US20110250974A1 - Simulated gaming using prior game outcome - Google Patents

Simulated gaming using prior game outcome Download PDF

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US20110250974A1
US20110250974A1 US13082341 US201113082341A US20110250974A1 US 20110250974 A1 US20110250974 A1 US 20110250974A1 US 13082341 US13082341 US 13082341 US 201113082341 A US201113082341 A US 201113082341A US 20110250974 A1 US20110250974 A1 US 20110250974A1
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game
gaming
simulated
games
outcomes
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US13082341
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Gary Stephen Shuster
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Gary Stephen Shuster
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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
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3225Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users
    • G07F17/3232Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users wherein the operator is informed

Abstract

A method and apparatus for providing a simulated game of chance uses a predetermined set of outcomes determined by a gaming machine for a game of chance based on a first specified wager amount or amounts per game and a specified total number of games, using a simulator. The predetermined set of outcomes may be determined at the gaming machine more than a specified period of time prior to providing the simulated game. The simulator provides simulated games of chance in response to user input specifying second wager amounts independently of the first wager amount or amounts, in which the results of the simulated games are determined from the predetermined set of outcomes. The simulator adjusts the number of permitted simulated games in response to the second wager amounts and results of the simulated games so that an aggregate outcome of the simulated games corresponds to the predetermined set of outcomes.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §119(e) to U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 61/321,664, filed Apr. 7, 2010, which application is specifically incorporated herein, in its entirety, by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    1. Field
  • [0003]
    The present disclosure relates to methods, systems and apparatus for wagering on games of chance, and more particularly to gaming that includes a simulated gaming session using a prior game outcome.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of Related Art
  • [0005]
    Gaming, meaning wagering on games of chance, is regulated to various degrees in different jurisdictions. Such regulatory differences may generate travel for the purpose of visiting jurisdictions with less regulation of gaming where various forms of gaming are generally available, herein called a “gaming jurisdiction.” Generally speaking, people who visit a gaming jurisdiction (for example, Las Vegas) are unable to continue to game upon their return to a jurisdiction where gaming is illegal or more tightly regulated, herein called a “non-gaming jurisdiction.” Exceptions to this limitation may include, for example, multi-game Keno tickets and sports or horse-racing wagers wherein money is wagered while the gaming participant is in the gaming jurisdiction but the wager outcome is determined based on events taking place after the gaming participant returns to a non-gaming jurisdiction. In the case of these exceptions, the gaming participant must typically return to the gaming jurisdiction in order to collect the winnings, and does not participate in game play after leaving the gaming jurisdiction.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0006]
    The present disclosure describes, among other things, a system, apparatus, and method for bringing the gaming participant into actual, apparent, or simulated control of the gaming outcome in a different location from the location where the wager is initially placed, while preventing the actual, apparent or simulated control activity from resulting in any new wager being placed in the different location. The disclosure further describes, among other things, a system, apparatus and method for short-term investing that is performed through a computer-implemented interface simulating a gaming activity. No network connection is required in some embodiments of the systems, apparatus, or methods described herein. Simulated game play in the non-gaming jurisdiction may be conducted using a gaming outcome already determined in the gaming jurisdiction, and not reported to one or more players participating in the game until play of the simulated game is completed in the non-gaming jurisdiction. The simulated game may facilitate participation of multiple players, each of whom has placed a wager and played a corresponding game in the gaming jurisdiction. The simulated game is played to obtain a result that corresponds to the result or results of one or more games of chance already played in the gaming jurisdiction. Here, “simulated game” means a quasi-game process in the non-gaming jurisdiction that is conducted so it appears to its participants to be a game of chance, however, outcomes of the game that depend on chance have already been determined by a prior game or games in the gaming jurisdiction. Therefore, the simulated game may be performed in places or under circumstances where a game of chance is not permitted by law, such as in a non-gaming jurisdiction. In some embodiments, specialized hardware and/or software may be used to implements the inventive concepts disclosed herein.
  • [0007]
    In an aspect, the present technology includes a method executable at a client device functioning as a game simulator for operating in non-gaming jurisdiction. The method may be implemented using computer program instructed held in a computer-readable medium configured for causing a computer to perform operations of the method. The method may include storing, at a simulated gaming device, a predetermined set of outcomes determined by a gaming machine for a game of chance based on a specified series of games having a defined wager amount per game and a specified total number of games. The method may further include receiving, at the simulated gaming device, user input indicating wager amounts for corresponding simulated games of chance. The method may further include adjusting a number of permitted simulated games and results of the simulated games in response to the user input and to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, so that a net outcome of the simulated games corresponds to a net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games.
  • [0008]
    In an aspect, the pre-games may be defined using constant wager amounts. Accordingly, the method may further include determining that the defined wager amount per game in the specified series is a constant value. In the alternative, the specified series of games may include a variable wager amount to generate pre-game results. In such cases, the method may include determining that the defined wager amount per game in the specified series is a variable value.
  • [0009]
    To ensure that the simulated game play does not use apparent wager amounts that cannot win, or that will result in an unrealistic proportion of wins or losses under constraints of the predetermined set of outcomes, the method may further include calculating a limit for a next wager amount of the simulated game, based on net outcome of prior simulated games and the net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes. Accordingly, the method may include adjusting an apparent wager amount for one or more of the simulated games so that a net outcome of the simulated games corresponds to a net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games. In addition, the method may include providing output simulating a game of chance having an outcome, wherein the outcome is determined so that an aggregate outcome of the simulated games corresponds to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, while being different from any individual one of the predetermined set of outcomes. The user may thereby enjoy the experience of gaming while actually not playing a game of chance. Instead, the net outcome of the simulation is determined by the predetermined set of outcomes from the earlier game of chance. The method may further include adjusting a number of permitted simulated games and wagers of the simulated games in response to a user-specified preference for the simulated games as a whole.
  • [0010]
    The method may support multiplayer competitive simulations in which outcomes are predetermined by a prior game of chance. In such cases, the method may include the simulator allocating the predetermined set of outcomes to two or more players using the simulated gaming device. In addition, the method may include providing output simulating a mixed game of chance and skill having an outcome dependent in part on individual playing skill of the two or more players. The method may further include determining the outcome based on the predetermined set of outcomes and skill-based input from the players, so that an aggregate outcome of the simulated games corresponds to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games.
  • [0011]
    In a separate aspect, the method may include determining the predetermined set of outcomes at least in part by executing a short-term transaction in a volatile tradable instrument in response to receiving an investment amount, using an automated trading engine. This may enable simulation of a game of chance using a series of outcomes from a trading engine that executes trades in a tradable financial instrument. Therefore the user may be spared the need to travel to or otherwise transact with a gaming jurisdiction to generate the predetermined set of outcomes.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating aspects of a system and process for operating a simulated game of chance using an outcome from a prior actual game of chance.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating aspects of a system for providing a simulated game of chance using an outcome from a prior actual game of chance.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating aspects of a system for providing a simulated game of chance using outcomes from one or more trading markets.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating a method for performing by a post-game or simulated gaming apparatus.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating a method for performing by a post-game or simulated gaming apparatus.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating additional aspects of the method shown in FIG. 5.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 7 is a block diagram illustrating a simulated gaming apparatus.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0019]
    The present disclosure describes, among other things, a system, method and apparatus for bringing the gaming participant into actual, apparent, or simulated control of the gaming outcome in a different location from the location where the wager is initially placed, while preventing the actual, apparent or simulated control activity from resulting in any new wager being placed in the different location. Referring to FIG. 1, a gaming participant may participate in a process 100 that includes the participant wagering a sum of money all at once in a gaming jurisdiction 101 where gaming is allowed, utilizing a special-purpose gaming device 102. The process 100 may further include the gaming device 102 immediately or quickly determining an outcome 104 of the wager, whether calculated statistically, as the outcome of a single play, as the aggregate of a plurality of (preferably high-speed automated) individual gaming outcomes such as slot machine plays, or otherwise, while not revealing the outcome 104 to the gaming participant. The process 100 may further include recording 106 the outcome determined by the gaming device as a credit recorded for the benefit of the gaming participant. For example, the process 100 may include recording the outcome 104 in an escrow account for the player, in a coded credit slip “win card”, in a refundable credit with the casino, or otherwise. The process 100 may further include informing the gaming participant of the outcome determined by the gaming device at some later time and in a different location 105, using a game simulator device 108 comprising hardware and/or software operating with or without a network 110 connection, or a physical article such as set of scratch-off tickets (not shown). The process 100 may optionally include transferring the credit amount to an account designated by the gaming participant, or otherwise paying out any credited winnings, in response to completing the informing step. The game simulator device may comprise a special-purpose machine 108, for example, one designed to appear and operate like a slot machine, or a general-purpose computer 112 running specialized software such as may be recorded on a computer-readable medium 114.
  • [0020]
    The process of informing the gaming participant of the outcome may include use of software on a computer 108 or 112 operated by the gaming participant. Encrypted data encoding the outcome may be input into, or transmitted to the computer, and received for use by the software. The data may instruct the software as to how the gaming participant wishes to learn the results of the prior gaming activity, or the gaming participant may input such instructions via a user interface. For example, the gaming participant may select a “slot machine play” option from a user interface screen, and then repeatedly play a simulated slot machine generated by the software on the participant's computer to learn the outcome of the prior game of chance. Consequently, the outcome of the game of chance, while already fixed and complete within the fully legal context of a casino or other such permitted location, would nonetheless appear to the gaming participant as if the result of a simulated gaming activity taking place in real-time. The simulated wagers may be made to precisely match the wagers that went into the generation of the gambling results, but could also be matched to other games or wagering amounts by allocating the total amount won among the various simulated wagers.
  • [0021]
    While regulatory requirements should be reviewed to determine what modifications may be necessary to achieve legal compliance, the preceding example is believed to comply with regulatory requirements of all U.S. jurisdictions with respect to gaming, at least in that gaming contracts entered in a state where the contract is permitted cannot be invalidated in other states, according to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  • [0022]
    Winnings that are won while legally gambling in a casino or similar environment during the preceding actual game of chance are sometimes referred to herein as the “pre-gamed outcome[s]”. Results of simulated wagers made subsequently for the purpose of learning the result of some or all of the pre-gamed outcome are sometimes referred to herein as the post-gamed outcome[s]. The simulated games used to generate the post-gamed outcomes are sometimes referred to herein as the “post-games”. Post-games are simulated games to the extent that the post-games Outcomes are predetermined by the pre-gamed outcomes.
  • [0023]
    In some embodiments, the method and systems disclosed herein may be modified to enable selection by the gaming participant of parameters for determining the pre-gamed outcomes, which parameters may be selected in a manner that makes the pre-gamed outcomes more closely match the gaming type, amount, payout table and other desired characteristics of the post-gamed outcomes. pre-game machine 102 and post-game machine 108, 112, may be configured with software and hardware permitting designation of the parameters by the gaming participant. For example, machine 102 may be equipped with a touchscreen 116 configured for user input.
  • [0024]
    Parameters may include flatness or variability of the pay table, number or wagers or amount of each wager or other values that together influence or determine the statistically expected game result. For example, while useful for setting other parameters, the player's designated amount for each bet in combination with the type of payout table can used to achieve a particular level of statistical smoothing of the pre-gamed outcomes, and therefore the ability of the post-games and post-game outcomes to emulate that smoothing, that the gaming participant prefers. The pay table and the individual wager amount, relative to the total wager amount, together determine the variability to be expected from the machine. The statistical return over an infinite number of plays represents the Casino's expected profit, and in this case we will use as an example a 95% statistical return. At one extreme, even given a highly skewed pay table whereby a wager either loses or wins 1,000 times the amount bet, so the wager wins once every 1,052 times, $100,000 wagered one penny at a time would return between $94,000 and $96,000 in all but the most extremely statistically anomalous circumstances. Similarly, very high wager amounts spread over correspondingly few wagers will yield highly unpredictable results even using a relatively normalized pay table. It is to be understood that the pay table and the wager size relative to the total wagered result in statistical payout likelihoods that fall on a spectrum. For example, a moderate wager amount and a highly skewed pay table may result in similar returns to those expected from a high wager amount with a moderate pay table. Thus, it is possible to utilize pre-gamed outcomes from one combination of pay table skew and wager amount to enable a range of desired post-gamed outcomes, matching various combinations of pay table skew and wager amounts. Thus, for example, a use who wishes to increase their post-game bets from $1 per game to $5 per game may be accommodated by varying the pay table for the pre-game.
  • [0025]
    To give a concrete example of how inappropriately chosen pre-gamed outcome parameters can frustrate the enjoyment or flexibility of the post-games, imagine a gaming participant who bets $1,000,000 but picks the extremely risk-averse parameters of a dollar per wager and somewhat flat pay table. With a 95% statistical return, the pre-gamed outcome would almost certainly be between $900,000 and $1,100,000. If that gaming participant later seeks to play a post-game where the bet size is $1,000 and the pay table is highly skewed, the gaming participant would know with near certainty that he could not achieve the 2,000-1 payout that is part of the skewed pay table. This would decrease the enjoyment the gaming participant experiences, because the pay table would be flatter in reality than it appears (put another way, the post-game results are never random in the aggregate, because they must reflect the pre-gamed outcomes, but it would appear as if the post-game device were cheating if some of the listed pay table outcomes were in fact impossible to achieve).
  • [0026]
    One way to facilitate variable relative wager sizes in the post-game may be to generate multiple pre-gamed outcomes using different parameters at the first gaming device 102, and to select an appropriate one of the pre-gamed outcome sets in order to better match post-game parameters selected at the simulated gaming device 108. Another method may be to adjust an apparent statistical return during different portions of the post-games. For example, the user may desire to have a spouse play the post-gamed “penny slots” at a low wager, flat pay table level presenting less variability than the parameters used for the pre-gamed outcomes. In conjunction with this, the post-game machine may reduce the apparent statistical return to 75%, some of the “wins” that should otherwise be realized in the post-games may be deferred and therefore available for later use in achieving a higher payout than would otherwise be possible for a higher wager amount. Similarly, if pre-gamed outcomes were generated at a higher variability level than can sustain a low bet amount, flat pay table post-game, the returns for those post-games or earlier or later post-games may be “banked” in order to achieve flexibility to accommodate the desired post-game profile. The apparent statistical return could, in other cases, be adjusted to increase or decrease the apparent performance of the post-games.
  • [0027]
    Similarly, if a gaming participant desires to end on a “high note”, they could elect to lower the apparent return over some range of the post-games, enabling an otherwise impossible net positive statistical expectation for some others of the post-games. Thus, for example, if the gaming participant has bet $1,000 in $1 increments to generate the pre-gamed outcomes, he may elect to play the first 900 $1 post-game bets at a 50% statistical return, causing a much higher win rate on the last 10% ($100) of post-game simulated gaming.
  • [0028]
    A gaming participant expressing a desire to wager in low increments and a flat pay table is generally asking for a return closer to the statistical return, whereas a gaming participant expressing a desire for high wager increments and a more variable pay table seeks higher potential returns and accepts a higher risk of larger losses. While gambling within a casino allows the gaming participant to adjust these parameters “on the fly”, in some embodiments of the present pre-game/post-game system, the gaming participant's preferences are determined in advance, during the pre-game session. In the alternative, or in addition, the gaming participant may specify generation of a plurality of alternative pre-gamed outcomes using different parameters to accommodate a desire for different pay tables when outside of the casino. The pre-game machine 102 may generate these alternative outcomes using different parameters for each, including the alternative outcomes as part of the outcome data 104.
  • [0029]
    In the alternative, or in addition, the gaming participant may pre-instruct the pre-game machine 102 to immediately determine a first game result based on a first wager amount, and to continue to resolve (but not reveal) each subsequent game result immediately upon the prior bet's being revealed at the simulator 108 or 112, such that each game is not played in response to user input at the simulator machine, but is instead based on the participants pre-existing instructions for the pre-game machine 102. Optionally, payouts from this alternative may be restricted to being paid only in the jurisdiction where the first machine 102 is located.
  • [0030]
    In an alternative embodiment, the system 100 is configured to simulate only the chance element of hybrid chance/skill games, for example, online poker, involving multiple participants connecting to the post-game machine from a remote location. Consider, for example, an 8-player Texas Hold 'Em game variant with a $10 ante structure in place of the regular blinds structure. Each participant bets $10,000 using the pre-game device 102 that immediately determines the results of each bet. The pre-game machine splits the $10,000 into 1,000 individual $10 bets. For each bet, the pre-game machine may deal two “hole” cards and calculate the statistical likelihood of those cards winning against some defined number (e.g., 8) of other participants in an online Texas Hold 'Em game in which no further betting takes place. The machine may then assign a “win” value to the bet by multiplying the bet by the percentage likelihood of winning by 2 (so a hand with a 70% likelihood of winning returns $10×140%, or $14; a hand with a 25% likelihood of winning returns $10×50%, or $5). The pre-game machine may then record the results of the various bets, without revealing them to the participants. When the gaming participants later log onto a server hosting the online poker game from their respective client post-game machine, the server picks a bet/result pair from each user's pre-gamed outcomes and determines the hole cards (and, if necessary or desirable for legal, regulatory, game-play, or other reasons) the flop, turn, and/or river, in a manner that reflects makes the likelihood of winning for each participant match their pre-gamed outcome. Thus, for example, imagine a hand with only two players, one of which had an 82% chance of winning, and the other an 82% chance of winning. Each player might be dealt a pair of Aces as their hole cards. Because their chances were identical, the flop, turn, and river would not contain four cards of the same suit, and the players would tie—unless one of them demonstrated lesser skill by folding.
  • [0031]
    In the alternative, allocating the chances of winning in a particular game of a multi-participant combined chance/skill game may be performed the sum of the pre-gamed outcomes for all players, and each player calculate the percentage of the total represented by that player's pre-gamed outcome. Using an example of two players, including a player with an 82% chance, or $16.40 pre-gamed outcome and a player with a 40% chance, or a $8.00 pre-gamed outcome, the total of the pre-gamed outcomes is $24.40, meaning the first player would be dealt cards corresponding to a 67.2% win percentage, and the other cards corresponding to a 32.8% win percentage. To the extent that the precise win percentages cannot be represented by the possible card combinations, a “round up” or “round down” mechanism, either identical for all players, pre-determined for all players, or determined by each player individually, may be used to alter the pre-gamed outcome to the minimum extent necessary to accurately reflect that outcome in the card distribution. Optionally, the rounded-down amounts could be put into a fund used to round-up other amounts, refunded to the player, or otherwise disposed of.
  • [0032]
    Predetermining the flop, turn, and river at the pre-game machine may make difficult or impossible the task of matching the post-gamed outcome to the pre-gamed outcome. To work around this obstacle, the pre-game machine may generate additional pre-gamed outcomes to represent additional bets and influence the outcome. For example, in a limit Hold-Em poker game where only a single bet and raise are permitted in each betting round, the calculation of likelihood of winning may be recalculated with each bet or raise, depending on the pre-gamed outcomes used for the bets. Note that the pre-gamed outcomes may be selected non-randomly, so that actual outcomes reflect the outcomes that would be expected if the cards were dealt randomly. Thus, for example, a player holding A Diamonds-A Spades playing against a player holding 2 Hearts-7 Clubs, with a flop of A Clubs, A Hearts, 5 Hearts could only lose if the flop and river were 3 Hearts-4 Hearts (straight flush beating 4 Aces). The player with A-A in this example should lose only once every 2,162 times. While the pre-gamed outcomes would be unlikely to contain a sufficient supply of extreme outcomes to match these odds, picking pre-gamed outcomes at random would result in “bad beats” of such a high frequency as to make the game appear unfair, and certainly less fun. However, picking pre-gamed outcomes in such a manner would also have the effect of allowing a first player with very bad cards to effectively force another player to “use up” his good pre-gamed outcomes while using up the first player's own bad pre-gamed outcomes. One work-around is to take a “rake” that is used to achieve statistically probable outcomes even in the absence of a sufficient range of available pre-gamed outcomes. The amount raked may optionally be banked and evenly divided between hands when it is not needed.
  • [0033]
    For compliance in jurisdictions where pari-mutuel gaming is legal in the absence of the house taking a “rake” or percentage of winnings, one option is to take the “rake” entirely from the pre-gamed outcome in a jurisdiction 101 that does not restrict the rake, leaving the remainder of the winnings to be divided on a pari-mutuel basis without a rake in the post-game jurisdiction 105 where the gaming results are revealed. In the alternative, the remainder of winnings (i.e., the total amount wagered less the rake) may be allocated according to the outcome of a game of chance subsequently operated in the restricted jurisdiction 105.
  • [0034]
    One thing that should be appreciated is the relationship of the pre-gamed outcomes to the actual funds paid out. Because the pre-gamed outcomes should reflect the statistically accurate game outcome, the total of the pre-gamed outcomes played in a game should equal the total of bets made, even if the bets made are denominated not as the pre-gamed outcomes, but rather as the denomination wagered in generating the pre-gamed outcomes (the “Genesis Bet”). The game may be denominated in the same amount as the Genesis Bet, and payouts may made as if the amounts wagered were in fact the Genesis Bet amounts. For regulatory, legal, or game-play reasons, payouts may be made in the actual pre-gamed outcomes amounts, either for the entirety of the betting or only for that portion of the betting related to random chance and not skill.
  • [0035]
    Furthermore, amounts won as a result of chance (which would include, for example, the amount won in a game where only the antes were bet and no player folded) may optionally be paid to the player as the actual pre-gamed outcome. In such instances, for example, the losing player who holds a $0.25 pre-gamed outcome value nonetheless receives $0.25 from the chance outcome. Alternatively, pre-gamed outcome bets representing the “Blinds”, the antes, other bets, or some combination, may be calculated as bi-modal or with a plurality of modes. In the bi-modal example, a “heads-up” poker match or other heads-up game may be played, in which the post-game device picks random pairs of pre-gamed outcomes for the players until it picks a set where one is a “win” and the other is a “lose”. The game server may then deal (internally) hole cards to the players at random, but also discard the hole cards thus dealt without revealing to the players until the hole cards are such that the player with the “win” outcome is statistically more likely to win. A pre-game machine may generate a number of pre-gamed outcomes that represents at least several bets, and then in subsequent play a post-game server may select any bet, raise, or call wager for each player that comes from the same mode of outcome as the original bet. For example, a player who holds the “win” outcome in the original bimodal bet distribution would only use “win” pre-gamed outcomes during the post-game. In this case, only skill on the part of the player with the “lose” modality could cause the “win” modality player to lose. Thus, the entire chance element is eliminated.
  • [0036]
    A similar approach makes possible simulated blackjack betting in the post-game jurisdiction. Without this innovation, one problem is that improper play during the post-game would not impact the outcome, making the game appear boring at best, or rigged at worse. The player has either a “win” or “lose” bet modality. The bet modality is reflected in cards that will win if played perfectly (for so example, the player would hit a 10-6 when the dealer shows a 10). Improper play could cause the player to lose (although not necessarily). One legal or regulatory or game play complication is that the player may play improperly and win a “lose” modality. Such a complication could be avoided by not permitting a “win” resulting from improper play to be paid out other than as an offset to a “loss” that results from improper play. Because improper play should cause more losses than wins, such an offset mechanism should function in a manner that does not alter or detract from the game play experience. Such a mechanism could similarly be utilized in conjunction with “double down” bets, “insurance” bets and other betting activity.
  • [0037]
    In the alternative, or in addition, the post-game machine may be configured to allow participants to “lock in” the betting outcome at certain points during post-game play and/or pay some or all of the payout based on the statistical likelihood of winning at that point, whether in conjunction with real money better or pre-gamed outcomes. For example, after the pre-flop betting is complete, some of the money bet (for example, 50%) would be set aside and distributed either (a) to each player according to their percentage likelihood of winning at that point in the hand, or (b) to the player with the highest percentage likelihood of winning at that point in the hand. Alternatively, any raises or bets in addition to the pre-gamed outcomes portion of the gaming might be paid out in this manner. In this way, for example, a “no-limit” game might include a $10 minimum bet, comprised of the pre-gamed outcome and distributed according to the end result of the game, and any overage, which is not pre-gamed outcome and which is distributed according to the extent likelihood of each player winning at that point in time. Such a distribution mechanism would entirely eliminate the chance element of the gaming.
  • [0038]
    Post-game play may make use of a “captive” player, whether an artificial intelligence (“AI”), a human player, or some combination, thereof to alter the distribution of odds so as to better match the outcome to the statistically expected outcome. Particularly in the case of games where player error may cause accumulation of funds in the hands of the “house” (for example, Pai Gou Poker) the captive player might elect to play the house position and play it imperfectly. Similarly, a “free-riding” captive player may be used in poker to fill out the additional spots at the table. If the free-riding captive wins, the amounts wagered by other players during the hand won by the captive player may be credited by the post-game machine to respective ones of the other players. In the alternative, or in addition, the post-game machine may credit the amounts wagered only to those of players who have not folded, or all bets but only distributed evenly among those who have not folded) are returned.
  • [0039]
    In another embodiment 200 illustrated in FIG. 2, one or more rule sets 212 specifying a participant's preference for wagering in different games may be defined or selected by the participant, and received by a gaming machine 202 located in a jurisdiction 201 that permits gaming. For example, a rule set 212 may specify how may lines to play in a slot machine, the amount wagered on each line, the number of games to play per unit of time, and how to response to any options awarding during play, such as bonus rounds. The gaming machine 202 may be programmed with an “automated gaming agent” application for applying the rules during specified games. Applying, for example, a credit amount 214 available in the participant's casino account or credit card account read using a card reader 204, the participant may initiate operation of the automated gaming agent to wager a specified sum according to the specified rule set, using any suitable input device, for example a touchscreen 206. The gaming machine 202 may transmit or display gaming results 216 to the participant in real-time to a client device 208 located in another location 205, for example, a location where gaming is not permitted.
  • [0040]
    In many situations a player may wish to provide for a player-controlled amount of delay between committing a total wager amount to game play at the game machine 202 and the reporting of the results by the client 208 in the other location 205. Such time may be desired, for example, to permit time for the player to travel from the gaming jurisdiction to the other location. To facilitate such controlled delay, various events may be defined by the participant as triggers for initiating play by machine 202, for example: a time trigger (i.e. 8 pm Monday), a dead-man switch (i.e. start gambling every night at 8 pm for one hour unless I sign in to a web page and say “not tonight”), or any other event compliant with regulatory limitations. The player may, for example, have 20 different gaming devices set to each initiate play, either from a single account or multiple accounts, upon occurrence of a specified triggering event or events, for example, a dead-man switch set to activate periodically, for example, once every thirty seconds. The player may then use an automatic device, such as, for example, a software agent operating on or in conjunction with gaming machine 202, to suppress activation of the dead-man switch constantly, thereby enabling the player to initiate gaming whenever desired by temporarily disabling the automatic dead-man switch actuating device. The game play and results 216 may be transmitted live via computer or television to the remote location 205 where the player is located, and may be presented to the player by client 208 as if in response to live inputs from the player to the client 208. For example, a simulated slot machine client 208 may transmit a signal 218 temporarily disabling a dead-man switch agent on game machine 202, in response to movement of the lever 210, e.g., a lever pull by the player located in region 205. Disabling the dead-man switch agent temporarily causes a predetermined game to be played according to the predetermined rules at the first machine 202, with results 216 transmitted to the client 208 and displayed to the player. This process simulates a game as if played on the client machine in response to the lever pull. However, the commitment to wager on a game of chance and the deposit of wagering money was done exclusively at a time and place where it was legal.
  • [0041]
    Many gaming machines provide bonus features such as collective or “progressive” jackpots from networked gaming machines to provide larger payouts and attract players. A cumulative amount of the available progressive jackpot is typically displayed at or on each machine participating in the progressive system. A game machine providing such progressive jackpots while configured to provide pre-game play might undesirably reveal pre-gamed outcomes if a progressive jackpot is won, because the balance of the progressive jackpot displayed on the machines would drop immediately. This might effectively prevent players from enjoying the suspense of “trying for” a progressive jackpot via pre-gamed outcomes, although a player might not always be sure that the progressive jackpot was won at a particular machine. One solution is to simply obscure the progressive amount from the player, such as, for example, behind a sliding window requiring affirmative action to see it. Another solution maintains a specialized progressive jackpot designed exclusively for remote use of pre-gamed outcomes. When desired to incorporate a more broadly played progressive jackpot collective (i.e., one based on numerous participating gaming machines, especially co-located machines), the obscured result mechanism may be preferable. Alternatively, the progressive jackpot amount may be computed as a rolling average so that if it is won, it diminishes but not so quickly or dramatically as to be obvious to the player. Alternatively, a gaming machine may play for a plurality of separate progressive jackpots, and the player is prevented from knowing which jackpot the pre-game machine is playing for at the time of initiating pre-game play.
  • [0042]
    In regulatory environments where permitted, gaming results may be bracketed within specific time frames, correlated to specific additional (and in some embodiments, automated) gaming activity for pre-game play. The pre-game machine is configured such that the gaming participant can terminate the cascade of additional gambling events by withdrawing money from a designated gaming account. The gaming account may be configured similarly to a certificate of deposit or other investment instrument. To illustrate, for example: A gaming participant visits the gaming jurisdiction and wagers $1,000 pursuant to the pre-gaming method discussed above. Although other mechanisms could be utilized to determine the point at which the gambling results are considered complete for each time frame, in this example, the entire $1,000 stake is gambled at once, using (for example) 1,000 spins of a $0.25 slot machine on a “max bet” setting of 4 coins (so $1 total per spin). At the conclusion of this high speed gambling event, the gaming participant has won some amount, in this example $500. The $500 is then re-gambled in the same manner, this time winning $1,500. The process is repeated for a set number of times, until the gaming participant runs out of money (i.e. the stake has been reduced to zero), until the gaming participant wins a preset amount (i.e. stop when the stake hits $10,000), or as otherwise instructed by the gaming participant. Each complete one time run through the stake (in this example; other demarcation points are also possible) serves as a demarcation point. The casino and the gaming participant agree (or have agreed in advance of the gaming activity) that the gaming participant may elect to redeem the proceeds of the gambling based on any one of the plurality of demarcation points, provided that certain conditions are met. For example, the demarcation points may be tied to moments in time (i.e. each demarcation point redemption opportunity expires at midnight on the 10th day after the expiration of the prior demarcation point redemption opportunity), tied to events outside the control of the gaming participant (most likely only utilized when required for regulatory reasons, but not limited to use for such reasons; an example might be that each demarcation point expires at midnight on any day that a random number generator hits a specified number), tied to a failure to redeem in person or by phone, tied to a failure to withdraw permission to continue to gamble the proceeds, or to some other trigger.
  • [0043]
    One variant includes ceasing pre-game play at or before the first demarcation point. At the expiration of each demarcation point, the proceeds are automatically re-gamed based on the last standing instructions from the gaming participant. If permitted as a regulatory matter, the gaming participant may simply withdraw the permission to re-game the proceeds prior to the expiration of any given demarcation point. This embodiment may optionally be combined with the use of a mechanism whereby the gaming proceeds are jointly held, for example, by a resident agent in the gaming jurisdiction and a Non-gaming jurisdiction resident. With such an agent, the variant of not pre-gambling past a single demarcation point, though available without an agent, may become, for regulatory or other reasons, a useful embodiment. The agent, who may hold a joint beneficial interest in all of the proceeds, who may hold a fractional interest individually, who may hold the interest in trust, or otherwise, is able to remain in The gaming jurisdiction and therefore personally stop the re-gaming prior to the expiration of the current demarcation point.
  • [0044]
    In theory, and if permitted under the applicable regulatory regime, the demarcation point in the foregoing system may be tied to a change in the balance of the gaming account. Thus, for example, whenever the value of the gaming stake after the next pre-gaming event changes by more than 5% when compared to the prior demarcation point, the next demarcation point may be set for a shorter period of time; by contrast, with a 90% increase, the next demarcation point may be set further in the future. This permits gaming participants to set the frequency with which their stake is re-gambled in a manner that matches their predicted gambling pattern. For example, a gaming participant who knows he is unlikely to gamble much after a big win might set a larger wait between demarcation points.
  • [0045]
    The system may also be configured to treat every single individual gaming event as a separate gambling account or stake. In such a case, the demarcation point may optionally be set to correspond with the moment when the gaming participant learns the result of the pre-gamed outcome. By setting each gaming event as a separate gambling account or stake, and by linking this plurality of accounts to a single log-in or other access mechanism, the gaming participant in our prior example may gamble $1,000 in the gaming jurisdiction at the $0.25 machine with 4 coins per pull. His pre-gamed outcomes would result in 1,000 individual accounts, each of which could be queued for being automatically pre-gamed upon some trigger, such as, among other things, (a) learning the result of the prior pre-gamed outcome; (b) expiration of 5 minutes after learning the past pre-gamed outcome without receiving contrary instructions; or (c) reaching, or failing to reach, an aggregate gaming win, loss, or volume level, optionally within a set period of time.
  • [0046]
    In the alternative, or in addition, the gaming machine located in the first jurisdiction (e.g., region 101 or 201) may be configured to permit use of pre-gambled funds depending on the outcome of some other future event such as a Keno game or sporting event. Just as is currently done, a gaming participant in such a system may place a plurality of bets on such future events, and learn the outcomes after leaving the casino or even returning to a non-gaming jurisdiction. The outcome of the events (particularly events such as Keno game, as, unlike sports gambling, the outcome does not also merit news coverage) is unknown to the gaming participant until he learns the outcome by gambling at a virtualized gaming device in the remote location 105 or 205. Among other things, tying the outcomes to a contingent future event may provide an advantage of enhancing the subjective feeling that the gaming participant is participating in a game in which the outcome is yet unknown, or at least gambling on a series of very recent events, and not just engaged in an extended game to learn the outcomes of long-concluded events.
  • [0047]
    In another embodiment as shown in FIG. 3, a requirement for the gaming participant to travel to the gaming jurisdiction may be eliminated via a publically traded entity or instrument 300 that aggregates a plurality of legally tradable items, such as, for example, derivatives, global currency, stock, commodity, interest rate, insurance contracts, options, puts, the VIX or volatility hedges or funds, and similar items. The entity or instrument may trade in one or more electronic markets 308, 310 such that the value of the instrument changes frequently 24 hours a day, 7 days a week over very short intervals of time; for example, a second or less. The fund may be managed using a quasi-game interface 302 controlling one or more electronic trading robots 304, 306 in a manner that is intended to result in very high intra-day, and very high intra-minute, volatility. The fund may be designed to increase in value over the long term, while experiencing enormous swings in value over the short term, so that money invested in the fund over time enjoys at least a possibility of a positive return. Shares may be held in a highly leveraged manner, so that they are subject to very high intra-minute returns or losses. To prevent a loss of greater than the amount of the stock purchased, the fund may include hedges or insurance, the gaming participant may be required to back the purchase with additional capital, or the high end of the return curve may be used to purchase a hedge against the low end of the return curve. A plurality of tradable positions in the relevant markets may be initiated in advance of simulated gaming activity, in a quantity, amount, and character sufficient to enable the later desired gaming simulation, trading activity, or combination thereof.
  • [0048]
    Positions in the fund may be initiated through an online interface implemented in the form of a gaming machine 312, for example, a slot machine. The investor purchases a number of shares in a fund (fractional or otherwise) via the machine 312 and pulls the lever or otherwise initiates a game. By initiating a game, the investor simultaneously enters a purchase order and a sale order. In one embodiment, the sale order may be executed first as a “short sale” followed by the purchase as an immediate “cover”. If necessary to achieve the requisite volatility, the user may place funds in the gaming machine 312, which funds are used to purchase a single position (which could be a short sale, a long position, options, or any other legal investment instrument). The currency denomination per slot machine “bet” may be used to set the amount or units of stock purchased. The user then begins pulling the level on the slot machine, and in response some amount of stock corresponding to the amount of each “bet” may be sold (or covered, as the case may be) using the interface 302. The reels of the slot machine stop on symbols that reflect the outcome of the stock transaction. For example, if a $1 highly leveraged stock purchase “bet” resulted in a gain of $3, the line might show as cherry-blank-blank; if the same “bet” resulted in a complete loss, the line might show as blank-blank-blank. With the consent of the purchaser, some rounding down may be done, with the uneven amount reinvested, or held in reserve to permit rounding up.
  • [0049]
    The amount of the relevant instrument traded with each pull of the level may be randomly picked, or, if necessary for regulatory reasons or if desired, picked using a table generated by software on the client device 312 and, at the option of the user, reviewable and alterable in advance. In this way, the initial $100 buy-in might be played, for example, on a $1 machine as a $0.25 stock purchase without leverage, followed by a $10 stock purchase maximally leveraged, followed by a $1 stock purchase, etc. Because the user has the option of not knowing the pattern (although he is capable of learning it and altering it), the volatility of the stock mix, the amount of leverage, and the variation in the quasi-bet transaction amounts may be combined to emulate slot machines with widely variable pay tables. For example, imagine a simple slot pay table that pays as follows:
  • [0000]
      75% pays 0
      15% pays 2-1
    9.999% pays 5-1
    0.001% pays 10,000-1
  • [0050]
    This pay table results in a statistical payout of $0.9995 per dollar wagered. In reality, the pay table will be variable because the results rely on stock market outcomes (even if based on a basket of items that are believed to be net positive but so volatile as to appear essentially random when measured minute to minute). Some trading commission may be collected with each trade, which may impact the pay table. Returning to the example pay table, may be necessary to infrequently make a very highly leveraged, high dollar purchase. This purchase may be made early in the process so that if it comes up as a big loss, there are still funds with which to offset it; optionally, the results of that trade may be used to reduce the results of subsequent trades in a manner that is made known to the player only on request. In this manner, a early large loss on the highly leveraged trade would be experienced as the player as an extended streak of bad luck.
  • [0051]
    If required in certain situations and jurisdictions for regulatory reasons, the player may be able to set the time between trades, the monetary amount of trades, the amount, if any, of the purchase price to be left as an investment rather than immediately traded, the maximum, minimum, and/or other boundaries for leverage, and/or some or all of the other parameters that are traditionally or legally required to be allowed to be selected by a retail investor in the relevant markets.
  • [0052]
    These systems described herein (including the stock, keno and other systems described above) may be combined in an interoperable manner with other inventions disclosed herein. For example, game-independent outcomes (for example, pre-gamed outcomes generated in the context of slot machines independent of the game of blackjack—as would be trading and keno outcomes) may be used to simulate outcomes in additional games. For further example, the discussion above of elimination of the element of chance from blackjack by utilizing the game-independent outcome to determine the chance elements, leaving any losses strictly as a consequence of improper play may be applied in other games or trading involving a mixture of skill and chance.
  • [0053]
    Another method to use a trading vehicle underlying a simulated game of chance is to make the stock baskets representative of performance of specified trades and the then-current status within relatively volatile investment instruments. For example, at the outset of a “Texas Hold-em Poker” tournament (which may, for regulatory reasons, need to be altered, such as by requiring an “ante” with each deal) (Time 0), every player pays $1,000 and thereby initiates a series of positions. Optionally, the values of the positions may be set simultaneously for all players for all positions, once per tournament, once per hand, or using whatever other timing mechanism is desired or required for regulatory purposes. These positions are structured such that each player has certain positions that take the form of a complex set of derivatives or hedges relative to the positions of other players. The players are then dealt cards that represent the relative values of their positions. The players are permitted to make an offer, which involves a non-refundable deposit of 100% of the offer, to buy out the positions previously “bet”, or offered on a non-refundable bid basis, by the other player or players. The other players each have the opportunity to accept the offer (i.e. fold), make a higher counter-office (raise), or ask that the positions be liquidated against each other (i.e. call). The structure of the positions may be such that the better position enjoys a 100% ownership of the worse position played. As additional “cards” are dealt, these are similarly representative of positions. With each prospective round of trading (which may be represented in the online poker interface as a round of betting), a computer with knowledge of the purchase price, value, and other pertinent information about stock positions at issue (i.e. being represented in the interface the value underlying “chips” or “bets” of each player). A computer may calculate the relative values of the various positions and calculate the relative values of the cards in the deck. The computer may then deal cards to each player that approximate, as closely as possible, the relative strengths of the stock positions being offered. An alternative may comprise dealing the cards randomly, and then selecting a stock position from the plurality of positions owned by the player, which position matches the relative strength of the hand. To the extent that a precise match is not possible, the disparity can be addressed using the previously discussed methods, or can simply be left in the player's investment account (or debited from the account, as the case may be).
  • [0054]
    If regulatory requirements so dictate, or if other reasons make it desirable to do so, any player may demand at any time to see the true identity of the underlying instruments. In response to such a request, any non-refundable amounts contributed by that player may be designated as forfeited. At that point, further, the player making the demand would no longer be permitted to participate in the exchange based only on representative valuations of the underlying instruments (i.e. cards). At that point, the system may enable the players to, if they wished, trade the instruments in a traditional manner, although it is likely that such trades would be time consuming given the requested review of the underlying instruments.
  • [0055]
    As another example, a player may join an on-line Blackjack game via a client device. In this example, the applicable server operates such that the hosting entity, brokerage, an underwriter of the hosting entity, or other entity (all of the foregoing sometimes referred to herein as the “house”), exchanges offsetting or dissimilar positions relative to investment positions taken by the player. In response to a joining event, the player and the house may each purchase, at a set time, N positions trading in various stocks, commodities, or other instruments. Likewise, the player and house exchange, in advance, the identities of the stocks, commodities, or other instruments in which they will trade, and may specify or agree on the investment amounts (i.e. “a series of $5 positions in each of the 100 futures contracts on this list”). Both the house and the player may agree to hedge the investment of the other in a manner that results in one or the other position doubling its value, with the counter-position having no value (for example, options or short sales with knock-out levels at which certain of the rights terminate). For example, a position may involve hedging interest rates, such as a player purchasing a derivative instrument for N dollars that is worth N+N dollars if rates rise, or zero if rates fall.
  • [0056]
    The initial cards dealt to the player and dealer, together with the subsequent cards in the deck if played without error, represent the outcome of the exchange of instruments (for example, a “push” if the instruments are equal, a player “win” if the player's instrument has value, a player “loss” if the player's instrument has no value. Optionally, a portion of the instrument may be invested in a manner (or the instrument itself may be structured to have an appropriate probability) that a return of N plus N plus half of N is possible (i.e. blackjack by the player). Alternatively, losses from improper play could be used to fund “blackjack” wins.
  • [0057]
    It should be understood that the stocks or other positions need not be random (although they could be randomly picked). Instead, it may be desirable to allow the player to actively direct the investment mechanism, while preventing the player from knowing the investment choices made by the other players or the house. In such a situation, the player would know his investments performed well, and therefore would give greater weight to a “good hand” (or vice versa). Upon losing to another player even with a good hand, the player would obtain the “tell” that the other player had invested that particular instrument well and was likely, therefore, to have invested other instruments well. The quasi-gaming interface may require diversity in the instruments invested, so that, for example, a player can not pick 1,000 identical futures contracts in gold and therefore make the “game” or representative trading mechanism less fun or interesting for the other players.
  • [0058]
    An additional set of innovations relates in part to the sale of stock, partnership shares, or some similar interest in an entity that owns some interest in certain gaming devices. The interest may be undivided, fractional, time-divided (i.e. the entity obtains the proceeds during specified times only), or otherwise. The agreement between the partners (using the LLC example) may require additional infusion of capital in response to specified losses. The infusion of capital may take place in a manner split between the owners or one owner may ask (or pay additional capital or otherwise) for the right and responsibility to purchase additional capital—or obtain additional ownership interest or dividends—depending on the performance of the machines in the aggregate during the time period at issue. Risk of loss from a very large jackpot may be insured by a third party.
  • [0059]
    In such an arrangement, the owner who agrees to take the right and responsibility for paying any losses during a set time period, and to enjoy a disproportionate share of gains during that time period, may optionally learn the outcome on a periodic basis by use of a simulated slot machine or other gaming device, which device returns results (i.e. Bar-Bar-Bar for a winning period of time) in a manner reflective of the performance of the entity during that period. The partnership agreement may be written in such a manner that multiple partners can take responsibility simultaneously.
  • [0060]
    Finally, in exchange for payment of a membership or access fee, even money gaming may be offered. In such a case, the player statistically wins one dollar for each dollar gambled. Such a mechanism may be used in conjunction with the foregoing inventions, or in conjunction with extent gaming modalities. An “even money” return may be preserved, even in the event of poor play by the player, by returning any casino “profits” to the pool of funds available to pay future jackpots, resulting in a statistical likelihood of a better than 100% return for any player who plays error-free. Such even-money gaming may also be accomplished (for example, if required for regulatory reasons) by donation of any fees to a non-profit or by operation by a non-profit or state-owned entity.
  • [0061]
    By way of providing a more general example that is consistent with the foregoing example, a post-game machine, also referred to herein as a simulated gaming machine or more simply, a simulator, may perform a method 400 as illustrated in FIG. 4. The simulator may be a client device in a non-gaming jurisdiction or other location; or may be a server accessed via a connected client. Initially, the simulator may receive 402 a predetermined set of outcomes determined by a machine in a gaming jurisdiction. It is specifically contemplated that the simulated gaming machine will do more than merely reproduce the same games and outcomes at another location. Accordingly, the set of outcomes may be summary in nature, for example, may specify a total amount wagered, a number of games played, the amount wagered per game played, and net return amount. For example, the predetermined set of outcomes may specify “$1000 total wagered in equal amounts over 100 games played, with a net win amount of $400. Optionally, the simulated gaming machine may receive more detailed information such as wins and losses per game, and/or odds of winning different prize amounts per game. However, this more detailed information is not required. The simulator may store 404 the predetermined set of outcomes in a long-term or short-term memory for use in operating a series of simulated games.
  • [0062]
    Generally, the simulator may offer a menu of various different simulated games. Assuming that a game type is selected by the user or otherwise determined by the simulator, the simulator may receive 406 user input specifying a wager amount for a simulated game. The simulator may analyze the output set 408, including, for example, determining a number of games played, and amount wagered per game. The simulator may determine that the amount wagered per game to obtain the predetermined outcome set is fixed. In the alternative, the simulator may determine that the amount varies from game to game. From this analysis and from a specified odds and pay table of the selected simulated game, the simulator may determine 410 a maximum and/or minimum bet for the simulated bet. These limits may differ from maximum and minimum bets used to generate the predetermined outcome set. For example, a maximum bet of $10 used in the pre-game series may support a somewhat larger or smaller bet in a similar game of the post-game simulated set, dependent on the simulated odds and pay table for the simulated game. However, the permitted wager amount in the post-game should be maintained within certain limits that can readily be determined from the simulated odds and pay table of the simulated game. As noted in the discussion above, the simulated odds and pay table may also be adjusted to accommodate different wager amounts. However, too much flexibility in simulated odds and payouts may result in a user experience that does not feel much like a realistic gaming experience, and may be avoided by imposing calculated limits on wager amounts in the post game.
  • [0063]
    If the wager is out of limit 412, the simulator may adjust 414 the wager amount to within an allowed limit, using any suitable automatic or user-interactive process. Once the wager is within limits, 412, the simulator may determine a simulated game result and output a simulated game outcome. As noted above, the simulated output may resemble any desired one of various games of chance; however, the net outcome of the series of simulated games is constrained by the net outcome of the pre-game series, in that the simulator ensures that the net total amount lost or won (less any applicable fees or commissions) is the same for the pre- and post-game series. The simulator is not required to match the simulated game outcome to any particular outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes. Instead, the simulator may provide a wide range of outcomes to simulate different games of interest to the user, and may even determine results randomly for some (but not all) of the simulated games. Accordingly, the simulator may after each simulated game, determine 418 a current net simulated outcome for the simulated game series; for example, a cumulative sum of wins and losses for all simulated games played thus far. At 420, the simulator may compare the current net outcome to the predetermined outcome net. It should be appreciated that, because simulated games may be planned in an entirely predetermined manner, it is not necessary that the operation 419 and 420, or any equivalent operation, be performed after outputting each game at 416. In the alternative, these calculations may be made as part of a deterministic process determining all simulated game results, even before any simulated game result is output. A difference between the predetermined net outcome and the current simulated net outcome may be used to select outcomes for future simulated games.
  • [0064]
    When the difference is zero or less than some threshold, and a sufficient number of simulated games have been played, the simulator may determine 422 that the series is finished, and pay, or facilitate payment, of the remaining balance of the initial wager amount, plus any net winnings, if any, to the user. For example, the simulator may transmit a signal to a financial server in the gaming jurisdiction or elsewhere, which may arrange for a credit in a designated user account. Conversely, if the simulator determines 422 that the series is not finished and additional games need to be played to equalize the net winnings or losses to the predetermined amount, then the cycle may be repeated at 406. The simulator may allow the user to specify whether or not a particular game to be played is the last game in the series, using a user input signal. To retain a realistic operation, this may be permitted only after a certain determined number of simulated games have been played; or in the alternative, it may be permitted at any time. In response to such a signal, the simulator may adjust the wager amount and force a game result causing the current net balance of the simulated game series to equal the predetermined net gaming outcome, and then terminate the series as described.
  • [0065]
    Method 400 illustrates one method of operation for a simulated gaming apparatus, which may be varied in any suitable way in accordance with the present application. Method 500, as shown in FIG. 5, provides a higher-level, more general description of a method for operating a simulated game server that encompasses method 400 and several other methods disclosed herein. The method 500 may include, at 502, storing, at a simulated gaming device, a predetermined set of outcomes determined by a gaming machine for a game of chance based on a specified series of games having a defined wager amount per game and a specified total number of games. The method 500 may further include, at 504, receiving, at the simulated gaming device, user input indicating wager amounts for corresponding simulated games of chance. The method 500 may further include, at 506, adjusting a number of permitted simulated games and results of the simulated games in response to the user input and to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, so that a net outcome of the simulated games corresponds to a net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games. The method 500 may further include, at 508, providing output simulating a game of chance having an outcome, wherein the outcome is determined so that an aggregate outcome of the simulated games corresponds to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, while being different from any individual one of the predetermined set of outcomes. The user may thereby enjoy an interactive experience of gaming including variable wager amounts while actually not playing a game of chance. Instead, the net outcome of the simulation is determined by the predetermined set of outcomes from the earlier game of chance.
  • [0066]
    In an aspect, the pre-games may be defined using constant wager amounts. Accordingly, the method may further include determining that the defined wager amount per game in the specified series is a constant value. In the alternative, the specified series of games may include a variable wager amount to generate pre-game results. In such cases, the method may include determining that the defined wager amount per game in the specified series is a variable value.
  • [0067]
    To ensure that the simulated game play does not use apparent wager amounts that cannot win, or that will result in an unrealistic proportion of wins or losses under constraints of the predetermined set of outcomes, the method may further include calculating a limit for a next wager amount of the simulated game, based on net outcome of prior simulated games and the net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes. Accordingly, the method may include adjusting an apparent wager amount for one or more of the simulated games so that a net outcome of the simulated games corresponds to a net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games. The method may further include adjusting a number of permitted simulated games and wagers of the simulated games in response to a user-specified preference for the simulated games as a whole. For example, by selecting a particular type of simulated game with a certain maximum wager amount, the user may essentially indicate a preferred flatness of the pay table and a minimum number of simulated games to play, in view of a particular predetermined set of outcomes.
  • [0068]
    In a separate aspect, the method may include determining the predetermined set of outcomes at least in part by executing a short-term transaction in a volatile tradable instrument in response to receiving an investment amount, using an automated trading engine. This may enable simulation of a game of chance using a series of outcomes from a trading engine that executes trades in a tradable financial instrument. Therefore the user may be spared the need to travel to or otherwise transact with a gaming jurisdiction to generate the predetermined set of outcomes.
  • [0069]
    The method may support multiplayer competitive simulations in which outcomes are predetermined by a prior game of chance. FIG. 6 shows further optional elements 600 that may be implemented for use by the simulated gaming apparatus in association with method 500 to handle multiplayer situations. The elements 500 and 600 may be performed in any operative order, or may be encompassed by a development algorithm without requiring a particular chronological order of performance. Operations are independently performed and not mutually exclusive. Therefore any one of such operations may be performed regardless of whether another downstream or upstream operation is performed. For example, if the method 500 includes at least one operation of FIG. 6, then the method 500 may terminate after the at least one operation, without necessarily having to include any subsequent downstream operation(s) that may be illustrated.
  • [0070]
    The optional elements 600 may include, at 602, allocating the predetermined set of outcomes to two or more players. For example, two players wishing to play a simulated game of poker may wager equivalent amounts at a pre-game machine in a gaming jurisdiction to obtain a predetermined set of output results, allocated to two players. The predetermined set may include the information as described above. A net outcome of the set may include, for example, a net amount won by a first player and a corresponding net amount lost by the second player. The elements 600 may further include, at 604, providing output simulating a mixed game of chance and skill having an outcome dependent in part on individual playing skill of the two or more players. For example, the simulator may output a competitive electronic card game, such as poker. An outcome may be determined in a conventional fashion. The optional elements 600 may further include, at 606, determining the outcome based on the predetermined set of outcomes and skill-based input from the players, so that an aggregate outcome of the simulated games corresponds to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games. For example, if a player having a predetermined net losing result begins to nonetheless win a series of games because of superior playing skill, the simulator may begin to favor the other player, such as by assigning better hands to the less skillful player.
  • [0071]
    With reference to FIG. 7, there is provided an exemplary simulator apparatus 700 that may be configured as a client, server, or standalone computer, or as a processor or similar device for use forgoing, for providing simulated gaming. The apparatus 700 may include functional blocks that can represent functions implemented by a processor, software, or combination thereof (e.g., firmware).
  • [0072]
    As illustrated, in one embodiment, the apparatus 700 may include an electrical component or module 702 for receiving user input indicating wager amounts for corresponding simulated games of chance. For example, the electrical component 702 may include at least one control processor coupled to a user interface or the like and to a memory with instructions for receiving user input for the specified purpose. The apparatus 700 may include an electrical component 704 for storing a predetermined set of outcomes determined by a gaming machine for a game of chance based on a specified series of games having a defined wager amount per game and a specified total number of games. For example, the electrical component 704 may include at least one control processor coupled to a memory holding instructions and data as specified. The apparatus 700 may include an electrical component 706 for adjusting a number of permitted simulated games and results of the simulated games in response to the user input and to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, so that a net outcome of the simulated games corresponds to a net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games. For example, the electrical component 706 may include at least one control processor coupled to a memory holding instructions for performing adjustments as described herein. The apparatus 700 may include an electrical component 708 for providing output simulating a game of chance having an outcome, wherein the outcome is determined so that an aggregate outcome of the simulated games corresponds to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, while being different from any individual one of the predetermined set of outcomes. For example, the electrical component 706 may include at least one control processor coupled to a memory holding instructions for performing determining outcomes as described herein. The apparatus 700 may include similar electrical components for performing any or all of the additional operations 600 described in connection with FIG. 6, which for illustrative simplicity are not shown in FIG. 7.
  • [0073]
    In related aspects, the apparatus 700 may optionally include a processor component 710 having at least one processor, in the case of the apparatus 700 configured as a client, server, or standalone computer. The processor 710, in such case, may be in operative communication with the components 702-708 or similar components via a bus 716 or similar communication coupling. The processor 710 may effect initiation and scheduling of the processes or functions performed by electrical components 702-708.
  • [0074]
    In further related aspects, the apparatus 700 may include a network interface or other data transfer component 714. A receiver or media reader may be used in lieu of or in conjunction with the network interface 714. The apparatus 700 may optionally include a component for storing information, such as, for example, a memory device/component 712. The computer readable medium or the memory component 712 may be operatively coupled to the other components of the apparatus 700 via the bus 716 or the like. The memory component 712 may be adapted to store computer readable instructions and data for performing the activity of the components 702-708, and subcomponents thereof, or the processor 710, the additional aspects 600, or the methods disclosed herein. The memory component 712 may retain instructions for executing functions associated with the components 702-708. While shown as being external to the memory 712, it is to be understood that the components 702-708 can exist within the memory 712.
  • [0075]
    Those of skill in the art would understand that information and signals may be represented using any of a variety of different technologies and techniques. For example, data, instructions, commands, information, signals, bits, symbols, and chips that may be referenced throughout the above description may be represented by voltages, currents, electromagnetic waves, magnetic fields or particles, optical fields or particles, or any combination thereof.
  • [0076]
    Those of skill would further appreciate that the various illustrative logical blocks, modules, circuits, and algorithm steps described in connection with the disclosure herein may be implemented as electronic hardware, computer software, or combinations of both. To clearly illustrate this interchangeability of hardware and software, various illustrative components, blocks, modules, circuits, and steps have been described above generally in terms of their functionality. Whether such functionality is implemented as hardware or software depends upon the particular application and design constraints imposed on the overall system. Skilled artisans may implement the described functionality in varying ways for each particular application, but such implementation decisions should not be interpreted as causing a departure from the scope of the present disclosure.
  • [0077]
    The various illustrative logical blocks, modules, and circuits described in connection with the disclosure herein may be implemented or performed with a general-purpose processor, a digital signal processor (DSP), an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a field programmable gate array (FPGA) or other programmable logic device, discrete gate or transistor logic, discrete hardware components, or any combination thereof designed to perform the functions described herein. A general-purpose processor may be a microprocessor, but in the alternative, the processor may be any conventional processor, controller, microcontroller, or state machine. A processor may also be implemented as a combination of computing devices, e.g., a combination of a DSP and a microprocessor, a plurality of microprocessors, one or more microprocessors in conjunction with a DSP core, or any other such configuration.
  • [0078]
    The steps of a method or algorithm described in connection with the disclosure herein may be embodied directly in hardware, in a software module executed by a processor, or in a combination of the two. A software module may reside in RAM memory, flash memory, ROM memory, EPROM memory, EEPROM memory, registers, hard disk, a removable disk, a CD-ROM, or any other form of storage medium known in the art. An exemplary storage medium is coupled to the processor such that the processor can read information from, and write information to, the storage medium. In the alternative, the storage medium may be integral to the processor. The processor and the storage medium may reside in an ASIC. The ASIC may reside in a user terminal. In the alternative, the processor and the storage medium may reside as discrete components in a user terminal.
  • [0079]
    In one or more exemplary designs, the functions described may be implemented in hardware, software, firmware, or any combination thereof. If implemented in software, the functions may be stored on or transmitted over as one or more instructions or code on a computer-readable medium. Computer-readable media includes both computer storage media and communication media including any medium that facilitates transfer of a computer program from one place to another. A storage media may be any available media that can be accessed by a general purpose or special purpose computer. By way of example, and not limitation, such computer-readable media can comprise RAM, ROM, EEPROM, CD-ROM or other optical disk storage, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium that can be used to carry or store desired program code means in the form of instructions or data structures and that can be accessed by a general-purpose or special-purpose computer, or a general-purpose or special-purpose processor. Also, any connection may be properly termed a computer-readable medium to the extent involving non-transient storage of transmitted signals. For example, if the software is transmitted from a website, server, or other remote source using a coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, twisted pair, digital subscriber line (DSL), or wireless technologies such as infrared, radio, and microwave, then the coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, twisted pair, DSL, or wireless technologies such as infrared, radio, and microwave are included in the definition of medium, to the extent the signal is retained in the transmission chain on a storage medium or device memory for any non-transient length of time. Disk and disc, as used herein, includes compact disc (CD), laser disc, optical disc, digital versatile disc (DVD), floppy disk and blu-ray disc where disks usually reproduce data magnetically, while discs reproduce data optically with lasers. Combinations of the above should also be included within the scope of computer-readable media.
  • [0080]
    Processes performed by the gaming machines, simulators, quasi-game trading engines, or client devices described herein, or portions thereof, may be coded as machine readable instructions for performance by one or more programmable computers, and recorded on a computer-readable media. The described systems and processes merely exemplify various embodiments for operating simulated gaming using a prior event outcome or trading outcome. The present technology is not limited by these examples.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A method comprising:
    storing, at a simulated gaming device, a predetermined set of outcomes determined by a gaming machine for a game of chance based on a specified series of games having a defined wager amount per game and a specified total number of games;
    receiving, at the simulated gaming device, user input indicating wager amounts for corresponding simulated games of chance; and
    adjusting a number of permitted simulated games and results of the simulated games in response to the user input and to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, so that a net outcome of the simulated games corresponds to a net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1, further comprising determining that the defined wager amount per game in the specified series is a constant value.
  3. 3. The method of claim 1, further comprising determining that the defined wager amount per game in the specified series is a variable value.
  4. 4. The method of claim 1, further comprising calculating a limit for a next wager amount of the simulated game, based on net outcome of prior simulated games and the net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes.
  5. 5. The method of claim 1, further comprising providing output simulating a game of chance having an outcome, wherein the outcome is determined so that an aggregate outcome of the simulated games corresponds to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, while being different from any individual one of the predetermined set of outcomes.
  6. 6. The method of claim 1, further comprising adjusting an apparent wager amount for one or more of the simulated games so that a net outcome of the simulated games corresponds to a net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games.
  7. 7. The method of claim 1, further comprising adjusting a number of permitted simulated games and wagers of the simulated games in response to a user-specified preference for the simulated games as a whole.
  8. 8. The method of claim 1, further comprising allocating the predetermined set of outcomes to two or more players using the simulated gaming device.
  9. 9. The method of claim 8, further comprising providing output simulating a mixed game of chance and skill having an outcome dependent in part on individual playing skill of the two or more players.
  10. 10. The method of claim 9, further comprising determining the outcome based on the predetermined set of outcomes and skill-based input from the players, so that an aggregate outcome of the simulated games corresponds to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games.
  11. 11. The method of claim 1, further comprising determining the predetermined set of outcomes at least in part by executing a short-term transaction in a volatile tradable instrument in response to receiving an investment amount, using an automated trading engine.
  12. 12. An apparatus, comprising a processor coupled to a memory, the memory holding instructions that when executed by the processor, cause the apparatus to:
    store a predetermined set of outcomes determined by a gaming machine for a game of chance based on a specified series of games having a defined wager amount per game and a specified total number of games;
    process user input indicating wager amounts for corresponding simulated games of chance; and
    adjust a number of permitted simulated games and results of the simulated games in response to the user input and to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, so that a net outcome of the simulated games corresponds to a net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games.
  13. 13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the memory holds further instructions for providing output simulating a game of chance having an outcome, wherein the outcome is determined so that an aggregate outcome of the simulated games corresponds to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, while being different from any individual one of the predetermined set of outcomes.
  14. 14. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the memory holds further instructions for allocating the predetermined set of outcomes to two or more players using the simulated gaming device.
  15. 15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the memory holds further instructions for providing output simulating a mixed game of chance and skill having an outcome dependent in part on individual playing skill of the two or more players.
  16. 16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the memory holds further instructions for determining the outcome based on the predetermined set of outcomes and skill-based input from the players, so that an aggregate outcome of the simulated games corresponds to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games.
  17. 17. An computer-readable medium holding instructions configured to be executed by a processor to cause a computer to:
    store a predetermined set of outcomes determined by a gaming machine for a game of chance based on a specified series of games having a defined wager amount per game and a specified total number of games;
    process user input indicating wager amounts for corresponding simulated games of chance; and
    adjust a number of permitted simulated games and results of the simulated games in response to the user input and to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, so that a net outcome of the simulated games corresponds to a net outcome of the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games.
  18. 18. The computer-readable medium of claim 17, further holding instructions for providing output simulating a game of chance having an outcome, wherein the outcome is determined so that an aggregate outcome of the simulated games corresponds to the predetermined set of outcomes for the specified series of games, while being different from any individual one of the predetermined set of outcomes.
  19. 19. The computer-readable medium of claim 17, further holding instructions for allocating the predetermined set of outcomes to two or more players using the simulated gaming device.
  20. 20. The computer-readable medium of claim 17, further holding instructions for providing output simulating a mixed game of chance and skill having an outcome dependent in part on individual playing skill of the two or more players.
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