US20050288093A1 - Gaming machine having a selection feature to yield a randomly-applied multiplier - Google Patents

Gaming machine having a selection feature to yield a randomly-applied multiplier Download PDF

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Publication number
US20050288093A1
US20050288093A1 US11165919 US16591905A US2005288093A1 US 20050288093 A1 US20050288093 A1 US 20050288093A1 US 11165919 US11165919 US 11165919 US 16591905 A US16591905 A US 16591905A US 2005288093 A1 US2005288093 A1 US 2005288093A1
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player
awards
bonus
plurality
selectable elements
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Abandoned
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US11165919
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Allon Englman
Jeremy Hornik
Michael Mastropietro
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Bally Gaming Inc
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WMS Gaming Inc
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    • 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

Abstract

A gaming machine is provided for playing a wagering game. The gaming machine includes a wager-input device and at least one display for displaying the wagering game. The wagering game includes a plurality of player-selectable elements that mask corresponding ones of a plurality of awards, and the plurality of awards include a bonus-enhancement award. An input device receives player-inputs associated with the plurality of player-selectable elements that result in one or more of the plurality of awards becoming unmasked awards. In response to the bonus-enhancement award being unmasked, the bonus-enhancement award is randomly applied to another one of the unmasked awards.

Description

    PRIORITY
  • This application claims the benefit of priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 of provisional application Ser. No. 60/582,594, filed Jun. 24, 2004, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety as if fully set forth.
  • COPYRIGHT
  • A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent files or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to gaming machines, and methods for playing wagering games, and more particulaly, to a gaming machine having a selection feature to yield a randomly-applied multiplier.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Gaming machines, such as slot machines, video poker machines and the like, have been a cornerstone of the gaming industry for several years. Generally, the popularity of such machines with players is dependent on the likelihood (or perceived likelihood) of winning money at the machine and the intrinsic entertainment value of the machine relative to other available gaming options. Where the available gaming options include a number of competing machines and the expectation of winning at each machine is roughly the same (or believed to be the same), players are likely to be attracted to the most entertaining and exciting machines. Shrewd operators consequently strive to employ the most entertaining and exciting machines, features, and enhancements available because such machines attract frequent play and hence increase profitability to the operator. Accordingly, in the competitive gaming industry, there is a continuing need for gaming machine manufacturers to continuously develop new games and improved gaming enhancements that will attract frequent play through enhanced entertainment value to the player.
  • One concept that has been successfully employed to enhance the entertainment value of a game is that of a “secondary” or “bonus” game which may be played in conjunction with a “basic” game. The bonus game may comprise any type of game, either similar to or completely different from the basic game, and is entered upon the occurrence of a selected event or outcome of the basic game. Such a bonus game produces a significantly higher level of player excitement than the basic game because it provides a greater expectation of winning than the basic game.
  • Another concept that has been employed is the use of a progressive jackpot. In the gaming industry, a “progressive” involves collecting coin-in data from participating gaming device(s) (e.g., slot machines), contributing a percentage of that coin-in data to a jackpot amount, and awarding that jackpot amount to a player upon the occurrence of a certain jackpot-won event. The percentage of the coin-in is determined prior to any result being achieved and is independent of any result. A jackpot-won event typically occurs when a “progressive winning position” is achieved at a participating gaming device. If the gaming device is a slot machine, a progressive winning position may, for example, correspond to alignment of progressive jackpot reel symbols along a certain pay line. The initial progressive jackpot is a predetermined minimum amount. That jackpot amount, however, progressively increases as players continue to play the gaming machine without winning the jackpot. Further, when several gaming machines are linked together such that several players at several gaming machines compete for the same jackpot, the jackpot progressively increases at a much faster rate, which leads to further player excitement.
  • There are bonus games that provide credits and/or other bonuses such as a multiplier to the player. However, the bonus multiplier is often obvious to the player at the time it is awarded. Accordingly, although the awarding of a multiplier can increase the player's payout, the bonus game play may become monotonous and boring, and the player might seek additional excitement from a different gaming machine. Wagering games need to include additional features that will maintain the player's interest and enhance entertainment. The present invention is directed to satisfying this and other needs.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to one aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine is provided for playing a wagering game. The gaming machine includes a wager-input device and at least one display for displaying the wagering game. The wagering game includes a plurality of player-selectable elements that mask corresponding ones of a plurality of awards, and the plurality of awards include a bonus-enhancement award. An input device receives player-inputs associated with the plurality of player-selectable elements that result in one or more of the plurality of awards becoming unmasked awards. In response to the bonus-enhancement award being unmasked, the bonus-enhancement award is randomly applied to another one of the unmasked awards.
  • According to another aspect of the invention, a method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine includes displaying a plurality of player-selectable elements. Each of the plurality of player-selectable elements is associated with a corresponding one of a plurality of awards. The plurality of awards include a bonus-enhancement award. Selections of the player-selectable elements are received. In response to the bonus-enhancement award being achieved, the bonus-enhancement award is randomly applied to less than all of the other awards that are achieved from the selected player-selectable elements.
  • According to yet another aspect of the invention, a computer readable storage medium is encoded with instructions for directing a gaming device to perform the method described above.
  • An additional aspect of the invention is directed to a gaming system for playing a wagering game. The gaming system has at least one display and a controller coupled to the display and programmed to display a plurality of player-selectable elements. Each of the plurality of player-selectable elements has a corresponding one of a plurality of awards. The plurality of awards include a bonus-enhancement award. Selections of the player-selectable elements are received. The bonus-enhancement award is randomly applied is to less than all of the other awards that are achieved from the selected elements, in response to the bonus-enhancement award being achieved.
  • Additional aspects of the invention will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in view of the detailed description of various embodiments, which is made with reference to the drawings, a brief description of which is provided below.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a gaming machine embodying the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a control system suitable for operating the gaming machine;
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a video slot game having five reels according to an embodiment or the invention;
  • FIG. 4 illustrates the result when the “Handful of Money” bonus game is triggered according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 5 illustrates the result of a spin where the “All in the Cards Spin” bonus game is triggered according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIGS. 6A-12B illustrate various stages of the “All in the Cards Spin” bonus game according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 13 illustrates the “Pick 'n Match” mini-progressive bonus game according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 14 illustrates a combination of five “Monopoly Progressive” symbols on an active pay line that triggers the progressive jackpot.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.
  • Turning now to the drawings and referring initially to FIG. 1, there is shown a gaming machine 10 for conducting a wagering game in accordance with the present invention. The gaming machine 10 comprises a display 12 that may, for example, be a mechanical reel slot display or a video display. If implemented in video, the display 12 may comprise a cathode ray tube (CRT), liquid crystal display (LCD), plasma, or generally any other type of video display known in the art. In the illustrated embodiment, the gaming machine 10 is an “upright” version in which the display 12 is oriented vertically relative to the player. It will be appreciated, however, that any of several other models of gaming machines 10 are within the scope of the present invention including, for example, a “slant top” version in which the display is slanted at about a thirty-degree angle toward the player. The gaming machine 10 may include a secondary display 13 or in the top box of the gaming machine 10, depending up the design of the wagering game.
  • The gaming machine 10 includes a button panel 14 with an optional touch screen 16 for enabling a player to conduct the wagering game. The button panel 14 and the touch screen 16 may have some corresponding buttons for performing the same functions and other buttons for performing different functions. By way of example, a “$” button may be pressed to insert money to increase a player's credits. A “Change Denom” button may be touched to change denomination. A “Collect” button may be touched to see the game's pay table. A “Select Lines” button may be touched to change the number of pay lines bet. A “Bet Per Line” button may be touched to change the amount of credits bet on each line. The number of lines to play is generally selected prior to selecting the amount to bet per line. A “Spin Reels” button may be touched to begin the game. A “Stop Reels” button may be touched to stop the reels while they are spinning. If the player does not touch the “Stop Reels” button, the reels will stop on their own. A “Max Bet Spin” button may be touched to play the maximum credits instantly.
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a control system suitable for operating the gaming machine. Money/credit detector 18 signals a central processing unit (CPU) 20 when a player has inserted money or played a number of credits. The money may be provided by coins, bills, tickets, coupons, cards, etc. Using the button panel 14 or touch screen 16, the player may select any game variable (e.g., number of pay lines in a reel slot game if more than one can be selected) and place his/her wager to play the wagering game. In a play of the game, the CPU 20 generates at least one random event using a random number generator (RNG) and provides an award to the player for a winning outcome of the random event. Alternatively, the random event may be generated by a remote computer using an RNG or pooling schema and then transmitted to the gaming machine 10. The CPU 20 operates the display 12 to represent the random event(s) and outcome(s) in a visual form that can be understood by the player. In addition to the CPU 20, the control system may include one or more additional slave control units for operating one or more peripherals. The terms “processor” and CPU as used herein are each intended to collectively cover the CPU 20 and any and all such control units.
  • A system memory 22 stores control software, operational instructions and data associated with the gaming machine. In one embodiment, the system memory 22 comprises a separate read-only memory (ROM) and battery-backed random-access memory (RAM). However, it will be appreciated that the system memory 22 may be implemented on any of several alternative types of memory structures or may be implemented on a single memory structure. A payoff mechanism 24 is operable in response to instructions from the CPU 20 to award a payoff to the player. The payoff may, for example, be in the form of a number of credits. The number of credits are determined by one or more math tables stored in the system memory 22.
  • The wagering game is described below wherein the basic game is a multi-line, multi-coin video reel slot game. It should, however, be understood that the basic game may be any type of wagering game, including but not limited to video or mechanical reel slots (one or more pay lines), poker, keno, bingo, blackjack, or roulette.
  • Referring back to FIG. 1, to play a basic game in the form of reel slots, a player may select a number of pay lines using the “Select Lines” button, place a wager on each line using the “Bet Per Line” button, and start the reels 26 in motion using the “Spin Reels” button. Alternatively, the player may select all lines, play the maximum bet on each line, and start the reels 26 in motion using the “Max Bet Spin” button. In response to pressing the “Max Bet Spin” button, or a “Spin Reels” button for a wager less than the maximum, the CPU causes the spinning and the stopping of the plurality of symbol-bearing reels 26 to randomly place symbols on the reels 26 in visual association with a number of pay lines 28. Other mechanisms, such as a handle, may be used to set the reels 26 in motion. The number of pay lines may, for example, be nine, fifteen, or twenty, but more or less pay lines may be provided if desired. As noted above, the display 12 on which the reels are implemented may be mechanical or video. If the display 12 is video, the reels are simulated with moving graphics. If, however, the display 12 is mechanical, the reels are physical and rotatably driven by stepper motors.
  • The CPU may use an RNG to select a game outcome (e.g., “basic” game outcome) corresponding to a particular set of reel “stop positions.” The CPU then causes each of the reels 26 to stop at the appropriate stop position. Symbols are displayed on the reels 26 to graphically illustrate the reel stop positions and indicate whether the stop positions of the reels 26 represent a winning game outcome. Winning basic game outcomes (e.g., symbol combinations resulting in payment of coins or credits) are identifiable to the player by a pay table. The pay table may be affixed to the machine 10 and/or displayed by the display 12 in response to a command by the player (e.g., by pressing the “Pay Table” button). A winning basic game outcome occurs when the symbols appearing on the reels 26 along an active pay line 28 correspond to one of the winning combinations on the pay table. A winning combination could, for example, be three or more matching symbols along an active pay line 28, where the award is greater as the number of matching symbols along the active pay line 28 increases. If the displayed symbols stop in a winning combination, the game credits the player an amount corresponding to the award in the pay table for that combination multiplied by the number of wagered credits. The player may collect the amount of accumulated credits by pressing the “Collect” button.
  • Included among the plurality of basic game outcomes are one or more start-bonus outcomes for triggering play of bonus games. A start-bonus outcome may be defined in any number of ways. For example, a start-bonus outcome may occur when a special start-bonus symbol or a special combination of symbols appears on one or more of the reels 26. A start-bonus outcome may require the combination of symbols to appear along an active pay line 28, or may alternatively require that the combination of symbols appear anywhere on the display regardless of whether the symbols are along an active pay line 28. The appearance of a start-bonus outcome causes the CPU to shift from the basic slot game to the bonus game associated with the start-bonus outcome.
  • Embodiments of the invention implement a wagering game having a Monopoly™ theme called “All in the Cards” with several available bonuses. A “Handful of Money” bonus may be triggered when a combination of three money hand symbols are present on an active pay line. FIG. 3 illustrates a video slot game having five reels 300, 305, 310, 315, and 320. As shown, the middle symbol on reels 300, 305, and 310 is a money hand symbol 325 that resembled a fan of bills. In the event that the money hand symbols are located on an active pay line, the “Handful of Money” bonus is triggered. In some embodiments, “Handful of Money” bonus is triggered according to a scattered combination of the money hand symbols 325 (i.e., the bonus would be triggered when three money hand symbols 325 are located anywhere on the reels). In other embodiments, the player is only eligible for the “Handful of Money” bonus when the player has wagered on the maximum number of pay lines.
  • After the “Handful of Money” bonus is triggered, a second hand appears and pulls out one of the bills from the fan of bills on each money hand symbol 325. Alternatively, each of the money hand symbols 325 morphs or is converted to or replaced with a currency symbol. As shown in FIG. 4, the money hand symbols 325 are converted into a “20” symbol 330, a “10” symbol 335, and a “500” symbol 340 across reels 300, 305, and 310, respectively. The currency symbols are then summed and awarded to the player. Accordingly, the player is awarded a total of 530 credits for achieving the “Handful of Money” bonus.
  • The “All in the Cards” wagering game provides an “All in the Cards Spin” bonus that may be triggered when the player achieves a combination of three or more scattered bonus-triggering symbols during the basic game. In other embodiments, the bonus-triggering symbols have to all be located on the same pay line to trigger the bonus. FIG. 5 illustrates the result of a spin that triggers the “All in the Cards Spin” bonus game. The dog symbol 350 is the “All in the Cards Spin” bonus triggering symbol in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5. As shown, the middle symbol of the first reel 300, the bottom symbol of the third reel 310, and the middle symbol of the fifth reel 320 are all dog symbols 350. Accordingly, this scattered combination of three dog symbols 350 triggers the “All in the Cards Spin” bonus.
  • The “All in the Cards Spin” bonus primarily focuses on “Chance” and “Community Chest” cards that turn into monetary awards. The bonus game provides the player with free spins of the symbol-bearing reels. The player uses the free spins and in the event that the player receives a “Chance” symbol on one of the reels, the player is awarded a pick from a screen of player-selectable elements that mask bonus awards such as credits and multipliers. In the event that a player-selectable element is selected that unmasks a multiplier, the multiplier is randomly applied to a credit award already unmasked by the player.
  • More specifically, after the “All in the Cards Spin” bonus is triggered, the player is awarded a number of free spins during bonus play. For example, 8 free spins may be awarded to the player. Alternatively, a different number of free spins may be awarded. The number of free spins awarded may be randomly selected, may be based on a selection by the player at the commencement of the bonus, may be based on the number of symbols that triggered the bonus, or may be based on the number of pay lines on which the player had wagered prior to being awarded the “All in the Cards Spin” bonus. During the “All in the Cards Spin” bonus, both the primary display 12 and the secondary display 13, as shown in FIG. 1, may be utilized. FIGS. 6A and 6B illustrate the game screens displayed on the secondary display 13 and the primary display 12, respectively. The secondary display 13 displays a matrix of player-selectable elements 400. Each of the player-selectable elements 400 may be shown as a “Chance” card in the Monopoly™ themed wagering game. A dog symbol 405 may also be displayed on the secondary display. Each of the player-selectable elements 400 masks an award, such as credits or a random multiplier, which multiplies a credit award, as described below with respect to FIGS. 11A and 11B. The primary display 12 displays the reels 300, 305, 310, 315, and 320. The player is given the opportunity to use each of the accumulated free spins in an attempt to achieve bonus awards. More specifically, when the player uses a free spin, the reels 300, 305, 310, 315, and 320 begin to spin, as shown in FIG. 6B.
  • The purpose of the free spins is to allow the player to accumulate selections of the player-selectable elements 400 during the free spins and then make selections of the player-selectable elements 400 at the conclusion of all of the free spins. When one of the “Chance” symbols is shown on one of the reels after a free spin, the player earns the right to make a selection of one of the player-selectable elements 400. FIGS. 7A and 7B illustrate the bonus game when a “Chance” symbol 410 is achieved. As shown, the “Chance” symbol 410 is achieved as the middle symbol of the first reel 300. When a “Chance” symbol 410 is achieved, Mr. Monopoly™ 415 is displayed and grabs the “Chance” symbol 410. While the “Chance” symbol 410 is being grabbed, the dog 405 displayed on the secondary display 13 turns so that it is looking down, in a direction facing toward the primary display 12.
  • Next, Mr. Monopoly™ 415 throws the “Chance” symbol 410 toward the top of the screen on the primary display 12, as shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B. A meter 420 is displayed on the primary display 12 and illustrates the number of free spins the player has accumulated but not yet used. The meter 420 also displays the number of “Chance” picks (i.e., selections of the player-selectable elements 400) accumulated. When Mr. Monopoly™ 415 throws a “Chance” symbol 410 to the top of the primary display 12, the number of “Chance” picks shown on the meter 420 increases. In some embodiments, Mr. Monopoly™ 415 throws the “Chance” symbol up to the dog symbol 405 which catches it on the secondary display 13.
  • After all of the free spins have been used up, the screen of the player-selectable elements 400 moves from the secondary display 13 to the primary display 12, replacing the screen of the video slot reels. A new screen is then displayed on the secondary display 13. As shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B, the secondary display 13 shows the dog symbol 405 sitting below a $100 bill 440, which may be representative of 100 credits. Accordingly, by reaching this level, the player is initially awarded 100 credits. Alternatively, the amount of the initial bill 440 may be randomly selected or may be dependent upon the number of credits wagered by the player, for example. The primary display 12 displays the matrix of player-selectable elements 400 and also displays the meter 420 which indicates how many unused “Chance” picks the player has remaining. As shown in the meter 420 of FIG. 9B, the player has a total of 7 “Chance” picks.
  • The player may use the accumulated picks by individually selecting player-selectable elements 400. As shown in FIGS. 10A and 10B, the first player-selectable element 450 has a 250 credit award that is masked. The 250 credit award is displayed on the primary display and then a $250 bill 455 is displayed on the secondary display 13, next to the $100 bill 440. The number of the “Chance” picks displayed on the meter 420 is then decremented. The player continues to use the accumulated “Chance” picks until they are all used up.
  • As shown in FIGS. 11A and 11B, the player-selectable elements 400 selected by the player mask awards of 250, 75, and 50 credits, each of which are displayed on bills 455, 460, and 465, respectively, on the secondary display 13. However, with the player's fourth pick, a multiplier 470 is revealed as the award masked behind the player-selectable element 475. Mr. Monopoly™ 415 appears, and throws the multiplier 470 up to the dog symbol 405 on the secondary display 13. The multiplier 470 is representative of a random multiplier. Once the dog symbol 405 receives the multiplier 470, it begins walking up toward the various bills 455, 460, and 460 already accumulated in the secondary display 13. The dog symbol 405 randomly drops the multiplier 470 onto one of the bills, and the value of that bill is multiplied by the amount of the multiplier 470. In some embodiments, the amount of the multiplier 470 (e.g, 5×) is shown prior to the multiplier 470 being dropped on one of the accumulated bills. In other embodiments, the amount of the multiplier 470 is shown only after the multiplier 470 is dropped on one of the accumulated bills. In other embodiments, the multiplier may be applied to more than one of the bills.
  • FIGS. 12A and 12B illustrate the primary 12 and secondary 13 displays after the dog symbol 405 has dropped the multiplier 470 on one of the bills. As shown, the multiplier 470 has dropped on the $250 bill 455. Accordingly, the player achieves a bonus equal to five times this award, i.e., 1250 credits. The 1250 credit amount is then displayed as a bill while the player uses the remaining selections on remaining player-selectable elements 400 shown on the primary display 12. When the multiplier 470 is awarded, Mr. Monopoly™ 415 raises his arms to show excitement.
  • After all of the “Chance” picks of the player-selectable elements 400 have been used, the player is awarded the sum of the credit amounts listed on each of the bills shown on the secondary display 13. Standard game play, as shown in, e.g., FIGS. 3 and 5, then resumes.
  • Another type of bonus available in the Monopoly™ themed game is the “Pick 'n Match” bonus, as shown in FIG. 13. The “Pick 'n Match” bonus is a mini-progressive bonus awarded, e.g., when the player has bet the maximum number of pay lines and achieves a mini-progressive bonus triggering symbol combination such as, e.g., a combination of five “Mini-progressive” symbols on a pay line. In other embodiments, the “Mini-progressive” symbols may be scattered, and fewer than five “Mini-progressive” symbols are required to trigger the “Pick 'n Match” bonus.
  • After the “Pick 'n Match” bonus is triggered, a Mrs. Monopoly™ symbol 500 is displayed celebrating. Also, a stack 505 of Monopoly property deeds and spaces (510, 515, 520, 525, 530, 535, and 540) for seven property deeds are displayed. The player is given the opportunity to select seven of the property deeds from the stack 505. The property deeds are color-coded and resemble the property deeds from the famous Monopoly™ board game. For example, the property deeds include purple “Mediterranean Avenue” and “Baltic Avenue” deeds, as well as navy blue “Boardwalk” and “Park Place” deeds. When the player selects property deeds from the stack 505, they are placed in the spaces. If the player selects a matching set of any of the color-coded deeds, the player is awarded credits and the matching deeds are removed from the spaces and the player selects additional property deeds from the stack 505 in the spaces vacated by the matching deeds. This selection process continues until the player has either selected all matching property deeds from the stack 505 or has a set of seven property deeds in the spaces, none of which form a complete set of any of the property deeds. If the player does successfully match all of the property deeds in the stack 505, the player is awarded the mini-progressive jackpot and basic game play resumes.
  • The Monopoly™ themed wagering game also provides a standard progressive award. For example, FIG. 14 illustrates a combination of five “Monopoly Progressive” symbols 520 on an active pay line that triggers the progressive jackpot. In the event that the player achieves a combination of the five “Monopoly Progressive” symbols 520, the player will be awarded the progressive jackpot.
  • Each of these embodiments and obvious variations thereof is contemplated as falling within the spirit and scope of the claimed invention, which is set forth in the following claims.

Claims (21)

  1. 1. A gaming machine for playing a wagering game, comprising:
    a wager-input device;
    at least one display for displaying the wagering game including a plurality of player-selectable elements that mask corresponding ones of a plurality of awards, the plurality of awards including a bonus-enhancement award; and
    an input device for receiving player-inputs associated with the plurality of player-selectable elements that result in one or more of the plurality of awards becoming unmasked awards, wherein in response to the bonus-enhancement award being unmasked, the bonus-enhancement award is randomly applied to another one of the unmasked awards.
  2. 2. The gaming machine of claim 1, wherein the bonus-enhancement award is a multiplier.
  3. 3. The gaming machine of claim 2, wherein the unmasked awards include credit awards that are displayed, and in response to the multiplier being unmasked, one of the credit awards is multiplied by the multiplier.
  4. 4. The gaming machine of claim 1, wherein the input device includes a touch screen.
  5. 5. The gaming machine of claim 1, wherein the player-selectable elements are displayed as an array and the player selects from the player-selectable elements to unmask the awards.
  6. 6. The gaming machine of claim 1, wherein the wagering game includes a bonus game that awards free spins, the free spins being utilized to accumulate selections of the player-selectable elements, the selections being accumulated when a selection-triggering symbol is displayed.
  7. 7. The gaming machine of claim 6, wherein the at least one display includes a first display and a second display, the first display displaying a plurality of moveable reels having symbols located thereon and the free spins being utilized to spin the moveable reels, and second display displaying the plurality of the player-selectable elements.
  8. 8. The gaming machine of claim 1, wherein each of the unmasked awards is unmasked directly after the corresponding player-selectable element is selected.
  9. 9. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine, the method comprising:
    displaying a plurality of player-selectable elements, each of the plurality of player-selectable elements being associated with a corresponding one of a plurality of awards, the plurality of awards including a bonus-enhancement award;
    receiving selections of the player-selectable elements; and
    in response to the bonus-enhancement award being achieved, the bonus-enhancement award is randomly applied to less than all of the other awards that are achieved from the selected player-selectable elements.
  10. 10. The method of claim 9, wherein the bonus-enhancement award is a multiplier.
  11. 11. The method of claim 10, wherein credit awards associated with the selected player-selectable elements are displayed, and in response to one of the player-selectable elements associated with the multiplier being selected, one of the credit awards is multiplied by the multiplier.
  12. 12. The method of claim 9, wherein the wagering game includes a bonus game that awards free spins, the free spins being utilized to accumulate selections of the player-selectable elements, the selections being awarded when a selection-triggering symbol is displayed.
  13. 13. The method of claim 9, wherein each of the awards is displayed directly after the corresponding player-selectable element is selected.
  14. 14. A computer readable storage medium encoded with instructions for directing a gaming device to perform the method of claim 9.
  15. 15. A gaming system for playing a wagering game, comprising:
    at least one display; and
    a controller coupled to the display and programmed to
    display a plurality of player-selectable elements, each of the plurality of player-selectable elements having a corresponding one of a plurality of awards, the plurality of awards including a bonus-enhancement award;
    receive selections of the player-selectable elements; and
    randomly apply the bonus-enhancement award is to less than all of the other awards that are achieved from the selected elements, in response to the bonus-enhancement award being achieved.
  16. 16. The gaming system of claim 15, wherein the display and the controller are both located within a gaming terminal.
  17. 17. The gaming system of claim 15, wherein the display is located within a gaming terminal and the controller is located outside of the gaming terminal.
  18. 18. The gaming system of claim 15, wherein the bonus-enhancement award is a multiplier.
  19. 19. The gaming system of claim 18, wherein credit awards associated with the selected player-selectable elements are displayed, and in response to one of the player-selectable elements associated with the multiplier being selected, one of the credit awards is multiplied by the multiplier.
  20. 20. The gaming system of claim 15, wherein the wagering game includes a bonus game that awards free spins, the free spins being utilized to accumulate selections of the player-selectable elements, the selections being awarded when a selection-triggering symbol is displayed.
  21. 21. The gaming system of claim 15, wherein each of the awards is displayed directly after the corresponding player-selectable element is selected.
US11165919 2004-06-24 2005-06-24 Gaming machine having a selection feature to yield a randomly-applied multiplier Abandoned US20050288093A1 (en)

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US20100248806A1 (en) * 2006-05-23 2010-09-30 Wms Gaming Inc. Wagering Game With Pyramidal Bonus Selection Feature
US8157634B2 (en) * 2006-05-23 2012-04-17 Wms Gaming Inc. Wagering game with pyramidal bonus selection feature
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US20090117983A1 (en) * 2007-09-27 2009-05-07 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Gaming Apparatus and Method Including Oversized Symbols
US9767636B2 (en) 2007-09-27 2017-09-19 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Gaming apparatus and method including oversized symbols
US8231456B2 (en) 2007-10-17 2012-07-31 Igt Gaming device and method providing side bet for winning free activations
US8287371B2 (en) 2008-02-04 2012-10-16 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Method of gaming, a gaming system, and a game controller
US9011245B2 (en) 2008-02-04 2015-04-21 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Method of gaming, a gaming system, and a game controller
US9093307B2 (en) 2012-07-18 2015-07-28 Wms Gaming Inc. Wagering game with elements influenced by symbol array

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