Patent application title: INTERACTIVE GAMING DEVICE
Brian D. Haveson (Surf City, NJ, US)
IPC8 Class: AA63F924FI
Class name: Lot match or lot combination (e.g., roulette, lottery, etc.) plural lots (e.g., keno, etc.) lot-to-lot combination (e.g., slot machine, etc.)
Publication date: 2011-05-05
Patent application number: 20110105217
A gaming device activated by a wager has a vocabulary database and a
processor operating a display to simulate spinning of virtual reels each
having letters of given point values arranged about the periphery of each
virtual reel and independently stopping the reels in a random fashion to
display a given number of contiguous letters on each reel in a scrambled
fashion. The letters of each reel are displayed side-by-side with the
letters of the other virtual reels, forming a matrix of M lines (i.e.,
rows) and N columns. The player selects the number of lines for the game
and the bet per line and presses a PLAY button, to initiate spinning and
then random stopping of the reels. The processor then determines if the
scrambled letters from only the selected line(s) create a word found in
the database. The letters of the created word are highlighted and may
also be connected by bands oriented at a variety of angular orientations
to highlight the word and distinguish the word from the remaining letters
presented on the display. In one embodiment, a win is determined when a
word having given number of letters is created. An enhanced payout is
calculated based on the total point value of the letters in the created
word. Apparatus is shown and described for performing the above method.
1. A gaming device for use by a player, comprising: a given number R of
reels each having a plurality M of letters arranged around their
peripheries, each letter having a corresponding point value; a database
containing a vocabulary of words; a processor; said processor being
configured to: operate the reels in a random fashion to independently
select a given number N of the M letters of each reel, where M>N, and
present the independently selected N letters of the reels on a display in
side-by-side fashion to form a matrix comprised of N rows and R columns,
each row containing one letter from each reel and each column containing
the N displayed letters of each reel; determine if a word contained in
the database can be created from the letters in at least one of the rows
selected by the player; identify the letters of the created word in a
manner which distinguishes the letters of the created word from the
remaining letters presented on the display; and determine when the
letters in the created word meet a given criteria.
2. The gaming device of claim 1 wherein N is at least equal to 2.
3. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the processor is further configured to enhance the payout based on a stored payout table.
4. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the processor is configured to initiate random selection of said N displayed letters of each reel responsive to a wager.
5. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the processor is configured to retrieve from said database a definition corresponding to the word on the display and present the definition on the display.
6. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the processor is configured to create a word which has a highest point value retrieved from said database to enhance a payout.
7. The gaming device of claim 1, said input device being configured as a touch screen for receiving inputs entered by the player.
8. The gaming device of claim 1, said processor being enabled to operate responsive to an input entered into an input device operated by the player and conveyed to the processor.
9. The gaming device of claim 8, said input device being configured to receive the given input in the form of one of a group consisting of a unique code identifying the player, a coin, a token, paper currency, a credit card, or a debit card.
10. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the processor is configured perform the steps of claim 1 in accordance with the rules of SCRABBLE®.
11. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the processor operates the display to electronically simulate rotation and halting of rotation of the reels.
12. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the processor is configured to determine if a word found in the database can be created from only that line or those lines selected by the player.
13. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the processor is configured to identify the letters of the created word by generating a frame surrounding each letter of the created word.
14. The gaming device of claim 13, wherein the processor is further configured to create a connecting band to connect each frame with at least one other frame to enable the player to easily identify the created word and distinguish it from the remaining letters on the display.
15. The gaming device of claim 14, wherein the processor is further configured to orient each connecting band employed to connect a frame with another frame at an angular orientation.
16. The gaming device of claim 14, wherein the angular orientation .is one of:: horizontal, diagonally upward and diagonally downward.
17. The gaming device of claim 16, wherein the processor is configured to create connecting bands employing different ones of the aforesaid orientations to identify the created word.
18. The gaming device of claim 2, wherein the processor is configured to highlight two letters in adjacent columns and different rows as part of the created word.
19. The gaming device of claim 1 wherein the processor is configured to enable selection of up to twenty-five (25) lines of letters scrambled in a random pattern.
20. The gaming device of claim 19 wherein the processor is configured to enable selection of a bet per line from one to N units.
21. The gaming device of claim 20 wherein the processor, upon operation of a play button, is configured to determine the presence of two (2) or more words during a play of one game and sequentially display the words.
22. The gaming device of claim 21 wherein the processor, during sequential display of each word, is configured to calculate the win for each sequentially displayed word.
23. The gaming device of claim 22 wherein the processor is configured to display the win for each sequentially displayed word.
24. A method for providing a game to a remote user through one of a wired and wireless communication, comprising: a database containing a vocabulary of words; a processor, responsive to a request from a remote user (RU) to participate in said game: sending signals to the RU to generate a display simulating a given number R of virtual reels each having a plurality M of letters arranged around their peripheries, each letter having a corresponding point value and operate the virtual reels to simulate spinning of the reels and independently stop spinning of the reels in a random fashion to independently display a given number N of the M letters of each reel, where M>N, and present the independently selected and contiguous N letters of the virtual reels on the display in side-by-side fashion to form a matrix comprised of N rows and R columns, each row containing one of the N letters from each reel and each column containing the N contiguous displayed letters of each reel; determine if a word contained in the database accessed by the processor can be created from the letters in at least one of the rows selected by the player; identify the letters of the created word in a manner which distinguishes the letters of the created word from the remaining letters presented on the display to the RU; and determine a payout based on the letters in the created word meeting a given criteria and sending signals representing the payout to the RU for display.
25. The method of claim 24 wherein the RU is identified and authenticated responsive to a request to participate.
26. The method of claim 24 wherein determining the word further comprises determining a word having a highest point count.
27. The method of claim 26 further comprising calculating an enhanced payout based on the highest point count.
28. The method of claim 24, further comprising calculating the enhanced payout based on a stored payout table.
29. The method of claim 28, further comprising providing signals representing the enhanced payout to the RU responsive to calculation of the payout.
30. The method of claim 24, the processor sending signals to the RU to provide a frame surrounding each letter of the created word being displayed.
31. The method of claim 24, the processor sending signals to the RU to provide a connecting band in the display connecting each frame with at least one other frame to readily identify the created word being displayed and distinguish it from the remaining letters on the display.
32. The method of claim 24, the processor sending signals to the RU to orient each connecting band connecting one displayed frame to an adjacent displayed frame at an angular orientation.
33. The method of claim 32 wherein the displayed frames of adjacent letters of the created word are one of: horizontally aligned and diagonally aligned.
34. The method device of claim 30, the processor sending signals to the RU to create connecting bands on the display to connect adjacent letters of the created word.
35. The method of claim 24, the processor sending signals to the RU to highlight two adjacent letters of contiguous columns as part of the created word.
36. The method of claim 24, the processor sending signals to the RU to identify a created word having five (5) letters as a win.
37. The method of claim 24, the processor enabling selection of up to twenty-five (25) lines of letters and sending signals to identify the number of selected lines.
38. The method of claim 24, the processor, responsive to selection of a bet per line from one to X units, sending signals representing the number X of selected units being bet.
39. The method of claim 41, the processor, determining the win for each sequentially displayed word.
40. The method of claim 39, the processor sending signals to display the win for each sequentially displayed word.
41. The method of claim 38, the processor, responsive to a play request, determining the presence of two (2) or more words during a play of one game and sending signals for sequentially displaying the words.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/258,350, filed on Nov. 5, 2009, which is incorporated by reference as if fully set forth.
FIELD OF INVENTION
 The present invention relates to gaming devices in general and, more particularly, to gaming machines based on word creation.
 Slot machines, video poker machines and other gaming machines based on computer-generated random sequences and electronic displays are prevalent in the gaming industry. Such machines are extremely popular with players due to the endless possibilities for adding sound, action and programmatic elements to create entertainment value as well as enhance the perception of new and different games and thereby promote the perception of winning. Casinos are replete with competing machines and typically the expectation of winning for each machine is the same due to regulation, or is believed to be the same in unregulated environments. Players are attracted to challenging, entertaining and exciting machines, and there is a continuing need for gaming machine manufacturers to produce new games to attract players and increase play.
 Accordingly, embodiments described herein are characterized by providing a new and improved gaming system comprising: a gaming device initialized by a players' response to an invitation to participate in the game. The initialization may also require making a wager or entering a unique code identifying the player and recognized and accepted by the gaming system.
 The gaming device, in one embodiment, is provided with a database vocabulary of words and a processor for operating in accordance with a primary programmatic element wherein reel positions of a given number N of virtual "reels" are randomly selected, each reel having a total of M letters, each letter having a discrete point or numeric value. A given number D of letters of each reel are visible on a display screen, wherein D<M. As one example, five (5) reels are provided, arranged in side-by-side fashion, and three (3) of the letters of each reel are visible on the display and form a regular matrix of three (3) rows or lines and five (5) columns. Each line contains one letter from each of the five (5) virtual reels. Each column displays three (3) contiguous letters of the M letters of the associated virtual reel, where M=25, as one example. The player initially selects the number of lines to be played. In the example given, the player may select from one to twenty-five (25) lines, and further selects the bet per line, which may, for example, be from one to five units. A unit may represent currency, for example.
 Play is initiated by operating a PLAY button. The processor initially "spins" the virtual reels and then stops them in a random fashion. The letters in the selected line, or lines, may form a word using one or more of the 5 letters in the selected line, or lines. The processor searches the vocabulary database to determine the word formed by the letters of the selected line or lines. The processor, in one embodiment, selects a word from the database using letters from the selected line or lines and displays the D rows and R columns on the display. In one embodiment a five-letter word is automatically a win. The processor also calculates and displays the win. As an alternative, the processor calculates a payout based on the total of the values of the letters forming the word. The calculation may be based on a payout table stored in a read-only memory (ROM). The player is able to increase the odds of obtaining a payout by selecting more than one line up to the maximum number of lines such as twenty-five (25), for example. Only those lines containing the word are displayed. Letters forming the word are each preferably highlighted or enclosed in a frame. In one embodiment, each of the frames are joined by a "band" connecting two (2) adjacent frames, enabling the player to easily identify the created word and distinguish it from the remaining letters presented on the display. In games where at least two (2) lines are selected, since the letters making up the created word are typically scrambled in a random fashion in the lines and columns being displayed, the connecting bands from one framed letter to the next adjacent framed letter of the created word can vary over a number of different directional orientations, such as: from one letter to the next along the same line (i.e., horizontally); diagonally upward from a letter in one row of a given column to an adjacent letter in an adjacent column; and diagonally downward from a letter in one row of a given column to an adjacent letter in an adjacent column. To win, a highlighted word must be exactly five (5) letters, in one embodiment, which is no greater in number than the number of columns presented on the display.
 The frames and connecting band orientations may form a variety of combinations, adding to the chances for creating a winning word, which thus adds to the interest and enjoyment of the game. In a preferred embodiment, the gaming system processor displays a word having the highest point count, together with the point count of the displayed word, in an embodiment employing a stored payout table.
 The processor then determines the highest point value word, calculates and displays the total point count for that word and calculates a payout based on the size of the player's bet, typically displayed either as a monetary amount or a number of credits. Using a stored table, the amount of the win is determined by a point count range that the player's total point count falls into and the number of units bet by the player. In one embodiment, payout is preferably directly displayed in a window provided as part of the display. Methods of playing a gaming device are also disclosed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a gaming system incorporating one or more of the features described herein and incorporating a keyboard used by a player to interface with the gaming device.
 FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram of an electronic system which may be employed in the gaming device of FIG. 1 and showing a simplified version of the display.
 FIGS. 3a and 3b are flow diagrams useful in explaining the operation of the game under control of a processor provided in the system of FIG. 2.
 FIG. 3c is a simplified diagram showing the manner in which the game may be played using a wireless unit.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
 FIG. 1, shows a gaming device 10 configured to implement a game according to the present application. The gaming device 10, in one embodiment, has a visual display 20 that may be any one of a CRT, LED, LCD, electro-luminescent, or other similar video display screen known generally in the art. Display 20, in one embodiment, includes a touch screen for interfacing with a player. In one embodiment, the gaming device 10 is programmed to play a game of chance based on the popular crossword game SCRABBLE®. It will be appreciated, however, that the gaming device 10 may be implemented as a crossword puzzle or similar word game themes other than SCRABBLE®. Assuming the player is playing three (3) lines and these three lines are capable of forming a word, the display 20 presents three (3) letters of five (5) virtual reels 22a-22e, forming a regular matrix of three (3) lines 24a-24c, each line having a letter of one of the five (5) reels, and five (5) columns each displaying three (3) of the contiguous letters of each reel which include the letters forming the word.
 FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram illustrating the basic logic circuitry and elements for the play of a game in accordance with one embodiment of the present application, and illustrates representations of the manner in which words are formed and identified in the game. In the illustrated embodiment of the present invention, a database 101 comprising a plurality of words, referred to herein as a vocabulary, is provided. The database 101 may either be a word list or preferably also include definitions of the words in the word list. The database 101 may be any one or more of a number of available databases of words, such as words in general use, a game-specific subset, e.g., a "SCRABBLE®" word list or a narrower set of words related to a theme, such as popular movies or a generic theme such as "The Old West." The database 101 is, in turn, coupled to or otherwise programmatically accessible by a processor 100, such as a CPU. Typically the processor 100 includes one or more microprocessors and associated machine readable memory devices such as a random access memory (RAM) 102 and one or more read-only memories (ROMs) or programmable ROMs (i.e., PROMs, EPROMs, EEPROMs, SPROMs) embodying the software program to enable the CPU 100 to conduct and control all aspects of the game. The ROMs, PROMs or other equivalent machine readable devices are also referred to herein as programmatic elements.
 The programmatic elements employed in the processor 100 have the functionality to electronically create virtual reels on the display and simulate the spinning of the virtual reels in the same fashion as conventional mechanical reels (now substantially obsolete), and to stop the virtual reels from spinning in a totally random manner. Discrete point values are assigned to the letters in advance and in readiness for play. In one embodiment, the discrete point values are those assigned in accordance with the standard rules of SCRABBLE®, although other schemes of assigning point values are used in alternative embodiments. Moreover, in certain embodiments, the point values can randomly change or be re-assigned to add further excitement and interest in the game. For example, a letter might have its point value randomly changed to another value, or the initial value may be multiplied by a factor. Thus, a player may anticipate the possibility of gaining points based on the "luck of the draw."
 At the start of play, the virtual reels 22a-22e are created on the display by the processor 100 to simulate spinning and are independently stopped in a random fashion. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, three rows 24a-24c, each having five (5) letters, display a total of fifteen (15) letters which are arranged in a scrambled random fashion on display screen 20. It can be seen from FIG. 1 that the scrambled letters in each of the rows 24a-24c individually fail to create a word. Processor 100, controlled by a programmatic element, such as a ROM, PROMs or the like, then automatically determines the presence of a five (5) letter word derived from the vocabulary database by employing selected ones of the letters in one or more of the three (3) lines to create a word from the database.
 In one embodiment, the processor may selects the five (5) letter word in the database having the highest point value and places each of the frames Fa-Fe around one of each of the selected letters making up the word, the frames being electronically generated by the processor 100. Processor 100 further preferably generates connecting bands Ba-Bd joining each frame to at least one adjacent frame to enable the player to easily identify the created word and distinguish the letters of the created word from the remaining letters presented on display 20. In the example of FIG. 1, it is assumed that the player has selected all three lines 24a-24c for inclusion in the game, it being understood that more or less than three lines or only one of the available lines may be selected for playing a game.
 The presence of the word JAZZY is determined by processor 100 in conjunction with the vocabulary stored in database101. It should be noted that the connecting bands Ba-Bd which connect the letters of the word JAZZY are oriented at either a diagonally upward or a diagonally downward direction. It should be understood that other orientations of the connecting bands are possible, as was set forth above, and further that many different combinations of the possible orientations of the connecting bands may be created, thus significantly increasing the number of possible winning combinations which contribute to the excitement and interest in the game, as well as serving as an incentive to a player to select more lines to increase the chances for winning.
 In some preferred embodiments, no "wildcard" is available and discrete identifiable letters or "blanks" may be displayed at each letter position provided about the periphery of each virtual reel. In one preferred embodiment, algorithms for determining the highest point value word from the randomly drawn letters are known, and operate in conjunction with the database 101, which contains the permissible vocabulary, and the programmatic elements, such as memories 102 and 103 described above and shown in FIG. 2. The point total, which may, for example, be correlated to a pay table stored in memory, is also displayed to the player. The payout appears in the window 36 of the display 20.
 In any of the above embodiments, an added entertainment feature of the gaming system disclosed herein is that the definition of the generated word is presented on display 20 adjacent to the generated word. Note FIG. 1 showing the word JAZZY highlighted in frames Fa-Fe and the definition of the word JAZZY in area 26 of the display.
 The program performed by the processor is stored in one or more of the memory devices such as a PROM 103 or ROM 102, to perform the program steps set forth in flow diagrams shown in FIGS. 3a-3b.
 FIG. 3a is a flow diagram of the program steps performed by the gaming device 10 for conducting the game. At the Start step S1, the program is typically initiated by insertion of a wager. For example, initiation of the program may occur responsive to insertion of a card such as a credit card or debit card or a "house" card issued by an establishment providing the gaming systems such as gaming device 10 shown in FIG. 1. A "house" card may be either one of a credit card type or a prepaid type in which a player requests the house to provide a prepaid or credit-line amount in the card. The card may be inserted into a slot of a suitable reader (not shown) for reading the contents of the card and reducing the prepaid amount on the card or forwarding the costs of the play through a wireless or wired connection (not shown) to the credit card company or gaming establishment that issued the player's card. Alternatively, or in addition to credit cards, gaming device 10 may accept paper currency, coins or chips of the type that are either issued by the "house" or that are standard legal currency which, in the case of U.S. coins may be a 25 cent, 50 cent or 1 dollar coin, for example. Alternatively, the player may insert a code uniquely identifying the player as authorized by the "house" to be advanced credit to play the game.
 In the event that a credit or debit card is inserted and in the event that currency which is greater in amount than that required for the play of one (1) game, receipt of the coin or card is acknowledged at S1 and displayed in window 35. Assuming the player has just started playing at gaming device 10, the CASH window 35, shown in FIG. 1, displays the amount entered. If no coin or card has been received, the program loops at step S1 in readiness for receipt of a coin, card, or the like. When one or more coins or other acceptable entry has been received and acknowledged/approved, the program advances to S2 and the player is invited to enter the bet amount. In one embodiment, there are twenty-five (25) lines that may be played during one game, only three (3) of the lines being displayed at any given time. By touching button 30, the display changes the lines of characters to be played by the player. To play three (3) lines, the player touches the LINES button 30 three (3) times, which selects the top three (3) lines of the virtual reels. To play all twenty-five (25) lines the player holds down button until "25" is displayed. The player then selects the desired bet per line and starts play by touching the PLAY button. The gaming device 10 may, in one embodiment, display three (3) rows of five (5) letters prior to operating the PLAY button.
 The bet per line is entered by touching the BET PER LINE button 31. Assuming a minimum bet per line of one (1) unit, and a maximum bet per line of five (5) units, the player touches button 31 twice to bet two (2) units per line. If a player wants to bet the maximum of five (5) units per line, the players touches BET MAX button 33. Window 29 displays the denomination per line, which is 1 cent, for example. In this case the minimum bet is 25 cents to play all twenty-five (25) lines. If the selected BET PER LINE is two (2), the total bet for playing all twenty-five (25) lines is 50 cents (i.e., twice the minimum bet). The player operates button 31 at step S3 and the amount of the bet per line is displayed in window 32. In one embodiment, (1) to five (5) units of the denomination (such as 25 c, 50 c, one dollar, etc.) may be selected per line. The BET MAX button 33 is operated to select the maximum units of the denomination bet per line.
 At S4 the player is invited to press the PLAY button 34. The processor 100 then spins the virtual reels at step S5 and independently stops them in a random fashion, and, at S6, using the letters randomly displayed on display 20, determines the five (5) letter word that may be created from the displayed letters of the selected line or lines, which word is found in the vocabulary database and, at S7, generates frames surrounding each of the letters forming the word in frames Fa-Fe, as well as connecting bands Ba-Bd. Depending on the random operation of the reels and, assuming the number of lines selected by the player is at least two (2), the word may be created from letters in the two (2) lines. If the player plays only one line, the word, if any, is created using only the single line selected by the player. Selecting more that one line of letters increases the chances for creating a word. Note that, although the line of letters arranged at row 24a form the word "BY" for a total of "7," the line of letters in row 24b form the word "A" for a total of "1" and the line of letters in the row 24c form the word "ZAP" for a total of "14,` these words, in one embodiment, do not qualify as a win. Note that the letters of a winning word are read from left to right.
 At S8, processor 100 determines if the word is entitled to a payout at S8a. In an embodiment using letter values, the processor may use a stored payout table based on the total of the numeric value of the letters making up the word reaching a given amount, to enhance the amount of the win and displays the win at window 36. The player may continue playing or cash out by pressing touch pad 37. In the event that the player is not entitled to a payout, the game ends at S8b. In the example of FIG. 1, the created word, JAZZY, has a total value of 33, which in addition to being a five (5) letter word, may enhance the payout, based on a stored payout table. As was described above, display 20 may be associated with either a physical key array or a touch screen as shown in FIG. 1.
 Making reference again to FIG. 1, assuming a player desires to wager twice the minimum bet (25 "units," which may be 25 c, for example), he presses the "BET PER LINE" button 31 two (2) times, which causes the processor to display the number "2" in window 31 and 50 c in bet window 38. The "BET MAX" button 33 is provided to enable immediate selection of the maximum bet, which may be five (5) times the minimum bet or $1.25, by pressing button 33 once, thereby displaying "4" in window 31 and "1.00" in the TOTAL BET window 38. When the desired number is displayed, the game is initiated when the player presses PLAY 34.
 Processor 100 determines the presence of the word "JAZZY," places frames Fa-Fe around the letters forming the word, and calculates the win since the word is a five (5) letter word and, in addition, may enhance the amount of the win based on the total of the numeric values of the letters of the highlighted word being at least equal to a given amount provided in a stored table. The win amount is displayed in window 36 and is also added to the total amount in the CASH window 35.
 When all twenty-five (25) lines are played, the processor 100 may determine that two (2) or more words are present. For example, the word "JAZZY" may be present in the first three (3) lines, i.e. lines 1-3, and processor 100 determines that another word is present in the last three (3) lines, i.e., lines 23-25 of the present game. Lines 1-3 are displayed showing the framed letters forming the word "JAZZY," the amount of the WIN in window 36 and total CASH in window 35. The word in lines 23-25 is displayed in a like manner the lines 1-3, and the WIN and the total cash are then displayed. Playing all of the lines may also result in the creation of more than two (2) words.
 The stored program shown in FIG. 3a may be modified for play of the game over a wired network or a wireless network, such as the Internet. As shown in FIG. 3b, a cell phone, laptop, PC, PDA or other like device, at S9, contacts a service location or website of a service provider, such as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) offering the game. The ISP, at S10 receives the request, typically over a wireless channel, although a wired channel or a combination wired and wireless channel may certainly be utilized as an alternative. The ISP, upon receipt of the request at S10, checks authorization at S11, initiates the game program at S12 and conveys the game to the subscriber's cell phone or the like at S12a for display. The subscriber begins play at S13, by selecting lines and bet per line and then operates the PLAY button to initiate spinning and then independent and random stopping of the virtual reels under control of the processor 100.
 Insofar as the authorization step, S11 is concerned, the person requesting play, as an alternative to being a subscriber may be a one (1) time user so that when the ISP receives the request at S10, billing information is requested whereby the user enters credit or charge card information in order to play the game. As an alternative, with regard to cell phone users, charges for play of the game may be added to the account of the cell phone user.
 The game described herein may alternatively be played from a cell phone 300 shown in FIG. 3c, which accesses an internet service provider (ISP) 400. The wireless unit 300 accesses ISP 400 through the Internet and, upon obtaining the desired website, is invited to participate in the game described herein, the ISP 400 being provided with the processor, memory devices and database shown in FIG. 2.
 The ISP 400, in addition to generating the displays to be presented on the screen 301 of wireless unit 300 using the program steps shown in FIG. 3a, identifies the keys to be operated by 6 the player in order to achieve the results obtained using the more customized key inputs described above in connection with FIG. 1. For example, assuming the phone is equipped with a typical telephone keyboard having keys "0-9," "#" and "*," the necessary responses may be obtained through the use of the "#" and "* keys, in combination with one or more of the "0"-"9" keys. Obviously, other key assignments may be adopted. FIG. 3c shows a wireless unit 300 having a 12 key keyboard. Other wireless devices having larger keyboards such as a "qwerty" keyboard or other keyboards having a larger number of operating keys may be used wherein the program is modified to accommodate the type of wireless device used by a player.
 The wireless unit may include wireless cell phones, PDAs, portable laptop computers having broadband or other access capabilities to the internet. The game may be played with or without betting and in the event that the game provides for betting and payouts, these capabilities may be achieved through acceptance of credit card information or registering with the ISP to set up an account to handle such matters, where they are legally permitted.
 While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and the accompanying description. However, it should be understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed. For example, the number of lines and columns may be greater or less than is shown in the embodiments described. As an alternative to the gaming device creating virtual reels which give the illusion of spinning and then be stopped in a random fashion, actual reels which are spun and then randomly stopped to display the given number of letters within a window, the angular orientation of the reels being monitored by shaft angle encoders provided for each reel to identify the displayed letters. The letters making up the created word may be highlighted with brighter light or light of a different color to distinguish the letters in the created word from the remaining letters visible in the display. Rather, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Patent applications by Brian D. Haveson, Surf City, NJ US
Patent applications in class Lot-to-lot combination (e.g., slot machine, etc.)
Patent applications in all subclasses Lot-to-lot combination (e.g., slot machine, etc.)