Title:
Method of providing simultaneous coordinated games of video bingo and draw poker
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Coordinated simultaneous games of Draw Poker and Bingo are provided. The indicia in the bingo selection pool and on the bingo cards can be barcodes. The bingo card contains 52 spaces formed by 13 columns and 4 rows. Each space corresponds to a specific poker card, and contains one of the indicia in the selection pool. When indicia are randomly selected from the pool, the five poker cards that correspond to the bingo card spaces containing the first five indicia to become matched are displayed on touch-screen monitors. By touching a poker card image, a player can hold both the poker card and its corresponding bingo indicia for further play. The prize-paying patterns formed by matched indicia on the bingo card correspond to prize-paying poker hands.



Inventors:
Frank, Ann M. (Sunny Isles Beach, FL, US)
Frank, Alan (Sunny Isles Beach, FL, US)
Kamer, Edward (Harmony, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/286747
Publication Date:
05/31/2007
Filing Date:
11/25/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BLAISE, MALINA D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ann M. Frank (Unit WS4C 16485 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, FL, 33160, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A method of providing games similar to bingo, said games being playable substantially simultaneously with games of draw poker, and said games being playable using playing stations containing displaying means, said method comprising the steps of: a. Displaying images of bingo cards, each bingo card image containing spaces that are capable of containing indicia images; b. Establishing a plurality of pools of selectable indicia images that are not readily distinguishable from each other by the human eye; c. Establishing images of decks of poker cards, each poker card image corresponding to a separate space on each bingo card image; d. Displaying said indicia images in the spaces on said bingo card images; e. Randomly selecting an initial set of indicia from one of said pools for use in a common bingo game, the quantity of said initial set being less than enough to cause the game-ending bingo pattern to form on any bingo card in play in said common bingo game, and said quantity being great enough that a pre-established minimum quantity of the indicia on all bingo cards in said common bingo game become matched by some of said randomly selected indicia; f. Displaying poker card images on each playing station in a common bingo game, said poker card images corresponding to the spaces on said bingo card images that contain indicia that become matched;

2. The method of claim 1, wherein a plurality of the displayed indicia are barcode indicia.

3. The method of claim 1 including the additional step of enabling players to preserve a plurality of the indicia on the bingo card images for further use by performing overt acts relating to the poker card images.

4. The method of claim 1 including the additional step of allowing players a limited time within which to perform overt acts in order to continue playing the common bingo game.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein a plurality of the displayed indicia are barcode indicia, and including the additional step of enabling players to preserve a plurality of the indicia in the spaces on the bingo card images for further use by performing overt acts relating to the poker card images.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein a plurality of the displayed indicia are barcode indicia, and including the additional step of allowing players a limited time within which to perform overt acts in order to continue playing the common bingo game.

7. The method of claim 1 including the additional step of enabling players to preserve a plurality of the indicia on the bingo card images for further use by performing overt acts relating to the poker card images, and including the additional step of allowing players a limited time within which to perform overt acts in order to continue playing the common bingo game.

8. The method of claim 1 wherein a plurality of the displayed indicia are barcode indicia, and including the step of enabling players to preserve a plurality of the indicia on the bingo card images for further use by performing overt acts relating to the poker card images, and including the additional step of allowing players a limited time within which to perform overt acts in order to continue playing the common bingo game.

9. A method of providing coordinated games of draw poker and games similar to bingo, said games being playable substantially simultaneously, of: a. Establishing a plurality of pools of different indicia that are not readily distinguishable from each other by the human eye; b. Displaying images of bingo cards containing spaces; c. Establishing images of poker cards, each poker card corresponding to a separate space on each bingo card; d. Displaying some of said indicia in the spaces on said bingo cards; e. Randomly selecting an initial set of indicia from one of said pools, the quantity of said initial set being less than enough to cause the game-ending bingo pattern to form on any bingo card in said common bingo game; f. After said initial set of indicia are selected in a common game, if a pre-established minimum quantity of the indicia on all of the bingo cards in play in said common bingo game have not become matched, ignoring said first set of selected indicia, and randomly selecting another initial set of indicia;

10. The method of claim 9, wherein a plurality of the displayed indicia are barcode indicia.

11. The method of claim 9 including the additional step of enabling players to preserve a plurality of the indicia on the bingo card images for further use by performing overt acts relating to the poker card images.

12. The method of claim 9 including the additional step of allowing players a limited time within which to perform overt acts in order to continue playing the common bingo game.

13. The method of claim 9 wherein a plurality of the displayed indicia are barcode indicia, and including the additional step of enabling players to preserve a plurality of indicia in the spaces on the bingo card images for further use by performing overt acts relating to the poker card images.

14. The method of claim 9 wherein a plurality of the displayed indicia are barcode indicia, and including the additional step of allowing players a limited time within which to perform overt acts in order to continue playing the common bingo game.

15. The method of claim 9 including the step of enabling players to preserve a plurality of the indicia on the bingo card images for further use by performing overt acts relating to the poker card images, and the additional step of allowing players a limited time within which to perform overt acts in order to continue playing the common bingo game.

16. The method of claim 9 wherein a plurality of the displayed indicia are barcode indicia, and including the additional step of enabling players to preserve a plurality of the indicia on the bingo card images for further use by performing overt acts relating to the poker card images, and including the additional step of allowing players a limited time within which to perform overt acts in order to continue playing the common bingo game.

17. A method of providing coordinated games of draw poker and games similar to bingo, said games being playable substantially simultaneously, said method comprising the steps of: a. Establishing a plurality of pools of different indicia that are not readily distinguishable from each other by the human eye; b. Displaying images of bingo cards containing spaces; c. Establishing images of poker cards, each poker card corresponding to a separate space on each bingo card; d. Displaying some of said indicia in the spaces on said bingo cards; e. Randomly selecting an initial set of indicia from one of said pools, the quantity of said initial set being less than enough to cause the game-ending bingo pattern to form on any bingo card in said common bingo game; f. After said initial set of indicia are randomly selected in a common game, if a pre-established minimum quantity of the indicia on a plurality of the bingo cards in play in said common bingo game have not become matched, enabling the players of said plurality of bingo cards to increase the quantity of matched indicia on their bingo cards by, using subsequently selected indicia.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein a plurality of the displayed indicia are barcode indicia.

19. The method of claim 17 including the additional step of enabling players to preserve a plurality of the indicia on the bingo card images for further use by performing overt acts relating to the poker card images.

20. The method of claim 17 wherein a plurality of the displayed indicia are barcode indicia, and including the additional step of enabling players to preserve a plurality of indicia in the spaces on the bingo card images for further use by performing overt acts relating to the poker card images.

Description:

TITLE OF THE INVENTION

Method of providing simultaneous coordinated games of Video Bingo and Draw Poker.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In order to better understand the present invention, a basic description of each game follows.

Video Draw Poker

The game of draw poker is played with a deck of 52 unique cards. The cards are divided into four groups called “suits”, with 13 cards in each “suit.” The four suits are listed below, with the symbol that corresponds to each suit inserted beside their familiar names:

“HEARTS” ♥

“SPADES” custom character

“DIAMONDS” ♦

“CLUBS” custom character

In each suit, the cards have 13 different rankings. In descending order they are: “A”, “K”, “Q”, “J”,“10”, “9”, “8”, “7”, “6”, “5”, “4”, “3”, “2”. Various combinations of poker cards have differing rankings that depend upon the probability of forming them. For example, one desired combination of poker cards is a “Straight” which consists of five consecutively numbered cards, regardless of their suit. An “8-9-10-J-Q” of mixed suits is a “Straight.” Another desired combination of poker cards consists of five non-consecutive cards, all of the same suit. This combination is known as a “Flush.” If all of the cards in a “Straight” are of the same suit, the combination is known as a ″Straight Flush, which awards a larger prize than either a “Straight” or a “Flush” because it is less likely to occur.

The game operator deals five randomly generated cards to the player. The player decides which cards to keep and which cards to discard, and then signals the game operator to deal cards to replace the discarded cards, or to keep the original five cards. The objective is to obtain any of the pre-announced prize paying combinations using five cards. The combinations that occur least frequently generate the largest prizes. The combinations that occur most frequently generate the smallest prizes. Video Draw Poker players do not compete with each other.

Video Bingo

Video Bingo is a player competitive game played by at least two players with cards bearing numbers or other designations. Usually, each bingo card contains 25 spaces formed by five rows and five columns. Each space contains a unique number.

Before the start of each game, the game operator announces and describes a game-ending pattern and certain bonus prize-winning patterns of numbers that can be formed on bingo cards. When a bingo game begins, random numbers are drawn from a pool of numbers and are displayed. Players must mark the numbers on their bingo cards that match the randomly drawn numbers in order for the matched numbers on their bingo cards to qualify for forming prize-winning patterns.

Slot machines that enable players to play video bingo are permitted to operate in various jurisdictions, such as Native American tribes, but they must comply with certain regulations. The regulations that are relevant to the present invention are summarized below.

    • 1. Linked slot machines must provide the common game of multi-player bingo, or games similar to bingo, that uses cards bearing numbers or other designations.
    • 2. Alternative displays in addition to bingo cards are permitted.
    • 3. At least two sets of numbers or other designations must be randomly selected from a pool of selectable numbers or other designations, and displayed on all slot machines.
    • 4. After the first set of numbers or other designations are selected, players must mark all the numbers or other designations on their bingo cards that match the randomly selected numbers or other designations that form any pre-designated prize winning pattern, as a condition of winning prizes.

The minor objective of Video Bingo played when subject to said regulations is to own the card that is first to form the game-ending pattern of matched numbers. The prize for the game-ending pattern is usually trivial. The major objective is to own a card upon which one of many bonus prize patterns of marked numbers forms either before or after the game-ending pattern forms. The sizes of the bonus prizes depend upon the probability of the pattern forming within a fixed quantity of randomly drawn numbers.

Draw poker, when played on slot machines, is very popular, but is prohibited by law in most jurisdictions. A need exists for a method of playing draw poker on slot machines that complies with the regulations that apply to playing video bingo on slot machines.

Prior inventors have contributed various creative and noteworthy combinations of draw poker and video bingo, but none have addressed certain problems that arise when multi-player video bingo that is subject to the above regulations is combined with the simultaneous play of draw poker.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention enables players to play coordinated games of video draw poker and video bingo simultaneously, in compliance with the above regulations. Players can use touch screen monitors, computers with mouse-controlled cursors, or joy sticks. The bingo card consists of 52 spaces arranged in 4 rows and 13 columns. Each of the 52 spaces corresponds to a specific poker card image. Each space contains one of the indicia in a selection pool of 156 indicia.

As the first set of indicia are selected randomly from the indicia pool one at a time, the first five indicia on all bingo cards in a common game that become matched by the selected indicia get highlighted and form visible patterns: The five poker cards that correspond to the spaces containing the first five matched indicia are displayed. Touching or clicking on a poker card image causes it to be held for further play, and simultaneously causes the corresponding space on the bingo card to become marked.

The prize-paying patterns formed by matched indicia on the bingo card correspond to prize-paying combinations of poker cards such as: two pair; three of a kind; a straight; a flush; a full house; four of a kind; and a straight flush.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Drawing 1 shows the appearance of a play screen before a game begins. The 52-space bingo playing card occupies the top of the screen, but has not been populated with indicia. The backsides of five poker cards are displayed below the bingo card. The prize table occupies the right side of the play screen. The game control buttons are below the poker cards. The 156-cell grid for displaying randomly selected indicia is displayed at the bottom of the play screen.

Drawing 2 shows the appearance of a play screen after a pool of 156 familiar appearing numbers has been established, and the 52-space bingo playing card has been populated with 52 different numbers. 51 numbers have already been randomly selected from the pool. The first five numbers on the bingo card that became matched by the randomly selected numbers are highlighted. The faces of the five poker cards that correspond to the first five matched numbers are displayed.

Drawing 3 shows the appearance of a play screen after a pool of 156 barcode indicia has been established, and the 52-space bingo playing card has been populated with barcode indicia. Random indicia have not yet been selected from the pool.

Drawing 4 shows the play screen after a pool of 156 indicia has been established, and after the first set of 51 random barcode indicia has been selected from the pool of 156 indicia and displayed in the 156-cell grid. The spaces containing the first five indicia on the bingo playing card that became matched by the randomly selected numbers are shaded. The faces of the five poker cards that correspond to these five spaces have been revealed.

Drawing 5 shows the play screen after the player has touched the four poker cards he/she desires to hold for further use, or has touched the numbers on the bingo card that correspond to these desired poker cards. The player has not touched the “J” of clubs.

Drawing 6 shows the play screen after the player has completed the holding and/or discarding functions. The barcode indicia in the space corresponding to the “J” of clubs was the 1st indicia to become matched. The barcode indicia in the space corresponding to the “10” of hearts was the 6th indicia to become matched. The “10” of hearts replaced the “J” of clubs. The player won the maximum prize for a royal flush. The corresponding pattern on the bingo card consists of the five adjacent left-most spaces in the same row.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

U.S. Pat. No. 6,656,044 (Lewis) teaches a primary game of bingo and a secondary game of draw poker. After resolution of the bingo component of the game, a player then plays the poker component of the game. Lewis also teaches the concordance of a poker card with a space on a bingo card, and the opportunity for players to replace poker cards that are not desired, but limits his method to poker games that are played separate from and after “. . . resolution of the bingo component of the game . . . ” Lewis does not suggest how to enable players to play both games simultaneously, whereby the single overt act of touching a poker card, to retain it for further use, causes the corresponding space on the bingo card to be marked.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,079,711 (Wei) describes a combination bingo and poker game that allows the winner of the bingo game to win a second time by forming a poker card combination based upon the winning bingo pattern. Wei does suggest how to provide both games simultaneously.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,560,171 (Anthony) teaches a 52-space bingo card consisting of 4 rows and 13 columns. Each space corresponds to a particular card in a deck of poker cards, and each space containing different indicia. Anthony does not suggest multiple results caused by the single overt act of marking a bingo card number or holding a poker card for further play. Anthony does not suggest any way to overcome the problems that arise when information from one slot machine is used on another. Anthony does not suggest how to provide both games simultaneously.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,393,057 (Marnell) describes separate primary and secondary devices for bingo and poker. The results of one game are used for the other game. Marnell does not suggest how to combine the separate games on a single slot machine for simultaneous play. Marnell coordinates a winning poker hand, not a single poker card, with a space on the bingo card. Marnell does not suggest that touching the corresponding poker card can mark a space on a bingo card, because there is no correspondence between bingo card spaces and poker cards.

Creators of the prior art have not recognized the problems inherent in providing simultaneous games of video draw poker and video bingo. To become aware of one of the problems, assume that coordinated simultaneous games of video draw poker and multi-player video bingo are being played according to the following format:

    • 1. The bingo cards contain 52 spaces.
    • 2. Each bingo card corresponds to a separate deck of 52 poker cards.
    • 3. Each space on a bingo card corresponds to a specific poker card.
    • 4. At the start of a common bingo game, a first set of indicia is selected randomly one at a time from a pool until all bingo cards in play contain at least five matched indicia.
    • 5. For all playing stations, only the five poker cards that correspond to.the first five matched indicia are displayed.

In such a format of play, each playing station will display a different set of matched indicia after the first set of random indicia are selected. Clever players will be able to observe the indicia displayed on other nearby playing stations. They will acquire advance knowledge of the sequentially next indicia that might become matched on their own bingo cards. This information will help them in making decisions on what poker cards to discard and retain. The game operator will be required to reduce the prize structure available for other players, which would reduce the game's popularity.

Accordingly, one objective of the present invention is to provide a method of playing bingo and draw poker simultaneously on slot machines, which method complies with the laws and regulations applicable to playing bingo, and which method prevents the sharing of information between slot machines.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide coordinated games of draw poker and bingo that can be played simultaneously, wherein all prize-paying combinations of five poker cards are represented by equivalent-patterns on a bingo card.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide a method of playing coordinated games of draw poker and bingo that can be played simultaneously, wherein the overt act of holding a poker card for further use accomplishes the simultaneous result of marking the number in the space of a bingo card that corresponds to the poker card being held.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the game of five-card draw poker is combined with the simultaneous, corresponding play of the game of bingo using electronic playing stations that contain touch-screen monitors. As shown in all drawings, each bingo card contains 52 spaces. Each column of spaces on the bingo card is headed by one of the following 13 characters: A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2. Each of these 13 characters corresponds to a separate ranking of cards in a deck of poker cards. Each row of spaces on the bingo card is headed by one of the following four symbols: ♥custom charactercustom character Each of these four symbols corresponds to a separate grouping or suit of poker cards known as Hearts, Spades, Diamonds and Clubs, respectively. Each of the 52 spaces on the bingo card corresponds to a specific card in a deck of poker cards. Each bingo card corresponds to a different deck of 52 poker cards. Players do not share the same deck of poker cards.

After the minimum quorum of players have paid for the bingo cards they desire to play, and have touched their “GO” buttons, a common game of bingo and a game of draw poker both begin, simultaneously. Immediately, an electronic selection pool of 156 different barcode indicia is created. Then, 52 different barcode indicia, all of which are in the selection pool, are distributed into the 52 spaces on each bingo card in the common game, as shown in Drawing 3. No bingo cards contain the same barcode indicia.

Then a first set of 51 barcode indicia are randomly and rapidly selected from the selection pool, one at a time, and displayed in the 156-cell grid as shown in the lower portion of Drawing 4. Alternatively, the first set barcode indicia are randomly selected one at a time until one of the bingo cards in play has 51 of its 52 barcode indicia matched by the randomly selected barcode indicia.

As the barcode indicia are being randomly and rapidly selected, one at a time, the first five barcode indicia on each bingo card in play in a common bingo game that become matched by the randomly selected barcode indicia get highlighted, as shown in Drawing 4. On each playing station, the five poker cards that correspond to the spaces containing the first five matched barcode indicia get displayed, as shown in Drawing 4. The random barcode indicia selecting process then pauses for 20 seconds to allow players time to discard and retain selected poker cards, and/or mark the matched barcode indicia on their bingo cards.

During the pause, bingo players can mark any of the first five matched barcode indicia on their bingo cards by touching them. The act of touching the spaces containing the first five matched barcode indicia simultaneously causes the corresponding poker cards to be held for further play. Reciprocally, the act of touching a poker card causes it to be held for further play, and simultaneously causes the barcode indicia in the corresponding space on the bingo card to be marked. The barcode indicia in non-marked spaces that correspond to discarded poker cards are disqualified from being used to form bonus prize patterns, but do qualify for the coverall game-ending pattern.

The player that is playing the bingo card that is first to have all 52 of its barcode indicia matched, thereby forming a coverall pattern, wins a prize in the amount of 20% of the amount wagered. All players playing bingo cards that contain pre-designated prize-paying patterns that were formed either before or after the coverall pattern was formed win the bonus prizes displayed on the right side of the play screen. In all situations, whenever the matched and marked barcode indicia on a bingo card form a prize-paying pattern, the five corresponding poker cards will constitute a corresponding prize-paying poker hand.

If, on any bingo card in a common game, less than five barcode indicia become matched by the randomly selected barcode indicia of the first set, the random barcode indicia selection process is quickly aborted and is repeated immediately. Players are not made aware that the selection process was repeated. This feature guarantees all players the opportunity to participate in all games.

An alternative method of guaranteeing that all players have the opportunity to participate in all games, without restarting any games, is to enable the players of bingo cards that have less than five matched barcode indicia after the first set of barcode indicia are randomly selected to continue playing by touching their “GO” buttons as usual. When all other players in the common bingo game have also touched their “GO” buttons, all the remaining barcode indicia in the pool will be randomly selected one at a time.

The bingo cards on which less than five barcode indicia became matched when the first set of barcode indicia were generated will then have all of their barcode indicia matched. However, only the first five that became matched during selection of the first and second set of barcode indicia will be highlighted. The poker cards that correspond to the highlighted spaces will be displayed. The players of these bingo cards will have 20 seconds to hold or replace their poker cards, and/or. mark their bingo cards. When they touch their “GO” buttons for the third time in the game, the discarded poker cards will be replaced by the poker cards that correspond to the spaces that contain the sequentially next selected barcode indicia.

The act of replacing a poker card causes the barcode indicia in the corresponding space to be replaced, according to the following rules.

The 1st indicia to become matched is replaced by the 6th indicia to become matched. The 2nd indicia to become matched. is replaced by the 7th indicia to become matched. The 3rd indicia to become matched is replaced by the 8th indicia to become matched. The 4th indicia to become matched is replaced by the 9th indicia to become matched. The 5th indicia to become matched is replaced by the 10th indicia to.become matched.

For example, Drawing 4 shows five poker cards, the “A”-“K”-“Q”-“J” of hearts ♥ and the “J” of clubs custom character. If the indicia corresponding to the “J” of clubs custom character was the first to become matched, and if the player refrained from touching the “J” of clubs custom character, and touched only the “A”-“K”-“Q”-“J” of hearts ♥, as shown in Drawing 5, and if the 6th indicia that became matched was the indicia that corresponded to the “10” of hearts ♥, the player would win the maximum bonus prize as shown in Drawing 6.

All bonus prize-winning patterns on the bingo card correspond to prize-winning combinations of poker cards such as; two pair, three-of-a-kind, straights, flushes, full houses, four-of-a-kind and straight flushes.

    • 1. The smallest bonus prize is awarded for patterns formed on a bingo card consisting of any two spaces in each of two columns. This pattern corresponds to two sets of two cards of the same rank in any suit, commonly known in poker as two pair.
    • 2. The next highest bonus prize is awarded for patterns formed on a bingo card consisting of any three spaces in the same column. This pattern corresponds to three cards of the same rank in any suit, commonly known as three-of-a-kind.
    • 3. The next highest bonus prize is awarded for patterns formed on a bingo card consisting of one space in each of five adjacent columns. This pattern corresponds to five cards of contiguous rank in any suit, commonly known in poker as a straight.
    • 4. The next highest bonus prize is awarded for patterns formed on a bingo card consisting of any five spaces in the same row. This pattern corresponds to five cards of any rank in the same suit, commonly known in poker as a flush.
    • 5. The next highest bonus prize is awarded for patterns formed on a bingo card consisting of five spaces, three of which are in the same column, and two of which are in another column. This pattern corresponds to three cards of the same rank and two cards of the same rank, commonly known in poker as a full house.
    • 6. The next highest bonus prize is awarded for patterns formed on a bingo card consisting of all four spaces in the same column. This pattern corresponds to four cards of the same rank, commonly known in poker as four-of-a-kind.
    • 7. The next highest bonus prize is awarded for patterns formed on a bingo card consisting of five adjacent spaces in the same row. This pattern corresponds to five cards of the same suit, all of which are contiguous in rank, commonly known in poker as a straight flush.
    • 8. The highest possible bonus prize is awarded for patterns formed on a bingo card consisting of five adjacent spaces that are in the same row and are also in the columns headed by A-K-Q-J and 10. This pattern corresponds to five cards of the same suit, all of which are contiguous in rank, and constitute the highest-ranking combination of poker cards. It is commonly known in poker as a royal flush.

The foregoing description is not intended to cover all possible embodiments of the present invention. Various other configurations and embodiments of the present invention are contemplated.