Title:
Wagering Method and System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wagering game for at least one player comprising the steps of: choosing at least one wagering criteria generator having publicly-viewed current and historic wagering criteria data, and choosing a wagering period; using current data and identifying an initial time and a respective data value for the wagering period; using the historic data to specify a plurality of wagering ranges about the initial data value and to calculate respective odds for the wagering ranges; configuring a player interface to allow at least one player to place at least one wager against the plurality of wagering ranges and the respective odds; and evaluating the at least one wager during the wagering period.



Inventors:
Ben-ami, Gabi (Herzlia, IL)
Application Number:
11/874219
Publication Date:
04/23/2009
Filing Date:
10/18/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HALL, ARTHUR O
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mark, Dr. Friedman C/o Bill Polkinghorn Discovery Dispatch M. -. (9003 FLORIN WAY, UPPER MARLBORO, MD, 20772, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A wagering game for at least one player comprising the steps of: (a) choosing at least one wagering criteria generator having publicly-viewed current and historic wagering criteria data, and choosing a wagering period; (b) using current data and identifying an initial time and a respective data value for the wagering period; (c) using the historic data to specify a plurality of wagering ranges about the initial data value and to calculate respective odds for the wagering ranges; (d) configuring a player interface to allow at least one player to place at least one wager against the plurality of wagering ranges and the respective odds; and (e) evaluating the at least one wager during the wagering period.

2. The wagering game of claim 1, wherein the current data of the at least one wagering criteria generator is updated at least once during the wagering period.

3. The wagering game of claim 2, wherein the current data is updated substantially in real time.

4. The wagering game of claim 2, wherein choosing the wagering period includes specifying the length of the wagering period and the starting time of the game.

5. The wagering game of claim 4, wherein the length of the wagering period ranges from substantially one minute to substantially one year.

6. The wagering game of claim 1, wherein the player interface displays at least one chosen from the list including: a player balance of funds; at least one odds for a respective wager; a summary of odds of all wagers; and an elapsed time since the start of the game.

7. The wagering game of claim 1, wherein evaluating the at least one wager during the wagering period includes evaluating the at least one wager at the end of the wagering period.

8. The wagering game of claim 7, wherein evaluating the at least one wager includes at least one chosen from the list including: performing a win and loss calculation; displaying the win and loss calculation on the player interface; and adjusting a player funds balance.

9. The wagering game of claim 8, wherein calculating win or loss includes the steps of: evaluating whether a last value for at least one wager is within the respective wagering range; determining that a minimum number of respective last values for respective wagers are within respective wagering; and displaying win and loss indications based upon the evaluation and the determination.

10. The wagering game of claim 1, wherein the game is played using at least one of list including: internet, PC, LAN, cellular telephone networks; WAP; and SMS.

11. A system for playing a wagering game, the system comprising: a wager criteria generator selection module, adapted to choose at least one wagering criteria generator having publicly-viewed current and historic wagering criteria data, and adapted to choose a wagering period; an initialization module, adapted to use current data and identify an initial time and a respective data value for the wagering period; a range module, adapted to be used the historic data to specify a plurality of wagering ranges about the initial data value and to calculate respective odds for the wagering ranges; a wager specification module, having a player interface adapted to allow at least one player to place at least one wager against the plurality of wagering ranges and the respective odds; and an evaluation module, adapted to evaluate the at least one wager during the wagering period.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein the current data of the at least one wagering criteria generator is updateable at least once during the wagering period.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein the current data is updatedable substantially in real time.

14. The system of claim 12, wherein the wager criteria generator selection module is further adapted to specify the length of the wagering period and the starting time of the game.

15. The system of claim 14, wherein the length of the wagering period ranges from substantially one minute to substantially one year.

16. The system of claim 11, wherein the player interface is adapted to display at least one chosen from the list including: a player balance of funds; at least one odds for a respective wager; a summary of odds of all wagers; and an elapsed time since the start of the game.

17. The system of claim 11, wherein the evaluation module is further adapted to evaluate the at least one wager at the end of the wagering period.

18. The system of claim 17, wherein the evaluation module is further adapted to evaluate the at least one wager, and is adapted to perform at least one chosen from the list including: performing a win and loss calculation; displaying the win and loss calculation on the player interface; and adjusting a player funds balance.

19. The system of claim 18, wherein the evaluation module is further adapted to perform the steps chosen from the list including: evaluating whether a last value for at least one wager is within the respective wagering range; determining that a minimum number of respective last values for respective wagers are within respective wagering; and displaying win and loss indications based upon the evaluation and the determination.

Description:

FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to methods and systems for wagering and, in particular, it deals with a method and system for a wagering game that takes advantage of one or more publicly-visible wagering criteria generators.

An example of a wagering game is poker. In a conventional and traditional game of poker, one or more players typically play against a dealer, or two or more players can play against each other, with the function of the dealer assumed by one or more players. In all variations of the game, cards are dealt from a card deck which has cards that are assumed to be randomly mixed. In short, the card deck serves as the basis of the game, and this is generally the case for most card games. Variations on the use of the card deck or on the hand dealt from the card deck are also known.

Dodge, in U.S. Pat. No. 7,222,856, whose disclosure is incorporated herein by reference, describes an improved poker game that provides a player with an initial five card poker hand plus an indication of additional nudge cards. Four cards in a deck having the same face value, but not suit, are the nudge cards. For each nudge card that a player is initially dealt or receives thereafter during the course of game play the player receives an option to replace a card in their hand. The nudge cards may also be single cards or wild cards method.

Wagering games can be played using electronic means such as a computer and/or the internet. In place of the physical card deck, such as used in card games, electronic games frequently use a random number or random word generator. An example is U.S. Pat. No. 7,206,797, of Gressel et al., whose disclosure is incorporated herein by reference. Gressel et al. describes a microelectronic apparatus and method for generating random binary words. Further described is a method of producing unbiased, unpredictable binary strings which appear to be an important point in electronic games of chance, among many other applications.

Other games involving wagering and chance also employ some means of generating random numbers or random chances. Newton et al. in U.S. Pat. No. 7,204,757, whose disclosure is incorporated herein by reference, describes a wagering game for one or more players comprising a random result generator for generating a specific random result, and a playing surface including a first betting zone for placement of first wagers corresponding to a plural of likely random results; and a second betting zone for placement of second wagers corresponding to a first or second outcome wherein the likely random result is compared to the specific random result for a match and the first or second outcomes are determined by a comparison of the specific random result with either a predetermined specific random result or a successive specific random result.

Many additional examples of efforts to develop and apply random or pseudo-random data generation, in an effort to provide a basis for wagering and other games of chance, can be found.

While the prior art includes a variety of methods of generating random variables for wagering games, there is a need for wagering games not to rely on random or pseudo-random generators, but having one or more fully objective, publicly-visible wagering criteria generators having historical data, whose current and historical data can be used for wagering across a range of time periods.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a method and system for wagering that takes advantage of one or more publicly-visible wagering criteria generators.

According to the teachings of the present invention there is provided, [TO BE COPIED IN FROM CLAIMS WHEN FINALIZED]

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1A is a flow chart of a wagering game, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a pictorial representation of an exemplary player interface of the wagering game described in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3 and 4 are pictorial representations of an exemplary player interface of the wagering game described in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a system for a wagering game, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention includes a method and system for a wagering game that takes advantage of publicly-visible wagering criteria generator.

In the specification and claims which follow the following definition of terms applies as:

    • “publicly-visible” is intended to refer to information that is readily available/accessible in published form and to the general public, usually, but not limited to the internet and/other electronic means;
    • “wagering criteria data” is intended to mean data, that is substantially continuous over time (i.e. the data may be evaluated over arbitrary periods of times, herein referred to as a “wagering period”), dynamic in nature, and for which historic data is available. Exemplary publicly-visible wagering criteria data may include: stock reports and various other financial, trading indices and reports (such as but not limited to: commodities futures, options, and currency exchange rates); reports of various weather-related parameters (such as but not limited to temperatures, precipitation, and wind speeds); and other similar reports that fulfill the abovementioned definition. The abovementioned definition is intended to exclude one-time events such as races, competitions, and other events or groups of events, which are typified by a fixed outcome (such as “win”, “loss”, and “tie”) and/or a fixed record or score (such as “best of 7 games” or a specific score or scores).
    • “wagering criteria generator” is intended to mean the phenomenon from which a specific wagering criteria data is obtained. The wagering criteria generator has current data (data that is available currently) and historic data (data from minutes, weeks, months, and possibly years in the past). It is emphasized that the purpose of the wagering criteria generator as defined in the specification and claims hereinbelow is solely to provide (i.e. “to generate”) wagering criteria data, and that a wager is not placed directly and primarily against the generator, meaning that there is no possibility of influencing the generator.

Reference is now made to FIG. 1, which a flow chart of a wagering game 10, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Wagering game 10 includes a number of steps as described hereinbelow. In choose wagering theme and criteria generator(s) 20, a wagering theme and one or more wagering criteria generators (as defined hereinabove) are chosen. A theme, as illustrated hereinbelow, can be any title of a collection of criteria generators, all of which have some common characteristic. In an embodiment of the present invention, whereas one generator is sufficient to play wagering game 10, typically 2 to 5 (or more) generators are used. Generally, generators are chosen within a certain theme so that, for example, if “foreign currency exchange rates” is the chosen theme, appropriate generators could be: European Euro, Japanese Yen, British Pound, and so forth-all evaluated against other currencies or against a single currency. (Another exemplary theme could be precious metals, with prices of silver, gold, copper, and other metals serving as appropriate generators.) As noted/defined hereinabove, the wagering criteria generator has current and historic data. Having a plurality of generators, the player may be presented with more than one possible wagering situation, and his wagering odds are increased, as described hereinbelow.

Following chose wagering criteria generator(s) 20 is step 25, specify a wagering period, wherein the player specifies whether he wishes to play for a short a time, for example 5 minutes, or for a longer period, for example 3 weeks. Generally, there is no exact shortest or longest limit to the wagering period of game 10; however, for practical purposes, and as is made clear hereinbelow, the wagering period typically ranges from 1 minute to one year. A wagering period of 3 hours is used in examples hereinbelow, solely for purposes of illustration. In one embodiment of the current invention, specification of a wagering period may be performed by either the player himself or a choice of suggested/allowable wagering periods may be presented automatically by a system managing the game (such as, but not limited to a computer, server, etc.). In most, if not all cases, a given theme and its associated generators will have a characteristic range of wagering periods, allowing the system to determine and suggest wagering periods.

Step 30, which follows, is use current data and identify an initial time and a respective initial data value for the wagering period. The initial time may be identified, for example, as one minute ago—however the initial time is typically the current time at which the wager is placed. Using an example of a wagering criteria generator of currency exchange rates, a corresponding initial data value for one minute ago would be, for example, 1.35567 US dollars to the Euro. Using an exemplary value of the wagering period in step 25 as 3 hours, in the current example, the wager will end in 2 hours and 59 minutes from now.

In one embodiment of the current invention, identification of the initial time may be performed by either the player himself or automatically by a system controlling the game (such as, but not limited to a computer, server, etc.) In most cases, the initial time is specified as substantially equal to the instant time so that the player has a sense of an updated, dynamic, game. When the initial time is specified as substantially equal to the instant time, the current data and subsequent calculations based on historic data, as described hereinbelow, are updated in substantially real time. Therefore the respective initial data value for the specified initial time is likewise defined and updated in substantially real time.

In step 35, specify wagering ranges about the initial data value and calculate odds for the wagering ranges, updated historic data is used. Step 35 may be best described by way of example, again taking the currency exchange criteria generator example previously applied. Refer to the table below, which applies to one generator. The table has a central column identified as “initial data value” and 2 exemplary columns to either side of the central column identified as “wagering range”. The row entitled “calculated odds” indicates calculated odds associated with the respective wagering range above it.

WageringWageringInitial dataWageringWagering
rangerangevaluerangerange
Data value1.33461.35451.35561.35661.3788
Calculated4.82.02.33.4
odds

The system managing the game can use historical information/criteria as well as any other criteria to calculate odds, including, but not limited to a similar wagering period or a similar time of the year as that of the present wagering period. Odds are calculated taking into consideration the desire to make the game both interesting and attractive to players and to ensure a desired level of profitability for an operator of the game.

In step 35, the system controlling the game typically specifies wagering ranges, as noted hereinabove. Alternatively or optionally, the player may specify wagering ranges. In the present example—as is seen in the table above, 4 ranges are indicated. While there is no limit to the number of ranges, it will become apparent from the discussion hereinbelow that a game with more or less than 4 ranges may be less advantageous/interesting to the player. In one embodiment of the current invention wagering ranges are specified based upon subsequently-calculated odds (as described below), which would infer an iterative procedure, whereby ranges are specified, odds are calculated and ranges are then respecified, etc. Because the initial data value (central column) is known, no wagering odds are indicated in the column associated with the initial data value.

In step 40, input one or more wagers, the player inputs/places a wager, now that respective wagering ranges and the respective calculated odds are known. In an embodiment of the present invention with multiple wagering criteria generators, the player may place a wager for respective ranges and odds of respective generators, but this is not mandatory. In another embodiment of the present invention with multiple wagering criteria generators, the player may be required to place wagers for a minimum number (for example, 3) of wagering criteria generators. A requirement to place a minimum number of wagers may be related, for example, to the method of calculation of odds. Step 40 includes the player interacting with a player interface, which is described in more detail in subsequent figures hereinbelow. The player interface serves to display all of the data associated with the game, such as but not limited to: respective ranges and odds of respective generators, the wagering period, a countdown time (a time remaining until the end of the wagering period), wager values and possible winnings for respective and totaled wagers, as well as additional information.

In step 42, approve wagers, the player confirms or approves his readiness to proceed (such as by indicating “go” or “bet” on a player interface) with the wager or wagers he has placed. The system controlling the game displays a summary of all wagers, odds, and total wagers. The user is given a specific time in which to respond to confirm the summary information. An exemplary specific time for response may be 7 seconds, during which the system counts down. At the end of the specific time, the system will automatically cancel the wager unless the player actively chooses to proceed. If the wager is cancelled, the player may be directed back to step 40 (not shown in the current figure) to redefine/re-input one or more wagers or the player may be directed to step 50, another game, which is described hereinbelow. If the wager is confirmed by the player, the game proceeds and time passes until the wagering period is complete. In step 45, evaluate wagers at end of wagering period & adjust balance accordingly, wagers are evaluated based upon the then-current data value/data values, evaluated at the time of the end of the wagering period, versus the odds and the wager. A player balance, representing the “cash” the player has at his disposal, is adjusted upward (in the case of a wager won) or downward (in the case of a wager lost).

Finally, in step 50, another game, the player has the choice to either start another game or to stop.

As noted hereinabove, the wagering period of game 10 has no exact shortest or longest values. However, in order to maintain a game with continuity and interaction on the part of the player, and to be suitable for most imaginable themes, a typical maximum wagering period would normally be on the order of days or weeks, and probably not exceeding about one year. Regarding a typical minimum wagering period, many wagering criteria generators may not update their data more frequently than a number of times a minute, for example—and some generators may update their data less frequently. For this practical/logistical reason, as well as taking into account the reaction speed of a typical player, an arbitrary lower limit to the wagering period is about one minute.

Reference is now made to FIG. 2, which is a pictorial representation of an exemplary player interface 100 of the wagering game described in FIG. 1. More specifically, player interface 100 relates to step 40 of FIG. 1, wherein the player inputs one or more wagers. Player interface includes the following elements: at least one wagering criteria generator 110, which is indicated “EUR/USD” (Euro to US dollar) in the figure; bet time 115, previously described as the wagering period; a stake 118, meaning a sum of money the player wishes to wager for the present game; an initial data value 120 for the respective wagering criteria generator; at least one wagering range 125 for respective wagering criteria generators, which in the figure is indicated as “currency”; a wagering range choice indicator 130, described hereinbelow, which indicates a chosen wager for a specific wagering criteria generator; a historical data chart selector 137, which allows the player to click and view historical data for the respective wagering criteria generator; a total odds indicator 140, which displays the total odds of the chosen wagers (the total odds representing the product of all the individual odds of the chosen wagers); a summary win indicator 145, which displays a win value, based upon the product of the total odds and the stake selected; and a balance indicator 150, which displays the player's balance of funds at the start of the present game.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 3 and 4, which are pictorial representations of an exemplary player interface 200 and 300, respectively of the wagering game described in FIG. 1. More specifically, player interface 200 of FIG. 3 relates to step 42 of FIG. 1, wherein the player is prompted to approve wagers. Player interface 300 of FIG. 4 relates to the time period between steps 42 and 45 of FIG. 1, wherein the player views the interface as the game proceeds.

As indicated hereinabove player interface 200 serves as a summary of the chosen wager/wagers to allow the player to approve wagers. A wagering criteria generator 210 is identified. In one embodiment of the present invention, the current rate 220 of respective wagering criteria generator 210 is indicated, evaluated in substantially real time. In the context of the current specification and claims another term for current rate is “current value”. A column entitled selected rates 230 displays the range previously selected for respective wagering criteria generator 210. Selected rates 230, is unchanging and serves as a comparison with possibly changing current rate 220. Similarly, odds 240 are unchanging and they are displayed for summary purposes. In similar fashion, summary information 250 is unchanging and it reflects the total bet value, the combined odds, the wagering period (indicated as “game time” in the present figure), and a summary of possibly winnings (indicated as “you can win” in the present figure). Countdown button 260 serves to prompt the player to approve wagers by clicking. In one embodiment of the current invention, a countdown period is provided, during which the player must approve wagers to avoid auto-cancellation of wagers. A typical value of the countdown period could be 7 seconds, but the value may be smaller or greater than 7 seconds. In the current figure, the value “3” shown in countdown button 260 represents 3 remaining seconds, and the remaining seconds value is decremented as the countdown proceeds.

Player interface 300 is displayed following approval of wagers and up until the end of the game meaning the end of the wagering period. Apart from differences described below, player interface 300 of FIG. 4 has similar information as shown in FIG. 3 and elements indicated by the same reference numerals in the present figures are generally identical in configuration and operation as noted in previous figures. Because player interface 300 can be displayed during the entire wagering period, last value 220 (which is identical to “current rates” and “current value” of FIG. 3) varies over time, giving a sense of dynamic change of the game. A start value 305 represents the current value or current rate for respective criteria generators 210 when wagers were approved, as per player interface 200, described hereinabove. Start value 305 is unchanging and is displayed during the entire game, meaning during the entire wagering period. A winner indication 310, which may change during the wagering period, shows whether or not last value 220 is within selected range 230. If the last value is within the selected range, then there is a positive indication, such “v” in the current figure. If the last value is not within the selected range, then there is a negative indication, such as “x” in the current figure. In embodiments of the current invention, other symbols and or colors may be used to similarly indicate winner/no winner for respective wagers. Summary information 330 is similar to summary information 250 of FIG. 3, Summary information 330 additionally includes and indication regarding the time remaining until the end of the game, meaning the end of the wagering period, and the time remaining counts down. Three buttons are shown at the base of player interface 300, namely: new game 330; history area 350; and new game 350. New game 330 allows a new game to be started. History area 350 allows information regarding previous games and/or historical information regarding specific wagering criteria generators to be accessed. Running games 350 allows accessing one or more concurrently running games, meaning viewing on or more displays similar to player interface 300 for respective games. If there are no other running games, running games 350 is not active and it may be indicated in a grey color.

When the wagering period is complete, winner indication 310 is complete and unchanging. In an embodiment of the current invention, all wagers must have winner indications to yield a “winning wager”—meaning a successful outcome and a payment as indicated in summary 330. In another embodiment of the current invention, a minimum number of wagers must have winner indications to yield a winning wager.

Reference is now made to FIG. 5, which is a block diagram of a system for a wagering game 400, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. System 400 is adapted to allow playing a wagering game, substantially as described hereinabove. System 400 comprises: a wager criteria generator selection module 410; an initialization module 420; a range module 430; a wager specification module; and an evaluation module. Criteria selection module 410 is adapted to allow selection of a theme (as described hereinabove) and one or more wager criteria generators, as noted hereinabove. Initialization module 410 is subsequently employed, based upon the theme and wager criteria generators selected, to enable definition of a wagering period and a current time and, using current data, to identify a respective initial data value for the wagering period, all as indicated hereinabove. Range module 430 is adapted to then specify wagering ranges about the initial data value and to calculate respective odds for the wagering ranges. Following specification of wagering wages, wager specification module 440 is adapted to enable inputting and/or specification of one or more wagers and to allow approval and rejection of specified wagers. Evaluation module 450 is adapted to reflect information to as the game proceeds, to evaluate wagers at the end of the wagering period, and a player balance, representing the “cash” the player has at his disposal, is adjusted upward (in the case of a wager won)

It will be appreciated that the above descriptions are intended only to serve as examples, and that many other embodiments are possible within the scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.