AU770083B2 - Gaming machine - Google Patents

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Publication number
AU770083B2
AU770083B2 AU63541/01A AU6354101A AU770083B2 AU 770083 B2 AU770083 B2 AU 770083B2 AU 63541/01 A AU63541/01 A AU 63541/01A AU 6354101 A AU6354101 A AU 6354101A AU 770083 B2 AU770083 B2 AU 770083B2
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AU
Australia
Prior art keywords
bet
gaming machine
local currency
accept
machine according
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Ceased
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AU63541/01A
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AU6354101A (en
Inventor
Leonard Hastings Ainsworth
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Ainsworth Game Tech Ltd
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Ainsworth Game Tech Ltd
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Priority to AUPR056600 priority Critical
Priority to AUPR0566 priority
Application filed by Ainsworth Game Tech Ltd filed Critical Ainsworth Game Tech Ltd
Priority to AU63541/01A priority patent/AU770083B2/en
Publication of AU6354101A publication Critical patent/AU6354101A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of AU770083B2 publication Critical patent/AU770083B2/en
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Description

C C"JrT -1-

AUSTRALIA

PATENTS ACT 1990 COMPLETE SPECIFICATION FOR A STANDARD PATENT

ORIGINAL

c r Name of Applicant/s: Actual Inventor/s: Address for Service:

CCN:

Invention Title: Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Leonard Hastings Ainsworth BALDWIN SHELSTON WATERS MARGARET STREET SYDNEY NSW 2000 3710000352 'GAMING MACHINE' Details of Associated Provisional Application No. PR0566 dated 21 August 2000 The following statement is a full description of this invention, including the best method of performing it known to me/us:- File: 28315AUP02 i. i 1. -2- GAMING MACHINE Field of the Invention The present invention relates to gaming machines. The invention has been developed primarily for computerised gaming machines and will be described herein with reference to that application. However, the invention is not limited to that particular field of use and may be suitable for other applications.

Background of the Invention Any discussion of the prior art throughout the specification should in no way be considered as an admission that such prior art is widely known or forms part of common general knowledge in the field.

Gaming machines have long been known and are now one of the most common °forms of gambling. Usually gaming machines will simulate a well known game of i..

chance. One of the oldest and best known forms of gaming machine is the rotating reel type "poker machine". In light of its popularity, the present invention will be described with reference to this type of gaming machine. However it will be appreciated that it is .o.ooi equally applicable gaming machines other than the "rotating reel" type.

Traditional poker machines use a series of three or more reels, each reel having symbols on its peripheral edge. The reels are rotated upon the placement of a bet and then stopped to produce an arrangement of randomly selected symbols. Winnings are 20 paid if the random arrangement of symbols matches one of the predetermined winning combinations.

More recently, these gaming machines have been computerised with a video screen replacing the physically rotating reels. The display screen typically presents an array of -3symbols in five columns and three rows equating to the symbols that would normally be seen on the five physically rotating reels of an old style mechanical machine.

Gaming machines can "pay winnings" in a variety of ways. These include dispensing money, dispensing tokens that can be redeemed for money, or simply adding credits to a credit meter that can be used for placing future bets, or redeemed as money.

Given the predominance of computerised gaming machines, winnings are most commonly awarded in the form of credits tallied on a credit meter. In light of this, the present invention will be described with the specific reference to the payment of winnings in this manner. However, ordinary workers in this field will readily understand that the term encompasses other award payment mechanisms.

Computerised machines have allowed players to bet on the symbols appearing in one or more rows or diagonals instead of just the middle row which was traditionally the only row available for betting on in the old style mechanical machines. Eventually, all S.0 the practical "pay lines" of symbols in the five column, three row array were being made available for players on most machines.

By allowing a bet on many different pay lines at one time enhances the game experience because of the number of essentially separate games on the one screen.

However players may be reluctant to use all available pay lines because the cost of S.placing a bet on each line may be more than the player is comfortable betting at any one time (that is, any single operating cycle of the game). Australian application No.

35357/00 in the name of I.G.T. (Australia) Pty Limited describes a gaming machine that attempts to obscure or dissociate the actually monetary value of bets placed by assigning multiple credits for each minimum bet. For example, 5 cents in monetary value buys credits for betting on the gaming machine. The minimum bet accepted by the machine is -4credits, however, to realise the actual monetary value of any bets being placed, the player must first perform the appropriate credits to dollars conversion.

This technique can also be used to emphasis or exaggerate the value of any winnings by incrementally increasing the credit meter by numbers that are relatively large compared to the actual monetary value of the win. This is sometimes referred to in the field as the "pinball machine effect" because of the positive sense of bonus associated with large numbers scrolling onto the credit meter.

Despite this, players are soon familiar with the conversion between the monetary value of the minimum bet and the corresponding number of credits. Therefore, in time players will once again become mindful of the actual cost of placing a bet on each of the available pay lines and these costs may exceed a level that they are comfortable with.

ooo Summary of the Invention It is an object of the present invention to overcome or ameliorate at least one of the a. a.

disadvantages of the prior art, or to provide a useful alternative.

Accordingly the present invention provides a gaming machine adapted to accept a o.o: S bet on one or more winning outcomes of a game of chance; and, pay winnings on the occurrence of a winning outcome carrying a bet; wherein, the machine is configured to accept a single bet that is less than the smallest denomination of local currency.

20 "Local currency" is a reference to the monetary units in the country where the gaming machine is intended to be used. It is not necessarily a reference to the monetary units of the country in which the gaming machine is manufactured.

Preferably, the machine will accept a bet that is one tenth the smallest denomination of local currency. In other preferred forms, the machine will accept a bet that is one hundredth and one thousandth of the smallest denomination of local currency.

In a particularly preferred form, the winnings paid on any bet that is less than the smallest denomination of local currency, will always be greater than or equal to the smallest denomination of local currency. In a still further preferred form, the winnings paid are always divisible by the smallest denomination of local currency without remainder.

In one convenient form, the game of chance involves randomly selected symbols arranged in an array displayed on a video screen and the winning outcomes are particular winning combinations of the symbols within the array. In a preferred aspect of this form, the array is rectangular and the machine is configured to accept bets on the occurrence of any of the winning combinations of symbols along pay lines running through the array.

The lines may also be angled or 'zig zag'.

Recently, gaming machines have been developed that depart from the traditional :•ooi S"five column, three row array of symbols. These machines can display larger arrays of symbols or even two separate arrays of symbols. Of course, a larger array or two separate arrays will allow the game designer to incorporate many additional pay lines. It will be appreciated that placing a bet on all available pay lines of a larger array or two 20 separate arrays will require the player to risk a significant amount of money if the minimum bet is the smallest denomination of the local currency. However, if the machine is configured in accordance with the present invention, the minimum bet may be less than the smallest denomination of the local currency thereby encouraging players to bet on more, if not all, available pay lines.

-6- By configuring the machine to accept a single bet of less value than the smallest denomination, the player can bet on a large number of pay lines simultaneously for substantially less money. In this way the player can enjoy the experience of playing many pay lines for longer than they would if their minimum bet had to be the smallest denomination of local currency. It also allows a player to place a single bet for less than the smallest denomination of local currency on only one pay line. This can appeal to more conservative gamblers seeking a low level of risk for each single operating cycle of the game.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments Preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawing in which: Figure 1 shows a schematic representation of the video screen display of a gaming machine configured in accordance with the present invention.

The machine display shown is a "rotating reel" type poker machine. The player can place a bet on the occurrence of certain winning combinations of symbols in the five column, three row array displayed in the lower portion of the screen. The winning combinations and the corresponding winnings paid are tabulated in the score card shown at the top half of the screen. The figure shows a generic or 'blank' game screen prior to the input of the various game details by the designer. Accordingly, the game name, the symbols and the scorecard values are shown as blank and zero respectively. However, in normal operation, the scorecard values would be consistent with the designated probability of the associated winning combination as well as the designated profit from the machine (that is, the set percentage of bets retained by the machine over time).

-7- The machine is configured to accept separate bets on nine different pay lines in the array. By playing all nine pay lines, there is a greater chance of getting a winning combination. However, playing nine pay lines requires at least nine bets to be placed and this level of betting may be uncomfortable for some players even if the machine accepts the smallest denomination of local currency as a single bet.

By configuring the machine such that it will accept bets of less than the smallest denomination of local currency, it is possible to play all available lines while maintaining a comfortable betting level for the player. This in turn tends to enhance the gaming experience as playing all lines increases the frequency of wins as well as the activity levels on the screen. This generates and maintains a higher level of player interest. The machine depicted in Figure 1 is configured to assign 1000 credits for every dollar, or ten credits per cent. Therefore, even if the minimum bet is set at five credits, the player can play all nine pay lines for as little as 4.5 cents per spin of the reels.

Using gaming machines in accordance with the present invention, it is also possible to use an array of symbols that is larger than the traditional five column, three row array. A larger array of symbols makes possible a larger number of pay lines available for betting. By lowering the minimum acceptable bet, the player is able to play all available lines in a much larger array without departing from a comfortable betting level. Of course playing all available lines in a large array significantly increases the 20 frequency of wins and the amount of screen activity during the game.

Gaming machines according to the present invention will also allow some players to extend their gaming experience by playing the same number of lines or even a single line for a lower minimum bet. In these cases, it is desirable to configure the scorecard so that every winning combination of symbols wins enough credits to make a whole -8denomination of local currency without any remainder. If the scorecard is set such that it will not always provide enough credits to convert a bet of a single credit into the equivalent of a whole denomination of local currency, the player can simply continue playing until sufficient credits are accumulated, or all credits are depleted.

The present invention has been described herein by way of example only. Skilled workers in this field will readily recognise many variations and modifications, which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the broad inventive concept.

Claims (9)

1. A gaming machine adapted to accept a bet on one or more winning outcomes of a game of chance; and, pay winnings of the occurrence of a winning outcome carrying a bet; wherein, the machine is configured to accept a single bet that is less than the smallest denomination of local currency.
2. A gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the game of chance involves an array of randomly selected symbols and the winning outcomes are predetermined winning combinations of symbols wherein the machine is adapted to accept a bet on the occurrence of any of the winning combinations within the array.
3. A gaming machine according to claim 2, wherein the array is larger than five columns and three rows.
4. A gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the machine will accept a bet that is one tenth the smallest denomination of local currency.
5. A gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the machine will accept a bet that .:oooi is one hundredth the smallest denomination of local currency.
6. A gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the machine will accept a bet that is one thousandth the smallest denomination of local currency.
7. A gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the winnings paid on a bet that is 20 less than the smallest denomination of local currency, will always be greater than the smallest denomination of local currency.
8. A gaming machine according to claim 5, wherein the winnings paid are always divisible by the smallest denomination of local currency without remainder.
9. A gaming machine, substantially as herein described with reference to any one of the embodiments of the invention. DATED this 20th Day of August, 2001 AINSWORTH GAME TECHNOLOGY LIMITED Attorney: KENNETH W. BOLTON Registered Patent and Trade Mark Attorney of Australia of BALDWIN SHELSTON WATERS *S
AU63541/01A 2000-08-21 2001-08-20 Gaming machine Ceased AU770083B2 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AUPR056600 2000-08-21
AUPR0566 2000-08-21
AU63541/01A AU770083B2 (en) 2000-08-21 2001-08-20 Gaming machine

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU63541/01A AU770083B2 (en) 2000-08-21 2001-08-20 Gaming machine

Publications (2)

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AU6354101A AU6354101A (en) 2002-02-28
AU770083B2 true AU770083B2 (en) 2004-02-12

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9589420B2 (en) 2008-06-27 2017-03-07 Bally Gaming, Inc. Wagering game with option to risk credit balance

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5816918A (en) * 1996-04-05 1998-10-06 Rlt Acquistion, Inc. Prize redemption system for games
US5976016A (en) * 1995-06-28 1999-11-02 Ernest W. Moody Multi-line slot machine method
US6068552A (en) * 1998-03-31 2000-05-30 Walker Digital, Llc Gaming device and method of operation thereof

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5976016A (en) * 1995-06-28 1999-11-02 Ernest W. Moody Multi-line slot machine method
US5816918A (en) * 1996-04-05 1998-10-06 Rlt Acquistion, Inc. Prize redemption system for games
US6068552A (en) * 1998-03-31 2000-05-30 Walker Digital, Llc Gaming device and method of operation thereof

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9589420B2 (en) 2008-06-27 2017-03-07 Bally Gaming, Inc. Wagering game with option to risk credit balance
US9792767B2 (en) 2008-06-27 2017-10-17 Bally Gaming, Inc. Wagering game with option to risk credit balance

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