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Publication numberUS20050167916 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/088,381
Publication dateAug 4, 2005
Filing dateMar 23, 2005
Priority dateMar 21, 2002
Also published asUS20030178771
Publication number088381, 11088381, US 2005/0167916 A1, US 2005/167916 A1, US 20050167916 A1, US 20050167916A1, US 2005167916 A1, US 2005167916A1, US-A1-20050167916, US-A1-2005167916, US2005/0167916A1, US2005/167916A1, US20050167916 A1, US20050167916A1, US2005167916 A1, US2005167916A1
InventorsFrank Banyai
Original AssigneeBanyai Frank B.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bingo game and cards
US 20050167916 A1
Abstract
Bingo cards each having a display thereon of assigned designations from a set of designations, the designations on any one of the cards having been assigned independently of the designations on the others of the cards, the assigned designations on each card arranged in two adjacent lines each including at least three (and preferably four) of the assigned designations, the assigned designations of such lines arranged in a grid.
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Claims(7)
1. Bingo cards comprising:
a plurality of cards for use in playing a bingo game, each of said cards having a display thereon of assigned designations from a set of designations, the designations on any one of said cards having been assigned independently of the assignment of the designations on the others of said cards of said plurality, the assigned designations on each of said cards arranged in two adjacent lines each including at least three of the assigned designations, the assigned designations of said lines arranged in a grid.
2. The bingo cards according to claim 1, wherein:
the quantity of assigned designations in each of said lines is four.
3. The bingo cards according to claim 1, wherein:
said display includes a first information area concerning a game wager and a second information area concerning a progressive wager.
4. The bingo cards according to claim 3, wherein:
said display is a video display and said first and second information areas include touch-sensitive switching devices for respectively implementing a player's placing of the game wager and placing of the progressive wager.
5. The bingo cards according to claim 1, wherein:
said display includes a first information area concerning a game wager, a second information area concerning a progressive wager associated with one of said lines, and a third information area concerning a progressive wager associated with the other of said lines.
6. The bingo cards according to claim 5, wherein:
said display is a video display and said first, second and third information areas include touch-sensitive switching devices for respectively implementing a player's placing of the game wager, placing of the progressive wager associated with said one of said lines, and placing of the progressive wager associated with said other of said lines.
7. The bingo cards according to claim 6, wherein:
the quantity of assigned designations in each of said lines is four.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a division of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/390,955, filed Mar. 17, 2003, incorporated herein by reference, and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/366,598, filed Mar. 21, 2002, incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to match number gaming methods and apparatus, and more particularly to a match number game similar to bingo and a bingo card for playing the game.

The traditional game of bingo is played with a card having twenty-four numbers arranged in a five-by-five matrix with a free space in the center. As the game is played, various patterns may be achieved from a draw of numbers from a set of numbers conventionally totaling seventy-five in the United States and ninety in other parts of the world. The first matching of numbers forming any one of specific patterns (e.g., a line of five numbers vertically, horizontally or diagonally) would create the game ending event for which a prize is awarded.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The game of the present invention is similar to bingo but with significant departures therefrom for enhanced excitement, is particularly adaptable for casino play, and is preferably electronically implemented as with video terminals although the game may be played without the use of such terminals.

According to a preferred embodiment of the game of the present invention, there is provided a method of playing a game by a plurality of players, comprising the steps of: (a) each player placing a game wager; (b) assigning to each player designations from a set of designations, the assigned designations arranged on a card in two adjacent lines, each of the lines including at least three (and preferably four) of the assigned designations, the assigned designations of the lines arranged in a grid; (c) randomly drawing a plurality (preferably four) of designations from the set of designations; and (d) paying game prizes to the first players whose assigned designations matching designations drawn in step (c) are arranged in predetermined patterns on their cards respectively.

In step (a), each player may place a first progressive wager to a progressive pool, the first progressive wager being associated with one of the lines on the cards; in step (c), the quantity of drawn designations of such plurality is equal to the quantity of assigned designations in such one of the lines (i.e. preferably four); and in step (d), the game prizes are paid from a game pool, and prizes are paid from the progressive pool to players placing the first progressive wager whose assigned designations in such one line match the designations drawn in step (c).

In step (a), each player may place a second progressive wager to the progressive pool, the second progressive wager being associated with the other of the two lines; in step (b), the quantity of assigned designations in each of the lines are the same; in step (d), paying prizes from the progressive pool to players placing the second progressive wager whose assigned designations in the other of the two lines match the designations drawn in step (c).

The game of this embodiment may continue with the steps of: (e) after step (d), continuing to draw designations from the set; and (f) paying game prizes to the first players whose assigned designations matching designations drawn in steps (c) and (e) are arranged in predetermined patterns. Preferably, in step (e), the drawing of designations from the set is discontinued upon the first occurrence of all of the assigned designations on the players card being matched by designations drawn in steps (c) and (e), i.e. upon the first occurrence of a “blackout”.

According to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a method of playing a game by a plurality of players, comprising the steps of: (a) each player placing a wager; (b) assigning to each player designations from a set of designations, the assigned designations arranged on a card in two adjacent lines, each of the lines including at least three (and preferably four) of the assigned designations, the assigned designations of the lines arranged in a grid; (c) randomly drawing designations from the set of designations; and (d) paying a prize to the first player whose assigned designations matching designations drawn in step (c) are arranged in a predetermined pattern on his or her card. The predetermined pattern may be selected, prior to step (c), from a plurality of predetermined patterns.

In step (a), each player may place a progressive wager associated with one of the lines on the cards, and/or a progressive wager associated with the other of the two lines; in step (c), the quantity of drawn designations of such plurality is equal to the quantity of assigned designations in the lines (i.e., preferably four); and in step (d), paying progressive prizes to players placing a progressive wager whose assigned designations in the line associated with such progressive wager match the designations drawn in step (c).

In step (c), as previously noted, the quantity of designations drawn is preferably equal to the quantity of assigned designations in each of the lines, toward facilitating the progressive features of the game. The method of the second embodiment may further include the steps of: (e) if no player's assigned designations matching designations drawn in step (c) are arranged in such predetermined pattern, continuing to draw designations from the set; and (f) paying a prize to the first player whose assigned designations matching designations drawn in steps (c) and (e) are arranged in such predetermined pattern, ending the game.

An aspect of the present invention includes a bingo card comprising: a card having a display thereon of assigned designations from a set of designations, the assigned designations arranged in two adjacent lines each including at least three (and preferably four) of said assigned designations, the assigned designations of such lines arranged in a grid.

A preferred embodiment of the bingo card includes a display having a first information area concerning a game wager, a second information area concerning a progressive wager associated with one of the lines on the card, and a third information area concerning a progressive wager associated with the other line on the card. The display is preferably a video display and the first, second and third information areas preferably include touch-sensitive switching devices for respectively implementing a player's placing of the game wager, placing of the progressive wager associated with one of the lines, and placing of the progressive wager associated with the other of the lines.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features believed to be characteristic of the invention, together with further advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which preferred embodiments of the present invention are illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.

FIG. 1 is an example of a preferred embodiment of a bingo game card for playing the bingo game according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a flow chart illustrating a preferred embodiment of the method of playing the bingo game of the present invention;

FIGS. 3 a and 3 b illustrate the game card of FIG. 1, showing two predetermined patterns of numbers matched during the play of the present game, which patterns are capable of winning prizes from a game pool as well as from a progressive pool;

FIG. 3 c illustrates the game card of FIG. 1, showing an example of a predetermined pattern of numbers matched during the play of the game, capable of winning a prize from the progressive pool;

FIGS. 4 a, 4 b, 5, 6 a, 6 b, 6 c, 7 a, 7 b and 8 illustrate the game card of FIG. 1, showing various predetermined patterns of numbers matched during the play of the game, capable of winning prizes from the prize pool; and

FIG. 9 is a flow chart illustrating a second preferred embodiment of the method of playing the bingo game of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the preferred embodiments of the present game illustrated in the flow charts of FIGS. 2 and 9, the game is played by a plurality of players situated at respective electronic player stations such as video terminals including devices for the player to enter his or her wagers and designations. The terminals further include a video display for displaying information including the player designations, the drawn designations and the prizes offered and won. The designations or numbers are drawn from a set of designations or numbers through utilization of a designation or number generator, such as an electronic number generator or a random number ball blower typically used in the gaming industry for bingo, keno and other match number games (for example, ball blowers available from Tripp Enterprises, Inc. of Sparks, Nev.).

The player terminals and number generator are networked with a central computer and server for implementing the management and accounting for the game including the requirements of the progressive pool and the game pool, using techniques and apparatus well known in the art. A gaming system including a plurality of player terminals and central computer control apparatus is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,674,128 to Niels C. Holch et al., the disclosure of which patent is incorporated herein by reference. In the present game, each player plays against the other players for winning prizes from the game pool as well as from the progressive pool.

Turning to FIG. 1, a preferred bingo card 50 according to the present invention includes thereon a plurality of designations or numbers 52 which are represented in the example of FIG. 1 as the numbers “29”, “3”, “22”, “14”, “15”, “7”, “5” and “16”, which numbers 52 are arranged in two adjacent lines of at least three (preferably four as shown in FIG. 1) designations each. For example, as shown in FIG. 1, a first line 54 of numbers “29”, “3”, “22”, “14”, and a second line 56 of numbers “15”, “7”, “5”, “16”, are shown with such numbers 52 of both of the lines 54, 56 arranged in a grid or matrix, with ones of the numbers 52 of the first line 54 being respectively adjacent ones of the numbers 52 of the second line 56. In the example of the card 50 shown in FIG. 1, the two lines 54, 56 of numbers 52 are vertically disposed (as viewed in the drawing of FIG. 1) and the numbers 52 of each of the lines 54, 56 are arranged such that ones of the numbers 52 of the first line 54 are horizontally aligned with respective ones of the numbers 52 of the second line 56.

Specifically, in the example of FIG. 1, the first or uppermost number “29” of the first line 54 is horizontally aligned with the first or uppermost number “15” of the second line 56, the second number “3” of the first line 54 is horizontally aligned with the second number “7” of the second line 56, the third number “22” of line 54 is horizontally aligned with the third number “5” of line 56, and the fourth number “14” of line 54 is horizontally aligned with the fourth number “16” of line 56. Of course, if the card 50 were rotated 90°, the lines 54, 56 would be horizontally disposed and the pairings of the numbers 52 of such lines would be vertically disposed.

The word “card”, as used herein, is meant to include a video display of an array of designations (preferably numbers) 52, as well as an array of designations or numbers printed on a tangible substrate such as cardboard. The designations or numbers 52 on the card are from a set of designations or numbers 52 that are available for being drawn such as by an electronic number generator or a ball blower as previously discussed. The set of designations or numbers 52 may typically be between twenty-five and forty in quantity, although the game may be played with fewer than twenty-five or more than forty designations. If twenty-nine numbers 52 are employed in the set, such numbers 52 would be from “1” through “29”.

Turning to the first preferred game embodiment of flowchart of FIG. 2, each player at his/her respective player terminal places a wager to the game pool (block 58) and, at the player's option, he/she may place a wager to the progressive pool with respect to the first line 54 of numbers 52 on his card 50 and/or he may place a wager to the progressive pool (block 62) with respect to the second line 56 of designations 52 on his card 50. The wagers may be placed and received by the player terminals by utilization of devices and processes well known in the gaming art, including such devices for receiving and accounting for coins, cash bills, debit cards, credit cards and “smart” cards.

The placing of one or both of the wagers to the progressive pool (blocks 60 and 62) may be mandatory rather than optional, and in any event a single cash, debit or credit entry may be made by the player with the terminal apportioning the amount entered to the game pool and to the progressive pool. As shown in FIG. 1, the video display of the card 50 may include an information area 64 concerning the game wager, and information areas 66 and 68 concerning the respective progressive wagers. Such information areas 64, 66 and 68 may include touch sensitive switching devices for permitting the player to implement the placing of the game wager and the progressive wagers by touching the appropriate information areas 64, 66, 68 on the video screen.

Continuing with the game of FIG. 1, each player is assigned eight numbers 52 to his or her card 50 from the set of numbers 52, four of the numbers 52 being assigned to the first line 54 and four of the numbers 52 being assigned to the second line 56 on the card 50 (block 70). The eight numbers 52 for the card 50 may be assigned to the card 50 by the casino, or each player may assign the eight numbers 52 himself (i.e. he may select eight numbers from the set of say twenty-nine numbers), or the player may select a conventional “quick pick” feature on his terminal whereby eight numbers are randomly selected by the game system and assigned to him. The video display of the card 50 (see FIG. 1) shows a quick pick area 72, which may be a switch touch-actuable by the player for implementing the quick pick feature. Accordingly, the numbers on each player's card are assigned independently of the numbers on the cards of the other players.

Each terminal is preferably capable of permitting a player to play a plurality of cards simultaneously, i.e. the player may place wagers with respect to multiple cards each of which having eight numbers assigned thereto as may be selected by the player or by the quick pick feature. For example, a player may play up to sixteen cards, with up to four such cards being displayed on a front video display or screen and the remaining cards displayed on a secondary video screen; while playing the game, the best four cards will preferably be caused to be displayed on the front screen.

The playing of the game continues with the drawing of numbers 52 from the set of numbers 52, up to four numbers (block 74). For example, if a ball blower is used which contains twenty-nine balls bearing numbers “1” through “29”, the drawing of balls proceeds until four numbers 52 are drawn. The ball blower may additionally contain a thirtieth ball which is undesignated or un-numbered, and the undesignated ball if drawn may be deemed by each player to represent any one of the eight assigned numbers 52 on each card not yet matched by the previously drawn numbered balls. An example of a ball blower having an undesignated or un-numbered ball is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,534 to Frank B. Banyai, the disclosure of which patent is incorporated herein by reference.

The four balls, as they are drawn by the ball blower (block 74), are compared with the eight numbers 52 assigned to each card 50 of each player to determine whether any of the eight numbers 52 on any player card 50 match the drawn numbers 52 when drawn, and the game prizes are paid from the game pool to the first persons whose matched numbers 52 on a card 50 are arranged in predetermined patterns (block 76). Prize winning predetermined number patterns are shown in FIGS. 3 a, 3 b and 4-6, in which a matched number is indicated by shading in the area containing the matched number.

During this stage of the game, there are four predetermined patterns of numbers 52 available for winning a percentage of the prize pool. Specifically, the first card on which either the top two numbers or the bottom two numbers are matched (see FIGS. 4 a and 4 b, respectively) will be awarded a prize, for example 5% of the prize pool. A second winning predetermined pattern comprises matching the top two and bottom two numbers 52, shown in FIG. 5; the first card 50 to have four numbers matched form such pattern is awarded a prize, say 7.5% of the prize pool. A third winning predetermined pattern is a rectangular array or block of four numbers (four corners touching) such as the top block of four matched numbers 52 shown in FIG. 6 a, the bottom block of four matched numbers 52 shown in FIG. 6 b, or the middle block of four matched numbers 52 shown in FIG. 6 c; the first card 50 to have four numbers 52 matched forming any such block is paid a prize, say 7.5% of the game pool. A fourth winning predetermined pattern of numbers 52 comprises matching the four numbers of the first line 54 (FIG. 3 a) or the four numbers 52 of the second line 56 (FIG. 3 b); the first player having a card 50 with matched numbers 52 forming either one of such linear patterns is awarded a prize from the prize pool, say 10% of the prize pool.

Upon completion of the four number drawing step (block 74), prizes are paid from the progressive pool for cards 50 in which predetermined patterns of matched numbers 52 have occurred (block 78), provided the player holding any such card 50 had placed a wager to the progressive pool with respect to the line 54 or the line 56 in which such predetermined pattern has occurred. Progressive prizes are normally pari-mutuel payoffs representing predetermined percentages of the progressive pool which is funded by the progressive wagers from all games.

The first predetermined pattern of matches comprises all four numbers 52 in the first line 54 (FIG. 3 a), and a prize from the progressive pool is paid to such player holding a card 50 with such matches from the first four balls drawn provided a wager was placed to the progressive pool with respect to the first line 54 (block 60). If the first four balls drawn match all four numbers 52 in the second line 56 on a player's card 50, a prize from the progressive pool is paid to such player provided a wager to the progressive pool had been placed with respect to the second line 56 (block 62).

With respect to either the first or second lines 54 or 56, the four matches of the first four numbers drawn may be with or without the assistance of the undesignated ball or wild designation which when drawn may be deemed by each player to represent any one of the four assigned numbers 52 on each card not yet matched by the drawn numbered balls.

In one manner of allotting progressive prizes for four in-line matches from the first four balls drawn, the greatest progressive prize may be paid to four assigned numbers matched in positional order, from the first four numbered balls drawn; a second smaller jackpot may be paid to four matches, in any order, from the first four numbered balls drawn; and a third yet smaller jackpot may be paid to four matches from the first four balls drawn where three of the drawn balls are numbered and one of the four drawn balls is the wild designation. A fourth and smallest prize from the progressive pool may also be paid at this point, for a card including three matched in-line numbers 52 only (i.e. three but not all four assigned numbers 52 in one line 54 or 56) matching three of the four balls drawn, one example of which is shown in FIG. 3 c.

After the fourth ball or number 52 is drawn (block 74) and any game prizes and/or progressive prizes are paid (blocks 76 and 78), the draw from the set of numbers 52 is continued (block 80) and game prizes are paid to the first players holding cards respectively having matched numbers 52 forming predetermined patterns (block 82). Such predetermined patterns may include the patterns shown in FIGS. 3 a, 3 b and 4-6 to the extent such patterns have not occurred during the first four number draw (block 74), as well as the first occurrence of a fifth predetermined pattern comprising a “six-pack”, i.e. six matched numbers creating a rectangular array or block of six touching numbers as shown in either of FIGS. 7 a and 7 b. The first person having a card with matched numbers 52 in a six-pack pattern is paid a prize from the game pool, say 20% of the game pool.

A final winning predetermined pattern of matched numbers consists of a “blackout”, i.e. all eight numbers 52 on a card 50 being matched by the drawn numbers 52 (shown in FIG. 8). The occurrence of a blackout is the event that ends the game embodiment of FIG. 2. The first player obtaining a blackout on one of his cards 50 is paid a prize from the game pool, say 50% of the game pool.

An exciting aspect of the game embodiment of FIG. 2 is that the game will continue from pattern to pattern paying the players for each win. In one example of such aspect, a player's card may be the first to have two matching numbers in a pattern of FIG. 4 a for a first prize from the game pool, a pattern of FIG. 5 for a second prize from the game pool, as well as other prize winning patterns such as those of FIGS. 3, 6 and/or 7, and finally the blackout pattern prize of FIG. 8. In another example, a player may hold a card simultaneously winning both a progressive jackpot and a game pool award upon occurrence of either of the patterns of FIG. 3 a or FIG. 3 b from the first four balls or numbers drawn.

A truncated variation of the present game, illustrated by the second preferred game embodiment flow chart of FIG. 9, provides that not all of the various pattern matches of FIGS. 3 a, 3 b, 4-8 are awarded a prize from the game pool. In a preferred example of this version, a game prize is awarded only with respect to the first card 50 having matched numbers 52 arranged in a particular one of the predetermined patterns, which particular predetermined pattern had been preselected and preferably made known to the players prior to the drawing of any designations.

Turning to FIG. 9, in the second preferred game embodiment each player at his/her player terminal places a wager to the game pool (block 58) and, either mandatorily or at the player's option, he/she places wagers to the progressive pool with respect to the first line 54 and/or the second line 56 of numbers 52 on any one or more of his cards 50, and the player is assigned eight numbers in two lines of four numbers each, for each of his cards 50, in similar manner as described above with respect to the first embodiment flow chart corresponding blocks of FIG. 2.

The step of preselecting (block 84) may comprise a random selection from available predetermined pattern matches or it may comprise a prescribed selection from available predetermined pattern matches. Such preselection may take place before the players place their wagers (block 58), or before or after the players are assigned their eight numbers for each card played; in any case, such preselection should take place before the drawing of the first four numbers (block 86).

The predetermined pattern matches available for preselection are preferably (although not necessarily) comprised of not fewer than the quantity of numbers needed for winning the progressive jackpot, such quantity being four in this example. Accordingly, the two-number pattern matches illustrated in FIGS. 4 a and 4 b may be excluded from preselection.

The playing of the game (in the second preferred embodiment of FIG. 9) continues with the drawing of numbers 52 from the set of numbers 52, the quantity of numbers drawn being the same as the quantity of numbers needed for winning the progressive jackpot, such quantity being four in the example (block 86). The first four numbers or balls (if a ball blower is used) drawn are compared with the eight numbers assigned to each card of each player to determine whether the progressive prizes have been won for three or four matches in either of the lines 54 or 56 on a card 50 (as in the examples of FIGS. 3 a , b and c), and if so the applicable progressive prizes are paid (block 78). At the same time, the eight numbers 52 assigned to each card 50 of each player and the four balls drawn are compared to determine whether any of the eight numbers 52 on any player card 50 match the four numbers drawn such that the matched numbers on the card form the preselected predetermined pattern.

For example, if the preselected pattern is a four-number in-line pattern of FIGS. 3 a or 3 b, a card on which four in-line numbers are matched as in either of FIG. 3 a or FIG. 3 b will be awarded a prize from the game pool, and the game ends (block 90). If the predetermined pattern of FIG. 5 had been preselected, the game prize will be awarded to the player holding a card having such match pattern, and the game ends; similarly, if a four-number block is preselected, a game prize will be awarded to a player having a card exhibiting a match number pattern of any of FIG. 6 a, FIG. 6 b or FIG. 6 c, and the game ends. The game may be played with or without the undesignated ball being included with the drawn numbered balls.

If the preselected predetermined pattern is not matched upon the fourth number being drawn, the draw from the set of numbers 52 is continued until the first occurrence on any card of matched numbers 52 forming the preselected predetermined pattern (block 92); a game prize is paid to the first player holding such card, and the game ends (block 94). The matching of the preselected pattern may occur with respect to the predetermined patterns shown in FIGS. 3 a, 3 b, 5 and 6 (as well as in FIG. 4 if such pattern had not been excluded from preselection) to the extent such patterns have not occurred during the first four number draw (block 86), as well as from a “six pack” illustrated in FIG. 7 a or FIG. 7 b, or from a blackout illustrated in FIG. 8.

An exciting aspect of the game embodiment of FIG. 9 is the speed with which succeeding games may be played, as well as the variation from game to game provided by the preselecting of winning game patterns for each game played. Furthermore, the game may be played with combinations of the first and second embodiments, i.e. more than one but not all matched patterns may be preselected in one game for winning prizes from the game pool.

Thus, there have been described preferred embodiments of a method of playing a match number game similar to bingo and a bingo card for playing the game, the game being suitable for casino play and particularly adapted for electronic implementation such as with video terminals, preferably played by multiple players at a plurality of terminals. Other embodiments of the present invention and variations of the embodiments presented herein may be developed without departing from the essential characteristics thereof. Accordingly, the invention should be limited only by the scope of the claims listed below.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7959507 *Sep 15, 2004Jun 14, 2011IgtMulti-player bingo game and methods for determining game-winning awards
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/269
International ClassificationA63F3/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/065
European ClassificationA63F3/06F