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Publication numberUS20050153770 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/034,607
Publication dateJul 14, 2005
Filing dateJan 13, 2005
Priority dateJul 18, 2001
Also published asUS6609971, US6852028, US20030027616, US20030216162
Publication number034607, 11034607, US 2005/0153770 A1, US 2005/153770 A1, US 20050153770 A1, US 20050153770A1, US 2005153770 A1, US 2005153770A1, US-A1-20050153770, US-A1-2005153770, US2005/0153770A1, US2005/153770A1, US20050153770 A1, US20050153770A1, US2005153770 A1, US2005153770A1
InventorsOlaf Vancura
Original AssigneeMikohn Gaming Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Prolonged casino game method and apparatus
US 20050153770 A1
Abstract
A game for money has a display to show play progress. A processor runs the game play as base and/or the bonus games. The processor connects to the display. Memory in the processor operates a program; runs the game with at least one hidden attribute for each of a finite number of icons and at least two hidden attributes for at least one of the icons. An initial number of player's picks adds picks with the one hidden attribute or attributes to prolong the game. Play controls couple to the processor and the display to pick one of the icons and reveal the hidden attribute or attributes on the icon picked and awarded. A processor return path resumes operation of the game after the initial number of picks and any others revealed are used. Method steps of game play has steps of ascribing at least one hidden attribute to each of the finite number of icons and ascribing at least two hidden attributes to at least one of the icons. Giving the player an initial number of picks then shown to the player is a step. Letting the player pick one icon and revealing to the player the hidden attribute or attributes on the icon picked by the player are steps. Awarding the player the revealed attribute or attributes including modification of the number of picks are steps. Repeating the steps letting, revealing and awarding until the end of the game occurs when the player's picks are used up.
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Claims(15)
1-20. (canceled)
21. A method of operating a bonus casino game when entered from a base casino game, the base casino game operable in response to a wager received from a player, the method comprising:
providing said bonus casino game with a plurality of sets of icons, each of the plurality of sets of icons forming a different play screen in the bonus casino game;
displaying on a display of the bonus casino game a set of icons from said plurality of sets of icons during operation of the bonus casino game, the set of icons forming a play screen; at least one icon in the set of icons having a hidden warp attribute that provides a warp to a designated set in the remaining plurality of sets of icons;
receiving a number of inputs from the player in the bonus casino game, each input occurring when the player chooses one icon from the plurality of sets;
revealing to the player in the display when the icon chosen by the player has the hidden warp attribute;
displaying on the display the icons from the designated set of icons in response to revealing the hidden warp attribute, the designated set of icons forming another play screen;
continuing to receive inputs from the player in the designated set of icons displayed in the display;
ending the bonus casino game when the number of inputs are used up by the player.
22. The method of claim 21 wherein the received input revealing the hidden warp attribute is not used in the number of inputs.
23. The method of claim 21 wherein the remaining icons not having the hidden warp attribute in the set have hidden values; when one of the remaining icons in the set is chosen by the player, revealing a hidden value and then awarding an award based on the revealed value to the player.
24. The method of claim 21 wherein all of the icons in the designated set have hidden values; when one of the aforesaid icons is chosen by the player, revealing a hidden value and then awarding an award based on the revealed value to the player.
25. The method of claim 21 wherein some of the icons in the designated set have hidden values; when one of the aforesaid icons is chosen by the player, revealing a hidden value and then awarding an award based on the revealed value to the player.
26. The method of claim wherein 21 wherein the remaining icons not having a hidden warp attribute in the plurality of sets have hidden values; when one of the remaining icons is chosen by the player, revealing the hidden value and then awarding an award based on the revealed value to the player.
27. The method of claim 26 wherein one of remaining icons in the plurality of sets is a hidden grand prize; when the aforesaid one icon is chosen by the player, revealing the grand prize and then awarding the grand prize to the player; the grand prize being an award based on the sum of all of the aforesaid hidden values.
28. The method of claim 21 wherein each icon is a card with the face of the card displayed down in the display so that all face down cards in the display are identical; when a face down card is chosen by the player, revealing the face of the card.
29. The method of claim 21 wherein the set and the designated set of icons are each displayed in a matrix on the display.
30. A method of operating a bonus casino game when entered from a base casino game, the base casino game operable in response to a wager received from a player, the method comprising:
providing said bonus casino game with a plurality of sets of icons, each of the plurality of sets of icons forming a different play screen in the bonus casino game;
displaying on a display of the bonus casino game a set of icons from said plurality of sets of icons during operation of the bonus casino game, the set of icons forming a play screen, at least one icon in the set of icons having a hidden warp attribute that provides a warp to a designated set in the remaining plurality of sets of icons, the remaining icons not having the hidden warp attribute in the set having hidden values;
receiving an input from the player in the bonus casino game when the player chooses one icon from the set of icons on the display;
revealing to the player in the display when the icon chosen by the player has the hidden warp attribute or a hidden value;
providing an award based on the aforesaid revealed value to the player in response to revealing the hidden value;
displaying on the display the icons from the designated set of icons in response to revealing the hidden warp attribute, the designated set of icons forming another play screen; some of the icons in the designated set having higher hidden values, the higher hidden values in the designated set of icons having values greater than the hidden values in the set of icons;
receiving another input from the player in the bonus casino game when the player chooses one of the aforesaid icons in the designated set on the display;
revealing to the player in the display when the aforesaid one icon chosen by the player has a higher hidden value;
providing a higher award based on the aforesaid revealed higher value to the player.
31. The method of claim 30 wherein the hidden values and the higher hidden values are multiple values and wherein the award and the higher award are each based on the multiple of the revealed value times the wager.
32. A method of operating a bonus casino game when entered from a base casino game, the base casino game operable in response to a wager received from a player, the method comprising:
providing said bonus casino game with three of sets of icons, the three of sets of icons forming three play screens;
displaying on a display of the bonus casino game the first set of icons when the bonus casino game is entered from the base casino game, the first set of icons forming the first play screen during operation of the bonus casino game; one icon in the first set of icons having a first hidden warp attribute that provides a warp to the second set of icons;
receiving at least one input from the player choosing an icon displayed in the first set on the display;
revealing to the player in the display when the icon chosen in the first set by the player has the first hidden warp attribute;
displaying on the display the icons from the second set of icons in response to revealing the first hidden warp attribute, the second set of icons forming the second play screen during operation of the bonus casino game; one icon in the second set of icons having a second hidden warp attribute that provides a warp to the third set of icons;
receiving at least one input from the player choosing an icon displayed in the second set on the display;
revealing to the player in the display when the icon chosen in the second set by the player has the second hidden warp attribute;
displaying on the display the icons from the third set of icons in response to revealing the second hidden warp attribute, the third set of icons forming the third play screen during operation of the bonus casino game.
33. The method of claim 32 wherein each of the remaining icons in the three sets of icons not having a first and second hidden warp attribute have a hidden value and further comprising:
receiving at least one input from the player choosing an icon displayed in the third play screen on the display;
providing an award to the player based on all hidden values revealed in response to receiving the at least one input from the player choosing an icon in the first, second and third sets of icons during operation of the bonus casino game.
34. The method of claim 32 wherein the hidden values are multiple values and wherein the award and is based on the multiples of the revealed hidden value times the wager.
Description
1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to casino games and, in particular, to casino bonus games giving a player chances to make selections as part of the bonus game play.

Bonus games on casino slot machines have become very popular. To play a bonus game, a player typically must qualify by aligning several special symbols on the underlying traditional game. Play then switches over to a bonus game (either in a separate apparatus or a separate screen, e.g.), in which the player participates without additional wager but typically with an award at its conclusion. The amount of the bonus award is determined during and by bonus play.

Among bonus games, those in which the player chooses from among a plurality of objects are common.

For example, the games, Reel 'Em In! and Filthy Rich by WMS Gaming contain bonuses in which the player is presented with 5 objects (e.g., fishermen, pigs) and chooses one of them to reveal an award. The game Sphinx by Atronic also affords the player a choice of 5 objects, four of which reveal an immediate award, and one of which advances the player to an additional choice of 5 objects comprising larger awards.

The games American Pride by CDS (U.S. Pat. No. 6,089,976) and Pick 'N Pop by Anchor contain bonuses in which the player is presented with a predetermined number of objects (e.g., stars, balloons), each of which has an associated award. The player chooses until matching two awards; the matching award is then given to the player. The game The Munsters by IGT contains a bonus in which the player is presented with a predetermined number of objects, each of which has an associated award. The player chooses until matching three awards, which is then given to the player.

The games Jackpot Party and Monopoly Chairman of the Board by WMS Gaming (European Patent Application EP 0945837A2) contain a bonus in which the player is presented with a predetermined number of objects (e.g., boxes, cards) and chooses until selecting an “end of game” object (e.g., Go to Jail). Additionally, some objects (e.g., Get Out of Jail Free) may grant the player a nullification of a future “end of game” choice. The game Scrabble by WMS Gaming has a bonus in which the player chooses from various objects, until finding three “end of game” objects. Some objects grant the player a nullification of an “end of game” object.

The game Who Dunnit? By WMS Gaming (U.S. Pat. No. 6,159,097) has a bonus game in which the player makes choices (e.g., suspects) until finding a desired choice (e.g., the guilty suspect), with successively lower awards depending on how many choices are required to make the desired choice.

The game Sphinx by Atronic contains a bonus in which the player chooses from among five objects. Four of the objects have awards, and the fifth advances the player to another set of five objects, all of which have enhanced awards.

The game Battleship All Aboard by Mikohn, the assignee of the present disclosure, has a bonus in which the player chooses from among five objects (e.g., flags), four of which have awards, and one of which advances the player to a different bonus game.

2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

While the current state of bonus play suggests a variety of bonus games with choices, they share in common that each choice reveals one associated value. It would be desirable to create a bonus game in which a player choice of an object revealed two or more associations, one of which may be an award. In practice, the second association may be a modification of the number of choices remaining or a modification of other attributes associated with the bonus game.

3. SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM

The solution, as presented herein, comprises a bonus game in which the player begins with an initial number of picks, or choices, and selects from among a plurality of objects. Associated with some objects is more than one action. For example, while some objects may have only one association (an award), other objects have two associations (an award and additional picks). In this manner, the player's enjoyment of playing the bonus game may be prolonged, since some choices yield additional picks.

It is an advantage that the casino bonus game as disclosed herein allows the player different ways to pick awards, either with or without additional picks.

It is a further advantage that the casino bonus game disclosed herein has significant suspense for the player in making choices that may or may not yield additional picks.

It is a further advantage that the casino bonus game as disclosed herein is one in which the player does not know when the bonus game will end.

It is a further advantage that the casino bonus game as disclosed herein is one in which all of the objects' award values may be successfully chosen by the player choosing a “winner takes all” object.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one apparatus preferably including a base game and a bonus game including the methods capable of prolonged play.

FIG. 2 is a flow chart including the steps of the preferred methods of prolonged play of the bonus game.

FIG. 3 is a schematic representation of 15 globes distributed in a 3 by 5 matrix on the video screen of a bonus game.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one apparatus 10 preferably including a base game and/or a bonus game including the methods capable of prolonged play. In a preferred embodiment, the base game is a five-reel video slot machine, with the bonus game initiated via a combination of special reel-strip symbols referred to as trigger symbols. FIG. 1 the perspective view of apparatus 10 preferably includes the five-reel video slot machine having the bonus game both of which can appear on video screen 11 in sequence. That is, if the base game is a five-reel slot then the video screen 11 shows that game until entry to the bonus game is achieved thereafter the prolonged game disclosed and described herein after appears on the video screen 11.

The video screen 11 is used to simulate reel motion of a mechanical slot machine during the play of the five-reel slot machine and is also used as a display 12 for the bonus game to the player. Such video screens 11 are commonly a part of casino games including slot machines on the video screen 11. The video screen 11 can be the display 12 for a software program 13 with memory 14 in a processor 15 to deliver graphs to the display 12 and sound to simulate any kind of interactive game desired. In FIG. 1 the software program 13 with memory 14 in processor 15 is shown at the bottom of apparatus 10 whereat it is cutaway. Skilled artisans have produced a wide variety of such displays 12 to appeal to players and provide practically any type of challenge to the player.

FIG. 2 is a flow chart including steps included in the preferred methods of prolonged play of the bonus game. The flow chart of FIG. 2 is merely representative of some steps of the method of play and how they follow and interrelate with one another. Of particular interest is the arrow from the penultimate block that returns upwardly to prolong play in accord with the disclosure of examples herein after presented.

Fig. 3 is a schematic representation showing 15 globes 16 distributed in a 3 by 5 matrix on the video screen 11 of a bonus game of apparatus 10 of FIG. 1. In a first preferred method of play suitable for a bonus game of questions and answers such as, “Ripley's Believe It or Not!”, the fifteen objects or icons (used interchangeable herein) are represented as globes 16 in FIG. 3. The globes 16 are distributed in a 3×5 matrix on the screen as shown in FIG. 3. However, any suitable on-screen depiction is possible and within the scope of the present disclosure. Three or more trigger symbols on the five reel slot display are required to start the bonus game. When three trigger or initiation symbols qualified the player for the bonus round, then the player is initially given three selections, choices, or picks (these terms are used interchangeably throughout this disclosure). Likewise, when four trigger symbols qualified the player, then the player is initially given four selections. Consider the following tabular representation of the possible results when objects or icons (in this instance “Globes” are presented on the bonus game video screen for the player to select:

Globe Value
position Hidden Extra Picks
1 1x 0
2 1x 0
3 1x 0
4 1x 2
5 2x 0
6 2x 0
7 2x 1
8 3x 0
9 3x 1
10 4x 1
11 5x 0
12 6x 0
13 8x 0
14 “Believe It” 0
15 “Not!” 0

All the globes 16 have an attribute and all but two globes 16, in the table above have an associated “value” which is hidden. At such time as the player chooses a globe 16, that globe 16 appears on the video screen 11 to rotate on its axis (not shown) but “preferably vertical” to show or reveal the associated value of that selected globe's 16, opposite side. Clearly, the globe 16 once revealed will not again be available for selection or the player. Thus, all future selections must be from remaining unselected globes 16. Each of the associated values if numerical, is to be multiplied by the total wager made in currency slot 17 by the player to determined the player's bonus award. If the attribute on the picked globe 16 when rotated into view is one of the two phrases (i.e., “Believe It” or “Not!”), no immediate award is given as both phrases are needed in order to receive an award. Some globes 16 may also have another hidden attribute, one or more extra picks, in conjunction with a numerical value. The play of the bonus game is over when the player's picks are exhausted or used up and the bonus award made.

As globes 16 are chosen, player receives credits for the associated awards and (as appropriate) additional associated picks. If player selected both the “Believe It” and “Not!” globes 16, then 15× the player's wager is awarded. By way of example, in a possible game the player begins with a wager and then 3 picks. The first pick is a globe 16 at position 12 (in the preceding table) and awards the player 6× the wager made. The number of picks decrements to 2 remaining, that is, 3 picks minus 1. Suppose the second pick is globe 16 in position 4 in the table. The player is then awarded 2× the wager made plus two additional picks, decreasing the players remaining 2 picks by 1 before adding the two picks won so that now 3 picks are left. The player's third pick is globe 1 which awards the player 1× the wager made, leaving the player with 2 picks remaining. Now the prolongation of the bonus play can be understood from this example. Assume the player's fourth pick is globe 16 in position 7 of the example table and awards the player 2× the wager made and an additional pick, leaving the player with 2 picks remaining. If the players fifth pick is globe 16, table position 14 and the player receives no numerical value award and no additional picks. In the prolonged bonus play the player has 1 pick remaining. The player's sixth pick is globe 16 in table position 13 and awards the player 8× the wager made, leaving the player with no more picks. Hence the bonus game play is over, and the player would be awarded a grand total of 6×+2×+1×+2×+8×=19× the wager made for playing the bonus game. Note that if, on the final pick, the player had instead chosen globe 16, in position 15, then 15× the wager would be awarded for picking both globe 16, in position 14 and globe 16 of position 15 so the players win is 11 plus 15 for a total of 26.

It should be appreciated that while the player began with only 3 picks, by choosing globes 16 that yielded additional picks, the players successful selection enabled prolonged the bonus play totaling 6 picks. It is a feature of this method of play that a player may be able to considerably extend the time spent playing a bonus game. Any means can be used to make picks such as touch screen technology or the controls 19 in FIG. 1. A place 20 is on the display 12 presents icons to the player hiding the one or more attributes. A return path 21, as shown in FIG. 2, follows the path of the arrow from the penultimate block that returns upwardly to prolong play. The processor 15 has the program 14 and memory 13 for resuming operation of the base game after the player's initial number of choices and any others revealed are used. Where there is no base game the prolonged game is merely restarted with another wager as per the flow in FIG. 2.

In a second embodiment particularly suitable to playing a casino adaptation of the home board game, “Clue”, cards 20 are used as objects instead of the globes 16 in the preceding example. The icons in this example are cards 20 are initially disposed with their faces down or away from the player's view of the video screen 11 hence all such predisposed face down cards 20 appear identical. Illustrative of the cards 20 would be FIG. 3 which can be understood to have the 3 by 5 matrix showing cards 20 (with any picture but here globe like pictures on the back of each). Once selected, each card 20 animates and turns face-up to reveal the name of a Clue® game character (e.g., Colonel Mustard) and hidden value (e.g., 15×), possibly in conjunction with a revealed number of extra picks (e.g., +1 pick). In addition, certain cards, rather than revealing a value, “warp” (move via the text “Secret Passage”) the player to another set of icons or objects with generally greater values. Consider the following table example of how such a “Clue”® casino video game might be played:

Suspect screen
Miss Scarlet 10
Colonel Mustard 15 +1 pick
Mrs. White 20
Mr. Green 25 +2 picks
Mrs. Peacock 30
Professor Plum 35
Secret Passage to Weapon Screen
Weapon screen
Knife 20
Lead Pipe 30 +1 pick
Rope 40
Wrench 50
Revolver 60
Candlestick 25
Secret Passage to Room Screen
Room screen
Ballroom 100
Conservatory 200
Billiard Room 300
Library 400
Study 500
Hall 250
Lounge 175
Dining Room 125 +1 pick
Kitchen 150

The player always starts at the “Suspect” video screen 11 and is initially given 2 picks. As before, the player chooses hidden icons, objects or cards, in this case face down cards 20. Once chosen, each card 20 turns to reveal its face. The hidden value revealed, (multiplied by the player's wager) is awarded by credit or coin pay out to the player. Also as before, should the player choose a card 20 that awards additional picks, this is added to the player's current number of picks remaining. Additionally, however, should the player select the card 20 that reveals “Secret Passage,” the video screen warps changing to show a new set of icons or objects for the player to select from and to continue the bonus play. In a preferred embodiment, the choosing of the “Secret Passage” would not use up that pick.

A possible game is described by way of example. The player begins in the Suspect screen with 2 picks. Suppose the first card picked reveals Professor Plum and awards the player 35× the wager made while decrementing the number of picks from 2 to 1. The player's second pick is the Secret Passage card and that “Warps” the player to the Weapon screen, still with the 1 pick remaining since in the preferred embodiment selecting the Secret Passage has not used up a pick. If the player's third pick is the Lead Pipe, the bonus award is 30× the wager made, leaving the player with 1 pick remaining. The player's fourth pick might be the Rope and the player award of 40× the wager made and no more picks remaining. Hence the game is over, and the player would be awarded for playing the bonus game a grand total of 35×+30×+40×=105× the wager made.

By finding the hidden “warp” card 20, the player may be given new sets of cards 20 or icons or any other objects to select from whose value is generally greater than those of the current set on the video screen 11 prior to revealing the “warp” card. Prolongation of the bonus play continues interest in the base game and creates suspenseful play in the bonus game.

Note that it is possible to set a “goal” or “target” for the game by having one object serve as the grand prize. For example, it is possible for an icon, object or card 20 to have a hidden value that is not a specific numerical value but rather the sum of all other numerical values. In this manner, the game has, as its goal, to select the object with the “Winner Take All” award value. Of course, the examples and teachings of this disclosure with regard to numerical awards and extra picks are equally useful and valid in such a play scheme or environment.

While the terms selections, choices, or picks and similarly globes, cards, objects or icons are used interchangeably throughout, the intention is to include the wide range of appropriate dictionary definitions or meanings those terms within the context of this disclosure and the appended claims. Although attributes such as values, modifications, extra picks, grand prize, etc. are specifically disclosed any attributes that prolong the bonus play are sought to be within the scope of the claims. Skilled artisans will appreciate that a wide variety of object arrangements can be programmed, for example into a computer that drives the video bonus screen(s) during play of the bonus game.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7357712 *Aug 20, 2004Apr 15, 2008IgtMethod and gaming device of operating a multiple round game that includes diminishing selection sets
US7607980 *Nov 8, 2004Oct 27, 2009IgtGaming device having free potential winning combinations
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/16
International ClassificationG07F17/32
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 22, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: GAMES OF NEVADA, INC., NEVADA
Owner name: MGC, INC., NEVADA
Owner name: MIKOHN INTERNATIONAL, INC., NEVADA
Owner name: MIKOHN NEVADA, NEVADA
Owner name: PRIMELINE GAMING TECHNOLOGIES, INC., NEVADA
Owner name: PROGRESSIVE GAMES, INC., NEVADA
Owner name: PROGRESSIVE GAMING INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, NEVA
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:ABLECO FINANCE LLC;REEL/FRAME:021266/0403
Effective date: 20080627
Owner name: VIKING MERGER SUBSIDIARY, LLC, NEVADA
Owner name: GAMES OF NEVADA, INC.,NEVADA
Owner name: MGC, INC.,NEVADA
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:ABLECO FINANCE LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100420;REEL/FRAME:21266/403
Owner name: MIKOHN INTERNATIONAL, INC.,NEVADA
Owner name: MIKOHN NEVADA,NEVADA
Owner name: PRIMELINE GAMING TECHNOLOGIES, INC.,NEVADA
Owner name: PROGRESSIVE GAMES, INC.,NEVADA
Owner name: PROGRESSIVE GAMING INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION,NEVAD
Owner name: VIKING MERGER SUBSIDIARY, LLC,NEVADA
Apr 14, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: MIKOHN GAMING CORPORATION, NEVADA
Free format text: NUNC PRO TUNC ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:VANCURA, OLAF;REEL/FRAME:020794/0359
Effective date: 20010717
Free format text: NUNC PRO TUNC ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:MCCREA, CHARLES H., JR.;REEL/FRAME:020794/0361
Effective date: 20030327
May 24, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: ABLECO FINANCE LLC, AS AGENT, NEW YORK
Free format text: PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:PROGRESSIVE GAMING INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION;MIKOHN NEVADA;MGC,INC.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017663/0288
Effective date: 20060420
Owner name: ABLECO FINANCE LLC, AS AGENT,NEW YORK
Free format text: PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:PROGRESSIVE GAMING INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION;MIKOHN NEVADA;MGC,INC. AND OTHERS;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100420;REEL/FRAME:17663/288