A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to a dice game and apparatus. In particular, the invention resides in a game that involves wagering on the outcome of a second, third or more roll of a pair of dice.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Dice games have been popular in many cultures since antiquity, both as gambling games and as games played purely for fun. The reason is that the die introduces uncertainty into the game, which is the basis of gambling games. When the dice are rolled it is impossible to predict which numbers will appear face up and the underlying concept of all dice games is wagering on the outcome of the roll of the die or dice.
 The two most popular dice games in the world are craps and sic bo. Craps has originated and evolved in the Western world and is played with two dice, with players predicting the total of the two numbers appearing face up on the dice after they have been rolled. The different bets available are displayed and wagers can be placed by transferring betting chips to the betting area.
 Sic bo is an ancient Chinese game that offers certain advantages for new players compared to craps. It is played with three dice which offers a larger number of outcomes. The more important factor is that all the bets are decided in one roll only and this eliminates the complexities that are found in craps. Players can bet on either the total of the three dice or on the dice combination.
 However, there is always a need for new games, particularly in casinos to encourage and maintain interest at dice game tables. Ideally, new games are easy to learn, fast to play and have sufficient returns for the players, while retaining a suitable house advantage. A game that has a short cycle is preferred so that more rounds of the game can be played in any given period of time. In addition, a player should not be required to make too many decisions and the game should be easy to administrate. The present invention provides a new game, ideally played with a pair of dice, that meets all the advantages and requirements set out above.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 Various other objects, features and attendant advantages of the present invention will become fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
 FIGS. 1A-1B shows a surface on which the game of the present invention may be played, where FIG. 1A is a top plan view while FIG. 1B is a perspective side view.
 FIG. 2 shows the inside betting area with all the possible outcomes of two numerical dice and a "TWICE" betting area.
 FIG. 3 illustrates an outside betting area displaying eight chance betting areas, four areas for each dice: Odd, Even, Low and High.
 FIG. 4 illustrates a track betting area displaying all possible sums of the two dice.
 FIG. 5 illustrates an outside betting area displaying betting areas representing outcomes where the sum of the two dice is odd or even.
 FIG. 6 illustrates an outside betting area displaying a betting area representing the outcomes where both dice show the same number.
 FIG. 7 illustrates an outside betting area displaying the combined betting areas of FIGS. 4 to 6.
 FIG. 8 illustrates the eight chance betting areas of FIG. 3 in combination with a "TWICE" betting area.
 FIG. 9 illustrates the combined betting areas of FIG. 7 in combination with a "TWICE" betting area.
 FIG. 10 illustrates a combination of the eight chance betting areas of FIG. 3 and the combined betting areas of FIG. 7 with a "TWICE" betting area.
 FIG. 11 illustrates a combination of all possible betting areas.
 FIGS. 12A to 12D illustrate four further combinations of all possible betting areas.
 FIG. 13 shows the inside betting area of FIG. 2 with a betting chip placed straight up on the outcome of red 4 black 2.
 FIG. 14 shows the betting area of FIG. 2 with two chips placed on the divides of outcomes so that each chip covers two outcomes: red 2 with black 2 or 3 and black 4 with red 4 or 5.
 FIG. 15 shows the betting area of FIG. 2 with a chip placed on a corner of four outcomes covering four possible outcomes: red 2 or 3 and black 2 or 3.
 FIG. 16 shows the betting area of FIG. 2 with a horizontal six-line wager covering six possible outcomes where all of the outcomes contain one of the dice being the same. In the figure, the placed chip covers all of the outcomes that have a red 2.
 FIG. 17 shows the betting area of FIG. 2 with a vertical six-line wager covering all the outcomes that contain the black dice being a 4.
 FIG. 18 shows the betting area of FIG. 2 with a horizontal dozen wager covering twelve outcomes with the red dice being 4 or 5 and the black dice being any number from 1 to 6.
 FIG. 19 shows the betting area of FIG. 2 with a vertical dozen wager covering twelve outcomes with the black dice being 4 or 5 and the red dice being any number from 1 to 6.
 FIG. 20 is a perspective view of a dice cage containing a pair of dice.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PRESENTLY PREFERRED EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS
 The game requires betting on the outcome of a final roll of a pair of dice.
 The game requires a pair of dice, each die having six sides and each side bearing indicia that is different to that of the other five sides. While indicia on dice are typically spots from one to six, it will be appreciated that the indicia may take any form or shape, such as an image, icon, graphic and/or colour.
 Two dice are used to increase the odds of the game. To ease identification of the outcome, the dice are visually different from each other. For example, the dice may be of different sizes and/or colours. In the preferred embodiments described below, the dice are differentiated by colour, with one die being black and the other red.
 The function of the dice is to provide a random outcome. This may be achieved by either the players or a croupier/dealer rolling the dice. The dice may be shaken and rolled in a hand or placed in a container that is shaken. The dice may also be thrown by digital and/or electronic means.
 An example of the table on which the game may be played is shown in FIGS. 1A-1B, and includes an area where the dice are thrown, an area for players to make their bets, and an area for a croupier. The table is preferably arranged so that it may be operated by a single croupier and incorporates all the functions required by the players to place wagers and the single croupier to control the game.
 As illustrated in FIGS. 1A-1B, the playing part of the table 1 is essentially rectangular in shape and has a flat playing surface. The table 1 preferably has dimensions essentially equivalent to a roulette table. Such tables are typically approximately 8' by 4' (244 cm×122 cm) or 9' by 5' (274 cm×152 cm) at the widest or longest points. Those of skill in the art will understand that the dimensions of the table are only provided by way of example and are not intended to be limiting.
 The table 1 has a playing area 2, a dice throwing area 3 and a chip storage area 4. The chip storage area 4 may be expanded in size from the rectangular boundary of the table to provide sufficient space for the dealer to operate. As shown in FIG. 1B, the chip storage area 4 includes a covered area 5 for valuable cash chips to be stored during operation of the table (cover not shown), a chipping machine 6 for sorting the chips into colour, an opening 7 through which lost chips that are removed from the table are passed, and sufficient space 8 for a number of rolls of betting chips to be stored.
 The dice throwing area 3 is essentially U-shaped when viewed from above and provides three walls 9 against which the dice may be thrown. The U-shaped walls 9 stand perpendicular to the plane of the table 1 and act to retain the dice (not shown) on the table.
 The playing area 2 takes up the majority of the table surface and is where players place their wagers. The playing area 2 has a number of possible outcomes of the dice throws displayed on it. The display 10 is suitably large that it may be read easily from any side of or angle to the table and provide sufficient space on each outcome to carry one or more betting chips.
 The table includes a betting area 11 referred to herein a "TWICE" betting area, illustrated in FIGS. 1A-1B and 2. This area allows the casino or operator of the game to create a house edge against all players. This "TWICE" betting area 11 is where bets are placed for when the outcome of both rolls of the dice are exactly the same. Winning wagers placed here receive a payoff of 34 to 1. Although referred to herein as the "TWICE" betting area, those skilled in the art will know and understand, from reading this description, that different and/or other names can be used to describe and label this area 11 on the table 1.
 Also illustrated in FIGS. 1A-1B and 2 is an inside bet area 12 having a rectangular grid that illustrates all the thirty six possible outcomes of the two dice in a numerically ascending order, starting with 1-1 in the top left hand corner and finishing with 6-6 in the bottom right hand corner. These thirty six possible outcomes offer thirty six betting options. Those skilled in the art will know and understand, from reading this description, that different and/or other labels can be used to label this area 12 on the table 1, and that if more than two dice are used or if the dice have more or fewer sides, then the inside bet area will be labelled accordingly.
 Additional betting areas, referred to as outside bets, are illustrated in FIGS. 1A-1B and 3 to 6. Outside bets allow one chip betting. The outside bets in presently preferred embodiments are generally based on the sum of the two dice. For example, FIGS. 1A-1B and 3 show an outside betting area 13 in which the options of the sum of the black (13a) or red (13b) dice are is odd or even, or the number on the red (13b) or black (13a) die is high or low. For the presently preferred embodiments, where the dice are marked with the traditional numerical dots, low is a value of 1, 2 or 3 while high is value of 4, 5 or 6. All winning wagers placed here receive a payoff of 1 to 1.
 FIGS. 1A-1B and 4 show a track betting area 14 setting out the numbers 2 to 12 which represent all the possible totals of two six-sided dice. Wagers placed on 2 and 12 pay 35 to 1, 3 and 11 pay 17 to 1, 4 and 10 pay 11 to 1, 5 and 9 pay 8 to 1, 6 and 8 pay 6 to 1 while 7 pays 5 to 1. Because the betting odds are not round numbers for 6 and 8 when "TWICE" is the winning outcome, the wagers placed on 6 or 8 may be returned to the player(s) if the "TWICE" outcome is achieved and wagered on in combination with 6 and/or 8 on the track betting area.
 "Odd and Even" betting areas 15, as illustrated in FIG. 5, allow players to bet on the total of the dice being odd or even. Winning wagers receive a payoff of 1 to 1.
 The "Any Double" betting area 16 shown in FIG. 6 allows players to wager that both dice will have the same value. All winning wagers receive a payoff of 5 to 1. Although referred to herein as the "Any Double" betting area, those skilled in the art will know and understand, from reading this description, that different and/or other names can be used to describe and label this area 16, for example, this betting area may also be called "Any Pair".
 FIG. 7 provides an illustration of how the betting areas of FIGS. 4 to 6 may be combined to save space on the playing surface. FIGS. 8 to 10 illustrate further combinations of the outside betting areas with the "TWICE" betting area 11, while FIG. 11 illustrates a layout of all the possible betting areas in combination. FIGS. 12A to 12D illustrate further layout options where all betting areas are combined.
 It will be appreciated that there are a number of ways in which the playing area may display the betting options. For example, just the inside betting area 12 with the "TWICE" betting area 11 may be offered. Alternatively, the display 10 may be the outside betting areas with the "TWICE" betting area 11. Whatever the betting options, the display must include the "TWICE" betting area 11.
 FIGS. 13 to 19 illustrate various ways to wager on the outcome of dice rolls. In FIG. 13, a betting chip 17 is placed on the outcome of the dice being red 4 and black 2. A winning wager placed here will receive a payoff of 35 to 1.
 In FIG. 14, the outcome of a red 2 with either a black 2 or 3 or a black 4 with a red 4 or 5 has been wagered. If any of the outcomes is a winning one, the player will receive a payoff of 17 to 1.
 In FIG. 15, the betting chip 17 is placed on the interstices of four squares, indicating a wager on red 2 or 3 with black 2 or 3. All winning corner wagers receive a payoff of 8 to 1.
 If the player wishes to bet on red being 2 and black being any number from 1 to 6, the chip 17 is placed on the end of the row illustrating red 2, as shown in FIG. 16. Alternatively, a wager on the black die being 4 and the red die being any number requires the betting chip 17 to be placed at the end of the column illustrating black as 4. All winning six-line wagers receive a payoff of 5 to 1.
 To spread the options even further, FIGS. 18 and 19 illustrate bets in which the chip 17 is placed on the interstices of two rows or columns to denote a wager on red being 4 or 5 and black being any number (FIG. 18), or black being 4 or 5 and red being any number (FIG. 19). All winning dozen wagers pay 2 to 1.
 In a preferred embodiment, the game is played over two rolls of the dice, with the second roll being the winning outcome. Thus, the first roll of the dice eliminates a number of possible outcomes.
 The game begins by the players buying standard coloured betting chips 17 from the croupier or dealer and placing some or all on possible outcomes illustrated on the playing area 2. Each player preferably receives unique colour chips (unique to that player in that game) that nobody else can use in that game. This makes it is easy to identify whose bets have been placed where on the table. Those of skill in the art will understand, upon reading this description, that different and/or other ways of distinguishing players' bets can be used.
 Once all bets are placed, the croupier or a player throws the two dice into the dice throwing area 3 and a marker is placed on the display 10 corresponding with the outcome. The players are then given the option of placing an additional bet on the "TWICE" betting area 11, or increasing a wager already placed on the "TWICE" area 11, to wager that the second throw of the dice will be the same as the first. This is the only bet that is allowed to be placed in between the two throws.
 Once any "TWICE" bets have been made, the croupier or a player throws the dice again and the marker is moved to the new outcome. If both rolls are the same, any wages placed on the "TWICE" betting area will win. If the second roll was not the same as the first roll, the outcome of the second roll wins. For example, if 3-1 was rolled on the first roll and then 3-1 was again rolled the winning outcome would be the twice betting area and any wagers placed on 3-1 or any thing connected with 3-1 would all lose.
 Losing chips are removed from the table and winning chips are paid out. The table is cleared and the next round of wagers is called.
 In an alternative, the croupier uses a dice cage 20, such as the one illustrated in FIG. 20, in which a pair of dice 21 is locked inside the cage 22. The table will then have two sets of dice, one locked in the cage and an identical pair for the players to throw. An arrangement such as this eliminates the need for the player or croupier to throw the dice twice. In practice, once all bets have been placed, the croupier spins the dice cage 20 and then passes out a pair of dice to a player which is then thrown. The result of the player's dice is the winning outcome. However, if the player's dice match with the dice in the dice cage 20, the "TWICE" betting area 11 will be the winning outcome. The advantage of using caged dice is that the speed of the game may be increased.
 The house percentage on the game described herein is 2.78% on all bets, except 6 and 8 as totals where the house edge is 2.70%. If a greater house percentage is desired, the number of dice throws can be increased to three or more.
 Thus are described a method and device for playing a betting game. In preferred embodiments the game employs a pair of six-sided dice. The pair of dice is thrown at least twice and a wager is placed on the outcome of the final throw of the dice, or a mechanical, electronic or digital equivalent thereof.
 The first throw is an eliminator which provides the game with a house edge. In other words, the first throw attracts no win and the basis of the game is a wager on only the outcome of the final throw of the dice. The first throw also allows a further wager to be placed on the outcome that final throw of the dice (or equivalent thereof) will be identical to the first or previous throw(s). Advantageously, this double wager or bet may be placed between throws of the dice.
 It is preferred that each die has six sides, each side being marked with a unique indicia and each die being visually different from the other. While dice having any kind or type of indicia may be used, conventional dice with spots denoting numbers from 1 to 6 are preferred. Visual differences between the dice may be in the form of size and/or colour and/or indicia. A visual difference is advantageous as it allows swift and easy identification of the outcome of the throw.
 In a preferred embodiment, the dice are thrown twice. In this way, the game provides a house advantage of 2.78%. However, if a greater house edge is required, more throws of the dice may be added.
 Wagers may be placed on the exact final outcome of the dice, for example red 3 and black 4, or on the sum of the final throw. For example, the sum of the final throw of the dice may be 8 or an even number.
 The preferred apparatus for playing the game is described above, and includes a) a pair of dice, wherein each die has six sides, each side being marked with a unique indicia, and each die being visually different from the other, and b) a playing surface comprising a dice throwing area, a betting area and a betting chip storage area.
 The playing surface may be an electronic display or a conventional table surface.
 In a preferred embodiment, the betting area includes a display of the possible outcomes and bets that may be made.
 While various payouts have been described above for the various kinds of bets, those skilled in the art will know and understand that different payouts can be allocated to different bets, and that the payouts may be a function of various factors including the number of dice and the number of sides of each dice.
 The present invention has been described using throws of a pair of dice, but it will be appreciated that other random, but finite, outcomes may be used instead, for example cards or tiles. The invention is also suitable for electronic playing so that wagers are made on the outcome of digitally or electronically generated icons. Those of skill in the art will understand that this game can be programmed into an electronic device for use at a casino, at home or over a network.
 While the present invention has been described with reference to play on a table, it will be appreciate that the game is also suitable for an electronic format or on-line. In such an embodiment, the playing surface is depicted on a screen and the outcomes of each dice throw (or equivalent thereof) are generated randomly, preferably by electronic means.
 What has been described and illustrated herein are presently preferred embodiments, along with some variations. The terms, descriptions and figures used herein are set forth by way of illustration only and are not meant as limitations. Those skilled in the art will recognize that many variations are possible within the spirit and scope of the invention in which all terms are meant in their broadest, reasonable sense unless otherwise indicated. Any headings utilized within the description are for convenience only and have no legal or limiting effect.