Title:
Replacement of symbols displayed by a gaming machine to create a winning symbol combination
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Electronic slot machine with a symbol display device which displays symbols which are arranged in rows and columns and which have at least one specially identified winning symbol which replaces or supplements a missing symbol which is necessary for a winning symbol combination.



Inventors:
Gauselmann, Michael (Espelkamp, DE)
Application Number:
09/952613
Publication Date:
06/06/2002
Filing Date:
09/13/2001
Assignee:
GAUSELMANN MICHAEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
G07F17/34; (IPC1-7): A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070015583Remote gaming with live table gamesJanuary, 2007Tran
20070054716Network game system, client device and server apparatusMarch, 2007Hiruta
20100048298SUBSTANTIALLY TRANSPARENT ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS WITHIN A WAGERING GAME MACHINEFebruary, 2010Bleich et al.
20090042642Gaming chips and table game security systemFebruary, 2009Nissen
20080108433RESPONSIBLE GAMING DEVICES AND RELATED METHODSMay, 2008Dimichele et al.
20080214287GAME SIMULATIONSeptember, 2008Lutnick et al.
20050043087Method for awarding prizesFebruary, 2005Seelig et al.
20100093438Dynamic and Scalable Topology for Virtual World EnvironmentsApril, 2010Baszucki et al.
20060172792Casino game having a bonus game and method thereforAugust, 2006Vancura
20090061970Locating Content in Dual Screen Video GameMarch, 2009Wylie et al.
20090011827Wagering Game With Tournament-Play FeaturesJanuary, 2009Englman et al.



Primary Examiner:
MARKS, CHRISTINA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENT LAW GROUP (Sunnyvale, CA, US)
Claims:
1. Electronic slot machine with a symbol display device which displays symbols which are arranged in rows and columns and have at least one specially identified winning symbol which replaces or supplements a missing symbol which is necessary for a winning symbol combination, characterized in that in the display of a specially identified winning symbol all adjacent winning symbols becomes the specially identified winning symbol.

2. Electronic slot machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein when a specially identified winning symbol is displayed in the symbol display device in one of the win lines which can be evaluated, the specially identified winning symbol replaces at least one symbol and the winning value according to the winning pattern for the substituted symbol combination is awarded.

3. Electronic slot machine as claimed in claim 2, wherein when a specially identified winning symbol is displayed with the symbol display device, the winning symbols located horizontally to the specially identified winning symbol, when determining a win, assumes the winning value of the winning symbol which is located on the first or the last reel in the line in which the specially identified winning symbol is located.

4. Electronic slot machine as claimed in claim 2, wherein in a symbol display device with three lines and five columns for display of winning symbols and for display of the specially identified winning symbol in the third column in the first or third line the diagonally running win lines are also evaluated for determining a win.

5. Electronic slot machine as claimed in claim 2, wherein when the specially identified winning symbol is displayed, the win lines which run in a zigzag are taken into account for the determination of a win.

6. Electronic slot machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the adjacent identified winning symbols to the especially identified winning symbol receive the property of the specially identified winning symbol.

7. Electronic slot machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein when a specially identified symbol is displayed, each symbol located in the vicinity of this specially identified symbol according to the winning pattern is completed with a symbol which guarantees a win.

8. Electronic slot machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein when a specially identified symbol is displayed only identified symbols in the display area are completed, changed or replaced.

9. Electronic slot machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein when a specially identified symbol is displayed the non-winning symbols which are located in the win line are completed.

Description:
[0001] The invention relates to an electronic slot machine as claimed in the preamble of claim 1.

[0002] The journal Muenzautomat 4/1984, page 12, discloses a coin-operated electronic slot machine with a symbol game means composed of three reels located next to one another. When the reels stop the winning symbol combination is displayed in a viewing window. When three identical winning symbols are displayed, the prize assigned to them is awarded. Instead of one of these three symbols which are included in the winning combination a specially identified replacement symbol, a joker, can also be used.

[0003] It is however a disadvantage that this specially identified winning symbol is located one time only on the middle reel of the three reels.

[0004] The object of the invention is to develop a generic electronic slot machine such that a winning value can also be assigned even to an incomplete winning symbol combination.

[0005] This object is achieved by the characterizing features of claim 1.

[0006] Other features which form the invention can be taken from the dependent claims.

[0007] The electronic slot machine as claimed in the invention has the advantage that the varied use of a joker which completes the winning combination increases the entertainment value on the electronic slot machine. Since at the same time there are several different possible applications of the joker, the playing pleasure is especially high with long-lasting encouragement to use the electronic slot machine.

[0008] One embodiment as claimed in the invention is explained using the drawing.

[0009] FIG. 1 shows the front of a coin-operated entertainment machine.

[0010] The coin-operated electronic slot machine which is labeled 1 in FIG. 1 comprises a front side 2 with a viewing window 3 behind which there is a display device for display of symbols. The display device preferably consists of a TV monitor. The TV monitor displays five reels, located next to one another, with winning symbols. Three winning symbols at a time are displayed simultaneously by each stopped reel. Underneath the display device there is a control panel 4. On the control panel 4 there is a plurality of operational controls 5. Adjacent to the operational controls there is a coin acceptance opening 6. There is a coin removal trough 7 underneath the control panel 4.

[0011] The coin-operated electronic slot machine 1 comprises a control unit which is not shown, with a microcomputer. The control unit controls of the order of events in the electronic slot machine 1. If a balance meter has a play, the control unit causes a symbol combination, which is to be displayed, to be determined by a pseudorandom generator. The displayed reels with the TV monitor are caused to spin and are stopped such that predetermined symbol combinations are displayed. The symbols of the reels are displayed in a matrix form in the display device. The matrix comprises five columns and three rows. A total of nine win lines are evaluated. On each win line it is checked how often the same symbol is displayed. For a display of the same symbol five times, the highest winning value for this symbol is awarded. For display of three or four of the same symbols, a lower winning value is awarded. Furthermore, each reel comprises a specially identified symbol. The specially identified symbol has the function of a joker and replaces any displayed symbol for the required winning symbol. There are 32 symbols on each virtual reel. One or more of the winning symbols on each virtual reel are made as the specially identified winning symbol (joker). When displayed in the viewing window 3 of the stopped reel, the specially identified winning symbol causes all winning symbols adjoining to the left and/or right of it in a horizontally running win line to be replaced for the outer left or right displayed winning symbol and thus a win line with up to five winning symbols to be formed. The specially identified winning symbol is in the fourth display position from left to right and in the first display position.

[0012] On a coin-operated electronic slot machine 1 the control unit spins the virtual reels and stops them in predetermined positions. In the viewing window 3 of the coin-operated electronic slot machine 1 a winning symbol matrix consisting of three lines and five columns appears to the user. When a specially identified winning symbol is displayed, a joker, for example on the third reel in the second line, the bordering symbols are recognized a joker symbols in the evaluation of winning. 1embedded image

[0013] The win recognition program now detects the symbol arrangement for each of the nine win lines and compares it to the winning pattern. If several win lines have a winning combination, the highest prize is warded and it is credited in the balance storage of the control unit. 2embedded image

[0014] In another embodiment as claimed in the invention, when the specially identified winning symbol is displayed, not as before do all bordering symbols become the joker symbol, but a symbol combination, for example in the second line, is displayed in the display on the stopped virtual reels, and the right-hand, fifth reel in the second row shows a specially identified winning symbol, a joker, then the winning symbols located to the left of the specially identified winning symbol are treated as if the winning symbol of the 1st reel in the second row is displayed and according to the control unit-side winning pattern the winning value of five identical symbols located next to one another is awarded according to the winning pattern. 3embedded image

[0015] According to another embodiment as claimed in the invention, when the winning symbols are displayed by the stopped virtual reels, upon display of a specially identified symbol on the third, the middle, reel, displayed in the third line, and when an identical winning symbol is displayed by the first and the fifth reel each in the first line, the symbols located in the diagonals on the second and fourth reel in the second line are evaluated in the win line evaluation as if at this position the winning symbols are displayed which are displayed by the first and the fifth reels in the first line. 4embedded image

[0016] There is further evaluation and winning value determination as claimed in the invention when, of the displayed winning symbols, there is one symbol on the first reel in the first line, there is the specially identified winning symbol on the third reel in the first line and on the fifth reel in the third line there is a symbol identical to the first reel, first line. By using the specially identified winning symbol in the win line evaluation the winning symbols located to the specially identified symbol become the winning symbols which correspond to those on the first reel in the first line or on the fifth reel in the third line. The winning value of the five identical winning symbols is determined according to the winning pattern. 5embedded image

[0017] In a development as claimed in the invention for the coin-electronic slot machine 1 as claimed in the invention, when the specially identified symbol is displayed with the display device, it is determined pseudorandomly in which other display fields of the display matrix the displayed winning symbols are exchanged for the specially identified winning symbols. 6embedded image

[0018] If a specially identified winning symbol is displayed by the virtual reels on the second reel in the middle position, it is subsequently determined pseudorandomly how many other specially identified winning symbols are displayed and which position they are to occupy in the display field. When the winning value is subsequently determined, for example a specially identified winning symbol on the fourth reel in the first line and on the fifth reel in this third line will be displayed. In the subsequent evaluation of the displayed winning combination the special symbols are taken into account according to the winning pattern. Instead of pseudorandom selection of the number and position of the other specially identified symbols, symbols can be replaced by higher-value symbols, if they have already been identified as such beforehand. In addition to the specially identified symbols on the virtual reels there are symbols which assume the same function of the specially identified symbols to the extent that, of the displayed symbol combinations, there is at least one symbol as the specially identified winning symbol.