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Publication numberUS20080254869 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/950,941
Publication dateOct 16, 2008
Filing dateDec 5, 2007
Priority dateApr 13, 2007
Publication number11950941, 950941, US 2008/0254869 A1, US 2008/254869 A1, US 20080254869 A1, US 20080254869A1, US 2008254869 A1, US 2008254869A1, US-A1-20080254869, US-A1-2008254869, US2008/0254869A1, US2008/254869A1, US20080254869 A1, US20080254869A1, US2008254869 A1, US2008254869A1
InventorsJun Fujimoto, Yukinori Inamura
Original AssigneeAruze Corp.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming machine and playing method thereof
US 20080254869 A1
Abstract
A gaming machine executes a unit game in which it is determined whether or not an outcome of the unit game is worth awarding a payout. The gaming machine includes a lower LCD for displaying images relating to the unit games, a counter for accumulating a count-value with successive unit games and resetting the count-value when a predefined reset condition is met, and a controller. The controller provides a predefined payout to a player when the outcome of the unit game turns out to be a specific outcome. The controller also receives a wager for an insurance pay. Furthermore, the controller provides a progressive bonus to the player when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with a wager for the insurance pay.
Images(28)
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Claims(18)
1. A gaming machine for executing unit games successively, comprising:
a display for displaying an image relating to the unit game;
a counter for accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, and resetting the count-value when a predefined reset condition is met; and
a controller operable to:
(a) provide a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of a unit game turns out to be a specific outcome;
(b) receive a wager for an insurance pay; and
(c) provide an accumulation of the wager for the insurance pay to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
2. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein
the count-value is any one of the number of executed unit games, a bet amount on the unit game, and a difference between a bet amount and a payout amount in the unit game.
3. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein
the predefined reset condition is that the outcome of the unit game turns out to be the specific outcome.
4. A gaming machine for executing unit games successively, comprising:
a display for displaying an image relating to the unit games;
a counter for accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, and resetting the count-value when a predefined reset condition is met; and
a controller operable to:
(a) provide a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of a unit game turns out to be a specific outcome;
(b) receive a wager for an insurance pay; and
(c) provide an accumulation of a portion of a bet amount on the unit game to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
5. The gaming machine according to claim 4, wherein
the count-value is any one of the number of executed unit games, the bet amount on the unit game, and a difference between the bet amount and a payout amount in the unit game.
6. The gaming machine according to claim 4, wherein
the predefined reset condition is that the outcome of the unit game turns out to be the specific outcome.
7. A gaming machine for executing unit games successively, comprising:
a display for displaying an image relating to the unit games;
a counter for accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, and resetting the count-value when a predefined reset condition is met; and
a controller operable to:
(a) provide a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of a unit game turns out to be a specific outcome;
(b) receive a wager for an insurance pay; and
(c) provide an accumulation of a portion of the predefined payout to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
8. The gaming machine according to claim 7, wherein
the count-value is any one of the number of executed unit games, a bet amount on the unit game, and a difference between a bet amount and a payout amount in the unit game.
9. The gaming machine according to claim 7, wherein
the predefined reset condition is that the outcome of the unit game turns out to be the specific outcome.
10. A playing method of a gaming machine executing unit games successively, comprising:
placing a bet on a unit game;
providing a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of the unit game turns out to be a specific outcome;
placing a wager for an insurance pay;
accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, the count-value being reset when a predefined reset condition is met; and
providing an accumulation of the wager for the insurance pay to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
11. The playing method of a gaming machine according to claim 10, wherein
the count-value is any one of the number of executed unit games, a bet amount on the unit game, and a difference between a bet amount and a payout amount in the unit game.
12. The playing method of a gaming machine according to claim 10, wherein
the predefined reset condition is that the outcome of the unit game turns out to be the specific outcome.
13. A playing method of a gaming machine executing unit games successively, comprising:
placing a bet on a unit game;
providing a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of the unit game turns out to be a specific outcome;
placing a wager for an insurance pay;
accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, the count-value being reset when a predefined reset condition is met; and
providing an accumulation of a portion of a bet amount on the unit game to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
14. The playing method of a gaming machine according to claim 13, wherein
the count-value is any one of the number of executed unit games, the bet amount on the unit game, and a difference between the bet amount and a payout amount in the unit game.
15. The playing method of a gaming machine according to claim 13, wherein
the predefined reset condition is that the outcome of the unit game turns out to be the specific outcome.
16. A playing method of a gaming machine executing unit games successively, comprising:
placing a bet on a unit game;
providing a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of the unit game turns out to be a specific outcome;
placing a wager for an insurance pay;
accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, the count-value being reset when a predefined reset condition is met; and
providing an accumulation of a portion of the predefined payout to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
17. The playing method of a gaming machine according to claim 16, wherein
the count-value is any one of the number of executed unit games, a bet amount on the unit game, and a difference between a bet amount and a payout amount in the unit game.
18. The playing method of a gaming machine according to claim 16, wherein
the predefined reset condition is that the outcome of the unit game turns out to be the specific outcome.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application is based upon and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/907,684, filed on Apr. 13, 2007; the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to a gaming machine such as a slot machine and a playing method thereof.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    At a facility where gaming machines such as slot machines are installed, a player can play a game by placing a wager (coins or credits etc.) on the gaming machine. With a slot machine, for example, each time the player places a wager and presses a start switch, a unit game is executed for rearranging a plurality of symbols on a display. Then, when the combination of the rearranged symbols turns out to be a predefined winning combination, a payout is provided to the player according to the winning combination. Furthermore, a jackpot payout may be also provided. In other words, a portion of the wager is accumulated for the jackpot in the slot machine. Then, whether or not to provide a payout of the jackpot is determined at a predefined timing, and the accumulated credits for the jackpot are provided to the player when it is determined to provide the payout.
  • [0006]
    There are patent publications disclosing the above-mentioned gaming machine as follows. U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,459, U.S. Pat. No. 6,695,697, U.S. Laid-Open Patent Application No. 2003/0069073, European Laid-Open Patent Application No. 1192975, U.S. Pat. No. 6,254,483, U.S. Pat. No. 5,611,730, U.S. Pat. No. 5,639,088, U.S. Pat. No. 6,257,981, U.S. Pat. No. 6,234,896, U.S. Pat. No. 6,001,016, U.S. Pat. No. 6,273,820, U.S. Pat. No. 6,224,482, U.S. Pat. No. 4,669,731, U.S. Pat. No. 6,244,957, U.S. Pat. No. 5,910,048, U.S. Pat. No. 5,695,402, U.S. Pat. No. 6,003,013, U.S. Pat. No. 4,283,709, European Laid-Open Patent Application No. 0631798, German Laid-Open Patent Application No. 4137010, Great Britain Laid-Open Patent Application No. 2326830, German Laid-Open Patent Application No. 3712841, U.S. Pat. No. 4,964,638, U.S. Pat. No. 6,089,980, U.S. Pat. No. 5,280,909, U.S. Pat. No. 5,702,303, U.S. Pat. No. 6,270,409, U.S. Pat. No. 5,770,533, U.S. Pat. No. 5,836,817, U.S. Pat. No. 6,932,704, U.S. Pat. No. 6,932,707, U.S. Pat. No. 4,837,728, European Laid-Open Patent Application No. 1302914, U.S. Pat. No. 4,624,459, U.S. Pat. No. 5,564,700, PCT Laid-Open Application No. 03/083795, German Laid-Open Patent Application No. 3242890, European Laid-Open Patent Application No. 0840264, German Laid-Open Patent Application No. 10049444, PCT Laid-Open Application No. 04/095383, European Laid-Open Patent Application No. 1544811, U.S. Pat. No. 5,890,963, European Laid-Open Patent Application No. 1477947, and European Laid-Open Patent Application No. 1351180.
  • [0007]
    It is an object of the present invention to reduce player's anxiety and provide a gaming machine and playing method thereof that have a better entertainment feature.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    A gaming machine according to a first aspect of the present invention executes unit games successively, and comprises: a display for displaying an image relating to the unit game; a counter for accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, and resetting the count-value when a predefined reset condition is met; and a controller. The controller is operable to: (a) provide a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of a unit game turns out to be a specific outcome; (b) receive a wager for an insurance pay; and (c) provide an accumulation of the wager for the insurance pay to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
  • [0009]
    A gaming machine according to a second aspect of the present invention executes unit games successively, and comprises: a display for displaying an image relating to the unit games; a counter for accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, and resetting the count-value when a predefined reset condition is met; and a controller. The controller operable to: (a) provide a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of a unit game turns out to be a specific outcome; (b) receive a wager for an insurance pay; and (c) provide an accumulation of a portion of a bet amount on the unit game to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
  • [0010]
    A gaming machine according to a third aspect of the present invention executes unit games successively, and comprises: a display for displaying an image relating to the unit games; a counter for accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, and resetting the count-value when a predefined reset condition is met; and a controller. The controller is operable to: (a) provide a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of a unit game turns out to be a specific outcome; (b) receive a wager for an insurance pay; and (c) provide an accumulation of a portion of the predefined payout to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
  • [0011]
    A playing method of a gaming machine, which executes unit games successively, according to a fourth aspect of the present invention comprises: placing a bet on a unit game; providing a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of the unit game turns out to be a specific outcome; placing a wager for an insurance pay; accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, the count-value being reset when a predefined reset condition is met; and providing an accumulation of the wager for the insurance pay to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
  • [0012]
    A playing method of a gaming machine, which executes unit games successively, according to a fifth aspect of the present invention comprises: placing a bet on a unit game; providing a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of the unit game turns out to be a specific outcome; placing a wager for an insurance pay; accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, the count-value being reset when a predefined reset condition is met; and providing an accumulation of a portion of a bet amount on the unit game to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
  • [0013]
    A playing method of a gaming machine, which executes unit games successively, according to a sixth aspect of the present invention comprises: placing a bet on a unit game; providing a predefined payout to a player when an outcome of the unit game turns out to be a specific outcome; placing a wager for an insurance pay; accumulating a count-value with successive execution of the unit games, the count-value being reset when a predefined reset condition is met; and providing an accumulation of a portion of the predefined payout to the player as a progressive bonus, when the count-value reaches a predefined value in the unit game with the wager for the insurance pay.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0014]
    Exemplary embodiments of the invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only exemplary embodiments and are, therefore, not to be considered limiting of the invention's scope, the exemplary embodiments of the invention will be described with additional specificity and detail through use of the accompanying drawings in which:
  • [0015]
    FIG. 1 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the playing method of a slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating an arrangement of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of a control circuit of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of a unit game execution processing according to a first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of a wager processing to a rescue pay shown in FIG. 4.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the execution processing of the slot game shown in FIG. 4.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 7 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the count processing of the unit game shown in FIG. 4.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 8 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the rescue pay execution processing shown in FIG. 4.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 9 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the payout processing shown in FIG. 4.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 10 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of an exemplary modification of the payout processing shown in FIG. 9.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 11 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the exemplary modification of the payout processing shown in FIG. 9.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 12 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of an exemplary modification of the count processing of the unit game shown in FIG. 7.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 13 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the unit game execution processing according to a second embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 14 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the count processing of the expended wager shown in FIG. 13.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 15 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the rescue pay execution processing shown in FIG. 13.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 16 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the exemplary modification of the count processing of the expended wager shown in FIG. 14.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 17 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the count processing of the unit game in the unit game execution processing according to a third embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 18 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the rescue pay execution processing in the unit game execution processing according to the third embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 19 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the exemplary modification of the count processing of the unit game shown in FIG. 17.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 20 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the unit game execution processing according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 21 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the count processing of the unit game shown in FIG. 20.
  • [0036]
    FIG. 22 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of a reset processing shown in FIG. 20.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 23 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the unit game execution processing according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0038]
    FIG. 24 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the count processing of the expended wager shown in FIG. 23.
  • [0039]
    FIG. 25 is a flow chart illustrating the flow of the reset processing shown in FIG. 23.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 26 is payout table illustrating the relationship between a winning combination and a payout of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0041]
    FIG. 27A is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0042]
    FIG. 27B is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0043]
    FIG. 28 is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0044]
    FIG. 29A is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0045]
    FIG. 29B is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0046]
    FIG. 30A is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 30B is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 31A is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0049]
    FIG. 31B is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0050]
    FIG. 32A is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0051]
    FIG. 32B is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0052]
    FIG. 33 is an exemplary display displayed on an LCD of the slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS
  • [0053]
    Configuration of a slot machine according to one embodiment of the present invention and a playing method thereof will be described below with reference to the drawings.
  • [Playing Method of the Slot Machine]
  • [0054]
    First, referring to FIG. 1, the flow of the playing method of the slot machine of the present embodiment will be described.
  • [0055]
    When executing a game play, the slot machine of the present embodiment first receives a bet on a unit game, which is an executing unit of slot games (step S11). Specifically, medals or coins are inserted, or a bet of monetary information (credits) is received. Upon reception of abet on the unit game, the slot machine next receives a wager for an insurance pay (referred to as “rescue pay” hereinafter; “insurance pay” and “rescue pay” are both pending applications for trademark registration) (step S12).
  • [0056]
    The term “rescue pay” means, as described below, a payout of a progressive bonus when (i) the number of unit games without a predefined payout amount (e.g., corresponding to 60 or more medals per bet) has reached an upper limit (e.g., 1000 games), or (ii) wagers for successive unit games without a predefined payout amount has reached an upper limit (e.g., equivalent to 3000 medals).
  • [0057]
    The term “progressive bonus” means all of or a portion of gaming monetary value accumulated according to the plays on the slot machine. For example, the “progressive bonus” means any one of or a combination of: (i) accumulated value of the wager for the insurance pay; (ii) accumulated value of a portion of the wager on the unit game; and (iii) accumulated value of a portion of the payout for a specific outcome of the unit game.
  • [0058]
    Next, the slot machine executes a slot game (step S13). In the slot game, symbols are scrolled on each of three display areas Q1 to Q3 triggered by the player's pressing down a start switch 27, and are subsequently stopped. Then, if the combination of the symbols displayed on the display areas Q1 to Q3 (outcome of the slot game) turns out to be a winning combination, a payout is provided to the player according to the winning combination. Subsequently, the number of executed games (or expended bet amount) is counted (step S14).
  • [0059]
    Next, it is determined whether or not the outcome of the slot game is a specific outcome (step S15). Here, “specific outcome” is, for example, a case in which the payout per credit reaches or exceeds 60. Specifically, it is a case when “DOUBLE” (specific symbol) or “triple BAR” (specific symbol) shown in FIG. 26 has aligned across the three display areas Q1 to Q3. Then, in the case of the specific outcome (YES in step S15), the number of executed games (or expended bet amount) counted in the processing in step S14 is reset (step S19). Subsequently, a payout is provided to the player according to the specific outcome (step S20).
  • [0060]
    On the other hand, if the outcome of the game is not a specific outcome (NO in step S15), it is determined whether or not the current game is a game with a rescue pay (referred to as a “rescue game”, hereinafter) (step S16). In case of the rescue game, it is determined whether or not the number of executed games has reached an upper limit (predefined value) (step S17). Then, if the number of executed games has reached the upper limit, a progressive bonus is paid out to the player (step S18). Alternatively, it is determined whether or not the expended bet amount has reached an upper limit and, if the expended bet amount has reached the upper limit, a progressive bonus is paid out to the player.
  • [0061]
    With the playing method of the slot machine of the present embodiment, as described above, a progressive bonus is paid out to the player if the number of executed games has reached an upper limit during the rescue games, or if the expended bet amount have reached an upper limit.
  • [Configuration of the Slot Machine]
  • [0062]
    Next, an arrangement of the slot machine of the present embodiment will be described, referring to FIGS. 2 and 3.
  • [0063]
    A slot machine 10 of the present embodiment includes a cabinet 11 and a top box 12 provided on top of the cabinet 11, as shown in FIG. 2. The cabinet 11 has a main door 13. A lower LCD 16 is disposed on the front of the cabinet 11 facing the player. Inside the cabinet 11 are disposed various component devices such as a controller 40 and a hopper 44 (see FIG. 3). The controller 40 electrically controls the slot machine 10. The hopper 44 controls insertion, storage, and payout of medals.
  • [0064]
    In the present embodiment, medals are used for a wager when playing a game. Gaming media for the wager is not only limited to medals, but coins, tokens, electronic money, or other equivalent electronic value information (credits) may also be used. The main door 13 is attached to the cabinet 11 so that it can be opened and closed. The lower LCD 16 is disposed on an upper portion of the main door 13.
  • [0065]
    The lower LCD 16 displays images relating to a variety of games including a slot game. In the slot game, symbols are rearranged after being scrolled on each of the three display areas Q1 to Q3 arranged laterally. Then, a predefined payout is provided to the player (with medals or credits) if the combination of the symbols rearranged on the display areas Q1 to Q3 turns out to be a winning combination (see FIG. 26).
  • [0066]
    A medal insertion slot 21 and a bill validator 22 are disposed at a lower part of the lower LCD 16. Medals are inserted into the medal insertion slot 21 when playing a game. The bill validator 22 validates bills and accepts valid ones. Various operational switches are disposed nearby the medal insertion slot 21 and the bill validator 22. In the present embodiment, a cash-out switch 23, a max bet switch 24, a bet switch 25, a repeat bet switch 26, and a start switch 27 are provided as operational switches.
  • [0067]
    The bet switch 25 is a switch for determining credits to be bet on the slot game, which is executed on the lower LCD 16. Each time the bet switch 25 is pressed, a credit equivalent to one medal is bet. The Repeat bet switch 26 is a switch for placing a bet with the credits as bet on the previous game.
  • [0068]
    The start switch 27 is a switch for starting the slot game on the lower LCD 16 after credits are bet. After the medal(s) is inserted into the medal insertion slot 21 or credits are bet by the bet switch 25, the slot game on the display areas Q1 to Q3 of the lower LCD 16 is started by pressing the start switch 27. The cash-out switch 23 is a switch for paying out medals. The medals are paid out onto a medal tray 18 from a medal cash-out opening 28 disposed on the front lower part of the main door 13.
  • [0069]
    The max bet switch 24 is a switch for placing a bet with maximum credits (e.g., three medals) that can be bet on a single game by one pressing. The maximum credits that can be bet on a single slot game may be changed by operation of the administrator. For example, credits equivalent to 50 medals can be bet. A foot display 34 is disposed on the lower front of the main door 13. Various images relating to the game (such as characters of the slot machine 10) are displayed on the foot display 34.
  • [0070]
    Lamps 47 are provided on both sides of the foot display 34. The lamp 47 emits light based on a preset light emission pattern. The medal cash-out opening 28 is provided on the lower part of the foot display 34. An upper LCD 33 is disposed on the front of the top box 12. The number of medals to be paid out according to the combination of the symbols and other effect images are displayed on the upper LCD 33. Speakers 29 are provided on the top box 12. A ticket printer 35, a card reader 36, a data display 37, and a keypad 38 are disposed on the lower part of the upper LCD 33. The ticket printer 35 prints out a ticket 39 having data such as a possessing credit value, time and date, identification number of the slot machine 10 printed thereon as a bar code.
  • [0071]
    The player can play a game at another slot machine by using the bar-coded ticket 39, and exchange the bar-coded ticket 39 for bills at a predefined site in an amusement facility (e.g., a cashier in the casino). A smart card can be inserted into the card reader 36. The card reader 36 reads the data from the smart card and writes the data onto the smart card. The smart card is carried by the player. The smart card stores the player's identification data and gaming history data.
  • [0072]
    FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating the electric configuration of the controller 40 and various devices connected to the controller 40, which are provided in the slot machine 10 of the present embodiment. The controller 40 shown in FIG. 3 is a microcomputer. The controller 40 includes interface circuits 102, an I/O bus 104, a CPU 106, a ROM 108, a RAM 110, a signal communication interface circuit 111, a random number generator (RNG) 112, a speaker drive circuit 122, a hopper drive circuit 124, a counter 128, and a display controller 140.
  • [0073]
    The interface circuits 102 are connected to the I/O bus 104. The I/O bus 104 executes input and output of data signals and address signals with the CPU 106. The start switch 27 is connected to the interface circuits 102. The start signal output from the start switch 27 is transmitted to the CPU 106 via the I/O bus 104, after having been converted into a predefined signal by the interface circuits 102.
  • [0074]
    The bet switch 25, the max bet switch 24, the repeat bet switch 26, and the cash-out switch 23 are connected to the interface circuit 102. The switching signal output from each of the switches 23-26 is transmitted to the CPU 106 via the I/O bus 104, after having been converted into a predefined signal by the interface circuits 102.
  • [0075]
    A medal sensor 43 is connected to the interface circuits 102. The medal sensor 43 detects medals, which have been inserted into the medal insertion slot 21. The medal sensor 43 is provided inside the medal insertion slot 21. The detection signal output from the medal sensor 43 is transmitted to the CPU 106 via the I/O bus 104, after having been converted into a predefined signal by the interface circuits 102.
  • [0076]
    The ROM 108 storing a system program and the RAM 110 storing various data are connected to the I/O bus 104. The RNG 112, the signal communication interface circuit 111, the display controller 140, the hopper drive circuit 124, the speaker drive circuit 122, and the counter 128 are also connected to the I/O bus 104.
  • [0077]
    The CPU 106, triggered by receiving the start signal from the start switch 27, reads a game execution program and executes a slot game. The game execution program is a program for executing the slot game on the lower LCD 16 through the display controller 140. In other words, the game execution program is programmed so as to execute a slot game in which the symbols comes to a stop after scrolling (the symbols which have been arranged are rearranged) on respective display areas Q1 to Q3 (see FIG. 2) and a payout will be awarded when a winning combination is formed by the rearranged symbols.
  • [0078]
    The signal communication interface circuit 111, which is connected to a hall server etc., transmits gaming history data etc. of the slot machine 10 to the hall server. The signal communication interface circuit 111 receives various data transmitted from the hall server. Based on the random number generated by the RNG 112, it is determined whether or not to award a winning combination in the slot game on the lower LCD 16.
  • [0079]
    The counter 128 has the functions of (i) counting the number of times the unit game is executed (number of slot games executed on the display areas Q1 to Q3=number of executed games), (ii) counting the number of inserted medals during successively executed slot games, and (iii) counting the difference between the number of inserted medals and the number of paid-out medals during successively executed slot games.
  • [0080]
    The “number of inserted medals during successively executed slot games” is an accumulated value of the inserted medals. For example, if the slot game is executed ten times with three medals (credits) bet on each game, the number of inserted medals will be 30. Also, the “difference between the number of inserted medals and the number of paid-out medals during successively executed slot games” is an accumulated value of difference value which is got by subtracting the number of paid-out medals from the inserted medals (in other words, a difference value which is got by subtracting the accumulated number of the paid-out medals from the accumulated number of the inserted medals). For example, if the slot game is executed ten times with three medals (credits) bet on each game, and a payout of ten medals (credits) is provided during the ten games, the difference will be 20. The counter 128 can be implemented inside the RAM 110.
  • [0081]
    The speaker drive circuit 122 outputs audio data to the speakers 29. In other words, the CPU 106 reads the audio data stored in the ROM 108 and transmits the audio data to the speaker drive circuit 122 via the I/O bus 104. In this manner, predefined sound effects are output from the speakers 29. The hopper drive circuit 124 outputs a cash-out signal to the hopper 44 when providing a cash-out. In other words, the cash-out signal is output by pressing the cash-out switch 23. The CPU 106 outputs, when the cash-out signal is input, a drive signal to the hopper drive circuit 124 via the I/O bus 104. As a result, the hopper 44 cash out medals equivalent to the credits stored in a predefined memory area of the RAM 110.
  • [0082]
    The display controller 140 controls display of the slot game executed on the lower LCD 16. In other words, the CPU 106 generates an image display signal according to the progress and outcome of the slot game and outputs the image display signal to the display controller 140 via the I/O bus 104. Upon input of the image display signal, the display controller 140 generates a drive signal of the lower LCD 16 based on the image display signal and outputs it to the lower LCD 16. In this manner, various images such as effect images or explanatory images of the game are displayed on the lower LCD 16.
  • [0083]
    A touch-screen 19 is provided on the surface of the lower LCD 16. When the player touches the touch-screen 19, the touch position is detected and transmitted as data to the CPU 106. In addition, the display controller 140 also controls display of various images such as effect images or explanatory images of the game on the upper LCD 33.
  • First Embodiment
  • [0084]
    Next, the processing procedures according to a first embodiment for executing the unit game on the above-mentioned slot machine 10 will be described.
  • [Unit Game Execution Processing]
  • [0085]
    In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 4, a bet on the unit game is firstly received (step S31). Specifically, the insertion of the medal(s) into the medal insertion slot 21 or the pressing-down of the bet switches 24, 25 is detected by the CPU 106. Next, a wager processing for the rescue pay is executed (step S32). Here, the wager for the rescue pay is received via the touch-screen 19 on the lower LCD 16. The details will be described below, referring to the flow chart shown in FIG. 5. Subsequently, it is determined whether or not the start switch 27 is pressed (step S33). If the start switch 27 is pressed, the processing proceeds to step S34.
  • [0086]
    Next, a slot game execution processing is executed (step S34) Here, a processing of rearranging the symbols having been arranged on respective three display areas Q1 to Q3 is executed. The details will be described below referring to the flow chart shown in FIG. 6. Next, a count processing of the unit game is executed (step S35). In this processing, the count-value of the counter 128 is incremented each time the unit game is executed. The details will be described below, referring to the flow chart of FIG. 7.
  • [0087]
    Next, a rescue pay execution processing is executed (step S36). In this processing, if a payout equal to or larger than a specified amount (e.g., corresponding to 60 or more medals per one medal) is not provided during a predefined number of executed unit games (e.g., 1000 games), a progressive bonus is awarded to the player. The details will be described referring to the flow chart of FIG. 8. Next, a payout processing is executed (step S37). In this processing, if a winning combination is formed by the rearranged symbols on the three display areas Q1 to Q3, or if the progressive bonus is awarded, a payout is provided (as medals or credits) to the player. Subsequently, the processing proceeds to the next unit game.
  • [Wager Processing for Rescue Pay]
  • [0088]
    Next, the wager processing for the rescue pay shown in step S32 of FIG. 4 will be described in detail with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 5.
  • [0089]
    First, it is determined whether or not the current unit game is a rescue game (step S51). Then, if the current unit game is not the rescue game (NO in step S51), the processing proceeds to step S52. On the other hand, if the current unit game is a rescue game (YES in step S51), the processing is completed.
  • [0090]
    If the determination of step S51 is negative, a wager for the rescue pay is received (step S52). Next, an image notifying acceptance of the wager for the rescue pay is displayed on the upper LCD 33 and the lower LCD 16 (step S53). FIG. 27A shows the exemplary image displayed on the upper LCD 33. FIG. 27B shows the exemplary image displayed on the lower LCD 16. In FIG. 27A, a “RESCUE OFF” image 200 is displayed indicating a state that a wager for the rescue pay has not currently been placed. Additionally, in FIG. 27B, a button 210 for presenting explanation of the rescue pay is displayed. When the player touches the button 210, the touch operation is detected by the touch-screen 19 (see FIG. 3).
  • [0091]
    Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 28, an explanatory image 220 of the rescue pay is displayed. In this example, a statement “What's rescue pay? If a x60 or higher payout has not been awarded during 1000 games with a wager for rescue pay, a progressive bonus will be provided. Turn on rescue?” In this manner, the player is informed of the content of the rescue pay and prompted to select either one of selection images 221 and 222 indicating “YES” or “NO”. If the “YES” image 221 is selected, the player is notified that a predefined wager is required for activating the rescue game. Then, if a wager for the rescue pay is placed, a “RESCUE ON” image 230 is displayed on the upper LCD 33 as shown in FIG. 29A. Additionally, as shown in FIG. 29B, a statement 236 “A progressive bonus will be provided if a x60 or higher payout has not been awarded during 1000 games.” is displayed on the lower LCD 16 in order to notify the player that the current unit game is a rescue game.
  • [0092]
    Subsequently, it is determined whether or not a wager for the rescue pay has been placed (step S54). If a wager for the rescue pay has not been placed (NO in step S54), the processing is completed. On the other hand, if a wager for the rescue pay has been placed (YES in step S54), the processing proceeds to step S55. A predefined number of unit games to be executed are set as the rescue game (step S55). In addition, 20 credits are required for placing a wager for the rescue pay. The processing is completed after step S55.
  • [Execution Processing of the Slot Game]
  • [0093]
    Next, the execution processing of the slot game shown in step S34 of FIG. 4 will be described in detail with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 6.
  • [0094]
    The symbols to be stopped on each of the display areas Q1 to Q3 are determined based on the random number generated by the RNG 112 (see FIG. 3) (step S71). Subsequently, the symbols are scrolled on each of the display areas Q1 to Q3, and the scrolling symbols are stopped after a predefined time period (e.g., five seconds) has elapsed (step S72). Here, the stopped symbols have been determined in step S71. Subsequently, the processing proceeds to step S73.
  • [0095]
    It is determined whether or not a winning combination awarding a payout has been formed on the display areas Q1 to Q3 (step S73). The winning combinations are defined in the payout table shown in FIG. 26. Specifically, each of the payouts is predefined, such as: (i) if three “DOUBLE” symbols are in alignment across the display areas Q1 to Q3, a payout of 800 credits is awarded per one credit; (ii) if three “triple BAR” symbols are in alignment across the display areas Q1 to Q3, a payout of 60 credits is awarded per one credit. Additionally, (iii) if three “double BAR” symbols are in alignment, (iv) if three “CHERRY” symbols are in alignment, (v) if three “single BAR” symbols are in alignment, (vi) if three of any of “triple BAR” symbols, “double BAR” symbols, and “single BAR” symbols are in alignment; (vii) if two “CHERRY” symbols are in alignment, or (viii) if one “CHERRY” symbol has appeared, predefined payouts are awarded respectively.
  • [0096]
    Subsequently, a processing for providing a payout is executed according to the above-mentioned winning combination (step S74). It is determined whether or not specific symbols have been aligned across the display areas Q1 to Q3 (step S75). In the present embodiment, the specific symbols are the symbols that constitute a winning combination to award a x60 or higher payout. Thus, as shown in FIG. 26, it is determined that the specific symbols are in alignment when three “DOUBLE” symbols or three “triple BAR” symbols are in alignment.
  • [0097]
    Next, if it is determined that the specific symbols are in alignment (YES in step S75), the specific symbol alignment flag is set to “1” (step S76). Subsequently, the processing is completed. In the execution processing of the slot game shown in FIG. 6, a payout for is provided according to a winning combination when the winning combination has been rearranged. Furthermore, when specific symbols (three “DOUBLE” symbols or three “triple BAR” symbols in the present embodiment) which award a larger profit to the player are in alignment, a payout is provided according to the specific symbol and also the specific symbol alignment flag is set to “1”.
  • [Count Processing of Unit Game]
  • [0098]
    Next, the count processing of the unit game of step S35 of FIG. 4 will be described in detail with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 7.
  • [0099]
    First, the count-value Ta of the unit game is incremented [Ta=Ta+1] (step S91). Here, the initial value (when the slot machine 10 is powered on) of the count-value Ta is zero. In addition, the count-value Ta is reset in step S93 described below. Note that the count-value Ta is a value for counting the number of executed unit games. Upon completion of step S91, the processing proceeds to step S92.
  • [0100]
    Next, it is determined whether or not the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (step S92). In other words, it is determined whether or not the specific symbol alignment flag of step S76 of FIG. 6 is “1”. If the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (YES in step S92), the count-value Ta is reset (step S93).
  • [0101]
    Furthermore, the specific symbol alignment flag is also reset (step S94). Then, the wager for the rescue pay is also reset (step S95). In other words, if a payout of x60 or higher is awarded (that is, if the specific symbol alignment flag is “1”) (YES in step S92), both the count-value Ta of the unit game and the wager for the rescue pay in step S32 of FIG. 4 are reset. On the other hand, if the specific symbol alignment flag is not “1” (NO in step 92), the processing is completed. In other words, if the specific symbol alignment flag is not “1” (NO in step S92), the processing is completed and proceeds to the next unit game after the count-value Ta is incremented.
  • [0102]
    In the above-mentioned count processing of the unit game, if a winning combination with a x60 or higher payout is not awarded (specific symbols are not aligned), the count-value Ta is incremented. On the other hand, if a winning combination with a x60 or higher payout is awarded (the specific symbols are in alignment), the count-value Ta is reset. In this manner, the number of successive unit games in which any specific symbols have not been aligned is counted.
  • [Rescue Pay Execution Processing]
  • [0103]
    Next, the rescue pay execution processing of step S36 of FIG. 4 will be described in detail with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 8.
  • [0104]
    First, it is determined whether or not the current unit game is a rescue game (step S101). If the current unit game is a rescue game (YES in step S101), the processing proceeds to step S102. On the other hand, if the current unit game is not a rescue game (NO in step S101), the processing is completed.
  • [0105]
    If the determination of step S101 is affirmative, it is determined whether or not the count-value Ta is equal to a preset upper limit (predefined value) Tamax (e.g., Tamax=1000) (step S102). Then, if Ta=Tamax (YES in step S102), the processing proceeds to step S103. On the other hand, if not Ta=Tamax (NO in step S102), the processing is completed.
  • [0106]
    If the determination of step S102 is affirmative, a processing for awarding a progressive bonus is executed (step S103). In other words, if the specific symbols have not been aligned although the number of executed games(=the count-value Ta) reaches the upper limit Tamax, a progressive bonus is awarded to the player. Here, “the specific symbols are not aligned” means that a winning combination with a x60 or higher payout is not awarded, specifically. FIG. 30A is an exemplary display of an image displayed on the upper LCD 33 when the count-value Ta is approaching the upper limit Tamax. FIG. 30B is an exemplary display of an image displayed on the lower LCD 16. When the count-value Ta is “992”, an image 224 is displayed on the upper LCD 33 in order to notify the player that eight games are left until a progressive bonus (rescue pay) is provided. In addition, an image 225 of an angel with folded wings is also displayed on the lower LCD 16.
  • [0107]
    FIG. 31A is an exemplary display of an image displayed on the upper LCD 33 when the count-value Ta is “999”. FIG. 31B is an exemplary display of an image displayed on the lower LCD 16. An image 226 is displayed on the upper LCD 33 in order to notify the player that one game is left until a progressive bonus (rescue pay) is provided. In addition, an image 227 of an angel with spread wings is also displayed on the lower LCD 16.
  • [0108]
    FIG. 32A is an exemplary display of an image displayed on the upper LCD 33 when the count-value Ta reached the upper limit Tamax=“1000”. FIG. 32B is an exemplary display of an image displayed on the lower LCD 16. Images 316 and 252 are displayed on the upper LCD 33 and the lower LCD 16 respectively in order to notify that a progressive bonus (rescue pay) is going to be provided.
  • [0109]
    FIG. 33 is an example of an image displayed on the lower LCD 16 after the progressive bonus (rescue pay) has been provided. An image 255 is displayed on the lower LCD 16 in order to notify that the rescue pay is deactivated as a result of awarding the progressive bonus (rescue pay). In this manner, the rescue pay execution processing shown in step S103 of FIG. 8 is executed.
  • [Payout Processing]
  • [0110]
    Next, the payout processing shown in step S37 of FIG. 4 will be described in detail with reference to FIG. 9.
  • [0111]
    First, the payout amount is calculated based on the winning combination (step S111). Specifically, the payout amount of step S74 of FIG. 6 is calculated. Subsequently, the processing proceeds to step S112.
  • [0112]
    Next, the payout amount according to the progressive bonus is calculated (step S112). In other words, when the progressive bonus of step S103 of FIG. 8 is to be provided, the accumulated wager for the rescue pay is calculated as the payout amount of the progressive bonus. As stated above, a wager for the rescue pay requires 20 credits. Here, these 20 credits have been accumulated for the rescue pay. If the credits are accumulated 18 times, the payout amount for the rescue pay will be 360 credits. After step S112, the processing proceeds to step S113.
  • [0113]
    The total payout amount is calculated according to the winning combination and the progressive bonus, and then the payout according to the summed payout amount is cashed out from the cash-out opening 28 (see FIG. 2) with medals or coins (step S113). The payout may be provided by credits, in which case the credit counter of the slot machine is counted up. Subsequently, the processing is completed.
  • [0114]
    With the present embodiment, as thus described, the accumulated wager for the rescue pay is paid out as the progressive bonus when the count-value Ta reaches the upper limit (predefined value) Tamax during the rescue games.
  • [Exemplary Modifications]
  • [0115]
    Next, several exemplary modifications of the first embodiment will be described.
  • [First Exemplary Modification]
  • [0116]
    The first exemplary modification differs from the above-mentioned embodiment only in the payout process. The payout processing according to the first exemplary modification will be described below with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.
  • [0117]
    First, the payout amount is calculated based on the winning combination (step S121). Specifically, the payout amount of step S74 of FIG. 6 is calculated. Subsequently, the processing proceeds to step S122.
  • [0118]
    Next, the payout amount according to the progressive bonus is calculated (step S122). In other words, when the progressive bonus of step S103 of FIG. 8 is to be provided, accumulation of a portion of a bet amount on the unit games is calculated as the payout amount of the progressive bonus. Subsequently, the processing proceeds to step S123.
  • [0119]
    The total payout amount is calculated according to the winning combination and the progressive bonus, and then the payout according to the summed payout amount is cashed out from the cash-out opening 28 (see FIG. 2) with medals or coins (step S123). The payout may be provided by credits, in which case the credit counter of the slot machine is counted up. Subsequently, the processing is completed.
  • [0120]
    With the first exemplary modification, as thus described, accumulation of a portion of the bet amount on the unit games is paid out as the progressive bonus when the count-value reaches the upper limit (predefined value) Tamax during the rescue game.
  • [Second Exemplary Modification]
  • [0121]
    The second exemplary modification also differs from the above first embodiment only in the payout process. The payout processing according to the second exemplary modification will be described below with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 11.
  • [0122]
    First, the payout amount is calculated based on the winning combination (step S131). Specifically, the payout amount of step S74 of FIG. 6 is calculated. Subsequently, the processing proceeds to step S132.
  • [0123]
    Next, the payout amount according to the progressive bonus is calculated (step S132). In other words, when the progressive bonus of step S103 of FIG. 8 is to be provided, accumulation of a portion of the payout on the unit games is calculated as the payout amount of the progressive bonus. Here, as stated above, the payout is provided when the outcome of the unit game turns out to be a specific outcome. Subsequently, the processing proceeds to step S133.
  • [0124]
    The total payout amount is calculated according to the winning combination and the progressive bonus, and then the payout according to the summed payout amount is cashed out from the cash-out opening 28 (see FIG. 2) with medals or coins (step S133). The payout may be provided by credits, in which case the credit counter of the slot machine is counted up. Subsequently, the processing is completed.
  • [0125]
    With the second exemplary modification, as thus described, accumulation of a portion of the payout on the unit game is paid out as the progressive bonus when the count-value reaches the upper limit (predefined value) Tamax during the rescue games.
  • [Third Exemplary Modification]
  • [0126]
    The third exemplary modification differs from the above first embodiment only in the count processing of the unit game. The count processing of the unit game according to the third exemplary modification will be described below with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 12.
  • [0127]
    First, it is determined whether or not the current unit game is a rescue game (step S141). If the current unit game is a rescue game (YES in step S141), the processing proceeds to step S142. Since the processing of steps S142 to S146 is similar to that of steps S91 to S95 of FIG. 7, detailed description of the processing procedure is omitted.
  • [0128]
    On the other hand, if the current unit game is not a rescue game (NO in step S141), the processing is completed without incrementing the count-value Ta. In other words, the count-value Ta is not incremented in the unit games, which are not the rescue game. The count-value Ta is incremented only in the unit games, which are the rescue game.
  • [0129]
    With the third exemplary modification, as thus described, the count-value Ta is incremented for each execution of the rescue game. The progressive bonus is provided when the count-value Ta reaches the upper limit Tamax.
  • Second Embodiment
  • [0130]
    Next, the processing procedure according to the second embodiment for executing the unit game on the above-mentioned slot machine 10 will be described.
  • [Unit Game Execution Processing]
  • [0131]
    FIG. 13 is a flow chart illustrating the processing procedure of the unit game executed on the slot machine (gaming machine) 10 according to the second embodiment. Comparing the unit game execution processing of FIG. 13 (the present embodiment) with the unit game execution processing of FIG. 4 (the first embodiment), steps S151 to S154 of FIG. 13 are identical to steps S31 to S34 of FIG. 4 and step S157 of FIG. 13 is identical to step S37 of FIG. 4. Steps S155 and S156 of FIG. 13 differ from steps S35 and S36 of FIG. 4.
  • [Count Processing of the Expended Bet Amount]
  • [0132]
    The count processing of the expended bet amount of step S155 of FIG. 13 is described with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 14.
  • [0133]
    First, a newly placed bet amount α is added to the count-value Tb of the current expended bet amount (accumulation of the expended bet amount) [Tb=Tb+α] (step S171). Here, the initial value (when the slot machine 10 is powered on) of the count-value Tb is zero. In addition, the count-value Tb is reset in step S173 described below. Note that the count-value Tb is an accumulated value of the bet amount (number of medals or credits) placed on successive unit games. If three medals are bet on a unit game, for example, it results in α=3 and a count-value of Tb=Tb+3. Upon completion of step S171, the processing proceeds to step S172.
  • [0134]
    Next, it is determined whether or not the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (step S172). In other words, it is determined whether or not the specific symbol alignment flag of step S76 of FIG. 6 is “1”. If the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (YES in step S172), the count-value Tb is reset (step S173).
  • [0135]
    Furthermore, the specific symbol alignment flag is also reset (step S174). Then, the wager for the rescue pay is also reset (step S175). In other words, if a payout of x60 or higher is awarded, both the count-value Tb of the expended bet amount and the wager for the rescue pay in step S152 of FIG. 13 are reset.
  • [0136]
    On the other hand, if it is determined that the specific symbol alignment flag is not “1” (NO in step 172), the processing is completed. In other words, if the specific symbol alignment flag is not “1” (NO in step 172), the processing is completed and proceeds to the next unit game after the count-value Tb is counted (accumulated).
  • [0137]
    In the above-mentioned count processing, if a winning combination with a x60 or higher payout is not awarded (specific symbols are not aligned), a newly placed bet amount α (e.g., α=3) is added to the count-value Tb. In this manner, the expended bet amount during successive unit games in which any specific symbols have not been aligned is counted. Additionally, if a winning combination with a x60 or higher payout is awarded (specific symbols are in alignment), the count-value Tb is reset.
  • [Rescue Pay Execution Processing]
  • [0138]
    Next, the rescue pay execution processing of step S156 of FIG. 13 will be described in detail with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 15.
  • [0139]
    First, it is determined whether or not the current unit game is a rescue game (step S191). If the current unit game is a rescue game (YES in step S191), the processing proceeds to step S192. On the other hand, if the current unit game is not a rescue game (NO in step S191), the processing is completed.
  • [0140]
    If the determination of step S191 is affirmative, it is determined whether or not the count-value Tb of the expended bet amount is equal to a preset upper limit Tbmax (e.g., Tbmax=3000) (step S192). Then, if Tb=Tbmax (YES in step S192), the processing proceeds to step S193. On the other hand, if not Tb=Tbmax (NO in step S192), the processing is completed.
  • [0141]
    If the determination of step S192 is affirmative, a processing for awarding a rescue pay is executed (step S193). In other words, if the specific symbols have not been aligned although the expended bet amount reaches the upper limit Tbmax, a progressive bonus is awarded to the player. Here, “the specific symbols are not aligned” means that a winning combination with a x60 or higher payout is not awarded, specifically.
  • [0142]
    With the present embodiment, as thus described, the progressive bonus is paid out when the count-value Tb (accumulation of the expended bet amount) reaches the upper limit Tbmax during the rescue games.
  • [Exemplary Modifications]
  • [0143]
    Next, an exemplary modification of the second embodiment will be described with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 16. The exemplary modification differs from the above-mentioned embodiment only in the count processing of the expended bet amount. In the following, the count processing of the expended bet amount of the exemplary modification will be described with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 16.
  • [0144]
    First, it is determined whether or not the current unit game is a rescue game (step S201). If the current unit game is a rescue game (YES in step S201), the processing proceeds to step S202. Since the processing of steps S202 to S206 is similar to that of steps S171 to S175 of FIG. 14, detailed description of the processing procedure is omitted.
  • [0145]
    On the other hand, if the current unit game is not a rescue game (NO in step S201), the processing is completed without counting the count-value Tb (without adding a newly placed bet amount α). In other words, the count-value Tb is not counted (accumulated) in the unit games, which are not the rescue game. The count-value Tb is counted (accumulated) only in the unit games, which are the rescue game.
  • [0146]
    With such an exemplary modification, the count-value Tb is counted (accumulated) at each wager in the rescue games. The progressive bonus is provided when the count-value Tb reaches the upper limit Tbmax.
  • [0147]
    Additionally, with the second embodiment and its exemplary modification, a newly placed bet amount α on the unit game is added to the count-value Tb. However, it may be arranged such that a difference between a bet amount on a unit game and a payout amount for the unit game is added to the count-value Tb. In this case, the count-value Tb is accumulated according to the player's substantial loss. In other words, a shown in step S171 of FIG. 14 or S202 of FIG. 16 is a difference between a newly placed bet amount on a new unit game and a payout amount for the new unit game. The new difference α(=difference between the bet amount on the new unit game and the payout amount for the new unit game) is added to the current count-value Tb of the accumulated difference [Tb=Tb+α].
  • [0148]
    Additionally, the above-mentioned first embodiment is an example wherein the progressive bonus is provided when the count-value Ta of the number of the executed unit games reaches the upper limit Tamax. Also, the above-mentioned second embodiment is an example wherein the progressive bonus is provided when the count-value Tb of the expended bet amount during successive unit games reaches the upper limit Tbmax. It may be arranged such that the progressive bonus is awarded using the combination of these. In other words, the progressive bonus may be provided if either one of the following cases is achieved: when the count-value Ta reaches the upper limit Tamax; or when the count-value Tb reaches the upper limit Tbmax.
  • Third Embodiment
  • [0149]
    Next, the processing procedure according to the third embodiment for executing the unit game on the above-mentioned slot machine 10 will be described. The unit game execution processing of the present embodiment is generally similar to that of the first embodiment. However, the count processing of the unit game and the rescue pay execution processing of the present embodiment differ from those of the first embodiment (steps S35 and S36 in FIG. 4). Other processings of the present embodiment are identical to those of the first embodiment (steps S31 to S34 and S37). Therefore, the count processing of the unit game and the rescue pay execution processing of the third embodiment is described below with reference to the flow charts shown in FIGS. 17 and 18.
  • [Count Processing of Unit Game]
  • [0150]
    In the count processing of the unit game shown in FIG. 17, the count-value Ta of the unit game is incremented [Ta=Ta+1] (step S211) at first. Note that the count-value Ta is a value for counting the number of executed unit games. The initial value of the count-value Ta is zero. Upon completion of step S211, the processing proceeds to step S212.
  • [0151]
    Next, it is determined whether or not the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (step S212). If the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (YES in step S212), the wager for the rescue pay is reset (step S213). Furthermore, the specific symbol alignment flag is also reset (step S214). In other words, if a payout of x60 or higher is awarded (that is, if the specific symbol alignment flag is “1”) (YES in step S212), the wager for the rescue pay in step S32 of FIG. 4 is reset. It is the different point from the first embodiment that the count-value Ta is not reset.
  • [0152]
    On the other hand, if it is determined that the specific symbol alignment flag is not “1” (NO in step 212), the processing is completed. In other words, if the specific symbol alignment flag is not “1” (NO in step S212), the processing is completed and proceeds to the next unit game after the count-value Ta is incremented.
  • [Rescue Pay Execution Processing]
  • [0153]
    Next, the rescue pay execution processing of the third embodiment will be described with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 18.
  • [0154]
    First, it is determined whether or not the current unit game is a rescue game (step S251). If the current unit game is a rescue game (YES in step S251), the processing proceeds to step S252. On the other hand, if the current unit game is not a rescue game (NO instep S251), the processing is completed.
  • [0155]
    If the determination of step S251 is affirmative, it is determined whether or not the count-value Ta is equal to a preset upper limit Tamax (e.g., Tamax=1000) (step S252). Then, if Ta=Tamax (YES in step S252), the processing proceeds to step S253. On the other hand, if not Ta=Tamax (NO in step S252), the processing is completed.
  • [0156]
    If the determination of step S252 is affirmative, a processing for awarding a progressive bonus is executed (step S253). In other words, if the specific symbols have not been aligned although the number of executed games(=the count-value Ta) reaches the upper limit Tamax, a progressive bonus is awarded to the player. Here, “the specific symbols are not aligned” means that a winning combination with a x60 or higher payout is not awarded, specifically. Then, the processing proceeds to step S254. The count-value Ta is reset (step S254).
  • [0157]
    In the present embodiment, if a winning combination with a x60 or higher payout is awarded (that is, if the specific symbol alignment flag is “1”), the wager for the rescue pay is reset. However, the count-value Ta is not reset at this point. The count-value Ta is reset when the rescue pay is awarded (step S254 in FIG. 18). Therefore, the count-value Ta is not reset in case that the specific symbol alignment flag turns to “1” before the count-value reaches the upper limit Tamax. Thus, if the player places a new wager for a rescue pay again, a progressive bonus will be provided when the count-value Ta comes to reach the upper limit Tamax.
  • [0158]
    In the present embodiment, as described above, the count-value Ta is not reset until a progressive bonus is provided.
  • [Exemplary Modifications]
  • [0159]
    Next, an exemplary modification of the third embodiment will be described with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 19.
  • [0160]
    First, it is determined whether or not the current unit game is a rescue game (step S231). If the current unit game is a rescue game (YES in step S231), the processing proceeds to step S232. Since the processing of steps S232 to S235 is similar to that of steps S211 to S214 of FIG. 17, detailed description of the processing procedure is omitted.
  • [0161]
    On the other hand, if the current unit game is not a rescue game (NO in step S231), the processing is completed without incrementing the count-value Ta. In other words, the count-value Ta is not incremented in the unit games, which are not the rescue game. The count-value Ta is incremented only in the unit games, which are the rescue game.
  • [0162]
    With the present exemplary modification, the count-value Ta is incremented only in the unit games, which are the rescue game.
  • Fourth Embodiment
  • [0163]
    Next, the processing procedure according to the fourth embodiment for executing the unit game on the above-mentioned slot machine 10 will be described with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 20.
  • [Unit Game Execution Processing]
  • [0164]
    In the present embodiment, a bet on the unit game is firstly received (step S271). Specifically, the insertion of the medal(s) into the medal insertion slot 21 or the pressing-down of the bet switches 24, 25 is detected by the CPU 106.
  • [0165]
    Next, a count processing of the unit game is executed (step S272). The count processing of the unit game will be described below, referring to the flow chart shown in FIG. 21. Subsequently, it is determined whether or not the count-value Ta reaches a preset criterion value Ta1 (e.g., Ta1=100) (step S273). Then, if the count-value Ta reaches the criterion value Ta1 (YES in step S273), the processing proceeds to step S274. On the other hand, if the count-value Ta does not reach the criterion value Ta1 (NO in step S273), the processing proceeds to step S275.
  • [0166]
    If the determination of step S273 is affirmative, a wager processing for the rescue pay is executed (step S274). Here, the wager for the rescue pay is received via the touch-screen 19 on the lower LCD 16. In other words, the wager for the rescue pay can be placed only when the count-value Ta has reached the criterion value Ta1. Since the wager processing for the rescue pay is identical to the processing shown in FIG. 5, detailed description of the processing procedure is omitted. Subsequently, it is determined whether or not the start switch 27 is pressed (step S275). If the start switch 27 is pressed, the processing proceeds to step S276.
  • [0167]
    Next, a slot game execution processing is executed (step S276). Here, a processing of rearranging the symbols having been arranged on respective three display areas Q1 to Q3 is executed. Since the slot game execution processing is identical to the processing shown in FIG. 6, detailed description of the processing procedure is omitted. Next, a reset processing is executed (step S277). The details will be described below, referring to the flow chart of FIG. 22.
  • [0168]
    Next, a rescue pay execution processing is executed (step S278). In this processing, if a payout equal to or larger than a specified amount (e.g., a x60 or higher payout) has not been awarded during a predefined number of executed unit games, a progressive bonus is awarded to the player. Since the rescue pay execution processing is identical to the processing shown in FIG. 8, detailed description of the processing procedure is omitted.
  • [0169]
    Next, a payout processing is executed (step S279). In this processing, if a winning combination is formed by the rearranged symbols on the three display areas Q1 to Q3, or if the progressive bonus is awarded, a payout is provided (as medals or credits) to the player. Subsequently, the processing proceeds to the next unit game.
  • [Count Processing of Unit Game]
  • [0170]
    Next, the count processing of the unit game of step S272 of FIG. 20 will be described with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 21.
  • [0171]
    Here, the count-value Ta of the unit game is incremented [Ta=Ta+1] (step S291). Subsequently, the processing is completed.
  • [Reset Processing]
  • [0172]
    Next, the reset processing of step S277 of FIG. 20 will be described with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 22.
  • [0173]
    First, it is determined whether or not the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (step S301). If the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (YES in step S301), the count-value Ta is reset (step S302). Furthermore, the specific symbol alignment flag is also reset (step S303) Then, the wager for the rescue pay is also reset (step S304).
  • [0174]
    In other words, if the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (that is, if a payout of x60 or higher is awarded) (YES in step S301), both the count-value Ta of the unit game and the wager for the rescue pay in step S274 of FIG. 20 are reset. On the other hand, if the specific symbol alignment flag is not “1” (NO in step 301), the processing is completed. In other words, if the specific symbol alignment flag is not “1” (NO in step S301), the processing is completed and proceeds to the next unit game without resetting the count-value Ta, the specific symbol alignment flag, and the wager for the rescue pay.
  • [0175]
    In the present embodiment, as described above, the wager for the rescue pay can be placed only when the count-value Ta of the number of the executed unit games has reached the criterion value Ta1.
  • Fifth Embodiment
  • [0176]
    Finally, the processing procedure according to the fifth embodiment for executing the unit game on the above-mentioned slot machine 10 will be described.
  • [Unit Game Execution Processing]
  • [0177]
    FIG. 23 is a flow chart illustrating the procedure of the unit game execution processing according to the fifth embodiment.
  • [0178]
    After starting a unit game, a bet on the unit game is received (step S311). Specifically, the insertion of the medal(s) into the medal insertion slot 21 or the pressing-down of the bet switches 24, 25 is detected by the CPU 106.
  • [0179]
    Next, a count processing of the expended bet amount is executed (step S312). The count processing of the expended bet amount will be described referring to the flow chart of FIG. 24. Subsequently, it is determined whether or not the count-value Tb, which is counted in the count processing of the expended bet amount of step S312, reaches a preset criterion value Tb1 (e.g., Tb1=300) (step S313). Then, if the count-value Tb reaches the criterion value Tb1 (YES in step S313), the processing proceeds to step S314. On the other hand, the count-value Tb does not reach the criterion value Tb1 (NO in step S313), the processing proceeds to step S315.
  • [0180]
    If the determination of step S313 is affirmative, a wager processing for the rescue pay is executed (step S314). Here, the wager for the rescue pay is received via the touch-screen 19 on the lower LCD 16. In other words, the wager for the rescue pay can be placed only when the count-value Tb has reached the criterion value Tb1. Since the wager processing for the rescue pay is identical to the processing shown in FIG. 5, detailed description of the processing procedure is omitted. Subsequently, it is determined whether or not the start switch 27 is pressed (step S315). If the start switch 27 is pressed, the processing proceeds to step S316.
  • [0181]
    Next, a slot game execution processing is executed (step S316). Since the slot game execution processing is identical to the processing shown in FIG. 6, detailed description of the processing procedure is omitted. Next, a reset processing is executed (step S317). The details will be described below, referring to the flow chart of FIG. 25.
  • [0182]
    Next, a rescue pay execution processing is executed (step S318). In this processing, if a payout equal to or larger than a specified amount (e.g., corresponding to 60 or more medals per one medal) is not provided during a predefined number of executed unit games, a progressive bonus is awarded to the player. Since the rescue pay execution processing is identical to the processing shown in FIG. 8, detailed description of the processing procedure is omitted.
  • [0183]
    Next, a payout processing is executed (step S319). In this processing, if a winning combination is formed by the rearranged symbols on the three display areas Q1 to Q3, or if the rescue pay is awarded, a payout is provided (as medals or credits) to the player. Subsequently, the processing proceeds to the next unit game.
  • [Count Processing of the Expended Bet Amount]
  • [0184]
    Next, the count processing of the expended bet amount of step S312 of FIG. 23 will be described with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 24.
  • [0185]
    Here, a newly placed bet amount α is added to the count-value Tb of the current expended bet amount [Tb=Tb+α] (step S331). Subsequently, the processing is completed.
  • [0186]
    As mentioned above, a newly placed bet amount α on the unit game is added to the count-value Tb. However, it may be arranged such that a difference between a bet amount on a unit game and a payout amount for the unit game is added to the count-value Tb. In this case, the count-value Tb is accumulated according to the player's substantial loss. In other words, a shown in step S331 of FIG. 24 is a difference between a newly placed bet amount on a new unit game and a payout amount for the new unit game. The new difference α(=difference between the bet amount on the new unit game and the payout amount for the new unit game) is added to the current count-value Tb of the accumulated difference [Tb=Tb+α].
  • [Reset Processing]
  • [0187]
    Next, the reset processing of step S317 of FIG. 23 will be described with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 25.
  • [0188]
    First, it is determined whether or not the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (step S351). If the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (YES in step S351), the count-value Tb is reset (step S352). Furthermore, the specific symbol alignment flag is also reset (step S353). Then, the wager for the rescue pay is also reset (step S354).
  • [0189]
    In other words, if the specific symbol alignment flag is “1” (that is, if a payout of x60 or higher is awarded) (YES in step S351), both the count-value Tb of the expended bet amount and the wager for the rescue pay in step S314 of FIG. 23 are reset.
  • [0190]
    On the other hand, if the specific symbol alignment flag is not “1” (NO in step 351), the processing is completed. In other words, if the specific symbol alignment flag is not “1” (NO in step S351), the processing is completed and proceeds to the next unit game without resetting the count-value Tb, the specific symbol alignment flag, and the wager for the rescue pay.
  • [0191]
    In the present embodiment, as described above, the wager for the rescue pay can be placed only when the count-value Tb of the expended bet amount has reached the criterion value Tb1.
  • [0192]
    The gaming machine and playing method of the present invention have been described above, based on the illustrated embodiments. However, the present invention is not limited to the stated embodiments. The arrangement of respective components may be replaced by any components having similar functionalities. For example, in the above-mentioned embodiment, three display areas Q1 to Q3 are provided on the lower LCD 16, and the slot game is executed on respective display areas Q1 to Q3. However, the present invention, which is not limited to this arrangement, can be applied to various display areas such as a three-row×five-column display area.
  • [0193]
    Additionally, with the above-mentioned embodiment, the player is supposed to select any of the options by touching the touch-screen 19. However, any of the options may be selected by a switch without using the touch-screen 19. Furthermore, with the slot machine 10 described in the present embodiment, the slot game is executed by displaying symbol images on the lower LCD 16. However, the present invention, which is not limited to this arrangement, may execute the slot game by turning a drum having a plurality of symbols on its periphery.
  • [0194]
    Additionally, with the present invention, a slot machine 10 has been described as an example of the gaming machine. However, the present invention, which is not limited to this, can be applied to other gaming machines such as a horse race game, for example. As thus described, it should be noted that other embodiments, examples, and/or operation technique that may be conceived by those skilled in the art based on the above-mentioned embodiments are all included in the scope of the present invention.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/27
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3244, G07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32K, G07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 19, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: ARUZE CORP., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:FUJIMOTO, JUN;INAMURA, YUKINORI;REEL/FRAME:020526/0391
Effective date: 20080205
Feb 20, 2012ASAssignment
Owner name: UNIVERSAL ENTERTAINMENT CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:ARUZE CORP.;REEL/FRAME:027731/0701
Effective date: 20091102