Title:
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR PLAYING A CARD GAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system and method for playing a card game includes dealing first and second hands. The first hand of cards is dealt all face up from at least one deck of cards. The second hand of cards is also dealt all face up from the at least one deck of cards. Each of the cards of the second hand corresponds to a card of the first hand forming a plurality of corresponding pairs of cards. The system and method can provide a player with at least one strategy for selection. The at least one strategy for selection can include a winning hand selection, a pair selection, a two-pair selection, a straight draw selection, a flush draw selection, a straight flush draw selection, a royal flush draw selection, a best choice selection, a prospect choice selection, and/or a player choice selection. The system and method can also automatically select in accordance with the selected strategy from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card for duplicating to a respective position of at least one sub-hand.



Inventors:
Falciglia, Sal (Ridgewood, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/871511
Publication Date:
08/14/2008
Filing Date:
10/12/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
HALL, ARTHUR O
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CARTER, DELUCA & FARRELL LLP (MELVILLE, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a card game comprising: dealing a first hand of cards all face up from at least one deck of cards; dealing a second hand of cards all face up from the at least one deck of cards, each of the cards of the second hand corresponding to a card of the first hand forming a plurality of corresponding pairs of cards; providing a player with at least one strategy for selection; and automatically selecting in accordance with a player-selected strategy from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card for duplicating to a respective position of at least one sub-hand.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the method further comprises the step of: enabling the player to manually select from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card for duplicating to the respective position of the at least one sub-hand.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one deck of cards includes at least fifty-two cards.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one deck of cards includes a corresponding deck of cards for each sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand, wherein each of the corresponding deck of cards does not include the face values of the dealt cards of the first and second hands.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the method further comprises the step of: completing a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand, if necessary, such that the sub-hand has an equal number of cards as a number of cards dealt to the first hand, by dealing additional cards from the corresponding deck of cards to the sub-hand face up.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one deck of cards includes first and second decks, wherein the step of dealing the first hand of cards all face up from the at least one deck of cards is dealt from the first deck and the step of dealing the second hand of cards all face up from the at least one deck of cards is dealt from the second deck.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the method further comprises the step of: placing at least one wager corresponding to at least one of a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand, the first hand, and the second hand.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein a minimum wager of the at least one wager is one credit.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one strategy for selection is selected from the group consisting of a winning hand selection, a pair selection, a two-pair selection, a straight draw selection, a flush draw selection, a straight flush draw selection, a royal flush draw selection, a best choice selection, a prospect choice selection, and a player choice selection.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the step of automatically selecting in accordance with the selected strategy from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card for duplicating to a respective position of at least one sub-hand, comprises: automatically selecting from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card such that the probability is maximized that a royal flush is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the royal flush draw selection is selected; automatically selecting from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card such that the probability is maximized that a straight flush is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the straight flush draw selection is selected; automatically selecting from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card such that the probability is maximized that a flush is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the flush draw selection is selected; automatically selecting from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card such that the probability is maximized that a straight is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the straight draw selection is selected; automatically selecting from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card such that a two-pair is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the two-pair selection is selected; automatically selecting from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card such that a pair is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the pair selection is selected; automatically selecting from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card such that the probability is maximized that at least one payout occurs in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the best choice selection is selected; automatically selecting from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card such that the probability is maximized that a maximum possible payout occurs in the at least one sub-hand when the prospect choice selection is selected; and automatically selecting from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card such that a winning hand occurs in each sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the winning hand selection is selected.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the method is implemented by an operative set of processor executable instructions configured for execution by at least one processor.

12. A system for playing a card game at least partially implemented by an operative set of processor executable instructions configured for execution by at least one processor, comprising: a strategy selection module configured to provide a player with at least one strategy for selection; a player interface module configured to graphically display a virtual card game, wherein the player interface module is further configured to communicate the selected strategy with the strategy selection module, wherein the virtual card game comprises: dealing a first hand of cards all face up from at least one deck of cards; dealing a second hand of cards all face up from the at least one deck of cards, each of the cards of the second hand corresponding to a card of the first hand forming a plurality of corresponding pairs of cards; and providing the player with the at least one strategy for selection, wherein a player-selected strategy is communicated to the strategy selection module; and an automatic selection module configured for automatically selecting in accordance with the player-selected strategy from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card for duplicating to a respective position of at least one sub-hand.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein the virtual card game further comprises: enabling the player to manually select from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card for duplicating to the respective position of the at least one sub-hand.

14. The system of claim 12, wherein the player interface module is a touch screen.

15. The system of claim 14, wherein each of the at least one strategy is displayed on the touch screen as a corresponding button.

16. The system of claim 12, wherein the at least one deck of cards includes a corresponding deck of cards for each sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand, wherein each of the corresponding deck of cards does not include the face values of the dealt cards of the first and second hands.

17. The system of claim 12, wherein the virtual card game further comprises: completing a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand, if necessary, such that the sub-hand has an equal number of cards as a number of cards dealt to the first hand, by dealing additional cards from the corresponding deck of cards to the sub-hand face up.

18. The system of claim 12, wherein the at least one deck of cards includes first and second decks, wherein the step of dealing the first hand of cards all face up from the at least one deck of cards is dealt from the first deck and the step of dealing the second hand of cards all face up from the at least one deck of cards is dealt from the second deck.

19. The system of claim 12, wherein the at least one strategy for selection is selected from the group consisting of a winning hand selection, a pair selection, a two-pair selection, a straight draw selection, a flush draw selection, a straight flush draw selection, a royal flush draw selection, a best choice selection, a prospect choice selection, and a player choice selection.

20. A system for playing a card game comprising: means for dealing a first hand of cards all face up from at least one deck of cards; means for dealing a second hand of cards all face up from the at least one deck of cards, each of the cards of the second hand corresponding to a card of the first hand forming a plurality of corresponding pairs of cards; means for providing a player with at least one strategy for selection; and means for automatically selecting in accordance with a player-selected strategy from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card for duplicating to a respective position of at least one sub-hand.

21. A computer-readable medium storing a set of processor-executable instructions for performing a method comprising: dealing a first hand of cards all face up from at least one deck of cards; dealing a second hand of cards all face up from the at least one deck of cards, each of the cards of the second hand corresponding to a card of the first hand forming a plurality of corresponding pairs of cards; providing a player with at least one strategy for selection; and automatically selecting in accordance with a player-selected strategy from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card for duplicating to a respective position of at least one sub-hand.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM TO PROVISIONAL APPLICATIONS

This patent application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/901,062 filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Feb. 13, 2007 entitled “Two Hand Poker,” and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/934,091 filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Jun. 11, 2007 entitled “Two Hand Poker.”

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

The present disclosure relates to card games, and, in particular, to a system and method for playing a card game.

2. Description of Related Art

With the rise of the internet and the advent of internet-based gaming, the demand for entertaining card games has increased dramatically. Not only has the demand for playing “virtual” card games increased, but also for playing “real” card games as well. Almost any card game that can be played as a “real” card game (i.e. a card game played with paper cards) can also be played as a “virtual” card game (i.e. a card game played using an electronic device). These virtual card games may be computer based card games, touch-screen based casino games, games played inside a web-browser, windowed applications, mechanical based card games, or the like.

The gaming industry and gambling casinos have adapted to this new technological landscape by offering similar games (and/or identical games) that can be played using one or more of the previously mentioned devices. For example, it is common to offer a web-based game using credits and/or virtual dollars over the internet so that a player can become familiar with the game before playing at a gambling establishment such as a casino. This gives the player an opportunity to become familiar with the rules of the various games, learn which games are more entertaining, develop various strategies, and otherwise facilitate the player prior to a trip to a casino. Additionally, for gaming companies and gambling casinos to remain competitive and sustain long term success they must be constantly innovative by introducing new games, new gambling concepts, and/or improve the entertainment value of their gaming products.

One game that has enjoyed long-term success because of its widespread adoption by amateurs, professional gamblers, casinos, and its entertainment value is poker. Poker and its many variants have been played for at least one hundred years (perhaps much longer) and has enjoyed dramatic market penetration into popular culture because of the game's exposure in television programs and the rise of internet gaming.

Poker uses one or more decks of cards each usually having fifty-two cards. The backside of each card is identical to the backside of the other cards. The deck of cards mostly commonly used today is referred to as the French deck or sometimes the Anglo-American playing cards, and includes thirteen ranks of each of the four French suits of spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. Each suit includes an ace, depicting a single symbol of its suit; a king, queen, and jack, each depicted with a symbol of its suit; and ranks two through ten, with each card depicting the number of its suit. The face value of the card includes the suite and the respective number or symbol, e.g., an ace of spades is one face value of one card that is typically found in a fifty-two card deck. Two (sometimes one or four) jokers, often distinguishable with one being more colorful than the other, are included in commercial decks but most games require one or both to be removed before play. Modernly, poker games and related variants are more frequently played as virtual card games on machines in casinos and these variants are more commonly referred to as video poker.

Table and video poker (and other casino poker games) are well known and enjoy substantial success. With reference to electronic video poker games, in a typical game a player makes a selected wager and initiates the play of the game. The processor of the video poker game represents the cards of one or more decks in memory usually using some type of data structure. At least one hand of five cards is dealt and these five cards are displayed face up for the player to see the face value. In some video poker variants, the player can discard some or all of the cards whereupon the processor replaces the discarded cards to form a final holding or hand. If the hand corresponds to a pre-determined schedule or table of poker holdings, e.g., a pair of jacks or better, four-of a-kind, flush, the player is awarded a payoff. In other variants, a player can choose from one or more of the dealt cards and duplicate them in at least one sub-hand. The processor then completes the no card positions of the sub-hands and the same or another pre-determined schedule determines if the player receives a payout (or another payout depending on the variant). Several video poker variants similar to the one described above is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,585,587, Falciglia, Sr., which is incorporated herein by reference.

Several other attempts have been made to enhance the play of poker over the years. There are video poker variations, such as deuces wild, where the deuces of the deck of cards are wild, Joker's wild where an additional Joker is included in the deck which is wild as well as Joker/deuces wild games. Further variations have been made over the years. Examples of such attempts are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,882,260, Marks et al., which is incorporated herein by reference. Marks et al. provides a number of examples of U.S. patent references:

U.S. Pat. No. 4,743,022, Wood, second chance poker method; U.S. Pat. No. 4,948,134, Suttle et al., electronic five card poker game where cards are given to the players one at a time; U.S. Pat. No. 5,013,049, Tomaszewski, five card poker game where up to two cards are drawn; U.S. Pat. No. 5,118,109, Gumina, instant poker game card; U.S. Pat. No. 5,255,915, Miller, six card, two hand video poker game; U.S. Pat. No. 5,294,128, Marauez, six cards, three hand poker game; U.S. Pat. No. 5,382,025, Sklansky et al., three hands, two card poker game where each player chooses one hand and five communal cards are dealt face up; U.S. Pat. No. 5,407,199, Gumina, interactive video/casino poker game-drawpoker, hold'em poker; U.S. Pat. No. 5,415,404, Joshi et al., multiplay video poker game in which the player's sub-hands are compensated to increase the payoff level of the winning hands; and U.S. Pat. No. 5,431,407, Hofberg et al., casino poker game.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,437,451 to Fulton involves a modified poker game where the player is dealt pairs of cards, where one card is optional and the other mandatory. The player is permitted to exchange at each round the optional card until five cards are selected. The resulting five-card hand is then evaluated for payoff against a fairly standard payoff table.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,314,194 to Wolf deals the player seven cards. The player then forms two hands: a five card hand (e.g., a front hand), and a two card hand (e.g., a back hand). The rules for playing this game are quite elaborate, including requiring each player to arrange the hand so that the rank of the back hand is greater than the rank of the front hand.

Each of the prior art attempts at making poker interesting and challenging have been successful to varying degrees. Each provides a poker game that attempts to combine the attributes of skill, luck, excitement, and simplicity with rapid play.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure relates to card games, and, in particular, to a system and method for playing a card game.

In one aspect of the present disclosure, a method of playing a card game includes dealing first and second hands, and providing a player with at least one strategy for selection. The method may be implemented by an operative set of processor executable instructions configured for execution by at least one processor.

The first hand of cards is dealt all face up from at least one deck of cards and the second hand of cards is also dealt all face up from the at least one deck of cards. Each of the cards of the second hand corresponds to a card of the first hand forming a plurality of corresponding pairs of cards. The at least one strategy for selection that is provided may include one or more of a winning hand selection, a pair selection, a two-pair selection, a straight draw selection, a flush draw selection, a straight flush draw selection, a royal flush draw selection, a best choice selection, a prospect choice selection, and/or a player choice selection. The method further includes automatically selecting in accordance with a player-selected strategy from each of the corresponding pairs of cards of the plurality of corresponding pairs of cards one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, and no card for duplicating to a respective position of at least one sub-hand.

In another aspect of the present disclosure, the method further includes enabling the player to manually select from each of the corresponding pairs of card one of the corresponding card of the first hand, the corresponding card of the second hand, or no card. The selected card is manually selected using, e.g., buttons displayed by a touch screen display, for duplicating to a respective position of one or more sub-hands of the at least one sub-hand. The at least one deck of cards may include at least fifty-two cards. Additionally or alternatively, the at least one deck of cards may include a corresponding deck of cards for each sub-hand such that each of the corresponding decks of cards does not include the face values of the dealt cards of the first and second hands.

Additionally or alternatively, the at least one deck of cards includes a first deck and a second deck; and the step of dealing the first hand of cards all face up from the at least one deck of cards is dealt from the first deck and the step of dealing the second hand of cards all face up from the at least one deck of cards is dealt from the second deck.

In yet another aspect of the present disclosure, the method includes completing a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand, if necessary, such that the sub-hand has an equal number of cards as the number of cards dealt to the first hand, by dealing additional cards from the corresponding deck of cards to the sub-hand face up. The method may include placing at least one wager corresponding to the first hand, the second hand, and/or a sub-hand. The minimum wager of the at least one wager may be one credit. Also, the maximum wager of the at least one wager may be any number of credits, e.g., five credits.

In another aspect of the present disclosure, the step of automatically selecting in accordance with a player-selected strategy from each of the corresponding pairs of cards may include other steps. One such included step is automatically selecting a card or no card such that the probability is maximized that a royal flush is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the royal flush draw selection is selected. Another such included step is automatically selecting one card or no card such that the probability is maximized that a straight flush is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the straight flush draw selection is selected. Another such included step is automatically selecting one card or no card such that the probability is maximized that a flush is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the flush draw selection is selected. Another such included step is automatically selecting one card or no card such that the probability is maximized that a straight is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the straight draw selection is selected. Another such included step is automatically selecting one card or no card such that a two-pair is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the two-pair selection is selected.

Another such included step is automatically selecting one card or no card such that a pair is formed in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the pair selection is selected. Another such included step is automatically selecting one card or no card such that the probability is maximized that at least one payout occurs in a sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the best choice selection is selected. Yet another such included step is automatically selecting one card or no card such that the probability is maximized that a maximum possible payout occurs in the at least one sub-hand when the prospect choice selection is selected. And yet another such included step is automatically selecting one card or no card such that a winning hand occurs in each sub-hand of the at least one sub-hand when the winning hand selection is selected.

In another aspect of the present disclosure, a system for playing a card game that is at least partially implemented by an operative set of processor executable instructions configured for execution by at least one processor includes a player interface module, a strategy selection module, and an automatic selection module. The player interface module can graphically display a virtual card game such as one embodiment of the method for playing a card game disclosed herein. Additionally or alternatively, the player interface module may have mechanical aspects, e.g., mechanical buttons. The strategy selection module can provide a player with at least one strategy for selection. The provided strategy for selection may include one or more of a winning hand selection, a pair selection, a two-pair selection, a straight draw selection, a flush draw selection, a straight flush draw selection, a royal flush draw selection, a best choice selection, a prospect choice selection, and a player choice selection.

The automatic selection module automatically selects a card or no card of the virtual card game in accordance with a player-selected strategy for duplicating to a respective position of at least one sub-hand, similarly to the method disclosed herein.

In another aspect of the present disclosure, the player interface module may be a touch screen, a window of an operating system, a computer program, a virtual machine, mechanical buttons, or the like. For example, each of the provided strategies for selection can be displayed on the touch screen as a corresponding button and when the player touches the corresponding button, the corresponding strategy of the provided strategies is selected. Additionally or alternatively, the player interface module may be embedded in a web page for displaying the virtual card game in a web browser.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other advantages will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the various embodiments of the present disclosure with reference to the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 shows generally a graphics display of a virtual card game in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 shows a graphics display of a virtual card game with a minimum wager being placed in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 shows a graphics display of a virtual card game with two five-card hands being dealt in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 shows a graphics display of a virtual card game with the player selecting a card from one of the corresponding pairs of cards for duplicating in their respective positions in the three sub-hands in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 5 shows a graphics display of a virtual card game with the player selecting a card from another corresponding pair of cards for duplicating in their respective positions in the three sub-hands in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 6 shows a graphics display of a virtual card game with the player selecting the strategy of the straight flush draw selection in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 7 shows a graphics display of a virtual card game with the player selecting the strategy of the two-pair selection in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 8 shows a graphics display of a virtual card game with the player selecting the strategy of the straight draw selection in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 9 shows the draw/deal button being pressed by the player when the straight draw selection is the player-selected strategy as shown in FIG. 8 in accordance with the present disclosure; and

FIG. 10 shows a block diagram of a system for playing a virtual card game.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 depicts graphics display 100. Graphics display 100 may be implemented in hardware, software, software in execution, firmware, or some combination thereof. Graphics display 100 may be part of a player interface module discussed in more detail below regarding FIG. 10. Graphics display 100 may also be part of a touch screen, in a window (e.g. a window of an operating system, a computer program, and/or a virtual machine), embedded in a web page, part of a gambling machine as typically found in casinos, a mechanical gambling machine, or the like. Additionally or alternatively, graphics display 100 may be part of a player interface for any embodiment of a method or system disclosed herein (discussed in more detail above).

Graphics display 100 includes hands 102 and 104 that have no cards as shown in FIG. 1. A card can be dealt from one or more decks of cards and placed in one of positions 102A through 102E of hand 102 and/or positions 104A through 104E of hand 104. The deck (or decks) of cards may be represented by a data structure in computer memory, e.g., an array or a linked list. Additionally or alternatively, a card may be dealt or drawn by a processor using a pseudo-random number generator, a random-number generator, a seeded random-number generator, or the like.

Graphics display 100 also includes sub-hands 106, 108, and 110. Sub-hand 106 has positions 106A through 106E; and positions 106A through 106E contain no cards in FIG. 1. Sub-hands 108, and 110 include positions 108A through 108E, and positions 110A through 110E, respectively; and also contain no cards in FIG. 1.

Graphics display 100 also includes pay tables 112 and 114 to inform a player the amount of potential winnings from an achieved poker hand. Examples of the poker hands that are available for payout include but are not limited to a royal flush, a straight flush, a four of a kind, a full house, a flush, a straight, and a three of a kind. Pay table 112 shows the potential winnings obtainable from hands 102 and 104 during game play; and pay table 114 shows the potential winnings obtainable from sub-hands 106, 108, and 110 during game play.

A player may engage in game play by touching (e.g. on a touch screen) or clicking (with a mouse) one of buttons 116 through 130. Buttons 116 through 124 are for placing wagers (also referred to herein as “bets”) while button 126 is for cashing out, i.e. receiving the balance of credits. Button 128 is the help button. Button 130 is for the dealing or drawing of cards.

Also shown in FIG. 1 is accounting chart 132 that shows the player's current credit balance, the amount of credits won from last game, and the aggregate bet presently placed. Note that no bets are currently placed as shown in FIG. 1. Also included in graphics display 100 of FIG. 1 is strategy selection buttons 134. Strategy selection buttons 134 include buttons 134A, 134B, and 134C for selecting a strategy. As shown in FIG. 1, no strategies are available for selection.

FIG. 1 may depict initial game play shortly after a player inserts credits. The credits may be virtual (e.g., only for entertainment), may be dollars, may have cash value, and/or may be inserted money. The credits of game play may also be from credits credited from scanning a barcoded paper ticket with a barcode reader built into the gaming machine. Again, note that total bet is shown in FIG. 1 as being zero.

Referring to FIG. 2 an illustration is shown of the player selecting button 116 waging one credit for each of hand 102, hand 104, sub-hand 106, sub-hand 108, and sub-hand 110. Note the number “1” in positions 110E, 108E, 106E, 104E, and 102E that indicates hands 102 through 104, and sub-hands 106 through 110 each has one credit currently waged by the player, respectively. The player has selected button 116 using pointer 136. Additionally or alternatively, the player may select one of buttons 116, 118, 120, 122, and 124 to place various aggregate bets of, for example only, 5, 10, 15, 20, and credits, respectively.

Referring to FIG. 3 an illustration is shown of the player selecting button 130 with pointer 136. By selecting button 130, cards are dealt completing hands 102 and 104. Hands 102 and 104 may be dealt from the same fifty-two card deck. Additionally or alternatively, hands 102 and 104 may be dealt from two separate decks of cards each deck associated with one of hands 102 and 104, respectively.

The poker hand of hand 102 has the face values of queen of diamonds, king of hearts, eight of diamonds, two of hearts, and ten of hearts, and the poker hand of hand 104 has the face values of ace of spades, ten of diamonds, eight of spades, eight of clubs, and jack of diamonds. Both of the poker hands of hands 102 and 104 do not form a paying hand as indicated by pay table 112, although other pay tables may be used and/or other poker hands defined. However, the player has additional chances to win and receive a payout as described below.

Referring to FIG. 4, note that strategy selection buttons 134 now show three available strategies for playing sub-hands 106, 108, and 110. Although not all strategies may be available simultaneously, some possible strategies that may be provided to a player for selection include a winning hand selection, a pair selection, a two-pair selection, a straight draw selection, a flush draw selection, a straight flush draw selection, a royal flush draw selection, a best choice selection, a prospect choice selection, and a player choice selection.

In one embodiment, the player choice selection is a button available for selection shown within strategy selection buttons 134. However, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, this strategy is selected by selecting a card in one of hands 102 and 104. Note that ace of spades of position 104A is selected thus duplicating the card in positions 106A, 108A, and 110A in sub-hands 106, 108, and 110, respectively. The player is attempting to obtain a poker hand shown in pay table 114 to receive a win.

Referring to FIG. 5 here is shown the player selecting the eight of diamonds in position 102C of hand 102. The card is duplicated in positions 106C, 108C, and 110C in sub-hands 106, 108, and 110, respectively. Thus, when the player selects one of the cards in hands 102 and 104, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the strategy selection of player choice selection is automatically selected. Additionally or alternatively, as mentioned above, the player choice selection may be listed as selectable in strategy selection buttons 134.

After one or more cards are selected for duplicating, the player can select button 130 causing a card to be drawn for any positions within one of sub-hands 106, 108, and 110 that has no card. The drawn cards can be drawn from one or more decks of cards to fill in the no card positions. Each of sub-hands 106, 108, and 110 may have a corresponding deck of cards. Additionally or alternatively, each corresponding deck may not have any of the cards (e.g., cards with the same face values) as found within hands 102 and 104.

Referring to FIG. 6, the player has selected button 134A with pointer 136 thus selecting a straight flush draw selection. The selection automatically selects the following cards: queen of diamonds for duplicating in positions 106A, 108A and 110A, ten of diamonds for duplicating in positions 106B, 108B and 110B, the eight of diamonds for duplicating in positions 106C, 108C and 110C, no card for positions 106D, 108D and 110D, and jack of diamonds for duplicating in positions 106E, 108E, and 110E. The reason for selecting the straight flush draw selection as a strategy is to maximize the probability that a straight flush is formed in one of sub-hands 106 through 110. A straight flush is a poker hand which contains five cards in value sequence (in any order), all of the same suit. As shown in FIG. 6, one possible outcome that can occur is to obtain a nine of diamonds in one of positions 106D, 108D, 110D forming a sub-hand of eight of diamonds, nine of diamonds, ten of diamonds, jack of diamonds, and queen of diamonds, which forms a poker hand of a straight flush.

However, referring to FIG. 7, the player has selected two-pair selection with pointer 136 by selecting button 134B. An automatic selection module (see the discussion regarding FIG. 10) has automatically selected the ten of diamonds, the eight of diamonds, eight of clubs, and the ten of hearts for duplicating in each of sub-hands 106 through 110. When selecting the two-pair selection, cards are automatically selected to ensure that a two-pair poker hand is formed in each sub-hand. In the example shown in FIG. 7, the first pair includes the ten of diamonds and the ten of hearts, and the second pair includes the eight of diamonds and the eight of clubs.

Now referring to FIG. 8, a straight draw selection strategy is shown as being selected by the player using pointer 136 to select button 134C thus selecting straight draw selection as a strategy. By selecting the straight draw selection, cards are automatically selected resulting in duplicating cards from hands 102 and 104 such that the probability is maximized that a poker hand of a straight is formed in one of sub-hands 106, 108, and 110. Assume as an example that the strategy of straight draw selection is selected by the player and the player determines that this is the player's preferred strategy. The continuation of play using the strategy of straight draw selection is shown in FIG. 9.

Referring to FIG. 9, graphics display 100 shows button 130 as being selected by pointer 136. Note that as contrasted to FIG. 8, positions 106D, 108D, and 110D are filled because additional cards have been drawn from the deck of cards. Although sub-hands 108 and 110 did not receiving a paying poker hand, sub-hand 106 formed a poker hand of a straight, thus winning the player two credits as indicated by pay table 114. Note that accounting chart 132 accounts for this win as well. Four total credits were lost regarding hands 102 and 104, and sub-hands 108 and 110; and two credits were won regarding sub-hand 106, resulting in a net loss of three credits.

Although only four total strategies for selection were shown regarding FIGS. 1 through 9, more are envisioned. The strategies shown were straight flush draw selection, two-pair selection, straight draw selection, and player choice selection.

Referring to FIG. 10 here is shown a system 1000 for playing a card game, e.g., a virtual card game. System 1000 may implement a card game similar to the one illustrated regarding FIGS. 1 through 9.

System 1000 includes strategy selection module 1002, automatic selection module 1004, and player interface module 1008. System 1000 may be implemented by instructions 1010 contained within memory 1012. Instruction 1010 may be processed by processor 1014 as found within processing module 1016.

Player interface module 1008 can graphically display a virtual card game, e.g., the card game using graphics display 100 of FIGS. 1 through 9. Additionally or alternatively, player interface module 1008 may include mechanical aspects, e.g., mechanical buttons. Player interface module 1008 may provide the player with touch screen 1018 with buttons 1020 and/or window 1022 with buttons 1024. Buttons 1020 and 1024 may be buttons 134 of FIGS. 1 through 9. Additionally or alternatively, buttons 1020 and 1024, may be touch screen based, mechanical buttons, mouse selectable button, computer buttons, or the like. Window 1022 may be a window of an operating system, a computer program, a virtual machine, or the like. Additionally or alternatively, player interface module 1008 may be embedded in a web page that can display the virtual game in a web browser. The player can play an embodiment of the card game disclosed herein using the player interface module 1008.

Strategy selection module 1002 can provide the player selections 1026 through 1044 for selection. Automatic selection module 1004 can select among a first card of a first hand, a second card of a second hand that corresponds to the first card, or no card in accordance with a selected strategy of selections 1026 through 1044. The hands and sub-hands referred to regarding system 1000 may be hands 102 and 104, and sub-hand 106 through 110 of FIGS. 1 through 9.

Winning hand selection 1026 ensures that a winning hand sub-hand is formed when the hands are duplicated. Pair selection 1028 ensures that a pair is duplicated in each sub-hand from the hands. Two-pair selection 1030 ensures that two pairs are duplicated in each sub-hand from the hands. Straight draw selection 1032 selects from the available cards for duplicating such that the probability is maximized that a straight draw is form in one sub-hand. Flush draw selection 1034 selects from the available cards for duplicating in a sub-hand such that the probability is maximized that a flush draw is formed in one sub-hand. Straight flush draw selection 1036 selects from the available cards for duplicating in a sub-hand such that the probability is maximized that a straight flush is formed in one sub-hand. Royal flush draw selection 1038 selects from the available cards for duplicating in sub-hand such that the probability is maximized that a royal flush draw is formed in a sub-hand.

Best choice selection 1040 selects from the available cards such that the probability is maximized that at least one payout occurs in a sub-hand. The prospect choice selection 1042 selects from the available cards such that the probability is maximized that a maximum possible payout occurs in a sub-hand. Player choice selection 1044 provides the player with an option for selecting a card from the hands or no cards for duplicating in a sub-hand.

The card game described herein can be provided as a set of processor executable instructions stored on a computer-readable medium, such as, e.g., a CD-ROM, hard drive, flash memory media, EEPROM, or the like.

It will be understood that various modifications may be made to the embodiments disclosed herein, and that the above descriptions should not be construed as limiting, but merely as exemplifications of preferred embodiments. For example, the dealt hands could be row-aligned with the sub-hands. Those skilled in the art will envision other modifications within the scope and spirit of the claims appended hereto.