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US7749063: Gaming device having free spin mode with symbol elimination

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Matthew E. Belger · Karen M. Cregan ·
Assignee(s) IGT ·
Attorney/Agent(s) K&L Gates, LLP ·
Primary Examiner Peter DungBa Vo ·
Assistant Examiner Omkar Deodhar ·
Application Number US10953818
Filing date 09/29/2004
Issue date 07/06/2010
Prior Publication Data
Predicted expiration date 08/29/2028
Patent term adjustment 1430
U.S. Classifications 463/16  · 463/20  · 463/19  ·
International Classifications A63F924  ·
Kind CodeB2
38 Claims, 17 Drawings


Abstract

A bonus game that operates in combination with a slot machine base game is provided. The bonus game includes a series of free spins or free evaluations in which symbols of a set of symbols are generated. The free spins also generate executor symbols that alone or in accumulation cause one of the symbols of the set to be eliminated or replaced. In either case the symbols remaining in the set have a higher probability of being generated and a higher probability exists that a larger award paying combination of the remaining symbols will be generated. The elimination sequence can be repeated a number of times further increasing the probability of generating a higher paying award for the player. The present invention is operable with different types of base games such as slot and poker.

Independent Claims | See all claims (38)

  1. 1. A gaming device comprising: at least one input device; at least one display device; at least one processor; and at least one memory device which stores a plurality of instructions that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the at least one processor to operate with the at least one display device and the at least one input device to: (a) display a base game upon a wager by a player, said base game including a plurality of reels and a symbol set including a plurality of symbols on the reels; and (b) upon an occurrence of a free spin sequence triggering event associated with the base game, display a free spin sequence, said free spin sequence including: (i) a plurality of free spins of the reels, and (ii) a symbol elimination triggering event which can occur in one or more of said free spins of the free spin sequence, and which causes at least one of the symbols of the symbol set to be an eliminated symbol which is prevented from occurring in each subsequent free spin of the free spin sequence to increase a likelihood of achieving at least one combination of any remaining symbols of the symbol set in said subsequent free spins.
  2. 16. A gaming device comprising: at least one input device; at least one display device; at least one processor; and at least one memory device which stores a plurality of instructions that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the at least one processor to operate with the at least one display device and the at least one input device to: (a) display a plurality of reels, said reels including a plurality of base game symbols, wherein in each play of a base game a plurality of the symbols are generated by the reels and the symbols are evaluated in the said play of base game for one or more payouts; and (b) display a free spin sequence in which the reels are spun a plurality of times after a play of the base game, the free spin sequence including: (i) a set of free spin symbols, wherein a plurality of said free spin symbols are generated on the reels and evaluated for one or more payouts in each free spin, and (ii) an event which can occur one or more times in the free spin sequence and which causes at least one of the free spin symbols of the set to be replaced by a wild symbol that functions as one of the remaining symbols of the set for at least one subsequent free spin to increase a likelihood of achieving a payout in said subsequent free spin.
  3. 25. A gaming system comprising: at least one input device; at least one display device; at least one processor; and at least one memory device which stores a plurality of instructions which when executed by the at least one processor cause the at least one processor to operate with the at least one display device and the at least one input device to: (a) display a base game operable upon a wager by a player, said base game having a plurality of reels and a symbol set including a plurality of symbols on the reels; (b) after an occurrence of a free spin sequence triggering event associated with the base game, display a free spin sequence which includes a plurality of free spins of the plurality of reels, and for each of said free spins of the free spin sequence: (i) cause an activation of said plurality of reels to generate a plurality of the symbols on the reels; (ii) evaluate the plurality of symbols generated on the reels; (iii) provide any awards associated with any winning combinations of generated symbols on the reels; and (iv) if a symbol elimination triggering event occurs, cause at least one of the symbols of the symbol set to be an eliminated symbol which is prevented from occurring in at least one subsequent free spin, if any, of the free spin sequence to increase a likelihood of achieving at least one combination of the remaining symbols of the symbol set in said at least one subsequent free spin.
  4. 32. A gaming system comprising: at least one input device; at least one display device; at least one processor; and at least one memory device which stores a plurality of instructions which when executed by the at least one processor cause the at least one processor to operate with the at least one display device and the at least one input device to: (a) display a base game including a plurality of reels including a plurality of base game symbols, (b) for each play of said base game, cause a plurality of the base game symbols to be generated by said plurality of reels and evaluate the generated base game symbols for one or more payouts, (c) after an occurrence of a free spin sequence triggering event, display a free spin sequence including a plurality of free spins of the plurality of reels, said free spin sequence associated with a set of free spin symbols, and (d) for each of said free spins of the free spin sequence: (i) generate a plurality of the free spins symbols from the set on the plurality of reels, (ii) evaluate the generated free spin symbols, (iii) provide any awards associated with any winning combinations of generated free spin symbols on the reels; and (iv) if there are any free spins remaining, cause at least one of the free spin symbols to be replaced by a wild symbol that functions as one of the remaining symbols of the set for at least one subsequent free spin to increase a likelihood of achieving a payout in said at least one subsequent free spin.

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