Title:
Roulette game using cards as an indication of game outcome
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and system for providing an electronic wagering game that simulates the game play of roulette. The system comprises a dealer control terminal for managing the wagering game, a display in communication with the dealer control device for presenting a virtual and animated display of a traditional roulette wagering layout, a plurality of player terminals configured for wagering on the wagering game, and a game outcome determining device. The outcome determining device is preferably a card handling and/or shuffling device which is used in conjunction with cards having indicia corresponding to the numbers and colors present on a standard casino roulette wheel. The preferred method includes the steps of receiving wagers according to conventional roulette rules, randomly shuffling cards using the shuffling device, dealing one randomly shuffled card from the card handling device, inputting the indicia on the one dealt card into the game to resolve all wagers, and actuating an animated presentation designed to display events leading to a virtual roulette conclusion substantially similar to the indicia on the one dealt card.



Inventors:
Dunn, Russell Brooke (Henderson, NV, US)
Yoseloff, Mark L. (Henderson, NV, US)
Glencross, Bradbury C. T. (Forresters Beach, AU)
Wadds, Nathan J. (Waverley, AU)
Mcphail, Miranda Leah (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/983438
Publication Date:
05/14/2009
Filing Date:
11/09/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
DITORO, NICHOLAS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mark A. Litman & Associates, P.A. (York Business Center, Suite 205 3209 West 76th St., Edina, MN, 55435, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A system for playing an electronic wagering game of simulated roulette comprising: a) one or more player stations at a gaming table having touch-screen interfaces for player input, wherein the touch-screen interfaces permit players to place a wager electronically on a simulated roulette game outcome; b) a game control device operatively associated with the player stations for comparing said wagers to the roulette game outcome, and determining whether the wager is won; c) a game outcome determining device for providing a randomly selected game outcome comprising a playing card delivery device; d) a randomized set of playing cards within the playing card delivery device, each card representative of a roulette outcome; and e) a display device operatively associated with the game control device for providing a visual presentation of a roulette game outcome, wherein the visual presentation of the roulette game outcome culminates with a representation of the roulette game outcome that substantially corresponds to the randomly selected game outcome determined from a playing card removed from the playing card delivery device.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the playing card delivery device comprises a playing card shuffler.

3. The system of claim 2 wherein the visual display is an animated display of a roulette wheel and ball.

4. The system of claim 1 wherein image files are available in memory for display of the roulette game outcome as images of a roulette ball and wheel, the images designed to convey a random series of events or indicia selection process.

5. The system of claim 4 wherein the images comprising the roulette ball spinning on the wheel and the ball dropping into a canoe indicating the roulette game outcome.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein the game control device also can credit winning proceeds directly to the player stations.

7. The system of claim 2 wherein the random cards comprise 37 or 38 cards with roulette outcomes identified by readable symbols on each of the 37 or 38 cards.

8. The system of claim 7 wherein a playing card reading system automatically reads one card at a time within the playing card delivery device, the card reading system having a communication connection for transmission of read information to at least one of the game control device and the dealer input console.

9. A method for playing a game of roulette without a physical ball and wheel determining event outcomes comprising: at least one player placing at least one roulette wager at a gaming terminal; a dealer removing a single playing card from a card handling device to determine an event outcome in the play of the game of roulette; the dealer entering the event outcome into a dealer input console or a value of the single playing card is read and automatically entered into a processor, generating a visual display of a game outcome; and the processor determining an event outcome with respect to the at least one wager and resolving the at least one wager with respect to the at least one player.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein the entered event outcome is displayed on a visual display device at the table.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the visual display is an animated display of a ball dropping into a roulette canoe matching the event outcome.

12. The method of claim 8 wherein the single card is withdrawn from a shuffler, and after removal of the single playing card, all cards are removed from the shuffler.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein when a new set of playing cards is inserted into the shuffler and shuffling begins, an indication is provided to players of a time limit for placing wagers.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein the time limit is at least a majority of time until conclusion of the shuffling.

15. The method of claim 9 wherein the dealer must enter the event outcome into the dealer input console.

16. The method of claim 12 wherein the single playing card is read within the shuffler or as the single card is removed from the shuffler.

17. The method of claim 9 wherein a camera takes an image of the single card, or an image file for the roulette event indicated by the single file is retrieved, and an image of the single card, or image from the image file for the roulette event indicated by the single file is displayed to all players.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The field of this invention relates to wagering games, and in particular, electronic wagering games that simulate table games such as roulette, traditionally played in casinos and related type gaming establishments.

2. Background of the Art

Roulette is a casino and gambling game. The word roulette is a French word meaning small wheel. The game of roulette is described as follows:

A croupier turns a round roulette wheel which has 37 or 38 separately numbered pockets in which a ball must land.

The main pockets or “canoes” in the wheel are numbered from 1 to 36 and alternate in color between red and black. The pockets are not in numerical order around the wheel, but there are instances of consecutive numbers being the same color. The wheels also have at least a green pocket numbered 0, and in most roulette wheels in the United States there is also a second green pocket marked 00. However, European roulette wheels do not include the second green pocket marked 00.

Players place wagers on the printed felt surface of a roulette table. The felt design bears wagering areas that correspond to the numbers and colors on a roulette wheel. The wagers are placed on the felt prior to the spin and final outcome of the game. The object of the game is to place a wager on the pocket/pockets the ball will land into on a croupier's spin of the roulette wheel and firing of the ball. In the event a player has wagered on a winning number, the wager pays 35:1 odds. This means that a $1.00 wager will pay $35.00.

Other betting options, with payoffs, include bets on multiple numbers in various combinations, ranges of numbers, on all odd or all even numbers, or by specific color.

Numerous attempts have been made to automate the roulette system because of the significant potential for security breaches (e.g., bet switching or swiping) during play. The following references are material to existing attempts to provide alternative mechanisms for roulette play and roulette wagering.

Both U.S. Pat. No. 7,195,242 (Terminel) and U.S. Pat. No. 6,264,200 show the use of standard playing cards as the event determinant in an equivalent of roulette. The games use a 52 or 54 space wagering area instead of the traditional 38 space (18 red numbers, 18 black numbers and 2 green numbers) for the roulette-type wagering system.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,547,247 (The Hoyt patent) disclose a novel card game using novel decks of game playing cards containing playing cards. One novel deck consists of a deck that contains 37 or 38 novel cards, each containing a numeric value one through 36, or a zero or a double zero, along with a color indication of red, black or green for use in a variant of roulette with cards. U.S. Pat. No. 6,659,866 (Frost) assigned to Stargames Corporation Pty Limited discloses an underlying roulette gaming system including a physical wheel, dealer input console, video display of final numbers (colors), and individual player terminals from which players make their respective bets that are processed by a common central processor which receives the outcome input from the dealer through the console. A gaming table is provided in which the outcome of the game is determined manually, and in which players place bets electronically and wins or losses are calculated electronically. Published U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 2005/0206077 (Grauzer et al.) provides an apparatus and method for moving playing cards from a first group of cards into a second group of cards, wherein the second group of cards is randomly arranged or shuffled. The apparatus may use specialty cards to implement games such as roulette or craps, with only one or two cards used to provide the game outcome, and those cards, plus any additional cards removed from the shuffler, being returned to the shuffler prior to beginning any subsequent game plays.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A system and method is provided for playing a partially electronic version of roulette in which outcome determinations are provided by the use of cards. The system includes one or more player stations having player input interfaces, preferably touch-screen interfaces for player input, wherein the touch-screen interfaces permit players to place a wager electronically on a roulette game outcome. The systems include a game control device (e.g., microprocessor, processor, computer, or other logic circuits) operatively associated with the player stations for comparing the wagers to the roulette game outcome, determining whether the wager is won, and for crediting winning proceeds directly to said player stations. A game outcome determining device is provided for providing a randomly selected game outcome comprising a playing card delivery device having playing cards therein representative of roulette game outcomes. Preferably, an automatic card reading system is provided to read the indicia on the physical cards and provide that electronic information to the game control device and/or as a display. A randomized set of playing cards is provided within the playing card delivery device. The randomized set of cards is able to identify individual roulette play outcome.

The display device is operatively associated with the game control device for providing a visual presentation representative of a simulated roulette game.

The visual presentation culminates with a representation of the game outcome that substantially corresponds to the randomly selected game outcome determined from a playing card removed from the playing card delivery device.

A method according to this technology may also be performed as a game of roulette without a physical ball and wheel determining event. The method includes the step of at least one player placing at least one wager at a roulette gaming table through a terminal at a player position at the table. A dealer removes a single dispensed playing card from a card shuffler containing a randomly ordered set of playing cards to determine an event outcome in the play of the game of roulette. The dealer enters the event outcome into a dealer input console. A processor determines an event outcome with respect to the at least one wager and resolves the wager with respect to the at least one player.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a gaming system of the present invention with a shuffler for outcome determination.

FIG. 2 shows a schematic diagram and configuration for an embodiment of the gaming system of the present invention with a shuffler for outcome determination.

FIG. 3 shows an example of a screen shot of the dealer console.

FIG. 4 shows an example of a player display.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The existing Rapid Roulette® gaming system is a multi-player partially automated version of a traditional roulette game described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,659,866. The Rapid Roulette® game system employs a roulette ball and a standard roulette wheel with roulette indicia embossed on the pockets of the wheel. A croupier spins the roulette wheel and fires the ball. When the roulette ball settles into one of the pockets, the indicia on said pocket determines the outcome of the game. The wheel spin and game results are captured with a camera imaging system and displayed on a player display. Wagers are made electronically via multiple terminals.

Gaming jurisdictions exist that prohibit the use of dice, the spinning of a wheel, and/or the random movement of a ball to determine the outcome of a wagering game. Many of these gaming restrictions occur within California's tribal gaming jurisdictions. It is therefore desirable to devise a gaming system that is both compatible with jurisdictional limitations and which offer advantages over conventional roulette systems.

The present invention addresses tribal gaming compliance issues with regard to roulette type games, provides an eminently playable game, and provides an alternative basis for assuring game security by retaining outcome control within casino oversight. The compliance issues are addressed by resolving a roulette type game using a playing card shuffler and playing cards, preferably specially marked playing cards with roulette outcomes, as an outcome determining device configured to resolve the wagering game. The card shuffler is configured to provide one or more (preferably one) randomized playing cards from a plurality of playing cards, wherein the indicia on the set of playing cards is substantially identical to the set of indicia embossed on a standard casino roulette wheel. In other words, the invention disclosed herein, provides a game outcome that is determined randomly, albeit by means other than a spinning wheel, the random movement of a ball, and/or the rolling of dice.

Reference to the Figures will assist in an appreciation of the present technology.

As shown in FIG. 1 an example of the system includes a gaming table 1 with multiple player terminals 2. Players sit at the player terminals 2. Each player terminal 2 is equipped with a display 2a. Each display includes a touch-screen interface. Each terminal also includes a bill acceptor (not shown).

As shown in FIG. 3, the dealer console 5 has a dealer display 500. The dealer display 500 may display a wide variety of information, such as the winning number/color 516, the status of terminals 1-12 (such as buy-in, cash out, disabled, in use, idle, etc.), provide a time-down clock 502, an indication of a new game 515 and administrative functions 517, for example. The dealer may use touch screen controls on this display for log in, start a new game, verifying game outcomes, reset the system, for example. A wide variety of information may be displayed.

In one embodiment, the winning number/color is manually entered using touch screen controls 520, 522. In another embodiment, the winning outcome is automatically transmitted from the shuffler 10 to the controller 4, which causes the outcome to be displayed on dealer display 500 in area 516.

In yet other embodiments, a camera images the card dispensed from the shuffler from above the table surface supporting the shuffler, and the image file is converted to number/color values and that information is sent to the controller:

As shown in FIG. 4, each player touch-screen interface displays an image of a traditional playing surface 22 related to the participating gaming table, wherein the participating gaming table relating to this invention is roulette. The touch-screens additionally display game instructions, and are used to place wagers, display winning wagers, and display a player's current credit balance, as described in more detail, below. Player terminals 2 are hereinafter referred to as Automatic Transaction Systems (ATS). Prior to the outcome determination, players place electronic wagers of the type traditionally placed on the gaming surface of a standard roulette table. An audible and/or visual countdown system is provided to afford players ample notice that wagers must be placed within a prescribed time interval prior to the outcome determining event.

An automatic card shuffler 10 either automatically dispenses a randomly selected card, or delivers a card to a removal area accessible by the croupier. Other embodiments utilize a card dispenser with reader that holds pre-shuffled cards. The shuffler is preferably provided with a sensing system that can read information from the individual cards (e.g., at least one of symbols, alphanumerics, bar code, magnetic information, etc.), and preferably the reading is triggered by movement of a playing card across an optical sensor (not shown) within the shuffler 10. The optical sensor/reader may be activated by movement of the card when the dealer pulls it from the shuffler 10 or the card is read within the shuffler 10. The optical sensor sends a signal to a Streamline Game Console (SGC) 5 located in the croupier's station.

When the playing card is read by the system, the data of the determining event (e.g., the specific number and color indicated by the card) signals a game outcome (e.g., 0 green, 1 black, etc.), the information is transmitted to at least one of the dealer console 5 or the game controller (not shown), the SGC 5 displays the game outcome, and the croupier verifies the game outcome by manually entering the number into the SGC. Once the game outcome is verified, the SGC triggers at least one animated visual display/displays 6, 2a, and 3 showing said game outcome and/or an animated representation of a ball spinning and dropping into a canoe with a number and color that is the same as the game outcome determined by the randomly selected playing card 6A. The image may also include an image of a croupier spinning a roulette wheel and firing a ball or other images designed for entertainment or informational purposes.

A central controller 4 is connected to the player terminals 2 and the SGC 5. The central controller calculates the win loss data at each player terminal, and automatically updates the system to prepare for a new game commencement.

The underlying structure of a second embodiment of a system of the present technology may include a gaming platform table surface preferably with an electronic display representing a roulette layout capable of displaying a selected game result. There is a Dealer station 17 where the live dealer is positioned to control the game and input data via the dealer console 5 and observe information displayed on the dealer console 5. Multiple player stations (i.e., Automatic Transaction Stations or “ATS”), are present around the table, with as few as six positions possible, but more preferably with 16, 18, 20 or more positions available. The size limitation is determined by space issues, such as providing enough positions for players with enough room for each with a view of the general display of outcomes on an upright video display or other central display.

The Streamline Gaming Console (“SGC”) 5 is used for the dealer to input game outcomes, often referred to as the dealer console 5. An outcome determining device 10, configured to resolve the wagering game by providing one or more randomly selected outcomes in the form of playing cards (either regular cards or cards specific to roulette events), is provided. The outcome determining device of the preferred embodiment shown herein is card shuffling and dispensing device 10. The device is preferably capable of reading cards automatically and generating a signal indicative of rank and color. Although it is preferred that special cards having, for example, up to 38 different values (e.g., 18 red numbers, 18 black numbers and 1 or 2 green numbers such as 0 or 00) should be used, because of the electronic reading capability and programmability of the system (microprocessor, processor, computer or logic system), a regular card deck, trimmed to 38 cards may be used and values assigned to the cards according to a compliance between card rank and roulette outcome. A simplest example would be to associate the thirteen spades to the first thirteen black numbers and the first five clubs to the remaining five of the eighteen black numbers. Similar distribution may be used for provision of the red numbers with thirteen hearts and five diamonds. In this instance, the rank of certain cards might not correspond to a numerical value on the wheel, but a look-up table could be used to display only the “wheel” result and not the read card value. The two Jokers may be used for 0 and 00. As it is not essential that playing cards with the roulette indicia be displayed to the players, and that the roulette results are determined by the usually 37 or 38 cards, the use of a standard deck with 16-17 cards removed can save the cost of having to manufacture special cards for the game.

A computer look-up table can be provided that will identify the game equivalence of regular playing cards with roulette outcomes such as, by way of non-limiting examples of:

A-Hearts=Red 1; A-Spades=Black 2; Two-Hearts=3 Red, Two-Spades=4 Black; Three-Hearts=5-Red; Three-Spades=6-Black; Four-Hearts=7-Red; Four-Spades=8-Black; Five-Hearts=9-Red; Five-Spades=10-Black; Six-Spades=11-Black; Six-Hearts=12-Red; . . . . Full Joker=0-Green; and Half-Joker=00-Green. As noted in this transition, all even and all odd numbers are neither exclusively black nor exclusively red as is traditional on the roulette wheel and canoes. Alternatively, the system may provide a deck of 38 playing cards with result indicia substantially identical to the embossed result indicia on a roulette wheel. There are a plurality of computer generated peripheral game displays 2a (player monitors), preferably including at least one central display 3, 6. A transmission line (not shown) carries image signals of the information to be displayed as computer generated visual displays. A central controller (not shown) is connected to the ATS 2a (individual player screens) and the SGC 5.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of the system is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The preferred embodiment includes a gaming platform table surface equipped with a plurality of Automatic Transaction Systems (ATS) 2, the Streamline Gaming Console (SGC) 5 located in the dealer station 17, and the Central Controller (not shown).

In a preferred embodiment, the ATS 2 are a plurality of player stations are connected to the table 1 itself. In other embodiments, the ATS terminals 2 are not connected to the table surface 1. Each ATS 2 is equipped with a touch-screen interface and bill acceptor. Each ATS touch-screen interface displays an image of a traditional roulette playing surface, along with the game rules, wagering options, game statistics, game results, and player instructions. The ATS 5 allows players to place wagers electronically as well as associate themselves with the gaming platform. The system may have unique and tailored wagering functions on the screen such as those disclosed and claimed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/595,541, filed Nov. 10, 2006 and titled “MULTILEVEL BETTING STRUCTURE ON COMPLEX WAGERING ALTERNATIVES IN ELECTRONIC WAGERING SYSTEMS, which application is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

In a preferred embodiment, the SGC 5 is located within the dealer station 17. The SGC 5 controls game execution and generally administers the game. The SGC has a dedicated dealer interface. By using the SGC dealer interface, a dealer controls the flow of a game. The SGC 5 is employed by a dealer to log-in, start a new game, verify game outcomes, reset the system, as well as other administrative functions related to the gaming platform. In a preferred embodiment, the system includes a Central Controller 4 (shown in FIG. 2). The Central Controller 4 is connected to each ATS 2 system as well as to the SGC 5 and the shuffler 10. The Central Controller 4 acts as an interface between the ATS 2 and SGC 5 systems. The Central Controller 4 monitors and processes the SGC 5 financial data received from each ATS 5 location within the gaming table platform 20. The Central Controller 4 also manages the integrity of sensitive data transfer. The Central Controller 4 is capable of transferring data from the casino floor to areas with heightened security.

The SGC 5 communicates with the Central Controller 4 and is also used to provide data and statistical information to the back end casino computer system, which typically includes a server 9. The dealer operates the SGC 5 to register buy-in amounts, allocate the buy-ins to individual ATS 2 locations, and process winning and losing results. The SGC 5 maintains transaction records and communicates winning result information to the Central Controller 4. The SGC 5 provides player cash-out information to the dealer and also provides the Central Controller 4 with updated information on vacated and/or occupied ATS 2 locations.

The preferred embodiment of the invention replaces a physical roulette wheel with a computer generated game and result display or displays 2, 3 and 6, wherein the computer generated result display provides an animated presentation designed to convey a random series or occurrence of events, such as a simulated spin of a roulette wheel and the firing of a ball.

Another embodiment of the invention includes a screen display as shown in FIG. 4. The display provides a simulated roulette table felt lay-out display 22 substantially identical to a live roulette display. The display may include an animation of a ball (not shown) or may instead show an object 26 passing over each of the numbered boxes 28 which are substantially identical to the embossed indicia on a standard roulette felt lay-out until stopping on the winning outcome. Alternatively, the animated presentation may include highlighting each of the embossed indicia on a standard roulette felt layout which are depicted on the display (not shown), wherein the animated presentation ends by highlighting only the winning outcome. Preferably, players may view the same animated presentation on displays 2a, 3 and 6. Other embodiments may include only one or two of the displays. For example, when the player stations or ATS terminals 2 are positioned apart from the display 6, a table display 3 is unnecessary. The result display 20 may also employ to exhibit game statistics 30, game status 32, the selected card 38 and display live feed if there is a camera to image the selected card (not shown).

In the preferred embodiment, the outcome determining device is embodied by a playing card shuffling device 10. The shuffler is used to shuffle a set, e.g., 37 or 38 cards or a deck of cards, wherein the cards are not a normal complete deck of playing cards. Rather, the cards preferably have indicia substantially identical to the indicia embossed on a standard roulette wheel. Preferably, the shuffler is used to deal one randomly shuffled card. A suitable card shuffler can randomly dispense a card, or deliver a card to be manually removed by a dealer. The indicia on this one dealt card will represent the game outcome in a manner analogous to a ball landing in a pocket of a spun roulette wheel. In summary, the preferred embodiment of the invention disclosed herein, provides a game outcome that is determined by means other than a spinning wheel, the random movement of a ball, and/or the rolling of dice.

Before the commencement of a new game, the SGC 5 sends a new game request to the Central Controller 4. The Central Controller 4 confirms that all the ATS 5 locations on the platform are synchronized. The SGC 5 initiates a countdown by sending the Central Controller a Start Game command, and an associated time limit is sent to each ATS location for player acknowledgement. The countdown time is the time players are given to place their bets. At the completion of a countdown, the ATS locations 2 send the respective betting information to the Central Controller 4.

At the completion of a countdown, the Central Controller 4 sends a message to the SGC 5 that the countdown has expired and polls for acknowledgement from each ATS 2 location. All associated bet details are sent to the SCG 5 via the Central Controller 4. At this point, no more bets can be placed. The dealer calls “No More Bets”. In one embodiment, this message is displayed in area 40 on the game display 22 of the ATS.

Relative to the completion of the betting countdown, the dealer calls for the ejection of one card from the shuffler 10 and by observing and or reading the indicia on that card, determines the winning outcome of the game, either visually or by electronic readout of the card.

In one embodiment of the invention the dealer manually enters the dealt card data, e.g., the game result, into the SGC 5. In another embodiment of the invention, an automated game result is automatically transmitted to the controller 4 and/or dealer console 5. The dealer may then be required to manually enter the game outcome data into the dealer console to verify game outcome. In this embodiment, the shuffler 10 has card reading capabilities. Thus, a signal is generated by the shuffler 10 regarding the indicia on the card. Upon the shuffler dispensing the one card that determines the game outcome, a signal is sent from the shuffler to the controller 4 and SGC 5 which provides the indicia on the card identity for application as the winning outcome, thus actuating the animated presentation on displays 2a, 3 and 6. In one embodiment, the SGC 5 initiates a delay before the dealer confirms the game outcome. This delay provides more time to display the desired visual effects.

In one embodiment, SGC 5 initiates a virtual roulette spin culminating with the winning outcome, as determined by the card dealt by shuffler 10, on at least one of result displays 2a, 3 and 6.

In another embodiment, SGC 5 triggers a simulated presentation on displays 2a, 3 and 6 of roulette table felt lay-outs having numbered betting positions substantially identical to the screen displays at the ATS locations. The numbered betting positions on said displays randomly light and/or black-out a plurality of numbered betting positions wherein one and/or more betting positions is lit and/or blacked-out at any given time. A final single betting position remains as a one lit and/or blacked-out betting position, wherein the one lit and/or blacked-out betting position is a number and the number is substantially identical to the dealt card information entered into the SGC 5. In yet another embodiment, SGC 5 triggers a simulated presentation on displays 2a, 3 and 6 of a roulette felt having numbered betting positions substantially identical to the screen displays at the ATS locations. The presentation includes a ball, puck or other object, moving randomly across said numbered betting positions, eventually remaining on the numbered betting position that corresponds with the dealt card information entered into the SGC 5. Other embodiments can display: one or more of a spin simulation on one display, layout/game data on another display, and a random selection on a layout on yet another display. Each display method provides game outcome information, other game information and entertainment value.

The preferred embodiment of the SGC 5 has a delay before allowing the dealer to confirm the result. This gives the display systems time to show a representation of one of the following embodiments:

a) A computer generated animation of a spinning roulette wheel and firing a ball, with or without a dealer.

b) A computer generated display of a roulette table felt wherein the numbered betting positions randomly light and/or black-out; or

c) A computer generated display of a roulette table felt wherein a puck moves randomly across numbered betting positions.

The computer generated representation on the displays may include or be followed by a picture of the dealt card or the roulette outcome indicated by the card. Assuming the dealer has followed standard log-in procedures, the dealer will start the game by:

1. Press the “New Game” control on the SGC. The betting period countdown will start and the result display will show the game statistics and a message (Place Your Bets).

2. The dealer will insert a deck of cards imprinted with roulette pocket indicia into the shuffler. The shuffling process commences.

3. The SGC will signal the display when a predetermined amount of time (e.g., 5, 10, 15 seconds) remains on the betting period. The display will show the message (Last Bets) and a simulated representation of a game outcome will be displayed.

4. When the betting period expires, the SGC will prompt the dealer. The dealer will eject a single result card from the Shuffler.

A second optional embodiment includes a signal generated by the shuffler and sent to the SGC. The signal is for “No More Bets,” and is generated at and/or close to the end of the shuffling process. It tells the SGC to close off betting at the ATS/player terminals.

1. The dealer inspects the dealt card and enters the winning outcome/number into the SGC.

2. After receiving the outcome information, the SGC signals the result display, and the result display exhibits a computer generated display corresponding to the outcome information.

3. Once the single result card is removed, the SMI shuffler ejects the remaining cards in the deck to facilitate dealer removal.

4. The result card, if used with specific roulette markings thereon, may be positioned under the camera located at the dealer station. The result display activates a live camera feed and exhibits the actual result card in a window on the display/displays.

5. The SGC requests dealer confirmation of the winning number. Dealer confirmation of the winning number triggers system processing events that update ATS player terminals with win loss information and current wagering balances.

6. The dealer pauses for a several seconds to allow players time to view the card information and their personal game results.

7. The dealer resets the system by pressing (New Game) on the SGC touch-screen interface.

8. A new game commences.

The embodiments of systems discussed herein comply with Class III gaming regulations governing Tribal Jurisdictions, particularly in California.

The present invention can be implemented using a variety of different processing apparatus. Preferably, the invention is implemented using a computer to determine game operations. A typical computer includes a central processing unit connected to a memory. The computer has connected thereto other devices such as display screen, buttons and/or a touch screen input device, one or more front panel buttons used in the operation of the machine; a coin, credit, token, or card acceptor for allowing a player to place bets; a network card for connecting the computer to an optional central computer, and security system connections. The central computer may be used for accounting, bookkeeping, and/or security purposes, or for downloading new game software or game software upgrades to computer, and/or for controlling the operation of the game via a network. In one optional embodiment, the computer includes a memory having a more permanent first portion in which is stored the software for running games on a CPU. This more permanent memory may be a hard disk read only memory (ROM), erasable programmable read only memory (EPROM), an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), field programmable gated array (FPGA) or even a feed through a network to a localized or central memory.

A thin client network from the central computer or local game computer to the individual gaming device may alternatively be provided. All of these integrated circuit storage means are well known in the art so are not discussed further. The advantage to providing all game logic via a stored program on hard disk, or via network card from a central computer is that a game may quickly and easily be updated, or a different game program be loaded to run on the computer without having to change any integrated circuit chips, such as the ROMs, EPROMs or ASICs.

When game software remains on the central computer, it permits games to be played over a local network, or over a remote network which may include the Internet. The memory also has a second portion used in playing the games. The second memory would be typically a random access memory (RAM) with memory locations associated with each of the primary game positions, secondary game positions, secondary game progressives, information display areas and soft buttons on a display. These memory locations store information about the game symbols displayed, the bets placed, winnings, the speed of the game, etc. Alternatively, individual game software may not be permanently stored in memory.

When a player touches a game selection button, or reel set selection button or control, and a game or reel sets is selected for a game, the request may be transmitted via network or network card to a central computer and the game software is downloaded to the more permanent memory to be used by the CPU to run the game or reel set chosen by the player. This permits central control of the games to be played on specific machines, fast upgrades of game software and easier addition of software for new games.

In a further non-limiting configuration, one or more of the players can be located in separate locations, and the player terminals or hand-held devices or player screens in rooms can be connected to the controller via communication links (e.g., hardwired or wireless). Standard protocols, software, hardware and processor languages may be used in these communication links, without any known limitation. There are hundreds of available computer languages that may be used, among the more common being Ada; Algol; APL; awk; Basic; C; C++; Cobol; Delphi; Eiffel; Euphoria; Forth; Fortran; HTML; Icon; Java; Javascript; Lisp; Logo; Mathematica; MatLab; Miranda; Modula-2; Oberon; Pascal; Perl; PL/I; Prolog; Python; Rexx; SAS; Scheme; sed; Simula; Smalltalk; Snobol; SQL; Visual Basic; Visual C++; and XML.

Any commercial processor may be used either as a single processor, serial or parallel set of processors in the system. Examples of commercial processors include, but are not limited to Merced™, Pentium™, Pentium II™, Xeon™, Celeron™, Pentium Pro™, Efficeon™, Athlon, AMD and the like.

Display screens may be segment display screen, analog display screens, digital display screens, CRTs, LED screens, Plasma screens, liquid crystal diode screens, and the like.

Although specific examples and materials have been provided in the descriptions provided herein, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the scope of the claims and enabled descriptions includes other variations and alternatives within their design capabilities.