WO2000067424A1 - Gaming system with central control - Google Patents

Gaming system with central control Download PDF

Info

Publication number
WO2000067424A1
WO2000067424A1 PCT/US2000/010958 US0010958W WO0067424A1 WO 2000067424 A1 WO2000067424 A1 WO 2000067424A1 US 0010958 W US0010958 W US 0010958W WO 0067424 A1 WO0067424 A1 WO 0067424A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
game outcome
host computer
gaming terminal
game
gaming
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2000/010958
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Thomas E. Haste, Iii
Original Assignee
Haste Thomas E Iii
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US30186499A priority Critical
Priority to US09/301,864 priority
Application filed by Haste Thomas E Iii filed Critical Haste Thomas E Iii
Publication of WO2000067424A1 publication Critical patent/WO2000067424A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting

Abstract

A centralized gaming system (10) has a host computer (12), a plurality of gaming terminals (14) and a communications network (16) connecting the gaming terminals to the host computer. The gaming terminals are preferably configured to play a variety of games. Operation of the gaming terminals is largely autonomous; however, game outcomes are determined by the central host computer. When a game is initiated by a player at a gaming terminal, the gaming terminal sends a game outcome request to the host computer over the communications network. In response to the request, the host computer sends the gaming terminal game outcome determining information such as, for example, a random number. The gaming terminal receives the game outcome determining information and determines the game outcome accordingly. The gaming terminal then communicates with the host computer to validate the game outcome and completes a game outcome action in accordance with the result of the validation.

Description

GAMING SYSTEM WITH CENTRAL CONTROL

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. PRIOR APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of co-pending provisional application Serial No. 60/107,265 filed November 4, 1998.

2. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of gaming systems. More particularly, the gaming system of the present invention employs a centralized host computer and distributed gaming stations. Individual game outcomes at the gaming stations are determined by information provided by the host computer.

3. BACKGROUND

Slot machines and similar mechanical gaming devices have been almost universally replaced by electronic devices. Many such electronic devices emulate the corresponding mechanical gaming devices. Electronic gaming devices have also been developed for individual play of games such as blackjack, poker, etc.

Electronic gaming devices are generally more tamper-resistant than their mechanical counteφarts. Nevertheless, sophisticated thieves are able to tamper with the operation of electronic gaming devices to improve the odds of winning or to force a winning play outright.

Centralized gaming control provides an opportunity to substantially reduce gaming machine tampering, since a centralized gaming controller can be placed in a highly secure environment. Tampering with an individual gaming terminal will not affect the outcome of the game.

Gaming systems with centralized control are known in the art. For example, U.S. Patent No. 5,586,937 issued to Menashe discloses an interactive computerized gaming system with remote terminals. The remote terminals locally generate screen graphics and sound, but game outcomes are determined by random numbers generated in the host computer. Once a random number has been sent to a player station, the game outcome is determined and play proceeds accordingly. No provision is made for verification of the game outcome. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a centralized gaming system having a host computer, a plurality of gaming terminals and a communications network connecting the gaming terminals to the host computer. The gaming terminals are preferably configured to play a variety of games. Operation of the gaming terminals is largely autonomous; however, game outcomes are determined by the central host computer. When a game is initiated by a player at a gaming terminal, the gaming terminal sends a game outcome request to the host computer over the communications network. In response to the request, the host computer sends the gaming terminal game outcome determining information such as, for example, a random number. The gaming terminal receives the game outcome determining information and determines the game outcome accordingly. The gaming terminal then communicates with the host computer to validate the game outcome and completes a game outcome action in accordance with the result of the validation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a block diagram of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention.

Figure 2 is a functional flow diagram of a method of conducting a game of chance according to a first embodiment of the invention.

Figure 3 is a functional flow diagram of a method of conducting a game of chance according to a second embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following description, for purposes of explanation and not limitation, specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced in other embodiments that depart from these specific details. In other instances, detailed descriptions of well-known methods and devices are omitted so as to not obscure the description of the present invention with unnecessary detail.

Figure 1 is a block diagram of a centralized gaming system 10 in accordance with the present invention. Gaming system 10 has a central host computer 12. A plurality of gaming terminals 14 are coupled to host computer 12 by communications network 16. Gaming terminals 14 preferably resemble conventional electronic gaming devices. Gaming terminals 14 are preferably configured to play a variety of games such as slot machine games, poker, blackjack, etc. The gaming terminals may be distributed within a casino in which a host computer 12 is installed. A single host computer may be used to control gaming terminals at a plurality of casinos or similar establishments. Gaming terminals may even comprise home computers linked to a host computer by the Internet or other data communication means.

The gaming terminals 14 include means for receiving money or equivalent means for accepting a player wager. For example, player accounts may be maintained in host computer 12, in which case controls are provided at the gaming terminals for allowing a player to debit his or her account when placing a wager. Gaming terminals 14 also include appropriate controls for initiating games and making whatever player choices are permitted in accordance with the rules of such games. Gaming terminals 14 preferably include a video screen for displaying the progress of the game and the game outcome.

Figure 2 is a functional flow diagram illustrating the operation of gaming system 10. Beginning at step 20, the player inserts money into the gaming terminal or performs an equivalent action to place a wager. When the wager has been accepted, the player utilizes the controls on the gaming terminal to initiate a game at step 22. Continuing to step 24, the gaming terminal communicates with the host computer to request game outcome determining information. Such information is then provided to the gaming terminal by the host computer at step 26. The game outcome determining information may be a random number generated by the host computer, a semi-random number selected as the next number in a stored list of numbers or a specific game outcome selected as the next entry in a list of predetermined game outcomes. The gaming terminal receives the game outcome determining information and determines the game outcome therefrom at step 28.

Once the game outcome has been determined, an appropriate display may be presented to the player on the video screen of the gaming terminal. Alternatively, the game outcome may be treated as a provisional game outcome pending validation thereof. In the latter case, there will be a delay before presenting the appropriate display to the player; however, such delay would be virtually imperceptible. At step 30, the gaming terminal requests validation of the game outcome. If the gaming terminal has been tampered with, the game outcome at the terminal may be different from the game outcome that should have been determined from the game outcome determining information provided by the host computer. For example, a thief might tamper with a gaming terminal so that it provides a winning display when the actual game outcome should have been a loss. In step 30, the gaming terminal determines what is being displaying and contacts the host computer to determine if what is being displayed is, in fact, what should be displayed. The host computer performs the comparison at set 32 and determines if there is a problem. If the comparison reveals a mismatch, it may be presumed that the gaming terminal has been tampered with, and the host computer can notify casino security accordingly. An appropriate error display can then be presented at the gaming terminal in step 34. However, if the validation is successful, the appropriate game outcome action is performed at the gaming terminal. If the game outcome has been validated as a win, an appropriate display is presented and the player is paid or, alternatively, the player's account is credited with the amount of the win. If the game outcome is a loss, the gaming terminal prompts the player for a new wager.

Figure 3 is a functional flow diagram of the operation of gaming system 10 in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the invention. Steps 20 - 28 are identical to those of the previously described embodiment. In this embodiment, however, validation of the game outcome is performed by the gaming terminal rather than by the host computer. At step 40, the gaming terminal requests validation of the game outcome by requesting authentication of the previously provided game outcome determining information. The host computer then resends the game outcome determining information to the gaming terminal at step 42. A game outcome is again determined and compared to the previously determined game outcome at step 44. If there is a match, the game outcome is validated and the appropriate game outcome action is performed. If the two game outcomes do not match, it may be presumed that the gaming terminal has been tampered with and an appropriate alert can be provided. This method is somewhat less desirable than the method described in connection with Figure 2, since it may be possible to tamper with the gaming terminal in such a way that the two game outcomes will match even though they are not the appropriate outcomes for the game outcome determining information provided by the host computer.

Aside from improving security for a gaming system, the present invention can also be advantageously used to provide a more even distribution of winning outcomes within the gaming system. With conventional electronic gaming devices, if a particular machine gets "hot", only that machine will have a higher incidence of winning outcomes. With the centralized system of the present invention, the game outcomes are determined by the host computer. If the host computer gets "hot", the winning outcomes will be distributed throughout the gaming system.

It will be recognized that the above described invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics of the disclosure. Thus, it is understood that the invention is not to be limited by the foregoing illustrative details, but rather is to be defined by the appended claims.

Claims

CLAIMSWHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. In a gaming system including a host computer, at least one gaming terminal and communication means for connecting the gaming terminal to the host computer, a method of conducting a game of chance comprising the steps of: initiating a game at the gaming terminal; sending a game outcome request from the gaming terminal to the host computer via the communication means; sending game outcome determining information from the host computer to the gaming terminal in response to the game outcome request; receiving the game outcome determining information at the gaming terminal and determining a game outcome therefrom; sending a request for validation of the game outcome from the gaming terminal to the host computer; validating the game outcome; and authorizing a game outcome action in accordance with a result of said validation.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the game outcome determining information comprises a random number.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein the game outcome determining information comprises a next entry in a stored set of predetermined game outcomes.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the game outcome action comprises a payment to a game player if the game outcome is a winning outcome and is successfully validated.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of validating the game outcome is performed in the host computer.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein the request for validation of the game outcome comprises a request for authentication of the game outcome determining information.
7. The method of claim 6 further comprising the step of resending the game outcome determining information from the host computer to the gaming terminal in response to the request for authentication.
8. The method of claim 6 wherein the step of validating the game outcome is performed in the gaming terminal.
9. A gaming system including a host computer, at least one gaming terminal remote form the host computer and communication means for connection the gaming terminals to the host computer wherein: the gaming terminal includes means for sending a game outcome request to the host computer via the communication means; the host computer includes means for responding to the gaming terminal with game outcome determining information; the gaming terminal includes means for receiving the game outcome determining information, determining a game outcome therefrom and sending a request for validation of the game outcome to the host computer; one of the host computer and gaming terminal includes means for validating the game outcome and authorizing a game outcome action.
10. The system of claim 9 wherein the game outcome determining information comprises a random number.
11. The system of claim 9 wherein the game outcome determining information comprises a next entry in a stored set of predetermined game outcomes.
12. The system of claim 9 wherein the game outcome action comprises a payment to a game player if the game outcome is a winning outcome and is successfully validated.
13. The system of claim 9 wherein the request for validation of the game outcome comprises a request for authentication of the game outcome determining information.
14. The system of claim 13 wherein the host computer resends the game outcome determining information to the gaming terminal in response to the request for authentication.
PCT/US2000/010958 1999-04-29 2000-04-24 Gaming system with central control WO2000067424A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US30186499A true 1999-04-29 1999-04-29
US09/301,864 1999-04-29

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU44856/00A AU4485600A (en) 1999-04-29 2000-04-24 Gaming system with central control

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2000067424A1 true WO2000067424A1 (en) 2000-11-09

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Cited By (21)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2401324A (en) * 2003-05-08 2004-11-10 Igt Reno Nev Central determination gaming system
US6866584B2 (en) * 2003-02-21 2005-03-15 Igt Apparatus and method for generating a pool of seeds for a central determination gaming system
US6988946B2 (en) 2003-02-21 2006-01-24 Igt Central determination gaming system with a central controller providing a game outcome and a gaming terminal determining a presentation of the provided game outcome
WO2007032888A1 (en) * 2005-09-12 2007-03-22 Igt Distributed game services
EP1814641A1 (en) * 2004-11-12 2007-08-08 Acei Ab Gaming system
US7329183B2 (en) * 2003-02-21 2008-02-12 Igt Central determination gaming system where the same seed is used to generate the outcomes for a primary game and a secondary game
US7597619B2 (en) 2004-07-21 2009-10-06 Igt Gaming method and system with a hidden image game piece
US7837554B2 (en) 2000-10-16 2010-11-23 Igt Gaming device having a multiple selection and award distribution bonus scheme
US7967675B1 (en) * 2002-08-22 2011-06-28 Bally Gaming, Inc. Fixed pool bonus method and apparatus
US8591314B2 (en) 2011-09-28 2013-11-26 Igt Gaming system and method providing a server that determines a reel set for an initial game play and reel sets for subsequent game plays
US8668574B2 (en) 2011-09-28 2014-03-11 Igt Gaming system and method providing a user device that receives and stores a reel set for an initial game play and reel sets for subsequent game plays
US8827798B2 (en) 2011-09-28 2014-09-09 Igt Gaming system and method providing a user device that receives and stores reel sets for subsequent game plays
US8900053B2 (en) 2007-08-10 2014-12-02 Igt Gaming system and method for providing different bonus awards based on different types of triggered events
US8968073B2 (en) 2011-09-28 2015-03-03 Igt Gaming system and method providing a server that determines reel sets for subsequent game plays
US9064375B2 (en) 2003-10-20 2015-06-23 Igt Method and apparatus for providing secondary gaming machine functionality
US9177442B2 (en) 2005-09-09 2015-11-03 Igt Gaming device and method providing relatively large awards with variable player participation levels
US9697673B2 (en) 2004-11-12 2017-07-04 Henrik Kniberg Gaming interruption and reconnection management
US9916735B2 (en) 2015-07-22 2018-03-13 Igt Remote gaming cash voucher printing system
US9972171B2 (en) 2015-09-24 2018-05-15 Igt Gaming system and method for providing a triggering event based on a collection of units from different games
US10235832B2 (en) 2008-10-17 2019-03-19 Igt Post certification metering for diverse game machines
US10255761B2 (en) 2015-03-17 2019-04-09 Igt Gaming system and method for converting primary game outcomes to secondary game outcomes

Citations (5)

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US5586937A (en) * 1993-05-19 1996-12-24 Menashe; Julian Interactive, computerised gaming system with remote terminals
US5643086A (en) * 1995-06-29 1997-07-01 Silicon Gaming, Inc. Electronic casino gaming apparatus with improved play capacity, authentication and security
US5779545A (en) * 1996-09-10 1998-07-14 International Game Technology Central random number generation for gaming system
US5882258A (en) * 1997-09-08 1999-03-16 Rlt Acquisition, Inc. Skill-based card game
US5970143A (en) * 1995-11-22 1999-10-19 Walker Asset Management Lp Remote-auditing of computer generated outcomes, authenticated billing and access control, and software metering system using cryptographic and other protocols

Patent Citations (5)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5586937A (en) * 1993-05-19 1996-12-24 Menashe; Julian Interactive, computerised gaming system with remote terminals
US5643086A (en) * 1995-06-29 1997-07-01 Silicon Gaming, Inc. Electronic casino gaming apparatus with improved play capacity, authentication and security
US5970143A (en) * 1995-11-22 1999-10-19 Walker Asset Management Lp Remote-auditing of computer generated outcomes, authenticated billing and access control, and software metering system using cryptographic and other protocols
US5779545A (en) * 1996-09-10 1998-07-14 International Game Technology Central random number generation for gaming system
US5882258A (en) * 1997-09-08 1999-03-16 Rlt Acquisition, Inc. Skill-based card game

Cited By (28)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7837554B2 (en) 2000-10-16 2010-11-23 Igt Gaming device having a multiple selection and award distribution bonus scheme
US7967675B1 (en) * 2002-08-22 2011-06-28 Bally Gaming, Inc. Fixed pool bonus method and apparatus
US9922489B2 (en) 2003-02-21 2018-03-20 Igt Central determination gaming system with a central controller providing a game outcome and a gaming terminal determining a presentation of the provided game outcome
US6866584B2 (en) * 2003-02-21 2005-03-15 Igt Apparatus and method for generating a pool of seeds for a central determination gaming system
US7329183B2 (en) * 2003-02-21 2008-02-12 Igt Central determination gaming system where the same seed is used to generate the outcomes for a primary game and a secondary game
US6988946B2 (en) 2003-02-21 2006-01-24 Igt Central determination gaming system with a central controller providing a game outcome and a gaming terminal determining a presentation of the provided game outcome
GB2401324B (en) * 2003-05-08 2007-02-14 Igt Reno Nev Gaming system with gaming terminals and central controller
GB2401324A (en) * 2003-05-08 2004-11-10 Igt Reno Nev Central determination gaming system
US9600965B2 (en) 2003-10-20 2017-03-21 Igt Method and apparatus for providing secondary gaming machine functionality
US9064375B2 (en) 2003-10-20 2015-06-23 Igt Method and apparatus for providing secondary gaming machine functionality
US9652934B2 (en) 2003-10-20 2017-05-16 Igt Method and apparatus for providing secondary gaming machine functionality
US7597619B2 (en) 2004-07-21 2009-10-06 Igt Gaming method and system with a hidden image game piece
EP1814641A4 (en) * 2004-11-12 2011-06-15 Acei Ab Gaming system
US9697673B2 (en) 2004-11-12 2017-07-04 Henrik Kniberg Gaming interruption and reconnection management
EP1814641A1 (en) * 2004-11-12 2007-08-08 Acei Ab Gaming system
US9177442B2 (en) 2005-09-09 2015-11-03 Igt Gaming device and method providing relatively large awards with variable player participation levels
WO2007032888A1 (en) * 2005-09-12 2007-03-22 Igt Distributed game services
US9314698B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-04-19 Igt Distributed game services
US9978213B2 (en) 2007-08-10 2018-05-22 Igt Gaming system and method for providing different bonus awards based on different types of triggered events
US8900053B2 (en) 2007-08-10 2014-12-02 Igt Gaming system and method for providing different bonus awards based on different types of triggered events
US10235832B2 (en) 2008-10-17 2019-03-19 Igt Post certification metering for diverse game machines
US8827798B2 (en) 2011-09-28 2014-09-09 Igt Gaming system and method providing a user device that receives and stores reel sets for subsequent game plays
US8668574B2 (en) 2011-09-28 2014-03-11 Igt Gaming system and method providing a user device that receives and stores a reel set for an initial game play and reel sets for subsequent game plays
US8591314B2 (en) 2011-09-28 2013-11-26 Igt Gaming system and method providing a server that determines a reel set for an initial game play and reel sets for subsequent game plays
US8968073B2 (en) 2011-09-28 2015-03-03 Igt Gaming system and method providing a server that determines reel sets for subsequent game plays
US10255761B2 (en) 2015-03-17 2019-04-09 Igt Gaming system and method for converting primary game outcomes to secondary game outcomes
US9916735B2 (en) 2015-07-22 2018-03-13 Igt Remote gaming cash voucher printing system
US9972171B2 (en) 2015-09-24 2018-05-15 Igt Gaming system and method for providing a triggering event based on a collection of units from different games

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