Title:
Methods of Administering Three-Hand Pai Gow Poker
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Methods of administering a wagering game may involve accepting an ante wager from a player. Seven cards may be dealt to the player and a dealer. The player's card arrangement into a four-card high hand, a two-card medium hand, and a one-card low hand may be accepted or the cards may be arranged by the dealer into such player hands. The dealer cards may be arranged into a four-card high hand, a two-card medium hand, and a one-card low hand. The ante wager may be resolved by comparing each player hand to each corresponding dealer hand. A payout on the ante wager may be paid to the player when at least two of the player hands outrank a corresponding number of the dealer hands. The ante wager may be collected when at least two of the player hands are outranked by a corresponding number of the dealer hands.



Inventors:
Tang, Matthew (Egg Harbor Township, NJ, US)
Application Number:
14/644504
Publication Date:
07/02/2015
Filing Date:
03/11/2015
Assignee:
BALLY GAMING, INC.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DENNIS, MICHAEL DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TRASKBRITT, P.C. /Bally Gaming, Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of administering a wagering game, comprising: accepting an ante wager from a player by receiving a physical, monetarily valuable wagering element in a designated area on a playing surface of a gaming table; dealing seven cards from a set of randomized, physical cards comprising at least one deck of at least 52 standard playing cards to each of the player and a dealer; accepting the player's arrangement of the cards dealt to the player into a four-card high player hand, a two-card medium player hand, and a one-card low player hand or arranging the cards dealt to the player into a four-card high player hand, a two-card medium player hand, and a one-card low player hand; arranging the cards dealt to the dealer into a four-card high dealer hand, a two-card medium dealer hand, and a one-card low dealer hand; resolving the ante wager by comparing the high player hand to the high dealer hand, the medium player hand to the medium dealer hand, and the low player hand to the low dealer hand; paying a payout on the ante wager to the player when at least two of the high player hand, medium player hand, and low player hand outrank a corresponding number of the high dealer hand, medium dealer hand, and low dealer hand, respectively, by transferring at least one additional physical, monetarily valuable wagering element to the player; and collecting the ante wager when at least two of the high player hand, medium player hand, and low player hand are outranked by a corresponding number of the high dealer hand, medium dealer hand, and low dealer hand, respectively, by retrieving each wagering element associated with the ante wager of the player from the designated area.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein resolving the ante wager comprises adjudicating a dealer hand as outranking a corresponding player hand when a rank of the dealer hand is equal to a rank of the player hand.

3. The method of claim 1, further comprising collecting the amount of the ante wager when one of the high player hand, medium player hand, and low player hand is outranked by a corresponding one of the high dealer hand, medium dealer hand, and low dealer hand, respectively, and another of the high player hand, medium player hand, and low player hand is of equal rank to a corresponding other of the high dealer hand, medium dealer hand, and low dealer hand, respectively.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein dealing the seven cards from the set of randomized, physical cards comprising the at least one deck of at least 52 standard playing cards to each of the player and the dealer comprises dealing the seven cards from a set of randomized, physical cards lacking wild cards.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein dealing the seven cards from the set of randomized, physical cards comprising the at least one deck of at least 52 standard playing cards to each of the player and the dealer comprises dealing the seven cards from a set of randomized, physical cards comprising at least one wild card.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein dealing the seven cards from the set of randomized, physical cards comprising the at least one wild card comprises dealing the seven cards from a set of randomized, physical cards comprising at least one joker, each joker being designated as a wild card.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein dealing the seven cards from the set of randomized, physical cards comprising the at least one deck of at least 52 standard playing cards to each of the player and the dealer comprises dealing the seven cards from a set of randomized, physical cards comprising at least one semi-wild card, each semi-wild card being usable as an ace or to complete a straight or flush.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein dealing the seven cards from the set of randomized, physical cards comprising the at least one semi-wild card comprises dealing the seven cards from a set of randomized, physical cards comprising at least one joker, each joker being designated as a semi-wild card.

9. The method of claim 1, further comprising: accepting the player's arrangement of the cards dealt to the player into a four-card high player hand, a two-card medium player hand, and a one-card low player hand when the high player hand outranks the medium player hand and the medium player hand outranks the low player hand or arranging the cards dealt to the player into a four-card high player hand, a two-card medium player hand, and a one-card low player hand such that the high player hand outranks the medium player hand and the medium player hand outranks the low player hand; and arranging the cards dealt to the dealer into a four-card high dealer hand, a two-card medium dealer hand, and a one-card low dealer hand such that the high dealer hand outranks the medium dealer hand and the medium dealer hand outranks the low dealer hand.

10. The method of claim 1, further comprising retaining a commission from the payout on the ante wager.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein paying the payout on the ante wager to the player comprises paying a 1:1 payout on the ante wager to the player.

12. The method of claim 1, further comprising: accepting an optional bonus wager from the player by receiving another physical, monetarily valuable wagering element in another designated area on the playing surface of the gaming table; resolving the bonus wager by comparing a best hand formable from the player's seven cards to a set of predetermined winning hands; paying a payout on the bonus wager to the player when the best hand formable from the player's seven cards is one of the set of predetermined winning hands by transferring at least another additional physical, monetarily valuable wagering element to the player; and collecting the bonus wager when the best hand formable from the player's seven cards is not one of the set of predetermined winning hands by retrieving each wagering element associated with the bonus wager of the player from the other designated area.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein resolving the bonus wager by comparing the best hand formable from the player's seven cards to the set of predetermined winning hands comprises comparing the best five- or seven-card poker hand formable from the player's seven cards to a set of predetermined winning poker hands.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein paying the payout on the bonus wager to the player when the best hand formable from the player's seven cards is one of the set of predetermined winning hands comprises paying a fixed odds payout on the bonus wager to the player, a multiplier for the fixed odds payout increasing as a rank of the best hand formable from the player's seven cards increases.

15. A method of administering a wagering game, comprising: accepting an ante wager from a player by receiving a physical, monetarily valuable wagering element in a designated area on a playing surface of a gaming table; dealing seven cards from a set of randomized, physical cards comprising at least one deck of at least 52 standard playing cards to each of the player and a dealer; accepting the player's arrangement of the cards dealt to the player into a four-card high player hand, a two-card medium player hand, and a one-card low player hand or arranging the cards dealt to the player into a four-card high player hand, a two-card medium player hand, and a one-card low player hand; arranging the cards dealt to the dealer into a four-card high dealer hand, a two-card medium dealer hand, and a one-card low dealer hand; resolving the ante wager by comparing the high player hand to the high dealer hand, the medium player hand to the medium dealer hand, and the low player hand to the low dealer hand, wherein a dealer hand is adjudicated as outranking a corresponding player hand when a rank of the dealer hand is equal to a rank of the player hand; paying a payout on the ante wager to the player when at least two of the high player hand, medium player hand, and low player hand outrank a corresponding number of the high dealer hand, medium dealer hand, and low dealer hand, respectively, by transferring at least one additional physical, monetarily valuable wagering element to the player; and collecting the ante wager when at least two of the high player hand, medium player hand, and low player hand are outranked by a corresponding number of the high dealer hand, medium dealer hand, and low dealer hand, respectively, by retrieving each wagering element associated with the ante wager of the player from the designated area.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein dealing the seven cards from the set of randomized, physical cards comprising the at least one deck of at least 52 standard playing cards to each of the player and the dealer comprises dealing the seven cards from a set of randomized, physical cards lacking wild cards.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein dealing the seven cards from the set of randomized, physical cards comprising the at least one deck of at least 52 standard playing cards to each of the player and the dealer comprises dealing the seven cards from a set of randomized, physical cards comprising at least one wild card.

18. The method of claim 15, wherein dealing the seven cards from the set of randomized, physical cards comprising the at least one deck of at least 52 standard playing cards to each of the player and the dealer comprises dealing the seven cards from a set of randomized, physical cards comprising at least one semi-wild card, each semi-wild card being usable as an ace or to complete a straight or flush.

19. The method of claim 15, further comprising: accepting the player's arrangement of the cards dealt to the player into a four-card high player hand, a two-card medium player hand, and a one-card low player hand when the high player hand outranks the medium player hand and the medium player hand outranks the low player hand or arranging the cards dealt to the player into a four-card high player hand, a two-card medium player hand, and a one-card low player hand such that the high player hand outranks the medium player hand and the medium player hand outranks the low player hand; and arranging the cards dealt to the dealer into a four-card high dealer hand, a two-card medium dealer hand, and a one-card low dealer hand such that the high dealer hand outranks the medium dealer hand and the medium dealer hand outranks the low dealer hand.

20. The method of claim 15, further comprising retaining a commission from the payout on the ante wager.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/469,210, filed May 20, 2009, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/061,746, filed Apr. 3, 2008, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/202,239, filed Aug. 12, 2005, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,455,297, issued Nov. 25, 2008, the disclosure of each of which is incorporated herein in its entirety by this reference.

FIELD

The present disclosure relates to the general field of games of chance and, more particularly, to improvements in the game of Asia Poker.

BACKGROUND

The game of Asia Poker, often referred to as “Pai Gow Poker,” is gaining increased acceptance by casinos and other major gambling centers. In this game, a player is dealt seven cards which are arranged by the player to make two hands, viz., a two-card hand (low hand) and a five-card hand (high hand). The only requirement in forming the hands is that the low hand must be of a lower rank than the high hand. The ranking of the hands are the same as in traditional poker with the exception that the joker can be used to represent an ace or to represent one card of either a straight or a flush. Because of the use of a joker, five aces is the highest possible hand.

The game is started by each player placing a bet (“ante”). The dealer then deals seven cards to himself and each of six players. Usually, the dealer is a casino employee and the players compete against the casino by attempting to beat the dealer, although the dealer can be a customer as discussed below.

In playing the game, when the player forms his low hand and his high hand so that they are both respectively higher in rank than the low hand and the high hand of the dealer, the player is declared to be the winner and the dealer is a loser. Conversely, when the player forms his low hand and his high hand so that they are respectively lower in rank than the low hand and high hand of the dealer, the player is the loser and the dealer is the winner. The dealer wins all tied hands. Further, if the player wins one hand and the dealer wins the other hand, a “push” is declared and no one wins. If a player wins both hands, the bet made is matched, i.e., an even money bet is paid, less a commission of typically 5%.

As will be evident from the foregoing, no money exchanges hands, i.e., the bet is neither won or lost, when there is a push. It has been estimated that approximately forty percent of the outcomes in Pai Gow Poker are pushes. The occurrence of a push or tie obviously diminishes the excitement of a hand, and because there are so many pushes, Pai Gow Poker has limited appeal for many. Moreover, casinos and other gambling establishments prefer a game wherein there are more winning hands given that, in the long run, the casino will come out ahead because tie hands go to the casino, and the casino receives a commission in any event.

SUMMARY

Generally speaking, the standard game of Asia Poker is modified by dividing the seven cards dealt to each participant into three groups rather than two, with the three groups containing four cards, two cards and one card, respectively, and separate wagering by a player prior to the deal, is provided for with respect to particular hands or a particular result. The modified game involves up to six players and a dealer, wherein each player plays against the dealer, and uses a deck of cards including at least the 52 cards of a standard deck. The steps of the modified game (i.e., the method of playing the modified game of chance) include: placing an “ante” wager by each of the up to six players; dealing, by the dealer, a total of seven cards to the dealer and a total of seven cards to each of the up to six players; arranging of the cards, by the dealer and each player, into a low hand of one card, a medium hand of two cards and a high hand of four cards, wherein the medium hand must be higher in rank than the low hand and the high hand must be higher in rank than the medium hand, individually comparing each of the low, medium and high hands of each player with the low, medium and high hands of the dealer; determining a winner for the “ante” wager between each player and the dealer when at least two out of the three hands of one is of higher rank than the corresponding hands of the other; taking the “ante” wager of the player by the dealer when the dealer is determined to be the winner, and paying, by the dealer, the amount of the “ante” wager by a player to a player determined to be the winner.

In some embodiments, in addition to an “ante” bet with respect to the basic game, a separate bonus payout is made to any player placing a bonus wager on a special “payout” hand (as defined below) and then receiving that hand.

According to one aspect of the disclosure, the method includes, in addition to the “ante” bet, the steps of: providing, prior to the step of dealing the cards, an opportunity for each player to place a bonus wager that the hand of the player will include one of a plurality of payout hands, the plurality of payout hands including at least a hand with a four of a kind and a three a kind; and following the step of dealing the cards, paying, according to predetermined odds, each player (i) who has placed a bonus wager and (ii) who has a hand including one of the payout hands.

In accordance with one implementation, the four of a kind is four eights. Additionally, the deck of cards may include at least one joker, and the three of a kind may include two aces and one joker.

Further, the predetermined odds for the hand with the four eights and the three of a kind may be 5000 to 1.

There may be a $50,000 maximum bonus payout per hand.

In accordance with another implementation, the plurality of payout hands for the bonus wager may additionally include a hand with a nine, an eight, a seven, a four, a three, a two, and one of a six and a five. Further, the predetermined odds for the hand with a nine, an eight, a seven, a four, a three, a two, and one of a six and a five may be 10 to 1.

Additionally, the plurality of payout hands for the bonus wager may further include at least one of:

a hand with four aces and a joker (“5 Aces”);

a hand with a royal flush (an ace, a king, a queen, a jack, and a ten, all of the same suit);

a hand with a natural straight flush (five cards in sequence, all of the same suit);

a hand with a straight flush with a joker (four cards in sequence, all of the same suit, and a joker);

a hand with a four of a kind (four cards of the same rank);

a hand with a full house (three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank);

a hand with a flush (five cards of the same suit, not in rank sequence);

a hand with a three of a kind (three cards of the same rank); and

a hand with a straight (five cards of sequential rank, but in more than one suit).

Further features and advantages of the present disclosure will be set forth in, or apparent from, the detailed description of embodiments thereof which follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The single drawing FIGURE is a top plan view of a playing table in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As discussed above, the game of the present disclosure is similar to the basic game of Asia Poker, but in accordance with a feature thereof, instead of dividing the seven cards dealt to each of the seven players (in a casino setting, a dealer deals to six players) into two groups of five and two, the cards are divided into three groups of four, two and one. The groups are designated as low, medium and high hands and, in accordance with one embodiment, when the cards dealt to a player are divided into the three groups, the medium (two-card) hand must be higher than the low (one-card) hand and high (four-card) hand must be higher than the medium hand.

As indicated above, in order to beat the dealer, a player must win on two out of three hands. Because there are three possibilities of winning and winning two out of three beats the dealer, there are substantially no “pushes,” i.e., there are no overall hands wherein the player ties with the dealer. This substantially eliminates this unattractive feature of standard Asia Poker wherein, as discussed above, there are only two groups and thus may tie between a dealer and player.

In some embodiments, in accordance with the standard rules of Asia Poker, all ties (“copy hands”) go to the dealer, i.e., the dealer wins all hands of the three hands, wherein the hands of the dealer and player are of an equivalent value. In this embodiment, all overall pushes are eliminated.

In one embodiment, a joker is not used as in conventional Asia Poker so that a standard 52-card deck can be used, although, of course, in other embodiments, one, or even more than one, joker can be used, as desired.

The highest winning hand for the low hand (one card) is an ace while a deuce is the lowest and the person having the highest card wins.

The highest winning hand for the medium hand is a pair of aces. A pair beats a non-pair and if there are no pairs, the highest card wins.

With respect to the high hand (four card) rankings, the following rankings may be used:

1. Four Aces;

2. Royal Flush: A, K, Q, J of the same suit;

3. Straight flush: four cards in consecutive rank of the same suit. The highest ranking straight flush is A, 2, 3, 4 of the same suit. The second highest is K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit;

4. Four of a kind;

5. Flush: four cards of the same suit, regardless of rank. The highest ranking card will determine the highest flush;

6. Straight: four cards in a consecutive run, regardless of suit. The highest ranking card will determine the highest straight. A, K, Q, J is the highest ranking straight. A, 2, 3, 4 is the second highest straight. 5, 4, 3, 2 is the lowest straight;

7. Three of a kind: three cards of the same rank, regardless of suit. Three aces are the highest ranking three of a kind. Three twos are the lowest ranking three of a kind;

8. Two pairs: two pairs contained in the same hand. Two aces and two kings is the highest ranking hand. Two threes and two twos is the lowest ranking hand;

9. One pair: two aces are the highest ranking pair. Two twos are the lowest ranking pair; and

10. No pair: when none of the poker hands listed above is formed by any of the four card hands, the highest ranking single card will determine the winner. Further, if no player even has a pair, and when comparing the hands of a player and the dealer, if the highest ranking card is identical of a player and the dealer, the next highest ranking card will determine the winner. In one embodiment, if every card in the hands being compared is identical, these are all “copy” hands and the bank or dealer wins all copy hands.

As will be apparent from the foregoing, the object of the game is to beat at least two hands out of three hands (either high, medium or low) held by the banker or dealer. It will be understood that the banker or dealer can be, for example, a casino dealer or a player/customer at the table, as discussed below. As indicated above, in some embodiments, the game is played with a traditional deck of 52 playing cards. Each player and the dealer receives seven cards, together and face down. Each player will then form three hands, face down. Conveniently, in playing the game, the three hands are arranged in a column in front of the player, with the single card hand at the front and the four card hand at the back. As stated, one hand, the high hand or back hand, will have four cards, a second, the medium or middle hand, will have two cards, and the low hand or front hand will have one card. Once all of the players have formed their three hands, face down, the dealer will form his three hands, face up and proceed to “open” (turn over, face up) the player hands, one player by one player, determining a winner before moving to the next player. In some embodiments, the house handles all bets and charges a 5% commission on all winning wagers.

Hands are ranked as traditional poker hands with the possible exceptions discussed above and a player wins when two player hands are higher than those of the dealer. The player loses when two player hands out of three are lower than those of the dealer.

As indicated above, for medium (two-card) hands, the highest hand is a pair of aces and the lowest hand is 2, 3 while for low (one-card) hands, the highest hand is an ace and the lowest hand is a two.

One of the interesting aspects of conventional Asia Poker is the opportunity for a player/customer to bank the game. The dealer, i.e., the dealer for the house, may offer the bank to a player only after the dealer has acted as the banker to begin the round of play. Each player at the table shall have the option to either be the bank or pass the bank to the next player. The dealer shall, starting with the player farthest to the right of the dealer, offer the bank to each player in a counterclockwise rotation around the table until a player accepts the bank. The dealer shall place a token or the like in front of the player who accepts the bank. The banking option shall rotate in a counterclockwise direction around the table until it returns to the dealer. In conventional Asia Poker, a player may never bank two consecutive rounds of play and may only wager one position when banking the game.

Before a player/customer may be permitted to bank a round of play, the dealer shall first determine that: the player placed a wager against the dealer, when the dealer was the bank; and the player has sufficient gaming chips on the table to cover all of the wagers placed by the other players at the table for that round of play. If the player does not have chips enough, cash shall be changed at that time and the chips placed in front of the banking player, but not on the betting area.

As indicated above, one aspect of the disclosure concerns the provision of separate bonus wagering or betting on the hand being played. This feature enhances interest and excitement by, inter alia, giving the player additional betting opportunities and enables the player to potentially receive a large payout on a single hand at odds much higher than the fixed 1-to-1 payout of the base game. The bonus wager gives the game more “depth of play” and “completes” the game as it offers player the full gaming experience and a bonus wager where players can wager a small amount of money, without much risk, and have a chance at winning higher amounts of money. In one embodiment, each player has the option of placing an additional bonus wager. As indicated above, the additional bonus wager is independent of, i.e., separate from, the basic wager on the base game. In this regard, a wager must always be placed on the base game. The wager on the base game is referred herein to as the “ante” wager. The “ante” wager must always be at or above a minimum wager for the table (the “table minimum”). One, both or no bonus wagers can be made in addition to the “ante” wager. A bonus wagers can be made in varying denominations. In no event, however, can the sum of all wagers (i.e., ante and bonus) be above a maximum wager for the table (the “table maximum”).

The single drawing FIGURE shows an illustrative bonus Asia Poker table 10 having a dealer position 12 and six player positions 14a-14f. “Ante” wager betting areas 16a-16f are marked at each of the player positions 14a-14f. Bonus wager betting areas 18a-18f are marked immediately above and to the right of the “ante” wager betting areas 16a-16f, as viewed by each player.

The bonus wager is based on the player's seven cards as measured against a posted payout table. In other words, the bonus wager wins if cards of the player's seven card hand include one of the posted payout hands. A winning hand will be paid based on the odds listed with the posted payout hands.

An illustrative payout table is shown below as Table 1.

TABLE 1
Hand TypeABCD
8888 + Any 3 of a Kind5000500050005000
5 Aces800800800800
Royal Flush200200200150
Natural Straight Flush80505050
Straight Flush with Joker40404040
Four of a Kind30302525
Full House5555
Flush4444
Three of a Kind3333
Straight2222
9-High10101010

The columns A-D of Table 1 show different “odds” that provide differing “house edge” percentages. All payouts are “to 1.”

Although the hands are believed to be largely self-explanatory, it is noted that in the first payout, the cards are arranged in groups of a single card, a pair of the same card as the single card, and four eights. Although eights may be designated, it is, of course, possible to designate another card, e.g., king, as the card of the four card group. Additionally, in the illustrative embodiment, the “8888+Any 3 of a Kind” hand includes two aces plus a joker, but a joker may only be used as an ace for this bonus hand. The “9-High” bonus hand rewards players at the game for having two of the lowest hands possible (i.e., 9876432 or 9875432), which adds a unique twist to a normally instant losing hand. The Royal Flush, Natural Straight Flush, Straight Flush with Joker, Full House, Flush, and Straight of the illustrative payout table are five-card hands for the purposes of the bonus wager.

In some embodiments, the bonus wager offers all of the payout hands listed in Table 1, but it is, of course, possible to offer less than all of the listed payout hands. Also, in some embodiments, there is a $50,000 maximum bonus payout per hand.

According to some embodiments, after settling a player's “ante” wager, the dealer shall settle any bonus wager made by each player. A winning bonus wager shall be paid without regard to the outcome of the “ante” wager made by the player.

Although the disclosure has been described above in relation to certain embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that variations and modifications can be effected in these embodiments without departing from the scope and spirit of the disclosure.