Title:
Poker gaming devices and methods of playing multiple hand poker games
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Video poker games and methods of playing multiple hand poker games wherein a player's success is typically determined by comparing the player's hands to a payout table. A player is provided with a plurality of poker hands and enhanced payouts are provided to players receiving identical hands. For example, players are provided with enhanced payouts if two or more of the player's hands are high value winning hands, e.g., if the player obtains at least two ROYAL FLUSHES or two STRAIGHT FLUSHES.



Inventors:
Miller, Randy (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
10/392638
Publication Date:
09/23/2004
Filing Date:
03/19/2003
Assignee:
MILLER RANDY
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/13
International Classes:
A63F3/00; A63F1/00; (IPC1-7): A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RADA, ALEX P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DANIEL P. BURKE, ESQ. (Hauppauge, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A video poker game comprising: means for displaying indicia of cards for at least two poker hands wherein the indicia of at least one hand is selected independently of the indicia of at least one other hand; a first payout display comprising a plurality of predetermined winning poker hands; a second payout display comprising at least one enhanced payout which is payable when a plurality of predetermined identical winning hands are displayed; and a payout device which provides a payout to a player who received at least one winning display.

2. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein said displaying means selects indicia for said at least two poker hands from separate card decks.

3. A video poker game according to claim 2 wherein said separate decks are standard card decks.

4. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein said displaying means displays more than two poker hands.

5. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein said displaying means displays at least four poker hands.

6. A video poker game according to claim 5 wherein said payout device provides payouts corresponding to said first payout table for one or more displayed winning hands.

7. A video poker game according to claim 5 wherein said payout device provide payouts corresponding to said first payout table only when said hands do not qualify for an enhanced payout from said second payout display.

8. A video poker game according to claim 5 wherein said payout device provides payouts corresponding to said second payout display.

9. A video poker game according to claim 5 wherein said payout device only provides payouts for the highest payout.

10. A video poker game according to claim 5 wherein said payout only provides payouts for the highest payout when an enhanced payout is provided.

11. A video poker game according to claim 3 wherein said payout device provides payouts corresponding to said first payout table for one or more displayed winning hands.

12. A video poker game according to claim 3 wherein said payout device provide payouts corresponding to said first payout table only when said hands do not qualify for an enhanced payout from said second payout display.

13. A video poker game according to claim 3 wherein said payout device provide payouts corresponding to said second payout display.

14. A video poker game according to claim 3 wherein said payout device only provides payouts for the highest payout.

15. A video poker game according to claim 3 wherein said payout device only provides payouts for the highest payout when an enhanced payout is provided.

16. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein said payout device provides payouts corresponding to said first payout table for one or more displayed winning hands.

17. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein said payout device provide payouts corresponding to said first payout table only when said hands do not qualify for an enhanced payout from said second payout display.

18. A video poker game according to claim 5 wherein said payout device provide payouts corresponding to said second payout display.

19. A video poker game according to claim 5 wherein said payout device only provides payouts for the highest payout.

20. A video poker game according to claim 5 wherein said payout device only provides payouts for the highest payout when an enhanced payout is provided.

21. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein said second payout display comprises a plurality of enhanced payouts.

22. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein said second payout display comprises at least four enhanced payouts.

23. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein said second payout display comprises at least one enhanced payout for totally identical hands.

24. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein at least one enhanced payout is at least 25,000 times a player's wager on one hand.

25. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein at least one enhanced payout is at least 250,000 times a player's wager on one hand.

26. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein at least one enhanced payout is at least 1,000,000 times a player's wager on one hand.

27. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein least one enhanced payout is provided from a predetermined jackpot.

28. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein at least one enhanced payout is provided from a progressive jackpot.

29. A video poker game according to claim 1 wherein said payout device provides a payout corresponding to the greater of 1) the sum of winning payouts from the first payout display for all winning hands displayed and 2) the greatest payout from the second payout display for the identical winning hands displayed.

30. A method of playing video poker comprising the steps of: displaying indicia of cards for at least two poker hands wherein the indicia of at least one hand is selected independently of the indicia of at least one other hand; displaying a first payout table comprising a plurality of predetermined winning poker hands; displaying a second payout display comprising at least one enhanced payout payable when a plurality of identical hands are displayed; and providing a payout to a player who was displayed one or more winning displays.

31. A method of playing video poker according to claim 30 further comprising the step of permitting a player to discard at least one card from at least one of said hands.

32. A method of playing video poker according to claim 30 further comprising the step of permitting a player to discard cards from each of said hands and receive replacement cards.

33. A method of playing video poker according to claim 30 wherein said indicia of cards for said poker hands are randomly selected from separate collections of card indicia.

34. A method of playing video poker according to claim 33 wherein said separate collections of card indicia are standard card decks.

35. A method of playing video poker according to claim 30 wherein more than two poker hands are displayed.

36. A method of playing video poker according to claim 30 wherein a player is provided with an opportunity to change at least one of said hands.

37. A method of playing video poker according to claim 30 further comprising the step of providing payouts corresponding to said first payout table for one or more displayed winning hands.

38. A method of playing video poker according to claim 30 further comprising the step of providing payouts corresponding to said first payout table only when said hands do not qualify for an enhanced payout from said second payout schedule.

39. A method of playing video poker according to claim 30 further comprising the step of providing payouts corresponding to said second payout schedule.

40. A method of playing video poker according to claim 30 further comprising the step of only providing payouts for the highest payout when an enhanced payout is provided.

41. A method of playing a multiple hand poker game comprising the steps of: providing a player with an opportunity to place wagers on a plurality of poker hands; providing said player with a plurality of poker hands; providing a payout if a player receives at least one predetermined winning hand; and providing an enhanced payout if the player receives at least two identical winning card hands which are of some predetermined value.

42. A video poker game according to claim 41 wherein at least one enhanced payout is at least 25,000 times a player's wager on one hand.

43. A video poker game according to claim 41 wherein at least one enhanced payout is at least 250,000 times a player's wager on one hand.

44. A video poker game according to claim 41 wherein at least one enhanced payout is at least 1,000,000 times a player's wager on one hand.

45. A video poker game according to claim 41 wherein least one enhanced payout is provided from a predetermined jackpot.

46. A video poker game according to claim 41 wherein at least one enhanced payout is provided from a progressive jackpot.

47. A video poker game according to claim 41 wherein said payout device provides a payout corresponding to the greater of 1) the sum of winning payouts from the first payout display for all winning hands displayed and 2) the greatest payout from the second payout display for the identical winning hands displayed.

48. A method of playing a multiple hand poker game comprising the steps of: providing said player with an opportunity to change at least one of said hands by discarding up to a predetermined number of cards from each hand and receiving replacement cards.

49. A method of playing a multiple hand poker game according to claim 48 wherein said step of providing an enhanced payout replaces said step of providing a payout when the predetermined winning hands are also said identical winning hands.

Description:
[0001] The present invention is directed to methods and devices for playing games of chance and, more particularly, to games wherein at least one player plays a plurality of poker hands dealt from separate decks.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Player's enjoy games of chance which are novel and which provide different ways of winning, particularly when wagering is involved and there is a chance for a very high payout.

[0003] Various multiple hand poker games have been known. For example, in a game known as “Triple Play”, a player is provided with five cards and the player is provided with an opportunity to determine which cards to keep and which cards to discard. For example, if a player receives a pair of jacks in her initial hand, she can decide to keep the jacks and discard the other three cards. The player is then provided with a number of identical hands, each comprising a partial hand comprising the cards which were retained, in this instance, the pair of jacks. Each of the identical partial card hands are filled in with other cards from a standard deck. In this instance, the player only actively participates in determining which cards to retain in the first hand. The player's resulting hands are then compared to a payout table and the player is paid on winning hands. Games of this type are known which provide a player with an opportunity to wager on many hands during a single deal, e.g., up to fifty hands.

[0004] Other games have been suggested which provide a player with a plurality of identical hands. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,050,568 to Hachquet entitled “Method of Playing Double Draw Royal Video Poker” provides a player with two identical initial poker hands from separate card decks. In this sense, while a player is receiving multiple hands, those hands are clearly not independent. The player then gets to discard and play the hands as he desires. This game is designed to allow a player to utilize different strategies for different hands by determining which cards to hold. The player is provided with an opportunity to hold different cards in different hands. While one aspect of this game provides a bonus when a player draws a royal flush in both hands, the hands are not truly independent.

[0005] Other non-poker games have been suggested wherein players play more than one card hand and which provide supplemental payoffs to a player depending upon the relationship between two of the player's hands or a match between the player's hands and a dealer's hands. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,732,949 to Josephs entitled METHOD OF PLAYING A GAME OF TWO-HANDED BLACKJACK provides a player with two hands of blackjack and a supplemental payoff if both of the player's hands equal the dealer's hand, another supplemental payoff if the player's first and second hands are equal, or a third supplemental payoff if either of the player's first or second hands equals the dealer's hand. Unlike poker, Blackjack typically commences with a deal of only two cards and payouts are determined, in the first instance, by comparing the player's final hand with a dealer's hand. The strategies and payouts in Blackjack are quite different from those of a poker game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Various embodiments of the present invention are directed to gaming devices, preferably video poker devices, and methods of playing multiple hand poker games, wherein a player is provided with a plurality of poker hands. According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, two or more of the player's hands are drawn from separate “decks” of cards or from separate collections of card indicia. Enhanced payouts are provided to players receiving identical hands and/or totally identical hands. According to the most preferred embodiments of the present invention, players are provided with enhanced payouts if two or more of the player's hands are high value winning hands, e.g., if the player obtains at least two ROYAL FLUSHES or two STRAIGHT FLUSHES. According to these preferred embodiments, some hands qualifying for enhanced payouts can be considered identical even if not of the same suit and/or denomination in order to qualify for the enhanced payouts, however, the payouts can be further enhanced if the cards of the player's winning hands are “totally identical”, i.e., of the same suit and denomination.

[0007] Other aspects of the present invention are directed to methods of playing multiple hand poker games wherein a single player is dealt a plurality of independent poker hands from separate decks. These and other aspects of the various embodiments of the present invention are described in further detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0008] The FIGURE illustrates one example of a video screen according to one preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0009] Those skilled in the art will appreciate that poker is a card game quite different from other card games. Poker is typically played in casinos with hands of five or seven cards. Rather than playing against a dealer, poker hands are most commonly played against a preset payout table. According to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, a player is provided with an opportunity to wager on a plurality of poker hands which are dealt independently from separate standard decks of playing cards. As used herein, the term “standard card deck” refers to a deck of cards comprising 52 playing cards and, optionally one or more jokers. The player's success is determined by comparing the player's hands to a predetermined payout schedule. The present invention can be played with any type of poker card game. For purposes of illustration, the following description illustrates the present invention with a video poker game of FIVE CARD DRAW.

[0010] FIG. 1 illustrates one example of a video display screen of one embodiment of the present invention. According to this embodiment, a card display area 10 displays four, five-card poker hands 20, 21, 22, 23. The display also provides information relating to the number of credits or remaining amount of value which the player has input to this game in credit area 30. According to this embodiment, the game also preferably displays a payout schedule 40 as well as an enhanced payout display 50. According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the payout schedule 40 applies to each of the individual hands.

[0011] In this illustrated embodiment, a player is wagering in denominations of $0.25 and has wagered five credits on each hand or $1.25 on each of four hands for a total wager of $5.00. In order to qualify for the enhanced payouts, a player may be obligated to make a certain minimum wager or meet some other predetermined criteria. According to this preferred embodiment, a player is “dealt” four separate 5-card poker hands which the player plays. According to this embodiment, a player's per coin enhanced payouts are significantly greater if the player wages five coins.

[0012] The cards or card indicia for each of these hands are most preferably selected from a separate collection of card indicia which each comprise indicia corresponding to the cards from a standard deck of playing cards. In other words, each of the four hands is preferably selected from a separate deck. From the present description, those skilled in the art will be able to provide various combinations of hardware, software and/or firmware for accomplishing the intended purpose of having the “cards” selected from separate “decks”. As used herein, the word “cards” is used interchangeably with the phrase “card indicia” when referring to an electronic version of the game. The terms “deck” and “card decks”, when used in connection with an electronic version of the invention, include the signals which correspond to a deck of playing cards regardless of the equipment and/or software or arrangement of devices used in the selection of the displayed “cards”.

[0013] Each hand is then preferably played separately by the player in either a predetermined order or in whatever sequence the player selects. According to the standard rules of Draw Poker, the player is provided with instructions which allow the player to discard a predetermined number of cards in each initial hand and have those cards replaced. For example, a player may be limited to discarding three cards from each hand or may be permitted to discard all cards. The replacement card(s) for each hand is preferably selected from the same collection of cards from which the initial cards of that hand were selected. From the present description, those skilled in the art will appreciate that a player may wish to play out the displayed hands in different orders for different plays of this game depending upon the initial cards received in each hand. In this manner, after a player has completed a single hand, he may then change his strategy on subsequent hands in order to attempt to obtain an identical or totally identical hand and enhanced payout. As used herein, the term “totally identical hands” refers to cards of identical denominations and identical suit, while the phrase “identical hands” refers to hands which are of the same type and general value, for example, two STRAIGHT FLUSHES are considered “identical” regardless of the particular denomination of the cards or the suit of the cards.

[0014] According to this illustrated embodiment, payout schedule 40 indicates the normal payouts that a player will receive for each winning hand. In this illustrated embodiment, the numbers indicate the number of credits that a player is paid. For example, with a resulting hand of a pair of Jacks or better, a player betting in denominations of 0.25¢ will win $1.25, while each FLUSH will provide a payout of $7.50, etc.

[0015] The enhanced payouts shown in enhanced payout schedule 50 are provided when a player obtains a plurality of predetermined identical or totally identical winning hands.

[0016] According to this illustrated embodiment, a player can, for example, be provided with an enhanced payout of 250,000 times the player's per coin wager if he obtains a ROYAL FLUSH on two or more hands and 1,000,000 times the player's per coin wager if the player wagers five coins, i.e. $1,250,000.00 on a wager of five quarters per hand. Similarly, an enhanced payout is provided for more than one STRAIGHT FLUSH, an enhanced payout is provided for more than one hand comprising FOUR ACES, and an enhanced payout is provided if a player obtains a plurality of hands comprising FOUR OF A KIND. The ROYAL FLUSHES and STRAIGHT FLUSHES need not be of the same suit, however, the payout can be further enhanced if they are of the same suit. The enhanced payouts can also be further enhanced if the player has cards of the same denomination and/or suit in a straight flush or the same four cards in more than one hand.

[0017] While this illustrated embodiment provides enhanced payouts if a player obtains two or more identical or totally identical hands, it is also within the scope of the present invention to provide an enhanced payout if the player obtains two identical/totally identical hands, a greater payout for three identical/totally identical hands, and/or even greater payout for higher numbers of identical/totally identical hands. The particular payouts and the determination of what hands will receive payouts can be predetermined by the manufacturer, the owner of the gaming device and/or operator of the game. For example, one gaming establishment may offer an enhanced payout for any two STRAIGHT FLUSHES while another gaming establishment may offer the same or a different enhanced payout only if the STRAIGHT FLUSHES comprise the identical denominations and/or are of the same suit.

[0018] The enhanced payouts can be paid in addition to the standard payouts for each hand, such as those shown in payout schedule 40. More preferably, the enhanced payouts are paid in lieu of the standard payouts for winning hands.

[0019] According to preferred embodiments of the present invention, only the highest payout from either payout table 40 or payout schedule 50 are provided. Therefore, if a player obtains two ROYAL FLUSHES, according to the payout schedule 50, the player receives a payout equal to at least 250,000 times his wager on one hand. Therefore, even if a player receives two ROYAL FLUSHES and a STRAIGHT on a third hand, the player would not receive a payout on the STRAIGHT. Alternatively, players can be provided with additional payouts on additional winning hands. In the former example, the player would then receive a payout of at least 250,000 times his wager per hand for the two ROYAL FLUSHES plus a payout for obtaining a STRAIGHT. In another example, when four hands are displayed, a player could receive two ROYAL FLUSHES and two other hands each comprising FOUR OF A KIND. According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a player would only receive the payout for the ROYAL FLUSHES, but it is also within the scope of the present invention to provide the player with a payout on the ROYAL FLUSHES plus an enhanced payout corresponding to the two hands comprising FOUR OF A KIND.

[0020] In another embodiment, a player may receive one ROYAL FLUSH and two hands of FOUR OF A KIND. If the ROYAL FLUSH pays more than the enhanced payout for the two hands of FOUR OF A KIND, then preferably the player would only receive a payment on the ROYAL FLUSH.

[0021] According to other embodiments of the present invention, one or more enhanced payouts can be paid from a predetermined or a progressive jackpot. Such embodiments can have changing displays for indicating the payout(s) at a particular time and can be funded with the portion of the wagers or in some other manner as desired.

[0022] The odds of attaining certain identical or totally identical hands advantageously provides the ability to offer enhanced payouts, for example, at least 25,000 times a player's wager on one hand. Alternatively, enhanced payouts of at least 250,000 or at least 1,000,000 times a player's wager on one hand can be offered.

[0023] According to another embodiment of the present invention, a payout is only provided for either the greater of (1) the sum of winning payouts corresponding to winning poker hands and (2) the enhanced payout, when a player is provided with a number of winning hands some of which are identical and qualify for enhanced payouts. From the present description, those skilled in the art will appreciate that it is possible for a player to be dealt more than one pair of identical hands. Preferably, in such instances the player will only receive a payout corresponding to the most valuable identical hands, except when the payouts on the sum of winning hands from the first payout table is greater than any of the enhanced payouts for which the player's hands qualify.

[0024] While this illustrated embodiment displays four separate five-card hands, it is also within the scope of the present invention to provide a video poker game or an actual display of cards wherein a player is provided with a different number of poker hands. For example, the advantages of the present invention can be enjoyed with any number of two or more hands of poker. The present invention can also be played with poker games other than the FIVE CARD DRAW which is illustrated in the FIGURE. For example, the present invention can be played with FIVE CARD STUD OR SEVEN CARD STUD.

[0025] Other aspects of the present invention are directed to methods of playing multiple hand poker games wherein: a player is provided with an opportunity to place one or more wagers; the player is provided with a plurality of independent, initial poker hands; allowing a player an opportunity to change another of said plurality of said poker hands by discarding up to some predetermined number of cards and receiving replacement cards; and providing an enhanced payout if the player receives a plurality of winning card hands which are of some predetermined value. Another method also provides the player with an opportunity to change one or more of the hands by discarding up to a predetermined number of cards from at least one hand and receiving replacement cards.

[0026] The methods of the present invention advantageously provide cards for each hand from a plurality of distinct collections of cards, e.g., wherein each hand is dealt from a separate standard deck of cards.





 
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