Title:
Method of playing poker game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method includes the steps of: performing a poker game in a first game field using a plurality of kinds of cards depicting numerals and marks; performing a selection game in a second game field when finally distributed cards include a specified combination to result in a win, the selection game allowing a player to select cards of an identical kind from a plurality of kinds of cards prepared separately in the second game field; and performing a special game, in which a plurality of sets of cards are distributed to one of the first game field and the second game field and awards corresponding to combinations of cards achieved in the respective sets are provided, throughout a number of games corresponding to a result of the selection game.



Inventors:
Toyoda, Hirobumi (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
11/987909
Publication Date:
06/12/2008
Filing Date:
12/05/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/13
International Classes:
A63F1/00; A63F9/24
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Primary Examiner:
PIERCE, WILLIAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ARENT FOX LLP (1050 CONNECTICUT AVENUE, N.W., SUITE 400, WASHINGTON, DC, 20036, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a poker game, comprising the steps of: performing a poker game in a first game field using a plurality of kinds of cards depicting numerals and marks; performing a selection game in a second game field when finally distributed cards include a specified combination to result in a win, the selection game allowing a player to select cards of an identical kind from a plurality of kinds of cards prepared separately in the second game field; and performing a special game, in which a plurality of sets of cards are distributed to one of the first game field and the second game field and awards corresponding to combinations of cards achieved in the respective sets are provided, throughout a number of games corresponding to a result of the selection game.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein initially distributed cards to the respective sets are identical, and a card randomly selected is distributed when card exchange is performed in the special game.

3. The method according to claim 1, wherein a sum of the awards achieved in the respective sets is provided in the special game.

4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the special game is continuously performed until a predetermined combination is included among finally distributed cards in the sets in the special game.

5. A method of playing a poker game, comprising the steps of: performing a poker game in a first game field using a plurality of kinds of cards depicting numerals and marks; performing a selection game in a second game field when finally distributed cards include a specified combination to result in a win, the selection game allowing a player to select cards of an identical kind from a plurality of kinds of cards prepared separately in the second game field; and performing a special game, in which a plurality of sets of cards are distributed to one of the first game field and the second game field and awards corresponding to combinations of cards achieved in the respective sets are provided, throughout a number of games corresponding to a result of the selection game, wherein initially distributed cards to the respective sets are identical, and a card randomly selected is distributed when card exchange is performed in the special game.

6. The method according to claim 5, wherein a sum of the awards achieved in the respective sets is provided in the special game.

7. The method according to claim 5, wherein the special game is continuously performed until a predetermined combination is included among finally distributed cards in the sets in the special game.

8. A method of playing a poker game, comprising the steps of: performing a poker game in a first game field using a plurality of kinds of cards depicting numerals and marks; performing a selection game in a second game field when finally distributed cards include a specified combination to result in a win, the selection game allowing a player to select cards of an identical kind from a plurality of kinds of cards prepared separately in the second game field; and performing a special game, in which a plurality of sets of cards are distributed to one of the first game field and the second game field and awards corresponding to combinations of cards achieved in the respective sets are provided, throughout a number of games corresponding to a result of the selection game, wherein initially distributed cards to the respective sets are identical, and a card randomly selected is distributed when card exchange is performed in the special game, and wherein a sum of the awards achieved in the respective sets is provided in the special game.

9. The method according to claim 8, wherein the special game is continuously performed until a predetermined combination is included among finally distributed cards in the sets in the special game.

10. A method of playing a poker game, comprising the steps of: performing a poker game in a first game field using a plurality of kinds of cards depicting numerals and marks; performing a selection game in a second game field when finally distributed cards include a specified combination to result in a win, the selection game allowing a player to select cards of an identical kind from a plurality of kinds of cards prepared separately in the second game field; and performing a special game, in which a plurality of sets of cards are distributed to one of the first game field and the second game field and awards corresponding to combinations of cards achieved in the respective sets are provided, throughout a number of games corresponding to a result of the selection game, wherein initially distributed cards to the respective sets are identical, and a card randomly selected is distributed when card exchange is performed in the special game, wherein a sum of the awards achieved in the respective sets is provided in the special game, and wherein the special game is continuously performed until a predetermined combination is included among finally distributed cards in the sets in the special game.

Description:

This application is based on and claims the benefit of priority from Japanese Patent Application No. 2006-332654, filed on 8 Dec. 2006, the content of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a method of playing a poker game.

2. Related Art

Conventionally, the methods of playing a poker game and the like performed in casinos are for performing a win game in which a player wins when a plurality of cards matching a predetermined combination are included in the finally distributed cards. In this type of playing method, for each poker game, a number of medals are supplied which corresponds to an award determined by the number of inserted medals and the achieved poker hand.

Recently, a playing method has been supplied which performs a high-probability win game increasing the probability of winning. As a playing method of this type, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,882,260 provides a playing method where two sets of five cards, which is a greater number than the conventional five cards, are distributed to each player, and the cards of the respective sets are combined to achieve a poker hand.

For the purposes of increasing the number of medals supplied to each poker game, a new gaming style called double down game has been added recently, which is able to double the medal payout number after a poker hand is achieved.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention aims at providing a method of playing a poker game having a new gaming style enhancing expectations for medals.

In an aspect of the present invention, a method of playing a poker game is provided. The method includes the steps of: performing a poker game in a first game field using a plurality of kinds of cards depicting numerals and marks; performing a selection game in a second game field when finally distributed cards include a specified combination to result in a win, the selection game allowing a player to select cards of an identical kind from a plurality of kinds of cards prepared separately in the second game field; and performing a special game, in which a plurality of sets of cards are distributed to one of the first game field and the second game field and awards corresponding to combinations of cards achieved in the respective sets are provided, throughout a number of games corresponding to a result of the selection game.

In another aspect of the present invention, a method is provided, in which initially distributed cards to the respective sets are identical, and a card randomly selected is distributed when card exchange is performed in the special game.

In still another aspect of the present invention, a method is provided, in which a sum of the awards achieved in the respective sets is provided in the special game.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, a method is provided, in which the special game is continuously performed until a predetermined combination is included among finally distributed cards in the sets in the special game.

The present invention is, therefore, able to provide a method of playing a poker game having a new gaming style enhancing expectations for medals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a flow chart illustrating a method of playing a poker game according to a first embodiment;

FIG. 2 is an award table of the poker game according to the first embodiment;

FIGS. 3 to 10 are schematic diagrams illustrating the poker game according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 11 is a general view illustrating a poker machine according to a second embodiment; and

FIG. 12 is a block diagram illustrating the electrical configuration of the poker machine according to the second embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

First Embodiment

FIG. 1 is a flow chart illustrating a method of playing a poker game according to a first embodiment of the invention. The method of playing a poker game according to the first embodiment is a method of a poker game in which, using a plurality of kinds of cards, a card selected by the player's operation from the initially distributed plurality of cards is exchanged with another card, and a predetermined award is given when a plurality of cards matching a predetermined combination are included in the finally distributed cards.

In the first game field (for example, a table), a plurality of kinds of cards are distributed to a player, and a card selected by the player from the plurality of distributed cards is exchanged with another card. It is judged if any specified combination (for example, Flush of Hearts or Diamonds) is included among the finally distributed cards (step S1). If judged that no specified combination is included, the current poker game is terminated.

If judged that the specified combination is included, a selection game in which the player selects cards of identical kind from a plurality of kinds of cards separately prepared, in a second game field (for example, a table), is executed (step S2). The selection game includes, for example, a game in which the player turns over two cards among face-down cards distributed in the second game field.

Next, it is judged if a predetermined outcome (for example, the two turned-over cards bear the same numeral such as “4” or “5”) has occurred in the selection game (step S3). If so, a special game is performed (step S4).

In the special game, a poker game is performed in which a plurality of sets of cards corresponding to the result of the selection game is distributed in the second game field (step S4). For example, if the cards turned over in the selection game bear the numeral “5,” five sets of cards are distributed in the second game field. Furthermore, as cards distributed in the second game field, the same cards as the cards distributed in the first game field are distributed. When exchanged with another card, a card selected at random is distributed. If a combination enabling a certain award is present among the finally distributed cards, the sum of awards achieved in the respective sets is given.

In the special game, it is further judged if the finally distributed cards to the respective sets include a predetermined combination (for example, a One Pair consisting of the suits of Spades and Clubs) (step S5). In the presence of the predetermined combination, the special game is terminated.

It is also judged if the special game has been performed throughout the number of games corresponding to the result of the selection game (step S6). If so, the special game is terminated. If not, the special game is continued (step S4). For example, when the two cards turned over in the selection game bear Hearts and Diamonds, respectively, the number of games in the special game is 12. When the two cards turned over in the selection game bear Hearts and Spades, respectively, the number of games in the special game is 10. When the two cards turned over in the selection game bear Hearts and Clubs, respectively, the number of games in the special game is 8. When the two cards turned over in the selection game bear Diamonds and Spades, respectively, the number of games in the special game is 6. When the two cards turned over in the selection game bear Diamonds and Clubs, respectively, the number of games in the special game is 4. When the two cards turned over in the selection game bear Clubs and Spades, respectively, the number of games in the special game is 2.

FIG. 2 is an award table of the poker game in the first embodiment. The numerals given in an award table 3 express the number of medals supplied in accordance with a predetermined combination of cards entitled to an award. As an example, a description is given of a case where the number of medals bet by the player is one (the second column in the award table 3). When a predetermined combination is a Royal Flush, 500 medals are supplied to the player. In addition, when it is a Five of a Kind, 100 medals are supplied to the player. When it is a Straight Flush, 50 medals are supplied to the player. When it is a Four of a Kind, 20 medals are supplied to the player. When it is a Full House, 8 medals are supplied to the player. When it is a Flush, 6 medals are supplied to the player. When it is a Straight, 4 medals are supplied to the player. When it is a Three of a Kind, 2 medals are supplied to the player. When it is a Two Pair, 1 medal is supplied to the player. The number of medals supplied is increased in multiples of the number of medals the player bet (the third to sixth columns of the award table 3).

During a special game, the sum of awards in the respective sets is given. For example, a special game using a set of cards is performed in the first game field, and a special game using five sets of cards is performed in the second game field. If the special game results are the combinations consisting of a “Straight Flush” in the first field and three “Three of a Kind” in the second game field, 56 medals are distributed as the award.

A description is given of the proceedings of a game with reference to FIGS. 3 to 10. FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram illustrating the proceedings. Specifically, FIG. 3 shows a situation where, on a table 4 having two game fields, three players 5a to 5c stand by for the poker in a first game field 4a.

FIG. 4 shows a situation where the three players 5a to 5c are distributed with cards from a deck on the first game field 4a as shown in FIG. 3. The respective players check the distributed cards, and exchange a card selected from the distributed cards with a card in the deck as needed.

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram illustrating the outcome of the game performed in the diagram as shown in FIG. 4. As shown in FIG. 5, the hand of the player 5a on the near side achieves a specified combination (for example, a Flush of Hearts) in the first game field 4a on the table 4.

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram illustrating the start of a selection game. A situation is shown where the selection game (for example, a card game of gathering pairs of cards depicting the same number or face) is performed using a plurality of cards in the second field 4b on the table 4. As shown in FIG. 6, the plurality of the faced-down cards is distributed in the second game field 4b on the table 4.

FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram illustrating the outcome of the selection game as performed in FIG. 6. The player has turned over two cards, exposing a 5 of Hearts and a 5 of Spades. Thus, the selection game results in a predetermined outcome, enabling the special game to be performed 10 times. When the turned-over cards are of identical numeral, the same number of sets of cards as the numeral is distributed in the second game field 4b. For example, when the turned-over cards are the 5 of Hearts and the 5 of Spades, five sets of cards are placed in the second game field 4b during the special game. On the other hand, when no cards of identical numeral are turned over, no sets of cards are placed in the second game field 4b.

FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram illustrating the start of a special game. As shown in FIG. 8, a dealer 6 places decks of cards in the second game field 4b in accordance with the result of the selection game.

FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram illustrating a situation in which the cards have been distributed from the decks in FIG. 8. As shown in FIG. 9, the initially distributed cards in the first game field 4a and the second game field 4b have the same combination (for example, 2 of Clubs, Ace of Clubs, 6 of Diamonds, 3 of Spades, and 7 of Hearts).

FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram illustrating the cards after exchange made to the cards shown in FIG. 9. As shown in FIG. 10, cards selected at random are distributed to the cards to be exchanged. This shows a situation where after the exchange, different cards are distributed to the respective combinations. After the exchange, a Three of a Kind composed of three aces is achieved in the first game field 4a. After the exchange, a Three of a Kind composed of three aces, a Three of a Kind composed of three cards “2,” and a Three of a Kind composed of three cards “4” are achieved in the second game field 4b. Accordingly, 8 medals as the sum of awards in the respective sets are provided. Since the Three of a Kind as the predetermined combination is already achieved, the current round terminates the special game. Thus, the playing method according to the present invention can provide the method of playing a poker game having a new gaming style, which enhances expectations for medals.

Hence, the method of playing a poker game according to the first embodiment is an example of a method including the steps of: performing the poker game in the first game field using a plurality of kinds of cards depicting numerals and marks; performing, if a winning outcome is achieved by the presence of a specified combination among finally distributed cards, the selection game in which a player selects cards of identical kind from a plurality of kinds of cards prepared separately in the second game field; and performing the special game in which a plurality of sets of cards are distributed to one of the first game field and the second game field throughout a number of games corresponding to a result of the selection game, and awards corresponding to the combinations of cards achieved in the sets are given, respectively.

The method of playing a poker game according to the first embodiment is also an example of a method in which, in the special game, initially distributed cards to the respective sets are identical, and cards selected at random are distributed to cards to be exchanged. The method of playing a poker game according to the first embodiment is also an example of a method in which the sum of awards achieved in the respective sets is given. The method of playing a poker game according to the first embodiment is also an example of a method in which the special game is continuously performed until a predetermined combination is included among the finally distributed sets of cards.

Second Embodiment

In the description of a second embodiment, the same references are used as in the first embodiment for similar parts, and the descriptions thereof are, therefore, omitted or simplified.

The second embodiment is different from the first embodiment in that the game performed by the method of playing a poker game of the present invention is executed with a poker machine 10, instead of the game table.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view showing the general view of a poker machine according to the second embodiment, which executes the game by the method of playing a poker game of the present invention. Although the second embodiment is described taking as an example the poker machine using medals as a gaming medium, the gaming machine may use, such as coins, medals, tokens, or cards storing playing value information.

A first display 32 for displaying images related to the poker game is disposed on the front of the poker machine 10. A second display 33 for displaying images related to the poker game is disposed above the first display 32 on the front of the poker machine 10, separately from the first display 32. The first display 32 displays cards distributed to a player, and an award table showing card combinations entitled to awards. A touch panel 33a is disposed at least in a portion of the second display 33.

A medal slot 63 is disposed in the vicinity to the right on the front of the poker machine 10, and a medal payout opening 61 and a medal receiving pan 67 are disposed below the front. The player's medal insertion into the medal slot 63 enables playing a game. Based on the game result, medals are paid out from the medal payout opening 61, and stored on the medal receiving pan 67. As is described later, a medal detecting sensor 31 (refer to FIG. 12) is housed in the inside of the gaming machine with the medal slot 63. The medal detecting sensor 31 detects insertion of medals into the poker machine 10 by the player.

Speakers 46a and 46b are disposed in upper sections of the poker machine 10. The speakers 46a and 46b generate sound effects, etc. in response to the game progress. Decorative lamps 36a and 36b are disposed on the left and right sides of the center of the poker machine 10, respectively. The decorative lamps 36a and 36b illuminate in response to the game progress.

Hold switches 20, a deal switch 24, a cash out switch 22, a bet max switch 26, and a bet one switch 28, which are used for advancing the game, are arranged below the first display 32.

The total number of the hold switches 20 is five. The hold switches 20 are arranged so as to correspond to the card images displayed on the first display 32, respectively. The hold switches 20 are used when the player selects a card to remain without being exchanged after the cards are displayed. When the player activates by pressing the hold switch 20 underlying the selected card among the five cards displayed on the first display 32, the selected card remains not exchanged.

The cash out switch 22 and the deal switch 24 are located at the lower left of the hold switches 20. The cash out switch 22 is used to pay out medals stored (hereinafter referred to as credited) in the poker machine 10. When the player activates the cash out switch 22 by a pressing operation, medals are paid out to the medal receiving pan 67. The deal switch 24 is used when the player requests a display of cards. The player's operations of inserting medal(s) and pressing the deal switch 24 enable the images of distributed cards and new exchanged cards to be displayed on the first display 32.

The bet max switch 26 and the bet one switch 28 are disposed on the right of the deal switch 24. The bet max switch 26 and the bet one switch 28 are used when the player starts the game. The bet max switch 26 is used to bet five medals, namely the maximum number of medals, at a time. The bet one switch 28 increases the number of medals used for the game depending on the number of times the switch is pressed.

Configuration of Controller of Poker Machine

The configuration of the controller of the poker machine 10 is described below. FIG. 12 is a block diagram showing a control circuit of the poker machine in the second embodiment of the present invention.

A main control circuit 60 as a controller is configured by connecting, a central processing unit (hereinafter referred to as a CPU) 66, read only memory (hereinafter referred to as a ROM) 68, random access memory (hereinafter referred to as a RAM) 70, a random number generator 65, and interface circuit groups 62 and 72 to each other via an input/output bus 64. The input/output bus 64 inputs and outputs data signals, control signals or address signals to the CPU 66.

Based on a computer program stored in the ROM 68, the CPU 66 controls elements and units, which are connected to the input/output bus 64, to read and write data, and cooperates with these elements and units to perform various types of processing. A timer (not shown) to be described later is housed within the CPU 66.

The ROM 68 and the RAM 70, each serving as a storage means, are also connected to the input/output bus 64. The ROM 68 stores a control program for controlling the entire flow of the game in the poker machine 10. The ROM 68 also stores the initial data for executing the control program, a program for controlling flashing patterns of the decorative lamps 36 (36a and 36b (refer to FIG. 11)) housed within the poker machine 10, and a program for controlling display on the first display 32. The ROM 68 further stores, for example, a plurality of kinds of lottery tables on which the random numbers sampled by the random number generator 65 are associated with the card images displayed on the first display 32, and a combination judgment table for judging if a combination of patterns among a plurality of card images displayed on the first display 32 matches a specified combination.

The plurality of kinds of lottery tables stored in the ROM 68 includes a normal lottery table and a plurality of high probability lottery tables. The former has a predetermined number of kinds of random numbers for judging a winning outcome. Each of the latter tables has a number of kinds of random numbers that is larger than the abovementioned predetermined number. The plurality of kinds of high probability lottery tables has different numbers of kinds of random numbers for judging a winning outcome.

The ROM 68 also stores a sub game lottery table on which the random numbers generated by the random number generator 65 are associated with the images of cards to be displayed in the sub game. The sub game determines whether to supply a special game, in which at least one of the initially distributed cards is a specified card having a plurality of kinds of roles.

The plurality of lottery tables has different probabilities of winning outcomes. For a certain specified combination, the CPU 66 performs the sub game. Based on the result of the sub game, the CPU 66 sets any one of the tables for the high-probability win game having a higher probability of winning outcomes than the normal lottery table, as a lottery table for an internal lottery.

The RAM 70 stores the values of flags and variables used in the abovementioned programs. The RAM 70 also stores a high probability flag indicating whether the game state is a special game state or not.

The random number generator 65 for generating random numbers is connected to the input/output bus 64. When the CPU 66 transmits an instruction for generating random numbers to the random number generator 65, the random number generator 65 generates random numbers in a predetermined range, and transmits signals indicating the random numbers to the input/output bus 64. Based on the generated random numbers, the CPU 66 performs internal lottery processing as described later. The random numbers sent from the random number generator 65 are stored in the RAM 70.

In the present embodiment, the random number generator 65 connected to the CPU 66 via the input/output bus 64 samples the random numbers. It may be alternatively possible to generate random numbers under an operational program of the CPU 66. In this case, the random number generator 65 can be omitted.

The hold switches 20, the deal switch 24, the cash out switch 22, the bet max switch 26 and the bet one switch 28 are also connected to the interface circuit group 62. When these switches are activated by the player's pressing operation, they transmit respective detection signals to the interface circuit group 62. The interface circuit group 62 supplies these detection signals to the input/output bus 64.

The medal detecting sensor 31 is connected to the interface circuit group 62. A detecting signal from the medal detecting sensor 31 is converted to a predetermined signal and supplied to the input/output bus 64 by the interface circuit group 62.

A display and input controller 200 is also connected to the interface circuit group 72. Based on an instruction for displaying an image issued from the main control circuit 60, the display and input controller 200 transmits drive signals for driving the first display 32 and the second display 33 connected to the display and input controller 200. The display and input controller 200 also supplies signals received by the touch panel 33a provided on the second display 33 to the interface circuit group 72. Subsequently, the display and input controller 200 transmits the signals to the CPU 66 via the input/output bus 64.

The speakers 46 (46a and 46b) and the decorative lamps 36 (36a and 36b) are also connected to the interface circuit group 72. The interface circuit group 72 controls each of the abovementioned units by supplying a drive signal and a drive electric power, in accordance with the arithmetic operation result in the CPU 66.

A hopper controller 210 is also connected to the interface circuit group 72. Based on an instruction for paying out a medal issued from the main control circuit 60, the hopper controller 210 transmits a drive signal for driving a hopper 50 connected to the hopper controller 210.

Thus, the poker machine 10 according to the second embodiment is an example of a poker machine having a controller (the CPU 66). The controller performs a poker game using a plurality of kinds of cards depicting numerals and marks on the first display (the first display 32). When the finally distributed cards include a specified combination to result in a winning outcome, the controller performs a selection game on the second display (the second display 33). In the selection game, a player selects cards of identical kind from a plurality of kinds of cards prepared separately. The controller performs a special game in which a plurality of sets of cards are distributed to one of the displays throughout a number of games corresponding to the result of the selection game, and awards corresponding to combinations of cards achieved in the sets are given, respectively. In the special game, initially distributed cards are identical from a set to another, and a card selected at random is distributed to a card to be exchanged. In the special game, the sum of awards achieved in the respective sets is given. The controller controls the special game to be continuously performed until a predetermined combination is included among the finally distributed sets of cards.

While the first and second embodiments of the present invention have been described and illustrated above, it is to be understood that they are exemplary of the invention and are not to be considered to be limiting. Additions, omissions, substitutions, and other modifications can be made thereto without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be considered to be limited by the foregoing description and is only limited by the scope of the appended claims.





 
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