06439993 is referenced by 376 patents.
A method and apparatus concerning the operation of gaming machines is provided. The method generally comprises providing a gaming machine having a plurality of simulated spinning reels capable of displaying a wild card symbol at any of the reels. According to the present invention, upon the appearance of a first wild card symbol, additional wild card symbols may appear, providing the player with additional opportunities to win a prize, or to win an additional prize. The apparatus of the present invention is directed to a gaming machine capable of displaying simulated spinning reels having a plurality of symbols, and capable of displaying a wild card symbol. If a first wild card symbol has been displayed, the apparatus then displays an additional one or more wild card symbols, providing the player with an additional opportunity to win a prize, or to win an additional prize. The present invention is particularly well-suited to increasing player interest in a gaming machine by increasing the ways in which playing the game may result in the award of a prize.