Title:
Gaming device and method featuring a randomly activated secondary game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming device and method having a primary game and a secondary game. Activation of the secondary game is random, without connection to any outcome of the primary game.



Inventors:
Stewart, Scott (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/903403
Publication Date:
01/10/2008
Filing Date:
09/20/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/25
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEE, WEI
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Audrey, Millemann Weintraub Genshlea Chediak A. (11th Floor, 400 Capital Mall, Sacramento, CA, 95814, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. - A method for gaming, comprising: selecting at least one bonus trigger value; after said selection of at least one bonus trigger value, providing a primary game to a player; awarding a credit to the player for a winning outcome in said primary game; generating a random value independent of said primary game; if said random value matches said at least one bonus trigger value, offering the player a secondary game; and awarding a credit to the player for a winning outcome in said secondary game.

2. - The method of claim 1, wherein said at least one bonus trigger value is a range of values.

3. - The method of claim 1, wherein said random value is generated before the play of said primary game is begun.

4. - The method of claim 1, wherein said random value is generated during the play of said primary game.

5. - The method of claim 1, where in said random value is generated after the play of said primary game is concluded.

6. - A gaming device, comprising: a housing; a video display; a wagering device for accepting a player's wager; a processor in communication with said video display and said wagering device, said processor configured to generate and display a primary game outcome; a random number generator to generate a secondary game value after said primary game outcome is generated and displayed; and an award device to provide an award to the player if said secondary game value is a winning value.

7. - A gaming device, comprising: a housing; a video display; a wagering device for accepting a player's wager; a random number generator to generate a random value independent of said primary game; and a processor in communication with said video display and said wagering device, said processor configured to; select at least one bonus trigger value; after said selection of at least one bonus trigger value, provide a primary game to a player; award a credit to the player for a winning outcome in said primary game; compare said random value to said at least one bonus trigger value; if said random value matches said at least one bonus trigger value, to offer the player a secondary game; and award a credit to the player for a winning outcome in said secondary game.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §120, this application is a continuation of and claims priority to co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 11/078,606 filed on Mar. 10, 2005, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The following invention is generally related to instrumentalities and methodologies in gaming devices. More specifically, the instant invention is directed to a method and apparatus for providing a secondary game that is activated independently of a primary game.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Thousands of different slot machine style games have been developed over the years. Many feature a “bonus” round that a player may access if a particular symbol or combination of symbols appears in a primary game. Players are generally intrigued by such games, but lose, interest rapidly if the bonus game does not appear in a timely manner or if the bonus payout is not as large as the player expected it to be. This is often the case, because most bonus games are minor to finance the larger bonus wins. In addition, play of the primary game is “overshadowed” by the player's desire to achieve specific symbol combinations and enter the bonus game.

From a designer standpoint, creation of a satisfying win distribution for a game is difficult, requiring the tying of all potential bonus win amounts to the primary game win amounts, and then relating them through the bonus hit frequency.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is distinguishable over the prior art in that the appearance of a secondary game is not dependent on the outcome of a primary game.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and novel device and method for generating interest in play of a gaming device.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device and method as characterized above in which appearance of a bonus gaming event is not related to the result obtained in a primary gaming event.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device and method as characterized above which provides a player with the opportunity to play a bonus game independent of success in a primary game.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device and method as characterized above having a win distribution that is simple to understand and to implement.

Viewed from a first vantage point, it is an object of the present invention to provide a gaming device, comprising, in combination: a display; wagering means; a processor operatively intercoupled between the wagering means and the display to activate the display upon receipt of a wager by the wagering means; a primary game having a plurality of outputs, at least one of which is recognized by a paytable; and a secondary game triggered by a random value, the random value independent of the primary game.

Viewed from a second vantage point, it is an object of the present invention to provide a gaming device, comprising, in combination: a display; wagering means; a processor operatively intercoupled between the wagering means and the display to activate the display upon receipt of a wager by the wagering means; a primary game having a plurality of outputs, at least one of which is recognized by a paytable; reset means operatively coupled to the processor to reset the gaming device after play of the primary game; and a secondary game activated by random means operatively coupled to the reset means.

Viewed from a third vantage point, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method of gaming, the steps including: accepting a wager; receiving a plurality of bonus trigger values; activating a display; displaying a primary game; awarding credits for winning outcomes in the primary game; generating a random value, the random value not related to the primary game; comparing the random value to the plurality of bonus trigger values; displaying a secondary game if the random value is included in the plurality of bonus trigger values; and awarding credits for winning outcomes in the secondary game.

Viewed from a fourth vantage point, it is an object of the present invention to provide a gaming device, comprising, in combination: a display; wagering means; a processor operatively intercoupled between the wagering means and the display to activate the display upon receipt of a wager by the wagering means; a primary game having a plurality of outputs, at least one of which is recognized by a paytable; and a secondary game triggered by random means, the random means operatively coupled to the processor but independent of the primary game.

Viewed from a fifth vantage point, it is an object of the present invention to provide a gaming device, comprising, in combination: a display; wagering means; a processor operatively intercoupled between the wagering means and the display to activate the display upon receipt of a wager by the wagering means; a primary game; a secondary game; and a random trigger operatively coupled to the processor to activate the secondary game, the random trigger independent of the primary game.

Viewed from a sixth vantage point, it is an object of the present invention to provide a gaming device, comprising, in combination: a display; wagering means; a processor operatively intercoupled between the wagering means and the display to activate the display upon receipt of a wager by the wagering means; a primary game having a plurality of outputs, at least one of which is recognized by a paytable; and a secondary game triggered by random means, the random means operatively coupled to the wagering means and independent of the primary game.

These and other objects will be made manifest when considering the following detailed specification when taken in conjunction with the appended drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a flow chart of the methodology according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a depiction of the apparatus associated therewith.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Considering the drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like parts throughout the various drawing figures, reference numeral 10 as shown in FIG. 2 is directed to the device according to the present invention.

In its essence, the device 10 includes a housing 16 which supports a visual display 2, preferably a video monitor, therewithin. The display 2 may include a window 8 for special messages or for incrementing counting of credits accumulated by the player. The device also includes an LED or other readout 4 for prompting the player and can provide similar verbiage as the window 8 or in lieu thereof, to stimulate the player. The device includes an inlet 6 for the reception therein for coins, currency or the like to auger in the inception of play. A plurality of decision-making buttons 12 are located on the face of the apparatus 10, preferable below the display 2, and a pull handle 14 can be used to initiate play as an alternative to supplement the decision-making buttons 12. A coin hopper 18 or other payment methods, i.e., ticket printers, may be included to effectuate an output of an award due the player. The device 10 may have a top portion 32 with a display thereon having a motif correlative with the game to be played and can include a paytable. A plurality of speakers 34 may be included on the device for aural interaction with the player. The apparatus also includes a processor P coordinating all functions and a random number generator G operatively coupled thereto for generating outcomes. A card 9, having a read/write instrumentality 17 thereon, can be read via input 7 as a substitute for or supplement to credit transfers as well as player identification.

Referring to FIG. 1, the flow chart associated with the present invention can be explored. Prior to play, the device 10 is supplied with a bonus trigger value, or a range of trigger values. A bonus trigger value may thus be defined as an outcome or set of outcomes that enable a bonus game or event if that outcome or any of the range of outcomes is achieved. The device 10 is enabled when a player deposits a wager. The features of the present invention are preferentially operative upon the deposit of a maximum wager. Assume a maximum wager is deposited. A primary game appears for play on the display 2. The primary game may be of any type. The primary game outcome is compared to a paytable and the player is awarded credits for any matching outcomes. At the conclusion of the primary game, a random value is generated by the device 10. If the random value is included in the bonus trigger value, the player is offered a secondary game to play and credits are awarded for winning outcomes on the secondary game. The player is then offered the opportunity to play again or to cash out. If the random value does not match the bonus trigger value, the player is not offered a secondary game, only the opportunity to play again or to cash out.

The bonus trigger value is controlled by the desired hit frequency of the bonus game. For example, if the bonus game is to appear once in 40 games, then the random value could be a number between 1 and 40, where the bonus trigger value is a specific number between 1 and 40.

The use of an independent bonus trigger value eliminates the complexities of tying and relating the paytables for the primary game.

The bonus trigger value may be generated by the device 10 or supplied by an outside source, that is, the bonus trigger value may be pre-set in the machine or generated randomly. The random value may be generated at any time before, during, or after play of the primary game. The random value and/or the bonus trigger value may be displayed to the player in the display 2, on a separate “reel” or in a separate window.

Further embodiments include, but are not limited to: the use of a progressive for the bonus, tying the trigger for the bonus game to a particular wager or type of wager (maximum bet or betting a particular line or set of lines), use of different displays for the primary and secondary games, and use of the same display for the primary and secondary games.

Moreover, having thus described the invention, it should be apparent that numerous structural modifications and adaptations may be resorted to without departing from the scope and fair meaning of the instant invention as set forth hereinabove and as described hereinbelow by the claims.