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Publication numberUS20080176644 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/939,479
Publication dateJul 24, 2008
Filing dateNov 13, 2007
Priority dateJan 22, 2007
Publication number11939479, 939479, US 2008/0176644 A1, US 2008/176644 A1, US 20080176644 A1, US 20080176644A1, US 2008176644 A1, US 2008176644A1, US-A1-20080176644, US-A1-2008176644, US2008/0176644A1, US2008/176644A1, US20080176644 A1, US20080176644A1, US2008176644 A1, US2008176644A1
InventorsKazuo Okada
Original AssigneeAruze Gaming America, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming Machine And Playing Method Thereof
US 20080176644 A1
Abstract
A gaming machine carries out varying display of symbols at plural reel display regions in a communal display. When a predetermined length of time has passed, symbols determined at a game result determination processing are stopped and display per reel display region. The gaming machine comprises a plurality of consoles each of which allows a player to carry out wagering operation. The gaming machine constantly accepts wagering carried out with the consoles. When wagering operation is carried out with a console, a game control unit specifies the wagering operation timing and determines a payout table corresponding to the wagering operation timing among plural payout tables predefined with different payout rate. A payout table is determined such that as wagering operation timing is made later, a lower-payout-rated payout table is associated with the wagering operation. When all symbols are stopped and displayed, the game control unit determines payout contents in accordance with the determined payout table associated with the wagering and payout is awarded to the player who carried out the wagering operation through the console.
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Claims(8)
1. A gaming machine comprising:
a communal display for displaying game result;
a plurality of consoles for carrying out operation on a game; and
a game controller programmed to operate
(a) to determine game result to be displayed in the communal display,
(b) to divide the game result determined at (a) into plural display stages and sequentially display the game result in the communal display per display stage;
(c) to accept game participation of the plurality of consoles in accordance with participation operation by each of the plurality of consoles and specify participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles; and
(d) to change payout contents on the game result to be awarded to each of the plurality of consoles in accordance with participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles.
2. A gaming machine according to claim 1,
wherein the game controller selects a payout table among a plurality of payout tables of different payout rate depending on participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles and determines payout contents to be awarded to each of the plurality of consoles along the game result in accordance with a selected payout table.
3. A gaming machine according to claim 1,
wherein the game controller specifies display stage directed to participation timing with respect to each of the plurality of consoles and changes payout contents on the game result in accordance with a specified display stage.
4. A gaming machine according to claim 1,
wherein the game controller measures lapse time from a point in time to commence a game in the communal display, specifies participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles in accordance with measurement of the lapse time, and changes payout contents on the game result in accordance with participation timing within the lapse time.
5. A gaming machine comprising:
a communal display for displaying game result;
a plurality of consoles for carrying out operation on a game; and
a game controller programmed to operate
(a) to determine game result to be displayed in the communal display,
(b) to divide the game result determined at (a) into plural display stages and sequentially display the game result in the communal display per display stage;
(c) to accept game participation of a the plurality of consoles in accordance with participation operation by each of the plurality of consoles and specify participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles;
(d) to select a payout table for each of the plurality of consoles among a plurality of payout tables of different payout rate depending on participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles; and
(e) to change payout contents on the game result to be awarded to each of the plurality of consoles in accordance with the payout table selected for each of the plurality of console.
6. A gaming machine according to claim 5,
wherein the game controller specifies display stage of game result in the communal display directed to participation timing with respect to each of the plurality of consoles and selects a payout table for each of the plurality of consoles in accordance with specified display stage of game result in the communal display.
7. A gaming machine according to claim 5,
wherein the game controller measures lapse time from a point in time to commence a game in the communal display, specifies participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles in accordance with measurement of the lapse time, and selects a payout table for each of the plurality of consoles in accordance with participation timing within the lapse time.
8. A playing method of a gaming machine which makes a game controller execute a game, display game result in a communal display, and allows plural players to participate in the game with a plurality of consoles, the playing method comprising the steps of:
(a) determining game result to be displayed in the communal display with the game controller,
(b) dividing the game result determined at (a) into plural display stages and sequentially displaying the game result in the communal display per display stage with the game controller;
(c) accepting game participation of the plurality of consoles in accordance with participation operation by each of the plurality of consoles and specifying participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles with the game controller; and
(d) changing payout contents on the game result to be awarded to each of the plurality of consoles in accordance with participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles with the game controller.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO THE RELATED APPLICATION (S)

This application is based upon and claims a priority from the U.S. provisional Patent Application No. 60/881,483 filed on Jan. 22, 2007, the entire contents thereof are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a gaming machine wherein a plural number of players can participate in a game displayed in a communal display by using a plurality of consoles. More particularly, it relates to a gaming machine which has convenient game participation acceptance system.

2. Description of Related Art

There has conventionally been known a gaming machine which has a single communal display for displaying a game and enables plural players to participate in a game (e.g., slot game, card game such as poker and the like, roulette game, horse race game, etc.) displayed in the communal display.

For example, US Patent Application Publications No. 2005/0059474A1, No. 2005/0218590A1, and No. 2005/0282618A1 respectively disclose gaming machines each of which has a single communal display to display a game and enables plural players to participate in a game displayed in the communal display.

In the above such gaming machines, plural players participate in a game wherein a plurality of consoles are allocated to the players. Therefore, generally, there is provided a predetermined participation acceptable period before a target game is executed. That is, the gaming machine accepts each console's participation in a game (participation in a game, wagering upon an upcoming game result) during the participation acceptable period, however, closes the “participation in a game” when the participation acceptable period terminates and subsequently goes on to “game execution”. After that, the gaming machine displays the game in the communal display and awards a payout to each participant console in accordance with a game result.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a gaming machine which has convenient game management system conventional ones did not have.

Therefore, in order to achieve the object, according to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gaming machine comprising: a communal display for displaying game result; a plurality of consoles for carrying out operation on a game; and a game controller programmed to operate (a) to determine game result to be displayed in the communal display, (b) to divide the game result determined at (a) into plural display stages and sequentially display the game result in the communal display per display stage; (c) to accept game participation of the plurality of consoles in accordance with participation operation by each of the plurality of consoles and specify participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles; and (d) to change payout contents on the game result to be awarded to each of the plurality of consoles in accordance with participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles.

Furthermore, according to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gaming machine comprising: a communal display for displaying game result; a plurality of consoles for carrying out operation on a game; and a game controller programmed to operate (a) to determine game result to be displayed in the communal display, (b) to divide the game result determined at (a) into plural display stages and sequentially display the game result in the communal display per display stage; (c) to accept game participation of a the plurality of consoles in accordance with participation operation by each of the plurality of consoles and specify participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles; (d) to select a payout table for each of the plurality of consoles among a plurality of payout tables of different payout rate depending on participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles; and (e) to change payout contents on the game result to be awarded to each of the plurality of consoles in accordance with the payout table selected for each of the plurality of console.

Furthermore, according to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a playing method of a gaming machine which makes a game controller execute a game, display game result in a communal display, and allows plural players to participate in the game with a plurality of consoles, the playing method comprising the steps of: (a) determining game result to be displayed in the communal display with the game controller, (b) dividing the game result determined at (a) into plural display stages and sequentially displaying the game result in the communal display per display stage with the game controller; (c) accepting game participation of the plurality of consoles in accordance with participation operation by each of the plurality of consoles and specifying participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles with the game controller; and (d) changing payout contents on the game result to be awarded to each of the plurality of consoles in accordance with participation timing of each of the plurality of consoles with the game controller.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the objects, advantages and principles of the invention.

In the drawings,

FIG. 1 is a diagram for illustrating a feature of a gaming machine directed to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing an outline construction of the gaming machine;

FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating a symbol display part of the gaming machine;

FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating pay lines of the gaming machine;

FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating a sequential display manner of the symbol display part during a game executed by the gaming machine;

FIG. 6 is an exemplary first payout table of the gaming machine;

FIG. 7 is an exemplary block diagram illustrating a control system of the gaming machine;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing an outline construction of a console which is one of composing elements of the gaming machine;

FIG. 9 is a diagram illustrating a wagering screen displayed in a liquid crystal display installed in the console;

FIG. 10 is an exemplary block diagram illustrating a control system of the console which is one of the composing elements of the gaming machine;

FIG. 11 is a flowchart of a main control processing program to be executed for the gaming machine;

FIG. 12 is a flow chart of a wagering acceptance processing program to be executed for the gaming machine;

FIG. 13 is a diagram for illustrating relation between each payout table and wagering timing;

FIG. 14 is an exemplary fourth payout table of the gaming machine; and

FIG. 15 is a flowchart of a control processing program to be executed for a console which is one of composing elements of the gaming machine.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Here will be described an embodiment of the inventive gaming machine by referring to drawings.

A gaming machine 1 of the present embodiment allows plural players to participate in a game displayed in a communal display 20 installed on a communal display device 2 through plural consoles 4 (see FIG. 2). Accordingly, a player can participate in and enjoy the game to be executed in the communal display device 2 by carrying out wagering operation with one of the consoles 4.

In the gaming machine of the present embodiment, so-called slot game is executed. That is, in the gaming machine 1, varying display of symbols 46 and varying stopped display of symbols 46 are carried out in a symbol display part 7 of the communal display 20. Symbols 46 are sequentially stopped and displayed per unit of reel display region (five reel display regions, namely, a first reel display region 23 through a fifth reel display region 27, see FIG. 5). In case a combination of stopped and displayed symbols 46 defined by each pay line (see FIG. 4) coincides with a predetermined winning symbol combination (see FIG. 6), a payout of the winning symbol combination is awarded to the winning player.

There will be described a feature of a gaming machine directed to the present embodiment by referring to drawings. FIG. 1 is a diagram for illustrating the feature of the gaming machine directed to the present embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 1, the gaming machine 1 of the present embodiment is programmed to repeatedly execute a unit game consisting of a general wagering period and a game execution period. A general wagering period is a period to only accept participation (i.e., wagering operation and the like) of plural consoles 4 (see FIG. 2) composing the gaming machine 1. On the other hand, a game execution period is a period to execute a unit game of slot game while accepting wagering operation of each console 4 after a lapse of a general wagering period. That is, during the game execution period, wagering operation is accepted similar to the general wagering period and varying display and varying-stopped display of symbols 46 in the symbol display part 7 is carried out thereby to award a payout (e.g., coins, medals, or gaming valuables equivalent to such gaming media) to each console 4 depending on a game result.

That is, the gaming machine 1 of the present embodiment allows the player to participate in a slot game through a console 4 any time either the general wagering period or the game execution period. In other word, in the gaming machine 1, the player can participate in the slot game any time during execution of a unit game. The gaming machine 1 is thus capable of providing players with convenience of “free game participation timing”.

Furthermore, in the gaming machine 1, a wagering period corresponding to a game execution period is divided into five periods, namely, a first wagering period through a fifth wagering period (see FIG. 1). The first wagering period through the fifth wagering period are individually defined with a predetermined length of time. Termination of each of the first wagering period through the fifth wagering period is associated with stopped and displayed timing of symbols 46 at each reel display region (see FIG. 3).

To be more specific, termination of a first wagering period commencing with varying display of symbols 46 is associated with stopped and display timing (time ta) of symbols 46 at a first reel display region 23. In simultaneous with the termination of the first wagering period, a second wagering period commences. Termination of the second wagering period is associated with stopped and display timing (time tb) of symbols 46 at a second reel display region 24. Similarly, termination of a third wagering period, that of a fourth wagering period, and that of a fifth wagering period are associated with stopped and display timing (time tc, time td and time te) of symbols 46 at a third reel display region 25, at a fourth reel region 26 and a fifth reel region 27, respectively (see FIG. 1).

The first wagering period through the fifth wagering period are associated with a first payout table through a fifth payout table, respectively. That is, in the gaming machine 1, a payout table to be applied to wagering operation is determined depending on “which timing to carry out wagering operation among a general wagering period, a first wagering period through a fifth wagering period”.

The first payout table through the fifth payout table individually define winning symbol combinations (see FIG. 6 and FIG. 14) and predetermined payout amount for each of the winning symbol combinations, wherein payout rate is made different among the five payout tables (see FIG. 13).

As described, in the gaming machine 1, payout of a unit game is determined in accordance with a combination of symbols 46 stopped and displayed on each pay line (see FIG. 4) and payout amount of a winning symbol combination defined in a payout table. Since an applicable payout table is changed depending on wagering operation timing in the gaming machine 1, payout contents to be awarded can be changed depending on the wagering operation timing. Since “change of payout contents in accordance with wagering operation timing” is brought, the gaming machine 1 is thus capable of providing players with “variety of payout contents in accordance with a game result”.

Furthermore, as wagering operation timing is made later, a lower-payout-rated payout table is associated with the wagering operation as shown in FIG. 13, which makes it possible to “award payout in accordance with game progress (the number of already stopped and displayed symbols 46)”. As to the slot game, difficulty of winning payout varies depending on the number of already stopped and displayed symbols 46, the gaming machine 1 is capable of “providing different amount of payout depending on difficulty of winning payout”.

Here will be described the schematic structure of the gaming machine 1 of the present embodiment by referring to FIG. 2. FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing an outline construction of the gaming machine 1 directed to the first embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 2, the gaming machine 1 of the present embodiment comprises the communal display device 2 and a plurality of consoles 4.

The communal display device 2 comprises a communal display 20. The communal display 20 displays slot game in which plural players can participate. Furthermore, the communal display 20 displays a symbol display part 7 when a slot game is executed. In the symbol display part 7, varying display and varying-stopped display of symbols 46 are carried out.

The structure of the symbol display part 7 will be described later by referring to drawings.

Furthermore, speakers 21, and LEDs 22 are provided at an upper portion of the communal display device 2. The speakers 21 output music and sound effects along game progress. The LEDs 22 flash for various amusing effects depending on game progress.

There will be described the structure of the symbol display part 7 to be displayed in the communal display 20 in detail. FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating the schematic structure of the symbol display part 7.

As shown in FIG. 3, the symbol display part 7 consists of fifteen symbol display regions 31 through 45. A symbol 46 is stopped and displayed in each symbol display region. Accordingly, fifteen symbols 46 in total are stopped and displayed in the symbol display part 7.

The symbol display part 7 includes five reel display regions each of which has three rows arranged vertically (see FIG. 3). That is, the symbol display part 7 consists of a first reel display region 23 through a fifth reel display region 27. For example, a third reel display region 25 consists of a symbol display region 37, a symbol display region 38 and a symbol display region 39.

In each reel display region, varying display and varying-stopped display of symbols 46 are carried out per defined symbol column. Each symbol column consists of ten kinds of symbols 46, namely, “SEVEN”, “3-BAR”, “2-BAR”, “BAR”, “SMILE”, “4SUN”, “STAR”, “MOON”, “HEART” and “CHERRY”. Accordingly, a symbol 46 constituting a symbol column of a corresponding reel display region is stopped and displayed in a symbol display region in the reel display region.

In the symbol display part 7 of the gaming machine 1, five pay lines (pay line (A) through pay line (E)) are defined (see FIG. 4). Each pay line consists of five symbol display regions. Each pay line is constituted by five symbol display regions each of which belongs to each reel display region.

For example, a pay line (B) consists of a symbol display region 32, a symbol display region 35, a symbol display region 38, a symbol display region 41 and a symbol display region 44 and these symbol display regions belong to the first reel display region 23 through the fifth reel display region 27, respectively (see FIG. 3 and FIG. 4).

As described, in the gaming machine 1, prize judgment is made in accordance with symbols 46 stopped and displayed on a pay line (i.e., five symbol display regions constituting the pay line). Furthermore, the gaming machine 1 allows the player to wager gaming values per pay line.

Back to FIG. 2, there will be described schematic structure of the gaming machine 1. As shown in FIG. 2, the gaming machine 1 comprises a plurality (five in the present embodiment) of consoles 4. At each console 4, wagering operation on slot game is carried out by a player. Since each console 4 is arranged in front of the communal display device 2, a player seated at a console 4 can carry out operation for a game (e.g., wagering operation on the slot game, and the like) watching displayed contents in the communal display 20.

Next, a schematic structure of each console 4 will be described by referring to drawings. FIG. 8 is a view showing an outline construction of the console 4 directed to the present embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 8, a console 4 comprises a liquid crystal display 10, a touch panel 11, operation buttons 12, a coin insertion slot 13, a bill insertion slot 14, and a coin payout opening 15. The liquid crystal display 10 is mounted on an upper face of the console 4 and serves as a display device for displaying a wagering operation screen (see FIG. 9) for a slot game, a game result screen and the like.

The touch panel 11 is provided on a front face of the liquid crystal display 10. When a wagering screen is displayed in the liquid crystal display 10, the touch panel 11 serves as operation means.

The operation buttons 12 are operation means for carrying out various operations such as payout operation to request a payout awarded to the target console 4. The coin insertion slot 13 is a portion for allowing the player to insert coins used as gaming value and similarly, the bill insertion slot 14 is a portion for allowing the player to insert bills. The coin payout opening 15 is a portion from which coins or medals corresponding to credits stocked in the console 4 are dispensed as payout of credits stocked in the console 4 when a payout operation is carried out with the operation buttons 12.

There will be described the wagering screen to be displayed in the liquid crystal display 10 by referring to drawings. FIG. 9 is a diagram illustrating the wagering screen to be displayed in the liquid crystal display 10.

As shown in FIG. 9, when the wagering screen is displayed, there are additionally displayed the symbol display part 7 and five pay lines, and at the same time, there are formed pay line designation operation regions 80, wagering setting operation regions 81, a credit amount display part 82 and a payout amount display part 83 in the liquid crystal display 10 and the touch panel 11.

The pay line designation operation regions 80 are regions formed at edge parts of the five pay lines in the liquid crystal display 10. The player can designate a pay line for wagering by touching a part of the touch panel 11 where a corresponding to pay line designation operation region 80 is located.

The wagering setting operation regions 81 are regions for the player to determine the number of wagering upon a pay line designated by operating the pay line designation operation regions 80. As shown in FIG. 9, there are provided three kinds of wagering setting operation region 81 for designating “1”, “5”, and “10” in the gaming machine 1. Accordingly, a wagering amount corresponding to any one of “1”, “5”, and “10” can be set and wagered upon a designated pay line by touching a part of the touch panel 11 where a desired wagering setting operation region 81 is located.

The credit amount display part 82 is a display part for displaying amount of credits (gaming values) the player of the target console 4 currently holds. The payout amount display part 83 is a display part for displaying payout amount awarded to the player through a unit game.

Next, there will be described a playing method of the gaming machine 1 directed to the present embodiment. The player who desires to play a game with the gaming machine 1 is seated in front of a console 4, designates a play line among the pay line (A) through the pay line (E) by operating the pay line designation operation regions 80 and carries out wagering operation to wager upon the pay line designated by touching a wagering setting operation region 81.

Timing to carry out the wagering operation may be any time during a unit game execution period and it does not matter whether it is in a general wagering period or a game execution period.

During a game execution period, varying display of symbols 46 is carried out at the symbol display part 7 in the communal display 20. Per reel display region, varying-stopped display of symbols 46 is carried out in the order from the first reel display region 23 to the fifth reel display region 27 with a predetermined length of time being taken (S6 through S10).

When symbols 46 are stopped and displayed in all of the symbol display regions 31 through 45 constituting the symbol display part 7, prize judgment is made with respect to each pay line and a payout is awarded to each console 4 which participated in the game in accordance with prize judgment result.

It is to be noted that a payout table used at the timed of the prize judgment is a payout table determined among the first payout table through the fifth payout table in accordance with wagering operation timing.

Next, there will be described a control system of the gaming machine 1 directed to the present embodiment by referring to drawings. FIG. 7 is an exemplary block diagram illustrating the control system of the gaming machine 1 directed to the present embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 7, the gaming machine 1 comprises a game controller 50, the plurality of consoles 4, the communal display 20 and various peripheral devices.

The game controller 50 essentially comprises a game control unit 55. The game control unit 55 consists of a CPU 56, a ROM 57, and a RAM 58. The ROM 57 stores various programs for executing processing required to control the entirety of the gaming machine 1, data tables and the like. That is, in the ROM 57, there are stored a main control program (see FIG. 11), a wagering accept processing program (see FIG. 12), and a first payout table through a fifth payout table. The CPU 56 is a processing unit for executing various control programs and serves as the nerve center of control under the game control unit 55. The RAM 58 is a memory for temporarily storing various data processed by the CPU 56.

Through an I/O interface 61, the game control unit 5 is connected to an LED driving circuit 59, a communication interface 60, a sound control circuit 62 and an image control circuit 63.

The LED driving circuit 59 is connected to the LEDs 22, whereby flashing manner of the LEDs 22 as game effects are changed depending on game progress in accordance with control of the game controller 50. The communication interface 60 is connected to a communication interface 74 of each console 4 which constitutes a part of the gaming machine 1. That is, the communication interface 60 is an interface for transmitting data and signals between the game control unit 55 and each console 4. The sound control circuit 62 is connected to the speakers 21 so as to control the speakers 21 to output predetermined music and a sound effect in accordance with the control of the game controller 50.

The image control circuit 63 is connected to the communal display 20 and serves as a control circuit for displaying images in the communal display 20 in accordance with processing result of the CPU 56. That is, varying display and varying-stopped display of symbols 46 in the communal display 20 is carried out by the image control circuit 63 along game progress.

Next, there will be described a control system of each console 4 which constitutes a part of the gaming machine 1 by referring to drawings. FIG. 10 is an exemplary diagram illustrating the control system of the console 4.

As shown in FIG. 10, the control system of the console 4 comprises a console control unit 65 which is essential to the system, a CPU 66, ROM 67 and RAM 68.

The ROM 67 stores various programs for executing processing required to control the console 4, data tables and the like. That is, the ROM 67 stores a main control program of the console 4 (see FIG. 15) and such like various control programs.

The CPU 66 is a processing unit for executing a control program stored in the ROM 67. That is, the CPU 66 serves as the nerve center of control relating to wagering processing, payout processing and the like.

The RAM 68 is a memory for temporarily storing various data. To be more specific, the RAM 68 stores data processed by the CPU 66, namely, amount of credits currently stocked in the console 4, a wagering target selected by the player, amount of wagering (the amount of credits) wagered upon the wagering target and the like.

Through the I/O interface 69, the console control unit 65 is connected to a display driving circuit 70, a touch panel driving circuit 71, a hopper driving circuit 72, a payout completion signal circuit 73 and a communication interface 74.

The display driving circuit 70 is connected to the liquid crystal display 10 installed in the console 4. That is, the display driving circuit 70 is a circuit for executing display control of the liquid crystal display 10. Accordingly, what is displayed in the liquid crystal display 10 is controlled by the console control unit 65 and the display driving circuit 70.

The touch panel driving circuit 71 is connected to the touch panel 11 provided on a front face of the liquid crystal display 10. That is, the touch panel driving circuit 71 is a circuit for transmitting an operation signal to the console control unit 65 when an operation on the touch panel 11 is made. Thereby, the console control unit 65 can detect an operation made on the touch panel 11 in case a wagering screen and is displayed in the liquid display 10.

The hopper driving circuit 72 is a circuit for controlling driving manner of the hopper 75 connected to the hopper driving circuit 72 in accordance with a control signal from the console control unit 65. The payout completion signal circuit 73 is a circuit for transmitting a payout completion signal to the console control unit 65 when coins to be paid out to the coin payout opening 15 are detected by the coin detecting unit 76 and predetermined number of coins are detected. Accordingly, at the console 4, predetermined number of coins depending on a game result can be paid out in accordance with an operation with the operation buttons 12.

The communication interface 74 is connected to the communication interface 60 of the game controller 50. Since the communication interface 60 is connected to the game control unit 55, as described, the communication interface 74 transmits data and signals between to the console 4 and the game control unit 55.

Next, there will be described various control programs to be executed for the gaming machine 1 directed to the present embodiment by referring to drawings.

Firstly, there will be described a main control program to be executed by the game control unit 55 of the gaming machine 1. FIG. 11 is a flowchart of the main control program for the game control unit 55 of the gaming machine 1.

As shown in FIG. 11, when the power of the gaming machine 1 is turned on, the game control unit 55 firstly carries out an initialization processing (S1). At the initialization processing (S1), processing to initialize contents stored in the RAM 58, various peripheral devices and the like is carried out. After a termination of the initialization processing (S1), the game control unit 55 goes on to a processing at S2.

Going on to S2, the game control unit 55 commences a unit game. That is, the game control unit 55 commences measurement with a clock signal constituting a part of the game control unit 55 to commence a general wagering period (see FIG. 1). After commencing the general wagering period of a unit game, the game control unit 55 goes on to a processing at S3.

Going on to S3, the game control unit 55 refers to the clock circuit and judges whether or the general wagering period has terminated. In case it is judged that the general wagering period has terminated (S3: YES), the game control unit 55 goes to a processing at S4. In case it is judged that the general wagering period has not terminated (S3: NO), the game control unit 55 returns to the processing at S3 and holds processing until the general wagering period terminates.

Going on to S4, the game control unit 55 executes a game result determination processing. The game result determination processing (S4) is to determine game result of a unit game. That is, at S4, the game control unit 55 determines fifteen symbols 46 to be stopped and displayed in the symbol display regions 31 through 45 constituting the symbol display part 7.

To be more specific, the game control unit 55 executes a lottery program stored in the ROM 57 and extracts a random number value from a predetermined random number value range. Further on, the game control unit 55 determines symbols 46 to be stopped and displayed in symbol display regions constituting respective reel display regions in accordance with the extracted random number value and along symbol columns corresponding to the respective reel display regions 23 through 27. Thereby, symbols 46 to be stopped and displayed in fifteen symbol display regions constituting the symbol display part 7 are determined.

After determining symbols 46 to be stopped and displayed in the symbol display regions 31 through 45 and storing the game result in the RAM 58, the game control unit 55 goes on to a processing at S5.

Next, the game control unit 55 sets a value of a counter N to “0” (S5) and commences varying display of symbols 46 in the symbol display part 7 (S6). It is to be noted that the counter N indicates the number of already terminated wagering periods out of a first wagering period through a fifth wagering period and the number of reel display regions where symbols 46 are already stopped and displayed. The counter N is included in the RAM 58.

Furthermore, varying display of symbols 46 at S7 is carried out per symbol column associated with each reel display region.

When varying display of symbols 46 in the symbol display part 7 is commenced, the game control unit 55 goes on to a processing at S7.

Going on to S7, the game control unit 55 judges whether or not a predetermined length of time has terminated. To be more specific, the game control unit 55 refers to the clock circuit constituting the game control unit 55 and detects whether or not a wagering period (i.e., time ta or time tb) has passed, whereby the judgment at S7 is made. For example, provided that it is in a first wagering period, the game control unit 55 judges whether or not a time ta has passed at S7. Furthermore, provided that it is in a fourth wagering period, the game control unit 55 judges whether or not a time td, termination time of the fourth wagering period, has passed.

In case the predetermined length of time has passed (S7: YES), the game control unit 55 goes on to a processing at S8. In case the predetermined length of time has not passed yet (S7: NO), the game control unit 55 returns to the processing at S7 and holds the processing until the predetermined length of time passes.

When the predetermined length of time passes, the game control unit 55 adds “1” to the current value of the counter N in the RAM 58 (S8). After that, the game control unit 55 stops varying display of symbols 46 in a reel display region corresponding to the renewed value of the counter N and displays three symbols 46 determined at the game result determination processing (S4) in three symbol display regions constituting the corresponding reel display region, respectively (S9).

In case of N=1, “a reel display region corresponding to a value of the counter N is the first reel display region 23 and in case of N=2, it is the second reel display region 24. Similarly, the value of “N” corresponds to the third reel display region 25, the fourth reel display region 26 and the fifth reel display region 27 in respective cases of N=3, 4 and 5.

By specifying a reel display region in accordance with the value of the counter N, the game control unit 55 can specify symbol display regions constituting the target reel display region. Furthermore, at the game result determination processing (S4), a single symbol 46 is associated with each of the fifteen symbol display regions. Accordingly, the game control unit 55 is capable of specifying symbols 46 stopped and displayed in symbol display regions constituting the target reel display region and displaying the determined symbols 46 there.

After stopping and displaying symbols 46 determined at the game result determination processing (S4) in the reel display region corresponding to the value of the counter N, the game control unit 55 goes on to a processing at S10.

Going on to S10, the game control unit 55 refers to the counter N in the RAM 58 and judges whether or not the value of the counter N is ”5”. The case that the value of the counter N is “5” corresponds to a situation that symbols 46 determined at the game result determination processing (S4) are stopped and displayed in the fifth reel display region. That is, at S10, it is judged whether or not symbols 46 are stopped and displayed in all of the symbol display regions constituting the symbol display part 7.

In case the value of the counter N is “5” (S10: YES), the game control unit 55 goes on to a processing at S11. In case the value of the counter N is not “5” (S10: NO), the game control unit 55 returns to the processing at S7.

Going on to S11, the game control unit 55 executes a prize judgment processing. The prize judgment processing (S11) is to judge whether or not symbols 46 stopped and displayed in symbol display regions of each pay line, determined in accordance with the game result determination processing (S4), coincides with a winning symbol combination (see FIG. 6 and FIG. 14). After making prize judgment per pay line, the game control unit 55 stores the prize judgment result in the RAM 58 and goes on to a processing at S12.

Going on to S12, the game control unit 55 executes payout contents determination processing. At the payout contents determination processing (S12), the game control unit 55 determines payout contents to be awarded to consoles 4 which participated in the slot game in accordance with wagering information and the prize judgment result obtained at the prize judgment processing (S11).

It is to be noted that wagering information is transmitted from the console 4 per wagering operation (S53) and stored in the RAM 58 along wagering acceptance processing to be described later (S24). Furthermore, the wagering information consists of wagering target (i.e., pay line), the number of wagering and payout table data. The payout table data are data to be determined by the wagering acceptance processing program and indicate any one the first payout table through the fifth payout table. That is, at the payout contents determination processing (S12), the game control unit 55 determines payout contents per wagering operation unit in accordance with prize judgment result, wagering target, the number of wagering and payout table of the payout table data to be applied along the wagering information (e.g., the third payout table).

After determining payout contents to all of wagering information stored in the RAM 58, the game control unit 55 transmits payout data to each console 4 which transmitted its wagering information. Receiving payout data, the console 4 can award payout to the player depending on the wagering operation.

After terminating the payout contents determination processing (S12), the game control unit 55 returns to the processing at S2, whereby the gaming machine 1 can commence a new unit game.

Next, there will be described the wagering acceptance processing program to be executed for the game control unit 55 of the gaming machine 1 by referring to drawings. FIG. 12 is a flowchart of the wagering acceptance processing program.

It is to be noted that the wagering acceptance processing program is executed by the game control unit 55 in parallel to the afore-mentioned main control processing program.

When the power of the gaming machine 1 is turned on, similar to the main control processing program, the game control unit 55 commences execution of the wagering acceptance processing program and judges whether or not to have received wagering information (wagering target and the number of wagering) from each console 4 constituting a part of the gaming machine 1. In case of receiving wagering information from the console 4 (S21: YES), the game control unit 55 goes on to a processing at S22. In case of not receiving wagering information (S21: NO), the game control unit 55 terminates the wagering acceptance program.

After terminating the wagering acceptance processing program, the game control unit 55 commences execution of the wagering acceptance processing program again. That is, the wagering acceptance program is executed repeatedly as long as the power of the gaming machine 1 is being supplied.

Receiving wagering information from the console 4 (S21: YES), the game control unit 55 refers to the clock circuit and specifies a point in time to receive the wagering information. After storing wagering information in the RAM 58 together with accept-time data indicating the point in time to receive the wagering information, the game control unit 55 goes on to a processing at S23.

Going on to the processing at S23, the game control unit 55 executes a payout table determination processing. At the payout table determination processing (S23), the game control unit 55 determines a payout table to be applied to the wagering information among the first payout table through the fifth payout table in accordance with the accept-time data.

As described, in the gaming machine 1 of the present embodiment, there are defined five kinds of payout tables, namely, the first payout table through the fifth payout table (see FIG. 1 and FIG. 6). As shown in FIG. 13, the first payout table through the fifth payout table are defined to have different payout rate of “100%”, “60%”, “40%”, “20%” and “10%”, respectively, in the order from the first payout table to the fifth payout table.

In this regard, there will be described the matter of payout rate difference among the five payout tables by taking the first payout table of “100%” payout rate and the fourth payout table of “20%” payout rate as an example.

As shown in FIG. 6, according to the first payout table, it is defined to award “100” as payout for “a winning symbol combination including two SEVEN symbols stopped and displayed on a pay line”. On the other hand, according to the fourth payout table shown in FIG. 14, it is defined to award “20” as payout for the above specified winning symbol combination. That is, the payout for the winning symbol combination defined with the fourth payout table is 20% of the payout for the same winning symbol combination defined with the first payout table.

As shown in FIG. 6 and FIG. 14, payouts for all winning symbol combinations defined with the fourth payout table are defined to be 20% of the payouts for all of the corresponding winning symbol combinations defined with the first payout table. Accordingly, the payout rate defined with the fourth payout table is 20% of the payout rate defined with the first payout table.

It is to be noted that, similar to the case of the fourth payout table, payout rate of the second payout table, that of the third payout table and that of the fifth payout table are defined to be respectively predetermined rate of that of the first payout table. That is, as to the second payout table, the third payout table and fifth payout table, payout rate of each winning symbol combination are defined to be predetermined percentage (“60%”, “40%”, “10%”) of that of the first payout table.

There will be described a payout table determination processing (S23) in detail by referring to drawings. As shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 13, the first payout table through the fifth payout table are associated with a general wagering period, a first wagering period through a five wagering period. To be more specific, a general wagering period and a first wagering period are associated with the first payout table, and the second wagering period is associated with the second payout table. In this regard, the third wagering period, the fourth wagering period and the fifth wagering period are associated with the third payout table, the fourth payout table and the fifth payout table, respectively.

Accordingly, at the payout table determination processing (S23), the game control unit 55 can detect “when the target wagering information was generated” by referring to accept-time data included in wagering information the game control unit 55 has received. Thereby, the game control unit 55 can determine a payout table corresponding to the receipt time of the target wagering information from the first payout table through the fifth payout table and make payout table data of the determined payout table associated with the target wagering information.

For example, in case of receiving certain wagering information during a third wagering period, i.e., between the time tc and the time td, the game control unit 55 associates the target wagering information with the payout table data directed to the third payout table.

After determining a payout table to be associated with accept-time data, the game control unit 55 associates the target wagering information with payout table data of the determined payout tale and goes on to a processing at S24.

After terminating the payout table determination processing (S23), the game control unit 55 adds the payout table data associated with the target wagering information to the wagering information and stores the wagering information inclusive of the added payout table data in the RAM 58. It is to be noted that wagering information includes identification data for identifying a console 4 which has transmitted the target wagering information.

After storing the wagering information in the RAM 58, the game control unit 55 terminates the wagering acceptance processing program. After terminating the wagering acceptance processing program, the game control unit 55 commences execution of the wagering acceptance processing program again. Thereby, the gaming machine 1 is capable of accepting wagering operation of each console 4 constantly as long as the main control processing program is being executed by the game control unit 55.

Next, there will be described a main control processing program to be executed for each console 4 in detail by referring to drawings. FIG. 15 is a flow chart of a control processing program to be executed for the console 4.

When the power of the gaming machine 1 is turned on, the console control unit 65 firstly causes the liquid crystal display 10 to display a wagering screen (see FIG. 9) through the display driving circuit 70 (S51). After that, the console control unit 65 goes on to a processing at S52.

Going on to the processing at S52, the console control unit 65 judges whether or not a wagering operation has been carried out by the player. To be more specific, the console control unit 65 makes the judgment on S52 in accordance with presence/absence of operation signals from touch panel 11 corresponding to touched locations of the pay line designation operation regions 80 and the wagering setting operation regions 81. In case a wagering operation has been carried out (S52: YES), the console control unit 65 adds identification data of the target console 4 to the wagering information (wagering target, the number of wagering) determined in accordance with the target wagering operation and transmits the wagering information to the game control unit 55 (S53). After transmitting the target wagering information to the game control unit 55, the console control unit 65 goes on to a processing at S54. In case a wagering operation has not been carried out (S52: NO), the console control unit 65 goes on to the processing at S54 skipping the processing at S53.

At S54, the console control unit 65 judges whether or not to have received payout data. The target payout data here corresponds to payout data transmitted from the game control unit 55 at S12 and indicates payout contents determined in accordance with a payout table corresponding to timing of the wagering operation, wagering information and game result.

In case of having received payout data transmitted from the game control unit 55 (S54: YES), the console control unit 65 adds payout based on the associated payout data to credits stored in the RAM 68. Furthermore, the console control unit 65 causes the liquid crystal display 10 to display a game result screen (not shown) in accordance with the target payout data through the display driving circuit 70 (S55). After causing the liquid crystal display 10 to display the game result screen, the console control unit 65 goes on to a processing at S56. In case of no having received the payout data transmitted from the game control unit 55 (S54: NO), the console control unit 65 goes on to the processing at S56.

Going to the processing at S56, the console control unit 65 judges whether or not a payout operation has been carried out. To be more specific, the console control unit 65 carries out judgment on S56 in accordance with presence/absence of a receipt of an operation signal from one of the operation buttons 12.

In case a payout operation has been carried out by the player (S56: YES), the console control unit 65 carries out a payout processing (S57). In case a payout operation has not been carried out by the player (S56: NO), the console control unit 65 returns to the processing at S51.

At the payout processing (S57), the console control unit 65 carries out a processing to payout coins corresponding to credit amount stored in the RAM 68 to the coin payout opening 15. After terminating the payout processing (S57), the console control unit 65 returns to the processing at S51 to cause the liquid crystal display 10 to display a wagering screen again.

Since the processing is return to S51, the player can carry out a new wagering operation to the slot game with the console 4.

As described so far, according to the gaming machine 1 and the playing method of the gaming machine 1 directed to the present embodiment, participation in a unit game in a form of wagering operation with the console 4 is acceptable while the slot game in the gaming machine 1 is being executed. Accordingly, the player can participate in and enjoy the slot game constantly without participation restriction depending on game progress of the slot machine. That is, the gaming machine 1 and the playing method of the gaming machine 1 directed to the present embodiment is thus capable of providing players with convenience of “free game participation timing”.

Additionally, in the gaming machine 1 and the playing method of the gaming machine 1 directed to the present embodiment, an appropriate payout table is determined among plural payout tables of different payout rate at the payout table determination processing (S23) depending on wagering operation timing (i.e., time when receiving wagering information). Payout contents of the target wagering information are determined in accordance with the determined payout table (S12) and the payout is awarded to the player (S54, S57).

That is, since payout contents to be awarded for certain game result are variously changed depending on wagering operation timing, the gaming machine 1 and the playing method of the gaming machine 1 directed to the present embodiment is capable of providing players with “variety of payout contents depending on game result”.

Additionally, in the gaming machine 1 and the playing method of the gaming machine 1 directed to the present embodiment, an appropriate payout table is determined among the first payout table through the fifth payout table at the payout table determination processing (S23) depending on wagering operation timing, and payout is awarded in accordance with the determined payout table. At the payout table determination processing (S23), as the wagering operation timing is later, a lower-payout-rated payout table is applied to the target wagering information.

In the slot game executed with the gaming machine 1, every time a predetermined length of time terminates, varying display of symbols 46 in each reel display region is stopped sequentially in the order from the first reel display region 23 to the fifth reel display region. That is, a game result is sequentially informed of the players along a lapse of a predetermined length of time.

As described, the player can participate in the slot game any time by means of wagering operation. Therefore, the player can also participate in the target unit game at a stage in which symbols 46 have been stopped and displayed in plural reel display regions (e.g., the first reel display region 23 through the fourth reel display region 26). In this case, since a part of the game result has already been informed of the player, the player can predict a pay line which is likely to have a winning symbol combination judging from already stopped and displayed symbols 46. Accordingly, by delaying wagering operation timing, the player can win a payout more easily in comparison with early wagering operation carried out when varying of symbols 46 is just commenced.

In this regard, as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 14, each of the first payout table through the fifth payout table is associated with stop and display timing of symbols 46 in each reel display region. Accordingly, the payout table determination processing (S24) is carried out such that as wagering operation timing is made later, a lower-payout-rated payout table is associated with the wagering operation.

Accordingly, payout in accordance with a high-payout-rated payout table is awarded to a player who carried out a wagering operation when a unit game just commenced whereas payout in accordance with a low-payout-rated payout table is awarded to a player who carried out a wagering operation when a predetermined length of time passed from commencement of the game where winning of payout is easier.

That is, in the gaming machine 1, an appropriate payout table is selected among plural payout tables of different payout rate depending on game progress (i.e., stage of already-informed game result). Thereby, the gaming machine 1 is capable of preventing “difference of difficulty to win a payout depending on game progress”, a negative part which is caused in case of allowing players to participate in a unit game any time. Furthermore, the gaming machine 1 is capable of providing players who participate in a game with plural consoles 4 with joy of game under the sense of fairness without arising sense of unfairness among players who participated in the unit game at different timing.

Furthermore, according to the gaming machine 1 directed to the present embodiment, an appropriate payout table is selected from plural payout tables (first payout table through fifth payout table) respectively predefined with different payout rate. Therefore, appropriate payout contents depending on wagering timing can be determined without processional burden on the game control unit 55.

It is to be noted that the present invention is not restricted to the above-described embodiment but, not to mention, it can be variously improved and changed within the scope not departing from the subject matter thereof.

For example, the gaming machine 1 of the present embodiment is a gaming machine for executing so-called slot game. However, kind of game is not restricted to slot game. That is, games for the inventive gaming machine may be any kinds of games of which game result is informed of players with sequential step. Horse race game (e.g., game in which order of race horses' arrival is the wagering target), and the like can be applied to the game.

As to the slot game executed with the gaming machine 1 directed to the present embodiment, the first reel display region 23 through the fifth reel display region 27 are sequentially stopped and displayed so as inform players of game result with sequential step. The number of sequential steps to inform of game result may be any plural number. That is, the present invention is applicable to various games such as so-called three-reel slot game and the like.

Furthermore, in the present embodiment, the first reel display region 23 through the fifth reel display region 27 are sequentially stopped and displayed in the order from the first reel display region. However, the order for the reel display region to stop and display can be determined freely. For example, the order for the reel display region to stop and display symbols 46 can be determined randomly so that game result should be informed with sequential step in accordance with the determined order.

In the present embodiment, the payout table determination processing (S23) and the payout contents determination processing (S12) are executed by the game control unit 55. However, it is also possible to make the console control unit 65 execute the above specified processing. In that case, a wagering target and the number of wagering are stored in the RAM 68 of a console 68, and specifying of the wagering operation timing and determination of a payout table to be applied to the wagering are carried out by at the end of the console 4. Accordingly, the console control unit 65 can determine appropriate payout contents by only receiving game result from the game control unit 55, whereby load due to communicational processing between the game control unit 55 and the console control unit 65 can be lessened.

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
US8282479Feb 4, 2011Oct 9, 2012Video Gaming Technologies, Inc.Gaming machine with screen split and merge feature
US8657673Dec 21, 2011Feb 25, 2014Video Gaming Technologies, Inc.Gaming machine with wager reallocation feature
US8747216 *Mar 10, 2010Jun 10, 2014Isi, LtdSportsbook room and method therefor
US20110223980 *Mar 10, 2010Sep 15, 2011Bill StearnsSportsbook room and method therefor
WO2014062008A1 *Oct 17, 2013Apr 24, 2014(주)넥스케이드Multi-reel game device and method of controlling same
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/25, 463/42
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/34, G07F17/322, G07F17/3227, G07F17/3202, G07F17/3211
European ClassificationG07F17/32C, G07F17/32C4D, G07F17/32E2, G07F17/32C2F, G07F17/34
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 13, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC., NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OKADA, KAZUO;REEL/FRAME:020503/0255
Effective date: 20071115