Title:
SLOT GAMING SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A slot gaming system in which a number of slot machines are interconnected by a network and each slot machine is able to be used in a conventional manner for such a machine, and which has the possibility of a second, collateral bet, which is live for a particular time, the result of the bet being determined on any one of the players on the network having a predetermined success on the first bet. In one embodiment, the slot gaming system can only be triggered by a player who is entitled to share in the result of the second bet. The payout on the second bet to the players entitled thereto is dependent on the degree of success of the player who has won the first bet. The particular time during which the second bet is live can be selected to be of the order of the play cycle of the machine, for example, three to four seconds. Thus, the live second bets, which cause the players to share in the prize associated therewith can have been placed over a time period which overlaps the selected time.



Inventors:
Byrne, Christopher Russell (Tasinania, AU)
Application Number:
12/519276
Publication Date:
01/28/2010
Filing Date:
12/13/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/42
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VO, PETER DUNG BA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EDWIN D. SCHINDLER (HUNTINGTON, NY, US)
Claims:
1. 1-27. (canceled)

28. A slot gaming system, comprising: a plurality of slot machines interconnected in a network, each slot machine of said plurality of slot machines being capable of accepting a first bet and a second bet, said first bet being a primary bet and said second bet being a collateral bet, said collateral bet being live for a predetermined period of time, a result for said second bet being triggered on any one said slot machine of said plurality of slot machines having a predetermined success on said first bet.

29. The slot gaming system according to claim 28, wherein the result for said second bet is triggered only by at least one said slot machine having a live second bet and having the predetermined success on said first bet.

30. The slot gaming system according to claim 28, wherein a payout for said second bet to players is dependent on a degree of level of success on said first bet on at least one said slot machine triggering success of said second bet.

31. The slot gaming system according to claim 28, wherein said collateral bet is live for a predetermined period of time that is coordinated with a play cycle of said plurality of slot machines.

32. The slot gaming system according to claim 31, wherein the predetermined period of time is three to four seconds, wherein live said collateral bets cause players to share a prize associated therewith.

33. The slot gaming system according to claim 28, wherein said collateral bet is live for a predetermined period of time that is longer in duration than a play cycle of said plurality of slot machines.

34. The slot gaming system according to claim 28, further comprising a collateral game having a predetermined number of levels of success in said collateral game with each of said levels of success having a different pool.

35. The slot gaming system according to claim 34, wherein a bet on said collateral game must be by credits that are a multiple of said levels of success for said collateral game.

36. The slot gaming system according to claim 34, wherein a result corresponding to one level of success of said levels of success triggers that said one level of success, thereafter a portion of withdrawn from a pool and the pool is divided among said plurality of slot machines that were live when the result was achieved.

37. The slot gaming system according to claim 28, wherein said plurality of slot machines have an additional game feature that provides an insurance bet capable of effecting a result of play if a given said slot machine having said additional game feature is successful in obtaining a result beneficial to a player of said given said slot machine.

38. The slot gaming system according to claim 28, wherein each said slot machine of said plurality of slot machines includes first input means for allowing a player to enter a first game, and second input means for allowing providing the player an option of placing a second bet for entering a second game.

39. The slot gaming system according to claim 38, further comprising third input means for each said slot machine of said plurality of slot machines, wherein a playing exercising the option of placing the second bet for entering the second game, has an additional option of placing an insurance bet on any said slot machine of said plurality of slot machines in said network.

40. The slot gaming system according to claim 28, wherein each said slot machine of said plurality of slot machines in said network has an input for indicating that said second bet has been taken, an electronic timer able to be initiated via a play button for a primary game of each said slot machine, and being applied as one input in a series of AND gates equal to a number of levels of results in a secondary game of the input to each said AND gate being an operation of said electronic timer, wherein operation of said AND gate is identified by said network so that a number of said plurality of slot machines participating in the result are able to be ascertained and a payout for each said slot machine of said plurality of slot machines is able to be calculated and credit applied to each said slot machine entitled to the payout.

41. The slot gaming system according to claim 28, further comprising means for enabling said plurality of slot machines in said network to provide an indication to players when an additional game is to commence, so that the players have an option of playing when a likelihood of success in the additional game is optimum.

42. The slot gaming system according to claim 28, further comprising means for enabling a player of any said slot machine of said plurality of slot machines to enter into an additional game over a number of plays of said slot machine without having to place a separate bet on each game.

Description:

This invention related to improvements in slot gaming systems and slot gaming machines.

Since the 1950's men and women have been enjoying slot gaming machines for relaxation, fun and, for lucky players, financial reward.

Also, for the operators of these machines there has been substantial reward, often up to 10% of all money paid into the machines and where money is returned to players, it is also often again played through the machine.

Table gaming has always been popular with players partly because there can be a sense of community, for example more than one player can have a result on a particular event. For example in Roulette all players who bet on, say, RED will win on a particular spin. In Blackjack, if the dealer ‘busts’, that it draws to over 21, all players still in the game win.

Many players play at casinos because of the degree of fellow feeling they have with other players at the table.

Slot gaming machines and other games machines, such as machines which play simulated card games, which are widely used in casinos and other venues have great popularity but have generally been on a one to one basis, that is that each player uses a single (or multiple) machines and has no interaction with other players with the exception that the machines normally give an audible and often visible indication of a successful play so players do get some indication of another players success.

The exception to this is multiple player Blackjack machines which simulate a standard Blackjack table and there can be a number of players who simultaneously play individual hands.

The object of the invention is to provide a slot gaming system in which the players of a number of different slot machines have interactive results.

The invention includes a slot gaming system in which a number of slot machines are interconnected by a network and each is capable of being used in the normal manner for such a machine and which has the possibility of a second, collateral bet, which is live for a particular time, the result of the bet being determined on any one of the players who have a live second bet having a predetermined success on the first bet.

The payout on the second bet to the players is dependent on the degree of success of the player who has won the first bet.

The particular time during which the second bet is live can be selected to be of the order of the play cycle of the machine say three to four seconds. Thus the live second bets which cause the players to share in the prize associated therewith can have been placed over a time period which overlaps the selected time.

In order that the invention cam be more readily understood, a particular embodiment of it will be described.

There are a number of interconnected slot machines, and the games that are played on these machines can be any standard game on a slot machine and the games do not have even have to be of the same type.

Each machine does, however, have the facility to receive a second bet. This may be electronically noted from credits held in the machine, by tokens passing through the machines coin chute or even by a second coin chute being provided on the machine.

Once the normal game is commenced, normally by pressing the Start button on the slot machine the second bet is actuated and the bet stays alive for a predetermined time. This time is normally equivalent to the game cycle time for the particular machine or it can be somewhat longer than this if required. For example, with convention slot machines the cycle time would normally be three to four seconds and the time for an active second bet should not be less than this but is preferably somewhat more than this, say five to six seconds. Any time can be selected, the longer the time the greater the possibility of the bet being live when it a result is triggered.

If any one of the machines on the network which has the second bet active obtains a win of a particular level, a ‘feature’ or above, this triggers a win of the second bet on any or all machines in which the second bet is active.

As an alternative, the second bet could be triggered by any of the slot machines on the network having a triggering result in which case the machine that triggers the second bet does not, itself share in the second bet prize.

The second bet preferably has a number of levels which are initiated depending on the result obtained by the machine which triggered the win and these levels can be arranged to have a payout which will normally be higher depending on the rarity of the result.

As far as the second bet is concerned, each slot machine in the network can be so programmed that there is a screen indication as to whether the second bet is active or not and there can be provided on the screen, on a separate individual screen or community screens which give the amount of money being held in each level. It is preferred that a visible and/or audible indication be given when the second bet is triggered to act as an incentive for players who were not active at the time to enter second bets and to give those who were an indication that a result in which they are to share has occurred.

It may be that on commencement of the game or after a payout from a particular level that the level could be held to be inactive until there is at least sufficient build up of funds at the level to ensure a minimum payout if all of the machines in the network are entered into the second bet. Alternatively, the house could seed the level after a win to this minimum amount and the amount would not increase until there has been sufficient input to cover the seed funds.

Before a payout is made from any of the level, the house will remove from the total sum available its normal commission (often 10%) but this can vary between jurisdictions, and the degree of competition, and any government tax or duty which is payable on the win.

It is possible to provide an extra wager in respect of the second bet, an ‘insurance’ wager which is operative for any ‘feature’, that is free spins. The timing of such insurance is the same for the normal timing of the second bet.

To explain this further, many slot machines have a ‘feature’ which may be a free play or plays on the normal game or may be a secondary game in which the player has to make some input, these could include ‘digging for gold’ or for credits. Using the ‘insurance bet’ ensure that the bet remains active while the player on the remote machine has his/her normal game stopped whilst the ‘feature’ is being played. It is possible to provide on each machines LEDs or the like which indicate whether the second bet is active and whether the insurance bet has been taken.

To recap the playing sequence of the second bet of the invention.

The player can charge the machine with money and can then select whether or not he/she wishes to take the second bet. This will normally be for a fixed amount, for example five credits. He/she will then decide what bet to take on the normal game and select this or press the appropriate button to commence operation of the machine.

This will automatically initiate the validity of the second bet and during the time the bet is active it the player's machine or any other machine on the network (or any other machine which has the second bet active depending on the arrangement) is successful then this triggers the players second bet as being successful. The system, after deduction of the house percentage and any taxes from the prize pool for the particular level, divides the pool by the number of active second bets and credits the appropriate machines. At the time there is an indication on the machine or associated display previously mentioned, of the payout for each active machine.

On a win, the pool for the level appropriate to the win on the first bet is divided by the number of slot machines which have the second bet active at the time of triggering and this amount is then credited to each of machines. Thus all players who have the active second bet get the advantage of the win of the first bet by a player other than themselves.

This will give to these players the sense of community previously mentioned in that one of their number has caused them to have a win.

It was mentioned above that it is preferred that the second bet be five credits, or a multiple of five credits.

It was also mentioned that there were five levels of payout of the second bet, depending on the result achieved by the triggering machine. It is preferred that wach second bet adds an amount to each level and in the preferred form of the invention, on credit is added to each pool for each bet. It will be appreciated that as the likelihood of success in each level will vary, it is probable, and over time, certain, that the level triggered by the rarest even on the standard game, the first bet game, will be triggered less often than the other four levels, so this pool will generally be larger than the other levels. The same will occur to different degrees for the other pools.

A similar situation will occur for the insurance bets. If incorporated.

Referring to the attached flow charts, in which:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing the steps set out above with the second bet being considered to be a game referred to as Moonlight Dreams or MD; and

FIG. 2 is a schematic circuit showing the operation of the second bet, the game associated therewith being referred to as Moonlight Dreams or MD.

The block diagram of FIG. 1 is self explanatory when considered in the light of the foregoing description.

The schematic circuit of FIG. 2 demonstrates the operation of the invention when associated with a standard slot machine and, when considered in relation to FIG. 1 is largely self explanatory.

If the initiation switch S1 is operated, which indicates that the player is desirous of playing Moonlight Dreams, then the bet which is the same as the number of levels, in this case five, and one credit will be added to the pool for each level. If the switch S2 is operated, then the player is shown to have sought the Insurance operation and again, one credit is added to each Level pool.

At this time the MD Slots Lights and the the MD Slots Audio are both actuated.

The Inputs are AND gates and are non operative unless the Electronic Timer is On, that is unless the associated machine has had the Moonlight Dreams function activated within the predetermined time.

As discussed earlier herein the actual time selected can be varied to suit the game being played on the slot machine and any additional time given

If a signal indicating a successful result is developed from one of the slot machines in the network occurs during the operative time of the Electronic Timer, then the appropriate Level will be initiated and this will cause the payout to be calculated, as mentioned earlier, and the sum won will be added to the machines total.

If the pool is insufficient to make a payout to all players, then each player will have the credit they have paid for that Level refunded.

The machine then initiate the displays and any information required by the operator, such as the number of winning bets and the payout for each bet can be displayed as mentioned earlier herein.

The various indicator lights are extinguished and the machine returns to its initial state.

The lights and the audio signals can be varied widely as is the case with the ‘parent’ slot machine.

Referring again to the figures, a practical arrangement has Inputs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 which are two input digital “AND” GATES with one side of all said “AND” GATES connected to the electronic timer which is powered “ON” at all times. This is done so that the exact time of the machine trigger(s) is/are known and said “exact time” is used to prove player entry/eligibility to second game.

All the above-mentioned digital “AND” Gates are connected to a electrical supply via a 9 volt Direct Current obtained through a full wave bridge rectifier (not shown).

All electrical switches are D.P.D.T (Double Pole Double Throw).

“L1” is “Light 1” {or a Light Emitting Diode (L.E.D) can be used} indicating that a second game wager has been placed.

“L2” is “Light 2” (or a Light Emitting Diode (L.E.D) can be used} indicating that an Insurance Wager has been placed.

“A1” is “Audio Speaker 1” (4 ohms) which indicates to the player audibly that a second game wager has been placed, ie second game Slots-Audio On. This same “A1” could also be used to “verbally announce” the second game wager to the player and welcome the player to the machine having the second game. A particular “Tone” could also be used to indicate this.

“A2” is “Audio Speaker 2” (4 ohms) which indicates to the player audibly that an Insurance Wager” has been placed. i.e. Wording to this effect could be sent through the speaker “A2”, or a particular “Tone” could also be used to indicate this.

The above-mentioned “L1” and “L2” and “A1” and “A2” are connected to a electrical supply via a 9 volt Direct Current gained through the full wave bridge rectifier.

Both electrical switches (“S1” and “S2”) are “momentary switches” in that the said switches only stay “on, after being pressed by the machine's player for the duration of the particular second game wager and then turn “off” {become open) at the time the second bet wager expires.

The five inputs are connected to the respective 5 outputs from the other networked slot machines offering the second bet as a wagering option in a electrically parallel format.

That is:

    • Level 1 outputs from all machines in the network are electrically connected to the the Level 1 inputs of each machine having the second bet capability.
    • Level 2 outputs from all machines in the network are electrically connected to the the Level 2 inputs of each machine having the second bet capability, and so on.

Additional Information;

All second game credits are accrued in the five second game levels respectively. When a particular Level is triggered the respective Moonlight Dreams Level as triggered, after payouts have been effected, returns to a zero amount or, should there be a remaining amount less than the number of winning machines, that amount as a “seeding” amount

At the exact time of the Moonlight Dreams Slots trigger a “loud noise” (as required, ie Bells, etc) sounds to alert all players that a Moonlight Dreams Slots Level has been triggered. If required a pre-recorded human voice could be used to do this, ie) “Level One Trigger”, directly after the above-mentioned “loud noise” has been sounded.

If required by vendor/manufacturer the second game could also be played in a format whereas only “entered” second game players can trigger the respective second game level for other “entered players as well as for themselves.

There are possible modifications of the system of the invention.

In the first of these there is provided a common game speed controller.

In this, a game speed controller may be used whereby all the machines in the network start and finish play at the same time. That is, after the players have paid for the second wager (and Insurance if required), an on screen prompt will indicate to all such players that a game is about to start.

The players then wait for the start signal, which may be an indicator light on the machine which becomes illuminated indicating start of play. The players then press the standard play button in order to commence play at effectively the same time as the other active players. The benefit of this is that all players will have a greater chance to win the second game as they are playing at the same time as other players who are playing the second game.

In a second modification, a digital timer entry can be provided.

Players who wish to play the second game on each play may buy time which, on purchase, would be shown on a digital timer on the machine. When the player presses the normal play button the predetermined time for the second game to be live will be automatically be deducted from the time stored and the player will have a live second bet. This obviates the necessity to enter into the second game each time it is played. In an alternative version, there can be means whereby time can be selected and the value of the time automatically be taken from the credits being held by the player. In a still further arrangement, the player can indicate that he/she wishes to enter the second game each time they play the maine game and, in this case, the cost of the second game is automatically taken from the players credits each time the main game is played.

The likely payouts for the machines using the system are, of course dependent on the number of players who opt to play the game and the likelihood of one machine in the network providing a result which would initiate a win corresponding to one of the Levels of the second game.

If there are a large number of players, then the credits added to each Level will be high and thus the return should also be high.

An exemplification could be:

Level 1 Triggered by a ‘Feature’Odds of the order of 100 to 1
Level 2Odds of the order of 300 to 1
Level 3Odds of the order of 500 to 1
Level 4Odds of the order of 2000 to 1
Level 5Odds of the order of 10,000 to 1.

The present invention can provide the operator of the game with additional profit from very little extra expense. Using conventional holds and tax it can be shown that 10 groups of 25, 5 cent machines with each player playing the second game, the turnover would be of the order of $25,000 per hour and if the house hold and taxes add to 10%, then these are $2500 per hour. This can be extrapolated over a day the hold would be $60,000 for 250 machines per day.