|Publication number||US20070178957 A1|
|Application number||US 11/343,899|
|Publication date||Aug 2, 2007|
|Filing date||Jan 31, 2006|
|Priority date||Jan 31, 2006|
|Also published as||WO2007089867A2, WO2007089867A3|
|Publication number||11343899, 343899, US 2007/0178957 A1, US 2007/178957 A1, US 20070178957 A1, US 20070178957A1, US 2007178957 A1, US 2007178957A1, US-A1-20070178957, US-A1-2007178957, US2007/0178957A1, US2007/178957A1, US20070178957 A1, US20070178957A1, US2007178957 A1, US2007178957A1|
|Inventors||Anthony Cabot, John English|
|Original Assignee||Cabot Anthony N, John English|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (1), Classifications (14)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to methods of playing games and, particularly, wagering type games.
Gaming continues to grow in popularity. In order to maintain the excitement level of gaming, the gaming industry continues to seek to develop new and exciting games.
Much recent game development has centered around “theme” gaming machines. In general, these gaming machines typically offer well-known games, such as standard video slot games. The appearance of the gaming machine and the displayed symbols and generated sounds, however, relate to a particular theme. For example, gaming machines having themes such as KISSŪ, STAR WARSŪ, the PINK PANTHERŪ and others have been developed. While these game themes are useful in drawing players which have an affinity to the theme, because the games these machines present are relatively standard, the machines may at the same time not draw a wide cross-section of players who seek a new game.
Other attempts have been made to develop completely new games. Often, however, these games are so different and hard to understand that players are unwilling to play the games. For example, many new card games have been proposed, many of which are very complex and thus time consuming to learn and play.
The invention comprises methods of presenting and playing a game, as well as a gaming machine and system for presenting a game.
In one embodiment of the invention, for a predetermined outcome obtained by a player of a game presented to the player at a gaming machine, the method comprises the steps of selecting a first set of symbols from a second set of symbols, issuing the player a lottery ticket including or associated with the first set of symbols, randomly generating a third set of symbols from the second set of symbols, and awarding the player a prize corresponding to the number of symbols common to the first and third sets.
The game may be played as a wagering game having a base game portion and a secondary event portion. The base game portion is preferably presented at a gaming machine, and the secondary event comprises a lottery game or event.
In one embodiment, the game played at the gaming machine is a game of video poker. The player places a wager to play the game and is awarded winnings for winning outcomes of the game. In addition, if the outcome of the game is a particular predetermined outcome, such as a Four of a Kind poker hand, the game includes the secondary event.
The set of symbols used to play the lottery portion of the game may comprise a set of numbers, such as the numbers 1-70. A set of player numbers, such as six numbers, may be selected from that set of game numbers. In one embodiment the first or “player” set of numbers may be selected by the player. Alternatively, they may be automatically assigned or selected, such as by the gaming machine. Winning lottery numbers are preferably selected from that same set of game numbers and are compared to each player's numbers.
The lottery ticket may be issued directly by the gaming machine at which the base game is played. In one embodiment, the lottery ticket is printed at the machine and is dispensed from the machine. The lottery ticket may include player and/or machine readable information, such as ticket identification information and the selected set of player symbols or numbers.
One embodiment of the invention is a gaming machine configured to present the base game and issue a lottery ticket. Another embodiment of the invention is a system including multiple gaming machines which are capable of presenting the game of the invention. The system may include a main server which generates lottery game winning numbers and stores lottery ticket information, including player numbers, for verifying winning tickets.
Further objects, features, and advantages of the present invention over the prior art will become apparent from the detailed description of the drawings which follows, when considered with the attached figures.
The invention is a method of playing a game and a gaming machine and system for presenting a game. In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a more thorough description of the present invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known features have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the invention.
In general, the invention comprises a method of playing a game. The game has a main or base portion which affords a primary win opportunity. In the event of one or more predetermined outcomes of the base game, a player is afforded the opportunity to participate in a secondary game or event for a secondary win opportunity. The secondary game preferably comprises a lottery type event in which player symbols are compared to winning game symbols.
Preferably, the game of the invention is played as a wagering game and is presented, at least in part, at a gaming machine. In one embodiment, at least the base or main game portion of a game is presented at a gaming machine.
In one embodiment, the gaming machine 20 is configured as a “video” type gaming machine, the machine including at least one display 24 for displaying game information to a player. As described below, this game information may include playing card symbols or indicia. The display may be of a variety of types, including CRT, LCD, plasma and others. The gaming machine 20 may also include more than one video display, or combinations of video displays and other display or presentation devices.
The gaming machine 20 may include other means for providing information to a player. For example, speakers (not shown) or other devices may be provided for generating sound associated with the game. The gaming machine 20 may also include lights, printed instructions and other displays/display devices.
In one embodiment, a player must make payment in order to be entitled to play the game. Preferably, the game is presented as a wagering type game, and a player must place a bet or wager in order to play the game for the opportunity to receive winnings. If the player is a winner of the game, the player is provided an award, such as a monetary payout (such as coins), credits representing monetary value, points or tangible prizes. As illustrated, the gaming machine 20 may include a bill validator/acceptor 26 for accepting paper currency and a coin acceptor 28 for accepting coins. Other means of payment, such as a credit card reader, may be provided. An award of winnings in the form of coins may be paid to the player via a coin tray 30.
Preferably, the gaming machine 20 includes means for a player to provide input. In one embodiment, this means comprises one or more buttons. For example, a plurality of “hold” or “draw” buttons 32 may be provided for permitting a player to hold/select cards in a hand. A bet one button 34 and bet max button 36 are provided for a player to select the amount to bet on a particular game. Other means of input may be provided, such as a touch-screen display, keypad, joystick, and/or other devices now known or later developed.
A game controller (not shown) is provided for controlling the various devices of the gaming machine and for providing game information. For example, the game controller may be arranged to generate video and audio data for presentation by the display and speakers of the gaming machine 20. The game controller may be arranged to detect a signal from the coin acceptor indicating the receipt of coins or from the bill validator regarding accepted bills and for registering credits corresponding to those inputs, for subtracting credits for wagers placed by a player, and for causing a coin delivery mechanism to deliver coins from a coin hopper to the coin tray 30 for payment of winnings and/or return to a player of unwagered credits. Preferably, the one or more player input devices provide an output to the gaming controller for use in play of the game. For example, in response to a “bet one” input by a player, the gaming controller is preferably transmitted a signal which causes the gaming controller to initiate presentation of the game.
It will be appreciated that the gaming machine 20 may have a variety of configurations, and that the gaming machine 20 illustrated and described above is but an example of a device for implementing the game of the present invention. For example, in one or more embodiments, the gaming machine 20 may be associated with a network and receive game information remotely and may transmit information, such as payout and game play information, to a remote location. For example, a remote master controller may generate game information which is transmitted over a communication link to the gaming machine 20. That information may be utilized by a local controller or processor to present the game, such as by displaying game play data or information. The gaming machine 20 might also comprise a computer, such as a desktop or laptop computer, which computer might receive game information from a remote gaming server or controller over a communication link.
In one embodiment, the gaming machine 20 may include one or more physical reels capable of displaying symbols. In such a configuration, means are provided for rotating the physical reels. In one or more embodiments, the means may comprise a mechanical linkage associated with a spin arm, with movement of the spin arm (a “pull”) by a user causing the reels to spin. In such an arrangement, the reels are generally allowed to free-wheel and then stop. In another embodiment, electronically controlled mechanisms are arranged to rotate and stop each reel. Such mechanisms are well known to those of skill in the art. In this arrangement, actuation of the spin arm or depression a spin button causes a controller (not shown) to signal the activation of the spin mechanism associated with one or more of the reels. Preferably, the controller is arranged to either turn off the signal to the device(s) effecting the rotation of each or all of the reels or generates a signal for activating a braking device, whereby the reels are stopped. As is well known, the combinations of reel positions and their odds of hitting are associated with the controller, and the controller is arranged to stop the reels in a position displaying a combination of indicia as determined by the controller based on the combinations and odds. The principal of such an arrangement is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,448,419 to Telnaes, which is incorporated herein by reference.
The gaming machine 20 may have other configurations, including other features. For example, the gaming machine 20 may include a player tracking device 38, such as a card reader and associated keypad. Such player tracking devices are well known and may permit the game operator to track play of players of the gaming machine (such as by information transmitted from the gaming machine back to a central server).
In one embodiment, the gaming machine 20 may be configured to dispense media, such as printed paper tickets, which have associated value. For example, winnings or unused credits may be returned to the player via a printed ticket having value or associated value. In one embodiment, the gaming machine 20 might also be configured to accept such media for providing credit for game play. Such systems are well known and thus not described in detail herein. The gaming machine 20 may also be configured to accept and issue or write to other types of media, such as magnetic stripe cards and smart cards.
While the game of the invention is preferably played as a wagering game offering the possibility for monetary winnings, the game may be presented or played in other fashions. For example, the game may be played for fun or prizes. In such event, the player may be permitted to play the game for free or may be required to make payment to play the game. Instead of being awarded monetary winnings (or representations thereof, such as credits which may be redeemed for representative monies), the player may be awarded points, tokens, physical goods, discounts and other value.
As indicated above, a player may provide value to the gaming machine 20 or machine operator in a number of ways, including with coins or bills. The player might also be permitted to provide value remotely. Value provided to the gaming machine 20 may be represented as credits. Each credit may have an associated monetary value.
Once the player provides value, the player preferably places a wager to play the game. This may be accomplished, in one embodiment, by the player pressing the “bet one” button 34 or the “bet max” button 36, or by other means.
One embodiment of a method of playing or presenting a game will now be described with reference to
The player may place a wager by one or more inputs to the “bet one” or “bet max” buttons 34,36. Of course, other means for accepting input of a wager may be utilized, such as a touch-sensitive display. Further, in other embodiments, steps such as pressing a “deal” button or providing other or different input may be required to initiate the game.
Next, in a step S2, a main or base game is presented to a player. The base game may be any of a variety of games now known or later developed. Such games include, but are not limited to, various card, dice, slot and other games.
In one preferred embodiment, the base game is a game of video poker. In accordance with this game, which is well-known and may have any of a variety of variations, five cards are “dealt” to the player (such as by randomly selecting numbers corresponding to cards and then displaying image of those cards on the display 24). The player is permitted to discard none, one or more or all of the dealt cards. In one embodiment, the player presses a “hold” button (or provides other input, such as to a touch-sensitive display) corresponding to each dealt card which the player wishes to keep, and then presses a “deal/draw” button (or provides other input). The cards which are not “held” are discarded and replaced with new cards, thus generating a final hand of five cards. The outcome of the game is determined by comparing the final card hand to possible outcomes of the game.
In one embodiment, one or more of the possible outcomes of the game are designated “winning” outcomes (and the remaining outcomes or non-winning or “losing” outcomes). In a step S3, if the base game outcome is determined to be a winning outcome, then in a step S4, winnings are awarded to the player. As indicated above, the winnings may comprise credits representing value, coins, points, prizes or the like.
If the outcome of the base game is not a winning outcome or it was a winning outcome and winnings were awarded, then in a step S5, it is determined if the outcome of the base game is a secondary event triggering outcome. In one embodiment at least one possible outcome of the base game is preferably designated a secondary event triggering outcome. The one or more secondary triggering event outcomes may be the same as, or different from, any outcomes which are designated as winning outcomes of the base game. In one embodiment, there may be a hierarchy of potential or possible base game outcomes in order of their statistical or probable occurrence, such as from highest probability to lowest probability or occurrence. In accordance with the invention, for the game to include the secondary event, a player may be required to reach a particular level of the hierarchy of results.
In one embodiment, there is a single secondary triggering event outcome, and that outcome is one of several base game winning outcomes. In a preferred embodiment where the base game is video poker, base game winning outcomes may comprise standard poker hands having a hierarchical rank higher than a Pair of Jacks or better (where the rankings are, from lowest to highest: Pair, Two Pair, Three of a Kind, Straight, Flush, Full House, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush and Royal Flush). In the preferred embodiment, to play the secondary event, the player may be required to reach a hierarchical level greater than a Full House, such as the single secondary event triggering outcome of a Four of a Kind hand or a hand having at least the ranking of a Four of a Kind (such as a Straight Flush or Royal Flush).
If the outcome of the base game was not a secondary event triggering outcome, then the game preferably ends. If the outcome of the base game was a secondary event triggering outcome, then the game preferably includes the presentation and play of a secondary event. In a preferred embodiment, the secondary event is presented without the player being required to place any additional bet or wager and with the opportunity to be awarded winnings, and for this reason the secondary event may be referred to as a “bonus event.”
In a preferred embodiment, the secondary event is a “lottery” type event in which player numbers are compared to game numbers and winnings are paid in the event of particular matches of one or more of the player numbers to one or more of the game numbers. In one embodiment of such a secondary event, in a step S6, a set of secondary event game symbols are selected. Since this first set of symbols is associated with a player, they are referred to herein as “player” symbols.
In one embodiment of this step, a player is permitted to select one or more of the player symbols. This selection of a set of player symbols may be, for example, from a larger group or set of secondary game symbols, such as displayed on the display of the gaming machine. In a preferred embodiment, the secondary game symbols comprise a set of game numbers, such as the numbers 1-70, and the player numbers comprise one or more numbers selected from the set of game numbers. For example, the player numbers might comprise six (6) of the secondary game numbers.
In another embodiment, the player symbols may be wholly or partially assigned to the player or selected without the player's input, such as by use of a random number generator or selection of preselected sets of player symbols. A player may be provided the opportunity to either personally select the player numbers or permit the machine to select one or more or all of the player symbols.
In a step S7 it is determined if the selected player symbols are winning. In one embodiment, this step comprises selecting a third set of one or more winning symbols from the set of secondary game symbols. Preferably, the number of winning symbols is the same as the number of player symbols. The winning symbols are compared to the player symbols to determine how many symbols match, if any.
If the one or more player symbols comprise a winning secondary event outcome, then in a step S8, winnings are preferably awarded to the player. Again, these winnings preferably comprise credits or monies, but might comprise points, prizes or the like. The game then preferably ends.
A preferred embodiment of a game will now be described in detail with reference to
The base game is preferably presented to the player via the gaming machine 102. As described above, in a preferred embodiment, the player is required to place a wager to play the game.
In one embodiment, the base game comprises a game of video poker. In one embodiment, winning outcomes of the game may be defined as all poker hands of a Pair of Jacks or better (such as Two Pair, Three of Kind, a Straight, a Flush, a Full House, a Four of a Kind, a Straight Flush and a Royal Flush).
If the result of the base game is a winning outcome, then the player is preferably awarded winnings. In one embodiment, winnings are paid in accordance with a paytable which defines payouts for particular winning combinations. The size of the winning payout may depend, among other things, upon the size of the player's wager.
It is also determined if the player's hand comprises a secondary event triggering outcome. In one embodiment, this outcome comprises an outcome of at least a particular hierarchical ranking (of probable occurrence), such as a “Four of a Kind” poker hand. If the poker hand which the player received while playing the base game is that hand, then the player is preferably permitted to play the secondary event.
As indicated above, in a preferred embodiment, the secondary event comprises a lottery or similar event in which player symbols selected from a set of game symbols are compared to winning symbols selected from the game symbols. Preferably, the symbols which are utilized are numbers. In this portion of the game, a set of player numbers are generated, such as by machine selection or player selection from the set of game numbers.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the player is issued a game or lottery ticket 104. The game ticket 104 preferably comprises a receipt which confirms the player's entry or participation in the secondary event. In one embodiment, the game ticket 104 may bear a variety of information. This information may comprise player-readable and/or machine-readable information, such as one or more of: (a) the player's one or more player numbers; (b) information identifying the particular secondary event, such as lottery, to which the ticket corresponds (such as by indicating the date of the lottery event) and (c) a lottery ticket identifier (such as ticket number). As indicated, various of the information may be presented in a machine readable code, such as a UPC bar-type code.
In one embodiment, the game ticket 104 comprises a printed paper ticket. The ticket 104 may be issued by the gaming machine 102. For example, referring to
The player numbers are used in the play of the secondary event. In a preferred embodiment, a set of winning numbers are generated or selected from the set of game numbers. For example, referring to
The outcome of the secondary event is preferably determined by a comparison of the player numbers to the winning numbers, as in the conventional game of lottery. Winning outcomes may comprise a certain minimum number of matching player and winning game numbers. For example, three or more matching numbers may yield a particular award, and a match of all numbers may yield a top award, such as a very large jackpot.
When the player is issued a ticket, the player may compare their player numbers to announced winning numbers. If player has a “winning ticket” that player may turn in their ticket for winnings.
In one embodiment, as illustrated in
In one embodiment, when player numbers are “machine” selected, the numbers may be selected by the server 106 and transmitted to the gaming machine 102. Alternatively, the gaming machine 102 may select the numbers and transmit them to the server 106, or a player's selection of game numbers may be transmitted from the gaming machine 102 to the server 106.
In a preferred embodiment, the gaming machine 102 or server 106 maintains a record of the ticket 104. Preferably, this record includes information regarding the ticket, such as a ticket identifier (such as a unique number or code) and the player numbers. In this manner, when the winning numbers are selected, the winning numbers can be compared against the player numbers associated with all outstanding tickets and any tickets which are winning may be identified. When a player attempts to turn in their ticket, their ticket can be verified against the stored ticket information. Such a system may be used to verify winning tickets, prevent tickets from being paid twice and the like.
A wide variety of additional aspects and features of the invention will now be described.
As indicated, in one embodiment, a player is only required to place a single wager to play the game, including the opportunity to play the secondary event. In another embodiment, a player might be required to place a secondary wager (such as a side or additional wager amount at the beginning of the game, or an additional wager if the outcome of the base game otherwise entitles the player to play the secondary event) in order to participate in the secondary event.
In the preferred embodiment, the secondary event is a lottery-type event which uses tickets and numbers. Other symbols or indicia may be utilized to play the game.
The exact form of the lottery event may vary. For example, one single group of game numbers may be utilized. Alternatively, different groups of numbers or other symbols may be utilized. For example, where six player numbers and six game numbers are compared, the first five numbers may be selected from game numbers from 1-70 and the last number from game numbers 1-100. Further, the number of player and game numbers which are utilized may vary.
In one embodiment, player and game numbers must match in corresponding order or position (i.e. game numbers may be drawn in order relative to a player's sequentially indicated numbers), or they may be compared for any matches generally.
The winning symbols, such as numbers, may be selected in various fashions, as is known in the lottery art. For example, the symbols could be randomly selected via an electronic random number generating program, or be determined by drawing numbered balls, such as in a “ball blower” (in which event, the numbers on the balls may be scanned and read into the system).
In one embodiment, the game of the invention may be associated with a player tracking system. In such a configuration, player identity information may be associated with the secondary event information. For example, when a player is issued a game ticket, player identity information may be associated with that ticket (such as in the machine readable coding so as to not be readable by third parties) and/or in the electronic database or files on the server 106.
In one method of the game, a player may be automatically notified if they are the winner of a secondary event. As indicated above, when the game numbers are selected they may be compared to the sets of existing player numbers to determine if any wins resulted. In that instance, the player to which the player numbers corresponds may be notified of the win. For example, player physical or email address information may be stored in the player tracking system. A win notification may be mailed to the player in the event of a secondary event win. In one embodiment, a player may be provided a notification to redeem or turn in their ticket to collect their winnings. In another embodiment, a player might be issued winnings directly.
It will be appreciated that the main or base game need not be presented via a gaming machine. For example, a player might be presented the opportunity to play the secondary event based upon the outcome of a table game, such as a game of poker or blackjack played at a card table. In one embodiment, a player who received a particular game outcome might be handed a secondary event ticket (such as pre-printed with pre-selected player numbers) or the table might include an input/selection device (such as for receiving player selected numbers) and a ticket printer. Of course, such devices may be linked to the server 106 in a system such as that illustrated in
In a preferred embodiment of the game, a player is afforded the opportunity to participate in a single secondary event. The secondary event may comprise a lottery event where winning numbers are drawn at a certain date and time in the future. In that event, the player's game ticket comprises a receipt or acknowledgment of entry into that drawing. After that drawing is completed, the player's participation ends. In other embodiments, a player might be permitted to play multiple of such events (such as by comparing player numbers to more than one set of selected winning game numbers). Of course, once a particular lottery event is held, later play of the game preferably results in issuance of ticket for one or more future lottery events.
It will be appreciated that the game may involve multiple players. For example, relative to the system 100 illustrated in
In one embodiment, players may be permitted to participate in the secondary event without having to play the base game. In particular, where the secondary event is a lottery, players may be permitted to directly enter the lottery. For example, players may be permitted to purchase lottery tickets separate from the playing the game. Players of the game, however, are afforded the opportunity to participate in the lottery by “winning a ticket” through play of the game.
In one embodiment, the secondary event may be funded from wagers placed to play the game. For example, a portion of each wager which is accepted to play the game may be allocated to the secondary event, and all or a portion of the allocated funds may be awarded. In this regard, a minimum wager may be required in order to ensure that the base game and the secondary event are funded appropriately. In another embodiment, the secondary event may be funded by players of only the secondary event (such as direct purchasers of lottery tickets).
It will be understood that the above described arrangements of apparatus and the method there from are merely illustrative of applications of the principles of this invention and many other embodiments and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7901282 *||Jul 14, 2006||Mar 8, 2011||Igt||Gaming device having competitive/bonus matching game|
|Cooperative Classification||G07F17/3253, G07F17/32, G07F17/3244, G07F17/3267, G07F17/3262, G07F17/329|
|European Classification||G07F17/32P4, G07F17/32K8, G07F17/32K, G07F17/32M2, G07F17/32M4, G07F17/32|