Title:
SLOT MACHINE TYPE DEVICE AND METHOD OF PLAYING THEREFOR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of playing an entertainment slot machine comprising: loading the machine with a predetermined number of credits; activating a plurality of reels on the machine to begin to rotate, wherein each wheel will have a plurality of indicia located thereon, activating the plurality of reels reduces the number of credits; individually stopping each reel by a player, wherein each reel will have an associated stop button, each reel will only stop upon pressing of the associated stop button, the player stopping each reel to try and form winning combinations of indicia on the reels to score points associated with each winning combination; continuing to activate and stop the reels until the total number of credits have been played, wherein a total number of points scored is updated after each winning combination; and comparing the total number of points scored to determined if the player won a prize.



Inventors:
May, Irving S. (Tempe, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/874687
Publication Date:
04/23/2009
Filing Date:
10/18/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HALL, ARTHUR O
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEISS & MOY, P.C. (PHOENIX, AZ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing an entertainment slot machine comprising: loading the entertainment slot machine with a predetermined number of credits; activating a plurality of reels on the entertainment slot machine to begin to rotate, wherein each wheel will have a plurality of indicia located thereon, wherein activating the plurality of reels reduces the number of credits; individually stopping each reel by a player, wherein each reel will have an associated stop button, each reel will only stop upon pressing of the associated stop button, the player stopping each reel to form winning combinations of indicia on the reels to score points associated with each winning combination; continuing to activate the reels and stop the reels until the total number of credits have been played, wherein a total number of points scored is updated after each winning combination; and comparing the total number of points scored once all credits have been played to determined if the player won a prize.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein activating the reels reduces the number of credits by a predetermined number established by an operator of the entertainment slot machine.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the player determines the number of credits to play each round.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein the player determines the number of credits to play each round up to a maximum number determined by an operator of the entertainment slot machine.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein loading the entertainment slot machine with a predetermined number of credits comprises depositing one of a currency or token into a receptacle of the entertainment slot machine.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein loading the entertainment slot machine with a predetermined number of credits comprises inserting a smartcard into a card reader of the entertainment slot machine.

7. The method of claim 1 wherein activating a plurality of reels on the entertainment slot machine comprises one of pulling a handle or pushing a start button.

8. The method of claim 1 wherein comparing the total number of points scored once all credits have been played to determined if the player won a prize further comprises comparing the total number of points scored to different point ranges, different prizes awarded based on different point ranges.

9. A method of playing an entertainment slot machine comprising: loading the entertainment slot machine with a predetermined number of credits; activating a plurality of reels on the entertainment slot machine to begin to rotate, wherein each wheel will have a plurality of indicia located thereon, wherein activating the plurality of reels reduces the number of credits by a predetermined number established by an operator of the entertainment slot machine; individually stopping each reel by a player, wherein each reel will have an associated stop button, each reel will only stop upon pressing of the associated stop button, the player stopping each reel to form winning combinations of indicia on the reels to score points associated with each winning combination; continuing to activate the reels and stop the reels until the total number of credits have been played, wherein a total number of points scored is updated after each winning combination; and comparing the total number of points scored once all credits have been played to determined if the player won a prize.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein loading the entertainment slot machine with a predetermined number of credits comprises depositing one of a currency or token into a receptacle of the entertainment slot machine.

11. The method of claim 9 wherein loading the entertainment slot machine with a predetermined number of credits comprises inserting a smartcard into a card reader of the entertainment slot machine.

12. The method of claim 9 wherein activating a plurality of reels on the entertainment slot machine comprises one of pulling a handle or pushing a start button.

13. The method of claim 9 wherein comparing the total number of points scored once all credits have been played to determined if the player won a prize further comprises comparing the total number of points scored to different point ranges, different prizes awarded based on different point ranges.

14. A method of playing an entertainment slot machine comprising: loading the entertainment slot machine with a predetermined number of credits; determining the number of credits to play for a current round by the player; activating a plurality of reels on the entertainment slot machine to begin to rotate, wherein each wheel will have a plurality of indicia located thereon, wherein activating the plurality of reels reduces the number of credits an amount determined by the player; individually stopping each reel by a player, wherein each reel will have an associated stop button, each reel will only stop upon pressing of the associated stop button, the player stopping each reel to form winning combinations of indicia on the reels to score points associated with each winning combination; continuing to activate the reels and stop the reels until the total number of credits have been played, wherein a total number of points scored is updated after each winning combination; and comparing the total number of points scored once all credits have been played to determined if the player won a prize.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein the player determines the number of credits to play each round up to a maximum number determined by an operator of the entertainment slot machine.

16. The method of claim 14 wherein loading the entertainment slot machine with a predetermined number of credits comprises depositing one of a currency or token into a receptacle of the entertainment slot machine.

17. The method of claim 14 wherein loading the entertainment slot machine with a predetermined number of credits comprises inserting a smartcard into a card reader of the entertainment slot machine.

18. The method of claim 14 wherein activating a plurality of reels on the entertainment slot machine comprises one of pulling a handle or pushing a start button.

19. The method of claim 14 wherein comparing the total number of points scored once all credits have been played to determined if the player won a prize further comprises comparing the total number of points scored to different point ranges, different prizes awarded based on different point ranges.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a slot machine type of device and, more specifically, to a non-gaming slot machine wherein a player has control to individually stop each reel, unlike gaming slot machines which have predetermined stops for each reel, to score a total number of points to win prizes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Most slot machines generally comprise three reels, three reel stop buttons wherein an individual stop button is assigned to each respective reel and a start lever and/or button to be used for starting a game. When a player lowers the start lever or presses the start button, all three reels start spinning simultaneously. The player will then press the reel stop buttons to stop each respective reel. When a combination of symbols on the reels that constitutes a winning combination is aligned with a valid payline, a win arises. Upon occurrence of a win, a player can acquire tokens in a number determined on the basis of the winning combination by which the win has been determined.

In all current slot machines, the internal circuitry will determine when the reels stop. Thus, for each spin, the reels will have a predetermined stop location regardless of when the player pushes the reel stop buttons. Thus, the playing and winning on all current slot machines is based entirely on luck and whether a random number generator type device in the slot machine will stop the reels on a winning combination.

Therefore, a need existed to provide a device and method to overcome the above problem. The device and method will provide a slot machine and method of play wherein the player may control the stoppage of each reel to score a total number of points to win prizes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a method of playing an entertainment slot machine comprising: loading the entertainment slot machine with a predetermined number of credits; activating a plurality of reels on the entertainment slot machine to begin to rotate, wherein each wheel will have a plurality of indicia located thereon, wherein activating the plurality of reels reduces the number of credits; individually stopping each reel by a player, wherein each reel will have an associated stop button, each reel will only stop upon pressing of the associated stop button, the player stopping each reel to form winning combinations of indicia on the reels to score points associated with each winning combination; continuing to activate the reels and stop the reels until the total number of credits have been played, wherein a total number of points scored is updated after each winning combination; and comparing the total number of points scored once all credits have been played to determined if the player won a prize.

The features, functions, and advantages can be achieved independently in various embodiments of the disclosure or may be combined in yet other embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the disclosure will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an elevated perspective view of the entertainment slot machine of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a simplified schematic of the electronics of the entertainment slot machine of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a flowchart showing a method of playing the entertainment slot machine of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference now to the FIG. 1, an entertainment gaming machine 10 (hereinafter machine 10) is shown. The machine 10 is similar to a traditional slot machine but is used for entertainment purposes and not for gambling. The machine 10 includes an input device 12. The input device 12 is used to activate the machine 10 and provide the user with a predetermined number of credits. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, several different input devices 12 are shown. For example, the input device 12 may be a coin slot 12A. The coin slot 12A is used to receive coins/tokens. Once a coin/token is placed in the coin slot 12A, the predetermined number of credits will appear on the machine 10. Another input device 12 may be a card reader 12B. The card reader 12B would be used to read a smart card/credit card type of device. Once the smart card/credit card type of device is inserted into the card reader 12B, the predetermined number of credits will appear on the machine 10. Another input device 12 may just be an activation button 12C. The activation button 12C will automatically provide the predetermine number of credits on the machine 10 when pressed. If the machine currently has credits, pressing the activation button 12C will have no effect. Other types of input devices 12 such as a bill acceptor and the like may also be used. A key or other type of locking/unlocking mechanism may be used as well. The above listing is given as examples and should not be seen as to limit the scope of the present invention. Other types of input devices may be used without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Once the machine 10 is activated by one of the input devices 12, a predetermined number of credits will appear in a credit display 14. The number of credits may be based on the operator of the machine. Once the credits appear in the credit display 14, a player can begin the game by pulling a start arm 16 or pushing a play button 18.

As shown in FIG. 1, the machine 10 may include a credit play display 20 and a play credit button 22. The play credit button 22 allows the player to determine how many credits are to be played for each round. The player can increase the number of credits played by one credit each time the player pushes the play credit button 22. Each time the player pushes the play credit button 22, the number of credits shown in the credit display 16 decreases by one, and the number of credits shown in the credit play display 20 increases by one.

The machine 10 may have one or more display devices. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, the machine 10 has an upper display device 26 and a lower display device 28. The display devices include any viewing surface such as glass, a video monitor or screen, a liquid crystal display or any other static or dynamic display mechanism. In general, at least one display device (i.e., the upper display device 26 and/or the lower display device 28) is used to display winning combinations and a point value associated with each winning combination. For example, if a cherry symbol is aligned on the payoff line 30 of each reel 32, the play may receive 10 points, if a “7” symbol is aligned on the payoff line 30 of each reel 32, the play may receive 100 points, and the like. The above are only given as examples and should not be seen as to limit the scope of the present invention. The at least one display device (i.e., the upper display device 26 and/or the lower display device 28) is further used to show the total point values needed to win the prizes. For example, 500-450 points, the user will win a grand prize; 449-400 points a second prize; and 399-350 points, a third prize, less than 350 points, a consolation prize or no prize is awarded. Again, the above is given as an example and should not be seen as to limit the scope of the present invention.

The machine 10 includes a plurality of reels 32 in a screen area 24. In FIG. 1, three reels 32 are shown. However, this is only one example. The machine 10 may have any number of reels 32. Each reel 32 includes a plurality of indicia such as bells, hearts, fruits, numbers, letters, bars or other images which correspond to a theme associated with the machine 10. Each reel 32 will have a stop button 34 associated therewith. The stop button 34 is used to stop the rotation of each respective reel 32 unlike traditional gaming slot machines which have predetermined stops. Thus, by pressing the stop button 34, the reel 32 associated with that stop button 34 will stop rotating. The player has total control as to when to stop each reel 32. If a stop button 34 is not pressed, the associated reel 32 will continue to rotate.

The machine 10 may include speakers 36 for making sounds or playing music. The speakers 36 may further be used to provide instructions on how to play the machine 10. A light indicator 38 may be positioned on a top surface of the machine 10. The light indicator 38 is used to signal when a player of the machine 10 has won a jackpot prize or the like. The speakers 36 may also be used to indicate that the player has won a certain prize.

The machine 10 may further include a timer 42. The timer 42 will only allow a player to play the machine for a set amount of time. Once the timer 42 has expired, the machine 10 will not allow the player to continue to play until the input device 12 is used to reactivate the machine 10. Thus, with the timer 42, the player cannot let the reels 32 continue to spin for an unlimited amount of time.

Referring to FIG. 2, one embodiment of the internal circuitry for the machine 10 is shown. The circuitry has a processor 38. The processor 38 is used to control the operation of the machine 10. When the input device 12 indicates that a player would like to play the machine 10 (i.e., the coin slot 12A receives a coin/token, the card reader 12B reads a smart card/credit card type of device, etc.), the processor 38 sends a signal that places a predetermined number of credits on the credit display 14. During use of the machine 10, when a player increase the number of credits to play by pushing the play credit button 22, the processor 38 sends signals to updates the credit display 14 and the credit play display 20. It should be noted that in one embodiment of the invention, the processor 38 sends a signal to only allow a predetermined number of credits to be played each time (i.e., 3 credits at a time, or the like). In this embodiment, the play credit button 22 does not have to be part of the machine 10.

Once a player pulls the start arm 16 or pushes the play button 18, the processor 38 sends a signal to the reel controller 40 to rotate each reel 32. The reels 32 will continue to roll until the players pushes the stop buttons 34 to stop the rotation of each respective reel 32. When a stop button 34 is pushed, the processor 38 sends a signal to the reel controller 40 to stop the rotation of the respective reel 32. In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, there may be a slight time delay between when the player presses the stop button 34 and when the respective reel 32 stops. The processor 38 may be programmed to have a delay of a predetermined time frame before sending a signal to reel controller 40 to stop the rotation of the respective reel 32. Adding a time delay feature further increases the skill and strategy required by the player.

The circuitry has a memory unit 42. The memory unit 42 may include a random access memory (RAM) 44 for storing event data or other data generated or used during a particular game. The memory unit 42 may also includes a read only memory (ROM) 46 for storing program code, which controls the machine 10 so that it plays a particular game in accordance with applicable game rules and pay tables.

The circuitry may further have a sound card 48. The sound card 48 is coupled to the processor 38 and to the speakers 36. The processor 38 sends signals to the sound card 48 so that audible sounds, music, directions or the like may be broadcast through the speakers 36.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a method of playing the machine 10 will be disclosed. The goal of each player is to try and accumulate a predetermined number of points. Prizes/rewards may be given for the total number of points accumulated. The different point ranges may be displayed on one of the display devices (i.e., the upper display device 26 or the lower display device 28). For example, if the user scores 500-450 points, the user will win a grand prize; 449-400 points a second prize; and 399-350 points, a third prize, less than 350 points, a consolation prize or no prize is awarded.

A player who wants to play the machine 10 will use one of the input devices 12. For example, the player may place a coin/token in the coin slot 12A, inserts a smartcard/credit card into the card reader 12B, or just press the activation button 12C to start playing. The machine 10 will then automatically provide the player with a predetermine number of credits. Alternatively, an owner of the machine 10 may be required to activate the machine 10.

Once the machine is activated by one of the input devices 12, a predetermined number of credits will appear in a credit display 14. For example, the user may be provided with 150 credits in which to play. The 150 credits are only given as an example. The number of predetermined credits given can be any number and may be set by the owner/operator of the machine 10. Once the predetermined number of credits appears in the credit display 14, a player can begin the game by pulling the start arm 16 or pushing the play button 18. In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, the player will automatically play a predetermined number of credits each time. Thus, for example, the user will play 3 credits each time the player pulls the start arm 16 or pushes the play button 18. This number is set by the owner/operator of the machine 10. The number 3 is only given as an example and should not be seen as to limit the scope of the present invention.

Alternatively, in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, the user may select the number of credits to play up to a maximum number. For example, the user may play 1 to a maximum of 3 credits at a time. The player determines how many credits are to be played by pushing the play credit button 22. The player can increase the number of credits played by one credit each time the player pushes the play credit button 22. Each time the player pushes the play credit button 24, the number of credits shown in the credit display 16 decreases by one, and the number of credits shown in the credit play display 20 increases by one. In this embodiment, the point value for winning combinations depends on the number of credits played. For example, a winning combination of three fruits may pay 2 point for one credit played, 5 points for 2 credits played and 10 points for 3 credits played.

Once the start arm 16 is pulled or the play button 18 is pushed, the reels 32 will rotate. Each reel 32 includes a plurality of indicia such as bells, hearts, fruits, numbers, letters, bars or other images which correspond to a theme associated with the machine 10. Each reel 32 will have a stop button 34 associated therewith. The player will use the stop buttons 34 to stop the rotation of each respective reel 32 unlike traditional gaming slot machines which have predetermined stops. By pressing the stop button 34, the reel 32 associated with that stop button 34 will stop rotating. If the stop button 34 is not pressed, the associate reel 32 will continue to rotate.

The player will try to stop the reels to form winning combinations on the payoff line 30 in order to score the point value associated with each winning combination. A timing delay feature may be added to the machine 10 so that there is a slight time delay between when the player presses the stop button 34 and when the respective reel 32 stops. This feature will further increase the skill and strategy required by the player since the player must remember where different indicia are located on each reel.

After each spin, the total number of points won will show up on a total point display 50. The player will continue to play additional rounds. Each round, the total number of points won that round will be added to the current number shown in the total point display 50. The processor 38 will calculate and update total points in the total point display 50. The player will continue to play until all the credits have been played or a timer 42 has expired. The total number of points scored once all the credits have been played or the timer 42 has expired determines if the player has won and what particular prize the player has won.

The machine 10 provides a game of skill and requires a plan to score enough points to win the grand prize. For example, if a grand prize requires 500-450 points, a player must have a plan to score a total number of points in this range. The player cannot always have a “7” symbol aligned on each reel 32 on the payoff line 30 as this may cause the player to exceed 500 points. Thus the player must have a strategy as to how to accumulate a total amount of points between 500-450 if the player is to receive the grand prize.

For example, if the point and prize schedule is as follows:

Point Schedule
3 “7”1050100
3 bells51520
3 oranges31015
3 cherries1510
Any other combination: 0 points

Prize Schedule

Over 500 points: Consolation Prize
500-450 points: Grand Prize
449-400 points: Second Place Prize
399-350 points: Third Place Prize
Less than 350 points: Consolation prize
In this embodiment, the player will have 30 credits and will have to use 3 credits each time. Thus the player will have a total of 10 rounds. The player cannot score 3 “7” for each round if the player wants to win the grand prize since this will give the player a total of 1000 points. Thus the player must come up with a strategy as to what combinations of payoff schedules will give him 500-450 total points and must be able to adjust his/her strategy if the player is unable to get a certain point schedule on a particular spin.

While embodiments of the disclosure have been described in terms of various specific embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the embodiments of the disclosure can be practiced with modifications within the spirit and scope of the claims.