Title:
Pai gow blackjack
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a game for play between a player and a dealer. The player places a wager. Three player cards are distributed and arranged into a two-card player hand and a one-card player hand. A player total is calculated by summing the values of the cards in the two-card player hand. Three dealer cards are similarly distributed to the dealer, which the dealer arranges into a two-card dealer hand and a one-card dealer hand. A dealer total is then calculated by summing the values of the cards in the two-card dealer hand. A payout is awarded to the player based on the wager when the player total exceeds the dealer total and the one-card player hand has a higher value than the one-card dealer hand. Preferably, the cards are arranged such that neither the player total nor the dealer total exceeds twenty-one.



Inventors:
Brunelle, Kenneth (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
12/157091
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
06/06/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
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Primary Examiner:
BALDORI, JOSEPH B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOWARD & HOWARD ATTORNEYS PLLC (ROYAL OAK, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A game for play between a player and a dealer using a deck of cards, wherein each of said cards has a value associated therewith, said game comprising: a first wager placed by said player; a set of player cards, said player arranging said set of player cards into a first player hand and a second player hand; a first player total calculated by summing the values of the cards included in said first player hand; a second player total calculated by summing the values of the cards included in said second player hand; a set of dealer cards, said dealer arranging said set of dealer cards into a first dealer hand and a second dealer hand; a first dealer total calculated by summing the values of the cards included in said first dealer hand; and a second dealer total calculated by summing the values of the cards included in said second dealer hand; wherein said player receives a payout based on said first wager when said first player total exceeds said first dealer total and said second player total exceeds said second dealer total.

2. The game of claim 1, wherein said first wager is returned to said player when only one of said first player total exceeds said first dealer total and said second player total exceeds said second dealer total.

3. The game of claim 1, wherein said first wager is remitted when said first player total is less than or equal to said first dealer total and said second player total is less than or equal to said second dealer total.

4. The game of claim 1, further including a second wager, said second wager being resolved following play of a secondary game.

5. The game of claim 4, wherein at least two cards from said set of player cards are a starting hand for said secondary game.

6. The game of claim 5, wherein said first player hand is said starting hand.

7. The game of claim 4, wherein said second wager is placed prior to distribution of said set of player cards.

8. The game of claim 4, wherein said secondary game is blackjack.

9. The game of claim 4, wherein said secondary game is three-card poker.

10. The game of claim 9, wherein three cards from said set of player cards becomes are used for said three-card poker game.

11. A method of playing a game between a player and a dealer using a deck of cards, wherein each of said cards has a value associated therewith, said method comprising: wagering of a first wager by said player; distributing a set of player cards to said player and a set of dealer cards to said dealer; arranging said set of player cards into a first player hand and a second player hand; arranging said set of dealer cards into a first dealer hand and a second dealer hand; calculating a first player total by summing the values of the cards included in said first player hand, a second player total by summing the values of the cards included in the second player hand, a first dealer total by summing the values of the cards included in the first dealer hand, and a second dealer total by summing the values of the cards included in the second dealer hand; and awarding a payout to said player based on said first wager when said first player total exceeds said first dealer total and said second player total exceeds said second dealer total.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein said first wager is returned to said player when only one of said first player total exceeds said first dealer total and said second player total exceeds said second dealer total.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein said first wager is remitted when said first player total is less than or equal to said first dealer total and said second player total is less than or equal to said second dealer total.

14. The method of claim 11, further including: wagering a second wager; playing a secondary game; and resolving said second wager based on the result of said secondary game.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein said secondary game is blackjack.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein said first player hand is a starting hand for said secondary game.

17. A game for play between a player and a dealer using a deck of cards, wherein each of said cards has a value associated therewith, said game comprising: a wager placed by said player; a set of three player cards distributed to said player, said player arranging said set of player cards into a two-card player hand and a one-card player hand; a player total calculated by summing the values of the cards included in said two-card player hand; a set of three dealer cards distributed to said dealer, said dealer arranging said set of dealer cards into a two-card dealer hand and a one-card dealer hand; a dealer total calculated by summing the values of the cards included in said two-card dealer hand; and a payout awarded to said player based on said wager when said player total exceeds said dealer total and said one-card player hand has a higher value than said one-card dealer hand; wherein said player cards and said dealer cards are arranged such that neither said player total nor said dealer total exceeds a predetermined value.

18. The game of claim 17, wherein said predetermined value is twenty-one.

19. The game of claim 17, wherein said wager is returned to said player when only one of said player total exceeds said dealer total and said one-card player hand has a higher value than said one-card dealer hand.

20. The game of claim 17, wherein said wager is remitted when said player total is less than or equal to said dealer total and said one-card player hand has a value less than or equal to the value of said one-card dealer hand.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a game of chance, and more particularly to a card game incorporating elements of both pai gow and blackjack.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Casino card games in which a player receives a plurality of cards which are then divided into at least two hands are known in the art. One such game is pai gow poker. In pai gow, a player is dealt seven cards after posting an initial bet, which the player then arranges into a two-card “low” hand and a five-card “high” hand. The strength of each hand is determined using standard poker rankings, with two aces being the best low hand and a royal flush being the best high hand. The player may divide his seven cards into any combination provided that the player's high hand outranks the player's low hand.

In pai gow, a dealer also receives seven cards which are similarly arranged into the best two-card low hand and a five-card high hand. The player's initial bet is resolved by comparing the player's high hand to the dealer's high hand, and comparing the player's low hand to the dealer's low hand. Typically, if the player's high hand and low hand both outrank the dealer's high hand and low hand, i.e., if the player wins both hands, the initial bet is paid evenly. If either the player's high hand or the player's low hand outranks the dealer's high hand or the dealer's low hand, i.e., the player wins one of the two hands, a “push” results, wherein the initial bet is returned to the player. If the dealer's high and low hands outrank the player's high and low hands, such that the player loses both hands, the initial bet is forfeited. Typically a commission of approximately 5% is taken from any amount won by the player. In the event that a dealer's hand and a player's hand are of the same poker rank, the dealer traditionally wins.

While pai gow poker is an enjoyable game for players and a profitable game for casinos and other game providers, it takes time for players and the dealer the arrange their seven cards into high and low hands. Additionally, given that a player must arrange seven cards, playing pai gow in a video environment could be challenging.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a game for play between a player and a dealer using a deck of cards, with each of the cards having a value associated therewith. The game includes a first wager placed by the player. A set of player cards are then distributed to the player, with the player arranging the set of player cards into a first player hand and a second player hand. A first player total is calculated by summing the values of the cards included in the first player hand, while a second player total is calculated by summing the values of the cards in the second player hand. The game also includes a set of dealer cards distributed to the dealer, with the dealer similarly arranging the set of dealer cards into a first dealer hand and a second dealer hand. A first dealer total is then calculated by summing the values of the cards included in the first dealer hand, while a second dealer total is calculated by summing the values of the cards included in the second dealer hand. The player receives a payout based on the first wager when the first player total exceeds the first dealer total and the second player total exceeds the second dealer total.

Preferably, the first wager is returned to the player when either the first player total exceeds the first dealer total or the second dealer total exceeds the second dealer total, but not both. The first wager may be remitted when both the first player total is less than or equal to the first dealer total and the second player total is less than or equal to the second dealer total. The game may include a second wager, with the second wager being resolved following play of a secondary game. For example, the secondary game may be blackjack, or three-card poker. Preferably, at least two cards from the set of player cards are used as a starting hand for the secondary game. In one embodiment, the first player hand is used as the starting hand for the secondary game. The second wager may be placed prior to distribution of the set of player cards.

The present invention also provides a method of playing a game between a player and a dealer using a deck of cards, with each of the cards having a value associated therewith. First, a wager is wagered by the player. Next, a set of player cards is distributed to the player, and a set of dealer cards is distributed to the dealer. The player cards are then arranged into a first player hand and a second hand. Similarly, the set of dealer cards is next arranged into a first dealer hand and a second dealer hand. Following card arrangement, a first player total is calculated by summing the values of the cards included in the first player hand, while a second player total is calculated by summing the values of the cards in the second player hand. Similarly, first dealer total is calculated by summing the values of the cards in the first dealer hand, while a second dealer total is calculated by summing the values of the cards included in the second dealer hand. Finally, a payout is awarded to the player based on the first wager when the first player total exceeds the first dealer total and the second player total exceeds the second dealer total.

The first wager may be returned to the player when either the first player total exceeds the first dealer total and the second player total exceeds the second dealer total, but not both. The first wager may be remitted when both the first player total is less than or equal to the first dealer total and the second player total is less than or equal to the second dealer total. The method may further include the steps of wagering of a second wager, after which a secondary game is played. The second wager is then resolved based on the result of the secondary game. In one embodiment, the secondary game is blackjack. In this embodiment, the first player hand may be the starting hand for the secondary game.

The present invention also provides another embodiment of a game for play between a player and a dealer using a deck of cards, with each of the cards having a card value associated therewith. In this embodiment, following placement of a wager by the player, a set of three player cards is distributed to the player, with the player arranging the set of player cards into a two-card player hand and a one-card player hand. A player total is calculated by summing the values of the cards included in the two-card player hand. A dealer is similarly dealt a set of three dealer cards, which the dealer then arranges into a two-card dealer hand and a one-card dealer hand. A dealer total is then calculated by summing the values of the cards included in the two-card dealer hand. A payout is awarded to the player based on the wager when the player total exceeds the dealer total and the one-card player hand has a higher value than the one-card dealer hand. In this embodiment, the player cards and the dealer cards are arranged such that neither the player total nor the dealer total exceeds a predetermined value. Preferably, the predetermined value is twenty-one. The wager may be returned to the player when either the player total exceeds the dealer total or the one-card player hand has a higher value than the one-card dealer hand, but not both. The wager is preferably remitted when the player total is less than or equal to the dealer total and the one-card player hand has a value less than or equal to the value of the one-card dealer hand.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The above features and advantages and other features and advantages of the present invention are readily apparent from the following detailed description of the best modes for carrying out the invention. The present invention provides a game for play between a player and a dealer. It should be noted that the game according to the present invention could be played using a tangible display (i.e., with physical playing cards) or as a video-type game without changing the inventive concept. The game includes a first wager made by the player. A set of three player cards is then distributed to the player, with a set of three dealer cards being distributed to the dealer. While the term “card” is used herein, the present invention may be practiced using any type of symbol. By way of example, sets of tiles may be distributed instead of cards. Alternatively, if the game is played using a video display (i.e., “Video Pai Gow Blackjack”), video depictions of cards could be used instead of actual cards.

The three player cards are arranged into a first player hand having two cards, with the remaining player card being a second player hand. The three dealer cards are similarly arranged into a first dealer hand having two cards, with the remaining dealer card being a second dealer hand. The player cards are preferably arranged prior to display of the dealer cards, such that the arrangement of the dealer cards does not affect the way in which the player cards are arranged. Following arrangement of both the player cards and the dealer cards, the first wager is resolved by comparing the first player hand to the first dealer hand and the second player hand to the second dealer hand as described herein.

For evaluation of the first hands, a blackjack-type scoring system is utilized. That is, the card values of the cards in the first player hand are summed to yield a player total, and the card values of the cards in the second player hand are summed to yield a dealer total. Preferably, the total cannot exceed 21, such that two Aces would be scored as 12. The player total is then compared to the dealer total. If the player total exceeds the dealer total, the first player hand outranks the first dealer hand. Conversely, if the player total is less than the dealer total, the first dealer hand outranks the first player hand. In the preferred embodiment, if the player total equals the dealer total, the first dealer hand is deemed to outrank the first player hand; that is, as with traditional pai gow, the dealer wins ties. However, resolution of the first player hand when the player total equals the dealer total may be made in another fashion within the scope of the present invention.

Evaluation of the second hands, which each contain only one card, is based solely on card value. If the card value of the player card in the second player hand outranks the card value of the dealer card in the second dealer hand, the second player hand outranks the second dealer hand. If the card value of the dealer card in the second dealer hand outranks the card value of the player card in the second player hand, the second dealer hand outranks the second player hand. As with the first hands, in the preferred embodiment the dealer wins ties; that is, if the card value of the player card in the second player hand is equal to the card value of the dealer card in the second dealer hand, the second dealer hand is deemed to outrank the second player hand. However, resolution of the second hands when the card values are equal can be achieved in another way without compromising the inventive concept. For example, when the card values are equal, the suit of each card may be used to determine the winner of the second hands.

In the preferred embodiment, the player receives a payout based on the first wager if the first player hand outranks the first dealer hand and the second player hand outranks the second dealer hand. The house may take a commission from the payout, as with traditional pai gow poker, with a 5% commission being preferable. The first wager is returned to the player, i.e., a “push” results, if only one player hand outranks a corresponding dealer hand. Finally, if both dealer hands outrank both player hands, the first wager is remitted to the house; that is, the player loses the first wager when neither player hand outranks the corresponding dealer hand.

By way of example, consider the following. Assume the house rules require the dealer to arrange the dealer cards such that the first dealer hand yields the greatest possible dealer total that does not exceed 21, and that the dealer wins ties. Following posting of a first wager, a player is initially distributed the Ace of spades (As), the six of hearts (6h), and the seven of diamonds (7d). The player may arrange his cards in any of the following three ways (first player hand player totals are indicated in parentheses):

Scenario 1Scenario 2Scenario 3
First player handAs, 6h (17)As, 7d (18)6h, 7d (13)
Second player hand7d6hAs

If the player selects Scenario 1, he will have a player total of 17 for the first player hand, and only a 7 for the second player hand. In Scenario 2, the player total will be 18, but the second player hand will have only a 6. In Scenario 3, the player total will be only 13, but the second player hand will be an Ace.

Recall that in the preferred embodiment, the player must arrange the player cards prior to display of the dealer cards. Assume then that the player selects Scenario 3, theorizing that 17 and 18 are not high enough player totals to ensure a win for the first player hand in Scenarios 1 and 2, while a second player hand of an Ace can rarely be beat. Because of the house rule requiring the dealer to arrange the dealer cards such that the first dealer hand yields the greatest possible dealer total without exceeding 21, the only way the player could lose the second player hand in Scenario 3 is if the dealer is dealt two of the three remaining Aces in the deck. Should that happen, the first Ace must be used in the first dealer hand. Since and Ace and an Ace would equal only 12, the other Ace would make up the second dealer hand. Since the dealer wins ties, the second dealer hand would outrank the second player hand if both second hands were an Ace. Since this situation will rarely occur, the player chooses Scenario 3, hoping to at least earn a push on his first wager.

Assume now that the dealer reveals the six of spades (6s), the seven of spades (7s), and the nine of hearts (9h). Since the dealer must arrange the dealer cards such that the first dealer hand yields the greatest possible dealer total without exceeding 21, the dealer arranges his cards as follows:

First dealer hand: 7s, 9h
Second dealer hand: 6s
Thus the dealer total, based on the first dealer hand, is 16, while the second dealer hand is a 6. To resolve the first wager, first the first player hand is compared to the first dealer hand. Since the player total of 13 is less than the dealer total of 16, the first dealer hand outranks the first player hand. However, since an Ace (11) is greater than 6, the second player hand outranks the second dealer hand. Therefore, a “push” results, since only one player hand (here, the second player hand) outranks a corresponding dealer hand.

Note that had the player chosen to arrange his cards according to Scenario 2, the same result would have occurred, though for a different reason. In Scenario 2, the first player hand yields a player total of 18, with a 6 for the second player hand. Thus the first player hand (18) would outrank the first dealer hand (16), while the second player hand (6) would be equal to the second dealer hand (6), but the dealer wins ties. Thus only one player hand (here, the first player hand) outranks a corresponding dealer hand.

However, had the player chosen to arrange his cards according to Scenario 1, a different outcome would have been realized. In Scenario 1, the first player hand yields a player total of 17, with a 7 for the second player hand. Thus the first player hand (17) would outrank the first dealer hand (16), and the second player hand (7) would outrank the second dealer hand (6). Thus, the player would receive a payout based on the first wager since both player hands outrank the corresponding dealer hands. It can thus be seen that arrangement of the player cards, while seemingly simplistic, can greatly affect the outcome of the game according to the present invention.

The game according to the present invention may conclude following resolution of the first wager, or the game may continue on within the scope of the inventive concept. For example, the game may include a second wager, with resolution of the second wager occurring based on a game of blackjack or three-card poker. In one embodiment, two of the three player cards are used as a starting hand for a blackjack game. In another embodiment, all three player cards are used as a starting hand for a blackjack game. In this embodiment, the sum of the values of the three initially distributed player cards may exceed 21, such that the player busts on the second wager without ever “playing” the blackjack game. In yet another embodiment, the three player cards may be used to play a three-card poker game. In each case described, the second wager is preferably placed at the same time as the first wager, that is, before the player hand is distributed. As such, the player is placing the second wager “blind,” without knowing what any of his cards are, as is typical in wagering games. However, the player may be allowed to place the second wager following resolution of the first wager, thus varying the amount based on the strength of his starting hand. Additionally, the player may be allowed to opt out of the second portion of the game by not placing a second wager within the scope of the inventive concept.

In still another embodiment, the two-card first player hand is used as a starting hand for a blackjack game played following resolution of the first wager. This embodiment will likely affect the arrangement of the player cards, as only the two cards in the first player hand can be used. Consider, for example, the following. After posting first and second wagers, a player is initially distributed the King of spades (Ks), the nine of hearts (9h), and the two of diamonds (2d). The player may arrange his cards in any of the following three ways (first player hand player totals are indicated in parentheses):

Scenario 1Scenario 2Scenario 3
First player handKs, 9h (19)Ks, 2d (12)9h, 2d (11)
Second player hand2d9hKs

If the player selects Scenario 1, he will have a player total of 19 for the first player hand, and only a 2 for the second player hand. In Scenario 2, the player total will be 12, with a second player hand of 9. In Scenario 3, the player total will be only 11, but second player hand will be King.

Evaluation of Scenarios 1-3 will proceed as follows. In Scenario 1, the player has a fairly good chance of winning the first player hand with a player total of 19, but cannot lose the second player hand with a 2, since the dealer wins ties. Thus the best a player can do on the first wager is a push, which will occur if the first dealer hand is 18 or less. The player then has a starting blackjack hand of a 19, fairly strong, which will be used to resolve the second wager. In Scenario 2, the player has a mediocre chance of winning either the first or second player hand, which puts the first wager at risk. However, the player could choose Scenario 2 anyway in order to get the starting hand of 12 for the blackjack game used to resolve the second wager. Scenario 3 presents an even better opportunity. The King as the second player hand gives the player a decent chance of winning the second player hand. Even though a player total of 11 will likely not win him the first player hand, he will still push on the first wager if he can win either hand, and win on the first wager if he wins both. Additionally, a starting blackjack hand of 11 gives him good odds to win on the second wager as well.

It can thus be seen that adding a blackjack game played with the first player hand as a starting hand following resolution of the first wager can have a significant impact on arrangement of the player cards. With the addition of a second wager and a blackjack game played with the first player hand as a starting hand, a player would likely select Scenario 3. However, if the game ends after resolution of the first wager, the player could pick either Scenario 1 or Scenario 3 and have reasonably good odds for a push on the first wager.

The present invention also provides a method of playing a game between a player and a dealer using a deck of cards, with each of the cards having a value associated therewith. First, a wager is wagered by the player. Next, a set of player cards is distributed to the player, and a set of dealer cards is distributed to the dealer. The player cards are then arranged into a first player hand and a second hand. Similarly, the set of dealer cards is next arranged into a first dealer hand and a second dealer hand. Following card arrangement, a first player total is calculated by summing the values of the cards included in the first player hand, while a second player total is calculated by summing the values of the cards in the second player hand. Similarly, first dealer total is calculated by summing the values of the cards in the first dealer hand, while a second dealer total is calculated by summing the values of the cards included in the second dealer hand. Finally, a payout is awarded to the player based on the first wager when the first player total exceeds the first dealer total and the second player total exceeds the second dealer total.

The first wager may be returned to the player when either the first player total exceeds the first dealer total and the second player total exceeds the second dealer total, but not both. The first wager may be remitted when both the first player total is less than or equal to the first dealer total and the second player total is less than or equal to the second dealer total. The method may further include the steps of wagering of a second wager, after which a secondary game is played. The second wager is then resolved based on the result of the secondary game. In one embodiment, the secondary game is blackjack. In this embodiment, the first player hand may be the starting hand for the secondary game.

While the best modes for carrying out the invention have been described in detail, it is to be understood that the terminology used is intended to be in the nature of words and description rather than of limitation. Those familiar with the art to which this invention relates will recognize that many modifications of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced in a substantially equivalent way other than as specifically described herein.





 
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