US20110151968A1 - Method of gaming, a game controller and a gaming system - Google Patents

Method of gaming, a game controller and a gaming system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110151968A1
US20110151968A1 US12/976,354 US97635410A US2011151968A1 US 20110151968 A1 US20110151968 A1 US 20110151968A1 US 97635410 A US97635410 A US 97635410A US 2011151968 A1 US2011151968 A1 US 2011151968A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
entitlement
game
size
award
wager
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Abandoned
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US12/976,354
Inventor
Matthew Chan
Ryan Paul Hawkins
Alexander Sandford Todd Young
James Kroon
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Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd
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Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd
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Publication date
Priority to AU2009906274A priority Critical patent/AU2009906274A0/en
Priority to AU2009906274 priority
Application filed by Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd filed Critical Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd
Assigned to ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES AUSTRALIA PTY LIMITED reassignment ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES AUSTRALIA PTY LIMITED ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: CHAN, MATTHEW, KROON, JAMES, YOUNG, ALEXANDER SANDFORD TODD, HAWKINS, RYAN PAUL
Publication of US20110151968A1 publication Critical patent/US20110151968A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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

Abstract

A method of gaming in a gaming system comprising a) conducting a plurality of games, each game including determining whether to award an entitlement, and, upon awarding the entitlement, controlling a size of the entitlement based on a size of at least part of a wager made in the game and adding the entitlement to a current total entitlement, b) determining to apply the total entitlement, and c) applying the total entitlement to subsequent game play independently of the most recent wager size.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to Australian Provisional Application No. 2009906274, having a filing date of Dec. 23, 2009, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • [Not Applicable]
  • MICROFICHE/COPYRIGHT REFERENCE
  • [Not Applicable]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to a method of gaming, a game controller and a gaming system.
  • In some existing gaming machines a player can be awarded a multiplier to apply to awards during subsequent game play, such as during a series of free games.
  • While such gaming machines provide players with enjoyment, a need exists for alternative gaming systems in order to maintain or increase player enjoyment.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In a first aspect, there is provided a method of gaming in a gaming system, comprising:
      • a) conducting a plurality of games, each game including determining whether to award an entitlement, and, upon awarding the entitlement, controlling a size of the entitlement based on a size of at least part of a wager made in the game and adding the entitlement to a current total entitlement;
      • b) determining to apply the total entitlement; and
      • c) applying the total entitlement to subsequent game play independently of the most recent wager size.
  • In an embodiment, the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
  • In an embodiment, the entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
  • In a second aspect, there is provided a game controller for a gaming system, the game controller comprising:
      • an entitlement determiner that determines whether to award an entitlement during each of a plurality of games;
      • an entitlement size controller which controls a size of the entitlement based on a size of at least part of a wager made in the respective game upon the award of an entitlement and adds the entitlement to a current total entitlement; and
      • an entitlement application controller arranged to determine when to apply the total entitlement and apply the total entitlement to subsequent game play independently of the most recent wager size.
  • In an embodiment, the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
  • In an embodiment, the entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
  • In a third aspect, there is provided a gaming system comprising:
      • a display for displaying game play; and
      • a game controller arranged to:
        • a) conduct a plurality of games, each game including determining whether to award an entitlement, and, upon awarding an entitlement, control a size of the entitlement based on a size of at least part of a wager made in the game and add the entitlement to a current total entitlement;
        • b) determine to apply the total entitlement; and
        • c) apply the total entitlement to subsequent game play independently of the most recent wager size.
  • In an embodiment, the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
  • In an embodiment, the entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
  • In a fourth aspect, there is provided a gaming system comprising:
      • means for displaying game play;
      • means for conducting a plurality of games including means for in, each game, determining whether to award an entitlement, and, upon awarding the entitlement, controlling a size of the entitlement based on a size of at least part of a wager made in the game and adding the entitlement to a current total entitlement;
      • means for determining to apply the total entitlement; and
      • means for applying the total entitlement to subsequent game play independently of the most recent wager size.
  • In a fifth aspect, there is provided a method of gaming comprising:
      • conducting a first game in respect of a first wager having a first size and determining to award a first entitlement of a first size;
      • conducting a second game in respect of a second wager having a second size and determining to award a second entitlement of a second size; and
      • applying a total entitlement to subsequent game play, the total entitlement derived by adding the first and second entitlements.
  • In an embodiment, each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
  • In an embodiment, each entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
  • In a sixth aspect, there is provided a game controller for a gaming system, the game controller arranged to:
      • conduct a first game in respect of a first wager having a first size and determine to award a first entitlement of a first size;
      • conduct a second game in respect of a second wager having a second size and determine to award a second entitlement of a second size; and
      • apply a total entitlement to subsequent game play, the total entitlement derived by adding the first and second entitlements.
  • In an embodiment, each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
  • In an embodiment, each entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
  • In a seventh aspect, there is provided a gaming system comprising:
      • a display for displaying game play; and
      • a game controller arranged to:
        • conduct a first game in respect of a first wager having a first size and determine to award a first entitlement of a first size;
        • conduct a second game in respect of a second wager having a second size and determine to award a second entitlement of a second size; and
        • apply a total entitlement to subsequent game play, the total entitlement derived by adding the first and second entitlements.
  • In an eighth aspect, there is provided a gaming system comprising:
      • means for conducting a first game in respect of a first wager having a first size and determining to award a first entitlement of a first size;
      • means for conducting a second game in respect of a second wager having a second size and determining to award a second entitlement of a second size; and
      • means for applying a total entitlement to subsequent game play, the total entitlement derived by adding the first and second entitlements.
  • In an embodiment, each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
  • In an embodiment, each entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
  • In an embodiment, the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
  • In a ninth aspect, there is provided computer program code which when executed implements one or both of the above methods.
  • In a tenth aspect, there is provided a tangible computer readable medium comprising the above program code.
  • In an eleventh aspect, the invention extends to transmitting the above program code.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • An exemplary embodiment of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the core components of a gaming system;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a stand alone gaming machine;
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram of the functional components of a gaming machine;
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of the functional components of a memory;
  • FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of a network gaming system;
  • FIG. 6 is a further block diagram of a gaming system;
  • FIG. 7 is a flow chart of an embodiment; and
  • FIG. 8 is a further flow chart of an embodiment
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Referring to the drawings, there is shown a gaming system having a game controller arranged to implement a game where a player can accrue a total entitlement over a series of games from individual entitlements awarded in individual ones of the games, each of which reflects the wager at the time the entitlement was awarded, whereby the total entitlement is independent of the wager made in the game being played when the entitlement is applied or the wager in the game which was played immediately prior to the entitlement being applied)—i.e. the most recent wager. For example, the total entitlement may be a multiplier derived from a plurality of individual multipliers. This has the advantage that a player is not advantaged or disadvantaged by the current wager when the multiplier is awarded.
  • General Construction of Gaming System
  • The gaming system can take a number of different forms. In a first form, a stand alone gaming machine is provided wherein all or most components required for implementing the game are present in a player operable gaming machine.
  • In a second form, a distributed architecture is provided wherein some of the components required for implementing the game are present in a player operable gaming machine and some of the components required for implementing the game are located remotely relative to the gaming machine. For example, a “thick client” architecture may be used wherein part of the game is executed on a player operable gaming machine and part of the game is executed remotely, such as by a gaming server; or a “thin client” architecture may be used wherein most of the game is executed remotely such as by a gaming server and a player operable gaming machine is used only to display audible and/or visible gaming information to the player and receive gaming inputs from the player.
  • However, it will be understood that other arrangements are envisaged. For example, an architecture may be provided wherein a gaming machine is networked to a gaming server and the respective functions of the gaming machine and the gaming server are selectively modifiable. For example, the gaming system may operate in stand alone gaming machine mode, “thick client” mode or “thin client” mode depending on the game being played, operating conditions, and so on. Other variations will be apparent to persons skilled in the art.
  • Irrespective of the form, the gaming system has several core components. At the broadest level, the core components are a player interface 50 and a game controller 60 as illustrated in FIG. 1. The player interface is arranged to enable manual interaction between a player and the gaming system and for this purpose includes the input/output components required for the player to enter instructions to play the game and observe the game outcomes.
  • Components of the player interface may vary from embodiment to embodiment but will typically include a credit mechanism 52 to enable a player to input credits and receive payouts, one or more displays 54, a game play mechanism 56 including one or more input devices that enable a player to input game play instructions (e.g. to place a wager), and one or more speakers 58.
  • The game controller 60 is in data communication with the player interface and typically includes a processor 62 that processes the game play instructions in accordance with game play rules and outputs game play outcomes to the display. Typically, the game play rules are stored as program code in a memory 64 but can also be hardwired. Herein the term “processor” is used to refer generically to any device that can process game play instructions in accordance with game play rules and may include: a microprocessor, microcontroller, programmable logic device or other computational device, a general purpose computer (e.g. a PC) or a server.
  • A gaming system in the form of a stand alone gaming machine 10 is illustrated in FIG. 2. The gaming machine 10 includes a console 12 having a display 14 on which are displayed representations of a game 16 that can be played by a player. A mid-trim 20 of the gaming machine 10 houses a bank of buttons 22 for enabling a player to interact with the gaming machine, in particular during game play. The mid-trim 20 also houses a credit input mechanism 24 which in this example includes a coin input chute 24A and a bill collector 24B. Other credit input mechanisms may also be employed, for example, a card reader for reading a smart card, debit card or credit card. Other gaming machines may configure for ticket in such that they have a ticket reader for reading tickets having a value and crediting the player based on the face value of the ticker. A player marketing module (not shown) having a reading device may also be provided for the purpose of reading a player tracking device, for example as part of a loyalty program. The player tracking device may be in the form of a card, flash drive or any other portable storage medium capable of being read by the reading device. In some embodiments, the player marketing module may provide an additional credit mechanism, either by transferring credits to the gaming machine from credits stored on the player tracking device or by transferring credits from a player account in data communication with the player marketing module.
  • A top box 26 may carry artwork 28, including for example pay tables and details of bonus awards and other information or images relating to the game. Further artwork and/or information may be provided on a front panel 29 of the console 12. A coin tray 30 is mounted beneath the front panel 29 for dispensing cash payouts from the gaming machine 10.
  • The display 14 shown in FIG. 2 is in the form of a video display unit, particularly a cathode ray tube screen device. Alternatively, the display 14 may be a liquid crystal display, plasma screen, any other suitable video display unit, or the visible portion of an electromechanical device. The top box 26 may also include a display, for example a video display unit, which may be of the same type as the display 14, or of a different type.
  • FIG. 3 shows a block diagram of operative components of a typical gaming machine which may be the same as or different to the gaming machine of FIG. 2.
  • The gaming machine 100 includes a game controller 101 having a processor 102 mounted on a circuit board. Instructions and data to control operation of the processor 102 are stored in a memory 103, which is in data communication with the processor 102. Typically, the gaming machine 100 will include both volatile and non-volatile memory and more than one of each type of memory, with such memories being collectively represented by the memory 103.
  • The gaming machine has hardware meters 104 for purposes including ensuring regulatory compliance and monitoring player credit, an input/output (I/O) interface 105 for communicating with peripheral devices of the gaming machine 100. The input/output interface 105 and/or the peripheral devices may be intelligent devices with their own memory for storing associated instructions and data for use with the input/output interface or the peripheral devices. A random number generator module 113 generates random numbers for use by the processor 102. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the reference to random numbers includes pseudo-random numbers.
  • In the example shown in FIG. 3, a player interface 120 includes peripheral devices that communicate with the game controller 101 including one or more displays 106, a touch screen and/or buttons 107 (which provide a game play mechanism), a card and/or ticket reader 108, a printer 109, a bill acceptor and/or coin input mechanism 110 and a coin output mechanism 111. Additional hardware may be included as part of the gaming machine 100, or hardware may be omitted as required for the specific implementation. For example, while buttons or touch screens are typically used in gaming machines to allow a player to place a wager and initiate a play of a game any input device that enables the player to input game play instructions may be used. For example, in some gaming machines a mechanical handle is used to initiate a play of the game.
  • In addition, the gaming machine 100 may include a communications interface, for example a network card 112. The network card may, for example, send status information, accounting information or other information to a bonus controller, central controller, server or database and receive data or commands from the bonus controller, central controller, server or database. In embodiments employing a player marketing module, communications over a network may be via player marketing module—i.e. the player marketing module may be in data communication with one or more of the above devices and communicate with it on behalf of the gaming machine.
  • FIG. 4 shows a block diagram of the main components of an exemplary memory 103. The memory 103 includes RAM 103A, EPROM 103B and a mass storage device 103C. The RAM 103A typically temporarily holds program files for execution by the processor 102 and related data. The EPROM 103B may be a boot ROM device and/or may contain some system or game related code. The mass storage device 103C is typically used to store game programs, the integrity of which may be verified and/or authenticated by the processor 102 using protected code from the EPROM 103B or elsewhere.
  • It is also possible for the operative components of the gaming machine 100 to be distributed, for example input/output devices 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111 to be provided remotely from the game controller 101.
  • FIG. 5 shows a gaming system 200 in accordance with an alternative embodiment. The gaming system 200 includes a network 201, which for example may be an Ethernet network. Gaming machines 202, shown arranged in three banks 203 of two gaming machines 202 in FIG. 5, are connected to the network 201. The gaming machines 202 provide a player operable interface and may be the same as the gaming machines 10,100 shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, or may have simplified functionality depending on the requirements for implementing game play. While banks 203 of two gaming machines are illustrated in FIG. 5, banks of one, three or more gaming machines are also envisaged.
  • One or more displays 204 may also be connected to the network 201. For example, the displays 204 may be associated with one or more banks 203 of gaming machines. The displays 204 may be used to display representations associated with game play on the gaming machines 202, and/or used to display other representations, for example promotional or informational material.
  • In a thick client embodiment, game server 205 implements part of the game played by a player using a gaming machine 202 and the gaming machine 202 implements part of the game. With this embodiment, as both the game server and the gaming device implement part of the game, they collectively provide a game controller. A database management server 206 may manage storage of game programs and associated data for downloading or access by the gaming devices 202 in a database 206A. Typically, if the gaming system enables players to participate in a Jackpot game, a Jackpot server 207 will be provided to perform accounting functions for the Jackpot game. A loyalty program server 212 may also be provided.
  • In a thin client embodiment, game server 205 implements most or all of the game played by a player using a gaming machine 202 and the gaming machine 202 essentially provides only the player interface. With this embodiment, the game server 205 provides the game controller. The gaming machine will receive player instructions, pass these to the game server which will process them and return game play outcomes to the gaming machine for display. In a thin client embodiment, the gaming machines could be computer terminals, e.g. PCs running software that provides a player interface operable using standard computer input and output components. Other client/server configurations are possible, and further details of a client/server architecture can be found in WO 2006/052213 and PCT/SE2006/000559, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • Servers are also typically provided to assist in the administration of the gaming network 200, including for example a gaming floor management server 208, and a licensing server 209 to monitor the use of licenses relating to particular games. An administrator terminal 210 is provided to allow an administrator to run the network 201 and the devices connected to the network.
  • The gaming system 200 may communicate with other gaming systems, other local networks, for example a corporate network, and/or a wide area network such as the Internet, for example through a firewall 211.
  • Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that in accordance with known techniques, functionality at the server side of the network may be distributed over a plurality of different computers. For example, elements may be run as a single “engine” on one server or a separate server may be provided. For example, the game server 205 could run a random generator engine. Alternatively, a separate random number generator server could be provided. Further, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that a plurality of game servers could be provided to run different games or a single game server may run a plurality of different games as required by the terminals.
  • Further Detail of Gaming System
  • In the embodiment, the player has the opportunity to accrue an entitlement over a plurality of plays of the game in which the player may make different wagers. To initiate a play of the game, the player operates the game play mechanism 56 to specify the wager which will be evaluated for this play of the game and also to initiate a play of the game.
  • Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the nature of a wager will vary from game to game dependent on player selections. For example, in a spinning reel game the player's total wager may be based on an amount bet per line and how many lines the player plays in each game—e.g. a minimum of one line up to the maximum number of lines allowed by the game (noting that not all permutations of win lines may be available for selection). Such win lines are typically formed by a combination of symbol display positions, one from each reel, the symbol display positions being located relative to one another such that they form a line.
  • In another example of a spinning reel game, a player places a wager by selecting one of several available amounts to bet per reel and selects a number of reels to play. Such games are marketed under the trade name “Reel Power” by Aristocrat Leisure Industries Pty Ltd. The selection of the reel means that each displayed symbol of the reel can be substituted for a symbol at one or more designated display positions. In other words, all symbols displayed at symbol display positions corresponding to a selected reel can be used to form symbol combinations with symbols displayed at a designated, symbol display positions of the other reels. For example, if there are five reels and three symbol display positions for each reel such that the symbol display positions comprise three rows of five symbol display positions, the symbols displayed in the centre row are used for non-selected reels. As a result, the total number of ways to win is determined by multiplying the number of active display positions of each reels, the active display positions being all display positions of each selected reel and the designated display position of the non-selected reels. As a result for five reels and fifteen display positions there are 243 ways to win.
  • Accordingly, it will be appreciated that more than one element may contribute to the size of the wager. In the above examples there are two components which contribute to the size of each wager. Where the wager includes multiple components, part of the wager, such as the size of the wager per line or per reel, may be used to control the size of the entitlement which is awarded; this may, in effect, be considered the measure of size of the wager.
  • FIG. 6 shows by way of example that the player has the option to make two different sizes of wager using input devices 56A, 56B, which are associated with different wager sizes.
  • In FIG. 6, the processor 62 of game controller 60 is shown implementing a number of modules based on program code and data stored in memory 64. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that various of the modules could be implemented in some other way, for example by a dedicated circuit.
  • These modules include the outcome generator 622 which operates in response to the player's operation of game play mechanism 56 to place a wager and initiate a play of the game and employs random number generator 621 to generate a game outcome which will then be evaluated by outcome evaluator 623. For example, in a spinning reel game, the outcome generator 622 selects symbols for display from a plurality of symbol sets corresponding to respective ones of a plurality of spinning reels. The game outcome, is then advised to the display controller 626 which causes it to be displayed on display 54, for example by displaying the selected symbols of each reel at a set of display positions.
  • As part of evaluation of the game outcome, the outcome evaluator 623 includes an entitlement determiner 623A which determines whether based on the outcome a player is entitled to award of an entitlement to be used in subsequent game play. Upon the entitlement determiner 623A determining that an entitlement is to be awarded, the entitlement size controller 625 controls the size of the entitlement which is awarded based on the wager which was made in this play of the game and stores the entitlement in entitlement total data 644. Thus, the first time an entitlement is awarded it is stored as the total and subsequently and entitlement is added to the current total. When the entitlement is used, the total is reset to zero. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the outcome generator 622 generates game outcomes in accordance with game rule data 641 are were evaluated by the outcome evaluator 623 in accordance with the prize table 642. Any prizes are stored in win meter before subsequently being transferred to the credit meter at the end of the game; these meters being stored as meter data 643. Accordingly it will be appreciated that the game rule data 641 specifies what is required for a player to win an entitlement. This may be, for example, a particular game outcome occurring.
  • In the embodiment, it is shown that there is an entitlement application controller 624 which causes the entitlement total to be applied to subsequent game play. In the example illustrated in FIG. 6, the entitlement is applied by the outcome generator and the outcome evaluator. For example, the entitlement may be applied when a series of free games is triggered. For example a multiplier may be applied to all prize outcomes during a series of free games. In other embodiments, the multiplier may be applied when triggered by an event not associated with the game outcome—e.g. triggered by time, by a system event, or by an event on another game machine, such as the triggering of a community game.
  • The entitlement may also apply to game play which is carried out by a separate gaming device such as a community game controller. In other embodiments, the player may choose when to apply the entitlement, for example, each entitlement may be to a series of free games with a designated multiplier applied. For example, 10 free games with a different multiplier depending on the wager. At some stage, the player may elect to play the series of 10 free games.
  • Advantageously, these embodiments allow control over the return to player provided to the player. A further advantage is that bets of different sizes can have the same eligibility. For example in some community type games where there are multiple players who can share a common feature, timing methods have been used as an attempt to get an approximation of the relative eligibility of different players. For example by looking at the amount they have bet over a particular time period. The above embodiment can be implemented separately of a timing method.
  • The method of an embodiment is shown in FIG. 3 and involves waiting for a wager 710. Once a wager is received a game is started 720 and it is determined at some stage during the game whether to award an entitlement 730. When an entitlement is awarded, its size is controlled 740 based on the wager size. The entitlement is then added to the total 750. In the example of the embodiment shown in FIG. 7 it is determined as part of the game whether to apply the entitlement 760 and when it is determined to apply the entitlement, the total entitlement is applied.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates the invention as a method 800 in accordance with another perspective in that it involves conducting a first game and awarding a first entitlement based on first wager size 810, conducting a second game and awarding and second entitlement based on a second wager size 820 and applying a total entitlement derived, at least in part, by adding the first and second entitlement 830. That is, the total entitlement will include at least the first and second entitlements and may include additional entitlements.
  • Example 1
  • A community game is provided with linked electronic gaming machine (EGMs). Every five minutes, the link reveals a random number between 10 and 1000. Each player on the link will receive a prize equaling this common random number multiplied by their own multiplier (entitlement). Once the prize is paid their multipliers are reset to zero.
  • All the players' multipliers start at zero. They can win a multiplier during game play on their individual EGMs. If a multiplier is won then the size of their multiplier equals the credits bet per line of the game that won the multiplier. The multiplier won is added to the existing multiplier.
  • Player 1. Game 1. Initial Total Multiplier=0, Bet=2 credits bet per line. Multiplier won, Multiplier=0+2=2
  • Player 1. Game 2. Total Multiplier=2, Bet=3 credits bet per line. Multiplier won, Multiplier=2+3=5
  • Player 1. Game 3. Total Multiplier=5, Bet=3 credits bet per line. No multiplier won, Multiplier=5
  • Player 1. Game 4. Total Multiplier=5, Bet=4 credits bet per line. Multiplier won, Multiplier=5+4=9
  • Link reveals a prize of 100 credits. Player 1 receives 9×100=900 credits. Multiplier reset to zero.
  • Example 2
  • In this game a player can trigger a feature on any spin. The feature is 10 free games. The player can choose to play the feature whenever they want. They can save their features and play them together.
  • Play 1—Player bets 2 credits per line. Triggers a feature. Does not play the feature yet. Has an entitlement to 10 free games at 2 credits.
  • Play 2—Player bets 2 credits per line. Does not trigger the feature
  • Play 3—Player bets 3 credits per line. Triggers a feature. Now has a total entitlement of 10 free games at 5 credits as the player has triggered 2 features (in play 1 and play 3). Instead of playing 2 features of 10 free games (1 feature at 2 credits bet per line and another at 3 credits per line), the player plays 1 feature of 10 free games at 5 credits per line (2+3=5 credits per line)—i.e. the player's total entitlement is made up of two individual entitlements based on the wager size.
  • Example 3
  • In this game, there is a TICKET symbol on reel 1 in a spinning reel game. On any play, the player can spin up a TICKET symbol and accumulate tickets. Once 3 tickets have been accumulated the player is awarded 10 free games.
  • Play 1—Player bets 2 credits per line. No TICKET is spun up.
  • Play 2—Player bets 2 credits per line. A TICKET is spun up. Player receives a ticket with ×2 (as the player was betting 2 credits per line)
  • Play 3—Player bets 3 credits per line. No TICKET is spun up.
  • Play 4—Player bets 3 credits per line. A TICKET is spun up. Player receives a ticket with ×3 (as the player was betting 3 credits per line)
  • Play 5—Player bets 5 credits per line. No TICKET is spun up.
  • Play 6—Player bets 5 credits per line. A TICKET is spun up. Player receives a ticket with ×5 (as the player was betting 5 credits per line)
  • Player now has 3 tickets and is awarded 10 free games. The player then plays the free games at a bet of 1 credit per line but with a multiplier of 10. The multiplier is derived from the accumulation of multipliers on each ticket i.e. 2+3+5=10.
  • Example 4
  • “Cash Express 2” is a linked community game with a Hyperlink jackpot feature and community bonus games.
      • 25 credit base game used—82% variation
      • Standard hyperlink trigger for hyperlink jackpot feature game.
      • Ante-bet to be eligible for community bonus.
        Non Ante-Bet When ante-bet is not played, players are eligible for the Hyperlink feature but not the community bonus games—i.e. when no ante-bet played the game plays like the original Cash Express Hyperlink game.
    Ante-Bet
  • Players are eligible for both a Hyperlink feature and are eligible to win “(train) tickets” which enable entry to the community bonus. When ante-bet is played, background ticket symbols are added to the base game reel strips. 3 or more scattered tickets anywhere on the reels increase the player's Community bonus multiplier by the bet per line (or reel cost). This is done so that for every ante bet, regardless of bet per line, the hit rate for a ticket is the same, whilst the multiplier adjusts for RTP proportionality. The community bonus multiplier will be displayed above the top right hand corner of the bevel.
  • Example
  • Game 1: Community bonus multiplier=0. Player bets ante bet at 2 credits per line and spins up 3 scattered tickets. Community bonus multiplier=0+2=2
  • Game 2: Community bonus multiplier=2. Player bets ante bet at 2 credits per line and spins up 1 scattered ticket. Community bonus multiplier=2+0=2
  • Game 3: Community bonus multiplier=2. Player bets ante bet at 1 credit per line and spins up 5 scattered tickets. Community bonus multiplier=2+1=3
  • The community bonus multiplier represents the multiplier that the player is awarded in the event the community bonus is triggered.
  • The community bonus game is triggered at any random time. Players are given a warning before the game is about to start and are given final chances to win eligibility or increase their multiplier. Example: A level crossing boom gate may come down with red signal lights flashing and bells ringing, train can be heard chugging in the distance and approaching getting louder. When the train finally appears it travel across the top screens of all the EGMs in order of position. At this stage no more tickets can be won for the current feature but will be used in the next feature. The train that appears could be one of several types that offer different prizes such as: a bonus credit train, a bonus feature train, a mixed train with a combination of both credits and features etc. The trains will represent different values so there will be anticipation of which train will appear.
  • The train is displayed as moving through the top screens of the EGMs, and when it comes to rest the carriage that is in the centre of the players top screen reveals what they are awarded. Their award will be multiplied by the player's community bonus multiplier. Each EGM will have a different carriage which contains a different prize, hence not only is there anticipation of what kind of train appears but also anticipation (and near miss) of where the train will stop.
  • Train Example:
      • Bonus Credit train—each carriage contains a random prize. The carriage that ends up on your top screen reveals a prize which is multiplied by your multiplier.
      • Bonus feature train—each carriage contains a random feature. The carriage that ends up on your top screen reveals a bonus feature with prizes multiplied by your multiplier. (Players who are eligible will end up playing all different features with different multipliers).
    Example of Features:
      • “What time will train arrive”? 3 clocks, 3 platforms. Set the time on the 3 clocks you think each train will arrive. The closer the time the bigger the multiplier.
      • “How long is train”? Train goes across the screen and win increments until the end of the train is reached.
      • “Choose which carriage”? Select train carriages to reveal a prize then match & win E.g. Banana King Banana feature
      • “What direction for train”? E.g. Outback Jack River Feature
      • Mixed train—some carriages will have credits, others will have features.
  • Further aspects of the method will be apparent from the above description of the gaming system. Persons skilled in the art will also appreciate that the method could be embodied in program code. The program code could be supplied in a number of ways, for example on a computer readable storage medium, such as a disc or a memory (for example, that could replace part of memory 103) or as a data signal (for example, by transmitting it from a server).
  • In some embodiments, an eligibility criteria may be applied for the player to be entitled to accrue entitlements, for example that the player has selected all win lines or the player is a member of a loyalty program.
  • It will be understood to persons skilled in the art of the invention that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, in particular it will be apparent that certain features of embodiments of the invention can be employed to form further embodiments.
  • It is to be understood that, if any prior art is referred to herein, such reference does not constitute an admission that the prior art forms a part of the common general knowledge in the art in any country.
  • In the claims which follow and in the preceding description of the invention, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word “comprise” or variations such as “comprises” or “comprising” is used in an inclusive sense, i.e. to specify the presence of the stated features but not to preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments of the invention.

Claims (35)

1. A method of gaming in a gaming system comprising:
a) conducting a plurality of games, each game including determining whether to award an entitlement, and, upon awarding the entitlement, controlling a size of the entitlement based on a size of at least part of a wager made in the game and adding the entitlement to a current total entitlement;
b) determining to apply the total entitlement; and
c) applying the total entitlement to subsequent game play independently of the most recent wager size.
2. A method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
3. A method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
4. A method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
5. A method as claimed in claim 3, wherein the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
6. A game controller for a gaming system, the game controller comprising:
an entitlement determiner that determines whether to award an entitlement during each of a plurality of games;
an entitlement size controller which controls a size of the entitlement based on a size of at least part of a wager made in the respective game upon the award of an entitlement and adds the entitlement to a current total entitlement; and
an entitlement application controller arranged to determine when to apply the total entitlement and apply the total entitlement to subsequent game play independently of the most recent wager size.
7. A game controller as claimed in claim 6, wherein the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
8. A game controller as claimed in claim 6, wherein the entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
9. A game controller as claimed in claim 6, wherein the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
10. A game controller as claimed in claim 8, wherein the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
11. A gaming system comprising:
a display for displaying game play; and
a game controller arranged to:
a) conduct a plurality of games, each game including determining whether to award an entitlement, and, upon awarding the entitlement, control a size of the entitlement based on a size of at least part of a wager made in the game and add the entitlement to a current total entitlement;
b) determine to apply the total entitlement; and
c) apply the total entitlement to subsequent game play independently of the most recent wager size.
12. A gaming system as claimed in claim 11, wherein the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
13. A gaming system as claimed in claim 11, wherein the entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
14. A gaming system as claimed in claim 11, wherein the entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
15. A gaming system as claimed in claim 13, wherein the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
16. A gaming system comprising:
means for displaying game play;
means for conducting a plurality of games including means for in, each game, determining whether to award an entitlement, and, upon awarding the entitlement, controlling a size of the entitlement based on a size of at least part of a wager made in the game and adding the entitlement to a current total entitlement;
means for determining to apply the total entitlement; and
means for applying the total entitlement to subsequent game play independently of the most recent wager size.
17. A method of gaming in a gaming system comprising:
conducting a first game in respect of a first wager having a first size and determining to award a first entitlement of a first size;
conducting a second game in respect of a second wager having a second size and determining to award a second entitlement of a second size; and
applying a total entitlement to subsequent game play, the total entitlement derived by adding the first and second entitlements.
18. A method as claimed in claim 17, wherein each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
19. A method as claimed in claim 17, wherein each entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
20. A method as claimed in claim 17, wherein each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
21. A method as claimed in claim 19, wherein the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
22. A game controller for a gaming system, the game controller arranged to:
conduct a first game in respect of a first wager having a first size and determine to award a first entitlement of a first size;
conduct a second game in respect of a second wager having a second size and determine to award a second entitlement of a second size; and
apply a total entitlement to subsequent game play, the total entitlement derived by adding the first and second entitlements.
23. A game controller as claimed in claim 22, wherein each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
24. A game controller as claimed in claim 22, wherein each entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
25. A game controller as claimed in claim 22, wherein each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
26. A game controller as claimed in claim 24, wherein the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
27. A gaming system comprising:
a display for displaying game play; and
a game controller arranged to:
conduct a first game in respect of a first wager having a first size and determine to award a first entitlement of a first size;
conduct a second game in respect of a second wager having a second size and determine to award a second entitlement of a second size; and
apply a total entitlement to subsequent game play, the total entitlement derived by adding the first and second entitlements.
28. A gaming system as claimed in claim 27, wherein each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied upon a designated award being made.
29. A gaming system as claimed in claim 27, wherein each entitlement is a wager amount to apply during a designated number of game events.
30. A gaming system as claimed in claim 27, wherein each entitlement is a multiplier to be applied to each award made during a designated number of game events.
31. A gaming system as claimed in claim 29, wherein the designated number of game events comprises a plurality of free game rounds.
32. A gaming system comprising:
means for conducting a first game in respect of a first wager having a first size and determining to award a first entitlement of a first size;
means for conducting a second game in respect of a second wager having a second size and determining to award a second entitlement of a second size; and
means for applying a total entitlement to subsequent game play, the total entitlement derived by adding the first and second entitlements.
33. A method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising executing computer program code.
34. A method as claimed in claim 33, further comprising storing the computer program code in a tangible computer readable medium.
35. A method as claimed in claim 33, further comprising transmitting the computer program code.
US12/976,354 2009-12-23 2010-12-22 Method of gaming, a game controller and a gaming system Abandoned US20110151968A1 (en)

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