US20120122545A1 - Wagering game, gaming machine, gaming network, and methods including a dynamic wheel - Google Patents

Wagering game, gaming machine, gaming network, and methods including a dynamic wheel Download PDF

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US20120122545A1
US20120122545A1 US13/232,885 US201113232885A US2012122545A1 US 20120122545 A1 US20120122545 A1 US 20120122545A1 US 201113232885 A US201113232885 A US 201113232885A US 2012122545 A1 US2012122545 A1 US 2012122545A1
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wheel
game
display
gaming machine
display device
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US13/232,885
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Brian A. Watkins
Clint Owen
Frank DeSimone
JP Cody
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Multimedia Games Inc
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Multimedia Games Inc
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Priority to US13/232,885 priority patent/US20120122545A1/en
Assigned to MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC. reassignment MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: OWEN, CLINT, CODY, JP, WATKINS, BRIAN A., DESIMONE, FRANK
Publication of US20120122545A1 publication Critical patent/US20120122545A1/en
Assigned to COMERICA BANK, A TEXAS BANKING ASSOCIATION reassignment COMERICA BANK, A TEXAS BANKING ASSOCIATION SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC.
Assigned to MGAM TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, MEGABINGO INTERNATIONAL, LLC, MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC., MULTIMEDIA GAMES HOLDING COMPANY, INC. reassignment MGAM TECHNOLOGIES, LLC RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: COMERICA BANK
Assigned to BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT reassignment BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT SECURITY INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: GLOBAL CASH ACCESS, INC., MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC.
Assigned to EVERI PAYMENTS INC. (F/K/A GLOBAL CASH ACCESS, INC.), EVERI GAMES INC. (F/K/A MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC.) reassignment EVERI PAYMENTS INC. (F/K/A GLOBAL CASH ACCESS, INC.) RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.
Assigned to EVERI GAMES INC. (F/K/A MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC.), EVERI PAYMENTS INC. (F/K/A GLOBAL CASH ACCESS, INC.) reassignment EVERI GAMES INC. (F/K/A MULTIMEDIA GAMES, INC.) RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.
Assigned to JEFFERIES FINANCE LLC, AS COLLATERAL AGENT reassignment JEFFERIES FINANCE LLC, AS COLLATERAL AGENT PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: CENTRAL CREDIT, LLC, EVERI GAMES HOLDING INC., EVERI GAMES INC., EVERI HOLDINGS INC., EVERI INTERACTIVE LLC, EVERI PAYMENTS INC., GCA MTL, LLC
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports, or amusements
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3204Player-machine interfaces
    • G07F17/3211Display means

Abstract

A wagering game, gaming machine, gaming network, and associated methods are disclosed including a dynamic wheel wherein a wheel game includes re-programming the wheel display and associated awards during successive plays. The dynamic wheel may be displayed in a wheel display area of a flat panel display device. The wheel display area along with other display areas may be defined by a bezel positioned over the display surface of the flat panel display device.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • The Applicants claim the benefit, under 35 U.S.C. §119(e), of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/413,468 filed Nov. 14, 2010, and entitled “Wagering Game, Gaming Machine, Gaming Network, And Methods Including a Dynamic Wheel.” The entire content of this provisional application is incorporated herein by this reference.
  • COPYRIGHT NOTICE
  • A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patent files or records, but otherwise reserves all rights of copyright whatsoever.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • This invention relates to wagering games, gaming machines, gaming networks, and associated methods. More particularly, the invention relates to wagering games, gaming machines, gaming networks, and methods wherein a wheel-based game includes a programmable wheel display which may vary the wheel characteristics during play of a game.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • A variety of wagering games have been developed wherein a wheel-based primary or feature game may include spinning a wheel and providing an award based on the stopping position of the wheel.
  • There continues to be a need to provide new game aspects to improve wheel-based wagering games, increase player interest, and generate excitement.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • One or more embodiments of the present invention include a variable wheel-based game and method wherein one or more segments on a wheel may be varied during play of a game to provide one or more enhanced awards.
  • Some embodiments of the present invention may provide a first wheel spin and one or more additional spins. Each wheel spin may be referred to herein as a “wheel event.” During each additional wheel spin, the potential awards of one or more segments of the displayed wheel may be incremented. The sequence incrementing potential awards displayed on the wheel may be repeated until no additional spins remain.
  • In one or more implementations of the invention, the award for a given wheel spin may be a progressive award, and this progressive award may be one tier of a series of increasing progressive awards.
  • These and other features of the invention will be apparent from the following description of illustrative embodiments, considered along with the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is front view of an example gaming machine including a variable wheel top box in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is front view of an example variable wheel top box with two jackpot segments shown on the wheel and a paytable displayed in accordance with one or more embodiments.
  • FIG. 2A is a representation of just the variable wheel display shown in FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 2B is a representation of the variable wheel display of FIG. 2A, but with two additional jackpot segments for a total of four jackpot segments.
  • FIG. 2C is a representation of the variable wheel display of FIG. 2A, but with four additional jackpot segments for a total of six jackpot segments.
  • FIG. 3 is an example logic diagram of the gaming machine shown in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 4 is an example gaming network including one or more gaming machines including a variable wheel top box in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS
  • FIG. 1 shows an example gaming machine 100 including top box 101 with a dynamic wheel display area 103 and a paytable display area 105. Gaming machine 100 also includes a primary display device 107 and a user interface shown generally at reference numeral 109. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, wheel display area 103 and paytable display area 105 are areas of a display device 102 and are defined by a bezel structure of top box 101. Further details of the bezel structure will be described below with particular reference to FIG. 2. Primary display 107 may be instructed by a game processor (described further below in connection with FIG. 3) to display a primary game (such as the Multimedia Games™ 3-Reel Mechanical Wild Wheel™ Game). A wheel game displayed in wheel display area 103 may be triggered by some event or occurrence in the primary game, such as by the appearance of a Wild Wheel symbol in an active payline, for example. In the example of FIG. 1, a “Cherry,” “Wild,” and “Wild Wheel” symbol are shown on the active payline. The “Wild Wheel” symbol in this example triggers the wheel game to cause an image of a wheel displayed in wheel display area 103 to spin (or produce the appearance of spinning) Each wheel segment of the wheel image shown in FIG. 1 is shown associated with a multiplier. An arrow indicator 110 is shown at the 12 o'clock position of wheel display area 103. The example wheel image shown in the wheel display area 103 in FIG. 1 is portrayed in the stopped position with arrow indicator 110 pointing to a “10×” multiplier segment. According to the paytable shown in paytable display area 105, a single Cherry is paid either 2, 4, or 6 credits depending upon whether the player wagered 1, 2, or 3 credits (a credit equal to $0.25 in the example game). A 4th credit may be wagered in this example game to activate the wheel game, that is, cause the wheel image in wheel display area 103 to spin when the wheel game is triggered. In this example, the reel stop would pay as 3 Cherries (awards 10/20/30 for 1/2/3 coins wagered) rather than 1 Cherry due to the “Wild” and “Wild Wheel” symbols appearing on the payline. If the player had wagered four credits to activate the wheel game, and if the illustrated position of the wheel image in wheel display area 103 is the position after coming to a rest, then the wheel game resulted in a “10×” multiplier. The player may thus be paid ten times the credits shown in the paytable for the payline win on primary display 107, and this total credit amount may be credited to the credit meter on gaming machine 100.
  • In one or more alternative embodiments, additional credits may be wagered by a player to increase the awards payable through the wheel game displayed in wheel game display area 103 in FIG. 1. For example, a player may be provided the option to wager 4, 5, or 6 credits. Responsive to the credits wagered, the game processor may transmit display information to the wheel display increasing multiples associated with one or more segments (for example, 2×, 3×, or 4× the original credit award or multiple associated with given segments). In another alternative, one or more segments may display a jackpot segment when a player wagers the maximum bet including a maximum bet for the wheel game option. Additionally, segments may be modified, depending upon the amount wagered, to provide additional benefits, such as a credit award (or a multiple of the primary game award) plus another spin of the wheel or in the primary game.
  • In other embodiments, a random or pseudo-random trigger unassociated with the primary game may occur (such as by a game processor or server periodically executing an random number generator (RNG)). In these embodiments the display device providing wheel display area 103 may be instructed to display a special (or mystery) award presentation, such as by displaying a spinning ball or globe or alternative wheel (which may be different or the same as the wheel displayed during a wheel game feature triggered by the primary game). Once the alternative spinning display has stopped, the display device may be operated to display and/or repetitively flash the award amount. Gaming machine 100 may also provide accompanying audio through speakers 111 during the visual presentation in any embodiments of the present invention.
  • Referring to FIG. 2, example wheel display area 103 and paytable display area 105 provided in top box 101 may be display areas of a single underlying display device 102, such as a flat panel video display device, which is covered with a bezel structure 201. Alternatively, more than one underlying display devices may be used to provide the different display areas of top box 101. Whether a single display device 102 or multiple display devices are used, wheel display area 103 may be defined by an overlaying circular bezel 206 of bezel structure 201, and paytable display area 105 may be defined by an overlaying rectangular bezel 207 of the bezel structure. As shown in FIG. 1, top box 101 may be affixed at the top of gaming machine 100. In one or more alternative embodiments, top box 101 may be implemented as a stand-alone device, separate from any primary game and configured to accept wagers and provide one or more wheel games using a suitable player interface. When top box 101 forms a part of gaming machine 100, the wheel game displayed in wheel display area 103 may be triggered by one or more events, such as by the appearance of a special symbol in the primary game or by a random or pseudo-random determination of a game processor. In one or more alternative embodiments, the wheel game shown in wheel display area 103 may be initiated directly by a player's wager.
  • In the example of FIG. 2, the image shown in wheel display area 103 includes a number of segments 208 which may each be presented in different colors and may be associated with various award amounts. Two segments 208 are shown with a “Jackpot” prize. The Jackpot segments may be associated with a top award, such as a progressive or fixed value award. There may be a series (or ladder) including two or more levels (or tiers) of increasing progressive or fixed value awards that may be associated with the jackpot segments and won during a wheel game. The series of progressive awards may be shown in a paytable display such as at display area 105 either simultaneously with the primary game paytable or in an alternate manner. For example, while the primary game is being played (displayed through display apparatus 107 in FIG. 1 for example), the primary game paytable may be shown in paytable display area 105, and when the wheel game is triggered the progressive ladder may be shown in paytable display area 105. In another alternative, the progressive ladder may be displayed in wheel display area 103 during primary game play and/or while the gaming machine is in attract mode, and when the wheel game is triggered, the progressive ladder may be displayed in paytable display area 105 and wheel display area 103 may display the wheel segments and associated awards. The progressive awards may have distinct color lighting associated with each level, such as ruby, emerald, sapphire, silver, gold, and platinum. Also, each progressive award may be separately displayed in the center area of the wheel in alternate fashion.
  • In one or more embodiments, a wheel feature game may be triggered by the appearance of a special symbol on an active payline of the primary game to activate a spin of the top wheel in wheel display area 103. The wheel feature game may require a wager in addition to wagers on one or more paylines or may require a maximum permissible bet. When not betting a sufficient amount to activate the wheel feature game, the bonus trigger on an active payline may pay a flat credit value without spinning the wheel. In the example as shown in FIG. 2, the wheel image shown in wheel display area 103 has 16 segments 208, 2 of which are marked “Jackpot” (the rest of segments 208 have one or more different fixed credit values respectively associated with them and characterized in the display by the “$” symbol). If the wheel hits a credit value (that is, a segment 208 associated with a fixed credit value is indicated by indicator 110 or otherwise selected in the wheel game), that value is awarded and the bonus is over. If the wheel image stops with the indicator 110 pointing to a Jackpot segment 208, several things may occur. For example, the lowest progressive tier may be highlighted, one or more additional Jackpot segments may be added to the wheel (such as by adding two jackpot segments or replacing two segments originally associated with fixed credit values), and the wheel image may be animated to spin again. If on a subsequent spin, the wheel hits a Jackpot segment 208 again (that is, stops with indicator 110 pointing to a Jackpot segment), then: (a) the next progressive tier (or level) may be highlighted, (b) one or more additional Jackpot segments may be added to the wheel (such as by adding a jackpot segment or replacing a segment originally associated with a fixed credit value), and (c) the wheel may be animated to spin again. The process may be repeated until either a credit value is hit or the top-tier progressive is attained. If the last spin hits a credit value segment 208 then the player may be awarded the credit value amount along with the progressive associated with the highest progressive-tier that the player achieved). Alternatively, if the top progressive tier is achieved, then the player may be awarded the top progressive.
  • In one or more embodiments, the values associated with each progressive award may be accumulated as an award to a player such that a player may win multiple progressive prizes during a single play of the wheel game (which may include multiple spins as described above).
  • In some embodiments, two or more spins of the wheel shown in wheel display area 105 in FIGS. 1 and 2 may be provided to a player when the wheel game is triggered. For example, the number of spins may be predetermined by the game programming with a fixed amount of spins each time the wheel game is triggered, or the number of spins may be determined by the game processor using a random number generator. Alternatively, the number of spins may be determined by the amount of credits played (e.g. 4 credits=2 spins; 5 credits=3 spins; 6 credits=4 spins), or the number of spins may be determined based on the number of wheel game triggering (“special”) symbols appearing, either scattered or on an active payline depending upon the game programming, (e.g. 1, 2, or 3 special symbols corresponds to 2, 4, or 6 wheel spins).
  • In some implementations, any one of multiple progressive awards may be winnable during a single spin of the wheel game displayed through wheel display area 103. For example, each available progressive award may be associated with a distinct special symbol, and one or more of the special symbols may appear on one or more wheel segments such as segments 208. The highest progressive award's special symbol may appear on one segment, while the smallest progressive award's special symbol may appear on multiple wheel segments. In the case where only one spin is provided when the wheel game is triggered, the wheel display may be static in the sense that the awards associated with the various segments 208 are not modified for the single spin. Alternatively, the wheel display may be dynamically determined for each spin such as by the game processor (described further below) using a RNG to determine the award associated with each segment 208. In the case where more than one spin is provided when the wheel game is triggered, if a progressive award is selected during a spin, then for subsequent spins, the segments associated with the progressive award that has been won may be changed to a fixed and/or alternative award (e.g. an enhancement provision and/or additional wheel spins).
  • In some embodiments, when the wheel game is triggered a player may be provided an opportunity to win a different one of the progressive awards on each of a series of wheel spins. For example, four progressive awards may be available and associated respectively with a diamond, sapphire, emerald, and ruby symbol. During a first wheel spin, the ruby symbol may appear on one or more segments. During a next spin, the emerald symbol may appear on one or more segments and so forth, during successive spins until the player has had an opportunity to win each of the progressive awards. In various alternatives, more than one progressive award may be winnable during a single spin. For example, if the ruby associated progressive is not won during the first spin, the ruby symbol may be displayed on one or more wheel segments and the emerald symbol may appear on one or more other of the wheel segments. The player may be provided at least one opportunity to win each of the progressive awards during a single play of the wheel game with multiple spins. However, in other alternatives, the player may be required to win a progressive award on a given spin to be eligible to progress and have an additional spin and opportunity to win a next higher progressive award. For example, if a player doesn't win the sapphire associated progressive award, the wheel game may end without providing the player a chance to win the diamond associated progressive award. In other embodiments the player may be provided an additional spin if the player doesn't win the ruby or emerald associated progressive award.
  • In one or more alternative embodiments, a three reel mechanical primary game may be implemented with multiple paylines. In additional embodiments, the example gaming machine may be implemented with a video primary display. Additional reels may be added as well as additional visible symbols on each reel, such as by implementing 5 reels, each reel displaying 4 symbols to produce a 5×4 matrix of reel symbols.
  • In addition to different award values that may be associated with each segment 208 of the wheel display shown in wheel display area 103, enhancement features may be associated with one or more segments which, when selected, may initiate an event and/or modification on the primary game (for example, an instruction to modify one or more reel symbols in the primary game). When the wheel game is played and the wheel stops at a segment with an enhancement provision (such as to modify one or more reel symbols of the primary game to wild symbols and play a number of free game plays with the modified wild symbols), a corresponding instruction may be executed by the game processor modifying one or more reel symbols to wild and initiating play of the primary game until the number of free game plays have been completed. Following each free play, the player may be awarded in accordance with the primary game paytable which awards may be enhanced depending upon the enhancement provision. Following the free play, the primary game reel symbols may be returned to their original condition by the game processor and the primary game may then be ready for additional play by the player. In an alternative embodiment, the reel symbols of the primary game may not physically or visibly change, but may simply be treated as a “wild” and/or a line payout doubler or tripler symbol by the game processor in determining the award to be paid to the player. Another example enhancement provision may simply provide one or more free spins in the primary game. Additionally, when an enhancement provision is triggered or selected through a wheel game, an additional enhancement may be provided through the primary game based on the number of credits played by the player when the wheel game is triggered. For example, if a player may wager 4, 5, or 6 credits to be eligible to play the wheel game, and, if a segment with an enhancement provision including two free primary game plays is selected in the wheel game, then if a player has wagered 4 credits, the player may receive the two free primary game plays, but if the player has wagered 5 credits, this may trigger the game processor to provide two additional free primary games for a total of four free games. Going further with this example, if the player has wagered 6 credits to be eligible to play the wheel game, this may trigger the game processor to provide four additional free primary games for a total of six free games. In one or more embodiments, the colors of the wheel segments (or rings, etc.), may enhance payouts on winning combination of the primary game. For example, when landing on a blue wheel segment, if the color matches the color of a winning combination of say Blue 7 symbols on an active payline of the primary game, then the primary game may pay a multiple of the award designated by the paytable, such as by doubling or tripling the paytable designated award. This award may be in addition to an amount or multiple displayed on the selected wheel segment. For example, assume three Blue 7 symbols pays 10 credits according to the paytable, the primary game result that triggered the wheel game includes three Blue 7 symbols on an active payline plus three Bars on another active payline, where three Bars pays 5 credits according to the paytable. Further assume a Blue colored wheel segment is selected which has a “2×” multiple associated with it and matching a wheel color segment with a color on an active payline of the primary game triples the primary game award on the payline. In this case the game processor may award the player as follows: (3×10+5)×2=70 credits. As in any win at the gaming machine these credits may be presented by crediting the credit meter of the gaming machine, or presented by paying out directly to the player in the form of a coupon, cash, or credit to the player's account.
  • In some embodiments, an enhancement provision associated with a wheel segment 208 may trigger a feature game to be displayed in a display window, such as primary display 107 (in FIG. 1), paytable display area 105, or wheel display area 103, which may include payment of an award depending upon the outcome. Once completed, the display may revert to its previous state. For example, a set of reels may be displayed with one or more special symbols appearing on each of the reels where at least one of the special symbols on each reel may be associated with a progressive award which, if appearing on a payline when the reels are spun and stopped, results in the player winning the progressive award.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, during primary game operation or attract mode, paytable display area 105 may display a paytable with various winning outcomes associated with various awards and may also display criterion for qualifying for the wheel game. During the wheel game, however, paytable display area 105 may display content related to the wheel game, such as progressive awards and associated symbols.
  • The gaming machine 100 shown in FIG. 1 includes middle display 113 which may display a server-based game (such as bingo, in the case of a Class II gaming machine), advertising or other content as may be provided over a network or through the gaming machine. User interface 109 provides various controls to allow a patron to place wagers and initiate play of one or more games at gaming machine 100. User interface 109 may include a commercially available player tracking interface unit, such as a Bally iView™ unit, a button deck with buttons for selecting paylines, wagers per payline, and additional wagers associated with the wheel game or eligibility thereto, and a “Play” button and/or handle with which the player may initiate play of the primary game. The button deck may be provided on a touch panel in addition to or in the alternative to a physical button deck. The Play button may be also useable to initiate spinning of the wheel shown in the wheel display area 103 when the wheel game is triggered. The player tracking unit may include a card reader, a bill acceptor/printer, and player display graphic which may include a greeting to the player, player points, a menu for communicating with a player tracking server, and other casino operator content.
  • While gaming machine 100 is shown as an upright gaming machine cabinet style, various cabinet styles or device types may be utilized including a slant top cabinet style, a bar top cabinet style (where the cabinet may be part of a bar/table top and/or housed therein), a personal computer or handheld device. For example, in cases where only a single display is available for use with a device, a user interface, primary display, and paytable may be predominantly displayed to initiate and during primary game play. When a triggering event occurs, the display content may change (or be transformed) to display the wheel and any associated paytable or related content, such as available progressive awards and number of wheel spins remaining
  • Each reel 114 shown in FIG. 1 includes a series of symbols viewable in display 107 (for example, through a glass window or transparent display, in the case of mechanical reels, or, as displayed in a video format). With the reels 114 in a stationary position, the symbols visible in display device 107 may be viewed as an array of symbols. During a wagering game (as may be initiated by a player by placing a wager and pressing a Play button), the reels may be simulated to spin (or electro-mechanically spun in the case of mechanical reels) about an axle under the control of a game processor which randomly or pseudo-randomly determines the game outcome and causes the reels to stop in accordance with the determined game outcome.
  • One or more paylines, combinations, or patterns of the symbols including those visible in display device 107 may be correlated to a game result payable in accordance with a paytable such as may be displayed in paytable display area 105. For example, a game with five reels and displaying four symbol locations per reel may have four paylines which extend horizontally across each reel and many others which may zig and zag across the various reel symbol locations both on and off the viewable display area. A patron may wager on one or more of the paylines during each game play. Display device 107 may thereby be used to display game results to one or more patrons who may view gaming machine 100 and the game processor may make payment to the patron by incrementing a credit meter for winning outcomes of paylines in accordance with the paytable and upon which the patron has wagered. In example gaming machine 100, only one payline is provided horizontally across the three reels. A player may be provided the option to bet one, two, or three credits on the payline to play the primary game, and a fourth credit to be eligible for the wheel game, if triggered. While example gaming machine 100 includes a set of three reels, various numbers of reels and paylines may be selected or utilized in an implementation of one or more embodiments, such as one, two, three, four, five, six, seven reels, and so forth.
  • Primary display device 107 may comprise a single display or may comprise two or more displays (e.g. two displays in over- or under-laying relation to each other). For example, primary display device 107 may comprise a touch-sensitive display panel, such as a flat panel LCD or LED display, which may be programmed to display an opaque or thematic frame image (which may include video and/or still images) except over a reel display area. Primary display 107 may be programmed to be transparent or translucent during game play of the primary wagering game, so that the patron may view the game presentation in the reel display area where a set of mechanical reels may be viewable or a set of video reels may be displayed by an underlying display. In addition, the entire display surface of primary display device 107 (or a portion thereof) may be configured to respond to the patron's touch such as to select paylines, select credits wagered per payline, and/or play the primary game (or wheel game if triggered or activated).
  • In one or more alternative embodiments, primary display device 107 may be programmed to display a bonus or feature game, such as a wheel game, that may be triggered by the appearance of one or more special symbols or other random event. For example, when a bonus or feature game is triggered, primary display device 107 (or a portion thereof) may be transformed to display content associated with the bonus or feature game and once the bonus or feature game is complete, primary display device 107 may revert to the primary game display state. In the case of a wheel game, the display content on primary display device 107 may include a “look up” indicator, a “press” button to spin the wheel, and/or a “spin the wheel” surface to slide a hand and impart a corresponding energy level to the spin of the wheel. Wheel display area 103 may additionally or alternatively include a touch sensitive surface configured to transmit a signal to initiate spinning of the wheel responsive to a touch or slide of a player's hand.
  • In one or more alternative embodiments, a touch sensitive portion of display device 107 may be programmed to display a player interactive element such as, for example, by displaying a selection of buttons and displaying a message to the player to “choose a button” implemented to enable player interactivity with the game. Selecting the displayed button or item may cause the game to perform additional steps and/or provide one or more bonus or feature game outcomes and awards to the player.
  • In one or more alternative embodiments, gaming machine 100 may include mechanical reels with fixed or dynamic symbols. Conventionally, mechanical reels include reel strips with fixed symbols. However, reel strips may be, for example, implemented using FOLED (flexible organic LED) or comparable reel strips wherein one or more symbols may be programmed dynamically to vary the symbol and/or its appearance, either from one fixed image to another (such as changing a symbol to a wild symbol or changing a series of symbols to wild symbols), or, from a fixed image to a dynamic (e.g. animated or video) image or a set of miniature video reels. In various instances when a symbol changes to another symbol, a bonus or enhanced award may be paid in accordance with the paytable or a multiple thereof or may be a bonus (a fixed or progressive amount) paid separate from the paytable. In the event that the payment is a progressive, a progressive pool may be generated from an operator's marketing dollars or from play at one or more gaming machines which may be eligible for the progressive award. When reels of a primary game are produced virtually (via video-generated reels) on a video display device in the position of primary display device 107 in FIG. 1, the symbols may be fixed or animated on each of the reels. In one or more embodiments, the appearance of one or more special symbols may trigger the wheel display in wheel display area 103 to transform, spin, and provide an interactive element with the primary game. For example, a multiplier symbol may appear on a winning payline or as a scatter symbol, which may trigger the wheel display in wheel display area 103 to display each of the segments with a multiplier value (e.g. 1×, 2×, 3×, etc.), spin, and based on the segment selected, the associated multiplier may be applied to one or more paylines on the primary game to determine the award that is paid to the player (e.g. credited to a credit meter on the gaming machine). If two multiplier symbols appear, the multiplier associated with the selected wheel segment may itself be multiplied by two. If three multiplier symbols appear, the multiplier may be multiplied by three, and so forth. In another example, one or more free spin symbols may appear on the primary game which may trigger a wheel display in display area 103 to display wheel segments with associated numbers of free spins and depending on the wheel segment selected after spinning the wheel, the associated number of free spins may be applied to the primary game. The associated number may also be multiplied by the number of free spin symbols that appeared on the primary display to trigger the wheel game. Further, the wheel game process may be repeated to add to the number of remaining primary game free reel spins, if one or more free spin symbols appear on subsequent primary game reel spins.
  • In one or more alternative embodiments, overlapping display panels may be implemented to generate video or display effects over the primary game reels; for example, the reel display area may be implemented as a transmissive (e.g. Aruze or WMS transmissive display panels) display or a transparent (e.g. a Bally® transparent display panels) display configured to display visual effects together (or cooperatively) with the primary reels under the control of the game processor during the operation of a wagering game. In the case of virtual reels, the virtual reels may be recessed a distance from an overlaying display and segregated by dividers similar to dividers separating mechanical reels, which may provide a spatial characteristic (e.g. IGT PureDepth® display panels). In either case, the overlapping display may be touch sensitive and configured to interact with the player by transmitting and receiving signals as described above.
  • In one or more embodiments, the game processor operating the wagering game and interacting with various peripheral components in many instances is implemented as a microprocessor, such as an Intel Pentium® or Core® microprocessor, on a printed circuit board including one or more memory devices positioned within gaming machine 100. In alternative implementations, the game processor may be remote from gaming machine 100, such as on a server network (game server 403 shown in FIG. 4 for example) connected to gaming machine 100, in which case the game operation as described herein may be accomplished through network communications to control the display of the game on gaming machine 100.
  • FIG. 3 shows an example logical diagram of gaming machine 100 and includes a CPU or game processor 301, memory 303 with wagering game 304, user interface 305, network controller 307, audio controller 308, graphics processors 309 and 310, and reel assembly 313. The reel assembly 313 will be included in gaming machine 100 if the gaming machine employs mechanical reels rather than or in addition to video-generated reels. Game processor 301 in this example implementation may comprise a conventional microprocessor, such as an Intel Pentium® or Core® microprocessor, mounted on a printed circuit board with supporting ports, drivers, memory, and coding to communicate with and control gaming machine operations, such as through the execution of coding stored in memory 303 including one or more wagering games 304. Game processor 301 connects to user interface 305 such that a player may enter input information, and game processor 301 may respond according to its programming, such as to apply a wager and initiate execution of a game.
  • Game processor 301 also may connect through network controller 307 to a gaming network, such as example casino server network 400 which will be described below in connection with FIG. 4. Through its network connection, gaming machine 100 may be monitored by an operator through one or more servers such as to assure proper operation, and, data and information may be shared between gaming machine 100 and respective of the servers in the network such as to accumulate or provide player promotional value, to provide server-based games, or to pay server-based awards.
  • Generally, activity at gaming machine 100 is initiated by a player inserting currency and/or a player card into an appropriate receiving device such as a bill acceptor for currency and card reader for the player card. Upon insertion, a signal is sent to game processor 301. In the case of the insertion of a player card, the card reader transmits card information which is directed through network controller 307 to a player tracking server connected to the network in which the gaming machine is included. Player data is transmitted to gaming machine 100 and, responsive to the data, game processor 301 may execute coding causing player data and a display command to be transmitted to one of the graphics processors 309 or 310 instructing the graphics processors to cause player information to be displayed on a respective display. Game processor 301 may also transmit commands to audio controller 308 to direct the controller to cause an audio greeting to be produced through one or more speakers associated with the gaming machine. Concurrently, the bill acceptor sends a signal to game processor 301 which may include an identification of the currency that has been read, and game processor 301 in accordance with its coding may convert the currency amount to credits and transmit a store and display signal to a credit meter and its associated display (“Credits”, in FIG. 1 for example). Once credits have been associated with the credit meter, the player may select the number of paylines and credits per line that the player wishes to wager, whereupon game processor 301, in accordance with its program code, receives the wager information from user interface 305, transmits accounting and display information to the payline (“Lines”), credits per payline (“Bet per Line), and total bet (“Total Bet”) meters and displays of the gaming machine, transmits an update to the credit meter and display (“Credits”) deducting the amount of the total bet, and initiates the wagering game.
  • In the case of a Class III gaming devices, when a game is initiated, a random number generator (RNG) may be operated by game processor 301 to determine the game outcome (either directly or by randomly selecting reel stop positions and evaluating those positions to identify an outcome). Commonly, game processor 301 is positioned within gaming machine 100 and configured to manage the operation of the gaming machine components, such as shown in FIG. 3. However, the game processor may be either onboard or external to a gaming device played by a player, such as an electronic tablet (e.g. Apple iPad® or gaming specific tablet), personal data assistant (PDA), cellular telephone (e.g. Blackberry® or Apple iPhone®), surface table (e.g. Microsoft®/IGT® touch sensitive gaming surface table), etc. In such case, when the player places a wager and initiates play of the game through user interface 305 of the gaming device, the game processor may be onboard the device or remotely located, such as within a network gaming server. In the latter case, an onboard microprocessor, controller, or digital signal processor may execute coding to transmit the wager and game request information through the network, and the remote game processor may operate an RNG to determine the game outcome.
  • In the case of Class II gaming devices, the overall structure of the various devices as discussed above is essentially the same with the major difference being the method of determining the game outcome. Commonly, Class II gaming devices utilize the game of bingo as the basis for determining a winning outcome where the ball draw is performed remotely by a network or central determination server (alternative games may be used for determining game outcomes, such as through a lottery drawing of a finite set of numbers, if permitted by the licensing jurisdiction). Class II gaming systems are commonly referred to as central determination systems wherein pools and sub-pools of game outcomes are determined by a central server (or gaming device) and distributed amongst a set of networked gaming devices. The distribution step may be on demand, such as when a gaming device receives a game request, or sets of game outcomes may be distributed to the various networked gaming devices in which case the game processor of the requesting gaming device may select a game outcome from the set of game outcomes, such as by using an RNG or other selection process.
  • Additionally, Class II gaming devices, such as a bingo-based gaming device may have multiple displays, such as are shown in FIG. 1 wherein one of the displays, such as display 113 in FIG. 1, may be used to display one or more electronic bingo cards and one or more ball drawings after a game has been initiated in accordance with the game outcome that has been provided to the gaming device by a central determination server. In the case, as in FIG. 1, where the primary display comprises a set of reels, game processor 301 converts the centrally-determined game outcome to a corresponding value outcome of the reel-based game as shown in FIG. 1 and operates the reel-based game as described above and with respect to the figures. In one or more embodiments, when a player enters a wager on the primary game which is a qualifying wager for the wheel game, and enters “PLAY” through an appropriate player control, a game play request may be transferred to central determination server 405 (discussed below in connection with FIG. 4) which may provide a single game outcome to the respective gaming machine 100. Game processor 301 may then initiate game presentations of both games concluding with outcomes corresponding to the game outcome provided by central determination server 405. In an alternative embodiment, central determination server 405 may provide two game outcomes (one associated with the primary game and one associated with the wheel game), and game processor 301 may initiate corresponding game presentations through primary display 107 and in wheel game display area 105.
  • In one or more embodiments, coding may be implemented and stored in memory 303 and/or 304, executable by game processor 301 to control game operation, display content, lighting, and audio through video, audio, reel drive motor controllers (for mechanical reels), and lighting controllers.
  • While the primary display 107 in FIG. 1 has been described as displaying a set of reels, in one or more embodiments, the primary game may be a card-based (e.g. poker or blackjack), dice-based (e.g. craps), wheel-based (e.g. roulette or Wheel-of-Fortune type), or competition-based (e.g. car or horse race) game.
  • Also, while gaming machine 100 has been described as a stand-alone or networked game device, in one or more embodiments gaming machine 100 may be operable in a tournament or community gaming mode wherein players may compete to trigger the wheel-based game which may include competing for one or more progressive awards. For example, in one or more example configurations, one or more banks of gaming machines 100 may be networked connected to an overhead display as will be described below in connection with FIG. 4 which may display the wheel game. When the wheel game is triggered, the player triggering the wheel game may be indicated on the overhead display as the wheel game is played.
  • Top box 101 shown in FIG. 2 may include one or more flat panel displays mounted on a rectangular shaped cabinet top box structure. Bezel structure 201 (which includes circular bezel 206 and paytable bezel 207) may overlay the flat panel display or displays, such that wheel display area 103 is framed by circular bezel 206 and paytable display area 105 is framed by paytable bezel 207. The video display device visible through bezel 206 allows various images (e.g. wheel segments, associated awards or prizes, and indicator) to be displayed in that area. In one or more alternative embodiments, the flat panel displays may, in fact, be constructed into three-dimensional shapes such as by implementing a FOLED in a hollow, inward or outward extending semi-spherical, -conical, -cylindrical, -prism, or -pyramid shape whereon various shaped segments may be displayed and spun to provide the illusion of a spinning device as otherwise described herein.
  • Indicator 110 may be programmed to display in an overlaying manner with respect to a wheel image which may be shown in wheel display area 103. The wheel image may be provided apparent rotating motion about its center axis while indicator 110 may be displayed in a fixed location, or vice-a-versa where indicator 110 may apparently rotate about the circumference of the wheel image. In an alternative embodiment, indicator 110 may be a physical element portion of circular bezel 206.
  • In another example embodiment, an indicator performing the function of indicator 110 may be a light indicator which may illuminate one segment 208 at a time. In such case, the wheel image may be provided apparent rotating motion, and the light indicator may remain in one position (for example, at or about the 12 o'clock position). In one or more examples, a light indicator may be implemented as a single light source, such as a single bright white LED, or several closely grouped lights located at or about a position at the perimeter of the wheel display. Alternatively, light indicators may be located at numerous different points around the perimeter of the reel display.
  • In yet another embodiment, an indicator performing the function of indicator 110 may be implemented through programming to add additional illumination to the pixels of a selected area of the display which may correspond to a segment area. In this case, the wheel image may be programmed to stop so that a single wedge segment corresponds to the illuminated portion. Alternatively, the programming of the wheel may include specific display instructions for each wedge segment, so that each wedge segment may sequentially be programmed to illuminate at a higher light intensity or color-coded to provide an image of apparent illumination greater than their normal state. The cycle associated with the sequential illumination of each wedge may be programmed to be a constant speed until stopped, or the cycle may have a variable speed, such as fast to slow to provide the appearance of a wheel and/or the illumination slowing down to a stop. In one example, the wheel image may remain fixed in place with the illumination effect rotating from wedge to wedge according to the programmed cycle. In another example, the wheel image may rotate as the segment illumination effect cycles. For instance, the wheel image may have apparent rotation in the clock-wise direction while the added-illumination type indicator may have apparent rotation in the counter-clockwise direction. If both have the same rotational speed, then the illuminated segment may appear to be stationary such as at the top of the wheel. In another embodiment, the illumination effect may be non-sequential and random or quasi-random, and the cycle of illuminating segments 208 may be constant until stopped or may be gradually slowed.
  • In one or more embodiments, a first display may overlay a second display. In such an example, the wheel image may be displayed on the second display while indicator 110 may be displayed on the first display. Additional special effects such as fireworks and other celebratory images may be programmed onto the first display once wheel and indicator images come to apparent rest. Such special effects may also be programmed with a single display. A spatial effect may be obtained through programming or by implementation of a PureDepth® type display wherein the displays are separated by a divider. Audio effects may also be programmed to transmit sound effects through available speakers both during the game presentation and during a celebratory presentation.
  • Various wheel or other-shaped images may be programmed to be displayed in the wheel display area 103. FIGS. 1, 2A, 2B, and 2C show only examples of the types of wheel shapes that may be displayed in wheel display area 103. While the number of possible jackpot opportunities may be fixed depending upon the game with which the wheel image is associated, the programmability and use of display devices to provide the wheel graphics enables a gaming machine embodying principles of the present invention to introduce additional jackpot segments onto the wheel image depending upon the triggering event for the wheel game or depending upon other factors. For example, two jackpot segments 208 (as shown in FIGS. 2 and 2A) may be programmed to be included in the wheel image when a triggering event includes one special symbol appearing in the primary game (presented, for example through primary display 107 in FIG. 1). The programming for the display (102 in FIGS. 1 and 2) may cause the wheel image to include four jackpot segments 208 (as shown in FIG. 2B) when two special symbols appear in the primary game. Alternatively, the number of jackpot segments 208 displayed may depend on the amount wagered. For example, six jackpot segments 208 may be displayed (as shown in FIG. 2C) when a player wagers a maximum bet qualifying for the wheel game feature (which may be an additional bet), whereas two jackpot segments 208 (as shown in FIG. 2A) may be displayed when a player wagers a minimum threshold bet plus any qualifying bet for the wheel game feature. Similarly, the value of the additional segments 208 may be increased based upon the amount wagered or the amount of special symbols appearing in the base game.
  • In another example, a wheel image may be programmed to be displayed with the appearance of a roulette wheel, and the segment indicator performing the function of indicator 110 in FIGS. 1 and 2 may be programmed with the appearance of a ball. Both wheel and indicator images may be provided apparent rotation in opposite directions and be programmed to apparently slow down until the ball (indicator) comes to rest on one segment of the wheel image. Additionally, sound effects may be incorporated such as the sound of a spinning wheel and ball bouncing.
  • In another example, programming may cause a wheel image to be displayed with a tunnel effect wherein each segment is a ring segment and the segments may have graduated circumference from the center to the outer radius of the wheel image. In such case, each circular or annular segment may be sequentially illuminated or programmed to display as an illuminated segment, and the sequence may be initiated from the center (e.g. the bulls-eye of a dart board) to the outer segment (outer circumference) and/or from the outer segment to the center segment. The segments may respectively be associated with different award values similar to a dartboard. Segments may have smaller and greater widths, such as from the center to the outer segments, and the illumination cycle may vary faster to slower as the illumination effect progresses from the inner to outer segment.
  • In another example, programming may cause a wheel image to be displayed as a dartboard with both radially extending wedge segments (such as segments 208 in FIG. 2) and circular or annular segments. An illumination indicator may cycle from the bulls-eye to the outer annular segments in a pattern, randomly, or pseudo-randomly and another illumination indicator may cycle through the radially extending segments. For example, an illumination effect may illuminate portions of each wedge in a sequence, such as from the bulls-eye (which may be the jackpot award) to the next segment (example award 50) to a doubler segment (example award 50×2) to a next outer segment (example award 25) to a doubler segment (example award 25×2) and to an outer segment (example award 10). Alternatively, the illumination effect may randomly or pseudo-randomly illuminate one wedge portion at a time anywhere on the displayed dartboard. In one example, the game presentation ends when the illumination stops moving from location to location. At this stopping point, some celebratory display may occur across a portion of the display area. Such a celebratory display may include a graphic of the amount won. In another example, the game presentation may include more than one award selection, so that after a first award, the illumination effect may re-commence until another selection is made, and so forth. The same may be the case in the various other wheel game examples.
  • A display controller may be configured to control display content on the flat panel display or displays visible through wheel display area 103 and/or paytable display area 105 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and accent lights which may be provided in bezel structure 201. Alternatively, there may be separate controllers that may be operable under the control of another processor, such as a game processor which may be local to the gaming machine or remote from the gaming machine (e.g. network server).
  • In addition to including the bezels 206 and 207 which frame the wheel display area 103 and paytable display area 105, respectively, bezel structure 201 may further include a circular pattern of single- or multi-color LEDs. The location of these additional LED accent lights is indicated at reference number 210 in FIG. 2. These accent lights may be operated synchronously or quasi-synchronously with the wheel and indicator images. For example, in the case of a rotating wheel or indicator image, the bezel structure accent lighting may rotate lighting about the perimeter of wheel display area 103. In the case of a tunnel wheel, the bezel lighting may light or change color from the outer circumference of LEDs to the inner circumference and/or vice-a-versa. In the case of a random indicator, the bezel accent LEDs may illuminate portions of the bezel corresponding to the location of the illumination effect.
  • In another embodiment, bezel structure 201 may include a FOLED display instead of the individual LEDs indicated at locations 210. FOLED display film may be shaped in a circular pattern to cover the entire area having LED locations 210 shown in FIG. 2, and may be controlled through suitable instructions executed by a controller to display a similar pattern of lighting as the discrete LEDs. Additionally, the FOLED display film may be programmed to display additional images such as an undulating flashing lighting when a big win occurs during a wheel game presentation. Also, various video features may be displayed in the area of locations 210, such as cartoon characters displayed running around the circumference of wheel display area 103 or celebratory performances.
  • A wheel game using wheel top box 101 may be initiated by a processor or by a processor in combination with a player touching a “PLAY” button or touching (or sliding a finger or hand along) a touch sensitive primary game display 107 in FIG. 1. Alternative arrangements within the scope of the present invention may facilitate player interaction through displays included in top box 101 itself. For example, the display visible through wheel display area 103 may comprise a touch panel display enabling an interaction of the player with the wheel by the player touching (or sliding a finger or hand along) a portion of wheel image in area 103 to initiate spinning of the wheel.
  • FIG. 4 shows a block diagram of example networked gaming system 400 associated with one or more gaming facilities, and including one or more networked gaming machines 100, one or more of which may include a dynamic wheel top box such as top box 101. It should be appreciated that although FIG. 4 shows several separate servers, the various server functions may be combined or split into additional servers having additional capabilities.
  • Networked gaming machines 100 (Egm 1−Egm N) and one or more overhead displays 413 may be network connected to enable the content of one or more displays of the gaming machines to be mirrored or replayed on the overhead display. For example, the primary display content for a given gaming machine 100 may be stored by the display controller or game processor 301 and transmitted through network controller 307 (FIG. 3) to a controller for overhead display 413 either substantially simultaneously or at a subsequent time according to either periodic programming executed by game processor 301 or a triggering event, such as a jackpot or large win, at the respective gaming machine 100. In the event that gaming machines 100 have cameras installed, the respective player's video images may be displayed on overhead display 413 along with the content of the player's primary display 107 or the content shown in any of the top box display areas (103 and 105 in FIGS. 1 and 2).
  • In one or more embodiments, game server 403 may provide server-based games and/or game services to network connected gaming devices, such as gaming machines 100 (which may be connected by network cable or wirelessly). Progressive server 407 may accumulate progressive awards by receiving defined amounts (such as a percentage of the wagers from eligible gaming devices or by receiving funding from marketing or casino funds) and provide progressive awards to winning gaming devices upon a progressive event, such as a progressive jackpot game outcome or other triggering event such as a random or pseudo-random win determination at a networked gaming device or server. Accounting server 411 may receive gaming data from each of the networked gaming devices, perform audit functions, and provide data for analysis programs, such as the IGT Mariposa™ program bundle.
  • Player account server 409 may maintain player account records, and store persistent player data including accumulated player points and/or player preferences such as game personalizing selections or options. For example, the player tracking display may be programmed to display a player menu that may include a choice of personalized gaming selections that may be applied to a gaming machine 100 being played by the player.
  • In one or more embodiments, a player menu may be programmed to display after a player inserts a player card into the card reader. When the card reader is inserted, an identification may be read from the card and transmitted to player account server 409. In response to the received identification, player account server 409 transmits player information across the network back to the respective gaming machine and some or all of this player information may then be displayed on the player tracking display of the gaming machine. The player tracking display may provide a personalized welcome to the player, the player's current player points, and any additional personalized data. If the player has not previously made a selection, then this information may or may not be displayed. Once the player makes a personalizing selection, the information may be transmitted to game processor 301 (FIG. 3) for storing and use during the player's game play. Also, the player's selection may be transmitted to player account server 409 where it may be stored in association with the player's account for transmission to the player in future gaming sessions. The player may change selections at any time using the player tracking display (which may be touch sensitive or have player-selectable buttons associated with the various display selections).
  • In one or more embodiments, a gaming website 421 may be accessible by players to allow players to play one or more games as described herein through a personal computer 423 or handheld wireless device 425 (e.g. Blackberry® cell phone, Apple iPhone®, personal data assistant (PDA), iPad®, etc.). To enter website 421, a player may log in with a user name that may be associated with the player's account information stored on player account server 409 or may be accessible by a casino operator to obtain player data and provide promotional offers. Once logged on to the website, the player may play various games on the website, make various personalizing selections, and save the information for use during a next gaming session at a casino establishment.
  • Referring generally to the forgoing description, as used herein the terms “comprising,” “including,” “carrying,” “having,” “containing,” “involving,” and the like are to be understood to be open-ended, that is, to mean including but not limited to. Any use of ordinal terms such as “first,” “second,” “third,” etc., in the claims to modify a claim element does not by itself connote any priority, precedence, or order of one claim element over another, or the temporal order in which acts of a method are performed. Rather, unless specifically stated otherwise, such ordinal terms are used merely as labels to distinguish one claim element having a certain name from another element having a same name (but for use of the ordinal term). The term “presentation” as used herein is meant to refer to the display of any image and/or video performance and/or the performance of one or more sound bites or audio tracks whether in an attract mode or as part of a game.
  • The above described example embodiments are intended to illustrate the principles of the invention, but not to limit the scope of the invention. Various other embodiments and modifications to these preferred embodiments may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Claims (20)

1. A gaming machine including:
a wheel display apparatus comprising a flat panel display device and a bezel structure overlaying the flat panel display device, the bezel structure overlaying the flat panel display device such that a wheel display area and a paytable display area of the flat panel display device are visible through openings or transparent areas of the bezel structure; and
one or more processors configured to (i) instruct the flat panel display device to display a wheel and indicator within the wheel display area and to display a paytable within the paytable display area, the wheel including two or more segments, at least one segment associated with a value, (ii) randomly or pseudo-randomly determine a wheel game outcome, (iii) instruct the flat panel display device to display a wheel game presentation wherein the wheel and the indicator appear to spin relative to each other until coming to rest to display the wheel game outcome, and (iv) present an award in accordance with the wheel game outcome.
2. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the one or more processors instruct the flat panel display device to cause the wheel to appear to spin relative to the indicator in the wheel game presentation.
3. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the one or more processors instruct the flat panel display device to cause the indicator to appear to spin relative to the wheel in the wheel game presentation.
4. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the one or more processors instruct the flat panel display device to cause both the wheel and the indicator to appear to spin in the wheel game presentation.
5. The gaming machine of claim 1 further including a primary display device and wherein the one or more processors are also configured to randomly or pseudo-randomly determine a primary game outcome from a set of possible primary game outcomes including at least one primary game outcome triggering the wheel game, the primary game outcome being displayed through the primary display device under control of the one or more processors.
6. The gaming machine of claim 1 further including a primary display device and wherein the one or more processors determine the wheel game outcome from an overall outcome for a play at the gaming machine and wherein the one or more processors are also configured to instruct the primary game display device to display a primary game outcome also determined from the overall outcome.
7. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the wheel includes multiple wheel segments and the one or more processors are also configured to modify one or more of the wheel segments after instructing the flat panel display device to display the game presentation.
8. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein one of the first wheel segment and the second wheel segment is associated with a first level progressive award and the other one of the first wheel segment and the second wheel segment is not associated with a progressive award.
9. A gaming machine including:
a wheel display apparatus;
one or more memory devices storing wagering game program code; and
one or more processors configured to execute the wagering game program code to (i) instruct the wheel display apparatus to display a first wheel event in which a first wheel segment is identified from two or more wheel segments of a wheel displayed through the wheel display apparatus, one or more of the wheel segments of the wheel being respectively associated with one or more awards, to (ii) instruct the wheel display apparatus to modify one or more of the one or more wheel segments of the wheel following the first wheel event to produce a modified wheel with two or more wheel segments, (iii) instruct the wheel display apparatus to display a second wheel event in which a second wheel segment is identified from two or more wheel segments of the modified wheel, and to (iv) present any award associated with the first wheel segment or any award associated with the second wheel segment, or to present any award associated with the first wheel segment and any award associated with the second wheel segment.
10. The gaming machine of claim 9 wherein the wagering game program code includes primary game program code and further including:
a user interface operable to receive a player input and transmit a request to initiate a primary game;
a primary display apparatus operable to present the primary game in accordance with one or more instructions from the one or more processors executing the primary game program code; and
a meter operable to display an award associated with any winning outcomes in the primary game.
11. The gaming machine of claim 10 wherein the one or more processors execute the primary game program code to display the first wheel event in response to a triggering event in the primary game.
12. The gaming machine of claim 11 wherein the appearance of a special symbol on the primary display apparatus during the primary game represents the triggering event.
13. The gaming machine of claim 9 wherein a triggering event to initiate the first wheel event is produced by a random or pseudo-random determination by the one or more processors.
14. The gaming machine of claim 9 wherein one of the first wheel segment and the second wheel segment is associated with a first level progressive award and the other one of the first wheel segment and the second wheel segment is not associated with a progressive award.
15. A method of operating a gaming machine, the method including:
receiving a wager at a gaming machine and initiating a play at the gaming machine;
in the play at the gaming machine, displaying a wheel on a wheel display device at the gaming machine, the wheel including two or more wheel segments;
displaying a first wheel event in which a first wheel segment is identified from the two or more wheel segments of the wheel;
following the first wheel event, displaying a modification of one or more of the wheel segments to display a modified wheel on the wheel display device, the modified wheel including two or more wheel segments;
displaying a second wheel event in which a second wheel segment is identified from the two or more segments of the modified wheel; and
presenting an award associated with at least one of the first wheel segment or the second wheel segment.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein displaying the wheel and the modified wheel on the wheel display device includes displaying the wheel and the modified wheel in a wheel display area of the wheel display device, the wheel display area being defined by a bezel positioned over a planar surface of the wheel display device.
17. The method of claim 16 further including displaying a paytable within a paytable display area of the wheel display device at the gaming machine, the paytable being defined by the bezel positioned over the planar surface of the wheel display device.
18. The method of claim 15 wherein the first wheel event is displayed in response to the wager received at the gaming machine.
19. The method of claim 15 further including:
displaying a primary game presentation on a primary game presentation display device; and
presenting an award associated with an outcome of the primary game presentation.
20. The method of claim 19 wherein the first wheel event is displayed in response to the occurrence of a trigger associated with the primary game presentation.
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Cited By (26)

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US20120122550A1 (en) * 2010-11-13 2012-05-17 Multimedia Games, Inc. Wagering game, gaming machine, networked gaming system and method with a simultaneous secondary game
US20120172103A1 (en) * 2011-01-05 2012-07-05 Gurule Chris J Multi-ball video-roulette gaming systems, methods and processor-readable media
US20130237306A1 (en) * 2012-03-06 2013-09-12 Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Electronic Gaming Machine and Gaming Method
US8727863B2 (en) 2011-01-05 2014-05-20 Concept Gaming, Llc Bonus wheel super-roulette gaming system and method
US20140194182A1 (en) * 2012-09-28 2014-07-10 Spin Games LLC Electronic Gaming System and Method with Dynamic Wheel
US20140203504A1 (en) * 2013-01-18 2014-07-24 Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd. Roulette wheel with smart cover
US20140228091A1 (en) * 2013-02-11 2014-08-14 King Show Games, Inc. Extended display of game indicia symbols for gaming apparatuses
US20140302909A1 (en) * 2013-06-17 2014-10-09 Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Electronic gaming machine and gaming method
US9064377B2 (en) * 2010-04-06 2015-06-23 Multimedia Games, Inc. Wagering game, gaming machine, networked gaming system and method with a base game and a simultaneous bonus currency game
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JP2015530912A (en) * 2012-08-27 2015-10-29 ホン インターナショナル コーポレーション dart game system
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US20160247361A1 (en) * 2015-02-20 2016-08-25 Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Electronic gaming machine and gaming method
WO2016196520A1 (en) * 2015-06-02 2016-12-08 Gary Weingardt Spinner bingo game and method
US20170132876A1 (en) * 2013-09-19 2017-05-11 Igt Gaming system and method for providing a plurality of chances of winning a progressive award
WO2017165419A1 (en) * 2016-03-24 2017-09-28 Bally Gaming, Inc. Systems and methods of linking gaming stations
US20180225910A1 (en) * 2015-10-08 2018-08-09 Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. Game apparatus and computer program
US10109151B2 (en) 2017-02-17 2018-10-23 Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Gaming machine and method
WO2019027927A1 (en) * 2017-08-01 2019-02-07 Ags Llc Wheel bonus system for table games
US10332348B2 (en) 2013-09-13 2019-06-25 Bally Gaming, Inc. Systems and methods of linking gaming stations
US10453314B2 (en) 2016-09-14 2019-10-22 Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Gaming machine and method
USD876450S1 (en) 2017-09-05 2020-02-25 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Display screen portion with a graphical user interface for a wheel-based wagering game
US10621829B2 (en) * 2017-09-01 2020-04-14 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Systems and methods for playing an electronic game including a stop-based bonus game
US10643435B1 (en) * 2010-01-07 2020-05-05 Ronnie W. Harris Games and gaming machines having wheel features
US10679459B2 (en) 2017-09-29 2020-06-09 Sg Gaming, Inc. Video display assembly with rotatable mechanical bezel

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US8360849B2 (en) * 2000-05-22 2013-01-29 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd Gaming machine with win change symbol
US8784184B2 (en) 2000-05-22 2014-07-22 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd. Gaming machine with win change symbol
US10643435B1 (en) * 2010-01-07 2020-05-05 Ronnie W. Harris Games and gaming machines having wheel features
US9064377B2 (en) * 2010-04-06 2015-06-23 Multimedia Games, Inc. Wagering game, gaming machine, networked gaming system and method with a base game and a simultaneous bonus currency game
US20120122550A1 (en) * 2010-11-13 2012-05-17 Multimedia Games, Inc. Wagering game, gaming machine, networked gaming system and method with a simultaneous secondary game
US8608546B2 (en) * 2010-11-13 2013-12-17 Multimedia Games, Inc. Wagering game, gaming machine, networked gaming system and method with a simultaneous secondary game
US9017165B2 (en) 2010-11-13 2015-04-28 Multimedia Games, Inc. Wagering game, gaming machine, networked gaming system and method with a simultaneous secondary game
US8727863B2 (en) 2011-01-05 2014-05-20 Concept Gaming, Llc Bonus wheel super-roulette gaming system and method
US8444470B2 (en) * 2011-01-05 2013-05-21 Concept Gaming, Llc Multi-ball video-roulette gaming systems, methods and processor-readable media
US20120172103A1 (en) * 2011-01-05 2012-07-05 Gurule Chris J Multi-ball video-roulette gaming systems, methods and processor-readable media
US20130237306A1 (en) * 2012-03-06 2013-09-12 Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Electronic Gaming Machine and Gaming Method
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JP2015530912A (en) * 2012-08-27 2015-10-29 ホン インターナショナル コーポレーション dart game system
US20140194182A1 (en) * 2012-09-28 2014-07-10 Spin Games LLC Electronic Gaming System and Method with Dynamic Wheel
US9218709B2 (en) * 2012-09-28 2015-12-22 Spin Games LLC Electronic gaming system and method with dynamic wheel
US9174117B2 (en) * 2013-01-18 2015-11-03 Las Vegas Sands Corp. Roulette wheel with smart cover
US20140203504A1 (en) * 2013-01-18 2014-07-24 Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd. Roulette wheel with smart cover
US20140228091A1 (en) * 2013-02-11 2014-08-14 King Show Games, Inc. Extended display of game indicia symbols for gaming apparatuses
US10600288B2 (en) * 2013-02-11 2020-03-24 King Show Games, Inc. Extended display of game indicia symbols for gaming apparatuses
CN105189691A (en) * 2013-03-15 2015-12-23 霍尼韦尔国际公司 Systems for efficient heating and/or cooling and having low climate change impact
US20140302909A1 (en) * 2013-06-17 2014-10-09 Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Electronic gaming machine and gaming method
US10332348B2 (en) 2013-09-13 2019-06-25 Bally Gaming, Inc. Systems and methods of linking gaming stations
US20170132876A1 (en) * 2013-09-19 2017-05-11 Igt Gaming system and method for providing a plurality of chances of winning a progressive award
US20160247361A1 (en) * 2015-02-20 2016-08-25 Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Electronic gaming machine and gaming method
US10068413B2 (en) * 2015-02-20 2018-09-04 Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Electronic gaming machine and gaming method
WO2016196520A1 (en) * 2015-06-02 2016-12-08 Gary Weingardt Spinner bingo game and method
US10504322B2 (en) * 2015-10-08 2019-12-10 Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. Game apparatus and a non-transitory computer readable medium for providing a unique game feature for each player in a common lottery game
US20180225910A1 (en) * 2015-10-08 2018-08-09 Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. Game apparatus and computer program
WO2017165419A1 (en) * 2016-03-24 2017-09-28 Bally Gaming, Inc. Systems and methods of linking gaming stations
US10453314B2 (en) 2016-09-14 2019-10-22 Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Gaming machine and method
US10109151B2 (en) 2017-02-17 2018-10-23 Ainsworth Game Technology Limited Gaming machine and method
WO2019027927A1 (en) * 2017-08-01 2019-02-07 Ags Llc Wheel bonus system for table games
US10621829B2 (en) * 2017-09-01 2020-04-14 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Systems and methods for playing an electronic game including a stop-based bonus game
USD876450S1 (en) 2017-09-05 2020-02-25 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Display screen portion with a graphical user interface for a wheel-based wagering game
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