Title:
Method of using a win enhancer requiring player involvement
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wagering game played on a video gaming machine includes a win enhancer for increasing the amount of winnings to entice players to play the game. A method of playing the game includes the steps of making a wager to begin play of the game which has a win status for which a win value is awarded; achieving the win status; operating a win enhancer subsequent to achieving the win status to establish a win enhancement value in a random manner; and awarding the win value and the win enhancement value.



Inventors:
Wilson, Tammy L. (Lawrenceville, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/502126
Publication Date:
02/21/2008
Filing Date:
08/10/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LEICHLITER, CHASE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SAND & SEBOLT (AEGIS TOWER, SUITE 1100, 4940 MUNSON STREET, NW, CANTON, OH, 44718-3615, US)
Claims:
1. A method comprising the steps of: making a wager to begin play of a game on a video gaming machine wherein the game has a win status for which a win value is awarded; achieving the win status; operating a win enhancer subsequent to achieving the win status to establish a win enhancement value in a random manner; and awarding the win value and the win enhancement value.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of operating includes the step of establishing the win enhancement value via random selection from a plurality of predetermined win enhancement values.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein the step of establishing includes the step of establishing the win enhancement value via random selection from a plurality of predetermined win enhancement values which includes a zero value.

4. The method of claim 2 wherein the step of establishing includes the step of establishing the win enhancement value via random selection from a plurality of predetermined win enhancement values which are respective percentages of the win value.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of operating includes the step of establishing a win enhancement value which is independent of an amount of the wager.

6. The method of claim 1 further including the step of making the win enhancer available for operation only when the wager exceeds a predetermined value.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein the step of making available includes the step of displaying the win enhancer on a screen of the gaming machine only when the wager exceeds the predetermined value.

8. The method of claim 6 wherein the making the win enhancer available includes the step of making the win enhancer available for operation only when the wager is a maximum wager.

9. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of operating includes the step of making the win enhancer available for operation only when the step of achieving the win status does not include achieving a jackpot win.

10. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of operating includes touching a sensor.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the step of touching includes the step of touching a display screen of the gaming machine.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the step of touching includes the step of touching an icon representing the win enhancer.

13. The method of claim 11 wherein the step of touching includes the step of touching a pressure sensitive display screen of the gaming machine.

14. The method of claim 11 wherein the step of touching includes the step of touching a heat sensitive display screen of the gaming machine.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The invention relates generally to video gaming machines and a particular method of playing a game thereon wherein the winnings from a game may be enhanced. More particularly, the invention relates to a win enhancer which is available only when the player wins the standard game being played on the machine.

2. Background Information

Video gaming machines utilize a variety of strategies in order to attract players to the game such as games having bonuses of one sort or another. A few examples of such bonus games are provided herein. For example, a game known as “Best Guess Bonus” involves a standard game which may provide the option of a bonus game. More particularly, Best Guess Bonus is a joker poker game wherein a preset combination of cards occurring in the player's hand allows the player to choose one of several bonus games, each of which has random sets of values and each of which has a different volatility from the other. If the player has the preset combination in his or her hand, the player has the option of choosing the bonus game or attempting to win the standard game with a different hand. If a player chooses to play the standard game with a different hand, the game is over at the conclusion of the standard game. If the player alternately chooses the bonus game route, the game is over when the bonus game is completed without returning to the standard game. Because the win requirements change in the middle of the game due to the option of the bonus game, the player strategy also changes as a result. If the bonus game is chosen, the player will win something although this is a randomly set amount.

Another example is found in a game known as “53 Card Poker”. In this game, an initially dealt wild card determines the amount of the win if the player does indeed win the standard hand. The wildcard is replaced by a standard card for a purpose of playing the game. Thus, the amount of the win is predetermined during the initial dealing of the cards if the player ultimately wins the game. Thus, as the player wins the hand, there will be an additional payout. The possibility of winning such a bonus only occurs when the wildcard is initially dealt and thus the increased winnings are determined entirely by the chance of being dealt the wildcard.

Another game known as “Mystic Wildcard” utilizes a wildcard which give the player a chance of additional winnings through a bonus game. More particularly, if the wildcard appears in the player's hand, it will spin or flip between two sides. If the card stops spinning on one side, the main game play resumes and if it stops on the other side, the main game is interrupted to go to a bonus game which will lead to a bonus award. Once the bonus game is completed, the player returns to the main game to finish playing the main game. Thus, the bonus payout is independent of winning the main game and is credited before the end of the main game.

The present game provides a new type of win enhancer which is distinct from those described herein.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a method comprising the steps of making a wager to begin play of a game on a video gaming machine wherein the game has a win status for which a win value is awarded; achieving the win status; operating a win enhancer subsequent to achieving the win status to establish a win enhancement value in a random manner; and awarding the win value and the win enhancement value.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a video game machine showing the main game play.

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic view of the gaming machine showing the win enhancer screen which is displayed if the player should win the main game.

Similar numbers refer to similar parts throughout the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view showing a video gaming machine 10 showing the original or main game to be played. The main game here is represented as a standard poker game although various other types of video games may be played in accordance with the invention. Gaming machine 10 includes a typical display screen 12, a coin receiving slot 14 and a play button 16. The play of the game typically begins when the player inserts a coin or coins into coin slot 14 and presses play button 16 although any variety of initiating sequences may be utilized and betting or wagering may be accomplished by means of electronic credits and the like.

In the exemplary embodiment, the start button 16 doubles as a deal button for dealing five cards 18A-18E. Cards 18 may appear face down and flip over or simply appear face up as shown in FIG. 1. Display screen 12 will also show such things as the game title 20, payout table 22, an accounting area 24 which typically shows the bet amount and win amount and a control panel 26 typically having various buttons for controlling various aspects of the game, such as the bet amount or a help button and the like. When the game is a poker game or the like, screen 12 will display hold/discard buttons 28A-E corresponding respectively to cards 18A-E for either holding or discarding the cards as desired. Screen 12 will also display a hold/discard message area 30 instructing the player to touch the appropriate hold/discard button 28 for holding or discarding the associated card as desired. Area 30 may also display various messages such as instructing the player to adjust the bet if desired or indicating that the player is a winner and so forth. If the player decides to keep the hand shown on screen 12, the player may touch the take score button 32 in order to terminate additional drawing of cards 18. Alternately, the player may touch deal button 16 in order to discard those cards 18 so selected by buttons 28 and deal the cards in their place. The description of the main or primary game thus far is a standard five card poker game.

If the player wins the standard game, then screen 12 will have displayed thereon an altered view as shown in FIG. 2. In accordance with the invention, a win enhancer icon 34 will appear on the screen along with a game instruction button or area 36 indicating that the player may touch icon 34 to enhance the amount of player's win from the main game shown in FIG. 1. The player then touches icon 34, causing the game to randomly arrive at a value for increasing the amount of the win from the main game. More particularly, icon 34 will typically appear to move or spin in some fashion and randomly stop on the value which is to be awarded the player in addition to the amount won in a standard game. This win enhancing amount may simply be a dollar value or a percentage of the amount won in the standard game. In the exemplary embodiment, the amounts that may be awarded are $0.0, $0.25, $0.50, $0.75, and $1.00, although these values may vary as desired. The enhancement values thus include a zero value as well as positive values among the possibilities. Thus, the game is configured either to enhance the amount won in the main game or to award only the amount won in the main game, the latter occurring when the win enhancement is a zero value.

The exemplary embodiment of the game is configured to utilize the win enhancement only when a maximum bet is made, such as a five coin maximum bet. In addition, the win enhancer is not configured to enhance a jackpot win which may be won in the standard game. The present game is not configured for use with progressive betting games.

Thus, the present invention is configured to enhance winnings when a player of the game first wins a main or standard game. Like other games which include bonuses and the like, the present game with the win enhancer is intended to attract players to gaming machine 10 within a casino or other locations in which the machine is located. This potential for enhanced winnings is the primary attention getter and is typically amplified by moving icons on the display screen and additional sounds to include announcements of a winner or an enhanced winner in order to attract the eyes and ears of potential players passing by the gaming machine. As previously noted, the game in the exemplary embodiment is a standard poker game. However, any variation of poker games or the like may be used as well as other video games which have a win status which may then be enhanced by the win enhancer of the present 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.