Title:

Kind
Code:

A1

Abstract:

A method for playing bingo like games utilizing a small sequence of essentially random play numbers applied to a matrix to generate a relatively large quantity of call numbers to cover patterns on one or more game cards.

Inventors:

Siegel, Michael Randolph (Northfield, IL, US)

Bloomstein, Richard Welcher (Highland Park, IL, US)

Bloomstein, Richard Welcher (Highland Park, IL, US)

Application Number:

11/897047

Publication Date:

03/06/2008

Filing Date:

08/29/2007

Export Citation:

Primary Class:

International Classes:

View Patent Images:

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Primary Examiner:

KLAYMAN, AMIR ARIE

Attorney, Agent or Firm:

Richard, Bloomstein W. (1443 CAVELL STREET, HIGHLAND PARK, IL, 60035-2807, US)

Claims:

What is claimed is:

1. A method of generating call numbers comprising: a) selecting or assigning a relatively small set of play indicia, b) applying said play indicia to columns and rows of at least one matrix to locate a quantity of call indicia, c) applying said call indicia to locations in a game.

2. The method in claim 1 wherein said play indicia are the digits 0-9.

3. The method in claim 1 wherein said play indicia are in whole or in part randomly selected or assigned.

4. The method in claim 1 wherein said matrix is distributed to a plurality of players.

5. The method in claim 1 wherein said locations in a game appear on one or more identical game cards distributed to a plurality of players.

6. A bingo or bingo like game employing at least one matrix to generate a relatively large quantity of call indicia from a relatively small set of play indicia.

7. The game in claim 6 wherein said play indicia are the digits 0-9.

8. The game in claim 6 wherein said play indicia are in whole or in part randomly assigned.

1. A method of generating call numbers comprising: a) selecting or assigning a relatively small set of play indicia, b) applying said play indicia to columns and rows of at least one matrix to locate a quantity of call indicia, c) applying said call indicia to locations in a game.

2. The method in claim 1 wherein said play indicia are the digits 0-9.

3. The method in claim 1 wherein said play indicia are in whole or in part randomly selected or assigned.

4. The method in claim 1 wherein said matrix is distributed to a plurality of players.

5. The method in claim 1 wherein said locations in a game appear on one or more identical game cards distributed to a plurality of players.

6. A bingo or bingo like game employing at least one matrix to generate a relatively large quantity of call indicia from a relatively small set of play indicia.

7. The game in claim 6 wherein said play indicia are the digits 0-9.

8. The game in claim 6 wherein said play indicia are in whole or in part randomly assigned.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of PPA 60/840,791 filed Aug. 29, 2006 by the present inventors.

Not Applicable.

Not Applicable.

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to method of playing bingo like games.

2. Prior Art

Bingo, a well-known game for groups does not allow players to play independently. All in a group must play at the same time. Moreover players are not provided identical game cards. Each player buys or receives his own game cards.

Matrix Bingo, as proposed in this application, overcomes these limitations by using one or more matrices to generate a relatively large quantity of call numbers from a small sequence of essentially random play numbers. Although several bingo patents have recognized the matrix nature of the bingo game cards, none have proposed generating the call numbers used to cover the numbers in the cards from a small sequence of random play numbers or similar indicia.

Objects and Advantages—

The object of this invention is to provide games of chance that can be played independently by a large group of individuals without requiring special devices other than pencil and paper. A further objective is that the games be amusing in the sense that they are interactive and take some time to play. A further objective is to provide a set of identical game cards to a group of participants. A further objective is to provide games that offer sufficient control over the odds of winning to offer large prizes. A further objective is to permit players to determine quickly if they win. A further objective is to permit gamekeepers a means to verify winners.

A typical form of the invented game, called matrix bingo, meets all these objectives. Similar games, like regular bingo or lottery, do not.

Although a primary objective of matrix bingo is to provide a game of chance that can be played without requiring special devices, the game can be played on special devices such as computers at either a gaming institution or at home.

Matrix Bingo provides games of chance that can be played independently by a large group of individuals. It uses a pre-printed matrix to expand a small sequence of essentially random play numbers into a relatively large quantity of call numbers that are applied to patterns on bingo like game cards.

FIG. 1 illustrates the typical play of the game. A player applies a small group of “play numbers” (**10**) from a pull-tab (**1**) or receipt (**2**) to a matrix (**3**). The matrix (**3**) generates a large group of “call numbers” (**14**) from the “play numbers” (**10**). The player uses the generated call numbers (**14**) to cover matching numbers on game cards (**5**). Like bingo, covering all the numbers in a pre-defined pattern on a game card wins the prize associated with the card.

FIG. 2 illustrates a typical pull-tab ticket (**1**) with play numbers (**10**) and validation number (**11**).

FIG. 3 illustrates a typical receipt (**2**) with play numbers (**10**) and date (**12**).

FIG. 4 illustrates a typical matrix (**3**), which includes a diagonal (**13**) and call numbers (**14**). Play numbers (**10**) circled in the diagonal, “2” and “7”, activate the call numbers in triangles (**15**), row tails (**16**), and column tails (**17**).

FIG. 5 illustrates the same matrix (**3**) but activated by a play number with repeating digits, e.g. “33”.

FIG. 6 illustrates a possible one-dimensional matrix (**4**). The one-dimensional matrix (**4**) can be used as an addition to the typical two-dimensional matrix.

FIG. 7 illustrates a typical game card (**5**) and a pattern (**19**) of game cells (**18**) that must be covered to win a prize.

FIG. 8 illustrates a possible alternative to the matrix (**3**) in FIG. 4.

**1**. Pull-tab—a source of play numbers (**10**).**2**. Receipt—an alternative source of play numbers (**10**).**3**. Typical matrix—generates call numbers (**14**) from play numbers (**10**).**4**. One-dimensional matrix—can be used in addition to typical matrix (**3**).**5**. Game card**6**. Alternative matrix**10**. Play numbers**11**. Validation numbers**12**. Date**13**. Diagonal of typical matrix**14**. Call numbers**15**. Triangle of activated call numbers**16**. Row tails of activated call numbers**17**. Column tails of activated call numbers**18**. Game cells—call numbers of game cards**19**. Pattern of game cells required to win a card

The three major components of matrix bingo are Play Numbers (**10**), Generating Matrix (**3**), and Game Cards (**5**). Typically, a game manager provides each player with all three as well as rules for converting play numbers into call numbers (**14**). In the preferred embodiment the game manager may also provide a programmed digital computer for verifying winners.

Generally each player will be given, or acquire, a unique set of play numbers (**10**). By coincidence more than one player may have the same set of play numbers (**10**) or even win the same game(s) with different play numbers (**10**). Therefore each game or game session, may have no winners, one winner, or more than one winner. The game manager may control the odds of winning or the expected number of winners by one or more of the following:

a) Adding more play numbers (**10**) or using letters of the alphabet increases the unique possibilities and reduces odds of winning;

b) Seeding the generating matrix with useful call numbers (**14**) in frequently occurring positions (e.g., near center) to increase odds of winning or remote positions (along edges) to decrease odds;

c) Seeding game cards with frequently occurring call numbers (**14**) or requiring fewer numbers on a pattern to increase odds of winning or the reverse to decrease odds;

d) Specifying rules that convert certain play number combinations into fewer call numbers (**14**) to decrease odds of winning or more to increase odds (e.g., what column rows are is covered by identical digits).

The game may be repeated on different days or at different locations using the same or different play numbers (**10**), generating matrix, game cards, and prizes.

The term, “numbers” are used in the illustrations that follow for simplicity. Letters, and even symbols such as playing cards can also be used as indicia.

Play numbers (**10**) are a small set of indicia, typically four digits. The player can acquire a set of play numbers (**10**) from some type of verifiable ticket issued by a lottery management device or sales location. Alternately the play numbers (**10**) can be acquired more or less randomly from numbers that appear on a restaurant or store receipt or even another lottery ticket. Any set of verifiable numbers, even driver's license or social security number, can be used as play numbers (**10**).

An example of a pre-printed pull-tab ticket (**1**) with six play numbers (**10**) appears in FIG. 2. A verification number (**11**) allows authentication. In the preferred embodiment all the numbers on the ticket are obscured until the ticket is purchased. This permits a programmed digital computer to verify the ticket and minimize fraud.

An example of play numbers (**10**) acquired from a cash register receipt (**2**) appears in FIG. 3. In the preferred embodiment only certain digit positions, e.g. unit position of seconds, are used as more or less random. The date (**12**) can be used to associate the receipt with a specific promotion date. If social security numbers, for example, are used, it is also convenient to specify certain digit positions.

For example, a newspaper can run a series of matrix bingo games by altering the digit positions of readers' social security numbers for different combinations with the same matrix and game cards. (The newspaper could also print a different matrix and /or game cards.) Although matrix bingo can be played without special devices it can be played on digital computer that may generate, display, and/or record play numbers (**10**).

Although numbers are used in the examples letters could also be used. It is only necessary that the diagonal of the generating matrix (see later) use the same digits or characters.

A Generating Matrix (**3**) is illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. It is typically prepared by the game manager and distributed to all participants. In the preferred embodiment, the generating matrix is a ten by ten cell table with play numbers (**10**) occupying a diagonal and call numbers (**14**) occupying the rest of the table. In the preferred embodiment the diagonal (**13**) consists of the consecutive digits 0 through 9 and the balance of the table filled with randomly selected numbers 0 through 99. Other choices can be made. For example the diagonal need not be in order. The table can be filled to reduce or increase the winning of certain games by repeating or seeding call numbers needed in the game cards (**5**). The table can be, for example, 100 by 100 using four two digit play numbers.

An example of a ten-by-ten generating matrix appears in FIG. 5.

Players are given a set of rules (see later) for converting their play numbers (**10**) into call numbers (**14**) by using the matrix. All the participants in a single game event receive the same matrix.

Although numbers are used in the examples letters could also be used. Moreover, the diagonal need not contains the consecutive numbers 0 . . . 9.

In the preferred embodiment a single generating matrix is employed. Multiple as well as one-dimensional matrices (item **4** in FIG. 6.) can also be used. Additional matrices can be used to change the odds or expected number of winners. For example one of the call numbers required to win a game can be held back from the normal two dimensional matrix and appear only in an additional one dimensional matrix reducing the chance of winning by one-tenth, etc.

An alternative matrix (**6**) is illustrated in FIG. 8. Many configurations are possible.

In the preferred embodiment all required call numbers should appear and in a manner to allow at least one winner.

The Game Cards are cards identifying call numbers (**14**) required to win any game. In the preferred embodiment the game cards are a set of patterned bingo cards.

An example of a pattern (**19**) appears in FIG. 7.

Although numbers are used in the examples letters, etc., could also be used.

In the preferred embodiment, the player, circles the two diagonal values equal to the two digits in the bottom play number as in FIG. 4 for values “2” and “7” circled for the play number “27.” Then he draws a line down from the left most circle, “2”. Then he draws a line to the left from the right most circle, “7”. In the preferred embodiment, the numbers enclosed in the triangle (**15**) constitute the call numbers (**14**) for the game card (**5**). The game manager may also include numbers in the row tail (**16**), the column tail (**17**), and the numbers from “2” through “7” in the diagonal.

In a similar manner the player circles the two diagonal values equal to the two digits in the top play number, draws a line up from the right most circle, and a line to the right from the left most circle.

A special case arises if the two digits of a play number are the same, for example in FIG. 5, bottom play number was “33” so the “3” is circled. The player draws one line to the left and one line down from the circle. All the numbers in the rectangle constitute the call numbers (**14**).

In a 10×10 matrix, the numbers 00 and 99 borders the edge. The game manager can choose to limit the rectangle to a single column or row or the entire half of the matrix.

The player uses each of the call numbers (**14**) to cover each of the matching pattern squares (**19**) in the game cards (**5**) just as he would use numbers called in a traditional bingo game. If he is able to completely cover any pattern, he wins the prize associated with that game card (**5**). Combinations that generate no call numbers can win a special game, similar to “losers' bingo”.

Although a digital computer is not required to play matrix bingo, it is recommended to verify winners. In the preferred embodiment the computer is connected to terminals at retail merchants via a network such as the Internet almost any connection, even a dedicated computer—keyboard—display device could be used.

The computer can service several promotions, allowing the merchant and/or player to enter the promotion identification as well as the play numbers (**10**) to check. It is convenient to store within the computer the matrix (**3**) and all of the game cards (**5**) associated with each promotion. For each promotion the matrix (**3**) can be stored as a two-dimensional matrix and each game (**5**) card stored as a list of numbers necessary to cover the pattern (**19**).

In the preferred embodiment the computer program accepts the play numbers (**1**.**0**) and identifies the call numbers (**14**) in the cells in the matrix (**3**) they include and applies the call numbers (**14**) to the game cards (**19**) to establish a wins and losses.

Because the winning is “instant” the game manager can require winners to claim their prizes promptly, even within twenty-four hours. Thus matrix bingo can be played daily without the expense of reprinting matrices or game cards. The game manager can also set pari-mutuel prizes and/or cumulative jackpots.