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United States Patent Application 20170189791
Kind Code A1
Ventura; Ofir ;   et al. July 6, 2017

METHODS AND DEVICES FOR PLAYING A CARD GAME HAVING MULTIPLE WAGERING OPPORTUNITIES

Abstract

A method of playing and presenting a game offers players the opportunity for multi-tier wagering and side or proposition bets. In one embodiment a card game offers an ante, secondary, tertiary and quaternary wagering options on a player hand against a dealer hand and proposition bets on the player and/or dealer hands. The game may comprise a card game in which initial cards are dealt to each player and the dealer and then then community flop, river and turn cards are dealt, with each player and the dealer forming a best five card poker hand from seven cards. The game may be presented using physical game places at a game table or via an electronic gaming device.


Inventors: Ventura; Ofir; (Las Vegas, NV) ; Hemberger; John; (Las Vegas, NV) ; Kowalchuk; Jeff; (Las Vegas, NV)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

AGS, LLC

Las Vegas

NV

US
Family ID: 1000001701006
Appl. No.: 14/988269
Filed: January 5, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63F 2001/005 20130101; A63F 1/00 20130101
International Class: A63F 1/00 20060101 A63F001/00

Claims



1.-18. (canceled)

19. A gaming machine comprising: at least one controller; at least one electronic display; at least one player input device; at least one memory device; non-transitory machine readable code stored in said at least one memory device and executable by said at least one controller to: accept an ante wager and, optionally, a proposition bet on a player hand and/or dealer hand; cause said electronic display to display at least one initial playing card dealt to each of the player and a dealer; cause said at least one controller to receive an election from said at least one player to fold or place a secondary wager; cause said electronic display to display at least one flop card; to cause said at least one controller to receive an election from said at least one player to fold or place a tertiary wager if said player has not already folded; cause said electronic display to display at least one river and/or turn card; cause said at least one controller to receive an election from said at least one player to fold or place a quaternary wager if said player has not already folded; cause said at least one controller to determine an outcome of said ante, secondary, tertiary and quaternary wagers if said player has not folded by a comparison of a player hand formed from the at least one initial playing card dealt to the player and the at least one flop card and at least one river and/or turn card to a dealer hand formed from the at least one initial playing card dealt to the dealer and the at least one flop card and at least one river and/or turn card, regardless of the rank of the dealer's hand; and cause said at least one controller to determine an outcome of said proposition bet with reference to the player's hand and/or dealer's hand.

20. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 19 wherein if the player has placed a proposition bet, the outcome of the proposition bet is determined regardless of whether the player has folded and regardless of the outcome of the ante, secondary, tertiary and quaternary wagers.

21. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 1 wherein said at least one proposition bet comprises a player hand bet that the player hand will meet predetermined criteria and/or a dealer hand bet that the dealer hand will meet predetermined criteria.

22. The gaming ng machine in accordance with claim 21 wherein said predetermined criteria comprises that the hand comprises a poker hand having a rank of Three of a Kind or higher.

23. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 19 wherein said at least one flop card comprise three flop cards and wherein said at least one river and/or turn card comprises a single river card and a single turn card.

24. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 23 wherein said player hand comprises a best five card poker hand formed from the seven cards comprising two initial cards dealt to the player, said three flop cards and said river and turn cards.

25. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 23 wherein said dealer hand comprises a best five card poker hand formed from the seven cards comprising two initial cards dealt to the dealer, said three flop cards and said river and turn cards.

26. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 19 wherein said secondary and tertiary wagers each comprise an amount equal to said ante wager.

27. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 19 wherein said quaternary wager comprises an amount of 1 or 2 times the ante wager.

28. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 19 wherein said gaming machine further comprises at least one monetary value accepting device which accepts one or more physical items having associated monetary value to create or increase a monetary credit balance with said gaming machine, and wherein said wagers and bets are placed with electronic credits associated with said gaming machine

29. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 19 wherein said player loses their ante, secondary and/or tertiary wager if they fold.

30. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 19 wherein said determining the outcome of the proposition bet is determined regardless of whether the player folded, if the player placed at least one proposition bet.

31. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 19 wherein the outcome of said ante, secondary, tertiary and quaternary wagers is winning if the player's hand comprises a poker hand having a rank of Three of a Kind or greater and beats the dealer's hand.

32. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 31 further comprising machine-readable code executable by said at least controller causing said at least one controller to award winnings according to the following pay table for a winning player hand: TABLE-US-00003 Winning Hand Pays Royal Flush 100 to 1 Straight Flush 20 to 1 Four of a Kind 4 to 1 Full House 3 to 2 All Other Wins 1 to 1

33. The gaming ng machine in accordance with claim 19 wherein the outcome of a proposition bet on the player's hand is winning if the player's hand has a poker rank of at least Three of a Kind and the outcome of a proposition bet on the dealer's hand is winning if the player's hand has a poker rank of at least Three of a Kind.

34. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 33 further comprising machine-readable code executable by said at least controller causing said at least one controller to award winnings according to the following pay table for a winning proposition bet on the player or dealer hand: TABLE-US-00004 Winning Hand Pays Royal Flush 50 to 1 Straight Flush 40 to 1 Four of a Kind 30 to 1 Full House 8 to 1 Flush 7 to 1 Straight 4 to 1 Three of a Kind 3 to 1

35. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 19 wherein the player loses their ante, secondary, tertiary and quaternary wagers if the player's hand has a lower poker ranking than the dealer hand.

36. The gaming machine in accordance with claim 19 where ante wager, proposition bet, secondary wager, tertiary wager and quaternary wager locations are defined at said gaming table for each player.
Description



FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to methods of presenting and playing games and devices configured to present games.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] While players like fast paced, exciting games, many players are reticent to play new games because of their unfamiliarity with a new game. Thus, one object is to make one or more old games more exciting. This process is general complex, however, as changes to the game can affect the basic strategy of game play which player's find desirable, or can significantly change the win probabilities.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Embodiments of the invention comprise methods of playing and presenting games and gaming devices and systems for implementing the game.

[0004] In one embodiment of the invention, a method of playing and presenting a game offers players the opportunity for multi-tier wagering and side or proposition bets. The games are played using game pieces, such as physical or virtual game pieces such as playing cards.

[0005] In one embodiment a card game offers an ante, a secondary, a tertiary and a quaternary wagering option on a player hand against a dealer hand and proposition bets on the player and/or dealer hands. The game may comprise a card game in which one or more initial cards are dealt to each player and the dealer and then then community flop, river and turn cards are dealt, with each player and the dealer forming a best five card poker hand from their initial cards and the community cards.

[0006] In one embodiment of a method, a player places an ante wager and, optionally, a player and/or dealer hand proposition bet. One or more initial cards are dealt to each player and the dealer. The player then elects to fold or place a secondary wager. One or more flop cards are then dealt or displayed. The player then elects to fold or place a tertiary wager. At least one river and/or turn card are dealt or displayed. The player then elects to fold or place a quaternary wager.

[0007] If the player is active, e.g. has placed the required ante, secondary, tertiary and quaternary wagers, then the outcome of those wagers is determined by comparing the player's hand to the dealer's hand. The player's hand may comprise the best five card poker hand formed from the initial card(s) dealt to the player and the community cards. In one embodiment, three flop cards and one turn and one river card are dealt, whereby the player's hand comprises the best five cards selected from seven cards. The dealer's hand likewise is formed from the initial card(s) dealt to the dealer and the community cards.

[0008] In one embodiment, if the player's hand comprises a Three of a Kind poker hand or better and beats the dealer's hand, the player is paid winnings. If the player's hand is less than a Three of a Kind but beats the dealer's hand, or if the player's hand has a rank of Three of a Kind or greater and is equal in rank to the dealer's hand, the outcome is a push (the player's wagers are returned) and if the player's hand loses, the player loses their wagers.

[0009] Regardless of whether the player was active, the proposition bets are resolved. In one embodiment, the player wins a player hand proposition bet if the player's hand comprises at least a Three of a Kind and wins the dealer hand proposition bet if the dealer's hand comprises at least a Three of a Kind.

[0010] Winnings may be paid for winning wagers and winning proposition bets, such as based up a pay table.

[0011] The games of the invention may be presented at a gaming table using physical playing cards, using chips and including a gaming table layout. The games of the invention might also be presented via an electronic gaming device or system, such as by displaying graphical images of game pieces. In other embodiments, the games of the invention may be played using game pieces other than playing cards, such as dice.

[0012] Further objects, features, and advantages of the present invention over the prior art will become apparent from the detailed description of the drawings which follows, when considered with the attached figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is a flow chart which illustrates one method of playing and/or presenting a game in accordance with the invention;

[0014] FIG. 2 illustrates one embodiment of a game table and associated game layout for playing and presenting a game of the invention; and

[0015] FIG. 3 illustrates one embodiment of a gaming machine for presenting a game in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0016] In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a more thorough description of the present invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known features have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the invention.

[0017] Embodiments of the invention comprise methods of playing and presenting games. One embodiment of the invention comprises a game, and preferably a card game, which offers multiple wagering opportunities to a player, thus increasing the stakes and excitement of the game.

[0018] FIG. 1 is a flow diagram which illustrates a method of presenting and playing a game in accordance with the invention. In one embodiment, the game is played by a dealer or the house (which may comprise a live person or a virtual dealer) and one or more players. As detailed herein, the game might be played or presented at a gaming machine or device, at a gaming table or the like. In a preferred embodiment, the game is played at a gaming table by a dealer and at least one player, such as up to 6 or 8 players or more.

[0019] Preferably, the game is presented as a wagering game in which a player is required to place a wager in order to play the game and where the player has the opportunity to be awarded winnings. Thus, in one embodiment, in a step S1, a player places an ante or initial wager in order to participate in the game. Optionally, a participating player may place one or more proposition bets such as a player hand and/or dealer hand trips bet. The ante wager may be required to be of a certain minimum size and may also have a maximum size. The player may, but is preferably not required, to be place a proposition bet such as the player hand and/or dealer hand trips bet. The player hand and/or dealer hand trips bets may comprise proposition bets that a player or dealer hand will comprise a hand having certain characteristics. In one embodiment, this may comprise that the player or dealer hand comprises at least a minimum of a Three of a Kind poker hand in a poker style game. Of course, other characteristics might be defined, such as one characteristic for the player hand and a different one for the dealer hand. Thus, while the player hand and dealer hand proposition bets are referred to herein as "trips" bets because they are based upon those hands comprising a Three of a Kind, they might be referred to simply as bets or proposition bets, such as in situation where other winning criteria are utilized. As with the ante wager, the player hand and/or dealer hand trips bets might be a minimum amount and/or maximum amount. In one embodiment, a player may place a player hand trips bet, a dealer hand trips bet, or both. In other embodiments, a player might only be permitted to place a player hand trips bet or a dealer hand trips bet, but not both.

[0020] In a step S2, one or more initial game or playing pieces are provided to each player and the dealer. In a preferred embodiment, the game is played with playing cards, such as cards dealt from one of more decks of standard playing cards (e.g. cards having the indicia 2 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace in each of the four suits Hearts, Clubs, Spades and Diamonds). Of course, other playing pieces might be utilized such as dice, etc. As described below, the playing pieces may comprise physical playing pieces, such as physical printed cards, physical dice or the like, or might comprise virtual playing pieces, such as graphical images of the playing pieces displayed on one or more electronic video displays.

[0021] In one embodiment, in a step S2 two playing cards are dealt to each player and the dealer. Preferably, at least the dealer cards are dealt face down (e.g. the card indicia are not visible to the players).

[0022] In a step S3, each player inspects their initial cards and elects to either place a secondary wager, which may be referred to as a "Before Flop" wager, or fold. If the player folds (e.g. does not place the required secondary wager), then the player loses their ante wager but is still entitled to participate in any placed proposition bet(s), as indicated in steps S4 and S13. The secondary wager may have a certain minimum size, such as comprising a secondary wager equal to the player's ante wager. The secondary wager may also have a maximum size.

[0023] In a step S5, one or more additional game pieces are dealt or revealed. In one embodiment, the additional game pieces may comprise three additional playing cards, referred to as the "flop cards." These cards may be displayed to all players and the dealer (and may thus be referred to as community cards) and are preferably dealt or provided from the same deck or decks of cards as the initial cards. Preferably, the value of the playing pieces is revealed, such as by dealing the playing cards face up.

[0024] In a step S6, each player who has not already folded must elect to either place a tertiary wager or fold. If the player folds (e.g. does not place the required tertiary wager), then the player preferably loses or forfeits their ante and secondary (before flop) wagers, as in step S7. However, the player remains eligible to participate in any placed proposition bet(s), as in step S13. The tertiary wager, which may be referred to as an "after flop" wager, may have a certain minimum size, such as comprising a tertiary wager equal or larger than the player's ante wager. In certain embodiments, the tertiary wager may also have a maximum size.

[0025] In a step S8, one or more additional game or playing pieces are revealed or provided. In one embodiment, this step comprises dealing and revealing two additional playing cards. These cards may be referred to as the turn and river cards. Preferably, these cards are displayed to all players and the dealer (and may thus also be referred to as community cards) and are preferably dealt or provided from the same deck or decks of cards as the other cards. Preferably, the value of the playing pieces is revealed, such as by dealing the playing cards face up.

[0026] In a step S9, each player who has not already folded inspects their initial cards in combination with the additionally dealt cards (or other game pieces) and makes an election to place a quaternary wager, such as an "all in" wager. Once again, if the player folds (e.g. does not place the required quaternary wager), then the player preferably loses or forfeits their ante, secondary (before flop) and tertiary (after flop) wagers, as in step S10. Once again, however, the player may remain eligible to participate in any placed proposition bet(s), as in step S13. The quaternary wager, may have a certain minimum size, such as 1 or 2 times their ante wager (and the wage might have a maximum size).

[0027] In a step S11, the dealer reveals the dealer's initial card(s) or game piece(s). For example, in the case of playing cards, the dealer may turn over their initial cards so that the card faces which display the card indicia are displayed to the players.

[0028] In a step S12, each active player's hand is compared to the dealer's hand of game pieces. In one embodiment, this step applies to active players, e.g. those players that placed all required wagers, e.g. the ante wager, the secondary wager, the tertiary wager and the quaternary wager. The player and dealer hands may be formed in various manners. In a preferred embodiment, each active player and the dealer have been dealt two initial playing cards and can utilize any of the community cards (the three flop cards and the turn and river cards), or seven total cards. In the preferred embodiment, each player and the dealer preferably forms a best five card poker hand from the seven available cards, such as in accordance with standard poker hand rankings (ranked from low to high, the hands of: High Card, One Pair, Two Pair, Three of a Kind, Straight, Flush, Full House, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush) or other defined criteria for the same.

[0029] In this step S12, each active player's hand is compared to the dealer's hand, such as to determine which hand has the highest rank. In one embodiment, the hand with the highest rank is determined to be the winner. Tie hands may be declared a push. In a preferred embodiment, the dealer hand always qualifies. In other words, regardless of the ranking of the dealer's hand (even when the dealer's hand has a low ranking), the player's hand is compared to the dealer's hand in the evaluation of the player's wagers.

[0030] In a step S13, the player and/or dealer hands (or other game pieces) are evaluated for the proposition bets. In one embodiment, for each player who placed a player hand trips bet, this comprises determining if the player's hand comprises at least a Three of a Kind poker hand. In the case of each player who placed a dealer hand trips bet, this comprises determining if the dealer's hand comprises at least a Three of a Kind poker hand.

[0031] In a step S14, winnings are preferably paid for winning wagers and bets (and wagers or bets or returned or collected). For example, for each active player, their ante wager is paid at 1:1 (e.g. if the player's ante wager is $5, then the player's ante wager would be returned along with a payout of $5) if their hand is winning and comprises a Full House or better. Other winning player hands result in a return of the player's ante wager (e.g. a "push"), but no award of winnings. If the player's hand does not beat the dealer's hand, then the player's hand is losing and the player loses their ante wager (e.g. no winnings are paid).

[0032] In one embodiment, each active player's secondary, tertiary and quaternary wagers (such as Before Flop, After Flop and All In wagers) may be paid out at the following rates:

TABLE-US-00001 TABLE 1 Flop & Turn/River Payouts Winning Hand Pays Royal Flush 100 to 1 Straight Flush 20 to 1 Four of a Kind 4 to 1 Full House 3 to 2 All Other Wins 1 to 1

[0033] If the player's hand does not beat the dealer's hand, then the player preferably loses their secondary, tertiary and quaternary wagers (e.g. not winnings are paid). If the player's hand is equal in rank to the dealer's hand, the player's wagers are returned (e.g. a push), but no winning are awarded.

[0034] In one embodiment, winnings are paid to each player who placed a winning proposition bet, regardless of whether the player's hand bet the dealer's hand. In one embodiment, winnings may be paid based upon the hand rank as follows:

TABLE-US-00002 TABLE 2 Trips Payouts Winning Hand Pays Royal Flush 50 to 1 Straight Flush 40 to 1 Four of a Kind 30 to 1 Full House 8 to 1 Flush 7 to 1 Straight 4 to 1 Three of a Kind 3 to 1

[0035] Various aspects of the invention will now be appreciated. In one embodiment, a game offers a player multiple wagering options, such as a four tier wagering option comprising an ante or initial wager, a secondary wager, a tertiary wager and at least a quaternary wager. Each level of wagering increases the excitement of the game due to the increases risk as the wagers compile, and wherein the outcome of those wagers is tied to the same outcome criteria (such as a comparison of the player's hand to the dealer's hand). In a preferred embodiment, the ante or initial wager is required to enter the game and the secondary, tertiary and quaternary wagers must all be placed by the player in order to be entitled to play out their hand against the dealer. If the player does not place all of those wagers, then the player folds and automatically loses those wagers.

[0036] In many games, the house is provided an advantage by requiring that the dealer's hand have a certain rank or minimum qualification in order to be played out against the player/the player's hand. This reduces the probability of the house losing the wager because low ranking house hands (which are easier for the player's hand to beat) are excluded from play. In accordance with the present invention, the combination of wagers allows the game to be played in a manner where the dealer hand always qualifies (e.g., if the player places the required wagers, their hand is compared to the dealer's hand no matter how low the dealer's hand may rank, thus improving the probability of the player winning the wager that their hand will beat the dealer's hand).

[0037] The game preferably also offers at least one separate wager, such as one or more proposition bets. These bets are preferably independent of the wagers and have an outcome which is determined apart from the criteria of the wagers. In a preferred embodiment, the player is eligible to play out the side or proposition bets even if the player folds and loses their wagers. Players who placed proposition bets thus remain interested in the game until the end, even if they have folded along the way, because they remain eligible for a proposition bet win.

[0038] In one embodiment, a variety of winnings may be paid. In one embodiment, winnings may be paid based upon one or more pay tables which offer increased or high payouts. These payouts generate game excitement due to the probability of potentially high wins in comparison so the size of wagers or bets placed. Other types of winnings than monies or monetary value credits/chips might be awarded, such as points, tangible prizes, discounts or the like.

[0039] As indicated, the game of the invention may be implemented in various manners, such as via various gaming machines, devices and/or systems.

[0040] As one example, the game of the invention might be presented at a gaming table. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 2, games of the invention may be implemented in a "table" format. In such a configuration, the game may be presented at a gaming table using physical game pieces, such as physical playing cards.

[0041] As illustrated in FIG. 2, a game playing surface, such as a gaming table 200 or board is provided. The gaming table 200 (or a surface thereof, such as a "gaming felt" or other covering which is applied to the surface, printing on the gaming table or the like) may include or define a dealer station 202 where a dealer may run a game as described above. The dealer station 202 may include dealer controls to administer the game, an automatic card shuffler and/or card shoe (now shown), and the like.

[0042] The table 200 also includes or defines one or more player stations 214. In one embodiment, each player station 214 comprises an area or portion of the table or its play surface.

[0043] In one embodiment, the table 200 defines one or more game play features. Such features may be defined by printing on the table or its covering surface, by one or more displays and/or by surface or topographical features such as depressed areas, raised areas, contours or the like.

[0044] In one embodiment, the dealer station 202 defines a dealer initial card area 206, a flop card area 208, a turn card area 210 and a river card area 212. These areas may be defined by printing or the like, as detailed above.

[0045] Each player station 214 preferably defines an ante wager area 216, a secondary wagering area 218, a tertiary wagering area 220, a quaternary wager area 222, and first and second proposition bet areas 224,226, such as player hand and dealer hand trips bets areas. Each player station 214 might also comprise an initial card area (not shown), such as to which the player's initial game pieces/cards may be dealt.

[0046] These various areas may be defined by printing or the like, as detailed above. Of course, the table may include other areas or information, such as other card areas, pay tables, instructions and the like 230.

[0047] The player stations 214 might also or alternatively include a number of electronic controls for placing wagers or designating game play decisions (such as "fold" decision) to the dealer. The wagering and bet areas may be configured to automatically detect a wager via RFID, NFC, or other similar means, such as by detecting the placement of one or more RFID tagged wagering chips in those areas. Alternatively, one or more of the wagering areas might comprise a slot or the like into which a chip, coin, etc. may be inserted.

[0048] The gaming table 200 may optionally include one or more displays, such as electronic video displays. The displays may show game information to the players, such as a payout table, a status of bets and wagers, etc. There may also be a camera (not shown) disposed above the table. The camera may output images to the display so that the players and other onlooker may easily watch the game as it progresses. In another embodiment, the player and/or dealers areas might include one or more electronic displays for displaying game information electronically (images of cards, etc.). The displays might also include a touch screen or be associated with other input devices (buttons, keypad, etc.) for receiving wager information from a player, etc.

[0049] The size of the gaming board or table 200 may vary, as may its shape, etc. The top or playing surface of the gaming table 200 may preferably be elevated, such as by legs, etc.

[0050] Relative to a gaming table 200 such as that in FIG. 2, a player desiring to play the game preferably places an ante wager, such as by placing one or more chips at the ante wager area 216. The player may optionally place the first or second proposition bets at those corresponding areas 224,226, and may place the other wagers at those corresponding areas 218, 220, 222, such as by placing one or more chips at those areas.

[0051] Of course, wagers might be placed in manners other than by using/placing monetary value chips. Wagers might be placed using coins, currency, or electronically, such as via electronic credits or monetary value, such as associated with an account or balance of credits/monies.

[0052] As indicated herein, the game is preferably played using one or more standard decks of 52 physical cards comprising the cards 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K and Ace in each of the suits of Hearts, Diamonds, Spades and Clubs, wherein the suit and rank of each card is displayed on a first side of the card and the opposite side of the card defines a card back which does not display the card suit and rank, such as via printing on a media (such as paper/card stock).

[0053] In one embodiment, the cards may be dealt from a shuffled deck or a shoe of multiple cards. The cards may also be dealt or provided by an automatic card shuffling device. Of course, the game might be played with other sets or types of cards, such as one or more decks of cards with one or more wildcards or Jokers or other types of cards.

[0054] The game table 200 may include other devices or features and/or be linked to other devices or systems. For example, the game table 200 (or the card shoe) might include a card reader which is configured to read dealt cards for use in verifying game outcomes. In this regard, the gaming table 200 might include a processor, at least one memory, machine-readable code which is stored in the at least one memory and executable by the processor for implementing various features. As one example, the processor might obtain data regarding dealt cards (such as from a card reader) and determine the value of the players and dealer hands, such as for generating an output of game outcomes, such as winning and losing results, winnings to be paid, etc. The gaming table processor might be linked to or communicate with other devices or systems, such as a casino accounting system. Such systems might be used to track player play, amounts wagered and won and the like, as is well known in the art.

[0055] The methods of game play and presentation may also be implemented via a gaming machine or device. Such a gaming machine may have various configurations.

[0056] The gaming machine may be located at a casino (and as such may be referred to as a "casino gaming machine"). As described below, the gaming machine may be part of a gaming system, such as a casino gaming system which links two or more of the gaming machines or one or more gaming machines with other devices, such as one or more table games, kiosks, accounting systems or servers, progressive systems or servers, player tracking systems or servers or the like.

[0057] One configuration of a gaming machine 22 is illustrated in FIG. 3. As illustrated, the gaming machine 22 generally comprises a housing or cabinet 26 for supporting and/or enclosing various components required for operation of the gaming machine. In the embodiment illustrated, the housing 26 includes a door located at a front thereof, the door capable of being moved between an open position which allows access to the interior, and a closed position in which access to the interior is generally prevented. The configuration of the gaming machine 22 may vary. In the embodiment illustrated, the gaming machine 22 has an "upright" configuration. However, the gaming machine 22 could have other configurations, shapes or dimensions (such as being of a "slant"-type, "bar-top" or other configuration as is well known to those of skill in the art).

[0058] The gaming machine 22 preferably includes at least one display device 28 configured to display game information. The display device 28 may comprise an electronic video display such as a cathode ray tube (CRT), high resolution flat panel liquid crystal display (LCD), projection LCD, plasma display, field emission display, digital micro-mirror display (DMD), digital light processing display (DLP), LCD touchscreen, a light emitting display (LED) or other suitable displays now known or later developed, in a variety of resolutions, sizes and formats (e.g. 4:3, widescreen or the like). The display 28 may be capable of projecting or displaying a wide variety of information, including images, symbols and other indicia or information associated with game play, game promotion or other events. The gaming machine 22 might include more than one display device 28, such as two or more displays 28 which are associated with the housing 26. The gaming machine 22 might also include a top box or other portion. Such a top box might include one or more display devices 28, such as in addition to one or more main displays which are associated with the housing 26. Also, the gaming machine 22 might include side displays (such as mounted to the exterior of the housing 26) and might include multiple displays of differing sizes.

[0059] As described in more detail below, the gaming machine 22 is preferably configured to present one or more games upon a player making a monetary payment or wager. In this regard, as described in more detail below, the gaming machine 22 includes means for accepting monetary value.

[0060] In one embodiment, as detailed above, certain game outcomes may be designated as winning outcomes. Prizes or awards may be provided for winning outcomes, such as monetary payments (or representations thereof, such as prize of credits), or promotional awards as detailed herein. As detailed below, the gaming machine 22 includes means for returning unused monetary funds and/or dispensing winnings to a player.

[0061] The gaming machine 22 preferably includes one or more player input devices 30 (such as input buttons, plunger mechanisms, a touch-screen display, joystick, touch-pad or the like). These one or more devices 30 may be utilized by the player to facilitate game play, such as by providing input or instruction to the gaming machine 22. For example, such input devices 30 may be utilized by a player to place a wager, cause the gaming machine 22 to initiate a game, to indicate game pieces such as playing cards to be held or discarded, to "cash out" of the gaming machine, or to provide various other inputs.

[0062] In one preferred embodiment, the gaming machine 22 includes at least one microprocessor or controller for controlling the gaming machine, including receiving player input and sending output signals for controlling the various components of the machine 22 (such as generating game information for display by the display 28). The controller may be arranged to receive information regarding funds provided by a player to the gaming machine, receive input such as a purchase/bet signal when a purchase/bet button is depressed, and receive other inputs from a player. The controller may be arranged to generate information regarding a game, such as generating game information for display by the at least one display 28 (such as information comprising dealt or displayed game pieces such as playing cards, as detailed below), for determining winning or losing game outcomes and for displaying information regarding awards for winning game outcomes, among other things.

[0063] The controller may be configured to execute machine readable code or "software" or otherwise process information, such as obtained from a remote server. Software or other instructions may be stored on a memory or data storage device. The memory may also store other information, such as pay table information. The gaming machine 22 may also include one or more random number generators for generating random numbers, such as for use in selecting playing cards or other game pieces and for presenting the game in a random fashion (e.g. whereby the game is presented in a manner in which the player cannot control the outcome).

[0064] Preferably, the controller is configured to execute machine readable code or instructions which are configured to implement the method of game play of the invention. For example, the controller of the gaming machine 22 may be configured to detect a wager, such as a signal from a player's depressing of the "bet one" button. Upon such an event and/or the player otherwise signaling the gaming machine to present the game, the controller may be configured to cause game symbols or other game information to be displayed on the at least one display 28. The controller may accept input from a player of game inputs, such as a request to spin reels or the like, via the one or more player input devices of the gaming machine 22.

[0065] The gaming machine 22 may be configured to generate and present games in a stand-alone manner or it may be in communication with one or more external devices at one or more times. For example, the gaming machine 22 may be configured as a server based device and obtain game code or game outcome information from a remote game server (in which event the gaming machine controller may receive game information from the server, such as game outcome information, and use that server-generated information to present the game at the gaming machine).

[0066] As indicated, the gaming machine 22 is configured to present one or more wagering games. Thus, the gaming machines 22 is preferably configured to accept value, such as in the form of coins, tokens, paper currency or other elements or devices representing value such as monetary funds. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 3, the gaming machine 22 might include a coin acceptor 32 for accepting coins. Of course, associated coin reading/verifying devices and coin storage devices may be associated with the gaming machine 22 if it is configured to accept coins. Likewise, the gaming machine 22 might include a media reader 34. Such a reader may be configured to accept and read/verify paper currency and/or other media such as tickets. Of course, in such event the gaming machine 22 may further be configured with one or more paper currency or ticket storage devices, such as cash boxes, and other paper currency or media handling devices (including transport devices).

[0067] The gaming machine 22 might also be configured to read FOBs, magnetic stripe cards or other media having data associated therewith and via which value or funds may be associated with the gaming machine 22.

[0068] In one embodiment, the gaming machine 22 is configured to award winnings for one or more winning wagering game outcomes. Such winnings may be represented as credits, points or the like. In one embodiment, the player may "cash out" and thus remove previously associated funds and any awarded winnings or such may otherwise be paid to the player. For example, upon an award or at cash-out, associated funds may be paid to the player by the gaming machine 22 dispensing coins to a coin tray. In another embodiment, funds may be issued by dispensing paper currency. In yet another embodiment, a player may be issued a media, such as a printed ticket, which ticket represents the value which was paid or cashed out of the machine. The aspects of gaming machine "ticketing" systems are well known. One such system is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,048,269 to Burns, which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

[0069] The gaming machine 22 may also include a player tracking device, such as a card reader 66 and associated keypad 70. Such player tracking devices are well known and may permit the game operator to track play of players of the gaming machine. The tracked play may be utilized to offer player bonuses or awards.

[0070] A casino may have numerous such gaming machines 22, such as located on a casino floor or in other locations. Of course, such gaming machines 22 might be used in other environments, such as an airport, a bar or tavern or other locations.

[0071] It will be appreciated that the gaming machine illustrated in FIG. 3 is only exemplary of one embodiment of a gaming machine. For example, it is possible to for the gaming machine to have various other configurations, including different shapes and styles and having different components than as just described.

[0072] For example, instead of comprising a "casino"-style gaming machine, it is possible for the game of the invention to be presented on a computing device, including at a home or office computer or a player's mobile electronic device such as a PDA, phone or the like. In one embodiment, a player might log in to a casino server and the controller of the casino server may cause game information to be delivered to the player's computer via a communication link and then be displayed on a display of the player's computer. The communication link might comprise or include the Internet, a casino network such as a wired or wireless LAN, or combinations of public and/or private networks including wired and/or wireless links. In such a configuration it will be noted that the term "controller" may comprise more than one device. For example, in a server-based environment, a controller at a server may generate game information and transmit that information to a local controller at a gaming machine or a player's computer or other electronic device. The local controller at the gaming machine or the player's computer or other electronic device may then cause game information to be displayed on one or more associated displays.

[0073] It will be appreciated that the methods of the invention may be implemented in other manners than as described herein. For example, the steps of the method(s) may be performed in other orders and/or might include additional or other steps.

[0074] As indicated herein, aspects of the invention might be applied to other games or games using other game pieces. For example, the method of the invention might apply to a dice type game where dice indicia are utilized and a player attempts to receive or achieve certain dice combinations and the player and/or dealer hands comprise combinations of dice.

[0075] Further, other combinations of game pieces may be utilized. For example, a single initial card or more than two initial cards might be dealt to each player and the dealer. Other numbers of community cards (such as different numbers of flop, turn or river cards) might also be dealt or utilized.

[0076] In one embodiment, at least one initial card is dealt to each player of the game and each player forms their own hand using the card(s) dealt to them and the community cards. In another embodiment, a single player hand might be played against a dealer hand, whereby multiple players play or wager upon the same hand.

[0077] In one embodiment, other or additional proposition bets might be defined. Also, the game might be played with additional wagers, such as fifth wager or more.

[0078] It will be understood that the above described arrangements of apparatus and the method there from are merely illustrative of applications of the principles of this invention and many other embodiments and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.

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