News Column

"Multiple Reel Roulette Game" in Patent Application Approval Process

September 3, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- A patent application by the inventors Jarvis, Eugene (Glenview, IL); Eloff, Andrew (Evanston, IL), filed on April 22, 2014, was made available online on August 21, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Igt.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Roulette is a game of chance that has been played, it is believed, in various forms since the 18.sup.th century. Traditional roulette is played in casinos on a table, wherein the wheel is set near the middle of the table. The outer wheel area is divided into 37 spaces in Europe and 38 spaces in the United States. Each space has outer walls defining sectors, so that the ball can come to rest within a sector after the wheel stops spinning, The sectors alternate between the color red and the color black and are numbered from 1 to 36. There is also a 0 (green or white) and a 00 (in the United States version).

"The table includes a roulette betting felt configuration for making betting selections which has, among other things, numbered red and black squares corresponding to the wheel for placing bets on the outcome of the resting place of the ball after the wheel stops spinning. A 'winning number' is the outcome of the roulette wheel in the form of one of the numbers selected by the roulette wheel -regardless of whether it matches the player's wager. A 'winning bet' occurs when the player's selection (or bet) includes a 'winning number'.

"As indicated above, certain of the numbers and spaces on the roule.tte betting felt (such as 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, and 35) are colored black, while others (such as 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 32, 34 and 36) are colored red. Also included on the betting felt are spaces for such bets as: 'manque' (1 to 18 inclusive): 'passe' (19 to 36 inclusive); 'pair' (an even number); 'impair' (an odd number); 'rouge' (a red number); and 'noir' (a black number). Therefore, the winning bet may be comprised of a bet on the particular winning number, a bet on a range of numbers that includes the winning number (e.g., on odd or the '2.sup.nd 12'), or a bet on a color that includes a winning number.

"All bets are placed against the house and are indicated by placing stakes (e.g., chips) on the particular numbers or types of bets selected as they appear on the table. Once the bets are placed, the 'croupier' spins the wheel in one direction and tosses the ball onto the wheel in the other direction. The sector where the ball finally comes to rest is the outcome, thereby indicating the winning number and color, This information is then used to manually determine which of the bets are winning bets. Various betting combinations with different odds and maximum bets are allowed depending on the rules of the gaming establishment. The standard odds and payouts for traditional roulette are well known in the art.

"While roulette may be played in, among other places, most casinos, traditional versions of roulette are somewhat slow moving and hence can be lacking in player interest. Several prior art games have attempted to provide interesting variations on conventional roulette.

"U.S. Pat. No. 6,209,869 to Mathews discloses an apparatus and method for playing a roulette-type game. The apparatus includes a conventional roulette wheel and four tables. Each table has a lower playing field and an upper playing field, wherein each field is utilized for placing bets. During play, four balls are utilized on the one wheel, wherein each ball corresponds to one of the tables. The lower field is utilized for placing bets on the single ball that is associated with that particular table, while the upper field of each table is utilized for placing bets on all of the balls in play.

"U.S. Pat. No. 5,259,616 to Bergmann discloses a coin-operated gaming machine that has a roulette-like number pan and a setting keyboard. In operation, the player inserts one or more coins into a coin insertion slot. The player then selects which numbers the player wishes to bet on using the keyboard. After the player places a bet, a random number generator randomly determines the winning number, and that number is then highlighted on the number pan. The random number generator also randomly determines a win multiplier number by which the winning payout is multiplied.

"U.S. Pat. No. 6,083,105 to Ronin et al. discloses a single-player computerized roulette playing apparatus. The apparatus includes a rotatable roulette wheel that is mechanically rotated using a drive mechanism. One or more balls are put into play during the game. A roulette game field is displayed on a corresponding computer display, which provides a means by which the player can place one or more bets.

"U.S. Pat. No. 5,755,440 to Sher relates to an apparatus used to play roulette using multiple balls. The apparatus includes a single roulette wheel that has multiple tracks, thereby permitting two or more balls to be propelled into the wheel simultaneously.

"Additionally, video slots and poker games have provided jackpots comprising larger than normal payoffs and/or progressive payoffs, which are based on the performance of more than one machine which can be linked together--in an attempt to generate more interest and a perception of greater rewards. However, these previously devised games do not provide the ability to play a great number of games in a short amount of time--something that is increasingly important in a casino environment.

"Indeed, there is a constant need in the gaming industry to devise new games that keep players interested to substantially reduce the possibility that players will cease playing or reduce the amount that they play due to a perceived lack of interest or challenge. Moreover, it is desirable to provide new or different variations of existing, familiar games so as to overcome any reluctance to play and possibly lose at games with unfamiliar rules or strategies.

"Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide an electronic game that captures the excitement of casino-style roulette, while providing the opportunity to bet on multiple wheels simultaneously and/or provide multiple winning numbers for each roulette wheel displayed.

"It is a second object of the present invention to provide a roulette-type game that provides progressive or high jackpot betting opportunities so as to provide maximum interest to roulette or other wagering game players.

"It is a further object of the present invention to provide a roulette game that can be played in the form of a video slot machine in order to conserve valuable casino floor space, and minimize game acquisition and operating costs.

"It is another object of the present invention to provide a roulette game that automatically determines which wagers are winning bets and recalculates a player's remaining credits based on the outcome so as to minimize the calculations which must be performed by the player, and minimize the use of casino employees,

"It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a roulette-based game that can be implemented on a video gaming machine in a casino for gambling purposes.

"A still further object of the present invention is to provide an electronic roulette-based game that is easy and economical to manufacture."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The above and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description thereof, which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

"The above-listed objects are met or exceeded by the present electronic game wherein an electronic video roulette game is provided having at least two wheels having multiple numbers for providing an outcome. The electronic game may be played by at least one player who makes at least one selection or bet and seeks a payout when the selection includes a winning number. In order to provide visual stimulation and to emphasize the random nature of the number generation, the wheels are spun or made to appear to spin during the process of randomly picking the winning numbers.

"The game comprises: a video or electronic display for displaying the video game; an input means, such as a touch screen, roller ball, touch pad, mouse, push buttons, or the like, operably associated with the electronic display for entering the individual number or other betting selections by the player; a microprocessor for controlling the game; means for randomly generating the outcome of the at least two roulette wheels; at least one indicator (e.g.; a pay line) to show the outcome of the roulette wheels; and, means for computing the payout based on the outcome. The electronic display may include a roulette betting felt layout for making the betting selections.

"The game can further include multiple winning numbers per roulette wheel and/or means for wagering on the roulette wheels. Using either multiple wheels and/or multiple winning numbers per wheel results in multiple winning numbers and, depending on the bets which were placed, possibly multiple winning bets. The wagering means can further include means for wagering on multiple roulette wheels by making a single betting selection.

"The game may also feature a bonus, jackpot, progressive, or other special payout that may be awarded when the outcome includes a particular winning number or a winning number that is repeated a selected number of times on different wheels, For example, a special payout could be made if the same number appeared three times on five roulette wheels. The special payout could be further constrained to three adjacent wheels having the same number, or perhaps only the first three wheels, By making it practical for a player to play one or more roulette games simultaneously, the invention allows the creation of these special wheel combination payouts.

"Unlike such conventional, mechanical-type roulette wheels, the present invention allows roulette to be played in a much smaller space. In fact, it enables the game to be played in the form of a standard slot machine. Moreover, with the present invention, the player can play many wheels at once--unlike conventional roulette games where at most it is feasible to play one or two roulette wheels at the same time. The present invention is also much more likely to be lower in cost and maintenance when compared with roulette games that depend on mechanical wheels.

"A method is also provided for playing roulette on one or more roulette wheels having numbers for producing an outcome, wherein the method comprises the steps of: selecting the roulette number or combination of numbers to be played (e.g., the first twelve numbers or all black numbers); selecting the number of roulette wheels to be played; selecting the number of winning numbers per wheel; wagering on the selections; determining the outcome of the roulette wheels; and computing the amount of the payout based on the outcome.

"Wagering is made on multiple roulette wheels by placing a single wager, The player chooses the wager amount, the number of wheels to play and the number of winning numbers per wheel. Hence, the number of wheels being played and the number of winning numbers per wheel multiplies the amount wagered. For example, if five wheels are played (each having two winning numbers per wheel), a total of ten winning numbers are chosen each game, with the player betting ten times the wager on each roulette game. As a result, the game is fast moving for the player and generates greater revenue for the casino, as compared to traditional roulette.

"In play, the wheels are spun and, when the winning number(s) is decided for each wheel, the wagers are settled between the house and player. The wheels can be represented on the electronic or video screen as traditional looking roulette wheels or as any other numerical representation of the random choice of thirty-eight numbers in the case of a United States wheel and thirty-seven numbers in the case of a European wheel. A bonus payout may be provided when the outcome includes a number selection which is repeated a selected number of times as a winning number and winning bet.

"The preferred embodiment utilizes video slot machine wheels or reels to represent at least two roulette wheels wherein each wheel has the thirty-seven or thirty-eight number positions of a traditional roulette wheel. In operation, the wheels are spun and the winning numbers are determined by the roulette numbers that stop at the indicator or pay line position designated on the video slot machine wheel. By activating multiple pay lines, multiple winning numbers can be chosen on each video roulette wheel. Another embodiment of the invention utilizes electromechanical slot machine wheels as a roulette wheel analog that would operate the same as the video slot machine wheels in the preferred embodiment.

"As indicated above, the roulette wheels also can be represented by graphic representations of roulette wheels having multiple numbered slots on a video or electronic screen, wherein the winning number is indicated by the representation of a ball landing in the slot of the winning number. More than one winning number per roulette wheel is indicated by the representation of multiple balls falling into a number of winning number slots.

"Thus, this invention brings the excitement of traditional roulette to an electronic video game, Moreover, excitement to the player and revenue generation to the gaming establishment are increased because the player can play multiple wheels simultaneously, with a single betting choice being used for all the wheels being played. Moreover, multiple winning numbers per wheel can be used. Accordingly, the amount wagered is multiplied by the number of wheels that are in play, as well as the number of winning numbers per wheel,

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

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

"FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a computing device of the present invention.

"FIG. 2 is a flow chart diagram of an example of the steps involved in participating in a round of play of the present invention.

"FIG. 3 is an illustration of a screen display showing, among other things, the winning numbers for five roulette wheels with one pay line.

"FIG. 4 is an illustration of a second screen display illustrating, among other things, the winning numbers for one roulette wheel with one pay line.

"FIG. 5 is an illustration of a third screen display showing, among other things, the winning numbers for three roulette wheels with one pay line.

"FIG. 6 is an illustration of a fourth screen display illustrating, among other things, five roulette wheels with one pay line.

"FIG. 7 is an illustration of a fifth screen display showing, among other things, the results of the spin for the second of three pay lines for five roulette wheels.

"FIG. 8 is an illustration of a sixth screen display showing the results of the spin shown in FIG. 7 for the third pay line for the five roulette wheels.

"FIG. 9 is an illustration of a seventh screen display illustrating, among other things, the winning numbers for five roulette wheels with five pay lines."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Jarvis, Eugene; Eloff, Andrew. Multiple Reel Roulette Game. Filed April 22, 2014 and posted August 21, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=2021&p=41&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140814.PD.&OS=PD/20140814&RS=PD/20140814

Keywords for this news article include: Igt, Video Game, Electronics.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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