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Publication numberUS20020039920 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/935,104
Publication dateApr 4, 2002
Filing dateAug 22, 2001
Priority dateAug 22, 2000
Also published asUS8298073, US20080248861, US20110151960, US20130190069
Publication number09935104, 935104, US 2002/0039920 A1, US 2002/039920 A1, US 20020039920 A1, US 20020039920A1, US 2002039920 A1, US 2002039920A1, US-A1-20020039920, US-A1-2002039920, US2002/0039920A1, US2002/039920A1, US20020039920 A1, US20020039920A1, US2002039920 A1, US2002039920A1
InventorsNatalie Bryant
Original AssigneeNatalie Bryant
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming machine with multi scatter game
US 20020039920 A1
Abstract
A gaming machine 10 has a display 14 and a game controller arranged to control images displayed on the display 14. The game controller is arranged to play a game wherein at least one random event is caused to be displayed on the display means and, if a predefined winning event occurs, the machine awards a prize. The display 14 displays a plurality of spinning reels 18, each reel 18 carrying symbols from a set of symbols. One of the symbols of the set is a scatter symbol and, in respect of at least one of the reels, the set comprises more than one occurrence of the scatter symbol. The scatter symbols on the at least one reel are arranged on the reel so that more than one scatter symbol is able to be displayed simultaneously when the reels are in a rest condition. When more than a minimum number of scatter symbols are displayed at any one time, all the displayed scatter symbols contribute to a single paying combination of the scatter symbols.
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Claims(5)
I claim:
1. A gaming machine having a display means and a game control means arranged to control images displayed on the display means, the game control means being arranged to play a game wherein at least one random event is caused to be displayed on the display means and, if a predefined winning event occurs, the machine awards a prize, the gaming machine being characterized in that the display means displays a plurality of spinning reels, each reel carrying symbols from a set of symbols, one of the symbols of the set being a scatter symbol and, in respect of at least one of the reels, the set comprising more than one occurrence of the scatter symbol, the scatter symbols on said at least one reel being arranged on the reel so that more than one scatter symbol is able to be displayed simultaneously when the reels are in a rest condition and, when more than a minimum number of scatter symbols are displayed at any one time, all the displayed scatter symbols contributing to a single paying combination of the scatter symbols.
2. The gaming machine of claim 1 in which the display means is a video display unit and the display of the reels is constituted by a video simulation of spinning reels.
3. The gaming machine of claim 1 in which the set of symbols on each of the reels has more than one occurrence of the scatter symbol.
4. The gaming machine of claim 3 in which the set of symbols of each reel has at least two scatter symbols.
5. The gaming machine of claim 3 in which the scatter symbols are positioned on each reel such that up to three scatter symbols are able to be displayed together at any one time.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a gaming machine. More particularly, the invention relates to a gaming machine and to an improvement to a game played on such a gaming machine.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[0002] Players who regularly play gaming machines quickly tire of particular games and therefore it is necessary for manufacturers of these machines to develop innovative game features which add interest to the games. In so doing, it is hoped to keep players amused and therefore willing to continue playing the games as well as to attract new players.

[0003] Also, with the growth that has occurred in the gaming machine market, there is intense competition between manufacturers to supply various existing and new venues. When selecting a supplier of gaming machines, the operator of a venue will often pay close attention to the popularity of various games with their patrons. Therefore, gaming machine manufacturers are keen to devise games and/or game features which are popular with the players as a mechanism for improving sales, retaining customers and attracting new customers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] According to the invention, there is provided a gaming machine having a display means and a game control means arranged to control images displayed on the display means, the game control means being arranged to play a game wherein at least one random event is caused to be displayed on the display means and, if a predefined winning event occurs, the machine awards a prize, the gaming machine being characterized in that the display means displays a plurality of spinning reels, each reel carrying symbols from a set of symbols, one of the symbols of the set being a scatter symbol and, in respect of at least one of the reels, the set comprising more than one occurrence of the scatter symbol, the scatter symbols on said at least one reel being arranged on the reel so that more than one scatter symbol is able to be displayed simultaneously when the reels are in a rest condition and, when more than a minimum number of scatter symbols are displayed at any one time, all the displayed scatter symbols contributing to a single paying combination of the scatter symbols.

[0005] The display means may be a video display unit and the display of the reels may be constituted by a video simulation of spinning reels.

[0006] It will be appreciated that, to achieve a winning combination, a predetermined number of the symbols must be displayed. Normally, at least three symbols constitute a winning combination. Hence, the minimum number of the scatter symbols which must be displayed to constitute a winning combination may be three scatter symbols.

[0007] The set of symbols on each of the reels may have more than one occurrence of the scatter symbol. Preferably, the set of symbols of each reel has at least two scatter symbols. The scatter symbols may be positioned on each reel such that up to three scatter symbols are able to be displayed together at any one time. Hence, for a five reel video simulation, a maximum of fifteen scatter symbols may be able to be displayed at once to constitute a fifteen of a kind winning combination.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The invention is now described by way of example with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings in which:

[0009]FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a gaming machine, in accordance with the invention;

[0010]FIG. 2 shows a block diagram of a control circuit of the gaming machine;

[0011]FIG. 3 shows a table of reel strips for a game to be played on the gaming machine of FIG. 1;

[0012]FIG. 4 shows a first example of a screen display the game; and

[0013]FIG. 5 shows a second example of a screen display of the game.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] In FIG. 1, reference numeral 10 generally designates a gaming machine, including a game, in accordance with the invention. The machine 10 includes a console 12 having a video display unit 14 on which a game 16 is played, in use. The game 16 is a spinning reel game which simulates the rotation of a number of spinning reels 18.

[0015] A midtrim 20 of the machine 10 houses a bank 22 of buttons for enabling a player to play the game 16. The midtrim 20 also houses a credit input mechanism 24 including a coin input chute 24.1 and a bill collector 24.2.

[0016] The machine 10 includes a top box 26 on which artwork 28 is carried. The artwork 28 includes paytables, details of bonus awards, etc.

[0017] A coin tray 30 is mounted beneath the console 12 for cash payouts from the machine 10.

[0018] Referring now to FIG. 2 of the drawings, a control means or control circuit 40 is illustrated. A program which implements the game and user interface is run on a processor 42 of the control circuit 40. The processor 42 forms part of a controller 44 which drives the screen of the video display unit 14 and which receives input signals from sensors 46. The sensors 46 include sensors associated with the bank 22 of buttons and touch sensors associated with the screen 16. The controller 44 also receives input pulses from the mechanism 24 indicating that a player has provided sufficient credit to commence playing. The mechanism 24 may, instead of the coin input chute 24.1 or the bill collector 24.2, or in addition thereto, be a credit card reader (not shown) or any other type of validation device.

[0019] Finally, the controller 44 drives a payout mechanism 48 which, for example, may be a coin hopper for feeding coins to the coin tray 30 to make a pay out to a player when the player wishes to redeem his or her credit.

[0020] As indicated above, the game 16 is a spinning reel game which simulates the rotation of a number of spinning reels 18. The controller 44 contains, in a memory (not shown), data relating to reel strips. Each position on the reel strip maps to a corresponding position on the reel 18 to be displayed. The controller 44 selects random locations of the reel strips which map to the positions at which the reels 18 will stop.

[0021] As illustrated in FIG. 3 of the drawings, each reel strip 50 contains two scatter symbols 52 thereon. The scatter symbols 52 are either arranged adjacent each other on the reel strips 50 or, as shown in respect of reel strips one and three, the scatter symbols are separated from each other by, at most, one other symbol which may be a standard symbol or another special symbol.

[0022] Consequently, it is possible for both scatter symbols 52 on each reel 18 to be visible simultaneously in a screen display 54 (FIG. 4) if the relevant reel 18 stops in the appropriate position.

[0023] Insofar as conventional, standard symbols of a set of symbols of the reels 18 are concerned, normally a minimum number of symbols, preferably three, is required in order for a winning combination to result. The symbols must appear in a predetermined order on an active payline of the game. For example, most gaming machines pay for left-to-right winning combinations appearing on any active payline.

[0024] However, with scatter symbols, the appearance of a predetermined number of the scatter symbols, anywhere on the screen 16, results in a winning combination. In other words, scatter symbols need not appear on active paylines to be eligible to contribute to a winning combination.

[0025] The set of symbols associated with reels of spinning reel type games normally each only have a single scatter symbol or the symbols are laid out on reel strips of the reels so that it is not possible to get more than one scatter symbol displayed in respect of that reel at the same time. Also, for cases where it may be possible to get more than one scatter symbol displayed on the same reel at any one time, each of the symbols on the same reel is regarded separately when determining winning combinations. For example, two scatter symbols on the same reel will not constitute two scatters towards a single winning combination but rather two separate occurrences that may each contribute to separately paying winning combinations in respect of the scatter symbols. Hence, the maximum number of scatter symbols that can make up a single paying scatter combination will be equal to the number of reels of the spinning reel game.

[0026] The reel strips 50 are set up in such a way so as to allow for two or more scatter symbols to be displayed simultaneously on the screen 16 in respect of each reel 18. When this occurs, each scatter symbol contributes to a single paying winning combination of scatter symbols.

[0027] In respect of the reel strips 50 illustrated in FIG. 3 of the drawings it will, accordingly, be possible to obtain a winning combination of ten scatter symbols. It will, however, also be appreciated that it is feasible, in respect of a five reel game with a window of three symbols displayed per reel, to have up to fifteen of a kind winning combinations.

[0028] In the example of the game shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings, it is assumed that the reels 18 stop at positions 5, 4, 16, 9 and 5 of the reel strips 50 to generate the screen display shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings. This embodiment will pay a prize for five scatter symbols.

[0029] Assuming that the reels 18 stop at positions 5, 10, 6, 10, 6 of the reel strips 50, as shown in FIG. 5, the maximum scatter prize of ten of a kind scatter symbols will be awarded.

[0030] Hence, it is an advantage of the invention that a game is provided which can pay a prize for more scatter symbols than there are reels.

[0031] It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that numerous variations and/or modifications may be made to the invention as shown in the specific embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as broadly described. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7237775Jun 28, 2004Jul 3, 2007Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game with predetermined location for wild-card feature
US7690984Nov 17, 2005Apr 6, 2010Konami Australia Pty Ltd.Feature game with random population feature
US7699698 *Jun 3, 2004Apr 20, 2010IgtGaming machine and method involving a selectable bonus evaluation system
US7850520Apr 28, 2006Dec 14, 2010Konami Australia Pty. Ltd.Gaming machine with multiple reel matrix
US7878903Jul 29, 2005Feb 1, 2011Konami Australia Pty LtdMethod and gaming machine for symbol enhancement using a semi-transparent overlay
US8012011Mar 11, 2008Sep 6, 2011IgtGaming device and method having independent reels and multiple ways of winning
US8096869 *Dec 9, 2005Jan 17, 2012Konami Australia Pty Ltd.Gaming machine with runs of consecutive identical symbols
US8187080May 22, 2009May 29, 2012Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty LimitedGaming system and a method of gaming
US8251796May 4, 2009Aug 28, 2012Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty LimitedGaming system and a method of gaming including a display device of generally diamond shaped configuration
US8366540Dec 9, 2011Feb 5, 2013Konami Gaming, Inc.Gaming machine with runs of consecutive identical symbols
US8562416 *Aug 21, 2006Oct 22, 2013IgtGaming device and method having independent reels and multiple ways of winning
US8616955Nov 26, 2012Dec 31, 2013Konami Games, Inc.Gaming machine with runs of symbols populated with identical symbols during spinning of reels
US8622810Nov 26, 2012Jan 7, 2014Konami Gaming, Inc.Gaming machine with replacement of runs of symbols containing identical symbols with new identical symbols
US8628401Nov 26, 2012Jan 14, 2014Konami Gaming, Inc.Gaming machine replacing runs of symbols with identical symbols
US8641508Nov 26, 2012Feb 4, 2014Konami Gaming, Inc.Gaming machine which determines a quantity of runs of symbols on a reel or a number of symbol positions in a run of symbols
US20090005156 *Jun 6, 2008Jan 1, 2009Aruze Corp.Gaming Machine And Gaming Method Thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/20
International ClassificationG07F17/32, A63F5/04, G07F17/34
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3244, G07F17/3267, G07F17/34
European ClassificationG07F17/32K, G07F17/34
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 14, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES AUSTRALIA PTY LTD., AUSTRA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BRYANT, NATALIE;REEL/FRAME:013126/0254
Effective date: 20011024