US20080194315A1 - Gaming device with player selectable theme - Google Patents

Gaming device with player selectable theme Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080194315A1
US20080194315A1 US12/029,303 US2930308A US2008194315A1 US 20080194315 A1 US20080194315 A1 US 20080194315A1 US 2930308 A US2930308 A US 2930308A US 2008194315 A1 US2008194315 A1 US 2008194315A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
theme
gaming device
game
gaming
game outcome
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
US12/029,303
Inventor
Jerald C. Seelig
Lawrence M. Henshaw
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.)
Atlantic City Coin and Slot Service Co Inc
Original Assignee
Atlantic City Coin and Slot Service Co 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
Priority to US88910107P priority Critical
Application filed by Atlantic City Coin and Slot Service Co Inc filed Critical Atlantic City Coin and Slot Service Co Inc
Priority to US12/029,303 priority patent/US20080194315A1/en
Assigned to ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC. reassignment ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: SEELIG, JERALD C., HENSHAW, LAWRENCE M.
Publication of US20080194315A1 publication Critical patent/US20080194315A1/en
Assigned to WACHOVIA BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (AS SUCCESSOR TO FIRST UNION NATIONAL BANK) reassignment WACHOVIA BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (AS SUCCESSOR TO FIRST UNION NATIONAL BANK) FIRST AMENDMENT TO PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC.
Assigned to IGT reassignment IGT RELEASE OF FIRST AMENDMENT TO PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT BETWEEN ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC. AND WELLS FARGO NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, SII TO WACHOVIA BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, SII TO FIRST UNION NATIONAL BANK Assignors: WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
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
    • 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

Abstract

A gaming system and device is disclosed that allows a player to select one of a plurality of game themes. Each game theme has a set of winning game symbols displayed on one or more reels of the gaming device and an associated pay table. When a player plays the gaming device under a particular theme, the gaming device determines whether a winning outcome has occurred and displays the winning outcome to the player using the winning gaming symbols associated with the selected theme.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/889,101, filed Feb. 9, 2007, the contents of which is herein incorporated by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to gaming systems and devices and in particular to gaming systems and devices utilizing a secondary game.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Gaming devices such as slot machines are common in gaming establishments. The mechanism of playing a slot machine is well known. A player advances a wager in respect of a single gaming event. In modern slot machines, the single gaming event is typically the generation of a random number that is compared against a pay table to determine if the single gaming event produced a winning outcome. A winning outcome will pay a multiple of the wager with the multiple being dependent on the probability of that winning outcome.
  • Different slot machines generally have a similar look and feel. Therefore, gaming devices will tend to be more successful if they increase the excitement of playing a game. One way to increase excitement is by increasing the level of player interaction and control.
  • Players are often superstitious and will tend to prefer a machine that they consider to be lucky. Where a player feels a machine is unlucky, that player may leave the machine.
  • SUMMARY OF ONE EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION
  • Advantages of One or More Embodiments of the Present Invention
  • The various embodiments of the present invention may, but do not necessarily, achieve one or more of the following advantages:
  • the ability to provide variability within a gaming device;
  • provide increased player retention at a gaming device;
  • provide increased gaming revenues;
  • provide a player with the ability to vary a gaming experience;
  • allow a player to select a preferred gaming theme; and
  • allow a player to have some control of winning outcomes.
  • These and other advantages may be realized by reference to the remaining portions of the specification, claims, and abstract.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ONE OR MORE EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
  • In one aspect, the invention relates to a gaming system comprising a server and a gaming device in communication with the server. The server comprises a memory device configured to store first game information in a first game theme and second game information in a second game theme. The gaming device comprises a reel apparatus configured to display a first theme specific symbol related to the first theme and a second theme specific symbol related to the second theme. The gaming device may download the game information in the first theme and display a game outcome using the first theme specific symbol and may download the game information in the second theme and display a game outcome using the second theme specific symbol.
  • In one aspect, the invention relates to a gaming device comprising a controller; a theme selector; and at least one reel apparatus configured to display a first symbol specific to a first theme and a second symbol specific to a second theme. The controller controls a position of the reel apparatus to display a game outcome dependent on a theme selected using the theme selector.
  • In one aspect, the invention relates to a method of playing a gaming device comprising selecting a theme; placing a wager; generating a game outcome; and displaying the game outcome using the selected theme.
  • In one aspect, the invention relates to a gaming apparatus comprising means for selecting a theme; means for determining a game outcome; and means for displaying the game outcome using a selected theme.
  • The above description sets forth, rather broadly, a summary of embodiments of the present invention so that the detailed description that follows may be better understood and contributions of the present invention to the art may be better appreciated. Some of the embodiments of the present invention may not include all of the features or characteristics listed in the above summary. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described below and will form the subject matter of claims. In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is substantially a perspective view of one embodiment of a gaming device that can be used in the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is substantially a side view of a reel apparatus.
  • FIG. 3 is substantially an end view of a reel apparatus.
  • FIG. 4 substantially shows a reel strip.
  • FIG. 5 is substantially a schematic view of a gaming device.
  • FIG. 6 is substantially a schematic view of a network gaming devices.
  • DESCRIPTION OF ONE OR MORE EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
  • In the following detailed description of the embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this application. The drawings show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • With reference to FIG. 1, an embodiment of the present invention comprises a gaming device, generally indicated by reference number 10. The gaming device 10 includes a coin slot for receiving wagers such as coins or tokens and a payout slot 13 through which winnings may be paid. The person skilled in the art will readily understand that the gaming device 10 is depicted schematically and many variants may be made. For example, the gaming device 10 may be configured to receive bills, casino tokens, credit cards or many other forms of payment. Similarly, winnings may be paid by tokens, tickets, credit or through other facilities of the gaming establishment.
  • The gaming device 10 includes a reel display 15 having at least one reel apparatus 20 shown in more detail in FIGS. 2 to 4. The reel apparatus 20 comprises a chassis 21, a reel 22 rotatably mounted on the chassis and an actuator 23 coupled to the reel for rotating the reel. In one embodiment, three reel apparatus 20 are provided though the person skilled in the art will recognize that the game device may use any appropriate number of reel apparatus for playing a game. A plurality of symbols 32 are displayed on the reel 22. The symbols 32 may be printed on a reel strip 34 (FIG. 4) that is attached to the reel. The symbols comprise a plurality of theme specific symbols. Each specific symbol relates to at least one game theme and there is at least one specific symbol for each of a plurality of themes. For example, in one embodiment, two game themes may be provided on a reel, such as an animal theme 35 and a fruit theme 36. Specific theme symbols for the animal theme games may include lions, tigers, dogs and elephants and specific theme symbols for the fruit theme games may include apples, oranges, bananas and cherries.
  • The symbols displayed on the reel may also comprise generic symbols 37. The generic symbols may be used with a plurality of different game themes. Generic symbols for the themes discussed above may include numbers, letters and the like.
  • FIG. 5 schematically illustrates the gaming device 10 and shows a controller 51 that controls the reel actuator 23 to cause the reel 21 to rotate and to stop the reel in various positions. For the sake of clarity, only one reel 21 and one actuator 23 is shown. Each symbol on the reel has a specific stop position in which the symbol may be viewed by a player relative to an indicator, such as a pay line 19 (FIG. 1). While a single pay line 19 is depicted in FIG. 1 for the sake of clarity, the person skilled in the art will understand that multiple pay lines may be used, as is known in slot machines. The controller 51 is configured to cause the reel 21 to stop the reel 21 in a specific stop position to display a selected symbol.
  • The gaming device 10 includes a controller 5 1, a random number generator 52 and a memory 53 storing, inter alia, pay table information. The gaming device 10 is configured to operate a game program, under control of the controller 51 that allows players to place wagers and play games. As described above, the gaming device 10 may offer a plurality of different game themes. Each theme has an associated pay table and/or an associated set of winning and losing outcomes stored in the memory 53. Pay tables are used to determine the outcome of each game and they control the odds of winning a game and the amounts paid out.
  • In normal operation, when a player first begins to play the gaming device, the player may be asked to select a theme using a theme selection button 16 (FIG. 1) or other suitable selector mechanism. A display 18 on the gaming device 10 may illustrate the different themes available including winning outcomes and the like. Continuing the example above, the player may select the animal theme. In response to the player's selection, the controller 51 selects the associated animal theme pay table as an active pay table from the memory 53. The player would then place a wager and begin playing a game that uses the selected theme using game play button 17. The controller of the gaming device may then determine the game outcome using the random number generator 52 in a manner that is known in the art. The controller 51 then causes the reel mechanism to display a symbol or set of symbols that communicates the game outcome to the player in accordance with the selected pay table. For example, if the outcome is a losing outcome, the gaming device may display only generic symbols and fruit theme symbols. If the outcome is a winning outcome with a small prize, the gaming device may display one animal symbol, e.g., a lion. Generic symbols and fruit theme symbols may be used to fill in symbol spaces. If the outcome is a winning outcome with a large prize, the gaming device may display three animal symbols, e.g., a lion, a tiger and a bear, or three lions, or other winning combinations. The player is then awarded a prize commensurate with the winning outcome.
  • At some point, the player may grow tired of the animal theme and, using the theme selection button 16, request that the theme be changed to the fruit theme. Because the present invention provides a plurality of different theme specific symbols, the gaming device 10 is able to use the same physical reel to play games with different themes. The gaming device 10 may then set the fruit theme pay table as the active pay table. Similar to the example discussed above, the gaming device 10 is able to display winning and losing outcomes using the apples, oranges and grape symbols. A previously winning combination, such as a lion, a tiger and a bear, would now be considered as a losing outcome. If the pay table required a losing outcome to be displayed, the controller may select to display a winning combination from the first theme.
  • The reels may be physical reels as depicted in FIGS. 2 to 4. Alternatively, the reels may be video reels with a controller determining a symbol to be displayed on the video reel.
  • In an alternative embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 6 a network 60 of gaming devices 10 may be provided under the control of a server 61. The server 61 may store the theme related pay table information in a server memory 62. When a player selects the theme at a gaming device 10, the gaming device 10 requests the game information including pay tables from the server 61 through a communications link. In one embodiment, generating random numbers and determining winning outcomes may also be performed by the server 61, as is known in the gaming industry. Any number of gaming devices may be networked through the server 61.
  • An advantage of above described embodiments is that a player has a degree of control over the gaming device, thus allowing the player to change the play conditions of the gaming device. When the player feels that a gaming device is no longer lucky, the player may change the theme and thus the player's perception of the gaming device, which encourages the player to remain at the gaming device for longer. In addition, the player is not only able to change the perception of the gaming device, but also the actual playing conditions of the gaming device, as determined by the pay tables, which further encourages the player to remain at the gaming device.
  • In the described embodiments, two themes are provided. The person skilled in the art will readily understand that the invention includes within its scope any plurality of themes.
  • Although the description above contains many specifications, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the embodiments of this invention. Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents rather than by the examples given.

Claims (23)

1. A gaming system comprising:
(A) a server, comprising:
(a) a memory device configured to store first game information in a first game theme and second game information in a second game theme; and
(B) a gaming device in communication with the server, the gaming device comprising:
(i) a reel apparatus, the reel apparatus being configured to display a first theme specific symbol related to the first theme and a second theme specific symbol related to the second theme;
(ii) wherein the gaming device may download the game information in the first theme and display a game outcome using the first theme specific symbol; and
(iii) wherein the gaming device may download the game information in the second theme and display a game outcome using the second theme specific symbol.
2. The gaming system according to claim 1 wherein the first game information comprises a first pay table and wherein the second game information comprises a second pay table.
3. The gaming system according to claim 1 wherein the first game information comprises a first set of winning symbols of the first theme and wherein the second game information comprises a second set of winning symbols of the second theme.
4. The gaming system according to claim 1 wherein the gaming device further comprises a controller configured to control rotation of the reel apparatus to selectively display a theme specific symbol dependent on the game outcome.
5. The gaming system according to claim 1 wherein the gaming device further comprises a theme selector that allows a player to select the first theme or the second theme.
6. The gaming system according to claim 5 wherein the first game information is downloaded from the server to the gaming device in response to a player selecting the first theme and wherein the second game information is downloaded from the server to the gaming device in response to a player selecting the second theme.
7. A gaming device comprising:
(A) a controller;
(B) a theme selector; and
(C) at least one reel apparatus configured to display a first symbol specific to a first theme and a second symbol specific to a second theme;
(D) wherein the controller controls a position of the at least one reel apparatus to display a game outcome dependent on a theme selected using the theme selector.
8. The gaming device according to claim 7 further comprising a random number generator for generating the game outcome.
9. The gaming device according to claim 8 further comprising a memory storing a first pay table associated with the first theme and a second pay table associated with the second theme, wherein the theme selector allows a player to select the first theme or the second theme, and wherein a number generated by the random number generator is compared with the pay table associated with a selected theme to determine the game outcome.
10. The gaming device according to claim 9 wherein the gaming device communicates with a server and wherein a pay table associated with a theme is downloaded to the memory from the server in response to selection of the respective theme.
11. The gaming device according to claim 7 wherein a winning symbol of the first theme provides a losing symbol of the second theme.
12. The gaming device according to claim 7 wherein the at least one reel apparatus comprises:
(A) a chassis;
(B) a reel rotatably mounted on the chassis; and
(C) an actuator for rotating the reel.
13. The gaming device according to claim 12 wherein the at least one reel apparatus further comprises a reel strip comprising at least one first symbol specific to the first theme and at least one second symbol specific to the second theme.
14. A method of playing a gaming device comprising:
(A) selecting a theme;
(B) placing a wager;
(C) generating a game outcome; and
(D) displaying the game outcome using the selected theme.
15. The method according to claim 14 wherein:
(A) selecting a theme determines one or more winning symbols associated with the selected theme; and
(B) displaying the game outcome using the selected theme comprises displaying a winning game outcome by displaying one or more of the winning symbols.
16. The method according to claim 15 wherein the gaming device comprises one or more reels comprising the winning symbols and wherein displaying a winning game outcome comprises stopping at least one of the one or more reels such that one or more winning symbols of the selected theme are displayed to a player.
17. The method according to claim 16 wherein the one or more reels display first winning symbols of a first theme and second winning symbols of a second theme.
18. The method according to claim 17 wherein displaying the game outcome using the first theme comprises displaying a losing game outcome by displaying one or more of the second winning symbols of the second theme.
19. The method according to claim 15 wherein selecting a theme further determines a pay table.
20. A gaming apparatus comprising:
(A) means for selecting a theme;
(B) means for determining a game outcome; and
(C) means for displaying the game outcome using a selected theme.
21. The gaming apparatus according to claim 20 wherein the means for displaying the game outcome comprises reel means comprising at least one first symbol specific to a first theme and at least one second symbol specific to a second theme.
22. The gaming apparatus according to claim 20 wherein the means for selecting a theme comprises means for selecting a pay table associated with a selected theme.
23. The gaming apparatus according to claim 22 wherein the means for determining a game outcome comprises means for comparing a randomly generated number with a selected pay table.
US12/029,303 2007-02-09 2008-02-11 Gaming device with player selectable theme Abandoned US20080194315A1 (en)

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US88910107P true 2007-02-09 2007-02-09
US12/029,303 US20080194315A1 (en) 2007-02-09 2008-02-11 Gaming device with player selectable theme

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20100113127A1 (en) * 2008-11-03 2010-05-06 Bally Gaming, Inc. System for providing multi-game reel strips
WO2010070652A1 (en) * 2008-12-19 2010-06-24 Skill Lotto Solutions (P) Ltd. Instant ticket generator
US20100267445A1 (en) * 2009-04-15 2010-10-21 Wms Gaming Inc. Wagering Game Having Thematic State Based On Secondary Event
US9459839B2 (en) 2014-12-15 2016-10-04 Tasktop Technologies, Incorporated Systems and methods to synchronize artifact relationships across a plurality of repositories

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20040248642A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2004-12-09 Rothschild Wayne H. Adaptable gaming machine in a gaming network
US20090227357A1 (en) * 2005-10-31 2009-09-10 Rasmussen James M Slot machine with alterable reel symbols

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20040248642A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2004-12-09 Rothschild Wayne H. Adaptable gaming machine in a gaming network
US20090227357A1 (en) * 2005-10-31 2009-09-10 Rasmussen James M Slot machine with alterable reel symbols

Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20100113127A1 (en) * 2008-11-03 2010-05-06 Bally Gaming, Inc. System for providing multi-game reel strips
US8070592B2 (en) * 2008-11-03 2011-12-06 Bally Gaming, Inc. System for providing multi-game reel strips
WO2010070652A1 (en) * 2008-12-19 2010-06-24 Skill Lotto Solutions (P) Ltd. Instant ticket generator
US20100267445A1 (en) * 2009-04-15 2010-10-21 Wms Gaming Inc. Wagering Game Having Thematic State Based On Secondary Event
US8172668B2 (en) * 2009-04-15 2012-05-08 Wms Gaming Inc. Wagering game having thematic state based on secondary event
US9459839B2 (en) 2014-12-15 2016-10-04 Tasktop Technologies, Incorporated Systems and methods to synchronize artifact relationships across a plurality of repositories

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AS Assignment

Owner name: ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC., N

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SEELIG, JERALD C.;HENSHAW, LAWRENCE M.;REEL/FRAME:020751/0971;SIGNING DATES FROM 20080211 TO 20080402

Owner name: ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC., N

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SEELIG, JERALD C.;HENSHAW, LAWRENCE M.;SIGNING DATES FROM 20080211 TO 20080402;REEL/FRAME:020751/0971

AS Assignment

Owner name: WACHOVIA BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (AS SUCCESSOR

Free format text: FIRST AMENDMENT TO PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:021603/0221

Effective date: 20080904

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION

AS Assignment

Owner name: IGT, NEVADA

Free format text: RELEASE OF FIRST AMENDMENT TO PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT BETWEEN ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC. AND WELLS FARGO NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, SII TO WACHOVIA BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, SII TO FIRST UNION NATIONAL BANK;ASSIGNOR:WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION;REEL/FRAME:035226/0598

Effective date: 20130626