Title:
Modified poker game with jokers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of playing a wagering card game begins with a wager from each player, and is played in a predetermined maximum number of rounds, each round consisting of the deal of at least two cards to each player and the dealer. At the end of the first round, the game is over if the dealer's hand contains at least a minimum specified rank. Rankings, from minimum rank to maximum rank, consist of a Pair, 3-of-a-Kind, 4-of-a-Kind, 5-of-a-Kind, etc. Each player's hand is then compared to the dealer's hand, and the higher ranking hand wins. Winning player hands are paid according to a predetermined paytable. At the end of any round, a player's hand with one Joker may automatically bust; i.e., all of the player's wagers are lost, and his cards removed.



Inventors:
Jackson, Kathleen Nylund (Scituate, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/906504
Publication Date:
04/02/2009
Filing Date:
10/02/2007
Assignee:
Precedent Gaming, Incorporated
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DENNIS, MICHAEL DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mark A. Litman & Associates, P.A. (York Business Center, Suite 205 3209 West 76th St., Edina, MN, 55435, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A method of playing a wagering card game comprising: providing at least one standard deck of 52 playing cards with standard poker ranks that is augmented by at least one Joker; a player placing at least one initial first round wager prior to viewing any cards in play during the wagering card game; the player receiving a plurality of cards from the deck(s) of cards after placing the at least one first wager; the dealer receiving at least a same plurality of cards from the remaining cards in the deck(s) of cards to complete a first round of play; comparing the player's hand to the dealer's hand, using poker rank without consideration of straights, flushes and straight flushes as the criterion for comparison; determining the winning hand according to the said comparison; resolving the wager or wagers according to a predetermined paytable, with a potential for placing a second round wager for continued play in the wagering card game.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein an end of the game is declared if the dealer hand has at least a minimum predetermined specific rank.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein if the dealer hand does not have at least a minimum predetermined specific rank the game continues.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein the at least a minimum hand is selected from the group consisting of at least a preselected high card rank and a pair.

5. The method of claim 3 wherein the player makes one choice selected from the group consisting of a) folding, thereby losing all wagers made on the game; b) completing the game by accepting payment for a winning hand of a predetermined specific rank paid according to the predetermined paytable; and c) making an additional wager to continue the game and receive additional playing cards, placing all wagers at risk.

6. The method of claim 5 whereby the game continues wherein: a player places at least one additional wager prior to viewing any additional cards in play during the wagering card game; the player receives an additional plurality of cards from the remaining cards in the deck(s) of cards after placing the at least one additional wager; the dealer receives a same number of additional plurality of cards from the remaining cards in the deck(s) of cards to complete a second round of play; declaring the end of the game if the dealer hand has at least a minimum predetermined specific rank; comparing the player's hand to the dealer's hand, using poker rank as the criterion for comparison, excluding straights, flushes and straight flushes in the comparison; determining the winning hand according to the said comparison; and resolving a wager or wagers according to a predetermined paytable.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein, if the dealer hand does not have at least a minimum predetermined specific rank, the game continues.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the player makes one choice selected from the group consisting of a) folding, thereby losing all wagers made on the game; b) completing the game by accepting payment for a winning hand of a predetermined specific rank paid according to the predetermined paytable; and c) making an additional wager to continue the game and receive additional playing cards, placing all wagers at risk.

9. The method of claim 8 whereby the game continues wherein: a player places at least one additional wager prior to viewing any additional cards in play during the wagering card game; the player receives a final plurality of cards from the remaining cards in the deck(s) of cards after placing the at least one additional wager; the dealer receives a same final number of plurality of cards from the remaining cards in the deck(s) of cards to complete a third round of play; declaring the end of the game; comparing the player's hand to the dealer's hand, using at least some poker ranks as the criterion for comparison; determining the winning hand according to the said comparison; and resolving the wager or wagers according to a predetermined paytable.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein if the player's hand contains exactly one Joker in any hand, the player's hand automatically loses and all wagers by that player with exactly one joker are lost.

11. The method of claim 9 wherein if the dealer's hand contains one Joker, the dealer's hand automatically wins over any player hand still in play, with the player losing all wagers.

12. The method of claim 9 wherein if the player's hand contains two Jokers, the player's hand automatically wins according to the predetermined paytable.

13. The method of claim 9 wherein if the dealer's hand contains two Jokers, the dealer's hand automatically loses against any player hand still in play, with the player automatically winning according to the predetermined paytable.

14. The method of claim 10 wherein if the player's hand contains one Joker and the dealer's hand contains two Jokers, the player's hand does not automatically lose.

15. The method of claim 12 wherein the player's hand containing two Jokers automatically wins according to the predetermined paytable even if the dealer's hand contains one Joker.

16. The method of claim 9 wherein a final player hand that does not contain at least a minimum predetermined specific rank loses.

17. The method of claim 9 wherein a final player hand that does not contain at least a minimum predetermined specific rank pushes.

18. The method of claim 9 wherein the player pushes his wager on ties between the player's hand and the dealer's hand.

19. The method of claim 9 wherein the player loses his wager on ties between the player's hand and the dealer's hand.

20. The method of claim 9 wherein the player wins his wager on ties between the player's hand and the dealer's hand.

21. The method of claim 1 wherein the presence of a single joker in a player hand or dealer hand may be treated in a step selected from the group consisting of: a) the player automatically losing all wagers placed during the game; b) the player pushing on all wagers placed during the game; and c) the player losing all wagers placed during the game, but being allowed to replace any part of the wagers placed during the game up to an amount equal to the amount of the wagers previously placed.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a poker game suitable for use in casinos and other gaming establishments as a table card game or a video poker game. The invention further relates to casino gaming wherein a game is played using a single or multiple standard deck of cards that is augmented by one or more jokers and dealt in a designated number of rounds, each round preferably consisting of precisely two cards being dealt to each of the players and the dealer.

2. Background of the Art

Games based upon variations of poker have attained enormous popularity as casino-type entertainment games, particularly in the last twenty years. The success of poker games in the gaming industry is partially based on the game's simplicity (i.e., there is widespread public knowledge of the game rules) and the fact that players feel more directly involved in exercising judgment in the play of the game.

Traditional poker as played in card rooms and casinos allow players to compete head to head against other players. The casino typically charges a fee or vigorish for the privilege to play at the table, and so is one of the rare wagering games in which the casino does not have a built-in percentage advantage per game.

Many new approaches to poker have been developed for casino table games that can be played on a blackjack-like table, in which the players compete against the house or against a paytable, and in which the house has an edge or percentage advantage. These poker variations now rival the popularity of blackjack in many venues. Specific variants include Let It Ride®, Caribbean Stud Poker®, Three Card Poker®, Four Card Poker™ and 3-5-7 Poker™. Each of these games is poker-based; i.e., decisions are based on a knowledge of traditional poker rules and basic standard poker rankings. This makes these games appealing to many players who fully understand the intricacies of poker's gameplay decisions and payout possibilities.

On the other hand, there are popular casino table games that do not require a working knowledge of poker. Some players prefer to wager their money on a more random and entertaining form of game that is easily understood, and that has compelling personal risk-level choices. Often these kind of card games are referred to as “carnival games”. Among the more prevalent games in this category are Casino War™ and Catch a Wave™. In these games, the player is allowed to make choices based on primarily the rank and/or the color of the cards and more simple decisions and rules are featured.

It would be advantageous to combine a poker-based game with a carnival-type game so that the player is offered a quick and compelling card game that does not require extensive knowledge of poker rules and yet allows the player a simple decision-making process that encourages the player to play at a comfortable risk level.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,991,538 (Cannon) teaches a gaming device having a poker game including at least one card in addition to a conventional fifty-two card deck which has a negative impact on the hand held by the player. In one embodiment, the negative impact card is not considered when determining if a winning combination exists. Additional embodiments include an inability to discard the negative impact card requiring the player to play for a winning combination among four, rather than five, cards. In an alternative embodiment, the player must decide whether to discard a card without knowing if it is a positive or negative impact card. Whether the card is a positive or negative impact card is not revealed to the player until after the first draw. The negative impact card can be used in all poker games and other card games where the player has a limited number of cards from which to determine a win.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,893,049 (Schmitt) discloses a method of playing an improved version of stud poker wherein from two to eight players can play the game and a fully shuffled 52 card deck of cards is used wherein 14 cards of the deck have wild cards variations printed thereon these selected cards. The 14 wild variation cards are what make the method of playing the crazy stud poker invention unique over any other stud poker card game.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,889,981 (Parker) describes a method of playing a card game including steps of selecting a combination of cards in an at least apparently random manner, the combination including zero or more special cards (not a conventional wild card such as a joker), and determining whether the combination results in a win or lose state.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,830,247 (Lo) discloses an invention that is a six-card-stud poker game, played with at least one but preferably one standard poker deck of 52 cards plus at least one but preferably two Jokers. After at least one wager is placed, each Player and the Banker are each dealt six cards; the Players and the Banker each then selects and keeps his best 5-card poker hand from his six cards and discards one card. To win a Poker Bet wager, a Player's best 5-card poker hand must rank higher than the Banker's best 5-card poker hand. To win a side-bet wager, a Player's best 5-card poker hand must be one of the predetermined winning hands of the type of the side bet he bets on.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,719,292 (Lo) describes an eight-card-stud poker game, played with at least one but preferably one standard poker deck of 52 cards, plus at least one but preferably four Jokers. A Player who is not a Banker may play Aces Two Pair Or Better Bet, 3 Of A Kind Or Better Bet, Straight Or Better Bet, Flush Or Better Bet, Full House Or Better Bet, 4 Of A Kind Or Better Bet, and/or Bonus Bet betting on the contents of the Player's own hand. After at least one bet is placed, each Player and the Banker are each dealt seven cards and one community card. From each Player's own seven dealt cards and the community card, he selects and keeps his best 5-card poker hand and discards three other cards. To win a bet, the Player's best 5-card poker hand must be one of the predetermining winning hands of the type of the bet he bets on, regardless of the Banker's hand. If a Player makes more than one bet, the Player may win all bets made, the Player may win some bet(s) and lose the other(s), or the Player may lose all bets made.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,712,360 (Yaple) discloses a method of playing a poker game using a standard deck of cards, a first die having indicia representative of Jokers and numbers, a second die having indicia representative of numbers, and Joker icons, wherein the number of cards and Joker icons from which a player builds the best possible five card poker hand is determined by rolling the dice.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,698,757 (Timpano) describes a method for playing a game in which players play against a casino using a standard fifty two card deck plus at least one joker, which acts as a wild card. In an alternate embodiment, the game may be played on an electronic device and electronic representations of the cards may be used. Each player makes a base wager and, optionally, a bonus wager. Five cards are dealt to each player and to the dealer. Any player having a predetermined automatic winning holding is immediately rewarded and excluded from further participation in the game except to resolve any bonus wager. Each player not having an automatic winning holding has the option to discard and replace a single card. The dealer hand is revealed the dealer receives a single additional card. In turn, each player's hand is revealed. Each base wager is resolved by comparing the poker ranking of the player's hand to the poker ranking of the casino hand. The player is rewarded if the player's hand has a higher ranking than the dealer hand; otherwise, the player's base wager is collected by the casino. Bonus wagers are resolved by comparing the final player hand and the final dealer hand to a predetermined set of bonus holdings including, at least, a bonus holding in which the final player hand includes one joker, a bonus holding in which the final player hand includes two jokers, and a bonus holding in which the final dealer hand and the final player hand each include one joker.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,270,079 (Chamberlain) discloses a method of playing a card game. A standard deck of playing cards is used wherein a particular card having a particular value is designated as a dual purpose card that functions as a wild card when face down and a killer card when face up. Any player with a killer card must surrender his or her bets and withdraw from play.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,149,156 (Feola) teaches a card game having multiple rounds in which a player chooses which rounds to play and a number of locations on a displayed grid of hidden, randomly-selected cards for each chosen round. Each round has rules different from the other rounds. Cards later revealed at the chosen locations and at randomly selected locations are used to play the chosen rounds. Payouts are determined by the number of player-chosen locations that matches the number of randomly selected locations and/or by the hand formed by the randomly selected cards revealed in the player-chosen locations.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,997,002 (Goldman) describes a poker-style casino card game wherein jokers are never wild. The game uses a 52 card standard playing deck plus an additional five Jokers for a total of 57 playing cards. A sixth “imaginary” or side Joker is deemed to be within a player's hand if he places one of the side bets. The other side bet provides for greater payout based on standard poker hand rankings.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,951,012 (Feola) provides for a poker game wherein the amount of successive wagers is pre-established. Each hand is preceded by players making at least one initial wager. A dealer also provides himself/herself with a plurality of cards and each player is displayed at least one card to form an initial partial hand. The players are given the opportunity to view their initial partial hands and are then required to increase their wagers by a predetermined amount in order to continue playing that hand. If the player increases his/her wager by the predetermined amount, then the player will be displayed at least one additional card. Various embodiments of the present invention require subsequent wagers in different amounts. For example, one embodiment requires a player to place two subsequent wagers in amounts equal to the player's initial wager in order to complete the hand. Alternative embodiments require players to make more than three subsequent wagers in equal amounts in order to complete the hand. Still other embodiments require players to make wagers in successively increasing amounts. Yet still other embodiments provide losing players with bonus payments based upon the ranking of a player's hand in combination with the player's ante.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,944,315 (Mostashari) describes a poker game with designatable jokers wherein the player designates one of his cards as a Joker and whereby the player has a Poker hand comprised of four cards and a Joker. The dealer designates one of his cards as a Joker whereby the dealer has a Poker hand comprised of four cards and a Joker. A payout is made to the player when the player's hand has a rank that is at least as high as the rank of the dealer's hand.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,019,973 (Wilcox) describes a computer card game using a video screen which allows the player to make a second wager for an additional card after a first card hand has been dealt which will be compared with the cards in the first card hand. The matching cards are defined as Jokers or Wild Cards which are then used to define the best card hand.

United States Patent Application No. 20060027967 (Chen) describes a card game with the playing method of Casino War and Blackjack (twenty-one) that multiple players engage in taking turns to play their own hand against a dealer's hand. It uses a shoe with six decks or eight decks of standard playing card with jokers (54 cards of each deck). In conjunction with standard rules of both Casino War and Blackjack card game, the jokers serve as a winning card. Any hand with a joker is automatically won. The Jokers 21 also allows players to wager on four different betting choices, One Card bet, One Card Tie bet, Jokers 21 bet, and Jokers 21 Tie bet.

United States Patent Application No. 20010015529 (Allen) describes a game utilizing a standard fifty-two card deck of playing cards plus a single Joker, or electronic representations thereof. Players wager on the outcome of the game by placing table card wagers and bonus wagers on a layout that indicates the outcomes that will result in a payoff for each wager. Five cards are dealt from a shuffled deck of cards designating a table hand from which a single table card is selected. Table card wagers are paid or collected based on the characteristics of the table card. Five card, bonus, wagers are paid or collected based on the characteristics of the five cards of the table hand.

Each of the references discussed in this text art are incorporated herein in their entirety for all purposes.

It is an ever-increasing challenge to provide players with new and enticing gameplay features that will stimulate player interest and increase time at the table or the machine.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A method of playing a wagering card game for a single player or a number of players uses a single deck or preferably multiple decks of standard playing cards having a standard rank. Each standard deck of 52 cards is augmented by at least one joker or two jokers (or specialty cards, as a “Bankruptcy Card” or the like). The game begins with at least a first game wager from each player, and is played in a predetermined maximum number of rounds, each round consisting of the deal of at least two cards and preferably precisely two cards to each player that has placed the first game wager and the dealer. At the end of the first round, the game is over if the dealer's hand contains at least a minimum specified rank. Rankings, from minimum rank to maximum rank, consist of a Pair, 3-of-a-Kind, 4-of-a-Kind, 5-of-a-Kind, etc. Each player's hand is then compared to the dealer's hand, and the higher ranking hand wins. Winning player hands are paid according to a predetermined paytable. Ties may or may not be pushes. If, on the other hand, at the end of the first round the dealer's hand does not contain at least a minimum specified rank, the player may elect to either fold (losing the initial wager), resolve any winning wagers, or make an additional wager to play the second round. Any resolved winning player hands are paid according to the predetermined paytable, and those same players do not compete in the second round. That is, even if the player's hand wins on the first round, the player places the entire in first game wager and any second game wager at risk by continuing the game. The second round requires an additional second game wager, and is played in accordance with approximately the same first round rules aforementioned. Play continues in the same fashion until the end of the last round, usually a third round, with a third game wager required to enter the third round, preferably with both the first game wager and the second game wager remaining at risk. At the end of any round, a player's hand with one Joker may or must automatically bust; i.e., all of the player's wagers are lost, and his cards removed. If the dealer's hand has one Joker after any round, the game may or must be over and the dealer may automatically win over any active player hand, with all wagers and cards being removed. There are variable rules provided on the impact of the occurrence of a joker in either the player or dealer hand, as explained in detail below. However, at the end of any round, a player's hand having multiple Jokers may or must automatically win. If the dealer's hand has multiple Jokers after any round, the game may or must be over and the dealer's hand may or must automatically lose, in which case each active player may be paid a bonus, premium or enhanced pay.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 shows a table game layout for the game technology described herein.

FIG. 2 shows the game elements for a game utilizing the game technology described herein.

FIG. 3 shows a first game utilizing the game technology described herein.

FIG. 4 shows the first game at a later stage.

FIG. 5 shows the first game at a later stage.

FIG. 6 shows the first game at a later stage.

FIG. 7 shows the first game at a final stage.

FIG. 8 shows a second game utilizing the game technology described herein.

FIG. 9 shows the second game at a later stage.

FIG. 10 shows the second game at a final stage.

FIG. 11 shows a third game utilizing the game technology described herein.

FIG. 12 shows the third game at a later stage.

FIG. 13 shows the third game at a later stage.

FIG. 14 shows the third game at a later stage.

FIG. 15 shows the third game at a final stage.

FIG. 16 shows a fourth game utilizing the game technology described herein.

FIG. 17 shows the fourth game at a final stage.

FIG. 18 shows a fifth game utilizing the game technology described herein.

FIG. 19 shows the fifth game at a final stage.

FIG. 20 shows a sixth game utilizing the game technology described herein.

FIG. 21 shows a seventh game utilizing the game technology described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A method of playing a wagering card game for a single player or a number of players uses at least one and preferably multiple (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8, for example) decks of standard playing cards having a standard rank that are augmented by one or more jokers or specialty cards that are not an Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen or King. The game is played in a predetermined maximum number of rounds in each of which are dealt at least two cards (and preferably exactly two cards) to each player and the dealer in each round. Preferably there are exactly three rounds of play within a single game event. The dealer's hand and the player's hand are compared after each round according to the rules of the game, which will be generically referred to herein as “Two-for-the-Money” card game. The game may end after any round, or may continue until the end of the last round according to predetermined rules of play. Winning events and winning player hands are paid according to a predetermined paytable.

The generic game according to the present disclosure may be provided as a video poker game or a live table game or hybrid casino table game having combinations of physical game elements (chips and cards) and virtual game elements (chips, cards, dealers, etc.). By hybrid systems is meant those systems known in the art where there may be a fully automated gaming table, such as the Shuffle Master, Inc. Multi-Player Platform™ system or a system with a dealer and automated bet recognitions and card reading and/or display. The wager may be provided in a casino table card game with chips, tokens, money, credit or credit charge. The wager in a video game is usually made with credits or credit charges. Automatic card shufflers or continuous card shufflers may be used in the practice of the game.

The method of playing the wagering card game comprises providing at least one standard deck of 52 playing cards with standard poker ranks that is augmented by at least one Joker. The player places at least one initial first round wager prior to viewing any cards in play during the wagering card game and receives a plurality of cards from the deck(s) of cards after placing the at least one first wager. The dealer receives at least a same plurality of cards from the remaining cards in the deck(s) of cards to complete a first round of play. The player's hand is then compared to the dealer's hand, using poker rank without consideration of straights, flushes and straight flushes as the criterion for comparison. The winning hand is determined according to the said comparison and an end of the game is declared if the dealer hand has at least a minimum predetermined specific rank. The wager or wagers are resolved according to a predetermined paytable, with a potential for placing a second round wager for continued play in the wagering card game.

If the dealer hand does not have at least a minimum predetermined specific rank (at least a preselected high card rank or a pair), the game continues. The player then makes one choice selected from the group consisting of a) folding, thereby losing all wagers made on the game; b) completing the game by accepting payment for a winning hand of a predetermined specific rank paid according to the predetermined paytable; and c) making an additional wager to continue the game and receive additional playing cards, placing all wagers at risk. The game continues with the player placing at least one additional wager prior to viewing any additional cards in play during the wagering card game. The player receives an additional plurality of cards from the remaining cards in the deck(s) of cards after placing the at least one additional wager and the dealer receives a same number of additional plurality of cards from the remaining cards in the deck(s) of cards to complete a second round of play. An end of the game is declared if the dealer hand has at least a minimum predetermined specific rank. The player's hand is then compared to the dealer's hand, using poker rank as the criterion for comparison, excluding straights, flushes and straight flushes in the comparison. The winning hand is determined according to the said comparison and the wager or wagers are resolved according to a predetermined paytable.

If the dealer hand does not have at least a minimum predetermined specific rank, the game continues with the player making one choice selected from the group consisting of a) folding, thereby losing all wagers made on the game; b) completing the game by accepting payment for a winning hand of a predetermined specific rank paid according to the predetermined paytable; and c) making an additional wager to continue the game and receive additional playing cards, placing all wagers at risk. The game continues with the player placing at least one additional wager prior to viewing any additional cards in play during the wagering card game and receiving a final plurality of cards from the remaining cards in the deck(s) of cards after placing the at least one additional wager. The dealer receives a same final number of plurality of cards from the remaining cards in the deck(s) of cards to complete a third round of play and the end of the game is declared. A final comparison of the player's hand to the dealer's hand is made, using at least some poker ranks as the criterion for comparison. The winning hand is determined according to the said comparison and the wager or wagers are resolved according to a predetermined paytable.

Overriding rules may apply to the Jokers. If the player's hand contains exactly one Joker in any round, the player's hand may automatically lose and all wagers by that player with exactly one joker are lost. If the dealer's hand contains one Joker, the dealer's hand may automatically win over any player hand still in play, with the player losing all wagers. If the player's hand contains two Jokers, the player's hand may automatically win according to the predetermined paytable. If the dealer's hand contains two Jokers, the dealer's hand may automatically lose against any player hand still in play, with the player automatically winning according to the predetermined paytable. If the player's hand contains one Joker and the dealer's hand contains two Jokers, the player's hand may not automatically lose. If the player's hand contains two Jokers, the player's hand may automatically win according to the predetermined paytable even if the dealer's hand contains one Joker. An alternate treatment of the presence of a single joker in a player hand or dealer hand may be treated in a step selected from the group consisting of: a) the player automatically losing all wagers placed during the game; b) the player pushing on all wagers placed during the game; and c) the player losing all wagers placed during the game, but being allowed to replace any part of the wagers placed during the game up to an amount equal to the amount of the wagers previously placed.

Any final player hand that does not contain at least a minimum predetermined specific rank may either lose or push. Ties between the player's hand and the dealer's hand may cause the player to either push his wager, lose his wager, or win his wager.

The present invention is preferably played with multiple decks of cards, with each deck comprising 53 or 54 cards, i.e., 52 standard cards with 1 or 2 jokers. The game is played in at least two rounds and preferably played in three rounds. Each player makes a first game wager to play a first round. Round One begins with two cards being dealt face up to each player and the dealer. The game is over if the dealer's hand contains at least a minimum specified rank. Specified rankings, from minimum rank to maximum rank, consist of a Pair, 3-of-a-Kind (in the second round), 4-of-a-Kind (in the second or third round), 5-of-a-Kind (in the third round) and 6-of-a-Kind (in the third round). Flushes and/or straights are optionally and preferably not specified rankings in this invention, with only pairs, trips, quads, five-of-a-kind or six-of-a-kind being the only ranks in play (although straight flushes and Royal Flushes may also be included as special bonus hands). Each player's hand is then compared to the dealer's hand at each stage or round of the game, and the higher ranking hand wins on the wagers in play. Winning player hands are paid according to a predetermined paytable. Ties may or may not be pushes. If, on the other hand, at the end of the Round One the dealer's hand does not contain at least a minimum specified rank, the player may elect to either: fold (losing the initial wager), resolve any winning wagers if the player has at least a specified rank, or make an additional wager (whether or not the player has a specified rank) to play the second round. To that end, the dealer having less than a minimum rank may have little or no effect on the play of the continuing game, at the option of the player. Any resolved winning player hands may be paid according to the predetermined paytable, and those same players then do not compete in the second round. For a player to continue into Round Two, the player is required to place an additional wager, and the Second Round is played in accordance with substantially the same general first round rules stated above. Round Three also requires an additional wager, and is played in accordance with the substantially same first and second round rules stated above, with the dealer less-than-minimum hand having no significant impact or being optionally present in the first, second and third rounds.

Additional overriding rules apply to the jokers. At the end of any round, a player's hand with one Joker may automatically bust or lose all existing wagers; i.e., all of the player's wagers are lost, and his cards removed. If the dealer's hand has one Joker after any round, the game also may be over and the dealer may automatically win over any active player hand, with all wagers and cards being removed. However, at the end of any round, a player's hand having two Jokers which in this format must be received in a deal of a single round) may automatically win (even if the dealer has one Joker), in which case the player is paid according to the predetermined paytable. The game may then be over for that said player or continue, with the double joker not receiving additional payment in subsequent rounds. If the dealer's hand has two Jokers after any round, the game also may be over (with no additional rounds of play being dealt) and the dealer's hand may automatically lose, in which case each active player may be paid a bonus, premium or enhanced pay according to the predetermined paytable.

The presence of jokers may also be treated differently as a further play option. For example, rather than having a joker in the player or dealer's hand automatically lose, which could upset a player with an otherwise very good hand, the presence of a joker in either hand may compel a push (even if or only if the player's hand is otherwise better than the dealer's hand). Another alternative would be to allow the player to forfeit the previous wagers and replace the initial wager at the same amount to remain in the game. This would be done, for example, if the player has a pair or three-of-a-kind in the second or third round, thus allowing the player an opportunity to win some amount back as the game continues. Additionally, the presence of a joker in either hand allows the player the opportunity in future rounds of a second joker (or specialty card) being dealt to that hand, where the player would receive a win or bonus amount for the presence of two jokers in a single hand, as explained in the game rules. These variants minimize the adverse impact of a single joker being dealt to a hand and offer the player more strategy options, which advanced players appreciate.

The following description describes one of a number of preferred methods and rules of play that may be used in the practice of the present invention. The sample of the rules is provided below as an example, but not as a limitation in the practice of the game. Samples of paytables for the game are also provided below as examples, but not as limitations in the practice of the game.

Preferred Rules of Play for “Two for the Money”:

The game is played with multiple decks of 53 or 54 cards each, i.e., each deck is comprised of 52 standard cards and one or two additional Jokers or specialty cards.

The game is preferably dealt in 3 rounds for each game.

Two cards are dealt to each player and the dealer in each round for a total of 6 cards maximum in a three round game.

If a player has a Joker after any round's deal, he automatically loses (or pushes in a less preferred format).

If the dealer has a Joker after a round's deal, he automatically wins against all active player hands (or the game pushes, or the player has an option of restaking his original and other wagers to remain in the game, losing the initial or additional wagers to that point in the game).

If a player has 2 Jokers after any round's deal, he automatically wins (even if the dealer has one Joker) according to a predetermined paytable.

If the dealer has 2 Jokers after a round's deal, the dealer or house automatically loses against all active player hands, and each player is paid according to a predetermined paytable.

ROUND ONE:

  • 1. Players make a first bet game wager.
  • 2. Players and dealer are dealt 2 cards each.
  • 3. If the dealer has a pair, the game is or may be over. If a player has a higher pair, the player wins. Otherwise the player loses if the dealer has a pair.
    ROUND TWO (dealer did not have a pair in Round 1):
  • 1. A player can either (choose one):
  • A. Fold (lose 1st game bet wager)
  • B. End his game if he has a pair, and does not want to continue. The pair pays 1:1. If there is a dealer qualifying minimum or if the game otherwise allows, if the player hand beats the dealer hand, there may be an additional 1:1 payment.
  • C. Make a second same size bet to play Round Two. This is the only option that keeps the player active in a continuing game.
  • 2. Active players and dealer are dealt an additional 2 cards each.
  • 3. If the dealer has at least a pair, the game is over. If a player has a higher ranked hand, the player wins on all remaining wagers. Otherwise the player loses when the dealer has at least a pair. Three or four-card flushes are meaningless in the play of the game at this point.
    ROUND THREE (dealer did not have at least a pair in Round 2):
  • 1. A player can either (choose one):
  • A. Fold (lose 1st and 2nd bets)
  • B. End his game if he has at least a pair, and does not want to continue. The hand pays according to the paytable.
  • C. Make a third (same size bet) game wager to get 2 more cards. This is the only option that keeps the player active in a continuing game.
  • 2. Active players and dealer are dealt an additional 2 cards each.

FINAL SCORING:

  • If the player has a higher ranking hand, he wins according to the paytable. Otherwise the player loses.
  • Ties are pushes.
  • Player hands that do not contain at least a pair, lose.

SAMPLE PAYTABLE:

  • Pair—1-to-1
  • 2 Pairs—2-to-1
  • 3 Pairs—3-to-1
  • 3-of-a-Kind—3-to-1
  • 3-of-a-Kind with 1 Pair—5-to-1
  • 3-of-a-Kind with 3oak—8-to-1
  • 4-of-a-Kind—10-to-1
  • 4-of-a-Kind with 1 Pair—15-to-1
  • 5-of-a-Kind—50-to-1
  • 6-of-a-Kind—100-to-1
  • 2 Jokers (Player)—25-to-1
  • 2 Jokers (Dealer)—10-to-1 plus value of player's hand

In the play of this game, it becomes apparent that straights and flushes are played as irrelevant. It is an option to allow them as hands of value under the paytable, and it may even be desirable to at least allow straight flushes and Royal Straight Flushes and a Super straight flush (6 consecutive cards in the same suit) or Super Royal Straight flush (9, 10, J, Q, K and Ace in suit) to be present on the paytable, with payout rates such as 10:1, 50:1, 75:1 and 200:1, respectively. This would cause players to stay in the game with four cards providing a possible high payback hand, even when there are no pairs in the hand, which is ordinarily a losing hand.

It is also to be noted that in the variation shown, a Full House is treated as three-of-a-kind and a pair. It may be treated as a Full House in the paytable as another option.

SAMPLE EASY-PAY PAYTABLE: Add up all payouts that apply (i.e., a hand that includes one 3-of-a-Kind plus a Pair would receive 3-to-1 plus 1-to-1, or a total of 4-to-1):

  • Any Pair—1-to-1
  • Any 3-of-a-Kind—3-to-1
  • Any 4-of-a-Kind—12-to-1
  • Any 5-of-a-Kind—50-to-1
  • Any 6-of-a-Kind—100-to-1
  • 2 Jokers (Player)—20-to-1
  • 2 Jokers (Dealer)—10-to-1 plus value of player's hand
  • Straight Flush 10:1
  • Royal Flush 50:1
  • Super Straight Flush (6-card straight flush) 100:1
  • Super Royal Flush 200:1

Reference to the Figures will assist in further understanding of the practice of the present invention.

FIG. 1 shows sample table game layout 2 with a dealer hand area 4 and six player stations 6.

FIG. 2 shows the elements of the player station and the dealer hand areas as referred to in FIG. 1. The player hand area 8 is comprised of six individual card areas (10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20) and three betting circle areas 22 designated as Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3. The dealer hand area 30 is comprised of six individual card areas (40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50). Alternately, these same elements may be graphically displayed on a monitor screen for a video poker game version of the present invention.

FIG. 3 refers to the elements in FIG. 2 with the player wagering a $5 chip 60 to play Round 1 of a first game.

FIG. 4 refers to the elements in FIG. 3 with the deal of a first card to the player 70, a first card to the dealer 72, a second card to the player 74 and a second card to the dealer 76.

FIG. 5 refers to the elements in FIG. 4 after the player has considered his first two cards in relation to the dealer's first two cards. Since neither the dealer nor the player has achieved a pair, ensuring the continuation of the game, the player may decide to either 1) fold or 2) wager again to keep playing the game. Here the player has higher cards than the dealer, which makes an eventual winning hand a good possibility, so the player wagers a second $5 chip 80 to play Round 2 of the game.

FIG. 6 refers to the elements in FIG. 5 with the deal of a third card to the player 90, a third card to the dealer 92, a fourth card to the player 94 and a fourth card to the dealer 96.

FIG. 7 refers to the elements in FIG. 6 after the player has considered his first four cards in relation to the dealer's first four cards. The dealer did not achieve at least a pair, but the player has a Pair of 9s (70, 90). The player may now decide to either take the win, or play on by wagering a third $5 chip and risking the entire bet. Since the dealer has and Ace 92 and a King 96 that could pair up in Round 3 and therefore beat his Pair of 9s, the player is wary of playing on. The player decides to take his win of 1:1 odds, and is paid $10 in chips 98. This first game is now over.

FIG. 8 refers to the elements in FIG. 2 with the player wagering a $5 chip 100 to play Round 1 of a second game.

FIG. 9 refers to the elements in FIG. 8 with the deal of a first card to the player 110, a first card to the dealer 112, a second card to the player 114 and a second card to the dealer 116. The dealer has paired up so the game is over.

FIG. 10 refers to the elements in FIG. 9 with the player losing his $5 wager because he did not pair up.

FIG. 11 refers to the elements in FIG. 2 with the player wagering a $5 chip 120 to play Round 1 of a third game.

FIG. 12 refers to the elements in FIG. 11 with the deal of a first card to the player 130, a first card to the dealer 132, a second card to the player 134 and a second card to the dealer 136.

FIG. 13 refers to the elements in FIG. 12 after the player has considered his first two cards in relation to the dealer's first two cards. Since neither the dealer nor the player has achieved a pair, ensuring the continuation of the game, the player may decide to either 1) fold or 2) wager again to keep playing the game. Here the player has at least one card higher than the dealer, which makes an eventual winning hand a possibility, so the player wagers a second $5 chip 140 to play Round 2 of the game.

FIG. 14 refers to the elements in FIG. 13 with the deal of a third card to the player 150, a third card to the dealer 152, a fourth card to the player 154 and a fourth card to the dealer 156.

FIG. 15 refers to the elements in FIG. 14 after the player has considered his first four cards in relation to the dealer's first four cards. The dealer did not achieve at least a pair, but has three high cards that could pair up in Round 3. The player has only low cards that have a poor chance of winning. The player may now decide to either fold, or play on by wagering a third $5 chip and risking the entire bet. The player decides to fold, and loses both of his $5 wagers. This game is now over.

FIG. 16 refers to the game elements in FIG. 2 and shows a fourth game in progress. The player has already wagered a $5 chip 200 to play Round 1 and a $5 chip 220 to play Round 2. The player has already received four cards (210, 214, 230, 234), and the dealer has received four cards (212, 216, 232, 236). The player has paired up with a Pair of Jacks (214, 230), and considers his options. He may take the sure win, or continue in the game, hoping that his Pair of Jacks will be good enough for an eventual win or that he may achieve an even higher hand. The player decides to continue in the game by wagering a third $5 chip 240 to play Round 3 and risking the entire $15 bet.

FIG. 17 refers to the elements in FIG. 16 and shows the deal of a fifth card 250 and a sixth card 254 for the player, and a fifth card 252 and a sixth card 256 for the dealer. Even though the player has achieved 3-of-a-Kind Jacks (214, 230, 250), the dealer has a single Joker 252. According to the rules as specified herein, the player automatically loses his entire wager of $15.

FIG. 18 refers to the game elements in FIG. 2 and shows a fifth game in progress. The player has already wagered a $5 chip 300 to play Round 1 and a $5 chip 320 to play Round 2. The player has already received four cards (310, 314, 330, 334), and the dealer has received four cards (312, 316, 332, 336). Even though the dealer has not paired up, the player has a single Joker 330.

FIG. 19 refers to the elements in FIG. 18, and according to the rules as specified herein, shows the player automatically losing his entire wager of $10 because of the single Joker 330.

FIG. 20 shows the results of a sixth game according to the rules specified herein. At the end of the third and final round of play, after the player has wagered a total of three $5 chips (400, 420, 440), the dealer's hand has six cards (412, 416, 432, 436, 452, 456), and the player's hand has six cards (410, 414, 430, 434, 450, 454). The player does not have at least a pair, but because the dealer's hand has two Jokers (452, 456), the player automatically wins 10:1, and is paid $150 in $50 chips 460.

FIG. 21 shows the results of a seventh game according to the rules specified herein. The player has wagered $5 to play 500, and has been dealt two cards (510, 514). The dealer also has two cards (512, 516). Even though the dealer has a Pair of 5s (512, 516), the player has two Jokers (510, 514), which automatically gives the player a win. He is paid 20:1, as shown by the two $50 chips 520.

Although specific examples and specific paytables have been provided in this discussion, these specifics are intended to be only support for the generic concepts of the invention and are not intended to be absolute limits in the scope of the technology discussed.