AU2009245871A1 - Multi-round game having a progressive jackpot - Google Patents

Multi-round game having a progressive jackpot Download PDF

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Publication number
AU2009245871A1
AU2009245871A1 AU2009245871A AU2009245871A AU2009245871A1 AU 2009245871 A1 AU2009245871 A1 AU 2009245871A1 AU 2009245871 A AU2009245871 A AU 2009245871A AU 2009245871 A AU2009245871 A AU 2009245871A AU 2009245871 A1 AU2009245871 A1 AU 2009245871A1
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AU
Australia
Prior art keywords
player
pool
earned
controller
incrementing
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
AU2009245871A
Inventor
Vincent Bedard
Dany Bougie
Vincent Lauzon
Alexis Margaritis
Harold Thibault
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INGENIO FILIALE DE LOTO-QUEBEC Inc
Original Assignee
INGENIO FILIALE DE LOTO QUEBEC
INGENIO FILIALE DE LOTO-QUEBEC Inc
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Priority to US12094108P priority Critical
Priority to US61/120,941 priority
Application filed by INGENIO FILIALE DE LOTO QUEBEC, INGENIO FILIALE DE LOTO-QUEBEC Inc filed Critical INGENIO FILIALE DE LOTO QUEBEC
Publication of AU2009245871A1 publication Critical patent/AU2009245871A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3204Player-machine interfaces
    • G07F17/3209Input means, e.g. buttons, touch screen
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3244Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes
    • G07F17/3258Cumulative reward schemes, e.g. jackpots
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/326Game play aspects of gaming systems
    • G07F17/3272Games involving multiple players

Description

AUSTRALIA FB RICE & CO Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys Patents Act 1990 INGENIO, FILIALE DE LOTO-QUEBEC INC. COMPLETE SPECIFICATION STANDARD PATENT Invention Title: Multi-round game having a progressive jackpot The following statement is a full description of this invention including the best method of performing it known to us:- 2 MULTI-ROUND GAME HAVING A PROGRESSIVE JACKPOT FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to devices and methods for playing a game of 5 chance. More specifically, it relates to devices and methods for playing a multi-round game having a progressive jackpot. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 10 Technical Field The present invention relates to the field of games of chance. Background Gambling has historically been a favourite pastime for many and has, over the 15 years, enjoyed very rapid growth. However, it has recently become apparent that some of the most successful games, such as Roulette, have been recently slipping in popularity. As a result, there is a need for incentives that improve the overall gambling experience of casino patrons. One such incentive that is known to have been effective is the inclusion of 20 progressive jackpots, namely ones that gradually increase by a percentage of each bet made until they are won. This concept has not significantly evolved since it was first introduced to casino patrons and its appeal, in its original version, will likely decrease over time. 25 Summary It is an object of the present invention to provide an additional incentive in the form of a progressive jackpot for players of a multi-round game to stay the course instead of retiring in the early rounds. It is an object of the present invention to provide an incentive in the form of a 30 progressive jackpot for players to place bets with credits earned in a preceding play of a game instead of credits available in their credit balance. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a player-activated terminal for entry of game-related decisions in privacy. In accordance with one aspect of the invention, there is provided a gaming 35 system for operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the system comprising a terminal for accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a 3 sequence of rounds, and for accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds, an outcome selector for selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds, an outcome analyzer for determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a reward, earns the player the jackpot, or ends the sequence in 5 accordance with rules of the game, an earned credits controller for incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward, for incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned jackpot provided by a progressive jackpot controller, for providing the player's earned credits to an account controller upon the retirement of the player, for resetting the player's earned credits after providing the earned credits to the 10 account controller, for providing the player's earned credits to a progressive jackpot controller upon the end of the sequence, and for resetting the player's earned credits after providing the earned credits to the progressive jackpot controller, the account controller for incrementing the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller; and the progressive jackpot controller for incrementing the jackpot by at 15 least some of the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller and for resetting the jackpot after providing the earned jackpot to the earned credits controller. In accordance with another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the method comprising 20 accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a sequence of rounds selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds, determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a reward, earns the player the jackpot, or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game, if the player earns the reward, incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward, if the player earns the 25 jackpot, incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned jackpot before resetting the jackpot, if the sequence ends, incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's earned credits before resetting the earned credits, accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds; and if the player retires, incrementing the player's credit balance by the player's earned credits upon the retirement. 30 In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, there is provided a gaming system for operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the system comprising a terminal for accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a sequence of rounds, and for accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds, an outcome selector for selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for 35 each of the rounds, an outcome analyzer for determining whether the selected outcome ends the sequence, earns the player a reward, or earns the player the jackpot in 4 accordance with rules of the game, an earned credits controller for incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward, for providing the player's earned credits to an account controller upon the retirement of the player, for resetting the player's earned credits after providing the earned credits to the account controller, for providing 5 the player's earned credits to a progressive jackpot controller upon the end of the sequence, and for resetting the player's earned credits after providing the earned credits to the progressive jackpot controller, the account controller for incrementing the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller and for incrementing the player's credit balance by the earned jackpot provided by the progressive jackpot 10 controller, and the progressive jackpot controller for incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller and for resetting the jackpot after providing the earned jackpot to the earned credits controller. In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, there is provided a 15 method of operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the method comprising accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a sequence of rounds, selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds, determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a reward, earns the player the jackpot, or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game, if the player 20 earns the reward, incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward, if the player earns the jackpot, incrementing the player's credit balance by the earned jackpot before resetting the jackpot, if the sequence ends, incrementing the jackpot by the player's earned credits before resetting the earned credits, accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds, and if the player retires, incrementing the 25 player's credit balance by at least some of the player's earned credits. In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, a player-activated terminal for the entry of game-related decisions, the terminal comprising a keyboard of at least one key, a game controller for enabling a keyboard display controller upon determining that a game-related decision is required from a player in accordance with 30 rules of the game, the keyboard display controller for randomly selecting one of at least two distinct keyboard layouts, each of the layouts assigning a label defining a distinct game-related option to each of the at least one key, the label assigned by the layouts to at least one of the at least one key does not define a same one of the game-related options, a display screen for displaying the selected layout, a sensor for detecting an 35 activation of a labeled one of the at least one key, and an interpreter for identifying the game-related option defined by the label of the activated key and for providing the 5 identified option to the game controller for processing in accordance with the rules of the game. In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for entry of game-related decisions on a player-activated terminal, the process 5 comprising determining that a game-related decision is required from a player in accordance with rules of the game, randomly selecting one of at least two distinct keyboard layouts, each of the layouts assigning a label defining a distinct game-related option to each of at least one key, the labels assigned by the layouts to at least one of the at least one key define distinct ones of the game-related options, displaying the 10 selected layout, detecting an activation of a labeled one of the at least one key, identifying the game-related option defined by the label of the activated key, and providing the identified option for processing in accordance with the rules of the game. In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gaming system for operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the system 15 comprising a terminal for accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a sequence of rounds, and for accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds, an outcome selector for selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds, an outcome analyzer for determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a reward, earns the player the jackpot, or ends the sequence in 20 accordance with rules of the game, an earned credits controller for incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward, for incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned jackpot provided by a progressive jackpot controller, for providing the player's earned credits to an account controller upon the retirement of the player, for resetting the retired player's earned credits after providing the earned credits 25 to the account controller, and for resetting the player's earned credits upon the end of the sequence, the account controller for incrementing the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller, and the progressive jackpot controller for incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller, for incrementing the jackpot by the reward if the player is 30 retired, and for resetting the jackpot after providing the earned jackpot to the earned credits controller. In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the method comprising accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a sequence of 35 rounds, selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds, determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a reward, earns the player 6 the jackpot, or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game, if the player earns the reward, incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward, if the player would have earned the reward had the player not retired, incrementing the jackpot by the reward, if the player earns the jackpot, incrementing the player's earned 5 credits by the earned jackpot before resetting the jackpot, if the sequence ends, incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's earned credits before resetting the earned credits, accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds, and if the player retires, incrementing the player's credit balance by the player's earned credits upon the retirement. 10 In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided A gaming system for operating a pool of a multi-round, multi-player game, the system comprising terminals for accepting players' compulsory bets before the beginning of a sequence of rounds, and for accepting the players' retirement at the end of any of the rounds, an outcome selector for selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for 15 each of the rounds, an outcome analyzer for determining whether the selected outcome earns the players a reward or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game, an earned credits controller for incrementing each of the players' earned credits by the earned reward, for providing each of the retired players' earned credits to an account controller upon the retirement, for resetting each of the retired players' earned credits 20 after providing the earned credits to the account controller, and for resetting the unretired players' earned credits upon the end of the sequence, a pool credit controller for incrementing a pool by the reward for each of the retired players, for providing at least some of the pool to the account controller upon the retirement, for resetting the pool after providing the pool to the account controller, and the account controller for 25 incrementing the players' earned credits provided by the earned credits controller and for incrementing the credit balance of each of the players upon the retirement by an equal share of the pool provided by the pool credit controller. In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of operating a pool of a multi-round multi-player game, the method 30 comprising accepting players' compulsory bets before the beginning of a sequence of rounds, selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds, determining whether the selected outcome earns the players a reward or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game, if the players earn the reward, incrementing earned credits of each unretired one of the players by the earned reward, 35 and incrementing the pool by the reward for every retired one of the players, if the sequence ends, resetting the active players' earned credits, accepting the active players' 7 retirement at the end of any of the rounds, and if at least one players retires, incrementing the retired player's credit balance by the retired player's earned credits and by an equal share of at least some of the pool upon the retirement. 5 Brief Description of the Drawings The invention as well as a preferred mode of use, further objectives and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein: 10 FIG. I is top plan view of an apparatus for playing a multi-round game having a progressive jackpot according to one embodiment, the apparatus comprising a central panel for displaying drawn cards, earned credits, pool credits, and progressive jackpot credits, the apparatus further comprising four individual terminals, each of which accepts compulsory bets and game-related decisions; 15 FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an environment for playing the game according to one embodiment, the environment comprising a semicircular table at the center of which a dealer stands and on the perimeter of which players stand; FIG. 3 is a top plan view of five money cards included in a deck of cards designed for the purposes of playing the game according to a preferred embodiment; 20 FIG. 4 is a top plan view of one treasure card included in the deck of cards; FIG. 5 is a top plan view of three types of disaster cards, each of which is associated to a particular hazard and available in triplicates in the deck of cards; FIG. 6 illustrates a table cover for organizing the manner in which game elements are spatially laid out on the table over the course of play according to one 25 embodiment; FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram illustrating a system for playing a game in which a progressive jackpot is incremented by those of the credits that were earned either individually or collectively by the players without being cashed in before the end of the game according to a preferred embodiment; 30 FIG. 8 is a schematic block diagram illustrating a terminal, a component of the system that enables a player to enter game-related decisions away from the eyes of competing players according to a preferred embodiment; FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating a method of playing the game in which a progressive jackpot is incremented by those of the credits that were earned either 35 individually or collectively by the players without being cashed in before the end of the game according to a preferred embodiment; and 8 FIG. 10 is a flowchart illustrating a method of accepting game-related decisions entered by a player away from the eyes of competing players according to a preferred embodiment. 5 Detailed Description The progressive jackpot, the terminal, and their inventive features are described herein below. For exemplary purposes and in order to clearly demonstrate the synergy between the features, a specific game that benefits therefrom is presented. However, it should be apparent to a person skilled in the art that the features may be applied to 10 other games without departing from the spirit of the invention. FIG. 1 is top plan view of an apparatus for playing a multi-round game having a progressive jackpot according to one embodiment, the apparatus comprising a center display 103 for displaying drawn cards, earned credits, pool credits, and progressive jackpot credits. The apparatus also comprises four individual terminals 101, each of 15 which accepts compulsory bets and game-related decisions. The terminals 101, also known in the field of gaming as consoles or stations, are detachably mounted on a same platform and positioned in a substantially circular configuration with respect to the display 103, also known in the field of gaming as a communal or central panel. Each of the terminals 10 1 comprises a touch screen, a set of 20 speakers, a currency acceptor, a prepaid casino card reader, a dedicated ticket-in ticket out printer, as well as a system that enables the interaction of these various components with a player, with each other, and with components of the display 103 for the purposes of the game. As for the display 103, it comprises a screen, a set of speakers, as well as a 25 system that enables the interaction of these various components with each other and with components of the terminals. Furthermore, the screens of the terminals 101 and display 103 are mounted in a substantially horizontal manner and those of the terminals 103 are positioned in proximity of that of the display 103 such that a player standing in front of any of the terminals 101 may easily shift his attention between the screen of the 30 terminals 101 and that of the display 103. The number of the terminals 101 mounted on the platform may be readily modified as a function of parameters such as spatial constraints and operation costs. Although the terminals 101 have been described as detachably mounted on the platform, they may be fixedly mounted thereon in order, for instance, to reduce costs 35 associated with the manufacture of such an apparatus. Furthermore, although the terminals 101 have been described as positioned in a substantially circular 9 configuration with respect to the display 103, they may be positioned otherwise such as in a substantially semicircular configuration with respect to the display 103, wherein the display 103 is vertically mounted to provide all players with an unobstructed view. Moreover, although each of the terminals 101 has been described as comprising a touch 5 screen, it may alternatively comprise an elaborate set of buttons or a screen coupled with a set of buttons. Also, although the display 103 has been described as comprising a screen, it may alternatively comprise a display surface upon which images are projected. Finally, although the screens of the terminals 101 and display 103 have been described as mounted in a substantially horizontal manner, they may be mounted 10 otherwise such as in a substantially vertical manner to comply with spatial constraints. Alternatively, and as illustrated in FIG. 2, the game may be played in an environment comprising a semicircular table 201 at the center of which a dealer stands and on the perimeter of which players stand, the table preferably comprising a table top 203 designed specifically for the game, such as the one illustrated in FIG. 6. 15 For the purposes of the specification, and describing the game within the context of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1, a graphical element is said to be displayed on the terminal 101 or display 103 if the element is displayed on the screen of the terminals 101 or display 103. Finally, a player is said to select a graphical element if the player applies pressure on a portion of the touch screen of one of the terminals 101 within 20 which the element is displayed. Referring now to FIG. 3, there is illustrated a top plan view of five money cards included in a deck of fifteen cards designed for the purposes of the game. The top digit represents the reward earned by each unretired player when the corresponding card is revealed, which reward is added to the unretired player's earned credits. Earned credits 25 are considered volatile as they may be lost over the course of the game. More specifically, they are lost when the player does not retire before the end of the game. The reward that unretired players would have earned had they not previously retired is added to a pool. Unretired players are also referred to as active players, and earned credits, as volatile credits, and the act of retiring, as the act of pulling out. 30 As for the bottom digit, it represents a multiplier to be applied to the number of active and retired players to obtain a pool reward that is added to a pool. If only one player retires within a round, the pool and the retired player's earned credits are added to the retired player's credit balance. However, if several players retire within a same round, each retired player's earned credits as well as an equal share of the pool after 35 rake deduction are added to the player's credit balance. In both cases, the earned credits of the retired players and the pool are reset to zero.

10 Referring now to FIG. 4, there is illustrated a top plan view of the only treasure card included in the deck of cards. When this card is revealed, an equal share of half of the progressive jackpot is added to each active player's credit balance. According to another embodiment, an equal share of half of the jackpot is added to each active 5 player's earned credits. Alternatively, an equal share of a greater or smaller portion of the progressive jackpot may be added to the player's earned credits or credit balance. For instance, according to other embodiments, an equal share of the entire jackpot may be incremented the active player's earned credits or credit balance. Referring now to FIG. 5, there is illustrated a top plan view of three types of 10 hazard cards, also referred to as disaster cards, each of which is associated to a particular hazard and available in triplicates in the deck of cards. When two cards of the same hazard are revealed, the game ends without providing the active players an opportunity to retire. The earned credits of all active players as well as the pool are added to the progressive jackpot, which is made available in a subsequent play of the 15 game. The earned credits of the active players and the pool are reset to zero. Referring now to FIG. 6, there is illustrated a table top 613, also referred to as table cover, designed for the purposes of organizing the manner in which game elements are spatially laid out on the physical table 201 or on a table displayed on the display 103. An area 607 receives the card shoe, an area 609 corresponds to the bank's 20 chip tray, an area 611, namely the treasure field, receives the pool, and an area 613 receives the progressive jackpot. Each of areas 603 receives a player's earned credits, each of six areas 603 receives one of the five money cards and the treasure card, and each of six areas 605 receives one of the six hazard cards. Preferably, cards associated to different hazards would not be laid within laterally adjacent ones of the areas 605. 25 FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram illustrating a system for playing the game in which the progressive jackpot is incremented by the active players' earned credits and the pool upon the end of the game, according to a preferred embodiment. The system comprises a terminal 101 which, as mentioned above and according to a preferred embodiment, comprises a touch screen, a set of speakers, a currency 30 acceptor, a prepaid casino card reader, a dedicated ticket-in ticket-out printer, as well as a system that enables the interaction of these various components with a player, with each other, and with components of the display 103 for the purposes of the game. The terminal 101 accepts player credits through its currency acceptor, compulsory bets through its touch screen, and game-related decisions through its touch screen, before 35 providing the player input to a user interface controller 703. In the case of information accepted through the touch screen, the player input consists in touch points, namely the I1 coordinates of areas of the screen upon which pressure was applied by the player, to the user interface 7. In the case of information accepted through the currency acceptor or the prepaid card reader, the information consists in amounts of credits. The terminal 101 also displays player parameters such as earned credits, placed bets, credit balance, 5 and status, all of which complement the game-related information displayed on the display 103. The player's status indicates whether a player is active or retired. The graphics to be displayed on the terminal 101 and conveying the player parameters are provided by the user interface controller 703. The user interface controller 703 compares the coordinates of the touch points 10 with those of the keys displayed on the terminal 101 and determines whether the player activated buttons for recording a credit balance, for placing the compulsory bet, or for entering a game related decision. If the player activated buttons for recording a credit balance, the user interface controller 703 provides the corresponding credit balance to a main credit controller 705. If the player activated buttons for placing the compulsory 15 bet, the user interface controller provides an entry request to a main controller. Finally, if the player activated buttons to enter a game-related decision, the user interface controller 703 provides the decision to the main credit controller 705. Also, the user interface controller 703 retrieves and assembles graphics that convey the earned credits, pool, jackpot, credit balance, and player status provided by the main credit controller 20 705, as well as a selection provided by a card selector 723, which is also referred to as an outcome selector, before providing the assembled graphics to the terminal 101 for display. The selection corresponds to a last card drawn by the card selector 723. Furthermore, the user interface controller 703 provides the touch points to a keyboard display controller 729, is provided with keyboard layout and coordinates by the 25 keyboard display controller 729, retrieves and assembles graphics illustrating a keyboard as a function of the provided layout and coordinates, and provides the retrieved and assembled graphics to the terminal 101 for display. The card selector 723 is a random number generator or any other component capable of random selection. It retrieves all the cards of the deck from a store of game 30 cards 725, and selects one of the remaining cards, namely one of the cards that has not be selected in previous rounds of a same play of the game. It provides the selected card to the user interface controller 703 and the card analyzer 727 before recording a tag or label within the store of game cards 725, the tag indicating that the selected card is unavailable for subsequent rounds of a same play of the game. The card selector 723 is 35 also provided with an end signal by a card analyzer 727, also referred to as an outcome 12 analyzer, in response to which signal the card selector 723 interrupts the card selection process and resets the tags recorded in the store of game cards 725. The card analyzer 727 interprets the selections of the card selector 723 in accordance with the rules of the game. If a hazard card is selected, the card analyzer 5 727 retrieves the hazard cards selected in previous rounds of a same play of the game from the store of game cards 725 and determines whether any of the retrieved cards are associated to a same hazard, in which case the card analyzer 727 provides an end signal to the card selector 723 and the main credit controller 705. If a money card is selected, the card analyzer 727 extracts the top and bottom digits and provides them to the main 10 credit controller 705 as the reward and multiplier. If the treasure card is selected, the card analyzer 727 provides a jackpot control signal to the main credit controller 705. Finally, if the selected outcome does not end play of the game, the card analyzer enables the keyboard display controller 729. The keyboard display controller 729 is a graphics processor dedicated to the 15 display of a keyboard for entry of game-related decisions. It is enabled by the card analyzer 727 when a game-related decision is required, namely when the last selected card does not end the game. Once enabled, the keyboard display controller 729 performs a pattern analysis to determine whether the touch points provided by the user interface controller 703 define an arc, in which case it aligns the coordinates of the 20 keyboard with those of the defined arc in order for the keyboard to be displayed as hidden behind the player's cupped hand. Furthermore, the keyboard display controller randomly selects a keyboard layout assigning the relative positions of the keys within the keyboard. The keyboard coordinates and layout are provided to the user interface controller 703. 25 The main credit controller 705 dispatches the credit balance and entry request provided by the user interface controller 703 to the account controller 719, and dispatches the updated credit balance provided by the account controller 719 to the user interface controller 703. When the entry request is accepted, the main credit controller 703 sets the status of the player to active within a store of player status 731. When the 30 decision provided by the user interface controller 703 indicates that the player wishes to retire, the main credit controller 705 sets the status of the player to retired within the store of player status 73 1. Also, the main credit controller 705 dispatches the rewards and multipliers provided by the card analyzer 727 to a pool credit controller 715 along with a count of 35 the number of active and retired players retrieved from the store of player status 731, and dispatches the pool total, namely the number of credits in the pool, also referred to 13 as the pool, to the account controller 719, and the pool payouts, namely the number of credits that are added to each player's credit balance upon retirement, to the user interface controller 703, both of which are provided by the pool credit controller 715. Upon being provided an end signal from the card analyzer 727, the main credit 5 controller 705 dispatches the earned credits provided by an earned credits controller 707 to a progressive jackpot controller 711 along with the pool total provided by the pool credit controller 715. Upon being provided the jackpot signal, the main credit controller 705 dispatches the number of active players retrieved from the store of player status 731 to the progressive jackpot controller 711, and the jackpot payout, namely a 10 share of the jackpot to be incremented to the credit balance of active players, provided by the progressive jackpot controller 711 to the account controller 719. The main credit controller 705 dispatches the reward provided by the card analyzer 727 to an earned credits controller 707 and dispatches the earned credits provided by the earned credits controller 707 to the user interface controller 703 for 15 display. Upon receiving the end signal from the card analyzer 727, the main credit controller 705 dispatches the active players' earned credits provided by the earned credits controller 707 to the progressive jackpot controller 711. Upon receiving the retirement of a player from the user interface terminal 703, the main credit controller 705 provides the retired player's earned credits to the account controller 719 in the 20 form of a payout. The account controller 710 records the credit balances and payouts provided by the main credit controller 705 in a store of player credits 721 and decrements a player's credit balance by compulsory bet credits upon being provided the player's entry request by the main credit controller 705. The account controller 719 also provides updated 25 credit balances to the main credit controller 705. The pool credit controller 715 applies the multiplier to the number of participating players, multiplies the reward by the number of retired players, adds both products to obtain the pool reward, increments the pool stored in a store of pool credits 717 by the obtained pool reward, retrieves the updated pool from the store of pool 30 credits 717, and provides the updated pool to the main credit controller 705. The pool credit controller 715 also divides the pool by the number of newly retired players to obtain the pool payouts and provides the pool payouts to the main credit controller 705. Finally, the pool credit controller 715 resets the pool to zero after providing the pool upon the end of the game and after providing the pool payouts. 35 The progressive jackpot controller 711 increments the jackpot stored in a store of jackpot credits 713 by the earned credits and the pool provided by the main credit 14 controller 705. Upon being provided the number of active players, the progressive jackpot controller 711 deducts a rake from the jackpot, divides the remaining credits by the number of active players to obtains equal shares, also referred to as jackpot payouts, and provides the obtained jackpot payouts to the main credit controller 705. After 5 providing the jackpot payouts to the main credit controller 705, the progressive jackpot controller 711 resets the jackpot to zero. The earned credits controller 707 increments each active player's earned credits by the reward provided by the main credit controller 705, records the updated earned credits in a store of earned credits 709, and provides the updated earned credits to the 10 main credit controller 705. After providing an active player's earned credits upon the player's retirement or upon the end of a play of the game, the earned credits controller 707 resets the player's earned credits to zero. According to one embodiment, upon being provided an end signal from the card analyzer 727, the main credit controller 705 dispatches the jackpot payouts provided by 15 the progressive jackpot controller 711 to the earned credit controller 707, in response to which the earned credit controller increments the active players' earned credits by the jackpot payouts and records the active players' updated earned credits in the store of earned credits 709. According to one embodiment, the pool credit controller 715 deducts a rake 20 from the pool and divides the remaining credits by the number of active players to obtain the pool payout. According to one embodiment, upon being provided at least one retirement request from the user interface controller 703, the main credit controller 705 dispatches the pool payouts provided by the pool credit controller 715 to the account controller 25 719. According to one embodiment, the terminal 101 is a personal computer, the remaining components of the system are stored on a server, and the terminal 101 communicates with the user interface controller 703 through a network such as the Internet. Preferably, the communication protocol applied by the terminal 101 and the 30 server is highly reliable and provides for enhanced confidentiality of the player's information. FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating a method of playing the game in which the progressive jackpot is incremented by those of the credits that were earned either individually or collectively by the players without being cashed in before the end of the 35 game according to a preferred embodiment. The steps of the method are explained 15 below with reference to FIG. 7 in order to clarify the correspondence between the steps and the components of the system. In a step 901, one of the available cards of the deck is randomly selected. A game card is available if it was not selected in any of the previous rounds of a same 5 play of the game. Previously selected cards are distinguished from the others by a tag or label assigned to them upon their selection. Referring back to FIG. 7, the step 901 is performed by the card selector 723 using random number generation or other random selection techniques. Once the card is selected, it is analyzed in a step 903 in order to determine 10 whether it is a hazard card. Each card of the deck is comprised of a set of data, the number of which varies between the categories of cards. The hazard cards are comprised of three data, the first of which defines the card's type, the second, the card ID, and the third, the hazard to which the card is associated. The step 903 consists in extracting the first datum, namely the type of the selected card in order to determine 15 whether the selected card is a hazard card. Referring back to FIG. 7, the analysis is performed by the card analyzer 727. If the selected card is not a hazard card, the list of active players is retrieved in a step 905. Before the beginning of the game, and as mentioned previously, all patrons who wish to participate must place a compulsory bet, following which they achieve an 20 active status. However, the recorded status may change over the course of play of the game as players are allowed to retire at the end of any round. Therefore a list of active and retired players is maintained throughout the course of play. Referring to FIG. 7, the step 905 is performed by the main credit controller 705, which retrieves the list of active players from the store of player status 731. 25 Once the list of active players is retrieved, and in a step 907, the selected card is analyzed to determine whether it is a jackpot card. The jackpot card is comprised of one datum defining the card's type. The step 903 consists in extracting the datum to determine whether the selected card is a jackpot card. Referring back to FIG. 7, the analysis is performed by the card analyzer 727. 30 If the selected card is not a jackpot card, it is necessarily a money card. Money cards are comprised of three data, the first of which defines the type of the card, the second, a reward in the form of a number of credits, and the third, a multiplier. In a step 909, the reward is extracted and added to the earned credits of each player on the retrieved list of active players. Referring back to FIG. 7, the step 909 is performed by 35 the collaboration of several components of the system. More specifically, the card analyzer 727 extracts the reward and provides it to the main credit controller 705, 16 which dispatches the list of active players and the reward to the earned credit controller 707. The latter retrieves the earned credits of each active player from the store of earned credits 709, increments each them by the reward, and stores the updated earned credits in the store of earned credits 709. 5 Once the earned credits are incremented, and in a step 911, the list of retired players is retrieved. In most games, the number of retired players neither harms nor enhances the number of credits that other players earn. However, in the context of this particular game, and in accordance with the preferred embodiment, any credit that would have been earned by a player had the player not retired is added to the pool for 10 the benefit of the active players. This provides players with a further incentive to stay the course in the later rounds of the game. Referring to FIG. 7, the step 911 is performed by the main credit controller 705, which retrieves the list of retired players from the store of player status 731. Subsequently, and in a step 913, the number of players on the list of retired 15 players is multiplied by the reward that was retrieved in the step 909, and the product is added to the pool. Referring back to FIG. 7, the step 913 is performed by the collaboration of several components of the system. More specifically, the main credit controller 705 dispatches the reward provided by the card analyzer 727 and the retrieved list of retired players to the pool credit controller 715, which in turn multiplies 20 the number of players on the list of retired players by the reward, retrieves the pool from the store of pool credits 717, adds the product to the retrieved pool, and records the updated pool in the store of pool credits 717. As mentioned previously, money cards are comprised of three data, the third of which defines a multiplier. In a step 943 following the step 913, the multiplier is 25 extracted, multiplied by the number of active and retired players, and the product is added to the pool. Referring back to FIG. 7, the step 909 is performed by the collaboration of several components of the system. More specifically, the card analyzer 727 extracts the multiplier and provides it to the main credit controller 705, which dispatches the list of active and retired players and the multiplier to the pool credit 30 controller 715. The latter applies the retrieved multiplier to the number of active and retired players, retrieves the pool from the store of pool credits 717, increments the pool by the calculated product, and stores the updated pool in the store of pool credits 717. Once the pool credits are updated, and in a step 917 the player is provided with 35 an opportunity to enter a game-related decision, namely whether the player wishes to stay the course for an additional round of the game or retire, the decision is accepted 17 and analyzed in accordance with the rules of the game. Referring to FIG. 7, and as mentioned previously, the step 909 is performed by the collaboration of several components of the system. More specifically, the keyboard display controller 729 is a graphics processor dedicated to the display of a keyboard for entry of game-related 5 decisions. It is enabled by the card analyzer 727 when a game-related decision is required, namely when the last selected card does not end the game. Once enabled, the keyboard display controller 729 performs a pattern analysis to determine whether the touch points provided by the user interface controller 703 define an arc, in which case it aligns the coordinates of the keyboard with those of the defined arc in order for the 10 keyboard to be displayed as hidden behind the player's cupped hand. Furthermore, the keyboard display controller randomly selects a keyboard layout assigning the relative positions of the keys within the keyboard. The keyboard coordinates and layout are provided to the user interface controller 703 for display on the terminal 101, and the latter provides the player's input to the user interface controller 703. 15 Following entry of the player's game-related decision, and in a step 917, the system determines whether the decision corresponds to a request to retire. Referring to FIG. 7, the step 917 is performed by the user interface controller 703, which compares the coordinates of the touch points provided by the terminal 101 with those of the keys displayed on the terminal 101 and determines whether the player activated keys for 20 entering a game related decision. If the player activated buttons to enter a game-related decision, the user interface controller 703 provides the decision to the main credit controller 705. If according to a step 917, the player decided to retire, and in a step 919, the pool is retrieved and divided by the number of newly retired players to obtain the pool 25 payouts, each of which corresponds to an equal share of the pool to be provided to each of the newly retired players. Referring back to FIG. 7, the step 917 is performed by the pool credit controller 715, which retrieves the pool from the store of pool credits 717, divides the pool by the number of players on the provided list of retired players to obtain the pool payout payouts. In accordance with one embodiment, the pool credit 30 controller 715 deducts a rake from the pool and divides the remaining credits by the number of players on the list of retired players to obtain the pool payout. Once the pool payout is calculated, and in a step 921, the number of credits earned by each of the retiring players is retrieved, added to the pool payout, the credit balance of each of the retiring players is retrieved, and the calculated sum is added to 35 each of the retrieved credit balances. Referring back to FIG. 7, the step 921 involves several components of the system. More specifically, the main credit controller 705 18 provides the list of retiring players to the earned credit controller 707, which retrieves the credits earned by each of the players on the list from the store of earned credits 709, and provides the retrieved earned credits to the main credit controller 705, which in turn dispatches the provided earned credits to the account controller 719. Also, the pool 5 credit controller 715 provides the calculated pool payout to the main credit controller 705, which in turn dispatches the calculated payout to the account controller 719. Finally the account controller 719 retrieves the credit balance of each player on the list of retiring players from the store of player credits 721, increments the retrieved credit balances by the provided payout and earned credits, and records the updates credit 10 balances in the store of player credits 721. Once the retrieved credit balances are updated, a new game card is selected in the step 901. Conversely, if in accordance with the step 917, it is determined that no player has decided to retire, there is no need to update credit balances, and therefore, the steps 919 and 921 are not performed. As a result, and following the step 917, the 15 step 901 is performed, which step consists in selecting a new game card. If according to the step 907, the card selected in the step 901 is a treasure card, the jackpot is retrieved and divided by the number of players on the list of active players, which list was retrieved in the step 905, to obtain the jackpot payout in a step 925. However, and according to one embodiment, a rake is deducted from the jackpot 20 and the remaining credits are divided by the number of players on the list of active players to obtain the jackpot payout. Referring back to FIG. 7, the step 925 involves several components of the system. More specifically, the main credit controller 705, which provides the list of active players to the progressive jackpot controller 711, which in turn retrieves the jackpot from the store of jackpot credits 713, counts the 25 number of players on the list of active players, and divides the retrieved jackpot by the counted number of active players to obtain the jackpot payout. Once the jackpot payout is calculated, and in a step 927, the credit balance of each of the active players is retrieved and incremented by the calculated jackpot payout. Referring back to FIG. 7, the step 925 involves several components of the 30 system. More specifically, the step 927 is performed by the main credit controller 705 which dispatches the retrieved list of active players to the account controller 719, which in turn retrieves the credit balance of each player on the list from the store of player credits 721, adds the calculated jackpot to the retrieved credit balances, and records the updated credit balances in the store of player credits 721. Once the credit balances of 35 active players are updated, the step 915, which consists in accepting game-related decisions, is performed.

19 If in accordance with the step 903, it was determined that the game card selected in the step 901 is a hazard card, the second datum of the selected card, namely the one indicating the hazard to which the selected card is associated, is extracted. Furthermore, those of the game cards that were selected in previous rounds of a same play of the 5 game are retrieved, and their first datum, namely the one indicating their type, is extracted in order to identify those of the previously selected cards that are hazard cards. Finally, for each of the identified hazard cards, the second datum is extracted, namely the one identifying the hazard to which the card is associated, and compared with the second datum of the last selected card. It is then determined whether the last 10 selected card and any one of the previously selected cards are associated to a same hazard. Referring back to FIG. 7, the step 929 is performed by the card analyzer 727, which retrieves the second datum of the last selected card, retrieves the previously selected cards from the store of game cards 725, extracts the first datum of the retrieved cards to identify those of the hazard type, extracts the second datum of the previously 15 selected hazard cards, and compares the hazard of the last selected card with those of the previously selected cards in search of duplicates. If no duplicates were identified in the step 933, the last selected card is tagged as unavailable for subsequent rounds of a same play of the game. Referring back to FIG. 7, the step 933 is performed by the card analyzer 727, which records the label in the 20 store of game cards 725 in association with the last selected card. Once the card is tagged, the step 915 is performed, which step consists in accepting player decisions. If duplicates were identified in the step 933, the game ends. As a result, and in accordance with a step 937, the remaining earned credits and pool are retrieved and added to the jackpot. Referring back to FIG. 7, the step 933 involves several 25 components of the system. More specifically, the card analyzer 727 provides an end signal to the main credit controller 705, which retrieves the list of active players from the store of player status 731, and dispatches the list of active players to the earned credit controller 707 in response to which the latter retrieves the credits earned by the active players from the store of earned credits 709, provides the retrieved earned credits 30 to the main credit controller 705, and resets the earned credits of each active player. Also, the main credit controller 705 provides an end signal to the pool credit controller 715, in response to which the latter retrieves the pool from the store of pool credits 717, provides the retrieved pool to the main credit controller 705, and resets the pool within the store of pool credits 717. Finally, the main credit controller 705 dispatches the 35 provided earned credits and pool to the progressive jackpot controller 711, which in turn retrieves the jackpot from the store of jackpot credit 713, increments the jackpot by 20 the dispatched earned credits and pool, and records the updated jackpot in the store of jackpot credits 713. In accordance with one embodiment, and in response to the end signal, the pool credit controller 715 deducts a rake from the pool and provides the remaining credits to the main credit controller 705. In accordance with one 5 embodiment, in response to an end signal, the earned credits controller 707 deducts a rake from the retrieved earned credits and provides the remaining credits to the main credit controller 705. As can be ascertained from the description, in order for the game to be both functional and entertaining, players should not be able to view decisions made by 10 others before a corresponding decision phase elapses. However, if the terminals 101 are not physically far apart, each player can easily determine decisions made by others by observing the movements of their arms, hands, and fingers. FIG. 8 is a schematic block diagram illustrating a terminal, a component of the system that enables a player to enter game-related decisions away from the eyes of 15 competing players according to a preferred embodiment. The terminal 101 comprises a multi-touch screen, which consists in a touch screen capable of detecting more than one user input at a time. More specifically, the multi-touch screen consists in a display screen 803 and a touch sensor 801, which, in conjunction with other related components within the system, enables players to submit 20 game requests of all sorts by applying localized pressure within specific areas of the display screen 803. The detected touch points, also referred to as pressure points, are continuously provided to the user interface controller 703, and more specifically, a touch interpreter 811, in order for them to be translated into the corresponding instructions, which are subsequently provided to the appropriate system component, 25 and more specifically, to the main credit controller 705, in order for them to be carried out. Of all the requests that a player may submit, the most important ones within the context of the game described herein above consist in requesting to stay the course or retire from play of the game. Such decisions are to be made and submitted during the 30 decision phase, which shortly follows the selection of a game card by the card selector 723. Indeed, once the card selector 723 selects a card, it provides the card to the user interface controller 703, and more specifically, to a graphics controller 813, which in turn provides graphics conveying the card selection for display on the display screen 803. Subsequently, if the card analyzer 727 determines that the card selection does not 35 end play of the game in accordance with the rules of the game, the card analyzer 727 enables the keyboard display controller 729 and sets a timer 815.

21 Upon being enabled, the keyboard display controller, and more specifically, the pattern analyzer 805 analyzes batches of touch points provided by the touch sensor 801 to determine whether the active player has indeed placed a hand on the display screen 803 in a cupped position to hide an area thereof. The analysis is performed by 5 determining whether the coordinates of the touch points in a single batch define an arc that is likely to result from the edge of a cupped hand placed on the display screen 803. According to one embodiment, the pattern analyzer 805 determines whether the touch points define any of a series of predetermined patterns that may serve as a cue for the display of the keyboard. 10 If the pattern analyzer 805 determines that an arc is defined by the touch points, the pattern analyzer 805 provides the defined arc's coordinates to a keyboard positioner 807. Upon being provided the arc's coordinates, the keyboard positioned 807 calculates the display coordinates of the keyboard as a function of the arc's coordinates in order for the keyboard to be displayed as hidden from the eyes of competing players within 15 the arc. The keyboard positioner 807 provides the calculated keyboard coordinates to the graphics controller 813 and enables a randomizer 809. The randomizer 809 is a random number generator or any other random selection mechanism that randomly selects one of two keyboard layouts and provides the selected layout to the graphics controller 813 for display on the display screen 803. 20 The keyboard is comprised of two keys, a first of which enables the player to retire from play of the game, and the second, of which enables the player to stay the course. In the first of the two layouts, the first key is positioned above the second key, whereas in the second layout, the second key is positioned under the second. The randomizer provides the selected keyboard layout to the graphics controller 813 for the keyboard to 25 be displayed accordingly on the display screen 803. While the keyboard has been described as comprising two keys, it may very well comprise a greater number of keys in the context of a game where more than two options are presented to the player. Furthermore, while in the context of a game presenting two options, the keyboard has been described as comprising two keys, it 30 may very well comprise one key, wherein the two layouts assign a distinct option to the key, and if the player wishes to request an option for which no key is displayed, the player is required to wait until the end of the decision phase, at which point the option for which no key is displayed is automatically selected for the player. Finally, while in the described system, two layouts are available to the randomizer 809, a greater number 35 of layouts may be available according to another embodiment.

22 Upon being provided the keyboard layout and coordinates, the graphics controller 813 retrieves and assembles graphics illustrating the keyboard according to the layout and coordinates, and provides the retrieved and assembled graphics to the display screen 803 for display. As long as the player defines an arc with the edge of a 5 hand cupped over the display screen 803, the touch sensor 801 will provide the keyboard display controller 729 with touch points defining an arc, and the keyboard display controller 729 will provide the keyboard coordinates to the graphics controller 813 for display of the keyboard on the display screen 803. However, if the player removes the hand, or places the hand in a configuration that is not recognized by the 10 pattern analyzer 805, the flow of keyboard coordinates, and therefore, the display of the keyboard on the display screen 803 is interrupted, and as a result, the keyboard ceases to be displayed. The graphics controller 813 calculates the display coordinates of each key of the keyboard as a function of the keyboard coordinates and layout, and provides the 15 calculated coordinates to the touch interpreter 811. Upon being provided with touch points from the touch sensor 801, the touch interpreter 811 compares their coordinates with those of the keys in order to determine whether one of the keys is selected, and if so, the option associated with the selected key. The touch interpreter 811 provides the selected option as the player's game-related decision to the main credit controller for 20 further processing in accordance with the rules of the game. If the timer 815 elapses before the player selects one of the presented options, the timer sends a default signal to the touch interpreter 811, in response to which the touch interpreter provides a predetermined, default one of the options to the main credit controller 705 as the undecided player's decision. 25 As a result, in a gaming platform benefitting from the system illustrated in FIG. 8, a player may arguably detect the time at which another applies pressure within the area hidden behind the cupped hand, but may not know with certainty which key has been pressed as the keys are displayed in accordance with a random layout, also referred to as a random configuration, within a hidden area of the display screen 803 30 and removed from the display screen 803 as soon as the hidden area is uncovered. FIG. 10 is a flowchart illustrating a method of accepting game-related decisions entered by a player away from the eyes of competing players according to a preferred embodiment. The steps of the method are explained below with reference to FIG. 7 and FIG. 8 in order to clarify the correspondence between the steps and the components of 35 the system.

23 In a step 1001, one of the available cards of the deck is randomly selected. A game card is available if it was not selected in any of the previous rounds of a same play of the game. Previously selected cards are distinguished from the others by a tag or label assigned to them upon their selection. Referring back to FIG. 8, the step 1001 5 is performed by the card selector 723 using random number generation or other random selection techniques. Once the card is selected, it is analyzed in a step 1003 in order to determine whether its selection ends play of the game. First, it is determined whether the selected card is a hazard card. Each card of the deck is comprised of a set of data, the number 10 of which varies between the categories of cards. The hazard cards are comprised of three data, the first of which defines the card's type, the second, the card ID, and the third, the hazard to which the card is associated. In order to determine whether the selected card is a hazard card, the first datum is extracted. If it is indeed a hazard card, the second datum of the selected card is extracted. Furthermore, those of the game 15 cards that were selected in previous rounds of a same play of the game are retrieved, and their first datum, namely the one indicating their type, is extracted in order to identify those of the previously selected cards that are hazard cards. Finally, for each of the identified hazard cards, the second datum is extracted, and compared with the second datum of the last selected card. It is then determined whether the last selected 20 card and any one of the previously selected cards are associated to a same hazard, in which case the selection of the last card ends play of the game. Referring back to FIG.7, the step 1003 is performed by the card analyzer 727, which extracts the first datum of the last selected card to determine whether it is a hazard card, retrieves the second datum of the last selected card if it turns out to be a hazard card, retrieves the 25 previously selected cards from the store of game cards 725, extracts the first datum of the retrieved cards to identify the hazard cards, extracts the second datum of the previously selected hazard cards, and compares the hazard of the last selected card with those of the previously selected cards in search of duplicates. If no duplicate is identified, the last selected card does not end play of the game 30 and active players are required to enter their game related decision during a decision phase. Thus, and in accordance with a step 1005, a timer is set to signal the end of the decision phase. Referring back to FIG. 8, the step 1005 involves two components of the system, namely the card analyzer 727 and the pattern analyzer and a timer 815. More specifically, since it failed to identify a duplicate in accordance with the step 1003, the 35 card analyzer 727 sets the timer 815 to signal the end of the decision phase after a predetermined amount of time.

24 Once the timer is set, and in accordance with a step 1009, batches of pressure points are accepted before being analyzed in a step 10 11 in order to determine whether at least some of them define a predetermined pattern, namely an arc that would be defined by the edge of a cupped hand. Referring back to FIG. 8, the step 1009 is 5 performed by the touch sensor 801, which detects pressure applied on the display screen 803, and provides the coordinates of the detected touch points to the pattern analyzer 805. The latter, in accordance with the step 811, applies pattern recognition mechanisms to the provided touch points in order to determine whether at least some of the touch points define an arc that is likely to result from a cupped hand placed over the 10 display screen 803. In accordance to one embodiment, the pattern analyzer searches for any one of a plurality of predetermined patterns such as a straight line of a minimum length and depth. If the arc pattern is identified, and in accordance with a step 1013, keyboard coordinates are calculated as a function of the coordinates of the identified arc in order 15 for the keyboard to be displayed as hidden from the eyes of competing players behind the player's cupped hand. Referring back to FIG. 8, the step 1013 involves two components of the system, namely the pattern analyzer 805 and the keyboard positioner 807. The pattern analyzer 805 calculates the coordinates of the identified arc and provides them to the keyboard positioner 807, which in turn calculates the keyboard 20 coordinates as a function of the provided arc coordinates and provides the calculated keyboard coordinates to the graphics controller 813. Once the keyboard coordinates have been calculated, and in accordance with a step 1015, one of two keyboard layouts is randomly selected, wherein the layout defines the relative position of the keys within the keyboard. A first of the two layouts 25 positions the key for retiring from play of the game above the one for staying the course, whereas the second layout positions the key for retiring from play under the one for staying the course. Referring back to FIG. 8, the step 1015 involves two components of the system, namely the keyboard positioner 807 and the randomizer 809. More specifically, upon being provided the arc coordinates, the keyboard 30 positioner 807 enables the randomizer 809, which randomly selects one of the two keyboard layouts, and provides the selected layout to the graphics controller 813. Since the keyboard layout and coordinates have been calculated, the keyboard is displayed in accordance with a step 1017. Referring back to FIG. 8, the step 1017 is performed by a component of the user interface controller 703, namely the graphics 35 controller 813, which retrieves and assembles graphics illustrating the keyboard as a 25 function of the provided layout and coordinates, and provides the retrieved and assembled graphics to the display screen 803 for display. In a step 1021, the coordinates of the touch points are compared with those of the displayed keys in order to determine whether any one of the keys is selected. 5 Referring back to FIG. 8, the step 1021 involves three components of the system, namely the graphics controller 813, touch sensor 801, and touch interpreter 811. More specifically, the graphics controller 813 calculates the display coordinates of each key of the keyboard as a function of the keyboard layout and coordinates and provides the display coordinates to the touch interpreter 811. Also, the touch sensor 801 detects 10 pressure applied on the display screen 803 and provides the coordinates of the corresponding touch points to the touch interpreter 811. The touch interpreter 811 determines whether any cluster of touch points are located within an area of the display screen 803 within which one of the keys is displayed by comparing the provided coordinates. 15 If one of the keys is selected, and in accordance with a step 1023, the option assigned to the selected key is entered as the player's decision. Referring back to FIG. 8, the step 1023 is performed by the touch interpreter which identifies the selected key from its coordinates, retrieves the option assigned to the selected key, and provides the retrieved option as the player's game-related decision to the main credit controller 705. 20 Once the decision is entered, and in accordance with the step 1001, a new game card is selected. However, if no key is selected, and according to a step 1013, it is determined whether the decision phase has expired, in which case a predetermined, default one of the options is submitted as the player's decision. Referring back to FIG. 8, the step 25 1013 involves two components, namely the timer 815 and the touch interpreter 811. More specifically, when the timer 815 expires, it provides a default signal to the touch interpreter 811, which in turn provides a predetermined, default one of the two options to the main credit controller 705 as the undecided player's decision. Once the decision is entered, and in accordance with the step 1001, a new game card is selected. 30 If in accordance with the step 1013, it is determined that the decision phase has not expired, a new batch of pressure points is accepted in accordance with the step 1007. Finally, if in accordance with the step 1003, the last selected card ends play of the game, a new game is initiated in a step 1027, following which a new game card is selected in the step 1001. 35

Claims (55)

1. A gaming system for operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the system comprising: 5 a terminal for accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a sequence of rounds, and for accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds; an outcome selector for selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds; 10 an outcome analyzer for determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a reward, earns the player the jackpot, or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game; an earned credits controller for incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward, for incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned jackpot 15 provided by a progressive jackpot controller, for providing the player's earned credits to an account controller upon the retirement of the player, for resetting the player's earned credits after providing the earned credits to the account controller, for providing the player's earned credits to a progressive jackpot controller upon the end of the sequence, and for resetting the player's earned credits after providing the earned credits 20 to the progressive jackpot controller; the account controller for incrementing the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller; and the progressive jackpot controller for incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller and for resetting 25 the jackpot after providing the earned jackpot to the earned credits controller.
2. The gaming system of claim 1 wherein the progressive jackpot controller deducts a rake from the player's earned credits provided by the credits controller and increments the jackpot by the remaining number of credits.
3. The gaming system of claim 1 wherein the outcome selector comprises a card 30 selector for selecting an available one of a predetermined set of cards for each of the rounds and labeling the selected card as unavailable for subsequent ones of the rounds of the sequence.
4. The gaming system of claim I further comprising a pool credit controller for incrementing the pool by an earned pool reward, for providing the pool to the account 35 controller upon the retirement of the player, for resetting the pool after providing the pool to the account controller, for providing the pool to the progressive jackpot 27 controller upon the end of the sequence, and for resetting the pool after providing the pool to the progressive jackpot controller, and wherein the outcome analyzer determines whether the selected outcome earns the player the pool reward in accordance with the rules of the game, the credit controller increments the player's 5 credit balance by the pool provided by the pool credit controller, and the progressive jackpot controller increments the jackpot by the pool provided by the pool credit controller.
5. A method of operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the method comprising: 10 accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a sequence of rounds; selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds; determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a reward, earns the player the jackpot, or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game; 15 if the player earns the reward, incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward; if the player earns the jackpot, incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned jackpot before resetting the jackpot; if the sequence ends, incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's 20 earned credits before resetting the earned credits; accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds; and if the player retires, incrementing the player's credit balance by the player's earned credits upon the retirement.
6. The method of claim 5 wherein the incrementing the jackpot by at least some of 25 the player's credits comprises deducting a rake from the player's earned credits and incrementing the jackpot by the remaining number of credits.
7. The method of claim 5 wherein the selecting an outcome comprises selecting an available one of a predetermined set of cards for each of the rounds, and labeling the selected card as unavailable for subsequent ones of the rounds of the sequence. 30
8. The method of claim 5 further comprising: determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a pool reward in accordance with the rules of the game; if the player earns the pool reward, incrementing the pool by the earned pool reward; 35 if the player retires, incrementing the player's credit balance by the pool upon the retirement before resetting the pool; and 28 if the sequence ends, incrementing the jackpot by pool before resetting the pool.
9. The method of claim 8 wherein the determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a pool reward comprising identifying a multiplier associated to the selected outcome, the incrementing the pool by the earned pool reward comprises 5 multiplying a number of active players by the identified multiplier to obtain the earned pool reward.
10. The method of claim 8 wherein the incrementing the pool by the earned pool reward comprises multiplying a number of active and retired players by the identified multiplier to obtain the earned pool reward. 10
11. The method of claim 8 wherein the incrementing the pool by the earned pool reward comprises multiplying a number of retired players by the earned reward to obtain the earned pool reward.
12. A gaming system for operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the system comprising: 15 a terminal for accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a sequence of rounds, and for accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds; an outcome selector for selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds; 20 an outcome analyzer for determining whether the selected outcome ends the sequence, earns the player a reward, or earns the player the jackpot in accordance with rules of the game; an earned credits controller for incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward, for providing the player's earned credits to an account controller upon 25 the retirement of the player, for resetting the player's earned credits after providing the earned credits to the account controller, for providing the player's earned credits to a progressive jackpot controller upon the end of the sequence, and for resetting the player's earned credits after providing the earned credits to the progressive jackpot controller; 30 the account controller for incrementing the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller and for incrementing the player's credit balance by the earned jackpot provided by the progressive jackpot controller; and the progressive jackpot controller for incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller and for resetting 35 the jackpot after providing the earned jackpot to the earned credits controller. 29
13. The gaming system of claim 12 wherein the progressive jackpot controller deducts a rake from the player's earned credits provided by the credits controller and increments the jackpot by the remaining number of credits.
14. The gaming system of claim 12 wherein the outcome selector comprises a card 5 selector for selecting an available one of a predetermined set of cards for each of the rounds and labeling the selected card as unavailable for subsequent ones of the rounds of the sequence.
15. The gaming system of claim 12 further comprising a pool credit controller for incrementing the pool by an earned pool reward, for providing the pool to the account 10 controller upon the retirement of the player, for resetting the pool after providing the pool to the account controller, for providing the pool to the progressive jackpot controller upon the end of the sequence, and for resetting the pool after providing the pool to the progressive jackpot controller, and wherein the outcome analyzer determines whether the selected outcome earns the player the pool reward in 15 accordance with the rules of the game, the credit controller increments the player's credit balance by the pool provided by the pool credit controller, and the progressive jackpot controller increments the jackpot by the pool provided by the pool credit controller.
16. A method of operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the method 20 comprising: accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a sequence of rounds; selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds; determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a reward, earns the player 25 the jackpot, or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game; if the player earns the reward, incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward; if the player earns the jackpot, incrementing the player's credit balance by the earned jackpot before resetting the jackpot; 30 if the sequence ends, incrementing the jackpot by the player's earned credits before resetting the earned credits; accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds; and if the player retires, incrementing the player's credit balance by at least some of the player's earned credits. 30
17. The method of claim 5 wherein the incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's credits comprises deducting a rake from the player's earned credits and incrementing the jackpot by the remaining number of credits.
18. The method of claim 5 wherein the selecting an outcome comprises selecting an 5 available one of a predetermined set of cards for each of the rounds, and labeling the selected card as unavailable for subsequent ones of the rounds of the sequence.
19. The method of claim 5 further comprising: determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a pool reward in accordance with the rules of the game; 10 if the player earns the pool reward, incrementing the pool by the earned pool reward; if the player retires, incrementing the player's credit balance by the pool upon the retirement before resetting the pool; and if the sequence ends, incrementing the jackpot by pool before resetting the pool. 15 20. The method of claim 19 wherein the determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a pool reward comprising identifying a multiplier associated to the selected outcome, the incrementing the pool by the earned pool reward comprises multiplying a number of active players by the identified multiplier to obtain the earned pool reward.
20
21. The method of claim 19 wherein the incrementing the pool by the earned pool reward comprises multiplying a number of active and retired players by the identified multiplier to obtain the earned pool reward.
22. The method of claim 19 wherein the incrementing the pool by the earned pool reward comprises multiplying a number of retired players by the earned reward to 25 obtain the earned pool reward.
23. A player-activated terminal for the entry of game-related decisions, the terminal comprising: a keyboard of at least one key; a game controller for enabling a keyboard display controller upon determining 30 that a game-related decision is required from a player in accordance with rules of the game; the keyboard display controller for randomly selecting one of at least two distinct keyboard layouts, each of the layouts assigning a label defining a distinct game-related option to each of the at least one key, the label assigned by the layouts to 35 at least one of the at least one key does not define a same one of the game-related options; 31 a display screen for displaying the selected layout; a sensor for detecting an activation of a labeled one of the at least one key; and an interpreter for identifying the game-related option defined by the label of the activated key and for providing the identified option to the game controller for 5 processing in accordance with the rules of the game.
24. The terminal of claim 23 wherein each of the layouts assigns a position to each of the at least one key within the keyboard, the sensor detects touch points on the display screen, and the interpreter identifies the activated key upon which the touch points are superimposed in accordance with the positions assigned by the selected 10 layout.
25. The terminal of claim 24 wherein the keyboard display controller comprises a pattern analyzer for determining whether the detected touch points define a predetermined pattern, and a randomizer for randomly selecting one of the layouts when the detected touch points define the pattern. 15
26. The terminal of claim 25 wherein the predetermined pattern corresponds to an arc defined by the placement of a cupped hand on the display screen.
27. The terminal of claim 26 wherein the pattern analyzer determines coordinates of the defined arc, the keyboard display controller further comprises a keyboard positioner for determining keyboard display coordinates as a function of the arc coordinates to 20 exclude the displayed keyboard from the line of sight of competing players.
28. The terminal of claim 23 wherein the keyboard comprises less than two keys.
29. A method for entry of game-related decisions on a player-activated terminal, the process comprising: determining that a game-related decision is required from a player in accordance 25 with rules of the game; randomly selecting one of at least two distinct keyboard layouts, each of the layouts assigning a label defining a distinct game-related option to each of at least one key, the labels assigned by the layouts to at least one of the at least one key define distinct ones of the game-related options; 30 displaying the selected layout; detecting an activation of a labeled one of the at least one key; identifying the game-related option defined by the label of the activated key; and providing the identified option for processing in accordance with the rules of the 35 game. 32
30. The method of claim 29 wherein each of the layouts assigns a position to each of the at least one key within the keyboard, the detecting an activation of a labeled one of the at least one key comprises detecting touch points, and the identifying the game related option defined by the label of the activated key comprises identifying the 5 activated key upon which the touch points are superimposed in accordance with the positions assigned by the selected layout.
31. The method of claim 30 further comprising determining whether the detected touch points define a predetermined pattern, and wherein the randomly selecting one of at least two distinct keyboard layouts is performed when the detected touch points 10 define the pattern.
32. The method of claim 31 wherein the predetermined pattern corresponds to an arc defined by the placement of a cupped hand on the display screen.
33. The method of claim 32 further comprising determining coordinates of the defined arc and determining keyboard display coordinates as a function of the arc 15 coordinates to exclude the displayed keyboard from the line of sight of competing players.
34. The method of claim 5 wherein the incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward, the incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned jackpot before resetting the jackpot, the incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the 20 player's earned credits before resetting the earned credits and the incrementing the player's credit balance by the player's earned credits upon the retirement are performed by automated operation of circuitry.
35. The method of claim 16 wherein the incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward, the incrementing the player's credit balance by the earned jackpot 25 before resetting the jackpot, the incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's earned credits before resetting the earned credits and the incrementing the player's credit balance by the player's earned credits upon the retirement are performed by automated operation of circuitry.
36. The method of claim 29 wherein the randomly selecting one of at least two 30 distinct keyboard layouts, the displaying the selected layout, the detecting an activation of a labeled one of the at least one key, the identifying the game-related option defined by the label of the activated key; and the providing the identified option for processing in accordance with the rules of the game are performed by automated operation of circuitry. 35
37. A gaming system for operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the system comprising: 33 a terminal for accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a sequence of rounds, and for accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds; an outcome selector for selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for 5 each of the rounds; an outcome analyzer for determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a reward, earns the player the jackpot, or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game; an earned credits controller for incrementing the player's earned credits by the 10 earned reward, for incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned jackpot provided by a progressive jackpot controller, for providing the player's earned credits to an account controller upon the retirement of the player, for resetting the retired player's earned credits after providing the earned credits to the account controller, and for resetting the player's earned credits upon the end of the sequence; 15 the account controller for incrementing the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller; and the progressive jackpot controller for incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's earned credits provided by the earned credits controller, for incrementing the jackpot by the reward if the player is retired, and for resetting the 20 jackpot after providing the earned jackpot to the earned credits controller.
38. The gaming system of claim 37 wherein the progressive jackpot controller deducts a rake from the player's earned credits provided by the credits controller and increments the jackpot by the remaining number of credits.
39. The gaming system of claim 37 wherein the outcome selector comprises a card 25 selector for selecting an available one of a predetermined set of cards for each of the rounds and labeling the selected card as unavailable for subsequent ones of the rounds of the sequence.
40. The gaming system of claim 37 further comprising a pool credit controller for incrementing the pool by an earned pool reward, for providing the pool to the account 30 controller upon the retirement of the player, for resetting the pool after providing the pool to the account controller, for providing the pool to the progressive jackpot controller upon the end of the sequence, and for resetting the pool after providing the pool to the progressive jackpot controller, and wherein the outcome analyzer determines whether the selected outcome earns the player the pool reward in 35 accordance with the rules of the game, the credit controller increments the player's credit balance by the pool provided by the pool credit controller, and the progressive 34 jackpot controller increments the jackpot by the pool provided by the pool credit controller.
41. A method of operating a progressive jackpot of a multi-round game, the method comprising: 5 accepting a player's compulsory bet before the beginning of a sequence of rounds; selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds; determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a reward, earns the player the jackpot, or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game; 10 if the player earns the reward, incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward; if the player would have earned the reward had the player not retired, incrementing the jackpot by the reward; if the player earns the jackpot, incrementing the player's earned credits by the 15 earned jackpot before resetting the jackpot; if the sequence ends, incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's earned credits before resetting the earned credits; accepting the player's retirement at the end of any of the rounds; and if the player retires, incrementing the player's credit balance by the player's 20 earned credits upon the retirement.
42. The method of claim 41 wherein the incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's credits comprises deducting a rake from the player's earned credits and incrementing the jackpot by the remaining number of credits.
43. The method of claim 41 wherein the selecting an outcome comprises selecting 25 an available one of a predetermined set of cards for each of the rounds, and labeling the selected card as unavailable for subsequent ones of the rounds of the sequence.
44. The method of claim 41 further comprising: determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a pool reward in accordance with the rules of the game; 30 if the player earns the pool reward, incrementing the pool by the earned pool reward; if the player retires, incrementing the player's credit balance by the pool upon the retirement before resetting the pool; and if the sequence ends, incrementing the jackpot by the pool before resetting the 35 pool. 35
45. The method of claim 44 wherein the determining whether the selected outcome earns the player a pool reward comprising identifying a multiplier associated to the selected outcome, the incrementing the pool by the earned pool reward comprises multiplying a number of active players by the identified multiplier to obtain the earned 5 pool reward.
46. The method of claim 44 wherein the incrementing the pool by the earned pool reward comprises multiplying a number of active and retired players by the identified multiplier to obtain the earned pool reward.
47. The method of claim 44 wherein the incrementing the pool by the earned pool 10 reward comprises multiplying a number of retired players by the earned reward to obtain the earned pool reward.
48. A gaming system for operating a pool of a multi-round, multi-player game, the system comprising: terminals for accepting players' compulsory bets before the beginning of a 15 sequence of rounds, and for accepting the players' retirement at the end of any of the rounds; an outcome selector for selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds; an outcome analyzer for determining whether the selected outcome earns the 20 players a reward or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game; an earned credits controller for incrementing each of the players' earned credits by the earned reward, for providing each of the retired players' earned credits to an account controller upon the retirement, for resetting each of the retired players' earned credits after providing the earned credits to the account controller, and for resetting the 25 unretired players' earned credits upon the end of the sequence; a pool credit controller for incrementing a pool by the reward for each of the retired players, for providing at least some of the pool to the account controller upon the retirement, for resetting the pool after providing the pool to the account controller; and 30 the account controller for incrementing the players' earned credits provided by the earned credits controller and for incrementing the credit balance of each of the players upon the retirement by an equal share of the pool provided by the pool credit controller.
49. The gaming system of claim 48 wherein the pool credit controller deducts a rake 35 from the pool before providing the pool to the account controller. 36
50. The gaming system of claim 48 wherein the outcome selector comprises a card selector for selecting an available one of a predetermined set of cards for each of the rounds and labeling the selected card as unavailable for subsequent ones of the rounds of the sequence. 5
51. A method of operating a pool of a multi-round multi-player game, the method comprising: accepting players' compulsory bets before the beginning of a sequence of rounds; selecting one of a plurality of potential outcomes for each of the rounds; 10 determining whether the selected outcome earns the players a reward or ends the sequence in accordance with rules of the game; if the players earn the reward, incrementing earned credits of each unretired one of the players by the earned reward, and incrementing the pool by the reward for every retired one of the players; 15 if the sequence ends, resetting the active players' earned credits; accepting the active players' retirement at the end of any of the rounds; and if at least one players retires, incrementing the retired player's credit balance by the retired player's earned credits and by an equal share of at least some of the pool upon the retirement. 20
52. The method of claim 51 wherein the incrementing the retired player's credit balance by an equal share of at least some of the pool comprises deducting a rake from the pool before dividing the pool to obtain the equal share.
53. The method of claim 51 wherein the selecting an outcome comprises selecting an available one of a predetermined set of cards for each of the rounds, and labeling the 25 selected card as unavailable for subsequent ones of the rounds of the sequence.
54. The method of claim 41 wherein the incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned reward, the incrementing the jackpot by the reward, the incrementing the player's earned credits by the earned jackpot before resetting the jackpot, the incrementing the jackpot by at least some of the player's earned credits before resetting 30 the earned credits, and the incrementing the player's credit balance by the player's earned credits upon the retirement are performed by automated operation of circuitry.
55. The method of claim 51 wherein the incrementing earned credits of each unretired one of the players by the earned reward, the incrementing the pool by the reward for every retired one of the players, and the incrementing the retired player's 35 credit balance by the retired player's earned credits and by an equal share of at least 37 some of the pool upon the retirement are performed by automated operation of circuitry.
AU2009245871A 2008-12-09 2009-12-09 Multi-round game having a progressive jackpot Abandoned AU2009245871A1 (en)

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CA2128634C (en) * 1994-06-22 2005-09-27 Richard Channing Garfield Trading card game components and method of play
US6179290B1 (en) * 1996-12-26 2001-01-30 Karl Andrew Maahs Method of playing a poker game including a progressive jackpot
US6142873A (en) * 1998-09-22 2000-11-07 Casino Data Systems Gaming device
US8221224B2 (en) * 2002-02-28 2012-07-17 Igt Method for distributing large payouts with minimal interruption of a gaming session
US20040048644A1 (en) * 2002-09-06 2004-03-11 Peter Gerrard Gaming device having a progressive award funded through skill, strategy or risk gaming event
WO2007087297A2 (en) * 2006-01-23 2007-08-02 Wms Gaming Inc. Wagering game with tournament-play features
WO2007089410A2 (en) * 2006-01-27 2007-08-09 Wms Gaming Inc. Handheld device for wagering games
US20070242036A1 (en) * 2006-04-17 2007-10-18 Microsoft Corporation Dual control data entry
US8070597B2 (en) * 2006-08-03 2011-12-06 Igt Gaming device and method having multiple progressive award levels and a secondary game for advancing through the progressive award levels
US8105149B2 (en) * 2006-11-10 2012-01-31 Igt Gaming system and method providing venue wide simultaneous player participation based bonus game
CA2711498A1 (en) * 2008-01-04 2009-07-16 Ergowerx, Llc Virtual keyboard and onscreen keyboard
US8409010B2 (en) * 2009-05-05 2013-04-02 Microsoft Corporation Massively multiplayer game with shared gameplay experience

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