Title:
Gaming machine with history display
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming system includes a computerized control unit, a wagering apparatus, and a display. The control unit generates random events in a plurality of prior plays of a wagering game. The wagering apparatus receives a wager for each of the prior plays. The display depicts, in a display image available to a player, history information relating to outcomes of the random events that were generated in the plurality of prior plays. The history information may, for example, include time interval information showing an amount of time elapsed since a particular game outcome last occurred, and/or frequency information showing a frequency of occurrence of a particular game outcome.



Inventors:
Fiden, Daniel P. (Chicago, IL, US)
Joshi, Shridhar P. (Skokie, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/242014
Publication Date:
03/18/2004
Filing Date:
09/12/2002
Assignee:
FIDEN DANIEL P.
JOSHI SHRIDHAR P.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
G07F17/32; (IPC1-7): A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
DUFFY, DAVID W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wms Gaming, Inc Michael Blankstein J. (800 South Northpoint Boulevard, Waukegan, IL, 60085, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A gaming system comprising: a computerized control unit for generating random events in a plurality of prior plays of a wagering game, the wagering game being selected from a group consisting of slots, poker, keno, bingo, blackjack, and a lottery-type game; a wagering apparatus for receiving a wager for each of the prior plays; and a display for displaying, in a display image available to a player, history information relating to outcomes of the random events that were generated in the plurality of prior plays.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the control unit, the wagering apparatus, and the display are included in an electronic gaming machine.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the display includes a video display.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the wagering game includes keno, the history information being indicative of random keno numbers generated by the control unit in the plurality of prior plays.

5. The system of claim 4, wherein the history information includes a frequency table listing possible keno numbers capable of being generated and the random keno numbers generated in the plurality of prior plays.

6. The system of claim 4, wherein the history information includes a list of most frequently generated ones of the random keno numbers generated in the plurality of prior plays.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein the wagering game includes a lottery-type game, the history information being indicative of random lottery numbers generated by the control unit in the plurality of prior plays.

8. The system of claim 7, wherein the history information includes a frequency table listing possible lottery numbers capable of being generated and the random lottery numbers generated in the plurality of prior plays.

9. The system of claim 7, wherein the history information includes a list of most frequently generated ones of the random lottery numbers generated in the plurality of prior plays.

10. The system of claim 1, wherein the wagering game includes poker or blackjack, the history information being indicative of playing cards generated by the control unit in the plurality of prior plays.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the history information includes a frequency table listing possible playing cards capable of being generated and the playing cards generated in the plurality of prior plays.

12. The system of claim 10, wherein the history information includes a frequency table listing possible hands capable of being generated and the hands generated in the plurality of prior plays.

13. The system of claim 10, wherein the history information includes a list of most frequently generated ones of the playing cards generated in the plurality of prior plays.

14. The system of claim 1, wherein the history information includes time interval information showing an amount of time elapsed since a particular game outcome last occurred.

15. The system of claim 1, wherein the history information includes frequency information showing a frequency of occurrence of a particular game outcome.

16. The system of claim 1, wherein the outcomes include winning outcomes appearing in a pay table for the wagering game.

17. A method of operating a gaming machine comprising: generating random events in a plurality of prior plays of a wagering game conducted via the gaming machine, the wagering game being selected from a group consisting of slots, poker, keno, bingo, blackjack, and a lottery-type game; receiving a wager for each of the prior plays; and displaying, in a display image available to a player, history information relating to outcomes of the random events generated in the plurality of prior plays.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the display includes a video display.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein the wagering game includes keno, the history information being indicative of random keno numbers generated by the control unit in the plurality of prior plays.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the history information includes a frequency table listing possible keno numbers capable of being generated and the random keno numbers generated in the plurality of prior plays.

21. The method of claim 19, wherein the history information includes a list of most frequently generated ones of the random keno numbers generated in the plurality of prior plays.

22. The method of claim 17, wherein the wagering game includes a lottery-type game, the history information being indicative of random lottery numbers generated by the control unit in the plurality of prior plays.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein the history information includes a frequency table listing possible lottery numbers capable of being generated and the random lottery numbers generated in the plurality of prior plays.

24. The method of claim 22, wherein the history information includes a list of most frequently generated ones of the random lottery numbers generated in the plurality of prior plays.

25. The method of claim 17, wherein the wagering game includes poker or blackjack, the history information being indicative of playing cards generated by the control unit in the plurality of prior plays.

26. The method of claim 25, wherein the history information includes a frequency table listing possible playing cards capable of being generated and the playing cards generated in the plurality of prior plays.

27. The method of claim 25, wherein the history information includes a frequency table listing possible hands capable of being generated and the hands generated in the plurality of prior plays.

28. The method of claim 25, wherein the history information includes a list of most frequently generated ones of the playing cards generated in the plurality of prior plays.

29. The method of claim 17, wherein the history information includes time interval information showing an amount of time elapsed since a particular game outcome last occurred.

30. The method of claim 17, wherein the history information includes frequency information showing a frequency of occurrence of a particular game outcome.

31. The method of claim 17, wherein the outcomes include winning outcomes appearing in a pay table for the wagering game.

32. A gaming system comprising: a computerized control unit for generating random events in a plurality of prior plays of a wagering game, the wagering game being selected from a group consisting of slots, poker, keno, bingo, blackjack, and a lottery-type game; a wagering apparatus for receiving a wager for each of the prior plays; and a display for displaying, in a display image available to a player, history information relating to when one or more outcomes of the random events occurred.

33. The system of claim 32, wherein the history information includes time interval information showing an amount of time elapsed since a particular game outcome last occurred.

34. The system of claim 32, wherein the one or more outcomes includes an outcome that yields a progressive jackpot or jackpot giveaway.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application relates to U.S. application Ser. No. 10/077,667, filed Feb. 15, 2002, and entitled “Gaming Machine With Block Wagering.”

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates generally to gaming machines and, more particularly, to a gaming machine for displaying, in a display image available to a player, history information relating to outcomes of random events that occurred in a plurality of prior plays of the machine.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Gaming machines are operable to play such wagering games as slots, poker, keno, bingo, and blackjack. In response to a wager for purchasing a play of the game, the machine generates a random (or pseudo-random) event using a random number generator (RNG) and displays an outcome of the random event on a primary display device in a form that can be understood by a player. The machine provides an award to the player if the outcome is one of the winning outcomes defined by a pay table.

[0004] The probabilities of achieving the different winning outcomes remain constant from one play to the next, i.e., the random events generated in different plays of the game are independent from each other. Past outcomes of random events do not influence future outcomes. Nonetheless, some players do not trust gaming machines and therefore believe machines manipulate the probabilities in their own favor. It would be desirable to provide a gaming machine capable of gaining the trust of players. Further, some players perceive gaming machines to be “hot” (i.e., frequent payouts) or “cold” (i.e., infrequent payouts) based on witnessing the frequency and/or amount of payouts generated by the machines over a period of time. Based on a player's perception as to whether a machine is “hot” or “cold,” the player will make a decision as to whether or not to play the machine. It would be desirable to provide a gaming machine capable of better communicating information indicative of past outcomes without requiring a player to witness the machine over an extended period of time.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] These and other objects are realized by a gaming system includes a computerized control unit, a wagering apparatus, and a display. The control unit generates random events in a plurality of prior plays of a wagering game. The wagering apparatus receives a wager for each of the prior plays. The display depicts, in a display image available to a player, history information relating to outcomes of the random events that were generated in the plurality of prior plays. The history information may, for example, include time interval information showing an amount of time elapsed since a particular game outcome last occurred, and/or frequency information showing a frequency of occurrence of a particular game outcome. A method of operating a gaming machine is also disclosed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] The foregoing and other advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings.

[0007] FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a gaming machine embodying the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a control system suitable for operating the gaming machine.

[0009] FIG. 3 is a display image associated with a keno game conducted on the gaming machine.

[0010] FIG. 4 is a display image showing history information indicative of outcomes of random events that occurred in prior plays of the keno game.

[0011] FIGS. 5a and 5b are display images associated with a lottery-type game conducted on the gaming machine.

[0012] FIG. 6 is a display image showing history information indicative of outcomes of random events that occurred in prior plays of the lottery-type game.

[0013] FIG. 7 is a display image associated with a poker game conducted on the gaming machine.

[0014] FIG. 8 is a display image showing history information indicative of outcomes of random events that occurred in prior plays of the poker game.

[0015] FIG. 9 is a display image associated with a reel slot game conducted on the gaming machine.

[0016] FIG. 10 is a display image showing history information indicative of outcomes of random events that occurred in prior plays of the reel slot game.

[0017] While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and will be described in detail herein. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed. Rather, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

[0018] Turning now to the drawings, FIG. 1 depicts a gaming machine 10 operable to conduct a wagering game such as slots, poker, keno, bingo, blackjack, and lottery-type games. In operation, the gaming machine receives a wager from a player to purchase a “play” of the game. In a “play” of the game, the gaming machine generates at least one random event using a random number generator (RNG) and provides an award to the player for a winning outcome of the random event. The random event(s) varies with the type of wagering game conducted on the gaming machine.

[0019] The gaming machine 10 includes a video display 12 such as a CRT, LCD, plasma, or other type of video display known in the art. The display 12 is optionally overlaid with a touch screen to facilitate interaction with the player. In the illustrated embodiment, the gaming machine 10 is an “upright” version in which the display 12 is oriented vertically relative to the player. Alternatively, the gaming machine may be a “slant-top” version in which the display 12 is slanted at about a thirty-degree angle toward the player of the gaming machine 10.

[0020] FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a control system suitable for operating the gaming machine 10. Money/credit detector 16 signals a central processing unit (CPU) 18 when a player has inserted money or played a number of credits. The money may be provided by coins, bills, tickets, coupons, cards, etc. Using a button panel 14 (see FIG. 1) or the touch screen 20, the player may select any variables associated with the wagering game and place his/her wager to purchase a play of the game. In a play of the game, the CPU 18 generates at least one random event using a random number generator (RNG) and provides an award to the player for a winning outcome of the random event. The video display 12 represents the random events and outcomes in a visual form that can be understood by the player.

[0021] A system memory 22 stores control software, operational instructions and data associated with the gaming machine 10. In one embodiment, the system memory 22 comprises a separate read-only memory (ROM) and battery-backed random-access memory (RAM). However, it will be appreciated that the system memory 22 may be implemented on any of several alternative types of memory structures or may be implemented on a single memory structure. A payoff mechanism 24 is operable in response to instructions from the CPU 18 to award a payoff to the player. The payoff may, for example, be in the form of a number of credits. The number of credits are determined by one or more math tables stored in the system memory 22.

[0022] In accordance with the present invention, the video display 12 can display, in a display image available to a player, history information that tracks outcomes of the random events that were generated in a plurality of prior plays of the wagering game conducted on the gaming machine. The history information may be selectively accessed by the player or continuously shown on the main display 12 or a secondary display positioned above the main display. If the history information is to be selectively accessed, the player may, for example, press an onscreen or physical “history” key to view the history information. The display image containing the history information may be superimposed over the display image previously shown on the display, or entirely replace the previous display image. If the history information is to be continuously shown, the history information may, for example, be continuously scrolled across a top or bottom portion of the display 12 or a secondary display. The history information may be indicative of the random events that occurred in any number of prior plays, such as 10, 20, 50, or 100 prior plays. The wagering game may, in fact, allow the player to select the number of prior plays for which the history information is sought. Because the random events generated in the prior plays vary with the type of wagering game conducted on the gaming machine, the history information also varies with the type of wagering game.

[0023] FIG. 3 is a display image associated with a keno game conducted on the gaming machine. The keno game includes an eighty spot keno board 30 having spots 32 numbered from “1” to “80”. The spots 32 include up to ten spots 32a selected by the player and twenty spots 32b randomly selected by the CPU. The player's spots 32a may initially be depicted on the display in a first color such as red, while the CPU's spots 32b may be depicted in a second color such as yellow. Any matches may be shown, for example, with a third color or a money symbol “$”.

[0024] To play the keno game, a player places a wager using a “bet one” key 34 or a “max bet” key 36. The player selects from three to ten spots 32a on the keno board 30. The player may select his/her own spots 32a by touching the desired spots directly using the touch screen, or may have the CPU randomly select the player's spots 32a by pressing a “quick pick” key 38. If the player uses the “quick pick” key 38, the CPU selects the same number of spots 32a that were selected in the prior play. The player may erase all of the selections and start over by pressing an “erase” key 40. After the player's spots 32a have been selected, the player presses a “play” key 42. The CPU then randomly selects twenty spots 32b on the keno board 30. The CPU provides an award to the player based on a number of matches between the player's spots 32a and the CPU's spots 32b. A possible pay table for a ten spot play (i.e., number of player's spots 32a is ten) appears below: 1

HitsPay
1010000
95000
81200
7125
616
53
41

[0025] FIG. 4 is a display image showing history information indicative of outcomes of random events that were generated in a plurality of prior plays of the keno game. Specifically, the history information is indicative of random keno numbers selected by the CPU in the plurality of prior plays. The player may access the history information by pressing a “history” key 44 on the main display image in FIG. 3. The history information includes a frequency table 50 listing, by number, the eighty possible keno spots 32 and the number of occurrences of each of these keno spots 32 (i.e., number of times that each of these keno spots 32 has been randomly selected by the CPU as a CPU spot 32b) in the plurality of prior plays. The history information also includes a top ten “hot” list 52 of the most frequent keno spots 32b selected by the CPU in the plurality of prior plays. The player may return to the keno game by pressing a “back to game” key 54.

[0026] FIGS. 5a and 5b are display images associated with a lottery-type game conducted on the gaming machine. Referring first to FIG. 5a, the lottery-type game includes a primary lottery board 60 having white spots 62 numbered from “1” to “49” and a bonus lottery board 64 having red spots 66 numbered from “1” to “42”. To play the lottery-type game, a player places a wager using a “bet one” key 68 or a “max bet” key 70. The player then selects five white spots 62a on the primary lottery board 60 and one red bonus spot 66a on the bonus lottery board 64. The player may select his/her own spots 62a and 66a by touching the desired spots directly using the touch screen, or may have the CPU randomly select the player's spots 62a and 66a by pressing a “quick pick” key 72. The player may erase all of the selections and start over by pressing an “erase” key 74. After the player's spots 62a and 66a have been selected, the player presses a “play” key 76.

[0027] The display image then transforms to the image shown in FIG. 5b, which depicts a pair of drums 80 and 84. The primary drum 80 contains white lottery balls 82 numbered from “1” to “49”, while the bonus drum 84 contains red bonus balls 86 numbered from “1” to “42”. The CPU randomly draws five white lottery balls 82 a from the primary drum 80 and one red bonus ball 86a from the bonus drum 84. The numbers of the player's spots 62a and 66a are shown in region 88 of the display image. The CPU provides an award to the player based on (1) a number of matches between the player's white spots 62a and the CPU's white lottery balls 82a and (2) a match “B” between the player's red bonus spot 66a and the CPU's red bonus ball 86a. A possible pay table appears below, where “B” indicates a match between the player's red bonus spot 66a and the CPU's red bonus ball 86a: 2

HitsPay
5 + BJackpot
5100000
4 + B5000
4100
3 + B100
37
2 + B7
1 + B4
B3

[0028] FIG. 6 is a display image showing history information indicative of outcomes of random events that were generated in a plurality of prior plays of the lottery-type game. Specifically, the history information is indicative of random lottery numbers selected by the CPU in the plurality of prior plays. The player may access the history information by pressing a “history” key 78 on the main display image in FIGS. 5a and 5b. The history information includes a first frequency table 90 listing, by number, the forty nine possible white lottery balls 82 and the number of occurrences of each of these white lottery balls 82 (i.e., number of times that each of these white lottery balls 82 has been randomly selected by the CPU as a drawn white lottery ball 82a) in the plurality of prior plays. The history information includes a second frequency table 92 listing, by number, the forty two possible red bonus balls 86 and the number of occurrences of each of these red bonus balls 86 (i.e., number of times that each of these red bonus balls 86 has been randomly selected by the CPU as a drawn red bonus ball 86a) in the plurality of prior plays. The history information also includes a pair of “hot” lists 94 and 96 of the five most frequent white lottery balls 82a and the most frequent red bonus ball 86a, respectively, drawn by the CPU in the plurality of prior plays. The player may return to the lottery-type game by pressing a “back to game” key 98.

[0029] FIG. 7 is a display image associated with a Jacks or Better poker game conducted on the gaming machine. To play the poker game, a player places a wager using a “bet one” key 100 or a “max bet” key 102. In response to pressing the “max bet” key 102, or a “deal” key 104 for a wager less than the maximum, the CPU randomly selects and deals a hand of five playing cards 106 from a deck. The cards are dealt face up so that their numbers and suits are visible to the player. The player may then select which of the playing cards 106 to hold and accordingly which of the playing cards to discard by either pressing “hold” keys 108 associated with the respective cards 106 or touching the cards 106 themselves. When the “hold” key 108 or associated card is touched, the “hold” indicia on the “hold” key 108 transforms from “hold” to “held” to indicate that the card will be held. After the player makes his/her selections, the player presses a “draw” key 110.

[0030] The CPU, in turn, replaces the discarded cards with cards randomly selected and dealt from the remaining cards in the deck. The replacement cards are dealt face up so that their numbers and suits are visible to the player. The CPU provides an award to the player based on the resulting hand. A possible pay table for the Jacks or Better poker game appears below: 3

HandPay
Royal Flush250
Straight Flush50
4 of a Kind25
Full House9
Flush6
Straight4
3 of a Kind3
2 Pair2
Jacks or Better1

[0031] FIG. 8 is a display image showing history information indicative of outcomes of random events that were generated in a plurality of prior plays of the poker game. Specifically, the history information is indicative of playing cards selected by the CPU in the plurality of prior plays. The player may access the history information by pressing a “history” key 112 on the main display image in FIG. 7. The history information includes a first frequency table 120 listing possible winning poker hands and the number of occurrences of each hand in the plurality of prior plays. The history information includes a second frequency table 122 listing possible card suits and the number of occurrences of each suit in the plurality of prior plays. The history information includes a third frequency table 124 listing possible card ranks (i.e., Ace through King) and the number of occurrences of each rank in the plurality of prior plays. Finally, the history information includes a fourth frequency table 126 listing possible playing cards (both suit and rank) and the number of occurrences of each card on the deal and on the draw in the plurality of prior plays. The history information also includes “hot” lists 128 of the most frequent playing cards selected by the CPU on the deal and on the draw in the plurality of prior plays. If desired, similar “hot” lists may be provided for winning poker hands, card suits, and card ranks. The player may return to the poker game by pressing a “back to game” key 130.

[0032] FIG. 9 is a display image associated with a reel slot game conducted on the gaming machine. To play the slot game, a player places a wager using a “bet one” key 140 or a “max bet” key 142. In response to pressing the “max bet” key 142, or a “spin reels” key 144 for a wager less than the maximum, the CPU spins and randomly stops a plurality of symbol-bearing reels 146 to place symbols on the reels 146 in visual association with at least one pay line 148. Additional pay lines may be provided, in which case the player is allowed to wager on more than one pay line.

[0033] The slot game may be a hold-and-respin game that permits the player to hold the results of one or more reels 146 and spin the remaining reels a second time in an attempt to improve the result. The player may select which of the reels 146 to hold and accordingly which of the reels 146 to respin by pressing “hold” keys 150 associated with the respective reels 146. When the “hold” key 150 is touched, the “hold” indicia on the “hold” key 150 transforms from “hold” to “held” to indicate that the reel will be held. After the player makes his/her selections, the player presses the “spin reels” key 144. The CPU, in turn, respins and stops the unheld reels to place replacement symbols on these reels in visual association with the pay line 148. The CPU provides an award to the player based on the resulting combination of symbols along the pay line 148. For the sake of simplicity in illustrating the present invention, a possible pay table for the slot game appears below: 4

Symbol CombinationPay
77750
BellBellBell20
CherryCherryCherry10
BlankBlankBlank1

[0034] FIG. 10 is a display image showing history information indicative of outcomes of random events that were generated in a plurality of prior plays of the reel slot game. Specifically, the history information is indicative of reel symbols landing along the pay line 148 in the plurality of prior plays. The player may access the history information by pressing a “history” key 152 on the main display image in FIG. 9. The history information includes a first frequency table 160 listing possible winning symbol combinations and the number of occurrences of each combination in the plurality of prior plays. The history information includes a second frequency table 162 listing possible reel symbols on re-spin and the number of occurrences of each reel symbol along the pay line 148 on the re-spin in the plurality of prior plays. If desired, “hot” lists may be provided for winning symbol combinations and/or reel symbols especially if there is a large variety of either item. The player may return to the slot game by pressing a “back to game” key 164.

[0035] The history display of the present invention offers a number of significant advantages. First, the history display assists in gaining the trust of players who perceive gaming machines as manipulating the probabilities in their own favor. The history display serves as an accounting of recent plays and may reassure players that the machine does, in fact, pay out. For more sophisticated players, the history display may even serve as evidentiary proof of the math and pay tables underlying the game. Second, the history display serves as a powerful psychological tool that can take advantage of player perceptions. The history display communicates information indicative of past outcomes without requiring a player to witness the machine over an extended period of time. Based on this information, the player may perceive the machine or certain outcomes to be “hot” or “cold” or due to hit and make his/her play decisions accordingly. The history display subtly encourages players to strategize their play and alter their play strategies from the norm. For example, in the case of machines attached to progressive jackpots or large jackpot giveaways, on the one hand some players may avoid such machines because they do not believe the jackpots to be achievable. On the other hand, some players may gravitate toward such machines when they believe the jackpot is due to hit. The history display may communicate to players when the last jackpot occurred, thereby providing players with a psychological benefit that the jackpot is achievable and/or is due to hit.

[0036] While the present invention has been described with reference to one or more particular embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that many changes may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0037] For example, the number of plays in the plurality of prior plays may be a fixed number as illustrated, or may be varied by the player.

[0038] Instead of or in addition to showing the frequency of outcomes, the history information may include time interval information showing an amount of time elapsed since certain specified outcomes last occurred. Each specified outcome, such as a symbol combination in a slot game, may be associated with a respective timer counting up from 00:00:00:00 (i.e., days, hours, minutes, seconds): 5

Symbol CombinationLast Hit
77700:03:26:10
BellBellBell00:00:17:54
CherryCherryCherry00:00:03:27
BlankBlankBlank00:00:01:19

[0039] Upon the occurrence of one of the specified outcomes, the respective timer for that outcome is reset to zero. If the outcomes are scrolled across the main display or a secondary display, the outcomes may be scrolled in descending order (as they appear, for example, in a pay table) or in a random order. After a certain amount of time, the scrolled information may appear as follows: “. . . 7, 7, 7 last hit 00:03:26:10 Bell, Bell, Bell last hit 00:00:17:54 Cherry, Cherry, Cherry last hit 00:00:03:27 . . . ” The timers continue to count up during the scroll. Each timer may track the total real time or the total playing time (with coin-in) elapsed since the associated outcome last occurred.

[0040] Certain outcomes, such as less desirable outcomes and outcomes that yield lower awards, may not be tracked and may therefore be exempted from the scrolled information. In the case of a slot game, for example, the history information may track only the highest paying symbol combination(s), combinations that trigger progressive jackpots or jackpot giveaways, symbols that are part of the highest paying symbol combination(s), symbols that pay individually, and symbols that trigger a bonus or bonus feature.

[0041] A gaming machine may track and display a predetermined or variable number of past outcomes and integrate such outcomes into the play of the game. For example, in the case of a slot game, the machine may track a predetermined number (e.g., five) of past winning symbol combinations, display the past winning combinations on a secondary video display, and provide a “repeat win” bonus to the player if a current play of the game yields one of the past winning combinations shown on the secondary display. The “repeat win” bonus may, for example, be a secondary game feature, a credit amount, or multiplication of the normal payout for the winning combination by a multiplier.

[0042] Past winning combinations may enter and leave the secondary display in a first-in, first-out (FIFO) scheme, random scheme, or a ranked/priority scheme where winning combinations remain on the display for different periods of time based on such factors as probability of occurrence, payout value, previous “repeat win” bonuses, etc. A past winning combination on the secondary display may be immediately removed from the display in response to a “repeat win” bonus involving that combination, or may remain on the display until removed by virtue of normal operation of the selected scheme. After a player terminates his/her game session, the secondary display may reset to display no past winning combinations or a predetermined starting set of winning combinations.

[0043] The “repeat win” bonus may vary for different winning combinations. For example, if the “repeat win” bonus is multiplication of the normal payout for a winning combination by a multiplier, the multiplier may vary with the probability of achieving the winning combination such that, for example, the lower the probability of achieving the winning combination, the higher the multiplier. The multiplier for repeating a less probable winning combination of 7, 7, 7 shown on the secondary display may be 10×, while the multiplier for repeating a more probable winning combination of Cherry, Cherry, Cherry may be 3×. If a current play of the game yields a winning combination that appears more than once on the secondary display, the “repeat win” bonus may enhanced, e.g., repeated by the number of times that the winning combination appears on the display.

[0044] Instead of only tracking past winning outcomes on the secondary display, the history information may track past losing outcomes, any past outcomes (winning or losing), past symbols, or other past events and provide a “repeat event” bonus to the player if a current play yields one of the past events shown on the secondary display.

[0045] Each of these embodiments and obvious variations thereof is contemplated as falling within the spirit and scope of the claimed invention, which is set forth in the following claims: