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In this example, the player's final hand includes a pair of sevens and a pair of tens. In step , the final hand is evaluated in view of the changes to the player's odds of winning, maximum win, etc. In step , the player is awarded according to the determination of step In this example, the player receives a zero credit award.

An example of modifying the rules of the underlying wagering game according to some implementations of the invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. In this example, the player is offered the opportunity to view up to 5 draw cards. The player does not need to decide in advance how many draw cards to view. Accordingly, as shown in FIG. This is not a helpful draw card for initial hand , so the player decides to buy a peek at the next draw card.

As shown in FIG. Ace of Hearts could be useful in forming a Straight, if the player were not also required to draw Nine of Clubs However, the player would still need another draw card to form the Straight, so the player decides to buy a peek at the next draw card.

In this implementation, the player is not obligated to select any of the draw cards and may choose them without regard to the normal rules of poker. If the player had chosen not to buy a peek at any cards, the player could quite rationally have decided to hold Queen of Spades and Queen of Diamonds and to discard Three of Spades , Five of Diamonds and Two of Diamonds Having a superior final hand will generally increase player satisfaction and excitement.

However, depending on the implementation, the player may or may not receive a financial gain as a result of his choices: One example of a gaming machine network that may be used to implement methods of the invention is depicted in FIG. Gaming establishment could be any sort of gaming establishment, such as a casino, a card room, an airport, a store, etc. However, some methods and devices of the present invention are intended for gaming networks which may be in multiple gaming establishments in which there are a sufficient number of Class II gaming machines for bingo play.

In this example, gaming network includes more than one gaming establishment, all of which are networked to game server Here, gaming machine , and the other gaming machines , , , and , include a main cabinet and a top box The main cabinet houses the main gaming elements and can also house peripheral systems, such as those that utilize dedicated gaming networks.

The top box may also be used to house these peripheral systems. Details of exemplary systems for using a game server to control a network of gaming machines to implement bingo games are described in U.

The master gaming controller may also communicate with a display A particular gaming entity may desire to provide network gaming services that provide some operational advantage. The systems of the gaming machine communicate the data onto the network via a communication board It will be appreciated by those of skill in the art that the present invention could be implemented on a network with more or fewer elements than are depicted in FIG.

For example, player tracking system is not a necessary feature of the present invention. However, player tracking programs may help to sustain a game player's interest in additional game play during a visit to a gaming establishment and may entice a player to visit a gaming establishment to partake in various gaming activities.

Player tracking programs provide rewards to players that typically correspond to the player's level of patronage e. Moreover, DCU and translator are not required for all gaming establishments However, due to the sensitive nature of much of the information on a gaming network e. For instance, different companies produce player tracking host systems where each host system may use different protocols. These proprietary protocols are usually considered highly confidential and not released publicly.

Further, in the gaming industry, gaming machines are made by many different manufacturers. The communication protocols on the gaming machine are typically hard-wired into the gaming machine and each gaming machine manufacturer may utilize a different proprietary communication protocol. A gaming machine manufacturer may also produce host systems, in which case their gaming machine are compatible with their own host systems.

However, in a heterogeneous gaming environment, gaming machines from different manufacturers, each with its own communication protocol, may be connected to host systems from other manufacturers, each with another communication protocol.

Therefore, communication compatibility issues regarding the protocols used by the gaming machines in the system and protocols used by the host systems should be considered. Among other things, site controller communicates with game server to obtain game data, such as ball drop data, bingo card data, etc. In the present illustration, gaming machines , , , and are connected to a dedicated gaming network In general, the DCU functions as an intermediary between the different gaming machines on the network and the site controller In general, the DCU receives data transmitted from the gaming machines and sends the data to the site controller over a transmission path In some instances, when the hardware interface used by the gaming machine is not compatible with site controller , a translator may be used to convert serial data from the DCU to a format accepted by site controller The translator may provide this conversion service to a plurality of DCUs.

Further, in some dedicated gaming networks, the DCU can receive data transmitted from site controller for communication to the gaming machines on the gaming network. The received data may be, for example, communicated synchronously to the gaming machines on the gaming network. Here, CVT provides cashless and cashout gaming services to the gaming machines in gaming establishment Moreover, CVT authorizes the exchange of a cashout ticket for cash. These processes will be described in detail below.

In one example, when a player attempts to redeem a cashout ticket for cash at cashout kiosk , cashout kiosk reads validation data from the cashout ticket and transmits the validation data to CVT for validation.

The tickets may be printed by gaming machines, by cashout kiosk , by a stand-alone printer, by CVT , etc. Some gaming establishments will not have a cashout kiosk Instead, a cashout ticket could be redeemed for cash by a cashier e. Machine includes a main cabinet 4 , which generally surrounds the machine interior not shown and is viewable by users.

The main cabinet 4 includes a main door 8 on the front of the machine, which opens to provide access to the interior of the machine. Attached to the main door are player-input switches or buttons 32 , a coin acceptor 28 , and a bill validator 30 , a coin tray 38 , and a belly glass Viewable through the main door is a video display monitor 34 and an information panel The display monitor 34 will typically be a cathode ray tube, high resolution flat-panel LCD, or other conventional electronically controlled video monitor.

The information panel 36 may be a back-lit, silk screened glass panel with lettering to indicate general game information including, for example, the number of coins played. The bill validator 30 , player-input switches 32 , video display monitor 34 , and information panel are devices used to play a game on the game machine The devices are controlled by circuitry housed inside the main cabinet 4 of the machine The gaming machine includes a top box 6 , which sits on top of the main cabinet 4.

The top box 6 houses a number of devices, which may be used to add features to a game being played on the gaming machine , including speakers 10 , 12 , 14 , a ticket printer 18 which may print bar-coded tickets 20 used as cashless instruments.

The player tracking unit mounted within the top box 6 includes a key pad 22 for entering player tracking information, a florescent display 16 for displaying player tracking information, a card reader 24 for entering a magnetic striped card containing player tracking information, a microphone 43 for inputting voice data, a speaker 42 for projecting sounds and a light panel 44 for display various light patterns used to convey gaming information.

In other embodiments, the player tracking unit and associated player tracking interface devices, such as 16 , 22 , 24 , 42 , 43 and 44 , may be mounted within the main cabinet 4 of the gaming machine, on top of the gaming machine, or on the side of the main cabinet of the gaming machine. Understand that gaming machine is but one example from a wide range of gaming machine designs on which the present invention may be implemented.

For example, not all suitable gaming machines have top boxes or player tracking features. Some gaming machines are designed for bar tables and have displays that face upwards. Still further, some machines may be designed entirely for cashless systems. Such machines may not include such features as bill validators, coin acceptors and coin trays. Instead, they may have only ticket readers, card readers and ticket dispensers.

Those of skill in the art will understand that the present can be deployed on most gaming machines now available or hereafter developed. Moreover, some aspects of the invention may be implemented on devices which lack some of the features of the gaming machines described herein, e.

Returning to the example of FIG. In addition, the player may use a cashless instrument of some type to register credits on the gaming machine For example, the bill validator 30 may accept a printed ticket voucher, including 20 , as an indicium of credit.

As another example, the card reader 24 may accept a debit card or a smart card containing cash or credit information that may be used to register credits on the gaming machine.

During the course of a game, a player may be required to make a number of decisions. For example, a player may vary his or her wager on a particular game, select a prize for a particular game, or make game decisions regarding gaming criteria that affect the outcome of a particular game e. During certain game functions and events, the gaming machine may display visual and auditory effects that can be perceived by the player.

These effects add to the excitement of a game, which makes a player more likely to continue playing. Auditory effects include various sounds that are projected by the speakers 10 , 12 , Visual effects include flashing lights, strobing lights or other patterns displayed from lights on the gaming machine , from lights behind the belly glass 40 or the light panel on the player tracking unit After the player has completed a game, the player may receive game tokens from the coin tray 38 or the ticket 20 from the printer 18 , which may be used for further games or to redeem a prize.

Further, the player may receive a ticket 20 for food, merchandise, or games from the printer The type of ticket 20 may be related to past game playing recorded by the player tracking software within the gaming machine In some embodiments, these tickets may be used by a game player to obtain game services.

Gaming machines are highly regulated to ensure fairness and, in many cases, gaming machines are operable to dispense monetary awards of multiple millions of dollars. Therefore, to satisfy security and regulatory requirements in a gaming environment, hardware and software architectures may be implemented in gaming machines that differ significantly from those of general-purpose computers. A description of gaming machines relative to general-purpose computing machines and some examples of the additional or different components and features found in gaming machines are described below.

At first glance, one might think that adapting PC technologies to the gaming industry would be a simple proposition because both PCs and gaming machines employ microprocessors that control a variety of devices. However, because of such reasons as 1 the regulatory requirements that are placed upon gaming machines, 2 the harsh environment in which gaming machines operate, 3 security requirements and 4 fault tolerance requirements, adapting PC technologies to a gaming machine can be quite difficult.

Further, techniques and methods for solving a problem in the PC industry, such as device compatibility and connectivity issues, might not be adequate in the gaming environment. For instance, a fault or a weakness tolerated in a PC, such as security holes in software or frequent crashes, may not be tolerated in a gaming machine because in a gaming machine these faults can lead to a direct loss of funds from the gaming machine, such as stolen cash or loss of revenue when the gaming machine is not operating properly.

For the purposes of illustration, a few differences between PC systems and gaming systems will be described. A first difference between gaming machines and common PC based computers systems is that gaming machines are designed to be state-based systems. In a state-based system, the system stores and maintains its current state in a non-volatile memory, such that, in the event of a power failure or other malfunction the gaming machine will return to its current state when the power is restored.

For instance, if a player was shown an award for a game of chance and, before the award could be provided to the player the power failed, the gaming machine, upon the restoration of power, would return to the state where the award is indicated. As anyone who has used a PC, knows, PCs are not state machines and a majority of data is usually lost when a malfunction occurs. This requirement affects the software and hardware design on a gaming machine.

A second important difference between gaming machines and common PC based computer systems is that for regulation purposes, the software on the gaming machine used to generate the game of chance and operate the gaming machine has been designed to be static and monolithic to prevent cheating by the operator of gaming machine.

For instance, one solution that has been employed in the gaming industry to prevent cheating and satisfy regulatory requirements has been to manufacture a gaming machine that can use a proprietary processor running instructions to generate the game of chance from an EPROM or other form of non-volatile memory.

The coding instructions on the EPROM are static non-changeable and must be approved by a gaming regulators in a particular jurisdiction and installed in the presence of a person representing the gaming jurisdiction. Any changes to any part of the software required to generate the game of chance, such as adding a new device driver used by the master gaming controller to operate a device during generation of the game of chance can require a new EPROM to be burnt, approved by the gaming jurisdiction and reinstalled on the gaming machine in the presence of a gaming regulator.

Regardless of whether the EPROM solution is used, to gain approval in most gaming jurisdictions, a gaming machine must demonstrate sufficient safeguards that prevent an operator of a gaming machine from manipulating hardware and software in a manner that gives them an unfair and some cases an illegal advantage.

The code validation requirements in the gaming industry affect both hardware and software designs on gaming machines. A third important difference between gaming machines and common PC based computer systems is the number and kinds of peripheral devices used on a gaming machine are not as great as on PC based computer systems. Traditionally, in the gaming industry, gaming machines have been relatively simple in the sense that the number of peripheral devices and the number of functions the gaming machine has been limited.

Further, in operation, the functionality of gaming machines were relatively constant once the gaming machine was deployed, i. This differs from a PC where users will go out and buy different combinations of devices and software from different manufacturers and connect them to a PC to suit their needs depending on a desired application.

Therefore, the types of devices connected to a PC may vary greatly from user to user depending in their individual requirements and may vary significantly over time. Although the variety of devices available for a PC may be greater than on a gaming machine, gaming machines still have unique device requirements that differ from a PC, such as device security requirements not usually addressed by PCs.

For instance, monetary devices, such as coin dispensers, bill validators and ticket printers and computing devices that are used to govern the input and output of cash to a gaming machine have security requirements that are not typically addressed in PCs. Therefore, many PC techniques and methods developed to facilitate device connectivity and device compatibility do not address the emphasis placed on security in the gaming industry.

A watchdog timer is normally used in IGT gaming machines to provide a software failure detection mechanism. Should the operating software fail to access the control registers within a preset timeframe, the watchdog timer will timeout and generate a system reset. Typical watchdog timer circuits contain a loadable timeout counter register to allow the operating software to set the timeout interval within a certain range of time. A differentiating feature of the some preferred circuits is that the operating software cannot completely disable the function of the watchdog timer.

In other words, the watchdog timer always functions from the time power is applied to the board. IGT gaming computer platforms preferably use several power supply voltages to operate portions of the computer circuitry. These can be generated in a central power supply or locally on the computer board. If any of these voltages falls out of the tolerance limits of the circuitry they power, unpredictable operation of the computer may result. Though most modern general-purpose computers include voltage monitoring circuitry, these types of circuits only report voltage status to the operating software.

Out of tolerance voltages can cause software malfunction, creating a potential uncontrolled condition in the gaming computer. Gaming machines of the present assignee typically have power supplies with tighter voltage margins than that required by the operating circuitry. In addition, the voltage monitoring circuitry implemented in IGT gaming computers typically has two thresholds of control. The first threshold generates a software event that can be detected by the operating software and an error condition generated.

This threshold is triggered when a power supply voltage falls out of the tolerance range of the power supply, but is still within the operating range of the circuitry. The second threshold is set when a power supply voltage falls out of the operating tolerance of the circuitry.

In this case, the circuitry generates a reset, halting operation of the computer. The standard method of operation for IGT slot machine game software is to use a state machine. Each function of the game bet, play, result, etc. When a game moves from one state to another, critical data regarding the game software is stored in a custom non-volatile memory subsystem. In addition, game history information regarding previous games played, amounts wagered, and so forth also should be stored in a non-volatile memory device.

This feature allows the game to recover operation to the current state of play in the event of a malfunction, loss of power, etc. This is critical to ensure the player's wager and credits are preserved. Typically, battery backed RAM devices are used to preserve this critical data. These memory devices are not used in typical general-purpose computers. IGT gaming computers normally contain additional interfaces, including serial interfaces, to connect to specific subsystems internal and external to the slot machine.

As noted above, some preferred embodiments of the present invention include parallel, digital interfaces for high-speed data transfer. In addition, to conserve serial interfaces internally in the slot machine, serial devices may be connected in a shared, daisy-chain fashion where multiple peripheral devices are connected to a single serial channel.

IGT Gaming machines may alternatively be treated as peripheral devices to a casino communication controller and connected in a shared daisy chain fashion to a single serial interface. In both cases, the peripheral devices are preferably assigned device addresses. If so, the serial controller circuitry must implement a method to generate or detect unique device addresses.

General-purpose computer serial ports are not able to do this. Security monitoring circuits detect intrusion into an IGT gaming machine by monitoring security switches attached to access doors in the slot machine cabinet. Preferably, access violations result in suspension of game play and can trigger additional security operations to preserve the current state of game play.

These circuits also function when power is off by use of a battery backup. In power-off operation, these circuits continue to monitor the access doors of the slot machine. When power is restored, the gaming machine can determine whether any security violations occurred while power was off, e.

This can trigger event log entries and further data authentication operations by the slot machine software. Trusted memory devices are preferably included in an IGT gaming machine computer to ensure the authenticity of the software that may be stored on less secure memory subsystems, such as mass storage devices.

Trusted memory devices and controlling circuitry are typically designed to not allow modification of the code and data stored in the memory device while the memory device is installed in the slot machine. The code and data stored in these devices may include authentication algorithms, random number generators, authentication keys, operating system kernels, etc.

The purpose of these trusted memory devices is to provide gaming regulatory authorities a root trusted authority within the computing environment of the slot machine that can be tracked and verified as original. Mighty Warrior and Supreme Samurai. Each theme comes equipped with a 4-level standalone progressive, as well as proven Konami game mechanics such as Xtra Reward and cascading reels to generate excitement with a broad range of slot players.

It also gives the casinos an opportunity to engage with their guests more strategically and more often, while offering players current offers and up-to-date information on their loyalty club status — anywhere, anytime.

The App will allow players to view all aspects of their loyalty program, such as real-time loyalty club status, point totals, promotional free play credits, points-to-play balance, as well as the current KCMS Floorwide Progressive Bonusing jackpot values. Players can access a list of their available comps and offers that can be redeemed on the spot by playing specialized promotional games through their mobile phones.

Guests can even enjoy self-service options like ordering drinks, requesting their cars from the valet, searching and locating their favorite machines, and signing up for a players club card. The KCMS Patron App will also allow players to view property amenities such as restaurants and hotel rooms, view menus, make reservations and obtain showroom schedules.

As the slogan goes: Konami is all about fun and games. Highlights of new slot machines include: Follow-up themes for the player-popular OMG! Kittens game — OMG! Kittens Safari themes are completed. Also on display at this year's G2E on the Blade video platform is the Cool Jewels theme, which represents the first theme WMS Gaming and Williams Interactive simultaneously launched for land-based, social and real money wagering. The Blade s23 cabinet, a hybrid slant cabinet content includes titles: Eagle Maiden and Exotic Butterfly-themes.

There is no lineup complete at slot machines , without an addition of Monopoly Luxury Diamonds theme. Available as a 5 or 9-line game in wide area progressive and standalone progressive, this Blade Stepper cabinet product pairs the classic Monopoly board game with the jackpots mechanical players love. For the first time, the theme includes a mechanical wheel that features the iconic properties from the board game.

For example, there is its UK-based JackpotParty. With the recent acquisition of WMS Gaming by Scientific Games, here is some company information provided for those not familiar with this gigantic player in the gaming world. Scientific Games Corporation is a leading developer of technology-based products and services and associated content for worldwide gaming and lottery markets. While this report reveals a brief overview of new slot machines , gamerisms suggests you visit the sites for all 7 slot manufacturers.

Browse for updates of new titles online and off, apps, casino systems and the latest in mobile gaming. The 7 reel format means that all sorts of wild options are possible, and machines with this many reels can offer some incredible prizes if you are lucky enough to match seven symbols in a row. However, the difficulty in keeping track of all the information on the machine, and the fact that five reels is usually enough to make a game fun and offer large prizes, has kept seven-reel pokies as a very small part of the online casino landscape.

However, the app situation is a bit better for Android users. Google Play has a similar policy as the Apple App Store, restricting the sale of real money gambling apps outside of markets where they are licensed. But the nature of Android makes it a bit easier for companies to get around this. Many online gambling sites offer apps directly for download from their websites, circumventing the official Google policy. These apps are often the easiest ways to play mobile pokies on your Android device.

Video pokies is a term used for poker machines that feature video graphics. Video pokies are popular because they offer way more interactivity for players to enjoy. Themed poker machines can features characters for popular movie, television or comics franchises, including actual video and sound clips.

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From training to field services to parts and repairs, IGT keeps your operation running smoothly. Home Home Home Home Home. Proven solutions with a customer focus We enable players to experience their favorite games across all channels and regulated segments, from Gaming Machines and Lotteries to Interactive and Social Gaming.

Proven solutions with a customer focus. Gaming We deliver compelling gaming experiences by combining premier content with delivery platform innovation, helping our customers build the deep and enduring player relationships that they need to succeed. Game Search Games Systems Services. Lottery Since , we've collaborated with governments to responsibly grow lottery businesses.

Interactive IGT offers a complete portfolio of award-winning interactive gaming products, platforms, and services. Support Our services and support to operators around the world is all-encompassing. Please resize your browser window. To this end, the top companies in the industry employ teams of game designers to create titles that are tested exhaustively, picked apart by focus groups, and analyzed a thousand different ways before they ever arrive on casino floors.

This process results not only in hit games, but in important breakthroughs that raise the bar for the overall industry. Strictly Slots spoke with a number of major slot manufacturers to learn about their latest breakthroughs, as well as their predictions for what the future holds.

In the coming months and years, slot floors will be transformed in a number of ways. With the touch of a button, any machine on the floor could offer any type of game at any denomination. Since the beginning, playing a slot machine has been a solitary pursuit: But even this is changing as the industry rockets forward into the future.

From Concept To Creation Leading the pack is the billion-dollar juggernaut IGT International Game Technologies , which is constantly rolling out new games and products that often become widely emulated. Bally also has a 3rd Party program whereby game inventors can work together with us to develop their ideas.

The program has different levels; [in some cases] an inventor submits a game concept to Bally, and we handle the design, development and engineering. Each studio has an embedded tester who tests the game from the early development stages through release. This huge contraption, which attracts not only players, but crowds of curious spectators, allows up to nine players to sit around a giant spinning wheel and chase massive progressive jackpots and free spins together.

IGT has a long history of introducing revolutionary ideas and products. Our Megabucks wide-area progressive, the first of many MegaJackpots games to follow, made million-dollar jackpots possible for all players, and for all casinos. Another IGT slot innovation was the use of a licensed entertainment theme in conjunction with a game.

With the addition of a bonus wheel in the top box, that idea resulted in the magical recipe that is Wheel of Fortune. And Bally is offering casino operators great flexibility, with our modular cabinetry along with our common Alpha operating system.

The server communicates with each game on the bank and enables communal bonus events that allow all eligible players to partake in a bonus round, together as a group. Atronic is capitalizing on this trend by introducing games with more vivid graphics, exciting bonus rounds, and varying degrees of volatility.

They can either take the deal or not, and they proceed through the rounds until they accept an offer or reveal the credit amount in their own suitcase. While striving to win over players, Atronic—like other leading manufacturers—is also introducing new technologies that make their games more efficient for casino operators. The theme of the bank will be completely up to the casino. Any bet is eligible to win the progressive.

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Instead, a cashout ticket could be redeemed for cash by a cashier e. Machine includes a main cabinet 4 , which generally surrounds the machine interior not shown and is viewable by users. The main cabinet 4 includes a main door 8 on the front of the machine, which opens to provide access to the interior of the machine. Attached to the main door are player-input switches or buttons 32 , a coin acceptor 28 , and a bill validator 30 , a coin tray 38 , and a belly glass Viewable through the main door is a video display monitor 34 and an information panel The display monitor 34 will typically be a cathode ray tube, high resolution flat-panel LCD, or other conventional electronically controlled video monitor.

The information panel 36 may be a back-lit, silk screened glass panel with lettering to indicate general game information including, for example, the number of coins played. The bill validator 30 , player-input switches 32 , video display monitor 34 , and information panel are devices used to play a game on the game machine The devices are controlled by circuitry housed inside the main cabinet 4 of the machine The gaming machine includes a top box 6 , which sits on top of the main cabinet 4.

The top box 6 houses a number of devices, which may be used to add features to a game being played on the gaming machine , including speakers 10 , 12 , 14 , a ticket printer 18 which may print bar-coded tickets 20 used as cashless instruments. The player tracking unit mounted within the top box 6 includes a key pad 22 for entering player tracking information, a florescent display 16 for displaying player tracking information, a card reader 24 for entering a magnetic striped card containing player tracking information, a microphone 43 for inputting voice data, a speaker 42 for projecting sounds and a light panel 44 for display various light patterns used to convey gaming information.

In other embodiments, the player tracking unit and associated player tracking interface devices, such as 16 , 22 , 24 , 42 , 43 and 44 , may be mounted within the main cabinet 4 of the gaming machine, on top of the gaming machine, or on the side of the main cabinet of the gaming machine.

Understand that gaming machine is but one example from a wide range of gaming machine designs on which the present invention may be implemented. For example, not all suitable gaming machines have top boxes or player tracking features. Some gaming machines are designed for bar tables and have displays that face upwards. Still further, some machines may be designed entirely for cashless systems. Such machines may not include such features as bill validators, coin acceptors and coin trays.

Instead, they may have only ticket readers, card readers and ticket dispensers. Those of skill in the art will understand that the present can be deployed on most gaming machines now available or hereafter developed. Moreover, some aspects of the invention may be implemented on devices which lack some of the features of the gaming machines described herein, e.

Returning to the example of FIG. In addition, the player may use a cashless instrument of some type to register credits on the gaming machine For example, the bill validator 30 may accept a printed ticket voucher, including 20 , as an indicium of credit.

As another example, the card reader 24 may accept a debit card or a smart card containing cash or credit information that may be used to register credits on the gaming machine. During the course of a game, a player may be required to make a number of decisions. For example, a player may vary his or her wager on a particular game, select a prize for a particular game, or make game decisions regarding gaming criteria that affect the outcome of a particular game e. During certain game functions and events, the gaming machine may display visual and auditory effects that can be perceived by the player.

These effects add to the excitement of a game, which makes a player more likely to continue playing. Auditory effects include various sounds that are projected by the speakers 10 , 12 , Visual effects include flashing lights, strobing lights or other patterns displayed from lights on the gaming machine , from lights behind the belly glass 40 or the light panel on the player tracking unit After the player has completed a game, the player may receive game tokens from the coin tray 38 or the ticket 20 from the printer 18 , which may be used for further games or to redeem a prize.

Further, the player may receive a ticket 20 for food, merchandise, or games from the printer The type of ticket 20 may be related to past game playing recorded by the player tracking software within the gaming machine In some embodiments, these tickets may be used by a game player to obtain game services.

Gaming machines are highly regulated to ensure fairness and, in many cases, gaming machines are operable to dispense monetary awards of multiple millions of dollars. Therefore, to satisfy security and regulatory requirements in a gaming environment, hardware and software architectures may be implemented in gaming machines that differ significantly from those of general-purpose computers.

A description of gaming machines relative to general-purpose computing machines and some examples of the additional or different components and features found in gaming machines are described below. At first glance, one might think that adapting PC technologies to the gaming industry would be a simple proposition because both PCs and gaming machines employ microprocessors that control a variety of devices. However, because of such reasons as 1 the regulatory requirements that are placed upon gaming machines, 2 the harsh environment in which gaming machines operate, 3 security requirements and 4 fault tolerance requirements, adapting PC technologies to a gaming machine can be quite difficult.

Further, techniques and methods for solving a problem in the PC industry, such as device compatibility and connectivity issues, might not be adequate in the gaming environment.

For instance, a fault or a weakness tolerated in a PC, such as security holes in software or frequent crashes, may not be tolerated in a gaming machine because in a gaming machine these faults can lead to a direct loss of funds from the gaming machine, such as stolen cash or loss of revenue when the gaming machine is not operating properly.

For the purposes of illustration, a few differences between PC systems and gaming systems will be described. A first difference between gaming machines and common PC based computers systems is that gaming machines are designed to be state-based systems.

In a state-based system, the system stores and maintains its current state in a non-volatile memory, such that, in the event of a power failure or other malfunction the gaming machine will return to its current state when the power is restored. For instance, if a player was shown an award for a game of chance and, before the award could be provided to the player the power failed, the gaming machine, upon the restoration of power, would return to the state where the award is indicated.

As anyone who has used a PC, knows, PCs are not state machines and a majority of data is usually lost when a malfunction occurs. This requirement affects the software and hardware design on a gaming machine. A second important difference between gaming machines and common PC based computer systems is that for regulation purposes, the software on the gaming machine used to generate the game of chance and operate the gaming machine has been designed to be static and monolithic to prevent cheating by the operator of gaming machine.

For instance, one solution that has been employed in the gaming industry to prevent cheating and satisfy regulatory requirements has been to manufacture a gaming machine that can use a proprietary processor running instructions to generate the game of chance from an EPROM or other form of non-volatile memory.

The coding instructions on the EPROM are static non-changeable and must be approved by a gaming regulators in a particular jurisdiction and installed in the presence of a person representing the gaming jurisdiction.

Any changes to any part of the software required to generate the game of chance, such as adding a new device driver used by the master gaming controller to operate a device during generation of the game of chance can require a new EPROM to be burnt, approved by the gaming jurisdiction and reinstalled on the gaming machine in the presence of a gaming regulator.

Regardless of whether the EPROM solution is used, to gain approval in most gaming jurisdictions, a gaming machine must demonstrate sufficient safeguards that prevent an operator of a gaming machine from manipulating hardware and software in a manner that gives them an unfair and some cases an illegal advantage.

The code validation requirements in the gaming industry affect both hardware and software designs on gaming machines. A third important difference between gaming machines and common PC based computer systems is the number and kinds of peripheral devices used on a gaming machine are not as great as on PC based computer systems. Traditionally, in the gaming industry, gaming machines have been relatively simple in the sense that the number of peripheral devices and the number of functions the gaming machine has been limited.

Further, in operation, the functionality of gaming machines were relatively constant once the gaming machine was deployed, i.

This differs from a PC where users will go out and buy different combinations of devices and software from different manufacturers and connect them to a PC to suit their needs depending on a desired application. Therefore, the types of devices connected to a PC may vary greatly from user to user depending in their individual requirements and may vary significantly over time.

Although the variety of devices available for a PC may be greater than on a gaming machine, gaming machines still have unique device requirements that differ from a PC, such as device security requirements not usually addressed by PCs.

For instance, monetary devices, such as coin dispensers, bill validators and ticket printers and computing devices that are used to govern the input and output of cash to a gaming machine have security requirements that are not typically addressed in PCs. Therefore, many PC techniques and methods developed to facilitate device connectivity and device compatibility do not address the emphasis placed on security in the gaming industry.

A watchdog timer is normally used in IGT gaming machines to provide a software failure detection mechanism. Should the operating software fail to access the control registers within a preset timeframe, the watchdog timer will timeout and generate a system reset.

Typical watchdog timer circuits contain a loadable timeout counter register to allow the operating software to set the timeout interval within a certain range of time. A differentiating feature of the some preferred circuits is that the operating software cannot completely disable the function of the watchdog timer.

In other words, the watchdog timer always functions from the time power is applied to the board. IGT gaming computer platforms preferably use several power supply voltages to operate portions of the computer circuitry. These can be generated in a central power supply or locally on the computer board. If any of these voltages falls out of the tolerance limits of the circuitry they power, unpredictable operation of the computer may result.

Though most modern general-purpose computers include voltage monitoring circuitry, these types of circuits only report voltage status to the operating software. Out of tolerance voltages can cause software malfunction, creating a potential uncontrolled condition in the gaming computer. Gaming machines of the present assignee typically have power supplies with tighter voltage margins than that required by the operating circuitry. In addition, the voltage monitoring circuitry implemented in IGT gaming computers typically has two thresholds of control.

The first threshold generates a software event that can be detected by the operating software and an error condition generated. This threshold is triggered when a power supply voltage falls out of the tolerance range of the power supply, but is still within the operating range of the circuitry. The second threshold is set when a power supply voltage falls out of the operating tolerance of the circuitry. In this case, the circuitry generates a reset, halting operation of the computer. The standard method of operation for IGT slot machine game software is to use a state machine.

Each function of the game bet, play, result, etc. When a game moves from one state to another, critical data regarding the game software is stored in a custom non-volatile memory subsystem. In addition, game history information regarding previous games played, amounts wagered, and so forth also should be stored in a non-volatile memory device.

This feature allows the game to recover operation to the current state of play in the event of a malfunction, loss of power, etc.

This is critical to ensure the player's wager and credits are preserved. Typically, battery backed RAM devices are used to preserve this critical data. These memory devices are not used in typical general-purpose computers. IGT gaming computers normally contain additional interfaces, including serial interfaces, to connect to specific subsystems internal and external to the slot machine.

As noted above, some preferred embodiments of the present invention include parallel, digital interfaces for high-speed data transfer. In addition, to conserve serial interfaces internally in the slot machine, serial devices may be connected in a shared, daisy-chain fashion where multiple peripheral devices are connected to a single serial channel.

IGT Gaming machines may alternatively be treated as peripheral devices to a casino communication controller and connected in a shared daisy chain fashion to a single serial interface.

In both cases, the peripheral devices are preferably assigned device addresses. If so, the serial controller circuitry must implement a method to generate or detect unique device addresses. General-purpose computer serial ports are not able to do this. Security monitoring circuits detect intrusion into an IGT gaming machine by monitoring security switches attached to access doors in the slot machine cabinet. Preferably, access violations result in suspension of game play and can trigger additional security operations to preserve the current state of game play.

These circuits also function when power is off by use of a battery backup. In power-off operation, these circuits continue to monitor the access doors of the slot machine.

When power is restored, the gaming machine can determine whether any security violations occurred while power was off, e. This can trigger event log entries and further data authentication operations by the slot machine software.

Trusted memory devices are preferably included in an IGT gaming machine computer to ensure the authenticity of the software that may be stored on less secure memory subsystems, such as mass storage devices.

Trusted memory devices and controlling circuitry are typically designed to not allow modification of the code and data stored in the memory device while the memory device is installed in the slot machine. The code and data stored in these devices may include authentication algorithms, random number generators, authentication keys, operating system kernels, etc. The purpose of these trusted memory devices is to provide gaming regulatory authorities a root trusted authority within the computing environment of the slot machine that can be tracked and verified as original.

This may be accomplished via removal of the trusted memory device from the slot machine computer and verification of the trusted memory device contents in a separate third party verification device. Once the trusted memory device is verified as authentic, and based on the approval of the verification algorithms contained in the trusted device, the gaming machine is allowed to verify the authenticity of additional code and data that may be located in the gaming computer assembly, such as code and data stored on hard disk drives.

Mass storage devices used in a general purpose computer typically allow code and data to be read from and written to the mass storage device. In a gaming machine environment, modification of the gaming code stored on a mass storage device is strictly controlled and would only be allowed under specific maintenance type events with electronic and physical enablers required.

Though this level of security could be provided by software, IGT gaming computers that include mass storage devices preferably include hardware level mass storage data protection circuitry that operates at the circuit level to monitor attempts to modify data on the mass storage device and will generate both software and hardware error triggers should a data modification be attempted without the proper electronic and physical enablers being present.

Network device includes a master central processing unit CPU , interfaces , and a bus e. Generally, interfaces include ports appropriate for communication with the appropriate media.

In some embodiments, one or more of interfaces includes at least one independent processor and, in some instances, volatile RAM. The independent processors may be, for example, ASICs or any other appropriate processors. According to some such embodiments, these independent processors perform at least some of the functions of the logic described herein. In some embodiments, one or more of interfaces control such communications-intensive tasks as media control and management.

By providing separate processors for the communications-intensive tasks, interfaces allow the master microprocessor efficiently to perform other functions such as routing computations, network diagnostics, security functions, etc. Generally, interfaces control the sending and receiving of data packets over the network and sometimes support other peripherals used with the network device Among the interfaces that may be provided are FC interfaces, Ethernet interfaces, frame relay interfaces, cable interfaces, DSL interfaces, token ring interfaces, and the like.

When acting under the control of appropriate software or firmware, in some implementations of the invention CPU may be responsible for implementing specific functions associated with the functions of a desired network device.

According to some embodiments, CPU accomplishes all these functions under the control of software including an operating system and any appropriate applications software.

CPU may include one or more processors such as a processor from the Motorola family of microprocessors or the MIPS family of microprocessors. In an alternative embodiment, processor is specially designed hardware for controlling the operations of network device However, there are many different ways in which memory could be coupled to the system. Examples of machine-readable media include, but are not limited to, magnetic media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical media such as CD-ROM disks; magneto-optical media; and hardware devices that are specially configured to store and perform program instructions, such as read-only memory devices ROM and random access memory RAM.

The invention may also be embodied in a carrier wave traveling over an appropriate medium such as airwaves, optical lines, electric lines, etc. Examples of program instructions include both machine code, such as produced by a compiler, and files containing higher level code that may be executed by the computer using an interpreter. Although the system shown in FIG. For example, an architecture having a single processor that handles communications as well as routing computations, etc.

Further, other types of interfaces and media could also be used with the network device. The communication path between interfaces may be bus based as shown in FIG.

The above-described devices and materials will be familiar to those of skill in the computer hardware and software arts. Although many of the components and processes are described above in the singular for convenience, it will be appreciated by one of skill in the art that multiple components and repeated processes can also be used to practice the techniques of the present invention.

Although the foregoing invention has been described in some detail for purposes of clarity of understanding, it will be apparent that certain changes and modifications may be practiced within the scope of the appended claims.

In some bingo-type implementations, the draw for the game takes place before the players know the arrangements on their Bingo cards. Some such implementations involve exposing previously purchased Bingo cards. Some implementations of the invention allow a player to view one or more draw cards prior to determining which cards to hold.

In some such implementations, the player may view the first draw card for a fee, the first two draw cards for a higher fee, and so on. In exchange for a fee, some implementations allow a player to select draw cards out of the normal sequence.

For example, if a player paid to see the first two draw cards, the player could choose the second draw card but not the first draw card. In preferred implementations, the possible interim win payouts to the player are reduced if the player chooses to view one or more draw cards in advance. One example of this situation is when the player is dealt a sufficient win e. In some implementations, the wagering The invention claimed is: A gaming machine, comprising: The gaming machine of claim 1 , wherein the number of first undealt cards varies according to the amount of the second payment.

The gaming machine of claim 1 , wherein the controller is further configured to apply a first paytable percentage if the second payment is not received. The gaming machine of claim 3 , wherein the controller is further configured to apply a second paytable percentage if the second payment is received.

The gaming machine of claim 1 , wherein the controller is further configured to: The gaming machine of claim 1 , wherein the one or more first undealt cards are in a sequence, and wherein the controller is further configured to further enable, after receipt of the second payment, at least one of the one or more first undealt cards to be selected to be drawn as a replacement card without regard for the position in the sequence of each of the selected cards.

A method of operating a gaming machine, said method comprising: The method of claim 7 , wherein the number of first undealt cards varies according to the amount of the second payment. The method of claim 7 , wherein the wagering game comprises a poker game.

The method of claim 7 , wherein the second payment varies according to the number of first undealt cards. The method of claim 7 , further comprising: The method of claim 7 , wherein the wagering game is a poker game and the one or more first undealt cards are in a sequence reflecting a draw order, the method further comprising: The method of claim 7 , wherein the one or more first undealt cards are in a sequence reflecting an unmodified draw order, wherein the one or more first undealt cards includes a first card and a second card, and wherein the first card is earlier in the sequence than the second card, the method further comprising: The method of claim 7 , wherein the one or more first undealt cards are in a sequence reflecting a draw order, wherein the one or more first undealt cards includes a first card and a second card, and wherein the first card is earlier in the sequence than the second card, the method further comprising: A non-transitory computer readable medium storing a plurality of instructions which, when executed by at least one processor, cause the at least one processor to: The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 16 , wherein the number of first undealt cards varies according to the amount of the second payment.

The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 16 , wherein the wagering game comprises a poker game. The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 16 , wherein the wagering game comprises a poker game and wherein the amount of the second payment varies according to the number of first undealt cards to be shown. The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 16 , wherein the plurality of instructions, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the at least one processor to use a first paytable percentage if the second payment is not received.

The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 20 , wherein the plurality of instructions, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the at least one processor to use a second paytable percentage if the second payment is received.

The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 16 , wherein the plurality of instructions, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the at least one processor to use a first paytable percentage if the second payment is not received; and use a second paytable percentage if the second payment is received, wherein the first paytable percentage is higher than the second paytable percentage.

Assume that the paytable pays according to the following, with a wager of 1 credit: Instant lottery game employing vending machines which are centrally controlled by computers. Electronic gaming device utilizing a random number generator for selecting the reel stop positions. Player operable lottery machine having display means displaying combinations of game result indicia.

Hierarchical lottery network with selection from differentiated playing pools. Wagering system using smartcards for transfer of agent terminal data.

Video gaming system with fixed pool of winning plays and global pool access. Methods and apparatus for playing bingo over a wide geographic area. Video lottery system with improved site controller and validation unit. Method and apparatus for randomly increasing the payback in a video gaming apparatus. Game system including an instant win game and a second game initialized by a winning instant win game ticket. Method and apparatus for disclosing a target pattern for identification.

Method for users to play the kung-ming chess on micro-processor-based systems. Method of playing game and gaming device with an additional payout indicator. Method of playing game and gaming games with an additional payout indicator. Multi-deck poker progressive wagering system with multiple winners and including jackpot, bust, and insurance options.

Modified poker card game and computer system for implementing same. Method, apparatus and pull-tab gaming set for use in a progressive pull-tab game. Apparatus and method for real time monitoring and registering of bingo game. Wagering system with improved communication between host computers and remote terminals. Game with multiple incentives and multiple levels of game play and combined lottery game with time of purchase win progressive jackpot. System for facilitating game play in an electronic lottery game network.

Gaming device having a bonus round with a win, lose or draw outcome. System, method and article of manufacture for providing a progressive-type prize awarding scheme in an intermittently accessed network game environment.

Game machine having a main unit exchanging data with a portable slave machine. Multi-level lottery-type gaming system with player-selected second level game. Gaming system with individualized centrally generated random number generator seeds. Multi-staged poker game and method of playing game with changing wildcards, winning hands of cards and payout odds at each stage. Gaming device having a multiple round game that includes player choices and processor choices.

Electronic video poker method and system having multiple poker hands. Method for displaying an interactive game having a pre-determined outcome. Apparatus, method, and program product for facilitating game play in an electronic lottery game network. Method and device for playing a game in which a player is charged for performing game playing actions. Method and program product for producing and using game play records in a bingo-type game. Method of playing a wagering game and gaming devices with a bingo-type secondary game.

Multi-player bingo with slept awards reverting to progressive jackpot pool. Multi-player bingo game with multiple alternative outcome displays.

Multi-player bingo game with real-time game-winning pattern determination. Multi-player bingo game and methods for determining game-winning awards. Gaming machine having a lottery game and capability for integration with gaming device accounting system and player tracking system. Systems and methods to facilitate games of skill for prizes played via a communication network. Method, apparatus, and program product for presenting results in a bingo-type game.

Methods and systems for documenting a player's experience in a casino environment. Novel games, and methods and apparatus for game play in games of chance. Concurrent, combinational, interactive games played on electronic gaming devices. Method, apparatus and computer program product for enhanced bingo game. Slot machine game having a plurality of ways for a user to obtain payouts for one or more additional pay lines formed by the appearance of special symbols in a symbol matrix.

Slot machine game having a plurality of ways to issue a percentage of a progressive award based upon any wager level "percentage progressive". Method and apparatus for varying win probability and payouts of a gaming machine. Gaming machine with interactive pop-up windows providing enhanced game play schemes.

Apparatus and method for poker game with additional draw card options. System and method for simulating the outcome of an electronic bingo game as a blackjack game. Multi-player bingo game with multi-level award amount pattern mapping. Gaming system for players of different games to compete for the same progressive jackpots in various gameplay settings.

Apparatus, method, and program product for conducting a bingo game to produce card game-type results. Gaming system using single player-identification card for performing multiple functions. Methods and apparatus for limiting access to games using biometric data. Dianomopoly Advertisement by International Gamco, Inc. Electronic Tabs Advertisement by 21st Century Gaming, published EP Examiner's Communication, dated Jul.

EP Examiner's Communication, dated Oct. International Search Report, mailed Jun. Lucky Times California Lottery Newsletter published Play it again Advertisement by International Gamco, Inc. US Notice of Allowance dated Nov. US Office Action dated Apr. US Office Action dated Dec.

US Office Action dated Jul. US Office Action dated Jun. US Office Action dated Nov. US Office Action mailed Aug. US Office Action mailed Dec. With the addition of a bonus wheel in the top box, that idea resulted in the magical recipe that is Wheel of Fortune. And Bally is offering casino operators great flexibility, with our modular cabinetry along with our common Alpha operating system.

The server communicates with each game on the bank and enables communal bonus events that allow all eligible players to partake in a bonus round, together as a group. Atronic is capitalizing on this trend by introducing games with more vivid graphics, exciting bonus rounds, and varying degrees of volatility. They can either take the deal or not, and they proceed through the rounds until they accept an offer or reveal the credit amount in their own suitcase.

While striving to win over players, Atronic—like other leading manufacturers—is also introducing new technologies that make their games more efficient for casino operators. The theme of the bank will be completely up to the casino.

Any bet is eligible to win the progressive. Atronic is also introducing new titles that offer more lines for play. With all the competition and clutter on a casino floor, players are looking for [greater] entertainment and opportunities to win.

Nothing beats a rowdy blackjack table on a Friday night, where everyone is rooting for the dealer to bust. We feel confident in our ability to replicate this in slot form.

You build on your successes, and that game builds on two of ours: Players are enjoying the social aspect of multi-player products, and you can expect to see more from IGT on that front.

Serving Up A Breakthrough The concept of linking games together via central computer servers has manufacturers and slot floor managers excited, while players can expect greater convenience and flexibility when they sit down at a machine. Server-based technology also promises to provide players with a more personalized experience. IGT reportedly has server-based functions in the field trial phase, while Bally has implemented certain server-based functions through its player tracking system.

One of the challenges is that regulations have not yet been created to govern server-based operations—at least not in Class III casinos, where all manner of table games and slots are found.

The machines in Class II casinos, which are actually bingo games styled like regular slot machines, are all run on central servers.

With this next generation of slot machines, some concepts might fail to catch on with players, while others will be tweaked and improved before their manufacturer can proclaim them a hit.

Then there will be the home runs, the games that are instant sensations and perhaps create an entirely new category, causing the competition to play catch-up. One thing is for sure: An extensive nationwide listing of casino entertainment.

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