Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2653330 Summary

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(12) Patent Application: (11) CA 2653330
(54) English Title: MULTI-DISPLAY COMPUTER TERMINAL SYSTEM
(54) French Title: SYSTEME DE TERMINAL INFORMATIQUE A PLUSIEURS ECRANS D'AFFICHAGE
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • A63F 13/45 (2014.01)
  • G07F 17/32 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • LUTNICK, HOWARD (United States of America)
  • ALDERUCCI, DEAN (United States of America)
  • GELMAN, GEOFFREY (United States of America)
  • BURMAN, KEVIN (Australia)
(73) Owners :
  • CFPH, LLC (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • CFPH, LLC (United States of America)
(74) Agent: NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT CANADA LLP/S.E.N.C.R.L., S.R.L.
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued:
(86) PCT Filing Date: 2007-08-20
(87) Open to Public Inspection: 2008-02-28
Examination requested: 2009-02-23
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
11/467,078 United States of America 2006-08-24
11/733,902 United States of America 2007-04-11
11/468,809 United States of America 2006-08-31
11/470,250 United States of America 2006-09-05
11/533,300 United States of America 2006-09-19
11/539,518 United States of America 2006-10-06
11/618,426 United States of America 2006-12-29
11/674,232 United States of America 2007-02-13
11/680,764 United States of America 2007-03-01
11/697,024 United States of America 2007-04-05

English Abstract

In various embodiments player may participate in gaming related activities using a terminal with multiple display screens.


French Abstract

Dans divers modes de réalisation de l'invention, un joueur peut participer à des activités afférentes à un pari au moyen d'un terminal à écrans d'affichage multiples.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.



CLAIMS

1. An apparatus comprising:
six display screens;
an elevated, flat horizontal surface;
a microphone;
a speaker;
a keyboard;
a telephone;
a telephone keypad;
a computer mouse;
a computer memory; and
a computer processor, the computer processor operable to:
receive first information from a server;
generate second information based on the first information;
present the second information via at least one of the speaker and the six
display
screens;
receive third information from at least one of the microphone, the keyboard,
the
telephone, and the computer mouse;
present the third information;
generate fourth information based on the second information and based on the
third
information; and
transmit the fourth information to the server.

2. A system comprising:
a physical event generator;
an information capturing device operable to record physical events generated
by the physical
event generator;
a plurality of terminals; and
a server, the server operable to:


447



receive first information about recorded physical events from the information
capturing
device;
determine second information based on the first information;
transmit second information to at least one of the plurality of terminals;
receive third information from at least one of the plurality of terminals; and

update a record based on the third information.


3. An apparatus comprising a computing device operable to:
receive identifying information for a player at a casino;
associate the player with a button;
determine that the button has been pressed;
identify footage pertaining to the player; and
present the footage.


4. The apparatus of claim 3 further operable to: display a name of the player
on the button.

5. The apparatus of claim 3 in which to identify footage comprises to:
transmit to a casino server a request for footage pertaining to the player;
and
receive the footage from the casino server.


6. The apparatus of claim 3 in which to present the footage includes to
display the footage on a display
screen.


7. The apparatus of claim 3 in which to identify the footage includes to
identify a video showing the face
of the player.


8. The apparatus of claim 3 in which to identify the footage includes to
identify a video showing the
player engaged in play of a game.


9. The apparatus of claim 3 in which to identify the footage includes to
identify video showing an
indication of game outcomes achieved by the player.


10. An apparatus comprising a computing device operable to:

448



receive a request from a player at a gaming device to place a phone call;
determine a destination of the phone call;
determine a bet that is available at the gaming device;
determine a set of rules that are associated with the bet;
determine that the placement of the phone call to the destination is in
compliance with the set
of rules; and
connect the player to his destination.


11. The apparatus of claim 10 in which to receive a request from a player
includes to receive from the
player at the gaming device an indication of a set of digits dialed.


12. The apparatus of claim 10 in which to determine a bet that is available at
the gaming device includes
to determine a bet on a sporting event that is available on the gaming device.


13. The apparatus of claim 12 in which to determine a set of rules includes to
determine that no phone
calls are allowed outside the local area of the gaming device when the bet on
the sporting event is
placed.


14. The apparatus of claim 10 further operable to: record the phone call.

15. The apparatus of claim 14 further operable to:
determine that the player has made the bet;
determine whether the player has won the bet; and
replay the recorded phone call if the player has won the bet.

16. An apparatus comprising a computing device operable to:
receive an indication of a first bet from a first player;
deduct the amount of the first bet from a credit balance associated with the
first player;
receive a game initiation signal from the first player;
determine a first outcome of a first game;
display graphics associated with the first game on a first display screen;
determine a first payout of the first game based on the first outcome and
based on the first bet;
increase the credit balance associated with the first player by the amount of
the first payout;

449




receive an indication of a second bet from the first player;
deduct the amount of the second bet from the credit balance associated with
the first player;
receive from the first player an indication of a second game played by a
second player;
determine a second outcome of the second game;
display graphics associated with the second game on a second display screen,
in which
graphics associated with the second game are displayed simultaneously to the
display of the graphics
associated with the first game;
determine a second outcome of the second game;
determine a second payout based on the second outcome and based on the second
bet; and
increase the credit balance associated with the first player by the amount of
the second payout.

17. The apparatus of claim 16 in which to receive from the first player an
indication of a second game
played by a second player includes to: receive from the first player an
indication of a second game that
is played remotely from the location of the first player.


18. The apparatus of claim 16 in which to display graphics associated with the
first game includes to
display a rendition of spinning slot machine reels.


19. The apparatus of claim 16 in which to display graphics associated with the
second game includes to
display video footage of the second player playing the second game.


450

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


DEMANDE OU BREVET VOLUMINEUX

LA PRESENTE PARTIE DE CETTE DEMANDE OU CE BREVET COMPREND
PLUS D'UN TOME.

CECI EST LE TOME 1 DE 2
CONTENANT LES PAGES 1 A 286

NOTE : Pour les tomes additionels, veuillez contacter le Bureau canadien des
brevets

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THIS SECTION OF THE APPLICATION/PATENT CONTAINS MORE THAN ONE
VOLUME

THIS IS VOLUME 1 OF 2
CONTAINING PAGES 1 TO 286

NOTE: For additional volumes, please contact the Canadian Patent Office
NOM DU FICHIER / FILE NAME:

NOTE POUR LE TOME / VOLUME NOTE:


CA 02653330 2009-02-23
WO 2008/024705 PCT/US2007/076298
MULTI-DISPLAY COMPUTER TERMINAL SYSTEM

BACKGROUND
Games of chance have enjoyed widespread popularity. Traditional systems for
playing these
games suffer some drawbacks. Computer implemented systems may alleviate some
of these
drawbacks.

SUMMARY
According to some embodiments, games of chance may be played on computer
systems.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of interactive gaming system A10 according to
various
embodiments.
FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of a roulette table in a casino with associated
video camera and
other parts of the system in schematic form.
FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a terminal, computer or TV type of display.
FIG. 4A shows a casino offering both in-house and on-line (over a network)
gaming, according
to various embodiments.
FIG. 4B shows a casino according to some embodiments.
FIG. 5 shows a player communicating through the server of the casino of FIG.
4A, according to
some embodiments.
FIG. 6 shows the casino of FIG. 4A delivering a benefit to the player,
according to some
embodiments.
FIG. 7 shows a display used by the casino of FIG. 4A to verify electronically
that a player is
entitled to a benefit, according to some embodiments.
FIG. 8 shows a system for detecting and controlling collusion in a game,
according to some
embodiments.
FIG. 9 is a functional representation of a stored software program of the
application web server
of FIG. 8, according to some embodiments.
FIG. 10 is a functional representation of a stored software program of the
collusion detection
server of FIG. 8, according to some embodiments.
FIG. 11 is a block diagram of a general-purpose computer system upon which
various
embodiments may be implemented.

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FIG. 12 is a block diagram of a computer data storage system with which
various embodiments
may be practiced.
FIG. 13 is a diagram showing components of the sports betting computer
according to some
embodiments.
FIG. 14 is a diagram showing components of a payment subsystem according to
some
embodiments.
FIG. 15 is a diagram showing components of a payout subsystem according to
some
embodiments.
FIG. 16 is a diagram showing components of a sports betting subsystem
according to some
lo embodiments.
FIG. 17 is a diagram showing a flow chart of a process for placing a sports
bet according to
some embodiments.
FIG. 18 is a schematic view of a method of authenticating a pre-generated
random events
sequence in an online casino game, according to various embodiments.
FIG. 19 is a schematic view of a method of authenticating a pre-generated
random events
sequence which is converted into a digital digest, according to various
embodiments.
FIG. 20 is a schematic view of a method of authenticating a pre-generated
random events
sequence which is encrypted and converted into a digital digest, according to
various embodiments.
FIG. 21 is a schematic view of a method of authenticating a pre-generated
random events
sequence in a multiple-player game, according to various embodiments.
FIG. 22 shows a gaming system according to some embodiments.
FIG. 23 shows a communications network according to some embodiments.
FIG. 24 shows a gaming service provider in communication with a gaming
communication
device according to some embodiments.
FIG. 25 shows a communications network according to some embodiments.
FIG. 26 shows a gaming system according to some embodiments.
FIG. 27 shows a wireless gaming system according to some embodiments.
FIG. 28 shows a mobile gaming device with promotional content according to
some
embodiments.
FIG. 29 is a block diagram of a gaming system in accordance with some
embodiments.
FIG. 30 is a block diagram of a payment system forming a part of the gaming
system illustrated
in FIG. 8, according to some embodiments.

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FIG. 31 is a schematic diagram of a portable gaming device of the gaming
system illustrated in
FIG. 8, according to some embodiments.
FIG. 32a is a flow diagram of a method of use of a portable gaming device by a
player,
according to some embodiments.
FIG. 32b is a flow diagram of a particular method of using the portable gaming
device by a
player, according to some embodiments.
FIG. 33 is a flow diagram of a method of use of the portable gaming device by
a gaming service
operator, according to some embodiments.
FIG. 34 is a flow diagram of a method of use of the portable gaming device
according to some
lo embodiments.
FIG. 35 shows an embodiment of a spinning reel slot machine.
FIG. 36a shows a direct video image in a display area, according to some
embodiments.
FIG. 36b shows a virtual video image in a display area, according to some
embodiments.
FIG. 37 shows a superimposed video image with instructional information
prompting the player
to insert coins or play credits, according to some embodiments.
FIG. 38 shows a superimposed video image depicting the activated pay lines and
the number
of wagered credits per pay line, according to some embodiments.
FIG. 39 shows a superimposed video image depicting the pay table in response
to a command
by the player (e.g., by pressing a"Pay Table" key on the button panel),
according to some
2o embodiments.
FIG. 40 shows a superimposed video image highlighting the winning
combination(s) (e.g., "7,"
"7," "7") and its associated pay line and depicting the award for that winning
combination, according to
some embodiments.
FIG. 41 illustrates an embodiment of a gaming system in accordance with some
embodiments.
FIG. 42 is a perspective view of a slot machine 10.
FIG. 43 illustrates schematically an embodiment of a player tracking card 59
disposed in a card
reader 58
FIG. 44 is a perspective view of various possible embodiments a gaming unit.
FIG. 44A illustrates an embodiment of a control panel for a gaming unit.
FIG. 45 shows a game device according to some embodiments.
FIG. 46 shows an apparatus for playing a game, according to some embodiments.
FIG. 47 shows a block diagram of components for a hand-reading system,
according to some
embodiments.

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Figure 48 shows a system according to some embodiments.
Figure 49 shows a casino server according to some embodiments.
Figure 50 shows a terminal for use by a secondary player, according to some
embodiments.
Figure 51 shows a gaming device according to some embodiments.
Figure 52 shows a monitoring device (e.g., camera, card reader) according to
some
embodiments.
Figure 53 shows a database entry including various information about a game
(e.g., date, time,
outcome, player, bet amount)
Figure 54 shows a database entry including various games played by a player.
Figure 55 shows a touch screen display for entering betting information and
tracking the
progress of a game, according to some embodiments.
Figure 56 shows a touch screen display for entering betting information and
tracking the
progress of a game, according to some embodiments.
Figure 57 shows a tabular display with information about various games,
according to some
embodiments.
Figure 58 shows a gaming environment, according to some embodiments.
Figure 59 shows a gaming environment, according to some embodiments.
Figure 60 shows information about gaming devices, according to some
embodiments.
Figure 61 shows a terminal according to some embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION
RECONSTRUCTING AN EVENT WITH GRAPHICS
In various embodiments, an event may occur out of sight of an interested
party. The event may have
occurred in a different location from where the interested party is located.
The event may have occurred
at a time before the interested party arrived at the location of the event.
The event may have been
missed by the interested party because the interested party was looking away
or not paying attention.
According to various embodiments, one or more details of an event are
recorded. Details may be
recorded using a recording device, such as a camera, microphone, scanner, or
any other device. In a
game, for example, a card shuffler may incorporate scanners to scan in card
images of cards that are
dealt. The details may then be stored in a server or in some other computer or
computing device. The
details may be stored in a networked environment and made available to one or
more other computing
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devices connected to the network. The details may later be accessed by one or
more other computing
devices.

In various embodiments, recorded details of an event may be used to
reconstruct the event. Recorded
details may first be interpreted. For example, image processing algorithms may
determine the rank and
suit of a card that has been dealt based upon a captured image of the card.
Details of an event may be
interpreted by the server storing such details, or by any other computing
device.

After details of an event have been interpreted, representations of the event
may constructed. For
1o example, a cartoon representation of an event may be generated based on
recorded details of the
event. For example, a representation of a card may be generated by a computer.

Representations of events may then be presented to people. Representations may
be presented in the
form of video, audio, tactile sensations, or in any other form. In various
embodiments, representations of
games which have been played may be presented to people who were remote from
such games or who
did not see the games when they happened. People may include secondary
players, or players who bet
on the outcomes of games without directly participating in the games
themselves.

In various embodiments, details of an event are not interpreted. Rather,
details of events are presented
just as they were recorded. For example, a video of an event may be presented.

SHOWING INFORMATION TO A PLAYER AT A TABLE
In various embodiments, players at a gaming table may be sitting shoulder to
shoulder with other players
and may generally have little space to put cash, gaming chips, food, drinks,
or other items. Further,
players may have limited space to view desired information, such as
information about other players,
information about game statistics, or information unrelated to a game.
According to various
embodiments, a terminal with a plurality of screens allows a player to view a
number of information
feeds and many different types of information. A desk area at the terminal
allows the player space to put
personal items or gaming items. Various buttons allow the player to call up
information on demand. A
player may also, in various embodiments, participate in games at the terminal.
Thus, the terminal may
serve to alleviate space constraints present with traditional gaming tables.

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Using a terminal, a first player may call up information about a second
player. The first player may call
up information indicating how many times the second player has won or lost in
a given period of time.
The first player may call up information indicating what strategies the second
player has used. The first
player may call up information indicating an amount that has been won or lost
by the second player.
The first player may call up any other information about the second player.
The first player may view
multiple different items of information, such as different statistics about a
second player, or such as a
given statistic about many different other players (e.g., amounts won by each
of 10 other players).
The terminal may also include various input devices, such as keyboards,
computer mice, telephone
pads, cameras, microphones, and other input devices. The player may use the
input devices to indicate
his desire to see information about other players, information about any games
that he is currently
playing, or any other information.

PLAYING PEOPLE AT DIFFERENT PLACES IN CASINO, BEING ABLE TO SEE THEM ALL,
SERVER BASED GAMING
In various embodiments, people participating in a mutual event may be unable
to congregate in the
same physical location. For example, people may have physical frailties that
inhibit easy movement
from one place to another. In a casino, for example, players may wish to play
in the same poker game,
but may be unable or unwilling to all move to the same area of a casino. Thus,
in various embodiments,
2o each of a plurality of players may go to his or her own terminal. The
terminal may include a number of
display screens. Each display screen may display an image of another player
participating in the same
poker game. Each terminal may include a camera. The camera may capture an
image of the player at
the terminal. Images captured by the camera may be transmitted to a central
server. The server may,
in turn, transmit the images from the camera to the terminals of other
players. The terminals of other
players may receive the images and such images may be posted on one of the
display screens at a
terminal. Accordingly, a player may sit at a terminal and play games against
other players at other
terminals. The player may see each of the other players on one of the display
screens his own terminal.
In various embodiments, players may also have audio links to one another. Each
player terminal may
include a microphone. Words spoken into the microphone may be captured, sent
to the central server,
3o and forwarded to the other terminals. The other terminals may broadcast the
spoken words to the
players at those terminals. Accordingly, a first player may say something like
"bet" or "raise" after which
other players may hear the spoken word at another terminal. Thus, in various
embodiments, players

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may engage in a game traditionally played in person, but remotely from other
players. The terminal may
still allow a player to clearly see and hear all the other players.

PLAYING MULTIPLE GAMES AT ONCE
In various embodiments, a terminal with multiples screens (e.g., with 6
screens) may allow a player to
engage in the play of multiple games at once. Traditionally, a player at a
gaming device, such as a slot
machine, may have limited space on a display screen with which to view the
action in a game. A
terminal according to various embodiments provides numerous display screens.
The display screens
may be spread out in semi-circular fashion in front of the player. Thus, the
player may have plenty of
1o viewing space on which to view the action in multiple games at once.

YOU DON'T PLAY FROM SAME DECK AS OTHER PLAYERS AT LIVE GAMES. BUT YOU PLAY
AGAINST DEALER'S CARDS
In various embodiments, an apparatus combines information from a live game
played at a table with
additional information to allow for game play by another player who is not at
the table. An information
capturing device sits in proximity to a table. For example, a camera films the
play at a table. Details of
game play are captured by the information capturing device. The details are
transmitted to a central
server. The details may then be interpreted to determine salient game
information, such as what cards
have been dealt or what a dealer's hand is. Additional information may then be
generated. This
2o additional information may include new cards, dice rolls, indicia, or other
game outcomes or results.
The additional information may be used in conjunction with information from
the live game in order to
create a new game or game experience for the player at the terminal. A
computer processor of the
terminal generates cards for a player. The processor uses random number
generators, for example, to
select cards to deal to the player. Whether the player has won or lost is then
determined based on the
additional information generated and based on the salient game information
from the live game. For
example, the player may receive a blackjack hand that is generated by the
processor of his terminal.
The player's hand may then be compared to the dealer's hand from the live
blackjack game. The
comparison may be performed by the processor of the terminal using standard
rules of blackjack.

GUIDE TO INTERPRETING THE PRESENT APPLICATION
Terms
The term "product" means any machine, manufacture and / or composition of
matter, unless
expressly specified otherwise.

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The term "process" means any process, algorithm, method or the like, unless
expressly
specified otherwise.
Each process (whether called a method, algorithm or otherwise) inherently
includes one or
more steps, and therefore all references to a "step" or "steps" of a process
have an inherent antecedent
basis in the mere recitation of the term 'process' or a like term.
Accordingly, any reference in a claim to
a'step' or'steps' of a process has sufficient antecedent basis.
The term "invention" and the like mean "the one or more inventions disclosed
in this application"
unless expressly specified otherwise.
The terms "an embodiment", "embodiment", "embodiments", "the embodiment", "the
1o embodiments", "one or more embodiments", "some embodiments", "certain
embodiments", "one
embodiment", "another embodiment" and the like mean "one or more (but not all)
embodiments of the
disclosed invention(s)", unless expressly specified otherwise.
The term "variation" of an invention means an embodiment of the invention,
unless expressly
specified otherwise.
A reference to "another embodiment" in describing an embodiment does not imply
that the
referenced embodiment is mutually exclusive with another embodiment (e.g., an
embodiment described
before the referenced embodiment), unless expressly specified otherwise.
The terms "including", "comprising" and variations thereof mean "including but
not limited to",
unless expressly specified otherwise.
The terms "a", "an" and "the" mean "one or more", unless expressly specified
otherwise.
The term "plurality" means "two or more", unless expressly specified
otherwise.
The term "herein" means "in the present application, including anything which
may be
incorporated by reference", unless expressly specified otherwise.
The phrase "at least one of', when such phrase modifies a plurality of things
(such as an
enumerated list of things) means any combination of one or more of those
things, unless expressly
specified otherwise. For example, the phrase "at least one of a widget, a car
and a wheeP" means either
(i) a widget, (ii) a car, (iii) a wheel, (iv) a widget and a car, (v) a widget
and a wheel, (vi) a car and a
wheel, or (vii) a widget, a car and a wheel. The phrase "at least one of',
when such phrase modifies a
plurality of things does not mean "one of each of" the plurality of things.
Numerical terms such as "one", "two", etc. when used as cardinal numbers to
indicate quantity
of something (e.g., one widget, two widgets), mean the quantity indicated by
that numerical term, but do
not mean at least the quantity indicated by that numerical term. For example,
the phrase "one widget"
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does not mean "at least one widget", and therefore the phrase "one widget"
does not cover, e.g., two
widgets.
The phrase "based on" does not mean "based only on", unless expressly
specified otherwise.
In other words, the phrase "based on" describes both "based only on" and
"based at least on". The
phrase "based at least on" is equivalent to the phrase "based at least in part
on".
The term "represent" and like terms are not exclusive, unless expressly
specified otherwise.
For example, the term "represents" do not mean "represents only", unless
expressly specified otherwise.
In other words, the phrase "the data represents a credit card number"
describes both "the data
represents only a credit card number" and "the data represents a credit card
number and the data also
represents something else".
The term "whereby" is used herein only to precede a clause or other set of
words that express
only the intended result, objective or consequence of something that is
previously and explicitly recited.
Thus, when the term "whereby" is used in a claim, the clause or other words
that the term "whereby"
modifies do not establish specific further limitations of the claim or
otherwise restricts the meaning or
scope of the claim.
The term "e.g." and like terms mean "for example", and thus does not limit the
term or phrase it
explains. For example, in the sentence "the computer sends data (e.g.,
instructions, a data structure)
over the Internet", the term "e.g." explains that "instructions" are an
example of "data" that the computer
may send over the Internet, and also explains that "a data structure" is an
example of "data" that the
computer may send over the Internet. However, both "instructions" and "a data
structure" are merely
examples of "data", and other things besides "instructions" and "a data
structure" can be "data".
The term "respective" and like terms mean "taken individually". Thus if two or
more things have
"respective" characteristics, then each such thing has its own characteristic,
and these characteristics
can be different from each other but need not be. For example, the phrase
"each of two machines has a
respective function" means that the first such machine has a function and the
second such machine has
a function as well. The function of the first machine may or may not be the
same as the function of the
second machine.
The term "i.e." and like terms mean "that is", and thus limits the term or
phrase it explains. For
example, in the sentence "the computer sends data (i.e., instructions) over
the Internet", the term "i.e."
3o explains that "instructions" are the "data" that the computer sends over
the Internet.
Any given numerical range shall include whole and fractions of numbers within
the range. For
example, the range "1 to 10" shall be interpreted to specifically include
whole numbers between 1 and
10 (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, ... 9) and non-whole numbers (e.g., , 1.1, 1.2, ...
1.9).

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Where two or more terms or phrases are synonymous (e.g., because of an
explicit statement
that the terms or phrases are synonymous), instances of one such term / phrase
does not mean
instances of another such term / phrase must have a different meaning. For
example, where a
statement renders the meaning of "including" to be synonymous with "including
but not limited to", the
mere usage of the phrase "including but not limited to" does not mean that the
term "including" means
something other than "including but not limited to".

Determining
The term "determining" and grammatical variants thereof (e.g., to determine a
price,
determining a value, determine an object which meets a certain criterion) is
used in an extremely broad
sense. The term "determining" encompasses a wide variety of actions and
therefore "determining" can
include calculating, computing, processing, deriving, investigating, looking
up (e.g., looking up in a table,
a database or another data structure), ascertaining and the like. Also,
"determining" can include
receiving (e.g., receiving information), accessing (e.g., accessing data in a
memory) and the like. Also,
"determining" can include resolving, selecting, choosing, establishing, and
the like.
The term "determining" does not imply certainty or absolute precision, and
therefore
"determining" can include estimating, extrapolating, predicting, guessing and
the like.
The term "determining" does not imply that mathematical processing must be
performed, and
2o does not imply that numerical methods must be used, and does not imply that
an algorithm or process is
used.
The term "determining" does not imply that any particular device must be used.
For example, a
computer need not necessarily perform the determining.

Forms of Sentences
Where a limitation of a first claim would cover one of a feature as well as
more than one of a
feature (e.g., a limitation such as "at least one widget" covers one widget as
well as more than one
widget), and where in a second claim that depends on the first claim, the
second claim uses a definite
article "the" to refer to the limitation (e.g., "the widget"), this does not
imply that the first claim covers only
one of the feature, and this does not imply that the second claim covers only
one of the feature (e.g.,
"the widget" can cover both one widget and more than one widget).
When an ordinal number (such as "first", "second", "third" and so on) is used
as an adjective
before a term, that ordinal number is used (unless expressly specified
otherwise) merely to indicate a


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particular feature, such as to distinguish that particular feature from
another feature that is described by
the same term or by a similar term. For example, a"first widget" may be so
named merely to distinguish
it from, e.g., a"second widget". Thus, the mere usage of the ordinal numbers
"first" and "second" before
the term "widget" does not indicate any other relationship between the two
widgets, and likewise does
not indicate any other characteristics of either or both widgets. For example,
the mere usage of the
ordinal numbers "first" and "second" before the term "widget" (1) does not
indicate that either widget
comes before or after any other in order or location; (2) does not indicate
that either widget occurs or
acts before or after any other in time; and (3) does not indicate that either
widget ranks above or below
any other, as in importance or quality. In addition, the mere usage of ordinal
numbers does not define a
numerical limit to the features identified with the ordinal numbers. For
example, the mere usage of the
ordinal numbers "first" and "second" before the term "widget" does not
indicate that there must be no
more than two widgets.
When a single device, article or other product is described herein, more than
one device /
article (whether or not they cooperate) may alternatively be used in place of
the single device / article
that is described. Accordingly, the functionality that is described as being
possessed by a device may
alternatively be possessed by more than one device / article (whether or not
they cooperate).
Similarly, where more than one device, article or other product is described
herein (whether or
not they cooperate), a single device / article may alternatively be used in
place of the more than one
device or article that is described. For example, a plurality of computer-
based devices may be
substituted with a single computer-based device. Accordingly, the various
functionality that is described
as being possessed by more than one device or article may alternatively be
possessed by a single
device / article.
The functionality and / or the features of a single device that is described
may be alternatively
embodied by one or more other devices which are described but are not
explicitly described as having
such functionality / features. Thus, other embodiments need not include the
described device itself, but
rather can include the one or more other devices which would, in those other
embodiments, have such
functionality / features.

Disclosed Examples and Terminology Are Not Limiting
Neither the Title (set forth at the beginning of the first page of the present
application) nor the
Abstract (set forth at the end of the present application) is to be taken as
limiting in any way as the
scope of the disclosed invention(s). An Abstract has been included in this
application merely because
an Abstract of not more than 150 words is required under 37 C.F.R. 1.72(b).

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The title of the present application and headings of sections provided in the
present application
are for convenience only, and are not to be taken as limiting the disclosure
in any way.
Numerous embodiments are described in the present application, and are
presented for
illustrative purposes only. The described embodiments are not, and are not
intended to be, limiting in
any sense. The presently disclosed invention(s) are widely applicable to
numerous embodiments, as is
readily apparent from the disclosure. One of ordinary skill in the art will
recognize that the disclosed
invention(s) may be practiced with various modifications and alterations, such
as structural, logical,
software, and electrical modifications. Although particular features of the
disclosed invention(s) may be
described with reference to one or more particular embodiments and / or
drawings, it should be
understood that such features are not limited to usage in the one or more
particular embodiments or
drawings with reference to which they are described, unless expressly
specified otherwise.
No embodiment of method steps or product elements described in the present
application
constitutes the invention claimed herein, or is essential to the invention
claimed herein, or is coextensive
with the invention claimed herein, except where it is either expressly stated
to be so in this specification
or expressly recited in a claim.
The preambles of the claims that follow recite purposes, benefits and possible
uses of the
claimed invention only and do not limit the claimed invention.
The present disclosure is not a literal description of all embodiments of the
invention(s). Also,
the present disclosure is not a listing of features of the invention(s) which
must be present in all
2o embodiments.
Devices that are described as in communication with each other need not be in
continuous
communication with each other, unless expressly specified otherwise. On the
contrary, such devices
need only transmit to each other as necessary or desirable, and may actually
refrain from exchanging
data most of the time. For example, a machine in communication with another
machine via the Internet
may not transmit data to the other machine for long period of time (e.g. weeks
at a time). In addition,
devices that are in communication with each other may communicate directly or
indirectly through one or
more intermediaries.
A description of an embodiment with several components or features does not
imply that all or
even any of such components / features are required. On the contrary, a
variety of optional components
3o are described to illustrate the wide variety of possible embodiments of the
present invention(s). Unless
otherwise specified explicitly, no component / feature is essential or
required.
Although process steps, algorithms or the like may be described or claimed in
a particular
sequential order, such processes may be configured to work in different
orders. In other words, any
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sequence or order of steps that may be explicitly described or claimed does
not necessarily indicate a
requirement that the steps be performed in that order. The steps of processes
described herein may be
performed in any order possible. Further, some steps may be performed
simultaneously despite being
described or implied as occurring non-simultaneously (e.g., because one step
is described after the
other step). Moreover, the illustration of a process by its depiction in a
drawing does not imply that the
illustrated process is exclusive of other variations and modifications
thereto, does not imply that the
illustrated process or any of its steps are necessary to the invention(s), and
does not imply that the
illustrated process is preferred.
Although a process may be described as including a plurality of steps, that
does not imply that
1o all or any of the steps are preferred, essential or required. Various other
embodiments within the scope
of the described invention(s) include other processes that omit some or all of
the described steps.
Unless otherwise specified explicitly, no step is essential or required.
Although a process may be described singly or without reference to other
products or methods,
in an embodiment the process may interact with other products or methods. For
example, such
interaction may include linking one business model to another business model.
Such interaction may be
provided to enhance the flexibility or desirability of the process.
Although a product may be described as including a plurality of components,
aspects, qualities,
characteristics and / or features, that does not indicate that any or all of
the plurality are preferred,
essential or required. Various other embodiments within the scope of the
described invention(s) include
other products that omit some or all of the described plurality.
An enumerated list of items (which may or may not be numbered) does not imply
that any or all
of the items are mutually exclusive, unless expressly specified otherwise.
Likewise, an enumerated list
of items (which may or may not be numbered) does not imply that any or all of
the items are
comprehensive of any category, unless expressly specified otherwise. For
example, the enumerated list
"a computer, a laptop, a PDA" does not imply that any or all of the three
items of that list are mutually
exclusive and does not imply that any or all of the three items of that list
are comprehensive of any
category.
An enumerated list of items (which may or may not be numbered) does not imply
that any or all
of the items are equivalent to each other or readily substituted for each
other.
All embodiments are illustrative, and do not imply that the invention or any
embodiments were
made or performed, as the case may be.

Computing

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It will be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that the
various processes described
herein may be implemented by, e.g., appropriately programmed general purpose
computers, special
purpose computers and computing devices. Typically a processor (e.g., one or
more microprocessors,
one or more microcontrollers, one or more digital signal processors) will
receive instructions (e.g., from a
memory or like device), and execute those instructions, thereby performing one
or more processes
defined by those instructions. Instructions may be embodied in, e.g., one or
more computer programs,
one or more scripts.
A"processor" means one or more microprocessors, central processing units
(CPUs),
computing devices, microcontrollers, digital signal processors, or like
devices or any combination
1o thereof, regardless of the architecture (e.g., chip-level multiprocessing /
multi-core, RISC, CISC,
Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages, pipelining configuration,
simultaneous
multithreading).
Thus a description of a process is likewise a description of an apparatus for
performing the
process. The apparatus that performs the process can include, e.g., a
processor and those input
devices and output devices that are appropriate to perform the process.
Further, programs that implement such methods (as well as other types of data)
may be stored
and transmitted using a variety of media (e.g., computer readable media) in a
number of manners. In
some embodiments, hard-wired circuitry or custom hardware may be used in place
of, or in combination
with, some or all of the software instructions that can implement the
processes of various embodiments.
2o Thus, various combinations of hardware and software may be used instead of
software only.
The term "computer-readable medium" refers to any medium, a plurality of the
same, or a
combination of different media, that participate in providing data (e.g.,
instructions, data structures)
which may be read by a computer, a processor or a like device. Such a medium
may take many forms,
including but not limited to, non-volatile media, volatile media, and
transmission media. Non-volatile
media include, for example, optical or magnetic disks and other persistent
memory. Volatile media
include dynamic random access memory (DRAM), which typically constitutes the
main memory.
Transmission media include coaxial cables, copper wire and fiber optics,
including the wires that
comprise a system bus coupled to the processor. Transmission media may include
or convey acoustic
waves, light waves and electromagnetic emissions, such as those generated
during radio frequency
(RF) and infrared (IR) data communications. Common forms of computer-readable
media include, for
example, a floppy disk, a flexible disk, hard disk, magnetic tape, any other
magnetic medium, a CD-
ROM, DVD, any other optical medium, punch cards, paper tape, any other
physical medium with
patterns of holes, a RAM, a PROM, an EPROM, a FLASH-EEPROM, any other memory
chip or

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cartridge, a carrier wave as described hereinafter, or any other medium from
which a computer can
read.
Various forms of computer readable media may be involved in carrying data
(e.g. sequences of
instructions) to a processor. For example, data may be (i) delivered from RAM
to a processor; (ii)
carried over a wireless transmission medium; (iii) formatted and / or
transmitted according to numerous
formats, standards or protocols, such as Ethernet (or IEEE 802.3), SAP, ATP,
Bluetootho, and TCP/IP,
TDMA, CDMA, and 3G; and / or (iv) encrypted to ensure privacy or prevent fraud
in any of a variety of
ways well known in the art.
Thus a description of a process is likewise a description of a computer-
readable medium
1o storing a program for performing the process. The computer-readable medium
can store (in any
appropriate format) those program elements which are appropriate to perform
the method.
Just as the description of various steps in a process does not indicate that
all the described
steps are required, embodiments of an apparatus include a computer / computing
device operable to
perform some (but not necessarily all) of the described process.
Likewise, just as the description of various steps in a process does not
indicate that all the
described steps are required, embodiments of a computer-readable medium
storing a program or data
structure include a computer-readable medium storing a program that, when
executed, can cause a
processor to perform some (but not necessarily all) of the described process.
Where databases are described, it will be understood by one of ordinary skill
in the art that (i)
2o alternative database structures to those described may be readily employed,
and (ii) other memory
structures besides databases may be readily employed. Any illustrations or
descriptions of any sample
databases presented herein are illustrative arrangements for stored
representations of information. Any
number of other arrangements may be employed besides those suggested by, e.g.,
tables illustrated in
drawings or elsewhere. Similarly, any illustrated entries of the databases
represent exemplary
information only; one of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the
number and content of the entries
can be different from those described herein. Further, despite any depiction
of the databases as tables,
other formats (including relational databases, object-based models and / or
distributed databases) could
be used to store and manipulate the data types described herein. Likewise,
object methods or behaviors
of a database can be used to implement various processes, such as the
described herein. In addition,
the databases may, in a known manner, be stored locally or remotely from a
device which accesses
data in such a database.
Various embodiments can be configured to work in a network environment
including a
computer that is in communication (e.g., via a communications network) with
one or more devices. The


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computer may communicate with the devices directly or indirectly, via any
wired or wireless medium
(e.g. the Internet, LAN, WAN or Ethernet, Token Ring, a telephone line, a
cable line, a radio channel, an
optical communications line, commercial on-line service providers, bulletin
board systems, a satellite
communications link, a combination of any of the above). Each of the devices
may themselves
comprise computers or other computing devices, such as those based on the
Intel Pentium or
CentrinoTM processor, that are adapted to communicate with the computer. Any
number and type of
devices may be in communication with the computer.
In an embodiment, a server computer or centralized authority may not be
necessary or
desirable. For example, the present invention may, in an embodiment, be
practiced on one or more
1o devices without a central authority. In such an embodiment, any functions
described herein as
performed by the server computer or data described as stored on the server
computer may instead be
performed by or stored on one or more such devices.
Where a process is described, in an embodiment the process may operate without
any user
intervention. In another embodiment, the process includes some human
intervention (e.g., a step is
performed by or with the assistance of a human).

Continuing Applications
The present disclosure provides, to one of ordinary skill in the art, an
enabling description of
several embodiments and / or inventions. Some of these embodiments and / or
inventions may not be
claimed in the present application, but may nevertheless be claimed in one or
more continuing
applications that claim the benefit of priority of the present application.
Applicants intend to file additional applications to pursue patents for
subject matter that has
been disclosed and enabled but not claimed in the present application.

35 U.S. C. 112, paragraph 6
In a claim, a limitation of the claim which includes the phrase "means for" or
the phrase "step
for" means that 35 U.S.C. 112, paragraph 6, applies to that limitation.
In a claim, a limitation of the claim which does not include the phrase "means
for" or the phrase
"step for" means that 35 U.S.C. 112, paragraph 6 does not apply to that
limitation, regardless of
whether that limitation recites a function without recitation of structure,
material or acts for performing
that function. For example, in a claim, the mere use of the phrase "step of'
or the phrase "steps of' in
referring to one or more steps of the claim or of another claim does not mean
that 35 U.S.C. 112,
paragraph 6, applies to that step(s).

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With respect to a means or a step for performing a specified function in
accordance with 35
U.S.C. 112, paragraph 6, the corresponding structure, material or acts
described in the specification,
and equivalents thereof, may perform additional functions as well as the
specified function.
Computers, processors, computing devices and like products are structures that
can perform a
wide variety of functions. Such products can be operable to perform a
specified function by executing
one or more programs, such as a program stored in a memory device of that
product or in a memory
device which that product accesses. Unless expressly specified otherwise, such
a program need not be
based on any particular algorithm, such as any particular algorithm that might
be disclosed in the
present application. It is well known to one of ordinary skill in the art that
a specified function may be
implemented via different algorithms, and any of a number of different
algorithms would be a mere
design choice for carrying out the specified function.
Therefore, with respect to a means or a step for performing a specified
function in accordance
with 35 U.S.C. 112, paragraph 6, structure corresponding to a specified
function includes any product
programmed to perform the specified function. Such structure includes
programmed products which
perform the function, regardless of whether such product is programmed with
(i) a disclosed algorithm
for performing the function, (ii) an algorithm that is similar to a disclosed
algorithm, or (iii) a different
algorithm for performing the function.
Where there is recited a means for performing a function that is a method, one
structure for
performing this method includes a computing device (e.g., a general purpose
computer) that is
programmed and / or configured with appropriate hardware to perform that
function.
Also includes a computing device (e.g., a general purpose computer) that is
programmed and / or
configured with appropriate hardware to perform that function via other
algorithms as would be
understood by one of ordinary skill in the art.

Disclaimer
Numerous references to a particular embodiment does not indicate a disclaimer
or disavowal of
additional, different embodiments, and similarly references to the description
of embodiments which all
include a particular feature does not indicate a disclaimer or disavowal of
embodiments which do not
include that particular feature. A clear disclaimer or disavowal in the
present application shall be
prefaced by the phrase "does not include" or by the phrase "cannot perform".
Incorporation By Reference

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Any patent, patent application or other document referred to herein is
incorporated by reference
into this patent application as part of the present disclosure, but only for
purposes of written description
in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 112, paragraph 1 and enablement in accordance
with 35 U.S.C. 112,
paragraph 1, and should in no way be used to limit, define, or otherwise
construe any term of the
present application where the present application, without such incorporation
by reference, would not
have failed to provide an ascertainable meaning, but rather would have allowed
an ascertainable
meaning for such term to be provided. Thus, the person of ordinary skill in
the art need not have been in
any way limited by any embodiments provided in the reference
Any incorporation by reference does not, in and of itself, imply any
endorsement of, ratification
lo of or acquiescence in any statements, opinions, arguments or
characterizations contained in any
incorporated patent, patent application or other document, unless explicitly
specified otherwise in this
patent application.

Prosecution History
In interpreting the present application (which includes the claims), one of
ordinary skill in the art
shall refer to the prosecution history of the present application, but not to
the prosecution history of any
other patent or patent application, regardless of whether there are other
patent applications that are
considered related to the present application, and regardless of whether there
are other patent
applications that share a claim of priority with the present application.

VARIOUS EMBODIMENTS
Game in the Different Environments
In various embodiments, a gaming system provides a platform for rapid play of
card games, for
maintenance of proper odds in games, for more easy viewing of the gaming
experience by a player, for
remote playing by a player, for allowing players to play each other when the
players are not near each
other, and for other benefits.
In various embodiments, a computerized gaming system manipulates electronic
representations of cards. The gaming system may randomly determine an order of
cards, using e.g.,
pseudo random algorithms. The gaming system may then deal cards to one or more
players by
sequentially dealing the cards to one or more players and/or to a house or
dealer. Depending on the
game, players may make one or more bets. Bets may be keyed in using any of a
number of possible
interfaces, such as buttons, touch screens, computer mice, trackballs, and so
on. Depending on the
game, players may make one or more decisions in a game, including decisions
concerning whether to
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be dealt another card, whether to fold, whether to split their hands, or
whether to make any other
appropriate decision. Players may make decisions using any number of
interfaces, such as using
computer mice, buttons, touch screens, trackballs, or any other interfaces.
In various embodiments, a computer system reshuffles cards after each game, or
after a small
number of games. The reshuffling may be performed electronically, and so may
occur near
instantaneously. This may save time over a shuffling process that would be
performed with a physical
deck of cards.
Reshuffling a deck of cards after each game may ensure that odds in each game
remain
constant or relatively constant. For example, if cards are reshuffled after
every game, then counting
lo strategies used in blackjack or other card games may be rendered less
effective or completely
ineffective.
In various embodiments, cards numbered 1 through 6, or equivalently labeled,
for example are
used to play a game of craps or to play another dice game. For example, in a
game of craps, a "roll" is
simulated with the deal of two cards. As will be appreciated, each roll of the
dice is considered to be an
independent, random event. However, with a deck of cards used to conduct a
game of dice, one could
in principle make a prediction as to the next deal based on previous cards
dealt. This is because each
card dealt alters the composition of the remaining deck by depleting the deck
of one card, now known.
A computerized system according to various embodiments may allow games using
cards to
more closely simulate games using dice. The computerized system may do this,
in some embodiments,
by frequently reshuffling electronic decks, so that new cards dealt are
independent of prior cards dealt,
just as new rolls of dice would be independent of prior rolls of dice.

Infinite deck of cards
A computerized system may also simulate an infinite deck or a very large deck
of cards. An
infinite deck or very large deck may be impractical with respect to a physical
deck of cards. To simulate
an infinite deck of cards, a computer system may deal a randomly chosen card
when required.
However, after each card is dealt, the computer may make no change to its
selection process, e.g., the
computer may make no assumptions that a deck of remaining cards has been
depleted. Thus, the
computer may, on the next card, deal the exact same card that it had
previously dealt. As will be
3o appreciated, there may be other ways of simulating an infinite deck. When
an infinite deck is used, the
odds of certain cards being dealt do not depend on what cards have previously
been dealt. Thus, an
infinite deck may be used to closely simulate a game of dice.

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Magnification
A computer system for playing card games according to various embodiments,
features a zoom
or magnification option. A player can press a button to increase the size of
cards displayed on his
screen. The player may further touch particular cards on a touch screen, or
otherwise indicate such
cards. The cards that a player has indicated may expand in terms of their
display size on a display
screen, so that they are more easily visible to a player. The player may also
reduce the size of cards or
other items displayed, e.g., so as to increase his field of the game. For
example, where a player is
playing against multiple opponents, the player may shrink the view of an
individual opponent's cards so
as to be able to see all opponents' cards at once on the same display screen.
In various embodiments, a game may be played at a physical gaming table. The
table may
include a felt tabletop with markings, chip racks, seats, positions for
players and positions for dealers.
However, some players at the table may be visually challenged and unable to
see cards, bets, or other
items at the table. According to some embodiments, a camera or other imaging
device may capture an
image of the table. The image may be displayed on a monitor or other display
screen proximate to the
player. The player may be able to change the magnification of the image by
zooming in or zooming out.
Thus, a visually impaired player may still be able to follow the action at a
table my referring to a display
screen where he can magnify an image of the display screen.

Simultaneity
In various embodiments, a computer system is designed to allow simultaneous
actions or
decisions by players in a game. In some embodiments, players compete against
one another in a card
game using the rules of blackjack, for example. Players bet and raise each
other by putting money into
a pot. The winning player is the player who has a hand with the point total
closest to 21 without
exceeding 21. In some embodiments, games can be played with different maximum
point totals, e.g.,
with 22 as a maximum point total. In any event, in such a game, a first player
may derive an advantage
by delaying a decision to hit or stand until he has seen whether or not
another player has chosen to hit
or stand. Thus, to prevent any one player from deriving an advantage, game
rules may dictate that all
players in game should make a particular decision (e.g., a hitlstand decision)
simultaneously, or at least
without knowledge of other players' hit stand decisions.
In various embodiments, a computer system may receive decisions from multiple
players in a
game. As the computer system receives each decision, the computer system may
store the decision in


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a computer memory. The computer may track how many player decisions have been
received. When
all player decisions have been received, the computer system may reveal all
decisions to all players,
such as by showing the words "hit" or "stand" on a diagram representing player
positions at a virtual
table and/or by showing the actual cards.
In various embodiments, each player in a game may be prompted to make a
decision in turn
with the decision not being made known or only partially known to other
players. For example, a player
may make a hit decision, with the resulting card being shown only to that
player. Alternatively, the
player may make the hit decision, with the resulting card being shown only to
that player but with other
players receiving an indication of the decision. In either case, another
player may then be prompted to
make a hit decision, either having no or only limited knowledge of the
pervious hit decision (i.e., when an
indication of the decision was at least provided). At some later time, such as
at the end of the game, for
example, all cards may then be made visible to all players.
In a similar fashion, in various embodiments a computer system may allow
simultaneous bets
to be placed. For example, all players in a game may simultaneously make the
decision to bet or not
and when all player decisions have been received, reveal all decisions/bet
amounts to all players.
Thereafter, a player(s) that entered a lesser amount than another may be
prompted to fold or enter an
additional bet such that all players have entered an equal amount, for
example. In this way, no one
player can gain an advantage by watching others bet before making his decision
to bet.

People Don't Touch Cards
In traditional games of blackjack, it may not be desirable to allow players to
touch cards. When
players touch cards, there is a risk that the players will mark the cards or
even replace the cards with
card that are more to their benefit. In traditional games of blackjack, cards
are dealt face up, so there is
no particular need for a player to touch a card, because the player can see
everything he needs to know
about the card without touching it. However, if cards were dealt face down, a
player may be unable to
see the card without touching it.
Computer systems according to various embodiments allow certain cards to be
visible only to
an individual player, and not his opponents, while still making it unnecessary
for a player to touch his
cards. A computer system according to various embodiments allows players to
play blackjack against
one another, for example. Each player is dealt at least one card which he is
privileged to know, but
which no other player knows. The system allows players to play at remote
devices, terminals,
computers, mobile gaming devices, or other interfaces. Since the players are
separate from one
another, cards can be displayed on a first player's terminal without risk that
the cards would be visible to

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other players. A given player's terminal may display some of the cards
belonging to other players, but
not all cards belonging to other players. For example, in a game of blackjack,
each player may begin
with a hand in which one card is private (visible only to that player) and in
which one card is public
(visible to all players) and/or may receive a hit that is kept private
(visible only to that player) or public
(visible to all players). At some later time, such as at the end of the game,
for example, all cards may
then be made visible to all players.
Interface screens used with the computer system may thus display cards for
players to see
privately, without the necessity of players touching cards.
In some embodiments, a physical table, such as a blackjack table, may include
display
1o screens. However, the screens may be viewable from only a very narrow
viewing range, e.g., due to
barriers placed along the sides of the display screen.
Such screens may also allow players to privately view cards without the
necessity of having
them touch cards.
In various embodiments, any device that includes a display (e.g., a mobile
gaming device; e.g.,
a slot machine; e.g., a personal computer) may display some or all cards dealt
in a game. For example,
a mobile gaming device may display not only the cards dealt to a particular
player, but may also display
cards dealt to all other players. For instance, in the early phases of a game,
a player may be able to see
only the cards in his own hand. However, at the end of a game, a central
server may transmit to all
player devices an indication of all cards that had been dealt to all players
in the game. Each player
2o device may then display the cards of every player in the game. In this way,
a player may be able to
verify for himself why he won or why he lost, since he may be able to compare
the value of his hand with
the value of the other players' hands.

Table without walls
A traditional craps table has one or more walls or barriers. The dice can be
thrown against the
wall to ensure the randomness of the throw. The wall further prevents the dice
from escaping the
confines of the table surface. In various embodiments, a game of craps, or
another dice game is played
at a table without walls and/or without confinement of any kind. Cards are
used at the table in place of
dice. Cards are dealt from a deck consisting of only cards numbered 1 through
6. Since the cards are
not thrown like dice, confinement for cards may be unnecessary. Therefore,
various embodiments may
include a table for craps without walls. The table may include standard felt
markings, such as areas for
a pass line bet, a come bet, a don't pass bet, odds bets, and other standard
areas. However, the table
may lack walls.

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Mobile Gaming
In various embodiments, players may play blackjack versus one another using a
mobile gaming
devices. Players may each carry a handheld gaming device (i.e., mobile gaming
device). Each mobile
gaming device may be in communication with a central server. A player may use
his mobile gaming
device to enter decisions in a game. Decisions may include indications of
amounts to bet, indications of
whether to hit or stand, etc. A mobile gaming device may have buttons
corresponding to one or more
possible decisions. For example, there may be a "hit" button, "stand" button,
a "double down" button,
and other buttons appropriate to blackjack. The mobile gaming device may
transmit the decisions made
by players to the central server. The central server may shuffle cards using
an electronic shuffling
algorithm. The central server may use other algorithms for determining what
cards should be dealt to
what players. The central server may then transmit to each mobile gaming
device an indication of cards
that have been dealt. At the end of the game, the central server may reference
a set of game rules
(e.g., game rules that are stored in computer memory), in order to determine a
game winner. The
central server may then provide an indication to each participating player of
the game winner. The
central server may also reveal hidden cards for one or more players, and
transmit an indication of such
cards to other players.
The central server may maintain an account associated with a player. The
account may
comprise one or more records stored in a database. The records may be stored
in computer memory.
2o A player account may include information, such as a name of a player, an
address of a player, any other
identifying information about a player, and/or any other information about a
player. The account may
further include information about a monetary balance, a balance of casino
credits, or any other balance
of value. Thus, the account may store a record of how much money belongs to a
player. In various
embodiments, when a player indicates a bet or wager, such as at a mobile
gaming device, the server
may deduct the amount of the bet or wager from the player's account. In
various embodiments, when
the player wins money, the money won may be added back to the player's
account.
In various embodiments, a player device, such as a mobile gaming device,
personal computer,
standalone slot machine, or other device, may prompt a player to take an
action in a game. For
example, a mobile gaming device may display text prompting the player to
either hit or stand in a game
of blackjack. A player device may prompt a player to make a bet. For example,
a player device may
prompt a player to decide whether to bet the pass-line or the don't-pass-line
in a game of craps. As
another example, a player device may prompt a player to decide how much to bet
in a game. A central
server may initiate prompt messages, and transmit such messages to a player
device, at which time the

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player devices may display the prompts. In some embodiments, a player device
may initiate prompts,
e.g., when logic stored within the device determines that a prompt must be
shown to encourage a player
to take action and move a game along.
In various embodiments, a player may play craps or another dice game using a
mobile gaming
device. The mobile gaming device may present cards to a player in place of
dice. The cards may be
numbered 1-6. On a given roll, the central server may determine two cards from
a randomly shuffled
deck of cards. The central server may then transmit an indication of such
cards to the mobile gaming
device of the player. The player may indicate bets through the mobile gaming
device. The player may
press a button on the mobile gaming device indicating a desire to make a new
roll (e.g., in the event that
lo a game has not ended).

Motion Control
In various embodiments, a mobile gaming device may include one or more motion
sensors.
For example, the mobile gaming device may include an accelerometer or
gyroscope. The mobile
gaming device may include one or more location or positioning devices, such as
a Global Positioning
System sensor. Logic contained within the mobile gaming device or within the
server may differentiate
position sensor readings in order to detect motion.
A player may move the mobile gaming device in order to indicate decision in a
game. Sensors
within the mobile gaming device may pick up the motion of the mobile gaming
device. Logic within the
mobile gaming device or within the central server may interpret the motions as
commands to be used in
a game. The motions may be interpreted as commands to make a bet, to bet a
certain amount, to raise,
to fold, to call, to check, to hit, to stand, to double down, to bet the pass-
line, to bet don't pass, or to
make any other type of bet in any game, or to take any other action in any
game.

Blackjack Motion Control
In various embodiments, a player may use a mobile gaming device to play in a
game of
blackjack. In various embodiments, the player may compete against other
players. In traditional games
of blackjack, a player might indicate a decision with a tapping motion. For
example, in traditional games
of blackjack the player may tap the table twice in order to indicate a
decision to hit. In various
3o embodiments, a player using a mobile gaming device to play blackjack may
shake the mobile gaming
device twice in an up-and-down motion.

Card Dice Motion Control

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In various embodiments, a player may make a motion with a mobile gaming device
as if he is
rolling the dice. For example, the player may shake the mobile gaming device
from side to side as if he
is cradling dice in his hands and rolling them around in his hands. Then, the
player may make a large
sweeping motion with the mobile gaming device as if actually rolling dice onto
a table. The mobile
gaming device may deal one or more cards (e.g., from a deck of cards numbered
1-6) upon detecting
the player's sweeping motion.

Internet
In various embodiments, players may participate in games over a network. Thus,
in various
lo embodiments, a computer system may include a central server in
communication over a network with
one or more player devices. Player devices may include mobile gaming device,
personal computers,
slot machines, or other devices. The network may be a wireless network or a
wired network. The
network may be the Internet. In various embodiments, players may participate
in games via personal
computers while communicating over the Internet with the central server. As
with mobile gaming
devices, the central server may receive commands and instructions from player
devices, may determine
cards dealt, may calculate winners and losers, and may credit and debit player
accounts as appropriate.
Standalone slot machine.
In various embodiments, a player may participate in a game, such as a game of
blackjack or a
game of dice using cards in place of dice, at a standalone gaming device. A
standalone gaming device
may include a fixed device, such as a slot machine, video poker machine, video
keno machine, bingo
machine, or other device. The gaming device may be networked to other gaming
devices. For example,
a number of gaming devices may be linked to the same central server. Thus, as
with mobile gaming
device and personal computers, a central server may facilitate gaming
competition among players at
different standalone devices.
In some embodiments, a player may play a game of blackjack according to
various
embodiments by himself at a standalone gaming device. The gaming device may
simulate "virtual
players" who are in competition with the player. Thus, the real, or human
player may play against e.g.,
six virtual players in a game of blackjack. Each of the real and virtual
players may make bets and make
3o decisions in the game. The winner may be determined based on which of the
players is closest to 21
without having folded and without having exceeded 21. If it is the real player
who has won, then the
amount in the pot may be credited to the real player's account, paid out in
cash to the player, or



CA 02653330 2009-02-23
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otherwise provided to the player. If it is a virtual player who has won, then
the house may keep any
money from the pot.
A player may play dice games at a standalone device. The standalone device may
deal cards
that are numbered 1-6, so as to simulate rolls of dice. The player may win or
lose according the rules of
the applicable dice game, e.g., craps.

Deck Sorting Device
In various embodiments, a deck with only cards 1-6 may be formed from another
deck, such as
from a standard 52 card deck or such as from a plurality of such decks. The
card deck may be formed
using a card sorter. According to some embodiments, in operation, the card
sorter may receive a deck
containing the cards 1-6 as well as other cards, (e.g., 7, 8, 9, 10, J, 0, K).
The card sorter may form two
decks from this. The first deck may include cards numbered 1-6, and the second
deck may contain all
other cards. The two decks may be separated, such as into two different stacks
or heaps of cards.
A card sorter may include an optical reader or scanner for reading card faces.
The card sorter
may further include a processor and memory. The processor and memory may be
formed from
semiconductors or from any other materials. The processor may be a standard
Intel processor, or any
other processor.

Non-Computer Embodiments
In various embodiments, where applicable, embodiments described herein may
also be
practiced without a computer system. For example, players may play blackjack
against one another
using physical cards and physical chips for betting. Players may also play
craps or other dice games
using a physical deck of cards, where such cards have been numbered 1-6.

In general, like reference numerals in different figures do not necessarily
refer to the same item.
Reference numerals below, until otherwise specified, refer only to figures 1
through 21.
ARCHITECTURE OF A SYSTEM ACCORDING TO VARIOUS EMBODIMENTS
Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a block diagram of interactive gaming
system A10 according
to various embodiments. System A10 comprises controller A12 and a plurality of
gaming devices or
machines G1, G2, G3,... GN (collectively referred to
herein as "gaming machines
A14"). Each gaming machine A14 has a wagering game that such as a multi-
spinning reel type wagering
game, e.g. video slot machines. Each gaming machine A14 includes at least one
display screen for

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viewing the player's results as well as other player's results. If the
wagering game is a video slot
machine, then the display screen can be used to view the wagering game.
Controller A12 is linked to
and controls gaming machines A14. Controller A12 includes central processing
unit ("CPU") A16,
random access memory A18, read-only-memory A20, programmable interface
circuitry A22, display
A24, user interface A26, random number generator A28, and one or more servers
S1, S2,
S3,... SM (collectively referred to herein as "servers" A30. Each
server A30 is assigned to
handle a specific number of gaming machines A14. Interface circuitry A22
includes multiplexing circuitry.
However, it is to be understood that this multiplexing circuitry can be
replaced with address/data bus and
suitable decoders within each gaming machine A14. System A10 further includes
communication links
lo A32. Communication links A32 electronically link controller A12 with gaming
machines A14. Random
number generator A28 is in communication with and controls gaming machines
A14, via interface
circuitry A22, such that gaming machines A14 have totally impartial, random
outputs as a function of
stimuli provided by random number generator A28. Each of the gaming machines
A14 are provided with
an enabling means such as a push button, joy stick, video-game pad arm or
"touch screen" to activate
and thus play the wagering game.
Referring to FIG. 1, programmable interface circuitry A22 may be programmed to
effect data
communication between gaming machines A14 and controller A12 when machines A14
and controller
A12 are arranged in different configurations. In various embodiments,
controller A12 is located in one
particular location and each gaming machine A14 is located at an internet
location. In another
2o embodiment, controller A12 and gaming machines A14 are located in the same
physical location, e.g.
within the same casino. When each gaming machine A14 is located at an internet
location, each gaming
machine A14 generally comprises the player's personal computer and the
appropriate software. In
various embodiments, the player downloads software made available on the
internet by servers A30.
The software enables the player to communicate with controller A12 and to play
the wagering game and
the desired theme game.
When system A10 is configured such that gaming machines A14 are located at
remote sites
that are linked to the internet, the display screen of each player's personal
computer is programmed to
initially display the interior of a casino. The player can scroll using the
keyboard or mouse to "move
about the casino". In one embodiment, the player's personal computer and
software are configured to
provide "sounds" of a typical casino environment. The "casino" displayed on
the display screen includes
a plurality of groups or banks of slot machines. Each group of slot machines
is associated with a
particular theme game. Indicia are provided to identify which group of slot
machines is associated with a
particular theme game. Each slot machine is associated with an icon
representing a chair or stool. When

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the player decides to play a slot machine that is associated with a particular
theme game, he or she
uses a computer mouse to "click" on the "chair icon" in front of a slot
machine that is part of the bank of
gaming machine associated with the desired theme game. System A10 then "tags"
that particular chair
with the player's name or alias that he or she uses on-line. The pre-
programmed computer then provides
a particular screen configuration that corresponds to the selected theme game.
This is discussed in
detail below.
System A10 can be controlled by a software program that effects implementation
of the steps
of the processes according to various embodiments. Thus, it is to be
understood that system A10 can
have any one of a variety of configurations, as described above, and that
interface circuitry A22 can be
configured by CPU A16 to handle data transfer between controller A12 and
gaming machines A14 in a
manner that is compatible with any of the particular configurations discussed
above. It is also to be
understood that controller A12, as described above, is just one example of a
suitable controller and that
other suitable controller architecture can also be used.
Gaming system A10, according to various embodiments, can be played by one or
more
players. Some of the theme games are configured so that a plurality of players
playing at a particular
bank of gaming machines can play as a group. If a group of players are playing
gaming system A10, the
group of players are referred to as a"Group". In some embodiments, games may
be configured in
manner such that the players play against each other instead as a group. In
various embodiments, the
system allows all players to communicate with one another via e-mail while
simultaneously playing the
wagering games.

REMOTE PARTICIPATION IN A LIVE CASINO GAME
Various embodiments pertain to the playing of casino table type games such as
roulette, dice
and cards, from remote locations while viewing actual games being played at a
casino or similar

location.
One of the games played in a casino is roulette. This game is played at a
table around which a
number of players sit or stand and bet by placing chips on a betting grid of
numbers in blocks,
intersections of blocks, black and red plays and odd and even number
selections. A wheel is spun and a
ball falls into a numbered pocket as the wheel stops thereby determining the
winner of the game who is
paid off at various odds depending upon the type of bet placed. Such a game is
played at casinos
throughout the world. There is usually a considerable amount of interest and
excitement around the
table as the game is played.

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The game of roulette is also played via the Internet. Here there is a computer
generated
simulation of the roulette table betting grid and spinning wheel. This type of
game originates from any
location capable of housing the computer and having the necessary
telecommunication connections.
The player can play the game for fun only or make wagers over the Internet
such as by establishing and
using a credit card account. The Internet and other telecommunication media
may permit playing
roulette from any location in the world having the necessary equipment.
A similar situation exists with other casino table games such as blackjack,
dice and baccarat. In
each of these games players place bets on a table and there is player
interaction as the game is played
as well as reaction in the crowd watching.
In various embodiments, a player establishes an information link with a casino
from an interface
station including a video monitor and keypad. In response to the player's
entry of financial account
information, the casino establishes an information line with the player's
financial institution. The casino
assigns the player to a gaming table at which a"live" game is occurring,
transmitting all images of game
play and instructions to the player. The player transmits bet and game play
information to the casino.
Because of the open line between the casino and player's financial
institution, bets are checked,
winnings paid, and losses debited.
Various embodiments include a system and method for playing a roulette game in
an
interactive manner at a site remote from the actual casino table while still
having a view of and
experiencing the live casino action where the game is being played. In
accordance with various
2o embodiments a camera follows a game that is being played at a roulette
table in a casino. A microphone
can also pick up the sound of the players at the table and the game play.
In some embodiments, terminals are provided at various locations in the casino
remote from
the table. The terminals are connected to a distribution device that provides
the necessary
communication between the players at the remote terminals and the game being
played at the casino
table.
A remote terminal accepts cash or credit cards to set up an account for the
player. The remote
terminal displays a picture (video) of the actual casino table where the game
is being played. The
remote terminal also contains its own computer (microprocessor) that has
various functions. Among
these are the generation and display of an electronic representation of the
table betting grid, this display
3o also having a touch type keypad in some embodiments. The player at the
terminal uses the keypad and
electronically places a bet on the computer representation of the table
betting grid under the casino
(house) roulette rules in the normal manner. He also uses the touchpad to
select the amount of the bet

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to be placed. The remote terminal microprocessor is programmed with the
required information of odds
to pay off when the player makes a winning bet.
At the casino table the croupier conducts the game in the normal manner. At a
given time,
normally just before or when the ball is placed in the spinning wheel, no more
bets are accepted. This is
signaled to the computers at the remote terminals which locks out the players
at these terminals from
placing any more bets. The players at the remote terminals can watch the
actual game play at the
casino table and the reactions of the players. When the ball drops in the
wheel pocket and the game at
the casino is finished, the player sees the winning number result. The result
also is also made available
electronically at the remote terminals.
In various embodiments, the remote terminal microprocessor maintains the
terminal player
account balance information. Upon the result of the game winning number being
transmitted to the
remote terminal, the terminal microprocessor make a calculation against the
bet made. If the bet was a
loss, then the amount of the bet is subtracted from the player's account. If
the bet was a win, the amount
of the win is calculated at the usual casino odds, or at some other odds as
set, and the appropriate
amount of the win is credited to the player's account.
Various embodiments pertain to players who are not at the casino and,
effectively, can be
located anywhere in the world. Here, the game being played at the casino is
followed by the camera and
the picture of the game play and results are transmitted via
telecommunications to remote locations. The
transmission mode can be the Internet, satellite or other wired or wireless
communication system, to
players who play the roulette games using devices such as personal computers
or modalities such as a
TV set connected to the Internet with control boxes such as offered by WEBTV
or AOLTV. The devices
can be either of stationary type or of the portable type which can communicate
by wireless. A program
can be installed in or downloaded to the remote player's device that has the
features of the previously
described casino remote terminal, such as betting odds calculation, generation
and display of a betting
grid, placing a bet on the grid, etc.
In the remote player embodiments, the game being played at the casino may be
viewed and
the game play sounds heard by the player at the remote location. The player
maintains an account
preferably at his own device that can have access to a central computer such
as at a bank or credit card
company in communication with the player's device. The player follows the
table game by viewing the
transmission from the camera. When a game is completed at the casino the
result is transmitted and the
player's computer makes the necessary win and loss calculations based upon the
result of the game and
this is entered in the player's account at his device.



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In some embodiments, a player who is not at the casino table experiences the
actual table play
and crowd response and is able to make wagers without having to be physically
present at the game
table in the casino. The results of a bet are computed at the location of the
player and the player is
presented with a running total of his account so he can see the results of his
wager and monitor the
amount wagered.
Various embodiments pertain to games played at a table such as blackjack,
dice, baccarat and
similar games.
Various embodiments may allow players to play roulette and other casino table
type games at
remote locations while following an actual game that is being played at a
casino table and using the
results of the casino game to determine betting results.
Various embodiments provide a system and method for playing roulette and other
casino table
type games in which a player at a terminal or other device remote from a game
played at a casino game
table follows the game at the casino table, in which the player uses a
computer located at the terminal or
device to place bets, and in which computations are made of the winnings and
losses as the actual
game is played.
Various embodiments provide a method and system for viewing a roulette or
other table game
played at a casino from a remote location from which bets are made and wins
and losses are adjusted
against an account balance of the remote player.
FIG. 2 shows a conventional roulette table B10 that is in common use at a
casino. While
various embodiments are described relative to a roulette table its principles
are applicable to other table
games such as blackjack, dice and baccarat. The table has the usual wheel B12
that is manually spun
by a croupier into which a ball B11 is dropped at the beginning of the game.
The ball B11 is usually
placed in a tray B11a during the time it is not in use. A betting grid B13 is
on the table, the grid
containing the usual format of squares or rectangles with a number in each and
other bet areas such as
odd/even number, and red/black. A number of players stand or sit around the
table. A player makes a
bet by placing one or more chips of a given denomination on a number,
intersection of corners, on
red/black, etc.
Shown located above the table is a video camera B14, such as a video camera
that is of the full
color type. The camera B14 can be hidden, as are many cameras in a casino used
for surveillance
purposes, or can be a stand alone visible type if, for example, the presence
of the remote play feature is
to be advertised. The camera field of view may be limited to the hands of the
players as they place bets
on the table and may not show the faces of the players. This may be done to
maintain privacy. A

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microphone B16 is also placed adjacent the table to pick up the "crowd noise"
of the players. The
microphone can be directional to pick up the sound of the spinning wheel and
ball.
The output cable B16 of the camera B14 and the output cable B17 of the
microphone B15 are
shown. These are connected to a distribution device B20 at a suitable location
that includes the type of
broadcast facility that is to be used for the system. For example, if the game
is to be used only with
remote terminals at the casino, then there would be a type of a closed circuit
TV system. If the camera
and audio output is to be broadcast over the Internet, then there would be a
suitable transmitter such as
by "streaming video" and "streaming audio". If broadcast is to be by satellite
then there would be
communication such as by digital transmission.
Also associated with the table B10 is a control box B18. This is to be used to
indicate specific
events of a game during its play, such as start of a game and the close of
betting for a game, that is,
betting status signals. The control box B18 can be actuated in a suitable
manner, such as manually
actuated by the croupier, voice actuated and actuated at a remote location
such as by an operator at a
central location that monitors play at a table. In some embodiments, the
control box B18 can be
associated with physical devices such as, for example, a tray T in which the
game ball B is placed and
which has a micro switch or other type of sensor. Placing the ball in the tray
triggers a signal that
indicates the start of betting for a new game and removing the ball from the
tray to place it in the wheel
triggers a signal that the betting for the game is terminated. The close of
betting also can be indicated by
a motion detector or the video camera each for sensing start of spinning of
the wheel and opening of
betting for a new game by sensing the wheel stopping its rotation. These
betting status signals are
transmitted via the distribution device B20 to the remote terminals.
FIG. 3 shows a remote terminal B40 for use at a casino or other location. The
terminal B40 has
an input section B39 that receives the video and data signals originating from
the table. Terminal B40
includes a video display B42 which receives the video pictures of the table
B10 action broadcast from
the casino camera B14. There is also an audio module B46 that has a speaker
and suitable volume
control to play the sounds picked up from the casino table by the microphone
and other audio
information, as described below. The picture of the game being played at the
table and the table sound
are features that add to more realism for the player who is playing the game
remote from the casino
table.
Terminal B40 also includes a computer module B48 which has a microprocessor
and a
memory. The computer module preferably is of the type that makes the terminal
B40 self-contained.
That is, it has an application program that can generate various displays,
perform the necessary
computation for the odds of playing a game, and for keeping a running account
of the wins and losses of

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the player. The terminal computer module B48 receives the betting result and
betting status data type
signals produced at the table B10.
Remote terminal B40 also includes a display B44 which basically comprises
three sections. The
display B44 is controlled by the terminal computer module B48 and a connecting
communication line
B50 between the two is shown. The display B44 essentially is an electronic
table having features that
corresponds to the actual casino table.
The display B44 has a section B44a that displays a computer module B48
generated simulation
of the table betting grid. This section also can display other information
such as the odds for various bets
and bet combinations. The latter type of information can be displayed
continuously or only on demand.
The second section B44b of the display B44 is a touch type screen that has a
numeric keypad
B53 with the usual 0-9 numbers, a touch type Enter key B54 and a display
window B55 that displays
data that has been entered. As part of a menu on the touch screen B44b is a
set of keys for the
selection of the type of bet, that is, straight number, combination of
numbers, red/black and odd/even.
The third section B44c displays the account balance of the player. All of the
sections of the display B44
are generated and controlled by the terminal computer module B48.
The terminal B40 audio module B46 also interacts with the computer module B48.
The audio
module can be used to provide information to help the player place his bets.
For example, it can give
messages to the effect that a new game is starting, direct a player to place a
bet on grid number(s), and
indicate that betting is closed. Instead of the audio messages, the messages
can be displayed on any
one of the sections of display B44 and there can be a combination of audio and
visual messages.
A bill acceptor B47 is also part of the terminal B40. Here the player inserts
bills of currency to
build up credits in his/her account. The bill acceptor accepts currency of the
type used at the casino or
other type and of one or more denominations. As the player inserts one or more
bills into the acceptor
to open his account, the value is displayed in the display section B44c. The
acceptor B47 also can be
replaced by a credit card reader or one can be provided in addition to the
acceptor.
The remote terminal B40 also has an internal printer B49. When the player
completes play at
the terminal, he can request a printout of his account which is provided by
the printer B49. This can be
presented to a cashier at the casino to be redeemed for cash or chips when
there is a positive balance.
If the player is playing via a credit card, he can request from the terminal
that winnings in his account as
stored in the computer module B48 be electronically credited to his credit
card account at a credit card
company or bank. A player can obtain cash from a credit card, such as from an
ATM machine.
In the operation of a remote terminal B40 for a new player, the player inserts
bills into the
acceptor B47 or uses a credit card. This opens the terminal and the amount of
the account is displayed
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on section B44c. The player then selects a preferred bet amount, that is, the
base amount of a bet such
as would correspond to a chip. For example, if a player opens an account for
$100 and a preferred bet
amount of $5, he would have the equivalent of 20 $5 chips if actually playing
at the casino table. A stack
or stacks of electronic chips of the proper amount and values can be displayed
such as on the electronic
betting grid section B44a. The value of a chip can be any amount, for example,
even as small as 25
cents. The small betting amounts usually are not permitted at the casino table
which often has a
minimum bet of $5 or $10. The remote terminals expand the customer base and
the amount that the
casino owner or game operator can make during game play.
The player views the play in process at the casino table on the video display
B42 and can play
lo along with the play at the casino. The video display B42 preferably is left
on at all times to attempt to
induce play at a terminal.
The player is advised that a new game is to start and to place his bet. The
start of a new game
message, either audio or visual, is triggered from the control box B18
associated with the casino table.
For example, as the ball B11 is placed in the tray B11 a at the casino table
or the spinning of the wheel
stops, the distribution device at the casino broadcasts this to the remote
terminals. The player enters his
bet via the touch screen B44b. That is, the player selects whether it is a
straight number, combination or
other type of bet. Different types of bets can be made, like playing at the
casino table. At the time of
placing a bet the player can consult the betting grid in display section B44a.
Instead of a touch type
screen section B44b to designate the number(s) or other type of bet, numbers
can be selected by a
computer mouse point and click arrangement on the electronic grid table B44a.
This is of use particularly
where the terminal is a PC or other device that is off the casino physical
site. In a PC or similar device, a
part of the display screen can be used for the video display and another part
for the computer generated
functions, such as the betting grid. In a device using an AOLTV or WEBTV
converter box or similar
device the display screen of a television screen would be similarly divided.
The type of bet selected is displayed in window B55. The player enters the
number or grid
intersection numbers if the bet is a combination. This is also displayed in
window B55. The number,
intersection, red/black or odd/even bet also is displayed on the electronic
betting grid section B44a. The
player then enters the amount of the bet which also is displayed in window
B55. The amount of the bet
also can be displayed on the betting grid section B44a such as by showing the
stacking of the electronic
chip or chips of the selected amount at the proper location of the grid. The
chips that are bet are
removed from the player's purchased stack of electronic chips.
The complete bet is displayed in window B55. If it is acceptable, the player
touching the Enter
key B54. If not acceptable, the bet is cancelled by touching a key on the
keypad B53, such as the star
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key, or a special Cancel key provided in section B44b. At this time the bet
data is entered in the memory
of the terminal computer module B48. If a mouse is used, there would be a
point and click at an Enter or
cancel box displayed on the screen.
The player can place additional bets for the game until a signal originating
from the control box
B18 at the casino game table, such as by removing the ball B11 from the tray
B11a or the start of the
wheel spinning, indicates that the betting is closed for the present game. The
computer B48 at the
remote terminal is locked out from accepting any more bets. This can be
indicated to the player at the
remote terminal by one or both of an audio and computer generated visible
message. During the time
allotted for making bets the player at the terminal can watch the action of
the players and the bets
placed at the casino table B10.
The game is played at the casino table B10 and the players at both the casino
and at the
remote terminals watch the wheel spinning and the ball dropping. The sounds at
the table also are
broadcast to the players at the remote terminals. The game result, that is,
the winning number of the
pocket into which the ball dropped and its color, is sent from the casino
distribution device B20 to the
individual remote terminals. The computer module B48 at a remote terminal B40
uses the game result
and the bet(s) placed information to compute whether there was a loss or a
win. If a loss, the computer
subtracts the amount of the bet from the player's account. If there was a win,
the remote terminal
computer module B48 computes the amount of the win in accordance with the odds
of the type and the
amount of the bet. That is, each of straight number and number combination
have different odds and
red/black and odd/even have the same odds but different from the number type
bets. The computer B48
has a program that provides for this calculation. The calculated win amount is
then credited to the
player's account. The account amount is displayed in the display section B44c.
As can be seen, a player at a location remote from the actual casino table can
follow an actual
game and can experience much of the actual casino player reaction and sounds.
This makes the remote
player's participation in playing much more realistic and interesting.
The foregoing description is based on a standard casino setting, such as found
in Nevada and
New Jersey U.S.A. It also applies to private casinos. That is, a religious or
veterans organization holds a
gambling night. The roulette table and camera would be brought to the location
of the organization as
well as remote terminals and communication apparatus. The remote terminals can
be placed throughout
the location for those who like to play alone or to handle any overflow.
Various embodiments are described relative to a roulette table but have
application to other
casino table play type games. For example, there can be a dice table at the
casino which has the
camera and microphone described above. Here, the remote terminal would have a
video display of the



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casino dice table and a compute generated representation of the table. The
player at the remote
terminal places a bet and plays along with the player at the casino. Here
also, appropriate betting status
signals are sent to the remote terminals to designate the opening and closing
of betting, placing
additional bets and results of the game. As before, a program in the remote
terminal computer module
calculates the winning based on house or other odds and credits this to the
remote terminal player's
account. Losses are subtracted.
The remote terminal video display of actual game content is also applicable to
card games
such as blackjack, poker and baccarat.
A separate remote terminal can be provided for each type of game or a single
universal
1o terminal can be provided for two or more of the table games.
Specific features of the various embodiments are shown in one or more of the
drawings for
convenience only, as each feature may be combined with other features in
accordance with various
embodiments. Alternative embodiments will be recognized by those skilled in
the art and are intended to
be included within the scope of the claims. Accordingly, the above description
should be construed as
illustrative and not limiting.

CASINO WITH ON-LINE PRESENCE
FIG. 4A shows a casino offering both in-house and on-line (over a network)
gaming, according
to various embodiments. In FIG. 4A, casino C105 includes various gaming
devices, such as slot
machine C110 and blackjack C115. (A person skilled in the art will recognize
other games casino C105
might offer.) Casino C105 also includes server C120, which tracks a player's
activity within the casino.
Thus, as the player uses slot machine C110 or blackjack table C115, the
player's coin-in, winnings, etc.
is all tracked via server C120. The tracked data can be stored locally on
server C120, or it can be stored
in a secure server offsite (see FIG. 5 below). In addition, server C120,
although shown as physically
within the confines of casino C105, can be located outside casino C105.
Casino C105 also offers on-line gaming web site C125. Web site C125 offers
Internet gaming
similar to that offered in-house at casino C105, but without using the
physical devices available in-
house. For example, web site C125 might offer on-line versions of slot machine
game C130 or blackjack
game C135. The credits used by the player in Internet gaming can come from any
desired source. For
3o example, the player can input a credit card number to web site C125, which
then issues the player a
number of credits in exchange for a charge to the player's credit card. Or the
player can use credits
associated with the player's account. Systems for transferring credits from a
player's account to a
gaming device are described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/134,285,
filed Aug. 14, 1998, and

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U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/694,065, filed Nov. 19, 2000, which are
hereby incorporated by
reference. A person skilled in the art will recognize how the systems can be
modified to transfer credits
to a web site offering Internet gaming.
To use web site C125, a user connects to web site C125 from a computer, such
as computer
system C140, across network C145. Computer system C140 conventionally includes
computer C145,
monitor C150, keyboard C155, and mouse C160. A person skilled in the art will
recognize that although
computer system C140 is shown as a desktop personal computer, other types of
computers are
contemplated in various embodiments. For example, computer system C140 can
also be an Internet
appliance, with monitor C150, keyboard C155, and mouse C160 integrated into
the housing of computer
C145. Computer system C140 can also take other forms: for example, a personal
digital assistant (PDA)
or other handheld device, or even a cellular telephone. Optional equipment not
shown as part of
computer system C140 in FIG. 4A are other input/output devices, such as a
printer. Also not shown in
FIG. 4A are the conventional internal components of computer system C140:
e.g., a central processing
unit, memory, file system, etc. Similarly, network C145 can be any variety of
network, such as a local
area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), wireless network, or global
network (such as the
Internet), among others. Network C145 can also be any combination of the above
networks used to
connect computer system C140 and web site C125.
Although FIG. 4A shows web site C125 as being stored on server C120 within
casino C105, a
person skilled in the art will recognize that web site C125 can be stored on
other servers. Similarly, web
site C125 can be accessible through server C105 or can be totally separate, so
that connecting to web
site C125 does not require a path through server C120. For example, FIG. 4B
shows an alternative
embodiment. In FIG. 4B, web site C125 is hosted by server C150, which is
separate from casino C105.
Server C150 can be owned by casino C105, but physically separate from server
C120. In this
embodiment, where server C150 and server C120 are separate devices, typically
server C150 does not
store any player tracking information, which is preferably stored on server
C120. Server C150 can also
be located in a different environment, outside casino C105. Or server C150 can
be a third party server,
operated by a third party instead of casino C105 (but perhaps with direction
from casino C105). A
person skilled in the art will recognize other possible variations.
Even if casino C105 does not own or operate server C150, casino C105 will want
to be able to
track the player's activity on web site C125. To enable this tracking, server
C150 can report the player's
activities to casino C150. Connection C155 enables server C150 to report a
player's activities to casino
C105. A person skilled in the art will recognize that connection C155 does not
have to be a direct
physical connection. Instead, server C150 can connect to casino C105 via
network C145.

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Although FIGS. 4A and 4B show web site C125 as providing the on-line
equivalent of gaming
in-house at the casino, web site C125 can provide other forms of entertainment
to players. For example,
rather than playing for money, web site C125 can offer players a play-for-fun
site. In this configuration,
when players use web site C125, they are not risking their own money.
Nevertheless, casino C105 might
want to track the player's activities, to reward the player for loyalty. For
example, the player might earn
points that are redeemable at the casino. Thus, even though the casino does
not directly profit from the
player's activities, there is an indirect profit motive, as the player will
eventually visit the casino to
redeem the points accrued, and hopefully spend money gambling at the casino.
In addition, if the casino
offers multiple web sites to players, some of the web sites can be configured
for on-line gaming, and
lo others can be configured for play-for-fun.
Returning to FIG. 4A, as the player plays in-house at casino C105, playing for
example slot
machine C110 or blackjack table C115, information about the player's activity
is tracked. Similarly, as the
player plays on-line at web site C125, playing for example slot machine game
C130 or blackjack game
C135, information about the player's activity is tracked. In some embodiments,
the combined data is
stored offsite in a secure server (as shown in FIG. 5 below). In a second
embodiment the combined data
is stored in server C120. Regardless of where the data is stored, the combined
data gives the casino
more information about the player that it might otherwise have had.
Although FIGS. 4A and 4B only show a single casino, a person skilled in the
art will recognize
that various embodiments may include multiple casino properties. For example,
a single web site can
track on-line gaming activity for players registered with more than one casino
property. In addition, a
single casino can have more than one web site (hosted on one or more servers,
all of which can be
distinct from server C120), with player tracking data being reported to server
C120. A person skilled in
the art will recognize other possible variations.
FIG. 5 shows a player communicating through the server of the casino of FIG.
4A, according to
some embodiments. In FIG. 5, computer system 140 is shown communicating with
server C120. Server
C120, in turn communicates with ASP server C205, which in turn communicates
with secure server
C21 0 behind firewall C215. Secure server C210 can be used to store sensitive
data: for example, a
player tracking data storing data about a player's activities and his personal
information, among other
possibilities.
ASP server C205 is responsible for managing secure communications between
server C120
and secure server C21 0. In a preferred embodiment, server C120 sends
eXtensible Markup Language
(XML) requests to ASP server C205, which is the only device permitted to
access secure server C21 0
behind firewall C215. But a person skilled in the art will recognize that
server C120 can communicate
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with ASP server C205 other than by using XML. By having secure server C21 0
communicate with ASP
server C205 rather than secure server C210, sensitive data can be kept secure
on secure server C210
but still accessible from outside firewall C21 0 if the request is transmitted
in the correct manner. ASP
server C205 can then communicate with secure server C21 0 to obtain the
response to the requests,
which can be securely transmitted back to server C120, preferably using XML.
Server C120 can then
transform the XML response into HyperText Markup Language (HTML) using an
eXtensible Stylesheet
Language (XSL) Transformation (XSLT). The resulting HTML can then be displayed
to the player on
computer system C 140.
Communication between server C120 and ASP server C205 may be encrypted. Any
encryption
lo scheme can be used: the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption protocol used
on the Internet is a
standard that can be applied to encrypt the communication. Similarly,
communication between ASP
server C205 and secure server C21 0 is preferably encrypted.
As an example of how the communications scheme of FIG. 5 can be used, consider
the
situation in which the player wants to update his personal information. (In
this example, encrypted
communications are not described, but a person skilled in the art will
recognize how to introduce
encrypted communications into the example.) Since personal information is
sensitive (the player would
not want it publicly available), the data would be stored on secure server C21
0, behind firewall C215.
So, using server C120 the player can request to view his player data. (It is
assumed at this point that the
player has identified himself to the system.) The browser request made of
server C120 is translated into
2o an XML request of ASP server C205, which is forwarded to secure server C21
0. Secure server C21 0
responds with the personal information, which is formed into XML and forwarded
to server C120. Server
C120 uses XSLT to transform the XML data into an HTML page, which can then be
presented to the
user. Using a form, the player can update his personal data. XML form data can
then be posted to ASP
server C205, which can update the database on secure server C210. ASP server
C205 sends an XML
confirmation message back to server C120, which again uses XSLT to transform
the XML confirmation
message into HTML, which can be presented to the user.

REGISTERING A PLAYER
Of course, before a player can receive a benefit according to FIGS. 6 and 7,
the player must be
registered with the casino. The most traditional way for a player to register
with the system is to have the
player come in to the casino to register. A casino employee enters player data
(either from a form
prepared by the player or live as the player provides the data) into a
computer and gives the player a
player card. Then, when the player uses the player card at any gaming device,
the system can track the

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player's activity. The player card can also have a number imprinted on it that
is unique to that player
card: the player can then use that number to identify himself for on-line
gaming.
Instead of having players come to the casino in person to register an account,
there are other
ways in which players can be registered with the system. For example, the
player can fill out an
electronic form, over the Internet. The player can then be mailed the player
card, and/or can be issued
electronically an identification number that can be used for on-line gaming.
Other ways can also be used to register the player. For example, software
exists that allow the
Internet Protocol (IP) address of a computer to be located geographically.
Using such software, a player
can be located without having to type any information. When the player first
sets up his account, the
1o system can determine the player's location based on his IP address. But IP
addresses identify
computers, not persons: it is not possible to determine who is using the
computer from the IP address.
Further, if IP addresses are dynamically assigned, they do not even uniquely
identify a computer.
Instead of assigning the player an identification number, an existing ID for
the player can be
used. For example, each state assigns persons in the state a unique driver's
license number. The
combination of the issuing state and the ID number can uniquely identify a
player. The player can input
this information to the system, and the system can forward the information to
a third party database. The
third party database can then return information about the player. The
combination of issuing state and
ID number can be used both to obtain information about a player for
registration purposes (in setting up
the player's account) and for identification purposes (for using the account).
In various embodiments, a combination of methods is used to register a player.
First, the IP
address of the computer is checked to determine the player's location. Then
the player is prompted for
his ID number and issuing agency. The ID number and issuing agency are
forwarded to the third party
database, both to verify the player's location as determined by IP address and
to obtain player
demographic information. If the player's location is verified, the account is
registered using the player's
IP address, ID number, and issuing agency. But if the player's location is not
verified, then the player is
requested to telephone the casino or come in personally, and have a casino
employee register the
player's account.

SETTING PLAYER PREFERENCES
Various embodiments provide a gaming machine that may be customized according
to one or
more player preferences. A player may view and modify player preferences
stored in a player preference
account as preference account information. The preference account information
may include but is not
limited to loyalty point account information, loyalty point account settings,
promotional opportunities,



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preferred games, preferred game features for the preferred games, preferred
gaming machine settings,
preferred bonus games, preferred service options and preferred progressive
games. The preference
account information may be stored in a plurality of preference accounts on a
preference account server.
Using a preference account interface which may be compatible with a web-
browser, a player may be
able to view and modify preference account information stored on the
preference account server from a
number of remote devices such as a gaming machine, a home computer, a hotel
room video interface
and a casino kiosk.

COLLUSION DETECTION
It will be appreciated that the game of poker is a mixed game, combining
elements of both
chance and skill or strategy. It is known for two or more players in a poker
game to co-ordinate their
respective playing strategies in order to gain an advantage over the remaining
players in the game,
thereby destroying the fairness of the game.
Some embodiments will be described with particular reference to a system for
detecting and
controlling collusion in a game of poker. However, this application is not to
be construed as limiting, in
various embodiments.
Referring to FIG. 8, a system for detecting and controlling collusion in a
game of poker is
indicted generally by reference numeral (D1). The system (D1) includes a
gaming server (D2) and a
number of portals (D3a, D3b) in the form of websites on the World Wide Web of
the Internet. In this
2o embodiment, each one of the portal websites is an online casino website
hosted on a corresponding
casino web server (not shown). For convenience, various embodiments will be
described with particular
reference to only two such online casino websites (D3a, D3b). Each one of the
casino websites (D3a,
D3b) is accessible by one or more would-be poker players (not shown). Each
would-be poker player
accesses a casino website by means of a corresponding Internet-enabled
computer workstation having
a display (D5) and an associated pointing device (D6), such a mouse or,
alternatively, a touchpad. In
this embodiment, casino website (D3a) is shown as having one computer
workstation (D4) logically
connected thereto, whereas casino website (D3b) is shown as being logically
connected to two such
computer workstations. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that
such online casino websites
(D3a, D3b) can be logically connected to any number of computer workstations
(D4) simultaneously,
which number is physically limited only by considerations of processing power
and Internet access
bandwidth.
The system (D1) includes, further an administration facility (D13) in the form
of an application
web server, which is communicable with the gaming server (D2) along a
communication channel (D12).
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The detailed operation of the application web server (D13) will be outlined in
the description that follows.
The system (D1) also includes a collusion detection server (D14) that is
communicable with the gaming
server (D2) along the communication channel (D12).
The gaming server (D2), the online casino web servers (not shown)
corresponding to the online
casino websites (D3a, D3b), the computer workstations (D4), the application
web server (D13) and the
collusion detection server (D14) are capable of communicating with each other
by means of an open
communication channel that is, in this embodiment, the Internet. Although the
Internet is a single packet-
switched communication network, it represented in FIG. 8, for convenience, as
separate logical
communication channels (D7, D8, D9, D10, D11 and D12).
The application web server (D13) maintains a clearing account facility (D15)
that has a clearing
account corresponding to each one of the casino websites (D3a, D3b).
Analogously, each online casino
web server (D3a, D3b) includes a corresponding credit account facility (D16a,
D16b) with a credit
account corresponding to each player who participates in the game of poker
through one of the
computer workstations (D4). In the illustrated embodiment, the credit account
facility (D16a) therefore
has one player account associated with it, while credit account facility
(D16b) has two associated player
credit accounts.
The gaming server (D2) operates under control of a stored program capable of
enabling a
predetermined maximum number, say 8, of players to participate in an instance
of the game of poker.
When the number of players reaches this predetermined maximum number, the
stored program causes
2o a further instance of the game to be initiated, the new instance also being
capable of accommodating a
further 8 players. In addition, the stored program initiates different
instances of the game for each one of
a number of different levels of play that are, in this embodiment, $1/$2,
$2/$4, $5/$10, $10/$20, $20/$40,
fixed limit games over $20/$40, and pot limit games. In this manner the gaming
server is capable, under
stored program control, of spawning as many separate instances of the game as
required in order to
accommodate the requirement of a pool of players who desire to play the game
at different levels of
play, in groups of a maximum of 8. Each instance of the game spawned in this
manner is treated as
totally independent of the other instances.
The online casino websites (D3a, D3b) enable a player desiring to join the
game to request, by
means of one of the computer workstations (D4), participation in the game and,
once admitted to a
particular instance of the game, to place a wager on a turn of that instance.
Each participating player is
presented with an identical graphical user interface (GUI) on the display (D5)
of his respective computer
workstation (D4) by the stored program in the gaming server (D2). The GUI
presents to the player a
suitable display of a poker game (not shown) with appropriate icons that
enable the player to make his

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own desired game play decisions and to monitor the progress of the game by
viewing the game play
decisions of the other participating players in the same instance of the game.
As shown in FIG. 9, the stored program also provides a wagering means (D17)
operable by any
participating player to place a wager on a turn of the game, as well as a
discrimination means (D18)
capable of determining whether any wager placed by any one of the
participating players on the turn of
the instance of the game of poker is successful or unsuccessful. The stored
program in the gaming
server (D2) also maintains a dynamic register (D19) of all players admitted
to, and actively participating
in, all the spawned instances of the poker from time to time, together with
data representative of a
corresponding portal (D3a, D3b) through which each participating player
accessed the game. The
lo dynamic register (D19) also contains data representative of an instance of
the game in which the player
is participating. The application web server (D13) also settles the wagers of
the participating players
after completion of every turn of all instances of the game.
In use, a player wishing to participate in the game of poker uses a computer
workstation (D4) to
access an online casino website (D3a, D3b) of his choice. The player is
presented with an icon (not
shown) on the GUI on his computer workstation (D4), which the user can
activate in order to request
participation in the poker game at a desired level of play. The user's request
for participation is passed
by the online casino website (D3a, D3b) to the gaming server (D2), which
adjudicates and processes the
request in the following manner: 1. if all existing instances of the poker
game at the desired level of play
are currently being played by 8 players, the existing instances of the game
are all fully occupied and the
would-be player cannot be admitted. The user is notified of the situation and
is prompted to join a waiting
list of would-be players; 2. if any one of the existing instances of the poker
game at the desired level of
play does have a vacancy, the would-be player is removed from the waiting list
and admitted to that
instance of the game and an appropriate GU I is presented to the newly-
admitted player to allow him to
play the game and to place wagers thereon; 3. the register of active
participating players is updated to
include the details of the newly-admitted player, together with data
representative of the online casino
website (D3a or D3b) from which the player was admitted to the game, as well
as the particular instance
of the game to which he has been admitted; 4. when the waiting list of would-
be players at any particular
level of play has grown sufficiently large, say 4 or 5, the gaming server
spawns a new instance of the
game at that level of play to accommodate the would-be players in the waiting
list, and the list is flushed;
3o and 5. the register of active participating players is updated to include
the details of all the newly-
admitted players in the newly-spawned instance of the game, together with data
representative of an
online casino website (D3a or D3b) from which the players were admitted to the
game, as well as the
particular instance of the game to which the players have been admitted.

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Any player is able to leave the instance of the poker game in which he is
participating at any
time upon completion of a turn of that instance of the game. When a
participating player leaves an
instance of the poker game, the player's departure results in the following
actions: 1. the GU I
corresponding to the poker game on the computer workstation is replaced by one
allowing the player to
select another casino game to play; 2. the departing player's details are
removed from the register of
active participating players; and 3. the remaining instances of the game are
analyzed in order to collapse
any sparsely populated instances of the game and to consolidate the
participating players in these
instances into a single more densely-populated instance of the game.
The participating players in any instance of the game utilize the wagering
means (D17) to place
lo wagers from time to time on a turn of the poker game and to effect playing
decisions required during the
progress of the turn, as described above. Once the turn of the game has been
completed, the
discrimination means (D18) determines which of the players is the winner of
the turn and the application
web server (D13) settles the wagers placed by the participating players on
that turn of the instance of
the game, as follows: 1. the gaming server (D2) notifies an online casino
website (D3a, D3b) associated
with each player who has made a wager on the turn of the game. Each online
casino website (D3a, D3b)
then debits the individual credit account of its associated player by an
amount equivalent to the
magnitude of that player's wager; 2. the clearing account of an online casino
website (D3a, D3b)
associated with each player who has made a wager on the turn of the game is
then debited by an
amount equivalent to the magnitude of that player's corresponding wager; 3.
the clearing account of an
online casino website (D3a, D3b) associated with the player who has made the
successful wager on the
turn of the game is credited by an amount equivalent to the total of all the
wagers inclusive of the
successful wager; and 4. the gaming server (D2) also notifies the online
casino website (D3a, D3b)
associated with the successful player and that online casino website credits
the individual credit account
of the successful player by an amount equivalent to the total of all the
wagers inclusive of the successful
wager.
It is anticipated that the wagers placed by the participating players in the
game will be made
with credit purchased by such players prior to their participation in the
game. For this purpose each
online casino (D3a, D3b) includes credit-dispensing means (not shown) capable
of dispensing credit to
any player who wishes to participate in the poker game. The player may
purchase credit by means of
conventional credit or debit card payment facilities that are well known in
the art and that will not be
described here in detail. Whenever a player purchases credit from the credit
dispensing means, the
corresponding online casino (D3a, D3b) credits that player's credit account
with an amount equivalent to
the quantity of credit purchased by the player.

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In various embodiments, the application server (D13) withholds a portion of
the total of all the
wagers on each turn of the game as a rake for the benefit of the operator of
the gaming server (D2) and
the online casino websites (D3a, D3b). A portion of the rake is credited to
the clearing account of each of
the online casinos (D3a, D3b) as a function of the proportion of players
participating in the turn of the
instance of the game through that particular casino website. In this variation
of the embodiment, the
clearing account of the casino (D3a or D3b) associated with the player who has
made a successful
wager on the turn of the game is credited with an amount equivalent to the
total of all the wagers
inclusive of the successful wager, less the amount of the rake. Analogously,
the credit account of the
player who has made the successful wager is credited by an amount equivalent
to the total of all the
lo wagers, inclusive of the successful wager, less the rake.
The collusion detection server (D14) maintains a recording means in the form
of a collusion
detection database (D20), the function of which will be described in greater
detail below. The collusion
detection server (D14) operates under control of a stored program capable of
logging the playing history
of each player who participates an instance of the game of poker at some time.
The playing history
includes an amount wagered on each turn of the game in which the player has
participated, as well as a
corresponding outcome of the wager. The outcome of the wager is taken to be a
profit made on the
wager, if successful, and an amount of the wager that is forfeited by the
player if the wager is
unsuccessful. In this particular embodiment, the outcome of the successful
wager is thus the total of all
the wagers by the participating players in the turn of the instance of the
game of poker, less the amount
wagered by the winning player, less the amount of the rake. The logged
information is recorded in the
collusion detection database (D20).
As shown in FIG. 10, the stored program in the collusion detection server
(D14) provides a
ranking facility (D21) that is operable to derive from the logged playing
history of each player, a
corresponding primary statistic. A player's primary statistic is re-calculated
by the ranking facility (D21)
each time the player's playing history is updated with the outcome of a
further turn of the game in which
the player has participated. The derived primary statistic is stored in the
collusion detection database
(D20). The primary statistic is a player's win/loss ratio over all turns
played by the player, which is
calculated as: win times. / × loss× times. ( all times. times.
hands times. times. played
Units + / - na where: Units+/-=sum of the outcomes of all the wagers; and
na=number of hands played
by the player.
The stored program in the collusion detection server (D14) also provides a
monitoring means
(D22) for continuously monitoring the primary statistic of any player in the
collusion detection database
(D20). The monitoring means (D21) generates an output in the form of a flag
when the primary statistic


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of any player changes by more than a predetermined threshold. Such a change
indicates a change in
that player's pattern of play and this may serve as an indicator of possible
collusion by that player that is
worthy of further investigation. In order to minimize the possibility of
generating spurious flags, the
ranking facility (D21) derives the primary statistic for a player once a
playing history exceeding 300 turns
of the game has been logged in the collusion detection server (D14). It is
anticipated that a particular
player's win/loss ratio will differ according to a level at which the game is
played, the player being more
cautious when playing the game at a high level. For this reason, the ranking
facility (D21) computes a
primary statistic for each player for each level at which the game may be
played. In this instance, the
levels of play are: games up to $1/$2, games from $2/$4 to $5/$10, games from
$10/$20 to $20/$40,
lo fixed limit games over $20/$40, Pot Limit games, and No Limit games. Thus a
primary statistic for a
particular level of play will only be derived by the ranking facility (D21)
when a playing history of 300
turns of the game has been logged for that particular level of play.
The stored program in the collusion detection server (D14) also provides a
control facility (D23)
that acts on the flag generated by the monitoring means (D21) by suspending
the corresponding player
from further participation in the game of poker.
The ranking facility (D21) also computes a number of secondary statistics
relating to each
player. When the primary statistic has a positive value, indicating a winning
player, a first secondary
statistic is a breakdown of that player's winnings from the other players in
the instance of the game. If an
inordinate percentage of that player's winnings is derived from one or more
other players, the monitoring
means (D22) generates a flag. Such a skewed pattern of winnings is a further
indicator of possible
collusion by the winning player.
A further secondary statistic, which is computed when the primary statistic
for a player is
negative, indicating a losing player, is a breakdown of that player's losses
to the other players in the
instance of the game. If an inordinate percentage of that player's losses are
made to one or more other
players, the monitoring means (D22) generates a flag.
A still further secondary statistic is computed as: raises with/without a
Raising Hand=R/RH
where: R=total number of raises; and RH=number of raising hands.
Each game play decision by a player to raise a prior wager is analyzed by an
analysis facility
(D24) connected to the gaming server (D2). The analysis facility (D24)
evaluates whether the game play
3o decision was optimal in the light of the cards in the players hand. A ratio
close to 1 indicates that the
player is raising correctly. A ratio significantly greater than 1 means that
the player is raising too often
with hands that are not adjudged to be raising hands. This indicates that the
player is a poor player, or a
colluder, and a flag is raised by the monitoring means (D22).

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As a yet further statistic, a player's losses arising from all raises are
broken down and analyzed.
An inordinately high proportion of losses to one or more other participating
players causes the
monitoring means (D22) to raise a flag.
It is anticipated that the two previous secondary statistics can be
advantageously employed to
quickly analyze a new participating player. With a logged playing history of
only 20 or 30 turns of the
game, these secondary statistics will be accurate enough to enable the
monitoring means (D22) to raise
a flag, when required.

SPORTS BETTING
Various embodiments provide a system and method for conducting sports and
event betting.
According to one aspect, the ease of using a network (e.g., the Internet,
cellular, and/or other type of
network) is combined with sports and event betting at a land-based casino.
Thus, sport and other types
of event betting are improved, as betting is more convenient to the bettor.
According to one embodiment, a bettor may sign onto a website (e.g., through
the Internet
and/or other type of network) to place a bet on any sports or other event
including professional and
college football, soccer, baseball, basketball, auto racing, and ice hockey,
as well as cricket, rugby, and
various sports tournaments including the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball
Championships and
World Cup Soccer. Other events upon which a bet may be placed include any type
of event, such as, for
example, choosing the winner of a reality television show (e.g., the Survivor
reality show), when the first
person lands on Mars, or the winner of the next United States Presidential
election.
According to one embodiment, a website (e.g., made available through the
Internet or other
type of network) includes a listing of all the possible bets that may be made.
According to another
embodiment, the bettor may then select the wagers to be made on-line and
register the wagers to be
made with the casino. One advantage of this is especially apparent for
complicated or multiple selection
events that may involve multiple selections of events to occur. For instance,
a bet involving the entire
NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Tournament which has 63 games and 64 teams
is a complicated
bet that may require multiple event selections. In another example, choosing a
fantasy league team (e.g.
for the National Football League (NFL)) may have as many as 30 team members or
positions and as
many as 60 choices for each position, further complicating the wagering
process. However, such
traditional wagers were limited to being placed in the gaming establishment by
the bettor. According to
one aspect, the bettor is permitted to arrange the bet outside of the gaming
establishment, and to make
payment for the bet in a legal manner.

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According to various embodiments, a bettor may propose a bet for the website
operator to
consider. According to various embodiments, a registration number is issued by
the website operator if
the bet is accepted. According to various embodiments, the bettor then
proceeds to the land-based
casino running the website and pays for the registered bet. According to
various embodiments, by
permitting the bettor to making the actual payment for the wager at the land-
based casino, legal issues
with Internet betting in the United States are reduced or eliminated. This
method is believed to provide
convenience to the bettor because the bettor can determine and place their
bet(s) prior to going to the
casino. Further, such a method may provide additional foot traffic for the
casinos to enhance play of their
other games, as bettors are required to travel to the casino to make payment.
FIG. 17 shows one example process for conducting sports and event betting
according to
various embodiments. At block E200, process E230 begins with a bettor
determining that he or she
wants to place a bet on a sports or other event. At block E202, the bettor
signs onto a website or other
resource accessible through a communication network. In one example system,
the player accesses a
website that includes an interface (e.g., a graphical user interface (GUI)) in
which the player may log
onto for security. Further, the player may be permitted to access account
information and/or information
specific to the bettor. This interface may be used to access the website or
Internet, or may be any other
interface (e.g., an interface used to access a download website used for
downloading betting software).
The interface may be, for example, an HTML, Java, or other type interface.
At block E204, the bettor reviews the available bets on the website. According
to some
2o embodiments, the website may list all or some of the possible bets that may
be made. The possible bets
that may be shown may be determined according to the bettor's account or
betting profile (e.g., possible
football bets will not be shown to a bettor not interested in football).
Available bets may also be shown
based on the historical betting behavior of the bettor.
Odds shown for a possible bet may be set or may be variable depending upon
when the bet is
registered or when the bet is paid for. For example, a bet on the winner of
the Major League Baseball
World Series may have 6:1 odds after the regular season and before the
baseball playoffs start, 1:1
odds just before the World Series starts, and 1:4 odds after the third game of
the Series. For this
example, the odds of the registered bet may be determined at the time the bet
is registered or at the
time the bet is paid for. If the odds for a registered bet are determined at
the time the bet is registered,
the land-based casino may require payment for the registered bet within a
specified time period (e.g.
one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month, etc.) and this specified
time period may shorten
as the sports or other event approaches.

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At block E206, the bettor determines the bet(s) to make and at block E208, the
bettor registers
the bet(s). For instance, the bets may be registered on a website (e.g.,
through a communication
network including the Internet, cellular network, etc.). The bettor may make a
bet listed on the website.
Alternatively or in addition to the offered bets that are listed, the player
may propose a bet not on the
website. For instance, in the case where a bet is not listed on the website,
the bettor may state the
specific event that is being bet on and the bettor or the website operator may
determine the odds to be
given to the bettor for the bet.
When the website operator accepts the bet, the website may provide a
registration, transaction,
or confirmation number to the bettor for the bet(s) at block E21 0. The bettor
then proceeds to the land-
based casino at block E212 for payment. For instance, the bettor may proceed
to a cashier, a kiosk, or
other means available for paying for the bet(s) at the casino or other legal
gambling jurisdiction. At block
E214, the bettor provides the bet registration number to the casino, the
casino confirms the registration
number at block E216. At block E21 8, the bettor pays the casino for the
bet(s), and the bettor may
obtain a betting slip showing the bet(s) placed and the odds on the bet(s).
At block E220, the event is held that determines the outcome of the bet and
the casino
determines if the bettor is a winner at block E222. If the bettor is a winner,
the casino then pays out the
winnings to the bettor at block E226. To receive the winnings, a bettor may be
required to return to the
casino.
At block E220, it is possible that the bettor may need to make more picks on
the same bet. For
2o example, a bettor may need to make more picks for second and other
additional rounds of a multiple
round tournament based upon the previous round's results. Such a tournament
may include, for
example, the FIFA World Cup in soccer or the NCAA Men's Basketball
Championship. In such a
tournament, it is possible that a bettor may need to make all picks for all
rounds before placing the bet.
When paying for a registered bet, a bettor may pay, for instance, using money,
loyalty points,
combination thereof, or any other payment method. In particular, a bettor may
pay using money by debit
card, credit card, check, cash or from an account credit either with the
gaming operator or an affiliated
organization. Alternatively or in addition to other payment methods, a bettor
may pay using loyalty points
from an account held either by the gaming operator or by an affiliated
organization. Loyalty points may
be obtained from any type of organization but are generally associated with
loyalty programs such as
frequent flier programs for airlines, frequent stay programs for hotels or
frequent visitor programs for
casinos. The bettor may pay in person (e.g., by using a cashier) or by other
methods within the casino
including telephone, handheld device, or kiosk. Payment may be in any form
that is legal in the particular
jurisdiction.

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The computer system or game operator may automatically determine when a bettor
is a winner.
Such a result may be automatically authenticated and verified by the computer
system. In this instance,
the computer system may then notify the bettor that he or she has won and what
the winnings are.
Notification of winning to a bettor may occur by mail, e-mail, computer web or
network, telephone,
television, pager, fax, kiosk or any other method.
After a winner is authenticated and verified, the computer system may then
notify all bettors of
the win. Additionally, the computer system may display the winning bet, the
bettor's identity or the
payout.
A bettor may also be able to replay or review a past bets using an audio-
enabled or video-
1o enabled device. For instance, a kiosk, telephone having a display,
television, computer or handheld
device may be used to view past bets. By accessing a selected bet in the
computer system, a game
player may be able to see the event outcome, the bet odds, and the payout.
In one embodiment, a computer system may be used to operate most acts of the
betting
operation, including taking, registering, and paying out bets. For instance,
computer system(s) used to
perform betting functions according to one embodiment may include single or
multiple computer
systems, one or more of which may include a supercomputer, a minicomputer, a
mainframe computer,
or a personal computer. A computer system used to run-the betting operation
may also include any
combination of computer system types that cooperate to accomplish system-level
tasks. Multiple
computer systems may also be used to run one or more betting operations. The
computer system also
may include input or output devices, displays, or storage units to facilitate
the betting operation. It should
be appreciated that any computer system or systems may be used, and various
embodiments are not
limited to any number, type, or configuration of computer systems.
A computer system (e.g., system E300) that executes the betting operation
according to
various embodiments may include, for example, one or more component systems
(e.g., systems E302,
E304, and/or E306 as shown in FIG. 13). One system component (e.g., payment
system E302) may
handle payment by bettors. Another system component (e.g., sports betting
system E306) may handle
taking and registering bets for one or more events, including sporting event.
Yet another system (e.g.,
payout system E304) may handle making payouts to players. Such a betting
system may also be
connected (e.g., by direct line or network) to other computer systems
including systems for handling
casino or hotel loyalty programs, reservations, in-room television viewing,
gambling floor kiosks, or other
systems. Connections to other computer systems may be performed using one or
more of the system
components described below.



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A payment component (e.g., system E302) may include one or more of a number of
well-known
systems. For example, a bettor may be able to pay for a bet through a casino
cashier, kiosk or other
means that is connected to the payment computer system through an interface.
In the computer, data
may be stored in a database that is stored in the memory of a computer system.
As used herein, a"data
structure" is an arrangement of data defined by computer-readable signals.
These signals may be read
by a computer system, stored on a medium associated with a computer system
(e.g., in a memory, on a
disk, etc.) and may be transmitted to one or more other computer systems over
a communications
medium such as, for example, a network. Also as used herein, a"user interface"
or "UI" is an interface
between a human user and a computer that enables communication between a user
and a computer.
Examples of Uls that may be implemented with various embodiments include a
graphical user interface
(GUI), a display screen, a mouse, a keyboard, a keypad, a track ball, a
microphone (e.g., to be used in
conjunction with a voice recognition system), a speaker, a touch screen, a
game controller (e.g., a
joystick) etc, and any combinations thereof.
Bettor information may also be entered into a payment system component. Bettor
information
that may be input includes name, address, telephone number and age, and
payment information may
include a credit or debit card number or loyalty account information. Based
upon the payment
information, the call center representative may verify that the payment
information is valid and that
enough credit or funds is available for the player's bet(s).
Various pay systems and one or more user interfaces may be located on computer
systems
coupled by a network with the computer system(s) storing data having bettor,
account and subscription
information. As used herein, a"network" or a "communications network" is a
group of two or more
devices interconnected by one or more segments of transmission media or active
communications
equipment on which communications may be exchanged between the devices.
The above examples are merely illustrative embodiments of a payment system
component. It
should be appreciated that such an illustrative embodiment is not intended to
be limiting in scope, as any
of numerous other implementations of the pay system, for example, variations
for on-site casino
payment, are possible and are intended to fall within the scope of various
embodiments. For example,
the payment system may include using pay-per-view systems associated with
interactive television in a
casino hotel or the pay engine may additionally deliver a receipt to the
player by either e-mail or mail.
None of the claims set forth below are intended to be limited to any
particular implementation of a pay
system unless such claim includes a limitation explicitly reciting a
particular implementation.
Payout systems (e.g., system E304) are also well known. Any of a number of
standard systems
or payout engines for making payouts for winning may be used according to
various embodiments as

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shown in FIG. 15. For example, a standard application programming interface
such as 'Quicken'
(available commercially from Intuit Inc., Mountain View, Calif., USA) may be
used to write and mail
checks or credit a debit card, credit card (if legal in the jurisdiction of
play) or loyalty account. 'Quicken'
may obtain the payout information by accessing a payout data structure across
a network. As used
herein, an "application programming interface" or "API" is a set of one or
more computer-readable
instructions that provide access to one or more other sets of computer-
readable instructions that define
functions, so that such functions can be configured to be executed on a
computer in conjunction with an
application program.
'Quicken' is merely an illustrative embodiment of the payout system. Such an
illustrative
lo embodiment is not intended to be limiting in scope, as any of numerous
other implementations of the
payout system, for example, variations of online payout, are possible and are
intended to fall within the
scope of various embodiments. Additionally, a cashier may also have access to
payout information using
a user interface to the payout data structure through a network; the cashier
then makes a payment to the
winning player based upon the accessed information.
A sports and event betting system (e.g., system E306 as shown in FIG. 16)
according to
various embodiments may comprise of a number of components for performing
specific functions. These
components may include, for example, storage means that store data structures
having information
relating to betting events and odds. For example, such information may include
event date, time, and
location, bettor's betting and win history, and event odds and their
dependence upon time of payment. A
sports and event betting system may also include components to access payment
and payout data
structures.
The sports and event betting system may also include a betting engine. A
betting engine may
perform, for example, some functions according to process E230 shown in FIG.
17 and described
above. It should be appreciated that the betting process E230 may include more
or less acts as shown
in FIG. 17, and that various embodiments are not limited to any particular
number of order of acts (e.g.,
the order illustrated in FIG. 17) as the acts may be performed in other
orders, may include additional
acts and one or more of the acts of process E230 may be performed in series or
in parallel to one or
more other acts, or parts thereof. For example, blocks E214 and E218, or parts
thereof, may be
performed together, and act E216 may be performed at any point after block
E214 (including after block
E218) of process E230.
Process E230 is merely an illustrative embodiment of a method for performing
sports or event
betting. Such an illustrative embodiment is not intended to be limiting in
scope, as any of numerous
other implementations for performing sports or event betting may be employed.
None of the claims set

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forth below are intended to be limited to any particular implementation of a
method of sports or event
betting, unless such claim includes a limitation explicitly reciting a
particular implementation.
Process E230, acts thereof and various embodiments and variations of these
methods and
acts, individually or in combination, may be defined by computer-readable
signals tangibly embodied on
a computer-readable medium, for example, a non-volatile recording medium, an
integrated circuit
memory element, or a combination thereof. Such signals may define
instructions, for example, as part of
one or more programs, that, as a result of being executed by a computer,
instruct the computer to
perform one or more of the methods or acts described herein, and/or various
embodiments, variations
and combinations thereof. Such instructions may be written in any of a
plurality of programming
languages, for example, Java, Visual Basic, C, C#, or C++, Fortran, Pascal,
Eiffel, Basic, COBOL, etc.,
or any of a variety of combinations thereof. The computer-readable medium on
which such instructions
are stored may reside on one or more of the components of a general-purpose
computer described
above, and may be distributed across one or more of such components.
The computer-readable medium may be transportable such that the instructions
stored thereon
can be loaded onto any computer system resource to implement the various
embodiments discussed
herein. In addition, it should be appreciated that the instructions stored on
the computer-readable
medium, described above, are not limited to instructions embodied as part of
an application program
running on a host computer. Rather, the instructions may be embodied as any
type of computer code
(e.g., software or microcode) that can be employed to program a processor to
implement the above-
2o discussed aspects.
It should be appreciated that any single component or collection of multiple
components of a
computer system, for example, the computer system described below in relation
to FIG. 11, that perform
the functions described above with respect to describe or reference the method
can be generically
considered as one or more controllers that control the above-discussed
functions. The one or more
controllers can be implemented in numerous ways, such as with dedicated
hardware, or using a
processor that is programmed using microcode or software to perform the
functions recited above.
Another component of the event betting system may include a software component
(e.g., a
driver) that streams video via a broadband, satellite or wireless medium to a
user interface. If the game
is played completely automatically, the user interface may be merely a video
terminal including television
with no user input means. Viewing access may be controlled by standard methods
for conditional access
including using set top box addresses, telephone numbers or internet protocol
(IP) addresses.
The above is merely an illustrative embodiment of a sports and event betting
system. Such an
illustrative embodiment is not intended to be limiting in scope, as any of
numerous other

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implementations of a sports and event betting system, for example, variations
of conditional access, are
possible and are intended to fall within the scope of various embodiments.
None of the claims set forth
below are intended to be limited to any particular implementation of a sports
and event betting system
unless such claim includes a limitation explicitly reciting a particular
implementation.
System E300, and components thereof such as the payment, payout and betting
engines, may
be implemented using software (e.g., C, C#, C++, Java, or a combination
thereof), hardware (e.g., one
or more application-specific integrated circuits, processors or other
hardware), firmware (e.g.,
electrically-programmed memory) or any combination thereof. One or more of the
components of 300
may reside on a single system (e.g., the payment subsystem), or one or more
components may reside
1o on separate, discrete systems. Further, each component may be distributed
across multiple systems,
and one or more of the systems may be interconnected.
Further, on each of the one or more systems that include one or more
components of E300,
each of the components may reside in one or more locations on the system. For
example, different
portions of the components of E300 may reside in different areas of memory
(e.g., RAM, ROM, disk,
etc.) on the system. Each of such one or more systems may include, among other
components, a
plurality of known components such as one or more processors, a memory system,
a disk storage
system, one or more network interfaces, and one or more busses or other
internal communication links
interconnecting the various components.
System E300 may be implemented on a computer system described below in
relation to FIGS.
11 and 12.
System E300 is merely an illustrative embodiment of the game system. Such an
illustrative
embodiment is not intended to be limiting in scope, as any of numerous other
implementations of the
sports and event betting system, for example, variations of system E300, are
possible and are intended
to fall within the scope of various embodiments. For example, interactive
television may also be used to
view the available bets. None of the claims set forth below are intended to be
limited to any particular
implementation of the betting system unless such claim includes a limitation
explicitly reciting a particular
implementation.
Various embodiments may be implemented on one or more computer systems. These
computer systems may be, for example, general-purpose computers such as those
based on Intel
PENTIUM-type processor, Motorola PowerPC, Sun UltraSPARC, Hewlett-Packard PA-
RISC processors,
or any other type of processor. It should be appreciated that one or more of
any type computer system
may be used to partially or fully automate play of the described game
according to various

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embodiments. Further, the software design system may be located on a single
computer or may be
distributed among a plurality of computers attached by a communications
network.
For example, various embodiments may be implemented as specialized software
executing in a
general-purpose computer system E400 such as that shown in FIG. 11. The
computer system E400 may
include a processor E403 connected to one or more memory devices E404, such as
a disk drive,
memory, or other device for storing data. Memory E404 is typically used for
storing programs and data
during operation of the computer system E400. Components of computer system
E400 may be coupled
by an interconnection mechanism E405, which may include one or more busses
(e.g., between
components that are integrated within a same machine) and/or a network (e.g.,
between components
lo that reside on separate discrete machines). The interconnection mechanism
E405 enables
communications (e.g., data, instructions) to be exchanged between system
components of system
E400. Computer system E400 also includes one or more input devices E402, for
example, a keyboard,
mouse, trackball, microphone, touch screen, and one or more output devices
E401, for example, a
printing device, display screen, or speaker. In addition, computer system E400
may contain one or more
interfaces (not shown) that connect computer system E400 to a communication
network (in addition or
as an alternative to the interconnection mechanism E405.
The storage system E406, shown in greater detail in FIG. 12, typically
includes a computer
readable and writeable nonvolatile recording medium E501 in which signals are
stored that define a
program to be executed by the processor or information stored on or in the
medium E501 to be
processed by the program. The medium may, for example, be a disk or flash
memory. Typically, in
operation, the processor causes data to be read from the nonvolatile recording
medium E501 into
another memory E502 that allows for faster access to the information by the
processor than does the
medium E501. This memory E502 is typically a volatile, random access memory
such as a dynamic
random access memory (DRAM) or static memory (SRAM). It may be located in
storage system 406, as
shown, or in memory system E404, not shown. The processor E403 generally
manipulates the data
within the integrated circuit memory E404, E502 and then copies the data to
the medium E501 after
processing is completed. A variety of mechanisms are known for managing data
movement between the
medium E501 and the integrated circuit memory element E404, E502. Various
embodiments are not
limited to a particular memory system E404 or storage system E406.
The computer system may include specially-programmed, special-purpose
hardware, for
example, an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). Various features
or aspects may be
implemented in software, hardware or firmware, or any combination thereof.
Further, such methods,



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acts, systems, system elements and components thereof may be implemented as
part of the computer
system described above or as an independent component.
Although computer system E400 is shown by way of example as one type of
computer system
upon which various embodiments may be practiced, it should be appreciated that
embodiments are not
limited to being implemented on the computer system as shown in FIG. 11.
Various embodiments may
be practiced on one or more computers having a different architecture or
components that that shown in
FIG. 11.
Computer system E400 may be a general-purpose computer system that is
programmable
using a high-level computer programming language. Computer system E400 may be
also implemented
using specially programmed, special purpose hardware. In computer system E400,
processor E403 is
typically a commercially available processor such as the well-known Pentium
class processor available
from the Intel Corporation. Many other processors are available. Such a
processor usually executes an
operating system which may be, for example, the Windows 95, Windows 98,
Windows NT, Windows
2000 (Windows ME) or Windows XP operating systems available from the Microsoft
Corporation, MAC
0S System X available from Apple Computer, the Solaris Operating System
available from Sun
Microsystems, or UNIX available from various sources. Many other operating
systems may be used.
The processor and operating system together define a computer platform for
which application
programs in high-level programming languages are written. It should be
understood that various
embodiments not limited to a particular computer system platform, processor,
operating system, or
network. Also, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that various
embodiments are not limited
to a specific programming language or computer system. Further, it should be
appreciated that other
appropriate programming languages and other appropriate computer systems could
also be used.
One or more portions of the computer system may be distributed across one or
more computer
systems (not shown) coupled to a communications network. These computer
systems also may be
general-purpose computer systems. For example, various embodiments may be
distributed among one
or more computer systems configured to provide a service (e.g., servers) to
one or more client
computers, or to perform an overall task as part of a distributed system. For
example, various
embodiments may be performed on a client-server system that includes
components distributed among
one or more server systems that perform various functions according to various
embodiments. These
components may be executable, intermediate (e.g., IL) or interpreted (e.g.,
Java) code which
communicate over a communication network (e.g., the Internet) using a
communication protocol (e.g.,
TCP/IP).

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It should be appreciated that various embodiments are not limited to executing
on any
particular system or group of systems. Also, it should be appreciated that
various embodiments are not
limited to any particular distributed architecture, network, or communication
protocol. Various
embodiments may be programmed using an object-oriented programming language,
such as SmallTalk,
Java, C++, Ada, or C# (C-Sharp). Other object-oriented programming languages
may also be used.
Alternatively, functional, scripting, and/or logical programming languages may
be used. Various
embodiments may be implemented in a non-programmed environment (e.g.,
documents created in
HTML, XML or other format that, when viewed in a window of a browser program,
render aspects of a
graphical-user interface (GUI) or perform other functions). Various
embodiments may be implemented
1o as programmed or non-programmed elements, or any combination thereof.
Having now described some illustrative embodiments, it should be apparent to
those skilled in
the art that the foregoing is merely illustrative and not limiting, having
been presented by way of example
only. Numerous modifications and other illustrative embodiments are within the
scope of one of ordinary
skill in the art and are contemplated as falling within the scope of the
various embodiments. In particular,
although many of the examples presented herein involve specific combinations
of method acts or
system elements, it should be understood that those acts and those elements
may be combined in other
ways to accomplish the same objectives.

VERIFYING TO THE PLAYER THAT EVENTS WERE RANDOM
Various embodiments may provide a means for verifying the integrity and
authenticity of a
sequence of random events used in an online casino game.
Various embodiments may provide a method of using a pre-generated sequence of
random
events to play an online casino game.
Various embodiments may provide a method of sending a pre-generated sequence
of random
events to a user in an encrypted and/or digested form so that the user cannot
forecast the sequence of
random events in the online casino game.
Various embodiments may provide a method for providing the user with an
encryption key and
the original random events sequence at the end of a game session to decrypt
and verify the pre-
generated random events sequence by comparing the stored random events
sequence with the original
random events sequence and thereby authenticate the random events sequence
used in the online
casino game.
Various embodiments may provide a method of sending a pre-generated sequence
of random
events to a user so that the user may reassemble the random events after a
game session is completed.
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Various embodiments provide a method of authenticating a pre-generated random
events
sequence in an online casino game. In a preferred embodiment, a user
establishes communication with
an online casino to request a game session. The user requests a game to play
on the online casino from
a list of available games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, etc. Once the
user completes the selection of
the game, the online casino receives the request and initiates the game
session. For each game, there
is a certain number and type of estimated random events that will be required
to play the game session
to completion, or end the game session at the discretion of the user. Each
random event represents an
action that would occur at a real casino, such as drawing a card or rolling
dice. The online casino is
equipped with a random number generator which pre-generates an estimated
number of random events
1o and places the random events into a random events sequence. The random
events sequence is coded
into an encrypted sequence and then transmitted to the user who stores the
encrypted sequence until a
game verification stage. For the step of encoding, the random events sequence
may also be converted
into a digital digest and transmitted to the user, or first encrypted and then
converted into a digital digest
and transmitted to the user.
At this stage in the game session, the user cannot interpret the pre-generated
encrypted
random events sequence the user receives from the online casino, and the
online casino does not have
to be concerned about the user being able to unfairly forecast the sequence of
random events in the
future. The user then commences playing the specified game by requesting
random events from the
online casino. The online casino receives these requests from the user and
responds by sending the
user the next number drawn sequentially from the pre-generated random events
sequence. Events from
the random sequence are consumed by the online casino during the game session.
The user records all
random events received from the online casino. Once the number of random
events in the pre-
generated sequence have been exhausted or the user indicates an intent to
terminate the game
session, the online casino communicates a"Game is Over" to the user and the
game ends.
The online casino then sends the user an encryption key for game verification
to prove the
integrity of the game. The encryption key allows the user to decode the
encrypted random events
sequence that was previously transmitted to the user at the beginning of the
game session. The user
decodes the encrypted random events sequence and the decoded random events
sequence is
compared to the record the user kept of the random events sequence sent by the
online casino. If the
sequences are identical, then the random events sequence was not altered or
tampered with by the
online casino during the game session. If the random event sequence recorded
by the user and the
random events sequence presented by the online casino are different, the
verification fails. The user
then communicates the failure to the online casino and an appropriate action
is taken.

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The game session may also be played with more than one user. The online casino
may send
the same encrypted sequence, which is pre-generated, to each participant
allowing them to recompile
their individual random events sequences into the original pre-generated
random events sequences and
compare it with the random events sequences sent by the online casino for
verification purposes.
Various embodiments will now be described with reference to FIGS. 18 to 21,
which in general
disclose a method for ensuring the authenticity and integrity of online games,
and more specifically a
method of authenticating a pre-generated random events sequence in an online
casino game.
Referring to FIG. 18, in a preferred embodiment, a user establishes
communication with an
online casino F10 to request a game session which is the equivalent of one
game in an actual casino.
lo The user possesses the necessary computer, client game software and any
other basic materials and
hardware needed to establish communication with the online casino. The online
casino may be a single
computer acting as a game server or several computers where databases and
processors are in
different locations. The user requests a game to play on the online casino
during the game session by
selecting from a list of available games. A list of typical games to play
during the game session may
include one of the following games: blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, slot
machine, lottery, sports
betting and poker. It is understood that various embodiments are not limited
to these games and may
include games not included in the above list.
Once the user completes the selection of the game and communicates the game
selected to
the online casino, the online casino receives the request and initiates the
game session F12. For each
game, there is a certain number and type of estimated random events that will
be required to play the
game session to completion, or end the game session at the discretion of the
user. Each random event
represents an action that would occur at a real casino, such as drawing a card
or rolling dice. For
example, in the game of blackjack, the type of random events which occur
during the game is the action
of drawing cards. The number of random events in one game session will
typically not exceed 10,000
events. Events from the random sequence are consumed by the online casino
during the game session.
The online casino is equipped with a random number generator which pre-
generates the random events
F14.
The online casino generates an estimated number of random events and places
the random
events into a random events sequence F16 which is a set of random events
generated for the game
session. The random events sequence is coded into an encrypted sequence F18
and then transmitted to
the user F20 who stores the encrypted sequence until a game verification
stage. The method used to
encrypt the random events sequence may be any well known encryption method
used in the art. As
shown in FIGS. 19 and 20, respectively, for the step of encoding, the random
events sequence may also

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be converted into a digital digest and transmitted to the user, or first
encrypted and then converted into a
digital digest and transmitted to the user, as described below.
Referring again to FIG. 18, at this stage in the game session, the user cannot
interpret the pre-
generated encrypted sequence and the online casino does not have to be
concerned about the user
unfairly predicting the sequence of random events in the future. The user then
commences playing the
specified game F22 by requesting random events from the online casino. The
online casino receives
these requests from the user and responds by sending the user the next number
drawn sequentially
from the pre-generated random events sequence. The user records all random
events F24 received
from the online casino. It is understood that the user may record the random
events manually, as a
lo function of the client game software or other well know methods for
recording. Once the number of
random events in the pre-generated sequence have been exhausted or the user
indicates an intent to
terminate the game session, the online casino communicates a"Game is Over" to
the user and the
game ends F26.
The online casino then sends the user an encryption key F28 for game
verification to prove the
integrity of the game. The encryption key allows the user to decode the
encrypted random events
sequence that was transmitted to the user at the beginning of the game
session. The user decodes the
encrypted random events sequence F30 and the decoded random events sequence is
compared to the
record F32 the user kept of the random events sequence sent by the online
casino at the
commencement of the game session. It is understood that the user may compare
the record the random
2o events manually, as a function of the client game software or other well
know methods for recording. If
the sequences are identical, then the game was fair F34 and the random events
sequence was not
altered or tampered with during the game session. If the verification fails,
the user communicates the
failure to the online casino and an appropriate action is taken.
As shown in FIG. 17, the online casino may also encode the pre-generated
random events
sequence using a digital digest at the encoding step. The online casino
converts the random events
sequence into the digital digest F36 before transmitting the digital digest to
the user F38. The specified
game is played F22. The user records the random events F24 during the game
session. Once the game
ends F26, the online casino sends the user an undigested random events
sequence F40. The user then
verifies the authenticity of the random events sequence F42 sent by the online
casino by converting the
undigested random events sequence into the digital digest, and comparing this
digital digest with the
digital digest sent by the casino at the commencement of the game. For the
verification to succeed, the
two digital digests should be identical. Once the random events sequence sent
by the online casino is
thus verified, the user proceeds with verifying the random events sequence F44
sent by the online



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casino during the game session by comparing the verified undigested random
events sequence sent by
the casino at the end of the game with the random events sequences kept by the
user. For the
verification to succeed, the two random events sequences must be identical.
Similarly, the comparison
can be carried out by the user manually or by the client software. If the
sequences are identical, then the
game was fair F46 and the random events sequence was not altered or tampered
with during the game
session. If the verification fails, the user communicates the failure to the
online casino and an
appropriate action is taken.
Referring to FIG. 20, the online casino may also encode the pre-generated
random events
sequence by first encrypting and then converting the encoded sequence into a
digital digest to complete
1o the encoding step. The online casino encrypts the random events sequence
and then converts it into the
digital digest F48 before transmitting it to the user F50. The specified game
is played F22. The user
records the random events F24 during the game session. Once the game ends F26,
the online casino
transmits to the user an undigested random events sequence in its encrypted
form. The online casino
also transmits to the user an encryption key F52. The user first authenticates
the encrypted random
events sequence by converting it into a digital digest, and then comparing it
to the digital digest F54 sent
at the commencement of the game session. The random events sequence is then
decoded F56 and
compared to the record the user kept of the random events sequence sent by the
online casino F58. The
user may carry out the comparison manually or by the client game software. For
the verification to
succeed, the sequences must be identical. If the sequences are identical, then
the game was fair F60
2o and the random events sequence was not altered or tampered with during the
game session. If the
verification fails, the user communicates the failure to the online casino and
an appropriate action is
taken.
Using the above method, the user may be confident that the random events
sequence was
generated without fraudulent action or knowledge of the online casino since
the encrypted sequence
was pre-generated and sent to the user prior to beginning of the game session,
eliminating any chance
for the online casino to modify the sequence of events, and thus the game, in
response to the user's
actions or steps during the game session.
Referring to FIG. 21, the game session may be played with more than one user
F62. The online
casino may send the same encrypted sequence, which is pre-generated, to each
participant (i.e. the
3o encrypted sequence represents the same deck of cards). Each user must have
access to the sequence
of random events received by other users during the game session. At the end
of the game session, the
users then collectively compare the sequence of random events received to the
sequence of random

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events that the online casino transmitted at the beginning of the game session
to ensure that the
sequence was not altered.
Although embodiments for ensuring the authenticity and integrity of online
games are described
above, it is to be understood that the features described may be used with any
electronic game or
technology requiring authentication of a random events sequence. Thus, the
features and embodiments
described above are not to be construed as limiting.

TEAMS
Various embodiments relate to a computerized system that facilitates team play
of card gaming.
1o The computerized system includes at least a first computer for use by a
first participant associated with
a first team; a second computer for use by a second participant associated
with a second team; a third
computer for use by a third participant associated with the first team; and a
fourth computer for use by a
fourth participant associated with the second team. A computer network links
the first and second
computers to each other for allowing the first and second participants to
compete against each other for
team points in a first set of card gaming. Likewise, the computer network also
links the third and fourth
computers to each other for allowing the third and fourth participants to
compete against each other for
team points in a second set of card gaming. A central server computer coupled
to the computer network
coordinates the first, second, third and fourth computers, and tallies
together team points earned by
participants of each team to compute an overall team score for each team.
Preferably, the central server
computer also computes the team points earned individually by each of the
first, second, third, and
fourth participants. The aforementioned computer network may be in the form of
a local area network,
assuming that the aforementioned computers are located relatively close to
each other, as within a
casino. Alternatively, the aforementioned computer network may be the internet
in the case wherein one
or more of such computers are located remotely from the others.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
The following are incorporated by reference herein:
US patent 6,375,568;
US patent 6,575,834;
US patent 5,800,268;
US patent application publication 20070015587;
U.S. patent 6,319,125;
U.S. patent 5,655,961;

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US Patent application publication 20060194633;
US patent application publication 20060189381;
US patent application publication 20060172803;
US patent application publication 20060094497; and
US patent application publication 20060089189.
MOBILE GAMES

Reference numerals below, until otherwise specified, refer only to figures 22
through 34.
In various embodiments, a distributed gaming system enables participants to
engage in gaming
lo activities from remote and/or mobile locations. The possible gaming
activities include gambling, such as
that provided by casinos. Gambling activities may include any casino-type
gambling activities including,
but not limited to, slot machines, video poker, table games (e.g., craps,
roulette, blackjack, pai gow
poker, Caribbean stud poker, baccarat, etc), the wheel of fortune game, keno,
sports betting, horse
racing, dog racing, jai alai, and other gambling activities. The gaming
activities can also include
wagering on any type of event. Events can include, for example, sporting
events, such as horse or auto
racing, and athletic competitions such as football, basketball, baseball,
golf, etc. Events can also include
such things that do not normally involve wagering. Such events may include,
without limitation, political
elections, entertainment industry awards, and box office performance of
movies. Gaming can also
include non-wagering games and events. Gaming can also include lotteries or
lottery-type activities
such as state and interstate lotteries. These can include all forms of number-
selection lotteries,
"scratch-off' lotteries, and other lottery contests. The gaming system may be
implemented over a
communications network such as a cellular network or a private wireless and/or
wireline network.
Examples of the latter include WiFi and WiMax networks. In some embodiments,
the gaming system
communications network is entirely independent of the Internet. In some
embodiments, the gaming
system operation makes minimal use of the Internet, such that only information
for which there are no
security issues is transmitted via the Internet and/or such that information
may be encrypted. In various
embodiments, the communications network enables players to participate in
gaming from remote
locations (e.g., outside of the gaming area of a casino). Also, the system may
enable players to be
mobile during participation in the gaming activities. In various embodiments,
the system has a location
verification or determination feature, which is operable to permit or disallow
gaming from the remote
location depending upon whether or not the location meets one or more
criteria. The criterion may be,
for example, whether the location is within a pre-defined area in which gaming
is permitted by law.

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As shown in FIGURE 22, for example, gaming system 10 may include at least one
user 12.
The system may include additional users such that there is at least a first
user 12 and a second user 14.
Multiple users may access a first gaming system 10, while other multiple users
access a second gaming
system (not shown) in communication with first gaming system 10. Users 12 and
14 may access system
10 by way of a gaming communication device 13. Gaming communication device 13
may comprise any
suitable device for transmitting and receiving electronic communications.
Examples of such devices
include, without limitation, mobile phones, personal data assistants (PDAs),
computers, mini-computers,
etc. Gaming communication devices 13 transmit and receive gaming information
to and from
communications network 16. Gaming information is also transmitted between
network 16 and a
computer 18, such as a server, which may reside within the domain of a gaming
service provider 20.
The location of computer 18 may be flexible, however, and computer 18 may
reside adjacent to or
remote from the domain of gaming service provider 20. Various embodiments may
not include a gaming
service provider. The computer 18 and/or gaming service provider 20 may reside
within, adjacent to, or
remote from a gaming provider (not shown in FIGURE 22). The gaming service
provider may be an
actual controller of games, such as a casino. As an example, a gaming service
provider may be located
on the grounds of a casino and the computer 18 may be physically within the
geographic boundaries of
the gaming service provider. As discussed, however, other possibilities exist
for remote location of the
computer 18 and the gaming service provider 20. Computer 18 may function as a
gaming server.
Additional computers (not expressly shown) may function as database management
computers and
redundant servers, for example.
In various embodiments, software resides on both the gaming communication
device 13 and
the computer 18. Software resident on gaming communication device 13 may be
operable to present
information corresponding to gaming activities (including gambling and non-
gambling activities
discussed herein) to the user. The information may include, without
limitation, graphical representations
of objects associated with the activities, and presentation of options related
to the activities and
selectable by the user. The gaming communication device software may also be
operable to receive
data from the computer and data input by the user. Software resident on the
computer may be able to
exchange data with the gaming communication device, access additional
computers and data storage
devices, and perform all of the functions described herein as well as
functions common to known
3o electronic gaming systems.
Gaming information transmitted across network 16 may include any information,
in any format,
which is necessary or desirable in the operation of the gaming experience in
which the user participates.
The information may be transmitted in whole, or in combination, in any format
including digital or analog,
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text or voice, and according to any known or future transport technologies,
which may include, for
example, wireline or wireless technologies. Wireless technologies may include,
for example, licensed or
license-exempt technologies. Some specific technologies which may be used
include, without limitation,
Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), Global System for Mobile Communication
(GSM), General
Packet Radio Service (GPRS), WiFi (802.11 x), WiMax (802.16x), Public Switched
Telephone Network
(PSTN), Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Integrated Services Digital Network
(ISDN), or cable modem
technologies. These are examples only and one of ordinary skill will
understand that other types of
communication techniques are also contemplated. Further, it will be understood
that additional
components may be used in the communication of information between the users
and the gaming
lo server. Such additional components may include, without limitation, lines,
trunks, antennas, switches,
cables, transmitters, receivers, computers, routers, servers, fiber optical
transmission equipment,
repeaters, amplifiers, etc.
In some embodiments, the communication of gaming information takes place
without
involvement of the Internet. However, in some embodiments, a portion of the
gaming information may
be transmitted over the Internet. Also, some or all of the gaming information
may be transmitted partially
over an Internet communications path. In some embodiments, some information is
transmitted entirely
or partially over the Internet, but the information is either not gaming
information or is gaming information
that does not need to be maintained secretly. For instance, data that causes a
graphical representation
of a table game on the user's gaming communication device might be transmitted
at least partially over
the Internet, while wagering information transmitted by the user might be
transmitted entirely over a non-
Internet communications network.
According to some embodiments, as shown in FIGURE 23 for example, the
communications
network comprises a cellular network 22. Cellular network 22 comprises a
plurality of base stations 23,
each of which has a corresponding coverage area 25. Base station technology is
generally known and
the base stations may be of any type found in a typical cellular network. The
base stations may have
coverage areas that overlap. Further, the coverage areas may be sectorized or
non-sectorized. The
network also includes mobile stations 24, which function as the gaming
communication devices used by
users to access the gaming system and participate in the activities available
on the gaming system.
Users are connected to the network of base stations via transmission and
reception of radio signals.
3o The communications network also includes at least one voice/data switch,
which may be connected to
the wireless portion of the network via a dedicated, secure landline. The
communications network may
also include a gaming service provider, which is likewise connected to the
voice/data switch via a
dedicated, secure landline. The voice/data switch may be connected to the
wireless network of base



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stations via a mobile switching center (MSC), for example and the landline may
be provided between the
voice/data switch and the MSC.
Users access the gaming system by way of mobile stations which are in
communication with,
and thus part of, the communications network. The mobile station may be any
electronic communication
device that is operable in connection with the network as described. For
example, in this particular
embodiment, the mobile station may comprise a cellular telephone.
In various embodiments, in the case of a cellular network for example, the
gaming system is
enabled through the use of a private label carrier network. Each base station
is programmed by the
cellular carrier to send and receive private secure voice and/or data
transmissions to and from mobile
lo station handsets. The handsets may be pre-programmed with both gaming
software and the carrier's
authentication software. The base stations communicate via private T1 lines to
a switch. A gaming
service provider leases a private T1 or T3 line, which routes the calls back
to gaming servers controlled
by the gaming service provider. Encryption can be installed on the telephones
if required by a gaming
regulation authority, such as a gaming commission.
The cellular network may be a private, closed system. Mobile stations
communicate with base
stations and base stations are connected to a centralized switch located
within a gaming jurisdiction. At
the switch, voice calls are transported either locally or via long distance.
Specific service provider
gaming traffic is transported from the central switch to a gaming server at a
host location, which can be a
casino or other location.
As subscribers launch their specific gaming application, the handset will only
talk to certain
base stations with cells or sectors that have been engineered to be wholly
within the gaming jurisdiction.
For example, if a base station is close enough to pick up or send a signal
across state lines, it will not be
able to communicate with the device. When a customer uses the device for
gaming, the system may
prohibit, if desired, the making or receiving voice calls. Moreover, voice can
be eliminated entirely if
required. Further, the devices may not be allowed to "connect" to the
Internet. This ensures a high level
of certainty that bets/wagers originate and terminate within the boundaries of
the gaming jurisdiction and
the "private" wireless system cannot be circumvented or bypassed. Although in
some embodiments
some data and/or voice traffic may be communicated at least partially over the
Internet, the
communication path may not include the Internet in other embodiments.
Alternatively, in some
3o embodiments, certain non-gaming information may be transported over a path
which includes the
Internet, while other information relating to the gaming activities of the
system is transported on a path
that does not include the Internet.

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As shown in FIGURE 24, a gaming communication device 32 is in communication
with a
gaming service provider over a network 34. The gaming service provider
preferably has one or more
servers, on which are resident various gaming and other applications. As shown
in FIGURE 24, some
example gaming applications include horse racing and other sports, financial
exchange, casino and/or
virtual casino, entertainment and other events exchange, and news and real
time entertainment. Each
of these applications may be embodied in one or more software modules. The
applications may be
combined in any possible combination. Additionally, it should be understood
that these applications are
not exhaustive and that other applications may exist to provide an environment
to the user that is
associated with any of the described or potential activities.
In another embodiment, as shown in FIGURE 25, for example, the communications
network
comprises a private wireless network. The private wireless network may
include, for example, an
802.11x (WiFi) network technology to cover "Game Spots" or "Entertainment
Spots." In FIGURE 25,
various WiFi networks are indicated as networks 41. Networks 41 may use other
communications
protocols to provide a private wireless network including, but not limited to,
802.16x (WiMax) technology.
Further, networks 41 may be interconnected. Also, a gaming system may comprise
a combination of
networks as depicted in FIGURE 25. For example, there is shown a combination
of private wireless
networks 16, a cellular network comprising a multi-channel access unit or
sectorized base station 42,
and a satellite network comprising one or more satellites 46.
With respect to the private wireless network, because the technology may cover
small areas
2o and provide very high-speed throughput, the private wireless network is
particularly well-suited for
gaming commission needs of location and identity verification for the gaming
service provider products.
The gaming spots enabled by networks 41 may include a current casino area 48,
new areas such as
swimming pools, lakes or other recreational areas 49, guest rooms and
restaurants such as might be
found in casino 48 or hotels 45 and 47, residential areas 40, and other remote
gaming areas 43. The
configuration of the overall gaming system depicted in FIGURE 25 is intended
only as an example and
may be modified to suit various embodiments.
In some embodiments, the system architecture for the gaming system includes:
(1) a wireless LAN (Local Access Network) component, which consists of mostly
802.11x (WiFi)
and/or 802.16x WiMax technologies; robust security and authentication
software; gaming software;
mobile carrier approved handsets with Windows or Symbian operating systems
integrated within; and
(a) CDMA-technology that is secure for over-the-air data protection;
(b) at least two layers of user authentication, (that provided by the mobile
carrier and that
provided by the gaming service provider);

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(c) compulsory tunneling (static routing) to gaming servers;
(d) end-to-end encryption at the application layer; and
(e) state-of-the-art firewall and DMZ technologies;
(2) an MWAN (Metropolitan Wireless Access Network), which consists of licensed
and license-
exempt, point-to-point links, as well as licensed and license-exempt, point-to-
multi-point technologies;
(3) private MAN (Metropolitan Access Network) T1 and T3 lines to provide
connectivity where
wireless services cannot reach; and
(4) redundant private-line communications from the mobile switch back to the
gaming server.
Each of the "Game Spots" or "Entertainment Spots" is preferably connected via
the
MWAN/MAN back to central and redundant game servers. For accessing the private
wireless networks
41, the gaming communication devices may be WiFi- or WiMax-enabled PDAs or
mini-laptops, and do
not have to be managed by a third-party partner.
In various embodiments, the gaming system includes a location verification
feature, which is
operable to permit or disable gaming from a remote location depending upon
whether or not the location
meets one or more criteria. A criterion may be, for example, whether the
location is within a pre-defined
area in which gaming is permitted by law. As another example, a criterion may
be whether the location
is in a no-gaming zone, such as a school. The location verification technology
used in the system may
include, without limitation, "network-based" and/or "satellite-based"
technology. Network-based
technology may include such technologies as multilateration, triangulation and
geo-fencing, for example.
Satellite-based technologies may include global positioning satellite (GPS)
technology, for example.
As previously discussed, the cellular approach preferably includes the use of
at least one
cellular, mobile, voice and data network. For gaming in certain jurisdictions,
such as Nevada for
example, the technology may involve triangulation, global positioning
satellite (GPS) technology, and/or
geo-fencing to avoid the potential for bets or wagers to be made outside
Nevada state lines. In some
embodiments, the network would not cover all of a particular jurisdiction,
such as Nevada. For instance,
the network would not cover areas in which cellular coverage for a particular
base station straddled the
state line or other boundary of the jurisdiction. This is done in order to
permit the use of location
verification to insure against the chance of bets originating or terminating
outside of the state.
Triangulation may be used as a method for preventing gaming from unapproved
locations. Triangulation
may be accomplished, for example, by comparing the signal strength from a
single mobile station
received at multiple base stations, each having GPS coordinates. This
technology may be used to
pinpoint the location of a mobile station. The location can then be compared
to a map or other resource

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to determine whether the user of the mobile station is in an unapproved area,
such as a school.
Alternatively, GPS technology may be used for these purposes.
As shown in FIGURE 26, the gaming system includes a plurality of gaming
communication
devices 54, 55, and 56. Device 54 is located outside the gaming jurisdiction
58. Devices 55 and 56 are
both located inside gaming jurisdiction 58. However only device 56 is located
within geo-fence 57,
which is established by the coverage areas of a plurality of base station 53.
Thus, geo-fencing may be
used to enable gaming via device 56 but disable gaming via devices 54 and 55.
Even though some
gaming communication devices that are within the gaming jurisdiction 58, such
as device 55, are not
permitted access to the gaming system, the geo-fence 57 ensures that no gaming
communication
1o devices outside jurisdiction 58, such as device 54, are permitted access.
Geo-fencing may not specify location. Rather, it may ensure that a mobile
station is within
certain boundaries. For instance, geo-fencing may be used to ensure that a
mobile station beyond state
lines does not access the gaming system. Triangulation on the other hand may
specify a pinpoint, or
near-pinpoint, location. For example, as shown in FIGURE 26, device 56 is
triangulated between three
of the base stations 53 to determine the location of device 56. Triangulation
may be used to identify
whether a device, such as a mobile station, is located in a specific spot
where gambling is unauthorized
(such as, for example, a school). Preferably, the location determination
technology utilized in
conjunction with various embodiments meets the Federal Communication
Commission's (FCC's) Phase
2 E911 requirements. Geological Institute Survey (GIS) mapping may also be
utilized to compare
identified coordinates of a gaming communication device with GIS map features
or elements to
determine whether a device is in an area not authorized for gaming. It should
be noted that any type of
location verification may be used such as triangulation, geo-fencing, global
positioning satellite (GPS)
technology, or any other type of location determining technology, which can be
used to ensure, or
provide an acceptable level of confidence, that the user is within an approved
gaming area.
In various embodiments, location verification is accomplished using channel
address checking
or location verification using some other identifying number or piece of
information indicative of which
network or portion of a network is being accessed by the gaming communication
device. Assuming the
usage of an identifying number for this purpose, then according to one method
of location checking, as
an example, a participant accesses the gaming system via a mobile telephone.
The identifying number
of the mobile telephone, or of the network component being accessed by the
mobile telephone, identifies
the caller's connection to the mobile network. The number is indicative of the
fact that the caller is in a
defined area and is on a certain mobile network. A server application may be
resident on the mobile
telephone to communicate this information via the network to the gaming
service provider. In a some

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embodiments, the identifying number or information is passed from a first
network provider to a second
network provider. For example, a caller's home network may be that provided by
the second provider,
but the caller is roaming on a network (and in a jurisdiction) provided by the
first provider. The first
provider passes the identifying information through to the second provider to
enable the second provider
to determine whether the caller is in a defined area that does or does not
allow the relevant gaming
activity. In various embodiments, the gaming service provider either
maintains, or has access to, a
database that maps the various possible worldwide mobile network identifying
numbers to geographic
areas. Various embodiments contemplate using any number or proxy that
indicates a network, portion
of a network, or network component, which is being connected with a mobile
telephone. The identifying
number may indicate one or more of a base station or group of base stations, a
line, a channel, a trunk,
a switch, a router, a repeater, etc.
In various embodiments, when the user connects his mobile telephone to the
gaming server,
the gaming server draws the network identifying information and communicates
that information to the
gaming service provider. The software resident on the gaming communication
device may incorporate
functionality that will, upon login or access by the user, determine the
user's location (based at least in
part on the identifying information) and send a message to the gaming service
provider. The identifying
number or information used to determine location may be country-specific,
state-specific, town-specific,
or specific to some other definable boundaries.
In connection with any of the location determination methods, the gaming
system may
periodically update the location determination information. This may be done,
for example, during a
gaming session, at pre-defined time intervals to ensure that movement of the
gaming communication
device to an unauthorized area is detected during play, and not just upon
login or initial access.
Thus, depending on the location determination technology being used, the
decision whether to
permit or prohibit a gaming activity may be made at the gaming communication
device, at the gaming
server, or at any of the components of the telecommunication network being
used to transmit information
between the gaming communication device and the gaming server (such as at a
base station, for
example).
An aspect of the private wireless network related to preventing gaming in
unauthorized areas is
the placement of sensors, such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
sensors on the gaming
communication devices. The sensors trigger alarms if users take the devices
outside the approved
gaming areas. Further, the devices may be "tethered" to immovable objects.
Users might simply log in
to such devices using their ID and password.



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In various embodiments, a gaming system may include the ability to determine
the location of
the gaming communication device within a larger property, such as a casino
complex. This may allow
certain functionalities of the device to be enabled or disabled based upon the
location of the device
within the property. For example, government regulations may prohibit using
the device to gamble from
the guest rooms of a casino complex. Therefore, particular embodiments may
include the ability to
determine the location of the device within the property and then disable the
gambling functionality of the
device from a guest room, or other area where gambling is prohibited. FIGURE
27 illustrates an
example of a wireless gaming system in which the location of a gaming
communication device 604 may
be determined in accordance various embodiments.
As shown in FIGURE 27, a wireless gaming system comprises a wireless network
that at least
partially covers casino complex 600 in which one or more gaming communication
devices 604 may be
used to participate in a variety of gaming activities. The wireless network
may comprise at least three
signal detection devices 602, although various embodiments may include fewer
or greater than three
signal detection. As shown in FIGURE 27, the wireless network comprises four
signal detection devices
602, each located at one corner of casino complex 600. In various embodiments,
these signal detection
devices may comprise wireless access points, wireless routers, wireless base
stations, satellites, or any
other suitable signal detection device. Furthermore, although signal detection
devices 602 are illustrated
as being located on the boundaries of casino complex 600, signal detection
devices may be located
anywhere inside or outside of casino complex 600, provided the signal
detection devices are operable to
receive signals originating from a gaming communication device 604 inside
casino complex 600. In
various embodiments, signal detection devices 602 may also be used to
transmit, as well as receive,
signals to gaming communication device 604.
In various embodiments, casino complex 600 may be divided into one or more
zones 608,
which represent different areas of the casino complex, such as the lobby,
guest rooms, restaurants,
shops, entertainment venues, and pool areas. For example, as shown in FIGURE
27, zone 608a may
correspond to the casino lobby, zone 608b may correspond to guest rooms, zone
608c may correspond
to restaurants, and zone 608d may correspond to the gaming floor of the
casino. Each zone 608 may
be further divided into one or more sub-zones 606, each specifying a
particular location within zone 608.
Sub-zones 606 may be arranged in a grid formation, each sub-zone 606 having a
uniform size. In some
3o embodiments, each sub-zone may comprise 9 square feet (i.e., 3 feet by 3
feet). In some embodiments,
each sub-zone may comprise 100 square feet (i.e., 10 feet by 10 feet). The
choice of the size of an area
covered by a sub-zone may depend on administrator preferences, technical
limitations of the wireless
network, and governmental regulations, as well as other considerations.

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Particular embodiments may use this mapping of casino complex 600 into a
plurality of zones
608 and sub-zones 606 to determine the location of gaming communication device
604 within the
complex. These embodiments may utilize the signal received by signal detection
devices 602 from
gaming communication device 604 to determine the location of the device.
In various embodiments, the location of gaming communication device 604 may be
determined
based upon the strength of the signal received by each signal detection device
602 from device 604. In
various embodiments, this may be accomplished using a Received Signal Strength
Indication (RSSI)
value or any other suitable indication of signal strength. Generally, the
closer a sub-zone is to a signal
detection device, the stronger the signal the signal detection device will
receive from a gaming
communication device located in that sub-zone. Therefore, given a plurality of
signal strength readings
taken from different points in the casino complex (i.e., signal detection
devices 602), these different
signal strength readings may be used to determine the location of the device.
With this in mind, each sub-zone 606 of casino complex 600 may be associated
with a
reference set of signal strengths received by the signal detection devices
from a device located in that
particular sub-zone. Typically, these values are generated, and periodically
recalibrated, by taking a
reference reading from a gaming communication device located that sub-zone.
After each sub-zone is
associated with a reference set of signal strengths, these reference signal
strengths may be compared
with the signal strengths received by the signal detection devices from a
gaming communication device.
Since each sub-zone has a unique set of signal strengths, this comparison may
be used to identify the
particular zone in which the gaming communication device is located.
In various embodiments, the location of gaming communication device 604 may be
determined
based upon an elapsed time between the transmission of the signal from device
604 and the receipt of
the signal by each signal detection device 602. In various embodiments, this
elapsed time may be
determined based on a Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA), or any other suitable
technology. As before
in the case of signal strengths, each sub-zone 606 may be associated with a
predetermined, or
reference, set of elapsed times from transmission to receipt of a signal from
a gaming communication
device. This set of elapsed times will be different for each sub-zone of the
casino complex, as the time it
takes a signal to reach each signal detection device will depend on the
proximity of the sub-zone to each
base station. By comparing the time from transmission to receipt of a signal
received by the signal
3o detection devices from a gaming communication device, the sub-zone in which
the device is located
may be determined.
Once the location of the gaming communication device has been determined,
particular
embodiments may then enable and/or disable particular functions of the device
based on this

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determination. For example, as mentioned previously, particular embodiments
may disable the gaming
communication device's gambling functionality from a user's guest room, while
still allowing the user to
use other device functions, such as purchasing merchandise or services, or
buying tickets to an
entertainment event. Once the user leaves his or her guest room, the gambling
functionality of the
gaming communication device may be enabled. Similarly, particular embodiments
may prevent the
gaming communication device from being used to make financial transactions
from the casino floor.
Once the user leaves the casino floor, such functionality may be enabled.
Similarly, other functionalities
of the gaming communication device may be enabled or disabled based upon the
location of the device
within the property in accordance with various embodiments.
In various embodiments, the various functionalities of the gaming
communication device may
be enabled or disabled based upon the zone 608 in which the device is located.
In such embodiments,
each zone 608 of the casino complex may be associated with a set of allowed
activities. For example,
the "lobby" zone 608a of the casino complex may have all activities allowed,
while the "guest room" zone
608b of the property may have all activities allowed except gambling. Based
upon the gaming
communication device's location, the functionality of the gaming communication
device may be limited to
the set of allowed activities for the zone in which the device is located. As
the gaming communication
device travels from zone to zone, the location of the device may be re-
determined, and the functionality
of the device may be updated to reflect the set of allowed activities for the
zone in which the device is
now located.
Various embodiments may also use the location determination to send location-
specific
information to the gaming communication device. For example, a reminder that
an entertainment event
to which the user has tickets is about to begin may be sent to the user's
device if the device (and
therefore the user) is located in a different part of the casino complex. In
another embodiment, a user
may be alerted that the user's favorite dealer is on the casino floor if the
user is located in his or her

guest room.
In various embodiments, the location of the gaming communication device may be
used to
deliver goods and services purchased or ordered by the user of the device. For
example, in various
embodiments, the user may purchase food and beverages using the device. The
location of the device
may then be used to deliver the food and beverages to the user, even if the
user relocates to another
sub-zone after placing his or her order.
The determination of the gaming communication device's location may also be
used to provide
the user with directions to another part of the casino complex. For example, a
user that is located on the
casino floor that wishes to go to a specific restaurant within the complex may
be given direction based

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upon his or her location. These directions may then be updated as the user
progresses towards his or
her desired location. In the event the user gets off-course, the location
determination, which may be
updated during the user's travel, may be used to alert the user that he/she
has gotten off-course and
then plot a new course to the desired destination.
It should be understood that the foregoing descriptions encompass but some of
the
implementation technologies that may be used, according to various
embodiments. Other technologies
may be used and are contemplated, according to various embodiments. Various
embodiments may be
performed using any suitable technology, either a technology currently
existing or a technology which
has yet to be developed.

USER PROFILES
According to various embodiments, the wireless gaming system can incorporate a
user profile
element. One or more user profiles may be created, maintained, and modified,
for example, on one or
more of the servers of the gaming system. Generally, the user profiles include
information relating to
respective users. The information may be maintained in one or more databases.
The information may
be accessible to the gaming server and/or to one or more mobile devices. The
devices which may
access the information may, according to certain embodiments, include gaming
devices or gaming
management devices. Gaming management devices may include wireless devices
used by casino staff
to provide gaming services or gaming management services.
Various embodiments include software and/or hardware to enable the provision,
modification,
and maintenance of one or more user profiles. Thus, one or more user profiles
may each comprise a
set of data maintained in a data storage device. The data set(s) for each
respective user profile may
reflect any of a number of parameters or pieces of information, which relate
to the particular user(s)
corresponding to the profile(s). Although not intended to be exhaustive, such
information may include,
for example, gaming activity preferences, such as preferred game and/or game
configuration, preferred
screen configuration, betting preferences, gaming location preferences, dining
and other service
preferences, and so forth. The information may also include user identity
information, such as name,
home address, hotel name and room number, telephone numbers, social security
numbers, user codes,
and electronic files of fingerprint, voice, photograph, retina scan, or other
biometric information. User
profile information may also include information relating to the user, but not
determined by the user or
the user's activities. Such information may include any information associated
with, or made part of, a
profile. For example, an entity such as a casino, may include as part of a
profile certain rules governing
the distribution of promotions or offers to the user. User profile information
can include any codes,

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account numbers, credit information, approvals, interfaces, applications, or
any other information which
may be associated with a user. Thus, user profile information may include any
information that is
particular to a given user. For example, profile information may include the
location(s) at which a
particular user has played, skill levels, success levels, types of games
played, and betting styles, and
trends of information relating to the user's activities.
In various embodiments, user profile information may include concierge or
other service
information that is associated with a user. Concierge services may include
restaurant services,
entertainment services, hotel services, money management services, or other
appropriate services that
may be offered to the user of a gaming device. For example, restaurant
services may include, without
limitation, services that allow the user to order drinks, order food, make
reservations, or perform other
restaurant related activities. As another example, entertainment services may
include, without limitation,
services that allow the user to purchase show tickets, arrange appointments or
services, virtually shop,
arrange transportation, or perform other entertainment related activities.
Hotel services may include,
for example, services that allow the user to check in, check out, make spa
appointments, check
messages, leave messages, review a hotel bill, or perform other guest-related
activities. Money
management services may include, for example, services that allow the user to
transfer funds, pay bills,
or perform other money management activities.
The gaming system may be configured to establish a new profile for any user
who is using a
gaming device for the first time. Alternatively, a new profile may be
established for a prior user who has
not played for a predetermined time period. The gaming system may set up the
profile, monitor user
activities, adjust the profile, and adjust information (such as graphics)
displayed to the user. The gaming
system may be configured to use the profile information to alter the
presentation of gaming information
to the user. For example, if a prior user has returned to the gaming system,
the system may consult the
profile for the user and determine that in the prior session of gaming the
user lost money on craps but
won money on blackjack. Based on this information, the system may adjust the
default gaming screen
and present a blackjack table for the user. As a further example, the profile
information may indicate
that the majority of the user's prior blackjack time was spent on $25 minimum
tables. The system may,
accordingly, make a further adjustment to the gaming environment and make the
blackjack table being
presented a $25 table. In this sense, the gaming system enables personalized
wireless gaming based
on one or more criteria maintained in a user profile.
The user profiles may be established, maintained, and periodically updated as
necessary to
enable a gaming provider to provide an enhanced, current, and/or customized
gaming experience.
Updates may be undertaken based on any suitable trigger, such as the
occurrence of an event, the


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occurrence of a user activity, or the passage of a certain predetermined time
period. Any or all of the
profile information may be updated.

ALERTS
In some embodiments, the gaming system may be configured to initiate one or
more alerts to
one or more users based on any number of criteria. For instance, an alert may
be based on the location
of a user. The system may also be configured to keep track of other non-
location dependent
parameters. The initiation of an alert may depend on a time parameter. Gaming
alerts can also be
based on this and/or other information maintained in a user profile. Alerts
can be prioritized for
presentation and the content and display of the alerts may be customized by
the user or another entity.
As a related concept, the system may be configured to provide directions
and/or maps. Another related
concept involves enabling a user to view a certain activity or area remotely.
The alert may be generated
in response to the existence of data within a user profile. Additionally, the
content and presentation of
the alert may be determined based on information in the user profile. Thus,
when the alerts occur and
what the alerts indicate may be customized or tailored according to user
preferences (or any other
information maintained about the user (e.g., in a user profile).
In some embodiments, an alert may be presented or displayed to the user in a
format
determined, at least in part, by any of the parameters described or
contemplated herein. For example, if
the user is located outdoors, the display may be automatically brightened in
order to allow the user to
more easily view the alert. The alert may be presented in any one or a
combination of textual, visual,
oral, or other information exchange formats. Alerts presented to users on the
screen of a gaming
communication device, for example, may be configured in any desirable manner.
Preferably, the
information is displayed in a way as to most effectively utilize the screen
real estate to convey the alert
message. Thus, different alerts of differing types, or having differing
priorities, can be displayed
differently on the gaming device. For example, a more important alert can be
displayed as a popup
while secondary alerts scroll at the bottom of the screen. The player can
register for alerts and
determine his own particular alert configuration preferences.
According to some embodiments, directional information may be provided to one
or more
users. The directional information may be associated with an alert. The
directional information may be
based on any of the parameters described herein (e.g., profiles, alerts,
locations, changes in play or
other activities, etc). Directions may be given to activities, locations,
seats, tables, recreational spots,
restaurants, change cages, information booths, casinos, hotels, sports venues,
theaters, etc. For
example directions may be given to a particular table or gaming area, a casino
other than the one where

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the user is presently located or where another user is located, a restaurant
that is specified in a user
profile, a sports book area of a casino, a hotel room, etc.
The directions can be presented orally, textually, and/or graphically (e.g.,
as map with zoom
capabilities). An example of how directions would be provided involves a user
profile indicating that the
user likes to play high-limit blackjack on Saturday nights, but that the user
does not have a particular
casino preference. If the user enters any casino for which the system is
operable, the system provides
the user with an alert inviting the player to the high-limit blackjack tables
and directional information in
the form of a visual route. Another example involves a user leaving a sports
book in a casino and the
user has indicated that he wants to play craps. The device gives walking
directions to the craps tables.
1o Another example involves a user that has a preferred list of dinner
restaurants. At a predetermined time
(e.g., 8:00 pm), the system presents the user with the list, lets the user
make a selection and a
reservation. The system then provides the user with verbal directions from the
user's current location to
the selected restaurant. The system may also be configured to provide
ancillary information based, at
least in part, on the alert, the profile, or the directional information being
provided. For example, the
system may notify a user that the user will need a cab, or will need to take
the tram, or will need a jacket
and tie, or will need an umbrella, etc. depending on where the user is going
and the route he is taking.
According to various embodiments, the system enables a user to view a certain
activity or area
remotely. For example, cameras (or other viewing devices) may be disposed
throughout a casino
property (or other relevant area). At kiosks, or on the wireless gaming
devices, users can "peek" into
one or more selected areas to see the activity in the selected area(s). For
example, from the pool, a
user can tell if the craps tables have changed limits or are filling up with
people. From the craps table, a
user can see if the restaurant or bar is becoming crowded.
According to various embodiments, the operation of the alerts module and the
alerts methods
are integrated with various techniques for managing user profile information.
An example of this aspect
is that the system may be configured to recognize that a user has certain
preferred dealers or stickmen
when playing certain casino games. When those dealers or stickmen are on duty,
and if the user is
located in a certain area, or within a certain distance, an alert may be sent
inviting the user to participate
in the gaming activity at the particular table where the dealer or stickman is
on duty.
Thus, when user profile information indicates that a one or more predetermined
criteria are met,
the system may send an alert to the corresponding user or to another user. For
example, the system
may "learn" that a player is a fan of certain sports teams. The system
monitors information about
upcoming events that involve those teams and, at a predetermined time, checks
to see if the user has
placed a bet on the event(s). If not, the system invites the user to visit a
sports book to make a bet. As

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another example, the system knows a user prefers $10 minimum tables and alerts
the user to the
opening of a seat at such a table. As another example, the alerts can be
triggered by information which
is not directly related to or associated with the particular user (e.g., non-
user specific information). For
instance an alert might be triggered by a certain time or the occurrence of a
certain event (e.g., the odds
given on a certain sports event changing by a certain predetermined amount).
SERVICE APPLICATIONS

According to various embodiments, gaming services may be provided as an
application add-on
to a pre-existing communication or data service. Thus, gaming service
applications may be made
lo available to customers of a pre-existing communication or data service. For
example, customers of a
particular wireless telephone or data service may be offered any one or
combination of the various
gaming service applications discussed herein as an additional feature that is
bundled with the telephone
or data service. Although this document may refer to the communication service
bundled with offered
gaming service applications as including pre-existing communication services,
it is recognized that the
gaming services applications may be offered and accepted as part of a package
with newly-activated
communications service plan. In still other embodiments, the gaming service
may be established first
and the communication service may be added later.

The gaming service applications bundled with, or otherwise offered in
conjunction with
communication services, may be customized to meet the needs of the customers,
service providers, or
both. For example, a service provider may elect to make certain gaming service
applications available
to only a subset of the service providers' customers. Accordingly, not all
customers associated with a
service provider may be offered gaming services. As an another example of
customized gaming service
applications, a communication service may offer customers a number of gaming
service plans which
may provide different levels of service. For example, certain services such as
advertisement services
and/or promotional services may be free to customers of the communications
service. Such levels of
service may be customer-selected, service provider-selected, or both.
Customers may be billed separately for add-on gaming services, or in
conjunction with the
invoice the customer already receives for the pre-existing communications
service. For instance, in
certain embodiments, gaming services may be billed as an add-on in the same
way that Caller ID
services, call waiting services, and call messaging services result in fees
that are in addition to the basic
fees associated with communication services.

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PEER-TO-PEER WIRELESS GAMING

According to various embodiments, gaming services enable peer-to-peer wireless
gaming.
Specifically, the system may enable multiple players to participate in the
same gaming activity at the
same time from dispersed locations. This may be particularly desirable in the
case of certain games
such as, but without limitation, horse racing, poker, and blackjack. The
system may also enable a single
player to participate in multiple positions with respect to a particular game.
For example, a user may be
permitted to play multiple hands of blackjack. Particular aspects include such
features as providing
assistance to a user in finding a particular activity. For example, a first
player may want to play poker at
a six-person table. The gaming system may be used to identify such a poker
table that has a position
1o available for the first user's participation. Additionally or
alternatively, a first player might want to play
poker at the same table as a second player, and the system may be configured
to assist the first player
in finding a game in which the second player is already participating.

Location determination techniques may be incorporated to enable peer-to-peer
gaming or
related services. For example, a "buddy network" may be established to track
members of a selected
group. For example, a group of friends might all be in a gambling jurisdiction
but be located at various
dispersed places within that jurisdiction. The gaming system allows the
establishment of a private buddy
network of peers for this group of friends. The system enables one or more
members of the group to
track one or more other members of the group. In various embodiments, the
system may also allow
messages from and to one or more group members. For example, the system also
allows members to
invite other members to participate in certain wireless gaming activities.
Additionally or alternatively, the
system may allow members of the group to bet on the performance of another
member of the group who
is participating in a virtual or actual game.
Location determination techniques may also be incorporate to establish an
"alert system." The
alert system may be used to invite certain types of players to participate in
a gaming activity. Criteria
may then be used to identify users of gaming devices that meet the criteria.
For example, a gaming
participant may wish to initiate a gaming activity with other users of gaming
devices that qualify as "high
rollers" or "high stakes gamers." As other examples, a celebrity user may wish
to initiate a gaming
activity with other celebrities, or a senior citizen may wish to initiate a
gaming activity with other senior
citizens. In each instance, the user may identify criteria that may then be
used to identify other gaming
participants that meet these criteria for the initiation of a peer-to-peer
gaming event.
It should be understood that the foregoing descriptions encompass but some of
the
implementation technologies that may be used, according to various
embodiments. Other technologies
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may be used and are contemplated, according to various embodiments. Various
embodiments may be
performed using any suitable technology, either a technology currently
existing or a technology which
has yet to be developed.

GAMING AND WIRELESS SYSTEM
Various embodiments include a gaming system including hand-held personal
gaming devices.
The gaming system is adapted to present one or more games to a user of one of
the hand-held gaming
devices.
In various embodiments, the gaming system includes a portable gaming device or
interface.
1o The portable gaming device has a display for displaying game information to
a player, at least one input
device for receiving input from the player and is capable of receiving and
sending information to a
remote device/location. The gaming system also includes a game server for
generating game data,
transmitting game data to the portable gaming device and receiving
information, such as player input,
from the portable gaming device. The gaming system further includes a payment
transaction server for
validating payment and establishing entitlement of a player to play a game via
the portable gaming
device as provided by the game server.
In various embodiments, the gaming system includes one or more stationary
gaming machines
or other devices capable of printing tickets having a value associated
therewith. The portable gaming
device includes a ticket reader for reading ticket information for use by the
payment transaction server in
verifying the associated value for permitting the player to play the game.
In one or more embodiments, the portable gaming devices communicate with other
devices
(such as the game server) via a wireless communication channel. Appropriate
relays and transceivers
are provided for permitting the wireless communication.
In one or more embodiments, the portable gaming device includes a plurality of
interfaces for
changing the configuration of the gaming device or interacting with one or
more transaction servers. In
some embodiments, a login interface is provided for receiving login
information regarding a user of the
device. In various embodiments, the number of interfaces or other functions or
features displayed or
permitted to be accessed are configured depending upon the user of the device.
In the event a gaming
representative identifies himself, interfaces permitting access to a variety
of control functions may be
provided. In the event a player identifies themselves, such control functions
may not be accessible, but
instead only consumer-related functions may be accessible such as game play.
In one or more embodiments the gaming system includes one or more transaction
servers,
such as a food transaction server. Using an interface of the portable gaming
device a player or other


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user may request services from the food transaction server. For example, a
player may request food,
drink, a restaurant reservation or other service.
One or more embodiments comprise a method of playing a game via a portable
gaming device
associated with a gaming network. In some embodiments, a player obtains a
portable gaming device,
such as by checking out the device from the hostess station of a restaurant or
the front desk of a
hotel/casino. The player provides value to the gaming operator, such as a
credit card or cash deposit.
This value is associated with the server and matched with a ticket number,
player tracking number or
other identifier.
The game device is configured for player play using the login interface. The
act of logging in
may be performed by the player or the gaming operator. The player next
establishes entitlement to
obtain services, such as the playing of a game, by showing the existence of
value. In some
embodiments, the player scans his ticket using the ticket reader of the
device. The scanned information
is transmitted to the payment transaction server for verifying entitlement of
the player to play a game or
obtain other services. In the event the entitlement is verified, then the
player is permitted to engage in
the play of a game or request service.
In the event a player wishes to play a game, the player indicates such by
selecting a particular
game using a game play interface. Upon receipt of such an instruction, the
game server generates game
data and transmits it to the personal gaming device. The transmitted data may
comprise sound and
video data for use by the personal gaming device in presenting the game. The
player is allowed to
participate in the game by providing input to the game server through the
personal gaming device. The
game server determines if the outcome of the game is a winning or losing
outcome. If the outcome is a
winning outcome, an award may be given. This award may be cash value which is
associated with the
player's account at the payment transaction server. If the outcome is a losing
outcome, then a bet or
wager placed by the player may be lost, and that amount deducted from the
player's account at the

transaction server.
FIG. 29 is a block diagram of a gaming system in accordance with various
embodiments.
As illustrated, the gaming system B20 includes a plurality of gaming machines
B22a, B22b,
B22c, B22d, B22e, B22f, B22g, B22h, B22i, B22j. In some embodiments, these
gaming machines B22a,
B22b, B22c, B22d, B22e, B22f, B22g, B22h, B22i, B22j are of the stationary
type. In general, the gaming
machines B22a, B22b, B22c, B22d, B22e, B22f, B22g, B22h, B22i, B22j are
arranged to present one or
more games to a player. In various embodiments, the games are of the type
requiring the placement of a
wager or bet and are of the type by which a player receiving a winning outcome
is provided an award,
such as a monetary award. These devices may comprise for example, video poker
and slot machines. In

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addition, the gaming system B20 includes one or more hand-held, portable
gaming devices (PGDs) B24.
The PGD B24 is also arranged to present one or more games to a player, and as
described below, may
be used as an access point for a variety of other services. The device
referred to herein as a"personal
gaming device" may be referred to by other terminology, such as a portable
gaming interface, personal
game unit or the like, but regardless of the name of the device, such may have
one or more of the
characteristics herein.
In addition, in various embodiments, the PGD B24 is in communication with at
least one
gaming server B28. As described below, in various embodiments, the one or more
games which are
presented via the PGD B24 to the player are provided by the gaming server B28.
The gaming machines B22a, B22b, B22c, B22d, B22e, B22f, B22g, B22h, B22i, B22j
and each
PGD B24 is in communication with a payment system referred to herein as the
"EZ-Pay" system. This
system includes a server B26 for receiving and transmitting information. In
general, the EZ Pay system
is utilized to accept payment from a player for the playing of games and
obtaining of other goods and
services, and for paying a player winnings or awards.
In the embodiments illustrated, the gaming system B20 includes other servers
B30, B32 for
transmitting and/or receiving other information. In some embodiments, one
server B30 comprises a prize
transaction server. Another server B32 comprises a food transaction server. In
a some embodiments,
information may be transmitted between the PGD B24 and these servers B30, B32.
The EZ Pay system, according to various embodiments, will now be described in
more detail
with reference to FIG. 30. The EZ Pay system may constitute an award ticket
system which allows
award ticket vouchers to be dispensed in lieu of the traditional coin awards
or reimbursements when a
player wins a game or wishes to cash out. These tickets may also be used by
gaming machines and
other devices for providing value, such as for payment of goods or services
including as a bet or ante for
playing a game.
FIG. 30 illustrates some embodiments of such a system in block diagram form.
As illustrated, a
first group of gaming machines B22a, B22b, B22c, B22d, and B22e is shown
connected to a first clerk
validation terminal (CVT) B34 and a second group of gaming machines B22f,
B22g, B22h, B22i, and
B22j is shown connected to a second CVT B36. All of the gaming machines print
ticket vouchers which
may be exchanged for cash or accepted as credit or indicia in other gaming
machines. When the CVTs
B34,B36 are not connected to one another, a ticket voucher printed from one
gaming machine may only
be used as indicia of credit in another gaming machine which is in a group of
gaming machines
connected to the same CVT. For example an award ticket printed from gaming
machine B22a might be
used as credit of indicia in gaming machines B22b, B22c, B22d, and B22e, which
are connected to the

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common CVT B34, but may not be used in gaming machines B22f, B22g, B22h, B22i,
and B22j since
they are each connected to the CVT B36.
The CVTs B34,B36 store ticket voucher information corresponding to the
outstanding ticket
vouchers that are waiting for redemption. This information is used when the
tickets are validated and
cashed out. The CVTs B34,B36 store the information for the ticket vouchers
printed by the gaming
machines connected to the CVT. For example, CVT B34 stores ticket voucher
information for ticket
vouchers printed by gaming machines B22a, B22b, B22c, B22d, and B22e. When a
player wishes to
cash out a ticket voucher and the CVTs B34,B36 are not connected to one
another, the player may
redeem a voucher printed from a particular gaming machine at the CVT
associated with the gaming
machine. To cash out the ticket voucher, the ticket voucher is validated by
comparing information
obtained from the ticket with information stored with the CVT. After a ticket
voucher has been cashed
out, the CVT marks the ticket as paid in a database to prevent a ticket
voucher with similar information
from being cashed multiple times.
Multiple groups of gaming machines connected to the CVTs B34,B36 may be
connected
together in a cross validation network B38. The cross validation network
typically comprises one or more
concentrators B40 which accept input from two or more CVTs and enables
communications to and from
the two or more CVTs using one communication line. The concentrator B40 is
connected to a front end
controller B42 which may poll the CVTs B34,B36 for ticket voucher information.
The front end controller
B42 is connected to an EZ pay server B26 which may provide a variety of
information services for the
2o award ticket system including accounting B44 and administration B46.
The cross validation network allows ticket vouchers generated by any gaming
machine
connected to the cross validation network to be accepted by other gaming
machines in the cross
validation network B38. Additional, the cross validation network allows a
cashier at a cashier station
B48, B50, B52 to validate any ticket voucher generated from a gaming machine
within the cross
validation network B38. To cash out a ticket voucher, a player may present a
ticket voucher at one of the
cashier stations B48, B50, B52. Information obtained from the ticket voucher
is used to validate the
ticket by comparing information on the ticket with information stored on one
of the CVTs B34,B36
connected to the cross validation network B38. As tickets are validated, this
information may be sent to
another computer B54 providing audit services.
As described above, the gaming system B20 may also include one or more hand-
held PGDs
B24. In various embodiments, the PGD B24 is a portable device capable of
transmitting and receiving
information via a wireless communication link/network.

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Referring again to FIG. 29, the gaming system B20 may include a printer B56,
wireless
communication relays B58 and B60, and wireless transceivers B62, B64, B66 and
B68 connected to the
remote transaction servers B26, B28, B30 and B32. In various embodiments, a
player may obtain the
PGD B24, and after being provided with the appropriate authority, may play one
or more games and/or
obtain other services including food services or accommodation services.
FIG. 31 illustrates the PGD B24 and a block diagram of a game and service
system which may
be implemented by the gaming system B20 illustrated in FIG. 29. In various
embodiments, the game and
service system B100 is comprised of at least one PGD B24 and a number of input
and output devices.
The PGD B24 is generally comprised of a display screen B102 which may display
a number of game
lo service interfaces B106. These game service interfaces B106 are generated
on the display screen B102
by a microprocessor of some type (not shown) within the PGD B24. Examples of a
hand-held PGD B24
which may accommodate the game service interfaces B106 shown in FIG. 31 are
manufactured by
Symbol Technologies, Incorporated of Holtsville, N.Y. The interface or menu
data may be stored in a
local memory, or the data may be transmitted to the PGD B24 from a remote
location (such as a data
server). This reduces the memory requirement of the device.
The game service interfaces B106 may be used to provide a variety of game
service
transactions and gaming operations services, including the presentation for
play by a user of one or
more games. The game service interfaces B106, including a login interface
B105, an input/output
interface B108, a transaction reconciliation interface B110, a ticket
validation interface B115, a prize
services interface B120, a food services interface B125, an accommodation
services interface B130, a
gaming operations interface B135, and a game play interface B137 may be
accessed via a main menu
with a number of sub-menus that allow a game service representative or player
to access the different
display screens relating to the particular interface.
In one or more embodiments, some or all of the interfaces may be available to
a user of the
PGD B24. For example, in one or more embodiments, the PGD B24 may have a dual
purpose of both
being usable by a player to play games and engage in other activities, and
also be used by gaming
operations personnel for use in providing services to players and performing
administrative functions. In
various embodiments, certain PGDs B24 may be specially configured for use only
by players, and other
PGDs B24 may be specially configured for use only by gaming or other
personnel. In such event, the
interfaces B106 may be custom programmed.
In one or more embodiments, only certain interfaces B106 may be displayed,
depending on the
status of the user of the PGD B24. In some embodiments, the particular
interfaces B106 which are
displayed and thus accessible for use are determined by the status of the user
as indicated through a

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login function. In various embodiment, when the PGD B24 is operable (such as
when a power button is
activated) the default status for the PGD B24 is the display of the login
interface B105. Once a user of
the PGD B24 has logged in, then the status of the PGD display is changed.
In one or more embodiments, the login interface B105 may allow a game service
representative
to enter a user identification of some type and verify the user identification
with a password. When the
display screen B102 is a touch screen, the user may enter the user/operator
identification information on
a display screen comprising the login interface B105 using an input stylus
B103 and/or using one or
more input buttons B104. Using a menu on the display screen of the login
interface, the user may select
other display screens relating to the login and registration process. For
example, another display screen
lo obtained via a menu on a display screen in the login interface may allow
the PGD B24 to scan a finger
print of the game service representative for identification purposes or scan
the finger print of a game
player.
In the event a user identifies themselves as a gaming operator or
representative, then the PGD
B24 may be arranged to display one or more other interfaces such as those
listed above and described
in detail below. In one or more embodiments, the default status or login may
be a"player" mode login.
In various embodiments, the login interface B105 may allow a player to
identify themselves to
configure the PGD B24 to permit the player to access a plurality of player
services, such as playing
games and the like. In various embodiments, the login interface B105 includes
a request that the user
identify themselves as a "player" or "authorized personnel." In the event
"authorized personneP" is
selected, then the above-referenced user identification (including password)
may be requested. If
"player" is selected, then in various embodiments the player is requested to
provide an EZ pay ticket. As
described in more detail below, in various embodiments, a player who wishes to
play one or more
games or obtain other goods or services uses an EZ pay ticket to provide the
credit or payment therefor.
The ticket may be obtained from a cashier or by play of another gaming device
(such as devices B22a,
B22b, B22c, B22d, B22e, B22f, B22g, B22h, B22i, B22j in FIG. 29). The ticket
may be verified through
the EZ pay system described above.
In various embodiments, the PGD B24 includes a ticket reader B145 and a card
reader B140.
In some embodiments, the ticket reader B145 may be of a variety of types. In
some embodiments, the
reader comprises a bar-code reading optical scanner. In this arrangement, a
user of the PGD B24 may
simply pass the bar-coded ticket in front of the bar-code reader. In some
embodiments, the card reader
B140 comprises a magnetic-stripe card type reader for reading information
associated with a magnetic
stripe of a card, such as a player tracking card.



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After having provided the appropriate authorization, access may be provided to
the user of the
PGD B24 of one or more of the following interfaces B106.
In one or more embodiments, an authorized user may be provided with access to
the
input/output interface B108. In a various embodiments, such access is only
provided to a game service
operator and not a player. In one or more embodiments, the input/output
interface B108 permits a user
to select, from a list of devices stored in memory on the PGD B24, a device
from which the PGD may
input game service transaction information or output game service transaction
information. For example,
the PGD B24 may communicate with the ticket reader B145. As another example,
the PGD B24 may
input information from the card reader B140. Such input may be useful, for
example, if a game service
lo operator wishes to verify the authenticity of a player tracking card or the
like.
The PGD B24 may output game and service transaction information to a number of
devices.
For example, to print a receipt, the PGD B24 may output information to a
printer B150. In this game
service transaction, the PGD B24 may send a print request to the printer B150
and receive a print reply
from the printer B150. The printer B150 may be a large device at some fixed
location or a portable
device carried by the game service representative. As another example, the
output device may be the
card reader B140 that is able to store information on a magnetic card or smart
card. Other devices which
may accept input or output from the PGD B24 are personal digital assistants,
microphones, keyboard,
storage devices, gaming machines and remote transaction servers.
The PGD B24 may communicate with the various input mechanisms and output
mechanisms
using both wire and wire-less communication interfaces. For example, the PGD
B24 may be connected
to the printer B150 by a wire connection of some type. However, the PGD B24
may communicate with a
remote transaction server B160 via a wire-less communication interface
including a spread spectrum
cellular network communication interface. An example of a spread spectrum
cellular network
communication interface is Spectrum 24 offered by Symbol Technologies of
Holtsville, N.Y., which
operates between about 2.4 and 2.5 Gigahertz. The information communicated
using the wire-less
communication interfaces may be encrypted to provide security for certain game
service transactions
such as validating a ticket for a cash pay out. Some devices may accommodate
multiple communication
interfaces. Such a spread spectrum network is but one possible communication
scheme.
Another type of interface that may be stored on the PGD B24 is the award
ticket validation
interface B115. In some embodiments, this interface is only available to an
authorized game service
representative, and not a player. Some embodiments of the award ticket
interface B115 may
accommodate the EZ pay ticket voucher system and validate EZ pay tickets as
previously described.
However, when other ticket voucher systems are utilized, the award ticket
validation interface B115 may

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be designed to interface with the other ticket voucher systems. Using the
award ticket validation
interface B115, a game service representative may read information from a
ticket presented to the game
service representative by a game player using the ticket reader and then
validate and pay out an award
indicated on the ticket.
In various embodiments, the award ticket contains game service transaction
information which
may be verified against information stored on a remote transaction server
B160. To validate the ticket
may require a number of game service transactions. For example, after
obtaining game service
transaction information from the award ticket, the PGD B24 may send a ticket
validation request to the
remote transaction server B160 using the spread spectrum communication
interface and receive a ticket
lo validation reply from the remote server B160. In particular, the validation
reply and the validation request
may be for an EZ pay ticket. After the award ticket has been validated, the
PGD B24 may send a
confirmation of the transaction to the remote server B160. Details of the game
service transaction
information validation process are described with the reference to FIG. 33. In
various embodiments, the
award ticket interface may be configured to validate award information from a
smart card or some other
portable information device or validate award information directly from a
gaming machine.
As game and service transactions are completed, game and service transaction
information
may be stored on a storage device B155. The storage device B155 may be a
remote storage device or a
portable storage device. The storage device B155 may be used as a back-up for
auditing purposes
when the memory on the PGD B24 fails and may be removable from the PGD B24.
A type of game service interface that may be stored on the PGD B24 is the
prize service
interface B120. As an award on a gaming machine (i.e., machines B22a, B22b,
B22c, B22d, B22e, B22f,
B22g, B22h, B22i, B22j in FIG. 29) or while playing a game via the PGD B24, a
game player may
receive a ticket (such as issued by other machine) that is redeemable for
merchandise including a
bicycle, a computer or luggage or receive such an award directly (such as
while playing the PGD B24
itself). Using the prize service interface B120, a game service representative
or player may validate the
prize service ticket and then check on the availability of certain prizes. For
example, when the prize
service ticket indicates the game player has won a bicycle, the game service
representative may check
whether the prize is available in a nearby prize distribution center.
Alternatively, a player may be
permitted to do the same thing. In some embodiments, a player may be awarded a
prize of a particular
level, there being one or more particular prizes on that level. In such
events, the player may use the
interface B120 to determine what prizes are currently available in the prize
level just awarded. The PGD
B24 may validate a prize ticket and check on the availability of certain
prizes by communicating with a
remote prize server. Further, the game service representative may have the
prize shipped to a game

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player's home or send a request to have the prize sent to a prize distribution
location. The game service
transactions needed to validate the prize ticket including a prize validation
request and a prize validation
reply, to check on the availability of prizes and to order or ship a prize may
be implemented using
various display screens located within the prize interface. The different
prize screens in the prize service
interface B120 may be accessed using a menu located on each screen of the
prize service interface. In
some embodiments, the prize service interface B120 may be configured to
validate prize information
from a smart card or some other portable information device or validate award
information directly from a
gaming machine.
A type of game service interface that may be stored on the PGD B24 is the food
service
interface B125. As an award on a gaming machine or as compensation for a
particular amount of game
play, a game player may receive a free food or drink. Using the food service
interface B125, the player
may redeem the food or drink award, or a game service representative may
validate such an award (for
example, the award may be provided to a player of a gaming device B22a in the
form of a ticket) and
check on the availability of the award. For example, when the game player has
received an award ticket
valid for a free meal, the food service interface may be used to check on the
availability of a dinner
reservation and make a dinner reservation. As another example, the PGD B24 may
be used to take a
drink or food order by the player thereof. Such an order may be processed via
the remote food server
B32 (see also FIG. 29). The transactions needed to validate a food ticket or
award, to check on the
availability of food services, request a food service and receive a reply to
the food service request may
be implemented using various display screens located within the food service
interface B125. These
display screens may be accessed using a menu located on each screen of the
food service interface. In
some embodiments, the food service interface may be configured to validate
food service information
from a smart card or some other portable information device.
Another type of game service interface that may be stored on the PGD B24 is an
accommodation service interface B130. As an award for game play or as
compensation for a particular
amount of game play, a game player may receive an award in the form of an
accommodation service
such as a room upgrade, a free night's stay or other accommodation prize.
using the accommodation
service interface B130, the player may check on the availability of certain
accommodation prizes. For
example, when the game player has received an award for a room upgrade, the
accommodation service
interface may be used to check on the availability of a room and to make a
room reservation.
Regardless of whether the player has won an accommodation award, the player
may utilize the
accommodation service interface B130 to reserve a room (such as an additional
night's stay) or an
upgrade to a room. In some embodiments, a player of a game may be issued a
ticket (such as from a

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free-standing game device B22a, B22b, B22c, B22d, B22e, B22f, B22g, B22h,
B22i, B22j in FIG. 29),
and a gaming representative may use the accommodation service interface B130
in order to validate the
player's award ticket and check on the availability of the award and institute
the award. As another
example, the PGD B24 may be used to order a taxi or some other form of
transportation for a player at a
gaming machine preparing to leave the game playing area. The game playing area
may be a casino, a
hotel, a restaurant, a bar or a store.
The PGD B24 may validate the accommodation service award and check on the
availability of
certain accommodation awards by communicating with a remote accommodation
server. The
transactions needed to validate the accommodation ticket, check on the
availability of accommodation
lo services, request an accommodation service and receive a reply to the
accommodation service request
may be implemented using various display screens located within the
accommodation service interface.
These display screens may be accessed using a menu located on each screen of
the accommodation
service interface. In some embodiments, the accommodation service interface
may be configured to
validate accommodation service information from a smart card or some other
portable information
device.
A type of game service interface that may be stored on the PGD B24 is a gaming
operations
service interface B135. Using the gaming service interface B135 on the PGD
B24, a game service
representative may perform a number of game service transactions relating to
gaming operations. For
example, when a game player has spilled a drink in the game playing area, a
game service
representative may send a request to maintenance to have someone clean up the
accident and receive
a reply from maintenance regarding their request. The maintenance request and
maintenance reply may
be sent and received via display screens selected via a menu on the screens of
the gaming operations
service interface. As another example, when a game service representative
observes a damaged
gaming machine such as a broken light, the game service representative may
send a maintenance
request for the gaming machine using the PGD B24. In one or more embodiments,
a player may be
permitted various options through the gaming service interface B135. For
example, a player may be
permitted to request a gaming service representative or attendant using the
interface B135.
A type of game service interface that may be stored on the PGD B24 is a
transaction
reconciliation interface B110. In various embodiments, the PGD B24 contains a
memory storing game
service transaction information. The memory may record the type and time when
a particular game
service transaction is performed. At certain times, the records of the game
service transactions stored
within the PGD B24 may be compared with records stored at an alternate
location. For example, for an
award ticket validation, each time an award ticket is validated and paid out,
a confirmation is sent to a
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remote server B160. Thus, information regarding the award tickets, which were
validated and paid out
using the PGD B24, should agree with the information regarding transactions by
the PGD stored in the
remote server B160. The transaction reconciliation process involves using the
transaction reconciliation
interface B110 to compare this information. In various embodiments, only a
gaming service
representative (and not a player) is permitted access to the transaction
reconciliation interface B110.
A type of game service interface that may be stored on the PGD B24 is a voice
interface B138.
Using the spread spectrum cellular or other communication network incorporated
into the PGD, a player
and/or game service representative may use the PGD B24 as a voice
communication device. This voice
interface B138 may be used to supplement some of the interfaces previously
described. For example,
lo when a game player spills a drink the game service representative may send
maintenance request and
receive a maintenance reply using the voice interface B138 on the PGD B24. As
another example, when
a game player requests to validate a food service such as free meal, such a
request may be made by
the player or a game service representative at a restaurant or other location
using the voice interface
B138 on the PGD B24. In some embodiments, a player may be permitted to contact
a player of another
PGD B24, such as by inputting a code number assigned to the PGD B24 through
which communication
is desired. Such would permit, for example, a husband and wife using two
different PGDs B24 to
communicate with one another. The voice interface B138 may also permit a
player to contact the front
desk of a hotel/casino, an operator of a switchboard at the gaming location or
the like.
A type of game service interface that may be stored on the PGD B24 is a game
play interface
B137. In various embodiments, a player is permitted to access the game play
interface B137 in order to
select from one or more games for play. The game play interface B137 may
include a menu listing one
or more games which the player may play via the PGD B24. In various
embodiments, game play is
facilitated with the game server B28 (see FIG. 29).
In one or more embodiments, the gaming control code is not resident at the PGD
B24, but
instead at a secure, remote server. Referring to FIG. 29, game play data is
transmitted from the game
server B28 to the PGD B24, and from the PGD B24 to the game server B28.
Preferably, the PGD B24 is
adapted to receive and process data, such as by receiving video data and
processing the data to
present the information on the display B102. Likewise, the PGD B24 is arranged
to accept input and
transmit that input or instruction to the game server B28. This arrangement
has the benefit that nearly all
3o aspects of the play of a game can be monitored, as it requires the game
play data to pass to or from a
remote location. This avoids, for example, storage of the gaming software at
the PGD B24 where it
might be tampered with, copied or the like.



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In one or more embodiments, each PGD B24 has a unique identifier which is
utilized to identify
which PGD B24 data is transmitted from and to which data is to be transmitted
to. In some
embodiments, the game server B28 may thus be used to present the same or
different games to a
plurality of players using different PGDs B24, with the game data regarding a
particular game being
played at a particular PGD B24 being directed to that PGD B24 using its
particular identifier.
As will be appreciated by those of skill in the art, the PGD B24 may have a
variety of
configurations. As stated above, the PGD B24 may be used in the gaming system
B20 in which gaming
code is not stored directly at the PGD. In such an embodiment, the PGD B24 may
have a much more
limited amount of data memory. In some embodiments, the PGD B24 includes a
processor for executing
control code, such as that necessary to operate the display B102, accept input
from the stylus B103 or
input buttons B104 or the like. In addition, the PGD B24 preferably includes a
buffer memory for
accepting data transmitted from the game server B28. This data may comprise
data for displaying game
information, such as video and sound content.
Various aspects of the use of the PGD B24 described above will now be
described. In one or
more embodiments, the PGD B24 may be used directly by a player. In various
embodiments, a player
may use the PGD B24 to play one or more games, and obtain products and
services, such as food.
A method of use of the PGD B24, according to some embodiments, is illustrated
in FIGS. 32(a)
and 32(b). In general, a player must first obtain a PGD B24. For example, a
player may check out a
PGD B24 from a gaming operator. The player then establishes entitlement to use
the PGD B24. In some
2o embodiments, the player must indicate player status at the login interface,
and obtain a valid ticket in
order to activate the PGD B24. Once activated, the player is permitted to
engage in a variety of
transactions using the interfaces B106, such as playing a game, redeeming
prizes and awards, placing
food and drink orders, placing reservations, seeking gaming operator support
and seeking a variety of
other goods and services as described in more detail below.
One example of a method of use of the PGD B24 by a player will be described
with reference
to FIG. 32(a). In a first step B400, the player first obtains the PGD B24. In
some embodiments, a gaming
operator may have certain locations at which a player may obtain the PGD B24,
such as the front desk
of a hotel/casino, the hostess stand at a restaurant, from a gaming attendant
or other location as
desired. In some embodiments, a gaming operator may actually permit a player
to retain the PGD B24,
such as by renting, selling or giving the PGD B24 away to a player.
In a step B402, the PGD B24 is activated. In some embodiments, this step
includes turning on
the PGD B24 (such as with a power switch) and logging in. In some embodiments,
when the PGD B24 is
turned on, the login interface B105 is automatically displayed. The login
interface B105 may include

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"player" and "authorized personneP" buttons which may be activated using the
stylus B103. The player
may indicate "player" status by selecting the player button with the stylus
B103.
In some embodiments, the gaming operator may log the player in. For example,
when a player
obtains the PGD B24 from a hostess at a restaurant, the hostess may log in the
player in player mode.
In some embodiments, the gaming operator may have certain PGDs B24 which are
for use by players
and certain others which are for use by gaming personnel. In such event, the
PGDs B24 which are
configured for player status may automatically be configured for player mode
after being turned on.
In a step B404, a player establishes entitlement to use the PGD B24. In some
embodiments,
this step comprises the player providing a valid ticket which is verifiable
using the EZ pay portion of the
lo gaming system B20. In some embodiments, a player may have obtained a ticket
through play of a
gaming machine, such as gaming machines B22a, B22b, B22c, B22d, B22e, B22f,
B22g, B22h, B22i,
B22j of the gaming system B20. In some embodiments, a player may be issued a
ticket by a game
service representative. For example, a player may provide credit at a cashier
cage (such as with a credit
card or cash) and be issued a ticket. A player may also pay cash or the like
to a restaurant hostess and
be issued a ticket.
Once the player has a ticket, the ticket may be scanned using the ticket
reader B145 of the
PGD B24. For example, the player may pass the ticket in front of the ticket
reader B145. Once the
information is read by the PGD B24, the data may be transmitted to the EZ pay
server B26 for validation.
Preferably, this validation confirms that the particular ticket is authorized,
including the fact that it is
outstanding and has value associated therewith.
In one or more embodiments, entitlement may be established in other manners.
For example,
in some embodiments, entitlement may be established with a player tracking or
identification card which
may be read using the card reader B140 of the PGD B24.
Establishing entitlement to use the PGD B24 may ensure that the player has
funds for paying to
obtain services and products available by use of the PGD B24. In one or more
embodiments, however,
this step may be eliminated. For example, in some embodiments, a player may be
permitted to use the
PGD B24 and then pay for goods or services in other manners. In some
embodiments, a player may, for
example, order food and then pay the server for the food using a room charge
or cash at the time the
food is delivered. In some embodiments, a player may use a credit card to pay
to play games or to pay
for food or the like. In such event, a credit card may be read by the card
reader B140 at the time the
services or products are to be provided or are ordered by the player.
In a step B406, the player is then permitted to select one or more selections
from the interfaces
B106. As stated above, a player may not be permitted access to all of the
interfaces B106. In any event,
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a player may select, such as with the stylus B103, a service from the group of
interfaces B106. An
example of the engagement of a particular activity using the PGD B24 will be
described below with
reference to FIG. 32(b).
Once a player no longer desires to engage in any more activities using the PGD
B24, the use
session of the PGD B24 is ended in a step B408, and in one or more
embodiments, the PGD B24 is
returned to the gaming operator. In various embodiments, once a player no
longer wishes to use the
PGD B24, the player returns the PGD B24 to the gaming operator. At that time,
the gaming operator
may confirm that all transactions using the PGD B24 are closed or complete,
and pay the player any
winnings. In some embodiments, a player B24 is issued a new ticket
representing the player's credit
(including any payments made in order to first use the PGD B24, plus any
winnings, less any
expenditures).
An example of a method of using the PGD B24 wherein the player has selected
the option of
game play using the game play interface B137 will be described in detail with
reference to FIG. 32(b). In
a step B41 0 (which step comprises a particular embodiment of step B406 of
FIG. 32(a)), a player has
selected the event or service of "game play" using the game play interface
B137.
In some embodiments, when a player has selected the game play interface B137,
a menu may
be displayed to the player of the one or more games which the player may be
permitted to play. In some
embodiments, when the player selects the game play interface B137, a signal is
transmitted from the
PGD B24 to the remote game server B28 instructing the game server B28 that the
player wishes to play
2o a game. In response, the game server B28 may send the latest game menu to
the PGD B24 for display.
In this arrangement, the menu of games which is available may be continuously
updated at one or more
central locations (such as the server B28) instead of at each PGD B24.
If the system B20 permits the player to select a game from a menu of games,
then the method
includes the step of the player selecting a particular game to be played. Once
a game is selected, or if
only a single game option is provided, then game play begins. In some
embodiments, the game server
B28 transmits data to the PGD B24 for use by the PGD B24 in presenting the
game, such as video and
audio content.
In some embodiments, in a step B412 a player is required to place a bet or
ante to participate
in a game. In some embodiments, the player may place the bet or ante using the
EZ pay system. As
stated above, the player preferably establishes entitlement to use the PGD B24
with an EZ pay ticket or
other entitlement, which ticket demonstrates that the player has monies or
credits on account which may
be used to pay for goods and services. These services include game play
services.

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In some embodiments, when the player establishes entitlement to use the PGD
B24, the value
of the player's credits or monies are displayed to the player so that the
player is visually reminded of
these amounts. When a player begins play of a game, the player may input a bet
and ante which is no
more than the value of the credits or monies which the player has on account.
Once a player has placed
a bet or ante, that information is transmitted to the EZ pay server B26 and is
deducted from the player's
account. A new credit value is then displayed at the PGD B24 to the player.
In various embodiments, a player may provide credit for a bet or ante in other
manners. For
example, a player may swipe a credit card through the card reader B140 in
order to provide the
necessary credit for the bet or ante.
In a step B414, the player is then permitted to engage in the game. In some
embodiments,
game play comprises the game server B28 executing game code and transmitting
information to the
PGD B24 for presenting certain aspects of the game to the player. When
necessary, the player is
permitted to provide input, and the input data is transmitted from the PGD B24
to the game server B28.
As one example of a game, the game may comprise video poker. In this
embodiment, the
game server B28 executes code for randomly generating or selecting five cards.
Data representing
video images of the cards is transmitted to the PGD B24, where the images of
the five dealt cards are
displayed on the display screen B102.
The instruction "draw" or "stay" may be displayed to the player. At that time,
the player may
select one or more of the cards to hold or replace. In the event the player
elects to replace any card, that
instruction is transmitted to the game server B28 which then randomly
generates or selects replacement
cards. The replacement card data is transmitted to the PGD B24 and images of
the replacement cards
are displayed.
In the event the hand of five cards (including any replacement cards) is
determined by the
game server B28 to comprise a predetermined winning hand, then the player may
be paid a winning
amount. If not, then the player loses his bet or ante. This step comprises
step B416 of the method, that
of determining the outcome of the game.
If the outcome is a winning outcome, then the player may be paid a winning by
crediting the
player's account through the EZ pay server B26. In that event, the player's
credits value as displayed is
updated to reflect the player's winnings.
A player may then elect to play the game again, play a different game, or
select one or more
other services offered. In some embodiments, a"return to main menu" button or
the like may be
displayed to the player at all times, permitting the player to return to a
display including the various
interfaces B106.

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In some embodiments, when the player has completed use of the PGD B24, the
player returns
the PGD B24 to the gaming operator. For example, the player may return the PGD
B24 to a cashier
cage or a game service operator. In various embodiments, the game service
operator or other party then
issues the player a ticket for any credit or value which remains in the
player's account. The PGD B24
may then be deactivated so that it readied for use by another player. In some
embodiments, the PGD
B24 may be deactivated by turning its power off. In some embodiments,
a"logout" interface or option
may be provided which causes the PGD B24 to return to a default state seeking
the login of a player or
user.
The PGD B24 may be used by a game service operator. Several examples of a
method of such
use are detailed below in conjunction with FIGS. 29 and 30.
When a game service representative contacts a game player seeking a game
service in the
game playing area B70 (see FIG. 29), the game service representative uses an
appropriate game
service interface on the display screen of the PGD B24, as described with
reference to FIG. 31, to
provide the game service requested by the game player. For example, when a
game player requests an
EZ pay ticket validation, the game service representative brings the EZ pay
ticket validation interface
onto the display screen of the PGD B24 using menus available on the display
screen B102. Then, the
game service representative scans the EZ pay ticket using a ticket reader
connected to the PGD B24 to
obtain unique ticket information. Next, the PGD B24 sends an EZ pay ticket
validation request using the
wire-less communication interface to the EZ pay server B26.
In various embodiments, the ticket validation request is composed of one or
more information
packets compatible with the wire-less communication standard being employed.
Using a wireless link
B72, the one or more information packets containing the ticket validation
request are sent to the
transceiver B62 connected to the EZ pay server. The transceiver B62 is
designed to receive and send
messages from the one or more PGDs B24 in the game playing area B70 in a
communication format
used by the PGDs. Depending on the location of the PGD B24 in the game playing
area B70, the
communication path for the information packets to and from the PGD B24 may be
through one or more
wire-less communication relays including B58 and B60. For example, when the
PGD B24 is located near
gaming machine B22a, the communication path for a message from the PGD B24 to
the EZ pay server
B26 may be from the PGD B24 to the relay B60, from the relay B60 to the relay
B58, from the relay B58
to the transceiver B62 and from the transceiver B62 to the EZ pay server B26.
As the location of the
PGD B24 changes in the game playing area B70, the communication path between
the PGD B24 and
the EZ pay server B26 may change.



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After receiving an EZ pay ticket validation reply from the EZ pay server B26,
the EZ pay ticket
may be validated using an appropriate display screen on the PGD B24. After
cashing out the ticket, the
game service representative may send a confirmation of the transaction to the
EZ pay server B26 using
the PGD B24. The transaction history for the PGD B24 may be stored on the PGD
B24 as well as the EZ
pay server B26. Next, a receipt for the transaction may be printed out. The
receipt may be generated
from a portable printer carried by the game server representative ad connected
to the PGD B24 in some
manner or the receipt may be generated from a printer B56 at a fixed location.
After providing a number of game services comprising a number of game service
transactions
to different game players in the game playing area B70 using the PGD B24, a
game service
representative may log-off of the PGD B24 and return it to location for secure
storage. For example, at
the end of a shift, the game service representative may check the PGD B24 at
some of the locations, the
device is unassigned to the particular game service representative and then
may be assigned to another
game service representative. However, before the PGD B24 is assigned to
another game service
representative, the transaction history stored on the PGD B24 may be
reconciled with a separate
transaction history stored on a transaction server such as the EZ pay server
B26.
The assigning and unassigning of the PGD B24 to a game service representative
and the
transaction reconciliation are performed for security and auditing purposes.
Another security measure
which may be used on the PGD B24 is a fixed connection time between the PGD
B24 and a transaction
server. For example, after the PGD B24 has been assigned to a game service
representative and the
game service representative has logged on the PGD B24, the PGD B24 may
establish a connection with
one or more transaction servers including the EZ pay server B26, a server B28,
a server B30, or a
server B32. The connection between a transaction server and the PGD B24 allows
the PGD B24 to send
information to the transaction server and receive information from the
transaction server. The length of
this connection may be fixed such that after a certain amount of time the
connection between the PGD
B24 and the transaction server is automatically terminated. To reconnect to
the transaction server, the
login and registration process must be repeated on the PGD B24.
A transaction server may provide one or more game service transactions.
However, the PGD
B24 may connect with multiple transaction servers to obtain different game
service transactions. For
example, server B30 may be a prize transaction server allowing prize service
transactions and server
B415 may be a food transaction server allowing food service transactions. When
a game service
representative receives a prize service request from a game player, the PGD
B24 may be used to
contact the prize transaction server B30 using a wire-less communication link
between the PGD B24
and a transceiver B64 connected to the prize transaction server B30.
Similarly, when a game service

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representative receives a food service request from a game player, the PGD B24
may be used to
contact the food transaction server B32 using a wire-less communication link
between the PGD B24 and
a transceiver B66 connected to the food transaction server B32.
The different transaction servers including the servers B26, B28, B30, B32 may
be on separate
networks or linked in some manner. For example, server B32 is connected to
network B74, server B26 is
connected to network B38, server B30 is connected to network B76, and server
B28 is connected to
network B78. In this embodiment, a network link B80 exists between network B76
and network B38.
Thus, server B26 may communicate with server B30 via the network link B80. A
communication link
between different servers may allow the servers to share game service
transaction information and allow
1o different communication paths between the PGDs and the transaction servers.
Likewise, a network link
B82 exists between network B78 and network B38, permitting the game server to
communicate with the
EZ pay server B26.
FIG. 33 is a flow chart depicting a method for providing a game service using
a hand-held
device. In step B500, a game service representative receives the PGD B24 and
logs in to the device to
assign the device. The check out process and assign process are for security
and auditing purposes. In
a step B505, the game service representative contacts a game player in the
game playing area
requesting a game service of some type. In a step B51 0, the game service
representative selects an
appropriate interface on the PGD B24 using menus on the display screen B102 of
the PGD that allow
the game service representative to provide a requested game service. In a step
B515, the game service
representative inputs game service transaction information required to perform
a game service
transaction. For example, to validate an award ticket, the game service
representative may read
information from the ticket using a ticket reader. As another example, to
provide a food service including
dinner reservation, the game service representative may enter a game player's
name to make the
reservation.
In a step B520, the transaction information obtained in step B51 5 is
validated as required. For
example, when a player attempts to cash out an award ticket, the information
from the award is validated
to ensure the ticket is both genuine (e.g. the ticket may be counterfeit) and
has not already been
validated. The validation process requires a number of transfers of
information packets between the
PGD B24 and the transaction server. The details of the validation process for
an award ticket validation
3o are described with reference to FIG. 34. When the transaction information
is valid, in a step B522, a
game service transaction is provided. For example, a room reservation may be
made for a player
requesting an accommodation service. A confirmation of the game service
transaction may be sent to
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the transaction server for transaction reconciliation in a step B545. In one
or more embodiments, the
method may include the step of generating a receipt regarding the game service
transaction.
In a step B535, after providing the service, a game player may request another
game service.
When a game player requests an additional game service, the game service
representative returns to
step B51 0 and selects an appropriate interface for the game service. When a
game player does not
request an additional service and it is not the end of a shift, in a step
B530, the game service
representative returns to step B505 and contacts a new game player. In a step
B540, when a shift has
ended, the game service representative logs out of the PGD B24 and checks the
device at a secure
location so that the PGD may be assigned to a different game service
representative. In step B545,
before the PGD B24 is assigned to a different game service representative, a
transaction history
reconciliation is performed to ensure that the transaction history stored on
the PGD is consistent with the
transactions previously confirmed with a transaction server during the game
service representative's
shift. The transaction history on the PGD B24 may be stored on a removable
memory storage device on
the PGD. Thus, the memory may be removed from the device for transaction
reconciliation and replaced
with a new memory. Thus, the device with the new memory may be assigned to a
new game service
representative while the transaction history from the previous game service
representative assigned to
the device is reconciled.
FIG. 34 is a flow chart depicting a method for validating information for
providing a personal
game service. In the embodiment shown in the figure, a ticket is validated in
a manner consistent with an
EZ pay ticket system. The EZ pay ticket is usually used for award tickets.
However, the system may be
adapted to provide tickets for other services include food services, prize
services or accommodation
services. In a step B600, a request for game service transaction information
read from a ticket is sent via
a wire-less communication interface on the PGD B24 to the appropriate
transaction server as described
with reference to FIG. 29. In a step B605, the server identifies which clerk
validation ticket (CVT)
B34,B36 owns the ticket. When a CVT owns a ticket, the CVT has stored
information regarding the
status of a particular ticket issued from a gaming machine connected to the
CVT B34,B36. In a step
B61 0, the server sends a request to pay the ticket to the CVT identified as
the owner of the ticket.
Typically, the pay request indicated a service on the ticket has been
requested. For a cash ticket, a pay
request means a request to cash out the ticket has been made. For a free meal,
a pay request means a
request to obtain the meal has been made. In a step B615, the CVT receives the
pay request for the
ticket and marks the ticket pending. While the ticket is pending, any attempts
to validate a ticket with
similar information is blocked by the CVT.

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In a step B620, the CVT B34,B36 sends back a reply with context information to
the server. As
an example, the context information may be the time and place when the ticket
was issued. The
information from the CVT to the server may be sent as one or more data packets
according to a
communication standard shared by the CVT and server. In a step B625, after
receiving the validation
reply from the CVT, the server marks the pay request pending and sends a pay
order to the PGD B24.
While the pay request is pending, the server will not allow another ticket
with the same information as
the ticket with the pay request pending to be validated.
In a step B630, the game service representative may choose to accept or reject
the pay order
form the server. When the game service representative accepts the pay order
from the server, in a step
B640, the PGD B24 sends a reply to the transaction server confirming that the
transaction has been
performed. The transaction server marks the request paid which prevents
another ticket with identical
information from being validated. In a step B645, the server sends a
confirmation to the CVT which
allows the CVT to mark the request from pending to paid. When the game service
representative rejects
the pay order from the server, in a step B650, the PGD B24 sends a reply to
the server to mark the pay
request from pending to unpaid. When the ticket is marked unpaid, it may be
validated by another PGD
B24 or other validation device. In a step B655, the server sends the reply to
the CVT to mark the pay
request from pending to unpaid which allows the ticket to be validated.
In one or more embodiments, a ticket may be used to provide credit/value for
establishing
entitlement to a service or a good, such as the right to play a game or obtain
food. The PGD B24 may
include a card reader B140. In such an arrangement, a user of the PGD B24 may
use a credit card or
other magnetic stripe type card for providing credit/value. In various
embodiments, the PGD B24 may
include one or more other types of devices for obtaining/receiving
information, such as a smart card
reader. In such arrangements, the PGD B24 device may read information from the
credit card, smart
card or other device. These cards may comprise the well known credit or debit
cards. This information
may be used to provide the credit/value. In the example of a credit card, the
user's account information
may be read from the card and transmitted from the PGD B24 to the controller
B42. Credit card/credit
validation information may be associated with a credit card server (not
shown). This credit card server
may be associated with a bank or other entity remote from the casino or place
of use of the PGD B24
and the controller B42. A communication link may be provided between the
controller B42 and remote
server for sending credit card information there over.
In some embodiments, when a player utilizes a smart card or credit card the
amount of
associated credit or value may be transmitted to the EZ Pay server B26, and
then the credited amount
may be treated in exactly the same manner as if the credit/value had been
provided by a ticket. When a

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player wishes to cash out, the EZ Pay server B26 has a record of the original
amount credited and the
amounts of any awards, losses or payments, and may then issue the player a
ticket representing the
user's total credit.
In accordance with various embodiments, a gaming system is provided which
includes one or
more portable gaming devices. The portable gaming devices permit a player to
play one or more games
at a variety of locations, such as a hotel room, restaurant or other location.
These locations may be
remote from traditional gaming areas where free-standing, generally stationary
gaming machines are
located.
In one or more embodiments, a player may use the portable gaming device to not
only play
1o games, but obtain other products and services. In addition, in one or more
embodiments, the portable
gaming device may be used by game service representatives to perform a variety
of functions and
provide a variety of services to a player.
It should be understood that the foregoing descriptions encompass but some of
the
implementation technologies that may be used, according to various
embodiments. Other technologies
may be used and are contemplated, according to various embodiments. Various
embodiments may be
performed using any suitable technology, either a technology currently
existing or a technology which
has yet to be developed.

WIRELESS INTERACTIVE SYSTEM
According to various embodiments, a wireless interactive gaming system
includes one or more
wireless gaming devices, a receiver, and a central processor. The wireless
interactive gaming system
may also include a terminal which is in communication with the central
processor.
In a gaming environment that employs a wireless interactive gaming system, a
player receives
a wireless gaming device from a game official who represents a gaming
establishment or the "house".
The wireless gaming device is capable of receiving wager information as
commands entered by the
player and transmitting the received wager information along with
identification information to the
receiver by wireless transmission.
The wireless interactive gaming system may support a number of wireless gaming
devices
within one gaming establishment. The range for the wireless transmission from
a wireless gaming device
may be up to 100 feet.
According to various embodiments, a player inputs information into a wireless
gaming device,
e.g., by pressing push buttons or keys on the device. The wireless gaming
device may include any
number, e.g. from 5 to 20, of buttons in a keypad-type arrangement. Buttons
may be marked with the
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digits 0 through 9 and may also include a"$" (dollar sign) key and an "enter"
key, so that the player may
easily input wager information. In various embodiments, the wireless gaming
device includes at least
eight player selection buttons (e.g., digits) and at least five special
function buttons, (e.g., to request the
player's balance). In various embodiments, the player can input some or all of
the wager information into
the wireless gaming device by swiping a smart card, which contains a
microprocessor chip or a
magnetic stripe with encoded information, through a smart card reader on the
wireless gaming device.
In various embodiments, the wireless gaming device may include an identifier.
The identifier
may be, e.g., a series of alphanumeric characters, a bar code, or a magnetic
stripe affixed to the device.
In various embodiments, the identifier may be a digital code stored in a
secure memory, e.g., an
1o electronically erasable programmable read only memory (EEPROM). The
identifier may thus be
readable directly by the game official if it is a series of alphanumeric
characters, or it may be read
automatically by a bar code reader or a magnetic stripe reader. In various
embodiments, the identifier
may be programmed in EEPROM or read from EEPROM through an RS-232 port, which
may be directly
connected to encoder and decoder circuitry in a terminal.
A wireless gaming device may store an encryption key. The encryption key may
be used to
encrypt information that is transmitted to the receiver from the device.
Encryption of the information
transmitted to the receiver may limits tampering with the wireless gaming
device and may prevent
unauthorized or counterfeit devices from being used with the system.
In various embodiments, the encryption key may be stored in the EEPROM. The
EEPROM may
have the advantage of being a memory device which is difficult to access if
the appropriate encoding
circuitry is not available. Thus, it is contemplated that the encoding
circuitry that downloads the
encryption key into the device may be securely held by the game official.
Alternately, the encryption key stored in the EEPROM may be updated and
changed for each
player who receives a wireless gaming device by directly connecting the device
to encoding and
decoding circuitry in the terminal through a port at the time the wireless
gaming device is delivered to the
player. Moreover, other digital information related to the game being played
may be downloaded from
the terminal to the EEPROM through a direct connection with the wireless
gaming device.
In various embodiments, a microprocessor controls the operation of a wireless
gaming device.
The microprocessor receives digital wager information entered by the player
using buttons or keys of the
wireless gaming device. The microprocessor stores an identification code
associated with the wireless
gaming device that is a digital equivalent of the identifier of the wireless
gaming device. The
microprocessor also executes software applications for encrypting the
identification code and the
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player's wager information for transmission to the receiver. The software
contains an algorithm that
encrypts a data packet including the identification code and wager information
using the encryption key.
In various embodiments, a wireless gaming device has a unique address, i.e.
identification
code, for communications with the receiver and stores a player identification
that is programmed into the
device by the central processor. The wireless gaming device may include a
wager amount register,
which is maintained and updated using the keys on the device. The value stored
in the wager amount
register may be included in transmissions from the device to the central
processor. The value of the
wager amount register may default to a predetermined value, e.g. $1, when the
device is initialized, and
can be further adjusted by the player. The wireless gaming device may also
include an account balance
register, which is maintained in the device and is updated by the central
processor periodically. The
value of the account balance register should default to $0 when the device is
initialized.
The wireless gaming device may include player function keys. The player
function keys may be
used to accomplish the following functions:

1. Transmit a message to the receiver;
2. Request account balance information;
3. Adjust the state of the device;

4. Affect the data to be sent in the next transmitted message;

5. Increment the wager amount register by a predetermined amount, e.g., $10,
$5 or $1;
6. Reset the wager amount register to the default value, e.g., $1.

The firmware of the wireless gaming device may only allow for one press of
buttons or keys
every 100 ms. In various embodiments, key presses are not queued; thus, when a
key press message is
queued to be sent, no other player input is accepted until the queued message
has been sent.
The wireless gaming device may include a transmitter. The transmitter may
receive encrypted
digital information from the microprocessor and convert it to a signal for
wireless transmission to the
receiver. The transmitter transmits signals wirelessly, e.g., using radio
frequency signals or infrared
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signals. Communications between the receiver and the wireless gaming device
may be asynchronous at
2400 bits per second.
The wireless gaming device may include an identifying circuit that drives the
transmitter to
periodically send an identification signal to the receiver. The use of the
identifying circuit permits the
receiver and the central processor to be assured that the wireless gaming
device is still active,
functioning and present in the gaming establishment. Thus, if the wireless
gaming device were removed
from the gaming establishment, the receiver and central processor would no
longer receive and detect
the periodic identification signal sent by the identifying circuit and the
transmitter, and the game official
may be alerted that the wireless gaming device has been removed from the
gaming establishment.
The wireless gaming device may contain a real-time clock that permits the
microprocessor to
monitor the current time and date. The clock may consist of a timing circuit.
The microprocessor can use
the time and date information obtained from clock to perform calculations and
other functions based on
the current time and date.
The wireless gaming device may also include a tag, such as an electronic or
magnetic
component, which activates an alarm when passed through a sensing apparatus
located at the entrance
and/or exit of the gaming establishment. Activation of the alarm by passing
the wireless gaming device
with the tag through the sensing apparatus notifies the game official of an
attempted removal of the
wireless gaming device from the gaming establishment.
The wireless gaming device may be powered by a battery source contained within
the device. A
portable power source such as battery source permits extended cordless
operation of the wireless
gaming device throughout a gaming environment. The battery source may be part
of a removable,
rechargeable battery pack that allows the device to be recharged when it is
not in use.
In some embodiments, the wireless gaming device displays information such as
game
information on a device display, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD) with a
back-light. The LCD can be
used to display the values stored in the wager amount register and in the
account balance register. The
wireless gaming device may include a display receiver which receives digital
information transmitted
from the receiver or from the central processor.
The device may also include a bicolor light emitting diode (LED). The bicolor
LED is capable of
displaying at least two colors, e.g., red and green. The green light may flash
each time the wireless
gaming device sends a transmission to the receiver, for a period of time to
ensure that it is visible to the
player. The red light may illuminate when a key is pressed on the wireless
gaming device, and remain lit
until the transmission is received by the receiver; no additional key entry
will be enabled when the red
light is lit. The wireless gaming device may also include additional light
emitting diodes, for example to

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indicate when the account balance register is being updated and the balance
information is being
displayed on the LCD.
The receiver is capable of receiving signals transmitted from the transmitter
in the wireless
gaming device. The receiver contains a decoder, which converts the received
signals, e.g., into digital
information. This digital information contains at least the identification
code of the wireless gaming
device and the player's wager information. The receiver sends the digital
information obtained by the
decoder to the central processor. Communications between the central processor
and the receiver may
be by an RS-232 electrical interface data serial communications link, with
communications being
asynchronous at either 9600 or 19,200 bytes per second, in various
embodiments.
The receiver may receive signals from many wireless devices either
simultaneously or in rapid
succession, e.g., using multiplexing techniques, so that many players can
place wagers using their
wireless gaming devices during a short time interval. The receiver
differentiates signals received from
the various devices by the identification codes which are present in the
signals received by the receiver.
The central processor receives the identification code of a wireless gaming
device and the
player's wager information from the receiver. The central processor also
decrypts this information using
the encryption key. The central processor is capable of receiving data from
multiple wireless gaming
devices in an apparently simultaneous manner.
In various embodiments, an account for the player is stored in a database of
the central
processor. The database stores the monetary value of the balance of the
account associated with the
identifier of the wireless gaming device.
The central processor manages the player's account in the database based on
signals received
from the player's wireless gaming device as the player places wagers and when
prizes are awarded
during play of the game. The central processor subtracts money from the
player's account balance when
the player places a wager. The player's account balance may be automatically
increased by the central
processor when the player wins a game on which he has placed a wager.
The central processor also stores and is capable of executing software
applications containing
algorithms to calculate players' account balances, wagers, and winnings. The
central processor should
be able to execute all of the algorithms which define the actions performed on
the players' accounts
during the progress of the game, as wagers are entered, as winnings paid out,
and when funds are
3o added to the players' accounts.
Algorithms in the software in the central processor may also calculate odds
and payouts for
certain games, such as lottery-type games, during play of the game. The odds
and payouts at a
particular point in time may depend on the characteristics of the game being
conducted by the central

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processor, and may change as the game progresses. These algorithms may be
executed by the central
processor to provide exact calculations of the odds of specific game events
occurring and the associated
prizes for a player's correctly predicting the occurrence of one of those
events. The algorithms may be
executed continuously, so that real-time odds and payout can be calculated as
the game progresses.
The central processor may perform various actions on players' accounts,
resulting in various
impacts on the accounts. For example, if the player wins a game, his account
is credited for the payout
based on his wager. If the player places a wager using the wireless gaming
device, his account is
debited by the amount of the wager. If the game official receives additional
funds from the player, the
balance of the player's account is credited by the amount of the funds. If the
game official closes the
player's account and disburses funds to him, the balance of the player's
account is debited by the
amount disbursed.
The central processor may be located in the gaming establishment that houses
the receiver. In
various embodiments, the central processor may be located remotely from the
receiver, communicating
with the receiver via electronic digital telephone communication or wireless
transmission, such as a
serial communication link. Additionally, the central processor may perform a
multitude of functions for
various receivers in a variety of gaming environments.
In some embodiments, communication among the central processor, the receiver,
and the
wireless gaming device involves a polling scheme. Polling enables many
wireless gaming devices to
communicate with a receiver without interference between them. Such a polling
scheme may include the
transmission of digital signals in the form of strings of hexadecimal
characters. Preferably, all
communications between the central processor, the receiver and the wireless
gaming device are
encrypted.
In such a polling scheme, hexadecimal characters may be reserved for specific
control
protocols. For example, an attention character is a header character used to
begin all transmissions
from the central processor to the receiver, and serves to delineate messages
and synchronize the
receipt of messages in the receiver. The same function is implied when the
attention character follows in
response to a message transmission. An acknowledgement character is another
header character which
provides acknowledgement to the transmitting device that the previous
message's data has been
received and verified. The acknowledgement character can also function as an
attention character to
begin a subsequent message. An end of message character is used to indicate
the end of a
transmission. Also, a complement next byte character allows for use of
reserved protocol characters
within a normal transmission message by avoiding a false control signal when a
message data byte
matches one of the control characters. When a message byte that needs to be
sent matches one of the

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protocol control characters, the complement next byte character is sent,
followed by the one's
complement of the matching message byte.
Verification of received data may be accomplished using a single byte checksum
of the
message information. This checksum may be the one's complement of the sum of
the original message
data, not including the header character. If the checksum results in a value
equal to one of the protocol
control characters, it will be treated in accordance with the function of the
complement next byte
character.
In the polling scheme described above, there are three different modes of
communication over
the link between the central processor and the receiver. First, the central
processor may send messages
intended for the receiver. Second, the central processor may send messages
intended for the wireless
gaming device. Third, the wireless gaming device may send messages intended
for the central
processor. In various embodiments, messages sent by the central processor may
be in the form of a
character string formatted with a header character, followed by the
identification code of the intended
device, the command or message, an end of message character, and a checksum
character. Messages
received by the receiver or the wireless gaming device may be acknowledged by
transmission of an
acknowledgement character, but the central processor need not acknowledge
messages sent from the
wireless gaming devices. Messages sent by the central processor to be received
by the wireless gaming
device may be broadcast to all of the wireless gaming devices. A device
address may be reserved as a
broadcast address for all of the wireless gaming devices, and all devices will
receive messages sent to
this address; in this case, no acknowledgement need be returned from any of
the wireless gaming
devices.
Each command or message may begin with a command code to signal how the
information
contained in the message is to be used. Command codes for messages sent by the
central processor to
the receiver and the wireless gaming device include the following:

1. Send a device address list to the receiver;

2. Send account balance information to the addressed device;
3. Send command to disable the addressed device;

4. Send command to enable the addressed device.

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In various embodiments, messages sent between the receiver and the wireless
gaming device
may be in the form of a character string formatted with a header character,
followed by the identification
code of the intended device, the current wager amount, the request, command or
data, an end of
message character, and a checksum character. Command codes for requests,
commands and data sent
between the receiver and the wireless gaming device include the following:

1. Read user identification;
2. Read device address;
3. Read balance register;

4. Read wager amount register;
5. Provide device status;

6. Write user identification;
7. Write device address;
8. Write balance register;
9. Write wager amount;
10. Perform self test.

These command codes may be used to program the device addresses and user
identification
information into the wireless gaming devices, as well as to initialize the
device to the default state, i.e.,
the player's account balance of $0. The account balance register and the user
identification may each
comprise two characters, the least significant byte and the most significant
byte, allowing for the use a
greater range of numbers for these values.
Various embodiments include methods by which the central processor
communicates with a
wireless gaming device. The central processor transmits a string of
hexadecimal characters, including,
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e.g., a header character, followed by the device's identification code,
followed by a request, command or
data, followed by an end of message character, followed by a checksum
character. After the central
processor transmits the character string, the wireless gaming device receives
the string, recognizes its
identification code, and executes any instructions in the string. When the
central processor sends an
instruction to all wireless gaming devices simultaneously, all currently
active devices receive and
execute the instruction. The wireless gaming device does not send an
acknowledgement message to
the central processor, although the receiver may receive a transmission from
the wireless gaming device
that the instruction was received properly. The central processor also
communicates with the receiver in
a similar manner, except that the receiver may send an acknowledgement message
to the central
processor which includes the acknowledgement control protocol character.
Similarly, the wireless gaming device communicates with the receiver and the
central processor
using, e.g., hexadecimal character strings. The receiver regularly and
periodically polls the active
wireless gaming device for information requests or wagering requests. If the
player has entered a
request into the wireless gaming device since the last time the wireless
gaming device was polled, then
the player's request will be transmitted to the receiver.
Various embodiments include methods by which the wireless gaming device
receives and
relays player requests to the central processor. First, the player enters a
request into the wireless
gaming device using buttons or keys. The player then presses a button labeled,
e.g., "enter" or "send,"
instructing the wireless gaming device to send the request the next time the
receiver polls the wireless
gaming device. When this button has been pressed, the red light of the bicolor
LED is illuminated,
thereby informing the player that the request is waiting to be sent. The
request is converted into a
hexadecimal character string, including, e.g., a header character, an
identification code (or, alternatively,
a separate identification string reserved for a specific player), the current
wager amount, the player's
request (e.g., to change the wager amount or to send a balance update), an end
of message character,
and a checksum character. The next time the receiver polls the device, the
transmitter of the device
transmits the character string to the receiver. When the wireless gaming
device is polled by the receiver,
the green light of bicolor LED flashes, informing the player that the request
has been transmitted. The
receiver receives the request string, and transmits the string to the central
processor. The central
processor then acts on the player's request.
Using the terminal, the game official may process wagering transactions and
distribute wireless
gaming devices. In various embodiments, the terminal may include a bar code
reader and/or a magnetic
stripe reader for rapid entry of the identifier of a wireless gaming device
prior to delivering the wireless
gaming device to the player. Reading devices provide information in the form
of digital data to the

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terminal. The terminal includes a keyboard by which the game official can
manually enter data to be
sent to the central processor. Using either reading device, the keyboard, or a
combination of these, the
game official communicates with the central processor to establish a player's
account, increase the
balance of the account when the player tenders funds to the game official, and
decrease the balance of
the account when the player seeks to collect the cash value of his account
balance.
The player establishes a balance of the account associated with his wireless
gaming device,
identified by an identifier, when he receives the wireless gaming device from
the game official. The
player may increase the monetary value of the balance of the account by paying
additional funds, in the
form of cash or credit, to the game official, who accesses the account stored
in the central processor
1o through the terminal to increase the balance of the account.
The wireless gaming device is returned to the game official after the player
has played one or
more games. The readers may be used to read the identifier for closing out the
player's account stored
in the database of the central processor. The terminal includes a terminal
display which notifies the
game official of the balance of the player's account, so that the player may
be paid the cash value of the
remaining balance of his account.
In some embodiments, an account status display device is located in the gaming
establishment
to display players' account information. In various embodiments, the display
device may be, e.g., a liquid
crystal display or a cathode ray tube display. The display device is
controlled by the central processor,
which sends information to the display device for display to the players.
A player may look at the display device to confirm that wagers transmitted
from the wireless
gaming device were received by the receiver and sent to the central processor,
to determine the
monetary balance of the player's account, and to verify that the player's
winnings have been credited to
his account. The display device displays key information necessary for a
player to participate in a game.
The information displayed for each player may include the account number, the
player's account
balance, the player's last wager, and the player's last prize award or win.
The display device is divided into specific areas, e.g., a display area, each
area showing the
account information for one player. The size of the display area may be
determined by the size of the
display device and the number of players who possess wireless display devices.
It is contemplated that
only active accounts will be displayed on the display device. If additional
display devices are required to
3o display the information concerning a large number of accounts, the central
processor may be configured
to drive multiple similar display devices.

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The display device may also be used to display the odds and payouts for game
wagers.
Alternately, a separate display device driven by the central processor may be
used to display the odds
and payout information. Further, the odds and payouts may be displayed on the
device display 21.
Procedures for using the wireless interactive gaming system, according to some
embodiments,
are now described. In some embodiments, a player tenders money in the form of
cash or credit, e.g.,
$100, to a game official in the gaming establishment to establish an account.
The game official chooses
a wireless gaming device and uses, e.g., the bar code reader on the terminal
to enter the identifier of the
wireless gaming device into the terminal. The game official also inputs the
amount of money tendered,
i.e. $100, into the terminal via keyboard. The game official hands the
wireless gaming device to the
player and tells the player that his account is, e.g., Account No. 12.
Alternately, the player may identify
his account number directly from the identifier on the wireless gaming device.
The information entered
by the game official into the terminal is sent to the central processor, which
establishes an account
record for the player in the database.
For this example, the central processor may be conducting a racing game in
which players
choose a winning racing element on which to place a wager for the next racing
game to be displayed in
the gaming establishment. To place a wager, the player presses buttons on the
wireless gaming device.
In some embodiments, the player first presses the button that corresponds to
the number
assigned to the racing element that he chooses, e.g., "3", and then the wager
amount, e.g., "$" and "5",
for a $5 wager. The player then presses the "enter" key to transmit his wager
to the central processor.
In an alternate embodiment, the game may be simplified so that all wagers are
placed for a
fixed amount, e.g., $1, by pressing a single button on the wireless gaming
device. By pressing the button
that corresponds to the number assigned to the chosen racing element, e.g.,
"3", the player places a $1
bet on racing element number 3. The player can then place a larger wager on
racing element number 3,
by pressing the "3" button the number of times corresponding to the number of
$1 bets he desires to
make, e.g., by pressing "3" five times to wager $5 on racing element number 3.
Each time the player enters a wager, the wireless gaming device forms a data
packet
containing the player's wager information and the identification code of the
wireless gaming device. The
data packet is encrypted and transmitted by the transmitter via wireless
communication.
The decoder in the receiver receives the encrypted data packet transmitted by
the transmitter.
3o The encrypted data packet is sent to the central processor, where it is
decrypted. The central processor
uses the information it has obtained to update the player's account in the
database by subtracting the
wagered amount from the player's account balance and registers the player's
wager on the game.

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After the game has been played, the central processor awards prizes to winning
players based
on the wagers they have made and the odds associated with the winning outcome
of the game. If the
player in possession of the wireless gaming device is a winner, the central
computer updates the
player's account in the database by adding the monetary amount of the prize to
the player's account
balance. Otherwise, the player's account remains unchanged.
When the player has finished playing games in the gaming establishment, he
returns the
wireless gaming device to the game official. The game official again inputs
the identifier of the wireless
gaming device into the terminal, e.g., by using the bar code reader of the
terminal. The terminal
accesses the player's account information stored in the database of the
central processor to obtain the
player's remaining account balance. The terminal display displays the player's
remaining account
balance to the game official, who then tenders the monetary value of that
amount to the player. The
account is closed, and the transaction is recorded in the central processor.
It should be understood that the foregoing descriptions encompass but some of
the
implementation technologies that may be used, according to various
embodiments. Other technologies
may be used and are contemplated, according to various embodiments. Various
embodiments may be
performed using any suitable technology, either a technology currently
existing or a technology which
has yet to be developed.

HAND-HELD WIRELESS GAME PLAYER
Various embodiments include a hand-held wireless game player for playing a
game of chance.
The hand-held wireless game player may be generally characterized as
including: 1) a wire-less
communication interface; 2) a display screen; 3) one or more input mechanisms;
and 4) a
microprocessor configured i) to present the game of chance on the display
screen using operating
instructions received via the wireless communication interface from a master
gaming controller located
on a gaming machine and ii) to send information from input signals generated
from the one or more
input mechanisms to the master gaming controller via the wire-less
communication interface. The
wireless game player may be played in a plurality of venue locations
physically separate from the
location of the gaming machine where the plurality of venue locations are
selected from the group
consisting of a keno parlor, a bingo parlor, a restaurant, a sports book, a
bar, a hotel, a pool area and a
casino floor area. The game of chance played on the wireless game player may
be selected from the
group consisting of slot games, poker, pachinko, multiple hand poker games,
pai-gow poker, black jack,

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keno, bingo, roulette, craps and a card game. Other games are also
contemplated, in various
embodiments.
In various embodiments, the wireless communication interface may use a
wireless
communication protocol selected from the group consisting of IEEE 802.11a,
IEEE 802.11b, IEEE
802.11x, hyperlan/2, Bluetooth, and HomeRF. The wireless game player may also
comprise a wire
network interface for connecting the wireless game player to a wire network
access point. In addition,
the wireless game player may also comprise a peripheral interface for
connecting to a peripheral gaming
device where the peripheral interface is a serial interface, a parallel
interface, a USB interface, a
FireWire interface, an IEEE 1394 interface. The peripheral gaming device may
be a printer, a card
reader, a hard drive and a CD-DVD drive.
In various embodiments, the one or more inputs mechanisms on the wireless game
player may
be selected from the group consisting of a touch screen, an input switch, an
input button and biometric
input device where the biometric input device may be a finger print reader.
The wireless game player
may also include a detachable memory interface designed to receive a
detachable memory where the
detachable memory unit stores graphical programs for one or more games of
chance played on the
wireless game player. The wireless game player may also comprise one or more
of the following: 1) an
audio output interface for receiving a head phone jack, 2) an antenna, 3) a
sound projection device, 4) a
battery, 5) a power interface for supplying power to the wireless game player
from an external power
source and for charging the battery from the external power source, 6) a
memory unit where the memory
unit may store graphical programs for one or more games of chance played on
the wireless game
player, 7) an electronic key interface designed to receive an electronic key,
and 8) a video graphics card
for rendering images on the display screen where the video graphics card may
be used to render 2-D
graphics and 3-D graphics.
It should be understood that the foregoing descriptions encompass but some of
the
implementation technologies that may be used, according to various
embodiments. Other technologies
may be used and are contemplated, according to various embodiments. Various
embodiments may be
performed using any suitable technology, either a technology currently
existing or a technology which
has yet to be developed.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
The following are incorporated by reference herein:
US patent 6,676,522;
US patent 6,846,238;

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US patent 6,702,672.

CASINON ELECTRONIC GAMES
Reference numerals below, until otherwise specified, refer only to figures 35
through 40.
PLAY OF THE GAME
FIG. 35 shows an embodiment of a spinning reel slot machine 10. The slot
machine comprises
a plurality of mechanical rotatable reels 12a, 12b, 12c and a video display
(see FIGS. 36a and 36b). In
response to a wager, the reels 12a, 12b, 12c are rotated and stopped to
randomly place symbols on the
reels in visual association with a display area 16. Payouts are awarded based
on combinations and
arrangements of the symbols appearing in the display area 16. The video
display provides a video
image 18 occupying the display area 16 and superimposed on the reels 12a, 12b,
12c. The video image
18 may be interactive with the reels 12a, 12b, 12c, may be static or dynamic,
and may include such
graphics as payout values, a pay table, pay lines, bonus game features,
special effects, thematic
scenery, and instructional information. In the illustrated embodiment, the
slot machine 10 is an "upright"
version in which the display area 16 is oriented vertically relative to the
player. Alternatively, the slot
machine 10 may be a"slant-top" version in which the display area 16 is slanted
at about a thirty degree
angle toward the player of the slot machine 10.
Referring to FIGS. 36a and 36b, the video image 18 in the display area 16 may
be either a
2o direct image (FIG. 36a) or a virtual image (FIG. 36b), in various
embodiments. If the video image 18 is a
direct image, as in FIG. 36a, the direct image may be generated by a flat
panel transmissive video
display 14a positioned in front of the reels 12a, 12b, 12c. The transmissive
display 14a may, for
example, be a transmissive liquid crystal display (LCD) commercially available
from LG Phillips LCD
Co., Ltd., of Seoul, Korea. The transmissive display 14a may be outfitted with
a touch screen mounted to
a front surface of the display 14a. The touch screen contains soft touch keys
denoted by the image on
the underlying display 14a and used to operate the slot machine 10.
If the video image 18 is a virtual image, as in FIG. 36b, the virtual image is
preferably
generated by a projection arrangement including a video display 14b and a
partially reflective mirror 20.
The video display 14b and the partially reflective mirror 20 are relatively
positioned to project the virtual
image in front of the reels 12a, 12b, 12c between the reels and a player. The
video display 14b may be
mounted below the reels 12a, 12b, 12c and is generally perpendicular to the
display area 16. The mirror
20 may be mounted in front of the reels 12a, 12b, 12c and is oriented at
approximately a forty-five
degree angle relative to both the video display 14b and the display area 16.
The virtual image is

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generally parallel to the display area 16 and may, in fact, occupy the display
area 16. Also, the virtual
image may be three-dimensional. In the embodiment of FIG. 36b, the display
area 16 includes a glass
cover/window. This cover is optionally outfitted with a touch screen that
contains soft touch keys denoted
by the virtual image and used to operate the slot machine 10.
The video display 14b in FIG. 36b may be a CRT, LCD, dot matrix, LED, electro-
luminescent,
or other type of video display. Also, instead of mounting the video display
14b below the reels 12a, 12b,
12c, the display 14b may be mounted above the reels with the mirror 20 still
oriented at approximately a
forty-five degree angle relative to both the video display 14b and the display
area 16.
Referring back to FIG. 35, the slot machine 10 is operable to play a basic
slot game with the
lo three mechanical spinning reels 12a, 12b, 12c and a bonus game triggered by
a start-bonus outcome in
the basic game. The number of mechanical reels may vary, for example, to
include one or more
additional reels. The mechanical reels may be mounted to a horizontal axis to
spin vertically as shown or
may, alternatively, be mounted to a vertical axis to spin horizontally. Also,
instead of each column of
symbols being associated with a single reel, each individual symbol may
associated with a single reel
such that a symbol array of nine symbols is associated with nine distinct
reels. Each of five pay lines
22a, 22b, 22c, 22d, 22e extends through one symbol on each of the three
mechanical reels. The number
of pay lines may be more or less than five and may have various
configurations.
Generally, game play is initiated by inserting a number of coins or playing a
number of credits,
causing a central processing unit to activate a number of pay lines
corresponding to the number of coins
or credits played. As shown in FIG. 37, the superimposed video image 18 may
depict instructional
information prompting the player to insert coins or play credits. The player
selects the number of pay
lines (e.g., between one and five) to play by pressing a"Select Lines" key on
a button panel 24. The
player then chooses the number of coins or credits to bet on the selected pay
lines by pressing a"Bet
Per Line" key on the button panel 24. As shown in FIG. 38, the superimposed
video image 18 may
depict the activated pay lines and the number of wagered credits per pay line.
After activation of the pay lines, the reels 12a, 12b, 12c may be set in
motion by touching a
"Spin Reels" key on the button panel 24 or, if the player wishes to bet the
maximum amount per line, by
using a"Max Bet Spin" key on the button panel 24. Alternatively, other
mechanisms such as, for
example, a lever may be used to set the reels in motion. The central
processing unit uses a random
number generator to select a game outcome (e.g., "basic" game outcome)
corresponding to a particular
set of reel "stop positions." The central processing unit then causes each of
the mechanical reels to stop
at the appropriate stop position. Symbols are printed on the reels to
graphically illustrate the reel stop
positions and indicate whether the stop positions of the reels represent a
winning game outcome.

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Winning basic game outcomes (e.g., symbol combinations resulting in payment of
coins or
credits) are identifiable to the player by a pay table. As shown in FIG. 39,
the superimposed video image
18 may depict the pay table in response to a command by the player (e.g., by
pressing a"Pay Table"
key on the button panel 24). A winning basic game outcome occurs when the
symbols appearing on the
reels 12a, 12b, 12c along an active pay line correspond to one of the winning
combinations on the pay
table. A winning combination, for example, could be three matching symbols
along an active pay line. If
the displayed symbols stop in a winning combination, the game credits the
player an amount
corresponding to the award in the pay table for that combination multiplied by
the amount of credits bet
on the winning pay line. As shown in FIG. 40, the superimposed video image 18
may highlight the
lo winning combination(s) (e.g., 7," 7," 7") and its associated pay line
(e.g., pay line 22c) and depict the
award for that winning combination. The video image 18 may further include
special effects such as
flashing the winning pay line(s) and/or the award and providing explosions.
The winning pay line(s) may
flash, be accompanied by exploding flashes, and display a portion of the pay
table. The player may
collect the amount of accumulated credits by pressing a"Collect" key on the
button panel 24. In one
implementation, the winning combinations start from the first reel 12a (left
to right) and span adjacent
reels. In an alternative implementation, the winning combinations start from
either the first reel 12a (left
to right) or the third reel 12c (right to left) and span adjacent reels

Pay table
A game may have a pay table that defines all possible outcomes of one play of
the game that
can result in awarding a prize to a player.
In various embodiments, each line of the pay table defines the number of coins
required to be
played, the criteria that defines a win, the odds of the win criteria
resulting from one play of the game
and the number of coins returned by the gaming device to the player when a win
is registered. In
addition, a pay line may include the ability to accept a progressive prize
value from the system. In
various progressive gaming systems and methods this allows the game's pay line
to be linked to a
system controlled progressive prize.
A pay table may include a list of payouts on a slot machine or a video poker
machine. The table
may show for each combination of symbols and the number of coins bet, how main
coins the bettor will
win.
On older machines and some newer reel machines, the pay table may be listed on
the face of
the machine, usually above and below the area containing the wheels.

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Each machine may have a table that lists the number of credits the player will
receive if the
symbols listed on the pay table line up on the pay line of the machine. The
pay table details where the
symbols must be for the bettor to be paid. In general, the symbols must be
centered directly under the
pay line on the machine. Video slot machines generally will only display the
pay line for lines that are

winners.
Some machines offer symbols that are'wild' and will pay if they are visible in
any position, even
if they are not on the pay line. These wild symbols may also count for any
other symbol on the pay table.
Most video machines display the pay table when the player presses a"pay table"
button or
touches "pay table" on the screen; some have the pay table listed on the
cabinet as well.
Progressive
Games of chance may be described as either progressive or non-progressive. In
non-
progressive games, such as traditional pull-tab, participants play for a
chance to win a predetermined
prize, i.e., one of the winning cards. Progressive games, in contrast, involve
a jackpot or prize that grows
during the play of the game. Many state numbers lotteries, for instance, fall
into the progressive category
because the prize increases over time as more players participate. During the
operation of a progressive
game, a portion of each player's purchase is dedicated to the prize. Thus, the
prize grows until the
winning numbers are selected and the game ends. Some slot machines also offer
a progressive jackpot.
In various progressive gaming systems and methods a portion of each wager is
used to fund an
increment to the current prize value, fund the starting value of the next
prize after a win occurs, and
other uses. Commonly the portion used, usually known as contributions, is
determined by control data
related to percentages and the coin denomination.
For example, assume a prize starts at $1,000,000 with a contribution rate of
3.5% to fund the
next prize's starting value of $1,000,000 and a 2.5% contribution rate to the
growth of the current prize's
value. Also assume it is linked to gaming devices requiring a $2.00 wager.
This means each wager
contributes $0.07 (2.00*0.035=0.07) to the next prize's starting value and
$0.05 (2.00*0.025=0.05) to the
increment of the current prize value. With these contribution percentages
there must be about
14,285,715 handle pulls, or games played, between wins for the prize's
$1,000,000 starting amount to
be funded. (1,000,000/0.07=14,285,714.29). In essence the total wager amount
made over the
theoretical life cycle of one prize award would be $28,571,430.00
(14,285,715*2.00=28,571,430.00).
During this theoretical time period the prize value would increase by $714,285
(0.05*14,285,714.29=714,285.7145) to make the average prize value worth
$1,714,285 for each
theoretical win. Also assume that a marketing study has determined that to
sustain player interest the

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prize should be won on average about once every month. This means there should
be about 14,285,715
handle pulls, or games played, over a thirty day time span. If each gaming
device were able to average
about 5 games played each minute for 10 hours a day it would produce 3000
games played per day. If
the prize were to be won every thirty days and each gaming device generates
90,000 handle pulls a
month (5 games*60 minute/hour*10 hours*30 days=90,000), there would have to be
at least 159 gaming
devices attached to the prize (14,285,715/90,000=158.73 ...).

Linked machines
Often machines are linked together in a way that allows a group of machines to
offer a
particularly large prize, or "jackpot". Each slot machine in the group
contributes a small amount to this
progressive jackpot, which is awarded to a player who gets (for example) a
royal flush on a video poker
machine, or a specific combination of symbols on a regular or 9 line slot
machine. The amount paid for
the progressive jackpot is usually far higher than any single slot machine
could pay on its own.

In some cases multiple machines are linked across multiple casinos. In these
cases, the
machines may be owned by the machine maker who is responsible for paying the
jackpot. The casinos
lease the machines rather than owning them outright. Megabucks, including
Megabucks Nevada and
penny Megabucks, is an example of linked machines across multiple casinos.

Central Computer, Network, and Accounting
Various embodiments include networked gaming devices. Interconnecting a
plurality of gaming
devices such as slot machines via a computer network to a central computer may
provide advantages.
Some advantages of networked gaming devices may include the ability to extract
accounting data from
the individual gaming devices as well as providing player tracking. Various
network systems allow the
central host computer to monitor the usage and payout, collectively known as
audit data, of the
individual gaming devices. This audit data includes data related to the number
of coins or tokens
inserted into the device, the number of times the device has been played, the
amount paid in raises, the
number and the type of jackpots paid by the machine, the number of door
openings, etc. The host
computer can then compile an accounting report based on the audit data from
each of the individual
gaming devices. This report can then be used by management, for example, to
assess the profitability of
the individual gaming devices.
In some areas, regulations may encourage or require a relatively detailed
accounting of each
video gaming machine's activity to assure that the machine operates within
regulated standards. Meters
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are often provided to track money input into and money dispensed from the
machines. Because money
may sometimes be inserted to a machine but not wagered, for example where a
player inserts a certain
amount of cash or credit but cashes out before betting the entire amount, the
simple ratio of money in to
money out does not necessarily accurately reflect the machine's operational
activities. Accordingly, it
may be helpful to also track the amount of money wagered and the amount of
money or credits won by
the player.
In larger facilities such as casinos, a central computer may monitor such
information for a
plurality of embedded system single player gaming machines through a"location
controller." Each video
gaming machine serially communicates with the location controller to provide
appropriate information to
lo the central computer. If the central computer detects an irregularity
regarding a particular game, it
instructs the location controller to deactivate the game. An exemplary system
including a location
controller and embedded system circuitry at a video gaming machine for
providing information to the
location controller is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,429,361 and U.S. Pat. No.
5,470,079, the entire
disclosure of each of these patents being incorporated herein by reference for
all purposes.

Reference numerals below, until otherwise specified, refer only to figure 41.
FIG. 41 illustrates an embodiment of a gaming system 10 in accordance with
some
embodiments. Referring to FIG. 41, the gaming system 10 may include a first
group or network 12 of
gaming units 20 operatively coupled to a network computer 22 via a network
data link or bus 24. The
gaming system 10 may include a second group or network 26 of gaming units 30
operatively coupled to
a network computer 32 via a network data link or bus 34. The first and second
gaming networks 12, 26
may be operatively coupled to each other via a network 40, which may comprise,
for example, the
Internet, a wide area network (WAN), or a local area network (LAN) via a first
network link 42 and a
second network link 44.
The first network 12 of gaming units 20 may be provided in a first casino or
facility, and the
second network 26 of gaming units 30 may be provided in a second casino or
facility located in a
separate geographic location than the first facility. For example, the two
facilities may be located in
different areas of the same city, or they may be located in different states.
The network 40 may include a
plurality of network computers or server computers (not shown), each of which
may be operatively
interconnected. Where the network 40 comprises the Internet, data
communication may take place over
the communication links 42, 44 via an Internet communication protocol.
The network computer 22 may be a server computer and may be used to accumulate
and
analyze data relating to the operation of the gaming units 20. For example,
the network computer 22
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may continuously receive data from each of the gaming units 20 indicative of
the dollar amount and
number of wagers being made on each of the gaming units 20, data indicative of
how much each of the
gaming units 20 is paying out in winnings, data regarding the identity and
gaming habits of players
playing each of the gaming units 20, etc. The network computer 32 may be a
server computer and may
be used to perform the same or different functions in relation to the gaming
units 30 as the network
computer 22 described above.
Although each network 12, 26 is shown to include one network computer 22, 32
and four
gaming units 20, 30, it should be understood that different numbers of
computers and gaming units may
be utilized. For example, the network 12 may include a plurality of network
computers 22 and tens or
hundreds of gaming units 20, all of which may be interconnected via the data
link 24. The data link 24
may provided as a dedicated hardwired link or a wireless link. Although the
data link 24 is shown as a
single data link 24, the data link 24 may comprise multiple data links.
Various embodiments include a system for operating networked gaming devices.
The system
according to various embodiments allows a casino in which the system is
installed to run promotions or
bonuses on any properly equipped gaming machines while simultaneously
gathering player tracking and
accounting data from all machines. The system provides the capability for the
casino to select which of
the plurality of machines are used in any given promotion. The system further
allows any number of
different promotions to operate simultaneously.
The system includes a plurality of gaming devices or machines connected to an
associated
floor controller over a network. The system includes one or more of said floor
controllers. The floor
controllers are interconnected by a high-speed network, such as an Ethernet
network, to a database
where accounting and player tracking data is stored. The system can also
include pit terminals and/or fill
and jackpot processing terminals. Each promotion involves sending a
reconfiguration command from the
floor controller to a gaming device that has been selected to be part of a
given promotion over the
associated network. Upon receipt of the reconfiguration command, the gaming
device reconfigures its
payout schedule in accordance with the received reconfiguration command. In
some embodiments, this
reconfiguration includes activating a bonus payout schedule. A partial list of
the promotions according
may include, without limitation: a multiple jackpot wherein the gaming device
reconfigures its payout to
be a multiple of its default payout schedule; a bonus jackpot wherein the
gaming device reconfigures its
payout schedule to payout an additional bonus amount when certain conditions
are met; and a
progressive jackpot wherein two or more gaming devices are combined in a
progressive jackpot having
a progressive jackpot payout schedule. In addition to these, many other
promotions are possible by the
above-described system for controlling and monitoring a plurality of gaming
devices.

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The system may support player tracking, in some embodiments, by recording
machine
transactions including time of play, machine number, duration of play, coins
in, coins out, hand paid
jackpots and games played. The player tracking is conducted over the same
network as the accounting
data is extracted. This allows the provision of bonusing to certain individual
players as well as during
certain times. Various embodiments include a system which monitors and reports
how many coins are
played by each player. The system, according to various embodiments, includes
the ability to record
how long each player spends at each machine and the number of coins won, games
played, and hand
jackpots won by each player. All this information is stored on the database,
which can be later analyzed
for future targeted direct mailing campaigns. The player tracking according to
various embodiments also
1o allows the casino to schedule buses and other groups and measure their
profitability. The system also
allows for cashless play as well as advanced accounting and security features.

Bonus Game
Various embodiments include the concept of a"secondary" or "bonus" game that
may be
played in conjunction with a "basic" game. The bonus game may comprise any
type of game, either
similar to or completely different from the basic game, which is entered upon
the occurrence of a
selected event or outcome of the basic game.
Various embodiments comprise methods of playing games, gaming devices and
table games
utilizing a primary game, e.g., rotatable reels, and at least one discernible
indicia of a secondary game,
possibly comprising a payout indicator. The secondary game may be separate
from the primary game
either physically or temporally.
According to various embodiments, a bonus payout indicator is clearly visible
to a player and is
operable when primary reels of a primary game slot machine stop on certain
predetermined indicia.
According to some embodiments, a secondary payout indicator is in the form of
a rotatable bonus wheel
which can be caused to spin automatically or in response to some action by a
player, e.g., the player
pushing a button, when the primary game indicates one of a predetermined
plurality of indicia. The
wheel is caused to gradually reduce speed and when the wheel stops, a pointer
indicates the payout to
be awarded to the player.
Various embodiments further comprise a discernible multiplier which provides
the ability to
change either the payout from the primary gaming unit or the secondary payout
indicator, or both.
Various embodiments contemplate providing a payout from the primary gaming
unit, a payout indicated
by the secondary indicator only, a payout from the primary gaming unit or the
secondary indicator as

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changed by the multiplier, or a separate, plurality of payouts from the
primary gaming unit and the
secondary indicator either with or without modification by a multiplier.
According to various embodiments, the mechanical bonus payout indicator is
electronically
operated and is linked to a random number generator which determines where the
secondary indicator
actually stops.
According to various embodiments, when the primary unit stops on one of a
predetermined
plurality of winning indicia sets, a second event actuator is placed in an
active state. According to
various embodiments, a person, such as the player, must actuate the actuator
in order to operate the
bonus indicator.
According to various embodiments, the bonus actuator requires operator
intervention so that a
player must involve a casino attendant who can activate the bonus indicator.
According to another various embodiments, the bonus indicator is connected to
a drive
mechanism which gradually reduces the rate of spin of the bonus wheel before
the bonus wheel stops.
Various embodiments comprise gaming devices having electronic means for
displaying indicia
of rotatable reels such as a video screen and/or means for displaying indicia
of a secondary payout
indicator, such as a video screen. Various embodiments comprise methods for
playing a game of
chance. One method comprises the steps of displaying a first randomly selected
combination of indicia,
said displayed indicia selected from the group consisting of slot reels,
indicia of at least one reel, indicia
of at least one playing card, and combinations thereof; generating at least
one signal corresponding to at
least one select display of first indicia; providing at least one discernible
indicia of a mechanical bonus
indicator, said bonus indicator indicia indicating at least one of a plurality
of possible payouts, wherein
said bonus indicator indicia providing means is operatively connected to said
first, standard gaming unit
and actuatable in response to said signal. According to various embodiments,
the discernable indicia of
a mechanical bonus indicator gradually reduces the rate of movement of the
mechanical bonus indicator
for some period of time prior to actually providing the discernable indicia of
a payout. According to
another embodiment, a multiplier is provided to multiply at least one payout
by a multiple which is most
preferably indicated to a player. The multiple can preferably sequentially
change as discernable indicia
change. For example, a plurality of multiples can be synchronized with a
plurality of discernable indicia
on the mechanical bonus indicator such that the multiple changes as the payout
indicated changes.
Various embodiments include a method of conducting a game of chance comprising
the steps
of providing a player with an opportunity to place a wager; displaying a
randomly selected combination
of indicia, said displayed indicia selected from the group consisting of
reels, indicia of at least one and
preferably a plurality of reels, indicia of at least one and preferably a
plurality of playing cards, and

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combination thereof; generating at least one signal corresponding to at least
one select display of said
indicia; providing at least one discernible indicia of a mechanical bonus
indicator, said bonus indicator
indicia indicating at least one of a plurality of possible bonuses, wherein
said bonus indicator indicia is in
the form of a wheel or reel and is actuatable in response to said signal.
A bonus game may include another gaming machine or a random selection device
which is
enabled by a bonus qualifying signal from an underlying or primary gaming
machine. A wide variety of
bonus games, features, and devices are known some of which are set forth next.
The WHEEL OF GOLDT"" and WHEEL OF FORTUNETM slot casino games incorporate a
single
play bonusing feature. A rotating wheel is activated by the player depressing
a bonus spin button when
certain indicia appears on the reels of the slot game and is used to award
bonus payouts in a spin of the
wheel. A separate multiplier may be used to multiply the bonus payouts. After
the bonus spin, play
resumes in the underlying gaming machine.
In various embodiments, a bonus game involving multiple plays is presented for
an underlying
gaming machine such as a slot machine. Here a Bernoulli trial procedure is
used to allow a player to
repeatedly play a high odds bonus game (such as another slot game) and receive
awards until a losing
combination occurs (i.e., winning until losing). The hit rate in the bonus
game is greater than 50%
(possibly higher than 70%) which may result in a much lower hit rate in the
underlying game. This hit
rate difference causes the player to endure the low hit rate of the underlying
slot game in order to qualify
for the high hit rate of the bonus game. The length of the bonus game is
longer when the hit rate for the
bonus game is higher. This bonus feature allows a player to win each bonus
game and collect winnings
until the player receives a losing combination (i.e., losing until winning).
One slot machine main game is interconnected with a slot machine secondary
game. The
player has the option of pushing a button which debits his credit meter by the
appropriate amount to play
the secondary game such as another slot game. Hence, the player gambles an
amount in order to play
the bonus game.
Various embodiments include an electronic gaming apparatus and method
therefore wherein
each play in the bonus is the result of successive underlying game play.
Included are an electronic
primary gaming device such as a poker or a slot machine and an electronic
secondary gaming device
based on bingo. When a winning combination such as three queens appears in the
primary game, a
space in the bingo matrix is turned over to reveal a bingo symbol. Play
continues on the primary game
until a winning sequence occurs in the bingo game. The right to play the bingo
secondary game does
not occur unless the player inserts three or more coins into the primary game.
Play continues until the
game achieves a bingo in which case the player receives a prize.

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Various embodiments include a slot machine having a jackpot feature whereby
the prize value
is transferred between separate jackpot displays as successive games are
played. Some of the reel
symbols are overprinted with a number and when that number lands on the
payline, it is used to climb a
ladder. The ladder enables the player to obtain one or all of the prizes in
the upper portion of the slot
machine. For example, if the overlaid number lands the player on a first
playing level, then the player
receives all three prizes. If the overlaid number lands the player on a second
level, then the player can
select which one of the three prizes to receive. If the player lands on a
third level, then it becomes a
game of skill to select which of the three prizes he selects. Finally, if the
player lands on a fourth level,
then the prize is randomly selected. The prize may also be randomly doubled.
Various embodiments include a plurality of slot machines interconnected to an
electronic
controller which displays a separate race game. Each time a particular
predetermined combination of
indicia appears in the display of a particular slot machine, a signal is
generated from the slot machine
which advances the racing element through a particular predetermined distance.
If the player's horse
reaches the finish line before a timer display times out, then the slot player
wins an additional prize. The
players are not racing against each other, but against a clock.
Various embodiments include a gaming machine including a processor operable in
a basic
mode and a bonus mode for controlling game play. In the basic mode, the
processor operates to select
a basic game outcome from among a plurality of possible basic game outcomes.
The possible basic
game outcomes include a start-bonus outcome the occurrence of which causes the
processor to shift
operation from the basic mode to the bonus mode. The processor is operable to
define a plurality of
player-selectable bonus game outcomes. In the bonus mode, a player selects one
or more of the bonus
game outcomes and credits are awarded based upon which ones of the bonus game
outcomes are
selected.
Various embodiments include a gaming machine including a processor operable to
selecting a
game outcome from among a number of possible game outcomes. A number of the
possible game
outcomes are identifiable according to a pay table as winning combinations,
whereas a remaining
number of the possible game outcomes are identified as apparent losing
combinations. The gaming
machine includes means for awarding credits upon occurrences of the winning
combinations and upon
occurrence of at least one of the apparent losing combinations.
Various embodiments include a gaming machine including a processor operable in
a basic
mode and a bonus mode for controlling game play. In the basic mode, the
processor operates to select
a basic game outcome from among a plurality of possible basic game outcomes.
The possible basic
game outcomes include one or more bonus-resource outcomes the occurrence of
which causes the

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processor to generate a bonus game resource exercisable in a bonus game. The
gaming machine
includes means for shifting operation of the processor from the basic mode to
the bonus mode. The
processor is operable to define a plurality of possible bonus game outcomes.
In the bonus mode, upon
selection of a bonus game outcome, the bonus game resource(s) generated in the
basic game may be
exercised to affect the bonus game outcome. In one embodiment, where the bonus
game outcome
would otherwise cause the processor to end the bonus game, an exercise of a
bonus game resource in
conjunction with the bonus game outcome causes the processor to continue
operation in the bonus
mode, thereby allowing the player to continue playing the bonus game.

Reference numerals below, until otherwise specified, refer only to figure 42.
FIG. 42 is a perspective view of a slot machine 10. A slot machine 10 may
include rotatable
reels 60, each having a plurality of symbols thereon that are randomly
displayed when a mechanical
lever 12 is pulled and the reels 60 are rotated. If the symbol displayed is a
predefined symbol, or
predefined combination of symbols, the player may receive a payout either
through coin chute 20, which
deposits winnings into coin trough 30, or by increasing the player's credits
displayed in credit window 40.
A slot machine 10 may also include a microprocessor, or other central
processing unit as well as
memory. In such a case, a display screen (not shown) (e.g., a cathode ray tube
(CRT), plasma display,
liquid crystal display (LCD), and/or a display based on light-emitting diodes
(LED)) may be operably
coupled to the computer to replace the reels 60 and provide a simulation of
reels and their rotation, the
output of a random number generator being used to direct the types and
combinations of symbols
displayed on the display screen.
A coin slot 14, currency validator 16 or card acceptor device 18 (to accept a
credit card, gaming
card, player card, smart card and the like) permits a player to activate a
base game on the slot machine
10. A player may have a predefined chance, or odds, of winning a payout for
the base game based on
the mathematical odds that a winning symbol or combination of symbols will be
randomly displayed on
the indicia of the reels 60. The odds may be adjusted by changing the number
of possible non-winning
symbols or combination of non-winning symbols in relation to the number of
possible winning symbols or
combination of winning symbols. The odds of winning a payback and the amount
to be awarded to a
winning player in relation to the amount wagered may be defined in the form of
a"pay table" or "par
sheet."
Initiating a base game on a slot machine 10 may be done as simply as by
inserting a coin,
token or other type of currency equivalent (debit card or credit card) into a
gaming device such as slot
machine 10. Another example of a player action which may be taken in
initiating a base game includes
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inserting an identification card, such as a "smart card," having a programmed
microchip or a magnetic
strip coded with a player's identification, credit totals and other relevant
information. Such smart cards or
"player cards" may be used in player tracking systems. Various embodiments
include a card that
contains information about the player which is pertinent to the gaming
activity such as points awarded
based upon the player's gaming activity. The player may insert the card in a
gaming device at the time
of play. When the player indicates that he or she has finished play on that
gaming device, the card is
updated with player activity information. The player can then insert the card
into a different gaming
device, which makes the player activity information stored on the card
available to the player tracking
system. In various embodiments a gaming device may accept preprinted coupons,
or cash out slips, to
initiate a base game and to print the cash out slips directly from the gaming
device. In various
embodiments, money may be transferred to a game through an electronic funds
transfer process.
Gaming device displays may include multiple images representing various
aspects of a game
such as a game portion, a credit total portion and a wager amount portion.
Other displays may include
an additional bonus award portion to indicate an amount of a bonus award which
may be won, typically
through multiple or secondary games.

Internet Gaming
In various embodiments, it is also possible to participate in a game of chance
via the Internet.
This may accomplished through a casino or game host site offering displays
similar to those found in
conventional gaming devices. Generally, to play a game of chance via the
Internet, a software file is
downloaded to a player's computer or terminal, which may then be used to
install the necessary
software for the game and access the casino or game host Internet site. As
with a conventional gaming
device, Internet games may be accessed using an identification code or name to
identify the specific
player and retrieve that player's credit total or play history.
Bonus gaming may include employing a secondary game that will execute if the
player
achieves a predefined outcome associated with the base game. In many cases,
the bonus game is a
singular event in that the play changes to the bonus game when a certain base
game outcome is
achieved and the bonus game is then played to completion. For example, when
the reels of a slot
machine stop on certain predetermined indicia, a bonus game may be initiated
by pressing a button and
bonus indicator actuated to display a randomly determined bonus award. In
various embodiments, the
bonus game is a more sequential event in that progress through the bonus game
is determined by
continued play in the base game.

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In some bonus game embodiments, the possible primary game outcomes include a
special
symbol combination that causes a computer processor to generate a bonus game
resource exercisable
in the bonus game. For example, one or more bonus game resources can be used
to override the end-
bonus outcome and thereby allow the play of the bonus game to continue.
Various embodiments allow the player to have further interaction in the bonus
game by
providing a touch screen where the player can select objects by touching the
screen positions. Various
values are then revealed to the player until an end-bonus outcome is
encountered.
In various embodiments, bonus gaming may be conducted through a plurality of
networked, or
linked, gaming devices such that the secondary gaming activity might involve a
plurality of players
1o wagering on base games at separate gaming devices. Various bonus games may
allow a player to
compete with a plurality of other players for a secondary prize. In various
embodiments, a bonus game
may include one or more contestants in a race. In one embodiment, each player
wagering at a primary
gaming unit may be represented by a particular contestant in the race. The
contestant representing a
particular player advances in the race according to the represented player's
gaming activity at the
primary gaming unit. The race ends upon a contestant finishing or upon the
expiration of a
predetermined amount of time, whichever comes first.
Various embodiments include a system of linked gaming devices wherein the
generation of
certain symbols at each gaming device is used to build up a pooled bonus
value. A bonus award is then
awarded to the player that causes the accumulated bonus value to meet or
exceed a predetermined
value.
Various gaming systems may include progressive systems in which the bonus
award amount
increments as base games are played on individual or linked gaming devices. In
various progressive
systems, a game controller is connected to a plurality of machines. A win is
generated approximately
every one half minute (every eight handle pulls), adding to the progressive
bonus pool. Accordingly, the
value of the progressive bonus rapidly increments.
Various gaming systems and methods for providing a bonus game allow players to
compete
directly against another player or for the players to act in collaboration
with one another to win a prize.
Virtual Reel
A game apparatus having a plurality of reels mounted for rotation about an
axis and which can
be set into motion by the pulling of a lever. Indicia are fixed to the outer
peripheries of these reels to
indicate reel positions and a brake is operable to stop the reels at any
randomly pre-selected position.

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A random number generator is provided with electronic circuitry which computes
the random
stop position at which the reel should be stopped by the physical brake. This
is done with an
electronically random number selected from a group of numbers which exceeds
the number of physical
reel positions such that one physical reel position is represented by one or
several positions on the
virtual or electronically generated reel which is in affect, randomly stopped
by the random number
generator. In various embodiments, the physical reels are only used as a
display of the random number
generated result and are not the game itself as in standard slot machines. In
this manner, a standard
slot machine or gaming apparatus can be made to function at payout odds,
independent of the limits set
by the number of physical reels and their physical stop positions, by changing
the random number
1o generator.

Random Number Generators
In various embodiments, slot machines are computerized, so that the odds of
various outcomes
are whatever they are programmed to be. In various embodiments, the reels and
lever may be present
for historical and entertainment reasons. In various embodiments, the
positions the reels will come to
rest on are chosen by a random number generator (RNG) contained in the
machine's software.
The RNG may be constantly generating random numbers, at a rate of thousands to
millions per
second. As soon as the lever is pulled or the "Play" button is pressed, the
most recent random number
may be used to determine the result. This means that the result may vary
depending on exactly when
the game is played. A fraction of a second earlier or later, and the result
may be different. In various
embodiments, the RNG may be a pseudorandom number generators

Player Tracking
A gaming device apparatus may include a player tracking card that may be
disposed in the
card reader. The player tracking card may comprise a data storage device that
stores data representing
the identification of a player. Additionally, the player tracking card may
comprise a first card surface, a
second card surface, and a light transmissive body portion extending between
the first card surface and
the second card surface. The player tracking card may be positioned in a card
illumination position
wherein the first card surface is disposed in the card reader so that the
first card surface is positioned
3o adjacent the light generating source associated with the card reader, and
the second card surface of the
player tracking card remains visible outside the card reader. Also, when said
player tracking card is in
the card illumination position, light generated by the light generating source
may be transmitted into the
first card surface of the player tracking card and then transmitted through
the light transmissive body

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portion of the player tracking card so that light may be visible to the user
through the second card
surface.
Player tracking, as the name indicates, may involve tracking individual player
usage of gaming
devices. In various embodiments, the player is issued a player identification
card which has encoded
thereon a player identification number that uniquely identifies the player.
The individual gaming devices
are fitted with a card reader, into which the player inserts a player tracking
card prior to playing the
associated gaming device. The card reader reads the player identification
number off the card and
informs a central computer connected thereto of the player's subsequent gaming
activity. By tracking the
individual players, individual player usage can be monitored by associating
certain of the audit data with
1o the player identification numbers. This allows gaming establishments to
target individual players with
direct marketing techniques according to the individual's usage.

Reference numerals below, until otherwise specified, refer only to figures 43-
44A.
FIG. 43 illustrates schematically an embodiment of a player tracking card 59
disposed in a card
reader 58. The player tracking card 59 is positioned in a card illumination
position. The card reader 58
may include a mounting plate 113 to assist in securing the card reader 58 to
the housing 50 of the
gaming apparatus 20. The card reader 58 may also include a chassis 114 which
may comprise a first
side rail 116, a second side rail 118, and a back structure 120.
The card reader 58 of FIG. 43 may also include a number of light generating
sources 122. The
light generating sources 122 shown in FIG. 43 are fixed to the back structure
122 of the chassis 114,
however the light generating sources 122 may also be secured directly to the
housing 50 of the gaming
apparatus 20 or any other structure within the housing 50 that is separate
from the card reader 58. The
light generating sources 122 may comprise LEDs, OLEDs, incandescent lamps,
fluorescent lights, or
any other device capable of generating light. If a plurality of the light
generating sources 122 are used,
they may produce light that is uniform in color or they may produce a
plurality of different colors. The
light generating sources 122 may be connected to the controller 100 through a
plurality of corresponding
conductors 124 to control the intensity and pattern of illumination of the
light generating sources 122.
The conductors 124 may be connected to a modular connector 126 for ease of
installation into the
gaming apparatus 20.
The player tracking card 59 may be positioned in the card illumination
position when the card
59 is disposed in the card reader and a first card surface 127 is adjacent the
light generating sources
122. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 43, the player tracking card 59 may rest
on the side rails 116 and
118 and the first card surface 127 may abut the back structure 120 of the
chassis 114 when the player

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tracking card 59 is in the card illumination position. Thus, when the player
tracking card 59 is in the card
illumination position, light generated by the light generating sources 122 is
transmitted into the first card
surface 127 of the player tracking card 59.
A data reading apparatus 128 may also be included in the gaming apparatus to
read data from
the player tracking card 59 that is disposed in the card reader 58. The data
reading apparatus 128 may
be attached to the chassis 114 so that it is in close proximity to the player
tracking card 59 when the
player tracking card 59 is disposed in the card reader 58 and in the card
illumination position. The data
reading apparatus 128 may read data from the player tracking card 59 in a
variety of ways. For example,
the data reading apparatus 128 may read data from a magnetic strip or from an
optically readable
material such as ink, both of which may be located on a surface of the player
tracking card 59. Various
embodiments may utilize multiple data reading apparatuses to read data from
additional magnetic strips
or optically readable materials located on the same surface or on different
surfaces of the player tracking
card 59. As another example, the data reading apparatus 128 may utilize an
antenna to couple with a
corresponding antenna in the player tracking card 59 so that data is thereby
transmitted.
The data reading apparatus 128 may be interconnected to the controller 100 so
that the data
may be stored and possibly acted on, such as by energizing a light generating
source 122. While not
shown, a data writing apparatus may also be included to write new data to the
player tracking card 59.
This may be a separate component, or it may be combined with the data reading
apparatus 128.

Types of Machines (Video, mechanical)
A gaming apparatus, for example as maybe located in a casino, may allow a
customer of the
casino to play one or more games, such as poker, blackjack, slots, keno, and
bingo. A customer may
approach a gaming apparatus, and select a desired game from the games offered
on the gaming
apparatus. Upon selection of the desired game, that game may appear on the
gaming apparatus, at
which time the customer may be allowed to play.
During play, the customer may place a wager, and proceed with the selected
game. For
example, where the customer is playing slots, a lever may be pulled to spin
the reels. The reels may
then stop on various symbols, which may determine the customer's payout for
that spin, after which the
customer may place another wager and proceed as discussed above. Where the
customer has selected
to play blackjack or poker, the player may hit a"deal card" button to deal out
the cards for the respective
card game. The customer may alter his wager during the particular hand based
on which cards are
dealt, and in some card games, replace cards, or continue to request cards.
After all replacements

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and/or requests are made, a payout may be determined, and the player may
continue by placing another
wager and playing a new hand.
An apparatus may comprise a gaming apparatus with a housing and a display unit
that is
associated with the housing and is capable of generating video images. The
gaming apparatus may also
include a value input device that is capable of allowing the player to deposit
a medium of value.
Additionally, the gaming apparatus may comprise a card reader having a light
generating source that is
associated with the card reader and a data reading apparatus that is also
associated with the card
reader. The gaming apparatus may also comprise a controller, wherein the
controller is operatively
coupled to the display unit, the value input device, and the card reader. The
controller may have a
processor and a memory operatively coupled to the processor. Additionally, the
controller may be
programmed to allow a person to make a wager and to cause a video image to be
generated on the
display unit after the value input device detects deposit of value by the
person.
The video image may represent a game selected from the group of games
consisting of video
poker, video blackjack, video slots, video keno and video bingo, in which case
the video image may
comprise an image of at least five playing cards if the game comprises video
poker. Likewise, the video
image may comprise an image of a plurality of playing cards if the game
comprises video blackjack. If
the game selected by the player is video slots, the video image may comprise
an image of a plurality of
simulated slot machine reels. The video image may comprise an image of a
plurality of keno numbers if
the game comprises video keno, or the video image may comprise an image of a
bingo grid if the game
comprises video bingo. The controller may also be programmed to determine an
outcome of the game
represented by the video image and a value payout associated with the outcome
of the game.
FIG. 44 is a perspective view of various possible embodiments of one or more
of the gaming
units 20. Although the following description addresses the design of the
gaming units 20, it should be
understood that the gaming units 30 may have the same design as the gaming
units 20 described
below. It should be understood that the design of one or more of the gaming
units 20 may be different
than the design of other gaming units 20, and that the design of one or more
of the gaming units 30 may
be different than the design of other gaming units 30. Each gaming unit 20 may
be any type of gaming
unit and may have various different structures and methods of operation. For
exemplary purposes,
various designs of the gaming units 20 are described below, but it should be
understood that numerous
other designs may be utilized.
Referring to FIG. 44, the gaming unit 20 may include a housing or cabinet 50
and one or more
input devices, which may include a coin slot or acceptor 52, a paper currency
acceptor 54, a ticket
reader/printer 56 and a card reader 58, which may be used for several
purposes, as will be described in

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detail below. A value input device may include any device that can accept
value from a customer. As
used herein, the term "value" may encompass gaming tokens, coins, paper
currency, ticket vouchers,
credit or debit cards, and any other object representative of value.

Ticket Readers
If provided on the gaming unit 20, the ticket reader/printer 56 may be used to
read and/or print
or otherwise encode ticket vouchers 60. The ticket vouchers 60 may be composed
of paper or another
printable or encodable material and may have one or more of the following
informational items or
gaming data printed or encoded thereon: the casino name, the type of ticket
voucher, a validation
number, a bar code with control and/or security data, the date and time of
issuance of the ticket voucher,
redemption instructions and restrictions, a description of an award, and any
other information that may
be necessary or desirable. Different types of ticket vouchers 60 could be
used, such as bonus ticket
vouchers, cash-redemption ticket vouchers, casino chip ticket vouchers, extra
game play ticket
vouchers, merchandise ticket vouchers, restaurant ticket vouchers, show ticket
vouchers, etc. The ticket
vouchers 60 could be printed with an optically readable material such as ink,
or data on the ticket
vouchers 60 could be magnetically encoded. The ticket reader/printer 56 may be
provided with the ability
to both read and print ticket vouchers 60, or it may be provided with the
ability to only read or only print
or encode ticket vouchers 60. In the latter case, for example, some of the
gaming units 20 may have
ticket printers 56 that may be used to print ticket vouchers 60, which could
then be used by a player in
other gaming units 20 that have ticket readers 56.
If provided, the card reader 58 may include any type of card reading device,
such as a
magnetic card reader or an optical card reader, and may be used to read data
from a card offered by a
player, such as a credit card or a player tracking card 59. If provided for
player tracking purposes, the
card reader 58 may be used to read gaming data from, and/or write gaming data
to, player tracking
cards that are capable of storing data representing the identity of a player,
the identity of a casino, the
player's gaming habits, etc. The card reader 58 may also include additional
components that are
described in conjunction with FIG. 43.
The gaming unit 20 may include one or more audio speakers 62, a coin payout
tray 64, an input
control panel 66, and a color video display unit 70 for displaying images
relating to the game or games
provided by the gaming unit 20. The audio speakers 62 may generate audio
representing sounds such
as the noise of spinning slot machine reels, a dealer's voice, music,
announcements or any other audio
related to a casino game. The input control panel 66 may be provided with a
plurality of pushbuttons or
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touch-sensitive areas that may be pressed by a player to select games, make
wagers, make gaming
decisions, etc.

Reel slot machine
A reel spinning slot machine may comprise a plurality of mechanical rotatable
reels controlled
by a processor. In response to a wager, the processor randomly selects an
outcome from a plurality of
possible outcomes and then causes the reels to be rotated and stopped to
display the selected outcome.
The selected outcome is represented by certain symbols on the reels being in
visual association with a
display area. If the selected outcome corresponds to a winning outcome
identified on a pay table, the
processor instructs a payoff mechanism to award a payoff for that winning
outcome to the player in the
form of coins or credits.
In one embodiment, a slot machine comprises a CPU and a reel mechanism. The
CPU
operates the slot machine in response to a wager. The reel mechanism includes
a motor, a symbol-
bearing reel, and a reel driver. The motor includes a rotatable shaft, and the
reel is mounted to the shaft.
The reel driver includes a local microcontroller distinct from and coupled to
the CPU. The reel driver is
coupled to the motor to cause the motor to rotate the reel.
The CPU issues high-level commands to the reel driver related to rotation of
the reel. The high-
level commands may, for example, include a start spin command for starting
rotation of the reel and a
stop command for stopping the reel at a specified position. However, to free
up the CPU for other tasks,
the local microcontroller performs low-level reel driver operations related to
the rotation of the reel. The
low-level reel driver operations may, for example, include sampling a state of
the reel in real time,
performing calculations, and responding with control changes.

Fixed pool games
A fixed pool game may include a game in which a specified amount of money or
prizes (the
prizes having calculable monetary equivalents) are distributed into a set of
individually purchasable and
winnable units, where each individual unit has a known cost, and where the set
further includes
purchasable units having no prize. Thus, the total amount of prizes, the prize
distribution (i.e., the
number of prizes at each level), and the total return if all individually
purchasable units are sold are
known at the game's outset.
The individually purchasable units may be generated and distributed as
tickets. Two forms of
tickets may include pull tab tickets, which may be called pulltabs, and
scratch-off tickets, which may be
called scratchers. Pull tab tickets may be constructed from paper of various
thickness, having two layers.
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The first layer may have some type of indication of the purchasers' winnings,
if any, and the second
layer may cover the first. The second layer may be glued to the first layer
around three edges, covering
the results. The fourth edge may have a small tab, allowing the purchaser to
grab hold of it. The tab,
upon being pulled, pulls the layers apart and reveals the purchasers'
winnings, if any. Scratchers may
use an opaque material that covers portions of the ticket, where the covered
portions have the
predetermined results on them. The purchaser scrapes off the opaque material,
revealing any winnings.
The distribution of the total winnings, coupled with the cost of each
individually purchasable
unit, is determined by those making up the game. The exact mechanics and
mathematics of each game
pool depends on the goals of the issuer, including the target play audience
(how much to charge per
purchasable unit or ticket or play), the desired return on investment, and
size of the pool, as well as
other considerations. The tickets (individually purchasable units) for the
entire game are then printed and
distributed, and may be organized into decks with different decks sold to
different locations. Players, by
purchasing a ticket, are buying one individually purchasable unit from the
overall ticket or game event
pool.
This may be referred to as a fixed-pool lottery, meaning there is a fixed pool
of tickets (or
results) having a predetermined number of winners and losers, and a purchaser
takes a chance on
getting a winning result by entering the "lottery", meaning taking the chance
they will buy a winning ticket
from the pool.
Fixed-pool lottery based games may be displayed in many ways. For example,
such games
may be displayed as a poker hand, in order to mimic actual poker play.
The player may bet a certain amount to play the game. This corresponds to an
individually
purchasable unit (note that different betting amounts may participate in
different fixed-pool lotteries) for
the lottery being used. The game may then get the result of a random drawing
from a central server or
location having several operating pools. The result may be sent back to the
game machine. The game
machine may then represent the results as a game.

Video Wagering Games
Video wagering games may be set up to mimic a table game using adaptations of
table games
rules and cards.

Reference numerals below, until otherwise specified, refer only to figures 45-
47.
Gaming Devices

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FIG. 45 shows a game device according to some embodiments. The game device has
a
cabinet 100 enclosing a video display 102 and a set of standard game play
buttons shown generally as
buttons 106. The game device also comprises the internal hardware and software
needed for gaming
devices, including at least one processor, dynamic memory, non-volatile
memory, system support
circuitry such that the operating system of choice will run properly, and I/0
connections including
interfaces to the various player interfaces such as play buttons 106 and video
102 output, and an
interface to an external network connection shown as SMIB (slot machine
interface board) 108. Also
included is the software needed to implement the specific game. The internals
are not illustrated. SMIB
108 interfaces with a network connection 110, e.g., to an RGC (remote game
controller, not shown).
lo Alternatively, 108 may be an ethernet connection to an ethernet-based
backbone network 110.
APPARATUS FOR PLAYING OVER A COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
FIG. 46 shows an apparatus for playing a game, according to some embodiments.
There is a
plurality of player units 40-1 to 40-n which are coupled via a communication
system 41, such as the
Internet, with a game playing system comprising an administration unit 42, a
player register 43, and a
game unit 45. Each unit 40 is typically a personal computer with a display
unit and control means (a
keyboard and a mouse).
When a player logs on to the game playing system, their unit 40 identifies
itself to the
administration unit. The system holds the details of the players in the
register 43, which contains
separate player register units 44-1 to 44-n for all the potential players,
i.e., for all the members of the
system.
Once the player has been identified, the player is assigned to a game unit 45.
The game unit
contains a set of player data units 46-1 to 46-6, a dealer unit 47, a control
unit 48, and a random dealing
unit 49.
Up to seven players can be assigned to the game unit 45. There can be several
such units, as
indicated, so that several games can be played at the same time if there are
more than seven members
of the system logged on at the same time. The assignment of a player unit 40
to a player data unit 46
may be arbitrary or random, depending on which player data units 46 and game
units 45 are free. Each
player data unit 46 is loaded from the corresponding player register unit 44
and also contains essentially
the same details as the corresponding player unit 40, and is in communication
with the player unit 40 to
keep the contents of the player unit and player data unit updated with each
other. In addition, the
appropriate parts of the contents of the other player data units 46 and the
dealer unit 47 are passed to
the player unit 40 for display.

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The logic unit 48 of the game unit 45 steps the game unit through the various
stages of the
play, initiating the dealer actions and awaiting the appropriate responses
from the player units 40. The
random dealing unit 49 deals cards essentially randomly to the dealer unit 47
and the player data units
46. At the end of the hand, the logic unit passes the results of the hand,
i.e. the wins and/or losses, to
the player data units 46 to inform the players of their results. The
administrative unit 42 also takes those
results and updates the player register units 44 accordingly.
The player units 40 are arranged to show a display. To identify the player,
the player's position
is highlighted. As play proceeds, so the player selects the various boxes,
enters bets in them, and so on,
and the results of those actions are displayed. As the cards are dealt, a
series of overlapping card
1o symbols is shown in the Bonus box. At the option of the player, the cards
can be shown in a line below
the box, and similarly for the card dealt to the dealer. At the end of the
hand, a message is displayed
informing the player of the results of their bets, i.e., the amounts won or
lost.

Server Based Gaming
In various embodiments, gaming devices such as electronically controlled slot,
video and
similar machines may include a central controller including a processor and a
memory. The central
controller controls the gaming machine, including the presentation of one or
more games to a player at
the gaming machine.
The processor of the gaming controller may execute code to control the
operation of the
gaming machine. This code is stored at the memory of the gaming controller.
The control code,
including specific game code, may be loaded into the memory when the gaming
machine is
manufactured.
In various embodiments, it may be desirable to change the control and/or game
code
associated with the gaming machine controller. For example, the operator may
wish to change the
"paytable" so that the gaming machine returns a higher percentage of bets
wagered. The operator may
also wish to update an older game with a newer, more desirable one.
Various embodiments include a gaming machine code download system and a method
of
managing or controlling the download of code to a gaming machine.
Various embodiments comprise a method of downloading code, information or data
to a
gaming machine from a remote device. In some embodiments, the method includes
the step of storing
gaming machine code at the remote device. A request for gaming machine code is
generated, and the
request is provided to the remote device. In accordance with some embodiments
of the method, the
gaming machine code is transmitted from the remote device to a first device of
the gaming machine over

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a communication link in response to the request. The game code is processed,
and all or a portion of the
processed gaming code is provided to a gaming machine controller or other
second device of the
gaming machine for use.
In various embodiments, the method is implemented in an environment including
a gaming
machine, a communication network and at least one remote device. The gaming
machine includes at
least one gaming controller adapted to control the gaming machine, including
for the purpose of
presenting a game at the gaming machine. The gaming machine controller
preferably includes a
processor and a memory.
The gaming machine also includes a secondary device. The secondary device may
comprise a
player tracking controller. The player tracking controller includes a
processor and a memory. One or
more devices may be associated with the player tracking controller, such as a
player tracking card
reader and keypad.
In various embodiments, the player tracking controller includes a
communication interface. The
communication interface is associated with at least one network. In one
embodiment, the network is a
player tracking network including a player tracking host. The player tracking
host includes a memory for
storing player information, including information regarding a player's play at
one or more gaming
machines.
In various embodiments, a game code host is associated with the player
tracking network.
Game code is transferred from the game code host to the gaming machine via the
player tracking
network. Transmitted game code is preferably directed to the player tracking
controller of a gaming
machine, which processes the code and transmits it to the gaming machine
controller.
A variety of systems or configurations of apparatus are contemplated for
various embodiments.
In some embodiments of a method, a request for gaming code is generated at the
gaming machine and
is transmitted to the game code host. The request may be generated by the
gaming machine controller
or player tracking controller/device. For example, in some embodiments, a
request may be generated by
the player tracking controller in response to the identification of a player
by use of a player tracking card
at a card reader of the player tracking device of the gaming machine.
Gaming code is transmitted from the game code host to the player tracking
controller via the
network or other communication link. In some embodiments, this link is part of
a player tracking network
which associates the player tracking device of the gaming machine with a
player tracking host. In
another embodiment, the link is a separate link from a link connecting the
player tracking device of the
gaming machine with the player tracking host, such as a wireless communication
link to the game code
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host. The player tracking controller may process the gaming code in a variety
of manners, including by
storing all or a portion of the gaming code.
In various embodiments, a request for code is accompanied by information
regarding the
priority of the request. The method may include the step of queuing the code
and transmitting it to the
gaming machine at one or more particular times.
The gaming code may comprise a variety of information in a variety of forms.
For example, the
gaming code may comprise information used by the gaming machine controller for
controlling or
operating one or more peripheral devices of the gaming machine, such as a bill
validator. The gaming
code may also comprise a set of code permitting the gaming machine controller
to present a particular
lo game or games to a player.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
The following are incorporated by reference herein:
U.S. patents 7,160,187; 7,033,271; 7,077,746; RE38812; 4,283,709; 6,921,337;
5,429,361; 5,470,079;
6,890,260; 7,112,136; 5,848,932; 6,059,289; 6,190,255; 6,869,361; 4,448,419;
6,729,956; 7,137,885;
7,128,645; 7,137,630; 5,823,874; 5,848,932; 5,393,057; 5,560,603; 5,769,716;
6,048,269; 5,902,983;
5,851,148; 5,911,418; 5,848,932; 6,190,255; 6,089,976; 5,779,544; 5,664,998;
5,560,603; 6,168,523;
4,837,728; 6,729,956 and
U.S. patent application publications 20070026938; 20060183529.
CARDS
Playing cards have been in existence for many years. Although there are many
types of playing
cards that are played in many different types of games, the most common type
of playing cards consists
of 52 cards, divided out into four different suits (namely Spades, Hearts,
Diamonds and Clubs) which are
printed or indicated on one side or on the face of each card. In the standard
deck, each of the four suits
of cards consists of 13 cards, numbered either two through ten, or lettered A
(Ace), K (King), Q(Queen),
or J (Jack), which is also printed or indicated on the face of each card. Each
card will thus contain on its
face a suit indication along with a number or letter indication. The King,
Queen, and Jack usually also
include some sort of design on the face of the card, and may be referred to as
picture cards.
In some cases, the 52 card standard playing deck also contains a number of
extra cards,
sometimes referred to as jokers, that may have some use or meaning depending
on the particular game
being played with the deck. For example, if a card game includes the jokers,
then if a player receives a
joker in his "hand" he may use it as any card in the deck. If the player has
the ten, jack, queen and king
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of Spades, along with a joker, the player would use the joker as an Ace of
Spades. The player will then
have a Royal Flush (ten through Ace of Spades).
Many different games can be played using a standard deck of playing cards. The
game being
played with the standard deck of cards may include other items, such as game
boards, chips, etc., or the
game being played may only need the playing card deck itself. In most of the
games played using a
standard deck of cards, a value is assigned to each card. The value may differ
for different games.
Usually, the card value begins with the number two card as the lowest value
and increases as
the numbers increase through ten, followed in order of increasing value with
the Jack, Queen, King and
Ace. In some games the Ace may have a lower value than the two, and in games
where a particular
card is determined to be wild, or have any value, that card may have the
greatest value of all. For
example, in card games where deuces, or twos, are wild, the player holding a
playing card containing a
two can use that two as any other card, such that a nine and a two would be
the equivalent of two nines.
Further, the four different suits indicated on the cards may have a particular
value depending
on the game. Under game rules where one suit, i.e., Spades, has more value
than another suit, i.e.,
Hearts, the seven of Spades may have more value than the seven of Hearts.
It is easy to visualize that using the different card quantity and suit
values, many different
games can be played. In certain games, it is the combination of cards that one
player obtains that
determines whether or not that player has defeated the other player or
players. Usually, the more difficult
the combination is to obtain, the more value the combination has, and the
player who obtains the more
2o difficult combination (also taking into account the value of the cards)
wins the game.
For instance in the game of Poker, each player may ultimately receive five
cards. The player
who obtains three cards having similar numbers on their face, i.e., the four
of Hearts, four of Diamonds
and four of Clubs, will defeat the player having only two cards with the same
numerical value, i.e., the
King of Spades and the King of Hearts. However, the player with five cards
that all contain Clubs,
commonly known as a flush, will defeat the player with the same three of a
kind described above.
In many instances, a standard deck of playing cards is used to create gaming
machines. In
these gaming machines players insert coins and play certain card games, such
as poker, using an
imitation of standard playing cards on a video screen, in an attempt to win
back more money than they
originally inserted into the machine.
Another form of gambling using playing cards utilizes tables, otherwise known
as table games.
A table uses a table and a dealer, with the players sitting or standing around
the table. The players place
their bets on the table and the dealer deals the cards to each player. The
number of cards dealt, or
whether the cards are dealt face up or face down, will depend on the
particular table game being played.

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Further, an imitation or depiction of a standard playing card is used in many
handheld
electronic games, such as poker and blackjack, and in many computer games and
Internet games.
Using a handheld electronic game or a computer terminal that may or may not be
connected to the
Internet, a player receives the imitation playing cards and plays a card game
either against the computer
or against other players. Further, many of these games can be played on the
computer in combination
with gambling.
Also, there are many game shows that are broadcasted on television that use a
deck of playing
cards in the game play, in which the cards are usually enlarged or shown on a
video screen or monitor
for easy viewing. In these television game shows, the participants play the
card game for prizes or
money, usually against each other, with an individual acting as a host
overseeing the action.
Also, there are lottery tickets that players purchase and play by "scratching
off' an opaque layer
to see if they have won money and prizes. The opaque layer prevents the player
from knowing the
results of the lottery ticket prior to purchasing and scratching off the
layer. In some of these lottery
tickets, playing cards are used under the opaque layer and the player may need
to match a number of
similar cards in order to win the prizes or money.
RULES OF CARD GAMES
Rules of Poker
In a basic poker game, which is played with a standard 52-card deck, each
player is dealt five
cards. All five cards in each player's hand are evaluated as a single hand
with the presence of various
combinations of the cards such as pairs, three-of-a-kind, straight, etc.
Determining which combinations
prevail over other combinations is done by reference to a table containing a
ranking of the combinations.
Rankings in most tables are based on the odds of each combination occurring in
the player's hand.
Regardless of the number of cards in a player's hand, the values assigned to
the cards, and the odds,
the method of evaluating all five cards in a player's hand remain the same.
Poker is a popular skill-based card game in which players with fully or
partially concealed cards
make wagers into a central pot. The pot is awarded to the player or players
with the best combination of
cards or to the player who makes an uncalled bet. Poker can also refer to
video poker, a single-player
game seen in casinos much like a slot machine, or to other games that use
poker hand rankings.
Poker is played in a multitude of variations, but most follow the same basic
pattern of play.
The right to deal each hand typically rotates among the players and is marked
by a token called
a'dealer' button or buck. In a casino, a house dealer handles the cards for
each hand, but a button

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(typically a white plastic disk) is rotated clockwise among the players to
indicate a nominal dealer to
determine the order of betting.
For each hand, one or more players are required to make forced bets to create
an initial stake
for which the players will contest. The dealer shuffles the cards, he cuts,
and the appropriate number of
cards are dealt to the players one at a time. Cards may be dealt either face-
up or face-down, depending
on the variant of poker being played. After the initial deal, the first of
what may be several betting rounds
begins. Between rounds, the players' hands develop in some way, often by being
dealt additional cards
or replacing cards previously dealt. At the end of each round, all bets are
gathered into the central pot.
At any time during a betting round, if a player makes a bet, opponents are
required to fold, call
1o or raise. If one player bets and no opponents choose to match the bet, the
hand ends immediately, the
bettor is awarded the pot, no cards are required to be shown, and the next
hand begins. The ability to
win a pot without showing a hand makes bluffing possible. Bluffing is a
primary feature of poker, one that
distinguishes it from other vying games and from other games that make use of
poker hand rankings.
At the end of the last betting round, if more than one player remains, there
is a showdown, in
which the players reveal their previously hidden cards and evaluate their
hands. The player with the best
hand according to the poker variant being played wins the pot.

The most popular poker variants are as follows:
Draw poker
Players each receive five - as in five-card draw - or more cards, all of which
are hidden.
They can then replace one or more of these cards a certain number of times.

Stud poker
Players receive cards one at a time, some being displayed to other players at
the table. The
key difference between stud and 'draw' poker is that players are not allowed
to discard or replace any
cards.

Community card poker
Players combine individually dealt cards with a number of "community cards"
dealt face up and
shared by all players. Two or four individual cards may be dealt in the most
popular variations, Texas
hold 'em and Omaha hold 'em, respectively.

Poker Hand Rankings

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Straight flush
A straight flush is a poker hand such as 04 J4 104 94 84, which contains five
cards in
sequence, all of the same suit. Two such hands are compared by their high card
in the same way as are
straights. The low ace rule also applies: 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+ A+ is a 5-high straight
flush (also known as a"steel
wheeP'). An ace-high straight flush such as A# K# 04 J# 104 is known as a
royal flush, and is the
highest ranking standard poker hand (excluding five of a kind).
Examples:
* 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 3%, beats 54 44 34 24 A4
* J# 10# 9# 8# 7# ties J+ 10+ 9+ 8+ 7+
Four of a kind
Four of a kind, or quads, is a poker hand such as 94 94 9+ 9%, J%1, which
contains four cards of
one rank, and an unmatched card. It ranks above a full house and below a
straight flush. Higher ranking
quads defeat lower ranking ones. Between two equal sets of four of a kind
(possible in wild card and
community card games), the kicker determines the winner.
Examples:

* 104 10+ 10v 104 5+ ("four tens" or "quad tens") defeats 6+ 6%, 64 64 K4
("four sixes" or "quad
sixes")
* 104 10+ 10v 104 04 ("four tens, queen kicker") defeats 104 10+ 10%, 104 5+
("four tens with a
five")

Full house
A full house, also known as a boat or a full boat, is a poker hand such as 34
34 3+ 64 6v,
which contains three matching cards of one rank, plus two matching cards of
another rank. It ranks
below a four of a kind and above a flush. Between two full houses, the one
with the higher ranking set of
three wins. If two have the same set of three (possible in wild card and
community card games), the
hand with the higher pair wins. Full houses are described by the three of a
kind (e.g. 0-0-0) and pair
(e.g. 9-9), as in "Queens over nines" (also used to describe a two pair),
"Queens full of nines" or simply
"Queens fulP".
Examples:

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* 104 10v 10+ 44 4+ ("tens fulP') defeats 9%, 94 94 Av A# ("nines fulP')
* 4 K# Kv 3+ 34 ("kings fulP') defeats 34 3v 3+ 4 K+ ("threes fulP')
* Qv Q+ Q# 8v 8# ("queens full of eights") defeats Q%, Q+ 04 54 5%, ("queens
full of fives")
Flush
A flush is a poker hand such as 04 104 74 64 44, which contains five cards of
the same suit,
not in rank sequence. It ranks above a straight and below a full house. Two
flushes are compared as if
they were high card hands. In other words, the highest ranking card of each is
compared to determine
the winner; if both have the same high card, then the second-highest ranking
card is compared, etc. The
lo suits have no value: two flushes with the same five ranks of cards are
tied. Flushes are described by the
highest card, as in "queen-high flush".
Examples:
* Av Q%, 10%, 5%, 3%, ("ace-high flush") defeats 4 04 J4 94 64 ("king-high
flush")
* A+ K+ 7+ 6+ 2+ ("flush, ace-king high") defeats Av Qv 10%, 5%, 3%, ("flush,
ace-queen high")
* Qv 10v 9v 5v 2v ("heart flush") ties 04 104 94 54 24 ("spade flush")

Straight
A straight is a poker hand such as 04 J4 104 9%, 8%1, which contains five
cards of sequential
rank, of varying suits. It ranks above three of a kind and below a flush. Two
straights are ranked by
comparing the high card of each. Two straights with the same high card are of
equal value, and split any
winnings (straights are the most commonly tied hands in poker, especially in
community card games).
Straights are described by the highest card, as in "queen-high straight" or
"straight to the queen".
Examples:

* 84 74 6v 5v 44 ("eight-high straight") defeats 6+ 54 4+ 3v 2# ("six-high
straight")
* 84 74 6v 5v 44 ties 8v 7+ 6# 5# 4v

A hand such as A# K# Q+ J4 104 is an ace-high straight, and ranks above a king-
high straight
such as K%1 04 A, 10%, 9+. But the ace may also be played as a 1-spot in a
hand such as 54 4+ 3+ 24
A#, called a wheel or five-high straight, which ranks below the six-high
straight 64 54 44 3%, 2%1. The
ace may not "wrap around", or play both high and low in the same hand: 34 2+
A4 4 04 is not a
straight, butjust ace-high no pair.

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Three of a kind
Three of a kind, also called trips, set or a prile, is a poker hand such as 2+
24 2%, 4 64, which
contains three cards of the same rank, plus two unmatched cards. It ranks
above two pair and below a
straight. Higher ranking three of a kind defeat lower ranking three of a
kinds. If two hands have the same
rank three of a kind (possible in games with wild cards or community cards),
the kickers are compared to
break the tie.
Examples:
* 84 8v 8+ 54 3# ("three eights") defeats 54 5%, 5+ Q+ 104 ("three fives")
* 84 8%, 8+ A# 2+ ("three eights, ace kicker") defeats 84 8%, 8+ 54 34 ("three
eights, five kicker")
Two pair
A poker hand such as A, J# 44 44 94, which contains two cards of the same
rank, plus two
cards of another rank (that match each other but not the first pair), plus one
unmatched card, is called
two pair. It ranks above one pair and below three of a kind. Between two hands
containing two pair, the
higher ranking pair of each is first compared, and the higher pair wins. If
both have the same top pair,
then the second pair of each is compared. Finally, if both hands have the same
two pairs, the kicker
determines the winner. Two pair are described by the higher pair (e.g., K%1
K#) and the lower pair (e.g.,
94 9+), as in "Kings over nines", "Kings and nines" or simply "Kings up".
Examples:

* Kv K+ 2# 2+ A, ("kings up") defeats J+ J4 104 104 94 ("jacks up")
* 9# 9+ 7+ 74 6%, ("nines and sevens") defeats 9%, 94 5%, 5+ K# ("nines and
fives")
* 44 4# 34 3v K+ ("fours and threes, king kicker") defeats 4%, 4+ 3+ 3 104
("fours and threes with a
ten")

One pair
One pair is a poker hand such as 4%, 44 4 10+ 54, which contains two cards of
the same
rank, plus three unmatched cards. It ranks above any high card hand, but below
all other poker hands.
Higher ranking pairs defeat lower ranking pairs. If two hands have the same
rank of pair, the non-paired
cards in each hand (the kickers) are compared to determine the winner.
Examples:

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* 104 104 64 4v 2v ("pair of tens") defeats 9%, 94 Av Q+ 10+ ("pair of nines")
* 10v 10+ J+ 3v 2# ("tens with jack kicker") defeats 104 104 64 4%, 2%, ("tens
with six kicker")
* 2+ 2v 84 5# 4# ("deuces, eight-five-four") defeats 2# 24 8# 5%, 3%,
("deuces, eight-five-three")
High card
A high-card or no-pair hand is a poker hand such as Kv J# 84 7+ 34, in which
no two cards
have the same rank, the five cards are not in sequence, and the five cards are
not all the same suit. It
can also be referred to as "nothing" or "garbage," and many other derogatory
terms. It ranks below all
lo other poker hands. Two such hands are ranked by comparing the highest
ranking card; if those are
equal, then the next highest ranking card; if those are equal, then the third
highest ranking card, etc. No-
pair hands are described by the one or two highest cards in the hand, such as
"king high" or "ace-queen
high", or by as many cards as are necessary to break a tie.
Examples:
* A+ 10+ 94 5# 4# ("ace high") defeats K# Q+ J# 8v 7v ("king high")
* A# Q# 7+ 5v 2# ("ace-queen") defeats A+ 10+ 94 54 44 ("ace-ten")
* 74 6# 5# 4+ 2v ("seven-six-five-four") defeats 74 6+ 5+ 3%, 24 ("seven-six-
five-three")
Decks using a bug
The use of joker as a bug creates a slight variation of game play. When a
joker is introduced in
standard poker games it functions as a fifth ace, or can be used as a flush or
straight card (though it can
be used as a wild card too). Normally casino draw poker variants use a joker,
and thus the best possible
hand is five of a kind, as in AV A+ A# A4 Joker.

Rules of Caribbean Stud

Caribbean StudTM poker may be played as follows. A player and a dealer are
each dealt five
cards. If the dealer has a poker hand having a value less than Ace-King
combination or better, the player
automatically wins. If the dealer has a poker hand having a value of an Ace-
King combination or better,
then the higher of the player's or the dealer's hand wins. If the player wins,
he may receive an additional
bonus payment depending on the poker rank of his hand. In the commercial play
of the game, a side bet
is usually required to allow a chance at a progressive jackpot. In Caribbean
StudT"" poker, it is the

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dealer's hand that must qualify. As the dealer's hand is partially concealed
during play (usually only one
card, at most) is displayed to the player before player wagering is complete),
the player must always be
aware that even ranked player hands can lose to a dealer's hand and no bonus
will be paid out unless
the side bet has been made, and then usually only to hands having a rank of a
flush or higher.

Rules of Blackjack

Some versions of Blackjack are now described. Blackjack hands are scored
according to the
point total of the cards in the hand. The hand with the highest total wins as
long as it is 21 or less. If the
total is greater than 21, it is a called a"bust." Numbered cards 2 through 10
have a point value equal to
lo their face value, and face cards (i.e., Jack, Queen and King) are worth 10
points. An Ace is worth 11
points unless it would bust a hand, in which case it is worth 1 point. Players
play against the dealer and
win by having a higher point total no greater than 21. If the player busts,
the player loses, even if the
dealer also busts. If the player and dealer have hands with the same point
value, this is called a"push,"
and neither party wins the hand.
After the initial bets are placed, the dealer deals the cards, either from one
or more, but
typically two, hand-held decks of cards, or from a "shoe" containing multiple
decks of cards, generally at
least four decks of cards, and typically many more. A game in which the deck
or decks of cards are
hand-held is known as a "pitch" game. "Pitch" games are generally not played
in casinos. When playing
with more than one deck, the decks are shuffled together in order to make it
more difficult to remember
which cards have been dealt and which have not. The dealer deals two cards to
each player and to
himself. Typically, one of the dealer's two cards is dealt face-up so that all
players can see it, and the
other is face down. The face-down card is called the "hole card." In a
European variation, the "hole card"
is dealt after all the players' cards are dealt and their hands have been
played. The players' cards are
dealt face up from a shoe and face down if it is a "pitch" game.
A two-card hand with a point value of 21 (i.e., an Ace and a face card or a
10) is called a
"Blackjack" or a"naturaP' and wins automatically. A player with a"naturaP' is
conventionally paid 3:2 on
his bet, although in 2003 some Las Vegas casinos began paying 6:5, typically
in games with only a
single deck.
Once the first two cards have been dealt to each player and the dealer, the
dealer wins
3o automatically if the dealer has a"naturaP' and the player does not. If the
player has a"naturaP' and the
dealer does not, the player automatically wins. If the dealer and player both
have a "natural," neither
party wins the hand.

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If neither side has a"natural," each player completely plays out their hand;
when all players
have finished, the dealer plays his hand.
The playing of the hand typically involves a combination of four possible
actions "hitting,"
"standing," "doubling down," or "splitting" his hand. Often another action
called "surrendering" is added.
To "hit" is to take another card. To "stand" is to take no more cards. To
"double down" is to double the
wager, take precisely one more card and then "stand." When a player has
identical value cards, such as
a pair of 8s, the player can "split" by placing an additional wager and
playing each card as the first card
in two new hands. To "surrender" is to forfeit half the player's bet and give
up his hand. "Surrender" is
not an option in most casino games of Blackjack. A player's turn ends if he
"stands," "busts" or "doubles
lo down." If the player "busts," he loses even if the dealer subsequently
busts. This is the house
advantage.
After all players have played their hands, the dealer then reveals the
dealer's hole card and
plays his hand. According to house rules (the prevalent casino rules), the
dealer must hit until he has a
point total of at least 17, regardless of what the players have. In most
casinos, the dealer must also hit
on a "soft" 17 (e.g., an Ace and 6). In a casino, the Blackjack table felt is
marked to indicate if the dealer
hits or stands on a soft 17. If the dealer busts, all remaining players win.
Bets are normally paid out at
odds of 1:1.
Four of the common rule variations are one card split Aces, early surrender,
late surrender and
double-down restrictions. In the first variation, one card is dealt on each
Ace and the player's turn is
over. In the second, the player has the option to surrender before the dealer
checks for Blackjack. In the
third, the player has the option to surrender after the dealer checks for
Blackjack. In the fourth, doubling-
down is only permitted for certain card combinations.

Insurance
Insurance is a commonly-offered betting option in which the player can hedge
his bet by
wagering that the dealer will win the hand. If the dealer's "up card" is an
Ace, the player is offered the
option of buying Insurance before the dealer checks his "hole card." If the
player wishes to take
Insurance, the player can bet an amount up to half that of his original bet.
The Insurance bet is placed
separately on a special portion of the table, which is usually marked with the
words "Insurance Pays
3o 2:1." The player buying Insurance is betting that the dealer's "hole card"
is one with a value of 10 (i.e., a
10, Jack, Queen or King). Because the dealer's up card is an Ace, the player
who buys Insurance is
betting that the dealer has a "natural."

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If the player originally bets $10 and the dealer shows an Ace, the player can
buy Insurance by
betting up to $5. Suppose the player makes a $5 Insurance bet and the player's
hand with the two cards
dealt to him totals 19. If the dealer's hole card is revealed to be a 10 after
the Insurance betting period is
over (the dealer checks for a"naturaP' before the players play their hands),
the player loses his original
$10 bet, but he wins the $5 Insurance bet at odds of 2:1, winning $10 and
therefore breaking even. In
the same situation, if the dealer's hole card is not one with a value of ten,
the player immediately loses
his $5 Insurance bet. But if the player chooses to stand on 19, and if the
dealer's hand has a total value
less than 19, at the end of the dealer's turn, the player wins his original
$10 bet, making a net profit of
$5. In the same situation, if the dealer's hole card is not one with a value
of ten, again the player will
immediately lose their $5 Insurance bet, and if the dealer's hand has a total
value greater than the
player's at the end of both of their turns, for example the player stood on 19
and the dealer ended his
turn with 20, the player loses both his original $10 bet and his $5 Insurance
bet.

Basic Strategy
Blackjack players can increase their expected winnings by several means, one
of which is
"basic strategy." "Basic strategy" is simply something that exists as a matter
of general practice; it has
no official sanction. The "basic strategy" determines when to hit and when to
stand, as well as when
doubling down or splitting in the best course. Basic strategy is based on the
player's point total and the
dealer's visible card. Under some conditions (e.g., playing with a single deck
according to downtown Las
Vegas rules) the house advantage over a player using basic strategy can be as
low as 0.16%. Casinos
offering options like surrender and double-after-split may be giving the
player using basic strategy a
statistical advantage and instead rely on players making mistakes to provide a
house advantage.
A number of optional rules can benefit a skilled player, for example: if
doubling down is
permitted on any two-card hand other than a natural; if "doubling down" is
permitted after splitting; if
early surrender (forfeiting half the bet against a face or Ace up card before
the dealer checks for
Blackjack) is permitted; if late surrender is permitted; if re-splitting Aces
is permitted (splitting when the
player has more than two cards in their hand, and has just been dealt a second
ace in their hand); if
drawing more than one card against a split Ace is permitted; if five or more
cards with a total no more
than 21 is an automatic win (referred to as "Charlies").
Other optional rules can be detrimental to a skilled player. For example: if
a"naturaP" pays less
than 3:2 (e.g., Las Vegas Strip single-deck Blackjack paying out at 6:5 for
a"naturaP'); if a hand can only
be split once (is re-splitting possible for other than aces); if doubling down
is restricted to certain totals
(e.g., 9 11 or 10 11); if Aces may not be re-split; if the rules are those of
"no-peek" (or European)

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Blackjack, according to which the player loses hands that have been split or
"doubled down" to a dealer
who has a "natural'(because the dealer does not check for this automatically
winning hand until the
players had played their hands); if the player loses ties with the dealer,
instead of pushing where neither
the player or the dealer wins and the player retains their original bet.

Card Counting
Unlike some other casino games, in which one play has no influence on any
subsequent play, a
hand of Blackjack removes those cards from the deck. As cards are removed from
the deck, the
probability of each of the remaining cards being dealt is altered (and dealing
the same cards becomes
impossible). If the remaining cards have an elevated proportion of 10-value
cards and Aces, the player is
more likely to be dealt a natural, which is to the player's advantage (because
the dealer wins even
money when the dealer has a natural, while the player wins at odds of 3:2 when
the player has a
natural). If the remaining cards have an elevated proportion of low-value
cards, such as 4s, 5s and 6s,
the player is more likely to bust, which is to the dealer's advantage (because
if the player busts, the
dealer wins even if the dealer later busts).
The house advantage in Blackjack is relatively small at the outset. By keeping
track of which
cards have been dealt, a player can take advantage of the changing proportions
of the remaining cards
by betting higher amounts when there is an elevated proportion of 10-value
cards and Aces and by
better lower amounts when there is an elevated proportion of low-value cards.
Over time, the deck will
be unfavorable to the player more often than it is favorable, but by adjusting
the amounts that he bets,
the player can overcome that inherent disadvantage. The player can also use
this information to refine
basic strategy. For instance, basic strategy calls for hitting on a 16 when
the dealer's up card is a 10, but
if the player knows that the deck has a disproportionately small number of low-
value cards remaining,
the odds may be altered in favor of standing on the 16.
There are a number of card-counting schemes, all dependent for their efficacy
on the player's
ability to remember either a simplified or detailed tally of the cards that
have been played. The more
detailed the tally, the more accurate it is, but the harder it is to remember.
Although card counting is not
illegal, casinos will eject or ban successful card counters if they are
detected.
Shuffle tracking is a more obscure, and difficult, method of attempting to
shift the odds in favor
of the player. The player attempts to track groups of cards during the play of
a multi-deck shoe, follow
them through the shuffle, and then looks for the same group to reappear from
the new shoe, playing and
betting accordingly.

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TRACKING THE ACTION AT A TABLE
US patent 6,579,181 generally describes, "a system for automatically
monitoring playing and
wagering of a game. In one illustrated embodiment, the system includes a card
deck reader that
automatically reads a respective symbol from each card in a deck of cards
before a first one of the cards
is removed from the deck. The symbol identifies a value of the card in terms
of rank and suit, and can
take the form of a machine-readable symbol, such as a bar code, area or matrix
code or stacked code.
In another aspect, the system does not decode the read symbol until the
respective card is dealt, to
ensure security.
"In another aspect, the system can include a chip tray reader that
automatically images the
contents of a chip tray. The system periodically determines the number and
value of chips in the chip
tray from the image, and compares the change in contents of the chip tray to
the outcome of game play
to verify that the proper amounts have been paid out and collected.
"In a further aspect, the system can include a table monitor that
automatically images the
activity or events occurring at a gaming table. The system periodically
compares images of the gaming
table to identify wagering, as well as the appearance, removal and position of
cards and/or other objects
on the gaming table. The table monitoring system can be unobtrusively located
in the chip tray."
US patent 6579181 generally describes "a drop box that automatically verifies
an amount and
authenticity of a deposit and reconciles the deposit with a change in the
contents of the chip tray. The
2o drop box can image different portions of the deposited item, selecting
appropriate lighting and
resolutions to examine security features in the deposited item.
"In another aspect, the system can employ some, or all of the components to
monitor the
gaming habits of players and the performance of employees. The system can
detect suspect playing
and wagering patterns that may be prohibited. The system can also identify the
win/loss percentage of
the players and the dealer, as well as a number of other statistically
relevant measures. Such measures
can provide a casino or other gaming establishment with enhanced automated
security, and automated
real-time accounting. The measures can additionally provide a basis for
automatically allocating
complimentary benefits to the players."
Various embodiments include an apparatus, method and system which utilizes a
card
3o dispensing shoe with scanner and its associated software which enable the
card dealer when dealing
the game from a card dispensing shoe with scanner preferably placed on a game
table where the
twenty-one game to be evaluated by the software is being played, to use one or
more keyboard(s)
and/or LCD displays coupled to the shoe to identify for the computer program
the number of the active

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players' seats, or active players, including the dealer's position relative
thereto and their active play at
the game table during each game round dealt from the shoe. These keyboards and
LCD displays are
also used to enter other data relevant to each seat's, or player's, betting
and/or decision strategies for
each hand played. The data is analyzed by a computer software program designed
to evaluate the
strategy decisions and betting skills of casino twenty-one, or blackjack
players playing the game of
blackjack during real time. The evaluation software is coupled to a central
processing unit (CPU) or host
computer that is also coupled to the shoe's keyboard(s) and LCD displays. The
dealer using one or more
keyboard(s) attached to or carried by the shoe, or a keyboard(s) located near
the dealer is able to see
and record the exact amount bet by each player for each hand played for the
game to be evaluated. The
1o optical scanner coupled to the CPU reads the value of each card dealt to
each player's hand(s) and the
dealer's hand as each card is dealt to a specific hand, seat or position and
converts the game card value
of each card dealt from the shoe to the players and the dealer of the game to
a card count system value
for one or more card count systems programmed into the evaluation software.
The CPU also records
each players decision(s) to hit a hand, and the dealer's decision to hit or
take another card when
required by the rules of the game, as the hit card is removed from the shoe.
The dealer uses one or
more of the keyboards and LCD displays carried by the shoe to record each
player's decision(s) to
Insure, Surrender, Stand, Double Down, or Split a hand. When the dealer has an
Ace or a Ten as an up-
card, he/she may use one or more of the keyboards to prompt the computer
system's software, since the
dealer's second card, or hole-card, which is dealt face down, has been scanned
and the game card
value thereof has been imported into the computer systems software, to
instantly inform the dealer, by
means of one or more of the shoe's LCDs, if his/her game cards, or hand total,
constitutes a two-card
"21" or "Blackjack".
In various embodiments, a card playing system for playing a card game which
includes a card
delivery shoe apparatus for use in dealing playing cards to at least one
player for the playing of the card
game comprises, in combination, housing means having a chute for supporting at
least one deck of
playing cards for permitting movement of the playing cards one at a time
through the chute, the housing
means having an outlet opening that permits the playing cards of the deck to
be moved one-by-one out
of the housing means during the play of a card game, card scanning means
located within the housing
means for scanning indicia located on each of the playing cards as each of the
playing cards are moved
out from the chute of the housing means, means for receiving the output of the
card scanning means for
identifying each of the playing cards received by each player from the shoe,
for evaluating information
relative to each players received playing cards and their values with
information as to playing tactics
used by each player relative to the values of the received playing cards, and
for combining all of this

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information for identifying each player's playing strategy, and a playing
table coupled to the card delivery
shoe apparatus and having at least one keypad means located thereon for
permitting at least one player
to select various card playing options to wager upon.
In various embodiments, a card playing system for playing a card game which
includes a card
delivery shoe apparatus for use in dealing playing cards to at least one
player for the playing of the card
game comprises, in combination, housing means having a chute for supporting at
least one deck of
playing cards for permitting movement of the playing cards one at a time
through the chute, the housing
means having an outlet opening that permits the playing cards of the deck to
be moved one-by-one out
of the housing means during the play of a card game, card scanning means
located within the housing
means for scanning indicia located on each of the playing cards as each of the
playing cards are moved
out from the chute of the housing means, means for receiving the output of the
card scanning means for
identifying such of the playing cards received by each player from the shoe
apparatus, for evaluating
information relative to each player's received playing cards and their values
with information as to betting
tactics used by each player relative to playing cards previously dealt out
from the shoe apparatus
providing card count information, and for combining all of this information
for identifying each player's
card count strategy, and a playing table coupled to the card delivery shoe
apparatus and having at least
one keypad means located thereon for permitting the at least one player to
select at least one of various
card playing options to wager upon.
In various embodiments, a card playing system for playing a card game which
includes a card
2o delivery shoe apparatus for use in dealing playing cards to at least one
player for the playing of a card
game comprises, in combination, housing means having a chute for supporting at
least one deck of
playing cards for permitting movement of the playing cards one at a time
through the chute, the housing
means having an outlet opening that permits the playing cards of the deck to
be moved one-by-one out
of the housing means during the play of a card game, card scanning means
located within the housing
means for scanning indicia located on each of the playing cards as each of the
playing cards are moved
out from the chute of the housing means, means for receiving the output of the
card scanning means for
identifying each of the playing cards received by each player from the shoe
apparatus, for evaluating
information relative to each player's received playing cards and their values
with information as to
playing tactics used by each player relative to the values of the received
playing cards, for combining
use of all of this information for identifying each player's playing strategy,
and for also identifying each
player's card count strategy based on each player's betting tactics used by
each player relative to
playing cards previously dealt out from the shoe apparatus providing card
count information, and a
playing table coupled to the card delivery shoe apparatus and having at least
one keypad means located

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thereon for permitting the at least one player to select at least one of
various card playing options to
wagerupon.
In various embodiments, a secure game table system, adapted for multiple sites
under a
central control, allows for the monitoring of hands in a progressive live card
game. A live card game has
at least one deck, with each deck having a predetermined number of cards. Each
game table in the
system has a plurality of player positions with or without players at each
position and a dealer at a dealer
position.
In one embodiment, for providing additional security, a common identity code
is located on
each of the cards in each deck. Each deck has a different common identity
code. A shuffler is used to
1o shuffle the decks together and the shuffler has a circuit for counting of
the cards from a previous hand
that are inserted into the shuffler for reshuffling. The shuffler circuit
counts each card inserted and reads
the common identity code located on each card. The shuffler circuit issues a
signal corresponding to the
count and the common identity code read. The game control (e.g., the computer)
located at each table
receives this signal from the shuffler circuit and verifies that no cards have
been withdrawn from the
hand by a player (or the dealer) or that no new cards have been substituted.
If the count is not proper or
if a game card lacks an identity code or an identity code is mismatched, an
alarm signal is generated
indicating that a new deck of cards needs to be used and that the possibility
of a breach in the security
of the game has occurred.
In yet another embodiment of security, a unique code, such as a bar code, is
placed on each
card and as each card is dealt by the dealer from a shoe, a detector reads the
code and issues a signal
to the game control containing at least the value and the suit of each card
dealt in the hand. The
detector may also read a common identity deck code and issue that as a signal
to the game control. The
shoe may have an optical scanner for generating an image of each card as it is
dealt from the shoe by
the dealer in a hand. The game control stores this information in a memory so
that a history of each card
dealt from the shoe in a hand is recorded.
In yet another embodiment of security, an integrated shuffler/shoe obtains an
optical image of
each card dealt from the shoe for a hand and for each card inserted into the
shuffler after a hand. These
images are delivered to the game control where the images are counted and
compared. When an
irregular count or comparison occurs, an alarm is raised. The shuffler and
shoe are integrated to provide
security between the two units.
In another embodiment of security for a live card game, a game bet sensor is
located near each
of the plurality of player positions for sensing the presence of a game bet.
The game bet sensor issues a
signal counting the tokens placed. It is entirely possible that game bet
sensors at some player positions
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do not have bets, and therefore, the game control that is receptive of these
signals identifies which
player positions have players placing game bets. This information is stored in
memory and becomes part
of the history of the game.
In another embodiment of security, a progressive bet sensor is located at each
of the plurality
of player positions and senses the presence of a progressive bet. The
progressive bet sensor issues a
signal that is received by the game control, which records in memory the
progressive bets being placed
at the respective player position sensed. If a progressive bet is sensed and a
game bet is not, the game
control issues an alarm signal indicating improper betting. At this point, the
game control knows the
identity of each player location having placed a game bet and, of those player
positions having game
bets placed, which player positions also have a progressive bet. This is
stored in memory as part of the
history of the hand.
In yet another embodiment of security, a card sensor is located near each
player position and
the dealer position. The card sensor issues a signal for each card received at
the card sensor. The
game control receives this issued signal and correlates those player positions
having placed a game bet
with the received cards. In the event a player position without a game bet
receives a card or a player
position with a game bet receives a card out of sequence, the game control
issues an alarm. This
information is added to the history of the game in memory, and the history
contains the value and suit of
each card delivered to each player position having a game bet.
A progressive jackpot display is located at each game table and may display
one or more
jackpot awards for one or more winning combinations of cards. In various
embodiments, the game
control at each table has stored in memory the winning combinations necessary
to win the progressive
jackpots. Since the game control accurately stores the suit and value of each
card received at a
particular player position, the game control can automatically detect a
winning combination and issue an
award signal for that player position. The dealer can then verify that that
player at that position indeed
has the correct combination of cards. The game control continuously updates
the central control
interconnected to all other game tables so that the central control can then
inform all game tables of this
win including, if desirable, the name of the winner and the amount won.
The central control communicates continuously with each game control and its
associated
progressive jackpot display may receive over a communication link all or part
of the information stored in
3o each game control.
Various embodiments include a card shoe with a device for automatic
recognition and tracking
of the value of each gaming card drawn out of the card shoe in a covered way
(face down).

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Various embodiments include a gaming table with a device for automatic
recognition of played
or not played boxes (hands), whereby it has to realize multiple bets on each
hand and the use of
insurance lines. Further more, the gaming table may include a device to
recognize automatically the
number of cards placed in front of each player and the dealer.
Various embodiments include the recognition, tracking, and storage of gaming
chips.
In various embodiment, an electronic data processing (EDP) program may process
the value of
all bets on each box and associated insurance line, control the sequence of
delivery of the cards, control
the distribution of the gaming cards to each player and the dealer, may
calculate and compare the total
score of each hand and the dealer's, and may evaluate the players' wins.
Gaming data may then be processed by means of the EDP program and shown
simultaneously
to the actual game at a special monitor or display. Same data may be recalled
later on to monitor the
total results whenever requested.

Various embodiments include:
a gaming table and a gaming table cloth arranged on the gaming table, the
gaming table cloth provided
with betting boxes and areas designated for placement of the gaming chips and
other areas designated
for placement of the playing cards;

2o a card shoe for storage of one or more decks of playing cards, this card
shoe including means for
drawing individual ones of the playing cards face down so that a card value
imprint on the drawn card is
not visible to a player of the game of chance;

card recognition means for recognizing this card value imprint on the drawn
card from the card shoe, this
card recognition means being located in the card shoe;

an occupation detector unit including means for registering a count of gaming
chips placed on the
designated areas and another count of playing cards placed on the other
designated areas on the table
cloth, this occupation detector unit being located under the table cloth and
consisting of multiple single
3o detectors allocated to each betting box, each area for chips and each other
area for playing cards
respectively;

a gaming bet detector for automatic recognition or manual input of gaming
bets; and
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a computer including means for evaluating the play of the game of chance
according to the rules of the
game of chance, means for storing results of the play of the game of chance
and means for displaying a
course of the play of the game of chance and the results from electronic
signals input from the gaming
bet detector, the occupation detector unit and the card recognition means.

According to various embodiments, the card recognition means comprises an
optical window
arranged along a movement path of the card image imprint on the playing card
drawn from the card
shoe; a pulsed light source for illuminating a portion of the drawn playing
card located opposite the
1o optical window; a CCD image converter for the portion of the drawn playing
card located opposite the
optical window; an optical device for deflecting and transmitting a reflected
image of the card value
imprint from the drawn playing card to the CCD image converter from that
portion of the drawn playing
card when the drawn card is exactly in a correct drawn position opposite the
optical window; and sensor
means for detecting movement of the drawn card and for providing a correct
timing for operation of the
pulsed light source for transmission of the reflected image to the CCD image
converter. The optical
device for deflecting and transmitting the reflected image can comprise a
mirror arranged to deflect the
reflected image to the CCD image converter. Alternatively, the optical device
for deflecting and
transmitting the reflected image comprises a reflecting optical prism having
two plane surfaces arranged
at right angles to each other, one of which covers the optical window and
another of which faces the
CCD image converter and comprises a mirror, and the pulsed light source is
arranged behind the latter
plane surface so as to illuminate the drawn card when the drawn card is
positioned over the optical
window. Advantageously the sensor means for detecting movement of the drawn
card and for providing
a correct timing comprises a single sensor, preferably either a pressure
sensor or a photoelectric
threshold device, for sensing a front edge of the drawn card to determine
whether or not the drawn card
is being drawn and to activate the CCD image converter and the pulsed light
source when a back edge
of the drawn card passes the sensor means. Alternatively, the sensor means can
include two electro-
optical sensors, one of which is located beyond a movement path of the card
image imprint on the drawn
playing card and another of which is located in a movement path of the card
image imprint on a drawn
playing card. The latter electro-optical sensor can includes means for
activating the pulsed light source
by sensing a color trigger when the card value imprint passes over the optical
window. In preferred
embodiments of the card shoe the pulsed light source comprises a Xenon lamp.
In various embodiments of the gaming apparatus the single detectors of the
occupation
detector unit each comprise a light sensitive sensor for detection of chips or
playing cards arranged on
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the table cloth over the respective single detector. Each single detector can
be an infrared sensitive
photodiode, preferably a silicon photodiode. Advantageously the single
detectors can be arranged in the
occupation detector unit so that the chips or playing cards placed over them
on the table cloth are
arrange over at least two single detectors.
The gaming apparatus may includes automatic means for discriminating colored
markings or
regions on the chips and for producing a bet output signal in accordance with
the colored markings or
regions and the number of chips having identical colored markings or regions.
The gaming bet detector may include automatic means for discriminating between
chips of
different value in the game of chance and means for producing a bet output
signal in accordance with
1o the different values of the chips when the chips are bet by a player. In
various embodiments the gaming
bet detector includes a radio frequency transmitting and receiving station and
the chips are each
provided with a transponder responding to the transmitting and receiving
station so that the transponder
transmits the values of the bet chips back to the transmitting and receiving
station.
The connection between the individual units of the gaming apparatus and the
computer can be
either a wireless connection or a cable connection.

FOLLOWING THE BETS
Various embodiments include a smart card delivery shoe that reads the suit and
rank of each
card before it is delivered to the various positions where cards are to be
dealt in the play of the casino
table card game. The cards are then dealt according to the rules of the game
to the required card
positions. Different games have diverse card distribution positions, different
card numbers, and different
delivery sequences that the hand identifying system may encompass, in various
embodiments. For
example, in the most complex of card distribution games of blackjack, cards
are usually dealt one at a
time in sequence around a table, one card at a time to each player position
and then to the dealer
position. The one card at a time delivery sequence is again repeated so that
each player position and
the dealer position have an initial hand of exactly two cards. Complexity in
hand development is
introduced because players have essentially unlimited control over additional
cards until point value in a
hand exceeds a count of twenty-one. Players may stand with a count of 2 (two
aces) or take a hit with a
count of 21 if they are so inclined, so the knowledge of the count of a hand
is no assurance of what a
player will do. The dealer, on the other hand, is required to follow strict
house rules on the play of the
game according to the value of the dealer's hand. Small variances such as
allowing or disallowing a hit
on a"soft" seventeen count (e.g., an Ace and a 6) may exist, but the rules are
otherwise very precise so
that the house or dealer cannot exercise any strategy.

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Other cards games may provide equal numbers of cards in batches. Variants of
stud poker
played against a dealer, for example, would usually provide hands of five
cards, five at a time to each
player position and if competing against a dealer, to the dealer position.
This card hand distribution is
quite simple to track as each sequence of five cards removed from the dealer
shoe is a hand.
Other games may require cards to be dealt to players and other cards dealt to
a flop or
common card area. The system may also be programmable to cover this
alternative if it is so desired.
Baccarat is closer to blackjack in card sequence of dealing, but has more
rigid rules as to when
hits may be taken by the player and the dealer, and each position may take a
maximum of one card as a
hit. The hand identification system according to various embodiments may be
able to address the needs
1o of identifying hands in each of these types of games and especially must be
able to identify hands in the
most complex situation, the play of blackjack.
In various embodiments, where cameras are used to read cards, the light
sensitive system may
be any image capture system, digital or analog, that is capable of identifying
the suit and rank of a card.
In various embodiments, a first step in the operation is to provide a set of
cards to the smart
delivery shoe, the cards being those cards that are going to be used in the
play of a casino table card
game. The set of cards (usually one or more decks) is provided in an already
randomized set, being
taken out of a shuffler or having been shuffled by hand. A smart delivery shoe
is described in U.S. patent
application Ser. No. 10/622,321, titled SMART DELIVERY SHOE, which application
is incorporated
herein in its entirety by reference. Some delivery systems or shoes with
reading capability include, but
2o are not limited to those disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,750,743; 5,779,546;
5,605,334; 6,361,044;
6,217,447; 5,941,769; 6,229,536; 6,460,848; 5,722,893; 6,039,650; and
6,126,166. In various
embodiments, the cards are read in the smart card delivery shoe, such as one
card at a time in
sequence. Reading cards by edge markings and special codes (as in U.S. Pat.
No. 6,460,848) may
require special encoding and marking of the cards. The entire sequence of
cards in the set of cards may
thus be determined and stored in memory. Memory may be at least in part in the
smart delivery shoe,
but communication with a central processor is possible. The sequence would
then also or solely be
stored in the central computer.
In various embodiments, the cards are then dealt out of the smart delivery
shoe, the delivery
shoe registering how many cards are removed one-at-a-time. This may be
accomplished by the above
identified U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/622321 where cards are fed to
the dealer removal area
one at a time, so only one card can be removed by the dealer. As each card is
removed, a signal is
created indicating that a specific card (of rank and suit) has been dealt. The
computer and system
knows only that a first card has been dealt, and it is presumed to go to the
first player. The remaining

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cards are dealt out to players and dealer. In the play of certain games (e.g.,
stud variants) where specific
numbers of cards are known to be dealt to each position, the shoe may be
programmed with the number
of players at any time, so hands can be correlated even before they have been
dealt. If the shoe is
playing a stud variant where each player and the dealer gets three cards
(Three Card PokerTM game),
the system may know in advance of the deal what each player and the dealer
will have as a hand. It is
also possible that there be a signal available when the dealer has received
either his first card (e.g.,
when cards are dealt in sequence, one-at-a-time) or has received his entire
hand. The signal may be
used to automatically determine the number of player positions active on the
table at any given time. For
example, if in a hand of blackjack the dealer receives the sixth card, the
system may immediately know
1o that there are five players at the table. The signal can be given manually
(pressing a button at the dealer
position or on the smart card delivery shoe) or can be provided automatically
(a card presence sensor at
the dealer's position, where a card can be placed over the sensor to provide a
signal). Where an
automatic signal is provided by a sensor, some physical protection of the
sensor may be provided, such
as a shield that would prevent accidental contact with the sensor or blockage
of the sensor. An L-shaped
cover may be used so a card could be slid under the arm of the L parallel to
the table surface and cover
the sensor under that branch of the L. The signal can also be given after all
cards for the hand have
been delivered, again indicating the number of players, For example, when the
dealer's two cards are
slid under the L-shaped cover to block or contact the sensor, the system may
know the total number of
cards dealt on the hand (e.g., 10 cards), know that the dealer has 2 cards,
determine that players
therefore have 8 cards, and know that each player has 2 cards each, thereby
absolutely determining that
there are four active player positions at the table (10-2=8 and then 8/2=4
players). This automatic
determination may serve as an alternative to having dealers input the number
of players each hand at a
table or having to manually change the indicated number of players at a table
each time the number
changes.
Once all active positions have been dealt to, the system may now know what
cards are initially
present in each player's hand, the dealer's hand, and any flop or common hand.
The system operation
may now be simple when no more cards are provided to play the casino table
game. All hands may then
be known and all outcomes may be predicted. The complication of additional
cards will be addressed
with respect to the game of blackjack.
After dealing the initial set of two cards per hand, the system may not
immediately know where
each remaining card will be dealt. The system may know what cards are dealt,
however. It is with this
knowledge and a subsequent identification of discarded hands that the hands
and cards from the smart
delivery shoe can be reconciled or verified. Each hand is already identified
by the presence of two

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specifically known cards. Hands are then played according to the rules of the
game, and hands are
discarded when play of a hand is exhausted. A hand is exhausted when 1) there
is a blackjack, the hand
is paid, and the cards are cleared; 2) a hand breaks with a count over twenty-
one and the cards are
cleared; and/or a round of the game is played to a conclusion, the dealer's
hand completed, all wagers
are settled, and the cards are cleared. As is typically done in a casino to
enable reconciling of hands
manually, cards are picked up in a precise order from the table. The cards are
usually cleared from the
dealer's right to the dealer's left, and the cards at each position comprise
the cards in the order that they
were delivered, first card on the bottom, second card over the first card,
third card over the second card,
etc. maintaining the order or a close approximation of the order (e.g., the
first two cards may be
reversed) is important as the first two cards form an anchor, focus, basis,
fence, end point or set edge
for each hand. For example, if the third player position was known to have
received the 10 of hearts
(10H) and the 9 of spades (9S) for the first two card, and the fourth player
was known to receive the 8 of
diamonds (8D) and the 3 of clubs (3C) for the first two cards, the edges or
anchors of the two hands are
9S/10H and 8D/3C. When the hands are swept at the conclusion of the game, the
cards are sent to a
smart discard rack (e.g., see U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/622,388,
which application is
incorporated herein by reference in its entirety) and the hand with the 9S/10H
was not already
exhausted (e.g., broken or busted) and the swept cards consist of 9S, 10H, 8S,
8D and 3C (as read by
the smart discard rack), the software of the processor may automatically know
that the final hands in the
third and fourth positions were a count of 19 (9S and 10H) for the third hand
and 19 (8D and 3C
originally plus the 8S hit) for the fourth hand. The analysis by the software
specifically identifies the
fourth hand as a count of 19 with the specific cards read by the smart discard
shoe. The information
from reading that now exhausted hand is compared with the original information
collected from the smart
delivery shoe. The smart delivery shoe information when combined with the
smart discard rack
information shall confirm the hands in each position, even though cards were
not uniformly distributed
(e.g., player one takes two hits for a total of four cards, player two takes
three hits for a total of five
cards, player three takes no hit for a total of two cards, player four takes
one hit for a total of three cards,
and the dealer takes two hits for a total of four cards).
The dealer's cards may be equally susceptible to analysis in a number of
different formats.
After the last card has been dealt to the last player, a signal may be easily
and imperceptibly generated
that the dealer's hand will now become active with possible hits. For example,
with the sensor described
above for sensing the presence of the first dealer card or the completion of
the dealer's hand, the cards
would be removed from beneath the L-shaped protective bridge. This type of
movement is ordinarily
done in blackjack where the dealer has at most a single card exposed and one
card buried face down. In

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this case, the removal of the cards from over the sensor underneath the L-
cover to display the hole card
is a natural movement and then exposes the sensor. This can provide a signal
to the central processor
that the dealer's hand will be receiving all additional cards in that round of
the game. The system at this
point knows the two initial cards in the dealer's hand, knows the values of
the next sequence of cards,
and knows the rules by which a dealer must play. The system knows what cards
the dealer will receive
and what the final total of the dealer's hand will be because the dealer has
no freedom of decision or
movement in the play of the dealer's hand. When the dealer's hand is placed
into the smart discard rack,
the discard rack already knows the specifics of the dealer's hand even without
having to use the first two
cards as an anchor or basis for the dealer's hand. The cards may be treated in
this manner in some
1o embodiments.
When the hands are swept from the table, dealer's hand then players' hands
from right to left
(from the dealer's position or vice-versa if that is the manner of house
play), the smart discard rack reads
the shoes, identifies the anchors for each hand, knows that no hands swept at
the conclusion can
exceed a count of twenty-one, and the computer identifies the individual hands
and reconciles them with
the original data from the smart delivery shoe. The system thereby can
identify each hand played and
provide system assurance that the hand was played fairly and accurately.
If a lack of reconciling by the system occurs, a number of events can occur. A
signal can be
given directly to the dealer position, to the pit area, or to a security zone
and the cards examined to
determine the nature and cause of the error and inspect individual cards if
necessary. When the hand
2o and card data is being used for various statistical purposes, such as
evaluating dealer efficiency, dealer
win/loss events, player efficiency, player win/loss events, statistical habits
of players, unusual play
tactics or meaningful play tactics (e.g., indicative of card counting), and
the like, the system may file the
particular hand in a 'dump' file so that hand is not used in the statistical
analysis, this is to assure that
maximum benefits of the analysis are not tilted by erroneous or anomalous
data.
Various embodiments may include date stamping of each card dealt (actual time
and date
defining sequence, with concept of specific identification of sequence
identifier possibly being unique).
The date stamping may also be replaced by specific sequence stamping or
marking, such as a specific
hand number, at a specific table, at a specific casino, with a specific number
of players, etc. The records
could indicate variations of indicators in the stored memory of the central
computer of Lucky 777 Casino,
3o Aug. 19, 1995, 8:12:17 a.m., Table 3, position 3, hand 7S/4D/9S, or simply
identify something similar by
alphanumeric code as L7C-819-95-3-3-073-7S/4D/9S (073 being the 73rd hand
dealt). This date
stamping of hands or even cards in memory can be used as an analytical search
tool for security and to
enhance hand identification.

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FIG. 47 shows a block diagram of components for the hand-reading system on a
table 4,
including a smart card-reading delivery shoe 8 with output 14 and a smart card-
reading discard rack 12
with output 18. Player positions 6 are shown, as is a dealer's hand position
sensor 10 without output port
16.
The use of the discard rack acting to reconcile hands returned to the discard
rack out-of-order
(e.g., blackjack or bust) automatically may be advantageous, in some
embodiments. The software as
described above can be programmed to recognize hands removed out-of-dealing
order on the basis of
knowledge of the anchor cards (the first two cards) known to have been dealt
to a specific hand. For
example, the software will identify that when a blackjack was dealt to
position three, that hand will be
removed, the feed of the third hand into the smart card discard tray confirms
this, and position three will
essentially be ignored in future hand resolution. More importantly, when the
anchor cards were, for
example, 9S/5C in the second player position and an exhausted hand of 8D/9S/5C
is placed into the
smart discard rack, that hand will be identified as the hand from the second
player position. If two
identical hands happen to be dealt in the same round of play, the software
will merely be alerted (it
knows all of the hands) to specifically check the final order of cards placed
into the smart discard rack to
more carefully position the location of that exhausted hand. This is merely
recognition software
implementation once the concept is understood.
That the step of removal of cards from the dealer's sensor or other initiated
signal identifies that
all further cards are going to the dealer may be useful in defining the edges
of play between rounds and
in identifying the dealer's hand and the end of a round of play. When the
dealer's cards are deposited
and read in the smart discard rack, the central computer knows that another
round of play is to occur
and a mark or note may be established that the following sequence will be a
new round and the
analytical cycle may begin all over again.
The discard rack indicates that a complete hand has been delivered by absence
of additional
cards in the Discard Rack in-feed tray. When cards are swept from an early
exhausted hand (blackjack
or a break), they are swept one at a time and inserted into the smart discard
rack one at a time. When
the smart discard rack in-feed tray is empty, the system understands that a
complete hand has been
identified, and the system can reconcile that specific hand with the
information from the smart delivery
shoe. The system can be hooked-up to feed strategy analysis software programs
such as the SM I
licensed proprietary BloodhoundT"" analysis program.
Various embodiments include a casino or cardroom game modified to include a
progressive
jackpot component. During the play of a Twenty-One game, for example, in
addition to this normal
wager, a player will have the option of making an additional wager that
becomes part of, and makes the

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player eligible to win, the progressive jackpot. If the player's Twenty-One
hand comprises a particular,
predetermined arrangement of cards, the player will win all, or part of, the
amount showing on the
progressive jackpot. This progressive jackpot feature is also adaptable to any
other casino or cardroom
game such as Draw Poker, Stud Poker, Lo-Ball Poker or Caribbean StudTM Poker.
Various
embodiments include a gaming table, such as those used for Twenty-One or
poker, modified with the
addition of a coin acceptor that is electronically connected to a progressive
jackpot meter. When player
drops a coin into the coin acceptor, a light is activated at the player's
location indicating that he is
participating in the progressive jackpot component of the game during that
hand. At the same time, a
signal from the coin acceptor is sent to the progressive meter to increment
the amount shown on the
progressive meter. At the conclusion of the play of each hand, the coin
acceptor is reset for the next
hand. When a player wins all or part of the progressive jackpot, the amount
showing on the progressive
jackpot meter is reduced by the amount won by the player. Any number of gaming
tables can be
connected to a single progressive jackpot meter.

CARD SHUFFLERS
Various embodiments include an automatic card shuffler, including a card mixer
for receiving
cards to be shuffled in first and second trays. Sensors detect the presence of
cards in these trays to
automatically initiate a shuffling operation, in which the cards are conveyed
from the trays to a card
mixer, which randomly interleaves the cards delivered to the mixing mechanism
and deposits the
interleaved cards in a vertically aligned card compartment.
A carriage supporting an ejector is reciprocated back and forth in a vertical
direction by a
reversible linear drive while the cards are being mixed, to constantly move
the card ejector along the
card receiving compartment. The reversible linear drive is preferably
activated upon activation of the
mixing means and operates simultaneously with, but independently of, the
mixing means. When the
shuffling operation is terminated, the linear drive is deactivated thereby
randomly positioning the card
ejector at a vertical location along the card receiving compartment.
A sensor arranged within the card receiving compartment determines if the
stack of cards has
reached at least a predetermined vertical height. After the card ejector has
stopped and, if the sensor in
the compartment determines that the stack of cards has reached at least the
aforesaid predetermined
height, a mechanism including a motor drive, is activated to move the wedge-
shaped card ejector into
the card receiving compartment for ejecting a group of the cards in the stack,
the group selected being
determined by the vertical position attained by the wedge-shaped card ejector.

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In various embodiments, the card ejector pushes the group of cards engaged by
the ejector
outwardly through the forward open end of the compartment, said group of cards
being displaced from
the remaining cards of the stack, but not being completely or fully ejected
from the stack.
The card ejector, upon reaching the end of its ejection stroke, detected by a
microswitch, is
withdrawn from the card compartment and returned to its initial position in
readiness for a subsequent
shuffling and card selecting operation.
In various embodiments, a technique for randomly selecting the group of cards
to be ejected
from the card compartment utilizes solid state electronic circuit means, which
may comprise either a
group of discrete solid state circuits or a microprocessor, either of which
techniques preferably employ a
high frequency generator for stepping a N-stage counter during the shuffling
operation. When the
shuffling operation is completed, the stepping of the counter is terminated.
The output of the counter is
converted to a DC signal, which is compared against another DC signal
representative of the vertical
location of the card ejector along the card compartment.
In various embodiments, a random selection is made by incrementing the N-stage
counter with
a high frequency generator. The high frequency generator is disconnected from
the N-stage counter
upon termination of the shuffling operation. The N-stage counter is then
incremented by a very low
frequency generator until it reaches its capacity count and resets. The
reciprocating movement of the
card ejector is terminated after completion of a time interval of random
length and extending from the
time the high frequency generator is disconnected from the N-stage counter to
the time that the counter
is advanced to its capacity count and reset by the low frequency generator,
triggering the energization of
the reciprocating drive, at which time the card ejector carriage coasts to a
stop.
In various embodiments, the card ejector partially ejects a group of cards
from the stack in the
compartment. The partially displaced group of cards is then manually removed
from the compartment. In
another preferred embodiment, the ejector fully ejects the group of cards from
the compartment, the
ejected cards being dropped into a chute, which delivers the cards directly to
a dealing shoe. The
pressure plate of the dealing shoe is initially withdrawn to a position
enabling the cards passing through
the delivery shoe to enter directly into the dealing shoe, and is thereafter
returned to its original position
at which it urges the cards towards the output end of the dealing shoe.
Various embodiments include a method and apparatus for automatically shuffling
and cutting
playing cards and delivering shuffled and cut playing cards to the dispensing
shoe without any human
intervention whatsoever once the playing cards are delivered to the shuffling
apparatus. In addition, the
shuffling operation may be performed as soon as the play of each game is
completed, if desired, and
simultaneously with the start of a new game, thus totally eliminating the need
to shuffle all of the playing
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cards (which may include six or eight decks, for example) at one time.
Preferably, the cards played are
collected in a"dead box" and are drawn from the dead box when an adequate
number of cards have
been accumulated for shuffling and cutting using the methods according to
various embodiments.
Various embodiments include a computer controlled shuffling and cutting system
provided with
a housing having at least one transparent wall making the shuffling and card
delivery mechanism easily
visible to all players and floor management in casino applications. The
housing is provided with a
reciprocally slidable playing card pusher which, in the first position, is
located outside of said housing. A
motor-operated transparent door selectively seals and uncovers an opening in
the transparent wall to
permit the slidably mounted card pusher to be moved from its aforementioned
first position to a second
position inside the housing whereupon the slidably mounted card pusher is then
withdrawn to the first
position, whereupon the playing cards have been deposited upon a motorized
platform which moves
vertically and selectively in the upward and downward directions.
The motor driven transparent door is lifted to the uncovered position
responsive to the proper
location of the motor driven platform, detected by suitable sensor means, as
well as depression of a foot
or hand-operated button accessible to the dealer.
The motor driven platform (or "elevator") lifts the stack of playing cards
deposited therein
upwardly toward a shuffling mechanism responsive to removal of the slidably
mounted card pusher and
closure of the transparent door whereupon the playing cards are driven by the
shuffling mechanism in
opposing directions and away from the stack to first and second card holding
magazines positioned on
opposing sides of the elevator, said shuffling mechanism comprising motor
driven rollers rotatable upon
a reciprocating mounting device, the reciprocating speed and roller rotating
speed being adjustable.
Alternatively, however, the reciprocating and rotating speeds may be fixed; if
desired, employing motors
having fixed output speeds, in place of the stepper motors employed in one
preferred embodiment.
Upon completion of a shuffling operation, the platform is lowered and the
stacks of cards in
each of the aforementioned receiving compartments are sequentially pushed back
onto the moving
elevator by suitable motor-driven pushing mechanisms. The order of operation
of the pushing
mechanisms is made random by use of a random numbers generator employed in the
operating
computer for controlling the system. These operations can be repeated, if
desired. Typically, new cards
undergo these operations from two to four times.
Guide assemblies guide the movement of cards onto the platform, prevent
shuffled cards from
being prematurely returned to the elevator platform and align the cards as
they fall into the card
receiving regions as well as when they are pushed back onto the elevator
platform by the motor-driven
pushing mechanism.

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Upon completion of the plurality of shuffling and cutting operations, the
platform is again
lowered, causing the shuffled and cut cards to be moved downwardly toward a
movable guide plate
having an inclined guide surface.
As the motor driven elevator moves downwardly between the guide plates, the
stack of cards
engages the inclined guide surface of a substantially U-shaped secondary block
member causing the
stack to be shifted from a horizontal orientation to a diagonal orientation.
Substantially simultaneously
therewith, a"drawbridge-like" assembly comprised of a pair of swingable arms
pivotally mounted at their
lower ends, are swung downwardly about their pivot pin from a vertical
orientation to a diagonal
orientation and serve as a diagonally aligned guide path. The diagonally
aligned stack of cards slides
1o downwardly along the inclined guide surfaces and onto the draw bridge-like
arms and are moved
downwardly therealong by the U-shaped secondary block member, under control of
a stepper motor, to
move cards toward and ultimately into the dealing shoe.
A primary block, with a paddle, then moves between the cut-away portion of the
U-shaped
secondary block, thus applying forward pressure to the stack of cards. The
secondary block then
retracts to the home position. The paddle is substantially rectangular-shaped
and is aligned in a diagonal
orientation. Upon initial set-up of the system the paddle is positioned above
the path of movement of
cards into the dealing shoe. The secondary block moves the cut and shuffled
cards into the dealing shoe
and the paddle is lowered to the path of movement of cards toward the dealing
shoe and is moved
against the rearwardmost card in the stack of cards delivered to the dealing
shoe. When shuffling and
cutting operations are performed subsequent to the initial set-up, the paddle
rests against the
rearwardmost card previously delivered to the dealing shoe. The shuffled and
cut cards sliding along the
guide surfaces of the diagonally aligned arms of the draw bridge-like
mechanism come to rest upon the
opposite surface of the paddle which serves to isolate the playing cards
previously delivered to the
dispensing shoe, as well as providing a slight pushing force urging the cards
toward the outlet slot of the
dispensing shoe thereby enabling the shuffling and delivering operations to be
performed simultaneously
with the dispensing of playing cards from the dispensing shoe.
After all of the newly shuffled playing cards have been delivered to the rear
end of the
dispensing shoe, by means of the U-shaped secondary block the paddle which is
sandwiched between
two groups of playing cards, is lifted to a position above and displaced from
the playing cards. A
movable paddle mounting assembly is then moved rearwardly by a motor to place
the paddle to the rear
of the rearmost playing card just delivered to the dispensing shoe; and the
paddle is lowered to its home
position, whereupon the motor controlling movement of the paddle assembly is
then deenergized
enabling the rollingly-mounted assembly supporting the paddle to move
diagonally downwardly as

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playing cards are dispensed from the dispensing shoe to provide a force which
is sufficient to urge the
playing cards forwardly toward the playing card dispensing slot of the dealing
shoe. The force acting
upon the paddle assembly is the combination of gravity and a force exerted
upon the paddle assembly
by a constant tension spring assembly. Jogging (i.e., "dither") means cause
the paddle to be jogged or
reciprocated in opposing forward and rearward directions at periodic intervals
to assure appropriate
alignment, stacking and sliding movement of the stack of playing cards toward
the card dispensing slot
of the dealing shoe.
Upon completion of a game, the cards used in the completed game are typically
collected by
the dealer and placed in a dead box on the table. The collected cards are
later placed within the
reciprocally movable card pusher. The dealer has the option of inserting the
cards within the reciprocally
slidable card pusher into the shuffling mechanism or, alternatively, and
preferably, may postpone a
shuffling operation until a greater number of cards have been collected upon
the reciprocally slidable
card pusher. The shuffling and delivery operations may be performed as often
or as infrequently as the
dealer or casino management may choose. The shuffling and playing card
delivery operations are fully
automatic and are performed without human intervention as soon as cards are
inserted within the
machine on the elevator platform. The cards are always within the unobstructed
view of the players to
enable the players, as well as the dealer, to observe and thereby be assured
that the shuffling, cutting
and card delivery operations are being performed properly and without jamming
and that the equipment
is working properly as well. The shuffling and card delivery operations do not
conflict or interfere with the
2o dispensing of cards from the dispensing shoe, thereby permitting these
operations to be performed
substantially simultaneously, thus significantly reducing the amount of time
devoted to shuffling and
thereby greatly increasing the playing time, as well as providing a highly
efficient random shuffling and
cutting mechanism.
The system is controlled by a microcomputer programmed to control the
operations of the card
shuffling and cutting system. The computer controls stepper motors through
motor drive circuits,
intelligent controllers and an opto-isolator linking the intelligent
controllers to the computer. The
computer also monitors a plurality of sensors to assure proper operation of
each of the mechanisms of
the system.

CASINO COUNTERMEASURES
Some methods of thwarting card counters include using a large number of decks.
Shoes
containing 6 or 8 decks are common. The more cards there are, the less
variation there is in the
proportions of the remaining cards and the harder it is to count them. The
player's advantage can also

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be reduced by shuffling the cards more frequently, but this reduces the amount
of time that can be
devoting to actual play and therefore reduces the casino profits. Some casinos
now use shuffling
machines, some of which shuffle one set of cards while another is in play,
while others continuously
shuffle the cards. The distractions of the gaming floor environment and
complimentary alcoholic
beverages also act to thwart card counters. Some methods of thwarting card
counters include using
varied payoff structures, such Blackjack payoff of 6:5, which is more
disadvantageous to the player than
the standard 3:2 Blackjack payoff.

VIDEO WAGERING GAMES
Video wagering games are set up to mimic a table game using adaptations of
table games
rules and cards.
In one version of video poker the player is allowed to inspect five cards
randomly chosen by the
computer. These cards are displayed on the video screen and the player chooses
which cards, if any,
that he or she wishes to hold. If the player wishes to hold all of the cards,
i.e., stand, he or she presses a
STAND button. If the player wishes to hold only some of the cards, he or she
chooses the cards to be
held by pressing HOLD keys located directly under each card displayed on the
video screen. Pushing a
DEAL button after choosing the HOLD cards automatically and simultaneously
replaces the unchosen
cards with additional cards which are randomly selected from the remainder of
the deck. After the
STAND button is pushed, or the cards are replaced, the final holding is
evaluated by the game
machine's computer and the player is awarded either play credits or a coin
payout as determined from a
payoff table. This payoff table is stored in the machine's computer memory and
is also displayed on the
machine's screen. Hands with higher poker values are awarded more credits or
coins. Very rare poker
hands are awarded payoffs of 800-to-1 or higher.


ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES
It will be understood that the technologies described herein for making,
using, or practicing
various embodiments are but a subset of the possible technologies that may be
used for the same or
similar purposes. The particular technologies described herein are not to be
construed as limiting.
Rather, various embodiments contemplate alternate technologies for making,
using, or practicing various
embodiments.

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INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
The following patents and patent applications are incorporated by reference
herein for all
purposes:
US patent 6,579,181
US patent 6,299,536
US patent 6,093,103
US patent 5,941,769
US patent 7,114,718
US patent application publication 20050012269
US patent4,515,367
US patent 5,000,453
US patent 7,137,630
US patent 7,137,629

Detailed Description

In various embodiments, a secondary player may include a person who places
bets on the games of
other people (primary players) but does not directly participate in the game
himself. The secondary
player may thus be remote from the place where a game is actually played. The
secondary player may
nevertheless view information about the game, such as from a video feed. A
secondary player may also
play in games of his own using the outcomes generated at the games of primary
players.

In various embodiments, a player, such as a secondary player, may engage in
gaming activities using a
station, workstation, or terminal that has multiple displays. The displays may
be monitors. The displays
may include liquid crystal displays (LCDs), plasma screens, cathode ray tube
displays, or any other
displays. The terminal may include various other components. One or more
keyboards may include
buttons, touch pads, or other devices for receiving inputs from a secondary
player. The keyboard may
have dedicated keys with certain functions, such as shortcut functions. The
terminal may include an
audio communication channel, such as a telephone, an internet connection that
supports voice, or any
other communications channel. The terminal may include one or more touch
screens. Touch screens
may correspond to display screens. Figure 61 shows a terminal, according to
various embodiments.
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1. Changing sizes of windows or feeds. In various embodiments, display screens
of a terminal may
display windows. A window may be a geometrical region of a display screen that
shows related
information within the region. For example, a window may show information
about a particular
game, such as a game from a particular primary player or from a particular
slot machine. The
window may be rectangular or some other shape. The window may be resized, such
as to fill an
entire display screen or to fill even more than one display screen. A window
may also be resized to
a relatively small size. Windows may be closed completely. New windows (e.g.,
windows showing
information about a new type of game) may be opened. Windows may be stacked on
top of one
another. Windows may have various other relationships. Each window may have a
different type of
information. Each window, for example, may show information from the game of a
different primary
player. A window may feature games from a particular gaming device. A window
may feature
games from a particular game table. A window may feature statistics from
around the casino (e.g.,
which are the top performing gaming devices; e.g., who is the fastest dealer;
e.g., what is the
longest winning streak in a game of roulette). A window may feature sports
scores. A window may
feature video feeds, such as video of a sporting event, video of a primary
player, video of game
table, or any other video. A window may feature game simulations, such as
simulated
reenactments of games.
1.1. Customized WindowArrangement. In various embodiments, a secondary player
may have
the opportunity to create or open new windows, to resize windows, and to move
windows
around. The secondary player may also have the opportunity to alter other
properties of a
window, such as its border color, background color, title bar, or any other
properties. A
secondary player may thus come to arrive at an arrangement of windows which he
finds
convenient, comfortable, or otherwise preferable. The secondary player's
preferred
arrangement of windows, including his preferred windows and/or preferred
information to have
in windows may be stored. The preferred arrangement may be stored with a
terminal, with the
casino server, or with the secondary player (e.g., in a portable flash drive
or other medium in
the possession of the secondary player). A given secondary player may thus
leave a terminal
and allow other secondary players to use the terminal, where each of the other
secondary
players has different preferences for window arrangements. The given secondary
player may
return to the terminal and have his preferred window arrangement automatically
called up onto
the display screens of the terminal.

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A preferred window arrangement may include a specification of which windows a
secondary
player wants to view. For example, a secondary player may wish to view a
window which
shows a video feed from a particular craps table, another window which shows
game
outcomes form a particular bank of slot machines, another window which shows
the secondary
player's own credit balance and winnings history, another window which shows
the top 50
primary players (in terms of net winnings over the last hour) who are
currently playing in the
casino, and another window which shows movies. A preferred window arrangement
may
include a specification of the position windows should take within one or more
display screens
of a terminal. For example, a first window and second window may go in a first
display screen,
a third window may take up an entire second display screen, a fourth window
may occupy
another two display screens, and a fifth, sixth and seventh windows may share
another display
screen. A preferred window arrangement may also include a specification of the
position of
windows within particular display screens. For example, a first window may be
positioned in
the top half of a display screen, a second window may be positioned in the
lower left hand
quadrant of the display screen, and a third window may be positioned in the
lower right hand
quadrant of the display screen.

In various embodiments, a terminal may include a button, key, or other input
device which
allows a secondary player to store his preferred window arrangement. The
secondary player
may press the button to store the arrangement. The secondary player may
further provide a
name for the arrangement. Thus, the secondary player may have the ability to
store multiple
arrangements, each under different names. When the secondary player first sits
down at a
terminal, the secondary player may present identifying information, such as by
presenting a
player tracking card (e.g., inserting the player tracking card into a card
reader of the terminal).
The terminal may then display a message for the secondary player asking if the
secondary
player would like to load a preferred window arrangement. The secondary player
may be
shown a list of saved window arrangements. The secondary player may then
select one
arrangement from the list, and the arrangement may be recreated for the
secondary player.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may specify a preferred window
arrangement
using a device other than a terminal. For example, a secondary player may
configure a
preferred window arrangement on his home computer. The home computer may
display, for
example, a simulation of the terminal. The player may then create simulated
windows and

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arrange the simulated windows in a preferred arrangement. The player may store
such
preferred arrangement with the casino server for example. When the secondary
player
subsequently visits a terminal (e.g., at a casino), the secondary player may
load his preferred
window arrangement into a terminal.
2. The hardware. A terminal may include one or more displays. Displays may be
mounted on
movable arms. For example, each display may be mounted on its own adjustable
arm. Thus, the
display may be repositioned by a secondary player to suit his viewing
preferences. A secondary
player may position multiple displays in order to arrive at his preferred
arrangement. For example, a
secondary player may arrange four displays so that they are stacked
vertically, so that they form a
horizontal row of displays, or so that they form a two by two grid, for
example. In various
embodiments, displays may be mounted in fixed relation to one another. For
example, six displays
may be fixed to a rigid, concave metal structure, so that together they form a
"C" shape around a
secondary player. A terminal may include one or more keyboards. A keyboard may
include the
"qwerty" arrangement of keys, or may include some other key arrangement. A
keyboard may have
keys with specific functions related to gaming. A terminal may include other
buttons or input
devices. A terminal may include a computer processor, computer memory, a
communications port
for communicating with a network, an antenna or other transceiver for
communicating wirelessly, a
card reader (e.g., a magnetic stripe card reader; e.g., an RFID reader), audio
output devices (e.g.,
speakers, e.g., headphones), audio input devices (e.g., microphones, e.g.,
telephone handsets), a
chair or bench, a desk, a radio (e.g., a radio for listening to broadcast
sports events), and any other
pertinent devices. A terminal may further include components for gaming
directly at the terminal. A
terminal may include a built-in gaming device or may function as a gaming
device. For example, a
terminal may include coin and bill acceptors, a random number generator,
buttons for placing bets,
a coin dispenser, a coin tray, a printer, a ticket-in-ticket-out (TITO)
printer, a TITO reader,
mechanical reels, and/or hardware for conducting a bonus game (e.g., a
terminal may include a
physical wheel for conducting the bonus round of a Wheel-of-Fortune game). A
terminal may
include software with various functions. Game software may allow a person to
play as a primary
player, e.g., to play a game directly at the terminal. Some software may also
provide an interface
for a secondary player to place bets on games played elsewhere, e.g., games
played by primary
players. Software may further include software for displaying video feeds,
such as feeds from
sporting events or the games of primary players. Software may further include
software for
displaying outcomes generated in games played elsewhere. Software may further
include software
for allowing communication between the terminal and a network, such as the
Internet, a cellular

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phone network, and/or a telephone network. Software may further include any
other software for
operating the terminal or associated devices in accordance with various
embodiments.
2.1. Displays are stacked. Displays are movable with respect to one another.
In some
embodiments, displays are all attached to a single rigid body. The body may
include a desk, a
stand, or a housing which encloses computer hardware used to operate the
terminal. The
displays may be attached to the body via jointed or flexible arms. For
example, a display may
be attached to the body via a metal arm with a joint in it. A person may be
able to adjust the
position of a display by pulling or pushing on it, thereby flexing or
contracting the metal arm
holding the display. A display may be mounted on a rotatable joint so that it
may be oriented
facing up or down, facing to one side or the other, or any combination of the
above. In some
embodiments, displays may be attached to one another. For example, two square
displays
may be connected at a side by a hinge. Thus, the displays may be folded to
face more
towards each other or more away from one another. In various embodiments,
displays may
be attached to a backboard or other rigid body. Their position may be
relatively fixed, but their
orientation may be adjustable. In various embodiments, displays may be
flexible. Thus, a
secondary player may bend a display. For example, a large flexible display may
be bent to
form a semicircle around a secondary player. In some embodiments, displays may
be
transparent or translucent. One display may be positioned in front of another
display. Thus,
the player may be able to see some of both displays in the same field of
vision.
2.2. Position of displays can be saved. In various embodiments, a player at a
terminal may save
or record a particular arrangement of displays, keyboards, or other hardware.
The
arrangement may be stored with the terminal or with the casino server, for
example. When a
player returns to a terminal after an absence, or if the player comes to a new
terminal, the
player's stored settings may be recovered. The hardware of the terminal may
then be brought
into position automatically. For example, arms holding displays may be
motorized and under
computer control. The motors may thus be operated in such a manner as to bring
the displays
into the preferred arrangement of the player.
2.3. Displays functioning as one. In some embodiments, two or more displays
may function as a
single display. A graphic, window, or other image may begin on one display and
continue on
another display. A player may be able to move a window from one display screen
onto
another in a seamless motion. For example, a player may be able to use a mouse
to drag a
window from one display screen to an adjacent screen. In some embodiments,
screens or the
supporting structures for screens may include position sensors. For example,
the joints on the
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arms supporting screens may include sensors for detecting the angles in the
joints. Based on
angles of the joints, software may be used to calculate the positions of the
screens. Based on
the positions of the displays, it may be determined which displays are near to
each other or
next to each other, and thus it may be determined how a single image should be
displayed on
multiple displays. For example, parts of the image that are adjacent to one
another should be
displayed on adjacent screens.
2.4. Special keyboards. A terminal may include one or more keyboards, keypads,
buttons, or other
input devices. Certain keys may have specific functions.
2.4.1. Functions of keys. A key may be used to open up a specific line of
communication
(e.g., to another player, e.g., to a casino representative), to call up a
video feed for
viewing, to call up information about a game for viewing (e.g., what is the
current
outcome, e.g., what were the last five outcomes), to call up a broadcast for
viewing or
listening, or for any other function. In various embodiments, a key may have a
function
as a preprogrammed or default function. In various embodiments, a key may be
configured or programmed to perform a function. For example, a secondary
player may
configure a key to open up a line of communication with a specific friend of
the
secondary player.
2.4.2. Lines of communication. A key (e.g., a button) may open up a line of
communication.
The line of communication may be one-way, two-way, or multi-way. The line of
communication may take the form of audio, text, video, or any combination of
audio, text,
and video. A key may open up a line of communication between the secondary
player
and another person, such as a friend of the secondary player or a casino
representative.
In some embodiments, a secondary player may configure a key to open a line of
communication to a specific person. The secondary player may provide the name
of the
specific person, an identifier for the specific person (e.g., a player
tracking card number)
or any other information about the other person. The secondary player may
visit a
special window where a list of keys or buttons is provided, and the player is
given the
chance to enter names of people that he wishes to contact with the press of a
button. A
key or button may have a small display associated with it. On the display may
appear
the name of the person or the party with whom a line of communication is
opened once
the button is pressed. For example, once a secondary player has entered the
name "Joe
Smith" of his friend, the name "Joe Smith" may be displayed on or near a
button. This

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may remind the secondary player that the particular button will open up a line
of
communication with Joe Smith.

In various embodiments, a key or button may open a line of communication with
a casino
representative. The secondary player may press such a button to order a drink,
order
food, request service to the terminal, request payment for jackpot, of for any
other
purpose. The secondary player may also initiate contact with a casino
representative for
information unrelated to a specific game. For example, the secondary player
may wish
to make a reservation a restaurant, may wish to find out when a restaurant
closes, may
wish to purchase show tickets, or may wish to seek out any other information
or perform
any other task.

In a one-way line of communication, for example, a secondary player may
receive a
video feed, audio feed, or may receive information in some other format.
Information
received may pertain to a game on which the secondary player is betting (e.g.,
to a slot
machine game of a primary player playing in some other part of a casino), to a
sports
game, to a horse race, to general weather information, to general information
about a
casino (e.g., to when a swimming pool closes), to general news (e.g., to local
news, e.g.,
to world news), or to any other activity or events. In various embodiments, a
secondary
player may be the one communicating in a one-way line of communication. The
secondary player may, for example, open up a voice line to place an order for
a drink.
The player's request may be recorded at the other end of the line, and may
then be
forwarded to a waiter or waitress in whose area the secondary player is
located.

In a two-way line of communication, a player (e.g., a secondary player), may
communicate with another person (e.g., a friend of the player, e.g., a casino
representative). Video and/or voice from both parties may be transmitted back
and forth
via a network, such as via a casino intranet or such as via the Internet.

In some embodiments, a player (e.g., a secondary player) may be able to open
up
multiple lines of communication at once. For example, a secondary player may
be
speaking to his friend Joe via one line of two-way voice communication, to his
friend Sam
via another line of two-way voice communication, and to his friend Bill via a
two-way

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voice and video line of communication. The secondary player may be able to
customize
each line of communication on the fly. For example, the secondary player may
be able
to mute two lines of communication so he can speak to his friend Bill without
the other
friends on the line hearing him. The secondary player may also be able to
change a line
of communication from solely audio to audio and video, from video to audio,
from two-
way to multi-way, or to alter lines of communication in any other fashion. For
example, a
secondary player may be speaking to three friends, each over different lines
of
communication. The secondary player may be able to merge the lines of
communication
so that now the friends can hear and talk to each other rather than just hear
and talk to
the secondary player.

2.4.3. Keys to specific games. In various embodiments, feeds containing
information about
games may be available to a secondary player. A feed about a game may include
a
video feed of a particular game. For example, there may be a video feed of a
high limit
baccarat game available. A feed about game may include a feed with simulated
reenactments of a game. For example, a feed may contain animated slot reels
spinning
to reveal an actual outcome that occurred at a slot machine. A feed about a
game may
include summary information. The information may be presented in the form of
text,
graphic, or video. The summary information may include, for example, an
indication of
an amount bet, an outcome achieved, an amount won, a number of pay lines
played,
which pay lines won, whether a bonus round was reached, what decisions were
made in
a bonus round, what decisions were made in the game at any decision juncture,
and any
other pertinent information. A feed may include video of a primary player. For
example,
the secondary player may be able to watch footage of a primary player as he
plays a
game. A feed may include footage for active games. For example, video footage
may
alternate originating from several different primary players, depending on who
is currently
involved in a game, depending on who currently has to make a decision in a
game,
depending on whether a game is near resolution, and so on.

A key may be configured or programmed to always call up a feed for a
particular gaming
device. A key may be configured or programmed to always call up a feed for a
particular
gaming table, to always call up a feed for a particular group of tables (e.g.,
the feed may
show information about the outcomes of every game at the group of tables), to
always

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call up a feed for a group of gaming devices (e.g., the feed may show
information about
the outcomes of every game occurring at the group of gaming devices), to
always call up
a feed for a particular area of a casino (e.g., the feed may show information
about the
outcomes of every game for the particular area of the casino), or to call up a
feed for any
other group of gaming devices or game tables.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may desire ready access to
information
about a certain preferred game or games. Thus, a single key or button may be
configured to call up, when pressed, information about the preferred game or
games.
In various embodiments, when information is called up, it may be displayed on
one of the
display screen of the terminal. Such information may occupy an entire screen,
or it may
occupy a portion of a screen, such as window within a screen.

2.4.4. Keys for latest updates. In various embodiments, a key or button may be
pressed by
a secondary player to call up an update about a game, primary player, gaming
device,
dealer, or other object, entity, or events in which the secondary player is
interested. For
example, a secondary player may press a key that will caused to be displayed
on a
screen the most recent outcomes at a particular blackjack table. As another
example, a
secondary player may press a key that will cause to be displayed on a screen
the most
recent outcomes which have occurred across a casino and which have paid more
than
$200. As another example, a player may press a key that will cause to be
displayed the
ten most recent rolls of the dice at a craps table. In various embodiments, a
secondary
player may press a key which causes an update to be provided. The update may
appear
in a window of one of the display screens of the terminal, for example. The
update may
disappear after some period of time, e.g., after 30 seconds. In some
embodiments, the
update may remain until the player again presses the key which brought the
update in
the first place. The window or screen showing the update may be continuously
updated
or may be static. Thus, in various embodiments, a secondary player may press a
key to
get updated information about a table, player, etc. However, the information
may
represent a small snapshot of the latest information and may not represent a
continuous
information feed of new information as it happens.

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2.4.4.1. Keyboard has different channels. In various embodiments, a keyboard
may have
keys, buttons, or special key combinations which correspond to channels. A
channel may be a broadcast or one-way line of communication. A channel may
present information related to a particular topic, such as related to a
particular type
of game, to a particular type of player (e.g., high rollers), or to some other
subject
or topic. A channel may present video feeds, statistics, game commentary,
strategy information, or any other information.
2.4.4.1.1. Video poker channel. In various embodiments, a video poker channel
may exist. The channel may broadcast information about one or more video
poker games. The channel may present lists of final outcomes as they
occur throughout a casino. For example, the video poker channel may
present a scrolling list with outcomes, "As 3d 4c Ac Js; 9h 9d 3s 3c Ks; As
Ks Oh Jd 10c..." Such outcomes may be outcomes that have occurred
most recently at video poker games in a casino. A channel may include a
scrolling list with cards dealt, with payouts won, with decisions made, or
with
any other items of information. A channel may include video footage. The
video footage may switch from one game to another. For example, an
announcer may say, "Let us now go to John's game where he has just been
dealt three cards to a royal flush..." Video footage may then be shown of
John's game. At any given moment, there may be a number of games that
could be featured on a channel. Some games might be shown in one form
or another, such as in the form of a video feed, in the form of a text
description, or in any other form, while some games may not be shown.
Games that are shown may match one or more criteria. Such criteria may
include: (a) a game had a high bet; (b) a game is being played by a skillful
player (e.g., by a player who uses optimal strategy more than 80% of the
time); (c) a game is being played by a primary player who has won more
than a certain amount of money in the last hour; (d) a game has the potential
to yield a high paying final outcome (e.g., an intermediate outcome has been
dealt with four cards to a royal flush); (e) a game is played by a primary
player that is popular (e.g., that has been rated highly in surveys of
secondary players); (f) a game has been bet on by more than a
predetermined number of secondary players; (g) a game has more than a

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certain amount of money bet on it by secondary players; and any other
criteria.

More specific channels may exist. For example, there may be a channel
dedicated to $1 video poker, to multi-hand video poker, to video poker
games played in Las Vegas, to video poker games played in the last hour, or
to Jacks-or-Better video poker.

A channel may show live information. A channel may also show historical
information. For example, a video poker channel may show the best games
from the last week, of games played last year.
2.4.4.1.2. Sports book channel. A sports book channel may show information
about various sporting events, such as baseball games, basketball games,
horse races, car races, golf tournaments, or any other sporting events or
contests. The information may be presented as a text description of scores.
For example, the most recent scores of various games may be scrolled
across a screen. A sports book channel may show video feeds of various
games, or highlights of various games. A sports book channel may
selectively show footage from one game over another for various reasons.
Footage of a particular game may be shown if: (a) there is a significant
amount of money bet on the game by secondary players (e.g., more than a
certain amount of money in aggregate, e.g., more money is bet on the game
than on another game which is not shown); (b) there are more than a certain
number of secondary players betting on the game; (c) the game is close
(e.g., the scores of the opponents in the game are close; e.g., the horses in
a race are neck and neck); (d) the game is nearing a resolution, or for any
other reason.
2.4.4.1.3. Personalized channel. In various embodiments, a channel may be a
one-way communication of information to a secondary player. The channel
may be customized to the particular player, however. Thus, two different
secondary players who are watching the Blackjack Channel, for example,
may still receive different sets of information. A channel may be customized
to show information about a game that a particular secondary player is

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betting on, to show information about a game that may be considered
relevant to a secondary player based on information about the secondary
player (e.g., a sports game may be shown to the secondary player if the
secondary player's home team is playing), to show to the secondary player
information about a game played by primary players with similar
demographics to those of the secondary player, to show the secondary
player information about a game played near his hometown (e.g., if the
secondary player is from Mississippi, a game from a Mississippi casino may
be shown), to show the secondary player information about a game in which
the secondary player had previously expressed interest (e.g., if a secondary
player previously has made bets on the games played at a particular gaming
device, then games played at that same gaming device may be shown to the
secondary player on his personalized channel.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may be asked what he would
like to see or hear on a particular channel. The secondary player might then
select particular types of games (e.g., video poker, e.g., Monopoly Slots),
particular primary players, particular tables, particular dealers, particular
areas in a casino, particular types of strategies (e.g., the secondary player
wants a channel to show only primary players using a particular type of
strategy, such as basic strategy), particular stages in games (e.g., the
secondary player selects that a channel show only bonus rounds for games;
e.g., the secondary player selects that a channeo should only show games
after an intermediate outcome has occurred, such as after the first two cards
in blackjack have been dealt), games with certain types of outcomes (e.g.,
the secondary player selects that a channel should show only outcomes that
have a payout of more than $100; e.g., the secondary player selects that a
channel should show only outcomes where the ace of spades is present;
e.g., the secondary player selects that a channel should only show games
where a primary player has three cards to a royal flush), games played by
certain teams (e.g., the secondary player may select that a channel only
show baseball games from the National League; e.g., the secondary player
may select that a channel only show college basketball games), or the

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secondary player may select or specify any other type of content to be in his
personalized channel. The player may select content from a menu (e.g., the
player may select a type of game from a menu containing different types of
games), the player may specify desired content using text, or the player may
specify desired content using any other format. The secondary player may
have the opportunity to name the channel. For example, the player might
name a channel "Bonus Rounds", "Top Winning Primary Players", "Craps
Games", "High Payout Games", or any other name.
2.4.4.2. Specific table (I like blackjack table X). In various embodiments, a
channel may
present games or information from a particular gaming table. For example, a
channel may present games from a particular blackjack table. The channel may
show video footage of the game. Video footage may be shown from overtop the
table. Video footage may be shown which focuses on individual players at the
table (e.g., video may focus on the face of one of the primary players). Video
footage may be shown which focuses on the dealer. Footage may be shown
which focuses on particular hands, particular cards, on chip stacks of various
players, or on any other aspect of a table. A channel for a table may feature
statistics about the table, including percentages of hands won by players in
the last
hour, including net winnings of the primary players, including the percentage
of
blackjacks achieved at the table in the last hour, or any other statistics. A
channel
for a table may feature statistics about rolls of dice (e.g., at a craps
table), about
outcomes at a roulette wheel (e.g., a statistic may indicate the percentage of
"black" outcomes that occurred in the last 100 spins of a roulette wheel), or
statistics about any other event or events at a gaming table.
2.4.5. Keys to specific players. In some embodiments, a secondary player may
press a key
or button to receive information about a specific primary player. Pressing
such a key or
button may allow the secondary player to see a video feed of the primary
player's game,
to see a video feed of the primary player himself (e.g., a video feed of the
primary
player's face), to see simulated renditions of the games of the primary
player, to see
statistics about the primary player (e.g., lifetime net winnings for the
primary player), to
see recent statistics for the primary player (e.g., net winnings for the
primary player in the
last hour), and to see any other information related to the primary player. In
various
embodiments, a key pressed by the secondary player may allow the secondary
player to

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open up a line of communication with a primary player, such as an audio line
of
communication.
2.4.6. Keys to specific gaming devices. In some embodiments, a secondary
player may
press a key to receive information about a specific gaming device. Pressing
such a key
or button may allow the secondary player to see video of the gaming device, to
see
outcomes generated on the gaming device, to see reenactments of games played
on the
gaming device, or to see any other information about the gaming device. A key
may be
labeled with an identifier for a gaming device, such as "VideoPoker12345". The
key may
also be given a custom name by the secondary player. In various embodiments,
pressing a key or button may allow a secondary player to open up a
communication
channel with a gaming device. For example, the secondary player may be able to
engage in audio communication with a primary player at the gaming device.
2.4.7. Keys to a specific game table. In various embodiments, pressing a key
or button may
allow a secondary player to receive information about a specific gaming table.
For
example, the secondary player may receive a video feed from the gaming table,
an
indication of who the dealer is, an indication of who the primary players are,
statistics
about what cards were dealt, statistics about what outcomes occurred,
statistics about
the percentage of time that primary players have won versus the percentage of
time that
the dealer has won, statistics about what strategy has been used at the table,
or any
other information about the table. The key may allow a secondary player to
open up a
line of communication with the table, such as a line of communication with one
or more of
the primary players at the table, or such as a line of communication with the
dealer at the
table.
2.4.8. Keys to specific sporting events. In various embodiments, a button or
key may give a
secondary player access to information about a particular sporting event. For
example, a
secondary player may press a key to watch a video feed of a baseball game
between the
Yankees and the Red Sox. When the sports game goes to commercial, the
secondary
player may press another button which calls up another sporting event. In
various
embodiments, a secondary player may select a viewing angle for a sporting
event. For
example, a sporting event may have multiple cameras capturing the action. The
secondary player may be able to press a first button to see a feed from a
first camera, a
second button to see a feed from a second camera, and so on. For example, in a
tennis
match, one button may correspond to a view from mid-court, while another
button may
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correspond to a view from the back of one side of the court. In some
embodiments, a
key may allow a secondary player to switch the commentator for a feed,
broadcast, or
channel. For example, a secondary player may be viewing a feed from a sporting
event.
The secondary player may press a key to change the audio from one sports
commentator to another commentator. A secondary player may also change the
commentator for another type of event. For example, a commentator may comment
on
the strategy of primary players from a table game of blackjack. A secondary
player may
decide he doesn't like the commentator and may switch to a new commentator.
The
switch may occur at the press of a button or key, through a menu selection, or
through
some other means.
2.4.9. Functional Keys for Video feeds. In some embodiments, keys may have
specialized
functions for controlling video. Various keys may allow a secondary player to
zoom in or
zoom out. Various keys may allow a player to pan, to tilt, to increase or
decrease the
viewing angle, to filter out one or more objects in a video feed, to increase
or decrease
contrast, to increase or decrease brightness. If audio is present, a key may
allow a
secondary player to filter out certain audio sources (e.g., a secondary player
may wish to
filter out the voices of certain basketball players to hone in on the voice of
his favorite
basketball player). Various keys may allow the secondary player to freeze a
video, to
play the video in slow motion, to play the video backwards, or to play a video
in fast
forward. Various keys may allow for other manipulation of video or audio.
2.4.10. Programmable keys. Shortcut keys. A button or key may be programmable
or
configurable to call up any type of information, or to perform any other
function. For
example, a secondary player may program a button to bring up information about
his
preferred gaming table, about his preferred primary player, about his
preferred outcomes,
or about anything else. A secondary player may configure a button to open up a
line of
communication with a specific other person, with a specific gaming device,
with a specific
game table, or with any other specific counterparty. A secondary player may
configure a
button to put in a request. For example, a button may be configured such that
if the
button is pressed a martini will be ordered for the secondary player.
2.4.11. Keys that provide messages or alerts. In various embodiments, a button
or key may
change color, flash, or otherwise draw attention. A secondary player may then
press the
button or key to open up a line of communication, to call up particular
information, to view
a particular channel (e.g., a video poker channel) or to perform any other
function. The
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button may flash or draw attention when some event of potential interest,
importance, or
significance has transpired which might warrant the attention of the secondary
player.
For example, the button may be configured to call up a bonus round channel on
screen.
The button may flash when a primary player somewhere in a casino has reached
the
final round of a bonus round. The secondary player may be motivate to press
the button
when it flashes so as to watch the final round of the bonus round which is
occurring. The
secondary player may be welcome to press the button at times when it is not
flashing as
well in order to see information about bonus rounds around the casino.
However, the
secondary player may be especially motivated to press the button when it is
flashing.
2.4.12. Specialized keys dedicated to different games. A terminal may include
specialized or
dedicated buttons or keys, where such buttons or keys are specialized for
particular
games, for particular types of bets, or for any other specialized function.
One set of keys
may be for placing bets on games of video poker. One set of keys may be for
placing
bets on a game of blackjack. Other sets of keys may include keys for placing
bets on
games of roulette, keys for placing bets on games of poker (e.g., Texas
Hold'em poker),
keys for placing bets on craps, keys for placing bets on slot machine games,
keys for
placing bets on keno games, keys for placing bets on baccarat games, or keys
for
placing bets on any other types of games. Specialized keys may be used when a
player
at a terminal acts as a secondary player. Specialized keys may be used when a
player
at a terminal acts as a primary player.

A specialized set of keys for roulette may include a key for placing a bet on
"red" a key
for placing a bet on "black" a key for placing a bet on odd numbers, a key for
placing a
bet on even numbers, a key for each number on the roulette wheel, and a key
for any
other roulette related bet. A player at a terminal who desires to play or to
participate in a
game of roulette may thus conveniently use the dedicated keys at the terminal
for making
roulette bets. A complete roulette bet may be specified using two keys for
example, a
first key may specify a bet amount (e.g., 5 credits) and a second key may
specify the bet
type (e.g., "red"). A complete bet may also be specified using a single
dedicated key.
Pressing the key may be tantamount to instructions to bet 5 on red. In various
embodiments, a bet amount may be understood, such as by default. For example,
where a bet amount is unspecified, the same bet amount from the previous game
may be

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used. Thus, for example, a player may press a dedicated "red" key to bet 5
credits on
red if the player's prior bet had also been 5 credits.

Dedicated keys for a game of video poker may include five different "hold"
keys, each
key corresponding to a different hand position. A dedicated key, in any game,
may also
correspond to a strategy. For example, in video poker, there may be a key
which directs
the strategy with the highest expected winnings to be executed. By pressing
such a key,
the player allows software (e.g., software residing on the terminal or
software residing
with the casino server) to decide which cards to hold and which cards to
discard based
on a calculation of which leads to the highest expected winnings. In a game of
blackjack,
a dedicated key may be pressed to play basic strategy.

In a game of craps, dedicated keys may allow a player to make a "pass" or
"don't pass"
bet, or to make any other craps specific bet.

A key may be configured to perform one task. For example, a key may be
configured to
always place a certain type of bet, when pressed. However, in various
embodiments, a
key may be reprogrammed to perform another dedicated task. For example, a key
that
used to always place a bet of 5 on black may be used to now place a bet of 10
on red.
2.4.13. Keys dedicated to different types of bets. Keys customizable for
different types of
bets. E.g., customize a key for "bet 7 lines and 10 cents on each line". Or
customize a
key that says, "Bet that primary player Joe will fold". In various
embodiments, keys may
be customized for particular types of bets. A player may prefer a certain bet
that is
generally not easily selected or described. For example, a secondary player
may wish to
place a bet on 7 paylines in a slot machine game and to bet a quarter per
payline on five
of the paylines and to bet a dollar per payline on the other two lines. The
secondary
player may program a key to make just this desired bet, or to make any other
desired
bet. Thus, the player may save himself the trouble of entering intricate
instructions each
time he wishes to place a bet. In various embodiments, a player may at a first
point in
time enter detailed instructions for making a complicated bet. The player may
then have
the opportunity to save the bet. For example, the terminal may display a
message for the
player asking the player whether he would like to save the bet he just made or
just
entered. The player may indicate that he would. The terminal may give the
secondary

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player the option of saving the bet to a particular button. For example, the
terminal may
give the player the option of associating a particular button on the terminal
with the bet,
so that the player may subsequently simply press the button once in order to
make the
bet. (In some embodiments, the bet does not take effect until the player
confirms or
actually initiates a game subsequent to making the bet). In some embodiments,
a
terminal may store a list of bets made recently by a player at the terminal.
For example,
the terminal may store the 10 or 50 most recent bets made by the player. The
player
may have the opportunity to see a list of recent bets and to select one from
the list. For
example, the player may use a mouse or arrow keys to navigate through a list
of recent
bets and to select one of them. The player may then make the bet again without
having
to reenter the bet.
2.4.14. Keys particular to display screens. In various embodiments, a key may
correspond to
a particular display screen. Pressing the key may somehow activate the
corresponding
display screen. For example, pressing the key may cause a mouse pointer to
appear in
the corresponding display screen, so that the player may now select or click
on items
shown in that display screen. In some embodiments, a player may be playing
multiple
games simultaneously, with different display screens showing different games.
The
player may wish to initiate a new game which is shown in a particular screen.
Thus, the
player may press a button which activates the screen. The player may then use
a
general set of betting keys to make a bet in that game and to initiate play of
the game.
The player may then press another key corresponding to another display screen.
The
new display screen may be activated. The player may then use the same general
set of
betting keys to activate to make a bet for the game shown in the new display
screen.
2.5. Pictures. In various embodiments, a player may have his own photos loaded
onto a terminal.
For example, the six screens of a terminal may each show a picture of a
different one of the
secondary player's grand children. The secondary player may bring his photos
to a terminal
using a portable device, such as an MP3 player. The player may also download
photos from a
photo sharing web site, such as Flickr.
2.6. Other special input devices. Joystick. A terminal may have various input
devices. These may
include joysticks, touch pads, track balls, touch screens, microphones,
cameras (e.g., a player
may make hand signals to issue commands to the terminal, where such hand
signals are
picked up by the camera and interpreted by software), foot pedals, electronic
pads for
recognizing handwriting, or any other input devices. A terminal may include
input devices of

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the same type found on some gaming devices. For example, a terminal may
include a handle
that can be pulled like the handle of a slot machine. Pulling such a handle
may cause the
secondary player to bet on the game of a primary player.
2.7. How do we make sure that people can't beat on these things and destroy
them? In various
embodiments, a terminal may contain expensive or fragile equipment. For
example, the
terminal may contain multiple buttons and display screens. In various
embodiments, sensors
may detect behavior which is dangerous to the equipment, such as hitting or
banging. For
example, vibration or pressure sensors may sense sudden shocks to the
equipment. In
various embodiments, a camera may monitor areas surrounding the terminal. For
example, a
camera may monitor the area where a secondary player normally sits or stands.
The camera
or various sensors may trigger an alert when dangerous behavior is detected or
perceived. A
casino employee may be alerted to visit the terminal upon detection of
potentially dangerous
or harmful behavior. The casino employee may be able to ask the secondary
player what
happened. If necessary, the casino employee may ask the secondary player to
refrain from
certain behavior. In some embodiments, if potentially harmful behavior is
detected at a
terminal, a communication line may be opened up between the terminal and a
casino
employee, such as a security guard. The casino employee may then have the
opportunity to
talk to the secondary player, ask him what is happening, and perhaps ask the
secondary
player to refrain from certain potentially damaging behaviors.
2.8. Ticker. Ticker of statistics of interest. Red/black casino wide. House
versus player casino
wide. Many other things displayed can be displayed in ticker form. In various
embodiments,
a display of a ticker may be shown on one or more display screens. The ticker
may comprise
a band on one or more display screens, with information moving across the band
(e.g., from
left to right). The band may have a particular color, such as green, or a
particular pattern, or
any other markings to distinguish it from surrounding graphics or to put on
the appearance of a
ticker tape. The ticker may contain various information. The ticker may
include statistics
about games at a casino or at multiple casinos. For example, a ticker may
indicate the
number of red outcomes that have occurred in roulette across the casino in the
last five
minutes, the number of black outcomes that have occurred in the last five
minutes, the number
of sevens that have been rolled in craps in the last hour, the number of times
players have
busted in blackjack in the last hour, the number of times the jackpot has paid
out at any slot
machine in the last twenty minutes, the names of the five players with the
most winnings in the
last hour, the size of a progressive jackpot, the scores in a sports game, or
any other statistic.

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A ticker may vary or be customized in many ways. A ticker may span one display
screen or it
may continue across two or more display screens. A ticker may even span less
than one
display screen. A ticker may be wide or narrow. A ticker may run horizontally,
vertically, or
along a diagonal. A ticker may proceed quickly (e.g., information may go from
one side to the
other quickly) or slowly. A ticker may appear as red, blue, or any other
color. A ticker may
have font in yellow, green, or any other color. There may be more than one
ticker. For
example, tickers may run in parallel across a display screen, or there may be
two different
tickers on two different displays screens.

A ticker may be customized in various ways. A secondary player may alter the
sizes,
background colors, font colors, font sizes or any other aspect of a ticker. A
secondary player
may specify which statistics or other information he wishes to be on the
ticker. For example,
the secondary player may indicate that he wants statistics only about slot
machines and craps.
Another secondary player may indicate that he wants statistics describing the
winnings of the
top 50 players of the most recent hour. Another player may indicate the he
wishes to see the
scores from sports games currently going on.

In some embodiments, certain ticker feeds may exist and may be available to
one or more
secondary players in a casino. There may be a blackjack ticker, a craps
ticker, a sports ticker,
a high rollers ticker, or any other particular ticker. A secondary player may
then choose one or
more tickers that he would like to see scrolling across on a display screen.

In various embodiments a ticker may be displayed using a matrix of light
emitting diodes, such
as a rectangular array of such diodes.
2.9. The setup adjustably configures to your body. For example, all the
screens come in to be
within arms reach. The chair moves up or down to get you near the screens. The
terminal
may include sensors, such as range finders, lasers, sonar, or cameras to
determine the body
size of the player (e.g., tall, e.g., short). Portions of the terminal may
automatically adjust to
conform to the body size of the player. For example, the display screens may
move in close to
a player so he can reach them (e.g., if the display screens are touch
screens). A chair of the
terminal may move up or down to adjust to the height of the player.
2.10. Audio. A terminal may have various means of outputting audio. The audio
that is output may
include audio communication from a player's friends, audio communication from
casino

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personnel, audio associated with a television broadcast, audio associated in
with a radio
broadcast, audio associated with a movie, TV show, or other form of media,
audio associated
with a game (e.g., audio outputs associated with winning a prize), or any
other type of audio.
2.10.1. Give headphones to people. Headphones may be available for a player at
a terminal.
Using such headphones, a player may ensure that others around him do not hear
his
audio, or that he may focus on his audio without being distracted by ambient
noises. A
switch, button, or other input device may allow a player at a terminal to
switch audio from
one type of output to another. For example, audio may begin by emanating from
speakers at a terminal. When a player puts on headphones, the player may flip
a switch
to cause audio to come through the headphones. In some embodiments, the
headphones or the terminal may sense when the player has put on the
headphones.
Audio meant for the player may then be piped to the headphones rather than
broadcast
from speakers. In various embodiments, there may be two or more sets of
headphones.
Each set of headphones may broadcast separate audio feeds. For example, one
set of
headphones may correspond to a feed from a sporting event while a second set
of
headphones may provide an audio track for a slot machine game the player is
participating in.
2.10.2. Display mounted speakers. In various embodiments, the terminal may
include one or
more speakers. The speakers may be mounted on the body of the terminal, or on
some
other structure associated with the terminal. The speakers may form part of
the displays.
The speakers may be mounted on the displays.
2.10.3. Mute buftons. In various embodiments, a terminal may include one or
more mute
buttons. Pressing a mute button once may silence an audio feed. Pressing the
mute
button again may cause the audio feed to return.
2.10.4. Squawk box. In various embodiments, an open line of communication may
exist
among a number of parties, such as three, four, five, six, or more parties.
The
communication may be audio based. A terminal may have a speaker which is
attuned to
broadcast voice or other audio messages from any person who is in on the
communication. Further, a microphone or other audio input device may allow the
player
to communicate audio messages into the open line of communication. Any spoken
message may be broadcast to all parties who are on the communication. If
several
people speak at once, all spoken communications may be communicated at once.
Thus,
an open line of communication may potentially result in a cacophonous melee of
voices.

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A line of communication may be open among a group of friends, among a group of
terminals, among all terminals, among all secondary players, among all
secondary
players who open the line of communication, among all players at gaming
devices in a
casino, among players and casino representatives, among players at multiple
different
casinos, or among any other group of people.
2.11. Phones. A terminal may include one or more phones and/or phone lines. A
player may be
able to place phone calls to another party.
2.11.1. Phone that only allows local calls. In some embodiments, a phone at a
terminal may
only allow local calls. In some embodiments, a phone at a terminal may only
allow calls
to certain areas, to certain people, to certain devices, or to certain other
restricted
destinations. In some embodiments, restrictions on phone calls may be put in
place only
when a player is placing bets on sports. For example, a player may be allowed
to make
only local phone calls when betting on a sporting event. This may help to
restrict the
player from finding out information about the result of the sporting event
before
counterparties to the bet. In various embodiments, a player may not place any
bets on
sports within a predetermined time of having placed a phone call which is not
in
accordance with various restrictions. For example, a player may be prohibited
from
placing a bet on a sporting event within 10 minutes of having completed a long
distance
phone call.
2.11.2. Calls to anothernode on a network. In various embodiments, phone calls
may be
restricted to certain parties. Phone calls may be restricted to other
terminals. Phone
calls may be restricted to people calling from within an internal casino
network.
2.11.3. And calls are recorded. Because of sports book restrictions. In
various
embodiments, a phone call placed from a terminal may be recorded. Recorded
calls
may be checked to ensure that no sports related information is being
communicated, or
that no other information that may provide special knowledge about what bets
to make
are communicated. Recorded calls may be checked at random. Recorded calls may
be
checked after a player has won a bet. Recorded calls may be checked after a
player has
won statistically more bets than would be expected of a player. Recorded calls
may be
checked by a person or by a machine or computer (e.g., using voice recognition
software). A recorded call may be analyzed based on the location of the
counterparty in
the call. For example, if the call was placed to a phone near a race track,
the recorded
call may be scrutinized.

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2.11.4. Phone that allows you to speed dial into a radio show. In various
embodiments,
various speed dial functions may be associated with a phone or phones at a
terminal. A
player may be able to press a button to dial into a radio show. The player may
then hear
the radio show over the phone, or even to pose a question to the host of the
radio show.
In various embodiments, a speed dial function may allow a player to call up a
feed of a
radio sports broadcast. For example, the player may pick up a phone to listen
to the
radio broadcast of a game being played by a favored team. Various buttons may
allow
the player to dial into different sports broadcasts. In various embodiments,
speed dials
may allow the player to dial any other number or counterparty in an expedited
fashion.
3. Different information on different displays. In various embodiments,
different displays may show
different information or different types of information. The display screens
may complement each
other. For example, some displays may show broad types of information, while
others show
specific types of information, or more detailed information about something
shown in another
display. Some displays may cover one game or one area of a casino while other
displays cover
other games or areas of the casino.
3.1. Different Views
3.1.1. One display shows reenactments of outcomes. One display may show
reenactments
of game outcomes. The display may show footage of the actual outcomes, e.g.,
as the
actual outcomes occurred. Outcomes shown may be outcomes for games in which a
player at a terminal is participating as either a primary player or as a
secondary player.
3.1.2. One display shows just data about outcomes. In various embodiments, a
display may
show data about outcomes. The display may show what outcomes have occurred.
The
display may show statistics describing multiple outcomes. For example, the
display may
show statistics describing which outcomes were most frequently occurring in
the casino
in the last five minutes. The display may show statistics describing streaks
of outcomes
(e.g., 10 sevens in a row have been rolled at a craps game).
3.1.3. One display shows overhead views of regions of a game floor. In various
embodiments, a display may show an overhead view of a region of casino. The
region
may be the same region of a particular game that is more closely featured on
another
display screen of the terminal.
3.1.4. One display shows a whole game table. In various embodiments, one
display screen
of a terminal may show an entire gaming table. Another display screen, for
example,
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may show more details about the table, such as focusing in on one player at
the table, or
showing statistics about the table.
3.1.5. Blow up the video to show an important event on many screens at once.
In various
embodiments, an important or significant event may be brought to prominence.
The
display area used for that event may be increased. The area may be increased
from one
display screen to two or more display screens. The area may be increased from
a
portion of a display screen to take up a whole display screen. Significant
events may
include the occurrence of a significant outcome in a game in which the
secondary player
participates, the occurrence of a jackpot, or the occurrence of any other
rare, high paying
or otherwise significant event.
3.1.6. Picture in picture. There is a speed dial switch to go from video to
video. In various
embodiments, a window, frame, or picture may be shown within a larger window,
frame,
or picture. The smaller window may contain one video feed while the larger
window may
contain another video feed. The smaller and larger windows may contain other
types of
feeds or images as well, such as animated reenactments of game outcomes. A
player at
the terminal may switch the windows so that the footage shown in the larger is
now
shown in the smaller, and so that the footage that was shown in the smaller is
now
shown in the larger. A special key or button may rapidly affect the switch. In
various
embodiments, there may be multiple smaller windows within one larger window.
There
may be a special key or button which corresponds to each of the smaller
windows and/or
which corresponds to the footage within the windows. A player may thus monitor
a
number of games, sporting events, or other activities at once. When the player
becomes
interested in one particular game (or sporting event or other activity), the
player may
press a button that corresponds to the game of interest (e.g., to the window
with the
game of interest). The footage of interest in the window of interest may then
enlarge to
take up the larger window, while the footage in the larger window may then
shrink to
occupy the smaller window. In various embodiments, particular events that
occur in a
game, sporting event, or other activity may cause the corresponding window
(e.g., the
window showing the game) to become the large window. For example, if a game
shown
in a smaller window results in a high-payout outcome, footage of the game may
be
enlarged and shown in the larger window.
3.1.7. Proprietary feeds from different services. For example, there is a feed
from one
casino. Or a feed from one type of game that is only played in one place.
There may be
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financial arrangements with the casino to get this feed. Information shown at
terminals
may come from diverse places. Information may come from different casinos,
from
vendors that specialize in generating game outcomes for sale, from sports
franchises,
from race tracks, from media companies (e.g., movies shown on terminals may
come
from media companies) or from any other source. Different sources may charge
for
providing such information. For example, a sports franchise may charge for
blanket use
of sporting footage in a casino, or for use of sporting footage at a
particular terminal. In
various embodiments, different information sources may charge at different
rates and
according to different schemes. A source may charge according to one or more
of the
following: (a) the number of terminals using information from that source; (b)
the number
of viewers of information from that source; (c) the size of a window in which
information
from that source was displayed (e.g., the casino owning the terminal may pay
more for
footage shown in a large window than for footage shown in a small window); (d)
the
number of other information sources shown together with a given information
source
(e.g., a casino may pay less for showing footage or information from a given
source if
such information was displayed at the same terminal with a large number of
other types
of information than if the information was displayed on its own); (e) the
length of time for
which a feed from that source was viewed; (f) the celebrity status of people
in a feed
(e.g., footage showing a poker game being played by a celebrity may be more
expensive
than is footage showing a poker game played by an unknown person), or based on
any
other metric. A casino may pay for an information feed on periodic basis. For
example,
a casino may pay a subscription fee for an information source.
3.2. What is the standard default data that is always displayed? E.g.,
standard games, standard
indices. In various embodiments, a terminal may have a default set of feeds or
pieces of
information that are displayed. For example, there may be video footage shown
from a Wheel
of Fortune slot machine game, from a video poker game, from a blackjack table,
and from a
craps game. In various embodiments, default footage is chosen based on what
are the most
popular games in a casino. For example, if the most played game by primary
players was the
Monopoly slot machine game, then it may be assumed secondary players at a
terminal will
wish to participate in such games. Thus, footage may be shown from a Monopoly
slot
machine game. In various embodiments, just as default footage may be shown,
there may be
default configurations for various keys, buttons, or switches at a terminal.
For example, a set
of keys may be configured by default to be used for placing bets on games of
video poker.

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3.3. Video feeds. Multiple full-motion video feeds. Hi definition video
signal. In various
embodiments, high bandwidth connections may be used to pipe multiple high-
definition video
feeds to a terminal. A player may thus enjoy a pleasurable gaming and
entertainment
experience while at the terminal.
3.4. Alerts. Something happens and shows in red, for example. A terminal may
include several
windows, several feeds, information about several games, or other diverse
information. When
a noteworthy event or occurrence happens in one feed, such feed may be
emphasized or
brought to prominence. For example, a window with a particular feed may be
enlarged, or
made brighter. Audio from a particular feed may be made louder, or audio from
competing
feeds made lower. Footage may flash, or other indicators may flash. A button
which can call
up a particular feed or information source may flash when a noteworthy event
occurs for that
feed.
3.4.1. Sounds for alerts. In various embodiments, alerts as to the occurrence
of a
noteworthy event may occur by means of audio. Special sounds may be broadcast
for
different events. For example, different types of events might have different
corresponding sounds. In some embodiments, however, there is a generic sound
for any
noteworthy event. In some embodiments, the occurrence of a jackpot may be
heralded
with one type sound, the occurrence of a streak of a certain length may be
heralded with
another type of sound (e.g., the sounds of chimes play when a primary player
wins ten
games of blackjack in a row), the initiation of play by a favored primary
player (e.g., by a
primary player favored by the secondary player at a terminal) may be heralded
with a
third type of sound (e.g., the sound of a rooster crowing), and so on.
3.4.2. Customize your own alert sounds. In various embodiments, a player may
customize
which sounds will be used to provide alerts or announcements as to the
occurrence of
particular events. The player may select from a list of special events. The
player may
similarly select from a menu of sounds. The player may match events to sounds.
The
player may also provide his own sounds, e.g., via portable MP3 player.
3.5. Entertainment. A secondary player may use the terminal for entertainment
purposes. The
secondary player may watch movies, TV shows, casino related events, or other
forms of
entertainment. The secondary player may watch news programs, science programs,
documentaries, or other video. The player may listen to music, books on tape,
speeches, or
other audio. The terminal may have available multiple display screens. Thus, a
secondary
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player may watch entertainment on one screen while watching the progress of
games on
another screen.
3.5.1. Movies on demand. A secondary player may watch a movie at the terminal.
The
secondary player may request a particular movie, such as from a list of movies
licensed
by the casino for presentation. The secondary player may also select a movie
channel,
such as cable or satellite TV channel, on which movies are playing. The player
may
receive a feed from the channel at the terminal.
3.5.2. TV Shows. A secondary player may watch a TV show at the terminal. The
secondary
player may select from a list of pre-recorded TV shows. A secondary player may
also
watch a regular TV channel that may be fed to the terminal.
3.5.3. Casino Related Events. A secondary player may watch video feeds of
casino related
events. For example, the player may watch a video of a concert that played the
previous
night, of a comedy act, of an animal performance, or of any other casino
related event.
3.5.4. Music. In various embodiments, a secondary player may listen to music
at a terminal.
The music may come from speakers built into the terminal. A headset with
earphones
may also be supplied to the player for listening to the music or for other
audio
communication. A secondary player may select from one or more channels. The
channels may correspond to radio stations or to broadcasts made exclusively
within a
casino. For example, a casino may have its own disc jockey which selects songs
or
tunes to be broadcast to players in the casino. The player may select a music
or audio
channel to listen to using a menu. Certain buttons or keys may also be
configured to
correspond to certain audio or music channels. For example, there may be a
"Rock and
Roll" button, a "Jazz" button and a "Classical Music" button. In various
embodiments, a
secondary player may have the ability to select individual songs to play. The
casino or a
third party may offer a number of songs for selection by the secondary player.
Thus, the
terminal, in conjunction with the network, may function as a juke box,
although payment
may or may not be necessary, in various embodiments. In various embodiments,
as a
secondary player selects songs to play, the secondary player may develop a
list of
preferred songs. The secondary player may then have the option of having songs
from
his list (e.g., songs previously selected) to be played. The terminal may
systematically
proceed song by song through the secondary player's list of preferred song
(e.g., playing
one by one and then starting from the beginning) or the terminal may randomly
select a
song to play at any moment in time.

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3.5.4.1. Songs chosen to correspond to gaming outcomes. In various
embodiments, a
terminal may play a song or tune which is chosen based on an outcome that
occurred in a game in which the secondary player participated. For example, if
the
secondary player made a winning bet in a game, then a song with a happy theme
may be played. If a player made a losing bet, a song with a sad theme may be
played. Songs may be chosen based on the correspondence of their lyrics to the
symbols, graphics, or events in a game. For example, if a "grape" symbol
occurs
in a game, then the song "I Heard It through the Grapevine" may be played.
3.5.4.2. Secondary player brings his own songs. In various embodiments, a
secondary
player may bring his own tunes or songs for listening at the casino. A player
may
bring an MP3 player to the casino, such as an iPod. The secondary player may
dock the MP3 player into the terminal. The speakers of the terminal may then
be
used to play songs stored on the MP3 player. Further, information about the
songs on the MP3 player may be downloaded to the terminal. Various buttons,
dials, or other input devices on the terminal may then be used to navigate
through
the secondary player's list of songs and to select songs for playing. In
various
embodiments, a secondary player may also store songs on a network, such as on
the Internet. A secondary player may store songs on his home computer, where
such home computer is accessible via the Internet, e.g., via file sharing
software.
The terminal may access the secondary player's songs and may play them upon
the request of the secondary player. In various embodiments, a secondary
player
may bring movies or other entertainment to the terminal. The movies may be
brought on a portable movie player, on an MP3 player, on a storage medium
(e.g.,
on a flash drive, e.g., on a DVD), or on any other object or device. The
movies or
other entertainment may be loaded onto the terminal and played.
3.5.5. Requirements to watch entertainment - must be gaming at a certain rate.
In various
embodiments, a secondary player may be permitted to watch entertainment or
other
video unrelated to gaming activities, so long as the secondary player engages
in a
certain amount of gaming activity. The secondary player may be required to bet
a certain
amount per unit time, to participate in a certain number of games per unit
time, to have a
pause between participation in games of no more than X minutes, or to satisfy
any other
metric of play. Thus, in various embodiments, the ability to watch
entertainment may be
a reward for the player for his business gaming.

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3.5.6. Pausing entertainment for game outcomes. In various embodiments, video
or audio
feeds, such as video feeds showing a movie or other entertainment, may be
paused for
various reasons. Feeds may be paused upon the occurrence of certain events in
a
game. A feed may be paused if a game in which the secondary player
participates
comes to a resolution or is about to come to a resolution. A feed may be
paused if a
game in which the secondary player participates results in an outcome that
meets certain
criteria. An outcome that meets such criteria may include an outcome that
corresponds
to a payout over a certain threshold, an outcome that corresponds to a jackpot
outcome,
an outcome that is a winning outcome, an outcome that had less than a
predetermined
probability of occurrence, or an outcome that meets any other particular set
of criteria.
The pausing of entertainment may allow a secondary player to focus on game
outcomes
or game events without missing a portion of a movie, TV show, or other portion
of
entertainment. A pause in entertainment may also give the player the
opportunity to
specify a new bet or set of bets.
3.6. Advertising. In various embodiments, one or more displays may include
advertisements or
other promotions. Advertisements may be for third party merchants' products,
for casino
shows, for casino restaurants, for products sold at casino shops, for casino
hotel rooms, for
other casino events, or for other products or services. In various
embodiments, a screen of
the terminal may be dedicated solely to advertisements. In various
embodiments,
advertisements may appear in windows within display screens. A secondary
player may also
have the ability to make purchases using the terminal. For example, a
secondary player may
respond to an advertisement and purchase a product that was shown in the
advertisement. In
various embodiments, various buttons or keys at a terminal may be temporarily
or permanently
associated with a product, service, or advertisement. For example, a message
may be shown
in associating with an advertisement. The message may say, "If you wish to
learn more about
this product, or to purchase this product, please press the flashing button."
A button at the
terminal may be flashing. The player at the terminal may then press the button
to view
additional screens of information about the product, to open up a line of
communication (e.g.,
a phone call or video conference) with a salesman for the advertised product,
to visit a
purchase screen where the player can confirm that he wishes to pay a
particular price and to
receive an advertised product, and/or to purchase the product outright. For
example, in some
embodiments, a player may press a button to immediately purchase a product.
The product's
purchase price may be deducted from the player's gaming credits. In some
embodiments,

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buttons or other input devices may be associated with a product or service
even in the
absence of a promotion or advertisement. A button or other input device may be
permanently
associated with a product or service. The player may press the button in order
to purchase
the product or service. After pressing the button, one or more acceptance or
confirmation
steps may be required. For example, the player may be required to sign, to
supply a thumb
print, to supply a credit card number, to supply a shipping address, or to
otherwise confirm he
wishes to make a purchase, or to otherwise supply necessary details for
completing the
purchase.
4. Play against multiple opponents. See one on each monitor. In various
embodiments, a secondary
player may participate in a game in which there are multiple primary players.
For example, the
secondary player may participate in a game of Texas Hold'em poker. The
terminal may feature
images or videos of two or more of the players participating in the game. The
images or videos may
be shown simultaneously. The images or video may be shown simultaneously on
different screens.
For example, there may be six primary players in a game of Texas Hold'em.
There may be six
display screens at the terminal. Each display screen may show video footage of
a different one of
the six players. In various embodiments, the displays may be arranged
horizontally side by side,
such as to simulate a visual field as if the secondary player were actually
sitting at the live game of
poker. In various embodiments, the display screens may be located near or far
from the secondary
player to simulate visual depth even more realistically. For example, suppose
video footage is
taken of all the players at a poker table from the vantage point of one seat
at the poker table. Video
of the primary player furthest from that seat may be shown on a display screen
which is located
furthest from the secondary player (e.g., furthest of any display screen at
the terminal). Likewise,
video of the primary player nearest the seat from which the video is taken may
be shown on a
display screen which is nearest to the secondary player (e.g., the nearest of
any display screen at
the terminal).

In various embodiments, a player at a terminal may play in a game as a primary
player. For
example, the player may play in a game of Texas Hold'em poker or in a game of
Blackjack. Video
or images of his opponents may appear on various screens of the terminal. In
some embodiments,
each screen may contain an image or video of a different one of the player's
opponents.

In various embodiments, a player (e.g., a primary player) whose turn it is to
act in a game may be
prominently featured at a terminal. A player whose turn it is to act may have
his image placed on a
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center screen on a terminal. If videos or images of multiple players are
shown, the image of the
player to act may be enlarged, highlighted, made more bright than images of
the other players, or
otherwise emphasized.

In various embodiments, avatars for players (e.g., for primary players) may be
shown on the display
screens of terminals. For example, a video or image of a primary player may
not be available, or
the primary player may wish that a video of him not be shown. Thus, an avatar
or other
representation of a primary player may be shown on the display screens of a
terminal. Where a
player acts as a primary player at a terminal, avatars for his opponents may
be shown on display
screens of the terminal.
5. Applications to server based gaming. No reason you can't now play multiple
different gaming
devices at once. In various embodiments, a terminal may function as a gaming
device. A terminal
may also function as two or more gaming devices. A terminal may, for instance,
allow a player to
play two or more games at once. In various embodiments, a first screen of a
terminal may show a
first game. A second screen of a terminal may show a second game. For example,
the first screen
may show a game of video poker. The second screen may show a slot machine
game.
5.1. Gaming Device. The functions of conducting a game may be performed in
several steps, in
some embodiments. A random number may be generated. The random number may be
translated into an outcome. A game scenario may be shown or displayed which
ultimately
leads to a display of the outcome. For example, reels may be shown to spin and
then stop at
the outcome. Further steps may include determining intermediate outcomes
(e.g., based on
the same or other random numbers), receiving decisions from a player,
determining a payout
based on an outcome, and crediting a player account with a payout. A terminal
may perform
one or more functions of conducting a game. A terminal may display the outcome
of a game
to a player. Functions of a game not performed by a terminal may be performed
by another
device, such as by a casino server or by a separate gaming device. For
example, the casinos
server may determine a random number and an outcome for a game. The terminal
may then
display the outcome of the game for a player. Where the terminal and another
device together
conduct a game, the terminal may be in communication with the other device,
e.g., to request
game related information from the other device and to receive such game
related information
from the other device. In various embodiments, a terminal may download
software for
conducting all or a portion of a game. The software may be downloaded, for
example, from a
casino server. The software may make the terminal operable to render graphics
and to

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provide audio associated with the game. The terminal may be operable to
download software
for multiple different games, and therefore the terminal may be operable to
conduct portions of
multiple different games. For example, a terminal may be operable to conduct a
portion of a
slot machine game and to conduct a portion of a video poker game.
5.2. Two or more gaming devices. In some embodiments, a terminal may function
as two or more
gaming devices at once. For example, on one screen of the terminal may be
displayed
graphics and other information from a video poker game. On another screen of
the terminal
may be displayed graphics and other information from a slot machine game. In
some
embodiments, as the player at the terminal pleases, he may initiate a new game
for one or the
other or for both types of games. A terminal may include separate keys or
controls for two
types of games. For example, one set of keys may be operable to place bets in
slot machine
game, while another set of keys may be operable to place bets and make
decisions in a video
poker game. Both sets of keys may be part of the same terminal. Further, other
sets of keys
may be available, such as keys for craps, roulette, or other games. In some
embodiments, a
terminal may conduct two of the same type of game at once. For example, a
first screen may
show a first slot machine game and a second screen may show a second slot
machine game.
There may be separate sets of keys even for two of the same type of game.
5.3. A player plays as a primary player and as a secondary player. In various
embodiments, a
terminal may allow a player to play a first game as a primary player and to
participate in a
second game as a secondary player. For example, a player may place a bet on
slot machine
game, initiate the slot machine game, and receive a payout based on the
outcome of the slot
machine game. The player at the terminal may also place a bet on a slot
machine game being
initiated and played by a different player (e.g., by a primary player). A
first display screen of
the terminal may show information about a first game in which the player at
the terminal is
acting as a primary player. A second display screen of the terminal may show
information
about a second game in which the player at the terminal is participating as a
secondary player.
One set of keys or buttons or other input devices may allow the player at the
terminal to play a
first game as a primary player (e.g., to place bets; e.g., to make decisions;
e.g., to initiate
games). A second set of keys or buttons or other input devices may allow the
player at the
terminal to participate in a second game as a secondary player (e.g., to
select primary players
to bet on; e.g., to place bets).
6. Screen with control panel. In various embodiments, a terminal may include a
screen with
information about a player using the terminal. Such information may include a
credit balance, an
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amount bet or to be bet on a first game, an amount bet or to be bet on a
second game, amounts bet
or to be bet on any number of other games, a primary player on whom the
secondary is betting, a
game in which the secondary player is participating, a pay table for a game in
which the player (e.g.,
the secondary player) is participating, and any other information about the
activities of the
secondary player. The information about a player at a terminal may generally
give the player an
idea of how he is doing (e.g., how much he has won or lost) how much money he
has left, how
much he has just won on a particular game, what are the games in which he is
participating, and
any other useful information or other information related to the secondary
player. In some
embodiments, a terminal may indicate to a player how many comp points he has
in total, and/or
how many comp points the player has earned over a particular gaming session
(e.g., over the
gaming session at the terminal). A screen of the terminal may further include
interactive areas
where the player can touch or otherwise interact with in order to receive
further information. The
screen may be a touch screen, for example. In various embodiments a player may
touch a screen
to reveal the rules of a game. For example, the player may touch a "rules"
button on the screen. In
some embodiments, a player may touch a screen to reveal the pay table of a
game. In some
embodiments, a player may touch a screen to show the pay lines on a game.
7. Various Screens Show Layers of Information. In various embodiments, a first
display screen at a
terminal may show a first set of information. A player at the terminal may
wish to delve further into
the information, however. Thus the player may provide some indication of where
he wants to learn
more information. Further information may then appear on another display
screen of the terminal.
Screens may thus have a hierarchical relationship. A first screen may
generally show broad or top-
level information. A second screen may generally show more detailed
information on specific items
from the first screen. The first screen may be located centrally in the field
of vision of the player,
while the second screen may be located to the side, high above the player, or
somewhere else not
quite as easily visible as is the first screen. In one example, the first
screen may show video
footage of a primary player. The secondary player at the terminal may click on
an image of the
primary player in the video in order to learn more about the primary player.
Subsequently, on the
second screen, more information about the primary player may appear. Such
information may
include the primary player's name, age, occupation, the type of strategy
typically employed by the
primary player, the results of the last ten games of the primary player, the
net winnings of the
primary player in the last 20 minutes, the number of jackpots won by the
primary player in his life, or
any other information about the primary player. In another example, a player
at a terminal may be
watching a sporting event. The player may click on a horse, at which point
statistics about the

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horse may pop up on another screen. In another example, a player may be
watching a feed of a
game from a blackjack table. The player may click on the table in order to see
the percentage of
hands won by the dealer, the percentage of hands won by the primary players at
the table, the
number of blackjacks that have been dealt in the last 100 hands, and any other
information about
the table. In various embodiments, there may be several levels of hierarchy
among display screens
at a terminal. It may be possible to repeatedly request more and more specific
information on a
topic, with each layer of more specific information appearing on a new screen
of the terminal.

The following are embodiments, not claims:
lo A. A method comprising:
receiving identifying information for a player at a casino;
associating the player with a button;
determining that the button has been pressed;
identifying footage pertaining to the player; and
presenting the footage.

B. The method of embodiment A further including displaying a name of the
player on the button.
C. The method of embodiment A in which identifying footage includes:
transmitting to a casino server a request for footage pertaining to the
player; and
receiving the footage from the casino server.

D. The method of embodiment A in which presenting the footage includes
displaying the footage on a
display screen.

E. The method of embodiment A in which identifying footage includes
identifying a video showing the
face of the player.

F. The method of embodiment A in which identifying footage includes
identifying a video showing the
player engaged in play of a game.

G. The method of embodiment A in which identifying footage includes
identifying video showing an
indication of game outcomes achieved by the player.

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H. A method comprising:
receiving a request from a player at a gaming device to place a phone call;
determining a destination of the phone call;
determining a bet that is available at the gaming device;
determining a set of rules that are associated with the bet;
determining that the placement of the phone call to the destination is in
compliance with the set
of rules; and
connecting the player to his destination.
1. The method of embodiment H in which receiving a request from a player
includes receiving from the
player at the gaming device an indication of a set of digits dialed.

J. The method of embodiment H in which determining a bet that is available at
the gaming device
includes determining a bet on a sporting event that is available on the gaming
device.

K. The method of embodiment J in which determining a set of rules includes
determining that no phone
calls are allowed outside the local area of the gaming device when the bet on
the sporting event is
placed.

L. The method of embodiment H further including recording the phone call.
M. The method of embodiment L further including:
determining that the player has made the bet;
determining whether the player has won the bet; and
replaying the recorded phone call if the player has won the bet.
N. A method comprising:
receiving an indication of a first bet from a first player;
deducting the amount of the first bet from a credit balance associated with
the first player;
receiving a game initiation signal from the first player;
determining a first outcome of a first game;
displaying graphics associated with the first game on a first display screen;
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determining a first payout of the first game based on the first outcome and
based on the first
bet;
increasing the credit balance associated with the first player by the amount
of the first payout;
receiving an indication of a second bet from the first player;
deducting the amount of the second bet from the credit balance associated with
the first player;
receiving from the first player an indication of a second game played by a
second player;
determining a second outcome of the second game;
displaying graphics associated with the second game on a second display
screen, in which
graphics associated with the second game are displayed simultaneously to the
display of the graphics
1o associated with the first game;
determining a second outcome of the second game;
determining a second payout based on the second outcome and based on the
second bet; and
increasing the credit balance associated with the first player by the amount
of the second
payout.
For example, the second player may be a primary player, and the first player
may participate in the
game of the primary player as a secondary player. At the same time, the first
player may play the first
game as a primary player. Thus, the first player may simultaneously act as
both a primary player and a
secondary player.

0. The method of embodiment N in which the second game is played remotely from
the location of the
first player.

P. The method of embodiment N in which displaying graphics associated with the
first game includes
displaying a rendition of spinning slot machine reels.

0. The method of embodiment N in which displaying graphics associated with the
second game includes
displaying video footage of the second player playing the second game.

Game Sorting
In some embodiments, a primary player may directly participate in a game of
chance. The primary
player may place a bet, make game decisions, roll dice (e.g., if the game is a
game of craps), and
receive winnings and losses based on his bet, his decisions, and events (e.g.,
random events) that occur
during the game. In some embodiments, a secondary player may place bets on
games played by a

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primary player. The secondary player may bet that certain outcomes will occur,
that certain decisions
will be made, that certain cards will be dealt, that certain numbers will be
rolled in a game of dice, or that
any other event will occur. The secondary player may be removed from the
physical location of the
game. The secondary player may be uninvolved with any decisions made during
the game. A
secondary player may participate in a game via a remote terminal, mobile
gaming device, or other
device. For example, a secondary player may use a terminal with buttons and a
monitor to input bets
and to watch the progress of a game.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may view data or information about
games in which the
1o secondary player may participate (e.g., about games on which the secondary
player can bet). The
secondary player may view different types of data, may view data in various
ways or presentation
formats, may sort the data in different ways, may search through the data in
various ways, may filter the
data in various ways, and may otherwise view and interact with data about
games in various ways.

1. Data about a gaming activity. Various data may be associated with a game, a
player, a game table,
a gaming device, or with any entity or event related to gaming. Data may
include: (a) a time of day
(e.g., a time of day during which a game was played); (b) a game type (e.g.,
video poker; e.g., slots;
e.g., craps; e.g., table game; e.g., "Double Diamond 2005 Video Slots"), (c) a
game platform (e.g.,
Game King); (d) the maximum payout or prize of a game; (e) a payout of an
outcome of a game; (f)
a probability of an outcome of a game; (g) a result of the game (e.g., player
win; e.g., player loss;
e.g., player won the jackpot; e.g., player entered the bonus round; e.g.,
outcome of "cherry-cherry-
cherry"); (h) a decision made in a game (e.g., hit; e.g., discard the first
three cards of a video poker
hand) (i) a bet made in a game (e.g., a bet of "red" in roulette; e.g., a bet
of "don't pass" in craps); (j)
a quality of a decision made in a game (e.g., was an optimal decision made;
e.g., by how much did
a strategy deviate from optimal strategy; e.g., was a strategy chosen that
maximized expected
player winnings; e.g., was a strategy chosen that maximized the chances of
receiving the highest
possible payout), (k) a player (e.g., a player who played a particular game),
(I) a location (e.g., a city
where a game was played; e.g., an area of a casino where a game was played;
e.g., a shop where
a game was played; e.g., a gaming table where a game was played); (m) a place
in a streak (e.g., a
game occurred after 3 wins; e.g., a game occurred after 5 losses; e.g., a game
occurred after 3 wins
and prior to 6 more wins), (n) a probability or odds associated with a
particular outcome that
occurred in a game (e.g., a probability associated with an outcome of "bell-
bell-bell" that occurred in
a game); (o) an amount won in a game; (p) an amount bet in a game; (q) one or
more cards dealt in

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a game (e.g., the ace of spades was dealt in a game; e.g., three diamonds were
dealt in a game);
(r) one or more indicia that occurred in a game (e.g., "cherry"; e.g.,
"cherry" and "bell"; e.g., a wild
symbol; e.g., "bell" or "bar"); (s) a demographic of a player who played a
game (e.g., the primary
player of a game is from Wisconsin; e.g., the player of a game is a nurse);
(t) a player celebrity
status (e.g., the player of a game is a state senator); (u) a popularity of a
game (e.g., a game was
the fifth most played game in a casino in the past week); (v) a popularity of
a game from the
vantage point of secondary players (e.g., a game was the most frequently bet
on by secondary
players of any type of game) (w) a similarity of one game to another (e.g.,
game A has similar rules
to game B; e.g., players who played game A most often played game B); (x) a
recommendation,
such as of a game, player, dealer, table, etc. (e.g., Slot Mania got positive
recommendations from
90% of players); (y) an index, such as an index of players, game results,
dealers, game tables, etc.
(e.g., an index may describe an average amount won by players at a particular
game table; e.g., an
index may describe an average amount won per game at a particular type of game
in the last hour);
(z) a game manufacturer (e.g., a game manufacturer associated with a
particular game), (aa) a
game rating or review (e.g., by other players); (bb) a number comps associated
with the play of a
game; or any other data about a game related device, entity; (cc) whether or
not a game was a
table game; (dd) whether or not a game was played without player input; (ee) a
ratio of how much a
player has won to how much a dealer has won; (ff) a ratio of how much a set of
players has won to
how much a dealer has won; or any other data.
1.1. Sort by any of the above attributes. In various embodiments, a secondary
player may view
data associated with a plurality of games, gaming devices, players (e.g.,
primary players),
game tables, or other entities devices, or events. For example, a secondary
player may view
a listing of games together with, for each game, an indication of the time the
game was played,
the player who played the game, the amount bet, and the amount won. The
secondary player
may sort the listing of games by the time the game was played, the player who
played the
game by the amount of the bet, or by the amount won. Thus, for example, the
secondary
player may sort the listing of games into chronological order by when the
games were played.
Similarly, the secondary player may sort the games so that the game with the
most won is at
the top of the list, and the game with the least amount won is at the bottom
of the list. In some
embodiments, the secondary player may sort by more than one type of data. For
example, the
secondary player may sort first by amount won and then by amount bet.
1.2. Search for any of the above attributes. In some embodiments, a player may
search for a
game with a particular value or a particular instance of any associated type
of data. For
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example, a player may search for a game played at a particular time, for a
game played by a
particular player, for a gaming table with a highly rated dealer, for a gaming
device located in a
particular area of a casino, and/or for any other particular characteristic. A
secondary player
may search for multiple characteristics simultaneously. For example, a
secondary player may
search for a gaming device that is located in a particular area of a casino
and which has had 6
payouts of more than 100 coins in the last hour.

In various embodiments, data about games may be stored in a database, such as
in a
database located with the casino server. Various database searches techniques
may be used
to find games with particular attributes. For example, Structured Query
Language (SQL) may
be used for finding games with particular attributes.

1.3. Search for any of the above attributes with respect to a group of games,
players, tables,
dealers, or other objects or entities. In various embodiments, secondary
player may search
for data associated with a set of games, a set of table, a set of dealers, a
set of gaming
devices, a set of locations, or a set of any other objects or entities. For
example, a secondary
player may search for: (a) a set of tables at which players have won more than
60% of the
games in the last 5 minutes; (b) a set of gaming devices that have together
paid more than
four payouts of more than $100 in the last 10 minutes; (c) a set of primary
players each of
whom uses basic strategy; (d) a set of dealers, each of whom deals more than
20 hands per
hour; or for any other set satisfying some criterion or criteria. In various
embodiments, there
may be some constraint on a set of objects or entities searched for. For
example, a constraint
may say that all must be within the same region, such as a room of a casino.
Otherwise, for
example, a set of primary players who uses basic strategy might be readily
found by picking
individual primary players from all around the casino, although this may be
permitted, in some
embodiments. In some embodiments, sets of players, tables, dealers, gaming
devices, or
other objects or entities are defined or understood to exist in advance of a
search. For
example, gaming devices in a particular bank are understood to constitute a
set of gaming
devices. Thus, for example, a secondary player may search for banks of gaming
devices that
satisfy certain criteria, such as banks of gaming devices that are more than
70% occupied.
1.4. Searching for streaks. In various embodiments, a secondary player may
search for a player,
game, dealer, gaming device, game table, or other object or entity that is
associated with a
streak. A streak may include some pattern of wins, losses, or other outcomes.
A streak may

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include a plurality of consecutive games that were all wins, a plurality of
consecutive games
that were all losses, a plurality of consecutive games in which a win always
follows a loss and
a loss follows a win, or any other pattern. A streak may involve only one of
something, such
as only one game. For example, a winning streak for a primary player may be
one game long.
A streak may not cover consecutive games. For example, primary player may go
on a streak
in which he wins every other game over a period of twenty total games. A
streak may also
include overlapping games. For example, primary players at a gaming table may
be on a
streak in which primary players at the table win 15 games without loss.
However, many of
those games may have occurred simultaneously (e.g., many of those games may be
against
the same dealer cards).

In various embodiments, a secondary player may search for a player, game,
dealer, gaming
device, game table, or other object or entity that is associated with a streak
of a certain length,
such as a streak of seven games. In various embodiments, a secondary player
may search
for a primary player, game, dealer, etc., that is associated with a streak of
at least a certain
length, such as with a losing streak of at least 10 games. For example, a
secondary player
may wish to participate in the games of a primary player has lost at least ten
games in a row
because the secondary player may believe the primary player is due to win
soon.
2. Types of displays
2.1. Tabular display. In various embodiments, a secondary player may view data
related to a
game, gaming device, primary player, game table, dealer, or other entity or
device related to
gaming using a tabular format. Each line in a table may contain related data,
such as data all
describing the same game or the same gaming device. For example, one line in a
table may
contain data related to a game. The line may include data describing the time
the game was
played, the gaming device at which the game was played, the amount bet on the
game, the
top jackpot in the game. The next line in the table may contain the same type
of data, but
about a different game. Thus, each column of the table may contain a similar
type of data,
such as a time during which a game was played. A secondary player may be able
to sort the
data using any of the columns. For example, the secondary player may be able
to sort games
by time played, so that all games will be in chronological order. The
secondary player may be
able to sort games by type of game, such as video poker or slot machines.
After such a sort,
all video poker games would be on adjacent lines in the table, for example. In
various
embodiments, a tabular display may be used to show a list of games, gaming
devices, or other

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entities or devices to a secondary player only after the secondary player has
used some
filtering or sorting criteria to limit the universe of games (or entities or
devices). Otherwise, the
list may be so long as to be unwieldy or overwhelming for the secondary
player. Figure 57
shows some embodiments of a tabular display. Column 1020 may indicate the time
a game
was played, such as the start time of the game. Column 1030 may indicate the
name of a
game or gaming device. Column 1040 may indicate an amount bet on a game by a
primary
player. Column 1050 may indicate an outcome of a game. Column 1060 may
indicate an
amount won in a game by a primary player.
2.2. Geographic (floor plan). In some embodiments, a secondary player may view
a display of a
casino floor-plan or other model of a casino venue. The view may show the
location of various
rooms, game tables, gaming devices, people and so on. For example, the view
may represent
a scale model of the configuration of the casino and/or of the objects in a
casino. In some
embodiments, a floor plan may not be made according to scale. For example, the
sizes of
some rooms relative to others may be exaggerated. A secondary player may use
the floor
plan view to find players, gaming tables, dealers, etc., based on various
search criteria, such
as based on a specification of a range for certain data. Different visual cues
on the floor plan,
such as different colors, different shading patterns, different gray levels,
and so on may be
used to indicate different types of data or data within different ranges. For
example, red colors
may indicate game tables where players have beaten the dealers, on average.
Green colors
may indicate game tables where dealers have beaten players, on average.
2.2.1. Players pick colors and choose what those colors will represent. In
various
embodiments, a secondary player may pick colors, shading patterns, gray
scales, or
other visual cues to use on a geographic view of a casino floor or other
gaming venue.
For example, a player may choose to use red to represent gaming devices with
jackpots
over $2000, orange to represent gaming devices with jackpots between $1000 and
$2000, and yellow to represent gaming devices with jackpots below $1000.
However,
the player may just as easily pick a different color scheme to represent data
on the floor
plan. An interface for the second player may present fixed data ranges, such
as ranges
of jackpot levels. The player may then select a color to correspond to the
range, such as
from a menu.
2.2.2. Winning devices or players. In some embodiments, a floor plan view may
show in
different shades, colors, or other patterns primary players, gaming devices,
game tables,
or other objects or entities that have had distinctive results. For example,
gaming

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devices which have paid out more than $100 in the last five minutes may be
shown in a
first shaded color. Gaming devices which have paid out more than $200 in the
last five
minutes may be shown in a second shaded color. As another example, positions
at a
gaming table where a player has won more than a certain amount in the last
five minutes
(or the last X minutes) may be shown with a color, shading, etc. Figure 58
shows a floor
plan view according to some embodiments. Reference numeral 1105 corresponds to
gaming devices. Reference numeral 1110 corresponds to game tables, each game
table
including player positions and a dealer position. Gaming devices 1115, 1120,
1125, and
1130 are shown shaded. The shading may indicate that such gaming devices have
paid
out more than a threshold amount of money in the most recent time period,
e.g., in the
last 20 minutes. The different levels of shading (e.g., gaming device 1120 has
a darker
shading than does gaming device 1130) may indicate that the different gaming
devices
have crossed different thresholds. For example, gaming device 1120 may have
paid out
$500 in the last 10 minutes, whereas gaming device 1125 may have paid out only
$250
in the last 10 minutes. Different levels of shading may have other meanings
besides
amounts paid out. For example, a level of shading may indicate a number of
games
played at a gaming device, a number of times a bonus round was reached, a size
of a
jackpot, a percentage of the time the gaming device was occupied, a number of
consecutive losses, or any other information. Reference numerals 1135, 1140,
and
1145 may indicate player positions at gaming tables. A display of shading or
other color
at a player position may convey various information. Such information may
include an
amount won in some period of time, an amount lost in some period of time, a
number of
consecutive hands won, a number of times a particular hand has been achieved
(e.g.,
blackjack), a skill level, an age of a player, or any other information. The
shading of a
player position may indicate information about the player currently occupying
the position
(e.g., information about the player's amount won over the past day in any
game), or may
indicate information about the position itself (e.g., about how much money was
won at
this position in the last hour, regardless of the primary player). Reference
numeral 1150
may indicate a dealer position. The shading of a dealer position may indicate
various
information about the dealer himself (e.g., how quickly this dealer deals),
about the
dealer position (e.g., how many blackjacks did the dealer receive in the past
2 hours,
regardless of who was dealing), or about the table itself (e.g., what
percentage of the
games at this table have been won by primary players in the last hour). In
various

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embodiments, other parts of a floor play may be shaded or otherwise patterned.
For
example, an entire game table may be shaded. The shading of a game table may
indicate that players at the game table have won a higher percentage of games
than
have players at any other game table.
2.2.3. Hotspots. A floor plan view may show areas in a casino where a
significant amount of
activity is taking place, or where a significant amount of a certain type of
activity is taking
place. For example, a floor plan view may show areas of a casino where more
than 80%
of the gaming devices are occupied. As another example, a floor plan view may
show
areas of a casino where more than three jackpots have been won in the last
hour. As
another example, a floor plan view may show areas of a casino where players
have net
winnings of more than $10 per player, on average. Areas of significant
activity may be
indicated or conveyed with the use of certain colors, shades, with boundary
lines (e.g.,
an area of significant activity is shown encircled with a boundary line) or
with any other
cues. Further, a player may select the colors, shades, or other visual cues to
be used
for conveying information about certain activity. In various embodiments, a
"hotness
meter" may appear in a view of a casino floor, game table, gaming device or
other area.
The "hotness meter" may consist of a color scheme or shading scheme used to
convey
information about how well a gaming device, player, or game is doing, for
example. For
example, a red color may indicate that a gaming device is in the top 5% of all
gaming
devices in terms of being profitable for players, while a blue color may
indicate that a
gaming device is in the bottom 5% in terms of being profitable for players.
2.2.4. Where most players are. A floor plan view may show the locations of
players or other
casino patrons. Areas with relatively high concentrations of players may be
shown in
one color, while areas with relatively lower concentrations of players may be
shown in
another color. In various embodiments, a secondary player may be able to
specify a
certain category of primary player. For example, a category might be: primary
players
who have won more than $100 in the last hour; primary players from Minnesota;
primary
players who play perfect strategy in video poker; primary player who are
betting more
than $10 per game; or any other category. The floor plan view may then show
the
locations of primary players falling into a specified category. For example,
areas with a
high concentration of primary players who have pets may be shown in one color,
while
areas with a low concentration of such players may be shown in another color.
To find
and display primary players or other casino patrons falling within a
particular category, a
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secondary player may, for example, peruse a list of available categories. The
secondary
player may select one or more categories. The secondary player may then select
a color
or other visual cue to correspond to one or more selected categories. The
secondary
player may select a visual cue for each category (e.g., where each different
category of
primary player is to be shown using a different visual cue). The selected
visual cue may
then be used to show the secondary player the category (or group of
categories, e.g., the
logical intersection of several different categories) that the secondary
player has chosen
to view. In various embodiments, a floor plan view may show players (e.g.,
primary
players) according to some individual identifying information, such as
according to name
or according to an alias. For example, a secondary player may see a dot moving
on the
floor plan view of a casino. A text box may hover over the dot as it moves,
indicating the
name of the player who the dot represents.
2.2.5. Interactive floor plan view. In various embodiments, a secondary player
may select a
region on a floor play, or may select on object, person, or other entity
displayed on the
floor plan. For example, the secondary player may drag a mouse pointer over a
gaming
table shown on a floor plan view of casino. Dragging the mouse pointer over
the gaming
table may bring up a bubble or text box which includes information about the
gaming
table. For example, the bubble may indicate the name of the dealer, the
percentage of
times that players have won in the last 10 games, the betting limits, the
game, or any
other information about the table. A secondary player may interact with a
floor plan view
in various other ways, such as by touching various parts of a touch screen
display device
with the floor plan view displayed on it.
2.2.6. Show the whole floor as a roulette game or other game. In various
embodiments, a
casino floor or other location within a casino may be shown as one large game.
For
example, different regions within the casino floor may be shown within
distinct boundary
lines. Each bounded region may have an identifier. For example, 30 different
bounded
regions may be numbered 1 to 30. The secondary player may choose a region. For
example, the secondary player may place a bet on a particular region. A
winning region
may then be determined based on events that actually happen within that
region. For
example, the winning region may be the first region in which a jackpot is won.
For
example, the winning region may be the first region in which 10 primary
players achieve
a flush in video poker. A region may be chosen based on any other event or set
of
events to transpire within that region. In some embodiments, one or more
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casino may be used to determine a symbol or indicia. For example, a casino may
be
divided into five regions. The most frequently dealt card in each region may
be
determined. For example, out of ten games of video poker and four tables of
blackjack,
the two of hearts may have been the most frequently dealt card in a first
region. Using
five regions, a hand of video poker may then be determined. The hand of video
poker
may be used in a game played by a secondary player.
2.2.7. Searching for data using filters. In various embodiments, a secondary
player may
search for games, dealers, game tables, or primary players, based on various
types of
data. A secondary player may specify a range of values for a particular type
of data, and
may find all games, dealers, game tables, or primary players with associated
data falling
in the specified range. For example, a secondary player may specify a range of
gross
winnings paid by a gaming device in the last hour, where the range is
specified as from
$500 to $2000. Thus, every gaming device which has paid $500 to $2000 in the
last
hour may be found. Such gaming devices may be highlighted on a floor-plan view
of a
casino. In some embodiments, all other gaming devices besides those with gross
winnings falling in the specified range may be blacked out or grayed out in a
floor-plan
view of the casino. Thus, the specification of a range of data may serve as a
filter that
highlights or brings to prominence those devices (or games or players or game
tables,
etc.) falling within a specified range, while filtering out those that do not.
In some
embodiments, a secondary player may specify multiple filters. The filters may
successively eliminate games, gaming devices, game tables, or other entities
as ranges
for more types of data are specified. For example, a secondary player may
specify a
particular game manufacturer (e.g., IGT), so that all gaming devices not
manufactured by
the game manufacturer are blacked out from a casino floor plan. The player may
further
specify a range for the top jackpot (e.g., $1000 to $2000). All remaining
gaming devices
with top jackpots outside this range may be blacked out. In this way, a
secondary player
may successively narrow down a list or a view of gaming devices (or players,
entities,
game table, etc.). This may help the secondary player to hone in on a gaming
device
that he wishes to bet on.
2.3. Virtual Tour Display (you can move virtually through the casino and see
overlaid statistics). In
some embodiments, a secondary player may view a casino as if he were walking
through it.
For example, the view of the casino may be as from a camera that was
positioned somewhere
within the casino. The view may evolve as if the camera was moving. In some
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a secondary player may view a casino as if he were flying through it, going
through walls, or
performing other stunts. The player may view actual footage from the casino,
or the player
may view a simulated rendition of the casino. The player may navigate through
the rendition
of the casino by, for example, manipulating a joystick in the direction he
wishes to proceed.
As the secondary player takes the "virtual tour" of the casino, the secondary
player may view
things that a person would normally see while walking through the casino.
Namely, the
secondary player may see gaming devices, game tables, people, works of art,
etc. In some
embodiments, the secondary player may see additional information overlays that
would not be
visible to someone walking through the actual casino. The player may see
information
superimposed on a gaming device. The information may indicate the length of a
streak of
games where a primary player has won at the gaming device, the last outcome
achieved at
the gaming device, the time of the most recent jackpot payout, or any other
information.
Similarly, information may be superimposed over the image of a gaming table.
The
information may indicate current players at the gaming table, the ratio of the
amount players
have won to the amount dealers have won in the last hour, the popularity of
the dealer, or any
other information related to the gaming table. Thus, in various embodiments, a
secondary
player may take a virtual tour of a casino, or of any other location, with
various features,
objects, or people having informative tags that may not be present or visible
in the real world.
A secondary player taking a virtual tour may thus be able to readily find a
game, a primary
player, a dealer, a gaming table, or other game or entity that suits his
preferences.
2.4. Ladder display - could be a bar graph, or just a graph with the cards. A
ladder display may
include a first axis representing some set of units. The units may be an
amount won at a
gaming device in the last hour, for example. As another example, the units may
be games in
the current winning streak. At various points along the axis may be a number,
bar, picture, or
other depiction representing a quantity of something that fits at that point
on the axis. For
example, a number "30" at the point 5 units above the origin on the axis may
indicate that
there are 30 gaming devices that have just made a payout of $5. A number 31 at
a point 8
units above the origin on the axis may indicate that there are 31 gaming
devices that have just
made a payout of $8. In some embodiments, a ladder display may show a ratio of
an amount
players have won to an amount that the house has won. Locations on the axis
may
correspond to ratios such as 0.8 (players have won 80 cents for every dollar
the house has
won), 1.0 (players and the house have won equal amounts of money), and 1.2
(players have
won $1.20 for every dollar the house has won). At various points on the axis
there may be
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bars, with the length of such bars corresponding to the number of gaming
tables that should
fall at that point on the axis. For example, a bar that appears one inch long
extending
horizontally from the point on the vertical axis corresponding to a ratio of
0.9 may indicate that
there are 3 gaming tables where players have won 90 cents for every dollar won
by a dealer.
A bar that appears two inches long extending horizontally from the point on
the vertical axis
corresponding to a ratio of 1.0 may indicate that there are 6 gaming tables
where players have
won $1 for every $1 that the house has won.

In various embodiments, a ladder display may indicate the average amount that
players are
ahead or behind at a table. For example, for each $25 dollar range (e.g., -$25
to 0, 0 to $25,
$25 to $50, etc.) that ladder display may show the number of gaming tables
such that players
at those tables are ahead by an average number of dollars falling within the
range. For
example, the ladder display may show that there are 4 gaming tables where the
average
player is ahead anywhere from $25 to $50.

In some embodiments, a secondary player may drill down further into the data
making up a
ladder display. For example, a secondary player may see from a ladder display
that there are
four gaming devices where the player has won the last five games in a row. The
secondary
player may then wish to further inquire as to which four gaming devices those
are. The player
may indicate such a desire in various ways. For example, the player may click
on the number
"4" on the ladder display indicating the number of gaming devices where the
last five games in
a row have been won. A text window may then appear showing details about such
gaming
devices, such as the locations, the type of game, the name of the primary
players at the
gaming devices, and so on.

In various embodiments, a ladder display may show the number of times that a
particular
indicium appeared, or the number of gaming devices at which a particular
indicium appeared,
or the number of gaming tables at which a particular card appeared, or the
number of games
in which a particular combination of cards appeared. For example, each
position on the axis
may represent a different card. Thus, for example, there may be 52 positions
on the axis. A
first position may correspond to an ace of spades, a second position may
correspond to a king
of spades, and so on. At each position may be listed a number, such as "12".
The "12" may
indicate that there have been 12 gaming devices in the last 30 seconds at
which the ace of

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spades has been dealt. It may be possible for a single gaming device to be
counted twice in
the ladder display, since more than one card may have been dealt at the gaming
device.

In some embodiments, each position on the axis of a ladder display may
correspond to a
combination of indicia. For example, a position may correspond to "bell-bell-
bell". A number
listed at the position may indicate the number of gaming devices that have
generated the
outcome "bell-bell-bell" in the last 10 minutes of time (or in the last X
period of time). As
another example, a position on the axis of a ladder display may correspond to
"As Ks Js 10h
10d". A corresponding number may indicate how many video poker games have
generated
the above card combination in the last hour.

Various embodiments contemplate a ladder display where an axis is oriented
vertically,
horizontally, or in any other orientation.
2.5. Time varying attribute (things evolving overtime), e.g., winnings as a
function of time. In
various embodiments, a display may include an indication of changing data,
changing games,
changing circumstances, or other changes occurring over time. A floor plan
view of a casino
may indicate a time evolution in some circumstance. For example, a floor plan
view of a
casino may indicate a first gaming table where players were winning the most
at a first point in
time. The floor plan view of the casino may indicate a second gaming table
where players
were winning the most at a second point in time. An arrow may be drawn from
the first gaming
table to the second gaming table, showing how the state of meeting certain
criteria (in this
case being the table where players win the most) has changed over time.
Multiple points in
time may be shown, and a secondary player may thereby see how the "crown" of
being the
table where players win the most has shifted over time. A secondary player may
attempt to
discern a pattern as to which table will be the next table where primary
players win the most.
For example, the secondary player may say to himself, "These three most recent
arrows seem
to show a shift to the west of the casino. Therefore, I think the next table
which will be the best
for players will be this other table on the western side of the casino."

Figure 59 shows a floor plan view according to some embodiments. A number of
gaming
devices are shown. Some gaming devices are shaded, indicating that such gaming
devices
paid out the most in net winnings over a particular five-minute interval of
any other gaming
device. Gaming device 1210 paid out the most during a first five minute
interval. Gaming
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device 1220 paid out the most during a second, later five minute interval.
Gaming device 1230
paid out the most during a third, even later five minute interval. Arrows
1250, and 1260 show
the progression of the highest paying gaming devices over time. Gaming device
1240 is
shaded in a different tone to that of gaming devices 1210, 1220, and 1230,
indicating that it is
predicted to be the gaming device that will pay the most in the coming five-
minute period.
Gaming device 1240 may have been chosen, for example, to complete a somewhat
rectangular pattern that would be formed among gaming devices 1210, 1220,
1230, and 1240.
In various embodiments, a time evolution of circumstances may be shown with
respect to a
single game, a single table, a single player, a single gaming device, a single
dealer, or any
other single object or entity. For example, a display may show the trend of a
player's net
winnings over time. The display may show a chart such that at each point in
time, the player's
cumulative net winnings since the start of the player's gaming session is
shown. As another
example, a display may show the time between the start of games at a
particular gaming table
as a function of time. For example, the display may show that it was an
average of two
minutes between the start of games at a table between 10:00am and 10:30am, but
it was two
minutes and thirty seconds on average between the start of games at the table
between
10:30am and 11:00am.

In various embodiments, a time evolution of circumstances may be shown with
respect to a
group or set of games, tables, players, dealers, gaming devices, or any other
set of objects or
entities. For example, a display may show, for a bank of 10 gaming devices,
how many times
payouts over $20 have been paid in each five-minute interval over the last
three hours.

In various embodiments, a time evolution of circumstances may be shown in
tabular format.
For example, each row in a table may correspond to a particular point in time.
Data
associated with each point in time may include a payout paid at that point in
time, a decision
made in a game at that point in time, an outcome that occurred at that point
in time, and so on.

In various embodiments, the ability to see data or circumstances as they
evolve over time may
give a secondary player a chance to try to predict where a trend is leading.
For example, if a
group of gaming devices has been paying greater payouts, on average, during
each five-

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minute interval over the last hour, a secondary player may assume this trend
will continue and
may thereby wish to participate in a game played at one of the gaming devices
in the group.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may be given access to a prediction
tool or tools.
The prediction tools may allow the secondary player to use a set of known data
and to
extrapolate possible future occurrences based on the known data. For example,
a prediction
tool may be able to perform linear regressions, to perform predictions using
neural networks,
to perform predictions using a set of rules, or to perform predictions in any
other fashion. The
secondary player may use a prediction tool in conjunction with various data
(e.g., with various
data about games, gaming devices, etc.) and may thereby determine a game in
which to
participate. In various embodiments, a secondary player may allow a bet to be
placed
automatically on his behalf based on the outputs of a prediction tool. In
various embodiments,
a prediction tool may be a software program that resides on a casino server.
In various
embodiments, a person, such as a "resident expert" may make predictions as to
which games
are likely to be favorable for a secondary player to participate in. The
resident expert may
supply his predictions to one or more secondary players. A secondary player
may pay to
receive the services of a person making predictions and/or of a prediction
tool. A resident
expert may be a casino employee. In some embodiments, it may be determined
which of a
plurality of secondary players has had the greatest success (e.g., has won the
most over a
certain period of time). This secondary player may be chosen or selected to be
a "resident
expert". Other secondary player may then have the opportunity to use the
predictions of the
chosen secondary player. In various embodiments, data about the success of
secondary
players may be made available to other secondary players. For example, data
about what
percentage of bets have won for a first secondary player may be made available
to a second
secondary player. The secondary player, based on his own evaluation of the
data, may then
determine whether or not to participate in the same games as does the first
secondary player.
2.6. Network diagram (one game related to another game, which is related to
another game). A
network with related things joined together) games played by the same player.
In various
embodiments, a display may represent gaming devices, players, dealers, gaming
tables, or
other objects or entities as nodes on a network. The nodes may be connected to
each other
based on some similarity between the players (or games, or game tables, etc.)
represented by
the nodes. For example, two gaming devices that are both video slot machines
with five reels
may be shown as near to one another in the network, perhaps with a direct
connection

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between them. As another example, two games for which the jackpot size is the
same may be
shown as being near to one another in the network. In one example, a first
gaming device
featuring a particular game and accepting $1 chips is shown connected in the
network diagram
to a second gaming device featuring the same game and accepting quarters. The
second
gaming device is, in turn, shown connected to a third gaming device featuring
the particular
game but accepting nickels. The first and third gaming devices may not be
shown as being
directly connected.

In various embodiments, a network display may show primary players. Primary
players may
be shown connected or near to one another based on: strategies used by the
primary players
(e.g., primary player use of basic strategy); games played by primary players
(e.g., primary
players nearby on the diagram all like blackjack); times when the primary
players are active
(e.g., primary players near to one another on the diagram may play at similar
times);
demographic of the primary player (e.g., primary players near to one another
on the diagram
may be within similar age groups; e.g., primary players near to one another on
the diagram
may have occupations in similar industries).

In various embodiments, a network diagram may show dealers' relationships to
one another.
Dealers may be located close to one another based on how quickly the dealers
deal, based on
how full the tables are when the dealers deal, based on how many mistakes the
dealers make,
based on how much players usually win when the dealers deal, and/or based on
any other
factors.

A display which shows gaming devices, players, dealers, or other objects or
entities as being
connected does not necessarily imply that there is any physical connection
between the
objects or entities. Rather, the display may seek to illustrate similarities
between objects or
entities by showing such objects or entities as being proximate to one another
or connected to
one another in terms of the network display. A secondary player may find a
network display
useful if, for example, he finds that he likes participating in games of a
certain type of gaming
device and wishes to find other gaming devices with similar characteristics.
To do so, he may
find other gaming devices in the network display that are connected to the
gaming device he
already likes.

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A network display may be developed or built in various ways. Objective data
about gaming
devices, players, dealers, or other objects or entities may be used. For
example, the casino
server may have data about a gaming device's jackpot, its manufacturer,
whether it uses video
reels or mechanical reels, or data about any other feature of the gaming
device. Objective
data may be used to place devices (or players, or dealers, etc.) near to other
gaming devices
with similar objective data (e.g., with a similar manufacturer; e.g., with a
similar jackpot). A
network display may be built based on the activities of secondary players. If
the games of two
different gaming devices tend to be participated in by many of the same
secondary players,
such gaming devices may be deemed similar, at least insofar as preferences of
secondary
players. Therefore, such gaming devices may be located near to one another on
a network
display. Thus, a network display may tend to place near to one another, or
connected to one
another, gaming devices, primary players, dealers, gaming tables, games, etc.,
that tend to be
preferred by the same secondary players.

Figure 60 shows a network display according to some embodiments. Each node,
such as
nodes 1310 and 1320 represents a gaming device. Some information about each
gaming
device is displayed on a node, including the type of game, the size of the
jackpot, the amount
won or lost at the gaming device in the last 20 minutes, and age and gender of
the primary
player at the gaming device. Gaming devices with one or more common or similar
characteristics may tend to be connected to each other in the network display.
2.7. Combination display and betting interface. Drag chips to certain games on
the display to
make a bet. In various embodiments, a display may show a representation of a
game, a
player, a dealer, a game table, or a game. A secondary player may, in some
embodiments,
use the display to gather information. In some embodiments, a display may be
used as a
betting interface. A player may place bets on a gaming device, for instance,
by selecting or
designating the gaming device on the display. For example, a secondary player
may drag a
representation of a gaming chip onto a representation of a gaming device using
a computer
mouse. Doing so may indicate that the secondary player is placing a bet equal
to the amount
represented by the gaming chip on the next game to be played at the gaming
device. A
player may designate a gaming device in various other ways, such as by double
clicking on
the representation of the gaming device, such as by circling the gaming device
with a mouse
pointer, and so on. In various embodiments, a secondary player may designate a
primary
player using a display. For example, a display may show representations of
various primary

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players. A secondary player may drag a representation of a gaming chip onto a
representation of a selected primary player. The secondary player may thereby
place a bet on
the next game of the selected primary player. In various embodiments, a
secondary player
may drag representations of gaming chips onto a representation of a gaming
table (e.g., in
order to place a bet on the next game played at that gaming table), onto a
representation of a
dealer (e.g., in order to place a bet on the next game played by that dealer),
onto a
representation of a game (e.g., in order to place a bet on the next instance
of that game that is
played anywhere in the casino), and so on.
2.8. Different windows for different games out there. The one in progress
comes to the foreground.
Or there are different criteria for coming to the foreground. In some
embodiments, a
secondary player may participate in two or more different types of games. A
secondary player
may participate in games at two or more different gaming devices. A secondary
player may
participate in the games of two or more primary players. A secondary player
may participate
in the games of two or more dealers. A secondary player may participate in
games at two or
more tables. In various embodiments, a secondary player may participate in two
or more
separate games at approximately the same times. For example, the secondary
player may
place a first bet on a first game at a first gaming table. While the first
game is still in progress,
the secondary player may place a second bet on a second game at a second
gaming table.
The first game may resolve while the second game is still in progress. The
secondary player
may thereupon place a third bet on a third game at the first gaming table.
While the third
game is still in progress, the second game may finish. The secondary player
may thereupon
place a fourth bet on a fourth game at the second gaming table. Thus, for
example, the
secondary player may simultaneously participate in games at two or more gaming
tables.

In various embodiments, where a secondary player participates in multiple
different games at
the same time, games falling into different categories may be shown in
different windows. For
example, games at different gaming tables may be shown in different windows.
For example,
games at different gaming devices may be shown in different windows. For
example, the
games of different primary players may be shown in different windows. In
various
embodiments, games with a common characteristic may be shown in the same
window. For
example, games from the same gaming table may be shown in the same window. A
secondary player may, for example, place bets on the games of two different
primary players,
both of whom are sitting at the same gaming table.

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In various embodiments, a display may alternately bring windows to the
foreground based on
events that happen in games featured in those windows. For example, when a
game featured
in a window comes to a resolution, the window featuring the game may come to
the
foreground. This may allow a secondary player to see what the result of the
game was and
how much he won. It may also give the secondary player the opportunity to bet
on a new
game that is to follow the game that just finished (e.g., a new game that is
to be played at the
same gaming device as was the game that just finished; e.g., a new game that
is to be played
by the same primary player as was the game that just finished; e.g., a new
game that is to be
played at the same gaming table as was the game that was just finished). In
various
embodiments, a window may come to the foreground when a featured game is about
to come
to a resolution. This may allow the secondary player a moment of anticipation
before seeing
the resolution. In various embodiments, a window may come to the foreground
when there is
a possibility of a large payout being won. For example, a window may feature a
game of video
poker. If an intermediate outcome of four cards to a royal flush is dealt, the
window may come
to the foreground, since there is a significant possibility that a royal flush
payout may be won.
In various embodiments, a window may come to the foreground if a decision is
to be made in a
game. For example, if a window features a game of blackjack, the window may be
brought to
the foreground if a decision is to be made or is about to be made in the game.
The secondary
player may thereby see the decision and may also have the opportunity to
evaluate the skill of
the primary player making the decision. In various embodiments, a window may
come to the
foreground if an unusual event happens in the featured game. An unusual event
may include
a decision that is contrary to basic strategy or optimal strategy, an
occurrence of a high-payout
outcome (e.g., a jackpot at a slot machine), a situation where every player at
a table gets the
same outcome; a situation where every player at a table wins; situation where
every player at
a table loses; or any other event that may be considered rare or unusual.

In various embodiments, a window may be removed from the foreground if gaming
activity
ceases in the game or games that were featured in the window. For example, if
a gaming
table is closed down, a window featuring games from the gaming table may be
removed from
the foreground, or removed altogether.

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A window may include a bounded region on a display screen, such as a
rectangular region.
The region may have a well-defined border. The region may show images, text,
or other
visual cues which are distinct from those in areas outside the window. When a
window comes
to the foreground, the complete area of the window may be visible. Parts of
the areas of other
windows may be obscured by the window in the foreground. When a new window
comes to
the foreground, parts of the window that was previously in the foreground may
become
obscured.

2.9. Displays of people's faces or avatars (sort by mood, or other facial
features). In various
embodiments, a display may show the faces of primary players. The faces may be
real faces,
or the faces may be animated faces that do not necessarily mirror the actual
appearance of
the primary player. Faces of primary players may be shown from photographs
previously
taken of the primary players. Faces of primary players may be shown live,
e.g., based on
footage taken by a camera of a primary player as he plays a gaming device. By
viewing the
faces of primary players, secondary players may have more information
available to them in
determining which games to participate in. For example, a secondary player may
think to
himself, "That guy looks like he knows what he is doing, so I'll bet on him."
As another
example, a secondary player may think, "She is looking very lucky today, I
think I'll bet on her."

In various embodiments, to participate in a game of a primary player, a
secondary player may
click on the face of the primary player on the display viewed by the secondary
player. The
secondary player may select the face of the primary player in other ways as
well. The
secondary player may also view the face of a primary player, but my actually
select the
primary player in a different manner, such as by typing in a name or
identifier associated with
the primary player.

In various embodiments, software tools may be available for discerning
information about a
primary player based on images of the primary player's face. For example,
software may be
used to determine (e.g., to determine with some probability) the mood of a
primary player. In
various embodiments, a secondary player may sort or search primary players
based on the
moods of the primary players. For example, a secondary player may search for a
primary
player that is "happy" because the secondary player may feel such a primary
player is likely to
be on a winning streak. Software that analyzes images of a primary player may
also be used

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to infer other information, such as age, ethnicity, gender, or health. In
various embodiments, a
secondary player may search or sort primary players based on any information
that is
discernable from images of the primary players.

In various embodiments, a display may feature images of dealers, such as
images of dealers'
faces. A display may also feature avatars of dealers' faces. A secondary
player may choose
a game to play based on the appearance of the dealer who is dealing that game.
For
example, a secondary player may wish to participate in a game of a dealer who
appears to be
in a bad mood, since the bad mood may signify to the secondary player that the
house is
losing. In various embodiments, software tools may be used to determine
information about a
dealer from images of the dealer. In various embodiments, software tools may
be used to
search or to sort dealers based on information that is discerned from images
of the dealers.

2.10. A virtual world display. So games are organized into a virtual world. In
various embodiments,
a display may scenes from a virtual world. The virtual world may appear like a
fantasy
landscape, a dessert, a pasture, or the inside of a building. Within the
virtual world may be
representations of gaming tables or gaming devices. Such representations may
have a similar
appearance to actual gaming tables or gaming devices. In some embodiments,
representations of gaming tables or gaming devices may have completely
different
appearances. For example, a gaming table may be represented as a large
mushroom, while a
gaming device may be represented as a rose bush. A secondary player may select
a
mushroom in order to participate in games at the gaming table represented by
the mushroom.
In some embodiments, a virtual world may organize gaming devices and game
tables in
different ways than they are organized in a real casino. For example, rather
than intermingling
different types of games, a virtual world may present all gaming devices of a
first type in one
area, all gaming devices of a second type in another area, and so on. Thus, it
may be easy for
a secondary player to find a game he might be looking for within the virtual
world. In various
embodiments, a secondary player may navigate the virtual world as if from the
vantage point
of a person walking within it. For example, the secondary player may move a
joystick forward
so as to get closer to objects which appear distant on the screen. Similarly
the secondary
player may move the joystick backwards so as to get further way from objects
which appear
distant on the screen.

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2.11. Ways to distribute information over multiple displays screens (e.g.,
different floor of the casino
on each display). In various embodiments, a terminal, computer, or other
device used by a
secondary player may include multiple display screens. On the multiple display
screens, a
secondary player may view information about games in which he is
participating, about games
that are available for him to participate in, about his current credit
balances, about options for
betting on games, and/or about any other pertinent topic. There may be various
ways to
divide the information shown to the secondary player over the various screens.
2.11.1. Different games. In various embodiments, different screens may be used
to display
information about different games. For example, on a first screen, a secondary
player
may watch the progress of a video poker game, while on a second screen a
secondary
player may watch the progress of a slot machine game. As another example, a
secondary player may watch the progress of a game at a first gaming device on
one
screen, while he watches the progress of a game at a second gaming device on
another
screen.
2.11.2. Different types of games. In various embodiments, information about
games of a first
type may be displayed on a first screen, while information about games of a
second type
may be displayed on a second screen. For example, information about table
games may
be displayed on a first screen, while information about games from gaming
devices may
be displayed on a second screen. As another example, roulette games may be
displayed on one screen, while video poker games are displayed on another
screen.
2.11.3. Different views of a game. (From the top, or as if you were playing).
In various
embodiments, different screens may be used to show views of the same game from
different vantage points. For example, a secondary player may be participating
in a table
game of blackjack. One view may show the game unfolding as if the secondary
player
was sitting in the primary player's shoes. Thus, the secondary player may be
able to see
the cards dealt, but may not be able to see the primary player. Another view
may show
the game unfolding as if the secondary player was hovering overhead. Thus, in
the
second view, the secondary player may see top of the primary player's head and
the
cards dealt. Other views may also be possible, such as a view from the vantage
point of
the dealer or such as a view from the underside of the table.
2.11.4. Control panel versus game information. In various embodiments, one
screen may
show the progress of a game in which a secondary player is participating.
Another
screen may show controls or interfaces that the secondary player may use.
Controls or
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interfaces may include controls for selecting a game in which to participate,
controls for
selecting an amount to bet, controls for entering search criteria (e.g.,
search criteria for
finding a game of interest to the secondary player), or controls for making
any other
gaming related decision, or other decision. The screen featuring the controls
may be a
touch screen, in some embodiments.
2.11.5. Game view versus view of statistics (e.g., about a player, gaming
device, dealer, etc.).
In various embodiments, a first screen may show the progress of a game in
which the
secondary player is participating. A second screen may show statistics or
other
information. The statistics or other information may be related in some way to
the game
being shown on the first screen. The statistics may indicate the probability
that one or
more outcomes will occur, the number of times similar cards have been dealt
already in
the last day, the place in a streak that a certain game occupies (e.g., this
is the eighth
game in a losing streak), or other information. Statistics may relate to the
primary player
of a game. For example, statistics may indicate the net winnings of the
primary player
over the last two hours, the typical strategy used by the primary player, the
number of
times the primary player has won a jackpot in his life, the city the primary
player is from,
or any other information about the primary player. The second screen may also
show
statistics about a dealer, game, or gaming table.
2.11.6. One screen is common to several secondary players. For example, all
secondary
players are participating in the games at one table. In various embodiments,
two or
more secondary players may be in proximity to one another. A screen may be
visible to
both of the secondary players. The screen may show information that is
relevant to both
secondary players. For example, both secondary players may be participating in
games
at the same gaming table. The screen visible to both secondary players may
show the
dealer's cards, or may show a view of the gaming table from high up so that
all games at
the table are visible. Each of the secondary players may have his own personal
screen
as well. A personal screen may show information that is more pertinent to the
individual
secondary player. For example, a personal screen may show the cards of the
primary
player for the game in which the secondary player is participating. Another
secondary
player may be participating in the game of a different primary player, and so
may be
unconcerned about such cards.
2.12. You can have an actual physical machine recreate what's going on down
there. E.g., a wheel
of fortune on your machine spins. But it just says "reenactment". In various
embodiments, a
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game played on a first gaming device may be reenacted on a second gaming
device. For
example, a primary player may play a first game at a first gaming device. A
second gaming
device located near a secondary player may receive information about the first
game. The
second gaming device may then reenact the first game by, e.g., displaying
similar indicia as
were displayed in the first game, by making similar sounds as were made in the
first game, by
flashing similar lights as were flashed in the first game, and/or by otherwise
mimicking the first
gaming device. Thus, the second gaming device may function as a three
dimensional display,
and may be used to recreate or reenact games played at the first gaming
device. In some
embodiments, a gaming device near the secondary player may include a spinning
wheel, as in
a Wheel of Fortune game. The second gaming device may spin the wheel in the
manner that
the wheel was spun at the first gaming device. The secondary player may then
feel the
experience of watching a nearby wheel spin. In various embodiments, a device
which is not a
complete gaming device may nevertheless be used to reenact parts of a game
that occurred
on a first gaming device, e.g., in a game played by a primary player. For
example, a device
may include a spinning wheel as in the Wheel of Fortune game, but may not
include a video
display or spinning reels. In various embodiments, when a device is used to
reenact or
recreate a game, the device may clearly indicate that the game is only a
reenactment that the
game is not original, that the game will not pay out real winnings, or may
provide some other
related indication. When a device provides an indication that a game is only a
reenactment,
problems such as a person claiming a jackpot shown by the device may be
avoided.

3. Zooming in. In some embodiments, a secondary player may wish to watch the
progress of a game.
For example, the secondary player may wish to watch the progress of a game as
it is played. As
another example, the secondary player may wish to watch the progress of a game
that had been
played in the past, as if the game was currently being played (e.g., the
player wishes to watch
footage or a reenactment of the game). A secondary player may, for example, be
perusing a floor
plan view of a casino. The secondary player may find a gaming table where
players have won 80%
of the last 40 hands dealt. The secondary player may therefore wish to watch
games at that table
as the games unfold. A secondary player may indicate in various ways that he
wishes to watch a
game in progress. The secondary player may click on a gaming device or game
table from a floor
plan view of a casino. The secondary player may click on a line or record
corresponding to a
gaming device in a tabular view in order to watch games progressing at that
gaming device. The
secondary player may also key in the name of a game type, a location in a
casino, or any other

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criteria that may narrow down the universe of gaming devices or players. Once
the universe is
narrowed down to one or a few games, such games may be watched as they are in
progress. For
example, the secondary player may be able to watch in real or in near time as
bets are made, as
cards are dealt.

In some embodiments, a player may watch the progress of a game together with
other information.
The other information may be information that was not present in the original
footage. For example,
the casino server may add to the game footage text indicating a probability of
a certain final
outcome occurring, text indicating the name of a player, text indicating what
happened the last time
a similar intermediate outcome occurred (e.g., text indicating what happened
the last time a primary
player drew to a royal flush), or any other text overlay.
3.1. Video. In some embodiments, a secondary player may watch the progress of
a game via
video. The video may represent actual footage, such as from a camera
overlooking a gaming
table or gaming device. The video may be live, delayed or it may represent
footage that has
been stored from a previously played game.
3.2. Simulation. In some embodiments, a secondary player may watch the
progress of a game via
a simulation. The simulation may be a simulated reenactment of the game. The
reenactment
may feature the dealing of animated cards and the placement of bets by
animated hands
holding animated chips. The simulation may show actual indicia which have
occurred or are
occurring in a game. The simulation may shown an animated spinning of slot
machine reels,
the animated roll of dice, or the animated spinning of a roulette wheel, for
example.
3.3. Battle Blackjack. In various embodiments, a game may be simulated or
reenacted
metaphorically. For example, rather than showing the cards dealt in a game of
blackjack, a
reenactment may show two people arm wrestling. As the advantage in the game
shifts one
way (e.g., the player has a favorable hand, such as a 20 in blackjack versus a
16 for the
dealer), the arm wrestler representing the player with the advantage may be
shown to be
winning the arm wrestling battle (e.g., the arm wrestler representing the
player may be shown
having pressed the arm of his opponent to within one inch of the table).
Similarly, if the
player's opponent (e.g., the dealer or another game player) gains an
advantage, the arm
wrestler representing the opponent may be shown to gain the advantage in the
arm wrestling
battle. Many other metaphors for a reenacting a game may be used, including
various
sporting contests, battles, wars, or other confrontations or activities. The
advantage of one
player or another in a game may be determined probabilistically. For example,
the advantage

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may be determined based on a player's chance of winning a game. A player's
advantage may
also be determined with the assumption of a particular strategy, such as basic
strategy or
optimal strategy.
3.4. Commentary- good or bad decision. In various embodiments, a game
reenactment, or live
game may be shown together with commentary on the game. The commentary may
indicate
whether decisions made in the game were good or bad. For example, a comment
may
indicate that a player made a good decision, e.g., a decision according to
basic strategy. As
another example, a comment may indicate that a player made a decision which
gave up $2 in
expected value. Comments may indicate other things. For example, a comment
might
indicate what a player might be thinking. For example, "John is considering
between hitting or
standing right here. Both would be reasonable decisions, though hitting is
considered slightly
better under normal conditions."
3.5. Simple text description of the game. In various embodiments, a
reenactment of a game or a
live display of the progress of a game may be text-based. For example, text
may say, "Player
Henry M. is dealt the A 7...." Thus, a secondary player may get enough
information to
reconstruct a game, but may not necessarily see indicia or other game events
in the form that
they originally or actually happen. In various embodiments, a secondary player
may hear
audio descriptions of a game. The secondary player may hear audio commentary
too.
4. Player wants to be in a game with certain criteria. As the criteria change,
the player is automatically
switched to the new table. E.g., I want to be on the table with the best
winning streak. So it
switches you. So currently you might pick a table. Then, you check a box that
says keep me on the
table that has the most winnings streak. In some embodiments, a secondary
player may indicate
criteria for participating in a game. The criteria may specify a primary
player of the game, a game
type, a bet amount, a location in a casino, or any other data related to the
game. The casino server
may find games matching criteria desired by the secondary player (e.g.,
criteria specified by the
secondary player). The casino may then allow the secondary player to
participate in one or more of
such games. For example, the casino server may allow the player to place a bet
on one or more of
such games and to receive winnings based on the outcomes of one or more such
games. In some
embodiments, a secondary player may continue to participate in successive
games played at a
particular gaming device, a particular table, played by a particular primary
player, or otherwise
having something in common. For example a secondary player may continue to
participate in
successive games played at a particular slot machine. The particular slot
machine may be a slot
machine that has matched criteria specified by the secondary player. For
example, the slot

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machine may be a slot machine that has paid out the most of any slot machine
in the casino in the
past half hour. However, it may happen that, over time, a game, player, gaming
table, gaming
device, or other device or entity no longer satisfies the same criteria that
it originally satisfied. For
example, for a few minutes a particular slot machine may hold the distinction
of having paid out
more money in the most recent half hour than any other slot machine. However,
during the course
of those few minutes, other slot machines may make large payouts, so that the
first slot machine is
no longer the highest paying slot machine in the most recent half hour. Thus,
in some
embodiments, a secondary player may wish to switch gaming devices, to switch
primary players, to
switch game tables, or to make some other switch so that the secondary player
can continue to
participate in games that currently meet his desired criteria. Thus, for
example, a secondary player
may begin play at a first slot machine that has paid the most of any slot
machine in the last half
hour. When a new slot machine becomes the slot machine that has paid the most
in the most
recent half hour, the secondary player may cease participating in games at the
first slot machine
and may switch to participating in games of the new slot machine.

In some embodiments, a secondary player may specify criteria for a game in
which he wishes to
participate. The casino server may find a first game satisfying the criteria
and allow the secondary
player to participate in the game. The secondary player may then continue to
participate in games
having something in common with the first game, such as in games played by the
same primary
player as the first game, such as in games played at the same gaming device as
the first game,
such as in games played at the same gaming table as the first game, such as in
games played by
the same dealers as the first game, and so on. At some point, the casino
server may determine that
the games in which the secondary player will participate (e.g., if he keeps
participating in the games
of the same primary player; e.g., if he keeps participating in games at the
same gaming table) will
no longer meet the original criteria set forth by the secondary player. At
this point, the secondary
player may be switched so that he is now participating in games that do meet
his original criteria.
In various embodiments, a secondary player may specify whether he wishes to be
switched from
participating in a first set of games (e.g., from participating in a games of
a first primary player) to
participating in a second set of games (e.g., to participating in the games of
a second primary
player). The secondary player may indicate a desire to be switched when he
originally specifies
criteria for participating in games. For example, a secondary player may
specify that he wishes to
participate in the games of a first primary player who has the highest net
winnings of any primary
player over the last hour. The secondary player may further specify that the
moment a different
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primary player overtakes the first primary player in terms of having the
highest net winnings in the
last hour, the secondary player would like stop participating in the games of
the first primary player
and begin participating in the games of the new, different primary player.

In various embodiments, when the games in which a secondary player is
participating no longer
satisfy the criteria specified by the secondary player for participating in
games, the secondary player
may be switched to new games automatically. For example, the secondary player
may be
automatically switched from participating in the games at a first table to
participating in the games at
a second table. In some embodiments, the secondary player is informed of this
switch. For
example, a message may pop up on the screen of the secondary player's display.
The message
may say, "You are now participating in games at Blackjack table 6, where
player net winnings over
the last hour are the highest of any table." In some embodiments, the
secondary player may not
even be informed of a switch. Rather, the secondary player may continue to see
a reenactment of
games without realizing the games are originating from a different gaming
table. In some
embodiments, though a secondary player may not be told explicitly of a switch
(e.g., via a pop-up
message), ways may be available for the secondary player to surmise that a
switch has occurred.
For example, a display screen on which the secondary player is watching a
simulated reenactment
of a blackjack game may include a table identifier in the lower right hand
corner. When the
secondary player is switched from participating in the games of a first table
to participating in the
games of a second table, the table number in the lower right hand corner may
change.

In some embodiments, a secondary player may be asked for an input in relation
to a potential
switch. For example, a message may be displayed for the secondary player
indicating that the
secondary player is to be switched from participating in a first set of games
to participating in a
second set of games. The secondary player may be asked whether he would really
like to be
switched or whether he would like to remain a participant in the first set of
games. The secondary
player may be informed of the reason for the switch. For example, the
secondary player may be
informed that he is being switched because the second set of games better
match his criteria for
participating in games than do the first set of games.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may not provide an indication that
he would want to
switch from a first set of games to a second set of games. The secondary
player may only specify
criteria for selecting games in which to participate. The casino server may,
in various

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embodiments, determine at some point that a second set of games better matches
the secondary
player's criteria for participating in games than does the set of games in
which the secondary player
is currently participating. Thus, the casino server may ask the secondary
player whether he would
like to switch and participate in the second set of games. The question may be
asked though the
secondary player never before indicated an interest in switching. The
secondary player may then
have an opportunity to accept or not.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may be rotated from game to game
according to some
algorithm. For example, after every 50 games of a first gaming device in which
a secondary player
participates, the secondary player may be automatically moved to a second
gaming device of the
same type (e.g., featuring the same game). In various embodiments, after a
certain patterns of wins
or losses, a secondary player may be rotated to another gaming device, game
table, or primary
player. For example, if a secondary player loses five games in a row while
participating in the
games of a first primary player, the secondary player may be automatically
rotated to the games of
another primary player. In some embodiments, a secondary player may be asked
to confirm his
approval before being rotated to a new game.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may wish to participate in a game
with a certain
characteristic. The secondary player may wish to participate in a game with a
certain primary
player, in a game at a certain gaming table, in a game at a certain gaming
device, in a game with a
certain betting limit, in a game with a certain jackpot, in a game made by a
particular manufacturer,
in a game that follows X consecutive wins, in a game that follows X
consecutive losses, or in a
game with any other characteristic. However, a game that conforms to the
desires of the secondary
player may not be immediately available for the secondary player to
participate in. For example,
there may be no primary player who is playing a particular gaming device whose
games the
secondary player wishes to participate in. Thus, in various embodiments, a
secondary player may
be alerted when a game that meets some criteria becomes available. The
criteria may include
criteria that secondary player has previously used to find a game in which to
participate. For
example, if no primary player is currently playing at a gaming device in whose
games the secondary
player wishes to participate, the secondary player may be alerted when a
primary player does sit
down at the gaming device.

The following are embodiments, not claims:

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A. A method comprising:
receiving from a secondary player at least one criterion for selecting a game;
determining at a first point in time a first game that matches the at least
one criterion, the first
game to be played by a first primary player;
receiving a first bet from the secondary player;
determining a first outcome of the first game;
determining a first payout based on the first bet and the first outcome;
adding credits to an account associated with the secondary player based on the
first payout;
determining, at a second point in time after the first point in time, that a
second game to be
played by the first primary player does not match the at least one criterion;
and
transmitting to the secondary player an indication that the second game does
not match the at
least one criterion.

B. The method of embodiment A in which the at least one criterion is that the
game is to be played by a
primary player who has the highest net winnings of any primary player over a
particular period of time.
C. The method of embodiment A in which the at least one criterion is that the
game is to be played at a
gaming table at which the most money has been won of any gaming table over a
particular period of

time.

D. The method of embodiment A in which the at least one criterion is that the
game is to be played by a
primary player who has won the last five games that he has played.

E. The method of embodiment A further including:
receiving from the secondary player a second bet for a third game played by
the first primary
player, the third game played after the first game and before the second game;
determining a second outcome of the third game;
determining a second payout based on the second bet and the second outcome;
and
adding credits to the account associated with the secondary player based on
the second
payout.

F. The method of embodiment A further including:

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receiving, after transmitting the indication, instructions from the secondary
player to find
another game that matches the at least one criterion;
determining a third game that matches the at least one criterion;
receiving from the secondary player a second bet;
determining a second outcome of the third game;
determining a second payout based on the second bet and the second outcome;
and
adding credits to the account associated with the secondary player based on
the second
payout.

G. The method of embodiment F in which the third game is not played by the
first primary player.
H. The method of embodiment A further including:
determining a third game that matches the at least one criterion, in which the
third game is not
played by the first primary player;
receiving from the secondary player a second bet;
determining a second outcome of the third game;
determining a second payout based on the second bet and the second outcome;
and
adding credits to the account associated with the secondary player based on
the second
payout.

1. A method comprising:
receiving from a secondary player at least one criterion for selecting a game;
determining at a first point in time a first game that matches the at least
one criterion, the first
game to be played at a first gaming table;
receiving a first bet from the secondary player;
determining a first outcome of the first game;
determining a first payout based on the first bet and the first outcome;
adding credits to an account associated with the secondary player based on the
first payout;
determining, at a second point in time after the first point in time, that a
second game to be
played at the first gaming table does not match the at least one criterion;
and
transmitting to the secondary player an indication that the second game does
not match the at
least one criterion.

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J. A method comprising:
determining at least one criterion for a gaming device;
determining at a first point in time a first gaming device that meets the at
least one criterion;
determining at a second point in time after the first point in time a second
gaming device that
meets the at least one criterion;
determining at a third point in time after the second point in time a third
gaming device that
meets the at least one criterion; and
presenting an image which includes visual representations of the first,
second, and third
gaming devices, the image further including a first arrow pointing from the
first gaming device to the
1o second gaming device and a second arrow pointing from the second gaming
device to the third gaming
device.

K. The method of embodiment J in which the at least one criterion can be met
by only a single gaming
device at any one time.

L. The method of claim embodiment J further including receiving an indication
of at least one of: (a) an
outcome generated at the first gaming device; (b) an outcome generated at the
second gaming device;
(c) an outcome generated at the third gaming device; (d) a payout made at the
first gaming device; (e) a
payout made at the second gaming device; and (f) a payout made at the third
gaming device.

M. The method of embodiment J in which determining at least one criterion for
a gaming device includes
determining that a gaming device must have made the highest payout of any
gaming device in a casino
in the last hour.

N. The method of embodiment J in which determining at least one criterion for
a gaming device includes
determining that a gaming device must have had the longest streak of
consecutive outcomes that were
winning for a player of any gaming device in a casino in the last hour.

0. The method of embodiment J in which presenting an image includes presenting
a visual
representation of a casino floor, the image including visual representations
of the first, second, and third
gaming devices, the image further including a first arrow pointing from the
first gaming device to the
second gaming device and a second arrow pointing from the second gaming device
to the third gaming
device.

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P. The method of embodiment J further including generating, based on the
first, second and third
gaming devices, a prediction of a fourth gaming device that will meet the at
least one criterion, in which
an indication of the fourth gaming device is included in the image.

0. The method of embodiment J further including generating, based on the
locations of the first, second
and third gaming devices, a prediction of a location of a fourth gaming device
that will meet the at least
one criterion, in which an indication of the fourth gaming device is included
in the image.

1o Automatic Play of Games
In various embodiments, a gaming device may initiate and/or conduct a series
of games for a player in
an automatic fashion. During the series of games, no player input may be
required. Prior to the series
of games, the player may describe rules or parameters according to which the
games will be played.
The player may thereby configure the gaming device to use these rules or
parameters. The parameters
may include: (a) the number of games to be played; (b) the time to play each
game; (c) the time to play
the whole series of games; (d) the amount to wager on each game; (e) the
strategy to be used in each
game; (f) a criterion or criteria for when to stop playing automatically; (g)
a criterion or criteria for when to
seek player input; (h) the type or types of games to be played; (i) the gaming
device or devices to be
used for conducting the game (e.g., for generating game outcomes); Q) the
manner in which outcomes
will be communicated to the player (e.g., the outcomes may be displayed; e.g.,
the outcomes may be
printed on a paper for the player); or any other parameters.

In various embodiments, a gaming device may be configured to use a particular
strategy for a particular
period of time. The particular strategy may be an optimal strategy. In various
embodiments, a strategy
may be optimal in the sense that it maximizes a player's expected winnings for
a game once the game
has been started. The particular strategy may be a strategy which allows for
the highest possible
payout. For example, in a game of video poker, one strategy may be to always
pursue the royal flush.
In various embodiments, a player may configure a gaming device to play optimal
strategy for the next
ten minutes. In various embodiments, a player may configure a gaming device to
play blackjack using
basic strategy for the next 20 minutes.

In various embodiments, a gaming device may be configured with a frequency of
play. For example, the
gaming device may be configured to play 10 games per minute. A gaming device
may similarly be
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configured to have a particular period of time between games. For example, a
gaming device may be
configured to initiate each new game ten seconds after the last game was
initiated. A gaming device
may be configured to play a game of a certain length. For example, a slot
machine may be configured
so that the reels take 10 seconds before they stop spinning.

In various embodiments, a gaming device may be configured to play for some
length of time. For
example, the gaming device may be configured to conduct games for the next 45
minutes. In various
embodiments, a gaming device may be configured to play games until some amount
of money is won or
lost. For example, a gaming device may start with a player bankroll of $50.
The gaming device may be
configured to keep playing until either the bankroll reaches $75 (and thereby
$25 has been won) or until
the bankroll reaches $25 (and thereby $25 has been lost). In various
embodiments, the gaming device
may cease playing even though an amount won or lost (or a bankroll) has not
reached an exact
threshold. For example, having started at $50, a bankroll may reach $25.50 at
a dollar-denomination
machine. The machine may stop playing because one further bet would risk
leaving the bankroll at
$24.50, which is below the lower limit for which the gaming device has been
configured.

In various embodiments, a gaming device may be configured to play optimal
strategy for some
percentage of the games played. For example, a gaming device may be configured
to play optimal
strategy in 80% of games played. Thus, for example, the gaming device may
randomly determine, for
2o each game, whether it will use optimal strategy. If random determination
may be made such that there
is an 80% likelihood that optimal strategy will be used (e.g., there is a
biased drawing made to determine
whether optimal strategy will be used. In various embodiments, a gaming device
may be configured to
play optimal strategy for some percent of the time. For example, for the first
60% of a period of time
during which a gaming device is playing automatically, optimal strategy may be
used. For the remaining
40% of the time, some non-optimal strategy may be used. In various
embodiments, using a strategy
that is not optimal does not necessarily mean that a gaming device won't make
the same decision that
would have been made had it been using optimal strategy. In various
embodiments, two different
strategies may sometimes yield the same decision. For example, a strategy to
maximize expected
winnings may sometimes yield the same decision as a strategy to always shoot
for the highest possible
payout.

In various embodiments, a gaming device may be configured to pursue a first
strategy (e.g., optimal
strategy) for some percentage of time or for some percentage of games played.
During the times or the
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games when optimal strategy is not used, some other strategy may be used. The
other strategy may be
a strategy which attempts to obtain the largest possible payout, whether or
not obtaining such a payout
is a remote possibility. The other strategy may be a strategy which always
seeks to obtain a payout
above a certain level. For example, one strategy in video poker may be to
maximize the chances of
receive a flush or better.

In various embodiments, a gaming device is configured to play a sequence of
games automatically.
Playing games automatically may include making strategy decisions. However, in
various embodiments,
a gaming device may halt the automatic play of a game and wait to receive a
player input to the game.
1o The player may then provide an input. The input may indicate a strategy to
pursue in a game. For
example, the input may indicate which cards to hold in a game of video poker,
or whether to hit or stand
in blackjack. A gaming device may halt automatic play to allow for player
input for various reasons. A
gaming device may halt automatic play if: (a) two possible decisions are
equally valid according to some
strategy (e.g., if two possible decisions both lead to the same expected
winnings for the player); (b) a
possible payout for a game is larger than a predetermined threshold (e.g., if
a possible payout for a
game is more than 500 times the amount wagered); (c) a large payout has more
than a predetermined
probability of occurring (e.g., if a royal flush has more than a 1% chance of
occurring); (d) a winning
payout is certain to occur (e.g., if a player has received three cards of the
same rank in the first five
cards dealt in a game of video poker, the player may be allowed to complete
the game manually to
2o experience the pleasure of winning); (e) if the gaming device has been
configured to stop for any
particular outcome or intermediate outcome (e.g., if the gaming device has
been configured to stop
automatic play when there are two aces dealt to a player in a game of
blackjack then the gaming device
may actually stop automatic play when two aces are dealt to a player in a game
of blackjack); or any
other circumstances or criteria dictate that the gaming device should halt
automatic play. In various
embodiments, automatic play may stop so that a gaming device may accept a
player decision.
However, automatic play may resume once a player has made his decision, in
various embodiments. In
various embodiments, after automatic play has stopped, a player must
explicitly indicate that he wishes
for automatic play to resume. For example, the player may press a button that
says "resume automatic
play". Other wise the player may continue to initiate games and make decisions
manually.

In various embodiments, automatic play may be halted upon any event or
sequence of events. A
sequence of events may include a sequence of outcomes. Automatic play may be
halted if, for example,
the player wins on five games in a row, the player loses on five games in a
row, the player wins more

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than a predetermined amount of money in a some number of games (e.g., if the
player wins more than
$50 in ten hands), a particular card occurs in a predetermined number of games
in a row, a particular
outcome occurs in a predetermined number of games in a row, or upon any other
sequence events or
pattern of events. Further patterns are described herein, and various
embodiments contemplate that
automatic play may be halted upon the occurrence of any particular or
designated pattern or sequence
of events.

In various embodiments, automatic play may be paused for some period of time
to allow for player input.
However, if the player has not provided input after some period of time, the
gaming device may
1o automatically determine an input. For example, the gaming device may
determine an input according to
optimal strategy. In various embodiments, a halt or a pause in automatic play
may be emphasized with
a beep, vibration, or other alert. For example, a beep may signify to the
player that he must make some
decision in a game and that he can not sit back and watch games proceed
automatically. Similarly, a
vibration on a mobile gaming device may alert a player to take the mobile
gaming device out of his
pocket because his input is required. In various embodiments, a player may set
the preference as to
the type of alert that will be provided to him. In various embodiments, when
automatic play stops, the
gaming device may display or otherwise communicate a message to the player.
The message may say
that input is requested from the player. The message may further indicate the
amount of time that the
player has to provide an input (e.g., before automatic play is resumed). In
various embodiments, when a
player is asked for a manual input, the player may have an option to tell the
gaming device to make its
own decision. For example, a button may read "Keep playing". Pressing such a
button may cause the
gaming device to determine a decision. The decision may be made according to
any particular strategy,
such as according to optimal strategy.

In various embodiments, a gaming device may halt automatic play. However the
gaming device may
halt automatic play only to allow a player to view the state of the current
game. The gaming device
may, after some period of time, resume automatic play. In various embodiments,
upon a halting or
pausing of automatic play, a player may have the opportunity to interject and
make his own decision.
For example, a player may press buttons which are ordinarily indicative of a
player strategy. For
3o example, a player may press buttons underneath cards dealt in a game of
video poker, indicating the
player's desire to hold the cards. By pressing such buttons, the player may
override the decision
process of the gaming device and cause his own decisions to be registered in
the game. In various
embodiments, a player may override the decisions of the gaming device at any
point, not just when the

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gaming device has paused. For example, the player may at any point during
automatic play press a
button which says "stop". The player may then have the opportunity to input
his own decisions. The
player may later press a button labeled "resume" or the like. Automatic play
may thereupon resume.

In various embodiments, a gaming device may make decisions automatically.
However, the gaming
device may seek confirmation from the player. Upon learning of a decision
(e.g., because an indication
of the decision is displayed on the screen of the gaming device), a player may
have the opportunity to
press a button (or provide some other input) to stop the gaming device and
instead to cause the gaming
device to make a different decision. In various embodiments, a gaming device
may make automatic
1o decisions. The gaming device may allow some period of time (e.g., 3
seconds) for the player to override
a decision. However, if there is no input from the player, the gaming device
may proceed to generate
the remaining part of the game stemming from the decision.

In various embodiments, when automatic play has been halted or paused, the
player may have the
opportunity to specify a new strategy to be used. When automatic play is
subsequently resumed, the
new strategy may be employed.

In various embodiments, when a player elects to bet on some number of games,
such games may be
generated and conducted for the first time for the player. In various
embodiments, when a player elects
to bet on some number of games, such games may include games that have already
been played by
other players (e.g., by primary players). Thus, for example, a player may
elect to bet on 100 games. A
casino server may then select 100 games that have been previously played. The
selection may be
random. If such games were winning for the player who originally played them,
the current player may
win as well. If such games were losing for the player who originally played
them, the current player may
lose as well. In various embodiments, a player may elect to play some number
of games. A casino
server may then use games that are currently being played or about to be
played. For example, the
casino may use games that are played at video poker machines around the
casino. The player may
participate in such games and may win if those games result in a win for the
player side, and may lose if
those games result in a loss for the player side. In various embodiments, a
player may bet against a
primary player, and may e.g., win when the primary player loses and lose when
the primary player wins.
Thus, it will be appreciated that when a player selects some number of games
in which to participate,
the games may be generated for the first time for that player, or the games
may be games that have
been or will be played by others.

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In various embodiments, two or more players may wish to engage in automatic
play. For example, both
players may wish to have 50 games played automatically by the players'
respective gaming devices.
The players may, in various embodiments, participate in the same games. The
common games played
may, for example, come from other players around the casino. In various
embodiments, the casino may
have a data feed of game results from around the casino. The data feed may go
to the gaming devices
of players who wish to play automatically, and may thereby allow such players
to participate in games
from around the casino. In various embodiments, when players participate in a
common set of games,
the players may participate in such games out of order. For example, player A
may participate first in
1o game X and then in game Y. Player B may participate first in game Y and
then in game X.

In various embodiments, a number of interfaces may be associated with
automatic play. Input buttons
may allow a player to override a strategy, to tell a gaming device to halt
automatic play, to tell a gaming
device to resume automatic play, to indicate a particular strategy to be used,
to indicate the parameters
using which a gaming device should initiate a session of automatic play, and
to perform any other
function. In various embodiments, a player may be required to make two button
presses to override a
strategy suggested by the gaming device. The two button presses may include
pressing each of two
different buttons, or may include pressing the same button twice (e.g., double
clicking). In this fashion,
there may be a reduced chance that a player automatically overrides a good
decision of the gaming
2o device. In various embodiments, a wheel, such as a thumb wheel, may allow a
player to vary the speed
of automatic play. For example, the player may move the wheel one way to
increase the speed of play,
and may move the wheel the other way to decrease the speed of play. In various
embodiments, a
button may be used to indicate that a gaming device should proceed with
automatic play, such as after
the gaming device has paused.

In various embodiments, every game played could be an entry into a drawing.
The faster games are
played (e.g., in an automatic play mode), the more entries a player may
receive. Drawings may be done
at certain times, e.g., at 4:00 every day or at random times. Thus, players
may be encouraged to play
games at a more rapid pace (e.g., to have games played automatically at a more
rapid pace) so as to
3o accumulate plenty of entries by the time any random drawing occurs. In
various embodiments, cards
received in games may constitute entries into a drawing. A player may win if
the cards he has received
in a game match the cards drawn in a drawing. As will be appreciated, other
game indicia may serve as
entries into a drawing, where indicia drawn may be compared to indicia
received from players entering
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the drawing. In various embodiments, games played, cards received, or other
indicia received may
serve as entries into a drawing. In various embodiments, a meter may indicate
to a player how many
hands he has played, how many cards he has received, and/or how many other
types of indicia he has
received. The meter may thereby indicate to the player how many entries he has
in an upcoming
drawing. The player may be encouraged to play more rapidly so as to watch the
meter go higher.

In various embodiments, a jackpot, such as a progressive jackpot, may receive
as contributions portions
of bets made from automatic play. Thus, automatic play may cause a jackpot to
grow in size. Players
who participate in automatic play may also have the opportunity to win the
jackpot, such as the
progressive jackpot. Thus, players may have additional incentive to engage in
automatic play.

In various embodiments, a particular area of a casino includes facilities to
allow secondary players to
monitor primary players at one or more games throughout the casino, or at one
or more games beyond
the casino. The area of the casino may include one or more monitors. Such
monitors may be small or
large. Large monitors, for example, may be visible to multiple secondary
players. Small monitors may
be visible to individual secondary players. Further, the individual players
may customize the small
monitors so as to view the primary player of interest, a statistic of
interest, a game of interest, or
anything else of interest. The monitors may display various information.
Monitors may display video
feeds from games. For example, a monitor may show a video feed of a blackjack
game which is in
progress. Monitors may recreate game outcomes. For example, a monitor may show
a rendition of a
slot machine game that has been or is being played by a primary player.
Monitors may also show
statistics. For example, a monitor may show the total amount of money won by a
primary player in the
last hour, the number of times a particular dealer has busted in the past half
hour, the number of
consecutive times red has come up at the roulette wheel, and so on. In various
embodiments, a monitor
may show betting rules, odds, payout ratios, and other information which may
apply to bets made by the
secondary player. For example, a monitor may indicate that a secondary player
can win a payout at
odds of 1:1 by for betting that a primary player will get red in roulette, and
that the secondary player can
win a payout at odds of 16:1 for betting that a primary player will get red
four times in a row at roulette.

In various embodiments, an area of the casino may include facilities for
betting on one or more games
being monitored. For example, terminals may allow secondary players to place
bets on a game, e.g., on
a game which is being monitored. The terminal may include keys, acceptors for
charge cards (e.g., for
credit cards or debit cards), acceptors for currency or gaming chips,
acceptors for cashless gaming

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tickets, keys or buttons for entering betting information (e.g., for entering
an amount to bet; e.g., for
choosing a game on which to bet), and any other facilities or interfaces for
allowing bets. A terminal may
include a monitor. The monitor may be used to display betting information to a
secondary player, to
show the secondary player the game on which he is betting, to show the
secondary player how much
money he has won, and to show the secondary player any other information
related to his bet or
otherwise relevant to the player.

In various embodiments a betting area for secondary players to bet on and
monitor the games of primary
players may have the appearance of a sports book.

Embodiments
Terms
As used herein, the term "viewing window" includes an area of a gaming device
at which symbols or
outcomes are visible. The area may, for instance, include a pane of glass or
other transparent material
situated over reels of the gaming device. Thus, only the portion of the reels
under the transparent
material may be visible to the player. A viewing window may include a display
screen, in some
embodiments. The symbols or outcomes visible in the viewing window may include
the symbols or
outcomes that determine the player's winnings.

Encryption
As used herein, the term "encryption" refers to a process for obscuring or
hiding information so that the
information is not readily understandable without special knowledge. The
process of encryption may
transform raw information, called plaintext, into encrypted information. The
encrypted information may
be called ciphertext, and the algorithm for transforming the plaintext into
ciphertext may be referred to as
a cipher. A cipher may also be used for performing the reverse operation of
converting the ciphertext
back into plaintext. Examples of ciphers include substitution ciphers,
transposition ciphers, and ciphers
implemented using rotor machines.

In various encryption methods, ciphers may require a supplementary piece of
information called a key.
3o A key may consist, for example, of a string of bits. A key may be used in
conjunction with a cipher to
encrypt plaintext. A key may also be used in conjunction with a cipher to
decrypt ciphertext. In a
category of ciphers called symmetric key algorithms (e.g., private-key
cryptography), the same key is
used for both encryption and decryption. The sanctity of the encrypted
information may thus depend on

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the key being kept secret. Examples of symmetric key algorithms are DES and
AES. In a category of
ciphers called asymmetric key algorithms (e.g., public-key cryptography),
different keys are used for
encryption and decryption. With an asymmetric key algorithm, any member of the
public may use a first
key (e.g., a public key) to encrypt plaintext into ciphertext. However, only
the holder of a second key
(e.g., the private key) will be able to decrypt the ciphertext back in to
plaintext. An example of an
asymmetric key algorithm is the RSA algorithm.

It will be appreciated that other methods besides encryption may be used to
hide or obscure information,
such as encoding or steganography. Such methods may also be used in
conjunction with cryptography.
Encryption may be used to:
= Send a message only specific recipients can read. For example, Alice and Bob
may both be in
possession of the same secret key. Alice may encrypt a plaintext message with
the secret key.
She may transmit the resultant ciphertext to Bob. Bob may then decrypt the
cyphertext using
the secret key so as to view the plaintext version of the message.
= Allow messages to be encrypted by many and decrypted only one (e.g., PGP).
For example,
Alice may possess a public and a private key. Bob may wish to send Alice a
message that only
Alice will be able to read. Bob may create a message in plaintext and encrypt
it using Alice's
public key. Bob may send the resultant ciphertext to Alice. Alice may then
decrypt the
ciphertext using her private key, and may thereby view the plaintext message.
Should Cindy
intercept the ciphertext message on its way from Bob to Alice, Cindy would not
be able to
decrypt the message since Cindy would not have access to Alice's private key.
Alice's public
key, although available to Cindy, would not be sufficient to decrypt the
ciphertext message in a
practicable amount of time.
= Authenticate the sender of a message. This use of encryption may include
having the sender
create a digital signature. For example, Alice would like to send a message to
Bob in such a
way that Bob can be confident that the message has come from her. Alice may
construct a
plaintext message and encrypt the plaintext into ciphertext using her private
key. Alice may
then send the ciphertext message to Bob. Bob may then use Alice's public key
to decrypt the
ciphertext back in to plaintext. Since Alice's public key only works to
decrypt a ciphertext
message created using Alice's private key, and since presumably only Alice has
access to her
own private key, Bob can be confident that the message originated from Alice.

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= Allow for non-repudiation. If a sender has applied a digital signature to a
message, or portion
of a message, then the sender will not later be able to claim he did not send
the message.
= Guarantee a time/ data sent. See hashing below.
= Guarantee receipt by recipient. See hashing below.
= Verify that a message has not been altered after being sent by the sender.
See hashing below.
Hashing is a process whereby input data, typically of arbitrary length, is
transformed into output data,
typically of shorter length and / or of fixed length. A hash function is a
function that performs the
transformation. Often, useful hash functions will be one-way functions. That
is, for a given input, the
1o output can be computed readily. However, for a given output, the input
which produced the output will
be difficult to calculate. Also, useful hash functions will often have the
property that two differing inputs
rarely produce the same output. Hashing can be used for the following
purposes:
= To perform data redundancy checks. For example, a database may contain a
large number of
names. The names may be of arbitrary length. To check for redundant names,
hash values for the
names may be created. The hash values may be of smaller size than the names
and may all be of
the same length. Thus, it may be easier to compare the hash values of the
names that it will be to
compare the names themselves.
= To verify that a message has not been altered. For example, Alice can send a
plaintext message to
Bob along with a hash value of the message. Alice can apply a digital
signature to the hash value
so as to assure Bob that the hash value has been sent by Alice. When Bob
receives the plaintext
message from Alice, Bob can compute the hash value of the message. If the hash
value that Bob
computes is the same as the hash value that Alice has sent to Bob, then Bob
can be fairly confident
that the message has not been altered en route from Alice to Bob.
= To prove possession of a message without having to reveal the message. For
example, Alice can
send a message to Bob. Bob can take the hash of the message and send it back
to Alice. Alice
may thus be assured that Bob has the message without the risk of the message
being intercepted
en route from Bob to Alice.
= To prove possession of a message at a certain time without having to reveal
the message. For
example, Alice might have a great idea and wish to prove she came up with it
at a certain time
without having to reveal the idea. Thus, Alice might write out the idea in the
form of text, and take a
hash value of the text. Alice can then publish the hash of the text in a
newspaper. It will then be
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readily apparent that Alice had possession of the idea at least on the date of
the newspaper's
publication.
= To timestamp a document. For example, a document may be sent to a time-
stamping service. The
service may then determine the hash value of the document. The service may
append the then
current date and time to the hash value of the document and apply a digital
signature to the result.
The digitally signed hash value plus date and time may then be published. So
long as the time-
stamping service can be trusted to provide accurate dates and times (e.g., not
to use old dates and
times) then the published timestamp may serve as proof that the document was
in existence as of
the date and time provided by the time-stamping service. Further precautions
may ensure that it
becomes very difficult for even the time-stamping service to provide fake
times and dates. For
example, the time-stamping service may add a sequence number, (e.g., 1, 2, 3,
etc.) to each
document it timestamps. If the service wishes to provide an old date, the
service would have to find
an older sequence number. The older sequence number would have to fit between
two sequence
numbers used immediately before and immediately after the desired fake date.
However, no such
sequence number would be available if, e.g., no numbers had been skipped in
the first place.
Figure 48 shows a system according to some embodiments. According to some
embodiments, Casino
A and Casino B may represent facilities where participation in games of chance
or in other contests is
permitted. In various embodiments, in Casinos A and B, players may place bets
on games or contests,
and / or may win or lose money based on games or contests. The system of
figure 48 may permit
secondary players in Casino A and secondary players in Casino B to participate
in the games of primary
players who are at Casino A. Further, the system of figure 48 may permit a
secondary player outside of
Casinos A or B to participate in games of primary players at casino A.
Further, the system of figure 48
may permit regulators to track various data related to the games of primary
players played at Casino A,
to the participation in games by secondary players who are at Casino A, to the
participation in games by
secondary players who are at Casino B, and to the participation in games by
secondary players who are
at neither Casino A nor Casino B. According to some embodiments, Casino A may
include a server
110. The server may be in communication with a gaming device 130, a monitoring
device 160, and a
terminal of secondary player X 140, each of which may lie within the premises
of Casino A. Server 110
may further be in communication with server 120 of Casino B, with a server of
a regulator 170, and with
a device of a secondary player Z 190, where the secondary player device 190 is
not located on the

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premises of Casino A nor Casino B. Communication between server 110 and the
device 190 may occur
through an external network 180, e.g., through the Internet. Casino B may
include a server 120 which is
in communication with server 110, with the server of a regulator 170, and with
a terminal of secondary
player Y 150, which may lie within the premises of Casino B.

In some embodiments, the server of Casino A 110 may receive data about a game
from gaming device
130 or from monitoring device 160. A monitoring device may include a device
such as a camera or
microphone which may monitor a game at Casino A and transmit data about the
game to the server of
Casino A. The server of Casino A may transmit data received from gaming device
130 or monitoring
lo device 160 to the terminal of a secondary player X 140 so as to allow the
terminal 140 to recreate the
game, to accept bets from secondary player X on the game, and to pay winnings
to secondary player X
based on the game.

The server of Casino A 110 may further transmit received data about a game to
the server of Casino B
120. The server of Casino B may, in turn, transmit such data to the terminal
of a secondary player Y
150 so as to allow the terminal 150 to recreate the game, to accept bets from
secondary player Y on the
game, and to pay winnings to secondary player Y based on the game.

The server of Casino A 110 may further transmit received data about a game to
the device of secondary
player Z 190, e.g., through the Internet. The device of secondary player Z 190
may, in turn, recreate the
game for secondary player Z, receive bets on the game from secondary player Z,
and / or credit
winnings to secondary player Z based on the game.

The server of Casino A 110 may further transmit received data about a game to
the server of the
regulator 170. Such data may allow the regulator to monitor the fairness of
games, to watch for illegal
gaming, to track taxable income of the casino, or to perform any other desired
function.

In various embodiments, the terminal of secondary player X 140 may transmit to
the server of Casino A
110 data about the activities of secondary player X at the terminal. Further,
the terminal of secondary
player Y 150 may transmit to the server of Casino B 120 data about the
activities of secondary player Y
at the terminal. The server of Casino B 120 may transmit such data to the
server of Casino A 110.
Further, the device of secondary player Z 150 may transmit to the server of
Casino A 110 data about the
activities of secondary player Z at the device. Data received by the server of
Casino A 110 from

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terminals 140 and 150, and from device 190 may allow the server of Casino A to
tracking winnings and
losses of secondary players X, Y, and Z; to determine which data (e.g., data
about which games) to
transmit to the terminals or device; to determine an amount owed to Casino A
by Casino B for use of
data from Casino A; and so on. Further, data received by the server of Casino
A 110 from terminals 140
and 150, and from device 190 may be forwarded to the server of the regulator
170. The regulator may
use such data to track the bets of secondary players, to check for illegal
gambling, to monitor the
fairness of games, etc.

It should be appreciated that the system of figure 48 represents a system
according to some
lo embodiments, and that other servers, devices, terminals, networks, and
communication links may be
present in various embodiments.

Figure 49 shows the Casino A server according to some embodiments. In various
embodiments a
similar server may constitute the Casino B server, or the server of any other
casino. The storage device
230 may store program data. The program data may be used to direct the
processor 210 to execute
algorithms in accordance with various embodiments. The storage device 230 may
store other types of
data. Such data may include data received from the play of games; data that
can be used to recreate
games; data describing bets, wins, and loss of primary and secondary players;
data describing the
current locations or activities of primary or secondary players; data
describing amounts owed to a
casino; and so on. Communication port 220 may be used to transmit and / or to
receive data.
Communication port 220 may include an antenna, a wireless transmitter, a
signal generator, a router, or
any other communication device. Any data transmitted or received may be
stored, at least at some
point, in storage device 230.

Figure 50 shows a gaming device 130 according to some embodiments. The storage
device 330 may
store program data. The program data may be used to direct the processor 310
to execute algorithms in
accordance with various embodiments. Program data may include data used to
generate graphics, to
determine game outcomes, to compute winnings, and so on. The storage device
330 may store other
types of data. Such data may include data describing bets, wins, and losses by
a primary player at
gaming device 130. Input device 340 may include sensors, buttons, touch
screens, microphones, bill
validators, coin acceptors, card readers, and any other means by which a
primary player or other party
may interact with gaming device 130. For example, the input device 340 may
include a "bet" button.

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The output device 350 may include display screens, microphones, lights, coin
dispensers, buzzers, and
any other means by which a gaming device may provide a signal to the secondary
player. The
communication port 320 may be used to transmit and / or to receive data.

Figure 51 shows a terminal 140 for use by a secondary player, according to
some embodiments. The
storage device 430 may store program data. The program data may be used to
direct the processor 410
to execute algorithms in accordance with various embodiments. Program data may
include data used to
a recreate games or depictions of games based on data received about original
games. Program data
may include data used to generate graphics, to display game outcomes, to
compute winnings, and so
lo on. The storage device 430 may store other types of data. Such data may
include data describing bets,
wins, and losses by a secondary player at terminal 140. Input device 340 may
include sensors, buttons,
touch screens, microphones, bill validators, coin acceptors, card readers, and
any other means by which
a secondary player or other party may interact with terminal 130. For example,
the input device 340
may include a "bet" button.

The output device 350 may include display screens, microphones, lights, coin
dispensers, buzzers, and
any other means by which terminal 140 may provide a signal to the secondary
player. The
communication port 320 may be used to transmit and / or to receive data.

Figure 52 shows a monitoring device 160 according to some embodiments. The
monitoring device may
receive data about a game via input device 530. The input device 530 may
include a camera,
microphone, pressure sensor, bar code scanner, sensor, button, and so on. For
example, an input
device may include a camera that is pointed at a table where a game of
blackjack is being played. For
example, an input device may include a camera that is pointed at the viewing
window of a slot machine.
Communication port 520 may be used to transmit data received by the input
device to e.g., a casino
server. In various embodiments, the monitoring device may serve multiple
purposes, some of which
may not involve receiving data about a game. For example, a monitoring device
may include a camera
which also serves security purposes at casinos.

Figure 53 shows a database entry 600 including various information about a
game. The database entry
may store various aspects of a game played by primary player (e.g., by Jane
Smith). Such data may
later be used to allow a secondary player to participate in the game.

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Figure 54 shows a database entry 700 including various games played by a
player. The player may be
a primary player. The data in database entry 700 may allow a secondary player
to examine historical
data about the games of a primary player (e.g., about the games of Sam
Hunter), including statistics
about the games (e.g., the profits made in the last 100 games).

Figure 55 shows a display screen for entering betting information and tracking
the progress of a game,
according to some embodiments. The display screen may be sensitive and / or
responsive to touch and
may thereby function as a touch screen, in some embodiments. One area of the
display screen lists the
favored primary players of the secondary player currently viewing the display.
Presumably, the
lo secondary player has logged in or otherwise identified himself to the
terminal or device to which the
display belongs. The secondary player may have previously indicated his
favored primary players. The
casino may thus track the whereabouts of the favored primary players and alert
the secondary player
when a favored primary player begins play.

Another area of the display screen includes an announcements area. The casino
may make
announcements to the secondary player. Such announcements may include
promotional
announcements. For example, such announcements may include announcements of
discounts at
casino or other restaurants, announcements of discounts on shows,
announcements about upcoming
concerts or boxing matches, announcements about discounts on hotel rooms, and
so on.
2o Announcements may include promotions for other products, such as
automobiles, toothpaste, or plane
flights to the Caribbean. Announcements may further include announcements
about primary players in
which the secondary player may be interested. For example, an announcement may
indicate that a
favored primary player of the secondary player has just begun play.

Another area of the display screen includes a list of primary players that are
available in the sense that
the secondary player may participate in the games of these primary players.
This display area may
identify the primary player, either by real name or by an alias, such as
"TeeBone". The alias may allow a
primary player to maintain some anonymity or privacy. This display area may
further indicate a game
which the primary player is playing (and thus the game the secondary player
would be participating in), a
minimum bet required of the secondary player to participate in the game, and
one or more statistics
related to the primary players. For example, statistics may indicate a number
of consecutive games won
by the primary players. This display area may further include areas where a
secondary player can touch
in order to begin participating in the games of a primary player. For example,
by touching an area

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labeled "select" next to primary player Robert Clements, the secondary player
may begin participating in
the games of Robert Clemens.

Another area of the display screen includes windows where a secondary player
may track the progress
of games in which he is participating. Figure 55 depicts a first window where
the secondary player can
follow the game of primary player "TeeBone", in whose game the secondary
player is participating. The
game is blackjack, and the secondary player has a bet of $5 riding on the
game. The game is currently
in progress. Figure 55 depicts a second window where the secondary player can
follow the game of
primary player Sue Baker. The game is a slot machine game. The game has just
finished with an
1o outcome of "cherry-bar-cherry". The secondary player has just won $6 on the
game. Now, the
secondary player has the opportunity to place bets on the next game, as
indicated by the status "open
for bets".

Another area of the display screen includes a display of the credit balance of
the secondary player.
These credits may be used to bet on games in which the secondary player is
participating. Each credit
may correspond, for example, to $0.25 in value. The secondary player may place
bets using the betting
areas of the display screen, including a "Bet 25¾" area, a "Bet $1" area, a
"Bet $5" area, a "Repeat Last
Bet" area, and an "Auto Bet" area. When touched, such areas may apply to only
the game which has a
status of "Open for Bets". For example, touching the "Bet 1" may cause a bet
of $1 to be placed on the
game of Sue Baker, since it is that game which has the status of "Open for
Bets". In this way, there
need not be a separate set of betting buttons for every game in which the
secondary player is
participating. The "Repeat Last Bet" area may allow the secondary player to
easily repeat a prior bet
that may take extra effort to enter using the other betting areas. For
example, rather than touching the
"Bet $1" area 4 times to enter a $4 bet, the secondary player might simply
touch the "Repeat Last Bet"
area to repeat a prior bet of $4. The "Auto Bet" area may allow the secondary
player to continue making
the same bet on each new game, for example, without having to always enter a
bet. In some
embodiments, the secondary player may program in a particular betting strategy
and then touch the
"Auto Bet" area to have the strategy executed automatically by the terminal of
the secondary player.
The "Lock Game" area may allow the secondary player to prevent access to the
terminal by other
secondary players while he steps away for a break. The "Order Drinks" area may
allow the secondary
player to order drinks or other items and have them delivered to his terminal
without ever leaving.

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As will be appreciated, the various areas of the touch screen that allow touch
interaction may also be
implemented using ordinary buttons or any other interactive technology.

It should be appreciated that the figures do not necessarily show everything
that might be included in a
system, object, machine, device, etc. For example, although not shown in
Figure 50, gaming device 130
may include a coin hopper.

1. One player bets on the outcome of a game of another player. For example,
one player bets on
whether a winning outcome will be achieved in the game of another player. For
example, one
player bets on whether another player will win. In various embodiments, one
player may place a bet
and either win or lose money based on the results of a game played by another
player. As used
herein, "primary player", "primary players", and the like, may refer to a
player or players who most
directly participate in a game, such as a casino game. A primary player may,
for example, be
physically located at a slot machine and may participate in a game at the slot
machine by inserting a
coin, indicating a bet amount, and pulling a handle of the slot machine. A
primary player may also
be physically located at a table game, such as a game of blackjack with a live
dealer. In various
embodiments, a primary player directly initiates a game in which he
participates, e.g., by pulling the
handle of slot machine or physically placing a bet at a table game and
motioning to a dealer that he
is interested in playing. In various embodiments, a particular game would not
occur but for the
actions of the primary player.

As used herein, "secondary player", "secondary players", and the like, may
refer to a player or
players who participate or may come to participate in games played by primary
players or by other
secondary players. For example, a secondary player places a bet on a game in
which a primary
player is involved. The secondary player wins if the primary player wins, and
the secondary player
loses if the primary player loses. In another example, a secondary player
places a bet for a game
that has already occurred. When placing the bet, the secondary player does not
know the outcome
of the game. Once the secondary player has placed the bet, the outcome of the
game may be
revealed to the secondary player, and the secondary player may be paid if the
outcome is a winning
outcome. In another embodiment, secondary player A places a $10 bet on
secondary player B,
betting that secondary player B will win a game on which secondary player B
has placed a $20 bet.
If secondary player B wins the $20 bet, then secondary player A will win the
$10 bet. In various
embodiments, the secondary player does not initiate the game in which he
participates. In various

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embodiments, a game in which the secondary player participates would occur
whether or not the
secondary player chose to bet on the game. The game in which a secondary
player participates
may be initiated by a primary player or may be initiated automatically, e.g.,
by a computer program.

Where ever data is used herein, it should be understood that such data may be
stored, such as in a
database or in any other suitable medium, format, or data structure. Data may
be stored in either a
fixed location or throughout distributed locations. Data may be stored either
in a single location or in
multiple locations (e.g., in multiple redundant locations). The data may be
retrieved as needed from
its storage location. When data is generated but not immediately needed, such
data may be stored
for later retrieval. Data may be accessible by reference to any part of the
data, including any tag or
label associated with the data. For example, if some data elements of a set of
data elements are
known, the remaining data elements from the set of data elements may be
retrieved based on the
known data elements. For example, the known data elements may serve as a
search key for
finding the remaining data elements in the set of data elements.

In all applicable embodiments described herein, any data generated,
transmitted, stored, retrieved,
or used may also be stored for auditing purposes. Such data may be made
available to regulators
to casinos (e.g., to casinos generating the data; e.g., to casinos using the
data), or to any other
relevant party. Data that may be stored may include data describing the size
of a bet made by a
primary player on a game, the type of bet made by a primary player on a game,
intermediate events
that occurred during a game (e.g., rolls prior to the final roll in a game of
craps), the date of a game,
the decision options that were available in a game (e.g., hit, stand in
blackjack), the decisions that
were made in a game, the outcome of a game, the amount paid to the winner of a
game, and so on.

In various embodiments, data may be collected and stored relating to any
searches of game related
data. For example, suppose a secondary player searches for all games in which
a payout of more
than 100 coins was won. Accordingly, data indicating the search criteria may
be stored so that it
may be possible to determine in the future that a secondary player searched
for all games in which
a payout of more than 100 coins was won. Further data describing the results
of a search may be
stored. For example, if the search by the secondary player yielded 1218 games,
then this fact may
be stored. Further identifiers for each game identified by the search may be
stored.

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1.1. One player places bets on a game in which another player participates. In
various
embodiments, a secondary player may place a bet on the outcome of a game
itself. For
example, a secondary player may place a bet on the outcome of a slot machine
game. If the
outcome "bar-bar-bar" occurs in the game, then the secondary player may
receive ten times
his bet. The secondary player need not, in various embodiments, place the same
type of bet
as does the primary player. For example, the primary player may initiate a
craps game with a
"pass" bet. The secondary player may bet on the same craps game, but may place
a "don't
pass" bet. Thus, though the secondary player and the primary player have
placed bets on the
same game, the primary player may lose and the secondary player may win.
1.2. One player places bets on how another player will do. In various
embodiments, a secondary
player may place a bet on what will happen to a primary player in a game. The
secondary
player does not, in various embodiments, bet on the outcome of the game
itself, but only on
how the outcome of the game effects the primary player given the primary
player's bet on the
game. For example, the secondary player may bet that the primary player will
win the game.
If the primary player wins, then the secondary player's bet may be a winning
bet and the
secondary player may receive a payment. If, however, the primary player loses,
then the
secondary player may lose.

In various embodiments, the secondary player may bet that the primary player
will lose. The
secondary player may thus receive a payment for a winning bet if the primary
player loses, but
the secondary player may lose his bet if the primary player wins.

It should be noted that often, a bet placed by a primary player will provide
the house or casino
with an advantage. This is how the house may make money, on average. Thus, if
a secondary
player is permitted to place a bet against a primary player, then the
secondary player may
enjoy the same advantage as the house. In various embodiments, the secondary
player may
be charged a fee for betting against the primary player. The fee may provide
the house with an
advantage in a bet that might otherwise favor the secondary player. The fee
may be a flat fee.
The fee may be a percentage of the secondary player's bet. The fee may be
taken only from
payments of winnings received by the secondary player. For example, if the
secondary player
wins a payment of $10 based on a $10 bet placed, 50 cents may be deducted from
the
payment and kept by the house.

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In various embodiments a fee charged to the secondary player may be set at an
amount which
provides to the house the same advantage as the house had against the primary
player. As
used herein, a "house advantage" or "house edge" may be defined as a ratio of
the expected
amount won by a casino to the initial amount bet by a player. Suppose that a
house advantage
on a game is 1.41 %. Thus, a primary player who bets $1 could expect to
receive $0.98.59
back, on average. Further, suppose that a primary player initially bets $1 and
may receive
back $0 (for a net loss of $1) or may receive back $2 (for a net gain of $1).
An exemplary such
bet would be a $1 pass bet in the game of craps. The secondary player, in this
example, may
bet $1 against the primary player. The secondary player would then expect to
receive back
$1.01.41, on average. In order to give the house the same advantage against
the secondary
player that it had against the primary player, the secondary player may be
charged a fee of
$0.02.82. This fee may be rounded to $0.03, or may be varied over a large
number of
secondary player bets so as to average out to $0.02.82. With the fee taken
into account, the
secondary player might expect to receive $0.98.59 back per dollar bet,
providing the house with
the same advantage against the secondary player as it had against the primary
player.

In various embodiments, the secondary player may not be allowed to take
exactly the opposite
position as does the primary (e.g., where all wins for the primary player are
losses for the
secondary player, and vice versa). In various embodiments, an outcome that
causes the
primary player to lose may not result in a win for the secondary player, even
though the
secondary player has bet against the primary player. For example, an outcome
of "plum-
orange-cherry" may cause the primary player to lose, but may also cause the
secondary player
to lose. In various embodiments, an outcome that caused the primary player to
lose may result
in a push or tie for the secondary player. In this way, the house may maintain
an edge against
the secondary player even if the house also had an edge against the primary
player. In various
embodiments, the outcomes which are losing for the primary player and not
winning for the
secondary player may be chosen in such a way that the house is given the same
advantage
over the secondary player that it had over the primary player. For example,
suppose that a
particular game provides the primary player with the potential to either win
$1 net, or lose $1
net. Suppose further that the game has a 2% house edge. Suppose further that
outcomes X
and Y in the game are both losing outcomes for the primary player. Outcome X
occurs with
probability 0.03, and outcome Y occurs with probability 0.01. With a bet of $1
against the
primary player, the secondary player would ordinarily expect to win $1.02, for
an average net

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profit of $0.02. However, in various embodiments, outcomes X and Y may also be
counted as
ties for the secondary player. The secondary player's expected payment is then
reduced by
the probability of X times the amount that would have been won (beyond the bet
amount) upon
the occurrence of X, plus the probability of Y times the amount that would
have been won
(beyond the bet amount) upon the occurrence of Y. This reduction is equal to
0.03 x $1 + 0.01
x $1 = $0.04. The secondary player's expected winnings have thus been brought
down from
$1.02 to $0.98. This reduction provides the house with the same 2% edge
against the
secondary player as it had in the original game against the primary player.

In various embodiments, the secondary player may bet against an outcome that
would
ordinarily be winning in a game. For example, in a game of blackjack, the
secondary player
may bet that the dealer will win. In various embodiments, the house may then
alter the
probabilities of various outcomes in the game so as to return an edge to the
house. For
example, if a secondary player bets on the dealer in a game of blackjack, the
house may
remove cards with low point values from the deck. This may reduce the
probability of a dealer
win, and thus may reduce the probability that the secondary player may win
when betting on
the dealer. In various embodiments, a game where the secondary player bets on
the house
may not be a game that was actually played by a primary player. Rather, the
game may be a
game that is or was simulated by the house with probabilities of various
outcomes altered from
the standard probabilities of the game.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may take the house's position, or
approximately
the house's position, and bet against a primary player. The secondary player
may thereby lose
whatever the primary player wins, and win whatever the primary player loses.
For example, if
the primary player loses his bet of $1, then the secondary player may win $1.
However, if the
primary player wins $10, the secondary loses $10. In order that the house may
be sure of
collecting $10 from the secondary player in the event that the primary player
wins $10, the
house may require the secondary player to place a sufficient deposit with the
house to cover
possible losses of the secondary player. The deposit might come in the form of
a credit
balance that the secondary player has accumulated (e.g., as a result of
inserting bills, or as a
result of winning bets), in the form of a financial account that the house is
free to charge in
order to collect on the secondary player's obligations (e.g., the secondary
player may provide a
credit card number), in the form of a check that the secondary player has
provided to the

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house, or in any other suitable form. In various embodiments, the house may
require a deposit
or other commitment from the secondary player equal to the maximum possible
payout that
may be received by the primary player. For example, suppose the primary player
participates
in a game in which the primary player may win up to $100. If the secondary
player bets against
the primary player, then the secondary player may risk losing up to $100 in a
game. The house
may thus require the secondary player to have a credit balance of as much as
$100 in order to
bet against the primary player. In various embodiments, the house may require
the secondary
player to confirm (e.g., by pressing a button) that the secondary player is
aware he has the
potential to lose up to X amount, where X is the maximum the secondary player
might lose from
participating in a game.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may bet against a primary player
while not
mirroring the payouts of the primary player. For example, the secondary player
may bet $1 on
a game in which the secondary player bets that the primary player will lose.
If the primary
player does lose the game, the secondary player may receive $1.25, for a net
profit of $0.25.
If, the primary player wins, the secondary player may lose his bet of $1, for
a net loss of $1.
The secondary player may lose $1 regardless of the amount that the primary
player wins. For
example, the secondary player may lose $1 whether the primary player wins $1
or whether the
primary player wins $100.

In various embodiments, the secondary player may bet that a primary player
will win a certain
multiple of the primary player's bet in a given game. For example, the
secondary player may
bet $5 that the primary player will win at least triple the primary player's
bet of $2 in a game.
The secondary player may win $20 if the primary player wins at least $6.
Otherwise, the
secondary player may lose his bet of $5.

In various embodiments, the secondary player may be paid according to a table
or function that
maps every possible result of a primary player to a payment for the secondary
player. For
example, the secondary player may receive $3 if the primary player wins $0, $5
if the primary
player wins $1, $0 if the primary player wins $2, $0 if the primary player
wins $3, $1 if the
primary player wins $4, and so on. As will be understood, the function need
not perform a
linear or continuous mapping.

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In various embodiments, a secondary player may be forbidden and / or prevented
from placing
a bet that would provide the secondary player with an edge. For example, a
secondary player
may be prevented from betting against a primary player, where the house had an
edge versus
the primary player.

1.3. A player places bets for games from the past. In various embodiments, a
secondary player
may place a bet on a game that has occurred in the past. With respect to the
game, at least
one of the following may have occurred in the past (e.g., before the secondary
player placed a
bet on the game): (a) the game's start; (b) the game's conclusion; (c)
collection of a bet from
the primary player who played the game; and (d) payment of winnings to the
primary player
who played the game.

When a game is originally played, a record of the game may be created. The
record may
include data sufficient to recreate all or part of the game. Such data may
include: (a) one or
more seeds or random numbers used to generate outcomes for the game; (b) one
or more
outcomes of the game (e.g., "cherry-bell-lemon"; e.g., a sequence of five
cards, such as cards
constituting a poker hand; e.g., a set of hands of cards, such as a player
hand and dealer hand,
or such as a player hand and hands of the player's opponent; e.g., the number
or numbers
showing on one or more dice, such as in a game of craps; e.g., a sequence of
numbers
showing on a sequence of dice rolls; e.g., a set of numbers in a game of keno;
e.g., the payouts
achieved in a bonus round; e.g., the level achieved in a bonus round); (c) one
or more symbols
comprising an outcome of the game; (d) one or more cards; (e) reel positions
for one or more
reels of a slot machine; (f) a number of decks used; (g) a decision made by a
primary player of
the game; (h) one or more algorithms used to generate an outcome of the game;
(i) an identifier
for the gaming device used in the game; Q) a pay table used for the game; (k)
a make, model,
or year for the gaming device used in the game; (I) a date or time when the
game was played;
(m) a location where the game was played; (n) a dealer involved in the game;
(o) a position of
the primary player at a table used in playing the game; (p) an identifier
(e.g., a name) for the
primary player who played the game; (q) an identifier of another player in the
game (e.g.,
another player at a blackjack table where the game was played); (r) a bet made
by a primary
player of the game; (s) winnings received by the primary player in the game;
(t) video footage of
the game; (u) audio footage of the game; and (v) an order of cards dealt from
a deck of cards.
Video footage of the game may include video footage from various perspectives.
In some

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embodiments, video footage may show or focus on cards, dice, or reels, or
other items which
determine and / or reveal the outcome of a game. Video footage may include
footage of
actions in a game, such as footage of a player making bets, making decision,
and / or collecting
winnings. Such video footage may focus on a player's hands, for example. In
some
embodiments, video footage may show or focus on a dealer or other casino
representative in
charge of a game. In some embodiments, video footage may show or focus on a
player's face
or body. For example, video footage may show a player's facial expressions or
body language
during a game. In some embodiments, video footage may focus on spectators. In
some
embodiments, video footage is recorded from a live game. In some embodiments,
video
footage is generated. Video footage may be generated based on stored data
about a game.
Video footage may be generated in a number of ways. In some embodiments, video
footage
may be generated by assembling stock video clips. For example, one stock video
clip may
show a primary player (e.g., an actor acting as a primary player) making a
bet. Another stock
video clip may show a primary player rolling the dice. There may be stock
video clips of every
possible outcome in a game. For example, there may be a stock video clip
showing the every
possible roll of two dice. To assemble video footage of a complete game, the
casino may e.g.,
put together a video clip of a bet being made, a video clip of an outcome
being rolled
corresponding to the outcome that actually occurred in the original game the
secondary player
is betting on, and a video clip of a player collecting his winnings. In some
embodiments, stock
video footage may include video footage of entire games. Should a similar game
later occur,
the same video footage may be used for the similar game when the secondary
player is
participating in the similar game.

In some embodiments, video footage is generated using computer algorithms. For
example,
computer algorithms may generate footage showing a simulated primary player
placing a bet
and rolling dice, the dice bouncing and landing, a simulated croupier paying
winnings, and so
on. In various embodiments, video may be generated so as to be true, as much
as practicable,
to the data of the game. For example, video may be generated to show a video
or animated
depiction of an outcome that actually occurred in a game of a primary player.

In various embodiments, video may be generated based on data about a game.
Data
indicating the bet amount of a primary player may be used to generate video of
a primary
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player (e.g., a simulated primary player) making a bet of the same bet amount.
Data indicating
an outcome of a game may be used to generate video showing the same outcome
being
generated. Data indicating intermediate symbols or indicia that appear during
a game may be
used to generate video showing those same intermediate symbols or indicia. For
example,
data indicating that a particular position at a blackjack table was dealt the
seven of hearts may
be used to generate video showing the simulated dealing of the seven of hearts
on a simulated
blackjack table. Data indicating the identity of a primary player may be used
to generate video.
For example, based on a stored photo of a primary player, the casino may
generate cartoon
caricatures of the primary player playing a game. Data indicating the age or
other demographic
of a primary player may be used to generate video. For example, if the primary
player is a 60
year-old female, the casino may generate a cartoon caricature of a 60 year-old
female playing
a game. In some embodiments, demographic data about a player may be used to
retrieve
stock footage of a player with similar characteristics. For example, stock
footage of a 60 year-
old female player may be retrieved.

The record of the game may be stored by a gaming device, casino server, third
party server, or
other device. Subsequently, a secondary player may place a bet on the game, or
on some
aspect of the game. Once the secondary player has placed a bet, data stored in
the record
may be used to recreate the game, or to recreate some aspect of the game. For
example,
video footage of the game may be shown to the secondary player. In some
embodiments, the
outcome of the game may simply be displayed for the secondary player.

Based on the outcome of the game, and based on the bet placed by the secondary
player, the
secondary player may lose his bet, lose a portion of his bet, break even, or
be paid winnings.
For example, if the outcome of the game is a winning outcome, then the
secondary player may
be paid based on the standard rules of the game. For example, if the secondary
player bets
$10 on a game of blackjack, and the primary player in the game received 20
points to the
dealer's 19, then the secondary player may win $10 in addition to keeping his
bet.

If the secondary player has placed a bet on what would happen to the primary
player, then the
winnings and / or losses of the primary player may be revealed to the
secondary player. For
example, if the secondary player bet against the primary player, and the
primary player lost, the
secondary player may win. If the secondary player made a bet whereby the
secondary player

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receives twice the winnings of the primary player, and the primary player wins
$20, then the
secondary player may receive $40

1.4. A primary player on which a secondary player was betting is no longer
available. In various
embodiments, a secondary player may participate in one or more games played by
a primary
player. For example, the secondary player may place bets on the games played
by the
primary player. The primary player may, at some point, terminate his playing
session. The
secondary player may, on the other hand, wish to continue his participation in
the games of
the primary player, and may thus find himself deprived of opportunities to
make bets on the
games of the primary player.
1.4.1. A primary player is asked to stay. In various embodiments, the primary
player may
signal his intention to terminate a playing session. For example, the primary
player may
stand up, cash out, refrain from placing a bet even though he is at a table
game, and so
on. The secondary player may signal his desire to continue participating. For
example,
the secondary player may press a button labeled "continue session" on a
betting
interface. The secondary player may communicate his desire verbally (e.g., to
a casino
representative), via text (e.g., via a text message sent to a casino
representative) or in
any other manner. Regardless of whether the secondary player actually signals
his
desire to continue participating, the primary player may be contacted. For
example, a
representative of the casino may contact the primary player. Such a
representative may
include a waitress, pit boss, dealer, etc. The primary player may be asked to
stay and to
continue playing. The primary player may be offered a benefit for staying,
such as cash,
goods or services, a free meal, show tickets, improved odds, comp points, and
so on.
The primary player may be informed that there is a secondary player who
appreciates
the results of the primary player and wishes for the primary player to remain.

In some embodiments, a primary player who has signaled an intent to leave may
be
asked to stay only if one or more criteria are satisfied. For example, the
primary player
may be asked to stay only if at least three secondary players have been
participating in
the games of the primary player. Other criteria may include: (a) there are at
least X
secondary players watching the games of the primary player; (b) there are at
least X
secondary players who are interested in participating in the games of the
primary player;
(c) there has been at least X dollar amount of bets placed by secondary
players on each

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game of the primary player; (d) there has been a total of at least X dollar
amount of bets
placed by secondary players on games of the primary player during a particular
period of
time, number of games, particular playing session, etc.; (e) the casino has
made at least
X dollars of profit from secondary players having participated in the games of
the primary
player; (f) the casino has made at least X dollars of theoretical win or
profits from
secondary players having participated in the games of the primary player; and
so on. It
will be appreciated that a casino may require any combination of the above
criteria to be
met in order for a primary player to be asked to stay. There may be multiple
ways of
meeting the above criteria, including by partially satisfying two or more of
the criteria. It
will further be appreciated that there may be other criteria that a casino may
use based
on whose satisfaction the casino may ask a primary player to continue with a
playing
session.

In various embodiments, a casino may offer a primary player an opportunity to
play a fair
game (i.e., where the primary player's expected winnings accounting for the
cost of
betting are exactly 0), if the primary player will continue to play.
1.4.2. The casino plays automatically. In some embodiments, when a primary
player
terminates a playing session, the casino or house may play in place of the
primary
player. For example, a dealer at a blackjack table may continue to deal a hand
to the
position where the primary player had been. The dealer may make decisions for
the
hand, such as hit or stand decisions. The decisions may be made according to
optimum
strategy. The decisions may also be made based on inputs from the secondary
player.
Another representative of the casino may also stand in for the primary player.
For
example, the other representative may sit at the table or slot machine where
the primary
player had been, and may resume play.

In some embodiments, game outcomes may be generated automatically once the
primary player leaves. For example, a slot machine that the primary player has
left may
continue to generate outcomes. The secondary player may thus continue to place
bets
on the outcomes.

In some embodiments, a computer algorithm may make decisions in a game. The
computer algorithm may substitute in for a primary player in a game so that a
secondary
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player may participate in the game without the presence of a human primary
player. In
some embodiments a computer algorithm may act as a primary player even when a
secondary player had not been participating in games of a prior human primary
player.
In other words, a computer algorithm need not necessarily substitute in for a
primary
player, but may serve as a simulated or artificial primary player from the get
go. A
computer algorithm may make decisions in a game. The computer algorithm may
make
decisions of how much to bet; decisions of what types of bets to make (e.g.,
the
computer algorithm may decide whether or not to make an insurance get in a
game of
blackjack); decisions of whether to check, bet, raise, call, or fold (e.g., in
a game of
poker); decisions about whether or not to receive additional cards (e.g., in
games of
blackjack or video poker); and any other decisions that may be made in a game.
The
computer algorithm may refer to a stored set of rules for making decisions in
a game.
For example, the computer algorithm may refer to a table which lists one or
more
possible situations which might arise in a game and which lists a
corresponding decision
that should be made should that situation arise. The computer algorithm may
also
include procedures, logic, or other computational methods for computing a
decision given
a game state. For example, in a game of video poker, a computer algorithm may
compute expected winnings given each of several possible decisions. The
computer
may determine which of the decisions leads to the highest expected winnings
and make
that decision.

In various embodiments, a computer algorithm may be programmed to make
decisions
which yield the highest expected winnings, payouts, and / or profits in a
game. In
various embodiments, a computer algorithm may be programmed to approximate the
play of a human player. The computer algorithm may be programmed to, at least
occasionally, favor strategies with emotional or intuitive appeal over those
that are
optimal. For example, a computer algorithm may be programmed to pursue a high
paying hand in a game of video poker even when expected winnings would be
optimized
by pursuing a lower paying but more certain hand. In various embodiments,
computer
algorithms may be programmed with different personalities. Some might be
programmed
to take big risks in the strategies they use. Some might be programmed to play
conservatively. Some computer algorithms may be programmed to bet frequently
(e.g.,

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in games of poker). Some computer algorithms may be programmed to bet
infrequently,
and only with very good hands (e.g., in games of poker).

1.4.3. An interrupted session of the primary player is resumed when primary
player returns.
In some embodiments, when a primary player leaves, the session of the
secondary
player may be put on hold. That is, for the time being, the secondary player
may not
have the opportunity of placing bets and participating in games played by the
primary
player. However, the secondary player may have the opportunity to resume
playing
when the primary player returns and initiates new games.
1.4.3.1. An alert is given to the secondary player when primary player
returns. In some
embodiments, the secondary player may be sent an alert when the primary player
has returned, or when the primary player is soon to return, or when the
primary
player is likely to return. The alert may take the form of a phone call,
email, text
message, verbal alert by a casino representative, and so on.
1.4.4. In some embodiments, a secondary player may indicate a primary player
in whose
games the secondary player may be interested in participating. The secondary
player
may thereby "tag" or "bookmark" the primary player as a player in whose games
the
secondary player may wish to participate. In various embodiments, the casino
may allow
the secondary player to easily determine when a bookmarked primary player is
playing
(e.g., is seated at a gaming device or gaming table; e.g., has inserted a
player tracking
card at a gaming device or gaming table; e.g., has played one or more games in
the
recent past). For example, a secondary player may peruse a list of bookmarked
primary
player. The secondary player may select one of the primary players from the
list and
may then be shown whether or not the primary player is currently playing, what
game the
primary player is playing, where the primary player is playing, or any other
information of
interest. In some embodiments, the casino may alert the secondary player
anytime a
bookmarked primary player has begun playing. In some embodiments, the casino
may
keep track of various statistics related to primary players that the secondary
player has
bookmarked. The casino may report such statistics to the secondary player when
the
secondary player makes contact with the casino (e.g., sits at terminal from
which the
secondary player may participate in games of the primary player), or at any
other time.
Statistics may include statistics about recent games played, recent wins,
recent losses,
recent large payouts, recent profits, and so on. Statistics need not
necessarily be

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recent, but may be recent if the secondary player has previously learned of
older
statistics about the primary player. In various embodiments, if a secondary
player is
ready to begin participating in the games of a primary player, the secondary
player may
be offered (e.g., by default) the opportunity to participate in games of a
bookmarked
primary player. The secondary player may be offered the opportunity to
participate in the
games of a first bookmarked primary player (e.g., a primary player that is
first on the
secondary player's list of favorite primary players). If the secondary player
declines, the
secondary player may be offered the opportunity to participate in games of a
second
bookmarked primary player (e.g., a primary player that is second on the
secondary
player's list of favorite primary players), and so on. In various embodiments,
secondary
players may share tags or bookmarks of primary players amongst themselves. For
example, a secondary player may publish a list of whom he thinks are "lucky"
primary
players. Other secondary players may view the list and decide to participate
in the
games of the listed primary players.
1.4.5. An expected value is paid to the secondary player. In various
embodiments, a
secondary player may have placed a bet on results of a primary player spanning
more
than one game. For example, the secondary player may have bet that a primary
player
would be ahead monetarily after one hour of play. If, however, the primary
player leaves
prior to completing one hour of play, there is the potential that the
secondary player's bet
remains unresolved. In various embodiments, the secondary player's bet is
settled for
the expected value (EV) of the secondary player's winnings. For example, if,
based on
the current time, the current winnings of the primary player, and the odds of
the game
that the primary player has been playing, the expected winnings of the
secondary player
are $8, then the secondary player may be paid $8 when the primary player
terminates his
session. The bet may also be settled for various functions of the EV, such as
for the EV
less a processing fee, 50% of the EV, and so on.
1.4.6. Bets are returned to the secondary player. In some embodiments, when
the primary
player terminates a session, a bet made be the secondary player that was
dependent on
the primary player finishing the session may be returned to the secondary
player.
1.4.7. Options to participate in the games of other primary players are shown
to the
secondary player. In some embodiments, when the primary player terminates a
session,
the secondary player may be presented with other primary players on whom or on
whose
games the secondary player might bet. By selecting one or more of the new
primary

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players, the secondary player may continue participating in games. For the
purposes of
a bet that required the completion of the session by the original primary
player, the new
primary player may be treated as if he was continuing where the original
primary player
left off. For example, the new primary player may be treated as if he has lost
$6 during
the past half hour, as the original primary player actually did. If the new
primary player
subsequently wins $10 in the next half hour, a bet made by the secondary
player that the
original primary player would be ahead after an hour of play would be a
winning bet.
When a selection of new primary players is presented to the secondary player,
primary
players presented may be chosen by the casino based on similarities to the
original
primary player. For example, suppose the original primary player was from
Texas.
When the original primary player terminates his session, new primary players
may be
presented wherein each is also from Texas. Other characteristics that the
original and
new primary players may share include: (a) both may play the same type game
(e.g.,
both may play IGT's Wheel of Fortune slot machines); (b) both may be of the
same
gender; (c) both may be the same age; (d) both may have the same occupation;
(e) both
may have the same geographic location of residence or origin; (f) both may
have
common interests (e.g., in music, food, sports, etc.); and (g) both may share
common
birthdays.
1.4.8. The secondary player is given the opportunity to become a primary
player. He's told
where he can sit down and start playing. In some embodiments, when a primary
player
terminates his session, the secondary player is offered the chance to become a
primary
player. For example, the secondary player is shown the location of the slot
machine or
table game where the primary player had been playing. The secondary player may
be
offered the opportunity to take the seat and / or take the place of the
primary player.
1.4.9. Historical games of the primary player are found. In some embodiments,
when the
primary player terminates a session of play, the secondary player may be
offered the
opportunity to participate in historical games of the primary player. In
various
embodiments, the historical games may include games in which the secondary
player
has not already participated. The secondary player may thereby have the
opportunity to
continue benefiting from the skill, luck, or other value he associates with
the primary
player.

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1.5. Maintenance of player privacy. In various embodiments, the identity of a
primary player may
be shielded from the secondary player. This may prevent a secondary player
from finding out
sensitive financial information about the primary player, from scolding the
primary player for
unfavorable outcomes, or for otherwise causing harm or discomfort to the
primary player.
1.5.1. The secondary player doesn't see who he is betting on. In various
embodiments,
facial features or any other potentially identifying features of a primary
player are hidden
from the secondary player. For example, in video footage of the game of the
primary
player, the face is blurred, covered, or completely omitted from the field of
view. Voices
may be edited out or masked.
1.5.2. The secondary player does not know the location of the person he is
betting on. In
various embodiments, the location of the primary player is disguised or kept
hidden.
Otherwise, especially for a live game, it would be conceivable that the
secondary player
could find the primary player by simply going to the location of the primary
player. Thus,
in various embodiments, video footage of the game of the primary player may
omit
distinguishing characteristics of the primary player's location. Such
characteristics may
include identifiable features of a casino, such as pictures, sculptures,
fountains, names of
restaurants, signs for a bathroom, signs for a poker room or other casino
sector, and so
on. Distinguishing features of a table game may also be disguised or omitted.
For
example, a unique design or color of a table may be omitted. In various
embodiments,
games or locations with readily identifiable and / or unique characteristics
may be
ineligible for participation by secondary players.
1.5.3. Limits to how many times a secondary player can bet on one particular
person. In
various embodiments, there may be a limit as to the number of games of a
primary
player in which a secondary player may participate. This may lessen the
likelihood of
the secondary player developing any strong feelings towards the primary player
one
way or the other. In various embodiments, there is a limit to the amount of
time that
the secondary player is allowed to spend participating in the games of a given
primary
player.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may be switched from participating
in the
games of a first primary player to participating in the games of a second
primary
player. The secondary player may be switched without the secondary player
knowing
that he has been switched. For example, the secondary player may receive data

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about a game that includes the symbols, indicia, and / or outcomes generated
during
the game. However, the secondary player may not necessarily receive
identifying
information about a primary player of the game. Thus, when the secondary
player is
switched from participating in the games of a first primary player to
participating in the
games of a second primary player, the secondary player may not be aware of the
switch since the secondary player may have no access to identifying
information for
either the first or second primary players. In various embodiments, the
secondary
player may be switched form participating in the games of a first primary
player to
participating in the games of a second primary player after a predetermined
number of
games. For example, after participating in 25 games of a first primary player,
the
secondary player may be switched to participating in the games of a second
primary
player. In various embodiments, a switch may occur at random. For example,
after
every game played by a first primary player, the casino may randomly generate
a
number between 1 and 100. If the number is greater than 80, the casino may
switch
the secondary player from participating in the games of the first primary
player to
participating in the games of a second primary player. In some embodiments,
the
switch may occur after a random number of games with an upper boundary. For
example, if the secondary player has not been switched after 20 games with a
first
primary player, the secondary player may be switched automatically. In some
embodiments, a secondary player may be switched upon his own request. In
various
embodiments, when a secondary player is switched between the games of
different
primary players with reasonable frequency, the chances with which a primary
player's
privacy becomes compromised may be reduced. In some embodiments, a secondary
player may be informed when he has been switched from the games of a first
primary
player to the games of a second primary player. In some embodiments, the
secondary player is not informed of the switch.
1.5.4. Introduction of a time delay so that the primary player is no longer
located where he
had been by the time the secondary player begins participation in the games of
the
primary player. In various embodiments, a secondary player is restricted to
betting on
games that have occurred a predetermined amount of time in the past, e.g., one
day or
more in the past. In this way, the secondary player is unlikely to be able to
contact the
primary player, as the primary player may no longer be in the vicinity. In
various
embodiments, the secondary player is restricted to betting on games that have
been

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played by a primary player who has already left the location in which the
games were
originally played.
1.6. A secondary player or spectator is provided with knowledge about what the
next cards will be,
or what the primary player's opponent holds. The secondary player may watch
the primary
player struggle with a decision while the secondary player already knows the
correct decision.
In various embodiments, a secondary player may be informed of some information
about a
game that the primary player does not know, or at least did not know at the
time the primary
player was participating in the game. For example, a primary player may be
engaged in a
game of video poker. The secondary player may watch the progress of the game
from a
remote terminal. The secondary player may be informed that the next four cards
in the deck
are all aces. However, this information is not known to the primary player.
Thus, the
secondary player may experience the excitement of hoping the primary player
will draw four
cards.
1.6.1. The secondary player knows the next cards, the symbols that will occur
on reels, the
proper door to open in a bonus game, etc. In various embodiments, a secondary
player
may be informed of one or more of the following at a point in a game prior to
when a
primary player finds out (or found out): (a) an outcome of a game (e.g.,
"cherry-cherry-
cherry"); (b) a payment that the primary player will receive based on the
game; (c) a
game result (e.g., win, lose); (d) a reel position; (e) a symbol that will
appear on a reel
(e.g., the secondary player may know that the third reel of a slot machine
will show a
symbol "bar" that will complete a winning outcome of "bar-bar-bar" prior to
when the
primary player finds out); (f) a card that will be received by the primary
player; (g) a card
that will be received by a dealer; (h) a card that is at or near the top of
the deck being
used in a game of cards; (i) a hand of cards that will be achieved by a
primary player
should the primary player make a particular decision (e.g., a hit decision in
blackjack); Q)
an order of cards in a deck of cards (k) a payment, result, or outcome that
would result
from a particular choice in a bonus game of a gaming device (e.g., the primary
player
would win 200 coins by choosing door number 3 in a bonus game); (I) a card
that will be
received by the primary player's opponent; (m) a card held by the primary
player's
opponent (e.g., in a poker hand); (n) a number that will appear on a die in a
game (e.g.,
in craps); (o) a number that will come up in the game of roulette; and so on.
1.6.2. The secondary player may make a new bet at apparently good odds if the
primary
player is not likely to make a decision that would win for the secondary
player. In various
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embodiments, a secondary player may be allowed to place a bet on a game being
played
by the primary player after finding out information about the game. The bet
may be
made at odds apparently favorable to the primary player. For example, suppose
that a
primary player holds an initial hand of video poker comprising the Ks, Kc,
10h, 3c and 7d.
Unbeknownst to the primary player, but known to the secondary player, the next
four
cards in the deck are the Ah, Kh, Oh, and Jh. Thus, were the primary player to
discard
the Ks, Kc, 3c, and 7d, the primary player would achieve a royal flush, the
highest paying
outcome, in various embodiments. The secondary player may be allowed to bet
four
coins on the game. The secondary player may win 1 coin for a pair, jacks or
better, 2
coins for two-pair, 3 coins for three-of-a-kind, and 800 for a royal flush.
Thus, the
secondary player may bet 4 coins with an apparent potential to win 800 coins.
Indeed, it
is possible that the second player will win 800 coins. However, it would be
very unlikely
for the primary player to discard a pair of kings in order to draw four cards
to the 10h.
Thus, it is more likely the primary player will keep his pair of kings, draw
three cards, and
end up with three kings, providing the secondary player with a payout of 3
coins. Thus,
in various embodiments, the strategy of a primary player may be predicted,
e.g., by the
casino server. The predicted strategy may be, e.g., an optimal strategy given
lack of any
knowledge about future results or outcomes (e.g., future cards in a deck).
Based on
predictions of the primary player's strategy, the casino server may provide
betting
opportunities for the secondary player such that the house will maintain an
advantage
given the predicted strategies. The same betting opportunities provided to the
secondary
player may have provided the house with a disadvantage if the primary player
were to be
able to utilize knowledge of future results or outcomes (e.g., future cards in
a deck).
Accordingly, a secondary player may make certain bets on a game in the hopes
that the
primary player will deviate from optimal or conventional strategy.
1.6.3. The secondary player may provide hints. In various embodiments, a
secondary player
may have the opportunity to convey a hint to the primary player. A hint may
take the
form of a suggested decision. For example, a hint may indicate that the
primary player
should discard the first and third cards in his hand of video poker. A hint
may take the
form of a veto. For example, the primary player may first indicate a
particular choice of
strategy, such as a particular combination of cards to discard in a game of
video poker.
The secondary player may provide an indication that such a strategy should not
be
followed. The secondary player may be allowed only one veto, or may be allowed
up to

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a predetermined number of vetoes. A hint may take the form of information
about a
symbol, result, or outcome of a game. For example, in the bonus round of a
slot
machine game, the secondary player may inform the primary player of the number
of
coins behind door 2. It may happen that there are more coins behind door 3,
but the
secondary player may only be allowed to give a hint about door 2, in some
embodiments.
1.6.4. The secondary player may watch the primary player for entertainment
purposes. The
secondary player may watch facial expressions during good outcomes or during
near-
misses. In various embodiments, the secondary player may derive entertainment
or
other gratification from watching the experiences of the primary player. The
secondary
player may, for instance, watch a primary player play a game in which the
primary player
will win a large payout. The secondary player can watch the expression on the
face of
the primary player (e.g., from video footage) and see the expression change
from neutral
to an expression of surprise and elation. The secondary player may choose to
participate in games that are likely to have or to have had an emotional
impact on the
primary player. The secondary player may thus choose games in which a payment
above a predetermined amount was won, in which a certain outcome (e.g., a
winning
outcome) was achieved, in which a jackpot was achieved, in which a bonus round
was
played, and so on. A secondary player may also choose a game in which the
primary
player comes close, or apparently comes close to achieving a large payment.
For
example, the secondary player may choose a game in which the primary player
has four
cards to a royal flush in video poker, and will draw a fifth card. The
secondary player
may also choose a game in which two out of three reels of a slot machine line
up on
jackpot symbols.
1.6.5. A search is performed to find games that include near misses of high
paying
outcomes, or any other characteristic. In various embodiments, a secondary
player may
receive information about various games that will happen, are in progress, or
have
happened already. Based on the information, the secondary player may choose a
game
in which to participate, or which to watch. The secondary player may have a
preferred
game he likes to play, a preferred primary player he likes to bet with (or
on), a preferred
dealer in whose game he wishes to participate, and so on. The secondary player
may
also wish to participate in games where he knows something about the outcome,
results,
or other information about the game. For example, the secondary player may
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participate in games where the first two reels of a slot machine show the
jackpot
symbols.
In various embodiments, the secondary player may indicate a desired criterion,
or
desired criteria about the game. Various games satisfying the criterion or
criteria may
then be made available for the secondary player to participate in. The
secondary player
may then choose one or more of the games to participate in. In various
embodiments,
once the secondary player has indicated a criterion or criteria, the secondary
player may
automatically begin participating in a game matching the criterion or
criteria. Criteria
indicated for a game by a secondary player may include one or more of the
following: (a)
the game has a particular dealer; (b) the game has a particular number of
players; (c) the
game is played at a particular gaming device; (d) the game is played at a
particular type
of gaming device; (e) the game is played by a particular primary player; (f)
the game is
played by a primary player with a particular characteristic (e.g., age, race,
marital status,
nationality, area of residence, occupation, etc.); (g) the game has a
potential payout
above a particular level (e.g., the game has a payout of more than 1000 times
the bet);
(h) the game has an expected payout above a certain level (e.g., an expected
payout of
more than 95% of the original bet); (i) the game has a bonus round; 0) the
game is
played in a certain location; (k) the game is played at a certain time or
date; (I) the game
is, or will be a winning game (e.g., the game will pay at least three times an
initial bet of
the primary player); (m) the game will feature an outcome that has almost all
the required
symbols necessary for a large payout (e.g., a game of video poker has four
cards to a
royal flush); and so on.
1.6.6. Preventing collaboration. In various embodiments, measures may be taken
to prevent
collaboration between the primary player and the secondary player.
Particularly if the
secondary player knows information about the game, such as hidden cards in a
deck, the
secondary player would be able to confer an advantage to the primary player
and to
himself by communicating with the primary player. As discussed previously, the
identity
of the primary player may be shielded from the secondary player. Similarly,
the identity
of the secondary player may be shielded from the primary player. One or both
of the
primary and secondary players may be kept in an enclosure, such as a sound-
proof room
or Faraday cage, that reduces the possibility of communication. Signal
detectors, such
as antennas, may be placed near the primary or secondary players to detect
possible

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communications between the two. Cell phones, pagers, BlackberriesTM and other
communication devices may be temporarily confiscated from either or both of
the primary
and secondary players. The secondary player may participate in the game only
after one
or more, including all game decisions have been made in the game.
1.7. What happens if a machine needs servicing in the middle of a roll? What
happens if the
primary player is taking too long to finish a game? In various embodiments,
the completion of
a game may be delayed or prevented. For example, a gaming device may break
down in the
middle of a game. A primary player may get into a discussion with a friend in
the middle of a
video poker game, and may thus delay a decision in the game for several
minutes. A
secondary player participating in a delayed game may find the delay
frustrating and may wish
to complete the game in some other manner.
1.7.1. A game is completed automatically. In various embodiments, the game may
be
completed automatically, e.g., by the casino. The game that is completed
automatically
may, in fact, be a copy of the original game, so that the primary player can
complete the
original game on his own. However, the secondary player may receive a payment
based
on the automatically completed game. The game may be completed using a
predetermined strategy, such as optimal strategy. The game may be completed
using a
random strategy where, for example, one of several possible strategies is
selected at
random.
1.7.2. The secondary player makes the decisions in a game. In some
embodiments, the
secondary player may have the opportunity to complete the game by making his
own
decisions. For example, if the game is blackjack, the secondary player may
indicate
decisions such as "hit" or "stand" so as to complete the game. The secondary
player
may, in various embodiments, complete a copy of the original game, so that the
primary
player may complete the original game on his own. A copy of the original game
may
include a second game with one or more similar parameters or aspects to the
first game.
For example, in the copied version of the game, one or more of the player
hand, the
dealer's hand, the order of cards in a deck, the prizes available behind
certain doors in a
bonus game, etc., may be the same as in the original game.
1.7.3. A bet is returned to the secondary player. In various embodiments, when
a game is
delayed, the bet placed by the secondary player on the game may be returned to
the
secondary player.

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1.7.4. The secondary player is provided with an expected value of his winnings
at that point
in the game. In various embodiments, when a game is delayed, the expected
payment
or the expected winnings to be paid the secondary player may be provided to
the
secondary player. In some embodiments, a function of the expected payment is
provided, such as the expected payment less a fee.
1.8. Communication between the secondary player and the primary player. In
some embodiments,
the primary player and the secondary player may be given the opportunity to
communicate.
Communication may occur via text, voice, or any other means. Communication may
occur
through the casino server. Communication may be monitored by the casino, such
as by a
computer program or a casino representative. Communication may be edited or
prevented if
there is inappropriate or threatening language and / or if communication
somehow provides
either the primary player or secondary player with an unfair advantage.
1.8.1. The secondary player sends help to the primary player. For example,
"you should hit
here". In some embodiments, the secondary player may send help to the primary
player.
The secondary player may help the primary player with strategy in a game such
as
blackjack, video poker, or live poker. In video poker, the secondary player
may suggest
which cards the primary player should discard. In blackjack, the secondary
player may
suggest whether to hit, stand, double down, split, etc. In a live game of
poker, the
secondary player may advise the primary player whether to check, bet, raise,
fold, or call.
The secondary player may also suggest an amount of a bet or raise. The
secondary
player may provide other suggestions or opinions, such as suggesting that
another
player is probably bluffing. The secondary player may provide additional
information,
such as the probabilities of various events occurring given a particular
strategy. For
example, the secondary player may indicate that the primary player would have
roughly 2
to 1 odds against making a flush should he continue in a game of poker.
1.8.2. The secondary player takes over the game. In various embodiments, a
secondary
player may take the place of a primary player in making decisions in a game.
For
example, the secondary player may transmit signals that cause game decisions
to be
made without additional input by the primary player. For example, the primary
player
may press a button on a gaming device labeled "defer to secondary player". The
secondary player may then select, e.g., cards to discard from a remote
terminal. The
remote terminal may, in turn, transmit to the gaming device indications of
which cards the
secondary player has chosen to discard. The chosen cards may then be removed
from

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the primary player's hand and replaced with new cards. The primary player may
win or
lose, and may receive payments based on the decisions made by the secondary
player.
1.8.3. Sending a tip to the primary player. In various embodiments, the
secondary player
may send a tip, other consideration, or other token of gratitude to the
primary player. For
example, if the primary player has just won a large payment, thereby causing
the
secondary player also to win a large payment, the secondary player may be
grateful and
wish to tip the primary player. The secondary player may provide an indication
that he
wishes to tip the primary player, e.g., by pressing a button on a remote
terminal. The
casino server may then deduct the amount of the tip from an account associated
with the
secondary player, and add such amount to an account associated with the
primary
player. The casino server may also cause the amount of the tip to be paid out
at the
primary player's gaming device or table, e.g., in the form of a coin or
cashless gaming
receipt. In some embodiments, the primary player may pay to have something
delivered
to the primary player. For example, the secondary player may pay for a bottle
of wine. A
casino representative, such as a waitress, may then deliver the bottle of wine
to the
primary player at the location of the primary player.
1.9. Betting interfaces. A secondary player may participate in the game of a
primary player using
various interfaces. The interfaces may allow the secondary player to select a
game in which to
participate, including selecting various aspects of a game, such as the
machine on which the
game is played, the primary player playing the game, the time, and so on. The
interface may
allow the secondary player to select a bet type. For example, the secondary
player can bet for
a primary player to win, or for a primary player to lose. The interface may
allow the secondary
player to select a bet amount. The interface may allow the secondary player to
insert cash or
other consideration, to identify himself (e.g., for the purposes of receiving
comp points), and to
cash out winnings or remaining balances.
1.9.1. Internet. A secondary player may participate using a network, such as
the internet or a
casino intranet. The secondary player may employ a computer, such as a
personal
computer, for this purpose. The secondary player may view a selection of games
to
participate in, progress of a current game, credit balances, etc., using a
computer
monitor. The secondary player may input decisions using a mouse, computer
keyboard,
or any other computer input device. For example, the secondary player may key
in a bet
amount using a numeric keypad on a computer keyboard. The secondary player may
also use a device such as a phone, a cell phone, personal digital assistant,
or

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BlackberryTM. The contents of the following United States patent applications,
listed with
serial numbers, titles, and matter numbers in parenthesis, are incorporated by
reference
herein for all purposes: (a) 10/835,995 System and Method for Convenience
Gaming
(075234.0121); (b) 11/063,311 System and Method for Convenience Gaming
(075234.0136); (c) 11/199,835 System and Method for Wireless Gaming System
with
User Profiles (075234.0173); (d) 11/199,831 System for Wireless Gaming System
with
Alerts (075234.0174); (e) 11/201,812 System and Method for Wireless Gaming
with
Location Determination (075234.0176); (f) 11/199,964 System and Method for
Providing
Wireless Gaming as a Service Application(075234.0177); (g) 11/256,568 System
and
Method for Wireless Lottery (075234.0178); (h) 11/210,482 System and Method
for Peer-
to-Peer Wireless Gaming (075234.0179); (i) 60/697,861 Enhanced Wireless Gaming
System (075234.0183). The device used by the secondary player for
participating in
games may communicate with a casino server via the network, as is commonly
known in
the art. Messages may be exchanged back and forth between a device used by the
secondary player and the casino, the messages taking the form of streams of
bits
represented by electronic pulses, optical pulses, or any other practical
representation.
1.9.2. Felt table with live dealer. In various embodiments a secondary player
may participate
in a game by sitting at a table and interacting with a casino representative.
The table at
which the secondary player sits may be different from the table the primary
player sits at.
Thus the game activities of the primary player may occur elsewhere from the
location of
the secondary player. However, the secondary player may store cash or chips at
his
table, and may indicate bets by placing chips at certain parts of the table.
From this
table, the secondary player may watch the action in the game of the primary
player, e.g.,
using closed circuit television. Based on the outcome of the game played by
the primary
player, the secondary player may receive payments at his table. Thus, for
example, the
casino representative at the table of the secondary player may collect bets
from the
secondary player, and may pay winnings to the secondary player if the outcome
of the
game of the primary player is winning for the primary player. The table of the
secondary
player may appear similar to that of the primary player. For example, the
table may have
the same shape and surface markings. The secondary player may even sit at the
same
position with respect to his table as the primary player sits with respect to
the primary
player's table. The secondary player may enjoy a similar experience to that of
the
primary player, only, perhaps, without the cards, dice, or other game
apparatus used at

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the table of the primary player. In various embodiments, the table of the
secondary
player may serve as a means for the secondary player to make bets, receive
winnings,
and possibly to view the game of the primary player.

In some embodiments, the secondary player uses the same table or gaming device
as
does the primary player. For example, the secondary player may place a bet
beside the
hand of the primary player. The secondary player may then receive payments
based on
the outcome of the game of the primary player.

1.9.3. Machine at the casino. In some embodiments, a secondary player may
participate in
a game using a machine or terminal configured to allow participation in a
separate game.
The terminal may include a coin slot, bill validator, credit card reader, and
/ or other
means for accepting consideration. The terminal may include buttons, keys,
roller balls,
and / or other input devices that may be used by the secondary player for
selecting a
game in which to participate, for selecting bet amounts, for selecting bet
types, and so
on. The terminal may be in communication with the device that conducts the
actual
game. For example, the terminal of the secondary player may be in
communication with
a gaming device at which the primary player is playing. The terminal may thus
receive
from the device of the primary player an indication of games played by the
primary
player, amounts bet, outcomes received, and other pertinent information. The
terminal of
the secondary player may be in direct communication with the device of the
primary
player, or may be in communication with the casino server which, in turn,
communicates
with the device of the primary player. The terminal of the secondary player
may also be
in communication with sensors, detectors, and / or other monitoring devices at
a game
played by the primary player, such as at a blackjack game. For example, the
terminal of
the secondary player may receive feeds from cameras located at a blackjack
game being
played by the primary player. In various embodiments, a dealer or other casino
representative may report information about a game of the primary player. For
example,
a dealer may input into keypad connected to the casino server that a primary
player has
been dealt an ace and a ten in a game of blackjack. Such information may
subsequently
be received at the terminal of the secondary player, and may be used in
determining a
payment for the secondary player. The terminal of the secondary player may be
a
mobile device, e.g., a mobile device as set forth in Nevada bill AB471.

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In some embodiments, the terminal of the secondary player may be constructed
or
configured to look like a gaming device. Betting interfaces at the terminal
may be
designed to mimic or appear similar to those at the gaming device. Graphics
shown on
the housing or the screen may also be similar. However, the terminal may
simply
recreate and redisplay games and outcomes generated by the gaming device. The
terminal may not, in various embodiments, generate games or outcomes of its
own, e.g.,
using its own processor or locally stored algorithms. In various embodiments,
the
terminal may comprise a kiosk.
1.9.4. Casino desk. In various embodiments, a secondary player may visit a
casino desk,
casino cage, or other casino venue where bets may be placed in person. The
secondary
player may there select a game in which to participate. The secondary player
may place
a bet. The secondary player may receive some record of his bet. The record may
be a
paper receipt, for example. The record may include the name of the secondary
player,
the name of the primary player, the type of game, the time of the game, the
machine or
location at which the game was played, the amount of the bet, the terms of the
bet (e.g.,
what outcomes constitute winning outcomes), and any other pertinent
information. Upon
resolution of the game, the secondary player may return to the desk and
receive
payment of any winnings.
1.9.5. How bets are entered. In various embodiments bet amounts and bet
selections may
be entered using buttons, keyboards, microphones, computer mice, joysticks, or
any
other input devices. A secondary player may also place bets and indicate bet
amounts
according to rules. Rules may include instructions that may be followed by a
computer
algorithm, the instructions indicating rules or conditions specifying when and
how much
to bet. By betting according to rules, the secondary player may save himself
the effort of
repeatedly indicating a desire to place a bet. Rules may include the
following: (a)
continue betting $1 on each new game until the secondary player provides an
indication
to stop; (b) continue betting $1 on each new game for the next 20 games; (c)
bet $1 on
the game following every win, and double the prior bet following every loss;
(d) continue
betting until a credit balance reaches either 0 or $100; and so on. In some
embodiments,
rules may be entered explicitly by the secondary player. In some embodiments,
different
sets of rules may be predefined. A secondary player need then only select one
of the
predefined sets of rules to have betting done automatically on his behalf
according to the

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selected set of rules. In some embodiments, a set of rules indicates that the
prior bet
should be repeated. A secondary player may simply need to confirm each new bet
before it is made. For example, for a first game, a secondary player may bet 5
coins on
each of 7 pay lines of a slot machine game. For a second game, the secondary
player
may simply press a "repeat prior bet" button in order to once again bet 5
coins on each of
7 pay lines. Without pressing such a button, the process of entering the bet
again might
be time consuming. Further, the primary player may have continued on with the
next
game before the secondary player had time to enter the bet a second time. In
various
embodiments, a secondary player may specify a bet with reference to a prior
bet. For
example, the secondary player may indicate a desire to bet twice his prior
bet, or to make
the same bet he made two games ago.
1.9.5.1. Layout of the betting screen and the graphical user interface. In
various
embodiments a secondary player may choose a bet type; choose a bet amount;
follow the progress of a game; follow the progress of a primary player; view
statistics related to a gaming device, table, dealer, primary player, casino,
etc.; all
using a betting interface on a display screen. The display screen may also
function as a touch screen so that the secondary player may interact with the
screen by touching it in certain locations. A first location of the screen may
include
a selection area. Shown in the selection area may be any number of attributes
pertaining to a game. For example, a selection area may list a number of
primary
players. The secondary player may select one of the primary players to
indicate
that the secondary player would like to participate in the game of the
selected
primary player. The selection area may present a selection of: (a) primary
players;
(b) gaming devices; (c) times; (d) dates; (e) casinos; (f) game types (e.g.,
video
poker, slot, etc); (g) dealers; (h) opponents; (i) game results (e.g., ranges
of
payouts provided by the game, such as games which paid 0-2 coins, games which
paid 3-4 coins, games which paid 5-6 coins, etc); and so on. Possible
selections
may be presented as a menu, a list, a scroll bar, or any other presentation.
The
secondary player may go through various layers of selection until he has
completely specified a game in which to participate. For example, the
secondary
player may first select a primary player, then a gaming device, then a time of
a
game. Each set of choices may be presented as a new menu.

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A second location of the screen may include a betting area. In the betting
area,
the secondary player may indicate an amount to bet on a game. The secondary
player may specify a number of outcomes to bet on, such as a number of pay
lines
to bet on, or a number of hands of video poker on which to bet. The secondary
player may also specify an amount to bet on each pay line or each outcome. If
different types of bets may be made (e.g., a main bet and an insurance bet in
blackjack, or pass line and hard eight in craps), then the secondary player
may
specify which of such bets he wishes to make. A secondary player may specify
bets to be made on the primary player. For example, the secondary player may
specify a bet that the primary player will lose or will win, or may specify a
bet that
the primary player will win more than a certain amount.

A third location of the screen may include an area where information about a
game
is displayed. The area may allow the secondary player to follow the progress
of
the game. In this area, the secondary may watch as new symbols (e.g., cards in
a
card game or symbols on slot reels) arise, as new bets are made by the primary
player and / or his opponent(s), as decisions are made by the primary player,
as
decisions are made by the dealer, as hidden symbols are revealed (e.g., as a
dealer's down card is turned face up in the game of blackjack), as bets are
collected (e.g., from the primary player), and as winnings are paid out (e.g.,
to the
primary player). The third location of the screen may include live video,
animations
depicting a reenactment of the game, pre-recorded video of the game, pre-
recorded video depicting a game similar to the game in which the secondary
player
is participating, or any other video depiction. The third location may include
text
descriptions of events in the game. For example, a text description may read,
"Joe
Smith has just been dealt a pair of kings."

A fourth location of the screen may allow a secondary player to view
statistics
related to a gaming device, table, dealer, primary player, casino, etc. For
example,
the fourth location may show the number of times a primary player has won or
lost
in his last 100 games, a graph depicting the bankroll of the primary player
over the
last two hours, the number of times a particular gaming device has paid more
than
20 coins in the last day, and so on. Statistics may be presented in any

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conceivable form, such as using tables, graphs, bar graphs, line graphs, pie
charts, and so on.

A fifth location of the screen may allow a secondary player to communicate
with
the primary player, with a casino representative, with other secondary
players, or
with others. The fifth location may comprise a chat area, for example, where
text
conversations are tracked, and where different statements are labeled with the
name of the originator of the statement.

A sixth location of the screen may allow the secondary player to follow his
own
progress. For example, the secondary player may see his account balance and
statistics about his own wins or losses.

A seventh location of the screen may allow the secondary player to cash out a
portion of his winnings and / or account balances.

An eighth location of the screen may allow the secondary player to summon a
casino representative, e.g., to order food.

As will be appreciated, the locations described above may be overlapping. All
locations need not have the same function at once, but may alternate. For
example, at a first point in time, the screen may be occupied completely with
video
footage of a game. When the game finishes, the video footage may be replaced
with statistics about the player. It will be further appreciated that there
may be
additional locations on the screen.

1.9.6. In order to participate in the games of a primary player, a secondary
player may
provide identifying information about himself. Identifying information may
include a
name, age, state of residence, nationality, driver's license number, social
security
number, and / or any other identifying information. The casino may use such
identifying
information in order to verify that the secondary player is authorized to
place bets and / or
to participate in games as a secondary player. For example, the casino may use
identifying information to verify that a secondary player is over 21 years of
age. The

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casino may only permit the secondary player to participate in games of the
primary
player if the secondary player is over 21 years of age.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may be identified automatically by
the
casino. For example, the secondary player may seek to participate in a game
while
situated at a remote terminal or device. The remote terminal or device may be
configured to check the identity of the secondary player prior to
communicating with the
casino. The terminal or device may only communicate with the casino, in some
embodiments, if the secondary player is a particular player. Thus, the casino
may
automatically identify a secondary player by virtue of the terminal or device
at which the
secondary player is situated. If a terminal or device is configured only to
communicate
with the casino when a particular secondary player has identified himself to
the terminal
or device, then the casino can be assured that a particular secondary player
is desirous
of participating in games. The particular secondary player may be, for
example, a
particular secondary player that is authorized to participate in games. In
some
embodiments, a remote device or terminal may constitute a mobile device (e.g.,
a mobile
device as set forth in Nevada bill AB471). The mobile device may be programmed
to be
used only by a particular secondary player. Therefore, if the secondary player
is
authorized to make bets, and the mobile device is configured to communicate
with the
casino only when the particular secondary player is using it, then the casino
may assume
that it is an authorized secondary player that is placing bets through the
mobile device.
1.10. The secondary player bets on outcomes on which the primary player did
not. In various
embodiments, a secondary player may place bets on results or outcomes that
were not bet on
by the primary player. As will be appreciated, for a given game, there can be
many possible
outcomes, and many types of bets placed on the various outcomes. For example,
in craps,
many different bets can be placed in the same game, among them pass and don't
pass.
1.10.1. The secondary player bets on a pay-line that the primary player did
not. In various
embodiments, the secondary player may bet on a pay-line of a slot machine that
was not
bet on by the primary player. For example, a slot machine may include three
pay-lines,
e.g., lines 1, 2, and 3. The primary player may bet on pay-line 1. The
secondary player
may bet on pay-line 2 and / or pay-line 3. The secondary player may, in
various
embodiments, bet on pay-line 1 as well. In some embodiments, the secondary
player is
only allowed to bet on pay-lines that the primary player has not already bet
on. Such

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embodiments may help prevent a secondary player from determining a game in
which
the primary player has achieved a winning pay-line, and then betting on the
same pay-
line. In some embodiments, a secondary player may bet on pay-lines that were
not
available to the primary player when he played. For example, the secondary
player may
bet on a custom pay-line consisting of the top two symbols on a first reel,
and the bottom
symbol on a second reel of a slot machine. In some embodiments, the secondary
player
may bet on a pay-line that was not even visible to the primary player during
his play of
the game. For example, a slot machine may only show one symbol on each reel in
a
viewing window. The symbol on each reel that is one position above the viewing
window
may not be visible. Nevertheless, the secondary player may have the
opportunity to bet
on a pay-line comprising the row of symbols one position above the viewing
window.
Similarly, the secondary player may bet on a pay-line comprising the row of
symbols one
position below the viewing window. In various embodiments, any other pay-line
or
outcome may be constructed using visible and non-visible symbols. For example,
a pay-
line may be constructed using some symbols that were visible, and some symbols
that
were not visible to the primary player.
1.10.2. In various embodiments, the secondary player may place bets on symbols
that were
never even shown to the primary player. Such symbols may have occurred, for
example,
well above the viewing window. In some embodiments, such symbols may be shown
to
the secondary player.
1.10.3. Play a card game with unused cards. For example, in video poker, only
the top 10
cards may be used during a game. The secondary player could play another game
using
cards from the bottom of the deck. In various embodiments, a secondary player
may play
a game using cards, symbols, or other indicia that were not revealed to the
primary
player. For example, a primary player may participate in a game of video
poker. The
primary player may use the top nine cards from a shuffled deck during the game
(e.g.,
the primary player receives an initial deal of five cards, and subsequently
draws four
additional cards). However, in a standard 52-card deck, 43 cards would remain
in the
deck. The secondary player may play a new game using the 43 remaining cards.
The
secondary player may thus engage in a game for which no person yet knows the
outcome. This may help to avoid situations where a secondary player can choose
to
participate in a game where he knows the outcome will be favorable to him. In
various
embodiments, a secondary player may participate in a new game using cards
remaining

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after a game of blackjack, after a game of poker, after a game of casino war,
or after any
other game. In various embodiments, the secondary player may make his own
decisions
in the game, e.g., rather than relying upon decisions of the primary player.
In various
embodiments, a secondary player may use cards remaining in a deck for a game
other
than the game for which the deck was first used. For example, after a deck is
used for a
video poker game of the primary player, the secondary player may use the
remaining
cards in the deck for a game of blackjack.
1.10.4. The secondary player bets on some function of the data from a game. In
some
embodiments, a secondary player may bet on some function or transformation of
the
outcomes, results, or other data used in a game played by a primary player. As
used
herein, the term "function" may refer to a process or procedure for relating
any
acceptable input to an output, such that there is only one output per unique
input. The
output and input may be numerical or non-numerical. As used herein, a
"function of" an
input may refer to the resultant output when the function is used to relate
the input to the
output. As used herein, the term "transformation" may refer to a process or
procedure for
relating any acceptable input to an output.
1.10.4.1. An outcome is generated using a function of a random number used in
generating
an outcome in the primary game. Suppose a random number 10232 was used to
generate an outcome in a game of a primary player. The random number + 1
could be used, such that the number 10233 is used. This could yield a
completely
different outcome. Various games played at a casino utilize random number
generators. For example, a slot machine may utilize a random number generator
to choose a random number for each reel of the slot machine. Each random
number is then used to determine the symbol that should be revealed by the
corresponding reel. In various embodiments, a game played by a secondary
player may use a new set of random numbers generated based on some function
of the random numbers used in a game played by the primary player. For
example, the random numbers used in the game played by the secondary player
may consist of the random numbers used in the game played by the primary
player
with one added to each. Thus, {10245, 31189, 19320} may be transformed to
{10246, 31190, 19321}. The new set of random numbers may be used as inputs
to an algorithm (e.g., the same algorithm used in the game played by the
primary
player), to generate the symbols or outcomes of the game played by the

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secondary player. As will be appreciated, any function of the random numbers
in
the primary player's game may be used to come up with random numbers in the
secondary player's game. For example, one may be subtracted from each random
number, the order of the random numbers may be changed (e.g., so each random
number now corresponds to different one of the reels), each random number may
be multiplied by a factor, and so on.

In various embodiments, seed numbers may be used in the generation of random
numbers. Thus, in some embodiments, a seed number used in a game played by
a primary player may be transformed according to some function (e.g., one may
be
added) in order to generate a seed to be used in the game played by the
secondary player.

In various embodiments, a game played by a primary player may result in a
first
outcome with a first associated payout. The game may be disguised by changing
the first outcome to a second outcome with the same payout. Thus, the primary
player may view the first outcome while he plays the game, but the secondary
player may view the second outcome when he participates in the game.
Monetarily, the primary player and the secondary player may have had the same
experiences. In other words, given identical bets, both the primary player and
the
secondary player will have had the same payouts, in various embodiments.
However, the primary player and the secondary player will have seen different
representations of the game. For example, suppose a slot machine game includes
several possible outcomes. Among the possible outcomes are "bar-bar-bar" with
an associated payout of 10 coins, and "cherry-cherry-cherry", also with an
associated payout of 10 coins. The primary player may play the game and
achieve the outcome "bar-bar-bar". The secondary player may also participate
in
the game. When the game is presented to the secondary player, the secondary
player may be shown an outcome of "cherry-cherry-cherry".
Thus, in various embodiments, a first outcome of a game may be generated for a
primary player. The casino may determine what other outcomes have the same
payout as the first outcome. From among the other outcomes, the casino may
select one to present to a secondary player who has participated in the game.
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In various embodiments the outcome presented to a secondary player may differ
both in terms of the constituent symbols and in terms of the payout from the
outcome that was seen by the primary player. However, over the course of two
or
more games, a secondary player may be presented with outcomes whose
associated payouts sum to the same total as do the payouts associated with the
outcomes presented to the primary player over the course of the same two or
more
games. For example, both a primary player and a secondary player may
participate in the same two games. In the first game, the primary player may
be
presented with outcome A and receive an associated payout of 4 coins. For the
first game, the secondary player may be presented with outcome C and receive
an
associated payout of 3 coins. In the second game, the primary player may be
presented with outcome B and receive an associated payout of 6 coins. For the
second game, the secondary player may be presented with outcome D and
receive an associated payout of 7 coins. Thus, neither the primary and
secondary
players have been presented with different outcomes over the course of the two
games. However, after two games, both have received the same total payouts,
each having received 10 coins in total.

In various embodiments, a secondary player may view what is essentially the
same game that the primary player is playing. However, the game may be
disguised by replacing symbols from the presentation to the primary player
with
new symbols for presentation to the secondary player. For example, a "cherry"
when viewed by the primary player becomes a "dog" when viewed by the
secondary player. In terms of underlying logic, however, the games may remain
the same. For example, "cherry" may always map to "dog", and likewise there
may
be a consistent function which maps the symbols shown to the primary player to
the symbols shown to the secondary player. The pay tables on display for the
primary and secondary players may exhibit a similar functional relationship.
For
example, suppose the primary player's pay table includes a line showing a
payout
of 15 for "cherry-cherry-cherry". A corresponding line on the pay table for
the
secondary player may include a line showing a payout of 15 for "dog-dog-dog".
In
various embodiments, other graphics may be altered. For example, a background

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coloration of the game viewed by the primary player may be blue, whereas the
background coloration of the same game viewed by the secondary player may be
green.

In various embodiments, a second game presented to the secondary player may
be a different type of game from that presented to the primary player.
However, an
outcome may be chosen for presentation to the secondary player that has the
same payout as an outcome that occurred in a game played by the primary
player.
For example, a primary player may be involved in a game of Casino War. The
secondary player may view the outcomes of the games of the primary player, but
disguised as the game of craps. For example, if the primary player wins a game
of
Casino War (e.g., by being dealt a card with a higher rank than the card dealt
to
the dealer), then the secondary player may be shown an animated sequence of
dice rolling a seven during the first roll of the game (i.e., a winning
outcome in
craps). If, however, the primary player loses the game of Casino War, then the
secondary player may be shown an animated sequence of dice rolling a two on
the
first roll of the game (i.e., a losing outcome in craps).

The various methods of disguising a game described herein may provide an
advantage, in certain embodiments, of making it difficult for the secondary
player
to determine details about the original game in which he is participating. For
example, this may make it difficult for the secondary player to vary his bets
based
on advanced knowledge about the outcome of the original game.

1.10.4.2. The same random number may be used, but a different reel
configuration. In
various embodiments, a gaming device may store an internal table or function
which maps random numbers to symbols or outcomes. For example, the random
number 1293 may map to the symbol of "cherry" on reel 1 of a slot machine. In
various embodiments, a game played by a secondary player may utilize the same
random numbers used in a game played by a primary player. However, the game
of the secondary player may include a different table or matching function
between
random numbers and symbols. Thus, for example, in the game played by the
secondary player, the number 1293 may map to the symbol "bell" instead of

286


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PLUS D'UN TOME.

CECI EST LE TOME 1 DE 2
CONTENANT LES PAGES 1 A 286

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Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date Unavailable
(86) PCT Filing Date 2007-08-20
(87) PCT Publication Date 2008-02-28
(85) National Entry 2009-02-23
Examination Requested 2009-02-23

Abandonment History

Abandonment Date Reason Reinstatement Date
2012-12-20 R30(2) - Failure to Respond 2013-12-20
2019-02-25 R30(2) - Failure to Respond 2020-02-21

Maintenance Fee

Last Payment of $250.00 was received on 2020-08-14


 Upcoming maintenance fee amounts

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Next Payment if small entity fee 2021-08-20 $125.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2021-08-20 $255.00

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Patent fees are adjusted on the 1st of January every year. The amounts above are the current amounts if received by December 31 of the current year. Please refer to the CIPO Patent Fees web page to see all current fee amounts.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Request for Examination $800.00 2009-02-23
Application Fee $400.00 2009-02-23
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2009-04-08
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2009-08-20 $100.00 2009-08-04
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2010-08-20 $100.00 2010-08-04
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2011-08-22 $100.00 2011-08-02
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2012-08-20 $200.00 2012-07-31
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2013-08-20 $200.00 2013-07-31
Reinstatement - failure to respond to examiners report $200.00 2013-12-20
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2014-08-20 $200.00 2014-07-31
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 8 2015-08-20 $200.00 2015-07-30
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 9 2016-08-22 $200.00 2016-08-02
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 10 2017-08-21 $250.00 2017-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 11 2018-08-20 $250.00 2018-07-31
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 12 2019-08-20 $250.00 2019-07-31
Reinstatement - failure to respond to examiners report 2020-02-25 $200.00 2020-02-21
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 13 2020-08-20 $250.00 2020-08-14
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
CFPH, LLC
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
ALDERUCCI, DEAN
BURMAN, KEVIN
GELMAN, GEOFFREY
LUTNICK, HOWARD
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Number of pages Size of Image (KB)
Drawings 2009-02-23 60 2,135
Claims 2009-02-23 4 111
Abstract 2009-02-23 2 81
Description 2009-02-23 162 8,267
Description 2009-02-23 288 15,216
Representative Drawing 2009-02-23 1 41
Cover Page 2009-08-18 1 61
Claims 2012-03-27 17 672
Description 2012-03-27 288 15,224
Description 2012-03-27 162 8,273
Claims 2013-12-20 1 39
Claims 2015-07-16 2 50
Drawings 2015-07-16 60 2,367
Claims 2016-07-12 2 47
PCT 2009-02-23 8 541
Assignment 2009-02-23 5 300
Correspondence 2009-06-09 1 14
Assignment 2009-04-08 7 322
Prosecution-Amendment 2011-09-27 3 101
Prosecution-Amendment 2012-03-27 53 2,640
Prosecution-Amendment 2012-06-20 5 190
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-01-12 5 312
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-12-20 5 330
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-01-16 4 298
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-07-16 34 1,338
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-07-12 9 426
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-10-24 4 267
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-04-21 13 630
Claims 2017-04-21 3 94
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-09-07 5 268
Prosecution-Amendment 2018-03-07 7 436
Prosecution-Amendment 2018-08-23 5 306
Prosecution-Amendment 2020-02-21 15 522
Claims 2020-02-21 3 97