Title:
PUZZLE-BASED WAGERING GAME SYSTEM AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a puzzle-based wagering game system and method that advantageously enables a plurality of players to compete in a puzzle-based skill-game using a system of wagering rules that break each set of puzzles ‘dealt’ to players into a series of ‘rounds’, allowing for wagering at the onset of each round, and in at least one embodiment thereof, further comprises the addition of a time-element.



Inventors:
Bancel, Chris (Ridgefield, CT, US)
Application Number:
12/720560
Publication Date:
10/07/2010
Filing Date:
03/09/2010
Assignee:
Media Partners, ltd. (Ridgefield, CT, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/08
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PIERCE, WILLIAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Edward Etkin, Esq. (Law Office of Edward Etkin, PC, 228 West End Avenue, Suite A, Brooklyn, NY, 11235, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A puzzle-based wagering game method for enabling a plurality of players to compete in a puzzle-based skill-game, comprising the steps of: (a) providing a puzzle-based skill-game with a system of predetermined wagering rules that break each set of puzzles ‘dealt’ to said players into a series of ‘rounds’, (b) enabling each plural player to place a wager at the onset of each round, and (c) selectively applying a time-element to at least one round of said puzzle-based skill-game.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present patent application claims priority from the commonly assigned co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/158,700, entitled “Puzzle-Based Wagering Game System and Method”, filed Mar. 9, 2009.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to puzzle-based and skill-based games, as well as to wagering games, and more particularly to a system and method of selectively combining predetermined elements and rules from puzzle-based games, skill-based games, and wagering games, to form a plurality of new games playable by at least one player in a competitive manner comprising skill, puzzle, and wagering components.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Pattern matching puzzles (pmp) present the player with a list of patterns (words, symbols, colors, etc.). The player is then asked to find (‘match’) identical patterns in a larger field made up of similar characters. Word-search is an example of a pattern matching puzzle.

Pattern completion puzzles (pcp) present the player with field or grid of incomplete patterns and ask the player to complete the patterns based on a set of rules. Sudoku, Rubik's Cube, Chinese Picture Puzzles and Scrabble are examples of pattern completion puzzles.

Jig-saw and crossword puzzles combine both pattern matching and pattern completion.

A puzzle can be defined as: “a question, problem or contrivance designed for testing ingenuity.”

A game can be defined as: “a physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct competition to each other.”

Problems:

a) Puzzles do not lend themselves to games without the addition of rules over and above the basic rules inherent in an individual puzzle.

b) Puzzles are binary—meaning a puzzle can be classified as complete/solved or incomplete/unsolved.

c) When the embodiment of a puzzle game is personal computer based, puzzle-solving software may be employed to solve puzzles used as the basis of the game.

d) When puzzles used as the basis of a game for a plurality of players are too simple, the resulting game-play is non-satisfying. (too many ties)

e) When puzzles used as the basis of a game for a plurality of players are too complex, the resulting game-play is non-satisfying. (game takes too long, less skillful players become frustrated)

f) When a time-element is employed and the winner of a puzzle-based game for a plurality of players is based on whoever completes a puzzle first, the resulting game-play is one-dimensional and non-satisfying. (the most skillful players usually win).

g) When all puzzles used as the basis of a game for a plurality of players are identical the resulting game-play is one dimensional and non-satisfying.

Puzzles:

    • a) are designed for use by a single person,
    • b) derive their intrinsic value from the satisfaction one receives upon successful completion (of a question, problem or contrivance).
    • c) adoption is inversely proportional to intrinsic value (b). The more difficult a puzzle is to complete, the fewer people complete it(less adoption). The more difficult a puzzle is to complete the greater the satisfaction received (intrinsic value) upon completion.

Games:

    • a) are designed for a plurality of players.
    • b) the commercial value of a game is reflected in its adoption i.e., the more satisfying a game is to play, the more people play it, greater adoption equates to greater commercial value.

Based on the above, a game built using difficult/high intrinsic value puzzles will result in lower adoption rates.

It would thus be desirable to provide a novel and versatile system and method for selectively combining predetermined elements and rules from puzzle-based games, skill-based games, and wagering games, to form a plurality of new games playable by at least one player in a competitive manner comprising skill, puzzle, and wagering components, with an optional addition of the element of time.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings, wherein like reference characters denote corresponding or similar elements throughout the various figures:

FIG. 1 shows an exemplary puzzle layout that may be used in conjunction with a pattern completion game embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows an alternate exemplary puzzle layout that may be used in conjunction with the pattern completion game embodiment of the present invention of FIG. 1; and

FIGS. 3A and 3B show exemplary scoring solutions for various embodiments of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The various embodiments of the system and method of the present invention provide a puzzle-based wagering game system and method that advantageously enables a plurality of players to compete in a puzzle-based skill-game using a system of wagering rules that break each set of puzzles ‘dealt’ to players into a series of ‘rounds’, allowing for wagering at the onset of each round, and in at least one embodiment thereof, further comprises the addition of a time-element.

Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood, however, that the drawings are designed solely for purposes of illustration and not as a definition of the limits of the invention, for which reference should be made to the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The system and method of the present invention addresses the flaws and disadvantages of previously known gaming solutions, by providing a novel series of methods, rules and game elements to form a plurality of new games playable by at least one player in a competitive manner comprising skill, puzzle, and wagering components. In various embodiments thereof, the system and method of the present invention include at least a portion of the following advantageous methods, rules, and game elements:

    • a) Application of a turn-based wagering system. Each player is ‘dealt’ a puzzle at the onset of play (this can be called a ‘hand’). Each hand is split into multiple ‘rounds’. Each round is preceded by wagering amongst players as to the final outcome of the hand.
    • b) Application of a ‘time element’. Each round within a hand is active for a predetermined amount of time. While a round is active, players may work to complete their puzzles. During the wagering portion of a round, players may not work on their puzzles.
    • c) Application of differing puzzles with common elements. Puzzles dealt for each hand are not identical but do contain an element or elements common to all players.

EXAMPLE 1

If the puzzles used in a game are classified as pattern matching puzzles (pmp) i.e., word-search, each player will be tasked with finding a set of words (patterns) common to all players but placed differently in each puzzle.

EXAMPLE 2

If the puzzles used in a game are classified as pattern completion puzzles (pcp) i.e., Sudoku, every player's puzzle will be the same size, contain the same number of initial cells completed, and the number-set used in the initial completed cells will be identical for each player. However, the initial cells completed and presented in each individual player's puzzle will be placed at different positions forming a different pattern in each puzzle thereby changing the intrinsic value of each puzzle i.e., some puzzles will be more difficult to solve than others. Finally, at the outset of each hand, each individual puzzle's completed cells will be indicated and viewable by all players, but the value of these cells will be hidden. All players will see the patterns formed by initial completed (but hidden) cells of all other players. During subsequent rounds of play the values assigned to the completed cells will be revealed—round by round—to each individual player and the puzzle as a whole will be blocked from view by all players except the player assigned to the puzzle in question. In other words, after the initial round(s) player A will no longer be able to see what is going on with players B,C,D,E's etc. puzzles.

    • d) In the case where pattern completion puzzles are used, the game allows for puzzles with no solution.
    • e) Regardless of the class of puzzle and given that each puzzle dealt in a hand is different (but with a set of common elements) each puzzle can be assigned a different value for completion. With a value assigned to each puzzle for completion, a value may also be assigned for partial completion thereby eliminating the need to complete any puzzle in full in any given hand.
    • f) Puzzles used for games built on pattern completion (pcp) are not revealed in their entirety at the outset of the game. (this prevents the use of electronic/computer based puzzle solvers)—see example 2 above.
    • g) When the embodiment of the game is based on a personal computer and/or the internet the games are presented to the end user in a fashion that prevents the user from copying and pasting the game puzzles into an electronic puzzle solver.
    • h) During the initial round(s) of a hand all puzzles are visible as well as the progress each player is making toward completion of his or her puzzle.
    • i) During the final round(s) of play, all puzzles are hidden. This encourages players to bluff their bets, guess what another players progress may be and shifts the focus of the game from puzzle completion to the risk one is willing to take with his or her accumulated chips, tokens or points. In short, based on incomplete information the player must place a wager based on the strength of his or her hand in relation to what he or she ‘thinks’ the value of his or her opponent's hands may be.
    • j) Because each hand dealt contains non-identical puzzles (but with an element common to all players) each puzzle carries a different intrinsic value. Some puzzles are harder (worth more) than others. This method can be equated to a hand in a game of cards like Texas Hold'em where each player receives two private cards (hole cards) and every player has access to five cards placed at the center of the table (community cards).

In order to use a puzzle as the successful basis of a competitive turn-based game the puzzle's intrinsic value must shift from the satisfaction derived from successful completion, to the value received for successfully overcoming competitors (which may or may not involve successful completion of a given puzzle).

The above ‘value received’ is supplied by the wagering portion of the game in the form of chips, points or tokens which may or may not have real monetary value. In short, like a game of poker, ‘winning’ becomes a matter of accumulating an opponent's chips, points or tokens over time rather than the successful completion of a series of puzzles.

By way of example only, below are presented various advantageous embodiments of the system and method of the present invention to illustrate the various features, components and elements thereof.

Exemplary Embodiment #1: Pattern Matching Game—Word-Search Puzzle

Materials required: pencils, paper (graph paper preferred), egg timer (wristwatch, clock, stopwatch, sundial or any suitable timing device that allows one to calculate seconds.), chips (poker chips, coins, cookies, or any suitable token) a dictionary (or any suitable book).

Players: at least 3.

Pre-game Preparation:

    • 1) Determine the size of the puzzle grid to use, i.e. 10×10, 12×12, etc. Any size greater than 6×6 is acceptable. (This example will use a 12×12 grid.)
    • 2) Designate a non-player as the ‘dealer’.
    • 3) Determine the amount of time to allocate for each round of play. (This example will use 45 seconds.)
    • 4) Determine the number of rounds. (This example will use 3).
    • 5) Determine a minimum bet amount (This example will use 1 chip).
    • 6) Determine the number of words to search for (This example will use nine).
    • 7) Determine whether to split the pot between eligible players in the event of a tie, or continue to a tie-breaker.
    • 8) Provide each player with an equal number of chips. (this example will use 25).
    • 9) Seat players around a table with the dealer taking a position at the table also. Game-play will move clock-wise starting with the player seated to the dealer's left.

Dealer Preparation:

    • 1) Select a piece of graph paper for each player and mark off an area equal the size of the agreed on grid on each piece of paper.
    • 2) Select nine words from a dictionary, book, magazine or memory and write them down on an additional piece of paper. Place the piece of paper with the list of words in front of the game's players.
    • 3) Out of view of the players, enter the nine words (see 2 above), into the 12×12 grid for each player. There should be one grid/piece of graph paper for each player. Each grid requires all nine words. Words can be entered into each grid either forwards or backwards, i.e., the word CAT may be entered either as C A T, or T A C. Words can be entered in eight (8) directions:
      • a) horizontal, left to right. (forwards)
      • b) horizontal, right to left. (backwards)
      • c) vertical, top to bottom.
      • d) vertical, bottom to top.
      • e) diagonal, left to right, top to bottom.
      • f) diagonal, right to left, top to bottom.
      • g) diagonal, left to right, bottom to top.
      • h) diagonal , right to left, bottom to top.
    • Use the same case (upper or lower) for each letter. Do not mix case. Words may share letters (like a crossword puzzle).
    • 4) Fill in the remaining blank cells/squares in each player's puzzle using random letters. Use the same case used for entering the words.

Game Play:

Round 1 of 3:

    • 1) Dealer collects an ‘ante’ from each player. The ante equals the amount of the minimum bet agreed to in pre-game preparation (5). These chips become the initial ‘pot’.
    • 2) Dealer passes each player a puzzle as described above. Puzzles remain face up and visible to all players. Players may study their puzzles and the common list of words but may not mark their puzzles in any way.
    • 3) Betting begins with the player to the dealer's left who may ‘check’ (pass the bet to the next player) or bet (wager additional chips). Each player must match the aggregate number of chips wagered until all player bets are equal. Each player after the first player to the left of the dealer may match the bet, raise the bet or fold (end his participation in the hand and give up the chips he has wagered). When the ‘action’ comes full circle to the first player, the player must make up the difference between his original bet and any additional amounts wagered by other players, or may ‘raise’ the bet. Betting continues in this fashion until all bets are equal.
    • 4) With betting complete, the dealer sets the ‘timer’ to the amount of time agreed on in pre-game preparation (3). Players may then—in full view of one another—begin to match the words on the common list, with the words in their individual puzzles. Words are marked as ‘found’ by circling them in their horizontal, vertical or diagonal positions.
    • 5) When the timer runs out, the dealer asks players to turn over their individual puzzles. Once the puzzles have been placed face down in front of each player the second round of betting begins.

Round 2 of 3:

    • 1) Betting in round 2 continues as described in section 3 above.
    • 2) Betting ends when all active player bets are equal. (as mentioned above a player always has the right to ‘fold’ and forfeit his bet. A player becomes in-active when he has folded).
    • 3) With betting complete, the dealer sets the ‘timer’ to the amount of time agreed on in pre-game preparation (3).
    • 4) Players continue working on their individual puzzles as described in section 4 (above). This time, however, and henceforth until the end of the game, players may elect to remove their individual puzzles from their competitions view.
    • 5) When the timer runs out, the dealer asks players to place their individual puzzles face down and the third round of betting begins.

Round 3 of 3:

    • 1) Betting in round 3 continues as described in section 3 of Round 1 of 3, above.
    • 2) Betting ends when all active player bets are equal. (as mentioned above a player always has the right to ‘fold’ and forfeit his bet. A player becomes in-active when he has folded).
    • 3) With betting complete, the dealer sets the ‘timer’ to the amount of time agreed on in pre-game preparation (3).
    • 4) Players continue working on their individual puzzles as described in section 4 (above). Again, and henceforth until the end of the game, players may elect to remove their individual puzzles from their competitions view.
    • 5) When the timer runs out, the dealer asks players to place their individual puzzles face down and the final round of betting (the showdown’) begins.

Showdown:

    • 1) At the ‘showdown’, the final round of betting, players may place their bets as described in section 3 of Round 1 of 3, above.
    • 2) With betting complete all puzzles are turned face-up for the dealer to examine.
    • 3) The player who has found the greatest number of words is awarded the pot.
    • 4) Game-play continues again from the beginning.
    • 5) Game-play ends when one player has accumulated all of the chips.

Ties:

In the event of a tie (two or more players have circled [matched] the same number of words) there are two options.

    • a) Split the pot into equal portions amongst the players who are tied.
    • b) Initiate a pre-agreed on ‘tie-breaker’ which can take any form from the toss of a coin to leaving the pot in-place and continuing with additional hands amongst the tied players until the tie is broken.

Exemplary Embodiment #2:—Pattern Completion Game—Sudoku Puzzle

Materials required: pencils, paper (graph paper preferred), egg timer (wristwatch, clock, stopwatch, sundial or any suitable timing device that allows one to calculate seconds.), chips (poker chips, coins, cookies, or any suitable token), a pair of dice.
Players: at least 3.

Pre-game Preparation:

1) Determine the size of the Sudoku puzzle to use, i.e. 3×2, 3×3, 3×4 etc. Any size greater than 3×1 is acceptable. (This example will use a 3×2). By way of example, a puzzle 100 shown in FIG. 1 may be used.

2) Designate a non-player as the ‘dealer’.

3) Determine the amount of time to allocate for each round of play. (This example will use 45 seconds.)

4) Determine the number of rounds. (This example will use 3).

5) Determine a minimum bet amount (This example will use 1 chip).

6) Determine the number of cells to allocate as pre-filled. (This example will use nine).

7) Determine whether to split the pot between eligible players in the event of a tie, or continue to a tie-breaker.

8) Determine and agree on a method of scoring (see tip below).

9) Provide each player with an equal number of chips. (this example will use 25).

10)Seat players around a table with the dealer taking a position at the table also. Game-play will move clock-wise starting with the player seated to the dealers left.

Dealer Preparation:

    • 1) Select a piece of graph paper for each player and mark off an area equal the size of the agreed on Sudoku puzzle grid on each piece of paper.
    • 2) Mark off nine cells on each puzzle at random positions in the puzzle. (The puzzle for each player should be different). Referring now to FIG. 2, an alternate puzzle configuration 200 is shown.

Scoring tip: In a 3×2 Sudoku puzzle each row, column and box must contain the numbers 1-6 only once. The sum of each row in a 3×2 will be 21. The sum of each column will also be 21. The total of all rows and columns will be (in this example) 256. Scoring (again in this example) is the responsibility of the dealer.

This example assumes that puzzles with no solution (section 4 item d above) may be used. After the final round of betting (the ‘showdown’) it is the dealer's responsibility to score each puzzle and determine a winner. If the dealer finds that the inherent rule of Sudoku is broken he will flip the sign (cause the number to be negative) for any offending cells.

Referring now to FIGS. 3A and 3B (in both of which red entries indicate numbers supplied by the dealer), based on the above, the entries shown in a puzzle 300A in FIG. 3A, become the entries shown in puzzle 300B in FIG. 3B.

    • The score for row 1 is then: 7 (the sum of 1+3+−3+−4+5+6).
    • The score for row 2 is then: 7 (the sum of 6+5+−3=−4+2+1).
    • The score for column 1 is: 7
    • The score for column 2 is: 7
    • The score for column 3 is −6
    • The score for column 4 is: −8
    • The score for column 5 is: 7
    • The score for column 6 is: 7

Accordingly, The score for the puzzle is: 28

Game Play:

Round 1 of 3:

    • 1) Dealer collects an ‘ante’ from each player. The ante equals the amount of the minimum bet agreed to in pre-game preparation (5). These chips become the initial ‘pot’.
    • 2) Dealer passes each player a puzzle as described above. Puzzles remain face up and visible to all players. Players may study their puzzles but may not mark their puzzles in any way.

3) Betting begins with the player to the dealer's left who may ‘check’ (pass the bet to the next player) or bet (wager additional chips). Each player must match the aggregate number of chips wagered until all player bets are equal. Each player after the first player to the left of the dealer may match the bet, raise the bet or fold (end his participation in the hand and give up the chips he has wagered). When the ‘action’ comes full circle to the first player, the player must make up the difference between his original bet and any additional amounts wagered by other players, or may ‘raise’ the bet. Betting continues in this fashion until all bets are equal.

4) With betting complete, the dealer rolls the die (in this example 1 die is used. The maximum value allowed in a 3×2 Sudoku puzzle is 6), and then pencils the number shown by the die into any marked. cell (see dealer preparation #2 above) on each players puzzle. The dealer repeats this process 4 times until each player puzzle has 4 numbers filled in. Each player's puzzle will then have the same 4 numbers but in different positions.

    • 5) With preparation complete, the dealer sets the ‘timer’ to the amount of time agreed on in pre-game preparation (3). Players may then—in full view of one another—begin to pencil in the remaining cells of their puzzle. Players are not allowed to fill in cells marked by the dealer. Players are allowed to ‘erase’.
    • 6) When the timer runs out, the dealer asks players to turn over their individual puzzles. Once the puzzles have been placed face down in front of each player the second round of betting begins.

Round 2 of 3:

    • 1) Betting in round 2 continues as described in section 3 above.
    • 2) Betting ends when all active player bets are equal. (as mentioned above a player always has the right to ‘fold’ and forfeit his bet. A player becomes in-active when he has folded).
    • 3) With betting complete, the dealer rolls the die then pencils the number shown by the die into any empty dealer-marked cell on each players puzzle. The dealer repeats this process 3 times until each player puzzle now has a total of 7 numbers filled in. Each player's puzzle will then have the same 7 numbers but in different positions.
    • 4) With preparation complete, the dealer sets the ‘timer’ to the amount of time agreed on in pre-game preparation (3). Players may then begin to pencil in the remaining cells of their puzzle. Players are not allowed to fill in cells marked by the dealer. Players are allowed to ‘erase’. This time, however, and henceforth until the end of the game, players may elect to remove their individual puzzles from their competitions view.
    • 5) When the timer runs out, the dealer asks players to place their individual puzzles face down and the third round of betting begins.

Round 3 of 3:

    • 1) Betting in round 3 continues as described in section #3 of Round 1 of 3, above.
    • 2) Betting ends when all active player bets are equal. (as mentioned above a player always has the right to ‘fold’ and forfeit his bet. A player becomes in-active when he has folded).
    • 3) With betting complete, the dealer rolls the die then pencils the number shown by the die into any empty dealer-marked cell on each player's puzzle. The dealer repeats this process 2 times until each player puzzle now has a total of 9 numbers filled in. Each player's puzzle will then have the same 9 numbers but in different positions.
    • 4) With preparation complete, the dealer sets the ‘timer’ to the amount of time agreed on in pre-game preparation (#3) for the final time. Players may then begin to pencil in the remaining cells of their puzzle. Players are not allowed to fill in cells marked by the dealer. Players are allowed to ‘erase’. As in round 2, players may elect to remove their individual puzzles from their competitions view.
    • 5) When the timer runs out, the dealer asks players to place their individual puzzles face down and the final round of betting (the ‘showdown’) begins.

Showdown:

    • 1) At the ‘showdown’, the final round of betting, players may place their bets as described in section #3 of Round 1 of 3, above.
    • 2) With betting complete all puzzles are turned face-up for the dealer to score. Scoring may take the form suggested above or any form pre-arranged by players.
    • 3) Once the dealer declares a winner he is awarded the pot.
    • 4) Game-play continues again from the beginning.
    • 5) Game-play ends when one player has accumulated all of the chips.

Ties:

In the event of a tie (two or more players have the same final score) there are two options.

    • a) Split the pot into equal portions amongst the players who are tied.
    • b) Initiate a pre-agreed on ‘tie-breaker’ which can take any form from the toss of a coin to leaving the pot in-place and continuing with additional hands amongst the tied players until the tie is broken.

Exemplary Embodiment #3:—Pattern Matching Game/Pattern Completion—Crossword Puzzle

Materials required: pencils, paper (graph paper preferred), egg timer (wristwatch, clock, stopwatch, sundial or any suitable timing device that allows one to calculate seconds.), chips (poker chips, coins, cookies, or any suitable token) a dictionary.

Players: at least 3.

Pre-game Preparation:

  • 1.Designate a non-player as the ‘dealer’.
  • 2. Determine the amount of time to allocate for each round of play. (This example will use 90 seconds.)
  • 3. Determine the number of rounds. (This example will use 3).
  • 4. Determine a minimum bet amount (This example will use 1 chip).
  • 5. Determine the number of words to include in the puzzle. (This example will use nine).
  • 6. Determine whether to split the pot between eligible players in the event of a tie, or continue to a tie-breaker.
  • 7. Determine and agree on a method of scoring (see tip below).
  • 8. Provide each player with an equal number of chips. (this example will use 25).
  • 9. Seat players around a table with the dealer taking a position at the table also. Game-play will move clock-wise starting with the player seated to the dealer's left.

Dealer Preparation:

  • 1) Dealer selects nine words and definitions from a dictionary
  • 2) Dealer writes the nine definitions and words on a worksheet keeping this information out of view of the players at the table.
  • 3) Dealer marks off a blank crossword puzzle for each player on separate pieces of graph paper. (There are several ways to do this fairly quickly and without error that I will not go into here).

Game Play:

Round 1 of 3:

  • 1) Dealer collects an ‘ante’ from each player. The ante equals the amount of the minimum bet agreed to in pre-game preparation (#4). These chips become the initial ‘pot’.
  • 2) Dealer passes each player a blank crossword puzzle as described above. Puzzles remain face up and visible to all players. Players may study their puzzles but may not mark their puzzles in any way.
  • 3) Dealer reveals 4 of the 9 definitions allowing players to jot them down on their respective sheets of graph paper.
  • 4) Betting begins with the player to the dealer's left who may ‘check’ (pass the bet to the next player) or bet (wager additional chips). Each player must match the aggregate number of chips wagered until all player bets are equal. Each player after the first player to the left of the dealer may match the bet, raise the bet or fold (end his participation in the hand and give up the chips he has wagered). When the ‘action’ comes full circle to the first player, the player must make up the difference between his original bet and any additional amounts wagered by other players, or may ‘raise’ the bet. Betting continues in this fashion until all bets are equal.
  • 5) With betting complete, the dealer sets the ‘timer’ to the amount of time agreed on in pre-game preparation (#2). Players may then—in full view of one another—begin to pencil in their puzzles based on the 4 definitions they have received from the dealer. Players are allowed to ‘erase’.
  • 6) When the timer runs out, the dealer asks players to turn over their individual puzzles. Once the puzzles have been placed face down in front of each player the second round of betting begins.

Round 2 of 3:

  • 1) Betting in round 2 continues as described in section 4 above.
  • 2) Betting ends when all active player bets are equal. (as mentioned above a player always has the right to ‘fold’ and forfeit his bet. A player becomes in-active when he has folded).
  • 3) With betting complete, the dealer reveals 3 additional definitions, allowing players to write them down.
  • 4) With preparation complete, the dealer sets the ‘timer’ to the amount of time agreed on in pre-game preparation (#3). Players may then continue to work on their puzzle. Players are allowed to ‘erase’. This time, however, and henceforth until the end of the game, players may elect to remove their individual puzzles from their competitor's view.
  • 5) When the timer runs out, the dealer asks players to place their individual puzzles face down and the third round of betting begins.

Round 3 of 3:

    • 6) Betting in round 3 continues as described in section #2 of Round 1 of 3, above.
    • 7) Betting ends when all active player bets are equal. (as mentioned above a player always has the right to ‘fold’ and forfeit his bet. A player becomes in-active when he has folded).
    • 8) With betting complete, the dealer reveals the final 2 definitions, allowing players to write them down.
    • 9) With preparation complete, the dealer sets the ‘timer’ to the amount of time agreed on in pre-game preparation (#2) for the final time. Players may then begin to pencil in the remaining cells of their puzzle. Players are allowed to ‘erase’. As in round 2, players may elect to remove their individual puzzles from their competitor's view.
    • 10)When the timer runs out, the dealer asks players to place their individual puzzles face down and the final round of betting (the ‘showdown’) begins.

Showdown:

  • 201) At the ‘showdown’, the final round of betting, players may place their bets as described in section #2 of Round 1 of 3, above.
  • 2) With betting complete all puzzles are turned face-up for the dealer to score. Scoring may take any form pre-arranged by players.
  • 3) The dealer declares a winner and awards the pot.
  • 4) Game-play continues again from the beginning.
  • 5) Game-play ends when one player has accumulated all of the chips.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the role of the ‘dealer’ described above will be replaced by either:

    • a) Pre-printed puzzles.
    • b) Electronic/computerized means.

Thus, while there have been shown and described and pointed out fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes in the form and details of the devices and methods illustrated, and in their operation, may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the present invention. For example, it is expressly intended that all combinations of those elements and/or method steps which perform substantially the same function in substantially the same way to achieve the same results are within the scope of the invention. It is the intention, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the claims appended hereto.