Title:
SKILL-BASED GAMES PLAYED FOR PRIZES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A card game whereby pre-programmed computer players play a discrete number of hands of said card game and then the range of results is recorded. Then, at least one human player is allowed to play the exact same number of hands of said card game that the computer players previously played. Then, the result of how the human player performed is compared to range of results of the computer players (for instance by comparing chip counts, points, winnings, etc.). The human player becomes eligible to be awarded prizes based upon how well said human player performed relative to how the computer player(s) performed.



Inventors:
Humphrey, Charles (LAKEWOOD, CO, US)
Liebster, Jeffrey R. (SADDLE RIVER, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/279426
Publication Date:
09/13/2007
Filing Date:
04/12/2006
Assignee:
I'M-ALL-IN, LLC (SADDLE RIVER, NJ, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LIM, SENG HENG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DYKAS, SHAVER & NIPPER, LLP (P.O. BOX 877, BOISE, ID, 83701-0877, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A game of skill comprising the steps of: playing by a computer of a discrete number of hands of a card game; recording the result of the computer's performance; playing by a human of the exact same hands of said card game; recording the result of the human's performance; comparing the computer's performance to the human's performance; and determining whether the human player will be awarded prizes based upon a predetermined schedule further based upon the comparison.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to games, and more particularly relates to skill-based games played for prizes.

2. Background Information

In a game, where the elements of skill dominate over the elements of chance in determining the outcome, the game is considered a “game of skill” and is typically “legal” under most state gambling laws. Whereas, when chance predominates over skill, the game is considered to be a “game of chance” and is thus illegal gambling under said state gambling laws.

As such, it is desirable to create games that retain the interest and allure of “games of chance” but which are, in fact, considered to be “games of skill” under state gambling statutes.

Embodiments of the present invention satisfy this need, in that the present invention is a method of creating/facilitating/running a novel “game of skill” and a “game of skill” system.

Additional objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a system and method for playing a game (particularly a card game) whereby the game's outcome is based upon a player's skill rather than based upon luck (or “chance”).

In its preferred embodiment, the present invention comprises a card game whereby a computer plays a discrete number of hands of said card game and then the results are recorded. Then, at least one human player is allowed to play the exact same hands of said card game that the computer previously played. Then, the results of how the human player performed is compared to how the computer player performed (for instance by comparing points, winnings, etc.). Based upon how each human player performed relative to how the computer player performed, the human player(s) can be awarded prizes.

The purpose of the foregoing Abstract is to enable the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection, the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The Abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

Still other objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in this art from the following detailed description wherein we have shown and described only the preferred embodiment of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated by carrying out our invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modification in various obvious respects all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description of the preferred embodiment are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive in nature.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a flowchart illustrating one embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrated embodiments thereof have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form disclosed, but, on the contrary, the invention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.

The present invention is a skill-based game played for prizes. In the present invention, the game is considered skill-based rather than chance-based because the result of a player's performance in playing specific instances of a game is based upon how the player plays relative to how a computer played the same specific instances of said game. In such a manner, skill will predominate over chance and the game will thus be considered skill based.

In the preferred embodiment (shown in FIG. 1), the present invention's game comprises a computer (software) configured and programmed for playing hands of a card game according to predetermined set of rules. For the sake of illustration, we shall (in this embodiment) presume that the card game is poker. While the present invention is particularly applicable to “card games,” it is expressly envisioned and any and all other types of games are likewise included within the scope of this disclosure, including but not limited to card games, dice games, roulette, sports games, board games, computer games, etc.

Referring back to the present invention's preferred embodiment, in that embodiment the computer programmed to play a discrete number of hands of poker (using a predetermined order of cards) [step 110] following the rules of the game, making playing decisions based statistically upon the likelihood of success. Different computer players could be created (if desired), each making various levels playing decisions (extremely loose, liberal, conservative, extremely tight, etc.) and could likewise be programmed to make random (or preprogrammed) playing decisions (for instance, being programmed to, every X hands, automatically bluff, fold, call, raise $Y, raise $3Y, etc.).

In the simplest form of the preferred embodiment a number of different computer players, pre-programmed to play the game in particular manners, are used, for instance computer players A, B, C, D and E. The computer players (A, B, C, D and E) then play according to their programming a discrete number of hands of the said card game [step 111]. The specific hands played, the respective decisions of the computer players in playing each hand and the results of each computer player's decisions, for example, number of chips are recorded and stored [step 113].

After the recording in step 113 is made, at least one human player is then afforded an opportunity to replace computer player A and play [step 112] the exact same series of hands of the said game, using the said player's skill in playing, including wagering against the same said computer players B, C, D and E, each of whom will use the same pre-programming to play against the said human player. The computer players may represent various celebrities.

When the human player has played the same discrete number of hands of the said game against the remaining computer players, which play in accordance with the same pre-programmed playing attributes as they played with in step 111, a human player's results, for example, number of units of chips is determined and recorded [step 114].

How the human player performed compared to how the said computer player A performed is then determined and recorded [step 115]. The reward, if any, due to the human player based on his or her relative results is then determined [step 116].

In a more complex version of the preferred embodiment, after computer player A has played the said discrete number of hands of the said game against said computer players B, C, D and E, computer player A will be replaced by one or more other pre-programmed computer players, each of whom will then play the same hands of the said game played by computer player A against computer players B, C, D and E, each of whom will again play in accordance with their pre-programmed instructions. The results of the play of each of the additional computer players will be recorded in step 113 together with the results of said computer player A, thus resulting in a range of possible results of a discrete number of alternative computer players playing the same hands of the said game against the same said computer players B, C, D and E.

In this more complex version of the preferred embodiment the results of the human player in step 115 will be determined based on where his or her results fall within the range of results recorded in step 113.

In this more complex version of the preferred embodiment, the reward, if any, made to the human player in step 116 will be determined based on where his or her result rank in the range of possible results determined for the said alternative computer players.

When multiple human players play the game, their scores against the computer can be ranked thereby determining a gradient of performances by each of the said multiple human players. The reward, if any, each said human player receives will then be determined in step 116 based on his or her relative position in the gradient of results of the said multiple human players.

In another embodiment of the present invention a game hierarchy could be created where a game has a discrete number of distinct levels, with escalating degrees of difficulty. For the purposes of this game, assume that 70% is set as a “passing” score. Each time a “player” achieves a score for said discrete number of hands of said game of 70% or more, it is recorded in his statistics. Assume also assume that a human player is required to achieve a discrete number said passing scores, say 10, to win at each level. The human player then is eligible for a pre-determined prize and/or advances to the next level where he or she repeats the process. The results of each hand, the number of “passing” and “failing” scores (attempts at each level), etc. are recorded in the “players” statistics and saved. A session can be as short as one hand, or as long as the human player wants to play. Thus, he or she can play one hand, save it, and leave the game one step closer to advancing to the next level.

It is envisioned that the present invention could be accomplished any number of ways, including using computer software purchased in a store, computer software downloaded over the Internet, cable converter, satellite receivers or other set-top boxes, hand held units, bar-room boxes, stand alone “video games,” game consoles, cell phones, mobile computers, PDAs, etc.

One embodiment of the present invention, as viewed from the player's experience, could be described as follows. I select a room to enter, open a door and find myself in a luxuriously appointed room at the center of which is a poker table with a game in progress. The six participants are celebrities from the poker and entertainment worlds. I see live video of the celebrity players in action. A hand is dealt and I watch as each receives his/her cards. All of a sudden, the action freezes. I select a celebrity whose place I take at the table. A new screen appears and I am looking at his hole cards. I am aware of everyone's chip count, but not the cards they are holding. It is my turn to act and I must choose to check, call, raise or fold . . . I am playing the game. Live video shows me celebrity facial expressions, reactions and verbal comments to the play of the hand. I can choose whose face I wish to look at, the cards on the table, or my own hand. I can also choose to see the whole table from an overhead angle. As the hand progresses, I see the play of the cards. I play the remainder of the hand, and win or lose all or part of my stack of chips. At the conclusion of the hand, the game tells me my score. My results and play are compared to that of thousands of simulated hands played by the computer under the exact same starting circumstances. These other hands have been programmed into the game. My score is also compared to how the celebrity I replaced would have played, had he stayed in the game. Once saved, my excellent, “passing” score (expressed as a percentile) is automatically added to other scores I have achieved at this level. Now, I have several options: (1) I can play another hand at that table or do so after I adjust some of the settings, like the music or background or other game features; (2) I can save the game and leave; (3) I can enter my personal files, and see that I now only need two more qualifying scores to complete this level and be eligible for: Prize or Sweepstakes “A” and advancement to the next level and all of the “bells and whistles” that come with advancement; (4) I can look further into the “stats” of that hand at my current ranking or level; (5) I can see how the celebrity would have played it (with tutorial?); (6) I can go to another room and play a different poker game; (7) I can sign off and go online to see the status of my previous sweepstakes entries, read about the celebrities and find out about upcoming games and live events; or (8) etc.

One embodiment(s) of the present invention, as viewed from the Business' standpoint, can be expressed by the following description. The Business will offer a skill game in which thousands of simulated hands of hold'em are dealt and played on a computer by artificial intelligence (robots). There will be a number of possible robots, each of which will play according to rules of play programmed for that particular robot. The hands dealt and the results of the play of the discrete number of hands using the programmed elements of artificial intelligence will be stored in the memory of the computer. A live player of the game will then chose the robot in whose place he will sit, and the live player will then play a discrete number of the same hands as were played by the robots. Each robot will be given a celebrity persona, which will include graphics, personality traits and poker tendencies of the various robot players derived from celebrity profiles available to players, as well as video footage of real players (both known tournament poker players and celebrities, such as sports and entertainment personalities) produced to create a realistic experience for the player. The object of the game will be to achieve a rating based upon thousands of simulated hands that have been played against the computer under the same conditions. Ratings will be represented by a point value (score) assigned to a particular result. Players must achieve a certain number of qualifying scores at a level of play in order to advance to the next, more challenging level. Players will earn the chance for prizes based on “passing” each level and certain other accomplishments. As players advance through the “levels” they will be given an expanded number of choices of players, venues, rooms, music, etc. The games will be developed for play on various computer media, including cellular telephone, the Internet, TV set-top boxes and related media. The games will be marketed directly to appropriate hosts, such as cellular telephone, cable televisions and satellite broadcast systems, online game networks, retail outlets and through TV and other commercial and infomercials. There are presently a number of products offering poker game play on the media to which we intend to market the games. The distinctions we envision for our games is that they will: (1) have the celebrity interaction component and (2) be skill-based and offer the chance for prizes.

While there is shown and described the present preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be distinctly understood that this invention is not limited thereto but may be variously embodied to practice within the scope of the following claims. From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.





 
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