US20100151932A1 - Gaming apparatus and systems - Google Patents

Gaming apparatus and systems Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20100151932A1
US20100151932A1 US12/451,208 US45120808A US2010151932A1 US 20100151932 A1 US20100151932 A1 US 20100151932A1 US 45120808 A US45120808 A US 45120808A US 2010151932 A1 US2010151932 A1 US 2010151932A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
bonus
apparatus
pay
pay lines
lines
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12/451,208
Inventor
Benjamin James Ellis
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Dynamite Games Pty Ltd
Original Assignee
Dynamite Games Pty Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to AU2007902309 priority Critical
Priority to AU2007902309A priority patent/AU2007902309A0/en
Application filed by Dynamite Games Pty Ltd filed Critical Dynamite Games Pty Ltd
Priority to PCT/AU2008/000587 priority patent/WO2008134795A1/en
Assigned to DYNAMITE GAMES PTY. LTD. reassignment DYNAMITE GAMES PTY. LTD. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ELLIS, BENJAMIN JAMES
Publication of US20100151932A1 publication Critical patent/US20100151932A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3244Payment 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
    • G07F17/34Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting depending on the stopping of moving members in a mechanical slot machine, e.g. "fruit" machines

Abstract

Gaming apparatus, e.g. an Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) (1), includes a controller (2) for implementing e.g. a slot-machine game. The controller (2) displays a suitable gaming image on a display (6), e.g. virtual symbol reels (11) having a plurality of pay lines (12), and a player interacts with the EGM (1) through push buttons (8) or the like, e.g. to select the number of pay lines (12) to play and to spin the reels (11). The EGM (1) includes means for selecting one or more of the pay lines (11) as bonus pay lines and for associating a bonus feature with the bonus pay lines, so that if an appropriate win event occurs on a bonus play line, the bonus feature will trigger. For example, a win on a bonus pay line could pay out three times the prize of a win on a normal pay line.

Description

  • The present invention relates to gaming apparatus and systems. It relates for example to electronic gaming machines and to networked gaming systems. It relates for example to Intranet and/or to Internet-based gaming systems.
  • Gaming machines have been a popular form of entertainment for many years. This popularity has been enhanced with the advent of electronic gaming machines and also computer-based gaming systems, such as are provided over the Internet.
  • Many different types of game are playable. They include for example standard slot-machine type games, with spinning reels, and casino-type games. They include games such as poker, keno, bingo, blackjack, roulette, pachinko, Sic Bo and many others.
  • A user will typically place a bet, press a button or pull a lever to begin a game, and will win or lose based upon for example mechanical reel stops and/or on a gaming machine's play algorithms and random number generators.
  • An aim of the present invention is to provide gaming apparatus and systems having novel features that may enhance gameplay.
  • Viewed from one aspect, the present invention provides gaming apparatus including:
  • reel means for providing a plurality of reels, the reels having gaming symbols thereon and being arranged adjacent one another so as to provide a number of pay lines thereacross; and
  • bonus means for setting one or more of said pay lines to be a bonus pay line and for associating a bonus feature with the bonus pay line.
  • The present invention may provide added interest to a standard video slot game or the like, and presents a player of the game with specific pay lines that may for example pay out at higher rates and/or may provide some other bonus feature.
  • Typically, a slot game allows a number of pay lines to be defined and played across a set of reels. These pay lines will be determined according to game design, jurisdictional, manufacturer and operator parameters. Typically, each pay line will be in a set pattern that incorporates at least one symbol stop position on each of the game reels. Pay lines may however also be identified using stop positions from only some the game reels.
  • As an example, a gaming machine may display five parallel vertical reels, and at the end of a spin three symbols from each reel may be visible in the play area and become the subject of win assessment on designated pay lines that are in play. In this case, the game interface provides a five by three grid of symbols, with the main pay line being formed from the central symbol of each reel across the five reels, and the next two significant pay lines being the row of symbols above the main pay line and the row of symbols below the main pay line. Other pay lines can be defined as required e.g. by taking one symbol stop position from each reel. In the five reels by three symbols machine, therefore there would be 35 possible combinations of symbols, although fewer lines are usually used in practice, and usually the number of pay lines that may be played are between 1 and 50.
  • The number and type of pay lines may depend on the jurisdictional regulations, game denominations and player or operator preferences.
  • It is known in prior gaming machines to allow a player to choose the number of pay lines that they play. The present invention however differs over such prior gaming apparatus in that, in the prior art, no distinction is made between the played pay lines. Thus, each pay line that is played is treated in the same manner, and a win or the like for any particular pay line is paid out identically for each pay line, no matter on which pay line a winning symbol combination might appear.
  • In contrast, the present invention specifies particular pay lines as bonus pay lines, so that a particular combination of game symbols will be worth more if it occurs on a bonus pay line than if it occurs on a normal pay line. Generally, therefore, in a game according to the present invention, a player will play a number of pay lines, which will be a combination of normal pay lines and bonus pay lines.
  • The bonus feature could be any feature that provides an advantage to a player. The bonus feature could be a prize event or feature event that is a modification of a prize event or feature event on a normal pay line. For example, if a player wins a prize event or feature event on a normal line through a particular combination of reel symbols, the player may win a greater prize event or a more advantageous feature event for the identical set of symbols on a bonus line.
  • The bonus feature could also be a prize or feature event that is exclusive to a bonus line. For example, a combination of reel symbols occurring on a bonus line may provide a prize or feature, whilst the same combination occurring on a normal pay line may not.
  • A prize could be a standard win of cash or play credits, e.g. of a fixed or variable amount, and the bonus feature could be a multiplication of the standard win e.g. by a doubling or trebling of the amount normally won.
  • A feature event could be one or more free plays or free spins, or the changing of a game's parameter's to provide a higher return, e.g. an improvement in the odds of winning or an increase in prize amounts, and could include the appearance of wild symbols or other valuable symbols at a higher probability. It could also be the entry to a feature game, e.g. a game that is extraneous to a main or basic game, and that may provide greater returns than the main game or may provide bonuses for use in the main game. The feature game may be a “second screen” type game.
  • In one embodiment, the bonus feature may be the winning of a jackpot prize, e.g. of a fixed, progressive and/or linked jackpot. Alternatively, it could relate to the chance to win a jackpot, e.g. entry to a game in which the jackpot is a prize.
  • The apparatus may include gameplay monitoring means, and the apparatus may determine the number of bonus lines to assign a player dependent on gameplay. Gameplay may relate to a current play of a game in which the bonus lines are to appear, and/or may relate to gameplay history, e.g. gameplay in one or more previous plays of a game.
  • For example, the number of bonus pay lines awarded may depend on the number of pay lines that a player is to play and/or on the bet amount that they have laid. For example, a player may be awarded one bonus pay line for each five pay lines played or may be awarded one or more bonus pay lines when playing a maximum bet or a bet higher than a specified minimum amount.
  • Bonus pay lines may also be awarded based on total bets to date or on games played to date or on some other indication of gameplay amount. Bonus pay lines may also be based on a player's win history, and bonus pay lines could be awarded if a player has not won for a set amount of gameplay or the like.
  • Bonus lines may themselves be won as a feature event, e.g. the awarding of one or more bonus lines may be triggered by a particular combination of symbols occurring on a pay line.
  • Bonus lines may also be awarded randomly, and a player may also purchase bonus lines. A player may place a fixed or variable secondary bet in order to purchase one or more bonus lines. Bonus lines may also be awarded in other ways, e.g. by an overall management system in accordance with any appropriate rewards or compensation system, e.g. as a new player welcome bonus or the like.
  • The apparatus may include means to automatically determine which of the pay lines are to be the bonus pay lines. This may for example be determined in a random manner. In one embodiment, the apparatus may include selection means for allowing a player to select which of the pay lines are to be bonus pay lines. For example, the pay lines may be numbered, with their numbers appearing at the sides of the reels on the display screen, and a player may choose the play lines that are to be bonus lines by selecting their numbers. The pay lines may then be highlighted, e.g. their numbers lit up, to confirm their selection.
  • In one embodiment, once bonus pay lines are selected, they may be retained in subsequent plays of a game, and are only altered should a player manually intervene to change the lines or should the play circumstances change in a manner that would make the player ineligible for the current bonus lines, e.g. a change in bets or other user options.
  • Besides indicating the selected pay lines, the gaming apparatus may also include display means that indicates the bonus feature or features associated with each bonus pay line. This could e.g. be in the form of a banner on the apparatus display.
  • Different bonus features may be associated with different bonus lines, e.g. some bonus pay lines could provide triple winnings, whilst other could provide double winnings. These differences could be identified on the apparatus display for example by highlighting bonus pay lines in different colours.
  • The awarding of bonus pay lines may be an automatic feature that is always played, or a player may need to pay for or win the bonus lines feature, e.g. through a side bet or through winning a bonus feature. In one preferred form, a player will play a fixed side bet for a set of bonus lines, or will play a variable side bet, the amount bet depending on the number of bonus lines required.
  • The present invention may be applied to any suitable type of gaming system or platform. It can apply to stand-alone gaming apparatus, e.g. electronic gaming machines, such as video gaming machines, e.g. video slot machines, and to gaming devices that are linked together, e.g. electronic gaming machines that are linked via a network such as an intranet. It may relate to gaming systems provided through computing or other electronic devices, e.g. personal computers, PDAs, mobile telephones, digital televisions and the like, e.g. provided over the Internet or other communications networks.
  • The present invention is particularly applicable to gaming apparatus that simulate reels, but could also be implemented using physical reels, and could be played using mechanical reels and an electronic betting terminal that e.g. may supplement and/or reflect the mechanical gameplay and/or may provide other electronic management functions. For example, the gaming apparatus may include a mechanical “stepper” slot game that is coupled with an overhead video screen that may display the mechanical reels and/or may provide extra functionality, e.g. feature games, linked jackpots, and the like.
  • In networked games, the apparatus may include a central control/server for conducting games and for managing the accounting and the like, and a number of remote terminals/clients that provide user input and display mechanisms. The control of the game may be carried out at the central control or at the remote terminals, or may be split between the two.
  • When part of a network, bonus pay lines may be awarded based on the gameplay of other linked devices as well, e.g. all of the devices that are taking part in a particular linked game. For example, all players may be awarded bonus lines should one player win a jackpot.
  • The present invention extends to central controls/servers and remote terminals/clients that are configured to carry out bonus line features of the present invention.
  • Viewed from another aspect, the present invention provides a gaming system including:
  • reel means for providing a plurality of reels, the reels having gaming symbols thereon and being arranged adjacent one another so as to provide a number of pay lines thereacross; and
  • bonus means for setting one or more of said pay lines to be bonus pay lines and for associating a bonus feature with each of the bonus pay lines.
  • Viewed from another aspect, the present invention provides a method of operating gaming apparatus, the method including the steps of:
  • spinning a plurality of reels of the apparatus to provide a bet outcome, the reels having gaming symbols thereon and being arranged adjacent one another so as to provide a number of pay lines thereacross, each pay line providing a bet outcome; and
  • specifying one or more of said pay lines to be a bonus pay line and associating a bonus feature with the specified bonus pay line.
  • Viewed from a further aspect, the present invention provides gaming software including:
  • a component for generating a plurality of game reels, the reels having gaming symbols thereon and being arranged adjacent one another so as to provide a number of pay lines thereacross; and
  • a component for setting one or more of said pay lines as a bonus pay line and for associating a bonus feature with the bonus pay line.
  • The present invention also extends to gaming/computer software products, including a data storage medium on which gaming software/program code according to the present invention is stored.
  • Viewed from a still further aspect, the present invention provides gaming apparatus including: a set of reels that provide a number of pay lines, e.g. provided by a software engine and/or mechanical apparatus; and a selector for allowing the selection of one or more of said pay lines as a bonus pay line and for associating a bonus feature with said bonus pay line.
  • Viewed from another aspect, the present invention provides an electronic slot game in which one or more pay lines across a plurality of game reels can be specified as bonus pay lines, the bonus pay lines each having a bonus feature associated therewith that is not provided on a normal pay line.
  • The present invention may also have broader application, and may relate to any game in which a number of sets of symbols, e.g. a number of play lines or a number of card hands, can be played on at the same time. Thus, viewed from another aspect, the present invention provides gaming apparatus including:
  • game means for playing a game, including means for placing a bet on a game and means for generating a plurality of sets of game symbols, the combination of game symbols in a set determining a win event for that set;
  • selection means for specifying one or more of said sets from said plurality of sets as a bonus set; and
  • bonus means for associating a bonus feature with one or more win events on a bonus set, wherein if a said win event occurs in a bonus set, said associated bonus feature is triggered.
  • In a particularly preferred embodiment, the sets are pay lines in a slot game, e.g. video or mechanical slot game, and the symbols are symbols on slot reels. Other types of set would however be possible. For example, the game may be a card game, in which a player may play a number of hands at the same time.
  • The present invention may also be applied to situations in which a number of games are played concurrently, with one or more of the games being chosen as a bonus game that provides better results in some manner.
  • Viewed from another aspect, the present invention provides gaming apparatus including:
  • means for generating a plurality of sets of symbols, the combination of symbols in a set determining a win event for that set;
  • selection means for specifying one or more of said sets as a bonus set; and
  • bonus means for associating a bonus event with a win event in said bonus set, wherein if said win event is triggered in a bonus set, said associated bonus feature is triggered.
  • The same considerations that are discussed above in relation to the number and selection of bonus pay lines are also applicable to bonus sets in general.
  • It should be noted that any one of the aspects mentioned above may include any of the features of any of the other aspects mentioned above, and may include any of the features of any of the embodiments described below, as appropriate.
  • Embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood that the particularity of the drawings does not supersede the generality of the preceding description of the invention.
  • In the drawings:
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of gaming apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a screen shot of a gaming machine's display, showing bonus line features, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a flow diagram of a control process in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of further apparatus for implementing an embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of further apparatus for implementing an embodiment of the present invention.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, gaming apparatus, which in this case takes the form of an electronic gaming machine (EGM) 1, includes various components, such as a controller 2 for controlling the operation of the EGM 1 and the games run on it, memory 3 for storing programs and data used by the controller 2, a credit input 4 for receiving monies, e.g. coins, tokens and/or electronic money, e.g. stored on a card or other device, a win output 5 for paying out winnings, e.g. as coins, tokens or electronic credits, e.g. by updating a card, a display 6 for displaying game screens, and user inputs 7 for allowing user interaction. The user inputs 7 may include buttons 8, which may be provided as part of a touchscreen of the display 6 or may be separate physical buttons.
  • The EGM 1 may be a stand-alone machine. It may also be networked with other EGMs and/or a central control 9 via a suitable communications network 10, such as a LAN and/or WAN. This may for example allow for the play of networked (e.g. intranet or Internet) games, such as a linked jackpot.
  • In use, the EGM 1 will display an initial gaming screen on the display 6. A player inserts coins, tokens or a payment card into the EGM input 3, and presses a button 8 to initiate play. How matters then proceed will depend on the type of game being played. For example, in a slot machine-type game, the EGM 1 will display virtual reels of symbols, and will spin and stop these reels in various win and lose symbol combinations on a pay line in accordance with stored gaming algorithms and random number generators. Alternatively, in a card-type game, a player will manage cards, e.g. receive a number of cards with which to play for a winning hand.
  • The player may interact via the display 6 and user inputs 7, e.g. so as to spin or hold reels, or to obtain and throw away cards and the like.
  • Whatever game is played, a common element will be prize events, e.g. the pay out of a prize when a particular symbol or symbol combination occurs.
  • Also, in order to increase interest, a game will often include feature events that may or may not relate directly to the game being played, and that generally provide a bonus of some sort. These bonus features may include for example one or more free games, a respin (similar to a free game but with one or more reels held), or the chance to play for higher returns, e.g. higher payouts, better odds or the like. The bonus feature may relate to a wild feature, such as wild reel symbols or cards that can represent more than one type of symbol or card, and so can increase the chances of achieving a winning combination or the like. The bonus features may be provided in the main game or in as “second screen” features that display on a new screen. Bonus features are generally luck-based, but could be skills-based. They may for example allow a player to purchase an extra wild card in a draw poker skill game.
  • These win and feature events can be arranged to occur in many different ways, e.g. randomly, or under a particular set of circumstances, e.g. based on a play outcome, e.g. triggered by a set symbol or card combination.
  • For a video slot game, the display 6 may show a number of game reels 11 and a number of pay lines 12. Thus, the reels are spun, and a win event occurs when a specific symbol or combination of symbols occurs along a pay line 12. The pay lines 12 are formed across the reels 11 and typically will include a symbol from each reel 11. Where there are five reels and each displays three symbols in the play area, there are 35 possible combinations of symbols and so 243 possible pay lines. Typically, depending on the jurisdictional regulations, game denominations, and/or player and operator preferences, between 1 and 50 pay lines are played.
  • A few of these pay lines 12 are shown on the display 6 of FIG. 1. Thus, three horizontal pay lines are shown, which comprise the top, middle and bottom rows of the reel symbols in the play area, and also shown are pay lines that, after the first two symbols on each of the rows, cross over through the middle symbol into another row for the final two symbols. Clearly, many other pay line symbol combinations are possible.
  • In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the controller 2 awards a player bonus pay lines, a bonus feature being associated with each bonus pay line. The EGM 1 may for example allow a player to select one or more of the pay lines as bonus pay lines, and then to pay out to the player a greater prize when a winning symbol combination occurs on a bonus line as compared to when the same symbol combination occurs on a normal pay line. The EGM 1 may also pay out for symbols combinations on bonus lines that would provide no win on a normal pay line. This can then provide a user with extra choice and interactions with the EGM 1, and so provides a game of extra interest and appeal.
  • Thus, the EGM 1 may include bonus means for setting one or more of the pay lines 12 to be bonus pay lines and for associating a bonus feature with each of the bonus pay lines. These means may be provided through the EGM controller 2 and memory 3 and/or through the central control 9.
  • The bonus feature may be any feature that provides an advantage to a player. The bonus feature could be a prize or feature event that is a modification of a prize or feature event on a normal pay line. For example, if a player wins a prize or feature event on a normal line through a particular combination of reel symbols, the player may win a greater prize or a more advantageous feature event for the same set of symbols on a bonus pay line.
  • The bonus feature could also be a prize or feature event that is exclusive to a bonus line. For example, a combination of reel symbols occurring on a bonus line may provide a prize or feature, whilst the same combination occurring on a normal pay line does not.
  • In one embodiment, the bonus pay line features could be multiplying all wins on the bonus line as compared to the same wins on a normal pay line, or multiplying specific wins on the bonus line as compared to the same wins on a normal pay line, or the triggering of a feature when a set combination of symbols occur on the bonus pay line.
  • The bonus feature that may be won on the bonus pay lines may include any of the feature events discussed above. It could be the play of a game at better odds or for higher prize amounts or better features than a standard game, and could relate to free spins, respins and wild symbols. It could relate to second screen games. It could also relate to a mystery or random prize or feature.
  • One bonus line feature event would be the ability to win a jackpot prize on a bonus line. This jackpot could be a fixed or progressive jackpot, and could be a linked jackpot, i.e. a jackpot that may be won by a number of linked machines, e.g. through the communications network 10 and the central control 9. The jackpot bonus could be the winning of a jackpot directly, or could relate to the chance to win a jackpot, e.g. the provision of a subsequent jackpot spin.
  • In one embodiment, the EGM 1 includes means for monitoring gameplay and for determining the number of bonus lines to play based on gameplay. Gameplay may relate to a current game, e.g. a player may receive a bonus pay line based on the number of pay lines that they have chosen to play in a current play or based on the bets that they are placing. For example, a player may receive a bonus line for every five pay lines played, or may receive one or more pay lines for betting a maximum amount or for betting above a threshold value.
  • Bonus lines may also be awarded based on gameplay history. For example, the number of bonus lines awarded may be based on previous bet amounts or the number of previous plays of a game or when a specific event, e.g. a set combination of symbols, occurs on a pay line.
  • The number of bonus pay lines available may also be determined in other ways. For example, bonus lines may be awarded randomly or may be bought or may be assigned to players by an overall management program in accordance with a loyalty scheme or the like, e.g. administered by the central control 9.
  • The EGM 1 may select the pay lines that are to be bonus lines automatically, e.g. randomly or in accordance with preset conditions. In one embodiment, the EGM 1 may include means to allow a player to choose which pay lines are to be bonus lines, e.g. through the user interface 7. Thus, the EGM 1 may determine the number of bonus pay lines available, and may allow a player to select this number of bonus lines from the play lines that are to be played.
  • Once the EGM 1 or a player has selected the bonus pay lines, these lines are preferably retained in each subsequent play unless a player decides to change them or unless the gameplay changes so that the player is no longer eligible for the bonus lines.
  • The bonus pay line feature may be implemented automatically by the EGM 1, or may require the payment of a side bet or the like, or may be a feature that is won through a suitable win event on a pay line.
  • FIG. 2 is a screen shot of the display 6 showing one way of implementing the bonus pay line feature. The screen shot shows a number of virtual gaming reels 20 that are spun to provide symbol combinations in accordance with the rules of the gaming algorithms run by the controller 2. It also shows touchscreen buttons 21 that allow a user to place a bet, to choose the number of pay lines to play, and to set the reels 20 spinning. It further shows indicator boxes 22 for indicating a player's remaining credits, the bet amount laid and the player's accumulated winnings.
  • In the top right hand corner of the display 6, the screen shot shows a bonus pay line indicator 23 which indicates that the bonus pay line feature has been activated, and a bonus pay line information banner 24 is provided above the reels 20 to indicate the type of bonus event or events that are associated with the bonus pay lines.
  • Along the left and right hand sides of the reels 20 are pay line number indicators 25 that indicate the play lines that can be played. Some of these pay line numbers are highlighted to indicate that they are bonus pay lines. An appropriate win on the highlighted bonus pay lines will provide the or a bonus, as indicated in the banner 24.
  • The bonus pay lines may be selected automatically by the EGM 1, or may be selected by the player, e.g. by touching one of the line number indicators 25. The number of bonus lines available to a player may also be indicated through the display 6 e.g. when the player is prompted to chose their bonus pay lines.
  • FIG. 3 shows one possible flowchart for the running of a bonus pay line feature by the controller 2. Thus, an embodiment of the invention may be put into effect by the controller 2 running software that incorporates a subroutine executing in the manner shown.
  • When the bonus pay lines feature is activated, the routine in entered at step S1 where the user inputs are determined, e.g. the number of lines to be played and the bets to be placed. In step S2, the controller S2 determines from this the number of bonus pay lines that are to be awarded, e.g. one bonus line per five normal lines played, and in step S3 the appropriate number of bonus lines are selected from the pay lines that are in play, either automatically or through a user selection. Once the bonus pay lines are chosen, the reels 11 are spun at step S4, and prizes and feature wins are determined at step S5 based on whether or not win events have occurred on the normal pay lines and on whether or not win events have occurred on any of the bonus lines.
  • The above is of course only one possible routine and other steps and routines may be utilised also.
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of further apparatus for carrying out an embodiment of the present invention, in which there is a central control/server 40 that communicates with a number of remote player terminals/client programs 41, e.g. computing devices, through a suitable communications medium 42. The computing devices 41 could for example be personal computers, PDAs, mobile phones, digital televisions or the like, and the communications medium 42 could be for example the Internet, an intranet, a telephone or television communications system, e.g. satellite or cable, or any other suitable communications network.
  • In this embodiment, the running of a game and the determining of bet outcomes and the like, including the allocation of bonus pay lines, can occur on the central control 40, whilst user inputs and the display of games screens and the like occur on the player terminals 41. The terminals 41 may receive program code or other data from the central control 40 in order to provide an appropriate user interface.
  • FIG. 5 shows further apparatus that could implement an embodiment of the present invention, in which an electronic gaming machine 50 includes a mechanical part 51 and an associated electronic control and display 52. The mechanical part 51 includes a set of mechanical reels 53 and player buttons 54, with the reels 53 being spun and stopped to provide prizes and features based on the resulting reel symbols. The electronic control 52 may display the results of the reels 53, e.g. as screen reels 55, and may also oversee any feature functions and the like associated with the game, such as the allocation of bonus pay lines, through further display area 56.
  • As can be seen, the gaming apparatus may take many different forms, including an EGM and/or computing network. It could for example comprise a game provided on a computing or other electronic device, such as on a personal computer, PDA, mobile phone, digital television or the like. The game may be provided over an intranet, the Internet, or some other communications system, such as a mobile telephone system.
  • The number of reels and the number of symbols that each reel provides in a play area may of course vary, and, for example, three, seven or nine or more reels could also be used instead of the five reels shown.
  • In another variation, different bonus features may be associated with different bonus lines, e.g. some bonus pay lines could provide triple winnings, whilst other could provide double winnings. These could be identified on screen for example by highlighting the pay line numbers 25 in different colours.
  • The present invention need not be confined to slot machines, and may relate to any game in which a number of sets of symbols, e.g. a number of pay lines or a number of card hands, can be played on at the same time. Thus, one or more of the sets may be designated as a bonus set that may provide improved outcomes, along the lines of the principals discussed above in relation to pay lines. The invention may also relate to the playing of multiple games simultaneously, with one or more of the games being designated as a bonus game with a bonus feature, so that the bonus games provide an added advantage, e.g. higher payout or the like.
  • It is to be understood that various alterations, additions and/or modifications may be made to the parts previously described without departing from the ambit of the present invention, and that, in the light of the above teachings, the present invention may be implemented in mechanical elements, in software, in firmware and/or in hardware in a variety of manners as would be understood by a person skilled in the art.

Claims (30)

1. Gaming apparatus including: reel means for providing a plurality of reels, the reels having gaming symbols thereon and being arranged adjacent one another so as to provide a number of pay lines thereacross; and bonus means for setting one or more of said pay lines to be a bonus pay line and for associating a bonus feature with the bonus pay line.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a bonus feature is a win event that is a modification of a win event on a normal pay line, e.g. a multiplication of a prize or feature that would be won on a normal pay line.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a bonus feature is a win event exclusive to the bonus line.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a win event is the winning of a prize or the winning of a feature.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the bonus feature is related to the winning of a jackpot prize, e.g. the winning of a jackpot prize or the chance of entering a jackpot play.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus include gameplay monitoring means, and the apparatus determines the number of bonus pay lines to assign a player dependent on gameplay.
7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein gameplay relates to a current play of a game, e.g. the number of bonus lines awarded depends on the number of pay lines that a player is to play and/or on the bet amount that a player has laid.
8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein gameplay relates to gameplay history, e.g. gameplay in one or more previous plays of a game.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein bonus pay lines are won as a feature event.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, including automatic selection means for automatically determining which pay lines are to be bonus pay lines.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, including manual selection means for allowing a player to select which pay lines are to be bonus pay lines.
12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the bonus means selects at least two bonus pay lines and associates a first bonus feature with a first bonus pay line and a different bonus feature with a second bonus pay line.
13. The apparatus of claim 1, including display apparatus for indicating played pay lines and for indicating which of said pay lines are bonus pay lines.
14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said reel means includes means for generating simulated reels.
15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said reel means includes physical wheels.
16. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus is an electronic gaming machine.
17. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus includes a central control and a plurality of remote devices in communication with the central control.
18. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus includes a network of electronic devices.
19. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein bonus lines are awarded based on the gameplay of other linked devices.
20. A gaming system including: reel means for providing a plurality of reels, the reels having gaming symbols thereon and being arranged adjacent one another so as to provide a number of pay lines thereacross; and bonus means for setting one or more of said pay lines to be a bonus pay line and for associating a bonus feature with the bonus pay line.
21. The system of claim 20, wherein the system includes a central control for running a gaming algorithm, and a plurality of remote clients in communication with the central control over a communications network, the remote clients including means for displaying gaming screens and for allowing player interaction with the central control.
22. A method of operating gaming apparatus, the method including the steps of: spinning a plurality of reels to provide a bet outcome, the reels having gaming symbols thereon and being arranged adjacent one another so as to provide a number of pay lines thereacross, each pay line providing a bet outcome; and specifying one or more of said pay lines to be a bonus pay line and associating a bonus feature with the specified bonus pay line.
23. Gaming software including: a component for generating a plurality of game reels, the reels having gaming symbols thereon and being arranged adjacent one another so as to provide a number of pay lines thereacross; and a component for setting one or more of said pay lines as a bonus pay line and for associating a bonus feature with the bonus pay line.
24. A computer software product including a storage medium on which is stored gaming software according to claim 23.
25. Gaming apparatus including: a set of reels that provide a number of pay lines, and a selector for allowing the selection of one or more of said pay lines as a bonus pay line and for associating a bonus feature with said bonus pay line.
26. An electronic slot game in which one or more pay lines across a plurality of game reels can be specified as bonus pay lines, the bonus pay lines each having a bonus feature associated therewith that is not provided on a normal pay line.
27. Gaming apparatus including: game means for playing a game, including means for placing a bet on a game and means for generating a plurality of sets of game symbols, the combination of game symbols in a set determining a win event for that set; selection means for specifying one or more of said sets from said plurality of sets as a bonus set; and bonus means for associating a bonus event with said bonus sets, wherein if a win event occurs in a bonus set, said associated bonus event is triggered.
28. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein said sets are pay lines in a video slot game and the symbols are symbols on slot reels.
29. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein said sets are hands of cards and the symbols are card symbols.
30. Gaming apparatus including: means for generating a plurality of sets of symbols, the combination of symbols in a set determining a win event for that set; selection means for specifying one or more of said sets as a bonus set; and bonus means for associating a bonus event with a win event in said bonus set, wherein if said win event is triggered in a bonus set, said associated bonus feature is triggered.
US12/451,208 2007-05-02 2008-04-28 Gaming apparatus and systems Abandoned US20100151932A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2007902309 2007-05-02
AU2007902309A AU2007902309A0 (en) 2007-05-02 Gaming Apparatus and Systems
PCT/AU2008/000587 WO2008134795A1 (en) 2007-05-02 2008-04-28 Gaming apparatus and systems

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20100151932A1 true US20100151932A1 (en) 2010-06-17

Family

ID=39943030

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/451,208 Abandoned US20100151932A1 (en) 2007-05-02 2008-04-28 Gaming apparatus and systems

Country Status (3)

Country Link
US (1) US20100151932A1 (en)
AU (1) AU2008247301B2 (en)
WO (1) WO2008134795A1 (en)

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20130035152A1 (en) * 2008-06-27 2013-02-07 Bryan Kelly Community Lines Game Apparatus
WO2017139438A1 (en) * 2016-02-12 2017-08-17 Gaming Arts, Llc Systems and methods for providing skill-based selection of prizes for games of chance

Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6371852B1 (en) * 1998-04-28 2002-04-16 Acres Gaming Incorporated Method for crediting a player of an electronic gaming device
US6604999B2 (en) * 2000-07-28 2003-08-12 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd. Gaming machine with uneven paylines
US6676512B2 (en) * 2001-02-09 2004-01-13 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd Gaming machine with mystery nudge symbol
US20050059480A1 (en) * 2003-09-11 2005-03-17 Konami Gaming, Inc. System and method for awarding incentive awards to a player of a gaming device
US7029396B2 (en) * 2003-05-09 2006-04-18 Wms Gaming Inc. Gaming machine with mystery pay feature
US20060135253A1 (en) * 2004-09-10 2006-06-22 Jeffrey George Gaming system and method for providing entry to a contest
US20070129134A1 (en) * 2005-12-05 2007-06-07 Barrie Robert P Dynamic assignment of pay lines in a game of chance
US20090104969A1 (en) * 2001-09-27 2009-04-23 Igt Gaming Machine Reel Having a Rotatable Dynamic Display
US20090209317A1 (en) * 2006-06-20 2009-08-20 Wms Gaming Inc. Wagering game with collection feature for triggering special event
US20100248811A1 (en) * 2007-11-06 2010-09-30 Wms Gamng Inc. Wagering game with enhanced bonus feature

Family Cites Families (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
AUPQ346199A0 (en) * 1999-10-15 1999-11-11 Aristocrat Leisure Industries Pty Ltd A gaming machine with improved display means
US20020086725A1 (en) * 2001-01-04 2002-07-04 Dustin Fasbender Gaming method and apparatus with triggering of bonus events by the presence of a trigger symbol in particular locations

Patent Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6371852B1 (en) * 1998-04-28 2002-04-16 Acres Gaming Incorporated Method for crediting a player of an electronic gaming device
US6604999B2 (en) * 2000-07-28 2003-08-12 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd. Gaming machine with uneven paylines
US6676512B2 (en) * 2001-02-09 2004-01-13 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd Gaming machine with mystery nudge symbol
US20090104969A1 (en) * 2001-09-27 2009-04-23 Igt Gaming Machine Reel Having a Rotatable Dynamic Display
US7029396B2 (en) * 2003-05-09 2006-04-18 Wms Gaming Inc. Gaming machine with mystery pay feature
US20050059480A1 (en) * 2003-09-11 2005-03-17 Konami Gaming, Inc. System and method for awarding incentive awards to a player of a gaming device
US20060135253A1 (en) * 2004-09-10 2006-06-22 Jeffrey George Gaming system and method for providing entry to a contest
US20070129134A1 (en) * 2005-12-05 2007-06-07 Barrie Robert P Dynamic assignment of pay lines in a game of chance
US20090209317A1 (en) * 2006-06-20 2009-08-20 Wms Gaming Inc. Wagering game with collection feature for triggering special event
US20100248811A1 (en) * 2007-11-06 2010-09-30 Wms Gamng Inc. Wagering game with enhanced bonus feature

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20130035152A1 (en) * 2008-06-27 2013-02-07 Bryan Kelly Community Lines Game Apparatus
WO2017139438A1 (en) * 2016-02-12 2017-08-17 Gaming Arts, Llc Systems and methods for providing skill-based selection of prizes for games of chance
US10068434B2 (en) 2016-02-12 2018-09-04 Gaming Arts, Llc Systems and methods for providing skill-based selection of prizes for games of chance

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2008134795A1 (en) 2008-11-13
AU2008247301A1 (en) 2008-11-13
AU2008247301B2 (en) 2011-03-31

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US7938719B2 (en) Gaming method and apparatus with triggering of bonus events by the presence of a trigger symbol in particular locations
AU2013206170B2 (en) Gaming machine with modified prize feature
US8282474B2 (en) Wagering game providing a progressive award having an actual value determined by follow-up game play
US8118662B2 (en) Gaming system, gaming device and method for providing player selection of modifiers to game components
US6547242B1 (en) Game of chance method and apparatus
US7850524B2 (en) Progressive jackpot game with special bonus
US6471208B2 (en) Method of playing a game, apparatus for playing a game and game with multiplier bonus feature
US8251798B2 (en) Gaming device having free spin mode with symbol elimination
US7753769B2 (en) Wagering game for implementing game-enhancement parameters with a guaranteed bonus
US8911292B2 (en) Gaming system and method providing balanced paybacks with varying wager amounts
US7381133B2 (en) Gaming machine having a pick and spin bonus scheme
US20060094509A1 (en) Central determination gaming system with a central controller providing a game outcome and a gaming terminal determining a presentation of the provided game outcome
EP1383096A2 (en) Method and apparatus for gaming
US20060073874A1 (en) Gaming device having random generation of values and mathematical operations performed on the values
US7686685B2 (en) Wagering game having player selection features having reduced volatility index
US20090023490A1 (en) Pre-paid game cards and lottery tickets providing access to online electronic games
US20030064797A1 (en) Gaming machine having bonus game
EP1380998A2 (en) Gaming device with a progressive jackpot triggered from a bonus game
AU778685B2 (en) Method of playing a game, apparatus for playing a game and game with multiplier bonus feature
US9569932B2 (en) Central determination gaming system and method for providing a persistence game with predetermined game outcomes
US8864574B2 (en) Gaming system and method having bonus event and bonus event award in accordance with a current wager and one or more accumulated bonus event points
US20060073889A1 (en) Progressive gaming system and machines with partial payout
US20050079908A1 (en) Gaming machine having an award-trading scheme
AU2009101338B4 (en) Gaming Apparatus and Systems
US7371171B1 (en) Wagering game with secondary symbol

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: DYNAMITE GAMES PTY. LTD.,AUSTRALIA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ELLIS, BENJAMIN JAMES;REEL/FRAME:023897/0097

Effective date: 20100202

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

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