcated into two longitudinal ends, which each end bearing anywhere from one to six dots or so-called “pips”. Prior to the deal of the tiles to the players, the tiles are “washed” and randomized on the table and then are stacked into eight stacks of four tiles each, with the tile surface bearing the pips positioned face down. The assembly of the eight stacks in a row is known as the “woodpile”. In certain versions of the tile game, various ritualistic “shuffles” are made by rearranging the tiles in the woodpile, which results in a new woodpile. Sometimes the house rules provide that the dealer move the right-most stack of tiles slightly forward, toward the players to indicate that such stack will be the first set of four tiles that will be delivered or dealt. Players then place their ANTE bets, and in accordance with the practice of the present invention may optionally place, or be mandatorily required to place, a SIDE BET wager. Coventionally, there are seven players plus the dealer, which corresponds to eight stacks of four tiles each.

After the bets are placed, three six-sided dice are rolled. Each side of each die bears a spot pattern, with each face of each die bearing a number spots corresponding to the numbers one through six. Traditionally, the “one” and “four” spot patterns are red on each die, just as the “one” and “four” pip patterns are red on the tiles. Also, the “one” spot on each die is relatively large.

Conventionally, the dice are shaken in a cup closed with a lid. The cup is then placed upside down on the table, with the outside surface of the lid adjacent to the table, and then the dealer lifts the cup away from the lid, thereby exposing the three dice resting on the inside surface of the lid. Often the cup is slammed onto the table, sometimes accompanied by shouting of the dealer and players.

As previously mentioned, the total value of the pips on the face-up surface of each die can range from between three through eighteen. The dealer position is associated with the number 1, and the numbers 2 through 8 represent the seven positions at which players may sit. Continuing in the rotation, the dealer is also associated with the number 9, and the players are associated with numbers 10 through 16, and the dealer is associated with the number 17, and the player to the dealer's right is associated with the number 18. Thus, it will be appreciated that the dealer position is associated with the numbers 1, 9, 17, and the player to the dealer's right is associated with the numbers 2, 10, and 18, whereas the other players are each associated with two numbers. However, since the numbers 1 and 2 cannot be achieved by the total numbers on the three dice, effectively the dealer and the player to the dealer's right are associated with only two numbers, and thus the dealer and each of the players is practically associated with only two total values of the three dice, which means that the dealer and the players each have an equal chance of the total value of the face-up surfaces of the three dice being associated with their position.

The first stack of four tiles is given to the person in the position corresponding to the total number of spots on the face-up sides of the three dice. So, for example, if the total number of spots on the face-up sides of the three dice is 9 then the dealer receives the first stack of tiles, the next stack goes to the player at the dealer's right, and so forth around the table. All eight of the stacks of four tiles are dealt, even if there are not players sitting or wagering at each position. After every wagering player and the dealer has received a stack of tiles, the dealer simply collects the tiles that were dealt to empty positions and places them away from the playing area of the table.

In the context of the present invention, the dealing of either a group of cards or a group or stack of tiles is considered to be the dealing of a “hand”.

In one conventional version of a Pai Gow tile game, four dice, instead of three dice, are used, with three dice being of the same color, and with the fourth die being of a color different from the color of the other three dice. The three dice of one color are used to determine which dealer or player position receives the first stack of tiles, and the fourth die is used to determine which of six different tile cuts will be used when the house acts as dealer and banker. It is within the scope and purview of the instant invention that a payout table associated with a SIDE BET wager in such a game may include awards for matching indicia on all four of the dice, the three dice of the same color, or any three dice. Similarly, the payout table may include payouts for sequential indicia on all four dice, on the three dice of the same color, or on any three dice. Likewise, an award may be provided if all of the four dice are of either even value or odd value, or if only three dice of the same color are of either even value or odd value, or if any three dice are of either even value or odd value. Also, awards can be made for any sum of indicia greater or less than a predetermined number, based on a sum of indicia for all four dice, the three dice of the same color, or any three dice.

Once players and the dealer receive a stack of tiles, they are permitted to view and expose their tiles and must make two separate hands of two tiles each, with the hand of the lower value called the “front hand” and the hand with the higher value called the “rear hand”. With a few exceptions, generally the values of the front hand and the back hand are each determined simply by adding the total number of pips on the two tiles forming such hand, dropping the tens place. So, for example, a tile with one pip on one end and three pips on the other (for a total of four pips) combined with a tile having two pips on one end and three pips on the other (for a total of five pips) will score nine (since four plus five equals nine). Likewise, a so-called two-three tile with a so-called four-six tile will score five and not fifteen, because the tens place is dropped. Each player's front hand is compared with the dealer's front hand, and each player's rear hand is compared with the dealer's rear hand. When the player's front hand and rear hand are both of a higher value than the dealer's front hand and rear hand, respectively, then the player wins, and is paid at even money. If only one of the player's hands is of higher value than the corresponding dealer's hand then the result is a stand-off, and the player's wager is returned to the player. Likewise, if the player's front hand and rear hand are both of lower value than the dealer's front hand and rear hand, respectively, then the dealer wins the player's wager. If the player's front hand is at the same value as the dealer's front hand, then there is a tie, but the dealer's hand is considered to be higher. Likewise, if the player's rear hand and the dealer's rear hand are of equal value, the dealer wins such a tie.

After all wagers, including any SIDE BET wagers, are settled, the round is finished. The tiles are all collected, placed with the pips face down, washed/randomized, and stacked and a new round is commenced.

It should be appreciated at the foregoing description of a Pai Gow tile game is exemplary only, and that there are variations on the procedures and rules implemented in Pai Gow tile games.

It is to be understood, however, that even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing description, together with details of the structure and function of the invention, the disclosure is illustrative only, and changes may be made in detail, especially in matters of shape, size and arrangement of parts within the principles of the invention to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.