Title:
123 POKER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of playing a poker game comprises: each player making a first bet (and optional side bet in some embodiments of the invention); dealing a first card to each player; dealing two dealer cards face down to the dealer; dealing a community card face up; requiring each player to either fold or make a second bet; dealing a second card to each player; requiring each player who made the second bet to either fold or make a third bet; revealing the two dealer cards; each player forming a player hand comprised of the first card, second card, and community card; the dealer forming a dealer hand comprised of the two dealer cards and community card; comparing the hand of each player who made the third bet with the dealer hand using poker rankings; and resolving the first bet, the second bet, the third bet, and optional side bet.



Inventors:
Kling, Werner Alecsander (Oslo, NO)
Hagen, Hugo (Raelingen, NO)
Application Number:
11/782628
Publication Date:
01/29/2009
Filing Date:
07/24/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NICONOVICH, ALEXANDER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WERNER ALECSANDER KLING (OSLO, NO)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a poker game between a dealer and at least one player, the method comprising: (a) each player making at least one bet before any cards are dealt; (b) dealing one community card; (c) dealing a first card and a second card to each player; (d) dealing two dealer cards to the dealer; (e) revealing the two dealer cards; (f) each player forming a player hand comprised of the first card, the second card, and the one community card; (g) the dealer forming a dealer hand comprised of the two dealer cards and the one community card; (h) comparing each player hand with the dealer hand using traditional poker rankings; and (i) resolving the at least one bet.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the at least one bet comprises a first bet and an optional side bet.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein the optional side bet wins if the player hand is comprised of a straight flush, a three-of-a-kind, a straight, a flush, or a one-pair.

4. The method of claim 2 further comprising after the first card is dealt and before the second card is dealt, requiring each player to either fold or place a second bet; and after the first card and the second card are dealt and before the two dealer cards are revealed, requiring each player who made the second bet to either fold or make a third bet.

5. The method of claim 4 wherein, (i) each player who made the third bet loses the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand is less than the dealer hand; (ii) each player who made the third bet pushes the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand ties with the dealer hand; (iii) each player who made the third bet wins the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand and the dealer hand qualifies; and (iv) each player who made the third bet wins the first bet and pushes the second bet and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand and the dealer hand does not qualify.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein the dealer hand qualifies with at least a 9-high.

7. The method of claim 2 wherein the side bet is resolved according to a payout schedule wherein: the side bet is paid 40-to-1 if the player hand comprises a straight flush; the side bet is paid 25-to-1 if the player hand comprises a three-of-a-kind; the side bet is paid 6-to-1 if the player hand comprises a straight; the side bet is paid 4-to-1 if the player hand comprises a flush; and the side bet is paid 1-to-1 if the player hand comprises a one-pair.

8. The method of claim 2 wherein the side bet is resolved according to a payout schedule wherein: the side bet is paid 40-to-1 if the player hand comprises a straight flush; the side bet is paid 30-to-1 if the player hand comprises a three-of-a-kind; the side bet is paid 6-to-1 if the player hand comprises a straight; the side bet is paid 3-to-1 if the player hand comprises a flush; and the side bet is paid 1-to-1 if the player hand comprises a one-pair.

9. A method of playing a poker game between a dealer and at least one player, the method comprising: (a) requiring each player to make a first bet; (b) dealing a first card to each player; (c) dealing two dealer cards face down to the dealer; (d) dealing a community card face up; (e) requiring each player to either fold or make a second bet; (f) dealing a second card to each player; (g) requiring each player who made the second bet to either fold or make a third bet; (h) revealing the two dealer cards; (i) having each player form a player hand comprised of the first card, the second card, and the community card; j) having the dealer form a dealer hand comprised of the two dealer cards and the community card; (k) comparing the player hand of each player who made the third bet with the dealer hand using traditional poker rankings; and (l) resolving the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet.

10. The method of claim 9 further comprising allowing each player to optionally make a side bet before any cards are dealt.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the side bet wins if the player hand is comprised of a straight flush, a three-of-a-kind, a straight, a flush, or a one-pair.

12. The method of claim 9 wherein the second bet and the third bet must each equal the first bet.

13. The method of claim 9 wherein resolving the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet comprises: (i) collecting the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand is less than the dealer hand; (ii) pushing the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand ties with the dealer hand; (iii) paying even money on the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand and the dealer hand qualifies; and (iv) paying even money on the first bet and pushing the second bet and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand and the dealer hand does not qualify.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein the dealer hand qualifies with at least a 9-high.

15. The method of claim 10 wherein the side bet is resolved according to a payout schedule wherein the side bet is paid 40-to-1 if the player hand comprises a straight flush; the side bet is paid 25-to-1 if the player hand comprises a three-of-a-kind; the side bet is paid 6-to-1 if the player hand comprises a straight; the side bet is paid 4-to-1 if the player hand comprises a flush; and the side bet is paid 1-to-1 if the player hand comprises a one-pair.

16. The method of claim 10 wherein the side bet is resolved according to a payout schedule wherein the side bet is paid 40-to-1 if the player hand comprises a straight flush; the side bet is paid 30-to-1 if the player hand comprises a three-of-a-kind; the side bet is paid 6-to-1 if the player hand comprises a straight; the side bet is paid 3-to-1 if the player hand comprises a flush; and the side bet is paid 1-to-1 if the player hand comprises a one-pair.

17. A method of playing a poker game between a dealer and at least one player, the method comprising: (a) requiring each player to make an ante bet; (b) allowing each player to optionally make a side bet; (c) dealing a first card face down to each player; (d) dealing two dealer cards face down to the dealer; (e) dealing a community card face up; (f) requiring each player to either fold or make a second bet equal to the ante bet; (g) dealing a second card face down to each player; (h) requiring each player who made the second bet to either fold or make a third bet equal to the ante bet; (i) revealing the two dealer cards; (j) having each player form a player hand comprised of the first card, the second card, and the community card; (k) having the dealer form a dealer hand comprised of the two dealer cards and the community card; (l) comparing the player hand of each player who made the third bet with the dealer hand using traditional poker rankings; and (m) resolving the ante bet, the second bet, and the third bet, wherein resolving the ante bet, the second bet, and the third bet comprises: (i) collecting the ante bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand is less than the dealer hand, (ii) pushing the ante bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand ties with the dealer hand, (iii) paying even money on the ante bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand and the dealer hand qualifies, and (iv) paying even money on the ante bet and pushing the second bet and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand and the dealer hand does not qualify; and (n) resolving the side bet.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the dealer hand qualifies with at least a 9-high.

19. The method of claim 17 wherein the side bet wins if the player hand is comprised of a straight flush, a three-of-a-kind, a straight, a flush, or a one-pair.

20. The method of claim 17 wherein resolving the side bet comprises: paying 40-to-1 of the side bet if the player hand comprises a straight flush; paying 25-to-1 of the side bet if the player hand comprises a three-of-a-kind; paying 6-to-1 of the side bet if the player hand comprises a straight; paying 4-to-1 of the side bet if the player hand comprises a flush; and paying 1-to-1 of the side bet if the player hand comprises a one-pair.

21. The method of claim 17 wherein resolving the side bet comprises: paying 40-to-1 of the side bet if the player hand comprises a straight flush; paying 30-to-1 of the side bet if the player hand comprises a three-of-a-kind; paying 6-to-1 of the side bet if the player hand comprises a straight; paying 3-to-1 of the side bet if the player hand comprises a flush; and paying 1-to-1 of the side bet if the player hand comprises a one-pair.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a method and apparatus for playing a card game. More particularly, the present invention relates to a modified poker game that may be played as a casino table game or as a video game.

BACKGROUND

Poker is a very popular card game played all over the world. There are many variations of poker, each of which follow certain basic rules. Nearly all poker games use a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. Such a deck has four cards each of thirteen different values: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. There is one of each value in each of four different suits: spades, diamonds, clubs, and hearts. Sometimes, one, two, or four “jokers” are added to the deck to serve as “wild cards,” which may be used to represent any card of any suit.

In all variations of poker, a dealer provides a certain number of cards to each player; additionally, in some poker variations the dealer also provides a certain number of “community cards,” which may be used by all players. At least one card will be placed face down (so that only the individual player can see it), and other cards may be dealt face up or face down, depending on the particular poker variation.

Wagering

Each variation of poker also includes the ability to make wagers (although friendly poker games may be played without wagers, much of the skill and excitement of poker comes from its wagering system). Often, chips or other markers are used and placed in a central area called the “pot.” Most poker games begin with an “ante,” or forced bet, by some or all of the players. There then follows one or more betting rounds wherein players have the opportunity to “check” (meaning to refrain from betting) or bet (sometimes up to a certain pre-set limit, and sometimes with no limit) by placing chips in the pot. Other players then have the option to “call” the bet by matching it, “raise” the bet by placing more chips in the pot, or “fold,” by surrendering their cards and forfeiting that hand. After the final betting round, if more than one player remains in the game, there is a “showdown” where the remaining players reveal their cards and the winner is determined by ranking the relative value of the hands, as discussed below.

This method of betting engenders some fairly complicated strategy, and also allows for the possibility of “bluffing.” A bluff is when a player bets a large wager while only holding a relatively weak hand; such a strategy may work in poker because a player may win the pot (without ever showing his cards) if each other player folds.

In casinos, some casino poker table games are played using a simplified betting system, wherein players place an ante in a designated betting position near their cards, before any cards are dealt. In such a system, this wager is usually the complete amount that may be won or lost by the player, and there is not usually an opportunity for the players to make additional wagers. Furthermore, in such games, there are usually no additional rounds of betting, raises, or folding.

Ranking of Poker Hand Values

Each variation of poker uses a standard method of ranking the value of poker hands. Most variations require at least five cards; in variations where more than five cards are dealt, players may usually choose whichever five cards will give them the most valuable hand. The ranking of poker hands is based on rarity, and is as follows (from most valuable to least valuable):

    • Royal Flush: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of the same suit (e.g., A-K-Q-J-10)
    • Straight Flush: five cards of the same suit, in order (e.g., Q-J-10-9-8 of spades)
    • Four-of-a-Kind: four cards of the same value, and one extra card (e.g., J-J-J-J-7)
    • Full House: three cards of one value, plus two of another (e.g., A-A-A-3-3)
    • Flush: five cards of the same suit (e.g., A-J-9-7-2 of clubs)
    • Straight: five cards in sequence, Aces may be low or high (e.g., 9-8-7-6-5)
    • Three-of-a-Kind: three cards of the same value, and two extra (e.g., 5-5-5-K-Q)
    • Two Pair: two cards of one value plus two cards of another (e.g., 10-10-6-6-Q)
    • One Pair: two cards of one value, and three extra (e.g., A-A-9-5-2)

Hands higher in the list are more rare (the odds of attaining them are higher), and therefore more valuable, and beat hands lower on the list. If more than one player has the same type of hand (e.g., three-of-a-kind), higher cards beat lower cards (Aces are the highest, then Kings, Queens, Jacks, 10s, and so on). So, three Queens beats three Jacks or three 7s. The remaining cards in a five-card hand may also be ranked in order if necessary to break ties (Q-Q-Q-A-5 beats Q-Q-Q-K-J, and A-A-K-J-9 beats A-A-K-J-8). Suits are equal, and therefore irrelevant, in ranking hands. The highest possible Straight Flush, A-K-Q-J-10 of the same suit, is called a “Royal Flush” or “Royal Straight Flush.” Also of note, five-of-a-kind is possible only with wild cards (or multiple decks), and usually beats a Straight Flush.

In poker games using less than five cards, a similar ranking system is used, where more rare hands are valued higher than less rare hands. For example, in a poker game using only three cards, a three-card straight flush may still be the highest-ranking hand, followed by three-of-a-kind (there is no possibility of four-of-a-kind or a full house), a straight, a flush, and a pair. Different variations may vary whether the straight or flush is the higher-ranking hand.

Variations and Casino Poker Table Games

There are many variations of poker, each of which is generally based on the standard dealing, wagering, and hand valuation rules described above. Some forms of poker are played as casino “table games,” where players each individually play against a common dealer, and any, none, or all of the players may beat or get beaten by the dealer, similar to blackjack. In contrast, traditional poker games pit players against each other player at the table and only one player at the table may win any given hand (except in the case of ties). In casino poker table games, an “ante” is customarily still used, though each player may “ante” a different amount (subject to casino minimum and maximum table limits), and the antes are kept segregated in designated betting positions on the gaming table, not jumbled into one central “pot.”

Drawbacks and Potential Improvements

While standard poker games are popular, there is a need in the art for new and improved games with more variety and more varied betting opportunities. For example, many casino poker table games only allow for a single ante, with no additional rounds of betting. In such games, players must make only a single bet, and the players risk the loss of this entire bet. Players are likely to enjoy a poker variation that allows them to see some or all of their cards, and then increase their bet if their cards are favorable. In a similar vein, players would enjoy the ability to surrender a smaller ante (that is only a portion of the entire amount they could wager if their cards were better) if the first card or cards they receive are not favorable, instead of being locked into the entire portion of their bet.

Many existing poker games, especially casino poker table games, do not allow the player to see any of the dealer's cards, and therefore players have no ability to gauge the strength of the dealer's hand, especially if the dealer is not making additional wagers based on the strength of his hand (as is customary). The addition of one or more face up community cards allows players to have some idea of the strength of the dealer's hand. When combined with additional player betting opportunities after the community card is revealed to the players, this innovation adds an element of strategy and player control that is not present in many casino poker table games that currently exist.

Additionally, traditional poker games and casino poker table games lack the opportunity to place optional side bets that allow the player to win multiples of five, ten, or even forty times their original ante bet. Customarily, players are limited to winning the amount of money that they ante or wager—and have the chance to lose that same amount. Traditional forms of poker lack a bonus feature that pays out a large sum (up to 40 to 1 in one embodiment of the present invention) to players who are dealt certain hands; they also lack the protection of an “automatic winner” feature that guarantees a payout to a player with a high-ranking hand or predetermined poker combination. In current poker games, players with high-ranking hands may lose to even higher-ranking hands; in fact, they are likely to lose a great deal of money in such a situation. Thus, there is a need in the art to remedy these deficiencies and improve on the current games available. The addition of such variations would likely make the present invention more fun and exciting for players, as it increases the payouts that a player may receive and provides the guaranteed protection of an automatic win feature.

Variations such as those detailed above are therefore likely to increase the popularity of poker-type games even further. Poker games utilizing such variations and advantages are likely to be more popular than standard poker games, attract more and higher wagers from bettors, be more enjoyed by players, and be more profitable for the casinos that offer them. Other advantages of the present invention will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art in light of the ensuing description of the present invention.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed to a method of playing a modified poker game that generates additional excitement, allows for larger payouts than conventional poker games, and provides the guaranteed protection of an automatic win feature through a side wager. Certain embodiments of the present invention offer a side bet feature that pays out a large sum (up to 40 to 1 in one embodiment of the present invention) to players who are dealt certain hands. This side bet feature provides the protection of an “automatic winner” feature that guarantees a payout to a player with a hand that is comprised of a predetermined combination even if the dealer's hand beats the player's hand. Providing players with more opportunities to win and the opportunity for larger payouts would bring greater excitement and interest to players and will likely attract new players to the game. In certain embodiments, the present invention eliminates the use of multiple and unnecessary cards being dealt wherein the player and/or dealer must pick cards to form their hands; and thus, the present invention offers a more streamlined game which is less confusing to those new to poker, provides a smoother and quicker flow of play, and allows for more rounds of play in a given time period. Accordingly, the features of the present invention will likely attract more and higher wagers from bettors, be more enjoyed by players, and be more profitable for the casinos that offer them.

The present invention is directed to a gaming method that comprises: each player placing at least one bet; dealing two cards to each player and to the dealer; dealing one community card; players and the dealer each forming a three-card poker hand comprised of the two cards dealt to them and the one community card; comparing each player's poker hand with the dealer's poker hand; and resolving bets.

In various embodiments of the invention, the actions of the gaming method may be performed in a variety of ways and sequences. For example, in one embodiment of the invention, a gaming method comprises: (a) each player making at least one bet before any cards are dealt; (b) dealing one community card; (c) dealing a first card and a second card to each player; (d) dealing two dealer cards to the dealer; (e) revealing the two dealer cards; (f) each player forming a player hand comprised of the first card, the second card, and the one community card; (g) the dealer forming a dealer hand comprised of the two dealer cards and the one community card; (h) comparing each player hand with the dealer hand using traditional poker rankings; and (i) resolving the at least one bet. In further embodiments, players may make an optional side bet and/or multiple betting opportunities may be incorporated into the game.

In a further embodiment of the present invention, a method of playing a poker game between a dealer and at least one player comprises: (a) requiring each player to make a first bet; (b) dealing a first card to each player; (c) dealing two dealer cards face down to the dealer; (d) dealing a community card face up; (e) requiring each player to either fold or make a second bet; (f) dealing a second card to each player; (g) requiring each player who made the second bet to either fold or make a third bet; (h) revealing the two dealer cards; (i) having each player form a player hand comprised of player's first card, second card, and the community card; j) having the dealer form a dealer hand comprised of the two dealer cards and the community card; (k) comparing the player hand of each player who made the third bet with the dealer hand using traditional poker rankings; and (l) resolving the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet.

In an alternate embodiment, the method may further comprise allowing each player to optionally make a side bet before any cards are dealt. The side bet may win if the player hand is comprised of a predetermined combination. For example, the predetermined combination may be a straight flush, three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, or one-pair.

In a further embodiment, resolving the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet may comprise: (i) collecting the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand is less than the dealer hand; (ii) pushing the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand ties with the dealer hand; (iii) paying even money on the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand and the dealer hand qualifies; and (iv) paying even money on the first bet and pushing the second bet and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand and the dealer hand does not qualify. In some embodiments of the invention, the dealer hand qualifies with at least a 9-high.

The above description sets forth a summary of embodiments of the present invention so that the detailed description that follows may be better understood and contributions of the present invention to the art may be better appreciated. Some of the embodiments of the present invention may not include all of the features or characteristics listed in the above summary. There may be, of course, other features of the invention that will be described below and may form the subject matter of claims. In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in further detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways; for example, the invention may be carried out through software on a computer, via the Internet, or other electronic medium. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

Other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, various features of embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a block diagram depicting a gaming method in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a flowchart depicting a gaming method in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows a flowchart depicting a method to resolve bets in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 depicts a top plan view of a gaming layout in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 depicts the player's betting positions of the gaming layout shown in FIG. 4 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 depicts the dealer's card positions and community card position of the gaming layout shown in FIG. 4 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

In the following description of embodiments of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this application. The drawings show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

The order in which the actions are presented below is not limited to any particular order and does not necessarily imply that they have to be performed in the order presented. It will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the order of these actions can be rearranged and performed in any suitable manner. It further will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that some actions may be omitted, added, modified and/or consolidated and still fall within the spirit of the invention.

Gaming Method

The present invention is directed to a gaming method and an apparatus that may be used to implement the gaming method. In general, the gaming method is designed to reward players who have compiled poker hands that are better than the dealer's poker hand based on conventional poker rules. In embodiments of the invention which permit the player to make an optional side bet, the gaming method is also designed to reward players who have compiled hands comprised of specific predetermined combinations. For example, such predetermined combinations may be a specific poker combination. In the embodiments discussed herein, each poker hand includes three cards although in alternate embodiments, the poker hand may be comprised of a different number of cards such as a five-card poker hand or seven-card poker hand. In the embodiments described herein, the following poker combinations and their corresponding ranks may be used for three-card poker hands (ranked in ascending order): high card, one pair, flush, straight, three-of-a-kind, and straight flush. For alternate embodiments which involve poker hands comprised of more than three cards, the following traditional poker combinations and their corresponding ranks may be used—namely (ranked in ascending order) high card, one pair, two pairs, three-of-a-kind, straight, flushes, four-of-a-kind, full house, straight flush, and royal flush as more fully described above.

In the various embodiments described herein, the term “dealer” may represent the “house” or the casino, or may refer to a virtual dealer in embodiments of the invention that involve computers, the Internet, and/or other forms of electronic media. Additionally, the dealer may be a player designated in advance, or the players may take turns acting as the dealer.

The gaming method of the present invention requires at least one player and a dealer (or a player designated or acting as the dealer). As shown in the block diagram of FIG. 1, the gaming method of the present invention generally comprises: each player placing at least one bet (action 500); dealing two cards to each player and to the dealer (action 600); dealing one community card face up (action 700); players and dealer each forming a three-card poker hand comprised of the two cards dealt to them and the one community card (action 800); comparing each player's poker hand with the dealer's poker hand (action 900); and resolving bets (action 1000).

In various embodiments of the invention, the actions of the gaming method depicted in FIG. 1 may be performed in a variety of ways and sequences. For example, the two cards dealt to each player and to the dealer may be dealt in numerous ways. The cards may be dealt one by one wherein the dealer deals a first card face down to each player and then to himself and then deals a second card face down to each player and then to himself; or the dealer may deal a first card face down to himself and then to each player and then deal a second card face down to himself and then to each player. Alternatively, the dealer may deal himself two cards face down and then two cards face down to each player or vice versa. It is to be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the cards do not need to be dealt in one particular sequence.

In embodiments of the invention that includes multiple betting opportunities, the player is not able to see all the dealer's cards before making his one or more bets. In such embodiments, one or more of the dealer's cards are dealt face down and then revealed when comparing the player's hand with the dealer's hand. However, it is noted that the effect of dealing a card face down and then revealing it at some point of the game can also be achieved by dealing the dealer's cards face up before the player's hand and the dealer's hand are compared to resolve bets.

In alternate embodiments of the gaming method, one or more of the player cards may be dealt face up; however, this eliminates the element of strategy because if the player's cards are dealt face down, the indicia of the other players' cards cannot be seen by the player and the outcome of the dealer's cards are therefore more difficult to predict.

Cards may also be burned in-between dealing one or more player and/or dealer cards. It can be realized that if a card is burned, the outcome may be more challenging to predict as only some cards are used during play, and the game indicia of the burned cards cannot be seen by the players. Burning a card may also protect against the possibility of a stacked deck or prevent any chance of a player from being able to see the top card before it is dealt. Furthermore, burning a card may create excitement, suspense, and drama for the players. It is noted, however, that burning a card may be omitted as desired. For example, in embodiments which involve computer/electronic applications such as online gambling websites and video games, the burning of cards is not necessary, but it may nonetheless be included to elevate excitement.

In one embodiment of the invention, a method of playing a poker game between at least one player and a dealer comprises: (a) each player making at least one bet before any cards are dealt; (b) dealing one community card; (c) dealing a first card and a second card to each player; (d) dealing two dealer cards to the dealer; (e) revealing the two dealer cards; (f) each player forming a player hand comprised of the first card, the second card, and the one community card; (g) the dealer forming a dealer hand comprised of the two dealer cards and the one community card; (h) comparing each player hand with the dealer hand using traditional poker rankings; and (i) resolving the at least one bet.

In further embodiments, players may make an optional side bet and/or multiple betting opportunities may be incorporated into the gaming method. For instance in one embodiment, the at least one bet is comprised of a first bet (or ante bet) to participate in the game and an optional side bet. The optional side bet may win based on any occurrence (e.g., the side bet wins if the player hand is comprised of a straight flush, a three-of-a-kind, a straight, a flush, or a one-pair). Yet, in another embodiment, the method of playing a poker game described above further comprises: requiring each player to either fold or place a second bet (after the first card is dealt but before the second card is dealt); and requiring each player who made the second bet to either fold or make a third bet (after the first card and the second card are dealt but before the two dealer cards are revealed).

It is noted, however, that the actions or elements of the above-mentioned gaming method are not limited to being performed in one particular order or sequence. For instance, in different embodiments, the community card may be dealt after the first card is dealt and before the second card is dealt, or the community card may be dealt after both the first and second cards are dealt. Also, the actions of dealing the two dealer cards to the dealer and revealing the two dealer cards do not need to be performed consecutively. For instance, the two dealer cards may be dealt face down before dealing the community card, before dealing the first player card, or before dealing the second player card. Additionally, the dealer cards need not be dealt faced down and then revealed in a separate action. In alternate embodiments, dealing the two dealer cards and revealing the two dealer cards may be consolidated into one action wherein the two dealer cards are dealt face up at some suitable juncture before comparing the dealer's hand with each player's hand.

In a further embodiment of the present invention, a method of playing a poker game between a dealer and at least one player comprises: (a) requiring each player to make a first bet; (b) dealing a first card to each player; (c) dealing two dealer cards face down to the dealer; (d) dealing a community card face up; (e) requiring each player to either fold or make a second bet; (f) dealing a second card to each player; (g) requiring each player who made the second bet to either fold or make a third bet; (h) revealing the two dealer cards; (i) having each player form a player hand comprised of the first card, the second card, and the community card; (j) having the dealer form a dealer hand comprised of the two dealer cards and the community card; (k) comparing the player hand of each player who made the third bet with the dealer hand using traditional poker rankings; and (l) resolving the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet.

In an alternate embodiment, the method may further comprise allowing each player to optionally make a side bet before any cards are dealt. As more fully discussed below, the side bet may win if the player hand is comprised of a predetermined combination. For example, the predetermined combination may be a straight flush, three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, or one-pair. The first bet, the second bet, the third bet, and if applicable, the optional side bet may be resolved by a variety of ways as more fully discussed hereinbelow.

FIG. 2 depicts the flow of play in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In the illustrated embodiment, the gaming method of the invention begins with a dealer shuffling a standard deck of 52 cards (action 110). A standard single deck of 52 cards may be used although in alternate variations of the invention, the deck of cards may also include one or more Jokers. The Jokers may serve as “wild cards,” which may be used to represent any card of any suit. One deck or multiple decks of cards may be used in various embodiments of the invention.

The players are then required to place a first bet (also referred to herein as the “ante bet” or “ante’) before any cards are dealt (action 120). The players are also allowed to optionally place a side bet before any cards are dealt (action 125). The ante bet and the side bet do not have to be equal. Even if the player loses the ante bet, he may still win on his side bet.

After the dealer shuffles the cards and the players have placed their ante bets and optional side bets, the dealer starts dealing cards. The dealer deals a first card face down to each player (action 130). The dealer deals two dealer cards face down to himself (action 140). The dealer also deals one community card face up (action 150). As noted above, the actions illustrated are not limited to being performed in one particular sequence as the dealer may deal the player's cards, the dealer cards, and the community card in a variety of ways and sequences without departing from the scope of the present invention (e.g., the dealer may deal the one community card before dealing the first card to the player, or the dealer may deal the two dealer cards to himself before dealing the one community card).

After the player sees his first card and the one community card, each player must decide whether to fold or place a second bet (action 160). If the player decides to fold, he loses his ante bet (action 162). A player's side bet is unaffected and remains in action even if the player folds at this juncture. If the player decides to bet, he places a second bet equal to the ante bet (action 164).

A second card is dealt face down to each player (action 170). The players who placed the second bet must then decide whether to fold or place a third bet (action 180). If the player decides to fold, the player loses his ante bet and his second bet (action 182). If the player decides to bet, the player places a third bet equal to the ante bet (action 184). If the player places a third bet, the player will thus challenge the dealer. In alternate embodiments of the invention, the second bet and third bets do not have to be equal to the ante bet, but they may each be some multiple or fraction thereof. Also, the second bet and third bet do not have to be equal to each other, and each may have a value different from the ante bet instead of a multiple or fraction thereof.

The dealer reveals the two dealer cards (action 190). Each player and the dealer form a three-card poker hand comprised of the two cards dealt to them and the one community card (action 210). Consequently, each player's hand is comprised of the first card dealt to the player, the second card dealt to the player, and the one community card; and the dealer's hand is comprised of the two dealer cards and the one community card. (Note that even if the player folded, the player still forms a player hand if the player placed the optional side bet.)

After the dealer and players form their poker hands, the player hand of each player who made the third bet is compared to the dealer hand (action 220). When comparing the player hands with the dealer hand, the following conventional three-card poker ranking is used (in descending order): straight flush, three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, one pair, and high card. The ante bet, second bet, third bet, and side bet are then resolved (action 230) as illustrated in FIG. 3 and as discussed below.

The players who folded have lost the component of the game between the player and the dealer. However, if the player made a side bet, the side bet remains in action even if the player folded. The outcome of the game between the player and the dealer has no bearing on the player's side bet.

Resolving Bets

First Bet (Ante Bet), Second Bet, Third Bet

FIG. 3 illustrates how the ante bet, second bet, and third bet may be resolved in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. First, it is determined whether the player's hand is: (i) lower than the dealer's hand, (ii) tied with the dealer's hand, or (iii) is higher than the dealer's hand (action 235). If the player's hand is lower than the dealer's hand, the player loses his ante bet, second bet, and third bet (action 240). If the player's hand ties with the dealer's hand, then the ante bet, second bet, and third bet push (action 250).

Still referring to FIG. 3, if the player's hand is higher than the dealer's hand, it is then determined whether the dealer's hand qualifies with a 9-high (action 260). If the dealer's hand does not qualify with at least a 9-high, the player wins on his ante bet, but the player's second bet and third bet push (action 264). On the other hand, if the dealer's hand qualifies with at least a 9-high, the player wins on his ante bet, second bet, and third bet (action 262).

In alternate embodiments of the invention, the ante bet, second bet, and/or third bet may be resolved according to a different set of rules and the requirements to qualify may also vary.

Thus, in view of the above, (i) each player who made the third bet loses the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand is less than the dealer hand; (ii) each player who made the third bet pushes the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand ties with the dealer hand; (iii) each player who made the third bet wins the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand and the dealer hand qualifies; and (iv) each player who made the third bet wins the first bet and pushes the second bet and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand but the dealer hand does not qualify.

In other words (or from an alternative point of view), resolving the first bet (ante bet), the second bet, and the third bet may comprise: (i) collecting the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand is less than the dealer hand; (ii) pushing the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand ties with the dealer hand; (iii) paying even money on the first bet, the second bet, and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand and the dealer hand qualifies; and (iv) paying even money on the first bet and pushing the second bet and the third bet if the player hand beats the dealer hand but the dealer hand does not qualify. In one embodiment of the invention, the dealer hand qualifies with at least a 9-high.

Side Bet

In certain embodiments of the present invention, the side bet may win if the player hand is comprised of a predetermined combination. For example, the predetermined combination may be a straight flush, a three-of-a-kind, a straight, a flush, or a one-pair. Any suitable payout schedule may be used based on the rarity of the hand (i.e., rarer hands get paid more than less rare hands). For example, in one embodiment, the side bet may be resolved according to the following payout schedule:

TABLE 1
HandPayment
Straight Flush40 to 1 
Three-of-a-Kind25 to 1 
Straight6 to 1
Flush4 to 1
One Pair1 to 1

In another embodiment of the present invention, the following payout schedule may be used to resolve each player's side bet:

TABLE 2
HandPayment
Straight Flush40 to 1 
Three-of-a-Kind30 to 1 
Straight6 to 1
Flush3 to 1
One Pair1 to 1

Of course, in alternate embodiments, the side bet may be based on other predetermined combinations and may be resolved according to any suitable payment schedules. For instance, the side bet may be made on the occurrence of any one or combination of a variety of events. The side bet may be based on the outcome of any combination of the following cards: one or more of the player's cards, one or more of the dealer's cards, and/or the community card. For instance, in one embodiment of the invention, a side bet may be made that the two player cards or two dealer cards will form a pair of any value or a pair of a predetermined value. In other examples of the invention, a side bet may be based on two designated cards (e.g., the two dealer cards, the two player cards, a community card and a designated player card, a community card and a designated dealer card, etc.) forming a pair or even a blackjack combination (i.e., the sum of the values total twenty-one). The side bet may also be based on the occurrence of one specific card. For example, a side bet may be based that the community card is an ace or any other predetermined value.

Gaming Layout

An embodiment of a gaming layout 60 of the present invention is shown in FIG. 4. Gaming layout 60 may be made with the common shapes of conventional casino gaming tables such as a semi-circular shape. Gaming layout 60 may also be made with materials of conventional gaming tables, such as felt, vinyl, wood, plastic, laminate, and/or marble. In alternate embodiments of the present invention, gaming layout 60 may be a video or computer representation of a conventional gaming table, game layout and/or player position.

Gaming layout 60 includes a plurality of player positions 62A-G, which is adapted to distinguish each player's bets from those of the other players. Although seven player positions 62A-G are depicted in FIG. 4, any suitable number of player positions may be included in a gaming layout of the present invention. The number of player positions may vary depending on the size of the gaming table and the number of players a casino wishes to accommodate in one given game. Also, it is not necessary that all player positions be utilized while the game is being played. At least one player position needs to be utilized for the game to be played.

Gaming layout 60 may further include a chip tray to store gaming chips 66. The dealer may place the cards dealt to himself in any designated area of the gaming layout according to the casino's preference. For example, the dealer may deal his face down cards and place it on dealer card positions 80 which is at or near the center of the table such that it is readily visible to all players when the dealer reveals his cards. Gaming layout 60 also includes community card position 90. Community card position 90 is located substantially in the center of the gaming layout or the board.

FIG. 5 depicts an enlarged view of one of player positions 62A-G of FIG. 4. Each player position includes the following betting positions: first bet (ante bet) position 71, second bet position 72, third bet position 73, and side bet position 75. Before any cards are dealt, the player places his ante bet on ante bet position 71 to participate in the game and his optional side bet on side bet position 75. Second bet position 72 is where the player places his second bet if he decided not to fold after viewing his first player card and the community card. After the second player card is dealt to the player, the player places his third bet on third bet position 73 if the player decided not to fold. Each player position may further comprise rules of play and/or payout schedules. Each player position may further include a plurality of card positions designated to receive the cards dealt to the player. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 5, ante bet position 71, second bet position 72, third bet position 73, and side bet position 75 may be designated respectively with the following indicia: “1,” “2,” “3,” and “SB.”

Ante bet position 71, second bet position 72, third bet position 73, and side bet position 75 may be configured in a variety of patterns and may be comprised of a variety of shapes. Additionally, any one or combination of words, numbers, colors, logos, shapes, borders, and/or other symbols may be used to designate ante bet position 71, second bet position 72, third bet position 73, and side bet position 75. For example, “Ante,” “Ante Bet,” or “1st Bet,” may also be used to designate ante bet position 71. The indicia “2nd Bet” and “3rd Bet,” may be used to designate second bet position 72 and third bet position 73, respectively; and “Side Bet” may be used to designate side bet position 75.

Dealer card positions 80 and community card position 90 of FIG. 4 are illustrated in FIG. 6. As seen in FIG. 6, dealer card positions 80 include card positions 81 and 82 which are where the dealer places his two dealer cards. Community card position 90 is where the dealer places the one community card to be used by the players and the dealer when forming their poker hands. Any combination of colors, patterns, designs, words, numbers, logos, shapes, borders, and/or other symbols may be used to designate dealer card positions 81 and 82 and community card position 90.

Of course, locations, and designs of the betting positions and/or any of the card positions may be adjusted as desired so long as they remain within reasonable access and view for the player and the dealer. Also, any designation (any combination of colors, patterns, designs, words, numbers, logos, shapes, borders, and/or other symbols) may be included within the betting locations and/or card positions so long as the meaning of the designation is clear and logical for the players and dealer. Other features may be included within the gaming layout 60 such as payout schedules/tables, rules of play, logos, trademarks, casino name, designs and/or various artistic elements.

CONCLUSION AND ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS

It can be realized from the embodiments described herein that the present invention provides a modified poker game that adds new excitement and is more rewarding than traditional poker games for both players and gaming establishments. The above-described embodiments of the present invention have many advantages. For instance, the present invention is easy to play as it doesn't incorporate the use of multiple unnecessary cards, the incorporation of the side bet feature utilizes appealing payout schedules, and multiple betting opportunities allow for larger payouts and additional excitement.

The present invention's side bet provides an automatic win feature which provides protection for a player that the player will win if the player obtains a certain poker hand even if the player's hand loses to the dealer's hand. In this way, players have an opportunity to win money on certain hands which improves player enjoyment by providing a “fall-back” feature in case the player folds during the course of the game or in case the dealer's hand beats the player's hand. This side bet feature pays out a large sum (up to 40 to 1 in one embodiment of the present invention) to players who are dealt hands comprised of certain poker combinations. Even if the dealer or another player has the same high ranking hand (or better), the player can still win on the player's side bet.

The present invention offers a more streamlined version of a poker game where only two cards are dealt to each player and to the dealer, and only one community card is dealt. Many poker games involve dealing unnecessary cards wherein a player must select cards from a multitude of cards to form the player's hand. This simplification would likely attract more players (especially those who are new to poker) to the game since it's easy to learn the rules of play and would allow for a smoother and quicker flow of play. In a given time period, casinos can conduct more rounds of play of a more streamlined and simplified game. Additionally, the qualifying hand required for a player to win on all his bets is not as high as other poker games. For instance, other poker games may require a Queen-high qualifying hand whereas one embodiment of the present invention requires only a 9-high qualifying hand. Thus, the features of the present invention will likely attract higher wagers from bettors, be more enjoyed by players since it is less stressful and less complicated to play, and be more profitable for both the players and the casinos that offer them.

In certain embodiments of the invention, the invention also allows multiple players to win against a dealer in a single poker round. In such embodiments, the players do not compete against each other like in traditional poker games, but they compete against the dealer, and thus more than one player may win in each poker round. Competing against a dealer can be more enticing to new players as it may be less intimidating than playing against other more experienced players. Playing against a dealer may also create an atmosphere of camaraderie among the players and invoke a feeling of belonging together for the same cause, which is to beat the dealer.

The present invention retains some of the features and advantages of poker games while also providing the player with the dynamics of a side wager and multiple betting opportunities for enhanced player anticipation and enjoyment. The invention benefits the player who desires a novel variation of poker as well as the player who does not want to have to learn new rules for valuing cards and scoring hands, but desires some variety. Additionally, with the incorporation of additional betting opportunities, the invention provides gaming establishments with the potential of generating more revenue. Nonetheless, it is advantageous to offer poker players some variation to maintain their long-term interest.

Furthermore, various embodiments of the present invention have reasonable odds for both the player and the house. This is another advantage of the invention because, to be a viable casino game, the gaming method should provide opportunity for a reasonable return for both the house and the player.

It is to be understood, that even though some advantages of the present invention are described herein, it is not necessary that all the advantageous features and/or all the advantages need to be incorporated into every embodiment of the invention.

Although the present invention has been described above in considerable detail with reference to certain versions thereof, other versions are possible. For instance, the gaming method described above is not limited to being played as a table game. The gaming method may be played as a board game or by using computers or electronic devices having audio and video outputs. Thus, the term “cards” as used in this application refers to traditional cards made of paper stock having traditional game indicia, such as numbers (2-10), suits (diamonds, hearts, spades, and clubs), and characters (aces, jacks, queens, and kings). The term “cards” is also used to refer to electronic images of traditional cards. The term “dealer” may be an actual person distributing the cards. It is noted that the dealer may also be a player, and the dealer does not have to be associated with a business entity having a stake in any profits derived from operating the game. The players may play against each other wherein one player is designated as the dealer. Alternatively, the players may take turns acting as the dealer. The term “dealer” may also be used to refer to a virtual dealer that is programmed through an electronic device or computer.

The invention can be readily implemented in a wide variety of additional forms and media including, but not limited to: single player slot video machines, multi-player slot video machines, electronic games and devices, lottery terminals, scratch-card formats, software, as well as in-flight, home, and Internet entertainment. Furthermore, the invention can be readily implemented in software, which can be stored on a disk (e.g., magnetic disk, compact disc (CD), USB memory stick, pen drives, flash drives, etc.) and used with a computer system. In one embodiment, the gaming method of the present invention may be implemented as a computer game that may be executed via disk or downloaded from the Internet and played using a computer, gaming console, or an electronic handheld device (e.g., personal digital assistants (PDA), mobile phones, etc.). Such embodiments may be played individually or may be played with other players. In another embodiment, the present invention may be played as an interactive online gambling game wherein the player may play against the dealer individually or with other players via the Internet. The dealer may be an actual person or a virtual dealer. Similarly, the other players may be actual people or they may be computer generated virtual players. In other embodiments of the invention, the gaming method may be played against a casino or wagering establishment from a remote location via the Internet or any other type of network.

Some actions of the gaming method described herein may be added, omitted, modified, or performed in various sequences. Additionally, some of the actions described in the various embodiments herein are for illustrative purposes, and as such, some of the actions may be modified, added, or omitted without departing from the scope of the invention. Nonetheless, the various embodiments of the invention which are described herein may be incorporated in a variety of contexts as mentioned above.

While the description above refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.