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 numberUS20070257430 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/647,549
Publication dateNov 8, 2007
Filing dateDec 28, 2006
Priority dateMay 7, 2004
Publication number11647549, 647549, US 2007/0257430 A1, US 2007/257430 A1, US 20070257430 A1, US 20070257430A1, US 2007257430 A1, US 2007257430A1, US-A1-20070257430, US-A1-2007257430, US2007/0257430A1, US2007/257430A1, US20070257430 A1, US20070257430A1, US2007257430 A1, US2007257430A1
InventorsDow Hardy, Mark Herrmann, Steven Kane
Original AssigneeDow Hardy, Herrmann Mark E, Kane Steven N
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for conducting a game of chance
US 20070257430 A1
Abstract
A system and method are provided for playing a game of chance. The game of chance may include, for example, a lottery-type game or a Keno game. A result of the game of chance is revealed to a player in another medium. In one example, the result is revealed during multiple game instances of one or more online games. In one example, the online game is a bingo game. In another game example, a competitive game environment is provided wherein multiple players play a single instance of a bingo game to reveal the players' individual results.
Images(13)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(36)
1. A method for playing a game of chance comprising acts of:
issuing respective tickets to a plurality of players, each ticket including a code printed on a surface of the ticket; and
providing for each of the plurality of players to play a bingo game on different medium than the issued ticket, wherein the code is used to gain access to obtain a result associated with the game of chance.
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of players play a same instance of the bingo game.
3. The method according to claim 2, wherein a result associated with each issued ticket of the plurality of players is based on a game experience common to the plurality of players provided in the same instance of the bingo game.
4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the act of issuing respective tickets includes issuing at least one of a lottery ticket, a scratch ticket, a printed ticket, and a pull-tab ticket.
5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the act of providing further comprises an act of providing a computer-based game which the player plays the bingo game to reveal the result of the game of chance.
6. The method according to claim 5, wherein the act of providing includes an act of permitting access to a website to play the bingo game.
7. The method according to claim 1, wherein the bingo game is a computer-based game including one or more bingo cards, each having a plurality of indicia that, when matched in any one of a plurality of combinations, provides one or more prizes to at least one of the plurality of players.
8. The method according to claim 7, further comprising an act of providing a pay table that determines, based on a particular one of the plurality of combinations, the one or more prizes provided to the at least one player.
9. The method according to claim 1, wherein the prize total for the ticket is predetermined prior to play of the bingo game.
10. The method according to claim 7, wherein the result of any one of at least one of the one or more bingo cards and instances of the bingo game reveals a prize won by the player.
11. The method according to claim 10, wherein an indication of the prize won by the player is stored in a database of a server, and is downloaded to a computer presenting the computer-based game to the player.
12. The method according to claim 1, further comprising an act of providing, by a first server associated with a first game, the result associated with the game of chance.
13. The method according to claim 12, further comprising an act of storing, in a memory of a computer system, the result associated with the game of chance.
14. The method according to claim 13, further comprising an act of associating the result with an indication of the ticket.
15. The method according to claim 12, wherein the first server further comprises a random number generator, and the random number generator performs an act of determining a set numbers associated with the issued ticket.
16. The method according to claim 12, further comprising an act of determining a set of winning numbers associated with the game of chance.
17. The method according to claim 16, further comprising an act of determining the result of the game of chance based on a comparison of the set of numbers associated with the issued ticket and the set of winning numbers.
18. The method according to claim 15, wherein the game of chance includes at least one of a Keno game and a bingo game, and the act of determining a set of numbers associated with the issued ticket comprises an act of selecting a predetermined number of numbers from a predetermined set of numbers.
19. The method according to claim 1, further comprising an act of determining an outcome associated with the ticket based on a drawing.
20. The method according to claim 19, further comprising an act of permitting at least one of the plurality of players to play the bingo game in response to the act of determining the outcome.
21. The method according to claim 1, further comprising an act of revealing the result during play of an online bingo game.
22. The method according to claim 1, further comprising an act of displaying an interface comprising one or more player identifiers, each of which represent a corresponding player and a corresponding ranking of each player in a tournament of bingo games.
23. The method according to claim 1, further comprising an act of automatically playing, for at least one of the plurality of players, at least one instance of the online game if the at least one of the plurality of players does not play the game instance within a predetermined time.
24. The method according to claim 21, wherein the online bingo game begins at a predetermined time.
25. The method according to claim 21, wherein the online bingo game ends at a predetermined time.
26. The method according to claim 21, wherein at least one instance of the online bingo game begins at a predetermined time.
27. The method according to claim 25, further comprising an act of indicating, to the player, a result of the tournament after the online game ends.
28. The method according to claim 21, wherein the online bingo game includes an associated game in which is revealed at least one result.
29. The method according to claim 28, wherein the associated game includes a slot machine game.
30. The method according to claim 1, wherein the bingo game comprises a plurality of bingo game instances.
31. The method according to claim 30, wherein the plurality of bingo instances are included in a tournament games.
32. The method according to claim 30, wherein at least two of the plurality of bingo game instances are played with different winning patterns.
33. The method according to claim 30, wherein at least two of the plurality of bingo game instances are played with different rule sets.
34. The method according to claim 30, wherein the plurality of bingo game instances are played at predetermined times.
35. The method according to claim 34, wherein each of the plurality of bingo instances begins at a predetermined time.
36. The method according to claim 34, wherein the plurality of players play at least one same instance of at least one of the plurality of bingo game instances.
Description
    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/002,997, entitled “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONDUCTING A GAME OF CHANCE,” filed on Nov. 30, 2004, which claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/569,030, entitled “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONDUCTING A GAME OF CHANCE,” filed on May 7, 2004, both of which applications are herein incorporated by reference by their entirety. This application also claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/754,465, entitled “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONDUCTING A GAME OF CHANCE,” filed on Dec. 28, 2005, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The field of the invention relates generally to lotteries and gaming, and more particularly, to systems for conducting lottery-based games or casino-based gaming.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0003]
    There are many different types of games that are provided that involve the issuance of a lottery ticket to play a game of chance. Lottery tickets are sold through retailers using machines referred to as point of sale (POS) terminals. These tickets are generally printed at the POS terminal, and are usually issued for some lottery drawing to be performed at a later time. Examples of these types of lottery games of chance include traditional state lottery drawings and multi-state lottery drawings (e.g., PowerBall). Another type of lottery ticket, referred to in the art as instant lottery, includes a pre-printed scratch-type lottery ticket which includes a latex or similar coating that is scratched off by a purchaser (a player), revealing one or more game indicia and whether the player won the game or series of games as indicated on the ticket. The indication is generally “instant” in that the player knows, when they scratch off the ticket coating, whether or not they won the game.
  • [0004]
    There are many online games that can be played using a computer system coupled to a communication network (e.g., the Internet). These games may include traditional games of chance, games of skill, and casino-type games, among others.
  • [0005]
    Some systems combine lottery-type games and online games. In one such system, a lottery ticket is sold to a player, who then plays a further game using a computer system. In such a game system, the ticket sold to a player includes a code which is correlated to a game seed stored in a computer system upon which a computer game is played. The computer game determines the correlated game seed, and this game seed is mapped to a series of predetermined game states that lead to a predetermined outcome. That is, the code stored on the ticket includes the outcome. In another type of system, the code stored on the ticket is an encoded form of the lottery result, which is then revealed to the player at the end of play of an online game.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0006]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, it is realized that it may be beneficial to maintain the interest of players in playing games. In one aspect of the present invention, it is appreciated that it may be beneficial for players to feel that they are playing in a competitive setting. A result of providing such an environment gives players a continued interest in playing multiple games. In the case of games provided in a gaming (e.g., in a casino), such games may be provided that simulate the environment of other games provided in the environment, but play of the game is located outside of the competitive environment (e.g., outside of the casino). For instance, one or more games may be provided for play by players over the Internet.
  • [0007]
    One problem of providing players play over the Internet is that they do not see others playing a tournament-style or other type of competitive game in which other players may be playing individual games where their play might affect the result of a tournament-type or other type of competitive game. According to one aspect of the present invention, it is appreciated the feel of tournament play provides incentives for players to continue playing the game, along with the chance to earn an additional jackpot.
  • [0008]
    Gaming over the Internet and other computer-based networks has become very popular. However, according to one aspect of the present invention, it may be beneficial to create a tournament-type gaming experience similar to that provided in the casino and other traditional gaming environments for Internet-based games. To this end, a system and game format for conducting a tournament-type or other type of competitive game may be provided.
  • [0009]
    In one example game format, the game may include one or more instances of a bingo game. Such game instances may be combined as part of a tournament with other players (e.g., to compete for an additional jackpot) or may be permitted to play one or more individual game instances within a series of bingo games in a competitive environment. In one example implementation, a player may subscribe to play a predefined number of bingo game instances (e.g., cards, games, etc.), and these games may be played at predetermined times.
  • [0010]
    In one such game format, the player is permitted to play a computer-based game (referred to hereinafter as a “primary” game) during which the game playing system reveals results of another game (referred to hereinafter as a “secondary” game). This secondary game may be a casino or lottery-based game and, according to one embodiment, this secondary game is already approved by regulators. One such secondary game is the well-known game of Keno. However, it should be appreciated that the secondary game may be any other type of game (e.g., a lottery game). The primary game may be any type of computer-based game, including games of skill and/or chance, such as card games, casino games, video games or any other type of game through which a result from another game may be revealed. In one aspect of the present invention, the play of the primary game that the player plays does not affect the outcome of the secondary game. In another aspect of the present invention, the secondary game result does not affect the outcome of the primary game played by the player.
  • [0011]
    In another example, the primary game involves some level of influence by the player on the outcome of the primary game. For instance, the primary game may be a game of skill. However, it should be appreciated that the primary game may be a game of chance, or combination of skill and chance. In one example, the primary game may be a bingo game which is a well-known game of chance.
  • [0012]
    As is known, the game of bingo includes one or more bingo cards associated with a player, each of the cards having numbers or other indicia that, when matched in a particular combination, wins the player a prize. One or more bingo cards are assigned to the player, a number of balls (or numbers) are drawn, and the player matches the indicia on the bingo card(s) to the indicia on the drawn balls. If the player achieves a particular pattern on one or more of the assigned cards, the player wins a prize associated with that card. According to one aspect of the present invention, play of the bingo game reveals a prize (or not) won by the player in the secondary game.
  • [0013]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, the result of the primary game is stored on a server coupled to a computer system upon which the game is played. In one example, the result is downloaded to the computer system prior to game play. The result may be in the form of intermediate results of each game instance that are displayed to the player at various points during game play. For instance, intermediate results may be displayed to a user during an instance of a bingo game.
  • [0014]
    In one embodiment of the present invention, a traditional bingo game is used to reveal results of a secondary game. For instance, prizes are awarded during one or more instances of a bingo game. According to one embodiment, the player is provided a predetermined number of opportunities to win associated with a ticket. When a ticket is issued, the ticket may be assigned, for example, a number of game instances. Such game instances may be, for example, games of bingo. After each game instance is played, prizes associated with the secondary game (e.g., a lottery or casino-type game) may be revealed. The play of the bingo game may present, for instance, the result (or partial result) of the secondary game (e.g., a lottery-type game, a Keno game). Prizes revealed may be, for example, a cash prize awarded for a particular game. It should be appreciated, however, that other prizes may be awarded (e.g., merchandise, credit, free play, etc.) and that the invention is not limited to any particular prize type.
  • [0015]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, the player may be permitted to play one or more game instances of the primary game, such as a bingo game. For example, the player may be permitted to play multiple cards and/or instances of a bingo game. These game instances may be, for example, associated with a single instance of a secondary game (e.g., a single ticket for a single Keno drawing) or multiple instances of a secondary game (e.g., one or more tickets for one or more Keno drawings). In one example, the player may be permitted to play 10 instances of a game (e.g., 10 bingo cards) and the 10 instances may be associated with 10 sets of Keno numbers. These Keno numbers may be associated with a single drawing, or multiple Keno drawings. The result of the multiple Keno games determines the result of the tournament.
  • [0016]
    The player is permitted to play the game instances in a tournament-type or other type of competitive game format wherein players play against each other to win one or more prizes. Prizes may be, for instance, cash prizes that are awarded to players indicated as winning the tournament. The prizes may be funded, for example, by a hold of the ticket sales associated with the secondary game, or may be funded through a promotional budget or giveaway, or may be funded in any other manner. The tournament-type game may be played in addition to a “regular” secondary-type game, and may be selected by the player at the point of ticket purchase.
  • [0017]
    Traditional computer-based games provided in a gaming environment (e.g., slot machines) are not competitive. More particularly, each machine such as a slot machine plays a separate game instance. According to one aspect of the present invention, players are permitted to play a same game instance among multiple players to reveal individual predetermined outcomes. For instance, in the case of a bingo game, separate players may receive separate predetermined bingo outcomes based on a single set of drawn bingo numbers. In the bingo game example, players may be provided a competitive game “feel” by playing in the game instance. Traditional games such as slot machines are not competitive, in that each player operating a machine plays a separate game instance to show a result.
  • [0018]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, the tournament may be conducted at a set time, and players are permitted to play the game instances at specified time intervals. For instance, in the case of a bingo game wherein the player is awarded 10 bingo cards to be played in one or more bingo game instances, the player may be permitted to play the instances within a fixed time limit (e.g., a half hour) with other players. In this case, the tournament may begin for all players at the same (or substantially the same) time. In yet another example game format, the tournament may also end at a predetermined time. Optionally, there may be provided a buffer period near the end of the tournament to permit players to finish their games. Once the player enters the buffer period, there may be presented an indication that the winner(s) of the tournament are being calculated. At the conclusion of the buffer period, the players may be presented the final results of the tournament (e.g., through a display of a leader board interface). Also, in an alternative embodiment, there may not be a tournament associated with the series of bingo games.
  • [0019]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, the players play of the one or more game instances are synchronized with each other. According to one embodiment of the present invention, a feature is provided that causes the game to be played automatically if the player does not cause the game to play in a predetermined period of time. However, according to another embodiment of the present invention, a player is permitted to play as fast as the player wishes, and is not limited to being synchronized with other players in game play.
  • [0020]
    In one specific embodiment, if the player does not finish or otherwise reveal a result associated with a particular game instance within a predetermined period of time, the play of the game instance proceeds automatically, and the result associated with that particular game instance is revealed to the player. Similarly, if a player starts late in the tournament, that player may begin play with a game instance associated with the time at which the player begins play. In this specific example, any results or prior game instances that have not been played by the player may be revealed in another game (e.g., an instant-type game) to the player to permit the player to “catch up” to other players, yet still view results associated with earlier non-played game instances.
  • [0021]
    In one example game format, a slot machine game may be played in association with one or more bingo game instances. According to one embodiment, the slot machine game (or instance-type game) may be used to reveal any missed opportunities in one or more previous bingo sessions. According to one embodiment, the slot machine game may be used to display results associated with any missed win opportunities from previous bingo game instances. For example, a player may be permitted to “lose” a bingo game by not calling “bingo” in an allotted time (e.g., before another player calls “bingo” and collects a prize). So, in one example game format, players may be required to claim their bingo wins. Thus, a more real game experience may be presented, but still permit the player to reveal the predetermined results associated with the secondary game. Further, a player may start late and therefore miss playing one or more game instances. Thus, the slot machine or other instant-type game may permit the display of results associated with such missed win opportunities, yet still provide a more real game experience.
  • [0022]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, the player need not be present or play the online portion of the game (e.g., the primary game) in order to win one or more instances of the secondary game (and therefore, the tournament or other competitive game). However, a game-playing computer that conducts the online game may provide an indication to each player which player is currently leading in the tournament. Because players may not necessarily play the online game, there may be a method for representing to other players that the non-playing player is currently leading the tournament even though they are not present. To this end, a game-playing computer may indicate an identifier of the player currently winning the tournament. Because such an indication is provided, players are less likely to feel cheated, if at the end of the tournament, one of the actual participants does not win the race. Such an indication may be, for example, a token or other identifier (e.g., a username, nickname, or any other identifier) associated with the ticket. For players who have not selected a username (e.g., a player that arrives late and has not registered), one may be automatically assigned by a computer system conducting the tournament so that results may be displayed to other players participating in the tournament.
  • [0023]
    In the example above where the result of one or more Keno tickets are used to drive the results of an online game, sets of numbers associated with the ticket are “graded” by a Keno system, and the graded sets of number from the one or more tickets are used to determine the winner of the tournament and/or any individual game results (e.g., of a bingo game). The result of the tournament as well as the play leading up to the result may be driven by the results of the ticket gradings.
  • [0024]
    According to another aspect of the present invention, the bingo game is combined with a second level game. Play of the second level game may proceed after some achievement level in the bingo game. For instance, the player may play the bingo game as discussed above, and in one embodiment, the second level may proceed after the player successfully plays a series of instances of the bingo game. Alternatively, the player may play the bingo game until completion, and at an ending of the bingo game (e.g., the player quits, uses a control to automatically play the bingo game, etc.), the player begins playing the second level game. It should be appreciated that either a single-level or multi-level game may be used to facilitate the tournament type game in any particular game instance, and any achievement in any of the levels may be used to determine the result of the tournament.
  • [0025]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, the result of the primary game is stored on a server coupled to a computer system upon which the game is played. In one example, the result is downloaded to the computer system prior to game play. The result may be in the form of intermediate results of each game instance that are displayed to the player at various points during game play. For instance, intermediate results may be displayed to a user during an instance of a slot machine game. For example, intermediate results may be shown to a player when a particular spin is activated, a particular outcome is achieved (e.g., the player obtains a particular reel combination along one or more pay lines) or other achievement during the play of a slot machine game.
  • [0026]
    In one embodiment of the present invention, the traditional game of bingo or similar game is coupled with a second level game. Further, during the play of the bingo game, one or more items are awarded to the player for use in the second level game. For instance, items are awarded when the bingo game is played. In the example of the bingo game, there may be an indication in a pay table that one or more card combinations provide the player with one or more items (e.g., item(s) that may be used with a second level game). For instance, the second level game may be a slot machine-type game, and one or more spins may be awarded to the player during play of the first level game. In one embodiment, a pay table is provided that correlates bingo card results and/or patterns with a number of spins awarded to the player. In another example, a pay table is provided that correlates bingo results with a number of points awarded to the player. If the player achieves a particular point total, that player may receive an item for use in the second level game.
  • [0027]
    The player may, in the first level game, accrue more than one item. In yet another example, if the player achieves a particular point value, the second level game may be initiated. In any of the examples, the player may or may not achieve the second level game. Of course, if the player is determined prior to play as receiving a prize, results received in the first level game may be adjusted so that the player proceeds to the second level game independent of the skill (or lack thereof) in playing the first level game. In one example, the player may begin game play of the first level with one item awarded to ensure that the player proceeds to the second level game.
  • [0028]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, prizes revealed during the game may be stored in a database of the server and downloaded to the client prior to play. In this example, the player may be allowed, when a ticket is purchased at a POS, the ability to play a number of instances of the game. Prizes may be awarded, for example, at each instance of the online game. To this end, the result of each prize may be stored in the database of the server, and may be indexed by an identifier of the ticket. For example, the identifier may be a serial number or other ticket-identifying information.
  • [0029]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, prizes are only awarded at the end of each game instance. In another example, after a prize is revealed (or not) at the end of each game instance, the player is permitted to play any remaining instances of the primary game (e.g., a bingo game or other game). According to another embodiment, the player may not be permitted to replay game instances after they have been played. To this end, a game-playing system may maintain a status of the game instances played by the player. The game-playing system may maintain other information, such as game play information, how prizes are revealed to the player, and other information that may be useful for assessing or auditing game play and playing experiences of the player.
  • [0030]
    Each instance of the game may include an associated prize (or not), and these prizes may be combined for an overall prize associated with the ticket. In one example, the prize associated with the first instance of the bingo game is $10. A prize associated with a second instance of the bingo game is $15. The prizes associated with each instance of the bingo game and its second level may be stored as an entry in the database of the server.
  • [0031]
    Alternatively, the result of each prize for each instance of the game may be determined dynamically by the client computer. For example, if the overall prize (e.g., $25) for the ticket is known, the client can determine (e.g., randomly) a distribution of winnings of the overall prize among game instances. In the example above, a play of the ticket on one computer could award a $25 prize among two game instances as follows: $5 prize for the first game instance and $20 for the second game instance. Another play of the ticket on the same or different computer may award a $25 prize differently among the two game instances (e.g., $10 for the first game instance, $15 for the second game instance, etc.). It should be appreciated, however, that the game may include any number of game instances, and the prize associated with each game instance may be stored in any storage location (e.g., at the client computer, at the server, etc.).
  • [0032]
    In another example system, prizes may be awarded in association with items collected in the game (e.g., a bonus item in a bingo game). Therefore, prizes may be distributed among items as well as being distributed among game instances. As discussed, prize distribution may be stored in a database of the server, may be determined by the client (e.g., randomly), or may be stored at any location or be determined by any manner by the client.
  • [0033]
    According to another aspect of the present invention, an improved game experience is provided for revealing the result of an online game. As discussed above, a player purchases a ticket or other game piece at a POS or other location. On the ticket, multiple plays of an associated online game are provided with each ticket or other game piece. The player can play those multiple plays across a set of games. For instance, the set of games may include, for example, games of skill and/or chance as discussed above. Certain games may include one or more attempts (or opportunities) for winning prizes. These opportunities for winning may be associated with one or more prizes. For example, a player playing a bingo game may be awarded a certain number of opportunities to play a game (e.g., a game instance (or game play) or other opportunity to win a prize when playing a particular game instance). In the case of a bingo game, the player may be given a particular number of cards for a particular bingo game (or multiple bingo drawings for one or more cards), and, as a result of each bingo drawing, the player may be awarded (or not) a prize. In one embodiment, the result of the overall game is predetermined, and a game experience is determined for each opportunity (e.g., bingo card, bingo drawing) that results in a contribution to the result of the overall game.
  • [0034]
    According to one embodiment of the present invention, the type of game that is played is immaterial to the outcome revealed to the player. More particularly, the same outcomes associated with a particular ticket may be used to drive multiple types of games. This allows, for example, the gaming operator to offer multiple types of games with a single ticket, and allows the player to select which game(s) to play to reveal the outcomes associated with the particular ticket. For instance, the player may elect to play a bingo game for a first game instance of a ticket, and for a second instance, play a different game. According to a tournament-type game format according to one embodiment of the present invention, game instances played in a tournament may be different types of games (e.g., bingo games, different types of bingo game patterns, other types of games (e.g., a slot machine) provided along with a bingo game, etc.).
  • [0035]
    Of course, it should be appreciated that any type of game and other combinations of games are possible. In this manner, the player may be provided the flexibility to play particular games in which the player is interested, thereby increasing his/her interest and participation in the game. Further, the game operator is provided additional flexibility as new games may be introduced/substituted that are associated with the same ticket or other game piece.
  • [0036]
    According to one embodiment of the present invention, the outcome of the game is predetermined at the time of ticket printing, issuance, or purchase or shortly thereafter. That is, the game outcome associated with a particular ticket is available prior to, at the same time, or shortly thereafter the ticket is provided to the player, after which time the player is permitted to play any games to reveal the predetermined outcome. In another embodiment, outcomes associated with tickets issued to the player are determined some time after the ticket issuance (i.e., outcomes are “post-determined”). Such is the case with Keno or other drawing-based games wherein game outcomes are determined after ticket issuance. In such a game, players are permitted to obtain the outcome at a predetermined time, usually after the player has purchased the ticket.
  • [0037]
    In one aspect of the invention, it may be beneficial to have a later activation of tickets, especially in the case of a ticket-based game where tickets are issued in some other gaming environment (e.g., a casino). It may be desirable to only permit the player to play such a game outside the gaming environment (e.g., at home on a computer system) so as not to compete with other games. For example, in the case of a bingo game, later activation of tickets may be preferred so as not to compete with other bingo games offered (e.g., by a casino, bingo hall, etc.). Additionally, it may be desirable to require the player to revisit the gaming environment to redeem the ticket and increase the chances that the player will purchase additional tickets or play other types of games offered in the gaming environment.
  • [0038]
    In such a game, players are permitted to obtain the outcome at a predetermined time, usually after the player has purchased the ticket. The game may be, in one example, scheduled at a particular start time (e.g., Wednesday at 7:00 PM). Further, the tournament result may be revealed at a particular scheduled time (e.g., a scheduled time after all intermediate results are revealed to players). Also, game instances and their associated results may be conducted and/or displayed to a player according to predetermined times. In one embodiment, each game instance is conducted according to a scheduled time in order to progress tournament play.
  • [0039]
    Also, according to another aspect of the present invention, a first game may be used to reveal the result of a second game. As discussed above, this second game may be one which is already approved by regulators. Such a system may be, for example, a game whose results are driven by a random number generator (or RNG as referred to in the art). One such game is the well-known game of Keno. Another game that may be used is the well-known game of bingo. Other games may be used to drive the outcome of an online game.
  • [0040]
    In one example, a Keno game and its associated system are used to generate reveal results which are revealed to a player during play of an online game. To this end, a Keno-based system may be used in conjunction with an online gaming system to present new and interesting online games whose outcomes are driven by results provided by the Keno system. In one particular example, a Keno system provides a correlation of a ticket identifier to a Keno game which is held at some predetermined time. As the Keno numbers are drawn, an outcome is produced that is associated with the particular ticket identifier and provided to an online gaming system. The online gaming system uses the produced outcome to render a new and interesting gaming experience within an online gaming environment. As discussed, such an environment may include online play of one or more online games of skill, chance, or combination thereof.
  • [0041]
    According to one embodiment of the present invention, wins are optimized across game instances associated with a ticket. For instance, a ticket may have a predetermined outcome (for example, awarding a prize of $50), that may be allocated across the game instances associated with that ticket. For example, in the case of winning $50 on a 5-play (5 game instances) ticket, it may be desired to allocate the wins across game instances to provide a particular game experience. For instance, the game experience of winning $50 may be distributed across five game instances (e.g., five separate bingo games or cards, respectively winning $5, $0, $0, $5, $40) to provide the player an early indication of winning. In the example of a bingo game, winnings may be distributed among consecutive games of bingo. Also, the remaining game play of the game instances may be scripted to build the drama of the game experience while still retaining player interest. Such a scripted outcome is more interesting, according to one embodiment, as the player is presented an outcome in a way such that retains interest in the game. This is beneficial, as an overall result includes extending scratch-type games or other type of game experience beyond the point of sale, and beyond the instant (but fleeting) gratification associated with scratch-type or other instant ticket game experiences.
  • [0042]
    According to one embodiment, a player is permitted to wager and redeem bets at authorized locations (e.g., legal jurisdictions such as lottery retail establishments, casinos, bingo hall, and the like) while the online portion of the game may be played in any locale or jurisdiction. In such a case, the casino or lottery experience is extended to locations where otherwise lottery and/or casino games are not available. Thereafter, players return to the lottery or casino establishment to redeem their tickets thereby providing yet another opportunity to entertain the player.
  • [0043]
    According to yet another aspect of the present invention, winning results may be split across opportunities to win. One embodiment of the present invention relates generally to how wins are shown to the player across win opportunities. In one specific example, one embodiment relates to a method for revealing wins to a player across a play of multiple game instances that build excitement for the player and which holds the interest of the player in continuing to play the game. It is appreciated that the game experience may be made more compelling if wins are distributed among win opportunities in an interesting way.
  • [0044]
    Another method for maintaining the interest of players includes awarding additional opportunities to win with each ticket. For instance, one of the prizes awarded with a particular opportunity to win (e.g., during the play of the game instance) may be one or more additional opportunities to win. For instance, in a bingo game, an issued ticket may be associated with five (5) games of bingo. One of the prizes awarded with the ticket may include additional game instances. At the time of initial ticket activation, it may be predetermined that the ticket is associated with these additional opportunities to win, and these additional opportunities may be associated with the issued ticket. The player, when playing the game, will obtain additional satisfaction in playing because the number of game instances to be played by the player are increased, and therefore, their opportunity to win is also increased. This may be beneficial to create a more realistic gaming experience where additional games may be awarded during play. However, unlike in other environments (e.g., a casino) wherein play can be continued from an online account or by placing additional bets to create a more continuous game experience, the additional win opportunities are awarded to a single ticket.
  • [0045]
    In the case where an online game system is a Keno-based or other drawing-based systems wherein results are not predetermined, additional opportunities to win may be associated with the ticket in the form of additional numbers selected by a computer system and associated with the ticket at the time of a drawing. This may be performed, for example, by assigning one or more additional drawing entries as a prize itself in the pay table associated with the Keno or other drawing-based game. More particularly, the drawing entries may be awarded as prizes, which themselves are indexes into other entries in the same pay table. Such additional entries may correspond to one or more prizes. For example, when the drawing occurs, the additional plays are awarded to the drawing numbers associated with the ticket. These drawing numbers may be associated with a particular game instance, of which there may be many associated with one ticket. At the point when the ticket is activated by the result of the drawing and play of the online game is permitted, the player, upon the beginning of play of the ticket or a particular game instance, the player is awarded the additional plays (and therefore, any prizes) associated with these additional plays. The additional plays may be played as additional game instances, which themselves have additional reveal opportunities. Alternatively, additional reveal opportunities may be added to one or more other game instances to make game play more exciting.
  • [0046]
    In another example, additional opportunities to win are awarded to a ticket, but these additional opportunities are awarded for a future game instance. In one example, the game reveals, during a win opportunity (e.g., a spin, a reveal, etc.) in a first game instance, one or more win opportunities within a second game instance. These win opportunities may be redeemed and “added on” to the second game instance, or the win opportunities may be provided as part of a “free play” of an additional game instance. In the case of a game driven by a drawing-based system (e.g., Keno, bingo, etc.), additional win opportunities may be provided for game instances conducted at a later time. For example, in a first game, a player may be provided a “free play” of a game instance to be conducted (or available to be played) at a particular start time. To this end, the player may be provided an additional code that allows the player to play the game at the later time. In the case of a subscription-based system where a player subscribes to play more than one game, the player may have additional plays added to his/her existing subscription.
  • [0047]
    In another example, an additional opportunity to win a prize may be provided outside of the play of the primary game. Because the opportunity is presented outside of the play of the game, there are several benefits to such a win opportunity. For instance, the player is permitted to lose the primary game even though the ticket associated with the primary game is a winning ticket. In one specific example, the player may be permitted to play the primary game and lose, and have the winning result revealed in the additional win opportunity. Thus, a wider range of games and more realistic games may be offered with such a game format. In one embodiment, the additional win opportunity may be presented to the player in the form of an additional game. In one specific game format, a number selection game may be used as the additional game.
  • [0048]
    Also, providing such an additional win opportunity allows the primary game to be simplified, as the various permutations of possible results of the primary game need not be designed into the primary game. For instance, a pay table associated with the primary game may not adequately represent all of the possible combinations of game outcomes that may produce a predetermined win result. Thus, the additional win opportunity may be provided to take into account any game outcomes that fall outside of the paytable. Further, the additional win opportunity may be used by a game operator to award prizes to the player outside play of the primary game. For instance, the game operator or affiliated organization may provide, in the additional win opportunity, additional prizes such as, for example, rewards points, coupons, discounts or other promotional items. These items may be awarded with the intent of increasing interest in the game and/or promoting other games, products, and/or services.
  • [0049]
    In another aspect of the present invention, winnings by a player may be redeemed online to allow the player to play further instances of the online game. For instance, the player, after receiving a prize when playing a particular game instance, is permitted to redeem the prize online. In one type of online redemption, the player is provided one or more additional game instances to be played. To this end, the player may be provided one or more access codes allowing the player to play the additional game instance(s). These additional access codes may be provided to the player in an interface of the game, by e-mail, or other method.
  • [0050]
    According to another aspect of the present invention, a method is presented for providing players an enhanced gaming experience. According to one embodiment, it is appreciated that it is beneficial to enhance players' interest in playing games, particularly losing ones. In one embodiment, an illusion is presented to players to provide the illusion of being very close to winning a particular game. For instance, in the case of a bingo game, the bingo game result may indicate that the player received a pattern that was close to winning, and only with the revealing of the last ball drawn does the player realize that he/she has lost the game. According to one aspect, it is realized that the losing game experience should compel the player to continue playing the game.
  • [0051]
    In another example system, prizes may be awarded in association with each item collected in the game (e.g., number of points achieved in a slot machine type game, achieving particular numbers in a bingo game (e.g., a “magic ball” indicated on a player's card that awards a prize)). Therefore, prizes may be distributed among elements or levels during play as well as being distributed among game instances. As discussed, prize distribution may be stored in a database of the server, may be determined by the client (e.g., randomly), or may be stored at any location or be determined by any manner by the client.
  • [0052]
    According to another aspect of the invention, it is appreciated that conventional methods for playing online games of chance are not secure. In particular, because the result or outcome of the game or predetermined sequence of game states may be encoded on a ticket, the lottery game may be compromised if the winning codes are deciphered. Such a deciphering could occur, for example, by hacking a computer system associated with the online lottery and obtaining a list of winning tickets, or reverse engineering software (e.g., on a PC) where the winning codes or sequence of game states may be stored. Further, it is realized that in such conventional systems, the lottery ticket or the online game software and its data are single points of security failures in the system.
  • [0053]
    One aspect of the present invention relates to a method for conducting a game of chance. According to one embodiment, a more secure method is provided by which an online game may be played. Instead of placing a game seed that determines a sequence of game states on a ticket (e.g., an instant scratch or lottery ticket), the game states or outcomes may not be placed on the ticket. Rather, the outcomes may be stored in an online database. To this end, a code may be stored on the ticket, the code being used as a decryption key used to find the outcome stored in the database. In particular, there may be a mapping between an outcome code and a corresponding decryption key that is printed on the ticket.
  • [0054]
    Because the decryption key is placed on the ticket, unauthorized access to the online game is not permitted without the physical ticket. In another embodiment, a portion of the decryption key is placed on the ticket, and another portion is stored in a database associated with the online game. In this manner, security cannot be breached without having both portions of the key (either having the issued ticket portion or the online portion). Thus, a hacker may not compromise a lottery ticket database without the ticket, and, by virtue of having a winning ticket, other winning ticket numbers may not be determined. Access to the online portion of the key may be obtained, for example, by providing some other information (e.g., a serial number printed on the ticket). However, it should be appreciated that the information used to gain access to the online portion of the key need not be printed on the ticket—the information may be provided on some other medium or by another method.
  • [0055]
    The ticket may be, for example, a scratch-type lottery or “instant” ticket, pull-tab, or type of pre-printed ticket type. Alternatively, the ticket may be a printed lottery ticket as is known in the art, which is a ticket printed at a Point of Sale (POS), usually in the form of a lottery drawing ticket (e.g., PowerBall or other type lottery drawing game) or other ticket type (e.g., thermally printed) provided at the POS. Also, the ticket may be an electronic ticket issued by a computer system. It should be appreciated that the ticket may be any type of ticket issued in any form, and the invention is not limited to any particular ticket type method of issuing a ticket.
  • [0056]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, a method for playing a game of chance is provided. The method comprises acts of issuing respective tickets to a plurality of players, each ticket including a code printed on a surface of the ticket, and providing for each of the plurality of players to play a bingo game on different medium than the issued ticket, wherein the code is used to gain access to obtain a result associated with the game of chance.
  • [0057]
    According to one embodiment of the invention, the plurality of players play a same instance of the bingo game. According to another embodiment, a result associated with each issued ticket of the plurality of players is based on a game experience common to the plurality of players provided in the same instance of the bingo game. According to another embodiment, the act of issuing respective tickets includes issuing at least one of a lottery ticket, a scratch ticket, a printed ticket, and a pull-tab ticket.
  • [0058]
    According to one embodiment of the invention, the act of providing further comprises an act of providing a computer-based game which the player plays the bingo game to reveal the result of the game of chance. According to another embodiment, the act of providing includes an act of permitting access to a website to play the bingo game. According to another embodiment, the bingo game is a computer-based game including one or more bingo cards, each having a plurality of indicia that, when matched in any one of a plurality of combinations, provides one or more prizes to at least one of the plurality of players. According to another embodiment, the method further comprises an act of providing a pay table that determines, based on a particular one of the plurality of combinations, the one or more prizes provided to the at least one player.
  • [0059]
    According to one embodiment of the invention, the prize total for the ticket is predetermined prior to play of the bingo game. According to another embodiment, the result of any one of at least one of the one or more bingo cards and instances of the bingo game reveals a prize won by the player. According to another embodiment, an indication of the prize won by the player is stored in a database of a server, and is downloaded to a computer presenting the computer-based game to the player. According to another embodiment, the method further comprises an act of providing, by a first server associated with a first game, the result associated with the game of chance. According to another embodiment, the method further comprises an act of storing, in a memory of a computer system, the result associated with the game of chance.
  • [0060]
    According to one embodiment of the present invention, the method further comprises an act of associating the result with an indication of the ticket. According to another embodiment, the first server further comprises a random number generator, and the random number generator performs an act of determining a set numbers associated with the issued ticket. According to another embodiment, the method further comprises an act of determining a set of winning numbers associated with the game of chance. According to another embodiment, the method further comprises an act of determining the result of the game of chance based on a comparison of the set of numbers associated with the issued ticket and the set of winning numbers. According to another embodiment, the game of chance includes at least one of a Keno game and a bingo game, and the act of determining a set of numbers associated with the issued ticket comprises an act of selecting a predetermined number of numbers from a predetermined set of numbers.
  • [0061]
    According to one embodiment of the present invention, the method further comprises an act of determining an outcome associated with the ticket based on a drawing. According to another embodiment, the method further comprises an act of permitting at least one of the plurality of players to play the bingo game in response to the act of determining the outcome. According to another embodiment, the method further comprises an act of revealing the result during play of an online bingo game. According to another embodiment, the method further comprises an act of displaying an interface comprising one or more player identifiers, each of which represent a corresponding player and a corresponding ranking of each player in a tournament of bingo games. According to another embodiment, the method further comprises an act of automatically playing, for at least one of the plurality of players, at least one instance of the online game if the at least one of the plurality of players does not play the game instance within a predetermined time.
  • [0062]
    According to one embodiment of the present invention, the online bingo game begins at a predetermined time. According to another embodiment, the online bingo game ends at a predetermined time. According to another embodiment, at least one instance of the online bingo game begins at a predetermined time. According to another embodiment, the method further comprises an act of indicating, to the player, a result of the tournament after the online game ends. According to another embodiment, the online bingo game includes an associated game in which is revealed at least one result. According to another embodiment, the associated game includes a slot machine game. According to another embodiment, the bingo game comprises a plurality of bingo game instances. According to another embodiment, the plurality of bingo instances are included in a tournament games.
  • [0063]
    According to one embodiment of the present invention, at least two of the plurality of bingo game instances are played with different winning patterns. According to another embodiment, at least two of the plurality of bingo game instances are played with different rule sets. According to another embodiment, the plurality of bingo game instances are played at predetermined times. According to another embodiment, each of the plurality of bingo instances begins at a predetermined time. According to another embodiment, the plurality of players play at least one same instance of at least one of the plurality of bingo game instances.
  • [0064]
    Further features and advantages of the present invention as well as the structure and operation of various embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, like reference numerals indicate like or functionally similar elements. Additionally, the left-most one or two digits of a reference numeral identifies the drawing in which the reference numeral first appears.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0065]
    The accompanying drawings are not intended to be drawn to scale. In the drawings, each identical or nearly identical component that is illustrated in various figures is represented by a like numeral. For purposes of clarity, not every component may be labeled in every drawing. In the drawings,
  • [0066]
    FIG. 1 is block diagram of a system for conducting a game according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0067]
    FIG. 2 is an example ticket that may be issued in association with a game according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0068]
    FIG. 3 is a flow chart of a process for conducting a game according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0069]
    FIG. 4 is a flow chart of a process for conducting a game according to another embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0070]
    FIG. 5 is a system for conducting a game according to according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0071]
    FIG. 6 is a game interface according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0072]
    FIG. 7 is a process for conducting a tournament-type game according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0073]
    FIG. 8 is a game interface according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0074]
    FIG. 9 is a process for conducting a bingo game according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0075]
    FIG. 10 is a game interface according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0076]
    FIG. 11 is a game interface according to one embodiment of the present invention; and
  • [0077]
    FIG. 12 is a game interface according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0078]
    A player may purchase a lottery or other type of ticket, to play a primary game (e.g., a bingo game). In one embodiment of the present invention, the player is permitted to play in a tournament involving one or more instances of an online game. In particular, the player may be permitted to enjoy the feeling of playing in a tournament or other competitive environment against other players in the environment of an online game. In the case of a bingo game, according to one embodiment, the feeling of being in a competitive bingo hall experience may be provided for multiple players.
  • [0079]
    In one example, the primary game result is driven by the result of a secondary game, such as a lottery or casino-based drawing (e.g., a Keno drawing). The secondary game is then played, and the result of the overall tournament is determined based on the results of the secondary game instances. Results of the secondary game instances and the result of the tournament are sent to an online gaming system. The player is then permitted to play an online game to reveal the results of the secondary game instances and the result of the overall tournament.
  • [0080]
    In one example game format, the player may be permitted to enter a tournament-type game at the point of initial purchase of the game (e.g., at the Point of Sale (POS)). The player may be permitted, for example, to enter into a tournament comprising a number of primary game instances (e.g., plays of an online bingo game).
  • [0081]
    According to one embodiment of the present invention, a secondary game such as a Keno drawing drives the result of each of one or more primary game instances. In one specific example, if a player pays for 100 plays (e.g., 100 sets of Keno numbers) the player is permitted to play 100 instances of the online game. For instance, the player may be allotted 10 instances (e.g., 10 cards, 10 games, etc.) of a bingo game. The result of the games may be predetermined, or may be driven by a future event, such as a Keno or a bingo drawing.
  • [0082]
    Game sessions may be held at predetermined times. For instance, one or more Keno drawings that drive the results of the primary game instances may be performed at one or more predetermined times. The player may play the game instances after one or more results associated with the Keno drawings are made available to the online game system. For instance, when a Keno drawing occurs, one or more of the Keno tickets may be “graded” to determine whether the player has a winning ticket. The result can be transferred to an online gaming system that translates the result into one or more results associated with an online game. In the case of a bingo type game, the result may be translated to a win/loss indication of one or more cards used by the player to play the bingo game.
  • [0083]
    Tournament results may be made available after a single Keno drawing, or in another example, the player may pay to play multiple games that result from associated Keno drawings, which may not necessarily occur at the same time. Thus, plays may be protracted over a period of time, and results of each play may be driven by a separate Keno drawing. In the case where players may participate in particular game instances, one or more results may be driven by one or more Keno drawings, set of numbers, or combinations thereof.
  • [0084]
    The player continues to play the game instances, and after the final game instance is played, the result of the tournament may be presented to the player. In one example, the player is provided an identifier (e.g., a username) and that identifier is presented to other players during the game. In one example, the game-playing computer system may present to the player a listing of the top players in the tournament, along with their current status in the tournament. For instance, the progress of each player in the tournament may be measured in points, prizes won, or other metric that can be used to determine a winner of the tournament. In one specific example, the player that wins the most prizes in the tournament is awarded an additional prize. In yet another example, prizes may be awarded to the top players in the tournament. Prizes may be awarded, for example, to any player that achieves a minimum amount of winnings or other criteria. Indications of the status of the tournament and any related information may be presented in an interface of the game-playing computer system. The interface may be in the form of a leader board that is displayed to each player while playing in the tournament.
  • [0085]
    According to one embodiment, the player may indicate that tournament play is desired at the Point of Sale (POS). This indication may be, for example, be performed by the player by forming a mark on a card similar to those used to enter lottery or Keno-type drawings. To this end, there may be a box or other section of the card that, when filled out by the player, selects the tournament option. The card may be scanned by a reader, usually at the POS, and the player pays for the number of bets (e.g., number of plays). As discussed, there may be more than one tournament option from which the player may choose. For example, there may be tournaments that involve more of less game instances, different types of games or combinations thereof.
  • [0086]
    The tournament option may be selected in other ways, such as, for example, in an interface of a computer system. In one example, the player may purchase lottery or other types of tickets using a computer, and the interface may permit the player to select a tournament option. For instance, such tickets may be purchased through a kiosk or other type of computer system.
  • [0087]
    According to one embodiment of the present invention, the player, after purchasing one or more plays of the game, plays the primary game on a computer system. This computer system may be the same or different computer system used to select the tournament option. In one example, the computer system includes a display in which an interface of the primary game is displayed. The player plays one or more plays of the game within the interface, and the plays may (or may not) be associated with a winning outcome.
  • [0088]
    According to one embodiment, there may be a special pay table for prizes awarded in the tournament. This pay table may be, according to one embodiment, separate from the main pay table associated with the regular game sessions. For example, the tournament pay table may pay out more or less than the pay table associated with regular game sessions. In one specific example, the pay table may have a similar payout as the regular game sessions, but has a lower hold so that the tournament winnings are similar in amount to the regular game sessions. Further, the tournament option may be used as a market retention tool to encourage the purchase of multiple session games, encouraging continued play and return to the POS (e.g., a casino) to redeem winnings.
  • [0089]
    Although the tournament option is attractive for casino-type games such as slot machine-type games, bingo games, etc., it should be appreciated that such a tournament option could be applied to any type any combination of games. For instance, such a tournament option may be applicable to a lottery-type game or any other type of game that may be adapted to a tournament format. For example, a tournament option may be used with game formats including, but not limited to, slot machine games, video poker, bingo, blackjack, games of skill such as a PAC-MAN type game, and other games.
  • [0090]
    FIG. 2 shows an example ticket 201 that may be issued to a player in association with a game according to one embodiment of the present invention. The player may scratch a surface of the ticket (in the case of a scratch ticket) to reveal one or more indications. These indications may include, for example, a serial number of the ticket, an access code, or other indication (or combination thereof) that may be used to access the online game. Alternatively, the ticket may be a pull-tab ticket or other ticket type suitable for presenting indications to a player. The ticket may be, for example, a printed ticket that also indicates the election of a tournament option. Alternatively, the ticket may be any other ticket type and may indicate (e.g., by a punch hole) that a tournament option was selected at the POS. The tournament may be, in one example, a separate game type that is selected by the player, or may be an additional option that can be added onto a group of game instances. The tournament option may or may not involve an additional charge added to the purchase of the ticket.
  • [0091]
    The ticket may include other indications (e.g., a decryption key or portion thereof as described above that may be used to decrypt game results). Also, the ticket may indicate to a player the number of plays of a second game (e.g., as played by the player on a computer system). For instance, in the case of a slot machine game, the ticket may indicate the number of spins that a player may be awarded by the ticket. Further, as discussed above, the player may be permitted to play any one of a number of offered games, and the player may select different games to play to reveal results associated with game instances. The ticket may be associated with one or more games, and there may be an indications on the ticket to which games (e.g., a slot machine game, and/or any other game types) the ticket provides access. The ticket may be associated only with a single game (e.g., a single-branded game), or may be indicative of multiple games that can be played.
  • [0092]
    In one embodiment, ticket 201 includes a code 202 printed on a surface of the ticket that provides access to outcomes (e.g., prizes) stored on the server. As discussed, code 202 may also include, as an optional feature to increase security, a key that may be used to decrypt the outcome. This outcome may be stored in a database stored on a server system. Ticket 201 may also include a ticket identifier 203 used to identify the ticket, and which may be used to identify any outcome(s) associated with the ticket. Further, ticket 201 may include a game indication 204 that relates information relevant to a game played on a computer system. For example, there may also be stored, on the ticket, an identifier that indicates, to the player, the number of plays associated with an online game. The ticket may, optionally, show a tournament option selected at the time of purchase. In one example, a player purchases a ticket at a retailer or other POS location.
  • [0093]
    The player then proceeds to play a game on a computer system. FIG. 1 shows an example system 100 according to one embodiment of the invention upon which a game may be played. The user (a player) 110 plays a game through an interface of a host computer system (e.g. host 101). Host 101 may be any type of computer system that is capable of playing a game. The host may be, for example, a general-purpose computer system (e.g., a personal computer (PC)) that connects to a network (e.g., the Internet). Other general purpose computer system types (e.g., a PDA, a cell phone, set-top box, or other system type) may be used to play the game.
  • [0094]
    The computer system may be coupled to a server system 103 through one or more communication networks 102. The server may provide a game program 109 that is executed by host 101 for playing the game. More particularly, game program 109, when executed, may provide an online game that can be played by a user through an interface associated with host 101. This online game may be, for example, a video slot machine, blackjack, or other online or casino-type game.
  • [0095]
    The game program may be stored, for example, in a computer-readable medium (e.g., a memory, storage, or other media) associated with server 103 that provides game programs. For instance, the game program may be stored on a web server and downloaded to a client computer over the Internet. Game program 109 may be one of a number of game programs associated with an online game experience. Different game programs may be selectively downloaded to the client, based on the type of game ticket issued, the game selected for play by the user, the type of client used, or other criteria.
  • [0096]
    Server 103 may also be a general-purpose computer system, or any other type of computer system capable of authenticating tickets, providing game programs, and performing other game-related functions. Further, it should be appreciated that various game functions may be performed by one or more server systems. Server 103 generally includes a processor 104 for executing server-based game functions. Server 103 may also include a memory 105 for storing data associated with game programs. Server 103 may also include one or more network interfaces 106 that couple server 103 to network 102, which permit server 103 to communicate with one or more hosts. Further, server 103 may include one or more storage entities 107, including disks or other media for storing data. In one embodiment, storage 107 is adapted to store one or more game programs 109 as discussed above. Server 103 may have any number or type of processor that executes an operating system and one or more application programs. In one embodiment, server 103 provides web server content to one or more clients for the purpose of accessing and playing the game.
  • [0097]
    Server 103 may also include a database 108 that is adapted to store one or more outcomes associated with a ticket or other gaming piece. As discussed, the outcome may be indexed using an identifier of the ticket. Further, database 108 may store information identifying a tournament option selected by the player. The tournament option may be associated with an identifier of a particular ticket.
  • [0098]
    FIG. 3 shows one example process for conducting a game according to one embodiment of the present invention. At block 301, process 300 begins. At block 302, a player is issued a ticket. As discussed, a player may purchase a ticket at a retailer or other POS location. At some later time and/or location, the player may play an online game on one or more computer systems (e.g., a PC or other computer system capable of playing games). For instance, at block 303, a host computer system (e.g., host 101) executes a game program. The game program may be, for example, an online game that includes one or more components downloaded over a communication network (e.g., the Internet).
  • [0099]
    As discussed, the ticket may include a code which is used to access the outcome of a game. This code may be printed on a face of the ticket as discussed above with reference to FIG. 2. In one example system, the player accesses a website that includes an interface in which the player may enter the code at block 304.
  • [0100]
    This interface may be, for example, used to access the game, or may be any other interface (e.g., an interface used to access a download website used for downloading game software (e.g., game program 109)). The interface may be programmed in one or more computer languages (e.g., an HTML, Java, Macromedia Flash, or other type interface) and may include a text entry box in which the player can input the code. The interface may include other ways of entering a code or other parameter (e.g., a glyph printed on a ticket) that allows the user to gain access to the game. It should be appreciated that the invention is not limited to any particular method for entering the code, or any format of the code, and that any type of code or method of entry may be used.
  • [0101]
    The player enters the code, and an outcome is determined at block 305 based on the code. More particularly, there may be a mapping between the code printed on the ticket and an outcome stored on the server. This code may be stored, for example, in a database structure stored in database 108 of the server. Database 108 may be, for example, a relational database, object database, flat file database, or other organizational entities used to store and maintain data. Further a listing of winning codes may be furnished to an organization that provides the game (such as, for example, a state-run lottery commission). The code may, as discussed above, include an optional decryption key that decrypts an entry stored on the server. This entry may indicate one or more outcomes of game instances. The entry may also include an outcome of a tournament based on the outcomes of the game instances.
  • [0102]
    The outcome of the game is then used by the online game to determine play of the game by the player at block 306. For instance, if the stored outcome is “Win $50,” the online game may present an outcome to the player that indicates that the player won a $50 prize. This presentation may be in the form of one or more reveals presented to the player while playing the online game at block 307. The presentation may be progressive, in that the ultimate outcome (e.g., “Win $50”) is achieved through a set of reveals or progressions through the online game. For example, in the case where a bingo game is played wherein outcomes are revealed during the play of one or more bingo games, such reveal outcomes presented during the game associated with each bingo game instance and/or bingo card may be stored on the server.
  • [0103]
    As discussed, prizes may be distributed over game instances and/or items (or more generally, win opportunities) to maximize game interest and to entice the player to play each game instance associated with a particular ticket. For example, one approach may include providing to the player an early (relative in the series of game instances) indication of winning to keep the player interested. As the player plays more game instances, the magnitude of the prizes may be adjusted such that a level of game “drama” is increased. That is, prize values are adjusted among later game instances to provide relatively higher prize values in later games. Other approaches/distributions may be provided for increasing or maintaining game interest.
  • [0104]
    Once all of the game instances are played, the player may redeem the ticket at the point of sale or other redemption location at block 308. Alternatively, the player may be permitted to redeem the ticket without playing any or all of the game instances. Redemption may be permitted, for example, after a predetermined time. For instance, the player may be permitted to redeem a ticket after a set time (e.g., 10 PM), a particular time period after ticket purchase (e.g., 24 hours) or other absolute or relative time (e.g., after the tournament is conducted). This may be the case for a Keno or lottery-based system, where a Keno or lottery result is made available at a set time after ticket purchase. Alternatively, tickets may be redeemed immediately after purchase. At block 309, process 300 ends.
  • [0105]
    Payouts may be determined by a pay table associated with the game. The number of tickets may be determined a priori, and a pay table that determines payouts may be allocated to the tickets. This allocation may be determined, for example, by shuffling the pay table and allocating results to tickets. The following is an example of a pay table that may be used with a game according to one embodiment of the invention:
  • [0000]
    Number of Tickets Issued: 2000
  • [0106]
    Ticket Price: $5
    TABLE I
    Example Payout Table
    Number of Tickets Payout
    1 $100
    700 $10
    500 $5
    100 $1
    600 $0

    Game Operator Return: $300 (3%) - expenses
  • [0107]
    As shown in the example above, a certain number of tickets may be allocated as winning tickets having a particular payout (e.g., an outcome). Some tickets may have no payout associated with them, and some may only have a nominal payout (e.g., a small award amount, free ticket, etc.). A small number of tickets may include a large payout as compared to the magnitude of other payouts. It should be appreciated, however, that payouts are not limited to money, but other types of prizes may be awarded including merchandise, credit, loyalty points or any other representation of value.
  • [0108]
    The odds of winning may be the type of odds experienced in actual (rather than computer-based) games. Alternatively, the odds of winning may not necessarily be “natural” odds of winning any particular type of game, but rather, the odds may be adjusted to obtain the outcome desired (e.g., by the gaming operator). The odds of winning, number of winning tickets, amount of payout per ticket, or other payout parameter may be any amount or number, and the invention is not limited to any particular odds of winning, number of winning tickets, payout amount or type of payout. However, according to one embodiment, the overall odds of winning, amount and type of payout, etc. may be similar to a game previously approved by regulators (e.g., Keno, bingo, etc.) so that the use of an additional game to display an outcome associated with the previously-approved game is scrutinized much less by regulators, and as a result, the approval of the additional game is less burdensome. To this end, a system associated with the previously-approved game may provide ticket and outcome information to is a system conducting an online game (e.g. server 103).
  • [0109]
    According to one embodiment, portions of the pay table may be allocated for different games in the tournament or other series of games. For example, in a game format having a series of bingo games along with a slot machine type game (e.g., played between bingo game instances), higher-stakes entries in the paytable may be allocated to the slot machine type game, and remaining paytable entries may be allocated to one or more bingo game instances.
  • [0110]
    In this way, the paytable may be distributed so that each possible entry of the paytable may be achieved, yet the entries may be distributed to provide a more appropriate win outcomes among multiple game types. For instance, in the case of a bingo game provided with a slot machine type game, higher-stakes outcomes may be associated with the slot machine game rather than the bingo game so that a more realistic outcome is provided.
  • [0111]
    According to one embodiment, players with the highest winnings are indicated as winning the tournament and may be awarded additional prizes. According to one embodiment, a tournament may be a compilation of multiple Keno games, each Keno game having a separate pay table. Tournament prizes may be funded from a portion of a hold from ticket sales and/or may funded from a promotional or marketing fund. The Keno games associated with each player may be graded and compiled to determine a winner of the tournament.
  • [0112]
    For instance, there may be 100 games associated with a single tournament entry, although it should be appreciated that the number of game instances may be any number, even only a single game instance. A set of Keno numbers is associated with each game instance, and, as a result of one or more Keno ball draws, the result of each Keno number set is determined. This determination may be made, for example, by the system that performs the Keno ball draw function, although it should be appreciated that this may be performed by any other system. The Keno number sets are “graded”, and the result of the tournament is determined. As discussed, the winner of the tournament may be the player that receives the highest total winnings among all of the Keno number sets associated with the tournament.
  • [0113]
    There may be a separate pay table associated with the tournament, the pay table awarding prizes to the players with the highest winnings. The pay table may be modified to provide a limited amount of prizes (e.g., 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes). Further, the pay table may be adjusted to provide higher stakes prizes to encourage continued play in the tournament.
  • [0114]
    The code stored on the server (e.g., server 103) may be used to determine game play as played on the computer system. For instance, the game outcome may be “Win $50.” In the case of a bingo game, the ticket may indicate that the player receives three (3) instances of a bingo game. The outcome of each instance may be predetermined, and the game may retrieve information from the server indicating a predetermined sequence of game play as discussed above. In the case of a bingo game, the predetermined sequence may indicate winnings associated with each of the game instances, the sequence of balls drawn for each game instance (e.g., wherein prizes are not awarded for particular ball draws, but wherein the game experience is still predetermined), and/or an indication of a prize won as a result of playing each of the game instances. It should be appreciated that any aspect of game play may be predetermined and associated with the code.
  • [0115]
    In another example, only the overall outcome is predetermined (e.g., the total winning associated with the ticket), and the sequence of game play may be determined when the game is played. In the example above where the player is indicated as winning $50 over 10 spins, the $50 winnings (and any intermediate losses) may be allocated to the player at any point over the 10 spins. In the case of any other type of game, winnings may be allocated across game instances. In a further example, winnings may be allocated across items collected while playing a game instance. Because the number of items collected may vary depending on the skill of the player, the distribution of prizes among collected items may be determined during game play by the game playing system.
  • [0116]
    This allocation may be determined by the server, the game software executing on the client, or a combination thereof. Further, the game play may be randomized in that a further play using the same ticket may yield a different sequence of game states leading to the same outcome. For example, in the case of a slot machine game as described above, a player may be indicated as winning $50, but the sequence by which the player attains the $50 winning outcome may be different depending on various factors. Such factors may include a randomization function that determines results of individual game plays (e.g., in the case of a series of bingo games, the result of ball draws for each game), or some other function. The series of intermediate outcomes may be stored in a database associated with the server as discussed above with respect to game outcomes. Also, the outcomes may be adjusted using a formula or rule-based approach during execution of the game to increase the game drama and heighten the game playing experience.
  • [0117]
    According to another aspect of the present invention, a player may purchase a ticket at a point of purchase (e.g., a convenience store) and the indication of a win/no win condition of the ticket is revealed on a different medium. For instance, a player purchases a scratch ticket in a convenience or other type of store. The prize that the player wins is not revealed on the scratch card itself, but rather the prize is revealed through another medium (e.g., on a home computer system, PDA, cell phone, etc.).
  • [0118]
    For instance, as discussed above, the player may be presented another game (e.g., a bingo game, a card game, casino game, or any other game) that reveals at least a portion of the prize. The underlying prizes available via the reveals may be predetermined, in that the outcome of the game may be stored in one or more systems. The scratch or other type of ticket may reveal different numbers of plays (e.g., pulls in the case of a bingo game, a slot-machine type game, or game instances of any other type of game) the player receives.
  • [0119]
    In one aspect of the present invention, the ticket includes authentication information that is used to obtain the reveals. In one example, the scratch ticket contains a secret key which is used to decrypt the results that are revealed to the player. That is, according to one aspect, it is impossible to determine if and what a particular ticket wins without having possession of the ticket (and therefore the secret key). In another example, the scratch ticket could contain only a portion of the secret key. The other portion of the key may be stored, for example, on a server and retrieved from a database (e.g., file, relational database, etc.) based on, for example, the serial number of the card. Mappings of serial numbers of tickets to encrypted results can be provided to the lottery provider for additional audit control.
  • [0120]
    A process for performing secure access to outcomes is shown in FIG. 4. At block 401, process 400 begins. A server (e.g., server 103) may store a number of outcomes in encrypted form, each of which outcomes can be accessed by a respective code. These outcomes may be encrypted, for example, using any encryption method (e.g., symmetric, asymmetric encryption) as is known in the art. At block 402, a code is provided to the server (e.g., server 103).
  • [0121]
    This code may be, for example, a secret code (e.g., a symmetric key, a private key) printed on a ticket and provided to the server by a user through an interface of a computer system as discussed above. The received code may be transmitted between systems using a secure transmission method (e.g., SSL) as is known in the art. The received code is used at block 403 to decrypt the outcome stored on the server. This code may be any decryption key type that may be used to decode data, and may be of any format or length. The decrypted outcome may then be presented to a player at block 405. The outcome may be displayed using any method. For example, as discussed above, the outcome may be presented through one or more reveals presented to the player during play of an online game. At block 405, process 400 ends.
  • [0122]
    Another aspect of the present invention relates to a lottery-based software game that can be played over a network, such as the Internet. According to one embodiment, the system includes a purchase of a scratch-based or printed ticket by a player at a point of service (POS). A POS may be, for example, a place at which lottery tickets may be sold, including convenience stores or other locations where lottery products are provided. In an alternative system provided at a casino or other gaming establishment, a ticket may be sold to a player at the casino for play at a later time. Optionally, the player selects a tournament-type game involving play of one or more game instances.
  • [0123]
    The player receives the ticket at the POS or other location, and proceeds to play a computer-based game at another location to reveal a result (or outcome) of the game. The computer-based game may be, for example, a casino-type game (e.g. slot machine, video poker) or other type of game, including amusement games or games of chance. In the case of the scratch or printed ticket, the result is not apparent to the player until the player plays the computer-based game. This game may be, for example, a software program that is downloaded and played over the Internet. Alternatively, other ways of accessing the online portion of the game may be used (e.g., PDA, cell phone or other method).
  • [0124]
    The ticket includes a code by which a player gains access to a result stored on a server that stores ticket information and results associated with each ticket. Such information may be predetermined at the time of ticket sale, or the results may not be known until a later time, after the ticket is issued to the player (e.g., in the case of a Keno, bingo, or other drawing-based system). According to one embodiment, the code is an access key (or a portion thereof) that is used to access one or more results stored on the server. Further, the result (stored in the server) may be encrypted. For example, the code may be a private key or a symmetric key. The key may be transmitted by a client computer system to the server for the purpose of decrypting the result using SSL or any other secure method.
  • [0125]
    Because the decryption key is stored on the ticket, the gaming system is safer, as a breach of security of either the tickets or the server does not provide access to result information. More particularly, access to the lottery ticket or other type of database may not be accomplished without the ticket (used to decrypt the result). Further, the tickets may not be correlated to results without the lottery ticket database (because the results are stored in the database, not on the tickets).
  • [0126]
    In another example of the system, a portion of the key used to decrypt results of the game is stored on the ticket, and another portion is stored in the database of the server. In this manner, it is assured that possession of either portion of the key may not compromise the results.
  • [0127]
    However, it should be appreciated that the system does not require SSL or any other encryption/decryption method, a decryption key on the ticket, or the stored result on the server to be encrypted. Rather, the game can be implemented with or without these features. That is, access to the outcome stored at the server may be performed using only the serial number or other ticket identifier printed on the ticket.
  • [0128]
    The scratch-based or printed ticket also includes a second serial number or other identifier (e.g., an access code) in addition to the serial number or other identifier which is correlated to results on the server. A ticket may include both a serial number and a ticket identifier used by the system. According to one embodiment, it is appreciated that there may be security issues with using the serial number of a printed ticket (as printed on the ticket) to correlate to win outcomes. That is, the lottery provider may not allow any entity outside of the lottery system to have the ability to correlate outcomes to serial numbers. To this end, another identifier (e.g., a separate ticket identifier or access code) may be provided on a ticket to allow the system to index into an outcome database.
  • [0129]
    In one example system that works in association with a lottery system, outcomes for a game may be predetermined to comply with lottery rules. In this case, outcomes are predetermined and stored in a database. In an alternative environment where results are not permitted to be predetermined (e.g., in a casino), but rather are determined at a later time (e.g., by a drawing or other method), a ticket issued by a system in such an environment may have an associated drawing time when a game may be played.
  • [0130]
    In the case where the online game system is driven by a Keno game result, each ticket may be associated with a set of numbers in the Keno game, and the result of the Keno game is provided as the result for the online game. In one example, a computer system automatically picks numbers associated with the ticket at the point when the ticket is issued. Thereafter, when the Keno game occurs, the result of the Keno draw is provided to an online game system, which translates the Keno result to a game experience within another game (e.g., a bingo game, a slot machine game, etc.). It should be appreciated, however, that although the game of Keno may be used to drive an online game experience, other games (e.g., bingo) may be used.
  • [0131]
    In the case where the player selects a tournament option, additional sets of Keno numbers may be chosen associated with the tournament ticket. When one or more Keno drawing(s) occur, the result of the sets of Keno numbers are used to drive the online game along with any results of the overall tournament. When all of the sets of Keno numbers are graded, the overall tournament result may be revealed to the player.
  • [0132]
    The server (e.g., server 103) may be capable of accepting, from the user, an input of the serial number and decryption key, and in response, providing the results associated with the particular ticket. The result or outcome of the game may be displayed to the player in an interface of the computer system (e.g., a client computer system such as a personal computer (PC)) used to play the computer-based game. For example, the outcome of a series of plays associated with the ticket may be stored in the server, and provided to the client, and the series of outcomes may be presented to the player during play of the computer-based game.
  • [0133]
    In another embodiment of the system, a payout of the ticket may be encoded on the ticket. For instance, if the ticket is a $5 winner, the amount of the win may be encoded on the ticket. In the case of the casino-based version of the system, the payout may not be stored on the ticket (as the payout is not predetermined), but rather the purchase price of the ticket may be stored on the ticket, or some other identifier of the ticket.
  • [0134]
    As shown in FIG. 5, a system 500 may be provided having more than one server. For instance, a server 502 provided at the point of sale 501 is primarily responsible with issuing tickets to a user/player 506. To this end, server 502 may issue preprinted tickets or may issue tickets printed from an associated printer 505. Such tickets may include one or more identifiers as discussed above with reference to FIG. 2. As discussed, another system such as a Keno or lottery-based system may be used to provide results to an online game system.
  • [0135]
    In one version of system 500, the win/loss determination of a ticket may be driven by a later-occurring drawing. For example, a Keno-based, bingo-based, or other type lottery draw system may be used wherein the outcome of a particular game is not known until a future time (e.g., when a drawing occurs). In this case, the ticket identifier stored on the ticket may be an access code generated from ticket identifiers in the Keno-based system (e.g., by an intermediate system or the Keno server itself that can translate a Keno ticket identifier into another type of identifier).
  • [0136]
    Generation of an identifier separate from the Keno ticket identifier may be necessary for security reasons relating to the Keno system. More particularly, access to the Keno ticket identifiers may not be permitted by the system (e.g., the Keno server). In one example, a Keno system translates Keno ticket identifiers into access codes and results that are stored on the game server (e.g., server 503). Thereafter, clients (e.g., hosts 504A, 504B) access results stored on the server based on their respective access codes.
  • [0137]
    Such results may include, for example, any results of any game(s)/instance(s) and an associated tournament result associates with the game(s)/instance(s). In one example, the Keno system may perform a grading of the sets of Keno numbers associated with the tournament, and may determine the result of the tournament.
  • [0138]
    As discussed above, one or more hosts 504A, 504B (e.g., general purpose computer systems) may communicate with a server 503 over a network for the purpose of conducting a game. In one example, a host 504A renders a browser window by executing a browser program (e.g., the Internet Explorer browser program available from the Microsoft Corporation). A user/player 506 enters a URL address specified by an issued ticket in a window of the browser interface, and is directed to a website associated with server 503. This website may be rendered by, for example, a WWW server process (e.g., server 507) associated with server 503.
  • [0139]
    Player 506 may be instructed to enter an access code (and/or any other required information) to access one or more games in an interface presented through the browser. As discussed, server 503 may validate the received access code, and provide any results stored in a database associated with server 510. Once validated by server 503, the user may be permitted to play one or more games. These game may be, for example, be programmed using one or more programming languages (e.g., Macromedia Flash) and may be downloaded to host 504A and executed.
  • [0140]
    Also, outcomes associated with any games may be downloaded prior to game play. As discussed, examples of games include those that may be of the lottery-type (e.g., having a predetermined outcome) and those that are casino-based (e.g., having an outcome that is not determined at the time of sale of the ticket). In the case where a later drawing affects an outcome, a player may not be permitted to play the game until the drawing occurs (and until results are available at server 503). In the case of a drawing that affects outcomes, drawing results can be communicated from server 502 to server 503. In addition, server 502 may maintain a mapping from a ticket identifier (e.g., a serial number) to an access code provided on the ticket, and provide a mapping of outcome to access code when the drawing occurs. As discussed, such outcome information may be maintained in a database 510 associated with server 503 and may be accessed through a database server process 509.
  • [0141]
    As discussed, the payout of the lottery ticket may be displayed to a player in a number of ways. For instance, the payout of the ticket may be presented to the player through one or more reveals presented to a player during one or more plays of an online game.
  • [0142]
    For instance, in the case of a slot machine game, a player may be permitted, with the issue of a single scratch or printed ticket, a series of spins of the slot machine. The slot machine may, as the result of each of the spins, produce results that contribute to the overall payout to the player. For instance, after a single spin, a player may be presented an indication that he/she has won $5. The payout to the player as provided from the server database may be, for the series of spins, $50 overall, with particular outcomes for each spin. Additional spin results may provide the additional $45 that the player will receive. Additional spins may add, subtract, or have no affect on the contribution to the outcome of the game. These results of each spin of the slot machine game may be stored in the database of the server indexed by the ticket identifier, or may be randomly determined by the game program that renders the game. Further, as discussed above, the results of each spin may be “scripted” such that the game experience is more exciting to the player.
  • [0143]
    For example, in the case where the results of each spin are stored on the server, the series of results may be downloaded to the client at the beginning of the game as a series of entries, and the client may reveal each result as the player progresses through the series of spins. In the random method, results for each individual spin are not predetermined, but rather are determined by the client in a random manner. For instance, the actual outcomes of each spin may be randomly chosen among the possible combination of outcomes that may produce the required payout. In either case, the outcomes for each spin of the slot machine game is not stored on the ticket, but rather is stored at the server and downloaded just prior or during game play, or is determined randomly by the client. Alternatively, the client may determine the game experience based on a predetermined set of rules or formulas that, when an overall outcome is provided, allows the client to determine intermediate outcomes in a dynamic way.
  • [0144]
    In the case of a bingo game, the actual ball draws may be scripted so as to create more excitement for the player. For instance, balls may be drawn in a particular order, making the player believe they are close to obtaining a particular winning pattern. In another example, the bingo game includes one or more “bonus” or “magic” numbers indicated on a player's card. The player may, in one example, be awarded an increased amount if the bonus number is located in a winning pattern on the player's card. In a more specific example, the prize won by a combination including the bonus number may be increased up one or more levels in the pay table associated with the bingo game. Further, the player may play multiple game instances of a bingo game, and the game experience may be scripted among the multiple game instances so as to increase the excitement of play. In one example, the pay table is increased with each successive bingo game, and therefore, player excitement is increased as play progresses.
  • [0145]
    Because the game play and outcome are scripted, a player may also not play the game (and possible secondary games) to actually win. A player may purchase a ticket, wait until the ticket may be redeemed, and go to a POS to find out (and if necessary, receive) his/her winnings. A ticket may be allowed to be redeemed after a predetermined period of time after the drawing independent of whether the player has played the game. A ticket may be able to be redeemed after a predetermined period of time, from almost immediately to seconds to days or any predetermined time. For tickets with results dependent upon results of a particular Keno game or other event, the ticket may not be redeemed until after the event has passed.
  • [0146]
    Finally, after play of the online game, the player is permitted to validate the ticket at any POS location (e.g., 501 (for example, a lottery agent, casino, or other gaming establishment) to redeem his/her winnings as indicated during the online portion of the game. According to one embodiment, players are permitted to redeem their winnings only after playing the online portion of the game. The player, by playing the online portion of the game, sets status information at the server (e.g., server 503). When the player attempts to redeem the ticket at the POS (e.g., 501), the status information may be checked, and the player is permitted to redeem his/her winnings. To this end, server 503 may communicate information back to server 502 relating to game play.
  • [0147]
    For instance, server 503 may collect information that indicates the sequence of game play performed at the client, and other player tracking information. In one example, tickets may be associated with a particular player, and the player may be awarded loyalty points or other credit for playing the game.
  • [0148]
    Taking a bingo game, a player is issued a ticket at a POS to play one or more instances (e.g., spins) of the bingo game. The ticket indicates an access code, and the player uses this access code to gain access to the system (e.g., from a host coupled to server 503 through the Internet). The player enters the access code in a user interface, and, once validated, is permitted to play the bingo game. Optionally, the player is permitted to play, based on a single access code (and ticket), any one of a number of games available from server 503. Such an option may allow a player to play different games for each game instance associated with the ticket.
  • [0149]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, an additional opportunity to win is provided to the player. In one such opportunity, the opportunity is presented outside of the play of the game (e.g., the primary game such as a slot machine game, bingo game, etc.). Because the opportunity is presented outside of the play of the game, there are several benefits to such a win opportunity. For instance, in the case wherein the game is a game of skill, the player's lack of skill during play of the game may not provide a game playing program the opportunity to reveal to the player his/her predetermined prize. For instance, if a player is predetermined to win $5, and the player plays a bingo game wherein the player is required to declare “Bingo,” and the player does not declare “Bingo” and therefore loses the game, the game program may not have the opportunity to award the player the $5 winnings associated with the ticket. Also, there may be other situations wherein the game playing program may not have the opportunity to reveal the predetermined prize to the player. Thus, according to one embodiment of the present invention, it may be beneficial to provide an additional opportunity outside of normal game play to reveal a prize to the player. To this end, there may be additional games and/or opportunities for a player to reveal a prize. These games or other win opportunities may be presented at various points during the tournament (e.g., at predetermined times, randomly during game play, etc.). In one example, there may be games interspersed between game instances (e.g., during downtimes in game play) where the player is permitted to play another game. For instance, the player may be prompted to open a fortune cookie or other item to reveal a prize, spin a slot machine, or play any other type of game.
  • [0150]
    Further, such an additional opportunity simplifies game development, as the game need not be designed to force a win for the player within normal game play. That is, the player may be permitted to lose even though the predetermined outcome indicates that the player has won the game. As a result, this additional opportunity allows the game operator to provide a game that provides a true game result rather than a fixed result to trigger a reveal to the player.
  • [0151]
    Also, such an additional opportunity may be beneficial, for example, in providing the predetermined outcome to the player. For instance, in the case where it may be difficult for the game playing program to reveal a particular prize to the player, the game playing program may present such a prize with the additional opportunity. In one example, there may be certain combinations of results that cannot be accounted for by a pay table associated with a game. In a specific example of a slot machine game, a prize remaining to be revealed to the player during a final spin of the slot machine is $7, but there are no pay table entries and no corresponding slot machine game result that can be arranged by the game playing program to provide a $7 win to the player. Thus, rather than reveal the $7 win during the slot machine game (where there is no such pay table outcome), the $7 winnings may be revealed to the player outside the play of the slot machine game. Thus, game development is simplified in that the game need not account for all possible combinations of game play, and all possible combinations of prize awards. In particular, the additional win opportunity allows the game program to account for any difficult game results. Further, the additional win opportunity permits different types of games that do not lend themselves to gaming format to be used as the primary game (e.g., video games, trivia games, etc.).
  • [0152]
    Further, such an additional win opportunity may be used for awarding other prizes not associated with the game, such as, for example, rewards points, coupons, discounts or other promotional items. For instance, in addition to a prize allocated to a ticket according to a paytable, the game operator may associate an additional prize with the ticket. This association may be performed, for example, in a database of a server (e.g., server 103).
  • [0153]
    One example of such an additional opportunity may be presented to the player as a separate or a “second chance” game. This separate game may be played in addition to the primary game (e.g., one played on a computer system to reveal the result of the primary game). This game may take the form of a side bet or wager that is played along with the primary game. So, in the example above where the player fails to receive a predetermined outcome in the primary game (e.g., a slot machine game, bingo game, or any other type of game), the side bet is arranged to provide the additional outcome.
  • [0154]
    The following is a specific example of a separate game that may be played along with a primary game. For instance, the separate game may be a number matching game (e.g., a daily number-type game) where the player chooses numbers and the numbers are compared to a set of numbers drawn by the game playing computer system. For example, the selected number may be a four-digit or other length number. In one example game format, the player may be permitted to choose numbers prior to play of the primary game. Alternatively, the game program may automatically assign the numbers to the player (e.g., in a random manner such as a quick pick). The player may be presented the opportunity to select numbers or have the game playing computer select numbers for the player. The player then plays the primary game (e.g., a slot machine game, bingo game, or any other type of game) in which the player is presented one or more win opportunities.
  • [0155]
    In one example, the player is predetermined to win a prize (e.g., $5). The game playing system may provide an opportunity for a $5 win during the game, but the player fails to activate the win opportunity (e.g., by losing the game, by not calling “Bingo” in time, etc.). In one example, the game playing system does not force a win for the player (e.g., by fixing results of a game, instance, or win opportunity within the game). Rather, the player loses the game and/or fails to activate the win opportunity.
  • [0156]
    In one specific example second chance game using selected numbers, at the end of the game, the game playing system may cause the player's selected numbers to be displayed, then the system magically draws four numbers (e.g., similar to a keno-style draw), and the person obtains matches equivalent to the $5 win.
  • [0157]
    In another example system, when playing multiple games per session, the selected numbers may be valid for all games played in the session. Optionally, the player may be permitted to change the selected numbers for each game. Such a change may be performed using a control in the game interface. Further, the selected numbers may be displayed to the player in a predetermined area in the game interface.
  • [0158]
    Although a number drawing may be used, other second chance games may be used. For instance, the player's numbers may be applied to a safe or other container type combination. If the safe opens, the player wins the prize revealed by its opening. In another example, the container may not contain (or reveal) a prize.
  • [0159]
    FIG. 6 shows an example game interface 600 according to one embodiment of the present invention. According to one embodiment, the game includes a bingo-type game. The bingo-type game may, according to one embodiment, be a typical bingo game according to standard U.S. rules. However, it should be appreciated that other types of bingo games may be used, having different rules (e.g., UK bingo), and the invention is not limited to any particular bingo game or set of rules.
  • [0160]
    According to one embodiment of the present invention, the bingo-type game is presented to the player by a computer system in an interface 600. In particular, in a display of a computer system upon which the game is played, one or more bingo card representations (e.g., cards 601) may be rendered in interface 600, with each bingo card having, in one example, five columns (e.g., column 602), corresponding to the letters “B”, “I”, “N”, “G”, and “O”, and five rows (e.g., row 603) in a boxed matrix. Numbers and/or free spaces populate blocks (e.g., block 604) in the matrix. Each card has blocks having one or more indicia (e.g., indicia 612). The indicia may be, for example, characters, items, or any other type of elements suitable for use in a bingo or similar game.
  • [0161]
    Optionally, interface 600 may include a status of a tournament option selected by the player. For instance, the interface may indicate whether a tournament option was selected at the time of ticket purchase, along with an indication of the status of the tournament (e.g., the current leader(s) of the tournament, the time remaining in the tournament, etc.).
  • [0162]
    The game of bingo, as is known, is played by randomly selecting winning numbers from a population of numbers. In a traditional bingo game, a participant wins when a combination of selected winning numbers covers at least one of a row, a column, and/or a diagonal of five numbers on at least one player's card. Because, according to one embodiment, the bingo game is a single player game, the player may appear to be playing alone. To this end, a finite number of bingo numbers may be called to determine when the game is over, and the player has lost. In one example, thirty-one (31) balls are called in any particular bingo game instance. If, however, the player achieves a winning combination at or prior to the last ball being called, the player wins the game.
  • [0163]
    Although typical winning patterns may be used, it should be appreciated that any winning pattern may be used, and the invention is not limited to any particular one or set of winning pattern(s). In one example, there are a number of winning patterns, and a pay table (e.g., pay table 606) is provided that associates prizes to particular patterns (e.g., a “Y” pattern as shown in pay table 606).
  • [0164]
    Also, in one example bingo game, at least one of the blocks on the player's card is indicated as a “bonus” or “magic” block (e.g., bonus block 609). If, according to one embodiment, a winning pattern is achieved, and the bonus block is included in that winning pattern, then the player may be awarded an increased prize. This may be accomplished, for example, by increasing all of the winning patterns in the pay table, moving the winning pattern into a higher priority in the pay table, or other method for increasing the prize awarded to the player.
  • [0165]
    The pay table (e.g., pay table 606) may indicate, for instance, a correlation between combinations of indicia and awarded prizes. In one example above, such indicia may include numbers, when matched in a particular arrangement, wins the player a prize. If the indicia arranged in one or more arrangements match that indicated by the pay table, the player may be awarded a corresponding prize indicated by the pay table. Alternatively, the player may be awarded points or other items corresponding to particular arrangements which may be used in one or more second level games that award an actual prize.
  • [0166]
    The bingo game interface 600 may also include a control 619 which may be any type of control (e.g., a button, level, etc.) that, when activated, causes a new bingo ball to be “called”. Further, interface 600 may also include an indicator 611 that indicates the current ball being drawn. As discussed, the player may be allowed a finite number of called balls to win any particular bingo game. Thus, interface 600 may include a counter 614 that indicates the current number of the ball being called (e.g., ball 9 of 31), indicating the remaining number of balls to be called.
  • [0167]
    Further, interface 600 may include a bingo board 608 that shows the numbers previously called (item 613). The player may be permitted to manually daub his own card(s) after each ball is called. Alternatively, an automatic daubing feature may be provided that daubs numbers automatically when they are called. The player may also be permitted, using control 610, to cause the game program to call the next ball. In another example, the game program may include a mode wherein balls are automatically called. Balls may be called, for example, after a certain period of time to allow the player to daub his/her card, or may be combined with the automatic daubing feature to allow faster calling and daubing of cards. The type and layout of the bingo is not limited to the type and layout shown in FIG. 6. Rather, it should be appreciated that the bingo may be any type and layout, and the invention is not limited to any particular bingo card type or layout.
  • [0168]
    The bingo game ends when the player exhausts the allotted number of balls (e.g., 31) for a particular game, and/or plays the last allotted game of bingo (or any other game permitted by the game system). As an additional option, a player may bypass play of the bingo game by selecting control 607 within interface 600. More particularly, interface 600 may also include a control 607 that quits the game and reveals any prizes won by the player. Selection of element 607 may cause the bingo game to end and may allow the player to progress to another game (e.g., a bingo game or other type of game). In another example, control 607 causes all the balls to be drawn and daubed on the player's card(s) to show the result of the bingo game(s), if played. The result of any particular instance of a bingo game may be associated with a prize and then revealed to the player at the end of any particular bingo game instance.
  • [0169]
    After play of any particular bingo game, game play is returned to another instance of the game (e.g., the bingo game). The player may, however, choose to play a different game (e.g., a card game or other game) at the conclusion of any particular game instance. In the case of the bingo game, a game instance may be concluded. According to another embodiment, the play of each game instance is independent of all other game instances. According to another embodiment, the outcome of a particular game instance is predetermined.
  • [0170]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, it is realized that the time at which tickets are activated (and therefore, may be played) is important. In the case of a casino-based game, where tickets are issued at the casino, it may be beneficial to include a delay between the purchase of a ticket and a possible redemption of the ticket so that the game play associated with the ticket does not compete against other games offered by the casino (e.g., floor games). For example, in the case of a bingo game, it may be preferable that such a game be activated after the player leaves the casino, or otherwise is not playable while in the casino so as not to compete with other types of bingo games or other game types offered by the casino.
  • [0171]
    Further, another benefit of introducing a delay between ticket issuance and activation includes increasing the likelihood that the player plays the game at another location (e.g., at home), requiring the return of the player to the ticket redemption location to redeem his/her winnings. Because the player needs to return to the redemption location (which may be a casino), the possibility that the player will purchase additional tickets or play other types of games offered at the redemption location is increased.
  • [0172]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, the result of each game instance (e.g., a bingo game result) may be predetermined, whereas the result of each ball being called or other game play element is determined using some random number generator (or RNG). In this manner, the player is provided a predetermined result, but the game play that occurs in the first level game is a random number-generated experience which is more similar to actual play in a casino or other online gaming experience. However, because it may be desired to increase the drama of any particular bingo game, it may be beneficial to provide a predetermined (or scripted) outcome for at least a portion of the bingo game (e.g., which balls and the sequence in which they are called) so as to provide an increased game experience for the player.
  • [0173]
    According to one embodiment, a player is only permitted to play one instance of the bingo game. In this case, the player uses provided balls to achieve the result of the bingo game, and when completed, the player is provided a single result associated with the game. Any balls remaining after the player reaches a winning combination are lost. After play of the bingo game, the online portion of the game is over.
  • [0174]
    Alternatively, the player may be permitted to play further instances of the bingo game, with each level of the bingo game leading to a revealing of prizes. These intermediate prize amounts that are revealed with each instance of the bingo game, as discussed above, may be stored in a database of the server, and provided to the client prior to or during game play.
  • [0175]
    Alternatively, intermediate prize amounts may be determined at the client in a random manner (e.g., by randomly selecting a possible combination of intermediate prize amounts that total the overall prize awarded to the player). In another example, a game may be determined dynamically by the game system or client based on one or more rules. These rules may be tailored so that the overall result is revealed by the game system in an interesting way.
  • [0176]
    For instance, the ticket may have an overall prize value of $50, and the prize awarded at each instance of the bingo game may accumulate to form the $50 prize. There may be a finite number of combinations based on the number of game instances to achieve a $50 prize, and the actual game experience presented to the player may be a random selection of the finite outcomes. In any case, the result of each game instance is either stored at the server or is determined randomly or dynamically by the client as discussed above.
  • [0177]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, the points or prizes awarded for particular combinations of indicia of the bingo game may be changed according to the ball number being called so as to increase the game “drama” to maintain player interest. For instance, as the ball number is increased, the points or prizes awarded for a particular combination of indicia may also increase. In another example, particular points or prizes may also be increased or activated based on the number of bingo game instance, alone or in combination with the ball number, providing an increased level of excitement for the player.
  • [0178]
    According to one embodiment of the present invention, a bingo game is conducted that may include the following additional aspects, either alone or in combination:
      • Each user receives one bingo card at the start of the game.
      • In another alternative, each player is provided three bingo games. In one example, the pay table is adjusted upward for each successive game played to create more interest to the player.
      • A finite number of bingo balls are called in the game—for example, 31 balls may be called.
      • To begin, the player selects a start button presented in an interface of the game.
      • Each new ball appears first in the game interface (e.g., by indicator 611) after which the ball is added to the bingo board as a lighted number with a highlight around the called ball, while the row itself is also highlighted.
      • The bingo card may be daubed in two ways, including:
        • 1. If an automatic daubing feature is selected, the game will automatically daub all called numbers that the player has on their card.
        • 2. If the automatic daubing feature is off, the player manually daubs all called numbers that they have on their card.
      • A new ball is only available when the number does not appear on the player's card or the matching number on the player's card has been daubed.
      • Players select a control to receive a new bingo ball and are prompted to do so when the player has daubed the previously called ball.
      • The game may begin with the automatic daubing feature turned on.
      • A feature for quick play may be provided that includes automatic daubing and automatic calling of numbers. The game may begin, for example, with this feature turned off by default.
      • If the player turns on the quick play feature, no interaction is required by the player. The balls are displayed in rapid succession and the card automatically daubed.
      • Within an interface of the game is presented a list of patterns to be matched on the card and the corresponding prize.
      • When a matching pattern is revealed on the card, the pattern is highlighted and flashes.
      • The game continues until all of the allotted balls (e.g., 31) have been called.
      • There may be a bonus ball, and this ball may be labeled on at least one card of the player.
      • If the bonus ball number appears in a winning pattern, the prize is increased per the pay table.
      • At the conclusion of the game, the player is presented a window having a message stating the game is over and reporting any cash prizes earned.
      • The initial ticket issued may be used at a redemption center for claiming any awarded prize(s).
      • In another example, the result of any bingo game may be determined by an RNG and odds at the moment of play, or may be determined at the time that a lottery ticket is printed.
      • The overall result (e.g., payout) of purchasing a ticket may be predetermined (as in a scratch or other type of instant lottery game) or may be determined by a later event (such as a lottery, Keno, or bingo draw).
  • [0201]
    As discussed, a player may be permitted to select one or more paylines to receive an outcome of a win opportunity. According to one aspect of the present invention, the player is presented an indication of a “near miss”, in that one or more paylines selected is close to a winning pay line (e.g., the player selected the wrong pay line). As it is understood that the player may select any pay line within the first level game, prizes associated with unselected pay lines revealed to the player upon selection of the final pay line may be varied to create the indication of the near miss. For instance, the game playing system may determine a presentation of one or more prizes in an unselected pay line so that the player feels that he/she lost by a narrow margin (e.g., by selecting the wrong pay line). Rather, the outcome of the selection according to one embodiment is predetermined. That is, the player may select any pay line(s) and still obtain the same result.
  • [0202]
    The revealed prize distribution among the pay lines presented to the player may be different, however, depending on the pay lines chosen by the player. In this manner, the player feels as if the pay lines (and therefore their corresponding prizes) are predetermined, and that their selection of a particular pay line had an affect on the outcome of the first level game. However, the player's selection has no affect on the outcome of the first level game according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0203]
    After play of a particular game instance, game play is returned to another game (e.g., a first level game such as a slot machine game). The player may, however, choose to play a different game (e.g., a card game or other game) at the conclusion of any particular game instance. The player may be permitted to play further instances of the slot machine game, with each slot machine game being capable of revealing any awarded prizes. These intermediate prize amounts that are revealed with each instance of slot machine game, as discussed above, may be stored in a database of the server, and provided to the client prior to or during game play. Alternatively, intermediate prize amounts may be determined at the client in a random manner (e.g., by randomly selecting a possible combination of intermediate prize amounts that total the overall prize awarded to the player). In another example, a game may be determined dynamically by the game system or client based on one or more rules. These rules may be tailored so that the overall result is revealed by the game system in an interesting way.
  • [0204]
    For instance, the ticket may have an overall prize value of $50, and the prize awarded at each instance of the slot machine game (or each spin, card, or other game element with which a win opportunity may be associated) may accumulate to form the $50 prize. There may be a finite number of combinations based on the number of game instances or other game element to achieve a $50 prize, and the actual game experience presented to the player may be a random selection of the finite outcomes. In any case, the result of each game instance is either stored at the server or is determined randomly or dynamically by the client as discussed above.
  • [0205]
    FIG. 7 shows an example process 700 for conducting a tournament type game according to one embodiment of the present invention. At block 701, process 700 begins. As discussed, a player may purchase one or more plays of an online game (e.g., a bingo game). The player may be presented, at the time of purchase, an option to enter a tournament type game relating to one or more online game instances. At block 702, the player purchases a ticket or other game piece, and an entry for the player is made in the tournament. In the case of a tournament having an outcome driven by a Keno drawing, a number of sets of Keno numbers may be chosen and associated with the ticket. This may be accomplished, for example, by associating the option with a serial number or other identifying information of the ticket.
  • [0206]
    At block 703, outcomes of the game instances and the tournament are determined and are then made available to a game server, after which the player may play the online portion of the game in which results are revealed. In the case of a Keno-driven system, a Keno system may draw numbers, compare the drawn numbers to the selected sets of numbers associated with the ticket, and send results of the draw to the game server. These results may indicate, for example, which game instances have won, how much was won, etc. Further, the Keno system may grade the sets of numbers of each ticket (or player) associated with the tournament, and determine any tournament winner(s).
  • [0207]
    At block 704, the player may initiate play of the online game (or series of games). As the player plays each game instance, there may be one or more opportunities for the player to win a prize. In one embodiment of the present invention, winnings in individual game instances are used to advance the player within the tournament. An indication of the status of the tournament may be presented to the player within the interface (e.g., a display of a leader board). After the player plays through the one or more game instances associated with the tournament, the player may be presented the result of the tournament at block 705. At block 706, process 700 ends.
  • [0208]
    FIG. 8 shows one example of an interface 800 that may be used to play a tournament type game according to one embodiment of the invention. In particular, interface 800 includes a game play interface that displays the online game to the player. The player may select one or more controls to operate the online game, and in the example shown, the player plays a video poker game, although the game may include one or more bingo game instances, any other type of game, or combination of games thereof. The interface also includes what is referred to herein as a “leader board” that displays the state of the tournament. For instance, the leader board may display the current leading players, the scores of each of the players, and the time remaining in the tournament. In one embodiment, the players may be represented by nicknames, user names or other identifier in the leader board.
  • [0209]
    Because the tournament, according to one embodiment, has a predetermined start and end, the leader board may present information relating to the current state of the tournament, such as a beginning time, elapsed time, and time remaining in the tournament. The leader board may also display any prizes awarded for winning the tournament. The leader board may also display the running score of each of the tope players. This score may be a total of winnings (e.g., money) won in one or more of the game instances associated with the tournament, but it may be points accrued or some other indication. The leader board may be refreshed at regular intervals throughout the tournament period. In one example, the leader board may be updated as game instances are completed, at a predetermined refresh rate (e.g., 5 seconds), or based on any other parameter.
  • [0210]
    According to another embodiment of the present invention, a game format is provided that mimics a real-world bingo hall to reveal results associated with a secondary game (e.g., a Keno game) for a number of players. FIG. 9 shows one process for conducting a bingo game according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0211]
    At block 901, process 900 begins. At block 902, players purchase a game ticket at a POS (e.g., in the casino environment) that permits the player to play a number of bingo games associated with a bingo event. Each ticket may, for example, indicate the number of games/cards to be played, and a time at which the game(s)/card(s) are played. The player may be permitted to choose the number of games and/or cards that are played during a particular bingo event. According to another example game format, players are not restricted to playing the game at a particular time.
  • [0212]
    At block 903, after ticket(s) are purchased by the players, one or more underlying Keno games that determine the outcome(s) of one or more bingo game instances are run. For instance, Keno outcomes may be provided by a Keno computing system such as the well-known XpertX system. After the Keno games are run, a player is permitted to login to play the series of bingo games.
  • [0213]
    In one embodiment, however, bingo hall events occur on a fixed schedule (e.g., every Wednesday at 8 pm). In the example, a player may then join any Wednesday event to play. The schedule of game events may determined, for example, by the game operator. When the specified event time occurs, players may be permitted to login to an online “virtual” bingo hall. After login, the player may be permitted to enter one or more online games.
  • [0214]
    At block 904, players play one or more instances of an online bingo game. According to one embodiment, players play games in a specified sequence, in lock step with one another. At block 904, for example, a player may elect to enter the bingo game event and play one or more game instances/cards in a predetermined order. According to one specific example game format, each player sees the same balls drawn, plays for the same pattern, to those of other players. Further, each player receives any corresponding prizes determined by their corresponding Keno outcomes.
  • [0215]
    In one example, players must achieve the pattern within a certain number of balls (e.g., 20 balls, 40 balls, 60 balls), and claim their bingo, to win the stated prize. Winnings achieved by players during game play may be tracked and awarded to the game player when the ticket is redeemed.
  • [0216]
    At block 905, it is determined whether a determined prize was revealed to a player (e.g., if a player fails to reveal a prize during normal game play). If so, at block 906, any prizes remaining to be revealed are revealed to the player via another game (e.g., an in-game slot machine). According to one embodiment, adjacent to each bingo game is presented an associated slot machine game. The slot machine game may have an interface that is presented on the same or different display of the bingo game during bingo game play.
  • [0217]
    According to one example game format, each bingo game may include a number of parts including the slot machine game. According to one embodiment, the slot machine game is part of the current bingo game in play. In one example, after the bingo game has been played out, the slot machine game is played. The player may, for example, be permitted one spin of the slot machine. Further, the slot machine may be used to display any missed win opportunities (e.g., missed bingos) from the preceding bingo game.
  • [0218]
    As discussed, the slot machine may have a portion of the pay table assigned to the game. Similarly, the two or more parts of the bingo game may have other portions of the pay table assigned to those particular game instances. In case a player fails to spin the slot machine game or otherwise fail to activate the game, the game may be played automatically and any results revealed to the player.
  • [0219]
    According to one embodiment, a late player with the appropriate ticket may join a bingo hall event that is already in progress. Such players may, for example, be provided an option to join the event as a late player, or to back out and wait to join the next available event from the beginning. If a player chooses to join an event that is currently underway, according to one embodiment, the player enters into the gameflow currently experienced by all other players associated with the bingo hall event. For example, if players are experiencing game 3B of 5, the late player will join game 3B of 5 in progress. That is they will be joining the second portion of the 3rd game in the experience which happens to be a bingo game.
  • [0220]
    According to one embodiment, the game playing computer system may be configured to automatically play the missed games for the player as soon as he arrives and display this outcome. The game may also include an “auto-daub” feature that automatically marks called numbers. In one embodiment, however, players are required to manually claim their bingo wins. If the bingo wins are not claimed, any prized may be collected in another game (e.g., an associated slot machine game) at block 906. At block 907, it is determined whether all games are complete and prizes revealed. If not, the player continues to play one or more game instances at block 904. If all games are complete, process 900 ends at block 907.
  • [0221]
    FIG. 10 shows an example game interface 1001 according to one embodiment of the present invention. As discussed, according to one embodiment, the online game may involve one or more bingo game instances conducted at predetermined time(s). To this end, interface 1001 may include an indication (e.g., indication 1002) to the player of the next game session start time.
  • [0222]
    Interface 1001 may also include an area where the player may enter information associated with the session, such as, for example, a username (e.g., a “nickname”) and a password associated with the username. As discussed, the player may be permitted to interact with other players in the tournament based on their username, may be represented on a leader board by their username, etc. In one specific example, interface 1001 may include a chat area in which users may chat with other players, contributing to the feel of an interactive game environment. Such a feeling may be provided even though the result for each of the game participants is predetermined.
  • [0223]
    FIG. 11 shows another example game interface 1101 according to one embodiment of the present invention. In one embodiment, one of the games offered in a cooperative setting is a bingo game. According to one aspect of the present invention, more than one player experiences the same bingo session details, such as balls called, winning patterns used, etc. to provide the feeling of a multiplayer bingo tournament. To this end, interface 1101 may include an area 1103 in which balls are “called,” a winning pattern for a particular bingo game instance, and an area (e.g., area 1106) in which previously called balls are displayed.
  • [0224]
    Interface 1101 may also include a control 1102 that permits the player to manually “call” bingo once a winning pattern has been achieved. Interface 1101 may also include an area (e.g., area 1107) in which one or more cards currently being played by the player are displayed. The player may be permitted to manually daub numbers or other indicia on the card when balls or other game elements are called. The game may include an automatic daubing feature that permits the game-playing computer system to daub cards as balls are called without player intervention.
  • [0225]
    Interface 1101 may include any number of areas and/or indications in which game and player statuses may be displayed. For instance, interface 1101 may include an area 1105 that displays information relating to the current game instance in progress (e.g., rules), progress in the tournament, or any other information. Interface 1101 may also include an area 1104 in which players may chat with other players, display ticket information, or other information.
  • [0226]
    The player continues to play one or more bingo game instances in the tournament. Such game instances as discussed further below are conducted at predetermined times, and may have one or more other associated games (e.g., an instance of a slot machine game played between bingo game instances). When the tournament is over, results of the games played may be displayed to the player along with the player's winnings, if any.
  • [0227]
    FIG. 12 shows another example game interface 1201 according to one embodiment of the present invention. Such an example interface 1201 may be displayed to the player after a tournament of games have been played. In the example interface 1201, the game-playing computer may display an area 1202 which displays status information relating to the tournament previously played. In one example, the player username, number of games played, and the amount of player winnings may be displayed.
  • [0228]
    Interface 1201 may also include another area (e.g., area 203) which displays results of other tournaments associated with the particular username. Further, interface 1201 may include information relating to “high scorers” in another area (e.g., 1204) of the interface. Again, users may be represented in the interface based on their username. In yet another area (e.g., area 1205), information relating to the ticket used with a particular tournament of games may be displayed. Such information may include a ticket identifier, how much the ticket costs, the remaining credit remaining on the ticket, games associated with the ticket, and/or other ticket information. Interface 1205 may also include a control that permits players to change tickets currently being played.
  • [0229]
    According to various embodiments of the present invention, a bingo hall-type game event may be provided that has one or more of the following features, either alone or in combination:
      • Each bingo hall game event will be composed of multiple bingo games, plus several non-bingo games.
        • Supported bingo game types may include, for example, U.S. Bingo and U.K. Bingo.
      • In one example game format, all players will see the same:
        • Bingo call board
        • Bingo pattern
        • Balls called
        • Card color
        • Stated prize
      • Players can play a variable number of cards simultaneously.
        • Cards may be sold in groupings of three. A player can buy either 3, 6 or 9 cards to play at a time.
      • The auto-daub feature in each bingo games may be turned on or off by players at their leisure.
      • There may be an auto-claim feature in bingo games that active players may turn on or off at their leisure. Activating this feature will automatically claim any bingos that the player has daubed.
      • Each bingo game in the bingo hall event may be divided into two parts, plus the in-game slot machine, thus providing three opportunities to win:
        • Regular bingo
        • Unique pattern or black out pattern
        • In-game slot machine
      • For example, Game #1 may be divided into Game #1a and Game #1b.
        • Game 1a may be regular Bingo and 1b may be Double Bingo.
        • When Game 1a ends, the balls called and balls daubed. Players continue playing the bingo game until a double bingo is called or the final ball for that game is called.
      • Each pattern include a set number of called balls associated with each pattern. For example: 30 balls for Game #1a, 60 balls for Game #1b.
      • Players must achieve the pattern within that ball limit, and claim their Bingo, to win the stated prize.
        • There may be multiple patterns including but not limited to:
          • Four corners
          • Line in any direction
          • Crazy small kite
          • Large diamond
          • Double bingo
          • Small picture frame
          • Six pack
          • Double postage stamp
          • Letter “X”
          • Full card
          • Other patterns
      • When a valid Bingo is claimed, the game may be paused to allow other players a programmable amount of time (grace period) to review their cards and also claim Bingo.
        • Example: 15 seconds
      • Once the countdown clock runs down, print the winners on the leader board, and move on to the next game.
        • If nobody wins that prize, it simply disappears and the system moves on to the next game.
        • Interspersed between bingo games are played referred to herein as “Quickie” games which are short games that can be played quickly between bingo sessions.
        • Quickie games are played in the same number as the bingo cards.
          • For example, if a player purchased the 9 card experience (the equivalent of using 3 credits at a time), his 3-reel Quickie slot machine may have 3 credits available.
        • Unlike bingo games, the Quickie games may keep players in lock-step.
        • There may be multiple Quickie games, including but not limited to a 3-reel slot machine game, a fortune cookie game, etc.
      • The game sequence may be programmed by the game operator.
        Slot Machine Game
  • [0273]
    According to one embodiment, an in-game slot machine has one or more of the following features:
      • The in-game slot machine presents the prize for the lowest prize on the pay table.
      • If a player is destined for that prize, then when they click spin, they will be shown that prize.
      • If a player has a valid bingo in games #1a or #1b but fails to click the “Bingo” button within the grace period, the player abdicates the chance to reveal the prize at that time. Instead, such prizes will be revealed via the in-game slot machine.
      • A player may be provided as many spins in the slot as they have credits purchased.
        Pay Table:
      • The pay table comprises three prize values, plus zero.
        • Pay table values are programmable and configurable.
      • Staked prizes for each bingo game:
        • The first game (e.g., one line) may be played for the second highest prize on the pay table.
        • The second game (e.g., black out) may be played for the highest prize on the pay table.
        • The in-game slot machine may be played for the lowest prize on the pay table.
          Leader Board:
      • The leader board may present a running tally of the top N players' nicknames and total winning amounts.
      • A subset of the leader board will be available on-screen during the game, with the full leader board accessible via a Leader Board control button.
        Example Game Format:
  • [0286]
    The following describes an example game format that may be used that implements various aspects of the present invention:
      • Base Credit Value: $1
      • Pay Table Values: $1, $10, $1,000
      • Total Number of Games: 15
      • Packages:
        • One: 1 credit, 3 cards, $15
        • Two: 2 credits, 6 cards, $30
        • Three: 3 credits, 9 cards, $45
      • Duration: 90 minutes (73.75 mins of gameplay; 16.25 mins of lounge)
        Game Play Schedule
  • [0295]
    Table II below shows an example game play schedule associated with an example bingo hall event. The event may include, for example, one or more bingo game instances along with one or more other game types.
    TABLE II
    Example Play Schedule
    Game Number Type Game Name Sub-Event Prizes
    1 Bingo Red A) Any Line A) $10
    B) Any Two Lines B) $1000
    C) In-Game Slot C) $1
    2 Bingo Blue A) X-Pattern A) $1000
    B) In-Game Slot B) $1, $10
    3 Quickie Dice Roll N/A Full pay table
    4 Bingo Yellow A) Any Line A) $10
    B) Two Lines Together B) $1000
    C) In-Game Slot C) $1
    5 Quickie Golden Fortunes N/A Full pay table
    6 Bingo Green A) Any Line A) $10
    B) Any Three Lines B) $1000
    C) In-Game Slot C) $1
    7 Bingo Brown A) Kite A) $1000
    B) In-Game Slot B) $1, $10
    8 Quickie Most Frequent Color N/A Full pay table
    9 Bingo Magenta A) Any Line A) $10
    B) Stamp (4 4) B) $1000
    C) In-Game Slot C) $1
    10 Bingo Purple A) Any Line A) $10
    B) Large Diamond B) $1000
    C) In-Game Slot C) $1
    11 Quickie 3-Reel Slot N/A Full pay table
    12 Bingo Orange A) 4 Lines A) $1000
    B) In-Game Slot B) $1, $10
    13 Bingo Pink A) Any Line A) $10
    B) Martini Glass B) $1000
    C) In-Game Slot C) $1
    14 Quickie Dice Roll N/A Full pay table
    15 Bingo Black A) Any Line A) $10
    B) Coverall B) $1000
    C) In-Game Slot C) $1

    The timing for such a game format may be as follows:
      • Grace Period: 15 seconds. Occurs after each bingo sub-event.
      • Padding: 12 seconds. Occurs after each Game.
      • Part 1 Bingo: Ball range 0-20: Balls called every 6 seconds (150 seconds)
      • Part 2 Bingo: Ball range 21-50 (building off Part 1): Balls called every 6 seconds (210 seconds)
      • In-Game Slot: Spin lasts 7 seconds: 30 seconds
      • Golden Fortunes: 30 seconds
      • Most Frequent Color: 45 seconds
      • Dice Roll: 45 seconds
  • [0304]
    Having thus described several aspects of at least one embodiment of this invention, it is to be appreciated that various alterations, modifications and improvements will readily occur to those skilled in the art. Such alterations, modifications, and improvements are intended to be part of this disclosure, and are intended to be within the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the foregoing description is by way of example only.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2544961 *Sep 30, 1949Mar 13, 1951Joseph Kemp LeonardEducational puzzle
US4494197 *Feb 22, 1984Jan 15, 1985Seymour TroyAutomatic lottery system
US4582324 *Jan 4, 1984Apr 15, 1986Bally Manufacturing CorporationIllusion of skill game machine for a gaming system
US4725079 *Jul 11, 1986Feb 16, 1988Scientific Games, Inc.Lottery ticket integrity number
US4922522 *Jun 7, 1988May 1, 1990American Telephone And Telegraph CompanyTelecommunications access to lottery systems
US5377975 *Nov 16, 1992Jan 3, 1995Clapper, Jr.; Ronald C.Electronic gaming apparatus and method
US5398932 *Dec 21, 1993Mar 21, 1995Video Lottery Technologies, Inc.Video lottery system with improved site controller and validation unit
US5518253 *Mar 16, 1994May 21, 1996Pocock; TerrenceTelevised bingo game system
US5628684 *Jan 19, 1995May 13, 1997La Francaise Des JeuxGame system including an instant win game and a second game initialized by a winning instant win game ticket
US5709603 *Oct 25, 1996Jan 20, 1998Kaye; PerryPersonal computer lottery game
US5722891 *Mar 7, 1995Mar 3, 1998Eagle Co., Ltd.Slot machine having two distinct sets of reels
US5749784 *Nov 27, 1995May 12, 1998Clapper, Jr.; Ronald C.Electronic gaming apparatus and method
US5860653 *May 15, 1995Jan 19, 1999Jacobs; RobertMethod and apparatus for playing a word game
US5871398 *Mar 29, 1996Feb 16, 1999Walker Asset Management Limited PartnershipOff-line remote system for lotteries and games of skill
US5882258 *Sep 8, 1997Mar 16, 1999Rlt Acquisition, Inc.Skill-based card game
US5887906 *Dec 29, 1997Mar 30, 1999Sultan; HashemType of instant scratch-off lottery games
US6012983 *Dec 30, 1996Jan 11, 2000Walker Asset Management Limited PartnershipAutomated play gaming device
US6015344 *Sep 29, 1997Jan 18, 2000Rlt Acquisition, Inc.Prize redemption system for games
US6024640 *May 19, 1997Feb 15, 2000Walker Asset Management Limited PartnershipOff-line remote lottery system
US6028920 *Jul 17, 1998Feb 22, 2000Creative Games International, Inc.Pre-paid phone card system with promotional link
US6044135 *Aug 12, 1998Mar 28, 2000Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P.Telephone-interface lottery system
US6048269 *Jan 22, 1993Apr 11, 2000Mgm Grand, Inc.Coinless slot machine system and method
US6059289 *Jul 1, 1999May 9, 2000Mikohn Gaming CorporationGaming machines with bonusing
US6168521 *Sep 12, 1997Jan 2, 2001Robert A. LucianoVideo lottery game
US6179711 *Mar 12, 1997Jan 30, 2001Shuffle Master, Inc.Method of scoring a video wagering game
US6186892 *Oct 16, 1997Feb 13, 2001Alan FrankBingo game for use on the interactive communication network which relies upon probabilities for winning
US6203011 *Mar 30, 1999Mar 20, 2001Scientific Games, Inc.System for administering an interactive transaction in a lottery game
US6203427 *Jul 3, 1997Mar 20, 2001Walker Digital, LlcMethod and apparatus for securing a computer-based game of chance
US6358151 *Feb 14, 2000Mar 19, 2002Multimedia Games, Inc.System for facilitating game play in an electronic lottery game network
US6364765 *Jul 1, 1998Apr 2, 2002Walker Digital, LlcElectronic amusement device offering secondary game of chance and method for operating same
US6364766 *Aug 3, 2000Apr 2, 2002Wms Gaming Inc.Gaming machine with sorting feature
US6368214 *Sep 20, 2000Apr 9, 2002Sierra Design GroupMethod and device for playing a keno game in which a player is charged for performing game playing actions
US6368218 *Oct 28, 1998Apr 9, 2002Gtech Rhode Island CorporationInteractive gaming system
US6371852 *Aug 14, 1998Apr 16, 2002Acres Gaming IncorporatedMethod for crediting a player of an electronic gaming device
US6375567 *Jun 23, 1998Apr 23, 2002Acres Gaming IncorporatedMethod and apparatus for implementing in video a secondary game responsive to player interaction with a primary game
US6514144 *Jun 1, 2001Feb 4, 2003Gtech CorporationOnline game of chance providing a multi-player extension of a single-player virtual scratch ticket game and a method of playing the game
US6523829 *Jun 30, 2000Feb 25, 2003Walker Digital, LlcMethod and apparatus for playing a card game including a mortgaging option
US6527175 *Sep 3, 1999Mar 4, 2003Michael J. DietzInstant multiple play gaming ticket and validation system
US6540230 *Jun 30, 2000Apr 1, 2003Walker Digital, LlcMethod and apparatus for playing a card game including a bust insurance option
US6676126 *Jun 16, 2000Jan 13, 2004Walker Digital, LlcLottery game card and method for conducting a lottery game
US6679497 *Feb 6, 2003Jan 20, 2004Walker Digital, LlcMethod and apparatus for playing a card game including a bust insurance option
US6681995 *Dec 22, 2000Jan 27, 2004Hitachi, Ltd.Method of loading an application program into a smart card, smart card, method of loading scripts into a smart card, terminal device capable of operating with a smart card, and storage medium holding an application program
US6682419 *Jun 19, 2002Jan 27, 2004IgtGaming device having a primary game scheme involving a symbol generator and secondary award triggering games
US6685561 *Oct 16, 2001Feb 3, 2004Wms Gaming Inc.Gaming machine with sorting feature
US6692353 *Dec 27, 2001Feb 17, 2004Walker Digital, LlcElectronic amusement device offering secondary game of chance and method for operating same
US6705944 *Sep 30, 2002Mar 16, 2004Sierra Design GroupMultiple game apparatus and method
US6716103 *Sep 11, 2000Apr 6, 2004Nintendo Co., Ltd.Portable game machine
US6719631 *Mar 16, 2000Apr 13, 2004Walker Digital, LlcSystems and methods for determining a gaming system event parameter based on a player-established event parameter
US6843724 *Jan 6, 2004Jan 18, 2005Walker Digital, LlcElectronic amusement device offering secondary game of chance and method for operating same
US6852031 *Nov 22, 2000Feb 8, 2005IgtEZ pay smart card and tickets system
US6855052 *Aug 2, 2001Feb 15, 2005Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd.Gaming device having first chance means and serially dependent second chance means
US7008317 *Jun 25, 2001Mar 7, 2006Ingenio, Filiale De Loto-Quebec Inc.Computer gambling game
US7008318 *Feb 14, 2005Mar 7, 2006Walker Digital, LlcOff-line remote system for lotteries and games of skill
US7163459 *Mar 6, 2002Jan 16, 2007Nokia CorportionMobile lottery games over a wireless network
US7172506 *Aug 20, 2001Feb 6, 2007IgtGaming Device having award modification options for player selectable award digits
US7179168 *Jun 29, 2000Feb 20, 2007Walker Digital, LlcSystems and methods for allocating an outcome amount among a total number of events
US20020010015 *Apr 30, 2001Jan 24, 2002John AcresReverse keno with virtual odds
US20020013167 *Feb 28, 2001Jan 31, 2002Masque Publishing, Inc.On-line game playing with advertising
US20020039923 *May 24, 2001Apr 4, 2002Cannon Lee E.Method and apparatus for gaming machines with a tournament play bonus feature
US20020042300 *Apr 10, 2001Apr 11, 2002Acres John FMethod for providing incentive to play gaming devices connected by a network to a host computer
US20030013531 *Aug 19, 2002Jan 16, 2003Rick RoweMethod and system for issuing and using gaming machine receipts
US20030027628 *Sep 30, 2002Feb 6, 2003Luciano Robert A.Multiple game apparatus and method
US20030032473 *Aug 7, 2001Feb 13, 2003International Game TechnologyGame oriented promotional card
US20030032476 *Oct 8, 2002Feb 13, 2003Walker Jay S.Methods and apparatus for facilitating the provision of a benefit to a player of a gaming Web site
US20030045340 *Sep 6, 2002Mar 6, 2003Interlott Technologies, Inc.Lottery game, ticket and interactive method of play
US20030047869 *Oct 15, 2002Mar 13, 2003Walker Jay S.System and method for conducting and playing a supplemental lottery game
US20030060257 *Sep 26, 2001Mar 27, 2003Milestone Entertainment LlcNovel games, and methods and apparatus for game play in games of chance
US20030060261 *Apr 15, 2002Mar 27, 2003Milestone Entertainment LlcApparatus and method for game play in an electronic environment
US20030069068 *Oct 5, 2001Apr 10, 2003Kaminkow Joseph E.Gaming device and method for activating multiple paylines upon the wager of a single credit
US20040036212 *Aug 27, 2003Feb 26, 2004Walker Jay S.Lottery game card and method for conducting a lottery game
US20040038723 *Jul 15, 2003Feb 26, 2004Bruce SchneierOff-line remote system for lotteries and games of skill
US20040051240 *May 6, 2003Mar 18, 2004Adams William R.Method of playing game and gaming device with an additional payout indicator
US20040053683 *Sep 12, 2002Mar 18, 2004Shuffle Master, Inc.Alternative bonus game associated with slot machine
US20040059445 *Sep 25, 2003Mar 25, 2004Moore Rodney K.Computer game dislplay system and processes, in electronically-controlled multi-participant game contests, for aggregating and composing a common display and for incorporating virtual participants in the context of games/contests involving active participants
US20040063484 *Sep 26, 2002Apr 1, 2004Dreaper Thomas ScottMethod and apparatus for wagering on contests
US20050037841 *Sep 16, 2003Feb 17, 2005De Waal Daniel J.Method and apparatus for providing customizable player bonuses
US20050049042 *Oct 8, 2004Mar 3, 2005Walker Jay S.Electronic amusement device offering secondary game of chance and method for operating same
US20050075158 *Aug 9, 2004Apr 7, 2005Walker Jay S.Methods and apparatus for lottery game play aggregation
US20050090314 *Sep 25, 2004Apr 28, 2005Nassef George J.Jr.Worldwide casino tour promotion and acceptance system and method
US20060025219 *Jul 28, 2004Feb 2, 2006Nassef George J JrMethod and Apparatus for Customer Service and Relationship Management of Junkets Players in the Gaming Industry
US20060035696 *Jun 10, 2005Feb 16, 2006Walker Digital, LlcMethod and apparatus for facilitating entry into bonus rounds
US20060036450 *Aug 14, 2004Feb 16, 2006Valetnoir Inc.Method and apparatus for air and bus charter management via wide area network in the gaming industry
US20060041586 *Aug 18, 2004Feb 23, 2006Nassef George J JrMethod and Apparatus for facilitating the introduction and communication of individuals or groups traveling to and from casino destinations in the Gaming Industry for the purpose of dating.
US20060068893 *Sep 29, 2005Mar 30, 2006Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game with symbols collection
US20060073884 *Dec 8, 2005Apr 6, 2006Walker Jay SSystems and methods for post-play gaming benefits
US20060089194 *Oct 19, 2005Apr 27, 2006Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game with invitation for playing a wagering game at a subsequent gaming session
US20070054729 *Sep 7, 2006Mar 8, 2007Hornik Jeremy MWagering game with secondary prize feature
US20070060261 *Jul 12, 2006Mar 15, 2007Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game having expanding symbol for triggering bonus game
US20070060274 *Oct 20, 2006Mar 15, 2007IgtPlayer loyalty across a gaming enterprise
US20070060317 *Aug 11, 2005Mar 15, 2007Spectre Gaming, Inc.Community bonus round gaming
US20070060329 *Jul 31, 2006Mar 15, 2007Spectre Gaming, Inc.Bonus server with community bonus round gaming
US20070060330 *Aug 9, 2006Mar 15, 2007Spectre Gaming, Inc.Associative community bonus round
US20070060331 *Aug 9, 2006Mar 15, 2007Spectre Gaming, Inc.Game machine software and communications for community bonus round gaming
US20070060369 *Jul 31, 2006Mar 15, 2007Spectre Gaming, Inc.Game machine with community bonus round gaming
US20070087834 *Nov 30, 2006Apr 19, 2007IgtCasino patron tracking and information use
US20080032763 *Jun 19, 2007Feb 7, 2008Wms Gaming Inc.Centralized gaming system with modifiable femote display terminals
US20080039171 *Oct 5, 2007Feb 14, 2008Case Venture Management LlcComputerized game with cascading strategy and full information
US20080039173 *Aug 13, 2007Feb 14, 2008Aristocrat Technolgies Inc.Systems and methods for conducting a sweepstakes in a gaming environment
USD486869 *Sep 16, 2002Feb 17, 2004IgtWheel and reel display for a gaming device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7794319 *Sep 14, 2010Bally Gaming, Inc.Bingo game system and method
US7980942Jul 19, 2011Game Logic, Inc.System and method for playing a role-playing game
US8192270 *Apr 14, 2008Jun 5, 2012Case Venture Management, LlcBingo game, method, and elimination tournament
US8221241 *Jan 13, 2009Jul 17, 2012IgtGaming involving devices in multiple locations
US8500538Jul 30, 2009Aug 6, 2013IgtBingo gaming system and method for providing multiple outcomes from single bingo pattern
US8597108Nov 16, 2009Dec 3, 2013Nguyen Gaming LlcAsynchronous persistent group bonus game
US8602875Oct 17, 2009Dec 10, 2013Nguyen Gaming LlcPreserving game state data for asynchronous persistent group bonus games
US8647199 *Sep 13, 2010Feb 11, 2014Bally Gaming, Inc.Bingo game system and method
US8696470Apr 9, 2010Apr 15, 2014Nguyen Gaming LlcSpontaneous player preferences
US8821248Aug 1, 2013Sep 2, 2014IgtBingo gaming system and method for providing multiple outcomes from single bingo pattern
US8864586Nov 12, 2009Oct 21, 2014Nguyen Gaming LlcGaming systems including viral gaming events
US9098980 *Jun 5, 2012Aug 4, 2015Playtika Santa Monica, LlcMobile bingo game with time penalty for missed markers
US9235952Nov 14, 2010Jan 12, 2016Nguyen Gaming LlcPeripheral management device for virtual game interaction
US9325203Jul 24, 2012Apr 26, 2016Binh NguyenOptimized power consumption in a gaming device
US20070191090 *Dec 11, 2006Aug 16, 2007Stargames Corporation Party LimitedSlot machine with a locking function
US20080254854 *Apr 14, 2008Oct 16, 2008Case Venture Management, LlcBingo Game, Method, and Elimination Tournament
US20090137305 *Jan 23, 2009May 28, 2009Bally Gaming, Inc.Bingo Game System and Method
US20100178986 *Jan 13, 2009Jul 15, 2010IgtGaming involving devices in multiple locations
US20110009180 *Jan 13, 2011Bally Gaming, Inc.Bingo game system and method
US20110042896 *Aug 18, 2009Feb 24, 2011Napolitano Thomas JExtended Play Game
US20110306401 *Dec 15, 2011Intellectual Garden, LlcSystem And Method For Supporting Second Chance Gaming
US20130324210 *Jun 5, 2012Dec 5, 2013Brian DoigSystem and method for mobile bingo game
US20140073397 *Mar 7, 2013Mar 13, 2014Gaming Arts LLCSystems and methods for playing a game of chance with selectable matrices
US20140073399 *Mar 7, 2013Mar 13, 2014Gaming Arts LLCSystems and methods for playing a game of chance with bonus feature
US20140256393 *Mar 7, 2013Sep 11, 2014Gaming Arts LLCSystems and methods for playing a game of chance including a plurality of patterns
US20150011288 *Sep 22, 2014Jan 8, 2015Gaming Arts, LlcSystems and methods for providing primary and secondary games of chance
US20150080110 *Sep 19, 2013Mar 19, 2015Robert J. GriffithSystem and Method for Sports Wager Tournaments
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/139
International ClassificationA63F3/06
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/329, G07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32P4, G07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 19, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: GAMELOGIC INC., MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HARDY, DOW;HERRMANN, MARK E.;KANE, STEVEN N.;REEL/FRAME:019579/0216
Effective date: 20070531
Dec 12, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: VELOCITY FINANCIAL GROUP, INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:GAMELOGIC INC.;REEL/FRAME:021965/0840
Effective date: 20081119
Owner name: VELOCITY FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.,ILLINOIS
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:GAMELOGIC INC.;REEL/FRAME:021965/0840
Effective date: 20081119
Nov 20, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: SANKATY CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES IV, L.P., MASSACHUSET
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:GAMELOGIC INC.;REEL/FRAME:023546/0388
Effective date: 20091119
Owner name: SANKATY CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES IV, L.P.,MASSACHUSETT
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:GAMELOGIC INC.;REEL/FRAME:023546/0388
Effective date: 20091119
Aug 6, 2010ASAssignment
Owner name: GAMELOGIC INC., MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: TERMINATION AND RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENT RIGHTS;ASSIGNOR:VELOCITY VENTURE FUNDING, LLC (F/K/A VELOCITY FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.);REEL/FRAME:024794/0450
Effective date: 20100805
Owner name: GAMELOGIC INC., MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: TERMINATION AND RELEASE OF PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:SANKATY CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES IV, L.P.;REEL/FRAME:024794/0584
Effective date: 20100805
Feb 16, 2011ASAssignment
Owner name: SCIENTIFIC GAMES HOLDINGS LIMITED, IRELAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GAMELOGIC INC.;REEL/FRAME:025801/0474
Effective date: 20100805