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METHOD OF PLAYING A MULTI-STAGE VIDEO WAGERING GAME
This application is a continuation-in-part application claiming priority under 35 U.S.C. 120 from U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/820,438, filed on Mar. 12, 1997 titled “Second Screen Multiplier.”
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to methods of playing video wagering games. In particular, it relates to a novel method of playing a video wagering game with more than one stage in which the screen format changes significantly between stages and winnings or awards from a first stage may be or must be carried over to at least a second stage.
Video wagering games are popular gaming devices in casinos and other gaming establishments. A number of factors have contributed to the popularity of video wagering games. Gaming establishments have expanded the variety of games offered on video platforms beyond what was once limited to video poker, video keno and video reel slot machines. Many casino table games such as blackjack, draw poker, stud poker, Let It Ride® poker and Caribbean Stud Poker® are available on video. These games can be learned on video machines before advancing to the more intimidating live table game environment. With video wagering, novice players can enjoy playing a wide variety of casino games without having to play at a table with other more experienced players who may create an intimidating environment for the novice. Players of video games need not worry about playing too slowly to suit the dealer or other players or about feeling embarrassed by making a particular strategic decision.
Video wagering games often are capable of paying a progressive jackpot if the player achieves a predetermined winning outcome, which offers the anticipation or hope for a very large award. For the above reasons, the video wagering format is growing at a pace which exceeds the growth of play of live casino table games and other types of live wagering.
One of the more commonly known video wagering games is poker which is available in numerous variations. Other examples include video reel slot machines, and video keno. Video reel slot machines may simulate the play of a mechanical slot machine such as a three reel slot, for example. Because the “reels” in a video gaming apparatus are not limited by the geometry of a conventional slot reel, the game can provide a larger number of pay lines or of winning combinations than can a conventional mechanical slot machine.
Numerous versions of video poker are available, including numerous versions of draw poker, stud poker, and more recently, Let It Ride® poker and Caribbean Stud® poker games. Some video platforms are provided with the capability of the player being able to select from among a number of video wagering games. For example, some gaming establishments provide a number of poker game variations on one multi-game video platform. The games are played independently, one-at-a-time, with no inter-relationship between games.
Some video games which are adapted for play on a home computer have a “second screen” feature. That is, if the
player wins a certain number of games, or achieves a predetermined skill level in a game, a second screen will appear which either permits the player to play the same game at a higher skill level or allows the player to engage in a special feature of that game (e.g., collect additional game pieces or ‘lives’ in Mario Brothers®). In the case of video wagering, there are a few video wagering games which provide an opportunity to first play an underlying or principal video wagering game (e.g., draw poker) and then to play a different wagering game, although on the same video screen format as the poker game (e.g., as with “double down” games described herein). For example, some video poker games offer a double-or-nothing feature. If a player has a winning hand in the first segment of the game, the player can optionally risk the amount won by trying to determine whether a given card will be higher or lower than 8. Alternatively the player may have to choose one of four cards in an attempt to get a card higher than one already shown. If the player wins, his original bet is doubled. He may continue to “double up” until he reaches some predetermined limit, or loses. However, if he loses, he loses the winnings from the first game. This “double up” game is played on substantially the identically formatted screen (showing five playing cards, but with the possible addition to that screen of alphanumerics, as later described) as is the underlying poker game. The principal game, the poker game, is played to obtain an award, and only that award allows winnings from that single game to be “doubled up.”
There also exist video wagering games that have a video slot segment and at least one additional video wagering segment. Additionally, there are known second, that is alternative screen games in which the winnings from the second screen game are unrelated to and independent of the winnings in the first screen game.
Although some “second screen” games are known in the video game art, there has not been, to the inventor’s knowledge, a multiple game segment video wagering game where the outcome of the second segment can directly enhance the payout of at least a portion of the first segment, and particularly, there is not known to the inventor any video gaming apparatus which provides a first wagering game with a first screen format, and then offers a second wagering game with a second screen format which is substantially visually different from said first screen format and in which second wagering game a portion or all of the award from the first wagering game may be wagered on the second wagering game. For example, in the practice of the present invention a first wagering game could be poker (with for example a display of five cards) and a second wagering game could be Dominoes, Twenty-One, Mah Jong, or another game which does not even include the display of playing cards.
Applicant’s commonly assigned coponding U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/820,438, filed on Mar. 12, 1997 titled “Second Screen Multiplier” describes a second screen video game in which winnings or awards from the play of a first game on a first format screen may be increased or multiplied by play of a second game on a second screen with a different visual format than the first screen.
The present invention is a method of playing a video wagering game in which there are two distinct video components to either a) at least two distinct games with different video formats played in sequence or b) a single, multi-event game with at least two different video formats, in which at least a portion of the awards or winnings from a first game