How They Work - OK games before Bounty

The OK game first appeared on County Fair, and it's one of the more interesting features on bingo machines.

The term "OK" came from slot machines. One of the fundamental aspects of gambling is you may not win (duh!), and that element of chance tended to be part of a legal definition of a gambling device. So what happens if a machine delays the payout until the next play. Now you know, so you aren't really gambling. The payout is guaranteed.

A device with this feature should be okay to run in a place where gambling was illegal, because it's no longer gambling...right? The concept worked well enough, and the OK machines were born. In the slot world, some kind of indicator would tell you how much the machine will pay on the next play, regardless of where the reels stopped (if they stopped on a winning conbo, you'd need to play again to get paid for that). Hope you have one more coin to play so you can collect your win!

The bingo OK feature is a similar idea - and it doesn't even need a coin/credit to collect the payout. Holding down the R button when the screen is positioned with at least two numbers in the orange section is good enough to reset the game and start a new one with known score levels and features enabled.

The L game
golden gate
L game scores/features
On screen games, if you have the OK feature lit, and you manage to make at least 2 numbers in a special orange section on the screen, you qualify to play another completely new game that starts with guaranteed scores and features as defined on one of the score/instruction cards.

Did you notice that all OK games have six letter names, or if they are two words, the first word is six letters? The reason for that is that the OK game level is defined by one of the letters in the name being backlit with a red lamp. In this case, the L in "golden" would be red, and the rest of the letters are white.

On the 20 hole mystic line machines, Bally changed the name of the feature to Red Letter Game. Much more obvious, and it works pretty much the same from a player point of view. However, in OK games the OK level is the same as the green odds, and in a red letter game it's the red odds. The collecting circuitry is completely different, with the red letter games using the approach introduced on Bounty, which was probably needed to handle the Super OK feature.

The fun part is collecting the OK game. Since collecting means starting a new game, you should make sure you've scored any other winners first, then you push and hold down the R button until the shutter panel opens, the balls drop, and the game goes through a rewarding reset sequence.

What you see and hear is a bunch of thunking noises as a number of things happen:

  • red odds step up to correct level
  • yellow odds step up
  • magic screen unit advances to enable screen movement
  • selection feature unit steps up to enable rollovers and/or before/after 5th
  • supersection lights

The clever bit is that the above things happen one at a time in that order, so the time it takes to set up the game to the OK level is stretched out and it feels like you have accomplished something.

After the reset, you are free to play more coins/credits to try and improve the game further if you wish.

Now for the details...we'll look at how the machine defines the OK game, how the collection is triggered, and what the machine does during reset to award it.

Intro | OK game setup | collecting the game | the reset sequence