Title:
GAMING SYSTEM, A GAMING SERVER AND A GAMING METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming system for multiple region game play includes a gaming server and gaming clients including a first client located in a first region having a first currency and a second client located in a second region having a second currency. The server is arranged to execute a game instance for each of the clients to enable players to engage in game play wherein game outcomes are based in part on an amount of game credits wagered in the game play. A value of game credits is derived directly from a denomination of a local currency of each of at least the first and second regions in local region play such that the value is different in system base credits in different regions and the value of game credits is the same in system base credits for each of at least the first and second regions in interregional play.



Inventors:
Nilsson, Jens Gustav (Saltsjo-Boo, SE)
Andersson, Sven Hakan (Sundbyberg, SE)
Application Number:
12/056995
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
03/27/2008
Assignee:
ACEI AB (Stockholm, SE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/20, 463/42
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WEATHERFORD, SYVILA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCANDREWS HELD & MALLOY, LTD (500 WEST MADISON STREET, SUITE 3400, CHICAGO, IL, 60661, US)
Claims:
1. A gaming system for multiple region game play, the gaming system comprising: a gaming server; and a plurality of gaming clients in data communication with the gaming server including a first gaming client located in a first region having a first currency and a second gaming client located in a second region having a second currency, the gaming server arranged to execute a game instance for each of the plurality of gaming clients to enable players operating the gaming clients to engage in game play wherein game outcomes are based in part on an amount of game credits wagered in the game play, the gaming server arranged such that a value of game credits is derived directly from a denomination of a local currency of each of at least the first and second regions in local region play such that the value is different in system base credits in different regions and the value of game credits is the same in system base credits for each of at least the first and second regions in interregional play.

2. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein in each region the value of game credits is derived directly by the value of game credits being an integral ratio of a denomination of the local currency of the region.

3. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein each gaming client is adapted to receive currency and any amount of currency received by a gaming client is converted by the system to a system base credit value by a currency specific exchange rate.

4. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein a system base credit balance is stored for each gaming client by the game server.

5. A gaming system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the system is adapted to employ a set of region credit rates, each linked to the currency specific exchange rate to convert system base credits to local game credits for local region play and an alternative region credit rate for all regions for interregional play.

6. A gaming system as claimed in claim 5, wherein the gaming server comprises a credit value controller arranged to determine whether the client is engaging in local region play or interregional play and to control the value of game credits on this basis.

7. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1 comprising a plurality of gaming servers each adapted to communicate with a plurality of gaming clients.

8. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the gaming server comprises a plurality of servers.

9. A gaming server for multiple region game play, the gaming server arranged to: communicate with a plurality of gaming clients in data communication with the gaming server including a first gaming client located in a first region having a first currency and a second gaming client located in a second region having a second currency; and execute a game instance for each of the plurality gaming clients to enable players operating the gaming clients to engage in game play wherein game outcomes are based in part on an amount of game credits wagered in the game play, the gaming server arranged such that a value of game credits is derived directly from a denomination of the local currency of each of at least the first and second regions in local region play such that the value is different in system base credits in different regions and the value of game credits is the same in system base credits for each of at least the first and second regions in interregional play.

10. A gaming server as claimed in claim 9, wherein in each region the value of game credits is derived directly by the value of game credits being an integral ratio of a denomination of the local currency of the region.

11. A gaming server as claimed in claim 9, adapted to convert any amount of currency received by a gaming client to a system base credit value by a currency specific exchange rate.

12. A gaming server as claimed in claim 9, arranged to store a system base credit balance for each gaming client.

13. A gaming server as claimed in claim 12, adapted to employ a set of region credit rates, each linked to the currency specific exchange rate to convert system base credits to local game credits for local region play and an alternative region credit rate for all regions for interregional play.

14. A gaming server as claimed in claim 13, comprising a credit value controller arranged to determine whether the client is engaging in local region play or interregional play and to control the value of game credits on this basis.

15. A method of gaming for multiple region game play, the comprising: communicating with a plurality of gaming clients, including a first gaming client located in a first region having a first currency and a second gaming client located in a second region having a second currency; executing a game instance for each of the plurality gaming client to enable players operating the gaming clients to engage in game play wherein game outcomes are based in part on an amount of game credits wagered in the game play; and controlling the value of game credits such that the value of game credits is derived directly from a denomination of the local currency of each of at least the first and second regions in local region play such that the value is different in system base credits in different regions and the value of game credits is the same in system base credits for each of at least the first and second regions in interregional play.

16. A method of gaming as claimed in claim 15, wherein in each region the value of game credits is derived directly by the value of game credits being an integral ratio of a denomination of the local currency of the region.

17. A method of gaming as claimed in claim 15 comprising converting any amount of currency received by a gaming client to a system base credit value by a currency specific exchange rate.

18. A method of gaming as claimed in claim 15, comprising storing a system base credit balance for each gaming client.

19. A method of gaming as claimed in claim 18, comprising employing a set of region credit rates, each linked to the currency specific exchange rate to convert system base credits to local game credits for local region play and an alternative region credit rate for all regions for interregional play.

20. A method of gaming as claimed in claim 19, comprising determining whether the client is engaging in local region play or interregional play and controlling the value of game credits on this basis.

21. A method of gaming comprising: converting currency received by gaming clients in two or more regions into system base credits; and controlling the value of game credits for each gaming client such that the value of game credits is derived directly from a denomination of the local currency for each region in local region play such that the value is different in system base credits in different regions and the value of game credits is the same in system base credits for each region in interregional play.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to Australian Provisional Patent Application No. 2007901716, having an international filing date of Mar. 30, 2007, entitled “A Gaming System, A Gaming Server and Gaming Method,” which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD

The invention relates to a gaming system and gaming server and a gaming method.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

In recent times, there has been a move towards server based gaming systems where players play a gaming terminal that provides graphics for the game and allows the player to input instructions for a game but the game logic is executed on a server.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect of the invention there is provided a gaming system for multiple region game play, the gaming system comprising:

    • a gaming server; and
    • a plurality of gaming clients in data communication with the gaming server including a first gaming client located in a first region having a first currency and a second gaming client located in a second region having a second currency,
    • the gaming server arranged to execute a game instance for each of the plurality of gaming clients to enable players operating the gaming clients to engage in game play wherein game outcomes are based in part on an amount of game credits wagered in the game play, the gaming server arranged such that a value of game credits is derived directly from a denomination of a local currency of each of at least the first and second regions in local region play such that the value is different in system base credits in different regions and the value of game credits is the same in system base credits for each of at least the first and second regions in interregional play.

In an embodiment, in each region the value of game credits is derived directly by the value of game credits being an integral ratio of a denomination of the local currency of the region.

In an embodiment, each gaming client is adapted to receive currency and any amount of currency received by a gaming client is converted by the system to a system base credit value by a currency specific exchange rate.

In an embodiment, a system base credit balance is stored for each gaming client by the game server.

In an embodiment, the system is adapted to employ a set of region credit rates, each linked to the currency specific exchange rate to convert system base credits to local game credits for local region play and an alternative region credit rate for all regions for interregional play.

In an embodiment, the gaming server comprises a credit value controller arranged to determine whether the client is engaging in local region play or interregional play and to control the value of game credits on this basis.

In an embodiment, the gaming system comprises a plurality of gaming servers each adapted to communicate with a plurality of gaming clients.

In an embodiment, the gaming server comprises a plurality of servers.

In a second aspect of the invention there is provided a gaming server for multiple region game play, the gaming server arranged to:

    • communicate with a plurality of gaming clients in data communication with the gaming server including a first gaming client located in a first region having a first currency and a second gaming client located in a second region having a second currency; and
    • execute a game instance for each of the plurality gaming clients to enable players operating the gaming clients to engage in game play wherein game outcomes are based in part on an amount of game credits wagered in the game play, the gaming server arranged such that a value of game credits is derived directly from a denomination of the local currency of each of at least the first and second regions in local region play such that the value is different in system base credits in different regions and the value of game credits is the same in system base credits for each of at least the first and second regions in interregional play.

In an embodiment, in each region the value of game credits is derived directly by the value of game credits being an integral ratio of a denomination of the local currency of the region.

In an embodiment, the gaming server is adapted to convert any amount of currency received by a gaming client to a system base credit value by a currency specific exchange rate.

In an embodiment, the gaming server is arranged to store a system base credit balance for each gaming client.

In an embodiment, the gaming server is adapted to employ a set of region credit rates, each linked to the currency specific exchange rate to convert system base credits to local game credits for local region play and an alternative region credit rate for all regions for interregional play.

In an embodiment, the gaming server comprises a credit value controller arranged to determine whether the client is engaging in local region play or interregional play and to control the value of game credits on this basis.

In a third aspect of the invention there is provided a method of gaming for multiple region game play, the comprising:

    • communicating with a plurality of gaming clients, including a first gaming client located in a first region having a first currency and a second gaming client located in a second region having a second currency;
    • executing a game instance for each of the plurality gaming client to enable players operating the gaming clients to engage in game play wherein game outcomes are based in part on an amount of game credits wagered in the game play; and
    • controlling the value of game credits such that the value of game credits is derived directly from a denomination of the local currency of each of at least the first and second regions in local region play such that the value is different in system base credits in different regions and the value of game credits is the same in system base credits for each of at least the first and second regions in interregional play.

In an embodiment, in each region the value of game credits is derived directly by the value of game credits being an integral ratio of a denomination of the local currency of the region.

In an embodiment, the method of gaming comprises converting any amount of currency received by a gaming client to a system base credit value by a currency specific exchange rate.

In an embodiment, the method of gaming comprises storing a system base credit balance for each gaming client.

In an embodiment, the method of gaming comprises employing a set of region credit rates, each linked to the currency specific exchange rate to convert system base credits to local game credits for local region play and an alternative region credit rate for all regions for interregional play.

In an embodiment, the method of gaming comprises determining whether the client is engaging in local region play or interregional play and controlling the value of game credits on this basis.

In a fourth aspect of the invention there is provided a method of gaming comprising:

    • converting currency received by gaming clients in two or more regions into system base credits; and
    • controlling the value of game credits for each gaming client such that the value of game credits is derived directly from a denomination of the local currency for each region in local region play such that the value is different in system base credits in different regions and the value of game credits is the same in system base credits for each region in interregional play.

Thus, embodiments of the invention allow games that are independent of denominations and the system base currency. They allow bet amounts and credits to be configurable to allow betting in credit values that make sense for the local currency and to allow gaming machines to participate in jackpots that cover different currency regions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Certain embodiments of the invention will now be described in relation to the following drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the system configuration;

FIG. 2 is a flow chart of the gaming method of a embodiment; and

FIG. 3 is perspective view of a gaming machine that may be a gaming client.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The embodiment provides a gaming system for multiple region game play. That is, in a typical exemplary embodiment, gaming clients will be located in a plurality of different regions which have different currencies to one another and the gaming system is configured to allow players to play interregional games, for example, where players contribute to a common jackpot or local games where the credit value is derived from the local currency. The gaming clients will be typically be served by a common game server.

The system employs “system base credits” and exchange rates are employed to convert all the relevant currencies into system base credits. That is, for each region that has a different currency there will be a region specific exchange rate.

The gaming clients will typically be interactive video terminals adapted to receive an input of currency.

The system also employs a region credit rate which converts between region credits specific to gaming machines located in a particular region and system base credits.

A further rate, the game credit rate is used to make the games in particular regions independent of available denominations in that region.

Therefore, the formula:


system base credits=game credits×game credit rate×region credit rate

is used to convert to and from system base credits.

The region credit rate will depend on the currency for that machine which would typically depend on the region in which the gaming machine is physically located. The region credit rate can be altered in order to share a jackpot over a number of regions. This is so that game players in a number of different regions contribute equally to the jackpot.

The game credit rate may be configured per game or different game credit rates may be employed for different variations of the game. For example, a normal or high stake game.

A typical system is shown in FIG. 1. The system shows a gaming client in the form of an interactive video terminal 110 and data communication with an application server 120. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the interactive video terminal 110 has a game graphic engine 112 and effectively acts as a player interface to the game. The player's Is bets in game credits and their game instructions are transferred to the game logic 122 of the application server 120. There is also communication between the interactive video terminal 110 and the application server 120 which sets the game credit rate and the region credit rate 114/126 which is stored in both the IVT and the application server. By altering the game credit rate it is possible to alter the value of game credits relative to the denominations that are employed and by altering the region credit rate, it is possible to have gaming clients 110 from different regions participating in the contributing to a common jackpot. A credit value controller 124 determines whether the player is engaging in local play or interregional play and sets the region credit rate accordingly. Database 130 stores the current balance of system base credits for the player and stores values defining the game credit rate, the region credit rate and the exchange rates.

Accordingly, the credit value controller 124 is arranged to implement the method shown in FIG. 2 where following currency input 210 and conversion to system base credits 220 the credit value controller determines whether the player is engaging in local play 230. If they are not engaging in local play, they are engaging in interregional play. If the player is engaging in local play the credit controller implements a first region credit rate 240 and if they are engaging in interregional play the credit value controller implements a second regional credit rate 250. The game logic 122 of the application server then determines the game outcome 260.

It will be appreciated that the embodiment employs a distributed architecture wherein some of the components required for implementing the game are present in a player operable gaming machine and some of the components required for implementing the game are located remotely relative to the gaming machine. The embodiment employs a “thin client” architecture may be used wherein most of the game is executed remotely such as by a gaming server and a player operable gaming machine is used only to display audible and/or visible gaming information to the player and receive gaming inputs from the player. But in other embodiments, a “thick client” architecture may be used wherein part of the game is executed on a player operable gaming machine and part of the game is executed remotely, such as by a gaming server.

However, it will be understood that other arrangements are envisaged. For example, an architecture may be provided wherein a gaming machine is networked to a gaming server and the respective functions of the gaming machine and the gaming server are selectively modifiable. For example, the gaming system may operate in stand alone gaming machine mode, “thick client” mode or “thin client” mode depending on the game being played, operating conditions, and so on. Other variations will be apparent to persons skilled in the art.

In a thin client embodiment, the game server provides the game controller. The gaming machine will receive player instructions, pass these to the game server which will process them and return game play outcomes to the gaming machine for display. In a thin client embodiment, the gaming machines could be computer terminals, e.g. PCs running software that provides a player interface operable using standard computer input and output components.

An interactive gaming terminal may take the form of a gaming machine 10 as shown in FIG. 3 that includes a console 12 having a display 14 on which is displayed representations of a game 16 that can be played by a player. A mid-trim 20 of the gaming machine 10 houses a bank of buttons 22 for enabling a player to interact with the gaming machine, in particular during game play. The mid-trim 20 also houses a credit input mechanism 24 which in this example includes a coin input chute 24A and a bill collector 24B. Other credit input mechanisms may also be employed, for example, a card reader for reading a smart card, debit card or credit card. A reading device may also be provided for the purpose of reading a player tracking device, for example as part of a loyalty program. The player tracking device may be in the form of a card, flash drive or any other portable storage medium capable of being read by the reading device.

A top box 26 may carry artwork 28, including for example pay tables and details of bonus awards and other information or images relating to the game. Further artwork and/or information may be provided on a front panel 29 of the console 12. A coin tray 30 is mounted beneath the front panel 29 for dispensing cash payouts from the gaming machine 10.

The display 14 shown in FIG. 3 is in the form of a video display unit, particularly a cathode ray tube screen device. Alternatively, the display 14 may be a liquid crystal display, plasma screen, any other suitable video display unit, or the visible portion of an electromechanical device. The top box 26 may also include a display, for example a video display unit, which may be of the same type as the display 14, or of a different type.

The system may incorporate a number of additional features. For example, a database management server may manage storage of game programs and associated data for downloading or access by the gaming terminals 10. In embodiments where the gaming system enables players to participate in a Jackpot game, a Jackpot server may be provided to implement the Jackpot game.

Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that in accordance with known techniques, functionality at the server side of the network may be distributed over a plurality of different computers. For example, elements may be run as a single “engine” on one server or a separate server may be provided. For example, the application server could run a random generator engine. Alternatively, a separate random number generator server could be provided. Further, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that a plurality of games servers could be provided to run different games or a single game server may run a plurality of different games as required by the terminals.

The method will be illustrated further in relation to a series of Tables. Table 1 shows exchange rates “EXR” for different currencies.

TABLE 1
CurrencyEXR
SEK100
NOK109
USD730
EUR920

Table 2 shows that there are two different game credit rates for a normal and a high stake game. In a normal game the game credit rate is 10 in the high stake game the credit rate is 100.

TABLE 2
GameGCR
Normal10
Highstake100

Table 3 shows nine transactions. Transactions 1 to 4 include deposits of 10 units in each of the available currencies. For example, in transaction to a deposit of ten Norwegian kroner results in an increase 1090 system base credits (SBC). At the same time the player stakes 4 game credits which converts via the game credit rate to 40 system base credits. Therefore the change in system base credits (delta SPC) is 1050 system base credits made up of the deposit of Norwegian kroner (1090 SBC) and the deduction of the stake (40 SBC).

TABLE 3
StakeStakeWinWinBalDelta
TransactionGameDepositsCurSBCGCGCSEKGCSEKSEKSBC
1Normal10SEK100010010
2Normal10NOK205020540.4020.51050
3Normal10USD9100910252.50917050
4Normal10EUR188001880505.001889700
5Normal18890188990.90181.80188.990
6Highstake1839018455.00183.9500
7Highstake1789017955.00178.9500
8Highstake203902042525.00203.92500
9Highstake2109021177.001414.00210.9700

In transaction 4 a case is shown where in a normal game there is a deposit of 10 Euros which corresponds to 9200 system base credits plus an additional win of 50 game credits to provide a total of an additional 9700 system base credits.

In transaction 5 a player plays a stake of 9 game credits and has a win of 18 game credits for a change of 90 system base credits.

Transaction 6 to 9 relate to a high stake game. A person skilled in the art will see, for example, with reference to transaction 6 that a better 5 game credits now results in a deduction of 500 system base credits. In transaction 9, the player places a stake of 7 game credits and wins 14 game credits resulting in a change in the balance of system base credits of 700.

Tables 4 to 9 illustrate how the system can be configured for both local and interregional play in further detail.

Table 4 shows exchange rates EXR and regional credit rates RCR for local gaming. In this example 3 games are defined, a normal game, a high stake game, and a wide area progressive (WAP) configured to work over all four regions.

TABLE 4
CurrencyEXRRCR
SEK10000001000
NOK109250010925
USD730620073062
EUR920390092039

As shown in Table 5, the WAP game has an overridden region credit rate of 10,000 system base credits.

TABLE 5
GameGCRRCR
Normal10
Highstake100
WAP1010000

Table 6 shows that the game is configured so that for each regional currency the deposit of 10 of the local currency results in a game credit increase of 100 but different values of system base credits. Thus, for normal play, the number of system base credits is different for each currency and the number of game credits is the same for each currency and directly derived from a denomination of the local currency—i.e. an integer ratio of 10 game credits to each unit of local currency.

TABLE 6
RegionGameDepositCurSBCGCBalanceCur
SEKNormal10SEK1000000010010SEK
NOKNormal10NOK1092500010010NOK
USDNormal10USD7306200010010USD
EURNormal10EUR9203900010010EUR

Table 7 shows Swedish regional play of the game normal (in transactions 1 to 5) and the game high stake (transactions 6 top 9) and game play proceeds in a similar manner to that shown in Table 3.

TABLE 7
StakeStakeWinWinBalDelta
TransactionGameDepositCurSBCGCGCSEKGCSEKSEKSBC
1Normal10SEK1000000010010
2Normal96000009640.409.6−400000
3Normal710000071252.507.1−2500000
4Normal12100000121505.0012.15000000
5Normal1300000013090.90181.8013900000
6Highstake8000000855.008−5000000
7Highstake3000000355.003−5000000
8Highstake28000000282525.002825000000
9Highstake350000003577.001414.00357000000
10Cashout000

TABLE 8
StakeStakeWinWinBal
TransactionGameDepositCurSBCGCGCUSDGCUSDUSDDelta SBC
1Normal10USD7306200010010
2Normal701395209640.409.6−2922480
3Normal5187402071252.507.1−18265500
4Normal88405020121505.0012.136531000
5Normal9498060013090.90181.80136575580
6Highstake58449600855.008−36531000
7Highstake21918600355.003−36531000
8Highstake204573600282525.0028182655000
9Highstake2557170003577.001414.003551143400
10Cashout000

Table 8 the same game played in the currency of US dollars with transactions 1 to 5 relating to the normal game and transactions 6 to 9 relating to the high stake game. Note that in Tables 7 and 8 that the amount deposited in units of local currency, wagered in game credits and won game credits is the same for each correspondingly numbered transaction but the balance of system base credits in the column SBC and the change in system base credits (delta SBC) are very different.

Tables 9 and 10 show both regions playing the WAP game. In this game the region credit rate from Table 5 overrides the region credit rates from Table 5. (Noting that it is the same for the Swedish currency). A person skilled in the art will note in relation to Tables 9 and 10 that the change in the system base credits based on the amounts staked and 1 are the same in each of transactions 2 through 5. Stake relative to the currency of Swedish Krone is different. Accordingly, in this game, players can fairly contribute to the same wide area progressive.

TABLE 9
StakeStakeWinWinBal
TransactionGameDepositCurSBCGCGCSEKGCSEKSEKDelta SBC
1WAP10SEK900000090101.009
2WAP550000055353.505.53500000
3WAP300000030252.5032500000
4WAP800000080505.0085000000
5WAP920000092121.20242.409.21200000

TABLE 10
StakeStakeWinWinDelta
TransactionGameDepositCurSBCGCGCSEKGCSEKBal SEKSBC
1WAP1USD630620063100.140.86313
2WAP280620028350.480.384085−3500000
3WAP3062003250.340.04191−2500000
4WAP530620053500.680.726265000000
5WAP650620065120.16240.330.8905041200000

Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that a number of variations may be made to the embodiment without departing from the scope of the invention described herein.

In the claims which follow and in the preceding description of the invention, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word “comprise”, or variations such as “comprises” or “comprising” is used in an inclusive sense, i.e. to specify the presence of the stated features but not to preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments of the invention.

It is to be understood that, if any prior art publication is referred to herein, such reference does not constitute an admission that the publication forms a part of the common general knowledge in the art in any country.