News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Gaming System Having Multiple Reel Sets and One Or More Additional Reels", for Approval

August 7, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Joshi, Shridhar P. (Naperville, IL); Thomas, Alfred (Las Vegas, NV), filed on January 14, 2014, was made available online on July 24, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Misa Enterprises, LLC d/b/a 2 By 2 Gaming.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Gaming machines which provide player awards are known. Gaming machines generally have three to five reels and one or more pay lines. Most known gaming machines respond to a player's wager by spinning the reels, coming to a stop and awarding players for the symbols displayed on the pay lines according to a paytable. Introduction of electronics, computers and electronic displays have allowed a continual increase in the variations and complexities of the gaming machines while maintaining the basic concept of traditional machine. Nevertheless, various regulations enforced by the governing bodies effectively restrict the degree of variation which may be incorporated in games played on such gaming machines. Machines and games therefore that offer unique and stimulating variations, yet comply with these restrictions, are eagerly sought by the gaming industry.

"One known reel arrangement involves an attempt to increase player interest by causing each of the visible reel positions to display single-symbol independent reels. However, displaying only one symbol on each reel limits the game designer's ability to offer many interesting features like symbol stacking.

"One other known reel arrangement involves an attempt to increase player interest by offering multiple reel arrays to play simultaneously. In this method, up to four distinct arrays of traditional rectangular reel arrangements are displayed, and the player can play up to four games simultaneously. The effect is equivalent to playing up to four times faster. However, since all four reel arrays are independent of each other, there is lack of interaction between the various reel arrays. This lack of interaction can result in the loss of player interest and excitement.

"There is a need to overcome, or lessen the effects of, the disadvantages, shortcomings and drawbacks described above. There is also a need to increase the excitement and entertainment of the gaming experience for players."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one embodiment, the gaming system, gaming device and method includes a plurality of reel sets. Each of the reel sets has a plurality of reels, such as three or more reels. The system also includes at least one additional or shared reel and a plurality of symbols. The symbols correspond to each one of the reels, and the symbols correspond to the additional or shared reel.

"In operation, the system performs the following steps:

"(a) displays the reel sets positioned adjacent to each other in the form of a reel set combination, wherein the reel set combination has a plurality of columns of the symbols and a plurality of rows of the symbols;

"(b) displays the additional or shared reel adjacent to the reel set combination, wherein the shared reel has a plurality of the symbols, each one of which corresponds with one of the symbols of the plurality of columns or the plurality of rows;

" receives a wager input from a player;

"(d) spins the reels of each one of the reel sets independent of each other, and spins the shared reel independent of the spinning of the reels of the reel sets;

"(e) stops the spinning of the reels of the reel sets and the at least one shared reel;

"(f) determines whether a win has occurred based on the symbols displayed on the stopped reels of the reel sets and the shared reel; and

"(g) indicates an award in response to the occurrence of the win.

"In one embodiment, the gaming system has a group of relatively long additional or shared reels and at least two reel sets. In operation of this embodiment, the system displays a game showing the reel sets stacked vertically next to the group of relatively long shared reels. Each of the pay lines extends across at least one of the additional or shared reels and the reels of at least one of the reel sets.

"The gaming system receives a wager input from the player. The system then spins the reels. The system spins each of the reel sets independent of each other. The reels within each reel set are spun independent of each other also. In addition, the system spins each shared reel independent of each other and independent of the reels of the reel sets. The system determines whether a win has occurred based on the game outcome symbols displayed on all of the reel sets and the group of shared reels. The system indicates an award in response to the occurrence of the win.

"In one embodiment, the group of shared reels is on the left side, and the reel sets are on the right side such that each of the pay lines begins with the shared reels and ends on the reel set. In another embodiment, the reel sets are on the left side and the shared reels are on the right side such that each of the pay lines begins on the reel sets and ends on the shared reels. In yet another embodiment, the shared reels are positioned between the reel sets such that certain pay lines begin on a reel set, extend across the shared reels and end on another independent reel set.

"In yet another embodiment, the shared reels are displayed horizontally and the reel sets are displayed adjacent to each other in a side-by-side fashion to form a horizontally-oriented reel set combination. In such embodiment, the shared reels have the same quantity of symbol columns as the quantity of symbol columns of the horizontally-oriented reel set combination.

"In one embodiment, the system's reel arrangement, which combines at least one shared reel and two or more independent reel sets, includes a symbol stacking feature and enables player benefits like interactions across multiple reel sets and additional win opportunities.

"In one embodiment, the gaming system has a data storage device including a plurality of computer-readable instructions. The computer-readable instructions are executable to cause a display device to: (i) display a plurality of reel sets, wherein each of the reel sets has a plurality of reels and each of the reels has a plurality of symbols; (ii) display an additional reel, wherein the additional reel has a plurality of the symbols; (iii) display a spinning of the reels and the additional reel after at least one wager input is received; and (iv) display the stopped reels and the stopped additional reel. The gaming system is also operable to determine whether a win has occurred, wherein the determination is based on: (i) the symbols displayed on the stopped reels; and (ii) the symbols displayed on the stopped additional reel.

"In one embodiment, the computer-readable instructions are executable to cause the display device to display the reel sets adjacent to the additional reel. In one embodiment, the computer-readable instructions are executable to cause the display device to display a pay line which extends across at least one of the reel sets and also across the additional reel. In one embodiment, the computer-readable instructions are executable to cause the display device to display: (a) a first pay line which extends across a first one of the reel sets and also across the additional reel; and (b) a second pay line which extends across a second one of the reel sets and also across the additional reel. In one embodiment, the reel symbols include a plurality of identical, designated symbols which are displayable by the reels and the additional reel. The computer-readable instructions are executable to determine whether the win has occurred based on: (a) a display of the designated symbol on at least one of the stopped reels; and (b) a display of the designated symbol on the additional reel. In one embodiment, the computer-readable instructions are executable to cause the display device to display a plurality of additional reels, wherein a single pay line is associated with the additional reels and also at least one of the reels. In one embodiment, the reel sets are located to a side of the additional reels. In another embodiment, the reel sets are located below the additional reels. In one embodiment, the gaming system includes the display device, a processor operatively coupled to the display device, and an input device operatively coupled to the processor.

"Yet another embodiment includes a method for operating a game. The method includes:

"electronically causing a display device to:

"(a) display a plurality of reel sets, wherein each of the reel sets has a plurality of reels, and each of the reels has a plurality of symbols;

"(b) display an additional reel, wherein the additional reel has a plurality of the symbols;

" display a spinning of the reels and the additional reel after at least one wager input is received; and

"(d) display the stopped reels and display the stopped additional reel; and electronically determining whether a win has occurred, wherein the determination is based on:

"(a) the symbols displayed on the stopped reels; and

"(b) the symbols displayed on the stopped additional reel.

"Additional features and advantages of the present disclosure are described in, and will be apparent from, the following Detailed Description and the figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a front view of the one embodiment of the gaming system.

"FIG. 2 is an enlarged, front view of the display of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

"FIG. 3 is a schematic block diagram of one embodiment of the gaming system.

"FIG. 4 is a schematic block diagram of the electronic configuration of another embodiment of the gaming system.

"FIG. 5 is a table of example pay rules of one embodiment of the gaming system.

"FIG. 6 is an enlarged, front view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, illustrating the displayed result of an example winning spin.

"FIG. 7 is an enlarged, front view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, illustrating the displayed result of an example winning spin involving scatter pay awards.

"FIG. 8 is an enlarged, front view of the display of another embodiment of the gaming system.

"FIG. 9 is an enlarged, front view of the display of another embodiment of the gaming system.

"FIG. 10 is an enlarged, front view of the display of another embodiment of the gaming system.

"FIG. 11 is a front view of one embodiment of the gaming system illustrating at least one reel set having nine independently spinnable reels, where each such reel, when stopped, displays only a single reel symbol.

"FIG. 12 is a front view of a reel strip and a display area or window which reveals only a single reel symbol when the reel is stopped."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Joshi, Shridhar P.; Thomas, Alfred. Gaming System Having Multiple Reel Sets and One Or More Additional Reels. Filed January 14, 2014 and posted July 24, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1812&p=37&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140717.PD.&OS=PD/20140717&RS=PD/20140717

Keywords for this news article include: Misa Enterprises LLC d/b/a 2 By 2 Gaming.

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