Split pairs blackjack side bet
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The method of the present invention involves a conventional live casino table game, or video machine type twenty-one game (also known as Blackjack), in which, in addition to a player's normal wager, a player has the option to make an additional side-bet wager that makes the player eligible to win at a pre-selected ratio for having been dealt a predetermined arrangement of cards: the optimal choice being four pairs of aces and eights. As well, there is the addition of the side bet winning at a pre-determined ratio when the dealer has a blackjack and the player has been dealt any pre-determined combination or pair.

This new side bet to the game of Blackjack may be played with any two cards selected by the casino at the ratio predetermined by the State Gaming Commission. (i.e. threes and nines, which are commonly, called a Baseball pair). This game involves the splitting of a pair of initially dealt cards up to three times so as to match them with a second predetermined card. The predetermined winning ratio ranges from 10 to 1 for a single unsuited combination (ace-eight) to the optimal 10,000 to 1 for four pair of matching combinations.

Collins, Bryon E. (Spokane, WA, US)
Dunow, Mark T. (Spokane, WA, US)
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Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
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International Classes:
A63F3/00; (IPC1-7): A63F3/08
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bryon E. Collins (Spokane, WA, US)
1. A method of including a split pairs side bet component to a casino twenty-one game comprising the steps of a. The casino choosing two cards that will be the object of the game, which are approved by the governing State Gaming Commission at a set ratio. b. A player making a first wager to participate in the traditional twenty-one game; c. The same player as in (b) above making a second wager to participate in the Split Pairs Blackjack Side Bet to catch a pair of pre-selected cards, or splitting pairs of pre-selected cards and matching them to secondary pre-selected cards such as aces and eights. d. Dealing a hand of two playing cards each to the player and the dealer one at a time alternately. e. The pre-selected arrangement of player's cards comprises at least one combination (ace-eight) or a pair (two aces or two eights) for the player, or the casino collects the non-winning side bet. f. If the player's hand comprises a pre-selected paired arrangement (ace-eight) and the dealer has blackjack, the player wins at a predetermined ratio. g. If the player's hand is a pair of pre-selected cards (aces or eights), the player may split the cards up to three times in an attempt to gain the maximum winning hands. h. Additional cards are dealt, and if a pair or more of pre-selected cards is achieved, the player wins at the predetermined ratio up to the maximum for four hands (i.e. four ace-eight combinations).

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the pre-selected two cards are chosen by the casino with the predetermined ratio of winning amounts approved by the State Gaming Commission, the same ratio applies if either pre-selected card is drawn first except when the ratio of cards per deck is altered in any way by number of suits or types used in the game.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the player does not achieve the pre-selected cards, the amount of the Split Pairs Blackjack Side Bet is collected by the casino dealer and goes to the casino.

4. A method of claim 1 through claim 3 which includes a side bet component to a live or on-line video twenty-one game comprising the same steps and claims as that of the casino table version except wherein the collection of bets is electronic, and payment of winnings is done by coins, tokens, receipt method, or electronically to a player's given account at the termination of all play.

5. A method of claim 1 and claim 4 wherein the ratio to wager of winnings for the player achieving the desired predetermined cards is set by law under the direction of the State or Tribal Gaming Commission and may be higher or lower in different states with the average hold for the house being approximately 18%.

6. A method of claim 1 and claim 4 wherein the pre-selection of two cards by the casino is approved by the State Gaming Commission and should be part of optimal player strategy and not interfere with the normal play of the game for other players choosing not to make the Split Pairs Blackjack Side Bet.

7. A method of claim 1 and claim 4 wherein the pre-selected cards and ratio of winning may be applied in combination with other casino games which include but are not limited to Fortune-Pia-Gow, Three-card poker, Spanish Twenty-one, Match the Dealer, Royal Match, Sweet Sixteen, and Lucky Ladies, which would include the Split Pairs Blackjack Side Bet, allowing the player to make an additional single or double side bet on each hand dealt.



[0001] The present invention relates to the field of casino gaming and specifically to the game of Blackjack.


[0002] Several blackjack jackpot and side wagers have appeared in recent years:

[0003] 1. Top of the Deck is a side bet on whether or not the player and/or dealer will receive a “natural” (a two-card 21).

[0004] 2. U.S. Pat. No. 4,861,041 includes a side bet for a progressive jackpot.

[0005] 3. U.S. Pat. No. 5,288,077 discloses an alternative payout structure for a progressive jackpot component of a twenty-one game, with the objective of providing predetermined winning arrangements of cards that do not interfere with the play of the underlying twenty-one game.

[0006] 4. Over/Under 13 is a side bet on whether the player's first two cards will total over or fewer than 13. The side wager is made at the start of a new hand.

[0007] 5. Royal Match, U.S. Pat. No. 5,098,107 is a side bet on whether the player's first two cards will be of the same suit. The wager is made at the start of the new hand.

[0008] 6. Super 7s involves a side bet on whether or not the player will receive one or more sevens in the hand dealt to them.

[0009] 7. Bust-Out includes a side wager made while the blackjack hand is in progress. When the dealer's hand is “stiff,” i.e. a hard hand with value between 12 and 16, the players are allowed to wager on whether the next card will have the value of 10.

[0010] 8. U.S. Pat. No. 5,632,485 includes a side bet for blackjack wherein a player is allowed to wager on whether the player will receive a “stiff” hand. A variation allows the player to bet on whether he/she will be dealt a non-pair “stiff” hand or a pair of aces. In a still further embodiment, a player in a blackjack game is provided with the option of wagering on whether the first two cards will result in a “stiff” hand or a “soft” hand, i.e. that the player's first two cards include an ace and either: 1) any non-ten denomination, i.e., an ace through nine, or 2) any non-ten and non-ace denomination, i.e. two through nine.

[0011] 9. U.S. Pat. No. 5,649,705 involves a side bet wherein the player elects to bet on the player obtaining a winning hand by placing a wage on a second betting area, or whether to bet on the dealer obtaining a winning hand by placing a wager on a first betting area.

[0012] 10. U.S. Pat. No. 5,174,579 involves a side bet to conventional blackjack wherein the player is wagering on whether the dealer will either bust on his hand or achieve a hand count of exactly 21.

[0013] 11. U.S. Pat. No. 5,390,934, involves a side bet to blackjack wherein a player can play not only his own hand against the dealer but by an extra play also those hands of the other players at the table.

[0014] 12. Destiny 21, U.S. Pat. No. 5,673,917, allows players to wager on the number of hits they and/or the dealer will ultimately take.

[0015] The entire disclosures of the aforementioned patents are incorporated by reference herein as jackpot or side-bet bets.

[0016] It is a feature of the present invention to maintain basic strategy for all players at the table, whether they choose to participate in the optional side bet or not. According to basic strategy, a player should always split certain pairs of cards: the optimal pair being that of aces and eights. Herein this invention the player, as part of basic strategy, seeks to achieve a predetermined arrangement(s) of cards (pairs or ace-eight combination) that constitute winning hands at a pre-selected ratio from the casino dealer. Many of the above-disclosed patents incorporate a “jackpot” component, which “progressively” increases and is split between tying winning hands held by the players.

[0017] It is a feature of this game that if two players are dealt the same winning hands, each player is paid at the pre-determined ratio from the casino dealer.


[0018] Preferred embodiments of the invention are described below with reference to the following accompanying drawings.

[0019] FIG. 1 Overview of the table layout with the side bet circle positioned at the place generally recognized as acceptable for side bets.

[0020] FIG. 2 Close-up view of a single player's initial $5 Blackjack bet and optional $1 Split-pair side bet as positioned on the required areas.

[0021] FIG. 3 Close-up view of a single player's initial hand consisting of a pair of aces.

[0022] FIG. 4 Close-up view of a single player's initial pair of aces being split and the additional twenty-one bet placed with the second ace.

[0023] FIG. 5 Close-up view of player splitting the predetermined pair of cards dealt him and the additional cards being dealt of which two are eights.

[0024] FIG. 6 is single view of player achieving predetermined cards to win maximum possible ratio.


[0025] The method of playing a twenty-one game is described in detail in U.S. Pat. No. 4,861,041.

[0026] A conventional live casino twenty-one game is conducted on a gaming table (FIG. 1) with any number of decks of cards selected. In a normal twenty-one game, the dealer deals two initial cards to the players and the dealer according to the normal method of play. One or more standard decks of playing cards may be used. The Split Pair Blackjack Side Bet invention includes a standard side bet circle (FIG. 1).

[0027] Prior to starting play of the Split Pair Blackjack Side Bet game, the casino chooses two different cards to be the object of the game and of which, the State Gaming Commission predetermines the ratio of winnings authorized for each combination of pairs, usually associated with the rules of normal play. Here, we will use the ace-eight combination to illustrate.

[0028] The predetermined winning ratio set for the ace-eight combination by the Nevada Gaming Commission by law is as follows (table 1): (other State Gaming Commission ratio's will be similar for any pair selected that is part of optimal player strategy).

[0029] As used in this specification of Table 1, for play with a single deck, “suited” means that each of the designated cards must be of the same card suit—Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs. “Unsuited” means that at least two of the cards of the hand are of different suits. 1

Winning Outcomes per # of decksONETWOFOURSIXEIGHT
A,8 Unsuited100000
A,8 Unsuited with DBJ1000000
A,8 Suited300000
A,8 Suited with DBJ3000000
A,8, with DBJ0100100100100
2-A or 2-8,2520202020
2-A or 2-8, with DBJ250200200200200
2-A or 2-8, Split, Catch 17560606050
2-A or 2-8, Split, Catch 2500500500400350
3-A or 3-810080505045
3-A or 3-8, Split, Catch 12001601009090
3-A or 3-8, Split, Catch 22,0001,6001,000900900
3-A or 3-8, Split, Catch 35,0004,5004,0003,5003,500
4-A or 4-81,000750500500500
4-A or 4-8, Split, Catch 12,5002,0001,5001,5001,500
4-A or 4-8, Split, Catch 24,0004,0004,0004,0004,000
4-A or 4-8, Split, Catch 37,5007,5007,5007,5007,500
4-A or 4-8, Split, Catch 410,00010,00010,00010,00010,000
DBJ = Dealer has Blackjack 21

[0030] At the beginning of each hand, each player, in addition to making his standard twenty-one wager, (FIG. 2a) may also make an optional split pair side-bet wager (FIG. 2b). To be eligible to win the side bet wager, the player must achieve at least one predetermined pair or combination of ace-eight cards. (table 1).

[0031] It is a preferred embodiment of this invention, that unlike a “jackpot” or “progressive” bet, the Split Pairs Blackjack Side Bet is paid to the winning player by the casino when the side bet is won according to the pre-selected pairing criteria. No part of the split pairs side bet wager is retained so as to accumulate specifically for future winnings.

[0032] In a preferred embodiment of this invention, optimal player strategy is maintained for all players at the table, removing conflict often seen in other side-bet games where players to have to choose between a winning hand and attempting to achieve a higher winning ratio hand for the side bet. This is done when the pre-selected two cards designated by the casino optimally allow for both traditional twenty-one game play without a side-bet and those players wishing to make the Split Pair Blackjack Side Bet second wager. As in the case of the example ace-eight combination, a pair of eights or aces are split in the course of normal play and have no impact whatsoever on the underlying twenty-one game of other players at the table. The ace-eight combination is the optimal pair to be chosen by the casino as they are most often split in the course of optimal player strategy (FIG. 3 & 4).

[0033] Table 2 below lists the statistical odds for achieving the individual winning hands. The listed odds are for the ace-eight combination, which is statistically the same for all other cards in a standard deck of cards.

[0034] In each instance, the predetermined winning arrangement of cards must consist of the first two cards received which may be an ace-eight combination by the player, or a pair of aces or eights as split and matched with subsequent pairs of winning cards. The order of the winning card(s) being caught by the player is not specific as to the suit of the aces or eights except in a single deck game. In a six-deck game, a person receiving two aces as the first two cards, splitting them, and then catching two eights wins at the ratio that is predetermined for splitting two aces and catching two eights. (FIG. 3, 4 & 5, table 1) 2

A,8 Unsuited9.0498E−03
A,8 Unsuited with DBJ7.3469E−03
A,8 Suited3.0166E−03
A,8 Suited with DBJ2.4490E−03
A,8, with DBJ4.7280E−045.1963E−045.4065E−045.4733E−045.5060E−04
2-A or 2-8,4.5249E−035.2278E−035.5741E−035.688E−035.7461E−03
2-A or 2-8, with DBJ3.5460E−044.5468E−045.068E−045.2452E−045.3340E−04
2-A or 2-8, Split, Catch 11.3002E−031.4290E−031.4868E−031.5051E−031.5142E−03
2-A or 2-8, Split, Catch 24.4325E−055.6835E−056.3357E−056.5565E−056.6675E−05
3-A or 3-8
3-A or 3-8, Split, Catch 11.4869E−042.2604E−042.6388E−042.7631E−042.8248E−04
3-A or 3-8, Split, Catch 21.0374E−051.8187E−052.2618E−052.4164E−052.4948E−05
3-A or 3-8, Split, Catch 31.5718E−074.1334E−075.9973E−076.7121E−077.0875E−07
4-A or 4-8
4-A or 4-8, Split, Catch 11.0057E−053.4083E−054.9004E−055.4296E−055.6993E−05
4-A or 4-8, Split, Catch 21.0775E−064.1613E−066.3368E−057.1497E−067.5719E−06
4-A or 4-8, Split, Catch 38.3527E−094.7831E−088.4490E−089.9678E−081.0786E−07
4-A or 4-8, Split, Catch 41.8983E−102.7176E−096.2408E−097.9290E−098.8864E−09

[0035] It is a preferred embodiment of the invention that there are no conflicts involving two or more players achieving the same winning hands, as both are paid by the house at the predetermined ratio and are undivided between players as in done in a “jackpot” or “progressive” side bet.

[0036] It is a preferred embodiment of this invention that a player being dealt an initial hand consisting of an ace-eight combination wins on the Split Pairs Blackjack Side Bet even when the dealer has a blackjack although the player loses the initial twenty-one bet unless insurance has been taken. This provides the player with a psychological incentive and rewards the player even when the house wins all the initial twenty-one bets.

[0037] It is a preferred embodiment of this invention that the significant number of winning combinations rewards the player at a more frequent interval (approximately 5 winning combinations an hour per table) than other side-bet games with one of the highest winning ratios on a table game (FIG. 6).

[0038] This form of Split Pairs Blackjack Side Bet is a preferred embodiment over that of the Royal Match side bet where the player seeks a suited jack-queen or queen-king combination on the first two cards dealt, or progressive jackpot where the player seeks only four suited or unsuited aces.

[0039] It is an embodiment of this invention that the order in which cards are caught after splitting pairs up to three times does not matter based on suit. Also, if a non-preselected card interrupts the order in which the cards are caught, the player wins at the maximum ratio calculated for the total winning combinations achieved in the hand. For example in Table 1, the player may split aces twice and catch only one eight on any of the three aces and be paid for three aces catching one eight.