Title:
Casino poker-type game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gambling card game variation that is played against the house. Pairs of cards are dealt face-up on a table, and players are allowed to bet on which pair of face-up cards will be the winning hand together with later-dealt communal cards, and/or to bet the winning rank that will be the winning hand. After all bets are placed, the dealer deals communal cards. Winning players are those who bet on the winning pair of cards or the poker rank that made the winning hand. Winning payouts are made at preset odds.



Inventors:
Quintana, Kelly T. (North Richland Hills, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/250592
Publication Date:
04/19/2007
Filing Date:
10/14/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
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Primary Examiner:
LAYNO, BENJAMIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lynn E. Barber (Fort Worth, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a gambling card game, comprising the steps of: a) dealing at least five initial hands, each initial hand consisting of a first predetermined number of face-up cards; b) requiring one or more players, after viewing the hands, to place one or more bets on: hands to win, hands to make, and exotics; c) dealing and turning a second predetermined number of face-up cards as communal cards; d) comparing each of said initial hands, in conjunction with the communal cards, using poker rank, to determine a winning hand; and e) designating as a winner each player who selected either the winning hand or the winning poker rank.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein there are a plurality of players, a dealer and a house.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the first predetermined number of face-up cards is at least two cards.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the first predetermined number of face-up cards is two cards.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the second predetermined number of face-up cards is at least five cards.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the second predetermined number of face-up cards is five cards.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein there are eight initial hands.

8. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of requiring each player to place all bets before step c), and paying each winning player after step e).

9. The method of claim 1, wherein winners are paid according to fixed odds set by the house.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein if more than one player wins, winners are paid according to fixed odds set by the house that are related to the number of winners.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein multiple bets are allowed in step b).

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the game is played in a live form on a gaming table with a human dealer and a standard deck of playing cards.

13. The method of claim 1, wherein the game is played on an electronic device, and the cards comprise electronically produced visual representations of playing cards.

14. The method of claim 1, wherein the winning hand comprises combining a hand dealt in step a) with the communal cards in any combination; and the winning hand is determined by the best combination of five cards using poker rank as the criterion for comparison.

15. The method of claim 1, wherein there are five communal cards.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein a first card is dealt face-down, three communal cards of the five communal cards are dealt face up, a second card is dealt face-down, a fourth communal card is dealt face-up, a third card is dealt face-down, and a fifth communal card is dealt face-up.

17. The method of claim 1, further comprising the dealer placing markers on which hand(s) are likely to win after dealing communal cards.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein the dealer subsequently deals communal cards one to two times after step c), and changes markers to different hand(s) as appropriate after each subsequent dealing of communal cards, before determining winning hands.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein three communal cards are dealt in step c), and the dealer subsequently deals communal cards two times after step c), each subsequent dealing comprising a single communal card.

20. A game playable by at least one person, comprising a game surface having indicia designating a plurality of bet lines, a plurality of defined areas for placement of hands, one of said defined areas for placement of hands being located on each bet line, and defined areas for a plurality of hands to make, community cards, a burn stack, and exotic bets.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to casino games and to poker games, and in particular, relates to a poker-related game played on a gaming table.

2. Description of the Related Art

Poker and poker-related card games have been popular for many years. Because of their popularity, many variations on poker games have been developed. Poker-related card games generally involve some number of cards being dealt to each player. Generally, poker-hands dealt to the players are dealt face-down, so that players do not know what cards their competitors hold in their hands, and therefore, players with skill in having a “poker-face” can bluff the other players. In poker, each player typically bets that the value of his hand is greater than the value of the hands held by the other players and then during play, each subsequent player must either equal or raise the bet or drop out. The player holding the highest hand at the end of the betting wins the pot. During standard poker games, in which a full 4-suit deck (52 cards), generally without the jokers, five-card hands in descending value are: royal flush (10 through ace of a single suit), straight flush (any other set of five sequential cards in a single suit), four of a kind, full house (3 cards of the same face value and 2 cards of the same but another face value), flush (any 5 cards in the same suit), straight (5 sequential cards of any suit), three of a kind, two pairs, one pair and high card.

One of the most popular contemporary poker-related games is “HOLDEM” or “TEXAS HOLDEM”, in which each player is dealt two cards face down. After a betting round, the dealer turns face-up three communal cards known as the “flop”. After another betting round, the dealer turns face-up one more communal card, and after a third betting round, the dealer turns up the fifth and last communal card. After another betting round, the winning player(s) are determined by comparing the best five card hand each player can make using their own personal two card hand in conjunction with any three of the five communal cards, using poker rank to make the determination. Players compete against each other and not the house, and cannot select their two card hand from a plurality of cards dealt face-up, nor can players share cards.

In the patent of Sklansky et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 5,382,025), one or more players play against the house, placing bets and then three face-up hands are dealt. The players choose one of the hands from incomplete poker hands (e.g., two cards) that have been dealt face-up, and then five communal cards are dealt face-up, either all at once or three cards followed by two cards. The winning hand is determined by comparing the three hands in conjunction with the communal cards using poker rank. The table surface used for this game has three sequentially numbered hand indicia at each player's place, three hand locations in front of the dealer each consisting of two adjacent rectangles, a bet box at each player location and a central communal card zone containing five printed rectangular locations the size of a card.

There are a number of other patents for poker-related games that utilize standard poker hand ranking, a preselected payout schedule, but different rules of play than standard poker. These include the patents of Wells (U.S. Pat. No. 5,845,907) for “Colorado Hold ‘Em Poker” in which players are dealt three cards and may use any number of at least one face down community card and have a particular set of requirements for betting; Feola (U.S. Pat. No. 5,951,012) for a stud poker game in which the amount that must be bet is predetermined; and Wirth (U.S. Patent Application No. 2004/0056419) for a casino poker game using 5 cards with an optional sixth card, betting head-to-head against the dealer, or with competition for a common pot among players.

In addition to the patents discussed above, there are quite a few additional patents for poker-related games that utilize especially marked tables in which players select from common hands by placing markers on particular spots on the marked tables. These include the patent of Feola (U.S. Pat. No. 5,839,7310), which has a particular table and is for a game which may be played with the rules of any stud poker game and does not allow the player to enhance the chances of winning by using skill. In this game the rules are selected and all of the hands are dealt and played by the dealer, and betting occurs before the cards dealt face down are visible. At the dealer's location there is a plurality of parallel lines, each of which is for a hand to be dealt, and at each player's location, there is a symbol containing an identifier that corresponds to each of the lines. In the patent of Moody (U.S. Pat. No. 5,531,448), the dealer places cards in a compass format for each player, with payout according to odds listed in a pay table. In the patent of Neal (U.S. Pat. No. 5,486,005), each player selects one of the hands dealt by the dealer or a combination field position from those hands selected by the dealer, and the dealer uses predetermined odds for payout on the winning hand that is determined by the dealer. In the patent of Schaefer (U.S. Pat. No. 5,882,009), players bet on card combinations only, and the ranks need not be poker ranks. Lee's patent (U.S. Pat. No. 6,837,494) is a combined poker and baccarat-type card game in which a banker hand and player hand are dealt. The patent of Streeks et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 6,550,772) has playing lanes on the table labeled for each suit of cards, and players wager on the lanes.

Other patents use a variety of betting tables in which cards are dealt in a variety of combinations, and wagers are made by the players on what cards will be dealt (e.g., Pell, U.S. Pat. No. 4,362,303; Beltran, U.S. Pat. No. 6,065,752; and Goott, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,441,714 and 3,998,462).

There are also patents for particular gaming tables with particular positions for players and dealers, but which do not require a particular game to be played (e.g., Calvo et al., U.S. Patent Application No. 2004/0145116; Krise et al., U.S. Patent Application No. 2004/0160005; Quiroga et al., U.S. Pat. No. Des. 263,975).

It is an object of the invention to provide a poker-related game in which a plurality of hands is dealt face-up so that having a “poker-face” is not particularly useful, and in which players play against the house. It is a further object of the invention herein to provide a poker-related game that is easy to play, and preferably uses a particular table design for play.

Other objects and advantages will be more fully apparent from the following disclosure and appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention herein is a gambling card game variation that is played against the house. Pairs of cards are dealt face-up on a table, and players are allowed to bet on which pair of face-up cards will be the winning hand together with later-dealt communal cards, and/or to bet the winning rank that will be the winning hand. After all bets are placed, the dealer deals communal cards. Winning players are those who bet on the winning pair of cards or the poker rank that made the winning hand. Winning payouts are made at preset odds.

Other objects and features of the inventions will be more fully apparent from the following disclosure and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram showing the preferred order of dealing the hands of the invention herein.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a rectangular gaming table layout for use in playing the game of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a possible curved gaming table layout for use in playing the live-action embodiment of the method of the invention herein.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of an alternative curved gaming table layout of the invention herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS THEREOF

The present invention is a gambling card game variation of games in which bets are placed, an action occurs, play is resolved with no other opportunity to alter the bets. In the game of the invention, all players are playing against the house. As used herein, the term “hands” refers to face-up cards, preferably pairs of face-up cards, dealt at the beginning of play, while a “winning hand” may be made from any five cards selected from: a) the cards in one of the initially dealt hands and b) the communal cards that are dealt after dealing the hands.

In the invention, pairs of cards (“hands”) are dealt face-up on a table, and players are allowed to bet on one or more pairs of cards that will make up the winning hand and/or to place “exotic” bets as are known in the art or as many be established in a particular game, and/or to bet the winning rank (the type of “hand to make”) that will be the winning hand. Exotic bets are essentially bets other than hands to win and hands to make, and may be defined in any way by the facility where the game is played. Exotic bets may also include very specific bets, such as betting that a particular hand will make a particular rank. There also can be bets on the none of the hands winning, which is another example of an “exotic” bet.

After all bets are placed, no further betting is allowed and the dealer deals communal cards. Winning players are those who had bet on the winning pair of cards or the poker rank that made the winning hand. Winning payouts are made at preset odds. There is no more betting once the dealer begins to deal the communal cards; however, each time hands (pairs of cards) are dealt, players may again bid on those hands.

More specifically, the method of playing a gambling card game of the invention, in which there are a plurality of players, a dealer and a house, comprises the steps of: a) dealing at least 5 hands, each hand consisting of a first predetermined number of face-up cards, which would be at least 2 cards per hand, and most preferably would be 2 cards per hand; b) requiring one or more players, after viewing the hands, to place one or more bets on: hands to win, and/or hands to make and/or “exotic” bets; c) turning a second predetermined number of face-up cards as communal cards, preferably five, but more, for example 7 or 8, or fewer cards, as low as 3, could be turned up as communal cards; d) comparing each of said hands, in conjunction with the communal cards, using poker rank, to determine a winning hand; and e) designating as a winner each player who bet on either the winning hand or the winning poker rank or the winning exotic.

In the preferred embodiment of the gambling card game of the invention herein, eight pairs of cards comprise the hands of cards dealt face-up, however, the number of two-card hands may vary from 5 to 10 in variants of the preferred embodiment.

The number of communal cards may be 3-7. Preferably the communal cards are not all dealt at once, to increase the anticipation and excitement of the players. Thus, in the preferred embodiment, the dealer deals three communal cards face-up (after dealing one face-down), and places markers on the initial hands that would be likely to win, in combination with those three communal cards. The dealer then deals another communal card (after dealing another card face-down), and moves the markers as appropriate to indicate which initial hands would be likely to win with the four communal cards. Finally, the dealer deals a final communal card (after dealing a third card face-down), and moves the markers to the actual winners, now that all communal cards have been dealt. These three stages at which the markers are placed are called 1) “flop”, 2) “turn” and 3) “river”, respectively, and at these times, the winning hand is being determined by evaluation of the cards in the hands, in combination with 1) the flop, 2) the flop plus the first turned card, and 3) the flop plus the two turned cards.

At each time of marker placement, the dealer calls the winning cards, for example, when the winning cards are two eights, the dealer would move the marker to the hand that had at least one of the cards that made a pair of eights, and call “Pair Eight's ”. If the winning cards comprise a flush having a king as the high card, the dealer would move the marker to the hand that had at least one of the cards in the flush, and call “flush king high”. The final winning hand would be called as “hand to win” or “flush hand to make” depending on the winning hand.

Preferably, the dealer deals a single card face-down (“burns”) prior to dealing the first three communal cards, and prior to dealing each single communal card after that. Although this is not necessary, it is a further way of being sure that the dealing of subsequent communal cards is completely random. More than one card may be burned at a time, and/or cards could be burned as the hands are initially dealt.

Following is an example of rules used in the preferred game of the invention:

  • 1) Eight two-card hands are dealt face-up.
  • 2) Players place bets on:
    • a) which single hand will win of the dealt face-up cards, in combination with later-dealt communal cards;
    • b) what type of poker hand (using standard rules) will “make” (be the best hand, using standard poker rank, that can be made from any of the eight two-card hands dealt face-up, and the communal cards;
    • c) and other or exotic bets
    • d) any combination of the former three types of bets; for if example, player A places 4 bets, e.g., on hand #2 to win, on hand #6 to win, on a straight to make, and on a full house to make; depending on the cards dealt, player A could win one of these bets, such as on which hand wins, or two bets, such as which hand wins, and which type of hand makes;.
  • 3) The dealer burns one card face-down (card is not played further in that round) and then deals three cards face-up (“communal cards”).
  • 4) The dealer announces which hand(s) is/are currently likely to win under poker ranking (“has the nuts” in terminology as used in Holdem games, and places a marker on it. Multiple identical markers are used if more than one hand fits this category.
  • 5) The dealer burns one card face-down ad then deals one card face-up (another communal card).
  • 6) The dealer repeats step 4), and changes markers to different hand(s) as appropriate.
  • 7) The dealer repeats step 5).
  • 8) The dealer announces which hand(s) win the round, places a marker on each of the winning hand(s), collects all lost bets, and pays out all winning bets according to posted odds. A “winning hand” is made at this point from the best five of seven cards dealt (two cards of an initial hand and the five communal cards). If only the five communal cards are used to form the winning hand, all the hands dealt in step 1) lose; however the “hand to make” bet still pays.
  • 9) The dealer clears the table and a new round begins.

Bets are made by putting chips on the appropriate position on the table.

The odds of winning in the game of the invention are mathematical and are set by the house and depend on the cards dealt. In the invention, the odds of a particular hand winning change from round to round. Thus, if there are two aces in one of the hands, the odds of a hand containing two kings winning are less than the odds of the same hand winning if there are no hands with two aces in them. In comparison, the odds in roulette are fixed, in craps are set by dice, and in blackjack change slightly as the deck is played.

In the invention, the payouts upon winning are constant and do not change. The payouts are determined by looking at the probability of events occurring. Changing the number of hands dealt, the number of cards dealt per hand, the number of communal cards, the number and timing of burn cards, all affect the probability of events happening and therefore the payout structure.

While odds of play can vary as discussed herein, an example of odds used in the preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in Table 1:

TABLE 1
Payout based
Handon odds of:
A bet on the line (a single hand to win)4 to 1
High card to win15 to 1 
One pair to win10 to 1 
Two pair to win8 to 1
Three of a kind6 to 1
Straight4 to 1
Flush4 to 1
Full house8 to 1
Four of a kind12 to 1 
Straight flush20 to 1 
Royal flush50 to 1 

A novel gaming table is preferably used for live playing of the gambling card game herein. While the game of the invention could be played on a rectangular table (FIG. 2), as shown in FIGS. 3-4, the preferred table 22 used in the invention is concave at the dealer location 18 and convex where all or most of the players are located. The preferred gaming table for play of the game of the invention comprises a gaming table cover or top 24 which has various indicia marked thereon, and may have an overall shape as shown, or otherwise, so long as there are sufficient positions for the dealer and players. The preferred shape of the table top 24 has its longest side being curved and located opposite where the dealer is positioned, so that the longest side is bowed away from the dealer. Player locations 28, preferably 6, but as many as 8 are possible, are evenly spaced around the curved edge of the table, and possibly at the edge of the table.

Parallel equally spaced bet lines 30, preferably equal to the number of hands to be dealt face-up initially, are marked on the table as shown in FIG. 2. The hands are preferably dealt in a staggered arrangement as shown in FIGS. 1 at hand placement markings 32, with one hand being dealt on each line. The numbers “1” to “8” on the hand placement locations 32 in FIG. 1 show the preferred order of dealing of the hands. Thus, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, a first card would be dealt to each of the eight hand placement locations 32, beginning at the hand placement location 32 that is labeled “1” and ending at the hand placement location 32 that is labeled “8”, and then a second card would be dealt to each of the eight hand placement locations 32 in the same order as for the first card.

Other table indicia preferably include a hand to make box 34 for each of the following ten hands: high card, one pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush and royal flush, with the hand to make boxes 34 preferably being arranged sequentially according to the value of the hands to make; a community card box 36, a burn stack box 38, and preferably, but not required, at least one exotic bet box 40. The number of exotic bet boxes is set by the house, rather than a fixed part of the game, and allows different casinos to provide different variations of the game and change payout odds to attract customers. The indicia for exotic bets identify the particular exotic bet, for example, “AA to lose” (two aces), “72 off” (7 and 2 of different suits), etc. The various boxes, especially those near the dealer, may be arranged in other ways than shown, without departing from the scope of the invention herein.

As in many other card games, the poker-type game of the invention herein may be played as a solitaire-type game, as an online computer game, as a video game such as at a restaurant, and the like. In these formats, the same table format as is preferably used as in the live-action table.

While the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, it will be appreciated that numerous variations, modifications, and embodiments are possible, and accordingly, all such variations, modifications, and embodiments are to be regarded as being within the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, while there are preferred sequences for dealing the hands and preferred positions for placing the dealt hands, and of designating cards that are to be burned and cards that are to be placed face-up by the dealer after the betting, these may be varied to vary the dealing and play without departing from the invention herein.