Title:
Method of playing blackjack and other games of chance
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming method and system which allows all players to be dealt a common two-card hand, representing the first two cards for each player. The individual player will independently determine the amount of his wager and will independently make decisions relating to how he will play his hand after viewing the dealer's “up card” of the dealer's first two cards and the common two cards previously dealt, representing the first two cards for all players. The system can be incorporated into an electronic table game version of blackjack with multiple video screens and/or bet selection devices. The system can also be incorporated under a blackjack tournament format. The gaming system can also be applied to the home video, home computer and arcade markets.



Inventors:
Ornstein, Marvin A. (Ocean Springs, MS, US)
Harrison, Walter (Mobile, AL, US)
Perry, Stacey J. (Biloxi, MS, US)
Application Number:
11/454506
Publication Date:
12/20/2007
Filing Date:
06/16/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/303
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COLLINS, DOLORES R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Terry B. Morris (Biloxi, MS, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a round of blackjack between a dealer and one or more players comprising the steps of: a) one or more of said players making a bet permitted by the rules of the game; b) said dealer initially dealing only one two-card hand to himself, said two card hand consisting of an up face card shown to said dealer and player(s) and a down face hole card shown only to said dealer, and dealing only one common two-card hand, said common two cards being face up and shown to dealer and player(s), the point value of said common two-card hand being used by all of said one or more player(s) at the table as all or part of the point value of their respective individual play hand; c) subsequently each of said one or more players in turn individually declining to receive an additional card for their individual hand and thereby not drawing any additional cards for the round or electing to receive in said player's individual hand an additional card, thereby establishing a current point value of his hand for play, wherein the point values of the common two card hand and the requested additional card, if any, of an individual player's hand are totaled to determine said point value of said player's hand and, if the point value of said player's hand exceeds 21, said player is eliminated from play; d) subsequently each of said player not eliminated nor refusing an additional card in step (c) continuing to play by repeating step (c) to decide whether to accept an additional card or not to establish a new point value for said player's hand by totaling the point value of the common hand and all received additional card(s), until the point value of said player's hand exceeds 21 or the player declines to receive another card; e) after all players either being eliminated or refusing additional cards in steps (c) and (d), said dealer then turning over his hole card and taking one or more additional card(s), if any, to establish the point value of said dealer's hand, if the rules of the game permit additional card(s) to be drawn; and f) after the point values of said dealer's and remaining player(s)'s hands are established, said dealer then determining which player hand(s), if any, are entitled to win, rewarding the player holding said hand(s) in accord with the rules of the games, and returning or removing the bets of any player whose point values does not entitled said player to a reward in accord to the rules of the game.

2. The method of claim 1 further comprising said player(s) having a playing decision to Stand, Hit, Surrender, Double and/or Split.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein said player(s) indicate their playing decision by placing one or more lammer(s) in a location relative to said player's position in a manner indicative of said playing decision.

4. The method of claim 1 further comprising the step prior to step (a) of one or more of said players making a bet on the play of the game of a denomination permitted by the rules of the game within a conventional bet receiving region.

5. A method of playing a round of blackjack comprising the steps of: (a) one or more of said players making a bet permitted by the rules of the game; (b) said dealer initially dealing only one two-card hand to himself, said two card hand consisting of an up face card shown to said dealer and player(s) and a down face hole card shown only to said dealer, and dealing only one initial common hand, said initial common hand being two cards face up and shown to dealer and player(s), the point value of said initial common two-card hand being used by all of said one or more player(s) at the table as the then current point value of their respective individual play hand; (c) subsequently each of said one or more players in turn individually deciding to stand on the then current point value of the initial common cards and accepting the then current point value of the then common hand as the point value of play for the round for that individual player, or electing to be a continuing player and allow an additional common card to be dealt to the then common hand to establishing a new common hand, wherein the point values of the common two card hand and the dealt additional common card(s), if any, are totaled to determine said point value of said continuing player's hand and, if the point value of said player's hand exceeds 21, said player is eliminated from play; (d) subsequently each of said continuing player not eliminated in step (c) continuing to play by repeating step (c) until all players have been eliminated or have decided to stand on the respective point value of play for the round for that individual player; (e) then said dealer turning over his hole card and taking one or more additional card(s), if any, to establish the point value of said dealer's hand, if the rules of the game permit additional card(s) to be drawn; and (f) after the point values of said dealer's and remaining player(s)'s hands are established, said dealer then determining which player hand(s), if any, are entitled to win, rewarding each player holding such said winning hand(s) in accordance with the rules of the games, and returning or removing the bets of any player whose point values does not entitled said player to a reward in accordance to the rules of the game.

6. The method of claim 5 further comprising said player(s) having a playing decision to Stand, Hit, Surrender, Double and/or Split.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein said player(s) indicate their playing decision by placing one or more lammer(s) in a location relative to said player's position in a manner indicative of said playing decision.

8. The method of claim 5 further comprising the step prior to step (a) of one or more of said players making a bet on the play of the game of a denomination permitted by the rules of the game within a conventional bet receiving region.

Description:
There are no related applications to this one to cross-reference.

No federally sponsored research or development is involved in this invention.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to games of chance, such as found in casinos, both virtual (internet/home gaming) and tangible, and, more particularly, to a gaming system which can be used to play blackjack at gaming tables or on a video gaming platform. This gaming system can also be applied to the arcade market and to tournament blackjack.

DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART

In those areas of the United States and the rest of the world where gambling exists, there is a need for new or improved games of chance to attract gamblers to casinos both virtual and tangible. It is desirable that any new system, while talking advantage of the familiarity of an existing game, create more excitement and added interest to the original method of play. It is also desirable that an improved method of play be created to deter card counters by removing the mathematical advantage that card counters exercise during standard blackjack play, thereby creating a more profitability method of play for casino use.

Historically, many casinos have eliminated the advantageous rules from blackjack in order to offset the financial damage resulting from advantage players taking advantage of existing rules and methods of play to beat blackjack as it exists previously. Examples of advantageous rules known in traditional blackjack are: the dealer must stands on soft 17 (ace and six), and/or there is no limit on number of aces a player is allowed to split and/or a player is allowed to surrender his hand and receive back 50% of his bet.

While both poker and blackjack tournaments have become popular television entertainment, existing blackjack and poker tournaments will never attain the competitive heights similar to golf, bowling and other competitive tournaments wherein winners are largely determined by skill rather than luck. What is needed is a method of play in blackjack tournament play to convert blackjack tournament play from an entertainment feature to a respected, competitive sport.

What is also needed is a method of play wherein the rules of blackjack are not significantly altered, but the ratio of the number of cards dealt to rounds played is altered significantly enough to discourage card counters thereby increasing cash flow at the gaming table or virtual apparatus (internet/video platform).

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a new and innovative technique that can be used to increase the attraction of blackjack for both the casino and the player. The invention is to alter the method of play to include a common two-card opening hand. This hand will be used by all players at the table. Prior to the start of each round, players will determine the amount of their individual wagers. After the common cards have been dealt, players will individually decide whether or not to be dealt additional cards to supplement the common hand. Players will independently make decisions about how to play out their hand (i.e. hit, stand, double, insure or surrender).

One object of the present invention is to provide a method and system that allows the blackjack dealer to deal more blackjack rounds per hour. This enables increasing casino profits, thereby allowing the casino to return a proportionate share of its increased profits by restoring the aforementioned “better rules” to the player, as described herein. The game proceeds faster because all players will receive a common first two cards rather than all players individually receiving their first two cards individually. The dealer will initially deal only four cards to cover the entire table's initial two cards—two to the dealer and a common two-card hand for all players other than the dealer. Each player will independently determine whether or not he wants additional cards for himself beyond the initial two cards and common hand previously dealt.

Another object of the present invention is to deter advantage players by dealing approximately nine cards per round to seven players (full table) and to the dealer himself as compared to dealing twenty-one to twenty-two cards in a conventional blackjack game (seven players and one dealer times 2.7 cards per position=21.6 cards). The elimination of approximately 60% of cards dealt per round would discourage advantage players, because the limited number of cards dealt per round would not allow the card counters to obtain a favorable count fast enough to rationalize playing blackjack under World Blackjack Classic's method of play or otherwise. Once again, the removal of advantage players will enable casinos to restore more beneficial rules to the other players, rules that were previously tightened because of lower blackjack yields resulting from an increased number of advantage players attacking the game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a view of an embodiment of the system of the present invention in which the game of chance is blackjack played at a multiple player blackjack table.

FIG. 2 is a view of another embodiment of the system in which the game of chance is blackjack played at the multiple player blackjack table.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS THEREOF

An embodiment of the present invention is a method of playing a round of blackjack between a dealer and one or more players in which the players share the point value of a common hand. This method has the step of one or more of said players making a bet permitted by the rules of the game. Then the dealer initially deals only one two-card hand to himself and only one common two-card hand to players. The dealer's two card hand consists of an up face card shown to the dealer and player(s) and a down face hole card shown only to the dealer. The player(s)' common two cards are face up and shown to dealer and player(s). The blackjack point value of the common two-card hand is used by all of the one or more player(s) at the table as all or part of the point value of their respective individual play hand. In the case of a card having multiple value choices, the individual players retain the right to chose the applicable point value of that card for their individual hand point accumulation. Subsequently each of the one or more players in turn individually declining to receive an additional card for their individual hand and thereby not drawing any additional cards for the round or electing to receive in the player's individual hand, and not th common hand, an additional card, thereby establishing a current point value of his hand for play. The point values of the common two card hand and the requested additional card, if any, of an individual player's hand are totaled to determine the then current point value of said player's hand. As in standard blackjack play, if the point value of said player's hand exceeds 21, the player “busts”, that is, the player is eliminated from further play in the round. The player's cards and bet can be removed at that time by the dealer or such action delayed until later, in accordance with the chosen rules.

Subsequently each of the player(s) not eliminated nor refusing an additional card (“standing pat”) in the previous step continues to play by repeating the decision whether to accept an additional card or not to establish a new point value for the player's hand, again totaling the point value of the common hand and all received additional card(s). This play continues until the point value of the individual player's hand (common and dealt cards) exceeds 21 or the player declines to receive another card.

After all players have been either eliminated or are refusing additional cards, the dealer then turns over his hole card and takes one or more additional card(s), if any, to establish the point value of said dealer's hand. The dealer taking additional cards are if the rules of the game permit additional card(s) to be drawn by the dealer. After the point values of the dealer's and remaining player(s)'s hands are established, the dealer then determines which player hand(s), if any, are entitled to win, rewarding the player holding such hand(s) in accordance with the rules of the games, and returning or removing the bets of any player whose point values does not entitled such player to a reward in accordance to the rules of the game.

In yet another preferred method, a common hand only is used for the players to make their decisions. The method permits the player to stand on the point value before possibly all common cards have been dealt for the round. This method of playing a round of blackjack has an initial step of one or more of said players making a bet permitted by the rules of the game. Then dealer initially deals only one two-card hand to himself, which two card hand consists of an up face card shown to both dealer and player(s) and a down face hole card shown only to the dealer. The dealer also deals only one initial common hand for the players, such initial common hand being two cards face up and shown to dealer and player(s). The point value of said initial common two-card hand is used by all of the one or more player(s) at the table as the then current point value of their respective individual play hand. Subsequently each of the one or more players in turn individually decide to stand (“stand pat”) on the then current point value of the initial common cards and accepting the then current point value of the then common hand as the point value of play for the round for that individual player. Otherwise, the player elects to be a continuing player and allow an additional common card to be dealt to the then common hand to establishing a new common hand, wherein the point values of the common two card hand and the dealt additional common card(s), if any, are totaled to determine said point value of the continuing player's hand. The point value of the player(s) who elected to stand pat remain as before the deal of the additional common card and is not subsequently change to the new point value. If the point value of a player's hand exceeds 21, then the player is eliminated from play, e.g. “busts”. Subsequently each of the continuing player not eliminated in play continue to make the decision to stand pat on their then current point value of the common cards or continues to play by repeating the choice to build the point value of their individual hands by accepting the additional common card. As before, accepting the new point value of the common hand can lead the player's hand to a bust. Play continues until all players have been eliminated or have decided to stand on the respective point value of play for the round for that individual player; Then the dealer turns over his hole card and takes one or more additional card(s), if any, to establish the point value of the dealer's hand, if the rules of the game permit additional card(s) to be drawn. The dealer is also subject to busting. After the point values of the dealer's and remaining player(s)'s hands are established, the dealer then determining which player hand(s), if any, are entitled to win, rewarding each player holding such winning hand(s) in accordance with the rules of the games, and returning or removing the bets of any player whose point values does not entitled said player to a reward in accordance to the rules of the game.

While the rules of the play for the aforesaid embodiments may permit various decisions by the players, preferred decisions are the known decisions of blackjack, that is, the decision to Stand, Hit, Surrender, Double and/or Split. Also preferred are optional methods to assist the dealer and/or players in tracking their play decisions, such as the player(s) indicating their playing decision by placing one or more lammer(s) in a location relative to said player's position in a manner indicative of said playing decision. Additional preferred methods are permitting the players to make a bet on the play of the game of a denomination permitted by the rules of the game within a conventional bet receiving region proximate or upon to the playing surface.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is depicted an apparatus for playing an embodiment of the present invention. The rules of the game played on this apparatus use the same point values for the playing cards as conventional blackjack and also permit the same playing decisions, such as to Stand, Hit, Surrender, Double or Split. In accordance with the present invention the play of the game is distinguished from the conventional blackjack game in that play uses common cards. Accordingly, there is depicted a blackjack table 11 having multiple playing seating areas adjacent to the curved table edge 12 and aligned respectively to the respective multiple betting areas 15, allowing more than one player to participate at a single table. The game is run by a dealer who stands adjacent to the table proximate to dealer area 13. The dealer area 13 and multiple betting areas 15 are distinguished from the other by a divider 14 to eliminate or reduce the risk of accidental mixing of the dealer cards and player cards. A respective betting area 15 is provided for each player to receive from the player one or more chips representing a blackjack bet. The dealer's initial two cards and the dealer's additional cards, if allowed by the rules of the game, are dealt into area 19. The common two-card hand, representing the first two cards for all players, is dealt into the center of the table, with one card being dealt into the rectangle 16 having the number “1” marked therein and the second card being dealt into the rectangle 17 having the number “2” marked therein. Any additional card(s) dealt to each individual player is dealt into that player's respective area 18.

Accordingly, once all players have placed their respective bets within their respective betting area 15, the dealer will deal two cards faced up, representing all non-dealer players' first two cards (common hand), respectively into rectangles 16 and 17. In addition, the dealer will deal one face-up card and one face-down card into area 19 directly in front of the dealer, representing the dealer's first two cards. The manner of dealing the two cards hands can vary, such as dealing both cards for one hand first and then the other hand, or by dealing one card to each hand first before dealing the second, as the game rules permit. The individual players then make their respective play decisions, each player building the point value of their respective hand using the point values of the common cards in rectangles 16 and 17 as the first two cards of their hand and the point value of any card supplementing their hand with any additionally drawn card received in their respective area 18. In a preferred embodiment, the individual player will make his playing decision in the conventional blackjack manner, beginning with the player seated at the far right facing the dealer and proceeding to the left. Once the individual player has signaled the dealer that he has finished drawing cards, the cards will remain directly in front of the player unless the player's card total point value has exceeded 21, at which time the dealer will declare a bust for that player and place the cards in the discard tray. Play continues with each player in turn until all players hands are established. Then the dealer completes the round by drawing a total of cards for himself totaling in points from 17 to 21 or exceeding 21. After the dealer's hand is completed, the dealer will remove the chips from all losing hands and pay all winning hands as per the rules of blackjack.

In other embodiments, the luck factor in blackjack tournaments can be reduced by changing the blackjack format to provide one common hand to represent all players' cards, which common cards will continue to be dealt into an area located in the center of the table. The individual player will continue to make his playing decisions independently in the conventional blackjack manner, such as by beginning with the player seated at the far right facing the dealer and proceeding to the left. However, each player who elects to receive a card will receive the same card as all the other players who have signaled for a card.

For example, an illustration of this play is that of a round of play between a dealer and five players, respectively players A, B, C, D and E. The dealer deals the common two card hand for the players and a face up, face down two card hand for himself. The players are asked in turn to indicate whether they individually stand on the point value of the initial common hand or whether they individually desire to take an additional common card to build the point value of the common hand. Player A decides to stand on the current point value of the two card common hand and his hand is assigned that point value for play in the round. Players B, C, D and E elect to take another common card to build the point value for the common hand they are playing with. An additional common card is dealt and the new point value of the now three card common hand is disclosed. Again, the actively drawing players B, C, D and E are asked in turn to indicate whether they individually stand on the point value of the three card common hand or whether they individually desire to take an additional common card to build the point value of the common hand. Players C and E elected to stand on the point value of the current three card common hand and each of their respective hands is assigned the current point value of the three card common hand for play in the round. Players B and D elect to take another common card to build the point value for the common hand they are playing with. A fourth card is dealt to the common hand and the point value total for the now four card common hand is over 21. A “bust” for the common hand is declared by the dealer at this occurrence and Players B and D are eliminated from play for the round. Dealer then plays, turning over his down card and by taking one or more additional card(s) if permitted by the rules until the point value for dealer's hand is established. Then the respect point value of the dealer hand, the two card common hand point value for Player A and the three card common hand point value for Players B and D are compared for determination of play outcome in accordance with the point value rules of blackjack.

Referring to FIG. 2, there is depicted an apparatus for playing an embodiment of the present invention. Accordingly, there is depicted a blackjack table 21 having multiple playing seating areas adjacent to the curved table edge 22 and aligned respectively to the respective multiple betting areas 25, allowing more than one player to participate at a single table. The game is run by a dealer who stands adjacent to the table proximate to dealer area 23. The dealer area 23 and multiple betting areas 25 are distinguished from the other by a divider 24 to eliminate or reduce the risk of accidental mixing of the dealer cards and player cards. A respective betting area 25 is provided for each player to receive from the player one or more chips representing a blackjack bet. The dealer's initial two cards and the dealer's additional cards, if allowed by the rules of the game, are dealt into area 26. The common two-card hand, representing the first two cards for all players, is dealt into the center of the table, with one card being dealt into the circle 27 and the second card being dealt into the circle 28. Any additional card(s) which might be dealt during play to the common hand is dealt sequentially into circles 29 through 34, it being understood that play may cease before all circles are utilized for receiving additional common cards for the round. A respective set of play circles, circles 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39, depicted here only for one player, is proximate to each player's betting area 25. During play each player will place sequentially in his respective play circles a lammer (not depicted) appropriately marked to indicate a play decision, such as Stand, Hit, Surrender, Double or Split, as such decisions are made in conventional games of blackjack.

For instance, in a preferred embodiment, circles 29 and 35 are each marked with a “1”, circles 30 and 36 are each marked with a “2”, circles 31 and 37 are each marked with a “3”, circles 32 and 38 are each marked with a “4”, and circles 33 and 39 are each marked with a “5”. After the two card common hand is dealt, each player provides to his respective circle 35 a lammer indicating his first play decision, Those players placing a stand, surrender, or double lammer in front of his playing position will have no further playing decision to make and the two card common hand is their respective play hand for the round. For the other active players, a third common card is dealt into circle 29 and the point value of the three common cards, in circles 27-29, are used to establish the current point value of the active players. Play continues using respective lammers in circles 35-39 and additional cards in circles 29-34 to track the play of the round until all players either are playing a stand or are eliminated by deciding to accept an additional common card which provides a bust value for the then common hand being played by such player.

In yet another embodiment, the table provides one or more additional rows of circles equivalent to circles 35-39 to enable a player to engage in multiple plays at a time. A preferred embodiment is to enable further the player to make a side bet on the outcome of the multiple plays engaged in by the player. For instance, a player could make a side bet that he would win both plays being made on two rows of circles; or that he would split, winning one but losing the other; or that he would lose both. Consideration of ties as wins, loses or pushes is also an option. One method of providing the side bet is to provide a side bet lammer and area in which to place the lammer by which to indicate the bet. The side bet can have an option of being placed with the initial bet or after the first two common cards and/or dealer's first two card are dealt or after the common card play is finished, but before the turn of the dealer's down card.

In another preferred embodiment, additional lammers will be placed on top of the previous lammer in order to clearly signify the player's latest decision on his relevant hand.

The present invention can be used in blackjack tournaments in order to significantly remove the luck factor and significantly increase the skill factor by using the common hand approach combined with highly skilled individual decisions following the common hand. Betting skills and skills relating to playing decisions will largely determine tournament winners for the first time. While it is recognized that results will continue to be affected by the final cards dealt to the dealer, a significant portion of the luck factor has been eliminated by use of the common hand in combination with individual decisions following the common hand.