US20070135207A1 - Game with changing odds and payouts - Google Patents

Game with changing odds and payouts Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070135207A1
US20070135207A1 US11/703,449 US70344907A US2007135207A1 US 20070135207 A1 US20070135207 A1 US 20070135207A1 US 70344907 A US70344907 A US 70344907A US 2007135207 A1 US2007135207 A1 US 2007135207A1
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player
game
dice
number
indicia
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Abandoned
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US11/703,449
Inventor
Elia Tarantino
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IGT Inc
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Tarantino Elia R
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US29860499A priority Critical
Priority to US09/439,934 priority patent/US6656047B1/en
Priority to US09/553,915 priority patent/US6605001B1/en
Priority to US68475900A priority
Priority to US09/838,949 priority patent/US20020055381A1/en
Priority to US11/347,769 priority patent/US20060135242A1/en
Application filed by Tarantino Elia R filed Critical Tarantino Elia R
Priority to US11/703,449 priority patent/US20070135207A1/en
Publication of US20070135207A1 publication Critical patent/US20070135207A1/en
Assigned to IGT reassignment IGT ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: COLEPAT, LLC
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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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
    • G07F17/3248Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes involving non-monetary media of fixed value, e.g. casino chips of fixed value
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00003Types of board games
    • A63F3/00157Casino or betting games
    • 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
    • G07F17/3244Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes
    • 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
    • G07F17/3262Player actions which determine the course of the game, e.g. selecting a prize to be won, outcome to be achieved, game to be played
    • 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
    • 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
    • G07F17/3286Type of games

Abstract

A method and apparatus for playing a game provides for varying payouts depending on changing odds for receiving winning combinations. In one embodiment, the magnitude of an award or payout for a winning game outcome increases as the odds of receiving the outcome decreases. In games played with indicia, awards or payouts may increase as the number of indicia used in the game is decreased. In other embodiments, the magnitude of an award or payout for a winning game outcome decreases as the odds or receiving the outcome increases.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/347,769 filed Feb. 3, 2006, which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/838,949 filed Apr. 19, 2001, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/684,759 filed Oct. 6, 2000, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/553,915 filed Apr. 20, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,605,001 issued Aug. 12, 2003, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/439,934, filed on Nov. 12, 1999, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,656,047, issued Dec. 2, 2003, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/298,604 filed on Apr. 23, 1999, each of which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to methods of playing games, gaming devices and systems.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Traditional slot machine play typically involves wagering on the spin of a mechanical or video-simulated reel. No decision making is involved, other than the decision to play. No skill is involved where the outcome of such gaming is based upon chance.
  • The interconnection of multiple gaming machines to facilitate a gaming system with progressive jackpots is in use today. Although such wide area links involve progressive jackpots, they do not take full advantage of the potential created by the interconnection of a plurality of gaming machines. Wide area links of gaming machines typically involve traditional computer-controlled slot machines, which, although popular, do not involve a substantial skill element. Furthermore, traditional slot machines facilitate a limited persistence of play. After any given spin, a player is likely to leave the computer-controlled slot machine, because each spin is a completed cycle rather than part of an ongoing game. A game in which each spin or turn is a part of an ongoing game would be advantageous because such a system would encourage a player to continue playing in order to complete a game in progress.
  • In addition, traditional slot games offer a set of potential game combinations, a few of which are predefined as winning combinations. As to those winning combinations, players are generally offered a fixed winning payout.
  • In order to add excitement to these games, progressives and other bonuses may be offered. For example, a large jackpot may be associated with a particular winning combination. However, these jackpot generally grow slowly and are infrequently awarded.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides apparatus and methods for playing various casino games. In one or more embodiments, the invention comprises a game in which winning payouts vary in accordance with changes in odds of winning.
  • In one embodiment of a game, the number of potential winning combinations is reduced over time. As the number of potential winning combinations is reduced, the payout associated with each remaining combination winning combination increases. In a number of the embodiments, a set of symbols or indicia are provided. After placing a wager, a number of the symbols from the set are displayed to a player. The player is permitted to hold one or more of the symbols and discard the others. Symbols from the remaining set of symbols are then displayed in replacement of the non-held symbols. The final set of displayed symbols are compared to predetermined winning combinations to determine if the player is a winner. One or more of the symbols are then removed from the set of symbols before the next round of play.
  • In one embodiment, the combinations comprise combinations achievable using the sides of dice (e.g., all dice showing the same indicia or symbols, the dice showing a full house, straight or the like). In one or more embodiments, the invention comprises a game in which the number of potential winning combinations is reduced as play persists by removing payable indicia based on previous pay by the player. In a number of embodiments, such comprises removing from play face(s) of the dice, by removing the symbols therefrom, replacing them with other symbols or the like.
  • In another embodiment, the odds of obtaining a particular winning combination increase over time. In such a configuration, the payout associated with a particular outcome may go down over time.
  • In one embodiment, a player may be provide multiple opportunities to obtain a winning combination. As the probability for obtaining the combination increases over time, the payout for obtaining that combination decreases.
  • In various embodiments, the games may be presented as multi-player games. A gaming system may include at least two gaming devices for presenting the game to two or more players.
  • Further objects, features, and advantages of the present invention over the prior art will become apparent from the detailed description of the drawings which follows, when considered with the attached figures.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a computer-controlled slot machine, in accordance with one embodiment of the gaming system of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of four computer-controlled slot machines assembled in a bar table according to another embodiment of the present invention for single or simultaneous multiple user play.
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a local area network of computer-controlled slot machines, according to the present invention for progressive gaming activity.
  • FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a wide area network of computer-controlled slot machines, according to the present invention for progressive gaming activity.
  • FIG. 5A is a diagram of a touch-sensitive display of a computer-controlled slot machine, in accordance with one embodiment of the gaming system of the present invention.
  • FIG. 5B is a diagram of a touch-sensitive displayofa computer-controlled slot machine, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the gaming system of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 is a block diagram of the microprocessor-controlled computer and the computer program which facilitate game play according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 7 is a flowchart illustrating the steps of game play according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 8 is a flowchart illustrating the steps of game play according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 9 is illustrates score categories comprising two distinct display areas, according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a user-interface for an alternate game of the present invention;
  • FIG. 11 is a flowchart illustrating the steps of game play of the game having the interface illustrated in FIG. 10;
  • FIG. 12 illustrates a user-interface for an alternate game of the present invention;
  • FIG. 13 is a flow chart illustrating the steps of game play of the game having the interface illustrated in FIG. 12;
  • FIG. 14 illustrates a user-interface for an alternate game of the present invention;
  • FIG. 15 is a flowchart illustrating the steps of game play of the game having the interface illustrated in FIG. 14; and
  • FIG. 16 illustrates said user-interface of said game illustrated in FIG. 14 in a particular game condition.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention comprises methods and apparatus for presenting and playing a game. In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a more thorough description of the present invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known features have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the invention
  • In general, one aspect of the invention comprises a game in which winning payouts vary as the probability of obtaining a winning outcome changes. In one embodiment, the game presents a player with the opportunity to obtain an increasing payout as play continues. In one or more embodiments, the invention comprises a game in which the number of potential winning combinations is reduced over time. As the number of potential winning combinations is reduced, the payout associated with each remaining winning combination increases.
  • In a number of the embodiments, as described below, the combinations comprise combinations achievable using the sides of dice (e.g., all dice showing the same face, the dice showing a full house, straight or the like). In one or more embodiments, the invention comprises a game in which the number of potential winning combinations is reduced as play persists by removing payable indicia based on previous pay by the player. In a number of embodiments described below, such comprises removing from play face(s) of the dice, by removing the symbols therefrom, replacing them with other symbols or the like. These and other aspects of the invention will become apparent when considering the detailed description below.
  • In other embodiments, winning payouts decrease over time, such as the probability of obtaining a particular winning combination increases.
  • In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, one or more games are presented for play on a computer-controlled slot machine, for example as shown in FIG. 1. As described below, these games may include the games of Check, Z Sixty Six, Z Hot Dice, Z Jackpot Dice, and Draw Dice. The computer-controlled slot machine 101 includes a microprocessor-controlled computer 103 within a tamper proof and lockable cabinet 109 having a coin acceptor 111 for wagers and a bill validator 113 for wagers, and preferably including a touch-sensitive display 115 for player input and game display. In addition, the computer-controlled slot machine includes a sound speaker 117 for output of digital sound and voice simulations, a tower light 119 (not shown) to indicate jackpots and other game statistics, and a meter 121 to display progressive jackpot information and other text. The computer 103 controls release of coins to a coin hopper 123 for paying players, and controls a ticket printer 125 for generating vouchers. The computer 103 also controls a machine-readable medium reading and writing device 129 for saving and restoring games in progress.
  • An alternative embodiment of the computer-controlled slot machine is illustrated in FIG. 2. A “bar buddy” version of a computer-controlled slot machine 201 includes all of the features of the computer-controlled slot machine 101. Each “bar buddy” computer-controlled slot machine 201 contains four such computer-controlled slot machines 101, assembled within a bar table 203. Each of the four touch-sensitive displays 115 for player input and game display are mounted in the surface of the bar table 203. The bar buddy computer-controlled slot machine 201 enables from one to four players to play games of the invention simultaneously, either against each other or against the house. The various modes of game play are detailed below.
  • Each computer-controlled slot machine 101 is preferably connected to a local area computer network as illustrated in FIG. 3. The local area computer network 301 is controlled by a microprocessor-controlled server computer 303 which controls game play, records game statistics, accounts for vouchers and jackpots, and links the games together. The local area computer network 301 also preferably includes a progressive meter display 305 for showing progressive jackpot information, a flat rate award display 307 for showing flat rate jackpot information, and an additional display 309 for showing the scores that presently qualify for jackpots on the local area network 301. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, all of the computer-controlled slot machines 101 are connected to the local area computer network 301 in conventional manner via private dedicated lines 311. In an alternative embodiment, some or all of the computer-controlled slot machines 101 positioned at remote locations are connected to the local area computer network 301 via modems and public telephone lines operated in secure mode through encryption/decryption techniques.
  • Each local area network 301 of computer-controlled slot machines 101 may be connected to a wide area computer network as illustrated in FIG. 4. The wide area computer network 401 includes local area computer networks 301 at various physical locations. The wide area computer network 401 is controlled by a central-site computer 403 which operates in 24-hour-a-day communication with all local area computer networks 301 on the wide area computer network 401 for security, accounting, and verification of games and jackpots. If a local area computer network 301 is connected to a wide area computer network 401, the progressive meter display 305, the flat rate award display 307, and the additional display 309 of that local area computer network 301 all display jackpot and other information pertaining to the entire wide area network 401. For example, the additional display 309 of a local area computer network 301 which is connected to a wide area computer network 401 shows scores that presently qualify for jackpots on the wide area network 401. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, each local area computer network 301 is connected to the wide area computer network 401 in conventional secured cryptographic manner via private dedicated lines 311. In an alternative embodiment, some or all of the local area computer networks 301 are connected to the wide area computer network 401 in secured cryptographic manner via modems and public telephone lines.
  • In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the computer-controlled slot machine 101 includes a touch-sensitive display 115 for player input and game display. FIG. 5A illustrates the layout of the touch-sensitive display in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention for playing the game of Check. The touch-sensitive display 115 allows the player to make input selections conveniently, and displays game information in various ways, depending upon game state. The upper left area of the display 115 displays a scorecard 501 which includes thirteen dual purpose score areas 503 pertaining to the thirteen possible scoring categories. These areas are utilized to accept a player's selection of a scoring category after achieving a scoring spin, and also to display the score achieved by a player in that category, as detailed below with respect to game play.
  • The computer-controlled display scorecard 501 is divided into two portions. The upper portion 505 of the scorecard 501 includes dual purpose score areas 503 of the display for Ones (or Aces) 507, Twos (or Deuces) 509, Threes 511, Fours 513, Fives 515, and Sixes 517. If the player exceeds a pre-determined score threshold on the upper portion 505 of the scorecard 501, the player is awarded a bonus score which is displayed in the bonus score display area 519 of the upper portion 505 of the scorecard 501. The upper portion 505 of the scorecard 501 also includes an upper portion score total display area 520 for displaying the total of all of the scores achieved in the scoring categories of the upper portion 505 of the scorecard 501. A detailed explanation of scoring is provided below with respect to game play.
  • The lower portion 521 of the display scorecard 501 includes dual purpose score areas 503 for 3-of-a-Kind 523, 4-of-a-Kind 525, Full House 527, a four-dice Straight 529, a five-dice Straight 531, the sum of all five dice (or Chance) 533, and 5-of-a-Kind (or Check) 535. The lower portion 521 of the scorecard 501 also includes a lower portion score total display area 537 for displaying the total of all of the scores achieved in the scoring categories of the lower portion 521 of the scorecard 501.
  • The display 115 includes a grand total score display area 539 which displays a player's grand total score as the sum of the upper portion score total and the lower portion score total.
  • The bottom left area of the display 115 includes five simulated dice 541. The bottom left area of the display 115 includes five hold buttons 543 immediately below the simulated dice 541. These hold buttons 543 are touch-sensitive areas, and are for holding a specific simulated dice 541 on a series of spins (rolls) when the player is attempting to obtain a certain combination, as detailed below with respect to game play.
  • The middle left area of the display 115 includes a text message box 545 for informing players of games states, such as number of spins remaining, winning combinations, game over, and for informing players of the amount of payouts.
  • The upper right area of the display 115 includes a message area 547 showing the position of the current scorecard 501 in the daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly prize jackpot award among multiple player networks for the prevailing scores. Alternatively, the message area 547 may show the top five scores on a multiple-player network that qualify for a jackpot, as well as the bottom five scores that so qualify, so that the player can see scores required to achieve a jackpot, as detailed below with respect to jackpots.
  • The bottom right area of the touch-sensitive display 115 includes a number of touch-sensitive areas which facilitate configuration and control of the game of Check. Specifically, a touch-sensitive spin button 549 activates a spin (roll) of the simulated dice 541, a touch-sensitive reset button 551 resets the scorecard 501, and a touch-sensitive start game button 553 starts a game. A touch-sensitive wager button 555 allows a player to select the number of credits to wager, a touch-sensitive game mode selection button 557 allows a player to switch between game modes, and a touch-sensitive save-restore game button 559 allows a player to save or restore a game in progress to or from a card or voucher of machine-readable medium. Of course, the various buttons or control inputs, for example 543, 549, 551, 553, 555 and 557, described herein as touch-sensitive areas on the display, 115 may also be provided as mechanical electrical input devices, as desired.
  • FIG. 5B illustrates the layout of the touch-sensitive 115 display in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention for playing the game of Z Sixty Six. The touch-sensitive display 115 allows the player to make input selections conveniently, and displays game information in various ways, depending upon game state. The upper left area of the display 115 displays a paytable 561 which indicates predetermined amounts to be paid for achieving specific scoring combinations. The paytable 561 is updated as the game progresses to reflect predetermined amounts to be paid for achieving scoring combinations at different stages of game play.
  • Below the paytable 561 are six score areas 503 of the display 115. There is a score area for Ones (or Aces) 507, for Twos (or Deuces) 509, for Threes 511, for Fours 513, for Fives 515, and for Sixes 517. Scoring combinations are assigned to appropriate score areas 503. A detailed explanation of scoring is provided below with respect to game play.
  • The bottom left area of the display 115 includes six simulated dice 541. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 5B, the simulated dice are in the form of a video simulated dice reels. Below the video simulated dice 541 is a touch sensitive spin button 549 that activates a spin (roll) of the simulated dice 541. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5B, the spin button 549 is in the form of one spin bar common to all simulated dice 541 on the display 115.
  • The upper central area of the display 115 includes a text message box 545 for informing players of games states, such as number of spins remaining, winning combinations, game over, and for informing players of the amount of payouts. The upper right area of the display 115 includes a message area 547 showing the top score on a multiple-player network that qualifies for a jackpot, as well as the bottom score that so qualifies, so that the player can see scores required to achieve a jackpot, as detailed below with respect to jackpots. Alternatively, the message area 547 may show the position of the current score in the daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly prize jackpot award among multiple player networks for the prevailing scores.
  • In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5B, a text message box 545 for informing players of payout amounts, and a text message box 546 for informing players of the number of accumulated credits are located below the message area 547.
  • The bottom right area of the touch-sensitive display 115 includes a number of touch-sensitive areas which facilitate configuration and control of the game of Z Sixty Six. A touch-sensitive reset button 551 resets the game, and a touch-sensitive start game button 553 starts a game. A touch-sensitive game mode selection button 557 allows a player to switch single and multiple-player game modes. A touch-sensitive save-restore game button 559 allows a player to save or restore a game in progress to or from a card or voucher of machine-readable medium. A touch-sensitive collect button 563 allows a player to collect accumulated winnings. In one embodiment, a touch-sensitive translate button 565 allows a player to select a language to be used for display output. Of course, the various buttons or control inputs, for example 551, 553, 557, and 559 described herein as touch-sensitive areas on the display 115, may also be provided as mechanical electrical input devices, as desired.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates the computer system that facilities game play. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention for playing the game of Check, game play is facilitated by a computer program 601 executing in the microprocessor-controlled computer 103 within the computer-controlled slot machine 101. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the computer program is stored on a read-only memory integrated circuit 603 that is operatively coupled to the microprocessor-controlled computer 103 in the computer-controlled slot machine 101. Of course, in alternative embodiments, the computer program may be stored on various other storage media, such as semiconductor memory or optical or magnetic disk, or the like.
  • The computer program 601 executes from the random access memory 605 of the microprocessor-controlled computer 103 in the computer-controlled slot machine 101, and includes code 607 and data 609 to facilitate the play of the game of Check in accordance with the game rules, as detailed below with respect to game play.
  • The computer program accepts user input from various user input devices 611 of the types previously described, including coin acceptor 111, bill validator 113, the touch-sensitive display 115, and the machine-readable medium reading and writing device 129. Other input devices including mechanical button type switches and lever-arm switch actuators may be used in alternative embodiments as desired.
  • The computer program also controls computer operation of the various output devices 613 such as the display 115, the sound speaker 117, a towerlight 119, the meter 121, the coin hopper 123, the ticket printer 125, and the machine-readable medium reading and writing device 129.
  • Preferably, the computer program 601 also controls communication with the microprocessor-controlled server computer 303 which controls the local area computer network 301. The computer program 601 controls this communication via a network port 615 and network connectivity circuitry 617 contained within the microprocessor-controlled computer 103.
  • The computer program 601 utilizes a random number generator 619 to produce random numbers that represent the results of the simulated rolling of the simulated dice 541. The computer program 601 utilizes animation circuitry 621 to produce the simulation of dice on the display 115.
  • FIG. 7 is a flowchart, illustrating play of the game of Check according to one embodiment of the present invention. The object of the game is to ‘spin’ the simulated dice 541 for scoring combinations, and to get the highest total score accumulated within scoring categories of possible dice combinations. A player begins by inserting 701 one or more coins into the coin acceptor 111, by inserting 701 one or more bills into the bill validator 113, or by utilizing credits. The player then presses 703 the touch-sensitive start game button 553 to begin game play. The player then selects 705 the number of credits to wager on the spin of the simulated dice 541 by utilizing the touch-sensitive wager button 555 which controls the selection of the number of credits to be wagered. The player next spins 707 the simulated dice 541 by pressing the touch-sensitive spin button 549. The computer program 601 utilizes the random number generator 619 to produce random numbers that represent the results of the simulated roll of the simulated dice 541.
  • On each turn, the player may spin 707 the simulated dice 541 up to three times in order to get the highest scoring combination for one of thirteen scoring categories. The thirteen scoring categories are illustrated by the following Table 1:
    How the Dice Score
    Upper Portion of Scorecard
    One (or Aces) Total of dice showing One only
    Twos (or Deuces) Total of dice showing Two only
    Threes Total of dice showing Three only
    Fours Total of dice showing Four only
    Fives Total of dice showing Five only
    Sixes Total of dice showing Six only
    Bottom Portion of Scorecard
    3-of-a-Kind Total of all five dice
    4-of-a-Kind Total of all five dice
    Full House (3 of one number, 2 25
    of another number
    Four-Dice Straight 30
    Five-Dice Straight 40
    5-of-a-Kind (or a Check) 50
    Chance (any five dice) Total of all five dice
  • After each spin the player may assign 709 the value of the simulated dice 541 to one of the possible scoring categories by utilizing the dual purpose score areas 503 of the touch-sensitive display 115. If a player does so, the computer under program control senses the touched areas 503 and totals the value of the simulated dice 541 and calculates and displays the resulting score in the dual purpose score area 503 on the touch-sensitive display 115. The total score of the upper portion 505 of the scorecard 501 is displayed on the upper portion score total display area 520 on the touch-sensitive display 115. If the total score of the upper portion 505 of the scorecard 501 is 63 or higher, for example, then a bonus of 35 points, for example, is added to the upper portion score. This bonus is displayed on the bonus score display area 519 on the display 115. The total score of the lower portion 521 of the scorecard 501 is displayed on the lower portion score total display area 537 on the display 115. The grand total score is calculated by adding the upper portion and the lower portion scores together. The grand total score is displayed on the grand total score display area 539 on the display 115.
  • Each scoring category can only be scored or selected once during a game. Once a category is used, it cannot be reused until the next game either when the game is over because the scorecard 501 is complete or the player presses the touch-sensitive reset button 551. Pressing the touch-sensitive reset button 551 clears the entire scorecard 501 in preparation for the start of a new game.
  • Instead, if the player has not yet spun 707 three times during the present turn, the player may elect not to assign 709 the value of the simulated dice 541, but instead to spin 707 again. If the player elects to spin 707 again, the player may hold 711 one or more of the simulated dice 541 by pressing one or more of the associated hold button(s) 543. The player may also release 711 one or more of any held simulated dice 541 by again pressing the associated hold button(s) 543. The player may also elect not to hold or release 711 any of the simulated dice 541. The player then selects 705 the number of credits to wager on the spin of the simulated dice 541 by utilizing the touch-sensitive wager button 555. The player next spins 707 the simulated dice 541 by pressing the touch-sensitive spin button 549.
  • A turn is over after a player has spun 707 three times, or has assigned 709 the value of the simulated dice 541 to one of the possible scoring categories by utilizing the dual purpose score areas 503 of the touch-sensitive display 115. After a player has spun 707 three times, the player must assign 709 the value of the simulated dice 541 to one of the possible scoring categories by utilizing the dual purpose score areas 503 of the touch-sensitive display 115. If the score cannot be placed into one of the categories because it does not correspond or qualify, then the player must utilize the dual purpose score areas 503 of the touch-sensitive display to assign 709 a zero to one of the remaining categories.
  • If the player has achieved a scoring combination and assigns 709 it to one of the scoring categories, the player is paid 713 via the coin hopper 123. Alternatively, the player may elect to receive credits. The computer program 601 calculates payment according to a paytable, which is based upon points scored per turn, and the number of spins needed to achieve the points, as shown, for example, in the following Tables 2 and 3:
    NUMBER OF COINS
    ×3 ×2 ×1
    CATEGORY Spin 1 Spin 2 Spin 3
    ONES TOTAL × 3 TOTAL × 2 TOTAL OF 1's
    TWOS TOTAL × 3 TOTAL × 2 TOTAL OF 2's
    THREES TOTAL × 3 TOTAL × 2 TOTAL OF 3's
    FOURS TOTAL × 3 TOTAL × 2 TOTAL OF 4's
    FIVES TOTAL × 3 TOTAL × 2 TOTAL OF 5's
    SIXES TOTAL × 3 TOTAL × 2 TOTAL OF 6's
    3 of a Kind TOTAL × 3 TOTAL × 2 TOTAL × 1
    4 of a Kind TOTAL × 3 TOTAL × 2 TOTAL × 1
    Full House 75 50 25
    Small Straight 90 60 30
    Large Straight 120  80 40
    Chance TOTAL × 3 TOTAL × 2 TOTAL × 1
    Check 150  100  50
    Check Bonus 1 300  250  100 
    Check Bonus 2 300  200  100 
    Check Bonus 3 300  200  100 
  • SCORECARD BONUSES
    TOP HALF 63 + POINTS +35 COINS
    ALL CATEGORIES FILLED +100 COINS
    SCORE 250-299 PTS. +50 COINS
    SCORE 300-349 PTS. +100 COINS
    SCORE 350-399 PTS. +150 COINS
    SCORE 400-449 PTS. +200 COINS
    SCORE 450-499 PTS. +250 COINS
    SCORE 500-549 PTS. +300 COINS
    SCORE 550-599 PTS. +350 COINS
    SCORE 600-644 PTS. +400 COINS
    PERFECT SCORE +6000 COINS
  • If the player assigns 709 a zero score to one of the categories, the player is not paid. Alternative embodiments may employ different paytables, as desired.
  • The player may then proceed with the next turn and continue filling the scorecard 501. To proceed with the next turn, the player utilizes the touch-sensitive wager button 555 to select 705 the number of credits to be wagered on the spin of the simulated dice. The player next spins 707 the simulated dice 541 by pressing the touch-sensitive spin button 549 and plays a turn, as described above. The game ends 715 when the player has filled all thirteen categories with a score or a zero or is out of credits to play the computer-controlled slot machine 101.
  • Once the game has ended, the computer program 601 evaluates the player's scorecard 501 against other current scores to determine if a progressive jackpot will be awarded on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. If the player has a currently qualifying scorecard 501, the computer-controlled slot machine 101 prints 717 a voucher for the player with a control number and other pertinent information for later redemption, if the scorecard 501 is a winner.
  • Utilizing a local area computer network 301 and a wide area computer network 401, multiple players may play the game of Check against one another instead of “against the house.” Utilizing a local area computer network 301, each participating player deposits money into an individual computer-controlled slot machine 101 for each spin. The player who achieves the highest scorecard 501 of all of the players who are participating in that multiple player game on the local area computer network 301 wins the money deposited by the various participating players (typically, minus a percentage for the house). The same methodology can be utilized across a wide area computer network 401, allowing players at different physical locations to compete against each other in real time.
  • FIG. 8 is a flowchart, illustrating play of the game of Z Sixty Six according to one embodiment of the present invention. The object of the game is to ‘spin’ the simulated dice 541 for scoring combinations, and to get the highest total score accumulated within scoring categories of possible dice combinations. A player begins by inserting 801 one or more coins into the coin acceptor 111, by inserting 801 one or more bills into the bill validator 113, or by utilizing credits. The player then presses 803 the touch-sensitive start game button 553 to begin game play. In one embodiment, three credits are automatically wagered 805 on each spin of the simulated dice 541. In another embodiment, the player selects the number of credits to wager on the spin of the simulated dice 541 by utilizing the touch-sensitive wager button 555 which controls the selection of the number of credits to be wagered. The player next spins 807 the simulated dice 541 by pressing the touch-sensitive spin button 549. The computer program 601 utilizes the random number generator 619 to produce random numbers that represent the results of the simulated roll of the simulated dice 541.
  • The player must achieve at least three of a kind on a single spin to begin play of an individual game. Until a spin generates at least three simulated dice 541 displaying identical numbers, the player must continue spinning 807 to attempt to generate the minimum achievement required for game entry. A wager is required for each spin of the simulated dice 541. Once a spin generates at least three simulated dice 541 displaying identical numbers, those simulated dice 541 are automatically held 811, and a predetermined number of points is automatically assigned 813 to the appropriate scoring area 503. The number of points awarded is displayed in the appropriate score area 503, which preferably changes color to indicate active status. The spin that generated the requisite achievement is counted as the first spin of a turn, and the scoring number becomes a target number for the remainder of the turn. A target number is a number that the player can receive points for generating during a given turn.
  • For example, if a first spin results in four aces (ones), the predetermined number of points for achieving four of a kind on the first spin of a first turn is automatically assigned 813 to the scoring area 503 for aces 507. Aces becomes the target number for the remainder of the turn. Thus, on the subsequent spins of the turn, the player will receive additional points only for generating aces.
  • The requirement of generating at least three of a kind applies only to the first turn. A player must achieve three of a kind to enter the game and begin the first turn. Once a player has generated the requisite achievement and entered the game, subsequent turns do not require a minimum achievement to begin.
  • On each turn, the player may spin 807 the simulated dice 541 up to three times in order to get the highest scoring combination for one of six scoring categories. The six scoring categories are illustrated by the following Table 4:
    Score Category How the Dice Score
    One (or Aces) Dice showing One only
    Twos (or Deuces) Dice showing Two only
    Threes Dice showing Three only
    Fours Dice showing Four only
    Fives Dice showing Five only
    Sixes Dice showing Six only
  • After the first spin of a turn, the number displayed by the largest plurality of the video simulated dice 541 automatically becomes the target number for the current turn. The simulated dice 541 of the target number are automatically held 811, and the score area 503 for the target number preferably changes color to indicate that it is the active score area 503 for the turn. If at least three dice 541 displaying the target number have been generated, a predetermined number of points is assigned 813 to the score area 503 for the target number.
  • If the first spin does not result in a largest plurality of dice 541 displaying any one number, the player selects 809 a target number from amongst those displayed by an equal number of the simulated dice 541. For example, if the first spin results in two aces, two deuces, one four and one five, the player may select 809 aces or deuces as the target number. The selection is made by touching the desired score area 503 of the touch-sensitive display 115. Preferably, the score areas 503 which the player may touch to choose a target number blink or change color or size or otherwise provide visual indication of the choices available.
  • If the player has not yet spun 807 three times during the present turn, the player may spin 807 again. The player next spins 807 the simulated dice 541 by pressing the touch-sensitive spin button 549. During the second and third spins of a turn, any generated dice 541 displaying the target number are held 811. Preselected numbers of points are assigned 813 to the appropriate scoring area 503 for scoring three, four, five, or six of the target number.
  • After each spin, if the player has achieved a scoring combination, the player is paid 815 via the coin hopper 123. Alternatively, the player may elect to receive credits. The number of predetermined points awarded for various scoring achievements is displayed in a paytable 561 on the display 115. The paytable 561 is adjusted as the game progress, reflecting predetermined numbers of points to be paid for various achievements at a particular stage of the game. For example, more points are awarded for achieving a six of a kind on a first spin than on a third spin. Amounts to be paid are based upon the odds of achieving various scoring combinations at a given stage of game play, taking into account number of unheld dice to be spun, and numbers removed from possible generation. An example of paytable 561 for a first spin of a game appears below in Table 5.
    NUMBER OF POINTS
    ACHIEVEMENT TO BE PAID
    THREE OF A KIND 3
    FOUR OF A KIND 10
    FIVE OF A KIND 50
    SIX OF A KIND 500
  • Alternative embodiments may employ different paytables 561, as desired.
  • A turn ends 817 after a player has spun 807 three times, or achieved six of the target number prior to the third spin.
  • Each scoring category can only be scored or selected once during a game. Once a category is used, it cannot be reused until the next game either when the game is over because a score has been assigned to each category, or the player presses the touch-sensitive reset button 551. Pressing the touch-sensitive reset button 551 terminates the current game and starts a new game. Once a scoring category for a given number has been used, that number is replaced for the remainder of the game by a non-numerical symbol, for example the letter “Z” or a graphic symbol of a piece of fruit, or as desired. During subsequent turns, when the random number generator 619 generates the used number, the non-numerical symbol is displayed instead.
  • After completing a turn, the player may then proceed with the next turn and continue filling the score areas 503. To proceed with the next turn, the player next spins 707 the simulated dice 541 by pressing the touch-sensitive spin button 549 and plays a turn, as described above.
  • The game ends 819 when the player has filled all six score areas 503 with a score, or is out of credits to play the computer-controlled slot machine 101.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention in which each score area 503 comprises two distinct display areas. A first display area 901 is utilized to display accumulation of points for the associated scoring category. A second display area 903 identifies the associated scoring category, for example by displaying an identification video simulated dice 905 displaying the number of the scoring category. Additionally, the second display area 903 is used to indicate a current target number for a turn, preferably by changing color to indicate that the number of the associated scoring category is the active target number. Also, the second display area 903 is preferably utilized to choose a target number from amongst those displayed by an equal number of the simulated dice 541 when necessary. The player chooses a target number by touching the second display areas 903 associated with the chosen target number. The second display area 903 which the player may touch to choose a target number blink or change color or size or otherwise provide visual indication of the choices available. Additionally, once a scoring category for a given number has been filled, the indicator for the associated second display area is replaced for the remainder of the game by a non-numerical symbol 907, for example the letter “Z” or a graphic symbol of a piece of fruit, or as desired.
  • In alternative embodiments, display of accumulated points, identification of score category, indication of current target number, indication of available choices of target number, and indication of filled categories (and in other embodiments more or fewer functions as desire) are divided between at least two display areas, in various combinations as desired.
  • Once the game has ended, the computer program 601 evaluates the player's score against other current scores to determine if a progressive jackpot will be awarded on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. If the player has a currently qualifying score, the computer-controlled slot machine 101 prints 821 a voucher for the player with a control number and other pertinent information for later redemption, if the score is a winner. In various embodiments, jackpots are awarded for achieving high scores, for achieving high scores low scores, or for achieving both high and low scores as desired.
  • Another embodiment of a game of the present invention will be described with reference primarily to FIGS. 10-11. This game is referred to herein as the game of Z Hot Dice.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a touch sensitive display 1015 for implementing the game of Z Hot Dice. A scorecard 1001 area is provided in an upper left-hand corner. The scorecard 1001 displays information regarding a particular event, the pay table for that event, prior played events, and win totals for each prior played event and the current event.
  • The scorecard 1001 includes six columns 1002, the number of columns being the same as the number of sides of dice. During game play, as described below, a target number is associated with one of the columns 1002, the target numbers comprising one of the numbers associated with a side of a dice (i.e. the numbers one through six). At a top of each column 1002 is provided a target number indicator 1003. In one embodiment, before a target number has been selected, this indicator 1003 displays a “Z” or other symbol (or nothing). A central portion 1004 of each column 1002 indicates the payout which will be awarded to a player for receiving a particular combination of the target number(s).
  • In the embodiment illustrated, the central portion 1004 is arranged to display payouts for receiving 3 of a Kind, 4 of a Kind, 5 of a Kind or Six of a Kind of the target number. A win total 1005 is provided at the bottom of each column 1002 for indicating the total payout or winnings to the player for a particular event. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that other winning combinations may be provided, such as a full house (i.e. three of the target number along with two of another number).
  • The display 1015 displays a number of simulated dice 1041, in a similar manner to that described above. Below each simulated dice area 1041 is a hold button 1043. Each button 1043 is associated with one of the simulated dice 1041 and, as described in more detail below, arranged to permit a player to “hold” the a particular simulated dice 1041 in a fixed position.
  • A number of other display areas are provided for displaying game information. For example, a message area 1047 is provided for displaying the amount of winnings in a jackpot pool. A grand total area 1039 is provided for indicating to the player their total score for the win totals 1005 of all columns 1002. In addition, a qualify score 1040 is displayed so that the player may determine if his or her grant total is sufficiently high to qualify for a bonus or jackpot (as described below).
  • A new game button 1051 is provided for permitting a player to begin a new game. As described in more detail below, once a player has placed a wager, a text messages area 1045 displays winnings paid or other information for a player. The player may bet or wager credits in single increments with a “Bet 1” button 1055, or may bet or wager a maximum allowed number of credits using a “Bet Max” button 1056. A credits area 1046 displays the credits belonging to the player.
  • A spin button 1049 is provided for permitting a player to effectuate a spin of the simulated dice 1041. A pause game button 1059 is provided for permitting a player to pause a game in progress. A player may elect to cash out by pressing a collect button 1063.
  • As described in more detail below, while in one arrangement the user interface or screen comprises a touch screen arranged to display information to a player and receive input therefrom, the user interface may comprise a combination of electrical and mechanical devices. For example, one or more of the buttons may comprise electro-mechanical buttons which may be depressed by a player. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that many players like the “tactile” feel of buttons as compared to touch screen input. Further, while the display areas are discussed separately, they may be integrated or be arranged in a number of ways other than as shown.
  • A method of play of the game of Z Hot Dice will be described with reference to FIG. 11. In a first step 1120, a player inserts a number of coins or provides other consideration for playing the game. The consideration may be dollar bills, credits from a player card or the like.
  • In a step 1122, the player presses the new game button 1051 to initiate a new game. In one or more embodiments, the gaming apparatus is configured such that if the player presses the new game at any time during the pendency of a game, the player is prompted to press the new game button again if the player actually intends to start a new game. This serves to reduce the likelihood that the player may accidentally or unintentionally press the new game button 1051 and cause a new game to begin. The prompt message may be illuminated in the text message box 1045.
  • In a step 1124, the player places a wager or bet. In one embodiment, this step comprises the player pressing the “Bet 1” button 1055 or the “Bet Max” button 1056. In one embodiment, a player is permitted to bet between one and five credits. Each credit may comprise any of a number of values, such as $0.05 U.S., $0.10 U.S., $0.25 U.S. or the like. The player may utilize the “Bet 1” button 1055 to place wagers incrementally, or press the “Bet Max” button 1056 to place a maximum bet. The payouts displayed on the central portions 1004 of the columns 1002 may be updated, as necessary, to reflect an increased payout for achieving a predetermined winning combination when the player increases the amount wagered.
  • In a step 1126 the player presses the spin button 1049. Upon depressing the spin button 1049, the simulated dice 1041 spin or move (such as in a motion simulating a “reel” displaying die faces), and then stop, as described above to simulate the random roll of dice.
  • At this point, six simulated die 1041 are displayed to the player, each die 1041 displaying one face, and thus one number, towards the player. In the arrangement illustrated in FIG. 10, the simulated die 1041 display a five, a one, a six, a two, another two, and another five.
  • In a step 1128, the player is then permitted to “hold” the dice which that player wishes to play. The held dice identify a selected target number, the target number being that number shown on the face of the held dice. For example, in the arrangement illustrated in FIG. 10, the player may elect to hold the simulated die 1041 displaying fives. In such event, the player presses the right-most and left-most buttons 1043, and the target number then comprises five.
  • In a step 1130, when the player makes a selection, the target number is displayed in the first available column 1002 of the scorecard 1001. In one embodiment, the first available column comprises the left-most column 1002 which has not been utilized during the game. Preferably, the target number is illustrated by replacing the “Z” or other symbol in the indicator 1003 with a dice displaying the target number. In the example given above, a dice displaying a five would be displayed in the left-most column 1002.
  • In one or more embodiments, a player is not permitted to select as a target number a number which has already been played in a particular game. If the player attempts to do so, a message may be displayed in the text message box 1045 to the effect that the selected number has already been played and the player must either select a new target number or spin again. Another spin may be required where the first spin does not result in the display of any available target numbers (as described below, after a target number has been played, it is preferably removed from the simulated die 1041 and will not be re-displayed). In addition, if the player selects more than one number (such as a simulated dice 1041 displaying a five and another displaying a two) the player be instructed that the action is not permitted and the player must select only one target number.
  • Preferably, when a number is selected, the particular column 1002 is highlighted, such as in brightness or a different color, to aid the user in identifying which information is pertinent to the present round of the game.
  • In one or more embodiments, the particular payout is dependent upon the player's wager, with the payout increasing with an increasing wager. Set forth below are possible paytables for wagers of one, two, three, four and five coins or bet increments for each target number. As will be appreciated, the payout increases as the number of target numbers played increases (for reasons described below). Of course, a variety of payouts may be different than those illustrated.
  • For one 1 bet:
    First Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth
    Target Target Target Target Target Target
    Number Number Number Number Number Number
    3 of a Kind 1 2 3 4 5 6
    4 of a Kind 3 4 5 8 11 33
    5 of a Kind 30 40 50 80 110 330
    6 of a Kind 300 400 500 800 1100 3300
  • For 2 coins bet:
    First Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth
    Target Target Target Target Target Target
    Number Number Number Number Number Number
    3 of a Kind 2 4 6 8 10 12
    4 of a Kind 6 8 10 16 22 66
    5 of a Kind 60 80 100 160 220 660
    6 of a Kind 600 800 1000 1600 2200 6600
  • For 3 coins bet:
    First Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth
    Target Target Target Target Target Target
    Number Number Number Number Number Number
    3 of a Kind 3 6 9 12 15 18
    4 of a Kind 9 12 15 24 33 99
    5 of a Kind 90 120 150 240 330 990
    6 of a Kind 900 1200 1500 2400 3300 9900
  • For 4 coins bet:
    First Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth
    Target Target Target Target Target Target
    Number Number Number Number Number Number
    3 of a Kind 4 8 12 16 20 24
    4 of a Kind 12 16 20 32 44 132
    5 of a Kind 120 160 200 320 440 1320
    6 of a Kind 1200 1600 2000 3200 4400 13200
  • For 5 coins bet:
    First Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth
    Target Target Target Target Target Target
    Number Number Number Number Number Number
    3 of a Kind 1 10 15 20 25 30
    4 of a Kind 15 20 25 40 55 165
    5 of a Kind 150 200 250 400 550 1650
    6 of a Kind 1500 2000 2500 4000 5500 16500
  • If after the first spin and hold, the player has a winning combination of simulated dice 1041, then the win total is indicated in the win total area 1005 of the scorecard 1001, and the text message box 1045 may indicate the winnings. For example, in the event upon the first spin of the game the spin results in four simulated dice 1041 showing a five, then the player may hold these four simulated dice for a “4 of a Kind” of a target number of fives. The payout for this combination may then be indicated in the win total area for the first column 1002, and the text message box 1045 indicate the winnings to be paid.
  • In one embodiment, payouts for combinations of target numbers which are eliminated may be removed from the scorecard 1001. For example, in the above-referenced example, the payout for a 3 of a Kind may be removed from the first column 1002, since the player has already received at least a 4 of a Kind. In addition, the payout which the player has already received upon the first spin for that target number may be highlighted to bring to the attention of the player that he or she has already won. This highlighting may be by displaying the payout in a distinguishing color or brightness or other means available. The word “paid” may be indicated in the particular area of the scorecard 1001 as well.
  • In accordance with the present invention, in a step 1132, after holding one or more of the simulated dice 1041, or after an indication that no dice can be held, then the player presses the spin button 1049 again. All of the simulated dice 1041 which were not held spin and then stop, again displaying a number.
  • In a step 1134, the total number of simulated dice 1041 displaying the target number after the second spin are then counted for determining whether a payout is to be awarded. A win total is displayed in the win total area 1005 of the particular column. This win total may be 0, in the event the player did not receive a sufficiently high number of simulated dice 1041 displaying the target number (for example, a player may elect to hold two dice showing the target number after the first spin and not receive any additional dice showing the target number after the second spin, thus not receiving a minimum three of the target number for an award). The payout for that “round” may then be updated in the text message box 1045.
  • In a step 1136, the win totals from all win total areas 1005 are summed and displayed as a total score in the total score area 1039. Preferably, a qualifying score for a jackpot bonus is displayed in the qualifying score area 1040, again which the player may compare their score.
  • In a step 1138 it is determined if the player wishes to cash out. This is indicated by a player pressing the collect button 1063. In such event, any accumulated winnings and credits are paid to the player. In that event, the game ends.
  • In a step 1140, it is determined if the player wishes to pause the game. If the player wishes to pause the game, the player pushes the pause game button 1059. A process is then initiated by which the player may leave the game and begin play at a later time and even at a different gaming machine, as described in more detail below.
  • If the player wishes to continue the game, it is determined in a step 1142 if all of the columns 1002 of the scorecard 1001 are filled. If so, then the player has completed the game. In a step 1146, the player's total score is compared to the qualifying score to determine if the player qualifies for participation in the jackpot. If the player qualifies, then in a step 1148, the player is provided with a voucher or the like, in similar manner to that described above with respect to the game of Z Sixty Six.
  • In a step 1144, after a particular target number has been played in a round, that target number is replaced on each simulated dice 1041 with another symbol or is removed. As described above, this may be a symbol, such as a “Z,” or a picture of a fruit or the like. In one embodiment, it is preferred that the replacement symbols be different so that at no time can a player receive a sequence of the same symbols during a spin. Such may be confusing to a player and lead a player into believing that they have spun into a winning combination. For example, the replacement symbols may comprise an X on the first simulated dice 1041, an O on the second simulated dice 1041, an X on the third simulated dice 1041 and so on, so that if a player spins and the simulated dice stop on the replacement symbols, they display XOXOX. In a preferred embodiment, the side of the dice is effectively made blank or the symbol removed from preventing its further display.
  • In another embodiment, the replacement symbols may actually be arranged so that a player may spin into a new bonus combination for which a payout is awarded. For example, each number or dice face may be replaced with a $ symbol, such that during later play if the player receives a display of all of these symbols after a spin, the player is awarded a special prize or payout.
  • If all of the columns 1002 of the scorecard 1001 are not filled, the player may, repeating again to step 1124, place a bet or wager. The player may be provided with an indication in the text message box 1045 after a given round that they may place a bet to continue with the game.
  • The game then continues as described above. It will be appreciated that after a first target number has been played, a spin of the simulated dice 1041 may result in a display of all of the remaining numbers and/or the symbols used to replace the already played target number. As the number of played numbers increases, the probability of receiving a target number decreases. For this reason, as detailed above, the payout for receiving a winning combination of each target number increases as the game progresses.
  • The player may continue playing until each of the target numbers one through six, have been played (in any order). At such time, the total score for the player is compared to the qualifying score to determine if the player is entitled to participate in a jackpot or additional play. Regardless of the outcome, the player must then begin a new game to continue play.
  • Another embodiment of a game of the present invention will be described with reference primarily to FIGS. 12-13. This game is referred to herein as the game of Z Jackpot Dice.
  • FIG. 12 illustrates an interface 1215 for implementing the game of Z Jackpot Dice. A scorecard 1201 area is provided in an upper left-hand corner. The scorecard 1201 displays information regarding a particular play event, the pay table for that event, prior played events, and win totals for each prior played event and the current event.
  • The scorecard 1201 is similar to that of the previous embodiment in many respects, and includes six columns 1202, one for each of the six sides of a dice and the numbers associated therewith. At a top of each column 1202 is provided a target number indicator 1203. In one embodiment, before a target number has been selected, this indicator 1203 comprises a blank dice. A central portion 1204 of each column 1202 indicates the payout for a particular combinations of the target number and/or other numbers. As illustrated, the central portion 1204 is arranged to display payouts for receiving 3 of a Kind, 4 of a Kind, and 5 of a Kind of the target number, as well as a full house, a full house comprising three of the target number and a pair of another number. Preferably, the payouts for all combinations are illustrated in the central portion 1204, regardless of whether a particular column 1202 is active (as described below). However, it is desired that the payout information for the non-active column to be displayed less brightly or less visibly than the information provided in the active column. In this manner, a player is provided with information regarding the possible payouts for receiving combinations in any particular column, but the player's attention is directed to the active column 1202 so as to avoid the player being confused as to which column 1202 is being played.
  • A bonus value 1206 is provided in the column 1202. The bonus value 1206 comprises a payout value which the player may win in a manner described in more detail below. In a preferred embodiment, the bonus value 1206 comprises a sum which is related to the amount of wagers placed by players when playing the game, such as a percentage of the wagers or retained winnings by the game provider/house.
  • A win total 1205 is provided at the bottom of each column 1202 for indicating the total payout or winnings to the player for a particular event.
  • The interface 1215 also includes a number of reels 1241. In the preferred embodiment of this game, five reels 1241 are provided. In a preferred embodiment, each reel 1241 is capable of displaying one of nine symbols: one symbol each comprising a side of a dice, and three symbols comprising a letter in three different colors. Thus, each reel 1241 is capable of displaying dice sides having a one, two, three, four, five and six thereon. The first reel is preferably arranged to display the letter “B” in the colors of red, white and blue. The second reel is preferably arranged to display the letter “O” in the colors of red, white and blue. The third reel is preferably arranged to display the letter “N” in the colors of red, white and blue. The fourth reel is preferably arranged to display the letter “U” in the colors of red, white and blue. The fifth reel is preferably arranged to display the letter “S” in the colors of red, white and blue.
  • It will be appreciated that the reels 1241 may comprise a displayed image on a video display. In one or more other embodiments, the reels 1241 may comprise mechanical reels having one or more of the images printed thereon and/or capable of being displayed thereon. In general, each reel 1241 is arranged to simulate a throw or spin of an imaginary nine-side dice having sides displaying the above-described numbers and symbols. Thus, as one aspect of the invention, dice or similar physical items are represented either graphically or on a physical reel.
  • Below each reel 1241 is a hold button 1243. Each button 1243 is associated with one of the reels 1241 and, as described in more detail below, arranged to permit a player to “hold” the position of a particular reel 1241 in a fixed position.
  • A number of display areas are provided for displaying related game information. For example, a message area 1247 is provided for displaying the amount of winnings in a jackpot pool. A grand total area 1239 is provided for indicating to the player the total score of the win totals 1205 of all columns 1202. In addition, a qualify score 1240 is displayed so that the player may determine if his or her grand total is sufficiently high to qualify for a bonus or jackpot (as described below).
  • A new game button 1251 is provided for permitting a player to begin a new game. As described in more detail below, once a player has placed a wager, a text messages area 1245 may be used to display information, such as game play information. The game play information may be accessible by pressing an information button 1270.
  • Display areas are provided for displaying winner paid information 1271, bet information 1272, and credit information 1273. The player may bet or wager credits in single increments with a “Bet 1” button 1255, or may bet or wager a maximum allowed number of credits using a “Bet Max” button 1256.
  • A spin button 1249 is provided for permitting a player to effectuate a spin of the simulated dice 1241. A player may elect to cash out by pressing a cash out button 1263.
  • As illustrated, a coin acceptor 1213 and bill acceptor 1214 are provided for accepting wagers by a player. A player card reader 1275 is provided for reading a player card. The player card may contain credits which can be used to place bets, may contain player information for reading by the machine, and may store game information, such as a qualifying score, as described in more detail below. A ticket dispenser 1276 is provided for dispensing tickets. As described in detail below, the ticket information may comprise game information, such an in-progress or completed game information.
  • A method of play of the game of Z Jackpot Dice will be described with reference to FIG. 13. In a first step 1320, a player inserts a number of coins (as by coin acceptor 1213), bills (as by bill acceptor 1214) or provides other consideration for playing the game. Consideration may also comprise credits from a player card or the like.
  • In a step 1322, the player places a wager or bet. In one embodiment, this step comprises the player pressing the “Bet 1” button 1255 or the “Bet Max” button 1256. In one embodiment, a player is permitted to bet between one and five credits. Each credit may comprise any of a number of values, such as $0.05 U.S., $0.10 U.S., $0.25 U.S. or the like. The player may utilize the “Bet 1” button 1255 to place wagers incrementally, or press the “Bet Max” button 1256 to place a maximum bet.
  • In a step 1324 the player presses the spin button 1249. Upon depressing the spin button 1249, the reels 1241 spin or move (either by mechanical rotation or by computer generated graphics) and then stop. At this point, one symbol is displayed in association with each reel 1241. In the arrangement illustrated in FIG. 12, the symbols six, white O, blue N, one and red S are displayed.
  • In a step 1326, it is determined if the player placed the maximum bet. If so, then in step 1328 it is determined if the player has received a specific combination of displayed symbols on the reels 1241. In one or more embodiments, a player is declared a winner if the player receives the symbols spelling BONUS. In one embodiment, if the player receives the symbols spelling BONUS in mixed colors, then the player is awarded the bonus amount in the display 1206 for the present column. If the player receives the symbols spelling BONUS in the same colors (i.e. all red, white or blue) then the player is awarded the bonus amount in the display 1206 for all columns 1202.
  • In one or more embodiments, a player is declared a winner if the player receives the same number on each of the reels 1241 (i.e. all ones, twos), and that number has not already been played. In a preferred embodiment, when the player receives the same number on each of the reels 1241, then the player is awarded the payout for 5 of a Kind as well as the bonus amount.
  • If the player is a winner, then in step 1329, the total of any winnings is displayed in the total 1205 portion of the column being played. In the preferred embodiment, the column being played is the left-most column 1202 which has yet to be played. The totals of all column 1202 totals are displayed in the total score area 1239.
  • As an example, if a player receives BONUS spelled in other than symbols of a single color, then the player receives the bonus amount 1206 for that column. That amount is then placed into the total portion 1205 of that column and then indicated in the total score area 1239 along with any other previous total amounts. If a player receives BONUS spelled in a single color, then the player receives the bonus amount 1206 for each and every column. In such event, the totals 1205 for each column 1202 are updated to reflect this winning, as is the player's total score. If a player receives a 5 of a Kind of a new target number, then the player is awarded the payout for a 5 of a Kind and the bonus amount, and the first open column 1202 is highlighted and the target number displayed thereabove.
  • In a step 1330, once the player has been declared a winner, it is determined if the player received a win by a 5 of a Kind or receiving the BONUS symbols. If the player received a 5 of a Kind win, then in step 1332, it is determined if the player wishes to cash out (as via a step 1348 as described below). If the player won by receiving the BONUS symbols, then the player is entitled to respin again in an attempt to obtain a combination of target numbers, as in step 1224. Of course, if the player again receives a win on the first spin, the process repeats. If the player received the same number on each of the reels, i.e. a 5 of a Kind, then the play for that particular target number is completed and the player moves to the next round. In one or more embodiments, the player may be required to place another bet in order to spin again after having received a win by hitting the BONUS win.
  • If in step 1326 it is determined that the player did not place a maximum bet, then in step 1334 it is determined if the player received a 5 of a Kind of a new target number. If so, then in step 1336, the player is awarded the payout for that combination, and the award is displayed in the appropriate column. It is next determined if the player wishes to cash out in step 1348.
  • If in steps 1326 and 1334 it is determined that the player did not receive a BONUS win or a 5 of a Kind, then in step 1338, the player is permitted to “hold” any of the reels 1241 which display a number. When the player holds a particular number, that number becomes the target number. For example, referring to FIG. 12, the player may wish to hold the six displayed on the first reel 1241.
  • In a step 1340, when the player makes a hold selection, the target number is displayed in the first available column 1202 of the scorecard 1201. In one embodiment, the first available column comprises the left-most column 1202 which has not been utilized during the game. Preferably, the target number is illustrated by illustrating the target number on the dice 1203 at the top of the column. In the example given above, a dice displaying a six would be displayed in the left-most column 1202.
  • In one or more embodiments, a player is not permitted to select as a target number a number which has already been played in a particular game. If the player attempts to do so, a message may be displayed in the text message box 1245 to the effect that the selected number has already been played and the player must either select a new target number or spin again. Another spin may be required where the first spin results in only numbers which have already been played. In addition, if the player selects more than one number (such as a simulated dice 1241 displaying a five and another displaying a two) the player be instructed that the action is not permitted and the player must select only one target number. Also, a player is not permitted to hold any of the non-numeric symbols, such as B, 0, N, U or S.
  • Preferably, when a number is selected, the particular column 1202 is highlighted, such as in brightness or a different color, to aid the user in identifying which information is pertinent to the present round of the game. In addition, once a particular target number is selected, the payouts are highlighted in the central payout portion 1204 of the scorecard 1201.
  • In one or more embodiments, the particular payout is dependent upon the player's wager, with the payout increasing with an increasing wager. These payouts may be similar to those described and illustrated above.
  • In one embodiment, payouts for combinations of target numbers which are eliminated may be removed from the scorecard 1201. For example, the payout for a 3 of a Kind may be removed from the column 1202 being played when the player has already received at least a 4 of a Kind. In addition, the payout which the player has already received upon the first spin for that target number may be highlighted to bring to the attention of the player that he or she has already won. This highlighting may be by displaying the payout in a distinguishing color or brightness or other means available. The word “paid” may be indicated in the particular area of the scorecard 1201 as well.
  • In accordance with the present invention, in a step 1342, after holding one or more of the reels 1241, or after an indication that no reels 1241 can be held, then the player presses the spin button 1249 again. All of the reels 1241 which were not held spin and then stop, again displaying a number.
  • In a step 1344, it is determined if the player has received any predetermined winning combinations. If the player did not hold any of the reels 1241, it is possible that on the second spin the player received the symbols spelling BONUS. Preferably, the player is awarded a win as described above for spelling BONUS, if the player has placed the maximum bet. In any event, if the player spells BONUS, that player is entitled to an extra spin in order to permit the player to receive the maximum number of the target numbers.
  • It is also determined if the player has received a combination of the target number which qualifies as a win. In the embodiment illustrated, the player is a winner if he or she receives at least three of the target number, such as 3 of a Kind, 4 of a Kind or 5 of a Kind of the target number, or if the player receives a full house (i.e. 3 of a Kind of the target number plus a pair of another number).
  • A win total is displayed in the win total area 1205 of the particular column. This win total may be 0, in the event the player did not receive a winning combination (for example, a player may elect to hold two dice showing the target number after the first spin and not receive any additional dice showing the target number after the second spin, thus not receiving a minimum three of the target number for an award). The total payout to the player may be updated in the winner paid display area 1271.
  • In a step 1346, the win totals from all win total areas 1205 are displayed, then summed and displayed as a total score in the total score area 1239. Preferably, a qualifying score for a jackpot bonus is displayed in the qualifying score area 1240, again which the player may compare their score.
  • In a step 1348 it is determined if the player wishes to cash out. This is indicated by a player pressing the collect button 1263. In such event, any accumulated winnings and credits are paid to the player. In that event, the game ends.
  • If the player wishes to continue the game, it is determined in a step 1332 if all of the columns 1202 of the scorecard 1201 are filled (i.e. all of the target numbers have been played). If so, then the player has completed the game. In a step 1350, the player's total score is then compared to the qualifying score to determine if the player qualifies for participation in the jackpot. If the player qualifies, the player is provided with a voucher or the like, in similar manner to that described above. This voucher may be dispensed by the jackpot ticket dispenser 1276.
  • If all of the columns 1202 of the scorecard 1201 are not filled, the player may, repeating again to step 1224, place a bet or wager. The player may be provided with an indication in the text message box 1245 after a given round that they may place a bet to continue with the game.
  • In a preferred embodiment, after a particular target number has been played in a round, that target number is removed from each reel 1241. Preferably, the space for the removed target number is made blank. In other embodiments, as described above, the symbol may be replaced.
  • Further, upon the beginning of the next round, the column 1202 for the last target number is darkened or the like so that the player's attention is directed to the now active column 1202. It is preferred, however, that any winning amounts to the player still be displayed in the prior columns 1202 for identification to the player. In addition, it is preferred that the bonus amount for each played column be removed so as to not confuse the player. In such event, the bonus amount for each previously played column is placed in a bonus pool for award to the player in the event the player receives a combination of the letters BONUS in all of the same color.
  • The game then continues as described above. It will be appreciated that after a first target number has been played, a spin of the reels 1241 may result in a display of all of the remaining numbers and/or the symbols used to replace the already played target number. As the number of played numbers increases, the probability of receiving a target number decreases. For this reason, as detailed above, the payout for receiving a winning combination of each target number increases as the game progresses.
  • It will be appreciated that the particular symbols which are utilized in the game of Z Jackpot Dice may vary. For example, the non-numeric symbols need not comprise the letters B, 0, N, U and S, and do not need to comprise one of each in three different colors. For example, the non-numeric symbols might comprise pictures of fruit or other items. Differing combinations of the non-numeric symbols may be achieved through color, size or other designation. In addition, a greater or lesser number of non-numeric symbols may be provided with each reel. For example, there may be only two, or as many as four or more of each of the letters, each in different colors.
  • It will also be appreciated that in one or more embodiments, the player may be permitted to hold one of the non-numeric symbols, i.e. B, 0, N, U, and/or S, in an attempt to gain a winning combination of such symbols on a second spin or play.
  • While a specific order of events has been described for the play of Z Jackpot Dice, the order of events and activities may be varied from that above. For example, the times at which columns are highlighted, played numbers are indicated at the top of the columns and the like may vary from that described above. In this regard, the above-description is simply exemplary of an implementation of the concepts of the Z Jackpot Dice game.
  • Utilizing a local area computer network 301 and a wide area computer network 401, multiple players may play the game Z Sixty Six, Z Hot Dice or Z Jackpot Dice against one another instead of “against the house.” Utilizing a local area computer network 301, each participating player deposits money into an individual computer-controlled slot machine 101 for each spin. The player who achieves the highest game score of all of the players who are participating in that multiple player game on the local area computer network 301 wins the money deposited by the various participating players (typically, minus a percentage for the house). The same methodology can be utilized across a wide area computer network 401, allowing players at different physical locations to compete against each other in real time.
  • As described above, in any of the games of the invention, including Check, Z Sixty Six, Z Hot Dice and Z Jackpot Dice, a player may attempt to obtain a high total score for qualifying for a jackpot. In one or more embodiments, the jackpot comprises a percentage of the monies wagered by the players of the game(s). In this manner, the jackpot continues to increase over time with play, and overtime, may comprise a multi-million dollar jackpot. The jackpot may comprise monies belonging to the establishment offering the game, and may comprise other than cash prizes.
  • In one or more embodiments, jackpot prizes are awarded at various intervals. The interval may be daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or the like. The intervals may vary or be evenly spaced.
  • In a preferred embodiment, jackpot prizes are awarded to one or more players who have achieved a high score playing the game. In one embodiment, a set number of players, such as twenty, who have achieved the highest scores playing the game during a jackpot interval may participate in the jackpot. For example, the jackpot may be awarded on the 1st of each month, with the players who have achieved the twenty highest scores during the previous month participating in the jackpot. Of course, a gaming establishment may determine the total number of participants.
  • The participation by the players in the jackpot may be even (i.e. divide the jackpot by the number of participating players) or may be on a sliding or other scale where the higher the player's ranking, the greater that player's participation in the jackpot. The jackpot may also be a fixed amount for each player, or be fixed based on their ranking.
  • Of course, the manner by which a player is determined to be entitled to participate in the jackpot may vary. For example, players having the lowest scores may be entitled to participate.
  • Those of skill in the art will appreciate the enticement of such a jackpot award system to a player. In this arrangement, a player need not receive any specific predetermined winning combination or point total. Instead, a player need only achieve a sufficiently high score to be included in the jackpot award. The high score is not fixed, but is dependent upon the scores of other players. Thus, during any particular jackpot interval, the score which a player needs to achieve to participate in the jackpot may vary.
  • A player may track whether or not they are in the running to win the jackpot during a given payout interval. The player may compare their score(s) against the minimum qualifying score at any time to determine if they are still entitled to participate in the jackpot. A player may determine that their score is no longer high enough to qualify for jackpot participation (such as by reason of a number of later players receiving higher scores and displacing the player from the top twenty highest scores). In such event, a player may play one or more games before the award of the next jackpot in an attempt to re-qualify.
  • In one or more embodiments, the jackpot qualifying scores may be published, such as on the Internet, permitting a player to conveniently track their participation. In addition, the list of winners of a particular jackpot may be published. The winners may be listed by winning number, which number is printed on the player's voucher. The player may then redeem the voucher for their jackpot award at a gaming establishment or other location.
  • Alternatively, achieving a predetermined score may be utilized for awarding a predetermined jackpot. For instance, if a player achieves a perfect score, meaning the theoretically highest score for each category, then a jackpot may be awarded for such achievement.
  • In one or more embodiments of the invention, a number of different jackpot prizes may be provided, the prizes associated with different intervals. For example, a first jackpot prize may be associated with a weekly interval, and another jackpot prize associated with a monthly interval. In one embodiment, jackpot prizes associated with longer intervals may be larger than those which are associated with shorter intervals.
  • In this embodiment, a player may be permitted to select which jackpot prize they wish to play for. For example, a player may begin a game and be permitted to select the desired jackpot to play for. A player may select the “weekly” jackpot. The player's game result is then used in determining whether the player is entitled to the weekly jackpot at the time the jackpot is awarded. In such an embodiment, the player's game result or score is not associated with participation in other jackpots, such as the monthly jackpot.
  • In another embodiment, a player may be permitted to attempt to win more than one jackpot. For example, for an additional bet, a player may be permitted to participate in one additional jackpot. For yet another additional bet, a player may be permitted to participate in another additional jackpot. By way of example, upon a player placing two additional bets, a player may attempt to win both the weekly and monthly jackpot using the score or result of their game.
  • In another embodiment, a jackpot or prize may be awarded for game outcomes (such as highest score) of a group or number of games. For example, a jackpot or prize may be awarded to the player receiving the highest score while playing a game of a group or set of 100 games played. In one embodiment, each gaming machine may be arranged to provide such a jackpot or prize for each set or group of games played.
  • It will be appreciated that the predetermined winning combinations and their payouts may vary from those described and illustrated herein. For example, instead of attempting to achieve a five of a kind of a given number, a player may be directed to achieve a full house, a straight or other combinations. In one or more embodiments, especially when bonuses or jackpots are not awarded, winning combinations may include the more commonly obtained 2 pair or even a single pair. It will be appreciated that when a portion of the wager is diverted to the generation of bonus and jackpot payouts, paying on such commonly occurring combinations is less desirable, as the hold for the game may be minimal or non-existent to the house.
  • In one or more embodiments of a game in accordance with the invention, bonus points or awards may be provided when a player receives particular indicia combinations. In one embodiment, a player may be awarded a bonus, such as bonus points, for completing a particular scoring category on a first spin or roll of the dice. For example, in the event the player receives five “4's” on first roll of the dice, thus filling the category for “4's” then the player may be awarded bonus points in addition to the points awarded for the total of “4's.” Referring to FIG. 5(a), the player may be awarded 20 points for the five “4's” plus a bonus of 300 points for completing the “4's” category on the first spin.
  • In one embodiment, a bonus or bonus points may be awarded for receiving a combination or completing a category on other than the first spin or roll. For example, a first bonus may be awarded for receiving a combination or completing a category on the first roll, a second bonus for doing so on the second roll, and a third bonus for doing so on the third roll. If upon the third roll the player did not complete the category, then no bonus may be awarded. For example, if after the third roll the player received only three “4's,” the player may be awarded only the 12 points for the “4's.” In one embodiment, the bonus associated with receiving a combination or completing a category may decrease for each additional spin necessary.
  • In addition, the total number of reels or simulated dice may be varied. In the examples illustrated, 5 or 6 of such simulated dice or reels are illustrated and described. However, the games may be played with a lesser number or greater number (i.e. such combination as 7 of a Kind being obtainable, or a maximum of 4 of a Kind). Those of skill in the art will appreciate that as the total number of available combinations changes, the payouts may need to be changed in order to both entice a player into playing and yet prevent the house from risking loss.
  • Another embodiment of a game of the present invention will be described with reference primarily to FIGS. 14-16. This game is referred to herein as the game of Draw Dice.
  • FIG. 14 illustrates a touch sensitive display 1415 for implementing the game of Draw Dice. A payout table 1401 is provided in an upper left-hand corner. The payout table 1401 displays information regarding a particular winning combination and the payout for the combination.
  • The payout table 1401 includes six columns 1402. In a first column are listed a variety of particular combinations of indicia which may be obtained by play of the game described in more detail below. At a top of the remaining columns 1402 is a bet indicator 1403. Below each bet indicator 1403 is a payout amount which indicates the payout which will be awarded to a player for receiving a particular winning combination.
  • In the embodiment illustrated, the payout table 1401 displays payouts for receiving two pairs of 4's, 5's or 6's, 2 pair, 3 of a Kind, a Straight, a Flush, a Full House, a 4 of a Kind, a 5 of a Kind, a Royal Flush or a Perfect Royal. The significance of these combinations will be described below. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that other winning combinations may be provided, dependent upon the type of game which is implemented.
  • The display 1415 displays a plurality of indicia. In a preferred embodiment, the indicia include a number of simulated dice 1441 (or at least one face or side of a dice), in a similar manner to that described above. Below each simulated dice area 1441 is a hold button 1443. Each button 1443 is associated with one of the simulated dice 1441 and, as described in more detail below, arranged to permit a player to “hold” a particular simulated dice 1441 in a fixed position.
  • A number of other display areas are provided for displaying game information. For example, a jackpot bonus value 1039 is displayed
  • In order to play the game, the player is preferably required to place a wager, such as by providing coins, dollar bills or other credit. The player may bet or wager credits in single increments with a “Bet 1” button 1455, or may bet or wager a maximum allowed number of credits using a “Bet Max” button 1456. A credits area 1446 displays the credits belonging to the player. A coins bet area 1447 is provided for displaying the number of coins bet by a player on a given game.
  • A wide variety of other features may be provided. For example, a bet cancel button 1448 may be provided to permit a player to cancel their bet. Winnings may be displayed in a winner paid area 1449. A spin button 1451 is provided for permitting a player to effectuate a spin of the simulated dice 1441.
  • As described in more detail below, while in one arrangement the user interface or screen comprises a touch screen arranged to display information to a player and receive input therefrom, the user interface may comprise a combination of electrical and mechanical devices. For example, one or more of the buttons may comprise electro-mechanical buttons which may be depressed by a player. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that many players like the “tactile” feel of buttons as compared to touch screen input. Further, while the display areas are discussed separately, they may be integrated or be arranged in a number of ways other than as shown.
  • As described herein, a wide variety of combinations of indicia may be used to comprise the simulated dice 1441 or other indicia used in the game. In the preferred embodiment of Draw Dice, there are five reels 1442 or simulated reels. Each reel 1442 is capable of displaying symbols or indicia comprising or representing each of the six sides of a dice 1441. In a more preferred embodiment, each reel 1442 is capable of displaying each of the six sides of a dice in each of a plurality of colors or otherwise including distinguishing attributes or characteristics. In one embodiment, each reel 1442 is capable of displaying each of the six sides of a dice in each of three colors, such as red, white and blue.
  • In one embodiment, play of the game results in each reel 1442 displaying one indicia as part of a resulting combination of a spin or event. In one embodiment, a spin may result in a reel 1442 displaying a blank or non-dice indicia which comprises part of the results of a spin. The reel 1442 may also display indicia representing a side of a dice. As illustrated in FIG. 16, while at most only one side of a dice or other indicia (such as a blank space) comprises the result of a spin for purposes of determining if a winning combination has been received, other indicia may be displayed and be viewed by a player.
  • In the preferred embodiment, the ability of the reels 1442 to display each dice side in three different colors or with other distinguishing attributes creates the opportunity for unique winning combinations, as detailed in part above with respect to the payout table 1401. In one embodiment, a winning combination may comprise a pair of 5's, whether of the same or different colors. The opportunity for a flush exists, the flush comprising a combination of dice of the same color, regardless of value (i.e. regardless of which sides of the dice are shown). A royal flush comprises any combination of five simulated dice 1441 comprising each of the values 1-5 or 2-6, in any color. For example, a royal flush may comprise the dice combination 5 blue, 3 red, 1 white, 2 blue and 4 red. A perfect royal comprises an in-sequence combination of simulated dice 1441 all of the same color. This requires that the simulated dice be displayed in forward or reverse order 1-2-3-4-5, 5-4-3-2-1, 2-3-4-5-6 or 6-5-4-3-2. Because each reel 1442 is capable of displaying the sides of the dice in three colors, there are 3×4, or 12, ways to achieve the perfect royal flush. In addition, as a result of the fact that five simulated dice may be displayed in combination, the opportunity exits for a 5 of a Kind comprising five simulated dice showing the same side or value. It will now be appreciated that by providing indicia comprising the sides of dice, and multiples of each side of dice having distinguishing attributes, and by providing several reels, a wide variety of unique combinations of indicia are provided which may comprise winning combinations. Further, because of the number of variable parameters, the payouts for winning combinations may be particularly selected. For example, a gaming manufacturer or establishment may wish to provide a particular percentage return on wagers placed, and may wish to pay winnings for combinations which are frequently received. In both cases, such can be achieved using the many variable parameters associated with the indicia and reels.
  • It will be appreciated that the number of duplicates of each side of a dice may vary, such as by having each reel 1442 capable of displaying two or four or more of each side of a dice. In such event, two colors or four or more colors may be used to distinguish the duplicates of the sides of the dice. As stated above, other distinguishing attributes may be provided, such as card suits, secondary values and the like. In one embodiment, there may be multiples of each side of a dice each having the same attribute. For example, each reel 1442 may select an indicia for display from a group which includes multiples of the same side of a dice in the same color. It will be appreciated that such combinations are useful in changing the odds of receiving a particular combination. As used herein, the term “selection” for purposes of determining which indicia is to be displayed is not limited to the stoppage of a reel 1442 having the indicia displayed, but may be simply as a result of a computer generation or selection (such as randomly or randomly with odds factors) of the indicia, and then the display of that indicia or the stoppage of the reel at a point displaying that indicia.
  • In one embodiment, upon a second spin or display of indicia, each reel 1442 is capable of redisplaying the same indicia (e.g. the group of indicia from which the indicia is selected upon the second spin is the same as upon the first spin). In another embodiment, once an indicia has been displayed by a reel 1442, upon a second spin it can not be re-displayed.
  • In one or more embodiments, the reels 1442 may be capable of displaying a wide variety of indicia other than the dice indicia 1441. As stated above, these indicia may comprise blank spaces or other non-dice indicia. In such event, the winning combinations may be varied. For example, the reels 1442 may be capable of displaying a colored spot, wherein that colored spot may be used to form a flush, but not a straight (since it has no associated value).
  • The present invention is not limited to the display of the dice side indicia by video means. The indicia may be displayed in a variety of manners, such as on a mechanical reel, by hologram or the like.
  • A method of play of the game of Draw Dice will be described with reference to FIG. 15. In a first step 1520, a player inserts a number of coins or provides other consideration for playing the game, such as dollar bills. Consideration may also comprise credits from a player card or the like.
  • In a step 1522, the player places a wager or bet. In one embodiment, this step comprises the player pressing the “Bet 1” button 1455 or the “Bet Max” button 1456. In one embodiment, a player is permitted to bet between one and five credits. Each credit may comprise any of a number of values, such as $0.05 U.S., $0.10 U.S., $0.25 U.S. or the like. The player may utilize the “Bet 1” button 1455 to place wagers incrementally, or press the “Bet Max” button 1456 to place a maximum bet.
  • In a step 1524 the player presses the spin button 1451. Upon depressing the spin button 1451, the reels 1442 spin or move (either by mechanical rotation or by computer generated graphics) and then stop. At this point, one symbol is displayed in association with each reel 1441. As described above, the symbol may comprise a “blank.”
  • In a step 1526, the player elects to hold one or more of the reels 1442 and associated displayed dice or other indicia. In one embodiment, the player may elect to hold none, one or more or all of the reels 1442.
  • In a step 1528, the player spins the non-held reels 1442 a second time. This step may be initiated by the player depressing the spin button 1451. In this embodiment, each of the non-held reels 1442 is spun. In the event all of the reels 1442 have been held, then none of the reels spin.
  • In a step 1530, the outcome of the game after the second spin is analyzed in order to determine if a winning combination was received. If a winning combination was received, then winnings are awarded to the player in accordance with the payout table 1401, as per step 1532. If a winning combination was not received, then the game ends.
  • As illustrated, in the event the player placed the maximum bet and received a Perfect Royal combination, then the player is awarded a bonus amount. In a preferred embodiment, each time a player places a bet, the entire value of the bet is credited to the bonus or jackpot amount which may be won. In one embodiment, the bonus amount is initially credited with a base amount greater than the payout for the highest hand (i.e. Perfect Royal in this case) with the next smaller bet (i.e. 4 coins in this case). Thereafter, all additional bet monies are credited to the base amount, generating a total bonus or jackpot amount. In the event the player receives this predetermined winning hand with the maximum bet, the player is awarded the total bonus amount. It will be appreciated that this concept of generating a bonus or jackpot amount which increments by the full value of the bet or wager may be applied to a wide variety of games.
  • In one embodiment of the invention, when a player holds a particular reel 1442, the display of that reel or indicia changes so that only the held indicia is displayed. This effect is illustrated in FIG. 16, where the player has elected to hold the fifth reel. As illustrated, when this occurs, the display of the reel 1442 changes so that only the held value is displayed. This visually indicates to the player that the reel 1442 has been held, and makes it easier for the player to see the resulting combination of indicia for determining whether a winning combination has been received.
  • In one embodiment of the invention, a multiplier (not illustrated) may be displayed. The multiplier may cause one or more amounts won by a player to be increased. For example, a multiplier value may be indicated on the display 1415. The value may comprise 2, 3, 4 or other values, including greater values, lesser values, and even 0. In the event a player obtains a particular predetermined combination, the value from the payout table 1401 for that win may be multiplied or increased by the multiplier value and then the new winning amount paid to the player. It will be appreciated that the multiplier value may be a value which is actually multiplied against the winning, or may comprise a value which is added to the base winning. In one embodiment, the multiplier value may be randomly selected from a plurality of value and then displayed, or may increase with time, or be selected in accordance with a variety of other criteria.
  • It will be appreciated that one or more aspects of the game of Draw Dice may be applied to the other embodiments of the game described herein. In addition, one or more of the embodiments of the other games of the invention may be applied to the game of Draw Dice.
  • It will be appreciated that games in accordance with the invention need not be the same as those described above. In one or more embodiments, the game includes the step of removing from the set of symbols at least one of the symbols, thereby reducing the possible number of combinations achievable thereafter by the player. Preferably, as the number of combinations which the player may achieve are reduced, the payout for achieving a winning combination increases. In the embodiments described above, the symbols or indicia are or include the sides or faces of dice. As target numbers are played, those number or indicia are removed from play. Of course, such a game may utilize other indicia. For example, such aspects of the game may be applied to a “slot-type” machine which includes reels displaying symbols such as cherries, 7s, bells and the like. As rounds, hands or the like of play are completed, the symbols may be removed randomly or in accordance with winnings combinations received by the player.
  • In one or more embodiments, features such as jackpots and bonuses may be omitted. On the other hand, any combination of jackpots or bonuses as described herein may be applied to such a game or any of the games herein.
  • In particular, a number of other alternate embodiments or alternate arrangements to the games other than as described above are contemplated, and it will be appreciated that one or more of the features described herein, whether or not described with a particular game, may be applied to another. By way of example, a player may be permitted to “hold” the simulated dice in the game of Z Sixty Six as well as in the games of Check and Z Hot Dice. In addition, the replacement symbols utilized in the games of Check and Z Sixty Six may, as in the case of Z Hot Dice, comprise symbols which either prevent a player from obtaining what appears to be a unique or winning combination of replacement symbols, or may comprise a combination of symbols which permits a player to receive a winning combination of replacement symbols.
  • In any of the embodiments, the replacement symbols may comprise no symbol at all, but comprise a blank or an indicia which otherwise will not contribute to a predetermined winning combination. A variety of criteria may be applied to the games of the invention for determining when a player has qualified or completed a round or category. For example, as described above, a player may be required to receive at least 3 of a Kind to start play. In one or more embodiments, a player may be required to play until they achieve at least a 3 of a Kind before any score is attributed to a particular category (i.e. not just the first). For example, after completing a first target number if on the next two spins the player achieves at most a pair, the player may be required to place an additional wager and utilize two more spins in an attempt to gain at least 3 of a Kind. In other embodiments, such as described above, the player may receive a zero score if they do not receive a winning combination on each set of spins. For example, after completing a first target number or category, if on the next two spins a player receives only a pair of the same indicia, the score for that category may be credited as zero, and then the player forced to move to the next target number or category.
  • In one or more embodiments of the invention, a player may be declared a winner for receiving other combinations of symbols/events. For example, a player may be paid a special award or winning for receiving at least 4 of a Kind of each target number. For example, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 12, an additional column 1202 may be provided which indicates the amount of a bonus the player may receive for obtaining a 3 of a Kind, 4 of a Kind or the like of each of the target numbers in the other columns. Such a bonus may be utilized in addition to a “per-column” bonus as described above in the game of Z Jackpot Dice or the jackpot as described herein.
  • In one or more embodiments of the invention, may as described above with respect to the game of Check, not include the step of removing one or more of the symbols as game progresses. Instead, the player may continue play, attempting to achieve winning combinations, jackpots, bonuses (or other of the features/elements) using the same set of symbols as play progresses.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the games of Check, Z Sixty Six, Z Hot Dice, Z Jackpot Dice or Draw Dice or other game variations described herein may be played over the Internet or other wired/wireless communications network/system among a random collection of players at diverse locations, forming a virtual wide area network of such competing players.
  • In alternative embodiments, numerous other wagering games, including but not limited to Poker Dice, and Aces in the Pot may be configured for play and display on the display 115, and played over a local area computer network 401 or wide area computer network 501 of computer-controlled slot machines 101.
  • In accordance with one or more embodiments of the invention, there is a method of playing a game and a system for presenting a game including multiple players. Several arrangements of machines 101 in a network configuration for use in presenting such a multi-player game are illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4.
  • In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the process of game play of games played by more than one player is linked or commonly controlled. In one embodiment, a common controller controls (or governs) the play of the multiple games. As one example, the common controller may comprise a server 303 such as illustrated in FIG. 3.
  • In one embodiment, the controller provides control information to two or more computer-controlled gaming machines (such as machines 101 in FIG. 3). The control information may comprise a control signal transmitted over a network (or other communication link) connecting the controller and the gaming machines, such as dedicated lines 311 as illustrated in FIG. 3.
  • In one or more embodiments of the invention, the multiple gaming machines which are used to present the games to the multiple players may be located adjacent to one another or located remote from one another. For example, a plurality of gaming machines associated with a controller may be located in a particular room or rooms of a casino. On the other hand, the gaming machines may be associated with a local or wide area network allowing the gaming machines to be located remote from one another and/or the controller. For example, one or more of the gaming machines may be located in a first casino and other of the gaming machines located in an entirely different casino.
  • The arrangement of the system including the one or more devices for implementing a method of multi-player game play in accordance with the invention may vary. As indicated, in one embodiment, a plurality of gaming machines or devices are associated with at least one controller via one or more communication pathways. In one embodiment, each gaming device may be provided with its own gaming controller, such as including a random number generator for generating game outcomes. The main controller may provide control information to each gaming machine, and each gaming machine may be arranged to generate (within the control of the main controller) the game information specific to that gaming machine, such as the outcome of a particular spin.
  • In another embodiment, all or substantially all of the game play information may be generated remotely from the gaming machine. For example, the controller including a random number generator for generating a plurality of game outcomes for the differing gaming machines. This game play information may then be transmitted to each particular gaming machine.
  • As used herein, the term “computer-controlled slot machine” denotes a computer controlled machine which facilitates wagering, which generally requires the input of money in order to be operated, and which outputs money in response to the achievement of winning wagering results. It will be appreciated that one or more aspects of the machine, including the interface or what is referred to herein as the touch sensitive display may be electrical, mechanical and/or electro-mechanical in nature. For example, while the buttons may comprise touch-sensitive areas of a display, they may comprise electro-mechanical buttons which are activated by mechanical movement (such as depression) by a player. In addition, the simulated dice may, instead of comprising solely computer generated images, actually comprise dice or dice faces mounted on a rotating reel and arranged to stop in controlled positions. The simulated dice or other symbols may be provided in a variety of other manners, such as by laser light generation. The dice or other symbols are referred to in certain instances as “simulated,” but could actually comprise faces of actual physical dice. The displays and display areas may comprise CRT type displays, LCD or LED displays or any other means for displaying information now known or later developed.
  • Of course, the present invention is not limited to the generation and display of images in the form of the video simulated dice. In other embodiments, other images are generated and displayed in the course of game play. For example, in one embodiment, the images generated and displayed are in the form of different colors. In another embodiment, graphical representations of different types of fruit are generated and displayed. In yet another embodiment, roman numerals are utilized. The generation and subsequent display of any image in a set of at least two display areas in the course of game play is within the scope of the present invention.
  • In one or more embodiments of the invention, such as illustrated in FIG. 6, a gaming machine in accordance with the invention may include a random number generator. The random number generator is adapted to produce random numbers which represent the outcome of the rolls of the dice or other symbols. For example, the numbers 1 2 4 3 5 5 may be randomly generated representing the outcome of a roll of six dice. These numbers may correspond to the side of the die bearing the symbols 1 2 4 3 5 5.
  • In another embodiment of the invention, permutations of roll outcomes are stored in a memory. One of the permutations is selected in order to determine the outcome of a roll. In one embodiment, the selection is random. In one embodiment, particular permutations may be removed depending on the status of the game. For example, if a player has played the target number 2, then all permutations containing the number 2 may be removed from selection. In one embodiment, the permutations may be associated with registers or memory locations. Selections of outcomes may then be made from memory locations. For example, permutations of outcomes without 2's may be located in one memory location, and outcomes without 3's may be located in another memory location.
  • It will be appreciated that one aspect of the invention a game in which payouts or winnings (whether in the form of points, credits, monies or the like) vary depending upon changing odds. As indicated, in one embodiment, a payout for a winning combination may increase as the odds of receiving the combination decrease. This may be, for example, due to removal of indicia or potential winnings combinations. As indicated, in one embodiment, the game may be a dice game in which particular dice values are removed. However, the principals of the invention may apply to other games, such as video poker. For example, particular cards might be removed over time, reducing the probability that a Pair, a Flush or the like might be received.
  • In other embodiments, a payout or winning may decrease as the odds of receiving a winning combination increases. As detailed above, for example, the odds of receiving a winning combination may increase as a player is afforded additional opportunities to obtain a dice combination. In that event, the payout may decrease as that probabilities increases. Again, that same principal may be applied to other games.
  • It will be appreciated that various features of the present invention may be applied to existing games or games later developed.
  • It will be understood that the above described arrangements of apparatus and the method therefrom are merely illustrative of applications of the principles of this invention and many other embodiments and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.

Claims (9)

1. A method of playing a game comprising:
accepting a wager from a player;
presenting a first portion of a game with a first set of indicia;
declaring one or more results of said game as winning outcomes;
providing a first winning amount for each of said winning outcomes if received in said first portion of said game;
presenting a second portion of said game with a second set of indicia comprising a sub-set of less than all of said first set of indicia;
providing a second winning amount for one or more of said winning outcomes if received in said second portion of said game, said second winning amount being less than said first winning amount.
2. The method in accordance with claim 1 wherein said indicia comprise dice indicia.
3. The method in accordance with claim 1 wherein said first and second winning amounts comprise points.
4. The method in accordance with claim 1 including the step of removing one or more of said indicia from said first set of indicia to create said second set of indicia.
5. The method in accordance with claim 1 wherein said game is a dice game and in said first portion of said game said player attempts to achieve dice indicia matching a first target indicia and in said second portion of said game said player attempts to achieve dice indicia matching a second target indicia.
6. The method in accordance with claim 5 wherein said first portion of said game is played with dice indicia having the values 1-6 and in said second portion of said game, said game is played with dice indicia having the target indicia removed.
7. The method in accordance with claim 1 wherein said first portion of said game comprises a first round and said second portion of said game comprises a second round.
8. The method in accordance with claim 7 wherein said first round of said game comprises randomly displaying one or more indicia from said first set of indicia and said second round of said game comprises replacing one or more of said displayed indicia with indicia from said second set of indicia.
9. The method in accordance with claim 1 wherein said first and second winning amounts comprises points and including the step of awarding monetary winnings based upon a number of points awarded.
US11/703,449 1999-04-23 2007-02-06 Game with changing odds and payouts Abandoned US20070135207A1 (en)

Priority Applications (7)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US29860499A true 1999-04-23 1999-04-23
US09/439,934 US6656047B1 (en) 1999-04-23 1999-11-12 Computer-controlled gaming apparatus and method
US09/553,915 US6605001B1 (en) 1999-04-23 2000-04-20 Dice game in which categories are filled and scores awarded
US68475900A true 2000-10-06 2000-10-06
US09/838,949 US20020055381A1 (en) 1999-04-23 2001-04-19 Multi-player game and gaming system
US11/347,769 US20060135242A1 (en) 1999-04-23 2006-02-03 Multi-player game and gaming system
US11/703,449 US20070135207A1 (en) 1999-04-23 2007-02-06 Game with changing odds and payouts

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

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US11/703,449 US20070135207A1 (en) 1999-04-23 2007-02-06 Game with changing odds and payouts

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US11/347,769 Continuation US20060135242A1 (en) 1999-04-23 2006-02-03 Multi-player game and gaming system

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US20070135207A1 true US20070135207A1 (en) 2007-06-14

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US09/838,949 Abandoned US20020055381A1 (en) 1999-04-23 2001-04-19 Multi-player game and gaming system
US11/347,769 Abandoned US20060135242A1 (en) 1999-04-23 2006-02-03 Multi-player game and gaming system
US11/703,449 Abandoned US20070135207A1 (en) 1999-04-23 2007-02-06 Game with changing odds and payouts
US11/999,694 Expired - Lifetime US7857696B2 (en) 1999-04-23 2007-12-05 System and method of pausing and restarting wagering games

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US11/347,769 Abandoned US20060135242A1 (en) 1999-04-23 2006-02-03 Multi-player game and gaming system

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US7857696B2 (en) 2010-12-28
US20020055381A1 (en) 2002-05-09
US20080090650A1 (en) 2008-04-17
US20060135242A1 (en) 2006-06-22

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