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Publication numberUS20070013127 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/485,233
Publication dateJan 18, 2007
Filing dateJul 11, 2006
Priority dateJan 12, 2004
Also published asCA2552960A1, CN1925895A, EP1713553A1, EP1713553A4, WO2005065793A1
Publication number11485233, 485233, US 2007/0013127 A1, US 2007/013127 A1, US 20070013127 A1, US 20070013127A1, US 2007013127 A1, US 2007013127A1, US-A1-20070013127, US-A1-2007013127, US2007/0013127A1, US2007/013127A1, US20070013127 A1, US20070013127A1, US2007013127 A1, US2007013127A1
InventorsBenjamin Ellis
Original AssigneeDynamite Games Pty Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming apparatus and systems
US 20070013127 A1
Abstract
Gaming apparatus, e.g. an Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) (1), includes a controller (2) for implementing a Sic Bo game. The controller (2) includes a display (5) on which is displayed a first dice tumbler (9) including a set of dice and betting board (10), as well as further dice tumblers (11) each including a further set of dice that can be bet on and played at the same time as betting on and playing the set of dice in the first dice tumbler (9). The apparatus may also allow multiple sets of dice betting using a plurality of physical sets of dice and an electronic betting terminal.
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Claims(41)
1. Gaming apparatus for playing Sic Bo, the apparatus including:
a plurality of setsof dice; input means for allowing a user to place a bet or bets on the plurality of sets of dice during a round of betting;
means for determining the win statuses of the plurality of sets of dice after a round of rolls; and
means for displaying the bet outcome, the bet outcome being based on the input bet or bets and on the win statuses of the sets of dice.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the sets of dice include a virtual set of dice.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the sets of dice include a physical set of dice.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the apparatus includes means for inputting the results of a roll of the physical set of dice.
5. The apparatus of claim 3, including electronic betting terminals that provide the input and display means.
6. The apparatus of claim 5, including a physical set of dice remote from the betting terminals.
7. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the display means displays an image or representation of the physical set of dice.
8. The apparatus of claim 7, including a camera for providing an image of the physical set of dice.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, including means for automatically setting the number of sets of dice to be bet upon in a round.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, including means for allowing a user to select the number of sets of dice to be bet upon in a round.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, including means for allowing a user to select the plurality of sets of dice from a group of possible sets of dice.
12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus includes bet allocation means for automatically placing a bet on each of the plurality of sets of dice based on a main bet input by the user.
13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the bet allocation means repeats the amount of the main bet across each of the sets of dice.
14. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the bet allocation means places a bet amount on each of the sets of dice that is a percentage or increment of the main bet amount.
15. The apparatus of claim 12, where the bet allocation means places a bet on each of the sets of dice that is of the same type as that of the main bet.
16. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the bet allocation means places a number of bets on each of the sets of dice based on a number of main bets.
17. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus includes means for allowing a user to place bets manually on each of the plurality of sets of dice.
18. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a win event is triggered based on the win status of any one of the sets of dice.
19. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a win event is triggered based on the combined win status of two or more of the sets of dice.
20. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the sets of dice are rolled in an overlapping manner.
21. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the sets of dice are rolled such that the results are revealed successively.
22. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus is an electronic gaming machine.
23. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus includes a central control and a plurality of remote devices for receiving bets and displaying results that are in communication with the central control.
24. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus includes a network of electronic devices.
25. A gaming system for playing Sic Bo, the system including:
a plurality of sets of dice;
input means for allowing a user to place a bet or bets on the plurality of sets of dice during a round of betting;
means for determining the win statuses of the plurality of sets of dice after the dice are rolled; and
means for displaying the bet outcome, the bet outcome being based on the input bet or bets and on the win statuses of the sets of dice.
26. The system of claim 25 wherein the system includes a central control for running a gaming algorithm, and a plurality of remote clients in communication with the central control over a communications network, the remote clients including means for inputting bets and displaying the results of bets.
27. A method of operating a gaming machine for playing Sic Bo, the method including the steps of:
obtaining a bet or bets from a user;
placing the bet or bets on a plurality of sets of dice in a single betting round;
rolling the sets of dice;
determining the statuses of the plurality of sets of dice after the rolling; and
displaying the betting results based on the input bet or bets and on the statuses of the sets of dice.
28. A method according to claim 27, wherein the step of rolling the sets of dice occurs before obtaining the bet or bets from the user.
29. Gaming software including:
a component for obtaining a bet or bets from a user;
a component for placing the bet or bets on a plurality of sets of dice in a single betting round;
a component for determining the statuses of the plurality of sets of dice after a roll of the dice; and
a component for displaying the betting results based on the input bet or bets and on the statuses of the sets of dice.
30. Electronic gaming apparatus including:
means for generating a plurality of virtual sets of dice;
means for receiving a bet or bets from a user in relation to the plurality of virtual sets of dice;
means for rolling the sets of dice; and
means for determining a user's winnings based on the results of the sets of dice and on the user bet or bets.
31. A Sic Bo game playing system, including:
a plurality of physical sets of dice; and
a betting terminal;
wherein the betting terminal allows a player to bet on the plurality of sets of dice at the same time.
32. The system of claim 31, wherein bets are placed on the plurality of sets of dice automatically based on a bet input by a player.
33. The system of claim 31, wherein bets are placed on the plurality of sets of dice manually by the player.
34. Electronic gaming apparatus including:
a plurality of sets of dice;
means for inputting a bet or bets, including means for generating a single electronic Sic Bo betting board through which one or more Sic Bo bets may be placed on the plurality of sets of dice;
means for automatically placing bets on the plurality of sets of dice based on an input bet or bets;
means for determining the win statuses of the plurality of sets of dice after the sets of dice are rolled; and
means for determining a win based on the win statuses of the plurality of sets of dice and on the bet or bets placed.
35. An electronic Sic Bo game in which the game includes a plurality of sets of dice that a user is able to bet on centrally in a single betting round.
36. The electronic Sic Bo game of claim 35, wherein the game includes a plurality of virtual sets of dice that a user is able to bet on.
37. The electronic Sic Bo game of claim 35, including an electronic betting terminal and a plurality of physical sets of dice, the terminal allowing a user to bet centrally on the physical sets of dice.
38. The electronic Sic Bo game of claim 35, including a bet allocation means for automatically allocating bets across the sets of dice.
39. Gaming apparatus for playing Sic Bo, including:
a plurality of sets of dice;
input means for allowing a user to place one or more bets on the plurality of sets of dice;
bet allocation means for placing a separate bet on each of the sets of dice based upon at least one bet input by a user;
means for determining the statuses of the plurality of sets of dice after the dice have been rolled; and
means for displaying the bet outcome, the bet outcome being based on the input bet and on the statuses of the sets of dice.
40. The apparatus of claim 39, wherein the bet allocation means repeats the user input bet across the plurality of sets of dice.
41. The apparatus of claim 39, wherein the bet allocation means places a user input bet on one set of dice, and places different bets on other sets of dice, the bets on the other sets of dice being different in amount and/or type.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This invention is related to and claims priority from Australian Patent Application No. 2004900127, filed 12 Jan. 2004; and PCT Application No. PCT/AU2005/000026 filed on 12 Jan. 2005 entitled Gaming Apparatus and Systems, which are each incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to gaming apparatus and systems. It relates for example to electronic gaming machines and to networked gaming systems, such as Intranet and/or Internet-based gaming systems.

BACKGROUND

Gaming machines have been a popular form of entertainment for many years. This popularity has been enhanced by the advent of electronic gaming machines, and by computer-based gaming systems, such as are provided over the Internet.

Many different types of game are payable. They include for example standard slot-machine type games with spinning reels, poker machines, keno, bingo, blackjack, roulette, Sic Bo, pachinko and the like.

A user will typically place a bet, press a button or pull a lever to begin a game, and will win or lose based upon the gaming machine's play algorithm and random number generator.

An aim of the present invention is to provide gaming apparatus having novel features for enhancing and increasing user participation.

Viewed from one aspect, the present invention provides gaming apparatus for playing Sic Bo, the apparatus including: a plurality of sets of dice; input means for allowing a user to place a bet or bets on the plurality of sets of dice during a round of betting; means for determining the win status of the plurality of sets of dice after a round of rolls; and means for displaying the bet outcome, the bet outcome being based on the input bet or bets and on the win status of the sets of dice.

The invention provides a Sic Bo gaming apparatus in which a user may place a bet or bets on and play more than one set of dice per round, and so may play a number of sets of dice simultaneously, with e.g. a single bet being duplicated across all of the sets. Each set of dice is preferably housed in a separate dice tumbler.

Sic Bo is a dice game in which the player tries to predict the outcome of a multiple, usually three dice roll. Players place bets on a betting board with multiple betting options and payouts before the result is revealed. The bets may be placed either before or after the dice are rolled. The winning combination of dice is identified and the winning bets are indicated on the betting board.

The present invention provides a new approach to playing Sic Bo that can add extra interest to the game over and above the usual game play. It benefits players by making the game more interesting, with, for example, rolling sets of dice simultaneously, rolling sets of dice in rapid succession, and the possibility of a number of different win options. It also benefits the gaming operators by helping to increase use of their machines and play rates.

The sets of dice themselves may be simulated/virtual sets of dice, for example each in a virtual tumbler, generated electronically e.g. with a random number generator determining a winning dice combination, and with an animation of a dice tumbler cover being removed to reveal a set of dice. In this case, the apparatus will include means for simulating a plurality of sets of dice tumblers and for displaying them upon a gaming screen of the apparatus.

Alternatively, or in combination with virtual sets of dice, the sets of dice may be real physical sets of dice that e. g. may be provided within a casino or the like, for example in dice tumblers. In this case, the apparatus may include a number of physical dice tumblers, each including a set of dice, together with electronic betting facilities, e.g. a plurality of betting terminals that e. g. may be overseen by a central controller. In this case, the roll of the dice results from the tables may be input into the electronic betting facilities. This may be achieved automatically through electronic detection circuitry associated with the sets of dice and/or tumblers, or by a croupier or the like entering the winning numbers into a suitable input terminal and the relevant winning combination being identified.

The physical sets of dice and/or tumblers may be provided as normal Sic Bo tables or may be provided by themselves without the usual betting board, dice and tumblers could be separate from one another or provided on the same table.

The physical sets of dice and tumblers may be located together, e.g. in a gambling pit, with a plurality of betting terminals adjacent to them, in which case the user of a terminal can see all of the dice tumblers. The dice tumblers may also be remote from the terminals, e.g. spread throughout a casino and/or even in another venue. In the former case, a terminal need not provide a representation of the dice tumblers themselves on its screen, as they can be seen, although it may still be preferable to do so. In the latter case, as a user cannot see the physical dice tumblers that they are playing, the terminal will display the results of the roll of the sets of dice by the dice tumbler, and may for example display a plurality of virtual dice tumblers that roll the sets of dice in a manner reflecting the roll of the dice in the physical dice tumblers. In one embodiment, the apparatus may display video images of the sets of dice and/or tumblers, e.g. overhead shots of the sets of dice, e.g. through the use of suitable camera apparatus. These images may be real time video sequences of the sets of dice and/or tumblers or snap-shots of the sets of dice tumblers after the sets of dice have been rolled by the dice tumblers and revealed.

The number of sets of dice bet on per round may be fixed, e.g. at three, four or five dice tumblers, or any other desired number, or may be variable. The number of sets of dice played may be selected by the user, and/or may be chosen automatically, e.g. based on the bet or bets laid, and/or could be decided randomly.

The apparatus may allow a user to chose which of the sets of dice from a number of sets of dice they wish to play, e.g. to allow them to replace a set of dice on which they lose or win by a new set of dice. For example, if there are a number of physical sets of dice to choose from a user may choose specific ones to bet on.

The betting on the plurality of sets of dice may take any suitable form.

An advantage of the present invention is that all of the sets of dice may be bet upon through a single Sic Bo betting board, a bet on the board being repeated or otherwise allocated across the sets of dice.

In one preferred form, the same bet amount is replicated across the sets of dice. In another embodiment, bets are placed on the sets of dice according to a set formula, e.g. a first amount is placed on one set of dice e.g. in a single tumbler, and higher or lower amounts are placed on the other sets of dice e.g. in other tumblers. The bet allocation is preferably made automatically, without user input, although the latter is possible. Bet allocation may also vary depending on the amount and type of a main bet.

The invention may in one aspect be seen as allowing a player to bet on a first main set of dice e.g. in a first tumbler using the associated betting board, and automatically applying that bet to a number of further sets of dice, e.g. in further tumblers, that can then all be played at the same time.

The bet type may take any of the usual forms associated with Sic Bo.

For example, a user may bet on a ‘small’, ‘big’, specific triple, specific double, any triple, three dice total, dice combination, single die bet or the like. The bet type is preferably repeated across the sets of dice e.g. across tumblers, so that e.g. both the bet amount and bet type are repeated. It would also be possible however to vary the bet type between different sets of dice, this again, if applied, being preferably automatic.

The win events that earn a user winnings may be the same as for standard dice tumblers/sets of dice, e.g. based on standard bet types. The present invention also however allows for additional win events based on mystery and bonus events, and allows win events to be based on the roll results for a number of the sets of dice played. Further, the present invention allows for any number of dice to be rolled in each of the dice tumblers.

The dice tumblers may roll the dice in any suitable manner. In one preferred embodiment, all of the dice tumblers roll the dice together, and the dice are revealed one after another. They could also however stop at the same time, and/or could start at different times.

Where the sets of dice are rolled after bets have been made, one dice tumbler could roll the sets of dice contained within it as another is revealing the dice contained within that tumbler. The overlapping of the rolling and revealing of the sets of dice can increase user interest through the parallel running of dice tumblers, as well as the bet rate. Dice tumblers rolling and revealing the sets of dice successively would allow a user to experience the anticipation of each “roll of the revealed” individually. A number of “rolls of the dice” one after the other in quick succession can provide an extra degree of excitement to the game play. A similar effect can be achieved where the sets of dice are rolled before bets are placed and then remain covered, by sequential revealing of sets of dice.

As well as standard Sic Bo style functions, the gaming apparatus may be provided with bonus features relating to the use of multiple sets of dice, e.g. a win event may be based on the results across a number of the dice tumblers.

In another possibility, a free set of dice could be provided that will e.g. automatically repeat a player's Sic Bo bet options on a main set of dice.

The present invention may be applied to any suitable type of gaming apparatus or system. It can apply to stand-alone gaming apparatus, e.g. electronic gaming machines, such as video gaming machines, to gaming machines that are linked together, e.g. via a network such as an Intranet, and/or Internet, and/or to gaming systems provided through computing or other electronic devices, e.g. personal computers, mobile telephones and the like, e.g. over the Internet or other communications networks.

In networked games, the apparatus may include a central control for conducting games and managing accounting and the like, and a number of remote terminals/clients that provide user input and display mechanisms.

The present invention extends to central controls/servers and to remote terminals/clients that are configured to carry out the Sic Bo gaming of the present invention.

Viewed from another aspect, the present invention provides a gaming system including: a plurality of sets of input means for allowing a user to place a bet or bets on the plurality of sets of dice during a betting round; means for determining the win statuses of the plurality of sets of dice after the sets of dice are rolled; and means for displaying the bet outcome, the bet outcome being based on the input bet or bets and on the win statuses of the sets of dice.

The system may include a central control for running a gaming algorithm, and a plurality of remote clients in communication with the central control over a communications network, the remote clients including means for inputting bets and displaying the results of bets.

Viewed from another aspect, the present invention provides a method of operating a gaming machine, the method including the steps of: obtaining a bet or bets from a user; placing the bet or bets on a plurality of sets of dice in a single betting round; rolling the sets of determining the statuses of the plurality of sets of dice after the rolling; and displaying the betting results based on the input bet or bets and on the statuses of the sets of dice; The step of rolling the sets of dice may occur before obtaining the bet or bets from the user. The step of rolling the sets of dice may occur before obtaining some of the bets from the user and after obtaining other bets.

Viewed from a further aspect, the present invention provides gaming software including: a component for obtaining a bet or bets from a user; a component for placing the bet or bets over a plurality of sets of dice in a single betting round; a component for determining the statuses of the plurality of sets of dice after a roll of the sets of dice; and a component for displaying the betting results based on the input bet or bets and on the statuses of the sets of dice.

Viewed from a still further aspect, the present invention provides electronic gaming apparatus including: means for generating a plurality of virtual sets of dice; means for receiving a bet or bets from a user in relation to the plurality of virtual sets of dice; means for rolling the sets of dice; and means for determining a user's winnings based on the results of the sets of dice and on the user bet or bets.

Viewed from another aspect, the present invention provides a Sic Bo game playing system, including: a plurality of physical sets of dice; and a betting terminal; wherein the betting terminal allows a player to bet on the plurality of sets of dice at the same time.

Bets may be placed on the plurality of sets of dice automatically based on a bet input by a player. Alternatively, bets may be placed on the plurality of sets of dice manually by the player.

Viewed from a further aspect, the present invention provides electronic gaming apparatus including: a plurality of sets of dice; means for inputting a bet or bets, including means for generating a single electronic Sic Bo betting board through which one or more Sic Bo bets may be placed on the plurality of sets of dice; means for automatically placing bets on the plurality of sets of dice based on an input bet or bets; means for determining the win statuses of the plurality of sets of dice after the dice are rolled; and means for determining a win based on the win statuses of the plurality of sets of dice and on the bet or bets placed.

Viewed from another aspect, the present invention provides an electronic Sic Bo game in which the game includes a plurality of sets of dice that a user is able to bet on centrally in a single betting round.

Preferably, the game includes a plurality of virtual sets of dice that a user is able to bet on.

In one form, the electronic Sic Bo game includes an electronic betting terminal and a plurality of physical sets of dice, the terminal allowing a user to bet centrally on the physical sets of dice. Preferably; the electronic Sic Bo game includes a bet allocation means for automatically allocating bets across the sets of dice.

It should be noted that any of the further aspects mentioned above may include any of the features mentioned in relation to the first aspect of the present invention.

Viewed from another aspect, the present invention provides a gaming apparatus for playing Sic Bo, including: a plurality of sets of dice; input means for allowing a user to place one or more bets on the plurality of sets of dice; bet allocation means for placing a separate bet on each of the sets of dice based upon at least one bet input by a user; means for determining the statuses of the plurality of sets of dice after the dice have been rolled; and means for displaying the bet outcome, the bet outcome being based on the input bet and on the statuses of the sets of dice.

Preferably, the bet allocation, means repeats the user input bet across the plurality of sets of dice. Alternatively, the bet allocation means places a user input bet on one set of dice, and places different bets on other sets of dice, the bets on the other sets of dice being different in amount and/or type.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood that the particularity of the drawings does not supersede the generality of the preceding description of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of gaming apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a display screen shot showing a game display according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a flow diagram of a gaming control process in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of gaming apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, a gaming apparatus, which in this case takes the form of an electronic gaming machine (EGM) 1, includes various standard components, such as a controller 2 for controlling the operation of the EGM 1 and the games run on it, a coin/token/card input 3 for receiving bets, a coin/token/card output 4 for paying out winnings, a display 5 for displaying game screens, and a user input 6, including e.g. buttons 7, for allowing user interaction.

The EGM 1 may be a stand-alone machine. It may also be networked with other EGMs and/or with a control centre via a suitable communications network 8, such as a LAN and/or WAN, in order to play networked (e.g. intranet or Internet) games, such as for example a linked jackpot.

In use, the EGM 1 will display an initial gaming screen on the display 5. A player will insert coins and/or tokens into the EGM input 3, and will press a button 7 to initiate play and otherwise interact with the game. How matters then proceed will depend on the game being played.

In Sic Bo, the EGM 1 will display a virtual dice tumbler 9 containing a set of virtual dice and a betting board 10. The player selects the amount to bet on the set of dice e.g. using the buttons 7 and selects the type of bet through the board 10. The type of bet may include any of the standard Sic Bo bets, e.g. specific triple, specific double, any triple, three dice total, dice combination, single die bet or the like.

Once a bet has been placed, the EGM 1 will determine a winning dice combination in accordance with a stored gaming algorithm and random number generator, and will provide an animation of the screen dice tumbler 9 and the associated set of dice, e.g. the dice tumbler rolls the set of dice and the dice are revealed. Alternatively, the dice are just shown in a final position without rolling.

The EGM 1 then pays out any winnings in accordance with the bets laid.

The dice tumbler may be represented electronically and include any number of virtual dice with an electronic representation of a cover. The cover representation is then removed to reveal the results. Alternatively, the results could appear from a previously blank screen.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the EGM 1 simulates and displays a number of extra dice tumblers 11, each containing a virtual set of dice on which bets can also be placed at the same time as betting on the main set of dice and tumbler 9, e.g. by duplicating the bet across all of the dice tumblers. As each set of dice, and each dice tumbler is the same, any of the can be identified as the main set of dice and tumbler. Thus, a user is able to bet on and to play multiple sets of dice at the same time. The user can bet on all of the sets of dice during a single round of betting using the same apparatus and betting board, and the dice can be rolled together by the dice tumblers, e.g. in a simultaneous or partly overlapping manner.

The ability to bet on a number of sets of dice e.g. in multiple tumblers, in one go increases for the user. It provides for added excitement and opens the door to further enhancements, such as win events based across a number of the sets of dice. It also benefits the EGM owner, as gaming participation and bet rate can be increased.

FIG. 2 is a generic screen shot showing one embodiment of how a Sic Bo game according to the present invention may be implemented. The screen shot shows the virtual dice tumblers 9 and 11, and a standard Sic Bo betting board 10.

A user of the machine 1 selects a stake amount from their balance using screen touch buttons 12, and indicates the type of bet on the betting board 10, e.g. by touching within a specific number or box. Several bets may be placed at the same time by repeating the stake selection and board placement.

In one embodiment, a player's bets on the main set of dice in the main tumbler 9 are repeated on each of the other sets of dice in other tumblers 11, so that a single die bet of $2 on the main set of dice becomes a bet of $12 spread over all six sets of dice-$2 per set of dice, each bet on the same single die bet.

The player then presses the “play” button 13 to start the dice tumblers 9 and 11 rolling the sets of dice, and the EGM 1 determines the result of the roll for each set of dice. The dice tumblers 9 and 11 may all roll and reveal the sets of dice together, or may reveal the sets of dice successively in order to allow the player to experience the anticipation of the “reveal of the set of dice” for each dice tumbler independently. The dice tumblers 9 and 11 could also roll and reveal the sets of dice in any other suitable manner relative to one another, e.g. as one reveals a set of dice, another may begin rolling another set of dice. Overlapping rolls of the sets of dice and successive rapid revealing of the dice may provide a particularly pleasing experience.

The “sets of dice” button 14 allows a player to determine the number of extra sets of dice to play. However, in alternative embodiments, the sets of dice to bet on may be fixed and cannot then be chosen by the player.

Other buttons include a “repeat” button 15 for repeating the bets of a previous round, a “clear” button 16 for clearing a bet, e.g. if an error has occurred in the placement, a “see pays” button 18 for viewing the winning payouts, and a “help” button 17 for obtaining instructions on how to play the game and the like.

The display includes a “balance” window 19, a “bet” window 20 and a 21 to keep track of a player's bets, and a messaging line 22 for displaying messages, e.g. from a central control.

As well as repeating the main bet (the bet on the main set of dice in the first tumbler) over all of the dice tumblers, other bet allocation regimes are also possible. For example, bets on the further sets of dice in the further tumblers 11 may be at set values or may be set at a percentage or increment of the main bet, and may be higher or lower than the main bet.

Different bets may be placed on different sets of dice. For example, a player may choose to place a different type or amount of bet on various different sets of dice. However, as discussed above, in embodiments of the invention, the player may be required to bet on a predetermined group of sets of dice, rather than choosing different sets of dice on which to bet.

Although not shown in FIG. 2, the game may further include extra or bonus features. The extra or bonus features may include for example one or more free games, or the chance to play for higher winnings or the like, and may be e.g. luck or skills based. They may be provided as “second screen” features that display on a new screen. Another way of adding gaming interest is to include a wild feature, such as wild symbols that can represent more than one number on a die, and so can increase the chances of achieving a winning combination or the like. The extra or bonus features may be activated in many different ways, e.g. randomly, or under a particular set of circumstances, e.g. under a set dice combination. They may also occur due to an accumulation of circumstances across a number of game plays, and may occur due to the condition of a device supplemental to the EGM 1 itself, e.g. they may relate to jackpot wins in linked jackpot systems comprising a plurality of EGMs under a central control.

Jackpot type wins may be provided. The jackpots may be fixed or may be progressive (i.e. those which accrue over time, typically from the incrementation of a portion of a bet). The jackpot type wins may be achieved from a combination occurring on one or more sets of dice, either in a main game, or a side game, and may be in the form of an optional or compulsory side bet.

FIG. 3 shows a possible for the processing of a Sic Bo game by the controller 2. Thus, the invention may be put into effect by the controller 2 running software that incorporates a subroutine executing in the manner shown.

At step the routine displays a start screen e.g. as shown in FIG. 2. The routine awaits the input of coins, tokens, cards or the like in step S2, and when the user has deposited a sufficient balance in the machine, the EGM 1 passes to steps S3 and S4, in which it prompts for the amount to be bet in the current round of play and the type (s) of bet or bets to be made. Prompting may occur e.g. through the flashing of the relevant buttons and the like. Thus, a user would select the bet types and amounts that they would like to place, e.g. $5 on any triple 4, $25 on a single die bet 5, and $10 on ‘big’.

In step S5, the EGM 1 automatically allocates the bets made on the betting board to each of the sets of dice. This may be based on the initial bet, and e.g. each set of dice may be allocated the same bet or bets as the main bet or a percentage or increment thereof, or some other allocation regime may be used, for example a different choice of bet by a player on different sets of dice. Next, the routine prompts at step S6 for the number of sets of dice to be played, e.g. the player selects four or five sets of dice or some other number using the up/down sets of dice button 14.

The overall bet placed is then displayed in the “Bet” window 20 at step S7. This step may be carried out each time the player increases the number of sets of dice and therefore tumblers in step S6, so that if a player has insufficient funds for the number of sets of dice to be played, then the number of sets of dice payable could be suitably restricted.

The allocation of bets across the sets of dice may be a simple repeat of the bets for each set of dice. In one embodiment, the option is provided of increasing the amount of the bet for each set of dice, e.g. on dice in tumblers 1 and 3 a player may play the initial input amount, whilst on dice in tumbler 2 a player may play twice the amount of the main bets (e.g. the above bet may be $10 on any triple 4, $50 on a single die bet 5 and $20 on big), and on dice in another tumbler may play another multiple of the bets. A Bet Up/Down button may be provided to facilitate this function.

The EGM then waits for the “play” button to be pressed by the user, and, in response to the button's activation, in step S7, displays total bets placed and in step S8 rolls the sets of dice, generates the winning combinations of dice for the sets of dice in the tumblers 9 and 11 and animates each dice tumbler cover being removed to reveal each set of dice in accordance with the results.

Revealing the results of the dice tumblers rolling the sets of dice may overlap to a greater or lesser extent, preferably with the revealing of the results of the dice tumblers ending in quick succession one after the other. In an alternative embodiment, the dice are rolled before bets are placed. The results of the dice rolls are not revealed until after the bets have been placed.

Once the rolls of the dice are finished, the EGM 1 determines any winnings for the user, in step S9, and displays the combined winnings from across the sets of dice in the “win” window 21.

The routine finishes in step S10, and the start screen is redisplayed.

The routine may of course vary from the basic form shown, and may include various validity checks, bonus games and the like, and the step order may change.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a second embodiment, in which the multiple dice tumblers are provided by a plurality of real (physical) dice tumblers 23, each containing a set of dice, rather than the virtual dice tumblers of the first embodiment. The gaming apparatus includes the physical dice tumblers 23, as well as associated electronic betting terminals 24.

The dice tumbler of an embodiment of the invention includes a set of three six sided dice, an opaque cover and a mechanism to tumble the dice, the mechanism being mechanically or electronically activated. In operation, the dice tumbler is covered with the opaque cover and the tumbling mechanism is activated. Once the dice tumbler is activated, the set of dice is rolled. The opaque cover is then removed to reveal the three dice, which form the winning combination or result. However, a different number of dice may alternatively be provided. Dice with a different number of sides may also alternatively be used.

In this embodiment, the dice tumblers 23 may be provided together in close proximity to one another in a gaming pit, with a bank of the betting terminals 24 provided adjacent to them. Thus, a user can see the dice tumblers 23 and can place bets on all of them together through one of the terminals 24, which may display a suitable screen for inputting and keeping track of bets. The screen could for example take the same form as in FIG. 2, with the displayed dice tumblers 9 and 11 mirroring the results of the sets of dice in the physical dice tumblers 23. Alternatively, no representation of the physical dice tumblers need be made.

The gaming apparatus may also include a central control 25 for keeping track of the bets made through the terminals 24 and for informing the terminals 24 of the dice tumbler results. The central control 25 may receive the results of the dice tumblers 23 rolling the sets of dice through croupier terminals 26, into which the croupiers who activate the dice tumblers 23 can feed the results. Alternatively, the results could be automatically sensed e.g. by a video camera 27 that is viewing a dice tumbler 23. The betting on physical sets of dice in tumblers 23 could be extended so as to cover betting on sets of dice in remote locations, which the user cannot observe directly, so that for example the user could bet on sets of dice in tumblers 23 anywhere within a casino or even in another venue. Although the betting terminals 24 could just display the results of the various rolls of the dice, is improved if a representation of the sets of dice in the remote tumblers is provided on the terminal display.

When betting on sets of dice in remote tumblers, or even in observable dice tumblers, the system may provide a real-time video image of the dice tumblers bet upon or a snap-shot of the dice tumblers when the sets of dice are about to be revealed, so that the user may have confidence in the result indicated by the terminal 24. Thus, the central control may receive feed from a video camera 27 that is viewing a dice tumbler. The camera 27 could, for example, be directly overhead of a dice tumbler 23. Its output could also be used by e.g. the central control 25 to determine the winning combination, e.g. by suitable image processing means. Alternatively, the camera 27 could, for example, be directly underneath a dice tumbler 23. The underside of the winning sets of dice viewed by camera 27 could then be translated using the known layout of the die to determine each winning combination as seen from above.

The central control 25 may communicate with various other controllers, dice tumblers, terminals and the like, e.g. via a suitable network 28, so as to provide further dice tumbler choice and the like.

The user may be allowed to bet on a mixture of both physical and virtual sets of dice in physical or virtual tumblers.

In one embodiment, the user may have a choice of dice tumblers to bet upon, and may select the sets of dice to play from a number of possible sets of dice (e.g. when playing on physical sets of dice, a user may feel that one set of dice is more favourable than another). In another embodiment, the user is not given a choice of sets of dice to bet on.

Alternatively, instead of the gaming apparatus being an EGM, it may take any other suitable form, and could for example comprise a game provided on a computing or other electronic device, such as on a personal computer, PDA, mobile phone, or the like. The game may also be provided over an intranet, the Internet, or some other communications system, such as a mobile telephone system.

As well as automatic betting, it would also be possible to allow manual setting of bets across the dice tumblers. Also, the types of bet may be varied between machines, and win events may be linked to the results of more than one dice tumbler, e.g. a bonus win if a number of the dice tumblers win. Various bonus and/or mystery events could be included, e.g. relating to linked jackpots, and one or more of the dice tumblers themselves could include one or more additional non-standard dice for e.g. bonuses or the like.

It is to be understood that various alterations, additions and/or modifications may be made to the parts previously described without departing from the ambit of the present invention, and that, in the light of the above teachings, the present invention may be implemented in software, firmware and/or hardware in a variety of manners as would be understood by the skilled addressee.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7926811 *Nov 6, 2008Apr 19, 2011Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Gaming machine accepting side bet and control method thereof
US8216057 *Aug 31, 2009Jul 10, 2012Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Gaming machine that prevents game from continuing without dice position and dots changing
US20100062832 *Aug 31, 2009Mar 11, 2010Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Gaming machine that prevents game from continuing without dice position and dots changing
US20120289300 *Apr 20, 2012Nov 15, 2012Jay ChunMethods and systems for playing sic bo jackpot
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/146
International ClassificationA63F5/04, A63F3/06, A63F9/04, G07F17/32, A63F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 27, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: DYNAMITE GAMES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ELLIS, BENJAMIN JAMES;REEL/FRAME:018312/0738
Effective date: 20060926