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Publication numberUS20070265056 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/798,422
Publication dateNov 15, 2007
Filing dateMay 14, 2007
Priority dateMay 15, 2006
Publication number11798422, 798422, US 2007/0265056 A1, US 2007/265056 A1, US 20070265056 A1, US 20070265056A1, US 2007265056 A1, US 2007265056A1, US-A1-20070265056, US-A1-2007265056, US2007/0265056A1, US2007/265056A1, US20070265056 A1, US20070265056A1, US2007265056 A1, US2007265056A1
InventorsKazumasa Yoshizawa
Original AssigneeAruze Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Roulette gaming machine including a plurality of lottery areas and playing method thereof
US 20070265056 A1
Abstract
A roulette gaming machine is provided with a first lottery area having a plurality of pockets, a second lottery area provided independently from the first lottery area, a ball which rolls on the first lottery area, and which is accommodated in one of the plurality of pockets, a ball launching unit configured to launch the ball accommodated in the pocket when a predetermined condition is satisfied. In a case where the number on which a player bets, for example, 20 credits or more at each station wins in a base game using the first lottery area, the ball is launched up in a predetermined direction by the ball launching unit, and transferred from the first lottery area to the second lottery area. Then, a bonus game using the second lottery area is started.
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Claims(10)
1. A roulette gaming machine, comprising:
a first lottery area having a plurality of pockets respectively corresponding to marks;
a second lottery area provided independently from the first lottery area, the second lottery area having a plurality of special pockets;
a ball which rolls on the first lottery area to be accommodated in any one of the plurality of pockets;
a bet acceptance unit configured to accept a betting operation that a player makes by using accumulated game media, according to anticipation of the mark corresponding to one of the plurality of pockets in which the ball is to be accommodated;
a winning number detection unit configured to detect, as a winning number, the mark corresponding to one of the plurality of pockets in which the ball is accommodated;
a privilege providing unit configured to provide a privilege to the player according to the betting operation and the winning number;
a ball launching unit configured to launch the ball accommodated in the pocket in a case where a predetermined condition is satisfied; and
a special privilege providing unit configured to provide a special privilege to the player according to one of the plurality of special pockets in which the ball launched by the ball launching unit is accommodated.
2. The roulette gaming machine according to claim 1, further comprising a ball transfer unit configured to transfer the ball launched by the ball launching unit from the first lottery area to the second lottery area.
3. The roulette gaming machine according to claim 2, wherein the ball transfer unit includes a moving direction change unit configured to change a moving direction of the ball launched by the ball launching unit to a direction of the second lottery area, the moving direction change unit being supported in the first lottery area to be movable up and down.
4. The roulette gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the pockets are moved to positions where the ball accommodated in one of the pockets can be launched by the ball launching unit.
5. The roulette gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the ball launching unit launches the ball by discharging the compressed air.
6. A playing method of a roulette gaming machine, the playing method comprising:
accepting a betting operation that a player makes by using accumulated game media, according to anticipation of a mark corresponding to one of a plurality of pockets in which a ball is to be accommodated, the plurality of pockets included in a first lottery area and respectively corresponding to marks;
rolling a ball on the first lottery area and then accommodating the ball in any one of the plurality of pockets;
detecting, as a winning number, the mark corresponding to one of the plurality of pockets in which the ball is accommodated;
providing a privilege to the player according to the betting operation and the winning number;
launching the ball accommodated in the pocket in a case where a predetermined condition is satisfied; and
providing a special privilege to the player according to one of a plurality of special pockets in which the ball launched in the step of launching the ball is accommodated, the plurality of special pockets included in a second lottery area provided independently from the first lottery area.
7. The playing method according to claim 6, wherein the ball launched in the step of launching the ball is transferred from the first lottery area to the second lottery area by a ball transfer unit.
8. The playing method according to claim 7, wherein the step of transferring the ball including changing a moving direction of the ball launched in the step of launching the ball to a direction of the second lottery area, by moving up and down a moving direction change unit provided in the first lottery area.
9. The playing method according to claim 6, further comprising moving the pockets to positions where the ball accommodated in one of the pockets can be launched in the step of launching the ball.
10. The playing method according to claim 6, wherein the ball is launched by discharging the compressed air in the step of launching the ball.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based upon and claims the benefit of priority from the prior Japanese Patent Application No. 2006-135582, filed on May 15, 2006, 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 roulette gaming machine and a playing method thereof which rolls a roulette ball on a roulette wheel, and which gives a privilege according to a type of a pocket accommodating the roulette ball. In particular, the present invention relates to a roulette gaming machine and a playing method thereof which makes a lottery by using two areas of first and second lottery areas, and which transfers a roulette ball from a pocket to the second lottery area.

2. Description of the Related Art

What is called a medal game using medals as game media for a roulette gaming machine or the like is a game which a player can start by inserting a medal into a gaming machine after buying or borrowing a plurality of medals from a medal lending device, and in which a predetermined number of medals are paid out when the player wins the game. Accordingly, a player obtaining a large number of medals can continuously enjoy playing the game without newly buying or borrowing medals.

In particular, in a case of a game apparatus, such as a roulette gaming machine or a bingo gaming machine, using an actual ball for a lottery, a game proceeds in a way that a launched ball rolls in the game apparatus, and then falls into one of pockets formed in the apparatus, thereby being accommodated in the pocket. As a result, for example, in the roulette gaming machine, a determination is made as to whether a mark (number) selected by a player matches the mark (number) of a pocket accommodating the ball (the mark wins). Then, when it is determined that the ball is accommodated in the pocket of the same mark (number) as that selected by the player (the mark wins), the number of medals is paid out to the player at a predetermined rate.

Since a game itself of a roulette gaming machine or a bingo game has a simple configuration, the game has been diversified heretofore by using various methods in order to keep a player interested. For example, Japanese Patent Application Laid-open Publication No. 2004-97487 (pp. 6 to 9, FIGS. 11 and 12) describes a bingo gaming machine provided with two types of lottery units named first and second lottery units. In this bingo gaming machine, a lottery is firstly made in the first lottery unit. Then, in a case where a ball passes through a lane for a jackpot lottery, the ball is guided to a jackpot lottery device, which is the second lottery unit, and then a jackpot game is started.

However, the bingo gaming machine described in the foregoing patent document cannot cause a large change in the movement of a ball transferred to the second lottery area. This is because the ball is merely guided to the second lottery unit through the guide lane after the ball guide lane to the second lottery unit is formed based on the type of a pocket accommodating the ball and on the timing with which the ball is accommodated. Accordingly, even when a transition to the lottery in the second lottery unit is made, this bingo gaming machine cannot attract sufficient attention of a player on the game, cannot give a sufficient sense of success in the game to the player, and also cannot enhance a sense of expectation of the player for a lottery result in the second lottery unit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been made in order to solve the foregoing problem, and aims to provide a roulette gaming machine in which a ball temporarily accommodated in a numbered and colored pocket (hereinafter, simply called a pocket) is launched and transferred to a second lottery area to hold a lottery, which thereby visually gives a player a great sense of success in transition to a lottery in a second lottery area, and which can further enhance a sense of expectation of the player for a lottery result in the second lottery area.

In summary, an aspect of the present invention is a roulette gaming machine (for example, a roulette gaming machine 1) including a first lottery area, a second lottery area, a bet acceptance unit, a winning number detection unit, a privilege providing unit, a ball launching unit and a special privilege providing unit. Specifically, a plurality of pockets (for example, pockets 23) respectively corresponding to marks (for example, number display plates 24) are arranged on the first lottery area (for example, a first lottery area 101). The second lottery area (for example, a second lottery area 102) is provided independently from the first lottery area, and a plurality of special pockets (for example, special pockets 104) are arranged on the second lottery area. The ball (for example, a ball 11) rolls on the first lottery area, and then is accommodated in one of the plurality of pockets. The bet acceptance unit (for example, a station 4) accepts a betting operation that a player makes by using accumulated game media, according to anticipation of the mark corresponding to one of the pockets in which the ball is to be accommodated. The winning number detection unit (for example, a server control CPU 80 in S19) detects, as a winning number, the mark corresponding to one of the plurality of pockets in which the ball is accommodated. The privilege providing unit (for example, the server control CPU 80 in S26) provides a privilege to the player according to the betting operation and the winning number. The ball launching unit (for example, a fixed discharge port 33) launches the ball accommodated in the pocket in a case where a predetermined condition is satisfied. The special privilege providing unit (for example, the server control CPU 80 in S26) provides a special privilege to the player according to one of the plurality of special pocket in which the ball launched by the ball launching unit is accommodated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the outer appearance of a roulette gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention, showing the schematic configuration thereof.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a roulette device according to the embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a plan view showing the roulette device according to the embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view showing the roulette device taken along the line IV-IV in FIG. 3 when viewed in the arrow direction.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged schematic diagram showing an area particularly around a pocket shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged perspective view showing an area around the pockets of the roulette device according to the embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7A is an explanatory diagram for explaining a rolling mode of a ball rolling into the pocket. FIG. 7B is an explanatory diagram for explaining a movement of the ball transferred from a first lottery area to a second lottery area.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged perspective view showing an area around a bank lane of the roulette device according to the embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view showing the roulette device taken along the line IX-IX in FIG. 3 when viewed in an arrow direction.

FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram showing a cross ball bearing cut at a certain place. Here, the cross ball bearing supports a rotatable portion in a manner rotatable around a central fixed portion in the roulette device according to the embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a diagram showing one example of a display screen displayed on an image display device.

FIG. 12 is a block diagram schematically showing a control system of the roulette gaming machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a block diagram schematically showing a control system of a station according to the embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 14 is an explanatory diagram showing opening/closing timings of a first on-off valve and a second on-off valve, and driving control of a drive motor.

FIG. 15 is a flowchart of a roulette game processing program according to the embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 16 is a flowchart of a bonus game processing program according to the embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 17 is a schematic diagram for explaining a rolling mode of the ball of the roulette device in S5 to S7, and shows a state where the rotatable portion is rotated by a predetermined angle.

FIG. 18 is a schematic diagram for explaining the rolling mode of the ball of the roulette device in S10, and shows a state where the first on-off valve is opened.

FIG. 19 is a schematic diagram for explaining a rolling mode of the ball of the roulette device in S13 to S17, and shows a state where the rotatable portion is rotated in a predetermined pattern with the second on-off valve opened.

FIG. 20 is a schematic diagram for explaining a rolling mode of the ball of the roulette device in S17, and shows a state where the second on-off valve is closed.

FIG. 21 is a schematic diagram showing a transfer mode of the ball from the first lottery area to the second lottery area at a time of staring a bonus game in S36 in the roulette device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF TEE EMBODIMENT

Hereinafter, detailed descriptions will be provided for an embodiment of a roulette gaming machine according to the present invention by referring to the accompanying drawings. A roulette gaming machine is a gaming machine with which a player guesses the number or the like that would be determined as a winning number in a roulette device, and bets his/her owned game media such as medals on the guessed number or the like. Then, when the bet number or the like wins, the player can receive a predetermined number of medals as payout from the gaming machine.

First of all, a general configuration of a roulette gaming machine 1 according to the present invention will be described by using FIG. 1. FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an outer appearance of the general configuration of the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 1, the roulette gaming machine 1 is basically composed of a cabinet 3 that is a main body portion, a roulette device 2 provided in an approximately central portion on the upper surface of the cabinet 3, a plurality (12 in this embodiment) of stations 4 provided around the roulette device 2 so as to surround the roulette device 2, and an electronic display unit 77 provided above the cabinet 3.

Here, each station 4 is a game area including at least a medal insertion slot 5 used for inserting coins or game media such as medals for a game; a controller 6 composed of a plurality of control buttons and the like to which a player inputs certain commands; and an image display device 7 for displaying an image related to a game. A player can make a game in progress proceed by operating the controller 6 or the like while watching the image displayed on the image display device 7.

Each of medal payout openings 8 is provided to a side surface of the cabinet 3 where a corresponding one of the stations 4 is provided. A speaker 9 for playing music, sound effects and the like is provided to a right side portion above the image display device 7 of each of the stations 4.

A medal sensor (not illustrated) is provided to the inside of each of the medal insertion slots 5. The medal sensor detects game media such as medals inserted from the medal insertion slot 5, and counts the inserted medals. A hopper (not illustrated) is provided to the inside of each of the medal payout openings 8, and pays out a predetermined number of medals from the medal payout opening 8.

A later-described server 10 is disposed inside a corner portion 111 located at a corner of the cabinet 3. Here, the server 10 is usually housed inside the corner portion 111 for the purpose of preventing a player from operating the server 10. However, the server 10 can be operated by opening a corner door 112 provided to the corner portion 111 with a key switch. By operating the server 10, it is possible to set various settings and to carry out maintenance for the roulette gaming machine 1.

The electronic display unit 77 is provided with a jackpot (hereinafter, abbreviated as JP) amount display unit 78 for displaying a JP amount stored as an accumulated amount of a predetermined percentage (for example, 0.5%) of credits bet by players who are playing the game at the respective stations 4. The JP amount display unit 78 is provided at a top portion of the electronic display unit 77, and the display content thereof is visible to all the players playing the games at the stations 4.

A configuration of the roulette device 2 according to this embodiment will be described by using FIG. 2. FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the roulette device 2 according to this embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 2, the roulette device 2 according to this embodiment is basically composed of: a roulette wheel 12 including a rolling area where a ball 11 rolls in a game; a supporting base 13 for supporting the roulette wheel 12 inside the roulette gaming machine 1; a compressor 14 for taking in air, and for compressing the air up to a predetermined pressure; air tubes 15 and 16 for sending the air compressed by the compressor 14; and a first on-off valve 17 and a second on-off valve 18 which are respectively provided at halfway points of the air tubes 15 and 16, and which respectively controls the pressures of the air flowing in the air tubes 15 and 16.

The roulette wheel 12 is basically composed of two lottery areas of a first lottery area 101 and a second lottery area 102. The first lottery area 101 is formed in an outer circumferential portion of the roulette wheel 12. The second lottery area is provided inside the first lottery area 101, independently from the first lottery area 101. The roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment executes a base game by using the first lottery area 101, and executes a bonus game after the base game on condition that a predetermined condition is satisfied.

The first lottery area 101 is basically composed of a frame member 21 fixed to the supporting base 13, a central fixed portion 22 fixedly supported inside the frame member 21, and a rotatable portion 20 provided in a circular shape around the central fixed portion 22.

A large number of pockets 23 (38 pockets in this embodiment) are formed in a concave shape in a circumferential direction on the upper surface of the rotatable portion 20. Each pair of the adjacent pockets 23 is separated from each other with a partition wall 23A having a substantially triangle shape (see FIG. 6). Number display plates 24 respectively displaying the numbers “0,” “00,” and “1” to “36” as graphic characters are formed outside the pockets 23 on the upper surface of the rotatable portion 20 so as to respectively correspond to the pockets 23. Shutters 32 are provided between the pockets 23 and the number display plates 24 so as to respectively correspond to the pockets 23. Here, each of the shutters 32 moves up and down at a predetermined timing as described later (see FIGS. 7A and 7B), and thereby transfers, to the second lottery area 102, the ball 11 accommodated in a corresponding one of the pockets 23 in the first lottery area 101. The roulette wheel 12 will be described in detail later.

The second lottery area 102 is composed of a rolling area 103, special pockets 104 and adjacent walls 105. The rolling area 103 is formed in a mortar-like shape around the center of the central fixed portion 22. The special pockets 104 are respectively formed in eight portions around the center of the rolling area 103. Each of the adjacent walls 105 partitions a pair of the adjacent special pockets 104. Payout display plates 106 are formed respectively on the outer side portions of four of the special pockets 104, and display payout rates of the bonus game which are “JP (jackpot),” “Χ2,” “Χ3” and “+500” so as to respectively correspond to the four special pockets 104. When the ball 11 transferred from the first lottery area 101 is accommodated in any of the four special pockets 104, a player receives payout corresponding to the special pocket 104 accommodating the ball 11.

Here, the payout provided to the player is explained in detail. When the ball 11 is accommodated in the special pocket 104 having the “JP” payout display plate 106 formed thereon, the number of credits corresponding to the accumulated JP amount is paid out in addition to the payout for the base game. When the ball 11 is accommodated in the special pocket 104 having the “Χ2” payout display plate 106 formed thereon, the number of credits to be paid out becomes twice the number of credits to be paid to the player for the immediately previous base game. In addition, when the ball 11 is accommodated in the special pocket 104 having the “Χ3” payout display plate 106 formed thereon, the number of credits to be paid out becomes three times the number of credits to be paid to the player for the immediately previous base game. Moreover, when the ball 11 is accommodated in the special pocket 104 having the “+500” payout display plate 106 formed thereon, 500 credits are paid out in addition to the payout for the immediately previous base game. Then, when the ball 11 is accommodated in the special pockets 104 other than the above four, the bonus game is lost, so that no credit for the bonus game is paid out.

The supporting base 13 is a base having a substantially rectangular parallelepiped shape formed by combining a plurality of metal poles with one another. Four fixing members 41 are provided at the corners on the upper surface of the supporting base 13, and fix the roulette wheel 12 at a predetermined height.

The compressor 14 is a device which is disposed in an inner space formed by the supporting base 13, and which takes in air, and compresses the taken-in air up to a predetermined pressure (1 Mpa in this embodiment). The compressor 14 according to this embodiment includes a discharge nozzle 42 for discharging the compressed air. The air tubes 15 and 16 are connected to the discharge nozzle 42.

The air tube 15 is a tube for conveying the air compressed by the compressor 14 to a fixed discharge port 33 formed at the central fixed portion 22 of the roulette wheel 12 (see FIGS. 3 and 4), and the first on-off valve 17 is provided to the halfway point of the air tube 15. The air tube 16 is a tube for conveying the air compressed by the compressor 14 to rotation discharge ports 36 formed in the roulette wheel 12(see FIGS. 3 and 4), and the second on-off valve 18 is provided to the halfway point of the air tube 16.

The first on-off valve 17 and the second on-off valve 18 are electromagnetic valves, and each has a structure capable of controlling a valve opening time. The first on-off valve 17 and the second on-off valve 18 are connected to a server control CPU 80 of the server 10 that controls the entire roulette gaming machine 1 (see FIG. 12). The server control CPU 80 controls times of opening and closing the valves as described later in accordance with a program pre-stored in a ROM 81. Thereby, the server control CPU 80 controls the air pressures of the air discharged from the fixed discharge port 33 and the rotation discharge ports 36, and executes a series of operations in which the ball 11 is rolled on the roulette wheel 12, and to be accommodated in one of the pockets 23 after a predetermined time period passes.

When the roulette device 2 is installed in the roulette gaming machine 1, the upper side of the roulette wheel 12 is entirely covered with a cover member 25 having a hemispherical shape, and made of transparent acrylic (see FIG. 1). This configuration prevents the ball 11 rolling on the roulette wheel 12 during the game from jumping out over the roulette wheel 12, and thereby allows the ball 11 to be held therein. Moreover, providing the cover member 25 also prevents a foreign substance or the like from entering the inside of the roulette wheel 12, and a fraudulent act or the like from being conducted.

The roulette wheel 12 according to this embodiment will be described in detail by using FIGS. 3 to 5. FIG. 3 is a plan view showing the roulette device 2 according to this embodiment. FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view showing the roulette device taken along the line IV-IV in FIG. 3, and viewed in the arrow direction. FIG. 5 is an enlarged schematic diagram showing an area particularly around the pocket 23 shown in FIG. 4.

As described above, the roulette wheel 12 is basically composed of the frame member 21, and the central fixed portion 22 and the rotatable portion 20. The frame member 21 is fixed to the supporting base 13. The central fixed portion 22 is fixedly supported inside the frame member 21, and has the second lottery area 102 at the central portion thereof. The rotatable portion 20 is provided in a circular shape around the central fixed portion 22. As shown in FIG. 4, the rotatable portion 20 is supported via a cross ball bearing 26 so as to be rotatable around the central fixed portion 22. By a drive motor 34 provided inside the roulette device 2, the rotatable portion 20 is rotated at predetermined speeds (for example, 5.005 rpm and 16.683 rpm) in a certain direction with respect to the frame member 21 (for example, in the anticlockwise direction) from a time when a preparation for launching the ball 11 is started, until a time when a predetermined time passes after the ball 11 is accommodated in the pocket 23.

In particular, when the ball 11 is launched after a time for betting or when the bonus game is started, the rotatable portion 20 is rotated so that the pocket 23 currently accommodating the ball 11 comes right in front of the fixed discharge port 33 fixed to the central fixed portion 22. On the other hand, when the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is detected after the ball 11 stops rolling, the rotatable portion 20 is rotated so that the pocket 23 currently accommodating the ball 11 passes in front of one of later-described ball detection sensors 44 fixed to the central fixed portion 22. A specific rotation drive mechanism and rotation operation of the rotatable portion 20 will be described in detail later.

A bank lane 29 is circularly provided around an outer rim portion of the frame member 21. The bank lane 29 is a lane for guiding the ball 11 rolling on the roulette wheel 12 against a centrifugal force, and thereby for causing the ball 11 to roll along circumferential trajectory. The bank lane 29 is formed of a guide wall 30 which is arranged upright so as to be seamlessly integrated with the roulette wheel 12. In addition, a wall portion 31 is continuously formed on the upper end of the outer circumferential portion of the bank lane 29. The wall portion 31 is a member for inwardly biasing the ball 11 rolling on the bank lane 29 in order to prevent the ball 11 from jumping out to the outside of the roulette wheel 12.

When the base game using the first lottery area 101 is started, the air discharged from the fixed discharge port 33 firstly causes the ball 11 to start rolling, and an accelerating force in a circumferential direction is secondly applied to the ball 11 by the air discharged from the rotation discharge ports 36. Thereby, the ball 11 rolls along the bank lane 29 while gradually increasing the speed. Then, when the rotation discharge ports 36 stop discharging the air, a decrease in the rotation speed of the ball 11 causes the centrifugal force to be lost. As a result, the ball 11 rolls down on a slope surface 28 toward the inner side of the roulette wheel 12, and reaches the rotatable portion 20 currently rotating.

Then, the ball 11 having rolled to the rotatable portion 20 is accommodated in one of the pockets 23 after passing over the number display plates 24 on the rolling rotatable portion 20. The number written on the number display plate 24 corresponding to the pocket accommodating the ball 11 is a winning number.

As shown in FIG. 5, the pocket 23 is formed so that the depth L of the pocket 23 to the slope surface 28 is smaller than the diameter D of the ball 11. As described above, the pockets 23 constitute a space for accommodating the ball 11 which is partitioned into 38 sections in the circumferential direction by the partition walls 23A. Since the depth L of the pocket 23 is configured to be shorter than the diameter D of the ball 11, there is no possibility that the ball 11 completely enters the inside of the pocket 23 when being accommodated in the pocket 23 as shown in FIG. 5. Accordingly, a player can easily check the position of the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23 during the game, and this improves the enjoyability of the game.

The pocket 23 and the bank lane 29 are continuously formed with one piece of the slope surface 28 rising from the pocket 23 to the bank lane 29 at a predetermined inclination angle, and this configuration makes it easier for a player to check the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23.

Here, descriptions will be provided for the shutter 32 provided so as to correspond to each of the 38 pockets in the roulette wheel 12 by using FIGS. 5 and 6. FIG. 6 is an enlarged perspective view of an area around the pocket 23 of the roulette device 2 according to this embodiment.

Each of the shutters 32 is provided between the pocket 23 and the number display plate 24 so as to be movable up and down, as shown in FIG. 6, and is composed of an inclined wall 107, a solenoid 108 and a supporting bar 109. The inclined wall 107 includes a curved surface 107A for changing a moving direction of the ball 11 from a direction in parallel with the slope surface 28 to an upward direction. The solenoid 108 drives the inclined wall 107 in the up and down directions. The supporting bar 109 is connected to the lower end of the inclined wall 107, and moves up and down with a driving force of the solenoid 8.

The solenoid 108 includes a coil (not illustrated) therein. The supporting bar 109 moves up due to a magnetic field generated by applying current to the coil, and pushes out the inclined wall 107 upwardly up to a position of a predetermined height from the slope surface 28. On the other hand, when the power supply to the solenoid 108 is stopped, a spring (not illustrated) provided inside the solenoid 108 causes the supporting bar 109 to move downward by pulling the supporting bar 109 downward, thereby the inclined wall 107 is housed below the slope surface 28.

In the roulette device 2 according to this embodiment, the shutter 32 of the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is moved up in a case where the number on which a “straight up” bet of 20 credits or more is made by using a BET screen 61 (see FIG. 11) wins in the base game. Then, the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23 is launched in a direction toward the bank lane 29 by the air pressure from the fixed discharge port 33 with the shutter 32 kept up. As a result, the ball 11 is launched upward while changing the moving direction along the curved surface 107A, and thereby transferred to the second lottery area 102 (see FIG. 7B).

For example, FIG. 6 shows a case where a player bets 20 credits or more on the number “21,” and where the number “21” wins. In this case, power is supplied to the solenoid 108 of the shutter 32 provided in front of the pocket 23 corresponding to the number “21,” and thereby the shutter 32 is moved up. In this state, the air is discharged from the fixed discharge port 33, and thereby the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23 can be transferred to the second lottery area.

FIG. 7A is an explanatory diagram showing a rolling mode of the ball 11 to roll into one of the pockets 23, and FIG. 7B is an explanatory diagram showing a rolling mode of the ball 11 transferred to the second lottery area 102.

In the base game using the first lottery area 101, the ball 11 rolls on the roulette wheel 12 along the bank lane 29 for a predetermined time, then rolls down along the slope surface 28 from the bank lane 29, and is finally guided into one of the pockets 23, as shown in FIG. 7A.

Thereafter, in a case where the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is particularly a pocket 23 corresponding to the number on which 20 credits or more is bet, the shutter 32 is moved up as shown in FIG. 7B, and the fixed discharge port 33 is also moved to the front of the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 by rotating the rotatable portion 20. Then, by discharging the air from the fixed discharge port 33, the ball 11 is guided to the second lottery area 102 while changing the moving direction to the upward direction along the inclined wall 107.

The fixed discharge port 33 provided at the central fixed portion 22 of the roulette wheel 12 will be described below by using FIG. 3 to 6. The roulette device 2 according to this embodiment is provided with the fixed discharge port 33 at the central fixed portion 22 not driven to roll during the game, and the fixed discharge port 33 discharges the air compressed in the compressor 14,.

The fixed discharge port 33 is supported by a fixation plate 27 so as to be fixed to the central fixed portion 22, especially the outer rim thereof facing the rotatable portion 20, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The compressor 14 provided in a lower portion of the roulette device 2 conveys the air compressed to the predetermined pressure (for example, 1 Mpa) to the roulette wheel 12 through the air tube 15.

On the other hand, an air passing hole 35 is formed in a circular shape in an inner wall 37 forming each of the pockets 23 together with a corresponding pair of the partition walls 23A. In this embodiment, the 38 pockets 23 respectively corresponding to the numbers “0,” “00” and “1” to “36” are formed, and therefore the air passing holes 35 are formed at 38 places. In any one of the pockets 23 (the number “29” in FIG. 3) positioned in front of the fixed discharge port 33, the air discharged from the fixed discharge port 33 is blown toward the bank lane 29 provided in the outer rim of the roulette wheel 12, through the air passing hole 35 and the pocket 23. Then, the air pressure of the discharged air causes the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23 to start rolling toward the bank lane 29 against the inclination of the slope surface 28.

By using FIG. 8, descriptions will be provided for the rotation discharge ports 36 serving as one of rolling means for rolling the ball 11 in the roulette wheel 12. FIG. 8 is an enlarged perspective view showing an area around the bank lane 29 of the roulette device 2 according to this embodiment. When the ball 11 launched by the air from the fixed discharge port 33 is rolled on the roulette wheel 12, the roulette device 2 of this embodiment uses the air pressure of the compressed air as a power source for causing the ball 11 to roll.

The rotation discharge ports 36 are formed at predetermine intervals (the intervals of 45 degrees in this embodiment) in the guide wall 30 constituting the bank lane 29 as shown in FIG. 8. The rotation discharge ports 36 are formed to open in a circumferential direction of the bank lane 29, that is, in a tangential direction of the roulette wheel 12. Thereby, the air discharged from each of the rotation discharge ports 36 generates an air layer flowing in the clockwise direction along the bank lane 29 of the roulette wheel 12 (see FIG. 19).

In addition, a rotation air pipe 39 with an annular shape is provided on the back side surface of the guide wall 30 having the rotation discharge ports 36 formed therein. The rotation air pipe 39 is connected to the air tube 16 (see FIG. 4). The air conveyed from the air tube 16 is flown into the rotation air pipe 39, and then is discharged simultaneously from all the rotation discharge ports 36 provided at 8 places. Thereby, the ball 11 which is launched by the air from the fixed discharge portion 33 (ball launching unit) and then rolls to the bank lane 29 starts rolling in the clockwise direction by the air layer flowing circularly.

When the air discharge from the rotation discharge ports 36 is stopped, the air layer formed along the bank lane 29 disappears, the rotation speed of the ball 11 gradually decreases, and thereby the centrifugal force applied to the ball 11 is lost. After that, the ball 11 rolls down along the inclination of the slope surface 28, moves to the inner side of the roulette wheel 12, and then reaches the rotatable portion 20 that is currently rotating. Finally, the ball 11 is accommodated in any one of the pockets 23 formed on the rotatable portion 20. With this event, the roulette device 2 decides a winning number. After that, the roulette gaming machine 1 pays out medals according to the decided number and bet information indicating a bet made by a player, and then finishes the base game.

Moreover, in a case where a transition to the bonus game is not made, the air is again discharged from the fixed discharge port 33, which causes the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23 to start rolling again. As such, the next base game can be continuously executed without collecting the ball 11.

In the above-described manner, the roulette device 2 of this embodiment can repeatedly cause the ball 11 to roll and to be accommodated in one of the pockets 23 without collecting the ball 11 by applying forces to the ball 11 with the air pressures of the air discharged from the fixed discharge port 33 and the rotation discharge ports 36. Accordingly, the roulette device 2 does not need a complicated mechanism such as a movable portion for collecting the ball 11 or a launching device, and this results in greater ease of maintenance work and reduction in costs for a device.

In addition, since the roulette device 2 does not need the complicated mechanism such as the movable portion for collecting the ball 11 or the launching device, the depth L of the pocket 23 can be made smaller than the diameter D of the ball 11 (see FIG. 5). This configuration allows the height h of the roulette wheel 12 to be reduced as shown in FIG. 4. Accordingly, the view angle a of the roulette device 2 for checking the position of the ball 11 can be widened. This allows a player to check the position of the ball 11 more easily, and therefore the enjoyability of the game is increased.

Since the pocket 23 and the bank lane 29 are continuously formed with one piece of the slope surface 28 inclined at the predetermined inclination angle from the pocket 23 to the bank lane 29, the player can easily check the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23.

Various sensors such as the ball detection sensors 44 provided to the central fixed portion 22 of the roulette wheel 12 will be described by using FIGS. 3 and 9. FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view showing the roulette device taken along the line IX-IX in FIG. 3 when viewed in the arrow direction in FIG. 3.

In the roulette device 2 according to this embodiment, not only the fixed discharge port 33 but also the ball detection sensors 44 are provided to the central fixed portion 22, which is not driven to roll in the game. The ball detection sensor 44 detects the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11.

The ball detection sensors 44 are supported by the fixation plate 27 so as to be fixed to the central fixed portion 22, especially the outer rim thereof facing the rotatable portion 20. Each of the ball detection sensors 44 is a reflection type optical sensor, and is composed of a light emitting element that emits infrared rays, and a light receiving element that receives the infrared rays. In a case where an obstacle exists within a predetermined distance, the ball detection sensor 44 can detect both the existence and position of the obstacle. Accordingly, through the air passing holes 35, the ball detection sensor 44 can detect the ball 11 accommodated in a predetermined position (for example, the position of a distance of 3 cm) in the pocket 23. The ball detection sensor 44 may be a transmission type optical sensor. In this case, the light receiving element is disposed in the central fixed portion 22, and the light emitting element is disposed in a place of the bank lane 29 that faces the light receiving element. With this configuration, in a case where the ball 11 exists in one of the pockets 23 located between the light emitting element and the light receiving element, the ball detection sensor 44 can detect the ball 11.

The central fixed portion 22 is provided with an origin sensor 57 and a rotation sensor 58 in addition to the ball detection sensors 44. The origin sensor 57 and the rotation sensor 58 are supported by the fixation plate 27 so as to be fixed to the outer rim of the central fixed portion 22 facing the rotatable portion 20 in the same manner as those of the ball detection sensors 44 and the fixed discharge port 33.

The origin sensor 57 is a sensor for detecting the relative position of the pocket 23 positioned in front of the origin sensor 57 with respect to an origin point (a reference point). The rotation sensor 58 is a sensor for detecting whether or not the rotatable portion 20 is rotating.

Specifically, while the rotation sensor 58 is detecting the rotation of the rotatable portion 20, the origin sensor 57 always detects the relative position of a pocket 23 currently positioned in front of the origin sensor 57 with respect to the pocket 23 corresponding to the number “0,” which is the origin point, by detecting a convexoconcave of a discrimination plate (not illustrated) having a concavo-convex shape and attached to the back side (the side facing the origin sensor 57) of the inner wall 37 of each of the pockets 23. For example, at a time point shown in FIG. 3, the origin sensor 57 detects that the pocket 23 (the number “35”) positioned in front of the origin sensor 57 is the pocket 23 located in the 36th position in the right direction from the pocket 23 corresponding to the number “0.”

In this way, the origin sensor 57 can detect the relative position of the pocket positioned in front of the origin sensor 57 with respect to the pocket corresponding to the number “0,” at a timing when one of the ball detection sensors 44 detects the ball 11. Then, on the basis of the detection result, it is possible to calculate the relative position of the pocket 23 in which the ball 11 has been detected by the ball detection sensor 44, with respect to the pocket 23 corresponding to the number “0.” Thereby, the number (any of “0,” 37 100,” and “1” to “36”) corresponding to the pocket 23 in which the ball 11 has been detected, i.e., the winning number, can be identified (S19 in FIG. 15). Note that the origin point (the reference point) is not necessarily the pocket 23 corresponding to the number “0,” and may be any one of the pockets 23.

When the ball 11 is launched at a time of starting the base game, or when the ball 11 is transferred to the second lottery area at a time of starting the bonus game, a detection can be made as to whether or not the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is located in front of the fixed discharge port 33, by using the winning number of the previous base game and the detection result of the relative position of the pocket 23 located in front of the origin sensor 57 with respect to the pocket 23 corresponding to the number “0.” Then, by controlling the drive motor 34 according to the detection result, the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is moved to the front of the fixed discharge port 33 (the position where the air from the fixed discharge port 33 can launch the ball 11), and thus the ball 11 becomes ready to be launched (S5 to S7 in FIG. 15).

As described above, in the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment, positions in front of all the pockets 23 are each passed by any one of the ball detection sensors 44 by rotating the rotatable portion 20 at least at 120 degrees, after the ball 11 is accommodated in one of the pockets 23. Thereafter, the detection result of the origin sensor 57 at a timing of detecting the ball 11 is transmitted to the server control CPU 80 (see FIG. 12), which will be described later. The server control CPU 80 determines the winning number based on the detection result.

Moreover, when the ball 11 is launched, the later-described drive motor 34 is controlled so that the pocket 23 corresponding the winning number of the previous base game is located in the position in front of the fixed discharge port 33 (the position where the air from the fixed discharge port 33 can launch the ball 11), and then the ball 11 can be launched from the pocket 23 by opening the first on-off valve 17.

By using FIGS. 4 and 10, descriptions will be given for the rotation drive mechanism of the roulette wheel 12 driving the rotatable portion 20 to rotate around the central fixed portion 22. FIG. 10 is a schematic cross-sectional view showing the cross ball bearing 26 cut at a certain place. The cross ball bearing 26 supports the rotatable portion 20 so as to be rotatable around the central fixed portion 22 in the roulette device 2 of this embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 4, the drive motor 34 is fixed to a base plate 21A of the frame member 21. The drive motor 34 is a stepping motor. By supplying a pulse signal to the drive motor 34, this motor 34 can rotate by a predetermined step without giving a feedback. Accordingly, the number of pulses and the cycle of the pulse signal supplied to the drive motor 34 determine the rotation angle and rotation speed of the drive motor 34, and stopping the pulse signal causes the drive motor 34 to stop rotating with the rotation angle kept at the moment of stopping the signal.

A driving roller 47 is attached to the drive motor 34 with a driving shaft 46 interposed therebetween, and is made to abut on a side surface 20A of the rotatable portion 20. Accordingly, when the drive motor 34 is driven, the driving roller 47 is rotated with the rotation of the drive motor 34, and the rotatable portion 20 is also rotated around the central fixed portion 22 by the friction with the driving roller 47. The driving roller 47 is housed in a roller case 48 having a block C shape, and the roller case 48 is biased in a direction to the side surface 20A with a certain constant force by a biasing member 49. The biasing member 49 is provided at an outer place located outside the roller case 48 from the driving roller 47. In this way, the driving roller 47 and the rotatable portion 20 always abut on each other at an appropriate pressure, which prevents an excessive load from being imposed on the driving roller 47, or the driving roller 47 from spinning out.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 10, a fixed-side inner wall portion 50 of the central fixed portion 22, and a movable-side inner wall portion 51 of the rotatable portion 20 facing the fixed-side inner wall portion 50 are connected to each other with the cross ball bearing 26 interposed therebetween.

The cross ball bearing 26 is a member having an annular shape of a substantially rectangular cross section, and bearings 52 are respectively attached to, for example, 30 to 40 places of each of the four side faces. With the bearings 52, the movable-side inner wall portion 51 can freely move with respect to the fixed-side inner wall portion 50 fixed to the frame member 21, and thereby the rotatable portion 20 is supported so as to be rotatable around the central fixed portion 22.

As a result, the rotatable portion 20 can be rotated around the central fixed portion 22 by a certain angle depending on a rotation direction and rotation angle of the drive motor 34 driven in response to the pulse signal. Furthermore, with this rotation, the pockets 23 located in front of the fixed discharge portion 33 (ball launching unit) and the ball detection sensor 44 are changed to arbitrary pockets 23. This makes it possible to detect the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11, and to launch the accommodated ball 11. The drive motor 34 is connected to the server control CPU 80 via a motor driving circuit 55 (see FIG. 12), and the driving of the drive motor 34 is controlled, as described later, in accordance with a program stored in a ROM or the like (see FIG. 14).

Configurations of the controller 6 and the image display device 7 according to this embodiment will be described hereinafter. The controller 6 is provided at the side of the image display device 7 as shown in FIG. 1, and buttons to be operated by a player are arranged. More precisely, a BET confirmation button 62, a CASHOUT button 63 and a HELP button 64 are arranged from the left hand side viewed from a position facing the station 4.

The BET confirmation button 62 is a button to be pressed for confirmation of a bet after a betting operation using the image display device 7, which will be described later. Then, in a case where a bet is confirmed and also where the bet is made on the number written on the number display plate 24 corresponding to the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 in the roulette device 2 in the game, the bet wins. When the bet wins, the number of credits corresponding to the number of bet chips is added to the credits currently owned by the player. The betting operation will be described in detail later.

The CASHOUT button 63 is a button to be usually pressed when the game is finished. When the CASHOUT button 63 is pressed, the number of medals corresponding to the credits which have been obtained from the game and the like, and which are currently owned by the player are paid out from the medal payout opening 8 (usually, one medal per credit).

The HELP button 64 is a button to be pressed when the player does not understand the game operation method or the like. When the HELP button 64 is pressed, a help screen showing various kinds of operation information is immediately displayed on the image display device 7.

In addition, the image display device 7 is a so-called touch-panel type liquid crystal display having a touch panel 53 arranged at the front. A selection can be made by pressing an icon or the like displayed on the liquid crystal display with a finger or the like. FIG. 11 is a diagram showing an example of a display screen displayed on the image display device during the game.

As shown in FIG. 11, during the game with the roulette gaming machine 1, a BET screen 61 including a table-type betting board 60 is displayed on the image display device 7. The player can bet a chip using the owned credits by operating the BET screen 61.

Hereinafter, the BET screen 61 will be described by referring to FIG. 11. The table-type betting board 60 displayed in BET screen 61 shows the same numbers as the numbers “0,” “00,” and “1” to “36” written on the number display plates 24 in a manner arranged in a grid. In addition, special BET areas are similarly arranged in a grid, and the special BET areas are used for betting a chip by specifying “odd numbers,” “even numbers,” “kinds of colors (red or black) of the number display plates” and “fixed ranges of numbers (for instance, from 1 to 12, and the like).”

On the lower side of the table-type betting board 60, a result history display part 65, BET unit buttons 66, a payout result display part 67 and a credit amount display part 68 are displayed starting from the upper-left of the screen.

The result history display part 65 displays a list of results of the winning number of the previous games (here, one game means a series of operations in which: a player firstly makes a bet at each station 4; the ball 11 falls into one of the pockets 23; and then credits are paid out according to the winning number). When one game is finished, the result history display part 65 displays the new winning number by adding it to the uppermost place, and allows the history of winning numbers of up to 16 games to be checked.

The unit BET buttons 66 are buttons for betting chips on the BET area (on a grid of a number and a mark or on a line forming a grid) specified by the player. The unit BET buttons are composed of four types of a 1-BET button 66A, a 5-BET button 66B, a 10-BET button 66C and a 100-BET button 66D.

Firstly, the player specifies a BET area to be bet with a cursor 70, which will be described later, by directly pressing the BET area with a finger or the like. In that state, when the 1-BET button 66A is pressed, the player can bet chips in unit of one chip (the number of bet chips is increased sequentially like 1, 2, 3 and so on whenever the 1-BET button 66A is pressed by the finger or the like). When the 10-BET button 66C is pressed, the player can bet chips in unit of ten chips (the number of bet chips is increased sequentially like 10, 20, 30 and so on whenever the 10-BET button 66C is pressed by the finger or the like). The operations of pressing the 5-BET button 66B and the 100-BET button 66D are the same as the above. Consequently, even at a time of betting many chips, its operation can be simplified.

The payout result display part 67 displays the amount of chips bet by the player in the last game, and the payout credit amount. Here, the payout credit amount newly obtained by the player in the last game is calculated by subtracting the amount of bet chips from the payout credit amount.

The credit amount display part 68 displays the credit amount currently owned by the player. This credit amount is decreased according to the amount of bet chips (one credit per chip), when the chips are bet. In contrast, when a bet number wins and the credits are paid out, the credit amount is increased by the paid-out credit amount. When the credit amount owned by the player becomes 0, it becomes game over.

A betting timer graph 69 is provided to an upper place in the table-type betting board 60. The betting timer graph 69 is a graph displaying a remaining time period when the player can bet (called a bet acceptable time, below). A red bar gradually extends in the direction to the right after the game starts. Then, when the red bar reaches the rightmost side, the bet acceptable time ends in the game currently in progress. Several seconds before the bet acceptable time ends at each station 4, that is, 5 seconds before the betting timer graph 69 reaches the rightmost side, the fixed discharge port 33 launches the ball 11 from the pocket 23, and thereby the ball 11 starts rolling.

The cursor 70 is displayed on the table-type betting board 60, and points a BET area currently selected by the player. In addition, displayed are chip marks 71 each showing the number of bet chips and the BET area, on which a bet has been made until this moment. The number displayed on each chip mark 71 indicates the amount of bet chips. For example, as shown in FIG. 11, the chip mark 71 of “7” placed on a grid of “18” indicates that 7 chips are bet on the number “18.” The method of betting only on one number in this way is a bet method called a “straight up.”

The chip mark 71 of “1” placed at an intersection of grids “5,” “6,” “8” and “9” indicates that one chip is bet on a range covering four numbers of “5,” “6,” “8” and “9.” The method for betting that covers four numbers in this way is a betting method called a “corner bet.”

Other bet methods includes a “split bed” for covering two numbers by betting on a line between the two numbers, a “street bet” for covering three numbers (for example, “13,” “14” and “15”) by betting on an edge of one row of the three numbers (one column in a vertical direction in FIG. 11), a “five bet” for covering five numbers “0,” “00,” “1,” “2” and “3” by betting on a line between “00” and “3”, a “line bet” for covering six numbers (“13,” “14,” “15,” “16,” “17” and “18”, for example) by betting between numbers of two rows (two columns in a vertical direction in FIG. 11), a “column bet” for covering 12 numbers by betting on the grid written as “2 to 1”, and a “dozen bet” for covering 12 numbers by betting on a grid written as “1st 12”, “2nd 12” or “3rd 12.” In addition, as bet methods by using the 6 grids provided in the lowest part of the table-type betting board 60, there are a method for betting on a color of the number display plate (“red” or “black”), a method for betting on the odd numbers or the even numbers, and a method for covering 18 numbers by betting on the numbers less than or equal to 18 or the numbers greater than or equal to 19.

When the player makes a bet by using the BET screen 61 configured as described above, firstly the player directly presses the screen of the BET area with the finger while specifying a BET area (a grid of a number and a mark or on a line forming a grid) on which a bet is made. As a result, the cursor 70 moves to the specified BET area.

After that, by pressing each of the unit buttons (the 1-BET button 66A, the 5-BET button 66B, the 10-BET button 66C and the 100-BET button 66D) of the unit BET buttons 66, the number of chips corresponding to the unit number is bet on the specified BET area. For example, by pressing the 10-BET button 66C four times, the 5-BET button 66B once, and the 1-BET button 66A three times, 48 chips can be bet in total.

Then, when a number (only a number bet as the “straight up” in this embodiment) on which the player bets 20 credits or more on the BET screen 61 wins, the ball 11 is transferred to the second lottery area 102, and the bonus game is started, as described later.

A configuration of a control system of the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment will be described on the basis of FIG. 12. FIG. 12 is a block diagram schematically showing the control system of the roulette gaming machine 1.

As shown in FIG. 12, the roulette gaming machine 1 is composed of the server 10 including the server control CPU 80, the ROM 81 and a RAM 82, the roulette device 2 connected to the server 10, the 12 stations 4 (see FIG. 1), the drive motor 34, the first on-off valve 17 and the second on-off valve 18. A control system for the stations 4 will be described in detail later.

The server control CPU 80 carries out various types of processing according to input signals provided from the stations 4, and also according to data and programs stored in the ROM 81 and the RAM 82, and transmits command signals to the stations 4 according to the processing results. In this way, the server control CPU 80 controls each of the stations 4 by taking an initiative, and causes the game to proceed. The server control CPU 80 determines the winning number of the pocket 23 into which the ball 11 has fallen, while causing the drive motor 34 to drive, and concurrently controlling the ball detection sensor 44 (see FIG. 9) provided to the roulette device 2. Thereafter, the server control CPU 80 makes a win judgment on bet chips and calculates the credit amount paid out to each of the stations 4 according to the obtained winning number and the bet information transmitted from each of the stations 4.

The ROM 81 is configured, for example, of a semiconductor memory or the like, and stores programs for implementing basic functions of the roulette gaming machine 1, programs for controlling each device in the roulette device 2, the first on-off valve 17 and the second on-off valve 18, odds for the base game in the roulette game using the BET screen 61 (the payout amount of credits for one winning chip), programs for controlling each of the station 4 by taking the initiative, and the like.

The RAM 82 temporarily stores the chip bet information provided from each of the stations 4, the winning numbers of the roulette device 2 determined by using the ball detection sensor 44, data related to the result of the processing executed by the server control CPU 80, and the like.

The first on-off valve 17 and the second on-off valve 18 for adjusting the air pressures in the air tubes 15 and 16 are connected to the server control CPU 80. By opening the first on-off valve 17, the air compressed in the compressor 14 (see FIG. 2) is discharged from the fixed discharge port 33 provided to the pocket 23. By opening the second on-off valve 18, the air compressed in the compressor 14 (see FIG. 2) is discharged from the rotation discharge ports 36 provided to the bank lane 29.

The ball detection sensor 44, the origin sensor 57 and the rotation sensor 58 provided to the roulette device 2 are connected to the server control CPU 80. The ball detection sensors 44 are provided at the three places of the central fixed portion 22 as described before. When the ball 11 is accommodated in the pocket 23 located in front of the ball detection sensor 44, the ball detection sensor 44 can detect the existence of the ball 11 and the corresponding number. The origin sensor 57 can detect the relative position of the pocket 23 located in front of the origin sensor 57 with respect to the origin point (the pocket corresponding to “0”). The rotation sensor 58 can detect whether or not the rotatable portion 20 is rotating. Then, by transmitting the detection result of each of the sensors to the server control CPU 80, the server control CPU 80 determines the winning number.

The drive motor 34 for driving the rotatable portion 20 to rotate is connected to the server control CPU 80 via the motor driving circuit 55. When the server control CPU 80 outputs motor driving signals to the motor driving circuit 55, the drive motor 34 receives pulse signals from the motor driving circuit 55. According to the pulse signals the drive motor 34 is driven to rotate in a predetermined direction just at a predetermined number of revolutions. This causes the rotatable portion 20 to rotate in a predetermined direction (for example, the anticlockwise direction) by a predetermined angle (for example, 45 degrees) with respect to the central fixed portion 22 and the frame member 21, and thereby allows an arbitrary pocket 23 to position in front of the fixed discharge port 33. In this way, it is possible to rotate the rotatable portion 20 at a predetermined speed for a predetermined time in accordance with the control program for the drive motor 34 stored in the ROM 81.

The solenoid 108 that is the driving means for driving the shutter 32 is connected to the server control CPU 80. At a time of starting the bonus game, the server control CPU 80 supplies power to the solenoid 108 constituting the shutter 32 of the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11, and thereby causes the shutter 32 to move up (see FIG. 7B). Then, after the ball 11 is transferred to the second lottery area 102, the server control CPU 80 stops supplying the power to the solenoid 108, and thereby causes the shutter 32 in the upper position to move down again.

A timer 84 for measuring a time is connected to the server control CPU 80. Time information of the timer 84 is transmitted to the server control CPU 80. According to the time information of the timer 84, the server control CPU 80 controls the opening and closing of the first on-off valve 17 and the second on-off valve 18, and the driving of the drive motor 34.

The electronic display unit 77 (see FIG. 1) is connected to the server control CPU 80. The server control CPU 80 causes light effect with illumination to be produced by controlling the light emission of light emitting means such as LEDs and the like, and causes the display unit 77 to display a certain predetermined phrase and the like. The server control CPU 80 causes the electronic display unit 77, especially, the JP amount display unit 78 to display the JP amount accumulated up to this moment.

Hereinafter, descriptions will be provided for the configuration of the control system of the station 4 connected to the server control CPU 80 of a main controller 83 according to this embodiment on the basis of FIG. 13. FIG. 13 is a block diagram schematically showing the control system of the station 4 according to this embodiment. The 12 stations 4 basically have the same configuration, and the descriptions will be given below by taking one of the stations 4 as an example.

As shown in FIG. 13, the station 4 is configured of a station controller 90 and several peripheral devices/instruments. The station controller 90 is composed of a station control CPU 91, a ROM 92 and a RAM 93. The ROM 92 is composed, for example, of a semiconductor memory or the like, and stores programs for implementing basic functions of the station 4, various types of other programs and a data table needed for controlling the station 4, and the like. The RAM 93 is a memory for temporarily storing various types of data computed by the station control CPU 91, the credit amount currently owned by the player, the chip betting state of the player, and the like.

All of the BET confirmation button 62, the CASHOUT button 63 and the HELP button 64, which are provided to the controller 6 (see FIG. 1), are connected to the station control CPU 91. According to operation signals outputted with the pressing of each of the buttons and the like, the station control CPU 91 controls executions of corresponding various types of operations. Specifically, in response to inputs of operations by the player, the station control CPU 91 executes various types of processing according to input signals supplied from the controller 6, and the data and programs stored in the ROM 92 and the RAM 93, and transmits the processing results to the above-described server control CPU 80 of the main controller 83.

The station control CPU 91 receives command signals from the server control CPU 80, controls the peripheral instruments constituting the station 4, and causes the roulette game to proceed in the station 4. Alternatively, when executing certain types of processing, the station control CPU 91 executes the types of processing according to input signals supplied from the controller 6, and the data and programs stored in the ROM 92 and the RAM 93, in response to inputs of operations by the player. Then, the station control CPU 91 controls the peripheral instruments constituting the station 4 according to the processing results, and causes the roulette game to proceed in the station 4. For each processing step, one of the above two processing methods to be used is selected according to a type of processing. For example, the processing for paying out medals for the winning number falls into the former processing method, and the processing of the betting operation made on the BET screen 61 by the player falls into the latter processing method.

A hopper 94 is connected to the station control CPU 91. The hopper 94 pays out a certain amount of medals from the medal payout opening 8 (see FIG. 1) in response to a command signal from the station control CPU 91.

The image display device 7 is connected to the station control CPU 91 via a liquid crystal driving circuit 95. The liquid crystal driving circuit 95 is composed of a program ROM, an image ROM, an image control CPU, a work RAM, a video display processor (VDP), a video RAM and the like. The program ROM stores a program for controlling images related to the display on the image display device 7, and various types of selection tables. The image ROM stores, for example, dot data used for forming images to be displayed on the image display device 7. The image control CPU determines an image to be displayed on the image display device 7 by selecting one piece of the dot data pre-stored in the program ROM, on the basis of a parameter set by the station control CPU 91, in accordance with the image control program pre-stored in the program ROM. The work RAM is configured as temporal storage means used when the image control CPU executes the image control program. The VDP forms an image depending on a display content determined by the image control CPU, and outputs the formed image to the image display device 7. The video RAM is temporal storage means used when the VDP forms an image.

The touch panel 53 is attached to the front surface of the image display device 7, as described above. Information on an operation of the touch panel 53 is transmitted to the station control CPU 91. On the touch panel 53, the player performs operations for betting chips on the BET screen 61. More precisely, the touch panel 53 is operated in operations such as selecting a BET area and operating the unit BET buttons 66, and the operation information is transmitted to the station control CPU 91. After that, on the basis of the operation information, the current bet information (a BET area specified in the BET screen 61, and the amount of bet chips) of the player is stored as needed in the RAM 93. Furthermore, the bet information is transmitted to the server control CPU 80, and stored in a bet information memory area in the RAM 82.

A sound output circuit 96 and the speaker 9 are connected to the station control CPU 91. The speaker 9 plays various types of sound effects when producing various types of effects according to output signals from the sound output circuit 96.

A medal sensor 97 is connected to the station control CPU 91. The medal sensor 97 detects medals inserted from the medal insertion slot 5 (FIG. 1), calculates the inserted medals, and transmits the calculation result to the station control CPU 91. Thereafter, the station control CPU 91 increase the credit amount of the player stored in the RAM 93, according to the transmitted signal.

By referring to FIG. 14, descriptions will be given for timings of opening and closing the first on-off valve 17 and the second on-off valve 18 as well as driving control of the drive motor 34 in accordance with the control program stored in the ROM 81. FIG. 14 is an explanatory diagram showing the timings of opening and closing the first on-off valve 17 and the second on-off valve 18 as well as the driving control of the drive motor 34.

As shown in FIG. 14, when the base game is started, firstly a betting period when a player bets chips at each station 4 is started. After that, 10 seconds before the completion of the betting period, the position of the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is identified on the basis of the previous winning number and the detection result of the origin sensor 57. Then, the drive motor 34 is rotated at a predetermined first rotation speed until the pocket 23 is positioned in front of the fixed discharge port 33. Thereby, the rotatable portion 20 is rotated around the central fixed portion 22 at a predetermined rotation speed (for example, 4 rpm). Thereafter, 5 seconds before the completion of the betting period, the server control CPU 80 opens the first on-off valve 17 for a predetermined time (2 seconds in this embodiment). Concurrently, the server control CPU 80 also opens the second on-off valve 18, and thereby generates the circular air layer flowing along the bank lane 29 of the roulette wheel 12 (see FIG. 19). Then, the ball 11 rolled in the direction to the bank lane 29 by the air from the fixed discharge port 33 rolls in the clockwise direction along the bank lane 29 by following the air flow. At the same time, the drive motor 34 is driven at a predetermined second rotation speed and at a predetermined third rotation speed respectively for predetermined times, and thereby the rotatable portion 20 is rotated around the central fixed portion 22 at predetermined rotation speeds (for example, 5.005 rpm and 16.683 rpm).

Subsequently, when a predetermined time (20 seconds in this embodiment) passes after the opening of the second on-off valve 18, the server control CPU 80 closes the second on-off valve 18. Thereby, the air having been discharged from the rotation discharge ports 36 is stopped, and the rotation speed of the ball 11 gradually decreases. The circular trajectory of the ball 11 is gradually decreased in size, and the centrifugal force is lost finally. As a result, the ball 11 rolls down on the inclined surface of the slope surface 28, and falls into one of the pockets 23. Meanwhile, the rotation speed of the drive motor 34 is gradually decreased after closing the second on-off valve 18, and thereby the rotation speed of the rotatable portion 20 is lowered. During this time, the winning number is determined by using the ball detection sensor 44, the origin sensor 57, and the rotation sensor 58. Thereafter, medals are paid out according to the determined winning number. Then, in a case where a transition to the bonus game is made after the determination of the winning number, the bonus game is started.

In addition, in a case where the base game is again started subsequently, the betting period of each station 4 is similarly started, and the server control CPU 80 opens the first on-off valve 17 and the second on-off valve 18 10 seconds before the completion of the betting period. In contrast, in a case where the number (only the number bet as the “straight up” in this embodiment) on which the player bets 20 credits or more is determined to be the winning number, the ball 11 is transferred to the second lottery area 102, and then the bonus game is started. Detail descriptions will be provided below for a roulette game processing program for mainly controlling the opening and closing of the first on-off valve 17 and the second on-off valve 18, and the driving of the drive motor 34 by using flowcharts (see FIGS. 15 and 16).

Hereinafter, the game processing program executed by the server 10 of the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment will be described by using FIG. 15. FIG. 15 is a flowchart of the roulette game processing program for the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment. Each of the programs shown in the flowcharts in FIGS. 15 and 16 is stored in the ROM 81 or the RAM 82, and is executed by the server control CPU 80.

Firstly, in step (abbreviated as S, below) 1, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not the player inserts medals or coins. In the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment, when the medals or coins are inserted into any of the stations 4, the medal sensor 97 detects the insertion, and the detection result is transmitted to the station control CPU 91. Subsequently, the station 4 also transmits a medal insertion signal to the main controller 83. By using this signal, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not the player inserts the medals. If no medals or coins are inserted (S1: NO), the server control CPU 80 waits until the insertion thereof. On the other hand, if the medals or coins are inserted (S1: YES), the server control CPU 80 shifts the processing to S2. When the medals or coins are inserted, the data on the credit amount corresponding to the inserted amount is stored in the RAM 93 in the station controller 90.

When the BET screen 61 shown in FIG. 11 is displayed on the image display device 7 of the station 4 that the player uses, the player is enabled to bet chips, and thus the base game is started. Other players can join the base game in the middle thereof, and up to 12 players can play the game with the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment.

Then, when the player who firstly joins the game inserts the medals or coins, the betting period when the player can bet is started (S2). In a case where the current game is successively executed after the last game, the betting period is started without interruption after the completion of the last game. The player joining the game can bet his/her own chips on the BET areas related to the number guessed by himself/herself (see FIG. 11). Since the specific betting method using the BET screen 61 has already described, the explanation is omitted here.

Subsequently, in S3, the server control CPU 80 reads the winning number (any of “1” to “36,” “0” and “00”) in the last base game from in a winning number memory area of the RAM 82. Then, in S4, a determination is made as to whether or not the betting period reaches 10 seconds before the completion. Here, the betting period is displayed on the betting timer graph 69, and the red bar gradually extends to the right after the start of the betting period (S2). Then, when the red bar reaches the rightmost side, the betting period in the current game ends.

If it is determined that the betting period reaches 10 seconds before the completion (S4: YES), the drive motor 34 is rotated at the predetermined first rotation speed, and thereby the rotatable portion 20 is rotated around the central fixed portion 22 at a predetermined rotation speed (for example, 4 rpm) (S5). On the other hand, if it is determined that the betting period does not reach 10 seconds before the completion (S4: NO), the server control CPU 80 waits until the betting period reaches 10 seconds before the completion.

While the rotatable portion 20 is being rotated at the predetermined speed corresponding to the first rotation speed, the rotation sensor 58 detects the rotation of the rotatable portion 20, and concurrently the origin sensor 57 provided to the central fixed portion 22 identifies the relative position of the pocket 23 corresponding to the last winning number obtained in S3, that is, currently accommodating the ball 11, with respect to the fixed discharge port 33. Then, in S6, on the basis of the identified position, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is positioned in front of the fixed discharge port 33 by the rotation of the rotatable portion 20.

As a result, if it is determined that the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is positioned in front of the fixed discharge port 33 (S6: YES), the driving of the drive motor 34 is stopped. On the other hand, if it is determined that the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is not positioned in front of the fixed discharge port 33 (S6: NO), the drive motor 34 continues to be driven.

Here, FIG. 17 is a schematic diagram showing a rotation mode of the rotatable portion 20 of the roulette device 2 in S5 to S7. As shown in FIG. 17, when the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 (the pocket 23 corresponding to the number “2” in FIG. 17) is located in the 27th position from the pocket 23 in front of the fixed discharge port 33 in the clockwise direction, the rotatable portion 20 is rotated by a predetermined angle (equivalent to the 27 pockets in the anticlockwise direction) in the anticlockwise direction (in the arrow direction in FIG. 17). Then, when the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is positioned in front of the fixed discharge port 33, the rotation of the rotatable portion 20 is stopped.

Next, in S8, the server control CPU 80 causes the compressor 14 to start compressing the air by turning on the compressor 14. Then, in S9, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not the betting period reaches 5 seconds before the completion. If it is determined that the betting period has reached 5 seconds before the completion (S9: YES), the first on-off valve 17 and the second on-off valve 18 are opened (S10). If it is determined that the betting period has not reached 5 seconds before the completion (S9: NO), the server control CPU 80 waits until the betting period reaches 5 seconds before the completion.

Here, as described above, the first on-off valve 17 is provided to the air tube 15 conveying the air compressed by the compressor 14 to the fixed discharge port 33, and is capable of adjusting the air pressure of the air passing through the air tube 15. When the first on-off valve 17 is opened, the fixed discharge port 33 starts discharging the compressed air. Thereby, the air pressure is applied to the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23 through the air passing hole 35, and causes the ball 11 to roll to the bank lane 29 against the inclination of the slope surface 28. FIG. 18 is a schematic diagram showing a rolling mode of the ball 11 of the roulette device 2 in S10.

As shown in FIG. 18, when the first on-off valve 17 is opened in the foregoing S10, the air pressure of the air from the fixed discharge port 33 provided to the central fixed portion 22 causes the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23 to roll in the direction to the bank lane 29 (the direction shown by an arrow 72).

Subsequently, in S11, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not the predetermined time (2 seconds in this embodiment) passes after the first on-off valve 17 is opened. Here, the timer 84 connected to the server control CPU 80 measures the passage of time. Then, if the measured value t1 of the time after the first on-off valve 17 is opened is less than 2 seconds (S11: NO), the first on-off valve 17 is kept open.

On the other hand, if the measured value t1 of the time after the first on-off valve 17 is opened is 2 seconds or more (S11: YES), the first on-off valve 17 is closed, and this causes the fixed discharge port 33 to stop discharging the air (S12).

Then, in S13, the server control CPU 80 controls the driving of the drive motor 34 in accordance with the driving control pattern stored in the ROM 81, and thereby rotates the rotatable portion 20 around the central fixed portion 22 at a predetermined rotation speed. Since the rotation pattern of the rotatable portion 20 and the driving control of the drive motor 34 have been described by using FIG. 14, the explanation is omitted here. When the rotatable portion 20 starts rotating, the rotation sensor 58 detects the rotation of the rotatable portion 20, and the origin sensor 57 provided to the central fixed portion 22 always detects the relative position of the pocket in front of the origin sensor 57 with respect to the pocket 23 corresponding to the origin point “0.”

The second on-off valve 18 opened in the foregoing S10 is provided to the air tube 16 conveying the air compressed by the compressor 14 to the rotation discharge ports 36, and is capable of adjusting the air pressure of the air passing through the air tube 16, as described above. When the second on-off valve 18 is opened, the rotation discharge ports 36 start discharging the compressed air. Thereby, the air layer flowing in the clockwise direction along the bank lane 29 is generated. The ball 11 rolled to the bank lane 29 by the air pressure of the air from the fixed discharge port 33 starts rolling along the circular trajectory by following the air pressure of the discharged air. FIG. 19 is a schematic diagram showing the rolling mode of the ball 11 of the roulette device 2 in S13 to S17.

As shown in FIG. 19, when the second on-off valve 18 is opened in the foregoing S10, the air discharged from the rotation discharge ports 36 all provided to the bank lane 29 generates the air flow in the clockwise direction along the bank lane 29 (in the direction shown by arrows 73) on the roulette wheel 12. Then, the ball 11 rolled in the direction to the bank lane 29 by the air pressure of the air from the fixed discharge port 33 changes its rolling direction to the circumferential direction of the roulette wheel 12 (see an arrow 74) by following the air pressure. Further, the ball 11 to which the air pressure from the rotation discharge ports 36 is applied gradually rolls out to the outer rim of the roulette wheel 12 due to the centrifugal force, and finally starts rolling along the bank lane 29 (see an arrow 75). Here, the bank lane 29 guides the ball 11 against the centrifugal force applied to the ball 11 rolling on the roulette wheel 12, and thereby causes the ball 11 to roll along the circular trajectory. Moreover, since the wall portion 31 is formed continuously to the bank lane 29 on the upper end of the outer rim of the roulette wheel 12, the ball 11 moving around the bank lane 29 never jumps up over the roulette wheel 12. The rotatable portion 20 rotates around the central fixed portion 22 in the anticlockwise direction in accordance with the rolling pattern shown in FIG. 14.

Next, in S14, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not the betting period has ended. Then, if the betting period has not ended (S14: NO), the server control CPU 80 continues to accept the betting operation. If the betting period has already ended (S14: YES), the server control CPU 80 outputs a betting period end signal to the station controller 90 of each of the stations 4, causes the liquid crystal display of each of the stations 4 to display an image indicating that the betting period has ended, and finishes accepting the betting operation using the touch panel 53. Then, the server control CPU 80 receives the bet information (specified BET area, and the number of chips bet on the specified BET area) on bets made by a player at each station 4 (S15), and stores the bet information in the bet information memory area in the RAM 82.

Subsequently, in S16, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not the predetermined time (20 seconds in this embodiment) has already passes after the second on-off valve 18 is opened. Here, the timer 84 connected to the server control CPU 80 measures the passage of time. If a measured value t2 of the time after the second on-off valve 18 is opened is less than 20 seconds (S16: NO), the second on-off valve 18 is kept open.

On the other hands, if the measured value t2 of the time after the second on-off valve 18 is equal to or more than 20 seconds (S16: YES), the server control CPU 80 shifts the processing to S17.

In S17, the server control CPU 80 closes the second on-off valve 18, and causes the rotation discharge ports 36 to stop discharging the air. Moreover, in S18, the server control CPU 80 powers off the compressor 14, and thereby causes the compressor 14 to stop compressing the air.

By causing the rotation discharge ports 36 to stop discharging the air, the ball 11 rolling along the bank lane 29 becomes free from the air pressure from the rotation discharge ports 36. As a result, the rotation speed of the ball 11 gradually decreases, and thereby the centrifugal force also reduces. Then, finally, the ball 11 rolls down on the slope surface 28 toward the inner side of the roulette wheel 12, and reaches the currently rotating rotatable portion 20. FIG. 20 is a schematic diagram showing the rolling mode of the ball. 11 of the roulette device 2 in S17.

As shown in FIG. 20, when the second on-off valve 18 is closed in the foregoing S17, the air having been discharged from the rotation discharge ports 36 all provided to the bank lane 29 is stopped, and the ball 11 free from the air pressure gradually loses its rotation speed. Since the centrifugal force applied to the ball 11 also reduces together with the rotation speed, the ball 11 keeps rolling along circular trajectory on the slope surface 28, while gradually moving inwardly. Finally, the ball 11 rolls down on the slope surface 28 to move to the inner side, and reaches the rotatable portion 20 currently rotating (see an arrow 76).

Then, the ball 11 rolling to the rotatable portion 20 passes over the number display plates 24 on the outer side of the currently-rotating rotatable portion 20, and then falls into any one of the pockets 23. The winning number is the number written on the number display plate 24 corresponding to the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 (any of “0,” “00,” and “1” to “36”).

Subsequently, in S19, the rotation speed of the drive motor 34 is gradually decreased, and the ball detection sensor 44 detects the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23. Then, the number corresponding to the pocket 23 accommodating the detected ball 11 (any of “0, ” “00,” and “1” to “36”), that is, the winning number is identified according to the detection result of the origin sensor 57 obtained at a timing when the ball detection sensor 44 detects the ball 11.

In addition, the server control CPU 80 stops driving the drive motor 34 (S20), and determines whether or not chips bet by using each of the stations 4 win, according to the bet information of each of the stations 4 received in the foregoing S15 and the winning number determined in S19 (S21).

As such, according to the winning determination result in the foregoing S21, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not chips bet by using at least one of the stations 4 win (S22). If it is determined that the chips win (S22: YES), the server control CPU 80 executes payout calculation processing (S23). In the payout calculation processing, the server control CPU 80 recognizes the winning chips for each of the stations 4, and calculates a total payout amount of credits to be paid out to each of the stations 4, by using the odds (the credit amounts to be paid per chip) for each BET area stored in the payout credit memory area of the ROM 81. After that, the server control CPU 80 shifts the processing to S24.

On the other hand, if it is determined that there in no winning chip for all the stations 4 (S22: NO), the server control CPU 80 shifts the processing to S27.

In S24, according to the winning determination result in the foregoing S21, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not each of the numbers (only the number bet as the “straight up” in this embodiment) on which the players bet 20 credits or more is determined to be the winning number. Then, if it is determined that the number on which any of the players bets 20 credits or more is the winning number (S24: YES), the server control CPU 80 executes bonus game processing (FIG. 16), which will be described later. Here, in the bonus game processing, the ball 11 is transferred from the first lottery area 101 to the second lottery area 102, and then a lottery is held by using the second lottery area 102, as described later.

On the other hand, if it is determined that the number on which the player bets only less than 20 credits is the winning number (S24: NO), the server control CPU 80 shifts the processing to S26.

In S26, the server control CPU 80 executes credit payout processing according to the result of the payout calculation processing in the foregoing S23. When the credits are paid out to the stations 4, the main controller 83 outputs credit data equivalent to the payout amount of the base game and the bonus game, to the station controller 90 of each of the winning stations 4. Then, the credit data is added to the credit amount in the RAM 93 of each of the winning stations 4.

In S27, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not at least one of the stations 4 continues to play the game. Usually, the player presses the CASHOUT button 63 when he/she finishes playing the game. When the CASHOUT button 63 is pressed, medals are paid out from the medal payout opening 8 by the hopper 94, and the paid-out amount of medals is equivalent to the credit amount obtained in the base game and the bonus game and currently owned by the player (usually, 1 medal per credit).

If the game continues to be played at any of the stations 4 (S27: NO), the server control CPU 80 returns the processing to S2, again starts the betting period, and thus makes a transfer to the next base game.

On the other hand, if the game is finished at all the stations 4 (S27: YES), the server control CPU 80 terminates the roulette game processing.

Hereinafter, the bonus game processing in the foregoing S25, which is sub-processing, will be described. FIG. 16 is a sub-flowchart showing the sub-processing of the bonus game processing executed by the server control CPU 80 of the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment.

Firstly, in S31 of the bonus game processing, the server control CPU 80 moves the shutter 32 of the pocket 23 corresponding to the number determined as the winning number in the foregoing S21 (i.e., the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11). Specifically, the server control CPU 80 supplies power to the solenoid 108 constituting the shutter 32 provided to the corresponding pocket 23, and moves the shutter 32 up (see FIG. 7B).

Then, in S32, the server control CPU 80 causes the drive motor 34 to be driven, and the rotatable portion 20 to rotate around the central fixed portion 22 at a predetermined rotation speed (for example, 4 rpm). After that, in S33, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is positioned in front of the fixed discharge port 33 with the rotation of the rotatable portion 20.

As a result, if it is determined that the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is positioned in front of the fixed discharge port 33 (S33: YES), the server control CPU 80 stops driving the drive motor 34 (S34). In contrast, if it is determined that the pocket 23 accommodating the ball 11 is not positioned in front of the fixed discharge port 33 (S33: NO), the server control CPU 80 continues to drive the drive motor 34.

Next, in S35, the server control CPU 80 causes the compressor 14 to start compressing the air by turning on the compressor 14, and opens the first on-off valve 17(S36).

Here, as described above, the first on-off valve 17 is provided to the air tube 15 conveying the air compressed by the compressor 14 to the fixed discharge port 33, and is capable of adjusting the air pressure of the air passing through the air tube 15. When the first on-off valve 17 is opened, the fixed discharge port 33 starts discharging the compressed air. Thereby, through the air passing hole 35, the air pressure is applied to the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23, and causes the ball 11 to roll toward the bank lane 29 against the inclination of the slope surface 28. Then, the ball 11 comes into contact with the shutter 32, and changes the moving direction to an upward direction along the curved surface 107A of the shutter 32. In this way, the ball 11 is launched out to the second lottery area 102 (see FIG. 7B). FIG. 21 is a schematic diagram of a transferring mode of the ball 11 to the second lottery area 102 of the roulette device 2 in S36.

As shown in FIG. 21, when the first on-off valve 17 is opened in the foregoing S36, the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23 is transferred from the first lottery area 101 to the second lottery area 102 (see an arrow 79) with the shutter 32 and the air pressure from the fixed discharge port 33 provided to the central fixed portion 22. In this way, a lottery using the second lottery area 2 is started.

Subsequently, in S37, the server control CPU 80 determines whether or not the predetermined time (2 seconds in this embodiment) passes after the first on-off valve 17 is opened. Here, the timer 84 connected to the server control CPU 80 measures the passage of time. Then, if the measured value t1 of the time after the first on-off valve 17 is opened is less than 2 seconds (S37: NO), the first on-off valve 17 is kept open.

On the other hand, if the measured value t1 of the time after the first on-off valve 17 is opened is equal to or more than 2 seconds (S37: YES), the first on-off valve 17 is closed, and thereby the fixed discharge port 33 is caused to stop discharging the air (S38). Moreover, in S39, the compressor 14 is turned off, and thereby stops compressing the air.

After that, in S40, the shutter 32 moved up in the foregoing S31 is lowered. Then, in S41, by using a sensor and the like, the server control CPU 80 determines which of the special pockets 104 formed on the second lottery area 102 accommodates the ball 11 transferred to the second lottery area 102.

When the ball 11 is accommodated in the special pocket 104 having the “JP” payout display plate 106 formed thereon, the credits equivalent to the accumulated JP amount are paid out to a player who bets 20 credits or more, in addition to the payout for the base game in S26. When the ball 11 is accommodated in the special pocket 104 having the “Χ2” payout display plate 106 formed thereon, the number of credits to be paid out in S26 becomes twice the number of credits to be paid for the immediately previous base game to the player who bets 20 credits or more. In addition, when the ball 11 is accommodated in the special pocket 104 having the “Χ3” payout display plate 106 formed thereon, the number of credits to be paid out in S26 becomes three times the number of credits to be paid for the immediately previous base game to the player who bets 20 credits or more. Moreover, when the ball 11 is accommodated in the special pocket 104 having the “+500” payout display plate 106 formed thereon, 500 credits are paid out to the player who bets 20 credits or more, in addition to the payout for the immediately previous base game in S26. Then, when the ball 11 is accommodated in the special pockets 104 other than the above four, the bonus game is lost, so that only the payout for the base game is paid out in S26.

In the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment, in a case where the number on which a player bets 20 credits or more at each of the stations 4 wins (S24: YES) in the base game using the first lottery area 101, the shutter 32 is moved up (S31), the ball 11 is transferred from the first lottery area 101 to the second lottery area 102, and then, the bonus game using the second lottery area 102 is started, as described above. As a result, when transferring the ball 11 to the second lottery area 102, the roulette gaming machine 1 can produce a large change in the movement of the ball 11. Accordingly, the roulette gaming machine 1 can visually give a player a great sense of success in transition to a lottery in the second lottery area 102, and can further enhance a sense of expectation of the player for a lottery result in the second lottery area 102.

Moreover, the roulette gaming machine 1 further enhances the sense of expectation of the player for the bonus game, since a transition to the bonus game is made when the player obtains a large amount of payout in the game using the first lottery area 101 according to a bet content inputted by the player through the operation using the BET screen 61, and a lottery result in the first lottery area. In this way, it is possible to provide a variety of games not making a player tired or bored even when the player plays the games for a long time.

In addition, the ball 11 is transferred to the second lottery area 102 by using the fixed discharge port 33, which is used for launching the ball 11, and the shutter 32, which is supported at the first lottery area 101 so as to be movable up and down. For this reason, the ball 11 can be transferred without modifying the configuration of the roulette wheel 12 greatly from a conventional one.

According to the embodiment of the present invention, the ball accommodated in one of the pockets is launched up in the predetermined direction, and thus transferred to the second lottery area. Then, the privilege is provided to the player according to the special pocket accommodating the ball in the second lottery area. In this way, it is possible to produces the great dynamism of the movement of the ball when transferring the ball to the second lottery area. Accordingly, the roulette gaming machine can visually give a player a great sense of success in transition to a lottery in a second lottery area, and further can enhance a sense of expectation of the player for a lottery result in the second lottery area.

A roulette gaming machine according to the present invention may include a ball transfer unit (for example, the shutter 32) that transfers a ball, which is launched by a ball launching unit, from a first lottery area to a secondary lottery area.

According to this configuration, the launched ball is transferred from the first lottery area to the second lottery area, and the special privilege is provided to the player according to the special pocket accommodating the ball transferred to the second lottery area. As a result, this configuration makes it possible to produce a large change in the movement of the ball when the ball is transferred to the second lottery area, and to give a player a greater sense of expectation for a lottery result of the second lottery area.

Moreover, the ball transfer unit (for example, the shutter 32) may be supported at the first lottery area (for example, the first lottery area 101) so as to be movable up and down, and may be include a moving direction change unit (for example, the inclined wall 107) that changes the moving direction of the ball launched by the ball launching unit, to the direction to the second lottery area (for example, the second lottery area 102).

With this configuration, the roulette gaming machine includes the moving direction change unit that is supported at the first lottery area (for example, the first lottery area 101) so as to be movable up and down, and that changes the moving direction of the ball launched from the pocket. Thus, it becomes possible to transfer the ball without greatly modifying the configuration of the roulette wheel from the conventional one.

It is a matter of course that the present invention is not limited to the foregoing embodiment, and can be modified and altered in various ways without departing from the sprit of the present invention.

For example, this embodiment employs the means for transferring the ball 11 from the first lottery area 101 to the second lottery area 102, by firstly moving up the shutter 32, and then by launching the ball 11 accommodated in the pocket 23 to second lottery area 102 with the air pressure from the fixed discharge port 33. However, a movable shutter may be provided between the first and second lottery areas 101 and 102 as a partition between these areas, and the ball 11 in the first lottery area 101 may be transferred to the second lottery area 102 by moving down the movable shutter, for example.

Moreover, although the solenoid 108 is used as the driving means for moving the shutter 32 in this embodiment, a stepping motor, for example, maybe used for moving the shutter 32, instead of the solenoid 108.

Furthermore, although a transition to the bonus game is made when the number on which a player bets 20 credits or more as the “straight up” wins, the transition to the bonus game may be made when the number on which the player bet 20 credits or more by using another betting method such as the “split bet” or the “street bet.”

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment is therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8075380Apr 29, 2008Dec 13, 2011Universal Entertainment CorporationRoulette apparatus and roulette gaming machine
US8152170Apr 29, 2008Apr 10, 2012Universal Entertainment CorporationRoulette apparatus and roulette gaming machine
US8292721 *Jul 14, 2011Oct 23, 2012Kyoraku Industrial Co., Ltd.Game machine
US8506381Nov 16, 2009Aug 13, 2013Konami Gaming, IncorporatedGaming machine
WO2011060070A1 *Nov 10, 2010May 19, 2011Konami Gaming, IncorporatedGaming machine
WO2014035417A1 *Aug 31, 2012Mar 6, 2014Konami Gaming, IncorporatedGame machine, game control method, and computer program
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/17
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2009/2442, G07F17/3244, G07F17/3202, G07F17/3267, A63F9/0079, A63F5/0005, G07F17/32, A63F2007/301, A63F2009/0087
European ClassificationG07F17/32K, G07F17/32C, G07F17/32M4, A63F5/00A, A63F9/00N, G07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 14, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: ARUZE CORP., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:YOSHIZAWA, KAZUMASA;REEL/FRAME:019367/0295
Effective date: 20070427