Title:
21 ROYALE BLACKJACK
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming method is disclosed and comprises: dealing at least one card to at least one player and to the dealer; requiring each player and the dealer to use a specific community card from a set of predetermined community cards; allowing each player and the dealer to decide whether to use at least one additional card to form their hand; and allowing each player and the dealer to create a blackjack hand comprising: (1) the at least one card dealt to them, (2) the specific community card, and (3) optionally, additional card(s). In one embodiment of the invention, the players and the dealer are each dealt one card; and a first community card, second community card, and third community card are dealt. The players and the dealer are required to use the first community card to form their hand. Players may ‘buy’ additional community cards by placing additional bets.



Inventors:
Kling, Werner Alecsander (Oslo, NO)
Hagen, Hugo (Raahnoen, NO)
Ko, Shenli (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/554826
Publication Date:
10/18/2007
Filing Date:
10/31/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DENNIS, MICHAEL DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WERNER ALECSANDER KLING (OSIO, NO)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a modified blackjack game between a dealer and at least one player, the method comprising: (a) requiring each player to make an ante bet; (b) dealing a player card to each player; (c) dealing a dealer card to the dealer; (c) requiring each player and the dealer to use a specific community card to form their hand; (d) allowing each player and the dealer to decide whether to use at least one additional card to form their hand, wherein each player is required to buy the at least one additional card; and (e) determining game outcome by using blackjack scoring as a basis to make a comparison between each player's final hand and the dealer's final hand; wherein each player's final hand is comprised of: (1) the player card, (2) the specific community card, and (3) optionally, the at least one additional card; and the dealer's final hand is comprised of: (1) the dealer card, (2) the specific community card, and (3) optionally, the at least one additional card.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein each player buys the at least one additional card by placing an additional bet equal to the ante bet.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the specific community card is a first card dealt from a plurality of community cards.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein the plurality of community cards is comprised of the specific community card, a second community card, and a third community card.

5. The method of claim 1 further comprising allowing each player to make an optional side bet.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein the optional side bet is based on the player card, the specific community card, and the dealer card.

7. The method of claim 1 wherein the at least one additional card is comprised of a second community card.

8. The method of claim 1 wherein the at least one additional card is comprised of a non-community card.

9. The method of claim 1 wherein the specific community card has a predetermined value.

10. The method of claim 1 wherein the dealer must decide to use the at least one additional card according to predetermined house rules.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the predetermined house rules is comprised of requiring the dealer to use the at least one additional card if the dealer card and the specific community card totals less than 17.

12. A method of playing a modified blackjack game between a dealer and at least one player, the method comprising: (a) requiring each player to make an ante bet; (b) dealing a face up card to each player; (c) dealing a face down card to the dealer; (d) dealing a first community card, a second community card, and a third community card face down; (e) revealing the first community card, (f) allowing each player to decide whether to stand or place a second bet; (g) requiring each player who decided to place the second bet to use the second community card; (h) revealing the second community card; (i) allowing each player who placed the second bet to decide whether to stand or place a third bet; (j) requiring each player who decided to place the third bet to use the third community card; (k) revealing the third community card; (l) requiring the dealer to reveal the face down card; (m) requiring the dealer to use the second community card if the face down card and the first community card totals less than 17; (n) requiring the dealer to use the third community card if the face down card, the first community card, and the second community card totals less than 17; and (o) using blackjack scoring as a basis to determine game outcome.

13. The method of claim 12 further comprising allowing each player to make an optional side bet.

14. The method of claim 12 wherein the second bet and the third bet each equals the ante bet.

15. The method of claim 13 wherein the optional side bet wins if the face up card, the first community card, the second community card, the third community card, and the face down card form a winning five-card poker combination.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein the optional side bet is resolved according to a predefined payout schedule as follows:
Hand TypePays (to 1)
Royal Flush500
Straight Flush100
4 of a Kind40
Full House15
Flush8
Straight6
3 of a kind4
Two Pair3
Pair of 6s or Better1


17. The method of claim 15 wherein the optional side bet is resolved according to a predefined payout schedule as follows:
Hand TypePays (to 1)
Royal Flush500
Straight Flush100
4 of a Kind40
Full House12
Flush9
Straight6
3 of a kind4
Two Pair3
Pair of 6s or Better1


18. The method of claim 13, further comprising providing a gaming layout for playing the modified blackjack game, said gaming layout comprising: a first community card position, a second community card position, and a third community card position; at least one player position that comprises: a player card position for placement of the face up card; an ante betting position for placement of the ante bet; a side betting position for placement of the optional side bet; a second betting position for placement of the second bet; and a third betting position for placement of the third bet.

19. A method of playing a modified blackjack game between a dealer and at least one player, the method comprising (a) requiring each player to make an ante bet; (b) allowing each player to make an optional side bet; (b) dealing a face up card to each player; (c) dealing a face down card to the dealer; (d) dealing a first community card, a second community card, and a third community card face down; (e) revealing the first community card, (f) allowing each player to decide whether to stand or buy the second community card; (g) requiring each player who decided to buy the second community card to make a second bet equal to the ante bet; (h) revealing the second community card; (i) allowing each player who made the second bet to decide whether to stand or buy the third community card; (j) requiring each player who decided to buy the third community card to make a third bet equal to the ante bet; (k) revealing the third community card; (l) requiring the dealer to reveal the face down card; (m) requiring the dealer to use the second community card if the face down card and the first community card totals less than 17; (n) requiring the dealer to use the third community card if the face down card, the first community card, and the second community card totals less than 17; and (o) using blackjack scoring as a basis to determine game outcome.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein the optional side bet wins if the face up card, the first community card, the second community card, the third community card, and the face down card form a winning five-card poker combination.

Description:

This application is a continuation-in-part of and claims priority from the filing date of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/404,138, filed Apr. 15, 2006, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a method and apparatus for playing a card game. More particularly, the present invention relates to a modified Blackjack game that may be played as a casino table game or as a video game.

BACKGROUND

Blackjack is the most popular card game offered in casinos today. In fact, casinos will often devote more tables to Blackjack than to all other forms of card games combined. Blackjack is based on simple concepts and procedures that are readily understood by novice and regular players alike. Additionally, the game allows players to use basic strategies that provide some degree of player control and that allow for heightened excitement.

Blackjack requires the use of at least one standard deck of 52 playing cards. These cards each have a numerical or letter value, and a suit associated with them. A standard deck consists of four sets (of thirteen cards each) numbered as follows: A (ace), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J (jack), Q (queen), and K (king). There are four cards of each value, one of each “suit”: spades, diamonds, clubs, and hearts. For the purposes of Blackjack, the suit is irrelevant, and only the value of the card is considered. Again, for the purposes of Blackjack, the value of the cards is computed as follows: for cards valued two through nine, they are given the value shown on the card; tens, jacks, queens, and kings are each valued as ten points; and aces may be valued as one point, or as eleven points, at the player's discretion. While Blackjack may be played with only a single deck of cards, casinos will usually use “shoes” of multiple decks mixed together to discourage card-counting.

A Blackjack game consists of one dealer (in casinos, the dealer represents the “house,” or the casino), and one or more players. Blackjack is scored by comparing the combined value of each player's cards against the dealer's. In other words, each player's hand is compared individually to the dealer's hand; every player at a table may win any given hand against the dealer, or every player may lose to the dealer. More commonly, some players will beat the dealer and others will lose. Players do not compete against each other.

To determine whether the player or the dealer wins a hand, the value of each card the player has is added together. For example, a player with a seven (of any suit) and a queen (of any suit) has a hand value of 17. If the value of all the cards in a player's hand ever exceeds 21, then the player “busts” and loses the hand (keeping in mind that the player may choose to value aces as one if necessary). The same is true of the dealer's hand; however, players are always given the opportunity to bust first, giving an advantage to the dealer. If a player busts and then the dealer subsequently busts, the dealer wins the hand.

If neither the player nor the dealer bust, then the person with the cards that total the highest value wins the hand. If the player loses the hand, he loses his original bet. If the player wins the hand, he is paid an amount equal to his original bet. However, if the combined values of the cards in the player's hand and the dealer's hand are the same, then the hand is usually a “push,” wherein neither the player nor the dealer wins the hand and the player's original bet is returned.

In most cases, if the player's first two cards are an ace and any card with a value of ten (i.e., a ten, jack, queen, or king), this is known as a “blackjack” or “twenty-one,” and the player wins immediately and typically will be paid one-and-a-half times his original bet. Similarly, if the dealer gets a “blackjack,” then each player loses, unless a player also had a “blackjack,” in which case that player “pushes” that hand.

To begin a hand, the dealer will deal one card to the person to his left, and continue to deal one card to each player in a clockwise pattern until each player has one card. These cards are usually dealt face up (i.e., with the value and suit exposed). The dealer will then deal himself a single card, almost always face down. The dealer will then repeat the process by dealing each player a second card (usually also face up), and then will deal himself a second card, usually face up as well. Each player will therefore begin with two cards (usually both face up), and the dealer will have two cards (usually one face up and one face down).

After the player looks at the value of his cards, he may choose to “stand,” which means that he keeps the two cards that he was dealt. He may also “hit,” which means that he receives another card from the deck. The value of this new card is added to the total of his hand. The player may then choose to stand or hit again, and can receive as many additional cards as he wants. However, if the sum of the player's cards exceeds a score of 21, the player busts and loses his bet.

In most casinos, the player also has the option of “doubling down,” usually only if the first two cards add up to a total of nine, ten, or eleven. To double down, the player doubles his original bet and receives one, and only one, more card. In most casinos players also have the option of “splitting” when both cards have the same value (i.e., both are eights or both are tens—players can not split if one card is a ten and the other is a different card also with a value of ten). To split, the player takes his two cards and makes two different hands, adding a new bet to the new hand created. The dealer then deals an additional card to each hand, so the player now has two hands with two cards each, each with a bet of the original amount. The two hands are then played normally.

Once each player has gone in turn and either busted or decided to stand (and not receive any more cards), the dealer flips both of his cards face up. If the dealer's hand has a certain total value (usually 17), the dealer stands, otherwise, the dealer hits. Dealers will often also hit if they have an ace and a six which is known as a “soft” 17, since the ace can be used as a one instead of an eleven if the card drawn would otherwise increase the dealer's hand over 21. A “soft 17” is a hand that contains at least one ace and the total value of the hand can equal either 7 or 17 since an ace can be valued as either a one or an eleven. A soft 17 is a hand which adds up to 17 counting an ace as an eleven. Other examples of soft 17 hands include, but are not limited to, hands comprised of: (ace-4-2), (ace-3-3), (5-ace-ace), (2-2-2-ace), or (4-ace-ace-ace).

If the dealer busts, then all players who had not previously busted win the hand. Once the dealer stands (on a 17, 18, 19, 20, or 21), his hand total is compared to each player who had not busted in turn, and each player wins an amount equal to his bet, loses his bet, or pushes, based on which hand value is higher as described above.

There are a number of variations on the rules described above, including “insurance bets,” single-deck Blackjack, and games wherein both of the dealer's cards are dealt face up. However, Blackjack and most variations thereof suffer from a number of drawbacks. For instance, the player must generally keep the two cards he is dealt, and he does not have the option to discard either of them. The player may thus feel that he does not have sufficient control with respect to the cards that are dealt to him.

Another drawback to conventional Blackjack games is that the amount that a player can win is severely limited by his starting bet. The player is not afforded sufficient betting opportunities that could lead to bigger payouts. As such, other betting options are desirable for the Blackjack player other than just varying the size of their wagers. In conventional Blackjack, a player may earn one-and-a-half times his original bet on a “blackjack,” but otherwise he is limited to winning the amount that he wagers (even by splitting or doubling down, the player must double his original bet for a chance to win only that doubled amount). There is no possibility in conventional Blackjack for a player to make “side bets,” and there is no opportunity to win five, ten, or even sixty times his original bet. The addition of such variations would likely make Blackjack more fun and exciting for players, as it increases the unpredictability of Blackjack and increases the payouts that a player may receive. The addition of side bets or other betting opportunities would also likely make Blackjack more profitable for casinos. These variations are therefore likely to increase the popularity of Blackjack even further. Other advantages of the present invention will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art in light of the ensuing description of the present invention.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed to a method of playing a modified Blackjack game that generates additional excitement, player control, and more revenue for both players and casinos than conventional Blackjack. The present invention provides the player with added options with respect to the cards that are dealt to him. As such, the player may feel like he has more control of the outcome of the game. The present invention also provides additional betting opportunities and an opportunity for larger payouts than conventional Blackjack games. Providing players with more opportunities to win and the opportunity for bigger payouts would bring greater excitement and interest to players and will likely attract new players to the game.

To achieve the foregoing and in accordance with the purposes of the present invention, the present invention is directed to a gaming method that comprises: dealing at least one card to at least one player and to the dealer; requiring each player and the dealer to use a community card from a set of predetermined community cards; allowing each player and the dealer to decide whether to use at least one additional card to form their hand; and allowing each player and the dealer to create a Blackjack hand comprising: (1) the at least one card dealt to them, (2) the community card, and (3) optionally, additional card(s).

One embodiment of the present invention is directed to a method of playing a modified Blackjack game comprising the following steps: (a) requiring each player to make an ante bet before receiving any cards; (b) dealing one face up card to each player; (c) dealing one face down card to the dealer; (d) dealing three community cards face down; (e) revealing a first community card, (f) allowing each player to either stand or place a second bet; (g) requiring each player who decided to place a second bet to use a second community card to form his hand; (h) revealing the second community card; (i) allowing each player who made the second bet to either stand or place a third bet; (j) requiring each player who decided to place a third bet to use a third community card to form his hand; (k) revealing the third community card; (l) requiring the dealer to reveal his face down card; (m) requiring the dealer to use as many community cards necessary to pair with his face down card to reach the value of at least “17”, (n) determining game outcome by using Blackjack scoring as a basis to make a comparison between each player's hand and the dealer's hand. Each player's hand is comprised of: (1) the face up card dealt to him, (2) the first community card, (3) optionally the second community card, and (4) optionally the third community card. The dealer's hand is comprised of: (1) his face down card, (2) the first community card, and (3) possibly the second community card, and (4) possibly the third community card, wherein the possibility of the dealer's use of the second and third community cards is dependent on whether the second and third community cards are necessary for the dealer's hand to reach at least “17.”

In alternate embodiments of the invention, the gaming method may further comprise allowing each player to make an optional side wager. The side wager may be based on the outcome of any combination of the following cards: the player's face up card, the dealer's face down card, and/or one or more of the community cards. In one embodiment, the side wager is based on forming a winning five-card poker combination comprised of the player's face up card, the dealer's face down card, the first community card, the second community card, and the third community card.

Another aspect of the present invention is directed to a gaming layout that comprises at least one player position that is adapted to identify a player's set of cards that are being used to form his hand and includes the following betting positions: a first position to designate use of a first community card, a second position to designate use of a second community card; and a third position to designate use of a third community card. In one embodiment of the present invention, the gaming layout includes an ante position (which requires use of the first community card); a side wager betting position for placement of the optional side bet; a second betting position for placement of a second bet as described in step (f) above whereas the second betting position is adapted to designate use of the second community card; and a third betting position for placement of a third bet as described in step (i) above, whereas the third betting position is adapted to designate use of the third community card.

The above description sets forth a summary of embodiments of the present invention so that the detailed description that follows may be better understood and contributions of the present invention to the art may be better appreciated. Some of the embodiments of the present invention may not include all of the features or characteristics listed in the above summary. There may be, of course, other features of the invention that will be described below and may form the subject matter of claims. In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in further detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways; for example, the invention may be carried out through software on a computer or other electronic medium. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

Other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, various features of embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a block diagram showing generally the steps of a gaming method in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 depicts a flowchart showing substantially a sequence of steps of a gaming method in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 depicts a top plan view of a gaming layout in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of a player position of the gaming layout shown in FIG. 3 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the community card positions of the gaming layout shown in FIG. 3 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following description of embodiments of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this application. The drawings show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

The order in which the steps are presented below is not limited to any particular order and does not necessarily imply that they have to be performed in the order presented. It will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the order of these steps can be rearranged and performed in any suitable manner. It further will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that some steps may be omitted or added and still fall within the spirit of the invention.

Gaming Method

The present invention comprises a gaming method and an apparatus that may be used to implement the gaming method. In general, the gaming method is designed to reward players who have compiled hands that are better than the dealer's hand based on conventional Blackjack rules. Traditional Blackjack rules are used to value the cards and to determine game outcome. At least one standard deck of 52 playing cards is used in the present invention although up to eight decks of cards may be used on a Blackjack-sized table. These cards each have a numerical or letter value, and a suit associated with them. A standard deck consists of four sets (of thirteen cards each) numbered as follows: A (ace), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J (jack), Q (queen), and K (king). There are four cards of each value, one of each “suit”: spades, diamonds, clubs, and hearts. As in conventional Blackjack, the suit is irrelevant for purposes of the present invention, and only the value of the card is considered. The value of the cards is computed as follows: for cards valued two through nine, they are given the value shown on the card; tens, jacks, queens, and kings are each valued as ten points; aces may be valued as one point or as eleven points, at the player's discretion.

To determine whether the player or the dealer wins a hand, the value of each card in the player's hand is added together. If the value of all the cards in a player's hand ever exceeds a score of 21, then the player “busts” and loses the hand (keeping in mind that the player may choose to value aces as one if necessary). If the player does not bust, then the person with the cards that total the highest value wins the hand. If the combined values of the cards in the player's hand and the dealer's hand are the same, then the hand is usually a “push,” wherein neither the player nor the dealer wins the hand.

As depicted in the block diagram of FIG. 1, the gaming method of the present invention generally comprises: dealing at least one card (“first card”) to one or more players and to the dealer (block 500); requiring each player and the dealer to use a community card from a set of predetermined community cards to pair with their first card (block 600); allowing each player and the dealer to decide whether to use at least one additional card to form their hand (block 700); and allowing each player and the dealer to create a Blackjack hand comprising: (1) the first card, (2) the community card, and (3) optionally additional card(s) (block 800). Each player's hand is then compared to the dealer's hand using the rules of Blackjack (block 900), and the bets are then resolved (block 1000). The optional additional card(s) may include another community card and/or a non-community card.

For purposes of describing various embodiments herein, the terms “community cards” and “community card values” may be used interchangeably. Additionally, the term “predetermined community cards” or “predetermined community card values” are used, but they are not limited to community cards/community card values that are predetermined before the game begins. “Predetermined community cards” may also refer to community cards that are dealt at some point during the game before the player makes a decision whether to use one or more of them to form his hand. Additionally, the term “dealer” represents the “house” or the casino; or a dealer may refer to a virtual dealer in embodiments of the invention that involve computers, the Internet, and/or other forms of electronic media.

Referring now to FIG. 2, in one embodiment of the present invention, the gaming method of the invention begins with a dealer shuffling a set of cards (step 10). A single deck or up to eight decks of cards may be used. The players are then asked to place their bets (step 20) before any cards are dealt. The bets comprise of an ante or a mandatory bet to participate in the game. In alternate embodiments of the present invention, the bets may further comprise of an additional side wager bet.

After the dealer shuffles the cards and the players have placed their bets, the dealer deals one face up card to each player (step 30). (The term “face up” card may be used to refer to a card that is laid out to the players and to the dealer such that the card's game indicia are visible to the players and the dealer.) The dealer also deals a face down card to himself (step 40). At this juncture, the dealer and players are not yet permitted to view the dealer's face down card. The dealer also deals three community cards face down (step 50) and then reveals a first community card (step 55)

Next, at step 60, after seeing their face up card and the first community card, each player is given the option to stand or bet. If the player decides to stand, no further bets can be made (step 70) and his hand is then comprised of only his face up card and the first community card. If the player decides to bet, he places a second bet equal to the ante to buy a second community card (step 80) so that his hand will be comprised of his face up card, the first community card, and the second community card. After the players make their second bets, the second community card is revealed (step 85).

Then, at step 90, after seeing the second community card, each player who made a second bet is given the option to stand or bet. If the player decides to stand, no further bets can be made (step 100) and his hand is then comprised of his face up card, the first community card, and the second community card. If the player decides to bet, he places a third bet equal to the ante to buy a third community card (step 110) so that his hand will be comprised of his face up card, the first community card, the second community card, and the third community card. After the players make their third bets, the third community card is revealed (step 115).

After step 55, wherein the first community card is revealed, if the player's initial two card hand (i.e., his face up card and the first community card) equals “21,” the player is an automatic winner, the player will be paid even money, and there can be no more betting for him. However, if at any time, a player's score exceeds 21, the player loses immediately and is out of the game unless he made an optional side bet (described below). If the player busts, his side bet remains in action and his card may be tucked under his side bet. The dealer will collect all bets wagered before busting which means that the last buy bet wagered will be returned to the player.

After the third community card is revealed in step 115, the dealer reveals his face up card (step 120). Then the dealer is given the opportunity to use as many community cards needed to reach at least “17” (step 130). Starting from the first community card, if the sum of the dealer's face down card and the first community card does not equal at least “17”, then the dealer uses the second community card to form his hand. If the sum of the dealer's face down card, the first community card, and the second community card still does not equal at least “17”, then the dealer must use the third community card to form his hand. If at any point, the dealer's hand reaches a soft “17” (for example, a hand comprised of (A-6), (A-4-2), (A-3-3), (5-A-A), (2-2-2-A), or (4-A-A-A), then the dealer must stand. The dealer does not ‘buy’ additional community cards like the players must do by making additional bets as described in steps 80 and 110 above. In alternate embodiments of the invention, the method and rules used by the dealer in deciding whether to use additional community cards may vary according to a predetermined set of house rules. Such house rules may vary depending on the preference of the gaming establishment.

Once the dealer has played out his hand, he will compare his hand with each player's hand (step 140) and bets are then resolved (step 150) according to a predetermined payout schedule. If the dealer's hand exceeds “21” at any point while playing his hand, then the dealer busts and loses to all remaining players; and all of the remaining players' bets are paid even money. In the event the dealer's hand ties with the player's hand, then it is a push.

Side Bet

In alternate embodiments of the invention, an optional side bet may be incorporated into the gaming method of the present invention. In such embodiments, when making the ante or mandatory bet to participate in the game, the player may choose to make an additional side bet before any cards are dealt to him. Such side bets may be made for the occurrence of any variety of events. For instance, the side bet may be based on the outcome of any combination of the following cards: the player's face up card, the dealer's face down card, and/or one or more of the community cards.

A player may make a side bet that their own face up card, the three community cards, and the dealer card will form a winning five-card poker hand (e.g., pair, two pairs, three of a kind, straight, flushes, four of a kind, full house, straight flush, and royal flush). In one embodiment of the present invention, a player may make a side bet that their own face up card, the three community cards, and the dealer card will form either: a royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, or a pair of 6's or better. In such embodiments that incorporate a side bet, the ante bet has no bearing on the five card Bonus side bet. If the player busts or obtains a Blackjack, he is still eligible to win on his side bet (his side bet remains in action and his card may be tucked under his side bet). In one embodiment, the payout schedule to resolve the side bets may be as follows:

TABLE 1
Pay Table A
Hand TypePays (to 1)
Royal Flush500
Straight Flush100
4 of a Kind40
Full House15
Flush8
Straight6
3 of a kind4
Two Pair3
Pair of 6s or Better1

In a further embodiment of the invention wherein a player may make a side bet that their own face up card, the three community cards, and the dealer card will form either a royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, or a pair of 6's or better, the following payout schedule may also be used:

TABLE 2
Pay Table B
Hand TypePays (to 1)
Royal Flush500
Straight Flush100
4 of a Kind40
Full House12
Flush9
Straight6
3 of a kind4
Two Pair3
Pair of 6s or Better1

It can be realized from the embodiments described herein that the present invention provides a modified Blackjack game that adds new excitement and larger rewards than traditional Blackjack games. The above-described embodiments of the present invention have many advantages. For instance, the embodiments that incorporate a side bet and utilize the payout schedules presented above may provide the player with games that are more rewarding (for both players and gaming establishments). In conventional Blackjack, a player may earn one-and-a-half times his original bet on a “blackjack,” but otherwise he is limited to winning the amount that he wagers (even by splitting or doubling down, the player must double his original bet for a chance to win only that doubled amount). In contrast, the present invention offers the possibility for a player to make side bets for an opportunity to win up to five hundred times his original side bet (see TABLES 1 and 2). Thus, the present invention offers the possibility of huge payouts for the players.

The present invention retains some of the features and advantages of Blackjack while also providing the player with more control of the cards dealt to him and the dynamics of a side wager and additional betting opportunities for enhanced player anticipation and enjoyment. A player may feel like he has more control because the present invention provides him with options. For instance, in the present invention, the player has the option of making additional bets to buy additional community cards.

The invention therefore benefits the player who desires a novel variation of Blackjack as well as the player who does not want to have to learn new rules for valuing cards and scoring hands, but desires some variety. Additionally, with the incorporation of a side bet and additional betting opportunities, the invention provides gaming establishments with the potential of generating more revenue. Nonetheless, it is advantageous to offer Blackjack players some variation in the game to maintain their long-term interest.

Additionally, various embodiments of the present invention have reasonable odds for both the player and the house. This is another advantage of the invention because, to be a viable casino game, the gaming method should provide opportunity for a reasonable return for both the house and the player.

It is to be understood, that although some advantages of the present invention are described herein, it is not necessary that all the advantageous features and/or all the advantages need to be incorporated into every embodiment of the invention.

Gaming Layout

Referring now to FIG. 3, an embodiment of a gaming layout 60 of the present invention is shown. Gaming layout 60 may be made with the common shapes of conventional casino gaming tables such as a semi-circular shape. Gaming layout 60 may also be made with materials of conventional gaming tables, such as felt, vinyl, wood, plastic, laminate, and/or marble. In alternate embodiments of the present invention, gaming layout 60 may be a video or computer representation of a conventional gaming table.

Gaming layout 60 includes a plurality of player positions 62A-G, which is adapted to distinguish each player's bets and cards from those of the other players. Although seven player positions 62A-G are depicted in FIG. 3, any suitable number of player positions may be included in a gaming layout of the present invention. The number of player positions may vary depending on the size of the gaming table and the number of players a casino wishes to accommodate in one given game. Also, it is not necessary that all player positions be utilized while the game is being played. At least one player position needs to be utilized for the game to be played.

Gaming layout 60 further includes a dealer position 64 which may include a chip tray to store gaming chips 66, a card dispensing apparatus such as a dealing shoe 61, and a discard holder 63 for discarded cards. The dealer may place the cards dealt to himself in any designated area of the gaming layout per the casino's preference. For example, the dealer may deal his face down card and place it on card position 68. Gaming layout 60 also includes a community card area 91 somewhere in the center area of the table.

Referring now to FIG. 4, which depicts an enlarged view of one of the player positions 62A-G of FIG. 3, each player position includes an ante position 72 and a side betting position 74. Ante position 72 is where the player positions his initial bet to participate in the game. Side betting position 74 is where the player places his optional side bet. Furthermore, each player position includes: a second betting position 76 and a third betting position 78. Second betting position 76 and third betting position 78 are adapted to designate use of the second community card and third second community card respectively. If the player decides to make a second bet to buy a second community card to form his hand (see step 80 of FIG. 2), he would place his second bet on second betting position 76. If the player decides to make a third bet to buy a third community card to form his hand (see step 110 of FIG. 2), he would place his third bet on third betting position 78. Although the terms “2nd Card” and “3rd Card” are used in this embodiment to designate use of the second community card and third community card respectively, any combination of words, numbers, colors, logos and/or other symbols may be used in second betting position 76 and in third betting position 78 to identify the different community cards.

Also, the amount of community cards incorporated into the game is not limited to three community cards. For instance, in other variations of the invention there may be two, four, or more community cards. Naturally, in such embodiments, the amount of additional betting positions correlate with the amount of community cards used in the game.

The player position depicted in FIG. 4 also includes card position 32. When the cards are being dealt to each player, a face up card is dealt and placed on card position 32. Of course, any combination of colors, patterns, designs, words, numbers, logos and/or other symbols may be used to designate the area to receive the player's face up card.

Referring now to FIG. 5 (which is an enlarged view of community card area 91 in FIG. 3) gaming layout 60 includes three distinct community card positions 92, 94, and 96 located substantially in the center of the gaming layout or the board. The three community card positions 92, 94, and 96 are preferably separated and are individually adapted to identify each community card distributed during the course of the game. Community card position 92 is labeled “Face Up Card” to indicate that the first community card should be placed thereon; community card position 94 is labeled “2nd Card” to indicate that the second community card should be placed thereon; and community card position 96 is labeled “3rd Card” to indicate that the third community card should be placed thereon.

In an alternate embodiment of the invention, community card position 92 may be labeled “1” to indicate that the first community card should be placed thereon; community card position 94 may be labeled “2” to indicate that the second community card should be placed thereon; and community card position 96 may be labeled “3” to indicate that the third community card should be placed thereon.

Of course, locations, and designs of the player's betting positions and/or community card positions may be adjusted as desired so long as they remain within reasonable access and view for the player and the dealer. Also, any designation (any combination of colors, patterns, designs, words, numbers, logos and/or other symbols) may be included within the betting locations and/or community card positions so long as the meaning of the designation is clear to the players and dealer. Other features may be included within the gaming layout 60 such as payout schedules/tables, rules of play, logos, trademarks, casino name, designs and/or various artistic elements.

Although the present invention has been described above in considerable detail with reference to certain versions thereof, other versions are possible. For example, the gaming method described above is not limited to being played as a table game. The gaming method may be played as a board game or by using computers or electronic devices having audio and video outputs. Thus, the term “cards” as used in this application refers to traditional cards made of paper stock having traditional game indicia, such as numbers (2-10), suits (diamonds, hearts, spades, and clubs), and characters (aces, jacks, queens, and kings). The term “cards” is also used to refer to electronic images of traditional cards. The term “dealer” may be an actual person distributing the cards. It is noted that the dealer may also be a player, and the dealer does not have to be associated with a business entity having a stake in any profits derived from operating the game. The term “dealer” may also be used to refer to a virtual dealer that is programmed through an electronic device or computer.

The invention can be readily implemented in a wide variety of additional forms and media including, but not limited to: single player slot video machines, multi-player slot video machines, electronic games and devices, lottery terminals, scratch-card formats, software, as well as in-flight, home, and Internet entertainment. Furthermore, the invention can be readily implemented in software, which can be stored on a disk (e.g., magnetic disk, compact disc (CD), USB memory stick, etc.) and used with a computer system. In one embodiment, the gaming method of the present invention may be implemented as a computer game that may be executed via disk or downloaded from the Internet and played using a computer, gaming console, or an electronic handheld device (e.g., personal digital assistants (PDA), mobile phones, etc.). Such embodiments may be played individually or may be played with other players. In another embodiment, the present invention may be played as an interactive online gambling game wherein the player may play against the dealer individually or with other players via the Internet. The dealer may be an actual person or a virtual dealer. Similarly, the other players may be actual people or they may be computer generated virtual players. In other embodiments of the invention, the gaming method may be played against a casino or wagering establishment from a remote location via the Internet.

Some steps of the gaming method described herein may be added, omitted, modified, or performed in various sequences. Additionally, some of the steps described in the various embodiments herein are for illustrative purposes, and as such, some of the steps may be modified, added, or omitted without departing form the scope of the invention. Nonetheless, the various embodiments of the invention which are described herein may be incorporated in a variety of contexts as mentioned above.

While the description above refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.





 
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