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Publication numberUS20080108401 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/556,922
Publication dateMay 8, 2008
Filing dateNov 6, 2006
Priority dateNov 6, 2006
Also published asCA2609844A1
Publication number11556922, 556922, US 2008/0108401 A1, US 2008/108401 A1, US 20080108401 A1, US 20080108401A1, US 2008108401 A1, US 2008108401A1, US-A1-20080108401, US-A1-2008108401, US2008/0108401A1, US2008/108401A1, US20080108401 A1, US20080108401A1, US2008108401 A1, US2008108401A1
InventorsAnthony J. Baerlocher, Michael N. Low, Joseph R. Hedrick
Original AssigneeIgt
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming system and method providing a multi-player game having an auction for determining player actions in the game
US 20080108401 A1
Abstract
In one embodiment, the gaming system is configured to provide a Bacarrat game including an auction in which players on each of a plurality of gaming devices can wager on a banker hand and a player hand, which is configured such that (a) the gaming device of the plurality of gaming devices placing the largest banker bet thereafter displays a generation of the banker hand of the bacarrat game, and (b) the gaming device of the plurality of gaming devices placing the largest player bet thereafter displays a generation of the player hand of the bacarrat game.
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Claims(32)
1. A gaming system comprising:
a game;
a plurality of gaming devices, each gaming device configured to enable a player to play the game; and
at least one processor operable with the plurality of gaming devices, said processor programmed to:
(a) control a wager sequence in which each gaming device enables the player of said gaming device to wager at least one of a plurality of different wager amounts on a play of the game, and
(b) based at least in part on the wager amounts made by the players of said gaming devices on said play of the game:
(i) determine which player of said play of the game won the wager sequence, and
(ii) cause the gaming device of said winning player to enable the player to make at least one input in said play of the game which cannot be made by other players of said play of the game.
2. The gaming system of claim 1, wherein the at least one input does not influence an outcome of said play of the game.
3. The gaming system of claim 1, wherein the at least one input influences an outcome of said play of the game.
4. The gaming system of claim 1, wherein the determination of which player of said play of the game won the wager sequence is based at least in part on which player made a highest wager.
5. The gaming system of claim 1, wherein the player the determination of which player of said play of the game won the wager sequence is based at least in part on which player made a highest wager on a designated type of bet for said play of the game.
6. The gaming system of claim 1, wherein the at least one processor is programmed to automatically enable the players of said gaming devices to wager on said play of the game immediately after a previous play of the game.
7. The gaming system of claim 1, wherein the game is a baccarat game.
8. The gaming system of claim 7, wherein processor is programmed to control the wager sequence by enabling the player of said gaming device to wager at least one of: a banker bet, a player bet and a tie bet on a play of the baccarat game.
9. The gaming system of claim 8, wherein for said play of the baccarat game, the processor is programmed to cause a first one of the gaming devices with the largest banker bet in the wager sequence to first display at least an initial portion of a generation of the banker hand of said play of the bacarrat game before the other gaming devices.
10. The gaming system of claim 8, wherein for said play of the baccarat game, the processor is programmed to cause a second one of the gaming devices with the largest player bet to first display at least an initial portion of a generation of the player hand of said play of the bacarrat game before the other gaming devices.
11. The gaming system of claim 9, wherein for said play of the baccarat game, the processor is programmed to cause a second one of the gaming devices with the largest player bet to first display at least an initial portion of a generation of the player hand of said play of the bacarrat game before the other gaming devices.
12. The gaming system of claim 11, which includes a shared video screen configured to show at least one of:
(i) which gaming device is the first gaming device;
(ii) the bet placed by the first gaming device;
(iii) which gaming device is the second gaming device;
(iv) the bet placed by the second gaming device;
(v) results of the banker and player hand generations;
(vi) whether either of the banker or player hands is dealt a third card; and
(vii) each bet placed by each gaming device.
13. The gaming system of claim 8, wherein each of the gaming devices includes a video screen configured to perform at least one of:
(i) input one or more of a player, banker and the bet;
(ii) display an amount of credits remaining;
(iii) display a total bet wagered;
(iv) display a time remaining for the wager sequence; and
(v) enable at least one bet to be cleared.
14. The gaming system of claim 11, wherein each gaming device includes a video screen, and wherein the initial portion of the banker hand and player hand includes a set of playing cards is displayed face-down on the video screens of the first and second gaming devices, the playing cards individually selectable to form the banker and player hands.
15. The gaming system of claim 14, which is configured to run a sequence in which at least one of the following occurs:
(i) playing cards selected to form the banker hand are revealed on the video screen of the first gaming device displaying before being revealed on the video screen of any other gaming device; and
(ii) playing cards selected to form the player hand are revealed on the video screen of the second gaming device before being revealed on the video screen of any other gaming device.
16. The gaming system of claim 8, which is configured to automatically generate the banker hand or the player hand if no banker bet or player bet is wagered, respectively.
17. A gaming system comprising:
a game including a plurality of symbols;
a plurality of gaming devices, each gaming device configured to enable a player to play the game; and
at least one processor operable with the plurality of gaming devices, said processor programmed to:
(a) control an wager sequence in which each gaming device enables the player of said gaming device to wager at least one of a plurality of different wager amounts on a play of the game, and
(b) based at least in part on the wager amounts made by the players of said gaming devices on said play of the game:
(i) determine which player of said play of the game won the wager sequence, and
(ii) cause the gaming device of said winning player to display at least one output of said play of the game to said winning player before the other gaming devices display said at least one output to the other players of said play of the game.
18. The gaming system of claim 17, wherein the output is at least one symbol.
19. The gaming system of claim 18, wherein the at least one symbol is on a playing card.
20. The gaming system of claim 17, wherein the determination of which player of said play of the game won the wager sequence is based at least in part on which player made a highest wager.
21. The gaming system of claim 17, wherein the player the determination of which player of said play of the game won the wager sequence is based at least in part on which player made a highest wager on a designated type of bet for said play of the game.
22. The gaming system of claim 17, wherein the at least one processor is programmed to automatically enable the players of said gaming devices to wager on said play of the game immediately after a previous play of the game.
23. The gaming system of claim 17, wherein the game is a baccarat game.
24. The gaming system of claim 23, wherein processor is programmed to control the wager sequence by enabling the player of said gaming device to wager at least one of: a banker bet, a player bet and a tie bet on a play of the baccarat game.
25. The gaming system of claim 24, wherein for said play of the baccarat game, the processor is programmed to cause a first one of the gaming devices with the largest banker bet in the wager sequence to first display at least an initial portion of a generation of the banker hand of said play of the bacarrat game before the other gaming devices.
26. The gaming system of claim 24, wherein for said play of the baccarat game, the processor is programmed to cause a second one of the gaming devices with the largest player bet to first display at least an initial portion of a generation of the player hand of said play of the bacarrat game before the other gaming devices.
27. The gaming system of claim 25, wherein for said play of the baccarat game, the processor is programmed to cause a second one of the gaming devices with the largest player bet to first display at least an initial portion of a generation of the player hand of said play of the bacarrat game before the other gaming devices.
28. The gaming system of claim 27, which includes a shared video screen configured to show at least one of:
(i) which gaming device is the first gaming device;
(ii) the bet placed by the first gaming device;
(iii) which gaming device is the second gaming device;
(iv) the bet placed by the second gaming device;
(v) results of the banker and player hand generations;
(vi) whether either of the banker or player hands is dealt a third card; and
(vii) each bet placed by each gaming device.
29. The gaming system of claim 23, wherein each of the gaming devices includes a video screen configured to perform at least one of:
(i) input one or more of a player, banker and the bet;
(ii) display an amount of credits remaining;
(iii) display a total bet wagered;
(iv) display a time remaining for the wager sequence; and
(v) enable at least one bet to be cleared.
30. The gaming system of claim 25, wherein each gaming device includes a video screen, and wherein the initial portion of the banker hand and player hand includes a set of playing cards is displayed face-down on the video screens of the first and second gaming devices, the playing cards individually selectable to form the banker and player hands.
31. The gaming system of claim 30, which is configured to run a sequence in which at least one of the following occurs:
(i) playing cards selected to form the banker hand are revealed on the video screen of the first gaming device displaying before being revealed on the video screen of any other gaming device; and
(ii) playing cards selected to form the player hand are revealed on the video screen of the second gaming device before being revealed on the video screen of any other gaming device.
32. The gaming system of claim 23, which is configured to automatically generate the banker hand or the player hand if no banker bet or player bet is wagered, respectively.
Description
BACKGROUND

The embodiments described herein relate to gaming systems and methods providing a multi-player game having an auction for determining player actions in the multi-player game.

Various multi-player wagering games such as Blackjack (also known as Twenty-One), Pai Gow Poker, and Let it Ride® Poker are well known. In these wagering games, the players each play against the dealer. Each of the players make decisions in the game about their hands such as when to request additional cards (Blackjack), how to arrange their cards into two hands (Pai Gow Poker), and which bets to continue to risk (Let it Ride® Poker). In each of these games, the players have a relatively high degree of involvement in the game and their decisions affect their individual outcomes. Many of the player decisions in these games do not affect the outcomes of the other players. Certain of the player decisions in these games may also affect the outcomes of other players. For example, in Blackjack, if the player positioned directly before the dealer takes a card, the dealer will receive a different card if the dealer subsequently takes a card. In these and other multi-player games having a relatively high degree of interaction, there are still many functions or steps in the game that one or more of the players are not enabled to perform (e.g., turning over the dealer cards).

In other known multi-player games, after the player makes a wager, each of the player's interactions or decisions in the game are very limited. In many known multi-player games, after the player makes a wager, the player makes no further decisions which change or influence the outcome of the game for that player (or for other players). In many known multi-player games, after the player makes a wager, the player takes no further action in the game. Roulefte is an example mulit-player game wherein the player takes no additional action after placing the wager.

Baccarat is another example of a multi-player game wherein the players actions are limited in the game, and thus will be used as an example throughout this disclosure. It should be appreciated that the present disclosure is not limited to Baccarat and may be implemented with any suitable multi-player game disclosed herein or otherwise known. The play of conventional Baccarat includes a single player hand and a single banker hand. Each player bets on either of the player hand or the banker hand before the playing cards of the hands are dealt. After the playing cards are dealt, the hand with the units digit value total closest to nine wins. Each of the players can also bet that a tie will occur between the player hand and the banker hand. The player can thus make multiple bets.

More specifically, conventional American Baccarat is played at a casino table having two identical ends and a middle area for the “croupier” or “caller.” Usually, up to fourteen players can sit at the table. The player's position at the table does not affect play whatsoever. Each player position has three betting areas, which correspond to the “banker,” “player,” and “tie” bets.

Three dealers typically service each Baccarat table. The dealer standing between positions one and fifteen (thirteen is eliminated) is known as the “caller” or “croupier.” This dealer directs play of the game and makes calls on the hands. The two other dealers service players one through seven, and eight through fourteen, respectively. These dealers make payouts to winning players and collect losing wagers. In some versions, the table also includes an area having numbered boxes, which track how much commission each player owes the dealer or house.

Regardless of the number of players at the table, only two hands are dealt (i.e., the banker hand and the player hand). The players each make their individual bets before the two hands are dealt. Each of the bets can be any amount ranging from the table minimum to the table maximum. In one version, the Baccarat table game is played with six or eight decks of standard playing cards (each including fifty-two playing cards). One of the dealers shuffles the playing cards and places the playing cards in a box called a “shoe.”

In one version, the dealing rotates player-by-player by passing the shoe counterclockwise around the table, enabling each player to represent the “banker” or the banker hand. In one version, the same player continues to deal as long as the banker hand wins. It should be appreciated that even though the player with the shoe represents the banker hand, that player is not obligated to bet on the banker hand, does not pay out wins to other players, and does not otherwise function as the banker and the gaming establishment or casino remains the true banker. That is, the player's role as the banker is ceremonial. In this version, the croupier instructs the player representing the banker regarding if and when to deal playing cards and announces the winning hand.

In most versions of Baccarat, the player that wagers the largest amount on the player hand has the honor of representing or playing the player hand. This is often considered a position of respect. Thus, the player who bet the highest amount on the player hand is dealt the player hand cards, though he or she simply turns these cards over to reveal their total value. It should be appreciated that the actions by the player acting as the banker and the player turning over the player hand cards do not affect the outcome of the game for themselves or for any of the other players. These positions are positions of ceremony and respect and part of the tradition of the game. It should be further appreciated that other multi-player games besides Baccarat have many traditions and procedures, some of which affect game outcomes and some of which do not affect game outcomes.

In one version of Baccarat game play, four playing cards are dealt face-down. The first playing card is dealt to the player hand by one of the dealers taking a card from the dealing player and passing it to the player of the player hand. The second playing card is dealt to the banker hand and is placed next to the shoe. The third playing card is dealt to the player hand. The fourth playing card is dealt to the banker hand.

In one version of Baccarat, the player with the player hand looks at the playing cards first and then passes them to the dealer who announces the hand value and places the playing cards on an area of the table marked “PLAYERS.” The same procedure occurs with the banker hand. The player who acts as the banker looks at the playing cards and passes them to the dealer, which are then placed on the “BANKERS” area of the table.

Playing card values in Baccarat are as follows: (i) tens and face cards (i.e., jacks, queens, and kings) are worth zero; (ii) aces are worth one; and (iii) two through nine are worth their respective values. Playing card suits generally have no function in calculating the hand values in Baccarat.

The hands are totaled by summing the values of the respective cards. If the total of the hand exceeds ten, the ten's digit is ignored and only the one's digit is relevant. For example, if the first two playing cards dealt are Jack and four, the hand value or count is four. If the first two playing cards dealt are an eight and six, totaling fourteen, the ten's digit is ignored and the count is again four.

The highest total any baccarat hand can have is nine. A two playing card total of nine is called a “natural” and cannot lose (because at worst a tie occurs with the dealer). An eight is the second best hand and is also called a natural. If both the banker hand and player hand are dealt hands with the same total, a standoff or tie occurs and neither banker hand nor player hand wins.

After receiving two playing cards, if either the player hand or the banker hand has a total of eight or nine, both hands stand (i.e., they do not receive any other cards). There is no exception to this rule, and this rule overrides all other rules including the rules set forth below.

After receiving two playing cards, if the player hand has a total of six or seven, the player hand stands and the banker hand receives a third playing card if the banker's hand has a total of five or less.

After receiving two playing cards, if the player hand has a total of five or less, the player hand automatically takes a third playing card.

If the player hand receives a third playing card, the banker hand draws a third playing card according to the following rules:

    • (i) if the banker hand has a total of zero, one or two, the banker hand always draws a third playing card;
    • (ii) if the banker hand has a total of three, the banker hand draws a third playing card if the player hand three card total is a zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven or nine (but not eight);
    • (iii) if the banker hand has a total of four, the banker hand draws a third playing card if the player hand three card total is two, three, four, five, six or seven;
    • (iv) if the banker hand has a total of five, the banker hand draws a third playing card if the player hand three card total is a four, five, six or seven;
    • (v) if the banker hand has a total of six, the banker hand draws a third playing card if the player hand three card total is six or seven; and
    • (vi) if the banker hand has a total of seven, the banker hand always stands.

After the final playing cards are dealt, the scores of the player hand and banker hand are compared. The winning hand is the hand that holds two or three playing cards totaling closest to nine. If a tie occurs, in one version, bets on the banker hand or player hand are returned to the players.

Thus, if either hand has a total of eight or nine, that play of the game is called a “natural” and no more cards are dealt. If the play of the game is not a natural, then the above rules apply. The decision when to deal a third card follows this precise rules set used by virtually all casinos. Thus, the only player decision that affects or influences the outcome for the player in Baccarat is how much to bet and where to place the bet. After a bet has been placed, there are no opportunities for any further decisions by the player because both the banker hand and the player hand are dealt according to the above rules. Thus, the actions by the players “playing” the hands do not affect the outcomes of the games.

In one version of Baccarat: (a) even money is paid to the player for a winning bet placed on the banker hand less a five percent commission for the casino; (b) even money is paid to the player for a winning bet placed on the player hand (i.e., no commission is taken by the casino for a win on the player hand); and (c) down 8:1 is paid to the player for a tie bet. Various versions have different pay out schedules such as 9:1 for a tie bet win.

In one Asian version of Baccarat, the shoe of playing cards is not passed. In another version, the player who places the highest bet on the banker hand has the shoe. In other versions, a dealer maintains the shoe. In one version: (a) the first two playing cards are dealt to the player hand and then flipped over; and (b) the second two cards are dealt to the banker hand and then flipped over. In one version, for additional cards, the player who bet the most on the player hand can pass on a dealt face-down card for the next dealt face-down card. In one Asian version, the player showing or flipping the playing cards literally slowly bends and squeezes each of the face-down cards when turning over or flipping the playing cards. Due to this bending, each deck of cards is only used once and a new deck is used for each play of the game.

It should thus be understood that there is much tradition, honor, and respect in Baccarat. This becomes part of the play and allure of the game for many players. To enhance this allure, play areas are often roped-off to separate them from the rest of the casino and the dealers are typically tuxedo-clad to provide a sense of elegance and exclusivity. However, this can make Baccarat intimidating for certain players. Also, the lack of player interaction may not be appealing to certain players. A need therefore exists for a Baccarat game that is more comfortable and appealing to certain players.

A need also exists for making other multi-player games with different levels or amounts of player interaction more appealing, comfortable and accessible to certain players.

One way to make such multi-player games more accessible is to provide them in a video platform, in which players would approach a gaming device (at a casino or at another location such as the person's home in a stand alone version or in a group play version such as through the internet) instead of the auspicious setting of the table game. However, incorporating such games into electronic gaming systems presents many challenges. In particular, players viewing individual screens of a gaming device (either at a casino or at home on one's personal computer) may not enjoy the group feel that players at a live table enjoy. That is, players may not feel part of the game as they do when at the live table or setting of multi-player games. A need therefore exists to implement multi-player games in an electronic format in a way that provides the group feel of the game, that is fun and exciting for each participating player, and that provides the game efficiently without wasting time.

Additionally, a need exists to provide additional player interaction, player control or preceived control, and player involvement in various multi-player games. There is also a need to provide further player interaction, player control or preceived control in games in which players already have certain interaction in the game.

SUMMARY

The gaming system and method disclosed herein provides an auction or wagering sequence to enable one or more players of a multi-player game to win additional interaction, control or perceived control in a play of the game. In one embodiment, the auction or wagering sequence is based on a comparison of the wagers made by the players on the play of the game. In various embodiments, the player determined to win the auction, such as the player with the highest wager, is enabled to: (a) perform a function which the other players do not perform; (b) perform a function before the other players; (c) see one or more parts of the game before the other players; (d) function as a “dealer”; (e) function as a “banker”; (f) function as a “player”; (g) perform an input or selection to obtain one or more random outcomes; or (h) perform any combination thereof. It should be appreciated that any suitable player action may be employed as the interaction provided to the player for obtaining a designated result in the auction. In other embodiments, various potentially different interactions may be provided to player's depending on where they rank in the auction.

In alternative embodiments, the auction or wager sequence is based on a comparison of one or more designated portions of the wagers of the players on the play of the game. In different examples, the auction is based on the wagers placed on one or more designated paylines in a multi-player slot game, the wagers placed on one or more designated symbols or symbol combinations, the wagers placed on one or more designated playing cards in a multi-player card game, the wagers placed on one or more designated hand(s) in a multi-player card game, the wagers placed on one or more designated bets (from a plurality of different bets a player can make), or the wagers placed on one or more side wagers or side bets placed.

It should be appreciated that the present gaming system and method for increasing player interaction can be applied to any multi-player game. Examples of some games and example interactions are provided below; however, this list is not exhaustive and merely provides examples in accordance with the gaming system and method disclosed herein.

In one example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a Blackjack game wherein the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to look at the dealer's under playing card (i.e., the dealt face down playing card) for a short period of time before the other players; (b) the order which players can stand or hit or (c) any combination thereof. In an alternative example Blackjack game wherein all of the players play the same group hand, the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to choose whether to stand or hit; (b) the player who gets to look at the dealer's under playing card for a short period of time before the other players; (c) the player who gets to look at one or more of the playing cards in the group hand for a short period of time before the other players; (d) the player who decides whether to double-down or split the group hand; (e) the player who decides whether to surrender the group hand; (f) the player who decides whether to buy insurance if the dealer's hand shows an ace; or (g) any combination thereof. In an example electronic Blackjack game, the auction determines the player who selects the playing cards (from the face down cards) for the dealer hand/and or player hand(s).

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a Draw Poker game wherein the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to look at the dealer hand for a short period of time before the other players; (b) the order which players can hold or discard playing cards; or (c) any combination thereof. In an alternative Draw Poker game, wherein all the players play the same group hand, the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to choose which playing cards to hold and which playing cards to discard; (b) the player who gets to look at one or more of the playing cards in the group hand for a short period of time before the other players; or (c) any combination thereof. In an electronic Draw Poker game, the auction determines the player who selects the playing cards (from the face down cards) for the player hand(s).

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a group or shared bonus game or event wherein the auction determines the player who initiates the bonus game or event. For example, the player who has made the highest wager gets to initiate the spin of a wheel for the bonus event. In different such embodiments, the auction determines: (a) the order which each player is displayed their respective awards; (b) which player gets to stop the group bonus game or event; (c) the player who gets to determine the duration of the group bonus game; or (d) any combination thereof.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a player tournament wherein the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to officially start the tournament (i.e., play on that player's gaming machine activates all of the other gaming machines for starting play); (b) the player who gets to determine the duration of the tournament; (c) the player who gets to end the tournament; or (d) any combination thereof. In other example embodiments, the auction determines the player that gets to control one or more designated parameters of the tournament, such as, but not limited to: the time window when the tournament will run, one or more aspects of tournament game play or the theme for the tournament.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a Craps game wherein the auction determines the player who gets to be the shooter (or first shooter) for the game. In another example employing a Craps game, the auction determines the player that gets to pick which of a plurality of different sets of dice are rolled.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a Roulette game wherein the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to release the ball or indicate to the dealer when to release the ball; (b) the player who gets to pick which ball is used; (c) the player who gets to spin the wheel; (d) the player who gets to place a community wager; (e) the player who picks a bonus number where if the ball lands on that number, pays are multiplied or (f) any combination thereof.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a Pai Gow Poker game wherein the auction determines: (a) the player who is given the option of being the dealer on the table, or (b) the player who is enabled to see the dealers hand before other players or (c) any combination thereof.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a group slots game wherein the auction determines the player who: (a) gets to pull the handle or press the Spin button; (b) gets to stop the reels (individually or as a group); (c) gets to pick which reels to nudge; (d) gets to pick which reels to hold; (e) gets to pick which paylines to wager on; (f) gets to pick which order the generated symbols are evaluated (i.e., left-to-right or right-to-left); (g) gets to pick which symbol combination(s) are associated with designated awards, such as progressive awards; (h) gets to pick which symbol(s) are wild symbols; (i) gets to pick the order which the reels will spin; 0) gets to pick one or more applicable symbol features; (k) gets to pick one or more applicable reel features; or (I) any combination thereof.

In another example embodiment, the multi-player game has multiple different games and the auction determines: (a) the player who chooses which game the players will play; (b) the player who gets to pick the order which a plurality of games are played; (c) the player who gets to pick which players are enabled to participate in which games; (d) the player who gets to determine the duration of one or more of the games played; (e) the player who gets to determine the pace of one or more of the games played; (f) the player who gets to pick one or more game play functions of one or more of the games played; or (g) any combination thereof.

In another example embodiment, the auction is employed in association with the trigging of a shared progressive award. In this embodiment, if a designated outcome, such as a progressive determination outcome, is generated in a play of a game, a secondary sequence is provided to determine if the shared progressive award is provided to one or more players. In different embodiments, the auction determines the player who: (a) gets to pick the format of the secondary sequence; (b) gets to participate in the secondary sequence; (c) gets to view the outcome of the secondary sequence for a short period of time before the other players; or (d) any combination thereof.

In another example embodiment, the auction is employed to enable a player to control the aesthetics of the game. In different such embodiments, the auction determines the player who gets to choose the deck from which the players play (such as between a red and blue deck). In different embodiments employing electronic games, the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to choose a game theme; (b) the player who gets to determine the graphics used in the game, such as what one or more symbols or the dealer looks like; (c) the player who gets to choose the sounds or music used in the game; or (d) any combination thereof.

It should be appreciated from the above examples that since each different game has different rules and functions, the auction can be employed differently in each game to determine any suitable function to enhance player interaction for that game. It should be further appreciated that the above are non-limiting examples and that the present gaming system could be employed in any suitable group or multi-player game.

In various embodiments, the electronic systems and methods described herein may be implemented in a gaming device on the floor of a gaming establishment (e.g., a casino) or over a data network, such as an internet, wherein players play on their personal computers or at remote stations or kiosks. In one gaming device/casino implementation, the gaming system includes a plurality of gaming devices (for purposes of the present description, however, gaming device also refers to the game being implemented on the player's personal computer or at a remote kiosk or station) that operate with a shared display, such as a large overhead display.

In one embodiment, the shared display is configured to display a virtual dealer (if the game has or needs a dealer) and one or more other game elements or functions. In one embodiment, the individual gaming devices each correspond to one of the player positions in the game such as one of the player positions of the live version of the table game (if the game is conventionally a table game). The individual gaming devices may be any suitable stationary or portable devices (such as handheld devices).

In one embodiment, a new play of the game begins with an auction controlled by a processor separate from any of the processors running the individual gaming devices, such as a central controller, central server or remote host. For example, the separate processor can run the auction and also control the shared display. Alternatively, the auction is run by at least one of the gaming device processors. In either embodiment, the auction processor communicates with the processors of the individual gaming devices via a suitable communications link, such as one or more of: (i) an Ethernet link; (ii) a fiber-optic link; (iii) a local area network link; (iv) a wide area network link; (v) an internet link; and (vi) a wireless network.

In one embodiment, the auction is run in a designated time period such as a period under a timer. A prescribed amount of time is provided and displayed to the players during which the players have to make their bets or wagers. In one embodiment, the result of the auction is based on a comparison of one or more the players bets or wagers (or portions thereof, such as portions placed on a first payline or a first hand), and determines, at least in part, certain player interaction in the play of the game. In various alternative embodiments, the result of the auction is one winner, multiple winners, or a ranking for a plurality of the players. It should be appreciated that in the various embodiments described above, the auction does not determine the winner of the game, but rather determines a level of player action or interaction in the game.

For example, in one Baccarat embodiment, the designated auction time period is the period which the players place their bets on the banker hand, the player hand, and a tie or some combination thereof. In various alternative embodiments, at the end of the auction: (a) the player who has made the highest wager on the banker hand represents the banker hand; (b) the player who has made the highest wager on the player hand represents the player hand; or (c) the player who has made the highest wager on the banker hand represents the banker hand and the player who has made the highest wager on the player hand represents the player hand.

In different alternative embodiments, the winner of the auction or a part of the auction can be the player: (a) who made the first maximum bet; (b) who made the first maximum bet and confirmed their bet (using a confirm button); (c) who made the first highest bet; (d) who made the first highest bet and confirmed their bet (using a confirm button); (e) who made the most bets; (f) who made the fastest bet; (g) who made the fastest highest bet; (h) who made the fastest maximum bet; (i) with the highest player status (as determined via a player tracking system) who made the highest bet; (j) with the highest player status (as determined via a player tracking system) who made the maximum bet; (k) who made the highest average bet; (l) who made the last highest bet; (m) who made the last maximum bet; (n) or any combination thereof. It should be appreciated that the results of the auction can be determined in any suitable manner.

The auction or each part of the auction can be initiated in one or more suitable ways. For example, the auction time period is initiated automatically after a previous play of the game, such as by a countdown starts five seconds after the previous play. In another example, the auction time period is initiated after a first one of the players at one of the gaming devices wagers or makes a bet on the next play of the game. In this example, the first bet starts a countdown of a designated period of time. In one embodiment, the auction time period concludes upon placement of at least one bet on each gaming device carrying a positive credit balance.

In one embodiment, the results of the auction during the auction are not displayed to the players. In this embodiment, the results are displayed to the players at the end of the auction or part of the auction. In another embodiment, the results of the auction, such as the amounts and placements of different wagers by the different players, are displayed to each player during the auction and/or at the end of the auction. In different embodiments, the results are displayed in any suitable manner such as via the shared display, on the individual screens one or more of the gaming devices or any combination thereof.

In another embodiment, the shared display or the individual displays can also provide other information specific to the game or game elements. For example, in the Baccarat embodiment, the shared display can also show any one or more of: (i) which gaming device is representing the banker hand; (ii) the bet placed by the gaming device representing the banker hand; (iii) which gaming device is representing the player hand; (iv) the bet placed by the gaming device representing the player hand; (v) results of the gaming device representing of the banker hand and player hands; (vi) whether either of the banker or player hands is dealt a third card; and (vii) any other suitable information or combination of information.

It should be appreciated that sharing the wagering process and results during the auction creates a community feel because each player can, for example, see what the other players are wagering, compete with the other players on certain wagers, and determine how they want to wager or increase their wager to obtain a level of player interaction. For example, in one Baccarat embodiment, sharing the wagering process and results during the auction creates a community feel because each player can, for example, see what the other players are wagering, compete with other players for the honor of playing the player hand, avoid following a high-bet player they consider unlucky, follow a high-bet player they consider lucky, and feel part of the game even if they are not a highest betting player.

In various embodiments, the individual video screens or display devices of the participant gaming machines are configured to perform at least one of: (i) input one or more of the wagers or bets; (ii) display credits remaining; (iii) display a total bet wagered; (iv) display a time remaining for the auction; and (v) enable at least one bet to be cleared. In one embodiment, the individual video screens each operate with a touch screen to input wagers and to make other inputs. Alternatively, suitable electromechanical input devices are employed in the gaming devices. For example, the touch screen or electromechanical input device are configured to include a high bet input. The individual video screens or display devices of the participant gaming machines may also be configured to display the entire play of the game or portions of the play of the game.

These above-described embodiments provide for increased player interaction. In particular, the player who wins (or has a designated outcome in) the auction make certain decisions in the game which affect the outcome for that player and for the other players, even though the outcome remains completely random.

In one Baccarat example embodiment of this increased level of player action or interaction, the action or interaction of the player is the player selecting face-down cards which are used to make up the player's hand or the banker's hand. For example, during the game: (i) the banker hand is played and displayed on the video screen of the gaming machine played by the player who has made the largest wager on the banker hand; and (ii) the player hand is played and displayed on the video screen of the gaming machine played by the player who has made the largest wager on the player hand.

To do so, in one implementation, a set of playing cards of one deck is displayed face down on both of those screens. The playing cards are the same for both gaming machines. That is, if either player picks the upper-left-most card, the playing card revealed is the same, and so on. Alternatively, the playing cards may be in different orders and the players may be restricted from picking already picked cards. The banker hand player picks two of the displayed cards. The player hand player picks two cards of the displayed cards. The order of picking can be any suitable order such as: (i) banker, player, banker, player; (ii) player, banker, player, banker; (iii) banker, banker, player, player; (iv) player, player, banker, banker; or (v) no set or predetermined order, where first come is first served. In any case, the two players are precluded from picking the same two cards. In an alternative implementation, different sub-sets of the deck of playing cards of one deck are displayed face down on both of those screens and the players playing the dealer hand and the player hand are each enabled to select cards from their respective subsets without worry of selecting an identical card. In a further alternative embodiment, multiple decks are employed. Appropriate restrictions may be suitably employed to prevent discrepancies or inconsistencies in card selection.

Thus, in these Baccarat example embodiments, the level of player interaction is increased beyond just wagering, such that the players pick the playing cards for the dealer hand and the player hand and such actions by the players will vary the game outcome. Because the playing cards are face down when picked by the players, the results are still random.

In the Baccarat example embodiment, the gaming system reveals these playing cards picked by player for the banker hand to that player prior to revealing these playing cards to any other player. Likewise, the gaming system reveals the playing cards picked by player for the player hand to that player prior to revealing these cards to any other player. For example, the gaming system displays the playing cards to a player for one to two seconds prior to revealing the playing cards to any other player. The selection and reveal sequence gives both high-bet players a sense of interaction in the game. That is, for a very small amount of time these players know their chances of winning before the other players who have wagered on the banker hand, the player hand or the tie. Seeing the playing cards first may also give these players a sense of perceived control.

In various embodiments, the present gaming system and method includes a suitable display such as an animation of one or more of the various traditions in play of the game. For example, the display includes the bending of the dealt cards prior to revealing the dealt cards in one Asian style Baccarat version.

The selected playing cards in this Baccarat example embodiment are revealed on the gaming device screens of each of the players and the shared display in one embodiment, so that the players can see their chances of winning. The determination of whether a third card is selected is made automatically according to the determined set of rules, such as the rules set forth above. If it is determined that either one or both the banker hand or the player hand is required to get a third card, the gaming system is operable to enable the player of such hand to pick a further card from the remaining face down set of cards, which provides such player(s) further interaction in the game. After a designated period of time, the selected cards are revealed on the individual gaming device displays for each of the players and the shared display in one embodiment, so that all the players can see the playing cards.

Thus, it should be appreciated that the gaming system and method disclosed herein provides the winner of the wager based auction or part of the wager based auction to have certain roles and/or interactions in the play of the game above the roles and/or interactions of one or more of the other players.

It should also be appreciated that the wagers and payouts for the games with the increased level of player interaction based on the auction results may be in any suitable form. For example, in one of the Baccarat embodiments, the gaming system and method follows the standard rules of American Baccarat as generally described above. In one such embodiment, the gaming system pays the player 1:1 for a banker hand win less the designated commission (such as 5%), 1:1 for a player hand win, and 8:1 for a tie bet win. It should be appreciated that other payouts may be employed with the gaming system such as a win with a 6 paying 3:2 instead of 1:1 which provides an additional house advantage. It should also be appreciated that a tie can result in the players who have wagered the player hand and the banker hand bets losing their wager. Alternatively, the tie can result in a draw for such bets. It is contemplated that any suitable payouts may be employed as desired by the implementors and operators of the gaming system.

It should further be appreciated that the gaming system and method can account for situations where none of the players make a specific wager. In such case, the gaming system can select a player to perform one or more of such certain actions based on any suitable critera or can perform one or more of such action itself. For example, in one of the Baccarat embodiments, if no player wagers on the banker hand, the gaming system in one embodiment draws playing cards automatically for the banker hand. If no player wagers on the player hand, the gaming system in one embodiment draws playing cards automatically for the player hand. In an alternative embodiment, system is configured to redo or repeat the auction if no banker bet or player bet is wagered.

It should also be appreciated that the gaming system and method can account for situations where the auction results in a tie on one or more of the player wagers. In such case, the gaming system can select a player to perform one or more of such certain actions based on any suitable critera or can perform one or more of such actions itself. For example, in one of the Baccarat embodiments, it is possible that two or more players can place the highest wager on the banker hand or player hand. The gaming system in alternative embodiments responds by choosing one of the associated gaming devices randomly to play or generate the associated banker hand or player hand, use some other criteria, or generate the hand itself. In other embodiments, the gaming system performs one or more of the following to resolve a tie resulting from the wagering auction: (a) a further or secondary auction in which the wager bets of the tied gaming machines can be raised to claim the right to play (such as to generate the banker hand or player hand); (b) choose the gaming machine with the highest total bet (e.g., in combination with a tie bet); (c) perform a contest between the tied players; and (d) communicate with a player tracking system to determine the various levels of the players and select one of the players based on their respective levels. It should be appreciated that that any suitable method including combinations of the above mentioned tie-breaking methods can be employed.

It should be appreciated that as described above (and throughout this disclosure), Baccarat is used as an example embodiment to describe various embodiments and implementations of the gaming system disclosed herein. However, the present disclosure is not limited to Baccarat and may be implemented with any suitable multi-player game disclosed herein or otherwise known.

It should also be appreciated that the gaming system and method can add additional time for additional bets to be made in certain circumstances. For instance, the gaming system can add time if: (a) no players have placed a wager; (b) wagers below a designated number of players have placed a wager; (c) wagers below a designated amount have been placed; (d) a player requests more time; (d) two players are tied in the auction; or (f) any combination thereof.

It should also be appreciated that the gaming system and method can enable player to input or use predefined betting criteria such as one or more of the following: (a) setting a maximum amount the player is willing to bet to win the auction; (b) setting automatic increments for increasing a bet when the player is not winning the auction; and (c) providing for proxy billing where a second player can cause an increase in a first player's bet.

It is therefore an advantage of the embodiments described herein to provide an auction feature for determining player action, interaction or influence in a multi-player game.

Another advantage of the embodiments described herein is to provide an auction feature for determining which player has perceived control.

Additional features and advantages are described herein, and will be apparent from, the following Detailed Description and the figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of one embodiment of a network configuration for the electronic multi-player group game system.

FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of one embodiment of an electronic configuration for one of the gaming devices for the electronic group play game system.

FIG. 3 is a schematic flowchart showing one sequence of operation for one embodiment of an example electronic group play baccarat gaming system.

FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F are screen shots illustrating a start of a new baccarat game according to one embodiment of the electronic group play baccarat gaming system.

FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 5E and 5F are screen shots illustrating a betting portion of the baccarat game according to one embodiment of the electronic group play baccarat gaming system.

FIGS. 6A, 6B, 6C, 6D, 6E and 6F are screen shots illustrating a dealing portion of the baccarat game according to one embodiment of the electronic group play baccarat gaming system.

FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C, 7D, 7E and 7F are screen shots further illustrating the dealing portion of the baccarat game according to one embodiment of the electronic group play baccarat gaming system.

FIGS. 8A, 8B, 8C, 8D, 8E and 8F are screen shots illustrating a reveal portion of the baccarat game according to one embodiment of the electronic group play baccarat gaming system.

FIGS. 9A, 9B, 9C, 9D, 9E and 9F are screen shots illustrating the banker hand receiving a third card according to one embodiment of the electronic group play baccarat gaming system.

FIGS. 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D, 10E and 10F are screen shots illustrating a game over and payout portion of the baccarat game according to one embodiment of the electronic group play baccarat gaming system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

It should be appreciated that the gaming system and method of the present disclosure can be employed in any suitable game. Various embodiments of the present gaming system and method are discussed below in relation to Baccarat games, methods, gaming systems and gaming devices. However, it should be appreciated that the present disclosure is not limited to Baccarat.

Referring now to the drawings and in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2, one electrical configuration for gaming devices 10a to 10c (referred to herein collectively as gaming devices 10 or generally as gaming device 10) of a group play gaming system 100 is illustrated. System 100 (FIG. 1) links a plurality of gaming devices 10 (FIG. 2) over a data network via a suitable communication link 104, which may or may not be remote.

Gaming devices 10 in the illustrated embodiment are connected via link 104 in a spoke-and-hub type fashion with a central server, central controller or remote host 102. More specifically, a processor 12 of each gaming device facilitates transmission of signals between individual gaming devices 10 and central server 102. Central server 102 can operate a single cluster of machines 10 or multiple ones of such clusters.

Central server 102 in one embodiment is located physically separately from each of gaming devices 10. Central server 102 can be located out on the casino floor with gaming devices 10 of gaming system 100 or elsewhere in the casino. In a further alternative embodiment, central server 102 is located remotely from gaming devices 10. Indeed, when implemented via an internet, gaming devices 10 can be personal computers, link 104 can be the internet and central server 102 can be located in a different state or country.

The data network of link 104 is in one embodiment a local area network (“LAN”), in which gaming devices 10 of gaming system 100 are in communication with an on-site central server 102. Gaming devices 10 may be located in one part of a casino or in clusters in different parts of the casino. The LAN may be implemented via conventional phone or other data transmission line, digital signal line (“DSL”), T-1 line, coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, wireless (“e.g., radio frequency”) gateway or other suitable connection.

In another embodiment, the data network of link 104 is a wide area network (“WAN”), in which gaming devices 10 are in communication with at least one off-site central server 102. In this embodiment, the gaming devices may be located in a different part of the gaming establishment or within a different gaming establishment than the off-site central server. The WAN may be implemented via conventional phone or other data transmission line, digital signal line DSL, T-1 line, coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, wireless (“e.g., radio frequency”) gateway or other suitable connection.

In a further embodiment, the data network of link 104 is an internet or intranet. Here, the operation of gaming device 10 is viewed via at least one internet browser. Operation of gaming device 10 and accumulation of credits may be accomplished via a connection to the central server 102 (the internet/intranet server or webserver), such as a conventional phone or other data transmission line, digital signal line DSL, T-1 line, coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, wireless (“e.g., radio frequency”) gateway or other suitable connection. Here, players may access gaming system 100 via an internet game page and from any location in which an internet connection or other internet facilitator is available.

The expansion in the number of computers and number and speed of internet connections in recent years increases opportunities for players to play from an ever-increasing number of remote sites. It should be appreciated that enhanced bandwidth of digital wireless communications may render such technology suitable for some or all communications according to the present disclosure, particularly if such communications are encrypted. Higher data transmission speeds may be useful for enhancing the sophistication and response of the display and interaction with the player.

Central server 102, via the LAN, WAN or internet network, is operable to build and distribute one or more progressive pool of funds. In one form, an amount representing a small portion of each player's wager or alternatively all or a portion of a side wager is sent to the progressive pool. For instance, assuming a wagerable credit is worth one dollar, five cents of each credit wagered can be placed in the pool. The paytable is set to pay back on average 95 cents on the dollar wagered. The pool builds until a triggering event causes the pool of funds to be distributed. An example of a triggering event is to make two cards of the deck of fifty-two cards discussed below wild in one Baccarat example embodiment. If either the banker or the player pulls both wild cards, the progressive pool is paid. The pool of funds can be distributed to: (i) a single gaming machine such as, the player who pulls the wild cards (further incentive to be the high-bet player or banker); (ii) multiple gaming machines such as, to all players wagering on banker hand if banker pulls the wild cards; or (iii) to all gaming machines 10 of gaming system 100. Other suitable triggering events may be employed in accordance with the present disclosure. In alternative embodiments, part of the commission (such as the 5% commission mentioned above) on wins on bets on bankers hands is used to fund the progressive pool(s).

The progressive pool can be a multi-site linked progressive pools. Here, central server 102 can communicate with or operate as a host site server, which is coupled to a plurality of local servers at a variety of mutually remote gaming sites. The host site server collects funds from and services the gaming devices distributed throughout a number of properties at different geographical locations including, for example, different locations within a city or different cities within a state. In one embodiment, the host site server oversees the entire progressive gaming system and is the master processor for computing progressive jackpots. All participating gaming sites report to, and receive information from, the host site server. The host site server can alternatively be different than central server 102. Here, central server computer 102 is responsible for communicating data between gaming devices 10 of gaming system 100 and the host site server. As illustrated, central server computer 102 operates a shared display 106 discussed in detail below in connection with FIGS. 4A to 10A.

In one Baccarat example embodiment, the banker hand and the player hand are generated centrally or using a central determination scheme. Here, central server computer 102 includes one or more random outcome generators (“ROG”) that operate with the server's processor to generate the results, e.g., the player and banker hands for system 100. The results are communicated to the processors 12 of whichever gaming device is playing the banker hand and to whichever gaming device is playing the player hand, respectively. The dealing of the hands is displayed on the respective gaming machines 10 as shown below in connection with FIGS. 7B and 7D (on gaming machines 10 b and 10 d, respectively). The results are also communicated to the processors 12 of the remaining participant gaming machines. The resulting hands (not the initial dealing of the hands in one embodiment) are then displayed on the remaining gaming machines as shown below in connection with FIGS. 8A, 8E and 8F (on gaming machines 10 b, 10 d and 10 e, respectively). In alternative embodiments, such as where the player selections one or more cards, the results of the player picks are communicated to the processors.

In central determination, individual gaming devices 10 in one embodiment initiate the exchange by sending an outcome request over link 104 to central server 102. Central server 102 receives the game outcome requests, for example at the end of an auction or countdown shown in detail below, and generates the hands. Alternatively, central server 102 initiates the exchange at the end of an auction or countdown. Centralized production or control of base game outputs can assist a gaming establishment or other entity in maintaining appropriate records, controlling gaming, reducing and/or preventing cheating or electronic or other errors, reducing or eliminating win-loss volatility and the like.

In one embodiment, the central server or controller receives a game outcome request and randomly generates a game outcome for the primary game based on probability data. In another embodiment, the central server or controller randomly generates a game outcome for the secondary game based on probability data. In another embodiment, the central server or controller randomly generates a game outcome for both the primary game and the secondary game based on probability data. In this embodiment, the central server or controller is capable of storing and utilizing program code or other data similar to the processor and memory device of the gaming device.

In an alternative embodiment, the central server or controller maintains one or more predetermined pools or sets of predetermined game outcomes. In this embodiment, the central server or controller receives the game outcome request and independently selects a predetermined game outcome from a set or pool of game outcomes. The central server or controller flags or marks the selected game outcome as used. Once a game outcome is flagged as used, it is prevented from further selection from the set or pool and cannot be selected by the central controller or server upon another wager. The provided game outcome can include a primary game outcome, a secondary game outcome, primary and secondary game outcomes, or a series of game outcomes such as free games.

The central server or controller communicates the generated or selected game outcome to the initiated gaming device. The gaming device receives the generated or selected game outcome and provides the game outcome to the player. In an alternative embodiment, how the generated or selected game outcome is to be presented or displayed to the player, such as a reel symbol combination of a slot machine or a hand of cards dealt in a card game, is also determined by the central server or controller and communicated to the initiated gaming device to be presented or displayed to the player.

In another embodiment, a predetermined game outcome value is determined for each of a plurality of linked or networked gaming devices based on the results of a bingo, keno or lottery game. In this embodiment, each individual gaming device utilizes one or more bingo, keno or lottery games to determine the predetermined game outcome value provided to the player for the interactive game played at that gaming device. In one embodiment, the bingo, keno or lottery game is displayed to the player. In another embodiment, the bingo, keno or lottery game is not displayed to the player, but the results of the bingo, keno or lottery game determine the predetermined game outcome value for the primary or secondary game.

In the various bingo embodiments, as each gaming device is enrolled in the bingo game, such as upon an appropriate wager or engaging an input device, the enrolled gaming device is provided or associated with a different bingo card. Each bingo card consists of a matrix or array of elements, wherein each element is designated with a separate indicia, such as a number. It should be appreciated that each different bingo card includes a different combination of elements. For example, if four bingo cards are provided to four enrolled gaming devices, the same element may be present on all four of the bingo cards while another element may solely be present on one of the bingo cards.

In operation of these embodiments, upon providing or associating a different bingo card to each of a plurality of enrolled gaming devices, the central controller randomly selects or draws, one at a time, a plurality of the elements. As each element is selected, a determination is made for each gaming device as to whether the selected element is present on the bingo card provided to that enrolled gaming device. This determination can be made by the central controller, the gaming device, a combination of the two, or in any other suitable manner. If the selected element is present on the bingo card provided to that enrolled gaming device, that selected element on the provided bingo card is marked or flagged. This process of selecting elements and marking any selected elements on the provided bingo cards continues until one or more predetermined patterns are marked on one or more of the provided bingo cards. It should be appreciated that in one embodiment, the gaming device requires the player to engage a daub button (not shown) to initiate the process of the gaming device marking or flagging any selected elements.

After one or more predetermined patterns are marked on one or more of the provided bingo cards, a game outcome is determined for each of the enrolled gaming devices based, at least in part, on the selected elements on the provided bingo cards. As described above, the game outcome determined for each gaming device enrolled in the bingo game is utilized by that gaming device to determine the predetermined game outcome provided to the player. For example, a first gaming device to have selected elements marked in a predetermined pattern is provided a first outcome of win $10 which will be provided to a first player regardless of how the first player plays in a first game and a second gaming device to have selected elements marked in a different predetermined pattern is provided a second outcome of win $2 which will be provided to a second player regardless of how the second player plays a second game. It should be appreciated that as the process of marking selected elements continues until one or more predetermined patterns are marked, this embodiment ensures that at least one bingo card will win the bingo game and thus at least one enrolled gaming device will provide a predetermined winning game outcome to a player. It should be appreciated that other suitable methods for selecting or determining one or more predetermined game outcomes may be employed.

In one example of the above-described embodiment, the predetermined game outcome may be based on a supplemental award in addition to any award provided for winning the bingo game as described above. In this embodiment, if one or more elements are marked in supplemental patterns within a designated number of drawn elements, a supplemental or intermittent award or value associated with the marked supplemental pattern is provided to the player as part of the predetermined game outcome. For example, if the four corners of a bingo card are marked within the first twenty selected elements, a supplemental award of $10 is provided to the player as part of the predetermined game outcome. It should be appreciated that in this embodiment, the player of a gaming device may be provided a supplemental or intermittent award regardless of if the enrolled gaming device's provided bingo card wins or does not win the bingo game as described above.

In another embodiment, one or more of the gaming devices are in communication with a central server or controller for monitoring purposes only. That is, each individual gaming device randomly generates the game outcomes to be provided to the player and the central server or controller monitors the activities and events occurring on the plurality of gaming devices. In one embodiment, the gaming network includes a real-time or on-line accounting and gaming information system operably coupled to the central server or controller. The accounting and gaming information system of this embodiment includes a player database for storing player profiles, a player tracking module for tracking players and a credit system for providing automated casino transactions.

In an alternative embodiment, individual gaming machines 10 include onboard ROGs that communicate with individual gaming device processors 12 to generate the player and dealer hands. Here, the above-mentioned machines 10 a and 10 c (in FIGS. 7B and 7D, respectively), for example, would generate their own hands and communicate the results to the processor of central server computer 102, so that central server computer 102 can thereafter communicate the results to the remaining machines 10 b, 10 d and 10 e (as displayed in FIGS. 8C, 8E and 8F, respectively). In one embodiment, the player hand and banker hand cannot share the same card. Accordingly, server computer 102 in one embodiment plays a supervisory role by preventing the player from picking a card selected previously by the banker and vice versa. The results of the hand generations are sent accordingly on a card by card basis from individual processors 12 to central server 102 in one embodiment.

Regardless of whether server computer 102 or one of the individual gaming devices 10 generate the player and banker hands, in one embodiment a subsequent ROG result is completely independent of a previous ROG result. That is, the first result has no bearing on the second result. Here, the same hand in theory can be generated over and over. Any of the random generations can be weighted if needed however. For example, additional cards such as Jokers used for bonus or progressive pay purposes can be weighted differently if desired. In one embodiment, each of the fifty-two playing cards is weighted equally with each other playing card, and wherein the rules of baccarat set the payback percentage for each type of bet.

FIG. 2 shows an electrical schematic for one of the constituent machines 10. Gaming device 10 has a suitable support structure, housing or cabinet (not illustrated) that provides support for a plurality of displays, inputs, controls and other features of a conventional gaming machine. Gaming device 10 is configured to be operated by a player standing or sitting. The gaming device may be positioned on a base or stand or be configured as a pub-style, table-top game (not shown), which a player can operate while sitting. Gaming device 10 can be constructed with varying cabinet and display configurations.

As seen in FIG. 2, gaming device 10 includes at least one processor 12, such as a microprocessor, a microcontroller-based platform, a suitable integrated circuit or one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC's). Processor 12 is in communication with or operable to access or to exchange signals with at least one data storage or memory device 14. In one embodiment, processor 12 and memory device 14 reside within the cabinet of gaming device 10. The memory device stores other data such as image data, event data, player input data, random or pseudo-random number generators, pay-table data or information and applicable game rules that relate to the play of the gaming device. In one embodiment, the memory device includes random access memory (RAM), which can include non-volatile RAM (NVRAM), magnetic RAM (MRAM), ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM) and other forms as commonly understood in the gaming industry. In one embodiment, the memory device includes read only memory (ROM). In one embodiment, the memory device includes flash memory and/or EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read only memory). Any other suitable magnetic, optical and/or semiconductor memory may operate in conjunction with the gaming device disclosed herein.

Memory device 14, for example, can store the ROG code if the player and banker hands are generated locally as described above. Memory device 14 also stores other data, such as image data, event data, player input data, metering data (e.g., for the credit display, bet display and win amount display), paytable data, ticketing data, and other operating data, information and applicable game rules that relate to the play of gaming device 10.

In one embodiment, part or all of the program code and/or operating data described above can be stored in a detachable or removable memory device, including but not limited to, a suitable cartridge, disk or CD ROM. A player can use such a removable memory device in a desktop, a laptop personal computer, a personal digital assistant (“PDA”) or other computerized platform.

As seen in FIG. 2, processor 12 of gaming device 10 controls a display device 16. Display device 16 is connected to or mounted to the cabinet (not illustrated) of gaming device 10. Display device 16 may include without limitation, a monitor, a television display, a plasma display, a liquid crystal display (“LCD”), a display employing light emitting diodes (“LED”); a display based on a plurality of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), a display based on polymer light-emitting diodes (PLEDs), a display based on a plurality of surface-conduction electron-emitters (SEDs), a display including a projected and/or reflected image or any other suitable electronic device or display mechanism. Each of these different types of displays may also be used for shared display 106 described herein. In one embodiment, as described in more detail below, display device 16 includes a touchscreen 18 and an associated touchscreen controller 20. Display device 16 may alternatively or additionally include mechanical or electromechanical components, such as input devices 26. Display device 16 may be of any suitable size, shape or configuration.

Display device 16 is configured to display one or a plurality of images, symbols and indicia, and the movement or changing of same, such as the revealing of a selected card or the updating of a bet. Display device 16 may have mechanical, virtual or video components, dynamic lighting, video images and images of people, characters, places, things, faces of cards, tournament advertisements, promotions and the like, which can enhance or set forth a theme for gaming system 100.

In one embodiment, the symbols, images and indicia displayed on or by display device 16 are in mechanical or electromechanical form. That is, display device 16 may include any suitable mechanical or electromechanical device, which moves or can be moved. For example, instead of the purely simulated cards shown below in the example, display device 16 can include a mechanical overly with fifty-two hinged doors. The overlay is placed in front of a video monitor. The monitor displays randomly sorted cards behind each door. The player flips open one of the doors to display a selected card.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, in one embodiment, gaming device 10 includes at least one payment acceptor 24 in communication with processor 12. Payment acceptor 24 may include any one or more of a coin slot and a payment, note or bill acceptor, in each of which the player inserts money, a ticket voucher, coins or tokens. The player can place coins in the coin slot or paper money, ticket or voucher into the payment, note or bill acceptor. Payment acceptor 24 also includes devices such as readers or validators for credit cards, debit cards, data cards or credit slips.

Gaming device 10 includes at least one input device 26 (generally) that communicates with processor 12. Input devices 26 can include any suitable apparatus that enables the player to produce an input signal read by processor 12. Input device 26, for example, can be a game activation device, such as a bet button 32 shown below for example in FIGS. 4B to 4F and 5B to 5F. Any of the input devices 26 described herein may be a touch screen input device or an electromechanical device as desired. Further, as seen for example in FIGS. 4A to 4F, display devices 16 of the example gaming devices 10 a to 10 f each include a credit meter 34, which displays a player's current number of credits, cash, account balance or the equivalent. Other meters of display device 16 are discussed below.

Gaming device 10 also includes a cash out button (not illustrated). The player pushes the cash out button to receive a cash payment or other suitable form of payment corresponding to the number of remaining credits shown currently in credit meter 34. In one embodiment, when the player cashes out, the player receives coins or tokens in a coin payout tray (not illustrated). In another embodiment, when the player cashes out, the player receives another type of payout mechanism, such as a ticket or credit slip, which is redeemable by a cashier or funded to the player's electronically recordable identification card.

As mentioned above and seen in FIG. 2, a touchscreen 18 or other type of touch-sensitive display overlay may be provided, which operates with a touchscreen controller 20 to enable the player to interact with the images on display device 16. Touchscreen 18 and touchscreen controller 20 operate with a video controller 22. Touchscreen controller 22 in one embodiment includes software provided for example by the touchscreen manufacturer, which operates to convert a player's touch of a certain area of touchscreen 18 at a certain time to an appropriate signal, which is sent to processor 12. A player can thereby make decisions and input signals into gaming device 10 by touching touchscreen 18 at an appropriate place and at a particular time. This enables for efficient screen management. For example, bet and clear buttons 32 and 36 can be displayed only when needed, e.g., in FIGS. 4B to 4F and 5B to 5F, but not thereafter.

Gaming device 10 in one embodiment includes a plurality of communication ports for enabling communication between processor 12 and external peripherals, such as a server or central determination computer, external video sources, expansion buses, game or other displays, an SCSI port or keypad.

In one embodiment processor 12 communicates with one or more sounds cards 28. Sound card 28 operates with at least one speaker 30 and/or other sound generating hardware and software to generate sounds, such as voice or music for the baccarat game of gaming device 10. Gaming device 10 is configured to provide dynamic sounds that couple with attractive multimedia images displayed on display device 16 for game play. During idle periods, gaming device 10 may display a sequence of audio and/or visual attraction messages to attract potential players to gaming device 10. The audio/video outputs also provide any desired customized information, such as game play and paytable information. To that end, processor 12 may operate multiple imbedded screens, such as a game play or paytable screen that the player can recall selectively, e.g., by touching indicia on touchscreen 18 corresponding to the game play or paytable screen.

In one embodiment, gaming device 10 includes a camera (not illustrated) that communicates with processor 12. The camera is positioned to acquire an image of a player playing gaming device 10 and/or the surrounding area of gaming device 10. The camera can selectively acquire still or moving (e.g., video) images in an analog, digital or other suitable format. Gaming device 10 is further configured to: (i) display the camera images, e.g., in split-screen or picture-in-picture fashion on display device 16; or (ii) send the signal to shared display 106 where it is displayed, e.g., in split-screen or picture-in-picture fashion. For example, the cameras associated with gaming devices 10 designated to draw the player or banker hands in a given play of gaming system 100 can each acquire an image of the players selecting the player and banker hands, which images are fed to and displayed live on shared display 106.

Processor 12 enables the player to change the player's wager, add money to gaming device 10 and cash out from gaming device 10. Processor 12 responds to inquiries from the player, e.g., for paytable or game operation information. Processor 12 commands display device 16 and speakers 30 to communicate the results of game play (e.g., actual outcome, rank of outcome, missed award opportunities and awards provided), bonus play, bonus pay and progressive pay.

Processors 12 of individual gaming devices 10 calculate payouts and update credit meters 34 accordingly. The payout is in the form of a multiplier in one embodiment, which multiplies the number of coins or credits wagered, for example, the number of coins or credits wagered on the banker, player or tie bets in the Baccarat embodiments. Processor 12 performs this calculation and updates credit display 34 accordingly.

In addition to winning credits in the base game, in various embodiments, the gaming device may also give players the opportunity to win credits in one or more bonus or secondary games or bonus or secondary rounds. The bonus or secondary game enables the players to obtain bonus prizes or payouts in addition to the payout, if any, obtained from the base game. A bonus or secondary game can produce a higher level of player excitement versus providing only the base game because bonus games generally provide greater expectations of winning, can be accompanied by attractive and little seen or heard visual and audio outputs, and generally do not require a separate wager to play.

The bonus games can be played singly or be shared games, e.g., controlled by individual processors 12 or via the central server 102. A shared bonus game is desirable from one standpoint because the base game can be interrupted for each machine 10 for the same period of time. For example, a shared bonus game could enable each player to pick one of the playing cards from a set of facedown cards shown for example in FIGS. 6B and 6D. The bonus could pay a multiple of the face value of the playing card, for example, where Jacks are worth eleven, Queens twelve, Kings fourteen and Aces fifteen.

If played as a single gaming device, gaming system 100 in one embodiment continues the base game play with the non-bonus gaming machines 10, while the gaming-machine 10 in the bonus plays the bonus game. The bonus gaming machine can rejoin baccarat play after the bonus is over upon the next auction or countdown. An example of a singly played bonus game could simply be a bonus round game, wherein for example, the player is provided two hundred credits to wager however the player sees fit. The bonus game plays according to the operation and example discussed in detail below or automatically with no player interaction. Alternatively, the bonus game could automatically wager 200 credits for the player on the player hand, for example. Here, the player picks the playing cards for the player hand (including the third card in one embodiment), while the playing cards for the banker are selected randomly by processor 12 or central server 102.

It should be appreciated that the present disclosure may be implemented in various configurations for gaming machines or gaming devices, including but not limited to: (1) a dedicated gaming machine or gaming device, wherein the computerized instructions for controlling any games (which are provided by the gaming machine or gaming device) are provided with the gaming machine or gaming device prior to delivery to a gaming establishment; and (2) a changeable gaming machine or gaming device, where the computerized instructions for controlling any games (which are provided by the gaming machine or gaming device) are downloadable to the gaming machine or gaming device through a data network when the gaming machine or gaming device is in a gaming establishment. In one embodiment, the computerized instructions for controlling any games are executed by a central server, central controller or remote host. In such a “thin client” embodiment, the central server remotely controls any games (or other suitable interfaces) and the gaming device is utilized to display such games (or suitable interfaces) and receive one or more inputs or commands from a player. In another embodiment, the computerized instructions for controlling any games are communicated from the central server, central controller or remote host to a gaming device local processor and memory devices. In such a “thick client” embodiment, the gaming device local processor executes the communicated computerized instructions to control any games (or other suitable interfaces) provided to a player.

In one embodiment, one or more gaming devices in a gaming system may be thin client gaming devices and one or more gaming devices in the gaming system may be thick client gaming devices. In another embodiment, certain functions of the gaming device are implemented in a thin client environment and certain other functions of the gaming device are implemented in a thick client environment. In one such embodiment, computerized instructions for controlling any primary games are communicated from the central server to the gaming device in a thick client configuration and computerized instructions for controlling any secondary games or bonus functions are executed by a central server in a thin client configuration.

In one embodiment, the present disclosure may be employed in a server based gaming system. In one such embodiment, as described above, one or more gaming devices are in communication with a central server or controller. The central server or controller may be any suitable server or computing device which includes at least one processor and a memory or storage device. In alternative embodiments, the central server is a progressive controller or another gaming machine in the gaming system. In one embodiment, the memory device of the central server stores different game programs and instructions, executable by a gaming device processor, to control the gaming device. Each executable game program represents a different game or type of game which may be played on one or more of the gaming devices in the gaming system. Such different games may include the same or substantially the same game play with different pay tables. In different embodiments, the executable game program is for a primary game, a secondary game or both. In another embodiment, the game program may be executable as a secondary game to be played simultaneous with the play of a primary game (which may be downloaded to or fixed on the gaming device) or vice versa.

In this embodiment, each gaming device at least includes one or more display devices and/or one or more input devices for interaction with a player. A local processor, such as the above-described gaming device processor or a processor of a local server, is operable with the display device(s) and/or the input device(s) of one or more of the gaming devices.

In operation, the central controller is operable to communicate one or more of the stored game programs to at least one local processor. In different embodiments, the stored game programs are communicated or delivered by embedding the communicated game program in a device or a component (e.g., a microchip to be inserted in a gaming device), writing the game program on a disc or other media, downloading or streaming the game program over a dedicated data network, internet or a telephone line. After the stored game programs are communicated from the central server, the local processor executes the communicated program to facilitate play of the communicated program by a player through the display device(s) and/or input device(s) of the gaming device. That is, when a game program is communicated to a local processor, the local processor changes the game or type of game played at the gaming device.

Operation

The gaming system and method disclosed herein provides an auction or wager sequence to enable one or more players of a multi-player game to win additional interaction, control or perceived control in a play of the game. In one embodiment, the auction or wager sequence is based on a comparison of the wagers made by the players on the play of the game. In various embodiments, the player determined to win the auction or wager sequence, such as the player with the highest wager, is enabled to: (a) perform a function which the other players do not perform; (b) perform a function before the other players; (c) see one or more parts of the game before the other players; (d) function as a “dealer”; (e) function as a “banker”; (f) function as a “player”; (g) perform an input or selection to obtain one or more random outcomes; or (h) perform any combination thereof. It should be appreciated that any suitable player action may be employed as the interaction provided to the player for obtaining a designated result in the auction. In other embodiments, various potentially different interactions may be provided to player's depending on where they rank in the auction.

In alternative embodiments, the auction or wager sequence is based on a comparison of one or more designated portions of the wagers of the players on the play of the game. In different examples, the auction is based on the wagers placed on one or more designated paylines in a multi-player slot game, the wagers placed on one or more designated symbols or symbol combinations, the wagers placed on one or more designated playing cards in a multi-player card game, the wagers placed on one or more designated hand(s) in a multi-player card game, the wagers placed on one or more designated bets (from a plurality of different bets a player can make), or the wagers placed on one or more side wagers or side bets placed.

In one example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a Blackjack game wherein the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to look at the dealer's under playing card (i.e., the dealt face down playing card) for a short period of time before the other players; (b) the order which players can stand or hit or (c) any combination thereof. In an alternative example Blackjack game wherein all of the players play the same group hand, the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to choose whether to stand or hit; (b) the player who gets to look at the dealer's under playing card for a short period of time before the other players; (c) the player who gets to look at one or more of the playing cards in the group hand for a short period of time before the other players; (d) the player who decides whether to double-down or split the group hand; (e) the player who decides whether to surrender the group hand; (f) the player who decides whether to buy insurance if the dealer's hand shows an ace; or (g) any combination thereof. In an example electronic Blackjack game, the auction determines the player who selects the playing cards (from the face down cards) for the dealer hand/and or player hand(s). In different embodiments, the aspect(s) of the Blackjack game which the auction winner is enabled to choose or configure are predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a Draw Poker game wherein the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to look at the dealer hand for a short period of time before the other players; (b) the order which players can hold or discard playing cards; or (c) any combination thereof. In an alternative Draw Poker game, wherein all the players play the same group hand, the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to choose which playing cards to hold and which playing cards to discard; (b) the player who gets to look at one or more of the playing cards in the group hand for a short period of time before the other players; or (c) any combination thereof. In an electronic Draw Poker game, the auction determines the player who selects the playing cards (from the face down cards) for the player hand(s). In different embodiments, the aspect(s) of the Draw Poker game which the auction winner is enabled to choose or configure are predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a group or shared bonus game or event wherein the auction determines the player who initiates the bonus game or event. For example, the player who has made the highest wager gets to initiate the spin of a wheel for the bonus event. In different such embodiments, the auction determines: (a) the order which each player is displayed their respective awards; (b) which player gets to stop the group bonus game or event; (c) the player who gets to determine the duration of the group bonus game; or (d) any combination thereof. In different embodiments, the aspect(s) of the group or shared bonus game which the auction winner is enabled to choose or configure are predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a player tournament wherein the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to officially start the tournament (i.e., play on that player's gaming machine activates all of the other gaming machines for starting play); (b) the player who gets to determine the duration of the tournament; (c) the player who gets to end the tournament; or (d) any combination thereof. In other example embodiments, the auction determines the player that gets to control one or more designated parameters of the tournament, such as, but not limited to: the time window when the tournament will run, one or more aspects of tournament game play or the theme for the tournament. In different embodiments, the aspect(s) of the player tournament which the auction winner is enabled to choose or configure are predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a Craps game wherein the auction determines the player who gets to be the shooter (or first shooter) for the game. In another example employing a Craps game, the auction determines the player that gets to pick which of a plurality of different sets of dice are rolled. In different embodiments, the aspect(s) of the Craps game which the auction winner is enabled to choose or configure are predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a Roulette game wherein the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to release the ball or indicate to the dealer when to release the ball; (b) the player who gets to pick which ball is used; (c) the player who gets to spin the wheel; (d) the player who gets to place a community wager; (e) the player who picks a bonus number where if the ball lands on that number, pays are multiplied or (f) any combination thereof. In different embodiments, the aspect(s) of the Roulette game which the auction winner is enabled to choose or configure are predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a Pai Gow Poker game wherein the auction determines: (a) the player who is given the option of being the dealer on the table, or (b) the player who is enabled to see the dealers hand before other players or (c) any combination thereof. In different embodiments, the aspect(s) of the Pai Gow Poker game which the auction winner is enabled to choose or configure are predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

In another example embodiment, the present gaming system and method is employed in a group slots game wherein the auction determines the player who: (a) gets to pull the handle or press the Spin button; (b) gets to stop the reels (individually or as a group); (c) gets to pick which reels to nudge; (d) gets to pick which reels to hold; (e) gets to pick which paylines to wager on; (f) gets to pick which order the generated symbols are evaluated (i.e., left-to-right or right-to-left); (g) gets to pick which symbol combination(s) are associated with designated awards, such as progressive awards; (h) gets to pick which symbol(s) are wild symbols; (i) gets to pick the order which the reels will spin; (j) gets to pick one or more applicable symbol features; (k) gets to pick one or more applicable reel features; or (l) any combination thereof. In different embodiments, the aspect(s) of the group slots game which the auction winner is enabled to choose or configure are predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

In another example embodiment, the multi-player game has multiple different games and the auction determines: (a) the player who chooses which game the players will play; (b) the player who gets to pick the order which a plurality of games are played; (c) the player who gets to pick which players are enabled to participate in which games; (d) the player who gets to determine the duration of one or more of the games played; (e) the player who gets to determine the pace of one or more of the games played; (f) the player who gets to pick one or more game play functions of one or more of the games played; or (g) any combination thereof. In different embodiments, the aspect(s) of the multiple different games which the auction winner is enabled to choose or configure are predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

In another example embodiment, the auction is employed in association with the trigging of a shared progressive award. In this embodiment, if a designated outcome, such as a progressive determination outcome, is generated in a play of a game, a secondary sequence is provided to determine if the shared progressive award is provided to one or more players. In different embodiments, the auction determines the player who: (a) gets to pick the format of the secondary sequence; (b) gets to participate in the secondary sequence; (c) gets to view the outcome of the secondary sequence for a short period of time before the other players; or (d) any combination thereof. In different embodiments, the aspect(s) of the shared progressive award which the auction winner is enabled to choose or configure are predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

For example, a shared progressive award has a 1/100,000 chance of being provided to one or more players and a designated outcome, such as a progressive determination outcome, has a 1/1,000 chance of being generated for each play of a game. In this example, if the progressive determination outcome is generated, the auction winner is enabled to initiate and participate in a secondary sequence (which is associated with a 1/100 chance of being successful). In different embodiments, the secondary sequence is a random generation of a symbol or symbol combination, a selection game, a bonus game, an apparent skill game or any suitable game or event that utilizes the associated chance of being successful. If the secondary sequence provides a successful outcome, the progressive award is provided amongst one or more of the players at the gaming devices in the gaming system.

In another example embodiment, the auction is employed to enable a player to control the aesthetics of the game. In different such embodiments, the auction determines the player who gets to choose the deck from which the players play (such as between a red and blue deck). In different embodiments employing electronic games, the auction determines: (a) the player who gets to choose a game theme; (b) the player who gets to determine the graphics used in the game, such as what one or more symbols or the dealer looks like; (c) the player who gets to choose the sounds or music used in the game; or (d) any combination thereof. In different embodiments, the aesthetic aspect(s) which the auction winner is enabled to choose or configure are predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

It should be appreciated from the above examples that since each different game has different rules and functions, the auction can be employed differently in each game to determine any suitable function to enhance player interaction for that game. It should be further appreciated that the above are non-limiting examples and that the present gaming system could be employed in any suitable group or multi-player game.

In one embodiment, a shared display is configured to display a virtual dealer (if the game has or needs a dealer) and one or more other game elements or functions. In one embodiment, the individual gaming devices each correspond to one of the player positions in the game such as one of the player positions of the live version of the table game (if the game is conventionally a table game). The individual gaming devices may be any suitable stationary or portable devices (such as handheld devices).

In one embodiment, the auction is run in a designated time period such as a period under a timer. A prescribed amount of time is provided and displayed to the players during which the players have to make their bets or wagers. In one embodiment, the result of the auction is based on a comparison of one or more the players bets or wagers (or portions thereof, such as portions placed on a first payline or a first hand), and determines, at least in part, certain player interaction in the play of the game. In various alternative embodiments, the result of the auction is one winner, multiple winners, or a ranking for a plurality of the players. It should be appreciated that in the various embodiments described above, the auction does not determine the winner of the game, but rather determines a level of player action or interaction in the game.

In different alternative embodiments, the winner of the auction or a part of the auction can be the player: (a) who made the first maximum bet; (b) who made the first maximum bet and confirmed their bet (using a confirm button); (c) who made the first highest bet; (d) who made the first highest bet and confirmed their bet (using a confirm button); (e) who made the most bets; (f) who made the fastest bet; (g) who made the fastest highest bet; (h) who made the fastest maximum bet; (i) with the highest player status (as determined via a player tracking system) who made the highest bet; (j) with the highest player status (as determined via a player tracking system) who made the maximum bet; (k) who made the highest average bet; (l) who made the last highest bet; (m) who made the last maximum bet; (n) or any combination thereof. In different embodiments, the auction winner is predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria. It should be appreciated that the results of the auction can be determined in any suitable manner.

The auction or each part of the auction can be initiated in one or more suitable ways. For example, the auction time period is initiated automatically after a previous play of the game, such as by a countdown starts five seconds after the previous play. In another example, the auction time period is initiated after a first one of the players at one of the gaming devices wagers or makes a bet on the next play of the game. In this example, the first bet starts a countdown of a designated period of time. In one embodiment, the auction time period concludes upon placement of at least one bet on each gaming device carrying a positive credit balance. In different embodiments, the manner which the auction time period is initiated is predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

In one embodiment, the gaming system and method adds additional time for additional bets to be made in certain circumstances. For instance, the gaming system can add time if: (a) no players have placed a wager; (b) wagers below a designated number of players have placed a wager; (c) wagers below a designated amount have been placed; (d) a player requests more time; (d) two players are tied in the auction; or (f) any combination thereof. In another embodiment, after a first player has placed at least one wager and such wager information is displayed to one or more other players, the gaming system provides additional time for the other players to place their bets (or increase their previous bets) in light of the first player's wager. In different embodiments, the determination to add additional time for additional bets is predetermined, randomly determined, determined based on a player's status (such as determined through a player tracking system), determined based on a generated symbol or symbol combination, determined based on a random determination by the central controller, determined based on a random determination at the gaming machine, determined based on one or more side wagers placed, determined based on a player's primary game wager, determined based on time (such as the time of day), determined based on an amount of coin-in accumulated in one or more pools, or determined based on any other suitable method or criteria.

In one embodiment, the results of the auction during the auction are not displayed to the players. In this embodiment, the results are displayed to the players at the end of the auction or part of the auction. In another embodiment, the results of the auction, such as the amounts and placements of different wagers by the different players, are displayed to each player during the auction and/or at the end of the auction. In different embodiments, the results are displayed in any suitable manner such as via the shared display, on the individual screens one or more of the gaming devices or any combination thereof.

It should be appreciated from the foregoing discussion that gaming system 100 can be configured differently to apportion its functionality centrally or locally as desired. The following operational flow diagram can be implemented in any of the hardware schemes set forth above.

Referring now to FIG. 3, one suitable sequence of operation is illustrated by sequence 50. Upon starting the sequence as seen at oval 52, a bidding auction for the group play baccarat gaming system is initiated, as illustrated by block 54. In one embodiment, the auction sequence begins automatically after the previous play of the baccarat gaming system. For example, the gaming system can wait a few seconds, such as five seconds, after the payout from the previous play has been made. Afterward, the gaming systems begins the auction automatically with a countdown. The countdown time can be any suitable time, such as thirty seconds. In an alternative embodiment, the auction begins upon the first wager placed by any of the players playing the baccarat gaming system. Here again, after the first wager is made a countdown sequence begins in which any player wishing to play in the next deal must make each desired wager.

In a further alternative embodiment, the auction begins automatically or after the first wager is made, but lasts here until the last wager is made on any active gaming machine of the gaming system. In one embodiment, a gaming machine is active if a positive credit balance is maintained by a player on the gaming machine. It should be appreciated that active can be defined in any suitable manner and any suitable criteria (such as (a) a gaming machine on which a wager was placed in the last 15 seconds, or (b) a gaming machine having an inserted player tracking card). This can be determined or defined by the gaming system designer, system manufacturer, or casino. Because certain players may delay in making the wager, the gaming system can be configured in this embodiment to prompt or remind the lagging player to finish making any desired bet. If such player continues to delay, a short countdown can eventually be run after which the banker and player hands are dealt.

As shown in the example described below, in one embodiment, any player can wager none, one, two or perhaps three different bets (including opposite bets—player hand and banker hand). Presumably, most players do not wager on both the player hand and banker hand. It is possible and indeed likely however for a player to wager the player hand or the banker hand in combination with a tie bet. In one embodiment, if the auction times out before the player can place two bets, but has placed one bet, the gaming system proceeds with whichever bet has been wagered. In one embodiment, the gaming system shows flashing lights or provides additional audio and/or video prompts when nearing the end of the countdown to compel the players to finish wagering. In one embodiment, the gaming system enables the player to select another player and make the same type and/or amount bets as another player or different bets (such as opposite bets) as the other player.

Upon completion of the auction or countdown, the gaming system shows an audio, visual or audiovisual message such as “please wait for next auction” on the display devices of any active gaming machines on which a wager was not placed and/or on an non-active gaming machine as seen in connection with block 56.

The gaming system displays all banker, player and tie bets on the shared display, as illustrated by block 58. In one embodiment, the gaming system includes a large shared display 106, such as an overhead video monitor, which can be of any of the types described above for display device 16. As seen in the examples below, each participating machine can be given a number, which is viewable on the shared display by all other players of the baccarat gaming system. Machine numbers and their corresponding bets are shown on the shared display. This enables each of the players to see what each of the other players have wagered. Each player's bets and corresponding number can be shown additionally or alternatively on the local machine displays. Some or all of this information can be additionally or alternatively displayed on the individual gaming machine display devices.

In the example discussed below, the shared display shows the bets as they are wagered during the auction or countdown. Here, the auction is open and enables the players to either wait until the end to wager their bets, so as to place the highest bet for either banker or player. As discussed below, alternatively, the players can each clear a bet and make a new bet, which is higher, so that the player again can wager the highest player or banker bet. In an alternative embodiment, the auction is blind and the shared display does not display each player's bets until the auction has been completed. This embodiment promotes quicker wagering because there is no incentive to wait. In a further embodiment, the shared display each player's bets for an initial portion of the auction, so that the players have an idea of what the high-bets will be, after which the auction becomes blind and the shared display clears the bets and shows a finish betting screen. Again, some or all of this information can be additionally or alternatively displayed on the individual gaming machine display devices. Additionally, the shared display or the individual gaming machine display devices can display the sum of all bets for each possible outcome, bets for the current play, one or more bets for past plays such as the history of bets made by a player, the history of one or more outcomes or previous results, or any other suitable information.

After the auction, system 50 determines whether any of the participant gaming devices have made a banker bet, as discussed in connection with diamond 60. If not, the gaming system in one embodiment is set to auto-generate the banker's hand, for example, on the shared display and thereafter display the banker's hand on the participant gaming machines, as indicated by block 62. The determination made in connection with diamond 60 enables game play to continue even if no player wagers a banker bet. In an alternative embodiment, the auction is replayed until at least one player wagers a banker bet.

If at least one banker bet has been wagered, the gaming system then determines whether there is a tie for the highest banker bet, as determined in connection with diamond 64. If there is no tie for the highest banker bet, that is, only one gaming device has wagered the highest banker bet, the gaming system sets that high banker bet machine to be the one that generates the banker's hand. After such generation, the banker's hand is displayed on each of the participant gaming machines, as shown in connection with block 66. One example of the timing involved with generating the baccarat hands on the high-bet machines and thereafter displaying the results of the hands on the other machines is shown in the example below.

If a tie for the high banker bet does exist, the gaming system performs a selection sequence, which picks one of the gaming machines to be the one that is enabled to generate the banker's hand, as shown in connection with block 68. As discussed above, the selection sequence can involve one or more criteria or basis upon which to pick the “winning” gaming device from the tied gaming devices. For example, the gaming system could break the tie based on which machine has the highest total bet, e.g., if one machine places an additional tie bet, that machine could be declared the winner. In another embodiment, the gaming system can randomly determine which of the gaming machines is enabled to generate the banker's hand. In a further embodiment, a secondary auction is held in which each tied machine is enabled to increase their banker bet if desired. If two or more of the tied machines increase the bet by the same amount, the gaming system can run a further auction or use one of the other methods to decide which machine wins. In a further alternative embodiment, the gaming system performs another suitable type of contest to determine the winner. For example, the gaming system enables each player to draw one card. The playing card closest to nine, for example, would decide the winning machine from the tied machines. Again, the contest could be rerun until a winning machine is found. In a further example alternative, one player can pick the playing cards and another player could see the playing cards before the other players.

After selecting a winner, the gaming system employing sequence 50 sets the winning machine to generate the banker's hand, after which the banker's hand is displayed on the remaining participant machines, as indicated by block 70. Again, in one embodiment, the winning high-bet banker machine is enabled to draw or generate the banker hand, which generation is first shown to the player on the display device of that high-bet machine. The drawing of the banker hand is not immediately shown to the other participant gaming devices and is not immediately shown on the overhead display. After a slight delay, these results are displayed. Thus, the gaming system provides a small delay in showing the results to all of the players and give the players who won the auction an honor of seeing the playing cards or result first (such as one or two seconds before the other players). The delay in showing all of the results can be any suitable delay. The result of the draw is however shown on the other participant gaming machines and on the shared display as discussed below.

In an alternative embodiment, the actual drawing of the banker's hand is shown on one or both of the other participant gaming machine displays and the shared display. Such generation would provide fun and excitement to the non-drawing players. However, by not initially showing the generation of the banker's hand on the participant machines or the shared display, the player of the (winning) high-bet banker's hand is enabled to preview for a short period of time the banker's hand and have a perceived sense of control.

In the same manner as with the player's bet, after the auction, system 50 determines whether any of the participant gaming devices have made a player bet, as shown in connection with diamond 72. If not, the gaming system in one embodiment is set to auto-generate the player's hand, for example, on the shared display and thereafter display the player's hand on the participant gaming machines, as indicated by block 74. The determination made in connection with diamond 72 enables game play to continue even if no player wagers a player bet. In an alternative embodiment, the auction is replayed until at least one player wagers a player bet.

If at least one player bet has been wagered, the gaming system determines whether there is a tie for the highest player bet, as determined in connection with diamond 76. If there is no tie for the highest player bet, that is, only one gaming device has wagered the highest player bet, the gaming system sets that high player bet machine to be the one that generates the player's hand. After such generation, the player's hand is displayed on each of the participant gaming machines, as shown in connection with block 78.

If a tie for the high player bet occurs, the gaming system performs a suitable selection sequence that picks one of the gaming machines to be the one that is enable to generate the player's hand, as shown in connection with block 80. As discussed above, the selection sequence can involve one or more criterion or basis upon which to pick the “winning” gaming device from the tied gaming devices.

After selecting a winner, the gaming system employing sequence 50 sets the winning machine to generate the player's hand, after which the player's hand is displayed on the remaining participant machines, as indicated by block 82. Again, in one embodiment, the winning high-bet player machine is enabled to draw or generate the player hand, which generation is shown to the player on the display device of that high-bet machine alone. The drawing of the player hand is not shown to the other participant gaming devices and is not shown on the overhead display. The “result” of the player draw is however shown on the other participant gaming machines and on the shared display as illustrated below.

In an alternative embodiment, the actually drawing of the player's hand is shown on one or both of the other participant gaming machine displays and the shared display. Such generation would provide fun and excitement to the non-drawing players. However, by not showing the generation of the player's hand on the participant machines or the shared display, the player of the (winning) high-bet player's hand is enabled to preview the player's hand and have a perceived sense of control and/or advantage.

After the initial banker and player hands are generated and shown to the participant gaming devices, the baccarat gaming system employing method 50 determines whether either the banker or player hand should receive a third card, as shown in connection with diamond 84. As discussed above, in one embodiment the determination of whether either the banker or player hand draws a third card is preset by the rules of baccarat. Sequence 50 in one embodiment therefore determines automatically whether either the high-bet banker or high-bet player hand machine draws a third card. If so, a suitable message is shown and either one or both the high-bet banker or player machine is enabled to draw a third card as shown in connection with block 86.

Whether or not any third card is drawn, the baccarat gaming system employing sequence 50 determines whether the banker wins, the player wins or a tie occurs as determined in connection with block 88. Next, any bonus or progressive play is provided, as shown in connection with diamond 90. Bonus and progressive embodiments are described above. If a bonus game or progressive play is provided, the bonus or progressive is played and paid to the associated machine(s) and player(s) as shown in connection with block 92. The bonus and progressive can additionally or alternatively be shown on the shared display. Further, as discussed above, group bonus or progressive pays are provided in one embodiment.

Sequence 50 shows all wins and updates the credit meters of the participant gaming machines, as shown in connection with block 94. Sequence 50 determines whether a next auction and associated baccarat play is provided, as determined in connection with diamond 96. If the gaming system is shut down for whatever reason, sequence 50 ends as shown in connection with oval 98. Otherwise, another auction is initiated as shown in connection with block 54 and sequence 50 as just described is repeated. Example

One example of the play of gaming system 100 is shown in connection with FIGS. 4A through 4F, FIGS. 5A through 5F, FIGS. 6A through 6F, FIGS. 7A through 7F, FIGS. 8A through 8F, FIGS. 9A through 9F and FIGS. 10A through 10F. The figures are structured to show at given points in time in the play of gaming system 100, the state of shared display 106 and the corresponding state of individual display devices 16 of the constituent gaming devices 10 a through 10 e.

As seen in FIGS. 4B through 4F, display devices 16 initially display the bet button 32 and credit meter 34 as discussed above. Additionally, each gaming device 10 includes a clear button 36, which in one embodiment clears all bets that have been made during the auction or countdown. In an alternative embodiment, pressing clear button 36 once clears the instant bet, pressing clear button 36 a second time clears the bet made previous to the instant bet and so on.

Each gaming device 10 includes a wager input 38. In the illustrated embodiment, wager input 38 includes four digits, each with corresponding up and down incrementing arrows. If a player wishes to wager ten credits on any given bet for example, the player pushes the plus indicator of the ten's digit to one. Alternatively, selectable digits zero to nine are provided, which enable the player to enter the desired bet digitally. In further alternative embodiments, knobs, toggles and/or other types of incrementors may be used. In another embodiment, the gaming system enables a player to utilize virtual wager chips to place one or more bets.

The time remaining in a given auction countdown is shown on clock or timer 40. In one embodiment, clock or timer 40 counts down from the beginning time, such as thirty seconds down to zero, at which point the auction is completed. The player chooses which bet to make by bet type input 42. Bet type input 42 includes selectable indicia shown in combination with a meter that reads out the bet placed on the player, tie and banker bets. In one sequence, the player presses the desired type of bet to make via input 42, for example, the banker indicia. Afterwards, the player enters the bet amount via bet input 38. The player confirms the amount selected by selecting the bet button 32. The player can thereafter clear that bet by pressing clear input 36. Additionally or alternatively, the player can reselect the banker indicia of input 42 to redo the banker bet. If the player then wishes to wager a tie bet for example, the player presses the tie indicia of input 42 and repeats the same sequence as described above for the banker bet.

Alternatively, the player enters an amount via bet input 38 and then selects a bet to which to apply the amount via type input 42. The clear input 36 is operable to change one or more bets. When the player is satisfied with the bet regime, the player selects the bet input 32, which acts as a confirm input. The bets are stored in one of the memory devices disclosed herein.

Credit display 34 shows the current wagerable number of credits the player has. Bet display 44 shows the total bet wagered by the player, for example, a banker bet added to a tie bet. Win meter 46 shows any win the player achieves at the end of a sequence of play of gaming system 100.

Each of the players can see shared display 106, which in one embodiment is a large overhead display. FIG. 4A shows the state of shared display 106 at the beginning of an auction. For each gaming device (shown on shared display 106 as gaming devices 1 to 5), the tie bet is shown along row 108 a, the banker bet is shown along row 108 b and the player bet is shown along row 108 c. The score or tally resulting from the generation of the player hand is shown in meter 110 a. The score or tally of the generated banker hand is shown in meter 110 b. The gaming machine maintaining the high banker bet (or the winning machine from a tie sequence discussed above) and the corresponding high player bet is shown in meter 112 a. Likewise, the high-bet banker or the gaming machine that wins tie sequence between two or more high-bet bankers and a corresponding high banker bet is shown in meter 112 b. Shared display 106 in one embodiment also shows the timer or countdown meter 40 (shown also on individual display devices 16) and other indicia corresponding to a baccarat theme as desired.

FIGS. 4A to 4F show a new game portion of one sequence of gaming system 100. Here, each individual display device 16 shows a message to the associated player to place any desired bet. A similar message can also be shown on shared display 106. For example, streaming video of the virtual dealer can promote the players to wager their bets and inform the them that the auction period is beginning. The shared display as well as the local display devices 16 also show the actual countdown beginning, for example, at thirty seconds.

FIGS. 5A to 5F show a point in time in the sequence in which the auction or countdown is about to end. In particular, the players have only three seconds remaining in which to update or place a new bet. Local display devices 16 still display the place your bet indicia. The shared display 106 shows the bets as they are being wagered during the countdown. This enables the participant players to see what each other player is wagering, which promotes higher wagering for players who wish to have the highest player or banker bet. Showing the bets during the auction also enables non-high-bet players to follow a player they trust or to avoid a player they feel is bad luck. This feature tends to involve every player, not just high-bet players. The feature promotes a group gaming experience.

As seen on shared display 106, player one of gaming device 10 a has wagered 500 credits on the player bet. Player two of gaming device 10 b has wagered 175 credits on the banker bet and 25 credits on the tie bet. Player three of gaming device 10 c has wagered 230 credits on the banker bet. Player four of gaming device 10 d has wagered 450 credits on the player bet and fifty credits on the tie bet. Player five of gaming device 10 e has wagered forty credits on the banker bet and 10 credits on the tie bet. Although not illustrated, the virtual dealer of shared display 106 can prompt the players visually and/or audibly to complete their wagering.

FIGS. 6A to 6F show a point in the sequence of the gaming system 100 after which the auction has ended and at which the generation of the player and banker hands is about to begin. As seen on display devices 16 of FIGS. 6B through 6F, the bet screen has been cleared and playing screens are now shown. The screens differ for high-bet players verses non-high-bet players. As highlighted by shared display 106, the high-bet player wager has been made by player one of gaming device 10 a, who has wagered a high player bet of 500 credits as seen in meter 112 a of shared display 106. The high-bet banker is player three of gaming device 10 c, who has wagered 230 credits as seen in meter 112 b of shared display 106. Each player's bets continue to be displayed in columns 108 a to 108 c.

As seen in FIGS. 6B to 6F, each of the credit meters 34 is reduced by the amount of the associated total bet, which is shown in bet meter 44. Each player is reminded locally of each of the bets made, which are shown on a portion of the bet meter 44 located at the bottom of display device 16. As seen, the local high-bet screens 16 are different than the local non-high bet screens 16.

High-bet player one of machine 10 a is shown a deck 48 of selectable cards, which are face-down or masked, and slots for generated player cards 114 a to 114 c. Likewise, player three of gaming device 10 c is shown the same deck 48 of selectable cards face-down or masked, and slots for generated player cards 116 a to 116 c. Lower bet players two, four and five of machines 10 b, 10 d and 10 e, respectively, each show slots for the generated player cards 114 a to 114 c and banker cards 116 a to 116 c. Also, each display device 16 of each of participant gaming device 10 shows the tally meters 110 a and 110 b discussed above in connection with shared display 106.

Gaming system 100 prompts players one and three on display devices 16 of gaming devices 10 a and 10 c to generate the player and banker hand, respectively. Shared display 106 also indicates that it is time to deal. In one embodiment, the playing cards of deck 48 are each selectable areas of touch screen 18 operable with display device 16.

FIGS. 7A to 7F show the generation of the player and banker hands according to the illustrated sequence of gaming system 100. It should be appreciated that at this point in the sequence, players two, four and five are not privy on their screens 116 to the playing card generation information provided to high-bet players one and three of gaming devices 10 a and 10 c, respectively. Shared display 106 also does not show the non-high-bet players the generation of the player and banker hands in the illustrated embodiment, but does show slots in which cards 114 a, 114 b, 116 a and 116 b will be revealed. Accordingly, the high-bet players achieve a sense of control of their own fate because they are enabled to generate their own hands. Further, high-bet players one and three are enabled an initial viewing of their respective hand, so that they can gain an initial sense of whether their associated bet will be successful or not. In an alternative embodiment, the generation of the hands can be shown either on shared display 106, the displays 16 of the non-high-bet machines or both.

As seen in FIGS. 7B and 7D, player one picks the fifth card of the top row of deck 48 as the first player hand card 114 a and the fourth from the last card in the middle row of deck 48 as the second player hand card 114 b. Likewise, player three of gaming device 10 c picks the seventh card of the third row of deck 48 as the first banker card 116 a and the sixth card of the first row of deck 48 as the second banker card 116 b. In one embodiment, system 100 does not enable the players to pick the same card from deck 48. System 100 can employ any suitable picking sequence, namely: (i) banker, banker, player, player; (ii) player, player, banker, banker; (iii) banker, player, banker, player; (iv) player, banker, player, banker; or (v) no sequence, picks are done randomly.

Display device 16 of gaming device 10 a displays to player one that the first player card 114 a is the Seven of Diamonds, while the second player card 114 b is the Ten of Clubs. Display device 16 of gaming device 10 c reveals to player three that the first banker card 116 a is the Three of Hearts, while the second banker card 116 b is the Nine of Diamonds. The player and banker cards are initially not revealed to the other players and thus none of the tally meters 110 a or 110 b is updated. This delay lasts a short period of time. Thus, for this short period of time, only player one of gaming device 10 a knows that the player hand with a total of seven looks good. Likewise, for this short period of time only player three of gaming device 10 c knows that the total of two for the banker hand will likely mean that the player will have to draw a third card for the banker hand. It should be appreciated that in alternative embodiments the display can be simultaneous or nearly simultaneous.

As seen in FIGS. 8A to 8F, after the first two cards of the banker and player hands are generated (here at gaming devices 10 a and 10 c, respectively) player cards 114 a and 114 b and banker cards 116 a and 116 b are revealed on shared display 106 and at non-high-bet machines 10 b, 10 d and 10 e. Tally meters 110 a and 110 b are updated everywhere to show that the player hand total is currently seven, while the banker hand total is currently two. Selected areas for cards 114 a, 114 b, 116 a and 116 b of deck 48 on display devices 16 of gaming devices 10 a and 10 c can be grayed or otherwise colored to show that they have been selected.

Referring now to FIGS. 9A to 9F, system 100 in one embodiment determines automatically that the banker player of gaming device 10 c has to pick a third card. Display device 16 of FIG. 9D accordingly displays an audio, visual or audiovisual message 118 informing player three to pick a third card from deck 48. Shared display 106 and display device 16 of gaming device 10 c accordingly show an area in which third banker card 116 will be shown. This area informs players one, two, four and five of gaming devices 10 a, 10 b, 10 d and 10 e, respectively, that a third banker card will be revealed shortly. As seen in display devices 16 of FIGS. 10B, 10D and 10E, a region for the reveal of third banker card 116 c is also highlighted.

Referring now to FIGS. 10A to 10F, a game over portion of the sequence is shown. Here, player three of gaming device 10 c picks the third card of the third row of deck 48 as third banker card 116 c. Third banker card 116 c is revealed to be the Queen of Spades on each of the display devices 16 of gaming devices 10 b to 10 e and also on shared display 106. Face cards in baccarat add a zero to the total, thus the banker tally meter 110 b remains at two. The player hand, with a total of seven wins accordingly. In the illustrated embodiment, banker players one and four each win a total of two times their player bet, so that player one wins five-hundred credits over and above the five-hundred credits wagered on the player bet. Player four wins four-hundred fifty credits over and above the four-hundred fifty credits wagered on the player bet. Credit meters 34 of gaming devices 10 a and 10 d are updated accordingly. System 100 displays a game over message 120 on each of display devices 16 of gaming devices 10. A similar message can also be displayed visually and/or audibly on shared display 106, for example via the virtual dealer, in accordance with the theme of the baccarat gaming system.

It should be understood that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present subject matter and without diminishing its intended advantages. It is therefore intended that such changes and modifications be covered by the appended claims.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/12
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3272, G07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/32M8
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 30, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: IGT, NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BAERLOCHER, ANTHONY J.;LOW, MICHAEL N.;HEDRICK, JOSEPH R.;REEL/FRAME:018568/0783;SIGNING DATES FROM 20061120 TO 20061128