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Publication numberUS20080176626 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/927,278
Publication dateJul 24, 2008
Filing dateOct 29, 2007
Priority dateJan 22, 2007
Publication number11927278, 927278, US 2008/0176626 A1, US 2008/176626 A1, US 20080176626 A1, US 20080176626A1, US 2008176626 A1, US 2008176626A1, US-A1-20080176626, US-A1-2008176626, US2008/0176626A1, US2008/176626A1, US20080176626 A1, US20080176626A1, US2008176626 A1, US2008176626A1
InventorsKazuo Okada
Original AssigneeAruze Gaming America, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming Machine For Multiple Participants And Control Method Thereof
US 20080176626 A1
Abstract
In a gaming machine and its control method, a player playing at each client terminal can participate in arbitrary game among a plurality of games, and a betting for at least one game among a plurality of games always becomes possible, so that it becomes possible for a player to participate in a game without waiting for a long time. In addition, when there is a game which has a low popularity among players such as one in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games consecutively, it is changed to another game, so that it is possible to make more players entertained.
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Claims(18)
1. A gaming machine comprising:
a plurality of game execution devices configured to execute games;
a game controller operable to control games to be executed by the game execution devices, and change games to be executed by the game execution devices according to an external signal;
a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network, operable to transmit/receive information regarding games to/from the game controller, and set a betting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, it is in a betting accepting period of at least one other game different from the one game; and
a plurality of client terminals connected with the relay controller, and configured to enable participation of a player in a selected game among games to be executed by the game execution devices and enable acceptance of bets for a game in which the player participates during the betting accepting period set by the relay controller, each client terminal having a display device configured to notify a game in which the player is participating.
2. The gaming machine of claim 1, wherein the external signal is an input operation signal by a manager, and
the game controller changes games to be executed by the game execution devices when the input operation signal is inputted.
3. The gaming machine of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of client terminals has a display configured to notify to players those games for which bets can be made among games to be executed by the game execution devices.
4. A gaming machine comprising:
a plurality of game execution devices configured to execute games;
a game controller operable to control games to be executed by the game execution devices, and change games to be executed by the game execution devices according to an external signal;
a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network, operable to transmit/receive information regarding games to/from the game controller, and set a betting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, a betting accepting period of any other game different from the one game is started; and
a plurality of client terminals connected with the relay controller, and configured to enable participation of a player in a selected game among games to be executed by the game execution devices and enable acceptance of bets for a game in which the player participates during the betting accepting period set by the relay controller, each client terminal having a display device configured to notify a game in which the player is participating.
5. The gaming machine of claim 4, wherein the external signal is an input operation signal by a manager, and the game controller changes games to be executed by the game execution devices when the input operation signal is inputted.
6. The gaming machine of claim 4, wherein each of the plurality of client terminals has a display configured to notify to players those games for which bets can be made among games to be executed by the game execution devices.
7. A gaming machine comprising:
a plurality of game execution devices configured to execute games;
a game controller operable to control games to be executed by the game execution devices, and, when there is a game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games, change the game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games to another game;
a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network, operable to transmit/receive information regarding games to/from the game controller, and set a betting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, it is in a betting accepting period of at least one other game different from the one game; and
a plurality of client terminals connected with the relay controller, and configured to enable participation of a player in a selected game among games to be executed by the game execution devices and enable acceptance of bets for a game in which the player participates during the betting accepting period set by the relay controller, each client terminal having a display device configured to notify a game in which the player is participating.
8. The gaming machine of claim 7, wherein each of the plurality of client terminals has a display configured to notify to players those games for which bets can be made among games to be executed by the game execution devices.
9. The gaming machine of 7, wherein the game controller, when there is a game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games consecutively, changes the game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games consecutively to another game.
10. A method for controlling a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of:
executing respectively different games by a plurality of game execution devices under a control of a game controller;
changing games to be executed by the game execution devices to other games, by the game controller upon receiving an external signal;
setting a betting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, it is in a betting accepting period of at least one other game different from the one game, by a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network;
enabling participation of a player in any one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices as the player bets credits during the betting accepting period that is set, by a client terminal connected with the relay controller; and
notifying a game in which the player is participating at the client terminal, by a display device.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein the external signal is an input operation signal by a manager, and the control method further comprises the step of changing games to be executed by the game execution devices to other games, according to the input operation signal, by the game controller.
12. The method of claim 10, further comprising the step of notifying to players those games for which bets can be made among games to be executed by the game execution devices, by the client terminal.
13. A method for controlling a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of:
executing respectively different games by a plurality of game execution devices under a control of a game controller;
changing games to be executed by the game execution devices to other games, by the game controller upon receiving an external signal;
setting a betting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, a betting accepting period of any other game different from the one game is started, by a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network;
enabling participation of a player in any one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices as the player bets credits during a betting accepting period that is set, by a client terminal connected with the relay controller; and
notifying a game in which the player is participating at the client terminal, by a display device.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the external signal is an input operation signal by a manager, and the control method further comprises the step of changing games to be executed by the game execution devices to other games, according to the input operation signal, by the game controller.
15. The method of claim 13, further comprising the step of notifying to players those games for which bets can be made among games to be executed by the game execution devices, by the client terminal.
16. A method for controlling a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of:
executing respectively different games by a plurality of game execution devices under a control of a game controller;
when there is a game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games, changing the game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games to another game, by using the game controller;
setting a betting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, it is in a betting accepting period of at least one other game different from the one game, by a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network;
enabling participation of a player in any one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices as the player bets credits during a betting accepting period that is set, by a client terminal connected with the relay controller; and
notifying a game in which the player is participating at the client terminal, by a display device.
17. The method of claim 16, further comprising the step of notifying to players those games for which bets can be made among games to be executed by the game execution devices, by the client terminal.
18. The method of claim 16, further comprising the step of, when there is a game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games consecutively, changing the game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games consecutively to another game, by the game controller.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to co-pending U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/881,484 filed on Jan. 22, 2007, and which is incorporated by reference herein for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a gaming machine for playing a game by using gaming media such as coins, bills, etc., and a control method of a gaming machine.

2. Description of the Related Art

Conventionally, a gaming machine for executing a game which has a plurality of game execution devices and in which a plurality of players make bets of credits from client terminals has been known. In US2005/0059474A1, US2005/0282618A1, and US2005/0218590A1, a gaming machine in which a plurality of client terminals, a central controller and a common display unit are connected has been disclosed.

In such a conventional gaming machine, there are cases where the players cannot participate in a middle of the game. Also, there are cases where an unpopular game with few participants is continued to be executed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The first aspect of the present invention is a gaming machine comprising: a plurality of game execution devices configured to execute games; a game controller operable to control games to be executed by the game execution devices, and change games to be executed by the game execution devices according to an external signal; a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network, operable to transmit/receive information regarding games to/from the game controller, and set a betting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, it is in a betting accepting period of at least one other game different from the one game; and a plurality of client terminals connected with the relay controller, and configured to enable participation of a player in a selected game among games to be executed by the game execution devices and enable acceptance of bets for a game in which the player participates during the betting accepting period set by the relay controller, each client terminal having a display device configured to notify a game in which the player is participating.

The second aspect of the present invention is a gaming machine comprising: a plurality of game execution devices configured to execute games; a game controller operable to control games to be executed by the game execution devices, and change games to be executed by the game execution devices according to an external signal; a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network, operable to transmit/receive information regarding games to/from the game controller, and set a betting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, a betting accepting period of any other game different from the one game is started; and a plurality of client terminals connected with the relay controller, and configured to enable participation of a player in a selected game among games to be executed by the game execution devices and enable acceptance of bets for a game in which the player participates during the betting accepting period set by the relay controller, each client terminal having a display device configured to notify a game in which the player is participating.

The third aspect of the present invention is a gaming machine comprising: a plurality of game execution devices configured to execute games; a game controller operable to control games to be executed by the game execution devices, and, when there is a game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games, change the game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games to another game; a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network, operable to transmit/receive information regarding games to/from the game controller, and set a betting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, it is in a betting accepting period of at least one other game different from the one game; and a plurality of client terminals connected with the relay controller, for enabling participation of a player in a selected game among games to be executed by the game execution devices and enabling acceptance of bets for a game in which the player participates during the betting accepting period set by the relay controller, each client terminal having a display device configured to notify a game in which the player is participating.

The fourth aspect of the present invention is a method for controlling a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of: executing respectively different games by a plurality of game execution devices under a control of a game controller; changing games to be executed by the game execution devices to other games, by using the game controller upon receiving an external signal; setting a betting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, it is in a betting accepting period of at least one other game different from the one game, by using a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network; enabling participation of a player in any one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices as the player bets credits during a betting accepting period that is set, by using a client terminal connected with the relay controller; and notifying a game in which the player is participating at the client terminal, by using a display device.

The fifth aspect of the present invention is a method for controlling a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of: executing respectively different games by a plurality of game execution devices under a control of a game controller; changing games to be executed by the game execution devices to other games, by using the game controller upon receiving an external signal; setting a betting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, a betting accepting period of any other game different from the one game is started, by using a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network; enabling participation of a player in any one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices as the player bets credits during the betting accepting period that is set, by using a client terminal connected with the relay controller; and notifying a game in which the player is participating at the client terminal, by using a display device.

The sixth aspect of the present invention is a method for controlling a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of: executing respectively different games by a plurality of game execution devices under a control of a game controller; when there is a game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games, changing the game in which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games to another game, by using the game controller; setting abetting accepting period of each game such that, when a betting accepting period of one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices is ended, it is in a betting accepting period of at least one other game different from the one game, by using a relay controller connected with the game controller through a network; enabling participation of a player in any one game among games to be executed by the game execution devices as the player bets credits during a betting accepting period that is set, by using a client terminal connected with the relay controller; and notifying a game in which the player is participating at the client terminal, by using a display device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a flow chart schematically showing a processing procedure of a control method of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a flow chart schematically showing a game change processing procedure of a control method of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a diagram showing an outward appearance of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a diagram showing an outward appearance of a client terminal of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a diagram showing a network configuration of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a diagram showing an outward appearance of a roulette device to be executed by a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a roulette controller of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a roulette device of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a first game controller of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a second game controller of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a relay controller of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a client terminal of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a first partial diagram of a sequence chart showing a processing procedure of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 14 is a second partial diagram of a sequence chart showing a processing procedure of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a flow chart showing a game change processing determination procedure to be executed by a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 16 is a flow chart showing a game change processing procedure to be executed by a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 17 is an explanatory diagram showing a betting accepting period to be set in a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 18 is an explanatory diagram showing an example of a game selection screen displayed at a client terminal of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 19 is an explanatory diagram showing an example of a betting acceptance screen for a slot game A displayed at a client terminal of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 20 is an explanatory diagram showing an example of a betting acceptance screen for a horse racing game displayed at a client terminal of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 21 is an explanatory diagram showing an example of a betting acceptance screen for a roulette game displayed at a client terminal of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 22 is a diagram showing an exemplary display of a slot game A displayed at a first display of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 23 is a diagram showing an exemplary display of a horse racing game displayed at a second display of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 24 is a diagram showing an exemplary display during a game change of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AN EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 is a flow chart schematically showing a control method of a gaming machine according to the present invention, FIG. 2 is a flow chart schematically showing a game change processing of a gaming machine according to the present invention, and FIG. 3 is a diagram showing an outward appearance of a gaming machine according to the present invention, and in the following, the outline of the present invention will be described with references to FIG. 1, FIG. 2 and FIG. 3.

First, the game controllers 18, 19 and 20 that are provided in plurality (see FIG. 5) execute games set at that point (step S11). For example, the three game controllers 18, 19 and 20 execute a slot game, a horse racing game, and a roulette game, respectively.

Next, a relay controller 17 which is connected with the game controllers 18, 19 and 20 through a network 16 sets respective betting accepting periods for games executed by the game controllers 18, 19 and 20 (step S12). Namely, each game is operated to proceed such that a betting accepting period for a player to bet credits by entering coins or the like and a game execution period for executing a game will be repeated, and the relay controller 17 sets the betting accepting periods of games such that they are dispersed.

After that, a game selection operation by the player is accepted at each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) (step S13). Then, at each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i), the betting acceptance processing is carried out according to the betting accepting period set by the relay controller 17 with respect to the selected game.

Then, at each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i), after the credits are bet, the game is executed and whether a payout is generated as a result of this game or not is judged (step S15). When the payout is generated as a result, at each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i), the payout amount is calculated and the credits are paid (step S16). In this way, the games are executed by the game controllers 18, 19 and 20.

Next, with reference to a flow chart shown in FIG. 2, the processing procedure of the game change processing at the first game controller 19 and the second game controller 20 will be described. Here, an exemplary case of the first game controller 19 will be described. The game change processing is not carried out for the roulette controller.

First, the first game controller 19 accepts an input of an external signal regarding the game change (step S21).

Next, the first game controller 19 judges whether the game program is to be changed or not according to the inputted external signal (step S22), and when the game program is to be changed, the game program currently executed by the first game controller 19 is changed to another game program (step S23). Then, the first game controller 19 will execute newly programmed another game starting from a next time.

Here, the external signal to be inputted into the game controller can be a game change operation signal due to a manual operation by a manager, or a game change command signal to be inputted when there is no bet by the player for a prescribed number of times (10 times, for example) consecutively at the first game controller 19, for example. By executing such a game change processing, a game that has a low popularity among players can be changed to another game, and it is possible to execute a game such that more players can enjoy it.

Next, a detailed configuration of the gaming machine according to the present embodiment will be described. FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a configuration of a gaming machine according to the present embodiment. As shown in the same figure, the gaming machine 10 has two mutually neighboring displays (data execution devices) including a first display 11 and a second display 12, a roulette device 13 for executing the roulette game, a plurality (nine in the figure) of client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i) which as a whole are arranged in a fan shape that encloses the displays 11 and 12 and the roulette device 13, and a host server 15 which carries out a control for executing various types of games at the displays 11 and 12 and the roulette device 13.

The host server 15 has the first game controller 19 (see FIG. 9) and the second game controller 20 (see FIG. 10) which are operable to execute various types of games such as a slot game and a horse racing game at the first display 11 and the second display 12, and the roulette controller 18 (see FIG. 7) which is operable to execute the roulette game at the roulette device 13.

Then, at each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i), the player can play by participating in any one among the first game executed at the first display 11, the second game executed at the second display 12, and the roulette game executed at the roulette game 13. The games respectively executed by the first game controller 19 and the second game controller 20 can be changed by the external signal. Details will be described below.

FIG. 4 is a diagram showing an outward appearance of the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) according to the present embodiment. In FIG. 4, each of the client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i) is shown as a client terminal 14. As shown in FIG. 14, the client terminal 14 has a display 21 for displaying various types of images, a game selection button 22 for selecting one game among three games, a bet button 23 for betting one credit, a MAX bet button 24 for betting the maximum amount of credits, a credit amount display device 25 for displaying the current amount of credits, a bet amount display device 26 for displaying the amount that is bet, and a payout button 27.

It also has a coin insertion slot 29 for inserting coins, a ticket printer 28 for printing out data regarding a play such as the payout amount, a bill insertion slot 30 for inserting bills, and three selected game indication lamps 31 (31 a to 31 c).

The selected game indication lamps 31 (31 a to 31 c) are lamps for indicating a game in which a player of this client terminal 14 is currently participating, such that an indication lamp 31 a is turned on in the case of participating in the first game displayed and executed at the first display 11, an indication lamp 31 b is turned on in the case of participating in the second game displayed and executed at the second display 12, and an indication lamp 31 c is turned on in the case of participating in the roulette game, for example. The indication lamps 31 (31 a to 31 c) are turned on with respectively different colors.

On a lower side of the client terminal 14, a payout opening 32 for paying coins is provided, and in addition, on a lower side of this payout opening 32, an undertray 33 for accumulating paid coins is provided.

FIG. 5 is a diagram showing a network connection of the gaming machine according to the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 5, the host server 15 is connected to the relay controller 17 through the network 16, and the relay controller 17 is connected with the client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i). The client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i) and the host server 15 are capable of transmitting/receiving data through the network 16.

The host server 15 has the first game controller 19, the second game controller 20, and the roulette controller 18. In addition, the host server 15 is connected with the first display 11, the second display 12, and the roulette device 13.

FIG. 6 is an explanatory diagram showing an outward appearance of the roulette device 13. As shown in FIG. 6, the roulette device 13 has a frame body 41 fixed to a casing of the roulette device 13, and a roulette wheel 42 which is accommodated and supported to be rotatable inside the frame body 41. On an upper surface of the roulette wheel 42, a plurality (38 in total in the present embodiment) of number pockets 43 in concave shape are formed. On an upper surface of the roulette wheel 42 in an outward direction of the number pockets 43, number display plates 45 for displaying numbers “0”, “00”, “1” to “36” in correspondence to the respective number pockets 43 are formed.

Inside the frame body 41, a ball entering hole 50 is formed. The ball entering hole 50 is connected to a ball entering device 64 (see FIG. 8), and in conjunction with the activation of the ball entering device 64, a ball 47 will be entered onto the roulette wheel 42 from the ball entering hole 50. The roulette device 13 as a whole has its upper side covered by a hemispherical transparent acrylic cover member 58 (see FIG. 3).

On a lower side of the roulette wheel 42, a wheel driving motor 66 (see FIG. 8) is provided, and in conjunction with the activation of the wheel driving motor 66, the roulette wheel 42 will be rotated.

On a lower side of the roulette wheel 42, metal plates (not shown) are attached at prescribed intervals, and as a proximity sensor provided in a pocket position detection circuit 67 (see FIG. 8) detects this metal plate, a position of the number pocket 43 is detected.

The frame body 41 is gently inclined toward an inner side, and a guide wall 49 is formed on its middle section. The guide wall 49 is for rolling the entered ball 47 by guiding it against the centrifugal force. The entered ball 47 rolls down the slope of the frame body 41 toward the inner side as the rotational speed decreases and the centrifugal force becomes weaker, and reaches to the rotating roulette wheel 42. Then, the ball that rolled onto the roulette wheel 42 further falls into one of the number pockets 43 by passing over the number display plates 45 on an outer side of the rotating roulette wheel 42. As a result, the number written on the number display plate 45 corresponding to the number pocket 43 into which the ball fell is judged by a ball sensor 65, and it will become a winning number.

Next, a configuration of each game controller provided in the host server 15 will be described. FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing an internal configuration of the roulette controller (game controller) 18 provided inside the host server 15. As shown in FIG. 7, the roulette controller 18 is connected with a communication I/F 53 for transmitting/receiving data to/from the client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i) through the network 16, and the roulette device (game execution device) 13 (see FIG. 8) at which the game will be executed under the control of the roulette controller 18.

The roulette controller 18 has a CPU 52 for carrying out an overall control of the roulette controller 18, a ROM 54 for storing a system program, a RAM 55 for temporarily storing data, a timer 56, and a keyboard 57.

The CPU 52 carries out various processings according to input signals supplied from each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i), and data and programs stored in the ROM 54 and the RAM 55, and transmits command signals to the relay controller 17 according to the processing results, so as to control each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) connected to the relay controller 17 by its initiative. Also, the CPU 52 transmits control signals to the roulette device 13, to control the shooting of the ball 47 and the rotation of the roulette wheel 42.

The ROM 54 is formed by a semiconductor memory or the like, for example, and stores programs for realizing basic functions of the roulette device 13, programs for carrying out the notification of the maintenance timing, the setting and the management of the notification conditions to be notified, etc., the payout rates with respect to the roulette game (the payout amount of credits with respect to the win per one coin), programs for controlling each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) by its initiative, etc.

The RAM 55 temporarily stores the credit betting information supplied from each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i), the winning number of the roulette device 13 judged by the pocket position detection circuit 67 (see FIG. 8), the amount of JP accumulated until now, data regarding the result of the processing executed by the CPU 52, etc.

The timer 56 for measuring time is connected to the CPU 52. The time information of the timer 56 is transmitted to the CPU 52, and the CPU 52 carries out the control of the rotation operation of the roulette wheel 42 and the shooting of the ball 47 as will be described below according to the time information of the timer 56. The CPU 52 realizes effects using the electric decoration by controlling the light emission by LED and the like with respect to the electric light display unit 51, and displays prescribed letters or the like on the electric light display unit 15.

FIG. 8 is a block diagram showing an internal configuration of the roulette device 13 according to the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 8, the roulette device 13 has a control unit 69, a ball entering device 64, a ball sensor 65, a wheel driving motor 66, a pocket position detection circuit 67, and a ball collecting device 68.

The control unit 69 has a CPU 61, a ROM 62, and a RAM 63. The CPU 61 controls the shooting of the ball 47 and the rotation of the roulette wheel 42 according to the control signals supplied from the roulette controller 18, and data and programs stored in the ROM 62 and the RAM 63.

The ball entering device 64 is a device for entering the ball 47 onto the roulette wheel 42 from the ball entering hole 50. The ball entering device 64 shoots the ball 47 onto the roulette wheel 42 at the initial speed set according to the control data stored in the ROM 62. The ball sensor 65 is operated to judge the number pocket 43 into which the ball 47 fell. The wheel driving motor 66 is operated to rotate the roulette wheel 42, and its activation is stopped after the motor driving time that is set in the control data has elapsed since the start of the activation. The ball collecting device 68 is a device for collecting the ball 47 on the roulette wheel 42 after the game is over.

FIG. 9 is a block diagram showing a configuration of the first game controller 19. The first game controller 19 is for controlling the game to be executed at the first display 11, and as shown in FIG. 9, it has a CPU 71 for carrying out the comprehensive control of the game, a ROM 72, a RAM 73, a hard disk 74 for storing plural types of game programs, a keyboard 75 for accepting the operation input of the manager, a communication I/F 76 for carrying out communications through the network 16, a random number generator 77 for generating various types of random numbers regarding the execution of the game, and a liquid crystal driving circuit 78 for carrying out a display control for the first display 11.

In the hard disk 74, a plurality of game programs such as “slot game A”, “slot game B”, etc., are stored, and the game program determined according to the command signal inputted from the keyboard 75 will be downloaded into the RAM 73 and this game will be executed under the control of the CPU 71. There can be cases where the selection of the game program is changed according to the external signal inputted through the communication I/F 76.

FIG. 10 is a block diagram showing a configuration of the second game controller 20. The second game controller 20 is for controlling the game to be executed at the second display 12, and as shown in FIG. 10, it has a CPU 81 for carrying out the comprehensive control of the game, a ROM 82, a RAM 83, a hard disk 84 for storing plural types of game programs, a keyboard 85 for accepting the operation input of the manager, a communication I/F 86 for carrying out communications through the network 16, a random number generator 87 for generating various types of random numbers regarding the execution of the game, and a liquid crystal driving circuit 88 for carrying out a display control for the second display 12.

In the hard disk 84, a plurality of game programs such as “horse racing game”, “poker game”, etc., are stored, and the game program determined according to the command signal inputted from the keyboard 85 will be downloaded into the RAM 83 and this game will be executed under the control of the CPU 81. There can be cases where the selection of the game program is changed according to the external signal inputted through the communication I/F 86.

FIG. 11 is a block diagram showing an internal configuration of the relay controller 17. As shown in FIG. 11, the relay controller 17 has a CPU 91 for carrying out the comprehensive control, a communication I/F 92 for carrying out communications through the network 16, terminal I/Fs 93 for carrying out communications with the client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i), a ROM 94, and a RAM 95. Then, the CPU 91 carries out a control for setting the betting accepting period for each game executed by the roulette controller 18, the first game controller 19 and the second game controller 20. In the case where the game executed by the first display 11 or the second display 12 is unpopular (no bet has been made for a prescribed number of games consecutively, etc.), it carries out a processing for outputting a command signal for changing this game to another game, to the host server 15. Details will be described below.

FIG. 12 is a block diagram showing an internal configuration of the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) according to the present embodiment. Note that 9 sets of the client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i) have basically the same configuration, so that it will be described as a client terminal 14 in the following.

As shown in FIG. 12, the client terminal 14 has a CPU 101, a ROM 105 and a RAM 106. The ROM 105 is formed by a semiconductor memory or the like, for example, and stores programs for realizing basic functions of the client terminal 14, and other various programs, data table, etc., that are necessary for controlling the client terminal 14. Also, the RAM 106 is a memory for temporarily storing various data calculated by the CPU 101, the amount of credits currently owned by the player (accumulated at the client terminal 14), the state of coin betting by the player, etc.

A game selection button 22 for enabling the player to select arbitrary game, a bet button 23 for betting one credit, a MAX bet button 24 for betting the maximum amount of credits, and a payout button 27 for paying the credited coins are connected to the CPU 101. The display devices including a credit amount display device 25 and a bet amount display device 26 are connected to the CPU 101. A hopper 102 and a coin sensor 103 are connected to the CPU 101.

The CPU 101 carries out a control for executing various corresponding operations according to the operation signals outputted by the pressing of each button 22, 23, 24, 27 or the like. More specifically, various processings are executed according to the input signals supplied from the each button 22, 23, 24, 27 upon receiving the input of the player's operations, and data and programs stored in the ROM 105 and the RAM 106, and their results are transmitted to the host server 15 through the relay controller 17 and the network 16.

The coin sensor 103 detects coins inserted from the coin insertion slot 29, counts the inserted coins, and transmits the counting result data to the CPU 101. The CPU 101 increases the amount of credits owned by the player that is stored in the RAM 106 according to this counting result data.

The hopper 102 pays a prescribed number of coins from the coin payout opening 32 (see FIG. 4) according to the command signal outputted from the CPU 101.

The selected game indication lamps 31 (31 a to 31 c), a liquid crystal driving circuit 107, and a sound output circuit 109 are connected to the CPU 101.

The liquid crystal driving circuit 107 controls images to be displayed at a display 21. The liquid crystal driving circuit 107 has a program ROM, an image ROM, an image control CPU, a work RAM, VDP (Video Display Processor), and a video RAM.

The program ROM stores an image controlling program and various selection tables regarding the display at the display 21. The image ROM stores dot data for forming an image to be displayed at the display 21, for example. The image control CPU makes the determination of an image to be displayed at the display 21 from the dot data stored in advance in the image ROM, according to the image control program stored in advance in the program ROM on a basis of parameters set by the CPU 101.

The work RAM is provided as a temporary memory device at a time of executing the image control program at the image control CPU. The VDP forms an image according to the display content determined by the image control CPU and outputs it to the display 21. The video RAM is provided as a temporary memory device at a time of forming an image by the VDP.

Also, on the display 21, a touch panel 108 for outputting the input signal to the CPU 101 upon receiving the touching operation by the player is provided. The touch panel 108 will be used for the selection operation and the like in the participating game.

The sound output circuit 109 carries out a control for generating various effect sounds, and is connected to a speaker 110.

Next, the operation of the gaming machine 10 according to the present embodiment in the configuration as described above will be described. In the following, the case where the slot game A is executed at the first display 11, the horse racing game is executed at the second display 12, and the roulette game is executed at the roulette device 13 will be described as an example.

FIG. 13 is a sequence chart showing a continuous flow of the processings at the game controllers 18, 19 and 20, the processing at the relay controller 17, and the processings at the client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i).

When the operation of the gaming machine 10 according to the present embodiment is started, the game controllers 18, 19 and 20 execute the respective games (step all). For example, they are controlled such that the roulette controller 18 starts the roulette game at the roulette device 13, the first game controller 19 starts the slot game A at the first display 11, and the second game controller 20 starts the horse racing game at the second display 12.

Next, the game controllers 18, 19 and 20 transmit the game execution data of the respectively executed games to the relay controller 17 (step a12). The game execution data contains data indicating the start of the game, data required for playing the game once, data regarding the betting acceptance for the game, etc.

The relay controller 17 carries out the processing for the time division of the betting periods to be set for the games, according to the game execution data transmitted from the game controllers 18, 19 and 20 (step b11). In the games executed by the game controllers 18, 19 and 20, the one playing of the game comprises the betting accepting time and the game execution time, and the processing of the step b11 the betting accepting periods for the three games are set to be dispersed such that the player who participates in the game at the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) can make a bet on at least one game.

More specifically, as shown in FIG. 17, the betting accepting periods t1, t2 and t3 for the games are set such that after the betting accepting period t1 for the first game executed by the first game controller 19 is ended, the betting accepting period t2 for the second game executed by the second game controller 20 starts, and after the betting accepting period t2 for the second game is ended, the betting accepting period t3 for the roulette game executed by the roulette controller 18 starts, and then after the betting accepting period t3 for the roulette game is ended, the betting accepting period t1 for the first game starts again.

Consequently, the player who operates the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) always can make the betting operation for one game. The setting of the betting accepting periods is not limited to an example shown in FIG. 17, and it suffices to set the betting accepting periods such that the betting accepting periods of the games are dispersed so that the play can make a bet on at least one game.

After that, the relay controller 17 transmits the betting possible period data indicating the betting accepting periods of the games to each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) (step b12).

Each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) receives the betting possible period data. Then, each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) displays games on which the betting is possible on the display 21 (see FIG. 4) according to the betting possible period data (step c11), and displays the game selection image for providing options by which the player selects one game from the three games (step c12).

More specifically, as shown in FIG. 18, letters (or images) of the slot game A (201) as the first game, the horse racing game 202 as the second game, and the roulette game 203 are displayed, and in addition, a surrounding of the slot game A (201) for which the betting by the player is currently possible is displayed brighter, while surroundings of the horse racing game 202 and the roulette game 2093 for which the betting by the player is not accepted currently are displayed darker.

The player can select arbitrary game among the three games by operating the game selection button 22 shown in FIG. 4. Then, the selected game indication lamp 31 (31 a to 31 c) corresponding to the selected game will be turned on (see FIG. 4).

After that, at the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i), when the game selection operation by the player is made, the betting accepting image for the selected game is displayed at the display 21, so as to accept the betting operation by the player (step c13).

FIG. 22 shows an exemplary display of the slot game A (first game) executed by the first game controller 19 and displayed at the first display 11. Also, FIG. 19 is an explanatory diagram showing a manner by which the betting accepting image for this slot game A is displayed at the display 21 of the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i).

As shown in FIG. 22, in the slot game A, a game for rearranging symbols arranged in the total 15 display regions of three rows by five columns into other symbols is executed, and the payout of a prescribed amount will be generated when symbols constituting a winning combination are rearranged on a payline that is set in advance.

Then, as shown in FIG. 19, the total 13 paylines L0 to L12 are set, and the betting image 211 for accepting the betting of credits to the paylines L0 to L12 is displayed at the display 21 of the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i), so that the betting operation by the player becomes possible. The betting operation can be made by touching a betting target portion within the betting image 211 and then pressing the bet button 23 or the MAX bet button 24 shown in FIG. 4. Then, the payout will be generated when symbols constituting the winning combination are realized on the bet payline.

FIG. 23 shows an exemplary display of the horse racing game (second game) executed by the second game controller 20 and displayed at the second display 12. Also, FIG. 20 is an explanatory diagram showing a manner by which the betting accepting image for this horse racing game is displayed at the display 21 of the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i).

As shown in FIG. 23, the horse racing game is a game for guessing which horses will finish first and second after six horses run around a track. Then, the payout of a prescribed amount will be generated when the guessed horses finish first and second.

Then, as shown in FIG. 20, the betting image 221 showing combinations of numbers from No. 1 to No. 6 is displayed at the display 21, so that the betting operation by the player becomes possible. The betting operation can be made by touching a betting target portion within the betting image 221 and then pressing the bet button 23 or the MAX bet button 24 shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 21 is an explanatory diagram showing a manner by which the betting accepting image for the roulette game executed by the roulette device 13 is displayed at the display 21 of the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i). As shown in FIG. 21, total 38 of numbers “0”, “00” and “1” to “36” are displayed, and the player can make the betting operation by touching these numbers or various types of selection screens, and further touching the bet amount screens 234, 235, 236, 237.

As the selection screens, screens of “1st12” for betting on “1” to “12”, “2nd12” for betting on “13” to “24” and “3rd12” for betting on “25” to “36”, a red number selection screen 232 for betting on numbers in red, a black number selection screen 233 for betting on numbers in black, etc., are shown.

When the betting operation for the selected game is finished by the above-described operation, the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) transmits the betting data to the relay controller 17 (step c14 of FIG. 14). Then, the relay controller 17 receives the betting data transmitted from the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i), and transmits this betting data to the corresponding game controller (step b14).

Each game controller 18, 19 or 20 receives the betting data transmitted from the relay controller 17 (step a13). Then, each game controller 18, 19 or 20 carries out the payout rate determination processing according to the received betting data (step a14). In this rate determination processing, the payout rate for the game result is determined according to the bets made at all the client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i).

After that, each game controller 18, 19 or 20 transmits the rate data to the relay controller 17 (step a15). The relay controller 17 transmits the received rate data to the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) (step b15).

At the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i), the rate data is received (step c15), and the payout processing is carried out according to the received rate data (step c16). As a result, the player of each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) can obtain coins with respect to the betting made by himself in the game.

At the relay controller 17, the processing for determining change of the game executed at each game controller 18, 19 or 20 is carried out according to the betting operations at the client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i) (step b16). At each game controller 18, 19 or 20, the processing for changing the game to be executed is carried out according to the result of the game change determination processing at the relay controller 17.

FIG. 15 is a flow chart showing a detailed procedure of the game change determination processing (step b16 of FIG. 14) to be executed at the relay controller 17. First, the CPU 91 (see FIG. 11) of the relay controller 17 counts the number of games for which no bet has been made consecutively, in each game, according to the betting data transmitted from the client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i) (step S31).

For example, when no bet has been made for five times consecutively at all the client terminals 14 (14 a to 14 i) for the slot game A (first game) executed at the first game controller 19, this number of times “five” is set as the count value T and stored in the RAM 95. Then, when this count value T becomes equal to a prescribed value N (N=10, for example) that is set in advance (step S32 YES), the count value T is reset (step S33), and the change command signal with respect to the game currently executed by the first game controller 19 is outputted to the first game controller 19 (step S34). As will be described below, when this change command signal is inputted, the first game controller changes the game to be executed.

FIG. 16 is a flow chart showing a detailed processing procedure of the game change processing (step a16 of FIG. 14) to be executed at the first game controller 19 and the second game controller 20. Here, the exemplary case where the game change command signal is inputted into the first game controller 19 will be described as an example.

First, the CPU 71 (see FIG. 9) of the first game controller 19 judges whether the game change operation signal is inputted from the keyboard 75 or not (step S41). This game change operation signal is a signal for changing the game by the manual operation of the manager of the gaming machine 10, and the manager who has the right for the game change can change the game to be executed at the first game controller 19 appropriately by operating the keyboard 75. Then, when the game change operation signal is inputted, the processing proceeds to the step S43.

In addition, the CPU 71 judges whether the game change command signal is inputted from the relay controller 17 or not (step S42). Then, when the game change command signal is inputted, the processing proceeds to the step S43.

When the game change operation signal by the operation of the keyboard 75 or the game change command signal from the relay controller 17 is inputted, the CPU 71 deletes the program of the game currently executed (step S43). More specifically, the program of the first game (slot game A, for example) written in the RAM 73 is deleted.

After that, the CPU 71 downloads the program of another game (step S44). More specifically, the program of another game (slot game B, for example) stored in the hard disk 74 is downloaded into the RAM 73. As a result, the game to be executed at the first game controller 19 is changed from the slot game A to the slot game B. Also, during a period in which the game program is changed by the processing of the steps S43 and S44, the image such as “Changing game. Please wait for awhile.” as shown in FIG. 24 is displayed at the display 21 of the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i), so as to notify to the player of the client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i) that the rewriting of the game program is currently carried out. As a result, each player can learn that the first game to be executed at the first display 11 is changed.

In this way, in the gaming machine according to the present embodiment, the respectively different games are executed at the first game controller 19, the second game controller 20 and the roulette controller 18, and in addition, it is possible to participate in the game by making a bet in one game among the three games at each client terminal 14 (14 a to 14 i).

Also, when there is a game for which the number of bets made is small, such as a game for which no bet has been made for a prescribed number of times consecutively, this game can be changed to another game. In addition, the game can be changed by the input operation of the manager.

In the above, the embodiment of the gaming machine according to the present invention has been described, but it is only showing a concrete example and it does not limit the present invention particularly, and the concrete configuration of each means or the like can be modified in design appropriately. Also, the effects described in the embodiment of the present invention are only listing the most preferable effects that can arise from the present invention, and the effects of the present invention are not limited to those described in the embodiment of the present invention.

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Non-Patent Citations
Reference
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8052508 *Dec 29, 2008Nov 8, 2011Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Horse race gaming machine
US8052509 *Dec 29, 2008Nov 8, 2011Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Horse race gaming machine
US8052510 *Dec 29, 2008Nov 8, 2011Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Horse race gaming machine
US8192264 *Dec 29, 2008Jun 5, 2012Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Horse race gaming machine
US8550918 *Nov 4, 2008Oct 8, 2013Bally Gaming, Inc.Systems for coordinating a distributed game in a gaming environment
US8585502 *Nov 4, 2008Nov 19, 2013Bally Gaming, Inc.Methods for coordinating a distributed game in a gaming environment
US8721447 *Mar 19, 2007May 13, 2014Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Game delivery server, gaming system, and controlling method for game delivery server
US8747216 *Mar 10, 2010Jun 10, 2014Isi, LtdSportsbook room and method therefor
US20100113139 *Nov 4, 2008May 6, 2010Bally Gaming, Inc.Methods for coordinating a distributed game in a gaming environment
US20110223980 *Mar 10, 2010Sep 15, 2011Bill StearnsSportsbook room and method therefor
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/19, 463/42
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3276, G07F17/34, G07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/34, G07F17/32M8D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 1, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC., NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OKADA, KAZUO;REEL/FRAME:020456/0848
Effective date: 20071115