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Publication numberUS20070178965 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/638,361
Publication dateAug 2, 2007
Filing dateAug 12, 2003
Priority dateJan 20, 2003
Publication number10638361, 638361, US 2007/0178965 A1, US 2007/178965 A1, US 20070178965 A1, US 20070178965A1, US 2007178965 A1, US 2007178965A1, US-A1-20070178965, US-A1-2007178965, US2007/0178965A1, US2007/178965A1, US20070178965 A1, US20070178965A1, US2007178965 A1, US2007178965A1
InventorsHaruo Inoue
Original AssigneeDragon Co., Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game machine
US 20070178965 A1
Abstract
A second display section of a second display device is movable from an initial position to an end position. Upon starting the game, a first display device displays the symbols in motion and thereafter displays the stop symbols. Subsequently, the second display section displays the symbols in motion and displays the stop symbol. In some cases, the second display device moves. Even when there is no winning symbol combination, the player can win in accordance with the symbol combination of the first display device and the second display section. When the winning symbol combination appears after the second display section moves, the player wins the game.
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Claims(11)
1. A game machine comprising:
a first display device having plural first display sections to display symbols in motion and to display a stop symbol;
a second display device having at least one second display section to display said symbols in motion and to display said stop symbol;
a move device for moving said second display section around said first display device; and
a winning determine section for determining the win or the loss based on the combinations of said stop symbols on winning lines, said winning line comprising a first line consisting of said first display sections being arranged in line and a second line consisting of said first display sections and said second display section in line.
2. A game machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said first display sections are arranged in a matrix.
3. A game machine as claimed in claim 1, further comprising
a rotation display determine section for determining whether to display said symbols of said second display section in motion.
4. A game machine as claimed in claim 1, said move device comprising:
a holder;
a drive motor attached to one end of said holder;
a first pulley attached to a drive shaft of said drive motor;
a second pulley attached to other end of said holder; and
a belt wound around said first pulley and said second pulley, said second display section being attached to said belt.
5. A game machine as claimed in claim 4, further comprising:
a move position determine section for determining the position of movement of said second display section; and
means for detecting the position of movement of said second display section based on the number of pulse signal outputting to said drive motor.
6. A game machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said second display section is movable in a first direction along said first display device and a second direction opposite to said first direction.
7. A game machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said first display section is composed of a LCD device or a mechanical reel.
8. A game machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said second display section is composed of a LCD device or a mechanical reel.
9. A game machine comprising:
a display device having plural first display areas to display symbols in motion and to display a stop symbol and at least one second display area, said second display area moving along said first display areas; and
a winning determine section for determining the win or the loss based on the combinations of said stop symbols on winning lines, said winning line comprising a first line consisting of said first display areas being arranged in line and a second line consisting of said first display areas and said second display area in line.
10. A game machine as claimed in claim 9, further comprising a rotation display determine section for determining whether to display said symbols of each second display area in motion.
11. A game machine as claimed in claim 9, further comprising a move position determine section for determining the position of movement of said second display area.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a game machine that determines winning or not by symbol combination on a predetermined winning line after displaying the symbols in motion.

2. Explanations of the Prior Arts

There is a game machine that starts rotating its symbols upon start of a game and stops displaying the symbols in motion after a predetermined period. A symbol display device is taken as an example. The symbol display devices with mechanical reels or electronic display device such as a liquid crystal display (LCD) device are well known in general.

In the symbol display device with mechanical reels, plural reels having plural kinds of symbols placed at a predetermined pitch are arranged in a line or matrix. As a game starts, each reel is rotated by a corresponding motor. When the reel is stopped the rotation at a random timing, at least one symbol is displayed through a display window. Meanwhile, in the symbol display device with electronic display device like LCD, after plural symbol images as graphic data are displayed in motion, a still image is displayed. In this way, it is possible to simulate to rotate and stop the symbol.

When a symbol is stopped, the win or the loss is determined in accordance with symbol type or symbol combination on specific winning lines. In case of winning, predetermined amount of coins are paid out according to the type of the winning. For instance, when three reels are arranged in a straight line (including simulated symbol display) and three symbols of each reel are displayed, a total of nine symbols are displayed. In this case, there is a total of five winning lines that consist of three horizontal lines and two diagonal lines. The player wins the game when a predetermined winning symbol combination is completed on these winning lines, and therefore the corresponding amount of coins are dispensed. In the above game machine, however, the win or the loss is predictable when two reels have stopped even if the last one reel rotating. As a result, the game does not provide sufficient appeal to the player.

Meanwhile, in the game machine with symbols arranged in three rows and three columns in matrix, a total of nine reels consisting of three horizontal and three vertical reels are arranged accordingly. As each reel displays only one symbol, there are additional three vertical winning lines. This increases the player's expectation to win.

In order to increase expectation to the win, Japan Patent Application No. 2002-136733 discloses a game machine that consists of a first display device of three rows and three columns and a predetermined number of second display devices arranged around the first display device. Each second display device is arranged on an extension of a diagonal line of the first display device. Consequently, further four oblique winning lines are set in addition to the winning lines set by the first display device, to increase expectation to the win.

According to the game machine with the above symbol display device incorporated, as the winning line is fixed, the REACH (Ready-for-winning) and the winning states remain unchanged. In terms of visual appeal, just adding the number of winning line is not enough to increase the player's expectation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a game machine in which the position and number of winning line are appropriately changed upon stopping displaying the symbols in motion to change the REACH and the winning states, for amusing a player in an original manner.

To attain the above object, a game machine of the present invention has plural first display sections to display symbols in motion and to display a stop symbol, at least one second display section to display the symbol in motion and to display the stop symbol, and a move device that moves the second display section around a first display device. Winning lines have a first line consisting of the first display sections arranged in line and a second line consisting of the first display sections and the second display section arranged in line. Based on the combinations of the stop symbols on the winning lines, the winning determine section determines the win or the loss.

Upon playing the game, a rotation display determine section determines whether to display the symbols of the second display section in motion or not to the second display sections respectively. Further, a move position determine section determines the position of movement of the second display section.

The move device consists of a drive motor attached to one end of a holder, a first pulley attached to a drive shaft of the drive motor, a second pulley attached to other end of the holder and a belt wound around the first pulley and the second pulley. The second display section is attached to the belt and movable in a first direction along the first display device and a second direction opposite to the first direction.

It is preferable that the first display section and the second display section are respectively composed of a LCD device or a mechanical reel. Otherwise, it is possible to provide plural first display areas to display symbols in motion and to display a stop symbol and at least one second display area, which moves along the first display areas.

Since the number of winning line changes depending on the number and the movement of the second display sections, even if the player loses to win in the first display section, the game can maintain the player's expectation to the win in accordance with symbol combinations of the first display sections and the second display sections.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments when read in association with the accompanying drawings, which are given by way of illustration only and thus are not limiting the present invention. In the drawings, like reference numerals designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front view illustrating a slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an explanatory view illustrating display windows;

FIG. 3 is an explanatory view illustrating winning lines of a first display device;

FIG. 4 is an explanatory view illustrating winning lines formed by the combination of the display section of the first display device and the second display device when the second display sections of the second display device are at initial positions;

FIG. 5 is an explanatory view illustrating winning lines formed by the combination of the first display device and the second display device when one of the display sections of the second display device is moved from the initial position;

FIG. 6 is an explanatory view illustrating valid winning lines when two of the second the second display sections are moved;

FIG. 7 is a front view illustrating the second display device and its move mechanism;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a carrier of the second display section;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a carrier drive mechanism;

FIG. 10 is a functional block diagram illustrating electrical structure of the slot machine;

FIG. 11 is a flow chart of the slot machine game;

FIG. 12 is an explanatory view in which symbols of the first display sections are displayed in motion;

FIG. 13 is an explanatory view in which symbols of the first display sections are stopped at a random timing;

FIG. 14 is an explanatory view in which a winning symbol combination appears on one of the winning line formed by the stop symbols of the first display sections;

FIG. 15 is an explanatory view in which a winning symbol combination does not appear on any winning lines by the stop symbols of the first display sections;

FIG. 16 is an explanatory view in which symbols of the second display section is displayed in motion after the first display sections display stop symbols;

FIG. 17 is an explanatory view in which a winning symbol combination appears on the winning line formed by the first display sections and a second display section;

FIG. 18 is an explanatory view in which a winning symbol combination does not appear on any winning lines-when the second display section displays the stop symbol;

FIGS. 19-21 are explanatory views in which a winning symbol combination appears on the winning line when the second display section is moved;

FIGS. 22, 23 are explanatory views in which a winning symbol combination does not appear when the second display section is moved;

FIG. 24 is an explanatory view in which two of the second display sections display stop symbols;

FIG. 25 is an explanatory view in which a winning symbol combination does not appear on any winning lines when two of the second display sections display stop symbols;

FIG. 26 is an explanatory view in which a winning symbol combination appears on the winning line when two of the second display sections move the same distance;

FIGS. 27, 28 are explanatory views in which a winning symbol combination appears on the winning line when two of the second display sections move different distances;

FIG. 29 is an explanatory view illustrating a display device with two types of display sections; and

FIG. 30 is a front view of a pachinko machine as another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

As shown in FIG. 1, a slot machine 2 has a display window 3 at the center. Under the display window 3, there are a start lever 4, a one-coin bet button 5, a max-coin bet button 6, a payout button 7, and a coin slot 8. After inserting a coin from the coin slot 8, a player presses the one-coin bet button 5 or the max-coin button 6 to bet, and operates the start lever 4 to start the game. Otherwise, instead of inserting a coin, it is possible to bet by using the coin stored in a credit counter (not shown). In case of winning, a predetermined amount of coins are paid out to a coin saucer 9 provided below the buttons 5-7.

As shown in FIG. 2, a first display device 15 of LCD to display symbols is provided at the center of the display window 3. The first display device 15 has nine first display sections 15 a-15 i consisting of three rows and three columns. Each first display section 15 a-15 i displays the symbols 1 to 9 and 0 in motion, and displays one of them as a stop symbol. As for the first display device, it is not limited to the above structure. The first display section may display a reel to simulate the rotation of the reel. Furthermore, it is also applicable to arrange three display sections arranged in the horizontal direction in order to display three symbols of a simulated reel in each display section.

A second display device 16 is arranged on the periphery of the first display device 15. The second display device 16 has four second display sections 16 a-16 d, each of which displays the symbols 1 to 9 and 0 in motion and displays one of the symbols as the stop symbol. Each second display section 16 a-16 d is movable up to three frames (each display section corresponds to one frame) from the initial position (shown by solid lines) to the end position (shown by dotted lines). The second display sections 16 a and 16 c are movable in the horizontal direction of the drawing, while the second display sections 16 b and 16 d are movable in the vertical direction of the drawing. In consideration of the character of a game, the first display sections 15 a-15 i and the second display sections 16 a-16 d may display letters, marks, characters, and so forth. Note that, upon starting the game, the second display sections 16 a-16 d display star symbols that are unrelated to the result of the game.

The slot machine of the present embodiment has plural first winning lines formed by three symbols of the first display sections 15 a-15 i arranged in line, and second winning lines formed by three symbols of the first and the second display sections arranged in line. In FIG. 3, as the first winning line, there are eight winning lines 17 a-17 h consisting of three vertical lines, three horizontal lines, and two diagonal lines (each shown by dotted lines). As shown in FIG. 4, when the second display section 16 a is at the initial position (shown by a solid line), there is a valid winning line 17 i, as the second winning line, consisting of the symbols of the first display sections 15 a and 15 e and the symbol of the second display section 16 a. In the same manner, there are winning lines 17 i-17 l consisting of the first display sections and the second display sections 16 b-16 d at the initial positions. Thus total of twelve winning lines of eight winning lines 17 a-17 h and four winning lines 17 i-17 l are established.

FIG. 5 illustrates an example in which one of the second display sections 16 a-16 d move a distance of one to three frames from the initial position. For instance, in FIG. 5, when the second display section 16 d moves a distance of one frame from the initial position (the position A), the winning line 17 k of FIG. 4 becomes invalid. Instead, the horizontal winning line 17 m consisting of the symbols of the first display sections 15 g, 15 h and the second display section 16 d, and the diagonal winning line 17 n consisting of the first display sections 15 b, 15 d and the second display section 16 d become valid. Accordingly, in case the second display section 16 d moves a distance of one frame, the number of winning line amounts to thirteen, which consist of the above two winning lines 17 m and 17 n, eight winning lines 17 a-17 h (shown in FIG. 3), and three winning lines 17 i, 17 j, and 17 l (shown in FIG. 4).

When the second display section 16 d moves a distance of two frames from the initial position (the position B), the winning line 17 k of FIG. 4 becomes invalid. Instead, the winning line 17 o consisting of the first display sections 15 d, 15 e and the second display section 16 d becomes valid. Consequently, the number of winning line amounts to twelve, which consist of the winning line 17 o, eight winning lines 17 a-17 h (shown in FIG. 3), and three winning lines 17 i, 17 j, and 17 l (shown in FIG. 4).

Furthermore, when the second display section 16 d moves a distance of three frames from the initial position (the position C), the winning lines 17 p and 17 q become valid. As a result, the number of winning line amounts to thirteen, which are the same when the second display section 16 d moves a distance of one frame. Note that the present embodiment shows the case in which the second display section 16 d is moved. It is the same, however, when one of other second display sections 16 a-16 c is moved.

The number of winning line changes depending on the number and the movement of the second display sections 16 a-16 d. As shown in FIG. 6, for instance, when the adjacent second display sections 16 a and 16 d move the distance of two frames respectively, the winning lines 17 r consisting of the first display sections 15 b, 15 e and the second display section 16 a, the winning line 17 o consisting of the first display sections 15 d, 15 e and the second display section 16 d, and the winning line 17 s consisting of the second display sections 16 a, 16 d and the first display section 15 a become valid. Consequently, the number of winning line amounts to thirteen.

The structure of the slot machine according to the above embodiment is explained. As shown in FIG. 7, each second display section 16 a-16 d can be moved by a predetermined number of frames by a move mechanism 20. Since the structure of the move mechanisms 20 attached to the second display section 16 a-16 d is the same, only the move mechanism of one of the second display section 16 a is described. Construction parts necessary for the attachment, such as screws and nuts are omitted so as to avoid complexity of the drawing.

As shown in FIG. 7, the move mechanism 20 comprises of a carrier 21 to hold the second display section 16 a and a carrier driver 22 to move the carrier 21. In FIG. 8, the carrier 21 has first to third brackets 25-27, four wheels 28 and a press board 30. The first bracket 25, fixed to the front side of the third bracket 27, has an attachment portion 25 a to attach the second display section 16 a. A tongue portion 25 b disposed on the top of the first bracket 25 is used to detect the position of the first bracket 25. One end portion 26 a of the second bracket 26 is bent into an approximate U-shape to be attached to a predetermined position of the third bracket 27. The press board 30 is attached to the other end portion 26 b of the second bracket 26 to press a belt 39 (explained later) onto the second bracket 266. Four wheels 28 consisting of two on top and two on bottom are attached to the rear side of the third bracket 27.

As shown in FIG. 9, the carrier driver 22 comprises a hold member 35, a stepping motor 36, a drive-side pulley 37, a follow-side pulley 38, the belt 39, a guide rail 40, an initial position detection photo-interrupter (PI) 41 and an end position detection PI 42. The hold member 35 with an approximate U-shaped cross section is incorporated inside the slot machine 2. The stepping motor 36, the follow-side pulley 38, the guide rail 40, the initial position detection PI 41 and the end position detection PI 42 are attached to the hold member 35. A drive shaft 36 a of the stepping motor 36 is inserted into an opening 35 a formed in one end portion of the hold member 35. The drive-side pulley 37 is attached to the drive shaft 36 a of the stepping motor 36, while the follow-side pulley 38 is attached to an elongated opening 35 b formed in the other end portion of the hold member 35 via a shaft member 43. The elongated opening 35 b is provided so that the shaft member 43 temporarily fastened to the hold member 35 can be slide while wrapping the belt 39 around the drive-side pulley 37 and the follow-side pulley 38 respectively. The guide rail 40, attached to the front side of the hold member 35, has a H-shaped section so that the wheel 28 can be movable by rotation on rail grooves 40 a and 40 b. The initial position detection PI 41 is attached to the top surface of the hold member 35 via an attachment member 44. The initial position detection PI 41 detects the tongue portion 25 b of the first bracket 25 when the carrier 21 is at the initial position. The stepping motor 36 stops when the carrier 21 moves to the initial position. The end position detection PI 42 is attached to the top surface of the hold member 35 via an attachment member 45. The end position detection PI 42 detects the tongue portion 25 b when the carrier 21 is at the end position. The end position detection PI 42 stops the operation of the stepping motor 36 when the carrier 21 detects the tongue portion 25 b.

FIG. 10 is a functional block view illustrating electrical structure of the slot machine 2. The move mechanisms of the second display sections 16 b-16 c are omitted so as to avoid complexity of the drawing. A CPU 50 takes control of the slot machine 2 in accordance with the game program stored in a ROM 51. On receiving an operation signal unrelated to the proceeding of the game, the CPU 50 makes the operation invalid. A coin sensor 52 provided behind the coin slot 8 outputs a coin-detecting signal to the CPU 50 every time the coin sensor 52 detects insertion of proper coins. Upon operation of the one-coin bet button 5 or the max-coin bet button 6, a bet signal is outputted from a bet signal generator 54. Based on this bet signal, the CPU 50 stores the number of bet coins into a RAM 53 temporarily.

Upon operation of the start lever 4 for starting a game, a start signal generator 55 is driven to input a start signal to the CPU 50. Based on the start signal, the CPU 50 outputs a lottery start signal to a random number generator 56, in which a random number is sampled and outputted to a first stop symbol determiner 57 and a motion display determiner 58. The first stop symbol determiner 57 refers to a first stop symbol determine table 59 to determine the stop symbol of the first display sections 15 a-15 i. The first stop symbol determine table 59 consists of plural table data for the first display sections 15 a-15 i in each of which random numbers are related with the symbols. The first stop symbol determiner 57 reads address data of symbol images to display in the first display sections 15 a-15 i from a first symbol data memory 71, and stores it to the RAM 53.

The motion display determiner 58 refers to a motion display determine table 60 to determine whether to display the symbol of each second display section 16 a-16 d in motion, and outputs result data to a second stop symbol determiner 61 and a move symbol determiner 62 and stores result data in the RAM 53. Based on the random number outputted from the motion display determiner 58, the second stop symbol determiner 61 refers to a second stop symbol determine table 63 to determine the stop symbol. The second stop symbol determine table 63 includes table data in which each symbol corresponds to the random number. This table data is provided for each second display section 16 a-16 d. The second stop symbol determiner 61 reads out the address information of stop symbol image data from a second symbol data memory 76 and stores it into the RAM 53.

After determining the second display sections 16 a-16 d to display symbols in motion, the move symbol determiner 62 refers to a move determine table 64 to determine the movement of the second display sections 16 a-16 d. The move determine table 64 consists of plural table data in which random numbers are allocated for every move frame number. Each table data corresponds to each of the second display section 16 a-16 d. The movement of information of the second display sections 16 a-16 d determined by the move symbol determiner 62 is temporarily stored into the RAM 53.

After the stop symbol is determined, the CPU 50 activates a first display control IC 70. The first display control IC 70 successively reads out symbol image data from the first symbol data memory 71 and inputs it to the first display device 15. Consequently, rotation symbols are displayed in each first display section 15 a-15 i. When reading out the symbol image data of each first display section 15 a-15 i, the first display control IC 70 outputs the corresponding address information to the CPU 50. As a result, the CPU 50 can distinguish the symbol displayed in the first display sections 15 a-15 i. In case the address information in the RAM 53 corresponds with the address information from the first display control IC 70, the CPU 50 outputs a stop signal to the first display control IC 70 to display the stop symbol corresponding to the address information in the RAM 53. When the stop symbols are displayed in the first display device 15, the CPU 50 activates a second display control IC 75. The second display control IC 75 successively reads out symbol image data from the second symbol data memory 76 and inputs it to the second display sections 16 a-16 d. As a result, the symbols of the second display sections 16 a-16 d display the symbols in motion. When the address information in the RAM 53 corresponds with the address information from the second display control IC 75, the CPU 50 sends a stop signal to the second display control IC 75 to display the symbol in corresponding second display sections 16 a-16 d.

When the move symbol determiner 62 determines to activate the move mechanism 20, a motor controller 80 sends pulse signals to the stepping motor 36 via a driver 81 to drive the second display sections 16 a-16 d. As the movement of the second display sections 16 a-16 d for a pulse signal is determined in advance, counters 82 count the number of pulse signal in order to detect the positions of the second display sections 16 a-16 d. After winning is judged by a winning determiner 85 (to be explained later), the motor controller 80 drives the stepping motor 36 in an opposite direction to move the moved second display sections 16 a-16 d to the initial position.

The winning determiner 85 determines whether there is a winning symbol combination or not in reference with the address information of the stop symbols of the first display sections 15 a-15 i and the second display sections 16 a-16 d respectively. When there is a winning symbol combination, a winning signal indicating a winning type is outputted to the CPU 50. The ROM 51 stores a dividend table corresponding the winning type to the dividend coin amount, and a magnification table indicating the payout magnification corresponding to the bet number. Based on a winning signal from the winning determiner 85, the CPU 50 determines the amount of dividend coins. And based on the bet number stored in the RAM 53, the CPU 50 determines a payout magnification. The CPU 50 refers these dividend coin amount and the payout magnification to calculate the amount of the payout coin. A coin dispenser 89 is activated to pay out the calculated number of coins to the coin saucer 9.

Based on the flow chart of FIG. 11, an operation of the slot machine as above is explained. After inserting a predetermined number of coins from the coin slot 8, the one-coin bet button 5 or the max-coin bet button 6 is depressed to bet. In response to the operation of the start lever 4, the CPU 50 activates the random number generator 56, which starts sampling random numbers. One random number is sampled to be outputted to the first stop symbol determiner 57 and the motion display determiner 58. The first stop symbol determiner 57 compares the random number with the first stop symbol determine table 59 so as to determine the stop symbol of each first display section 15 a-15 i of the first display device 15. The address information of the stop symbol image is stored in the RAM 53.

The motion display determiner 58 compares the random number and the motion display determine table 60 to determine whether to display the symbols in motion in each second display section 16 a-16 d of the second display device 16. Result data to indicate the second display sections 16 a-16 d to display symbols in motion is stored in the RAM 53.

In case at least one of the second display section 16 a-16 d display the symbols in motion, the second stop symbol determiner 61 compares the random number with the second stop symbol determine table 63 to determine the stop symbol. The address information of the stop symbol is stored in the RAM 53. Similarly, the move symbol determiner 62 refers the random number and the move determine table 64 to determine the frame number (including 0) of movement of the second display sections 16 a-16 d.

Upon determining the stop symbol of the first display sections 15 a-15 i and the second display sections 16 a-16 d respectively, the CPU 50 controls the first display control IC 70 to display the symbol in motion in each first display sections 15 a-15 i (see FIG. 12). As shown in FIG. 13, in case the address information of the symbol image data in the RAM 53 corresponds with the address information of the symbol image displayed in the first display sections 15 a-15 i, the CPU 50 displays the corresponding symbol as the stop symbol at a random timing. Similarly, in case at least one of the second display sections 16 a-16 d displays the symbols in motion, the CPU 50 controls the second display control IC 75 to display the stop symbol in the corresponding second display sections 16 a-16 d at a random timing.

When display the symbols in motion is completed, the CPU 50 refers the RAM 53 to determine whether to move the second display sections 16 a-16 d. In the event of moving at least one of the second display section 16 a-16 d, the CPU 50 activates the motor controller 80, which gives predetermined amount of drive pulses to move the corresponding second display section 16 a-16 d to the determined position.

After the second display section 16 is moved, the winning determiner 85 is activated to detect, the stop symbols of the first display sections 15 a-15 i and the second display sections 16 a-16 d. Then, the winning determiner 85 determines whether there is a winning symbol combination on any valid winning line.

In case there is a winning symbol combination on a valid winning line, the CPU 50 refers to the dividend table stored in the ROM 51 to determine the amount of the dividend coin. Based on the dividend coin number stored in the RAM 53 and the payout magnification stored in the ROM 51, the CPU 50 determines the amount of the payout coins and activates the coin dispenser 89 to dispense the determined amount of payout coins to the coin saucer 9.

In case the second display sections 16 a-16 d do not display the symbols, the win or the loss is determined based on the stop symbols of only the first display sections 15 a-15 i. In case the second display sections 16 a-16 d do not move, the win or the loss is determined after the second display sections 16 a-16 d display the stop symbols. When the second display sections 16 a-16 d display the stop symbol, the star symbol is displayed after the winning judgment. The second display sections 16 a-16 d, which move from the initial position, return to the initial position when the game finishes. As shown in FIG. 14, for instance, when the second display sections 16 a-16 d do not display symbols in motion, but when the same symbols 2 are arranged on the valid winning line 17 h, the player wins the game. Moreover, when the same symbols are arranged on other winning lines, the player wins the game. As shown in FIG. 15, however, when the same symbols are not arranged on any winning line, the player loses the game.

FIG. 16, 17 shows an example in which the second display section 16 d displays the symbols in motion. When the first display device 15 displays stop symbols, there is no winning symbol combination on any of the valid winning lines formed by the first display sections 15 a-15 i. In FIG. 7, when the second display section 16 d displays the stop symbol 2, the same symbols 2 are arranged as the winning symbol combination on the winning line 17 k. As shown in FIG. 18, however, when the stop symbol of the second display section 16 d is not the symbol 2, the player loses the game. That is, even if the symbols of the first display section 15 a-15 i do not form a winning symbol combination, the player can win the game according to the symbol combination of the first display sections 15 a-15 i and the second display sections 16 a-16 d. Therefore, it is possible to provide sufficient expectation of the win.

FIG. 19-21 shows an example in which the second display section 16 d is moved. As shown in FIG. 19, when the first display sections 15 a-15 i display the stop symbols, there is no winning symbol combination on any winning line. In FIG. 20, even when the second display section 16 d displays the stop symbol 1 after displaying the symbols in motion, there is no winning symbol combination. However, as shown in FIG. 21, when the second display section 16 d moves one frame, the same symbols 1 are arranged on the winning line 17 n so that the player wins the game. When the second display section 16 d moves two or three frames, the player loses the game because the same symbols 1 are not arranged on any of the winning lines. On the other hands, as shown in FIGS. 22, 23, when the stop symbol of the second display section 16 d is not the symbol 1, there is no winning symbol combination on any winning lines even if the second display section 16 d moves. Since the state of display changes according to the movement of the second display device, it is possible to provide more appealing to the player.

FIG. 24-26 shows an example in which two second display sections 16 a, 16 d display symbols in motion and the stop symbols. As shown in FIG. 24, same symbols are not arranged on any of the winning lines in the first display sections 15 a-15 i. Subsequently, the second display sections 16 a, 16 d display the symbols in motion and then, display the stop symbols at a random timing. As shown in FIG. 25, same symbols are not arranged on the winning line 17 i, which consists of the first display sections 15 a and 15 e and the second display section 16 a. Also, there is no winning symbol combination on the winning line 17 k, which consists of the first display sections 15 e and 15 g and the second display section 16 d.

Thereafter, the second display sections 16 a and 16 d move two frames and stop respectively. As shown in FIG. 26, when the symbols 7 are arranged on the winning line 17 s, which consists of the first display section 15 a and the second display sections 16 a, 16 d, the player wins the game. Note that the player loses the game when the second display sections 16 a, 16 d do not display the stop symbol 7 and move two frames respectively. Similar to this, the player loses the game in case the second display sections 16 a, 16 d display the stop symbol 7 but do not move two frames respectively.

In an example shown in FIG. 27, the stop symbols of the second display sections 16 a and 16 d are the symbols 1 and 7 respectively. In FIG. 28, when the second display section 16 a moves three frames and the second display section 16 d moves two frames, the symbols 1 are arranged on the valid winning line 17 t, which consists of the first display sections 15 b and 15 d and the second display section 16 a. It is the same in case three or four second display sections display the symbols and move. Since the number of winning line changes as the symbols of the second display sections 16 a-16 d display the symbols and move, it is possible to increase the player's expectation for winning. Furthermore, such display pattern provides sufficient appeal to the player.

According to the embodiment of the present invention, the LCD device is used for the first display device. It is also possible to arrange three mechanical reels in line or mechanical reels in a matrix. Likewise, although the second display device consists of the four LCD devices in the present embodiment, mechanical reels can be used to display symbols of the second display device.

It is also suitable to use a display device of dot matrix type using light-emitting element such as LED, a display device of seven-segment type, a CRT (cathode-ray tube), or an organic electro luminescence cell. In case the mechanical reel is used to display the symbol of the second display section, a light-emitting element such as LED may be provided on the front periphery of the mechanical reel in order to illuminate the symbol while the reel is rotating, before or after the rotation of the reel.

Although the first display section and the second display section are provided separately in the above embodiment, it is possible to combine them. For instance, as shown in FIG. 29, a first display area 87 and a second display area 88 are provided on a display screen of a display device 86, such as the LCD device and the CRT. The motion symbols and the stop symbol are displayed in each display area. In this case, the second display area 88 can be moved simulately by changing display of the screen.

The above embodiment, the second display section is initially positioned on an extension of the diagonal line of the first display device. However, the second display section can be initially positioned on the right, left, top or bottom side of the first display device. Also the position and the number of the second display device can be suitably set in consideration of the character of the game.

According to the embodiment of the present invention, the second display section displays the stop symbol. Instead of this, the second display section may be moved before the first display section displays the symbols in motion. Otherwise, the second display section may be moved while displaying the symbols of the first display section in motion. In the above embodiment, the second display section is moved in either horizontal or vertical direction in the drawings. It is also possible, however, to move the second display section horizontal and vertical directions, or around the first display device.

The present embodiment sets winning when a predetermined number of the same symbols are arranged on a winning line. The winning symbol combination is not limited to the above, but can be set appropriately. For instance, the player may win the game when four same symbols are arranged in block. In this case, new pattern of winning can be set when the second display section can be moved in both vertical and horizontal directions. Moreover, the present embodiment refers to a single winning when the same symbols are arranged on a winning line. Also winning can be obtained when the same symbols are arranged on plural winning lines. In such a case, coins are paid out for each winning symbol combination.

In the above embodiment, when the second display device displays the symbols in motion, the star symbol is displayed in the second display section after the winning judgment. Instead, the stop symbol of the second display section can be used for the next game. In addition, although the second display sections are moved to the initial position after each game, it is possible to conduct the next game without moving the second display section to the initial position.

In the above embodiment, the first display device displays the symbols in motion by operating the bet button and the start lever in this order. It is not limited, but changeable in an appropriate manner. For instance, in case there is no bet button, a game starts automatically to display the symbols in motion by inserting a coin and operating the start lever. The start time for displaying the symbol of the first display is not limited. Further, although the stop symbol is displayed automatically in the above embodiment, a stop button to display the stop symbol can be provided. Although the win or the loss is determined according to the combination of the stop symbols after the display sections stop displaying the symbols in motion, it is possible to determine whether winning or not in advance upon operation of the start lever, for instance. Based on the result of winning judgment, the symbol combination is displayed. Upon winning or REACH (ready-for-winning) state, special effects by illumination or audio can appeal to the game player. In the above embodiment, the move mechanism consists of the carrier and the belt-drive type carrier driver that has the stepping motor, the pulley, and the belt. Instead, it is possible to apply a carrier driver having a gear mechanism with plural gears, a link mechanism with a cam and a link, a mechanism with a solenoid, or a spline mechanism. Furthermore, the present invention is also applicable to a pachinko machine, and other game machines as well.

As shown in FIG. 30, a pachinko machine 90 as another embodiment of the present invention has a first display device 93 and second display sections 94 a-94 d of a second display device that are incorporated behind a display window 92 formed at the center of a game board 91. When a predetermined condition, such as the condition in which a Pachinko ball enters a specific winning slot among the plural winning slots 95 is satisfied, the first display device 93 displays the symbols in motion and the stop symbol. After the first display sections display the stop symbols, at least one of the second display sections 94 a-94 d displays the symbols in motion and thereafter displays the stop symbol. In some cases, at least one of the second display sections 94 a-94 d is moved by a move mechanism (not shown). When the same stop symbols are arranged on a valid winning line, the player gets a jackpot. In the jackpot, the pachinko machine 90 repeats the operation for a fixed time to open an attacker 96 for a fixed period and close the attacker 96. Once the pachinko ball enters into the attacker 96, a great amount of pachinko balls are paid out. Since the number of winning line changes as the second display sections 94 a-94 d display the symbols or move. The player can have expectation to the winning. Moreover, changing the display pattern provides sufficient excitement to the player. According to the pachinko machine, the win or the loss is determined when a predetermined condition is satisfied. Based on the result of winning judgment, the stop symbol of the first display device 93 and the movement and the stop symbol of the second display section is determined. And finally the first display device 93 displays the symbols in motion.

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

Referenced by
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US7371170 *Sep 8, 2003May 13, 2008IgtGaming device having a multiple symbol swapping game
US7578735 *Sep 28, 2004Aug 25, 2009IgtGaming device having a game including a rearrangement path
US7578737May 9, 2008Aug 25, 2009IgtGaming device having a multiple symbol swapping game
US7578738May 9, 2008Aug 25, 2009IgtGaming device having a multiple symbol swapping game
US7614946 *Sep 8, 2005Nov 10, 2009IgtCard game enabling separate evaluations for multiple game outcome combinations
US8075392Sep 28, 2007Dec 13, 2011Gc2, Inc.Slot machine game having rotation of symbol area
US8512124Sep 25, 2008Aug 20, 2013Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty LimitedGaming machine and method
US20100197378 *Jul 9, 2008Aug 5, 2010Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering Game Having Display Arrangement Formed By An Image Conduit
US20100222128 *Mar 8, 2010Sep 2, 2010Bradley BermanGaming Using Display Elements Activated by Direction Indicators
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/30
International ClassificationA63F5/04, A63F9/24, G07F17/32
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3211
European ClassificationG07F17/32C2F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 12, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: DRAGON CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:INOUE, HARUO;REEL/FRAME:014389/0476
Effective date: 20030619