Title:
21 Duel blackjack
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming method is disclosed and comprises: dealing at least one card to at least one player and to the dealer; requiring each player and the dealer to select a community card value; allowing each player and the dealer to decide whether to use an additional card to form their hand; and allowing each player and the dealer to create a Blackjack hand comprising: (1) the at least one card, (2) the community card value selected, and (3) an optional additional card. A gaming layout is also disclosed and comprises: a first position to designate a first community card value, a second position to designate a second community card value, and at least one player position that is adapted to identify a player's set of cards and includes at least two betting locations.



Inventors:
Kling, Werner Alecsander (Oslo, NO)
Hagen, Hugo (Raahnoen, NO)
Application Number:
11/488250
Publication Date:
10/18/2007
Filing Date:
07/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DENNIS, MICHAEL DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jennifer, Esq. Riel J. (375 E. WARM SPRINGS ROAD, SUITE # 104-19, LAS VEGAS, NV, 89119-4244, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a modified blackjack game comprising: (a) requiring each player to place at least one bet before receiving any cards; (b) dealing a face up card and a face down card to each player; (c) dealing a first card and a second card face down to a dealer; (d) dealing two community cards face up; (e) allowing each player to either fold or place an additional bet; (f) allowing each player who decided to place the additional bet to select a community card value from the two community cards; (g) allowing each player to decide whether to use the face down card; (h) requiring the dealer to reveal the first card; (i) requiring the dealer to select a house community card value from the two community cards; (j) allowing the dealer to decide whether to use the second card; (k) determining game outcome by using blackjack scoring as a basis to make a comparison between each player's final hand and the dealer's final hand; wherein each player's final hand is comprised of: (1) the face up card, (2) the community card value selected, and (3) optionally the face down card; and wherein the dealer's final hand is comprised of: (1) the first card, (2) the house community card value selected, and (3) optionally the second card.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the at least one bet is comprised of an ante bet and an optional side bet.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the dealer must select the house community card value according to a predetermined set of house rules.

4. The method of claim 2 wherein each player's optional side bet is based on the face up card and the two community cards.

5. The method of claim 4 wherein the optional side bet wins if any two cards from the face up card and the two community cards form a pair.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein the optional side bet is resolved according to a predefined payout schedule as follows:
Hand Type1 Deck2 Decks4 Decks6 Decks8 Decks
Any Pair4 to 13 to 13 to 13 to 13 to 1


7. The method of claim 4 wherein the optional side bet wins if the face up card and the two community cards form a three of a kind combination.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the optional side bet is resolved according to a predefined payout schedule as follows:
Hand Type1 Deck2 Decks4 Decks6 Decks8 Decks
three-of-a-kind30 to 130 to 125 to 120 to 120 to 1


9. The method of claim 2, further comprising providing a gaming layout for playing the modified blackjack game, said gaming layout comprising: at least one player position that is adapted to identify a player's set of cards and comprises: an ante betting position; a side betting position; a first additional betting position adapted to designate player's selection of a first community card value; and a second additional betting position adapted to designate player's selection of a second community card value.

10. The method of claim 1 wherein the dealer must decide to use the second card if the first card combined with the house community card value selected is less than 17.

11. The method of claim 1 further comprising requiring the dealer's final hand to score a minimum value for the dealer to be eligible to win.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the minimum value is 13.

13. A gaming layout comprising: at least two community card positions; at least one player position that is adapted to identify a player's set of cards and comprises: an ante betting position; a side betting position adapted to receive an optional side bet; a first additional betting position adapted to designate player's selection of a first community card value; and a second additional betting position adapted to designate player's selection of a second community card value.

14. A method of playing a modified blackjack game comprising: (a) requiring each player to place an ante bet; (b) allowing each player to place an optional side bet; (c) dealing a face up card and a face down card to each player; (d) dealing a first card and a second card face down to a dealer; (e) dealing two community cards face up; (f) allowing each player to either fold or place an additional bet; (g) allowing each player who decided to place the additional bet to select a community card value from the two community cards; (h) allowing each player to decide whether to use the face down card; (i) requiring the dealer to reveal the first card; (j) requiring the dealer to select a house community card value from the two community cards, wherein the dealer must select the house community card value based on a set of predetermined house rules; (k) requiring the dealer to use the second card if the first card combined with the house community card value is less than 17; (l) determining game outcome by using blackjack scoring as a basis to make a comparison between each player's final hand and the dealer's final hand; wherein each player's final hand is comprised of: (1) the face up card, (2) the community card value selected, and (3) optionally the face down card; wherein the dealer's final hand is comprised of: (1) the first card, (2) the house community card value selected, and (3) the second card if the combination of the first card and the house community card value is less than 17; and wherein the dealer's final hand must score a minimum value for the dealer to be eligible to win.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein the minimum value is 13.

16. The method of claim 14 wherein if the dealer's final hand does not score the minimum value, each player will automatically win even money on the ante bet and pushes on the additional bet.

17. The method of claim 14 wherein if the dealer's final hand scores the minimum value but fails to beat a winning player's final hand, the winning player's final hand is paid even money on both the ante bet and the additional bet.

18. The method of claim 14 wherein the optional side bet is based on the face up card and the two community cards.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein the optional side bet wins if any two cards from the face up card and the two community cards form a pair.

20. The method of claim 18 wherein the optional side bet wins if the face up card and the two community cards form a three of a kind combination.

Description:

This application is a continuation-in-part of and claims priority from the filing date of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/404,138, filed Apr. 15, 2006, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a method and apparatus for playing a card game. More particularly, the present invention relates to a modified Blackjack game that may be played as a casino table game or as a video game.

BACKGROUND

Blackjack is the most popular card game offered in casinos today. In fact, casinos will often devote more tables to Blackjack than to all other forms of card games combined. Blackjack is based on simple concepts and procedures that are readily understood by novice and regular players alike. Additionally, the game allows players to use basic strategies that provide some degree of player control and that allow for heightened excitement.

Blackjack requires the use of at least one standard deck of 52 playing cards. These cards each have a numerical or letter value, and a suit associated with them. A standard deck consists of four sets (of thirteen cards each) numbered as follows: A (ace), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J (jack), Q (queen), and K (king). There are four cards of each value, one of each “suit”: spades, diamonds, clubs, and hearts. For the purposes of Blackjack, the suit is irrelevant, and only the value of the card is considered. Again, for the purposes of Blackjack, the value of the cards is computed as follows: for cards valued two through nine, they are given the value shown on the card; tens, jacks, queens, and kings are each valued as ten points; and aces may be valued as one point, or as eleven points, at the player's discretion. While Blackjack may be played with only a single deck of cards, casinos will usually use “shoes” of multiple decks mixed together to discourage card-counting.

A Blackjack game consists of one dealer (in casinos, the dealer represents the “house,” or the casino), and one or more players. Blackjack is scored by comparing the combined value of each player's cards against the dealer's. In other words, each player's hand is compared individually to the dealer's hand; every player at a table may win any given hand against the dealer, or every player may lose to the dealer. More commonly, some players will beat the dealer and others will lose. Players do not compete against each other.

To determine whether the player or the dealer wins a hand, the value of each card the player has is added together. For example, a player with a seven (of any suit) and a queen (of any suit) has a hand value of 17. If the value of all the cards in a player's hand ever exceeds 21, then the player “busts” and loses the hand (keeping in mind that the player may choose to value aces as one if necessary). The same is true of the dealer's hand; however, players are always given the opportunity to bust first, giving an advantage to the dealer. If a player busts and then the dealer subsequently busts, the dealer wins the hand.

If neither the player nor the dealer bust, then the person with the cards that total the highest value wins the hand. If the player loses the hand, he loses his original bet. If the player wins the hand, he is paid an amount equal to his original bet. However, if the combined values of the cards in the player's hand and the dealer's hand are the same, then the hand is usually a “push,” wherein neither the player nor the dealer wins the hand and the player's original bet is returned.

In most cases, if the player's first two cards are an ace and any card with a value of ten (i.e., a ten, jack, queen, or king), this is known as a “blackjack” or “twenty-one,” and the player wins immediately and typically will be paid one-and-a-half times his original bet. Similarly, if the dealer gets a “blackjack,” then each player loses, unless a player also had a “blackjack,” in which case that player “pushes” that hand.

To begin a hand, the dealer will deal one card to the person to his left, and continue to deal one card to each player in a clockwise pattern until each player has one card. These cards are usually dealt face up (i.e., with the value and suit exposed). The dealer will then deal himself a single card, almost always face down. The dealer will then repeat the process by dealing each player a second card (usually also face up), and then will deal himself a second card, usually face up as well. Each player will therefore begin with two cards (usually both face up), and the dealer will have two cards (usually one face up and one face down).

After the player looks at the value of his cards, he may choose to “stand,” which means that he keeps the two cards that he was dealt. He may also “hit,” which means that he receives another card from the deck. The value of this new card is added to the total of his hand. The player may then choose to stand or hit again, and can receive as many additional cards as he wants. However, if the sum of the player's cards exceeds a score of 21, the player busts and loses his bet.

In most casinos, the player also has the option of “doubling down,” usually only if the first two cards add up to a total of nine, ten, or eleven. To double down, the player doubles his original bet and receives one, and only one, more card. In most casinos players also have the option of “splitting” when both cards have the same value (i.e., both are eights or both are tens—players can not split if one card is a ten and the other is a different card also with a value of ten). To split, the player takes his two cards and makes two different hands, adding a new bet to the new hand created. The dealer then deals an additional card to each hand, so the player now has two hands with two cards each, each with a bet of the original amount. The two hands are then played normally.

Once each player has gone in turn and either busted or decided to stand (and not receive any more cards), the dealer flips both of his cards face up. If the dealer's hand has a certain total value (usually 17), the dealer stands, otherwise, the dealer hits. Dealers will often also hit if they have an ace and a six (known as a “soft” 17, since the ace can be used as a one instead of an eleven if the card drawn would otherwise increase the dealer's hand over 21). If the dealer busts, then all players who had not previously busted win the hand. Once the dealer stands (on a 17, 18, 19, 20, or 21), his hand total is compared to each player who had not busted in turn, and each player wins an amount equal to his bet, loses his bet, or pushes, based on which hand value is higher as described above.

There are a number of variations on the rules described above, including “insurance bets,” single-deck Blackjack, and games wherein both of the dealer's cards are dealt face up. However, Blackjack and most variations thereof suffer from a number of drawbacks. For instance, the player must generally keep the two cards he is dealt, and he does not have the option to discard either of them. The player may thus feel that he does not have sufficient control with respect to the cards that are dealt to him.

Another drawback to conventional Blackjack games is that the amount that a player can win is severely limited by his starting bet. The player is not afforded sufficient betting opportunities that could lead to bigger payouts. As such, other betting options are desirable for the Blackjack player other than just varying the size of their wagers. In conventional Blackjack, a player may earn one-and-a-half times his original bet on a “blackjack,” but otherwise he is limited to winning the amount that he wagers (even by splitting or doubling down, the player must double his original bet for a chance to win only that doubled amount). There is no possibility in conventional Blackjack for a player to make “side bets,” and there is no opportunity to win five, ten, or even sixty times his original bet. The addition of such variations would likely make Blackjack more fun and exciting for players, as it increases the unpredictability of Blackjack and increases the payouts that a player may receive. The addition of side bets or other betting opportunities would also likely make Blackjack more profitable for casinos. These variations are therefore likely to increase the popularity of Blackjack even further. Other advantages of the present invention will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art in light of the ensuing description of the present invention.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed to a method of playing a modified Blackjack game that generates additional excitement, player control, and more revenue for both players and casinos than conventional Blackjack. The present invention provides the player with added options with respect to the cards that are dealt to him. As such, the player may feel like he has more control of the outcome of the game. The present invention also provides additional betting opportunities and an opportunity for larger payouts than conventional Blackjack games. Providing players with more opportunities to win and the opportunity for bigger payouts would bring greater excitement and interest to players and will likely attract new players to the game.

To achieve the foregoing and in accordance with the purposes of the present invention, the present invention is directed to a gaming method that comprises: dealing at least one card to at least one player and to the dealer; requiring each player and the dealer to select a community card value from a set of predetermined community cards; allowing each player and the dealer to decide whether to use an additional card to form their hand; and allowing each player and the dealer to create a Blackjack hand comprising: (1) the at least one card dealt to them, (2) the community card value selected, and (3) optionally, an additional card.

One embodiment of the present invention is directed to a method of playing a modified Blackjack game comprising the following steps: (a) requiring each player to place at least one bet before receiving any cards; (b) dealing one face up card and one face down card to each player; (c) dealing a first card and second card face down to the dealer; (d) dealing two community cards face up; (e) allowing each player to either fold or place an additional bet; (f) allowing each player who decided to place an additional bet to select a community card to form his initial two card hand; (g) allowing each player to decide whether to use his face down card to form his hand; (h) requiring the dealer to reveal his first card; (i) requiring the dealer to select a community card to pair with his first card; (j) allowing the dealer to decide whether to use his second card to form his hand; (k) determining game outcome by using Blackjack scoring as a basis to make a comparison between each player's hand and the dealer's hand. Each player's hand is comprised of: (1) the face up card dealt to him, (2) the community card selected, and (3) optionally the face down card. The dealer's hand is comprised of (1) his first card, (2) the community card he selected, and (3) optionally the second card. In alternate embodiments of the invention, step “a” comprises requiring an ante bet to participate in the game and an optional side wager.

Another aspect of the present invention is directed to a gaming layout that includes: at least one player position that is adapted to identify a player's set of cards and includes at least two betting locations; a first position to designate a first community card value and a second position to designate a second community card value. In one embodiment of the present invention, the gaming layout includes an ante position, a side wager betting position, and first and second additional betting positions for placement of the additional bet in step (f) described above. The first and second additional betting positions are adapted to designate the first community card and second community card respectively. The player identifies which community card he selected by placing his additional bet on the designated additional betting position.

The above description sets forth a summary of embodiments of the present invention so that the detailed description that follows may be better understood and contributions of the present invention to the art may be better appreciated. Some of the embodiments of the present invention may not include all of the features or characteristics listed in the above summary. There may be, of course, other features of the invention that will be described below and may form the subject matter of claims. In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in further detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways; for example, the invention may be carried out through software on a computer or other electronic medium. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

Other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, various features of embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a block diagram showing generally the steps of a gaming method in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 depicts a flowchart showing substantially a sequence of steps of a gaming method in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 depicts a top plan view of a gaming layout in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of a player position of the gaming layout shown in FIG. 3 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the community card positions of the gaming layout shown in FIG. 3 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following description of embodiments of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this application. The drawings show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

The order in which the steps are presented below is not limited to any particular order and does not necessarily imply that they have to be performed in the order presented. It will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the order of these steps can be rearranged and performed in any suitable manner. It further will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that some steps may be omitted or added and still fall within the spirit of the invention.

Gaming Method

The present invention comprises a gaming method and an apparatus that may be used to implement the gaming method. In general, the gaming method is designed to reward players who have compiled hands that are better than the dealer's hand based on conventional Blackjack rules. Traditional Blackjack rules are used to value the cards and to determine game outcome. At least one standard deck of 52 playing cards is used in the present invention although up to eight decks of cards may be used on a Blackjack-sized table. These cards each have a numerical or letter value, and a suit associated with them. A standard deck consists of four sets (of thirteen cards each) numbered as follows: A (ace), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J (jack), Q (queen), and K (king). There are four cards of each value, one of each “suit”: spades, diamonds, clubs, and hearts. As in conventional Blackjack, the suit is irrelevant for purposes of the present invention, and only the value of the card is considered. The value of the cards is computed as follows: for cards valued two through nine, they are given the value shown on the card; tens, jacks, queens, and kings are each valued as ten points; aces may be valued as one point or as eleven points, at the player's discretion.

To determine whether the player or the dealer wins a hand, the value of each card in the player's hand is added together. If the value of all the cards in a player's hand ever exceeds a score of 21, then the player “busts” and loses the hand (keeping in mind that the player may choose to value aces as one if necessary). If the player does not bust, then the person with the cards that total the highest value wins the hand. If the combined values of the cards in the player's hand and the dealer's hand are the same, then the hand is usually a “push,” wherein neither the player nor the dealer wins the hand.

As depicted in the block diagram of FIG. 1, the gaming method of the present invention generally comprises: dealing at least one card (“first card”) to one or more players and to the dealer (block 500); requiring each player and the dealer to select a community card value from a set of predetermined community cards to pair with their first card (block 600); allowing each player and the dealer to decide whether to use an additional card to form their hand (block 700); and allowing each player and the dealer to create a Blackjack hand comprising: (1) the first card, (2) the community card value selected, and (3) optionally an additional card (block 800). Each player's hand is then compared to the dealer's hand using the rules of Blackjack (block 900), and the bets are then resolved (block 1000).

Referring now to FIG. 2, in one embodiment of the present invention, the gaming method of the invention begins with a dealer shuffling a set of cards (step 10). A single deck or up to eight decks of cards may be used. The players are then asked to place their bets (step 20) before any cards are dealt. The bets comprise of an ante or a mandatory bet to participate in the game. In alternate embodiments of the present invention, the bets may further comprise of an additional side wager or “2up” bet.

After the dealer shuffles the cards and the players have placed their bets, the dealer deals one face up card and one face down card to each player (step 30). (The term “face up” card may be used to refer to a card that is laid out to the players and to the dealer such that the card's game indicia are visible to the players and the dealer.) At this juncture, the players are not yet permitted to view their face down card. The dealer also deals a first card and second card, both face down, to himself (step 40) and deals two community cards face up (step 50).

Next, at step 60, after seeing their face up card, each player is given the option to fold or bet. If the player decides to fold, he forfeits his ante, and he is no longer in the game (step 70). If the player decides to bet, he places an additional bet equal to the ante and selects one of the community cards to pair with his face up card to form his initial two-card hand (step 80). The number of community cards form which to choose from is not limited to two. There may be one community card value that must be used in forming each player's hand or there may be three, four, five, and so forth. However, the present invention incorporates the use of two community cards to provide the players with options with respect to forming their hands, and two cards is not too high of a quantity to impede the flow of play.

There are actual physical community cards utilized in the embodiment of the present invention depicted in FIG. 2. However, in alternate embodiments, predetermined values of community cards may be implemented in the gaming method, and these values may be incorporated into the gaming layout. In such embodiments, community card values may be pre-selected for use in the game. In other embodiments of the invention, a mere point system may be used instead of community card values though it would likely have the same effect of using community card values. In such embodiments, the predetermined point values may be incorporated into the gaming layout.

For purposes of describing various embodiments herein, the terms “community cards” and “community card values” are used interchangeably. Additionally, the term “predetermined community cards” or “predetermined community card values” are used, but they are not limited to community cards/community card values that are predetermined before playing the game. “Predetermined community cards” may also refer to community cards that are dealt and revealed to the player before the player makes a decision whether to use one or more of them to form his hand.

In step 80, wherein each player selects a community card and places an additional bet, the player may indicate his selection in a variety of ways. For instance, the player may place his additional bet on a designated region on the gaming layout which identifies which community card he selected. In such embodiments of the invention, there may be betting positions specifically adapted to identify different community cards. For instance, in embodiments of the game in which two community cards are dealt, if the player wishes to use the first community card to form his hand, then the player places his additional bet on a betting region of the player's position of the game table labeled “1” or “First” to indicate that he chooses to use the first community card (see FIGS. 3-4). Similarly, there may be another betting region marked “2” or “Second” on the player's portion of the game table which indicates that the second community card is to be used to form the player's hand. Of course, any combination of words, numbers and/or other symbols may be used to designate the betting positions adapted to identify the community cards. Nonetheless, the method of indicating the community card value selected may vary depending on the house or casino's preference.

At step 90, the player is allowed to decide whether to use his face down card to form his hand. If he chooses not to use the face down card, the dealer collects the face down card (step 100) so his hand would therefore be comprised of only the face up card and community card value selected. However, if the player chooses to use the face down card, then the face down card is revealed and added to the player's hand (step 110) such that his hand is now comprised of the face up card, community card value selected, and the face down card. If the player's score exceeds 21, the player loses immediately and is out of the game.

After all players have made their decisions with respect to their face down cards, the dealer reveals his first card (step 120). Then the dealer is given the opportunity to select a community card to pair with his first card (step 130). In one embodiment of the invention, the dealer must select his community card value (house community card value) according to a predetermined set of house rules. Such house rules may vary depending on the preference of the casino. TABLE 1 depicts a set of house rules used in one embodiment of the present invention.

TABLE 1
2-Card ScoreHand Composition
21Ace and any 10
20A-9 and 10-10
19A-8 and 10-9
119-2, 8-3, 7-4, 6-5
108-2, 7-3, 6-4, 5-5
 97-2, 6-3, 5-4
189-9, 10-8, A-7
179-8, 10-7, A-6
Soft 16A-5
Soft 15A-4
Soft 14A-3
Soft 13A-2
Soft 12A-A
 82-6, 3-5, 4-4
 72-5, 3-4
 62-4, 3-3
 52-3
129-3, 8-4, 7-5, 6-6, 10-2
139-4, 8-5, 7-6, 10-3
149-5, 8-6, 7-7, 10-4
159-6, 8-7, 10-5
169-7, 8-8, 10-6
 42-2

Scanning the house rules depicted in TABLE 1 from top to bottom, the dealer must pick the first score that matches the score of his first card and one of the community cards. For example, if the two community cards are an Ace and a 6 and the dealer's first card is a 2, the dealer should pick the Ace because a soft 13 (A-2) ranks higher than an 8 (2-6). For the purpose of ease of use and to not impede the flow of play, the house rules depicted in TABLE 1 have been simplified and are therefore not necessarily optimal.

If the dealer's initial two-card score is not 17 (soft or hard) or better (step 140), the dealer must reveal his second card and use it to form his hand (step 160). If the dealer's initial two-card score equals 17 or better, then the dealer discards his second card (step 150). Once the dealer has played out his hand, he will compare his hand with each player's hand (step 170) and bets are then resolved (step 180) according to a predetermined payout schedule.

The dealer must qualify with a predetermined score. The house may set any qualifying score it finds desirable. For example, in one embodiment of the invention, the dealer must qualify with a score of at least 13 or better. If the dealer's hand is less than 13, all players will automatically win even money on the ante, but the additional bet made in step 80 pushes. If the dealer qualifies, then whoever has the higher score based on conventional Blackjack scoring wins the hand. An ace and a ten-value card always count as 21. All scores of 21 are equal whether they are a 2-card 21 or a 3-card 21. A tie is a push. A winning player hand is paid even money on both the ante and additional bet.

Side Bet

In alternate embodiments of the invention, an optional side bet may be incorporated into the gaming method of the present invention. In such embodiments, when making the ante or mandatory bet to participate in the game, the player may choose to make an additional side bet before any cards are dealt to him. This side bet may be made in step 20 of FIG. 2. Such side bets may be made for the occurrence of any variety of events. For instance, a player may make a side bet that their hand will be comprised of a specific winning combination of cards.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the side bet is based on the player's face-up card and the two community cards. If any two of these three cards form a pair or if these three cards form a three of a kind combination, the side bet wins. The payout schedule may be as follows:

TABLE 2
Hand Type1 Deck2 Decks4 Decks6 Decks8 Decks
3 of a Kind30 to 1 30 to 1 25 to 1 20 to 1 20 to 1 
Any Pair4 to 13 to 13 to 13 to 13 to 1

It can be realized from the embodiments described herein that the present invention provides a modified Blackjack game that adds new excitement and larger rewards than traditional Blackjack games. The above-described embodiments of the present invention have many advantages. For instance, the embodiments that incorporate a side bet and utilize the payout schedules presented above may provide the player with games that are more rewarding (for both players and casinos). In conventional Blackjack, a player may earn one-and-a-half times his original bet on a “blackjack,” but otherwise he is limited to winning the amount that he wagers (even by splitting or doubling down, the player must double his original bet for a chance to win only that doubled amount). In contrast, the present invention offers the possibility for a player to make side bets whereby he has an opportunity to win three, four, twenty, twenty-five, or even thirty times his original side bet (TABLE 2).

The present invention retains some of the features and advantages of Blackjack while also providing the player with more control of the cards dealt to him and the dynamics of a side wager and an additional betting opportunity for enhanced player anticipation and enjoyment. A player may feel like he has more control because the present invention provides him with options. For instance, the player gets to select the community card value to be used with the first card dealt to him. The player also has the option of using or discarding a second card to form his hand. Thus, the player may feel that he is not stuck with a particular card.

The invention therefore benefits the player who desires a novel variation of Blackjack as well as the player who does not want to have to learn new rules for valuing cards and scoring hands, but desires some variety. Additionally, with the incorporation of a side bet and an additional betting opportunity, the invention provides casinos with the potential of generating more revenue. Nonetheless, it is advantageous to offer Blackjack players some variation in the game to maintain their long-term interest.

As described in the EXAMPLES section below, certain embodiments of the present invention have reasonable odds for both the player and the house. This is another advantage of the invention because, to be a viable casino game, the gaming method should provide opportunity for a reasonable return for both the house and the player.

It is to be understood, that although some advantages of the present invention are described herein, it is not necessary that all the advantageous features and/or all the advantages need to be incorporated into every embodiment of the invention.

Gaming Layout

Referring now to FIG. 3, an embodiment of a gaming layout 60 of the present invention is shown. Gaming layout 60 may be made with the common shapes of conventional casino gaming tables such as a semi-circular shape. Gaming layout 60 may also be made with materials of conventional gaming tables, such as felt, vinyl, wood, plastic, laminate, and/or marble. In alternate embodiments of the present invention, gaming layout 60 may be a video or computer representation of a conventional gaming table.

Gaming layout 60 includes a plurality of player positions 62a-g, which is adapted to distinguish each player's bets and cards from those of the other players. Although seven player positions are depicted in FIG. 3, any suitable number of player positions may be included in a gaming layout of the present invention. The number of player positions may vary depending on the size of the gaming table and the number of players a casino wishes to accommodate in one given game. Also, it is not necessary that all player positions be utilized while the game is being played. At least one player position needs to be utilized for the game to be played.

Gaming layout 60 further includes a dealer position 64 where the dealer may store gaming chips 66 and place the cards. The dealer may place the cards dealt to himself in any designated area of the gaming layout per the casino's preference. For example, the dealer may deal his first card face down and place it on card position 68, and then deal his second card face down and place it on card position 69.

Referring now to FIG. 4, each player position includes an ante position 72 and a side betting position 74. Ante position 72 is where the player positions his initial bet to participate in the game. Side betting position 74 is where the player places his optional side bet. Furthermore, each player position includes: a first additional betting position 76 and a second additional betting position 78. Additional betting positions 76 and 78 are adapted to designate the first community card and second community card respectively, and the player places his additional bet (see step 80 of FIG. 2) in either additional betting position 76 or 78 depending on which community card he selects to form his hand. For instance, if the player selects the first community card to form his hand, then the player places his additional bet within additional betting position 76. If the player selects the second community card to form his hand, then the player places his additional bet within additional betting position 78. Although the numbers “1” or “2” are used in this embodiment to designate that first community card and second community card respectively, any combination of words, numbers, logos and/or other symbols may be used in the additional betting positions to identify the different community cards.

Also, the amount of community cards from which to choose is not limited to two community cards. For instance, in other variations of the invention there may be one, three, or more community cards. Naturally, in such embodiments, the amount of additional betting positions equal the amount of community cards used in the game.

The player position depicted in FIG. 4 also includes card positions 32 and 34. When the cards are being dealt to each player, a face up card is dealt and placed on card position 32, and a face down card is dealt and placed on card position 34. Of course, any combination of colors, patterns, designs, words, numbers, logos and/or other symbols may be used to designate the player's face up card and face down card positions.

Referring now to FIG. 5, gaming layout 60 includes two distinct community card positions 92 and 94 located substantially in the center of the gaming layout or the board. The two community card positions 92 and 94 are preferably separated and are individually adapted to identify each community card distributed during the course of the game. Community card position 92 is labeled “1” to indicate that the first community card should be placed thereon. Community card position 94 is labeled “2” to indicate that the second community card should be placed thereon. Additional betting positions 76 and 78 (FIG. 4) are adapted to correspond with community card positions 92 and 94 respectively.

Of course, the number, locations, and designs of the player's betting positions and/or community card positions may be adjusted as desired so long as they remain within reasonable access for the player and the dealer. Also, any designation may be included within the betting locations or community card positions so long as the meaning of the designation is clear to the players and dealer. Other features may be included within the gaming layout 60 such as payout schedules/tables, rules of play, logos, trademarks, casino name, designs and/or various artistic elements.

EXAMPLES

The embodiment of the invention depicted in the subsequent examples uses the following rules of play.

Rules of Play

In this embodiment of the present invention, the game begins with every player making an ante bet. Each player is then dealt two cards, one face up and one face down. Two community cards are dealt face up. The dealer also deals himself two cards face down. After seeing the face-up card, each player has two options: (1) fold and forfeit the ante or (2) pick one of the 2 community cards to pair with his face up card and form his initial 2-card hand. The player cannot use both community cards. After making his decision the player must place a second bet equal to the ante on the bet circle number corresponding to the community card number he picks.

The dealer then asks each remaining player if he wants to use his face down card. If the answer is no, the dealer immediately removes the face down card. If the answer is yes the face down card is turned over and the value added to the face up card and the communal card the player chose. If the player's score goes over 21, the hand loses immediately. After all players have made their decisions, the dealer will reveal his first face-down card and pick one of the two community cards to form his initial 2-card hand. The dealer must pick his community card according to the house rules depicted in TABLE 1 above.

If the dealer's initial 2-card score is not 17 (soft or hard) or better, the dealer must turn his face down card up and use it. Once the dealer has played out his hand, he will compare his score with each player's score. The dealer must qualify with at least 13 or better. If the dealer hand is less than 13, all players will automatically win even money on the ante but the second bet pushes. If the dealer qualifies, then whoever has the higher score wins the hand. A tie is a push. A winning player hand is paid even money on both the ante and second bet. An ace and a ten-value card always count as 21. All scores of 21 are equal whether they are a 2-card 21 or a 3-card 21.

Mathematical Analysis

The following mathematical analysis of the above-described embodiment was conducted by Gambology of Las Vegas, Nev.

A combinatorial analyzer was developed to analyze the game. The analyzer software cycled through each of 10×(C10,2+10)=550 initial three-card hands for the player versus all possible dealer hands from the remaining deck of cards. To determine the best play for each such three-card hand, the analyzer determined the expectation for each of the two card combinations formed by the respective left and right community card and the player card and compared their expectations. The optimal player strategy was determined after all 550 three-card hands had been examined.

As depicted in TABLE 3 below, the house advantage varies with the number of decks used:

TABLE 3
% House Advantage% House Advantage
# Decks% Foldper Initial Betper Total Wager
111.322.741.45
210.942.961.57
410.113.051.61
610.003.081.62
89.993.091.63

Side Bet

The following is an analysis of the embodiments that incorporate the rules of play described above as well as an additional side bet made by the player when making his ante bet. The side bet is based on the player's face-up card and the two community cards. If any two of these three cards form a pair or if these three cards form a three of a kind combination, the side bet wins.

TABLE 4
1 deck
Hand Type% ProbabilityPay% Return
3 of a Kind0.2353307.0588
Any Pair16.9412467.7647
Nothing82.8235−1−82.8235
Total100.0000−8.0000
The hit frequency is 17.18%. The house advantage is 8%.

TABLE 5
2 decks
Hand Type% ProbabilityPay% Return
3 of a Kind0.39983011.9931
Any Pair19.1890357.5671
Nothing80.4112−1−80.4112
Total100.0000−10.8509
The hit frequency is 19.58%. The house advantage is 10.85%.

TABLE 6
4 decks
Hand Type% ProbabilityPay% Return
3 of a Kind0.49252512.3118
Any Pair20.2617360.7851
Nothing79.2458−1−79.2458
Total100.0000−6.1489
The hit frequency is 20.75%. The house advantage is 6.15%.

TABLE 7
6 decks
Hand Type% ProbabilityPay% Return
3 of a Kind0.52482010.4968
Any Pair20.6120361.8359
Nothing78.8632−1−78.8632
Total100.0000−6.5304
The hit frequency is 21.14%. The house advantage is 6.53%.

TABLE 8
8 decks
Hand Type% ProbabilityPay% Return
3 of a Kind0.54132010.8259
Any Pair20.7858362.3573
Nothing78.6730−1−78.6730
Total100.0000−5.4898
The hit frequency is 21.33%. The house advantage is 5.49%

Although the present invention has been described above in considerable detail with reference to certain versions thereof, other versions are possible. For example, the gaming method described above is not limited to being played as a table game. The gaming method may be played as a board game or by using computers or electronic devices having audio and video outputs. Thus, the term “cards” as used in this application refers to traditional cards made of paper stock having traditional game indicia, such as numbers (2-10), suits (diamonds, hearts, spades, and clubs), and characters (aces, jacks, queens, and kings). The term “cards” is also used to refer to electronic images of traditional cards. The term “dealer” may be an actual person distributing the cards. It is noted that the dealer may also be a player, and the dealer does not have to be associated with a business entity having a stake in any profits derived from operating the game. The term “dealer” may also be used to refer to a virtual dealer that is programmed through an electronic device or computer.

The invention can be readily implemented in a wide variety of additional forms and media including, but not limited to: single player slot video machines, multi-player slot video machines, electronic games and devices, lottery terminals, scratch-card formats, software, as well as in-flight, home, and Internet entertainment. Furthermore, the invention can be readily implemented in software, which can be stored on a disk (e.g., magnetic disk, compact disc (CD), USB memory stick, etc.) and used with a computer system. In one embodiment, the gaming method of the present invention may be implemented as a computer game that may be executed via disk or downloaded from the Internet and played using a computer, gaming console, or an electronic handheld device (e.g., personal digital assistants (PDA), mobile phones, etc.). Such embodiments may be played individually or may be played with other players. In another embodiment, the present invention may be played as an interactive online gambling game wherein the player may play against the dealer individually or with other players via the Internet. The dealer may be an actual person or a virtual dealer. Similarly, the other players may be actual people or they may be computer generated virtual players. In other embodiments of the invention, the gaming method may be played against a casino or wagering establishment from a remote location via the Internet.

Some steps of the gaming method described herein may be added, omitted, modified, or performed in various sequences. Additionally, some of the steps described in the various embodiments herein are for illustrative purposes (i.e., they are described to exemplify how the flow of play may occur in a casino establishment), and as such, some of the steps may be modified, added, or omitted without departing form the scope of the invention.

While the description above refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.