Title:
Method of playing a modified blackjack game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of playing a modified blackjack game with a dealer and at least one player includes providing a stack of playing cards having a plurality of decks, the stack including at least one wild card, taking side bets regarding the wild card before dealing any cards, dealing a hand to the player and the dealer, and playing the hand long enough to determine a winner. Playing the hand includes selecting a value for the wild card by the player that is dealt the wild card, the selected value being taken from among the values associated with any one of the playing cards. Playing the hand can also include limiting the number of hits the player can take after being dealt the wild card and/or determining that the dealer wins all pushes with the player having the wild card. Also, a player can stop receiving cards after receiving the wild card, and win immediately or win pending the outcome of the dealer's hand.



Inventors:
Weldon, Russell G. (Glastonbury, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/602013
Publication Date:
05/22/2008
Filing Date:
11/20/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PIERCE, WILLIAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
McCormick, Paulding & Huber, PLLC (Hartford, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a modified blackjack game with a dealer and at least one player, comprising the steps of: using a stack of playing cards including a plurality of decks, the stack including at least one wild card; taking at least one side bet regarding the wild card before dealing any cards; dealing a hand to the player and the dealer; and playing the hand long enough to determine a winner, playing the hand including selecting a value for the wild card by the player that is dealt the wild card, the selected value being taken from among the values associated with any one of the playing cards.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of taking at least one side bet includes taking a side bet on whether a player will receive the wild card.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the stack includes at least two wild cards and the step of taking at least one side bets includes taking a side bet on whether a player's first two cards will both be wild cards.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the stack includes at least two wild cards and the step of playing the hand further includes the dealer automatically winning against any player who made the at least one side bet, if the dealer's first two cards are both wild cards.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the step of playing the hand further includes the dealer automatically winning against all players if the dealer's first two cards are both wild cards.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of playing the hand further includes limiting the number of hits the player can take after being dealt the wild card.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the player is limited to one hit after being dealt the wild card.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of playing the hand further includes the dealer winning all pushes with the player having the wild card.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of playing the hand further includes playing any additional wild cards dealt to the same player based on the face value of the additional wild cards.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of playing the hand further includes playing any additional wild cards dealt to the same player based on an arbitrarily assigned value from zero to eleven, other than the face value of the additional wild cards.

11. A method of playing a modified blackjack game with a dealer and at least one player, comprising the steps of: using a stack of playing cards including a plurality of decks, the stack including at least one wild card; dealing a hand to the player and the dealer; and playing the hand long enough to determine a winner, playing the hand including selecting a value for the wild card by the player that is dealt the wild card, the selected value being taken from among the values associated with any one of the playing cards, and limiting the number of hits the player can take after being dealt the wild card.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the player is limited to one hit after being dealt the wild card.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein the step of playing the hand further includes playing any additional wild cards dealt to the same player based on the face value of the additional wild cards.

14. The method of claim 11, wherein the step of playing the hand further includes playing any additional wild cards dealt to the same player based on an arbitrarily assigned value from zero to eleven, other than the face value of the additional wild cards.

15. A method of playing a modified blackjack game with a dealer and at least one player, comprising the steps of: using a stack of playing cards including a plurality of decks, the stack including at least one wild card; dealing a hand to the player and the dealer; and playing the hand long enough to determine a winner, playing the hand including selecting a value for the wild card by the player that is dealt the wild card, the selected value being taken from among the values associated with any one of the playing cards, and determining that the dealer wins all pushes-with the player having the wild card.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the step of playing the hand further includes playing any additional wild cards dealt to the same player based on the face value of the additional wild cards.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein the step of playing the hand further includes playing any additional wild cards dealt to the same player based on an arbitrarily assigned value from zero to eleven, other than the face value of the additional wild cards.

18. A method of playing a modified blackjack game, comprising the steps of: determining whether the use of at least one wild card is to be permitted during the modified blackjack game; and determining at least one tradeoff if the use of the at least one wild card is permitted.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of determining whether the use of the at least one wild card is to be permitted includes allowing at least one player to choose whether the at least one wild card is to be used.

20. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of determining the at least one tradeoff includes allowing at least one player to choose the at least one tradeoff.

21. The method of claim 18, wherein the at least one tradeoff includes at least one of: limiting the number of hits that can be taken after being dealt the at least one wild card; and determining that the dealer wins all pushes with any player having the at least one wild card.

22. The method of claim 18, further including the steps of: determining whether side bets can be placed prior to dealing; and determining an additional tradeoff if side bets can be placed before dealing.

23. A method of playing a modified blackjack game with a dealer and at least one player, comprising the steps of: using a stack of playing cards including a plurality of decks, the stack including at least one wild card; dealing a hand to the player and the dealer; and playing the hand long enough to determine a winner; wherein the player is not dealt any additional cards if the player is dealt the at least one wild card, either during the initial dealing or on a hit while playing the hand.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein the player immediately wins if dealt the wild card.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein the player receives even money if the player wins with the wild card.

26. The method of claim 23, wherein the player wins if the dealt the wild card unless the dealer has a blackjack.

27. The method of claim 26, wherein the player receives better than even money if the player wins with the wild card.

28. The method of claim 23, wherein the player loses if dealt the wild card and the dealer has a blackjack.

29. The method of claim 28, wherein the player receives an approximately 150% payoff if the player wins with the wild card.

30. The method of claim 23, wherein a push is declared if the player is dealt the wild card and the dealer has a blackjack.

31. The method of claim 30, wherein the player receives a payoff higher than even money but less than 150% if the player wins with the wild card.

32. The method of claim 23, wherein the stack includes multiple wild cards and the dealer wins immediately against any players without one of the wild cards, if the dealer receives one of the wild cards.

33. The method of claim 32, wherein the dealer wins immediately against all players, if the dealer receives one of the wild cards.

34. The method of claim 32, wherein a push results with any player having one of the wild cards, if the dealer receives one of the wild cards.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to games and, more particularly, to a method of playing a modified blackjack game.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The game of “blackjack” or “twenty-one” is perhaps the most popular card game played in casinos throughout the United States. This game is typically played with a standard deck of playing cards containing fifty-two cards in four different suits, though multiple standard decks arranged together in a “shoe” are commonly employed at many casinos. The object of the game is for each player to collect a number of cards in his or her hand whereby the total point value assigned to the cards in a player's hand is as close as possible to twenty-one without going over. Numbered cards (i.e., 2-10) are assigned a numerical value equal to their face value and face cards (i.e., king, queen and jack) are assigned a numerical value of ten points each. An ace card may be assigned either a point value of one or eleven—whichever value gives a more favorable hand to the player. If the point value in a player's hand exceeds twenty-one points, the player “busts” and is eliminated from further play until a winner is declared and the next hand is dealt.

Blackjack is typically played at tables that include a location for a dealer and up to seven additional players. Each player places a wager and, along with the dealer, initially receives two cards. In traditional blackjack, each player is playing against the dealer or “house”. The dealer or house acts as the bank, paying all losses and collecting all winnings from the other players at the table. In order to win his or her wager, the cards in a player's hand must have a higher total point value than the total point value in the dealer's hand without going over twenty-one points.

During a player's turn, a player may elect to draw additional cards (i.e., take a “hit”) or play only the cards currently held in his or her hand (i.e., “stand”). A player may continue to receive additional cards in order to try to reach a point total of twenty-one without exceeding twenty-one. It is not necessary to reach twenty-one points to win a game; it is only necessary to come closer to twenty-one points than the dealer. In a common variation of blackjack, the dealer receives one of his two initial cards face down (i.e., a “hole” card). In this variation, the players know only half of the cards in the dealer's initial hand, adding an element of uncertainty to a player's decision to take a hit or stand.

The risk of losing a hand by exceeding twenty-one points (i.e., “busting”) by taking an additional card increases as the point total of the cards in the player's hand approaches twenty-one. A player increases the probability of beating the dealer's card total by selectively and strategically hitting or standing on a particular card situation. Under most house rules, the dealer must take a hit on any point total of sixteen or less and must stand on any point total of seventeen or more. Each player at the table who comes closer to a point total of twenty-one than the dealer without exceeding twenty-one wins his or her wager. Conversely, each player who “busts” or who does not achieve a higher point total than the dealer loses the hand and the corresponding wager for that hand. Even if the dealer also busts, the player still loses when the player busts.

A “blackjack” occurs when a player or the dealer receives an ace and a face card or ten. A blackjack by the dealer ends the game, causing all other players to lose their wagers, except for any players holding a blackjack. A blackjack for a player is the best possible hand for the player and beats the dealer unless the dealer also has a blackjack. A tie between the player and the dealer is called a “push,” and neither the dealer nor the player wins. Players at a blackjack table will typically play multiple successive hands and players may enter and leave the game at any time between hands.

After all of the players have taken hits or have stood on their hand, the dealer stands or hits based on preestablished rules of the game. The conventional manner of play requires the dealer to take a hit whenever the dealer's hand is a “soft 17” count. However, in other casinos, the dealer stands on a soft 17 count. The term “soft” means that the ace is valued as a count of eleven, instead of as a count of one. A soft 17 occurs when the dealer has an ace and a six (or multiple cards that add up to six). The dealer will stand on soft 18s, soft 19s and soft 20s.

A drawback with traditional forms of blackjack is that the set point values of the cards may make the game somewhat predictable so as to eventually bore players after a few hands. Moreover, there is no incentive built-into the game for playing additional hands beyond the usual reasons of winning money or recouping money lost in previous wagers.

A method for providing a modified version of blackjack that generates additional unpredictability, excitement, and revenue for both players and casinos relative to traditional forms of blackjack is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,612,580 (the '580 Patent), the contents of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety. In the '580 Patent, wild cards are used to introduce an exciting and unpredictable element into traditional forms of blackjack, while still not requiring players of the modified version to work at learning extensive new rules or strategies.

While the use of wild cards, as disclosed by the '580 Patent, has enlivened and helped expand the popularity of blackjack, further improvements, refinements and innovations are still possible.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a method of playing a modified blackjack game with a dealer and at least one player includes providing a stack of playing cards having a plurality of decks, the stack including at least one wild card, dealing a hand to the player and the dealer, and playing the hand long enough to determine a winner.

According to an aspect of the embodiment, the method also includes taking side bets regarding the wild card before dealing any cards.

According to additional aspects of the embodiment, playing the hand includes selecting a value for the wild card by the player that is dealt the wild card, the selected value being taken from among the values associated with any one of the playing cards. Playing the hand can also include limiting the number of hits the player can take after being dealt the wild card and/or determining that the dealer wins all pushes with the player having the wild card.

According to a further aspect of the embodiment, a method of playing a modified blackjack game, includes determining whether the use of at least one wild card is to be permitted during the modified blackjack game, and determining at least one tradeoff if the use of the at least one wild card is permitted.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a method of playing a modified blackjack game with a dealer and at least one player includes using a stack of playing cards including a plurality of decks, the stack including at least one wild card, dealing a hand to the player and the dealer, and playing the hand long enough to determine a winner. The player is not dealt any additional cards if the player is dealt the at least one wild card, either during the initial dealing or on a hit while playing the hand.

According to an aspect of the other embodiment, the player immediately wins if dealt the wild card.

According to another aspect of the other embodiment, the player is only declared a winner pending the outcome of the dealer's hand.

The method of playing a modified blackjack game according to these embodiments of the present invention thus adds further elements of excitement and unpredictability, thus benefiting players and casinos alike, while not requiring players to learn the rules of a completely different game or developing additional skills. These and other advantages of the present invention will become more apparent in the light of the following detailed description and accompanying figure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a flow diagram of a method of playing a modified game of blackjack in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is a flow diagram of a method of playing a modified game of blackjack in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Turning to FIG. 1, a method of playing a modified blackjack card game in accordance an embodiment of the present invention will be described with respect to a flow diagram.

The game is preferably played at a conventional blackjack table which seats the dealer and one to seven players. Typically, a betting square is printed on the table in front of each player's seat. A chip tray is located in front of the dealer. To the dealer's left is the deck or shoe for holding a stack of playing cards. To the dealer's right is a money drop slot where currency and tips in the form of betting chips are deposited.

With reference to step 10, a dealer, typically an employee at a casino, provides a stack of conventional playing cards including several decks (preferably six to eight decks) and places the decks into a deck shoe after the decks have been shuffled by the dealer and cut by one of the players. Alternately, an automatic shuffler, and more preferably, a continuous shuffler, can be used to shuffle the cards. The use of multiple decks allows the dealer to deal more hands per hour to increase casino revenue, and to reduce the player advantage gained from card counting. Continuous shufflers also reduce the advantage gained from card counting and similar techniques. Each deck preferably comprises a fifty-two card, four-suit collection. However, some cards in a deck may be removed from play, or other types of playing cards that can be ascribed point values may be substituted or added without departing from the scope of the present invention.

At least one card is selected from the stack to serve as a wild card (step 12). Preferably, the wild card is a card such as a joker, but the wild card may be selected from among other face or number cards—or may be a card made specifically for this purpose and may bear a distinctive logo/design which may include the casino's logo—without departing from the scope of the present invention. The wild card is preferably placed by the dealer into a lower portion of the stack of playing cards, preferably a lower third level of the stack. The wild card may be inserted faceup in the stack or otherwise marked to distinguish it from other identical cards from the other decks used in the stack of playing cards. Where a continuous shuffler is used, the wild card can be inserted into the continuous shuffler, rendering the time of its appearance even more random. After a hand in which the wild card is dealt, it is preferably re-inserted into the continuous shuffler so as allow for the possibility of receipt of the wild card in the next hand. Multiple wild cards can be used. For instance, multiple jokers can be included in the stack of playing cards. Alternatively, every card of a certain type could be declared wild, such as all twos or all twos of a particular suit.

Traditionally, wagers expressed in the form of gambling chips may be placed by the players in the respective betting squares. For example, the wager may be a minimum of $10.00 and a maximum of $200.00 with the payoff for blackjack or twenty-one being typically about 150% of the wager. In traditional blackjack, the overall odds of winning tend to slightly favor the house, such that the house will eventually win more than it loses even against very skilled players, assuming that no card counting, shuffle tracking, or other questionably legal practices are employed by the players. The use of a wild card, however, will tend to shift the overall odds of winning in favor of the player.

Accordingly, one or more tradeoffs can be made in exchange for the advantage of using one and/or multiple wild cards in a shoe. Thus, the players can be afforded more and varied opportunities to win a given hand, as well as additional excitement, while the house is able to maintain the overall odds in order to sustain the long-term profitability of the game. The tradeoff is pre-determined by the house and posted at the tables where wild cards are permitted, and players are not requested to choose one or more tradeoffs. Alternatively, a given player, or the players collectively at a given table, may be afforded the opportunity to select the one or more tradeoffs, or decline a tradeoff altogether and play without any wild cards.

Tradeoffs for using one and/or multiple wild cards in a shoe include even money substituted for the 150% payoff for a blackjack/twenty-one, and the house winning all pushes with any player whose hand includes one or more wild cards substituted for pushes resulting in no winner. Tradeoffs further include limiting the number of times a player can hit after receiving a wild card substituted for players being permitted to hit until meeting or exceeding twenty-one. For instance, a player can be limited to one hit after being dealt a wild card. Thus, if a player is initially dealt, in the first two cards, a wild card, then only one hit would be permitted. Similarly, if the player is not initially dealt a wild card but receives one upon hitting, then only one additional hit would be permitted.

Another possible tradeoff includes the dealer automatically winning against all hands, or against all hands other than natural blackjack hands, if the dealer is dealt the wild card. This tradeoff is preferable where few, preferably only one, wild card is in play in the deck. If the dealer does not automatically win against natural blackjacks upon receipt of the wild card, preferably such hands result in a push.

In addition to wagering on winning or losing the hand, players are afforded the opportunity to place side bets before the cards are dealt (step 14). For example, if multiple wild cards are permitted in the shoe, a player can make a side bet that the first two cards dealt to the player will both be wild cards. If the player's first two cards dealt are wild cards then the player wins the side bet. At tables where this side bet is permitted, a further variation advantageously includes further opportunities for the house to win as an additional tradeoff. For instance, if the first two cards dealt to the dealer are both wild cards then the house wins against either all players who placed the side bet, or against all players at the table.

Once the wagers have been placed by the players, two cards are dealt by the dealer to the players in a direction from left to right around the table (step 16). Cards may be dealt either face down or, more typically, face up depending on the rules of the casino. The dealer receives one card face down and one card face up. Alternatively, the dealer can receive both cards face up. The wild card is not played if received by the dealer, but rather is discarded and another card is dealt to the dealer's hand. Alternatively, the dealer can play the wild card in the same fashion as the players, as described below.

If the dealer does not play wildcards and is dealt one card face down, the dealer preferably discards the wild card immediately in the case of the face up card, and after all players are done playing for the face down card. If the house can win by being initially dealt two wild cards, it would, therefore, not be known whether the house had been dealt two wild cards until after all the players are done playing. The dealer could be permitted to immediately check the face down, or “hole,” card after it was dealt to check if it is a wild card. Alternately, the dealer could be permitted only to check his or her hand for a blackjack where the face up card is an ace, or has a value of ten (i.e., a ten or a face card). Generally, however, it is preferred that the dealer not check the hole card, as this affords shrewd players an attempt to ascertain the value of the hole card. If the dealer does not check the face down card immediately after it is dealt, some marker or other means is employed to indicate that the face up card, prior to discarding and replacement with another card, was a wild card.

If the dealer's face up card is an ace, players are offered the opportunity to purchase insurance prior to playing the game, in effect betting on the dealer having a blackjack. Also, any players holding a blackjack have the further option of immediately accepting even money for their hand, in lieu of the normally higher payoff, in effect eliminating the risk of a push (or loss, depending on the house rules) if the dealer also has a blackjack. This further option can be extended only to players with a natural blackjack, or optionally to players with either a natural or an artificial blackjack. Generally, insurance and even money for a blackjack are only offered where the dealer's face up card is an ace. However, insurance can also be offered where the dealer's face up card is a wild card, and the dealer is permitted to play the wild card.

After the dealer has received his or her initial two cards, the game is then played long enough to determine a winner (step 18). Where the dealer has no possible blackjack (i.e., the dealer's face up card is not an ace, a face card, or a playable wild card), players with blackjack are paid before play continues with any remaining players. Each player may then elect to stand and receive no additional cards, or to hit and receive one or more additional cards, subject to any applicable tradeoffs, with the objective of exceeding the point total of the dealer's hand without exceeding twenty-one points. The winner or winners are also determined, also subject to any applicable tradeoffs, such as the dealer winning all pushes against players having a wild card.

A player typically may elect to “split” two cards of the same point value into two simultaneous hands in which the original wager will go with one card and the player will have to place an equal amount of chips in the betting box near the other card. The player is now playing two simultaneous hands as though they were regular hands. Typically, however, an exception is made when splitting two aces. In this case, the player only gets one additional card for each hand. If a split ace hand totals twenty-one, the split hand is typically paid 100% of the wager—not the regular 150% of the wager. Moreover, a player may typically double the wager (i.e., “double down”) on a hand during play.

In accordance with the present invention, a player who eventually is dealt the wild card may select a point value for the wild card from among the values associated with any one of the playing cards (i.e., from one to eleven points). The selected point value is selected in order to bring the point total of the hand to twenty-one. Preferably, the value for the wild card is limited to making twenty-one points in the player's hand. In other words, the wild card cannot be used by a player to double down, or to split or re-split the player's hand. At tables where there are multiple wild cards in the shoe, typically a player who receives multiple wild cards is only permitted to select a point value for the first wild card received. Any additional wild cards are then played based on their face value, or on an arbitrarily assigned value from zero to eleven.

Referring to FIG. 2, a method of playing a modified blackjack card game in accordance with another embodiment the present invention will be described with respect to a flow diagram.

The game is preferably played at a conventional blackjack table which seats the dealer and one to seven players. Typically, a betting square is printed on the table in front of each player's seat. A chip tray is located in front of the dealer. To the dealer's left is the deck or shoe for holding a stack of playing cards. To the dealer's right is a money drop slot where currency and tips in the form of betting chips are deposited.

With reference to step 110, a dealer, typically an employee at a casino, provides a stack of conventional playing cards including several decks (preferably five to seven decks) and places the decks into a deck shoe after the decks have been shuffled by the dealer and cut by one of the players, as in step 10 of the previously described embodiment. At least one card is selected from the stack to serve as a wild card (step 112), as in step 12 of the previously described embodiment.

Traditionally, wagers expressed in the form of gambling chips may be placed by the players in the respective betting squares. For example, the wager may be a minimum of $10.00 and a maximum of $200.00 with the payoff for blackjack or twenty-one being typically about 150% of the wager. Even money is typically paid when a player wins without a blackjack. In exchange for the use of one or more wild cards, even money may be substituted for the 150% blackjack payoff.

Once the wagers have been placed by the players, two cards are dealt by the dealer to the players one at a time in a direction from left to right around the table (step 120). Cards may be dealt either face down or, more typically, face up depending on the rules of the casino. Upon receiving a wild card, a player is not dealt any further cards (step 122). Instead, any player receiving a wild card is immediately declared a winner (Step 124), and dealing continues with any remaining players.

Alternatively, players receiving a wild card will receive no further cards, but will only be declared a winner pending the outcome of the dealer's hand (step 126). The dealer receives one card face down and one card face up, or alternatively, both cards face up. The wild card is not played if received by the dealer, but rather is discarded and another card is dealt to the dealer's hand. As a variation, the dealer can immediately win against all players if the dealer receives the wild card, or against all players not also holding a wild card.

After the dealer has received both of his or her initial two cards, the game is then played long enough to determine a winner for any remaining players (step 128). Each player may then elect to stand and receive no additional cards, or to hit and receive one or more additional cards, subject to any applicable tradeoffs, with the objective of exceeding the point total of the dealer's hand without exceeding twenty-one points. If any player that was not initially dealt a wild card is dealt a wild card on a hit, that player receives no further hits (step 130). As with any players initially dealt wild cards, any players dealt wild cards on hits receive no more cards and are either immediately declared winners (step 124), or await the outcome of the dealer's hand (step 126).

Once all players have either been dealt a wild card, a blackjack, stood, or busted, the dealer turns over the hole card, if the dealer's second card was initially face down. If players are not immediately declared winners upon receipt of a wild card, either during the initial deal or on a subsequent hit, then any players with a wild card will preferably be declared winners after the hole card is turned over unless the dealer has a blackjack (step 26), or, in the variation described above, if the dealer was dealt a wild card. If the dealer has a blackjack, or was dealt a wild card, the players with a wild card will either lose their wager or a push will result, as determined by the casino. If the dealer does not have a blackjack, after any players with a wild card are declared winners, the dealer will continue to hit in play against any remaining players.

As described above, the dealer will continue to hit until reaching or exceeding a total at which the house rules require the dealer to stand, or until the dealer busts. In the variation where the dealer can win with a wild card, any players with a wild card will not be declared winners until after the dealer has stood or busted, as the dealer may still receive a wild card on a hit. If the dealer does not receive a wild card on a hit prior to standing or busting, all players with wild cards will then be declared winners. If the dealer does receive a wild card on a hit, the dealer will win against any remaining players not holding a wild card, and players with wild cards will either lose or push, as determined by the casino.

The payoff for a player winning with a wild card can be even money or some larger payoff, as determined by the casino. For instance, the casino would preferably give a larger payoff to players winning with a wild card at tables where a dealer blackjack or wild card will beat any players with wild cards. At tables where players win immediately upon receipt of a wild card, casinos would preferably give lower payoff.

From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that the method of playing modified blackjack in accordance with the present invention offers several benefits over traditional forms of blackjack. Players may tend to place more and larger wagers in anticipation of receiving the wild card. These additional and/or larger wagers will benefit the player or the casino, depending on the winner. The use of the wild card adds unpredictability and excitement to the game, due to the increased opportunities for winning presented by holding the wild card. Additionally, the unpredictability is further enhanced because traditional blackjack odds calculators available to the general public do not consider the effect of one or more wild cards.

Although unpredictability and excitement are added by the modified version of blackjack in accordance with the present invention, players are not required to learn an entirely new game that might otherwise inhibit players from initially attempting the modified version. The modified version of blackjack is not any more difficult than the traditional version, such that additional skill is not required.

The enhanced unpredictability and excitement of the modified version of blackjack will benefit casinos by drawing more patrons into the casinos. Enhancing the increased draw of patrons are the new marketing opportunities for casinos presented by the modified version, such as the ability to advertise the existence of additional opportunities to win. Further, casinos are able to reap these benefits with minimal alterations to existing gaming facilities. Signage of some type posting the modified version would be typically be employed. However, existing gaming tables and shoes could be used without modification.

Although the invention has been shown and described in a preferred embodiment, it should be understood that numerous modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention has been shown and described by way of illustration rather than limitation.