Title:
Method of No-Loss Casino Gambling
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gambler engaged in casino gambling wagers on a game of chance, either winning or losing. Regardless of outcome, the casino invests the wager for a limited time period in a financial arrangement suited to return a profit. At the end of the limited time, the casino returns the wager to the gambler. If the wager was a winning wager, the casino returns a first bonus or share of the profit to the gambler. If the wager was a losing wager, the casino returns a second bonus or share of the profit to the gambler. The second bonus is in the range from zero to the amount of the first bonus.



Inventors:
Alldredge, Robert L. (Denver, CO, US)
Burt, Andrew L. (Golden, CO, US)
Application Number:
12/040912
Publication Date:
09/03/2009
Filing Date:
03/02/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KWONG, CHO YIU
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kyle, Rost W. (5490 S. AUTUMN CT., GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO, 80111, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of casino gambling, comprising: engaging a gambler in a game of chance played with a wager of value; receiving the gambler's wager on said game of chance; playing the game of chance with the gambler; determining whether the gambler won or lost the wager; holding the value of the wager for a limited time beyond the duration of the game of chance, sufficient to invest the held wager in a financial investment and to earn a profit on the investment; investing the held wager in a financial investment suited to return profit on the investment; after said limited time, returning the held wager to the gambler; and after said limited time, paying a bonus to the gambler determined to have won the wager, where the bonus is a first amount greater than zero.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein said step of paying a bonus further comprises: paying the gambler determined to have lost the wager a second amount less than said first amount.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein: said first amount is less than said profit.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein said step of holding the value of the wager further comprises: cumulating a wins account for a gambler over a plurality of games of chance where the gambler is determined to have won the wager; treating the cumulative wins account as a single wager where the gambler won the wager.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein said step of holding the value of the wager further comprises: cumulating a losses account for a gambler over a plurality of games of chance where the gambler is determined to have lost the wager; and treating the cumulative losses account as a single wager where the gambler lost the wager.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein said step of holding the value of the wager further comprises: cumulating a wins account for a gambler over a plurality of games of chance where the gambler is determined to have won the wager; cumulating a losses account for a gambler over a plurality of games of chance where the gambler is determined to have lost the wager; balancing the wins account and losses account against one another to determine a net result; and treating the net result as a single wager where the gambler correspondingly won or lost.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein prior to said step of holding the value of the wager, the additional step of: representing to a gambler that a bonus will be paid at least on amounts wagered on games of chance won; in response to a determination that a gambler won the wager in said step of determining whether the gambler won or lost the wager, offering a bonus of variable amount depending upon whether the gambler wins or loses a contest; conducting said contest; determining whether the gambler won or lost the contest; in said step of paying a bonus to the gambler, paying an amount of bonus corresponding to the offered amount depending upon whether the gambler won or lost the contest.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein prior to said step of holding the value of the wager, the additional step of: representing to a gambler that a bonus will be paid on amounts wagered; offering a bonus of variable amount depending upon whether the gambler wins or loses a contest; conducting said contest; determining whether the gambler won or lost the contest; in said step of paying a bonus to the gambler, paying an amount of bonus corresponding to the offered amount depending upon whether the gambler won or lost the contest.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/898,838 filed Mar. 3, 2007 for Method of No-Loss Casino Gambling, pending.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention generally relates to cryptography and to key management. In another aspect, the invention generally relates to data processing including financial business practice, management, or cost/price determination. In more detail, a financial business practice includes a secure transaction including an intelligent token.

Description of Related Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

Games of chance for money winnings have operated on the basis that the players win or lose. This result is reached at the end of each round of play, such as at the end of each hand of cards, each spin or a roulette wheel, each pull of a slot machine. Players can engage in sessions of gambling that include in many rounds of play and many different games. The outcome of a session for the individual player can range between extreme monetary winnings to extreme monetary losses.

Professional gambling houses, often called casinos, conduct gambling in which the casino or “house” is a party to each round of play. The house may provide dealers who participate in the games, especially in card games. To ensure that the house wins over the long term, the rules of each game favor the dealer, and the dealer must follow strict rules of play that further favor the dealer to win.

A casino may provide games and gambling machines where the player opposes the game or machine, itself. These include roulette wheels and slot machines. The odds of the house winning are built into the machinery or otherwise are incorporated into the game. It remains possible for a player to win at a casino, although the casino always benefits from favorable odds of winning.

Many jurisdictions limit gambling or ban it entirely, perhaps motivated by governmental interest in social welfare, by protecting citizen-players from almost inevitable losses. Casinos are located in jurisdictions where authorized by law, and gamblers travel to those areas in order to play the games. With the development and growth of public computer networks, public gambling sites have appeared on such public computer networks, especially on the network known as the Internet. Gambling sites on a computer network allow the player to gamble in relative privacy from a computer workstation that can be located anywhere. Private gambling also takes place at numerous locations other than casinos, such as in private clubs and private homes, whether legal or not. Thus, it appears many people desire to gamble and will do so regardless of governmental regulation. Local jurisdictions face increasing difficulty in controlling gambling, whether in person or over a computer network.

It would be desirable to accommodate the strong public desire to gamble while respecting the need for social welfare.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,043,025 to Robert L. Alldredge taught a method of providing gambling services over a computer network. Gambling losses were to be invested and paid to the losing gambler at a later date. This method accommodates concerns over social welfare and provides a sound basis for protective governments to relax restrictions on professional gambling. Yet, other techniques for protecting the gambler against undue loss are possible and may be more desirable.

In addition to providing games of chance, casinos must manage cash flow. Even though a casino wins a majority or predictable percentage of times, the casino must be ready to pay the gambler who wins. In order to induce excitement, casinos will offer a small number of large jackpots and special events involving especially large payouts. The casino may not know when such a jackpot or large payout will be won, but the casino must be ready to pay the winner at almost any time. Casinos prefer to pay winnings out of gamblers' losses, so it is preferable to have gamblers' losses available for payout as needed.

It would be desirable for a method of gambling to provide the excitement or other attraction of winning or losing while accommodating the casino's needs to manage cash flow and to pay winnings out of losses.

To achieve the foregoing and other objects and in accordance with the purpose of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, the method and apparatus of this invention may comprise the following.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Against the described background, it is therefore a general object of the invention to provide a form of no-loss gambling that accommodate the needs of a casino to manage cash flow and to pay winnings out of losses.

According to the invention, a gambler engages in a game of chance offered by a casino. The gambler wagers on the outcome and either wins or loses his wager. Regardless of whether the wager becomes a winning wager or a losing wager, the casino holds the wager for an extended time. The casino invests the wager for a limited time period in a financial arrangement suited to return a profit. At the end of the limited time, the casino returns the wager to the gambler. If the wager was a winning wager, the casino pays a bonus in a first amount to the gambler. If the wager was a losing wager, the casino pays a bonus in a second amount to the gambler. The second amount is in the range from zero to the first amount.

The accompanying drawing, which is incorporated in and forms a part of the specification, illustrates a preferred embodiment of the present invention, and together with the description, serves to explain the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURE

The drawing FIGURE is a flow chart of the method for no-loss casino gambling.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Incorporation by Reference: This description incorporates by reference the entire content of U.S. Pat. No. 7,043,025, issued May 9, 2006 to Robert L. Alldredge. This incorporated patent teaches a background method of providing gambling services that serves as a basis for the present invention. The method disclosed in this patent can be referred to as no loss gambling. The present invention is directed to variations, enhancements, and expansions of the patented system.

The terms “player” or “gambler” will refer to a participant in a gambling activity, to the exclusion of the “house,” casino dealer, or casino, where present. The terms “house” or “casino” will refer to a person or entity making available a game of chance to others. In the case of casino gambling, a win to a player is a loss to the house or casino, and vice versa. Throughout this description, wins and losses will be discussed from the perspective of the player. Therefore, a win refers to a player's win and a loss refers to a player's loss. The main application of the invention is expected to be in the setting of a professional gambling venue such as a casino, which may be a brick-and-mortar casino or an electronic or on-line gambling site. For purposes of description, the term “casino” will refer to all such gambling venues.

The invention provides a method for conducting gambling for a wager over a computer network, in person at a brick-and-mortar casino, or in any other situation or setting. Games are conducted according to rules of play. The rules are variable according to many factors, which include that the rules may be traditional rules of play, sanctioned or approved rules as found in various rule books, as practiced by casinos, or as established by a host or sponsor. The purpose of the rules is to guide play and to determine a winner or loser. Mechanical, electronic, or machine operated games are conducted according to the workings of the mechanism, software, or machine, as the case may be, leading to a determination that a player has won or lost the wager. Thus, rounds of gambling can be conducted in substantially any desired manner, leading to a determination that a player has won or lost a sum of money or token of value that had been wagered.

Efficient operation of a casino requires a sustainable exchange of money from wins and losses. The traditional casino provides a bank or pool of money to pay out player's wins and to take in player's losses. The presence of a bank accommodates short-term variations in patterns of player wins and losses. For example, the bank allows the casino to pay out a momentary jackpot or large winning, even if the casino hasn't accumulated such an amount of money from recent player losses. However, over a longer period of time, the casino must take in more money from player's losses than it pays out in order to be economically viable and make profit, pay its bills, and cover a normal flow of player's wins.

The invention provides a modified form of no-loss gambling that conforms to the economic requirements of operating a casino. Players gamble as they wish, wagering on the outcome of a game or activity. The player can place his wager and the casino can receive it in any manner that signifies an amount at risk on the outcome of the game. Sometimes in advance of gambling a player exchanges his money for chips indicative of monetary value. Casinos with on-premises gambling prefer the use of chips for many reasons, including ease of handling and counting. Similarly, a player might gamble against an account balance, credit balance, credit or debit card balance, or other indication of value that is satisfactory to the casino.

In some games of prior art casino play, the gambler indicates his wager by movement of value indicators to a neutral territory, such as by placing his wager on a designated area of a table. Mechanical games such as slot machines simply accept the deposit of the value indicator, such as a coin. At the end of a game the winner collects or appropriates the wager by delivery of value, such as by moving the value indicators from the designated area of the table, or a mechanical game might simply deliver any winnings as coins. In suitable circumstances, the movement of chips to the winner accomplishes delivery. The gambler might continue to gamble by the movement of chips for a session consisting of more than one wager, eventually cashing out his chips for equivalent money at the end of the session. Alternatively, the winner might realize the win by addition to the winner's account balance, credit balance, credit or debit card balance, or other delivery of value that is satisfactory to the winner. These methods of value movement continue to have purpose, with modification according to the invention.

In the method of no loss gambling, the casino retains the wager beyond the outcome, such as the end of the game or the end of the gambling session. At the outcome point of a game, the player has won or lost his wager. Regardless of outcome, the casino retains the value of the wager for an extended time. Because the casino will retain all wagered amounts, the formality of awaiting the outcome of the wager is displaced. The casino might choose to accrue the value of each wager at any convenient time, such as immediately upon the wager being placed. The casino then retains the value of the wager for a time sufficient to invest the wager in a suitable investment and earn a profit. The casino requires economic health, in turn requiring that the investment earn enough profit to suitably benefit the casino. The invention anticipates that a suitable retention period will be measured in months and likely will be one or more years.

The casino is to return the value of the wager to the player at a future date following the retention period. The return of wins carries a bonus in addition to the value of the original wager. The bonus may be a monetary premium or interest rate. The return of losses optionally carries a monetary premium or interest rate, which might be lower than the win rate. To ensure the necessary profit to the casino, one or both types of returns to the player are in amounts or at interest rates less than what the casino is able to earn on the invested funds. Thus, the casino earns a profit by float on the invested funds.

An alternative return of wager scheme offers a simplified method of determining the monetary bonus. The casino may wish to pool the funds of all retained wagers over a period of time, such that a rate of return for each wager is not readily determinable. The casino may state the monetary bonus as an arbitrarily fixed amount without regard to how the wager was invested or what profit was made. The casino may wish to signify the return of wager and bonus, where given, by a memo or certificate indicating when the return and the bonus will become available. To further simplify accounting, the memo or certificate may indicate a time window for claiming the returned wager and bonus. By this method, the casino can know when a returned wager and bonus have gone unclaimed and no longer need be held in reserve.

The described type of gambling payoff allows a gambler to engage in wagering, whether he wins or loses. The stakes or wager may be anything suitable to the gambler. The winnings will be limited to what has been wagered, plus a premium or profit. Of course, such winnings are contained at a level that is more modest than in traditional gambling, where a player may win a multiple of the wager.

A further aspect of the method is to offer the opportunity for the player to engage in a contest for a determination of the bonus, premium, or size of the profit, such as a determination of what interest rate the casino will pay on the wager. Engaging in a contest refers to any activity leading to either of two results, such as a win or loss. Thus, a contest can be a quiz, a game, a physical challenge, a mental challenge, or a game of chance. Both winners and, optionally, losers may engage in a contest to receive a high or low bonus, profit, or interest rate. Where both winners and losers are offered a bonus, the winner should be offered a greater bonus or easier contest than the loser. Also, the casino may offer an instant-cash jackpot with each round of no-loss gambling, which jackpot is funded by portion of the casino's premium or interest income on all of the no-loss betting. The jackpot builds up over time until paid out. Jackpot payout would be immediate.

The overall goal of this gambling method is to produce a system of gambling wherein the gambler is buffered against loss of his principal. Governmental concerns for social welfare may be satisfied, enabling more jurisdictions to permit this limited form of gambling and to thereby benefit from an increase to the local tax base, which otherwise has been lost to distant casinos. In an absolute sense, the gambler never loses. Even when a wager is lost, the gambler someday is entitled to receive back the wagered principal and, optionally, a bonus. When a gambler wins a wager, he receives back the wagered principal plus a bonus.

A player may accumulate his wins and losses over an entire gambling session, such as over an entire visit to a casino, and separately cash out his wins account and losses account at the exit. Alternatively, the casino may balance the gambler's wins and losses at the exit, awarding a suitable winner's or loser's profit on the net value of wins or losses. As a further alternative, the gambler engages in a final game or contest to determine his profit on the net winnings or loses.

The following examples illustrate different details of the no-loss gambling system as best shown in the drawing figure. The examples include optional features and are not limitations to the scope of this invention.

EXAMPLE 1

At block 10 player A engages in a game of chance to be played for a wager 12. Player A bets $100 on the game of chance offered by a casino or house using the system of no-loss gambling. The casino will receive player A's wager at block 12, conduct the game of chance at block 14, determine at block 22 whether player A won or lost the wager, and regardless of either outcome, retain the wager at block 16 for an extended term beyond the period of the game and beyond the period of a gambling session. The casino will retain the wager for a sufficient time to invest this $100 wager at block 18 to earn a profit. The casino represents at block 20 to return the principal amount, $100, at a time certain, after a specified, extended time such as one year. The casino guarantees the additional payment of a bonus at blocks 26 or 30, which might be share of investment profits. The profit can be expressed as a sum of money, as percentage return, or as any other convenient measure of value. The share of profit might be either a first share of profits at block 26 or a second share of profits at block 30. The first share of profits might be 3.0% interest in one year if player A wins the wager, or the second share of profit might be a smaller number such as 0.25% interest if player A loses the wager.

At block 14 the casino conducts the chosen game of chance for player A's wager 12. If player A wins, the casino presents a memo or certificate that player A is entitled to $103 in one year. If player A loses, the casino presents a certificate that player A is entitled to $100.25 in one year. In either case, the casino retains the wager for a time sufficient for the casino to invest the wager at block 18 and earn a profit.

The casino maintains a jackpot exclusively for no-loss gamblers, based upon the amount of invested no-loss funds. When player A cashes out for the session, he is given a chance to immediately win an accumulated $1,000 cash jackpot. The chance may be by a scratch ticket or lottery ticket with a suitably determined chance of winning. With the addition of player A's funds, the jackpot grows by a tiny amount—perhaps 1% of the casino's interest, so that it now is worth $1,001.

At block 18 the casino invests the $100 at a rate of 6%, which is above what is guaranteed to player A. In one year, the casino receives $106 and at block 20 pays player A from this. The casino's investment might be in a fixed investment such as a bond, a treasury bill, a certificate of deposit, a life insurance annuity, a pooled fund containing any of these, or a combination of them.

Alternatively, the investment might be in a liquid, easily entered money market fund offering variable rates or a pooled fund of various securities without fixed rate. The casino could offer investment in itself. In this case, instead of offering a fixed rate of return, the casino may offer a portion of the periodic earning. Winners may receive one-half of the average return, while losers receive one-tenth of the average return.

EXAMPLE 2

Player A makes a $50 bet that is handled according to the method of Example 1. Player A wins the chosen game of chance for the $50 bet. As a first option, the casino offers a standard winner's rate of interest, such as 3%.

As an alternative, because player A is determined at block 22 to be the winner of this bet, the casino offers player A the chance to win either a higher profit or rate of return, or a lower profit or rate of return. Player A can play a bonus game at block 24 that might be a game of chance or a skill contest, such as answering a trivia question correctly. The outcome of the bonus game determines whether player A receives a higher rate of interest, such as 3.0%, or a lower rate of interest, such as 0.25%.

As a blending of the two approaches, player A might be offered a standard winner's rate with the option of gambling to earn either more or less.

EXAMPLE 3

According to Example 1, player A plays a chosen game of chance at block 14 for a $100 bet. At block 18 the casino invests the bet. At block 22 player A is determined to have lost the bet. As a first option, the casino offers a standard loser's rate of interest, such as 0.25%, which is much lower than the standard winner's rate of interest.

Alternatively, the casino offers a profit or rate of interest to be determined by another game of chance or a skill contest at block 28. Player A can play a bonus game at block 28 that might be a game of chance or a skill step, which could be a more difficult skill step for losers than for winners. The outcome of the bonus game determines whether player A receives a higher rate of interest, such as 3.0%, or a lower rate of interest, such as 0.25%.

As a blending of the two approaches, player A might be offered a standard loser's rate with the option of gambling to earn either more or less.

EXAMPLE 4

Player B bets a $100 hand of blackjack and wins. $100 goes into a “win pot.”

Player B bets a second $100 hand of blackjack and loses. $100 goes into a “loss pot.”

Player B bets $100 on a hand of poker and wins. That $100 goes into the “win pot” making it now $200.

Player B bets $50 on a video slot machine and loses. Now $150 is in the “loss pot.”

These four rounds of gambling complete player B's session of gambling and he desires to cash out. He enters a final round of gambling for the purpose of cashing out. The casino offers skill test #1 for the win pot: player B has to answer an easy trivia question. “Washington D.C. is the capitol of the United States, true or false?” B answers True and wins a 3% interest rate on the $200 in the win pot, payable in one year at $206. If player B had missed the answer, he would receive only $200.50 from the win pot in the one a year.

Next, the casino offers skill test #2, for the loss pot: player B has to answer a hard trivia question. If player B loses, he gets 0.25% from the $150 loss pot in one year. If B wins, then B gets 3% on the $150 in one year.

EXAMPLE 5

The concept of no-loss gambling is expanded to retail goods and services. An item costs $10. The customer engages in a game of chance such as a hand of blackjack or answers a trivia question. The customer gets the item for $9 if he wins and for full price of $10 if he loses.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be regarded as falling within the scope of the invention as defined by the claims that follow.