Title:
Computer based performance analysis of games
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A computer-based method of analyzing player performance in a game comprising the following steps in any order: creating one or more rules wherein the rules associate a recommended action to one or more game parameters; receiving one or more game histories containing at least one game parameter and at least one historical action; analyzing the player performance according to the rules and the game histories; and, displaying a result of the analysis, wherein the result of the analysis shows player performance as related to the rules.



Inventors:
Tormey, Peter J. (Concord, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/652801
Publication Date:
07/19/2007
Filing Date:
01/12/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
LIDDLE, JAY TRENT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Peter, James Tormey (2017 ESPERANZA DRIVE, CONCORD, CA, 94519, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A computer-based method of analyzing player performance in a game comprising the following steps in any order: creating one or more rules wherein the rules associate a recommended action to one or more game parameters; receiving one or more game histories containing at least one game parameter and at least one historical action; analyzing the player performance according to the rules and the game histories; and, displaying a result of the analysis, wherein the result of the analysis shows player performance as related to the rules.

2. The method of claim 1 where the game is played between participants over a computer network.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the game is poker.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein the game histories are stored in a database.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the game histories are stored in an electronic file format.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein the game is blackjack.

7. One or more processor readable storage devices having processor readable code embodied on said processor readable storage devices, said processor readable code for programming one or more processors to perform a method of analyzing player performance in a game comprising the following steps in any order: creating one or more rules wherein the rules associate a recommended action to one or more game parameters; receiving one or more game histories containing at least one game parameter and at least one historical action; analyzing the player performance according to the rules and the game histories; and, displaying a result of the analysis, wherein the result of the analysis shows player performance as related to the rules.

8. The method of claim 7 where the game is played between participants over a computer network.

9. The method of claim 7 wherein the game is poker.

10. The method of claim 7 wherein the game is blackjack.

11. A computer-based method of analyzing player performance in a game comprising the following steps in any order: receiving one or more game histories containing at least one game parameter and at least one historical action; creating one or more rules based on the game histories wherein the rules associate a recommended action to one or more game parameters; and storing the rules in a processor readable storage device.

12. The methods of claim 11 wherein the game is poker.

13. The method of claim 11 wherein the game is blackjack.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of provisional patent application 60/758,293 filed 13 Jan. 2006 by the present inventor.

BACKGROUND

This invention relates generally to a method that analyzes and displays participant performance results for computer based wagering games based upon game history and more particularly to computer based poker and blackjack games.

The Internet has given rise to a large number of wagering games, such as poker, where players compete online from various parts of the world. These games often take the form of tournaments wherein thousands of hands are played to determine a winner. Online gaming is unique in that the players usually do not see their opponents. As such the play tends to be “technical” wherein the best course of action is based on styles and strategies independent of any interaction with other players. Players invest in online classes, software and books to learn to improve their wagering skills, but these learning aids are often based on some sort of player interaction. In spite of a wide range of books and classes, for many players the best way to learn to play on line is to compete often and glean what can be learned from mistakes made in competition. This is not a very efficient means to learn, but it has the benefit of using actual game situations for providing a sort of “on the job” training. Unfortunately there are no tools to systematically review a player's performance with respect to winning tactics and strategies.

As such, what is needed is a way to apply many different tactics and strategies to a set of real historical data and generate recommendations to improve player performance.

SUMMARY

disclosed is a computer-based method of analyzing player performance in a game comprising the following steps in any order: creating one or more rules wherein the rules associate a recommended action to one or more game parameters; receiving one or more game histories containing at least one game parameter and at least one historical action; analyzing the player performance according to the rules and the game histories; and, displaying a result of the analysis, wherein the result of the analysis shows player performance as related to the rules.

The construction and method of operation of the invention, however, together with additional objectives and advantages thereof will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a diagram of the basic elements of the invention

FIG. 2 illustrates examples of simplified rule services for the game of blackjack and for a game of Texas Holdem.

FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram of one aspect of a software implementation for the analysis engine.

FIG. 4 illustrates two examples of results based on the disclosed embodiments.

DESCRIPTION

Specific examples of components and arrangements are described below to simplify the present disclosure. These are, of course, merely examples and are not intended to be limiting. In addition, the present disclosure may repeat reference numerals and/or letters in the various examples. This repetition is for the purpose of simplicity and clarity and does not in itself dictate a relationship between the various embodiments and/or configurations discussed.

This invention is for a system and method that compares actions in a computer based card game to the actions of a set of rules that model of differing player performance. The winner's performance is fit into one of these sets of rules, and that model is used to show the player how to play the game better.

To understand how this invention works, consider the actions of two players in a game of Texas Holdem. They are both dealt AQ off suite. We know statistically that this has a 14.87% chance of winning the game. But some players would wager a large amount with this hand, others would bet or raise to a high percentage of their bankroll, while others would bet minimally or fold. The reasons for the differing tactics are all based on the type of person they are, and how they perceive the other players. Their actions are most likely based upon some subconscious experience they have had with these cards in similar circumstances (i.e. position, bankroll, previous raises and other factors).

We can model the play of these four types of players to see which strategy works best. There are four possibilities of play and each player will make one of them. One will be the winner, and each participant may use different strategies at different points in the hand. Once each hand is analyzed, a player can be quantified and see how their performance rates against the model (or set of rules) of the winning player. We can also compare the player's performance based on his bankroll to see how his play changes under financial stress.

To use Texas Holdem poker as an example, an initial pair of aces has a 31% chance of winning the hand, whereas a pair of sevens has only a 13.36% chance of winning. A tight player (one who plays conservatively) might fold a pair of sevens in a poker game, versus a looser player who would play them. Methods of measuring tightness include but are not limited to; comparing the willingness to play cards dealt against the probability that those cards would win a hand, comparing the willingness to play cards dealt to other players in the game to determine which players are more likely to fold or play a given set of cards, comparing a participant's performance against a set of rules with varying degrees of tightness, or counting the number of times a player remains in the game through a given level of play. For example, in Texas Holdem, a loose player is one who sees a lot of flops.

Another player characteristic is player aggressiveness or willingness to bet large sums. Methods of measuring player aggressiveness include, but are not limited to; comparing the player's performance against a set of rules each having a different level of aggressiveness, counting the number of raises compared to the other players, counting the total amount wagered in total dollars, counting the amount wagered as a percentage of the players bankroll, counting the amount wagered as a percentage of dollars on the table or counting the number of times a player bets their entire bankroll in the course of tournament play.

FIG. 1 shows a diagram of the basic elements of the invention. Item 10 is a database and item 20 is a file containing historical game information. The analysis engine 30 can query the historical data directly or read from the history file 20. Items 40, 50 and 60 are rule services that provide the guidelines for play. Each rule service contains many rules that constitute a specific playing strategy. The rule services are dynamic and contain a collection of rules and all the parameters needed to invoke the rules. These parameters include but are not limited to the rank and suit of the cards in the player's hand, the amount of the wager and the amount available to wager (the bankroll), the player position, the value of cards known and any other parameter needed to characterize the game. For example, a poker game might also include the number and the amount raises and re-raises and the amount of the blinds. Parameters define the state of the game and each rule provides a recommended action for a given state of the game. In view of the foregoing the database 10 or history file 20 containing historical game information contains parameters and historical actions played by the game participants.

FIG. 2 (A) illustrates an example of a simplified rule service for the game of blackjack. FIG. 2 (B) illustrates an example of a simplified rule service for an initial deal of a game of Texas Holdem. Rule services contain parameters for play and an action to be taken. Besides the parameters shown, they may also include the turn, the bankroll, the number of players, the player position and others depending on the game. For clarity only the most basic parameters are shown in the figures. The rule service also includes an action that the rule would recommend for the given parameters. In the example shown in FIG. 2(A), if the player is dealt 21, the action is to stick no matter how many face cards are visible in the player's or the other player's hands. In FIG. 2(B), if the player is dealt a pair of aces (AA), then the player should raise until the bet is 30% of the player's bankroll. In essence a rule service is a set of conditions for a hand in the game and an action to be taken in the event those conditions are met. Multiple rule services provide for an analysis of different styles of play. The current invention works with a single or multiple rule service and the rule services are dynamic and can be modified over time. The rule service may incorporate different styles of play allowing the analysis to show results based upon differing strategies.

Returning to the embodiment of FIG. 1, the operation begins with the analysis engine 30 selecting a first hand from the database 10 or history file 20. For any or all participants one or more rule services 40, 50 or 60 are applied for each action the participant makes. Each rule and rule service 40, 50 or 60 would be evaluated in turn against the history of the games. For example using the rule service of FIG. 2 (B), if a player's initial hand is AA (a pair of aces), they rule service stipulates they should raise an amount up to 30% of their bankroll. Raises higher or lower than this amount would violate the rules according to this rule service. The results will demonstrate how they performed against the rule service, whether they are more or less aggressive in their play compared to the rule service, and if following the rule service would maximize the earnings from the game by causing them to win the hand or if following the rules in the rule service caused them to lose the hand. The analysis engine 30 would also determine which strategy is preferable for a participant's style of play along with the number of incorrect actions for a given series of games. The results 70 would demonstrate to the participant the most common errors they are making against the rule and could suggest a different style of play.

The analysis engine 30 can measure a poker player's traits like aggressiveness or tightness. Aggressiveness is how strongly they bet compared to other players and tightness is a player's willingness to play a given hand. A highly aggressive player is one who most often will bet or raise a bet. The results 70 include but are not limited to the following: graphing a player's performance by aggressiveness and tightness and plotting other player's performance on the same criteria, displaying hands lost from playing too tight, and displaying a player's performance against rule services designed with varying degrees of play.

References in the specification to “one embodiment”, “an embodiment”, “an example embodiment”, etc., indicate that the embodiment described may include a particular feature, structure or characteristic, but every embodiment may not necessarily include the particular feature, structure or characteristic. Moreover, such phrases are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment. Further, when a particular feature, structure or characteristic is described in connection with an embodiment, it is submitted that it is within the knowledge of one of ordinary skill in the art to effect such feature, structure or characteristic in connection with other embodiments whether or not explicitly described. Parts of the description are presented using terminology commonly employed by those of ordinary skill in the art to convey the substance of their work to others of ordinary skill in the art.

In another embodiment, the analysis engine 30 can review a game history and develop rules based upon the strategy of the winning player. In this embodiment the operation begins with the analysis engine 30 selecting the hands of a specific player from the database 10 or history file 20. The specific player's performance would be parsed into a rule service. In game conditions where different actions were taken for the same parameters an aggregate response can be developed wherein the action is the most probable action for the given parameters. Thus rule services are created based on the play of any particular player. If a winning player is selected, a rule service is created for the winning player. The advantage to this embodiment is that the play of winning players is collected into a rule service and used to measure the performance of other players. Thus a player can evaluate how they performed or would have performed against winning players.

In another embodiment the operation begins with the analysis engine 30 selecting the first hand from the database 10. The database 10 is a collection of poker games from an on-line casino game played among a plurality of participants. For any or all participants the selected rule from one or more rules services 40, 50 or 60 is applied for each action the participant makes. Each rule and rule service would be evaluated in turn against the history of the games. The analysis engine 30 would determine the number of incorrect actions for a given series of games. Participants would be rated against the rules service for compliance. The results 70 demonstrate how they performed against the rule services 40, 50 or 60, whether they are more or less aggressive in their play compared to the rule service, and if following the rule service would maximize the winnings from the game by causing them to win the hand or if following the rules in the rule service caused them to lose the hand. The analysis engine 30 would also determine which strategy is preferable for a participant's style of play along with the number of incorrect actions for a given series of games. For example a passive player might perform better if he became aggressive but played tighter.

FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram of one aspect of a software implementation for the analysis engine 30. In this simplified explanation the analysis engine is only analyzing two factors for the game of Texas Holdem—tightness and aggressiveness. It would be in the spirit of the current invention to analyze other tactics and strategies as well as those shown. The analysis engine 30 retrieves a hand 300 and fetches a rule 310. The hand is compared to the rule 320. Tightness is analyzed and recorded 330 for later display. Likewise aggression is analyzed and recorded 340 for later display. Each rule is evaluated by testing for more rules 350 and each hand is evaluated by testing for more hands 360. Finally when all the hands have been analyzed according to all the rules the result is displayed 370 in a report.

It will be appreciated by one having skill in the art that each hand may be analyzed in turn and that the hands of any player or the game winners may be compared to effect a report showing play compared to the winning play. Thus not only may a player see how they played against one or more rule services but also how well they played as compared to the play of winners. It will also be apparent to one having skill in the art that the process described in FIG. 3 may be realized by well known software routines for accessing game history from a database or file. For example game history may be accessed by SQL or a variety of data access tools implemented in programming languages such as C, C+, Visual Basic. Routines for accessing data, comparing data and generating reports are well known in the art.

In another embodiment of this invention, the analysis engine 30 can track participant performance against the amount of money a player has available to wager in their bankroll. Often player's change their style of play depending on how well they are performing. Since the odds of winning a hand do not depend on the amount of a participant's bankroll, varying performance according to bankroll would indicate inferior play. Aggressiveness and tightness can be plotted against the relative size of the player's bankroll giving the player an indication of their actual performance.

FIG. 4 illustrates two examples of results based on the foregoing embodiments. In FIG. 4 (A) a player's performance is compared to the performance of the first, second and third place winners of a tournament. Aggressiveness is measured as a percentage of the total hands where a player was more aggressive than a rule service recommends. Likewise tightness is also a percentage of the total hands where a player played tighter than a rule service would recommend. From FIG. 4 (A) a player can see weakness of play compared to the current rule service and with respect to tournament winners.

FIG. 4 (B) shows a player's performance for a specific set of hands with respect to the play of a tournament winner in Texas Holdem. Here the player can see how their actions compared to the play of the winner. The figure also shows the chances of winning the hand based on the initial cards. In the figure, hand 40042443 shows the player was dealt an initial hand of a king and a ten of the same suite (KTs). The chances of this hand winning are 16.14% based on straight probability. The rule service (model) for the winning player indicates the player should raise, however the player only called the bet. Although this analysis may be performed for all hands, it is anticipated that the report would only display these results for the most significant hands.

For purposes of this patent, poker is defined as any number of games commonly referred to as poker by the gaming industry. These games take common names such as Five Card Stud, Texas Holdem, Stud, Seven Card Stud, Lo Ball, Omaha, three card poker and others. They are based on a deck of playing cards with 4 suites and a rank of cards. Participants and players are any entrants in these games capable of playing against people whether the entrant is another human or a computer program capable of acting as a player in an electronic game. The history of the games played is the data from actual historical games played where at least 2 of the participants are real people and not computers. Wagers and bets are any means of keeping score whether using real money, play money or other means of scoring in the games.

Blackjack is any number of games commonly referred to in the gaming industry as blackjack. The most common form is played against a dealer and each participant is dealt two cards and the objective is to reach but not exceed a numerical score of twenty-one by summing the value of the cards and drawing more cards if desired. Analyzing the games is any calculation or process beyond simple statistical analysis. This includes but is not limited to measuring participant performance against a rule, model or sets of rules. Results are any electronic or printed display showing the analysis of the games.

The above illustration provides many different embodiments or embodiments for implementing different features of the invention. Specific embodiments of components and processes are described to help clarify the invention. These are, of course, merely embodiments and are not intended to limit the invention from that described in the claims.

Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in one or more specific examples, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the scope of the invention, as set forth in the following claims.