US20090275375A1 - Multiple outcome display for gaming devices - Google Patents

Multiple outcome display for gaming devices Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090275375A1
US20090275375A1 US12112802 US11280208A US2009275375A1 US 20090275375 A1 US20090275375 A1 US 20090275375A1 US 12112802 US12112802 US 12112802 US 11280208 A US11280208 A US 11280208A US 2009275375 A1 US2009275375 A1 US 2009275375A1
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outcome
player
game
gaming device
gaming
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Abandoned
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US12112802
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John F. Acres
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Patent Investment and Licensing Co
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Acres-Fiore Patents
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/326Game 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
    • G07F17/3265Influencing the position of stopped moving members to achieve a winning arrangement, e.g. nudging, shuffling, holding

Abstract

Embodiments of the present invention are directed to a display of multiple game outcomes that may be won by a player on a gaming device. In one embodiment, a gaming device includes a player interface panel having at least one game input device, a game output display to show the result of a gaming event wagered upon by a player at the gaming device, a multiple outcome display configured to display possible outcomes of the gaming event, and a selection mechanism operable by the player to identify a game event outcome from the displayed multiple outcomes.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • Commonly assigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/______, to John Acres, is filed concurrently herewith, for GAMING DEVICE AND METHOD UTILIZING AT LEAST TWO RNG OUTCOMES (Attorney Docket No. 1351-0035), the disclosures of which is incorporated by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This disclosure relates generally to a display of multiple outcomes on a gaming device, and more particularly to a display of multiple final game outcomes that may be won by a player on a gaming device.
  • BACKGROUND
  • With conventional gaming devices, a player typically places a wager on a future gaming event and initiates the gaming event by pulling a gaming handle or pressing a game initiating button. An outcome of the gaming event is often determined from a random number generator (RNG) upon initiation of the gaming event by the player. In order to build anticipation, however, the reels on a spinning reel slot machine or a video slot machine typically continue to spin and sequentially stop from left to right showing a portion of the outcome with each reel coming to rest. In some gaming devices, a player may touch a reel or corresponding button to stop a reel before the typical electronically controlled stop occurs. For example, a player may touch the fifth reel of a five reel video slot gaming device to stop the fifth reel before the first, second, third, or fourth reel has come to a stop. In other words, the player would be able to see the symbols occurring on paylines for the fifth reel before seeing what the other symbols from the first through fourth reels end up on the played paylines.
  • This feature may be used by superstitious players trying to change their luck by having the reels stop in reverse or may be used by players to root for symbols on the left most reels. More often, however, since the reels typically spin at a speed that allows players to make out which symbols are passing by, this feature allows players to try and stop a reel on a particular symbol outcome. For example, if three bonus symbols are needed on a played payline to initiate a bonus and a player receives bonus symbols on the first and second reels, he or she may try to time touching the third reel to get a third bonus symbol by either trying to touch the bonus symbol as it goes by or waiting a certain amount of time after a bonus symbol goes by before touching and stopping the third reel.
  • Because the outcome of the gaming device is typically determined prior to any of the reels stopping, this exercise in stopping the reels generally has no effect on the outcome of the gaming event. Rather, it is provided to give the player a feeling of control over the outcome of the gaming event. As players often like to feel they have some control in the outcome of the gaming event, additional gaming features providing this feeling or sensation may be advantageously integrated into gaming devices.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1A is a functional block diagram that illustrates a gaming device according to embodiments of the invention.
  • FIG. 1B is an isometric view of the gaming device illustrated in FIG. 1A.
  • FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C are detail diagrams of exemplary types of gaming devices according to embodiments of the invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram of networked gaming devices according to embodiments of the invention.
  • FIG. 4 is a detail diagram of a gaming device according to embodiments of the invention.
  • FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C, and 5D are detail diagrams of exemplary types of gaming devices according to embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 6 is a flow diagram of a method of operating a gaming device with a display of multiple outcomes according to embodiments of the invention.
  • FIGS. 7A and 7B are a flow diagram of another method of operating a gaming device with a display of multiple outcomes according to embodiments of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate example gaming devices according to embodiments of the invention.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1A and 1B, a gaming device 10 is an electronic gaming machine. Although an electronic gaming machine or “slot” machine is illustrated, various other types of devices may be used to wager monetarily based credits on a game of chance in accordance with principles of the invention. The term “electronic gaming device” is meant to include various devices such as electro-mechanical spinning-reel type slot machines, video slot machines, and video poker machines, for instance. Other gaming devices may include computer-based gaming machines, wireless gaming devices, multi-player gaming stations, modified personal electronic gaming devices (such as cell phones), personal computers, server-based gaming terminals, and other similar devices. Although embodiments of the invention will work with all of the gaming types mentioned, for ease of illustration the present embodiments will be described in reference to the electronic gaming machine 10 shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B.
  • The gaming device 10 includes a cabinet 15 housing components to operate the gaming device 10. The cabinet 15 may include a gaming display 20, a base portion 13, a top box 18, and a player interface panel 30. The gaming display 20 may include mechanical spinning reels (FIG. 2A), a video display (FIGS. 2B and 2C), or a combination of both spinning reels and a video display (not shown). The gaming cabinet 15 may also include a credit meter 27 and a coin-in or bet meter 28. The credit meter 27 may indicate the total number of credits remaining on the gaming device 10 that are eligible to be wagered. In some embodiments, the credit meter 27 may reflect a monetary unit, such as dollars. However, it is often preferable to have the credit meter 27 reflect a number of ‘credits,’ rather than a monetary unit. The bet meter 28 may indicate the amount of credits to be wagered on a particular game. Thus, for each game, the player transfers the amount that he or she wants to wager from the credit meter 27 to the bet meter 28. In some embodiments, various other meters may be present, such as meters reflecting amounts won, amounts paid, or the like. In embodiments where the gaming display 20 is a video monitor, the information indicated on the credit meters may be shown on the gaming display itself 20 (FIG. 2B).
  • The base portion 13 may include a lighted panel 14, a coin return (not shown), and a gaming handle 12 operable on a partially rotating pivot joint 11. The game handle 12 is traditionally included on mechanical spinning-reel games, where the handle may be pulled toward a player to initiate the spinning of reels 22 after placement of a wager. The top box 18 may include a lighted panel 17, a video display (such as an LCD monitor), a mechanical bonus device (not shown), and a candle light indicator 19. The player interface panel 30 may include various devices so that a player can interact with the gaming device 10.
  • The player interface panel 30 may include one or more game buttons 32 that can be actuated by the player to cause the gaming device 10 to perform a specific action. For example, some of the game buttons 32 may cause the gaming device 10 to bet a credit to be wagered during the next game, change the number of lines being played on a multi-line game, cash out the credits remaining on the gaming device (as indicated on the credit meter 27), or request assistance from casino personnel, such as by lighting the candle 19. In addition, the player interface panel 30 may include one or more game actuating buttons 33. The game actuating buttons 33 may initiate a game with a pre-specified amount of credits. On some gaming devices 10 a “Max Bet” game actuating button 33 may be included that places the maximum credit wager on a game and initiates the game. The player interface panel 30 may further include a bill acceptor 37 and a ticket printer 38. The bill acceptor 37 may accept and validate paper money or previously printed tickets with a credit balance. The ticket printer 38 may print out tickets reflecting the balance of the credits that remain on the gaming device 10 when a player cashes out by pressing one of the game buttons 32 programmed to cause a ‘cashout.’ These tickets may be inserted into other gaming machines or redeemed at a cashier station or kiosk for cash.
  • The gaming device 10 may also include one or more speakers 26 to transmit auditory information or sounds to the player. The auditory information may include specific sounds associated with particular events that occur during game play on the gaming device 10. For example, a particularly festive sound may be played during a large win or when a bonus is triggered. The speakers 26 may also transmit “attract” sounds to entice nearby players when the game is not currently being played.
  • The gaming device 10 may further include a secondary display 25. This secondary display 25 may be a vacuum fluorescent display (VFD), a liquid crystal display (LCD), a cathode ray tube (CRT), a plasma screen, or the like. The secondary display 25 may show any combination of primary game information and ancillary information to the player. For example, the secondary display 25 may show player tracking information, secondary bonus information, advertisements, or player selectable game options.
  • The gaming device 10 may include a separate information window (not shown) dedicated to supplying any combination of information related to primary game play, secondary bonus information, player tracking information, secondary bonus information, advertisements or player selectable game options. This window may be fixed in size and location or may have its size and location vary temporally as communication needs change. One example of such a resizable window is International Game Technology's “service window”. Another example is Las Vegas Gaming Incorporated's retrofit technology which allows information to be placed over areas of the game or secondary display screen at various times and in various situations.
  • The gaming device 10 includes a microprocessor 40 that controls operation of the gaming device 10. If the gaming device 10 is a standalone gaming device, the microprocessor 40 may control virtually all of the operations of the gaming devices and attached equipment, such as operating game logic stored in memory (not shown) as firmware, controlling the display 20 to represent the outcome of a game, communicate with the other peripheral devices (such as the bill acceptor 37), and orchestrating the lighting and sound emanating from the gaming device 10. In other embodiments where the gaming device 10 is coupled to a network 50, as described below, the microprocessor 40 may have different tasks depending on the setup and function of the gaming device. For example, the microprocessor 40 may be responsible for running the base game of the gaming device and executing instructions received over the network 50 from a bonus server or player tracking server. In a server-based gaming setup, the microprocessor 40 may act as a terminal to execute instructions from a remote server that is running game play on the gaming device.
  • The microprocessor 40 may be coupled to a machine communication interface (MCI) 42 that connects the gaming device 10 to a gaming network 50. The MCI 42 may be coupled to the microprocessor 40 through a serial connection, a parallel connection, an optical connection, or in some cases a wireless connection. The gaming device 10 may include memory 41 (MEM), such as a random access memory (RAM), coupled to the microprocessor 40 and which can be used to store gaming information, such as storing total coin-in statistics about a present or past gaming session, which can be communicated to a remote server or database through the MCI 42. The MCI 42 may also facilitate communication between the network 50 and the secondary display 25 or a player tracking unit 45 housed in the gaming cabinet 15.
  • The player tracking unit 45 may include an identification device 46 and one or more buttons 47 associated with the player tracking unit 45. The identification device 46 serves to identify a player, by, for example, reading a player-tracking device, such as a player tracking card that is issued by the casino to individual players who choose to have such a card. The identification device 46 may instead, or additionally, identify players through other methods. Player tracking systems using player tracking cards and card readers 46 are known in the art. Briefly summarizing such a system, a player registers with the casino prior to commencing gaming. The casino issues a unique player-tracking card to the player and opens a corresponding player account that is stored on a server or host computer, described below with reference to FIG. 3. The player account may include the player's name and mailing address and other information of interest to the casino in connection with marketing efforts. Prior to playing one of the gaming devices in the casino, the player inserts the player tracking card into the identification device 46 thus permitting the casino to track player activity, such as amounts wagered, credits won, and rate of play.
  • To induce the player to use the card and be an identified player, the casino may award each player points proportional to the money or credits wagered by the player. Players typically accrue points at a rate related to the amount wagered, although other factors may cause the casino to award the player various amounts. The points may be displayed on the secondary display 25 or using other methods. In conventional player tracking systems, the player may take his or her card to a special desk in the casino where a casino employee scans the card to determine how many accrued points are in the player's account. The player may redeem points for selected merchandise, meals in casino restaurants, or the like, which each have assigned point values. In some player tracking systems, the player may use the secondary display 25 to access their player tracking account, such as to check a total number of points, redeem points for various services, make changes to their account, or download promotional credits to the gaming device 10. In other embodiments, the identification device 46 may read other identifying cards (such as driver licenses, credit cards, etc.) to identify a player and match them to a corresponding player tracking account. Although FIG. 1A shows the player tracking unit 45 with a card reader as the identification device 46, other embodiments may include a player tracking unit 45 with a biometric scanner, PIN code acceptor, or other methods of identifying a player to pair the player with their player tracking account.
  • During typical play on a gaming device 10, a player plays a game by placing a wager and then initiating a gaming session. The player may initially insert monetary bills or previously printed tickets with a credit value into the bill acceptor 37. The player may also put coins into a coin acceptor (not shown) or a credit, debit or casino account card into a card reader/authorizer (not shown). One of skill in the art will readily see that this invention is useful with all gambling devices, regardless of the manner in which wager value-input is accomplished.
  • The credit meter 27 displays the numeric credit value of the money inserted dependent on the denomination of the gaming device 10. That is, if the gaming device 10 is a nickel slot machine and a $20 bill inserted into the bill acceptor 37, the credit meter will reflect 400 credits or one credit for each nickel of the inserted twenty dollars. For gaming devices 10 that support multiple denominations, the credit meter 27 will reflect the amount of credits relative to the denomination selected. Thus, in the above example, if a penny denomination is selected after the $20 is inserted the credit meter will change from 400 credits to 2000 credits.
  • A wager may be placed by pushing one or more of the game buttons 32, which may be reflected on the bet meter 28. That is, the player can generally depress a “bet one” button (one of the buttons on the player interface panel 30, such as 32), which transfers one credit from the credit meter 27 to the bet meter 28. Each time the button 32 is depressed an additional single credit transfers to the bet meter 28 up to a maximum bet that can be placed on a single play of the electronic gaming device 10. The gaming session may be initiated by pulling the gaming handle 12 or depressing the spin button 33. On some gaming devices 10, a “max bet” button (another one of the buttons 32 on the player interface panel 30) may be depressed to wager the maximum number of credits supported by the gaming device 10 and initiate a gaming session.
  • If the gaming session does not result in any winning combination, the process of placing a wager may be repeated by the player. Alternatively, the player may cash out any remaining credits on the credit meter 27 by depressing the “cash-out” button (another button 32 on the player interface panel 30), which causes the credits on the credit meter 27 to be paid out in the form of a ticket through the ticket printer 38, or may be paid out in the form of returning coins from a coin hopper (not shown) to a coin return tray.
  • If instead a winning combination (win) appears on the display 20, the award corresponding to the winning combination is immediately applied to the credit meter 27. For example, if the gaming device 10 is a slot machine, a winning combination of symbols 23 may land on a played payline on reels 22. If any bonus games are initiated, the gaming device 10 may enter into a bonus mode or simply award the player with a bonus amount of credits that are applied to the credit meter 27.
  • FIGS. 2A to 2C illustrate exemplary types of gaming devices according to embodiments of the invention. FIG. 2A illustrates an example spinning-reel gaming machine 10A, FIG. 2B illustrates an example video slot machine 10B, and FIG. 2C illustrates an example video poker machine 10C.
  • Referring to FIG. 2A, a spinning-reel gaming machine 10A includes a gaming display 20A having a plurality of mechanical spinning reels 22A. Typically, spinning-reel gaming machines 10A have three to five spinning reels 22A. Each of the spinning reels 22A has multiple symbols 23A that may be separated by blank areas on the spinning reels 22A, although the presence of blank areas typically depends on the number of reels 22A present in the gaming device 10A and the number of different symbols 23A that may appear on the spinning reels 22A. Each of the symbols 22A or blank areas makes up a “stop” on the spinning reel 22A where the reel 22A comes to rest after a spin. Although the spinning reels 22A of various games 10A may have various numbers of stops, many conventional spinning-reel gaming devices 10A have reels 22A with twenty two stops.
  • During game play, the spinning reels 22A may be controlled by stepper motors (not shown) under the direction of the microprocessor 40 (FIG. 1A). Thus, although the spinning-reel gaming device 10A has mechanical based spinning reels 22A, the movement of the reels themselves is electronically controlled to spin and stop. This electronic control is advantageous because it allows a virtual reel strip to be stored in the memory 41 of the gaming device 10A, where various “virtual stops” are mapped to each physical stop on the physical reel 22A. This mapping allows the gaming device 10A to establish greater awards and bonuses available to the player because of the increased number of possible combinations afforded by the virtual reel strips.
  • A gaming session on a spinning reel slot machine 10A typically includes the player pressing the “bet-one” button (one of the game buttons 32A) to wager a desired number of credits followed by pulling the gaming handle 12 (FIGS. 1A, 1B) or pressing the spin button 33A to spin the reels 22A. Alternatively, the player may simply press the “max-bet” button (another one of the game buttons 32A) to both wager the maximum number of credits permitted and initiate the spinning of the reels 22A. The spinning reels 22A may all stop at the same time or may individually stop one after another (typically from left to right) to build player anticipation. Because the display 20A usually cannot be physically modified, some spinning reel slot machines 10A include an electronic display screen in the top box 18 (FIG. 1B), a mechanical bonus mechanism in the top box 18, or a secondary display 25 (FIG. 1A) to execute a bonus.
  • Referring to FIG. 2B, a video gaming machine 10B may include a video display 20B to display virtual spinning reels 22B and various other gaming information 21B. The video display 20B may be a CRT, LCD, plasma screen, or the like. It is usually preferable that the video display 20B be a touchscreen to accept player input. A number of symbols 23A appear on each of the virtual spinning reels 22B. Although FIG. 2B shows five virtual spinning reels 22B, the flexibility of the video display 20B allows for various reel 22B and game configurations. For example, some video slot games 10B spin reels for each individual symbol position (or stop) that appears on the video display 20B. That is, each symbol position on the screen is independent of every other position during the gaming sessions. In these types of games, very large numbers of pay lines or multiple super scatter pays can be utilized since similar symbols could appear at every symbol position on the video display 20B. On the other hand, other video slot games 10B more closely resemble the mechanical spinning reel games where symbols that are vertically adjacent to each other are part of the same continuous virtual spinning reel 22B.
  • Because the virtual spinning reels 22B, by virtue of being computer implemented, can have almost any number of stops on a reel strip, it is much easier to have a greater variety of displayed outcomes as compared to spinning-reel slot machines 10A (FIG. 2A) that have a fixed number of physical stops on each spinning reel 22A.
  • With the possible increases in reel 22B numbers and configurations over the mechanical gaming device 10A, video gaming devices 10B often have multiple paylines 24 that may be played. By having more paylines 24 available to play, the player may be more likely to have a winning combination when the reels 22B stop and the gaming session ends. However, since the player typically must wager at least a minimum number of credits to enable each payline 24 to be eligible for winning, the overall odds of winning are not much different, if at all, than if the player is wagering only on a single payline. For example, in a five line game, the player may bet one credit per payline 24 and be eligible for winning symbol combinations that appear on any of the five played paylines 24. This gives a total of five credits wagered and five possible winning paylines 24. If, on the other hand, the player only wagers one credit on one payline 24, but plays five gaming sessions, the odds of winning would be identical as above: five credits wagered and five possible winning paylines 24.
  • Because the video display 20B can easily modify the image output by the video display 20B, bonuses, such as second screen bonuses are relatively easy to award on the video slot game 10B. That is, if a bonus is triggered during game play, the video display 20B may simply store the resulting screen shot in memory and display a bonus sequence on the video display 20B. After the bonus sequence is completed, the video display 20B may then retrieve the previous screen shot and information from memory, and re-display that image.
  • Also, as mentioned above, the video display 20B may allow various other game information 21B to be displayed. For example, as shown in FIG. 2B, banner information may be displayed above the spinning reels 22B to inform the player, perhaps, which symbol combination is needed to trigger a bonus. Also, instead of providing a separate credit meter 27 (FIG. 1A) and bet meter 28, the same information can instead be displayed on the video display 20B. In addition, “soft buttons” 29B such as a “spin” button or “help/see pays” button may be built using the touch screen video display 20B. Such customization and ease of changing the image shown on the display 20B adds to the flexibility of the game 10B.
  • Even with the improved flexibility afforded by the video display 20B, several physical buttons 32B and 33B are usually provided on video slot machines 10B. These buttons may include game buttons 32B that allow a player to choose the number of paylines 24 he or she would like to play and the number of credits wagered on each payline 24. In addition, a max bet button (one of the game buttons 32B) allows a player to place a maximum credit wager on the maximum number of available paylines 24 and initiate a gaming session. A repeat bet or spin button 33B may also be used to initiate each gaming session when the max bet button is not used.
  • Referring to FIG. 2C, a video poker gaming device 10C may include a video display 20C that is physically similar to the video display 20B shown in FIG. 2B. The video display 20C may show a poker hand of five cards 23C and various other player information 21C including a paytable for various winning hands, as well as a plurality of player selectable soft buttons 29C. The video display 20C may present a poker hand of five cards 23C and various other player information 21C including a number of player selectable soft (touch-screen) buttons 29C and a paytable for various winning hands. Although the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3C shows only one hand of poker on the video display 20C, various other video poker machines 10C may show several poker hands (multi-hand poker). Typically, video poker machines 10C play “draw” poker in which a player is dealt a hand of five cards, has the opportunity to hold any combination of those five cards, and then draws new cards to replace the discarded ones. All pays are usually given for winning combinations resulting from the final hand, although some video poker games 10C may give bonus credits for certain combinations received on the first hand before the draw. In the example shown in FIG. 2C a player has been dealt two aces, a three, a six, and a nine. The video poker game 10C may provide a bonus or payout for the player having been dealt the pair of aces, even before the player decides what to discard in the draw. Since pairs, three of a kind, etc. are typically needed for wins, a player would likely hold the two aces that have been dealt and draw three cards to replace the three, six, and nine in the hope of receiving additional aces or other cards leading to a winning combination with a higher award amount. After the draw and revealing of the final hand, the video poker game 10C typically awards any credits won to the credit meter.
  • The player selectable soft buttons 29C appearing on the screen respectively correspond to each card on the video display 20C. These soft buttons 29C allow players to select specific cards on the video display 20C such that the card corresponding to the selected soft button is “held” before the draw. Typically, video poker machines 10C also include physical game buttons 32C that correspond to the cards in the hand and may be selected to hold a corresponding card. A deal/draw button 33C may also be included to initiate a gaming session after credits have been wagered (with a bet button 32C, for example) and to draw any cards not held after the first hand is displayed.
  • Although examples of a spinning reel slot machine 10A, a video slot machine 10B, and a video poker machine 10C have been illustrated in FIGS. 2A-2C, gaming machines various other types of gaming devices known in the art are contemplated and are within the scope of the invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating networked gaming devices according to embodiments of the invention. Referring to FIG. 3, multiple electronic gaming devices (EGMs) 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, and 75 may be coupled to one another and coupled to a remote server 80 through a network 50. For ease of understanding, gaming devices or EGMs 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, and 75 are generically referred to as EGMs 70-75. The term EGMs 70-75, however, may refer to any combination of one or more of EGMs 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, and 75. Additionally, the gaming server 80 may be coupled to one or more gaming databases 90. These gaming network 50 connections may allow multiple gaming devices 70-75 to remain in communication with one another during particular gaming modes such as tournament play or remote head-to-head play. Although some of the gaming devices 70-75 coupled on the gaming network 50 may resemble the gaming devices 10, 10A, 10B, and 10C shown in FIGS. 1A-1B and 2A-2C, other coupled gaming devices 70-75 may include differently configured gaming devices. For example, the gaming devices 70-75 may include traditional slot machines 75 directly coupled to the network 50, banks of gaming devices 70 coupled to the network 50, banks of gaming devices 70 coupled to the network through a bank controller 60, wireless handheld gaming machines 72 and cell phones 73 coupled to the gaming network 50 through one or more wireless routers or antennas 61, personal computers 74 coupled to the network 50 through the internet 62, and banks of gaming devices 71 coupled to the network through one or more optical connection lines 64. Additionally, some of the traditional gaming devices 70, 71, and 75 may include electronic gaming tables, multi-station gaming devices, or electronic components operating in conjunction with non-gaming components, such as automatic card readers, chip readers, and chip counters, for example.
  • Gaming devices 71 coupled over an optical line 64 may be remote gaming devices in a different location or casino. The optical line 64 may be coupled to the gaming network 50 through an electronic to optical signal converter 63 and may be coupled to the gaming devices 71 through an optical to electronic signal converter 65. The banks of gaming devices 70 coupled to the network 50 may be coupled through a bank controller 60 for compatibility purposes, for local organization and control, or for signal buffering purposes. The network 50 may include serial or parallel signal transmission lines and carry data in accordance with data transfer protocols such as Ethernet transmission lines, Rs-232 lines, firewire lines, USB lines, or other communication protocols. Although not shown in FIG. 3, substantially the entire network 50 may be made of fiber optic lines or may be a wireless network utilizing a wireless protocol such as IEEE 802.11a, b, g, or n, Zigbee, RF protocols, optical transmission, near-field transmission, or the like.
  • As mentioned above, each gaming device 70-75 may have an individual processor 40 (FIG. 1A) and memory 41 to run and control game play on the gaming device 70-75, or some of the gaming devices 70-75 may be terminals that are run by a remote server 80 in a server based gaming environment. Server based gaming environments may be advantageous to casinos by allowing fast downloading of particular game types or themes based on casino preference or player selection. Additionally, tournament based games, linked games, and certain game types, such as BINGO or keno may benefit from at least some server 80 based control.
  • Thus, in some embodiments, the network 50, server 80, and database 90 may be dedicated to communications regarding specific game or tournament play. In other embodiments, however, the network 50, server 80, and database 90 may be part of a player tracking network. For player tracking capabilities, when a player inserts a player tracking card in the card reader 46 (FIG. 1A), the player tracking unit 45 sends player identification information obtained on the card reader 46 through the MCI 42 over the network 50 to the player tracking server 80, where the player identification information is compared to player information records on in the player database 90 to provide the player with information regarding their player accounts or other features at the gaming device 10 where the player is wagering. Additionally, multiple databases 90 and/or servers 80 may be present and coupled to one or more networks 50 to provide a variety of gaming services, such as both game/tournament data and player tracking data.
  • The various systems described with reference to FIGS. 1-3 can be used in a number of ways. For instance, the systems can be used to track data about various players. The tracked data can be used by the casino to provide additional benefits to players, such as extra bonuses or extra benefits such as bonus games and other benefits as described above. These added benefits further entice the players to play at the casino that provides the benefits.
  • FIG. 4 is a detail diagram of a gaming device according to embodiments of the invention.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, a gaming device 100 may include a gaming display 120 and a player interface panel having one or more game buttons 132 and at least one game initiating button 133. The gaming display 120 may include a portion to show a game output 122 such as video reels, a banner area 121 to display game information, a multiple outcome portion 180, an outcome portion 150, a timer portion 170, and one or more soft buttons such as 160A, 160B relating to game play on the gaming device 100.
  • In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the multiple outcome portion 180 is shown as part of the gaming display 120. However, in other gaming devices, the multiple outcome portion 180 may be displayed on the secondary display 25 (FIG. 1A), the top box 18, on a meter similar to the credit meters 27, 28, or other display devices on the gaming device 100. These other display options may be preferable where the gaming device has a main gaming display including physical spinning reels or has a more standardized video display format such as in video poker. Additionally, other types of gaming devices, such as smart tables may be configured such that an alternate display is necessitated by the structure of the gaming device. Thus, the implementation of the features of this invention is contemplated in these various devices.
  • The multiple outcome portion 180 may include a list of multiple possible outcomes 185 and an award window 190. During a gaming event, the multiple possible outcomes 185 may scroll or stream vertically (or horizontally in other embodiments) such that different possible outcomes pass through the multiple outcome portion 180 and award window 190 within the multiple outcome portion 180. These multiple possible outcomes 185 may be actual possible outcomes generated by a random number generator (RNG) included in the processor 40 (FIG. 1A) or may be at least partially arbitrary values that do not correspond to actual possible outcomes. The term “multiple possible outcomes” refers to at least both of these possibilities because regardless of whether the values shown in the list of multiple possible outcomes 185 directly relate to possible outcomes randomly generated by the gaming device 100, they appear to be possible values that can be achieved as the outcome of a wager to a player playing the gaming device 100.
  • If the multiple possible outcomes 185 are actual possible outcomes, they may be sampled directly from a stream of random outcomes generated by the RNG of the gaming device 100. Because the RNG may generate hundreds or thousands of numbers relating to outcomes on the gaming device per second, the processor 40 may only display a sample of the outcomes generated by the gaming device 100 in order to be at least partially visible to the player. The sampling of these generated outcomes used to determine which ones to display as multiple possible outcomes 185 in the multiple outcome portion 180 of the gaming display 120 may be done at predetermined intervals or may be random. If they are sampled at a predetermined interval, the interval may be based on the number of outcomes (e.g., every 200th output is displayed) or may be based on time (e.g., an outcome is selected every quarter of a second). These sampling rates may determine how quickly the multiple possible outcomes 185 scroll or stream through the multiple outcome portion 180. Because the speed of this scrolling may preferably be different for separate target groups of gaming players, the sampling rate may be configured so as to be adjustable. In some embodiments, this sampling rate may be automatically adjusted by the gaming device to keep the scrolling speed within predefined limits. However, in other embodiments, the sampling rate and/or the scrolling speed may be adjustable by casino personnel, slot technicians, the player tracking system, or even the players themselves. For example, players that are members of a players club may set the scrolling speed within certain limits as part of their player club preferences so that when they identify themselves to a gaming device, the preferred scrolling speed is automatically set for the player on the gaming device.
  • If the generated outcomes are sampled at a random interval, a range of randomness may be established to ensure that the scrolling speed of the multiple possible outcomes is smooth. In addition, a small variable delay between choosing a sampled outcome and displaying that sampled outcome may help maintain a smooth stream of possible outcomes 185. In some embodiments, a second RNG may be utilized to carry out the random sampling of the generated outcomes.
  • If the multiple possible outcomes 185 are arbitrary in that they do not accurately reflect possible outcomes, they may be generated in a variety of ways depending on the nature of the arbitrariness. For example, the random outcomes generated by the gaming device 100 may be filtered in a manner such that a higher percentage of high value outputs are displayed in the multiple possible outcomes 185 shown in the multiple outcome portion 180. These outputs may be considered arbitrary even though they represent actual possible outcomes because they show a disproportionately large amount of high-value outputs which may not reflect the game's actual payback percentage. However, it may be preferable to include a larger number of high-value outcomes to encourage the player that they were close to a large win. In another example, a second RNG may generate at least a portion of the displayed multiple possible outcomes, which may be arbitrary because they are not actual award outcomes that could have been won by the player. The use of a second RNG may be advantageous in that existing gaming devices may be more easily retrofitted with features of this invention. Additionally, the second RNG may relieve the main RNG or processor from performing extra tasks, thereby reducing the load on those components.
  • The multiple outcome portion may also include an award window 190 that indicates an outcome awarded to the player at the end of a gaming event. The multiple possible outcomes 185 may stream through the award window 190 while they are scrolling. After an indication to stop the scrolling of the multiple possible outcomes 185, the outcome value that comes to rest in the award window 190 may be awarded to the player. In operation, the game output 122 may show an outcome contemporaneously with the outcome value being shown in the award window 190. For example, if the game output 122 includes a plurality of spinning reels, the reels may stop from left to right as the scrolling of the multiple possible outcomes 185 is slowing down. This way, anticipation of the output can still be built by stopping the reels one by one. The values of the multiple possible outcomes 185 may reflect the number of lines bet and the number of credits bet per line. For example, if a player is wagering on 10 lines at two credits per line, the outcomes values shown in the multiple possible outcomes 185 may be about 20 times more than if the player was only playing a single line at one credit per line. In other example embodiments, however, the outcomes displayed may only reflect the number of lines bet with the multiple credits per line being multiplied upon selection of an outcome. In yet other embodiments, the outcomes displayed may not be proportional to the number of lines or credits per line bet. As discussed below with reference to FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C, and 5D, the multiple possible outputs may be formatted in a varied of manners including configurations that do not reflect the value of the output.
  • For video poker or other games that utilize player interaction between initiating a gaming event and receiving an outcome, the multiple outcome portion 180 may be utilized in several manners. In some embodiments, the multiple possible outcomes 185 may only be displayed after the player has interacted with the gaming device. For example, in video poker, the multiple possible outcomes 185 may only be displayed and scrolled after the player has chosen which cards to hold and hit the “DRAW” button. In these embodiments, it may be preferable for the multiple outcome portion 180 to only display actual outcomes since there may not be a large variation in some instances, such as when the player has held four or five of the cards. When a player has held all five cards, the multiple outcome portion 180 may not be utilized or may just show a scroll of the only value the player can win. In the other embodiments, the multiple possible outcomes 185 may be utilized before the player interaction, for both before the player interaction and after the player interaction (separate lists), or for the whole gaming event including the player interaction, such as when there is a script involved in the gaming event.
  • In operation, the multiple game portion 180 may not be visible when the credit meter is at zero or has a nominal amount for a set amount of time. Additionally, the multiple game portion 180 may not be visible to all players. For example, the feature including the multiple game portion 180 may only be available to identified players, or may only be available as part of a bonus. The multiple possible outcomes 185 may only scroll during a gaming event is some embodiments. However, in other embodiments, the multiple possible outcomes 185 may continuously scroll after credits have been awarded at the end of a gaming event.
  • When the multiple possible outcomes 185 only scroll during a gaming event, a player may make a wager and press a game initiating button 133 to start the multiple possible outcomes 185 scrolling, as well as initiating the game on the game display 122, such as spinning the reels. The player may press the game initiating button 133, a physical outcome stopping button 134 on the player interface panel, a soft “stop” button in the outcome portion, touching the gaming display 120 over the multiple outcome portion 180, or perform another stop action to stop the multiple possible outcomes 185 from scrolling. In some embodiments, the multiple possible outcomes may slow down when a stop action is initiated. In other embodiments, however, the multiple possible outcomes 185 may stop abruptly. It may be preferable to have the stop action initially slow the scrolling of the multiple possible outcomes 185 so that an awarded outcome that ends up in the award window 190 is not visible on the multiple outcome portion 180 when the stop action is initiated. This may prevent players from trying to time a specific outcome that appears in the multiple outcome portion 180 before passing through the award window 190.
  • The multiple outcome portion 180 may be advantageous in showing a player how close they were to a large prize. To further emphasize this point, higher value outcomes among the multiple possible outcomes 185 may be highlighted to draw the player's attention to them. In addition, a player may see a large value appear on the multiple outcome portion 180 and try to stop the scrolling outcomes such that they receive that value. As mentioned above, however, in some embodiments the player cannot stop the scrolling outcomes to reach a specific value as this may take away some of the randomness of the gaming device 100.
  • An outcome indicator 155 in the outcome portion 150 may show the values passing through the award window 190 when the multiple possible outcomes 185 are scrolling, or may show a last outcome received by a player in a past gaming event. The soft button in the outcome portion 150 may switch between having a “SPIN” button functionality and a “STOP” button functionality depending on the stage of a gaming event. Since it is a soft button, the visual labeling may be changed to match the present functionality of the soft button. The physical stop button 134 on the player interface may be omitted in some embodiments. In these embodiments, the game initiating button 133 or one of the game buttons 132 may be used for a stop action.
  • A timer portion 170 may be included in some embodiments. The timer may be used to allow a player a chance to initiated a stop action, but to end the gaming event within a predetermined amount of time. The timer portion 170 may not be visible when there are no credits on the gaming device 100 or when there are only a nominal amount of credits for a set amount of time. In other embodiments, the timer portion 170 may only be visible during gaming events. The timer portion may include at least one of an analog timer 175A and a digital timer 175B. The timer portion 170 may alert a player to the time remaining for initiating a stop action, such as pushing the stop button 134. If the player does not initiate a stop action before the timer counts down to zero (or time otherwise expires), a stop action may automatically be performed by the gamine device 100. This may be an advantageous feature in keeping game play at a similar pace to conventional games that do not require player interaction after a gaming event has been initiated (e.g., conventional slot machines).
  • The timer portion 170 may also be used in conjunction with a player club benefit or bonus feature. In these embodiments, the timer portion 170 may allow identified players, older players that have set a player club preference, or players receiving a bonus more time to initiate a stop action.
  • The gaming device 100 may also be configured such that a player can hide either one of or both of the multiple outcome portion 180 and timer portion 170. This may be preferable as some players may find these features distracting during game play. In addition, these features may be only available to players that have joined a player club. In this situation, the player may be able to modify their player club options so as to display or hide these features.
  • Some embodiments of the gaming device may also include a nudge feature which allows the player to select a value above or below the value shown in the award window 190. In some embodiments, the nudge feature may allow a player to “nudge” the list of multiple possible outcomes up or down by one result so that a better result is awarded. In operation, the gaming display 122 may arrive at an initial outcome reflected by the outcome initially shown in the award window 190 and then re-spin or re-deal to arrive at a display that reflects the outcome nudged to. The nudge feature may also be separable so that only a nudge-up action or nudge-down action is available to a player.
  • The nudge feature may require an additional wager, such as a side bet or buy-a-pay, or may be part of a promotional feature or bonus feature. As shown in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, the nudge feature may be implemented by using soft buttons 160A, 160B on the gaming display 120 or by using at least one of the game initiating button 133, stop button 134, or game button 132. One advantage of implementing this feature using the soft buttons 160A, 160B is that the buttons can be removed from the gaming display 120 when the nudge feature is not enabled. In addition, it may create less player confusion by utilizing the soft buttons because their labeling could by dynamically altered to reflect their functionality. For example, if a player only made a “nudge-up” side bet, the nudge button 160A corresponding to a nudge up action could be activated while the nudge button 160B corresponding to a nudge down action could be inactive (and visibly shaded).
  • The nudge feature may also be tied to the timer portion 170 such that a player must make a choice to nudge up or nudge down within a predetermined time or an initial outcome is awarded. Again, the timer length may be variable depending on a player's status.
  • FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C, and 5D are detail diagrams of exemplary types of gaming devices according to embodiment of the invention.
  • Referring to FIG. 5A, a gaming display 220 may include a game outcome portion 222 and a multiple outcome portion 280A. The multiple outcome portion 280A may include a list of multiple possible outcomes 285A and an award window 290A that is positioned in substantially a center portion of the multiple possible outcomes 285A. Having the award window 290A in substantially the center portion of the multiple possible outcomes 285A may be advantageous in that it allows players to see outcomes appear in the multiple outcome portion 280A before they reach the award window 290A. This may encourage players to try to perform a stop action to receive a specific outcome (“grab” the outcome). The scrolling speed of the multiple possible outcomes may be set such that the next outcome not yet seen on the multiple outcome portion ends in the award window 290A when a stop action is initiated. Thus, a player may see a streak of small outcomes and initiate a stop action because they think the next value off screen will be large as the gaming device is “due” for a large outcome. On the other hand, a player may wait for a streak of higher outcomes before initiating a stop action because they think the gaming device is “hot.”
  • Since actual bonus value amounts are not usually determined directly by the paytable of a game, outcomes that involve a bonus (e.g., a second screen bonus) may appear in the multiple possible outcome 285A list as just the word “BONUS.” If such an outcome appears in the award window, a separate bonus feature, which may or may not utilize the multiple outcome portion 280A, may be initiated.
  • Referring to FIG. 5B, a gaming display 220 may include a game outcome portion 222 and a multiple outcome portion 280B. The multiple outcome portion 280B may include a list of multiple possible outcomes 285B and an award window 290B that is positioned at one end portion of the multiple outcome portion 280B. In some embodiments, the award window 290B is positioned at an end of the multiple outcome portion 280B where the multiple possible outcomes 285A appear.
  • Having the award window 290B at an end portion of the multiple possible outcomes 285B may be advantageous when using the multiple outcome portion 280B in conjunction with the nudge feature. Here, the player does not know what the next outcome value is. Thus, making the choice to nudge up and give up a known value for an unknown value may provide some excitement and tension for a player. In some embodiments, the nudge feature may be restricted to only allowing a nudge up; thereby only allowing a nudge to an unknown value. Again, this nudge feature may be part of a side bet or may part of a bonus or promotion. In some embodiments, the nudge feature may award the player both the initial value and the value nudged to.
  • Referring to FIG. 5C, a gaming display 220 may include a game outcome portion 222 and a multiple outcome portion 280C. The multiple outcome portion 280C may include a list of multiple possible outcomes 285C and an award window 290C. Unlike the previously illustrated embodiments, the multiple possible outcomes 285C and the award window 290C may be oriented vertically. The multiple possible outcomes 285C may stream or scroll uniformly or various columns of values could stream at different rates and/or at random intervals. In addition, the award window 290C may move back and forth horizontally (as shown by the hidden lined windows) among the columns of multiple possible outcomes 285C. This two dimensional movement (i.e., the vertical movement of the multiple possible outcomes 285C and the horizontal movement of the award window 290C) may add to the excitement of the feature.
  • Referring to FIG. 5D, a gaming display 220 may include a game outcome portion 222 and a multiple outcome portion 280D. The multiple outcome portion 280D may include a list of multiple possible outcomes 285D and an award window 290D. Unlike the previously illustrated embodiments, the multiple possible outcomes 285D in this embodiment are represented by actual symbol outcomes rather than an outcome value. The outcome appearing in the award window 290D may reflect the symbols that appear on a center payline in the game outcome portion 222 of the gaming display 220 is slot embodiments. In video poker embodiments, the symbols shown in the multiple outcome portion may reflect the five card outcome of the video poker hand.
  • FIG. 6 is a flow diagram of a method of operating a gaming device with a display of multiple outcomes according to embodiments of the invention.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, the method includes receiving a wager 305 from a player on the gaming device. The wager may be received by the player betting one or more credits on a gaming event. When one or more credits have been received as a wager, the game initiation button or “SPIN” button is activated 310 so that it will respond to a player input. In other gaming device embodiments that utilize a gaming handle, the gaming handle may be unlocked in this step to allow a player to initiate a gaming event. Once the game initiation mechanisms have been activated, the gaming device determines if one of the game initiation mechanisms have been triggered by the player 315. If a gaming event has not been initiated, the gaming device may continue to wait for the player to initiate the gaming event or may periodically prompt the player to initiate the gaming event.
  • After a gaming event has been initiated, multiple possible outcomes may be scrolled 320 on the a gaming display, such as a multiple outcome portion of a gaming display. A game output, such as game reels may also triggered to spin 327. A timer is started 325 and the gaming device then determines whether a stop action event has occurred 330 to stop the scrolling of the multiple possible outcomes. If it is determined that a stop action has not occurred, the gaming device may determine if the timer has reached an endpoint or stopped 335. The game device may continue to monitor whether a stop action event has occurred or the timer has stopped.
  • When either a stop action event occurs or the timer has reached an end point, the gaming device determines an outcome to award to the player 340. In some embodiments, the outcome that is awarded to the player is not determined until a stop action event has occurred or a timer has ended. In other embodiments, the outcome may be determined when a game initiating button is pressed to initiate a gaming event. In this scenario, the timing of the stop action event or timer end does not affect the ultimate outcome awarded to the player since the final outcome was determined prior to these events.
  • The outcome awarded to the player is then displayed to the player 350 and a game output displays an output corresponding to the determined outcome, such as stopping the reels such that symbol line and/or scatter awards add up to the final outcome shown on the multiple outcome portion. As mentioned previously, to build anticipation, the reels may be stopped from left to right to build anticipation while the scrolling of the multiple possible outcomes is slowing down. After an outcome is displayed, prizes associated with the outcome are awarded to the player.
  • FIGS. 7A and 7B are a flow diagram of another method of operating a gaming device with a display of multiple outcomes according to embodiments of the invention.
  • Referring to FIGS. 7A and 7B, processes 405 to 452 are similar to the processes 305 to 352 described above with reference to FIG. 6. Hence, redundant explanation of these processes will be omitted. Note, however, that the outcome determined in process 440 is an initial outcome rather than the final outcome to be awarded as was the case in process 340 shown in FIG. 6. Also note that it is this initial outcome that is displayed in process 450 rather than the final outcome that is displayed in process 350.
  • After the initial outcome is displayed, the gaming device determines if the nudge feature is enabled 455. If the nudge feature is not enabled, the gaming device awards any prizes associated with the initial outcome to the player 460. If the nudge feature is enabled, the gaming device determines if the previous outcome is selected by the player 465. If the previous outcome is selected by the player, the previous outcome is displayed on the game display 470 and any prizes associated with the previous outcome are awarded to the player 475. In some embodiments, displaying the previous outcome on the game display includes both nudging the multiple possible outcome list down so that the previous outcome appears in the award window and re-spinning the reels (or re-drawing cards) such that the previous outcome is reflected on the game output portion of the gaming display.
  • If the previous outcome is not selected by the player, the gaming device determines if the next outcome is selected by the player 480. If the next outcome is selected by the player, the next outcome is displayed on the game display 485 and any prizes associated with the next outcome are awarded to the player 490. In some embodiments, displaying the next outcome on the game display includes both nudging the multiple possible outcome list up so that the next outcome appears in the award window and re-spinning the reels (or re-drawing cards) such that the next outcome is reflected on the game output portion of the gaming display. If the next outcome is not selected (i.e., either the player choose to keep the original output value or the timer for making a nudge ended), the gaming device awards any prizes associated with the initial outcome to the player 460.
  • Some embodiments of the invention have been described above, and in addition, some specific details are shown for purposes of illustrating the inventive principles. However, numerous other arrangements may be devised in accordance with the inventive principles of this patent disclosure. Further, well known processes have not been described in detail in order not to obscure the invention. Thus, while the invention is described in conjunction with the specific embodiments illustrated in the drawings, it is not limited to these embodiments or drawings. Rather, the invention is intended to cover alternatives, modifications, and equivalents that come within the scope and spirit of the inventive principles set out in the appended claims.

Claims (33)

1. A gaming device comprising:
a player interface panel having at least one game input device;
a game output display to show a result of a gaming event wagered upon by a player at the gaming device;
a multiple outcome display configured to show possible outcomes of the gaming event; and
a selection mechanism operable by the player to identify a game event outcome from the displayed multiple outcomes, the identified game event outcome shown on the game output display.
2. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the multiple outcome display is configured to scroll the possible outcomes of the gaming event.
3. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the selection mechanism is a button on the player interface panel.
4. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the multiple outcome display further includes an award window configured to highlight the game event outcome from other outcomes of the possible outcomes displayed.
5. The gaming device of claim 4, wherein the possible outcomes displayed on the multiple outcome display have numerical values.
6. The gaming device of claim 4, wherein the possible outcomes displayed on the multiple outcome display are symbols representative of the symbolic result shown on the game output display.
7. The gaming device of claim 4, wherein the award window is positioned at a substantially central portion of the multiple outcome display.
8. The gaming device of claim 4, wherein the award window is positioned at an end portion of the multiple outcome display.
9. The gaming device of claim 4, wherein the possible outcomes displayed on the multiple outcome display are arranged in a substantially vertical format and configured to scroll in a plurality of positional columns within the multiple outcome display.
10. The gaming device of claim 9, wherein the award window is configured to move substantially horizontally across the plurality of positional columns within the multiple outcome display.
11. The gaming device of claim 1, further comprising a timer portion configured to automatically identify a game event outcome from the displayed multiple outcomes if a timer end point is reached.
12. The gaming device of claim 11, wherein the amount of time to reach the timer end point is determined based on whether the player has been identified to the gaming device.
13. The gaming device of claim 1, further comprising a nudge feature configured to allow a player to nudge the displayed multiple outcomes to replace the identified game event outcome with a game event outcome adjacent to the identified game event outcome.
14. The gaming device of claim 13, wherein an availability of the nudge feature is determined based on whether the player has been identified to the gaming device.
15. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein an availability of the nudge feature is determined based on whether the player has placed an additional side bet on the gaming device.
16. A method of operating a gaming device comprising:
receiving a wager from a player on the gaming device;
activating a game initiating button;
thereafter, scrolling multiple possible outcomes on a game display;
determining if a stop action event has occurred;
determining an outcome;
displaying the outcome on the game display; and
awarding a prize associated with the outcome.
17. The method of claim 16, further comprising:
starting a timer after the game initiating button is selected by the player;
determining if the timer has reached an end point contemporaneously with determining if a stop action event has occurred; and
determining an outcome after the end point of the timer has been reached if a stop action event has not occurred.
18. The method of claim 16, further comprising spinning game reels on a game output display after the game initiating button is selected by the player.
19. The method of claim 18, further comprising stopping the game reels on the game output display after the outcome has been determined.
20. A method of operating a gaming device comprising:
receiving a wager from a player on the gaming device;
activating a game initiating button;
determining if the game initiating button is selected by the player;
thereafter, scrolling multiple possible outcomes on a game display;
determining if a stop action event has occurred;
determining an initial outcome after the stop action event has occurred;
displaying the initial outcome on the game display;
determining if a nudge feature is enabled; and
determining if a previous outcome is nudged to or a next outcome is nudged to.
21. The method of claim 20, further comprising awarding a prize associated with the initial outcome if the nudge feature in not enabled.
22. The method of claim 20, further comprising:
displaying the previous outcome on the game display if the previous outcome is nudged to; and
awarding a prize associated with the previous outcome.
23. The method of claim 20, further comprising:
displaying the next outcome on the game display if the next outcome is nudged to; and
awarding a prize associated with the next outcome.
24. The method of claim 20, further comprising awarding a prize associated with the initial outcome if the previous outcome is not nudged to and the next outcome is not nudged to.
25. The method of claim 20, further comprising:
starting a timer after the game initiating button is selected by the player;
determining if the timer has reached an end point contemporaneously with determining if a stop action event has occurred; and
determining an initial outcome after the end point of the timer has been reached if a stop action event has not occurred.
26. The method of claim 20, further comprising:
starting a timer after a determination that the nudge feature is enabled;
determining if the timer has reached an end point contemporaneously with determining if a previous outcome is nudged to or if a next outcome is nudged to; and
awarding a prize associated with the initial outcome after the end point of the timer has been reached if the previous outcome is not nudged to and the next outcome is not nudged to.
27. A method of operating a gaming device comprising:
receiving a wager placed by a player on a gaming event controlled by the gaming device;
receiving a first player input to initiate the gaming event;
scrolling a plurality of possible outcomes on a game display in response to the first player input; and
receiving a second player input to end the gaming event, wherein at least one of the plurality of possible outcomes is identified as a game event outcome.
28. The method of claim 27, further comprising awarding the identified game event outcome to the player.
29. The method of claim 27, further comprising offering the player a nudge option to replace the identified game event outcome with a game event outcome adjacent to the identified game event outcome in the displayed plurality of possible outcomes.
30. The method of claim 29, wherein at least one of the event outcomes adjacent to the identified game event outcome is not visible to the player.
31. The method of claim 29, wherein the nudge option is offered in response to a side bet placed by the player.
32. The method of claim 29, wherein the nudge option is offered in response to a gaming promotion.
33. The method of claim 16, wherein the outcome is determined after the stop action event has occurred.
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