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Publication numberUS20020103020 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/772,763
Publication dateAug 1, 2002
Filing dateJan 30, 2001
Priority dateJan 30, 2001
Also published asUS6425824, US7037192, US7314410, US20020151341, US20060189370
Publication number09772763, 772763, US 2002/0103020 A1, US 2002/103020 A1, US 20020103020 A1, US 20020103020A1, US 2002103020 A1, US 2002103020A1, US-A1-20020103020, US-A1-2002103020, US2002/0103020A1, US2002/103020A1, US20020103020 A1, US20020103020A1, US2002103020 A1, US2002103020A1
InventorsAnthony Baerlocher, Andrea Hughs-Baird
Original AssigneeBaerlocher Anthony J., Andrea Hughs-Baird
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming device having a bonus round with a win, lose or draw outcome
US 20020103020 A1
Abstract
The present invention enables the player to make a selection, whereby the game generates a selection, and whereby the game employs a comparator to decide an outcome, i.e., does player's choice beat the game's choice. The outcome can be a positive outcome for the player, a negative outcome for the player or a neutral outcome for the player. If positive or neutral, the game continues. If negative, the game ends and the player keeps any accumulated award. In an alternative embodiment, the game randomly generates a positive, negative or neutral outcome from a database and the game continues until the game generates a negative outcome.
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Claims(42)
The invention is hereby claimed as follows:
1. A gaming device having a bonus round comprising:
a processor;
a display device adapted to communicate with said processor;
a plurality of choices displayed by said display device;
means for a player to select one of said choices;
means for said gaming device to select one of said choices; and
a comparator between a player's choice and a gaming device choice;
whereby said comparator is applied to said player's and gaming device choices to determine a player win outcome, a draw outcome or a player lose outcome, wherein said player lose outcome is a loss of further opportunity to generate player win outcomes.
2. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said player selection means includes a selectable area on said display device.
3. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said player selection means includes a plurality of selectable areas on said display device.
4. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said player selection means includes a selectable electromechanical device.
5. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said player selection means includes a plurality of selectable electromechanical devices.
6. The gaming device of claim 1, which includes a plurality of comparators, wherein each comparator includes one choice trumping another choice.
7. The gaming device of claim 1, which includes a plurality of comparators, wherein each choice trumps or is trumped by each other choice.
8. The gaming device of claim 1, which includes a plurality of comparators, wherein at least one choice does not trump or is not trumped by another choice.
9. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said game selection means includes a random generation of said choice from a choice database.
10. The gaming device of claim 9, wherein said choices are weighted such that at least one choice is more likely to be randomly generated than at least one other choice.
11. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said player win outcome includes an award chosen from the group consisting of game credits and game credit modifiers.
12. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said tie outcome includes a tie award chosen from a group consisting of game credits and game credit modifiers.
13. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said player loss outcome includes a game consolation award chosen from the group consisting of game credits and game credit modifiers.
14. The gaming device of claim 1, which includes at least one award database, wherein said processor randomly generates a win award from a plurality of possible awards upon determining said player win outcome.
15. The gaming device of claim 14, wherein said awards are weighted such that at least one award is more likely to be randomly generated than at least one other award.
16. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said processor randomly generates a consolation award upon determining said player lose outcome.
17. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said processor randomly generates a tie award upon determining said player draw outcome, said tie award being less than said win award.
18. The gaming device of claim 1, which includes a visual or audiovisual sequence on said display device, including said determination of said player win outcome, said player lose outcome or said draw outcome.
19. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said draw outcome includes a determination that said player's choice is the same as said gaming device choice or a determination that said player's choice does not trump or is not trumped by said gaming device choice.
20. A gaming device having a bonus round comprising:
a processor;
a display device adapted to communicate with said processor;
a plurality of choices displayed by said display device;
means for a player to select one of said choices;
means for said gaming device to select one of said choices;
a comparator between a player's choice and a gaming device choice; and
a draw outcome which includes a determination that said player's choice is the same as said gaming device choice or a determination that said player's choice does not trump or is not trumped by said gaming device choice.
21. A gaming device having a bonus round comprising:
a processor;
a display device adapted to communicate with said processor;
a plurality of choices displayed by said display device;
means for a player to select one of said choices;
means for said gaming device to select a player win outcome, a player lose outcome or a draw outcome; and
a plurality of comparators;
whereby one of said comparators is applied to a player's choice and a gaming device outcome to determine a gaming device choice.
22. The gaming device of claim 21, wherein said outcome selection means includes a database having said player win outcome, said player lose outcome and said draw outcome.
23. The gaming device of claim 21, wherein said outcomes are weighted such that at least one outcome is more likely to be randomly generated than at least one other outcome.
24. The gaming device of claim 21, wherein a determined gaming device choice is displayed by said display device.
25. The gaming device of claim 21, wherein a draw outcome comparator includes a determination of a gaming device choice which is the same as said player's choice or a determination of a gaming device choice which does not trump or is not trumped by said player's choice.
26. A gaming device having a bonus round comprising:
a processor;
a display device adapted to communicate with said processor;
a plurality of choices displayed by said display device;
means for a player to select one of said choices;
means for said gaming device to select a player win outcome, a player lose outcome or a draw outcome; and
a plurality of comparators;
whereby a draw outcome comparator includes a determination of a gaming device choice which is the same as said player's choice or a determination of a gaming device choice which does not trump or is not trumped by said player's choice.
27. A method for operating a bonus round of a gaming device, said method comprising the steps of:
(a) displaying a plurality of choices on a display device;
(b) determining a player's selection of one of the choices;
(c) selecting a choice from said plurality of choices;
(d) comparing said player's choice to said selected choice;
(e) displaying a draw sequence on said display device after determining a draw result;
(f) displaying a player win sequence on said display device and awarding said player if said player's choice trumps said generated choice; and
(g) displaying a player lose sequence on said display device if said generated choice trumps said player's choice.
28. The method of claim 27, wherein step (g) further includes ending said bonus round.
29. The method of claim 27, which includes repeating steps (a) through (f) until determining that said generated choice trumps said player's choice.
30. The method of claim 27, wherein determining said draw result includes determining that said player's choice is the same as said generated choice.
31. The method of claim 27, wherein determining said draw result includes the step of determining that no comparison applies to said player's choice and said generated choice.
32. The method of claim 27, wherein determining that said generated choice trumps said player's choice includes awarding said player a consolation award.
33. The method of claim 27, wherein step (e) further includes providing an award to said player upon a draw sequence.
34. A method of operating a bonus round of a gaming device, said method comprising the steps of:
(a) displaying a plurality of choices on a display device;
(b) determining a player's selection of one of said choices;
(c) generating a player win outcome, a player lose outcome or a draw outcome;
(d) comparing said player's choice to said generated outcome;
(e) displaying a draw sequence on said display device and returning to step (a) if said generated outcome is said draw outcome;
(f) displaying a player win sequence on said display device, awarding said player and returning to step (a) if said generated outcome is said player win outcome; and
(g) displaying a player lose sequence on said display device if said generated outcome is said player lose outcome.
35. The method of claim 34, wherein step (g) further includes ending said bonus round.
36. The method of claim 34, which includes repeating steps (a) through (f) until generating said player loss outcome.
37. The method of claim 34, wherein comparing said player's choice to a generated draw outcome includes determining a game choice to be said player's choice.
38. The method of claim 34, wherein comparing said player's choice to a generated draw outcome includes determining a game choice to be any choice that does not trump or is not trumped by said player's choice.
39. The method of claim 34, which includes the step of awarding said player a consolation award after generating a player loss outcome.
40. The method of claim 34, wherein step (e) further includes awarding said player.
41. A gaming device having a bonus round comprising a processor;
a first choice;
a second choice;
a third choice; and
means adapted to communicated with said processor for enabling a player to select at least one of the choices,
whereby said first choice beats said second choice, said second choice beats said third choice, said third choice beats said first choice and the processor compares a player's selected choice with selected choice, and determines a win outcome or a loss outcome.
42. A gaming device having a bonus round comprising:
a processor;
at least three choices, wherein each choice beats at least one other choice;
means adapted to communicate with said processor for enabling a player to select at least one of the choices;
whereby the processor determines if a player selected choice beats or is beaten by a different choice selected by said processor.
Description
COPYRIGHT NOTICE

[0001] A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains or may contain material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the photocopy reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure in exactly the form it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

DESCRIPTION

[0002] The present invention relates in general to a gaming device, and more particularly to a gaming device bonus round having player selectable choices that prompt the game to generate a win, lose or draw outcome.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] In known go-until gaming device bonus rounds, when a player makes a selection from a set of randomly placed masked awards, the game reveals the selected outcome, which results in the player winning an award or losing the opportunity to win further awards. For example, European Patent Application No. EP 0 945 837 A2 filed on Mar. 18, 1999 and assigned on its face to WMS Gaming, Inc. discloses a game in which a player has one or more opportunities to select masked bonus awards from a pattern or group of masked awards. When the player selects a masked award, the player receives the value of the award. This process continues until the player selects a masked terminator, which ends the game, whereby the player keeps the previously accumulated awards. In no instance does the selection of a randomly assigned masked award yield a neutral outcome, i.e., a tie or a draw.

[0004] In “double up” video poker gaming machines, a player can risk a currently achieved award to double the player's award. In such games, the dealer deals the player and the dealer a card. If the player's card beats the dealer's card, the player obtains double the award. If the dealer's card wins, the player gets nothing. A tie results if the dealer deals out two cards having the same rank, whereafter the player can try again. In video blackjack gaming machines, the player and the dealer can also tie.

[0005] In an attempt to make gaming devices more exciting and enjoyable for a player, gaming device manufacturers strive to make games more suspenseful or generally suspense building. One method and apparatus for making games more suspenseful includes a bonus game that provides a tie or draw outcomes, which does not require a player to risk a currently achieved award.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention includes a bonus round of a gaming device, which provides the player with a plurality of selections, wherein the selections prompt the gaming device to generate an outcome, and wherein the outcome can be a positive outcome for the player, a negative outcome for the player or a neutral outcome for the player. The present invention displays a plurality of choices to the player and enables the player to select one of the choices.

[0007] The game preferably includes a database of choice comparisons or a choice comparator that takes any two of the choices presented to the player and determines a winner between the two choices. The game preferably reveals which choices beat or trump which other choices. In one embodiment, the player and the game each randomly generate a choice, whereby the game provides a positive outcome to the player if the player's choice trumps the game's choice, the game provides a negative outcome to the player if the game's choice trumps the player's choice and the game provides a neutral outcome if the player's choice is the same as or equal to the game's choice.

[0008] In a second embodiment, the game additionally includes a database of outcomes; namely, a positive player outcome, a negative player outcome and a neutral player outcome. The game can equally weight the outcomes but preferably weights the outcomes so that the game randomly selects one or more outcomes more often than one or more other outcomes. In this embodiment, the player makes a choice and the game randomly generates an outcome, which can be a weighted outcome.

[0009] When the game generates a positive player outcome, the game determines its appropriate choice from the comparison database and displays both its choice and the positive outcome to the player. This embodiment proceeds backwards with respect to the previous embodiment. When the game generates a negative player outcome, the game determines its appropriate choice from the comparison database and displays both its choice and the negative outcome to the player. When the game generates a neutral player outcome, the game determines its appropriate choice from the comparison database and displays both the choice and the neutral outcome to the player.

[0010] In both bonus round embodiments, the game enables the player to continue to play until a negative outcome occurs. The player keeps the any prior awards from positive outcomes and does not risk achieved awards for the chance to accumulate a higher award.

[0011] The game contemplates different choice display embodiments described in detail below. In one embodiment, the game structures the choice comparisons such that each choice either trumps or is trumped by every other choice. In this embodiment, only a random selection of the same choice by the player and the game generates a neutral outcome. Or, if the game randomly selects a neutral outcome, the game has only one choice to choose, the choice that the player selected.

[0012] In another embodiment, the game structures the choice comparisons such that not every choice trumps or is trumped by every other choice. In this other embodiment, a random selection of the player's choice or a choice not trumping or trumped by the player's choice generates a neutral outcome. Or, if the game randomly selects a neutral outcome, the game can randomly select the choice that the player selected or a choice not trumping or trumped by the player's choice.

[0013] It is therefore an advantage of the present invention to provide a gaming device having player selectable choices that prompt the game to generate a win, lose and draw outcome.

[0014] Another advantage of the present invention to provide a gaming device having player selectable choices that prompt the game to generate a win, lose and draw outcome, whereby each choice trumps or is trumped by every other choice.

[0015] A further advantage of the present invention is to provide a gaming device having player selectable choices that prompt the game to generate a win, lose and draw outcome, whereby each choice does not trump or become trumped by every other choice.

[0016] Yet another advantage of the present invention is to provide a gaming device having win, lose or draw outcome, whereby the player randomly selects a choice, the game randomly generates a choice and the game determines an outcome based on the selected and generated choices.

[0017] Still a further advantage of the present invention is to provide a gaming device having win, lose or draw outcome, whereby the player randomly selects a choice, the game randomly generates an outcome and the game determines a choice based on the player's selected choice and the game's generated outcome.

[0018] Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed disclosure, taken in conjunction with the accompanying sheets of drawings, wherein like numerals refer to like parts, elements, components, steps and processes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019]FIG. 1A is a front-side perspective view of one embodiment of the gaming device of the present invention;

[0020]FIG. 1B is a front-side perspective view of another embodiment of the gaming device of the present invention;

[0021]FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of the electronic configuration of one embodiment of the gaming device of the present invention;

[0022]FIGS. 3A through 3C are schematic diagrams that illustrate a three choice embodiment, wherein each choice of the embodiment either trumps or is trumped by another choice of the embodiment;

[0023]FIGS. 4A through 4C are a diagram and tables that illustrate a four choice embodiment, wherein each choice of the embodiment either trumps or is trumped by another choice of the embodiment;

[0024]FIGS. 5A through 5C are a diagram and tables that illustrate a five choice embodiment, wherein each choice of the embodiment either trumps or is trumped by another choice of the embodiment;

[0025]FIGS. 6A through 6C are a diagram and tables that illustrate an eight choice embodiment, wherein each choice of the embodiment does not either trump or become trumped by another choice of the embodiment;

[0026]FIGS. 7A through 7D are tables of outcome databases having different probability distributions, wherein the game employs the databases to generate an outcome and thereby determine a game choice;

[0027]FIG. 8 is a flow diagram of one preferred embodiment of the present invention, wherein the game randomly generates a choice and thereby determines an outcome;

[0028]FIG. 9 is a prize table including a win column, a consolation column and a percent column, which illustrates a random prize selection embodiment of the present invention;

[0029]FIG. 10 is a flow diagram of an alternative embodiment of the present invention, wherein the game randomly generates an outcome and thereby determines its choice; and

[0030]FIGS. 11A through 11D are front elevational views of one of the display devices of FIGS. 1A and 1B, which illustrate one example display embodiment of the present invention, wherein the choices are a rock, paper and scissors.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0031] Gaming Device and Electronics Referring now to the drawings, two embodiments of the gaming device of the present invention are illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B as gaming device 10 a and gaming device 10 b, respectively. Gaming device 10 a and/or gaming device 10 b are generally referred to herein as gaming device 10. Gaming device 10 is preferably a slot machine having the controls, displays and features of a conventional slot machine. It is constructed so that a player can operate it while standing or sitting, and gaming device 10 is preferably mounted on a console. However, it should be appreciated that gaming device 10 can be constructed as a pub-style table-top game (not shown) which a player can operate preferably while sitting. Furthermore, gaming device 10 can be constructed with varying cabinet and display designs, as illustrated by the designs shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B. Gaming device 10 can also be implemented as a program code stored in a detachable cartridge for operating a hand-held video game device. Also, gaming device 10 can be implemented as a program code stored on a disk or other memory device which a player can use in a desktop or laptop personal computer or other computerized platform.

[0032] Gaming device 10 can incorporate any primary game such as slot, poker or keno, any of their bonus triggering events and any of their bonus round games. The symbols and indicia used on and in gaming device 10 may be in mechanical, electrical or video form.

[0033] As illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, gaming device 10 includes a coin slot 12 and bill acceptor 14 where the player inserts money, coins or tokens. The player can place coins in the coin slot 12 or paper money or a ticket voucher in the bill acceptor 14. Other devices could be used for accepting payment such as readers or validators for credit cards or debit cards. When a player inserts money in gaming device 10, a number of credits corresponding to the amount deposited is shown in a credit display 16. After depositing the appropriate amount of money, a player can begin the game by pulling arm 18 or pushing play button 20. Play button 20 can be any play activator used by the player, which starts any game or sequence of events in the gaming device.

[0034] As shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, gaming device 10 also includes a bet display 22 and a bet one button 24. The player places a bet by pushing the bet one button 24. The player can increase the bet by one credit each time the player pushes the bet one button 24. When the player pushes the bet one button 24, the number of credits shown in the credit display 16 decreases by one, and the number of credits shown in the bet display 22 increases by one.

[0035] At any time during the game, a player may “cash out” and thereby receive a number of coins corresponding to the number of remaining credits by pushing a cash out button 26. When the player “cashes out,” the player receives the coins in a coin payout tray 28. The gaming device 10 may employ other payout mechanisms such as credit vouchers redeemable by a cashier or electronically recordable cards, which keep track of the player's credits.

[0036] Gaming device 10 also includes one or more display devices. The embodiment shown in FIG. 1A includes a central display device 30, and the alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 1B includes a central display device 30 as well as an upper display device 32. Gaming device 10 preferably displays a plurality of reels 34, preferably three to five reels 34 in mechanical or video form at one or more of the display devices. However, it should be appreciated that the display devices can display any visual representation or exhibition, including but not limited to movement of physical objects such as mechanical reels and wheels, dynamic lighting and video images. A display device can be any viewing surface such as glass, a video monitor or screen, a liquid crystal display or any other static or dynamic display mechanism. If the reels 34 are in video form, the display device for the video reels 34 is preferably a video monitor.

[0037] Each reel 34 displays a plurality of indicia such as bells, hearts, fruits, numbers, letters, bars or other images which preferably correspond to a theme associated with the gaming device 10. Furthermore, gaming device 10 preferably includes speakers 36 for making sounds or playing music.

[0038] As illustrated in FIG. 2, the general electronic configuration of gaming device 10 preferably includes: a processor 38; a memory device 40 for storing program code or other data; a central display device 30; an upper display device 32; a sound card 42; a plurality of speakers 36; and one or more input devices 44. The processor 38 is preferably a microprocessor or microcontroller-based platform which is capable of displaying images, symbols and other indicia such as images of people, characters, places, things and faces of cards. The memory device 40 can include random access memory (RAM) 46 for storing event data or other data generated or used during a particular game. The memory device 40 can also include read only memory (ROM) 48 for storing program code which controls the gaming device 10 so that it plays a particular game in accordance with applicable game rules and pay tables.

[0039] As illustrated in FIG. 2, the player preferably uses the input devices 44, such as pull arm 18, play button 20, the bet one button 24 and the cash out button 26 to input signals into gaming device 10. In certain instances it is preferable to use a touch screen 50 and an associated touch screen controller 52 instead of a conventional video monitor display device. Touch screen 50 and touch screen controller 52 are connected to a video controller 54 and processor 38. A player can make decisions and input signals into the gaming device 10 by touching touch screen 50 at the appropriate places. As further illustrated in FIG. 2, the processor 38 can be connected to coin slot 12 or bill acceptor 14. The processor 38 can be programmed to require a player to deposit a certain amount of money in order to start the game.

[0040] It should be appreciated that although a processor 38 and memory device 40 are preferable implementations of the present invention, the present invention can also be implemented using one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC's) or other hard-wired devices, or using mechanical devices (collectively referred to herein as a “processor”). Furthermore, although the processor 38 and memory device 40 preferably reside on each gaming device 10 unit, it is possible to provide some or all of their functions at a central location such as a network server for communication to a playing station such as over a local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), Internet connection, microwave link, and the like. The processor 38 and memory device 40 is generally referred to herein as the “computer” or the “controller.”

[0041] With reference to FIGS. 1A, 1B and 2, to operate the gaming device 10 in one embodiment the player must insert the appropriate amount of money or tokens at coin slot 12 or bill acceptor 14 and then pull the arm 18 or push the play button 20. The reels 34 will then begin to spin. Eventually, the reels 34 will come to a stop. As long as the player has credits remaining, the player can spin the reels 34 again. Depending upon where the reels 34 stop, the player may or may not win additional credits.

[0042] In addition to winning credits in this manner, preferably gaming device 10 also gives players the opportunity to win credits in a bonus round. This type of gaming device 10 will include a program which will automatically begin a bonus round when the player has achieved a qualifying condition in the game. This qualifying condition can be a particular arrangement of indicia on a display device. The gaming device 10 preferably uses a video-based central display device 30 to enable the player to play the bonus round. Preferably, the qualifying condition is a predetermined combination of indicia appearing on a plurality of reels 34. As illustrated in the five reel slot game shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the qualifying condition could be the number seven appearing on three adjacent reels 34 along a payline 56. It should be appreciated that the present invention can include one or more paylines, such as payline 56, wherein the paylines can be horizontal, diagonal or any combination thereof.

Choice Structures, Choice Databases and Generation Databases

[0043] Referring now to FIGS. 3A through 3C, the present invention includes a three choice embodiment, wherein each choice of the embodiment either trumps or is trumped by another choice of the embodiment. FIG. 3A illustrates a choice structure 100, which includes three choices “A,” “B” and “C,” and which the game preferably displays to the player via one of the display devices 30 or 32. The choices can be areas of a touch screen 50 (FIG. 2) or be associated with one or more electromechanical selectors. Arrows pointing from one choice to another indicate that: “A” trumps “B.” “B” trumps “C” and “C” trumps “A.” FIG. 3B illustrates a choice comparison table or database 102, which includes the comparisons or comparators of FIG. 3A. The memory device 40 (FIG. 2) stores the choice comparison table or database 102, which the processor 38 can access at the appropriate moments.

[0044] It should be appreciated that in the choice structure 100, each choice either trumps or is trumped by every other choice. The choice structure 100 also maintains an equal percentage that any choice will either trump or be trumped. That is, there is a fifty percent chance that “A” trumps “B” and that “C” trumps “A” if the player or the game selects choice “A.” To maintain an equally weighted game, as illustrated in FIG. 3C, the game preferably maintains a choice generation table or database 104 in the memory device 40, which includes equally weighted choices “A,” “B” and “C.” The game alternatively weights the choices such that the game randomly generates one choice more often than the other two. If a player learns that the game is more likely to choose “A” and knows that “C” trumps “A,” the player will likely always choose “C” and master the game.

[0045] Referring now to FIGS. 4A through 4C, the present invention includes a four choice embodiment, wherein each choice of the embodiment either trumps or is trumped by another choice of the embodiment. FIG. 4A illustrates a choice structure 106, which includes four choices “A,” “B,” “C” and “D,” and which the game preferably displays to the player via one of the display devices 30 or 32. The choices can be areas of a touch screen 50 (FIG. 2) or be associated with one or more electromechanical selectors. Arrows pointing from one choice to another indicate that: “A” trumps “B.” “A” trumps “D,” “B” trumps “C,” “C” trumps “A,” “D” trumps “B” and “D” trumps “C.” FIG. 4B illustrates a choice comparison table or database 108, which includes the comparisons or comparators of FIG. 4A. The memory device 40 (FIG. 2) stores the choice comparison database 108, which the processor 38 can access at the appropriate moments.

[0046] It should be appreciated that in the choice structure 106, each choice either trumps or is trumped by every other choice. The choice structure 106 thereby maintains an unequal percentage that any choice will either trump or be trumped. That is, there is a 66.7 percent chance that “A” trumps “B” or that “A” trumps “D” and only a 33.3 percent chance that “C” trumps “A” if the player or the game selects choice “A.” Likewise, there is a 66.7 percent chance that “A” trumps “B” or that “D” trumps “B” and only a 33.3 percent chance that “B” trumps “C” if the player or the game selects choice “B.” It should be appreciated from FIGS. 4A and 4B that “A” and “D” are better choices than “B” or “C.”

[0047] As illustrated in FIG. 4C, since the player preferably knows the choice structure 106, the game preferably maintains a choice generation table or database 110 in the memory device 40, which includes unequally weighted choices “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” That game can, for instance, randomly generate “A,” “C” and “D” ninety percent of the time and “B” and ten percent of the time, as illustrated, to counteract the choice structure 106. The embodiment of FIGS. 4A though 4C creates a complicated dynamic between the game and a player who learns of the unequally weighted choice generation database 110. Knowing that the game is more likely to choose “A,” “C” or “D” and the choice structure 106, the player can then pick trying to defeat those choices.

[0048] Referring now to FIGS. 5A through 5C, the present invention includes a five choice embodiment, wherein each choice of the embodiment either trumps or is trumped by another choice of the embodiment. FIG. 5A illustrates a choice structure 112, which includes five choices “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” and “E,” and which the game preferably displays to the player via one of the display devices 30 or 32. The choices can be areas of a touch screen 50 (FIG. 2) or be associated with one or more electromechanical selectors. Arrows pointing from one choice to another indicate that: “A” trumps “B,” “A” trumps “D,” “B” trumps “C,” “B” trumps “E,” “C” trumps “A,” “C” trumps “D,” “D” trumps “B,” “D” trumps “E,” “E” trumps “C” and “E” trumps “A.” FIG. 5B illustrates a choice comparison table or database 114, which includes the comparisons or comparators of FIG. 5A. The memory device 40 (FIG. 2) stores the choice comparison database 114, which the processor 38 can access at the appropriate moment.

[0049] It should be appreciated that in the choice structure 112, each choice either trumps or is trumped by every other choice. The choice structure 112 also maintains an equal percentage that any choice will either trump or be trumped. That is, there is a fifty percent chance that “A” trumps “B” or that “A” trumps “D.” There is also a fifty percent chance that “C” trumps “A” or that “E” trumps “A” if the player or the game selects choice “A.” To maintain an equally weighted game, as illustrated in FIG. 5C, the game preferably maintains a choice generation table or database 116 in the memory device 40, which includes equally weighted choices “A” through “E,” i.e., there is a 20% chance that the game generates each.

[0050] The choice structure 112 illustrates that the present invention includes providing any number of choices. Odd number embodiments, such as the choice structures 100 and 112, have an even number of combatant choices, which facilitates a choice structure having choices with equal chances of winning or losing. Even numbered embodiments, such as the choice structure 106, have an odd number of combatant choices and unequal winning percentages, unless as described below, some choice pairs do not have an associated comparator.

[0051] Referring now to FIGS. 6A through 6C, the present invention includes an eight choice embodiment, wherein each choice of the embodiment either trumps, ties or is trumped by another choice of the embodiment. FIG. 6A illustrates a choice structure 118, which includes eight choices “A” through “H,” and which the game preferably displays to the player via one of the display devices 30 or 32. The choices can be areas of a touch screen 50 (FIG. 2) or be associated with one or more electromechanical selectors. Arrows pointing from one choice to another indicate that: “A” trumps “B.” “A” trumps “G.” “B” trumps “C,” “B” trumps “D,” “C” trumps “A,” “C” trumps “D,” “D” trumps “E,”“D” trumps “F.” “E” trumps “C,” “E” trumps “F,” “F” trumps “G,” “F” trumps “H,” “G” trumps “E,” “G” trumps “H,” “H” trumps “A” and “H” trumps “B.” FIG. 6B illustrates a choice comparison database 120, which includes the comparisons or comparators of FIG. 5A. The memory device 40 (FIG. 2) stores the choice comparison table or database 120, which the processor 38 accesses at the appropriate moment.

[0052] It should be appreciated that in the choice structure 118, each choice does not either trump or become trumped by every other choice. For example, there is no comparator, i.e., no winner or loser for the choices “A” and “D,” “A” and “E,” and “A” and “F.” The present invention contemplates ties or draws, such that the game's random generation of the choice “A” and the player's selection of the choice “D” preferably generates a draw and a try again.

[0053] Even though the choice structure 118 includes an even number of choices such as eight, the structure 118 maintains an equal percentage of any choice winning or losing. The game enables the equal percentage by not providing a comparator for all choice combinations and by providing an even number of choice combinations for each choice. As illustrated by the choice structure 118 and the comparison database 120, each choice trumps two other choices and is trumped by two other choices. The game preferably maintains a choice generation table or database 122 in the memory device 40, which is equally weighted, i.e., there is 12.5% that the game generates each choice “A” through “H.”

[0054] Referring now to FIGS. 7A through 7D, the present invention contemplates outcome databases having different probability distributions, wherein the game employs the databases to generate an outcome and thereby determine a game choice. In embodiments employing one of the outcome databases, the game generates an outcome, accepts the player's input of a choice and uses the appropriate comparator to determine the game's choice.

[0055] In FIG. 7A, the game maintains an outcome database 124, which includes an equal 33.3% chance that the player wins, loses or ties. In FIG. 7B, the game maintains an outcome database 126 whereby the player is as likely to tie as to win or lose. In FIG. 7C, the game maintains an outcome database 128 whereby the player is more likely to win than to tie and more likely to win than to lose. In FIG. 7D, the game maintains an outcome database 130 whereby the player is equally likely to win or lose, but more likely to win than to tie and more likely to lose than to tie. It should be appreciated from the foregoing examples, that the gaming device implementor can structure the outcome databases to produce any desired outcome probability distribution.

Preferred Method of Operation

[0056] Referring now to FIG. 8, one preferred method 140 of the present invention is illustrated, wherein the game randomly generates a choice and thereby determines an outcome. Upon a sequence triggering event, as indicated by the oval 142, the game generates a choice from an equally or unequally weighted choice database, as indicated by the block 144. The game displays a choice structure to the player and prompts the player to select a choice, as indicated by the block 146. The game awaits the player's decision, as indicated by the diamond 148.

[0057] If the player does not input a decision, the game continues to display the choice structure and prompt the player, as indicated by the block 146. If the player inputs a decision, the game displays its choice, as indicated by the block 149, and thus determines whether player's choice ties the game's choice, as indicated by the diamond 150.

[0058] Referring to the choice structures 100, 106 and 112 of FIGS. 3A, 4A and 5A, respectively, a tie occurs when the game randomly generates the same choice that the player selects. If both the game and the player choose “B,” the game determines a tie or draw. Referring to the choice structure 118 of FIG. 6A, a tie occurs when the game randomly generates the same choice that the player selects and when the game and player generate choices having no comparator. In the structure 118, for example, neither the choices “B” or “F” trumps the other, so a tie occurs.

[0059] If a tie occurs, as indicated by a positive response to the diamond 150, the game displays a draw or tie sequence on one of the display devices 30 or 32, as indicated by the block 152, and the game resets the sequence by randomly generating a new choice, as indicated by the block 144. In an alternative embodiment, the game additionally awards the player an associated award upon a tie. The tie award is preferably less than an award associated with a player win result. A draw or tie sequence can be any display indicating a neutral outcome. The draw or tie outcome is effectively a gaming device nullity, wherein the player and game start over as if the previous choice selections have not occurred. If a tie does not occur, as indicated by a negative response to the query of the diamond 150, the game determines whether player's choice trumps the game's choice, as indicated by the diamond 154.

[0060] Referring to the comparison databases 102, 108 and 114 of FIGS. 3B, 4B and 5B, respectively, the game applies the appropriate comparator from an appropriate database to the game's generated choice and the player's inputted choice. If in an embodiment such as the choice structure 118 of FIG. 6A, there is no appropriate comparator in the appropriate database for the game's generated choice and the player's inputted choice, the game determines that a tie has occurred, as indicated above by a positive response to the query of diamond 148.

[0061] If the player's choice trumps the game's choice, the game displays a player win sequence on one of the display devices 30 or 32 and awards the player an associated award, as indicated by the block 156. A player win sequence can be any display indicating a positive player outcome. The win outcome improves the player's status quo. That is, in a bonus round, the only loss the player experiences is a theoretical loss or a loss of potential awards. With a win outcome, then, the player's award total starts at zero or some point of status quo and adds thereto. The game resets the sequence by randomly generating a new choice, as indicated by the block 144.

[0062] If the player's choice does not trump the game's choice, as indicated by a negative response to the diamond 154, the game: (i) displays a player lose sequence on one of the display devices 30 or 32; (ii) alternatively awards a consolation award, as indicated by the block 158; and (iii) ends the sequence, as indicated by the oval 160. A suitable player lose sequence is any that indicates a negative player outcome. As mentioned above, the bonus game only adds to the player's awards. The player's loss includes the loss of continued play or potential awards. That is, the player does not risk and thereby lose previously achieved awards in a game of the present invention.

[0063] It should be appreciated that the player continues play, i.e., winning and accumulating awards or tying and trying again, until the game's choice trumps the player's choice. The player keeps any accumulated award achieved before the game's choice trumps the player's choice.

Award Types and Award Structures

[0064] The win awards, tie awards and consolation awards are preferably game credits although other awards are contemplated by the present invention. For example, the win awards and consolation awards can be game credit multipliers that multiply: (i) a win along one or more paylines; (ii) a total bet; (iii) a prior bonus round win; or (iv) any other suitable game credit amount. The associated awards can be a number representing any type of value, such as a number of selections from a prize pool.

[0065] In one award selection embodiment, the win awards and consolation awards are associated with the comparators. That is, the comparison databases 102, 108 and 114 of FIGS. 3B, 4B and 5B, respectively, include having a separate column or columns (not illustrated) that associate a win award and/or a consolation award with each comparator. Associating a consolation award with each comparator guarantees the player of at least a consolation prize, i.e., if the game's choice trumps the player's choice on the initial try, the player receives the consolation award associated with the applied comparator.

[0066] Referring now to FIG. 9, another random award selection embodiment includes a prize pool or database 162 having a win column 164, a consolation column 166 and a percent column 168. In this embodiment, when the player's choice trumps the game's choice, the game randomly selects one of the prizes from the win column 164. The game weights the random generation using the percent values provided in the percent column 168, such that the game is more likely to generate a “3” award than a “40” award.

[0067] When the game's choice trumps the player's choice, the game randomly selects one of the consolation prizes from the consolation column 166. The consolation prizes are typically less and have less variation than do the win prizes. The game also weights the consolation award generation. The present invention also contemplates including “0” consolation awards, such that the player sometimes receives a consolation award and other times receives nothing.

[0068] In a further award selection embodiment, the game always provides the same award and/or consolation award when the player wins and/or loses, respectively. This embodiment does not require a separate private pool or database, such as the one disclosed in connection with FIG. 9. In this embodiment, the game accumulates the same award, e.g., 3x, 6x, 9x, etc., each time the player wins.

Alternative Method of Operation

[0069] Referring now to FIG. 10, an alternative embodiment 170 of the present invention is illustrated, wherein the game randomly generates an outcome and thereby determines a choice. Upon a sequence triggering event, as indicated by the oval 172, the game generates a win, lose or draw outcome from an equally or unequally weighted outcome database, such as one of FIGS. 7A through 7D, as indicated by the block 174. The game displays a choice structure to the player and prompts the player to select a choice, as indicated by the block 176. The game awaits the player's decision, as indicated by the diamond 178.

[0070] If the player does not input a decision, the game continues to display the choice structure and prompt the player, as indicated by the block 176. If the player inputs a decision, the game determines and displays its choice based on the player's choice and the randomly generated outcome, as indicated by the block 180.

[0071] Referring to the comparison databases 102, 108 and 114 of FIGS. 3B, 4B and 5B, respectively, to determine its choice, the game proceeds backwards from the generated outcome, applying the appropriate comparator from an appropriate database and using the player's inputted choice. In certain instances, the game chooses between two possibilities. For instance, if the game randomly generates a player win from an outcome database, and the player inputs a choice “A” provided by the choice structure 106 of FIG. 4A, the game can choose the choice “B” or “D,” which are both trumped by the choice “A.”

[0072] If the game randomly generates a tie in an embodiment such as the choice structures 100, 106 and 112, of FIGS. 3A, 4A and 5A, respectively, wherein each choice trumps or is trumped by each other choice, the game only has one choice. For instance, if the game randomly generates a tie or draw from an outcome database, and the player inputs a choice “B” provided by the choice structure 100 of FIG. 3A, the game can only choose the choice “B,” which is the only choice that can tie the player's choice.

[0073] If the game randomly generates a tie in an embodiment such as the choice structure 118 of FIG. 6A, wherein each choice does not trump or become trumped by every other choice, the game has a plurality of choices. For instance, if the game randomly generates a tie or draw from an outcome database, and the player inputs a choice “F” provided by the choice structure 118 of FIG. 6A, the game can choose the choice “F” or any choice that does not have a comparator in combination with “F.” namely choices “A,” “B” or “C.”

[0074] If the game generates a tie, as indicated by a positive response to the query of the diamond 182, the game displays a draw or tie sequence on one of the display devices 30 or 32, as indicated by the block 184, and the game resets the sequence by randomly generating a new choice, as indicated by the block 174. In an alternative embodiment, the game additionally awards the player an associated award upon a tie. The tie award is preferably less than an award associated with a player win result. A draw or tie sequence can be any display indicating a neutral outcome. As described in connection with FIG. 8, a tie or draw outcome thereby preserves the player's status quo. If the game did not generate a tie, as indicated by a negative response to the query of the diamond 186, the game determines whether the game generated a win for the player, as indicated by the diamond 186.

[0075] If the game generated a win for the player, as indicated by a positive response to the query of the diamond 186, the game displays a player win sequence on one of the display devices 30 or 32 and awards the player an associated award, as indicated by the block 188. A player win sequence can be any display indicating a positive player outcome. As described above in connection with FIG. 8, a win outcome improves the player's status quo.

[0076] The game awards the player in the manner and type described above in connection with the preferred embodiment of FIG. 8. The game resets the sequence by randomly generating a new choice, as indicated by the block 174.

[0077] If the game did not generate a win for the player, as indicated by a negative response to the query of the diamond 186, the game: (i) displays a player lose sequence on one of the display devices 30 or 32; (ii) alternatively awards a consolation award, as indicated by the block 190; and (iii) ends the sequence, as indicated by the oval 192. A suitable player lose sequence is any that indicates a negative player outcome. The loss outcome deprives the player of further award generation opportunity. That is, the player continues play, i.e., winning and accumulating awards or tying and trying again, until the game randomly generates a loss for the player. The player keeps any accumulated award achieved before the game generates a loss.

EXAMPLE EMBODIMENT

[0078] Referring now to FIGS. 11A through 11D, one of the display devices 30 or 32 displays a well known rock, paper, scissors game, which is an example three choice embodiment of the present invention. Rock, paper, scissors employs the choice structure 100 of FIG. 3A, wherein rock smashes or trumps scissors, scissors cuts or trumps paper and paper covers or trumps rock. In rock, paper, scissors, each choice either trumps or is trumped by every other choice. There is a fifty percent chance that the player selects a choice that trumps the game's choice. In this example embodiment, the game is equally likely to choose rock, paper or scissors.

[0079] In an entertaining and exciting audiovisual display, the game represents its selection of a choice via an indicator 200. FIG. 11A illustrates the game prompting the player to select a choice of rock, paper or scissors via the visual or audiovisual message 202. If the player wins, the game multiples the player's win along a payline 56 (FIGS. 1A and 1B), indicated in a line win display 204 as twenty-five credits, by a multiplier indicated in a multiplier display 206 to form a total win indicated in a total win display 208. The player selects from the choice structure 100 by selecting the rock selector 210, the paper selector 212 or the scissors selector 214.

[0080]FIG. 11B illustrates that the player 216 selects the rock selector 210. The present invention also requires a selection by the game of a rock, paper, scissors choice before the game is enabled to make a comparison or employ a comparator. FIG. 11B therefore does not yet illustrate a player win or loss. FIG. 11C illustrates that the indicator 200, representing the game's choice, selects the scissors choice. It should be appreciated that in rock, paper, scissors, players shake their hand a plurality of times (FIG. 11B), whereby a resulting closed fist is a rock choice, a flat, open horizontal hand is a paper choice and two extended fingers is a scissors choice. In FIG. 11C, then, the game selects the scissors choice by displaying the indicator 200 with two extended fingers.

[0081]FIG. 11C also displays the appropriate comparison or comparator 218 between a rock choice and a scissors choice. That is, “rock smashes or trumps scissors.” The player therefore wins this particular game of rock, paper, scissors. FIG. 11D displays a suitable visual or audiovisual indicator 220 that the player has won. FIG. 11D further illustrates that the game rewards the player by multiplying the player's payline 56 win (preferably the win along the payline having the symbol or symbol combination triggering the bonus) of twenty-five credits shown in the line win display 204 by the multiplier of ten shown in the multiplier display 206 to form a total win of 250 credits shown in the total win display 208.

[0082] It should be appreciated that the preferred display embodiment of FIGS. 11A through 11D includes both the methods disclosed in connection with FIGS. 8 and 10. That is, respectively, the game includes randomly selecting the scissors choice and thereby applying the appropriate compactor to generate a win or lose outcome for the player. The game alternatively includes randomly generating a win or lose outcome for the player and thereby applying the appropriate comparator to select to choice, i.e., the scissors, which is trumped by the player's choice of a rock.

[0083] While the present invention is described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it should be appreciated that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments, and is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the claims. Modifications and variations in the present invention may be made without departing from the novel aspects of the invention as defined in the claims, and this application is limited only by the scope of the claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8070577 *Apr 22, 2003Dec 6, 2011IgtGaming method and apparatus for employing negative outcomes
US8210929 *Mar 15, 2007Jul 3, 2012IgtGaming device having an award level determination competition
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/20
International ClassificationG07F17/32
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3262, G07F17/32, G07F17/3267
European ClassificationG07F17/32M2, G07F17/32M4, G07F17/32
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Dec 24, 2002CCCertificate of correction
Jan 30, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: IGT, NEVADA
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Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BAERLOCHER, ANTHONY J. /AR;REEL/FRAME:011487/0908