Title:
METHOD FOR USING RANDOM NUMBERS ACROSS MULTIPLE GAMING CONSOLES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The instant invention provides a method for determining by a first game (which may or may not be displayed to the player) a game outcome which is displayed to the player at least via a different second game representation, across a number of gaming machines where preferably all games being mapped are equivalent to permit a one to one correspondence in terms of prizes awardable. The method requires at least 2 lists of symbols with the first list (for example having a list of 6 sided die combinations) varying in order for each gaming machines, and the second list being a common list of game outcomes used on each gaming machine. For each combination in the first list, an index is used to point to a corresponding combination in the second list. By doing so, the first list upon receiving a dice combination acts as a filter to redirect which game outcome of the second list should be shown, thereby allowing games to use the same random numbers to show different game outcomes.



Inventors:
Preston, Peter (Brisbane, AU)
Visocnik, Martin (Brisbane, AU)
Wills, Stuart (Brisbane, AU)
Application Number:
12/249904
Publication Date:
10/15/2009
Filing Date:
10/11/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRANT, MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stephen Sanville (Suite 300 8960 West Tropicana Ave., Las Vegas, NV, 89147, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A gaming console comprising: a wager mechanism; at least 1 display; a pay table; and pre-stored data comprising a first list of symbol sets and at least a second list of symbol sets with each of said symbol sets containing at least 1 symbol and at least 1 index pointer, with each of said symbol sets of said first list being mapped to one or more of said symbol sets of said second list via said index pointers, with the symbol sets of said second list representing game outcomes; wherein on a wager made by a player via said wager mechanism, said gaming console being configured to select from the said first list a symbol set including an index pointer, using said index pointer to determine a symbol set of said second list to produce a game outcome to be displayed on said display and awarding prizes for said game outcome according to said pay table.

2. A game console of claim 1, wherein at least one selectable symbol set of said first list includes multiple index pointers to said symbol sets of said second list, said gaming console being configured to select one of said multiple index pointers to determine the game outcome to be displayed on said display and awarding prizes for said game outcome according to said pay table.

3. A game console of claim 1, wherein said second list provides game outcomes for a reel based game and said set of symbols of the first list represents game outcomes of a different game than said second list.

4. A game console of claim 1, wherein either said first or second list is replaced by an algorithm capable of generating equivalent data to said symbol sets and/or index pointers after said wager has been made and prior to said game outcome being displayed.

5. A game console of claim 1, wherein only winning game outcomes are recorded in either said first or said second list of symbols sets.

6. A method for determining by a first game, a game outcome that is displayed to a player via a different game representation other than that of said first game comprising: creating a first list of symbol sets representing at least winning outcomes of said first game wherein each of said symbol sets contains at least one symbol and one index pointer; creating at least a second list of symbol sets representing at least winning outcomes of a second game wherein each of said symbol sets contains at least one symbol and at least one index pointer; mapping each of said symbol sets of said first list to one or more of said symbol sets of said second list via said index pointers; wherein on a wager made by said player, selecting from the said first list a symbol set including an index pointer, using said index pointer to determine a symbol set of said second list to produce a second game outcome, and displaying to said player said second game outcome.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein at least one selectable symbol set of said first list includes multiple index pointers to said symbol sets of said second list, and selecting one of said multiple index pointers to determine the game outcome to be displayed to said player.

8. The method of claim 6 wherein said second list provides game outcomes for a reel based game and said set of symbols of the first list represents game outcomes of a different game than said second list.

9. The method of claim 6 wherein either said first or second list is replaced by an algorithm capable of generating equivalent data to said symbol sets and/or index pointers after said wager has been made and prior to said game outcome being displayed.

10. The method of claim 6 wherein only winning game outcomes are recorded in either said first or said second list of symbols sets.

11. A method used in connection with a wager made by a player at a game console for determining by a first game, a game outcome that is displayed to a player via a different game representation other than that of said first game using a data processor including a data storage structure, said data storage structure containing a first list of symbol sets representing game outcomes of said first game and at least a second list of symbol sets representing game outcomes of said second game with each of said symbol sets containing at least 1 symbol and at least 1 index pointer, each of said symbol sets of said first list being mapped to one or more of said symbol sets of said second list via said index pointers, comprising: selecting from the said first list a symbol set including an index pointer; using said index pointer to determine a symbol set of said second list to produce a second game outcome; and displaying to said player said second game outcome.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the data processor is included within the game console.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to gaming consoles, video lottery terminals, gaming machines, or networked gaming machines and, more particularly to gaming machines found in casinos or betting environments. In addition the present invention relates to a gaming method.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Gaming machines, otherwise known as slot machines, poker machines, video lottery terminals, gaming consoles, or pokies, have proven very popular within the gaming environment to become one of the base elements of the gaming industry. Players however quickly become tired of various adaptations of gaming machines, quickly requiring new and inventive ways to represent or play games on such gaming machines. For this reason, game creators must continually invent new and innovative ways to represent games and game play to stimulate players to encourage further interest.

Typically, gaming machines of the spinning reels type, and more recently video simulations thereof, provide game outcomes which generally comprises of a displayed set of reels appearing in columns having multiple symbols in each reels symbol locations. In this way, the symbols appear in a matrix of easily identifiable items. Generally, players place wages across fixed lines running left to right across the reels linking various symbols of the matrix. Upon a wager being placed, the reels will briefly spin before coming to rest with a set of randomly selected symbols being displayed. Symbol combinations along various pay lines are compared to winning combinations in a pay table with prizes being awarded for matching combinations.

Pay lines have changed dramatically over the years, to include a variety of line combinations as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,580,053 titled “multi-line gaming machine” by Philip Crouch. Crouch taught us gaming machines may have more then a single game per game outcome. Multiple lines allowed for concurrent games to be played across a set of displayed reel symbols. Since then, further advancements can be seen in left to right scatter combinations, where for example, gaming machines with an array of 5 reels with 3 symbols being displayed from each reel on a display may offer as many as 243 pay lines—being each combination from left to right talking one symbol from each portion of the displayed reel to form potential winning combinations. Other forms of win combinations can be found in scattered symbols, where the symbols may appear anywhere within the matrix of symbol locations. If for example the same symbol appears in 3 locations, the player may win an award. This simple advancement changed the concept of “pay lines” to include more dynamic forms of combinations of winning symbols. Further, adjacent symbol combinations where symbol combinations may start in any reel column being linked to other symbols in juxtaposed positions across neighbouring reels may also award prizes. By using these new forms of winning combinations, even more combinations of winning prizes may concurrently occur within a single game outcome.

Despite the innovations with ways to represent winning combinations, little innovation has been made with the way in which symbols are selected for display prior to a game outcome being made ready for evaluation. Generally, the symbols to be displayed are taken from sequences of symbols ordered on reel strips (physical or virtual) in an array of symbols for each reel. For 5 reels to obtain a game outcome, this would require 5 random numbers indicating which sections of given reels will be displayed to a player, with the random numbers providing the index otherwise known as a reel stop, where the symbols of the reels need to be displayed in the matrix of symbol locations. Often, these numbers will be generated on the gaming machine being played, however in some jurisdictions where for example only video lottery terminals are permitted random numbers must be generated externally on a linked server. In such jurisdictions, a server broadcasts the same selected random numbers to each gaming machine over a wide area network at regular intervals (e.g. every few seconds) to be used by gaming machines. As a result, if 2 gaming machines standing next to each other were played at the same time, they would display the same game outcome as they rely on the same random numbers. Although this does not alter the randomness of the actual game, players may perceive this as game fixing. Where random numbers are generated once every few seconds, the problem is greatly compounded as players can wait for the beginning of the game on the terminal next to them to reveal itself before playing their own game. By the same measure, if random numbers are broadcast too frequently, the network may become clogged with signals from the server simply generating random numbers. Conversely, if games take too long to play to give time for a new random number to be received, this may further exasperate frustration with playing reel based games.

Further, gaming machines on a linked gaming system which receive external random numbers need to be configured to play the same game, as all receiving the same random numbers for determining game outcomes. A player wishing to participate will have no alternative but to view the results of the game on offer. However, players may prefer the game outcome to be displayed in a different manner than the game on offer. For example should a dice game be on offer and the random numbers supplied to the terminal being for a dice game, the player may prefer to have the game result displayed as a spinning reel game, a poker game or other forms of games instead of the dice game.

Until now, no single solution provides a means for video lottery terminals to minimize the amount of random numbers broadcast to multiple gaming terminals or machines, whilst also allowing each gaming machine to share the same set of game data but produce different outcomes with the same random numbers. Further the instant solution may also permit players to view the game outcome in the format of a game of their choice.

It is the object of this invention to substantially address and alleviate the problems described in the prior art discussed above, by providing a method for gaming machines to share reels or game determination elements and receive the same random numbers yet display significantly different results across various gaming consoles.

The instant invention will now be described herein and is not intended to be limited by the scope of the embodiments provided, as other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed disclosure.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

Disclosed is a method for determining by a first game, a game outcome that is displayed to a player via a different game representation other than that of the first game. In one embodiment, the method includes creating a first list of symbol sets representing at least winning outcomes of the first game wherein each of the symbol sets contains at least one symbol and one index pointer, creating at least a second list of symbol sets representing at least winning outcomes of a second game wherein each of the symbol sets contains at least one symbol and at least one index pointer, and mapping each of the symbol sets of the first list to one or more of the symbol sets of the second list via said index pointers. When a wager is made by a player, a symbol set including an index pointer is selected from the first list and the index pointer is used to determine a symbol set from the second list to produce a second game outcome which is displayed to the player.

In an alternative embodiment, at least one selectable symbol set of the first list includes multiple index pointers to the symbol sets of the second list. One of the multiple index pointers is selected to determine the game outcome to be displayed to the player.

In another embodiment, the second list provides game outcomes for a reel based game and the set of symbols of the first list represents game outcomes of a different game than the second list.

Alternatively, either the first or second list or both are replaced by an algorithm capable of generating equivalent data to the symbol sets and/or index pointers after the wager has been made and prior to the game outcome being displayed.

In another embodiment, only winning game outcomes are recorded in either the first or said second list of symbols sets.

Also disclosed is a gaming console including a wager mechanism, at least 1 display, a pay table, and pre-stored data comprising a first list of symbol sets and at least a second list of symbol sets with each of the symbol sets containing at least 1 symbol and at least 1 index pointer, with each of the symbol sets of the first list being mapped to one or more of the symbol sets of the second list via the index pointers, and with the symbol sets of the second list representing game outcomes. When a wager is made by a player via the wagering mechanism, the gaming console selects from the first list a symbol set including an index pointer and uses the index pointer to determine a symbol set of the second list to produce a game outcome to be displayed on the display and awards prizes for the game outcome according to a pay table.

In another embodiment, at least one selectable symbol set of the first list includes multiple index pointers to the symbol sets of the second list, and the gaming console selects one of the multiple index pointers to determine the game outcome to be displayed on the display.

In one embodiment, the second list provides game outcomes for a reel based game and the set of symbols of the first list represents game outcomes of a different game than those of the second list.

Alternatively, either the first or second list or both are replaced by an algorithm capable of generating equivalent data to the symbol sets and/or index pointers after the wager has been made and prior to the game outcome being displayed.

Another embodiment includes a game console wherein only winning game outcomes are recorded in either the first or the second list of symbols sets.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a front perspective of an embodiment of a gaming console.

FIG. 2 depicts 2 tables used to represent potential awards from winning combinations.

FIG. 3 illustrates a game outcome depicting a set of reels and a corresponding dice game.

FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of the present invention to provide a game outcome as depicted in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 illustrates a game described in FIG. 4 in progress after a wager has been made.

FIG. 6 depicting a set of reels and a corresponding dice game with a winning game outcome.

DESCRIPTION

In the first broad form of the instant invention, a method of play is provided for a gaming console or gaming terminal (hereafter referred interchangeably) having a wager mechanism, at least 1 display, a pay table, and pre-stored data containing at least 2 lists of symbol sets with each symbol set containing at least 1 symbol and at least 1 index pointer, with each symbol set of the first list being mapped to one or more symbol set of the second list via said index pointers, with the symbol sets of the second list representing game outcomes and wherein on a wager made by a player via said wager mechanism, said gaming console being configured to select from the said first list a symbol set including an index pointer, using said index pointer to determine a symbol set of said second list to produce a game outcome to be displayed on said display and awarding prizes for said game outcome according to said pay table.

In the instant invention described herein, a gaming console should be understood as a device used to play games for a fee in the hope of wining an award, such as money or other prize with an associated value, however such game consoles may also be played for free. Gaming consoles come in the form of gaming machines as found in casinos, computers, or other such electronic devices used for gambling and may be played in stand alone cabinets, over closed or open networks such as the World Wide Web. Gaming consoles also comprise of terminals which may be configured to play a pari-mutuel game or other type of linked games. Additionally, the instant invention does not rely on the amount of players participating in a game or on how the prizes are awarded; be they fix odds or variable odds, but rather a wager of some description can be placed at the terminal and upon a certain game result a prize of some description is awarded.

Such gaming consoles may optionally employ one or more display devices such as LCD, plasma, projected images or other such devices used to view game outcomes. Game consoles may use multiple display devices to display game outcomes, game advertising, or any other such information developers or casino establishment owners may wish to display to their patrons. Such information may also include potential winning combinations in the form of pay tables. Other peripherals in a gaming console may include bill or coin acceptors to add money to the credit meters used to add to the amount of credits a player may use when making bets.

Ticket in/ticket out acceptors are also often used to enter credits into a gaming console, as are loyalty card acceptors, credit card acceptors, and other such devices for accepting credit into a gaming console. Alternatively credits may be added to the gaming console remotely from a cashier, or credits may be pre-purchased and the player via some sort of identifier adding the pre-purchased credits to the gaming console or notifying to the gaming console the account where the pre-purchased credits are held. The gaming console usually also comprises of various control panels and buttons (physical buttons or virtual such as displayed on a monitor) which are used to alter credits bet, choose pay lines, place side bets, redeem credits, or other game interface functions. As such, wagering mechanisms are usually controlled by a gaming console and used to initiate the placing of a wager. A player for example, makes a wager via a key pad, touch screen, or other input method device, then initiates the actual game thereby allowing the gaming console accept the wager and commence a game. This process should be understood as the wagering mechanism and is commonly used in the art.

Winning combinations as found in a pay table typically display game outcomes needed to win prizes, such as various winning poker hands for a poker game. Where the game being played is a reel based game (or simulation thereof) with a matrix of symbol locations with symbols shown in those locations, pay tables generally show winning combinations required within the matrix to be awarded a prize. Combinations generally employ symbols which may be items of interest, pictures, letters, numbers, hieroglyphics, or characters. Where a class of symbols belong to a set kind, these may also constitute a combination, such as 5 “A” symbols appearing across each of the 5 given reels in a pay line. Further to this, other symbols may belong to the same class or group of symbols even if they differ in appearance. A “Joker” symbol (also known as a “Wild” symbol) for example may substitute for another symbol of a given class. For example, a game outcome with a combination of 5 concurrent symbols being a mixture of “A” symbols and “Joker” symbols may be interpreted by the gaming console as 5 “A” symbols. This allows the Joker symbol to act as an “A” symbol increasing potential wins by the player. These symbols separately or combined my thusly create a symbol set.

As described, one of the main problems with displaying winning combinations in gaming consoles of the type described above however is where a similar game is played on 2 or more adjacent gaming consoles which share the same random numbers broadcast over a network, the game outcome produced will be identical with the same symbols appearing on each of the gaming console's displays. This problem is of particular concern for reel based games designed to provide players with games having a random feel. As reels are simply contiguous sets of symbols placed in a set order to provide a specific overall game percentage return, the same random number will produce the same game result (since indexing the same position of a reel across all machines receiving the same random number will have the same consequence). Reel type machines have a set percentage payback to players which is governed by the symbols distributed on the reels. For example, where 5 reels are used with 10 kinds of symbols appearing once on each reel, by stepping through each conceivable combination and awarding a prize for winning combinations as indicated by a prize table, a precise percent return is achieved. 5 reels with 10 symbols each, would have 10̂5 combinations (being 100,000 possible combinations). The symbols on the reels will be given varying values for valid combinations when compared to a pay table, so a normally the reels will generally be much longer, with more than 30 symbols each as each reel has multiple instances of the same symbols to help vary the overall return. These returns become very specific, as do the ordering of symbols and are rigorously checked by government testing labs to ensure players are not cheated of the advertised return a game promises. As such, it is not practical to alter sets of reels to provide the exact same return nor have a different arrangement of symbol quantities on the reels as each set of altered reels needs to be checked by a government approved testing lab for final implementation as you may end up with thousands of variations of the same game requiring an equal number of separate checks being performed in order to receive certification.

To resolve this problem, the instant invention uses a lookup table for all potential paying combinations, with the use of a first and second list. The first list acts as a reference to the combinations of the second list. Of course, the second list may in turn be used to look up the contents of the first list, and as such it is not intended the invention be limited to single directional lookups. Further, though the first list or second list may comprise of symbols making up symbol sets, for ease of reference, the content of the lists may comprise of simply numbers or letters which represent symbols as described above to be displayed. Additionally, symbols in either list may also be representative of game outcomes. Such as numbers 1 to 6 representing in the first list a set of dice rolls to be displayed to a player in a graphical format. Further to this, a combination of list one, may then through an index pointer be used to reference a range of symbol sets in the second list, preferably then randomly selecting one of the range of symbol sets so only 1 symbol set will be selected and displayed.

As such, 2 lists can easily be coupled where the index pointer of each list may be used to link the 2 lists (either as the sequence order number, or a set number included in a symbol list to be used as the index pointer). Importantly, the symbol set of list one for example, may include a full range of pointers to various index pointers of the second list.

In the example below a dice combination found in the 1st list produced by rolling 5 six sided dice shows “1, 1, 1, 1, 1” (each die resulting in 1), could be coupled via the index pointer 23 with the 5 reels game outcome combination of the 2nd list “A, A, A, <any symbol>, <any symbol>”, where the game win combination represented is for the game resulting in 3 “A” symbols on contiguous reels from left to right on a pay lines. The triple “A” win would have a corresponding index pointer to match 23.

Example of a Portion of a 1st List Containing Game Outcomes of a Roll of 5 Dice.

Index pointersDice combination
. . .. . .
231, 1, 1, 1, 1
241, 1, 1, 1, 2
. . .. . .

Example of a Portion of a 2nd List Containing Game Outcomes of a 5 Reels Game.

Index pointersReels combination
. . .. . .
23“A”, “A”, “A”, <Any symbol>, <Any Symbol>
24“A”, “A”, “A”, “A”, <Any Symbol>
. . .. . .

The advantage provided by the above example of coupling the outcome of two distinct game types (or list and game type) such as a dice game and a reel type game, is the ability to provide a method for displaying to a player either the outcome of a dice game or of a reel game, or both games concurrently using only one common set of broadcasted random numbers. As such, it is preferable that the 2 lists of symbol sets represent different games. Of course other types of symbols sets may be used in the first list, such as poker hands, bingo outcomes, credit win lists, ranges of numbers, etc. . . . where a credit win is provided, a range of index pointers may be used. In this way, a gaming console may simply be instructed to show a win of 50 credits, and a reel stop to match can be show.

The result of using this method provides that once a random number is obtained by the gaming console, instead of being used directly to indicate the symbols to be shown via the reels index, the random number is used to determine via a first list the index pointer, linking the random outcome to the second list providing means for reel stops be show as the game outcome. Thus the random number being used in the first list acts as a pseudo random number for the second list via the index pointer. Symbols in the second list representing symbols on reels may be directly referencing a symbol such as index pointer 1 pointing to an actual symbol “Ace” of the second list, or pointing to a number such as “1” representing the reel stop position on the reel which in turn will be interpreted as “Ace” (thus the index pointer referencing the symbol “Ace” indirectly via the reel position 1 which contains the symbol “Ace”). Information in the second list containing indexes of reel positions are thusly provided for.

For example, if reels 1 to 5 each had 10 symbols, as such:

Reel stop
Reel 1Reel 2Reel 3Reel 4Reel 5
1AceKingKingKingAce
2KingAceJackAceTen
3TenKingQueenTenJack
4AceJackTenJackQueen
5JackAceKingKingKing
6QueenQueenAceQueenAce
7TenTenTenAceTen
8KingJackJackKingJack
9QueenQueenQueenQueenQueen
10JackAceKingTenAce

The first list may contain a unique combination of die numbers for each possible reel stop outcome. This list will preferably be exactly the same length as the total number of reel stops (or as explained in a latter example, as the number of winning combinations). By jumbling the first list and re indexing it, the same number of winning combinations still exist but the list will appear in a new order. Of course, a given 5 dice combination may have 2 index pointers to the reels stops in list 2. As long as the ultimate number of index pointers match the amount of symbol sets in list 2, the lists will remain balanced.

For example a set of random numbers received by the terminal may match to the dice combination 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, in list one where for example this may be coupled to index pointer xxxxx which when looked up on the second list would reveal the stop numbers 7, 7, 4, 3, 2 (Reel 1=Stop 7, Reel 2=Stop 7, Reel 3=Stop 4, Reel 4=Stop 3, Reel 5=Stop 2) producing a combination of 5 Ten's as shown by the above table.

To generate the second list of symbol sets, a computer program need only step through each potential combination of reels stops as found in a standard reel based gaming machine and match it with corresponding outcomes on the first list, the first list thereby containing unique reference numbers (which represent symbols combinations such as dice outcomes), indexing both lists to link the two lists. When using the unique reference number it is possible to look up via the link (being the same index pointer) on the second list the combination of game symbols to be displayed (as provided by the example table above). The advantage to the instant invention becomes apparent when a number of gaming consoles have the same index pointer in both the first and second list, with the content of the first list arranged differently (different coupling between the index pointer and the symbol combinations/unique reference numbers in the first list). Thus each gaming console may share the same set of reels being defined by a common second list, and when receiving a random number from a server, using it to find the reference number in their first list (and obtain the pointer to the second list) to determine which reel combinations (also referred to as combination of reel stops) should be shown. Gaming consoles therefore displaying differing game outcomes, even if they all have the same reel strips, and receiving the same random numbers. In a variation of the instant invention the second list containing only wining combinations of symbols, or a subset of the possible combinations of symbols that could be obtained by stepping through the reel strips (in the above case the combinations that can be generated via stepping through the second list). For convenience when hereafter it is referred to winning combinations it is intended to include variations of the instant invention where this means all possible combinations of reel stops or sub-sets thereof.

By the same token, it is completely feasible to keep the first list in order, and jumble the second list as this will not alter the return of the game or the average prize of various combinations which may be displayed. Further the combinations which may be displayed in a game outcome may be based on reel stops of the second list, not the actual symbols to be displayed (as described previously).

When stepping through each reel combination one at a time, the developer needs only generate a unique index pointer for the winning combinations for this process to be complete and generating the second list (first list win combinations are shown in the example as unique reference number, and in the second list as Reel stops). To illustrate this process, by placing the index pointer, first list and second list side by side, the first 7 possible combinations of a set of 5 reels with 10 symbols each may appear as:

Table of the Two Lists Side by Side with Sorted Reel Stops

unique reference
Index pointernumberReel stops (symbol combinations)
165432134211, 1, 1, 1, 1
254321234322, 1, 1, 1, 1
365243651533, 1, 1, 1, 1
442312264634, 1, 1, 1, 1
513625263225, 1, 1, 1, 1
663251426541, 2, 1, 1, 1
732436245161, 3, 1, 1, 1

A unique reference number in this instance is simply a scrambled/random selection of 10 numbers from 1 to 6 (dice outcomes). Other values may be used, including various other symbols. In the example provided, the random unique reference number may as described above easily be used to pick the reel stop combination to be displayed. For example unique reference number 5432123432 (index pointer 2) via the first list is coupled to the reels positions 2, 1, 1, 1, 1 of the second list, and using the reel strip example above, would correspond to the combination King, King, King, King, Ace, thus 4 Kings left to right. To make this easier, the table of the first or second list may be sorted based on the unique reference so the unique reference is in sequential order.
Table of the Two Lists Side by Side with Sorted Unique Reference Numbers

uniqueReel stops (symbol
Index pointerreference numbercombinations)
113625263225, 1, 1, 1, 1
232436245161, 3, 1, 1, 1
342312264634, 1, 1, 1, 1
454321234322, 1, 1, 1, 1
563251426541, 2, 1, 1, 1
665243651533, 1, 1, 1, 1
765432134211, 1, 1, 1, 1

Where need be, unique reference numbers can easily be generated for each set of reels from a sufficiently large enough random number generator at the creation time of the second list to ensure all the unique reference numbers are indeed unique. As numbers in a particular cycle of numbers generated by a computer can all be unique by default, a simple method as shown below may be employed:
defining the size of the random number range:


range=(System.Math.Pow(2,32);

provide a random starting point within the range:


Random_Number=RandomClass.NextDouble( )*range;

Then cycling through each pseudo random number each time a reel stop is considered and requires a unique random number:


Random_Number=((69069* Random_Number)+1) % range;

In the above example for 2̂32, the numbers 1 through to 4,294,967,296 would be cycled through in a random fashion before a duplicate number appeared. As such, each reference number would be unique so long as the cycle is large than the amount of reel stops to be recorded.

Of course the methods used to generate such unique reference numbers for the first list may differ. For example, to link a dice game and a reel based game, a developer may step through each reel combination (when creating the second list), adding 1 to the number of stops recorded to ultimately provide a list of unique reference numbers (i.e. incrementing one step for each combination added to the second list) where the numbering system used is in base 6 as to match the dice base system and recording this unique reference number in the first list. Though the overall effect my not be as useful as combinations for the most part would still look similar on machines placed next to each other (since there is an easily detectable correlation between the unique reference numbers of various second lists employed by the various machines). Suffice to say, a myriad of methods may be used to generate such unique reference numbers for the first list.

A benefit to the instant invention, is provided where the first list of symbols being represented by the unique reference numbers are used to determine via the second list the outcome of another game. For example a base 6 system of 10 numbers (which could be the outcome of a 10 dice game), and where the second list are reel stops to govern the outcome of a reel type game. By doing so, a dice game with 10 dice capable of having a unique combination of dice rolls for each winning combination of a reels game could be used to provide the unique reference numbers in the first list. In this manner instead of displaying to a player the outcome of the reel game, with the system of a first and second list, the dice roll itself could also be displayed, thus displaying the game outcome for two games, the 10 dice game and the reels game. This would enable displaying two game outcomes and the player viewing either (or both) of the outcomes, thus enjoying viewing either a reel game outcome or a dice game outcome (preferably with only one set of random numbers being needed to determine the game outcome on such consoles). Using the invention disclosed, the two game outcomes would be equivalent as they would be uniquely linked via the use of the said first and second list index pointers. By doing this, government jurisdictions which do not allow for reel based games but do allow dice games, can be provided with dice games with concurrent reel type displays adding to the amusement a player may gain from the game, and having the dice game governing the game results displayed to players (thereby complying with the jurisdictional regulations).

Otherwise without the instant invention the player in such jurisdiction would simply have to play a dice game. By combining a dice game and reel based game in a hybrid setup, the stimulation of reels may be presented, with the dice game being the actual game being played to determine winning combinations, and the reels game display providing a familiar game outcome that players may be more accustomed to. It is to be understood that the dice game is but one example and that any other game outcome could be used to select the unique reference number of the first list which is then used to determine the other game outcome via a second list, whereby any two games results outcomes could be thereby coupled via the employment of the 2 lists system of this instant invention.

Following a similar method to the above in generating the first list of symbols to mimic the 6 sides of a die the following method may be employed:

defining the size of the random number range:


range=(System.Math.Pow(6,10);

provide a random starting point within the range:


Random_Number=RandomClass.NextDouble( )* range;

Then cycling through each pseudo random number for each reel combination to get the new unique random number:


Random_Number=((69073* rand)+1) % range;

then convert the random number from base 10 to base 6 in a custom sub routine:

// where 10 is the original base for the unique random number and
// 6 is the new base number
Base_6_number = Convertbase(10,6, Random_Number);

Such conversion methods are commonly used in the art of computer programming. Any zeros in the number can be changed to 6, including those preceding the random number (so there are always 10 digits). As long as there are less than 6̂10 combinations (providing 60,466,176 permutations), the end result is a sets of 10 die which each form a unique combination when read from left to right. Each set of reel positions and unique reference numbers (provided by the 10 die) with the aid of computers, can be generated in seconds to minutes depending on the amount of reel combinations used.

To save on list sizes, the symbols' combination contained in the second list may be reduced by recording equivalent winning combinations only once and recording the consecutive combinations for weighting purposes. That is to say, to keep a recording of the correct odds by noting the amount of times a combination of the second list may appear. For example, the first time a unique winning combination may appear for a given set of reel strips whilst stepping trough all the possibilities of the second list, that combination may be recorded, ignoring other combinations of the same value (this may include combinations which appear the same to the player but can be obtained by a different combination of reel arrangements) whilst recording their presence by marking their frequency. In addition only combinations which award a prize may be recorded and data that is not relevant to determine winning combinations may be omitted. For example, where the symbols on the reels are represented by the letters A, Q, J, or 10, the combination of “A, A, A, <any symbol>, <any symbol>”, may appear and represent a winning combination of 3 A left to right. This need only be recorded once as all possibilities with various other symbols which don't alter the win merely take up memory. For example, either “A, A, A, 10, J” and “A, A, A, Q, J”, would pay the same amount of winnings, since they represent the same wining value. Only the reel stops for “A, A, A” needs to be recorded in the second list, so only one occurrence of the winning combination need be listed in the second list instead of all the possible permutations that include the non-winning symbols. For each permutation however a record of their frequency of occurrence should be added to the first list to keep proportions of winnings and not alter overall returns. If there were 2 occurrences of “A, A, A, <any symbol>, <any symbol>, then there should be 2 chances of triggering it to not alter weightings. This can for example be done by recording 2 unique numbers with the same index pointers pointing to the reel stops used to store “A, A, A, <any symbol>, <any symbol>”.

At run time, after determining the unique reference number of the first list (from the first list) and the second list storing only the information linked to the combination of “A, A, A” without specifying the remaining 2 symbols reel stops; the additional 4th and 5th reel symbols could be filled with any symbols which did not produce a further winning combination since in the example both combinations “A, A, A, 10, J” or “A, A, A, Q, J” would be entitled to the same reward. This simple method alone reduces the amount of recorded symbol combinations considerably.

In an alternative embodiment, and continuing from the above example, where the reel game may provide for a certain number of pay lines that may be concurrently played as is commonly found in the art, and to match the dice game outcome it may be necessary to restrict the way reel outcomes are displayed as symbols on one pay-line may effect the symbols that appear on a different pay-line thereby requiring additional information to be recorded in a third list of symbols. Thus the employment of 2 lists of symbols may be extended to 3 or more lists of symbols all being linked to determine the outcome to be displayed in each game presented to the player.

In a further embodiment when generating the 2 lists the second list could record only winning outcomes, and this second list could be shortened even further as weightings would not have to be considered. A gaming console can play a reeler game as commonly found in the art, look up the win in the second list which has been generated to only record winning combinations once, then using the index pointer to identify a winning dice combination of the first list. Thus starting the evaluation process form the second list and displaying the outcome result stored in the first list consequently.

Where the winning combinations of the first list exceeds the total potential numbers of 6̂10, additional die may be used to produce any required unique reference number of the first list. Importantly, the gaming console may produce a random result for either the first list of symbol sets or the second list of symbol sets depending on the jurisdictional requirements on which game outcome is permitted to govern the gaming system, providing a flexibility of a single game console over more markets with the least amount of change.

Thus where the first list contains a dice game for each symbol set, in jurisdictions where only die games may be permitted, the desired game result is displayed to a potential player in the prescribed manner, and where the second list is for a reel based game and should a reels game be also permitted then both game results may be displayed (or the results of a selection of games, up to as many that are linked via the employment of the multiple lists system of this invention), to provide additional visual entertainment to players. The random numbers received by terminals being applied either to a first, second or further list, depending on which game is required by regulations to be provided as to determine a game outcome. So a game outcome may be provided that is visually familiar to a player, but where the actual game outcome being determined by the jurisdictionally permitted game. For example the outcome being governed by a dice game outcome and an equivalent 5 reel game being displayed to provide a familiar setting, but not having a determining factor in awarding prizes to the player, although appearing to the player as being provided by the 5 reel game.

Preferably, where a die game has been used to determine the game outcome, the player would be able to examine each combination of dice with corresponding winning reel game outcomes or potential prize in a set of help screens. This may be done by paging through each set of combinations and the mappings provided by the first and second list.

In a further embodiment, the first list may comprise of a list of prizes to be awarded with each prize representing a symbol set. The list of prizes may be linked to given reels by a index pointer which provide an equivalent game outcome. For example, if a server dictates a player at a gaming console was to be awarded 50 credits, this amount will be searched for in the first list (this time the first list contains prizes), with the index pointer of the result indicating which set of reel stops on the second list may be used. Where a given range of second list reel stops are provided instead of a single index pointer, a random selection can be made from with the range provided. This means, if a gaming console either is instructed to, or comes to the conclusion to provide an award, the reel stops in the second list can still be shown to be different across various machines. This system provides flexibility in using a non-reeler based games to display a reeler game outcome, such as using bingo game results offering a set prize to determine a reeler game outcome to be displayed. Thus in the above case not coupling two game outcomes via the 2 lists but the prize of the first game outcome with the outcome of a second game (where the two outcomes would award the same prize amount). Thus one of the lists storing for symbols sets prizes.

It is to be understood that although the instant invention contemplates the use of at least 2 lists of symbols, it is possible by reducing redundant data to collapse the two lists in a form of compression, or splitting the lists into small segments. Doing this should not depart from the spirit of the instant invention where the employment of lists could be replaced by a method of utilise a database of games outcomes contained across various tables (or a unique table) and the outcomes being coupled substantially in the manner described above, to permit linking the outcome of one game with the outcome of a second game as to provide equivalent game results (from the prize perspective), and thereby permitting displaying the game result of any of the games results stored and linked in the database.

FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of a gaming console (10) including a dual display system with a top display (20) with pay tables (20a and 20b) and game out come (30). An operation panel (40) is also provided with coin slot (50), bill acceptor (60) and operation buttons (45). The display for the game outcome (30) in dual monitor systems is often found in the lower section of the dual display portion of the game console, however the pay tables (20a and 20b) may share the same display with the game outcome (30) where only one display is provided.

The coin slot (50) and the bill accepter (60) may be used to deposit money into the gaming console (10). For machines that are cashless (or in addition to a coin slot (50) and bill acceptor (60)) a card or ticket reader (80) might be provided where the player can notify the gaming console (10) of credits to be added. Upon a winning game outcome (30), the player receives prizes stored in the game console (10) and my redeem said prizes via the cash out tray (70). Preferable, where “Ticket out” or “Tick In Ticket Out” technology has been used, redeeming prizes may also be done in the form of tickets dispensed by a printer (85) or having a monetary value dispensed via the Bill acceptor (60). Like wise, the bill acceptor (60) may also be used to accept such tickets in case of “Ticket In” technology.

FIG. 2 depicts two simple pay tables (20a and 20b). The first pay table (20a) is for a depiction of a reels based game with 5 symbols (25a to 25e), each having 3 payouts depending on the amount of symbol combinations (27a to 27c) appearing in a game outcome (30). For example, the table depicts 5 (27a) A's (25a) to win a prize of 500 credits for each credit bet. Such pay tables (20a) would be more complicated, having more diverse sets of symbols and combinations of wins. In one embodiment of the instant invention, the corresponding pay table (20b) for the dice game is displayed when the player via a button (45 of FIG. 1) instructs the console (10) to display on the top display means (20 of FIG. 1) the dice pay table (20b). This pay table (20b) as shown in FIG. 2 displays a collection of winning combinations for the dice game requiring the player to scrolling down the list to view the remaining combinations or switching between various displays (not shown). In this pay table (20b) various win combinations (28) for the dice game are grouped with corresponding prizes (29) that are awarded should the win combination (28) be displayed as a game outcome (30 of FIG. 3). Such depictions of pay tables (20a and 20b) are merely representations of various awards and will differ greatly in representation as required.

FIG. 3 depicts a typical game displaying a game outcome (30) using 5 reels (32a to 32e) with a total of 3 symbol locations for each reel (32a to 32e). There are 3 pay lines (36a to 36c) intersecting 5 symbol locations each across each of the reels (32a to 32e). The player may place a wager mount (38a) on a future game outcome (30). Any wins (38b) will be awarded depending on the bet placed (38a) for each pay line (36a to 36c) corresponding to predetermined win combinations as are generally depicted in the pay table (20a). For simplicity, each pay line (36a to 36c) will generally have the same wager placed across them, so when there are 3 pay lines (36a to 36c) with 1 credit bet for each line (36a to 36c), a wager (38a) of 3 credits will be made. As described above, any wins for a game outcome (30) will be displayed in the winnings box (38b) to be added to the over all credits (38c) a player may have and may use to place future bets or redeemed at the players discretion. In the example provided, a second symbol set of numbers (34) is displayed ranging from 1 to 6 for a total of 10 numbers representing a dice game with 10 dice outcome. This 10 dice value being indexed to the game reels (32a to 32e). For each winning combination of reels which may be displayed on the game outcome (30) screen, a corresponding winning die outcome (28 of FIG. 2) will also exist. If the game is a loosing game, a loosing die outcome is shown.

FIG. 4 depicts an example of a possible flow of information following a player placing a bet (91). The gaming console (10) obtains from a random number generator (97) being either internal or external to the console (10), a set of random numbers (not shown) to determine the game outcome of a dice game at (93) being a unique set of numbers to be displayed to the player (34). If the unique set of numbers is not found in the list, a random non-winning set of symbols may be generated and displayed on the reels (32a to 32e). Otherwise, the unique set of numbers (93) are matched with an index pointer to a set of reel stops from list 2 (99). The unique reference number stored in the first list (98) enables the finding of a corresponding reel stop (94) which will be used to by the console (10) to display the outcome (95) as a game outcome (30) to the player. Should the game result contain a win combination (96), the gaming console (10) awards a prize (96b) and adds that prize to the credits to the Overall credit meter (38c of FIG. 3). Should the game result be a non-wining game, the game would return to a state where it would accept a new bet (91). It should be noted, a non-wining game as determined by the random number generator (97) and corresponding results found in the first list (98) may require the game console (10) to randomly select a set of reel stops which are included in the second list (99)

FIG. 5 depicts a wager of 3 credits (38a) having been made (step 91 of FIG. 4). The total credits (38c) is reduced by the wager amount, and the reels (32a to 32e) are spun to indicate a new game outcome (30) is about to appear. Conversely, 10 dice (34) to be displayed are also preferably changed into a transitional state indicating new dice numbers will soon appear. These dice (34) will be coupled based on the unique reference number of the first list of symbols, to a second list of symbols used to create a valid set of reel stops (steps 93 and 94 of FIG. 4). Though the transitional state shown in FIG. 5 is provided to the player to add to suspense, the actual game outcome (30) could be shown almost instantly if so required.

FIG. 6 reveals a game outcome (30) with a winning set of “K” symbols running across each reel (32a to 32e), having one “K” symbol in each of the locations indicated by play line 2 (36b). In accordance with the pay table (20a), five “k” symbols return 400 credits to the player. In accordance with the pay table for the dice (20b), the die combination {circle around (2)} {circle around (2)} {circle around (2)} {circle around (1)} {circle around (6)} {circle around (4)} {circle around (3)} {circle around (5)} {circle around (3)} {circle around (6)} return also award 400 credits to the player, thereby being irrelevant which game outcome is evaluated and displayed to the player. The original credits remaining after the bet as shown in FIG. 4, now have the new 400 credits won added to its total to make 1397 credits the player may either continue to play with, or redeem and use elsewhere.

It should be noted the set of dice (34) need not be shown at all and has a primary task of providing an index against a set of reel stops. The dice (34) do however play an important function in representing random results, or in providing a valid alternative in jurisdictions where reel based games may otherwise not be played.

It should be understood that the method of the 2 lists is just one of the ways that the 2 game outcomes (in the above example the dice and reel games outcomes) can be coupled. The instant invention being characterised in that via the use of pre-sorted information of how 2 games are coupled where for a certain win combination in one game a win combination that awards the same prize value in the second game is selected from said pre-stored information. It is not the intention of this invention to be limited by the way the pre-storing information, necessary to couple the two games outcomes, is stored as to a person skilled in the art a number of venues are available, for example by the use of one or more lists, by the use of a table or by a relational database containing sets of combinations that match equivalent prizes corresponding to outcomes of the two games, just to mention a few. Alternatively one or both lists (98 and 99 of FIG. 4) may be generated on the fly for example at the moment of the console evaluating the random numbers instead of finding a match with the unique reference number in the first list. Such algorithm that condenses the information that would other ways be stored in the first list to find the required index for the second list, may replace the first list. It is to be understood that such an algorithm is for all material purposes to be considered equivalent to the use of a first list, and thereby included in the instant invention. Conversely an algorithm may replace the second list or 2 algorithms may replace both lists. This would allow a condensing of the lists where possible. Such an algorithm may allow for a game outcome to be created, compared for a wining award with a pay table (20a and 20b of FIG. 1), then displayed if need be to speed up any processes, or reduce list storage sizes.

Continuing from the above example the matching of the game outcomes may not be limited to a one to one match, where in the dice example each dice combination having only one possible outcome in the reels game, but alternatively having a set of outcomes for the reel game (a one to one match or a one to may match), and for example in case of a loosing dice outcome generating randomly loosing reel game outcomes, since it is not important what outcome is displayed to the player. The invention being characterised in that at least one of the games outcomes matching exactly to the outcome determined by the random numbers obtained by the gaming console (10), and the other game displaying an outcome that at least matches the prize awarded by the first game (when evaluated against its pay table). It is not necessary for a given dice outcome to always use the same reel game outcome being displayed, the consistency of this depending on the way the pre-stored information of the 2 game outcomes is stored in the lists or by the algorithm used to match the two games outcomes, so long as the awarded prize is the same. It is not the scope of this invention to list all the possible ways pre-stored information about the two games outcomes is recorded and the above are just some of the examples that this might be achieved by a skilled person in the art. Also the above frequent reference to information being pre-stored to couple two games' outcomes is not intended to limit the scope of this invention to only pre-storing information for two games, but it is to be understood this may be extended to any number of games. Suffice to say, the instant invention is based on pre-storing corresponding game outcomes between two games where irrespective of which of the two game outcomes is evaluated, the same prize is awarded to a player. The two games provide for the case where the same game can be displayed concurrently, separately, or on different gaming consoles (10) where for a given set of random numbers received by a gaming console (10). Further, prizes can be created to match across gaming machines for the same received random numbers yet show different game outcomes across multiple game consoles. The storing of information between two games may be partially by pre-sorted data coupling the prize of the two games and partially done on the fly via algorithms that assist in determining combinations with an equivalent prize.

Whilst only a limited number of examples have been provided for above, these are not intended to limit the scope of the instant invention.