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Publication numberUS20070123330 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/384,865
Publication dateMay 31, 2007
Filing dateMar 21, 2006
Priority dateNov 25, 2005
Publication number11384865, 384865, US 2007/0123330 A1, US 2007/123330 A1, US 20070123330 A1, US 20070123330A1, US 2007123330 A1, US 2007123330A1, US-A1-20070123330, US-A1-2007123330, US2007/0123330A1, US2007/123330A1, US20070123330 A1, US20070123330A1, US2007123330 A1, US2007123330A1
InventorsTakaaki Hishinuma, Takayuki Hirauchi, Yousuke Kamada, Yasutaka Kuroda, Masanobu Shibata, Akihiro Yokota, Muneki Shiraishi
Original AssigneeAruze Corp.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming machine
US 20070123330 A1
Abstract
Disclosed is a gaming machine 1. The gaming machine 1 comprises a liquid crystal display unit 2b for notifying the information about the timing at which a player should conduct the stop operation, and an image control MICOM 81 for determining whether the stop operation is carried out at the timing at which a player should conduct the stop operation, and updating a value of point, on condition that it is determined that the stop operation is continuously carried out at the corresponding timing. The image control MICOM 81 carries out a game over 100 times, in which the internal winning combination determined by the main control means 71 corresponds to the effect data determined by the effect mode determining means by one-to-one, on condition that the value of point is 50.
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Claims(8)
1. A gaming machine comprising:
symbol display means for displaying plural symbols;
start operation detection means for detecting a start operation;
internal winning combination determining means for determining an internal winning combination, based on the detection of start operation carried out by the start operation detection means;
symbol varying means for varying the symbols to be displayed by the symbol display means, based on the detection of start operation carried out by the start operation detection means;
stop operation detection means for detecting a stop operation;
stop control means for carrying out a stop control of the symbol variation carried out by the symbol varying means, based on the internal winning combination determined by the internal winning combination determining means and the detection of stop operation carried out by the stop operation detection means;
payout awarding means for awarding a player a payout relating to a combination of symbols displayed by the symbol display means as a result of the stop control carried out by the stop control means;
effect mode determining means for determining an effect mode;
notifying means for notifying information related to a timing at which the player conducts the stop operation;
stop operation determining means for determining whether or not the stop operation is carried out at the timing;
numerical value information updating means for updating numerical value information, on condition that the stop operation determining means determines that the stop operation is carried out at the timing; and
means for operating a special game section in which the internal winning combination determined by internal winning combination determining means corresponds to the effect mode determined by the effect mode determining means by one-to-one, on condition that the numerical value information is updated to a predetermined one as a result of the update carried out by the updating means.
2. The gaming machine according to claim 1, further comprising bonus game operating means for outputting a music relating to the timing at which the player conducts the stop operation.
3. The gaming machine according to claim 1, further comprising means for operating a bonus game, wherein the notifying means notifies the information about the timing at which the player conducts the stop operation, on condition that the bonus game is operated.
4. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the notifying means is provided with means for displaying the identification information allowing the player to identify the information about the timing at which the player conducts the stop operation.
5. A gaming machine comprising:
symbol display means having plural display units displaying symbols;
start operation detection means for detecting a start operation;
internal winning combination determining means for determining an internal winning combination, based on the detection of start operation carried out by the start operation detection means;
symbol varying means for varying symbols to be displayed by the plural symbol display units, based on the detection of start operation carried out by the start operation detection means;
stop operation detection means mounted to correspond to each of the plural display units and detecting a stop operation;
stop control means for carrying out a stop control of the symbol variation in the display unit corresponding to the corresponding stop operation detection means, based on the internal winning combination determined by the internal winning combination determining means, when it is carried out the detection of stop operation by the stop operation detection means;
bonus game operating means for starting an operation of a bonus game;
first notifying means for notifying a timing at a first interval when the operation of bonus game is operated;
second notifying means for notifying a timing at a second interval different from the first interval when it is carried out the operation of bonus game which is started on the basis of a state that an order for detecting a stop operation by the plural stop operation detection means is a predetermined order; and
payout awarding means for awarding a payout to a player when the stop operation is detected by the stop operation detection means at the timing notified by the first notifying means and the timing notified by the second notifying means.
6. The gaming machine according to claim 5, wherein the second notifying means notifies the timing at the second interval when it is carried out the operation of the bonus game which is started on the basis of a state that an order for detecting a stop operation by the plural stop operation detection means is a predetermined order and a state that a situation where the detection of stop operation is carried out by at least one of the plural stop operation detection means is continued for predetermined time.
7. The gaming machine according to claim 5, wherein the first and second means notify the information corresponding to any one of the plural stop operation detection means while notifying the timings, and
wherein the payout awarding means awards the payout to the player, on condition that the stop operation is detected by the stop operation detection means corresponding to the information which is notified by the first notifying means at the timing notified by the first notifying means or the stop operation is detected by the stop operation detection means corresponding to the information which is notified by the second notifying means at the timing notified by the second notifying means.
8. The gaming machine according to claim 5, further comprising means for outputting a music relating to the timing notified by the first notifying means and the timing notified by the second notifying means.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to a Japanese Patent Application No. 2005-340589, filed on Nov. 25, 2005, and a Japanese Patent Application No. 2005-340588, filed on Nov. 25, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a gaming machine.

2. Description of Related Art

It has been conventionally known a gaming machine, so-called, pachi-slot machine comprising a plurality of reels, each of which having plural symbols arranged on a periphery thereof; plural display windows mounted to correspond to each of the reels and displaying some of the plural symbols arranged on the periphery of each reel so as to allow a player to see them; a start switch for outputting a signal requesting start of rotation of each reel, when it is detected an operation by the player (hereinafter, referred to as start operation), on condition that a medal has been inserted; a stop switch for outputting a signal requesting stop of the rotation of the reel, correspondingly to types of the reels, when it is detected an operation by the player (hereinafter, referred to as stop operation); and a control unit for controlling an operation of stepping motors to rotate and stop the respective reels, based on the signals outputted from the start switch and the stop switch. In the pachi-slot machine, it is determined whether or not a winning is achieved on the basis of a combination of symbols displayed by the display windows, and a medal is paid out when it is determined that a winning is achieved.

At present time, in the pachi-slot machine forming the mainstream, when it is detected the start operation by the player, an internal lottery is performed, and an operation of stopping the reel rotation is carried out, based on a result of the lottery and the timing of the stop operation conducted by the player. In other words, for example, a result relating to a winning can be obtained by the internal lottery (hereinafter, a type of the internal lottery result will be referred to as internal winning combination), and a winning is achieved on condition that the stop operation is carried out at an appropriate timing.

In recent years, it has been suggested a gaming machine capable of carrying out an effect of notifying a determined internal winning combination in a predetermined probability through a lottery (for example, see a Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication No. 2004-267608). According to this gaming machine, it is possible to effectively increase the player's expectations that a combination of symbols corresponding to the determined internal winning combination will be displayed by the plural display windows.

In addition, it has been suggested a gaming machine providing a timing game in which when it is notified to the player the information related to a timing at which the player should conduct the stop operation and the player conducts the stop operation at the proper timing in accordance with the notification, a privilege is provided to the player (see a Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication No. 2004-275523). According to this gaming machine, when the notification is made, the player pays attention to the stop operation so as to acquire the privilege.

However, according to the gaming machine as disclosed in a Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication No. 2004-267608, an internal winning combination different from the determined internal winning combination may be notified. In this case, a winning is not achieved, even though the player conducts the stop operation at the timing at which a combination of symbols corresponding to the notified internal winning combination is displayed by the plural display windows. Accordingly, the player hesitates to conduct the stop operation because the player does not know when the player conducts the stop operation. As a consequence, the frequency of stop operation conducted by the player per unit time is decreased and thus the rate of operation of the gaming machine is lowered.

In the mean time, if it is carried out an effect capable of definitely notifying the determined internal winning combination, the player can carry out the stop operation more smoothly, so that it is possible to prevent the rate of operation of the gaming machine from being lowered. However, the player is apt to lose interest in the effect.

In addition, according to the gaming machine as disclosed in a Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication No. 2004-275523, if the information related to the timing at which the player should conduct the stop operation is repeatedly notified, the player can easily carry out the stop operation at the proper timing in accordance with the notification. Accordingly, the player gets used to the degree of difficulty of the timing game, so that the player's interest in the timing game is decreased.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the invention has been made to solve the above-mentioned problems occurring in the prior art. An object of the invention is to provide a gaming machine enabling the player not to lose interest in an effect relating to an internal winning combination while preventing the rate of operation of the gaming machine from being lowered.

Another object of the invention is to provide a gaming machine capable of maintaining the player's interest in a timing game awarding a payout to a player depending on a timing of a stop operation.

In order to achieve the above objects, a gaming machine provided according to the invention is characterized in that the gaming machine comprises: means for awarding a player a payout relating to a combination of symbols displayed by symbol display means as a result of stop control carried out by stop control means; means for determining an effect mode; means for notifying information related to a timing at which the player conducts a stop operation; stop operation determining means for determining whether or not the stop operation is carried out at the timing; means for updating numerical value information, on condition that the stop operation determining means determines that the stop operation is carried out at the timing; and means for operating a special game section in which the internal winning combination determined by internal winning combination determining means corresponds to the effect mode determined by the effect mode determining means by one-to-one, on condition that the numerical value information is updated to a predetermined one as a result of the update carried out by the updating means.

More specifically, the invention provides following gaming machines.

(1) There is provided a gaming machine comprising: symbol display means (for example, reels 3L, 3C, 3R, display windows 21L, 21CL, 21R) for displaying plural symbols; start operation detection means (for example, start switch 6S) for detecting a start operation (for example, start operation described later, operation of a start lever 6); internal winning combination determining means (for example, means for carrying out an internal lottery process, main control circuit 71) for determining an internal winning combination (for example, internal winning combination described later), based on the detection of start operation carried out by the start operation detection means; symbol varying means (for example, stepping motors 49L, 49C, 49R, main control circuit 71) for varying the symbols to be displayed by the symbol display means, based on the detection of start operation carried out by the start operation detection means; stop operation detection means (for example, stop switches 7LS, 7CS, 7RS) for detecting a stop operation (for example, operation of stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R); stop control means (for example, means for carrying out a reel stop control process in FIG. 17, means for carrying out a priority attraction-in control process in FIG. 18, main control circuit 71) for carrying out a stop control of the symbol variation carried out by the symbol varying means, based on the internal winning combination determined by the internal winning combination determining means and the detection of stop operation carried out by the stop operation detection means; payout awarding means (for example, processes of steps S13 and S15 in FIG. 14, main control circuit 71) for awarding a player a payout (for example, payout of medals) relating to a combination of symbols (for example, Bell-Bell-Bell) displayed by the symbol display means as a result of the stop control carried out by the stop control means; effect mode determining means (for example, means for determining effect data, image control MICOM 81) for determining an effect mode (for example, effect data); notifying means (for example, liquid crystal display device 131, liquid crystal display unit 2 b, effect display area 23) for notifying (for example, displaying an image including markers 305 to 308 and a bar 309) information related to a timing at which the player conducts the stop operation; stop operation determining means (for example, means for carrying out a determination of a step S152 in FIG. 25, image control MICOM 81) for determining whether or not the stop operation is carried out at the timing; numerical value information updating means (for example, means for carrying out a process of a step S153 in FIG. 25) for updating numerical value information (for example, point), on condition that the stop operation determining means determines that the stop operation is carried out at the timing (for example, a result of determination in a step S152 of FIG. 25 is YES); and means (for example, means for carrying out processes of steps S182 and S183 in FIG. 28, means for carrying out processes of steps S144 and S145 in FIG. 24) for operating a special game section (for example, a section in which a complete notification effect is carried out over 100 games) in which the internal winning combination determined by internal winning combination determining means corresponds to the effect mode determined by the effect mode determining means by one-to-one, on condition that the numerical value information is updated to a predetermined one (for example, a value of point is 50) as a result of the update carried out by the updating means.

According to the gaming machine described in the above (1), the stop control means carries out a stop control of the symbol variation carried out by the symbol varying means, based on the internal winning combination determined by the internal winning combination determining means and the detection of stop operation carried out by the stop operation detection means. In addition, the awarding means awards a player a payout relating to a combination of symbols displayed by the symbol display means as a result of the stop control carried out by the stop control means. Additionally, the notifying means notifies the information related to a timing at which the player conducts a stop operation. Furthermore, the updating means updates the numerical value information, on condition that the stop operation determining means determines that the stop operation is carried out at the timing. Further, the special game section operating means operates a special game section in which the internal winning combination determined by internal winning combination determining means corresponds to the effect mode determined by the effect mode determining means by one-to-one, on condition that the numerical value information is updated to a predetermined one as a result of the update carried out by the updating means. Accordingly, since the internal winning combination determined by internal winning combination determining means corresponds to the effect mode determined by the effect mode determining means by one-to-one in the special game section, the player can certainly perceive the internal winning combination determined by internal winning combination determining means, based on the effect mode. Therefore, based on the internal winning combination perceived, the player conducts the stop operation at the timing at which the stop control is carried out by the stop control means, which stop control displays a combination of symbols providing the payout through the awarding means. As a consequence, the player does not miss a proper timing of the stop operation, so that it is possible to prevent the rate of operation of the gaming machine from being lowered. In addition, since the special game section, in which the effect mode is determined depending on the internal winning combination, is operated only when it is satisfied the limited condition that the numerical value information becomes the predetermined one in accordance with the timing of the stop operation by the player, it is possible to prevent the player's interest in the effect depending on the internal winning combination from being reduced. Accordingly, it is possible to provide a gaming machine enabling the player not to lose interest in an effect relating to an internal winning combination while preventing the rate of operation of the gaming machine from being lowered.

(2) According to the invention, the gaming machine described in the above (1) is further provided with bonus game operating means (for example, speakers 9L, 9R) for outputting a music (for example, music A to D) relating to the timing at which the player conducts the stop operation.

According to the gaming machine described in the above (2), since the music output means outputs a music relating to the timing at which the player should conduct the stop operation, the player can carry out the stop operation at the timing which is set to the music outputted by the music output means, so that the player can enjoy a rhythmical stop operation.

(3) According to the invention, the gaming machine described in the above (1) is further provided with means (for example, means for carrying out processes of steps S91 to S96 in FIG. 20) for operating a bonus game, and the notifying means notifies the information about the timing at which the player conducts the stop operation, on condition that the bonus game is operated.

According to the gaming machine described in the above (3), the notifying means notifies the information about the timing at which the player should conduct the stop operation, on condition that the bonus game is operated. Accordingly, the player can conduct the stop operation so that the condition of operating the special game section is satisfied while expecting that the special game section will be operated in the bonus game.

(4) According to the gaming machine described in the above (1), the notifying means is provided with means (for example, liquid crystal display device 131, liquid crystal display unit 2 b, effect display area 23) for displaying the identification information (for example, markers 305 to 308 and bar 309) allowing the player to identify the information about the timing at which the player conducts the stop operation.

According to the gaming machine described in the above (4), since the display means displays the identification information allowing the player to identify the information about the timing at which the player should conduct the stop operation, the player can correctly perceive the timing at which the player should carry out the stop operation, based on the identification information displayed by the display means, thereby carrying out the stop operation.

In addition, in order to achieve the above objects, a gaming machine provided according to the invention is characterized in that the gaming machine comprises: bonus game operating means for starting an operation of a bonus game; first notifying means for notifying a timing at a first interval when the operation of bonus game is operated; second notifying means for notifying a timing at a second interval different from the first interval when it is carried out the operation of bonus game which is started on the basis of a state that an order for detecting a stop operation by plural stop operation detection means is a predetermined order; and means for awarding a payout to a player when the stop operation is detected by the stop operation detection means at the timing notified by the first notifying means and the timing notified by the second notifying means.

More specifically, the invention provides following gaming machines.

(5) There is provided a gaming machine comprising: symbol display means (for example, reels 3L, 3C, 3R, display windows 21L, 21CL, 21R) having plural display units (for example, display windows 21L, 21CL, 21R) displaying symbols; start operation detection means (for example, start switch 6S) for detecting a start operation (for example, start operation described later, operation of a start lever 6); internal winning combination determining means (for example, means for carrying out an internal lottery process, main control circuit 71) for determining an internal winning combination (for example, internal winning combination described later), based on the detection of start operation carried out by the start operation detection means; symbol varying means (for example, stepping motors 49L, 49C, 49R, main control circuit 71) for varying symbols to be displayed by the plural symbol display units, based on the detection of start operation carried out by the start operation detection means; stop operation detection means (for example, stop switches 7LS, 7CS, 7RS) mounted to correspond to each of the plural display units and detecting a stop operation (for example, operation of stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R); stop control means (for example, means for carrying out a reel stop control process in FIG. 17, means for carrying out a priority attraction-in control process in FIG. 18, main control circuit 71) for carrying out a stop control of the symbol variation in the display unit corresponding to the corresponding stop operation detection means, based on the internal winning combination determined by the internal winning combination determining means when it is carried out the detection of stop operation by the stop operation detection means; bonus game operating means (for example, means for carrying out processes of steps S91 to S96 in FIG. 20) for starting an operation (for example, process of updating a flag under MB operation to ON) of a bonus game (for example, middle bonus game); first notifying means (for example, liquid crystal display device 131 for displaying images relating to each of music A to C, speakers 9L, 9R for outputting music A to C) for notifying a timing at a first interval (for example, time interval in which markers 305 to 307 are made to be within a permitted range in a music game in which music A to C are outputted) when the operation of bonus game is operated; second notifying means (for example, liquid crystal display device 131 for displaying an image relating to music D, speakers 9L, 9R for outputting music D) for notifying a timing at a second interval (for example, time interval in which markers 305 to 307 are made to be within a permitted range in a music game in which a music D is outputted) different from the first interval when it is carried out the operation of bonus game which is started on the basis of a state that an order for detecting a stop operation by the plural stop operation detection means is a predetermined order (for example, specific stop order); and payout awarding means (for example, means for carrying out processes of steps S181 to S183 in FIG. 28, means for carrying out processes of steps S144 and S145 in FIG. 24) for awarding (for example, displaying an image including a two-dimensional barcode on a liquid crystal display area 2 b, of which a complete notification effect is continuously carried out over 100 games) a payout to a player when the stop operation is detected by the stop operation detection means at the timing notified by the first notifying means and the timing notified by the second notifying means.

According to the gaming machine described in the above (5), the first notifying means notifies a timing at a first interval when the operation of bonus game is operated. In addition, the second notifying means notifies a timing at a second interval different from the first interval when it is carried out the operation of bonus game which is started on the basis of a state that an order for detecting a stop operation by the plural stop operation detection means is a predetermined order. Additionally, the awarding means awards a payout to a player when the stop operation is detected by the stop operation detection means at the timing notified by the first notifying means and the timing notified by the second notifying means. Accordingly, since the payout is awarded to the player by the awarding means in the bonus game, the player carries out the stop operation with aiming at the timing notified by the notification means and it is possible to maintain the player's interest in the award of payout in even the bonus game. In addition, the timing is typically notified at the first interval. However, since the timing is notified at a second interval different from the first interval when it is carried out the operation of bonus game which is started on the basis of a state that an order for detecting a stop operation by the plural stop operation detection means is a predetermined order, it is possible to diversely change the timing notified in the bonus game. When the second interval is relatively shorter than the first interval, the player should conduct the stop operation at the interval of relative shorter time than the first interval so that the payout is awarded to the player by the awarding means. Accordingly, when the timing is notified at the second interval, it is relatively increased the degree of difficulty of the stop operation for taking the payout through the awarding means, as compared to the case where the timing is notified at the first interval. In addition, since the player can carry out the stop operation so that an order for detecting a stop operation by the plural stop operation detection means is a predetermined order and it is possible to increase the degree of difficulty of the stop operation for taking the payout through the awarding means, it is possible to prevent the player's interest in the timing game, in which the payout is awarded to the player depending on the timing of the stop operation, from being decreased, which results from that the player gets used to the degree of difficulty of the stop operation for taking the payout through the awarding means.

(6) According to the gaming machine described in the above (5), the second notifying means notifies the timing at the second interval when it is carried out the operation of the bonus game which is started on the basis of a state that an order for detecting a stop operation by the plural stop operation detection means is a predetermined order and a state that a situation where the detection of stop operation is carried out by at least one of the plural stop operation detection means (for example, a situation where a stop command signal is continuously outputted by stop switches 7LS, 7CS, 7RS corresponding to stop switches 7L, 7C, 7R which are pushed in a third stop operation, a situation where stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R are continuously pushed in a third stop operation) is continued for predetermined time (for example, 3 seconds).

According to the gaming machine described in the above (6), the second notifying means notifies the timing at the second interval when it is carried out the operation of the bonus game which is started on the basis of a state that an order for detecting a stop operation by the plural stop operation detection means is a predetermined order and a state that a situation where the detection of stop operation is carried out by at least one of the plural stop operation detection means is continued for predetermined time. However, it is rare for the player to conduct the stop operation so that it is fulfilled the conditions that an order for detecting a stop operation by the plural stop operation detection means is a predetermined order and that a situation where the detection of stop operation is carried out by at least one of the plural stop operation detection means is continued for predetermined time. Accordingly, in order to fulfill the conditions, the player should deliberately carry out the stop operation so that the conditions are fulfilled. Therefore, it is possible to prevent the conditions from being fulfilled against the player's intention, the timing from being notified at the second interval shorter than the first interval, and the degree of difficulty of the stop operation for taking the payout through the awarding means from being increased. In addition, both the player who is interested in the high degree of difficulty of the stop operation for taking the payout through the awarding means and the player is not interested in the high degree of difficulty can joyfully conduct the stop operation.

(7) According to the gaming machine described in the above (5), the first and second means notify the information corresponding to any one of the plural stop operation detection means (for example, displaying an image including a right marker 305 corresponding to a right stop button 7R, a left marker 306 corresponding to a left marker 7L, and a center marker 307 corresponding to a center stop button 7C) while notifying the timings, and the payout awarding means awards the payout to the player, on condition that the stop operation is detected by the stop operation detection means corresponding to the information which is notified by the first notifying means at the timing notified by the first notifying means or the stop operation is detected by the stop operation detection means corresponding to the information which is notified by the second notifying means at the timing notified by the second notifying means (for example, when a position of a marker is within a permitted range, the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R corresponding to the marker is pushed).

According to the gaming machine described in the above (7), the first and second means notify the information corresponding to any one of the plural stop operation detection means while notifying the timing. In addition, the awarding means awards the payout to the player, on condition that the stop operation is detected by the stop operation detection means corresponding to the information which is notified by the first notifying means at the timing notified by the first notifying means or the stop operation is detected by the stop operation detection means corresponding to the information which is notified by the second notifying means at the timing notified by the second notifying means. Accordingly, in order to give the payout through the awarding means, the player should conduct the stop operating while paying attention to the stop operation detection means corresponding to the notified information as well as the timings notified by the notifying means. Therefore, it is possible to diversify the stop operation which is carried out to award the payout through the awarding means and thus to increase the player's interest in the bonus game in which such stop operation is carried out.

(8) According to the invention, the gaming machine described in the above (5) is provided with means (for example, speakers 9L, 9R, sound•lamp control MICOM 111) for outputting a music (for example, music A to D) relating to the timing notified by the first notifying means and the timing notified by the second notifying means.

According to the gaming machine described in the above (8), since the music output means outputs a music relating to the timing notified by the first notifying means and the timing notified by the second notifying means, the player can rhythmically and joyfully conduct the stop operation for taking the payout through the awarding means in the bonus game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other and further objects, features and advantages of the invention will appear more fully from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of schematically showing a gaming machine 1 according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 shows a panel display unit, a liquid crystal display unit and a fixed display unit of a liquid crystal display device;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a schematic structure of a liquid crystal display unit;

FIG. 4 is a view showing an example of symbols arranged on reels;

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of an electric circuit;

FIG. 6 is a block diagram of an electric circuit;

FIG. 7 is a view showing an internal lottery table determining table;

FIG. 8 shows an internal lottery table;

FIG. 9 shows an internal winning combination determining table;

FIG. 10 is a view showing a symbol combination table;

FIG. 11 shows a bonus operation table;

FIG. 12 shows areas for storing an internal winning combination, an internal carryover combination, a display combination and a flag under operation;

FIG. 13 shows an effect table;

FIG. 14 is a main flow chart of a main control circuit;

FIG. 15 is a flow chart showing a medal receiving•start checking process;

FIG. 16 is a flow chart showing an internal lottery process;

FIG. 17 is a flow chart showing a reel stop control process;

FIG. 18 is a flow chart showing a priority attraction-in control process;

FIG. 19 is a flow chart showing a bonus end checking process;

FIG. 20 is a flow chart showing a bonus operation checking process;

FIG. 21 is a flow chart showing an intervention process under control of a main CPU;

FIG. 22 is a flow chart showing a RESET-intervention process under control of a sub-CPU;

FIG. 23 is a flow chart showing a process BET command receiving;

FIG. 24 is a flow chart showing a process on start command receiving;

FIG. 25 is a flow chart showing a process on reel stop command receiving;

FIG. 26 is a flow chart showing a process on display combination command receiving;

FIG. 27 is a flow chart showing a process on bonus operating command receiving;

FIG. 28 is a flow chart showing a process on bonus ending command receiving;

FIG. 29 is a flow chart showing a periodic intervention process under control of a sub-CPU;

FIG. 30 is a view showing an example of an image displayed on an effect display area;

FIG. 31 is a view showing an example of an image displayed on an effect display area;

FIG. 32 is a view showing an example of an image displayed on an effect display area;

FIG. 33 is a view showing an example of an image displayed on an effect display area;

FIG. 34 is a view showing an example of an image displayed on an effect display area;

FIG. 35 is a view showing an example of an image displayed on an effect display area;

FIG. 36 is a view showing an example of an image displayed on an effect display area; and

FIG. 37 is a graph showing an output pattern of music in a music game.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of schematically showing a gaming machine 1 according to an embodiment of the invention. The gaming machine 1 is a so-called pachi-slot machine. The gaming machine 1 is a gaming machine carrying out a game using a game medium such as card storing information of a game value which has been awarded or will be awarded to a player, as well as coin, medal, gaming ball and token. In the following descriptions, a medal is used as the game medium.

A front door 2 is provided at a front surface thereof with a panel display unit 2 a having an approximate vertical surface, a liquid crystal display unit 2 b and a fixed display unit 2 c. In addition, three reels 3L, 3C, 3R having plural symbols drawn on peripheries thereof are mounted horizontally in a row at the rear of the front door 2 to be freely rotatable. Each of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R is rotated at a constant speed (for example, 80 revolutions/min).

A base portion 4 having an approximate horizontal surface is provided below the panel display unit 2 a, the liquid crystal display unit 2 b and the fixed display unit 2 c. A medal insertion slot 10 for inserting a medal is formed at a right side of the base portion 4. The inserted medal is credited (i.e., deposited) and consumed to play a game. The base portion 4 is provided at a left side thereof with a 1-BET switch 11, a 2-BET switch 12 and a MAX-BET switch 13 for selecting the number of medals (hereinafter, referred to as insertion number) among the credited medals, which are consumed to play a game by a push operation.

The 1-BET switch 11 selects 1 as an insertion number by one push operation. The 2-BET switch 12 selects 2 as an insertion number by one push operation. The MAX-BET switch 13 selects 3 as an insertion number by one push operation.

When the BET switches 11 to 13 are pushed, a display line is activated (which will be specifically described later). Hereinafter, the push operation of the BET-switches 11 to 13 and the operation of inserting a medal into the medal insertion slot 10 are referred to as insertion operation. In addition, an operating unit 17 is mounted above the BET switches 11 to 13. The operating unit 17 is manipulated so as to display information such as game history on a liquid crystal display device 131 (see FIG. 3).

The base portion 4 is provided at the frontal left side with a C/P switch 14 for switching credits/payouts of medals, which are obtained by a player through the game, through a push operation. When the C/P switch 14 is operated, the medals are paid out from a medal payout slot 15 at a front lower side and the paid out medals are collected in a medal tray 5. Speakers 9L, 9R for producing an effect sound regarding the game effect are provided at the upper left and right sides of the medal tray 5.

A start lever 6 for rotating the reels to vary the symbols in display windows 21L, 21C, 21R by a manipulation of the player is mounted at the right side of the C/P switch 14 to be rotatable within a predetermined range of angles. An operation of the start lever 6 carried out by a player so as to vary the symbols is referred to as start operations.

Three stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R for stopping rotations of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R are provided at the right side of the start lever 6 in the frontal center of the base portion 4. In addition, in one embodiment, a one game (i.e., unit game) is basically started by the start operation and is over when all the reels 3L, 3C, 3R are stopped. In addition, in one embodiment, in case that the start operation is carried out when the insertion number is not 3, the corresponding start operation is annulled.

Herein, in one embodiment, a stop operation of the reel (i.e., operation of the stop button) carried out while all the reels are being rotated is referred to as a first stop operation, a stop operation which is carried out following the first stop operation is referred to as a second stop operation, and a stop operation which is carried out following the second stop operation is referred to as a third stop operation. In addition, stop switches 7LS, 7CS, 7RS are arranged at the rear of the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R, which will be described with reference to FIG. 5. The stop switches detect push operations (i.e., stop operations) of the corresponding stop buttons.

Hereinafter, the panel display unit 2 a, the liquid crystal display unit 2 b and the fixed display unit 2 c are described with reference to FIG. 2.

The panel display unit 2 a consists of a bonus game information display unit 16, BET lamps 17 a to 17 c, a payout display unit 18 and a credit display unit 19. The bonus game information display unit 16 consists of 7 segment LEDs and displays game information during a bonus game (for example, middle bonus game). The 1-BET lamp 17 a, the 2-BET lamp 17 b and the MAX-BET lamp 17 c are turned on in correspondence with the insertion number.

The 1-BET lamp 17 a is turned on when the insertion number is 1. The 2-BET lamp 17 b is turned on when the insertion number is 2. The MAX-BET lamp 17 c is turned on when the insertion number is 3. The payout display unit 18 and the credit display unit 19 consist of 7 segment LEDs, respectively, and display a payout number of medals when a winning is made and a number of medals credited, respectively.

The liquid crystal display unit 2 b consists of display windows 21L, 21C, 21R, window frame display areas 22L, 22C, 22R and an effect display area 23. The display contents of the liquid crystal display unit 2 b are adopted to vary in accordance with the rotation and stop modes of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R (i.e., modes of combinations of symbols displayed on the display window 21L, 21C, 21R when the rotations of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R are stopped) and an operation of the liquid crystal display device 131 which will be described with reference to FIG. 3.

Each of the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R is mounted to correspond to each of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R and carries out the display of symbols arranged on the reels 3L, 3C, 3R or various displays for effects.

The display windows 21L, 21C, 21R are provided with display lines, i.e., top line 8 b, center line 8 c and bottom line 8 d which are horizontally directed and cross-up line 8 a and cross-down line 8 e which are diagonally directed. In one embodiment, on condition that a player pushes the BET switches 11 to 13 or inserts a medal into the medal insertion slot 10 and thus the insertion number becomes 3, only the center line 8 c of the five display lines 8 a to 8 e is activated (hereinafter, activated display line is referred to as activated line).

Herein, each of the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R is formed with three symbol display areas (i.e., upper, central and lower parts) in a longitudinal direction (i.e., vertical direction), respectively. In other words, a total of 9 symbol display areas are formed at the upper, central and lower parts of the left reel 3L, the upper, central and lower parts of the center reel 3C and the upper, central and lower parts of the right reel 3R. In case that the variation of symbols is stopped in each of the display windows 3L, 3C, 3R, the symbols are stopped and displayed on the symbol display areas formed in each of the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R, respectively. Each of the display lines 8 a to 8 e connects the symbol display areas in each of the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R.

The display windows 21L, 21C, 21R are under transmissive state so that the player can see the symbols on the reels 3L, 3C, 3R, at least when the corresponding reels 3L, 3C, 3R are being rotated and when the corresponding stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R can be pushed.

The window frame display areas 22L, 22C, 22R are mounted to surround each of the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R, and display the frames of the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R arranged on the front of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R.

The effect display area 23 is an area except the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R and the window frame display areas 22L, 22C, 22R of the liquid crystal display unit 2 b. The effect display area 23 displays an image definitely notifying that a bonus (for example, MB1 and MB2) has been determined as an internal winning combination, an effect for increasing an interest in a game and information required so that a player can advantageously play a game.

In addition, the information about a music game, which is carried out in a middle bonus game, is displayed on the right area of the effect display area 23 (see FIG. 36).

The fixed display unit 2 c is an area in which a predetermined picture and the like are drawn. It may be such structured that the picture and the like drawn on the fixed display unit 2 c and the image displayed on the effect display area 23 are correlated to display one still image or moving image.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of schematically showing a structure of the liquid crystal display device 131. An inside structure of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R is first described. In the reels 3L, 3C, 3R, LED receiving circuit boards are mounted at the rear of the three rows of symbols (i.e., 9 symbols) which are stopped on each of the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R when the rotations of reels 3L, 3C, 3R are stopped. The LED receiving circuit boards include three LED receiving units (i.e., a total nine), respectively, and plural LED lamps are mounted therein.

The LED lamps illuminate rear surfaces of reel sheets mounted along the peripheries of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R with white lights. More specifically, they illuminate areas corresponding to the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R. The reel sheet is structured to have a transparent property and the lights emitted from the LED lamps pass through the front surface of the reel sheet.

In addition, the left reel 3L consists of a cylindrical frame structure formed by spacing two ring-shaped frames having a same shape at an interval and connecting them with plural connection members, and a transfer member transferring a driving force of a stepping motor 49L mounted at a center of the frame structure to the ring-shaped frames. In addition, the reel sheet is mounted along the periphery of the left reel 3L.

The LED receiving circuit board arranged in the reel 3L includes three LED receiving units for receiving plural LED lamps. The LED receiving circuit board is mounted in such a way that the LED receiving units are respectively located at the rears of the symbols (i.e., total 3 symbols) that a player can see through the display window 21L. In addition, the center reel 3C and the right reel 3R have also the same structure as the left reel 3L and comprise the LED receiving circuit boards therein, respectively.

Next, the transmissive liquid crystal display device 131 is described. The liquid crystal display device 131 consists of a protecting glass 132, a display plate 133, a liquid crystal panel 134, a light guide plate 135, a reflecting film 136, fluorescent lamps 137 a, 137 b, 138 a, 138 b which are so-called white light sources (for example, means for generating lights, including all wavelengths of lights, with a proportion that a specific color is unnoticeable), lamp holders 139 a to 139 h and the like.

The liquid crystal display device 131 is mounted just at the front, viewing from the reels 3L, 3C, 3R. In addition, the reels 3L, 3C, 3R and the liquid crystal display device 131 are separately (for example, at an interval) mounted.

The protecting glass 132 and the display plate 133 are made of transmissive members. The protecting glass 132 is provided to protect the liquid crystal panel 134. In the display plate 133, a pattern, picture and the like are drawn on areas corresponding to the panel display unit 2 a and the fixed display unit 2 c (see FIG. 2).

Herein, in FIG. 3, it is not shown an electric circuit arranged at the rear of the display plate 133 corresponding to the panel display unit 2 a, which is provided to control operations of the bonus game information display unit 16, the payout number display unit 18, the credit display unit 19 and the BET lamps 17 a to 17 c.

In the liquid crystal panel 134, liquid crystals are sealingly injected in a gap between a transparent board such as glass plate having a thin film transistor layer formed thereon and a transparent board opposite to the board. A display mode of the liquid crystal panel 54 is set as a normally white. The normally white is such a structure that it becomes a white display (i.e., the lights traveling from the reels 3L, 3C, 3R of the liquid crystal panel 134 penetrate) under state that the liquid crystal is not driven (i.e., a voltage is not applied to the liquid crystal panel 134). Accordingly, it is possible to see the penetrated lights from the exterior.

Accordingly, by adopting the liquid crystal panel 134 structured with the normally white, even when there occurs a state at which the liquid crystal cannot be driven, it is possible to see the symbols arranged on the reels 3L, 3C, 3R through the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R and to continuously play the game. In other words, even when there occurs such state that the liquid crystal cannot be driven, it is possible to play the game in relation to the rotations and stops of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R.

The light guide plate 135 is provided at the rear of the liquid crystal panel 54 so as to guide the light from the fluorescent lamps 137 a, 137 b into the liquid crystal panel 134 (i.e., to illuminate the liquid crystal panel 134) and consists of a transmissive member (i.e., a member having a light guide function) such as acryl-based resin having about 2 cm thickness, for example.

For the reflecting film 136, it is possible to use a material having silver deposition film formed on a white polyester film or aluminum thin film, for example. The reflecting film reflects the light, which is introduced into the light guide plate 135, toward the front. Thereby, the liquid crystal panel 134 is illuminated. The reflecting film 136 consists of a reflecting area 136A and non-reflecting areas (i.e., transmissive areas) 136BL, 136BC, 136BR. The non-reflecting areas 136BL, 136BC, 136BR are made of transparent materials, so that they penetrate the incident light without reflecting it.

In addition, the non-reflecting areas 136BL, 136BC, 136BR are provided at front positions of the symbols which are displayed when the rotations of reels 3L, 3C, 3R are stopped. Additionally, sizes and positions of the non-reflecting areas 136BL, 136BC, 136BR are structured to be matched to the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R (see FIG. 2). Further, in the reflecting film 136, an area except the non-reflecting areas 136BL, 136BC, 136BR is the reflecting area 136A which reflects the light introduced to the light guide plate 135 toward the front.

The fluorescent lamps 137 a, 137 b are arranged along upper and lower ends of the light guide plate 135 and supported at their both ends by the lamp holders 139 a, 139 b, 139 g, 139 h. The fluorescent lamps 137 a, 137 b generate the light to be introduced into the light guide plate 135.

The fluorescent lamps 138 a, 138 b are arranged at upper and lower parts of the rear of the reflecting film 136. The lights generated from the fluorescent lamps 138 a, 138 b are reflected at the surfaces of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R and incident on the non-reflecting area 136BL, 136BC, 136BR. The incident lights pass through the non-reflecting area 136BL, 136BC, 136BR to illuminate the liquid crystal panel 134.

Hereinafter, functions of the LED lamps and the fluorescent lamps 137 a, 137 b, 138 a, 138 b are described.

First, it is described a function of each lamp when the liquid crystals of the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R are not driven (i.e., voltage is not applied to parts corresponding to the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R of the liquid crystal panel 134).

Some of the lights emitted from the fluorescent lamps 138 a, 138 b are reflected by the reel sheet. In addition, some of the lights emitted from the LED lamps mounted at the LED receiving circuit board penetrate the reel sheet. Since these lights penetrate the non-reflecting areas 136BL, 136BC, 136BR, and the light guide plate 135 and the liquid crystal panel 135 which constitute the liquid crystal display device 131, the player can see the symbols arranged on the reels.

In addition, the lights emitted from the fluorescent lamps 137 a, 137 b and introduced toward the light guide plate 135 pass through the liquid crystal panel 134 and are incident to the player's eyes. In other words, the areas of the liquid crystal panel 134 corresponding to the window frame areas 22L, 22C, 22R and the effect display area 23 are illuminated by the fluorescent lamps 137 a, 137 b.

Next, it is described a function of each lamp when the liquid crystals of the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R are driven (i.e., voltage is applied to parts corresponding to the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R of the liquid crystal panel 134).

Some of the lights emitted from the fluorescent lamps 138 a, 138 b are reflected by the reel sheet. In addition, some of the lights emitted from the LED lamps penetrate the reel sheet. Since some of these lights are reflected or absorbed in the liquid crystal driven area of the areas of the liquid crystal panel 134, the player can see an image and the like displayed on the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R for an effect.

FIG. 4 shows symbol rows displayed on the reels 3L, 3C, 3R, in each of which 21 symbols are arranged. Each of the symbols is given with code numbers of 00˜20. The information of a correspondence relationship between each symbol and the code number is stored as a symbol arrangement table (not shown) in a ROM 32 which will be described later.

The symbol row consisting of Blue 7 (symbol 91), Crown (symbol 92), Bell (symbol 93)540 , Watermelon (symbol 94), Cherry (symbol (95), Replay (symbol 96), Q (symbol 97), U (symbol 98), E (symbol 99), and N (symbol 100) is displayed on each of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R. Each of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R is rotated so that the symbol rows are moved in an arrow direction of FIG. 4.

In one embodiment, MB1, MB2, Cherry, Bell, Watermelon, Chance Small Win, 10 pieces of Small Win, RT, Replay and losing are formed as an internal winning combination. MB1 and MB2 are generically referred to as MB (Middle Bonus). In addition, Cherry, Bell, Watermelon, Chance Small Win, 10 pieces of Small Win, and RT are generically referred to as Small Win.

In one embodiment, the gaming state basically includes a normal gaming state and a middle bonus gaming state (referred to as MB gaming state) in which a bonus game, i.e., MB operates. The gaming state is identified in accordance with a type of an internal winning combination which may be determined in an internal lottery process (see FIG. 16) for determining an internal winning combination, a probability that an internal winning combination will be determined in the internal lottery process, a maximum number of sliding symbols and whether a bonus game has operated.

The normal gaming state consists of a base section having no internal carryover combination, a carryover section having an internal carryover combination, and a replay time section (hereinafter, referred to as RT section) in which a probability that replay will be determined as an internal winning combination is higher than in the base section and the carryover section. In the carryover section, MB is not determined as an internal winning combination. In the base and RT sections, MB may be determined as an internal winning combination.

The internal carryover combination is information for identifying a corresponding combination of symbols, in case that it is allowed a combination of symbols corresponding to an internal winning combination determined in the internal lottery process (see FIG. 16) to be displayed along the activated line over one or plural games. In addition, a section of the normal gaming state except the RT section is referred to as non-RT section.

In the MB gaming state, the maximum number of sliding symbols of the left reel 3L is 1, and the maximum number of sliding symbols of the other reels is 4. In addition, in the gaming state except the MB gaming state, the maximum number of sliding symbols is 4 for all the reels 3L, 3C, 3R. The number of sliding symbols is a moving amount of a symbol after the corresponding stop button is pushed. In addition, in the MB gaming state, irrespective of a type of an internal winning combination determined by a lottery, it is allowed a combination of symbols corresponding to Cherry, Bell, Watermelon, Chance Small Win, 10 pieces of Small Win and RT to be displayed along the activated line.

In the MB gaming state and RT section, with regard to a unit game value used to play a game (for example, 1 piece of medal consumed to play a one game), an expected value of a game value to be awarded to a player is relatively higher than in the normal gaming state (i.e., the extent of advantage is relatively higher). However, the expected value in the RT section is relatively lower than the expected value in the MB gaming state.

The middle bonus game operates, on condition that a combination of symbols corresponding to MB1 or MB2 (i.e., U-Crown-U or Blue 7-Blue 7-Blue 7) is displayed along the activated line. In the middle bonus game, the gaming state becomes the MB gaming state. On condition that the number of medals paid out in the middle bonus game is equal to or greater than a predetermined number (i.e., 253 pieces), the middle bonus is over and the gaming state is shifted to the normal gaming state.

The carryover section operates, on condition that MB1 or MB2 is determined as an internal winning combination in the internal winning lottery process (see FIG. 16). On condition that a combination of symbols corresponding to MB1 or MB2 is displayed along the activated line, the carryover section is over and the middle bonus game operates. In addition, in case that a combination of symbols corresponding to RT in the carryover section (i.e., Replay-Replay-E, Replay-Replay-Blue 7 or Replay-Replay-Watermelon) is displayed along the activated line, the carryover section is not over and the RT section operates. In other words, the carryover section and the RT section operate at the same time.

The RT section is classified into a RT1 and a RT2 in accordance with operating conditions. Specifically, the RT1 section operates on condition that the middle bonus game is over, which has operated on condition that a combination of symbols corresponding to MB1 (i.e., U-Crown-U) has been displayed along the activated line. In addition, the RT2 section operates on condition that a combination of symbols corresponding to RT in the RT1 and non-RT sections is displayed along the activated line. In addition, in case that the middle bonus game is over, which has operated on condition that a combination of symbols corresponding to MB2 (i.e., Blue 7-Blue 7-Blue 7) has been displayed along the activated line, the RT1 section does not operate.

The RT1 and RT2 sections are basically over on condition that the predetermined number of games (i.e., 1000 times) is over, and the gaming state is shifted to the normal gaming state. In addition, the RT1 and RT2 sections are over on condition that MB1 or MB2 is determined as an internal winning combination in the internal lottery process (see FIG. 16), and then the carryover section operates. Accordingly, the RT1 and RT2 sections are basically continued over maximum 1000 times of games.

Herein, in one embodiment, it is such structured that the RT1 section is over on condition that a combination of symbols corresponding to RT in the RT1 section is displayed along the activated line and then the RT2 which is continued over maximum 1000 times of game operates. Accordingly, in case that a combination of symbols corresponding to RT in the RT1 section is displayed along the activated line, the RT section, including the RT1 and RT2, can be continued over 1000 times of game or more.

In addition, in case that a combination of symbols corresponding to RT in the RT2 section is displayed along the activated line, the RT2 section is not newly operated. Accordingly, in this case, the RT section is not continued over the number of games larger than 1000 times.

Herein, in one embodiment, it is designed such that the RT section is continued, to the utmost, over the number of games larger than a reciprocal (i.e., about 296.5) of a probability that a bonus will be determined as an internal winning combination (for example, probability that MB1 and MB2, which are defined by an internal lottery table for the normal gaming state (see FIG. 8), will be determined as an internal winning combination). By dosing so, it is possible to sufficiently increase a probability that a bonus will be determined as an internal winning combination in a period during which the RT section operates, and thus to further enhance a joy which may be obtained when a player recognizes that the RT section has operated.

FIG. 5 shows a circuit structure comprising a main control circuit 71 controlling an operation of the gaming machine 1, a peripheral device (i.e., actuator) electrically connected to the main control circuit 71, and a sub-control circuit 72 controlling the liquid crystal display device 131, the speakers 9L, 9R, the LED 101 and the lamp 102 on the basis of control signals transmitted from the main control circuit 71.

The main control circuit 71 comprises a micro computer 30 arranged on a circuit board as a main constituting element and is further provided with a circuit for sampling random numbers. The micro computer 30 includes a CPU 31, a ROM 32 and a RAM 33.

The CPU 31 executes a program stored in the ROM 32 to carry out a process regarding a game progress and controls an operation of each actuator in a direct or indirect manner. To the CPU 31 is connected a clock pulse generating circuit 34 for generating a reference clock pulse, a frequency divider 35, a random number generator 36 for generating a random number and a sampling circuit 37 for sampling a random number value from the generated random numbers. In addition, it may be structured such that the CPU 31 generates a random number and samples a random number value. In this case, the random number generator 36 and the sampling circuit 37 may be omitted. However, they may be also held for a preliminary use.

The ROM 32 memorizes a program to be executed by the CPU 31 (for example, see FIGS. 14 to 21) or fixed data. For example, an internal lottery table (see FIG. 8) for determining an internal winning combination on the basis of the sampled random number value, an expected display combination storing area (not shown) for determining a stop mode of a reel in accordance with the stop operation and the like are stored in the ROM 32. In addition, various control signals for being transmitted to the sub-control circuit 72 are stored in the ROM. In addition, a command, information and the like are not transmitted from the sub-control circuit 72 to the main control circuit 71. In other words, it is carried out a one-way communication from the main control circuit 71 to the sub-control circuit 72.

The RAM 33 is used to temporarily memorize the data when the CPU 31 executes a program. For example, information about an internal winning combination, an internal carryover combination, a current gaming state, a timer for a demo which will be described later, and the like are stored in the RAM 33.

In the circuit shown in FIG. 5, main actuators controlled by control signals from the micro computer 30 include display units such as BET lamps (1-BET lamp 17 a, 2-BET lamp 17 b, MAX-BET lamp 17 c), bonus game information display unit 16, payout display unit 18, credit display unit 19 and the like, a hopper 40 receiving a medal and paying out a predetermined number of medals by a command of a hopper driving circuit 41, and stepping motors 49L, 49C, 49R for rotating the reels 3L, 3C, 3R.

In addition, to the CPU 31 are connected a motor driving circuit 39 outputting a driving pulse to the stepping motors 49L, 49C, 49R to control rotating operations of the stepping motors 49L, 49C, 49R, the hopper driving circuit 41 controlling an operation of the hopper 40, a lamp driving circuit 45 for turning on/off the BET lamps 17 a, 17 b, 17 c and a display unit driving circuit 48 for controlling the display by the display units (i.e., bonus game information display unit 16, payout display unit 18, credit display unit 19 and the like). These driving circuits receive the control signals outputted from the CPU 31 to control the operations of the actuators, respectively.

In addition, as means for generating an input signal transmitted to the micro computer 30 so that the micro computer 30 generates a control signal, there are provided a start switch 6S, stop switches 7LS, 7CS, 7RS, a 1-BET switch 11, a 2-BET switch 12, a MAX-BET switch 13, a C/P switch 14, a medal sensor 10S, a reel position detection circuit 50 and a payout completion signal circuit 51.

The start switch 6S detects a manipulation of the start lever 6 and outputs a game start command signal to start a game. The medal sensor 10S detects a medal inserted into the medal insertion slot 10S. The stop switches 7LS, 7CS, 7RS generate a stop command signal for stopping the symbol variation in accordance with the operations of the corresponding stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R.

The reel position detection circuit 50 receives a pulse signal from reel rotating sensors mounted at the reels 3L, 3C, 3R and supplies a signal for detecting a rotating position of each of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R to the CPU 31. The payout completion signal circuit 51 generates a signal for detecting a payout completion of the medal when a value counted by a medal detection unit 40S (i.e., the number of medals paid out from the hopper 40) reaches a predetermined value.

In the circuit of FIG. 5, the random number generator 36 generates random numbers within a predetermined range, and the sampling circuit 37 samples one random number value from the random numbers generated by the random number generator 36 at an appropriate timing after the start lever 6 is manipulated. The random number value sampled is stored in a random number value storing area of the RAM 33 and referred to determine an internal winning combination and the like on the basis of the internal lottery table (see FIG. 8) stored in the ROM 32, for example.

When the driving pulse is outputted by a predetermined number of times (for example, 336 times) to the stepping motors 49L, 49C, 49R, the reels 3L, 3C, 3R make one revolution. The number of driving pulses outputted to each of the stepping motors 49L, 49C, 49R is written in a predetermined area of the RAM 33 as a count value of the driving pulses.

In the mean time, a reset pulse is obtained from the reels 3L, 3C, 3R every one revolution. When the reset pulse is inputted to the CPU 31 through the reel position detection circuit 50, the count value of the driving pulses stored in the RAM 33 is updated to 0. Thereby, the count value of the driving pulses corresponds to a rotating position within a range of one revolution with regard to each of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R.

In addition, the symbol arrangement table stored in the ROM 32 is used to match the rotating positions of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R to the symbols arranged on the peripheries of the reels. In this symbol arrangement table, on the basis of the rotating positions generated by the reset pulse, code numbers sequentially given every rotation pitch of the respective reels 3L, 3C, 3R are matched to symbol codes representing symbols provided to correspond to each of the code numbers.

In addition, a symbol combination table (see FIG. 10) is stored in the ROM 32. The symbol combination table is referred when it is carried out a control for stopping the rotations of the left reels 3L, the center reel 3C and the right reel 3R and when it is carried out determinations of a display combination and a payout (for example, payout number of medals) to be awarded to a player after all the reels 3L, 3C, 3R are stopped.

In case that an internal winning combination is determined by the internal lottery process (see FIG. 16) based on the sampling of the random number value, the CPU 31 transmits a signal for performing the control for stopping the rotations of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R to the motor driving circuit 39, on the basis of the input signals transmitted from the stop switches 7LS, 7CS, 7RS and the determined stop table (not shown) at the timing at which the player operates the stop buttons 7C, 7L, 7R.

When a winning is made, the CPU 31 supplies a payout command signal to the hopper driving circuit 41 to pay out a predetermined number of medals from the hopper 40. At this time, the medal detection unit 40S counts the number of medals paid out from the hopper 40, and the medal payout completion signal is inputted to the CPU 31 when the counted value reaches a predetermined number. Thereby, the CPU 31 stops the driving of the hopper 40 through the hopper driving circuit 41 and ends the medal payout process.

FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing a structure of the sub-control circuit 72. The sub-control circuit 72 comprises an image control circuit (gsub) 72 a and a sound•lamp control circuit (mSub) 72 b. The image control circuit (gsub) 72 a and the sound•lamp control circuit (mSub) 72 b are formed on separate circuit boards different from the circuit board constituting the main control circuit 71.

The communication between the main control circuit 71 and the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a is carried out in a one-way manner, from the main control circuit 71 to the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a. In other words, a control command or information is not transmitted to the main control circuit 71 from the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a. In addition, the communication between the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a and the sound•lamp control circuit (mSub) 72 b is carried out in a one-way manner, from the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a to the sound•lamp control circuit (mSub) 72 b. That is, a control command or information is not transmitted to the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a from the sound•lamp control circuit (mSub) 72 b.

The image control circuit (gsub) 72 a comprises an image control MICOM 81, a serial port 82, a program ROM 83, a work RAM 84, a calendar IC 85, an image control IC 86, a control RAM 87, an image ROM (character ROM) 88 and a video RAM 89.

The image control MICOM 81 comprises a CPU, an intervention controller and an I/O port (serial port 82 is shown). The CPU provided to the image control MICOM 81 executes various processes in accordance with control programs stored in the program ROM 83, based on the control command transmitted from the main control circuit 71. In addition, the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a is not provided with a clock pulse generating circuit, a frequency divider, a random number generator and a sampling circuit. However, it is adapted to carry out a random number sampling in a software manner on an operating program of the image control MICOM 81.

The serial port 82 is a port receiving the control command and the like transmitted from the main control circuit 71. The program ROM 83 memorizes various programs to be executed in the image control MICOM 81 (for example, FIGS. 22 to 29 in a second embodiment which will be described later).

The work RAM 84 is used as means for temporarily memorizing the information used when the image control MICOM 81 executes the control program. Various information is stored in the work RAM 84.

The calendar IC 85 memorizes date data. The image control MICOM 81 is connected with the operating unit 17. In one embodiment, an employee in a game arcade operates the operating unit to set a date. The image control MICOM 81 memorizes the set date information in the calendar IC 85 based on the input signal transmitted from the operating unit 17. The date memorized in the calendar IC 85 is backed up.

In addition, the work RAM 84 and the calendar IC 85 are backup targets. In other words, even though the power supplied to the image control MICOM 81 is cutoff, the power is continuously supplied to them, so that the memorized information is not erased.

The image control IC 86 produces and outputs an image corresponding to contents of effect (for example, effect data described later) determined by the image control MICOM 81 to the liquid crystal display device 131.

The control RAM 87 is included in the image control IC 86. The image control MICOM 81 carries out a process of writing or reading the information and the like to and from the control RAM 87. In addition, the control RAM 87 is developed with a register and the like of the image control IC 86. The image control MICOM 81 updates the register and the like of the image control IC 86 at every timing predetermined.

The image control IC 86 is connected with the liquid crystal display device 131, the image ROM 88 and the video RAM 89. In addition, the image ROM 88 may be connected to the image control MICOM 81. In this case, such structure may be effective in processing mass image data such as three dimensional image data, etc. The image ROM 88 stores image data for producing an image and the like. The video RAM 89 serves as temporary memory means when the image control IC 86 produces an image. In addition, the image control IC 86 transmits a signal to the image control MICOM 81 whenever the data transmission of the video RAM 89 to the liquid crystal display device 131 is completed.

In addition, in the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a, the image control MICOM 81 carries out the effects of the sound•lamp, too. The image control MICOM 81 determines types and output timing of the sound•lamp based on the contents of effect (for example, effect data). The image control MICOM 81 transmits a command to the sound•lamp control circuit (mSub) 72 b via the serial port 82 at every timing predetermined. The sound•lamp control circuit (mSub) 72 b mainly controls only the output of the sound•lamp in accordance with the command received from the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a.

The sound•lamp control circuit (mSub) 72 b comprises a sound•lamp control MICOM 111, a serial port 112, a program ROM 113, a work RAM 114, a sound source IC 115, a powerAMP 116 and a sound source ROM 117.

The sound•lamp control MICOM 111 comprises a CPU, an intervention controller and an I/O port (serial port is shown). The CPU in the sound•lamp control MICOM 111 executes a process of controlling the output of the sound•lamp in accordance with control programs stored in the program ROM 113, based on the command transmitted from the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a.

In addition, the sound•lamp control MICOM 111 is connected with the LED 101 and the LAMP 102. The sound•lamp control MICOM 111 transmits an output signal to the LED 101 and the lamp 102, in accordance with the command transmitted from the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a at the timing predetermined. Thereby, the LED 101 and the lamp 102 emit lights with a predetermined mode in correspondence with the effects.

The serial port 112 receives the command and the like transmitted from the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a. The program ROM 113 stores the program to be executed in the sound•lamp control MICOM 111 and the like. The work RAM 94 is means for temporarily memorizing the information when the sound•lamp control MICOM 111 executes the program described above.

The sound source IC 115 produces a sound source based on the command transmitted from the image control circuit (gsub) 72 a, and outputs the produced sound source to the power AMP 116. The power AMP 116 is an amplifier and connected with the speakers 9L, 9R. The power AMP 116 amplifies the sound source outputted from the sound source IC 115, and outputs the amplified sound source from the speakers 9L, 9R. The sound source ROM 117 stores sound source data for producing the sound source.

To the sound•lamp control MICOM 111 is connected a sound volume adjusting unit 103. The sound volume adjusting unit 103 is such structured that it can be manipulated by an employee in a game arcade, and adjusts the sound volume to be outputted from the speakers 9L, 9R. Based on the input signal transmitted from the sound volume adjusting unit 103, the sound•lamp control MICOM 111 carries out the control for adjusting the sound outputted from the speakers 9L, 9R to the inputted sound volume in accordance with the transmitted input signal.

In the followings, it is described an internal lottery table determining table for determining an internal lottery table (see FIG. 8) and the number of lotteries, with reference to FIG. 7.

An internal lottery table determining table includes information about an internal lottery table (see FIG. 8) and the number of lotteries corresponding to the gaming state. In case of the normal gaming state, an internal lottery table for the normal gaming state (see FIG. 8) is selected and ┌9 is basically determined as the number of lotteries (see a step S41 of FIG. 16). In the case of the MB gaming state, an internal lottery table for the normal gaming state is selected and 539 6 is determined as the number of lotteries. The number of lotteries indicates the number of operations carried out to determine an internal winning combination.

The number of lotteries is the number of operations carried out to determine whether the random number value is within a predetermined range (a numerical range expressed by the lowest and upper limits corresponding to a winning number, which will be described with reference to FIG. 8). However, in the case of the carryover section, the number of lotteries determined to be 9 is updated to 7 (see a step S45 of FIG. 16).

In the followings, it is described an internal lottery table used in an internal lottery process (see FIG. 16) for determining an internal winning combination, with reference to FIG. 8.

An internal lottery table is provided every gaming state and includes the information about the numerical range expressed by the lowest and upper limits corresponding to a winning number. FIG. 8 shows an internal lottery table for a normal gaming state. In addition, it is omitted an internal lottery table except the internal lottery table for the normal gaming state, such as internal lottery table for a gaming state of a RT section and the like.

In the determination of a winning number based on the internal lottery table, it is determined whether a random number value sampled from the random number of 0˜65535 is within a numerical range expressed by the lowest and upper limits corresponding the a winning number, from the same winning number as the number of lotteries determined by the internal lottery table determining table (see FIG. 7) to the winning number 0, in descending power. When the random number value is within a numerical range expressed by the lowest and upper limits, a corresponding winning number is won (i.e., determined). Based on the winning number determined and the internal winning combination determining table (see FIG. 9), an internal winning combination is determined.

For example, in case that the random number value sampled in the normal gaming state is 4000, it is determined whether the sampled random number value is within the numerical range expressed by the lowest and upper limits corresponding to the winning number, from the winning number 9 to the winning number 0 in descending power. Then, it is determined that the random number value is within the numerical range (i.e., 3801˜9100) expressed by the lowest and upper limits corresponding to the winning number 2. In addition, it is determined that the random number value is not within the numerical ranges expressed by the lowest and upper limits corresponding to the winning numbers except the winning number 2. Accordingly, in this case, a winning is made in the winning number 2, and Bell is determined as an internal winning combination based on the internal winning combination determining table (see FIG. 9).

In addition, in case that the random number value is never within a numerical range expressed by the lowest and upper limits until the winning number becomes 0, the winning number becomes 0 (i.e., the internal winning combination is the losing). In addition, in one embodiment, the losing is not an internal winning combination matched to a game value. Additionally, it may be thought that a combination of symbols corresponding to the losing as an internal winning combination is any combination of symbols different from combinations of symbols corresponding to plural combinations predetermined. However, in one embodiment, it is such structured that a combination of symbols corresponding to the losing is not provided.

In addition, in the internal lottery table, the numerical ranges defined by the lowest and upper limits corresponding to each of the internal winning combinations having a winning (i.e., determination) possibility are duplicately set. Accordingly, plural internal winning combinations may be determined.

For example, a numerical range expressed by the lowest and upper limits corresponding to the winning number 9 is 360˜424, and a numerical range expressed by the lowest and upper limits corresponding to the winning number 3 is 0˜399. These two numerical ranges overlap each other in a numerical range of 360˜390. Accordingly, for example, in case that a random number sampled in the normal gaming state is 380, since the random number value is included in the numerical range of 1360˜1399, the winning numbers 3 and 9 are determined, and both Watermelon and MB1 are determined as an internal winning combination, based on an internal winning combination determining table (see FIG. 9).

Herein, in the carryover section, since the number of lotteries is updated to 7 (see a step S45 of FIG. 16), there are no situations where the winning number 8 or 9 is determined. Accordingly, in the carryover section, there are no situations where MB1 or MB2 is determined as an internal winning combination on the basis of the internal winning combination determining table (see FIG. 9). In addition, in the RT section, since the upper limit corresponding to the winning number 7 is changed into 65535, a probability that Replay will be determined as an internal winning combination is relatively higher than in the base section and the carryover section. Specifically, in the RT section, a probability that Replay will be determined as an internal winning combination is 56403/65535. In the non-RT section, a probability that Replay will be determined as an internal winning combination is 8980/65535.

In the followings, it is described an internal winning combination determining table for determining an internal winning combination on the basis of the winning number, with reference to FIG. 9.

An internal winning combination determining table includes the information about a winning number and an internal winning combination corresponding to the winning number. The information about the internal winning combination (i.e., flag) is information about a binary number of 9 digits and provided to correspond to each internal winning combination so as to identify the internal winning combinations.

In case that the winning number is 0, the losing is determined as the internal winning combination (i.e., 000000000). In case that the winning number is 1, Cherry is determined as the internal winning combination (i.e., 00000001. In case that the winning number is 2, Bell is determined as the internal winning combination (i.e., 000000010).

In case that the winning number is 3, Watermelon is determined as the internal winning combination (i.e., 00000100). In case that the winning number is 4, Chance Small Win is determined as the internal winning combination (i.e., 000001000). In case that the winning number is 5, 10 pieces of Small Win is determined as the internal winning combination (i.e., 000010000). In case that the winning number is 6, RT is determined as the internal winning combination (i.e., 000100000).

In case that the winning number is 7, Replay is determined as the internal winning combination (i.e., 001000000). In case that the winning number is 8, MB2 is determined as the internal winning combination (i.e., 010000000). In case that the winning number is 9, MB1 is determined as the internal winning combination (i.e., 100000000).

In the followings, it is described a symbol combination table used to determine a display combination and a payout number corresponding to the determined display combination in a display checking process, with reference to FIG. 10.

A symbol combination table includes information about a display combination which is an identifier of a combination of symbols stopped on each of three symbol display areas connected by a one activated line, and a payout number corresponding to the display combination. The display combination is information (i.e., data) for identifying a combination of symbols displayed along the activated line. The display combination is provided to correspond to a combination of symbols predetermined and a payout to be awarded to a player (for example, payout of medal, and operation of a gaming state).

When a combination of symbols Cherry-ANY-ANY is displayed along the activated line, Cherry (i.e., 000000001) becomes a display combination and two medals are paid out. ANY indicates any symbol. When a combination of symbols Bell-Bell-Bell is displayed along the activated line, Bell (i.e., 000000010) becomes a display combination and nine medals are paid out.

When a combination of symbols Watermelon-Watermelon-Watermelon is displayed along the activated line, Watermelon (i.e., 000000100) becomes a display combination and three medals are paid out. When a combination of symbols Replay-Bell-Replay is displayed along the activated line, Chance Small Win (i.e., 000001000) becomes a display combination and nine medals are paid out.

When a combination of symbols Q-Replay-Replay, E-Replay-Replay, Blue 7-Replay-Replay, Crown-Replay-Replay, Watermelon-Replay-Replay or Replay-Replay-Replay is displayed along the activated line, 10 pieces of Small Win (i.e., 000010000) becomes a display combination and ten medals are paid out.

When a combination of symbols Replay-Replay-E, Replay-Replay-Blue 7, or Replay-Replay-Watermelon is displayed along the activated line, RT (i.e., 000100000) becomes a display combination and 9 medals are paid out. When a combination of symbols Bell-Replay-Bell is displayed along the activated line, Replay (i.e., 001000000) becomes a display combination and a medal is automatically inserted. In other words, in a game next to the game in which Replay has been determined as a display combination, the insertion number automatically becomes 3 and a player can perform the start operation without the insertion operation.

When a combination of symbols Blue 7-Blue 7-Blue 7 is displayed along the activated line, MB2 (i.e., 010000000) becomes a display combination and the middle bonus game operates. When a combination of symbols U-Crown-U is displayed along the activated line, MB1 (i.e., 100000000) becomes a display combination and the middle bonus game operates.

In the followings, it is described a bonus operation table which is referred in a process on MB operation (see a step S95 of FIG. 20), with reference to FIG. 11.

The bonus operation table includes the information about a flag under operation and a value set in a bonus end-number counter. The flag under operation is the information for identifying a gaming state being operating (i.e., current gaming state) and the like and includes a flag under MB operation for identifying whether the MB gaming state operates or not, a flag under RT1 operation for identifying whether the RT1 section operates or not and a flag under RT2 operation for identifying whether the RT2 section operates or not.

In case that the middle bonus game operates, the flag under MB operation becomes ON, and in case that the middle bonus game does not operates, the flag under MB operation becomes OFF. In addition, in case that the RT1 section operates, the flag under RT1 operation becomes ON, and in case that the RT1 section does not operate, the flag under RT1 operation becomes OFF. In addition, in case that the RT2 section operates, the flag under RT2 operation becomes ON, and in case that the RT2 section does not operates, the flag under RT2 operation becomes OFF.

The bonus end-number counter is a counter for counting the number of medals paid out to the player, from after the flag under MB operation becomes ON until it becomes OFF.

The bonus operation table includes 000000001 representing that the flag under MB operation is ON, as data of the flag under operation. When the data is stored in an area for storing a flag under operation (see FIG. 12D), the flag under the MB operation becomes ON.

In the followings, it is described an internal winning combination storing area, an internal carryover combination storing area, a display combination storing area and an area for storing a flag under operation (memory area), with reference to FIG. 12.

FIG. 12A shows an internal winning combination storing area for storing information of an internal winning combination. The information of an internal winning combination is stored (memorized) in an internal winning combination storing area consisting of 9 bits. In the internal winning combination storing area, the bit 0 is a storing area corresponding to Cherry. The bit 1 is a storing area corresponding to Bell. The bit 2 is a storing area corresponding to Watermelon. The bit 3 is a storing area corresponding to Chance Small Win.

The bit 4 is a storing area corresponding to 10 pieces of Small Win. The bit 5 is a storing area corresponding to RT. The bit 6 is a storing area corresponding to Replay. The bit 7 is a storing area corresponding to MB2. The bit 8 is a storing area corresponding to MB1.

In the internal winning combination storing area, a bit corresponding to an internal winning combination becomes 1. For example, when 000000010 is stored in the internal winning combination storing area (when the bit 1 is 1), the internal winning combination is Bell. In addition, in the MB gaming state, 000111111 is stored in the internal winning combination storing area. In other words, the bits 0˜5 of the internal winning combination storing area become 1. Accordingly, in the MB gaming state, all internal winning combinations except MB1, MB2 and Replay are determined at the same time.

FIG. 12B shows an internal carryover combination storing area for storing information of an internal carryover combination. The information of an internal carryover combination is stored in an internal carryover combination storing area consisting of 9 bits. In the internal carryover combination storing area, the bit 7 is a storing area corresponding to MB2. The bit 8 is a storing area corresponding to MB1. The bits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are unused storing areas.

For example, in case that there is an internal carryover combination (i.e., carryover section), 1 is stored in the bit 7 or 8 corresponding to MB2 or MB1 of the internal carryover combination storing area (i.e., 010000000 or 100000000 is stored in the internal carryover combination storing area). In addition, in case that there is no internal carryover combination (i.e., there is no carryover section), 0 is stored in the bit 7 or 8 corresponding to MB2 or MB1 of the internal carryover combination storing area (i.e., 000000000 is stored in the internal carryover combination storing area).

FIG. 12C shows a display combination storing area for storing information of a display combination. The information of a display combination is stored in a display combination storing area consisting of 9 bits. In the display combination storing area, the bit 0 is a storing area corresponding to Cherry. The bit 1 is a storing area corresponding to Bell. The bit 2 is a storing area corresponding to Watermelon. The bit 3 is a storing area corresponding to Chance Small Win.

The bit 4 is a storing area corresponding to 10 pieces of Small Win. The bit 5 is a storing area corresponding to RT. The bit 6 is a storing area corresponding to Replay. The bit 7 is a storing area corresponding to MB2. The bit 8 is a storing area corresponding to MB1.

FIG. 12D shows a flag under operation storing area. The flag under operation is stored in an area for storing a flag under operation, which consists of 9 bits. In the area for storing a flag under operation, the bit 0 is a storing area corresponding to a flag under MB operation. The bit 1 is a storing area corresponding to a flag under RT2 operation. The bit 2 is a storing area corresponding to a flag under RT1 operation. The bits 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are unused storing areas.

Herein, in case that 1 is stored in the bit 0 corresponding to the flag under MB operation of the area for storing a flag under operation (i.e., 000000001 is stored in the area for storing a flag under operation), the flag under MB operation becomes ON. In case that 1 is stored in the bit 1 corresponding to the flag under RT2 operation of the area for storing a flag under operation (i.e., 000000010 is stored in the area for storing a flag under operation), the flag under RT2 operation becomes ON. In case that 1 is stored in the bit 2 corresponding to the flag under RT1 operation of the area for storing a flag under operation (i.e., 000000100 is stored in the area for storing a flag under operation), the flag under RT1 operation becomes ON.

In this embodiment, for convenience sake of explanations, a word length (bits of data which can be processed at the same time) of the MICOM (i.e., micro computer 30) consisting of the CPU 31, the ROM 32 and the RAM 33 is 9 bits. However, in a standard pachi-slot, a MICOM having a word length of 8 bits is applied. In such pachi-slot, for example, the internal winning combination storing area of the RAM 33 is divided into an internal winning combination storing area 1 and an internal winning combination storing area 2, each of which consisting of 8 bits. Accordingly, the data of 9 bits is divided and stored in the plural internal winning combination storing areas so that the data can be processed.

In the followings, it is described an effect table used to select the effect data determined in a process on start command receiving (see. FIG. 24), with reference to FIG. 13.

An effect table includes the information about the contents of effect and the effect data determined every the number of effect games. The number of effect games is the information for identifying the remaining number of games carried out in a continuous effect (i.e., effect which is continuously carried out over plural games). The effect data is the information for identifying an image displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b, and is provided to correspond to each of the images, respectively.

The effect data determined by the effect table includes data corresponding to images displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b when the insertion operation is carried out, when the start operation is carried out, when the first stop operation is carried out, when the second stop operation is carried out, when the third stop operation is carried out, and when the display combination command is received (i.e., when the sub-control circuit 72 receives the display combination command).

Herein, in one embodiment, the effect (i.e., contents of effect) includes 9 types of effects, i.e., a paper airplane A (see FIG. 30), a paper airplane B (see FIG. 30), a paper airplane C (see FIG. 30), a baseball winning A (see FIGS. 31 to 33), a baseball winning B (see FIGS. 31 to 33), a baseball winning C (see FIGS. 31 and 33), a baseball losing A (see FIGS. 31, 32 and 34), a baseball losing B (see FIGS. 31, 32 and 34) and a baseball losing C (see FIGS. 31 and 34).

The paper airplanes A, B and C are referred to as paper airplane effect. The baseball winning A, B and C are referred to as baseball winning effect. The baseball losing A, B and C are referred to as baseball losing effect.

The paper airplane effect is basically an effect of notifying an internal winning combination, and is carried out in the normal gaming state (except the RT section). The baseball winning effect is started on condition that the combination of symbols corresponding to RT is displayed along the activated line, and is an effect which is carried out over 2˜4 games (i.e., continuous effect). In addition, since the baseball winning effect is carried out only during the operation of the RT section, it is an effect of definitely notifying that the RT section is operating. The baseball winning A, B and C are continuously carried out over four, three and two games, respectively.

In addition, when the baseball winning effect is over, an effect under RT operation is carried out which notifies the player of the operation of the RT section. Accordingly, the baseball winning effect is an effect of a premonition which will be carried out during the RT operation (which is referred to as premonition effect).

The baseball losing effect is started in a probability of 1/200 by a lottery, on condition that it is under normal gaming state (except the RT section and a game in which a complete notification effect is carried out), and is continuously carried out over 2˜4 games (i.e., continuous effect). Since the baseball losing effect is carried out only when the RT section does not operate, it is an effect of conclusively notifying that the RT section is not operating. The baseball losing A, B and C are continuously carried out over four, three and two games, respectively.

Based on the effect table, in a process on start command receiving, the effect data is determined in accordance with the contents of effect and the number of effect games, and an image corresponding to the determined effect data is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b at the timing corresponding to the corresponding effect data.

For example, in a first game in which the effect of the baseball winning B is carried out (i.e., first game of the baseball winning B), since the number of effect games is 3, it is determined the effect data of baseball stadium corresponding to the start operation, bird's appearance corresponding to the first stop operation, dog's appearance corresponding to the second stop operation, both sides' appearance corresponding to the third stop operation and both sides' appearance corresponding to the receiving of the display command. In addition, it is determined the effect data of preparation completion of both sides corresponding to a next game (second game of the baseball winning B).

Thereby, in the first game of the baseball winning B, images corresponding to baseball stadium, bird's appearance, dog's appearance, both sides' appearance and both side's appearance are displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b, respectively, when the start operation is carried out, when the first stop operation is carried out, when the second stop operation is carried out, when the third stop operation is carried out, and when the display combination command is received. In addition, in a second game of the baseball winning B, an image corresponding to preparation completion of both sides is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b when the insertion operation is carried out.

In the followings, a control operation of the main control circuit 71 is described with reference to FIGS. 14 to 21.

First, a main flow chart under control of a main CPU (i.e., main control circuit 71) is described with reference to FIG. 14.

The CPU 31 carries out an initializing process (step S1). Specifically, the CPU initializes memory contents of the RAM 33. Subsequently, the CPU erases (i.e., clears) an indicated storing area (for example, information of the internal winning combination storing area) of the RAM 33 when a game is over (step S2), and proceeds to a step S3. More specifically, the CPU erases the data of a predetermined area of the RAM 33 used for a previous game.

In the step S3, the CPU carries out a medal receiving-start checking process which will be described with reference to FIG. 15, and then proceeds to a step S4. In this process, the CPU updates the insertion number and transmits a demo command which will be described later, on the basis of the inputs from the start switch 6S, the medal sensor 10S or the BET switches 11 to 13. In the step S4, the CPU samples and stores a random number value in the random number value storing area, and proceeds to a step S5. The random number value sampled in this process is used for an internal lottery process (see FIG. 16).

In the step S5, the CPU carries out a gaming state supervisory process and proceeds to a step S6. In the gaming state supervisory process, if the flag under MB operation is ON, the CPU stores an identifier (information) representing the MB gaming state in a predetermined storing area of the RAM 33. In addition, if the flag under MB operation is OFF, the CPU stores an identifier representing the normal gaming state in a predetermined storing area of the RAM 33.

Herein, the identifier representing the MB gaming state is cleared through the process in the step S2 every game. If the flag under MB operation is ON, the identifier representing the MB gaming state is stored in the predetermined storing area of the RMA 33 through the gaming state supervisory process, without fail. Accordingly, the MB gaming state is equivalent to a period during which the identifier representing the MB gaming state is stored in the predetermined storing area of the RAM 33 every game (i.e., a period during which the flag under MB operation is ON).

In the step S6, the CPU carries out an internal lottery process which will be described with reference to FIG. 16 and proceeds to a step S7. In the step S7, the CPU updates a RT game-number counter and proceeds to a step S8. Specifically, the CPU determines whether a value of the RT game-number counter is 0 or not. When it is determined that a value of the RT game number counter is not 0, the CPU subtracts 1 from the value of the RT game number counter. In addition, the CPU determines whether the value of the RT game-number counter as a result of the subtraction becomes 0 or not. When it is determined that a value of the RT game number counter is 0, the CPU updates (i.e., clears) the flag under RT1 operation and the flag under RT2 operation to OFF.

The RT game-number counter is the information for identifying the remaining number of games in the RT section. In addition, it can be said that the remaining number of games in the RT section which can be identified by the RT game-number counter is equivalent to the number of games which are carried out in the RT section (i.e., the remaining number of games in the RT section is same as a value obtained by subtracting the number of games which are carried out in the RT section from 1000).

In the step S8, the CPU transmits a start command to the sub-control circuit 72 and proceeds to a step S9. The start command includes the information of a gaming state, an internal winning combination and the like and is transmitted to the sub-control circuit 72. In the step S9, the CPU determines whether 4.1 seconds have elapsed after the previous reel has started to rotate. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S11, otherwise proceeds to a step S10.

In the step S10, the CPU consumes a game start waiting time (i.e., waits) and then proceeds to a step S11. Specifically, the CPU annuls an input resulting from a game start operation by a player during a period from after the previous game has started until a predetermined time (for example, 4.1 seconds) has elapsed. In the step S11, the CPU requests the start of rotation of all the reels, and proceeds to a step S12. Specifically, the CPU updates all of three active stop button flags corresponding to each of the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R to ON.

In the step S12, the CPU carries out a reel stop control process which will be described with reference to FIG. 17 and then proceeds to a step S13. In the step S13, the CPU performs a display combination retrieving process and then proceeds to a step S14. Specifically, the CPU determines a display combination and a payout number based on the combination of symbols displayed in the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R and the symbol combination table (see FIG. 11). In the step S14, the CPU transmits a display combination command to the sub-control circuit 72 and proceeds to a step S15. The display combination command includes the information of the display combination determined in the step S13.

In the step S15, the CPU carries out a medal payout process of paying out medals equal to the value of the payout number counter and proceeds to a step S16. In the step S16, the CPU updates the bonus end-number counter based on the payout number and proceeds to a step S17. Specifically, when the bonus end-number counter is 1 or more, the CPU subtracts the number equal to the number of medals paid out in the step S17 from the counter. In the step S17, the CPU determines whether the flag under MB operation is ON or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S18, otherwise, proceeds to a step S19.

In the step S18, the CPU carries out a bonus end checking process which will be described with reference to FIG. 19 and proceeds to a step S19. In the step S19, the CPU carries out a bonus operation checking process which will be described with reference to FIG. 20 and proceeds to the step S2.

In the followings, it is described a medal receiving•start checking process for detecting an insertion operation and a start operation by a player, with reference to FIG. 15.

First, the CPU 31 sets 40000 as an initial value in a timer for demo stored in the RAM 33 and proceeds to a step S22 (step S21). Because the value set in the timer for demo is subtracted by 1 every 1.1173 ms in an intervention process under control of the main CPU (see FIG. 22), it becomes 0 after about 45 seconds since the initial value is set in the timer. In the step S22, the CPU determines whether an automatic insertion counter is 0. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S23, otherwise proceeds to a step S24. The automatic insertion counter is a counter for counting the number of medals which are automatically inserted, when the display combination is Replay.

In the step S23, the CPU allows the medal reception and proceeds to a step S26. In the step S23, since the display combination in the previous game is not Replay, the value of the automatic insertion counter is 0. Accordingly, the CPU allows an addition of an insertion number counter, thereby allowing a medal to be inserted. The insertion number counter is a counter for counting an insertion number.

In the step S24, the CPU copies the automatic insertion counter to the insertion number counter and proceeds to a step S25. In the step S24, specifically, the combination of symbols corresponding to Replay in the previous game is displayed along the activated line, so that the value of the automatic insertion counter becomes another value except 0 (i.e., 3). Accordingly, the CPU updates the value of the insertion number counter to a value same (i.e., 3) as that of the automatic insertion counter. In the step S25, the CPU transmits a BET command to the sub-control circuit 72 and proceeds to a step S26. The BET command includes the information about the value (i.e., insertion number) of the insertion number counter updated in the step S24.

In the step S26, the CPU determines whether the medal reception is allowed. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S27, otherwise proceeds to a step S30. Specifically, if the medal reception has been allowed through the process in the step S23, i.e., if an addition of the insertion number counter has been allowed, a result of the determination becomes YES. In addition, if the CPU has not passed through the process in the step S23 and thus an addition of the insertion number counter has not been allowed, a result of the determination becomes NO.

In the step S27, the CPU determines whether it is under insertion process. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S28, otherwise proceeds to a step S30. Specifically, the CPU checks whether there is an input from the medal sensor 10S. When it is determined that there is an input from the medal sensor 10S, a result of the determination in the step S27 becomes YES. In addition, the CPU checks whether there is an input from the BET switches 11 to 13. When it is determined that there is an input from the BET switches 11 to 13, it is calculated a value to be added to the insertion number counter and a result of the determination in the step S27 becomes YES. In addition, when it is determined that there is no input from the medal sensor 10S or any one of the BET switches 11 to 13, a result of the determination becomes NO.

In the step S28, the CPU updates the insertion number counter and proceeds to a step S29. Specifically, when it is determined that there has been an input from the medal sensor 10S in the step S27, 1 is added to the insertion number counter. In addition, it is determined that there has been an input from the BET switches 11 to 13 in the step S27, the value calculated in the step S27 is added to the insertion number. In addition, in case that the value of the insertion number counter is 3, a credit counter is added, instead of the insertion number counter. The credit counter is a counter for counting the number of medals credited.

In the step S29, the CPU transmits the BET command to the sub-control circuit 72 and proceeds to a step S30. The BET command includes the information about the value (i.e., insertion number) of the insertion number counter updated in the step S28. In the step S30, the CPU determines whether the insertion number counter is 1 or more, i.e., whether the insertion number is 1 or more. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S35, otherwise proceeds to a step S31.

In the step S31, the CPU determines whether the timer for demo is 0 or not. In other words, it determines whether a state that an operation by the player (for example, insertion operation, etc.) is not carried out (hereinafter, referred to as non-gaming state) has been continued for a predetermined time (about 45 seconds). When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S32, otherwise proceeds to the step S26. In the step S32, the CPU determines whether the BET lamps 17 a to 17 c indicating the insertion number are turned off or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to the step S26, otherwise proceeds to a step S33. In the step S33, the CPU turns off the BET lamps and proceeds to a step S34.

In one embodiment, basically, the BET lamps 17 a to 17 c are always turned on. However, in case that the CPU transmits a demo command in a process of step S34 which will be described later, the BET lamps 17 a to 17 c are turned off. Accordingly, in case that the non-gaming state has been continued after the CPU has transmitted the demo command once, a result of the determination in the step S32 is YES, and the CPU does not pass through the step S34 and will never transmit the demo command. By doing so, even though the non-gaming state has been continued after the CPU has once transmitted the demo command, the transmission of the demo command is not repeated.

In the step S34, the CPU transmits the demo command to the sub-control circuit 72 and proceeds to the step S26. The demo command is transmitted, so that a demonstration image (i.e., demo image) notifying a player that the gaming machine is under waiting state is displayed. In the step S35, the CPU determines whether a value of the insertion number counter is 3 or not. When it is determined that the value of the insertion number counter is 3 in the step S35, i.e., when the value reaches the insertion number 3 required to play a one game, a result of the determination becomes YES. When the value of the insertion number counter is another value except 3, a result of the determination becomes NO.

In the step S36, the CPU determines whether the start switch is ON or not. Specifically, it determines whether the start switch is ON, i.e., whether there is an input from the start switch 6S in accordance with the operation of the start lever 6. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to the step S4 of FIG. 14, otherwise proceeds to the step S26.

In the followings, it is described an internal lottery process for determining an internal winning combination based on the gaming state and the like, with reference to FIG. 16.

First, the CPU 31 determines a type of an internal lottery table and the number of lotteries in accordance with the gaming state, based on the internal lottery table determining table (FIG. 7) (step S41) and proceeds to a step S42. In the step S42, the CPU determines whether the RT game-number counter is 1 or more. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S43, otherwise proceeds to a step S44. In the step S43, the CPU changes the internal lottery table into an internal lottery table for the RT section (not shown) because it is under RT section, and proceeds to a step S44.

In the step S44, the CPU determines whether the flag of MB1 or MB2 is stored in the internal carryover combination storing area, i.e., whether 1 is stored in the bit 8 (ninth bit) or bit 7 (eighth bit) corresponding to MB1 or MB2 of the internal carryover combination storing area (i.e., whether there is an internal carryover combination or not). When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S45, otherwise proceeds to a step S46. Herein, the result of the determination in the step S44 becomes YES when it is under carryover section. In the step S45, the CPU changes the number of lotteries into 7, and proceeds to the step S46. In the step S46, the CPU sets a value same as the number of lotteries, as a winning number, and proceeds to a step S47.

In the step S47, the CPU compares the random number value stored in the random number value storing area with the upper and lowest limits related to the winning number, and proceeds to a step S48. Specifically, the CPU refers to the internal lottery table determined in the step S41 to obtain the lowest limit (L) based on the winning number, and subtracts the lowest limit (L) from the random number value (R) stored in the random number value storing area of the RAM 33 (i.e., R-L). In addition, the CPU refers to the internal lottery table determined in the step S41 to obtain the upper limit (U) based on the winning number, and subtracts the upper limit (U) from the random number value (R) stored in the random number value storing area of the RAM 33 (i.e., R-U).

In the step S48, the CPU determines whether the random number value is between the lowest limit and the upper limit. Specifically, it determines whether the value (R-L) obtained in the step S47 is positive or not, and whether the value (R-U) obtained in the step S47 is negative or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S49, otherwise proceeds to a step S54. In the step S49, the CPU refers to the internal winning combination determining table to specify an internal winning combination based on the winning number and proceeds to a step S50.

In the step S50, the CPU determines whether the internal winning combination determined in the step S49 is MB1 or MB2. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S51, otherwise proceeds to a step S53. In the step S51, the CPU stores the flag in the internal carryover combination storing area based on the internal winning combination and proceeds to a step S52. Herein, in the determination, in case that MB1 is included in the internal winning combination, the CPU stores 100000000 in the internal carryover combination storing area. In case that MB2 is included in the internal winning combination, the CPU stores 010000000 in the internal carryover combination storing area.

In the step S52, since MB1 or MB2 has been determined as the internal winning combination, the CPU updates (clears) the value of the RT game-number counter to 0 so as to end the RT section, and proceeds to a step S53. In the step S53, the CPU stores a logical sum of an internal winning combination corresponding to the internal winning combination determined in the step S49 and the internal carryover combination storing area in the internal winning combination storing area, and proceeds to a step S54. In the step S54, the CPU subtracts 1 from the number of lotteries and proceeds to a step S55.

In the step S55, the CPU determines whether the number of lotteries is 0 or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S56, otherwise proceeds to the step S46. Herein, in case that the number of operations of determining whether the random number value (R) is included within a range defined by the upper limit (U) and the lowest limit (L) is 9 times in the normal gaming state and 7 times in the internal winning state (i.e., carryover section), the result of the determination becomes YES. On the other hand, in case that the number of determinations is under 9 times in the normal gaming state and under 7 times in the internal winning state (i.e., carryover section), the result of the determination becomes NO.

In the step S56, the CPU stores a logical sum of the information representing the internal winning combination and the internal carryover combination storing area in the internal winning combination storing area, and proceeds to a step S57. Herein, in case that the internal winning combination is the losing, the CPU does not carry out the process in the step S53. Accordingly, even though there is an internal carryover combination, the bit corresponding to the internal carryover combination of the internal winning combination storing area becomes not 1 by the process in the step S53. Therefore, in the step S56, in consideration of the case that the internal winning combination is the losing when there is an internal carryover combination, the CPU stores a logical sum of the information representing the internal winning combination and the internal carryover combination storing area in the internal winning combination storing area.

In the step S57, the CPU determines whether it is under MB gaming state, i.e., whether the flag under MB operation is ON or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S58, otherwise proceeds to the step S7 in FIG. 14. In the step S58, since it is under MB gaming state, the CPU updates all the bits 0˜5 of the internal winning combination storing area into ON (i.e., it stores 000011111 in the internal winning combination storing area), and proceed to the step S7 in FIG. 14.

In the followings, it is described a reel stop control process for stopping the rotation of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R on the basis of the internal winning combination or timing of the stop operation by the player, with reference to FIG. 17.

First, the CPU 31 determines whether an active stop button has been pushed, i.e., whether the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R corresponding to the reels 3L, 3C, 3R being rotated have been pushed or not (step S61). Specifically, in the step S61, the CPU determines whether active stop button flags corresponding to the pushed stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R are ON. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU updates the active stop button flags corresponding to the pushed stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R to OFF and proceeds to a step S64, otherwise proceeds to a step S62.

Herein, the active stop button flag is the information for identifying whether the reels 3L, 3C, 3R corresponding to the pushed stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R are being rotated or not. Three flags are provided to correspond to each of the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R. In case that the reels 3L, 3C, 3R corresponding to the pushed stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R are being rotated, the active stop button flags corresponding to the corresponding stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R are ON. In case that the reels 3L, 3C, 3R corresponding to the pushed stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R are not being rotated, the active stop button flags corresponding to the corresponding stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R are OFF.

In the step S62, the CPU determines whether or not 30 seconds have elapsed after the reel has started to rotate, so as to carry out an automatic stop of the reel. The automatic stop is meant that the gaming machine automatically (i.e., internally) stops the symbol variation when a predetermined time (for example, 30 seconds) has elapsed, with the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R being not pushed (i.e., with the stop command being not detected), from after it has been detected an operation of the start lever 6 in a process of the step S36 of FIG. 15. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S63, otherwise proceeds to the step S61.

In the step S63, the CPU determines an expected stop position at which the winning combination becomes the losing, and proceeds to a step S65. The expected stop position is a code number of a symbol displayed at the position of the center line 8 c when the reel, which has been subject to the stop operation, is stopped. In the step S63, in case of carrying out the automatic stop, even though there are Small Win, MB, Replay and the like determined as an internal winning combination, in order to ensure fairness in the game, the CPU determines an expected stop position at which a combination of symbols corresponding to the internal winning combination is not displayed along the activated line.

In the step S64, the CPU carries out a priority attraction-in control process which will be described with reference to FIG. 18, and proceeds to a step S65. In the step S65, the CPU transmits a reel stop command and proceeds to a step S66. The reel stop command includes the information about an expected stop position determined in a priority attraction-in control process (see FIG. 18), the number of sliding symbols, the type of the stop control, the types of the stop buttons 7L. 7C, 7R for which the push operation has been carried out, and the like.

In the step S66, the CPU updates the symbol storing area based on the expected stop position and proceeds to a step S67. Specifically, on the assumption that the rotation of the reel is stopped at the expected stop position determined in the step S63 or a step S75 in FIG. 18, in this case, the CPU stores an identifier corresponding to a type of a symbol located at each of the symbol display areas of the corresponding reel in the symbol storing areas. The symbol storing area is a memory area for storing an identifier for identifying a type of a symbol stopped at each of the symbol stop positions when the reel for which the stop operation has been carried out is stopped.

In the step S67, the CPU determines whether there is a stop button for which the push operation is active. Specifically, the CPU determines whether any one of the three active stop button flags is ON or not. In case that there are the reels 3L, 3C, 3R being rotated and any one of the three active stop button flags is ON, a result of the determination becomes YES and the CPU proceeds to a step S61. In case that all the reels 3L, 3C, 3R are stopped and all the three active stop button flags are OFF, a result of the determination becomes NO and the CPU proceeds to a step S68.

In the step S68, the CPU determines whether the stop button is under pushed state. Specifically, it determines whether the stop command signal is continuously detected from the stop button. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to the step S68, otherwise proceeds to the step S13 in FIG. 14. Accordingly, in case that the stop button is pushed in the third stop operation (i.e., in case that the stop command signal is continuously outputted by the stop switches 7LS, 7CS, 7RS corresponding to the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R which are pushed in the third stop operation), the process of the step S68 is repeated and the CPU does not proceed to a process next to the step S68. In addition, in this case, the command of the third stop operation is repetitively transmitted to the sub-control circuit 72. Accordingly, the command of the third stop operation is repetitively transmitted while it is continuously carried out the push operation of the stop button in the third stop operation.

In the followings, it is described a priority attraction-in control process for determining an expected stop position based on a type of an internal winning combination, a gaming state and the like, with reference to FIG. 18.

First, the CPU 31 determines whether it is under MB gaming state, i.e., whether the flag under MB operation is ON or not (step S71). When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S72, otherwise proceeds to a step S74. In the step S72, the CPU determines whether or not the left stop button 7L is pushed. Specifically, it determines whether a stop command signal is transmitted from the stop button 7L. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S73, otherwise proceeds to a step S74.

In the step S73, since the left stop button 7L is pushed in the MB gaming state, the CPU determines 0 or 1 as the number of sliding symbols, based on the determined internal winning combination, and then proceeds to a step S75. In the step S74, the CPU determines one of 0 and 1 as the number of sliding symbols, based on the determined internal winning combination, and then proceeds to a step S75. In the step S75, the CPU determines and stores an expected stop position, based on the symbol counter and the determined number of sliding symbols, and then proceeds to the step S65 in FIG. 17.

Specifically, the CPU determines an expected stop position, based on the value of the symbol counter and the number of sliding symbols determined in the step S73 or step S74, and stores the information of the expected stop position in the RAM 33. The symbol counter is a counter in which the information of the symbol code number located on the center line 8 c, among the symbols arranged on the reels, is stored.

Herein, in one embodiment, the stop control of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R is carried out, based on a priority attraction-in ranking table (not shown) having the information of priority rankings of which an attraction-in of a combination of symbols corresponding to an internal winning combination is relative. Basically, the attraction-in is meant by a control for stopping the rotation of reel (i.e., a reel corresponding to a stop button which is pushed) so that a symbol (hereinafter, referred to as attraction-in target symbol) constituting a combination of symbols corresponding to an attraction-in target combination within a range of the maximum number of sliding symbols is displayed in the symbols display areas (hereinafter, referred to as active symbol display area) connected by the activated line.

However, in case of second and third stop operations, the attraction-in is meant as follows: when a symbol constituting a combination of symbols corresponding to the attraction-in target combination is displayed in the active symbol display area together with the attraction-in target symbol corresponding to this stop operation, the attraction-in target symbol is displayed in an active symbol display area in the display windows 21L, 21C, 21R connected by the activated line connecting the active symbol display areas.

Replay has the highest priority attraction-in ranking. MB has a priority ranking higher than the other internal winning combinations except Replay. Accordingly, in case that there is an internal carryover combination, when Replay is determined as an internal winning combination, a combination of symbols corresponding to Replay is preferentially displayed along the activated line over a combination of symbols corresponding to MB. In the mean time, in case that there is an internal carryover combination, when an internal winning combination except Replay is determined, a combination of symbols corresponding to MB is preferentially displayed along the activated line over combinations of symbols corresponding to the other internal winning combinations except Replay.

In addition, 10 pieces of Small Win has a priority ranking higher than Bell, Chance Small Win and RT. In addition, Bell, Chance Small Win and RT have priority rankings higher than Watermelon. Further, Watermelon has a priority ranking higher than Cherry.

In the followings, it is described a bonus end checking process for ending a middle bonus game when it is satisfied an end condition of the middle bonus game, with reference to FIG. 19.

First, the CPU 31 determines whether the bonus end-number counter is 0 or not (step S81). When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S82, otherwise proceeds to the step S19 in FIG. 14. In the step S82, the CPU carries out a process on MB ending and proceeds to a step S83. Specifically, the CPU stores 0 in the bit 0 which is a storing area corresponding to the flag under MB operation of the flag under operation storing areas (FIG. 12D), and clears the bonus end-number counter.

In the step S83, the CPU transmits a bonus ending command to the sub-control circuit 72 and proceeds to a step S84. In the step S84, the CPU determines whether a RT preparation flag is ON or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S85, otherwise proceeds to the step S19 in FIG. 14. The RT preparation flag is the information for identifying whether the RT1 section is allowed to operate or not. In case that the RT1 section is allowed to operate, the RT preparation flag is ON. In case that the RT1 section is not allowed to operate, the RT preparation flag is OFF.

In the step S85, the CPU updates the flag under RT1 operation to ON, clears the RT preparation flag (i.e., updates the RT preparation flag to OFF), and proceeds to a step S86. In the step S86, the CPU stores 1000 in the RT game number-counter, and proceeds to the step S19 in FIG. 14.

In the followings, it is described a bonus operation checking process for operating a middle bonus game and a RT section based on types of the display combinations determined, with reference to FIG. 20.

First, the CPU 31 determines whether the display combination is MB1 or MB2 (step S91). When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S92, otherwise proceeds to a step S97. In the step S92, the CPU determines whether the display combination is MB1 or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S93, otherwise proceeds to a step S94. In the step S93, the CPU updates the RT preparation flag to ON and proceeds to a step S94.

In the step S94, the CPU clears the internal carryover combination storing area and proceeds to a step S95. In the step S95, the CPU carries out the process on MB operation based on the bonus operation table (see FIG. 11) and proceeds to a step S96. For example, in case that the display combination is MB1, the CPU refers to the bonus operation table (see FIG. 11) to update the flag under MB operation corresponding to MB to ON, and sets the bonus end-number counter. In the step S96, the CPU transmits a bonus operation command to the sub-control circuit 72, and proceeds to the step S2 in FIG. 14.

In the step S97, the CPU determines whether the display combination is RT or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S98, otherwise proceeds to a step S101. In the step S98, the CPU determines whether the flag under RT2 operation is ON or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to the step S2 in FIG. 14, otherwise proceeds to a step S99. In the step S99, the CPU updates the flag under RT2 operation to ON and proceeds to a step S100. In the step S100, the CPU stores ┌1000┘ in the RT game-number counter, and proceeds to the step S2 in FIG. 14.

Herein, only when the display combination is RT (i.e., a result of the determination in the step S97 is YES) and the flag under RT2 operation is not ON (i.e., a result of the determination in the step S98 is NO), the flag under RT2 operation becomes ON in the step S99 and 1000 is stored in the RT game-number counter in the step S100.

In other words, in case that the display combination becomes RT when the RT2 section does not operate, the RT2 section operates and 1000 is stored in the RT game-number counter. Since the RT game-number counter is subtracted every game and the RT2 section is over when the value of the RT game-number counter becomes 0, the RT2 section is continued over maximum 1,000 games.

In the mean time, in case that the display combination becomes RT when the RT2 section operates (i.e., when the value of the RT game number counter is not 0), since the result of the determination in the step S98 becomes YES, the RT game-number counter is not updated to 10000 when the RT2 section operates. Accordingly, the RT2 section is not continued over 1,000 games.

In the step S101, the CPU determines whether the display combination is Replay or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the CPU proceeds to a step S102, otherwise proceeds to the step S2 in FIG. 14. In the step S102, since the combination of symbols corresponding to Replay is displayed, the CPU copies the insertion number counter to the automatic insertion counter (i.e., it stores a value, which is same as the value stored in the insertion number counter, in the automatic insertion counter), and proceeds to the step S2 in FIG. 14. By the process in the step S102, a value same as the value stored in the automatic insertion counter is set in the insertion number counter, in the process of the step S24 in FIG. 15 in a next game.

In the followings, it is described an intervention process under control of the main CPU for repetitively performing a predetermined process carried out every predetermined time by the main CPU (CPU (31)), with reference to FIG. 21. The intervention process is repetitively carried out every 1.1173 ms.

First, the CPU 31 carries out a timer update process for subtracting 1 from the value set in the timer for demo (step S111), and proceeds to a step S112. In the step S112, the CPU checks an input port and proceeds to a step S113. Specifically, the CPU checks whether there is an input from the start switch 6S resulting from the operation of the start lever 6. In the step S113, the CPU carries out a reel rotation driving process and proceeds to a step S114. Specifically, the CPU sets the information representing a control target reel as a reel identifier, and controls the driving of the reel.

In the step S114, the CPU carries out a lamp•7SEG driving process and ends the periodical intervention process. Specifically, the CPU turns on the BET lamps 17 a to 17 c, based on the insertion number. In addition, the CPU displays the number of medals credited (i.e., deposited), the payout number of medals and the like on the credit display unit 19.

Hereinafter, it is described a control operation of the sub-control circuit 72 with reference to flow charts shown in FIGS. 22 to 29.

In the followings, it is described a RESET-intervention process under control of the sub-CPU for repetitively performing a series of processes under control of the sub-CPU (image control MICOM 81), with reference to FIG. 22.

First, the image control MICOM 81 carries out a command receiving process for receiving a command inputted from the main control circuit 71, the operating unit 17 or the like (step S121), and proceeds to a step S122. In the step S122, it carries out a command outputting process for outputting a command to a circuit except the sound•lamp control circuit (mSub) (72 b) and proceeds to a step S123.

In the step S123, the MICOM carries out an image drawing process and proceeds to a step S124. In the image drawing process, an image is drawn which corresponds to the effect data selected in FIGS. 23 to 26. In addition, in the image drawing process, the image data is written into the control RAM 87 of the image control IC 86 and a frame buffer provided in the video RAM 89. The image data written into the frame buffer is transmitted to the liquid crystal display device 131 and an image corresponding to the corresponding image data is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b (for 1/30 s).

In the step S124, the MICOM carries out a music control process and proceeds to the step S121. In the sound control process, the image control MICOM 81 transmits a command to the sound•lamp control circuit (mSub) 72 b, based on the effect data determined in FIGS. 23 to 26 which will be described later.

Continuously, the sound•lamp control MICOM 91 controls the output of music, based on the command transmitted from the image control MICOM 81. Specifically, the sound•lamp control MICOM 91 transmits the sound source data corresponding to the music which is outputted based on the command transmitted from the image control circuit (gSub) 72 a, to the sound source IC 115, and outputs the music from the speakers 9L, 9R.

In the followings, it is described a process on BET command receiving for carrying out a predetermined process which is carried out with the receiving of the BET command, with reference to FIG. 23. The process on BET command receiving is started with the receiving of the BET command from the main control circuit 71.

In a step S131, the image control MICOM determines the effect data, based on the insertion number counter and the like, and ends the process on BET command receiving. By the process in the step S133, an image corresponding to the insertion number counter is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b.

In the followings, it is described a process on start command receiving for carrying out a predetermined process which is carried out with the receiving of the start command, with reference to FIG. 24. The process on start command receiving is started with the receiving of the start command from the main control circuit 71.

First, the image control MICOM 81 determines whether the number of premonition games is ┌0┘ or not (step S141). When a result of the determination is YES, it proceeds to a step S144, otherwise proceeds to a step S142. The number of premonition games (i.e., the number of effect games) is the information for identifying the remaining number of games in which the baseball winning effect (i.e., premonition effect) is carried out.

In the step S142, the MICOM determines the effect data corresponding to the baseball winning in accordance with the number of premonition games, and then proceeds to a step S143. Specifically, based on the effect table (see FIG. 13), the MICOM determines the effect data in accordance with the contents of effect determined in a step S162 of FIG. 26 (which will be described later) and the current number of premonition games. And, an image corresponding to the effect data determined in the process of the step S142 is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b at the timing corresponding to the determined effect data, so that the baseball winning effect is carried out. In a step S143, the MICOM subtracts 1 from the number of premonition games and ends the process on start command receiving.

In case that the number of premonition games becomes 0 by subtracting ┌1┘ from the number of premonition games in the step S143, the MICOM determines the effect data corresponding to the effect under RT operation. As a consequence, if the baseball winning effect is over, an image corresponding to the effect under RT operation is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b. The effect under RT operation is an effect of notifying the player that the RT section is operating.

In the step S144, the MICOM determines whether the number of stop operation assistance games is 0 or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM proceeds to a step S147, otherwise proceeds to a step S145. The number of stop operation assistance games is the information for identifying the remaining number of games in which a game, in which the complete notification effect is carried out, is continuously performed. The complete notification effect is an effect in which when an internal winning combination except the losing is determined, the determined internal winning combination is notified without fail (i.e., in a probability of 100%). In addition, in the game in which the complete notification effect is carried out, when the losing is determined as an internal winning combination, the losing is not notified. However, it is thereby indirectly notified that the losing is determined as the internal winning combination.

If the complete notification effect is carried out, the player can perceive the internal winning combination determined and perform the stop operation so that a combination of symbols corresponding to the determined internal winning combination is displayed along the activated line. Accordingly, due to the complete notification effect, since there is no case where the player carries out the stop operation with the aim of displaying a combination of symbols which are not allowed to be displayed along the activated line on the activated line, the player's burden can be reduced.

In the step S145, since the number of stop operation assistance games is not 0, the MICOM determines the effect data corresponding to the internal winning combination and the like so as to carry out the complete notification effect, based on the effect table (see FIG. 13), and proceeds to a step S146. In the process of the step S145, the effect data is determined so that the internal winning combination determined by the internal lottery process corresponds to the effect data to be determined by one-to-one. In addition, the image corresponding to the effect data determined in the process of the step S145 is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b at the timing corresponding to the determined effect data, so that the complete notification effect of notifying the internal winning combination determined by the internal lottery process is carried out without fail (i.e., in a probability of 100%).

In the step S146, the MICOM subtracts 1 from the number of stop operation assistance games and ends the process on start command receiving. In the step S147, the MICOM determines whether the internal winning combination is the losing or nor. When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM ends the process on start command receiving, otherwise proceeds to a step S148.

In the step S148, the MICOM determines the effect data, based on the internal winning combination and the gaming state, and ends the process on start command receiving. Specifically, in the step S148, the effect data corresponding to the paper airplane effect may be determined on the basis of the internal winning combination. Then, an image corresponding to the effect data determined in the process of the step S148 is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b.

Herein, in the step S148, one effect of the baseball losing A to C is determined in a probability of 1/200 by a lottery, on condition that it is under normal gaming state (except the RT section and a game in which the complete notification effect is carried out). In addition, the baseball losing A to C is determined in the same probability, respectively.

In the step S148, when the one effect of the baseball losing A to C is determined, the number of premonition games corresponding to the determined effect is pseudo-determined. Specifically, when the baseball losing A, the baseball losing B and the baseball losing C are determined, 4, ┌3 and 2 are respectively determined as the number of premonition games.

Then, in the step S148, the MICOM determines the effect data in correspondence with the effect and the number of premonition games determined, based on the effect table (see FIG. 13), and subtracts 1 from the number of premonition games. In addition, in a game after the next game, in the process of the step S142, based on the effect table (see FIG. 13), the effect data corresponding to the baseball losing effect is determined in accordance with the effect and the number of premonition games determined in the step S148. Continuously, in the process of the step S143, the number of premonition games is subtracted by 1. By doing so, the baseball losing effect which is continuously carried out over 2˜4 games on condition that it is under normal gaming state is started in a probability of 1/200.

In the followings, it is described a process on reel stop command receiving for carrying out a predetermined process which is carried out with the receiving of the reel stop command, with reference to FIG. 25. The process on reel stop command receiving is started with the receiving of the reel stop command from the main control circuit 71.

First, the image control MICOM 81 determines whether the MB is operating, i.e., whether the middle bonus game is operating or not (step S151), and proceeds to a step S152. In the step S152, the MICOM determines whether it is within a permitted range. Specifically, when a position of a marker to be displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b in a music game which is carried out in the middle bonus game is within the permitted range, the MICOM determines whether the stop button 7L, 7C, 7R corresponding to the marker is pushed (which will be specifically described later). When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM proceeds to a step S153, otherwise proceeds to a step S154.

In the step S153, the MICOM adds 1 or 2 to a point and proceeds to a step S154. The point is the information to which 1 or 2 is cumulatively added whenever the stop button 7L, 7C, 7R corresponding to a marker is pushed when a position of the marker to be displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b in a music game which is carried out in the middle bonus game is within the permitted range.

In addition, an initial value of the point is 0 when the middle bonus game is started (i.e., the bonus operation command is received), and 1 or 2 is cumulatively added to the point whenever the process of the step S153 is carried out, until the corresponding middle bonus game is over.

In the step S154, the MICOM stores an order of the stop operations and proceeds to a step S155. Specifically, based on the information of the types of the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R, which is included in the received reel stop command, the MICOM stores the corresponding information in a predetermined area of the work RAM 84. In the step S155, the MICOM determines whether it is the third stop operation or not, based on the information of the types of the stop operations, which is included in the received reel stop command. When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM proceeds to a step S156, otherwise proceeds to a step S159.

In the step S156, the MICOM determines whether the order of stop operations is right→left→center, i.e., whether the stop operation is carried out in order of the right stop button 7R, the left stop button 7L and the center stop button 7C (hereinafter, referred to as specific stop order). When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM proceeds to a step S157, otherwise proceeds to a step S159. In the step S157, the MICOM sets a specific operation detection flag (i.e., ON) and proceeds to a step S158.

The specific operation detection flag is the information for identifying whether the stop operations are carried out in the specific stop order. In case that the stop operations are carried out in the specific stop order, the specific operation detection flag is ON, and in case that the stop operations are not carried out in the specific stop order, the specific operation detection flag is OFF. In the step S158, the MICOM sets 1500 as an initial value of a specific operation detection timer which is stored in the work RAM 84, and proceeds to a step S159. The specific operation detection flag is a timer (information) for determining whether the left stop button 7L is continuously pushed for 3 seconds.

In the step S159, the MICOM determines the effect data based on the expected stop position and the like, and ends the process on reel stop command receiving. As a consequence, an image corresponding to the effect data determined in the process of the step S148 is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b.

In the followings, it is described a process on display combination command receiving for carrying out a predetermined process which is carried out with the receiving of the display combination command, with reference to FIG. 26. The process on display combination command receiving is started with the receiving of the display combination command from the main control circuit 71.

First, the image control MICOM 81 determines whether a display combination is RT or not, based on the information about the display combination included in the display combination command (step S161). When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM proceeds to a step S162, otherwise proceeds to a step S163. In the step S262, the MICOM determines one of 2 to 4 as the number of premonition games by the lottery, and proceeds to a step S167. Specifically, the image control MICOM 81 determines one of the values 2 to 4 as the number of premonition games in the same probability, respectively, based on the random number value sampled from the random numbers generated.

In the step S162, when 4 is determined as the number of premonition games, the effect data corresponding to the baseball winning A is determined through the process in the step S142 of FIG. 24 in a next game and the effect of the baseball winning A is thus started. In addition, when 3 is determined as the number of premonition games, the effect data corresponding to the baseball winning B is determined through the process in the step S142 of FIG. 24 in a next game and the effect of the baseball winning B is thus started. In addition, when 2 is determined as the number of premonition games, the effect data corresponding to the baseball winning C is determined through the process in the step S142 of FIG. 24 in a next game and the effect of the baseball winning C is thus started.

In the step S163, the MICOM determines whether the display combination is MB1 or MB2, based on information about the display combination included in the display combination command. When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM proceeds to a step S164, otherwise proceeds to a step S167. In the step S164, the MICOM determines whether the specific operation detection flag is ON or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM proceeds to a step S165, otherwise proceeds to the step S167. In the step S165, the MICOM determines whether the value of the specific operation detection timer is 0 or not. When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM proceeds to a step S166, otherwise proceeds to the step S167.

In the step S166, the MICOM updates a special mode flag into ON and proceeds to the step S167. The special mode flag is the information for identifying whether it is allowed a music D (which will be described later) to be selected or not. When the special mode flag is ON, it is allowed the music D to be selected. When the special mode flag is OFF, it is not allowed the music D to be selected.

Herein, the process in the step S158 of FIG. 25 is carried out, on condition that the third stop operation is carried out in the specific stop order (i.e., the result of determination in the step S155 of FIG. 25 is YES and the result of determination in the step S156 of FIG. 25 is also YES). In addition, the value 1500 set as an initial value in the specific operation detection timer in the process of the step S158 in FIG. 25 is subtracted by 1 every 2 ms (see a step S192 in FIG. 29), on condition that the third stop operation command is received (i.e., the push operation of the stop button is continuously carried out in the third stop operation) in a periodic intervention process (see FIG. 29) under control of the sub-CPU.

Accordingly, in case that the stop operation is carried out in the specific stop order, if the push operation of the stop button 7C is continuously carried out in the third stop operation, the value of the specific operation detection timer becomes 0 after 3 seconds from when the corresponding stop operation is started. Then, a result of the determination in the step S165 becomes YES, the special mode flag becomes ON in the process of the step S166 and it is allowed the music D to be selected. In other words, it is allowed the music D to be selected, on condition that it is carried out a stop operation (referred to as specific stop operation) in which the left stop button 7L is continuously pushed for 3 seconds in the third stop operation of the stop operations which are carried out in the specific stop order.

In the step S167, the MICOM determines the effect data, based on the display combination and the gaming state, etc., and ends the process on display combination command receiving. Then, an image corresponding to the effect data determined in the process of the step S167 is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b.

In the followings, it is described a process on bonus operation command receiving for carrying out a predetermined process which is carried out with the receiving of a bonus operation command, with reference to FIG. 27. The process on bonus operation command receiving is started with the receiving of the bonus operation command from the main control circuit 71.

First, the image control MICOM 81 determines whether the special mode flag is ON or not (step S171). When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM proceeds to a step S173, otherwise proceeds to a step S172.

Herein, according to one embodiment, in the middle bonus game, it is carried out a music game in which the stop operation is carried out in the predetermined timing and order in correspondence with a type of music outputted and thus the value of the point is added. In the music game, basically, when the middle bonus game is started, one of music A to C is reproduced (i.e., outputted from the speakers 9L, 9R) which is selected by the player.

Specifically, when the middle bonus games is started, an image including identification information representing that the player can select the music A, an image including identification information representing that the player can select the music B and an image including identification information representing that the player can select the music C are sequentially displayed on the liquid crystal display device 2 b. If the player carries out the insertion operation when the identification information is displayed, it is selected a music corresponding to the identification information displayed at the time when the insertion operation is carried out. Then, the effect data corresponding to the type of the selected music is determined, and an image (for example, image shown in FIG. 36) corresponding to the effect data determined is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b.

In the step S172, the MICOM selects (i.e., determines) and reproduces one of the music A to C, and ends the process on bonus operation command receiving. Specifically, one of the music A to C is determined which is selected by the player through the insertion operation, and the determined music is reproduced (i.e., outputted from the speakers 9L, 9R). In addition, the effect data corresponding to the determined music of the music A to C is determined and an image corresponding to the determined effect data is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b.

In the step S173, since the special mode flag is ON, the MICOM selects and reproduces the music D and ends the process on bonus operation command receiving. Thereby, when the player carries out the specific stop operation to start the middle bonus game, the music D is reproduced (i.e., outputted from the speakers 9L, 9R) in the music game of the middle bonus game. In addition, the effect data corresponding to the music D is determined, and an image corresponding to the determined effect data is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b.

By doing so, for example, in case that the player is bored with the music game in which the music A to C is reproduced, the player can conduct the specific stop operation to select the music D which cannot be basically selected. Accordingly, it is possible to keep up the player's interest in the music game.

In the followings, it is described a process on bonus ending command receiving for carrying out a predetermined process which is carried out with the receiving of a bonus ending command, with reference to FIG. 28. The process on bonus ending command receiving is started with the receiving of the bonus operation command from the main control circuit 71.

First, the image control MICOM 81 displays a two-dimensional bar code corresponding to the point (step S181), and proceeds to a step S182. Specifically, the MICOM displays an image including a two-dimensional bar code such as QR code (registered trademark) on the liquid crystal display device 2 b, in accordance with the value of the point cumulatively added in the music game which has been carried out from after the middle bonus game has started (i.e., from after the bonus operation command has been received) until the corresponding middle bonus game is over.

The two-dimensional bar code includes the information about URL corresponding to the value of point. The player can obtain the information of URL included in the two-dimensional bar code using a portable terminal such as cellular phone, and download the information corresponding to the URL, such as music data, from a server apparatus connected to the Internet. In other words, the payout corresponding to the value of point is awarded to the player by allowing the player to obtain the music data corresponding to the value of point cumulatively added in the music game.

In the step S182, the MICOM determines whether the point is 50 or more. When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM proceeds to a step S183, otherwise ends the process on bonus ending command receiving. In the step S183, the MICOM sets 100 in the number of stop operation assistance games and ends the process on bonus ending command receiving. Thereby, if the middle bonus game is over, the complete notification effect is continuously carried out over 100 games, on condition that the point is 50 or more (i.e., a result of the determination in the step S182 is YES).

Herein, when it is carried an effect notifying an internal winning combination determined by the internal lottery process, such as paper airplane effect, the player can be given with an advantage which allows the player to conduct the stop operation so that a combination of symbols corresponding to the determined internal winning combination is displayed along the activated line. However, in case that such effect does not always notify the internal winning combination determined by the internal lottery process, the player may hesitate to conduct the stop operation because the player does not know which of the combinations of symbols is displayed along the activated line. Accordingly, the frequency of stop operation by the player per unit time is decreased and thus the rate of operation of the gaming machine is lowered.

In the mean time, if it is carried out an effect which notifies an internal winning combination determined by the internal lottery process without fail so as to solve the above problem, the player may be bored with it and lose interest in the effect. Accordingly, it is required to provide a gaming machine enabling the player not to lose interest in an effect relating to an internal winning combination while preventing the rate of operation of the gaming machine from being lowered.

Accordingly, in one embodiment, it is carried out a complete notification effect over 100 games, which notifies an internal winning combination determined by the internal lottery process without fail (i.e., in a probability of 100%) on condition that the point cumulatively added in the music game is 50 or more. In other words, it is continued the complete notification effect over the predetermined number of games, which effect is carried out in reward for the result that the point value is 50 or more in the music game. By doing so, it is possible to prevent the player from losing interest in the effect of notifying the internal winning combination.

In addition, since the complete notification effect is carried out, the player is not perplexed how to carry out the stop control so that which of the combinations of symbols is displayed along the activated line. Accordingly, it is possible to provide a gaming machine enabling the player not to lose interest in an effect relating to an internal winning combination while preventing the rate of operation of the gaming machine from being lowered.

In the followings, it is described a periodic intervention process under control of the sub-CPU for carrying out a predetermined process every time predetermined under control of the sub-CPU (image control MICOM 81), with reference to FIG. 29. The periodic intervention process is repetitively carried out every 2 ms.

First, the image control MICOM 81 determines whether the specific operation detection timer is 0 or not (step S191). When a result of the determination is YES, the MICOM ends the periodic intervention process under control of the sub-CPU, otherwise proceeds to a step S192. In the step S192, the MICOM subtracts 1 from the specific operation detection timer and ends the periodic intervention process under control of the sub-CPU, on condition that the third stop operation command is received (i.e., the stop button is pushed in the third stop operation).

In the followings, it is described an example of an image displayed in the effect display area 23 (i.e., liquid crystal display unit 2 b) for the effect, with reference to FIGS. 30 to 36.

FIG. 30 shows a display example A. The display example A is an example of an image which is displayed in the effect display area 23 as the paper airplane effect (i.e., paper airplanes A to C). In case that the effect data selected on the basis of the effect table (see FIG. 13) is turning, the image is displayed in the effect display area 23, based on the corresponding effect data.

FIG. 30 shows a display example A. In the example A, it is displayed an image showing that the paper airplane 301 turns around a character 302. The image is displayed when the display combination command is received (i.e., when all the reels 3L, 3C, 3R are stopped).

In the effect of the paper airplane of the embodiment, an internal winning combination is notified through a color of the paper airplane. For example, the red paper airplane is displayed to notify that the internal winning combination is Cherry (i.e., color of a symbol constituting a combination of symbols corresponding to the internal winning combination is red). In case that the paper airplane effect is carried out as the complete notification effect, the paper airplane of color corresponding to the internal winning combination is displayed without fail (i.e., in a probability of 100%), except that the losing is determined as the internal winning combination.

In addition, when the paper airplane effect is carried out in the carryover section, there may be a case where the paper airplane of color corresponding to the internal winning combination is not always displayed. For example, even though the yellow paper airplane corresponding to Bell is not displayed (for example, even though the red paper airplane corresponding to Cherry is displayed), there is a case where the combination of symbols corresponding to Bell is displayed along the activated line. By doing so, it is notified that the paper airplane effect is carried out in the carryover section.

Herein, although not shown in the effect table of FIG. 13, in fact, the effect data corresponding to the paper airplane effect is provided to correspond to the internal winning combination, too. For example, the effect table is provided with the effect data of paper airplane effect corresponding to Cherry. The effect data is determined, so that an image including the red paper airplane is displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 2 b. In addition, in the complete notification effect, the effect data corresponding to an internal winning combination is determined without fail (i.e., in a probability of 100%).

FIG. 31 is an example of an image which is displayed in the effect display area 23 in the first game of the baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect.

FIG. 31A is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data baseball stadium) which is displayed in accordance with the start operation in the first game of baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 31A, it is displayed an image showing a panoramic view of the baseball stadium.

FIG. 31B is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data bird's appearance) which is displayed in accordance with the first stop operation in the first game of baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 31B, it is displayed an image showing a bird 302 in the impersonation of batter.

FIG. 31C is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data dog's appearance) which is displayed in accordance with the second stop operation in the first game of baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 316C, it is displayed an image showing a dog 303 in the impersonation of pitcher.

FIG. 31D is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data both sides' appearance) which is displayed in accordance with the third stop operation in the first game of baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 31D, it is displayed an image showing a bird 302 and a dog 303 facing each other.

FIG. 31E is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data both sides' appearance) which is displayed by receiving the display combination command (i.e., by stopping the rotation of all the reels 3L, 3C, 3R) in the first game of baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 16E, it is displayed an image same as that of FIG. 31D.

FIG. 32 is an example of an image which is displayed in the effect display area 23 in the second game of the baseball winning effect (except the baseball winning C) or baseball losing effect (except the baseball losing C).

FIG. 32A is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data rpreparation completion of both sidesi ) which is displayed in accordance with the insertion operation in the second game of the baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 32A, it is displayed an image showing that the bird 302 assumes a hitting posture with a bat and the dog 303 assumes a throwing posture.

FIG. 32B is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data motion) which is displayed in accordance with the start operation in the second game of the baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 32B, it is displayed an image showing that the bird 302 starts to bat and the dog 303 starts to throw a ball with the arm held aloft.

FIG. 32C is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data throwing) which is displayed in accordance with the first stop operation in the second game of the baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 32C, the dog 303 is enlarged and it is displayed an image showing that the dog 303 holds the arm aloft to pitch.

FIG. 32D is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data hitting) which is displayed in accordance with the second stop operation in the second game of the baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 32D, the bird 302 is enlarged and it is displayed an image showing that the bird 302 bats to hit the ball.

FIG. 32E is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data foul) which is displayed in accordance with the third stop operation in the second game of the baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 32E, it is displayed an image showing that the bird hit a foul ball.

FIG. 32F is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data foul) which is displayed in accordance with the third stop operation in the second game of the baseball winning effect or baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 32F, it is displayed an image same as that of FIG. 32E.

FIG. 33 is an example of an image which is displayed in the effect display area 23 in the last game of the baseball winning effect (i.e., fourth game of the baseball winning A, third game of the baseball winning B and second game of the baseball winning C).

As shown in FIGS. 33A to 33D, the examples of images which are displayed in accordance with the insertion, start, first and second operations are same as those of FIGS. 32A to 32D.

FIG. 33E is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data bird's expression) which is displayed in accordance with the third stop operation in the last game of the baseball winning effect. In the display example of FIG. 33E, the bird's face 302 is enlarged and it is displayed an image showing the bird's expression in detail.

FIG. 33F is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data homerun) which is displayed by receiving the display command (i.e., by stopping the rotation of all the reels 3L, 3C, 3R) in the last game of the baseball winning effect. In the display example of FIG. 33F, it is displayed an image (i.e., mode of the effect notifying that the replay time is operating) showing that the bird hit a homerun (i.e., the bird 302 won a victory over the dog 303).

FIG. 34 is an example of an image which is displayed in the effect display area 23 in the last game of the baseball losing effect (i.e., fourth game of the baseball losing A, third game of the baseball losing B and second game of the baseball losing C).

As shown in FIGS. 34A to 34D, the examples of images which are displayed in accordance with the insertion, start, first and second operations are same as those of FIGS. 33A to 33D.

FIG. 34E is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data bird's expression) which is displayed in accordance with the third stop operation in the last game of the baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 34E, the bird's face 302 is enlarged and it is displayed an image showing the bird's expression in detail.

FIG. 34F is a display example of an image (i.e., image corresponding to the effect data strikeout) which is displayed in accordance with the third stop operation in the last game of the baseball losing effect. In the display example of FIG. 34F, it is displayed an image showing that the bird 302 has been struck out.

Herein, in the baseball winning effect, it is displayed the image (see FIG. 33F) showing that the bird 302 won a victory over the dog 303 in the last of the effect (for example, when it is received the display combination command of the third game of the baseball winning B), so that the player perceives that the RT section is operating. In addition, in the baseball losing effect, it is displayed the image (see FIG. 34F) showing that the bird 302 lost the game to the dog 303 in the last of the effect (for example, when it is received the display combination command of the third game of the baseball losing B), so that the player perceives that the RT section is not operating.

In the mean time, since the same image as the image displayed in the baseball winning effect is displayed until the middle of the baseball losing effect, it is difficult for the player to perceive that the RT section is not operating, to the last of the baseball losing effect. Accordingly, even though the RT section does not operate to the last of the baseball losing effect, it is possible to make the player expect that it will be notified at the last stage of the corresponding effect that the RT section is operating. In other words, the player may expect that the RT section would be operating. Accordingly, it is possible to provide a gaming machine capable of keeping up the player's expectations even though the RT section is not operating.

FIG. 35 shows a display example B. The display example B is an example of an image which is displayed in the effect display area 23 in an effect under RT operation. The effect under RT operation is started when the baseball winning effect is over during the operation of the RT section, and is over when the corresponding RT section is over. In other words, even though the RT section is operating, the effect under RT operation is not carried out until the baseball winning effect is over.

In the display example B of FIG. 35, it is displayed an image including a queen game mark 304 representing that the RT section is operating. By displaying such image, the player can play the game while certainly perceiving that the RT section is operating.

In the followings, it is described an image which is displayed in the effect display area 23 in a music game, and the stop operation of the player during the music game, with reference to FIG. 36.

Herein, in the music game, it is displayed images including plural elliptical markers 305 to 308 arranged in a row in the right area of the effect display area 23 (i.e., right marker 305, left marker 306, center mark 307 and plain marker 308) and a rectangular bar 309 which is long in a horizontal direction. Such images are continuously displayed, so that it is displayed in the effect display area 23 a moving picture showing that the markers arranged in a row move in arrow directions of FIGS. 36A and 36B.

Each of the markers 305 to 308 is provided to correspond to the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R. Specifically, the right marker 305 corresponds to the right stop button 7R. In addition, the left marker 306 corresponds to the left stop button 7L. Additionally, the center marker 307 corresponds to the center stop button 7C. Further, the plain marker 308 corresponds to all the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R.

In the music game, in case that an image representing that any one of the markers 305 to 308 overlaps the bar 309 (such state of the marker is referred to as within the permitted range) is displayed and it is carried out the push operation of the stop button corresponding to the corresponding marker at the timing at which such image is displayed, a predetermined value is added to the value of point.

Specifically, in case that the push operation of the right stop button 7R is carried out at the time when the right marker 305 is within the permitted range, in case that the push operation of the left stop button 7L is carried out at the time when the left marker 306 is within the permitted range, and in case that the push operation of the center stop button 7C is carried out at the time when the center marker 307 is within the permitted range, 2 is added to the value of point. In addition, in case that the push operation of any one of the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R is carried out at the time when the plain marker 308 is within the permitted range, 1 is added to the value of point.

In addition, in case that an image representing that any one of the markers 305 to 308 does not overlap the bar 309 (such state of the marker is referred to as out of the permitted range) is displayed and it is carried out the push operation of the stop button corresponding to the corresponding marker at the timing at which such image is displayed, the value of point is not added.

In addition, if the music game starts, the right marker 305, the left marker 306 and the center marker 307 are respectively allowed to be within the permitted range by one time (i.e., total 3 times). Accordingly, when the right marker 305, the left marker 306 and the center marker 307 are respectively allowed to be within the permitted range by one time, if the player successively pushes the stop button corresponding to the marker within the permitted range, 6 is added to the value of point in one game.

In addition, after the right marker 305, the left marker 306 and the center marker 307 are respectively allowed to be within the permitted range by one time, the plain marker 308 is allowed to be within the permitted range. Therefore, even though the player fails to push the stop button corresponding to the marker within the permitted range at the time when the right marker 305, the left marker 306 and the center marker 307 are within the permitted ranged, if the player pushes any one of the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R at the time when the plain marker 308 is within the permitted range, 1 is added to the value of point. As a result, it is possible to relieve the player who failed to push the stop button in the music game.

FIG. 36A shows a display example C. The display example C is an example of an image which is displayed in the effect display area 23 when the marker is out of the permitted range in the music game.

In the display example C of FIG. 36A, it is displayed an image representing that no markers 350 to 308 do not overlap the bar 309 (i.e., all the markers are out of the permitted range). When the player carries out the stop operation when such image is displayed, the value of point is not added.

FIG. 36B shows a display example D. The display example D is an example of an image which is displayed in the effect display area 23 when the marker is within the permitted range in the music game.

In the display example D of FIG. 36B, it is displayed an image representing that the right marker 305 overlaps the bar 309 (i.e., the right marker 305 is within the permitted range) with being enlarged. When the player pushes the right stop button 7R when such image is displayed, 2 is added to the value of point.

Like this, in one embodiment, when the markers 305 to 308 are within the permitted range, it is adapted to show an image of which the corresponding marker 305 to 308 is enlarged, as compared to the case where the markers are out of the permitted range. Thereby, the player can push the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R while more correctly perceiving the timing at which the markers 305 to 308 are within the permitted range.

In the followings, it is described an output pattern in the music game and the degree of difficulty of the music game, with reference to graphs shown in FIG. 37.

FIGS. 37A to 37D are graphs showing output patterns of music A to D. These graphs comprise a x-axis in which the time from after a music game is started is indicated, and a y-axis in which a sound volume outputted from the music game is indicated. According to the graphs, when the music A to D is reproduced, the sound volume thereof is maximized at least 3 times. The time at which the sound volume of the music is maximized is approximately identical to the time at which the markers 305 to 307 are within the permitted range.

Accordingly, in the music game, when the marker 305 to 307 are within the permitted range and the player pushes the stop button corresponding to the corresponding marker 305 to 307 at the timing at which the sound volume of the music is maximized, the value of point is added. By doing so, the player can enjoy the rhythmical stop operation by conducting the stop operation at the timing matched to the outputted music in the music game. In addition, in one embodiment, since the music game is carried out in the middle bonus game, it is possible to further improve the player's interest in the middle bonus game.

Herein, according to the output patterns of the musicAto D shown in FIGS. 37A to 37D, a frequency that the sound volume of the music D is maximized is relatively higher than that of the sound volume of the music A to C. In other words, the frequency that the markers 305 to 307 are allowed to be within the permitted range per time in the music game in which the music D is outputted is relatively higher than that of the music game in which the music A to C is outputted. Accordingly, an interval of time at which the markers 305 to 307 are within the permitted range in the music game in which the music D is outputted is relatively shorter than an interval of time at which the markers 305 to 307 are within the permitted range in the music game in which the music A to C is outputted.

Therefore, the player should carry out the stop operation with a relatively short time interval so that the point is added in the music game in which the music D is outputted, as compared to the music game in which the music A to C is outputted. As a result, the degree of difficulty of the music game in which the music D is outputted is relatively higher than that of the music game in which the music A to C is outputted. In the mean time, in one embodiment, in case that the specific stop operation is carried out to start the middle bonus game, it is adapted to output the music D in the music game. In other words, the gaming machine of the embodiment is a gaming machine adapted to carry out one of the music games having different degree of difficulty during the operation of middle bonus. In such gaming machine, when the stop operation is carried out in order of right→left→center (in addition, the center stop button 7C is pushed for 3 seconds) and a symbol combination relating to MB is displayed along the activated line, it is carried out a music game whose degree of difficulty is higher as compared to the other music games.

By doing so, in case that the player gets used to the degree of difficulty of the music game in which the music A to C is outputted, the player can carry out a specific stop operation so that the more difficult music game is carried out, and enjoy the music game in which the music D is outputted. Accordingly, it is possible to increase the player's interest in the music game and to prevent the player's interest in the music game from being decreased because the player gets used to the degree of difficulty of the music game.

In the mean time, in order to output the music D in a music game, it is necessary for the player to carry out the specific stop operation, i.e., a stop operation which is not typically carried out. By adopting such stop operation as a condition for outputting the music D in the music game, it is possible to evade a possibility that the music game will be started against the player's intention who is not interested in the music game having the high degree of difficulty. In addition, it is possible to provide a gamine machine with which both a player who is interested in a music game having the high degree of difficulty and a player who is not interested in the corresponding game can take pleasure in the music game.

While the invention has been described with reference to the embodiments, the invention is not limited thereto.

In the embodiment, the value of point cumulatively added in the music game is not disclosed, and the complete notification effect is carried out, on condition that the value of point cumulatively added in the music game is 50 or more. However, the invention is not limited thereto. Specifically, it may be provided means for notifying a current value of point in a music game.

For example, when it is carried out a music game, the identification information representing a current value of point may be displayed in the display device (for example, liquid crystal display unit 2 b). By doing so, the player can play the music game while perceiving the current value of point. In addition, it is possible to increase the player's expectations that the complete notification effect will be made, as the current value of point approaches a predetermined value.

In addition, when the value of point reaches 50 (i.e., predetermined value) while the music game is carried out, the identification information representing such situation may be displayed by the display device (for example, liquid crystal display unit 2 b), or alternatively, the sound of notifying the situation may be outputted from the sound output means (for example, speakers 9L, 9R). By doing so, it is possible to provide the player with a sense of achievement that it is reached the state in which the complete notification effect can be carried out.

In addition, in the embodiment, the internal winning combination determined by the internal lottery process is notified without fail (i.e., in a probability of 100%) in the complete notification effect. However, the invention is not limited thereto. For example, the internal winning combination determined by the internal lottery process may be notified almost certainly in the complete notification effect. Herein, the term of almost certainly is meant by a probability that the player will feel as virtually same as the probability of 100%. For example, 90% or more probability may be adopted. Also in this case, it is possible to provide a gamine machine with which both a player who is interested in a music game having the high degree of difficulty and a player who is not interested in the corresponding game can take pleasure in the music game.

In addition, in the embodiment, it is required to carry out the stop operation in the specific stop order, i.e., in order of the right stop button 7R, the left stop button 7L and the center stop button 7C, so as to output the music D. However, the invention is not limited thereto. For example, it may be adopted a stop operation order except a stop operation order of the left stop button 7L, the center stop button 7C and the right stop button 7R (i.e., the push is sequentially conducted), as the specific stop order. Also in this case, it is possible to evade a possibility that the music game having the high degree of difficulty will be started against the player's intention.

In addition, in the embodiment, it is adopted, as the specific stop operation, the stop operation in which the left stop button 7L is continuously pushed for 3 seconds in the third stop operation of the stop operations carried out in the specific stop order. Specifically, it may be a stop operation which is not typically carried out by the player, as the specific stop operation. For example, it may be adopted, as the specific stop operation, a stop operation in which a stop button is continuously pushed for 3 seconds in one of the first to third stop operations. By doing so, it is possible to evade a possibility that the music game will be started against the player's intention who is not interested in the music game having the high degree of difficulty.

In addition, in the embodiment, the contents of the specific stop operation are not knows to the player. However, they may be known. For example, the contents of the specific stop operation may be known to the player, on condition that a bonus (MB1 or MB2) is determined as an internal winning combination in the internal lottery process. By doing so, even a beginner who lacks knowledge about the gaming machine can enjoy the music game in which the music D is outputted, through the specific stop operation.

Further, in the embodiment, the frequency that the markers 305 to 307 are allowed to be within the permitted range per time in the music game in which the music D is outputted is relatively higher than that of the music game in which the music A to C is outputted. In other words, the degree of difficulty of the music game is defined by the frequency that the timing at which the player should conduct the stop operation (for example, timing at which the marker is within the permitted range) is notified by the notifying means (for example, liquid crystal display device 131) per unit time. However, the invention is not limited thereto.

Specifically, the degree of difficulty of the music game may be also defined depending on the order of stop operations which the player should conduct. For example, in the music game having the higher degree of difficulty, a frequency that an order of stop operations except the sequential push, as the order of stop operations which the player should conduct, is notified to the player may be relatively higher than, as compared to the other music games.

In the embodiment, before it is carried out the control for stopping the rotation of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R, it is first expected a display combination which is possible to be determined after the rotation of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R is stopped and then it is carried out the control for stopping the rotation of the reels 3L, 3C, 3R, based on the corresponding expectation (for example, expected display combination data stored in the display combination storing area). However, the invention is not limited thereto. For example, it may be provided a stop table for determining a stop mode (for example, expected stop position) of reel depending on the operation of the stop button (for example, stop operation position at the time when the stop button is pushed), and then the control for stopping the rotation of reel may be carried out by referring to the stop table.

In addition, in the embodiment, when Replay-Replay-E, Replay-Replay-Blue 7 or Replay-Replay-Watermelon is displayed along the activated line, RT (i.e., 000100000) becomes the display combination. In other words, the one display combination corresponds to the plural combinations of symbols. However, the invention is not limited thereto. For example, it may be structured in such a way that a combination of symbols corresponds to a display combination by one to one (for example, it may be provided display combinations corresponding to Replay-Replay-E, Replay-Replay-Blue 7 and Replay-Replay-Watermelon, respectively).

Additionally, the invention can be applied to another gaming machine such as pachinko gaming machine, pachi-lot and the like, in addition to the gaming machine 1 of the embodiment. In addition, the invention can be applied to a game program which pseudo-executes the game of the pachi-slot machine 1 described in the embodiment as a home gaming machine. In this case, a medium for recording the game program may include a CD-ROM, FD (flexible disk) and the other recording media.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8956224 *Aug 30, 2012Feb 17, 2015Wms Gaming Inc.Methods of receiving electronic wagers in a wagering game via a handheld electronic wager input device
US20120329553 *Aug 30, 2012Dec 27, 2012Wms Gaming Inc.Methods of Receiving Electronic Wagers in a Wagering Game Via a Handheld Electronic Wager Input Device
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/16
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/34, G07F17/3269, G07F17/3295
European ClassificationG07F17/34, G07F17/32M6, G07F17/32P8, G07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 19, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: ARUZE CORP., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HISHINUMA, TAKAAKI;HIRAUCHI, TAKAYUKI;KAMADA, YOUSUKE;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017802/0974
Effective date: 20060329