sonnel, once a machine has been identified as winning FIG. 1 shows a progressive gaming system in accorthe added jackpot. This limits the overall adaptability of dance with the principles of the present invention,
the system. As a result, while the aforesaid mystery ncT „ TM nc«rpiPTinv
progressive jackpot system provides some degree of UfciAiLtu uts^Kiriiuw
stimulation for game play, there is still a continued 5 FIG. 1 shows a plurality of gaming machines 2-5
effort to develop additional ways to increase player which are adapted for use with the progressive gaming
interest. system of the present, invention. As illustrated, each of
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to the machines is a reel type slot machine having reels 2A,
provide an improved progressive jackpot gaming sys- 2B, 2C and 2D respectively and the same unit bet,
tern of the above type. 10 shown as $0.25.
It is a further object of the present invention to pro- In normal use, a number of unit bets are inserted into
vide a progressive jackpot gaming system of the above a machine and, depending upon the number inserted,
type which has been modified to further stimulate game the player plays for one or more awards or payouts,
play. These awards or payouts depend upon certain combina
It is yet a further object of the present invention to 15 tions being displayed by the respective reels of the gamprovide a progressive jackpot gaming system of the ing machine when the game is played, above type which has been modified to attempt to Each unit bet applied to a gaming machine is conlessen fall-off in game play after the progressive jackpot verted into an electrical pulse or signal to signify that has been won. the unit bet has been applied. The gaming machine then
It is still further object of the present invention to 20 knows by the number of pulses generated which awards
provide a progressive gaming system of the above type or payouts the player is playing for.
in which payout of the progressive jackpot at a gaming Initiating of a game cycle on each machine begins
machine is more readily accomplished. when the player pulls the machine handle 6, causing the
cimu»ovnr Tuc ... respective reels to spin and stop at certain combinations
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 2J which afe displayed t0 the If the combinations
In accordance with the principles of the present in- developed are those for which an award or payout is to vention, the above and other objectives are realized, in be made, the gaming machine provides the payout, part, in a gaming system of the above-type in which the which is usually some multiple of the unit bet. controller of the system is modified such that at the In order to stimulate play on the gaming machines beginning of each progressive game cycle it enables the 30 2-5, a progressive jackpot system 10 is utilized. This gaming machine displays and/or overhead display to progressive system enables the players playing on the display the jackpot-win value which has been estab- machines 2-5 to compete for an additional jackpot lished for the game cycle. The controller of the system which is reached as a result of game play at the mais additionally adapted so that the current jackpot value chines, but which is not won based upon winning at the for a given progressive game cycle is also randomly 35 machines. As shown, the system 10 includes a proestablished. This can be effected for each game cycle by grammed controller 11 which links the machines 2-5 randomly selecting one or more parameters such as the and which establishes and controls the progressive jackincrement rate and/or the base value, used to determine pot. In the case shown, the system also includes a comthe current jackpot value. mon display 12, as well as individual displays or meters
With the controller so adapted, the players on the 40 13A-13D, which are located at the gaming machines, gaming machines are immediately made aware of the all of which display the same jackpot information readded jackpot they can win by playing on their respec- ceived from the controller 11 on lines 8A-8D, respective machines. As a result, players are no longer pres- tively.
ented with a low initial or base value which could cause In the present case, the controller 11 includes a centhem to not play at the beginning of a game cycle. Less- 45 tral processing unit (CPU) 21, a memory 22 and comened play at this time is thus reduced. Also by randomly munication interfaces 23A-23D which include storage establishing the current jackpot value, it remains diffi- buffers or registers 24A-24D. The latter interfaces recult for players to predict the number of unit bets ceive and transmit information from and to lines 7A-7D needed to reach the displayed jackpot-win value. Thus, which are connected to the gaming machines 2-5. The the unpredictable nature of the progressive game is 50 lines 7A-7D and corresponding interfaces 23A-23D preserved. serve as identification to the controller 11 that the inforIn a further aspect of the present invention, a control- mation being received is attributable to a particular ler for the above type of system is adapted to provide gaming machine.
signalling information to a winning gaming machine so The controller 11 also includes a jackpot-win value as to enable and cause, the machine to automatically 55 generator 25 which establishes the jackpot-win value, provide the jackpot win value payout from the machine JPw, for the jackpot of the progressive system. In the itself. With this modification, each gaming machine is present case, the generator 25 is a random generator also adapted to respond to the signalling information. which randomly establishes in standard fashion the As a further aspect of this modification, payout need not value JPW from between maximum and minimum jackbe based on a jackpot-win value, but upon other prede- 60 pot values JPmax and JPmin.
termined conditions or criteria which determine the The jackpot-win value JPW is stored in a register 22A
jackpot value. of the memory 22 for use by the controller 11 during
Bptfp r»P<:rRTPTin\i Of Thf r»R Awinos game pIay on the machines t0 establish whether the
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS progreSSivc jackpot has been won. Also stored by the
The above and other features and aspects of the pres- 65 controller 11 in further registers 22B, 22C and 22D of ent invention will become more apparent upon reading the memory 22 is a base or initial jackpot value, JP/, a
the following detailed description in conjunction with current jackpot value, JPcand an increment per unit bet
the accompanying drawings, in which: value, INCR, all of which are also used in determining