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Numéro de publicationUS20090005154 A1
Type de publicationDemande
Numéro de demandeUS 12/206,626
Date de publication1 janv. 2009
Date de dépôt8 sept. 2008
Date de priorité26 oct. 2006
Autre référence de publicationUS20080099987
Numéro de publication12206626, 206626, US 2009/0005154 A1, US 2009/005154 A1, US 20090005154 A1, US 20090005154A1, US 2009005154 A1, US 2009005154A1, US-A1-20090005154, US-A1-2009005154, US2009/0005154A1, US2009/005154A1, US20090005154 A1, US20090005154A1, US2009005154 A1, US2009005154A1
InventeursDavid B. Schultz
Cessionnaire d'origineBally Gaming, Inc.
Exporter la citationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Liens externes: USPTO, Cession USPTO, Espacenet
Gaming Machine and Method Having a Plurality of Indicia Sets
US 20090005154 A1
Résumé
Disclosed are a gaming machine and method for operating a gaming machine including multiple supplemental games. Each supplemental game has a set of indicia unique from the indicia sets of the other supplemental games.
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Revendications(24)
1. A gaming machine comprising:
a processor operatively coupled to a set of player-operable controls;
a first game and a set of two or more feature games operable by the processor in accordance with the player-operable controls, each feature game comprising its own unique set of indicia, wherein, upon a triggering event, one or more of the set of feature games is initiated for play.
2. The gaming machine of claim 1 further comprising a video display operatively coupled to the processor.
3. The gaming machine of claim 2 wherein the video display is configured to display one or more slot machine reels.
4. The gaming machine of claim 2 wherein the video display is configured to display one or more playing cards.
5. The gaming machine of claim 2 wherein the video display is configured to display one or more keno balls.
6. The gaming machine of claim 2 wherein the video display is configured to display one or more bingo balls.
7. The gaming machine of claim 2 wherein the video display is a wide-screen display.
8. The gaming machine of claim 1 further comprising a progressive meter.
9. The gaming machine of claim 1 further comprising a memory operatively coupled to the processor, wherein the memory comprises at least one of a hard drive, a CDROM, a DVD or a flash memory.
10. The gaming machine of claim 9 wherein the memory includes a game program.
11. The gaming machine of claim 10 wherein the processor in accordance with the game program predetermines the number of times each selected feature game is played according to rules of the game.
12. The gaming machine of claim 10 wherein the processor in accordance with the game program determines the number of times each selected feature game is played at the time the feature game is triggered.
13. The gaming machine of claim 1 further comprising a cabinet enclosing the processor, wherein the cabinet is one of a bar-top cabinet, a slant-top cabinet, an upright cabinet or a table-top cabinet.
14. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the triggering event comprises one or more of a set of possible first game outcomes.
15. The gaming machine game of claim 1 wherein the triggering event is unrelated to the outcome of the first game.
16. A method of operating a gaming machine, the method including the steps of:
accepting a wager from a wager-input mechanism;
initiating play of a first game according to the wager;
upon a triggering event, initiating one or more of a set of two or more feature games for play, each feature game comprising its own unique set of indicia.
17. The method of claim 16 wherein initiating play of the first game comprises displaying one or more slot machine reels.
18. The method of claim 16 wherein initiating play of one or more of a set of two or more feature games for play comprises displaying one or more slot machine reels.
19. The method of claim 16 wherein the triggering event comprises a predefined one of a set of possible first game outcomes.
20. The method of claim 16 further comprising the step of paying an award associated with an outcome of at least one initiated feature game.
21. A gaming machine including:
a first game with a first set of indicia, the first game being initiatable by a wager;
the first game including a first and second distinct triggering indicia respectively associated with a first and second feature game;
the first and second feature games respectively triggered by one or more outcomes of the first game including respective of the distinct triggering indicia;
the first feature game including a first feature set of indicia, the first feature set of indicia comprising a subset of the first set of indicia not equal to the first set of indicia, the first feature game including one or more outcomes wherein awards may be accumulated according to a first feature paytable;
the second feature game including a second feature set of indicia, the second feature set of indicia comprising a unique set of indicia, the second feature game including one or more games outcomes wherein awards may be accumulated according to a second feature paytable.
22. The gaming machine of claim 21 further comprising a third feature game with a third feature set of indicia, the third feature set of indicia comprising another unique set of indicia.
23. The gaming machine of claim 21 wherein the second feature paytable is different than the first feature paytable.
24. The gaming machine of claim 21 wherein the first and second feature games include one or more special indicia.
Description
    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation of and claims priority from co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/553,081 filed on Oct. 26, 2006, hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety for all purposes.
  • COPYRIGHT NOTICE
  • [0002]
    A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material that 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 files or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0004]
    The present invention is directed to gaming games and methods and, more particularly, to games and methods that have unique sets of indicia.
  • [0005]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0006]
    In the prior art, various types of gaming machines have been developed with different features to captivate and maintain player interest. In general, a gaming machine allows a player to play a game in exchange for a wager. Depending on the outcome of the game, the player may be entitled to an award which is paid to the player by the gaming machine, normally in the form of currency or game credits. Gaming machines may include flashing displays, lighted displays, or sound effects to capture a player's interest in a gaming device.
  • [0007]
    Another important feature of maintaining player interest in a gaming machine includes providing the player with many opportunities to win awards, such as cash or prizes. For example, in some slot machines, the display windows show more than one adjacent symbol on each reel, thereby allowing for multiple-line betting. Other types of slot machines have been developed that offer supplemental games that provide players with additional opportunities to win, such as with additional free spins. Some gaming machines offer a player the opportunity to win millions of dollars by providing progressive jackpots. Additionally, supplemental games of various types have been employed to reward players above the amounts normally awarded on a standard game pay schedule. Generally, such supplemental games are triggered by predetermined events such as one or more appearances of certain combinations of indicia in the primary game. In order to stimulate interest, supplemental games are typically set to occur at a gaming machine on a statistical cycle based upon the number of primary game plays.
  • [0008]
    While gaming machines including supplemental games have been very successful, there remains a need for games that provide a player with enhanced excitement and increased opportunity of winning.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0009]
    In accordance with one or more embodiments of the invention, a gaming machine includes a processor operatively coupled to a set of player-operable controls. A first game and a set of two or more feature games are operable by the processor in accordance with the player-operable controls, each feature game including its own unique set of indicia. Upon a triggering event, one or more of the set of feature games is initiated for play.
  • [0010]
    In accordance with one or more other embodiments, a method of operating a gaming machine includes the steps of accepting a wager from a wager-input mechanism, initiating play of a first game according to the wager and, upon a triggering event, initiating one or more of a set of two or more feature games for play, where each feature game includes its own unique set of indicia.
  • [0011]
    Other features and advantages will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate by way of example, the features of the various embodiments.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0012]
    The accompanying drawings incorporated in and forming a part of the specification, illustrate several aspects of the present invention, and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:
  • [0013]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a gaming machine in accordance with one aspect of the present invention.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the physical and logical components of the gaming machine of FIG. 1.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 3 is a display image associated with a game of one embodiment of the invention.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 4 is a display image associated with a first supplemental game of one embodiment of the invention.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 5 is a display image associated with a second supplemental game of one embodiment of the invention.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 6 is a display image associated with a third supplemental game of one embodiment of the invention.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 7 is a functional block diagram depicting the steps associated with carrying out a method in accordance of one aspect of the invention.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 8 is a schematic block diagram showing the hardware elements of a networked gaming system in accordance with one aspect of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0021]
    Various embodiments are directed to a game and method for playing a game, wherein the player is provided a plurality of supplemental games. Embodiments of the game and method are illustrated and described herein, by way of example only, and not by way of limitation. Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1-8, there are shown illustrative examples of game and a method for playing a game in accordance with various aspects of the invention.
  • [0022]
    In accordance with one embodiment, FIG. 1 illustrates a gaming machine 100 including cabinet housing 120, primary game display 140, player-activated buttons 160, player tracking panel 136, bill/voucher acceptor 180 and one or more speakers 190. Cabinet housing 120 is a self-standing unit that is generally rectangular in shape and may be manufactured with reinforced steel or other rigid materials which are resistant to tampering and vandalism. Cabinet housing 120 houses a processor, circuitry, and software (not shown) for receiving signals from the player-activated buttons 160, operating the games, and transmitting signals to the respective displays and speakers. Any shaped cabinet may be implemented with any embodiment of gaming machine 100 so long as it provides access to a player for playing a game. For example, cabinet 120 may comprise a slant-top, bar-top, or table-top style cabinet. The operation of gaming machine 100 is described more fully below.
  • [0023]
    The plurality of player-activated buttons 160 may be used for various functions such as, but not limited to, selecting a wager denomination, selecting a game to be played, selecting a wager amount per game, initiating a game, or cashing out money from gaming machine 100. Buttons 160 function as input mechanisms and may include mechanical buttons, electromechanical buttons or touch screen buttons. Optionally, a handle (not shown) may be rotated by a player to initiate a game.
  • [0024]
    In other embodiments, buttons 160 may be replaced with various other input mechanisms known in the art such as, but not limited to, a touch screen system, touch pad, track ball, mouse, switches, toggle switches, or other input means used to accept player input. For example, one input means is a universal button module as disclosed in U.S. application Ser. No. 11/106,212, entitled “Universal Button Module,” filed on Apr. 14, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference. Generally, the universal button module provides a dynamic button system adaptable for use with various games and capable of adjusting to gaming systems having frequent game changes. More particularly, the universal button module may be used in connection with playing a game on a gaming machine and may be used for such functions as selecting the number of credits to bet per hand.
  • [0025]
    Cabinet housing 120 may optionally include top box 150 which contains “top glass” 152 comprising advertising or payout information related to the game or games available on gaming machine 100. Player tracking panel 136 includes player tracking card reader 134 and player tracking display 132. Voucher printer 130 may be integrated into player tracking panel 136 or installed elsewhere in cabinet housing 120 or top box 150.
  • [0026]
    Game display 140 presents a game of chance wherein a player receives one or more outcomes from a set of potential outcomes. For example, one such game of chance is a video poker game, an example of which is entitled Super Triple Trouble Poker, further described below. In other aspects of the invention, gaming machine 100 may present a video or mechanical reel slot machine, a video keno game, a lottery game, a bingo game, a Class II bingo game, a roulette game, a craps game, a blackjack game, a mechanical or video representation of a wheel game or the like. In alternative embodiments, it may further be appreciated that games of skill or games of chance involving some player skill may be implemented with gaming machine 100.
  • [0027]
    Mechanical or video/mechanical embodiments may include game displays such as mechanical reels, wheels, or dice as required to present the game to the player. In video/mechanical or pure video embodiments, game display 140 is, typically, a CRT or a flat-panel display in the form of, but not limited to, liquid crystal, plasma, electroluminescent, vacuum fluorescent, field emission, or any other type of panel display known or developed in the art. Game display 140 may be mounted in either a “portrait” or “landscape” orientation and be of standard or “widescreen” dimensions (i.e., a ratio of one dimension to another of at least 16×9). For example, a widescreen display may be 32 inches wide by 18 inches tall. A widescreen display in a “portrait” orientation may be 32 inches tall by 18 inches wide. Additionally, game display 140 preferably includes a touch screen or touch glass system (not shown) and presents player interfaces such as, but not limited to, credit meter 144, win meter 142 and touch screen buttons 146. An example of a touch glass system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,942,571, entitled “Gaming Device with Direction and Speed Control of Mechanical Reels Using Touch Screen,” which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • [0028]
    Game display 140 may also present information such as, but not limited to, player information, advertisements and casino promotions, graphic displays, news and sports updates, or even offer an alternate game. This information may be generated through a host computer networked with gaming machine 100 on its own initiative or it may be obtained by request of the player using either one or more of the plurality of player-activated buttons 160; the game display itself, if game display 140 comprises a touch screen or similar technology; buttons (not shown) mounted about game display 140 which may permit selections such as those found on an ATM machine, where legends on the screen are associated with respective selecting buttons; or any player input device that offers the required functionality.
  • [0029]
    Cabinet housing 120 incorporates a single game display 140. However, in alternate embodiments, cabinet housing 120 or top box 150 may house one or more additional displays or components (not shown) used for various purposes including additional game play screens, animated “top glass,” progressive meters or mechanical or electromechanical devices such as, but not limited to, wheels, pointers or reels. The additional displays may or may not include a touch screen or touch glass system.
  • [0030]
    In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing the interconnection of physical and logical components 200 of gaming machine 100. Currency acceptor 210 is typically connected to central processing unit (“CPU”) 205 by a serial connection such as RS-232 or USB. CPU 205 executes game program 220 that causes video display screen 230 to display a game. In one embodiment, game program 220 is a game entitled Super Triple Trouble Poker.
  • [0031]
    When a player has inserted a form of currency such as, for example and without limitation, paper currency, coins or tokens, cashless tickets or vouchers, electronic funds transfers or the like into currency acceptor 210, a signal is sent to CPU 205 which, in turn, assigns an appropriate number of credits for play. The player may further control the operation of gaming machine 100, for example, to select the amount to wager via electromechanical or touchscreen buttons 250. The game starts in response to the player pushing one of buttons 250.
  • [0032]
    Random number generator 240 responds to instructions from CPU 205 to provide a display of randomly selected indicia on video display screen 230. Thereafter, the player may or may not interact with the game through electromechanical or touchscreen buttons 250 to change the displayed indicia. Finally, CPU 205 under control of game program 220 compares the final display of indicia to a pay table. The set of possible game outcomes may include a subset of outcomes related to the triggering of play of free games. In the event the displayed outcome is a member of this subset, CPU 205, under control of game program 220, causes additional game play to be presented on video display screen 230 as will be described further below.
  • [0033]
    Predetermined payout amounts for certain outcomes, including bonus game outcomes, are stored as part of game program 220. Such payout amounts are, in response to instructions from CPU 205, provided to the player in the form of coins, credits or currency via payout mechanism 260, which may be one or more of a credit meter, a coin hopper, a voucher printer, an electronic funds transfer protocol or any other payout means known or developed in the art.
  • [0034]
    In various embodiments of gaming machine 100, game program 220 is stored in a memory device (not shown). By way of example, but not by limitation, such memory devices include external memory devices, hard drives, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and flash memory cards. In an alternative embodiment, the game programs are stored in a remote storage device. In one embodiment, the remote storage device is housed in a remote server. The gaming machine may access the remote storage device via a network connection, including but not limited to, a local area network connection, a TCP/IP connection, a wireless connection, or any other means for operatively networking components together. Optionally, other data including graphics, sound files and other media data for use with gaming machine 100 are stored in the same or a separate memory device (not shown).
  • [0035]
    In the various embodiments of the invention, multiple supplemental games are available to the player. In one embodiment, the set of possible primary game outcomes includes a subset of outcomes related to the triggering of supplemental games. In an alternate embodiment, other elements of the primary game trigger supplemental games. In either case, each supplemental game has a unique primary game trigger associated with it. Once a supplemental game has been triggered, the player is awarded a certain number of supplemental game plays for which they may, or may not, pay. The composition of the indicia set (reels, card decks, etc.) and pay table used in each supplemental game is determined by the triggering event and differs from those used by the primary game. Any combination of indicia and pay table may be used for each of the plurality of bonus games, provided each combination is unique.
  • [0036]
    For example, one poker-based embodiment might offer play of a supplemental game upon achievement of any four-of-a-kind outcome. As shown in Table 1, if the rank of the triggering hand is between a five and a king, the deck used in the supplemental game would have a single joker. If the rank of the triggering hand is between two and four, the deck would have two jokers. If the rank of the triggering hand is an ace, the deck used in the supplemental games would have three jokers. Each supplemental game would have a distinct pay table including pays made possible by its unique set of indicia. In an alternate embodiment, the pay table could be the same for each of the three supplemental games.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 1
    Cards Added to
    Rank Deck Pay Table (Rules)
    5-K One Joker Single Joker Pay
    Table
    2-4 Two Jokers Dual Joker Pay
    Table
    A Three Jokers Three Joker Pay
    Table
  • [0037]
    Turning to FIG. 3, in accordance with one embodiment of the invention, the Super Triple Trouble Poker game is implemented on video display 300. The game is based on a five-card single hold-and-draw poker game. Optionally, any poker-based game may be used. For example, the game could be based on a stud poker game.
  • [0038]
    A simulated standard deck of fifty-two cards is used. The deck comprises four subsets of cards identified as two through ten, jack, queen, king, and ace. Each of the four subsets of cards is identified by one of four suits: spades, clubs, hearts or diamonds. In some embodiments, one or more jokers may also be included for use according to the rules of the game being played, for example, as a wild card. In other embodiments, the playing cards used by the game may include one or more standard or non-standard decks of playing cards.
  • [0039]
    In FIG. 3, a player selects the number of credits or coins wagered on the game using touch screen controls BET ONE 321 or BET MAX 320 or corresponding buttons in the set of gaming machine control buttons 160 (FIG. 1). The player may optionally control the speed at which cards are dealt by touching SPEED control 350 or the volume of game sound by touching VOLUME control 360 until the desired settings are achieved.
  • [0040]
    Cash meter 315 displays the player's current balance, while other meters may display, for example, the number of credits or coins wagered 317 and the last amount paid 316. Other meters containing other information may be displayed. The amount wagered may additionally be indicated by highlighting the corresponding column 325 of pay table 330.
  • [0041]
    The player initiates game play by pressing REBET/DEAL button 335. Five simulated cards 301-305 are dealt to the player. While cards 301-305 are shown face-up, in one embodiment, the cards are all initially dealt face-down, or alternatively, the cards are dealt in a combined fashion such that some of the cards are dealt face-down and some are dealt face-up.
  • [0042]
    Once the cards have been dealt, the player is allowed to discard as few as none and as many as five of cards 301-305 by touching the cards he wished to hold or by pressing buttons (not shown) corresponding to the cards. For example, the buttons may be in the set of buttons 160 illustrated in FIG. 1. When the player presses a DRAW button (not shown), cards not elected to be held are discarded and replaced by cards remaining in the original deck. It is important to note that the player is not required to discard any of the cards dealt in the initial hand, and may choose to hold all of the originally dealt cards. In alternate embodiments, the number of allowed discards will vary depending on the rules of the game. In one embodiment of the invention, the player may be required to discard at least one of the dealt cards.
  • [0043]
    The player's final five-card hand is compared to the outcomes based on a poker hand ranking scheme shown on pay table 330. In the example shown in FIG. 3, the game outcome is a non-paying poker hand (J, Q, 10, 2, 9). However, for each winning combination, the game would the player the award in the pay table corresponding to both the achieved winning poker hand and the number of units wagered on the game. For example, according to pay table 330, in the event the player had wagered three units, an outcome of “Four Aces” would result in an award of 600 units. In some embodiments, winning outcomes may be indicated on pay table 330 by highlighting the row of the table corresponding to the winning outcome. Still further embodiments may highlight the rectangle at the intersection of the winning row and appropriate wager column. Additional information about the game may be accessible through SEE PAYS button 340 or HELP button 345. In alternate embodiments, the pay table may be presented on a second video or printed display attached to the gaming device (i.e. “pay glass” 152, FIG. 1).
  • [0044]
    In Super Triple Trouble Poker, a primary game outcome may include not only a final poker hand, but also the random appearance of as few as none and as many as three bonus icons 335. The icons are represented by either flames, a red-and-black devil face or a red devil face. In the example shown in FIG. 3, the game outcome includes a non-paying poker hand (J, Q, 10, 2, 9) and two icons, a red-and-black devil face 336 and a red devil face 337. At the beginning of each game, a random icon outcome is selected and presented on the display. If three icons are displayed, the player is awarded one of three supplemental games as shown in Table 2. If less than three icons are displayed, no supplemental games are awarded.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 2
    Trigger Deck Pay Table (Rules)
    3 Flames or 3 Primary game Three free games
    Mixed Flames, awarded. Primary
    Red-and-Black game pay table
    Devils and Red rows are the same
    Devils triggers but all primary
    Mixed game awards are
    supplemental tripled during free
    game. games.
    3 Red-and-Black 26 Card Deck Three free games
    Devils triggers consisting of only awarded. Special
    Red-and-Black Spades and Hearts Red-and-Black Pay
    supplemental Table removes
    game. some primary
    game pays. All
    remaining primary
    game awards are
    tripled during free
    games.
    3 Red Devils 13-card deck Three free games
    triggers Red consisting of only awarded.
    supplemental game Spades. Special Red Pay
    Table removes
    some primary
    game pays. All
    remaining primary
    game awards are
    tripled during free
    games.
  • [0045]
    Turning to FIG. 4, in accordance with one embodiment of the invention, an example of the “Mixed” supplemental game is shown on video display 400. It can be seen that, during the last primary game play, the player received three Flame icons 410 that triggered the supplemental games. The player has just been dealt a hand in the second of three free “Mixed” supplemental games. The cards have been dealt from a “standard” deck composed of 52 cards. The hand consists of a two 402, two aces 401, a Jack 403 and an eight 404. The hand shown is an example; any cards from the standard deck could have been dealt to the player in any order.
  • [0046]
    The awards in pay table 440 are based on the player's wager size at the time the supplemental games were triggered and the tripling of primary game awards associated with the “Mixed” supplemental game. For example, a Flush pays 20 in the primary game and 60 in the supplemental game. Pay table column 450 indicates the set of awards available to the player under the rules of the “Mixed” supplemental game.
  • [0047]
    Bonus win meter 430 indicates that the player did not win an award on the first hand of the three free supplemental games, however, pay table row 460 is highlighted, reflecting that the two aces 401 held by the player will be eligible for a Jacks or Better award of 15 units. The player may, however, attempt to improve his hand by holding some cards and discarding some cards. As previously described, the player may optionally hold all cards or discard all cards.
  • [0048]
    By pressing DRAW button 470, the player may hold the aces 401 and discard the two 402, the Jack 403 and the eight 404, and replace them with cards remaining in the deck. Games remaining meter 420 indicates that, when the hand currently in progress is completed, the player will have one free game remaining before normal primary game play, with the primary game deck and pay table, resumes.
  • [0049]
    Turning to FIG. 5, in accordance with one embodiment of the invention, an example of the “Red-and-Black” supplemental game is shown on video display 500. It can be seen that, during the last primary game play, the player received three Red-and-Black icons 510 that triggered the supplemental games. The player has just been dealt a hand in the second of three free “Red-and-Black” supplemental games. The cards have been dealt from a 26-card deck consisting of only Spades and Hearts. The hand consists of two Queens 501, a four 502, a six 503 and a three 504. The hand shown is an example; any cards from the standard deck could have been dealt to the player in any order.
  • [0050]
    The awards in pay table 440 are based on the player's wager size at the time the supplemental games were triggered and the tripling of primary game awards associated with the “Red-and-Black” supplemental game. For example, a Flush pays 20 in the primary game and 60 in the supplemental game. Pay table column 550 indicates the set of awards available to the player under the rules of the “Red-and-Black” supplemental game.
  • [0051]
    Bonus win meter 530 indicates that the player did not win an award on the first hand of the three free supplemental games, however, pay table row 560 is highlighted, reflecting that the two Queens 501 held by the player will be eligible for a Jacks or Better award of 15 units. The player may, however, attempt to improve his hand by holding some cards and discarding some cards. As previously described, the player may optionally hold all cards or discard all cards.
  • [0052]
    By pressing DRAW button 570, the player may hold the Queens 401 and discard the four 502, the six 503 and the three 504, and replace them with cards remaining in the deck. Games remaining meter 520 indicates that, when the hand currently in progress is completed, the player will have one free game remaining before normal primary game play, with the primary game deck and pay table, resumes.
  • [0053]
    Turning to FIG. 6, in accordance with one embodiment of the invention, an example of the “Red” supplemental game is shown on video display 600. It can be seen that, during the last primary game play, the player received three Red Devil icons 610 that triggered the supplemental games. The player has just been dealt a hand in the second of three free “Red” supplemental games. The cards have been dealt from a 13-card deck consisting of only Spades. The hand consists of an Ace 601, a three 602, a nine 603 and a ten 604 and a Jack 605. The hand shown is an example; any cards from the standard deck could have been dealt to the player in any order.
  • [0054]
    The awards in pay table 640 are based on the player's wager size at the time the supplemental games were triggered and the tripling of primary game awards associated with the “Red-and-Black” supplemental game. For example, for a wager of ten units, a Flush pays 20 in the primary game and 60 in the supplemental game. Pay table column 650 indicates the set of awards available to the player under the rules of the “Red” supplemental game.
  • [0055]
    Bonus win meter 630 indicates that the player did not win an award on the first hand of the three free supplemental games, however, pay table row 660 is highlighted, reflecting that the cards already held by the player will be eligible for a Flush award of 60 units. The player may, however, attempt to improve his hand by holding some cards and discarding some cards. As previously described, the player may optionally hold all cards or discard all cards.
  • [0056]
    By pressing DRAW button 670, the player may hold the Queens Ace 601, the 10 604 and the Jack 605, discard the three 602 and the nine 603, and replace them with cards remaining in the deck. Games remaining meter 620 indicates that, when the hand currently in progress is completed, the player will have one free game remaining before normal primary game play, with the primary game deck and pay table, resumes.
  • [0057]
    It should be noted that, in the three supplemental games illustrated by FIGS. 4-6, each of the supplemental games employs a different deck and pay table composition from each of the other supplemental games.
  • [0058]
    In another, separate embodiment, more than one hand of cards may be dealt to the game player, wherein each additional hand contains the same number of cards as the first dealt hand. It will be appreciated that any number of additional hands can be dealt to the game player in either of a primary game, a supplemental game or both.
  • [0059]
    In other embodiments of the invention, games other than poker may be used. For example, in a reel spinning game, the primary game may trigger a unique supplemental game depending on whether three, four or five predetermined symbols appear in any position (“scattered”) on the reels. Each of the supplemental games, while similar in operation to the primary game, would have a unique set of indicia (reel symbols) and may or may not have a unique pay table.
  • [0060]
    A logical flow diagram generally depicting the steps associated with a method 700 for carrying out a game having multiple sets of indicia, in accordance with one aspect of the invention, is presented in FIG. 7. The order of actions as shown in FIG. 7 and described below is only illustrative, and should not be considered limiting. For example, the order of the actions may be changed, additional steps may be added or some steps may be removed without deviating from the scope and spirit of the invention.
  • [0061]
    First, the set of indicia and pay table used for a primary game are selected and play is initiated by a player at block 705. The player initiates game play at block 710, and may simply observe a presentation of indicia, as in a slot machine game, or interact with the game following one or more presentations of indicia, as in a draw poker game. Any awards due the player as a result of evaluating the displayed indicia against the pay table are paid at block 715.
  • [0062]
    The primary game outcome is compared to the first of a plurality of supplemental game triggers at decision block 720. For example, in a slot machine embodiment, the appearance of three lemons on a pay line may have been predetermined to be the trigger for a first supplemental game, Secondary Game 1.
  • [0063]
    If the triggering event for Supplemental Game 1 has not occurred, the method proceeds to decision block 745 to test for the occurrence of the trigger for a second supplemental game, Secondary Game 2.
  • [0064]
    Otherwise, the primary game indicia and pay table are replaced by the Secondary Game 1 indicia and pay table at block 725. Secondary Game 1 is then played according to its associated indicia and pay table at block 730. Any awards associated with the outcome of Secondary Game 1 are paid at block 735. Multiple iterations of blocks 730-735 are possible. At step 740, the decision to play a given iteration of Secondary Game 1, or not, is made. The decision may be predetermined by the rules of the game, determined at the time the supplemental game is triggered, or determined “on the fly.” When it is determined that play of Secondary Game 1 is complete, primary game play resumes at block 705.
  • [0065]
    If Secondary Game 1 was not triggered at block 720, the primary game outcome is compared to the trigger for Secondary Game 2 at decision block 745. If the triggering event for Secondary Game 1 has not occurred, primary game play continues at block 705.
  • [0066]
    Otherwise, the primary game indicia and pay table are replaced by the Secondary Game 2 indicia and pay table at block 750. Secondary Game 2 is then played according to its associated indicia and pay table at block 755. Any awards associated with the outcome of Secondary Game 2 are paid at block 760. Multiple iterations of blocks 755-760 are possible. At step 765, the decision to play a given iteration of Secondary Game 2, or not, is made. The decision may be predetermined by the rules of the game, determined at the time the supplemental game is triggered, or determined “on the fly.” When it is determined that play of Secondary Game 2 is complete, primary game play resumes at block 705.
  • [0067]
    It should be noted that each of the supplemental games, while similar in operation to the primary game, has a unique set of indicia (cards, reel symbols or other indicia) and may or may not have a unique pay table.
  • [0068]
    Referring to FIG. 8, in accordance with one aspect of the invention, gaming system 800 includes server 810, gaming machines 850, and network 840 connecting gaming machines 850 to server 810. Additionally, gaming display computer 830 is shown connected to network 840. Server 810 may be selected from a variety of conventionally available servers. The type of server used is generally determined by the platform and software requirements of the gaming system. Examples of suitable servers are an IBM RS6000-based server, an IBM AS/400-based server or a Microsoft Windows-based server, but it should be appreciated that any suitable server may be used. It may also be appreciated that server 810 may be configured as a single “logical” server that comprises multiple physical servers. Gaming machines 850 operate similar to conventional peripheral networked terminals. Gaming machines 850 have a player interface such as a display, a card reader, and selection buttons through which gaming machines 850 interact with a player playing a wagering having supplemental games with multiple sets of indicia. The player interface is used for making choices such as the amount of a bet or the number of lines to bet. Gaming machines 850 also provide information to server 810 concerning activity on gaming machines 850 and provide a communication portal for players with server 810. For example, the player interface may be used for selecting different server-related menu options such as, but not limited to, transferring a specified number of credits from a player account onto the credit meter of the gaming machine, or for transferring credits from the gaming machine to a central player account.
  • [0069]
    In various embodiments, any of the gaming machines 850 may be a mechanical reel spinning slot machine, video slot machine, video poker machine, keno machine, video blackjack machine, or a gaming machine offering one or more of the above described primary games offering supplemental games having multiple sets of indicia. Networking components (not shown) facilitate communications across network 840 between the system server 810 and game management units 820 and/or gaming display control computers 830 that control displays for carousels of gaming machines. Game management units (GMU's) 820 connect gaming machines to networking components and may be installed in the gaming machine cabinet or external to the gaming machine. The function of the GMU is similar to the function of a network interface card connected to a desktop personal computer (PC). Some GMU's have much greater capability and can perform such tasks as presenting and playing a game having supplemental games with multiple sets of indicia using a display 825 operatively connected to the GMU 820. Displays related to games offering supplemental games having multiple sets of indicia on gaming machines 850 or GMU displays 825 may also be presented on gaming display 835 by gaming display control computer 830. In one embodiment, the GMU 820 is a separate component located outside the gaming machine. Alternatively, in another embodiment, the GMU 820 is located within the gaming machine. Optionally, in an alternative embodiment, one or more gaming machines 850 connect directly to the network and are not connected to a GMU 820. A gaming system of the type described above also allows a plurality of games in accordance with the various embodiments of the invention to be linked under the control of server 810 for cooperative or competitive play in a particular area, carousel, casino or between casinos located in geographically separate areas.
  • [0070]
    One will appreciate that a gaming system may also comprise other types of components, and the above illustrations are meant only as examples and not as limitations to the types of components or games having multiple sets of indicia in a gaming system. Additionally, it may further be appreciated that each of the games could be operated on a remote host computer such that a player initiates play with the host computer over a network via the player interface and gaming machine 850 operates the respective gaming and video displays in conjunction with the game whose play is controlled by the remote computer.
  • [0071]
    The various embodiments described above are provided by way of illustration only and should not be construed to limit the claimed invention. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize various modifications and changes that may be made to the claimed invention without following the example embodiments and applications illustrated and described herein, and without departing from the true spirit and scope of the claimed invention, which is set forth in the following claims.
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Classifications
Classification aux États-Unis463/20, 463/16
Classification internationaleA63F9/24
Classification coopérativeG07F17/32, G07F17/3267
Classification européenneG07F17/32M4, G07F17/32
Événements juridiques
DateCodeÉvénementDescription
24 sept. 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: BALLY GAMING, INC., NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SCHULTZ, DAVID B.;REEL/FRAME:021581/0888
Effective date: 20080924