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According to a specific embodiment, the closing of the Player A player rating session may include determining a current walk amount for Player A. According to various embodiments, different mechanisms may be used to identify and track the number and values of gaming chips which are located within a player's personal space at the gaming table. In at least one embodiment, such gaming chip tracking functionality allows the tracking of player gaming chips on the table at all or desired times, and not just when a wager is made.

As illustrated in the example of FIG. In this particular embodiment, the intelligent gaming table includes a plurality of electronic displays e. In one embodiment, the plurality of electronic displays may be implemented as separate physical displays which have been mounted into or onto the body of a conventional-type casino gaming table.

In an alternate embodiment, the entire top surface or selected portions thereof of the intelligent gaming table may be implemented as a continuous display, and the electronic displays e. Other embodiments of the intelligent gaming table described herein may resemble conventional-type casino gaming tables which do not include any electronic displays.

According to specific embodiments, the intelligent gaming table can be of a variety of common constructions. For example, table may include a table support trestle having legs which contact an underlying floor to support the intelligent gaming table thereon.

The intelligent gaming table may have a table top and perimeter pad which extends fully about a semicircular portion of the table periphery.

The straight, back portion of the periphery is used by the dealer and can be partly or wholly padded as may vary with the particular table chosen.

A playing surface is provided upon the upwardly facing surface of table top upon which participants of the card game play. A plurality of players e. Other card games are alternatively possible, although the system described herein is specifically adapted for playing casino blackjack. Although not shown in the example of FIG.

A money drop slot may be further included to allow the dealer to easily deposit paper money bills thereinto when players purchase gaming chips. Table can support a system, or form a part of a system for playing card games which is constructed according to specific embodiments described herein. In one implementation, the table control console may be used to facilitate and execute game play operations, table configuration operations, player tracking operations, maintenance and inspection operations, etc.

Further, as illustrated in the example of FIG. According to a specific embodiment, the presentation system or display units may be supported upon the upper or playing surface 55 of the intelligent gaming table. This allows the system to be easily installed upon a variety of differing intelligent gaming tables without extensive modifications being performed.

Alternatively, the presentation system can otherwise be mounted upon the intelligent gaming table in a manner which allows participants to view one or more of the displays which form a part of the presentation system.

According to a specific embodiment, the presentation system may be adapted for use by a dealer and multiple players e. According to specific embodiments, the intelligent gaming table may include a plurality of electronic displays e. The player display images are intended to display graphical representations of playing cards e.

Additionally, as shown, for example, in FIG. Various types of information which may be displayed at the common display include, for example: In one embodiment, the common display may be used to:. Player displays may be arranged adjacent to each player seating position. For example, player display D may be adapted for use by player , and player display E may be adapted for use by player In at least one embodiment, the intelligent gaming table displays may include touchscreen functionality for facilitating user interaction.

In at least one implementation, the intelligent gaming table may include one or more sensors e. For example, in one embodiment, a pressure sensor may be provided to the control the display of a player's cards. In this particular embodiment, a player may be required to apply pressure on the pressure sensor in order to cause the player's cards to be display.

In one of limitation, a velocity pressure sensor may be utilized to allow for more of the player's display information to be displayed in response to an increase in pressure on the pressure sensor, and to allow for less of the player's display information to be displayed in response to a decrease in the pressure on the pressure sensor.

In a different embodiment, a light sensor may be provided to the control the display of a player's cards. For example, in one implementation, the player's cards may be displayed in response to the light sensor detecting a predefined decrease in the amount of ambient light detected near the display such as, for example, in the situation where the player cups his or her hands over their player display.

In another embodiment, a heat sensor may be provided to the control the display of a player's cards. For example, in one implementation, the player's cards may be displayed in response to the heat sensor detecting a predefined increase in the amount of thermal heat detected near the display such as, for example, in the situation where the player cups his or her hands over their player display.

In another embodiment, a scrolling wheel or other mechanism may be provided to the control the display of a player's cards. For example, in one implementation, the player's cards may be gradually displayed in response to the player rotating the scrolling wheel in a first direction, and may be gradually hidden in response to the player rotating the scrolling wheel in a second e.

Other security mechanisms for controlling the display of information on a player's display may include, for example:. In at least one implementation, a player must position a gaming chip within their respective wagering zone to be considered a participant in the game being played.

One aspect described herein relates to a method and apparatus for graphically representing and displaying casino game play data e. In at least one implementation, a respective personal player device herein referred to as a PPD, e. The battery is used to supply power to operate the devices on the smart card In some embodiments, when it is inserted into a smart card reader of some type, power may also be supplied to the card by the smart card reader.

The smart card may include an operating system of some type that is used to run applications on the smart card. In some embodiments, the operating system for the smart card may be provided by Microsoft Redmond, Wash.

The operating system may be used to manage the execution of gaming applications on the smart card. The operating system and gaming applications may incorporated into the processor as firmware, stored in the memory on the smart card or may be implemented as a combination of firmware in the processor and stored in the memory The processor may be a general purpose microprocessor or a custom microcontroller incorporating gaming specific firmware.

The memory may be flash memory. Some communication protocols may be stored in the memory of the smart card The communication protocols stored in the memory may be added or deleted from the smart card as needed. Some communication protocols may be stored in the memory of the smart card , and may be added or deleted from the smart card 50 as needed. As explained in greater detail below, a PPD may be adapted to perform a variety of functions such as, for example, one or more of the following:.

Other PPD embodiments described herein not shown may include different or other components than those illustrated in FIG. For example, PPD may include one or more of the following:. Although not illustrated in FIG. For example, in one implementation, a PPD may be adapted to communicate with a remote server to access player account data, for example, to know how much funds are available to the player for wagering. In at least one implementation, the PPD may also include other functionality such as that provided by PDAs, cell phones, or other mobile computing devices.

In at least one embodiment, a PPD may be implemented using conventional mobile electronic devices e. In at least one implementation, a player is able to view the cards of his or her hand on a display of that player's PPD. According to a specific embodiment, the PPD may also be adapted to implement at least a portion of the features associated with other mobile devices such as those described, for example, in one or more of the following references, each of which being incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes: Returning to the example of FIG.

In one implementation, a separate PPD docking region is provided at each player station at the intelligent gaming table. In at least one embodiment, the PPD docking regions may be part of a casino gaming network which, for example, may include one or more of: The communication links may transmit electrical, electromagnetic or optical signals which carry digital data streams or analog signals representing various types of information.

It will be appreciated that, in other embodiments, various combinations of PPDs and player displays may be used. For example, in some embodiments of the intelligent gaming tables described herein, all playing card related activity may be implemented using PPDs.

In at least some of these embodiments, the player displays e. In other embodiments of the intelligent gaming table, the player displays e. In at least one implementation, a dealer at a intelligent gaming table may have access to multiple PPDs which have not been yet been activated or registered to a particular player.

A variety of different security-related features may be implemented at the intelligent gaming table in order, for example, to address various issues such as player cheating, PPD tampering, unwanted or accidental viewing of player's cards, unauthorized use of player tracking or account data, etc.

In one embodiment, a player may possess his or her own PPD which has been registered for that player's exclusive use. For example, the PPD may be registered and linked to the player's player tracking account. In at least one implementation, the player may carry his PPD with him and use his PPD for game play at any authorized intelligent gaming table. For example, in one implementation, before game play begins, a player at player station may be required to place his or her PPD within that station's PPD docking region In an alternate embodiment, one or more sensors or components at the player station may automatically detect the presence of a PPD within a predetermined range or distance e.

For example, if a player with a PPD in her pocket sits down at seat of player station , the intelligent gaming table may automatically detect the presence of the PPD and associate it's location with player station According to a specific embodiment, once the game play begins, a pairing mechanism may be established between the player's PPD and PPD docking region In one implementation, such pairing mechanism may result in the PPD being unable to communicate with any other PPD docking region at the intelligent gaming table during the game play e.

According to a specific embodiment, one mechanism for implementing such security features is via the use of near-field magnetic communication technology. For example, in one implementation, at least one communication channel between a PPD and its associated PPD docking station may be implemented using a near-field communication protocol which has been adapted to allow a bi-directional communication between the PPD and the PPD docking station within a range of up to 5 feet.

When the PPD is moved to a location more than 5 feet from the PPD docking station, the near-field communication channel will go down, and in response, the PPD may be adapted implement one or more appropriate responses such as, for example, suspending or ending the active player tracking session.

When the PPD is moved to a location within 5 feet from the PPD docking station, the near-field communication channel may be re-established, and in response, the PPD may be adapted to implement one or more other appropriate responses such as, for example, resuming a suspended player tracking session, merging data from one or more player tracking sessions, initiating a new player tracking session, etc. It will be appreciated that intelligent gaming table is but one example from a wide range of intelligent gaming table designs on which the present invention may be implemented.

For example, not all suitable intelligent gaming tables have electronic displays or player tracking features. Further, some intelligent gaming tables may include a single display, while others may include multiple displays. Other intelligent gaming tables may not include any displays. As another example, a game may be generated on a host computer and may be displayed on a remote terminal or a remote gaming device.

The remote gaming device may be connected to the host computer via a network of some type such as a local area network, a wide area network, an intranet or the Internet.

The remote gaming device may be a portable gaming device such as but not limited to a cell phone, a personal digital assistant, and a wireless game player. Images rendered from gaming environments may be displayed on portable gaming devices that are used to facilitate game play activities at the intelligent gaming table.

Further an intelligent gaming table or server may include gaming logic for commanding a remote gaming device to render an image from a virtual camera in 2-D or 3-D gaming environments stored on the remote gaming device and to display the rendered image on a display located on the remote gaming device. Thus, those of skill in the art will understand that the present invention, as described below, can be deployed on most any intelligent gaming table now available or hereafter developed.

Intelligent gaming tables are highly regulated to ensure fairness and, in some cases, intelligent gaming tables may be operable to dispense monetary awards. Therefore, to satisfy security and regulatory requirements in a gaming environment, hardware and software architectures may be implemented in intelligent gaming tables that differ significantly from those of general-purpose computers.

A description of intelligent gaming tables relative to general-purpose computing machines and some examples of the additional or different components and features found in intelligent gaming tables are described below.

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

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

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

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

As anyone who has used a PC, knows, PCs are not state machines and a majority of data is usually lost when a malfunction occurs. This requirement affects the software and hardware design on an intelligent gaming table. A second important difference between intelligent gaming tables and common PC based computer systems is that for regulation purposes, various software which the intelligent gaming table uses to generate table game play activities such as, for example, the electronic shuffling and dealing of cards may be designed to be static and monolithic to prevent cheating by the operator of intelligent gaming table.

For instance, one solution that has been employed in the gaming industry to prevent cheating and satisfy regulatory requirements has been to manufacture an intelligent gaming table that can use a proprietary processor running instructions to generate the game play activities from an EPROM or other form of non-volatile memory. The coding instructions on the EPROM are static non-changeable and must be approved by a gaming regulators in a particular jurisdiction and installed in the presence of a person representing the gaming jurisdiction.

Any changes to any part of the software required to generate the game play activities, such as adding a new device driver used by the master table controller to operate a device during generation of the game play activities can require a new EPROM to be burnt, approved by the gaming jurisdiction and reinstalled on the intelligent gaming table in the presence of a gaming regulator. Regardless of whether the EPROM solution is used, to gain approval in most gaming jurisdictions, an intelligent gaming table must demonstrate sufficient safeguards that prevent an operator or player of an intelligent gaming table from manipulating hardware and software in a manner that gives them an unfair and some cases an illegal advantage.

The intelligent gaming table should have a means to determine if the code it will execute is valid. If the code is not valid, the intelligent gaming table must have a means to prevent the code from being executed. The code validation requirements in the gaming industry affect both hardware and software designs on intelligent gaming tables.

A third important difference between intelligent gaming tables and common PC based computer systems is the number and kinds of peripheral devices used on an intelligent gaming table are not as great as on PC based computer systems. Traditionally, in the gaming industry, intelligent gaming tables have been relatively simple in the sense that the number of peripheral devices and the number of functions the intelligent gaming table has been limited. Further, in operation, the functionality of intelligent gaming tables were relatively constant once the intelligent gaming table was deployed, i.

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

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

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

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

In other words, the watchdog timer always functions from the time power is applied to the board. IGT gaming computer platforms preferably use several power supply voltages to operate portions of the computer circuitry. These can be generated in a central power supply or locally on the computer board.

If any of these voltages falls out of the tolerance limits of the circuitry they power, unpredictable operation of the computer may result. Though most modern general-purpose computers include voltage monitoring circuitry, these types of circuits only report voltage status to the operating software. Out of tolerance voltages can cause software malfunction, creating a potential uncontrolled condition in the gaming computer. Intelligent gaming tables of the present assignee typically have power supplies with tighter voltage margins than that required by the operating circuitry.

In addition, the voltage monitoring circuitry implemented in IGT gaming computers typically has two thresholds of control. The first threshold generates a software event that can be detected by the operating software and an error condition generated. This threshold is triggered when a power supply voltage falls out of the tolerance range of the power supply, but is still within the operating range of the circuitry.

The second threshold is set when a power supply voltage falls out of the operating tolerance of the circuitry. In this case, the circuitry generates a reset, halting operation of the computer. One method of operation for IGT slot machine game software is to use a state machine. Different functions of the game bet, play, result, points in the graphical presentation, etc. When a game moves from one state to another, critical data regarding the game software is stored in a custom non-volatile memory subsystem.

This is critical to ensure the player's wager and credits are preserved and to minimize potential disputes in the event of a malfunction on the gaming machine. In general, the gaming machine does not advance from a first state to a second state until critical information that allows the first state to be reconstructed has been stored.

This feature allows the game to recover operation to the current state of play in the event of a malfunction, loss of power, etc that occurred just prior to the malfunction. In at least one embodiment, the gaming machine is configured or designed to store such critical information using atomic transactions. Generally, an atomic operation in computer science refers to a set of operations that can be combined so that they appear to the rest of the system to be a single operation with only two possible outcomes: As related to data storage, an atomic transaction may be characterized as series of database operations which either all occur, or all do not occur.

A guarantee of atomicity prevents updates to the database occurring only partially, which can result in data corruption. In order to ensure the success of atomic transactions relating to critical information to be stored in the gaming machine memory before a failure event e. Accordingly, battery backed RAM devices are typically used to preserve gaming machine critical data, although other types of non-volatile memory devices may be employed. These memory devices are typically not used in typical general-purpose computers.

Thus, in at least one embodiment, the gaming machine is configured or designed to store critical information in fault-tolerant memory e. Further, in at least one embodiment, the fault-tolerant memory is able to successfully complete all desired atomic transactions e. In at least one embodiment, the time period of ms represents a maximum amount of time for which sufficient power may be available to the various gaming machine components after a power outage event has occurred at the gaming machine.

As described previously, the gaming machine may not advance from a first state to a second state until critical information that allows the first state to be reconstructed has been atomically stored. After the state of the gaming machine is restored during the play of a game of chance, game play may resume and the game may be completed in a manner that is no different than if the malfunction had not occurred.

Thus, for example, when a malfunction occurs during a game of chance, the gaming machine may be restored to a state in the game of chance just prior to when the malfunction occurred. The restored state may include metering information and graphical information that was displayed on the gaming machine in the state prior to the malfunction.

For example, when the malfunction occurs during the play of a card game after the cards have been dealt, the gaming machine may be restored with the cards that were previously displayed as part of the card game.

As another example, a bonus game may be triggered during the play of a game of chance where a player is required to make a number of selections on a video display screen. When a malfunction has occurred after the player has made one or more selections, the gaming machine may be restored to a state that shows the graphical presentation at the just prior to the malfunction including an indication of selections that have already been made by the player. In general, the gaming machine may be restored to any state in a plurality of states that occur in the game of chance that occurs while the game of chance is played or to states that occur between the play of a game of chance.

Game history information regarding previous games played such as an amount wagered, the outcome of the game and so forth may also be stored in a non-volatile memory device. The information stored in the non-volatile memory may be detailed enough to reconstruct a portion of the graphical presentation that was previously presented on the intelligent gaming table and the state of the intelligent gaming table e.

The game history information may be utilized in the event of a dispute. For example, a player may decide that in a previous table game that they did not receive credit for an award that they believed they won. Further details of a state based gaming system, recovery from malfunctions and game history are described in U.

Another feature of intelligent gaming tables, such as IGT gaming computers, is that they often include unique interfaces, including serial interfaces, to connect to specific subsystems internal and external to the intelligent gaming table. In addition, to conserve serial interfaces internally in the intelligent gaming table, serial devices may be connected in a shared, daisy-chain fashion where multiple peripheral devices are connected to a single serial channel. The serial interfaces may be used to transmit information using communication protocols that are unique to the gaming industry.

For example, IGT's Netplex is a proprietary communication protocol used for serial communication between gaming devices. As another example, SAS is a communication protocol used to transmit information, such as metering information, from an intelligent gaming table to a remote device. Often SAS is used in conjunction with a player tracking system. IGT intelligent gaming tables may alternatively be treated as peripheral devices to a casino communication controller and connected in a shared daisy chain fashion to a single serial interface.

In both cases, the peripheral devices are preferably assigned device addresses. If so, the serial controller circuitry must implement a method to generate or detect unique device addresses.

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

These circuits also function when power is off by use of a battery backup. In power-off operation, these circuits continue to monitor the access doors of the intelligent gaming table. When power is restored, the intelligent gaming table can determine whether any security violations occurred while power was off, e. This can trigger event log entries and further data authentication operations by the intelligent gaming table software. Trusted memory devices and controlling circuitry are typically designed to not allow modification of the code and data stored in the memory device while the memory device is installed in the intelligent gaming table.

The code and data stored in these devices may include authentication algorithms, random number generators, authentication keys, operating system kernels, etc. The purpose of these trusted memory devices is to provide gaming regulatory authorities a root trusted authority within the computing environment of the intelligent gaming table that can be tracked and verified as original.

This may be accomplished via removal of the trusted memory device from the intelligent gaming table computer and verification of the secure memory device contents is a separate third party verification device.

Once the trusted memory device is verified as authentic, and based on the approval of the verification algorithms included in the trusted device, the intelligent gaming table is allowed to verify the authenticity of additional code and data that may be located in the gaming computer assembly, such as code and data stored on hard disk drives.

A few details related to trusted memory devices that may be used in the present invention are described in U. According to a specific implementation, when a trusted information source is in communication with a remote device via a network, the remote device may employ a verification scheme to verify the identity of the trusted information source.

For example, the trusted information source and the remote device may exchange information using public and private encryption keys to verify each other's identities. In another embodiment described herein, the remote device and the trusted information source may engage in methods using zero knowledge proofs to authenticate each of their respective identities. Details of zero knowledge proofs that may be used with the present invention are described in US publication no. Gaming devices storing trusted information may utilize apparatus or methods to detect and prevent tampering.

For instance, trusted information stored in a trusted memory device may be encrypted to prevent its misuse. In addition, the trusted memory device may be secured behind a locked door.

Further, one or more sensors may be coupled to the memory device to detect tampering with the memory device and provide some record of the tampering.

In yet another example, the memory device storing trusted information might be designed to detect tampering attempts and clear or erase itself when an attempt at tampering has been detected.

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

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

Details using a mass storage device that may be used with the present invention are described, for example, in U. In one implementation, processor and master table controller are included in a logic device enclosed in a logic device housing. The processor may include any conventional processor or logic device configured to execute software allowing various configuration and reconfiguration tasks such as, for example: Peripheral devices may include several device interfaces such as, for example: Such devices may each comprise resources for handling and processing configuration indicia such as a microcontroller that converts voltage levels for one or more scanning devices to signals provided to processor In one embodiment, application software for interfacing with peripheral devices may store instructions such as, for example, how to read indicia from a portable device in a memory device such as, for example, non-volatile memory, hard drive or a flash memory.

In at least one implementation, the intelligent gaming table may include card readers such as used with credit cards, or other identification code reading devices to allow or require player identification in connection with play of the card game and associated recording of game action. Such a user identification interface can be implemented in the form of a variety of magnetic card readers commercially available for reading a user-specific identification information.

The intelligent gaming table may include other types of participant identification mechanisms which may use a fingerprint image, eye blood vessel image reader, or other suitable biological information to confirm identity of the user. Still further it is possible to provide such participant identification information by having the dealer manually code in the information in response to the player indicating his or her code name or real name.

The intelligent gaming table system also includes memory which may include, for example, volatile memory e. The memory may be configured or designed to store, for example: In one implementation, the master table controller communicates using a serial communication protocol.

A few examples of serial communication protocols that may be used to communicate with the master table controller include but are not limited to USB, RS and Netplex a proprietary protocol developed by IGT, Reno, Nev. A plurality of device drivers may be stored in memory Example of different types of device drivers may include device drivers for intelligent gaming table components, device drivers for peripheral components , etc.

Typically, the device drivers utilize a communication protocol of some type that enables communication with a particular physical device. The device driver abstracts the hardware implementation of a device. For example, a device drive may be written for each type of card reader that may be potentially connected to the intelligent gaming table. Netplex is a proprietary IGT standard while the others are open standards. According to a specific embodiment, when one type of a particular device is exchanged for another type of the particular device, a new device driver may be loaded from the memory by the processor to allow communication with the device.

For instance, one type of card reader in intelligent gaming table system may be replaced with a second type of card reader where device drivers for both card readers are stored in the memory In some embodiments, the software units stored in the memory may be upgraded as needed.

For instance, when the memory is a hard drive, new games, game options, various new parameters, new settings for existing parameters, new settings for new parameters, device drivers, and new communication protocols may be uploaded to the memory from the master table controller or from some other external device.

In another embodiment, one or more of the memory devices, such as the hard-drive, may be employed in a game software download process from a remote software server.

Sensors may include, for example, optical sensors, pressure sensors, RF sensors, Infrared sensors, image sensors, thermal sensors, biometric sensors, etc. As mentioned previously, such sensors may be used for a variety of functions such as, for example: Alternatively, some of the touch keys may be implemented in another form which are touch sensors such as those provided by a touchscreen display. Additionally, such input functionality may also be used for allowing players to provide input to other devices in the casino gaming network such as, for example, player tracking systems, side wagering systems, etc.

Wireless communication components may include one or more communication interfaces having different architectures and utilizing a variety of protocols such as, for example, Wireless power components may include, for example, components or devices which are operable for providing wireless power to other devices. For example, in one implementation, the wireless power components may include a magnetic induction system which is adapted to provide wireless power to one or more PPDs at the intelligent gaming table.

In one implementation, a PPD docking region may include a wireless power component which is able to recharge a PPD placed within the PPD docking region without requiring metal-to-metal contact. According to a specific embodiment, Table Control Console may be used to facilitate and execute game play operations, table configuration operations, player tracking operations, maintenance and inspection operations, etc.

In one implementation, the Table Control Console may include at least one display for displaying desired information, such as, for example, programming options which are available in setting up the system and customizing operational parameters to the desired settings for a particular casino or cardroom in which the system is being used.

The Table Control Console may also include a key operated switch which is used to control basic operation of the system and for placing the unit into a programming mode. The key operated switch can provide two levels of access authorization which restricts access by dealers to programming, or additional security requirements can be provided in the software which restricts programming changes to management personnel. Programming may be input in several different modes.

For example, in a specific embodiment where the intelligent gaming table is configured as a blackjack gaming table, programming can be provided using a touch screen display with varying options presented thereon and the programming personnel can set various operational and rules parameters, such as, for example: Control keys may also be used in some forms of the invention to allow various menu options to be displayed and programming options to be selected using the control keys.

Still further it is possible to attach an auxiliary keyboard not shown to the Table Control Console through a keyboard connection port. The auxiliary keyboard can then be used to more easily program the system, or be used in maintenance, diagnostic functions, etc.

According to specific embodiments, the Table Control Console may also include a plurality of dealer operational controls provided in the form of dealer control sensors which, for example, may be implemented via electrical touch keys. The dealer control sensors may be used by the dealer to indicate that desired control functions should take place or further proceed. For example, different sensors may be used to implement a player's decision to: Other sensors may be used to:.

It will be appreciated that other functions may be attributed to other keys or input sensors of various types. For example, in one implementation, at least a portion of the Table Control Console touch keys can be assigned to implement additional functions, such as in changeable soft key assignments during the programming or setup of the system.

The gaming chip sensors may be selected from several different types of sensors. One suitable type of sensor is a weigh cell which senses the presence of a gaming chip thereon so that the master table controller knows at the start of a hand, that a player is participating in the next hand being played. A variety of weigh cells can be used.

Another suitable type of sensor includes optical sensors. Such optical sensors can be photosensitive detectors which use changes in the sensed level of light striking the detectors. For example, in one implementation, the wagering sensor may use ambient light which beams from area lighting of the casino or other room in which it is placed. When a typical gaming chip is placed in a player's wagering zone e. The detector conveys a suitable electrical signal which indicates that a gaming chip has been placed within the wagering zone A variety of other alternative detectors can also be used.

A further type of preferred gaming chip sensor is one which can detect coding included on or in the gaming chips to ascertain the value of the gaming chip or chips being placed by the players into the player wagering zones. A preferred form of this type of sensor or detector is used to detect an integrated circuit based radio frequency identification RFID unit which is included in or on the gaming chips.

Such sensors are sometimes referred to as radio frequency identification detection or read-write stations. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other memory types, including various computer readable media, may be used for storing and executing program instructions pertaining to the operation described herein. Examples of machine-readable media include, but are not limited to, magnetic media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical media such as CD-ROM disks; magneto-optical media such as floptical disks; and hardware devices that are specially configured to store and perform program instructions, such as read-only memory devices ROM and random access memory RAM.

The invention may also be embodied in a carrier wave traveling over an appropriate medium such as airwaves, optical lines, electric lines, etc. Examples of program instructions include both machine code, such as produced by a compiler, and files including higher level code that may be executed by the computer using an interpreter. In at least one embodiment, multiple different states may be used to characterize different states or events which occur at the gaming table at any given time.

In one embodiment, when faced with ambiguity of game state, a single state embodiment forces a decision such that one valid current game state is chosen. In a multiple state embodiment, multiple possible game states may exist simultaneously at any given time in a game, and at the end of the game or at any point in the middle of the game, the gaming table may analyze the different game states and select one of them based on certain criteria.

Thus, for example, when faced with ambiguity of game state, the multiple state embodiment s allow all potential game states to exist and move forward, thus deferring the decision of choosing one game state to a later point in the game.

The multiple game state embodiment s may also be more effective in handling ambiguous data or game state scenarios. According to specific embodiments, a variety of different entities may be used e. Examples of such entities may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: Examples of various game tracking components may include, but are not limited to: For example, in the case of Blackjack, a key event may include one or more events which indicate a change in the state of a game such as, for example: Depending upon the type of game being played at the gaming table, examples of other possible key events may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:.

According to specific embodiments, player display terminals at a gaming table such as those illustrated, for example, in FIGS. Funds for such game play, in addition to the table game being played, could be provided from the player's personal financial account, such as that described in co-pending U.

Various aspects are directed to methods and apparatus for operating, at a live casino gaming table, a table game having a flat rate play session costing a flat rate price. In some embodiments, some price parameters may include operator selected price parameters.

In one embodiment, if a player elects to participate in a flat rate table game session e. In accordance with one embodiment, a player may enter into a contract, wherein the contract specifies the flat rate play session as described above. In one embodiment, the flat rate play session may span multiple plays e. These multiple plays may be aggregated into intervals or segments of play.

Specific embodiments of flat rate play sessions conducted on electronic gaming machines are described, for example, in U. USA1 to Walker et al. It will be appreciated that there are a number of differences between game play at electronic gaming machines and game play at live table games. Once such difference relates to the fact that, typically, only one player at a time can engage in game play conducted at an electronic gaming machine, whereas multiple players may engage in simultaneous game play at a live table game.

In at least one embodiment, a live table game may be characterized as a wager-based game which is conducted at a physical gaming table e. In at least one embodiment, a live table game may be further characterized in that multiple different players may be concurrent active participants of the table game at any given time.

These differences, as well as others, have conventionally made it difficult to implement or provide flat rate play functionality at live wager-based gaming tables. However, according to specific embodiments, various wager-based gaming table systems described herein may include functionality for allowing one or more players to engage in a flat rate play session at the gaming table.

For example, in one embodiment, wager-based gaming table system may include functionality for allowing a player to engage in a flat rate play session at the gaming table. In one embodiment, the price parameters may define the parameters of the flat rate play session, describing, for example one or more of the following or combinations thereof: In one embodiment, if the player elects to pay the flat rate price, the player may simply deposit e.

According to specific embodiments the flat rate play session criteria may also specify a minimum wager amount to be placed on behalf of the player at the start of each new hand.

Once the player initiates play, the wager-based gaming table system may be operable to track the flat rate play session and stop the play when the end of the flat rate play session has been determined to have occurred. Once the player initiates play of the flat rate play session, the wager-based gaming table system tracks the flat rate play session, and stops the game play for that player when the session is completed, such as, for example, when a time limit has expired e.

In this particular example, during the flat rate play session, the wager-based gaming table system , dealer or other entity may automatically place an initial wager of the guaranteed minimum wager amount e. In one embodiment, special gaming or wagering tokens may be used to represent wagers which have been placed e. In at least one embodiment, the player is not required to make any additional wagers during the flat rate play session. It should be understood that the player balance could be stored in a number of mediums, such as smart cards, credit card accounts, debit cards, hotel credit accounts, etc.

For example, in one embodiment, a player may be offered a promotional gaming package whereby, for an initial buy-in amount e. In one embodiment, each of the special gaming tokens may have associated therewith a monetary value e. In one implementation, each of the gaming tokens has a unique RFID identifier associated therewith. In one embodiment, each of the special gaming tokens which are provided to the player for use with the promotional gaming package have been registered at one or more systems of the casino gaming network, and associated with the promotional gaming package purchased by the player.

According to a specific embodiment, when the player desires to start the promotional game play at the blackjack gaming table, the player may occupy a player station at the blackjack table, and present information to the dealer e. In one embodiment, the player may initiate the promotional game play session simply by placing one of the special gaming tokens into the player's gaming chip placement zone at the blackjack table. In this example, once the promotional game play session has been initiated, the player may use the special gaming tokens to place wagers during one or more hands of blackjack.

However, after the specified 30 minutes has elapsed, the special gaming tokens will be deemed to have automatically expired, and may no longer be used for wagering activity. For example, in at least one embodiment, an intelligent electronic wagering token may include, a power source, a processor, memory, one or more status indicators, and a wireless interface, and may be operable to be configured by an external device for storing information relating to one or more flat rate table game sessions associated with one or more players.

Similarly, a player's electronic player tracking card or other PPD may include similar functionality. In one embodiment, the player may provide funds directly to a casino employee e. In other embodiments, the player may provide funds via one or more electronic transactions such as, for example, via a kiosk, computer terminal, wireless device, etc.

In one embodiment, once the funds are verified, an electronic device e. Accordingly, in at least some embodiments, in order to accurately determine the amount of translation using cameras alone, it may be desirable to obtain some form of information concerning the distance to objects in the camera fields of view. For example, optical camera input may be used to inform the handheld device that no significant motion is taking place. This could provide a solution to problems of drift which may be inherent in using acceleration data to determine absolute position information for certain device functions.

As discussed above, distance information may be useful to determine amount of translation when cameras are being used to detect movement. In the example of FIG. Other components may also be used to determine distance information. For example, cameras with rangefinding capabilities may be used. In one embodiment, multiple cameras may be utilized on the same side of the handheld device to function as a range-finder using stereopsis. As shown in the example of FIG.

In at least one embodiment, gyro component s may be used in combination with the other components of motion detection device to provide increased accuracy in detecting movement of the handheld device. In at least one embodiment, the motion detection device may include one or more processors e. Processor may comprise a microprocessor, controller or any other suitable computing device or resource, such as a video analysis module for receiving a video stream from each camera. In some embodiments, the processing described herein with respect to processor of motion detection device may be performed by processor 16 of handheld device 10 or any other suitable processor, including processors located remote to the handheld device.

It will be appreciated that, in other embodiments, one or more motion detection devices may include additional, fewer, or different components than those illustrated in FIGS. For example, some embodiments may include a motion detector device with two or three accelerometers and one or more gyros; two or three accelerometers and one or more cameras; or two or three accelerometers and one or more rangefinders, etc.

In addition, the location of the motion detection components on the handheld device may vary for different embodiments. For example, some embodiments may include cameras on different surfaces of a device, while other embodiments may include two cameras on the same surface. Altering the type, number and location of components of motion detection device may affect the ability of motion detector to detect or accurately measure various types of movement. As indicated above, the type and number of components of motion detectors may vary in different embodiments in order to fulfill particular needs.

Fewer or less accurate components may be used in particular embodiments when it is desired to sacrifice accuracy to reduce manufacturing cost of a handheld device with motion detection capabilities. For example, some handheld devices may only need to detect that the handheld device has been translated and may not need to detect exact amount of such translation to perform desired functions of the handheld device. In particular embodiments, components described above, such as cameras and rangefinders, may also be used for other purposes by the handheld device than those described above relating to motion detection functionality.

Other handheld device embodiments not shown may include different or other components than those illustrated in FIG. For example, handheld device may include, but not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:. In one embodiment, the motion detection component may be operable to detect gross motion of a user e. Additionally, in at least one embodiment, the motion detection component may further be operable to perform one or more additional functions such as, for example: In other embodiments, at least a portion of these additional functions may be implemented at a remote system or device.

In one embodiment, the handheld device may also be adapted to analyze the detected motion data in order to interpret the gesture or other input data intended by the player. Once interpreted, the handheld device may then transmit the interpreted player input data e.

Alternatively, the handheld device may be adapted to transmit information relating to the detected motion data to the game table, and the game table adapted to analyze the detected motion data in order to interpret the gesture or other input data intended by the player.

For example, the interpretation of the detected motion data may be constrained based on one or more of the following criteria or combination thereof: Examples of suitable MEMS accelerometers may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: One embodiment of the Spring Board Accelerometer may be implemented in a manner similar to that of a diving board, in that it may be attached at one end and may be allowed to bend under the influence of gravity.

If desired, a specified amount of mass may be added to the free end. Such a Spring Board Accelerometer embodiment may be used to measure the influence of gravity.

For example, according to one embodiment, as gravity bends the board, the distance between the plates of the capacitor decreases e. For example, if the accelerometer is stationary e. In one embodiment, a graph of this function may be expressed as a cosine function from 0 to pi. According to specific embodiments, spring board accelerometers may be suitable for use as sensors of vibration.

For example, in one embodiment the spring board accelerometer s may be optimized to detect vibration frequencies of less than Hz for use in gesture interpretation analysis. In one embodiment, it may be preferable that the frequency of detected vibration s e. For example, in at least one embodiment, the length of the spring board and the mass of the spring board may be configured or designed such that the frequency of resonance of the board is greater than Hz.

Spring board accelerometers may also be suitable for use as sensors of impacts since, for example, such devices may be configured or designed to detect and withstand relatively fast accelerations e. For example, fast acceleration in one plane may result in the board bending until its limits are encountered. Such devices may be suitable for use as sensors for measuring tilt of an object. For example, in one embodiment, a spring board accelerometer may be configured or designed to provide an output DC voltage that is proportional to the angle of tilt, acceleration, rotation of an object such as, for example, a portable gaming device or a player's hand or arm.

In one implementation, the motion information may include data such as, for example: According to one implementation, analog acceleration data output from the accelerometers may be digitized and fed into a multiplexer and transmitted to a remote device or system such as, for example, a gaming machine, a game table, a remote server, etc.

In one embodiment, the receiver may be implemented as a multi-channel multi-frequency receiver adapted to receive signals from a plurality of different handheld devices. Additionally, the handheld device may be operable to automatically update or change its current operating mode to the selected mode of operation.

According to specific embodiments, the handheld device may also be adapted to perform other functions such as, for example, one or more of the following or combination thereof:. In at least one embodiment, a handheld device may be implemented using conventional mobile electronic devices e. For example, as illustrated in FIG. According to a specific embodiment, the handheld device may be adapted to implement at least a portion of the features associated with the mobile game service system described in U.

For example, in one embodiment, the handheld device may be comprised of a hand-held game service user interface device GSUID and a number of input and output devices.

These game service interfaces may be generated on the display screen by a microprocessor of some type within the GSUID. In addition to the features described above, the handheld device of the present invention may also include additional functionality for displaying, in real-time, filtered information to the user based upon a variety of criteria such as, for example, geolocation information, casino data information, player tracking information, game play information, wager information, motion detection information, gesture interpretation information, etc.

According to specific embodiments, the handheld device may be implemented a wrist bracelet e. According to one embodiment, this wrist bracelet may utilize one or more MEMS Micro Electro Mechanical System accelerometers for sensing or detecting acceleration of the bracelet e. In one embodiment, the transmitted signal s may include data such as, for example: In one embodiment, the serial number may be expressed using alpha-numeric characters, and assigned to the user of the handheld device.

Further, in at least one embodiment, the analog acceleration data may be digitized and fed into a multiplexer. According to a specific embodiment, a receiver used for receiving the motion information from the wrist bracelet may be implemented as a multi-channel, multi-frequency receiver, in order to allow the receiver to receive signals from multiple different transmitters at the same time, for example.

In one embodiment, each transmitter may be assigned a dedicated frequency and channel to transmit on. In other embodiments several different transmitters may be coordinated to transmit their respective data on the same frequency at a different time intervals e. Alternatively, communication between the transmitters and receiver may be accomplished by assigning different modulation methods for each transmitter.

For example, frequency modulation on one frequency may not interfere with amplitude modulation on the same frequency. According to various embodiments, different handheld devices may include different combinations of features which, for example, may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:.

In a first example embodiment, an electronic Black Jack game table may be provided which may be controlled by a master table controller. Each player at the game table may be provided with a respective LCD display.

Using an embodiment of a handheld device as described herein, a human dealer may deal a virtual deck of cards, for example, by performing gross hand motions similar to those performed when dealing an actual deck of cards. The dealt cards may displayed on the LCDs in front of the players. In another example embodiment the operation of a spinning reel game may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device.

In other embodiments, the handheld device may be registered or activated for use at a selected remote system e. For example, in one embodiment, by rocking the top of the handheld device back toward the player, the reels may be cocked. In one embodiment, the cocking of a reel may include moving the reel backwards about one half of a stop.

Tilting the handheld device forward may initiate spinning of the reels. In one embodiment, the reels may automatically coast to a stop with the winning reel positions on the selected pay lines and the winner may be paid accordingly.

In another example embodiment, the operation of a dice game may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device. According to one embodiment, a player may simulate the shaking of virtual dice by performing a shaking gesture at the handheld device.

The player may execute or initiate the dice throw, for example, by performing a gesture with the handheld device which simulates a dice throw gesture e. In one embodiment, the dice may automatically stop tumbling, and the winning bets may be paid. In another example embodiment the operation of a roulette wheel may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device.

In one embodiment, the player may perform additional movements or gestures at the handheld device to initiate launching of the roulette ball into the roulette wheel. In one embodiment, the roulette wheel may automatically slow down to allow the ball to land in one of the numbered positions on the roulette wheel.

The winning bets may then be paid. In another example embodiment the operation of a card game may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device. In one embodiment, real or virtual cards may be dealt, and a player may perform movements or gestures at his or her handheld device in order to input game play instructions.

For example, in one embodiment, the player may rock the handheld device forward to discard a card, rock the handheld device to the right to select the next card to the right, rock the handheld device to the left to select the next card to the left.

After all card selections have been made, the user may perform one or more other gestures at the handheld device to advance the game to the next state. Such raw data may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: If the handheld device includes more, fewer or different motion detection components as may be the case in some embodiments, the raw data may correspond to the components which are included. In at least one embodiment, the raw data may be processed at one or more processors e.

In at least one embodiment, the motion detection output data may include translation data e. In one embodiment, the motion detection output data may be provided to one or more additional processors e.

In at least one embodiment, the movement data may be processed to yield an output indicating movement of the handheld device. Other embodiments may include other types of movement data, such as, for example, optical or camera data, gyro data, rangefinder data, etc. In at least one embodiment, detected movement along the identified dominant axis may be augmented or modified, for example, in order to increase it's significance with respect to particular application s. For example, in one embodiment, if the identified dominant axis of motion is the x-axis, then the movement along the x-axis may be augmented x.

If the identified dominant axis of motion is the y-axis, then the movement along the y-axis may be augmented y. If the identified dominant axis of motion is the z-axis, then the movement along the z-axis may be augmented z. In some embodiments, it may be desirable to select two axes as the dominant or primary axes.

In such embodiments, detected movement along each of the identified dominant axes may be individually augmented. According to specific embodiments, the amount or degree of augmentation of movement in the dominant axis of motion may vary in different embodiments, for example, according to the application s being utilized or other characteristics. According to specific embodiments, movement along axes other than the dominant axis of motion may also be augmented e. As shown at , the augmented movement s may be processed to yield device behavior information According to specific embodiments, such processing may include accessing an application to determine the particular device behavior s to perform based on the augmented movement s.

Augmented movement s may yield different types of device behavior s based, for example, on specific application s , specific user s , specific environment s , etc. For particular user interfaces utilizing motion input, there may be value in displaying the relative location or position of the handheld device e.

For example, in particular embodiments using translation-based input such as for navigating a map displayed at the handheld device, the position of the handheld device may directly determine the portion of the map displayed at display However, if device position information is kept in absolute terms e.

For example, if a zero point is defined when the handheld device is at a point A, then motion between point A and a point B may be used as input. Particularly useful applications of setting a zero point may include external behaviors such as moving the virtual display or locating applications in the space around a user's body.

Setting a zero point also addresses internal behaviors such as instructing the handheld device to ignore the gravitational acceleration at the current orientation to allow the handheld device to act only on additional, and presumably user generated, accelerations. Handheld devices according to particular embodiments may include application user interfaces that utilize motion input only at certain times. Particular embodiments thus allow for the selective engagement and disengagement of the motion sensitivity of the handheld device.

As an example, a motion response module which modifies display based on motion detected by one or more motion detection components of the handheld device, may have a mode of operation in which it awaits a trigger for switching to another mode of operation in which motion sensitivity is enabled. According to a specific embodiment, when motion sensitivity is not enabled, motion of the handheld device may be disregarded.

The trigger may also set a zero-point for the handheld device. When the zero-point is set, the motion response module may measure a baseline orientation of the handheld device based, for example, on measurement from motion detection components.

The baseline orientation may comprise the position of the handheld device determined, for example, from information from motion detector components when the trigger is received. Future movement of the handheld device may be compared against the baseline orientation to determine the functions to perform or the modifications which should be made to displayed information e. Such actions may include, for example, the pressing of a key on input, moving device in a particular way e.

In some embodiments, a period of inactivity or minimal activity i. In one embodiment, the Zero Point Setting Procedure may be initiated for the passive setting of a zero-point for a handheld device. As shown at , at least one action or operation may be initiated to determine whether any detected acceleration change exceeds one or more specified threshold value s. For example, in one embodiment, if detected acceleration change along each or selected axes of the three axes is not greater than a predetermined threshold, then the handheld device may be considered to be at rest, and a zero-point may be set in response.

In at least one embodiment, if detected acceleration changes along one or more specified axes is greater than predetermined threshold value s , then it may be determined that the handheld device is not currently at rest, and no zero point set. In one embodiment, the technique of passively setting a zero-point may help to ensure that when the handheld device is at rest, a zero point is able to be set. In at least one embodiment, the threshold values may be used to determine whether an acceleration change is high enough so as to trigger or not to trigger the setting of a zero-point.

For example, in one embodiment, a user is able to passively set the zero point by holding the handheld device relatively still for a predetermined time period.

It should be understood that, in at least some other embodiments, similar techniques may be used in connection with motion detector components other than accelerometers. Thresholds may also be used in such similar methods to account for small, unintended movements that may otherwise prevent setting of a zero point.

Particular embodiments may include functionality for allowing a user to repeatedly selectively engage and disengage the motion sensitivity of the handheld device in order to allow greater movement through a virtual desktop or information space using motion input. Such functionality may be useful, for example, in environments where there is a limited amount of physical space available for the user to move the handheld device.

Lifting the mouse breaks the connection between the motion of the mouse and the motion of the cursor. In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may be operable to automatically and dynamically adapt its interpretation of motion input data based upon various types of feedback data. At it is assumed that raw motion data is received at handheld device. As described above, the raw motion data may be generated by any combination of accelerometers, gyros, cameras, rangefinders or any other suitable motion detection components.

At , the raw motion data is processed to produce a motion detector output indicative of the motion of the handheld device. Such processing may include various filtering techniques and fusion of data from multiple detection components.

At , the handheld device state or operating mode may be checked. In some embodiments the feedback for a particular motion may depend on the state or mode of operation of the handheld device when the motion is received. Example device states may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:. At , the motion detector output may analyzed with respect to the current state or mode of operation of the handheld device.

At , a determination is made as to whether the motion indicated by the motion detector output is meaningful or otherwise recognizable given the current state or operating mode of the handheld device.

For example, a particular gesture may be interpreted as corresponding to a certain function or set of functions in one mode of operation e. In one embodiment, if it is determined that the gesture is recognizable or meaningful in light of the state or operating mode of the handheld device, then appropriate feedback may be provided In some cases the feedback may merely be an indication that the handheld device recognizes the gesture given the current state or mode of operation of the handheld device.

In other cases, the feedback may include a further query for additional input, for example, if the user was utilizing a particular application of the handheld device that provided for a series of inputs to perform one or more functions. As shown at , the handheld device may behave in accordance with a response to the gesture e. According to at least one embodiment, if it is determined e. This determination may be made, for example, to determine whether particular motion input was, for example, intended to be a gesture.

According to specific embodiments, the threshold criteria may include various types of information such as, for example: If, however, the motion input does meet or exceed specific threshold criteria, then it may be possible that a gesture had been intended but was not recognized.

Accordingly, as shown at , appropriate feedback may be provided. It will be appreciated that at least some other embodiments may not include at least some of the operations described in the example of FIG. Further, at least some embodiments may utilize different types of motion input feedback e.

For example, in at least some situations where particular user movements or gestures are detected, but are not able to be interpreted e. For example, in one example, the handheld device may display the following message to the user: In at least one embodiment, the user may select one of the candidates suggested by the handheld device, or may provide additional input relating to a new or different interpretation e.

Some applications which may be operable to utilize gesture input e. In at least one embodiment, some form of authentication may be implemented to authenticate a player or user of the handheld device, such as, for example, a personal identification numbers PINs , credit card information, player tracking information, etc.

Another form of authentication may include a user's written signature, and at least some embodiments described herein may utilize motion input e. According to specific embodiments, a written signature e. Additionally, at least a portion of the spatial signatures may be recorded with varying degrees of precision e.

In some embodiments, the process for recognizing a spatial signature may involve pattern recognition and learning algorithms. The process may analyze relative timings of key accelerations associated with the signature. These may correspond to starts and stops of motions, curves in motions and other motion characteristics. In some cases, some hash of a data set of a points of a signature motion may be stored, and subsequent signatures may be compared against the hash for recognition.

This may further verify if the signature was genuine by determining whether it was unique. For example, in particular embodiments, a signature may be detected e. Such comparison may be made by comparing a sequence of accelerations of the movement with a predetermined sequence of accelerations of a stored spatial signature.

In at least some embodiments, this determination may be made regardless of the scale of the user's input motion signature. Further, in at least some embodiments, the handheld device may be operable to detect whether motion of the handheld device matches a signature by determining whether positions of the handheld device in motion e. According to one embodiment, handheld device may detect motion of the handheld device, and may generate raw motion data via one or more motion detection components, such as, for example, accelerometers, cameras, rangefinders, gyros, etc.

The raw motion data may be processed at the handheld device. Particular databases such as, for example, gesture and gesture mapping databases may be accessed to determine matching gesture s and intended function s based on motion tracked by a control module of the handheld device. In some embodiments, a user of device may indicate to device e. For example, a user may use input of handheld device e. In yet other embodiments, the intended recipient e.

For example, in at least some embodiments where a user of the handheld device is participating in or desires to participate in game play at a selected game table or selected gaming machine, the handheld device may be operable to provide the user's gesture input information to the selected game table or selected gaming machine.

According to specific embodiments. While motion input for handheld device may be used for interactions with other devices, other types of input mechanisms may also be used such as, for example, other types of input mechanisms described herein.

According to specific embodiments, handheld device may be operable to detect motion of the handheld device via motion detection components, and may be operable to modify its behavior in some way according to the motion detected. Further, in at least some embodiments, at least some handheld devices may be operable to model of their particular environments and subsequently modify their behaviors based on such environments.

As an example, if a handheld device changes its behavior when moved according to a particular gesture, that may be considered sensing or detecting a particular motion and reacting based on the motion detected. In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may be operable to detect environmental conditions associated with a location of the handheld device.

According to specific embodiments, environmental modeling may not require an immediate response to a user input. The behavior implemented based on the environment modeled may also change based on a particular application in use or in focus. In some cases, the handheld device may change its sensitivity to particular motions based on the environment modeled. As an example, a handheld device may recognize e. Such recognition may result from a determination that the handheld device is not moving, or still, with a static 1 g of acceleration orthogonal to a surface.

The handheld device may be able to differentiate resting on a table from resting in a user's hand, for example, because a user's hand typically will not be able to hold the handheld device perfectly still. The handheld device may, in response, behave in a certain manner according to the recognition that it is at rest on an approximately horizontal surface. For example, if handheld device recognized that it was lying at rest on a table, it may power off or go into standby mode or power save mode in response to determining that it has been lying in such position for a specified amount of time.

As another example, a cellular phone in a vibrate mode may vibrate more gently if it recognizes it is on a table upon receipt of a call or upon any other event that may trigger vibration of the phone. If, on the other hand, the cellular phone is engaged in an active call and is placed face down on the table, it may enter a mute mode.

As another example, handheld device may recognize through a brief period of approximately 0 g that it is in free-fall, and in response may behave accordingly to reduce damage due to impending impact with the ground or another surface. In particular embodiments, non-hand-held devices or devices that do not otherwise detect motion for input may also be able to model their environment and to behave based on the environment modeled.

As an additional example, acceleration patterns may be detected to recognize that a handheld device is in a moving environment e. If handheld device comprised a device that utilized a cradle for syncing up with another device, such as a PC, then device may recognize that it is in the cradle based on its stillness or supported state and its particular orientation. The handheld device may then operate or function according to its state of being in the cradle e.

In at least one embodiment, the environmental process may be implemented at an appropriately configured handheld device. At , it is assumed that raw motion data is received at the handheld device. At , the raw motion data is processed. For example, as illustrated in the example of FIG.

It will be appreciated that the example of FIG. In at least some embodiments, the determined orientations may comprise an orientation of the handheld device with respect to particular reference criteria such as, for example, the direction of gravity. At one or more actions may be initiated in order to determine environment data relating to the handheld device. According to specific embodiments, different types of environments may be determined based, for example, on motion and orientation data e.

At , the determined environment may be mapped to a particular behavior. In one embodiment, the mapped behavior may be based on various criteria in addition to the determined environment.

Examples of such criteria may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: For example, the behavior according to a particular modeled environment may include engaging a mute function of the handheld device e. In one embodiment, the mute behavior indicated at may be implemented, for example, when the handheld device has engaged its cellular phone functionality, and its environment e.

In one embodiment, the powering down chips behavior at may be implemented when the environment e. In one embodiment, the increasing a motion activation threshold behavior at may be implemented when a handheld device's environment e. Other embodiments may include a variety of other types of behaviors which may be mapped to one or more modeled environments. As shown at , the handheld device may be operable to behave according to the behavior s to which its environment has been mapped e.

In particular embodiments, gestures used as motion input for the handheld device may comprise pre-existing symbols, such as letters of the alphabet, picture symbols or any other alphanumeric character or pictographic symbol or representation. For example, gestures used as motion input may mimic upper and lower case members of an alphabet in any language, Arabic and Roman numerals and shorthand symbols.

Other types of gestures used as motion input may mimic player motions or movements during various types of game play activities such as, for example player movements which may occur during play of various types of wager based games such as blackjack, poker, baccarat, craps, roulette, slots, etc. Using preexisting gestures for handheld device input may facilitate the learning process for users with respect to gesture motion interfaces.

At , the handheld device may process the raw motion data, for example, to determine the actual motion of the handheld device. In one embodiment, the actual motion of the handheld device may be matched to a series of accelerations of one of the gestures of the gesture database.

Accordingly, in one embodiment, the handheld device may respond by transmitting instructions to the gaming machine to commence spinning of its reels. In some embodiments, one gesture may be mapped to the same function for all applications, while other gestures may be mapped to different functions for different applications. At , the handheld device may initiate behavior in accordance with the mapped gesture or mapped function.

According to specific embodiments, gestures used as motion input via a handheld device may have different meanings e. The ability for a particular gesture to be mapped to different commands depending on the context increases the utility of the handheld device. Additionally, in at least some embodiments, handheld devices may be able to utilize less sophisticated or fewer motion detection components if gestures are mapped to different commands depending on the context.

As an example, a handheld device may include particular motion detection components such that the handheld device may only be able to recognize and distinguish between a predetermined number e. In one embodiment, if each gesture is mapable to a different behavior for each of four different applications, then the ability to only recognize twenty unique gestures may provide eighty different behaviors at the handheld device e.

At it is assumed that an indication is received from a user for gesture creation. According to specific embodiments, the indication may be received in any of a variety of ways using one or more different types of input formats e.

At , the user may move the handheld device according to a specific user-created gesture such that raw motion data for the user-created gesture is received at the handheld device. In one embodiment, the sequence of accelerations may be measured with reference to a base reference position. At at least a portion of the recorded raw motion data may be processed, for example, in order to determine one or more motions to be associated with the raw motion data.

At , the motion is stored as a gesture, for example, at a gesture database. In particular embodiments, the indication for gesture creation may be received after the user moves the handheld device according to a user-created gesture. For example, the user may move the handheld device according to a user-created gesture that is currently unrecognizable by the handheld device. The handheld device may query the user to determine if the user desires to store the unrecognized gesture for a particular function.

The user may respond in the affirmative so that the user may utilize the gesture as motion input in the future. At , function mapping information for the gesture may be received from the user.

In particular embodiments, such function mapping information may comprise a series of functions e. For example, according to one embodiment, a given gesture may be mapped to a first set of user input instructions if the user is playing blackjack, and may be mapped to a second set of user input instructions if the user is playing craps.

In some cases, a user may desire to map different gestures to different keys or keystrokes of the handheld device. One example of mapping a series of functions to a gesture may include mapping a long string of characters to a gesture. At , the function mapping information may be stored, for example, at a function database or gesture mapping database. It will be appreciated that, it may be difficult for a user to move handheld device in the same precise manner for one or more gestures each time those gestures are to be used as input.

Accordingly, particular embodiments may be operable to allow for varying levels of precision in gesture input. Precision describes how accurately a gesture must be executed in order to constitute a match to a gesture recognized by the handheld device, such as a gesture included in a gesture database accessed by the handheld device.

According to specific embodiments, the closer a user generated motion must match a gesture in a gesture database, the harder it will be to successfully execute such gesture motion.

In particular embodiments movements may be matched to gestures of a gesture database by matching or approximately matching a detected series of accelerations of the movements to those of the gestures of the gesture database.

As the precision of gestures required for recognition increases, one may have more gestures at the same level of complexity that may be distinctly recognized. In particular embodiments, the precision required by handheld device for gesture input may be varied. In some embodiments users may be able to set the level s of precision required for some or all gestures or gestures of one or more gesture spaces. According to specific embodiments, gestures may be recognized by detecting a series of accelerations of the handheld device as the handheld device is moved along a path by a user according to an intended gesture.

In some embodiments, each gesture recognizable by the handheld device, or each gesture of a gesture database, may include a matrix of three-dimensional points. In addition, a user movement intended as a gesture input may include a matrix of three-dimensional points. In one embodiment, the handheld device may compare the matrix of the movement with the matrices of each recognizable gesture or each gesture in the gesture database to interpret or determine the intended gesture.

For example, if a user moves the handheld device such that the movement's matrix correlates to each point of an intended gesture's matrix, then the user may be deemed to have input the intended gesture with perfect precision. As the precision required for gesture input is reduced, the greater the allowable differences between a user gesture movement and an intended gesture of a gesture database for gesture recognition.

At , it is assumed that raw motion data of a particular gesture movement is received at the hand-held device. At , the raw motion data may be processed, for example, to determine the actual motion of the handheld device. At , the actual motion may be mapped to a gesture. According to specific embodiments, the mapping of actual motion s to a gesture may include, for example, accessing a user settings database, which, for example, may include user data e.

According to specific embodiments, such user date may include, for example, one or more of the following or combination thereof: According to specific embodiments, user-specific information may be important, for example, because different users of the handheld device may have different settings and motion input characteristics.

In at least one embodiment, user settings database may also include environmental model information e. As discussed above, through environmental modeling, the handheld device can internally represent its environment and the effect that environment is likely to have on gesture recognition.

Additionally, in at least some embodiments, mapping of the actual motion to a gesture may also include accessing a gesture database e. According to at least one embodiment, this may include accessing a function mapping database e. According to specific embodiments, different users may have different mappings of gestures to functions and different user-created functions. According to specific embodiments, other information or criteria may also be used in determining the mapping of a particular gesture to one or more mapable features, such as, for example, user identity information e.

In at least one embodiment, such context information may include one or more of the following or combination thereof: At a - c , the handheld device may initiate the appropriate mapable features which have been mapped to the identified gesture.

In particular embodiments handheld device may comprise digital camera functionality utilizing motion input for at least some of the functions described herein. For example, digital cameras with motion input capabilities may use motion input to flatten menus as discussed above. Motion may be used to zoom in and out of a number of thumbnails of photographs or video clips so that it is easy to select one or more to review.

Virtual desktops may be used to review many thumbnails of many digital photos or video clips or to review many digital photos or video clips by translating the camera or using gestural input. Gestures and simple motions may be used alone or in combination with other interface mechanisms to modify various settings on digital still and video cameras, such as flash settings, type of focus and light sensing mode.

Moreover, free fall may be detected to induce the camera to protect itself in some way from damage in an impending collision. Such protection may include dropping power from some or all parts of the camera, closing the lens cover and retracting the lens. In particular embodiments handheld device may comprise digital or analog watch functionality utilizing motion input for at least some of the functions described herein.

For example, watches with motion input capabilities may use motion input to flatten menus as discussed above. In some embodiments, the tapping of the watch or particular gestures may be used to silence the watch. Other functions may also be accessed through taps, rotations, translations and other more complex gestures.

Additional details relating to various aspects of gesture mapping technology are described in U. For purposes of illustration, it is assumed in the example of FIG. As shown in the example embodiment of FIG. In at least one embodiment, the registration request message may include different types of information such as, for example: As shown at 3 the gaming system may process the registration request. In at least one embodiment, the processing of the registration request may include various types of activities such as, for example, one or more of the following or combinations thereof: At 5 it is assumed that the registration request has been successfully processed at gaming system , and that a registration confirmation message is sent from the gaming system to handheld device In at least one embodiment, the registration confirmation message may include various types of information such as, for example: As shown at 7 , the handheld device may change or update its current mode or state of operation to one which is appropriate for use with the gaming activity being conducted at gaming system In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may utilize information provided by the gaming system to select or determine the appropriate mode of operation of the handheld device.

For example, in one embodiment, the gaming system may correspond to a playing card game table which is currently configured as a blackjack game table. The gaming system may provide gaming system information to the handheld device which indicates to the handheld device that the gaming system is currently configured as a Blackjack game table. In another embodiment where the gaming system may correspond to a slot-type gaming machine, the gaming system may provide gaming system information to the handheld device which indicates to the handheld device that the gaming system is currently configured as a slot-type gaming machine.

Thus, for example, in one embodiment, the same gesture implemented by a player may be interpreted differently by the handheld device, for example, depending upon the type of game currently being played by the player. At 9 it is assumed that gaming system advances its current game state e. At 11 the gaming system may provide updated game state information to the handheld device In at least one embodiment, the updated game state information may include information relating to a current or active state of game play which is occurring at the gaming system.

In the present example, it is assumed, at 13 , that player the current game state at gaming system requires input from the player associated with handheld device In at least one embodiment, the player may perform one or more gestures using the handheld device relating to the player's current game play instructions. According to different embodiments, a gesture may be defined to include one or more player movements such as, for example, a sequence of player movements.

At 17 it is assumed that the handheld device has determined the player's instructions e. In at least one embodiment, the player construction information may include player instructions relating to gaming activities occurring at gaming system As shown at 19 , the gaming system may process the player instructions received from handheld device Additionally, if desired, the information relating to the player's instructions, as well as other desired information such as current game state information, etc.

Such information may be subsequently used, for example, for auditing purposes, player tracking purposes, etc. At 23 the current game state of the game being played at gaming system may be advanced, for example, based at least in part upon the player's instructions provided via handheld device In at least one embodiment, the game state may not advance until specific conditions have been satisfied.

In at least one embodiment, flow may continue e. According to specific embodiments, the inputs allowed via the non-contact interfaces may be regulated in each gaming jurisdiction in which such non-contact interfaces are deployed, and may vary from gaming jurisdiction to gaming jurisdiction. In one embodiment, the game audit trail information may include information suitable for enabling reconstruction of the steps that were executed during selected previously played games as they progressed through one game and into another game.

In at least one embodiment, the game audit trail information may include all steps of a game. In at least one embodiment, player input audit trail information may include information describing one or more players' input e. In at least one embodiment, the gaming system may be implemented as a handheld device.

In other embodiments, the gaming system may include a handheld device which is operable to store various types of audit information such as, for example: For instance, as described in more detail herein, the non-contact input interfaces may be operable to provide eye motion recognition, hand motion recognition, voice recognition, etc.

In one embodiment, the player profile movement information may be used to verify the identity of a person playing a particular game at the gaming system. For example, in at least one embodiment, the player profile movement information may be used to characterize a known player's movements and to restrict game play if the current or real-time movement profile of that player changes abruptly or does not match a previously defined movement profile for that player.

shredder safety

The present invention relates generally to gaming systems, and, more particularly, to gaming systems which include handheld devices having motion detection capabilities. Casino gaming and other types of gambling activities are enjoyed worldwide. Gaming activities are typically conducted in fixed locations, such as, for example, in a hotel, casino or other facility. Casinos may be subject to state and local laws relating to gambling in that jurisdiction.

Recently, portable remote gaming devices have been proposed for playing various types of casino games such as poker, slots and keno. In some casino gaming environments, it has been proposed to allow mobile game play via the use of portable computing devices, such as, for example, cellular phones, personal digital assistants PDAs , etc. More generally, it is recognized that the existence and use of portable electronic devices within casino environments has dramatically increased over the past decade.

Various aspects are directed to different methods, systems, and computer program products for controlling a wager-based game played at a gaming system. In one embodiment the gaming system may include a handheld device operable to communicate with a gaming controller.

In one embodiment, the handheld device may include a gesture input interface device operable to detect movements gestures associated with one or more persons. The gaming system may further include a gesture interpretation component operable to identify selected movements or gestures detected by the gesture input interface device, and operable to generate gesture interpretation information relating to interpretation of the selected movements or gestures.

In at least one embodiment, the gaming system may be operable to control a wager-based game played at the gaming system; automatically detect a gesture by a player participating in a game session at the gaming system; interpret the gesture with respect to a set of criteria; identify at least one action to be initiated in response to the gesture interpretation; and initiate the at least one action.

Other aspects are directed to different methods, systems, and computer program products for controlling a wager-based game played at a handheld device. In one embodiment the handheld device may include a gesture input interface device operable to detect movements gestures associated with one or more persons.

The handheld device may further include a gesture interpretation component operable to identify selected movements or gestures detected by the gesture input interface device, and operable to generate gesture interpretation information relating to interpretation of the selected movements or gestures.

In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may be operable to control a wager-based game played at the handheld device; automatically detect a gesture by a player participating in a game session at the handheld device; interpret the gesture with respect to a set of criteria; identify at least one action to be initiated in response to the gesture interpretation; and initiate the at least one action.

Additional objects, features and advantages of the various aspects of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of its preferred embodiments, which description should be taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

The present invention will now be described in detail with reference to a few preferred embodiments thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings. In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that the present invention may be practiced without some or all of these specific details.

One or more different inventions may be described in the present application. Further, for one or more of the invention s described herein, numerous embodiments may be described in this patent application, and are presented for illustrative purposes only.

The described embodiments are not intended to be limiting in any sense. One or more of the invention s may be widely applicable to numerous embodiments, as is readily apparent from the disclosure. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice one or more of the invention s , and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that structural, logical, software, electrical and other changes may be made without departing from the scope of the one or more of the invention s.

Accordingly, those skilled in the art will recognize that the one or more of the invention s may be practiced with various modifications and alterations. Particular features of one or more of the invention s may be described with reference to one or more particular embodiments or figures that form a part of the present disclosure, and in which are shown, by way of illustration, specific embodiments of one or more of the invention s.

It should be understood, however, that such features are not limited to usage in the one or more particular embodiments or figures with reference to which they are described. The present disclosure is neither a literal description of all embodiments of one or more of the invention s nor a listing of features of one or more of the invention s that must be present in all embodiments.

Headings of sections provided in this patent application and the title of this patent application are for convenience only, and are not to be taken as limiting the disclosure in any way. Devices that are in communication with each other need not be in continuous communication with each other, unless expressly specified otherwise.

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 in communication with each other does not imply that all such components are required.

To the contrary, a variety of optional components are described to illustrate the wide variety of possible embodiments of one or more of the invention s. Further, although process steps, method steps, algorithms or the like may be described in a sequential order, such processes, methods and algorithms may be configured to work in alternate orders.

In other words, any sequence or order of steps that may be described in this patent application does not, in and of itself, indicate a requirement that the steps be performed in that order. The steps of described processes may be performed in any order practical.

Further, some steps may be performed simultaneously despite being described or implied as occurring non-simultaneously e. 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 one or more of the invention s , and does not imply that the illustrated process is preferred.

Thus, other embodiments of one or more of the invention s need not include the device itself. In this way, movement of the device operates as a form of input for the device. According to specific embodiments, handheld device may be configured or designed to include functionality relating to various different types of mobile or handheld devices, which, for example, may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: As indicated in the examples listed above, handheld device may include wearable portable devices such as watches, bracelets, rings, etc.

According to one embodiment, at least some of the wearable portable devices include computing devices worn around a user's wrist, hand, forearm, etc. In at least one embodiment, handheld device may include input component s , processor , memory , communication interface s , one or more motion detection components Further, in at least some embodiments, handheld device may optionally include a display In one embodiment, input provides an interface for a user to communicate input to the device.

Input may comprise a keyboard, keypad, track wheel, knob, touchpad, touchscreen, stencil or any other component through which a user may communicate an input to device In particular embodiments, display and input may be combined into the same component, such as a touchscreen.

In one embodiment, processor may be adapted to execute various types of computer instructions in various computer languages for implementing functions available within system handheld device Processor may include any suitable controllers for controlling the management and operation of handheld device Memory may be any form of volatile or nonvolatile memory including, without limitation, magnetic media, optical media, random access memory RAM , read only memory ROM , removable media or any other suitable local or remote memory component.

In some embodiments, memory may include various applications with user interfaces utilizing motion input, such as, for example, gesture interpretation, menu scrolling, mapping, calendar and file management applications, etc.

In at least some embodiments, memory may also include various databases, such as, for example, gesture databases, function or gesture mapping databases, etc. Such input movement may result from a user moving the device in a desired fashion to perform desired tasks, as further discussed below.

Examples of such modules may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: According to one embodiment, translation-based input may be based, at least in part, on characteristics relating to a beginning point and endpoint of a motion, and differences between such beginning points and endpoints. In at least one embodiment, gesture-based input may be based, at least in part, on characteristics relating to a actual path s traveled by the device, which, for example, may be represented as a holistic view of a set of points traversed.

In particular embodiments, movement of the device intended as a gesture may be recognized as by the device as a gesture by matching a series, sequence or pattern of accelerations of the movement to those defining gestures of a gesture database.

In other embodiments, at least some handheld device may not include some of the components of the handheld device illustrated in FIG. For example, in at least one other embodiment, a handheld device may not include input component s which are distinct from the motion detection component s. In at least one embodiment, the motion of the handheld device may provides the sole or primary input mechanism for the device.

It should be noted that handheld devices in accordance with other embodiments may include additional components not specifically illustrated with respect to device As illustrated in the example of FIG. In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may also have a unique, statically or dynamically assigned device identifier e.

For example, in some embodiments, each handheld device may be assigned a different frequency to be used for communicating with a particular gaming system to thereby allow multiple handheld devices to communicate with the gaming system at the same time.

In other embodiments, a plurality of handheld devices may use the same frequency for communicating with a particular gaming system, but may each be assigned different timeslots for transmitting its information to the gaming system. In this way wireless message collisions may be avoided. For example, as shown in the example of FIG. In one embodiment, accelerometers a , b and c may be operable to detect movement of the handheld device by detecting acceleration along one or more respective sensing axes.

In one embodiment, when the handheld device is tilted along a sensing axis of a particular accelerometer, the gravitational acceleration along the sensing axis may dynamically change. This change in gravitational acceleration may be detected by the accelerometer and reflects the tilt of the device. Similarly, translation of the handheld device, or movement of the device without rotation or tilt may also produce changes in acceleration along one or more sensing axes, which may be detected by one or more of the accelerometers.

In the example embodiment of FIG. The use of three accelerometers for motion detection provides certain advantages. For example, if only two accelerometers were used, the motion detector may not be able to disambiguate translation of the handheld device from tilt in the plane of translation. However, using a third, z-axis accelerometer an accelerometer with a sensing axis at least approximately perpendicular to the sensing axes of the other two accelerometers enables many cases of tilt to be disambiguated from many cases of translation.

According to one embodiment, camera component s may include a plurality of cameras which may comprise charge coupled device CCD cameras or other optical sensors. In one embodiment, the cameras may provide another way to detect movement of the handheld device both tilt and translation. Additionally, by using at least two cameras, tilt and translation may be distinguished from each other. In at least one embodiment, when the handheld device is rotated, the magnitude of the movement of the external world to the cameras may be directly related to the magnitude of the rotation of the device.

Thus, for example, in one embodiment, the amount of the rotation can accurately be determined based on such movement of the external world from the perspective of the cameras. However, in at least one embodiment, when the device is translated, the magnitude of the translation may be related to both the magnitude of the movement of the external world to the cameras and to the distance to the objects in the field of view of the cameras. Accordingly, in at least some embodiments, in order to accurately determine the amount of translation using cameras alone, it may be desirable to obtain some form of information concerning the distance to objects in the camera fields of view.

For example, optical camera input may be used to inform the handheld device that no significant motion is taking place. This could provide a solution to problems of drift which may be inherent in using acceleration data to determine absolute position information for certain device functions. As discussed above, distance information may be useful to determine amount of translation when cameras are being used to detect movement.

In the example of FIG. Other components may also be used to determine distance information. For example, cameras with rangefinding capabilities may be used. In one embodiment, multiple cameras may be utilized on the same side of the handheld device to function as a range-finder using stereopsis.

As shown in the example of FIG. In at least one embodiment, gyro component s may be used in combination with the other components of motion detection device to provide increased accuracy in detecting movement of the handheld device. In at least one embodiment, the motion detection device may include one or more processors e. Processor may comprise a microprocessor, controller or any other suitable computing device or resource, such as a video analysis module for receiving a video stream from each camera.

In some embodiments, the processing described herein with respect to processor of motion detection device may be performed by processor 16 of handheld device 10 or any other suitable processor, including processors located remote to the handheld device. It will be appreciated that, in other embodiments, one or more motion detection devices may include additional, fewer, or different components than those illustrated in FIGS. For example, some embodiments may include a motion detector device with two or three accelerometers and one or more gyros; two or three accelerometers and one or more cameras; or two or three accelerometers and one or more rangefinders, etc.

In addition, the location of the motion detection components on the handheld device may vary for different embodiments. For example, some embodiments may include cameras on different surfaces of a device, while other embodiments may include two cameras on the same surface. Altering the type, number and location of components of motion detection device may affect the ability of motion detector to detect or accurately measure various types of movement.

As indicated above, the type and number of components of motion detectors may vary in different embodiments in order to fulfill particular needs. Fewer or less accurate components may be used in particular embodiments when it is desired to sacrifice accuracy to reduce manufacturing cost of a handheld device with motion detection capabilities. For example, some handheld devices may only need to detect that the handheld device has been translated and may not need to detect exact amount of such translation to perform desired functions of the handheld device.

In particular embodiments, components described above, such as cameras and rangefinders, may also be used for other purposes by the handheld device than those described above relating to motion detection functionality. Other handheld device embodiments not shown may include different or other components than those illustrated in FIG.

For example, handheld device may include, but not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:. In one embodiment, the motion detection component may be operable to detect gross motion of a user e. Additionally, in at least one embodiment, the motion detection component may further be operable to perform one or more additional functions such as, for example: In other embodiments, at least a portion of these additional functions may be implemented at a remote system or device.

In one embodiment, the handheld device may also be adapted to analyze the detected motion data in order to interpret the gesture or other input data intended by the player. Once interpreted, the handheld device may then transmit the interpreted player input data e. Alternatively, the handheld device may be adapted to transmit information relating to the detected motion data to the game table, and the game table adapted to analyze the detected motion data in order to interpret the gesture or other input data intended by the player.

For example, the interpretation of the detected motion data may be constrained based on one or more of the following criteria or combination thereof: Examples of suitable MEMS accelerometers may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: One embodiment of the Spring Board Accelerometer may be implemented in a manner similar to that of a diving board, in that it may be attached at one end and may be allowed to bend under the influence of gravity.

If desired, a specified amount of mass may be added to the free end. Such a Spring Board Accelerometer embodiment may be used to measure the influence of gravity. For example, according to one embodiment, as gravity bends the board, the distance between the plates of the capacitor decreases e.

For example, if the accelerometer is stationary e. In one embodiment, a graph of this function may be expressed as a cosine function from 0 to pi. According to specific embodiments, spring board accelerometers may be suitable for use as sensors of vibration.

For example, in one embodiment the spring board accelerometer s may be optimized to detect vibration frequencies of less than Hz for use in gesture interpretation analysis.

In one embodiment, it may be preferable that the frequency of detected vibration s e. For example, in at least one embodiment, the length of the spring board and the mass of the spring board may be configured or designed such that the frequency of resonance of the board is greater than Hz.

Spring board accelerometers may also be suitable for use as sensors of impacts since, for example, such devices may be configured or designed to detect and withstand relatively fast accelerations e. For example, fast acceleration in one plane may result in the board bending until its limits are encountered.

Such devices may be suitable for use as sensors for measuring tilt of an object. For example, in one embodiment, a spring board accelerometer may be configured or designed to provide an output DC voltage that is proportional to the angle of tilt, acceleration, rotation of an object such as, for example, a portable gaming device or a player's hand or arm.

In one implementation, the motion information may include data such as, for example: According to one implementation, analog acceleration data output from the accelerometers may be digitized and fed into a multiplexer and transmitted to a remote device or system such as, for example, a gaming machine, a game table, a remote server, etc.

In one embodiment, the receiver may be implemented as a multi-channel multi-frequency receiver adapted to receive signals from a plurality of different handheld devices. Additionally, the handheld device may be operable to automatically update or change its current operating mode to the selected mode of operation. According to specific embodiments, the handheld device may also be adapted to perform other functions such as, for example, one or more of the following or combination thereof:.

In at least one embodiment, a handheld device may be implemented using conventional mobile electronic devices e. For example, as illustrated in FIG. According to a specific embodiment, the handheld device may be adapted to implement at least a portion of the features associated with the mobile game service system described in U. For example, in one embodiment, the handheld device may be comprised of a hand-held game service user interface device GSUID and a number of input and output devices. These game service interfaces may be generated on the display screen by a microprocessor of some type within the GSUID.

In addition to the features described above, the handheld device of the present invention may also include additional functionality for displaying, in real-time, filtered information to the user based upon a variety of criteria such as, for example, geolocation information, casino data information, player tracking information, game play information, wager information, motion detection information, gesture interpretation information, etc.

According to specific embodiments, the handheld device may be implemented a wrist bracelet e. According to one embodiment, this wrist bracelet may utilize one or more MEMS Micro Electro Mechanical System accelerometers for sensing or detecting acceleration of the bracelet e. In one embodiment, the transmitted signal s may include data such as, for example: In one embodiment, the serial number may be expressed using alpha-numeric characters, and assigned to the user of the handheld device.

Further, in at least one embodiment, the analog acceleration data may be digitized and fed into a multiplexer. According to a specific embodiment, a receiver used for receiving the motion information from the wrist bracelet may be implemented as a multi-channel, multi-frequency receiver, in order to allow the receiver to receive signals from multiple different transmitters at the same time, for example.

In one embodiment, each transmitter may be assigned a dedicated frequency and channel to transmit on. In other embodiments several different transmitters may be coordinated to transmit their respective data on the same frequency at a different time intervals e.

Alternatively, communication between the transmitters and receiver may be accomplished by assigning different modulation methods for each transmitter. For example, frequency modulation on one frequency may not interfere with amplitude modulation on the same frequency.

According to various embodiments, different handheld devices may include different combinations of features which, for example, may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:. In a first example embodiment, an electronic Black Jack game table may be provided which may be controlled by a master table controller. Each player at the game table may be provided with a respective LCD display.

Using an embodiment of a handheld device as described herein, a human dealer may deal a virtual deck of cards, for example, by performing gross hand motions similar to those performed when dealing an actual deck of cards. The dealt cards may displayed on the LCDs in front of the players. In another example embodiment the operation of a spinning reel game may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device. In other embodiments, the handheld device may be registered or activated for use at a selected remote system e.

For example, in one embodiment, by rocking the top of the handheld device back toward the player, the reels may be cocked. In one embodiment, the cocking of a reel may include moving the reel backwards about one half of a stop. Tilting the handheld device forward may initiate spinning of the reels. In one embodiment, the reels may automatically coast to a stop with the winning reel positions on the selected pay lines and the winner may be paid accordingly. In another example embodiment, the operation of a dice game may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device.

According to one embodiment, a player may simulate the shaking of virtual dice by performing a shaking gesture at the handheld device. The player may execute or initiate the dice throw, for example, by performing a gesture with the handheld device which simulates a dice throw gesture e. In one embodiment, the dice may automatically stop tumbling, and the winning bets may be paid.

In another example embodiment the operation of a roulette wheel may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device. In one embodiment, the player may perform additional movements or gestures at the handheld device to initiate launching of the roulette ball into the roulette wheel. In one embodiment, the roulette wheel may automatically slow down to allow the ball to land in one of the numbered positions on the roulette wheel.

The winning bets may then be paid. In another example embodiment the operation of a card game may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device.

In one embodiment, real or virtual cards may be dealt, and a player may perform movements or gestures at his or her handheld device in order to input game play instructions. For example, in one embodiment, the player may rock the handheld device forward to discard a card, rock the handheld device to the right to select the next card to the right, rock the handheld device to the left to select the next card to the left.

After all card selections have been made, the user may perform one or more other gestures at the handheld device to advance the game to the next state. Such raw data may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: If the handheld device includes more, fewer or different motion detection components as may be the case in some embodiments, the raw data may correspond to the components which are included. In at least one embodiment, the raw data may be processed at one or more processors e.

In at least one embodiment, the motion detection output data may include translation data e. In one embodiment, the motion detection output data may be provided to one or more additional processors e.

In at least one embodiment, the movement data may be processed to yield an output indicating movement of the handheld device. Other embodiments may include other types of movement data, such as, for example, optical or camera data, gyro data, rangefinder data, etc. In at least one embodiment, detected movement along the identified dominant axis may be augmented or modified, for example, in order to increase it's significance with respect to particular application s.

For example, in one embodiment, if the identified dominant axis of motion is the x-axis, then the movement along the x-axis may be augmented x. If the identified dominant axis of motion is the y-axis, then the movement along the y-axis may be augmented y. If the identified dominant axis of motion is the z-axis, then the movement along the z-axis may be augmented z. In some embodiments, it may be desirable to select two axes as the dominant or primary axes. In such embodiments, detected movement along each of the identified dominant axes may be individually augmented.

According to specific embodiments, the amount or degree of augmentation of movement in the dominant axis of motion may vary in different embodiments, for example, according to the application s being utilized or other characteristics. According to specific embodiments, movement along axes other than the dominant axis of motion may also be augmented e. As shown at , the augmented movement s may be processed to yield device behavior information According to specific embodiments, such processing may include accessing an application to determine the particular device behavior s to perform based on the augmented movement s.

Augmented movement s may yield different types of device behavior s based, for example, on specific application s , specific user s , specific environment s , etc. For particular user interfaces utilizing motion input, there may be value in displaying the relative location or position of the handheld device e. For example, in particular embodiments using translation-based input such as for navigating a map displayed at the handheld device, the position of the handheld device may directly determine the portion of the map displayed at display However, if device position information is kept in absolute terms e.

For example, if a zero point is defined when the handheld device is at a point A, then motion between point A and a point B may be used as input. Particularly useful applications of setting a zero point may include external behaviors such as moving the virtual display or locating applications in the space around a user's body.

Setting a zero point also addresses internal behaviors such as instructing the handheld device to ignore the gravitational acceleration at the current orientation to allow the handheld device to act only on additional, and presumably user generated, accelerations.

Handheld devices according to particular embodiments may include application user interfaces that utilize motion input only at certain times. Particular embodiments thus allow for the selective engagement and disengagement of the motion sensitivity of the handheld device. As an example, a motion response module which modifies display based on motion detected by one or more motion detection components of the handheld device, may have a mode of operation in which it awaits a trigger for switching to another mode of operation in which motion sensitivity is enabled.

According to a specific embodiment, when motion sensitivity is not enabled, motion of the handheld device may be disregarded. The trigger may also set a zero-point for the handheld device.

When the zero-point is set, the motion response module may measure a baseline orientation of the handheld device based, for example, on measurement from motion detection components. The baseline orientation may comprise the position of the handheld device determined, for example, from information from motion detector components when the trigger is received.

Future movement of the handheld device may be compared against the baseline orientation to determine the functions to perform or the modifications which should be made to displayed information e. Such actions may include, for example, the pressing of a key on input, moving device in a particular way e.

In some embodiments, a period of inactivity or minimal activity i. In one embodiment, the Zero Point Setting Procedure may be initiated for the passive setting of a zero-point for a handheld device.

As shown at , at least one action or operation may be initiated to determine whether any detected acceleration change exceeds one or more specified threshold value s. For example, in one embodiment, if detected acceleration change along each or selected axes of the three axes is not greater than a predetermined threshold, then the handheld device may be considered to be at rest, and a zero-point may be set in response. In at least one embodiment, if detected acceleration changes along one or more specified axes is greater than predetermined threshold value s , then it may be determined that the handheld device is not currently at rest, and no zero point set.

In one embodiment, the technique of passively setting a zero-point may help to ensure that when the handheld device is at rest, a zero point is able to be set. In at least one embodiment, the threshold values may be used to determine whether an acceleration change is high enough so as to trigger or not to trigger the setting of a zero-point. For example, in one embodiment, a user is able to passively set the zero point by holding the handheld device relatively still for a predetermined time period.

It should be understood that, in at least some other embodiments, similar techniques may be used in connection with motion detector components other than accelerometers.

Thresholds may also be used in such similar methods to account for small, unintended movements that may otherwise prevent setting of a zero point. Particular embodiments may include functionality for allowing a user to repeatedly selectively engage and disengage the motion sensitivity of the handheld device in order to allow greater movement through a virtual desktop or information space using motion input.

Such functionality may be useful, for example, in environments where there is a limited amount of physical space available for the user to move the handheld device.

Lifting the mouse breaks the connection between the motion of the mouse and the motion of the cursor. In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may be operable to automatically and dynamically adapt its interpretation of motion input data based upon various types of feedback data. At it is assumed that raw motion data is received at handheld device. As described above, the raw motion data may be generated by any combination of accelerometers, gyros, cameras, rangefinders or any other suitable motion detection components.

At , the raw motion data is processed to produce a motion detector output indicative of the motion of the handheld device. Such processing may include various filtering techniques and fusion of data from multiple detection components. At , the handheld device state or operating mode may be checked.

In some embodiments the feedback for a particular motion may depend on the state or mode of operation of the handheld device when the motion is received.

Example device states may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:. At , the motion detector output may analyzed with respect to the current state or mode of operation of the handheld device. At , a determination is made as to whether the motion indicated by the motion detector output is meaningful or otherwise recognizable given the current state or operating mode of the handheld device.

For example, a particular gesture may be interpreted as corresponding to a certain function or set of functions in one mode of operation e. In one embodiment, if it is determined that the gesture is recognizable or meaningful in light of the state or operating mode of the handheld device, then appropriate feedback may be provided In some cases the feedback may merely be an indication that the handheld device recognizes the gesture given the current state or mode of operation of the handheld device.

In other cases, the feedback may include a further query for additional input, for example, if the user was utilizing a particular application of the handheld device that provided for a series of inputs to perform one or more functions.

As shown at , the handheld device may behave in accordance with a response to the gesture e. According to at least one embodiment, if it is determined e. This determination may be made, for example, to determine whether particular motion input was, for example, intended to be a gesture. According to specific embodiments, the threshold criteria may include various types of information such as, for example: If, however, the motion input does meet or exceed specific threshold criteria, then it may be possible that a gesture had been intended but was not recognized.

Accordingly, as shown at , appropriate feedback may be provided. It will be appreciated that at least some other embodiments may not include at least some of the operations described in the example of FIG.

Further, at least some embodiments may utilize different types of motion input feedback e. For example, in at least some situations where particular user movements or gestures are detected, but are not able to be interpreted e.

For example, in one example, the handheld device may display the following message to the user: In at least one embodiment, the user may select one of the candidates suggested by the handheld device, or may provide additional input relating to a new or different interpretation e.

Some applications which may be operable to utilize gesture input e. In at least one embodiment, some form of authentication may be implemented to authenticate a player or user of the handheld device, such as, for example, a personal identification numbers PINs , credit card information, player tracking information, etc. Another form of authentication may include a user's written signature, and at least some embodiments described herein may utilize motion input e.

According to specific embodiments, a written signature e. Additionally, at least a portion of the spatial signatures may be recorded with varying degrees of precision e. In some embodiments, the process for recognizing a spatial signature may involve pattern recognition and learning algorithms. The process may analyze relative timings of key accelerations associated with the signature. These may correspond to starts and stops of motions, curves in motions and other motion characteristics.

In some cases, some hash of a data set of a points of a signature motion may be stored, and subsequent signatures may be compared against the hash for recognition. This may further verify if the signature was genuine by determining whether it was unique. For example, in particular embodiments, a signature may be detected e. Such comparison may be made by comparing a sequence of accelerations of the movement with a predetermined sequence of accelerations of a stored spatial signature.

In at least some embodiments, this determination may be made regardless of the scale of the user's input motion signature. Further, in at least some embodiments, the handheld device may be operable to detect whether motion of the handheld device matches a signature by determining whether positions of the handheld device in motion e. According to one embodiment, handheld device may detect motion of the handheld device, and may generate raw motion data via one or more motion detection components, such as, for example, accelerometers, cameras, rangefinders, gyros, etc.

The raw motion data may be processed at the handheld device. Particular databases such as, for example, gesture and gesture mapping databases may be accessed to determine matching gesture s and intended function s based on motion tracked by a control module of the handheld device. In some embodiments, a user of device may indicate to device e. For example, a user may use input of handheld device e.

In yet other embodiments, the intended recipient e. For example, in at least some embodiments where a user of the handheld device is participating in or desires to participate in game play at a selected game table or selected gaming machine, the handheld device may be operable to provide the user's gesture input information to the selected game table or selected gaming machine.

According to specific embodiments. While motion input for handheld device may be used for interactions with other devices, other types of input mechanisms may also be used such as, for example, other types of input mechanisms described herein. According to specific embodiments, handheld device may be operable to detect motion of the handheld device via motion detection components, and may be operable to modify its behavior in some way according to the motion detected.

Further, in at least some embodiments, at least some handheld devices may be operable to model of their particular environments and subsequently modify their behaviors based on such environments.

As an example, if a handheld device changes its behavior when moved according to a particular gesture, that may be considered sensing or detecting a particular motion and reacting based on the motion detected. In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may be operable to detect environmental conditions associated with a location of the handheld device.

According to specific embodiments, environmental modeling may not require an immediate response to a user input. The behavior implemented based on the environment modeled may also change based on a particular application in use or in focus.

In some cases, the handheld device may change its sensitivity to particular motions based on the environment modeled. As an example, a handheld device may recognize e. Such recognition may result from a determination that the handheld device is not moving, or still, with a static 1 g of acceleration orthogonal to a surface. The handheld device may be able to differentiate resting on a table from resting in a user's hand, for example, because a user's hand typically will not be able to hold the handheld device perfectly still.

The handheld device may, in response, behave in a certain manner according to the recognition that it is at rest on an approximately horizontal surface. For example, if handheld device recognized that it was lying at rest on a table, it may power off or go into standby mode or power save mode in response to determining that it has been lying in such position for a specified amount of time.

As another example, a cellular phone in a vibrate mode may vibrate more gently if it recognizes it is on a table upon receipt of a call or upon any other event that may trigger vibration of the phone. If, on the other hand, the cellular phone is engaged in an active call and is placed face down on the table, it may enter a mute mode. As another example, handheld device may recognize through a brief period of approximately 0 g that it is in free-fall, and in response may behave accordingly to reduce damage due to impending impact with the ground or another surface.

In particular embodiments, non-hand-held devices or devices that do not otherwise detect motion for input may also be able to model their environment and to behave based on the environment modeled. As an additional example, acceleration patterns may be detected to recognize that a handheld device is in a moving environment e. If handheld device comprised a device that utilized a cradle for syncing up with another device, such as a PC, then device may recognize that it is in the cradle based on its stillness or supported state and its particular orientation.

The handheld device may then operate or function according to its state of being in the cradle e. In at least one embodiment, the environmental process may be implemented at an appropriately configured handheld device.

At , it is assumed that raw motion data is received at the handheld device. At , the raw motion data is processed. For example, as illustrated in the example of FIG. It will be appreciated that the example of FIG. In at least some embodiments, the determined orientations may comprise an orientation of the handheld device with respect to particular reference criteria such as, for example, the direction of gravity.

At one or more actions may be initiated in order to determine environment data relating to the handheld device. According to specific embodiments, different types of environments may be determined based, for example, on motion and orientation data e. At , the determined environment may be mapped to a particular behavior. In one embodiment, the mapped behavior may be based on various criteria in addition to the determined environment. Examples of such criteria may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: For example, the behavior according to a particular modeled environment may include engaging a mute function of the handheld device e.

In one embodiment, the mute behavior indicated at may be implemented, for example, when the handheld device has engaged its cellular phone functionality, and its environment e. In one embodiment, the powering down chips behavior at may be implemented when the environment e.

In one embodiment, the increasing a motion activation threshold behavior at may be implemented when a handheld device's environment e. Other embodiments may include a variety of other types of behaviors which may be mapped to one or more modeled environments.

As shown at , the handheld device may be operable to behave according to the behavior s to which its environment has been mapped e. In particular embodiments, gestures used as motion input for the handheld device may comprise pre-existing symbols, such as letters of the alphabet, picture symbols or any other alphanumeric character or pictographic symbol or representation.

For example, gestures used as motion input may mimic upper and lower case members of an alphabet in any language, Arabic and Roman numerals and shorthand symbols.

Other types of gestures used as motion input may mimic player motions or movements during various types of game play activities such as, for example player movements which may occur during play of various types of wager based games such as blackjack, poker, baccarat, craps, roulette, slots, etc. Using preexisting gestures for handheld device input may facilitate the learning process for users with respect to gesture motion interfaces.

At , the handheld device may process the raw motion data, for example, to determine the actual motion of the handheld device. In one embodiment, the actual motion of the handheld device may be matched to a series of accelerations of one of the gestures of the gesture database. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the handheld device may respond by transmitting instructions to the gaming machine to commence spinning of its reels.

In some embodiments, one gesture may be mapped to the same function for all applications, while other gestures may be mapped to different functions for different applications. At , the handheld device may initiate behavior in accordance with the mapped gesture or mapped function. According to specific embodiments, gestures used as motion input via a handheld device may have different meanings e.

The ability for a particular gesture to be mapped to different commands depending on the context increases the utility of the handheld device. Additionally, in at least some embodiments, handheld devices may be able to utilize less sophisticated or fewer motion detection components if gestures are mapped to different commands depending on the context. As an example, a handheld device may include particular motion detection components such that the handheld device may only be able to recognize and distinguish between a predetermined number e.

In one embodiment, if each gesture is mapable to a different behavior for each of four different applications, then the ability to only recognize twenty unique gestures may provide eighty different behaviors at the handheld device e. At it is assumed that an indication is received from a user for gesture creation. According to specific embodiments, the indication may be received in any of a variety of ways using one or more different types of input formats e.

At , the user may move the handheld device according to a specific user-created gesture such that raw motion data for the user-created gesture is received at the handheld device. In one embodiment, the sequence of accelerations may be measured with reference to a base reference position.

At at least a portion of the recorded raw motion data may be processed, for example, in order to determine one or more motions to be associated with the raw motion data. At , the motion is stored as a gesture, for example, at a gesture database. In particular embodiments, the indication for gesture creation may be received after the user moves the handheld device according to a user-created gesture.

For example, the user may move the handheld device according to a user-created gesture that is currently unrecognizable by the handheld device. The handheld device may query the user to determine if the user desires to store the unrecognized gesture for a particular function. Generally, an atomic operation in computer science refers to a set of operations that can be combined so that they appear to the rest of the system to be a single operation with only two possible outcomes: As related to data storage, an atomic transaction may be characterized as series of database operations which either all occur, or all do not occur.

A guarantee of atomicity prevents updates to the database occurring only partially, which can result in data corruption. In order to ensure the success of atomic transactions relating to critical information to be stored in the gaming machine memory before a failure event e.

Accordingly, battery backed RAM devices are typically used to preserve gaming machine critical data, although other types of non-volatile memory devices may be employed.

These memory devices are typically not used in typical general-purpose computers. Thus, in at least one embodiment, the gaming machine is configured or designed to store critical information in fault-tolerant memory e. Further, in at least one embodiment, the fault-tolerant memory is able to successfully complete all desired atomic transactions e. In at least one embodiment, the time period of ms represents a maximum amount of time for which sufficient power may be available to the various gaming machine components after a power outage event has occurred at the gaming machine.

As described previously, the gaming machine may not advance from a first state to a second state until critical information that allows the first state to be reconstructed has been atomically stored. After the state of the gaming machine is restored during the play of a game of chance, game play may resume and the game may be completed in a manner that is no different than if the malfunction had not occurred.

Thus, for example, when a malfunction occurs during a game of chance, the gaming machine may be restored to a state in the game of chance just prior to when the malfunction occurred. The restored state may include metering information and graphical information that was displayed on the gaming machine in the state prior to the malfunction.

For example, when the malfunction occurs during the play of a card game after the cards have been dealt, the gaming machine may be restored with the cards that were previously displayed as part of the card game. As another example, a bonus game may be triggered during the play of a game of chance where a player is required to make a number of selections on a video display screen.

When a malfunction has occurred after the player has made one or more selections, the gaming machine may be restored to a state that shows the graphical presentation at the just prior to the malfunction including an indication of selections that have already been made by the player. In general, the gaming machine may be restored to any state in a plurality of states that occur in the game of chance that occurs while the game of chance is played or to states that occur between the play of a game of chance.

Game history information regarding previous games played such as an amount wagered, the outcome of the game and so forth may also be stored in a non-volatile memory device. The information stored in the non-volatile memory may be detailed enough to reconstruct a portion of the graphical presentation that was previously presented on the intelligent gaming table and the state of the intelligent gaming table e.

The game history information may be utilized in the event of a dispute. For example, a player may decide that in a previous table game that they did not receive credit for an award that they believed they won. Further details of a state based gaming system, recovery from malfunctions and game history are described in U. Another feature of intelligent gaming tables, such as IGT gaming computers, is that they often include unique interfaces, including serial interfaces, to connect to specific subsystems internal and external to the intelligent gaming table.

In addition, to conserve serial interfaces internally in the intelligent gaming table, serial devices may be connected in a shared, daisy-chain fashion where multiple peripheral devices are connected to a single serial channel. The serial interfaces may be used to transmit information using communication protocols that are unique to the gaming industry. For example, IGT's Netplex is a proprietary communication protocol used for serial communication between gaming devices.

As another example, SAS is a communication protocol used to transmit information, such as metering information, from an intelligent gaming table to a remote device. Often SAS is used in conjunction with a player tracking system. IGT intelligent gaming tables may alternatively be treated as peripheral devices to a casino communication controller and connected in a shared daisy chain fashion to a single serial interface.

In both cases, the peripheral devices are preferably assigned device addresses. If so, the serial controller circuitry must implement a method to generate or detect unique device addresses. General-purpose computer serial ports are not able to do this.

Security monitoring circuits detect intrusion into an IGT intelligent gaming table by monitoring security switches attached to access doors in the intelligent gaming table cabinet. Preferably, access violations result in suspension of game play and can trigger additional security operations to preserve the current state of game play. These circuits also function when power is off by use of a battery backup.

In power-off operation, these circuits continue to monitor the access doors of the intelligent gaming table. When power is restored, the intelligent gaming table can determine whether any security violations occurred while power was off, e. This can trigger event log entries and further data authentication operations by the intelligent gaming table software.

Trusted memory devices and controlling circuitry are typically designed to not allow modification of the code and data stored in the memory device while the memory device is installed in the intelligent gaming table.

The code and data stored in these devices may include authentication algorithms, random number generators, authentication keys, operating system kernels, etc. The purpose of these trusted memory devices is to provide gaming regulatory authorities a root trusted authority within the computing environment of the intelligent gaming table that can be tracked and verified as original.

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

A few details related to trusted memory devices that may be used in the present invention are described in U. According to a specific implementation, when a trusted information source is in communication with a remote device via a network, the remote device may employ a verification scheme to verify the identity of the trusted information source. For example, the trusted information source and the remote device may exchange information using public and private encryption keys to verify each other's identities.

In another embodiment described herein, the remote device and the trusted information source may engage in methods using zero knowledge proofs to authenticate each of their respective identities. Details of zero knowledge proofs that may be used with the present invention are described in US publication no.

Gaming devices storing trusted information may utilize apparatus or methods to detect and prevent tampering. For instance, trusted information stored in a trusted memory device may be encrypted to prevent its misuse.

In addition, the trusted memory device may be secured behind a locked door. Further, one or more sensors may be coupled to the memory device to detect tampering with the memory device and provide some record of the tampering. In yet another example, the memory device storing trusted information might be designed to detect tampering attempts and clear or erase itself when an attempt at tampering has been detected. Mass storage devices used in a general purpose computer typically allow code and data to be read from and written to the mass storage device.

In an intelligent gaming table environment, modification of the gaming code stored on a mass storage device is strictly controlled and would only be allowed under specific maintenance type events with electronic and physical enablers required.

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

Details using a mass storage device that may be used with the present invention are described, for example, in U. In one implementation, processor and master table controller are included in a logic device enclosed in a logic device housing. The processor may include any conventional processor or logic device configured to execute software allowing various configuration and reconfiguration tasks such as, for example: Peripheral devices may include several device interfaces such as, for example: Such devices may each comprise resources for handling and processing configuration indicia such as a microcontroller that converts voltage levels for one or more scanning devices to signals provided to processor In one embodiment, application software for interfacing with peripheral devices may store instructions such as, for example, how to read indicia from a portable device in a memory device such as, for example, non-volatile memory, hard drive or a flash memory.

In at least one implementation, the intelligent gaming table may include card readers such as used with credit cards, or other identification code reading devices to allow or require player identification in connection with play of the card game and associated recording of game action. Such a user identification interface can be implemented in the form of a variety of magnetic card readers commercially available for reading a user-specific identification information.

The intelligent gaming table may include other types of participant identification mechanisms which may use a fingerprint image, eye blood vessel image reader, or other suitable biological information to confirm identity of the user.

Still further it is possible to provide such participant identification information by having the dealer manually code in the information in response to the player indicating his or her code name or real name. The intelligent gaming table system also includes memory which may include, for example, volatile memory e. The memory may be configured or designed to store, for example: In one implementation, the master table controller communicates using a serial communication protocol.

A few examples of serial communication protocols that may be used to communicate with the master table controller include but are not limited to USB, RS and Netplex a proprietary protocol developed by IGT, Reno, Nev.

A plurality of device drivers may be stored in memory Example of different types of device drivers may include device drivers for intelligent gaming table components, device drivers for peripheral components , etc.

Typically, the device drivers utilize a communication protocol of some type that enables communication with a particular physical device. The device driver abstracts the hardware implementation of a device. For example, a device drive may be written for each type of card reader that may be potentially connected to the intelligent gaming table. Netplex is a proprietary IGT standard while the others are open standards. According to a specific embodiment, when one type of a particular device is exchanged for another type of the particular device, a new device driver may be loaded from the memory by the processor to allow communication with the device.

For instance, one type of card reader in intelligent gaming table system may be replaced with a second type of card reader where device drivers for both card readers are stored in the memory In some embodiments, the software units stored in the memory may be upgraded as needed.

For instance, when the memory is a hard drive, new games, game options, various new parameters, new settings for existing parameters, new settings for new parameters, device drivers, and new communication protocols may be uploaded to the memory from the master table controller or from some other external device.

In another embodiment, one or more of the memory devices, such as the hard-drive, may be employed in a game software download process from a remote software server.

Sensors may include, for example, optical sensors, pressure sensors, RF sensors, Infrared sensors, image sensors, thermal sensors, biometric sensors, etc. As mentioned previously, such sensors may be used for a variety of functions such as, for example: Alternatively, some of the touch keys may be implemented in another form which are touch sensors such as those provided by a touchscreen display.

Additionally, such input functionality may also be used for allowing players to provide input to other devices in the casino gaming network such as, for example, player tracking systems, side wagering systems, etc.

Wireless communication components may include one or more communication interfaces having different architectures and utilizing a variety of protocols such as, for example, Wireless power components may include, for example, components or devices which are operable for providing wireless power to other devices.

For example, in one implementation, the wireless power components may include a magnetic induction system which is adapted to provide wireless power to one or more PPDs at the intelligent gaming table. In one implementation, a PPD docking region may include a wireless power component which is able to recharge a PPD placed within the PPD docking region without requiring metal-to-metal contact. According to a specific embodiment, Table Control Console may be used to facilitate and execute game play operations, table configuration operations, player tracking operations, maintenance and inspection operations, etc.

In one implementation, the Table Control Console may include at least one display for displaying desired information, such as, for example, programming options which are available in setting up the system and customizing operational parameters to the desired settings for a particular casino or cardroom in which the system is being used.

The Table Control Console may also include a key operated switch which is used to control basic operation of the system and for placing the unit into a programming mode. The key operated switch can provide two levels of access authorization which restricts access by dealers to programming, or additional security requirements can be provided in the software which restricts programming changes to management personnel.

Programming may be input in several different modes. For example, in a specific embodiment where the intelligent gaming table is configured as a blackjack gaming table, programming can be provided using a touch screen display with varying options presented thereon and the programming personnel can set various operational and rules parameters, such as, for example: Control keys may also be used in some forms of the invention to allow various menu options to be displayed and programming options to be selected using the control keys.

Still further it is possible to attach an auxiliary keyboard not shown to the Table Control Console through a keyboard connection port. The auxiliary keyboard can then be used to more easily program the system, or be used in maintenance, diagnostic functions, etc.

According to specific embodiments, the Table Control Console may also include a plurality of dealer operational controls provided in the form of dealer control sensors which, for example, may be implemented via electrical touch keys.

The dealer control sensors may be used by the dealer to indicate that desired control functions should take place or further proceed. For example, different sensors may be used to implement a player's decision to: Other sensors may be used to:.

It will be appreciated that other functions may be attributed to other keys or input sensors of various types. For example, in one implementation, at least a portion of the Table Control Console touch keys can be assigned to implement additional functions, such as in changeable soft key assignments during the programming or setup of the system.

The gaming chip sensors may be selected from several different types of sensors. One suitable type of sensor is a weigh cell which senses the presence of a gaming chip thereon so that the master table controller knows at the start of a hand, that a player is participating in the next hand being played. A variety of weigh cells can be used. Another suitable type of sensor includes optical sensors. Such optical sensors can be photosensitive detectors which use changes in the sensed level of light striking the detectors.

For example, in one implementation, the wagering sensor may use ambient light which beams from area lighting of the casino or other room in which it is placed. When a typical gaming chip is placed in a player's wagering zone e.

The detector conveys a suitable electrical signal which indicates that a gaming chip has been placed within the wagering zone A variety of other alternative detectors can also be used. A further type of preferred gaming chip sensor is one which can detect coding included on or in the gaming chips to ascertain the value of the gaming chip or chips being placed by the players into the player wagering zones.

A preferred form of this type of sensor or detector is used to detect an integrated circuit based radio frequency identification RFID unit which is included in or on the gaming chips. Such sensors are sometimes referred to as radio frequency identification detection or read-write stations.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other memory types, including various computer readable media, may be used for storing and executing program instructions pertaining to the operation described herein. Examples of machine-readable media include, but are not limited to, magnetic media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical media such as CD-ROM disks; magneto-optical media such as floptical disks; and hardware devices that are specially configured to store and perform program instructions, such as read-only memory devices ROM and random access memory RAM.

The invention may also be embodied in a carrier wave traveling over an appropriate medium such as airwaves, optical lines, electric lines, etc. Examples of program instructions include both machine code, such as produced by a compiler, and files including higher level code that may be executed by the computer using an interpreter.

In at least one embodiment, multiple different states may be used to characterize different states or events which occur at the gaming table at any given time. In one embodiment, when faced with ambiguity of game state, a single state embodiment forces a decision such that one valid current game state is chosen.

In a multiple state embodiment, multiple possible game states may exist simultaneously at any given time in a game, and at the end of the game or at any point in the middle of the game, the gaming table may analyze the different game states and select one of them based on certain criteria. Thus, for example, when faced with ambiguity of game state, the multiple state embodiment s allow all potential game states to exist and move forward, thus deferring the decision of choosing one game state to a later point in the game.

The multiple game state embodiment s may also be more effective in handling ambiguous data or game state scenarios. According to specific embodiments, a variety of different entities may be used e.

Examples of such entities may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: Examples of various game tracking components may include, but are not limited to: For example, in the case of Blackjack, a key event may include one or more events which indicate a change in the state of a game such as, for example: Depending upon the type of game being played at the gaming table, examples of other possible key events may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:.

According to specific embodiments, player display terminals at a gaming table such as those illustrated, for example, in FIGS. Funds for such game play, in addition to the table game being played, could be provided from the player's personal financial account, such as that described in co-pending U. Various aspects are directed to methods and apparatus for operating, at a live casino gaming table, a table game having a flat rate play session costing a flat rate price. In some embodiments, some price parameters may include operator selected price parameters.

In one embodiment, if a player elects to participate in a flat rate table game session e. In accordance with one embodiment, a player may enter into a contract, wherein the contract specifies the flat rate play session as described above. In one embodiment, the flat rate play session may span multiple plays e. These multiple plays may be aggregated into intervals or segments of play. Specific embodiments of flat rate play sessions conducted on electronic gaming machines are described, for example, in U.

USA1 to Walker et al. It will be appreciated that there are a number of differences between game play at electronic gaming machines and game play at live table games. Once such difference relates to the fact that, typically, only one player at a time can engage in game play conducted at an electronic gaming machine, whereas multiple players may engage in simultaneous game play at a live table game.

In at least one embodiment, a live table game may be characterized as a wager-based game which is conducted at a physical gaming table e. In at least one embodiment, a live table game may be further characterized in that multiple different players may be concurrent active participants of the table game at any given time. These differences, as well as others, have conventionally made it difficult to implement or provide flat rate play functionality at live wager-based gaming tables.

However, according to specific embodiments, various wager-based gaming table systems described herein may include functionality for allowing one or more players to engage in a flat rate play session at the gaming table. For example, in one embodiment, wager-based gaming table system may include functionality for allowing a player to engage in a flat rate play session at the gaming table. In one embodiment, the price parameters may define the parameters of the flat rate play session, describing, for example one or more of the following or combinations thereof: In one embodiment, if the player elects to pay the flat rate price, the player may simply deposit e.

According to specific embodiments the flat rate play session criteria may also specify a minimum wager amount to be placed on behalf of the player at the start of each new hand.

Once the player initiates play, the wager-based gaming table system may be operable to track the flat rate play session and stop the play when the end of the flat rate play session has been determined to have occurred. Once the player initiates play of the flat rate play session, the wager-based gaming table system tracks the flat rate play session, and stops the game play for that player when the session is completed, such as, for example, when a time limit has expired e.

In this particular example, during the flat rate play session, the wager-based gaming table system , dealer or other entity may automatically place an initial wager of the guaranteed minimum wager amount e. In one embodiment, special gaming or wagering tokens may be used to represent wagers which have been placed e. In at least one embodiment, the player is not required to make any additional wagers during the flat rate play session.

It should be understood that the player balance could be stored in a number of mediums, such as smart cards, credit card accounts, debit cards, hotel credit accounts, etc.

For example, in one embodiment, a player may be offered a promotional gaming package whereby, for an initial buy-in amount e. In one embodiment, each of the special gaming tokens may have associated therewith a monetary value e. In one implementation, each of the gaming tokens has a unique RFID identifier associated therewith. In one embodiment, each of the special gaming tokens which are provided to the player for use with the promotional gaming package have been registered at one or more systems of the casino gaming network, and associated with the promotional gaming package purchased by the player.

According to a specific embodiment, when the player desires to start the promotional game play at the blackjack gaming table, the player may occupy a player station at the blackjack table, and present information to the dealer e. In one embodiment, the player may initiate the promotional game play session simply by placing one of the special gaming tokens into the player's gaming chip placement zone at the blackjack table.

In this example, once the promotional game play session has been initiated, the player may use the special gaming tokens to place wagers during one or more hands of blackjack. However, after the specified 30 minutes has elapsed, the special gaming tokens will be deemed to have automatically expired, and may no longer be used for wagering activity.

For example, in at least one embodiment, an intelligent electronic wagering token may include, a power source, a processor, memory, one or more status indicators, and a wireless interface, and may be operable to be configured by an external device for storing information relating to one or more flat rate table game sessions associated with one or more players.

Similarly, a player's electronic player tracking card or other PPD may include similar functionality. In one embodiment, the player may provide funds directly to a casino employee e. In other embodiments, the player may provide funds via one or more electronic transactions such as, for example, via a kiosk, computer terminal, wireless device, etc.

In one embodiment, once the funds are verified, an electronic device e. In at least one embodiment, gaming network portion may include a plurality of gaming tables e. In at least one embodiment, each gaming table may be uniquely identified by a unique identification ID number.

It will be appreciated that different embodiments of Flat Rate Table Game Session Management Procedures may be implemented at a variety of different gaming tables associated with different table game themes, table game types, paytables, denominations, etc. According to specific embodiments, multiple threads of the Flat Rate Table Game Session Management Procedure may be simultaneously running at a given gaming table. For example, in one embodiment, a separate instance or thread of the Flat Rate Table Game Session Management Procedure may be implemented for each player or selected players or who is currently engaged in an active flat rate table game session at the gaming table.

Additionally, in at least one embodiment, a given gaming table may be operable to simultaneously or concurrently host both flat rate game play and non-flat rate game play for different players at the gaming table. For purposes of illustration, an example of the Flat Rate Table Game Session Management Procedure will now be explained with reference to gaming table system According to specific embodiments, one or more gaming tables may include functionality for detecting the presence of a player e.

In at least some embodiments, there may be a unique signal or other information to help identify the player's identity. As shown at , a determination may be made as to whether one or more flat rate table game sessions have been authorized or enabled for Player A.

In at least one embodiment, such other types of information may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combinations thereof:. In at least one embodiment, at least a portion of the above-described criteria may be stored in local memory at the gaming table system.

In some embodiments, other information relating to the gaming table criteria may be stored in memory of one or more remote systems. In some embodiments, the gaming table system may be operable to automatically determine a current position of Player A at the gaming table.

Such information may be subsequently used, for example, when performing flat rate table game session activities associated with Player A at the gaming table. According to different embodiments, the gaming table system may be operable to automatically initiate or start a new flat rate table game session for a given player e. For example, in one embodiment involving a flat rate blackjack table game, Player A may chose to place his intelligent electronic wagering token within Player A's designated wagering zone or wager placement area at the gaming table in order to start or resume a flat rate table game session at the gaming table.

In one embodiment, if the gaming table system determines that the intelligent electronic wagering token may be used for flat rate table game play e. If, however, the gaming table system determines that the intelligent electronic wagering token may not be used for flat rate table game play e. In one embodiment, the player's identity may be determined using identifier information associated with Player A's portable electronic device. In one embodiment, once the flat rate table game session has been started, any or selected wager activities performed by Player A may be automatically tracked.

Assuming that the appropriate event or events have been detected for starting a flat rate table game session for Player A, a flat rate table game session for Player A may then be started or initiated In at least one embodiment, if an event is detected for suspending Player A's active flat rate table game session, the current or active flat rate table game session for Player A may be suspended e.

In one embodiment, during a suspended flat rate table game session, no additional flat rate table game information is logged or tracked for that player.

In some embodiments, the time interval relating to the suspended flat rate table game session may be tracked. Further, in at least some embodiments, other types of player tracking information associated with Player A such as, for example, game play activities, wagering activities, player location, etc.

According to specific embodiments, a variety of different events may be used to trigger the suspension of a flat rate table game session for a given player. In one embodiment, if a player moves to a different player station at the gaming table, the gaming table system may respond by switching or modifying the player station identity associated with that player's flat rate table game session in order to begin tracking information associated with the player's flat rate table game session at the new player station.

In at least one embodiment, a suspended flat rate table game session may be resumed or ended, depending upon the detection of one or more appropriate events. According to specific embodiments, a variety of different events may be used to trigger the resuming of a flat rate table game session for a given player. In at least one embodiment where multiple players at a given intelligent multi-player electronic gaming system are engaged in the flat-rate table game play, a separate flat rate table game session may be established for each of the players to thereby allow each player to engage in flat rate table game play at the same electronic gaming table asynchronously from one another.

For example, in one example embodiment, an intelligent multi-player electronic gaming system may be configured as an electronic poker gaming table which includes functionality for enabling each of the following example scenarios to concurrently take place at the electronic poker gaming table: Further, in at least one embodiment each poker hand played by the players at the electronic poker gaming table may be played in a manner which is similar to that of a traditional table poker game, regardless of each player's mode of game play e.

In the system , there may be many instances of the same function, such as multiple game play interfaces The functions of the components may be combined. For example, a single device may comprise the game play interface and include trusted memory devices or sources For example, game players primarily input cash or indicia of credit into the system, make game selections that trigger software downloads, and receive entertainment in exchange for their inputs.

Game software content providers provide game software for the system and may receive compensation for the content they provide based on licensing agreements with the gaming machine operators.

Gaming machine operators select game software for distribution, distribute the game software on the gaming devices in the system , receive revenue for the use of their software and compensate the gaming machine operators. The gaming regulators may provide rules and regulations that must be applied to the gaming system and may receive reports and other information confirming that rules are being obeyed.

In the following paragraphs, details of each component and some of the interactions between the components are described with respect to FIG. The game software license host may be a server connected to a number of remote gaming devices that provides licensing services to the remote gaming devices.

The token usage may be used in utility based licensing schemes, such as a pay-per-use scheme. In another embodiment, a game usage-tracking host may track the usage of game software on a plurality of devices in communication with the host.

The game usage-tracking host may be in communication with a plurality of game play hosts and gaming machines.

From the game play hosts and gaming machines, the game usage tracking host may receive updates of an amount that each game available for play on the devices has been played and on amount that has been wagered per game.

This information may be stored in a database and used for billing according to methods described in a utility based licensing agreement. The game software host may provide game software downloads, such as downloads of game software or game firmware, to various devious in the game system For example, when the software to generate the game is not available on the game play interface , the game software host may download software to generate a selected game of chance played on the game play interface.

Further, the game software host may download new game content to a plurality of gaming machines via a request from a gaming machine operator. In one embodiment, the game software host may also be a game software configuration-tracking host Details of a game software host and a game software configuration host that may be used with example embodiments are described in co-pending U. A game play host device may be a host server connected to a plurality of remote clients that generates games of chance that are displayed on a plurality of remote game play interfaces For example, the game play host device may be a server that provides central determination for a bingo game play played on a plurality of connected game play interfaces As another example, the game play host device may generate games of chance, such as slot games or video card games, for display on a remote client.

A game player using the remote client may be able to select from a number of games that are provided on the client by the host device The game play host device may receive game software management services, such as receiving downloads of new game software, from the game software host and may receive game software licensing services, such as the granting or renewing of software licenses for software executed on the device , from the game license host In particular embodiments, the game play interfaces or other gaming devices in the gaming system may be portable devices, such as electronic tokens, cell phones, smart cards, tablet PC's and PDA's.

The portable devices may support wireless communications and thus, may be referred to as wireless mobile devices. The network hardware architecture may be enabled to support communications between wireless mobile devices and other gaming devices in gaming system. In one embodiment, the wireless mobile devices may be used to play games of chance.

The gaming system may use a number of trusted information sources. CRC values used to authenticate software, license tokens used to allow the use of software or product activation codes used to activate to software are examples of trusted information that might be provided from a trusted information source Trusted information sources may be a memory device, such as an EPROM, that includes trusted information used to authenticate other information.

For example, a game play interface may store a private encryption key in a trusted memory device that is used in a private key-public key encryption scheme to authenticate information from another gaming device. When a trusted information source is in communication with a remote device via a network, the remote device will employ a verification scheme to verify the identity of the trusted information source.

In another example of an embodiment, the remote device and the trusted information source may engage in methods using zero knowledge proofs to authenticate each of their respective identities. Details of zero knowledge proofs that may be used with example embodiments are described in US publication no. Gaming devices storing trusted information might utilize apparatus or methods to detect and prevent tampering.

The gaming system of example embodiments may include devices that provide authorization to download software from a first device to a second device and devices that provide activation codes or information that allow downloaded software to be activated.

The devices, and , may be remote servers and may also be trusted information sources. One example of a method of providing product activation codes that may be used with example embodiments is describes in previously incorporated U.

A device that monitors a plurality of gaming devices to determine adherence of the devices to gaming jurisdictional rules may be included in the system In one embodiment, a gaming jurisdictional rule server may scan software and the configurations of the software on a number of gaming devices in communication with the gaming rule server to determine whether the software on the gaming devices is valid for use in the gaming jurisdiction where the gaming device is located.

For example, the gaming rule server may request a digital signature, such as CRC's, of particular software components and compare them with an approved digital signature value stored on the gaming jurisdictional rule server. Further, the gaming jurisdictional rule server may scan the remote gaming device to determine whether the software is configured in a manner that is acceptable to the gaming jurisdiction where the gaming device is located.

For example, a maximum bet limit may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and the rule enforcement server may scan a gaming device to determine its current software configuration and its location and then compare the configuration on the gaming device with approved parameters for its location.

A gaming jurisdiction may include rules that describe how game software may be downloaded and licensed. The gaming jurisdictional rule server may scan download transaction records and licensing records on a gaming device to determine whether the download and licensing was carried out in a manner that is acceptable to the gaming jurisdiction in which the gaming device is located.

In general, the game jurisdictional rule server may be utilized to confirm compliance to any gaming rules passed by a gaming jurisdiction when the information needed to determine rule compliance is remotely accessible to the server. Game software, firmware or hardware residing a particular gaming device may also be used to check for compliance with local gaming jurisdictional rules. In one embodiment, when a gaming device is installed in a particular gaming jurisdiction, a software program including jurisdiction rule information may be downloaded to a secure memory location on a gaming machine or the jurisdiction rule information may be downloaded as data and utilized by a program on the gaming machine.

In another embodiment, the software program for ensuring compliance and jurisdictional information may be installed in the gaming machine prior to its shipping, such as at the factory where the gaming machine is manufactured. As an example, trusted encryption programs and authentication programs may be stored on an EPROM on the gaming machine or encoded into a specialized encryption chip.

As another example, trusted game software, i. In example embodiments, the devices may be connected by a network with different types of hardware using different hardware architectures. Game software can be quite large and frequent downloads can place a significant burden on a network, which may slow information transfer speeds on the network. For game-on-demand services that require frequent downloads of game software in a network, efficient downloading is essential for the service to viable.

Thus, in example embodiments, network efficient devices may be used to actively monitor and maintain network efficiency. For instance, software locators may be used to locate nearby locations of game software for peer-to-peer transfers of game software.

In another example, network traffic may be monitored and downloads may be actively rerouted to maintain network efficiency. One or more devices in example embodiments may provide game software and game licensing related auditing, billing and reconciliation reports to server For example, a software licensing billing server may generate a bill for a gaming device operator based upon a usage of games over a time period on the gaming devices owned by the operator.

In another example, a software auditing server may provide reports on game software downloads to various gaming devices in the gaming system and current configurations of the game software on these gaming devices. At particular time intervals, the software auditing server may also request software configurations from a number of gaming devices in the gaming system. The server may then reconcile the software configuration on each gaming device. In one embodiment, the software auditing server may store a record of software configurations on each gaming device at particular times and a record of software download transactions that have occurred on the device.

By applying each of the recorded game software download transactions since a selected time to the software configuration recorded at the selected time, a software configuration is obtained.

The software auditing server may compare the software configuration derived from applying these transactions on a gaming device with a current software configuration obtained from the gaming device.

After the comparison, the software-auditing server may generate a reconciliation report that confirms that the download transaction records are consistent with the current software configuration on the device. The report may also identify any inconsistencies. In another embodiment, both the gaming device and the software auditing server may store a record of the download transactions that have occurred on the gaming device and the software auditing server may reconcile these records.

There are many possible interactions between the components described with respect to FIG. Many of the interactions are coupled. For example, methods used for game licensing may affect methods used for game downloading and vice versa.

For the purposes of explanation, details of a few possible interactions between the components of the system relating to software licensing and software downloads have been described. The descriptions are selected to illustrate particular interactions in the game system These descriptions are provided for the purposes of explanation only and are not intended to limit the scope of example embodiments described herein.

Techniques and mechanisms described herein may sometimes be described in singular form for clarity. However, it should be noted that particular embodiments include multiple iterations of a technique or multiple instantiations of a mechanism unless noted otherwise.

This application incorporates by reference in its entirety and for all purposes U. Although several preferred embodiments of this invention have been described in detail herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these precise embodiments, and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope of spirit of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

Various techniques are disclosed for operating, at a live casino gaming table, a table game having a flat rate play session costing a flat rate price. In at least one embodiment, Flat rate wager-based game play techniques for casino table game environments US B2. The system of claim 1 being further configured to: The system of claim 1 being further configured to automatically suspend the first flat rate table game session for the first player in response to a determination that a second set of criteria has been satisfied.

A The system of claim 1 being further configured to automatically end the first flat rate table game session for the first player in response to a determination that a fourth set of criteria has been satisfied. The system of claim 8 being further configured to: The system of claim 9 wherein the fourth set of criteria includes at least one criteria selected from a group consisting of: The system of claim 9 being further operable to: The method of claim 14 further comprising: The method of claim 21 further comprising: The method of claim 22 wherein the fourth set of criteria includes at least one criteria selected from a group consisting of: The method of claim 22 further comprising: Such events may include, for example, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: Automation of Player Rating Sessions at Gaming Tables Various techniques described herein may be used to automatically determine a player's wagers and time played at a gaming table.

In one embodiment, the common display may be used to: Other security mechanisms for controlling the display of information on a player's display may include, for example: As explained in greater detail below, a PPD may be adapted to perform a variety of functions such as, for example, one or more of the following: For example, PPD may include one or more of the following: At least one processor or CPU In at least one implementation, the processor s may include at least some functionality similar to processor s of FIG.

Memory , which, for example, may include volatile memory e. In at least one implementation, the memory may include at least some functionality similar to memory of FIG. In at least one implementation, the interface s may include functionality similar to interface s of FIG.

For example, in at least one implementation, the wireless communication interface s may be configured or designed to communicate with components of the intelligent gaming table such as, for example, PPD docking regions , remote servers, electronic gaming machines, other wireless devices e. At least one power source In at least one implementation, the power source may include at least one mobile power source for allowing the PPD to operate in a mobile environment.

For example, in one implementation, the battery may be implemented using a rechargeable, thin-film type battery. Further, in embodiments where it is desirable for the PPD to be flexible, the battery may be designed to be flexible.

One or more display s In at least one implementation, display s may be adapted to be flexible or bendable. Additionally, in at least one embodiment the information displayed on display s may utilize e-ink technology such as that available from E Ink Corporation, Cambridge, Mass.

One or more status indicators For example, in one implementation, one or more colored status indicators such as, for example, LEDs may be included on the back portion of a PPD e.

Device driver s which, for example, may include at least some functionality similar to device driver s of FIG. For example, in one implementation, the geolocation module may be adapted to receive GPS signal information for use in determining the position or location of the PPD. In another implementation, the geolocation module may be adapted to receive multiple wireless signals from multiple remote devices e. In one implementation, the User Identification module may be adapted to determine the identity of the current user or owner of the PPD.

option SIM free

According to one embodiment, camera component s may include a plurality of cameras which may comprise charge coupled device CCD cameras or other optical sensors.

In one embodiment, the cameras may provide another way to detect movement of the handheld device both tilt and translation. Additionally, by using at least two cameras, tilt and translation may be distinguished from each other. In at least one embodiment, when the handheld device is rotated, the magnitude of the movement of the external world to the cameras may be directly related to the magnitude of the rotation of the device.

Thus, for example, in one embodiment, the amount of the rotation can accurately be determined based on such movement of the external world from the perspective of the cameras. However, in at least one embodiment, when the device is translated, the magnitude of the translation may be related to both the magnitude of the movement of the external world to the cameras and to the distance to the objects in the field of view of the cameras.

Accordingly, in at least some embodiments, in order to accurately determine the amount of translation using cameras alone, it may be desirable to obtain some form of information concerning the distance to objects in the camera fields of view. For example, optical camera input may be used to inform the handheld device that no significant motion is taking place.

This could provide a solution to problems of drift which may be inherent in using acceleration data to determine absolute position information for certain device functions. As discussed above, distance information may be useful to determine amount of translation when cameras are being used to detect movement.

In the example of FIG. Other components may also be used to determine distance information. For example, cameras with rangefinding capabilities may be used. In one embodiment, multiple cameras may be utilized on the same side of the handheld device to function as a range-finder using stereopsis.

As shown in the example of FIG. In at least one embodiment, gyro component s may be used in combination with the other components of motion detection device to provide increased accuracy in detecting movement of the handheld device. In at least one embodiment, the motion detection device may include one or more processors e. Processor may comprise a microprocessor, controller or any other suitable computing device or resource, such as a video analysis module for receiving a video stream from each camera.

In some embodiments, the processing described herein with respect to processor of motion detection device may be performed by processor 16 of handheld device 10 or any other suitable processor, including processors located remote to the handheld device. It will be appreciated that, in other embodiments, one or more motion detection devices may include additional, fewer, or different components than those illustrated in FIGS. For example, some embodiments may include a motion detector device with two or three accelerometers and one or more gyros; two or three accelerometers and one or more cameras; or two or three accelerometers and one or more rangefinders, etc.

In addition, the location of the motion detection components on the handheld device may vary for different embodiments. For example, some embodiments may include cameras on different surfaces of a device, while other embodiments may include two cameras on the same surface.

Altering the type, number and location of components of motion detection device may affect the ability of motion detector to detect or accurately measure various types of movement. As indicated above, the type and number of components of motion detectors may vary in different embodiments in order to fulfill particular needs.

Fewer or less accurate components may be used in particular embodiments when it is desired to sacrifice accuracy to reduce manufacturing cost of a handheld device with motion detection capabilities. For example, some handheld devices may only need to detect that the handheld device has been translated and may not need to detect exact amount of such translation to perform desired functions of the handheld device.

In particular embodiments, components described above, such as cameras and rangefinders, may also be used for other purposes by the handheld device than those described above relating to motion detection functionality. Other handheld device embodiments not shown may include different or other components than those illustrated in FIG. For example, handheld device may include, but not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:.

In one embodiment, the motion detection component may be operable to detect gross motion of a user e. Additionally, in at least one embodiment, the motion detection component may further be operable to perform one or more additional functions such as, for example: In other embodiments, at least a portion of these additional functions may be implemented at a remote system or device.

In one embodiment, the handheld device may also be adapted to analyze the detected motion data in order to interpret the gesture or other input data intended by the player. Once interpreted, the handheld device may then transmit the interpreted player input data e. Alternatively, the handheld device may be adapted to transmit information relating to the detected motion data to the game table, and the game table adapted to analyze the detected motion data in order to interpret the gesture or other input data intended by the player.

For example, the interpretation of the detected motion data may be constrained based on one or more of the following criteria or combination thereof: Examples of suitable MEMS accelerometers may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: One embodiment of the Spring Board Accelerometer may be implemented in a manner similar to that of a diving board, in that it may be attached at one end and may be allowed to bend under the influence of gravity.

If desired, a specified amount of mass may be added to the free end. Such a Spring Board Accelerometer embodiment may be used to measure the influence of gravity. For example, according to one embodiment, as gravity bends the board, the distance between the plates of the capacitor decreases e.

For example, if the accelerometer is stationary e. In one embodiment, a graph of this function may be expressed as a cosine function from 0 to pi. According to specific embodiments, spring board accelerometers may be suitable for use as sensors of vibration.

For example, in one embodiment the spring board accelerometer s may be optimized to detect vibration frequencies of less than Hz for use in gesture interpretation analysis.

In one embodiment, it may be preferable that the frequency of detected vibration s e. For example, in at least one embodiment, the length of the spring board and the mass of the spring board may be configured or designed such that the frequency of resonance of the board is greater than Hz. Spring board accelerometers may also be suitable for use as sensors of impacts since, for example, such devices may be configured or designed to detect and withstand relatively fast accelerations e.

For example, fast acceleration in one plane may result in the board bending until its limits are encountered. Such devices may be suitable for use as sensors for measuring tilt of an object.

For example, in one embodiment, a spring board accelerometer may be configured or designed to provide an output DC voltage that is proportional to the angle of tilt, acceleration, rotation of an object such as, for example, a portable gaming device or a player's hand or arm. In one implementation, the motion information may include data such as, for example: According to one implementation, analog acceleration data output from the accelerometers may be digitized and fed into a multiplexer and transmitted to a remote device or system such as, for example, a gaming machine, a game table, a remote server, etc.

In one embodiment, the receiver may be implemented as a multi-channel multi-frequency receiver adapted to receive signals from a plurality of different handheld devices. Additionally, the handheld device may be operable to automatically update or change its current operating mode to the selected mode of operation. According to specific embodiments, the handheld device may also be adapted to perform other functions such as, for example, one or more of the following or combination thereof:.

In at least one embodiment, a handheld device may be implemented using conventional mobile electronic devices e. For example, as illustrated in FIG. According to a specific embodiment, the handheld device may be adapted to implement at least a portion of the features associated with the mobile game service system described in U.

For example, in one embodiment, the handheld device may be comprised of a hand-held game service user interface device GSUID and a number of input and output devices.

These game service interfaces may be generated on the display screen by a microprocessor of some type within the GSUID. In addition to the features described above, the handheld device of the present invention may also include additional functionality for displaying, in real-time, filtered information to the user based upon a variety of criteria such as, for example, geolocation information, casino data information, player tracking information, game play information, wager information, motion detection information, gesture interpretation information, etc.

According to specific embodiments, the handheld device may be implemented a wrist bracelet e. According to one embodiment, this wrist bracelet may utilize one or more MEMS Micro Electro Mechanical System accelerometers for sensing or detecting acceleration of the bracelet e. In one embodiment, the transmitted signal s may include data such as, for example: In one embodiment, the serial number may be expressed using alpha-numeric characters, and assigned to the user of the handheld device.

Further, in at least one embodiment, the analog acceleration data may be digitized and fed into a multiplexer. According to a specific embodiment, a receiver used for receiving the motion information from the wrist bracelet may be implemented as a multi-channel, multi-frequency receiver, in order to allow the receiver to receive signals from multiple different transmitters at the same time, for example. In one embodiment, each transmitter may be assigned a dedicated frequency and channel to transmit on.

In other embodiments several different transmitters may be coordinated to transmit their respective data on the same frequency at a different time intervals e.

Alternatively, communication between the transmitters and receiver may be accomplished by assigning different modulation methods for each transmitter. For example, frequency modulation on one frequency may not interfere with amplitude modulation on the same frequency. According to various embodiments, different handheld devices may include different combinations of features which, for example, may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:.

In a first example embodiment, an electronic Black Jack game table may be provided which may be controlled by a master table controller. Each player at the game table may be provided with a respective LCD display. Using an embodiment of a handheld device as described herein, a human dealer may deal a virtual deck of cards, for example, by performing gross hand motions similar to those performed when dealing an actual deck of cards.

The dealt cards may displayed on the LCDs in front of the players. In another example embodiment the operation of a spinning reel game may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device. In other embodiments, the handheld device may be registered or activated for use at a selected remote system e.

For example, in one embodiment, by rocking the top of the handheld device back toward the player, the reels may be cocked.

In one embodiment, the cocking of a reel may include moving the reel backwards about one half of a stop. Tilting the handheld device forward may initiate spinning of the reels. In one embodiment, the reels may automatically coast to a stop with the winning reel positions on the selected pay lines and the winner may be paid accordingly. In another example embodiment, the operation of a dice game may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device. According to one embodiment, a player may simulate the shaking of virtual dice by performing a shaking gesture at the handheld device.

The player may execute or initiate the dice throw, for example, by performing a gesture with the handheld device which simulates a dice throw gesture e.

In one embodiment, the dice may automatically stop tumbling, and the winning bets may be paid. In another example embodiment the operation of a roulette wheel may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device. In one embodiment, the player may perform additional movements or gestures at the handheld device to initiate launching of the roulette ball into the roulette wheel.

In one embodiment, the roulette wheel may automatically slow down to allow the ball to land in one of the numbered positions on the roulette wheel. The winning bets may then be paid.

In another example embodiment the operation of a card game may be facilitated via the use of the handheld device. In one embodiment, real or virtual cards may be dealt, and a player may perform movements or gestures at his or her handheld device in order to input game play instructions. For example, in one embodiment, the player may rock the handheld device forward to discard a card, rock the handheld device to the right to select the next card to the right, rock the handheld device to the left to select the next card to the left.

After all card selections have been made, the user may perform one or more other gestures at the handheld device to advance the game to the next state.

Such raw data may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: If the handheld device includes more, fewer or different motion detection components as may be the case in some embodiments, the raw data may correspond to the components which are included. In at least one embodiment, the raw data may be processed at one or more processors e.

In at least one embodiment, the motion detection output data may include translation data e. In one embodiment, the motion detection output data may be provided to one or more additional processors e. In at least one embodiment, the movement data may be processed to yield an output indicating movement of the handheld device. Other embodiments may include other types of movement data, such as, for example, optical or camera data, gyro data, rangefinder data, etc. In at least one embodiment, detected movement along the identified dominant axis may be augmented or modified, for example, in order to increase it's significance with respect to particular application s.

For example, in one embodiment, if the identified dominant axis of motion is the x-axis, then the movement along the x-axis may be augmented x. If the identified dominant axis of motion is the y-axis, then the movement along the y-axis may be augmented y.

If the identified dominant axis of motion is the z-axis, then the movement along the z-axis may be augmented z. In some embodiments, it may be desirable to select two axes as the dominant or primary axes. In such embodiments, detected movement along each of the identified dominant axes may be individually augmented. According to specific embodiments, the amount or degree of augmentation of movement in the dominant axis of motion may vary in different embodiments, for example, according to the application s being utilized or other characteristics.

According to specific embodiments, movement along axes other than the dominant axis of motion may also be augmented e.

As shown at , the augmented movement s may be processed to yield device behavior information According to specific embodiments, such processing may include accessing an application to determine the particular device behavior s to perform based on the augmented movement s.

Augmented movement s may yield different types of device behavior s based, for example, on specific application s , specific user s , specific environment s , etc.

For particular user interfaces utilizing motion input, there may be value in displaying the relative location or position of the handheld device e. For example, in particular embodiments using translation-based input such as for navigating a map displayed at the handheld device, the position of the handheld device may directly determine the portion of the map displayed at display However, if device position information is kept in absolute terms e.

For example, if a zero point is defined when the handheld device is at a point A, then motion between point A and a point B may be used as input. Particularly useful applications of setting a zero point may include external behaviors such as moving the virtual display or locating applications in the space around a user's body.

Setting a zero point also addresses internal behaviors such as instructing the handheld device to ignore the gravitational acceleration at the current orientation to allow the handheld device to act only on additional, and presumably user generated, accelerations.

Handheld devices according to particular embodiments may include application user interfaces that utilize motion input only at certain times. Particular embodiments thus allow for the selective engagement and disengagement of the motion sensitivity of the handheld device. As an example, a motion response module which modifies display based on motion detected by one or more motion detection components of the handheld device, may have a mode of operation in which it awaits a trigger for switching to another mode of operation in which motion sensitivity is enabled.

According to a specific embodiment, when motion sensitivity is not enabled, motion of the handheld device may be disregarded. The trigger may also set a zero-point for the handheld device.

When the zero-point is set, the motion response module may measure a baseline orientation of the handheld device based, for example, on measurement from motion detection components.

The baseline orientation may comprise the position of the handheld device determined, for example, from information from motion detector components when the trigger is received.

Future movement of the handheld device may be compared against the baseline orientation to determine the functions to perform or the modifications which should be made to displayed information e. Such actions may include, for example, the pressing of a key on input, moving device in a particular way e.

In some embodiments, a period of inactivity or minimal activity i. In one embodiment, the Zero Point Setting Procedure may be initiated for the passive setting of a zero-point for a handheld device. As shown at , at least one action or operation may be initiated to determine whether any detected acceleration change exceeds one or more specified threshold value s. For example, in one embodiment, if detected acceleration change along each or selected axes of the three axes is not greater than a predetermined threshold, then the handheld device may be considered to be at rest, and a zero-point may be set in response.

In at least one embodiment, if detected acceleration changes along one or more specified axes is greater than predetermined threshold value s , then it may be determined that the handheld device is not currently at rest, and no zero point set.

In one embodiment, the technique of passively setting a zero-point may help to ensure that when the handheld device is at rest, a zero point is able to be set. In at least one embodiment, the threshold values may be used to determine whether an acceleration change is high enough so as to trigger or not to trigger the setting of a zero-point.

For example, in one embodiment, a user is able to passively set the zero point by holding the handheld device relatively still for a predetermined time period. It should be understood that, in at least some other embodiments, similar techniques may be used in connection with motion detector components other than accelerometers.

Thresholds may also be used in such similar methods to account for small, unintended movements that may otherwise prevent setting of a zero point. Particular embodiments may include functionality for allowing a user to repeatedly selectively engage and disengage the motion sensitivity of the handheld device in order to allow greater movement through a virtual desktop or information space using motion input.

Such functionality may be useful, for example, in environments where there is a limited amount of physical space available for the user to move the handheld device. Lifting the mouse breaks the connection between the motion of the mouse and the motion of the cursor. In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may be operable to automatically and dynamically adapt its interpretation of motion input data based upon various types of feedback data.

At it is assumed that raw motion data is received at handheld device. As described above, the raw motion data may be generated by any combination of accelerometers, gyros, cameras, rangefinders or any other suitable motion detection components. At , the raw motion data is processed to produce a motion detector output indicative of the motion of the handheld device.

Such processing may include various filtering techniques and fusion of data from multiple detection components. At , the handheld device state or operating mode may be checked. In some embodiments the feedback for a particular motion may depend on the state or mode of operation of the handheld device when the motion is received.

Example device states may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:. At , the motion detector output may analyzed with respect to the current state or mode of operation of the handheld device. At , a determination is made as to whether the motion indicated by the motion detector output is meaningful or otherwise recognizable given the current state or operating mode of the handheld device.

For example, a particular gesture may be interpreted as corresponding to a certain function or set of functions in one mode of operation e.

In one embodiment, if it is determined that the gesture is recognizable or meaningful in light of the state or operating mode of the handheld device, then appropriate feedback may be provided In some cases the feedback may merely be an indication that the handheld device recognizes the gesture given the current state or mode of operation of the handheld device. In other cases, the feedback may include a further query for additional input, for example, if the user was utilizing a particular application of the handheld device that provided for a series of inputs to perform one or more functions.

As shown at , the handheld device may behave in accordance with a response to the gesture e. According to at least one embodiment, if it is determined e.

This determination may be made, for example, to determine whether particular motion input was, for example, intended to be a gesture. According to specific embodiments, the threshold criteria may include various types of information such as, for example: If, however, the motion input does meet or exceed specific threshold criteria, then it may be possible that a gesture had been intended but was not recognized.

Accordingly, as shown at , appropriate feedback may be provided. It will be appreciated that at least some other embodiments may not include at least some of the operations described in the example of FIG. Further, at least some embodiments may utilize different types of motion input feedback e. For example, in at least some situations where particular user movements or gestures are detected, but are not able to be interpreted e.

For example, in one example, the handheld device may display the following message to the user: In at least one embodiment, the user may select one of the candidates suggested by the handheld device, or may provide additional input relating to a new or different interpretation e. Some applications which may be operable to utilize gesture input e. In at least one embodiment, some form of authentication may be implemented to authenticate a player or user of the handheld device, such as, for example, a personal identification numbers PINs , credit card information, player tracking information, etc.

Another form of authentication may include a user's written signature, and at least some embodiments described herein may utilize motion input e.

According to specific embodiments, a written signature e. Additionally, at least a portion of the spatial signatures may be recorded with varying degrees of precision e. In some embodiments, the process for recognizing a spatial signature may involve pattern recognition and learning algorithms.

The process may analyze relative timings of key accelerations associated with the signature. These may correspond to starts and stops of motions, curves in motions and other motion characteristics. In some cases, some hash of a data set of a points of a signature motion may be stored, and subsequent signatures may be compared against the hash for recognition.

This may further verify if the signature was genuine by determining whether it was unique. For example, in particular embodiments, a signature may be detected e. Such comparison may be made by comparing a sequence of accelerations of the movement with a predetermined sequence of accelerations of a stored spatial signature.

In at least some embodiments, this determination may be made regardless of the scale of the user's input motion signature. Further, in at least some embodiments, the handheld device may be operable to detect whether motion of the handheld device matches a signature by determining whether positions of the handheld device in motion e.

According to one embodiment, handheld device may detect motion of the handheld device, and may generate raw motion data via one or more motion detection components, such as, for example, accelerometers, cameras, rangefinders, gyros, etc. The raw motion data may be processed at the handheld device. Particular databases such as, for example, gesture and gesture mapping databases may be accessed to determine matching gesture s and intended function s based on motion tracked by a control module of the handheld device.

In some embodiments, a user of device may indicate to device e. For example, a user may use input of handheld device e. In yet other embodiments, the intended recipient e. For example, in at least some embodiments where a user of the handheld device is participating in or desires to participate in game play at a selected game table or selected gaming machine, the handheld device may be operable to provide the user's gesture input information to the selected game table or selected gaming machine.

According to specific embodiments. While motion input for handheld device may be used for interactions with other devices, other types of input mechanisms may also be used such as, for example, other types of input mechanisms described herein. According to specific embodiments, handheld device may be operable to detect motion of the handheld device via motion detection components, and may be operable to modify its behavior in some way according to the motion detected.

Further, in at least some embodiments, at least some handheld devices may be operable to model of their particular environments and subsequently modify their behaviors based on such environments. As an example, if a handheld device changes its behavior when moved according to a particular gesture, that may be considered sensing or detecting a particular motion and reacting based on the motion detected.

In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may be operable to detect environmental conditions associated with a location of the handheld device.

According to specific embodiments, environmental modeling may not require an immediate response to a user input. The behavior implemented based on the environment modeled may also change based on a particular application in use or in focus.

In some cases, the handheld device may change its sensitivity to particular motions based on the environment modeled. As an example, a handheld device may recognize e. Such recognition may result from a determination that the handheld device is not moving, or still, with a static 1 g of acceleration orthogonal to a surface.

The handheld device may be able to differentiate resting on a table from resting in a user's hand, for example, because a user's hand typically will not be able to hold the handheld device perfectly still. The handheld device may, in response, behave in a certain manner according to the recognition that it is at rest on an approximately horizontal surface.

For example, if handheld device recognized that it was lying at rest on a table, it may power off or go into standby mode or power save mode in response to determining that it has been lying in such position for a specified amount of time. As another example, a cellular phone in a vibrate mode may vibrate more gently if it recognizes it is on a table upon receipt of a call or upon any other event that may trigger vibration of the phone.

If, on the other hand, the cellular phone is engaged in an active call and is placed face down on the table, it may enter a mute mode. As another example, handheld device may recognize through a brief period of approximately 0 g that it is in free-fall, and in response may behave accordingly to reduce damage due to impending impact with the ground or another surface.

In particular embodiments, non-hand-held devices or devices that do not otherwise detect motion for input may also be able to model their environment and to behave based on the environment modeled. As an additional example, acceleration patterns may be detected to recognize that a handheld device is in a moving environment e. If handheld device comprised a device that utilized a cradle for syncing up with another device, such as a PC, then device may recognize that it is in the cradle based on its stillness or supported state and its particular orientation.

The handheld device may then operate or function according to its state of being in the cradle e. In at least one embodiment, the environmental process may be implemented at an appropriately configured handheld device.

At , it is assumed that raw motion data is received at the handheld device. At , the raw motion data is processed. For example, as illustrated in the example of FIG. It will be appreciated that the example of FIG. In at least some embodiments, the determined orientations may comprise an orientation of the handheld device with respect to particular reference criteria such as, for example, the direction of gravity.

At one or more actions may be initiated in order to determine environment data relating to the handheld device. According to specific embodiments, different types of environments may be determined based, for example, on motion and orientation data e. At , the determined environment may be mapped to a particular behavior. In one embodiment, the mapped behavior may be based on various criteria in addition to the determined environment.

Examples of such criteria may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: For example, the behavior according to a particular modeled environment may include engaging a mute function of the handheld device e.

In one embodiment, the mute behavior indicated at may be implemented, for example, when the handheld device has engaged its cellular phone functionality, and its environment e. In one embodiment, the powering down chips behavior at may be implemented when the environment e. In one embodiment, the increasing a motion activation threshold behavior at may be implemented when a handheld device's environment e.

Other embodiments may include a variety of other types of behaviors which may be mapped to one or more modeled environments. As shown at , the handheld device may be operable to behave according to the behavior s to which its environment has been mapped e. In particular embodiments, gestures used as motion input for the handheld device may comprise pre-existing symbols, such as letters of the alphabet, picture symbols or any other alphanumeric character or pictographic symbol or representation.

For example, gestures used as motion input may mimic upper and lower case members of an alphabet in any language, Arabic and Roman numerals and shorthand symbols. Other types of gestures used as motion input may mimic player motions or movements during various types of game play activities such as, for example player movements which may occur during play of various types of wager based games such as blackjack, poker, baccarat, craps, roulette, slots, etc. Using preexisting gestures for handheld device input may facilitate the learning process for users with respect to gesture motion interfaces.

At , the handheld device may process the raw motion data, for example, to determine the actual motion of the handheld device. In one embodiment, the actual motion of the handheld device may be matched to a series of accelerations of one of the gestures of the gesture database.

Accordingly, in one embodiment, the handheld device may respond by transmitting instructions to the gaming machine to commence spinning of its reels. In some embodiments, one gesture may be mapped to the same function for all applications, while other gestures may be mapped to different functions for different applications. At , the handheld device may initiate behavior in accordance with the mapped gesture or mapped function.

According to specific embodiments, gestures used as motion input via a handheld device may have different meanings e. The ability for a particular gesture to be mapped to different commands depending on the context increases the utility of the handheld device.

Additionally, in at least some embodiments, handheld devices may be able to utilize less sophisticated or fewer motion detection components if gestures are mapped to different commands depending on the context. As an example, a handheld device may include particular motion detection components such that the handheld device may only be able to recognize and distinguish between a predetermined number e.

In one embodiment, if each gesture is mapable to a different behavior for each of four different applications, then the ability to only recognize twenty unique gestures may provide eighty different behaviors at the handheld device e. At it is assumed that an indication is received from a user for gesture creation.

According to specific embodiments, the indication may be received in any of a variety of ways using one or more different types of input formats e. At , the user may move the handheld device according to a specific user-created gesture such that raw motion data for the user-created gesture is received at the handheld device. In one embodiment, the sequence of accelerations may be measured with reference to a base reference position.

At at least a portion of the recorded raw motion data may be processed, for example, in order to determine one or more motions to be associated with the raw motion data.

At , the motion is stored as a gesture, for example, at a gesture database. In particular embodiments, the indication for gesture creation may be received after the user moves the handheld device according to a user-created gesture.

For example, the user may move the handheld device according to a user-created gesture that is currently unrecognizable by the handheld device. The handheld device may query the user to determine if the user desires to store the unrecognized gesture for a particular function. The user may respond in the affirmative so that the user may utilize the gesture as motion input in the future.

At , function mapping information for the gesture may be received from the user. In particular embodiments, such function mapping information may comprise a series of functions e. For example, according to one embodiment, a given gesture may be mapped to a first set of user input instructions if the user is playing blackjack, and may be mapped to a second set of user input instructions if the user is playing craps. In some cases, a user may desire to map different gestures to different keys or keystrokes of the handheld device.

One example of mapping a series of functions to a gesture may include mapping a long string of characters to a gesture. At , the function mapping information may be stored, for example, at a function database or gesture mapping database. It will be appreciated that, it may be difficult for a user to move handheld device in the same precise manner for one or more gestures each time those gestures are to be used as input.

Accordingly, particular embodiments may be operable to allow for varying levels of precision in gesture input. Precision describes how accurately a gesture must be executed in order to constitute a match to a gesture recognized by the handheld device, such as a gesture included in a gesture database accessed by the handheld device.

According to specific embodiments, the closer a user generated motion must match a gesture in a gesture database, the harder it will be to successfully execute such gesture motion.

In particular embodiments movements may be matched to gestures of a gesture database by matching or approximately matching a detected series of accelerations of the movements to those of the gestures of the gesture database. As the precision of gestures required for recognition increases, one may have more gestures at the same level of complexity that may be distinctly recognized.

In particular embodiments, the precision required by handheld device for gesture input may be varied. In some embodiments users may be able to set the level s of precision required for some or all gestures or gestures of one or more gesture spaces. According to specific embodiments, gestures may be recognized by detecting a series of accelerations of the handheld device as the handheld device is moved along a path by a user according to an intended gesture.

In some embodiments, each gesture recognizable by the handheld device, or each gesture of a gesture database, may include a matrix of three-dimensional points. In addition, a user movement intended as a gesture input may include a matrix of three-dimensional points. In one embodiment, the handheld device may compare the matrix of the movement with the matrices of each recognizable gesture or each gesture in the gesture database to interpret or determine the intended gesture.

For example, if a user moves the handheld device such that the movement's matrix correlates to each point of an intended gesture's matrix, then the user may be deemed to have input the intended gesture with perfect precision. As the precision required for gesture input is reduced, the greater the allowable differences between a user gesture movement and an intended gesture of a gesture database for gesture recognition.

At , it is assumed that raw motion data of a particular gesture movement is received at the hand-held device. At , the raw motion data may be processed, for example, to determine the actual motion of the handheld device. At , the actual motion may be mapped to a gesture. According to specific embodiments, the mapping of actual motion s to a gesture may include, for example, accessing a user settings database, which, for example, may include user data e. According to specific embodiments, such user date may include, for example, one or more of the following or combination thereof: According to specific embodiments, user-specific information may be important, for example, because different users of the handheld device may have different settings and motion input characteristics.

In at least one embodiment, user settings database may also include environmental model information e. As discussed above, through environmental modeling, the handheld device can internally represent its environment and the effect that environment is likely to have on gesture recognition.

Additionally, in at least some embodiments, mapping of the actual motion to a gesture may also include accessing a gesture database e. According to at least one embodiment, this may include accessing a function mapping database e. According to specific embodiments, different users may have different mappings of gestures to functions and different user-created functions. According to specific embodiments, other information or criteria may also be used in determining the mapping of a particular gesture to one or more mapable features, such as, for example, user identity information e.

In at least one embodiment, such context information may include one or more of the following or combination thereof: At a - c , the handheld device may initiate the appropriate mapable features which have been mapped to the identified gesture.

In particular embodiments handheld device may comprise digital camera functionality utilizing motion input for at least some of the functions described herein. For example, digital cameras with motion input capabilities may use motion input to flatten menus as discussed above. Motion may be used to zoom in and out of a number of thumbnails of photographs or video clips so that it is easy to select one or more to review.

Virtual desktops may be used to review many thumbnails of many digital photos or video clips or to review many digital photos or video clips by translating the camera or using gestural input. Gestures and simple motions may be used alone or in combination with other interface mechanisms to modify various settings on digital still and video cameras, such as flash settings, type of focus and light sensing mode. Moreover, free fall may be detected to induce the camera to protect itself in some way from damage in an impending collision.

Such protection may include dropping power from some or all parts of the camera, closing the lens cover and retracting the lens. In particular embodiments handheld device may comprise digital or analog watch functionality utilizing motion input for at least some of the functions described herein. For example, watches with motion input capabilities may use motion input to flatten menus as discussed above. In some embodiments, the tapping of the watch or particular gestures may be used to silence the watch.

Other functions may also be accessed through taps, rotations, translations and other more complex gestures. Additional details relating to various aspects of gesture mapping technology are described in U. For purposes of illustration, it is assumed in the example of FIG. As shown in the example embodiment of FIG. In at least one embodiment, the registration request message may include different types of information such as, for example: As shown at 3 the gaming system may process the registration request.

In at least one embodiment, the processing of the registration request may include various types of activities such as, for example, one or more of the following or combinations thereof: At 5 it is assumed that the registration request has been successfully processed at gaming system , and that a registration confirmation message is sent from the gaming system to handheld device In at least one embodiment, the registration confirmation message may include various types of information such as, for example: As shown at 7 , the handheld device may change or update its current mode or state of operation to one which is appropriate for use with the gaming activity being conducted at gaming system In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may utilize information provided by the gaming system to select or determine the appropriate mode of operation of the handheld device.

For example, in one embodiment, the gaming system may correspond to a playing card game table which is currently configured as a blackjack game table. The gaming system may provide gaming system information to the handheld device which indicates to the handheld device that the gaming system is currently configured as a Blackjack game table.

In another embodiment where the gaming system may correspond to a slot-type gaming machine, the gaming system may provide gaming system information to the handheld device which indicates to the handheld device that the gaming system is currently configured as a slot-type gaming machine. Thus, for example, in one embodiment, the same gesture implemented by a player may be interpreted differently by the handheld device, for example, depending upon the type of game currently being played by the player.

At 9 it is assumed that gaming system advances its current game state e. At 11 the gaming system may provide updated game state information to the handheld device In at least one embodiment, the updated game state information may include information relating to a current or active state of game play which is occurring at the gaming system. In the present example, it is assumed, at 13 , that player the current game state at gaming system requires input from the player associated with handheld device In at least one embodiment, the player may perform one or more gestures using the handheld device relating to the player's current game play instructions.

According to different embodiments, a gesture may be defined to include one or more player movements such as, for example, a sequence of player movements. At 17 it is assumed that the handheld device has determined the player's instructions e. In at least one embodiment, the player construction information may include player instructions relating to gaming activities occurring at gaming system As shown at 19 , the gaming system may process the player instructions received from handheld device Additionally, if desired, the information relating to the player's instructions, as well as other desired information such as current game state information, etc.

Such information may be subsequently used, for example, for auditing purposes, player tracking purposes, etc. At 23 the current game state of the game being played at gaming system may be advanced, for example, based at least in part upon the player's instructions provided via handheld device In at least one embodiment, the game state may not advance until specific conditions have been satisfied.

In at least one embodiment, flow may continue e. According to specific embodiments, the inputs allowed via the non-contact interfaces may be regulated in each gaming jurisdiction in which such non-contact interfaces are deployed, and may vary from gaming jurisdiction to gaming jurisdiction. In one embodiment, the game audit trail information may include information suitable for enabling reconstruction of the steps that were executed during selected previously played games as they progressed through one game and into another game.

In at least one embodiment, the game audit trail information may include all steps of a game. Various techniques described herein may be used to automatically determine a player's wagers and time played at a gaming table.

In at least one embodiment, at least a portion of such player tracking information may be provided to a player rating system to be used in performing automated player rating activities associated with the player. In at least one embodiment, various distinctions may be made between player tracking session information and player rating session information.

Thus, for example, in one embodiment, a single player tracking session for a given player may include information relating to the player's gaming activities at multiple different gaming tables. In at least one embodiment, such player tracking session information may include player rating information relating to the player's gaming activities at the different gaming tables.

In at least one embodiment, player tracking information may be characterized as a subset of player tracking information. In at least one embodiment, player tracking information may include at least a portion of such player rating information, but may also include other information which may be used to characterize a player's preferences, habits, non-gaming activities, interests, etc.

Moreover, in at least one embodiment, a separate player rating session for a given player may be initiated and used to track player rating information relating to the player's gaming activities at each different gaming table visited by the player.

Thus, for example, in one embodiment where a player may engage in gaming activities at three different casino gaming tables, three different player rating session may be initiated for that player, wherein each player rating session may be used to track the player's gaming activities at respective gaming table visited by the player.

It will be appreciated that different embodiments of Gaming table Player Rating Session Management Procedures may be implemented at different types of table games, and may include at least some features other than or different from those described with respect to the specific embodiment of FIG.

According to specific embodiments, multiple threads of the Gaming Table Player Rating Session Management Procedure may be simultaneously running at a given gaming table.

For example, in one embodiment, a separate instance or thread of the Gaming table Player Rating Session Management Procedure may be implemented for each player or selected players of a given gaming table. For purposes of illustration, and example of the Gaming Table Player Rating Session Management Procedure will now be explained with reference to gaming table system Such information may be subsequently used, for example, when performing player rating operations associated with Player A.

According to different embodiments, the gaming table system may be operable to automatically initiate or start a new player rating session for a given player e. For example, in one embodiment, a player rating session for Player A may be automatically started in response to detecting the presence of the player at a given player station at the gaming table. In one embodiment, the player rating system may determine the player's identity using the card identifier information.

In another embodiment, the player rating system may determine the player's identity by requesting desired information from a player management system. In one embodiment, once the rating has been started, any or selected wager activities performed by the player may be automatically tracked and associated with that player's rating.

Assuming that the appropriate event or events have been detected for starting a player rating session for a given player e. In at least one embodiment, if an event is detected for suspending Player A's active player rating session, the current or active player rating session for Player A may be suspended e. In one embodiment, during a suspended player rating session, no additional player rating information is logged or tracked for that player.

According to specific embodiments, a variety of different events may be used to trigger the suspension of a player rating session for a given player. In one embodiment, if a player moves to a different player station at the gaming table, the gaming table system may respond by switching or modifying the player station identity associated with that player's player rating session in order to begin tracking information associated with the player's player rating session at the new player station. In at least one embodiment, a suspended player rating session may be resumed or ended, depending upon the detection of one or more appropriate events.

According to specific embodiments, a variety of different events may be used to trigger the resuming of a player rating session for a given player. According to specific embodiments, a variety of different events may be used to trigger the closing of a player rating session for a given player.

According to a specific embodiment, the closing of the Player A player rating session may include determining a current walk amount for Player A. According to various embodiments, different mechanisms may be used to identify and track the number and values of gaming chips which are located within a player's personal space at the gaming table.

In at least one embodiment, such gaming chip tracking functionality allows the tracking of player gaming chips on the table at all or desired times, and not just when a wager is made.

As illustrated in the example of FIG. In this particular embodiment, the intelligent gaming table includes a plurality of electronic displays e. In one embodiment, the plurality of electronic displays may be implemented as separate physical displays which have been mounted into or onto the body of a conventional-type casino gaming table.

In an alternate embodiment, the entire top surface or selected portions thereof of the intelligent gaming table may be implemented as a continuous display, and the electronic displays e. Other embodiments of the intelligent gaming table described herein may resemble conventional-type casino gaming tables which do not include any electronic displays. According to specific embodiments, the intelligent gaming table can be of a variety of common constructions.

For example, table may include a table support trestle having legs which contact an underlying floor to support the intelligent gaming table thereon. The intelligent gaming table may have a table top and perimeter pad which extends fully about a semicircular portion of the table periphery.

The straight, back portion of the periphery is used by the dealer and can be partly or wholly padded as may vary with the particular table chosen.

A playing surface is provided upon the upwardly facing surface of table top upon which participants of the card game play. A plurality of players e. Other card games are alternatively possible, although the system described herein is specifically adapted for playing casino blackjack.

Although not shown in the example of FIG. A money drop slot may be further included to allow the dealer to easily deposit paper money bills thereinto when players purchase gaming chips.

Table can support a system, or form a part of a system for playing card games which is constructed according to specific embodiments described herein. In one implementation, the table control console may be used to facilitate and execute game play operations, table configuration operations, player tracking operations, maintenance and inspection operations, etc. Further, as illustrated in the example of FIG. According to a specific embodiment, the presentation system or display units may be supported upon the upper or playing surface 55 of the intelligent gaming table.

This allows the system to be easily installed upon a variety of differing intelligent gaming tables without extensive modifications being performed. Alternatively, the presentation system can otherwise be mounted upon the intelligent gaming table in a manner which allows participants to view one or more of the displays which form a part of the presentation system.

According to a specific embodiment, the presentation system may be adapted for use by a dealer and multiple players e. According to specific embodiments, the intelligent gaming table may include a plurality of electronic displays e. The player display images are intended to display graphical representations of playing cards e. Additionally, as shown, for example, in FIG.

Various types of information which may be displayed at the common display include, for example: In one embodiment, the common display may be used to:. Player displays may be arranged adjacent to each player seating position. For example, player display D may be adapted for use by player , and player display E may be adapted for use by player In at least one embodiment, the intelligent gaming table displays may include touchscreen functionality for facilitating user interaction.

In at least one implementation, the intelligent gaming table may include one or more sensors e. For example, in one embodiment, a pressure sensor may be provided to the control the display of a player's cards. In this particular embodiment, a player may be required to apply pressure on the pressure sensor in order to cause the player's cards to be display. In one of limitation, a velocity pressure sensor may be utilized to allow for more of the player's display information to be displayed in response to an increase in pressure on the pressure sensor, and to allow for less of the player's display information to be displayed in response to a decrease in the pressure on the pressure sensor.

In a different embodiment, a light sensor may be provided to the control the display of a player's cards. For example, in one implementation, the player's cards may be displayed in response to the light sensor detecting a predefined decrease in the amount of ambient light detected near the display such as, for example, in the situation where the player cups his or her hands over their player display.

In another embodiment, a heat sensor may be provided to the control the display of a player's cards. For example, in one implementation, the player's cards may be displayed in response to the heat sensor detecting a predefined increase in the amount of thermal heat detected near the display such as, for example, in the situation where the player cups his or her hands over their player display.

In another embodiment, a scrolling wheel or other mechanism may be provided to the control the display of a player's cards. For example, in one implementation, the player's cards may be gradually displayed in response to the player rotating the scrolling wheel in a first direction, and may be gradually hidden in response to the player rotating the scrolling wheel in a second e.

Other security mechanisms for controlling the display of information on a player's display may include, for example:. In at least one implementation, a player must position a gaming chip within their respective wagering zone to be considered a participant in the game being played. One aspect described herein relates to a method and apparatus for graphically representing and displaying casino game play data e.

In at least one implementation, a respective personal player device herein referred to as a PPD, e. The battery is used to supply power to operate the devices on the smart card In some embodiments, when it is inserted into a smart card reader of some type, power may also be supplied to the card by the smart card reader.

The smart card may include an operating system of some type that is used to run applications on the smart card. In some embodiments, the operating system for the smart card may be provided by Microsoft Redmond, Wash.

The operating system may be used to manage the execution of gaming applications on the smart card. The operating system and gaming applications may incorporated into the processor as firmware, stored in the memory on the smart card or may be implemented as a combination of firmware in the processor and stored in the memory The processor may be a general purpose microprocessor or a custom microcontroller incorporating gaming specific firmware.

The memory may be flash memory. Some communication protocols may be stored in the memory of the smart card The communication protocols stored in the memory may be added or deleted from the smart card as needed.

Some communication protocols may be stored in the memory of the smart card , and may be added or deleted from the smart card 50 as needed. As explained in greater detail below, a PPD may be adapted to perform a variety of functions such as, for example, one or more of the following:. Other PPD embodiments described herein not shown may include different or other components than those illustrated in FIG. For example, PPD may include one or more of the following:.

Although not illustrated in FIG. For example, in one implementation, a PPD may be adapted to communicate with a remote server to access player account data, for example, to know how much funds are available to the player for wagering.

In at least one implementation, the PPD may also include other functionality such as that provided by PDAs, cell phones, or other mobile computing devices.

In at least one embodiment, a PPD may be implemented using conventional mobile electronic devices e. In at least one implementation, a player is able to view the cards of his or her hand on a display of that player's PPD. According to a specific embodiment, the PPD may also be adapted to implement at least a portion of the features associated with other mobile devices such as those described, for example, in one or more of the following references, each of which being incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes: Returning to the example of FIG.

In one implementation, a separate PPD docking region is provided at each player station at the intelligent gaming table. In at least one embodiment, the PPD docking regions may be part of a casino gaming network which, for example, may include one or more of: The communication links may transmit electrical, electromagnetic or optical signals which carry digital data streams or analog signals representing various types of information.

It will be appreciated that, in other embodiments, various combinations of PPDs and player displays may be used. For example, in some embodiments of the intelligent gaming tables described herein, all playing card related activity may be implemented using PPDs. In at least some of these embodiments, the player displays e.

In other embodiments of the intelligent gaming table, the player displays e. In at least one implementation, a dealer at a intelligent gaming table may have access to multiple PPDs which have not been yet been activated or registered to a particular player.

A variety of different security-related features may be implemented at the intelligent gaming table in order, for example, to address various issues such as player cheating, PPD tampering, unwanted or accidental viewing of player's cards, unauthorized use of player tracking or account data, etc.

In one embodiment, a player may possess his or her own PPD which has been registered for that player's exclusive use. For example, the PPD may be registered and linked to the player's player tracking account. In at least one implementation, the player may carry his PPD with him and use his PPD for game play at any authorized intelligent gaming table.

For example, in one implementation, before game play begins, a player at player station may be required to place his or her PPD within that station's PPD docking region In an alternate embodiment, one or more sensors or components at the player station may automatically detect the presence of a PPD within a predetermined range or distance e.

For example, if a player with a PPD in her pocket sits down at seat of player station , the intelligent gaming table may automatically detect the presence of the PPD and associate it's location with player station According to a specific embodiment, once the game play begins, a pairing mechanism may be established between the player's PPD and PPD docking region In one implementation, such pairing mechanism may result in the PPD being unable to communicate with any other PPD docking region at the intelligent gaming table during the game play e.

According to a specific embodiment, one mechanism for implementing such security features is via the use of near-field magnetic communication technology. For example, in one implementation, at least one communication channel between a PPD and its associated PPD docking station may be implemented using a near-field communication protocol which has been adapted to allow a bi-directional communication between the PPD and the PPD docking station within a range of up to 5 feet.

When the PPD is moved to a location more than 5 feet from the PPD docking station, the near-field communication channel will go down, and in response, the PPD may be adapted implement one or more appropriate responses such as, for example, suspending or ending the active player tracking session.

When the PPD is moved to a location within 5 feet from the PPD docking station, the near-field communication channel may be re-established, and in response, the PPD may be adapted to implement one or more other appropriate responses such as, for example, resuming a suspended player tracking session, merging data from one or more player tracking sessions, initiating a new player tracking session, etc.

It will be appreciated that intelligent gaming table is but one example from a wide range of intelligent gaming table designs on which the present invention may be implemented.

For example, not all suitable intelligent gaming tables have electronic displays or player tracking features. Further, some intelligent gaming tables may include a single display, while others may include multiple displays. Other intelligent gaming tables may not include any displays.

As another example, a game may be generated on a host computer and may be displayed on a remote terminal or a remote gaming device.

The remote gaming device may be connected to the host computer via a network of some type such as a local area network, a wide area network, an intranet or the Internet. The remote gaming device may be a portable gaming device such as but not limited to a cell phone, a personal digital assistant, and a wireless game player.

Images rendered from gaming environments may be displayed on portable gaming devices that are used to facilitate game play activities at the intelligent gaming table. Further an intelligent gaming table or server may include gaming logic for commanding a remote gaming device to render an image from a virtual camera in 2-D or 3-D gaming environments stored on the remote gaming device and to display the rendered image on a display located on the remote gaming device.

Thus, those of skill in the art will understand that the present invention, as described below, can be deployed on most any intelligent gaming table now available or hereafter developed. Intelligent gaming tables are highly regulated to ensure fairness and, in some cases, intelligent gaming tables may be operable to dispense monetary awards.

Therefore, to satisfy security and regulatory requirements in a gaming environment, hardware and software architectures may be implemented in intelligent gaming tables that differ significantly from those of general-purpose computers.

A description of intelligent gaming tables relative to general-purpose computing machines and some examples of the additional or different components and features found in intelligent gaming tables are described below. At first glance, one might think that adapting PC technologies to the gaming industry would be a simple proposition because both PCs and intelligent gaming tables employ microprocessors that control a variety of devices.

However, because of such reasons as 1 the regulatory requirements that are placed upon intelligent gaming tables, 2 the harsh environment in which intelligent gaming tables operate, 3 security requirements and 4 fault tolerance requirements, adapting PC technologies to an intelligent gaming table can be quite difficult. Further, techniques and methods for solving a problem in the PC industry, such as device compatibility and connectivity issues, might not be adequate in the gaming environment.

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

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

For instance, if a player was shown an award for a table game and, before the award could be provided to the player the power failed, the intelligent gaming table, upon the restoration of power, would return to the state where the award is indicated.

As anyone who has used a PC, knows, PCs are not state machines and a majority of data is usually lost when a malfunction occurs. This requirement affects the software and hardware design on an intelligent gaming table.

A second important difference between intelligent gaming tables and common PC based computer systems is that for regulation purposes, various software which the intelligent gaming table uses to generate table game play activities such as, for example, the electronic shuffling and dealing of cards may be designed to be static and monolithic to prevent cheating by the operator of intelligent gaming table.

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

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

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

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

The intelligent gaming table should have a means to determine if the code it will execute is valid. If the code is not valid, the intelligent gaming table must have a means to prevent the code from being executed.

The code validation requirements in the gaming industry affect both hardware and software designs on intelligent gaming tables. A third important difference between intelligent gaming tables and common PC based computer systems is the number and kinds of peripheral devices used on an intelligent gaming table are not as great as on PC based computer systems.

Traditionally, in the gaming industry, intelligent gaming tables have been relatively simple in the sense that the number of peripheral devices and the number of functions the intelligent gaming table has been limited. Further, in operation, the functionality of intelligent gaming tables were relatively constant once the intelligent gaming table was deployed, i.

This differs from a PC where users will go out and buy different combinations of devices and software from different manufacturers and connect them to a PC to suit their needs depending on a desired application.

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

For instance, monetary devices, such as coin dispensers, bill validators and ticket printers and computing devices that are used to govern the input and output of cash to an intelligent gaming table have security requirements that are not typically addressed in PCs.

Therefore, many PC techniques and methods developed to facilitate device connectivity and device compatibility do not address the emphasis placed on security in the gaming industry. For example, a watchdog timer may be used in International Game Technology IGT intelligent gaming tables to provide a software failure detection mechanism. Should the operating software fail to access the control registers within a preset timeframe, the watchdog timer will timeout and generate a system reset.

Typical watchdog timer circuits include a loadable timeout counter register to allow the operating software to set the timeout interval within a certain range of time. A differentiating feature of the some preferred circuits is that the operating software cannot completely disable the function of the watchdog timer. In other words, the watchdog timer always functions from the time power is applied to the board.

IGT gaming computer platforms preferably use several power supply voltages to operate portions of the computer circuitry. These can be generated in a central power supply or locally on the computer board.

If any of these voltages falls out of the tolerance limits of the circuitry they power, unpredictable operation of the computer may result. Though most modern general-purpose computers include voltage monitoring circuitry, these types of circuits only report voltage status to the operating software. Out of tolerance voltages can cause software malfunction, creating a potential uncontrolled condition in the gaming computer.

Intelligent gaming tables of the present assignee typically have power supplies with tighter voltage margins than that required by the operating circuitry. In addition, the voltage monitoring circuitry implemented in IGT gaming computers typically has two thresholds of control.

The first threshold generates a software event that can be detected by the operating software and an error condition generated. This threshold is triggered when a power supply voltage falls out of the tolerance range of the power supply, but is still within the operating range of the circuitry. The second threshold is set when a power supply voltage falls out of the operating tolerance of the circuitry.

In this case, the circuitry generates a reset, halting operation of the computer. One method of operation for IGT slot machine game software is to use a state machine. Different functions of the game bet, play, result, points in the graphical presentation, etc.

When a game moves from one state to another, critical data regarding the game software is stored in a custom non-volatile memory subsystem. This is critical to ensure the player's wager and credits are preserved and to minimize potential disputes in the event of a malfunction on the gaming machine. In general, the gaming machine does not advance from a first state to a second state until critical information that allows the first state to be reconstructed has been stored.

This feature allows the game to recover operation to the current state of play in the event of a malfunction, loss of power, etc that occurred just prior to the malfunction. In at least one embodiment, the gaming machine is configured or designed to store such critical information using atomic transactions. Generally, an atomic operation in computer science refers to a set of operations that can be combined so that they appear to the rest of the system to be a single operation with only two possible outcomes: As related to data storage, an atomic transaction may be characterized as series of database operations which either all occur, or all do not occur.

A guarantee of atomicity prevents updates to the database occurring only partially, which can result in data corruption. In order to ensure the success of atomic transactions relating to critical information to be stored in the gaming machine memory before a failure event e. Accordingly, battery backed RAM devices are typically used to preserve gaming machine critical data, although other types of non-volatile memory devices may be employed.

These memory devices are typically not used in typical general-purpose computers. Thus, in at least one embodiment, the gaming machine is configured or designed to store critical information in fault-tolerant memory e. Further, in at least one embodiment, the fault-tolerant memory is able to successfully complete all desired atomic transactions e.

In at least one embodiment, the time period of ms represents a maximum amount of time for which sufficient power may be available to the various gaming machine components after a power outage event has occurred at the gaming machine.

As described previously, the gaming machine may not advance from a first state to a second state until critical information that allows the first state to be reconstructed has been atomically stored. After the state of the gaming machine is restored during the play of a game of chance, game play may resume and the game may be completed in a manner that is no different than if the malfunction had not occurred.

Thus, for example, when a malfunction occurs during a game of chance, the gaming machine may be restored to a state in the game of chance just prior to when the malfunction occurred. The restored state may include metering information and graphical information that was displayed on the gaming machine in the state prior to the malfunction. For example, when the malfunction occurs during the play of a card game after the cards have been dealt, the gaming machine may be restored with the cards that were previously displayed as part of the card game.

As another example, a bonus game may be triggered during the play of a game of chance where a player is required to make a number of selections on a video display screen. When a malfunction has occurred after the player has made one or more selections, the gaming machine may be restored to a state that shows the graphical presentation at the just prior to the malfunction including an indication of selections that have already been made by the player.

In general, the gaming machine may be restored to any state in a plurality of states that occur in the game of chance that occurs while the game of chance is played or to states that occur between the play of a game of chance.

Game history information regarding previous games played such as an amount wagered, the outcome of the game and so forth may also be stored in a non-volatile memory device.

The information stored in the non-volatile memory may be detailed enough to reconstruct a portion of the graphical presentation that was previously presented on the intelligent gaming table and the state of the intelligent gaming table e. The game history information may be utilized in the event of a dispute.

For example, a player may decide that in a previous table game that they did not receive credit for an award that they believed they won. Further details of a state based gaming system, recovery from malfunctions and game history are described in U.

Another feature of intelligent gaming tables, such as IGT gaming computers, is that they often include unique interfaces, including serial interfaces, to connect to specific subsystems internal and external to the intelligent gaming table.

In addition, to conserve serial interfaces internally in the intelligent gaming table, serial devices may be connected in a shared, daisy-chain fashion where multiple peripheral devices are connected to a single serial channel. The serial interfaces may be used to transmit information using communication protocols that are unique to the gaming industry.

For example, IGT's Netplex is a proprietary communication protocol used for serial communication between gaming devices. As another example, SAS is a communication protocol used to transmit information, such as metering information, from an intelligent gaming table to a remote device.

Often SAS is used in conjunction with a player tracking system. IGT intelligent gaming tables may alternatively be treated as peripheral devices to a casino communication controller and connected in a shared daisy chain fashion to a single serial interface. In both cases, the peripheral devices are preferably assigned device addresses.

If so, the serial controller circuitry must implement a method to generate or detect unique device addresses. General-purpose computer serial ports are not able to do this. Security monitoring circuits detect intrusion into an IGT intelligent gaming table by monitoring security switches attached to access doors in the intelligent gaming table cabinet.

Preferably, access violations result in suspension of game play and can trigger additional security operations to preserve the current state of game play. These circuits also function when power is off by use of a battery backup.

In power-off operation, these circuits continue to monitor the access doors of the intelligent gaming table. When power is restored, the intelligent gaming table can determine whether any security violations occurred while power was off, e.

This can trigger event log entries and further data authentication operations by the intelligent gaming table software. Trusted memory devices and controlling circuitry are typically designed to not allow modification of the code and data stored in the memory device while the memory device is installed in the intelligent gaming table. The code and data stored in these devices may include authentication algorithms, random number generators, authentication keys, operating system kernels, etc.

The purpose of these trusted memory devices is to provide gaming regulatory authorities a root trusted authority within the computing environment of the intelligent gaming table that can be tracked and verified as original.

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

A few details related to trusted memory devices that may be used in the present invention are described in U. According to a specific implementation, when a trusted information source is in communication with a remote device via a network, the remote device may employ a verification scheme to verify the identity of the trusted information source.

For example, the trusted information source and the remote device may exchange information using public and private encryption keys to verify each other's identities.

In another embodiment described herein, the remote device and the trusted information source may engage in methods using zero knowledge proofs to authenticate each of their respective identities. Details of zero knowledge proofs that may be used with the present invention are described in US publication no. Gaming devices storing trusted information may utilize apparatus or methods to detect and prevent tampering. For instance, trusted information stored in a trusted memory device may be encrypted to prevent its misuse.

In addition, the trusted memory device may be secured behind a locked door. Further, one or more sensors may be coupled to the memory device to detect tampering with the memory device and provide some record of the tampering.

In yet another example, the memory device storing trusted information might be designed to detect tampering attempts and clear or erase itself when an attempt at tampering has been detected. Mass storage devices used in a general purpose computer typically allow code and data to be read from and written to the mass storage device. In an intelligent gaming table environment, modification of the gaming code stored on a mass storage device is strictly controlled and would only be allowed under specific maintenance type events with electronic and physical enablers required.

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

Details using a mass storage device that may be used with the present invention are described, for example, in U. In one implementation, processor and master table controller are included in a logic device enclosed in a logic device housing. The processor may include any conventional processor or logic device configured to execute software allowing various configuration and reconfiguration tasks such as, for example: Peripheral devices may include several device interfaces such as, for example: Such devices may each comprise resources for handling and processing configuration indicia such as a microcontroller that converts voltage levels for one or more scanning devices to signals provided to processor In one embodiment, application software for interfacing with peripheral devices may store instructions such as, for example, how to read indicia from a portable device in a memory device such as, for example, non-volatile memory, hard drive or a flash memory.

In at least one implementation, the intelligent gaming table may include card readers such as used with credit cards, or other identification code reading devices to allow or require player identification in connection with play of the card game and associated recording of game action.

Such a user identification interface can be implemented in the form of a variety of magnetic card readers commercially available for reading a user-specific identification information. The intelligent gaming table may include other types of participant identification mechanisms which may use a fingerprint image, eye blood vessel image reader, or other suitable biological information to confirm identity of the user.

Still further it is possible to provide such participant identification information by having the dealer manually code in the information in response to the player indicating his or her code name or real name.

The intelligent gaming table system also includes memory which may include, for example, volatile memory e. The memory may be configured or designed to store, for example: In one implementation, the master table controller communicates using a serial communication protocol.

A few examples of serial communication protocols that may be used to communicate with the master table controller include but are not limited to USB, RS and Netplex a proprietary protocol developed by IGT, Reno, Nev. A plurality of device drivers may be stored in memory Example of different types of device drivers may include device drivers for intelligent gaming table components, device drivers for peripheral components , etc.

Typically, the device drivers utilize a communication protocol of some type that enables communication with a particular physical device. The device driver abstracts the hardware implementation of a device. For example, a device drive may be written for each type of card reader that may be potentially connected to the intelligent gaming table.

Netplex is a proprietary IGT standard while the others are open standards. According to a specific embodiment, when one type of a particular device is exchanged for another type of the particular device, a new device driver may be loaded from the memory by the processor to allow communication with the device.

For instance, one type of card reader in intelligent gaming table system may be replaced with a second type of card reader where device drivers for both card readers are stored in the memory In some embodiments, the software units stored in the memory may be upgraded as needed.

For instance, when the memory is a hard drive, new games, game options, various new parameters, new settings for existing parameters, new settings for new parameters, device drivers, and new communication protocols may be uploaded to the memory from the master table controller or from some other external device.

In another embodiment, one or more of the memory devices, such as the hard-drive, may be employed in a game software download process from a remote software server.

Sensors may include, for example, optical sensors, pressure sensors, RF sensors, Infrared sensors, image sensors, thermal sensors, biometric sensors, etc. As mentioned previously, such sensors may be used for a variety of functions such as, for example: Alternatively, some of the touch keys may be implemented in another form which are touch sensors such as those provided by a touchscreen display.

Additionally, such input functionality may also be used for allowing players to provide input to other devices in the casino gaming network such as, for example, player tracking systems, side wagering systems, etc. Wireless communication components may include one or more communication interfaces having different architectures and utilizing a variety of protocols such as, for example, Wireless power components may include, for example, components or devices which are operable for providing wireless power to other devices.

For example, in one implementation, the wireless power components may include a magnetic induction system which is adapted to provide wireless power to one or more PPDs at the intelligent gaming table. In one implementation, a PPD docking region may include a wireless power component which is able to recharge a PPD placed within the PPD docking region without requiring metal-to-metal contact.

According to a specific embodiment, Table Control Console may be used to facilitate and execute game play operations, table configuration operations, player tracking operations, maintenance and inspection operations, etc.

In one implementation, the Table Control Console may include at least one display for displaying desired information, such as, for example, programming options which are available in setting up the system and customizing operational parameters to the desired settings for a particular casino or cardroom in which the system is being used.

The Table Control Console may also include a key operated switch which is used to control basic operation of the system and for placing the unit into a programming mode. The key operated switch can provide two levels of access authorization which restricts access by dealers to programming, or additional security requirements can be provided in the software which restricts programming changes to management personnel.

Programming may be input in several different modes. For example, in a specific embodiment where the intelligent gaming table is configured as a blackjack gaming table, programming can be provided using a touch screen display with varying options presented thereon and the programming personnel can set various operational and rules parameters, such as, for example: Control keys may also be used in some forms of the invention to allow various menu options to be displayed and programming options to be selected using the control keys.

Still further it is possible to attach an auxiliary keyboard not shown to the Table Control Console through a keyboard connection port. The auxiliary keyboard can then be used to more easily program the system, or be used in maintenance, diagnostic functions, etc.

According to specific embodiments, the Table Control Console may also include a plurality of dealer operational controls provided in the form of dealer control sensors which, for example, may be implemented via electrical touch keys. The dealer control sensors may be used by the dealer to indicate that desired control functions should take place or further proceed.

For example, different sensors may be used to implement a player's decision to: Other sensors may be used to:. It will be appreciated that other functions may be attributed to other keys or input sensors of various types. For example, in one implementation, at least a portion of the Table Control Console touch keys can be assigned to implement additional functions, such as in changeable soft key assignments during the programming or setup of the system.

The gaming chip sensors may be selected from several different types of sensors. One suitable type of sensor is a weigh cell which senses the presence of a gaming chip thereon so that the master table controller knows at the start of a hand, that a player is participating in the next hand being played.

A variety of weigh cells can be used. Another suitable type of sensor includes optical sensors. Such optical sensors can be photosensitive detectors which use changes in the sensed level of light striking the detectors. For example, in one implementation, the wagering sensor may use ambient light which beams from area lighting of the casino or other room in which it is placed.

When a typical gaming chip is placed in a player's wagering zone e. The detector conveys a suitable electrical signal which indicates that a gaming chip has been placed within the wagering zone A variety of other alternative detectors can also be used. A further type of preferred gaming chip sensor is one which can detect coding included on or in the gaming chips to ascertain the value of the gaming chip or chips being placed by the players into the player wagering zones.

A preferred form of this type of sensor or detector is used to detect an integrated circuit based radio frequency identification RFID unit which is included in or on the gaming chips.

Such sensors are sometimes referred to as radio frequency identification detection or read-write stations. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other memory types, including various computer readable media, may be used for storing and executing program instructions pertaining to the operation described herein. Examples of machine-readable media include, but are not limited to, magnetic media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical media such as CD-ROM disks; magneto-optical media such as floptical disks; and hardware devices that are specially configured to store and perform program instructions, such as read-only memory devices ROM and random access memory RAM.

The invention may also be embodied in a carrier wave traveling over an appropriate medium such as airwaves, optical lines, electric lines, etc. Examples of program instructions include both machine code, such as produced by a compiler, and files including higher level code that may be executed by the computer using an interpreter.

In at least one embodiment, multiple different states may be used to characterize different states or events which occur at the gaming table at any given time. In one embodiment, when faced with ambiguity of game state, a single state embodiment forces a decision such that one valid current game state is chosen. In a multiple state embodiment, multiple possible game states may exist simultaneously at any given time in a game, and at the end of the game or at any point in the middle of the game, the gaming table may analyze the different game states and select one of them based on certain criteria.

Thus, for example, when faced with ambiguity of game state, the multiple state embodiment s allow all potential game states to exist and move forward, thus deferring the decision of choosing one game state to a later point in the game. The multiple game state embodiment s may also be more effective in handling ambiguous data or game state scenarios.

According to specific embodiments, a variety of different entities may be used e. Examples of such entities may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: Examples of various game tracking components may include, but are not limited to: For example, in the case of Blackjack, a key event may include one or more events which indicate a change in the state of a game such as, for example: Depending upon the type of game being played at the gaming table, examples of other possible key events may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:.

According to specific embodiments, player display terminals at a gaming table such as those illustrated, for example, in FIGS. Funds for such game play, in addition to the table game being played, could be provided from the player's personal financial account, such as that described in co-pending U.

Various aspects are directed to methods and apparatus for operating, at a live casino gaming table, a table game having a flat rate play session costing a flat rate price. In some embodiments, some price parameters may include operator selected price parameters. In one embodiment, if a player elects to participate in a flat rate table game session e. In accordance with one embodiment, a player may enter into a contract, wherein the contract specifies the flat rate play session as described above.

In one embodiment, the flat rate play session may span multiple plays e. These multiple plays may be aggregated into intervals or segments of play. Specific embodiments of flat rate play sessions conducted on electronic gaming machines are described, for example, in U. USA1 to Walker et al. It will be appreciated that there are a number of differences between game play at electronic gaming machines and game play at live table games.

Once such difference relates to the fact that, typically, only one player at a time can engage in game play conducted at an electronic gaming machine, whereas multiple players may engage in simultaneous game play at a live table game.

what makes

For example, a user may use input of handheld device e. In yet other embodiments, the intended recipient e. For example, in at least some embodiments where a user of the handheld device is participating in or desires to participate in game play at a selected game table or selected gaming machine, the handheld device may be operable to provide the user's gesture input information to the selected game table or selected gaming machine.

According to specific embodiments. While motion input for handheld device may be used for interactions with other devices, other types of input mechanisms may also be used such as, for example, other types of input mechanisms described herein. According to specific embodiments, handheld device may be operable to detect motion of the handheld device via motion detection components, and may be operable to modify its behavior in some way according to the motion detected.

Further, in at least some embodiments, at least some handheld devices may be operable to model of their particular environments and subsequently modify their behaviors based on such environments. As an example, if a handheld device changes its behavior when moved according to a particular gesture, that may be considered sensing or detecting a particular motion and reacting based on the motion detected.

In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may be operable to detect environmental conditions associated with a location of the handheld device. According to specific embodiments, environmental modeling may not require an immediate response to a user input.

The behavior implemented based on the environment modeled may also change based on a particular application in use or in focus. In some cases, the handheld device may change its sensitivity to particular motions based on the environment modeled. As an example, a handheld device may recognize e. Such recognition may result from a determination that the handheld device is not moving, or still, with a static 1 g of acceleration orthogonal to a surface. The handheld device may be able to differentiate resting on a table from resting in a user's hand, for example, because a user's hand typically will not be able to hold the handheld device perfectly still.

The handheld device may, in response, behave in a certain manner according to the recognition that it is at rest on an approximately horizontal surface. For example, if handheld device recognized that it was lying at rest on a table, it may power off or go into standby mode or power save mode in response to determining that it has been lying in such position for a specified amount of time.

As another example, a cellular phone in a vibrate mode may vibrate more gently if it recognizes it is on a table upon receipt of a call or upon any other event that may trigger vibration of the phone. If, on the other hand, the cellular phone is engaged in an active call and is placed face down on the table, it may enter a mute mode.

As another example, handheld device may recognize through a brief period of approximately 0 g that it is in free-fall, and in response may behave accordingly to reduce damage due to impending impact with the ground or another surface. In particular embodiments, non-hand-held devices or devices that do not otherwise detect motion for input may also be able to model their environment and to behave based on the environment modeled.

As an additional example, acceleration patterns may be detected to recognize that a handheld device is in a moving environment e.

If handheld device comprised a device that utilized a cradle for syncing up with another device, such as a PC, then device may recognize that it is in the cradle based on its stillness or supported state and its particular orientation. The handheld device may then operate or function according to its state of being in the cradle e.

In at least one embodiment, the environmental process may be implemented at an appropriately configured handheld device. At , it is assumed that raw motion data is received at the handheld device.

At , the raw motion data is processed. For example, as illustrated in the example of FIG. It will be appreciated that the example of FIG. In at least some embodiments, the determined orientations may comprise an orientation of the handheld device with respect to particular reference criteria such as, for example, the direction of gravity. At one or more actions may be initiated in order to determine environment data relating to the handheld device.

According to specific embodiments, different types of environments may be determined based, for example, on motion and orientation data e. At , the determined environment may be mapped to a particular behavior. In one embodiment, the mapped behavior may be based on various criteria in addition to the determined environment.

Examples of such criteria may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: For example, the behavior according to a particular modeled environment may include engaging a mute function of the handheld device e. In one embodiment, the mute behavior indicated at may be implemented, for example, when the handheld device has engaged its cellular phone functionality, and its environment e.

In one embodiment, the powering down chips behavior at may be implemented when the environment e. In one embodiment, the increasing a motion activation threshold behavior at may be implemented when a handheld device's environment e. Other embodiments may include a variety of other types of behaviors which may be mapped to one or more modeled environments.

As shown at , the handheld device may be operable to behave according to the behavior s to which its environment has been mapped e. In particular embodiments, gestures used as motion input for the handheld device may comprise pre-existing symbols, such as letters of the alphabet, picture symbols or any other alphanumeric character or pictographic symbol or representation. For example, gestures used as motion input may mimic upper and lower case members of an alphabet in any language, Arabic and Roman numerals and shorthand symbols.

Other types of gestures used as motion input may mimic player motions or movements during various types of game play activities such as, for example player movements which may occur during play of various types of wager based games such as blackjack, poker, baccarat, craps, roulette, slots, etc. Using preexisting gestures for handheld device input may facilitate the learning process for users with respect to gesture motion interfaces.

At , the handheld device may process the raw motion data, for example, to determine the actual motion of the handheld device. In one embodiment, the actual motion of the handheld device may be matched to a series of accelerations of one of the gestures of the gesture database.

Accordingly, in one embodiment, the handheld device may respond by transmitting instructions to the gaming machine to commence spinning of its reels.

In some embodiments, one gesture may be mapped to the same function for all applications, while other gestures may be mapped to different functions for different applications. At , the handheld device may initiate behavior in accordance with the mapped gesture or mapped function.

According to specific embodiments, gestures used as motion input via a handheld device may have different meanings e. The ability for a particular gesture to be mapped to different commands depending on the context increases the utility of the handheld device. Additionally, in at least some embodiments, handheld devices may be able to utilize less sophisticated or fewer motion detection components if gestures are mapped to different commands depending on the context.

As an example, a handheld device may include particular motion detection components such that the handheld device may only be able to recognize and distinguish between a predetermined number e. In one embodiment, if each gesture is mapable to a different behavior for each of four different applications, then the ability to only recognize twenty unique gestures may provide eighty different behaviors at the handheld device e.

At it is assumed that an indication is received from a user for gesture creation. According to specific embodiments, the indication may be received in any of a variety of ways using one or more different types of input formats e. At , the user may move the handheld device according to a specific user-created gesture such that raw motion data for the user-created gesture is received at the handheld device. In one embodiment, the sequence of accelerations may be measured with reference to a base reference position.

At at least a portion of the recorded raw motion data may be processed, for example, in order to determine one or more motions to be associated with the raw motion data. At , the motion is stored as a gesture, for example, at a gesture database. In particular embodiments, the indication for gesture creation may be received after the user moves the handheld device according to a user-created gesture.

For example, the user may move the handheld device according to a user-created gesture that is currently unrecognizable by the handheld device. The handheld device may query the user to determine if the user desires to store the unrecognized gesture for a particular function. The user may respond in the affirmative so that the user may utilize the gesture as motion input in the future. At , function mapping information for the gesture may be received from the user. In particular embodiments, such function mapping information may comprise a series of functions e.

For example, according to one embodiment, a given gesture may be mapped to a first set of user input instructions if the user is playing blackjack, and may be mapped to a second set of user input instructions if the user is playing craps. In some cases, a user may desire to map different gestures to different keys or keystrokes of the handheld device.

One example of mapping a series of functions to a gesture may include mapping a long string of characters to a gesture. At , the function mapping information may be stored, for example, at a function database or gesture mapping database. It will be appreciated that, it may be difficult for a user to move handheld device in the same precise manner for one or more gestures each time those gestures are to be used as input.

Accordingly, particular embodiments may be operable to allow for varying levels of precision in gesture input. Precision describes how accurately a gesture must be executed in order to constitute a match to a gesture recognized by the handheld device, such as a gesture included in a gesture database accessed by the handheld device.

According to specific embodiments, the closer a user generated motion must match a gesture in a gesture database, the harder it will be to successfully execute such gesture motion. In particular embodiments movements may be matched to gestures of a gesture database by matching or approximately matching a detected series of accelerations of the movements to those of the gestures of the gesture database. As the precision of gestures required for recognition increases, one may have more gestures at the same level of complexity that may be distinctly recognized.

In particular embodiments, the precision required by handheld device for gesture input may be varied. In some embodiments users may be able to set the level s of precision required for some or all gestures or gestures of one or more gesture spaces. According to specific embodiments, gestures may be recognized by detecting a series of accelerations of the handheld device as the handheld device is moved along a path by a user according to an intended gesture.

In some embodiments, each gesture recognizable by the handheld device, or each gesture of a gesture database, may include a matrix of three-dimensional points. In addition, a user movement intended as a gesture input may include a matrix of three-dimensional points. In one embodiment, the handheld device may compare the matrix of the movement with the matrices of each recognizable gesture or each gesture in the gesture database to interpret or determine the intended gesture.

For example, if a user moves the handheld device such that the movement's matrix correlates to each point of an intended gesture's matrix, then the user may be deemed to have input the intended gesture with perfect precision.

As the precision required for gesture input is reduced, the greater the allowable differences between a user gesture movement and an intended gesture of a gesture database for gesture recognition. At , it is assumed that raw motion data of a particular gesture movement is received at the hand-held device. At , the raw motion data may be processed, for example, to determine the actual motion of the handheld device.

At , the actual motion may be mapped to a gesture. According to specific embodiments, the mapping of actual motion s to a gesture may include, for example, accessing a user settings database, which, for example, may include user data e.

According to specific embodiments, such user date may include, for example, one or more of the following or combination thereof: According to specific embodiments, user-specific information may be important, for example, because different users of the handheld device may have different settings and motion input characteristics. In at least one embodiment, user settings database may also include environmental model information e.

As discussed above, through environmental modeling, the handheld device can internally represent its environment and the effect that environment is likely to have on gesture recognition.

Additionally, in at least some embodiments, mapping of the actual motion to a gesture may also include accessing a gesture database e. According to at least one embodiment, this may include accessing a function mapping database e. According to specific embodiments, different users may have different mappings of gestures to functions and different user-created functions.

According to specific embodiments, other information or criteria may also be used in determining the mapping of a particular gesture to one or more mapable features, such as, for example, user identity information e. In at least one embodiment, such context information may include one or more of the following or combination thereof: At a - c , the handheld device may initiate the appropriate mapable features which have been mapped to the identified gesture. In particular embodiments handheld device may comprise digital camera functionality utilizing motion input for at least some of the functions described herein.

For example, digital cameras with motion input capabilities may use motion input to flatten menus as discussed above. Motion may be used to zoom in and out of a number of thumbnails of photographs or video clips so that it is easy to select one or more to review. Virtual desktops may be used to review many thumbnails of many digital photos or video clips or to review many digital photos or video clips by translating the camera or using gestural input. Gestures and simple motions may be used alone or in combination with other interface mechanisms to modify various settings on digital still and video cameras, such as flash settings, type of focus and light sensing mode.

Moreover, free fall may be detected to induce the camera to protect itself in some way from damage in an impending collision. Such protection may include dropping power from some or all parts of the camera, closing the lens cover and retracting the lens. In particular embodiments handheld device may comprise digital or analog watch functionality utilizing motion input for at least some of the functions described herein.

For example, watches with motion input capabilities may use motion input to flatten menus as discussed above. In some embodiments, the tapping of the watch or particular gestures may be used to silence the watch.

Other functions may also be accessed through taps, rotations, translations and other more complex gestures. Additional details relating to various aspects of gesture mapping technology are described in U.

For purposes of illustration, it is assumed in the example of FIG. As shown in the example embodiment of FIG. In at least one embodiment, the registration request message may include different types of information such as, for example: As shown at 3 the gaming system may process the registration request.

In at least one embodiment, the processing of the registration request may include various types of activities such as, for example, one or more of the following or combinations thereof: At 5 it is assumed that the registration request has been successfully processed at gaming system , and that a registration confirmation message is sent from the gaming system to handheld device In at least one embodiment, the registration confirmation message may include various types of information such as, for example: As shown at 7 , the handheld device may change or update its current mode or state of operation to one which is appropriate for use with the gaming activity being conducted at gaming system In at least one embodiment, the handheld device may utilize information provided by the gaming system to select or determine the appropriate mode of operation of the handheld device.

For example, in one embodiment, the gaming system may correspond to a playing card game table which is currently configured as a blackjack game table. The gaming system may provide gaming system information to the handheld device which indicates to the handheld device that the gaming system is currently configured as a Blackjack game table.

In another embodiment where the gaming system may correspond to a slot-type gaming machine, the gaming system may provide gaming system information to the handheld device which indicates to the handheld device that the gaming system is currently configured as a slot-type gaming machine.

Thus, for example, in one embodiment, the same gesture implemented by a player may be interpreted differently by the handheld device, for example, depending upon the type of game currently being played by the player. At 9 it is assumed that gaming system advances its current game state e.

At 11 the gaming system may provide updated game state information to the handheld device In at least one embodiment, the updated game state information may include information relating to a current or active state of game play which is occurring at the gaming system. In the present example, it is assumed, at 13 , that player the current game state at gaming system requires input from the player associated with handheld device In at least one embodiment, the player may perform one or more gestures using the handheld device relating to the player's current game play instructions.

According to different embodiments, a gesture may be defined to include one or more player movements such as, for example, a sequence of player movements. At 17 it is assumed that the handheld device has determined the player's instructions e. In at least one embodiment, the player construction information may include player instructions relating to gaming activities occurring at gaming system As shown at 19 , the gaming system may process the player instructions received from handheld device Additionally, if desired, the information relating to the player's instructions, as well as other desired information such as current game state information, etc.

Such information may be subsequently used, for example, for auditing purposes, player tracking purposes, etc. At 23 the current game state of the game being played at gaming system may be advanced, for example, based at least in part upon the player's instructions provided via handheld device In at least one embodiment, the game state may not advance until specific conditions have been satisfied.

In at least one embodiment, flow may continue e. According to specific embodiments, the inputs allowed via the non-contact interfaces may be regulated in each gaming jurisdiction in which such non-contact interfaces are deployed, and may vary from gaming jurisdiction to gaming jurisdiction. In one embodiment, the game audit trail information may include information suitable for enabling reconstruction of the steps that were executed during selected previously played games as they progressed through one game and into another game.

In at least one embodiment, the game audit trail information may include all steps of a game. In at least one embodiment, player input audit trail information may include information describing one or more players' input e. In at least one embodiment, the gaming system may be implemented as a handheld device.

In other embodiments, the gaming system may include a handheld device which is operable to store various types of audit information such as, for example: For instance, as described in more detail herein, the non-contact input interfaces may be operable to provide eye motion recognition, hand motion recognition, voice recognition, etc. In one embodiment, the player profile movement information may be used to verify the identity of a person playing a particular game at the gaming system.

For example, in at least one embodiment, the player profile movement information may be used to characterize a known player's movements and to restrict game play if the current or real-time movement profile of that player changes abruptly or does not match a previously defined movement profile for that player.

In at least one embodiment, the sensor curtain may include a plurality of emitters e. According to one embodiment, when an object is placed within the sensor curtain region, the object can interrupt signals in the region. For example, in the example of FIG. When it is detected that receivers and have not received a signal emitted by emitters and , respectively, the coordinates of object can be determined from the intersection of the two signals.

In one embodiment, the coordinates of the sensor curtain may correspond to coordinates on a display screen. As a player points in a region proximate to the screen, the projection of his or her finger can be detected by the sensor curtain and displayed on the screen.

Although a certain number of emitters and receivers are shown in the example of FIG. In addition, although the sensor curtain is shown in two dimensions, three-dimensional sensors can also be used. For example, in one embodiment not shown , at least two image sensors e. In at least one embodiment, a plurality of different image sensors e. According to one embodiment, a meaningful gesture may be identified if the characteristics of the detected gesture have been determined to have satisfied predefined threshold criteria.

In addition to eye motion recognition devices and hand motion recognition devices, various other non-contact input devices may be used according to various embodiments.

For instance, voice recognition devices can be used to interpret commands, and the like. Furthermore, the voice recognition devices may include features such as echo cancellation, noise cancellation, or the like, to reduce the amount of interference with player input by ambient noises.

Also, unidirectional microphones may be used to reduce the amount of ambient noise detected. In another example, an image recognition system can be used to read lips, sign language, or other movements. Yet another example includes a virtual keyboard or switch panel.

One example of a virtual keyboard that can be used is the Integrated Keyboard Device available from Canesta, Inc. Another example includes a virtual touch screen that can be activated when a player places his or her hands or fingers within a predefined region of space e. In one embodiment, a light curtain may be used to generate the virtual touch screen. In another example, a virtual touch screen may be generated using one or more CCD cameras.

In yet other examples, non-contact interface devices may interact with peripheral devices such as, for example, touchpads, personal digital assistants PDAs , cellphones, pointers, gloves, and the like. In at least some embodiments, a haptic interface may be utilized. In another example, a glove having resistive ink bend sensors can be used. The sensors may be used to relay the position of the glove. In other embodiments ultrasonic tracking may be used to provide the x-y-z coordinates of the glove.

An example of a glove using resistive ink bend sensors is the Nintendo Power Glove, available from Nintendo Co. Various peripheral devices can communicate with the non-contact interface devices by a wireless, or other remote connection. Additionally, at least a portion of the various embodiments described herein may reduce the amount of fatigue that players experience during game play, thereby increasing the players' enjoyment of the gaming activities.

Additional details relating to various aspects of gaming technology are described in U. According to specific embodiments, the non-contact interface techniques described herein may be utilized for different purposes in a variety of different gaming environments. As illustrated in the embodiment of FIG.

According to specific embodiments, the gaming system may be implemented as one of a variety of gaming devices such as, for example, an intelligent game table, a gaming machine, a gaming station, etc. In at least one embodiment, the gaming system may include one or more handheld devices which may be used by various players at the gaming system for conducting game play operations at the gaming system.

In one implementation, processor and master game controller are included in a logic device enclosed in a logic device housing. The processor may include any conventional processor or logic device configured to execute software allowing various configuration and reconfiguration tasks such as, for example: The gaming system also includes memory which may include, for example, volatile memory e. The memory may be configured or designed to store, for example: In one implementation, the master game controller communicates using a serial communication protocol.

A few examples of serial communication protocols that may be used to communicate with the master game controller include but are not limited to USB, RS and Netplex a proprietary protocol developed by IGT, Reno, Nev.

A plurality of device drivers may be stored in memory Example of different types of device drivers may include device drivers for gaming system components, device drivers for peripheral components , etc.

Typically, the device drivers utilize a communication protocol of some type that enables communication with a particular physical device. The device driver abstracts the hardware implementation of a device. For example, a device drive may be written for each type of card reader that may be potentially connected to the gaming system. Netplex is a proprietary IGT standard while the others are open standards.

According to a specific embodiment, when one type of a particular device is exchanged for another type of the particular device, a new device driver may be loaded from the memory by the processor to allow communication with the device. For instance, one type of card reader in gaming system may be replaced with a second type of card reader where device drivers for both card readers are stored in the memory In some embodiments, the software units stored in the memory may be upgraded as needed.

For instance, when the memory is a hard drive, new games, game options, various new parameters, new settings for existing parameters, new settings for new parameters, device drivers, and new communication protocols may be uploaded to the memory from the master game controller or from some other external device.

In another embodiment, one or more of the memory devices, such as the hard-drive, may be employed in a game software download process from a remote software server. Peripheral devices may include several device interfaces such as, for example: Sensors may include, for example, optical sensors, pressure sensors, RF sensors, Infrared sensors, image sensors, thermal sensors, biometric sensors, etc. Such sensors may be used for a variety of functions such as, for example: Alternatively, some of the touch keys may be implemented in another form which are touch sensors such as those provided by a touchscreen display.

Wireless communication components may include one or more communication interfaces having different architectures and utilizing a variety of protocols such as, for example, The communication links may transmit electrical, electromagnetic or optical signals which carry digital data streams or analog signals representing various types of information.

Power distribution components may include, for example, components or devices which are operable for providing wired or wireless power to other devices. For example, in one implementation, the power distribution components may include a magnetic induction system which is adapted to provide wireless power to one or more handheld devices near the gaming system.

In one implementation, a handheld device docking region may be provided which includes a power distribution component that is able to recharge a handheld device without requiring metal-to-metal contact.

Thus, for example, at a game table where handheld devices are being used by multiple players at the game table to convey their game play instructions, the game table may be operable to enable a selected handheld device e. In other embodiments not shown other peripheral devices include: Such devices may each comprise resources for handling and processing configuration indicia such as a microcontroller that converts voltage levels for one or more scanning devices to signals provided to processor In one embodiment, application software for interfacing with peripheral devices may store instructions such as, for example, how to read indicia from a portable device in a memory device such as, for example, non-volatile memory, hard drive or a flash memory.

In at least one implementation, the gaming system may include card readers such as used with credit cards, or other identification code reading devices to allow or require player identification in connection with play of the card game and associated recording of game action. Such a user identification interface can be implemented in the form of a variety of magnetic card readers commercially available for reading a user-specific identification information.

The gaming system may include other types of participant identification mechanisms which may use a fingerprint image, eye blood vessel image reader, or other suitable biological information to confirm identity of the user. Still further it is possible to provide such participant identification information by having the dealer manually code in the information in response to the player indicating his or her code name or real name.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other memory types, including various computer readable media, may be used for storing and executing program instructions pertaining to the operation of various gaming systems described herein.

Examples of machine-readable storage media include, but are not limited to, magnetic media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical media such as CD-ROM disks; magneto-optical media such as floptical disks; and hardware devices that are specially configured to store and perform program instructions, such as read-only memory devices ROM and random access memory RAM. Example embodiments may also be embodied in transmission media such as a carrier wave traveling over an appropriate medium such as airwaves, optical lines, electric lines, etc.

Examples of program instructions include both machine code, such as produced by a compiler, and files including higher level code that may be executed by the computer using an interpreter.

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

At first glance, one might think that adapting PC technologies to the gaming industry would be a simple proposition because both PCs and gaming machines employ microprocessors that control a variety of devices.

However, because of such reasons as 1 the regulatory requirements that are placed upon gaming machines, 2 the harsh environment in which gaming machines operate, 3 security requirements and 4 fault tolerance requirements, adapting PC technologies to a gaming machine can be quite difficult.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The gaming machine should have a means to determine if the code it will execute is valid. If the code is not valid, the gaming machine must have a means to prevent the code from being executed. The code validation requirements in the gaming industry affect both hardware and software designs on gaming machines.

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

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

Therefore, the types of devices connected to a PC may vary greatly from user to user depending in their individual requirements and may vary significantly over time. Although the variety of devices available for a PC may be greater than on a gaming machine, gaming machines still have unique device requirements that differ from a PC, such as device security requirements not usually addressed by PCs. For instance, monetary devices, such as coin dispensers, bill validators and ticket printers and computing devices that are used to govern the input and output of cash to a gaming machine have security requirements that are not typically addressed in PCs.

Therefore, many PC techniques and methods developed to facilitate device connectivity and device compatibility do not address the emphasis placed on security in the gaming industry. For example, a watchdog timer is normally used in International Game Technology IGT gaming machines to provide a software failure detection mechanism.

Should the operating software fail to access the control registers within a preset timeframe, the watchdog timer will timeout and generate a system reset. Typical watchdog timer circuits include a loadable timeout counter register to enable the operating software to set the timeout interval within a certain range of time.

A differentiating feature of the some preferred circuits is that the operating software cannot completely disable the function of the watchdog timer. In other words, the watchdog timer always functions from the time power is applied to the board. IGT gaming computer platforms preferably use several power supply voltages to operate portions of the computer circuitry. These can be generated in a central power supply or locally on the computer board.

If any of these voltages falls out of the tolerance limits of the circuitry they power, unpredictable operation of the computer may result. Though most modern general-purpose computers include voltage monitoring circuitry, these types of circuits only report voltage status to the operating software.

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

The first threshold generates a software event that can be detected by the operating software and an error condition generated. This threshold is triggered when a power supply voltage falls out of the tolerance range of the power supply, but is still within the operating range of the circuitry.

The second threshold is set when a power supply voltage falls out of the operating tolerance of the circuitry. In this case, the circuitry generates a reset, halting operation of the computer. One standard method of operation for IGT slot machine game software is to use a state machine.

Different functions of the game bet, play, result, points in the graphical presentation, etc. When a game moves from one state to another, critical data regarding the game software is stored in a custom non-volatile memory subsystem. This is critical to ensure the player's wager and credits are preserved and to minimize potential disputes in the event of a malfunction on the gaming machine. In general, the gaming machine does not advance from a first state to a second state until critical information that allows the first state to be reconstructed has been stored.

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

In at least one embodiment, the gaming machine is configured or designed to store such critical information using atomic transactions.

Generally, an atomic operation in computer science refers to a set of operations that can be combined so that they appear to the rest of the system to be a single operation with only two possible outcomes: As related to data storage, an atomic transaction may be characterized as series of database operations which either all occur, or all do not occur.

A guarantee of atomicity prevents updates to the database occurring only partially, which can result in data corruption. In order to ensure the success of atomic transactions relating to critical information to be stored in the gaming machine memory before a failure event e.

Accordingly, battery backed RAM devices are typically used to preserve gaming machine critical data, although other types of non-volatile memory devices may be employed. These memory devices are typically not used in typical general-purpose computers. Thus, in at least one embodiment, the gaming machine is configured or designed to store critical information in fault-tolerant memory e.

Further, in at least one embodiment, the fault-tolerant memory is able to successfully complete all desired atomic transactions e. In at least one embodiment, the time period of ms represents a maximum amount of time for which sufficient power may be available to the various gaming machine components after a power outage event has occurred at the gaming machine.

As described previously, the gaming machine may not advance from a first state to a second state until critical information that allows the first state to be reconstructed has been atomically stored.

After the state of the gaming machine is restored during the play of a game of chance, game play may resume and the game may be completed in a manner that is no different than if the malfunction had not occurred. Thus, for example, when a malfunction occurs during a game of chance, the gaming machine may be restored to a state in the game of chance just prior to when the malfunction occurred.

The restored state may include metering information and graphical information that was displayed on the gaming machine in the state prior to the malfunction. For example, when the malfunction occurs during the play of a card game after the cards have been dealt, the gaming machine may be restored with the cards that were previously displayed as part of the card game.

As another example, a bonus game may be triggered during the play of a game of chance where a player is required to make a number of selections on a video display screen. When a malfunction has occurred after the player has made one or more selections, the gaming machine may be restored to a state that shows the graphical presentation at the just prior to the malfunction including an indication of selections that have already been made by the player.

In general, the gaming machine may be restored to any state in a plurality of states that occur in the game of chance that occurs while the game of chance is played or to states that occur between the play of a game of chance. Game history information regarding previous games played such as an amount wagered, the outcome of the game and so forth may also be stored in a non-volatile memory device.

The information stored in the non-volatile memory may be detailed enough to reconstruct a portion of the graphical presentation that was previously presented on the gaming machine and the state of the gaming machine e. The game history information may be utilized in the event of a dispute.

For example, a player may decide that in a previous game of chance that they did not receive credit for an award that they believed they won.

Further details of a state based gaming system, recovery from malfunctions and game history are described in U. Another feature of gaming machines, such as IGT gaming computers, is that they often include unique interfaces, including serial interfaces, to connect to specific subsystems internal and external to the gaming machine. These interfaces may include, for example, Fiber Optic Serial, optically coupled serial interfaces, current loop style serial interfaces, etc.

In addition, to conserve serial interfaces internally in the gaming machine, serial devices may be connected in a shared, daisy-chain fashion where multiple peripheral devices are connected to a single serial channel.

The serial interfaces may be used to transmit information using communication protocols that are unique to the gaming industry. For example, IGT's Netplex is a proprietary communication protocol used for serial communication between gaming devices. As another example, SAS is a communication protocol used to transmit information, such as metering information, from a gaming machine to a remote device. Often SAS is used in conjunction with a player tracking system.

IGT gaming machines may alternatively be treated as peripheral devices to a casino communication controller and connected in a shared daisy chain fashion to a single serial interface. In both cases, the peripheral devices are preferably assigned device addresses.

If so, the serial controller circuitry must implement a method to generate or detect unique device addresses. General-purpose computer serial ports are not able to do this. Security monitoring circuits detect intrusion into an IGT gaming machine by monitoring security switches attached to access doors in the gaming machine cabinet.

Preferably, access violations result in suspension of game play and can trigger additional security operations to preserve the current state of game play. These circuits also function when power is off by use of a battery backup. In power-off operation, these circuits continue to monitor the access doors of the gaming machine. When power is restored, the gaming machine can determine whether any security violations occurred while power was off, e.

This can trigger event log entries and further data authentication operations by the gaming machine software. Trusted memory devices and controlling circuitry are typically designed to not enable modification of the code and data stored in the memory device while the memory device is installed in the gaming machine. The code and data stored in these devices may include authentication algorithms, random number generators, authentication keys, operating system kernels, etc.

The purpose of these trusted memory devices is to provide gaming regulatory authorities a root trusted authority within the computing environment of the gaming machine that can be tracked and verified as original.

This may be accomplished via removal of the trusted memory device from the gaming machine computer and verification of the secure memory device contents is a separate third party verification device.

Once the trusted memory device is verified as authentic, and based on the approval of the verification algorithms included in the trusted device, the gaming machine is enabled to verify the authenticity of additional code and data that may be located in the gaming computer assembly, such as code and data stored on hard disk drives.

A few details related to trusted memory devices that may be used in at least one embodiment described herein are described in U. According to a specific implementation, when a trusted information source is in communication with a remote device via a network, the remote device may employ a verification scheme to verify the identity of the trusted information source.

For example, the trusted information source and the remote device may exchange information using public and private encryption keys to verify each other's identities. In another embodiment of at least one embodiment described herein, the remote device and the trusted information source may engage in methods using zero knowledge proofs to authenticate each of their respective identities.

Gaming devices storing trusted information may utilize apparatus or methods to detect and prevent tampering. For instance, trusted information stored in a trusted memory device may be encrypted to prevent its misuse. In addition, the trusted memory device may be secured behind a locked door.

Further, one or more sensors may be coupled to the memory device to detect tampering with the memory device and provide some record of the tampering. In yet another example, the memory device storing trusted information might be designed to detect tampering attempts and clear or erase itself when an attempt at tampering has been detected. Mass storage devices used in a general purpose computer typically enable code and data to be read from and written to the mass storage device.

In a gaming machine environment, modification of the gaming code stored on a mass storage device is strictly controlled and would only be enabled under specific maintenance type events with electronic and physical enablers required.

Some communication protocols may be stored in the memory of the smart card , and may be added or deleted from the smart card 50 as needed. As explained in greater detail below, a PPD may be adapted to perform a variety of functions such as, for example, one or more of the following:. Other PPD embodiments described herein not shown may include different or other components than those illustrated in FIG. For example, PPD may include one or more of the following:.

Although not illustrated in FIG. For example, in one implementation, a PPD may be adapted to communicate with a remote server to access player account data, for example, to know how much funds are available to the player for wagering. In at least one implementation, the PPD may also include other functionality such as that provided by PDAs, cell phones, or other mobile computing devices.

In at least one embodiment, a PPD may be implemented using conventional mobile electronic devices e. In at least one implementation, a player is able to view the cards of his or her hand on a display of that player's PPD. According to a specific embodiment, the PPD may also be adapted to implement at least a portion of the features associated with other mobile devices such as those described, for example, in one or more of the following references, each of which being incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes: Returning to the example of FIG.

In one implementation, a separate PPD docking region is provided at each player station at the intelligent gaming table. In at least one embodiment, the PPD docking regions may be part of a casino gaming network which, for example, may include one or more of: The communication links may transmit electrical, electromagnetic or optical signals which carry digital data streams or analog signals representing various types of information.

It will be appreciated that, in other embodiments, various combinations of PPDs and player displays may be used. For example, in some embodiments of the intelligent gaming tables described herein, all playing card related activity may be implemented using PPDs. In at least some of these embodiments, the player displays e. In other embodiments of the intelligent gaming table, the player displays e. In at least one implementation, a dealer at a intelligent gaming table may have access to multiple PPDs which have not been yet been activated or registered to a particular player.

A variety of different security-related features may be implemented at the intelligent gaming table in order, for example, to address various issues such as player cheating, PPD tampering, unwanted or accidental viewing of player's cards, unauthorized use of player tracking or account data, etc. In one embodiment, a player may possess his or her own PPD which has been registered for that player's exclusive use. For example, the PPD may be registered and linked to the player's player tracking account.

In at least one implementation, the player may carry his PPD with him and use his PPD for game play at any authorized intelligent gaming table.

For example, in one implementation, before game play begins, a player at player station may be required to place his or her PPD within that station's PPD docking region In an alternate embodiment, one or more sensors or components at the player station may automatically detect the presence of a PPD within a predetermined range or distance e.

For example, if a player with a PPD in her pocket sits down at seat of player station , the intelligent gaming table may automatically detect the presence of the PPD and associate it's location with player station According to a specific embodiment, once the game play begins, a pairing mechanism may be established between the player's PPD and PPD docking region In one implementation, such pairing mechanism may result in the PPD being unable to communicate with any other PPD docking region at the intelligent gaming table during the game play e.

According to a specific embodiment, one mechanism for implementing such security features is via the use of near-field magnetic communication technology. For example, in one implementation, at least one communication channel between a PPD and its associated PPD docking station may be implemented using a near-field communication protocol which has been adapted to allow a bi-directional communication between the PPD and the PPD docking station within a range of up to 5 feet.

When the PPD is moved to a location more than 5 feet from the PPD docking station, the near-field communication channel will go down, and in response, the PPD may be adapted implement one or more appropriate responses such as, for example, suspending or ending the active player tracking session. When the PPD is moved to a location within 5 feet from the PPD docking station, the near-field communication channel may be re-established, and in response, the PPD may be adapted to implement one or more other appropriate responses such as, for example, resuming a suspended player tracking session, merging data from one or more player tracking sessions, initiating a new player tracking session, etc.

It will be appreciated that intelligent gaming table is but one example from a wide range of intelligent gaming table designs on which the present invention may be implemented. For example, not all suitable intelligent gaming tables have electronic displays or player tracking features. Further, some intelligent gaming tables may include a single display, while others may include multiple displays. Other intelligent gaming tables may not include any displays. As another example, a game may be generated on a host computer and may be displayed on a remote terminal or a remote gaming device.

The remote gaming device may be connected to the host computer via a network of some type such as a local area network, a wide area network, an intranet or the Internet. The remote gaming device may be a portable gaming device such as but not limited to a cell phone, a personal digital assistant, and a wireless game player.

Images rendered from gaming environments may be displayed on portable gaming devices that are used to facilitate game play activities at the intelligent gaming table. Further an intelligent gaming table or server may include gaming logic for commanding a remote gaming device to render an image from a virtual camera in 2-D or 3-D gaming environments stored on the remote gaming device and to display the rendered image on a display located on the remote gaming device.

Thus, those of skill in the art will understand that the present invention, as described below, can be deployed on most any intelligent gaming table now available or hereafter developed.

Intelligent gaming tables are highly regulated to ensure fairness and, in some cases, intelligent gaming tables may be operable to dispense monetary awards. Therefore, to satisfy security and regulatory requirements in a gaming environment, hardware and software architectures may be implemented in intelligent gaming tables that differ significantly from those of general-purpose computers.

A description of intelligent gaming tables relative to general-purpose computing machines and some examples of the additional or different components and features found in intelligent gaming tables are described below.

At first glance, one might think that adapting PC technologies to the gaming industry would be a simple proposition because both PCs and intelligent gaming tables employ microprocessors that control a variety of devices.

However, because of such reasons as 1 the regulatory requirements that are placed upon intelligent gaming tables, 2 the harsh environment in which intelligent gaming tables operate, 3 security requirements and 4 fault tolerance requirements, adapting PC technologies to an intelligent gaming table can be quite difficult. Further, techniques and methods for solving a problem in the PC industry, such as device compatibility and connectivity issues, might not be adequate in the gaming environment.

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

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

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

As anyone who has used a PC, knows, PCs are not state machines and a majority of data is usually lost when a malfunction occurs. This requirement affects the software and hardware design on an intelligent gaming table. A second important difference between intelligent gaming tables and common PC based computer systems is that for regulation purposes, various software which the intelligent gaming table uses to generate table game play activities such as, for example, the electronic shuffling and dealing of cards may be designed to be static and monolithic to prevent cheating by the operator of intelligent gaming table.

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

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

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

The intelligent gaming table should have a means to determine if the code it will execute is valid. If the code is not valid, the intelligent gaming table must have a means to prevent the code from being executed. The code validation requirements in the gaming industry affect both hardware and software designs on intelligent gaming tables. A third important difference between intelligent gaming tables and common PC based computer systems is the number and kinds of peripheral devices used on an intelligent gaming table are not as great as on PC based computer systems.

Traditionally, in the gaming industry, intelligent gaming tables have been relatively simple in the sense that the number of peripheral devices and the number of functions the intelligent gaming table has been limited. Further, in operation, the functionality of intelligent gaming tables were relatively constant once the intelligent gaming table was deployed, i. This differs from a PC where users will go out and buy different combinations of devices and software from different manufacturers and connect them to a PC to suit their needs depending on a desired application.

Therefore, the types of devices connected to a PC may vary greatly from user to user depending in their individual requirements and may vary significantly over time. Although the variety of devices available for a PC may be greater than on an intelligent gaming table, intelligent gaming tables still have unique device requirements that differ from a PC, such as device security requirements not usually addressed by PCs. For instance, monetary devices, such as coin dispensers, bill validators and ticket printers and computing devices that are used to govern the input and output of cash to an intelligent gaming table have security requirements that are not typically addressed in PCs.

Therefore, many PC techniques and methods developed to facilitate device connectivity and device compatibility do not address the emphasis placed on security in the gaming industry. For example, a watchdog timer may be used in International Game Technology IGT intelligent gaming tables to provide a software failure detection mechanism. Should the operating software fail to access the control registers within a preset timeframe, the watchdog timer will timeout and generate a system reset.

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

In other words, the watchdog timer always functions from the time power is applied to the board. IGT gaming computer platforms preferably use several power supply voltages to operate portions of the computer circuitry.

These can be generated in a central power supply or locally on the computer board. If any of these voltages falls out of the tolerance limits of the circuitry they power, unpredictable operation of the computer may result. Though most modern general-purpose computers include voltage monitoring circuitry, these types of circuits only report voltage status to the operating software. Out of tolerance voltages can cause software malfunction, creating a potential uncontrolled condition in the gaming computer.

Intelligent gaming tables of the present assignee typically have power supplies with tighter voltage margins than that required by the operating circuitry. In addition, the voltage monitoring circuitry implemented in IGT gaming computers typically has two thresholds of control. The first threshold generates a software event that can be detected by the operating software and an error condition generated. This threshold is triggered when a power supply voltage falls out of the tolerance range of the power supply, but is still within the operating range of the circuitry.

The second threshold is set when a power supply voltage falls out of the operating tolerance of the circuitry. In this case, the circuitry generates a reset, halting operation of the computer. One method of operation for IGT slot machine game software is to use a state machine. Different functions of the game bet, play, result, points in the graphical presentation, etc.

When a game moves from one state to another, critical data regarding the game software is stored in a custom non-volatile memory subsystem. This is critical to ensure the player's wager and credits are preserved and to minimize potential disputes in the event of a malfunction on the gaming machine. In general, the gaming machine does not advance from a first state to a second state until critical information that allows the first state to be reconstructed has been stored.

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

In at least one embodiment, the gaming machine is configured or designed to store such critical information using atomic transactions. Generally, an atomic operation in computer science refers to a set of operations that can be combined so that they appear to the rest of the system to be a single operation with only two possible outcomes: As related to data storage, an atomic transaction may be characterized as series of database operations which either all occur, or all do not occur.

A guarantee of atomicity prevents updates to the database occurring only partially, which can result in data corruption. In order to ensure the success of atomic transactions relating to critical information to be stored in the gaming machine memory before a failure event e. Accordingly, battery backed RAM devices are typically used to preserve gaming machine critical data, although other types of non-volatile memory devices may be employed.

These memory devices are typically not used in typical general-purpose computers. Thus, in at least one embodiment, the gaming machine is configured or designed to store critical information in fault-tolerant memory e.

Further, in at least one embodiment, the fault-tolerant memory is able to successfully complete all desired atomic transactions e. In at least one embodiment, the time period of ms represents a maximum amount of time for which sufficient power may be available to the various gaming machine components after a power outage event has occurred at the gaming machine. As described previously, the gaming machine may not advance from a first state to a second state until critical information that allows the first state to be reconstructed has been atomically stored.

After the state of the gaming machine is restored during the play of a game of chance, game play may resume and the game may be completed in a manner that is no different than if the malfunction had not occurred. Thus, for example, when a malfunction occurs during a game of chance, the gaming machine may be restored to a state in the game of chance just prior to when the malfunction occurred. The restored state may include metering information and graphical information that was displayed on the gaming machine in the state prior to the malfunction.

For example, when the malfunction occurs during the play of a card game after the cards have been dealt, the gaming machine may be restored with the cards that were previously displayed as part of the card game. As another example, a bonus game may be triggered during the play of a game of chance where a player is required to make a number of selections on a video display screen.

When a malfunction has occurred after the player has made one or more selections, the gaming machine may be restored to a state that shows the graphical presentation at the just prior to the malfunction including an indication of selections that have already been made by the player.

In general, the gaming machine may be restored to any state in a plurality of states that occur in the game of chance that occurs while the game of chance is played or to states that occur between the play of a game of chance. Game history information regarding previous games played such as an amount wagered, the outcome of the game and so forth may also be stored in a non-volatile memory device.

The information stored in the non-volatile memory may be detailed enough to reconstruct a portion of the graphical presentation that was previously presented on the intelligent gaming table and the state of the intelligent gaming table e. The game history information may be utilized in the event of a dispute. For example, a player may decide that in a previous table game that they did not receive credit for an award that they believed they won.

Further details of a state based gaming system, recovery from malfunctions and game history are described in U. Another feature of intelligent gaming tables, such as IGT gaming computers, is that they often include unique interfaces, including serial interfaces, to connect to specific subsystems internal and external to the intelligent gaming table.

In addition, to conserve serial interfaces internally in the intelligent gaming table, serial devices may be connected in a shared, daisy-chain fashion where multiple peripheral devices are connected to a single serial channel. The serial interfaces may be used to transmit information using communication protocols that are unique to the gaming industry. For example, IGT's Netplex is a proprietary communication protocol used for serial communication between gaming devices.

As another example, SAS is a communication protocol used to transmit information, such as metering information, from an intelligent gaming table to a remote device.

Often SAS is used in conjunction with a player tracking system. IGT intelligent gaming tables may alternatively be treated as peripheral devices to a casino communication controller and connected in a shared daisy chain fashion to a single serial interface. In both cases, the peripheral devices are preferably assigned device addresses.

If so, the serial controller circuitry must implement a method to generate or detect unique device addresses. General-purpose computer serial ports are not able to do this.

Security monitoring circuits detect intrusion into an IGT intelligent gaming table by monitoring security switches attached to access doors in the intelligent gaming table cabinet. Preferably, access violations result in suspension of game play and can trigger additional security operations to preserve the current state of game play.

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

This can trigger event log entries and further data authentication operations by the intelligent gaming table software.

Trusted memory devices and controlling circuitry are typically designed to not allow modification of the code and data stored in the memory device while the memory device is installed in the intelligent gaming table.

The code and data stored in these devices may include authentication algorithms, random number generators, authentication keys, operating system kernels, etc. The purpose of these trusted memory devices is to provide gaming regulatory authorities a root trusted authority within the computing environment of the intelligent gaming table that can be tracked and verified as original. This may be accomplished via removal of the trusted memory device from the intelligent gaming table computer and verification of the secure memory device contents is a separate third party verification device.

Once the trusted memory device is verified as authentic, and based on the approval of the verification algorithms included in the trusted device, the intelligent gaming table is allowed to verify the authenticity of additional code and data that may be located in the gaming computer assembly, such as code and data stored on hard disk drives.

A few details related to trusted memory devices that may be used in the present invention are described in U. According to a specific implementation, when a trusted information source is in communication with a remote device via a network, the remote device may employ a verification scheme to verify the identity of the trusted information source.

For example, the trusted information source and the remote device may exchange information using public and private encryption keys to verify each other's identities. In another embodiment described herein, the remote device and the trusted information source may engage in methods using zero knowledge proofs to authenticate each of their respective identities. Details of zero knowledge proofs that may be used with the present invention are described in US publication no. Gaming devices storing trusted information may utilize apparatus or methods to detect and prevent tampering.

For instance, trusted information stored in a trusted memory device may be encrypted to prevent its misuse. In addition, the trusted memory device may be secured behind a locked door.

Further, one or more sensors may be coupled to the memory device to detect tampering with the memory device and provide some record of the tampering. In yet another example, the memory device storing trusted information might be designed to detect tampering attempts and clear or erase itself when an attempt at tampering has been detected. Mass storage devices used in a general purpose computer typically allow code and data to be read from and written to the mass storage device.

In an intelligent gaming table environment, modification of the gaming code stored on a mass storage device is strictly controlled and would only be allowed under specific maintenance type events with electronic and physical enablers required.

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

Details using a mass storage device that may be used with the present invention are described, for example, in U. In one implementation, processor and master table controller are included in a logic device enclosed in a logic device housing. The processor may include any conventional processor or logic device configured to execute software allowing various configuration and reconfiguration tasks such as, for example: Peripheral devices may include several device interfaces such as, for example: Such devices may each comprise resources for handling and processing configuration indicia such as a microcontroller that converts voltage levels for one or more scanning devices to signals provided to processor In one embodiment, application software for interfacing with peripheral devices may store instructions such as, for example, how to read indicia from a portable device in a memory device such as, for example, non-volatile memory, hard drive or a flash memory.

In at least one implementation, the intelligent gaming table may include card readers such as used with credit cards, or other identification code reading devices to allow or require player identification in connection with play of the card game and associated recording of game action. Such a user identification interface can be implemented in the form of a variety of magnetic card readers commercially available for reading a user-specific identification information.

The intelligent gaming table may include other types of participant identification mechanisms which may use a fingerprint image, eye blood vessel image reader, or other suitable biological information to confirm identity of the user. Still further it is possible to provide such participant identification information by having the dealer manually code in the information in response to the player indicating his or her code name or real name.

The intelligent gaming table system also includes memory which may include, for example, volatile memory e. The memory may be configured or designed to store, for example: In one implementation, the master table controller communicates using a serial communication protocol.

A few examples of serial communication protocols that may be used to communicate with the master table controller include but are not limited to USB, RS and Netplex a proprietary protocol developed by IGT, Reno, Nev. A plurality of device drivers may be stored in memory Example of different types of device drivers may include device drivers for intelligent gaming table components, device drivers for peripheral components , etc.

Typically, the device drivers utilize a communication protocol of some type that enables communication with a particular physical device. The device driver abstracts the hardware implementation of a device. For example, a device drive may be written for each type of card reader that may be potentially connected to the intelligent gaming table. Netplex is a proprietary IGT standard while the others are open standards.

According to a specific embodiment, when one type of a particular device is exchanged for another type of the particular device, a new device driver may be loaded from the memory by the processor to allow communication with the device.

For instance, one type of card reader in intelligent gaming table system may be replaced with a second type of card reader where device drivers for both card readers are stored in the memory In some embodiments, the software units stored in the memory may be upgraded as needed. For instance, when the memory is a hard drive, new games, game options, various new parameters, new settings for existing parameters, new settings for new parameters, device drivers, and new communication protocols may be uploaded to the memory from the master table controller or from some other external device.

In another embodiment, one or more of the memory devices, such as the hard-drive, may be employed in a game software download process from a remote software server. Sensors may include, for example, optical sensors, pressure sensors, RF sensors, Infrared sensors, image sensors, thermal sensors, biometric sensors, etc. As mentioned previously, such sensors may be used for a variety of functions such as, for example: Alternatively, some of the touch keys may be implemented in another form which are touch sensors such as those provided by a touchscreen display.

Additionally, such input functionality may also be used for allowing players to provide input to other devices in the casino gaming network such as, for example, player tracking systems, side wagering systems, etc. Wireless communication components may include one or more communication interfaces having different architectures and utilizing a variety of protocols such as, for example, Wireless power components may include, for example, components or devices which are operable for providing wireless power to other devices.

For example, in one implementation, the wireless power components may include a magnetic induction system which is adapted to provide wireless power to one or more PPDs at the intelligent gaming table. In one implementation, a PPD docking region may include a wireless power component which is able to recharge a PPD placed within the PPD docking region without requiring metal-to-metal contact.

According to a specific embodiment, Table Control Console may be used to facilitate and execute game play operations, table configuration operations, player tracking operations, maintenance and inspection operations, etc. In one implementation, the Table Control Console may include at least one display for displaying desired information, such as, for example, programming options which are available in setting up the system and customizing operational parameters to the desired settings for a particular casino or cardroom in which the system is being used.

The Table Control Console may also include a key operated switch which is used to control basic operation of the system and for placing the unit into a programming mode. The key operated switch can provide two levels of access authorization which restricts access by dealers to programming, or additional security requirements can be provided in the software which restricts programming changes to management personnel.

Programming may be input in several different modes. For example, in a specific embodiment where the intelligent gaming table is configured as a blackjack gaming table, programming can be provided using a touch screen display with varying options presented thereon and the programming personnel can set various operational and rules parameters, such as, for example: Control keys may also be used in some forms of the invention to allow various menu options to be displayed and programming options to be selected using the control keys.

Still further it is possible to attach an auxiliary keyboard not shown to the Table Control Console through a keyboard connection port. The auxiliary keyboard can then be used to more easily program the system, or be used in maintenance, diagnostic functions, etc. According to specific embodiments, the Table Control Console may also include a plurality of dealer operational controls provided in the form of dealer control sensors which, for example, may be implemented via electrical touch keys.

The dealer control sensors may be used by the dealer to indicate that desired control functions should take place or further proceed. For example, different sensors may be used to implement a player's decision to: Other sensors may be used to:. It will be appreciated that other functions may be attributed to other keys or input sensors of various types.

For example, in one implementation, at least a portion of the Table Control Console touch keys can be assigned to implement additional functions, such as in changeable soft key assignments during the programming or setup of the system. The gaming chip sensors may be selected from several different types of sensors. One suitable type of sensor is a weigh cell which senses the presence of a gaming chip thereon so that the master table controller knows at the start of a hand, that a player is participating in the next hand being played.

A variety of weigh cells can be used. Another suitable type of sensor includes optical sensors. Such optical sensors can be photosensitive detectors which use changes in the sensed level of light striking the detectors. For example, in one implementation, the wagering sensor may use ambient light which beams from area lighting of the casino or other room in which it is placed.

When a typical gaming chip is placed in a player's wagering zone e. The detector conveys a suitable electrical signal which indicates that a gaming chip has been placed within the wagering zone A variety of other alternative detectors can also be used.

A further type of preferred gaming chip sensor is one which can detect coding included on or in the gaming chips to ascertain the value of the gaming chip or chips being placed by the players into the player wagering zones. A preferred form of this type of sensor or detector is used to detect an integrated circuit based radio frequency identification RFID unit which is included in or on the gaming chips. Such sensors are sometimes referred to as radio frequency identification detection or read-write stations.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other memory types, including various computer readable media, may be used for storing and executing program instructions pertaining to the operation described herein. Examples of machine-readable media include, but are not limited to, magnetic media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical media such as CD-ROM disks; magneto-optical media such as floptical disks; and hardware devices that are specially configured to store and perform program instructions, such as read-only memory devices ROM and random access memory RAM.

The invention may also be embodied in a carrier wave traveling over an appropriate medium such as airwaves, optical lines, electric lines, etc. Examples of program instructions include both machine code, such as produced by a compiler, and files including higher level code that may be executed by the computer using an interpreter. In at least one embodiment, multiple different states may be used to characterize different states or events which occur at the gaming table at any given time.

In one embodiment, when faced with ambiguity of game state, a single state embodiment forces a decision such that one valid current game state is chosen. In a multiple state embodiment, multiple possible game states may exist simultaneously at any given time in a game, and at the end of the game or at any point in the middle of the game, the gaming table may analyze the different game states and select one of them based on certain criteria. Thus, for example, when faced with ambiguity of game state, the multiple state embodiment s allow all potential game states to exist and move forward, thus deferring the decision of choosing one game state to a later point in the game.

The multiple game state embodiment s may also be more effective in handling ambiguous data or game state scenarios. According to specific embodiments, a variety of different entities may be used e. Examples of such entities may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof: Examples of various game tracking components may include, but are not limited to: For example, in the case of Blackjack, a key event may include one or more events which indicate a change in the state of a game such as, for example: Depending upon the type of game being played at the gaming table, examples of other possible key events may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combination thereof:.

According to specific embodiments, player display terminals at a gaming table such as those illustrated, for example, in FIGS. Funds for such game play, in addition to the table game being played, could be provided from the player's personal financial account, such as that described in co-pending U. Various aspects are directed to methods and apparatus for operating, at a live casino gaming table, a table game having a flat rate play session costing a flat rate price.

In some embodiments, some price parameters may include operator selected price parameters. In one embodiment, if a player elects to participate in a flat rate table game session e. In accordance with one embodiment, a player may enter into a contract, wherein the contract specifies the flat rate play session as described above. In one embodiment, the flat rate play session may span multiple plays e. These multiple plays may be aggregated into intervals or segments of play.

Specific embodiments of flat rate play sessions conducted on electronic gaming machines are described, for example, in U. USA1 to Walker et al. It will be appreciated that there are a number of differences between game play at electronic gaming machines and game play at live table games. Once such difference relates to the fact that, typically, only one player at a time can engage in game play conducted at an electronic gaming machine, whereas multiple players may engage in simultaneous game play at a live table game.

In at least one embodiment, a live table game may be characterized as a wager-based game which is conducted at a physical gaming table e. In at least one embodiment, a live table game may be further characterized in that multiple different players may be concurrent active participants of the table game at any given time.

These differences, as well as others, have conventionally made it difficult to implement or provide flat rate play functionality at live wager-based gaming tables. However, according to specific embodiments, various wager-based gaming table systems described herein may include functionality for allowing one or more players to engage in a flat rate play session at the gaming table.

For example, in one embodiment, wager-based gaming table system may include functionality for allowing a player to engage in a flat rate play session at the gaming table. In one embodiment, the price parameters may define the parameters of the flat rate play session, describing, for example one or more of the following or combinations thereof: In one embodiment, if the player elects to pay the flat rate price, the player may simply deposit e.

According to specific embodiments the flat rate play session criteria may also specify a minimum wager amount to be placed on behalf of the player at the start of each new hand. Once the player initiates play, the wager-based gaming table system may be operable to track the flat rate play session and stop the play when the end of the flat rate play session has been determined to have occurred.

Once the player initiates play of the flat rate play session, the wager-based gaming table system tracks the flat rate play session, and stops the game play for that player when the session is completed, such as, for example, when a time limit has expired e.

In this particular example, during the flat rate play session, the wager-based gaming table system , dealer or other entity may automatically place an initial wager of the guaranteed minimum wager amount e. In one embodiment, special gaming or wagering tokens may be used to represent wagers which have been placed e. In at least one embodiment, the player is not required to make any additional wagers during the flat rate play session.

It should be understood that the player balance could be stored in a number of mediums, such as smart cards, credit card accounts, debit cards, hotel credit accounts, etc. For example, in one embodiment, a player may be offered a promotional gaming package whereby, for an initial buy-in amount e.

In one embodiment, each of the special gaming tokens may have associated therewith a monetary value e. In one implementation, each of the gaming tokens has a unique RFID identifier associated therewith. In one embodiment, each of the special gaming tokens which are provided to the player for use with the promotional gaming package have been registered at one or more systems of the casino gaming network, and associated with the promotional gaming package purchased by the player.

According to a specific embodiment, when the player desires to start the promotional game play at the blackjack gaming table, the player may occupy a player station at the blackjack table, and present information to the dealer e.

In one embodiment, the player may initiate the promotional game play session simply by placing one of the special gaming tokens into the player's gaming chip placement zone at the blackjack table.

In this example, once the promotional game play session has been initiated, the player may use the special gaming tokens to place wagers during one or more hands of blackjack. However, after the specified 30 minutes has elapsed, the special gaming tokens will be deemed to have automatically expired, and may no longer be used for wagering activity. For example, in at least one embodiment, an intelligent electronic wagering token may include, a power source, a processor, memory, one or more status indicators, and a wireless interface, and may be operable to be configured by an external device for storing information relating to one or more flat rate table game sessions associated with one or more players.

Similarly, a player's electronic player tracking card or other PPD may include similar functionality. In one embodiment, the player may provide funds directly to a casino employee e. In other embodiments, the player may provide funds via one or more electronic transactions such as, for example, via a kiosk, computer terminal, wireless device, etc. In one embodiment, once the funds are verified, an electronic device e.

In at least one embodiment, gaming network portion may include a plurality of gaming tables e. In at least one embodiment, each gaming table may be uniquely identified by a unique identification ID number.

It will be appreciated that different embodiments of Flat Rate Table Game Session Management Procedures may be implemented at a variety of different gaming tables associated with different table game themes, table game types, paytables, denominations, etc. According to specific embodiments, multiple threads of the Flat Rate Table Game Session Management Procedure may be simultaneously running at a given gaming table.

For example, in one embodiment, a separate instance or thread of the Flat Rate Table Game Session Management Procedure may be implemented for each player or selected players or who is currently engaged in an active flat rate table game session at the gaming table.

Additionally, in at least one embodiment, a given gaming table may be operable to simultaneously or concurrently host both flat rate game play and non-flat rate game play for different players at the gaming table. For purposes of illustration, an example of the Flat Rate Table Game Session Management Procedure will now be explained with reference to gaming table system According to specific embodiments, one or more gaming tables may include functionality for detecting the presence of a player e.

In at least some embodiments, there may be a unique signal or other information to help identify the player's identity. As shown at , a determination may be made as to whether one or more flat rate table game sessions have been authorized or enabled for Player A. In at least one embodiment, such other types of information may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following or combinations thereof:.

In at least one embodiment, at least a portion of the above-described criteria may be stored in local memory at the gaming table system. In some embodiments, other information relating to the gaming table criteria may be stored in memory of one or more remote systems. In some embodiments, the gaming table system may be operable to automatically determine a current position of Player A at the gaming table.

Such information may be subsequently used, for example, when performing flat rate table game session activities associated with Player A at the gaming table. According to different embodiments, the gaming table system may be operable to automatically initiate or start a new flat rate table game session for a given player e.

For example, in one embodiment involving a flat rate blackjack table game, Player A may chose to place his intelligent electronic wagering token within Player A's designated wagering zone or wager placement area at the gaming table in order to start or resume a flat rate table game session at the gaming table. In one embodiment, if the gaming table system determines that the intelligent electronic wagering token may be used for flat rate table game play e.

If, however, the gaming table system determines that the intelligent electronic wagering token may not be used for flat rate table game play e. In one embodiment, the player's identity may be determined using identifier information associated with Player A's portable electronic device.

In one embodiment, once the flat rate table game session has been started, any or selected wager activities performed by Player A may be automatically tracked. Assuming that the appropriate event or events have been detected for starting a flat rate table game session for Player A, a flat rate table game session for Player A may then be started or initiated In at least one embodiment, if an event is detected for suspending Player A's active flat rate table game session, the current or active flat rate table game session for Player A may be suspended e.

In one embodiment, during a suspended flat rate table game session, no additional flat rate table game information is logged or tracked for that player.

In some embodiments, the time interval relating to the suspended flat rate table game session may be tracked. Further, in at least some embodiments, other types of player tracking information associated with Player A such as, for example, game play activities, wagering activities, player location, etc.

According to specific embodiments, a variety of different events may be used to trigger the suspension of a flat rate table game session for a given player. In one embodiment, if a player moves to a different player station at the gaming table, the gaming table system may respond by switching or modifying the player station identity associated with that player's flat rate table game session in order to begin tracking information associated with the player's flat rate table game session at the new player station.

In at least one embodiment, a suspended flat rate table game session may be resumed or ended, depending upon the detection of one or more appropriate events. According to specific embodiments, a variety of different events may be used to trigger the resuming of a flat rate table game session for a given player. In at least one embodiment where multiple players at a given intelligent multi-player electronic gaming system are engaged in the flat-rate table game play, a separate flat rate table game session may be established for each of the players to thereby allow each player to engage in flat rate table game play at the same electronic gaming table asynchronously from one another.

For example, in one example embodiment, an intelligent multi-player electronic gaming system may be configured as an electronic poker gaming table which includes functionality for enabling each of the following example scenarios to concurrently take place at the electronic poker gaming table: Further, in at least one embodiment each poker hand played by the players at the electronic poker gaming table may be played in a manner which is similar to that of a traditional table poker game, regardless of each player's mode of game play e.

In the system , there may be many instances of the same function, such as multiple game play interfaces The functions of the components may be combined. For example, a single device may comprise the game play interface and include trusted memory devices or sources For example, game players primarily input cash or indicia of credit into the system, make game selections that trigger software downloads, and receive entertainment in exchange for their inputs. Game software content providers provide game software for the system and may receive compensation for the content they provide based on licensing agreements with the gaming machine operators.

Gaming machine operators select game software for distribution, distribute the game software on the gaming devices in the system , receive revenue for the use of their software and compensate the gaming machine operators. The gaming regulators may provide rules and regulations that must be applied to the gaming system and may receive reports and other information confirming that rules are being obeyed.

In the following paragraphs, details of each component and some of the interactions between the components are described with respect to FIG. The game software license host may be a server connected to a number of remote gaming devices that provides licensing services to the remote gaming devices. The token usage may be used in utility based licensing schemes, such as a pay-per-use scheme. In another embodiment, a game usage-tracking host may track the usage of game software on a plurality of devices in communication with the host.

The game usage-tracking host may be in communication with a plurality of game play hosts and gaming machines. From the game play hosts and gaming machines, the game usage tracking host may receive updates of an amount that each game available for play on the devices has been played and on amount that has been wagered per game. This information may be stored in a database and used for billing according to methods described in a utility based licensing agreement.

The game software host may provide game software downloads, such as downloads of game software or game firmware, to various devious in the game system For example, when the software to generate the game is not available on the game play interface , the game software host may download software to generate a selected game of chance played on the game play interface.

Further, the game software host may download new game content to a plurality of gaming machines via a request from a gaming machine operator. In one embodiment, the game software host may also be a game software configuration-tracking host Details of a game software host and a game software configuration host that may be used with example embodiments are described in co-pending U.

A game play host device may be a host server connected to a plurality of remote clients that generates games of chance that are displayed on a plurality of remote game play interfaces For example, the game play host device may be a server that provides central determination for a bingo game play played on a plurality of connected game play interfaces As another example, the game play host device may generate games of chance, such as slot games or video card games, for display on a remote client.

A game player using the remote client may be able to select from a number of games that are provided on the client by the host device

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