Title:
Card game and method for playing a card game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system and method for playing a card game are disclosed. The card game may be played with a real deck of cards and an associated playing surface or with a virtual deck of cards as part of a virtual card game on a processor-based platform. The method comprises betting, dealing at least thirteen playing cards, placing a hold on any cards that make up one or more predetermined winning combinations or portions of the one or more predetermined winning combinations, removing any non-held cards, replacing each non-held card with one playing card dealt face up such that thirteen cards remain face up, segregating the cards by a card's suit and sequentially ordering the cards within their suit, comparing the thirteen cards to the predetermined winning combinations to determine if a winning card combination exists, wherein the predetermined winning combinations are formed by three or more sequential cards within a single suit, and dealing any winning card combination according to the amount bet and odds associated with any winning combination.



Inventors:
Groves, Reginald (Cleveland, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/244588
Publication Date:
04/12/2007
Filing Date:
10/06/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
AHMED, MASUD
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAHN LOESER & PARKS, LLP (One GOJO Plaza, Suite 300, AKRON, OH, 44311-1076, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a card game, the method comprising: dealing at least thirteen playing cards face up; placing a hold on any cards that make up a predetermined winning combination or portions of the predetermined winning combinations; removing any non-held cards; replacing each non-held card with one playing card dealt face up such that thirteen cards remain face up; comparing the at least thirteen cards to the predetermined winning combinations to determine if a winning card combination exists, wherein the predetermined winning combinations are formed by three or more related cards; and indicating any winning card combination. to the amount bet and odds associated with any winning combination.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of, placing at least one wager and paying on any winning wager according to the amount of the wager for a current round of play.

3. The method of claim 2, further comprising the steps of, setting odds relating to the predetermined winning combinations and paying on winning wager based upon the amount bet and odds associated with any winning combination.

4. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of, segregating the cards by a card's suit and sequentially ordering the cards within their suit.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein said deck of playing cards comprises a conventional deck of fifty-two playing cards.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein said predetermined winning combinations are formed of three or more sequential cards within a single suit.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the cards that make up a predetermined wining combination are automatically held before replacement of non-held cards.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the cards that make up a potion of a predetermined wining combination are automatically held before replacement of non-held cards.

9. The method of claim 1 wherein said deck of playing cards is virtual and said method is implemented as an electronic card game.

10. The method of claim 1 wherein said deck of playing cards is virtual and said method is implemented as a computer-based card game.

11. The method of claim 1 wherein said card game is played virtually on a processor-based apparatus, and wherein said processor-based apparatus comprises a personal computer which is programmed, via software, to implement at least said method.

12. The method of claim 1 wherein said card game is played virtually on a processor-based apparatus, and wherein said processor-based apparatus comprises a hand-held electronic device which is programmed, via software, to implement at least said method.

13. The method of claim 1 wherein said card game is played virtually on a processor-based apparatus, and wherein said processor-based apparatus comprises a standalone video-kiosk type of electronic system which is programmed, via software, to implement at least said method.

14. The method of claim 1 wherein said card game is played virtually by accessing a software implementation of said card game from a server, via the Internet, using a computer.

15. The method of claim 1 further comprising crediting or debiting an account for each placed wager.

16. The method of claim 1 further comprising notifying a player of said card game when said player wins and/or loses a wager.

17. The method of claim 1 wherein said game is implemented on an instant lottery ticket, wherein representations of the playing cards are initially covered and selectively revealed by the user.

18. A processor-based system for implementing a virtual card game, the processor-based system comprising: at least one processor to execute playing of the virtual card game, and wherein the playing of the virtual card game comprises the steps of dealing at least thirteen playing cards face up, placing a hold on any cards that make up a predetermined winning combination or portions of the predetermined winning combinations, removing any non-held cards, replacing each non-held card with one playing card dealt face up such that thirteen cards remain face up, comparing the thirteen cards to the predetermined winning combinations to determine if a winning card combination exists, and indicating any predetermined winning combinations; a program memory interfacing to the at least one processor to store software associated with the virtual card game; a user interface connecting to the at least one processor to allow a player of the virtual card game to select various functional inputs of the virtual card game; an image memory interfacing to the at least one processor to store image data of the virtual card game to be displayed; a display controller interfacing to the image memory to extract image data from the image memory in a controlled manner and to convert the image data to video data; and a display interfacing to the display controller to accept the video data from the display controller such that the video data is presented to the player on the display.

19. The system of claim 18, further comprising providing the user interface with the ability for the player to place a wager, and paying on any winning wager according to the amount of the wager for a current round of play.

20. The system of claim 18, wherein predetermined winning combinations are formed by three or more sequential cards within a single suit.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a card game apparatus and method of playing a card game and, more particularly, to an apparatus and game method wherein thirteen cards are dealt face up and compared to predetermined winning combinations. The winning combinations or portions of winning combinations are selectively held by the player, while the non-held cards are selectively replaced with new cards in a final round. The cards are then compared to the predetermined winning combinations to determine a win or loss. When played as a wagering game, paying the winnings will be based on an initial wager amount and the odds of the winning combination.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Oftentimes, to non-initiated players, casino games, such as poker, blackjack or other games, can be intimidating. Therefore, players unfamiliar with these and other casino games may hesitate to play. Based on this other games have developed, such as implemented on a video kiosk or even in a lottery game format, which are easier games to play, but still provide the excitement of a casino-style game. Consequently, there is a continuing desire for a casino-style game that provides easily understood wagering principles while, at the same time, providing the excitement and skilled interaction associated with other casino games. Also, providing a casino-style game in a format, or using a media, that is likely already familiar to a player is desirable.

Further limitations and disadvantages of conventional, traditional, and proposed approaches will become apparent to one of skill in the art, through comparison of such systems and methods with the present invention as set forth in the remainder of the present application with reference to the drawings.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An embodiment of the present invention provides a method of playing a card game. The method comprises the steps of: 1) dealing thirteen playing cards face up; 2) placing a hold on any cards that make up a predetermined winning combination or portions of the predetermined winning combinations; 3) removing any non-held cards; 4) replacing each non-held card with one playing card dealt face up such that thirteen cards remain face up; 5) segregating the cards by a card's suit and sequentially ordering the cards within their suit; 6) comparing the thirteen cards to the predetermined winning combinations to determine if a winning card combination exists, wherein the predetermined winning combinations are formed by three or more sequential cards within a single suit or the like; and 8) indicating any winning card combination. For use in a wagering game, the method may comprise the further steps of betting a monetary or psuedo-monetary amount or number of credits, and paying according to the amount bet and odds associated with any winning combination.

The invention also relates to a card game which may be implemented in a tangible or electronic form. An embodiment of the present invention provides a processor-based system for implementing a virtual card game. The processor-based system comprises at least one processor to execute playing of the virtual card game, and wherein the playing of the virtual card game comprises the steps of providing at least one virtual deck of playing cards, and electronically shuffling the at least one virtual deck of playing cards such that the playing cards are put into a substantially unknown random order. In a wagering game, the player may electronically place at least one wager. Representations of thirteen cards may be electronically dealt, such that the playing cards are positioned in an arrangement and revealing a face of each of the playing cards. Based upon the revealed cards, the player then may electronically place a hold on any cards that make up a predetermined winning combination or portions of the predetermined winning combinations. Thereafter, the game electronically removes any non-held cards, and replaces each non-held card with one playing card dealt face up such that thirteen cards remain face up the dealt cards may then be segregated by a card's suit and sequentially ordered within their suit. Thereafter, the dealt cards are electronically compared to predetermined winning combinations to determine if a winning card combination exists, wherein the predetermined winning combinations are formed by three or more sequential cards within a single suit or the like. Based on the comparison, the game will indicate any winning card combination. In a wagering game, the player may place one or more bets based on a monetary or psuedo-monetary amount or credits, and the game will electronically pays any winning wager according to the monetary or psuedo-monetary amount bet and odds associated with the winning wager. The system may further comprise a program memory interfacing to the at least one processor to store software associated with the virtual card game and a user interface connecting to the at least one processor to allow a player of the virtual card game to select various functional inputs of the virtual card game. The system may further comprise an image memory interfacing to the at least one processor to store image data of the virtual card game to be displayed. The system may also include a display controller interfacing to the image memory to extract image data from the image memory in a controlled manner and to convert the image data to video data. A display interfacing to the display controller may accept the video data from the display controller such that the video data is presented to the player on the display.

Alternative embodiments may implement the game and method in an instant lottery ticket game format, wherein representations of cards are selectively revealed. Such representations may typically be masked or covered in some way, and subsequently selectively revealed to play the game. In such an embodiment, the wager placed on the game could also be selected by the player, or the odds of winning chosen by a player, as a part of playing the game, or such variables may be set by the game distributor, as desired. The placing of a wager by the player may simply comprise buying the lottery ticket.

These and other advantages and novel features of the present invention, as well as details of an illustrated embodiment thereof, will be more fully understood from the following description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exemplary flowchart of an embodiment of a method of playing a card game, in accordance with various aspects of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates an embodiment of a user interface image of a card game in accordance with the present invention showing an arrangement of dealt cards face down;

FIG. 3 illustrates the image, wherein a bet has been made;

FIG. 4 illustrates the image, wherein the cards have been dealt face up;

FIG. 5 illustrates the image, showing various cards selected and held during the current round of play;

FIG. 6 illustrates the image, showing new cards replacing the non-held cards of FIG. 5 as well as the cards shown in the suited sequential card area;

FIG. 7 illustrates the image of FIG. 1, wherein the cards have been dealt face up;

FIG. 8 illustrates the image, showing new cards replacing the cards of FIG. 7 as well as the cards shown in the suited sequential card area;

FIG. 9 illustrates the image of FIG. 1, wherein the cards have been dealt face up;

FIG. 10 illustrates the image, showing various cards selected and held during the current round of play;

FIG. 11 illustrates the image, showing new cards replacing the cards of FIG. 10 as well as the cards shown in the suited sequential card area; and

FIG. 12 illustrates a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a processor-based system for implementing a virtual card game using the method of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is an exemplary flowchart 100 of an embodiment of a method of playing a card game, in accordance with various aspects of the present invention. In implementing the game as a wagering game, which it is understood, is not necessary as the game may be played for fun or entertainment, the player may initiate play at step 110, wherein at least one wager is placed by betting a monetary or psuedo-monetary amount or credits. In step 120, thirteen playing cards are dealt and the face of each of the dealt playing cards is revealed. In step 130, the revealed playing cards are optionally individually selected and held for the next round of play. In step 140, any of the thirteen positions not held are dealt and the face of each of the dealt playing cards is revealed forming the final round of play and winning combinations of cards are determined. In step 150, any winning wager is paid according to the monetary amount bet and the odds associated with the winning card combination for the current round of play.

As an alternative, in addition to guessing/wagering related to the outcome of the winning combinations based on the thirteen flipped or revealed cards, players may also be allowed to make further bets or guesses relating to the “flipped” cards. For example, the player may guess/bet on the possibility that certain recognized cards appear in that particular round of play/wagering. As examples: In the game of Pinnochle, it is recognized and understood that the QUEEN of SPADES and the JACK of DIAMONDS constitute pinnochle and you count your melt accordingly. In the game of Kasino, it is recognized and understood that the TEN of DIAMONDS and DEUCE of SPADES are known as Big and Little Kasino respectively. Further, such cards as the JACK of SPADES and the JACK of HEARTS, are recognized as one-eyed Jacks, because they have only one eye. Example: The KING of DIAMONDS is the only one-eyed King. These are often wild cards in various card games. Bets/guesses on such cards may therefore give the players an award separate and in addition to whatever thy may have been entitled to from the winning combinations based on the thirteen cards as described above. In such an example for instance, after the cards are displayed, if the QUEEN of SPADES and JACK of DIAMONDS are both in the display, the player wins a supplemental award/credits. If the JACK of SPADES and/or the JACK of HEARTS appear, the player wins a supplemental award/credits, and the like. This type of winning may be based upon a winning wager based on the winning combinations, or separate and apart from such a wager.

Additionally, according to an embodiment, the player may elect subsequent to playing round of the game to risk losing a percentage of any winnings based on the played hand, such as by placing a KICKER bet. For example, in such an embodiment, a KICKER bet may be selected subsequent to a played round to risk 10% of any winnings with the chance to double winnings if the next card revealed in the game creates a winning wager. The KICKER is may be a betting position on a playing surface or a button in an electronic embodiment, such as described hereafter.

Additionally, it is contemplated that the method of play described herein may be adapted to a casino game and game board or via a computerized format (i.e., a processor-based system) including, but not limited to, the Internet and servers, personal computers, and video games (e.g., a handheld device or a video poker system). It is further contemplated that the method of play described herein may be adapted to a mechanical apparatus including, but not limited to, a slot machine-type apparatus.

As used herein, the term “playing cards” shall mean actual playing cards or any other representation of playing cards, whether electronically, printed or otherwise.

shall mean any physical or other representation or step of mixing playing cards in a normal random fashion, whether electronically or otherwise.

As used herein, the term “dealing or dealt” shall mean any physical or other representation or step of disposing the cards into a desired format to be revealed and/or displaying the playing cards or representations, whether electronically or otherwise.

As used herein, the term “wagering or placing at least one wager” shall mean any physical or other representation or step of placing monetary or psuedo-monetary bets in a normal gambling sense, whether electronically or otherwise.

As used herein, the term “paying” shall mean any physical or other representation or step of paying or awarding based upon the monetary or psuedo-monetary bet in a normal gambling sense, whether electronically or otherwise.

shall mean any physical or other representation or step of reordering playing cards in a normal random fashion, whether electronically or otherwise. It should also be understood that the cutting of the deck of cards may be unnecessary as the cards could be suitably randomized by shuffling alone.

Similarly, references to cards or the playing of a game according to the invention may be implemented in any desired format, and the described embodiments are only examples of such formats.

In various card games, particular card combinations are known to have particular significance in scoring and winning a particular hand. One particular combination is known from gin rummy or poker, in which sequential combinations of three or more cards of a single suit are used to form melds for scoring. Other combinations known from poker games include pairs or three or four of a kind, flush combinations and straight combinations as examples. Familiar scoring combinations help breed interest in the game and make it easier for avid card game players to recognize potentially winning cards and winning combinations. Referring now to FIG. 2, an embodiment of the card game 10 of the present invention is shown. The card game may be played manually on a non-virtual playing surface or may be played as an electronic game on a processor-based platform, or as a lottery card or video lottery game, in accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention. In the embodiment shown, the playing surface is represented on a video monitor, and the cards are electronic representations. In a wagering version of the game, thirteen cards 13 are shown face down to start the game. The bottom of the screen shows the credits 20 available, the amount of the current bet 22, and the winnings 24 for a particular hand. A reset button 26 and a deal button 28 are also included to control game play as discussed below. Also at the bottom of the figure, the round number 30 is displayed.

In operation, the shown embodiment of the game 10 is played by first selecting a wager by entering an amount at the current bet 22 location as shown in FIG. 2. The cards 13 are shown face down prior to the bet. Once the wager has been made, the deal button 28 is selected and thirteen cards 13 are dealt from a shuffled deck of cards or are revealed or selected as shown in FIG. 4, from a standard deck of fifty-two playing cards for example. It is also contemplated that the game could utilize more than one deck. The player is now given the opportunity to review and select cards that will be kept or held, such as by touching the card representations on a touch-screen monitor, such that the word “Hold” 32 appears on the card as shown in FIG. 5. A winning combination is a sequential combination of three or more cards of a single suit for example. Other winning combinations may be formed, for example in accordance with a poker-type of game, if the cards are also sequential in a “straight. The player will need to determine if a winning combination has been dealt or if a portion of a winning combination has been dealt and keep the winning or possible winning cards. Portions of a winning combination may include for example, two sequential cards of a single suit or three or more cards of a single suit having one (or more) cards missing from the middle of the sequence forming what is commonly referred to as an inside straight flush. As shown in FIG. 5, the player has placed a Hold 32 on a winning combination of an EIGHT of DIAMONDS, NINE of DIAMONDS, and a TEN of DIAMONDS. The player has also placed a Hold 32 on the remaining DIAMONDS. Once the player identifies the cards to be held, the deal button 28 is selected. The non-held cards are returned to the remaining deck and the non-held positions are replaced by randomly selected cards from the remaining deck and shown face up as shown in FIG. 6. The player input is now finished as noted by the round number 30 which states “Game Over”. The game 10 may automatically display the cards in rank order, segregated by suit, on the screen beneath the thirteen cards 13 at a location referred to as the suited sequential card area 40. The game automatically recognizes any winning combinations and calculates winnings based on the wager and the odds of the winning combination. Any suitable odds may be provided, such as for example, sequential combinations of three cards of the same suit might win at odds of three to one. Up to four winning straight flushes are possible. Increased numbers of cards making up the straight flush have increased odds. Four card combinations win at odds of five to one. Five card combinations win at odds of ten to one. The highest odds may be for a single straight flush using all thirteen cards of a single suit. Any other suitable or desired odds may be provided, or use of other predetermined winning combinations.

Referring back to FIG. 6, the held winning combination of the EIGHT of DIAMONDS, NINE of DIAMONDS, and TEN of DIAMONDS, has been supplemented with the drawn JACK of DIAMONDS to create a four card straight flush. In addition, the second draw has resulted in the SEVEN of SPADES, EIGHT of SPADES, and NINE of SPADES forming a second winning combination of a three card straight flush. The winning card combinations in the suited sequential card area 40 may be shown in a special color, flash, and/or provide an audible noise, or provide other means of recognizing a winning hand. The winnings 24 are automatically computed based on the odds for the winning combinations and are added to the credits 20 or paid to the winner. Betting and paying are optional steps, and the game may simply be played for entertainment.

The game play continues by either changing the bet 22 or leaving the bet 22 at the same amount, and then selecting the deal button 28. The previous game is removed and a new display of thirteen cards is dealt face up in a random manner from the complete shuffled deck(s) as shown in FIG. 7. In this hand 13, there are no winning combinations. A portion of a winning combination exists in the KING of CLUBS and ACE of CLUBS, however, the player decides not to place a Hold 32 on the winning portion. The player selects the deal button 28 and all thirteen cards 13 are returned to the deck and replaced by thirteen randomly selected cards from the complete deck as shown in FIG. 8. The game 10 automatically displays the cards in rank order, segregated by suit, on the screen beneath the thirteen cards 13 at the suited sequential card area 40. No winning combinations have been obtained and no credits are won in this example. the original thirteen cards not selected in this example may be put back in the deck(s) for the subsequent dealing of the next thirteen cards or may be held out of the deck(s) as desired.

It is noted that the player may not recognize a portion or a complete winning combination dealt in the first round. If the player does not place a Hold 32 on the cards, the cards will be automatically removed and replaced in the next round. No credits will be awarded.

In an alternate embodiment, an automatic hold is used to automatically hold winning combinations. The game could also be set to automatically hold portions of winning combinations. The automatic hold could also be further specified to only portion combinations where one of two cards completes the winning combination (i.e. a SEVEN and EIGHT of CLUBS is completed by either a FIVE or NINE of CLUBS); or may include portion combinations where only one card completes the winning combination (i.e. KING of CLUBS and ACE of CLUBS is completed only by the QUEEN of CLUBS).

Again, the game play continues by either changing the bet 22 or leaving the bet 22 at the same amount, and then selecting the deal button 28. The previous game is removed and a new display of thirteen cards is dealt face up in a random manner from the complete deck as shown in FIG. 9. In this hand 13, there is a winning combination in the form of the QUEEN of CLUBS, KING of CLUBS, and ACE of CLUBS. A Hold 32 is placed on each card of the winning combination as shown in FIG. 10. A portion of a winning combination also exists in the FIVE of SPADES and SIX of SPADES. A Hold 32 is placed on each card of the winning portion. The player selects the deal button 28 and the non-held cards are returned to the remaining deck and the non-held positions are replaced by randomly selected cards from the remaining deck and shown face up as shown in FIG. 11. The player input is now finished as noted by the round number 30 which states “Game Over”. The game 10 may automatically display the cards in rank order, segregated by suit, on the screen beneath the thirteen cards 13 at the suited sequential card area 40. The game automatically recognizes any winning combinations and calculates winnings based on the wager and the odds of the winning combination. Referring again to FIG. 11, the held winning combination of the QUEEN of CLUBS, KING of CLUBS, and ACE of CLUBS, has been supplemented with the drawn JACK of CLUBS to create a four card straight flush. No other winning combinations were drawn. The winnings 24 are automatically computed based on the odds for the winning combinations and are added to the credits 20.

Additionally, it is contemplated that the method of play described herein may be adapted to a computerized format (i.e., a processor-based system) including, but not limited to, the Internet and servers, personal computers, and video games (e.g., a handheld device or a video poker system). It is further contemplated that the method of play described herein may be adapted to a mechanical apparatus including, but not limited to, a slot machine-type apparatus.

FIG. 12 illustrates an exemplary schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a processor-based system 300 for implementing a virtual card game 10 of FIG. 2, in accordance with various aspects of the present invention. The system 300 comprises a processor 310, a program memory 320 storing virtual card game software 325, a user interface 330, an image memory 340, a display controller 350, and a display 360.

The processor 310 interfaces to the program memory 300 and executes the virtual card game software 325. The user interface 330 connects to the processor 310 to allow a player of the virtual card game to select various functional inputs of the virtual card game. The image memory 340 interfaces to the processor 310 to store image data to be displayed. The display controller 350 interfaces to the image memory 340 to extract image data from the image memory in a controlled manner and convert the image data to video data. The display 360 interfaces to the display controller 350 to accept video data from the display controller 350 such that the video data is presented to a player on the display 360.

The virtual card game software 325 is the executable program to run the virtual card game. The user interface 330 may comprise, for example, a keyboard, a mouse, a touch-screen (i.e., the user interface 330 is combined with the display 360), or push buttons. The functional inputs controlled through the user interface 330 include, for example, an ability to select a monetary amount per wager, an ability to select at least one betting number and/or betting number range for wagering, and an ability to select that a virtual deck of playing cards be shuffled and/or cut and dealt.

Although not shown, it is contemplated in an embodiment of the present invention, the various wagering options may be implemented on a physical playing surface layout where real playing cards and chips are used to place wagers. Such an embodiment provides a dealer to shuffle, cut, and deal the cards, and one player to place wagers. Such an embodiment constitutes a non-virtual version of the game of FIG. 2.

Although certain embodiments suggest payoff odds for specific wagers, it is contemplated that the odds may be modified to accommodate variables and preferences of individual casinos or houses. For instance, a specific casino may choose to structure the odds to attract players where others may choose to hold back on the odds giving the house an edge over the players.

It is further contemplated in another embodiment of the present invention that a player may use other forms of wagers including, but not limited to, cash and coins while playing the game of the present invention. It is understood that custom cards may be used in lieu of standard conventional playing cards. Accordingly, the odds of each wager may change to correspond to the probability of a specific wager in light of the use of custom cards.

Additionally, it is contemplated that the computerized format (i.e., a processor-based system) of the present invention may be adapted to include, but not limited to, the Internet and servers, personal computers, and video games (e.g., a handheld device or a video poker system). It is further contemplated that the method of play described with respect to FIG. 1 may be adapted to a mechanical apparatus including, but not limited to, a slot machine-type apparatus.

While the invention has been described with reference to certain embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from its scope. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.