Title:
Table keno
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a table version of a keno game. A table defines a community side bet area including a plurality of betting positions. A set of player symbols is selected by a player from among a set of playable symbols. A set of winning symbols is preferably randomly selected from among the set of playable symbols. A plurality of winning positions are configured such that each winning position displays one of the winning symbols. The player uses a marker to identify at least one of the betting positions within the community side bet area as a marked position prior to placement of the winning symbols, with each betting position representing one of the winning positions. The player is awarded a bonus if any of the player symbols match winning symbols displayed within marked positions. The betting positions and the winning positions may be coextensive.



Inventors:
Brunelle, Kenneth (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Piper, Danny R. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/879382
Publication Date:
01/08/2009
Filing Date:
07/16/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/08
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Primary Examiner:
HALL, ARTHUR O
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kenneth Brunelle (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Claims:
1. A game comprising: a table defining a community side bet area, said community side bet area including a plurality of betting positions; a set of playable symbols; a set of player symbols selected by a player from among said set of playable symbols; a set of winning symbols preferably randomly selected from among said set of playable symbols; a plurality of winning positions, with each of said plurality of winning positions configured to display one of said set of winning symbols; and a marker usable by said player to identify at least one of said plurality of betting positions within said community side bet area as a marked position; wherein each of said plurality of betting positions represents one of said plurality of winning positions, such that said marked position represents a specific winning position, with said player being awarded a bonus if any of said player symbols match said one of said set of winning symbols displayed within said specific winning position represented by said marked position.

2. The game of claim 1, wherein said betting positions and said winning positions are coextensive.

3. The game of claim 1, further including a first bet wagered by said player, said player receiving a payout based on said first bet if a predetermined number of said player symbols are present among said set of winning symbols.

4. The game of claim 3, further including a second bet wagered by said player, said bonus being awarded based on said second bet.

5. The game of claim 4, wherein said second bet is said marker.

6. The game of claim 1, wherein said player selects a plurality of marked positions, said bonus increasing as the number of said player symbols matching winning symbols displayed within winning positions represented by marked positions increases.

7. The game of claim 1, wherein said community side bet area is divided into a plurality of zones, said player being restricted to a predetermined zone for placement of said marker.

8. The game of claim 1, wherein said marker identifies one of one, two or four of said plurality of betting positions as marked positions.

9. The game of claim 1, wherein said community side bet area is a matrix of rows and columns defining said plurality of betting positions, and wherein said marker identifies one of an entire row and an entire column as marked positions.

10. The game of claim 1, further including a dealer for management of said community side bet area.

11. A method of playing a table version of a keno game comprising: a) providing a table defining a community side bet area, said community side bet area including a plurality of positions; b) defining a set of playable symbols; c) selecting a set of player symbols from said set of playable symbols; d) identifying at least one of said plurality of positions within said community side bet area as a marked position; e) selecting a set of winning symbols from said set of playable symbols; f) displaying one of said set of winning symbols within each of said plurality of positions within said community side bet area, such that said marked position displays one of said set of winning symbols; g) comparing said one of said set of winning symbols displayed within said marked position to said set of player symbols; and h) awarding a bonus if said one of said set of winning symbols displayed within said marked position is among said set of player symbols.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein a player selects said set of player symbols.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein a player identifies at least one of said plurality of positions within said community side bet area as a marked position.

14. The method of claim 11, further including wagering of a first bet by a player prior to selection of said set of winning symbols, said player being awarded a payout based on said first bet if a predetermined number of said player symbols are among said set of winning symbols.

15. The method of claim 14, further including wagering of a second bet by said player prior to displaying said winning symbols within said plurality of positions, wherein said bonus is based on said second bet.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein said second bet is used to identify said marked position.

17. A game comprising: a table defining a community side bet area, said community side bet area including a plurality of positions; a set of playable symbols; a set of player symbols selected by a player from said set of playable symbols; a set of winning symbols preferably randomly selected from among said set of playable symbols, with each of said winning symbols being displayed within one of said plurality of positions; a first bet wagered by said player, said player receiving a payout based on said first bet if a predetermined number of said set, of player symbols are present among said set of winning symbols; and a second bet wagered by said player, said second bet identifying at least one of said plurality of positions as a marked position, such that said marked position displays one of said winning symbols; wherein said player is awarded a bonus based on said second bet if any of said player symbols match said winning symbol displayed within said marked position.

18. The game of claim 17, wherein said second bet identifies a plurality of said plurality of positions as marked positions, said bonus increasing as the number of said set of player symbols matching winning symbols displayed within marked positions increases.

19. The game of claim 17, wherein said community side bet area is divided into a plurality of zones, with each of said plurality of zones including at least one of said plurality of positions, wherein said second bet may operate to identify all of said plurality of positions within one of said plurality of zones as marked positions.

20. The game of claim 19, wherein said player is restricted to a predetermined zone for placement of said second bet.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a game of chance, and more particularly to a table version of traditional keno game.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In a standard game of keno, a player chooses between one and ten numbers from the numbers 1-80. Keno may be played electronically on a video keno machine wherein players select numbers using touch-screen technology, or live, with players selecting numbers by marking tickets. After a player selects numbers, twenty winning numbers are randomly selected from the field of eighty numbers. Weighted average paytables are used to award a payout based on the number of player numbers which matching the winning numbers. Typically, the paytables are based on the number of “spots” picked, or the number of player numbers selected. The more numbers that match, the higher the payout.

In a live keno game, typically the playable numbers (i.e., 1-80) are represented by eighty keno balls numbered 1 through 80. An air blower device circulates the balls within the device. The winning numbers are selected by randomly choosing twenty of the eighty balls. On a typical video keno machine, the winning numbers are displayed as “balls”, much like the winning numbers in the live keno game. The winning numbers enter a 2×10 grid as they are selected. In each game, there is a place on the screen or the game board where the winning numbers are displayed.

Table games are a very popular component of most casinos. Traditional keno games are not played on a gaming table; a player chooses numbers using a ticket or in some other manner, and receives any payout due when the ticket is turned in. It is an object of the present invention to provide a table version of a keno game to enhance visibility within a casino while allowing keno players to experience a new and exciting way of playing the game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a table version of a keno game including a table defining a community side bet area. The community side bet area includes a plurality of betting positions. A set of player symbols is selected by a player from among a set of playable symbols. A set of winning symbols is preferably randomly selected from among the set of playable symbols. A plurality of winning positions are configured such that each winning position displays one of the winning symbols. A marker is usable by the player to identify at least one of the betting positions within the community side bet area as a marked position. Each of the betting positions represents one of the winning, positions. The player is awarded a bonus if any of the player symbols match winning symbols displayed within marked positions. The betting positions and the winning positions may be coextensive, such that the winning symbols are displayed within the positions defined by the community side bet area.

The game may include a first bet wagered by the player, with the player receiving a payout based on the first bet if a predetermined number of the player symbols are present among the set of winning symbols, as with traditional keno games. The game may also include a second bet wagered by the player, with the bonus being awarded based on the second bet. In one aspect of the invention, the second bet acts as the marker; that is, a player places the second bet within the community side bet area to identify the marked position. In another aspect of the invention, the player selects a plurality of marked positions, with the bonus increasing as the number of player symbols matching winning symbols displayed within marked positions increases. In yet another aspect of the present invention, the community side bet area is divided into a plurality of zones, with each zone including at least one of the positions. The player may be restricted to a predetermined zone for placement of the marker. The marker may identify all of the positions within a particular zone as marked positions. The marker may alternatively identify one, two, three or four of the betting positions as marked positions. Additionally, the community side bet area may be a matrix of rows and columns which define the betting positions, with the marker identifying an entire row or an entire column of positions as marked positions. The game may include a dealer for management of the community side bet area.

The present invention also provides a method of playing a table version of a keno game. A table defining a community side bet area is provided, with the community side bet area including a plurality of positions. A set of playable symbols is defined, from which a set of player symbols is selected. At least one of the positions within the community side bet area is identified as a marked position. A set of winning symbols is selected from the set of playable symbols, with one winning symbol being displayed within each position within the community side bet area, such that the marked position displays one of the winning symbols. The winning symbol displayed within the marked position is compared to the set of player symbols. A bonus is awarded if the winning symbol displayed within the marked position matches any of the player symbols.

In one aspect of the method according to the present invention, a player selects the set of player symbols. In another aspect, the player identifies the marked position. The method may further include wagering of a first bet by the player prior to selection of the set of winning symbols, with the player being awarded a payout based on the first bet if a predetermined number of player symbols are present among the set of winning symbols. The method may also include wagering of a second bet by the player prior to displaying the winning symbols within the positions, with the bonus, if one is awarded, being based on the second bet. The second bet may be the marker; that is, the second bet may be used to identify the marked position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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 when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic of a table version of a keno game according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic of a preferred embodiment of a game according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a schematic of a community side bet area according to one aspect of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a flowchart presenting a method of playing a game according the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the drawings, wherein like numerals equal like parts, FIG. 1 is a schematic of a table version of a keno game according to the present invention. A table 10 defines a community side bet area 14. A player 12 and a dealer 13 are preferably arranged about the table 10. The dealer 13 is preferably present to manage the community side bet area 14, much like a roulette dealer or a craps dealer manages the betting areas of those games. The community side bet area 14 includes a plurality of betting positions 16a-16f. A set of playable symbols 18 are shown on the table 10. In this embodiment, the playable symbols 18 are the numbers 1 through 15 as shown. The playable symbols 18 need not be explicitly shown on the table 10 itself to practice the present invention. Additionally, while the embodiments of the invention described herein utilize numbers as symbols, any symbols may be used within the scope of the present invention.

A set of player symbols 20, p1 and P2, are selected by the player 12 from among the set of playable symbols 18. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the player 12 has selected two symbols. However, the set of player symbols 20 may include any number of symbols up to the number of playable symbols 18 within the scope of the present invention. A set of winning symbols, 22a-22f, are preferably randomly selected from among the set of playable symbols 18. The game includes a plurality of winning positions 24a-24f, with each winning position 24 configured to display one of the winning symbols 22 as shown. Markers 26a-26f are used by the player to identify at least one betting position 16 within the community side bet area 14 as a marked position. Each of the betting positions 16 represents one of the winning positions 24. For example, betting position 16a may represent winning position 24a, betting position 16b may represent winning positions 24b, and so forth. Thus, each marked position also corresponds with a specific winning position 24. For example, marker 26c identifies betting position 16d, which may correspond with winning position 24d. The player 12 is awarded a bonus if any of the player symbols 20 match winning symbols 22 displayed within winning positions 24 represented by marked positions. By way of example, assume the player 12 used only marker 26c, thus identifying only betting position 16d as a marked position. If betting position 16d corresponds with winning position 24d, the player will be awarded a bonus if the winning symbol 22d displayed within winning position 24d matches any of the player symbols 20. In the preferred embodiment of the invention described below with respect to FIG. 2, the betting positions 16 and the winning positions 24 are coextensive, which may ease in the understanding of the inventive concept.

As shown in FIG. 1, six markers 26a-26f have been placed within the community side bet area 14. A marker 26 may identify only one betting position 16 as a marked position, as with marker 26c, which identifies only betting position 16d as a marked position. Alternatively, a marker 26 may identify two betting positions 16 as marked positions, as with markers 26e and 26f. Marker 26e is placed on the vertical border between betting positions 16e and 16f, thereby identifying betting positions 16e and 16f as marked positions. Marker 26f is placed on the horizontal border between betting positions 16c and 16f, thereby, identifying betting positions 16c and 16f as marked positions. As yet another alternative, a marker 26 may identify four betting positions 16, as with marker 26d, which is placed at the junction of betting positions 16a, 16b, 16d and 16e, thereby identifying those four positions as marked positions. As still another alternative, the community betting area 14 may be provided as a matrix of rows and columns, as is the case in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. Thus, a player 12 may use a marker 26 to identify an entire row or an entire column of positions 16 as marked positions. By way of example, marker 26a is placed adjacent to the row including betting positions 16a-16c, thus identifying three betting positions, 16a-16c, as marked positions, while marker 26b is placed above the column including betting positions 16a and 16d, thus identifying two betting positions, 16a and 16d, as marked positions. While six markers 26a-26f are shown in FIG. 1 to aid in the description of the invention, the player 12 may place any number of markers 26 within the scope of the present invention. However, it is unlikely a player 12 would choose to use six markers 26 if only six betting positions 16 are provided, especially since some markers 26 mark the same betting positions 16 (i.e., markers 26e and 26f both identify betting position 16f as a marked position).

It should be understood that the player 12 may select a plurality of marked positions, as described above. Preferably, the bonus increases as the number of player symbols 20 matching winning numbers 22 displayed within winning positions 24 represented by marked positions increases. By way of example, assume the player 12 used only marker 26a, thus identifying betting positions 16a-16c as marked positions. Assume further that betting positions 16a-16c correspond with winning positions 24a-24c, such that the marked positions represent winning positions 24a-24c. The player 12 would be awarded a certain bonus if exactly one of the player symbols 20 matches one of the winning numbers 22a-c displayed within winning positions 24a-24c. The player 12 would be awarded an increased bonus if two of the player symbols 20 match two of the winning numbers 22a-c displayed within winning positions 24a-24c.

According to the present invention, the game may further include a first bet 28 wagered by the player 12 in order to play the underlying keno game. The underlying keno game is played using standard keno rules; that is, the player 12 receives a payout based on the first bet 28 if a predetermined number of player symbols 20 are present among the set of winning symbols 22. The game may further include a second bet 30 wagered by the player 12 to allow placement of the marker(s) 26. As described below with respect to the preferred embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 2, the second bet 30 may be the marker 26; that is, the player 12 may place the second bet 30 within the community side bet area 14 to identify the marked position(s). However, as shown in FIG. 1, the player 12 may need only wager the second bet 30 in order to be eligible to place the marker(s) 26.

Turning now to FIG. 2, a schematic of the preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown. In this embodiment, first and second players 112, 112′ and a dealer 113 are arranged at a table 110. The table 110 includes a community side bet area 114 having twenty betting positions 116a-116t. The betting positions 116 are coextensive with twenty winning positions 124a-124t. A set of playable symbols 118 is shown, with each player 112, 112′ selecting a set of player symbols 120, 120′ therefrom. As shown, the first player 112 has selected four symbols, p1 through p4, as player symbols 120, while the second player 112′ has selected only three symbols, p1′ through p3′, as player symbols 120′. A set of winning symbols 122a-122t are preferably randomly selected from among the set of playable symbols 118 and displayed within the winning positions 124a-124t.

As shown in FIG. 2, the first player 112 has placed markers 126a and 126b within the community side bet area 114 to identify betting positions 116a, 116b, 116k, 116l, and 116m as marked positions. Since the betting positions 116 and the winning positions 124 in the preferred embodiment are coextensive, these marked positions correspond with winning positions 124a, 124b, 124k, 124l and 124m. Thus, the first player 112 will be awarded a bonus if any of the player symbols 120 match winning symbols 122a, 122b, 122k, 122l and 122m, which are the winning symbols 122 displayed within the marked positions. Similarly, the second player 112′ has placed markers 126a′ and 126b′ within the community side bet area 114 to identify betting positions 116r, 116j and 116t as marked positions, which correspond with winning positions 124r, 124j and 124t. Thus, the second player will be awarded a bonus if any of the player symbols 120′ match winning symbols 122r, 122j and 122t.

In this embodiment, the players 112, 112′ have each placed a first bet 128, 128′ in order to be eligible for the underlying keno game. Each player 112, 112′ will receive a payout based on the first bet 128, 128′ if a predetermined number of player symbols 120, 120′ are present among the set of winning symbols 122. In this embodiment, the markers 126 are second bets. That is, according to this embodiment, a player uses a chip or some other betting device to physically mark positions within the community side bet area 114. However, the markers 126 may be of any form within the scope of the present invention. For example, the first player 112 may use red chips as markers 126, with the second player 112′ using blue chips as markers 126′. In this case, the players 112, 112′ may be required to wager a second bet (not shown), with the bonus being dependent upon the second bet.

To better illustrate the inventive concept, assume that the first player 112 has selected 7, 18, 52 and 71 as player symbols 120; i.e., p1=7, p2=18, p3=52, and p4=71. Assume further that the second player 112′ has selected 9, 19 and 29 as player symbols 120′, such that p1′=9, p2′=19, and p3′=29. Next assume the winning numbers 122a-122t are as follows: 1, 2, 7, 9, 12, 18, 27, 33, 34, 35, 49, 52, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77 and 80, respectively, such that 122a=1, 122b=2, 122j=35, 122k=49, 122l=52, 122m=71, 122r=76, and 122t=80. The players 112, 112′ have each wagered a first bet 128, 128′ to be eligible for the underlying keno game. All four of the player symbols 120 of the first player 112 are among the set of winning symbols 122: 7, 18, 52 and 71. Thus the first player 112 will receive a payout based on the first bet 128 according to a paytable specific to the selection of four player symbols out of eighty playable symbols with the player hitting all four player symbols. The second player 112′ has only one “hit”: 9. The second player 112′ will thus receive a payout based on the first bet 128′ according to a paytable specific to the selection of three player symbols out of eighty playable symbols with the player hitting one of three player symbols. It should be noted that with respect to the second player 112′, this example is merely explanatory; it is unlikely that a player would receive a payout for hitting only one of three player symbols chosen from a group of eighty playable symbols.

Turning now to the community side bet area 114, the first player 112 has identified betting positions 116a, 116b, 116k, 116l, and 116m (and thus winning positions 122a, 122b, 122k, 122l, and 122m) as marked positions using markers 126a and 126b, while the second player 112′ has identified betting positions 116j, 116r and 116t (and thus winning positions 122j, 122r and 122t) as marked positions using markers 126a′ and 126b′. The first player 112 will receive a bonus under the present invention, since player symbol p3, 52, matches winning symbol 122l, 52, displayed within the marked position corresponding to betting position 116l and winning position 124l. However, the second player 112′ will not receive a bonus, since the only player number 120′ present among the set of winning symbols 122a-122t is 9, which does not fall within the marked positions identified by the second player 112′.

Turning now to FIG. 3, an alternative embodiment of a community side bet area 214 according to the present invention is shown. The community side bet area 214 has been divided into five zones: 232a, 232b, 232c, 232d and 232e. Each zone 232 includes at least one betting/winning position (not shown in FIG. 3). When zones 232 are utilized within the community side bet area 214, a player may be restricted to a predetermined zone for placement of a marker. For example, if there are five players at a table, the first player may be restricted to zone 232a, the second player to zone 232b, and so on. As another alternative, when zones 232 are utilized within the community side bet area 214, a player may use a marker to identify all of the positions within a given zone as marked positions.

Turning now to FIG. 4, the present invention also provides a method of playing a table version of a keno game. A table defining a community side bet area is provided in box 310. The community side bet area includes a plurality of positions. Next, a set of playable symbols are defined in box 312. In box 314, a set of player symbols is selected, preferably by a player. In box 316, at least one of the positions within the community side bet area is identified as a marked position, preferably by the player. A set of winning symbols is selected from among the set of playable symbols in box 318. The winning symbols are displayed within the positions comprising the community side bet area in box 320, such that each marked position displays a winning symbol. Next, in box 322, the winning symbol(s) displayed within the marked position(s) are compared to the player symbols. Box 324 asks if one or more winning symbols displayed within marked positions is/are among the set of player symbols. If the answer is yes, a bonus is awarded in box 326. If the answer is no, no bonus is awarded, as shown in box 328. The method may further include the step of wagering a first bet prior to selection of the winning symbols, as shown in box 330. When this step is included, the player may be awarded a payout based on the first bet if a predetermined number of player symbols are among the set of winning symbols. The method may also include the step of wagering a second bet prior to displaying the winning symbols within the positions, as shown in box 332. When this step is included, the bonus is preferably based on the second bet. The second bet may be physically utilized to identify the marked position(s).

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.