Title:
Game based on numerical outcomes of one or more hands
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game based on a comparison of the numerical outcomes of one or more hands is disclosed. In one embodiment, the game is played on a gaming table having a dealer station and multiple bettor stations. In one embodiment, the method of play comprises bettors placing bets as to the outcome of a comparison between one or more hands in relation to a target value. Thereafter, a dealer deals cards to one or more hands and tracks the point values of each hand in relation to a numeric threshold. Cards are dealt to a hand until the value of the hand meets or exceeds the numeric threshold. Thereafter, a comparison between the value of each hand and the target values occurs to determine which hand is closest to the target value or if a tie has occurred. Awards are made to betters placing wagers or bets on the correct outcomes.



Inventors:
Dreaper, Thomas Scott (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Yin, Mark (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
10/290732
Publication Date:
05/13/2004
Filing Date:
11/07/2002
Assignee:
DREAPER THOMAS SCOTT
YIN MARK
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/303
International Classes:
A63F3/00; (IPC1-7): A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MILLER, BENA B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEIDE & MILLER, LTD. (LAS VEGAS, NV, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A method of playing a wagering card game comprising the steps of: receiving a wager by a bettor on any of a bettor's three betting areas associated with a first hand winning over a second hand, the second hand winning over the first hand, and the a tie between the first hand and the second; dealing two hands, each of the hands comprising two cards dispensed from one or more decks of cards onto two designated areas for the first hand and the second hand; determining if a numeric total for each of the hands is 16 or less and dealing successive cards until the numeric total of 17 or greater is attained for each hand; comparing the numeric total of the first hand and the second hand to a target value of 21; designating a winning bet as a bet on the hand that has a numeric value closest, either over or under, to the target value of 21 or a bet upon a tie between the first hand and the second hand; and providing an award to a bettor who placed a winning bet.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising collecting all wagers other than winning wagers.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the wager is within a range between a minimum bet and a maximum bet.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein awarding a tie bet comprises paying at 3 to 1 odds and collecting a commission.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein a tie comprises when the first hand and the second had are equidistant, either over or under, from the target value of 21.

6. A method of playing a game comprising: receiving wagers from one or more bettors regarding which hand will have a numeric outcome that is closest, either over or under, to a target value; providing at least one numeric indicator to the one or more hands; comparing the numeric value of one or more hands to a numeric threshold; responsive to the comparing, providing additional numeric indicators to a hand that has a numeric value that is less than the numeric threshold; and providing an award to any bettors that wagered on a winning hand.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the target values comprises a value to which the numerical value of a hand is compared and wherein the numeric threshold is a numeric threshold that determines when numeric indicators must be provided to a hand.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein the numeric indicator comprises a card from a standard deck of playing cards.

9. The method of claim 6, wherein the prediction of a numeric outcome of a hand in comparison to the numeric outcomes of one or more hands in relation to a target value comprises comparing each hand to the target value to determine which hand is closest, either over or under, to the target value.

10. The method of claim 6, wherein the target values comprises 21 and the numeric threshold comprises 17.

11. The method of claim 6, further comprising receiving wagers that the one or more hands will tie.

12. The method of claim 6, wherein a winning hand comprises the hand that is closest, either over or under, to the target value.

13. The method of claim 6, wherein the possible numeric outcomes comprises any one of the one or more hands being the closest hand, either over or under, to the target value or one or more of the one or more hands having the same numeric outcome.

14. A method for playing a game using cards having numeric values comprising: dealing one or more cards to a first hand until the numeric total of the first hand is at a threshold; dealing one or more cards to a second hand until the numeric total of the first hand is at a threshold; comparing the numeric values of the first hand and the second hand to a target value; and determining which hand has a numeric value that is closest, either over or under, to the target value or if the first hand has a numeric value that is equidistant, either over or under, from the numeric value of the second hand in relation to the target value.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising receiving one or more bets from bettors on any of a first hand, a second hand, or a tie; and providing an award to bettors who bet on the hand that has a numeric value that is closest to the target value or a tie, if the numeric first hand has a numeric value that is equidistant from the numeric value of the second hand in relation to the target value.

16. The method claim 15, wherein the bets further comprise special event wagers.

17. The method of claim 14, wherein the cards comprise cards from a deck of standard playing cards.

18. The method of claim 14, wherein the first hand is dealt to a player hand location on a playing table and the second hand is dealt to a dealer hand location on the playing table.

19. The method of claim 14, wherein the threshold comprises a numeric value at which cards are no longer dealt.

20. The method of claim 14, wherein the numeric threshold comprises 17 and the target value comprises 21.

21. The method of claim 14, wherein the numeric threshold comprises 17 and the target value comprises 23.

22. The method of claim 14, wherein an ace card is assigned a numeric value of one.

23. The method of claim 14, wherein the cards comprises non-standard playing cards labeled with numeric indicators of one through thirteen.

24. The method of claim 14, wherein the dealing, comparing, and determining is performed electronically.

25. The method of claim 14, wherein the game is offered electronically on a display.

26. A device for providing a card game comprising: a playing area defined by: one or more betting stations wherein each betting station comprises one or more betting locations configured to receive one or more bets regarding which of one or more hands will be closest to a target value or tie between one or more hands; and a dealer station having one or more hand locations configured to receive cards until the numeric value of each hand reaches the numeric threshold to thereby create one or more hands.

27. The game of claim 26, wherein the playing stations and dealer station are located on a gaming table.

28. The game of claim 26, wherein the dealer station comprises a dealer hand location and a player hand location, each of which are configured to received cards to create a hand until the numeric value of the hand reaches a numeric threshold.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to card games and in particular to a method and apparatus of betting on numerical outcomes and comparison of one or more hands of numeric indicators.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Card games have been played for many years as a form of leisure activity for the public and some games have been used for betting or gaming. Such games should be entertaining in order to arouse a player's interest, provide a reasonable chance of winning, and be uncomplicated so as to be playable by a wide cross section of the population. It is desirable for wagering card games intended for play in betting environments should provide a playing environment that promotes a lively pace while providing bettors reasonable odds of winning although the odds may favor the house or bank.

[0003] In conventional blackjack, a bettor plays against a dealer in an attempt to attain a total score closest to 21 without “busting” or exceeding the value 21. To some people, however, the concept of busting may be unappealing since there is no longer an opportunity to win with a busted hand. As a result, the player may perceive that the odds are against the bettor since the dealer wins automatically when the player busts.

[0004] In addition, the pace of play in blackjack may be variable depending on the skill and experience of the bettor. Often, an inexperienced bettor may pause for a period of time as they decide whether to take another card in hopes that they will come as close to 21 as possible without busting. Such delays in game play may be distracting to other bettors and hence make the game less desirable. From the gaming operator's perspective, these delays are undesirable because these delays reduce the number of rounds played per hour, which in turn results in less revenue to the gaming operator. As a result of these shortcomings, many bettors may be hesitant to play blackjack.

[0005] Another common betting game is baccarat, which is understood by those of ordinary skill in the art. Baccarat, although having rules different from blackjack, has numerous disadvantages. One such disadvantage is there are numerous confusing rules that govern the drawing of the cards, such as the third card in a hand that makes it a very complicated game to many people. Because these rules are difficult to understand, the game may be unappealing to many bettors. This, of course, may dampen the gaming operator's revenue potential.

[0006] Thus, there is a need in the art for a casino card game that easier to understand and play than prior art casino card games, provides a swift pace to stimulate continued play, and yet provides bettors with a reasonable chance of winning.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] In general, the game disclosed herein overcomes the drawbacks of the prior art by providing a game in which bettors are allowed to bet upon any or all of one or more hands, such as a player hand and a dealer hand, or a tie between the dealer hand and the player hand. Thereafter, cards are dealt to create the dealer hand and the player hand. Cards are dealt to a hand until the total numeric value of each hand reaches or exceeds a numeric threshold. The hand having a numeric value closest, either over or under, to a target value is the winning hand and, as such, bettors betting on the winning hand are provided an award or deemed a winner. It is contemplated that any target value may be selected. A tie occurs when the numeric value of the player hand is equal to the numeric value of the dealer hand or when the value of each hand is equidistant from the target value. Upon occurrence of a tie between the player hand and the dealer hand, the bettors wagering upon a tie are provided an award. As discussed below in more detail, there are numerous possible variations on this method of play and what comprises a winning hand. For example, any value may be selected as the target value, threshold value, and the payouts from the winning bets may also be varied.

[0008] As advantages over the prior art, the pace of game play is faster than prior art games such as blackjack because the players do not have the option to ponder whether to receive another card. In addition to increasing the excitement and pace of game play, this also increases revenue to the casino since more hands may be played per hour as compared to prior art games.

[0009] Another advantage is that, as compared to blackjack, bettors will perceive an increased likelihood of winning because a hand does not bust if that hand has a numerical value of greater than the target value. As a result, a bettor may still win even if the hand they bet upon goes over the target value. This will attract new bettors or players who may have become disillusioned with continually busting in blackjack.

[0010] In one embodiment, the game is played on a gaming table having a dealer's station and multiple bettor's stations. Multiple decks of cards may be used and provided via a card shoe or mechanical shuffler and a minimum/maximum bet rule may be implemented at the table. In addition, scoring cards and writing instruments for tracking the history of game outcomes by bettors may be utilized.

[0011] In one embodiment, the game may be presented, played, or offered using a computing device with display providing a simulation of game play where one or more bettors or players may participate in interactive play over a communications network or at a computer. In one embodiment, the game is played on a board or fold-out felt or layout used for non-wagering play by one or more players, such as in the home. These embodiments, and others, are discussed in more detail below.

[0012] In one example implementation, the invention comprises a method of game play wherein in anticipation of a dealer dealing cards to generate two hands, bettors place wagers regarding which of the one or more hands will be the closest to a target value, either over or under, or that a tie event will occur. After the betting, the hands are dealt. In one example embodiment, two cards are dealt to a player hand and a dealer hand. Thereafter, additional cards are dealt to each hand until the numeric value of each hand reaches or exceeds a numeric threshold, in this example, 17. The numeric value of each hand is determined and compared to the target value, in this example 21. The hand that is closest, either over or under, to the target value is the winner and bettors betting on that hand are provided an award. Hence, a hand that has a numeric value great than the target value may still be a winner. If a tie occurs, then bettors betting on a tie are provided an award. In one embodiment, a tie occurs when one or more hands have a numeric value that is equidistant from 21. It is contemplated that a number of special event wagers may be placed by a bettor who may be paid out based on predetermined odds when a specific number or combination of cards are realized.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1A illustrates an example embodiment of a game playing area layout.

[0014] FIG. 1B illustrates an alternative embodiment of a game playing area layout.

[0015] FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D illustrate an operational flow diagram of an exemplary method of play of the game described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0016] Disclosed herein is a game based on numerical outcomes of one or more hands in relation to a target value. The hand may be comprised of playing cards or any other type of numerical indicator, such as but not limited to dice, random number generators, computer processor, numeric balls or tokens, rotating wheels, or any other numeric outcome generating device. In one general embodiment, the game disclosed herein is played by a bettor selecting that one or more of three outcomes will occur; namely, a first hand wins, a second hand wins, or the first hand ties with the second hand. In other embodiments, there may be greater than or fewer than three outcomes upon which bets may be placed. In one embodiment, the card game is used as a wagering apparatus in a gaming environment. Bettors may wager that one of the three outcomes will be realized. The card game may also be used as a leisure activity in a non-gaming environment. In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a more thorough description of the present invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known features have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the invention.

[0017] FIG. 1A illustrates an example embodiment of an area of play for use in game play. This is but one example layout, and it is contemplated that other arrangements or layouts may be created without departing from the scope of the invention. This or other layouts for an area of play may reside on a gaming table, such as may be found in a casino, on a board game, transportable felt or plastic layout, or presented on a video or graphic display, such as a computer screen.

[0018] A detailed discussion of an example embodiment is now provided. A typical example environment in which the method and apparatus may be utilized is in a casino or betting facility. As shown in FIG. 1A, an exemplary gaming table 104 comprises a playing surface 106 whose area is bordered by an exemplary semicircular perimeter 107. A dealer may be situated along table edge 109, while the bettors may reside along the semicircular perimeter 107.

[0019] As illustrated, FIG. 1A depicts an exemplary total of six bettor stations positioned around the periphery of the circular edge 107. It is contemplated that the gaming table may be constructed to accommodate additional bettor stations dependent on the size of the gaming table and the number of decks of cards used. Each bettor station 140 is represented by an associated station number 142. This is but one possible layout of bettor stations 140, and hence it is contemplated that one of ordinary skill in the art may devise other layouts for the area of play that do not depart from the scope of the claims.

[0020] In this exemplary embodiment and as part of each bettor station 140, there is an associated first wagering location and second wagering location. It is contemplated that in other embodiments any number of wagering locations may be provided. In the example embodiment shown in FIG. 1A, the first and second wagering locations 120, 124 in each bettor station 116 are termed the player hand wagering location 120 and dealer hand wagering location 124. For example, a bettor station 116 comprises wagering locations designated as “P” for player 120 and “D” for dealer 124. The term player is associated with cards comprising a player's hand as dealt by a dealer. Likewise, the term dealer is associated with cards comprising a dealer's hand as dealt by the dealer. The terms “player” and “dealer” are exemplary terms used to identify a hand of cards dealt by the dealer. These hands may be thought of as one or more hands, such as a first hand, a second hand, a third hand, etc. In other embodiments, other terms may be used to distinguish these two hands. For example, the hands could be labeled hand A and hand B and bettors may place bets upon hand A or hand B, or both.

[0021] The player hand wagering location 120 provides an area where a bettor at the first station may place a wager that the player's hand will win. Likewise, a dealer's hand wagering location 124 provides an area upon the playing area 106 where a bettor may place a wager that the dealer's hand will win. In similar fashion, the 2nd through 6th bettors have their respective wagering locations designated as “P” for a wager that the player hand will win or “D” for a wager denoting that the dealer hand will win.

[0022] One or more tie outcome locations 128 are provided where a bettor may place a wager that the player hand will tie the dealer hand. It is contemplated that the tie outcome locations 128 are situated in strategic locations within the playing area to allow wagers to be placed easily by the bettors. In the exemplary configuration illustrated in FIG. 1A, the tie outcome locations 128 are enumerated with the bettor's station number 142, allowing the 6th bettor to easily place their wager on the 6th bettor's number. Any number of tie outcome locations 128 may be provided to aid in game play.

[0023] In this example embodiment, playing cards are utilized to generate numeric outcomes. Any method of card delivery may be utilized to provide cards to a player hand location 108 and dealer hand location 112. As a result and in this example embodiment, two hands of cards are dealt to create the player hand and the dealer hand.

[0024] It is contemplated that the cards may be drawn from a standard deck of 52 playing cards and the number of decks may be varied to suit the gaming operator. In one embodiment, the values of the cards take on the numerical value designated on the card, while an Ace (A) represents a value of 1 and all face cards equal 10.

[0025] In one embodiment, the values represented by the standard deck of playing cards varies in that the face cards may have different values. For example, a King (K) may be equal to 13, a Queen (Q) may be equal to 12, and a Jack (J) may be equal to 11 while an Ace (A) equals 1 and other cards have values corresponding to their numeric designation. It is contemplated there are other embodiments of which the cards assume different values. Cards other than cards from a standard deck of playing cards may be utilized such as cards designated with numerical values.

[0026] It is also contemplated that a mechanical shuffler or any like type of card shuffling and dispensing device may be used to deal cards. In other embodiments, numeric indicia other than a standard deck of playing cards such a numbered cards, dice, rotatable wheels with numbered spokes, numbered balls, and electronic numerical display devices may be used.

[0027] The gaming operator may wish to restrict the wagers to a minimum and maximum amount of money. As a consequence, it is contemplated that a gaming operator may post a table top sign displaying a minimum/maximum bet allowed per wager by a bettor.

[0028] FIG. 1B illustrates an alternative embodiment of a game play area layout. As compared to FIG. 1A, common elements are identified with identical reference numbers. In contrast to FIG. 1A, the layout of FIG. 1B utilizes shared betting areas 154,158, 162. In particular, a player betting area 154 spans the circular edge 107 thereby granting access to all bettors gathered around the circular edge. Bettors placing bets in betting area 154 are wagering that the hand dealt to area 108, i.e. the player hand will be closest, either over or under, to the target value. Similarly, a tie betting area 158 and dealer betting area 162 span the circular edge 107 thereby granting access to all bettors playing at the table. Bets placed in the tie betting area 158 are wagers that the player hand and the dealer hand will tie. Bets placed in the dealer betting area 162 are wagers that the dealer hand, dealt to position 112, will be closest, either over or under, to the target value. Also shown in FIG. 1B are one or more supplemental betting areas 168. The one or more supplemental betting areas 168 comprise betting areas for bettors to make special event wagers. As discussed herein, special bets comprise bets in addition to bets on the player hand, dealer hand, or a tie. Special event wagers are discussed in more detail herein.

[0029] Working from the exemplary game table layout of FIG. 1A, an example method of game play is now discussed. FIGS. 2A-2D illustrates an operational flow diagram of one exemplary method of play of the game described herein. Before discussing the particulars of FIG. 2, a introductory discussion of game play is provided. In general, bettors are allowed to bet upon any of the hands, namely in this example, a player hand and a dealer hand, or a tie between the dealer hand and the player hand. Thereafter, cards are dealt to create the dealer hand and the player hand. Cards are dealt to a hand until the total numeric value of each hand reaches a numeric threshold. In one embodiment, the numeric threshold comprises 17. The hand having a numeric value the closest, either over or under, to a target value is the winning hand and, as such, bettors betting on the winning hand are provided an award. In one embodiment, the target value comprises twenty-one; however, it is contemplated that any target value may be selected. A tie occurs when the numeric value of the player hand is equal to the numeric value of the dealer hand or when the absolute value of the difference between the value of the player hand and the value of the dealer hand, in relation to the target value, is identical. Upon occurrence of a tie between the player hand and the dealer hand, the bettors wagering upon a tie are provided an award while wagers on either the player hand or dealer hand neither win or lose (known as a “push” in gaming parlance). As discussed below in more detail, there are numerous possible variations on this method of play and what comprises a winning hand.

[0030] Turning now to FIG. 2, At a step 204, the dealer or mechanical shuffling device shuffles the decks of cards. It is contemplated that shuffling of cards occurs prior to beginning a wagering session or after one or more hands have been successively dealt. It is contemplated that the gaming operator or dealer may decide to shuffle the decks of cards at any time during game play. Once the decks are shuffled, the dealer may utilize a multiple deck card shoe or like device or may dispense the cards directly from the mechanical shuffling/dispensing device.

[0031] At a step 208, one or more of the bettors places a wager at their respective bettor station upon either or both of the player hand or the dealer hand being the winning hand, or that a tie outcome occurs. As discussed previously, a minimum or maximum bet may optionally be stipulated by the rules of play as dictated by the gaming operator.

[0032] In this embodiment, at a step 212, the dealer places a card dispensed from the one or more shuffled decks from the card shoe or mechanical shuffler onto the player or dealer hand location at the dealer's station. In this embodiment, cards are placed face down. At step 216, the dealer places another card dispensed from the top of the one or more shuffled decks onto either the dealer or player hand location at the dealer's station such that each hand comprises one card. It is contemplated that the method of dealing the first card to form the player hand first as opposed to the dealer hand first may be dependent on the gaming operator's policy or dealer's preferences. Any manner, order, sequence, or pattern may be utilized to dispense the cards. At step 220, the dealer repeats the process by placing one additional card face down onto the player and dealer hand locations to establish two hands of two cards each. At step 224, the dealer turns over both the player and dealer hands to reveal the cards, and hence the numeric value of the hands, to the bettors. In another embodiment, one or more, or all, of the cards may be dealt face up to increase excitement.

[0033] At step 228, the dealer assesses the point count for both the player hand and the dealer hand. At step 232, the dealer determines if the point count of the cards in the hand is greater than or equal to the numeric threshold. The term numeric threshold is defined to mean the numeric value at which cards are no longer dealt to a hand. Hence, once the numeric values assigned to the cards dealt to a hand equal or exceed the numeric threshold, the dealer stops dealing cards to the hand. It is contemplated that the numeric threshold may comprise a pre-determined number established during an entire game or maybe randomly or otherwise determined prior to the dealing of each hand. The numeric threshold is defined to be a pre-determined value in which additional cards are not dealt to a hand that equals or exceeds the pre-determined value. For example, if the numeric threshold in one embodiment is defined to be the value 17, a hand having a value less than 17 will be dealt additional card(s) to complete the hand, since its numeric value is less than the numeric threshold. If the hand had a value greater than or equal to 17, no additional cards would be dealt to the hand. This may provide the advantage of changing game play to increase bettor excitement and game variation.

[0034] In one embodiment, a standard deck of 52 playing cards is used for game play with the values assigned to the cards comprising the numeric value for cards 2-10, ten points for jacks, queens, and kings, and one point for an ace.

[0035] In another embodiment, jacks may equal 11 points, queens may equal 12 points, kings may equal 13 points, an ace may equal 1 point, while other cards equal the value designated on the card. In the second embodiment, the numeric threshold may be adjusted to account for the different numeric values assigned to the cards or other indicators. In this example, the numeric threshold may be set to 17, while the target may be set at 23. In one example method of setting or estimating the threshold and target values, the following equation may be utilized. 1Target_Value=[(Thres_Val-1+Max_pnt_Val)+Thres_Val]2embedded image

[0036] The variable Thres_Val is the threshold value and the variable Max_pnt_Val comprises the maximum value associated with the cards or other numeric indicators. It should be noted that the values for the threshold and the target values may be set by the game operator. Other types of cards may be utilized other than a standard deck of playing cards and different numeric values may be assigned to the cards than those described.

[0037] If one or both hands do not exceed a numeric value for a point total of 16, then the process continues at step 236, and additional cards are dealt to a hand having a numeric point total of 16. It is contemplated that the dealer may deal cards to only a single hand if only one of the hands does not yet have a numeric point total of 17 or more (numeric threshold). As to whether the player hand or dealer hand gets dealt first may be dictated by procedures of the gaming operator.

[0038] At step 240, the dealer determines the winner by calculating the absolute value of the difference between each hand's point count and the target value. Stated in simpler terms, the dealer will determine which hand has a numeric point total closest to the target value. The concept or details of the term absolute value is understood by one of ordinary skill in the art and as such is not described in great detail herein. At step 244, the dealer assesses which hand has the smaller absolute value, i.e. which hand is closest to the target value, and is therefore the winning hand.

[0039] At step 248, the dealer collects all losing wagers. In this example, based on the dealer hand being the winning hand, the losing wagers comprise bets placed on the player hand at each bettor station and/or made on the tie outcome location. It should be noted that a bettor may place a bet on one or more outcomes. Hence a bet may be placed on a tie outcome and either or both of the player or dealer hand winning. It is also contemplated that a bettor may make a bet on both the player hand and the dealer hand during a round of play.

[0040] If the dealer hand is closer to the target value than the player hand, then the process proceeds to step 252 wherein the dealer pays bettors who placed wagers on the dealer hand at their respective betting stations. Although any payout amounts may be provided to a winning bettor, in one embodiment, the dealer pays the bettor even money (100% or 1:1) of what was wagered minus a commission. In one embodiment, a commission is charged only when a bettor wins on a player or dealer hand wager. It is contemplated that the amount paid to the bettor may be any multiple or percentage of the amount wagered as determined by the gaming operator. In one embodiment, the commission is equal to 5% of the amount wagered. As a result, it is contemplated that the commission may be subtracted from the payout of a winning wager. In one embodiment, a small fee is paid to the dealer prior to a round of play and no commission is charged to a winning wager. In general, it is contemplated that the commission percentage may vary based on the objectives of the gaming operator. In one embodiment, the commission is no less than 25 cents per wager and may be varied based on a minimum commission desired by the gaming operator. Further, the commission percentage may be varied by the gaming operator to suit a particular revenue objective. Next, at step 256, the dealer sweeps all dealt cards into a location preferable for storing cards until the deck(s) of cards are re-shuffled.

[0041] Alternatively, if at step 244, the player hand was closer to the target value, the process proceeds to step 260. At step 260, the dealer collects all losing wagers comprising wagers, i.e. bets placed on the dealer's hand location of each bettor station and/or made on a tie outcome location. At step 264, the dealer pays bettors who wagered on the player hand at their respective betting stations. Payout may occur as described above. Next, at step 268, the dealer sweeps all dealt cards into a location preferable for storing cards until the decks of cards are re-shuffled.

[0042] If at step 244 the player hand attains an numeric value that is identical to that of the dealer hand, then a tie outcome has occurred and the process proceeds to step 272, as shown in FIG. 2C. A tie outcome may be attained if the point totals of both hands are equal and a tie may occur at any value equal to the numeric threshold or above. For example, if the player hand and dealer hand both have total point counts equal to the same value a tie has occurred. The target value and the numeric threshold, both of which are defined above, determine the values at which ties may occur. For the exemplary target value of 21 and a numeric threshold of 17, a tie may occur at values 17 through 26. Furthermore, a tie outcome may occur when the point spread from the target value of twenty-one (21) is identical for both hands. For example, if the player hand results in a total point count of 17 while the dealer hand results in a total point value of 25, a tie outcome is realized because both hands are equidistant from the exemplary target value of 21. The point spread in this case is four (4) points.

[0043] Returning to a step 272 of FIG. 2D, any wagers placed on either dealer or player hands will neither win nor lose (called a “push” in gaming parlance). At step 276, the dealer pays bettors who wagered that the player hand would tie with the dealer hand. The amounts wagered are represented at the tie betting location assigned to each bettor. In one embodiment, the dealer pays the bettor three (3) times the amount wagered for a correct tie wager. It is contemplated that this particular payout multiplier may benefit the gaming operator over a large number of games played. It is contemplated that the gaming operator may adjust this payout multiplier in accordance with his revenue objective or any other objective. It is contemplated that the payout odds corresponding to a tie may favor the house or casino operator. As a result, a commission may not paid to the house in a wager that results in a realized tie outcome. In other embodiments, a commission may be paid to a house, while the percentage commission may be varied by the gaming operator to suit the game operator's revenue objectives.

[0044] Next, at step 280, the dealer sweeps all dealt cards into a location preferable for storing cards until the decks of cards are re-shuffled. Thereafter, another round of play may occur.

[0045] In one embodiment, it is contemplated that the commissions paid to the dealer may vary as a function of the amount won or may be a fixed amount for each hand played. In other embodiments, the commission may vary as a function of payout odds, amount wagered, or an amount paid out.

[0046] As a convenience to a bettor, it is contemplated that the dealer tracks the amount of commission owed to the dealer or bank by placing suitable markers such as an exemplary chip or token in a designated location corresponding to a bettor. The markers may be accounted for per round of play as when a bettor wins a particular wager. It is contemplated that the commissions owed by a bettor are reconciled at the end of a bettor's gaming session by counting the markers located in the designated location.

[0047] The following detailed example illustrates the method of play with a target value of twenty-one and a numeric threshold of seventeen. The dealer deals the following pairs of cards at the beginning of a round of play: 1

Player HandDealer Hand
Ace (1)King (10)
Jack (10)Eight (8)

[0048] The player hand has a total point count of eleven (11) while the dealer hand has a total point count of eighteen (18). Additional card(s) are dealt out to the player hand since the point count is less than seventeen (17), while no additional cards are dealt to the dealer hand because its point count is 17 or greater. If the next card dealt the player hand is a four (4), the player hand total count equals fifteen (15). Since the total point count is still less than seventeen (17), additional cards are dealt to the player hand. If the next card is a Queen (ten), the total point count for the player hand equals twenty-five (25), resulting in a count that exceeds sixteen (16) and thus no additional cards are dealt. Hence, the final total point counts are as follows: 2

Player HandDealer Hand
Ace (1)King (10)
Jack (10)Eight (8)
Four (4)
Queen (10)
Numeric Total = 25Numeric Total = 18

[0049] The dealer assesses the hands to determine which hand is closest to the target value, in this example twenty one. Because the dealer hand has a point total closer to the target value than that of the player hand, the dealer hand is designated the winner. As a consequence, all wagers on the dealer hand receive an award based on the amount wagered minus a commission withheld by the dealer. In other embodiments, a commission may or may not be charged.

[0050] In one embodiment, it is contemplated that a simulation of the game may occur electronically over a computing device with display providing an alternative method by which wagering may occur. In one embodiment, game participants may interface with an online gaming website server, wide area network server, or local area network server. In another embodiment, the game is offered as a stand-alone software package, such as in the form of machine or processor readable code. It is also contemplated that one or more bettors may participate in a game by way of interactive play provided over local area network or wide area network. Connectivity may be provided by way of a secure Internet connection or any other type of connection as is contemplated by one of ordinary skill in the art. A bettor may wager any amount of money as dictated by the rules of play by way of a mouse, pointing device, keyboard, or even by voice command recognition. It is contemplated that a bettor may purchase bettable credits by way of credit or debit or like card. In this electronic version, the player and dealer hands take the form of video representations of playing cards displayed on a screen, under the control of a microprocessor operating under a suitable program.

[0051] In one embodiment, the game apparatus comprises a board game or easily transportable felt or layout used for leisure activity by one or more players. It is contemplated the board game may comprise a portable table layout, multiple decks of cards, tokens or chips used as betting medium, a minimum/maximum bet sign, score cards, and writing instruments. It is contemplated that such a board game may be played at a party such as a “casino party” or like event.

[0052] It is contemplated that score cards and writing instruments may be provided to the bettors as an aid in tabulating the number of wins or ties in the history of the game. It is contemplated that such historical outcome information may provide data for the bettor in allowing him to make a decision on placing a wager. It is contemplated that such data tracking tools will act as tools to better engage the bettor in his play of the game.

[0053] In one embodiment it is contemplated that special event wagers (or “side bets”) may be allowed and provided for on the playing area. In one embodiment, an over/under bet may be made on whether the outcome of one or more hands will be over or under a particular value, such as a target value. For example, a bettor may wager that the outcome may be greater than 21 for the player hand. In other embodiments, a special event wager may be configured to allow a wager that a particular value will be realized for a particular hand. If this numeric outcome is realized by one of the hands in a round of play, the bettor may win an amount of money corresponding to pre-determined odds. In other embodiments, the special event wager may be that a particular combination of cards are realized or that a certain number of cards or a certain number of cards of particular type are dealt to a hand when a round of play terminates. For example, a bettor may win if he wagers correctly that a total of five or more cards are dealt to either the player or dealer hands or both at the end of a round of play. In another embodiment, a special event wager may comprise a bet that all the cards in one hand will be of a particular suit or form a straight run of cards.

[0054] It will be understood that the above described arrangements of apparatus and the method therefrom are merely illustrative of applications of the principles of this invention and many other embodiments and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.