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Publication numberUS20040048645 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/241,012
Publication dateMar 11, 2004
Filing dateSep 11, 2002
Priority dateSep 11, 2002
Also published asWO2004025586A1
Publication number10241012, 241012, US 2004/0048645 A1, US 2004/048645 A1, US 20040048645 A1, US 20040048645A1, US 2004048645 A1, US 2004048645A1, US-A1-20040048645, US-A1-2004048645, US2004/0048645A1, US2004/048645A1, US20040048645 A1, US20040048645A1, US2004048645 A1, US2004048645A1
InventorsBayard Webb, Steven McGahn, Joseph Kaminkow
Original AssigneeWebb Bayard S., Mcgahn Steven P., Kaminkow Joseph E.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming device having mechanical wheel and reel displays
US 20040048645 A1
Abstract
The present invention provides various configurations of a cabinet of a gaming device. The cabinets have in combination a video monitor, a rotatable wheel and rotatable reel. In one embodiment, one or both of the rotatable wheel and reel are electromechanical. Each of the rotatable wheel and reel include an indicator for indicating one of a plurality of symbols or values that are displayed by the reel and wheel, respectively. The reel and wheel can also include one or more lights that highlight the displays at various times. One or both the reel and wheel can be tilted to aid the visibility of same.
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Claims(24)
The invention is claimed as follows:
1. A gaming device having a cabinet comprising:
a video monitor positioned in the cabinet;
a rotatable wheel positioned in the cabinet above the video monitor; and
a rotatable reel positioned in the cabinet above the video monitor.
2. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the rotatable reel is positioned above the rotatable wheel.
3. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein one of the rotatable reel and the rotatable wheel is tilted to aid its visibility by a player.
4. The gaming device of claim 3, wherein whichever of the rotatable wheel and rotatable reel is positioned above the other is tilted.
5. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the cabinet includes an upper tilted portion and at least one of the reel and wheel is provided on the upper tilted portion.
6. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the cabinet includes a tilted portion and the video monitor is positioned in the tilted portion.
7. The gaming device of claim 6, wherein the tilted portion is a lower tilted portion and wherein the cabinet additionally includes an upper tilted portion and at least one of the reel and wheel is provided on the upper tilted portion.
8. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the cabinet includes a tilted portion and a vertical portion and at least one of the rotatable wheel and the rotatable reel is positioned in the vertical portion.
9. The gaming device of claim 1, which includes a plurality of input devices operable with the video monitor, the input devices and video monitor located on the cabinet so that a player sitting down is able to view the video monitor and operate the input devices.
10. The gaming device of claim 9, wherein the rotatable reel is tilted so that the player sitting down can view the rotatable reel.
11. The gaming device of claim 1, which includes a primary game that is played on the video monitor and at least one bonus game initiated by the primary game that is played on at least one of the rotatable wheel and the rotatable reel.
12. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the rotatable reel is substantially horizontally disposed.
13. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein one of the rotatable reel and the rotatable wheel rotates as a result of an outcome generated on the other display.
14. A gaming device having a cabinet comprising:
a reel display positioned in the cabinet;
a rotatable wheel positioned in the cabinet above the reel display; and
a rotatable reel positioned in the cabinet above the rotatable wheel and tilted to aid its visibility by a player.
15. The gaming device of claim 14, which includes a tilted portion of the cabinet, wherein the reel display is located in the tilted portion.
16. A gaming device having a cabinet comprising:
a video monitor positioned in the cabinet;
a rotatable wheel positioned in the cabinet above the video monitor; and
a rotatable reel positioned in the cabinet above the rotatable wheel and tilted to aid its visibility by a player.
17. The gaming device of claim 16, which includes a tilted portion of the cabinet, wherein the video monitor is located in the tilted portion.
18. A gaming device comprising:
a cabinet having a tilted portion located below a substantially vertically extending portion;
a video monitor positioned in the tilted portion;
a rotatable wheel positioned in the vertical portion; and
a rotatable reel positioned in the vertical portion of the cabinet.
19. The gaming device of claim 18, wherein whichever of the rotatable wheel and rotatable reel is above the other is tilted to aid its visibility by a player.
20. The gaming device of claim 18, which includes a number of input devices located on the tilted portion, wherein the tilted portion is located so a player sitting can view the video monitor and operate the input devices.
21. A gaming device comprising:
a cabinet;
a video monitor positioned in the cabinet and operable to display a primary game;
a wheel positioned in the cabinet and operable to play a secondary game upon a first triggering event in the primary game; and
a reel positioned in the cabinet above the video monitor and wheel, the reel tilted to aid its visibility by a player, the reel operated upon a second triggering event in the secondary game.
22. The gaming device of claim 21, wherein the reel includes a series of lights that indicates one of a set of symbols displayed by the display.
23. The gaming device of claim 21, wherein the reel includes at least one indicator that indicates one of a set of symbols displayed by the reel.
24. The gaming device of claim 21, wherein reel is substantially horizontally disposed.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to gaming devices. More particularly, the present invention relates to wagering gaming device displays.

[0002] Gaming devices provide fun and excitement to the player. Gaming, in general, provides an escape from the everyday rigors of life. Gaming devices and gaming establishments use bright lights and exciting sounds to set the gaming establishments such as casinos apart from the rest of the world. Gaming devices, in particular, use one or more displays that enable the player to see and play the game. The displays typically portray the action of the game and ultimately indicate whether or not the player wins.

[0003] Slot machine displays have gone through a number of transitions since their inception in the late 1800's. Originally, slot machines displayed purely mechanical reels. While these machines gained enormous popularity, the mechanical nature of the reels limited the number of paystops, which limited the number of different symbols and the number of different winning symbol combinations.

[0004] The advent of the computer and the video monitor expanded the possibilities for gaming devices. There are now video poker, video blackjack and other types of video gaming machines. Video displays have also been implemented in slot machines. The video slot machines use computers to randomly generate symbol combinations from an expanded number of different symbols. Video reel strips can include a virtually unlimited number of symbols, which enables a wide variety of different symbol combinations to be employed, including combinations that appear very infrequently and yield high payouts.

[0005] With slot machines, the video monitors have also been used to provide bonus or secondary games. Bonus games have become much more prevalent and elaborate in recent years. Players play the base game of slot until becoming eligible for a bonus game. The base game temporarily pauses, while the player plays the bonus game. When the player completes the bonus game, the gaming device returns the player to the bonus game.

[0006] It should therefore be appreciated that a single video monitor is often sufficient to provide both the base game of slot and one or more bonus games that become triggered by the slot game. As seen in FIG. 1B, there is usually room on the gaming device 10 b for an upper display area 32. This area, however, is often not used for gaming purposes and may simply provide a graphic and/or lettering that pertains to a theme of the gaming device.

[0007] Video monitors and in particular video-based slot machines are likely going to continue growing in popularity. As the video monitor has been used more and more, however, there has been a growing sentiment that some of the mystique of the old time mechanical gaming devices is lost when mechanical reels and mechanical displays are replaced by a video monitor.

[0008] One known gaming device, the WHEEL OF FORTUNE® gaming device, includes a mechanical wheel which spins to indicate a bonus award to the player. This gaming device has been very successful.

[0009] Accordingly, a need exists to provide a gaming device that may use a video monitor, which provides increased flexibility to the gaming device to add more symbols and more elaborate bonus games, while providing some aspect of the gaming device that is mechanical and provides a fun and exciting mechanical display.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The present invention includes various configurations of a cabinet of a gaming device and the components thereof. The cabinets have in combination a video monitor, a rotatable wheel and rotatable reel. In one embodiment, one or both of the rotatable wheel and reel are electromechanical. Each of the rotatable wheel and reel include an indicator for indicating one of a plurality of symbols or values that are displayed by the reel and wheel, respectively. The reel and wheel can also include one or more lights or other suitable indicators that highlight the displays at various times. One or both the reel and wheel can be tilted or angled to aid the visibility of same.

[0011] In one primary embodiment, the cabinet is made for a player standing or sitting and includes a rotatable reel that is positioned in the cabinet above the rotatable wheel, both of which are placed in the cabinet above the video monitor. The video monitor in one embodiment plays a base or primary game, while the rotatable wheel and the rotatable reel play a portion of the primary game or a portion or all of a bonus game thereof. In this embodiment, the rotatable wheel can alternatively be placed on top of the rotatable reel. In either case, whichever display is positioned on top of the cabinet is tilted or angled to provide a better viewing angle by a player.

[0012] In another primary embodiment, an alternative cabinet is provided in which the player plays standing or sitting. Here, an upper portion of the cabinet is tilted or angled, wherein either one or both of the rotatable reel and rotatable wheel is mounted on the upper angled or tilted portion of the cabinet and is likewise angled or tilted. Here again, either one of the rotatable wheel or rotatable reel may be placed on top of the other, both of which reside above the video monitor.

[0013] In a further alternative primary embodiment, the cabinet includes a lower tilted area, to which the video monitor is mounted. It should be appreciated that in one alternative embodiment, the gaming device includes a set of mechanical reels instead of a video monitor. This cabinet is intended for the player to play while sitting. The cabinet includes a vertical upper display area that has the rotatable wheel and the rotatable reel, either one of which may be provided on top of the other. The display that is provided on top is in one embodiment, angled or tilted to provide a better viewing angle to the player who is sitting in front of the machine.

[0014] In any of the above described embodiments, either one or both of the displays can be tilted, however, both of the displays can alternatively be untitled. In one embodiment, the reel rotates in a direction perpendicular to the vertical direction of the rotation of the slot machine reels. The displays of the present invention can operate with any type of primary or base game, such as slot, poker, keno, blackjack, craps, bingo and any combination thereof.

[0015] Additional features and advantages of the present invention are described in, and will be apparent from, the following Detailed Description of the Invention and the figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0016]FIG. 1A is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention, which includes a cabinet with a reel provided above a wheel, which are provided above a video monitor.

[0017]FIG. 1B is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention, which includes a cabinet with a tilted top and a display provided thereon.

[0018]FIG. 1C is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention, which includes a lower tilted portion having a video monitor displaying a primary game and a plurality of electromechanical displays placed above the video monitor in a vertical upper display area of the gaming device.

[0019]FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of the electronic configuration of one embodiment of the gaming device of the present invention.

[0020]FIG. 3 illustrates an elevation view of the upper display area shown in FIGS. 1A and 1C.

[0021]FIGS. 4 and 5 are perspective views of the upper display area shown in FIGS. 1A and 1C, which illustrate the tilted rotatable reel of the present invention.

[0022]FIG. 6 is an elevation view of one embodiment of the rotatable reel of the present invention having multiple ways of indicating one of the symbols on the rotatable reel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0023] The present invention provides a cabinet having multiple displays that operate with wagering the games such as slot, poker, keno and blackjack. In an embodiment, the display and indicators operate in conjunction with bonus games, which in turn operate in conjunction with the base games such as slot, poker, keno and blackjack. Besides the base and bonus games of slot, poker, blackjack or keno, the present invention can operate with any of the bonus triggering events, as well as any progressive game coordinating with these base games. The symbols and indicia used for any of the base, bonus and progressive games include mechanical, electrical or video symbols and indicia.

[0024] One primary embodiment for the display and display indicators is with the game of slot. Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. 1A to 1C, one slot machine embodiment is illustrated. Gaming devices 10 a to 10 c illustrate three possible cabinet styles and display arrangements and are collectively referred to herein as gaming device 10. Gaming device 10 a and 10 b are illustrated as having the controls, displays and features of a conventional slot machine, wherein the player operates the gaming device while standing or sitting. Gaming device 10 may be a pub-style or table-top game (see FIG. 1C), which a player operates while sitting.

[0025] Gaming device 10 includes monetary input devices. FIGS. 1A to 1C illustrate a coin slot 12 for coins or tokens and/or a payment acceptor 14 for cash money. The payment acceptor 14 also includes other devices for accepting payment, such as readers or validators for credit cards, debit cards or smart cards, tickets, notes, etc. 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.

[0026] As shown in FIGS. 1A to 1C, 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. A player may cash out by pushing a cash out button 26 to receive coins or tokens in the coin payout tray 28 or other forms of payment, such as an amount printed on a ticket or credited to a credit card, debit card or smart card. Well known ticket printing and card reading machines (not illustrated) are commercially available.

[0027] Gaming device 10 also includes one or more display devices. The embodiments shown in FIGS. 1A to 1C include a display device 30 and an upper display area 32. The display device includes any viewing surface such as glass, a video monitor or screen, a liquid crystal display or any other static or dynamic display mechanism. In a video poker, blackjack or other card gaming machine embodiment, the display device includes displaying one or more cards. In a keno embodiment, the display device includes displaying numbers.

[0028] The slot machine embodiment of gaming device 10 includes a plurality of reels 34, for example three to five reels 34. Each reel 34 includes a plurality of indicia such as bells, hearts, fruits, numbers, letters, bars or other images which correspond to a theme associated with the gaming device 10. If the reels 34 are in video form, the display device displaying the video reels 34 is, in one embodiment, a video monitor. Gaming device 10 includes speakers 36 for making sounds or playing music.

[0029] With reference to the slot machine base game of FIGS. 1A to 1C, to operate the gaming device 10, the player inserts the appropriate amount of tokens or money in the coin slot 12 or the payment acceptor 14 and then pulls the arm 18 or pushes the play button 20. The reels 34 then begin to spin. Eventually, the reels 34 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.

[0030] In addition to winning base game credits, the gaming device 10, including any of the base games disclosed above, also includes bonus games that give players the opportunity to win credits. The gaming device 10 employs a video-based display device 30 or 32 for the bonus games. The bonus games include a program that automatically begins when the player achieves a qualifying condition in the base game.

[0031]FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C each illustrate a different embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1A illustrates gaming device 10 a which the player can play standing or sitting. Gaming device 10 a includes a cabinet 100 a having a display device, i.e., a video monitor 30. Above the video monitor 30, cabinet 100 a includes a rotatable wheel 60. Above the rotatable wheel 60, cabinet 100 a includes a substantially horizontally disposed rotatable reel 80. As discussed below, rotatable reel 80 in an embodiment is tilted or angled so that the symbols 84 displayed on the reel are more visible to the player. The rotatable reel 80 includes an indicator 82, a plurality of symbols 84 and a number of lights 86.

[0032] The rotatable wheel 60 positioned between the video monitor 30 and the rotatable reel 80 on the upper display area 32 operates with an indicator 62, a plurality of symbols 64 and a number of lights 66. In one embodiment, video monitor 30 is a simulated display as described above. In a preferred embodiment, the rotatable wheel 60 and the rotatable reel 80 are electromechanical. The operation of the electromechanical devices is described in further detail below in connection with FIG. 2 and includes one or more motion producing devices, such as a stepper motor. The lights 86 and 66 are also electromechanical lights in one embodiment. In an alternative embodiment, one or both of the rotatable wheel 60 and the rotatable reel 80 and the lights associated therewith are alternatively simulated areas of a video monitor such as video monitor 30.

[0033]FIG. 1B illustrates an alternative gaming device 10 b having an alternative cabinet 100 b. Alternative cabinet 100 b includes the video monitor 30 as described above. Cabinet 100 b also includes an upper tilted or angled area 88, which is part of the upper display area 32. The tilted upper area 88 enables either the reel and wheel to be positioned towards the player for better viewing. The upper tilted area 88 includes a tilted rotatable wheel 60. Another part of the upper display area 32 includes the rotatable reel 80. The cabinet 100 b of gaming device 10 b reverses the order of the rotatable wheel 60 and the rotatable reel 80 with respect to cabinet 100 a of gaming device 10 a in FIG. 1A.

[0034] In an alternative embodiment, not illustrated, the cabinet of the gaming device 10 has an upper tilted or angled area that consumes most all of the upper display area 32, wherein both the rotatable wheel 60 and rotatable reel 80 are angled or tilted due to the angle or tilt of the upper tilted area. Further alternatively, the rotatable wheel 80 illustrated on the cabinet 100 b of gaming device 10 b of FIG. 1B can be tilted or angled even though the rotatable reel 80 is mounted to a vertical portion of cabinet 100 b. This angled or tilted reel mounted to a vertical panel is illustrated in more detail below in connection with FIGS. 4 and 5.

[0035] The player playing gaming device 10 b can play standing or sitting. As with the gaming device 10 a, the rotatable wheel 60, which is now located on the upper tilted area 88, includes one or more indicators 62, a plurality of symbols 64, and a number of lights 66. The rotatable reel 80 includes one or more indicators 82, a plurality of symbols 84 and a number of lights 86.

[0036] The video monitor 30 of gaming device 10 b provides a simulated form of a primary or base game as is the case with video monitor 30 in each of FIGS. 1A to 1C. The rotatable wheel 60 and the rotatable reel 80 in one embodiment are electromechanical and display parts of the primary game or some or all of a bonus game based on the primary game.

[0037]FIG. 1C illustrates a further alternative cabinet 100 c of gaming device 10 c. Cabinet 100 c includes a lower angled or tilted area 78. Lower tilted area 78 in a slot embodiment includes the video monitor 30 having a plurality of reels 34 and a plurality of paylines 76. The video monitor 30 is angled or tilted along with the lower tilted area 78 and is therefore most conveniently played while the player is sitting down. The lower angled or tilted area 78 includes each of the input devices and displays described above, such as the play button 20, the cash out button 26, bet one button 24, the credit display 16 and a number of other input devices 44, such as a bet per line button, a select paylines button, a max bet button, a see pays button and other input features common to slot machines and other types of primary or base games.

[0038] Cabinet 100 c of gaming device 10 c illustrates the slanted video monitor 30 in combination with a vertical upper display area 32, such as that of FIG. 1A. It should be appreciated however that the lower tilted area 78 and its associated tilted video monitor 30 could be combined with the upper tilted area 88 of cabinet 100 b of gaming device 10 b and any of the variations discussed above in connection with FIG. 1B. The upper display area 32 of cabinet 100 c is substantially vertical as illustrated.

[0039] The cabinet 100 c includes the rotatable wheel 60 having at least one indicator 62, a plurality of symbols 64 and at least one light 66. The cabinet 100 c also includes the rotatable reel 80 located above the rotatable wheel 60. Rotatable reel 80 operates with at least one indicator 82, a plurality of symbols 84 and a number of lights 86. In an embodiment, the rotatable reel 80 is tilted with respect to the vertical display area 32 as discussed in more detail below.

[0040] Referring now to FIG. 2, one embodiment of an electronic configuration for gaming device 10 includes: a processor 38; a memory device 40 for storing program code or other data; a display device 30; a sound card 42; a plurality of speakers 36; and one or more input devices 44. The processor 38 is a microprocessor based platform that 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 includes random access memory (RAM) 46 for storing event data or other data generated or used during a particular game. The memory device 40 also includes 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.

[0041] As illustrated in FIG. 2, the player uses the input devices 44 to input signals into gaming device 10. In the slot machine base game, the input devices 44 include the pull arm 18, play button 20, the bet one button 24, the cash out button 26 and other player inputs. A touch screen 50 and touch screen controller 52 are connected to a video controller 54 and processor 38. The touch screen enables a player to input decisions into the gaming device 10 by sending a discrete signal based on the area of the touch screen 50 that the player touches or presses. As further illustrated in FIG. 2, the processor 38 connects to the coin slot 12 or payment acceptor 14, whereby the processor 38 requires a player to deposit a certain amount of money to start the game.

[0042] The processor 38 also controls the output of one of more motion controllers 56 that control one or more motion producing devices 58. The motion producing devices 58 can be any combination of motors, stepper motors, linear stepper motors or other types of linear actuators. The motion controllers 56 typically include printed circuit boards or stand alone enclosures that receive high level commands from the processor 38. The motion controller 56 converts the high level commands, for example, into a number of step pulses, which in turn are converted into motor currents. The stepper motor or other type of motion producing device 58 receives the currents, wherein the currents cause, for example, a rotor to turn within a stator a precise and desired amount.

[0043] The motion producing device 58 can be used to drive either or both the electromechanical wheel and reel. The rotational motion of a motor 58 can be used to rotate a portion of the reel or wheel of the present invention. The rotational motion can alternatively be converted to cause an indicator operating with the reel or wheel to translate. Otherwise, a linear motion producing device 58 can be used to directly cause the indicator to translate.

[0044] The motion control scheme allows complex and precise movements of the wheel and reel to be programmed into the memory device 40 and carried out by the processor 38 at the appropriate time in the sequence of the game, be it a base, bonus, bonus triggering or progressive sequence of gaming device 10. Moreover, multiple programs can be implemented in the memory device 40, wherein the processor runs the appropriate program at the appropriate time, and wherein the reel and wheel can perform or move differently, e.g., rotate slower or in different directions at different times or points in the game. The motion control programs, in an embodiment, interface with one or more random generation devices, typically software based items, to produce randomly displayed outcomes on the reel and wheel of the present invention.

[0045] Referring now to FIG. 3, the upper display area 32 of the cabinets 100 a and 100 c of gaming devices 10 a and 10 c is illustrated. The upper display area 32 is substantially vertical and includes rotatable wheel 60 and rotatable reel 80, which in one embodiment is tilted to enable the player to more easily view the rotatable reel 80. Rotatable wheel 60 includes an indicator 62, which in an embodiment is a fixed mechanical arrow located at the top most portion of the wheel 60. The indicator 62 can be located anywhere along the circumference of the wheel 60. Indicator 62 indicates one of the symbols 64. In the illustrated embodiments, indicator 62 indicates the symbol of twenty-five. The wheel 60 also includes a series of lights 66 positioned around the circumference of the wheel 60. Processor 38 controls lights 66 to flash at designated times.

[0046] Symbols 64 and 84 represent a game outcome. Symbols 64 in one embodiment are gaming device credits that are provided as a result of a random outcome of the primary game or a random outcome of a bonus or secondary game based on the primary game. In one embodiment the symbols represent a number of gaming device credits or a multiplier of gaming device credits. As also illustrated, the symbols 64 and 84 can include other outcomes such as the entry into a bonus game indicated by the word bonus in the illustrated embodiment. Alternatively, symbols 64 and 84 include a number of free games, a number of free spins, a progressive game increment, a number of picks from a prize pool and any combination thereof.

[0047] Symbols 64 and 66 can also be symbols of one of the primary games discussed above. For example, in one embodiment the symbols are symbols that are also contained on the reels 34, wherein the reels generate a portion of the game and one or more of the wheel 60 and the reel 80 generate the remainder of the slot game outcome. In another embodiment, symbols 64 and 84 include faces of a playing cards and are used in combination with a card game such as blackjack or poker. Further, rotatable wheel 60 in an embodiment is a roulette wheel. The symbols 84 in an embodiment are the symbols of a bingo game or a keno game.

[0048] The rotatable reel 80 illustrated in FIG. 3 includes an indicator 82 having two opposing mechanical arrows that each point toward a single symbol 84. In the illustrated embodiment, the indicators 82 point towards the symbol of fifty. The rotatable reel 80 also employs lights 86 as a secondary or alternative form of indication. That is, the lights 86 surround and therefore highlight the indicated value of fifty. Rotatable reel 80 also includes a number of lights 86 placed on either side of the rotatable reel 80. Rotatable reel 80 includes a glass or plexiglas clear cover which provides a reflection of the lights 86. Either one or both of the wheels 60 and the rotatable reel 80 can also include a number of borders, such as a reflective bezzle or other suitable type of reflective surface.

[0049] Referring now FIGS. 4 and 5, various views of the tilted rotatable reel 80 are illustrated. FIGS. 4 and 5 each display the upper display area 32 of the cabinets 100 a and 100 c of gaming devices 10 a and 10 c discussed above. The upper display area 32 of these cabinets is substantially vertical and includes, below the rotatable reel 80, the rotatable wheel 60 having one or more indicators 62, values 64 and lights 66.

[0050] Although FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate that the reel 80 is tilted, in an embodiment where the upper display area 32 is substantially vertical as illustrated, the rotatable wheel 60 could also alternatively be tilted. Further, rotatable wheel 60 could be placed above the rotatable reel 80 as opposed the configuration illustrated. One or both of the wheels 60 and the reel 80 could be located on an upper tilted portion of the cabinet as illustrated by cabinet 100 b of gaming device 10 b. Here again, either the rotatable wheel 60 or the rotatable reel 80 could be placed on top of the other.

[0051] Each of the cabinets 100 a to 100 c is illustrated showing reel 80, whether or not tilted, as being in a substantially horizontal configuration. That is, the reel 80 rotates in a direction perpendicular to the vertical reels 34 of the video monitor 30. In an alternative embodiment, the reel 80 is vertical and rotates in the same direction as reels 34. In such a case, it may be less desirable to tilt the rotatable reel 80. It should be appreciated however that the present invention does not require reel 80 to be angled or tilted, wherein the present invention includes independently the combination of a video monitor and a non-angled or non-tilted simulated or electromechanical rotatable wheel 60 and rotatable reel 80. In this same manner, the present invention includes the combination of one or more rotatable wheels 60 and one or more rotatable reels 80.

[0052] Tilted rotatable reel 80 includes a shaft that is also tilted slightly from vertical position. In an embodiment, the reel 80 is tilted at approximately ten to approximately forty-five degrees and preferably at approximately twenty degrees. The reel 80 can be angled at any position desired by the game implementer, which is chosen to provide a proper viewing angle for the player. The angled shaft of the rotatable reel 80 couples to one of the motion producing devices 58 described above in connection with FIG. 2. The motion producing device 58 is coupled to a motion controller 56, which receives high level commands from the processor 38 and converts the high level commands to motor currents, which motion controller 56 sends to the motion producing device 58. The rotatable reel 80 can therefore perform any sequence of motion, start, stop, start again, etc., that is capable with a non-tilted rotatable reel.

[0053] The processor 38 keeps track of the position of wheel 60 and reel 80 using an open loop system in an embodiment, wherein the processor relies on the reel to spin to its commanded location. In another embodiment, processor 38 uses a closed loop system having feedback, such as encoder feedback or one or more signals from a position sensing sensor, such as an inductive or capacitive proximity sensor, an ultrasonic sensor or a light emitting and receiving sensor.

[0054] Referring now to FIG. 6, a close up view of the rotatable reel 80 is illustrated, which in an embodiment is tilted. The rotatable reel 80 is also illustrated as being above the rotatable wheel 60. The indicator 62 of the rotatable wheel 60 is also illustrated showing that the indicator 62 in an embodiment is a shiny metal arrow. FIG. 6 illustrates that the rotatable reel 80 includes the dual indicator 82 having two arrows pointing inwardly towards a single one of the symbols 84. Various lights 86 are also positioned around the indicated value 84, which in the illustrated embodiment is fifty. A number of lights are also placed on the outside of the rotatable reel 80 and the wheel 60.

[0055] It should be appreciated that the independently operated wheel 60 and the independently operated reel 80 can be operated simultaneously or sequentially.

[0056] In one embodiment, in relation to the gaming device of FIG. 1A, when a triggering event occurs in a primary game displayed by the video monitor 30, the secondary game of the wheel 60 is activated or initiated.

[0057] In one embodiment, the wheel automatically begins to spin. In another embodiment, the player must activate an input device (not shown) to cause the wheel to spin. If a value on the wheel is selected, the value is provided to the player and the secondary game ends. In one embodiment, the wheel includes at least one trigger symbol. In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 1A, the wheel includes four trigger symbols labeled “BONUS.” If a trigger symbol is indicated, the reel is activated. Similar to the wheel, the reel 80 may automatically begin to spin or may be activated by an input from the player. The award indicated on the reel is provided to the player.

[0058] It should be appreciated that the above describes only one alternative of the combination of the primary game, first secondary game (i.e., the wheel) and the second secondary game. Any suitable alternative may be employed with the wheel and reel. For instance, (i) both may be independently activated by different triggering events in the primary game, (ii) both may be triggered by the same triggering event in the primary game, or (iii) upon a triggering event in the primary game, one of the wheel or the reel could be randomly selected for activation.

[0059] It should be understood that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and without diminishing its intended advantages. It is therefore intended that such changes and modifications be covered by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7371172 *Sep 8, 2004May 13, 2008IgtSymbol display device for game machine
US7533885 *Feb 23, 2005May 19, 2009IgtGaming device having a rotor-based game with a bonus opportunity
US7614952Oct 1, 2004Nov 10, 2009IgtGaming device having multiple interacting rotators and translating indicator
US7722462Nov 10, 2006May 25, 2010IgtElectronic game apparatus and method providing a secondary game triggered apart from a primary game
US7771267Jul 30, 2007Aug 10, 2010IgtElectronic game apparatus and method providing a secondary game triggered apart from a primary game
US7771268Jul 30, 2007Aug 10, 2010IgtElectronic game apparatus and method providing a secondary game triggered apart from a primary game
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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/16
International ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/34
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3216, G07F17/3202, G07F17/3213, G07F17/3211
European ClassificationG07F17/32C2F, G07F17/32C2F2, G07F17/32C, G07F17/32C4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 30, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: IGT, NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:WEBB, BAYARD S.;MCGAHN, STEVEN S.;KAMINKOW, JOSEPH E.;REEL/FRAME:013440/0973;SIGNING DATES FROM 20021003 TO 20021009