Title:
Video poker with continuous play
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A player makes a wager and is dealt a five card poker hand. The player then discards and draws replacement cards. The player is paid for a winning poker hand and only the cards that consist of the winning card combination are removed from the hand. Replacement cards are dealt into the poker hand for the removed cards. The player is again paid for a winning poker hand if one has been achieved and again the cards that consist of the winning card combination are removed from the hand. Replacement cards are again dealt into the poker hand for the removed cards. This continues until there is no longer a winning poker hand.



Inventors:
Moody, Ernest W. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
10/888598
Publication Date:
01/12/2006
Filing Date:
07/12/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, STEVEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOHN EDWARD ROETHEL (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a card game comprising: a) displaying a first hand to a player; b) allowing the player to hold none, one or more cards from the first hand and discarding from the first hand the cards that were not held; c) providing in the first hand replacement cards for the cards that were not held; d) determining whether any winning card combination exists in the first hand; e) removing only the winning card combination from the first hand; f) displaying additional cards into the first hand to create a second hand; g) allowing the player to hold none, one or more cards from the second hand and discarding from the second hand the cards that were not held; h) providing in the second hand replacement cards for the cards that were not held; i) determining whether any winning card combination exists in the second hand.

2. The method of claim 1 in which an award is made for a winning card combination.

3. The method of claim 2 in which the player makes a wager and the award is based on the amount of the wager and the poker hand ranking of the winning card combination.

4. The method of claim 1 further comprising: a) continuing to remove any winning card combination from each successive hand and providing replacement cards for the removed cards until there are no winning card combination in the successive hand.

5. The method of claim 4 in which an award is made for a winning card combination.

6. The method of claim 5 in which the player makes a wager and the award is based on the amount of the wager and the poker hand ranking of the winning card combination.

Description:

This invention relates primarily to video poker games, and more particularly to video poker games in which the winning card combination is deleted from the hand and replaced with new cards until the player does not have a winning hand.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Video poker that is played on an electronic video poker gaming machine is designed to replicate the play of a hand of poker. Typically, the player is not playing against any other player's hands or against a dealer's hand; the player is simply attempting to achieve the highest ranking poker hand possible from the cards displayed to the player. The higher the ranking of the poker hand achieved by the player, the greater the player's winnings based on the number of coins, tokens or credits wagered by the player. Typically, a payout schedule is posted on the gaming machine to advise the player of the payoffs available for certain winning card combinations.

The forerunner of all electronic video poker gaming machines is the video Draw Poker machine that deals cards from a standard fifty-two card poker deck and displays a single five card hand to the player. The player then selects which of the five cards he wishes to hold (or discard depending on the format of the gaming machine). The draw poker machine then displays replacement cards for the cards the player has discarded. The player wins or loses based on conventional poker hand rankings for the resulting five card hand. In video Draw Poker, the conventional poker hand rankings that are winning combinations are a Royal Flush, a Straight Flush, a Four of a Kind, a Full House, a Flush, a Straight, a Three of a Kind, a Two Pair and a Pair of Jacks or Better. A payout table is established based on the number of coins wagered by the player and the type of poker hand achieved.

The classic draw poker machine has been modified to use Jokers as wild cards or to use Deuces (or even other cards) as wild cards. “Jokers Wild” and “Deuces Wild” draw poker still display to the player a single five card hand and allow the player to discard unwanted cards and receive replacement cards. The payout table is modified to recognize the differing odds for achieving various poker hands when wild cards are involved. Furthermore, different poker hand rankings are used in the pay table to recognize different winning combinations that can be achieved using wild cards.

There are many poker formats used in video draw poker. These poker game formats include Jacks (or even Tens) or Better Draw Poker, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, Super Double Bonus Poker, Triple Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild Poker, Jokers Wild Poker, Deuces and Jokers Wild Poker, etc. Many electronic video poker gaming machines are provided with a menu so that the player can indicate his choice of the poker game format that the player wishes to play and the player then makes his wager based on upon that choice of poker game format. Each poker format has its own pay table associated therewith.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,371,851 (Singer et al.) discloses a video stud poker game in which an initial hand of cards is dealt. If any payable subsets of these cards exist, then the player is prompted to select one of the payable subsets. The desired payable subset is selected by the player, the player receives an award and the payable subset is removed and replaced with other cards. This continues until no payable subsets exist.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an electronic video poker game that provides the player with continuous play until the player has a losing hand.

It is a feature of the present invention to provide that each winning card combination in a draw poker hand is removed from the hand and replacement cards are dealt into the hand. This continues until there are no longer any winning card combinations in the hand.

It is an advantage of the present invention that the player is provided with continuous opportunities to receive awards for winning card combinations without having to make additional wagers.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The game of the present invention is a modification to a conventional video draw poker game. The player makes a wager and is dealt a five card poker hand. The player then discards and draws replacement cards. The player is paid for a winning poker hand and only the cards that consist of the winning card combination are removed from the hand. Replacement cards are dealt into the poker hand for the removed cards. The player is again paid for a winning poker hand if one has been achieved and again the cards that consist of the winning card combination are removed from the hand. Replacement cards are again dealt into the poker hand for the removed cards. This continues until there is no longer a winning poker hand.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a representative electronic video gaming machine of the present invention including a typical screen display used in the method of play of the present invention after the initial deal of the cards.

FIG. 2 shows a representative electronic video gaming machine of the present invention including a typical screen display used in the method of play of the present invention after the draw step and the dealing of replacement cards.

FIG. 3 shows a representative electronic video gaming machine of the present invention including a typical screen display used in the method of play of the present invention after the winning card combination has been removed from the hand.

FIG. 4 shows a representative electronic video gaming machine of the present invention including a typical screen display used in the method of play of the present invention after the replacement cards have been dealt into the hand.

FIG. 5 shows a representative electronic video gaming machine of the present invention including a typical screen display used in the method of play of the present invention after the winning card combination has been removed from the hand and another group of replacement cards have been dealt into the hand.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The method of the present invention can be applied to any poker format used for video draw poker. FIG. 1 shows generally at 10 a typical electronic video gaming machine that is configured to provide to the player the method of the present invention. The electronic video gaming machine 10 includes a conventional coin head 50 into which the player can insert coins or gaming tokens and a slot 52 which leads to a conventional bill acceptor mounted on the interior of the gaming machine and into which the player can insert paper currency. The use of coins, tokens or paper currency is the mechanism by which the player wagers on the poker hands the player wishes to play. As is also conventional in electronic video gaming machines, a credit meter display 22 is provided to show the amount of credits that the player has accrued on the gaming machine 10—either by inserting coins, tokens or paper currency or from winning plays achieved by the player. Whenever the player makes a wager, the amount of the wager is decremented from the credit meter display 22. Whenever the player achieves a winning play during the play of the game, the amount of the winning play is incremented on the credit meter display 22.

A conventional payout hopper is also located on the interior of the gaming machine and is used to dispense coins or tokens to the player into a payout tray 56 when the player wishes to collect any winning amounts the player has accrued. Other suitable and conventional payout mechanisms can be used, such as a ticket printer or other cashless payout devices.

The gaming machine 10 also includes a video screen display 20 of any suitable type upon which representations of playing cards are displayed. As shown in FIG. 1, a first hand: HAND 60 is shown. The hand would preferably have five card locations preferably from left to right in a horizontal row, although other manners of displaying the hand can be used. The video screen display 20 also contains a location at which the amount wagered on the hand is shown, for example, “Bet” 24.

A button panel 40 is also provided on the gaming machine 10 and the buttons mounted on the button panel 40 are used by the player to control the operation of the gaming machine 10. Any suitable configuration of the buttons on the button panel can be used and, alternatively, conventional touch screen technology can be used for any or all of the buttons mounted on the button panel.

A typical button arrangement is shown on the button panel 30 in FIG. 1. A “BET ONE” button 42 is provided to allow the player to wager one credit at a time. A “BET MAX” button 44 is provided to allow the player to wager the maximum amount of credits permitted by the configuration of the gaming machine 10. Any number of credits can be set as the maximum amount that it is possible to wager on each hand and, typically, five credits will be the maximum number of credits for any particular hand. Alternatively, a BET location 26 and a BET MAX location 28 can be provided on the video screen 20 to allow the player to wager by using conventional touch screen technology.

A conventional “DEAL/DRAW” button 46 is also provided on the button panel 40 which is used by the player to activate the initial deal of the cards at the deal stage of the method of play or the dealing of replacement cards at the draw stage of the method of play as is appropriate. Similarly, a DEAL/DRAW location 47 can be provided on the video screen 20 to allow the player to effect either the deal step or the draw step by using conventional touch screen technology.

The button panel 40 is also provided with five “CARD” buttons 48A, 48B, 48C, 48D and 48E associated with each horizontal card location on the video screen display: card button 48A is associated with the left most card location, card button 48B is associated with the second from the left card location, card button 48C is associated with the middle card location, card button 48D is associated with the second from the right card location and card button 48E is associated with the right most card location. Each card button, is preferably aligned below the card locations so that the player can easily associate the appropriate card button with the appropriate card location.

The method of play of the present invention will now be described. After the player has inserted an appropriate amount of coins, tokens or paper currency to add a sufficient amount of credits on the credit display meter 22, the player makes his initial wager. The player may press the “BET ONE” button 42 one or more times to bet in single increments or the player may merely press the “BET MAX” button 44 and the maximum number of credits are applied, for example, five credits would be wagered. The player can also use the touch screen locations to make his wager as described above.

The preferred embodiment of the present invention is played using a standard fifty-two card deck. The player makes a wager to participate in the method of play. A first five card hand, HAND 60 shown in FIG. 1, is dealt to the player. For example, the player may be dealt the Jack of Diamonds, Jack of Spades, Ace of Spades, Seven of Diamonds and Four of Clubs.

The player then decides which cards he wishes to hold from HAND 60. For example as shown in FIG. 1, the player would probably hold the Jack of Diamonds and the Jack of Spades.

After the player has made the selection of which cards the player wishes to hold, if any, replacement cards are displayed for the discarded cards. In FIG. 2, HAND 61 shows the replacement cards that have been added to the held cards—the Ace of Hearts, Seven of Hearts and Ten of Hearts.

The replacement cards are dealt from the depleted forty-seven card deck which comprises the original fifty-two card deck minus the five originally dealt cards. The player is paid for any winning poker hand ranking achieved in HAND 61 based on a pay table as is conventional in video poker.

For example, as shown in FIG. 2, the player has not improved his hand after the draw step and HAND 61 comprises a Pair of Jacks. This would be a winning poker hand ranking using a conventional Draw Poker game format. Table 1 shows a suitable pay table that can be used for a Draw Poker game format.

TABLE 1
JACKS OR BETTER
DRAW POKERNUMBER OF COINS WAGERED
POKER HAND RANKING12345
ROYAL FLUSH25050075010004000
STRAIGHT FLUSH50100150200250
FOUR-OF-A-KIND255075100125
FULL HOUSE816243240
FLUSH510152025
STRAIGHT48121620
THREE-OF-A-KIND3691215
TWO PAIR246810
JACKS OR BETTER12345

Assuming the player wagered five credits on the hand, the player would be awarded five credits for achieving a Pair of Jacks.

Only the winning card combination (the Pair of Jacks) is removed from the hand and any cards not part of the winning card combination remain in the hand. As shown in FIG. 3, replacement cards for the removed winning card combination are dealt into the HAND 62. The replacement cards preferably are dealt from the remaining cards in the original deck of cards. In this case, the remaining cards would be dealt from the depleted deck of forty-four cards.

The replacement cards are displayed face up as shown in FIG. 4 and the player has received the Queen of Hearts and the Three of Hearts into HAND 63. The five card hand now comprises a Flush. Since the player had wagered five credits on the original wager, the player is now awarded twenty-five credits for the winning poker hand of a Flush.

The winning card combination (the Flush) is removed from the hand. As shown in FIG. 5, replacement cards for the removed winning card combination are dealt into the HAND 64. The replacement cards preferably are dealt from the remaining cards in the original deck of cards. In this case, the remaining cards would be dealt from the depleted deck of forty-two cards. The player has received the Jack of Clubs, Queen of Diamonds, Seven of Spades, Four of Hearts and Ten of Diamonds.

These cards do not have a poker hand of Jacks or Better or higher, so this is a losing hand. The game is over and the player can begin another round of the game by making another wager.

While the example of the method of play described above is shown in conjunction with a regular Draw Poker format, the method of play of the present invention can also be applied to any other variation of draw poker, such as Tens or Better Draw Poker, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, Super Double Bonus Poker, Triple Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild Poker, Jokers Wild Poker, Deuces and Jokers Wild Poker, etc. Each of these video poker variations uses various arrangements of poker hand rankings as winning combinations. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a standard fifty-two card deck of playing cards is used. One or more cards may also be designated as wild cards for the various wild card poker formats and, additionally, one or more Jokers may be added to the deck of cards and the Jokers may then be used as wild cards for the Joker poker formats.

The method of play of the present invention may be applied to other poker variations such as three card poker, four card poker, six card poker, seven card poker or an even higher number of cards in a poker hand. Winning card combinations are provided for each type of poker hand and a suitable pay table is presented to the player depending on how many cards will be in the final hand.

Any suitable pay table may be used and would be associated with the poker format being used by the player. As is known to those skilled in the art, pay tables are calculated based on the probability of the various winning card combinations occurring and the desired overall game return to be offered by the gaming establishment to the player.

While the invention has been illustrated with respect to several specific embodiments thereof, these embodiments should be considered as illustrative rather than limiting. Various modifications and additions may be made and will be apparent to those skilled in the art.