Title:
MULTIPLE GAME PLAY IN A STACKED CONFIGURATION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Particular embodiments provide multiple games of chance that can be played in a stacked manner substantially simultaneously. For example, a first game may be played along with a second game where game symbols for the second game are displayed on top of game symbols for the first game. The game symbols for the second game may be translucent or may include portions that are translucent that allow a user to see game symbols for the first game and the second game even though they are being displayed on top of each other.



Inventors:
Parham, Tyler T. (Reno, NV, US)
Application Number:
12/098372
Publication Date:
10/09/2008
Filing Date:
04/04/2008
Assignee:
GAMING ENHANCEMENTS, INC. (Reno, NV, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/25, 463/23
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SHAH, MILAP
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FOUNTAINHEAD LAW GROUP, PC (SANTA CLARA, CA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A method for providing multiple games, the method comprising: receiving an input to play a first game and/or a second game; playing the first game and the second game, wherein one or more second game symbols for the second game are overlaid on top of one or more first game symbols for the first game such that the one or more first game symbols and the one or more second game symbols are both visible to a user; and determining one or more outcomes based on the play of the first game and the second game.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein a second game symbol comprises a translucent portion that allows at least a portion of the first game symbol to be visible to the user through the second game symbol.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein playing the game comprises allowing switching of a first game symbol from the first game with a second game symbol from the second game, wherein the second game symbol is use to determine a first game outcome for the first game and the first game symbol is used to determine a second game outcome for the second game.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein receiving the input comprises receiving one or more wagers for the first game and/or the second game.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein a first wager is applied to a first pay table for the first game and the second wager is applied to a second pay table for the second game.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein playing the game comprises causing output of a first game symbols substantially simultaneously with output of corresponding second game symbols that are overlaid.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein causing output of the first game symbols comprises causing a spinning reel to stop substantially simultaneously with the display of a card.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein playing comprising: receiving an input to discard a set of second game symbols; outputting a new set of game symbols to replace the discarded set of second game symbols; and playing a new first game with the output of the new set of game symbols.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the second game is selected as a bonus game and is displayed on top of the first game being played.

10. An apparatus comprising: one or more processors; and logic encoded in one or more tangible media for execution by the one or more processors and when executed operable to: receive one or more wagers for a first game and/or a second game; play the first game and the second game, wherein one or more second game symbols for the second game are overlaid on top of one or more first game symbols for the first game such that the one or more first game symbols and the one or more second game symbols are both visible to a user; and determine one or more outcomes based on the play of the first game and the second game.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein a second game symbol comprises a translucent portion that allows at least a portion of the first game symbol to be visible to the user through the second game symbol.

12. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the logic operable to play the game comprises logic operable to allow switching of a first game symbol from the first game with a second game symbol from the second game, wherein the second game symbol is use to determine a first game outcome for the first game and the first game symbol is used to determine a second game outcome for the second game.

13. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the logic operable to receive the input comprises receiving one or more wagers for the first game and/or the second game.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein a first wager is applied to a first pay table for the first game and the second wager is applied to a second pay table for the second game.

15. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the logic operable to play the game comprises logic operable to cause output of a first game symbols substantially simultaneously with output of corresponding second game symbols that are overlaid.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the logic operable to cause output of the first game symbols comprises logic operable to cause a spinning reel to stop substantially simultaneously with the display of a card.

17. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the logic operable to play comprises logic operable to: receive an input to discard a set of second game symbols; output a new set of game symbols to replace the discarded set of second game symbols; and play a new first game with the output of the new set of game symbols.

18. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the second game is selected as a bonus game and is displayed on top of the first game being played.

19. A method comprising: receive one or more wagers for a first game and/or a second game; displaying one or more first game symbols for the first game; displaying one or more second game symbols for the second game, wherein the one or more second game symbols are overlaid on top of one or more first game symbols for the first game such that the one or more first game symbols are visible through a translucent part of the one or more second game symbols; and determine one or more outcomes based on play of the first game and the second game.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising transferring a game symbol from the second game to the first game, wherein the transferred game symbol is used to determine an outcome in the first game.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/922,192, entitled “MULTI-GAME METHOD AND SYSTEM”, filed on Apr. 6, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference as if set forth in full in this application for all purposes.

BACKGROUND

Particular embodiments generally relate to games of chance and more specifically to providing multiple games together on an interface.

In a gaming establishment, games of chance are offered on gaming devices. A game of a single type is typically played one at a time. For example, a user plays a video poker game, a slot machine game, etc. one at a time. A typical process occurs where a user wagers on a game, plays the game, receives an outcome, and possibly an award for the outcome. With the competition in casino games increasing, gaming establishments are offering variations on the same type of game. For example, slot machines offer multiple pay lines, video poker games provide multiple play poker hands, keno games play multiple cards, etc. These variations may capture the user's interest initially but in reality are still offering the same type of game.

SUMMARY

Particular embodiments provide multiple games of chance that can be played in a stacked manner substantially simultaneously. For example, a first game may be played along with a second game where game symbols for the second game are displayed on top of game symbols for the first game. The game symbols for the second game may be translucent or may include portions that are translucent that allow a user to see game symbols for the first game and the second game even though they are being displayed on top of each other.

In one example, a five reel video slot machine game and a video poker game may be played together. The five cards of the video poker game may be displayed on top of the five reels of the video slot game. The reels and cards may be displayed substantially simultaneously. For example, as each reel stops, a card may be displayed. The user can see the game symbols on the reels in addition to the game symbols on the cards. The outcome for the slot machine game can be determined and any awards may be provided. Also, in the video poker game, the user may decide which cards to hold. When the user inputs the cards to hold and selects draw, a second slot machine game may be played when new cards for the video poker game are being displayed. The outcome for the video poker game and the second slot machine game may then be determined. If any, awards may then be determined from a pay table based on the game's outcome.

In one embodiment, the game play of one of the games may affect the game play of the other game. For example, the pay tables of the first game or the second game may be altered. Also, game symbols from the first game may be transferred or used as game symbols in the second game if the user so desires or the games have been programmed to do so. Other variations may also be provided.

A further understanding of the nature and the advantages of particular embodiments disclosed herein may be realized by reference of the remaining portions of the specification and the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts an example of an interface for a gaming device.

FIG. 2 depicts a side view of game symbols according to one embodiment.

FIG. 3 depicts an example of a method for providing multiple games according to one embodiment.

FIG. 4 depicts a method for providing play for the first game and the second game according to one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 depicts an example of an interface 102 for a gaming device 100. Interface 102 may include mechanical elements and/or video elements. For example, mechanical elements include devices that operate mechanically during play of the game, such as reels that spin. Video elements are elements that are displayed on a screen.

Interface 102 provides a plurality of games. The games provided may be different types of games. A user may be provided with a menu that allows the user to select a first game and a second game. Additionally, the user may select more than two games in some embodiments. The second game may be played on top of the first game (if more than two games are played, all the games may be stacked on top of each other in series). The menu may offer any traditional gambling games as discussed above. Also, different game play variations of the game types may be selected, such as different wager amounts, games with different denominations, a different number of pay lines, etc.

Interface 102 shows a game that includes three pay lines 104. Although three pay lines 104 are shown, it will be understood that any number of pay lines may be provided. A number of game symbol positions 106 are also provided. Game symbol positions 106 are where game symbols may be displayed. Game symbols may be any information that is used to determine an outcome for a game. For example, game symbols include different symbols that are associated with slot machine games. Also, game symbols may include cards for a video poker game. Other symbols may include characters, numbers, animated figures or symbols, or any other information used to determine an outcome of a game.

For example, a type of game may be a poker game, video slot game, keno, blackjack, or other games. A type of game may be where outcomes are decided in a distinct way. For example, the play of the game may be used to determine the type of game. In one case, different variations of video poker may be considered different types of games, such as deuces wild and jacks or better may be considered different types of games. In one example, the first game and second game may be of different game types; however, it will be understood that the first and second game may be of the same game type. Also, more than two game types may also be played on top of each other.

As shown, five positions 106 are provided. In one example, a five reel video slot game may be played in addition to a five card video poker. The games may be offered on pay lines 104. For example, each pay line may include one or more games. For example, the first game may be offered on pay lines 104-1, 104-2, and 104-3. Also, a second game may be offered on pay line 104-2. In other embodiments, a second game may be offered on more pay lines 104. For example, a multiple play video poker game may be offered on pay lines 104-1, 104-2, and 104-3. Also, a third game may be offered on the other pay lines 104. It will be understood that pay lines may be varied and may not always be strictly horizontal. For example, pay lines may be vertical, may move from one pay line to another, may criss-cross, etc.

As shown, game symbols 108 may be displayed on interface 102. Second game symbols 108-2 may be displayed above or on top of first game symbols 108-1. For example, game symbols 108-1 may be animated video reels or mechanical reels that are spun. Game symbols 108-1 are shown as symbols on the dotted lines on pay lines 104. Second game symbols 108-2 may include cards that are displayed or appear to be displayed above game symbols 108-1. Game symbols 108-2 are configured such that first game symbols 108-1 are visible in addition to second game symbols 108-2. For example, second game symbols 108-2 may be translucent, include translucent parts, or otherwise allow game symbol 108-2 to be visible to the user. In the example shown in FIG. 1, game symbols 108-1 are shown in pay line 104-1 and pay line 104-3. Also, game symbols 108-1 and 108-2 are shown in pay line 104-2.

Many advantages are provided by displaying game symbols 108-2 on top of game symbols 108-1. For example, different variations in games may be provided by having game symbols that can be interchanged between games. Also, valuable screen space is saved by having the game symbols overlaid on top of other game symbols. For example, as a large number of pay lines are offered, the screen may become cluttered and it may not be possible to offer a second game. However, by overlaying a second game, two games may be simultaneously played.

Further, having game symbols for a game overlaid over another game allows two games to be played without substantially altering the configuration of the games. For example, the graphical elements do not need to be substantially altered. If the game symbols for the two games were separately played in different spaces of the screen, then the layout of the screen may need to be changed. However, particular embodiments allow a game to be displayed without changing the format of the game. That is, the games may be played as if the games were played one at a time. The display of the game symbols are the same, but the game symbols on top include translucent parts.

FIG. 2 depicts a side view of game symbols 108 according to one embodiment. Game symbols 108-2 may be displayed above game symbols 108-1. In this embodiment, game symbols 108-1 may include a spinning reel. The spinning reel may be a mechanical reel or video simulated reel. For example, the spinning of the reels may be animated. In this case, game symbols 108-2 may be displayed in a 3-D or 2-D space such that they appear above or are over-laid on game symbols 108-1 on a video screen. The reels may not be mechanically located below game symbols 108-2 but may be simulated on screen 200. Also, the mechanical reel may spin mechanically behind screen 200.

Game symbols 108-2 may include translucent parts that allow game symbols 108-1 to be visible through 108-2. Thus, users can see both game symbols 108-2 and 108-1. In one example, a poker card may include clear or see through areas. For example, a user can see that a card is a Jack or a King as that notation is in the corner of the card. However, the middle of the card is clear and this allows the game symbols for the reel slot game to be seen.

Also, if both game symbols 108 for the first and second game are animated in video, a display for screen 200 may be configured to overlay game symbols 108-1 and 108-2. For example, game symbol 108-2 may be overlaid on game symbol 108-1 in frames of video.

Various games may be played using particular embodiments. FIG. 3 depicts an example of a method for providing multiple games according to one embodiment. In step 302, gaming device 100 outputs game play options. For example, a menu of games is displayed that allows a user to select any number of games to play. A user may be allowed to select a first game and a second game where the second game is played on top of the first game.

In step 304, gaming device 100 receives a wager amount and/or input configuration options for the first game. The configuration options for the first game may include game play option variations for the first game. For example, the number of pay lines may be selected. The denomination of wager amount (e.g., 1¢, 10¢, 25¢, $1, $5, etc.), or other game play variations may be selected. Also, a wager amount for the first game may be selected. This may include bets from 1 to X credits where credits may be variable, 250, 300, 400, 1000, etc. per pay line.

In step 306, gaming device 100 receives an input/wager for the second game. The same information may be received as above but for the second game.

In step 308, gaming device 100 configures the first game and the second game. This may include setting up the pay table for the first game and the second game. For example, different pay tables may be associated with the game play variations that were selected. Also, as will be described below, the game play and/or pay tables for the first game may affect game play in the second game that is being played.

In step 310, gaming device 100 plays the first game and the second game. The play of the first game and the second game may be performed substantially simultaneously. Different variations in the play may be appreciated.

FIG. 4 depicts a method for providing play for the first game and the second game according to one embodiment. In step 402, gaming device 100 causes output of game symbols 108 for the first game and the second game substantially simultaneously. In one embodiment, the first game plays in the conventional way the game has been designed to play. The second game plays on top of the first game in such a way that the user can play both games at the same time.

The first game and the second game may be played substantially simultaneously. In one example, in a five reel video slot game, the reels spin and stop from left to right in a sequence starting from position 106-1 and proceeding to position 106-2, 106-3, 106-4, and ending at 106-5. Also, all reels may stop at the same time. In a video poker game, five cards are dealt face-up substantially simultaneously with the first game symbols. For example, as each reel stops, a poker card is dealt face-up on top of the associated game symbol for the reel. In one embodiment, the cards are dealt on the middle pay line, such as pay line 104-2 in each of the pre-determined reel positions.

In step 404, gaming device 100 determines an outcome for the first game. For example, the combination of the game symbols 108 for the video slot game may be determined. Since the video slot game is a single hand game, the outcome is determined on one spin.

In step 406, gaming device 100 outputs an award for the first game. For example, depending on the combination of the game symbols 108 received and the wager amount, an award may be provided from a pay table.

In step 408, gaming device 100 receives input regarding play of the second game. For example, in video poker, a user may hold a certain number of cards. It will be understood that the user may also hold all the cards and not request another deal. However, the user may desire to replace some cards and cards to hold and discard are selected. This requires a second deal for the second game. Because the first game has already been finished, a new game for the first game may be initiated when the user wants to have the new cards dealt. It will be understood that the user may also have the option to cancel the new game and just finish the poker game.

In step 410, play of the second game is continued while a new game for the first game is initiated. Once the user has selected which cards to hold or not to hold, the user may select a draw button that causes new cards to be displayed to replace the cards the user did not want to hold. Also, a new game for the first game is initiated.

The new cards for the second game are then displayed. In step 412, gaming device 100 determines an outcome for the first game and the second game. For example, based on the different combinations of cards, the wager amount, and the pay table, an award may be determined for the second game. An award for the first game may also be determined as described above. In step 414, the awards may be output.

In other variations of game play, the outcomes for the first game and the second game may be determined based on game play in either the first game or the second game. For example, game play in the first game may affect game play in the second game. In one example, when a game symbol 108 for a first game is received, it may affect the game play in the second game. For example, the first game and the second game may include game symbols 108 that are inter-related. In one example, if a user receives a joker or wild card in the first game, the user may choose to switch the joker or wild card with a game symbol 108 in the second game. In this case, the joker or wild card may be applied to different combinations of the pay table for the second game. For example, a video slot game may include wild cards and a video poker game may include wild cards. However, if a wild card is received in the video slot game, it can be switched with the card on top of it for the video poker game. This creates a new combination of cards for the video poker game and possibly a different payout.

In another embodiment, one of the games may be used as bonus game or feature with traditional games. When a user is playing a first game such as a five reel video slot game, a second game such as a poker game may appear over the first game. The second game may allow a player to win fixed and/or progressive bonus award(s). The user may be provided with the opportunity to play the second game separately or substantially simultaneously with the first game for a random or fixed number of game plays for random or fixed bonus awards. The bonus game may appear randomly or on the occurrence of a predetermined event such as time, number of game plays, a threshold value in a progressive meter or predetermined symbol or combinations of symbol displayed in the first game. The second game may also be associated with a system such as a networked, downloadable or server based gaming system, etc. that allows the second game to move from one gaming device to another, from one bank of gaming devices to another, or from gaming devices from one casino to gaming devices in another casino. The bonus game may also interact with the first game as described above.

Because the second game is displayed on top of the first game, substantial reconfiguration of the first game is not needed. The first game may be played and displayed as it normally or traditionally is displayed. The second game, when it is selected as a bonus game, appears on top of the first game and does not require the first game to be changed. The first game is played as it would normally be played. The bonus game can be played on top of the first game. This allows the first game to be played while the bonus game is played instead of turning off the first game while the bonus game is played. This continues the play of the first game and increases coin-in. Also, game developers can easily integrate the second game into the existing games or design of new games.

Also, when the first game and the second game are played together instead of being played individually, the pay table may be changed. Also, for example, a pay table with higher payouts may be provided when a first game and a second game are played together instead of individually.

Also, if first outcome is received for the first game and a second outcome is received for the second game, the combination of outcomes may be applied to a pay table that is provided for the combined games. For example, a royal flush in the second game and all sevens in the first game may result in a super jackpot.

Particular embodiments provide many advantages. For example, by providing a game on top of a game, different game play variations may be provided that allow interaction between games. Also, the game play allows more games to be played on the same amount of space that was conventionally used to play a single game. For example, two games are played per pay line instead of one game. The space on a display may be valuable and by playing two games stacked on one another, the space may be efficiently used.

Although the description has been described with respect to particular embodiments thereof, these particular embodiments are merely illustrative, and not restrictive. Although casino games are discussed, it will be understood that other games may be used.

Any suitable programming language can be used to implement the routines of particular embodiments including C, C++, Java, assembly language, etc. Different programming techniques can be employed such as procedural or object oriented. The routines can execute on a single processing device or multiple processors. Although the steps, operations, or computations may be presented in a specific order, this order may be changed in different particular embodiments. In some particular embodiments, multiple steps shown as sequential in this specification can be performed at the same time.

Particular embodiments may be implemented in a computer-readable storage medium for use by or in connection with the instruction execution system, apparatus, system, or device. Particular embodiments can be implemented in the form of control logic in software or hardware or a combination of both. The control logic, when executed by one or more processors, may be operable to perform that which is described in particular embodiments.

Particular embodiments may be implemented by using a programmed general purpose digital computer, by using application specific integrated circuits, programmable logic devices, field programmable gate arrays, optical, chemical, biological, quantum or nanoengineered systems, components and mechanisms may be used. In general, the functions of particular embodiments can be achieved by any means as is known in the art. Distributed, networked systems, components, and/or circuits can be used. Communication, or transfer, of data may be wired, wireless, or by any other means.

It will also be appreciated that one or more of the elements depicted in the drawings/figures can also be implemented in a more separated or integrated manner, or even removed or rendered as inoperable in certain cases, as is useful in accordance with a particular application. It is also within the spirit and scope to implement a program or code that can be stored in a machine-readable medium to permit a computer to perform any of the methods described above.

As used in the description herein and throughout the claims that follow, “a”, “an”, and “the” includes plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Also, as used in the description herein and throughout the claims that follow, the meaning of “in” includes “in” and “on” unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

Thus, while particular embodiments have been described herein, latitudes of modification, various changes, and substitutions are intended in the foregoing disclosures, and it will be appreciated that in some instances some features of particular embodiments will be employed without a corresponding use of other features without departing from the scope and spirit as set forth. Therefore, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the essential scope and spirit.