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Title:
POKER SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system and method whereby players are able to elicit game play information about other players during poker games, namely at the conclusion of certain poker hands. Players are provided with one or more game props or challenge rights which can be used to “challenge” a player after a poker hand whereby the challenged player must reveal one or more of his or her hole cards to the player or all players at the poker table. The purpose of the challenge being to determine whether the challenged player was bluffing. The challenge does not alter the outcome of the poker hand but allows players to elicit game player information. The game prop may be any tangible item useable in a live game of poker. For example, the game prop may be a chip, button, card, token or marker. In an online version, the game prop may be any simulated item or challenge right.


Inventors:
Herren, Jerald B. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
13/113833
Publication Date:
12/29/2011
Filing Date:
05/23/2011
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/292
International Classes:
A63F9/24; A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Claims:
I claim:

1. A method of conducting a poker game comprising: providing one or more players with one or more game props or challenge rights; dealing poker hands using a randomized deck of conventional playing cards; responsive to all but a winning player folding, allowing said one or more players to utilize said one or more game props or challenge rights to challenge a winning player at the conclusion of a poker hand; and requiring said winning player to reveal one or more hole cards to at least a player challenging said winning player.

2. The method of claim 1 further comprising requiring said winning player to reveal said one or more hole cards to all other players at the poker table.

3. The method of claim 1 further comprising permitting one of a challenging player, challenged player or dealer to select which one of said one or more hole cards a challenged player must reveal.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein said game prop is selected from the group consisting of: chip, button, card, token or marker.

5. The method of claim 1 further comprising allowing players to place side wagers on whether a player utilizing said game prop or challenge right wins or loses a challenge associated therewith.

6. The method of claim 1 further comprising providing one or more game props or challenge rights to players for a fee.

7. An electronically-implemented method of conducting a poker game comprising: processor-implemented steps of: providing one or more players with one or more simulated game props or challenge rights; displaying poker hands using a deck of randomized conventional playing cards; responsive to all but a winning player folding, allowing said one or more players to utilize said one or more simulated game props or challenge rights to challenge a winning player at the conclusion of a poker hand; and revealing one or more hole cards of said winning player to at least a player challenging said winning player.

8. The method of claim 7 further comprising revealing said one or more hole cards to all other players at the poker table.

9. The method of claim 7 further comprising permitting one of a challenging player, challenged player or processor to select which one of said one or more hole cards a challenged player must reveal.

10. The method of claim 7 wherein said game prop is selected from the group consisting of: chip, button, card, token or marker.

11. The method of claim 7 further comprising allowing players to place side wagers on whether a player utilizing said simulated game prop or challenge right wins or loses a challenge associated therewith.

12. The method of claim 7 further comprising limiting knowledge of the use of a game prop or challenge right to the challenger and winning player of the hand.

13. The method of claim 7 further comprising providing one or more game props or challenge rights to players for a fee.

14. A method of conducting a poker game comprising: providing one or more players with one or more game props or challenge rights; dealing poker hands using a randomized deck of conventional playing cards; responsive to all but a winning player folding, allowing said one or more players to utilize said one or more game props or challenge rights to challenge a winning player at the conclusion of a poker hand; allowing players to place side wagers on whether a player utilizing a game prop or challenge right, or winning player had the best hand; requiring said winning player to reveal one or more hole cards to at least a player challenging said winning player; and providing payouts to players placing a winning side wager.

15. The method of claim 14 further comprising requiring said winning player to reveal said one or more hole cards to all other players at the poker table.

16. The method of claim 14 further comprising permitting one of a challenging player, challenged player or dealer to select which one of said one or more hole cards a challenged player must reveal.

17. The method of claim 13 wherein said game prop is selected from the group consisting of: chip, button, card, token or marker.

18. The method of claim 13 further comprising providing one or more game props or challenge rights to players for a fee.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/821,741 filed Jun. 23, 2010.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The embodiments of the present invention relate to a poker game chip or similar prop or challenge right for use by poker players to elicit information from other poker players.

BACKGROUND

The popularity of poker has exploded over the past 10 years. There are many reasons for the popularity explosion including larger fields, larger prizes, television and online access. One benefit for viewers of televised poker tournaments is that each player's hole cards are revealed so the audience knows when a player is bluffing. However, the other players may never find out if a player is bluffing unless at the conclusion of the hand at least one other player remains in the hand. Such player information is valuable in that it allows other players to understand the playing style of their opponents.

It would therefore be advantageous to allow players to determine if other players were bluffing or not bluffing after a poker hand concludes without having to call a large bluff bet. It would be further advantageous to limit access to such information at particular moments as selected by the players.

SUMMARY

Accordingly, the poker system and method disclosed and detailed herein involve the use of a game prop (e.g., chip, card, etc.) provided to poker players for use in a poker tournament or cash game. In one embodiment, the game prop is used after a poker hand concludes and one player has won the hand with all other players folding their hands—that is under circumstances when the winning player is not required to reveal his or her hole cards. Under such circumstances a player may challenge the winning player to show one or more of their hole cards to the challenger or all players at the table. The use of the game prop may be limited to once per tournament or cash game session or may have less restricted use depending on the operator of the poker game. The game props may be provided to players for free or for a fee.

With the embodiments of the present invention, players are able to strategically and selectively gather meaningful information regarding the playing strategy of their opponents. In another embodiment, players may be permitted to collect game props when they are used successfully (i.e., uncover a bluff) or when used against the player unsuccessfully (i.e., the player did not bluff) in an effort to collect the most game props over the course of a tournament or cash game session. In such an embodiment, the player collecting the most game props may win an award. In another embodiment, responsive to a game prop being used, other players may place side wagers on whether the player was or was not bluffing In another embodiment, the game prop may be branded or sponsored (e.g., the Budweiser® Challenge Chip).

Those skilled in the art will recognize that the embodiments of the present invention may be utilized with poker games played via online poker websites accessed by electronic poker devices (e.g., cell phones, laptops, desktops, etc.). In such an embodiment, players utilize a user interface to undertake the challenge.

Other variations, embodiments and features of the present invention will become evident from the following detailed description, drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1a and 1b illustrate exemplary game props in the form of a Challenge Chip according to the embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a flow chart detailing one method of playing a poker game according to the embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary side bet area which may be depicted on a poker table layout according to the embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a block diagram of an exemplary online system which may be used to facilitate the embodiments of the present invention;

FIGS. 5a-5c illustrate exemplary web pages associated with a online website which may be used to facilitate the embodiments of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 illustrates a flow chart detailing another method of playing a poker game according to the embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles in accordance with the embodiments of the present invention, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Any alterations and further modifications of the inventive feature illustrated herein, and any additional applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated herein, which would normally occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention claimed.

The embodiments of the present invention may be used with any poker game including, but not limited to, No-Limit Texas Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, No-Limit Omaha, Limit Omaha, No-Limit Stud, Limit Stud and any others and modifications thereto but for the purposes of brevity, the detailed description herein is directed to the poker game of Texas Hold'em. Texas Hold'em is conventionally and generally played as follows: a) each player receives two face-down hole cards; b) a first betting round is conducted with a first player to the left of a dealer button opening the betting; c) three flop cards are dealt; d) a second betting round is conducted; e) a turn card is dealt; f) a third betting round is conducted; g) a river card is dealt; h) a fourth and final betting round is conducted; and i) the pot is awarded to the player holding the best poker hand. The flop cards, turn card and river card are common cards used by all players.

Assuming Texas Hold'em is the poker game, a folding player may challenge a winning player after the hand concludes whether is concludes after the hole cards are dealt, the flop cards are dealt, the turn card is dealt or the river card is dealt. In one embodiment, any folding player may challenge the winning player. Alternatively, only players remaining in the hand to its conclusion can challenge the winning player.

The embodiments of the present invention relate to system and method whereby poker players are able to elicit game play information about other players during poker games, namely at the conclusion of certain poker hands. In one embodiment, players are provided with a game prop which can be used once during a tournament or cash game session to “challenge” a player after a hand whereby the challenged player must reveal one or more of his or her hole cards to the player or all players at the poker table. The purpose of the challenge being to determine whether the challenged player was bluffing. Importantly, the challenge does not alter the outcome of the poker hand but allows players to elicit game player information during a poker tournament or cash game. The game prop may be any tangible item useable in a live game of poker. For example, the game prop may be a chip, button, card, token, marker or similar item. In an electronic embodiment the game prop may be any simulated item, or right to challenge based on a recorded number of challenges. That is, whether live or online, the right to challenge does not have to be tied to a game prop but may simply be maintained as a number of such challenges available to each player. In an online environment, the challenge may even be accomplished inconspicuously between the two involved players without knowledge of the other players.

The use of the game prop is ultimately determined by the poker game operator (e.g., land-based casino or poker room owner, or online website owner) and in one embodiment the game prop may be used once per poker tournament or cash game. It is possible that some operators may allow the use of the game prop more than once per tournament or cash game keeping in mind that the use of the game prop is ideally limited in some fashion so that players are not required to reveal too much game play information. The game prop is used after a poker hand concludes and one player has won the hand with all other players folding the hands—that is under circumstances when the winning player is not required to reveal his or her hole cards. In one embodiment, a challenged player must show one or more of his or her hole cards to all players at the poker table. In an alternative embodiment, the challenged player need only show the one or more hole cards to the challenger. In such an embodiment, multiple players may challenge the winning player. Once the game prop is used, it is handed to the dealer and stored with game chips and in one embodiment, the winner of the challenge is recorded for purposes of aggregating challenge winners for reasons described below.

FIG. 1a shows an exemplary game prop in the form of a Challenge Chip. The Challenge Chip can take on various sizes and shapes but in one embodiment, as shown, the Challenge Chip is circular and slightly larger than a poker chip. As set forth herein, the game prop can take on any tangible form. As shown in FIG. 1b, the game prop may be branded or sponsored (e.g., the Budweiser® Challenge Chip).

FIG. 2 shows a flow chart 200 detailing one method of conducting a poker tournament using the game prop disclosed herein. At 205, players enter the tournament by paying a buy-in fee and possible surcharge for the dealers or other administrative overhead. At 210, players are provided with one or more game props for use during the poker tournament. Depending on the poker game operator, the one or more game props may be free or purchased (e.g., $5 per game prop). If purchased, it may be an optional purchase or required purchase. If optional and the player does not elect to purchase the one or more game props, that player will not have the right to challenge other players. Whether optional or required, in one embodiment, the player is provided the right to purchase between one and multiple game props. At 215, the poker tournament begins. At 220, it is determined if a game prop has been used. If not, at 225, the poker tournament continues in a conventional fashion. If the game prop is used, at 230, the winning player reveals his or her hole cards to the challenging player or all other players. At 235, the game prop is collected by the dealer. In one embodiment, the dealer may record the winner of the challenge for purposes of collecting such information for a bonus award.

In another embodiment, other players may place wagers on whether a challenge placed will result in the challenger prevailing (i.e., uncovering a bluff by the winning player) or losing (i.e., uncovering a winning hand by the winning player). FIG. 3 shows side wager area 300 for players to place wagers on a challenge. In practice the side wager area 300 may be depicted at each player location on a poker table. The side wager area 300 includes a challenger area 305 and winning player area 310 in which the player may place a wager. When and how the side wagers may be placed, and corresponding payouts, are controlled by the poker game operator.

In another embodiment, the poker game operator keeps track of whether a player wins or loses a challenge and correspondingly whether or not the winning player of the hand wins or loses the challenge. A player having the most wins over the course of a tournament or poker game session may win a bonus style prize or award.

In an online embodiment, software associated with allowing players to participate in the online poker games is modified to allow players to use simulated game props to challenge winning players in the online environment. FIG. 4 shows a block diagram 400 of an exemplary online system which may facilitate the embodiments of the present invention. A server 405 hosts a poker website which may be accessed using poker software downloaded on a user desktop terminal 410, laptop terminal 415 or hand-held device 420. Access may be accomplished via a wired or wireless connection.

In an online environment the challenge may be known to only the winning player and the challenger, or like a live environment, may be known and observable by all players at the poker table. Undertaking the challenge is facilitated by a user interface (e.g., touch screen, mouse, etc.). Active icons depicted on the user desktop terminal 410, laptop terminal 415 or hand-held device 420 are used to prompt players to use the game props when available for use. If purchased, the players may purchase the game props at the time of signing up for a particular tournament or cash game in the same manner as paying the buy-in fee.

FIGS. 5a-5c show exemplary web pages 505, 510 and 515 of the type which may be used to facilitate the embodiments of the present invention. Web page 505 is a sign-in page associated with a poker tournament. A series of active poker tournament icons 506 representing available poker tournaments are shown along with several inactive poker tournament icons 507 representing closed poker tournaments. Several of the active poker tournament icons 506 have a corresponding reference to the fact that the poker tournament is using a game prop (i.e., Challenge Chip) 508. If the game props are provided for a fee, a next web page 510 allows the player to purchase one or more game props using a game prop purchase drop down menu 511. The purchase price of the one or more game props is added to the price of the poker tournament and paid via a player account. Web page 515 shows a poker tournament game page including a poker table 516, players 517 and corresponding game prop total window 518. As shown, player 517-1 is being notified via active icon 519 that he or she may use a game prop based on folding against winning player 517-2. If player 517-1 utilizes a game prop, the hole cards of player 517-2 are exposed to at least player 517-1 (and maybe all players depending on the poker game operator). In another embodiment, any folding player may use a game prop to view the hole cards of the winning player 517-2.

FIG. 6 shows a flow chart 600 detailing another method of conducting a poker tournament using the game prop disclosed herein where a challenged player needs to reveal a single hole card rather than all hole cards. At 605, players enter the tournament by paying a buy-in fee and possible surcharge for the dealers or other administrative overhead. At 610, players are provided with one or more game props for use during the poker tournament. Depending on the poker game operator, the one or more game props may be free or purchased (e.g., $5 per game prop). If purchased, it may be an optional purchase or required purchase. If optional and the player does not elect to purchase the one or more game props, that player will not have the right to challenge other players. Whether optional or required, in one embodiment, the player is provided the right to purchase between one and multiple game props. At 615, the poker tournament begins. At 620, it is determined if a game prop has been used. If not, at 625, the poker tournament continues in a conventional fashion. If the game prop is used, at 630, the winning player reveals one or more of his or her hole cards to the challenging player or all other players depending on the embodiment. For example, with Texas Hold'em, the challenged player needs to show only one hole card. In another game such as seven card stud which has three hole cards, the challenged player may need to reveal one or two hole cards rather than all three hole cards. The card or cards shown to the challenging player may be selected by the challenged player, the challenging player or even dealer. In an online version the one or more cards may be randomly selected by the software facilitating the poker tournament. With multiple challenge rights, the challenging player may use two such challenging rights to force the player to reveal both hole cards in a Texas Hold'em game. At 635, the game prop is collected by the dealer. In one embodiment, the dealer may record the winner of the challenge for purposes of collecting such information for a bonus award.

The game props and challenge rights disclosed herein provide players with a means for acquiring player game play information during a tournament or game session while the game play information may provide immediate benefits to the challenging player. The game props and challenge rights also incorporate another strategic feature into the poker game—that being when to use the game props or challenge rights. Some players may use it early in the tournament or game session while others may wait to use them.

Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to several embodiments, additional variations and modifications exist within the scope and spirit of the invention as described and defined in the following claims.





 
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