US20100120485A1 - Multiple player bonus game method - Google Patents

Multiple player bonus game method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100120485A1
US20100120485A1 US12/552,099 US55209909A US2010120485A1 US 20100120485 A1 US20100120485 A1 US 20100120485A1 US 55209909 A US55209909 A US 55209909A US 2010120485 A1 US2010120485 A1 US 2010120485A1
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Prior art keywords
bonus game
game
player
bonus
play
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Abandoned
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US12/552,099
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Ernest W. Moody
Tyler Parham
Michael Fields
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Moody Ernest W
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Moody Ernest W
Tyler Parham
Michael Fields
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Priority to US9343308P priority Critical
Application filed by Moody Ernest W, Tyler Parham, Michael Fields filed Critical Moody Ernest W
Priority to US12/552,099 priority patent/US20100120485A1/en
Publication of US20100120485A1 publication Critical patent/US20100120485A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3244Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes
    • 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
    • G07F17/3267Game outcomes which determine the course of the subsequent game, e.g. double or quits, free games, higher payouts, different new games
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/326Game play aspects of gaming systems
    • G07F17/3272Games involving multiple players
    • G07F17/3276Games involving multiple players wherein the players compete, e.g. tournament
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3286Type of games
    • G07F17/3293Card games, e.g. poker, canasta, black jack

Abstract

Each player earns eligibility into a bonus game by playing a primary game. The play of the bonus game occurs while each player never stops play of the primary game. During the play of the bonus game, each player has the chance to win bonus awards and competes against other players who have qualified to play the bonus game. Each player plays for his traditional pay table awards and for bonus game awards, which are predetermined or randomly selected winning outcomes which are designated as bonus game outcomes. When a qualified player matches one of the bonus game outcomes with a primary game outcome, the player wins the traditional primary game award and the bonus award associated with the bonus game outcome.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is based on and claims priority and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/093,433, filed Sep. 1, 2008, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to a multiple player video poker game, and more particularly to a multiple player video poker game including a bonus game for which multiple players may qualify.
  • Video poker that is played on an electronic video poker gaming machine is designed to replicate the play of a hand of poker. Conventional video draw poker is a single player game in which the player does not play against a dealer or other players, but rather merely tries to achieve the highest possible ranking poker hand from the cards displayed to the player. The higher the ranking of the poker hand achieved by the player, the greater the player's winnings based on the number of coins, tokens or credits wagered by the player.
  • After an initial deal of five cards, the player is allowed to discard and replace unwanted cards with replacement cards. Electronic video poker games use poker hand rankings to determine winning combinations and a pay table is used to determine the amount awarded to the player for achieving a winning combination. Typically, the pay table is posted on the gaming machine to advise the player of the payoffs available for certain winning card combinations
  • The conventional winning poker hand rankings that are used in video poker in order from highest to lowest are: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair and a Pair of Jacks or better. Any hand having less than a Pair of Jacks or better is a losing hand. These winning poker hand rankings are used in the Jacks or Better draw poker format as well as many of the other draw poker formats.
  • Video poker as a draw poker game using the Jacks or Better draw poker format has been played in gaming casinos for many years. Variations of video draw poker using formats other than Jacks or Better have evolved and include video draw poker using Jokers as wild cards and video draw poker using Deuces (or even other cards, such as Sevens) as wild cards. Most of the more recent modifications to video involve the use of different draw poker formats such as Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double-Double Bonus Poker and even Triple Bonus Poker. Different draw poker formats involve changes to the pay table and often involve using different poker hand rankings as winning hand combinations. Many electronic video poker gaming machines are provided with a menu so that the player can indicate his choice of the poker game format that the player wishes to play and the player then makes his wager based on upon that choice of poker game format. Each poker format has its own pay table associated therewith.
  • Many gaming casinos set up a group of video poker machines in a common location such as a game carousel so that a plurality of players can play in adjacent seating positions. Often an overhead display area visible from each video poker machine is provided for these video poker machines so that information regarding the play of the video poker games can be shown to the group of players.
  • U.S. Published Patent Application 2005/0101384 (Parham) discloses a multiple player gaming method in which each player plays his own gaming machine and attempts to qualify for a secondary game round. A first player qualifies for the secondary round by achieving a predetermined outcome on his gaming machine. Once the first player has qualified, a time period begins during which other players may also qualify for the secondary game round. Each player qualifies for the secondary game by achieving a predetermined outcome on his gaming machine.
  • When the time period for qualifying has closed, all qualified players then participate in the secondary game round during which awards are made for achieving winning outcomes. The size of the award increases as more players qualify and each qualifying player receives an award during the secondary game.
  • The disclosure of U.S. Published Patent Application 2005/0101384 is incorporated herein by this reference.
  • The present invention provides a multiple player video poker game in which each player may qualify for a bonus round of play.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides each player with an opportunity to play in a bonus game with other players. In a preferred embodiment, each player uses a separate video poker gaming machine, all of which are electronically interconnected to each other. Each player earns eligibility into the bonus game by playing a primary game. The play of the bonus game occurs while each player never stops play of the primary game. During the play of the bonus game, each player has the chance to win bonus awards.
  • Each player plays for his traditional pay table awards and for bonus game awards at the same time. In the bonus game there are predetermined or randomly selected winning outcomes which are designated as bonus game outcomes.
  • At some point in time, one player achieves a predetermined final hand of cards. This starts a bonus game qualifying period in which the other players have the opportunity to also qualify for the bonus game. When the bonus game qualifying period ends, a bonus game is activated. Each player who has qualified for the bonus game participates in the bonus game. Once the bonus game is activated, all of the qualified players play their primary game in order to attempt to achieve an outcome that matches one or more of the bonus game outcomes. When a qualified player matches one of the bonus game outcomes with a primary game outcome, that player wins the traditional primary game award and the bonus award associated with the bonus game outcome.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a flow chart depicting the method of play of Version A of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 shows a flow chart depicting the method of play of Version B of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 shows a flow chart depicting the method of play of Version C of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 shows a flow chart depicting the method of play of Version D of the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 shows a flow chart depicting the method of play of Version E of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The method of play provides each player with an opportunity to play in a bonus game with a group of other players. Typically, each player plays a separate video poker gaming machine, all of which are electronically interconnected such as in a carousel or group of video poker gaming machines. Each player who is playing a primary video poker game is eligible to play the bonus game when the bonus game is activated. The play of the bonus game occurs while each player never stops play of the primary game. During the play of the bonus game, each player has the chance to win bonus awards in addition to the awards won by the player from the play of the primary game.
  • The method of play can be applied to video draw poker as well as other electronic games of chance such as slot machines. Each player plays for his traditional pay table awards from the play of the primary game and for bonus game awards from the bonus game at the same time. In the bonus game, there are at least two predetermined or randomly selected winning outcomes which are designated as bonus game outcomes (e.g. a Four-of-a-Kind or a Full House) that are displayed on the video screen display of each player's gaming machine and/or on an overhead display visible to each player whose gaming machine is configured to play in the group.
  • At some point in time, a bonus game is activated and each player has the opportunity to qualify for the bonus game. Once the bonus game is activated, all of the qualified players (for a window of opportunity, e.g. a length of time of one minute) play their primary game in order to attempt to achieve an outcome that matches one or more of the bonus game outcomes. When a qualified player matches one of the bonus game outcomes with a primary game outcome, that player wins the traditional primary game award and the bonus award associated with the bonus game outcome.
  • Bonus awards in the bonus game are either fixed, progressive and/or randomly generated. Furthermore, in order to increase player appeal in certain embodiments of the method of play, all of the qualified players are also given an eligibility to win a guaranteed bonus award in a second stage of the bonus game which will be described in more detail below.
  • Once the bonus game has ended game play of the primary game resumes as normal until another bonus game is triggered.
  • Traditional gaming apparatus is used for the method of play described in this application. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 7,247,091 (Moody), the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, describes a video poker gaming machine which can be used to play video poker. The gaming machine has a screen display used to display the playing cards and other information to the player. Each gaming machine is electronically interconnected to other gaming machines so that a plurality of players can participate in the method of play.
  • Alternatively, the method of play described in the application can be performed using an internet application. The game operator provides a web site at which each player may log on to participate in the game play. The game play is shown on the screen display of each player's computer device which may be a monitor associated with the player's personal computer (such as a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a notebook computer, a net book computer and similar devices) or which may also be the display on the player's cell phone or personal digital assistant and similar devices that are capable of connecting to the web site of the game operator. By using a web site, a plurality of players can be electronically interconnected to participate in the method of play.
  • The game play utilizes one or more decks of playing cards depending on the poker game format being used. A physical deck of playing cards is electronically represented in the computer programming that is used to effect and display the game play on whichever type of apparatus is being used. The computer programming effects an electronic shuffle of the playing cards prior to the initial deal being made. Each player's initial hand of playing cards is displayed to him on the screen display being used. Using appropriate selection controls on the apparatus being used, the player selects which cards from the initial hand that the player wishes to hold and the player then effects the draw step. The computer programming causes the nonheld cards to be discarded and replacement cards are displayed for the nonheld cards. This results in a final hand being displayed on the screen display. The computer programming determines the poker hand ranking of the final hand to determine whether the player has a winning or losing hand.
  • The primary game is a video poker game in which each player has his own video poker gaming machine and plays video poker by receiving an initial five card hand, discarding unwanted cards and receiving replacement cards for the discarded cards resulting in a final five card poker hand.
  • The method of play can be applied to any of the myriad of poker formats that have been adapted for video poker. The Jacks or Better poker format is used in the examples below, but the method of play is not limited to that poker format. A pay table appropriate for the poker format being used is also used and is displayed to the player usually as part of the screen display of each player gaming machine. Other game play information is also displayed to the player such as the amount wagered, any winning amount and the player's accrued amounts from the game play.
  • Each player's screen display can be used to show the game play of each primary game and to show each player when a bonus game has been activated. The winning outcomes for each bonus game can also be shown to the player and the results of the game play of both the primary game and the bonus game are displayed to each player as the game play progresses.
  • Version A
  • Version A of the method of play comprises the following steps:
  • The method of playing a video poker game has a plurality of players who each play a primary game to achieve final hands and compete in a bonus game to achieve final hands. A primary game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the primary game and a bonus game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the bonus game are provided. A bonus game qualifying outcome of one or more final hand outcomes of the primary game is designated as an outcome that will trigger a bonus game qualifying period.
  • Each player participates in the primary game by making the wager required to play the primary game; each player may also be required to make an additional wager to be eligible for the bonus game, although such eligibility may also be provided without requiring an extra wager.
  • Whenever a player achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game, that player is qualified for the bonus game. This starts a bonus game qualifying period for the other players.
  • During the bonus game qualifying period, any player who achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game also qualifies for the bonus game. The bonus game qualifying period expires and the bonus game period starts. During the bonus game period, each player who has qualified for the bonus game plays both the primary game and the bonus game at the same time. During the bonus game period, an award is provided to each player who has qualified for the bonus game for each winning final hand outcome according to the primary game pay table and according to the bonus game pay table.
  • FIG. 1 shows a flow chart of Version A of the method of play of Version A.
  • As an example of the method of play of Version A, two or more players participating in a primary game (e.g. by wagering one to five coins or credits and playing a Jack or Better Poker format) can bet 110 at least one extra coin, e.g. a sixth coin, to become eligible to qualify for a multi-player bonus game. The primary game is a video poker game in which each player has his own video poker gaming machine and plays video poker by receiving an initial five card hand, discarding unwanted cards and receiving replacement cards for the discarded cards resulting in a final five card poker hand.
  • In order to qualify for the multi-player bonus game, an eligible player must receive at least one predetermined or randomly selected outcome (e.g. a Full House) while playing the primary game 120. When a first eligible player receives a predetermined outcome in the primary game and becomes eligible for the bonus game, a window of opportunity, such as a time countdown, opens 130 that allows the first player and other eligible players to qualify and play in the bonus game.
  • In a preferred embodiment of the method of play, this bonus game qualifying period countdown is a fixed time period, e.g. thirty seconds. At the end of the countdown, all players who have qualified 140 for the bonus game participate in the bonus game at the same time.
  • In the bonus game, there are at least two predetermined or randomly selected bonus game outcomes (e.g. a Four-of-a-Kind or a Full House) which are displayed on the video screen display of each player and/or on an overhead display. In this embodiment, the bonus game outcomes may be progressive and start at a predetermined reset value (e.g. the Four-of-a-Kind at $20.00 and the Full House at $8.00).
  • Once the bonus game is triggered, all of the qualified players play the bonus game by playing their primary game 150 for a predetermined length of time 160, e.g. one minute, in order to attempt to achieve a final hand outcome that matches one or more of the bonus game outcomes. Every time a qualified player matches one of the bonus game outcomes, he wins the traditional primary game award for that outcome and the progressive amount associated with that outcome 170. Any progressive amounts not won in the bonus game are carried over to the next bonus game and new progressive amounts are reset for bonus game outcomes that were won.
  • Once the bonus game has ended, players continue playing the primary game until another bonus game is triggered.
  • While the method of play has been described in the context of a wagering game, the method of play may also be conducted as an amusement game played without wagering.
  • Version B
  • Version B of the method of play comprises the following steps:
  • The method of playing a video poker game has a plurality of players who each play a primary game to achieve final hands and compete in a bonus game to achieve final hands. A primary game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the primary game and a bonus game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the bonus game are provided. A bonus game qualifying outcome of one or more final hand outcomes of the primary game is designated as an outcome that will trigger a bonus game qualifying period.
  • Each player participates in the primary game by making the wager required to play the primary game; each player may also be required to make an additional wager to be eligible for the bonus game, although such eligibility may also be provided without requiring an extra wager.
  • Whenever a player achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game, that player is qualified for the bonus game. This starts a bonus game qualifying period for the other players.
  • During the bonus game qualifying period, any player who achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game also qualifies for the bonus game. The bonus game qualifying period expires and the bonus game period starts. During the bonus game period, each player who has qualified for the bonus game plays both the primary game and the bonus game at the same time. During the bonus game period, an award is provided to each player who has qualified for the bonus game for each winning final hand outcome according to the primary game pay table and according to the bonus game pay table.
  • FIG. 2 shows a flow chart of the method of play of Version B of the present invention.
  • As an example of the method of play of Version B, each player participating in a primary game (e.g., by wagering one to five coins or credits and playing a Jacks or Better Poker format) can bet 210 an extra coin, e.g. a sixth coin, to become eligible to qualify to participate in a multi-player bonus game. The primary game is a video poker game in which each player has his own video poker gaming machine and plays video poker by receiving an initial five card hand, discarding unwanted cards and receiving replacement cards for the discarded cards resulting in a final five card poker hand.
  • In order to qualify to participate in the bonus game, an eligible player must receive at least one predetermined or randomly selected outcome (e.g., a Full House) while playing the primary game 220. When a first eligible player receives a predetermined outcome in the primary game, a window of opportunity, such as a time countdown, opens 230 that allows the first player and other eligible players to qualify and play in the bonus game.
  • It is proposed that the countdown be a fixed time period, e.g. 30 seconds. At the end of the countdown, all players who have qualified 240 for the bonus game participate in the bonus game at the same time 250.
  • In the bonus game there may be four predetermined and/or randomly selected bonus game categories (e.g., a Four-of-a-Kind, a Flush, a Straight and a Three-of-a-Kind). For each bonus game category, there may be three award categories that may be fixed, progressive and/or randomly generated 260. In this embodiment, they are progressive.
  • The bonus game and award categories may be displayed on the video screen display of each player and/or on an overhead display.
  • Bonus Categories and Awards:
    1 2 3
    Four-of-a-Kind $2.05 $5.00 $7.00
    Flush $15.00 $4.00 $15.00
    Straight $8.00 $16.00 $35.00
    Three-of-a-Kind $5.00 $9.00 $23.00
  • When a first eligible player qualifies for the bonus game, one of the award categories may be, randomly or in a predetermined sequence, entered into the bonus game for the players to win. E.g. the First player qualifies for the bonus game and award category 1 is now eligible to be won during the bonus game.
  • Bonus Categories and Awards:
    1 2 3
    Four-of-a-Kind $2.05 $5.00 $7.00
    Eligible
    Flush $15.00  $4.00 $15.00
    Eligible
    Straight $8.00 $16.00 $35.00
    Eligible
    Three-of-a-Kind $5.00 $9.00 $23.00
    Eligible
  • Every time the first player or another eligible player qualifies for the bonus game, another award category is entered into the bonus game 270. (E.g., a Second player qualifies/award category 2 is now eligible).
  • Bonus Categories and Awards:
    1 2 3
    Four-of-a-Kind $2.05 $5.00 $7.00
    Eligible Eligible
    Flush $15.00  $4.00 $15.00
    Eligible Eligible
    Straight $8.00 $16.00  $35.00
    Eligible Eligible
    Three-of-a-Kind $5.00 $9.00 $23.00
    Eligible Eligible
  • Furthermore the award categories may be associated with a predetermined or randomly selected game outcome that is related to one of the bonus game categories.
  • Bonus Categories and Awards:
    1 2 3
    Four-of-a-Kind 4 Aces 4 Twos 4 Threes
    $2.05 $5.00  $7.00
    Eligible Eligible
    Flush Hearts Clubs Spades
    $15.00  $4.00 $15.00
    Eligible Eligible
    Straight 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
    $8.00 $16.00  $35.00
    Eligible Eligible
    Three-of-a-Kind 3 Tens 3 Fours 3 Eights
    $5.00 $9.00 $23.00
    Eligible Eligible
  • Once the bonus game is activated all of the qualified players (for a window of opportunity, e.g. one minute) play their primary game in order to receive an outcome that matches one or more of the eligible bonus award outcomes 280. Every time a qualified player matches one of the eligible bonus award categories or a specific bonus outcome, the player wins the traditional primary game award and the bonus award associated with that outcome 290 and that award for the bonus category or the award for the specific bonus outcome or the specific bonus outcome is eliminated from the game.
  • After the bonus game ends, all of the progressive bonus awards not won in the bonus game are carried over to the next bonus game. A new bonus game outcome is then randomly selected for all the bonus award outcomes won and the progressive bonus award is reset to a predetermined starting amounts.
  • The players continue playing the primary game until another bonus game is triggered.
  • Version C
  • Version C of the method of play comprises the following steps:
  • The method of playing a video poker game has a plurality of players who each play a primary game to achieve final hands and compete in a bonus game to achieve final hands. A primary game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the primary game and a bonus game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the bonus game are provided. A bonus game qualifying outcome of one or more final hand outcomes of the primary game is designated as an outcome that will trigger a bonus game qualifying period.
  • Each player participates in the primary game by making the wager required to play the primary game; each player may also be required to make an additional wager to be eligible for the bonus game, although such eligibility may also be provided without requiring an extra wager.
  • Whenever a player achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game, that player is qualified for the bonus game. This starts a bonus game qualifying period for the other players.
  • During the bonus game qualifying period, any player who achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game also qualifies for the bonus game. The bonus game qualifying period expires and the bonus game period starts. During the bonus game period, each player who has qualified for the bonus game plays both the primary game and the bonus game at the same time. During the bonus game period, an award is provided to each player who has qualified for the bonus game for each winning final hand outcome according to the primary game pay table and according to the bonus game pay table.
  • FIG. 3 shows a flow chart of the method of play of Version C of the present invention.
  • Each player participating in a primary game (e.g. by wagering one to five coins or credits and playing a Jacks or Better Poker format) can bet 310 an extra coin, e.g. a sixth coin, to become eligible to qualify to participate in a multi-player two stage bonus game. The primary game is a video poker game in which each player has his own video poker gaming machine and plays video poker by receiving an initial five card hand, discarding unwanted cards and receiving replacement cards for the discarded cards resulting in a final five card poker hand.
  • In order to qualify to participate in the bonus game an eligible player must receive at least one predetermined or randomly selected outcome (e.g. a Full House) while playing the primary game 320. When a first eligible player receives a predetermined outcome in the primary game, a window of opportunity, e.g. such as a time countdown, opens 330 that allows the first player and other eligible players to qualify and play in the bonus game.
  • It is proposed that the countdown be a fixed time period, e.g. 30 seconds. At the end of the countdown, all players who have qualified 340 for the bonus game participate in the first stage of the bonus game at the same time. The primary game and the bonus game are played at the same time 350.
  • In the first stage of the bonus game there are at least two predetermined or randomly selected bonus game outcomes 360 (e.g. a Four-of-a-Kind and a Full House) that are displayed on the video screen display of each player and/or on an overhead display.
  • Every time an eligible player qualifies for the bonus game, at least one of the bonus values for the outcomes in the first stage of the bonus game are increased by a predetermined or randomly selected value 370. Furthermore, all the qualified players are given a position to win a guaranteed bonus award in the second stage of the bonus game 375. If a player qualifies twice, the player is given two positions in the second stage of the bonus game.
  • Once the first stage of the bonus game is triggered, all of the qualified players play their primary game 380 for a window of opportunity (e.g. one minute) in order to receive an outcome that matches one or more of the bonus game outcomes. Every time a qualified player matches one of the bonus game outcomes, he wins the traditional primary game awards and the bonus award associated with that outcome 390. All bonus awards not won in the first stage of the bonus game are carried over to the next bonus game and new awards are generated for the bonus awards that are won.
  • Once the first stage of the bonus game has ended, all qualified players win at least one randomly selected award in the second stage of the bonus game 395. In an embodiment of the method of play, the second stage of the bonus game is a wheel. The wheel has as many segments as players are allowed and have positions in the second stage of the bonus game. As each player qualifies for the second stage of the bonus game, a player receives a position on the wheel. After the first stage of the bonus game, the wheel is spun and the award value associated with each player position is determined.
  • After all the qualified players have been awarded their guaranteed bonus award in the second stage of the bonus game, normal play of the primary game resumes and the bonus game will start over again once a eligible player receive a bonus game outcome while playing the primary game.
  • Version D
  • Version D of the method of play comprises the following steps:
  • The method of playing a video poker game has a plurality of players who each play a primary game to achieve final hands and compete in a bonus game to achieve final hands. A primary game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the primary game and a bonus game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the bonus game are provided. A bonus game qualifying outcome of one or more final hand outcomes of the primary game is designated as an outcome that will trigger a bonus game qualifying period.
  • Each player participates in the primary game by making the wager required to play the primary game; each player may also be required to make an additional wager to be eligible for the bonus game, although such eligibility may also be provided without requiring an extra wager.
  • Whenever a player achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game, that player is qualified for the bonus game. This starts a bonus game qualifying period for the other players.
  • During the bonus game qualifying period, any player who achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game also qualifies for the bonus game. The bonus game qualifying period expires and the bonus game period starts. During the bonus game period, each player who has qualified for the bonus game plays both the primary game and the bonus game at the same time. During the bonus game period, an award is provided to each player who has qualified for the bonus game for each winning final hand outcome according to the primary game pay table and according to the bonus game pay table.
  • FIG. 4 shows a flow chart of the method of play of Version D of the present invention.
  • Each player participating in a primary game (e.g., by wagering one to five coins or credits and playing a Jacks or Better Poker format) can bet 410 an extra coin, e.g. a sixth coin, to become eligible to participate in a multi-player bonus game. The primary game is a video poker game in which each player has his own video poker gaming machine and plays video poker by receiving an initial five card hand, discarding unwanted cards and receiving replacement cards for the discarded cards resulting in a final five card poker hand.
  • Once a first eligible player receives at least one predetermined or randomly selected outcome 420 (e.g. a Full House), all eligible players begin competing to gain entry into the bonus game. After a first eligible player receives a predetermined outcome a window of opportunity 430, such as a time countdown, starts that allows the first player and other eligible players to qualify and play in the bonus game.
  • It is proposed that the countdown be a fixed time period, e.g. one minute. The primary game and the bonus game are played at the same time 450.
  • In the bonus game there are at least four predetermined or randomly selected bonus game outcomes (e.g. a Four-of-a-Kind, a Full House, a Flush and a Straight) are designated 460 and are displayed on the video screen display of each player and/or on an overhead display.
  • Each bonus game outcomes has a value associated with it that may be fixed, progressed and/or randomly generated (e.g., a Four-of-a-Kind $12.00, a Full House $8.75, a Straight $5.25 and a Three-of-a-Kind $3.50).
  • Every eligible player has an average award (e.g. 15 credits, 25 credits, 35 credits, etc.) that is based on the rate of play and the amount of money they have played between each bonus game 470. Every time a player wins a bonus award in the bonus game, an award is generated using the average value from a prize pool (e.g. 10 credits up to 2000 credits) that is added to the first bonus award.
  • This is done to reward to players who have been playing the longest and the fastest between bonus games.
  • Once the bonus game is activated all of the qualified players for a window of opportunity, such as one minute 480, play their primary game in order to receive an outcome that matches one or more of the bonus game outcomes. Every time a qualified player matches one of the bonus game outcomes, he wins the traditional primary game awards and the bonus award associated with that outcome and a generated award from a fixed or progressive prize pool 490. All bonus awards not won in the first stage of the bonus game are carried over to the next bonus game and new awards are created for the bonus awards that are won.
  • After the bonus game is over, the bonus game qualifying starts again once an eligible player receive a bonus game outcome while playing the primary game.
  • Version E
  • Version E of the method of play comprises the following steps:
  • The method of playing a video poker game has a plurality of players who each play a primary game to achieve final hands and compete in a bonus game to achieve final hands. A primary game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the primary game and a bonus game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the bonus game are provided. A bonus game qualifying outcome of one or more final hand outcomes of the primary game is designated as an outcome that will trigger a bonus game qualifying period.
  • Each player participates in the primary game by making the wager required to play the primary game; each player may also be required to make an additional wager to be eligible for the bonus game, although such eligibility may also be provided without requiring an extra wager.
  • Whenever a player achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game, that player is qualified for the bonus game. This starts a bonus game qualifying period for the other players.
  • During the bonus game qualifying period, any player who achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game also qualifies for the bonus game. The bonus game qualifying period expires and the bonus game period starts. During the bonus game period, each player who has qualified for the bonus game plays both the primary game and the bonus game at the same time. During the bonus game period, an award is provided to each player who has qualified for the bonus game for each winning final hand outcome according to the primary game pay table and according to the bonus game pay table.
  • FIG. 5 shows a flow chart of the method of play of Version E of the present invention.
  • Each player participating in a primary game (e.g., by wagering one to five coins or credits and playing a Jacks or Better Poker format) can bet 510 an extra coin, e.g. a sixth coin, to become eligible to qualify to participate in a multi-player bonus game. The primary game is a video poker game in which each player has his own video poker gaming machine and plays video poker by receiving an initial five card hand, discarding unwanted cards and receiving replacement cards for the discarded cards resulting in a final five card poker hand.
  • Once a first eligible player receives at least one predetermined or randomly selected outcome 520 (e.g. a Full House), all eligible players begin competing to gain entry into the bonus game. After a first eligible player receives a predetermined outcome a window of opportunity 530, such as a time countdown, starts that allows the first player and other eligible players to qualify and play in the bonus game.
  • It is proposed that the countdown be a fixed time period, e.g. 30 seconds. The primary game and the bonus game are played at the same time 540.
  • In the bonus game, there are at least four predetermined or randomly selected bonus game outcomes (e.g. a Four-of-a-Kind, a Full House, a Flush and a Straight) that are designated 550 and are displayed on the video screen display of each player and/or on an overhead display.
  • Each bonus game outcome has a value associated with it that may be fixed, progressed and/or randomly generated (Four-of-a-Kind $12.00, Full House $8.75, Straight $5.25 and Three-of-a-Kind $3.50).
  • Once the bonus game is activated all of the qualified players for a window of opportunity, such as 30 seconds, play their primary game 560 in order to receive an outcome that matches one or more of the bonus game outcomes. Every time a qualified player matches one of the bonus game outcomes 570, he wins the traditional primary game awards and the bonus award associated with that outcome and a generated award from a fixed or progressive prize pool. Furthermore every time a player matches one of the bonus game outcomes the window of opportunity is increased for another length of time 570, such as 20 seconds. This is repeated until all the bonus awards are won or the time runs out 580. All bonus awards not won in the first stage of the bonus game are carried over to the next bonus game and new awards are created for the bonus awards that are won.
  • After the bonus game is over, the normal primary game play resumes and the bonus game qualifying starts again once an eligible player receive a bonus game outcome while playing the primary game.
  • While the invention has been illustrated with respect to several specific embodiments thereof, these embodiments should be considered as illustrative rather than limiting. Various modifications and additions may be made and will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

Claims (1)

1. A method of playing a video poker game having a plurality of players who each play a primary game to achieve final hands and compete in a bonus game to achieve final hands comprising:
a) providing a primary game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the primary game and a bonus game pay table of winning final hand outcomes to be used in the bonus game;
b) designating as a bonus game qualifying outcome one or more final hand outcomes of the primary game as outcomes that will trigger a bonus game qualifying period;
c) each player participating in the primary game;
d) whenever a player achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game, qualifying that player for the bonus game and starting a bonus game qualifying period for the other players;
e) during the bonus game qualifying period, any player who achieves a bonus game qualifying outcome during the play of the primary game also qualifying for the bonus game;
f) concluding the bonus game qualifying period and starting a bonus game period;
g) during the bonus game period, each player who has qualified for the bonus game playing the primary game and the bonus game at the same time; and
h) during the bonus game period, providing an award to each player who has qualified for the bonus game for each winning final hand outcome according to the primary game pay table and according to the bonus game pay table.
US12/552,099 2008-09-01 2009-09-01 Multiple player bonus game method Abandoned US20100120485A1 (en)

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