Title:
Game assembly and a method for playing a game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for playing a game and a game assembly 10 in which the game of blackjack is played only after a certain bonus round is played. Particularly, the bonus round requires a separate bonus bet and is based upon the value of a poker hand which is formed by the cards that a player is given and one card which is controlled by the dealer. Alternatively, the bonus round is based upon the number of blackjack hands present upon the playing portion 12 for a player or for all of the players during a bonus round.



Inventors:
Mendola, Todd Michael (Saint Clair Shores, MI, US)
Chevalier, Michael Edward (Saint Clair Shores, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/713883
Publication Date:
07/12/2007
Filing Date:
03/05/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAYNO, BENJAMIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John G. Chupa;Law Offices of John Chupa and Associates, P.C. (Suite 50, 28535 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, MI, 48334, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A game assembly comprising a playing portion having a bonus position and two separate card playing portions which are adapted to be playably controlled by a single player, said playing portion further having a third card playing portion which is adapted to be playably controlled by a dealer; and a plurality of playing chips.

2. The game assembly of claim 1 wherein said bonus portion has a substantially oval shape.

3. The game assembly of claim 1 wherein said bonus portion has a substantially “x” shape.

4. The game assembly of claim 1 wherein said bonus portion has a substantially circle shape.

5. The game assembly of claim 1 wherein said bonus portion comprises a dot.

6. The game assembly of claim 1 wherein said playing portion is generally semi-circular.

7. The game assembly of claim 6 wherein said playing portion is adapted to selectively overlay a table.

8. The game assembly of claim 7 wherein each of said card playing portions are substantially similar and are generally rectangular in shape.

9. The game assembly of claim 7 wherein each of said card playing portions are substantially similar and are generally circular in shape.

10. The game assembly of claim 1 wherein said playing portion comprises a web site.

11. A method for playing a game comprising an initial bonus playing round; and a blackjack playing round thereafter.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein said bonus playing round includes a payout based upon the value of a poker hand.

13. The method of claim 11 wherein said bonus playing round includes a payout based upon the number of blackjacks.

14. A method for playing a game comprising the steps of placing a certain amount of money in a certain bonus position; providing four cards to a player, wherein the face portion of each of the four cards are exposed; providing two cards to the dealer, wherein only one of said two cards has a face portion which is exposed; and paying the player a bonus amount only if at least two of the four cards constitute a blackjack.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein said method further comprises the steps of placing a bonus wager before receiving said four cards; and calculating said bonus amount based upon said bonus wager.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein said method further comprises the steps of placing a bonus wager before receiving said four cards; and calculating said bonus amount based upon said bonus wager and by reference to said four cards.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein said method further comprises the steps of allowing said bonus wager to be no less than one dollar and no greater than five dollars.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein said method further comprises the steps of placing each of said four cards in two separate pairs; and allowing said blackjack to be constituted only by two cards in the same separate pair.

19. A method for playing a game comprising the steps of placing a certain amount of money in a certain bonus position; providing four cards to a player, wherein the face portion of each of the four cards are exposed; providing two cards to the dealer, wherein only one of said two cards has a face portion which is exposed; and playing the player a bonus amount only if the value of the poker hand comprising the four cards dealt to the player and the one card which was dealt to the dealer and which has an exposed face portion is greater than a certain value.

20. The method of claim 16 further comprising the steps of forming two pairs of cards with said provided four cards; and using said formed two pairs of cards to play blackjack.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a game assembly and to a method for playing a game and more particularly to game assembly and to a method for playing the game of blackjack which includes a bonus round which is played before the game of blackjack is played.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The game of blackjack is popularly played in many, if not all, the countries of the world, and typically requires the “hand” (e.g., the cards) of each player to be compared and evaluated against those of the dealer. The general object of the game is to obtain a hand having a value of twenty-one or less. Should the hand have a computed value which is greater than twenty-one, the player automatically loses. A player “wins the hand” if the value of the player's hand is less than twenty-one but greater than the value of the dealer's hand. Typically, the player “loses the hand” if the value of his hand is equal to the value of the dealer's hand. Sometimes, a “push” is declared and neither the player nor the dealer have a greater computed hand value. To compute the value of a hand, the value of each card in the hand is added until a final amount is determined. For purposes of such counting, the actual value of each card is utilized. If a card is a two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, or ten, then the actual value of the card is utilized. A value of ten is assigned to each jack, queen, and king. Further, an ace is designated as having a value of one or eleven, depending upon the desire of the holder of the card. For a complete overview of the game of blackjack, the reader is directed to the books Basic Blackjack by Stanford Wong and Blackjack Wisdom by Arnold Synder. These books may be ordered from the website entitled www.conjelco.com and are each fully and completely incorporated herein by reference, word for word and paragraph for paragraph.

While the game of blackjack is well known, it is regarded by many as being boring, especially if played for a relatively long period of time. Further, with the relatively large increase in gaming establishments, each playing the same games, it has been difficult for these gaming establishments to differentiate themselves and increase their market share based upon their suite of offered games. One well regarded way of a gaming establishment to differentiate itself it for it to offer a new and novel game which becomes very popular in a very quick or fast manner.

The present invention overcomes these previously delineated drawbacks in a new and novel fashion and by way of example and without limitation addresses these drawbacks in a new and novel fashion.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is a first non-limiting object of the present invention to provide a game assembly and a method for playing a game which overcomes the various previously delineated drawbacks of prior game assemblies and game methodologies, including but not limited to those which have been previously delineated.

It is a second non-limiting object of the present invention to provide a game assembly and a method for playing a game which overcomes some or all of the previously delineated drawbacks associated with prior game assemblies and game methodologies and which, by way of example and without limitation, increases the popularity of playing a blackjack game.

It is a third non-limiting object of the present invention to provide a game assembly and a method for playing a game which overcomes some or all of the previously delineated drawbacks associated with prior game assemblies and game methodologies and which, by way of example and without limitation, increases the revenue received by a gaming establishment.

According to a first non-limiting aspect of the present invention, a game assembly is provided and includes a playing portion having a bonus position and two separate card playing portions which are adapted to be playably controlled by a single player, the playing portion further having a third card playing portion which is adapted to be playably controlled by a dealer; and a plurality of playing chips.

According to a second non-limiting aspect of the present invention a method for playing a game is provided and includes an initial bonus playing round; and a blackjack playing round thereafter.

According to a third non-limiting aspect of the present invention, a method for playing a game is provided and includes the steps of placing a certain amount of money in a certain bonus position; providing four cards to a player, wherein the face portion of each of the four cards are exposed; providing two cards to the dealer, wherein only one of the two cards has a face portion which is exposed; and paying the player a bonus amount only if at least two of the four cards constitute a blackjack.

According to a fourth non-limiting aspect of the present invention, a method for playing a game is provided and include the steps of placing a certain amount of money in a certain bonus position; providing four cards to a player, wherein the face portion of each of the four cards are exposed; providing two cards to the dealer, wherein only one of the two cards has a face portion which is exposed; and paying the player a bonus amount only if the value of the poker hand comprising the four cards dealt to the player and the one card which was dealt to the dealer and which has an exposed face portion is greater than a certain value.

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a reading of the detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention, including the subjoined claims, and by reference to the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a game board which is made in accordance with one non-limiting aspect of the present invention and which may be used to play the various non-limiting game methodologies of each non-limiting embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 2 is a flowchart illustrating the sequence of steps associated with the game methodologies of the various embodiments of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a game board or playing portion 10 which is made in accordance with one non-limiting embodiment of the invention and which may be used to selectively play the various gaming methodologies of the present invention.

Particularly, game board or portion 10 includes a playing portion 12 which may be, in one non-limiting embodiment, adapted to be removably attached to or to selectively overlay the top of a table or other flat structure. In one non-limiting and selectively removable embodiment, the playing portion 12 may be constructed from plastic, felt, or another type of commercially available material. Alternatively, the game portion 12 may be integrally formed within a structure, such as within the top of a table or imprinted upon this structure.

As shown, the playing portion 12 includes substantially identical card reception portions 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, and 36 and, in this embodiment, these portions 14-36 are arranged in pairs. Particularly, the pairs are respectively formed by portions 14, 16; 18, 20; 22, 24; 26, 28; 30, 32; and 34, 36. Proximately and respectively positioned to each such pair 14, 16; 18, 20; 22, 24; 30, 32; and 34, 36 is a substantially identical and respective bonus playing portion 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, and 50. It should be realized that while the portions 14-36 are shown as being substantially circular in shape, that nothing in this description is meant to limit there geometric configuration in this manner. Rather, the shape of these portions 14-36 may be generally elliptical, oval, square, rectangular or of any other desired shape and size. Further, the portion 14-36 may not even be substantially similar in size and shape. Moreover, the shape of portions 40-50 may also be of substantially any desired geometric configuration, such as an “x”, a dot, a circle, a square, or any other shape or size and that these portions 40-50 may also have a dissimilar size and shape and any desired geometric configuration.

As is further shown in FIG. 1, the playing portion 10 includes a substantially square or rectangularly shaped playing portion 54 which is meant to be proximate to a dealer and to contain the cards which are played by the dealer in the manner which is discussed in greater detail below. In one non-limiting embodiment, portion 54 is referred to as the “dealer rack” portion and is the area in which the chips are kept for the gaming establishment which are used by the dealer to pay or take player bets. Further, the playing portion 10 includes an arcuate separation portion 60 which separates the dealer's cards and play portion from the player's playing portion. Portion 60 may also be of any substantially desired shape and size. In one non-limiting embodiment, portion 60 is referred to as “the insurance line” and allows a “side bet” to occur during a game or round or hand of blackjack. Particularly, this “insurance side bet” is only played when the dealer receives two cards and the first card which has an exposed face portion and which is controlled or given to the dealer comprises an ace. If this occurs, during a round or hand of blackjack, then the players can place a bet, within portion 60, that the exposed card and the second unexposed card of the dealer cooperatively form a blackjack or cooperatively total twenty-one. The allowed bet is typically one half of a players' original blackjack wager, for each portion 14-36 that the player controls. If the dealer has a blackjack, then the players who bet within portion 60 receive twice the amount of money which they respectively bet. This betting occurs after the bonus round, discussed below, and before the blackjack round begins. It should be appreciated that the playing portion 12 may also have any desired shape and size and that nothing in this description is meant to limit the playing portion 12 to any particular size and shape and that the playing portion 12 may be formed in the top of a table or other such object. It should be further appreciated that playing portion 10) may also reside upon a computer, operable under stored program control, and played electronically.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a flowchart or methodology 66 which includes a sequence of steps which cooperatively comprises the various gaming methodologies of the invention.

Particularly, the methodology 66 begins with an initial step 68 in which the dealer and/or the gaming house declare or denotes that a new game is to begin. Step 68 is followed by step 70 in which each participating player places a blackjack bet. Importantly, in this gaming methodology, each player “controls” (e.g., exclusively and selectively plays while playing the gaming methodology of this invention by use of portion 10, a pair of playing portions 14, 16; 18, 20; 22, 24; 26, 28; 30, 32; and 34, 36. That is, each playing portion 14-36 in a pair may include or separately receive a blackjack bet and a separate blackjack game is played within, upon, or proximate to each playing portion 14-36 for which a bet has previously been made. Step 72 follows step 70 and, in this step 72, each player, if they desire, respectively places a bonus bet on the portion 40-50 which is respectively proximate to the pair of playing portions 14-36 which they respectively control. For example, if a player controls playing portions 22, 24, that player would, if desired, place a bonus bet on the bonus playing portion 44. In one non-limiting embodiment, a bonus bet may only be placed by a player who has placed separate blackjack bets on each of the pair of playing portions 14-36 controlled by that player.

Step 74 follows step 72 and, in this step 74, the dealer provides one card to each player for each playing portion 14-36 for which a blackjack bet has been placed. These cards each have their face portion exposed or “turned upwards”. Step 74 is followed by step 76 in which the dealer receives a single card having its face portion exposed or “turned upward”. Step 78 follows step 76 and, in this step 78, the dealer provides another card to each player for each playing portion 14-36 for which a blackjack bet has been placed. Step 80 follows step 78 and, in this step 80, the dealer receives a second card having its face portion hidden or “turned downwards”. Step 82 follows step 80 and, in this step 82, a bonus payout is determined.

In one non-limiting embodiment, the bonus bet, placed on each portion 40-50 may selectively vary by any desired range (e.g., from at least the sum of one dollar to the sum of five dollars) In another non-limiting embodiment, the player obtains the bonus only if the combination of the four cards that the player receives and the exposed card with is controlled by the dealer cooperatively constitutes a poker hand of at least a certain value (e.g., two pair).In yet, another non-limiting embodiment, a bonus is paid to a player only if the cards form a blackjack in at least one of the portions 14-36 which the player controls and an original bonus bet was made by the player in one of the bonus portions 40-50. The payout, for each such bonus bet, may also vary within any desired range (e.g., from a multiple of about one to about 2500 of the original bet.) and an even greater payout may be used if both portions 14-36 controlled by a player actually “win” (e.g., both constitute a blackjack or a poker hand of a certain value) Step 84 follows step 82 in which the game of blackjack is then played in the regular manner. Step 84 is followed by step 68.

It should be realized that the amount of the amount of each bonus wager may be limited, as desired, to between one dollar and five dollars, or some other desired limit and the amount of a bonus payout may also be similarly confined within a certain desired range of value. For example, two blackjacks for a player (e.g., one occurring in each of the pair of playing portions 14,16,18,20;22,24; 26,28;30,32; and 34,36 which that player controls) may pay four times the bonus bet, while in the alternate embodiment a poker hand constituting “two pair” may pay twice the bonus bet. For a review of poker hand valuation the reader is directed to the text entitled Bobby Baldwin's Winning Poker Secrets by Mike Caro and Poker at The Millennium by Mike Caro which are each available from the website www.conjelco.com and which are each fully and completely incorporated herein by referee, word for word and paragraph for paragraph.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the exact construction and method which has been illustrated and discussed above but that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of the inventions as are more further delineated in the following claims. In yet another non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the bonus round may be based upon the number of blackjack hands cooperatively held by all of the players during the bonus round (i.e., a increasing bonus payout is made as the number of blackjacks increases for a round).

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a flowchart 400 which includes a sequence of steps which cooperative comprise the new and novel business methodology of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

Particularly, business method or flowchart 300 begins with an initial step 402 in which the business methodology 400 begins. Step 402 is followed by step 404 in which potential licenses of the gaming methodology which has been previously described, by way of example and without limitation with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2, are identified. Step 404 is followed by step 406 in which appropriate license agreements are executed between the owner of this gaming methodology and the various previously identified licensees. In one non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the owner of the foregoing business methodology obtains a revenue stream based upon the money received by each of the licensees (e.g., gross revenue or profits that each licensee receives from the operation of the game) and in another non-limiting type of license arrangement the owner of this business methodology receives an amount of money which is based only upon the quantity or the amount of players lured into playing the game over a certain period of time. Other royalty metrics may be used in alternate embodiments of the invention.

Step 408 follows step 406 and, in this step 408, the amount of royalties which are owed to the licensor (e.g., to the owner of the business methodology) are determined or calculated. Step 410 follows step 408 and, in this step 410, the royalty payments are received by the licensor. The term of each license may extend to the termination of applicable patent protection on the methodology or may extend to some other mutually agreeable term.

It should be appreciated that the owner of the foregoing business methodology and assembly and business method may receive gaming revenue, under the foregoing business model or strategy, without actually building a gaming facility or incurring ongoing operational expense and that the licensed game may be given to only one gaming facility in a designated geographic area, thereby allowing the licensed gaming facility to truly differentiate itself from its competition, thereby driving revenue growth and increasing the valuable nature of the licensed game. Hence, this business strategy allows increasing levels of profits to be realized while concomitantly reducing required capital expenditures.

Referring now to FIG. 4 there is shown an assembly 700 which is made in accordance with the teachings of an alternate embodiment of the invention and which allows the foregoing new and novel gaming methodology to be used in a different business context.

Particularly, the assembly 700 includes a computer 702 which is operable under stored program control and which is communicatively coupled, through a communications portion 704 to a global communications network 706, such as and without limitation to the Internet.

The assembly 700 includes a processor 710 and a memory portion 712 which is physically and communicatively coupled to the process or 710 by the use of bus 714. The processor 710 is further physically and communicatively coupled to the communications portion 704 by the bus 716, and the assembly 700 includes a source of electrical power 730 which is physically coupled to the processor 710 by bus 732.

The assembly 700 further includes an input/output portion 740 which is physically and communicatively coupled to the processor 710 by bus 750 and the assembly 700 includes a display 770 and a input device (e.g., a key board) 772 which are each physically and communicatively coupled to the input output portion by the bus 773.

Particularly, the control software resides within memory 712 and allows in cooperative combination with portion 704 and processor 710, allows the gaming portion 10 to be operably incorporated within a website and, in this manner, allows remote users to make bets and to play the game accordingly to the foregoing methodologies. Thus, this Internet gaming business approach allows the user of this gaming methodology to either license the inventor or use it as part of an Internet gaming venture. It should be further understood that nothing in this description is meant to limit the invention to a particular type of computer system and that assembly 700 is but one non-limiting example of an operational platform upon which the gaming methodology to be performed. Hence, other computerized platforms may be used instead of assembly 700 and, in yet another alternative embodiment of the invention, assembly 700 may constitute on computerized gaming device which allows only “local play” (i.e., the game is played by means of portions 770, 772 only.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the exact construction and method which has been illustrated and discussed above but that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of the inventions as are more further delineated in the following claims. The games of blackjack and poker are also explained in Hoyle's Rules of Games—3rd Ed.(Is BN-0-451-20484-0) which is published by Signet publishing and which is fully and completely incorporated herein by reference, word for word and paragraph for paragraph.