US20120157195A1 - Selectable Bonus Round - Google Patents

Selectable Bonus Round Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120157195A1
US20120157195A1 US12/974,705 US97470510A US2012157195A1 US 20120157195 A1 US20120157195 A1 US 20120157195A1 US 97470510 A US97470510 A US 97470510A US 2012157195 A1 US2012157195 A1 US 2012157195A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
game
bonus
play
standard
bonus round
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12/974,705
Inventor
Bennie Sum
Michael Dreitzer
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Global Gaming Group
Original Assignee
Global Gaming Group
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Global Gaming Group filed Critical Global Gaming Group
Priority to US12/974,705 priority Critical patent/US20120157195A1/en
Publication of US20120157195A1 publication Critical patent/US20120157195A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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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
    • G07F17/326Game play aspects of gaming systems
    • G07F17/3267Game outcomes which determine the course of the subsequent game, e.g. double or quits, free games, higher payouts, different new games

Abstract

An electronic gaming machine that offers the player a selection of bonus rounds from among a quick pick mystery prize, a standard bonus round having a theme similar to the base game, or a choice of bonus round themes selected from a bonus game archive.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • An electronic gaming machine or slot machine offering a bonus round differs from a standard gaming machine because it may feature a bonus game which does not follow the traditional three, four or five reel video slot format. When playing a traditional reel game portion of a bonus slot game, a certain symbol or combination of symbols will activate the bonus game. The bonus game tends to follow the theme of the reel slot game so that if the basic video slot game relates to a particular character or setting, the bonus game will use the same character or setting as a theme as well. For example, if the basic reel game relates to the fictional character Tarzan, the bonus game will maintain the Tarzan theme while the basic reel game is put on standby. Once the bonus game has concluded, game play reverts to the basic game, referred to throughout this disclosure as a “basic slot game” or “basic slots game.”
  • In FIG. 1, an exemplary electronic gaming machine is generally indicated at 101 including a display screen 103. The display screen 103 is shown in larger view to the left, presenting a basic slots game. In this example is shown one popular game title known as Dino Bucks available from Global Gaming Group, Inc., assignee of the subject invention The basic slots game is represented in this example by a five-reel game operated in the traditional manner. When the appropriate symbol or combination of symbols arises during play of the basic slots game, a bonus game 105 is triggered. In this bonus game example, seven flowing volcanoes are displayed. The player is invited to pick a particular flowing volcano to win a prize hidden behind the volcano.
  • Some video bonus games are structured so that prizes awarded for each pick in the bonus game are dependent entirely upon the selections made by a player. In other game designs, the bonus game outcome may be predetermined so that no matter which selection (e.g., the volcanoes in the preceding example) is chosen, the player wins or loses based on the algorithms driving the game engine. Frequently, the player does not realize that their specific selections do not influence the cumulative prize awarded during bonus round play. Some, but not all, bonus games operate in this fashion. One advantage of predetermining the bonus game outcome is that electronic gaming machine 101 payback percentages can be accurately controlled by the algorithms of the operating system, and therefore maintains compliance with applicable regulations. (The preceding example of the game Dino Bucks is used here merely as an example, and not intended to suggest or imply that its game engine generates a predetermined outcome during the bonus game.)
  • Some game players enjoy extended bonus round play with multiple screens and different player initiated actions, while others do not. Those players that do not enjoy extended bonus play would prefer to skip the various bonus play screens altogether and return as quickly as possible to the basic slot game. Accordingly, it would be advantageous to provide a method for playing a reel type slot game wherein, at the triggering of bonus round play, the player is given the choice to select the standard bonus game, or instead to receive an immediate bonus prize without affecting the payout percentages of the electronic gaming machine. Furthermore, it is desirable to provide an electronic gaming machine game that allows a player to select between the regular bonus round of play and a quick pick mystery prize, and further which invites the player interested in playing a bonus game to choose either a standard bonus game with a theme similar to the base game, or to browse a library of alternative bonus games that are not necessarily associated with the theme of the basic slots game.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a prior art slot machine with a bonus round;
  • FIG. 2 shows a slot machine screen sequence in which a player can choose between different bonus round options; and
  • FIG. 3 shows a flow chart of play on a video slot machine where a player can choose between different bonus round options.
  • SPECIFICATIONS Detailed Description
  • The invention will now be described with reference to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3. In FIG. 2, a method for playing a game of chance on an electronic gaming machine 101 that is similar in overall design to the prior art machine of FIG. 1 is shown. Electronic gaming machine 101 is fitted with an operating system and software capable of playing a video game. Electronic gaming machine 101 includes a display screen 103 which, during normal game play, presents a basic slot game 103 which may be along the lines of the exemplary Dino Bucks game mentioned earlier. The step of playing the basic slot game is represented by function block 301 in FIG. 3.
  • A predetermined symbol or combination of symbols appearing on the display screen 103 during basic game play will qualify the player for a bonus round. This qualification, represented at 303 in FIG. 3, places the standard game on temporary hold while a bonus round query screen is presented. The player then leaves the base game at function block 305 and is given the opportunity to make a selection about the bonus round at a query screen. The query screen is represented by a query screen 201 in FIG. 2 and by function block 307 in FIG. 3. At this decision point, the player is asked whether they wish to play a bonus game or, in the alternative, whether they prefer to quickly select a mystery prize and then return to the basic reel game 103. If the player chooses the mystery prize, represented by function block 309, they are immediately awarded a prize based on a predetermined outcome according to the software program loaded into the operating system of the game. Upon awarding the mystery prize 309, the player reverts to basic game play 103.
  • However, if during the query 307, the player chooses to play a bonus game, they are presented with a secondary query 311 represented by a query screen 203 in FIG. 2 and function block 311 in FIG. 3. This secondary query 311 asks the player whether he or she would prefer to play a standard bonus game 105 which is associated thematically to the basic slot game 103. The standard bonus game 105 is represented by way of example in FIG. 2 at 207 as the “Pick A Volcano” game which is associated thematically to the exemplary Dino Bucks game 103. If the player chooses this option, they play the standard bonus game 207 which results in a predetermined outcome that is not influenced by the player's volcano pick. In other words, regardless of which volcano is chosen in this example (again this is only an example and not to imply that the actual Dino Bucks game operates in this manner), the total prize awarded will have been predetermined by the game algorithms. This predetermined outcome will be equivalent to the predetermined outcome of the mystery prize 205 had the player chosen the quick pick to promptly end the bonus round.
  • Alternatively, the player may choose a bonus game from a library or archive of games 209, which they may do at function block 313. The bonus games contained in the archive may be a variety of themes that may be thematically similar or dissimilar to that of the basic slot game 103 and standard bonus game 105. Once a particular bonus game is selected from the library, the player plays the alternate bonus game and receives a game outcome that is either identical to that of the standard bonus game 207 and the mystery prize 205, or is predetermined according to the algorithms traditionally associated with those alternative bonus games and which conforms to all applicable gaming regulations.
  • The player then plays the bonus game 315. Upon completion of bonus game play, the bonus game ends 317 and the player is returned to the base game reel play 103.
  • It should be understood that the bonus game selected from the bonus game archive could be set by the gaming machine to automatically cycle through all or some subset of the games in the game archive at random or in a predetermined order. This cycling could be set as a player selectable option on a query screen or it could be a default setting on the machine. A player may also be offered the opportunity to select a default setting among these options for a particular play session at the beginning of the session. By doing so, the cycle time of each game will be made faster so that the player may reduce or eliminate the number of query screens appearing in each game cycle during a play session.
  • The subject game method permits game play to be configured to better suit personalities of different players, some of which enjoy an extended bonus round play where others will prefer to skip past bonus round play and receive an immediate bonus prize. Furthermore, the ability to browse a library of games 313 that offer variety from a game archive will extend player interest thereby encouraging longer game play sessions over multiple games.
  • The foregoing invention has been described in accordance with the relevant legal standards, thus the description is exemplary rather than limiting in nature. Variations and modifications to the disclosed embodiment may become apparent to those skilled in the art and fall within the scope of the invention. For example, while the description of the invention includes a first query screen 201 and a second query screen 203 for allowing the player to select the bonus round in a two step sequence, the player could also be offered the opportunity to choose between mystery prize, standard bonus or selection of a bonus from the archive in a single step, thereby reducing the game play cycle time without altering the nature of the invention. It should also be understood, that the selectable game play as described herein need not be limited to play on a dedicated gaming machine such as video slot machine 101. The electronic gaming machine is not limited to video slot machines. The machine may be an electro-mechanical reel game with a video screen positioned in the machine cabinet, such as above or below the reels. Using a machine in this configuration permits the base game to be played on the reels with the selectable bonus games being played on the video screen. Game play may also be offered on a general computing platform including a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other mobile device either in an embodiment restricted to a single device or across a network to which such a device is connected. Accordingly the scope of legal protection afforded this invention can only be determined with reference to the claims.

Claims (20)

1. A method for playing a game comprising:
playing a base game with a plurality of outcomes including at least one outcome that provides a bonus round of play; and
selecting between at least two bonus round play sequences.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein at least one of the bonus round play sequences is a quick pick.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein at least one of the bonus round play sequences is a standard bonus round having a theme matched to the base game.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein at least one of the bonus round play sequences is a non-standard bonus round having a theme that does not match the base game.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein at least one of the bonus round play sequences is a non-standard bonus round that is selected from a bonus game archive offering at least two non-standard bonus round themes.
6. The method of claim 5 wherein selection of the bonus game from the bonus game archive is random.
7. The method of claim 5 wherein selection of the bonus game from the bonus game archive is made by a player.
8. The method of claim 5 wherein selection of the bonus game from the bonus game archive follows a predetermined order.
9. The method of claim 1 wherein a selection made in the selecting step is made by a player.
10. The method of claim 9 wherein the step of selecting further comprises:
selecting between a bonus game and a quick pick prize; and
selecting a bonus game from an offering of at least a standard bonus game and a non-standard bonus game.
11. The method of claim 10 further comprising a step of selecting a non-standard bonus game from an archive upon the player selecting a non-standard bonus game.
12. A method of offering a game on an electronic gaming machine with a display screen comprising:
playing a base game on the display screen with a plurality of outcomes including at least one outcome that provides a bonus round of play; and
selecting between at least two bonus round play sequences displayed on the display screen.
13. The method of claim 12 wherein at least one of the bonus round play sequences is a quick pick displayed on the display screen.
14. The method of claim 12 wherein at least one of the bonus round play sequences is a standard bonus round having a theme matched to the base game displayed on the display screen.
15. The method of claim 12 wherein at least one of the bonus round play sequences is a non-standard bonus round having a theme that does not match the base game displayed on the display screen.
16. The method of claim 12 wherein at least one of the bonus round play sequences is a non-standard bonus round that is selected from a bonus game archive offering at least two non-standard bonus round themes displayed on the display screen.
17. The method of claim 16 wherein selection of the bonus game from the bonus game archive is random.
18. The method of claim 16 wherein selection of the bonus game from the bonus game archive is made by a player.
19. The method of claim 16 wherein selection of the bonus game from the bonus game archive follows a predetermined order.
20. A method of offering a game on an electronic gaming machine with a display screen comprising:
selecting a default bonus round play sequence for a play session from at least two bonus round play sequence options displayed on the display screen including quick pick, standard bonus, and non-standard bonus;
playing a session of games wherein each game has a plurality of outcomes including at least one outcome that provides a bonus round of play.
US12/974,705 2010-12-21 2010-12-21 Selectable Bonus Round Abandoned US20120157195A1 (en)

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Cited By (6)

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US20120270638A1 (en) * 2011-04-20 2012-10-25 Mark Daniel Eubanks Gaming machines with free play bonus mode presenting only winning outcomes
US20130217484A1 (en) * 2012-02-16 2013-08-22 Aruze Gaming America, Inc. Gaming machine
US20130225268A1 (en) * 2012-02-27 2013-08-29 Igt Gaming system and method modifying one or more options provided to a player based on the player's previously-chosen options
US8545306B2 (en) * 2011-06-02 2013-10-01 Universal Entertainment Corporation Gaming machine determining the content of bonus game by roulette
US8636591B1 (en) * 2013-05-16 2014-01-28 Kabam, Inc. System and method for facilitating virtual item rewards based on a game of chance
US10867479B2 (en) 2018-08-10 2020-12-15 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Gaming machine and method for replaying reels

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120270638A1 (en) * 2011-04-20 2012-10-25 Mark Daniel Eubanks Gaming machines with free play bonus mode presenting only winning outcomes
US10614666B2 (en) * 2011-04-20 2020-04-07 Video Gaming Technologies, Inc. Gaming machines with free play bonus mode presenting only winning outcomes
US8545306B2 (en) * 2011-06-02 2013-10-01 Universal Entertainment Corporation Gaming machine determining the content of bonus game by roulette
US20130217484A1 (en) * 2012-02-16 2013-08-22 Aruze Gaming America, Inc. Gaming machine
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US9734664B1 (en) 2013-05-16 2017-08-15 Aftershock Services, Inc. System and method for facilitating virtual item rewards based on a game of chance
US8636591B1 (en) * 2013-05-16 2014-01-28 Kabam, Inc. System and method for facilitating virtual item rewards based on a game of chance
US10867479B2 (en) 2018-08-10 2020-12-15 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Gaming machine and method for replaying reels

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