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Publication numberUS20030036418 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/791,463
Publication dateFeb 20, 2003
Filing dateFeb 22, 2001
Priority dateFeb 22, 2000
Publication number09791463, 791463, US 2003/0036418 A1, US 2003/036418 A1, US 20030036418 A1, US 20030036418A1, US 2003036418 A1, US 2003036418A1, US-A1-20030036418, US-A1-2003036418, US2003/0036418A1, US2003/036418A1, US20030036418 A1, US20030036418A1, US2003036418 A1, US2003036418A1
InventorsJerald Seelig, Lawrence Henshaw
Original AssigneeSeelig Jerald C., Henshaw Lawrence M.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bonus gaming system and method
US 20030036418 A1
Abstract
A system and method for awarding prizes to a player. If a bonus qualifying event occurs, the player is allowed to select between a first prize of a known value and a second prize of an unknown value. The device may display the best possible second prize or subsequent prizes. The value of the second prize may be dependent on the value of the first prize. The player may continue to select between a prize of a known value and a prize of an unknown value until certain events occur.
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Claims(63)
What is claimed is:
1. A method for playing a game, the method comprising:
(A) allowing a player to play a game;
(B) defining a bonus qualifying event;
(C) if a bonus qualifying event occurs, determining a first prize;
(D) presenting the first prize to the player;
(E) allowing the player to select between being awarded the first prize or determining a second prize, the second prize being unknown to the player;
(F) determining the second prize, the value of the second prize being dependent on the value of the first prize;
(G) if the player selects receiving the first prize, awarding the first prize to the player; and
(H) if the player selects determining the second prize, presenting the second prize to the player.
2. The method of claim 1 further comprising presenting a possible value of the second prize.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein the possible value is a highest possible value.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of determining the second prize comprises multiplying the first prize by a number.
5. The method of claim 4 wherein the multiplier is less than one.
6. The method of claim 4 wherein the multiplier is one.
7. The method of claim 4 wherein the multiplier is greater than one.
8. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of determining the second prize comprises adding a number to the first prize.
9. The method of claim 8 wherein the number is a negative number.
10. The method of claim 8 wherein the number is zero.
11. The method of claim 8 wherein the number is greater than zero.
12. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of determining the second prize comprises selecting from a plurality of different predetermined selection methods, the selection methods comprising:
(A) multiplying the first prize by a multiplier; and
(B) adding a number to the first prize.
13. The method of claim 1 wherein if step H is performed further comprising:
(A) allowing the player to select between receiving the second prize or determining a third prize, the third prize being unknown to the player;
(B) determining the third prize;
(C) if the player selects receiving the second prize, awarding the second prize to the player; and
(D) if the player selects determining the third prize, presenting the third prize to the player.
14. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
(A) if step H is performed, substituting the second prize for the first prize and repeating steps E through H.
15. The method of claim 14 further comprising allowing the step I claim 14 to be performed a predetermined number of times.
16. The method of claim 12 further comprising awarding the player the second prize after the step I has been repeated the predetermined number of times.
17. The method of claim 15 wherein the predetermined number of times depends on the size of the wager.
18. The method of claim 13 wherein the steps in claim 13 are only performed if the player has placed a wager of at least a predetermined value.
19. The method of claim 13 further comprising presenting a possible third prize to the player.
20. The method of claim 14 further comprising presenting a highest possible prize for the predetermined number of times.
21. A method for playing a game, the method comprising:
(A) allowing a player to play a game;
(B) defining a bonus qualifying event;
(C) if a bonus qualifying event occurs, determining a first prize;
(D) presenting the first prize to the player;
(E) presenting a possible second prize to the player;
(F) allowing the player to select between being awarded the first prize or determining a second prize, the second prize being unknown to the player;
(G) determining the second prize;
(H) if the player selects receiving the first prize, awarding the first prize to the player; and
(I) if the player selects determining the second prize, presenting the second prize to the player.
22. The method of claim 21 wherein the possible second prize is a highest possible value.
23. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of determining the second prize comprises multiplying the first prize by a number.
24. The method of claim 23 wherein the multiplier is less than one.
25. The method of claim 23 wherein the multiplier is one.
26. The method of claim 23 wherein the multiplier is greater than one.
27. The method of claim 21 wherein the step of determining the second prize comprises adding a number to the first prize.
28. The method of claim 27 wherein the number is a negative number.
29. The method of claim 27 wherein the number is zero.
30. The method of claim 27 wherein the number is greater than zero.
31. The method of claim 21 wherein the step of determining the second prize comprises selecting a calculation method from a plurality of different predetermined calculation methods, the calculation methods comprising:
(A) multiplying the first prize by a multiplier; and
(B) adding a number to the first prize.
32. The method of claim 21 wherein if step H is performed, further comprising:
(A) allowing the player to select between receiving the second prize or determining a third prize, the third prize being unknown to the player;
(B) determining the third prize;
(C) if the player selects receiving the second prize, awarding the second prize to the player; and
(D) if the player selects determining the third prize, presenting the third prize to the player.
33. The method of claim 32 wherein the steps in claim 32 are only performed if the player had placed a wager of at least a predetermined value.
34. The method of claim 21 further comprising if step H is performed, substituting the second prize for the first prize and repeating steps E through H.
35. The method of claim 34 further comprising:
(A) allowing the step in claim 21 to be performed a predetermined number of times; and
(B) awarding the player the second prize after the step I has been repeated the predetermined number of times.
36. The method of claim 35 wherein the predetermined number of times depends on a size of a wager.
37. The method of claim 35 wherein the predetermined number of times is proportional to a size of a wager.
38. The method claim 21 wherein steps C through H are only performed if the player places a wager that is at least a pre-determined value.
39. The method of claim 35 further comprising presenting a highest possible prize for the predetermined number of times.
40. The method of claim 21 further comprising presenting a possible third prize to the player.
41. A method of awarding a prize, the method comprising:
(I) providing a game;
(J) defining a prize qualifying event;
(K) allowing a player to play the game;
(L) if the prize qualifying event occurs, allowing the player to select between receiving a known prize or an unknown prize; and
(M) if the player selects the known prize, awarding the known prize to the player; and
(N) if the player selects the unknown prize, determining the unknown prize, the unknown prize being dependent on the known prize.
42. The method of claim 41, wherein the unknown prize is substantially equivalent to the first prize.
43. The method of claim 41, wherein the unknown prize is a multiple of the known prize.
44. The method of claim 41, wherein the unknown prize is randomly determined.
45. The method of claim 41, wherein the unknown prize is selected from a group of predetermined prizes.
46. The method of claim 41, further comprising after the unknown prize is determined, allowing the player to select between keeping the unknown prize and a second unknown prize.
47. The method of claim 46 further comprising:
(I) if the player selects the unknown prize, awarding the unknown prize to the player; and
(J) if the player selects the second unknown prize, determining the second unknown prize.
48. The method of claim 41, further comprising:
(I) before the player selects between the known prize and the unknown prize, determining the at least one possible unknown prize; and
(J) displaying the possible unknown prize to the player.
49. The method of claim 48, wherein the possible unknown prize is a possible prize with the highest value.
50. The method of claim 48, wherein the possible unknown prize is a possible prize with the highest probability of occurrence.
51. A method of playing a game, the method comprising:
(A) determining a first prize;
(B) presenting the first prize to a player;
(C) presenting a possible second prize to the player;
(D) allowing the player to select between:
(a) receiving the first prize; and
(b) receiving a second prize, the second prize being unknown to the player;
(E) if the player selects receiving the first prize, awarding the first prize to the player; and
(F) if the player selects receiving a second prize:
(a) determining the second prize; and
(b) presenting the second prize to the player.
52. The method of claim 51 further comprising:
(A) substituting the second prize for the first; and
(B) repeating steps (C) through (F) of claim 51.
53. The method of claim 52 further comprising repeating the steps in claim 52 wherein the steps in claim 22 are repeated until the player selects receiving the first prize.
54. The method of claim 52 further comprising repeating the steps in claim 52 wherein the steps in claim 22 are repeated until the player selects receiving the first prize or the steps are repeated a predetermined number of times.
55. The method of claim 52 further comprising:
(A) determining a possible second prize that may occur if the steps in claim 52 are repeated a predetermined number of times;
(B) presenting the possible second prize to the player.
56. The method of claim 55 wherein the possible second prize is a prize with the highest possible value.
57. The method of claim 52 further comprising repeating the steps in claim 52 wherein the steps in claim 52 are repeated until the player selects receiving the first prize or the second prize has a lower value than the first prize.
58. The method of claim 58 further comprising the step of awarding the first prize to the player when the first prize is lower than the second prize.
59. The method of claim 51 wherein the possible second prize is a prize with a highest possible value.
60. The method of claim 51 wherein the second prize is randomly determined.
61. The method of claim 51 wherein the second prize is a function of the first prize.
62. The method of claim 51 wherein the second prize is a multiple of the first prize.
63. The method of claim 51 further comprising:
(A) providing a game, the game being adapted to award a prize, wherein the prize awarded by the game is the first prize; and
(B) allowing the player to play the game.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority of U.S. provisional patent application 60/184,189, filed on Feb. 22, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of Invention

[0003] This invention relates to gaming devices and, more particularly, to a bonus game for a gaming device that adds to player excitement and satisfaction.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Art

[0005] The use of gaming devices, such as slot machines, video card machines and other games have, long been used in the gaming industry. The popularity of gaming devices with game players is dependent on the likelihood or perceived likelihood of winning money at the machine and the entertainment value of the machine relative to other available gaming devices. When several gaming devices compete for players attention and the expectation of winning on each machine is roughly the same or believed to be the same, players are most likely to be attracted to the most entertaining and exciting of the gaming devices.

[0006] Operators and manufacturers of gaming devices consequently strive to deploy the most entertaining and exciting machines available. These machines attract more frequent and longer game play and hence increase profitability to the operator. Gaming device manufacturers continually look to produce new types of games or enhancements to existing games that will attract more and longer play by enhancing the entertainment and excitement of the gaming experience associated with the game.

[0007] One such method used to enhance the entertainment value of a game is the concept of a bonus game that is played in addition to the base game that resides on the gaming device. The bonus game may be one of many types of games. The bonus game can be similar to or completely different from the base game. The bonus game can be selected by the player or may be entered upon the occurrence of a specific event or game outcome. The bonus game usually has the expectation or perception of being won more easily than in the base game. The player typically plays the bonus game and then returns to the base game. The bonus game produces a higher level of player excitement than the base game because it provides a higher expectation of winning.

[0008] A current unmet need exists for a new type of bonus game that adds to the level of player excitement and satisfaction generated by a gaming device.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0009] 1. Advantages of the Invention

[0010] An advantage of the present invention is that it provides a gaming system and method that adds to the level of player excitement and satisfaction.

[0011] Another advantage of the present invention is that it provides a gaming system and method that allows a player to repeatedly try to increase a bonus.

[0012] Another advantage of the present invention is that it provides a gaming system and method that displays the possible outcomes of the current bonus game and any subsequently played bonus games.

[0013] An advantage of the present invention is that it provides a gaming system and method that indicates the best possible outcome of the current game.

[0014] A further advantage of the present invention is that it provides a gaming system and method that allows a pre-determined number of bonus games to be played.

[0015] An additional advantage of the present invention is that it provides a gaming system and method that allows the game player to discontinue the bonus game at any time.

[0016] Another advantage of the present invention is that it provides a game that allows the player to select between receiving a known prize or an unknown prize and if the player selects the known prize, awarding the known prize to the player and if the player selects the unknown prize, determining the unknown prize.

[0017] These and other advantages of the present invention may be realized by reference to the remaining portions of the specification, claims, and abstract.

[0018] 2. Brief Description of the Invention

[0019] The present invention comprises a method for playing a game on a gaming device. The method includes placing a wager on the gaming device. The wager is valued in credits. A base game is played. An outcome of the base game is displayed in base game credits. It is determined if the outcome of the base game qualifies for a bonus and the opportunity is provided to play a bonus game. The bonus game is enabled and displays possible outcomes of the bonus game in bonus credits. The player plays the bonus game. An outcome of the bonus game is displayed in bonus credits. The player is allowed to play the bonus game again.

[0020] The present invention comprises a method of awarding a prize. The method includes providing a game and defining a prize qualifying event. The game is adapted to produce the prize qualifying event. A player is allowed to play the game. If the game produces the prize qualifying event, the player is allowed to select between receiving a known prize or an unknown prize. If the player selects the known prize, the known prize is awarded to the player. If the player selects the unknown prize, the unknown prize is determined.

[0021] The above description sets forth, rather broadly, the more important features of the present invention so that the detailed description of the preferred embodiment that follows may be better understood and contributions of the present invention to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described below and will form the subject matter of claims. In this respect, before explaining at least one preferred embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0022]FIG. 1 is substantially a front view of a gaming device in accordance with the present invention.

[0023]FIG. 2 is substantially a front view of another embodiment of a gaming device.

[0024]FIG. 3 is substantially a flowchart of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0025]FIG. 4 is substantially a flowchart of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

[0026]FIG. 5 is substantially a flowchart of another embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0027] In the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this application. The drawings show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made with out departing from the scope of the present invention.

[0028] Gaming Device

[0029] Referring to FIG. 1, a front view of a gaming device 10 is shown. Gaming device 10 comprises a base game 14 and a bonus game 30. Base game 14 may comprise one or more player input devices 20, one or more game displays 16, total credit meter 17, base credit meter 18, bonus game credit meter 19A, a voucher reader 22 and a voucher printer 24, which may all be mounted in a case or frame 12. The game displays may be a video display, mechanical spinning reel, or other displays that are well known in the art. A cash acceptor and a cash dispenser (not shown) may also be provided. The components of gaming device 10 are mounted in case 12 in a manner that is ergonomically appealing to a user or player. The credit meters 17, 18 and 19A may be video displays, LCD screens, electroluminescent displays, or mechanical meters. The total credit meter 17 displays the total credits the player has available to play on the gaming device. The base credit meter 18 displays the base credits that the game player has won during an individual base game. The bonus game meter 19A displays the current value of any bonus won. It is recognized that the present invention may award goods and services rather than monetary awards.

[0030] Both base game 14 and bonus game 30 may be implemented in software that runs on a processor (not shown) in a manner that is well known in the art. The processor would interface with games 14 and 30 to control game scenarios, payout tables and other game functions as desired.

[0031] Bonus game 30 may comprise a case 31, a possible bonus game payout meter 19B, a current best possible payout indicator 19C, a spinning wheel 32, several outcome indicia 34 on reel 32 and an outcome indicator 35. Bonus game 30 can be mounted on top of base game 14. Alternatively, bonus game 30 may be displayed on a display device that is also used by base game 14. Indicia 34 show several outcomes for the bonus game such as multiplying the original bonus by 1, 10, 100 or 1000 times, awarding 100 additional credits or awarding the original bonus. It is recognized that the multipliers may be less than, equal to or greater than one to achieve different prizes. For example, indicia 34 may include ½ or ¼ multipliers or a bankrupt symbol (multiplier of zero) where the player loses all the bonus credits. During the bonus game, reel 32 would spin and stop as controlled by the processor on one of the outcomes pointed to by indicator 35. The selection of the prize may be performed in many ways that are well known in the art. For example, the processor may generate a random number and compare it to a predetermined pay table of outcomes. The bonus game could also be implemented on a video display or could be a matrix of squares that light up to indicate the outcome of the bonus game.

[0032] Possible bonus game payout meter 19B displays one or more possible outcomes that may result from playing the current bonus game and any subsequently played bonus games. In the example shown, the possible bonus game payouts are 100 coins, 1000 coins, 10,000 coins, 100,000 coins and 1,000,000 coins. The current best possible payout indicator 19C indicates the best possible outcome of playing the current bonus game. In the example shown, the best possible payout indicated in the current bonus game is 10,000 coins.

[0033] Several methods of determining the bonus game outcomes or payout table could be used. A random number generator could independently determine each bonus outcome. Alternatively, all of the bonus outcomes for a particular round of the bonus game could be determined at the beginning of the bonus game.

[0034] Turning to FIG. 2, a front view of another gaming device 200 is shown. Gaming device 200 is similar to gaming device 10, except that the spinning reel 32 has been replaced by a video display 202. Video display 202 is sectioned into possible bonus game outcome indicators 204. In this embodiment, the indicators 204 would light up or flash to signal the outcome of the bonus game.

[0035] Game Flowchart

[0036] Referring to FIG. 3, a flowchart of the game sequence of the preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown. Flowchart 40 shows the method and steps of playing a game on gaming device 10 by the game player. The first step taken by the game player is to elect to place a wager on the game using one of the player input devices 20 at step 42. The wager value may be displayed in credits on the meter 17 along with the total credits. If the player elects not to place a wager at step 42, the game sequence moves to a cashout event 44. At cashout 44, the player would be given a voucher with the value of the remaining credits and/or would be issued currency in the value of the remaining credits. After electing to place a wager, the game player plays a base game on gaming device 10 at step 46. The base game can be any one of a number of games such as a slot machine, poker, or other card games.

[0037] In the preferred embodiment, the base game results in an outcome. The outcome of the base game is shown in display windows 16 at step 48. The base game outcome is shown in base game credits on meter 18. In step 50, it is determined whether the outcome of the base game qualifies the player for a bonus or prize. The bonus can be triggered by a special symbol in the base game or by lining up symbols on spinning reels, for example. Many other predetermined events and/or an accumulation of events may be used to trigger a bonus game. If the player does not qualify for a bonus at step 50, the game proceeds to step 52 where any bonus credits are added to the total credits and displayed on a total credit meter 17. In this case, zero bonus credits would be added. In step 52, the game loops back to step 42 where the game player is presented with the opportunity to place another wager. If the player qualifies for a bonus or prize, the bonus won may be displayed on meter 19A. A possible outcome of the next bonus game may be displayed in a bonus display window 19B at step 53. Alternatively, all of the possible outcomes for subsequent bonus plays may be displayed. The bonus winnings and game outcomes may be shown in bonus credits. The best possible bonus game outcome for the current bonus game is indicated by indicator 19C.

[0038] The player is provided with the opportunity to choose to play a bonus game at step 54. If the game player chooses not to play the bonus game, the game proceeds to step 52 where the bonus credits or the currently known prize are added to the player's total credits and displayed. If the game player chooses to play the bonus game and play for an unknown second prize, the bonus game is enabled and played at step 56. The bonus game can be many different games. A preferred game is one in which the player plays to win multiples of the bonus. For example, the player can play for 1×, 2×, 5×, 10× or 100× times the bonus amount. In this case, the bonus game outcomes are whole number multiples of the original bonus.

[0039] The bonus game typically contains possible outcomes that result in the bonus increasing, decreasing or staying the same as the original bonus awarded. For example, the possible outcomes could include losing 100 bonus credits, ½ of the bonus credits or awarding the player 2 times the original bonus or not allowing the bonus game to be played again.

[0040] The game proceeds to step 58 where the bonus credits resulting from the bonus game outcome are displayed on meter 19A. Also, at step 58, the outcomes of playing the bonus game again are displayed on the meter 19B with the best possible outcome indicated by indicator 19C. Best possible outcome indicator 19C may display the best possible outcome for the next round or it may display the best possible outcomes for a predetermined number of bonus rounds.

[0041] Optionally, the bonus game may keep track of the number of bonus games played so as to limit the total number of bonus games played. At step 59, the number of bonus games played is compared with a predetermined maximum number. If the number of bonus games played is equal to the maximum, the game proceeds to step 52 where the bonus credits are totaled. If the number of bonus games played is below the maximum, the game proceeds to step 60.

[0042] The player is given the opportunity to replay the bonus game again at step 60 to try and win an unknown prize. If the player chooses not to replay the bonus game at step 60, the game loops back to step 52, where the player is awarded the known prize, the credits are totaled and the game then returns to the base game at step 42. If the player chooses to replay the bonus game again for an unknown prize or bonus amount at step 60, the game sequence loops to step 56 to repeat playing the bonus game.

[0043] The method of game sequence 40 allows the player to return to the base game at any time during game play. The method of game play can also allow, if desired, for bonus credits to be debited or charged whenever the player elects to play the bonus game. For example, the player could be charged 2 credits whenever they elect to play the bonus game.

EXAMPLE 1

[0044] An example of a game player playing gaming device 10 using flowchart 40 is as follows:

[0045] 1. Assume that the game player inserts a voucher worth $21.00 into gaming device 10.

[0046] 2. Assume that gaming device 10 has a wagering denomination of $1.00. The total credit meter 17 will display 21 credits.

[0047] 3. Assume that the game player wagers $1.00 on the base game at step 42.

[0048] 4. The player plays the base game at step 46. Assume that the result of the base game is a loss and that the player does not qualify for a bonus.

[0049] 5. The base game result is displayed on credit meter 18 at step 48.

[0050] 6. Since the player did not qualify for the bonus, at step 50 the game sequence loops to step 52 and the total credit meter 17 will deduct the one credit wagered and display 20 credits.

[0051] 7. The game loops back to step 42, where the player is allowed the opportunity to place a wager for the base game. Assume that the player wagers $1.00 at step 42.

[0052] 8. The player plays the base game at step 46. Assume that the result of the base game is a win and that the player qualifies for a bonus of 10 coins or credits at step 50. Assume that the base game winnings are $1.00.

[0053] 9. The game sequence moves to step 52, where the bonus credit meter 19A displays the original bonus of 10 credits. Meter 19B displays the possible bonus game outcomes from the current game and from any subsequently played bonus games. Indicator 19C indicates the best possible payout for the current bonus game. In this case, the best possible payout is 10,000 coins or credits. The base game credit meter 18 would display 1 credit.

[0054] 10. At step 54, the player is allowed to choose to play the bonus game. Assume that the game player elects to play the bonus game.

[0055] 11. The player plays the bonus game at step 56. Assume that the indicator 35 points to the outcome indicia 34 of 10× in the bonus game. The bonus credits increase from the original bonus of 10 credits to the new bonus credits of 100.

[0056] 12. The game continues to step 58 where the meter 19A is updated with 100 credits. Meter 19B is updated with the new possible bonus game outcomes or payouts from playing another bonus game. In this case all the possible payouts shown would be 100, 1000, 10,000, 100,000 and 1,000,000. The best possible payout indicator 19C for the next bonus game played would indicate 100,000.

[0057] 13. At step 59, the number of bonus games played is checked against a predetermined maximum number of bonus games allowed to be played. If the number is less than the maximum, the game proceeds to step 60. If the number is greater than the maximum, the game proceeds to step 52.

[0058] 14. At step 60, the player chooses whether or not to play the bonus game again. Assume that the player chooses to play the bonus game again to try for a larger bonus. The game proceeds to loop back to step 56 to allow the player to play the bonus game again.

[0059] 15. At step 56, assume that the indicator 35 points to the outcome indicia 34 of collect in the bonus game.

[0060] 16. The game continues to step 58 where the meters 19A, 19B and 19C are unchanged.

[0061] 17. The game proceeds to step 59, where since the collect symbol was selected, the number of bonus games played is set to the maximum number.

[0062] 18. The game sequence proceeds to step 52 where the total credit meter 17 is updated with the base game winnings of 1 credit and the bonus game winnings of 100 credits. The total credit meter displays 120 credits. Meters 18, 19A, 19B and 19C would now be cleared.

[0063] 19. The game returns to the base game at step 42 where the player can elect to wager again or to proceed to cashout at step 44.

[0064] Alternative Game Flowchart 1

[0065]FIG. 4 shows a flowchart of a game sequence of an alternative embodiment. Flowchart 400 shows the method and steps of playing a game based upon the amount wagered on gaming device 10. The first step taken by the game player is to elect to place a wager on the game using one of the player input devices 20 at step 402. If the player elects not to place a wager at step 402, the game sequence moves to a cashout event 416. If the player places a wager, the game checks the amount of the wager at step 404. If the wagered amount is less than or equal to a first pre-determined amount, in this example 3 coins or credits, the game proceeds to step 418. At step 418, a base game is played. After the base game is played, the game returns to step 402 to accept another wager. If the wagered amount is greater than the first pre-determined amount, the game proceeds to step 406 where the wager value is compared to see if it is equal to a second pre-determined amount. In this example, the second pre-determined amount is shown to be 4 coins or credits.

[0066] If the wagered amount is equal to the second pre-determined amount and a bonus qualifying event has occurred in step 407, the game proceeds to step 420 where the player is awarded a bonus and allowed to play a bonus game a first number of times. In this example, the first number of times is one. At step 422, the player is asked if they choose to play the bonus game or return to the base game. If the player chooses not to play the bonus game, the game goes to step 418 where the player plays the base game. If the player elects to play the bonus game, the game proceeds to step 424 where the bonus game is enabled for the player to play. One round of the bonus game described in FIG. 3 would be played. The game then returns to step 402 to accept another wager.

[0067] If the wagered amount is greater than the second pre-determined amount and a predetermined bonus event occurs 409, the game proceeds to step 408 where the player is awarded a bonus and allowed to play a bonus game a second number of times. In this example, the second number of times is five. At step 410, the player is asked if they choose to play the bonus game or return to the base game. If the player chooses not to play the bonus game, the game goes to step 418 where the player plays the base game. If the player selects to play the bonus game, the game proceeds to step 412 where the bonus game is enabled for the player to play. After the bonus game described in FIG. 3 is played, the game proceeds to step 414. At step 414 the number of bonus games played is checked to see if it is equal to the second number of times. If the second or maximum number of games played is reached, in this example 5, the game returns to step 402 to accept another wager. If the maximum number of games played has not been reached, the game returns to step 410 to allow the player to play the bonus game again.

[0068] The game of flowchart 400 could be modified to require a special condition or symbol to be met first in the base game before allowing play on the bonus game. For example, three matching symbols on display 16 in the base game would have to appear along with a maximum wager value (5 coins) in order to qualify for the bonus award and playing the bonus game 5 times.

EXAMPLE 2

[0069] An example of a game player playing gaming device 10 using flowchart 400 is as follows:

[0070] 1. Assume that the game player inserts a voucher worth $21.00 into gaming device 10.

[0071] 2. Assume that gaming device 10 has a wagering denomination of $1.00. The total credit meter 17 will display 21 credits.

[0072] 3. Assume that the game player wagers, 1 credit on the base game at step 402.

[0073] 4. The game proceeds to step 404, since the wager is less than 3 credits or coins, the game proceeds to step 418 where the player plays the base game.

[0074] 5. The base game result is displayed on meter 18 and the game loops back to step 402 to accept another wager.

[0075] 6. Assume next, that the game player wagers 4 credits on the base game at step 402.

[0076] 7. The game proceeds to step 404 then 406, since the wager is equal to 4 credits or coins, the game proceeds to step 407. If a bonus qualifying event has occurred, the game proceeds to step 420 where the player is awarded a 10 coin bonus and allowed to play the bonus game 1 time.

[0077] 8. Next, at step 422, where the player chooses to play the bonus game and plays the bonus game at step 424.

[0078] 9. Assume that the player lands on indicia 10x during the bonus game. The player is awarded 100 credits, which are displayed on bonus credit meter 19A.

[0079] 10. The game loops back to step 402, where the player is allowed the opportunity to place another wager. Assume this time that the player wagers 5 credits or coins.

[0080] 11. The game sequence with 5 coins wagered proceeds to step 408 where a bonus of 10 coins is awarded and the player is allowed to play the bonus game a total of 5 times.

[0081] 12. Next, at step 410, assume that the player chooses to play the bonus game and plays the bonus game at step 412.

[0082] 13. Assume that the player lands on indicia 10× during the bonus game. The player is awarded 100 credits, which are displayed on bonus credit meter 19A.

[0083] 14. The game proceeds to step 414 where the number of bonus games played is compared to the maximum number of bonus games allowed. In this example, the maximum number of bonus games equals 5.

[0084] 15. Since, the number of games played is only 1, the game loops back to step 410, where the player is allowed to chose to continue playing the bonus game or to return to the base game. Assume that the player elects to play the bonus game again. The game proceeds to step 412.

[0085] 16. Assume that the player lands on indicia 10× during the bonus game. The player is now awarded 1000 credits, which are displayed on bonus credit meter 19A.

[0086] 17. The game proceeds to step 414 where the number of bonus games played is compared to the maximum number of bonus games allowed. In this example, the maximum number of bonus games equals 5.

[0087] 18. Since, the number of games played is 2, the game loops back to step 410, where the player is allowed to chose to continue playing the bonus game or to return to the base game. Assume that the player elects to play the bonus game again. The game proceeds to step 412.

[0088] 19. Assume that the player continues to play the game for all five of the bonus games and that they land on 10× every time. The player will have won 1 million credits.

[0089] Alternative Game Flowchart 2

[0090]FIG. 5 shows a flowchart of a game sequence of another embodiment. Flowchart 500 shows the method and steps of playing a game based upon the amount wagered on gaming device 10. The first step taken by the game player is to elect to place a wager on the game using one of the player input devices 20 at step 502. If the player elects not to place a wager at step 502, the game sequence moves to a cashout event 516. If the player places a wager, the game proceeds to step 518, where the player plays a base game. The player continues to loop back to wager and play the base game until a special symbol is displayed or triggered at step 503. If the special symbol appears, the game proceeds to step 504. If the wagered amount is less than or equal to a first pre-determined amount, in this example 3 coins or credits, the game proceeds to step 505 where the bonus is awarded. The game then returns to accept another wager at step 502. If the wagered amount is greater than the first pre-determined amount, the game proceeds to step 506 where the wager value is compared to see if it is equal to a second pre-determined amount. In this example, the second pre-determined amount is shown to be 4 coins or credits.

[0091] If the wagered amount is equal to the second pre-determined amount, the game proceeds to step 520 where the player is awarded a bonus and is allowed to play a bonus game a first number of times. In this example, the first number of times is one. At step 522, the player is asked if they choose to play the bonus game or return to the base game. If the player chooses not to play the bonus game, the game returns to step 502 for another wager. If the player selects to play the bonus game, the game proceeds to step 524 where the bonus game is enabled for the player to play. One round of the bonus game described in FIG. 3 would be played. The game then returns to step 502 to accept another wager.

[0092] If the wagered amount is greater than the second pre-determined amount, the game proceeds to step 508 where the player is awarded a bonus and allowed to play a bonus game a second number of times. In this example, the second number of times is five. At step 510, the player is asked if they choose to play the bonus game or return to the base game. If the player chooses not to play the bonus game, the game goes to step 502. If the player selects to play the bonus game, the game proceeds to step 512 where the bonus game is enabled for the player to play. After the bonus game described in FIG. 3 is played, the game proceeds to step 514. At step 514 the number of bonus games played is checked to see if it is equal to the second number of times. If the maximum number of games played is reached, in this example 5, the game returns to step 502 to accept another wager. If the maximum number of games played has not been reached, the game returns to step 510 to allow the player to play the bonus game again.

EXAMPLE 3

[0093] An example of a game player playing gaming device 10 using flowchart 500 is as follows:

[0094] 1. Assume that the game player inserts a voucher worth $21.00 into gaming device 10.

[0095] 2. Assume that gaming device 10 has a wagering denomination of $1.00. The total credit meter 17 will display 21 credits.

[0096] 3. Assume that the game player wagers, 5 credit or coins in step 502.

[0097] 4. The game proceeds to step 518, where the player plays the base game.

[0098] 5. Assume that the base game result in an outcome with a special symbol. Next, at step 503, the game proceeds to step 504.

[0099] 6. Since, 5 coins were wagered, the game proceeds from step 504 with a yes to step 506 where a no is returned and the game proceeds to step 508 where the bonus is awarded. Assume that the bonus is 10 credits.

[0100] 7. The game proceeds to step 510, where the player is given the opportunity to play the bonus game or return to the base game. Assume that the player plays the bonus game and proceeds to step 512.

[0101] 8. Assume that the player lands on indicia 10× during the bonus game. The player is awarded 100 credits, which are displayed on bonus credit meter 19A.

[0102] 9. The game proceeds to step 514 where the number of bonus games played is compared to the maximum number of bonus games allowed. In this example, the maximum number of bonus games equals 5.

[0103] 10. Since, the number of games played is only 1, the game loops back to step 510, where the player is allowed to chose to continue playing the bonus game or to return to the base game. Assume that the player elects to play the bonus game again. The game proceeds to step 512.

[0104] 11. Assume that the player lands on indicia 100 coin during the bonus game. The player is now awarded 100 more credits, which are displayed on bonus credit meter 19A as 200 bonus credits.

[0105] 12. The game proceeds to step 514 where the number of bonus games played is compared to the maximum number of bonus games allowed. In this example, the maximum number of bonus games equals 5.

[0106] 13. Since, the number of games played is 2, the game loops back to step 510, where the player is allowed to chose to continue playing the bonus game or to return to the base game. Assume that the player elects to play the bonus game again. The game proceeds to step 512.

[0107] 14. Assume that outcome of the bonus game is lose ½. The player's bonus credits are reduced to 100.

[0108] 15. The game proceeds to step 514 and 510. Assume that the player discontinues play at this point and proceeds to cashout at step 516. The player will have won 100 bonus credits and will have 16 credits from their original deposit in the game for a total of 116 credits.

[0109] While the invention has been taught with specific reference to these embodiments, someone skilled in the art will recognize that changes can be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

Conclusion

[0110] The present invention solves many of the problems associated with the prior art. For example, it is noted that the gaming system and method of the present invention provides a new type of bonus game that adds to the level of player excitement and satisfaction generated by a gaming device. The present gaming method allows a game player a flexible way to play a bonus game while having knowledge of the possible outcomes. The present invention provides a gaming system and method that allows a game player to repeatedly continue to try and increase a bonus. The present invention provides a gaming system and method that displays to the game player the possible outcomes of playing a bonus game to try and increase the bonus. The present invention provides a gaming system and method that indicates to the game player the best possible outcomes of the current bonus game. The present invention provides a gaming system and method that allows the game player to discontinue the bonus game at any time. These and other advantages of the present invention may be realized by reference to the remaining portions of the specification, claims, and abstract.

[0111] Although the description above contains many specifications, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents rather than by the examples given.

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US7052392Dec 31, 2001May 30, 2006IgtMethod and apparatus for providing an advantage to a player in a bonus game
US7175521 *Dec 21, 2001Feb 13, 2007IgtGaming method, device, and system including trivia-based bonus game
US7614949 *Jul 26, 2002Nov 10, 2009Wms Gaming Inc.Gaming machine with synchronized display feature
US7771266 *Sep 11, 2003Aug 10, 2010IgtGaming device having a multiple accumulated symbols game
US7824264 *Sep 22, 2003Nov 2, 2010IgtRandom bonus prize shown on the system display
US7892088 *Oct 18, 2001Feb 22, 2011Steve BrandstetterGaming device having a second separate bonusing event
US8523647Feb 13, 2007Sep 3, 2013IgtGaming method, device, and system including trivia-based bonus game
US8616951 *Mar 31, 2009Dec 31, 2013Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty LimitedGaming system and a method of gaming
US8684817 *Jan 12, 2010Apr 1, 2014IgtGaming system and method with accumulating equity
US20090253496 *Mar 31, 2009Oct 8, 2009Christopher Michael StevensGaming system and a method of gaming
US20100113122 *Jan 12, 2010May 6, 2010IgtGaming system and method with accumulating equity
WO2005025692A2 *Aug 31, 2004Mar 24, 2005Igt Reno NevSlot machine with multi le award paths
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/16
International ClassificationG07F17/32
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3267, G07F17/3244, G07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32M4, G07F17/32K, G07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 28, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: WACHOVIA BANK F/K/A FIRST UNION NATIONAL BANK, NEW
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:017537/0671
Effective date: 20060322
Owner name: WACHOVIA BANK F/K/A FIRST UNION NATIONAL BANK,NEW
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:17537/671
Oct 22, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY INC., NE
Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT, PREVIOUSLY RECORDED AT REEL 011832, FRAME 0323;ASSIGNORS:SEELIG, JERALD C.;HENSHAW, LAWRENCE M.;REEL/FRAME:012293/0468
Effective date: 20010517
May 21, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: ATLANTIC CITY COIN AND SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC.,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SEELIG, JERALD C.;HENSHAW, LAWRENCE M.;REEL/FRAME:011832/0323
Effective date: 20010517