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Publication numberUS20040116174 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/659,629
Publication dateJun 17, 2004
Filing dateSep 9, 2003
Priority dateJul 28, 2000
Also published asWO2005026890A2, WO2005026890A3
Publication number10659629, 659629, US 2004/0116174 A1, US 2004/116174 A1, US 20040116174 A1, US 20040116174A1, US 2004116174 A1, US 2004116174A1, US-A1-20040116174, US-A1-2004116174, US2004/0116174A1, US2004/116174A1, US20040116174 A1, US20040116174A1, US2004116174 A1, US2004116174A1
InventorsAnthony Baerlocher, Bayard Webb, Megan Schlegel
Original AssigneeBaerlocher Anthony J., Webb Bayard S., Schlegel Megan N.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming device having a multiple round game where success in one round determines the probabilities of success in another round
US 20040116174 A1
Abstract
A gaming device including a plurality of rounds, games or stages. Each round, game or stage includes at least one outcome such as awards or modifiers. Upon a triggering event, the gaming device initiates a first round, game or stage and generates or determines an outcome for the initiated first round. The determined outcome is provided to or accumulated for the player. Upon the occurrence of a terminating event in the first round, game or stage, the gaming device initiates a subsequent or second round, game or stage. The subsequent round includes at least one successful outcome and a plurality of probabilities of obtaining the successful outcome. Upon the initiation of the subsequent round, the gaming device selects or determines one of the probabilities of obtaining the successful outcome, wherein the probability of obtaining the successful outcome is selected or determined based on the outcome in the first round. That is, the outcome the player obtains in one round alters or changes the player's probabilities of obtaining a successful outcome in at least one subsequent round. In one embodiment, the more successful the player is in a first round, game or stage, the more difficult it is for the player to succeed in at least one subsequent round, game or stage. In another embodiment, the more successful the player is in a first round, game or stage, the easier it is for the player to succeed in at least one subsequent round, game or stage.
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Claims(60)
The invention is claimed as follows:
1. A gaming device comprising:
a first round;
a plurality of different outcomes of said first round;
a second round;
at least one winning outcome of said second round;
a plurality of different probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said second round;
a display device; and
a processor operable with the display device to
(a) select and display at least one of said outcomes of said first round,
(b) select one of said different probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said second round, wherein said probability of providing said winning outcome of said second round is selected based on the selected outcome of said first round, and
(c) determine whether to provide a player the winning outcome of the second round, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of providing said winning outcome of said second round.
2. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said processor is operable to provide the player an award based on the selected outcome of said first round and the winning outcome of said second round if said determination is to provide the player the winning outcome of said second round.
3. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein said processor is operable to provide the player an award based on the selected outcome of the first round if said determination is not to provide the player the winning outcome of said second round.
4. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the processor is operable to enable the player to play the first round.
5. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the processor is operable to enable the player to play the second round.
6. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the processor is operable to enable the player to play the first round and the second round.
7. The gaming device of claim 1, which includes at least one subsequent round, at least one winning outcome of said subsequent round and a plurality of different probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round.
8. The gaming device of claim 7, wherein the processor is operable to select one of the probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round based on the selected outcome of said first round and determine whether to provide the player the winning outcome of said subsequent round based on the selected probability of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round.
9. The gaming device of claim 7, wherein the processor is operable to select one of the probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round based on the selected outcome of said second round and determine whether to provide the player the winning outcome of said subsequent round based on the selected probability of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round.
10. The gaming device of claim 7, wherein the processor is operable to select one of the probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round based on the selected outcome of said first round and said second round and determine whether to provide the player the winning outcome of said subsequent round based on the selected probability of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round.
11. A gaming device comprising:
a primary wagering game operable upon a wager by a player;
a first round;
a plurality of different outcomes of said first round;
a second round;
at least one winning outcome of said second round;
a plurality of different probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said second round; and
a triggering event associated with said primary wagering game, wherein after the occurrence of said triggering event:
(a) one of said plurality of outcomes of said first round is selected and displayed;
(b) one of said different probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said second round is selected, wherein said probability of providing said winning outcome of said second round is selected based on the selected outcome of said first round; and
(c) a determination of whether to provide the player the winning outcome of the second round occurs, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of providing said winning outcome of said second round.
12. The gaming device of claim 11, wherein an award based on the selected outcome of said first round and the winning outcome of said second round is provided to the player if said determination is to provide the player the winning outcome of said second round.
13. The gaming device of claim 11, wherein an award based on the selected outcome of the first round is provided to the player if said determination is not to provide the player the winning outcome of said second round.
14. The gaming device of claim 11, wherein the player is enabled to play the first round.
15. The gaming device of claim 11, wherein the player is enabled to play the second round.
16. The gaming device of claim 11, wherein the player is enabled to play the first round and the second round.
17. The gaming device of claim 11, which includes at least one subsequent round, at least one winning outcome of said subsequent round and a plurality of different probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round.
18. The gaming device of claim 17, wherein one of the probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round is selected based on the selected outcome of said first round and a determination of whether to provide the player the winning outcome of the subsequent round occurs, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round.
19. The gaming device of claim 17, wherein one of the probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round is selected based on the selected outcome of said second round and a determination of whether to provide the player the winning outcome of the subsequent round occurs, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round.
20. The gaming device of claim 17, wherein one of the probabilities of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round is selected based on the selected outcome of said first round and said second round and a determination of whether to provide the player the winning outcome of the subsequent round occurs, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of providing said winning outcome of said subsequent round.
21. A gaming device comprising:
a first round;
a plurality of positive outcomes of said first round;
a second round;
at least one positive outcome of said second round;
a plurality of different probabilities of providing said positive outcome of said second round;
a display device; and
a processor operable with the display device to
(a) select and display a number of said plurality of positive outcomes of said first round,
(b) select one of said different probabilities of providing said positive outcome of said second round, wherein said probability of providing said positive outcome of said second round is selected based on the number of selected positive outcomes of said first round, and
(c) determine whether to provide a player the positive outcome of the second round, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of providing said positive outcome of said second round.
22. A gaming device comprising:
a primary wagering game operable upon a wager by a player;
a first round;
a plurality of different positive outcomes of said first round;
a second round;
at least one positive outcome of said second round;
a plurality of different probabilities of providing said positive outcome of said second round; and
a triggering event associated with said primary wagering game, wherein after the occurrence of said triggering event,
(a) a number of said plurality of positive outcomes of said first round are selected and displayed,
(b) one of said different probabilities of providing said positive outcome of said second round is selected, wherein said probability of providing said positive outcome of said second round is selected based on the number of selected positive outcomes of said first round, and
(c) a determination of whether to provide the player the positive outcome of the second round occurs, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of providing said positive outcome of said second round.
23. A gaming device comprising:
a first round;
a range of different values of said first round;
a second round including a modifier;
a range of different probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round;
a display device; and
a processor operable with the display device to
(a) indicate at least one of said values of said first round to a player,
(b) select one of said different probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round, wherein the greater the indicated value of said first round the lower the selected probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round,
(c) determine whether to provide the player said modifier of said second round, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round,
(d) provide the player the indicated value of the first round if the determination is not to provide the player said modifier of said second round, and
(e) modify the indicated value of said first round by said modifier of the second round if the determination is to provide the player said modifier of said second round.
24. The gaming device of claim 23, wherein said processor is operable to provide the player any modified value.
25. The gaming device of claim 23, wherein said first round includes a plurality of opportunities to obtain said values, wherein each of said opportunities is associated with a probability of obtaining one of said values.
26. The gaming device of claim 25, wherein said processor is operable to provide the player at least one of said plurality of opportunities and to determine based on the associated probability for each provided opportunity whether to indicate one of said values.
27. A gaming device comprising:
a primary wagering game operable upon a wager by a player;
a first round;
a range of different values of said first round;
a second round including a modifier;
a range of different probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round;
a triggering event associated with said primary wagering game wherein after the occurrence of said triggering event,
(a) at least one of said values of said first round is indicated to the player,
(b) one of said different probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round is selected, wherein the greater the indicated value of said first round the lower the selected probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round,
(c) a determination of whether to provide the player said modifier of said second round occurs, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round,
(d) the player is provided the indicated value of the first round if the determination is not to provide the player said modifier of said second round, and
(e) the indicated value of said first round is modified by said modifier of the second round if the determination is to provide the player said modifier of said second round.
28. The gaming device of claim 27, wherein the player is provided any modified value.
29. The gaming device of claim 27, wherein said first round includes a plurality of opportunities to obtain said values, wherein each of said opportunities is associated with a probability of obtaining one of said values.
30. The gaming device of claim 29, wherein the player is provided at least one of said plurality of opportunities and a determination occurs based on the associated probability for each provided opportunity of whether to indicate one of said values.
31. A gaming device comprising:
a first round;
a range of different values of said first round;
a second round including a modifier;
a range of different probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round;
a display device; and
a processor operable with the display device to
(a) indicate at least one of said values of said first round to a player,
(b) select one of said different probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round, wherein the greater the indicated value of said first round the higher the selected probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round,
(c) determine whether to provide the player said modifier of said second round, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round,
(d) provide the player the indicated value of the first round if the determination is not to provide the player said modifier of said second round, and
(e) modify the indicated value of said first round by said modifier of the second round if the determination is to provide the player said modifier of said second round.
32. The gaming device of claim 31, wherein said processor is operable to provide the player any modified value.
33. A gaming device comprising:
a primary wagering game operable upon a wager by a player;
a first round;
a range of different values of said first round;
a second round including a modifier;
a range of different probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round;
a triggering event associated with said primary wagering game wherein after the occurrence of said triggering event
(a) at least one of said values of said first round is indicated to the player,
(b) one of said different probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round is selected, wherein the greater the indicated value of said first round the higher the selected probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round,
(c) a determination of whether to provide the player said modifier of said second round occurs, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round,
(d) the player is provided the indicated value of the first round if the determination is not to provide the player said modifier of said second round, and
(e) the indicated value of said first round is modified by said modifier of the second round if the determination is to provide the player said modifier of said second round.
34. The gaming device of claim 33, wherein the player is provided any modified value.
35. A gaming device comprising:
a first round;
a plurality of different outcomes of said first round;
a second round;
at least one positive outcome of said second round;
a plurality of different probabilities of providing said positive outcome of said second round;
a display device; and
a processor operable with the display device to
(a) select and display at least one of said outcomes of said first round,
(b) enable a player to accept or reject said selected outcome of said first round,
(c) provide the player said selected outcome of said first round if the player accepts said selected outcome of said first round,
(d) select one of said different probabilities of providing said positive outcome of said second round if the player rejects said selected outcome of said first round, wherein said probability of providing said positive outcome of said second round is selected based on the selected outcome of said first round, and
(e) determine whether to provide the player the positive outcome of the second round if the player rejects said selected outcome of said first round, wherein said determination is based on the selected probability of providing said positive outcome of said second round.
36. A gaming device comprising:
a first round;
a plurality of different outcomes of said first round;
a second round;
a plurality of different outcomes of said second round, wherein each one of the outcomes of said second round is individually associated with a different one of said outcomes of said first round;
at least one display device; and
a processor operable with the display device to select at least one of said outcomes of said first round and display said selected outcome of said first round, wherein when said selected outcome of said first round is displayed, said associated outcome of said second round is prevented from being obtained in said second round.
37. The gaming device of claim 36, wherein said display device is a mechanical device, wherein each display device includes a first position associated with one of said outcomes of said first round and a second position associated with the outcome of said second round that is associated with said outcome of said first round.
38. The gaming device of claim 37, wherein said processor is operable to move said display device to said first position to display said selected outcome of said first round, wherein once said display device is moved to said first position, said display device cannot simultaneously display said outcome associated with said second position.
39. A gaming device comprising:
a plurality of first outcomes;
a plurality of second outcomes, wherein each of said second outcomes is individually associated with a different one of said first outcomes; and
a player award adapted to be provided to a player which includes at least one of the first outcomes and at least one of said second outcomes, wherein for each provided first outcome said associated second outcome cannot be provided to the player and for each provided second outcome said associated first outcome cannot be provided to the player.
40. The gaming device of claim 39, which includes at least one mechanical display device, wherein each display device is adapted to be moved to at least a first or a second position wherein said first position is associated with one of said first outcomes and said second position is associated with said second outcome that is associated with said associated first outcome.
41. The gaming device of claim 40, wherein when said display device is moved to said first position, said outcome associated with said second position cannot be provided to the player.
42. The gaming device of claim 39, wherein the player is enabled to select at least one of said first outcomes.
43. The gaming device of claim 39, wherein the player is enabled to select at least one of said second outcome.
44. A gaming device comprising:
a first round;
a plurality of values of said first round, wherein each value is associated with a probability;
a second round including a modifier;
a plurality of probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round;
a display device; and
a processor operable with the display device to:
(a) enable a player to play said first round, wherein said first round includes:
(i) selecting one of said plurality of values;
(ii) determining whether to provide said selected value to the player, wherein said determination is based on the probability associated with the selected value;
(iii) providing said selected value to the player if said determination is to provide said selected value to the player; and
(iv) repeating steps (i) to (iii) until the occurrence of a terminating event;
(b) enabling the player to play said second round after the occurrence of said terminating event, wherein said second round includes:
(v) selecting one of said probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round wherein said probability of obtaining said modifier is selected based on the number of provided values of said first round;
(vi) determining whether the player obtains said modifier, wherein said determination is based on said selected probability of obtaining said modifier;
(vii) applying said modifier to any provided values of said first round to form a modified value of said second round, if said determination is that the player obtains said modifier; and
(viii) providing said modified value if said determination is that the player obtains said modifier.
45. The gaming device of claim 44, wherein the higher the number of provided values of said first round, the lower the probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round.
46. The gaming device of claim 44, wherein the higher the number of provided values of said first round, the higher the probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round.
47. A gaming device comprising:
a first round;
a plurality of values of said first round, wherein each value is associated with a probability;
a second round including a modifier;
a plurality of probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round;
a plurality of selections;
a display device; and
a processor operable with the display device to:
(a) enable a player to play said first round, wherein said first round includes:
(i) selecting one of said plurality of values;
(ii) associating said selected value with at least one of said selections, wherein the number of selections associated with said selected value is based on the probability associated with said selected value;
(iii) enabling the player to pick one of said selections;
(iv) revealing if said selected value is associated with the player picked selection; and
(v) repeating steps (i) to (iv) until the occurrence of a terminating event;
(b) enabling the player to play said second round after the occurrence of said terminating event, wherein said second round includes:
(vi) selecting one of said probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round, wherein said probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round is selected based on the number of revealed values of said first round;
(vii) associating said modifier with at least one of said selections, wherein the number of selections associated with said modifier is based on the selected probability of obtaining said modifier in the second round;
(viii) enabling the player to pick one of said selections;
(ix) revealing if said modifier is associated with the player picked selection;
(x) applying said modifier to any revealed values of said first round to form a modified value of said second round, if said modifier is associated with the player picked selection;
(xi) providing said modified value if said modifier is associated with the player picked selection; and
(xii) providing any revealed values of said first round if said modifier is not associated with the player picked selection.
48. The gaming device of claim 47, which includes a plurality of terminators.
49. The gaming device of claim 48, wherein the processor is operable to provide the player one of said terminators in the first round if the player's picked selection is not associated with said selected value.
50. The gaming device of claim 49, wherein said terminating event occurs when the player is provided a designated number of terminators.
51. The gaming device of claim 47, wherein the higher the number of revealed values of said first round, the lower the probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round.
52. A gaming device comprising:
a first round;
a plurality of values of said first round;
a plurality of opportunities of said first round, wherein each opportunity is associated with a probability of obtaining one of said values;
a plurality of selections;
a second round including a modifier;
a plurality of probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round;
a display device; and
a processor operable with the display device to:
(a) enable a player to play said first round, wherein said first round includes:
(i) selecting one of said opportunities of said first round;
(ii) selecting one of said values for said selected opportunity;
(iii) associating said selected value with at least one of said selections, wherein the number of selections associated with said selected value is based on the probability associated with said selected opportunity;
(iv) enabling the player to pick one of said selections;
(v) revealing if said selected value is associated with the player picked selection; and
(vi) repeating steps (i) to (v) until the occurrence of a terminating event;
(b) enabling the player to play said second round after the occurrence of said terminating event, wherein said second round includes:
(vii) selecting one of said probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round, wherein said probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round is selected based on the number of revealed values of said first round;
(viii) associating said modifier with at least one of said selections, wherein the number of selections associated with said modifier is based on the selected probability of obtaining said modifier in the second round;
(ix) enabling the player to pick one of said selections;
(x) revealing if said modifier is associated with the player picked selection;
(xi) applying said modifier to any revealed values of said first round to form a modified value of said second round, if said modifier is associated with the player picked selection;
(xii) providing said modified value if said modifier is associated with the player picked selection; and
(xiii) providing any revealed values of said first round if said modifier is not associated with the player picked selection.
53. The gaming device of claim 52, wherein said terminating event occurs when the steps (i) to (v) are repeated for a designated number of opportunities.
54. The gaming device of claim 52, which includes a plurality of terminators.
55. The gaming device of claim 54, wherein the processor is operable to provide the player one of said terminators in the first round if the player's picked selection is not associated with said selected value.
56. The gaming device of claim 55, wherein said terminating event occurs when the player is provided a designated number of terminators.
57. The gaming device of claim 52, wherein the higher the number of revealed values of said first round, the lower the probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round.
58. A gaming device comprising:
a primary wagering game operable upon a wager by a player;
a first round;
a plurality of values of said first round, wherein each value is associated with a probability;
a second round including a modifier;
a plurality of probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round; and
a triggering event associated with said primary wagering game, wherein after the occurrence of said triggering event:
(a) the player is enabled to play said first round, wherein in said first round:
(i) one of said plurality of values is selected;
(ii) a determination occurs of whether to provide said selected value to the player, wherein said determination is based on the probability associated with the selected value;
(iii) said selected value is provided to the player if said determination is to provide said selected value to the player; and
(iv) steps (i) to (iii) are repeated until the occurrence of a terminating event;
(b) the player is enabled to play said second round after the occurrence of said terminating event, wherein in said second round:
(v) one of said probabilities of obtaining said modifier of said second round is selected, wherein said probability of obtaining said modifier is selected based on the number of provided values of said first round;
(vi) a determination occurs of whether the player obtains said modifier, wherein said determination is based on said selected probability of obtaining said modifier;
(vii) said modifier is applied to any provided values of said first round to form a modified value of said second round, if said determination is that the player obtains said modifier; and
(viii) said modified value is provided to the player if said determination is that the player obtains said modifier.
59. The gaming device of claim 58, wherein the higher the number of provided values of said first round, the lower the probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round.
60. The gaming device of claim 58, wherein the higher the number of provided values of said first round, the higher the probability of obtaining said modifier of said second round.
Description
PRIORITY CLAIM

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of and claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/114,837, filed Apr. 2, 2002, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety, and which is a continuation and claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/628,144, filed Jul. 28, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,406,369.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0002] This application is related to the following commonly-owned co-pending patent application: “GAMING DEVICE HAVING A PLURALITY OF MULTIPLE-IMAGE PANELS,” Ser. No. 10/243,707, Attorney Docket No. 0114104-005; and “GAMING DEVICE HAVING A GAME WITH DECREASING PROBABILITIES OF SUCCESS,” Ser. No. 10/238,273, Attorney Docket No. 0112300-1057.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

[0003] 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.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] Gaming machines currently exist with bonus schemes in which a player has one or more opportunities to choose bonus awards that are initially masked from a group of symbols arranged in a pattern displayed to the player. When the player chooses a masked symbol from the pattern, the bonus scheme removes the mask and either awards the player with a bonus value or terminates the bonus round with a bonus terminator. The outcome depends upon whether the player selects an award or a terminator. The controller of the gaming machine randomly places a predetermined number of bonus awards and bonus terminators in the pattern at the beginning of the bonus round and maintains the positioning until the bonus round terminates.

[0005] When the player selects a symbol that awards a bonus value, the player receives bonus credits, the bonus scheme typically displays a message that the player may continue and enables the player to select another symbol. The player then selects another masked symbol, and the process continues until the player selects a bonus round terminator. 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 bonus scheme of this type.

[0006] In the above type of scheme, a prior selection does not affect the current selection except to the extent that one less selection possibility exists. The bonus scheme may also end quite quickly if the player selects a bonus terminator early in the bonus round. While the European Patent Application No. EP 0 945 837 discloses a “bonus resource” that a player may obtain during the base game of the gaming device, which the player can thereafter apply during the bonus round, the “bonus resource” may only extend the life of the bonus round momentarily before the player again selects a bonus terminator. The application discloses that the “bonus resource” is not certain to occur in the base game, so that the player may not have a bonus resource in the bonus round. Finally, the player blindly selects masked symbols until selecting the bonus terminator, which is immediately displayed. The player sees only the result, an award or a terminator.

[0007] Bonus schemes provide gaming manufacturers with the opportunity to add enjoyment and excitement to that which is already expected from the base game. Excitement and enjoyment increases when the level of interaction between the bonus scheme increases and also when the bonus round remains compelling for an extended period of time. It is therefore desirable to create a bonus scheme in which a current selection relates to or impacts a later selection. It is also desirable to provide a bonus round that remains compelling for an extended period of time even if the player does not ultimately fare well in the bonus round. Finally, a bonus scheme can increase excitement and enjoyment by depicting the success or failure during the bonus scheme, not merely the end result.

[0008] Additionally, known gaming devices include games having several award levels. Generally, the awards in these games increase as the award levels in the game increase. Therefore, as a player progresses in one of these games, the award levels and the associated awards increase in the game.

[0009] Gaming devices that increase the awards and provide large awards are desirable. Therefore, to increase player enjoyment and excitement, it is desirable to provide new games and gaming devices which increase the award levels in a game to provide greater award values and larger awards to players in the game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The present invention relates in general to a gaming device, and more particularly to a gaming device having a multiple round game where success in one round determines probabilities of success in another round.

[0011] In one embodiment of the present invention, the gaming device includes a plurality of rounds, games or stages. Each round, game or stage includes at least one and preferably a plurality of outcomes, such as awards or modifiers. Upon a triggering event, the gaming device initiates a first round, game or stage and generates or determines at least one outcome for the initiated first round. In one embodiment, the gaming device generates or determines each first round outcome without any player involvement. In another embodiment, the gaming device enables the player to input at least one choice or decision in the first round and each first round outcome is generated or determined based on the player's choice or decision. Each determined outcome is provided to or accumulated for the player.

[0012] Upon the occurrence of a terminating event in the first round, game or stage, the gaming device initiates a subsequent or second round, game or stage. The subsequent round includes at least one successful outcome and a plurality of probabilities of obtaining the successful outcome. Upon the initiation of the subsequent round, the gaming device selects or determines one of the probabilities of obtaining the successful outcome, wherein the probability of obtaining the successful outcome is selected or determined based on the outcome in the first round. That is, the outcome the player obtains in one round alters or changes the player's probabilities of obtaining a successful outcome in at least one subsequent round.

[0013] In one embodiment, if the player obtains a successful outcome in one round, the player has a lower probability of obtaining a successful outcome in a subsequent round. In other words, the more successful the player is in a first round, game or stage, the more difficult it is for the player to succeed in at least one subsequent round, game or stage. In another embodiment, if the player obtains a successful outcome in one round, the player has a higher probability of obtaining a successful outcome in a subsequent round. That is, the more successful the player is in a first round, game or stage, the easier it is for the player to succeed in at least one subsequent round, game or stage.

[0014] The gaming device determines whether the player obtains the successful outcome for the subsequent round wherein the determination is based on the selected probability of obtaining the successful outcome. In one embodiment, the gaming device determines whether the player obtains the successful outcome for the subsequent round based on the selected probability of obtaining the successful outcome and without any player involvement. In another embodiment, the gaming device enables the player to input at least one choice or decision in the subsequent round and gaming device determines whether the player obtains the successful outcome for the subsequent round based on the player's choice or decision and the selected probability of obtaining the successful outcome.

[0015] If the gaming device determines that the player does not obtain the successful outcome from the subsequent round, then any outcome from the first round is provided to the player and the multi-round sequence ends. If the gaming device determines that the player obtains the successful outcome of the subsequent round, then any outcome from the first round and the successful outcome from the subsequent round are provided to the player and the multi-round sequence ends. In one embodiment, any outcome from the first round and any outcome from the second round are each provided to the player. In another embodiment, any outcome from the first round is combined with any outcome from the subsequent round to form the outcome that is provided to the player.

[0016] In an alternative embodiment, the gaming device proceeds to at least one additional subsequent round, game or stage as described above wherein the outcome of the additional subsequent round, game or stage is based on the outcomes in at least one of the previous rounds, games or stages. That is, the probability of success in each additional subsequent round is based on the outcomes in at least one of the previous rounds. In another embodiment, the outcome of each additional subsequent round is based on the outcomes in each of the previous rounds.

[0017] In one embodiment of the present invention, a first round, game or stage includes a plurality of awards that can potentially be obtained by the player. The first round, game or stage includes a plurality of opportunities for a player to obtain one of the awards. Each opportunity is associated with a probability or odds that the player will obtain or accumulate an award. That is, for each presented opportunity, the player will obtain or fail to obtain an award based on the probability associated with the presented opportunity. In this embodiment, for each failed opportunity (i.e., the player is presented with an opportunity to obtain an award but does not obtain an award), the player is provided or accumulates a failed opportunity or terminator. In the first round, the player is enabled to obtain a designated number of failed opportunities or terminators before the first round ends and any subsequent round begins.

[0018] In one embodiment, for a first opportunity to obtain an award, the gaming device selects one of the plurality of awards. The gaming device indicates or displays a plurality of selections or inputs and associates the selected award with at least one of the selections. The number of selections that are associated with the selected award is based on the probability associated with the first opportunity to obtain an award. For example, if for one opportunity, there is an eighty percent probability associated with obtaining an award, then eighty percent of the selections will be associated with the selected award. In this embodiment, the gaming device enables the player to pick one of the selections, for example in response to a question or other prompting by the gaming device. The gaming device reveals if the award is associated with the player picked selection and any revealed award is provided to or accumulated by the player.

[0019] In an alternative embodiment, the gaming device enables the player to pick a selection or input in response to a prompting as described above, however, the gaming device does not associate the selected award with at least one selection. In this embodiment, the gaming device determines based on the probability associated with the presented opportunity whether the player obtains the selected award and if the gaming device determines that the player obtains the selected award, the selected award is provided to or accumulated by the player when the player picks one of the selections.

[0020] If the player obtains or accumulates the selected award, the gaming device determines if the player has obtained each of the plurality of awards that may be obtained by the player in the first round. If the player has obtained each of the plurality of awards, the gaming device ends the first round and initiates any subsequent round. In an alternative embodiment, if the player has obtained each of the plurality of awards, the gaming device provides the player an additional or bonus award, ends the first round and does not initiate any subsequent round. If the player has not obtained each of the plurality of awards, the gaming device determines if at least one opportunity to obtain an award remains. If at least one opportunity to obtain an award remains, the gaming device provides the player another opportunity to obtain an award in the first round as described above. If at least one opportunity to obtain an award does not remain, the gaming device ends the first round and initiates any subsequent round.

[0021] If the player fails to obtain an award, the player obtains a failed opportunity or terminator and the gaming device determines if the player has obtained the designated number of failed opportunities or terminators. If the player has not obtained the designated number of failed opportunities or terminators and there is at least one opportunity to obtain an award remaining, the gaming device provides the player another opportunity to obtain an award in the first round as described above. If the player has obtained the designated number of failed opportunities or terminators, then the gaming device ends the first round and initiates any subsequent round.

[0022] In one embodiment, if the gaming device provides the player with another opportunity to obtain an award, in the next opportunity, the player tries to obtain the same award that the player failed to obtain with the previous opportunity. In another embodiment, the player tries to obtain a different one of the plurality of opportunities. Regardless of the award the player is trying to obtain, the next provided opportunity is associated with a probability of obtaining an award and the player obtains or fails to obtain the award based on the associated probability.

[0023] If the gaming device provides the player with another opportunity to obtain an award in the first round, the gaming device proceeds as described above until the player obtains each of the plurality of obtainable awards, reaches the designated number of failed opportunities or the player has no remaining opportunities to obtain an award in the first round. When the player obtains each of the plurality of obtainable awards, reaches the designated number of failed opportunities or the player has no remaining opportunities, the gaming device ends the first round and initiates any subsequent round. In one embodiment, if the player obtains each of the plurality of obtainable awards, the gaming device provides the player an additional award.

[0024] In one embodiment, upon the initiation of the subsequent round (i.e., the conclusion of the first round, game or stage), the player is provided the opportunity to obtain an additional award, such as a modifier that will modify any awards obtained in the previous round. In this subsequent round, the probability of the player obtaining the modifier is based on the number of awards the player obtained in the previous round. That is, there is a correlation or relationship between the outcome obtained in a first round and the probability of obtaining at least one outcome in at least one subsequent round. In one embodiment, the greater the number of awards obtained in the previous round, the lower the probability that the player will obtain the modifier in the subsequent round. That is, the obtained awards in the first round are inversely related to the probability of obtaining a modifier in the next round.

[0025] In one embodiment, the gaming device determines based on the number of provided awards and the total number of awards available, the probability or chance of obtaining a modifier in the subsequent round. In one embodiment, for each non-obtained award in the first round, the subsequent round includes a modifier in the subsequent round. The subsequent round also includes at least one non-modifier and enables the player to obtain one of the modifiers or non-modifiers. It should be appreciated that the non-modifier is to introduce an element of risk and not guarantee that the player obtains the modifier in the subsequent round. For example, if the player obtained three out of eight possible awards in the first round (i.e., five non-obtained awards), then the player has a five out of six chance or probability of obtaining a modifier in the next or subsequent round. It should be appreciated that any suitable mathematical formula or equation based on the outcome of the previous round may be implemented in the present invention to determine the probability of the player obtaining a favorable outcome in a subsequent round.

[0026] In one embodiment, the gaming device randomly determines, based on the determined probability, whether the player obtains a favorable or successful outcome, for example a modifier, in the subsequent round. In one embodiment, the gaming device determines, based on the determined probability, whether the player obtains a favorable or successful outcome in the subsequent round without any player involvement. In another embodiment, the gaming device enables the player to input at least one choice or decision in the first round and the gaming device determines whether the player obtains a favorable or successful outcome in the subsequent round based on the player's choice or decision and the determined probability.

[0027] In one embodiment, the gaming device displays or indicates to the player a plurality of selections and associates at least one of the selections with a modifier. The number of selections associated with the modifier is based on the determined probability. For example, if the player has a five out of six chance or probability of obtaining the modifier, then the gaming device displays six selections and associates five of the selections with the modifier. The gaming device then enables the player to pick one of the selections. If the player picks a selection associated with the modifier, the player is provided an award based on any outcome of the first round and the modifier from the subsequent round and the multi-round sequence ends. If the player does not pick a selection associated with the modifier, then any outcome from the first round is provided to the player and the multi-round sequence ends.

[0028] In an alternative embodiment, upon the conclusion of the first round, game or stage, the player is offered any award obtained in the first round and given the option of accepting the offer or continuing onto the second or subsequent round, game or stage. In this embodiment, the offered award from the first round may be reduced or otherwise negatively modified in the subsequent round. In one embodiment, the greater the offered award from the first round, the greater the chance that the player will obtain a negative outcome (i.e., the award from the first round will be reduced or otherwise negatively modified) in the subsequent round. In this embodiment, if the player decides to accept the offer, the multi-round game ends. If the player decides to continue to the subsequent round, then the gaming device initiates the subsequent round and enables the player to play the subsequent round. In one embodiment, the player is informed of the relationship between succeeding in the first round and the probability of succeeding or having their offered award reduced in the subsequent round and the player's decision to accept the offered award from the first round or continue onto the subsequent round is influenced by this information.

[0029] In an alternative embodiment, a plurality of rounds of the multi-round game are displayed to the player on a plurality of shared mechanical or electromechanical display devices. In this embodiment, each display includes or is associated with an outcome or award for a first round and an outcome or modifier for a subsequent round. If during the play of the first round, a display device indicates an award (i.e., the player obtains the award associated with the display), then the outcome for the subsequent round is excluded or unavailable to be obtained by the player in the subsequent round. For example, if a display device indicates or is associated with an award of ten for a first round and a modifier of five for a subsequent round and the player obtains the associated award of ten during the first round, then the associated modifier of five is excluded or otherwise not available in the subsequent round. In this embodiment, as described above, the outcome of a first round will modify the probabilities of a successful outcome in a subsequent round. That is, in this embodiment, the more awards the player obtains in the first round, the less modifiers will be available to be obtained in the subsequent round. This embodiment provides a multi-round game wherein certain outcomes are excluded from being obtained by a player in a subsequent round based on the outcome obtained by the player in a previous round. That is, the exclusion or elimination of one or more modifiers in a first round (i.e., by the player obtaining one or more associated awards) determines the expected value of the obtained modifier in the subsequent round.

[0030] The present invention accordingly provides a multi-round game wherein the outcome obtained in one round influences or alters the probability of obtaining a successful outcome in at least one subsequent round.

[0031] 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

[0032]FIG. 1A is a front-side perspective view of one embodiment of the gaming device of the present invention.

[0033]FIG. 1B is a front-side perspective view of another embodiment of the gaming device of the present invention.

[0034]FIG. 2A is a schematic block diagram of the electronic configuration of one embodiment of the gaming device of the present invention.

[0035]FIG. 2B is a schematic block diagram illustrating a plurality of gaming terminals in communication with a central controller.

[0036]FIGS. 3A and 3B are tables illustrating the plurality of opportunities for a player to obtain an award wherein each opportunity is associated with a probability of the player obtaining an award.

[0037]FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 4F and 4G are front elevational views of one embodiment of the present invention illustrating the player obtaining a number of awards in a first round.

[0038]FIG. 5 is a table illustrating the relationship of how any obtained award in one round influences the probability of obtaining an award in a subsequent round.

[0039]FIGS. 6A, 6B and 6C are front elevational views of one embodiment of the present invention illustrating the player obtaining a modifier in a subsequent round, wherein the probability of obtaining the modifier is based on the player's success in the previous round.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION General

[0040] Referring now to the drawings, two alternative 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.

[0041] In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, gaming device 10 has a support structure, housing or cabinet which provides support for a plurality of displays, inputs, controls and other features of a conventional gaming machine. It is configured so that a player can operate it while standing or sitting. The gaming device may be positioned on a base or stand or can be configured as a pub-style table-top game (not shown) which a player can operate preferably while sitting. As illustrated by the different configurations shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the gaming device can be constructed with varying cabinet and display configurations,.

[0042] In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 2A, the gaming device preferably includes at least one processor 12, such as a microprocessor, a microcontroller-based platform, a suitable integrated circuit or one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC's). The processor is in communication with or operable to access or to exchange signals with at least one data storage or memory device 14. In one embodiment, the processor and the memory device reside within the cabinet of the gaming device. The memory device stores program code and instructions, executable by the processor, to control the gaming device. The memory device also stores other data such as image data, event data, player input data, random or pseudo-random number generators, pay-table data or other operating data, information and applicable game rules that relate to the play of the gaming device. In another embodiment, the memory device includes random access memory (RAM). In one embodiment, the memory device includes read only memory (ROM). In a further embodiment, the memory device includes flash memory and/or EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read only memory). Any other suitable magnetic, optical and/or semiconductor memory may be implemented in conjunction with the gaming device of the present invention.

[0043] In one embodiment, part or all of the program code and/or operating data described above can be stored in a detachable or removable memory device, including, but not limited to, a suitable cartridge, disk or CD ROM. A player can use such a removable memory device in a desktop, a laptop personal computer, a personal digital assistant (PDA) or other computerized platform. The processor and memory device may be collectively referred to herein as a “computer” or “controller.”

[0044] In one embodiment, as discussed in more detail below, the gaming device randomly generates awards and/or other game outcomes based on probability data. That is, each award or other game outcome is associated with a probability and the gaming device generates the award or other game outcome to be provided to the player based on the associated probabilities. In this embodiment, since the gaming device generates outcomes randomly or based upon a probability calculation, there is no certainty that the gaming device will provide the player with any specific award or other game outcome.

[0045] In another embodiment, as discussed in more detail below, the gaming device employs a predetermined or finite set or pool of awards or other game outcomes. In this embodiment, as each award or other game outcome is provided to the player, the gaming device removes the provided award or other game outcome from the predetermined set or pool. Once removed from the set or pool, the specific provided award or other game outcome cannot be provided to the player again. In this type of embodiment, the gaming device provides players with all of the available awards or other game outcomes over the course of the play cycle and guarantees a designated amount of actual wins and losses.

[0046] In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 2A, the gaming device includes one or more display devices controlled by the processor. The display devices are preferably connected to or mounted to the cabinet of the gaming device. The embodiment shown in FIG. 1A includes a central display device 16 which displays a primary game. This display device may also display any suitable secondary game associated with the primary game as well as information relating to the primary or secondary game. The alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 1B includes a central display device 16 and an upper display device 18. The upper display device may display the primary game, any suitable secondary game associated with the primary game and/or information relating to the primary or secondary game. As seen in FIGS. 1A and 1B, in one embodiment, the gaming device includes a credit display 20 which displays a player's current number of credits, cash, account balance or the equivalent. In one embodiment, the gaming device includes a bet display 22 which displays a player's amount wagered.

[0047] The display devices may include, without limitation, a monitor, a television display, a plasma display, a liquid crystal display (LCD), a display based on light emitting diodes (LED) or any other suitable electronic device or display mechanism. In one embodiment, as described in more detail below, the display device includes a touch-screen with an associated touch-screen controller. The display devices may be of any suitable configuration, such as a square, a rectangle or an elongated rectangle.

[0048] The display devices of the gaming device are configured to display at least one and preferably a plurality of games or other suitable images, symbols and indicia such as any visual representation or exhibition of the movement of objects such as mechanical, virtual or video reels and wheels, dynamic lighting, video images and images of people, characters, places, things and faces of cards, tournament advertisements, promotions and the like.

[0049] In one alternative embodiment, the symbols, images and indicia displayed on or by the display device may be in mechanical form. That is, the display device may include any suitable electromechanical device which preferable moves one or more mechanical objects, such as one or more mechanical rotatable wheels, reels or dice, configured to display at least one and preferably a plurality of games or other suitable images, symbols or indicia.

[0050] As illustrated in FIG. 2A, in one embodiment, the gaming device includes at least one payment acceptor 24 in communication with the processor. As seen in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the payment acceptor may include a coin slot 26 and a payment, note or bill acceptor 28, where the player inserts money, coins or tokens. The player can place coins in the coin slot or paper money, ticket or voucher into the payment, note or bill acceptor. In other embodiments, devices such as readers or validators for credit cards, debit cards, data cards or credit slips could be used for accepting payment. In one embodiment, a player may insert an identification card into a card reader of the gaming device. In one embodiment, the identification card is a smart card having a programmed microchip or a magnetic strip coded with a player's identification, credit totals and other relevant information. In one embodiment, money may be transferred to a gaming device through electronic funds transfer. When a player funds the gaming device, the processor determines the amount of funds entered and the corresponding amount is shown on the credit or other suitable display as described above.

[0051] As seen in FIGS. 1A, 1B and 2A, in one embodiment the gaming device includes at least one and preferably a plurality of input devices 30 in communication with the processor. The input devices can include any suitable device which enables the player to produce an input signal which is read by the processor. In one embodiment, after appropriate funding of the gaming device, the input device is a game activation device, such as a pull arm 32 or a play button 34 which is used by the player to start any primary game or sequence of events in the gaming device. The play button can be any suitable play activator such as a bet one button, a max bet button or a repeat the bet button. In one embodiment, upon appropriate funding, the gaming device begins the game play automatically. In another embodiment, upon the player engaging one of the play buttons, the gaming device automatically activates game play.

[0052] In one embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, one input device is a bet one button 36. The player places a bet by pushing the bet one button. The player can increase the bet by one credit each time the player pushes the bet one button. When the player pushes the bet one button, the number of credits shown in the credit display preferably decreases by one, and the number of credits shown in the bet display preferably increases by one. In another embodiment, one input device is a bet max button (not shown) which enables the player to bet the maximum wager permitted for a game associated with the gaming device.

[0053] In one embodiment, one input device is a cash out button 38. The player may push the cash out button and cash out to receive a cash payment or other suitable form of payment corresponding to the number of remaining credits. In one embodiment, when the player cashes out, the player receives the coins or tokens in a coin payout tray 40. In one embodiment, when the player cashes out, the player may receive other payout mechanisms such as tickets or credit slips which are redeemable by a cashier or funded to the player's electronically recordable identification card.

[0054] In one embodiment, as mentioned above and seen in FIG. 2A, one input device is a touch-screen 42 coupled with a touch-screen controller 44, or some other touch-sensitive display overlay to allow for player interaction with the images on the display. The touch-screen and the touch-screen controller are connected to a video controller 46. A player can make decisions and input signals into the gaming device by touching the touch-screen at the appropriate places.

[0055] The gaming device may further include a plurality of communication ports for enabling communication of the processor with external peripherals, such as external video sources, expansion buses, game or other displays, an SCSI port or a key pad.

[0056] In one embodiment, as seen in FIG. 2A, the gaming device includes a sound generating device controlled by one or more sounds cards 48 which function in conjunction with the processor. In one embodiment, the sound generating device includes at least one and preferably a plurality of speakers 50 or other sound generating hardware and/or software for generating sounds, such as playing music for the primary and/or secondary game or for other modes of the gaming device, such as an attract mode. In one embodiment, the gaming device provides dynamic sounds coupled with attractive multimedia images displayed on one or more of the display devices to provide an audio-visual representation or to otherwise display full-motion video with sound to attract players to the gaming device. During idle periods, the gaming device may display a sequence of audio and/or visual attraction messages to attract potential players to the gaming device. The videos may also be customized for or to provide any appropriate information.

[0057] In one embodiment, the gaming machine may include a player or other sensor, such as a camera in communication with the processor (and possibly controlled by the processor) that is selectively positioned to acquire an image of a player actively using the gaming device and/or the surrounding area of the gaming device. In one embodiment, the camera may be configured to selectively acquire still or moving (e.g., video) images and may be configured to acquire the images in either an analog, digital or other suitable format. The display device may be configured to display the image acquired by the camera as well as display the visible manifestation of the game in split screen or picture-in-picture fashion. For example, the camera may acquire an image of the player and that image can be incorporated into the primary and/or secondary game as a game image, symbol or indicia.

[0058] The gaming device can incorporate any suitable wagering primary or base game. The gaming machine or device of the present invention may include some or all of the features of conventional gaming machines or devices. The primary or base game may comprise any suitable reel-type game, card game, number game or other game of chance susceptible to representation in an electronic or electromechanical form which produces a random outcome based on probability data upon activation of the game from a wager made by the player. That is, different primary wagering games, such as video poker games, video blackjack games, video keno, video bingo or any other suitable primary or base game may be implemented into the present invention.

[0059] In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, a base or primary game may be a slot game with one or more paylines 52. The paylines may be horizontal, vertical, circular, diagonal, angled or any combination thereof. In this embodiment, the gaming device displays at least one reel and preferably a plurality of reels 54, such as three to five reels, in either electromechanical form with mechanical rotating reels or in video form with simulated reels and movement thereof. In one embodiment, an electromechanical slot machine includes a plurality of adjacent, rotatable wheels which may be combined and operably coupled with an electronic display of any suitable type. In another embodiment, if the reels are in video form, the plurality of simulated video reels are displayed on one or more of the display devices as described above. Each reel 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. In this embodiment, the gaming device awards prizes when the reels of the primary game stop spinning if specified types and/or configurations of indicia or symbols occur on an active pay line or otherwise occur in a winning combination or pattern.

[0060] In one embodiment, a base or primary game may be a poker game wherein the gaming device enables the player to play a conventional game of video poker and initially deals five cards, all face up, from a virtual deck of fifty-two cards. Cards may be dealt as in a traditional game of cards or in the case of the gaming device, the cards may be randomly selected from a predetermined number of cards. If the player wishes to draw, the player selects the cards to hold by using one or more input devices, such as pressing related hold buttons or touching a corresponding area on a touch-screen. After the player presses the deal button, the processor of the gaming device removes the unwanted or discarded cards from the display and deals replacement cards from the remaining cards in the deck. This results in a final five-card hand. The processor of the gaming device compares the final five-card hand to a payout table which utilizes conventional poker hand rankings to determine the winning hands. Award based on a winning hand and the credits wagered is provided to the player.

[0061] In another embodiment, the base or primary game may be a multi-hand version of video poker. In this embodiment, the player is dealt at least two hands of cards. In one such embodiment, the cards in all of the dealt hands are the same cards. In one embodiment each hand of cards is associated with its own deck of cards. The player chooses the cards to hold in a primary hand. The held cards in the primary hand are also held in the other hands of cards. The remaining non-held cards are removed from each displayed hand and replaced with randomly dealt cards. Since the replacement cards are randomly dealt independently for each hand, the replacement cards will usually be different for each hand. The poker hand rankings are then determined hand by hand and awards are provided to the player.

[0062] In one embodiment, a base or primary game may be a keno game wherein the gaming device displays a plurality of selectable indicia or numbers on at least one of the display devices. In this embodiment, the player selects at least one and preferably a plurality of the selectable indicia or numbers by using an input device or by using the touch-screen. The gaming device then displays a series of drawn numbers to determine an amount of matches, if any, between the player's selected numbers and the gaming device's drawn numbers. The player is provided an award, if any, based on the amount of determined matches.

[0063] In one embodiment, in addition to winning credits in a base or primary game, the gaming device may also give players the opportunity to win credits in a bonus or secondary game or bonus or secondary round. The bonus or secondary game enables the player to obtain a bonus prize or payout in addition to the prize or payout, if any, obtained from the base or primary game. In general, a bonus or secondary game produces a significantly higher level of player excitement than the base or primary game because it provides a greater expectation of winning than the base or primary game and is accompanied with more attractive or unusual features than the base or primary game.

[0064] In one embodiment, the bonus or secondary game may be any type of suitable game, either similar to or completely different from the base or primary game. In one embodiment, the gaming device includes a program code which causes the processor to automatically begin a bonus round when the player has achieved a triggering event, a qualifying condition or other designated game event in the base or primary game. In one embodiment, the triggering event or qualifying condition may be a selected outcome in the primary game or a particular arrangement of one or more indicia on a display device in the primary game, such as the number seven appearing on three adjacent reels along a payline in the primary slot game embodiment seen in FIGS. 1A and 1B. In another embodiment, the triggering event or qualifying condition may be triggered by exceeding a certain amount of game play (number of games, number of credits, amount of time), earning a specified number of points during game play or as a random award.

[0065] In one embodiment, once a player has qualified for a bonus game, the player may subsequently enhance their bonus game participation by returning to the base or primary game for continued play. Thus, for each bonus qualifying event, such as a bonus symbol, that the player obtains, a given number of bonus game wagering points or credits may be accumulated in a “bonus meter” programmed to accrue the bonus wagering credits or entries toward eventual participation in a bonus game. The occurrence of multiple bonus qualifying events in the primary game may result in an arithmetic or geometric increase in the number of bonus wagering credits awarded. In one embodiment, extra bonus wagering credits may be redeemed during the bonus game to extend play of the bonus game.

[0066] In one embodiment, no separate entry fee or buy in for a bonus game need be employed. That is, a player may not purchase an entry into a bonus game. The player must win or earn entry through play of the primary game, thereby encouraging play of the primary game. In another embodiment, qualification of the bonus or secondary game could be accomplished through a simple “buy in” by the player if, for example, the player has been unsuccessful at qualifying for the bonus game through other specified activities.

[0067] In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 2B, one or more of the gaming devices 10 of the present invention may be connected to a data network or a remote communication link 58 with some or all of the functions of each gaming device provided at a central location such as a central server or central controller 56. More specifically, the processor of each gaming device may be designed to facilitate transmission of signals between the individual gaming device and the central server or controller.

[0068] In one embodiment, the game outcome provided to the player is determined by a central server or controller and provided to the player at the gaming device of the present invention. In this embodiment, each of a plurality of such gaming devices are in communication with the central server or controller. Upon a player initiating game play at one of the gaming devices, the initiated gaming device communicates a game outcome request to the central server or controller.

[0069] In one embodiment, the central server or controller receives the game outcome request and randomly generates a game outcome for the primary game based on probability data. In another embodiment, the central server or controller randomly generates a game outcome for the secondary game based on probability data. In another embodiment, the central server or controller randomly generates a game outcome for both the primary game and the secondary game based on probability data. In this embodiment, the central server or controller is capable of storing and utilizing program code or other data similar to the processor and memory device of the gaming device.

[0070] In an alternative embodiment, the central server or controller maintains one or more predetermined pools or sets of predetermined game outcomes. In this embodiment, the central server or controller receives the game outcome request and independently selects a predetermined game outcome from a set or pool of game outcomes. The central server or controller flags or marks the selected game outcome as used. Once a game outcome is flagged as used, it is prevented from further selection from the set or pool and cannot be selected by the central controller or server upon another wager. The provided game outcome can include a primary game outcome, a secondary game outcome, primary and secondary game outcomes, or a series of game outcomes such a free games.

[0071] The central server or controller communicates the generated or selected game outcome to the initiated gaming device. The gaming device receives the generated or selected game outcome and provides the game outcome to the player. In an alternative embodiment, how the generated or selected game outcome is to be presented or displayed to the player, such as a reel symbol combination of a slot machine or a hand of cards dealt in a card game, is also determined by the central server or controller and communicated to the initiated gaming device to be presented or displayed to the player. Central production or control can assist a gaming establishment or other entity in maintaining appropriate records, controlling gaming, reducing and/or preventing cheating or electronic or other errors, reducing or eliminating win-loss volatility and the like.

[0072] In another embodiment, one or more of the gaming devices of the present invention are in communication with a central server or controller for monitoring purposes only. That is, each individual gaming device randomly generates the game outcomes to be provided to the player and the central server or controller monitors the activities and events occurring on the plurality of gaming devices. In one embodiment, the gaming network includes a real-time or an on-line accounting and gaming information system operably coupled to the central server or controller. The accounting and gaming information system of this embodiment includes a player database for storing player profiles, a player tracking module for tracking players and a credit system for providing automated casino transactions.

[0073] A plurality of the gaming devices of the present invention are capable of being connected to a data network. In one embodiment, the data network is a local area network (LAN), in which one or more of the gaming devices are substantially proximate to each other and an on-site central server or controller as in, for example, a gaming establishment or a portion of a gaming establishment. In another embodiment, the data network is a wide area network (WAN) in which one or more of the gaming devices are in communication with at least one off-site central server or controller. In this embodiment, the plurality of gaming devices may be located in a different part of the gaming establishment or within a different gaming establishment than the off-site central server or controller. Thus, the WAN may include an off-site central server or controller and an off-site gaming device located within gaming establishments in the same geographic area, such as a city or state. The WAN gaming system of the present invention may be substantially identical to the LAN gaming system described above, although the number of gaming devices in each system may vary relative to each other.

[0074] In another embodiment, the data network is an internet or intranet. In this embodiment, the operation of the gaming device can be viewed at the gaming device with at least one internet browser. In this embodiment, operation of the gaming device and accumulation of credits may be accomplished with only a connection to the central server or controller (the internet/intranet server or webserver) through a conventional phone or other data transmission line, digital signal line (DSL), T-1 line, coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, wireless gateway or other suitable connection. In this embodiment, players may access an internet game page from any location where an internet connection and computer, or other internet facilitator are available. The expansion in the number of computers and number and speed of internet connections in recent years increases opportunities for players to play from an ever-increasing number of remote sites. It should be appreciated that enhanced bandwidth of digital wireless communications may render such technology suitable for some or all communications according to the present invention, particularly if such communications are encrypted. Higher data transmission speeds may be useful for enhancing the sophistication and response of the display and interaction with the player.

[0075] In another embodiment, a plurality of gaming devices at one or more gaming sites may be networked to a central server in a progressive configuration, as known in the art, wherein a portion of each wager to initiate a base or primary game may be allocated to bonus or secondary event awards. In one embodiment, a host site computer is coupled to a plurality of the central servers at a variety of mutually remote gaming sites for providing a multi-site linked progressive automated gaming system. In one embodiment, a host site computer may serve gaming devices distributed throughout a number of properties at different geographical locations including, for example, different locations within a city or different cities within a state.

[0076] In one embodiment, the host site computer is maintained for the overall operation and control of the system. In this embodiment, a host site computer oversees the entire progressive gaming system and is the master for computing all progressive jackpots. All participating gaming sites report to, and receive information from, the host site computer. Each central server computer is responsible for all data communication between the gaming device hardware and software and the host site computer.

Multi-Round Game

[0077] In one embodiment of the present invention, the gaming device includes at least one and preferably a plurality of rounds, games or stages. Each round, game or stage includes a plurality of outcomes, such as awards or modifiers. Upon a triggering event, the gaming device initiates a first round, game or stage of the present invention. At least one outcome is generated or determined for the initiated first round. In one embodiment, the gaming device generates or determines each first round outcome without any player involvement. In another embodiment, the gaming device enables the player to input at least one choice or decision in the first round and each first round outcome is generated or determined based on the player's choice or decision. The determined outcome is provided to or accumulated for the player.

[0078] Upon the occurrence of a terminating event in the first round, game or stage, the gaming device initiates a subsequent or second round, game or stage. The subsequent round includes at least one successful outcome and a plurality of probabilities of obtaining the successful outcome. Upon the initiation of the subsequent round, the gaming device selects or determines one of the probabilities of obtaining the successful outcome, wherein the probability of obtaining the successful outcome is selected or determined based on the outcome in the first round. That is, the outcome the player obtains in one round alters or changes the player's probabilities of obtaining a successful outcome in at least one subsequent round.

[0079] In one embodiment, if the player obtains a successful outcome in one round, the player has a lower probability of obtaining a successful outcome in a subsequent round. In other words, the more successful the player is in a first round, game or stage, the more difficult it is for the player to succeed in at least one subsequent round, game or stage. For example, if the player obtains an award of ten in the first round of the multi-round game, then in the second round, the player may have a 70% probability of obtaining a modifier to apply to the award of ten of the first game. On the other hand, if the player obtains an award of one-hundred in the first round of the multi-round game, then in the second round, the player may have a 20% probability of obtaining a modifier to apply to the award of one-hundred in the first game.

[0080] In another embodiment, if the player obtains a successful outcome in one round, the player has a higher probability of obtaining a successful outcome in a subsequent round. That is, the more successful the player is in a first round, game or stage, the easier it is for the player to succeed in at least one subsequent round, game or stage. For example, if the player obtains an award of ten in the first round of the multi-round game, then in the second round, the player may have a 20% probability of obtaining a modifier to apply to the award of ten of the first game. On the other hand, if the player obtains an award of one-hundred in the first round of the multi-round game, then in the second round, the player may have a 70% probability of obtaining a modifier to apply to the award of one-hundred in the first game. The probability of success in the second round can be also based on how many successes or failures occur in the first round.

[0081] Referring now to FIGS. 3A and 3B, in one embodiment of the present invention, a first round, game or stage of the multi-round game includes a plurality of opportunities or chances to obtain an award 70. Each opportunity or chance is associated with a probability that the player will obtain or accumulate an award 72. That is, for each presented or provided opportunity or chance, the player will obtain or fail to obtain an award, wherein the determination of if the player obtains or fails to obtain an award is based on the probability associated with the opportunity or chance. In this case, the gaming device will provide up to ten opportunities for the player to obtain an award, wherein each of the ten opportunities is associated with a separate or independent probability of obtaining an award. In this embodiment, two of the opportunities are each associated with a 100% probability of obtaining an award. That is, for each of these opportunities, the player is guaranteed to obtain an award.

[0082] In one embodiment, the probability of obtaining an award associated with each presented opportunity is predetermined. In another embodiment, the probability of obtaining an award associated with each presented opportunity is randomly determined each time the multi-round game is initiated. In another embodiment, the probability of obtaining an award associated with each presented opportunity is determined based on the player's wager, an occurrence in the primary wagering game or the triggering event that initiated the multi-round game. In one embodiment, each opportunity is associated with the same probability of providing an award. In another embodiment, a plurality of opportunities are each associated with a different probability of providing an award. In another embodiment, each opportunity is associated with a different probability of providing an award. In one embodiment, the probability of obtaining an award decreases for a plurality of or each subsequently presented opportunity. In another embodiment, the probability of obtaining an award increases for each subsequent presented opportunity. In another embodiment, the probability of obtaining an award decreases for a plurality of subsequent opportunities and increases for a plurality of subsequent opportunities. In another embodiment, the probability of obtaining an award is the same or equal for a plurality of subsequent presented opportunities. In another embodiment, the probability of obtaining an award is the same or equal for each subsequent presented opportunity.

[0083] Referring to FIG. 4A, in one embodiment of the present invention, the gaming device includes a screen or display 100 which enables a player to play a selection game to obtain one or more awards in a first round, game or stage. In one embodiment, the first round, game or stage includes a plurality of awards or values that can be obtained by the player. This embodiment includes a plurality of award or value indicators that are each operable to display one award or outcome obtained by the player in the first round. In this embodiment, the gaming device includes eight awards or values and eight award or value indicators 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, 112, 114 and 116. That is, in this embodiment, the player can potentially obtain eight awards in the first round of the multi-round game. It should be appreciated that the number of opportunities to obtain an award is at least equal to and preferably greater than the number of displayed award indicators. That is, because unless the player obtains an award for each presented opportunity, for at least one opportunity the player will not obtain an award and no award indicator will display an obtained award.

[0084] In one embodiment, the number of awards that the player can potentially obtain is predetermined. In another embodiment, the number of awards that the player can potentially obtain is randomly determined each time the selection game is initiated. In another embodiment, the number of awards that the player can potentially obtain is determined based on the player's wager, an occurrence in the primary wagering game or the triggering event that initiated the multi-round game.

[0085] In one embodiment, the plurality of awards or values that the player can potentially obtain are predetermined. In another embodiment, the plurality of awards or values are randomly determined each time the selection game is initiated. In another embodiment, the plurality of awards or values are selected from a range of awards or values. In an alternative embodiment, the plurality of awards or values are selected from one or more predetermined pools of awards or values. In another embodiment, the plurality of awards or values are determined based on the player's wager, an occurrence in the primary wagering game or the triggering event that initiated the multi-round game.

[0086] In one embodiment, a plurality of the award are the same. In another embodiment, each of the awards are the same. In another embodiment, a plurality of the awards are different. In another embodiment, each of the awards are different.

[0087] In one embodiment, for each failed opportunity (i.e., the player was presented with an opportunity to obtain an award and did not obtain an award), the player accumulates a failed opportunity or terminator symbol. In this embodiment, the player is enabled to obtain a designated number of failed opportunities or terminator symbols before the first round, game or stage ends. An obtained terminators indicator or display 132 displays the number of failed opportunities or obtained terminator symbols in the first round. In this case, the designated number is three, however any suitable number may be implemented with the present invention.

[0088] In one embodiment, the designated number of failed opportunities or terminator symbols is predetermined. In another embodiment, the designated number of failed opportunities or terminator symbols is randomly determined. In another embodiment, the designated number of failed opportunities or terminator symbols is determined based on the player's wager, an occurrence in the primary wagering game or the triggering event that initiated the multi-round game.

[0089] In one embodiment, the gaming device provides at least one prompting that requires an input or response by the player. As illustrated in FIG. 4A, the gaming device displays or indicates a statement or query 118 that requires an input by the player. A plurality of selectable selections or inputs 120, 122, 124, 126 and 128 are provided to enable the player to input a response to the statement or query. An obtained awards indicator or display 130 displays the total amount of obtained awards.

[0090] In one embodiment, at the initiation of the first round of the multi-round game, the gaming device provides or presents the player a first opportunity or chance of obtaining one of said plurality of awards. In one embodiment, each time the gaming device provides or presents an opportunity for the player to obtain an award, the gaming device will randomly select one of the plurality of opportunities and provide or present the selected opportunity to the player. In another embodiment, as the first round, game or stage is played, the gaming device will sequentially select opportunities from the plurality of opportunities in a predetermined order and provide or present the sequentially selected opportunity. In this embodiment, the gaming device will randomly sort a plurality of the opportunities to vary the order that the opportunities are displayed. That is, rather than sequentially providing the player the opportunities as they are ordered in FIG. 3A (i.e., wherein the player will always obtain an award for the first two presented opportunities), the gaming device sorts a plurality of the opportunities to increase the player's level of excitement and suspense. As illustrated in FIG. 3B, the gaming device randomly sorts the first four opportunities and thus the player is not guaranteed an award for the first two opportunities, but rather is guaranteed of obtaining an award for the second and fourth opportunity.

[0091] As illustrated in FIG. 4A, for the first provided opportunity or chance to obtain an award, the gaming device selects one of the plurality of awards. In one embodiment, the gaming device randomly selects one of the plurality of awards. In another embodiment, each of the plurality of awards is associated with a probability and the gaming device selects one of the awards based on the associated probabilities. In another embodiment, each award is associated with one of the opportunities or chances and the gaming device selects the award associated with the provided opportunity or chance.

[0092] The gaming device provides the player a statement or query 118 of “WE SURVEYED 100 PEOPLE, WHAT IS THE MOST FREQUENT RESPONSE TO: NAME A FRUIT THAT BARTENDERS USE” for the provided opportunity. Each of the selectable selections or inputs displays an answer or response to the statement. In this case, selection 120 indicates “LEMON,” selection 122 indicates “LIME,” selection 124 indicates “ORANGE,” selection 126 indicates “CHERRY” and selection 128 indicates “BANANA.” In one embodiment, the gaming device displays the selected award that the player is trying to obtain. In another embodiment, the gaming device does not display the selected award that the player is trying to obtain.

[0093] In this embodiment, the selected award is associated with at least one of the selections. The number of selections that the selected award will be associated with is based on the probability associated with the first provided opportunity. As seen in FIG. 3B, since the player has a 100% chance of obtaining an award for the first opportunity, each of the selections will be associated with the selected award. That is, regardless of which selection the player picks, the player is guaranteed (i.e., a 100% chance) to be provided the selected award.

[0094] In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, rather than associating (based on the probability associated with the provided opportunity) the selected award with at least one of the selections, the gaming device determines (based on the probability associated with the provided opportunity) whether the player obtains the selected award or fails to obtain the selected award. In this embodiment, when the player picks one of the displayed selections, the gaming device reveals whether the player obtains the selected award or the player does not obtain the selected award.

[0095] As illustrated in FIG. 4C, the player picks highlighted selection or input 126 which indicates an answer or response of “CHERRY.” The gaming device reveals if the selected award is associated with the player picked selection. In this case, as each of the selections is associated with the selected award, the player obtains the selected award and the award indicator reveals the selected award of forty to the player. The obtained awards indicator 130 is updated to reflect the award obtained for this opportunity. Appropriate messages such as “YOU PICKED CHERRY WHICH WAS THE MOST FREQUENT RESPONSE,” and “YOU OBTAINED AN AWARD OF 40 FOR YOUR CORRECT RESPONSE” are provided to the player visually or through suitable audio or audiovisual displays.

[0096] After the obtained award is revealed to the player, the gaming device determines if the player has obtained each of the plurality of awards. If the player has obtained each of the plurality of awards, the gaming device ends the first round and initiates any subsequent round. In one embodiment, if the player has obtained each of the plurality of awards, the gaming device provides the player an additional award. If the player has not obtained each of the plurality of awards, the gaming device determines if at least one opportunity to obtain an award remains.

[0097] As illustrated in FIG. 4D, as the player has at least one opportunity to obtain an award remaining, the gaming device proceeds to another opportunity for the player to obtain an award. In this case, the gaming device proceeds to the second opportunity provided in FIG. 3B. As described above, the gaming device selects one of the plurality of awards and enables the player an opportunity or chance to obtain the selected award. In this embodiment, the gaming device provides the player a statement or query 118 of “WE SURVEYED 100 PEOPLE, NAME A SPORT WHERE PEOPLE GET HIT.” Each of the selectable selections or inputs displays an answer or response to the statement. In this case, selection 120 indicates “BASEBALL,” selection 122 indicates “FOOTBALL,” selection 124 indicates “BOXING,” selection 126 indicates “HOCKEY” and selection 128 indicates “RUGBY.” In one embodiment, the number of selectable selections is different for a plurality of the opportunities. In another embodiment, the number of selectable selections remains the same for each opportunity.

[0098] In this embodiment, at least one of the selections is associated with the selected award. As described above, the number of selections associated with the selected award is based on the probability associated with the current opportunity. As seen in FIG. 3B, since the player has an 80% chance of obtaining an award for the second opportunity, four of the five selections (i.e., 80%) are associated with the selected award. In one embodiment, the other selection is associated with a failed opportunity or terminator symbol.

[0099] As illustrated in FIG. 4E, the player picks highlighted selection or input 122 which indicates an answer or response of “FOOTBALL”. The gaming device reveals if the selected award or a terminator symbol is associated with the player picked selection. In this case, even though the player had an 80% probability of picking a selection that was associated with the selected award, the player's picked selection is associated with a terminator symbol. Accordingly, the player does not obtain an award for the second opportunity to obtain an award but obtains a terminator symbol. The obtained terminator indicator is increased by one to reflect the obtained terminator symbol. In one embodiment, the gaming device reveals award the player was trying to obtain even if the player does not obtain the award. Appropriate messages such as “YOU PICKED FOOTBALL BUT BOXING WAS THE MOST FREQUENT RESPONSE,” and “YOU OBTAINED A TERMINATOR” are provided to the player visually or through suitable audio or audiovisual displays.

[0100] As the player failed to obtain an award (i.e., obtains a terminator), the gaming device determines if the player has obtained the designated number of failed opportunities or terminator symbols. If the player has obtained the designated number of failed opportunities or terminator symbols, then the gaming device ends the first round and initiates any subsequent round. If the player has not obtained the designated number of failed opportunities or terminator symbols, there is at least one opportunity to obtain a non-obtained award remaining, the gaming device provides the player another opportunity to obtain an award as described above.

[0101] In one embodiment, for the next opportunity, the player tries to obtain the same award that they previously failed on. For example, if the player failed in their second opportunity to obtain an award of ten, then the gaming device will select the award of ten for the player's third opportunity to obtain an award. It should be appreciated that in this embodiment, the player may have a different probability of obtaining the same award because the probability of obtaining an award is dependent on the currently presented opportunity. In another embodiment, for the next opportunity, the gaming device may select a different award than the award the player previously failed to obtain.

[0102]FIG. 4F illustrates the selection game of the first round after the player has obtained three more awards and one more terminator symbol. That is, the player has been provided four more opportunities to obtain an award and successful obtained an award (based on the probability of obtaining an award associated with each of the provided opportunities) for three of the opportunities. The obtained awards indicator 130 displays an award of two-hundred fifty which is the current amount of awards obtained by the player. In this embodiment, the gaming device proceeds to the next or seventh opportunity to obtain an award. As described above, the gaming device selects one of the plurality of awards and provides the player a statement or query 118 of “WE SURVEYED 100 PEOPLE, NAME THE MONTH YOU WATCH THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TELEVISION.” Each of the selectable selections or inputs displays an answer or response to the statement. In this case, selection 120 indicates “JUNE,” selection 122 indicates “OCTOBER,” selection 124 indicates “JULY,” selection 126 indicates “APRIL” and selection 128 indicates “JANUARY.”

[0103] In this embodiment, at least one of the selections is associated with the selected award. As described above, the number of selections associated with the selected award is based on the probability associated with the current opportunity. As seen in FIG. 3B, since the player has an 20% chance of obtaining an award for the seventh opportunity, one of the five selections (i.e., 20%) is associated with the selected award. In one embodiment, the other four selections are each associated with a failed opportunity or terminator symbol.

[0104] As illustrated in FIG. 4G, the player picks highlighted selection or input 122 which indicates an answer or response of “OCTOBER”. The gaming device reveals if the selected award or a terminator symbol is associated with the player picked selection. In this case, the gaming device revealed a terminator symbol associated with the player picked selection. Accordingly, the player does not obtain an award but obtains a terminator symbol. The obtained terminator indicator is increased by one to reflect the obtained terminator. Appropriate messages such as “YOU PICKED OCTOBER BUT JULY WAS THE MOST FREQUENT RESPONSE,” and “YOU OBTAINED YOUR THIRD AND LAST TERMINATOR” are provided to the player visually or through suitable audio or audiovisual displays.

[0105] After a terminating event of the first round occurs, such as player has obtained the designated number of terminators, obtained each of the plurality of awards or has no remaining opportunities to obtain an award, the gaming device proceeds to the next or subsequent round.

[0106] It should be appreciated that as long as at least one outcome from a plurality of different outcomes is provided to or accumulated by the player in the first round, any suitable game or sequence of events that provides the player at least one outcome may be implemented in accordance with the present invention. In one embodiment, the gaming device randomly generates or determines the outcome to provide the player in the first round. In another embodiment, the gaming device determines, based on a level of player involvement or interaction, the outcome to provide to the player in the first round. In another embodiment, a skill game may be implemented in accordance with the present invention wherein the probability of the player obtaining a successful outcome in a subsequent round is based on the player's skill or knowledge in the previous round.

[0107] In the next or subsequent round, the player's chances or odds of obtaining a favorable outcome is based on the player's outcome in the first round. That is, a player obtaining a successful outcome in one round alters or changes the player's probabilities of obtaining a successful outcome in at least one subsequent round.

[0108] In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the number of awards the player obtains in the first round (i.e., the number of successful opportunities), which in the above illustrated example is guaranteed to be at least two, determines the player's probability of obtaining a favorable outcome, in this case a modifier, in the subsequent round. That is, the gaming device determines, based on the number of obtained awards in the first round and the total number of available awards, the probability that the player will obtain a modifier in the subsequent round. In this case, the gaming device subtracts the number of obtained awards in the first round 74 from the total number of available awards in the first round to determine the number of non-obtained awards 76. A probability of obtaining a favorable outcome in the subsequent round is based on the determined number of non-obtained awards 78. That is, in one embodiment, for each non-obtained award in the first round, the subsequent round includes a modifier in the subsequent round. The subsequent round also includes at least one non-modifier and enables the player to obtain one of the modifiers or non-modifiers. It should be appreciated that the non-modifier is to introduce an element of risk and not guarantee that the player obtains the modifier in the subsequent round. It should be further appreciated that any suitable mathematical formula or equation based on the outcome of the previous round may be implemented in the present invention to determine the probability of the player obtaining a favorable outcome in a subsequent round. Moreover, if the player obtains each of the available awards in the first round, then the player has zero non-obtained awards remaining to determine the probability of success in the subsequent round. In this case, as described above, the player obtains an additional award in the first round and the gaming device does not proceed to a subsequent round.

[0109] As illustrated in FIG. 6A, the subsequent round includes a modifier and the player's chances or odds of obtaining the modifier in a subsequent or second round is based on the number of awards obtained and the total number of available awards in the first round. In this embodiment, the gaming device provides a plurality of selections or inputs “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” and “E” labeled 134, 136, 138, 140 and 142 respectively. In this embodiment, at least one of the selections is associated with the modifier. In one embodiment, the modifier included in the subsequent round is predetermined. In another embodiment, the modifier is randomly determined each time the multi-round game is initiated. In another embodiment, the modifier is determined based on the player's wager, an occurrence in the primary wagering game or the triggering event that initiated the multi-round game.

[0110] In one embodiment, the number of selections associated with the modifier is based on determined probability of the player obtaining the modifier. That is, as the player obtained four of the eight possible awards in the previous round, the player has a four out of five or an eighty percent chance of obtaining the modifier. In this embodiment, four of the five selections (i.e., eighty percent) are associated with the modifier and the player is enabled to pick one of the selections. This embodiment includes a provided award indicator or display 144 that display the total award that is ultimately provided to the player. Appropriate messages such as “PLEASE PICK ONE OF THE SELECTIONS TO TRY AND OBTAIN A MODIFIER” are provided to the player visually or through suitable audio or audiovisual displays.

[0111] As illustrated in FIG. 6B, the player picks highlighted selection or input 136 which indicates to be associated with the modifier of 3×. The obtained modifier is applied to the awards obtained in the first round to form the total award of seven-hundred fifty that is provided to the player and the multi-round game ends. Appropriate messages such as “YOUR OBTAINED A MODIFIER OF 3×FOR YOUR PICKED SELECTION” and “YOU ARE PROVIDED AN AWARD OF 750 BASED ON THE OBTAINED AWARDS FROM THE FIRST ROUND AND YOUR OBTAINED MODIFIER” are provided to the player visually or through suitable audio or audiovisual displays.

[0112] As illustrated in FIG. 6C, in one embodiment, at the conclusion of the subsequent round the gaming device reveals if the modifier is associated with each of the remaining non-picked selections. This embodiment increases the player's level of excitement because it shows the player the modifier that the player might had obtained or not obtained if the player had picked a different selection.

[0113] In an alternative embodiment, the gaming device proceeds to at least one additional subsequent round, game or stage as described above wherein the outcome of the additional subsequent round, game or stage is based on the outcomes in at least one of the previous rounds, games or stages. That is, the probability of success in the additional subsequent round is based on the outcomes in at least one of the previous rounds. In another embodiment, the outcome of the additional subsequent round is based on the outcomes in each of the previous rounds.

[0114] It should be appreciated that as long as one of a plurality of different probabilities of obtaining a successful outcome in the subsequent round is selected or determined based on the outcome of the first round and a determination is made, based on the selected probability, whether to provide the player the outcome of the subsequent round, any suitable game or sequence of events may be implemented as the second round, game or stage in accordance with the present invention.

[0115] In an alternative embodiment, upon the conclusion of the first round, game or stage, the player is offered any award obtained in the first round and given the option of accepting the offer or continuing in the second or subsequent round, game or stage. In one embodiment, the offered award from the first round may be reduced or otherwise negatively modified in the subsequent round. In one embodiment, the greater the offered award from the first round, the greater the chance that the player will obtain a negative outcome (i.e., the award from the first round will be reduced or otherwise negatively modified) in the subsequent round. In this embodiment, if the player decides to accept the offer, the multi-round game ends. If the player decides to continue to the subsequent round, then the gaming device initiates the subsequent round enables the player to play the subsequent round. The gaming device determines, based on the outcome or award obtained in the first round, the outcome or modifier of the subsequent. In one embodiment, the player is informed of the relationship between succeeding in the first round and the probability of succeeding or having their offered award reduced in the subsequent round and the player's decision to accept the offered award from the first round or continue onto the subsequent round is influenced by this information. In another embodiment, the probability of the player obtaining a successful outcome in the subsequent round is indicated or displayed to the player to aid the player in their decision to accept the offer and end the multi-round game or to reject the offer and proceed to the subsequent round.

[0116] In an alternative embodiment, a plurality of rounds of the multi-round game are displayed to the player on a plurality of shared mechanical or electromechanical display devices. In one embodiment, the present invention can be displayed to the player using the multi-panel images described in co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/243,707 titled “Gaming Device Having a Plurality of Multi-Image Panels,” which is hereby incorporated herein by reference. In this embodiment, each display includes or is associated with an outcome or award for a first round and an outcome or modifier for a subsequent round. That is, the mechanical or electromechanical display device includes a first position that displays or indicates a first outcome and a second position that displays or indicates a second outcome. If during the play of the first round, a display device indicates an award (i.e., the player obtains the award associated with the display), then the outcome for the subsequent round is excluded or unavailable to be obtained by the player in the subsequent round. For example, if a display device indicates or is associated with an award of ten for a first round and a modifier of five for a subsequent round and the player obtains the associated award of ten during the first round, then the associated modifier of five is excluded or otherwise not available in the subsequent round. That is, the display device is moved to the first position that displays the award of ten for the first round and once the display device is moved to the first position, the display device cannot simultaneously display the associated modifier of five of the second position. In this embodiment, as described above, the outcome of a first round will modify the probabilities of a successful outcome in a subsequent round. That is, in this embodiment, the more awards the player obtains in the first round, the less modifiers will be available to be obtained in the subsequent round.

[0117] 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
US7938720Sep 12, 2006May 10, 2011Multimedia Games, Inc.Method and apparatus for presenting bingo gaming results using multiple prize distributions
US8142272 *Jun 10, 2005Mar 27, 2012IgtMethod and apparatus for facilitating entry into bonus rounds
US8444465Mar 13, 2005May 21, 2013IgtUltimate four of a kind bonus poker
US8523647Feb 13, 2007Sep 3, 2013IgtGaming method, device, and system including trivia-based bonus game
US8602882 *Feb 22, 2005Dec 10, 2013IgtJackpot interfaces and services on a gaming machine
US8795058Oct 1, 2008Aug 5, 2014IgtGaming system and method having player accumulated points and determining each player's chances of winning an award based on the accumulated points
US20120238349 *Mar 14, 2012Sep 20, 2012Sek Hwan JoungMethod of Gaming, a Game Controller and a Gaming System
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/16
International ClassificationG06F, A63F9/24, G07F17/32, G07F17/34
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/34, G07F17/3267, A63F2300/8017, G07F17/3244, G07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32K, G07F17/32, G07F17/32M4, G07F17/34
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 12, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: IGT, NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BAERLOCHER, ANTHONY J.;WEBB, BAYARD S.;SCHLEGEL, MEGAN N.;REEL/FRAME:014868/0957;SIGNING DATES FROM 20031015 TO 20031016
Dec 19, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: THERMA-WAVE, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:OPSAL, JON;NICOLAIDES, LENA;SALNIK, ALEX;REEL/FRAME:014803/0030;SIGNING DATES FROM 20030910 TO 20030916