Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20060247019 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/106,335
Publication dateNov 2, 2006
Filing dateApr 14, 2005
Priority dateApr 14, 2005
Also published asCA2604592A1, WO2006113066A2, WO2006113066A3
Publication number106335, 11106335, US 2006/0247019 A1, US 2006/247019 A1, US 20060247019 A1, US 20060247019A1, US 2006247019 A1, US 2006247019A1, US-A1-20060247019, US-A1-2006247019, US2006/0247019A1, US2006/247019A1, US20060247019 A1, US20060247019A1, US2006247019 A1, US2006247019A1
InventorsBrian Watkins
Original AssigneeMultimedia Games, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball draw based random number generation
US 20060247019 A1
Abstract
A random number is generated using two or more designations taken from a ball draw and applied to affect a game. The random number generation process preferably results in a uniform distribution of random numbers across a certain range. The uniformity in which the random numbers may be distributed over a certain range allows the numbers to be employed to affect games in a uniform and unbiased fashion.
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(20)
1. A method including:
(a) generating a random number using two or more designations of a ball draw; and
(b) employing the random number to affect a game.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the random number is generated in a process that produces a uniform distribution of random numbers over a potential range, each respective random number in the uniform distribution being generated using two or more designations from a respective ball draw.
3. The method of claim 1 further including employing the ball draw in conducting the game.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein employing the random number to affect the game includes selecting a graphic presentation from a number of alternate graphic presentations.
5. The method of claim 4 wherein selecting the graphic presentation includes correlating the random number to an index value range and identifying a respective graphic presentation associated with that index value range.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein the random number is generated from the first three designations in the ball draw using a formula (n-1)*(n-2)*x+(n-2)*(y−(y>x))+z−(z>x)−(z>y) where n equals a number of designations available for the ball draw, where x, y, and z are, respectively, the first three designations in the ball draw, and where the ball draw is produced from a pool of designations 0 through n-1.
7. A method including:
(a) generating a ball draw for a game;
(b) generating a random number from two or more designations of the ball draw; and
(c) applying the random number to affect the game.
8. The method of claim 7 further including selecting a graphic presentation for display in the game, the graphic presentation being selected at least in part according to the random number.
9. The method of claim 7 wherein the random number is generated in a process that produces a uniform distribution of random numbers over a potential range, each respective random number in the uniform distribution being generated using two or more designations from a respective ball draw.
10. The method of claim 7 wherein the game includes a bingo-type game and wherein the ball draw matched against bingo cards in the bingo-type game to identify bingo results for the bingo-type game.
11. The method of claim 7 wherein the random number is generated from the first three designations in the ball draw using a formula (n-1)*(n-2)*x+(n-2)*(y−(y>x))+z−(z>x)−(z>y) where n equals the number of designations available for the ball draw, where x, y, and z are, respectively, the first three designations in the ball draw, and where the ball draw is produced from a pool of designations 1 through n-1.
12. A system including:
(a) a ball draw generating device;
(b) an indexing controller for generating a random number based on two or more designations taken from a ball draw generated by the ball draw generating device; and
(c) a game controller for applying the random number to affect a game.
13. The system of claim 12 further including a video display device for producing a video display for the game.
14. The system of claim 12 wherein the game controller has access to an index table correlating each one of a number of index values to a respective game affecting feature, and wherein the game controller correlates the random number with one of the index values to select a respective one of the game affecting features.
15. The system of claim 14 wherein each game affecting feature includes at least a portion of a graphic presentation to be displayed to a player through a player video display.
16. The system of claim 14 wherein each game affecting feature includes a bonus game indicator for indicating a bonus game to be presented to a player through a player station.
17. A program product having a set of machine-readable instructions that when executed are configured to:
(a) generate a random number using two or more designations of a ball draw; and
(b) employ the random number to affect a game.
18. The program product of claim 17 wherein the machine-readable instructions are executable to generate the random number using a process that produces a uniform distribution of random numbers over a potential range, each respective random number in the uniform distribution being generated using two or more designations from a respective ball draw.
19. The program product of claim 17 wherein the machine-readable instructions are executable to employ the ball draw to conduct the game affected by the random number.
20. The program product of claim 17 wherein the machine-readable instructions are executable to access an index table correlating each one of a number of index values to a respective game affecting feature, and to correlate the random number with one of the index values to select a respective one of the game affecting features.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to electronically implemented games of chance such as electronic bingo games. More particularly, the invention relates to using two or more designations from a ball draw or other sequence of designations to generate a random number which is then used to affect some aspect of a game.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The game referred to generally as “bingo” is played with predetermined bingo cards that include a number of designations randomly arranged in a grid, matrix, or other layout of spots or locations. In the traditional bingo game sequence, a number of the predetermined bingo cards are sold for play in a particular game. After the sale of bingo cards is closed for a given game, designations are randomly selected from a pool of available designations and matched to the designations on each bingo card that is in play in the bingo game. This matching of randomly selected bingo designations with a card in play in the game is commonly referred to as daubing the card.

In traditional bingo games, daubing is done manually by the player holding the bingo card. More recent bingo gaming systems automatically check for designation matches for each bingo card in play in a game as designations are randomly selected for the game. Regardless of how the bingo cards in play are daubed, the first card which is daubed in some predefined, game ending pattern of matched card locations is considered a winning card for the game. Patterns achieved in the game other than the game ending pattern may also be associated with prizes.

A large number of variations have been developed on the traditional bingo game played with paper bingo cards. Bingo may be played through a network of interconnected player stations using data representations of bingo cards (bingo card representations) in place of the traditional paper bingo cards. Also, the order in which tasks are done has also been varied. For example, bingo cards or bingo card representations may also be pre-matched to a random series of bingo designations and then sold to players with the resulting daub patterns obscured or otherwise kept from the purchasing players. A player purchasing the pre-daubed bingo card or bingo card representation may reveal or otherwise view the daubed pattern to see if the card or card representation they have purchased produced any winning pattern of matches. Games in which bingo cards or card representations are matched with a sequence of bingo designations, including traditional bingo and variations on the game of bingo, will all be referred to in this document as bingo-type games. The present disclosure and accompanying claims will also refer to any sequence of designations taken from a pool of designations as a “ball draw,” regardless of how the designations are actually produced. Under this definition, a ball draw may be a sequence of numbers from a random number generator, from a pseudo random number generator, or any other suitable device or system, and not necessarily a sequence obtained from a physical ball draw.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides apparatus, methods, and program products for generating a random number that may be used to affect a game in a gaming system. The random number is generated using two or more designations taken from a ball draw. The random number generation process according to the invention preferably results in a uniform distribution of random numbers across a certain range. The uniformity in which random numbers generated according to the present invention may be distributed over a certain range allows the numbers to be employed to affect games in a uniform and unbiased fashion.

The random number generated according to the present invention may be applied to affect a game by indicating a prize to be awarded in the game, by indicating a graphic presentation to be selected for display in the game, indicating a tangential game (a bonus game or a completely separate game) that a player enter, or in some other manner. In one preferred form of the invention, the random number is generated using designations from a ball draw for a given bingo-type game and the number is applied to affect that particular bingo-type game.

One preferred gaming system according to principles of the present invention includes a ball draw generating device, an indexing controller, and a game controller. The ball draw generating device generates a ball draw in some fashion and the indexing controller applies two or more designations from the ball draw to generate a random number. The game controller then applies the random number to affect a game in some manner.

The present invention also includes a program product stored on at least one storage medium. The program product includes a set of machine-readable instructions that when executed are configured to carry out the methods disclosed herein.

These and other advantages and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments, considered along with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a high level diagrammatic representation of a gaming system embodying principles of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a flow chart illustrating a gaming method embodying principles of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic representation showing the relationship between a bingo pattern achieved in a bingo-type game, a number of potential graphic presentations, and a final graphic presentation that may be selected using a ball draw-generated random number according to the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is a high level diagrammatic representation of a gaming system 100 employing the present invention. Gaming system 100 will be described herein as it applies to a bingo gaming system that conducts bingo-type games. In particular, gaming system 100 may comprise a bingo gaming system such as that disclosed in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2004-0152499 entitled “Method, System, and Program Product for Conducting Multiple Concurrent Bingo-Type Games,” the entire content of which is incorporated herein by this reference. However, it will be appreciated that the present invention is not limited to bingo gaming systems. Rather, the present invention may be employed in many different types of gaming systems that may use or produce a ball draw.

Gaming system 100 of FIG. 1 includes a central game server (CGS) 101 that cooperates with a number of other components to enable bingo players, preferably at many different remote gaming sites, to participate in bingo games. Each gaming site includes a local area server (LAS) 102 and a number of electronic player stations (EPSs) 103. In the normal operation of gaming system 100, a player at any EPS 103 in the system may participate in a given bingo game with players at any other EPSs 103 in the system.

Gaming system 100 includes an indexing controller 105 that uses two or more designations from a ball draw to generate a random number for use in the gaming system. Gaming system 100 also includes a game controller 106 that is responsible for employing the random number to affect a game as will be described in detail below. Although FIG. 1 shows indexing controller 105 and game controller 106 at CGS 101, the indexing controller and game controller may be implemented at either CGS 101, LAS 102, or EPS 103. Also, the various functions of indexing controller 105 and game controller 106 as described further below may be distributed across different components of gaming system 100 so that portions of the functions are performed through a combination of CGS 101, LAS 102, and EPS 103. EPSs 103 are shown diagrammatically in FIG. 1 and without internal details because the invention is not limited to any particular type of player stations and because the details of the player stations are not necessary for an understanding of the present invention. However, it will be appreciated that an EPS 103 may include a computer system having nonvolatile memory, volatile memory, a user interface arrangement, and a communications interface, all operably interconnected. The volatile and nonvolatile memory of the EPS 103 may store computer program code that may be executed to perform or direct the various functions provided by the EPS. An EPS 103 will also commonly include one or more video display devices, one or more of which may be configured as touch screens. Graphics processors may be included for providing the required driving signals to the various video display devices, and touch screen controllers may be included for supporting the touch screens. In addition, each EPS 103 will commonly include a sound system for providing high quality audio output at the EPS and a visual alerting system such as a light mounted at the top of the EPS. Each EPS 103 may also include a device for receiving value and issuing value in the course of play. This device may accept currency, vouchers, or tokens, for example, and also output currency, vouchers, or tokens. It should further be noted that the EPSs 103 need not be identical throughout gaming system 100. Rather, there may be wide variations in the various components included in each respective EPS 103 depending upon the particular games that are available at the respective EPS and depending upon many other factors.

The LASs 102 are also shown diagrammatically in FIG. 1 and without internal components in order to avoid obscuring the invention in unnecessary details. Each LAS 102 included in gaming system 100 may include one or more computer systems each having one or more processors, nonvolatile memory, volatile memory, a user interface arrangement (for system operator access), and a communications interface, all operatively interconnected. The volatile and nonvolatile memory may store computer program code that may be executed by the respective processor to cause the processor to perform or direct the various functions provided by LAS 102.

Regardless of the specific configuration of an LAS 102, in a bingo-type game conducted through gaming system 100, each LAS may serve to transfer or relay information from its respective EPSs 103 to CGS 101, and transfer or relay information from the CGS to the LAS's respective EPSs 103. Each LAS 102 according to the present invention may also have the ability to actually conduct bingo-type games in certain situations. For example, where one LAS 102 serves a large number of EPSs 103, the LAS 102 may group players or game play requests from its respective EPSs 103 during a time of high player activity, obtain or produce a ball draw, identify bingo patterns, and return bingo results to the EPSs rather than having the CGS 101 perform these tasks. Also, each LAS 102 may be configured to perform the tasks normally performed by CGS 101 in the event the communications link between the respective LAS and CGS is degraded below a certain level or is severed altogether.

CGS 101 may also include one or more computer systems, each including one or more processors, nonvolatile memory, volatile memory, a user interface arrangement (for system operator access), and a communications interface, all operably interconnected. Regardless of the particular configuration for CGS 101, in the normal operation of gaming system 100, CGS 101 accepts players for participation in bingo-type games offered through the system, produces or obtains ball draws, identifies the achieved patterns in the bingo-type games, and communicates the results to the players at the various EPSs 103.

Again, it should be noted that the particular configuration of hardware components illustrated in FIG. 1 is shown only to provide a convenient example which may be used to describe the present invention. The present invention is not limited to any particular gaming system or gaming system structure. Also, although the system components shown in FIG. 1 are described above as having processing devices operating under the control of operational program code, it will be appreciated that special purpose processing devices or circuits may be configured to provide some or all of the functions described above or described in further detail below.

Also, although some preferred forms of the present invention may be implemented in a networked, electronic bingo gaming system such as that described with reference to FIG. 1, the invention may also be employed in non-electronic bingo-type games. For purposes of convenience in the following disclosure with regard to bingo-type games and in the claims, the term “bingo card” will mean either a physical bingo card or an electronic or other data representation of a bingo card unless specified otherwise.

FIG. 2 provides a flow diagram illustrating a gaming method 200 embodying principles of the present invention. In general, the method includes generating a ball draw as indicated at process block 202, and generating a random number as shown at process block 204. This random number is generated from two or more of the designations in the ball draw produced at block 202. As shown at process block 206, the method includes employing the ball draw-generated random number to affect a game in some manner.

Generating a ball draw as shown at process block 202 in FIG. 2 may be accomplished in a number of different ways within the scope of the present invention. The invention is not limited to any particular manner for generating the ball draw, to any particular number of designations in the ball draw, or to any particular number of designations from which the ball draw is produced. In one preferred form of the invention, the ball draw is generated with a random number generator which takes a pool of available designations, for example the numbers 0 through 74, and places the designations in a random order. Other forms of the invention may use a physical ball draw device in which the designations are randomly selected from a mixing chamber either manually or in some automated fashion. Still other forms of the invention may use a suitable pseudo random number generator for generating a ball draw as shown at process block 202 in FIG. 2. Any of these ball draw producing elements may be located at any suitable location in a gaming system embodying the principles of the present invention. For example, gaming system 100 shown in FIG. 1 may employ a ball draw producing device (ball draw generating device) at CGS 101 along with the indexing controller 105 and game controller 106.

Generating a random number as shown at process block 204 preferably involves a process that provides a uniform distribution of random numbers over a certain range. That is, the preferred random number generating process employed at process block 204 is one that, when applied to a number of different ball draws, results in a number of random numbers that are uniformly distributed over a certain range. The example gaming system 100 shown in FIG. 1 performs the random number generating step with indexing controller 105 under the control of operational program code. However, the present invention is not limited to this location for generating the desired random numbers.

One preferred form of the invention employs the following formula to generate a random number at process block 204 in FIG. 2. This formula uses the first three designations drawn in a ball draw created from a pool of designations 0 through n-1.
(n-1)*(n-2)*x+(n-2)*(y−(y>x)) +z−(z>x)−(z>y)
where

    • n=the number of designations available for the ball draw; and
    • x, y, and z=respective designations in the ball draw; and
    • the “>” symbol represents a logical operation that produces a value of 1 for TRUE and a value of 0 for FALSE.
      Applying this formula to the first three designations in a ball draw results in a random number from 0 to (n)*(n-1)*(n-2)−1, where n equals the number of designations available for the ball draw. For example, for a ball draw selected from the set of designations 0 through 74, the resulting random number would be in the range from 0 to 405149. It is also noted that this formula applied to a number of different ball draws generated from the pool of designations 0 through n-1 produces a uniform distribution of random numbers in the range from 0 to (n)*(n-1)*(n-2)−1, inclusive. Also, although the above formula uses the first three designations of a ball draw, other formulae may be derived to use more or less than the first three designations from the ball draw.

It will be noted that the above-described formula for generating a random number from a ball draw requires numeric values to represent the possible designations in the draw. However, this does not require that the ball draw designations must comprise numeric values. Rather, non-numeric values may be used for ball draw designations, provided that the non-numeric ball draw designations are mapped to numeric values. For example, a pool of designations from which a ball draw is generated may comprise the designations B-1 through B-15, I-1 through I-15, N-1 through N-15, G-1 through G-15, and O-1 through O-15. In this case, each of these non-numeric ball draw designations could be uniquely mapped to a respective number from 0 to 74, inclusive, and the mapped numeric values of the first three non-numeric ball draw designations from a ball draw could be used in the formula described above to generate the desired random number.

Regardless of how the random number is generated at process block 204 in FIG. 2, the random number may be used in any suitable manner to affect a game as indicated at process block 206. For example, the ball draw-generated random number may be used at process block 206 to affect a game by selecting a graphic presentation to be displayed to a player in the course of the game. A detailed example of this particular use of the random number will be described below with reference to FIG. 3. However, the invention is by no means limited to this manner of use to affect a game. Other forms of the invention may employ the ball draw-generated random number to select a tangential game (that is, a bonus game or a completely separate game) or to select a result in a tangential game. Such a tangential game may be a game such as a bingo game, a lottery game, a simulated contest such as a horse race, dog race, or boxing match, a card game, a trivia game, or any other type of game. Yet other forms of the invention may employ the random number generated at process block 204 to modify a characteristic of play in a game, such as winning probabilities or hit (win) frequencies.

In some forms of the invention, the ball draw-generated random number may be used to affect a game which otherwise uses that ball draw in the conduct of the game. For example, the invention may be employed in a gaming system for conducting bingo-type games, each bingo-type game using a ball draw to identify the results for the various bingo card representations entered in the game. In this example, the same ball draw used to identify results in a given bingo-type game may be used according to the invention to generate a random number which is applied to affect the bingo-type game in some fashion. That is, the ball draw produced at process block 202 in FIG. 2 may be a ball draw also used to match against various card representations and identify the results in a bingo-type game. However, the ball draw from which the random number is generated need not be a ball draw used in conducting any game. For example, the ball draw generated at process block 202 in FIG. 2 may be used solely for producing the desired random number, and a different ball draw may be produced and used for identifying bingo results in a bingo-type game which is affected by the ball draw-generated random number.

One preferred way of using the random number to affect the game as shown at process block 206 involves correlating the random number to some game affecting feature such as a graphic presentation used in the game or to a game result, for example. An index table may be used to effect this correlation. In such a table, index values are divided up into different ranges of index values and each range of index values is correlated to a game affecting feature. These index values are preferably taken from a universe of potential random numbers so that a given random number generated according to the invention at process block 204 in FIG. 2 will be included in at least one of the index value ranges, and thus, will be associated with a given one of the game affecting features.

The following simple, example table may be used to describe an index table within the scope of the present invention.

TABLE I
Index Value Range Game Affecting Feature
  0-81029 Feature 1
 81030-162059 Feature 2
162060-243089 Feature 3
243090-324119 Feature 4
324120-405149 Feature 5

In this simple example, there are five different index value ranges. Each index value range correlates to a respective game affecting feature. It may be assumed for this example that the random number that may be generated according to the invention will have a value from 0 to 405149, taken from the 75-designation pool, three-designation example and formula described above. This overall range is broken down into the five index value ranges. Each random number generated from the formula given above will fall within one of the five index value ranges in Table I, and thus will correlate to one of the game affecting features. For example, the random number 187640 falls in the third range of index values, and thus would correlate to game affecting Feature 3. As another example, the random number 393423 falls in the fifth range of index values, and thus would correlate to game affecting Feature 5. By using this index value table to correlate a random number to a given game affecting feature, it can be seen how a given random number generated from the ball draw may be used to identify or select a particular game affecting feature from a number of available features.

It will be appreciated that numerous variations are possible on the basic example shown in Table I. In one variation, the index value ranges may be unequal or non-uniform. In another variation, one or more potential random numbers may not correlate to any game affecting feature. Of course, the invention is not limited to any particular game affecting feature. As discussed above, such features may include graphic presentations, tangential games, tangential game results, game play characteristics, or any other features that may affect the game.

The invention is not limited to any structure or arrangement for performing the step shown at block 206 in FIG. 2 of applying the ball draw-generated random number to affect a game. As the invention is applied in electronic bingo systems such as that shown in FIG. 1, the ball draw-generated random number is preferably applied through game controller 106. Thus, where an indexing table is used to select a game affecting feature as described above, game controller 106 will have access to the indexing table for applying the ball draw-generated random number to locate the corresponding game affecting feature.

As mentioned above, one preferred use of a ball draw-generated random number may be in selecting a graphic presentation to be used in a game. An example of this use may be described in connection with the gaming system set out in U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/610,339, entitled “Player Action Influenced Prize Distribution in a Bingo Game,” the entire content of which is incorporated herein by this reference. In this gaming system, bingo-type games are employed to mimic play in a card game such as draw poker. Each bingo result in the system is mapped to a number of different groups of playing card representations. A particular one of these different groups of playing card representations is assigned to a player for a given game play and the player is allowed to take various actions relating to the card representation, such as discarding certain cards or holding certain cards. The actions taken by the player in light of an exposed portion of the playing card representations determine the prize ultimately awarded to the player in the game. In this system, the present invention may be used to select one of the various playing card representation groups mapped to a particular result in a game.

FIG. 3 may be used in connection with Table II below to describe how the present invention may be employed to select a graphic presentation for use in a game conducted according to the gaming system described in U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/610,339. Referring to FIG. 3, a bingo pattern or group of patterns 302 are mapped to a set 304 of different playing card groups. The respective playing card groups are labeled groups 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4 in the figure. Each respective playing card group 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 will contain a different set of playing card representations that will be displayed to a player on a video display device associated with the player's player station (such as an EPS 103 described above in FIG. 1). A particular one of these playing card groups must be selected to define a player display for a given instance of the game. The display produced for the selected playing card group is shown at 306 in FIG. 3, as a set of five playing cards.

The following Table II is similar to Table I above, with the exception that the game affecting features are defined as the different playing card groups from set 304 in FIG. 3.

TABLE II
Index Value Range Game Affecting Feature
  0-81029 Card Group 1.0
 81030-162059 Card Group 1.1
162060-243089 Card Group 1.2
243090-324119 Card Group 1.3
324120-405149 Card Group 1.4

The index value ranges are again taken from the example described above in which a formula is applied to generate a random number based on the first three designations selected from the 75-designation pool. Once again the overall range of values that the random number may have 0 to 405149, inclusive, is evenly divided in the five example ranges, although the invention is not limited to this even division.

Several specific examples with reference to FIG. 3 and Table II will be illustrative of the present invention. For these examples, assume that a player in a bingo-type game conducted according to the invention described in U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/610,339 has obtained bingo pattern A in a bingo-type game. Although, this pattern A maps to the set 304 of playing card groups in FIG. 3, it does not map to any particular one of the playing card groups in the set. Thus, something must be applied to select one of the available playing card groups 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, or 1.4. This selection may be accomplished by the present invention by generating a random number from a suitable ball draw in the interval 0 to 405149 and employing the correlations set out in Table II to define a particular one of the available playing card groups.

That playing card group may then be displayed to the player to continue the process described in U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/610,339.

For a first example, assume that the first three designations from the ball draw are 5, 34, and 18. Applying the indexing formula above, the resulting random number is:
29435=(75−1)*(75−2)*5+(75−2)*(34−(34>5))+18−(18>5)−(18>34)
The random number falls within the index value range 0-81029, and thus, from Table II, the random number correlates with the playing card group 1.0, which is selected for display to the player in accordance with the game described in U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/610,339. It will be noted that in this example, the ball draw from which the designations 5, 34, and 18 were taken may be the ball draw used to conduct the underlying bingo-type game to identify the pattern A achieved by the player, or may be a separate ball draw.

As a second example, assume that the first three designations from a ball draw are 12, 25, and 56. Applying the indexing formula for this situation results in the random number 66630 calculated:
66630=(75−1)*(75−2)*12+(75−2)*(25−(25>12))+56 −(56>12)−(56>25)
This random number 66630 falls within the index value range 0-81029 listed in Table II and again correlates to playing card group 1.0 in the table. Thus, the random number is applied through indexing Table II to select playing card group 1.0 for display to the player in the course of the game. Again, the ball draw from which designations 12, 25, and 56 are taken may or may not be the same ball draw used to identify the result for the player falling in pattern group A.

As a final example, assume the first three designations from a ball draw are 64, 41, and 23. Applying the preferred indexing formula to this set of three designations results in the random number:
348744=(75−1)*(75−2)*64+(75−2)*(41−(41>64))+23−(23>64)−(23>41)
This random number 348744 falls within the index value range 324120-405149 and thus correlates to playing card group 1.4. Therefore, although the player has obtained a pattern in the bingo-type game at the same pattern level A, the player is presented with a different playing card group with which to finish their play in the game.

It will be noted from the above three examples that the ball draw-generated random number may be applied to select a graphic presentation, namely a respective playing card group, to affect play in the game. In an actual implementation of the invention described in U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/610,339, a large number of different playing card groups may be defined. Randomly selecting the different playing card groups for display to the player in the course of the game helps ensure that the game appears as random as an actual draw poker game. This application of the ball draw-generated random number according to the invention together with the system described in U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/610,339 may provide a very realistic and effective simulation of draw poker or some other playing card game while still obtaining the player's result in the game from the underlying bingo-type game.

It should be noted that although the random number produced from a ball draw according to the present invention will be uniformly distributed over the given range, the manner in which the random number is used to affect a game may introduce certain biases. For example, a ball draw may be used to play a bingo game and the random number generated from the ball draw as described above may be used to regulate some further event that is specified by the pattern produced for a player in the bingo game. In this case, although the random number produced from the ball draw will be uniform over the potential range, the ball draw itself may be biased because certain ball draws may be slightly more likely than others to produce the pattern produced for the player. The bias in the ball draw in this case will translate to a bias in the number generated from the ball draw.

The bias introduced by how a random number produced according to the present invention is applied may not detract from a given application of the random number, and thus the random number may be used without correction. However, correction for the bias may be desirable in other instances. One preferred method for correcting for the bias described in the preceding paragraph for a given bingo pattern involves first empirically measuring the distribution of random numbers given that the particular bingo pattern was hit. This empirical distribution of random numbers may be generated by repeatedly simulating the play of the bingo game and calculating the random number according to the invention for each simulation in which the given pattern is achieved. The empirically determined distribution of random numbers may then be considered in specifying how the actual random numbers will affect the game when the given pattern is hit.

The above described preferred embodiments are intended to illustrate the principles of the invention, but not to limit the scope of the invention. Various other embodiments and modifications to these preferred embodiments may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention.

As used herein, whether in the above description or the following claims, the terms “comprising”, “including”, “carrying”, “having”, “containing”, “involving”, and the like are to be understood to be open-ended, that is, to mean including but not limited to. Only the transitional phrases “consisting of” and “consisting essentially of”, respectively, shall be closed or semi-closed transitional phrases, as set forth, with respect to claims, in the United States Patent Office Manual of Patent Examining Procedures (Eighth Edition, August 2001 as revised May 2004), Section 2111.03.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8007356Dec 7, 2007Aug 30, 2011Griffin York & KrauseMethod for conducting a lottery
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/22
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07C15/001
European ClassificationG07C15/00B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 9, 2011ASAssignment
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC. AND MULTIMEDIA GAMES HOLDING COMPANY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:026719/0259
Owner name: COMERICA BANK, A TEXAS BANKING ASSOCIATION, MICHIG
Effective date: 20110803
Apr 14, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WATKINS, BRIAN A.;REEL/FRAME:016478/0163
Effective date: 20050411