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Publication numberUS20060111173 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/077,066
Publication dateMay 25, 2006
Filing dateMar 10, 2005
Priority dateNov 22, 2004
Also published asDE102005055791A1
Publication number077066, 11077066, US 2006/0111173 A1, US 2006/111173 A1, US 20060111173 A1, US 20060111173A1, US 2006111173 A1, US 2006111173A1, US-A1-20060111173, US-A1-2006111173, US2006/0111173A1, US2006/111173A1, US20060111173 A1, US20060111173A1, US2006111173 A1, US2006111173A1
InventorsArden Yang
Original AssigneeArden Yang
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Video slot machine and slot machine gaming method therefor
US 20060111173 A1
Abstract
A video slot machine includes a display unit having a screen, a game-processing unit performing consecutive steps of a slot machine gaming method, and an input unit allowing input by a player. The slot machine gaming method includes: (a) displaying on the screen a matrix of cells; (b) allowing a player to select a cell number and to make a betting point decision; (c) performing cell selection according to the cell number; (d) consecutively displaying indicia in the cells, and maintaining display of the indicia last appearing in the cells after a predetermined time; (e) determining if the last-appearing indicia comply with winning criteria; and (f) if so, awarding points to the player on the basis of the winning criteria and the betting point decision.
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Claims(12)
1. A slot machine gaming method to be implemented using a video slot machine having a screen, said slot machine gaming method comprising:
(a) displaying on the screen of the video slot machine a video image including a matrix of cells of (m) columns and (n) rows, where m>1 and n>1;
(b) allowing a player to select a cell number representing the number of the cells the player desires to place a wager on, and allowing the player to make a betting point decision representing the number of betting points the player desires to wager on the cells to be selected;
(c) performing selection of the cells according to the cell number selected by the player;
(d) consecutively displaying in each of the cells a plurality of indicia for a predetermined time interval, and maintaining display of the indicia last appearing in the cells after elapse of the predetermined time interval;
(e) determining if the indicia displayed in the selected cells at the end of the predetermined time interval comply with predetermined winning criteria; and
(f) if it is determined that the indicia displayed in the selected cells at the end of the predetermined time interval comply with the predetermined winning criteria, awarding points to the player on the basis of the predetermined winning criteria and the betting points wagered on the selected cells.
2. The slot machine gaming method of claim 1, wherein, in step (c), the cells are selected randomly from the matrix.
3. The slot machine gaming method of claim 1, wherein the screen of the video slot machine is provided with touchscreen capabilities, and in step (c), control is performed to allow the player to select the cells from the matrix utilizing the touchscreen capabilities of the screen.
4. The slot machine gaming method of claim 1, wherein the predetermined winning criteria include the display of at least three of the same indicium in the selected cells.
5. The slot machine gaming method of claim 1, wherein, in step (d), each of the columns of the cells is displayed as a virtual reel, in which the reel is displayed undergoing rotation such that the indicia are displayed in a predetermined repeating pattern.
6. The slot machine gaming method of claim 1, wherein step (c) further includes displaying the betting points in each of the selected cells according to the betting point decision made by the player.
7. A video slot machine, comprising:
a display unit including a screen;
a game-processing unit connected to said display unit and performing consecutive steps of a slot machine gaming method; and
an input unit connected to said game-processing unit and allowing input by a player;
said slot machine gaming method comprising:
(a) displaying on said screen of said display unit a video image including a matrix of cells of (m) columns and (n) rows, where m>1 and n>1;
(b) allowing a player to select a cell number representing the number of the cells the player desires to place a wager on, and allowing the player to make a betting point decision representing the number of betting points the player desires to wager on the cells to be selected;
(c) performing selection of the cells according to the cell number selected by the player;
(d) consecutively displaying in each of the cells a plurality of indicia for a predetermined time interval, and maintaining display of the indicia last appearing in the cells after elapse of the predetermined time interval;
(e) determining if the indicia displayed in the selected cells at the end of the predetermined time interval comply with predetermined winning criteria; and
(f) if it is determined that the indicia displayed in the selected cells at the end of the predetermined time interval comply with the predetermined winning criteria, awarding points to the player on the basis of the predetermined winning criteria and the betting points wagered on the selected cells.
8. The video slot machine of claim 7, wherein, in step (c), the cells are selected randomly from the matrix.
9. The video slot machine of claim 7, wherein said screen of said display unit is provided with touchscreen capabilities, and, in step (c), control is performed to allow the player to select the cells from the matrix utilizing said touchscreen capabilities of said screen.
10. The video slot machine of claim 7, wherein the predetermined winning criteria include the display of at least three of the same indicium in the selected cells.
11. The video slot machine of claim 7, wherein, in step (d), each of the columns of the cells is displayed as a virtual reel, in which the reel is displayed undergoing rotation such that the indicia are displayed in a predetermined repeating pattern.
12. The video slot machine of claim 7, wherein step (c) further includes displaying the betting points in each of the selected cells according to the betting point decision made by the player.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority of Taiwanese Application No. 093135841, filed on Nov. 22, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a video slot machine and a slot machine gaming method therefor. More particularly, the present invention relates to a video slot machine and a slot machine gaming method therefor, in which a video image of the video slot machine displays apluralityof individual cells, andawagermaybe placed on as many of the cells, and for as many betting points as desired by a player.

2. Description of the Related Art

FIG. 1 shows an example of a video image appearing on a screen of a conventional video slot machine. In this example, the video image includes a matrix of cells consisting of three rows and three columns of three cells each. Each cell may display a plurality of indicia. Several pay lines 10-14 are drawn on a transparent observation window (not shown) that covers the video image. The pay lines 10-14 intersect adjacent triplets of the cells.

When a player initiates the start of gaming, the columns of the cells are displayed in a rotating reel operation, that is, as if each of the columns is a reel undergoing rotation. Through such a rotating reel goperation, each reel displays a random pattern of the indicia that is repeated as the reel rotates. The rotating reel operation continues for a predetermined time interval, which may vary slightly for each of the columns of the cells, then stops.

With the completion of the rotating reel operation, each of the cells displays a single indicium. It is then determinedif the indiciaof allthecellsof aneffective pay line form a winning combination. For some conventional video slot machines, the pay lines are automatically made effective with increases in the betting amount, while other conventional video slot machines allow the player to select the pay lines to be made effective.

As an example of the operation of the conventional video slot machine, if, after the spinning of the reels, the cells forming the uppermost row come to display AAA as shown in FIG. 1, that is, AAA is displayed on the pay line 11, assuming that the pay line 11 is effective, a number of game credits corresponding to the bet made for the pay line 11 are granted to the player. Typically, the game credits are displayed on a payout indicator of the video slot machine. This process is repeated as many times as desired by the player.

However, a drawback of the conventional video slot machine is that players are allowed only very minimal control over how the game proceeds. The initial betting amount is commonly the only control players are granted. The fact that the pay lines 10-14 are fixed in location further limits the amount of control players have over the gaming experience.

Therefore, there is a need for a video slot machine that introduces a novel way to play slots, and offers more betting variety to players.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of this invention is to provide a video slot machine and a slot machine gaming method therefor, in which a video image of the video slot machine displays apluralityof individual cells, andawagermaybeplaced on as many of the cells, and for as many betting points as desired by a player.

According to this invention, a video slot machine comprises: a display unit including a screen; a game-processing unit connected to the display unit and performing consecutive steps of a slot machine gaming method; and an input unit connected to the game-processing unit for allowing input by a player.

The slot machine gaming method comprises: (a) displaying on the screen of the display unit a video image including a matrix of cells of (m) columns and (n) rows, where m>1 and n>1; (b) allowing a player to select a cell number representing the number of the cells the player desires to place a wager on, and allowing the player to make a betting point decision representing the number of betting points the player desires to wager on the cells to be selected; (c) performing selection of the cells according to the cell number selected by the player; (d) consecutively displaying in each of the cells a plurality of indicia for a predetermined time interval, and maintaining display of the indicia last appearing in the cells after elapse of the predetermined time interval; (e) determining if the indicia displayed in the selected cells at the end of the predetermined time interval comply with predetermined winning criteria; and (f) if it is determined that the indicia displayed in the selected cells at the end of the predetermined time interval comply with the predetermined winning criteria, awarding points to the player on the basis of the predetermined winning criteria and the betting points wagered on the selected cells.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a video image appearing on a screen of a conventional video slot machine, and pay lines drawn on an observation window that covers the screen;

FIG. 2 is a schematic circuit block diagram of a video slot machine according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of a video image appearing on a screen of the video slot machine according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a flow chart of a slot machine gaming method performed by the video slot machine according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 3, but illustrating an example of a video image following completion of a game.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 2, a video slot machine 2 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a game-processing unit 21, a display unit 22, and an input unit 23.

The game-processing unit 21 performs overall control of the video slot machine 2. Prior to the start of gaming, the game-processing unit 21 displays on a screen of the display unit 22 a video image that includes a matrix of cells 30 of (m) columns and (n) rows, where m>1 and n>1. An example is shown in FIG. 3 of a video image including a matrix of cells of 5 columns and 3 rows (i.e., m=5 and n=3) to thereby result in a total of 15 of the cells 30. The game-processing unit 21 performs control so that, during gaming, each cell 30 is able to display a plurality of predetermined indicia one at a time, such as the letters A-K. Control may be performed so that each cell 30 displays the letters A-K in a repeating pattern.

The input unit 23 is connected to the game-processing unit 21. The player performs input through the input unit 23 to select betting conditions under which gaming is performed. The betting conditions include a cell number representing the number of the cells 30 the player desires to place a wager on, and a betting point decision representing the number of betting points the player desires to wager on the cells 30 that are selected.

In this embodiment, the game-processing unit 21 randomly selects a number of the cells 30 based on the cell number decision made by the player. Alternatively, the screen of the display unit 22 may be provided with touchscreen capabilities, in which case the player may directly select the cells 30 from the matrix of the same by contacting the area of the screen corresponding to the cells 30 the player desires to select.

A slot machine gaming method performed by the video slot machine 2 will now be described with reference to FIG. 4.

In step 41, the game-processing unit 21 displays on the screen of the display unit 22 a video image including a matrix of cells of (m) columns and (n) rows, where m>1 and n>1.

Next, in step 42, the game-processing unit 21 performs control to allow the player to select the cell number and to make the betting point decision. As described above, the cell number represents the number of the cells 30 the player desires to place a wager on, and the betting point decision represents the number of betting points the player desires towager on the cells 30 to be selected. The cell number and betting point selections are made by the player through the input unit 23.

Next, the game-processing unit 21, in step 43, randomly selects a number of the cells 30 corresponding to the cell number selection made by the player. Alternatively, if the screen of the display unit 22 is provided with touchscreen capabilities as described above, the player may directly select the cells 30 from the matrix of the same by contacting the area of the screen corresponding to the cell 30 the player desires to select.

In both instances of random selection and direct player selection, the game-processing unit 21 preferably controls the display unit 22 such that the selected cells 30 are indicated in some manner to distinguish them from the remainder of the cells 30. As shown in FIG. 3, the selectedcells 30maybedisplayed in a color different from the other cells 30. Further, in step 43, the game-processing unit 21 may also perform control such that a number corresponding to the betting point decision made by the player is displayed in each of the selected cells 30.

Subsequently, in step 44, the game-processing unit 21 performs control such that a plurality of indicia are consecutively displayed in each of the cells 30, and such that display of the indicia last appearing in the cells is maintained after elapse of a predetermined time interval. As an example, the columns of the cells 30 are displayed as if they are reels undergoing rotation, in which each of the reels appears as if there is a random pattern of the letters A-K printed thereon such that rotation of such virtual reels results in the repeated display of the particular patterns. This rotating reel operation is continued for the predetermined time interval (e.g., 10 seconds), which may vary for each of the reels, and is subsequently interrupted such that each of the cells 30 displays one particular indicium.

Next, in step 45, the game-processing unit 21 determines if the indicia displayed in the selected cells 30 at the end of the predetermined time interval comply with predetermined winning criteria. As an example, the game-processing unit 21 may determine if three or more of the selected cells 30 display the same indicium. In FIG. 5, an example is shown where, following step 44, B is displayed in three of the selected cells 30, and A is displayed in four of the selected cells 30. Therefore, there are two instances of compliance with the winning criteria, while display of the letters C and D, which respectively appear only two times and once, do not result in compliance with the winning criteria.

Finally, in step 46, the game-processing unit 21 awards points or game credits according to compliance with the winning criteria, if any, of the selected cells 30, and on the basis of the betting point decision made by the player in step 42. The points are preferably displayed on a payout indicator (not shown) of the display unit 22, thereby completing gaming. This process may be repeated by the player as many times as desired.

In step 45, if there is no compliance with the winning criteria, step 46 is skipped and gaming is directly ended.

In the video slot machine and slot machine gaming method of the preferred embodiment described above, a completely novel approach to the game of slots is employed such that players utilizing the video slot machine are likely to enjoy the unique experience. Moreover, since players are provided the option to place a wager on as many of the cells 30 as desired (rather than being limited to the pre-established paylines 10-14 of the conventional slot machine as shown FIG. 1), as well as the option to select the number of betting points for each game, players seeking more control over their gaming experience may prefer to play with the video slot machine of the present invention.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiment but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.

Classifications
U.S. Classification463/20
International ClassificationG07F17/32, A63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/3286
European ClassificationG07F17/32P, G07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 10, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: ASTRO CORP, TAIWAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:YANG, ARDEN;REEL/FRAME:016393/0236
Effective date: 20050226