US20100120516A1 - System and method for providing electronic gaming machines with variable payouts based on random events - Google Patents

System and method for providing electronic gaming machines with variable payouts based on random events Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100120516A1
US20100120516A1 US12267075 US26707508A US2010120516A1 US 20100120516 A1 US20100120516 A1 US 20100120516A1 US 12267075 US12267075 US 12267075 US 26707508 A US26707508 A US 26707508A US 2010120516 A1 US2010120516 A1 US 2010120516A1
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Prior art keywords
payout
mode
gaming
electronic
machine
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Abandoned
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US12267075
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David Wollner
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SIGNATURE GAMING LLC
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SIGNATURE GAMING LLC
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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
    • G07F17/3225Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users
    • G07F17/3232Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users wherein the operator is informed
    • G07F17/3234Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users wherein the operator is informed about the performance of a gaming system, e.g. revenue, diagnosis of the gaming system
    • 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

Abstract

A system and method for use of electronic gaming machine(s) and a central computer. The electronic gaming machine has a player interface for allowing a player to place a wager and play a game on the electronic gaming machine. The electronic gaming machine is switchable between a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode and provides a payout to the player under a current one of the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode in response to a winning condition in the game. The payout under the higher payout mode is generally higher for the winning condition under the higher payout mode than under the normal payout mode. The central computer is networked to the electronic gaming machine and is configured to establish a first percentage. The first percentage is representative of a desired percentage of time the electronic gaming machine is in the higher payout mode. The central computer monitors the performance of the electronic gaming machine and dynamically controls the electronic gaming machine to switch between the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode as a function of the performance of the central computer and the first percentage.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates generally to a gaming system which provides electronic gaming machines, and more particularly, a system and method for providing electronic gaming machines which have variable payouts based on random events.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Casinos typically include a mix of electronic and mechanical or non-electronic gaming machines. For example, the electronic gaming machines typically include video or electronic slot machines, video poker machines, keno machines, video blackjack and/or video roulette machines. Mechanical or non-electronic gaming machines may include table games, such as poker or blackjack tables or other table games.
  • [0003]
    With respect to electronic gaming machines, typically, the game is run on the gaming machine under the control of computer software which uses a random number generator (RNG) to ensure the randomness of the outcome of the gaming machine. However, the game has a programmed hold percentage, which represents the percentage of the players' wagers which may be retained by the house/casino, and conversely, how much of the wagers (over a given time period) must be paid to the players. The maximum hold percentage is regulated.
  • [0004]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,254,483 issued Jul. 3, 2001 to John F. Acres (Acres), in an attempt to increase profits by increasing use of particular gaming machines, e.g., during typically low use hours, provides a system and method which allows certain parameters of the gaming machines to be changed under certain conditions. For example, Acres allows the game speed or payback percentage (via the paytable) to be modified when a monitored variable meets a predetermined criteria. The changed parameter is then maintained until, and as long as the monitored variable meets the criteria.
  • [0005]
    One problem with this approach is that it does not generate player excitement in a manner which draws players to the games. Furthermore, the house or criteria has no control over how long the parameter remains at the changed level.
  • [0006]
    The present invention is aimed at one or more of the problems identified above.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    In one aspect of the invention, a system having an electronic gaming machine and a central computer is provided. The electronic gaming machine has a player interface for allowing a player to place a wager and play a game on the electronic gaming machine. The electronic gaming machine is switchable between a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode and provides a payout to the player under a current one of the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode in response to a winning condition in the game. The payout under the higher payout mode is generally higher for the winning condition under the higher payout mode than under the normal payout mode. The central computer is networked to the electronic gaming machine and is configured to establish a first percentage. The first percentage is representative of a desired percentage of time the electronic gaming machine is in the higher payout mode. The central computer monitors the performance of the electronic gaming machine and dynamically controls the electronic gaming machine to switch between the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode as a function of the performance of the central computer and the first percentage.
  • [0008]
    In another aspect of the present invention, a method of operating an electronic gaming machine having a player interface, is provided. The electronic gaming machine is connected to a central computer and is switchable between a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode. The payout under the higher payout mode is generally higher for the winning condition under the higher payout mode than under the normal payout mode. The method includes the steps of allowing a player to place a wager and play a game on the electronic gaming machine, providing a payout to the player under a current one of the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode in response to a winning condition in the game, and establishing a first percentage at the central computer. The first percentage is representative of a desired percentage of time the electronic gaming machine is in the higher payout mode. The method further includes the steps of monitoring the performance of the electronic gaming machine by the central computer and dynamically controlling the electronic gaming machine to switch between the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode as a function of the performance of the central computer and the first percentage.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    Other advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
  • [0010]
    FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a system for providing a gaming system having at least one gaming machine which is switchable between a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0011]
    FIG. 2A is a table which lists examples of variables or characteristics based on random occurrences which may be used to trigger the higher payout mode, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 2B is a table which lists examples of variables or characteristics based off a player's behavior which may be used to trigger the higher payout mode, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 3A is a first portion of a table which lists the amount of time a particular gaming machine is in a higher payout mode, expressed in minutes, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 3B is a second portion of the table of FIG. 3A;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 4A is a first portion of a table which lists the amount of time a particular gaming machine is in a higher payout mode, expressed in hours, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 4B is a second portion of the table of FIG. 4A;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 5 is a table listing examples of higher payout games, i.e., games in a higher payout mode, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 6A is an exemplary paytable for a single payline electronic slot machine in a normal payout mode, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 6B is an exemplary paytable for a single payline electronic slot machine in a higher payout mode, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 6C is the paytable of FIG. 6B with the payout amounts rounded to the nearest credit;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 6D is an exemplary paytable for a multi-line electronic slot machine in a normal payout mode, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 6E is an exemplary paytable for a multi-line electronic slot machine in a higher payout mode, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 6F is the paytable of FIG. 6E with the payout amounts rounded to the nearest credit;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 7A is a first portion of a table illustrating exemplary HPG multiplier values, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 7B is a second portion of the table of FIG. 7B;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 8A is a first portion of a table illustrating exemplary effective net payout percentages assuming a normal payout game payout percentage of 70%, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 8B is a second portion of the table of FIG. 8A;
  • [0028]
    FIG. 9A is a first portion of a table illustrating exemplary effective net payout percentages assuming a normal payout game payout percentage of 75%, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0029]
    FIG. 9B is a second portion of the table of FIG. 9A;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 10A is a first portion of a table illustrating exemplary effective net payout percentages assuming a normal payout game payout percentage of 80%, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 10B is a second portion of the table of FIG. 10A;
  • [0032]
    FIG. 11A is a first portion of a table illustrating exemplary effective net payout percentages assuming a normal payout game payout percentage of 85%, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 11B is a second portion of the table of FIG. 11A;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 12A is a first portion of a table illustrating exemplary effective net payout percentages assuming a normal payout game payout percentage of 90%, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0035]
    FIG. 12B is a second portion of the table of FIG. 12A;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 13A is a first portion of a table illustrating exemplary effective net payout percentages assuming a normal payout game payout percentage of 95%, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0037]
    FIG. 13B is a second portion of the table of FIG. 13A;
  • [0038]
    FIG. 14A is a first portion of a table illustrating exemplary effective net payout percentages assuming a normal payout game payout percentage of 97%, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0039]
    FIG. 14B is a second portion of the table of FIG. 14A;
  • [0040]
    FIG. 15A is a first portion of a table illustrating exemplary effective net payout percentages assuming a normal payout game payout percentage of 99%, according to an embodiment of the present invention; and,
  • [0041]
    FIG. 15B is a second portion of the table of FIG. 15A.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION
  • [0042]
    Referring to the Figures, wherein like numerals indicate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, a system 10 includes a plurality of electronic gaming machines 12 and a central computer 14. In the illustrated embodiment, the n electronic gaming machines 12A, 12B, . . . 12 n are shown. However, it should be noted the system 10 may include any number of gaming machines 12, including one. Furthermore, the system 10 may include one or more central computers 1.
  • [0043]
    Each electronic gaming machine 12 includes a player interface 16 (respective player interfaces 16A, 16B, . . . 16 n). The player interface 16 allows a player 16 to place a wager and play a game on the respective electronic gaming machine 12. As more fully explained below, the electronic gaming machine 12 is switchable between a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode. The electronic gaming machine 12 provides a payout to the player 16 under a current one of the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode in response to a winning condition in the game. The payout under the higher payout mode is generally higher for the winning condition under the higher payout mode than under the normal payout mode.
  • [0044]
    The central computer is networked to the electronic gaming machines 12 and is configured to establish a first percentage. In one embodiment, the first percentage may be entered or selected by a user 20. Alternatively or additionally, the first percentage may be chosen automatically by the central computer. Generally, the payout percentage will not be set less than the minimum theoretical payout percentage for the gaming machines.
  • [0045]
    In one aspect of the present invention, the first percentage is representative of a desired percentage of time the electronic gaming machine 12 is in the higher payout mode. The central computer 14 monitors the performance of the electronic gaming machines and dynamically controls the electronic gaming machine(s) 12 to switch between the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode as a function of the performance of the central computer 14 and the first percentage. It should be noted that the central computer 14 may monitor the performance of the electronic gaming machines 12 individually or collectively and may switch between modes for the gaming machines 12, individually, collectively, or for a subset of the gaming machines 12.
  • [0046]
    It should also be noted that system 10 may include other gaming machines (not shown) which do not have a higher payout mode.
  • [0047]
    In one aspect of the present invention, the electronic gaming machines 12 may be single games machines, i.e., only one game is playable thereon.
  • [0048]
    In another aspect of the present invention, the electronic gaming machines 12 may be multiple game selection stations (MGSS), i.e., the electronic gaming machine 14 may provide multiple games which are selectable and playable by the players 16. In a third aspect of the present invention, the system 10 may include a mix of single and multiple game gaming machines or stations 14. The MGSS are gaming machines 14, such as video slot machines that offer multiple games. In one embodiment, the MGSS gaming machines 14 include a touch screen (not shown) which the player uses to select a game. Although there may be many games the player can choose, generally, the player can only play one game at a time. However, in alternate embodiments, a gaming machine 12 may allow more than one game to be displayed and played simultaneously.
  • [0049]
    The gaming machines 14 may provide one or more of the following types of games: (single and multi-line) video slots, pull-lever electronic slots, a video blackjack, a video poker, a video roulette, a video craps, and a video keno. However, it should be noted that the present invention is not limited to these types of games.
  • [0050]
    In one aspect of the present invention, the requirements for gaming machines 12 to provide the switch between the higher payout mode and the normal payout mode are as follows:
    • networking capability among the other gaming machines 12 in the casino's MGSS gaming machines 12 and also to the central computer 14 that can monitor the performance of each gaming machine 12 and receive real-time instructions from the central computer 14.
    • touch screen technology to allow the player 18 to choose among many games (for multi-game gaming machines)
    • ability to communicate with the central computer 14 in real-time capacity
    • ability to display in the surrounding casino environment the winnings or payout ratio of that particular gaming machine 12 via a screen or monitor above each gaming machine 12.
    • Programmed games that dynamically change from NPG to HPG. This can be done by either changing some of the game rules, by changing the payouts of existing game wagers, or by introducing bonus bets that are available during HPG periods only.
    • Ability to expand the network to new MGSS slots that meet the requirements above.
  • [0057]
    Definitions
  • [0058]
    Station shall mean a player interface 18 with those gaming machines 12 designated by the casino as MGSS. The player interface 18 will apply to several types of electronic gaming machines 12 displaying programmed games based on random chance.
  • [0059]
    High Payout Games [HPG]: those electronic based games that have payouts that are higher than the normal payout percentage or payout ratio of the casino slots. HPGs include, but are not limited to, current and future casino games with wagers that enable the player to exceed normal slot payout percentages. In no event will the payout percentage of an HPG be equal to or greater than 100% (≧0.100%). An example of a HPG payout to the player that can be played in the MGSS is blackjack with a payout of two (2) times the player's wager if the player is dealt a natural 21, or “blackjack” (normal payout for being dealt a “blackjack” is one and one half (1.5) times the player's wager ). Another example of a HPG parameter, also when playing blackjack, is allowing the player at the Station to choose to keep or ask for a new first card dealt, thus giving them an advantage over the normal blackjack rules where the player keeps all cards dealt by the dealer. This is an example of changing the game rules. Yet another example in the wagering game of Craps for a Proposition Bet that the shooter will throw a 2 or 12 on their next roll of the dice (also called a “one roll bet”), the payout is 30 to 1 and the odds are 1 in 35. The payout for these wagers in HPG mode will be greater than 30 to 1 but less than 35 to 1. This would create a better payout ratio for the player who chooses to bet on this particular wager. This is an example of changing the payout ratio of an existing wager by the casino, e.g., by a user 20 of the central computer 14. See FIG. 5 for these and more examples of HPGs which may be played on the gaming machines 12.
  • [0060]
    Normal Payout Games [NPG]: those electronic based games that have payouts that approximate the normal payout of the casino slots, which in all casinos is less than 100%. NPGs include, but are not limited to, current casino games with wagers that enable the player to, on average, match the payouts of multi-game electronic slot machine Games. An example of a NPG that can be played in the MGSS is blackjack with the standard 1.5 times payout if a player is dealt a “blackjack”. Also, in the NPG mode of blackjack the player will not have the option to choose a new first card dealt as he or she would have the option of doing in a version of blackjack in HPG mode. In general, normal payout games (NPG) or games operating under a normal payout mode are equivalent to the normal play mode of the computer and comply with the jurisdictions minimum theoretical payout percentage.
  • [0061]
    A Game describes a set of events. A player plays a game at a Station. The interaction between the player and the house occurs via the Station which houses the programmed Game or Games. Games that can be played on a Station include, but are not limited to, Blackjack, Keno, Craps, Crapless Craps, Five Card Poker, Seven Card Poker, Roulette, multi-line payout slot and single-line slot payout games. There are many variations of the games mentioned and many more that can also be selected by a player on the Station he or she is playing on.
  • [0062]
    HPG Multiplier: This is a factor that is mathematically derived by the types of variables that the casino chooses to activate the HPG mode on the Station(s) and at what frequency those variables produce the results necessary for the Station(s) to go from NPG mode to HPG mode. The HPG Multiplier is derived through testing the many different possibilities the casino has for MGSS configuration as to what activates a particular Station or Stations to run in HPG mode and for how long they are in HPG mode. The HPG Multiplier is the result of taking the HPG payout percentage and dividing it by the NPG Payout Percentage. The equation for the HPG Multiplier is as follows: HPG Multiplier=HPG Payout Percentage/NPG Payout Percentage.
  • [0063]
    The table in FIGS. 7A and 7B shows an exemplary HPG Multiplier table, which is a chart derived from different combinations of HPG payout percentages and NPG payout percentages.
  • [0064]
    Effective Net Payout Percentage: The payout percentage from an electronic gaming machine 12 which is switchable between a HPG and a NPG will be different than the other casino electronic gaming machines since the gaming machine 12 will have two different modes that the gaming machine 12 will be in at different times, as opposed to most current casino electronic gaming machines 12 that are in the same mode for the entire time. The amount of time that a gaming machine 12 is in HPG mode versus NPG mode will have a big impact on the Effective Net Payout Percentage of that Station since the payout will now be a weighted average calculation of the payouts of the different modes and the amount of time the Station is in each mode over a period of time. An example of how to calculate the amount of time that the MGSS is in HPG mode can be seen in the tables shown in FIGS. 3A & 3B and FIGS. 4A & 4B. The mathematical equation to figure the Effective Net Payout Percentage for a gaming machine 12 in the casino's MGSS network, and thus utilizing NPGs and HPGs, is as follows:
  • [0000]

    ((NPG Payout %×HPG Multiplier)×% of time that MGSS is in the HPG mode)
  • [0000]

    +
  • [0000]

    ((1−% of time that the MGSS is in HPG mode)×NPG Payout %)
  • [0065]
    Effective Net Payout Percentage Calculations:
  • [0066]
    FIGS. 8A & 8B, 9A & 9B, 10A & 10B, 11A & 11B, 12A & 12B, 13A & 13B, 14A & 14B, and 15A & 15B shows 8 charts derived from different combinations of the HPG Multiplier. The HPG multiplier ranges from 1.01 to 1.41 as seen in the table of FIGS. 7A & 7B. The percentage of time that the MGSS is in HPG mode can range from 1% of the time to 99% of the time for any given time period. The variable that needs to be calculated by the casino or casino chain and given in order for the Net Effective Payout Percentage to be calculated is what the current NPG payout percentage is. Since electronic game machines 12 currently, for the most part, run all the time in one mode, or the NPG mode as it is called in this invention, the casino can use the percentage as calculated before switching the electronic slot machines to the MGSS format with two different Game modes. Another method a casino could use to calculate what the NPG Payout Percentage is before the concepts of MGSS and this invention are implemented at a casino or casino chain can also be utilized. For example, once the MGSS and concepts of this invention are implemented the NPG Payout Percentage can be calculated by dividing the HPG Payout Percentage by the HPG multiplier. The result of this equation will give the casino the NPG Payout Percentage. The charts in FIGS. 8A & 8B, 9A & 9B, 10A & 10B, 11A & 11B, 12A & 12B, 13A & 13B, 14A & 14B, and 15A & 15B illustrate how the Net Effective Payout Percentage can change as the NPG payout percentage used in the calculation differs:
  • [0067]
    FIGS. 8A & 8B: Effective Net Payout Table for MGSS utilizing NPGs and HPGs assuming the NPG payout percentage is 70%.
  • [0068]
    FIGS. 9A & 9B: Effective Net Payout Table for MGSS utilizing NPGs and HPGs assuming the NPG payout percentage is 75%.
  • [0069]
    FIGS. 10A & 10B: Effective Net Payout Table for MGSS utilizing NPGs and HPGs assuming the NPG payout percentage is 80%.
  • [0070]
    FIGS. 11A & 11B: Effective Net Payout Table for MGSS utilizing NPGs and HPGs assuming the NPG payout percentage is 85%.
  • [0071]
    FIGS. 12A & 12B: Effective Net Payout Table for MGSS utilizing NPGs and HPGs assuming the NPG payout percentage is 90%.
  • [0072]
    FIGS. 13A & 13B: Effective Net Payout Table for MGSS utilizing NPGs and HPGs assuming the NPG payout percentage is 95%.
  • [0073]
    FIGS. 14A & 14B: Effective Net Payout Table for MGSS utilizing NPGs and HPGs assuming the NPG payout percentage is 97%.
  • [0074]
    FIGS. 15A & 15B: Effective Net Payout Table for MGSS utilizing NPGs and HPGs assuming the NPG payout percentage is 99%.
  • [0075]
    Note that it is possible that by taking certain combinations of the variables as calculated in the charts in tables of FIGS. 8A through 15B that the Effective Net Payout Percentage of the MGSS exceeds 100.00%. These cells in the tables are highlighted in black to designate these results. Since a casino usually never wants to have a payout that is equal to or exceeds 100.00% (≧100%), the casino most likely will not allow those combinations to occur that result in the MGSS having such a Net Effective Payout Percentage. The casino will most likely want to use the variables and parameters that keep the Net Effective Payout less than 100.00% (<100%).
  • [0076]
    In one aspect of the present invention, the higher payout mode differs from the normal payout mode of the gaming machines 14 by changing at least one of (1) odds related to the game, (2) payout ratio, and (3) rule(s) of the game. Examples of possible HPG games, i.e., changes between a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode for various types of games are listed in FIG. 5.
  • [0077]
    In a particular example of a electronic video slot machine, the electronic video slot machine is a single payline slot machine and is switchable between a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode by switching paytables. The paytable for the single payline electronic video slot machine under the normal payout mode is shown in FIG. 6A. In the illustrated embodiment, the paytable in the higher payout mode reflects a 5% increase over the normal payout mode (see FIG. 6B). The values in FIG. 6C have been rounded to the nearest credit.
  • [0078]
    In another example of a electronic video slot machine, the electronic video slot machine is a multi-payline electronic slot machine and is switchable between a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode by switching paytables. The paytable for the multi-payline electronic video slot machine under the normal payout mode is shown in FIG. 6E. In the illustrated embodiment, the paytable in the higher payout mode reflects a 5% increase over the normal payout mode (see FIG. 6F). The values in FIG. 6G have been rounded to the nearest credit.
  • [0079]
    With respect to FIGS. 6C and 6G, the payouts that are not whole numbers will be rounded to a whole number, for example 2.1 will be round to 2.0 and 78.75 will be rounded to 79.
  • [0080]
    There are many slot variations with one or many paylines, different number of reels (and rows), and multiple wager variations. It should be noted that the present invention is not limited to any particular slot configuration.
  • [0081]
    The first percentage, set by the casino, e.g., by the user 20 of the central computer 14, is representative of the desired percentage of time in the higher payout mode over a predetermined time period. The central computer controls the electronic gaming machines 12 (individually or as a set or subset) to be in the higher payout mode a plurality of incremental time periods over the predetermined time period. In one embodiment, each incremental time period is less than or equal to two minutes. In another embodiment, each incremental time period is less than or equal to four minutes.
  • [0082]
    In one embodiment, the triggering performance criteria includes a number of players playing on the electronic gaming machines during a predetermined time period. In another embodiment, the triggering performance criteria includes a number of electronic gaming machines utilized during a predetermined time period. In still another embodiment, the triggering performance criteria includes a number of completed gaming sessions on the electronic gaming machines over a predetermined time period. In one more embodiment, the triggering performance criteria includes an amount wagered on the electronic gaming machines over a predetermined time period.
  • [0083]
    The player may belong to a player tracking club. In one embodiment, the player's chance of the electronic gaming machine 12 played being switched to the higher payout mode may be dependent upon their status in the player tracking club. In another embodiment, the triggering performance criteria includes a amount of time playing on one or more of the electronic gaming machines. In another embodiment, the triggering performance criteria includes a total amount wagered and/or spent by the player on all gaming and non-gaming activities at a casino property or chain as tracked by their player tracking club card.
  • [0084]
    Examples of such performance criteria in these embodiments are listed and describes in the tables of FIGS. 2A and 2B. It should be noted that individual random occurrence variables can be used or multiple random occurrence variables can be combined. It is up to each casino or casino chain to implement the variable(s) that they want in their MGSS. Furthermore, variables of random occurrence (examples of which are in FIG. 2A) and player behavior (examples of which are in FIG. 2B) can be combined and programmed into the central computer system running the MGSS. The casino can also choose to only use random occurrence variable(s) and not player behavior variable(s), and vice-versa.
  • INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
  • [0085]
    The present invention incorporates methods the casino can use for providing player incentives intrinsic within the games available by making changes to their payouts, odds, and rules in effect at each electronic gaming machine 12 that implements the concepts contained within this invention. This invention and its concepts should not be confused with player incentives that are extrinsic to the games, such as casino comps for free buffets, night stays, and non-gaming based entertainment at the casino property.
  • [0086]
    Link a select number of electronic slot machines that meet the requirements of the system 10, as defined above, that can host a defined set of electronic based Games that a player can choose between via an electronic touch screen or other device. These specified electronic gaming machines 12 for purposes of this invention are called Stations, and are all controlled by a central computer 14 that can monitor and change the capabilities of any or all of the Stations 12 in the system 10. The system 10 can be implemented with electronic slot machines either within a single casino, casino chain or affiliated casinos, as long as they are all linked to the same central computer 14 or computer system.
  • [0087]
    By limiting access to system 10 to only the designating Stations 12 that meet the defined requirements, the casino can create more excitement and traffic among casino guests and Game players. This is what the casino wants in order to drive up volume and revenue from slot machine play. Therefore, this form of dynamic game choices, odds, and rules is limited by only offering the system 10 capabilities on a select number of Stations 12 within a casino, casino chain, or affiliated casinos.
  • [0088]
    The Stations 12 that host the system 10 can be in a cluster on the casino floor or spread out in the casino, but they should always be distinctly labeled so as not to be confused with other electronic gaming machines. The casino, through their central computer system for the system 10, will be monitoring the performance of the Stations 12 and either make manual changes to the games offered or have the Stations switch automatically based on meeting certain thresholds in the variable(s) that the casino chooses to implement. For the times that each individual Station is in HPG mode terms can be used such as “Happy Hour” and there will be visual and audible indicators on the monitors, machines and displayed to the surrounding environment that alert the player and surrounding casino guests that the Station 12 is currently in HPG mode.
  • [0089]
    For multi-game gaming machines 12, the point is that the games offered change over time by variables chosen by the particular casino, examples of which are provided in FIGS. 2A and 2B. The games offered to the player can include, but are not limited to, Blackjack, Keno, Craps, Roulette, multiple Poker Games, Single-Line Payout Slot and Multi-Line Payout Slot Games. The particular game picked by the player is completely his or her choice among the option of Games offered and can be changed after each Game cycle is completed in the particular game he or she is playing.
  • [0090]
    Among the two gaming modes offered at the stations (HPG and NPG), and what distinguish these two game categories are the payout ratio, rules, and odds on select wagers. The Station 12 will need to be active and the player will need to have his or her particular station in use in order for their particular station to qualify to enter HPG mode. Therefore, casino guests can not just wait around a particular stations or stations 12 until they enter HPG mode to start playing. This is because the station 12 will not accept new players when it is in HPG mode if it was not in use before in went into HPG mode. If the player first enters the Station when it is in HPG mode, he or she will need to wait for that particular HPG mode time sequence to expire before they can start play with their new credits. This feature will help prevent such behaviors from occurring, but can be changed and altered by casino management and security as they see fit.
  • [0091]
    Over time the casinos that implement this invention and its concepts will be paying out winnings that slightly exceed their current payout ratio from slots. However, the usage per slot and the dollar amount spent to play at the slots will go up. This is because the chances that the player gets to use a station 12 during the HPG period, but the player will not know exactly when his or her station will be in HPG mode. Also the excitement and “buzz” generated when casino guests are playing in HPG mode, as displayed through different screen text, images and colors on the station's screen, lights, sound effects and other audible or visual devices in and around the station(s), will drive more traffic in to the casino for both electronic gaming machines, and table based casino games. The casino will have a trade-off in that their expenses will go up due to the higher pay-out ratio of the MGSS slots in return for more revenue from increased guest traffic, slot usage, and table wagers that the MGSS will directly or indirectly bring in to the casino.
  • [0092]
    The player will want to be on the station during HPG periods, but the times that HPGs are offered on the particular gaming station he or she is playing on will be contingent upon a multiple of variables beyond the individual player's control or knowledge. The period of time that the player's gaming machine is in the HPG mode is also limited on the variables that the casino chooses to implement. Certain variables trigger short time frames in HPG mode, such as 2 minutes or less, while others trigger longer periods in HPG mode, such as 3 or 4 minutes.
  • [0093]
    Variables of how the HPG's and NPG's are offered at gaming machines running on the system 10 are based off of factors programmed in to the central computer system and are automatically launched on select gaming machines 12 in the system 10 when certain criteria are met. The switching between HPGs and NPGs offered to the player at a particular Station can be automatically launched by the central computer system or the designated casino employee(s), once certain thresholds are met within the Station(s) network. If the player is in a current game or has a committed wager in a game when this switch occurs, he or she will have to complete that game cycle before the transition takes place (from NPG to HPG and vise-versa). These variables include, but are not limited to: day of the week (week-day vs. weekend).
  • [0094]
    The number of people playing in the MGSS network that have the casino's players card, every third player on the network, every set number of players (example, slot player #1-33, 101-133, 201-233, etc. in every 24 hour period), and once a certain number of players in the MGSS of the casino is reached. (See FIG. 2A).
  • [0095]
    Player Rewards: In addition to the variables based on chance to activate the Station(s) 12 from NPG to HPG mode, certain behaviors of the player may increase their odds of getting to play in HPG mode on their Station(s) being played on. These behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following: casino player card member status, amount of time spent on the slots of the particular casino or casino chain as measured by the casino's players tracking card inserted in to slots at the beginning of or during play, the amount of money wagered on all betting games at the particular casino or casino chain, and the amount spent at the casino on all non-gaming activity (ie: food and non-gambling based entertainment).
  • [0096]
    HPGs and NPGs will always be offered on the gaming machines 12 in the network 10 and will be running during all casino open hours of business, which is usually 24 hours a day/7 days a week. This way data will constantly be collected and monitored over time by the central computer system. Casino's can make strategic decisions to change the variables used and/or thresholds based off the data collected and analyzed from the central computer system.
  • [0097]
    Variables utilized by the casino for the MGSS, and the threshold levels used that change the games offered at those slots among the HPGs and NPGs can be adjusted. These adjustments can either be done manually by select casino employee(s) with authorized access over the central computer system which controls the MGSS or can be done automatically based off of defined parameters pre-programmed in to the central computer system. An example of a measurement that a threshold can be set for in the central computer system is the utilization level or the payout ratio of the particular station in the MGSS.
  • [0098]
    Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. The invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (40)

  1. 1. A system, comprising:
    an electronic gaming machine having a player interface, the player interface for allowing a player to place a wager and play a game on the electronic gaming machine, the electronic gaming machine being switchable between a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode, the electronic gaming machine providing a payout to the player under a current one of the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode in response to a winning condition in the game, the payout under the higher payout mode being generally higher for the winning condition under the higher payout mode than under the normal payout mode; and,
    a central computer networked to the electronic gaming machine, the central computer configured to establish a first percentage, the first percentage representative of a desired percentage of time the electronic gaming machine is in the higher payout mode, the central computer for monitoring performance of the electronic gaming machine and dynamically controlling the electronic gaming machine to switch between the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode as a function of the performance of the central computer and the first percentage.
  2. 2. A system, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the electronic gaming machine is one of a video slot machine, a pull lever electronic slot machine, a video blackjack machine, a video poker machine, a video roulette machine, a video craps machine, and a video keno machine.
  3. 3. A system, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the electronic gaming machine provides multiple games, the game played selectable by the player.
  4. 4. A system, as set forth in claim 2, wherein one or more of the multiple games has a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode.
  5. 5. A system, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the higher payout mode differs from the normal payout mode by changing at least one of (1) odds related to the game, (2) payout ratio, and (3) rule(s) of the game.
  6. 6. A system, as set forth in claim 1, where the first percentage is representative of the desired percentage of time in the higher payout mode over a predetermined time period.
  7. 7. A system, as set forth in claim 6, wherein the central computer controls the electronic gaming machine to be in the higher payout mode a plurality of incremental time periods over the predetermine time period.
  8. 8. A system, as set forth in claim 7, wherein each incremental time period is less than or equal to two minute.
  9. 9. A system, as set forth in claim 7, wherein each incremental time period is less than or equal to four minutes.
  10. 10. A system, as set forth in claim 1, wherein a switch to the higher payout mode is performed by providing a different payout ratio.
  11. 11. A system, as set forth in claim 1, wherein a switch to the higher payout mode is performed by providing different odds and different game rules.
  12. 12. A system, as set forth in claim 1, including a plurality of electronic gaming machines, each gaming machine switchable between the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode by the central computer.
  13. 13. A system, as set forth in claim 12, the central computer monitors the performance of all gaming machines and controls one or more of the gaming machines to enter the higher payout mode in response to a triggering performance criteria on at least one of the gaming machines.
  14. 14. A system, as set forth in claim 13, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes a number of players playing on the electronic gaming machines during a predetermined time period.
  15. 15. A system, as set forth in claim 13, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes a number of electronic gaming machines utilized during a predetermined time period.
  16. 16. A system, as set forth in claim 13, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes a number of completed gaming sessions on the electronic gaming machines over a predetermined time period.
  17. 17. A system, as set in claim 13, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes an amount wagered on the electronic gaming machines over a predetermined time period.
  18. 18. A system, as set forth in claim 13, wherein the player may belong to a player tracking club, and the player's chance of the electronic gaming machine being played being switched to the higher payout mode being dependent upon their status in the player tracking club.
  19. 19. A system, as set forth in claim 18, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes a amount of time playing on one or more of the electronic gaming machines.
  20. 20. A system, as set forth in claim 18, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes a total amount wagered and/or spent by the player.
  21. 21. A method for operating an electronic gaming machine having a player interface, the electronic gaming machine connected to a central computer and being switchable between a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode, the payout under the higher payout mode being generally higher for the winning condition under the higher payout mode than under the normal payout mode, the method including the steps of:
    allowing a player to place a wager and play a game on the electronic gaming machine;
    providing a payout to the player under a current one of the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode in response to a winning condition in the game;
    establish a first percentage at the central computer, the first percentage representative of a desired percentage of time the electronic gaming machine is in the higher payout mode; and,
    monitoring performance of the electronic gaming machine by the central computer and dynamically controlling the electronic gaming machine to switch between the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode as a function of the performance of the central computer and the first percentage.
  22. 22. A method, as set forth in claim 21, wherein the electronic gaming machine is one of a video slot machine, a pull lever electronic slot machine, a video blackjack machine, a video poker machine, a video roulette machine, a video craps machine, and a video keno machine.
  23. 23. A method, as set forth in claim 21, wherein the electronic gaming machine, provides multiple games, the method including the step of allowing the player to select the game to play.
  24. 24. A method, as set forth in claim 22, wherein one or more of the multiple games has a normal payout mode and a higher payout mode.
  25. 25. A method, as set forth in claim 21, wherein the higher payout mode differs from the normal payout mode by changing at least one of (1) odds related to the game, (2) payout ratio, and (3) rule(s) of the game.
  26. 26. A method, as set forth in claim 21, where the first percentage is representative of the desired percentage of time in the higher payout mode over a predetermined time period.
  27. 27. A method, as set forth in claim 26, including the step of controlling, by the central computer, the electronic gaming machine to be in the higher payout mode a plurality of incremental time periods over the predetermine time period.
  28. 28. A method, as set forth in claim 27, wherein each incremental time period is less than or equal to one minute.
  29. 29. A method, as set forth in claim 27, wherein each incremental time period is less than or equal to 3 minutes.
  30. 30. A method, as set forth in claim 21, wherein a switch to the higher payout mode is performed by providing a different payout ratio.
  31. 31. A method, as set forth in claim 21, wherein a switch to the higher payout mode is performed by providing different odds and different game rules.
  32. 32. A method, as set forth in claim 21, including a plurality of electronic gaming machines, each gaming machine switchable between the normal payout mode and the higher payout mode by the central computer.
  33. 33. A method, as set forth in claim 32, the central computer monitors the performance of all gaming machines and controls one or more of the gaming machines to enter the higher payout mode in response to a triggering performance criteria on at least one of the gaming machines.
  34. 34. A method, as set forth in claim 33, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes a number of players playing on the electronic gaming machines during a predetermined time period.
  35. 35. A method, as set forth in claim 33, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes a number of electronic gaming machines utilized during a predetermined time period.
  36. 36. A method, as set forth in claim 33, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes a number of completed gaming sessions on the electronic gaming machines over a predetermined time period.
  37. 37. A method, as set in claim 33, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes an amount wagered on the electronic gaming machines over a predetermined time period.
  38. 38. A method, as set forth in claim 23, wherein the player may belong to a player tracking club, and the player's chance of the electronic gaming machine being played being switched to the higher payout mode being dependent upon their status in the player tracking club.
  39. 39. A method, as set forth in claim 38, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes a amount of time playing on one or more of the electronic gaming machines.
  40. 40. A method, as set forth in claim 38, wherein the triggering performance criteria includes a total amount wagered and/or spent by the player.
US12267075 2008-11-07 2008-11-07 System and method for providing electronic gaming machines with variable payouts based on random events Abandoned US20100120516A1 (en)

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US5393057A (en) * 1992-02-07 1995-02-28 Marnell, Ii; Anthony A. Electronic gaming apparatus and method
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Effective date: 20081110