Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20070207851 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/514,899
Publication dateSep 6, 2007
Filing dateSep 5, 2006
Priority dateSep 9, 2005
Publication number11514899, 514899, US 2007/0207851 A1, US 2007/207851 A1, US 20070207851 A1, US 20070207851A1, US 2007207851 A1, US 2007207851A1, US-A1-20070207851, US-A1-2007207851, US2007/0207851A1, US2007/207851A1, US20070207851 A1, US20070207851A1, US2007207851 A1, US2007207851A1
InventorsKazumasa Yoshizawa
Original AssigneeAruze Corp.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming machine and gaming method thereof
US 20070207851 A1
Abstract
A gaming machine is provided with a plurality of display windows. The display windows include at least one first display window and a plurality of second display windows, A mechanical reel is arranged behind the first display window. The first display window is changeable from a displaying condition to a transmissive condition. A determination of whether the first display window should be changed from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition is carried out while using tables for winning combinations and a random number sampled by a central processing unit. Consequently, the gaming machine can provide an effective representation of a symbol combination including video symbols statically displayed on the second display windows and either one symbol on the reel statically displayed through the first display window in the transmissive condition or one video symbol statically displayed on the first display window in the displaying condition.
Images(15)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(9)
1. A gaming machine comprising:
a display unit having at least one first display window and a plurality of second display windows, the first display window capable of being transmissive, the first and the second display windows capable of displaying respective video symbols thereon variably and statically;
at least one reel arranged behind the first display window, the reel having a plurality of symbols formed on a circumference of the reel; and
a processor in communication with the display unit and the reel, the processor operable to:
(a) select a plurality of symbols to be displayed as a gaming result by a lottery;
(b) determine whether or not to change the first window from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition based on a combination of the selected symbols;
(c) display the gaming result by variably and statically displaying on the first display window and the second display windows, if the first display window is in a displaying condition;
(d) display the gaming result by variably and statically displaying on the second display while rotating and stopping the reel that can be seen through the first display window, if the first display window is in a transmissive condition; and
(e) provide an award when the gaming result corresponds to a predetermined gaming result.
2. The gaming machine of claim 1, wherein the processor is operable to stop the reel from rotating after displaying the video symbols statically on the second display.
3. The gaming machine of claim 1, wherein the combination of the symbols for determining to change the first window from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition, includes a combination of the symbols for providing a highest award.
4. The gaming machine of claim 3, wherein the combination of the symbols for providing the highest award, has a probability of determining to change the first window from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition, higher than any other combinations of the symbols.
5. A gaming machine comprising:
a display unit having at least one first display window and a plurality of second display windows, the fit display window capable of being transmissive, the first and the second display windows capable of displaying respective video symbols thereon variably and statically;
at least one reel arranged behind the first display window, the reel having a plurality of symbols formed on a circumference of the reel; and
a processor in communication with the display unit and the reel, the processor operable to:
(a) select a plurality of symbols to be displayed as a gaming result by a lottery;
(b) determine whether or not to change the first window from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition, based on a probability associated with a combination of the selected symbols;
(c) display the gaming result by variably and statically displaying on the first display window and the second display windows, if the first display window is in a displaying condition;
(d) display the gaming result by variably and statically displaying on the second display while rotating and stopping the reel that can be seen through the first display window, if the first display window is in a transmissive condition; and
(e) provide an award when the gaming result corresponds to a predetermined gaming result.
6. A gaming method for a gaming machine including a display unit having at least one first display window and a plurality of second display windows wherein the first display window is capable of being transmissive and the first display window and the second display windows are capable of displaying respective video symbols thereon variably and statically, and at least one reel arranged behind the first display window wherein the reel has a plurality of symbols formed on a circumference of the reel, the gaming method comprising:
selecting a plurality of symbols to be displayed as a gaming result by a lottery;
determining whether or not to change the first window from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition based on a combination of the selected symbols;
displaying the gaming result by variably and statically displaying on the first display window and the second display windows, if the first display window is in a displaying condition;
displaying the gaming result by variably and statically displaying on the second display while rotating and stopping the reel that can be seen through the first display window, if the first display window is in a transmissive condition; and
providing an award when the gaming result corresponds to a predetermined gaming result.
7. The gaming method of claim 6, wherein the reel stops rotating after the video symbols am displayed statically on the second display.
8. The gaming method of claim 6, wherein the combination of the symbols for determining to bring the first display window into the transmissive condition includes a combination of the symbols for providing a highest award.
9. The gaming method of claim 8, wherein the combination of the symbols for providing the highest award has a highest probability of determining to bring the first display window into the transmissive condition.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is based upon and claims the benefit of priority from the prior Japanese Patent Application No. 2005-262137, filed on Sep. 9, 2005; the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a gaming machine that can produce a game while using symbols on a display and a gaming method for the above gaming machine.

2. Description of the Related Art

A gaming machine, such as conventional slot machines, is equipped with a plurality of reels rotated mechanically. After the rotation of the reels, if a combination of symbols displayed on the reels in a static condition corresponds to any one of predetermined winning combinations, a payout is made to a player with coins (or the likes) corresponding to the relevant in combination. Such a gaming machine is disclosed in Japanese Patent Publication Laid-open 2003-284809.

In recent years, there is also proposed a slot machine that can provide respective symbols constituting a symbol combination in the form of images on variable/static display. This slot machine is equipped with so-called “video reels” that can display symbol images variably and statically. Just for reference, the above-mentioned reels mechanically rotated will be referred to as “mechanical reels”, herein.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In both the slot machines mentioned above, however, the display of a symbol combination is accomplished by either mechanical reels or video reels, alternatively. In these slot machines, since a representation in variably/ically displaying a symbol combination is uniform, it is not enough to arouse a player's passion for gambling.

Under the abovementioned circumstance, it is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a gaming machine that can display a symbol combination so as to work up a player's sense of anticipation for wing by using one or more mechanical reels in combination with video reels in a superposed manner.

In order to attain the above object, according to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gaming machine comprising: a display unit having at least one first display window and a plurality of second display windows, the first display window capable of being transmissive, the first and the second display windows capable of displaying respective video symbols thereon variably and statically; at least one reel arranged behind the first display window, the reel having a plurality of symbols formed on a circumference of the reel; and a processor in communication with the display unit and the reel, the processor operable to: (a) select a plurality of symbols to be displayed as a gaming result by a lottery; (b) determine whether or not to change the first window from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition based on a combination of the selected symbols; (c) display the gaming result by variably and statically displaying on the first display window and the second display windows, if the first display window is in a displaying condition; (d) display the gaming result by variably and statically displaying on the second display while rotating and stopping the reel that can be seen through the first display window, if the first display window is in a transmissive condition; and (e) provide an award when the gaming result corresponds to a predetermined gaming result.

In connection with the gaming machine the above, the processor may be operable to stop the reel from rotating after displaying the video symbols statically on the second display.

In the above gaming machine, alternatively, the combination of the symbols for determining to change the fit window from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition, may include a combination of the symbols for providing a highest award.

In connection with the above modification, the combination of the symbols for providing the highest award, may have a probability of determining to change the first window from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition, higher than any other combinations of the symbols.

That is, the gaming machine of the first aspect of the present invention utilizes a “mechanical” reel in combination with “video” reels in a superposed manner in point of: either displaying a plurality of symbols formed on the mechanical reel through the first display window variably and statically by the mechanical rotating/stopping of the mechanical reel or displaying a plurality of video symbols on the ft display window in the displaying condition variably and statically, and further displaying a plurality of video symbols on the second display windows variably and statically. Based on the symbol combination by a lottery, the gaming machine determines whether the first display window is changed from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition. Further, the gaming machine displays the symbol combination including the video symbols statically displayed on the second display windows and either one symbol on the reel statically displayed through the first display window in the transmissive condition or one video symbol statically displayed on the first display window in the display condition. Depending on the presence/absence of the first display window through which the reel can (or cannot) be seen, therefore, it is possible to enhance a player's sense of anticipation for winning.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is also provided a gaming method for a gaming machine including a display unit having at least one first display window and a plurality of second display windows wherein the first display window is capable of being transmissive and the first display window and the second display windows are capable of displaying respective video symbols thereon variably and statically, and at least one reel arranged behind the first display window wherein the reel has a plurality of symbols formed on a circumference of the reel, the gaming method comprising: selecting a plurality of symbols to be displayed as a gaming result by a lottery; determining whether or not to change the first window from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition based on a combination of the selected symbols; displaying the gaming result by variably and statically displaying on the first display window and the second display windows, if the first display window is in a displaying condition; displaying the gaming result by variably and statically displaying on the second display while rotating and stopping the reel that can be seen through the first display window, if the first display window is in a transmissive condition; and providing an award when the gaming result corresponds to a predetermined gaming result

Also in the above-mentioned gaming method, it is possible to achieve a similar effect to the above gaming machine.

These and other objects and features of the preset invention will become more rally apparent from the following description and appended claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a view showing a concept of a gaming machine in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a slot machine as the gaming machine in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinally sectional view of a lower liquid crystal display and a reel of the slot machine;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the lower liquid crystal display;

FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing a control system of the slot machine typically;

FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing a liquid crystal driving circuit typically;

FIG. 7 is a view showing a symbol column that is variably displayed (with symbols scrolling) on each display window of a lower liquid crystal display at a game;

FIG. 8 is a diagram showing a lottery table for symbols on static display in case of playing a game while using nine display windows;

FIG. 9 is a diagram showing winning combinations and their payouts in case of playing a game while using nine display windows;

FIG. 10 is a diagram showing a table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into a transmissive condition when winning a winning combination of “7-7-7” in case of playing a game while using nine display windows;

FIG. 11 is a diagram showing a table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into a transmissive condition when a winning combination of “3BAR-3BAR-3BAR” in case of playing a game while using nine display windows;

FIG. 12 is a diagram showing a table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into a transmissive condition when wining a winning combination of “2BAR-2BAR-2BAR” in case of playing a game while using nine display windows;

FIG. 13 is a diagram showing a table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into a transmissive condition when winning a winning combination of “BAR-BAR-BAR” in case of playing a game while using nine display windows;

FIG. 14 is a diagram showing a table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into a transmissive condition when winning a winning combination of “cherry-cherry-cherry” in case of playing a game while using nine display windows;

FIG. 15 is a diagram showing a table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into a displaying condition when getting in a combination of “losing” in case of playing a game while using nine display windows;

FIG. 16 is a flow chart explaining a program of a main process;

FIG. 17 is a flow chart explaining a program of a start acceptance process;

FIG. 18 is a flow chart explaining a program of a lottery process;

FIG. 19 is a flow chart explaining a program of a game process; and

FIG. 20 is a view showing nine display windows.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENT

Based on one embodiment where the present invention is embodied in a slot machine, a gaming machine in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. First, we describe a constitution of the slot machine of the embodiment of the present invention with reference to FIGS. 2, 5 and 20. In these figures, FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the slot machine. FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing a control system of the slot machine. FIG. 20 is a view showing nine display windows.

In FIG. 2, the slot machine 1 includes a cabinet 2 forming a whole body of the machine 1. Additionally, an upper liquid crystal display 3 is arranged at an upper part of the front surface of the cabinet 2, while a lower liquid crystal display 4 is arranged, inside a front panel 20, on a center part of the front surface of the cabinet 2. The upper liquid crystal display 3 is formed by a popularized liquid crystal display. On the other hand, the lower liquid crystal display 4 is formed by a transmissive liquid crystal display. Displayed on the upper liquid crystal display 3 is game information ta includes a method of gaming, winning combinations and their payouts, various gaming effects and so on. On the lower liquid crystal display 4, there are displayed five activated paylines L at the maximum and nine display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C. On each of the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C, a later-mentioned symbol column 241 (a column of symbols) of FIG. 7 is variably displayed while scrolling from top to bottom. A detailed structure of the lower liquid crystal display 4 will be described later.

Below the lower liquid crystal display 4, an operating table 5 is arranged so as to project toward a player's near side. On the operating table 5, here are arranged an exchange (singe: CHANGE) button 6, a payout (signage: CASHOUT) button 7 and a help (signage; HELP) button 8, in sequence from a leftmost side of the table 5. Additionally, the operating table 5 has a coin insertion slot 9 and a bill insertion portion 10 both arranged on the right of the help button 8. On the front portion of the operating table 5, there are successively arranged a 1-BET button 11, a spin (SPIN/REPEAT BET) button 12, a 3-BET button 13 and a 5-BET button 14, in order from left.

The exchange button 6 is a button to be pushed down in case of exchanging a bill (banknote) inserted into the bill insertion portion 10. Coins on exchange are paid out into a coin receiving portion 16 through a coin payout opening 15. The exchange button 6 is accompanied by a later-mentioned exchange (CHANGE) switch 62. When the exchange button 6 is pushed down, a Etch signal is outputted from the exchange switch 62 to a CPU 50 (see FIG. 5).

The payout button 7 is a button to be pushed down by a player when the base game is finished. Thus, when the payout button 7 is pushed down, coins on a player's acquisition at a game are paid out into the coin receiving portion 16 through the coin payout opening 15. The payout button 7 is accompanied by a later-mentioned payout (CASHOUT) switch 63. When the payout button 7 is pushed down, a switch signal is outputted from the payout switch 63 to the CPU 50 (see FIG. 5).

The help button 8 is a button to be pushed down by a player when the player has no idea of a game operating method etc. When the help button 8 is pushed down, various help information is displayed on the upper liquid crystal display 3. The help button 8 is accompanied by a later-mentioned help (HELP) switch 64. When the help button 8 is pushed down, a switch signal is outputted from the help itch 64 to the CPU 50 (see FIG. 5).

The coin insertion slot 9 is equipped with a later-described coin sensor 65. When a coin is inserted into the coin insertion slot 9, a coin detection signal is outputted to the CPU 50 through the coin sensor 65 (see FIG. 5).

The bill iron portion 10 is equipped with a later-described bill sensor 66. When a bill is inserted into the bill insertion slot 10, a bill detection signal is outputted to the CPU 50 through the coin sensor 65 (see FIG. 5).

The 1-BET button 11 is a button that allows the number of bets (coins) to be increased one by one with respect to each player's pushing down. The 1-BET button 11 is accompanied by a later-mentioned 1-BET switch 59. When the 1-BET button 11 is pushed down by a player, a switch signal is outputted from the 1-BET switch 59 to the CPU 50 (see FIG. 5).

The spin (SPIN/REPEAT BET) button 12 is a button for starting a variable displaying of respective symbols in the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C of the lower liquid crystal display 4. That is, when the spin button 12 is pushed down by a player, the game is started with the present number of bets or the previous number of bets. The spin button 12 is accompanied by a later-mentioned spin switch 58. When the spin button 12 is pushed down, a switch signal is outputted from the spin switch 58 to the CPU 50 (see FIG. 5). As for the number of bets (bet coins) that a player can bet by pushing down the spin button 12, there exist 1-bet (i.e. betting with one coin), 2-bet (betting with two coins), 3-bet betting with three coins), and 5-bet (betting with five coins).

The 3-BET button 13 is a button that allows a game with 3-bet to be started by pushing down the same button 13. The 3-BET button 13 is accompanied by a later-mentioned 3-BET switch 60. When the 3-BET button 13 is pushed down, a switch signal is outputted from the 3-BET switch 60 to the CPU 50 (see FIG. 5).

The 5-BET button 14 is a button that allows a game with 5-bet to be started by pushing down the same button 14. The 5-BET button 14 is accompanied by a later-mentioned 5-BET switch 61. When the S-BET button 14 is pushed down, a etch sigal is outputted from the 5-BET switch 61 to the CPU 50 (see FIG. 5).

In connection with the number of bets attained by operating the 1-BET button 11, the spin (SP REPEAT SET) button 12, the 3-BET button 13 and the 5-BET button 14, there ex various games with 1-bet, 2-bet, 3-bet and 5-bet When the number of bets is one, one predetermined line is established as the activated pay-line L. Similarly, in case of three in the number of bets, three predetermined lines are established as the activated pay-lines L. In case of five in the number of bets, five predetermined lines are established as the activated pay-lines L.

The cabinet 2 is provided, in a lower portion thereof, with a coin payout opening 15 and a coin receiving portion 16 for receiving coins paid out through the coin payout opening 15. In the coin payout opening 15, a later-mentioned coin detecting portion 73, such as a sensor, is ranged to detect the number of coins paid out trough the coin payout opening 15 (see FIG. 5).

Net we explain the detailed structure of the lower liquid crystal display 4 and a reel rotatably arranged on the backside of the display 4 so as to be rotatable in the cabinet 2 with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4. FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of the lower liquid crystal display 4 and the reel. FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the lower liquid crystal display 4. In FIGS. 3 and 4, the lower liquid crystal display 4 is arranged inside a display window portion 210 of the font panel 20 at a frontal intermediate portion of the cabinet 2 of the slot machine 1. On the backside of the lower liquid crystal display 4 (on the left of FIG. 3), one reel 220 is rotatably supported by the cabinet 2. In other words, the lower liquid crystal display 4 is positioned on the front side of the single reel 220, as shown in FIG. 3.

The reel 220 is opposed to the display window 23A (see FIG. 20) in the middle of the lower liquid crystal display 4.

Respective structures of the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C will be described later.

We now describe the structure of the lower liquid crystal display 4 with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4. In FIGS. 3 and 4, the lower liquid crystal display 4 comprises, in order from the front side of the slot machine 1, a clear panel 30, a reel glass base 31, a bezel metal frame 32, a liquid crystal panel 33, a liquid crystal holder 34, a diffusion sheet 35, a light guide plate 36, a white reflector 37, a rear holder 38 and an antistatic sheet 39. The diffusion sheet 35 is formed with an opening 35A. Similarly, the light guide plate 36, the white reflector 37 and the rear holder 38 have an opening 36A, an opening 37A and an opening 38A formed so as to conform to the opening 35A, respectively. The respective openings 3538A constitute the display window 23A (see FIG. 20) while being overlapped so as to confirm to each other.

Here, the opening 35A of the diffusion sheet 35 and the opening 36A of the light guide plate 36 constitute a transmissive area that ensures visibility of the display window 23A.

In order to fit the lower liquid crystal display 4 to the display window portion 210 of the front panel 20, as shown in FIG. 2, respective brackets 40 projecting from the reel glass base 31 vertically are fastened to a back surface of the front panel 20 by screws 41.

Further, as a light source of the liquid crystal panel 33, a pair of cathode ray tubes 42 are arranged on top and bottom ends of the light guide plate 36. Additionally, on the backside of the opening 38A of the rear holder 38, another pair of cathode ray tubes 43 are arranged up and down to illuminate symbols formed on an outer circumferential surface of the reel 220.

The liquid crystal panel 33 is made of a transmissive electrical display panel, such as ITO, which is positioned in front of the reel 220 to make it visible therethrough. In the liquid crystal panel 33, its periphery (backside) is held by the liquid crystal holder 34. The light guide plate 36 is made of an optically transparent resin panel. Again, the light guide plate 36 is provided with leas cuts that conduct light emitted from the cathode ray tubes 42 into the backside of the liquid crystal panel 33. The diffusion sheet 35 is made of a resin sheet. The diffusion sheet 35 diffuses the light conducted by the light guide plate 36 to uniformize light to be illuminated on the liquid crystal panel 33. The liquid crystal holder 34 for holding the liquid crystal panel 33, the diffusion sheet 35 and the light guide plate 36 are all integrated into one assembly and its periphery is inserted into the bezel metal frame 32. Owing to this insertion, the front side of the display window in the liquid crystal panel 33 is carried by the bezel metal frame 32.

The liquid crystal holder 34, the diffusion sheet 35 and the light guide plate 36, which are integrated as a result of engaging with the bezel metal frame 32, are further inserted, through its periphery, into the reel glass base 31. Thus, this assembly is carried by the bezel metal frame 32 while opening a front surface of the liquid crystal panel 33. When the reel glass base 31 is attached to the font panel 20 through the screws 41, the clear panel 30 is fitted to the front surface of the reel glass base 31 under pressure and overlaid on the front surface of the display portion of the liquid crystal panel 33.

The rear holder 38 is made of a white resin sheet and serves to support the bezel metal frame 32 held by the reel glass base 31, the liquid crystal holder 34 holding the liquid crystal panel 33, the diffusion sheet 35 and the light guide plate 36 onto the reel glass base 31 from its rear side. This rear holder 38 functions as a reflector that reflects the light emitted from the cathode ray tubes 42 into the light guide plate 36 toward the liquid crystal panel 33. The antistatic sheet 39 is made of a transparent sheet and applied to a rear surface of the hear holder 38 through double-sided adhesive tapes to cover a rear spice of the opening 38A formed in the rear holder 38.

As shown in FIG. 7, the reel 220 is provided, on its outer circumferential surface, with a variety of symbols used in a game. FIG. 7 shows a column of symbols that are variably displayed while scrolling on the respective display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C in the lower liquid crystal display 4 in a game.

Here, a symbol column 241 is composed of eleven symbols as a result of combining a triple-BAR 91, a cherry 92, a double-BAR 93, a seven (7) 94, a single-BAR 95 and a blank (i.e. an area with no symbol) 96 with each other appropriately.

As for the formation of symbols on the circumferential surface of the reel 220, it is general to first prepare a long sheet having eleven symbols printed thereon and respective dimensions equal to both width and circumferential length of the reel 220 and successively apply the sheet to the circumferential surface of the reel 220. Of course, however, these symbols may be formed by the other method.

Referring to FIG. 5, a control system of the slot machine 1 will be described. FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing the control system of the slot machine 1 typically.

In FIG. 5, the control system of the slot machine 1 basically includes a CPU 50 playing a central role in the slot machine 1. Both a ROM 51 and a RAM 52 are together connected to the CPU 50. In the ROM 51, there are stored a main process program a start acceptance program, a lottery process program, a game process program, a lottery table for determining symbols on a stop display in a game, various programs necessary for the control of the slot machine 1, a data table and so on. The RAM 52 is a memory to temporarily store various data calculated by the CPU 50.

A clockpulse generating circuit 53 generating reference clockpulses and a divider 54 are connected to the CPU 50 in common. Further, a random-number generator 55 generating a random number and a random-number sampling circuit 56 are together connected to the CPU 50. Random numbers sampled by the random-number sampling circuit 56 are used in a variety of lotteries, for example, lottery for winning combinations. To the CPU 50, there are further connected a spin switch 58 accompanied by the spin button 12, an 1-BET switch 59 accompanied by the 1-BET button 11, a 3-BET switch 60 accompanied by the 3-BET button 13, a 5-BET switch 61 accompanied by the 5-BET button 14, an exchange (CHANGE) switch 62 accompanied by the exchange button 6, a payout (CASHOUT) switch 63 accompanied by the payout button 7 and a help (HELP) switch 64 accompanied by the help button 8, respectively. Based on switch signals outputted from these switches pushed down, the CPU 50 performs a variety of controls in order to accomplish various operations corresponding to the above buttons.

Connected to the CPU 50 is a stepping motor 68 that rotates the reel 220 with the aid of a motor driving circuit 167. Additionally, a positional change detecting circuit 69 is also connected to the CPU 50. When a motor driving signal (command pulse) is outputted from the CPU 50 to the motor driving circuit 167, the stepping motor 68 is rotated by excitation signals outputted from the motor driving circuit 167. In this way, the rotation of the reel 220 is accomplished.

Then, the CPU 50 counts the number of drive pulses supplied to the stepping motor 68. The CPU 50 grasps rotational positions of the symbols in the reel 220 on the basis of the obtained number of drive pulses and carries out a stop-position control of the reel 220.

As noted above, the positional change detecting circuit 69 is connected to the CPU 50. This positional change detecting circuit 69 detects an alternation of the stop position of the reel 220 after it has been stopped by the motor driving circuit 167.

A coin sensor 65 is arranged in the coin insertion slot 9 to detect a coin inserted through the coin insertion slot 9. The coin sensor 65 is connected to the CPU 50. The CPU 50 calculates the number of coins inserted on the basis of a coin detection signal outputted from the coin sensor 65. A bill sensor 66 is arranged in the bill insertion opening 10 to detect both kind and sum of bills inserted through the opening 10. The bill sensor 66 is connected to the CPU 50. The CPU 50 calculates the number of coins equivalent to the value of bills inserted on the basis of a bill detection signal outputted from the bill sensor 66.

A hopper 71 is connected to the CPU 50 through a hopper driving circuit 70. When the CPU 50 outputs a drive signal to the hopper driving circuit 70, the hopper 71 pays out a designated number of coins from the coin payout opening 15.

A coin detecting portion 73 is connected to the CPU 50 through a payout completion signal circuit 72. The coin detecting portion 73 is arranged in the coin payout opening 15. When it is detected that the designated number of coins have been paid out of the coin payout opening 15, the coin detecting portion 73 outputs a coin payout detection signal to the payout completion signal circuit 72. Based on the coin payout detection signal, the payout completion signal circuit 72 outputs a payout completion signal to the CPU 50. Fewer, the upper liquid crystal display 3 and the lower liquid crystal display 4 are connected to the CPU 50 through a liquid crystal driving circuit 74. The CPU 50 controls the operations of the upper liquid crystal display 3 and the lower liquid crystal display 4.

As shown in FIG. 6, the liquid crystal driving circuit 74 comprises a program ROM 81, an image ROM 82, an image control CPU 83, a work RAM 84, a VDP (Video Display Processor) 85 and a video RAM 86. The program ROM 81 stores image control programs about the displaying operation of the upper liquid crystal display 3 and the lower liquid crystal display 4 and various selection tables. The image ROM 82 stores dot data for forming various images, for example, demonstration effects performed on the upper liquid crystal display 3 and the lower liquid crystal display 4, various help information displayed on the upper liquid crystal display 3, the symbol column 241 of FIG. 7 displayed on each of the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C (see FIG. 20) of the lower liquid crystal display 4 and so on. Based on parameters set by the CPU 50, in accordance with the image control programs memorized in the program ROM 81 in advance, the image control CPU 83 determines images to be displayed on the upper liquid crystal display 3 and the lower liquid crystal display 4 from the dot data memorized in the program ROM 81 in advance. Again, the work RAM 84 operates as temporary memory means when the image control CPU 83 executes the image control programs. The VDP 85 produces image data corresponding to display contents determined by the image control CPU 83 and outputs the so-produced image data to the upper liquid crystal display 3 and the lower liquid crystal display 4. Consequently, symbols (e.g. the symbol column 241 of FIG. 7) are variably and statically displayed on each of the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C (see FIG. 20) of the lower liquid crystal display 4. Note that the video RAM 86 operates as temporary memory means when the VDP 85 forms an image.

In the slot machine 1 of this embodiment, owing to the provision of the liquid crystal driving circuit 74, it is possible to bring the display window 23A (see FIG. 20) of the lower liquid crystal display 4 into either a transmissive condition or a displaying condition. Therefore, the display window 23A corresponds to “a first display window” of the claimed invention. Further, the liquid crystal driving circuit 74 constitutes the transmission controlling unit of the claimed invention. Suppose, the display window 23A (see FIG. 20) is in the transmissive condition in the game. Then, the motor driving circuit 167 etc. operas to rotate and subsequently stop the reel 220 behind the display window 23A. As a result, the symbol column 241 (see FIG. 7) on the reel 220 can be seen through the display window 23A in the transmissive condition. Subsequently, the scrolling of the symbol column 241 is stopped (i.e. static display). Suppose alternatively, the display window 23A (see FIG. 20) is in the displaying condition in the game. Then, due to the liquid crystal circuit 74, the symbol column 241 (see FIG. 7) on the reel 220 is variably displayed (with the symbols scrolling) on the display window 23A in the displaying condition (i.e. variable display by scrolling). Subsequently, the scrolling of the symbol column 241 is stopped (i.e. static display). Additionally, by the liquid crystal circuit 74, an image (i.e. video symbols) of the symbol column 241 is variably displayed (with the symbols scrolling) on each of the other display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 2424C (see FIG. 20, i.e. variable display by scrolling). Subsequently, the scrolling of the symbol column 241 is stopped (i.e. static display). Note that the above display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 2424C corresponds to “second display windows” of the claimed invention.

It is noted that when the symbol column 241 is variably displayed and then statically displayed, a single symbol in the symbol column 241 is statically displayed on each of the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C irrespective of the display window 23A in the transmissive or displaying condition. Further, it should be noted that the slot machine 1 of this embodiment is similar to the conventional slot machine in that there are previously established various winning combinations based on several kinds of combinations composed of respective symbols and in that if a combination of symbols corresponding to a winning combination stops on one activated pay-line, then coins corresponding to the winning combination are paid out through the coin payout opening 15. Therefore, descriptions about these matter are eliminated.

Returning to FIG. 5, an LED 78 is connected to the CPU 50 through an LED driving circuit 77. The LED 78 (in large quantity) is arranged on the front surface of the slot machine 1. When performing a variety of effects, the lighting of the LED 78 is controlled by the LED driving chit 77 on the basis of a driving signal from the CPU 50. Additionally, a sound generating circuit 79 and a speaks 80 are connected to the CPU 50. Based on an output signal from the sound generating circuit 79, the speaker 80 can generate various effecting sounds in performing various effects.

Referring to FIG. 8, we now describe a lottery table that is used in determining stop symbols to be statically displayed on the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C in case of playing a game with the use of nine display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C in the slot machine 1. FIG. 8 is a view showing the lottery table in determining the stop symbols in the game using nine display windows. Note that the lottery table of FIG. 8 is stored in the ROM 51.

In this regard, the symbols statically displayed on the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C are determined with respect to each display window. For this purpose, the lottery table as shown in FIG. 8 is prepared while allocating respective code numbers “0”˜“10” to the symbol column 241 of FIG. 8 in order from above. Next, nine random numbers are sampled so as to respectively correspond to the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 24A-24C through the random-number sampling circuit 56.

As for the symbol column 241 to be displayed on the display window 23A, if the sampled random number sampled by the random-number sampling circuit 56 is in the range of 0˜12 the blank 96 allot to the code number “0” is statically displayed on the display window 23A, as shown in the lottery table of FIG. 8. Hereinafter, as for the other code numbers “1”˜“10”, the similar operation is carried out based on the lottery table of FIG. 8.

As for the symbol column 241 to be displayed an each of the display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 24A 24C, the operation for static display is similar to that of the above-mentioned display window 23A.

Referring to FIG. 9, we now describe respective winning combinations and their payouts in the game using nine display windows 22A 22C, 2323C and 2424C in the slot machine 1. FIG. 9 explains the winning combinations and their payouts in the above case. Note that a table shown in FIG. 9 is stored in the ROM 51.

In common with nine display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C, if the code numbers allocated to three display windows on at least one of the respective activated pay-lines L are all either “4” or “9” (see FIG. 9), then a player wins a winning combination of “7-7-7” about the relevant activated pay-line L. In this case, the seven symbol 94 is statically displayed on each of the three display windows on the activated pay-line, so that the player gets a payout of “100”. Similarly, as for each payout of “5”, “3”, “2” and “1” of FIG. 9, the similar operation of both static display and sequent payout is performed in accordance with the table of FIG. 9.

In connection, if the code numbers allocated to three display windows on at least one of the respective activated pay-lines L constitute the other combinations except the above combinations (i.e. combinations corresponding to respective payouts of “100”, “5”, “3”, “2”, “1”), then the player loses the game. In this case, each of the three display windows on the activated pay-line L has any of the triple-BAR 91, the cherry 92, the double-BAR 93, the seven 94, the single-BAR 95 and the blank 96 that correspond to the respective code numbers, on static display. However, it will be understood from FIG. 9 tai such a chaotic combination of these symbols would produce no payout.

Referring to FIGS. 10 to 15, we next explain a table that is used in determining whether the display window 23A is brought into the transmissive condition or the displaying condition in the game using nine display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C in the slot machine 1.

According to the embodiment, this determination about whether the display window 23A should be brought into the transmissive condition or not is accomplished by selecting one of two patterns where the display window 23A becomes a transmissive condition or a displaying condition with using both respective tables for the winning combinations (see FIGS. 10 to 15) and a random number sampled in the range of 0˜7 by the random number sampling circuit 56 and.

In advance of descriptions about the tables of FIGS. 10 to 15, we first explain the above-mentioned two patterns where the display window 23A is brought into a transmissive condition or a displaying condition. As shown in FIG. 1, there are a first pattern A and a second pattern B. In the former pattern A, the display window 23A is brought into the transmissive condition, allowing the circumferential surface of the reel 220 to be visible through the display window 23A. In the latter pattern B, the display window 23A is brought into the displaying condition, allowing the circumferential surface of the reel 220 to be invisible through the display window 23A. Note that, for convenience of explanation (to clarify the presence of the reel 220), FIG. 1 illustrates upper and lower profile lines of the circumferential surface of the reel 220, which are together included in the display window 23A. In fact, however, the upper and lower profile lines of the circumferential surface of the reel 220 are invisible through the display window 23A.

We start describing the tables of FIGS. 10 to 15 again. FIG. 10 is a view showing the table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into the transmissive condition or the displaying condition if winning the combination of “7-7-7” in the game using nine display windows. Note that the table of FIG. 10 is stored in the ROM 51.

Thus, with the use of the table of FIG. 10 in case of winning the winning combination of “7-7-7”, if the random number sampled through the random number sampling circuit 56 is in the range of 0-6, then the pattern A is selected. Therefore, with the probability of 7/8, it is determined to make the display window 23A transmissive. Similarly, the determination of the pattern B is performed in accordance with the table of FIG. 10.

FIG. 11 is a view showing the table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into the transmissive condition or the displaying condition if winning the winning combination of “3BAR-3BAR-3BAR” in the game using nine display windows. Note that the table of FIG. 11 is stored in the ROM 51 as well.

Thus, with the use of the table of FIG. 11 in case of winning the winning combination of “3BAR-3BAR-3BAR”, if the random number sampled through the random number sampling circuit 56 is in the range of 0˜3, then the pattern A is selected. Therefore, with the probability of 4/8, it is determined to make the display window 23A transmissive. Similarly, the determination of the pattern B is performed in accordance with the table of FIG. 11.

FIG. 12 is a view showing the table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into the transmissive condition or the displaying condition if winning the winning combination of “2BAR-2BAR-2BAR” in the game using nine display windows. Note that the table of FIG. 12 is stored in the ROM 51 as well.

Thus, with the use of the table of FIG. 12 in case of winning the winning combination of “2BAR-2BAR-2BAR”, if the random number sampled through the random number sampling circuit 56 is in the range of 0-2, then the pattern A is selected. Therefore, with the probability of 3/8, it is determined to make the display window 23A transmissive. Similarly, the determination of the pattern B is performed in accordance with the table of FIG. 12.

FIG. 13 is a view showing the table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into the transmissive condition or the displaying condition if winning the winning combination of “BAR-BAR-BAR” in the game using nine display windows. Note that the table of FIG. 13 is stored in the ROM 51 as well.

Thus, with the use of the table of FIG. 13 in case of winning the winning combination of “BAR-BAR-BAR”, if the random number sampled through the random number sampling circuit 56 is in the range of 0˜1, then the pattern A is selected. Therefore, with the probability of 2/8, it is determined to make the display window 23A transmissive. Similarly, the determination of the pattern B is performed in accordance with the table of FIG. 13.

FIG. 14 is a view showing the table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into the transmissive condition or the displaying condition if wining the winning combination of “cherry-cherry-cherry” in the game using nine display windows. Note that the table of FIG. 14 is stored in the ROM 51 as well.

Thus, with the use of the table of FIG. 14 in case of winning the winning combination of “cherry-cherry-cherry”, if the random number sampled through the random number sampling circuit 56 is equal to 0, then the pattern A is selected. Therefore, with the probability of 1/8, it is determined to make the display window 23A transmissive. Similarly, the determination of the pattern B is performed in accordance with the table of FIG. 14.

FIG. 15 is a view showing the table that is used in determining whether one display window should be brought into the transmissive condition or the displaying condition if getting in the combination of “lose” in the game using nine display windows. Note that the table of FIG. 15 is so in the ROM 51 as well.

Thus, with the use of the table of FIG. 15 in case of getting in the combination of “lose”, if the random number sampled through the random number sampling Circuit 56 is in the range of 0˜7, then the pattern B is selected. Therefore, with the probability of 8/8, it is determined to bring the display window 23A into a displaying condition. Note that there is no possibility of selecting the pattern A where it is determined to make the display window 23A transmissive, irrespective of the random numbers sampled here.

As the slot machine 1 of this embodiment allows a player to play a game with a plurality of activated pay-lines, there is a possibility that a plurality of combinations are established as a result of the winning combinations appearing on two or more activated pay-lines L. Therefore, according to the embodiment, priority among these winning combinations of “7-7-7”, “3BAR-3BAR-3BAR”, “2BAR-2BAR-2BAR”, “BAR-BAR-BAR”, “cherry-cherry-cherry” and “lose” is established in this descriptive order. Owing to the so-established priority, it is determined to bring the display window 23A into either the transmissive condition or the displaying condition with the use of the priority table.

We now describe a main process (i.e. main routine) executed by the slot machine 1 with reference to FIG. 16. FIG. 16 is a flow chart explaining a program for the main process. First, at step S11, a later-mentioned start acceptance process (see FIG. 17) is carried out. This process is performed by accepting the switch signal outputted from any of the spin switch 58, the 1-BET switch 59, the 3-BET switch 60 and the 5-BET switch 61 on the basis of a player's manipulation of the spin (SPIN/REPEAT BET) button 12, the 1-BET button 11, the 3-BET button 13 or the 5-BET button 14. Note that when this process is started, the display window 23A is brought into the displaying condition. Further, the game is started at the point of accepting the switch signal.

At step S12, a later-mentioned lottery process of FIG. 18 is performed on the basis of the switch signal outputted from any of the spin switch 58, the 1-BET switch 59, the 3-BET switch 60 and the 5-BET switch 61.

At next step S13, a later-mentioned gaming process is performed and subsequently, this main process program is ended.

Referring to FIG. 17, the start acceptance process (i.e. one sub-routine) performed by the slot machine 1 will be described below. FIG. 17 is a flow chart for explaining a program for the start acceptance process. At step S21, it is executed to determine whether a predetermined time (e.g. 15 seconds) has passed since the start of the main process of FIG. 16. If the predetermined time has not passed yet (“No” at step S21), then a routine goes to t S23 without executing any action. On the other hand, if the predetermined time has already passed (“Yes” at step S21), then the routine goes to step S22 where demons ons of the game are performed on the upper liquid crystal display 3 and the lower liquid crystal display 4. In succession, at next stop S23, it is executed to determine whether any of the spin (SPIN/REPEAT BET) button 12, the 1-BET button 11, the 3-BET button 13 and the 5-BET button 14 has been operated by a player. Here, if it is determined that the 1-BET button 11 or the like has not been operated yet (“No” at step S23), then the routine returns to stop S21 and thereafter, the above-mentioned processes are repeated. On the other hand, if the determination at step S23 is Yes, then it is executed to stop the above demonstrations and display predetermined activated pay-lines L corresponding to the number of bets on the lower liquid crystal display 4. Thereafter, the routine returns to the main process program (main routine) of FIG. 16 and the lottery process at step S12 is started.

Referring to FIG. 18, the lottery process performed by the slot machine 1 will be described below. FIG. 18 is a flow chart explaining a program for the lottery process. At step S31, it is first executed to determine the symbols to be displayed on the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C. Here, in the game (i.e. later-mentioned step S42 of FIG. 19), the symbols for the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C on static display are determined with respect to each display window. In detail, as mentioned before, nine random numbers corresponding to the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C are sampled in the range of 0˜127 through the random number sampling circuit 56 and successively, the symbols on static display are respectively determined through the code numbers on the ground of the lottery table of FIG. 8. Next, on the determination of the symbols to be statically displayed on the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C, it is executed to determine the resulting combination at step S32. In this determination process, in detail, the winning combination on the activated pay-line L and their payout are determined through the code numbers at step S31, on the basis of the table of FIG. 9.

At next step S33, a reel-mode de nation process is performed. In this reel-mode determination process, as mentioned before, it is executed to select either one of two pattern where the display window 23A becomes a transmissive condition or a displaying condition by both the tables of FIGS. 10 to 15 and the random number sampled in the range of 0˜7 by the random number sampling circuit 56. Suppose, it is determined at step S32 that a player got in the winning combination of “7-7-7” about the activated pay-line L. Further, if the random number “5” is sampled at step S33, the pattern A is selected with the use of the table of FIG. 10, so that it is determined to make the display window 23 transmissive.

Subsequently, the routine returns to the main process of FIG. 16 and the game process at step S13 is performed.

Referring to FIG. 19, the game process performed by the slot machine 1 will be described below. FIG. 19 is a flow char explaining a program for the game process. For the main process at step S13 of FIG. 16, it is executed at step S41 to perform a rotating process. In the rotating process, for instance, if it is determined at step S33 (FIG. 18) to establish the transmissive condition, then it is executed to change the display window 23A from the display condition to the transmissive condition and additionally, the reel 220 behind the display window 23A is rotated in response to the switch signal outputted from the spin switch 58, the 1-BET switch 59, the 3-BET switch 60 or the 5-BET switch 61 and also accepted at step 51 (FIG. 16). To the cony, if it is determined at step S33 (FIG. 18) to bring the display window 23A into a displaying condition, then the present displaying condition is maintained and additionally, it is executed to allow the symbol column 241 to scroll in each of the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C.

Consequently, when the pattern A is selected at step S33 in FIG. 18, the symbol column 241 formed on the reel 220 becomes visible through the transmissive display window 23A. Simultaneously, the symbol column 241 is also variably displayed on each of the display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 2424C while the symbols are scrolling. While, in case of selecting the pattern B at step S33 in FIG. 18, the images of the symbol colons 241 (scrolling video symbols) are variably displayed on the display window 23A and also the display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 2424C. In this way, the respective symbols are displayed variably.

In connection with the process at step S41, alternatively, it may be carried out to rotate the reel 220 behind the display window 23A irrespective of the determination of the transmissive/displaying condition at step S33 of FIG. 18.

Returning to FIG. 19, the routine goes to step S42. At step S42, a stopping control process is performed. For instance, if the pattern A is selected at step S33 in FIG. 18, it is first executed to stop the variable display of the symbol column 241 on each of the display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 2424C except the display window 23A in the transmissive condition. Subsequently, in the display window 23A in the missive condition, the rotation of the reel 220 behind the display window 23A is stopped. That is, the symbol column 241 formed on the reel 220 stops its rotation. While, if the pattern B is selected at step S33 in FIG. 18, it is executed to first stop the variable display of the symbol column 241 on each of the display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 2424C except the display window 23A in the displaying condition. Then, the variable display of the image of the symbol column 241 is stopped in the display window 23A in the displaying condition. In the above way, the symbols for all of the display windows are displayed statically.

In connection with the process at step S42, if the rotation of the reel 220 behind the display window 23A is started irrespective of the transmissive/displaying condition at step S33 in FIG. 18, the rotation of the reel 220 is stopped at step S42 even if it has been determined to bring the display window 23A into a displaying condition at step S33 in FIG. 18.

At next step S43, in accordance with a combination of symbols forming the winning combination on the activated pay-line L, which has been statically displayed on the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C at step S42, it is executed to pay coins etc. corresponding to the preset payout. Note that if same winning combinations are realized on a plurality of activated pay-lines L, respective payouts corresponding to the winning combinations will be added together. After executing the payout operation at step S43, the main process of FIG. 16 is completed. Thereafter, a new main process of FIG. 16 (i.e. a new main routine) is started.

From the above, it will be understood that the CPU 50 operates as “a reel controlling unit” of the claimed invention when executing the processes at steps S41 and S42 in FIG. 19.

Similarly, the CPU 50 further operates as “a display controlling unit” of the claimed invention when executing the processes at steps S41 and S42 in FIG. 19.

Further, the CPU 50 operates as “a determining unit” of the claimed invention when executing the process at step S33 of FIG. 18.

Still further, the CPU 50 operates as “a game controlling unit” of the claimed invention when executing the process at step S43 of FIG. 19.

That is, when starting a game in the slot machine 1 of this embodiment, the display window 23A is in the displaying condition at first. After sting the game, in the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C, the symbols are displayed variably and statically in accordance with a combination of the winning combination by a lottery with the random number by sampling (see the tables of FIGS. 10 to 15) and in two patter A and B where the display window 23A is in the transmissive/displaying condition.

As the display window 23A becomes transmissive in the pattern A, the images of the symbol column 241 are variably and statically displayed on each of the display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 2424C (except the display window 23A). While, in the display window 23A, the variable/static display of the symbols is performed by the reel 220 having the symbol column 220 that is visible through the display window 23A in the transmissive condition. Thus, in other words, the variable/static display of symbols by so-called “video reels” is performed in the display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 2424C, while the variable/static display of symbols by so-called “mechanical reel” is performed in the display window 23A.

In the pattern B, due to the display window 23A in the displaying condition, the variable display/static display of images of the symbol column 241 is carried out in all of the display windows 2224C (including the display window 23A). Thus, in the pattern B, the variable/static display of symbols by so-called “video reels” is performed in all of the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C.

In the slot machine 1 of this embodiment, as noted above, the symbol column 241 formed on the reel 220 is variably and statically displayed through the missive display window 23A (at steps S41 and S42), or the images of the symbol column 241 are displayed on the display window 23A, and the images of the symbol column 241 are displayed on the other display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 2424C (at steps S41 and S42). From the above-mentioned reason, it should be noted that the slot machine 1 of this embodiment employs both the video reels and the mechanical reel in a superposed manner.

As mentioned above, according to the embodiment, the transmissive/displaying condition of the display window 23A is determined by selecting either the pattern A or the pattern B with the use of the tables of FIGS. 10 to 15 for the winning combinations and the pled random number (step S33). In his way, the slot machine 1 of the embodiment is constructed so as to effectively exhibit a variety of symbol combinations including the symbols on the reel 220 produced by bring the display window 23A into the transmissive condition in accordance with the above determination, or the symbol image statically displayed on the display window 23A in the displaying condition, and the symbol images statically displayed on the other display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 2424C (steps S41 and S42).

As for the tables of FIGS. 10 to 15, it should be noted that the probability of selecting the pattern A (or the pattern B) is established with respect to each of the win combinations of different payouts. Thus, depending on whether the display window 23A of the lower liquid crystal display 4 is in the transmissive condition or not, it is possible to enhance a player's sense of anticipation for a payout. For instance, as for the probability of selecting the pattern A where the display window 23A changes from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition, it becomes the largest in the winning combination of “7-7-7” providing the largest payout, as understood from FIGS. 9 to 15. Accordingly, if a player witnesses that display window 23A has changed from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition, then the player would expect the coming of the combination of “7-7-7” providing the largest payout.

In the pattern A where the display window 23A is changed from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition, as shown in FIG. 1, the rotation of the reel 220 is stopped and the symbol formed thereon appears through the transmissive display window 23A statically after the images of symbols have been statically displayed on the display windows 2222C, 23B, 23C and 2424C. That is, the static display at the display window 23A is carried out in the latest. Therefore, if the slot machine 1 is in a so-called “reach” condition where one part (i.e. the display window 23A) still remains scrolling, then it is possible to enhance a player's sense of anticipation for winning in the highest degree because there is a case that the winning combination is determined with the above-mentioned latest static display, on any of three activated pay-lines L passing through the display window 23A.

The present invention is not limited to the above-mentioned embodiment only and therefore, various changes and modifications may be made within the scope of the invention.

For instance, in the slot machine 1 of the shown embodiment, it is executed to determine whether the display window 23A only should be changed from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition (step S33 of FIG. 18). In this regard, the changing of the display window 23A from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition may be determined by an arithmetic expression. Additionally, for one (or more) of the display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C, it may be modified so that the reel 220 is arranged behind the so-selected display window(s). In this case, of course, the display window(s) is modified so as to be changeable from its displaying condition to the transmissive condition. Then, this display window(s) is subjected to the processes at steps S41 and S42 of FIG. 19.

In the slot machine 1 of the embodiment, when starting the start acceptance process of FIG. 17, the display window 23A is brought into its displaying condition. In this regard, the transmissive condition established in the previous game may be maintained until before step S41 of the game process (FIG. 19) in the present game.

In the above-mentioned embodiment, when it is determined to make the display window 23A transmissive at step S33 (FIG. 18), it is changed from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition in the rotating process at step S41 (FIG. 19). In the modification, it may be carried out to change the display window 23A from the displaying condition to the transmissive condition just before stopping a rotation of the reel 220 in the stopping control process at step S42 (FIG. 19). In this case, however, the image of the symbol column 241 is variably displayed (with the symbols scrolling) on the display window 23A until just before making it transmissive.

In the above-mentioned embodiment, the slot machine 1 is constructed so as to perform a base game only. However, the slot machine may be modified so as to perform a “free game” after executing a base game, for example, immediately after step S13 in FIG. 16. Note that the fee game is generally formed by a game in favor of a player. For instance, if shifting to a free game on condition of specified symbols on static display, then a player can continue to play a plurality of games (e.g. 10 games, 20 games, 30 games) corresponding to the ranking of the free game without betting coins or the likes. In the free game, it is general that a variety of winning combinations are established with high wining probabilities. Therefore, if once a player has a right to play a free game, it is highly possible for the player to acquire a large number of coins or the likes.

Although the slot machine 1 is provided with nine display windows 2222C, 2323C and 2424C in the above-mentioned embodiment, the present invention is not limited to this embodiment only. For example, the slot machine may be provided with five display windows or three display windows, alternatively.

As noted above, the foregoing descriptions are related to one embodiment of the invention. However, the invention is not limited to this and therefore, various changes and modifications may be made within the scope of claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8430741 *Mar 3, 2009Apr 30, 2013Wms Gaming, Inc.Presenting wagering game content in multiple windows
US20110028203 *Mar 3, 2009Feb 3, 2011Agarwal Vijay KPresenting wagering game content in multiple windows
US20130122988 *Nov 14, 2012May 16, 2013Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game having a continuous reel strip populating more than one evaluation window
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/22
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 6, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: ARUZE CORP., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:YOSHIZAWA, KAZUMASA;REEL/FRAME:018383/0379
Effective date: 20060908