Title:
Blackjack Variation with Additional Player Options
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method, system, and computer readable storage medium to provide a blackjack variation to be played in a casino. After each player has reviewed his or her initial two cards, each player then has the option to double their wager and receive an unlimited number of cards, or triple their wager and receive a single card. Then, play can proceed and each player wins or loses their wagers according to a comparison of point totals between the player's hand and the dealer's hand.



Inventors:
Eaton, Tim (Independence, MO, US)
Application Number:
12/053500
Publication Date:
09/24/2009
Filing Date:
03/21/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/292, 463/12
International Classes:
A63F9/24; A63F1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, STEVEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MUSKIN & CUSICK LLC (100 West Main Street, SUITE 205, Lansdale, PA, 19446, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method to play a wagering game, the method comprising: receiving an initial wager from a player; dealing an initial player's hand and an initial dealer's hand; receiving from the player a choice from at least the following four options: 1) double the initial wager; 2) triple the initial wager; 3) hit; 4) stand; if the player's choice is double, then receiving a double wager from the player equal in amount to the initial wager and conducting a draw sequence wherein the player can draw as many cards in succession as the player wishes until the player busts; if the player's choice is triple, then receiving a triple wager from the player equal to double in amount to the initial wager and dealing only one additional card to the player; if the player's choice is hit, then not receiving an additional wager from the player and conducting a draw sequence wherein the player can draw as many cards in succession as the player wishes until the player busts; if the player's choice is stand, then the player does not receive any additional cards; resolving the dealer's hand according to predetermined rules; and taking or paying all wagers placed by the player based on a comparison of the player's point total and the dealer's point total.

2. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein the choice of option also comprises 5) split.

3. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein if the player receives a winning blackjack in the initial player's hand, the player is paid even money on the initial wager and the game ends for the player.

4. An electronic gaming machine apparatus to implement a wagering game, the apparatus comprising: a processing unit performing: receiving an initial wager from a player; dealing an initial player's hand and an initial dealer's hand; receiving from the player a choice from at least the following four options: 1) double the initial wager; 2) triple the initial wager; 3) hit; 4) stand; if the player's choice is double, then receiving a double wager from the player equal in amount to the initial wager and conducting a draw sequence wherein the player can draw as many cards in succession as the player wishes until the player busts; if the player's choice is triple, then receiving a triple wager from the player equal to double in amount to the initial wager and dealing only one additional card to the player; if the player's choice is hit, then not receiving an additional wager from the player and conducting a draw sequence wherein the player can draw as many cards in succession as the player wishes until the player busts; if the player's choice is stand, then the player does not receive any additional cards; resolving the dealer's hand according to predetermined rules; taking or paying all wagers placed by the player based on a comparison of the player's point total and the dealer's point total; and an output device connected to the processing unit to display the game.

5. The apparatus as recited in claim 4, wherein the choice of option also comprises 5) split.

6. The apparatus as recited in claim 4, wherein if the player receives a winning blackjack in the initial player's hand, the player is paid even money on the initial wager and the game ends for the player.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present inventive concept relates to a system, method, and computer readable storage, for playing a variation of a casino blackjack game.

2. Description of the Related Art

A standard game of casino blackjack is well known in the art and can be played as follows. To start the game the player places a wager, typically using chips which are redeemable for cash. The dealer deals an initial two card hand to the dealer (one card face up, one card face down), and two cards to the player (either face up or face down, however the player is permitted to view both of his or her own cards). The player can then decide to hit or stand. If the player decides to hit, the player is then dealt an additional card (typically face up). The player can continue to hit until the player decides to stand, or until the player's point total has exceeded 21 (in which the player has “busted” and loses).

Once the player has finished playing out his or her hand, the dealer then reveals the dealer's initial two card hand and decides to hit or stand according to predetermined house rules. For example, the dealer can continue to hit until the dealer has a total (either soft or hard) of 17, or until the dealer's hard point total exceeds 21 (in which the dealer has busted).

After the dealer has played out the dealer's hand, a point total of the player's hand is compared to a point total of the dealer's hand. If the player's point total is higher than the dealer's point total (and the player has not busted), then the player wins (and typically gets paid even money on the player's wager). If the player's point total is lower than the dealer's point total, then the player loses and the house takes the player's wager. If the player's point total ties the dealer's point total, then the hand is considered a “push” and the player does not win or lose.

The player can also double after viewing the player's initial two cards and the dealer's upcard by placing a double wager alongside the player's original wager. The double wager is equal in amount to the player's original wager. The player then receives only one additional card.

The standard game of blackjack has become boring to some players, who are looking for new and exciting games. Therefore, what is needed is a new and exciting blackjack variation in which some players may find more exciting than the standard version.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an aspect of the present general inventive concept to provide an improvement to the standard casino game of blackjack.

The above aspects can also be obtained by a method that includes (a) receiving an initial wager from a player; (b) dealing an initial player's hand and an initial dealer's hand; (c) receiving from the player a choice from at least the following four options: 1) double the initial wager; 2) triple the initial wager; 3) hit; 4) stand; (d) if the player's choice is double, then receiving a double wager from the player equal in amount to the initial wager and conducting a draw sequence wherein the player can draw as many cards in succession as the player wishes until the player busts; (e) if the player's choice is triple, then receiving a triple wager from the player equal to double in amount to the initial wager and dealing only one additional card to the player; (f) if the player's choice is hit, then not receiving an additional wager from the player and conducting a draw sequence wherein the player can draw as many cards in succession as the player wishes until the player busts; (g) if the player's choice is stand, then the player does not receive any additional cards; (h) resolving the dealer's hand according to predetermined rules; and (i) taking or paying all wagers placed by the player based on a comparison of the player's point total and the dealer's point total.

These together with other aspects and advantages which will be subsequently apparent, reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features and advantages of the present invention, as well as the structure and operation of various embodiments of the present invention, will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the preferred embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary method of implementing a wagering game, according to an embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a drawing of a sample table layout, according to an embodiment; and

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating sample hardware that can be used to implement an electronic version of the methods described herein, according to an embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to the presently preferred embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements throughout.

The general inventive concept relates to an improvement of the standard casino blackjack game. Blackjack is a well known casino game and is described in US application publication 2003/0155715, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety for all purposes.

The improvement comprises offering the player additional options after the player has been dealt the initial player's hand comprising two cards. After the player has been dealt the initial two cards, the player can have the option to double and match the player's original wager, or triple and place an additional wager of two times the original wager. If the player decides to double down then the player will not be limited to only one additional card but can continue to draw additional cards until the player decides to stop (or until the player busts). If the player decides to triple down, then the player will get only one additional card.

FIG. 1 is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary method of implementing a wagering game, according to an embodiment.

The method can begin with operation 100, which starts by receiving an initial wager from a player. This can be done as known in the art, for example, by the player placing chips in a betting circle on the table felt. This wager wins (operation 118) based on whether the player ultimately wins the game (e.g., the player's hand beats the dealer's hand and the play did not bust), and loses if the player ultimately loses (operation 118) the game (e.g., the player busts or the dealer's hand beats the player's hand).

From operation 100, the method can proceed to operation 102, wherein a dealer deals a player's initial hand and a dealer's initial hand. Typically, the player's initial hand is comprised of two cards dealt face up. The player's initial hand can also be dealt face down, as long as the player is afforded the opportunity to review both of the player's cards. The dealer's initial hand also comprises two cards, one dealt face up (the “upcard”) and one dealt face down. The players typically consider the value of the upcard when the player is deciding on how to player their own hand.

From operation 102, the method can proceed to operation 104, wherein the player takes a course of action of the player's choosing. The player can elect one course of action, whether to hit, stand, double, triple, or split (not pictured). The player can indicate his or her preference by verbally telling the dealer his or her choice and/or using a hand signal.

The player can stand, and not take any additional cards, which then proceeds to operation 116 (to be discussed below in more detail).

During operation 104, the player can elect to hit, in which the player decides to take additional card(s) but does not place an additional wager. If the player elects to hit, the method can proceed to operation 108, wherein the dealer deals the player an additional card.

From operation 108, the method can proceed to operation 110, which determines if the player has busted (exceeded a point total of 21). If the player busts, then the method can proceed to operation 116, although the player loses.

If in operation 110, the player does not bust, then the method can proceed to operation 112, which determines whether the player wants another hit. The player makes this determination and indicates his or her decision to the dealer. If the player wants another hit, then the method can return to operation 108.

If in operation 112, the player does not want another hit, then the method can proceed to operation 116.

If during operation 104, the player decides to double, then the method can proceed to operation 106, which receives a double wager from the player. In one embodiment, the double wager is equal in amount to the initial wager placed in operation 100. For example, if the initial wager (placed in operation) is $10, then if the player wishes to double and proceed to operation 104, then the player places a double wager of $10 (for a total of $20, hence the player has “doubled.”) However, the player cannot place a wager more than $10 (the initial wager) and still make it to this operation. According to house rules, the double wager may also be allowed to be an amount less than the initial wager. From operation 106, the method can proceed to operation 108, as discussed previously. If the player wishes to place a wager which is more than the initial wager, then the player would “triple” instead.

Thus, hitting and doubling are almost the same procedure, but for if the player elects to double, the player also places the double wager in operation 106.

If during operation 104, the player elects to triple, then the method can proceed to operation 114 which receives a triple wager from the player and deals to the player a single additional card. In an embodiment, the triple wager is double the amount of the initial wager placed in operation 100. For example, if the player placed an initial wager of $5 (in operation 100), then the player can place a triple wager of $10 (for a total of $15, hence tripling the initial wager). The player would not be allowed to place a triple wager greater than $10 (double the initial wager). According to house rules, the player may also be allowed to place as the triple wager an amount less than equal to double the amount of the initial wager placed in operation 100 but greater than the amount of the initial wager. For example, if the player places an initial wager of $10, then the player can “triple for less” by betting an additional $11 (which is greater than $10 and less then $20). If the player wants to triple for less than the initial wager (e.g., the initial wager is $10 and the player wants to place an additional $9 wager), then the player would really be doubling (not tripling) and would be allowed to take an unlimited number of additional cards. From operation 114, the method proceeds to operation 116.

In operation 116, the dealer's hand is resolved. This entails playing out the dealer's hand according to predetermined rules. For example, the dealer can continue to draw cards until the dealer has a point total of 17 or greater.

From operation 116, the method can proceed to operation 118, which resolves the wagers placed. This can be done by comparing the player's hand to the dealer's hand, and determining who wins according to predetermined rules. If the player's has busted (exceeded a hard point total of 21), then the player loses. If the dealer has busted and the player has not busted, then the player wins. If both the dealer and the player have not busted, then if the player has a higher point total than the dealer, then the player wins. If both the dealer and the player have not busted, then if the dealer has a higher point total then the player, then the dealer wins. If both the dealer and the player have not busted and the dealer's point total equals the player's point total, then the hand is considered a push, and neither the player nor the dealer wins.

If the dealer wins, then the player loses his or her initial wager, and any double wager made (if the player doubled) or any triple wager made (if the player tripled). If the player wins, then the player wins even money on the initial wager and even money on any double wager made (if the player doubled) or any triple wager made (if the player tripled).

After operation 118, the game is considered over. The dealer can collect everyone's cards and the method can begin again at operation 100.

Table I below lists one set of exemplary rules. “Double up” in item 4 refers to doubling, as described in operation 106 and elsewhere. “Triple down” in item 5 refers to tripling, as described in operation 114 and elsewhere.

TABLE I
1.Blackjack pays 1-to-1.
2.Dealer always hits on soft 17.
3.Ordinary Double Downs are not allowed.
4.Player can Double Up on any first two cards, and take one or more
additional cards.
5.Player can Triple Down on any first two cards, and receive only one
additional card.
6.Player can split Aces only once, split Aces receive one card only.
7.Player can split non-Aces up to three times (four hands in total).
8.Player is not allowed to Double Up or Triple Down after splitting.
9.Player is not allowed to Double Up or Triple Down after a Double Up
or Triple Down.

Note that in Table I, blackjacks pay 1 to 1 (even money). This is less than the 3:2 or 6:5 that some casino blackjack games pay in order to offset the advantage to the player of being able to take unlimited cards on a double or being able to triple.

Table II below illustrates an optimal strategy for the game rules as described herein including Table I. The optimal strategy in Table II reflects a six deck game which allows doubling and tripling on all initial hands. The number in the first column is the point total of the player's initial hand, while the number in the first row is the value of the dealer's upcard. In Table II, H=hit, D=double/hit (double if first two cards, otherwise hit); T=triple/hit (triple if first two cards, otherwise hit), S=stand, P=split, and Ts=Triple down/stand (triple if first two cards, otherwise stand).

TABLE II
Dealer's Card
23456789TA
05HHHHDHHHHH
06HHHHDHHHHH
07HHHDDHHHHH
08HDDDDDHHHH
09DDTTTDDHHH
10TTTTTTTDDD
11TTTTTTTTTD
12HHSSSHHHHH
13SSSSSHHHHH
14SSSSSHHHHH
15SSSSSHHHHH
16SSSSSHHHHH
17SSSSSSSSSS
18SSSSSSSSSS
19SSSSSSSSSS
20SSSSSSSSSS
21SSSSSSSSSS
A, 2DDDDDDDHHH
A, 3DDDDTDDHHH
A, 4HDDTTDHHHH
A, 5HDTTTHHHHH
A, 6HTTTTDHHHH
A, 7TsTTTTSSHHH
A, 8STTTTSSSSS
A, 9SSTTTSSSSS
A, TSSSSSSSSSS
2, 2HHPPPPHHHH
3, 3HHPPPPHHHH
4, 4HDDDDDHHHH
5, 5TTTTTTTDDD
6, 6HPPPPHHHHH
7, 7PPPPPPHHHH
8, 8PPPPPPPPPP
9, 9PPPPPSPPSS
T, TSSSSSSSSSS
A, APPPPPPPPPP

Thus, it can be appreciated that the player will have to make a strategy choice as to when to hit, double, triple, stand (and possibly split). If the player is in a very good situation, the player will want to triple, for example if the player has an eleven and the dealer has a two through ten. If the player is in a relatively good situation, but not a great situation, the player may then best double. For example, if the player has a five and the dealer has a six, the player would be better off doubling but not tripling. This is because by doubling the player gets to draw as many cards as the player wishes (until the player busts or stands), and the player will probably win the hand. But if the player tripled in this situation, the player would only receive one card, which would mean regardless of what the player draws, the player would win only if the dealer busts.

Many blackjack players who have grown tired of the standard game of blackjack would likely find the additional strategy options as described herein to be a more exciting and challenging game. There is also more room for the player to make strategy mistakes than the standard casino version (since the versions described herein contain an additional option), thereby benefiting the house since more player mistakes result in more house profit on the game.

FIG. 2 is a drawing of a sample table layout, according to an embodiment.

A gaming table 200 contains a felt with outlines of betting circles and can accommodate five simultaneous players (although of course any other number of players can be accommodated). A dealer's initial hand 201 is dealt. A first player's initial hand 202 is also dealt. The first player also has three betting circles, a main betting circle 203 for the first player's initial wager, a double betting circle 204 for the first player's double wager, and a triple betting circle 205 for the first player's triple wager. The double betting circle 204 and the triple betting circle 205 are not required to be present on the gaming table 200. An advantage of using the latter two betting circles is that it is easier for the dealer (and the surveillance cameras as well) to identify whether the player is intending to double or triple. If such betting circles aren't used, then the player's intent can still be ascertained by the amount of the player's additional bet. For example, if the player is betting more than an amount equal to the initial wager, then it can be concluded that the player intends to triple and hence will only get one card.

The other four players at the gaming table 200 have similar betting circles to be used in a similar fashion.

An example of how the game can be played will now be presented. Of course this is just one example of a round of the game to illustrate the methods described herein. Since the game is dealt randomly, a very large number of different possible games can occur. Joe, Bill, and Tina sit down at a gaming table in a casino. Joe makes an initial bet of $5, Bill makes an initial bet of $10, and Tina makes an initial bet of $10. The dealer then deals Joe a ten of clubs and a six of diamonds; deals Bill a 5 of clubs and a four of hearts; and deals Tina a six of spades and a five of spades. The dealer deals himself two cards, a downcard and an upcard of nine hearts.

Joe decides to hit and receives a ten of hearts, for a point total of 26. Thus, Joe has busted and loses his $5. Bill decides to double, places a $10 double wager on the table, and draws a 2 of diamonds, for a point total of eleven. Bill decides to draw (hit) again and draws a 10 of spades for a point total of twenty-one. Since Bill chose to double, Bill could take as many cards as he wants (until Bill busts), but of course he wishes to stop now since twenty-one is the best point total possible in this game. Tina decides to triple and places a triple wager of $20 on the table. Tina draws an ace of spades. For a point total of 12. Even if Tina wanted to hit again, since Tina tripled, Tina is limited to the one card she received. Had Tina decided to double instead of triple, Tina would be able to hit as many additional times as she wants (until she busts). But if Tina decided to double, she would only be allowed to bet an additional $10 (or less), as opposed to the $20 wager that she had placed when she tripled. Tina can still win if the dealer busts.

The dealer now resolves his own hand. The dealer now reveals the dealer's downcard to reveal a four of clubs. Thus, the dealer's point total is thirteen. According to house rules, the dealer will automatically hit until the dealer reaches a point total of 17 or higher. So the dealer draws a card which is a five of spades, for a point total of eighteen.

Now the wagers are resolved. Bill has already lost (since Bill busted), and if the dealer didn't take Bill's initial $5 bet when he busted, the dealer will take it now. Joe has a point total of twenty one which is higher than the dealer's point total of eighteen, thus Joe wins. Joe wins an even money payout on his initial wager of $10 and his double wager of $10, thus Joe wins a total of $20. The dealer will pay Joe a total of $20 in chips alongside Joe's $20 in chips Joe wagered, thereby leaving $40 in chips for Joe to take. Tina has a point total of twelve, which is lower then the dealer's point total of eighteen, thus Tina loses. The dealer takes Tina's original wager of $10 and her triple wager of $20, thus resulting in a loss of $30 for Tina.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating sample hardware that can be used to implement an electronic version of the methods described herein, according to an embodiment. Electronic versions of the game can be played on an electronic gaming device or online using a computer client connected to the Internet.

A processing unit 300 can be connected to an output device 301 such as a touchscreen, CRT, plasma display, etc. The processing unit 300 is also connected to an input device, such as a touchscreen, keyboard, mouse, etc. The processing unit 300 is also connected to a network connection 303 which can connect to any type of computer communications network, such as a LAN, WAN, the Internet, etc. The processing unit 300 is also connected to a RAM 304 and a storage device 305 which can be a ROM, hard drive, CD-ROM, DVD drive, or any known storage device. Computer readable storage medium 306 can be a CD, DVD, etc., which stores assets (programs, media files, etc.) which can be used to control a computer to implement the methods described herein. The processing unit 300 can also be connected to a financial apparatus 307 which on an electronic gaming device located in a casino can be used to collect cash from a player and to pay payouts to the payer (either in the form of cash, coins, tickets, or electronic payouts).

It is noted that the methods described herein can be played using any number of decks (e.g., 1-8 or more). Standard decks of 52 cards can be used, as well as other kinds of decks, such as Spanish decks, decks with wild cards, etc. The operations described herein can be performed in any sensible order. Furthermore, numerous different variants of house rules can be applied. For example, the dealer can hit on soft 17 or stand on soft 17, depending on house rules. Cards can be given their standard point values as known in the art (e.g., 2-10 have their face value, jack, queen, and king, have a point value of 10, and ace has a point value of 1 or eleven).

The descriptions provided herein also include any hardware and/or software known in the art and needed to implement the operations described herein. Further, all methods described herein can be programmed on a digital computer and stored on any type of computer readable storage medium.

The many features and advantages of the invention are apparent from the detailed specification and, thus, it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such features and advantages of the invention that fall within the true spirit and scope 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 illustrated and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.