The assignee for this patent, patent number 8622821, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Casino gaming, also referred to as wagering games, gambling, gaming, or the like, may occur in a physical, brick-and-mortar casino or a virtual, online casino. These types of casino or wagering games usually include three components: a wager, chance, and a reward. That is, casino or wagering games are usually games in which the outcome of a wager, that is, the reward, is determined by chance, which predominates over every other factor, including skill. For example, chance predominates in card games such as poker, blackjack, or the like, even though some skill is involved. Specifically, chance, rather than the player's skill, determines which cards are dealt to the players, which cards are dealt to a dealer, if any, which cards are cut from the deck or shoe of cards, and so forth. In other wagering games, such as reel slot games, numbers games (such as keno, lotto, pull tabs, or the like), dice games, wheel games (such as roulette), or the like, chance is practically the only factor to determine the outcome of the wagering game, with skill having no influence on the symbols or numbers drawn, rolled, or spun.
"As may be appreciated, the outcomes of wagering games can usually be determined by the strict probabilities that govern the games and, therefore, the hold for the game operator over the long term can be predicted. As may further be appreciated, this may not be true for skill games, in which the outcomes would vary from player to player based on the player's skill. As may be appreciated, wagering games must be operated for a profit over the long term and would generally not operate games that allow certain players to improve their performance through practice. Consequently, casinos will not, and in some jurisdictions cannot, offer games in which skill predominates.
"A well-known consequence of how probability can affect online casinos is that online casinos require massive volumes of players to maintain liquidity. That is, house-banked games, i.e., those games in which the online casino operator banks wagers by collecting losing wagers and paying winning wagers, are particularly profitable for casinos because the games include a built-in house edge that guarantees the game will be profitable in the long term. However, the win or loss from these games can fluctuate wildly in the short term, such as when a player has a winning streak, and the casino operator must maintain a reserve of cash to pay off all winning bets. Conversely, player-banked and parimutuel games are more predictable in the short term because the casino operator does not collect losing wagers and pay winning wagers. Rather, in a player-banked game a player-banker banks the other players' wagers and in a parimutuel game, the players contribute to a pot that is awarded to the winning player(s). In either case, the casino operator collects a fee for administering and operating the game. This fee is levied regardless of the outcome of the game, so the casino operator makes money on every game. However, because the fee is generally low, the casino operator must generally have a high volume of play to be profitable."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Embodiments of the present invention include a method, system, and device for managing player data. By 'player data,' it is contemplated that the present invention could be applied to casino player data, arcade player data, home game player data, mobile game player data, entertainment and retail player data, any combination of the above, or any other type of player data. Therefore, the examples and discussion given below which use the context of a casino game should be viewed as illustrative and not limiting.
"A personal device, optionally a mobile device, according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a data processor and a player interface, a communication device, a display, and a data storage device in communication with the data processor. In an optional embodiment of a system (described in greater detail below) the communication device may communicate with a game device used, at least in part, to conduct a game and generate game data from the game conducted. The communication device may additionally or alternatively communicate with a server that stores an account balance of game resources allocatable to a game. The game resources may take any form and may be consumable or non-consumable. For example, at least a portion of the game resources are selected from the group consisting of currency, gaming chips, and game credits.
"A data storage device also includes program instructions executable by the data processor to conduct a method. In an optional embodiment, the method includes displaying at the display at least one game feature for a game conducted without using the data processor of the personal device. For example, the display at the personal device may show a game feature for a game conducted using a separate and independent game device. The game feature could take many forms including an optional feature which alters the game, an event generated by the game, such as a wagerable proposition, a side game, bonus game, or side action, or the like.
"An allocation of game resources to at least one selected game feature is received through the player interface. For example, in one such optional embodiment, a game includes one or more events (described above) and the allocation of game resources to the game feature comprises a wager on the event. As noted above, game resources may be consumable or non-consumable. Where the game resources are consumable, game resources may be debited after being allocated. Where the game resources are non-consumable, the balance of game resources may be maintained after allocation of game resources. The personal device communicates through the communication device with the server to authenticate the allocation of game resources received through the player interface.
"Game data are received through the communication device. As noted above, game data are generated by the game conducted without using the data processor of the personal device. For example, in one optional embodiment, the game data are generated by a game device in communication with the personal device.
"In one optional embodiment, the data processor resolves the game feature(s) using the game data. In another optional embodiment, the personal device receives a resolution of the game feature(s) from the server, i.e., resolution of the game feature(s) occurs at the server and is communicated to the personal device. In either optional embodiment, resolution of the game feature may include awarding game resources, if any, earned through the game feature. For example, in an optional embodiment in which the game feature is an event that may occur in the game, the step of resolving the game feature may include the data processor determining whether the event occurred and issuing an award, if any, of game resources associated with the occurrence or non-occurrence of the event.
"In an optional embodiment, the personal device may be a mobile device that operates in a system including a game device. Optionally, the system may include multiple game devices and multiple personal devices.
"One optional embodiment of a system may include a server in communication with the personal device and the game device. In one such optional embodiment, the server stores an account balance of game resources separate from the game resources stored at the personal device. In one such example, at least a portion of the game resources stored at the server include at least one achievement outcome earned through an achievement game. The display at the personal device displays game resources stored at the server and an allocation of game resources stored at the server is received through the player interface of the personal device. In response, game resources are allocated to at least one selected game feature. Game data are received at the server from the game device and the server resolves the game feature using the game data."
For more information, see this patent: Coronel,
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