US 20080268935 A1
Embodiments of the present invention are directed to electronic gaming devices utilizing at least two randomly generated outcomes along with methods of implementing the multiple randomly generated outcomes during game play. In one embodiment, a gaming device includes a display, a first game initiating button associated with a first random outcome, and a second game initiating button associated with a second random outcome.
1. A gaming device comprising:
a first game initiating button associated with a first random outcome; and
a second game initiating button associated with a second random outcome.
2. The gaming device of
a first random number generator to generate the first random outcome; and
a second random number generator to generate the second random outcome.
3. The gaming device of
4. The gaming device of
5. The gaming device of
6. The gaming device of
7. The gaming device of
8. The gaming device of
9. The gaming device of
10. A method of operating a gaming device comprising:
receiving a wager from a player on the gaming device;
activating a first game initiating button and a second game initiating button;
determining if the first or second game initiating button is selected by the player;
thereafter, determining a first random outcome associated with the first game initiating button;
determining a second random outcome associated with the second game initiating button;
displaying the first and second outcomes; and
awarding a prize associated with the selected one of the first or second game initiating buttons.
11. The method of
determining if an outcome guaranteeing side bet is made by the player; and
awarding a larger one of the prizes associated with the first and second outcomes when an outcome guaranteeing side bet is made by the player.
12. The method of
determining if an award amount of the outcome associated with the selected one of the first or second game initiating buttons is greater than or equal to an award amount of the outcome associated with a non-selected one of the first or second game initiating buttons when an outcome guaranteeing side bet is made by the player;
switching the outcome associated with the selected one of the first or second game initiating buttons with the outcome associated with the non-selected one of the first or second game initiating buttons when the award amount of the outcome associated with the selected one of the first or second game initiating buttons is less than the award amount of the outcome associated with a non-selected one of the first or second game initiating buttons and an outcome guaranteeing side bet is made by the player.
13. The method of
14. The method of
15. The method of
16. The method of
scrolling multiple possible outcomes associated with each game initiating button; and
stopping the scrolling of the multiple possible outcomes in response to a player input to determine the first random outcome and the second random outcome.
17. The method of
18. The method of
19. The method of
20. The method of
21. The method of
22. A gaming device comprising:
a display configured to show a gaming event output in response to a wager placed on the gaming device by a player;
a first random number generator;
a second random number generator;
at least one game initiating button configured to initiate a gaming event on the gaming device;
a first outcome display configured to show a first random outcome generated by the first random generator in response to initiation of a gaming event; and
a second outcome display configured to show a second random outcome generated by the second random generator in response to initiation of the gaming event.
23. The gaming device of
a first game initiating button to initiate a gaming event, the first game initiating button associated with the first random outcome; and
a second game initiating button to initiate a gaming event, the second game initiating button associated with the second random outcome.
24. The gaming device of
a first bonus initiating button to generate a first bonus outcome for a bonus event; and
a second bonus initiating button to generate a second bonus outcome for the bonus event.
25. The gaming device of
26. The gaming device of
27. The gaming device of
28. The gaming device of
29. The gaming device of
30. The gaming device of
31. The gaming device of
32. The gaming device of
33. A method of operating a gaming device comprising:
receiving a wager placed by a player on a gaming event controlled by the gaming device;
receiving a player input to initiate the gaming event;
generating a first random outcome for the gaming event; and
generating a second random outcome for the gaming event;
displaying the first random outcome on a first outcome display; and
displaying the second random outcome on a second outcome display.
34. The method of
35. The method of
36. The method of
37. The method of
38. The method of
displaying the first random outcome on a first outcome display; and
displaying the second random outcome on a second outcome display.
39. The method of
40. The method of
41. The method of
42. The method of
displaying the first random outcome on the first outcome display if a player input on the first game initiating button is received or displaying the second random outcome on the second outcome display if a player input on the second game initiating button is received;
allowing the player a choice to keep the displayed random outcome or give up the displayed random outcome for the non-displayed random outcome;
receiving a selection from the player; and
awarding the displayed random outcome to the player when the player chooses to keep the displayed random outcome or awarding the non-displayed random outcome to the player when the player chooses to give up the displayed random outcome for the non-displayed random outcome.
This application claims the benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/926,870 filed Apr. 30, 2007, entitled “IMPROVEMENTS ON GAMBLING MACHINES,” the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference. In addition, commonly assigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/______, to John Acres, is filed concurrently herewith, for MULTIPLE OUTCOME DISPLAY FOR GAMING DEVICE (Attorney Docket No. 1351-0053), the disclosure of which is also incorporated by reference.
This disclosure relates generally to electronic gaming devices, and more particularly to electronic gaming devices utilizing at least two randomly generated outcomes along with methods of implementing the multiple randomly generated outcomes during game play.
Most modern gaming devices are electronically controlled by a computer or processer rather than by mechanical or other means. Even on slot machines that have physical reels that spin upon a pull of a gaming handle (“arm”) or pressing of a game initiation (“spin”) button, the outcome of the game is electronically controlled by processor circuitry within the gaming device or a remote computer connected to the gaming device over a network. Typically, an outcome for the game is determined almost immediately after the arm has been pulled or the spin button has been pressed. However, to build player anticipation, the reels each remain spinning for certain periods of time, where they are generally stopped from left to right to slowly show the outcome of the game. Generally, the reels are controlled by stepper motors or other mechanical motors controlled by the processor of the gaming device. As such, these motors are controlled to stop the reel at particular locations such that the “reel stop” or symbol corresponding to the determined outcome is shown on a payline.
To ensure that the outcomes of the games cannot be predicted, a random number generator (RNG) is typically implemented with the processor or remote computer to determine the outcomes of the games. More specifically, the RNG is utilized to randomly choose an outcome from the game's paytable. Since jackpot wins typically award far more money than was wagered, the game's paytable is typically weighted such that large value awards do not occur often. By weighting outcomes on the paytable or using virtual reels with a large number of reel stops, game designers can manipulate the payback percentage while maintaining the random nature of the game.
The gaming device 10 includes a cabinet 15 housing components to operate the gaming device 10. The cabinet 15 may include a gaming display 20, a base portion 13, a top box 18, and a player interface panel 30. The gaming display 20 may include mechanical spinning reels (
The base portion 13 may include a lighted panel 14, a coin return (not shown), and a gaming handle 12 operable on a partially rotating pivot joint 11. The game handle 12 is traditionally included on mechanical spinning-reel games, where the handle may be pulled toward a player to initiate the spinning of reels 22 after placement of a wager. The top box 18 may include a lighted panel 17, a video display (such as an LCD monitor), a mechanical bonus device (not shown), and a candle light indicator 19. The player interface panel 30 may include various devices so that a player can interact with the gaming device 10.
The player interface panel 30 may include one or more game buttons 32 that can be actuated by the player to cause the gaming device 10 to perform a specific action. For example, some of the game buttons 32 may cause the gaming device 10 to bet a credit to be wagered during the next game, change the number of lines being played on a multi-line game, cash out the credits remaining on the gaming device (as indicated on the credit meter 27), or request assistance from casino personnel, such as by lighting the candle 19. In addition, the player interface panel 30 may include one or more game actuating buttons 33. The game actuating buttons 33 may initiate a game with a pre-specified amount of credits. On some gaming devices 10 a “Max Bet” game actuating button 33 may be included that places the maximum credit wager on a game and initiates the game. The player interface panel 30 may further include a bill acceptor 37 and a ticket printer 38. The bill acceptor 37 may accept and validate paper money or previously printed tickets with a credit balance. The ticket printer 38 may print out tickets reflecting the balance of the credits that remain on the gaming device 10 when a player cashes out by pressing one of the game buttons 32 programmed to cause a ‘cashout.’ These tickets may be inserted into other gaming machines or redeemed at a cashier station or kiosk for cash.
The gaming device 10 may also include one or more speakers 26 to transmit auditory information or sounds to the player. The auditory information may include specific sounds associated with particular events that occur during game play on the gaming device 10. For example, a particularly festive sound may be played during a large win or when a bonus is triggered. The speakers 26 may also transmit “attract” sounds to entice nearby players when the game is not currently being played.
The gaming device 10 may further include a secondary display 25. This secondary display 25 may be a vacuum fluorescent display (VFD), a liquid crystal display (LCD), a cathode ray tube (CRT), a plasma screen, or the like. The secondary display 25 may show ancillary information to the player. For example, the secondary display 25 may show player tracking information, secondary bonus information, advertisements, or player selectable game options. 5 The gaming device 10 includes a microprocessor 40 that controls operation of the gaming device 10. If the gaming device 10 is a standalone gaming device, the microprocessor 40 may control virtually all of the operations of the gaming devices and attached equipment, such as operating game logic stored in memory (not shown) as firmware, controlling the display 20 to represent the outcome of a game, communicate with the other peripheral devices (such as the bill acceptor 37), and orchestrating the lighting and sound emanating from the gaming device 10. In other embodiments where the gaming device 10 is coupled to a network 50, as described below, the microprocessor 40 may have different tasks depending on the setup and function of the gaming device. For example, the microprocessor 40 may be responsible for running the base game of the gaming device and executing instructions received over the network 50 from a bonus server or player tracking server. In a server-based gaming setup, the microprocessor 40 may act as a terminal to execute instructions from a remote server that is running game play on the gaming device.
The microprocessor 40 may be coupled to a machine communication interface (MCI) 42 that connects the gaming device 10 to a gaming network 50. The MCI 42 may be coupled to the microprocessor 40 through a serial connection, a parallel connection, an optical connection, or in some cases a wireless connection. The gaming device 10 may include memory 41 (MEM), such as a random access memory (RAM), coupled to the microprocessor 40 and which can be used to store gaming information, such as storing total coin-in statistics about a present or past gaming session, which can be communicated to a remote server or database through the MCI 42. The MCI 42 may also facilitate communication between the network 50 and the secondary display 25 or a player tracking unit 45 housed in the gaming cabinet 15.
The player tracking unit 45 may include an identification device 46 and one or more buttons 47 associated with the player tracking unit 45. The identification device 46 serves to identify a player, by, for example, reading a player-tracking device, such as a player tracking card that is issued by the casino to individual players who choose to have such a card. The identification device 46 may instead, or additionally, identify players through other methods. Player tracking systems using player tracking cards and card readers 46 are known in the art. Briefly summarizing such a system, a player registers with the casino prior to commencing gaming. The casino issues a unique player-tracking card to the player and opens a corresponding player account that is stored on a server or host computer, described below with reference to
To induce the player to use the card and be an identified player, the casino may award each player points proportional to the money or credits wagered by the player. Players typically accrue points at a rate related to the amount wagered, although other factors may cause the casino to award the player various amounts. The points may be displayed on the secondary display 25 or using other methods. In conventional player tracking systems, the player may take his or her card to a special desk in the casino where a casino employee scans the card to determine how many accrued points are in the player's account. The player may redeem points for selected merchandise, meals in casino restaurants, or the like, which each have assigned point values. In some player tracking systems, the player may use the secondary display 25 to access their player tracking account, such as to check a total number of points, redeem points for various services, make changes to their account, or download promotional credits to the gaming device 10. In other embodiments, the identification device 46 may read other identifying cards (such as driver licenses, credit cards, etc.) to identify a player and match them to a corresponding player tracking account. Although
During typical play on a gaming device 10, a player plays a game by placing a wager and then initiating a gaming session. The player may initially insert monetary bills or previously printed tickets with a credit value into the bill acceptor 37. The player may also put coins into a coin acceptor (not shown) or a credit card into a card reader/authorizer (not shown). The credit meter 27 displays the numeric credit value of the money inserted dependent on the denomination of the gaming device 10. That is, if the gaming device 10 is a nickel slot machine and a $20 bill inserted into the bill acceptor 37, the credit meter will reflect 400 credits or one credit for each nickel of the inserted twenty dollars. For gaming devices 10 that support multiple denominations, the credit meter 27 will reflect the amount of credits relative to the denomination selected. Thus, in the above example, if a penny denomination is selected after the $20 is inserted the credit meter will change from 400 credits to 2000 credits.
A wager may be placed by pushing one or more of the game buttons 32, which may be reflected on the bet meter 28. That is, the player can generally depress a “bet one” button (one of the buttons on the player interface panel 30, such as 32), which transfers one credit from the credit meter 27 to the bet meter 28. Each time the button 32 is depressed an additional single credit transfers to the bet meter 28 up to a maximum bet that can be placed on a single play of the electronic gaming device 10. The gaming session may be initiated by pulling the gaming handle 12 or depressing the spin button 33. On some gaming devices 10, a “max bet” button (another one of the buttons 32 on the player interface panel 30) may be depressed to wager the maximum number of credits supported by the gaming device 10 and initiate a gaming session.
If the gaming session does not result in any winning combination, the process of placing a wager may be repeated by the player. Alternatively, the player may cash out any remaining credits on the credit meter 27 by depressing the “cash-out” button (another button 32 on the player interface panel 30), which causes the credits on the credit meter 27 to be paid out in the form of a ticket through the ticket printer 38, or may be paid out in the form of returning coins from a coin hopper (not shown) to a coin return tray.
If instead a winning combination (win) appears on the display 20, the award corresponding to the winning combination is immediately applied to the credit meter 27. For example, if the gaming device 10 is a slot machine, a winning combination of symbols 23 may land on a played payline on reels 22. If any bonus games are initiated, the gaming device 10 may enter into a bonus mode or simply award the player with a bonus amount of credits that are applied to the credit meter 27.
During game play, the spinning reels 22A may be controlled by stepper motors (not shown) under the direction of the microprocessor 40 (
A gaming session on a spinning reel slot machine 10A typically includes the player pressing the “bet-one” button (one of the game buttons 32A) to wager a desired number of credits followed by pulling the gaming handle 12 (
Because the virtual spinning reels 22B, by virtue of being computer implemented, can have almost any number of stops on a reel strip, it is much easier to have a greater variety of displayed outcomes as compared to spinning-reel slot machines 10A (
With the possible increases in reel 22B numbers and configurations over the mechanical gaming device 10A, video gaming devices 10B often have multiple paylines 24 that may be played. By having more paylines 24 available to play, the player may be more likely to have a winning combination when the reels 22B stop and the gaming session ends. However, since the player typically must wager at least a minimum number of credits to enable each payline 24 to be eligible for winning, the overall odds of winning are not much different, if at all, than if the player is wagering only on a single payline. For example, in a five line game, the player may bet one credit per payline 24 and be eligible for winning symbol combinations that appear on any of the five played paylines 24. This gives a total of five credits wagered and five possible winning paylines 24. If, on the other hand, the player only wagers one credit on one payline 24, but plays five gaming sessions, the odds of winning would be identical as above: five credits wagered and five possible winning paylines 24.
Because the video display 20B can easily modify the image output by the video display 20B, bonuses, such as second screen bonuses are relatively easy to award on the video slot game 10B. That is, if a bonus is triggered during game play, the video display 20B may simply store the resulting screen shot in memory and display a bonus sequence on the video display 20B. After the bonus sequence is completed, the video display 20B may then retrieve the previous screen shot and information from memory, and re-display that image.
Also, as mentioned above, the video display 20B may allow various other game information 21B to be displayed. For example, as shown in
Even with the improved flexibility afforded by the video display 20B, several physical buttons 32B and 33B are usually provided on video slot machines 10B. These buttons may include game buttons 32B that allow a player to choose the number of paylines 24 he or she would like to play and the number of credits wagered on each payline 24. In addition, a max bet button (one of the game buttons 32B) allows a player to place a maximum credit wager on the maximum number of available paylines 24 and initiate a gaming session. A repeat bet or spin button 33B may also be used to initiate each gaming session when the max bet button is not used.
The player selectable soft buttons 29C appearing on the screen respectively correspond to each card on the video display 20C. These soft buttons 29C allow players to select specific cards on the video display 20C such that the card corresponding to the selected soft button is “held” before the draw. Typically, video poker machines 10C also include physical game buttons 32C that correspond to the cards in the hand and may be selected to hold a corresponding card. A deal/draw button 33C may also be included to initiate a gaming session after credits have been wagered (with a bet button 32C, for example) and to draw any cards not held after the first hand is displayed.
Although examples of a spinning reel slot machine 10A, a video slot machine 10B, and a video poker machine 10C have been illustrated in
Gaming devices 71 coupled over an optical line 64 may be remote gaming devices in a different location or casino. The optical line 64 may be coupled to the gaming network 50 through an electronic to optical signal converter 63 and may be coupled to the gaming devices 71 through an optical to electronic signal converter 65. The banks of gaming devices 70 coupled to the network 50 may be coupled through a bank controller 60 for compatibility purposes, for local organization and control, or for signal buffering purposes. The network 50 may include serial or parallel signal transmission lines and carry data in accordance with data transfer protocols such as Ethernet transmission lines, firewire lines, USB lines, or other communication protocols. Although not shown in
As mentioned above, each gaming device 70-75 may have an individual processor 40 (
Thus, in some embodiments, the network 50, server 80, and database 90 may be dedicated to communications regarding specific game or tournament play. In other embodiments, however, the network 50, server 80, and database 90 may be part of a player tracking network. For player tracking capabilities, when a player inserts a player tracking card in the card reader 46 (
The various systems described with reference to
The first and second game initiating buttons 133A, 133B may each function in a similar manner to the game initiating button 33 described with reference to
The first game initiating button 133A may be associated with a first random outcome and the second game initiating button 133B may be associated with a second random outcome. In some embodiments, the first and second random outcome may be generated by a single RNG 155A, or may be respectively generated by a first RNG 155A and a second RNG 155B. In gaming devices, random number generators are typically computer controlled pseudo-random number generators operated from a seed value. These random number generators generally are generating random numbers at a relatively fast rate, often in the order of thousands of numbers per second. The present invention may, however, be realized using any type of random number generating system from these computerized random number generators to more elaborate random number generating systems utilizing physical phenomena, such as thermal noise in Zener diodes or even nuclear decay.
In embodiments utilizing only a single RNG 155A, a first random outcome may be generated by the single RNG 155A a short time before a second random outcome is generated by the RNG 155A. These outcomes may be generated nearly simultaneously because of the generating speed of the RNG 155A. On the other hand, in embodiments utilizing multiple RNGs, such as a first RNG 155A and a second RNG 155B, the first and second random outcomes may be generated substantially simultaneously. Since it is preferable to have the first random outcome be different than the second random outcome as a general matter, the first and second RNGs 155A and 155B may be preferably seeded differently or initialized at different times so that identical output results are not generated.
The operation of the gaming devices will be discussed in further detail with reference to the exemplary gaming devices shown in
The first outcome portion 250A may include a soft button for initiating a game and a first outcome indicator 255A. The second outcome portion 250B may include a soft button for initiating a game and a second outcome indicator 255B. In embodiments where a video monitor is not used in displaying a game result (such as with a physical spinning reel slot machine), the results of the first and second outcome may be displayed on the secondary display 125 (
In operation, after the player has placed a wager or added credits to the game device 200, the player may choose to initiate the gaming event with either first game initiating button 233A (or corresponding soft button in the first outcome potion 250A) or the second game initiating button 233B (or corresponding soft button in the second outcome portion 250B). Regardless of which game initiating button 233A, 233B is selected by the player, a first random outcome is generated for the first outcome portion 250A and may be shown at the first outcome indicator 255A. A second random outcome is also generated for the second outcome portion 250B and may be shown at the second outcome indicator 255B. In the embodiment illustrated in
By showing the player what they could have won had they chosen the other game initiating button, the gaming device 200 may make a player feel “lucky” for making the right choice, or “close” to winning a larger prize. In other embodiments, however, the player may be awarded the sum of the two outcomes or may be able to select another outcome that has not yet been revealed. For example, in an embodiment utilizing four game initiating buttons that each have a separate random outcome associated with the button, a player may only be shown the outcome for the button he or she selected. However, the player may be given the choice to give up his or her present outcome for a chance to pick one of the other buttons that does not have its associated outcome yet revealed. This switching chance may require an additional wager in some embodiments, or may be part of a player club promotion or bonus event in other embodiments.
The game result shown on the game output portion 222 may reflect the random outcome associated with the selected one of the game initiating buttons 233A, 233B. For example, the video reels 222 may still stop in a left to right fashion before the first and second random outcomes are respectively displayed at the first and second outcome indicator 255A, 255B. In some embodiments, the outcome indicator 255A, 255B associated with the selected game initiating button 233A, 233B may be highlighted to emphasize the amount won by the player. In other embodiments, the larger of the amounts shown on the outcome indicators 255A, 255B may be highlighted. The other player information 221 such as the player banner or credit meter may also reflect the results of the random outcomes. For example, the player banner may announce which “side” had the better result or may display how much the player won with the selection they made.
In the embodiment shown in
In various bonus events, a player may be able to select more than one of the bonus initiating buttons 231 are receive the sum of random outcomes associated with each of the bonus initiating buttons 231. In other bonus events, a player may only see the outcome associated with the bonus initiating button 231 he or she selected, and may be given the opportunity to keep that outcome or trade that pick for one of the still-yet-to-be-revealed outcomes associated with one of the other non-selected buttons. Various other bonus arrangements may be used in conjunction with the bonus initiating buttons 231 and bonus indicator 299.
The embodiment shown in
After a gaming outcome has been displayed on the first and second outcome indicators 355A and 355B respectively included in the first and second outcome portions 350A, 350B, the outcomes may move to the top (or bottom) of the lists shown in the outcome history portions 370A, 370B. As more recent outcomes are added to the first and second outcome portions 350A, 350B, the more distant outcomes may be removed from the respective lists. Although ten outcomes for each of the first and second outcome portions 350A, 350B are shown in the embodiment illustrated in
Although not shown, the gaming device 300 may make a visual or auditory indication when one of the “sides” has hit a particularly good streak of outcomes. For example, if one of the “sides” receives five straight outcomes that return more credits than were wagered, an auditory or visual indicator may draw attention to that “side” of the gaming device 300 or to the gaming device itself 300.
The embodiment shown in
The side bet button 434 may allow a player to place an additional wager such that they receive the higher of the two random outcomes displayed on the outcome indicators 455A, 455B. That is, the player may be able to place an additional wager such that the selection of the first game initiating button 433A or the second game initiating button 433B does not affect the ultimate outcome awarded to the player. In some instances, this feature may be beneficial to the player because they may have selected a “side” with a lower value. In other instances, the player may have selected the “side” with the larger award; rendering the additional wager unnecessary.
In other embodiments, the ability of the player to get the better of the two outcomes may be tied to a bonus or player criterion without an additional wager. For example, a casino may wish to reward a player playing high stakes gaming devices 400, or a casino may wish to tie the best spin feature to a player tracking benchmark. In bonus scenarios, the best spin feature may only be enabled for a predetermined number of gaming events or a predetermined amount of time. This limited duration may give the player a favorable perk while not affecting the long term payback of the gaming device 400.
Once the first and second game initiating buttons have been activated, the gaming device determines if either of the first or second game initiating buttons have been pressed 515. In other embodiments utilizing other game initiating means (such as a game handle), the gaming device would determine if a game initiating device had been manipulated in order to initiate a gaming event. If neither game initiating button has been pressed, the gaming device may periodically check to see if either of the game initiating buttons is pressed or the gaming device may simply wait for a signal indicative of one of the game initiating buttons being pressed.
When either of the first or second game initiating buttons has been pressed, the gaming device determines a first random outcome and a second random outcome 520. As described above with reference to
The gaming device may then display the appropriate outcome associated with the game initiating button selected by the player 530 and may display the outcome associated with the non-selected game initiating button 535. As discussed above, the game device may highlight the outcome associated with the game initiating button selected by the player. Credits or other prizes from the outcome associated with the game initiating button selected by the player may then be awarded to the player on the gaming device 550.
Thereafter, the gaming device may determine if an outcome guaranteeing side bet (or buy-a-pay) was made by the player 640 to secure the higher valued outcome regardless of which game initiating button was selected. As discussed above, this side bet may ensure that the player receives the higher valued outcome of the first and second random outcomes. In some embodiments, the side bet may require an additional wager be made by the player prior to either game activating button being pressed. In other embodiments, the side bet may be automatically made for the player based on a bonus or a player criterion, as discussed above.
If a side bet has not been made, the method may proceed to awarding prizes from the outcome associated with the selected game initiating button 650 as described above with reference to
After any prizes have been awarded, the gaming device may determine if the button selection is still locked in 770. As mentioned above, the button selection may be locked in for a predetermined number of games or for a predetermined amount of time. If the button selection lock has ended, the gaming device may wait for additional wagers from the player 780 or prompt the player to place additional wagers. If the button selection lock has not ended, the gaming device may again determine first and second random outcomes 720 and continue through the processes of displaying the random outcomes 730, 735 and awarding prizes 750.
In some embodiments, the initial wager received in process 705 may include a sufficient amount to cover multiple gaming events. In these embodiments, the game may automatically transition from one gaming event to another gaming event without the need for additional player input. This may resemble a conventional free-spin format. Because the selection of the game initiating button is “locked,” the player receives any awards during the multiple game events associated with the game initiating button that was initially selected.
In other embodiments, however, additional wagers may be required by the player to play additional games. In these embodiments, when it is determined that the game button selection lock has not ended, the gaming device may wait for additional wagers or the player may be prompted to place additional wagers 785. In some of these embodiments, the player may be given the option to “break” the button selection lock with a newly placed wager.
Providing a selection button lock may be advantageous in speeding up game play, giving players a larger sampling of outcomes to compare against outcomes associated with a non-selected game initiating button, and enabling bonus features such as free-spins.
Some embodiments of the invention have been described above, and in addition, some specific details are shown for purposes of illustrating the inventive principles. However, numerous other arrangements may be devised in accordance with the inventive principles of this patent disclosure. Further, well known processes have not been described in detail in order not to obscure the invention. Thus, while the invention is described in conjunction with the specific embodiments illustrated in the drawings, it is not limited to these embodiments or drawings. Rather, the invention is intended to cover alternatives, modifications, and equivalents that come within the scope and spirit of the inventive principles set out in the appended claims.