US20070293294A1 - Arrangements for awarding future prizes in an electronic game system - Google Patents

Arrangements for awarding future prizes in an electronic game system Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20070293294A1
US20070293294A1 US11447397 US44739706A US2007293294A1 US 20070293294 A1 US20070293294 A1 US 20070293294A1 US 11447397 US11447397 US 11447397 US 44739706 A US44739706 A US 44739706A US 2007293294 A1 US2007293294 A1 US 2007293294A1
Authority
US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
game
future
result
respective
player
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11447397
Inventor
Clifton E. Lind
Jefferson C. Lind
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Multimedia Games Inc
Original Assignee
Multimedia Games Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Images

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3286Type of 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

Abstract

A method includes receiving a number of game play requests in a current game from one or more player stations. For some of the game play requests in the current game, a result in the current game is displayed at the respective player station from which the respective game play request was received. However, a respective future result is awarded for some game play requests. These future results may or may not have any present value, but are in any case associated with a play in a game to be conducted at some designated time in the future and thus represents at least some potential value. These future results are communicated to a respective receiving player at the player's respective player station to advise the receiving player that they have won a chance to participate in a future game.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to electronic games such as electronic sweepstakes games and electronic wagering games. More particularly, the invention relates to a system in such electronic games for awarding prizes having some potential future value in addition to the regular prizes having some current value. The invention encompasses both methods for awarding future value prizes in a game, and apparatus and program products for implementing these methods.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Various types of electronically implemented wagering games have become popular over the past ten to twenty years. These games include modern reel-type games or “slot machines,” video poker machines, electronic lottery games, and electronic bingo games. Electronic sweepstakes games have also proven popular. All of these games award prizes to the various players according to some prize distribution for the respective game. The prize distribution defines a number of different prize levels at different prize values along with a respective probability of obtaining the respective prize on a given play in the game.
  • Many modern reel-type games having either mechanical or video reel displays, and video poker machines employ result identifying algorithm that is designed to identify results at the frequencies defined by the result distribution for the game. In these games, each time a play is entered at the gaming machine the result identifying algorithm identifies the result from the play from the various results available in the game, and the identified result is immediately awarded to the player.
  • Electronically implemented lottery systems provide another way to assign results in various types of game presentations. In an electronic lottery gaming system, such as the system described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,733,385, the results are identified through a set of electronic lottery game play records, and may be communicated to the player in any number of different game presentations employed at a given electronic lottery player terminal. A “game presentation” as used in this disclosure refers to the symbols and graphic representations used to communicate a result to a player. The set of electronic lottery game play records is analogous to a set of printed paper lottery game tickets, and defines some prize distribution for the lottery game. Each time a game play request is entered at an electronic lottery player station, one of the electronic lottery game play records is assigned for the play and the result for the play is read from the assigned game play record.
  • The electronic sweepstakes game described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/365,058 also identifies a result for each play in the game by selecting one or more records from a predefined record set which is produced to provide some desired prize distribution in the sweepstakes game. A difference between lottery games and this electronic sweepstakes game is that the sweepstakes game is not a wagering game and does not require a player to place a wager in return for a play in the game. Rather, an entry in the sweepstakes game corresponding to a record in the sweepstakes game record set is given to a player typically in association with the player's purchase of some good or service. For example, a purchaser may be given one sweepstakes entry in the electronic sweepstakes game described in U.S. patent application No. 11/365,058 in response to their purchase of a unit of Internet access time. The results for the various sweepstakes entries are revealed to the purchaser/player through a reveal station which may portray the results according to any one of a number of different game presentations.
  • In electronic bingo games such as that disclosed in U.S. patent application publication No. 2004-0152499-A1 each play in the bingo gaming system is entered at a player terminal. This bingo gaming system quickly groups the various bingo game entries (that is, game play requests) and conducts a bingo game for each group to identify a result in the game for each player. The results in the game for each player are returned to the respective player terminal and may be displayed at the player terminal by a suitable game presentation, which may imitate play in a card game, a traditional reel-type game, or some other game. In the case of a bingo game, the desired prize distribution may be produced by mapping one or more bingo patterns to each prize level so that the overall probability of achieving any bingo pattern mapped to a give prize level is approximately equal to the desired probability of awarding the prize at that prize level. This mapping of bingo patterns to produce a desired prize distribution is shown for example in U.S. patent application publication No. 2004-0048647-A1.
  • One persistent issue with electronically implemented games such as electronic lotteries, electronic bingo games, and even modern slot machines is that players may soon tire of a given game presentation and switch to some other type of game. Game providers and operators must continuously introduce new games and new game presentations in order to capture and attempt to hold the players' interest. The cost of producing new games and game presentations greatly increases the cost of providing the game system.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides a sense of anticipation in an electronic game to help capture and hold the players' interest. This sense of anticipation is created according to the present invention by including “future results” in the prize distribution for a game. These future results are each associated with a play in another game to be conducted at some point in the future and are assigned to players in the same fashion as regular, current results in the game. The invention also encompasses apparatus for awarding a future result in an electronic game and conducting a future game to identify or reveal the value that is ultimately associated with the future result.
  • In one method embodying the principles of the invention, a number of game play requests in a current game are received from one or more player stations. For some of the game play requests in the current game (sometimes referred to as “first game play requests”), the invention includes displaying a result in the current game at the respective player station from which the respective game play request was received. However, for some game play requests (sometimes referred to as “second game play requests”), the invention includes awarding a respective future result which may or may not have any present value, but is in any case associated with a play in a game to be conducted at some designated time in the future and thus represents at least some potential value. These future results are communicated to a respective receiving player at the player's respective player station to advise the receiving player that they have won a chance to participate in a future game.
  • The future game within the scope of the present invention may be an entirely separate game in which results are determined entirely independently of the current game. Alternatively, the future game may be dependent upon the current game is some fashion. For example, one preferred arrangement may define a certain future game value for each future result. In this arrangement, the value of the future result is set in the current game but is revealed to the receiving player only in the course of the future game conducted after the future result is awarded to the player. Thus, the future game may involve revealing results that have already been assigned to the player via the future result, and may not involve any separate result determination. Alternatively, the results for the various participants in a future game may be awarded separately as part of the future game.
  • A future game according to the invention may have a relatively high winning prize and thus the future result according to the invention may have a high potential value. The high potential value of the future results may attract players to the current games offering future prizes. Furthermore, because each future result may only be associated with a potential prize value in a separate game, and because the payout in the separate game may be controlled separately from the current game, a relatively large number of future results may be awarded according to the invention. The frequency with which future results may be rewarded may also be very attractive to players in the current game and encourage players to participate in the current game. These players in the current game essentially compete for the future results to have a chance at the high value prize that may be available in the future game. Also, depending upon how the future game is conducted, players may be attracted to the current game by the shear spectacle of the periodic, high-potential value future game. For example, some forms of the present invention may conduct a competition between the players obtaining a future result in the current game. One of the participants may win a single high-value prize while the other contestants may win relatively low-level consolation prizes.
  • The current game may be, for example, an electronic lottery game, an electronic sweepstakes game, a bingo game, or a game such as a mechanical or video reel-type game or video poker game in which results are identified employing a result identifying algorithm. The future result may have not current value in some forms of the invention, however, other forms of the invention may provide a current value as an alternative value to the potential value represented by the future result. For example, a future result may have a current value of $500, while the highest prize available in the separate, future game may be considerably higher, say $10,000. Where the ultimate value of a future result is not determined in the current game, the separate game conducted for the future result receiving players to identify the results in the future game may be any type of game. The future game may be a drawing, a reel-type game, a lottery game, a bingo game, a card game, or multiple instances of these types of games or a series made up a combination of any of these types of games. In particular, the future game may be a tournament of a series of games, where the player with the highest score wins the future game and the typically high-value prize paid in the future game. In either a competitive or non-competitive format for the future game, the present invention may include using a suitable display device to publicly display aspects of the future game as it is being conducted in order to build excitement for the future game and thus encourage play in the current game.
  • One preferred apparatus according to the present invention includes one or more player stations, each including a respective player input device and a respective result communication device. The apparatus further includes a result awarding arrangement for receiving a number of game play requests which have been entered in a current game through the one or more player stations. The result awarding arrangement awards a current result for each of one or more of the received game play requests, and also awards a future result as described above for each of one or more of the received game play requests. The apparatus may further include a future game arrangement for conducting the future game in a competitive or non-competitive format to identify future game results or to simply reveal future game results defined in the current game. The apparatus may include one or more separate future game player stations, or may include one or more player stations used in the current game. A public display device as mentioned above may be associated with the future game arrangement for displaying aspects of the future game whether the future game is a competition on non-competitive game.
  • Because the invention may be implemented using one or more general processing devices, the invention further encompasses a program product stored on one or more computer readable devices. One preferred program product includes result program code and player station program code. The result program code is executable for awarding either a current result or a future result for each of a number of game play requests in the current game as described above. The result program code is also executable for causing each respective current result and future result to be communicated to a respective player station. The player station program code is executable for generating a respective game play request for a current game in response to a player input at a player station. The player station program code also facilitates the receipt of each respective current result and future result communicated to the respective player station, and causes the respective player station to provide a respective result presentation for each received result. A program product according to the present invention may also include future game program code which is executable for identifying a result in the future game to determine a value of a particular future result, or for revealing a result in the future game to reveal a result that has been defined in the current game for the particular future result.
  • These and other advantages and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments, considered along with the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a flow diagram illustrating one preferred method according to the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic representation of an apparatus according to one preferred form of the invention
  • FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic representation of one preferred result awarding arrangement that may be employed in implementations of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 is a representation of a data structure that may be used in connection with the apparatus shown in FIG. 3 to selectively add and remove future results from a game.
  • DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • In the following description of preferred embodiments, FIGS. 1 and 2 will be used to describe the present invention generally, together with certain variations within the scope of the invention. FIGS. 3 and 4 will be used to describe a particular result awarding arrangement which, although not required according to the present invention, is particularly suited for awarding both current results and future results within the scope of the present invention.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, one preferred process according to the present invention includes receiving a particular game play request as indicated at process block 101. The process then includes awarding a result for the game play request as indicated at process block 102. The result awarded as indicated at process block 102 will comprise either a current result in the current game or a future result. The current result may be a winning result associated with some prize or a losing result which is not associated with any prize, while each future result may or may not be associated with any current value, but is associated with a play in a future game to be conducted at some designated time in the future. If the awarded result is not a future result as indicated by a negative result at decision block 104, the current result is displayed for the receiving player as indicated a process block 105. If the awarded result comprises a future result as indicated by a positive outcome at decision block 104, the present invention includes displaying or otherwise communicating the future result to the receiving player as indicated at process block 107. The receiving player may also be enrolled in a future game at this point in the process. Once the future result has been displaying or otherwise communicated to the player as indicated at process block 107, some forms of the invention may include a step of providing the future result receiving player with a current value option as indicated at process block 108. In this current value option, the player may trade their play in the future game for some current value. Ultimately, the invention may include conducting the future game as indicated at process block 110 to identify or reveal a value for the future result that was awarded.
  • The process steps shown at process blocks 101 and 102 are performed for each game play request received in the particular gaming system. The step indicated at process block 105 or the step indicated at process block 107 will be performed for each received game play request depending upon whether the awarded result is a current result or a future result. The step of providing a current value option as shown at process block 108 may or may not be performed for each awarded future result. Also, the step of conducting a future game as shown at process block 110 in FIG. 1 may or may not be performed for each awarded future result depending upon the particular implementation of the future game. Some forms of the invention include a non-competitive future game in which a single player plays the future game. In these cases, a respective future game is eventually conducted for each awarded future result. However, one preferred form of the invention conducts the future game as a competition between two of more recipients of a future result at process block 102. In this implementation, a future game may be conducted, for example, once for every set number of future results that are awarded in the current game. Alternatively, competition-type future games may be conducted at certain times regardless of the number of future results that have been awarded in the current game.
  • The step of receiving a game play request as indicated at process block 101 in FIG. 1 refers to receiving a game play request at the component of a game system that is responsible for awarding a respective result in the current game. In the example system 200 shown in FIG. 2 the result awarding arrangement 201 is responsible for awarding results in the current game. This particular result awarding arrangement 201 is shown in FIG. 2 as a separate component in communication with player stations 202 from which the game play requests are received. Communications may be through a network switch 203 or other suitable device. As will be discussed further below, some alternative forms of the invention may include a separate result awarding arrangement at each respective player station for awarding a result for a respective game play request entered through that player station. The nature of the result awarding component as either a remote network component or a local component at the particular player station 202 will affect the nature of the game play request that is received as indicated at process block 101 in FIG. 1. It in the networked result awarding arrangement 201 shown in FIG. 2, a game play request may comprise one or more data packets that identify the communication as a game play request and identify the player station 202 which transmitted game play request. Additional information such as a wager level or identifier for a particular current game may also be included in the network communication representing a game play request for a current game. However, in a game system in which a result awarding arrangement is included with each respective player station, the game play request may simply be a signal received from a suitable player input device for the respective player station. In the example system shown in FIG. 2, each player station 202 includes a player interface having an input device 206 for making inputs to initiate a game play request, and a display device 205 for displaying or otherwise communicating results to a player at the player station.
  • The result awarding step shown in process block 102 in FIG. 1 may be performed by any suitable device or collection of devices for identifying or producing a result in the current game. For example, a result awarding device such as result awarding arrangement 201 in FIG. 2 may award results as in electronic lottery or electronic sweepstakes systems in which each result in the game is associated with a particular electronic data record included in a set of such records. In this example the step of awarding a particular result involves selecting one of these electronic data records in some random fashion from the set of data records. Alternatively, a result awarding arrangement such as device 201 in FIG. 2 may conduct a bingo game for a game play request or collection of game play requests and then award each game play request a result according to a bingo pattern produced for the particular game play request as disclosed in U.S. patent publication No. 2004-0152499-A1 or some other electronic bingo gaming system. In yet other forms of the invention, the element for awarding results as indicated that process block 102 and FIG. 1 may comprise a device for executing a result identifying algorithm which is designed to return results according to some desired prize distribution. Thus, result awarding arrangement 201 in FIG. 2 may include such an algorithm executing device in some forms of the invention. A further variation on the step of awarding results as shown in process block 102 in FIG. 2 will be described below in connection with the particular result awarding arrangement 201 shown in FIG. 3, which applies a result level structure shown in FIG. 4. However, it should be appreciated that the present invention is not limited to any particular arrangement in an electronic game system for awarding results in the current game, provided that the arrangement is operable to award future result in addition to current results.
  • According to the present invention, the result awarded as indicated at process block 102 in FIG. 1 by the result awarding arrangement such as arrangement 201 shown in FIG. 2 will comprise either a current result or a future result. The invention encompasses a wide variety of future results as defined in this disclosure and used in the accompanying claims. Some future results may comprise merely a code or identifier that represents an opportunity for a play in the future game, and may thus not be associated with any current value but merely a potential value of any result available in the future game. In this case, the opportunity for the play in the future game represents merely a chance for some result in the future game. However, other forms of the invention may associate some current value with a future result. In one current value alternative for a future result, the future result awarded at process block 102 in FIG. 1 is associated with a current value that represents an alternative to a chance in the future game. In this case, a player receiving the future result may be given the opportunity to trade the chance in the future game for the designated current value as will be described further below. In another form of the invention, each future result is associated with some value that will be awarded to the player for their play in the future game. In this case the future result defines the result for the player's play in the future game, although the player will generally not be advised of the future game result until they play the future game.
  • The decision indicated at decision block 104 in FIG. 1 may be made in any suitable fashion according to the present invention. In some perform preferred forms of invention, the devices responsible for displaying results to the player, such as player station 202 in FIG. 2, are capable of distinguishing the various results awarded by result awarding component 201 as a current result or a future results. For example, data representing a result awarded as indicated at process block 102 in FIG. 1 may include a prize value which may identify the result as a current result, or may include a code or index value from which result may be identified as a current result or future result by reference to a data table which correlates the codes/indexes to various results available in the current game.
  • The process of displaying a current result as indicated at process block 105 in FIG. 1 is preferably performed in the example system shown in FIG. 2 using the display 205 associated with the player station 202 from which the respective game play request was received. The present invention is not limited to any particular game presentation or display arrangement for showing current results. A game presentation used in connection with the present invention to show a current result may show results as a result in a reel-type game, a card game, a bingo game, a simulated competition, or in any other graphic fashion that may be used to communicate the current result. In various forms of the invention, display 205 may comprise a mechanical reel display or may include one or more video display devices that are operated to communicate a particular current result.
  • The manner in which a future result may be displayed to a receiving player as indicated at process block 107 may also vary widely within the scope of the present intention. For example, in the game system 200 shown in FIG. 2, the same display 205 used to display a current result to the receiving player may be used to display a future result. However, the graphic representation of the future result will include some particular form that will distinguish it from a current result. Where the display 205 simulates or produces a reel-type display, for example, a future result may be displayed to a player as a particular reel symbol combination or as a special scatter symbol appearing on the reel-type display. In some forms of the invention, the display device or other device used to communicate a future result to the receiving player may present the future result in an entirely different fashion than a current result presented at the same display device. For example, where display device 205 is a video display and a current result is shown as a result in a reel-type games with video simulated reels, the video display may be controlled to produce some special non-reel graphic in order to communicate the award of the future result to the player. Also, the player station such as player stations 202 shown in FIG. 2 may include separate audible and visual alarms which announce to the player and adjacent players that a future result has been awarded. In other forms of the invention, the display arrangement used to display a current result to the player may not be used to display a future result to the player. For example, a future result awarded as indicated a process block 102 in FIG. 1 may alert an attendant, and the attendant may be instructed to physically deliver to the receiving player a voucher or other document evidencing that the player has been awarded a future result. The voucher or other document or communication to the player preferably notifies the player that they have been enrolled in a future game and gives the player instructions in suitable form to let the player know how to participate in the future game. Alternatively, such instructions for participating in a future game may be presented to the future result receiving player through player station display device 205. In any event, the display of the future result as indicated at process block 107 in FIG. 2 will preferably not communicate to the player any value for the future result where a value for the future result is identified at the time the future result is awarded.
  • Where the current value option is provided to a player as indicated at process block 108 in FIG. 1, the option may be provided at the time the future result is displayed to the player or at some later time. For example, concurrently or shortly after displaying the future result to the player, the player station 202 in FIG. 2 may be controlled to offer the receiving player the option of trading the future result for a current value or keeping the future result so that the player is enrolled in the future game. This offer may be communicated to the player through a suitable video or text display device included in player station display 205. Alternatively, this option of trading the future result and associated play in the future game for a current value may be provided to each future result receiving player in connection with conducting the future game. In one implementation of the invention, the various players who have been awarded future results may collect together at a designated time for the conduct of the future game, and each player may be offered (manually or otherwise) the alternative of keeping their future result and associated play in the future game or trading that play for a lower but guaranteed prize value.
  • The future game may be conducted as indicated at process block 110 in FIG. 1 in any suitable fashion. The particular game system 200 shown in FIG. 2 includes a future game player interface 208 through which a player may participate in a future game and a future game controller 209 for identifying a result in the future game. Such a future game controller may comprise a device for identifying a result in a future game as described above in connection result awarding arrangement 201. However, the invention is not limited to electronic future games. Rather, a future game within the scope of the invention may comprise a live game such as a card game, drawing, or wheel spin, and thus a game system according to the invention may not include any networked future game player interface 208 or future game controller 209 as shown in FIG. 2. In yet other forms of the invention, players participate in future games through the same player stations or types of player stations through which the current game was played. In this case, a game system would require no separate future game player interface such as that shown at 208 in FIG. 2. The apparatus that may be included in a game system to accommodate the particular future game or games may vary greatly from one implementation of the invention to the next depending upon the type of future game being conducted.
  • In some forms of the invention, a future game may be conducted as a noncompetitive game for a given player who has received a future result. An example of a noncompetitive game may comprise a simple wheel spin in a roulette-type game, or a single play in a reel-type game or card game. Alternatively, a noncompetitive future game may include a number of individual plays in some game and the result for the future game is determined by some score for the player after they have completed their series of plays. Other preferred forms of the invention may collect two or more future result receiving players into a group and conduct a competitive game or a series of competitive games between the players. For example, the future game may comprise a reel-type game tournament, or card game tournament, for a random drawing between competing players. Whether the future game is a competitive game or noncompetitive game, the invention preferably includes some arrangement to publicly display aspects of the future game to increase excitement in the gaming facility and to add entertainment value in the game system. In the example system 200 shown in FIG. 2, a future game display 210 which may be controlled by a separate computer system or other processing system not shown in the figure. Future game display 210 is included for displaying aspects of a future game as it is being conducted. For example, future game display 210 may show live video of a competitive or non-competitive future game. In a competitive game like a reel-type game tournament, future game display 210 may show the tournament scores of the various players in the future game as the tournament progresses. These tournament scores may be produced be a tournament controller (not shown) associated with the player stations or other player interfaces through which the players participate in the tournament. This display of scores in a competitive game helps build excitement and interest in the current game and future game, and enhances entertainment value.
  • It will be appreciated that the example game system 200 shown in FIG. 2 may be implemented in numerous different types of hardware arrangements. As mentioned above, some forms of the invention may implement a separate result awarding at each respective player station to performing the functions of result awarding arrangement 201 for the particular player station. This, result awarding arrangement at each respective player station is particular suited to current games in which a result identifying algorithm is used to identify the result for the game play request in the current game. Regardless of where and how the result awarding arrangement 201 is implemented in a given system, each player station such as player stations 202 in FIG. 2 will preferably include one or more special purpose or general purpose processing devices to control the operation of the respective player station and associated components such as display 205 and input device 206 shown in FIG. 2. These processing devices are omitted from FIG. 2 to avoid obscuring the invention in unnecessary detail. Similarly, the various functions performed by result awarding arrangement 201 to award results in current games may be performed by one or more special or general purpose processing devices. In a typical networked game arrangement as shown in FIG. 2, result awarding arrangement 201 may be implemented in a separate computer system. Any future game controller included in the system 209 may be implemented in the same computer system or an additional computer system. The future game player interface 208 shown in FIG. 2 may be implemented as specialized player stations similar to player stations 202, but which cooperate with future game controller 209 to identify results in the future game.
  • Where the player stations 202 in FIG. 2 are implemented using general purpose processing devices, the devices will operate under the control of suitable program code. In particular, the present invention includes player station program code that is executed at a respective player stations for generating a respective game play request for a current game in response to a player input at the player station. The player station program code will also control the receipt of each respective current result and future result communicated to the respective player station, and cause the respective player station to provide a respective result presentation for each received result either in accordance with process block 105 in FIG. 1 for a current result, or in accordance with process block 107 for a future result.
  • Also, where the result awarding arrangement 201 in FIG. 2 is implemented using one or more general purpose processing devices, the result program code will be executed by the devices to control their operation. This result program code will cause either a current result or a future result to be awarded for each game play request in a current game, and will also cause each respective current result and future result to be communicated to a respective player station associated with the game play request for which the respective result was awarded. Similarly, future game program code may be executable by a suitable processing device, such as the device implementing future game controller 209 in FIG. 2, for identifying a result in the future game to determine a value of the future result.
  • It should be noted that in the variation of the invention in which the value of the future result in the future game is known, the invention requires no separate arrangement, such as future game controller 209, for identifying the result for the future game. Rather, the invention will include some future game player interface such as interface 208, or potentially a player station 202, which simply reveals the value for the player's future result, perhaps under the control of future game program code. For example, a future game player interface such as interface 208 in FIG. 2 may include a large prize wheel with various prizes spaced apart about its periphery, and the player may spin the wheel to display the value associated with the future result. A suitable control arrangement such as a stepper motor controlled through a suitable controller may cause the wheel to land on the prize associated with the future result. This same sort of future game player interface may be used where the ultimate value of the future result is identified by a device such as future game controller 209.
  • A particular result awarding arrangement 201 may be described with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4. Result awarding arrangement 201 shown in FIG. 3 includes a level assignment component 305, a result control component 306, and a result level storage device 307. These components of result awarding arrangement 201 cooperate to award results in a game according to the result level structure shown in FIG. 4. Management component 302 is included in the system shown in FIG. 3 to enable a system operator to add future results and other results to a current game without modifying the underlying prize distribution for the current game, and to remove those results as desired. Future results may be added or removed from the prize distribution for the current game at any time by employing the system shown in FIG. 3 and result level structure as shown in FIG. 4.
  • Result awarding arrangement 201 shown in FIG. 3 may include a suitable general purpose or special purpose processing device, or collection of processing devices, programmed or otherwise configured to perform the various functions described below. Result level storage device 307 may comprise any suitable data storage device for storing a result level structure such as that shown in FIG. 4. Management component 302 may comprise a suitable computer workstation having a display, keyboard, and pointer combination or any other suitable arrangement providing a user interface.
  • As shown in FIG. 4, a result level structure 400 that may be used in connection with the result awarding arrangement 201 shown in FIG. 3 may be represented as a data table including two columns, column 401 and column 402. The data included in the remaining columns shown in FIG. 4, namely, columns 403, 404, 405, and 406 contain information associated with the various result levels 409 of result level structure 400. For each result level 409, result level structure 400 includes a result level identifier under column 401 and a result value under column 402. At each result level 409, column 403 shows a value for the number of results per given number of plays in the game under the label “# of results.” As indicated at the bottom of column 403, this particular example table assumes a total of 100,000 plays in the game. Thus, each value in column 403 represents that number of results for each 100,000 plays in the game. The value in column 404 at each result level 409 represents the total value of the results at that particular result level. This value is the product of the result value and the number of results at that particular result level. The value in column 405 at each result level 409 represents the payout percentage for the given result level, that is, the percentage of the total value at that result level as compared to the total payout in the game for the given number of plays. Finally, the value in column 406 for each result level 409 represents the probability of achieving that particular result level in the given number of plays represented as a percentage. It is assumed in FIG. 1 that each play in the game is made with a wager of one credit. Thus for 100,000 plays in the game, the game would produce a total of 100,000 credits. The total value paid out is 90,000 as shown at the bottom of column 404 which represents a overall payout percentage of 90 percent as indicated the bottom of column 405.
  • In order to allow a game operator to add results in a game, including future results and current results, two different types of result levels are included with the result levels 409 of result level structure 400. The result levels 409 associated with result identifiers 0 through 10 (in column 401) may be referred to as first result levels. These first result levels each include an unalterable result value in column 402 of result level structure 400. In addition to the first result levels, result level structure 400 includes a number of second result levels identified by result identifiers 11 through 15 in column 401. Each second result level includes a user definable result value field under column 402 rather than a unalterable result value. All of the user definable result value fields which are shown in FIG. 4 may be changed from the value shown in the figure to a user defined value. Although various values may be added to the data structure shown in FIG. 4, the present invention contemplates adding future results, or some value representing a future result to selectively add future results in the game. In the example table shown in FIG. 4, the value under column 402 for the last row, result level ID 15, is shown as having been set to the value “FR” indicating that the result is a future result. Setting the value under column 102 for result level ID 15 effectively adds five future results to the game defined by the result level structure and associated hit probabilities.
  • In the operation of the system shown in FIG. 3, level assignment component 305 receives a game play request in the current game as entered at a player station such as player station 202 shown in FIG. 2. In response to the game play request, assignment component 305 selects a result level from the total universe of available result levels included in result level structure 400 shown in FIG. 4. This selection may be made from an electronic lottery game set, an electronic sweepstakes game set, a bingo game, a result selecting algorithm, or in any other fashion. In any event, this selection of result level effectively defines the result for the game play request because each result level in the game is correlated to a given result, either an unalterable result value or a user definable result value. The selected result level is communicated to result control component 306, which uses the selected result level to query a result level structure such as structure 400 stored in result level storage device 307. The purpose of this query is to locate the particular result value which is correlated to the result level in the result level structure 400. For purposes of example, assume that the result level identified by level assignment component 305 in response to a game play request is the result level 409 correlating to result level identifier 15. In this case, the result located by querying the result level structure 400 identifies the result as a future result, and this future result is ultimately communicated back to the requesting player station under the control of result control component 306. In the example result level structure 400 shown in FIG. 4, any other result level other than that identified by result level identifier 15 represents a current result according to the present invention and does not entitle the receiving player to a play in a future game.
  • In the result awarding arrangement 201 shown in FIG. 3 employing user definable result levels as described above, future results according to the invention may be added at any time, or previously added future results may be removed at any time. This is accomplished in the illustrated system through management component 302 in FIG. 3. This component has access to result level storage device 307 for the purpose of causing any of the stored user alterable result values to be modified. One preferred use of this user alterable result value arrangement is to allow the game operator offer future results as special promotional prizes periodically in the system without modifying the prize distribution for underlying game. A relatively high value may be assigned and advertised for the winner in the future game to generate excitement and anticipation in the game system.
  • As used herein, whether in the above description or the following claims, the terms “comprising,” “including,” “carrying,” “having,” “containing,” “involving,” and the like are to be understood to be open-ended, that is, to mean including but not limited to. Only the transitional phrases “consisting of” and “consisting essentially of,” respectively, shall be closed or semi-closed transitional phrases, as set forth, with respect to claims, in the United States Patent Office Manual of Patent Examining Procedures (Eighth Edition, August 2001 as revised May 2004), Section 2111.03.
  • Any use of ordinal terms such as “first,” “second,” “third,” etc., in the claims to modify a claim element does not by itself connote any priority, precedence, or order of one claim element over another, or the temporal order in which acts of a method are performed. Rather, unless specifically stated otherwise, such ordinal terms are used merely as labels to distinguish one claim element having a certain name from another element having a same name (but for use of the ordinal term).
  • The above described preferred embodiments are intended to illustrate the principles of the invention, but not to limit the scope of the invention. Various other embodiments and modifications to these preferred embodiments may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the following claims. In particular, the various processing steps described above may be performed by any suitable processing device or devices included in the system.

Claims (21)

  1. 1. A method including:
    (a) receiving a number of game play requests in a current game, the number of game play requests in the current game being received from one or more player stations;
    (b) displaying a result in the current game for a first game play request included in the number of game play requests, the result in the current game being displayed at the respective player station from which the respective first game play request was received; and
    (c) awarding a future result for each of one or more second game play requests included in the number of game play requests, each future result being associated with a play in a future game to be conducted at some designated time in the future and being communicated to a respective receiving player at a respective one of the player stations.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1 wherein the current game is an electronic lottery game.
  3. 3. The method of claim 1 wherein the current game is an electronic sweepstakes game.
  4. 4. The method of claim 1 wherein the current game is a bingo game.
  5. 5. The method of claim 1 wherein the current game is a game in which results are identified employing a result identifying algorithm.
  6. 6. The method of claim 1 wherein each future result has no current value.
  7. 7. The method of claim 1 wherein each future result has a current value that is tradable for the respective play which is associated with the respective future result.
  8. 8. The method of claim 1 wherein the respective play in the future game entitles the respective receiving player to one or more future game play requests to be entered at the player station where the respective second game play request was entered.
  9. 9. The method of claim 1 wherein the respective play in the future game entitles the respective receiving player to one or more future game play requests to be entered at a different player station than the player station where the respective second game play request was entered.
  10. 10. The method of claim 1 wherein awarding a respective future result for each of one or more second game play requests includes awarding a respective future result for two or more second game play requests and further including conducting the future game as a competition between the respective receiving players.
  11. 11. The method of claim 10 wherein the future game is a drawing between the respective receiving players.
  12. 12. The method of claim 10 further including displaying aspects of the competition at a public display.
  13. 13. An apparatus including:
    (a) one or more player stations, each player station including a respective player input device and a respective result communication device; and
    (b) a result awarding arrangement for receiving a number of game play requests in a current game which have been entered at the one or more player stations, the result awarding arrangement also for awarding a current result for each of one or more first game play requests included in the number of game play requests and for awarding a future result for each of one or more second game play requests included in the number of game play requests, each future result being associated with a play in a future game to be conducted at some designated time in the future.
  14. 14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the result awarding arrangement awards a respective future result for each of two or more second game play requests and further including a future game arrangement for conducting the future game as a competition between the players associated with the two or more second game play requests.
  15. 15. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the future game arrangement includes a random drawing device.
  16. 16. The apparatus of claim 13 further including a public display device for displaying aspects of the future game.
  17. 17. The apparatus of claim 13 further including a future game player station through which the future game is conducted.
  18. 18. The apparatus of claim 17 wherein the future game player station is distinct from any of the one or more player stations.
  19. 19. A program product stored on one or more computer readable devices, the program product including:
    (a) result program code executable for awarding either a current result or a future result for each of a number of game play requests in a current game, each future result being associated with a play in a future game to be conducted at some designated time in the future, the result program code also being executable for causing each respective current result and future result to be communicated to a respective player station associated with the game play request for which the respective result was awarded; and
    (b) player station program code executable for generating a respective game play request for a current game in response to a player input at a player station, for causing each respective current result and future result communicated to a respective player station executing the result program code to be received, and for causing the respective player station to provide a respective result presentation for each received result.
  20. 20. The program product of claim 19 further including future game program code executable for identifying a result in the future game to determine a value of the future result.
  21. 21. The program product of claim 19 further including future game program code executable for revealing a value for a respective future result in the future game.
US11447397 2006-06-06 2006-06-06 Arrangements for awarding future prizes in an electronic game system Abandoned US20070293294A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11447397 US20070293294A1 (en) 2006-06-06 2006-06-06 Arrangements for awarding future prizes in an electronic game system

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11447397 US20070293294A1 (en) 2006-06-06 2006-06-06 Arrangements for awarding future prizes in an electronic game system

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20070293294A1 true true US20070293294A1 (en) 2007-12-20

Family

ID=38862240

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11447397 Abandoned US20070293294A1 (en) 2006-06-06 2006-06-06 Arrangements for awarding future prizes in an electronic game system

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US20070293294A1 (en)

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2009092085A1 (en) * 2008-01-18 2009-07-23 Gtech Corporation System and method for facilitating the operation of a combined lottery/raffle game
US8500538B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2013-08-06 Igt Bingo gaming system and method for providing multiple outcomes from single bingo pattern
US20150057065A1 (en) * 2013-08-26 2015-02-26 Grover Gaming, Inc. No element of chance electronic game system and method

Citations (19)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6110042A (en) * 1997-07-14 2000-08-29 Walker Digital, Llc System and method for future value wagering
US6168521B1 (en) * 1997-09-12 2001-01-02 Robert A. Luciano Video lottery game
US20020016197A1 (en) * 2000-07-14 2002-02-07 Craig Candelaria Internet sweepstakes system and method
US20020077178A1 (en) * 2000-04-28 2002-06-20 Igt Cashless transaction clearinghouse
US20020155873A1 (en) * 2001-04-20 2002-10-24 King Show Games Llc System and method for executing trades for bonus activity in gaming systems
US20030092477A1 (en) * 1999-10-16 2003-05-15 Sierra Design Group Voucher gaming systems and methods
US20030114210A1 (en) * 2001-12-13 2003-06-19 Meyer Mark G. System and method for playing a lottery-type game
US20040033095A1 (en) * 2001-02-27 2004-02-19 International Game Technology. Thermal printer with dual head-audit trail
US20040033826A1 (en) * 2001-04-20 2004-02-19 Kingshow Games, Llc. System and method for facilitating trades for bonus activity in gaming systems
US20040192434A1 (en) * 2003-03-04 2004-09-30 Walker Jay S. Method and system for managing game confirmations
US20050020352A1 (en) * 2001-09-21 2005-01-27 Chilton Ward W. Gaming device providing tournament entries
US20050055115A1 (en) * 2003-09-09 2005-03-10 Peter Gerrard Gaming device with offer/acceptance game having offer chosen from multiple formed offers
US20050079908A1 (en) * 2003-10-10 2005-04-14 Pacey Larry J. Gaming machine having an award-trading scheme
US20050143166A1 (en) * 2003-10-17 2005-06-30 Walker Jay S. Systems and methods for determining a level of reward
US20060035707A1 (en) * 2001-06-15 2006-02-16 Igt Virtual leash for personal gaming device
US20060108736A1 (en) * 2000-05-04 2006-05-25 Walker Jay S Method and apparatus for facilitating game play with a mortgaging option
US20070060244A1 (en) * 2005-08-18 2007-03-15 Steve Peter Yaldoo Progressive wager game
US20070105617A1 (en) * 2004-04-07 2007-05-10 Walker Jay S Methods, systems and apparatus for facilitating cashout options at a gaming device
US7354343B2 (en) * 2003-10-21 2008-04-08 David Schugar Wagering game where player can borrow money for wagers based on equity position

Patent Citations (19)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6110042A (en) * 1997-07-14 2000-08-29 Walker Digital, Llc System and method for future value wagering
US6168521B1 (en) * 1997-09-12 2001-01-02 Robert A. Luciano Video lottery game
US20030092477A1 (en) * 1999-10-16 2003-05-15 Sierra Design Group Voucher gaming systems and methods
US20020077178A1 (en) * 2000-04-28 2002-06-20 Igt Cashless transaction clearinghouse
US20060108736A1 (en) * 2000-05-04 2006-05-25 Walker Jay S Method and apparatus for facilitating game play with a mortgaging option
US20020016197A1 (en) * 2000-07-14 2002-02-07 Craig Candelaria Internet sweepstakes system and method
US20040033095A1 (en) * 2001-02-27 2004-02-19 International Game Technology. Thermal printer with dual head-audit trail
US20020155873A1 (en) * 2001-04-20 2002-10-24 King Show Games Llc System and method for executing trades for bonus activity in gaming systems
US20040033826A1 (en) * 2001-04-20 2004-02-19 Kingshow Games, Llc. System and method for facilitating trades for bonus activity in gaming systems
US20060035707A1 (en) * 2001-06-15 2006-02-16 Igt Virtual leash for personal gaming device
US20050020352A1 (en) * 2001-09-21 2005-01-27 Chilton Ward W. Gaming device providing tournament entries
US20030114210A1 (en) * 2001-12-13 2003-06-19 Meyer Mark G. System and method for playing a lottery-type game
US20040192434A1 (en) * 2003-03-04 2004-09-30 Walker Jay S. Method and system for managing game confirmations
US20050055115A1 (en) * 2003-09-09 2005-03-10 Peter Gerrard Gaming device with offer/acceptance game having offer chosen from multiple formed offers
US20050079908A1 (en) * 2003-10-10 2005-04-14 Pacey Larry J. Gaming machine having an award-trading scheme
US20050143166A1 (en) * 2003-10-17 2005-06-30 Walker Jay S. Systems and methods for determining a level of reward
US7354343B2 (en) * 2003-10-21 2008-04-08 David Schugar Wagering game where player can borrow money for wagers based on equity position
US20070105617A1 (en) * 2004-04-07 2007-05-10 Walker Jay S Methods, systems and apparatus for facilitating cashout options at a gaming device
US20070060244A1 (en) * 2005-08-18 2007-03-15 Steve Peter Yaldoo Progressive wager game

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2009092085A1 (en) * 2008-01-18 2009-07-23 Gtech Corporation System and method for facilitating the operation of a combined lottery/raffle game
US20090186680A1 (en) * 2008-01-18 2009-07-23 Gtech Corporation System and method for facilitating the operation of a combined lottery/raffle game
GB2469258A (en) * 2008-01-18 2010-10-06 Gtech Corp System snd method for facilitating the operation of a combined lottery/raffle game
US8480470B2 (en) 2008-01-18 2013-07-09 Gtech Corporation System and method for facilitating the operation of a combined lottery/raffle game
US8500538B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2013-08-06 Igt Bingo gaming system and method for providing multiple outcomes from single bingo pattern
US8821248B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2014-09-02 Igt Bingo gaming system and method for providing multiple outcomes from single bingo pattern
US20150057065A1 (en) * 2013-08-26 2015-02-26 Grover Gaming, Inc. No element of chance electronic game system and method

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US6733385B1 (en) Apparatus, method, and program product for facilitating game play in an electronic lottery game network
US6869361B2 (en) System, apparatus and method employing controller for play of shared bonus games
US7371169B2 (en) Method and apparatus for determining a gaming device award
US6193606B1 (en) Electronic gaming device offering a game of knowledge for enhanced payouts
US6358151B1 (en) System for facilitating game play in an electronic lottery game network
US7425177B2 (en) Gaming device having multiple interacting independently operable wheels
US6669559B1 (en) Gaming device with bonus scheme providing increased reward for selecting related symbols
US6733390B2 (en) Method and apparatus for team play of slot machines
US6942568B2 (en) Gaming device having skill and dexterity element
US6605001B1 (en) Dice game in which categories are filled and scores awarded
US6780109B2 (en) Gaming device having transformable wild symbols or cards with wild signal indicators
US6749502B2 (en) Gaming device having a multi-characteristic matching game
US7156738B2 (en) Casino gambling machine with bonus round award redemption
US6666765B2 (en) Casino game and method having a hint feature
US6840858B2 (en) Method of playing a wagering game and gaming devices with a bingo-type secondary game
US7270604B2 (en) Gaming device with offer/acceptance game having offer chosen from multiple formed offers
US7815500B2 (en) Gaming device having a predetermined result poker game
US6964416B2 (en) Method of playing a matching bonus game
US7048628B2 (en) Networked gaming devices using bonus token to effectuate bonus awards
US6666767B1 (en) Method of playing a game involving forming a matrix display of identifiers and comparing to group of randomly selected identifiers
US7361087B2 (en) Gaming device having high-low game
US20020107066A1 (en) Gaming bonus device and method of use
US5393057A (en) Electronic gaming apparatus and method
US20040063489A1 (en) Gaming device including outcome pools for providing game outcomes

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC., TEXAS

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LIND, CLIFTON E.;LIND, JEFFERSON C.;REEL/FRAME:018562/0930

Effective date: 20061129

AS Assignment

Owner name: COMERICA BANK, A TEXAS BANKING ASSOCIATION, MICHIG

Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC. AND MULTIMEDIA GAMES HOLDING COMPANY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:026719/0259

Effective date: 20110803

AS Assignment

Owner name: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT, TEXAS

Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:GLOBAL CASH ACCESS, INC.;MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:034692/0667

Effective date: 20141219

AS Assignment

Owner name: EVERI GAMES INC. (F/K/A MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC.), N

Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.;REEL/FRAME:042438/0640

Effective date: 20170509

Owner name: EVERI PAYMENTS INC. (F/K/A GLOBAL CASH ACCESS, INC

Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.;REEL/FRAME:042438/0640

Effective date: 20170509

Owner name: EVERI PAYMENTS INC. (F/K/A GLOBAL CASH ACCESS, INC

Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.;REEL/FRAME:042440/0076

Effective date: 20170509

Owner name: EVERI GAMES INC. (F/K/A MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC.), N

Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.;REEL/FRAME:042440/0076

Effective date: 20170509