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Publication numberUS20020142829 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/109,864
Publication dateOct 3, 2002
Filing dateApr 1, 2002
Priority dateApr 3, 2001
Publication number10109864, 109864, US 2002/0142829 A1, US 2002/142829 A1, US 20020142829 A1, US 20020142829A1, US 2002142829 A1, US 2002142829A1, US-A1-20020142829, US-A1-2002142829, US2002/0142829A1, US2002/142829A1, US20020142829 A1, US20020142829A1, US2002142829 A1, US2002142829A1
InventorsHaruo Inoue
Original AssigneeDragon Co., Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Slot machine having symbol windows arranged in matrix
US 20020142829 A1
Abstract
Symbol-image windows are arranged in matrix of three rows and five columns. Five game lines to be nominated are provided so as to horizontally and diagonally combine the symbol-image windows. Jackpot winning occurs when identical symbol images are displayed at one of three groups of the symbol-image windows. The first group is constituted of the first to third columns. The second group is constituted of the second to fourth columns. The third group is constituted of the third to fifth columns. When the identical symbol images are displayed at one of the five columns, sub-game winning occurs to award a sub game in which a symbol-image series is rotated again in the central symbol-image window. In another embodiment, ten game lines to be nominated are provided so as to vertically, horizontally and diagonally combine the symbol-image windows.
Images(11)
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Claims(21)
What is claimed is:
1. A slot machine in which moving display of symbols is performed and a winning occurs in accordance with a combination of the stopped symbols, said slot machine comprising:
a plurality of symbol windows in which the moving display of said symbols is performed, said symbol windows being arranged in matrix having different numbers regarding its rows and its columns;
symbol displaying means for individually performing the moving display of said symbols in each of said symbol windows;
a plurality of game lines formed by laterally combining said symbol windows;
game-line nominating means for selectively nominating said game lines;
normal-winning processing means for recognizing whether or not a lateral symbol combination displayed along the nominated game line corresponds to the winning, said normal-winning processing means executing a normal-winning process for awarding a predetermined prize in accordance with said winning; and
special-winning processing means for recognizing a vertical symbol combination displayed along at least one of the columns of said symbol windows, said special-winning processing means executing a special-winning process for awarding a special prize, which is different from said predetermined prize, in accordance with said vertical symbol combination.
2. A slot machine according to claim 1, wherein said symbol windows arranged in matrix has a number of the columns larger than a number of the rows.
3. A slot machine according to claim 2, wherein said symbol displaying means moves said symbols in a running manner and displays the sole symbol within said symbol window at the time of stopping.
4. A slot machine according to claim 3, wherein said game-line nominating means includes a plurality of buttons corresponding to numbers of the game lines to be nominated.
5. A slot machine according to claim 4, wherein said buttons become operable in accordance with a number of coins inserted into said slot machine.
6. A slot machine according to claim 5, wherein said special-winning processing means executes a sub game, which is different from the normal game, as said special prize.
7. A slot machine according to claim 6, wherein said symbols are rotated again within one of said symbol windows in said sub game, and a prize of the sub game is awarded in accordance with the stopped symbol.
8. A slot machine according to claim 7, wherein a position of said symbol window for rotating said symbol again is a center of the column.
9. A lot machine according to claim 8, wherein said symbol windows are arranged in matrix of three rows and five columns, and have a first group, a second group and a third group, said first group being constituted of the first through third columns, said second group being constituted of the second through fourth columns, and said third group being constituted of the third through fifth columns.
10. A slot machine according to claim 9, wherein a jackpot winning, which is the maximum winning, occurs when the identical symbols are displayed within the respective symbol windows of said group.
11. A slot machine according to claim 10, wherein execution of said sub game is prevented when said jackpot winning occurs.
12. A slot machine according to claim 1, wherein said symbol windows are arranged in matrix of three rows and five columns, the symbol combination of the first column being valid when one game line is nominated, and the symbol combinations of the columns being valid from the first column toward the fifth column in accordance with a number of the nominated game lines.
13. A slot machine according to claim 1, wherein the symbol combinations of the whole columns are valid without regard to a number of the nominated game lines.
14. A slot machine in which moving display of symbols is performed and a winning occurs in accordance with a combination of the stopped symbols, said slot machine comprising:
a plurality of symbol windows for performing the moving display of said symbols, said symbol windows being arranged in matrix having different numbers regarding its rows and its columns;
symbol displaying means for individually performing the moving display of said symbols in each of said symbol windows;
a plurality of game lines formed by vertically combining said symbol windows;
game-line nominating means for selectively nominating said game lines; and
vertical-winning judgement means for recognizing whether or not a combination of said symbols stopped on the nominated game line corresponds to the winning.
15. A slot machine according to claim 14, wherein said symbol windows arranged in matrix has a number of the columns larger than a number of the rows.
16. A slot machine according to claim 15, wherein said symbol displaying means moves said symbols in a running manner and displays the sole symbol within said symbol window at the time of stopping.
17. A slot machine according to claim 16, wherein said game-line nominating means includes a plurality of buttons corresponding to numbers of the game lines to be nominated.
18. A slot machine according to claim 17, wherein said buttons become operable in accordance with a number of coins inserted into said slot machine.
19. A lot machine according to claim 18, wherein said symbol windows are arranged in matrix of three rows and five columns, and have a first group, a second group and a third group, said first group being constituted of the first through third columns, said second group being constituted of the second through fourth columns, and said third group being constituted of the third through fifth columns.
20. A slot machine according to claim 19 wherein a jackpot winning, which is the maximum winning, occurs when the identical symbols are displayed within the respective symbol windows of said group.
21. A slot machine according to claim 14, wherein said vertical game lines and horizontal game lines, which are formed by horizontally combining said symbol windows, are individually nominated.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a slot machine having a plurality of symbol windows, in each of which moving display of symbols is performed. The symbol windows are arranged in matrix such that a number of its rows is different from a number of its columns.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] A slot machine having four reels is known from Japanese Patent Laid-Open Publication No. 8-206279 (Japanese Patent No. 2,758,143). In the slot machine of the four-reel type, the reels have symbols arranged on peripheries thereof and are horizontally disposed so as to be rotatable. When each reel stops, three symbols in a vertical direction are displayed through a symbol window. In total, twelve symbols are displayed through the symbol windows of the respective reels when all of the four reels have stopped. Basic game lines are constituted of horizontal and diagonal lines formed by combining three symbols of the first to third reels. By combining the symbol of the fourth reel with the basic game line, auxiliary game lines are provided.

[0005] When the predetermined symbols align on the basic game line, winning is obtained. In the case of winning, as a normal prize, dividend coins of a prescribed number are paid out for a player in accordance with a kind of winning. Incidentally, in the present specification, the coin includes a medal and a token. When the predetermined symbol stops on the auxiliary game line in addition to the basic game line, the number of the dividend coins obtained by the symbol combination of the basic game line is doubled for example, and the doubled dividend coins are paid out. In this way, an extra prize is adapted to be awarded besides the normal prize of the basic game line. In the slot machine of the four-reel type, it is possible to play a game possessing variations so that the player may have a great interest.

[0006] In the above-mentioned slot machine, however, although the game having variations may be played, distinguishing the game line on which the winning occurs is difficult at a glance when many auxiliary game lines are provided. It is because the game lines become intricate in this kind of the slot machine. Therefore, there arises a problem in that it is difficult to grasp contents of the game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] In view of the foregoing, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a slot machine in which it is possible to increase game variations without complicating a formation of the game lines.

[0008] It is a second object of the present invention to provide a slot machine in which a player has great interest for the game, and at the same time, game contents may be adapted to be plain.

[0009] In order to achieve the above and other objects, the slot machine according to the present invention comprises a plurality of symbol-image windows, which are arranged in matrix such that a number of its rows is different from a number of its columns. In each of the symbol-image windows, moving display of symbol images is individually performed. When the moving display has stopped, the sole symbol image is displayed in the symbol-image window.

[0010] A plurality of game lines are formed by horizontally combining the symbol images displayed in the symbol-image windows. The game lines are selectively nominated by a player. After stopping the moving display, it is judged whether or not the symbol-image combination of the nominated game line corresponds to the winning. In accordance with the judged combination, a predetermined prize is awarded as the normal winning.

[0011] After stopping the moving display, is also judged a vertical combination of the symbol images displayed at least one of the columns of the symbol-image windows. And then, in accordance with the vertical combination, another prize is awarded as special winning, which is different from the normal winning.

[0012] In another embodiment, vertical game lines are also formed by vertically combining the symbol images displayed in the symbol-image windows. The vertical game lines are selectively nominated by a player, too. After stopping the moving display, it is judged whether or not the symbol-image combination of the nominated game line corresponds to the winning.

[0013] According to the present invention, it is possible to increase game variations without complicating a formation of the game lines. Owing to this, a player may have great interest for the game, and at the same time, game contents may be adapted to be plain.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] The above objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0015]FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a slot machine according to the present invention;

[0016]FIG. 2 is an explanatory illustration showing composition of a first winning group;

[0017]FIG. 3 is an explanatory illustration showing composition of a second winning group;

[0018]FIG. 4 is an explanatory illustration showing composition of a third winning group;

[0019]FIG. 5 is an explanatory illustration showing jackpot winnings occurring in both of the first and second winning groups;

[0020]FIG. 6 is an explanatory illustration showing the jackpot winnings occurring in all of the three winning groups;

[0021]FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing electrical structure of the slot machine;

[0022]FIG. 8 is a flow chart showing a game process;

[0023]FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing another slot machine according to the present invention; and

[0024]FIG. 10 is a flow chart showing another game process.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT (S)

[0025] As shown in FIG. 1, a front face of a slot machine 10 is provided with a symbol-image displaying unit 11, an operation panel 12, and a coin tray 13. The symbol-image displaying unit 11 includes a liquid crystal panel 14. A display surface of the liquid crystal panel 14 is provided with symbol-image windows 15, line indicators 16, a bet-number window 17, and a credit window 18.

[0026] The symbol-image windows 15 are arranged in matrix of three rows and five columns so that a number thereof is fifteen in total. A region of each symbol-image window 15 is an independent area for displaying a symbol image. In the respective symbol-image windows 15, the symbol images are moved so as to run. Meanwhile, by combining five symbol-image windows 15, five game lines are provided in total. The five game lines include three horizontal lines and two diagonally bent lines. Incidentally, frame lines for zoning the display surface are not essential. Insofar as the fifteen independent areas are secured, the frame lines may be abbreviated.

[0027] Whenever one coin is betted, the game line is nominated one by one. When five coins are betted, all of the game lines are nominated. Betting the coin is performed with bet buttons 12 a provided on the operation panel 12, after inserting the coins into a coin slit 19. Each of the bet buttons 12 a corresponds to a number of the game lines to be nominated. Upon operating one of the bet buttons 12 a, the designated number of the game lines are nominated. At the same time, the coins are betted on the nominated game lines one by one. When the bet button 12 a is operated by several times, the coins, a number of which corresponds to an operation number of the bet button 12 a, are betted on the nominated game lines. Meanwhile, in addition to the bet buttons 12 a, the operation panel 12 is provided with a payout button, a game start button, and so forth. Incidentally, meaning of coin insertion includes betting the coin, which is accumulated in a credit counter, besides actually inserting the coins into the coin slit 19.

[0028] The line indicator 16 is displayed so as to straightly cross the five symbol-image windows 15 of the nominated game line. Further, the line indicator 16 is displayed so as to overlap with the symbol images. The line indicator 16 is turned off after commencing the moving display of the symbol images. When the moving display is stopped and winning occurs, the line indicator 16 of the game line obtaining the winning is blinked. FIG. 1 shows the symbol-image displaying unit 11 in which all of the five game lines are nominated. The bet-number window 17 is for indicating a total number of the betted coins. The credit window 18 indicates a number of the coins accumulated in the credit counter.

[0029] In the slot machine 10, the normal winning occurs when a predetermined symbol image of a cherry symbol and so forth stops on the nominated game line, and when a predetermined symbol-image combination of “7-7-7-7-7” and so forth is displayed on the nominated game line. When the normal winning occurs, the dividend coins of a predetermined number are awarded in accordance with a kind of the winning. The symbol-image combination of the normal winning is not exclusive to the combination of the five symbol images. As the winning combinations, there are combinations of four, three, or two symbol images. With respect to the combination of the identical symbol images, the number of the dividend coins becomes greater as the number of the identical symbol images increases. By the way, an almighty symbol image may be provided, for instance. When the almighty symbol image stops on the game line, this symbol image may be substituted for all of the other symbol images. Further, when the specified symbol image has stopped on the game line, the dividend coins of a predetermined number may be awarded.

[0030] In the meantime, the slot machine 10 has an extra winning for awarding another prize, which is different from that of the normal winning. The extra winning occurs when a vertical combination of the stopped symbol images is a predetermined combination of “7-7-7” and so forth. As the extra winnings, are provided a jackpot winning and a sub-game winning. Regarding the vertical combination of the symbol images, the first column of the symbol-image windows 15 is valid when nominating one game line, and the first and second columns thereof are valid when nominating two game lines, for example. In this way, upon nominating the game lines, the columns become valid cumulatively from the first column toward the fifth column.

[0031] The jackpot winning occurs when the horizontal symbol-image combinations and the vertical symbol-image combinations are predetermined combinations. The slot machine 10 possesses a first group 24 shown in FIG. 2, a second group 25 shown in FIG. 3, and a third group 26 shown in FIG. 4. The first group 24 is constituted of nine symbol-image windows 15 of the first column to the third column. The second group 25 is constituted of nine symbol-image windows 15 of the second column to the fourth column. The third group 26 is constituted of nine symbol-image windows 15 of the third column to the fifth column. When the identical symbol images are displayed in all of the symbol-image windows 15 belonging to any one of the groups 24 to 26, the jackpot winning is obtained. Such as shown in FIG. 5, when the identical symbol images are displayed in all of the symbol-image windows 15 belonging to two groups, namely, when the jackpot winnings occur in the two groups, the number of the dividend coins becomes greater in comparison with the case in that the jackpot winning occurs in the sole group. Such as shown in FIG. 6, when the jackpot winnings occur in the three groups, namely, when the identical symbol images are displayed in all the symbol-image windows 15, the number of the dividend coins is maximum. In the slot machine 10, the number of the dividend coins to be obtained by the jackpot winning is greater than that of the normal winning. Incidentally, the jackpot winning and the normal winning are adapted not to be obtained together in one game. The jackpot winning precedes the normal winning.

[0032] The number of the dividend coins is determined in consideration of the kind of the normal winning, a payout ratio, a frequency of appearance of the symbol image, and so forth. It is preferable to increase the number of the dividend coins as the symbol image to be displayed becomes more difficult to cause the jackpot winning.

[0033] The sub-game winning occurs when the predetermined symbol images are vertically displayed along one of the five columns. When the sub-game winning occurs, a sub game is commenced to rotate the symbol images again in the symbol-image windows 15 of the central (second) row. Then, in accordance with a kind of the stopped symbol images, the dividend coins are awarded. The sub-game winning and the normal winning are adapted to be obtained together in one game. When these winnings have occurred simultaneously, the dividend coins of both of the sub-game winning and the normal winning are added. Also in this case, it is preferable to determine the number of the dividend coins, considering the kind of the symbols, the number thereof, the payout ratio, the frequency of appearance of the symbol image, and so forth.

[0034] As shown in FIG. 7, a coin sensor 31 disposed behind the coin slit 19 inputs a coin detection signal into a CPU 32 whenever the coin sensor 31 detects the proper coin. The CPU 32 activates a display control IC 33 in response to the coin detection signal. At this time, the display control IC 33 indicates the number of the inserted coins within the credit window 18 of the liquid crystal panel 14.

[0035] Upon operating the button of the operation panel 12, an operation detecting circuit 34 inputs an operation signal into the CPU 32. Incidentally, the CPU 32 controls the slot machine, as a whole, according to a game program stored in a ROM 35. The CPU 32 invalidates an input of the operation signal having no relation with a game process. An execution program of the sub game is also stored in the ROM 35.

[0036] When the bet button 12 a is depressed, the CPU 32 judges the number of the game lines to be nominated in response to the operation signal. Then, the CPU 32 inputs a judgement signal into the display control IC 33 to read graphic data corresponding thereto from a line-pattern memory 36. The graphic data to be read are of the line indicators 16 and the bet-number window 17. The display control IC 33 activates the line indicators 16 in accordance with the bet number, and indicates the bet number within the bet-number window 17. The CPU 32 nominates the game lines shown by the line indicator 16. At the same time, the CPU 32 temporarily stores the bet number in a RAM 37. The bet button 12 a, the CPU 32, the operation detecting circuit 34, and the line-pattern memory 36 work as the members for nominating the game lines.

[0037] When the game start button of the operation panel 12 is operated, a start signal is inputted into the CPU 32. In response to the start signal, the CPU 32 activates the display control IC 33. Upon this, the display control IC 33 reads graphic data of a symbol-image series from a symbol-image data memory 38 with respect to each of the symbol-image windows 15. At the same time, the display control IC 33 inputs the graphic data into the liquid crystal panel 14 every symbol-image window 15. Owing to this, in the respective symbol-image windows 15, the symbol images constituting the symbol-image series are repeatedly displayed so as to run. The liquid crystal panel 14, the display control IC 33, and the symbol-image data memory 38 work as the members for performing moving display of the symbol images. Incidentally, the display control IC 33 turns off the line indicator 16 when commencing the moving display of the symbol images.

[0038] When the start signal is inputted into the CPU 32, sampling of a single random number is simultaneously performed by using a random number generator 39. The extracted random number is inputted into a winning judgement section 40 to determine whether the winning is awarded or not for the current game. When the winning is determined to be awarded, a winning signal corresponding to the kind of the winning is inputted into the CPU 32.

[0039] In response to the winning signal, the CPU 32 activates a stop-symbol determining circuit 41. This circuit 41 determines the symbol images, which are finally displayed in the respective symbol-image windows 15, in accordance with the kind of the winning determined by the winning judgement section 40. A head address of the graphic data corresponding to the symbol image to be stopped is inputted to the CPU 32.

[0040] When inputting the graphic data into the liquid crystal panel 14 with respect to each of the symbol-image windows 15, the display control IC 33 inputs the head address allocated to each symbol image into the CPU 32. Thus, by monitoring the head address, the CPU 32 can recognize the symbol image currently displayed at the display position. When the head address inputted from the stop-symbol determining circuit 41 has coincided with the head address inputted from the display control IC 33, the moving display of the symbol-image series is stopped. In doing so, the determined symbol images are stopped in the respective symbol-image windows 15. By the way, when the normal winning is determined to occur, the CPU 32 decides the game line, along which the normal winning is due to occur, at random. The winning game line is blinked by the display control IC 33.

[0041] While the moving display is performed, the symbol images are displayed in each symbol-image window 15 so as to run. Thus, timing for inputting the head address of the graphic data into the liquid crystal panel 14 does not coincide with timing for displaying the corresponding symbol image at a central portion of the symbol-image window 15. However, it is possible to easily deal with a difference between the former timing and the latter timing by monitoring a speed of the moving display with the display control IC 33. Monitoring the speed is carried out by counting clock pulses.

[0042] Upon stopping the moving display of the symbol-image series, the head address of the graphic data corresponding to the stopped symbol image is inputted from the display control IC 33 into a winning detector 42. On the basis of the head address, the winning detector 42 detects the stopped symbol image regarding each of the symbol-image windows 15, and inputs an image detection signal into the CPU 32. On the basis of the image detection signal, the CPU 32 recognizes whether or not the symbol images determined by the stop-symbol determining circuit 41 are stopped in the symbol-image windows 15. At the same time, the CPU 32 detects the vertical combination of the symbol images.

[0043] When either of the normal winning and the jackpot winning has been recognized, the CPU 32 stores a number of the dividend coins corresponding to the kind of the winning in the RAM 37, referring to dividend-coin number data stored in the ROM 35. At the same time, the CPU 32 activates the display control IC 33. Meanwhile, when the sub-game winning has been recognized, the CPU 32 reads an execution program thereof from the ROM 35. Then, the display control IC 33 is activated to execute the sub game. After executing the sub game, the winning detector 42 recognizes the kind of the symbol image stopping at the middle symbol-image window 15 of the column. In accordance with a result of the sub game, the CPU 32 stores the number of the dividend coins in the RAM 37. The display control IC 33 indicates the accumulation number of the dividend coins within the credit window 18. Upon operating the payout button of the operation panel 12, a coin dispenser 43 is actuated to pay out the coins, the number of which is indicated in the credit window 18, to the coin tray 13. In the meantime, the RAM 37 is used as a memory for temporarily saving the various data obtained during the game process. The RAM 37 includes a credit counter area for accumulating the dividend coins obtained relative to each winning. Besides this area, the RAM 37 also includes other areas, for example, a memorizing area for the number of the inserted coins. As stated above, the CPU 32 and the winning detector 42 work as both of normal-winning processing members and special-winning processing members.

[0044] Next, an operation of the slot machine 10 is described below, referring to FIG. 8. A player inserts the coins into the coin slit 19 to nominate the game lines with the bet button 12 a. Whenever the coin is inserted, the coin detection signal is inputted from the coin sensor 31 into the CPU 32. Upon operating the bet button 12 a, the operation signal is inputted from the operation detecting circuit 34 into the CPU 32. In response to the inputted operation signal, the CPU 32 activates the display control IC 33, which reads the graphic data from the line-pattern memory 36 to turn on the corresponding line indicator 16 on the liquid crystal panel 14. At this time, the bet number is displayed within the bet-number window 17.

[0045] When the player commences the game by pressing the game start button, the start signal is inputted into the CPU 32. In response to the start signal, the CPU 32 activates the random number generator 39. The random number sampled from the random number generator 39 is inputted into the winning judgement section 40 to judge whether or not this random number corresponds to the normal winning. In the case of the normal winning, a sort of the winning combination is determined at random.

[0046] After that, the CPU 32 activates the stop-symbol determining circuit 41 for determining the symbol images to be stopped in the symbol-image windows 15. The symbol images to be stopped are determined in accordance with the decision of the winning judgement section 40. Then, the display control IC 33 stops the symbol images determined by the stop-symbol determining circuit 41. The winning detector 42 detects the stopped symbol image with respect to each of the symbol-image windows 15 to input the image detection signal into the CPU 32.

[0047] When it is recognized that the symbol-image combination corresponding to the normal winning stops on the nominated game line, the data of the dividend-coin number stored in the ROM 35 is read to accumulate the number of the dividend coins in the credit counter area of the RAM 37. At the same time, the number of the dividend coins is added to the coin number displayed within the credit window 18. Incidentally, when the normal winnings occur on a plurality of the nominated game lines, the dividend-coin numbers thereof are summed to be added to the number displayed within the credit window 18.

[0048] When the sub-game winning is recognized in addition to the normal winning, the execution program of the sub game is read from the ROM 35 to execute the sub game, in which the symbol-image series of the center (second) row is rotated again and is stopped by the display control IC 33 so as to display the symbol image determined by the stop-symbol determining circuit 41. The kind of the stopped symbol image is detected by the winning detector 42 to add the corresponding number of the dividend coins to the indicated number of the credit window 18 together with the number of the dividend coins awarded relative to the normal winning. Incidentally, when the identical symbol images are stopped regarding some of the columns, the sub games are performed on each thereof in turn.

[0049] When the jackpot winning is recognized at one of the groups 24 to 26, the data of the dividend-coin number stored in the ROM 35 is read. Successively, the number of the dividend coins corresponding to the jackpot winning is accumulated in the credit counter area of the RAM 37 and is simultaneously added to the number indicated in the credit window 18. In a case that two groups respectively have the jackpot winning at the same time, the double number of the dividend coins is added to the number of the credit window 18 in comparison with the case that the sole group has the jackpot winning. Further, In a case that three groups respectively have the jackpot winning at the same time, the triple number of the dividend coins is added to the number of the credit window 18 in comparison with the case that the sole group has the jackpot winning.

[0050] When the sub-game winning is solely recognized, the sub-game process is executed similarly to the foregoing case. Incidentally, when any of the normal winning, the jackpot winning, and the sub-game winning is not recognized, the game becomes the loss and the current game is over.

[0051] As mentioned above, the symbol-image windows 15 are vertically combined to award the jackpot winning. The player may have expectations for obtaining a large number of coins so that interests of the game may increase for the player. In addition, the symbol-image windows 15 are vertically combined to award the sub-game winning. Owing to this, even when the predetermined combination of the symbol images is not displayed on the horizontal game line, the player may be interested in the vertical combination of the symbol images so that it is possible to prevent the player from losing the interest of the game.

[0052] In the above embodiment, the central symbol-image series is rotated again as the sub game when the predetermined symbol images are stopped at one of the first column through the fifth column. The dividend coins are obtained in accordance with the kind of the stopped symbol image of the sub game. Alternatively, the dividend coins may be obtained when the symbol image except the predetermined symbol image, that is “cherry”, “orange” or “banana” for example, is displayed in each symbol-image window of one of the five columns. When the predetermined symbol images of “7”, for instance, are lined up, a bonus game may be carried out.

[0053] As to the bonus game, five cards on which predetermined multiple numbers are respectively written are reversed and are displayed in arrangement. The player optionally selects one of the five cards. In accordance with the bet number of the game lines corresponding to the column having the predetermined symbol images, the number of the dividend coins is calculated such that the bet number is multiplied by the multiple number, which is written on the card selected by the player. Among the five cards, is prepared the card on which “collect” is written. Until the player selects the “collect” card, it is possible to continue the bonus game. When the “collect” card is selected, the player obtains the total dividend coins. Incidentally, the “collect” card is adapted to be placed at a different position every bonus game. When the predetermined symbol images are stopped at the plural columns, the player may play the bonus games of several times corresponding to a number of the columns at which the predetermined symbol images are stopped.

[0054] The bonus game is not exclusive to the above. In other words, the bonus game is not exclusive to the game using the cards, but may adopt a proper game. Further, the multiple number of the card for determining the dividend-coin number may be properly determined.

[0055] The embodiment of the present invention has been described, referring to the drawings. When carrying out the present invention, it is possible to modify the present embodiment. In the above embodiment, the number of the game lines is set to five so as to combine the symbol-image windows 15 in the horizontal and diagonal directions. However, this is not exclusive. The number of the game lines may be properly set by combining the symbol-image windows in the vertical, horizontal and diagonal directions. When the vertical game line is set, it is preferable to provide special winnings by combining the vertical game line with either of the horizontal game line and the diagonal game line. Further, the total number of the symbol-image windows 15 is not exclusive to fifteen of three rows and five columns, but may be properly set on condition the symbol-image windows are arranged in matrix having different numbers regarding its rows and its columns.

[0056] In the above embodiment, the vertical combination of the symbol images is detected, and the special winning occurs when the predetermined symbol images are stopped along the column. However, this is not exclusive. The special winning may occur when the sole or two predetermined symbol images are stopped. Also in this case, the vertical combination of the symbol images is detected. By doing so, it is recognized whether or not the symbol image corresponding to the special winning is included in the vertical combination.

[0057] In the above embodiment, the symbol images to be displayed in the symbol-image windows 15 are determined by the stop-symbol determining circuit 41 after judging the kind of winning or the loss with the winning judgement section 40. However, the kind of winning or the loss may be judged by detecting the combination of the symbol images after determining the symbol images to be displayed in the symbol-image windows 15 and after displaying the determined symbol images.

[0058] In the above embodiment, whenever the game line is nominated, the combination of the column becomes valid in turn from the first column toward the fifth column. However, the combinations of the whole columns may be valid in each game without regard to the number of the nominated game lines.

[0059] In the above embodiment, for the jackpot winning, the groups 24 to 26 are provided so as to combine the symbol-image windows 15 nine by nine. However, this is not exclusive. The number of the groups and the positions thereof may be properly set on condition the symbol-image windows 15 are combined in both of the vertical direction and the horizontal direction. In this case, although the game has various interests owing to many combinations, grasping the game contents is likely to be difficult for the player. In view of this, it is preferable that the game contents is adapted to be plain for the player.

[0060] In the above embodiment, the jackpot winning and the sub-game winning are provided as the special winnings. However, either of these winnings may be merely provided. Alternatively, another special winning except the above winnings, for example a bonus game, may be provided.

[0061] In the above embodiment, the central symbol-image series is rotated again when the sub-game winning occurs, and the dividend coins are obtained in accordance with the stopped symbol image. However, this is not exclusive. The sub-game winning may award a prize in that the player can play a predetermined number of games from the next game without inserting the coins. Alternatively, the sub-game winning may award a prize in that the number of the dividend coins obtained by the normal winning is increased when the next normal winning occurs.

[0062] In the above embodiment, the sub-game winning occurs when the identical symbol images are displayed at one of the five columns. However, the sub-game winning may occur when the identical symbol images are displayed at the plural columns. In this case, it is preferable to set the game contents such that the sub games of predetermined times are played. Alternatively, the game contents may be set such that the next game is played in a state that the identical symbol images are held.

[0063] In addition, it is possible to properly set the kinds and the number of symbol images constituting the symbol-image series, the kinds and the dividend of the normal winning, the bet number, the direction and the stopping way of the moving display of the symbol-image series, the order for stopping the symbol-image series, and so forth.

[0064] In the above embodiment, the present invention is applied to the video-type slot machine in which the CRT simulates the reel rotation on the basis of the graphic data stored in the ROM. However, this is not exclusive. The present invention may be applied to a slot machine of a reel driving type in which reels having a plurality of symbols arranged on the respective peripheries thereof are actually rotated. In this case, a rotation of the reel may be stopped with a stop button. Incidentally, the moving display of the symbol-image series may be also stopped with a stop button.

[0065] Next, a second embodiment according to the present invention is described below. Members being identical with the foregoing embodiment are denoted by the same reference numerals. Further, descriptions which are similar to the foregoing embodiment are abbreviated.

[0066]FIG. 9 shows another slot machine 50 according to the present invention. The slot machine 50 is also provided with fifteen symbol-image windows 15 arranged in matrix of three rows and five columns. The slot machine 50 has ten game lines, in total, including five vertical game lines, three horizontal game lines, and two diagonal game lines. The vertical game line is formed by vertically combining three symbol-image windows 15. The horizontal game line is formed by horizontally combining five symbol-image windows 15. The diagonal game line is formed by diagonally combining five symbol-image windows 15.

[0067] Whenever one coin is betted, the game line is nominated one by one. When ten coins are betted, all of the game lines are nominated. As to an order for nominating the game lines, the horizontal three game lines are nominated first. Successively, the diagonal game lines are nominated. Finally, the vertical game lines are nominated.

[0068] The line indicator 16 is displayed so as to straightly cross the symbol-image windows 15 constituting the nominated game line. Moreover, the line indicator 16 is displayed so as to overlap with the symbol images. The line indicator 16 is turned off after commencing the moving display of the symbol images. When the moving display is stopped and winning occurs, the line indicator 16 of the winning game line is blinked. FIG. 9 shows the symbol-image displaying unit 11 in which all of the ten game lines are nominated.

[0069] In the slot machine 50, the winning occurs when a predetermined symbol image of a cherry symbol and so forth stops on the nominated game line, and when a predetermined symbol-image combination of “7-7-7-7-7”, “7-7-7” and so forth is displayed on the nominated game line. In the case of winning, the dividend coins of a predetermined number are awarded in accordance with a kind of the winning. With respect to the horizontal and diagonal game lines, the symbol-image combination of the winning is not exclusive to the combination of the five symbol images. As the winning combinations, there are combinations of four, three, or two symbol images. In this embodiment, there is a combination of two symbol images, which is displayed along the vertical game line, as well. Regarding the combination of the symbol images of the same kind, the number of the dividend coins becomes greater as the number of the identical symbol images increases. Occurrence of the normal winning is not exclusive to the sole game line in one game. The normal winning may occur on the plural game lines. In this case, as to the plural game lines on which the normal winning occurs, the dividend-coin numbers thereof are added to be awarded. By the way, the almighty symbol image may be also provided similarly to the foregoing embodiment.

[0070] The slot machine 50 possesses the jackpot winning as an extra winning, which is different from the normal winning. The jackpot winning is obtained when both of the horizontal combinations and the vertical combinations are predetermined combinations.

[0071] The slot machine 50 is provided with the first group 24 shown in FIG. 2, the second group 25 shown in FIG. 3, and the third group 26 shown in FIG. 4. The first group 24 is constituted of nine symbol-image windows 15 of the first column to the third column. The second group 25 is constituted of nine symbol-image windows 15 of the second column to the fourth column. The third group 26 is constituted of nine symbol-image windows 15 of the third column to the fifth column. When the identical symbol images are displayed in all of the symbol-image windows 15 belonging to any one of the groups 24 to 26, the jackpot winning is obtained.

[0072] Upon inserting eight coins, eight game lines are nominated so as to include the three horizontal game lines, the two diagonal game lines, and the vertical game lines of the first to third columns. At this time, the first group 24 is the subject of the jackpot winning. Upon inserting nine coins, nine game lines are nominated so as to include the three horizontal game lines, the two diagonal game lines, and the vertical game lines of the first to fourth columns. At this time, the first and second groups 24 and 25 are the subjects of the jackpot winning. Upon inserting ten coins, all of the game lines are nominated. At this time, the first through third groups 24, 25 and 26 are the subjects of the jackpot winning.

[0073] The jackpot winning is similar to the foregoing embodiment so that description thereof is abbreviated. Further, structure of the slot machine 50 is almost similar to the foregoing embodiment so that description of the identical portions are also abbreviated.

[0074] When either of the normal winning and the jackpot winning has been recognized, the CPU 32 stores the number of the dividend coins corresponding to the kind of the winning in the RAM 37, referring to dividend-coin-number data stored in the ROM 35. At the same time, the CPU 32 activates the display control IC 33 to indicate the accumulation number of the dividend coins within the credit window 18. Upon operating the payout button of the operation panel 12, the coin dispenser 43 is actuated to pay out the coins, the number of which is indicated in the credit window 18, to the coin tray 13. The CPU 32 and the winning detector 42 work as winning judgement members for the vertical game lines.

[0075] An operation of the slot machine 50 is described below, referring to FIG. 10. The operation of the slot machine 50 is similar to the foregoing embodiment except some portions so that the description of the similar operation is abbreviated in the following.

[0076] When occurrence of the jackpot winning is recognized relative to one of the groups 24 to 26, the data of the dividend-coin number stored in the ROM 35 is read. The dividend-coin number corresponding to the jackpot winning is accumulated in the credit counter area of the RAM 37 and is simultaneously added to the number indicated in the credit window 18. In a case that two groups respectively have the jackpot winning at the same time, the double number of the dividend coins is added to the number of the credit window 18 in comparison with the case that the sole group has the jackpot winning. Further, in a case that three groups respectively have the jackpot winning at the same time, the triple number of the dividend coins is added to the number of the credit window 18 in comparison with the case that the sole group has the jackpot winning. Incidentally, when any of the normal winning and the jackpot winning is not recognized, the game becomes the loss and the current game is over.

[0077] As mentioned above, the vertical game lines are provided so as to award the jackpot winning by combining them with the horizontal game lines. The player may have expectations for obtaining a large number of coins so that interests of the game may increase for the player.

[0078] In this embodiment, the dividend coins are obtained regarding the normal winning when the predetermined symbol images are lined up along the game line of one of the five columns. However, the dividend coins may be obtained when the symbol image except the predetermined symbol image, that is “cherry”, “orange” or “banana” for example, is displayed in each symbol-image window of one of the five columns. In this case, when the predetermined symbol images of “7” and so forth are lined up, a bonus game may be carried out. The bonus game is similar to the foregoing embodiment so that description thereof is abbreviated.

[0079] The second embodiment of the present invention has been described, referring to the drawings. When carrying out the present invention, it is possible to modify the second embodiment. In this embodiment, the number of the game lines is set to ten so as to combine the symbol-image windows 15 in the vertical direction, in the horizontal direction and in the diagonal direction. However, this is not exclusive. The number of the game lines may be properly set on condition the vertical game line is provided. Further, the total number of the symbol-image windows 15 is not exclusive to fifteen of three rows and five columns, but may be properly set on condition the symbol-image windows are arranged in matrix having different numbers regarding its rows and its columns.

[0080] In the second embodiment, the symbol images to be displayed in the symbol-image windows 15 are determined by the stop-symbol determining circuit 41 after judging the kind of winning or the loss with the winning judgement section 40. However, the kind of winning or the loss may be judged by detecting the combination of the symbol images after determining the symbol images to be displayed in the symbol-image windows 15 and after displaying the determined symbol images.

[0081] In the second embodiment, when the normal winnings occur on the plural game lines in one game, the dividend-coin numbers of the respective game lines are added. However, when the winnings occur on both of the vertical game line and the horizontal game line, another prize which is different from the prize of the normal winning may be awarded. As to the different prize, the number of the dividend coins May be increased. Alternatively, another game being different from the normal game, for example the above-mentioned bonus game, may be carried out.

[0082] In the second embodiment, regarding the jackpot winning, the groups 24 to 26 are provided so as to combine the symbol-image windows 15 nine by nine. However, this is not exclusive. The number of the groups and the positions thereof may be properly determined. In this case, although the game has various interests owing to many combinations, grasping the game contents is likely to be difficult for the player. In view of this, it is preferable that the game contents is adapted to be plain for the player.

[0083] In the second embodiment, the jackpot winning is provided as the special winning. However, this is not exclusive. The special winning of other kinds may be provided.

[0084] In addition, it is possible to properly set the kinds and the number of symbol images constituting the symbol series, the kinds and the dividend of the normal winning, the bet number, the direction and the stopping way of the moving display of the symbol series, the order for stopping the symbol series, and so forth.

[0085] In the second embodiment, the present invention is applied to the video-type slot machine in which the CRT simulates the reel rotation on the basis of the graphic data stored in the ROM. However, this is not exclusive. The present invention may be applied to a slot machine of a reel driving type in which reels having a plurality of symbols arranged on peripheries thereof are actually rotated. In this case, a rotation of the reel may be stopped with a stop button. Incidentally, the moving display of the symbol series may be also stopped with a stop button.

[0086] As to the paying-out way for the winning of the nominated vertical game line, there are various ways. The vertical winning may be calculated with the horizontal winning in total. Paying-out ratio of the vertical winning may be set independently from the horizontal winning. A sub game and a feature game may be executed in accordance with the vertical symbol combination. In this case, when a winning occurs on the sub game and so forth, paying-out may be carried out.

[0087] Although the present invention has been fully described by way of the preferred embodiments thereof with reference to the accompanying drawings, various changes and modifications will be apparent to those having skill in this field. Therefore, unless otherwise these changes and modifications depart from the scope of the present invention, they should be construed as included therein.

Referenced by
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US20100093419 *Sep 4, 2009Apr 15, 2010Wright Robert JMethod and apparatus for providing a lottery game with linear position based prizes
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/20
International ClassificationG07F17/34
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/34
European ClassificationG07F17/34
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 1, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: DRAGON CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:INOUE, HARUO;REEL/FRAME:012750/0051
Effective date: 20020315