Title:
Mahjong roulette
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Mahjong wagering games are disclosed in which a player or players place a wager on which mahjong tile will be selected, the mahjong tile being selected with a mahjong roulette style wheel or by being revealed after selection from a boneyard. The wagers are based on a bet type provided in a bet table that comprises a matrix of mahjong tiles arranged in columns, rows or groups.



Inventors:
Flower, Claire (Wirral, GB)
Application Number:
11/598420
Publication Date:
05/15/2008
Filing Date:
11/14/2006
Assignee:
LEADING EDGE GAMES LTD
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAYNO, BENJAMIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE SECRETARY, LEADING EDGE GAMES LTD (P O BOX 204, FALCON HOUSE, DOUGLAS, IO, IM99 1AQ, omitted)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a mahjong game involving at least one player, the method comprising the steps of: a) receiving from each player a wager on a bet type, wherein the bet type is indicative of a mahjong tile or a group of mahjong tiles: b) selecting a first mahjong tile: and c) determining if the mahjong tile is within a player's wagered on bet type.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein selecting the first mahjong tile comprises spinning a roulette style wheel, wherein the roulette style wheel comprises a set of concentrically arranged mahjong tiles.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the roulette style wheel is a virtual wheel displayed through an electronic display unit.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the first mahiong tile is revealed to the players after the mahjong tile has been selected from a group of mahjong tiles.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the group of mahjong tiles lay face down on a surface.

6. The method of claim 4, wherein the group of mahjong tiles is a virtual one and wherein selecting the first mahjong tile comprises a user clicking on or somehow otherwise selecting a mahjong tile in the virtual group.

7. The method of claim 6, further comprising dragging a mahjong tile that has been selected to a first zone, and dropping the mahjong tile into the first zone.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the bet type comprises a player wagering on whether or not a particular mahjong tile will be the first mahjong tile.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the bet type comprises a player wagering on whether or not the first mahjong tile will fall within a group of mahjong tiles arranged on a bet table, wherein the bet table comprises a mahjong set arranged in a matrix.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the bet type comprises a player wagering on whether or not the first mahjong tile will be one of the group of mahjong tiles known as the Character suit.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the bet type comprises a player wagering on whether or not the first mahjong tile will be one of the group of mahjong tiles known as the Circles suit.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the bet type comprises a player wagering on whether or not the first mahjong tile will be one of the group of mahjong tiles known as the Bamboo suit

13. The method of claim 1, wherein the bet type comprises a player wagering on whether or not the first mahjong tile will be one of the group of mahjong tiles known as the Major suit tiles, comprising tiles 1 &9 of each of the Character, Bamboo or Circle suits

14. A bet table comprising a set of mahjong tiles arranged in a matrix with columns, rows and groups, wherein each row, column or group comprises an ordered series of one or more mahjong tiles.

15. A roulette style wheel comprising a set of concentrically arranged mahjong tiles.

16. A mahjong game comprising: a) A roulette style wheel having a set of mahjong tiles concentrically arranged thereon; and b) A bet table including a set of mahjong tiles arranged in a matrix with columns, rows and groups.

17. A mahjong game comprising: a) A set of mahjong tiles; b) A bet table comprising a set of mahjong tiles arranged in a matrix with columns, rows and groups, wherein the bet table is operable for accepting wagers; and c) A boneyard area.

18. The mahjong game of claim 17, wherein the set of mahjong tiles consists of a deck of cards made to resemble mahjong tiles.

19. The mahjong game of claim 17, wherein the set of mahjong tiles consists of mahjong tiles.

Description:

FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY

This invention generally relates to games of chance and more specifically to mahjong wagering games. The mahjong wagering games involve wagering on particular bet types according to odds provided on a bet table and embodiments are disclosed herein. The games involve the player choosing a mahjong tile or group of mahjong tiles to wager on. A mahjong tile is then randomly selected and the player wins if this mahjong tile matches the one they selected or is in the group of tiles they selected.

BACKGROUND

One of the many stories regarding the origin of Mahjong suggests that Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, had developed the game about 500 BC.

Although this story, as well as various other stories, lend themselves to a very interesting background to the game, the most logical theory suggests that the game was in fact developed from various, existing, Chinese games. It is thought that roughly around 1850 AD in the city of Ningpo two brothers created mahjong from the earlier card game of ma tiae.

The introduction to the western world is thought to have begun with two brothers named White, who in the early 1900's introduced Mahjong to the English clubs of Shanghai, where it quickly gained popularity among the foreign residents. Mahjong then spread to the United States and many other parts of the world. Importation of Mahjong tiles into the United States began with Joseph P. Babcock. He simplified the game and retained only the essential basic scores. Mr. Babcock is also credited with starting the practice of putting English numerals on the tiles, and in September of 1920 he copyrighted and put his rules into print for the first time.

The 1920's marked the height of the Mahjong craze in the United States. Although the popularity of Mahjong slowly faded from the mainstream, the game has maintained a steady and devout following that continues today.

Many different versions of Mahjong have developed over it's history. Such that the rules of play, scoring and tile make up can vary greatly from one localized region to another.

However, the rules, scoring and tile make up of the traditional Chinese version of the game are widely accepted to be the originals from which subsequent versions have developed.

A typical Mahjong set consists of 136 or 144 Mahjong tiles. There are three different tile categories: suits, honour tiles and supreme honour tiles.

Just as there are four suits in a deck of cards, there are three suits in mahjong: circles, bamboo, and characters. (There are many other names for each of the suits e.g. some people call the circles “balls” or “dots” and the bamboo “bam” or “lines” but I will refer to them as circle, bamboo and character herein). Each suit has tiles that go from 1-9, and there are four tiles of each number (i.e. 9×4=36 circle tiles, 9×4=36 bamboo tiles, and 9×4=36 character tiles). This equals a total of 108 suit tiles in all.

The honour tiles consist of three coloured dragon tiles (white, red, and green) and four directional wind tiles (east, south, west, and north). There are four of each honour tile in the mahjong set, leading to a total of 28 honour tiles in a set.

Although the names and depictions may vary slightly most mahjong sets contain these core 136 suit and honour tiles.

Where sets vary greatly is whether or not they include supreme honour tiles (also known as bonus tiles) and what format these tiles take. There are usually 8 supreme honour tiles, divided into two groups of 4. For example there may be 4 ‘Seasons’ and 4 ‘Flowers’. But there are many variations on the names and representations used for the supreme honour tiles and indeed many sets do not include them at all.

Some sets may also contain joker tiles or blank tiles for playing alternate variations of the standard game or for replacing lost pieces.

The best tiles are made from bamboo and ivory or bone and have beautiful hand-painted pictures representing the face of each tile. Traditionally, the Flowers, Seasons and the One of Bamboos come in for particular artistic creativity.

The aim in the traditional game is to collect sets of tiles according to the number and type shown on the face of each tile. A player takes and discards a tile each turn and the first player whose hand consists entirely of a legal set or sets goes out or goes “Mah Jong”. The game is effectively the same as the card game Rummy, in fact.

SUMMARY

Disclosed herein are embodiments of mahjong games in which players can wager on which mahjong tile or group of mahjong tiles they think will be selected.

In one aspect, a mahjong wagering game as provided herein comprises: a roulette style wheel having a set of mahjong tiles concentrically arranged thereon; a bet table comprising a mahjong set arranged in a matrix with columns, rows and groups of mahjong tiles wherein each row, column or groups comprises an ordered series of mahjong tiles; and a wager accepting means. The game can be land based (e.g. played on a gaming table) or played in an electronic gaming format (e.g. on a personal computer or by means of a suitably equipped interactive television). The wager accepting means can be any means by which a player identifies a bet type according to the bet table. For example, if the game is land based, the wager accepting means can be the bet table itself, where a player places a chip or other suitable monetary marker on a particular area of the bet table to signify a bet type. If the game is played in an electronic gaming format, using a virtual wheel and virtual bet table, the player can click on a particular area of the bet table to signify a bet type. If the game is played utilizing interactive television technology then the TV remote control may be used to select the particular area of the bet table to signify a bet type.

In another aspect, a mahjong wagering game comprises: a set of mahjong tiles; a bet table comprising a mahjong set arranged in a matrix with columns, rows and groups, wherein each row, column or group comprises an ordered series of mahjong tiles; a boneyard area; a bet zone area; and a wager accepting means. The game can be land based or played in an electronic gaming format. If the game is land based, a gaming table is provided that comprises an area for the boneyard and an area for the bet zone, as well as an area for the bet table. If the game is played in an electronic gaming format, the gaming device can display the area for the boneyard and the area for the bet zone, as well as the area for the bet table. The wager accepting means can be any means by which a player identifies a bet type according to the bet table. For example, if the game is land based, the wager accepting means can be the bet table itself, where a player places a chip or other suitable monetary marker on a particular area of the bet table to signify a bet type. If the game is played in an electronic gaming format, the player can click on a particular area of the bet table to signify a bet type. If the game is played utilizing interactive television technology then the TV remote control may be used to select the particular area of the bet table to signify a bet type.

In one aspect the method comprises the steps of: receiving from said players a plurality of wagers on a bet type that is indicative of a mahjong tile or a group of mahjong tiles; selecting a first mahjong tile and determining if the first mahjong tile is within the bet type of any of the players. In one aspect, the mahjong tiles are arranged on a roulette style wheel, and the mahjong tile or group of mahjong tiles is selected by a spinning ball on the spinning roulette style wheel.

In one mahjong game, the first mahjong tile is selected by spinning a roulette style wheel that comprises a set of mahjong tiles concentrically arranged around the roulette style wheel. The roulette style wheel can be an actual wheel on a gaming table or a virtual wheel in a electronic gaming machine.

In another mahjong game, the first mahjong tile is revealed to the players after the mahjong tile has been selected by a player from a boneyard. The boneyard can be an actual boneyard comprising mahjong tiles laying face down on a surface, or a virtual boneyard, and wherein a mahjong tile can be selected by clicking on a mahjong tile in the virtual boneyard in an electronic gaming machine. If the game is played utilizing interactive television technology then the TV remote control may be used to select the mahjong tile in the virtual boneyard.

Also provided, is a bet table comprising a mahjong set arranged in a matrix with columns, rows and groups, wherein each row, column or group comprises an ordered series of mahjong tiles. The bet table can be provided, for example, in an electronic gaming machine or on a table. The bet table can be made, for example, on felt, showing a printed layout of mahjong tiles in a particular order, pay out odds (i.e. odds at which winning would be paid out at if the first mahjong tile is in the wagered bet type) could be printed beside each row, column, or group.

An embodiment also provides a roulette style wheel comprising of a set of mahjong tiles concentrically arranged thereon. Any set of mahjong tiles as described herein, can be arranged on the wheel in any particular order.

Other aspects of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, certain principles of the embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

This patent or application file contains at least one drawing executed in color. Copies of this patent or patent application publication with color drawing(s) will be provided by the Office upon request and payment of the necessary fee.

FIG. 1 is an illustration of an exemplary Bet-Table with bet types and paylines for mahjong games of embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of an exemplary Mahjong Roulette wheel for use in mahjong games of embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of a betting loop that can be used in the games of embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of an exemplary gaming table for Mahjong Roulette.

FIG. 5 is an illustration of an exemplary gaming table for Mahjong Reveal.

FIG. 6 shows an illustration of a computer network for playing Mahjong Reveal and/or Mahjong Roulette.

FIG. 7 shows a flow diagram of a method of embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 8 is an illustration of an exemplary Bet Table for mahjong games of embodiments of the invention.

Reference Numerals—The table in FIG. 9 gives details of the other suggested bet types indicated by the labelled wager markers on FIG. 8, adopting the same numbering system as that adopted for the reference numerals in FIG. 8. Actual and suggested payout odds are also indicated

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Mahjong games are provided that may be played as a wagered table game, a video game, a combined table and video game, or as a practice wagering game on a personal computer. Embodiments disclosed encompass at least two categories of mahjong games, referred to herein as “mahjong roulette” and “mahjong draw”.

As used herein, the term “mahjong tile” and “mahjong tiles” includes conventional mahjong tiles for playing the embodiments of the present invention. Mahjong pieces are generally provided as tiles, but can also be provided in other forms, such as chips or cards. The mahjong tiles typically include marking indicia. These markings can be inset on the face of the mahjong tile, or painted or otherwise placed on the face of the mahjong tile.

In one embodiment, the mahjong games provided herein involve wagering based on a bet table as exemplified in FIG. 1.

FIG. 1 shows a bet table for a traditional Chinese mahjong set (i.e. a mahjong set consisting of 34 unique pieces, generally in a full traditional Chinese set there would be 4 of each unique piece, making 136 pieces in total). The bet table shows a betting matrix, which could also provide the odds that a mahiong tile will be selected in the particular groups shown in the columns (Number Bets—e.g. a bet on the number ‘1’ area would payout to the player if any Mahjong tile with a value of 1 was selected i.e. Character 1, Bamboo 1 or Circle 1), rows (Suit Bets—e.g. a bet on the ‘Character’ area would payout to the player if any Mahjong tile in the Character suit was selected.), and groups (Group Bets—e.g. a bet on the ‘Any Major’ area would payout to the player if any major Mahjong tile was selected i.e. Character 1 &9, Bamboo 1 &9 and Circle 1 &9). Based on the bet table shown in FIG. 1, various bet types can be made, including, but not limited to, number bets, suit bets, major and minor bets, Character major and minor bets, Bamboo major and minor bets, Circle major and minor bets, Wind bets, Dragon bets, Honour Bets, Colour bets (Green, Red, Blue), Single Tile bets, Adjacent Tile bets, Quad bets and Adjacent Number bets.

In certain embodiments, a bet table can further (or alternatively) compromise a betting loop (see FIG. 3), that may be similar to a betting loop on the tables of European Roulette Gold. A player can place a wager on a specific mahjong tile by placing a chip or other monetary marker on a mahjong tile represented on the betting loop. The actual arrangement of mahjong tiles on the betting loop can vary, thus, the arrangement shown in FIG. 3 is exemplary of one arrangement.

In other embodiments, the bet table can further (or alternatively) comprise numbers and/or letters representing the various mahjong pieces (e.g. W for the West Wind tile or B1 for Bamboo tile number 1). In other embodiments, the bet table may take other forms such as a menu selection. The particular layout of mahjong markers on the bet table of FIG. 1 is referred to as the ‘Wall of China’ layout. Other layouts may be used depending upon the size and shape of the table, number of mahjong tiles used, and other factors.

“Number Bets” (numbers 1, 9, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) involve a player betting that the first mahjong tile (i.e. the mahjong tile selected using the methods described herein) will be in the column relating to the selected number. For example, the number ‘2’ column comprises three unique mahjongs tiles (i.e. Character 2, Bamboo 2 and Circle 2) or 12 mahjong tiles if using a full, traditional Chinese mahjong set (i.e. 4×Character 2, 4×Bamboo 2 and 4×Circle 2). The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the number ‘2’ column are 34:3. Thus, a player wagering on the number ‘2’ column may be paid at the odds of 11:1 if the first mahjong tile is Character 2, Bamboo 2 or Circle 2—giving the house a systematic advantage.

“Suit Bets” (Character, Bamboo and Circle suits) involve a player betting that the first mahjong tile will be in the row relating to the selected suit. For example, the ‘Character’ suit comprises nine mahjong tiles, the Character 1, 9, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 &8 tiles. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Character’ suit are 34:9. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Character’ suit may be paid at the odds of 11:3 if the first mahjong tile is Character 1, 9, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8—giving the house a systematic advantage.

“Group Bets” involve a player betting that the first mahjong tile will be included in the group of mahjong tiles in the selected bet. The following group bets are available:

    • Wind Bet—would payout to the player if any of the Wind Mahjong tiles where selected i.e. East, South, West & North. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Wind’ group are 34:4. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Wind’ group may be paid at the odds of 8:1 if the first mahjong tile is one of the wind tiles (i.e. East, South, West or North)—giving the house a systematic advantage.
    • Dragon Bet—would payout to the player if any of the Dragon Mahjong tiles where selected i.e. Red dragon, Green dragon and White dragon. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Dragon’ group are 34:3. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Dragon’ group may be paid at the odds of 11:1 if the first mahjong tile is one of the dragon tiles (i.e. Red dragon, Green dragon or White dragon)—giving the house a systematic advantage.
    • Honour Bet—the tiles contained in the Wind and Dragon groups are collectively known as the Honour tiles. An Honour Bet would payout to the player if any of the Honour mahjong tiles where selected i.e. East, South, West, North, Red dragon, Green dragon and White dragon. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Honour’ group are 34:7. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Honour’ group may be paid at the odds of 9:2 if the first mahjong tile is one of the honour tiles (i.e. East, South, West, North, Red dragon, Green dragon or White dragon)—giving the house a systematic advantage.
    • Any Major Bet—the tiles of values 1 & 9 from each of the three suits are collectively known as the Major tiles (i.e. Character 1 & 9, Bamboo 1 & 9 and Circle 1 & 9). A ‘Major’ bet would payout to the player if any major Mahjong tile was selected i.e. Character 1 & 9, Bamboo 1 & 9 and Circle 1 & 9. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Major’ group are 34:6. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Major’ group may be paid at the odds of 5:1 if the first mahjong tile is one of the major tiles (i.e. Character 1 or 9, Bamboo 1 or 9 or Circle 1 or 9)—giving the house a systematic advantage.
    • Any Minor Bet—the tiles of values 2-8 from each of the three suits are collectively known as the Minor tiles (i.e. Character 2-8, Bamboo 2-8 and Circle 2-8). A ‘Minor’ bet would payout to the player if any minor Mahjong tile was selected i.e. Character 2-8, Bamboo 2-8 and Circle 2-8. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Minor’ group are 34:21. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Minor’ group may be paid at the odds of 3:2 if the first mahjong tile is one of the minor tiles (i.e. Character 2-8, Bamboo 2-8 or Circle 2-8)—giving the house a systematic advantage.
    • Character Major Bet (Denoted by the ‘Major’ area adjacent to the ‘Character’ area)—would payout to the player if any major Character Mahjong tile was selected i.e. Character 1 & 9. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Character Major’ group are 34:2. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Character Major’ group may be paid at the odds of 16:1 if the first mahjong tile is one of the major character tiles (i.e. Character 1 or 9)—giving the house a systematic advantage.
    • Character Minor Bet (Denoted by the ‘Minor’ area adjacent to the ‘Character’ area)—would payout to the player if any minor Character Mahjong tile was selected i.e. Character 2-8. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Character Minor’ group are 34:7. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Character Minor’ group may be paid at the odds of 9:2 if the first mahjong tile is one of the minor character tiles (i.e. Character 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8)—giving the house a systematic advantage.
    • Bamboo Major Bet (Denoted by the ‘Major’ area adjacent to the ‘Bamboo’ area)—would payout to the player if any major Bamboo Mahjong tile was selected i.e. Bamboo 1 & 9. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Bamboo Major’ group are 34:2. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Bamboo Major’ group may be paid at the odds of 16:1 if the first mahjong tile is one of the major bamboo tiles (i.e. Bamboo 1 or 9)—giving the house a systematic advantage.
    • Bamboo Minor Bet (Denoted by the ‘Minor’ area adjacent to the ‘Bamboo’ area)—would payout to the player if any minor Bamboo Mahjong tile was selected i.e. Bamboo 2-8. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Bamboo Minor’ group are 34:7. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Bamboo Minor’ group may be paid at the odds of 9:2 if the first mahjong tile is one of the minor bamboo tiles (i.e. Bamboo 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8)—giving the house a systematic advantage.
    • Circle Major Bet (Denoted by the ‘Major’ area adjacent to the ‘Circle’ area)—would payout to the player if any major Circle Mahjong tile was selected i.e. Circle 1 & 9. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Circle Major’ group are 34:2. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Circle Major’ group may be paid at the odds of 16:1 if the first mahjong tile is one of the major circle tiles (i.e. Circle 1 or 9)—giving the house a systematic advantage.
    • Circle Minor Bet (Denoted by the ‘Minor’ area adjacent to the ‘Circle’ area)—would payout to the player if any minor Circle Mahjong tile was selected i.e. Circle 2-8. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Circle Minor’ group are 34:7. Thus, a player wagering on the ‘Circle Minor’ group may be paid at the odds of 9:2 if the first mahjong tile is one of the minor circle tiles (i.e. Circle 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8)—giving the house a systematic advantage.
    • Colour Bet—would payout to the player if the mahjong tile selected is of the same colour as the ‘Colour’ bet placed. e.g. if the mahjong tile selected where green and a green colour bet where placed. The true odds that the first mahjong tile will be in the ‘Colour’ group are 34:11. Thus, a player wagering on either the Red, Green or Blue ‘Colour’ group may be paid at the odds of 3:1 if the first mahjong tile is of the same colour as the ‘Colour’ bet placed (e.g. if Green colour bet where placed then one of Green colour tiles would have to be the first mahjong tile. i.e. Circle 3, 4, 5, Character 3, 4, 5, Bamboo 3, 4, 5, West Wind or Green Dragon)—giving the house a systematic advantage.

“Single Tile Bets” involve a player betting that the first mahjong tile will be a specific mahjong tile. For example, a player can wager that the mahjong tile will be Circle number 6. The true odds that a specific mahjong tile will be selected are 34:1 with a proposed payout of 33:1. Thus, a player wagering on the first mahjong tile may be paid 33:1.

In a particular embodiment, the betting matrix and odds can be changed by changing the make-up of the mahjong tiles. For example, adding 8 unique mahjong tiles of the ‘Supreme Honour’ group (i.e. The 4 Season tiles: Winter, Summer, Spring and Autumn and The 4 Flower tiles: which vary from one part of the world to another) to the betting matrix makes the total number of mahjong tiles 42, and the odds will change accordingly. Further, multiple mahjong sets may be used at once, and/or portions of mahjong sets.

In yet another embodiment, previously selected mahjong tiles are removed from the selection pool for the next selection—thus altering the odds. For example if the game is played as an integral part of a traditional mahjong game (to provide a means of wagering on which mahjong tile will next be selected in the course of play integrated into the play of a traditional mahjong game) as mahjong tiles are retired from play (by players forming pairs of accepted groups of tiles) then the odds will be adjusted to account for the tiles that remain in the selection pool. It could be the players of the traditional mahjong game themselves who wager on what the next selected mahjong tile will be (I'll refer to this as ‘in play’ betting) or it could be spectators of the game who wager on what the next selected mahjong tile will be (I'll refer to this as ‘spectator betting’). These spectators could be watching the game in a land based environment, via a computer network or utilizing interactive television technology.

In other embodiments, a progressive pot is provided, wherein a portion of the gross win is added to a pot to be paid only when a certain criteria is met. For example, an embodiment provides for Thirteen Unique Wonders Progressive, wherein the progressive pot is paid to a single player when thirteen consecutive first mahjong tiles make up the following, in any order: East, South, West, North, Red dragon, Green dragon, White dragon, Character 1 &9, Circle 1 &9 and Bamboo 1 &9. (These tiles are collectively know as the Thirteen Unique Wonders). Alternatively, a Thirteen Unique Wonders Progressive can be paid when thirteen consecutive first mahjong tiles are in any specified strict order of the aforementioned Thirteen Unique Wonder tiles. (i.e. in the first game in the series the East wind tile must be the first mahjong tile and then, in the second game in the series the South wind tile must be the first mahjong tile and so on.)

Other progressive pots are encompassed herein, including a Wind Progressive. For example, a progressive pot can be paid when consecutive first mahjong tiles make up the ‘Wind’ group of tiles (i.e. East, South, West & North). For instance, a Wind Progressive is achieved when consecutive first mahjong tiles are East, South, West & North.

The bet table described above can be used to wager on the mahjong games, including “mahjong roulette” and mahjong draw”.

The term “mahjong roulette” refers to a game that utilizes a roulette style wheel as described below. As in a standard roulette game, a spinning ball on a spinning wheel can be used to “select” a mahjong tile. A mahjong tile can be selected in this manner after at least one player has placed a wager on which mahjong tile or group of mahjong tiles will be selected.

Mahjong roulette can be played by a single player or by multiple players. “Mahjong roulette” is also referred to herein as “spin mode”.

FIG. 8 provides another example of a bet table and shows several wager makers or “chips” that indicate individual wagers. For instance wager marker labelled 819 is indicative of an “Adjacent Number bet” because the marker partially covers two separate Number bets. The adjacent number bet can be paid when the first mahjong tile selected has a number value of either of the two numbers selected. Here, for instance, the adjacent number bet shown by wager marker labelled 819 would be paid when the next selected mahjong tile is any of Character 2, 3, Circle 2, 3 or Bamboo 2, 3.

Wager maker labelled 816 is indicative of a “quad bet” because the marker partially covers four separate mahjong tiles. In an exemplary embodiment, a quad bet wager can be made at the intersection of four separate mahjong tiles on the bet table. The quad bet can be paid when any of the four partially covered mahjong tiles are selected. Here, for instance, the quad bet shown by wager marker 816 would be paid when the next selected mahjong tile is any of Circle 5 or 6 or Character 5 or 6.

Wager marker labelled 815 is indicative of an “adjacent bet” because the marker partially covers two adjacent mahjong tiles. In an exemplary embodiment, an adjacent bet wager can be made at the intersection of two adjacent mahjong tiles on the bet table. The adjacent bet can be paid when either of the two partially covered mahjong tiles are selected. Here, for instance, the adjacent bet shown by wager marker labelled 815 would be paid when the next selected mahjong is any of Bamboo 7 or Bamboo 8.

Wager marker labelled 818 is indicative of a “number bet” because the marker is located within the number column bet region. Here, the number bet shown by wager marker labelled 818 would be paid when the next selected mahjong tile is any of the mahjong tiles shown in the column below the marker—namely Circle 1, Character 1 or Bamboo 1.

Wager marker labelled 810 is indicative of an “Character Major bet” because the marker is located within the character major bet region. Here, the character major bet shown by wager marker labelled 10 would be paid when the next selected mahjong tile is of the character major group (i.e. Character 1 and Character 9).

The table in FIG. 9 gives details of the other suggested bet types indicated by the labelled wager markers on FIG. 8, adopting the same numbering system as that adopted for the reference numerals in FIG. 8.

Referring now to FIG. 2, an example of a roulette style wheel that comprises the unique mahjong tiles from a standard mahjong set is shown. Any suitable means for displaying mahjong tiles, or indications of mahjong tile faces, on the wheel can be used to make the roulette style wheel. For instance, the mahjong tiles can be actual mahjong tiles affixed to the wheel. Alternatively, impressions of mahjong tiles can be imprinted on the wheel, or mahjongs tiles can be represented on the wheel (e.g. by pictures, or paintings of mahjong tiles). The arrangement of mahjong tiles shown in FIG. 2 includes the full name of each mahjong tile. However, an alternative could be employed whereby each tile is represented by letters and numbers. For example, CH4 represents a Character number 4 mahjong tile. B7 represents a Bamboo number 7 mahjong tile. The set of mahjong tiles shown in FIG. 2 is commonly referred to as a traditional Chinese mahjong set. Any mahjong set, however, can be arranged on a roulette style wheel for use in the methods disclosed herein. Alternatively, a standard set plus additional mahjong tiles or a non-standard set of mahjong tiles may be employed. In addition, the actual arrangement of mahjong tiles on the roulette style wheel can vary. Thus, FIG. 2 provides only an exemplary arrangement of a traditional Chinese mahjong set. Additional mahjong tiles or indicators such as non-standard mahjong tiles may be added to the roulette wheel. These may include a Joker or Blank tile, for instance.

In mahjong roulette, a player places a wager by marking a bet type according to the bets shown in FIG. 1. The roulette wheel is spun in one direction and a ball is tossed onto the wheel in the other direction. The ball lands on particular mahjong tile (i.e. the first mahjong) on the mahjong roulette wheel, for example the wheel shown in FIG. 2. A player wins the wager when the ball lands on a mahjong tile that matches a mahjong tile in the players wagered bet type. For example, if the player wagered that the first mahjong tile would be in the Number 2 column of the bet table shown in FIG. 1, and the first mahjong was a Character number 2 or Circle number 2 or a Bamboo number 2, then if we adopt the payout odds suggested in the table in appendix 1, the player would be paid to the odds of 11:1.

The term “mahjong draw” refers to a game wherein a player places a wager according to the bet types described above and represented in FIG. 1, and wherein the mahjong tile is selected, not by a spinning wheel, but by choosing a mahjong tile and placing it into a bet zone. The “bet zone” refers to an area in which the chosen tile is kept prior to the detail on the face of the tile being revealed to the player or players. A player wins a wager when the mahjong tile revealed matches a mahjong tile in the player's wagered bet type. For example, if the player wagered that the first mahjong tile (i.e. the revealed mahjong tile) would be in the Number 2 column of the bet table shown in FIG. 1, and the first mahjong was a Character number 2 or Circle number 2 or a Bamboo number 2, then if we adopt the payout odds suggested in the table in appendix 1 the player would be paid to the 11:1 odds.

Various methods of choosing the mahjong tile are provided. For example, a mahjong tile can be physically selected from a boneyard on a table, a card comprising a picture of a mahjong tile can be drawn from a deck or a pile, a virtual mahjong tile can be selected using a computer screen on which the tile is selected by clicking on the desired tile and/or dragging and dropping the tile into a bet zone or, if the game is played utilizing interactive television technology, then the TV remote control may be used to select the mahjong tile from the virtual boneyard.

The term “boneyard” is used herein to refer to a set of mahjong tiles that are randomly arranged so that the player or players cannot see the faces of any of the mahjong tiles in the set. For example, a “boneyard” can be a group of mahjong tiles that are placed face down (i.e. the side with the details on is not facing the players) on a surface, such as a table or the ground. The mahjong tiles in the boneyard are typically shuffled or otherwise randomly mixed up prior to the selection process in which a player or players choose a mahjong tile.

Once a mahjong tile is revealed, it can be placed back into the boneyard, or it can be left out of the boneyard while betting resumes. In the latter embodiment, the odds in the betting matrix are changed according to which mahjong tile has been omitted from the boneyard. The latter embodiment can be repeated any desired number of times.

In certain embodiments, players of mahjong draw may be afforded the option, or may be required, to modify their initial wagers before the game continues. For example, where a revealed mahjong is omitted from the boneyard and before play resumes, the wagering aspects may be modified by permitting, or requiring, players to increase their wagers prior to continuing the game.

In one variation of mahjong draw, a player selects a mahjong tile before betting (the initial tile). Then, once betting has taken place, and no further bets are allowed, the player is given the option to either reveal the initial tile or swap the tile for another (the review tile). In multiplayer mode, one player can be chosen to select the initial tile (pre betting) and a different player (e.g. the next player clockwise) can be given the option (post betting) to stick with the first player's choice or choose another tile. Once a player has choosen to swap the tile or not, both the initial tile and the review tile, if there is one, are revealed.

In one embodiment, the mahjong roulette or mahjong draw game can be played by one or more players, in electronic video formats, on a personal computer, over a global computer network, in a live casino table game setting or utilizing interactive television technology.

In a live casino table setting, each of one or more players is first afforded an opportunity to place a wager to participate in the game. A wager is made by betting according to the betting matrix shown in FIG. 1. For example, a bet can be made by placing a chip or other marker on a tile, column, row or group as shown on the bet table exemplified in FIG. 1. After the first mahjong tile is selected, the bets on the table can be removed and/or paid according to the agreed pay out odds if any player wins a wager, and the game can continue with new wagers being placed.

FIG. 4 shows an exemplary table for playing mahjong roulette. As shown on FIG. 4, the table comprises several areas for receiving wagers. The table also can comprise a mahjong roulette wheel.

FIG. 5 shows an exemplary table for playing mahjong draw. As shown on FIG. 5, the table comprises several areas for receiving wagers. The table can also comprise an area for placing of the initial mahjong tile, and optionally an area for placing the review mahjong tile. A mahjong tile shuffle zone is also shown on in FIG. 5, which comprises the boneyard as described herein or as known in the art. A players turn button can be used to designate a players who is making the selection of an initial tile. The player turn button can be moved, for example, as determined by a dealer.

The embodiments of the mahjong wagering games disclosed herein are also operable in an electronic gaming machine. It is well known to utilize gaming machines, controlled by processing units, for operating wagering games. The processing unit is typically a computer microprocessor. The gaming machine incorporates a wager accepting means so that a player may place one or more wagers. Once a wager is accepted, a player can choose mahjong roulette or mahjong draw as the means for selecting the first mahjong tile. Alternatively, a player can choose mahjong roulette or mahjong draw prior to placing a wager. Alternatively, either mahjong roulette or mahjong draw may be predetermined. A wager can be placed using a bet table (as shown for example in FIG. 1) that is displayed on a gaming machine display unit such as a CRT screen, plasma screen, video screen, etc.

Where mahjong roulette is chosen, a gaming machine processor causes a virtual mahjong roulette style wheel to spin and randomly selects a first mahjong tile. The virtual mahjong roulette style wheel (as shown for example in FIG. 2) is displayed on a gaming machine display unit such as a CRT screen, plasma screen, video screen, etc. The first mahjong tile is identified, for example, by a virtual ball spinning in the opposite direction as the virtual wheel, and stopping on a particular mahjong tile on the wheel. Thereafter, the processing unit causes the first mahjong tile to be compared to the player's wager to determine whether a payout is due. If the player wins the wager, the player is paid, for example, in credits or coins.

Where mahjong draw is chosen, a gaming machine processor displays a virtual boneyard of mahjong tiles on a gaming machine display unit such as a CRT screen, plasma screen, video screen, etc. The player selects a mahjong tile from the boneyard by clicking, by clicking, dragging, and dropping the mahjong tile into the bet zone or, if the game is played utilizing interactive television technology, then the TV remote control may be used to select the mahjong tile from the virtual boneyard. The first mahjong tile is identified to the player on the gaming machine display unit. The processing unit then causes the first mahjong tile to be compared to the player's wager to determine whether a payout is due. If the player wins the wager, the player is paid, for example, in credits or coins. As discussed above, the player can be given the option of swapping the initial tile with a review tile. In multiplayer mode, a second player different from the first player (i.e. the player who selected the initial tile) can be chosen to decide whether or not to swap the initial tile for the review tile.

Mahjong draw is particularly well-suited for implementation on a personal computer or over a computer network. For example, a mouse is ideally used to click on, drag, and drop a virtual tile into a bet zone. In addition, where a table starts getting congested from a large number of mahjong tiles, separate bet buttons can be provided for the various bet types. Alternatively, the processing unit can cause a mahjong tile or group of mahjong tiles relating to a bet type to light up or be otherwise marked when the mouse is hovered over the bet area relating to said bet type. Where mahjong draw is played on a gaming maching, on a personal computer, over a computer network or utilizing interactive television technology, the means for being awarded payouts may take the form of a credit being applied to a player's credit card, bank account, winnings being mailed to a player or credits being credited to the player's account with the interactive television provider. Moreover, a computer mouse, keyboard strokes or TV remote control may provide means for placing the wager.

If either mahjong roulette or mahjong draw are implemented over a computer network, players from different geographic locations may participate. FIG. 6 shows a simple networked gaming configuration 100, which may accommodate multiple players from a variety of locations. Configuration 100 includes computers 101-103, a server 104, and a network 105. The computers 101-103 are in communication with each other and the server 104 via the network 105. Each of the computers, 103 for example, may include a processor that executes mahjong game software or allows a player to log into a mahjong game application running on a remote computer, such as the server 104. The server 104 may include a processor and software that provides a variety of functions which may include, setting up and maintaining a game, inviting players, tracking wagers, receiving electronic payments, and distributing electronic payouts, to name a few. Other networked configurations are possible such as a peer-to-peer network. Further, the network 105 may be a local area network or other network that allows a player to remotely play the mahjong game.

FIG. 7 is a flow diagram that shows a method 10 of wagering on at least one mahjong tile selected from a group of mahjong tiles. At block 12, a participant wagers a bet type indicative of at least one mahjong tile. After the wager, a mahjong tile is selected from the group of mahjong tiles, shown at block 14. At block 16, a determination is then made as to whether the mahjong tile is within the wagered bet type. This flow process may serve as a logical basis for developing a computer implemented gaming system that operates according to the rules of one or more of the mahjong games.

As described herein, the mahjong game can use mahjong tiles, or any other means of presenting mahjong tiles, such as on cards or chips.

Throughout the specification, a number of pay out odds are given for various potential wagers. It should be understood that these proposed are merely exemplary, and other schemes may be configured depending upon the desired ‘house edge’ and/or other factors.

As used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” include plural reference unless the content clearly dictates otherwise.

It is to be understood that even though numerous characteristics of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing description, together with an explanation of various possible embodiments and modifications thereto, this disclosure is illustrative only and changes may be made within the spirit of the invention to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.