Title:
Slot gaming system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for playing a slot gaming machine is provided which includes the steps of providing a display to display a plurality of arrays of symbols, each array of symbols having at least three reels and at least one payline associated with each array, betting at least one credit per payline, activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols, detecting whether a winning combination of symbols is displayed with respect to the paylines, and paying credits for each winning combination detected, based on a pay table. A slot machine used for applying this method is also provided.



Inventors:
Fox, John (Omaha, NE, US)
Application Number:
10/431831
Publication Date:
08/12/2004
Filing Date:
05/08/2003
Assignee:
FOX JOHN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00; A63F9/24; A63F13/00; G06F17/00; G06F19/00; G07F; (IPC1-7): A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, BINH AN DUC
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CAESAR RIVISE, PC (7 Penn Center, 12th Floor 1635 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19103-2212, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method for playing a slot gaming machine comprising the steps of: (a) providing a display to display a plurality of arrays of symbols, each array of symbols having at least three reels and at least one payline associated with each array; (b) betting at least one credit per payline; (c) activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols; (d) detecting whether a winning combination of symbols is displayed with respect to the paylines; and (e) paying credits for each winning combination detected, based on a pay table.

2. The method of claim 1, including the step of selecting the quantity of paylines per array upon which a bet is to be placed.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the step of selecting is accomplished by betting a number of credits evenly divisible by a total number of paylines.

4. The method of playing the slot machine of claim 1, wherein the step of providing the display includes five reels associated with each array of symbols.

5. The method of playing the slot machine of claim 1, wherein the step of betting at least one credit per payline includes sequentially assigning credits to paylines such that when all paylines are assigned an equivalent number of credits, the step of betting continues to sequentially assign credits beginning at a first payline until all credits bet are assigned to paylines.

6. The method of playing a slot machine of claim 1, wherein the step of providing a display to display a plurality of arrays of symbols, includes providing a display to display a plurality of arrays wherein each array has a different quantity of symbols.

7. The method of playing a slot machine of claim 1, wherein the step of providing a display to display a plurality of arrays of symbols, includes providing a display to display a plurality of arrays, wherein each array uses a different set of symbols.

8. The method of playing a slot machine of claim 1, including a bonus step wherein bonus credits are awarded when at least one symbol in each of at least two of the arrays match symbols in an award table.

9. The method for playing a slot machine of claim 1, including a step of selecting arrays to be displayed prior to the step of activating all of the reels.

10. The method of playing a slot machine of claim 1, wherein the step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays and the step of detecting whether a winning combination of symbols is displayed with respect to the paylines occur prior to the step of paying credits.

11. The method of playing a slot machine of claim 1, wherein an appearance of a symbol on one of the paylines affects values associated with the pay table whereby a bonus is payed with respect to at least one other of the paylines when the symbol on the one payline appears.

12. The method of playing the card game of claim 1, wherein the step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols is accomplished using a single random number generator for all of the plurality of arrays.

13. The method of playing the card game of claim 1, wherein the step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols is accomplished using a single random number generator for each of the plurality of arrays.

14. A method for playing a slot machine comprising the steps of: (a) providing a display to display a plurality of arrays of symbols, each array of symbols having at least three reels and at least one payline associated with each array; (b) betting at least one credit that is divided among all of the paylines associated with all of the arrays of symbols; (c) activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols; (d) detecting whether a winning combination of symbols is displayed with respect to any of the paylines; and (e) paying credits for each winning combination detected, based on a pay table.

15. The method of playing the slot machine of claim 14, wherein the step of providing the display includes five reels associated with each array of symbols.

16. The method of playing the slot machine of claim 14, wherein the step of betting at least one credit includes evenly dividing the at least one credit among all of the paylines associated with all of the arrays of symbols.

17. The method of playing a slot machine of claim 14, wherein the step of providing a display to display a plurality of arrays of symbols, includes providing a display to display a plurality of arrays, wherein each array uses a different set of symbols.

18. The method of playing a slot machine of claim 14, wherein the step of providing a display to display a plurality of arrays of symbols, includes providing a display to display a plurality of arrays, wherein each array has a different quantity of symbols.

19. The method of playing a slot machine of claim 14, including a bonus step wherein bonus credits are awarded when at least one symbol in each of at least two of the arrays match symbols in an award table.

20. The method for playing a slot machine of claim 14, including a step of selecting arrays to be displayed prior to the step of activating all of the reels.

21. The method of playing a slot machine of claim 14, wherein the step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays and the step of detecting whether a winning combination of symbols is displayed with respect to the paylines occur prior to the step of paying credits.

22. The method of playing a slot machine of claim 14, wherein an appearance of a symbol on one of the paylines affects values associated with the pay table whereby a bonus is payed with respect to at least one other of the paylines when the symbol on the one payline appears.

23. The method of playing the card game of claim 14, wherein the step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols is accomplished using a single random number generator for all of the plurality of arrays.

24. The method of playing the card game of claim 14, wherein the step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols is accomplished using a single random number generator for each of the plurality of arrays.

25. A method for playing a slot machine comprising the steps of: (a) providing a display to display a plurality of arrays of symbols, each array of symbols having five reels and at least one payline associated with each array; (b) betting at least one credit one each payline associated with all of the arrays of symbols; (c) activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each payline displays an associated set of random symbols; (d) detecting whether a winning combination of symbols is displayed with respect to any of the paylines; and (e) paying credits for each winning combination detected, based upon a pay table.

26. The method of playing the slot machine of claim 25, wherein the step of betting at least one credit includes evenly dividing the credits among all of the paylines associated with all of the arrays of symbols.

27. The method of playing a slot machine of claim 25, wherein the step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays and the step of detecting whether a winning combination of symbols is displayed with respect to the paylines occur prior to the step of paying credits.

28. The method of playing the slot machine of claim 25, wherein the step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols is accomplished using a single random number generator for all of the plurality of arrays.

29. The method of playing the slot machine of claim 25, wherein the step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols is accomplished using a single random number generator for each of the plurality of arrays.

30. A slot machine comprising: (a) display for displaying a plurality of arrays of symbols, each array of symbols having at least three reels and at least one payline associated with each array; (b) a credit acceptor for accepting a bet of at least one credit; (c) a reel activator for activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the at least one paylines displays an associated set of random symbols; (d) a winning combination detector for detecting winning combinations of symbols displayed with respect to any of the paylines; and (e) a credit device adapted to apply at least one credit for each winning combination detected, based on a pay table.

31. The slot machine of claim 30 including a bet divider adapted to divide the bet among all of the paylines associated with all of the arrays of symbols.

32. The slot machine of claim 30, wherein the display includes five reels associated with each array of symbols.

33. The slot machine of claim 30, including a selector for selecting arrays to be displayed.

34. The slot machine of claim 30, including one random number generator associated with all arrays to determine the set of random symbols for all arrays.

35. The slot machine of claim 30, including one random number generator associated with each array to determine the set of random symbols for each arrays.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/445,924, filed Feb. 6, 2003, entitled Slot Gaming System and Method.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of Invention

[0003] This invention relates to gaming machines of the type generally referred to as slot machines. In particular, this invention provides an improvement to such a gaming machine

[0004] 2. Description of Related Art

[0005] Gaming machines and, in particular, video slot machines have gained considerable popularity throughout the world. Various strategies have been attempted in the past to make games more enticing to players. These strategies are often aimed at creating the perception that there are a greater number of winning combinations in a particular game than in other games. One of the ways to create a high number of winning combinations is to have, for example, a five reel slot game, rather than the original style three reel slot game.

[0006] Additionally, for many years it has been possible to bet on more than one payline of a slot machine simultaneously. For example, in the original slot machines, the payline was a single fixed, horizontal line. A prize is determined depending upon a particular combination of symbols which align with this fixed horizontal line. Slot machines were then devised that used multiple paylines. Here, for example, three separate horizontal lines may be used. A player would apply, for example, one coin or credit to bet on, for example, the first payline. The player must apply, for example, a second coin or credit to bet on the second payline and a third coin or credit to bet on the third payline. As time went on, it was desirable to have more and more paylines, for example twenty-one paylines associated with a single set of slot symbols.

[0007] Once a certain number of paylines is reached with respect to a single set of reels, it can become very confusing for the player to determine all of the particular ways he may win.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 6,200,217 (Osawa) is directed to a slot machine which determines a prize depending upon a combination of symbols displayed on various paylines. The position of the paylines is variable and is determined by sampling a random number.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 5,807,172 (Piechowiak) is directed to a method for operating a slot machine which allows a player nine different ways to win on a three reel machine. A total of nine paylines are provided where each payline identifies a unique combination of symbol positions.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 5,580,053 (Crouch) is directed to a multi-line gaming machine which has a single array of symbols displayed. The player may make multiple wagers on each game with each wager being assigned to a payline. The paylines to be employed are selectable by user switches prior to the start of each game.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 5,704,835 (Dietz) is directed to an electronic second spin slot machine which allows a player to completely respin one or more symbols displayed after a first spin in order to create, improve or lose a winning combination. This machine is directed to a single array slot machine.

[0012] One aspect of the present invention provides for a player to play multiple games of a slot machine on a single display at one time. Another aspect of the present invention provides a video slot machine that provides a player with a very large number of paylines by using more than one set of slot games. That is, the slot machine of the present invention uses multiple arrays of symbols to effectively play several games at a single time.

[0013] All references cited herein are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0014] A method for playing a slot machine is first provided which includes the steps of providing a display to display multiple arrays of symbols where each array of symbols has at least three reels and at least one payline, betting at least one credit per payline, activating all of the reels in each of the arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols, detecting whether a winning combination of symbols is displayed with respect to the paylines, and paying credits for each winning combination detected, based on a pay table.

[0015] A step of selecting the quantity of paylines per array upon which a bet is to be placed may be included. The step of selecting may be accomplished by betting a number of credits evenly divisible by the number of paylines. In one preferred embodiment, the step of providing the display includes five reels associated with each array of symbols.

[0016] The step of betting at least one credit per payline may include sequentially assigning credits to paylines such that when all paylines are assigned an equivalent number of credits, the step of betting continues to sequentially assign credits beginning at a first payline until all credits desired are used.

[0017] The step of providing a display to display a plurality of arrays of symbols may include providing a display to display a plurality of arrays wherein each array has a different quantity of symbols. Alternatively, the step of providing a display to display a plurality of arrays of symbols may include providing a display to display a plurality of arrays, wherein each array uses a different set of symbols.

[0018] A bonus step may be included wherein bonus credits are awarded when at least one symbol in each of at least two of the arrays match symbols in an award table.

[0019] A step of selecting arrays to be displayed may be included prior to the step of activating all of the reels. Preferably, the step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays and the step of detecting whether a winning combination of symbols is displayed with respect to the paylines occur prior to the step of paying credits.

[0020] An appearance of a symbol on one of the paylines may affect values associated with the paytable whereby a bonus is payed with respect to at least one other of the paylines when the symbol on the one payline appears.

[0021] The step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols may be accomplished using a single random number generator for all of the plurality of arrays. Alternatively, the step of activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols may be accomplished using a single random number generator for each of the plurality of arrays.

[0022] In another embodiment of the present invention, a method for playing a slot machine is provided which includes the steps of providing a display to display a plurality of arrays of symbols where each array of symbols has at least three reels and at least one payline associated with each array, betting at least one credit that is divided among all of the paylines associated with all of the arrays of symbols, activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the paylines displays an associated set of random symbols, detecting whether a winning combination of symbols is displayed with respect to any of the paylines, and paying credits for each winning combination detected, based on a pay table.

[0023] A slot machine is also provided which includes a display for displaying a plurality of arrays of symbols, each array of symbols having at least three reels and at least one payline associated with each array, a credit acceptor for accepting a bet of at least one credit, a reel activator for activating all of the reels in each of the plurality of arrays such that each of the at least one paylines displays an associated set of random symbols, a winning combination detector for detecting winning combinations of symbols displayed with respect to any of the paylines, and a credit device adapted to apply at least one credit for each winning combination detected, based on a pay table.

[0024] A bet divider may be included that is adapted to divide the bet among all of the paylines associated with all of the arrays of symbols. In one preferred embodiment, the display includes five reels associated with each array of symbols. A selector for selecting arrays to be displayed may be included. One random number generator associated with all arrays may be included to determine the set of random symbols for all arrays. Alternatively, the random number generator associated with each array may be included to determine the set of random symbols for each arrays.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] The invention will be described in conjunction with the following drawings in which like reference numerals designate like elements and wherein:

[0026] FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a slot gaming system in accordance with one preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0027] FIG. 2 is one preferred embodiment of a display of the slot gaming system of FIG. 1; and

[0028] FIG. 3 is a second preferred embodiment of a display of the slot gaming system of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0029] Referring now to the drawings, wherein like part numbers refer to like elements throughout the several views, there is shown in FIG. 1, a slot gaming system in the form of a video slot machine 10 in accordance with one preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0030] The slot machine 10 has a display 11 depicting more than one, for example, four arrays 12, 14, 16, 18, wherein each array represents an independent slot game. Here, four five-reel slot games are shown. FIG. 2 depicts an example of the display 11 in greater detail. As can be seen in FIG. 2, each array 12, 14, 16, 18 has five “reels” (A, B, C, D, E) associated with it.

[0031] For purposes of the present invention, the term “reels” is intended to include all types of slot reels including video, mechanical, electronic, or any other type of known slot reel. An actual mechanical reel is not required. Manipulation of the actual slot symbols need not occur mechanically, but may occur by any means presently known, including electronically and displayed on a video display.

[0032] Additionally, for purposes of the present invention, the term “payline” is as is well known to players and to those skilled in the art of gaming machines. A payline is a certain pre-defined combination of symbol locations on an array, visible on a slot machine display, upon which a pay table is based. For example, in the display 11 of FIG. 2, twenty-one paylines are shown for each array 12, 14, 16, 18. However, an array may include far fewer paylines, for example, one payline, or, at least theoretically, many more. Once an excessive number of paylines appears on a display, it can become very cumbersome to a player to determine his or her winning paylines.

[0033] As can be seen in FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment of the slot machine generally includes the display 11, a credit acceptor 20, and at least one reel activator 22 that is activatable by a player, to cause the reels on the slot machine to “spin” (electronically or mechanically). As can be seen, the display 11 is adapted to display multiple arrays of symbols. For example, the display may include the four arrays 12, 14, 16, 18 of symbols shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Each array of symbols 12, 14, 16, 18 is equivalent to a standard video or mechanical slot machine and preferably having multiple paylines. For example, as best seen in FIG. 2, array 12 is a three-by-five array where there are three horizontal lines, X, Y and Z and five vertical lines (reels) across the screen, A, B, C, D, and E. That is, array 12 is capable here of displaying fifteen symbols. Again, more than one sets of arrays is required.

[0034] Each displayed array is preferably an entirely independent slot game (although various bonus games can use symbols across different arrays). Each different slot game may have the same symbols, odds for winning and paytables or use different symbols, odds for winning and paytables. For example, one slot game may have winning combinations that use bars with one particular pay table, while another displayed game may have winning combinations that use penguins and use a different pay table.

[0035] The slot machine 10 includes the credit acceptor 20 for accepting a minimum bet of at least one credit per payline per array. The credit acceptor may be in any form known in the art of gaming including, for example, a coin acceptor, a card reader, a biometric analyzer, and the like. The player provides an appropriate bet for the machine. For example, the machine may be a one dollar machine. A minimum bet of $4.00 is required if there are four arrays 12, 14, 16, 18 associated with the slot machine 10 only one payline per array is played. Appropriate software that is incorporated into the slot machine 10 divides the four dollar bet amongst all of the paylines available to the player. Preferably, the total number of required credits bet must be evenly divisible by the number of paylines selected. That is, if there are twelve paylines that the player desires to place a bet on, the number of credits bet must be in increments of twelve, for example, twelve, twenty-four, thirty-six, etc. For example, for a one dollar machine that has four arrays, each having three paylines, a minimum bet of twelve dollars is required. Further amounts for a bet would preferably require, twenty-four dollars, thirty-six dollars, forty-eight dollars, etc.

[0036] Optionally, rather than requiring the total number of required credits bet to be evenly divisible by the number of paylines selected, credits may be applied serially to the paylines. For example, if there are twelve paylines and fifteen credits that a player desires to bet, one credit would be applied to each of the twelve paylines and each of the first three paylines would have an additional one credit applied for a total of fifteen credits.

[0037] The slot machine 12 also includes the reel activator 22, such as an activator button, for activating all of the reels in all of the arrays such that each of the horizontal lines 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46 on the arrays 12, 14, 16, 18 displays an associated set of random symbols. This would preferably be accomplished in a similar manner to a standard video slot machine. For example, a player would pull a lever or press a reel activator button 22 which would set all of the reels in motion (or perceived motion to the player). Each of the reels would stop on a random symbol in the typical manner of operation of any mechanical or video slot machine. The slot machine 12 would detect, using a winning combination detector (for example, as part of its software), any winning combinations of symbols displayed with respect to any of the paylines.

[0038] In this preferred embodiment, all arrays are played simultaneously. That is, a bet is placed on all paylines and credits are awarded for winning paylines before a second play begins.

[0039] As shown in FIG. 3, second preferred embodiment of the slot machine of the present has a display 11′ depicting three arrays 14′, 16′, 18′, wherein each array represents a different game. As can be seen in FIG. 2, the first array 14′ has five “reels” (A′, B′, C′, D′, E′) associated with it, the second array 16′ has three “reels” (A″, B″, C″) associated with it, and the third array 18′ has four “reels” (A′″, B′″, C′″, D′″) associated with it.

[0040] As indicated, the display 11′ may include three arrays 14′, 16′, 18′ of symbols. Each array of symbols 14′, 16′, 18′ is equivalent to a standard video or mechanical slot machine having multiple paylines. For example, array 14′ is a three-by-five array where there are three horizontal lines, X′, Y′ and Z′ and five vertical (reels) across the screen, A′, B′, C′, D′, and E′. That is, array 14′ is capable here of displaying fifteen symbols. Again, more than one sets of arrays is required. As can be seen in FIG. 3, the sets of arrays need not include identical numbers of horizontal and vertical sets of symbols. For example, in one display, a player could play (1) an array such as array 14′ which is a five reel game (A′, B′, C′, D′, E′) having three horizontal lines of symbols (X′, Y′, Z′) (a 3×5 array having fifteen total symbols), (2) an array such as array 16′ which is a three reel game (A″, B″, C″) having three horizontal rows (X″, Y″, Z″) of symbols (a 3×3 array having nine total symbols), and (3) an array such as array 18′ which is a four reel game (A′″, B′″, C′″, D′″) having three rows of (X′″, Y′″, Z′″) symbols (4×5 array having twenty total symbols). The arrays may contain different numbers of symbols or may contain, identical numbers of symbols.

[0041] Again, each displayed array may be an entirely different slot game. For example, one slot game may have winning combinations that use bars with one particular pay table, while another displayed game may have winning combinations that use penguins and use a different pay table.

[0042] The player provides an appropriate bet for the machine. For example, the machine may be a one dollar machine. A minimum bet of $3.00 is required if there are three arrays 14, 16, 18 associated with the slot machine 10. Software that is incorporated into the slot machine 10 divides the three dollar bet amongst all of the paylines available to the player. In the above example which uses a 3×5, a 3×3 and a 4×5 array, there are, for example, twenty-one paylines 24 associated with the 3×5 array, fifteen paylines 26 associated with the 3×3 array and nine paylines 28 associated with the 4×5 array, for a total of forty-five paylines. Therefore, the bet divider would associate $0.022 with each payline (one dollar divided by fifty paylines=$0.222 per payline). The slot machine 12 also includes the reel activator 22 such as an activator button for activating all of the reels in all of the arrays such that each of the horizontal lines 24a, 24b, 24c, 26a, 26b, 26c, 28a, 28b, and 28c, on the arrays 14′, 16′, and 18′ displays an associated set of random symbols. This would preferably be accomplished in a similar manner to a standard video slot machine. For example, a player would pull a lever or press a reel activator button which would set all of the reels in motion (or perceived motion). Each of the reels would stop on a random symbol in the typical manner of operation of any mechanical or video slot machine. The slot machine would detect, using a winning combination detector (for example, as part of its software), any winning combinations of symbols displayed with respect to any of the paylines. In the example of FIG. 3, there are forty-five paylines, with each payline having a $0.222 bet associated with it. Based on one or more pay tables, at least some of the paylines may be “winners” wherein the player is credited with credits based on a payline. A credit device awards the player by applying at least one credit for each winning combination detected or by dispensing coins to the player. The credit device may award the player coins, credit a card with the winning value(s), credit a player's account with the winning values, etc., as are well known.

[0043] In one preferred variation of the slot machine of the present invention, a bonus game may be included wherein pay tables may be created for achieving a symbol or combination of symbols across various arrays. For example, in a 3×5 array generally using penguins as winners, a 3×3 array generally using jokers as winners, and a 2×5 array generally using bars as winners, each array has an entirely different pay table associated with it. However, one or more unique symbols may be included in various reels of all of the arrays. For example, a rabbit may be included in one of the reels on each of the arrays. If a player hits a rabbit on one reel in any one or more of the arrays, the player may win bonus credits. For example, where there are three arrays, hitting a single rabbit may yield a first, relatively low credit award, hitting two rabbits may yield a higher credit award, and hitting all three rabbits may yield a large jackpot credit award. Of course any type of play where pay tables are based on achieving combinations of symbols across the various arrays is intended to be included here.

[0044] In a particularly preferred embodiment, an initial “attract” screen attracts a player and allows the player to select the particular games he or she desires to play. For example, the player may select three games where each of the selected games uses a 3×5 array similar to that of array 14. Alternatively, for example, the player may select two 3×5 arrays similar to that of array 14 plus two more 3×3 arrays similar to that of array 16 for a total of four arrays. A multitude of combinations of games could be selectable, for example, games having different types of symbols (e.g., fruits, bars, etc.) with different odds associated with the different games. In all cases, the initial bet is preferably evenly divided amongst the total number of paylines selected.

[0045] In past video slot gaming systems which have used only a single array, a random number generator randomly selected a number within a predetermined set of random numbers. The randomly selected number is associated with a game symbol for each reel within a look-up table, and each reel is positioned to display its respective game symbol. By providing a greater number of random numbers in the random number set than the number of available sets of different symbol combinations which can be displayed on the reels, and by varying the sizes of the subsets of random numbers which correspond to each different set of game symbols, the probability of a particular game result occurring can be predetermined for the machine. Typically, in past gaming machines, a single random number is generated that determines the symbols displayed and therefore the award amount for the single array type slot machines. However, the slot gaming system of the present invention uses multiple arrays. Therefore, a single random number generator may be used with each array or a single random number generator may be used to determine reel positions for all arrays.

[0046] It is intended that the embodiments of the present invention be directed to gaming systems where each array has its own paytable, to gaming systems where a single paytable is used for all arrays and to gaming systems that determines a winner based on an external source. In this latter type of gaming system, for example, a central server is used to determine a winner where numerous gaming systems are connected to the central system. For example, the arrays of the present invention may be a bingo game type array where a central server draws symbols, for example, every ten seconds. Such games may fall into the category of “Class II gaming” as defined by the Title 35 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 502.3 (35 C.F.R. §502.3)

[0047] Although illustrated and described herein with reference to specific embodiments, the present invention nevertheless is not intended to be limited to the details shown. Rather, various modifications may be made in the details within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims without departing from the spirit of the invention.