Title:
Method of playing a gaming machine featuring interruptible play
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A video gaming machine and method which provides the added feature of interrupting a particular game being played, such as Five Card Poker, upon the player receiving a wild card or other event occurring. The wild card rotates, and if a special bonus card appears when the player stops the wild card rotation, the normal game play is temporarily interrupted and the player enters a Bonus Round. In the Bonus Round the player may select one of a plurality of symbols which reveal bonus points awarded to the player. In an alternate Bonus Round, the player can select another type of game to play to receive additional bonus points. After completion of the Bonus Round, the player is returned to the original game to complete play of the original game and possible receive additional points added to any points received in the Bonus Round.



Inventors:
Wilson, Tammy L. (Lawrenceville, GA, US)
Application Number:
10/923350
Publication Date:
12/15/2005
Filing Date:
08/20/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24; G07F17/32; (IPC1-7): A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PANDYA, SUNIT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SAND & SEBOLT (AEGIS TOWER, SUITE 1100, 4940 MUNSON STREET, NW, CANTON, OH, 44718-3615, US)
Claims:
1. A method of playing a video gaming machine comprising the steps of: a) making a wager to begin traditional game play by a player; b) beginning game play; c) interrupting temporarily the game play should a trigger event occur during traditional game play; d) proceeding to a Bonus Round during interrupted game play wherein a plurality of options are presented to the player; e) choosing one of the options; f) concluding the Bonus Round; g) returning to traditional game play after the Bonus Round has been concluded; g) completing play of the traditional game play; and h) awarding points to the player based upon the success of the player in the traditional game and the outcome of the chosen Bonus Round.

2. The method of playing the game defined in claim 1 including the step of maintaining a view of the interrupted traditional game visible to the player when proceeding to the Bonus Round during interrupted game play.

3. The method of playing the game defined in claim 1 wherein the step of choosing one of the options includes selecting at least one of a plurality of designs presented to the player, each design awarding a specific number of bonus points to the player.

4. The method of playing the game defined in claim 3 including the step of exposing the bonus points of the designs not chosen by the player after the player has selected a design.

5. The method of playing the game defined in claim 1 wherein the game is five card draw poker.

6. The method of playing the game defined in claim 1 including the steps of: presenting at least a first symbol and a second symbol in a random manner on the viewing screen whereby the first symbol will trigger the Bonus Round, and the second symbol will allow the traditional game play to continue; the player attempting to choose the first symbol; and actuating step (d) if the first symbol is chosen by the player.

7. The method of playing the game defined in claim 1 including the step of dealing a wild card to the player; presenting at least two special cards to the player in a random manner; the player attempting to choose a specific one of the special cards; and proceeding to steps (d) through (h) if the special card is chosen.

8. The method of playing the game defined in claim 1 wherein one of the options is playing a secondary game selected from the group of Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Keno, War, Caribbean Stud, Memory Game, and Video Game.

9. The method of playing the game defined in claim 1 including the step of touching a touch view screen to perform step (e).

10. A method of playing a five card poker video gaming machine game comprising the steps of: a) dealing five cards to the player to begin play of the game; b) temporarily interrupting the play of the game if a special card or cards is dealt to the player; c) proceeding to a Bonus Round; d) choosing one of a plurality of options presented to the player in the Bonus Round; e) awarding possible bonus points to the player depending upon the outcome of the Bonus Round; f) returning to the five card poker game after completion of the Bonus Round; g) completing play of the five card poker game; and h) awarding possible points to the play depending upon the outcome of the five card poker game.

11. The method of playing the game defined in claim 10 including the step of maintaining a view of the five card poker game visible to the player when proceeding to the Bonus Round.

12. The method of playing the game defined in claim 10 wherein the step of choosing one of the options includes selecting at least one of a plurality of designs presented to the player, each design awarding a specific number of bonus points to the player.

13. The method of playing the game defined in claim 10 including the steps of: presenting at least two symbols momentarily in a random manner on the viewing screen; the player choosing one of the symbols; and actuating step (c) if a specific one of the symbols is chosen by the player.

14. The method of playing the game defined in claim 10 including the step of dealing a wild card to the player; presenting at least two special cards to the player in a random manner; the player choosing one of the special cards; and proceeding to steps (c) through (h) if a special one of the cards is chosen.

15. The method of playing the game defined in claim 10 wherein one of the options is playing a secondary game selected from the group of Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Keno, War, Caribbean Stud, Memory Game, and Video Game.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a standard utility application and claims the benefit of provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/578,333, filed Jun. 9, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates to video gaming machines, and in particular to a method of playing a gaming machine wherein the play of the game is temporarily interrupted should a certain event occur during the play of the game, such as a certain wild card being exposed, which directs the player to a Bonus Round where the player selects one of a plurality of symbols to receive bonus points, or in an alternative method, select a secondary game, such as Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, etc., which the player then plays to receive additional bonus points. After completion of this Bonus Round, the player is returned to complete the original game.

2. Background Information

There are numerous types of video gaming machines, such as Poker, Blackjack, War, Keno, etc., wherein the player wagers an amount of money at the start of the game with the hope of winning the game to receive bonus points and/or a monetary amount. In certain types of video gaming machines the player interacts with the machine to cause certain events to occur, such as in Five Card Poker the player selects certain cards to be discarded and replaced with other cards, and in Blackjack the player chooses to take additional cards, stand, split, etc. with the hand dealt. It has been found that video gaming games which provide greater interaction with the player are more desirable to many players in that it adds to the excitement and enjoyment of the player as well as increasing the play on the particular gaming machine, hopefully resulting in more profit to the casino owner and/or video game owner. Thus, it is desirable to provide a type of video game which increases the interaction with the player and which provides the player with additional activity on the machine if a certain event occurs to extend the play time on the machine as well as the possibility of securing additional bonus points or monetary rewards.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One aspect of the invention is to provide a video gaming machine wherein the normal play of the game is interrupted upon a certain even occurring during the game, such as a wild card or other special card or cards being dealt or exposed to the player, which sends the player into a Bonus Round where additional points can be obtained by selecting one of a plurality of bonus points award cards, or in an alternate method, provide the player with a choice of playing a secondary game such as Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Keno, etc. to gain additional points. After play of the secondary game or selection of a bonus award, the player is returned to the original game to complete the play thereof.

Another feature of the invention is to provide player interaction with the video game by attempting to create the Bonus Round by actuating a touch screen where a rotating design is presented, which if appropriately touched, will result in the player entering the Bonus Round, or if not touched at the proper moment will return the player to the original game for completion.

Another aspect of the invention is to provide a Five Card Video Poker gaming machine wherein if a wild card is drawn by the player a magic wild card is introduced which may allow the Bonus Round to be entered in the middle of the normal game play. The wild card and bonus card will spin or move in a random manner until a player touches the screen. If the spin stops on a regular wild card the normal game play resumes, but if it stops on the magic wild card the player is then transported to the special Bonus Round.

A further feature of the invention is to provide a small snapshot or picture of the original game being played, such as Five Card Poker, in an upper corner of the video game viewing screen while the Bonus Round is being played.

The Bonus Round can also be triggered by the player being dealt a certain sequence of cards, or a certain pair of cards, etc. Also, a symbol could randomly appear on or move across the viewing screen and if touched by the player, could trigger movement to the Bonus Round and temporarily interrupt normal game play.

Another aspect of the invention is to provide the Bonus Round with a wild card bonus screen having a plurality of blank designs thereon, wherein the player upon touching one of the designs will cause it to flip to reveal the player's bonus points, which are added to his total. The remaining blank designs may also flip over to review the bonus points not awarded to the player to entice him to continue to play the gaming machine in the hope of greater rewards in a subsequent Bonus Round.

Many of these objections and features are obtained by the method of the present invention, the general nature of which may be stated as a method of playing a video gaming machine game comprising the steps of making a wager to begin game play by a player, beginning game play, interrupting temporarily the game play should a trigger event occur during game play, proceeding to a Bonus Round during interrupted game play wherein a plurality of options are presented to the player, choosing one of the options, concluding the Bonus Round, returning to the traditional game play after concluding the chosen option of the Bonus Round, completing play of the traditional game, and awarding points to the player based upon the success of the player in the game and the outcome of the Bonus Round.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred embodiments of the invention, illustrative of the best modes in which applicant contemplates applying the principles, are set forth in the following description and are shown in the drawings and are particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims.

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a video gaming machine showing the start of the original game which is illustrated as Five Card Poker, which diagrammatically shows a rotating wild and magic card;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic view of the gaming machine showing the view presented upon the player entering the Bonus Round before choosing a wild card for the award of bonus points;

FIG. 3 is an alternate view of the video screen upon the player entering the Bonus Round where a plurality of secondary games are presented for the player's choice; and

FIG. 4 is a view showing the video screen after the player has selected Blackjack as the secondary game, with the status of the original game being shown in an upper corner of the screen.

Similar numerals refer to similar parts throughout the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view showing a video gaming machine game indicated generally at 1, which has a usual viewing screen 2 with a coin receiving slot 3 and a plurality of buttons for play of the game depending upon the type of game programmed into the machine. The particular embodiment of the present invention is shown with reference to the play of Five Card Poker. The player begins the game by inserting a coin into the machine through coin slot 3 and pressing a play button 6. However, other types of initiating start of the game can be utilized, not requiring a coin or money payment without effecting the invention.

Five cards 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 will either appear initially face down on the screen and then immediately flip up to be exposed as shown below in FIG. 1, or dealt initially face up as shown therein. The player then decides which cards to hold, ranging from none to all five. The five buttons, for example in the bottom row 13, are then selectively pressed to hold one or all of the above cards. Next you press the deal button 15 and a new set of cards will appear, replacing the ones you chose not to hold. If a winning combination results, the machine will award you with credits or points based upon the payout schedule of the machine. With the hand over, the process is then repeated in a normal Five Card Poker game.

However, in accordance with the invention, should a special bonus or wild card 10 be received by the player, or other triggering event occur as discussed below, it will begin to rotate in that position or oscillate across the bottom of the screen as diagrammatically represented by cards 20 and 21. The player will touch the screen hoping to touch it at the time the magic bonus figure is visible, which will then interrupt normal game play and move the player into the Bonus Round. However, should the non Bonus Round card or wild card be touched by the player instead of the desired magic bonus card, the wild card will then figure into the usual play of the five card poker hand which will conclude without the player entering the Bonus Round as in a usual Five Card Video Poker game.

The rotating wild card or bonus card may stop randomly having no reliance on when the screen or stop button is touched by the player, relying entirely on a random number generator as in a usual slot machine. Also, other events can occur to trigger movement to the Bonus Round, such as a symbol appearing momentarily on or move across the viewing screen and if touched by the player or a particular button on the game touched etc. trigger movement into the Bonus Round.

However, when the player does touches the magic bonus card placing him in a Bonus Round, a touch sensitive screen 24, in a first embodiment, will assume a view such as shown in FIG. 2 wherein a plurality of symbols 25, such as stars or the like, are exposed. The player will then touch one of the symbols which will flip over, revealing a certain bonus point count, which will be added to the player's total points. The game then returns the player back to the original poker hand of FIG. 1 whereupon normal play of the hand is resumed. Preferably, the temporarily interrupted Poker hand is shown in a snapshot version as indicated at 30, in an upper corner of the screen. Thus, in one embodiment a Bonus Round, such as shown in FIG. 2, wherein the player merely selects one of a plurality of symbols on the touch sensitive screen to reveal a specific point count, will occur, after which the player then returns to the play of the original game. Also, after the player selects a particular symbol for obtaining the bonus points contained therein, the other symbols will flip over revealing their point values, which at many times will be greater than that chosen by the player, enticing the player to continue to play the game, hoping to enter the Bonus Round again and obtain the greater value of points.

FIG. 3 shows an alternate Bonus Round wherein a plurality of touch screen buttons or positions 24 will be shown on screen 24, each of which will specify a particular type of game, such as Black Jack, Roulette, Three Card Poker, Keno, War, etc. The player then selects the particular game that he wishes to play by touching the screen, such as the Black Jack button 35. This results in a Black Jack game appearing on the viewing screen as shown in FIG. 4. The player then will play the game of Black Jack by either hitting for an additional card, standing, doubling, or split, etc., by the use of screen buttons. If the player wins bonus points they are added to his existing total. After the Black Jack game, or other game chosen, has been completed, the player is returned automatically to the original game for finalizing the play thereof.

Viewing screens 24 as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 as discussed above, will show the status of the original game, which is the five card poker hand in the embodiment shown, in a snapshot fashion in the upper right hand corner thereof as shown at 30. Should the player lose the Black Jack hand or other selected game in the Bonus Round, no points will be added to his total points, but he is still returned to the original Five Card Poker game for finalizing the game with the hope of winning and securing the winning bonus points. The special card 10 will become a wild card in the poker hand.

Thus, the method of playing a video game of the present invention increases the enjoyment to the player by providing the possibility of an additional Bonus Round by an event occurring in the original game triggering movement into the Bonus Round. The Bonus Round is entered and completed before the completion of the original game, and will provide the player with a single selection of bonus points by the selection of one of a plurality of symbols, or in an alternate embodiment enable the player to select one of a plurality of secondary games to be played and after completion thereof, the player is returned to the original game for completion thereof.

It is readily understood that the term “bonus points” awarded to the player will in a gaming machine situation equate to money, either by indicating the number of coins which correspond to the coin denomination of the machine, or a portion thereof.

It is readily understood that the video games are normally computer controlled, and that the electronic circuitry for playing the method of the present invention in such a machine, is well known and available to one skilled in the art, and thus is not shown in detail.

Various types of games can be selected by a player for the Bonus Round in addition to those set forth above, such as video arcade type games, memory games, other video card games, etc. Also, numerous other events than those set forth above can occur to trigger movement into the Bonus Round. Also, the game of the present invention could be incorporated into a PC and controlled by a mouse, touch screen, keyboard, etc., without departing from the concept of the invention

In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, and understanding. No unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirement of the prior art because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.

Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention is an example and the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.