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U.S. Patent No. 7,722,048: Mini-hold ‘em games
Issued May 25, 2010


Summary:

Here’s one for all of you online poker fans. The ‘048 patent describes a virtual game of poker that a gamer could play against a friend or the computer. The patent describes a virtual Texas Hold ‘Em game where the each participant (whether computer or human) receive two cards that only they can see. Then the table shares a pool of cards while trying to make the best hand possible using the two cards each player was dealt, plus three of the cards shared by all of the players. Wages can vary based upon the betting strategy of every player. The player is also able to fold and is not forced to continue on unless he chooses to.

Abstract:

A playing card wagering game has a player hand compete against another player hand according to three-card poker rank or a player hand compete against a dealer hand. At least one or two players place a first wager on the card wagering game and an optional second side bet wager. The player hand begins with two respective hole cards and all player hands are completed with community playing cards dealt in sets of cards. Relative rank of the players' hands is determined. The first wager is resolved based upon the determined relative rank by determining which player hand(s) wins. The second wager is resolved according to rules that comprise comparing rank of each player's hand to a paytable.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A method of playing a playing card wagering game in which a player hand competes against at least a dealer hand at a table according to a three-card poker rank of the player hand wherein: at least one player places a first ante wager on the playing card wagering game; each player and the dealer receives exactly two physical playing cards as hole cards viewed by only the player receiving hole cards and each player evaluating respective hole cards, while the dealer hole cards remain concealed; each player placing a second wager on the card wagering game to remain in the game or not placing a second wager and folding as a first round of wagering; after the first round of wagering, a flop of physical playing cards as an only single set of physical playing cards as community cards is provided for all players and the dealer to use in combination with respective hole cards to determine respective player at least intermediate hand rank; each player placing a third wager on the card wagering game to remain in the game or not placing a third wager and folding as a second round of wagering after viewing the flop of the only single set of community cards; after the second round of wagering, a second at least one physical playing card as a second set of community cards is provided for all players and the dealer to use in combination with respective hole cards and the flop to determine respective player at least intermediate hand rank; each player placing a fourth wager on the underlying card game to remain in the game or not placing a fourth wager and folding as a third round of wagering after viewing the second at least one physical playing card as a second set of community cards; after an ultimate number of exactly three physical playing cards as community cards have been separately provided as sets for use by each player and the dealer, and wagering has been completed, comparing player hand ranks of only three-card poker rank against a dealer hand rank of only three-card poker rank to determine a player or players with highest rank of hand as compared to the dealer, and paying such highest rank of hand against the dealer players at least 1:1 on all wagers on the card wagering game.

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