Title:
Bad beat side bet on house-banked casino card games
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A playing card wagering game has a player hand compete against a dealer hand according to rank or count of the player hand and dealer hand. At least one player places a first wager on the card wagering game and a second wager on at least one side bet event. The player hand and dealer hand are completed with playing cards. Relative rank or relative count of the player hand and dealer hand are determined. The first wager is resolved based upon the determined relative rank or relative count by determining if the dealer hand wins or the player hand wins, thereby also determining a losing hand. The second wager is resolved according to rules that comprise comparing rank or count of the losing hand to a paytable, preferably only the losing rank of either the player or dealer hand.



Inventors:
Snow, Roger M. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Scott, Robert P. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/801784
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
05/11/2007
Assignee:
Shuffle Master, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STANCZAK, MATTHEW BRIAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TRASKBRITT, P.C. /Bally Gaming, Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a playing card wagering game in which a player hand competes against a dealer hand according to rank or count of the player hand and dealer hand wherein: at least one player places a first wager on the card wagering game and a second wager on at least one side bet event; the player hand and dealer hand are completed with playing cards; relative rank or relative count of the player hand and dealer hand are determined; the first wager is resolved based upon the determined relative rank or relative count by determining if the dealer hand wins or the player hand wins, thereby also determining a losing hand; and resolving the second wager according to rules that comprise comparing rank or count of the losing hand to a paytable.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein only the rank or count of the losing hand is considered in the paytable.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein relative poker rank of the dealer hand and the player hand are determined.

4. The method of claim 2 wherein relative poker rank of the dealer hand and the player hand are determined.

5. The method of claim 3 wherein poker rank is determined for best hand of a number of cards selected from the group consisting of 3-card hands, 4-card hands and 5-card hands.

6. The method of claim 4 wherein poker rank is determined for best hand of a number of cards selected from the group consisting of 3-card hands, 4-card hands and 5-card hands.

7. The method of claim 3 wherein poker rank is determined for best hand of a number of cards selected from the group consisting of 4-card hands and 5-card hands selected from a dealer hand and a player hand of more than 4-cards and more than 5-cards, respectively.

8. The method of claim 4 wherein poker rank is determined for best hand of a number of cards selected from the group consisting of 4-card hands and 5-card hands selected from a dealer hand and a player hand of more than 4-cards and more than 5-cards, respectively.

9. The method of claim 3 wherein poker rank is determined for a final dealer hand and a final player hand for best 5-card poker hand using at least some community cards.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein each player has two hole cards available and the dealer has two hole cards available for use in determining respective best 5-card poker hands.

11. The method of claim 9 wherein in addition to making the first wager as a mandatory first wager and optionally placing the second wager, the player is required to make a third wager on a separate side bet event before receiving playing cards.

12. The method of claim 10 wherein in addition to making the first wager as a mandatory first wager and optionally placing the second wager, the player is required to make a third wager on a separate side bet event before receiving playing cards.

13. The, method of claim 1 wherein the player hand comprises of community cards.

14. A bad beat side bet game in a casino card game, wherein in the casino card game at least one player hand competes against a dealer hand, and wherein each player places at least one Ante wager to participate in the casino card game, the bad beat side bet game based on a card ranking system, the bad beat side bet game comprising: each player placing a side bet to participate in the side bet game; a dealer dealing at least one player hand and the dealer hand; comparing a rank of the player hand to the dealer hand, wherein the player wins when one of the following two conditions occurs: a) the player hand meets or exceeds a first predetermined minimum ranking and the dealer hand beats the player hand; and b) the dealer hands meets or exceeds a second predetermined minimum ranking and the player hand beats the dealer hand; and awarding the player a payout when one of the two conditions is met.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the payout amount is an odds payout, depending upon rank of a losing hand.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein the card game is based on a poker ranking system, wherein a number of cards is used to determine the ranking is based on one of a 3, 4 and 5 card poker hand.

17. The method of claim 14, wherein a player must make the Ante wager and at least one additional wager in order to qualify for making the bad beat side bet wager.

18. The method of claim 14, wherein the first and second predetermined minimum rankings are equal.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the predetermined minimum rankings are selected from the group consisting of: two pair, a pair and three of a kind.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION DATA

The present Application claims priority from Provisional U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 60/906,916, filed Mar. 16, 2007.

This application has subject matter that is related to game disclosures in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/704,680, filed Feb. 7, 2007; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/152,325 filed May 20, 2002; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/589,701, filed Oct. 20, 2006; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/502,080, filed Aug. 9, 2006; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/156,352, filed Jun. 17, 2005, and any continuations or continuations-in-part thereof, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to the field of casino wagering, casino card game wagering, and particularly casino table card game wagering where a wager may be house-banked.

2. Background of the Art

Many different wagering games presently exist for use in both home and casino environments. Such games should necessarily be exciting, not excessively complicated, and relatively easy to learn so as to avoid frustrating the players. Poker games in particular have gained widespread popularity because of their well-known rules and long-established ranking of hands.

Furthermore, the games usually involve numerous wagering opportunities for the players, thus increasing player participation and excitement. Lastly, the games move fairly quickly, which enhances player interest. All of these factors have created games that are widely accepted and widely known. Consequently, further variations of wagering games are desired.

One known bonus side bet method is offered on a number of different casino wagering games, such as Ultimate Texas Hold 'EM™, Three Card Poker® game, Four Card Poker™ game, Crazy-4-Poker® game. The side bet is preferably fixed at $1.00. A player places a wager to participate in a game of Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em, for example, and also places the optional bonus side bet to participate in a bonus game. The optional wager pays when the player loses with a predetermined hand ranking such as three of a kind or better.

Poker games in general, reward players for poker hands that beat the dealer's hand. However, accumulating even a great poker is still no guarantee that a player will be rewarded. In fact, there is a term for when a player with an outstanding hand is beaten by the dealer. That term is “bad beat”.

For example, a player having a straight flush is in a great position and the odds are that player is likely to win the hand. However, in the very unlikely event that the dealer has a royal flush, the player will lose. Unfortunately, regardless of how good a hand a straight flush is, a royal flush is better. The player will not only suffer a loss, but will often fail to qualify for a bonus award based on the hand rank itself because in many casino games, bonuses are paid only if the player's hand beats the dealer's hand. This compounded misfortune is likely to be the cause of some aggravation amongst regular players. Therefore it is desirable to create a side bet that rewards players that fall victim to a bad beat.

Although bad beat wagers and bad beat events are known in the art, as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,802,773; 6,279,910; 6,102,402; and the like, variants on the wager are desirable to attract players and provide revenues for casinos.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A bad beat side bet game is provided for a casino card game. Although the wager is useful in any game with dealer-versus-player competition, one preferred underlying game is a variant of Texas Hold 'Em poker, such as Ultimate Texas Hold 'EM™ poker casino card game. In the casino card game, at least one player hand competes against a dealer hand, with an initial wager at risk. A wager may be placed at risk by each player placing at least one Ante wager to participate in the casino card game. A bad beat side bet game is also present, this side bet game being based on a card ranking system. The format of play of the side bet game may include (in addition to any underlying steps in the play of the underlying casino card game): each player placing a side bet to participate in the side bet game; a dealer dealing at least one player hand and a dealer hand; comparing a rank of the player hand to the dealer hand in the side bet game, wherein the player wins when one of the following two conditions occurs; the player hand meets or exceeds a first predetermined minimum ranking and the dealer hand beats the player hand; and the dealer hands meets or exceeds a second predetermined minimum ranking and the player hand beats the dealer hand; and awarding the player a payout when one of the two conditions is met.

Another preferred form of the game combines the game of Three Card Poker®, the bad beat side game of the present invention, and a progressive payout component.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A bad beat side bet game is provided for a casino card game. In the casino card game, at least one player hand competes against a dealer hand, with an initial wager at risk. A wager may be placed at risk by each player placing at least one Ante wager to participate in the casino card game. A variant of a bad beat side bet game is also present, this side bet game being based on a card ranking system including events with both a dealer winning event and a player winning event (the latter not ordinarily being considered a bad beat event). The format of play of the side bet game may include steps wherein (in addition to any underlying steps in the play of the underlying casino card game): each player places a side bet, the side bet is optional or mandatory, to participate in the side bet game. A dealer deals at least one player hand (individual hands or a community hand) and a dealer hand. A rank of the player hand is compared to a rank of the dealer hand in the side bet game. The player wins when one of the following two conditions occurs: 1) the player hand meets or exceeds a first predetermined minimum ranking and the dealer hand beats the player hand; and 2) the dealer hands meets or exceeds a second predetermined minimum ranking and the player hand beats the dealer hand.

The player is awarded a payout when one of the two above conditions is met.

The present invention solves the problem of a player losing with a high-ranking hand and improves known bad beat events by, among other things, providing an optional side bet to an underlying or base casino wagering game, preferably fixed at a quantified wagering amount (e.g., $1.00, $2.00, $5.00 or the like) that offers high pay-out potential and rewards players if a player or dealer bad beat or other defined high hand rank event occurs. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the underlying casino card game (whatever the game is) remains unchanged (except for optional minor variations such as alterations in payout odds, for example), with an additional side bet event added. Although numerous card games with play of a player's hand against a dealer's hand are known (e.g., variants of poker, blackjack and baccarat, such as non-limiting examples of Three Card Poker® games, Four Card Poker™ games, Crazy 4 Poker® games, Caribbean Stud® poker, and Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Poker™ games), it is a preferred practice of the present technology to use Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em™ game as the underlying game for the bad beat side bet wager of the present technology. That game is disclosed in pending U.S. Publication No. 20060284376, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/156,352 filed on Jun. 17, 2005, the content of which is incorporated herein by reference. It is even possible to apply the side bet game to baccarat and blackjack. For example, the game of baccarat might pay a bad beat payout when the player places an optional bad beat side bet, the winning hand is a 9 and the losing hand is an 8. The side bet game could also be played with differently structured counts as opposed to ranks defining the events.

A general description of the variant side bet for the bad beat games can be as a method of playing a playing card wagering game in which a player hand competes against a dealer hand according to rank or count of the player hand and dealer hand. At least one player places a first wager on the card wagering game and a second wager on at least one side bet event. Each bet may be mandatory or optional. One bet may be mandatory and the other optional. The player hand and dealer hand are completed with playing cards. Completion of the hands and the provision of initial hands may be done by individual sets of cards provided to each player and the dealer, partial initial hands completed by individual cards provided to each player and the dealer, partial hands of initial cards (e.g., hole cards) provided to individual players and the dealer and completed with community cards, or community hole cards for the players, separate hole cards for the dealer, and completion of all player hands and the dealer hand by one set of community cards. Relative rank or relative count of the player hand and dealer hand are determined according to the game rules. The first wager is resolved based upon the determined relative rank or relative count by determining if the dealer hand wins or the player hand wins, thereby also determining a losing hand (which may be either the dealer hand or the player hand for the player making the first and second wager). Examples of hand ranking systems known in the art are 1-7 card poker rankings, gin rummy, canasta rankings and the like. Examples of numerical ranking systems include blackjack, Spanish 21™, and baccarat ranking systems and modifications thereof.

The second wager is resolved according to rules that comprise comparing rank or count of the losing hand to a paytable. It is preferred that only the rank or count of the losing hand is considered in the paytable. The preference is for relative poker rank of the dealer hand and the player hand to be the basis of winning and losing the base game. The poker rank of a hand is preferably determined for best hand of a number of cards selected from the group consisting of 3-card hands, 4-card hands and 5-card hands. Hands with fewer than 3 and more than 5 cards are contemplated. The poker rank is more preferably determined for best hand of a number of cards selected from the group consisting of 4-card hands and 5-card hands of dealer cards, and a player hand of more than 4-cards and more than 5-cards, respectively. The poker rank may be determined for a final dealer hand and a final player hand for best 5-card poker hand using at least some community cards, for example where each player has two hole cards available and the dealer has two hole cards available for use in determining respective best 5-card poker hands, more preferably with five community cards available for the player and the dealer, especially using a single set of five community cards for use in determining respective best 5-card poker hands. In addition to making the first wager as a mandatory first wager and optionally placing the second wager, the player may be required to make a third wager on a separate side bet event such as a progressive side bet, before receiving playing cards. The player hand may consist of or comprise community cards.

As the preferred underlying game is Ultimate Texas Hold/Em™ game, it is desirable to understand how the underlying game is played.

The Game of Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em™ (Standard Version):

Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em™ game features head-to-head play against the dealer and an optional bonus bet. Players and the dealer each receive two cards. They combine them with five community cards to make their best five out of seven-card hand. Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em™ poker lets players bet aggressively. The earlier they bet, the more they can risk—and win. If players bet prior to obtaining knowledge of the community cards, (i.e., pre-flop), they may risk 3× or 4× their ante. If they bet after obtaining knowledge on the first two community cards, (i.e., on the flop), they may bet 2× their ante. If they wait until the last two cards are revealed, (i.e., the river—when all community cards are out), they may only bet 1× their ante. This game also features an optional bet, called the Trips Bonus. Players win the Trips Bonus if their final five-card hand has a rank of three-of-kind or higher.

Dealing Procedures: Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em™ game (Standard Version):

Shuffle Master recommends using a Deck Mate® shuffler as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,651,981 and 6,651,982, both issued on Nov. 25, 2003, the content of which are incorporated herein by reference, which batch shuffles single decks for play of the game, or an ACE® shuffler as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,149,154 issued on Nov. 21, 2000, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,588,750 issued on Jul. 8, 2003, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,655,684 issued on Dec. 2, 2003, the content of which are incorporated herein by reference, which can be programmed to deliver specific card counts to various positions at programmed sequences in playing a game. The deal format itself can be programmed into the shuffler and the name of the game entered or number of cards per hand for proper dealing after shuffling Shufflers such as those described in U.S. Patent Publications No. 20070069462; 20060281534; 20060145417 and 20050146093, which are incorporated herein by reference, are examples of devices particularly useful in the practice of all of the present technology.

To begin the game, players should or must make equal bets on the Ante and Blind. They may also make a Trips bet as an option. Working from left to right, the dealer gives each player and himself two starting cards (generally referred to as hole cards), face-down. Players now have a choice: a) check (do nothing); or b) make a play bet of a preselected multiple or chose between a range of multiples, such as 3× or 4× their Ante. Once players bet, they cannot bet again and they cannot change their bet.

The dealer then places the first three community cards (the flop) face-up on the layout. Players that have not yet made a Play bet have a choice: a) check; or b) make a Play bet of 2× their Ante.

The dealer then places the final two community cards (the turn and river) face-up on the layout as a single event (two cards at the same time) or as two distinct events (one card at a time). Players that have not yet made a Play bet have a choice: a) fold; or b) make a Play bet of a specific multiple of (e.g., 1×) their Ante.

The dealer then reveals his two hole cards and announces his best of seven cards five-card hand. The dealer needs a pair to qualify. Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em™ poker handles qualifying differently than other games. When the dealer doesn't qualify, it's not an automatic win for the player.

When the Dealer Qualifies:

Working from right to left (from player's perspective) on the casino table, the dealer combines each player's hole cards with the community cards to make the best five-card hand. If the player's hand beats the dealers, the Play and Ante bets win even money. If the player's hand loses to the dealer, the Play, Ante and Blind bets lose. When the hands tie, the Play, Ante and Blind bets push. The Blind bet wins when the player wins with a straight or higher. If the player wins with less than a straight the Blind pushes. The Trips bet wins if the player has three of a kind or better.

When the Dealer doesn't Qualify:

The dealer, working from right to left, refunds each player's Ante bet. He does this before looking at any of the player's hands. Then, again working right to left, resolves the action normally (see above).

Note: If the player has three of a kind or better, he always wins the trips bet—even if he folds.

EXAMPLE

Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em™ Game Pay-Table

Players HandOdds Pay-Out: Trips BetOdds Pay-Out: Blind Bet
Royal Flush50 to 1 500 to 1
Straight Flush40 to 1 50 to 1 
Four of Kind30 to 1 10 to 1 
Full House9 to 13 to 1
Flush7 to 13 to 1
Straight4 to 11 to 1
Three of a Kind3 to 10
House Edge.90%.84%

Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Bad Beat Bonus Bet:

In one preferred embodiment of the present technology, the “Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Bad Beat Bonus”™ event is a used as a variation of the “Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em”™ game that includes an additional optional wager referred to as the “Bad Beat Bonus” wager. Preferably the bonus wager is required to be a fixed amount, such as $1.00, and pays an odds-based payout on said wager amount when a bad beat event (that is, the player's hand and the dealer's hand each meet preset criteria) occurs.

Alternatively, a variable wager may be permitted which pays an odds payout as a multiple of the initial wager amount. Another alternative embodiment includes a bonus wager wherein the amount allowed to be wagered may be fixed and the payout amount or amounts corresponding to particular bad beat outcomes may also be fixed. A still further alternative embodiment includes a progressive configuration, wherein a portion of the side bet of the present invention is used to fund a progressive reserve which is preferably displayed on a progressive meter in real-time, and a bad beat event pays out a portion or all of an amount listed on the progressive meter, depending on the criteria satisfied. The progressive system may be local to one or more tables or a wide area progressive drawing from a plurality of tables at multiple locations.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the player places a wager to participate in the base game of the “Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em”™ poker game and may also place an optional side wager to participate in the bad beat bonus game. The bad beat bonus bet wins when the player that placed the side wager is involved in a bad beat, that is, either the player has a hand of at least a preset rank or better and loses to the dealer (who would naturally have a higher ranked hand) or the dealer has a hand of at least a preset rank or better and loses to the player (having a higher ranked hand than the dealer). Preferably, the preset rank is the same regardless of whether it is the player or the dealer that suffers the bad beat loss. The bet pays the player either way regardless of who suffered the loss, so long as it is that player that made the bet and it is that player that is involved in the bad beat event. Although the bad beat wager is placed prior to the deal and resolved at the outcome of the game, the typical game play of the underlying game of Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em™ poker proceeds as usual.

The side bet variant bad beat event may be recorded electronically by using coin/token/credit accepting system such as drop boxes, proximity detectors, credit memory systems, ticket in/ticket out systems, RFID and the like.

Rules of Play for the Preferred Embodiment of Ultimate Texas Hold'Em™ With Bad Beat Bonus Bet:

This is an optional bad-beat variant bet for Ultimate Texas Hold 'EM™. Players win if they and the dealer are involved in a bad beat or a predefined combination of high dealer hand and higher player hand. There are two ways to win: a) the player has a minimum rank at the conclusion of the hand, such as three of a kind or better and loses to the dealer; and b) the player beats the dealer's hand of the minimum rank (e.g., beats the three of a kind or better).

An exemplary payout table is shown below:

Hand BeatenPays
Straight Flush10,000 to 1   
Quads500 to 1 
Full House40 to 1
Flush25 to 1
Straight20 to 1
Trips 9 to 1
House edge:20.2%
Hit frequency: 3.9%

As noted, the hand beaten may be either the dealer's hand beaten (not a bad beat event) or the player's hand being beaten (a more typical bad beat event).

To participate in the bad beat, players may optionally place or must make bets on the Ante, Blind and Trips. Players place their bad-beat wagers in the marked areas located on the table felt lay-out.

If the player's hand qualifies for payouts, the dealer or an electronic crediting system pays him according to the posted pay-table. If the player's hand does not qualify, the dealer takes his wager and moves on to the next player.

Any side wager that offers an extremely high payout potential based on a relatively low wagering amount at risk is a draw to certain types of players. Players are fascinated by these wagering opportunities, and will continue to place these types of wagers despite the relatively lower odds of winning a high payout.

The technology of the present invention may be played as a method for playing a wagering game. Play in the game method could include:

a) placing a first wager to participate in a base game having a predefined set of rules, wherein the first wager is mandatory;

b) placing a second wager to participate in a bonus game, wherein the wager is optional;

c) distributing cards to form at least one player's hand (individual hand or community hand) and a dealer's hand;

d) resolving the bonus game, wherein the bonus game depends on the player's hand and the dealer's hand satisfying a preset criteria, wherein the preset criteria includes one of the player's hand or the dealer's hand losing to the other in the base game according to the predefined set of rules for the base game; and

e) awarding a player that placed the wager to participate in a bonus game if the preset criteria is satisfied, wherein the amount of the award is based on the hand ranking of the losing hand in the base game.

The method for playing a wagering game as described above wherein the base game is Ultimate Texas Hold' EM™ poker, but may be played with other games where additional cards are delivered to player and dealer (as individual hand cards or community cards) after an initial hand or partial hand is delivered.

Another description is as a method for playing a casino wagering game, wherein the casino wagering game is preferably a Four Card Poker™ game and the side bet is preferably a fixed amount, such as $1.00. To qualify in the bonus game, the player places an ante wager to participate in the base game, and also places an optional side wager to participate in the bonus game. In the preferred embodiment, the optional wager pays an award when either the player or the dealer loses to the other with at least a hand ranking of two pair or better.

Overview of the Rules: Four Card Poker™

Introduction:

Four Card Poker™ uses a standard 52-card deck. There are three ways to play. The game allows the player to wager against the dealer, to wager only on the value of his own hand against a pay-table or to wager both against the dealer and on the value of his own hand.

Hands are ranked from highest to lowest as follows:

Four of a Kind

Straight Flush

Three-of-a-Kind

Flush

Straight

2 Pair

Note: If a hand does not contain a pair or better, the hand that contains the highest ranking card(s) wins. Ace is high except in 4-3-2-Ace sequence. The ante and play wagers win even money. The top three premium hands win an automatic bonus. These are paid on the ante wager. The Aces Up bonus wager pays odds. The lowest paying hand is, a “Pair of Aces”, and the highest paying hand is, “Four of a Kind.” This wager always pays when the players hand has met the specified criteria.

The Base Game of Four Card Poker™:

The base game of Four Card Poker™ remains unchanged. The game is dealt and resolved according the rules of play and the specified criteria therein.

Four Card Poker™ Game With Bad Beat Bonus Bet:

In this preferred embodiment, the “Bad Beat Bonus”™ wager is combined with the “Four Card Poker”™ game. Preferably, the bonus wager is required to be a fixed amount, such as $1.00, and pays an odds-based payout on said wager amount when a bad beat event (that is, the player's hand and the dealer's hand) meet preset criteria. Alternatively, a variable wager may be permitted which pays an odds payout as a multiple of the initial wager amount. Another alternative embodiment includes a bonus wager wherein the amount allowed to be wagered may be fixed and the payout amount or amounts corresponding to particular bad beat outcomes may also be fixed.

A further alternative embodiment includes a progressive configuration, wherein a portion of the side bet of the present invention is used to fund a progressive reserve which is preferably displayed on a progressive meter in real-time, and a bad beat event pays out a portion or all of an amount listed on the progressive meter, depending on the criteria satisfied. The progressive system may be local to one or more tables or a wide area progressive drawing from a plurality of tables at multiple locations.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the player places a wager to participate in the base game of “Four Card Poker” and may also place an optional side wager to participate in the bad beat bonus game. The bad beat bonus bet wins when the player that placed the side wager is involved in a bad beat with the dealer, that is, either the player has a hand of at least a preset rank or better and loses to the dealer (who would naturally have a higher ranked hand) or the dealer has a hand of at least a preset rank or better and loses to the player (having a higher ranked hand than the dealer). Preferably, the preset rank is the same regardless of whether it is the player or the dealer that suffers the bad beat loss. The bet pays the player either way regardless of who suffered the loss, so long as it is that player that made the bet and it is that player that is involved in the bad beat event.

Although the bad beat wager is placed prior to the deal and resolved at the outcome of the game, the typical game play of the underlying game of Four Card Poker proceeds as usual.

A sample pay-table is below:

Hand BeatenPayout
4 of a Kind25,000 to 1   
Straight Flush10,000 to 1   
3 of a Kind100 to 1 
Flush20 to 1
Straight15 to 1
2 Pair 9 to 1
House edge:21.3%
Hit frequency: 5.5%

Thus, an alternative description for play of a bad beat side bet according to the present technology is as a method for playing a wagering game comprising:

a) placing a wager to participate in a base game having a predefined set of rules, wherein the wager is mandatory;

b) placing a wager to participate in a bonus game, wherein the wager is optional;

c) distributing cards to form at least one player's hand and a dealer's hand;

d) resolving the bonus game, wherein the bonus game depends on the player's hand and the dealer's hand satisfying a preset criteria, wherein the preset criteria includes one of the player's hand or the dealer's hand losing to the other in the base game according to the predefined set of rules for the base game; and

e) awarding a player that placed the wager to participate in a bonus game if the preset criteria is satisfied, wherein the amount of the award is based on the hand ranking of the losing hand in the base game.

A method for playing a casino wagering game with a concurrent bonus game wherein the casino wagering game is preferably a variant of Crazy 4 Poker® poker game. To be eligible in the bonus game, the player places an ante wager to participate in the base game, and also places a side wager to participate in the bonus game. In the preferred embodiment, the player will win an award when either the player or the dealer loses to the other with a hand ranking of at least two pair or better.

This game technology is related to U.S. Pat. No. 5,685,774 Webb et al. and any continuations thereof, and in particular, to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/152,325 filed May 20, 2002, now abandoned; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/864,051, filed Jun. 8, 2004; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/499,864, filed Aug. 8, 2006; and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/589,701, filed Oct. 30, 2006, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.

“Crazy 4 Poker”® Standard Game:

Crazy 4 Poker® game uses a standard 52-card deck. The game features head-to-head play against the dealer and two bonus bets—one mandatory, the other optional. Since only four cards are used to make poker hands, a four-card straight is a straight; a four-card flush is a flush; and a four-card straight flush is a straight flush.

Hand Ranking

Hands are ranked from highest to lowest as follows:

Four Of A Kind

Straight Flush (four suited and sequential cards)

Three Of A Kind

Four Suited Cards

Straight (four sequential cards)

Two Pair

Pair

High Card

Note: Ace is high except in 4-3-2-Ace sequence.

Mandatory Bets: Ante and Super Bonus Bets

The mandatory ANTE and SUPER BONUS bets facilitate head-to-head play against the dealer. To begin the game, players place two equal wagers: an ANTE wager and a SUPER BONUS wager. After looking at their hands, players may fold (and lose both wagers), or they may stay in the game by making the PLAY wager. The PLAY wager must equal the ANTE wager, unless the player has a pair of Aces or better. With a pair of Aces or better, the PLAY may be up to three times the ANTE.

Player vs. Dealer:

Player foldsANTE and SUPER BONUS lose
Dealer does not qualify*PLAY wins 1 to 1; ANTE pushes
Player beats dealer's qualifying handPLAY and ANTE win 1 to 1
Player loses to dealer's qualifyingPLAY and ANTE lose
hand
Player ties dealers qualifying handPLAY and ANTE push
*The dealer qualifies with King-High or better.

SUPER BONUS—The SUPER BONUS wins when the player gets a straight or better. However, failure to get at least a straight does not result in an automatic loss of the SUPER BONUS. This bet pushes when the player gets less than a straight, but beats or ties the dealer.

Hands of straight or better always receive SUPER BONUS payouts. When the player has a straight or better but loses to the dealer's qualifying hand, he still receives SUPER BONUS payouts and the original wager stays on the layout.

Optional Bet: Queens UP™ Side Bet

While the ANTE and SUPER BONUS wagers are mandatory, the QUEENS UP™ bet is optional. However, players may make the QUEENS UP™ wager for any amount within the posted table limits. Players may bet more on the QUEENS UP™ bet than they bet on the ANTE and SUPER BONUS.

The “QUEENS UP”™ side bet wins when the player receives a pair of Queens or better. The odds are printed on the felt layout. The bet loses when the player fails to get at least a pair of Queens.

Example Pay-Table for “QUEENS UP”™ Side Bet

HandOdds Pay-Out
Four of a Kind50 to 1 
Straight Flush40 to 1 
Three of a Kind8 to 1
Flush4 to 1
Straight3 to 1
Two Pair2 to 1
Pair of Queens or Better1 to 1

Example Pay-Table for “SUPER BONUS”Bet

HandOdds Pay-Out
Four Aces200 to 1
Four of a Kind30 to 1 
Straight Flush15 to 1 
Three of a Kind2 to 1
Flush3 to 2
Straight1 to 1

With respect to underlying play in 4-Card Poker™ games, the present application incorporates by reference in their entireties U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/152,325 filed May 20, 2002 and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/502,080, filed Aug. 9, 2006, and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/589,701, filed Oct. 30, 2006.

Crazy 4 Poker® Game Bad Beat Bonus Bet:

In the preferred embodiment, the “Crazy 4 Poker Bad Beat Bonus”™ game is a variation of “Crazy 4 Poker”™ game that includes an additional optional wager referred to as the “Bad Beat Bonus Wager”. Preferably the bonus wager is required to be a fixed amount, such as $1.00, and pays an odds-based payout on said wager amount when a bad beat event (that is, the player's hand and the dealer's hand) meet preset criteria. Alternatively, a variable wager may be permitted which pays an odds payout as a multiple of the initial wager amount. Another alternative embodiment includes a bonus wager wherein the amount allowed to be wagered may be fixed and the payout amount or amounts corresponding to particular bad beat outcomes may also be fixed.

A further alternative embodiment includes a progressive configuration, wherein a portion of the side bet of the present invention is used to fund a progressive reserve which is preferably displayed on a progressive meter in real-time, and a bad beat event pays out a portion or all of an amount listed on the progressive meter, depending on the criteria satisfied. The progressive system may be local to one or more tables or a wide area progressive drawing from a plurality of tables at multiple locations.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the player places a wager to participate in the base game of “Crazy 4 Poker”™ game and may also place an optional side wager to participate in the bad beat bonus game. The bad beat bonus bet wins when the player that placed the side wager is involved in a bad beat with the dealer, that is, either the player has a hand of at least a preset rank or better and loses to the dealer (who would naturally have a higher ranked hand) or the dealer has a hand of at least a preset rank or better and loses to the player (having a higher ranked hand than the dealer). Preferably, the preset rank is the same regardless of whether it is the player or the dealer that suffers the bad beat loss. The bet pays the player either way regardless of who suffered the loss, so long as it is that player that made the bet and it is that player that is involved in the bad beat event.

Although the bad beat wager is placed prior to the deal and resolved at the outcome of the game, the typical game play of the underlying game of Crazy 4 Poker® game proceeds as usual.

A sample pay-table is below:

Hand BeatenPayout
4 of a Kind25,000 to 1  
Straight Flush10,000 to 1  
3 of a Kind200 to 1 
Flush50 to 1
Straight30 to 1
2 Pair20 to 1
House edge19.8%
Hit frequency 2.4%

An alternative description is for a method for playing a wagering game comprises:

a) placing a wager to participate in a base game having a predefined set of rules, wherein the wager is mandatory;

b) placing a wager to participate in a bonus game, wherein the wager is optional;

c) distributing cards to form at least one player's hand and a dealer's hand;

d) resolving the bonus game, wherein the bonus game depends on the player's hand and the dealer's hand satisfying a preset criteria, wherein the preset criteria includes one of the player's hand or the dealer's hand losing to the other in the base game according to the predefined set of rules for the base game; and

e) providing an award to a player that placed the wager to participate in the bonus game if the preset criteria is satisfied, wherein the amount of the award is based on the hand ranking of the losing hand in the base game. The method for playing a wagering game as described above wherein the base game is Crazy 4 Poker® game.

The Game of Three Card Poker®:

Rules of Play:

The game of Three Card Poker® games use a standard 52-card deck. There are three ways to play. The game allows the player to wager against the dealer, to wager only on the value of his own hand, or to wager both against the dealer and on the value of his own hand.

Three Card Poker® Game Hand Ranks:

The ranking of the hands in Three Card Poker® game differs from traditional poker hands. In Three Card Poker, a STRAIGHT beats a FLUSH. Cards are ranked from highest to lowest as follows:

Straight Flush

Three Of A Kind

Straight

Flush

Pair

If a hand does not contain a pair or better, the hand that contains the highest ranking card(s) wins. Ace is high except in 3-2-Ace sequence.

Three Ways to Play

Playing Against the Dealer—The ANTE WAGER

The object when playing against the dealer is to get a three card poker hand with a value higher than the dealer's qualifying hand of a Queen or better. Players place an ANTE wager. After looking at their three card poker hand, players may fold or, if they believe their hand is high enough to beat the dealer's hand, they will place an amount EQUAL to the ANTE on the PLAY spot.

Playing Against the Dealer

Player foldsAnte Loses
When dealer does not playPLAY is a PUSH
ANTE wins 1 to 1
When dealer plays and player's handPLAY wins 1 to 1 and
beats dealer's handANTE win 1 to 1
When dealer plays and dealer's handPLAY is a loss
beats player's handANTE is a loss

The ANTE BONUS is paid when a player is dealt one of the three highest ranking hands in the game. The ANTE BONUS is paid regardless of the dealer's hand.

Example of an Ante Bonus Pay-Table:

HandOdds Pay-out
Straight Flush5 to 1
Three of a Kind4 to 1
Straight1 to 1

Playing the Hand Value—PAIR PLUS

The object of betting the PAIR PLUS wager is to receive a pair or better. If the player's hand contains a pair or better the player wins the PAIR PLUS wager.

Players receive PAIR PLUS payouts regardless of the dealer's hand.

Example of a Pair Plus Pay-Table:

Hand:Odds Pay-out:
Straight Flush40 to 1 
Three of a Kind30 to 1 
Straight6 to 1
Flush4 to 1
Pair1 to 1

Playing Both—PAIR PLUS and ANTE

When a player bets both the PAIR PLUS and the ANTE (including PLAY), he is playing against two separate pay-tables with two different criteria for payouts. In playing the ANTE wager, the object is to get a three-card poker hand that beats the dealer's qualifying hand of Queen or better. In playing the PAIR PLUS wager, the object is to receive a pair or better. The ANTE and PAIR PLUS wagers do not have to be the same amount. Players receive the PAIR PLUS payouts regardless of the dealer's hand. Players can wager anywhere from the table minimum to the maximum allowed bet on either spot. However, the PLAY wager must always equal the ANTE wager. If the player has made the ANTE wager and the PAIR PLUS wager, he must make the PLAY wager or will forfeit both the ANTE and PAIR PLUS wagers.

The Base Game of Three Card Poker®:

The base game of Three Card Poker® game remains unchanged. The game is dealt and resolved according the rules of play and the specified criteria therein. The Three-Card Poker® game as disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,698,759, 6,345,823; 6,237,916; 6,056,641; and 5,685,774 are incorporated by reference in their entireties.

Three Card Poker® Game With Bad Beat Bonus Bet:

In the preferred embodiment, the “Bad Beat Bonus” event is combined with the game of “Three Card Poker”®. Preferably the bonus wager is required to be a fixed amount, such as $1.00, and pays an odds-based payout on said wager amount when a bad beat event (that is, the player's hand and the dealer's hand) meet preset criteria. Alternatively, a variable wager may be permitted which pays an odds payout as a multiple of the initial wager amount. Another alternative embodiment includes a bonus wager wherein the amount allowed to be wagered may be fixed and the payout amount or amounts corresponding to particular bad beat outcomes may also be fixed.

A further alternative embodiment includes a progressive configuration, wherein a portion of the bad beat side bet or a portion of a separate wager is used to fund a progressive reserve which is preferably displayed on a progressive meter in real-time, and a bad beat event or other winning event pays out a portion or all of an amount listed on the progressive meter, depending on the criteria satisfied. The progressive system may be local to one or more tables or a wide area progressive drawing from a plurality of tables at multiple locations.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the player places a wager to participate in the base “Three Card Poker”® game and may also place an optional side wager to participate in the bad beat bonus game. The bad beat bonus bet wins when the player that placed the side wager is involved in a bad beat, that is, either the player has a hand of at least a preset rank or better and loses to the dealer (who would naturally have a higher ranked hand) or the dealer has a hand of at least a preset rank or better and loses to the player (having a higher ranked hand than the dealer). Preferably, the preset rank is the same regardless of whether it is the player or the dealer that suffers the bad beat loss. The bet pays the player either way regardless of who suffered the loss, so long as it is that player that made the bet and it is that player that is involved in the bad beat event.

Although the bad beat wager is placed prior to the deal and resolved at the outcome of the game, the typical game play of the underlying game of Three Card Poker® game proceeds as usual.

Example Pay Table of a Three Card Poker® Game With Bad Beat Bonus:

Hand BeatenPay-Out
Straight Flush$15,000
Three of a Kind$5,000
Straight$100
Flush$35
Pair$4

Examples of Bad Beat Bonus wager outcomes using the above payout table are shown below. In each example, the player places the Bad Beat Bonus bet.

Bad Beat Bonus
Player handDealer HandPayout to Player
9♡, 10♡, J♡J , Q , K $15,000
5, 5, 52, 4, J0
5, 5, 910, 10, 3$4
6 , 7 , 8 Q, Q, Q$5,000

The underlying nature of the bad beat bet in this technology is fundamentally different than known bad beat bets. The known bad beat bet applies only when a high quality player hand rank is beaten by a higher ranking dealer hand. In order to win the bad beat bet, the player loses the primary wager. Before the present invention, there was no bad beat wager that can also pay on the same wager for a high ranking dealer hand being beaten by a higher ranking player hand. This offers the potential unique experience of a player having an additional excitement of winning twice against a very high ranking dealer hand.

In some games, it is a player flaw in strategy to seek high ranking hands against probabilities for an activity, such as hitting a count of 17 or 18 in blackjack to get a higher hand, or splitting two pairs in poker to try to get a three-of-a-kind. In spite of the error in this strategy, some players continue this strategy, seeking the additional excitement of beating a dealers hand by a larger amount, rather than just winning. This two-way potential for winning is a unique and effective way of enabling a player to have both a standard bad beat event that results from a loss in the underlying game, but also provides an opportunity for a player to experience the thrill of not only winning against a high dealer hand, but also getting a bonus payment for doing so. This does not have to be done with any alteration of best wagering strategy either.

No other wagering play has been described that provides such a two-way benefit from a single wager where both losing events are soothed and major winning events are enhanced.