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Publication numberUS20090247286 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/411,439
Publication dateOct 1, 2009
Filing dateMar 26, 2009
Priority dateMar 27, 2008
Publication number12411439, 411439, US 2009/0247286 A1, US 2009/247286 A1, US 20090247286 A1, US 20090247286A1, US 2009247286 A1, US 2009247286A1, US-A1-20090247286, US-A1-2009247286, US2009/0247286A1, US2009/247286A1, US20090247286 A1, US20090247286A1, US2009247286 A1, US2009247286A1
InventorsYukinori Inamura
Original AssigneeAruze Corp.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming machine sharing source of dividend for special game with other gaming machines and playing method thereof
US 20090247286 A1
Abstract
A slot machine is configured to accumulate a portion of credits, which are bet on a unit game for rearranging arranged symbols, in an internal counter for counting resources for a progressive bonus. When the counted value of this counter reaches a predetermined value or more, the slot machine notifies a payout controller of the fact. When the payout controller receiving the notification judges that a progressive bonus payout condition is satisfied, the payout controller notifies the slot machine of the judgment result. Upon receipt of the notification, the slot machine provides a player with a payout for the progressive bonus accumulated in the internal counter.
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Claims(12)
1. A gaming machine comprising:
a display configured to display a unit game causing a plurality of arranged symbols to be rearranged;
a counter configured to count a counted value for a progressive bonus; and
a controller configured to
(a) receive a notification from a common display unit, the gaming machine and another gaming machine being connected together to the common display unit, the notification being for all the gaming machines connected to the common display unit and stating that a progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in a progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit;
(b) upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied, provide an award for the progressive bonus in an amount corresponding to the counted value.
2. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to increment the counted value in response to an amount bet on the unit game.
3. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to,
upon the counted value being equal to or above a predetermined value, notify the common display unit that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value, and
provide the award for the progressive bonus in the amount corresponding to the counted value upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in the progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit having received the notifications from all the gaming machines that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value.
4. The gaming machine according to claim 2, wherein, the controller is configured to,
upon the counted value being equal to or above a predetermined value, notify the common display unit that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value, and
provide the award for the progressive bonus in the amount corresponding to the counted value upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in the progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit having received the notifications from all the gaming machines that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value.
5. A gaming machine comprising:
a display configured to display a unit game causing a plurality of arranged symbols to be rearranged;
a counter configured to count a counted value for a progressive bonus; and
a controller configured to
(a) determine a bet unit for betting on the unit game on the basis of player identification information provided from outside for identifying a player of the gaming machine;
(b) increment the counted value according to an amount bet on the unit game in the determined bet unit;
(c) receive a notification from a common display unit, the gaming machine and another gaming machine being connected together to the common display unit, the notification being for all the gaming machines connected to the common display unit and stating that a progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in a progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit;
(d) upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied, provide an award for the progressive bonus in an amount corresponding to the counted value.
6. The gaming machine according to claim 5, wherein, the controller is configured to,
upon the counted value being equal to or above a predetermined value depending on the bet unit, notify the common display unit that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value based on the bet unit, and
provide the award for the progressive bonus in the amount corresponding to the counted value upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in the progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit having received the notifications from all the gaming machines that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value.
7. A method of playing a gaming machine configured to display on a display a unit game causing a plurality of arranged symbols to be rearranged:
receiving a notification from a common display unit, the gaming machine and another gaming machine being connected together to the common display unit, the notification being for all the gaming machines connected to the common display unit and stating that a progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in a progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit; and
upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied, providing an award for the progressive bonus in an amount corresponding to a counted value of a counter being configured to count the counted value for a progressive bonus.
8. The method of playing a gaming machine according to claim 7, further comprising: incrementing the counted value in response to an amount bet on the unit game
9. The method of playing a gaming machine according to claim 7, further comprising:
upon the counted value being equal to or above a predetermined value, notifying the common display unit that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value; and
providing the award for the progressive bonus in the amount corresponding to the counted value upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in the progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit having received the notifications from all the gaming machines that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value.
10. The method of playing a gaming machine according to claim 8, further comprising:
upon the counted value being equal to or above a predetermined value, notifying the common display unit that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value; and
providing the award for the progressive bonus in the amount corresponding to the counted value upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in the progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit having received the notifications from all the gaming machines that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value.
11. A method of playing a gaming machine configured to display on a display a unit game causing a plurality of arranged symbols to be rearranged:
determining a bet unit for betting on the unit game on the basis of player identification information provided from outside for identifying a player of the gaming machine;
incrementing a counted value of a counter according to an amount bet on the unit game in the determined bet unit, the counter being configured to count the counted value for a progressive bonus; and
receiving a notification from a common display unit, the gaming machine and another gaming machine being connected together to the common display unit, the notification being for all the gaming machines connected to the common display unit and stating that a progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in a progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit;
upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied, providing an award for the progressive bonus in an amount corresponding to the counted value.
12. The method of playing a gaming machine according to claim 11, further comprising:
upon the counted value being equal to or above a predetermined value depending on the bet unit, notifying the common display unit that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value based on the bet unit; and
providing the award for the progressive bonus in the amount corresponding to the counted value upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in the progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit having received the notifications from all the gaming machines that the counted value is equal to or above the predetermined value.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to co-pending U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/039,971 filed on Mar. 27, 2008, and which is incorporated by reference herein for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a gaming machine that shares a source of a dividend for a special game with other gaming machines and to a playing method thereof.

2. Description of Related Art

As described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,459 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,695,697 specification, U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2003/0,069,073 specification, European Patent Application Publication No. 1,192,975 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,254,483 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 5,611,730 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 5,639,088 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,257,981 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,234,896 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,001,016 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,273,820 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,224,482 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 4,669,731 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,244,957 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 5,910,048 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 5,695,402 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,003,013 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 4,283,709 specification, European Patent Application Publication No. 0,631,798 specification, German Patent Application Publication No. 4,137,010 specification, British Patent Application Publication No. 2,326,830 specification, German Patent Application Publication No. 3,712,841 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 4,964,638 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,089,980 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 5,280,909 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 5,702,303 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,270,409 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 5,770,533 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 5,836,817 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,932,704 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 6,932,707 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 4,837,728 specification, European Patent Application Publication No. 1,302,914 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 4,624,459 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 5,564,700 specification, PCT Patent Application Publication No. 03/083,795 specification, German Patent Application Publication No. 3,242,890 specification, European Patent Application Publication No. 0,840,264 specification, German Patent Application Publication No. 10,049,444 specification, PCT Patent Application Publication No. 04/095,383 specification, European Patent Application Publication No. 1,544,811 specification, U.S. Pat. No. 5,890,963 specification, European Patent Application Publication No. 1,477,947 specification, and European Patent Application Publication No. 1,351,180 specification, in a facility in which gaming machines such as slot machines are provided, a player can play a game provided by a gaming machine by making bets such as coins, credits, etc., at that gaming machine.

For example, a typical slot machine is configured to execute a slot game by rearranging multiples symbols arranged on a display each time a player makes a bet on the slot machine and presses a start switch. Then, when the symbols rearranged on the display include a predetermined number of scatter symbols or when a predetermined winning combination is formed on a payline, the slot machine provides a payout corresponding to the content of the winning condition. This payout varies largely depending on how much the player makes the bet on the slot game.

When multiple slot machine each configured to execute the above-described slot game are connected online to one another and to execute a game which is common to all the slot machines, it is important to consider a balance between a payout to a player who makes a large bet amount and a payout to another player who only makes a small bet amount when players at the slot machines respectively receive payouts as a result of the common game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a gaming machine and a playing method thereof which have higher entertainment properties by providing variation in payout amounts for a progressive bonus to be awarded to respective players by a trigger that is common to other gaming machines.

A first aspect of the present invention is a gaming machine comprising: a display configured to display a unit game causing a plurality of arranged symbols to be rearranged; a counter configured to count a counted value for a progressive bonus; and a controller configured to (a) receive a notification from a common display unit, the gaming machine and another gaming machine being connected together to the common display unit, the notification being for all the gaming machines connected to the common display unit and stating that a progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in a progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit; (b) upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied, provide an award for the progressive bonus in an amount corresponding to the counted value.

A second aspect of the present invention is a gaming machine comprising: a display configured to display a unit game causing a plurality of arranged symbols to be rearranged; a counter configured to count a counted value for a progressive bonus; and a controller configured to (a) determine a bet unit for betting on the unit game on the basis of player identification information provided from outside for identifying a player of the gaming machine; (b) increment the counted value according to an amount bet on the unit game in the determined bet unit; (c) receive a notification from a common display unit, the gaming machine and another gaming machine being connected together to the common display unit, the notification being for all the gaming machines connected to the common display unit and stating that a progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in a progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit; (d) upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied, provide an award for the progressive bonus in an amount corresponding to the counted value.

A third aspect of the present invention is a method of playing a gaming machine configured to display on a display a unit game causing a plurality of arranged symbols to be rearranged: receiving a notification from a common display unit, the gaming machine and another gaming machine being connected together to the common display unit, the notification being for all the gaming machines connected to the common display unit and stating that a progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in a progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit; and upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied, providing an award for the progressive bonus in an amount corresponding to a counted value of a counter being configured to count the counted value for a progressive bonus.

A fourth aspect of the present invention is a method of playing a gaming machine configured to display on a display a unit game causing a plurality of arranged symbols to be rearranged: determining a bet unit for betting on the unit game on the basis of player identification information provided from outside for identifying a player of the gaming machine; incrementing a counted value of a counter according to an amount bet on the unit game in the determined bet unit, the counter being configured to count the counted value for a progressive bonus; and receiving a notification from a common display unit, the gaming machine and another gaming machine being connected together to the common display unit, the notification being for all the gaming machines connected to the common display unit and stating that a progressive bonus award condition is satisfied in a progressive bonus award determination game executed by the common display unit; upon receipt of the notification from the common display unit that the progressive bonus award condition is satisfied, providing an award for the progressive bonus in an amount corresponding to the counted value.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a flowchart schematically showing procedures to be executed by a slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an explanatory view showing a display example to be displayed on a liquid crystal display of a slot machine according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is an explanatory view showing partitioned regions in a matrix to be defined on the display of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing a control circuit of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6A is a perspective view showing a rotatable reel device of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6B is a side view showing the rotatable reel device of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is an explanatory view showing a schematic configuration of symbols to be disposed on circumferential surfaces of rotatable reels of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is an explanatory view showing a schematic configuration of a slot machine system according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a flowchart showing procedures to be executed by the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a flowchart showing procedures to be executed by a payout controller of the slot machine system according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is another flowchart showing procedures to be executed by the payout controller of the slot machine system according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is another flowchart showing procedures to be executed by the payout controller of the slot machine system according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is an explanatory view showing a display example of a slot game to be executed on a display of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 14 is an explanatory view showing another display example of the slot game to be executed on the display of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a slot machine according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 16 is a block diagram showing a control circuit of the slot machine according to the second embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

Now, an outline of operations of a slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention representing a typical example of a gaming machine of the present invention as well as a playing method thereof will be described with reference to FIG. 1 to FIG. 8.

FIG. 1 is a flowchart schematically showing an outline of operations of a slot machine according to this embodiment and a playing method thereof. FIG. 2 is an explanatory view showing a display example to be displayed on a display of a slot machine of this embodiment. FIG. 3 is an explanatory view showing partitioned regions in a matrix to be defined on the display of the slot machine of this embodiment. FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the slot machine of this embodiment. FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing a control circuit of the slot machine of this embodiment. FIG. 6A is a perspective view showing a rotatable reel device of the slot machine of this embodiment. FIG. 6B is a side view showing the rotatable reel device of the slot machine of this embodiment. FIG. 7 is an explanatory view showing a schematic configuration of symbols to be disposed on circumferential surfaces of rotatable reels of the slot machine of this embodiment. FIG. 8 is an explanatory view showing a schematic configuration of a slot machine system including the slot machine of this embodiment.

A display 16 (a display) is disposed on a front face of a cabinet 11 of a slot machine 10 shown in FIG. 4. As shown in FIG. 3, this display 16 includes 15 partitioned regions q11 to q53. These partitioned regions q11 to q53 are arranged in a matrix including first to fifth columns and first to third rows.

In the slot machine 10 of this embodiment shown in FIG. 4, symbols that are arranged in the above-described partitioned regions q11 to q53 shown in FIG. 3 are rearranged every time a unit game is executed. This unit game can be executed by rotating and stopping rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e behind the partitioned regions q11 to q53 of the display 16, for example.

As shown in FIG. 6A, a rotatable reel device 53 includes five rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e that correspond to respective windows 16 a to 16 e of the display 16. As shown in FIG. 7, 21 symbols are laid out at even intervals on a circumferential surface of each of the rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e. These symbols include 9 types of symbols, namely, “A (ace)”, “K (king)”, “Q (queen)”, “J (jack)”, “10”, “umbrella”, “lightening”, “cloud”, and “special (man's face)”.

Three symbols on each of the rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e are visible to a player through the corresponding partitioned regions q11 to q53. Accordingly, the arrangement and the rearrangement of the symbols are executed by rotating and stopping the rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e.

Then, when the symbols are rearranged in the respective portioned regions q11 to q53 in a unit game as shown in FIG. 2, a payout amount of credits (an amount of an award) is determined in accordance with predetermined rules on a payout table, and the determined payout amount of credits is provided. Thereafter, the symbols in the respective partitioned regions q11 to q53 are rearranged when a subsequent unit game is started.

As shown in FIG. 1, the slot machine 10 in FIG. 4 of this embodiment firstly decides a bet unit of a wager on the unit game to be displayed on the display 16 in FIG. 3 (step S1). This bet unit may be decided associated with a player of this slot machine 10. For example, player identification information may be read out of a smart card owned by the player by using a card reader 36 shown in FIG. 4 and the bet unit may be decided in accordance with a past game history of the player contained in the player identification information. If this player is a high roller, it is possible to decide that the bet unit for this player is higher than that for an ordinary player.

Next, the slot machine 10 accepts a bet of the player on one unit game which is about to be started (step S2). In this bet acceptance, an input of a bet amount on the unit game is accepted.

Thereafter, the slot machine 10 increments a counted value of a counter 127 (see FIG. 5) included in the slot machine 10, in accordance with the accepted bet (step S3). This counted value is a value corresponding to resources for a progressive bonus which are accumulated in the slot machine 10. Subsequently, the slot machine 10 judges whether or not the counted value of the counter 127 is a predetermined value or more (step S4).

This predetermined value may be set up in response to the bet unit of the wager decided in step S1. For example, when the bet unit of the wager becomes larger, the counted value of the counter 127 representing accumulation of a portion of the wager also becomes larger. In conjunction therewith, it is possible to set the predetermined value to a relatively larger value. In this way, the number of credits to be provided as the progressive bonus is made larger relatively depending on the bet unit of the wager.

Now, when the counted value of the counter 127 is the predetermined value or more (YES in step S4), this fact is notified to a payout controller 3 provided on a stage 1 where the slot machine 10 is disposed as shown in FIG. 8 (step S5). Moreover, the slot machine 10 displays the unit game for rearranging the multiple arranged symbols on the display 16 in FIG. 3 (step S6).

To be more precise, the player can make the bet of the wager on the unit game by inserting medals or coins that represent cashable credits, which can be cashed in, to the slot machine 10. Alternatively, the player can make the bet of the wager by allocating a designated amount of restricted credits, which are digitalized and memorized in the slot machine 10 and rendered continuously usable as the wager until cashing, to the bet by operating the slot machine 10.

In the following description, a unit of the wager by which the player can make a bet by using the above-described cashable credits and the restricted credits will be referred to as a “credit”. For example, when the player inserts a single medal or coin to the slot machine 10 as the wager, this is equivalent to making the bet of “one credit” as the wager. Meanwhile, when the player allocates two restricted credits to the wager by operating the slot machine 10, this is equivalent to making the bet of “two credits” as the wager.

In tandem with the above-described display of the unit game, the slot machine 10 judges whether or not the payout controller 3 notifies the slot machine 10 that a progressive bonus payout condition is satisfied (step S7). When notified (YES in step S7), the slot machine 10 provides a payout for the progressive bonus, accumulated in the slot machine 10, in accordance with the counted value counted by the counter 127 in FIG. 5 (step S8).

Here, as shown in FIG. 8, the payout controller 3 configured to notify the slot machine 10 of satisfaction of the progressive bonus payout condition, which causes the slot machine 10 to provide the payout for the progressive bonus, is also connected to other two slot machines 10A and 10B. Moreover, when the counted value of the counter 127 in any of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B reaches the predetermined value or more, the any of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B notifies the payout controller 3 of that fact.

Therefore, the payout controller 3 judges whether or not the progressive bonus payout condition is satisfied on the basis of the notification that the counted value of the counter 127 for counting the resources for the progressive bonus received from any of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B reaches the predetermined value or more. When the progressive bonus payout condition is satisfied, the payout controller 3 can notify any of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B of that fact.

For example, when the payout controller 3 receives the notifications that the counted value of the counter 127 reaches the predetermined value or more from all the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B, the payout controller 3 may execute a condition satisfaction decision process common to the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B. As a result, when the progressive bonus payout condition is satisfied, the payout controller 3 notifies the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B of the satisfaction of the progressive bonus payout condition. Here, the condition satisfaction decision process may employ a game mode as similar to the unit game or a lottery mode using a random number or the like.

In the meantime, in each of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B, some portions of the credits bet on the unit games as the wager by the players are accumulated on the counters 127 unique to the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B as the resources for the progressive bonus.

Here, it is also possible to omit the above-described process in step S1, that is, the process in which the bet unit for a player, who is determined as a high roller according to his/her game history in the player identification information, is set higher than the bet unit for an ordinary player.

Meanwhile, the above-described process in step S3 may be omitted. In this case, other than the portions of the wagers bet on the unit games, it is possible to accumulate portions of payouts of the unit games generated in the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B as the resources for the progressive bonus to be counted by the counters 127 of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B, for example.

Moreover, the above-described processes in step S4 and step S5 may also be omitted. In this case, the payout controller 3 may be configured to judge whether or not the progressive bonus payout condition is satisfied independently from the counted values of the counters 127 in the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B, i.e. independently from the condition of accumulation of the resources for the progressive bonus.

According to the slot machine 10 of this embodiment and the playing method thereof, the payouts for the progressive bonus occurs concurrently in the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B connected to the payout controller 3 by the notification from the payout controller 3 concerning the satisfaction of the progressive bonus payout condition. Moreover, the resources for the progressive bonus counted by the counters 127 of the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B are used for the payouts to be provided to the players at the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B.

For this reason, the payouts for the progressive bonus to be provided to the players by the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B on the basis of the common notification (the notification concerning satisfaction of the progressive bonus payout condition) may be set to different contents among the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B.

Accordingly, even when the players bet different bet amounts on the unit games, each player can receive the payout for the progressive bonus without being influenced by the contents of the bets on the unit games made by the other players. In this way, it is possible to provide the slot machine 10 and the playing method having higher entertainment properties by providing variation in payout amounts for the progressive bonus to be awarded to the player at the slot machine 10 by the trigger that is common to the gaming machines 10, 10A and 10B.

Next, details of a slot machine according to a first embodiment of the present invention will be described. As shown in FIG. 4, the slot machine 10 of this embodiment includes a cabinet 11, a top box 12 provided on an upper side of the cabinet 11, and a main door 13 provided on a front face of the cabinet 11. A display 16 is provided in front of the main door 13. As shown in FIG. 3, this display 16 includes the 15 partitioned regions q11 to q53 which are arranged in a matrix including first to fifth columns and first to third rows as shown in FIG. 3.

As shown in FIG. 4, this display 16 includes the windows 16 a to 16 e, always displayed in a transparent state, corresponding to the first to fifth columns, respectively. Moreover, the rotatable reel device 53 is disposed inside the cabinet 11 so as to be located behind the display 16.

As shown in FIG. 6A, the rotatable reel device 53 includes the five rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e that correspond to the respective windows 16 a to 16 e of the display 16. Moreover, as shown in FIG. 6B, the rotatable reel device 53 includes driving motors 56 a to 56 e formed of stepping motors for rotating the respective rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e. The rotatable reel device 53 further includes sensors 54 a to 54 e (see FIG. 5) for reading bar codes or for counting the number of passage of slits in order to detect rotation, stops, and stopped rotational positions of the respective rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e.

As shown in FIG. 7, the 21 symbols are laid out at even intervals on the circumferential surface of each of the rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e. To be more precise, the 9 types of symbols, namely, “A (ace)”, “K (king)”, “Q (queen)”, “J (jack)”, “10”, “umbrella”, “lightening”, “cloud”, and “special (man's face)” are laid out in accordance with predetermined patterns on the rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e.

In the slot machine 10 of this embodiment, as shown in FIG. 4, three continuous symbols out of the 21 symbols laid out on the circumferential surface of each of the rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e are visible to a player through each of the transparent windows 16 a to 16 e of the display 16. That is, the windows 16 a to 16 e define the partitioned regions q11 to q13, q21 to q23, q31 to q33, q41 to q43, and q51 to q53 in the direction of three upper, middle, and lower rows corresponding to first to fifth columns, respectively.

Moreover, in the slot machine 10 of this embodiment, one slot game session (the unit game) is executed by rearranging the symbols that are arranged in the partitioned regions q11 to q53 and are visible to the player through the respective windows 16 a to 16 e, by means of rotating and stopping the respective rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e. This slot game is usually executable by making a bet using game media. In this way, as shown in FIG. 2, the symbols are rearranged in the respective partitioned regions q11 to q53 of the display 16.

This embodiment describes an example of using medals as the game media for execution of the slot game. However, the media for the slot game are not limited only to the medals. For example, it is possible to use coins, tokens, electronic money, or other electronic value information (credits) corresponding thereto.

Various operation switches to be used by the player to input instructions concerning game procedures, a medal insertion slot 21 configured to accept the medals, and a bill validator 22 configured to validate whether each bill is authentic and to accept authentic bills are provided below the display 16. Here, the bill validator 22 may also be configured to read a bar coded ticket 39.

Moreover, various operation switches are provided in the vicinity of medal insertion slot 21 and the bill validator 22. As the operation switches, a payout switch 23, a MAXBET switch 24, a BET switch 25, a spin repeat bet switch 26, and a start switch 27 are provided.

The BET switch 25 is a switch for determining the number of credits to be bet on the slot game executed on the display 16. As will be described later, a credit equivalent to one medal is bet on every time the BET switch 25 is pressed.

The spin repeat bet switch 26 is a switch to be operated for executing the slot game by making the bet of credits without changing the number of the credits made in the previous slot game by operating the BET switch 25.

The start switch 27 is a switch for starting the slot game after the desired number of credits are bet. When the start switch 27 is pressed after the medals are inserted into the medal insertion slot 21 or the bet of credits is made by using the BET switch 25, the slot game is started on the display 16.

The payout switch 23 is a switch for providing inserted medals. The medals to be provided are discharged from a medal payout opening 19 provided at a lower part on the front face of the main door 13. The discharged medals are pooled in a medal tray 18.

The MAXBET switch 24 is a switch for making a bet, in a single operation, in a maximum amount (such as 30 medals) that the player can make a bet in one slot game session.

A foot display 34 is provided at a lower part on the front face of the main door 13 and is configured to display certain images on the basis of image display control data included in game software in operation.

An upper display 33 is provided on a front face of the top box 12. The upper display 33 includes a liquid crystal panel which is adopted to display a payout table and the like.

Meanwhile, the top box 12 is provided with a speaker 29. A ticket printer 35, a card reader 36, a data display 37, and a keypad 38 are provided on a lower side of the upper display 33. The ticket printer 35 is configured to print a ticket with a bar code encoding respective data including the amount of credits, date and time, an identification number of the slot machine 10, and the like and to output the ticket as a bar coded ticket 39.

The player is able to allow another slot machine to read the bar coded ticket 39 and to use the credits as wagers for playing the slot games with that slot machine and to exchange the bar coded ticket 39 with money bills and the like at a predetermined location in a gaming facility (such as a cashier in a casino).

The card reader 36 allows insertion of a smart card and is configured to read data out of the inserted smart card and to write data into the smart card. The smart card is a card carried by the player, which stores data for identifying the player, and data concerning a history of games played by the player. Here, it is also possible to change an upper limit of the bet executable in one slot game session on the basis of the data read out of the smart card with the card reader 36. Such a change in the upper limit of the bet is beneficial to a high roller player.

The smart card may be configured to store data corresponding to coins, money bills, or credits. Alternatively, it is also possible to employ a magnetic stripe card instead of the smart card. The data display 37 is formed of a fluorescent display or the like and is adapted to display data read out by the card reader 36 and data inputted by the player through the keypad 38, for example.

Meanwhile, instead of the smart card, it is possible to use a card that allows noncontact data reading and writing by employing a radio frequency identification (RFID) method. The keypad 38 is used for inputting instructions and data concerning ticket issuance and the like.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing a control circuit of the slot machine of this embodiment. A machine controller 40 shown in the drawing is a microcomputer which includes: an interface circuit group 102; an input-output bus 104; a CPU (central processing unit) 106; a ROM (read-only memory) 108; a RAM (random access memory) 110; a communication interface circuit 111; a random number generating circuit 112; a speaker driving circuit 122; a hopper driving circuit 124; a counter 127; a display driving circuit 128; display controller 140; a motor driving circuit 51 for driving the respective driving motors 56 a to 56 e in the rotatable reel device 53; and a reel position detection circuit 52 configured to detect rotation, stops, and stopped positions of the respective rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e by use of outputs from the respective sensors 54 a to 54 e in the rotatable reel device 53.

The respective sensors 54 a to 54 e are disposed so as to face margins 55 secured beside layout regions for the respective symbols on the circumferential surfaces of the relevant rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e. Moreover, the respective sensors 54 a to 54 e can detect rotation, stops, and stopped positions of the respective rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e by detecting identifiers such as bar codes that are laid out on the margins 55 so as to correspond to the respective symbols. Here, it is possible to employ various known methods including optical methods or magnetic methods for detection of the identifiers by the respective sensors 54 a to 54 e.

The interface circuit group 102 is connected to the input-output bus 104 and this input-output bus 104 inputs and outputs data signals and address signals to and from the CPU 106.

The start switch 27 is connected to the interface circuit group 102. A start signal outputted from this start switch 27 is converted into a certain signal by the interface circuit group 102 and is then transmitted to the CPU 106 through the input-output bus 104.

Moreover, the BET switch 25, the MAXBET switch 24, the spin repeat bet switch 26, and the payout switch 23 are connected to the interface circuit group 102. Moreover, respective switching signals outputted from these switches 25, 24, 26, and 23 are supplied to the interface circuit group 102, then converted into certain signals by this interface circuit group 102, and then transmitted to the CPU 106 through the input-output bus 104.

In addition, a medal sensor 43 is connected to the interface circuit group 102. The medal sensor 43 is a sensor for detecting the medals inserted to the medal insertion slot 21 and is provided at a medal insertion region of the medal insertion slot 21. A detection signal outputted from this medal sensor 43 is supplied to the interface circuit group 102, then converted into a certain signal by this interface circuit group 102, and then transmitted to the CPU 106 through the input-output bus 104.

The ROM 108 for storing system programs and the RAM 110 for saving various data are connected to the input-output bus 104. The RAM 110 is provided with areas and the like for managing flags and storing a variety of information.

The ROM 108 stores a payout table. The payout table indicates conditions for generating payouts and correlations between the conditions and the numbers of credits to be provided when the conditions are satisfied. The conditions for generating the payouts are determined by which symbols are rearranged in the partitioned regions q11 to q53 of the display 16. The contents of rearranged symbols for generating the payouts can be defined by the number of scatter symbols rearranged in the partitioned regions q11 to q53 in the slot game, or by patterns of winning conditions on paylines set in the partitioned regions q11 to q53. In the slot game in this embodiment, the CPU 106 determines whether or not to generate a payout (to provide a payout of credits) and a payout amount of credits (the number of credits subject to be provide) on the basis of the payout table and on the symbols stopped in the respective partitioned regions q11 to q53.

Triggered by acceptance of a starting operation of a game by the start switch 27, the CPU 106 reads a game execution program out of the ROM 108 and executes a slot game. The game execution program is a program for executing the slot game by driving the respective driving motors 56 a to 56 e of the rotatable reel device 53 by way of the motor driving circuit 51.

Specifically, the slot game involving: simultaneously varying and displaying the symbols in all the partitioned regions q11 to q53 of the display 16; stopping the symbols; and, if the rearranged symbols satisfies any of the contents for providing the payout, providing a payout in the payout amount on the basis of the payout table stored in the ROM 108.

Moreover, the random number generating circuit 112, the communication interface circuit 111, the display controller 140, the hopper driving circuit 124, and speaker driving circuit 122, the counter 127, the display driving circuit 128, the motor driving circuit 51, and the reel position detection circuit 52 are connected to the input-output bus 104.

The communication interface circuit 111 is connected to a hall server, for example, and transmits data such as a play history executed by the slot machine 10 to the hall server. Meanwhile, the communication interface circuit 111 receives various data transmitted from the hall server.

The random number generating circuit 112 generates a random number for determining whether or not to generate a winning combination or a jackpot in the slot game executed on the display 16.

The counter 127 has a function to count resources for the progressive bonus. The resources for the progressive bonus counted by the counter 127 are formed by accumulating a portion of the bet when the bet with a predetermined amount or more is made on one slot game session. Here, the counter 127 may also be provided inside the RAM 110.

The display driving circuit 128 performs control to display an amount of payout in a payout amount display region 48 defined in a lower left region of the display 16.

The speaker driving circuit 122 output sound data to the speaker 29. Specifically, the CPU 106 reads the sound data stored in the ROM 108 and transmits the sound data to the speaker driving circuit 122 through the input-output bus 104. In this way, predetermined sound effects are outputted from the speaker 29.

The hopper driving circuit 124 outputs a payout signal to the hopper 44 when a payout is generated. Specifically, when a payout signal is inputted from the payout switch 23, the CPU 106 outputs a driving signal to the hopper driving circuit 124 through the input-output bus 104. Accordingly, the hopper 44 discharges the medals equivalent to the remaining amount of credits at that point stored in a predetermined memory region of the RAM 110.

The display controller 140 performs display control to the display 16 to always display the windows 16 a to 16 e transparently. Specifically, the CPU 106 generates an image display instruction signal to instruct the display 16 to always display the windows 16 a to 16 e transparently and outputs the image display instruction signal to the display controller 140 through the input-output bus 104. Upon receipt of the image display instruction signal outputted from the CPU 106, the display controller 140 generates a driving signal for driving the display 16 on the basis of the image display instruction signal and outputs the driving signal thus generated to the display 16. In this way, the windows 16 a to 16 e are always displayed transparently.

The slot machine 10 in FIG. 4 having the above-described configuration is disposed on the stage 1 together with two other slot machines 10A and 10B as shown in FIG. 8. The payout controller 3 is housed in this stage 1. This payout controller 3 manages satisfaction of payout conditions for the progressive bonus on the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B. The progressive bonus is counted independently of the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B.

The two slot machines 10A and 10B to be disposed on the stage 1 together with the slot machine 10 basically have the same configuration as that of the slot machine 10. Each of the payout table stored in the ROM 108 of the slot machine 10A or the slot machine 10B basically has the same configuration as the payout table stored in the ROM 108 of the slot machine 10.

Next, operations that are common to the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B will be described with reference to a flowchart shown in FIG. 9. FIG. 9 is the flowchart showing procedures of a slot game process to be executed by the CPU 106 shown in FIG. 5 in accordance with the game execution program stored in the ROM 108.

First, when the CPU 106 starts the slot game process shown in FIG. 9, the CPU 106 executes a bet unit setting process in step S10. In this bet unit setting process, the CPU 106 reads the player identification information out of the smart card carried by the player by using the card reader 36 in FIG. 4. When the CPU 106 judges that this player is a high roller according to the past game history of the player included in the player identification information, the CPU 106 sets the bet unit higher than that in an ordinary case.

Next, in step S11, the CPU judges whether or not credits are bet. In this process, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the CPU 106 receives any of a signal to be outputted from the BET switch 25 at the time of pressing the BET switch 25 or a signal to be outputted from the MAXBET switch 24 at the time of pressing the MAXBET switch 24. The process returns to step S11 when the CPU 106 judges that no credits are bet.

On the other hand, when the CPU 106 judges that the credits are bet in step S11, the process goes to step S12 where the CPU 106 subtracts the number of credits stored in the RAM 110 by a number depending on the bet number of credits.

Next, in step S13, the CPU 16 judges whether or not the start switch 27 is pressed. In this process, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the CPU 106 receives a signal outputted from the start switch 27 at the time of pressing the start switch 27.

When the CPU 106 judges that the start switch 27 is not pressed, the process returns to step S11. Note that when the start switch 27 is not pressed (for example, when an instruction to terminate the game is inputted instead of pressing the start switch 27), the CPU 106 cancels a result of subtraction calculation of the number of credits in Step S12.

Next, when the CPU 16 judges that the start switch 27 is pressed in step S13, the CPU 106 transitions from step S13 to step S14 to execute an updating process of a counted value of the progressive bonus. In this process, the CPU 106 executes the process to increment the counted value for counting the resources for the progressive bonus to be counted by the counter 127 by an amount equivalent to a portion of the credits (such as one-third of the all credits to be bet) bet in step S11. Then the process goes to step S15.

In step S15, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the counted value for counting the resources for the progressive bonus to be counted by the counter 127 is a predetermined value or more. When the counted value is not the predetermined value or more (NO in step S15), the CPU 106 transitions to a process in step S17 to be described later. On the other hand, when the counted value of the counter 127 is the predetermined value or more (YES in step S15), the CPU 106 notifies the payout controller 3 in step S16 that the counted value of the counter 127 is the predetermined value or more. Thereafter, the process goes to step S17.

In step S17, the CPU 106 determines stopped symbols. In this process to determine the stopped symbols, the CPU 106 determines the symbols to be stopped and displayed (rearranged) on the respective partitioned regions q11 to q53 by executing a stopped symbol determination program that constitutes part of the game execution program stored in the ROM 108.

According to this stopped symbol determination process, each of the symbols to be rearranged in the respective partitioned regions q11 to q53 are selected from the 9 types of symbols of “A (ace)”, “K (king)”, “Q (queen)”, “J jack)”, “10”, “umbrella”, “lightening”, “cloud”, and “special (man's face)” that are shown in FIG. 7.

Next, the CPU 106 executes a symbol varying and displaying process in step S18. This is the process to start varying and displaying symbols in the partitioned regions q11 to q53 as shown in FIG. 13, and then to stop the symbols in the partitioned regions q11 to q53 as shown in FIG. 14. As a result of executing the process for starting and stopping the varying display of symbols, the symbols are rearranged in the partitioned regions q11 to q53. The symbol varying and displaying process in step S18 is executed by rotating and stopping the rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e of the rotatable reel device 53 while driving the driving motors 56 a to 56 e with the motor driving circuit 51.

After completion of the varying and displaying process, the CPU 106 proceeds to step S19 and judges whether or not there the symbols rearranged in the partitioned regions q11 to q53 forms any winning combination. That is, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the condition for generating the winning is satisfied.

In this step S19, the CPU 106 refers to the payout table stored in the ROM 108 and judges whether or not the content of the symbols rearranged in the above-described step S18 coincides with any of the contents of the symbol-rearrangement defined on the payout table as subjects to generate the payouts.

Subsequently, when the content of the rearranged symbols coincides with any of the contents of rearranged symbols defined on the payout table, the CPU 106 judges that the winning is established, and determines the payout amount of credits in the slot game by using the payout amount defined corresponding to the content of the symbol-rearrangement in step S20. Thereafter, the process transitions from step S20 to the next step S21.

On the other hand, when the contents of the symbols rearranged in step S18 does not coincide with any of the contents of the symbol-rearrangement for generating the payouts as defined on the payout table, the CPU 106 judges that the winning is not established and therefore proceeds to step S21.

In step S21, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the payout controller 3 notifies the CPU 106 that the payout condition for progressive bonus is satisfied. When not notified that the payout condition for progressive bonus is satisfied (NO in step S21), the CPU 106 proceeds to step S23 to be described later. When notified that the payout condition for progressive bonus is satisfied (YES in step S21), the CPU 106 executes a progressive bonus payout process in step S22.

In the progressive bonus payout process in step S22, the CPU 106 determines the payout amount of credits in the progressive bonus equal to the number of credits corresponding to the resources for the progressive bonus counted by the counter 127, and then proceeds to the next step S23.

In step S23, the CPU 106 executes a payout process to provide the payout of credits that corresponds to the payout. In this payout process, the CPU 106 adds the credits corresponding to the winning outcome in the above-described step S19 and the credits corresponding to the payout for the progressive bonus in the above-described step S21 to the number of credits stored in the RAM 110. Thereafter, the process returns to the above-described step S11 to execute the next slot game process.

As apparent from the above description, in this embodiment, the CPU 106 constitutes a controller as defined in the claims.

As described above, as the CPU 106 executes the updating process of the counted value of the progressive bonus in step S14, the payouts for the progressive bonus to be provided by the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B use the credits individually accumulated by the counters 127 of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B as the resources for the payouts. This payout controller 3 can be formed of a computer that includes the CPU, the ROM, and the RAM.

Next, operations of the payout controller 3 will be described with reference to flowcharts shown in FIG. 10 to FIG. 12. FIG. 10 to FIG. 12 are the flowcharts showing procedures of a progressive bonus payout condition management process, a notification reception process, and a payout notification process to be executed by the payout controller 3 in accordance with programs stored in the ROM.

First, when the payout controller 3 starts the progressive bonus payout condition management process shown in FIG. 10, the payout controller 3 repeatedly executes the notification reception process in step S31 and the payout notification process in step S32.

In the notification reception process in step S31, as shown in FIG. 11, the payout controller 3 judges whether or not all of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B notify the payout controller 3 that the predetermined amount of credits or more is accumulated in the counters 127 as the resources for the progressive bonus (step S310).

When notified from all the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B as shown in FIG. 11 (YES in step S310), the payout controller 3 sets a reception flag F to “1” (step S311) and then terminates the notification reception process. When any of or all the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B does not notify the payout controller 3 (NO in step S310), the payout controller 3 sets the reception flag F to “0” (step S312) and then terminates the notification reception process.

In addition, in the payout notification process in step S32, the payout controller 3 judges whether or not the reception flag F is set to “1” as shown in FIG. 12 (step S320). The payout notification process is terminated if the reception flag F is not set to “1” (NO in step S320).

On the other hand, when the reception flag F is set to “1” (YES in S320), the payout controller 3 judges whether or not to generate the payouts for the progressive bonus at the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B (step S321). This judgment may be performed by means of a lottery process using a random number table or by means of a game process such as a slot game common to the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B.

In order to judge whether or not to generate the payouts for the progressive bonus at the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B by the game process described above, it is possible to carry out a common game using parts of the symbols rearranged in the partitioned regions q11 to q53 on the displays 16 of the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B as shown in FIG. 2, for example.

In this common game, the payout controller 3 picks up the symbols corresponding to one of the first to third rows among the symbols rearranged in the partitioned regions q11 to q53 from each of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B.

Then, the payout controller 3 controls a common display 4 shown in FIG. 8 so that the common display 4 displays a screen in which the symbols thus picked up are rearranged in a layout similar to the layout of the partitioned regions q11 to q53 of each of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B as shown in FIG. 2.

Thereafter, when the symbols in the screen displayed on the common display 4 form a pattern defined as the condition for generating the payout on the payout table stored in the ROM 108 of each of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B, the payout controller 3 may judge that the condition to generate the payout for the progressive bonus is satisfied at the each of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B.

The payout controller 3 terminates the payout notification process when the payout controller 3 judges not to generate the payouts for the progressive bonus at the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B (NO in step S321). On the other hand, when the payout controller 3 judges to generate the payouts for the progressive bonus (YES in step S321), the payout controller 3 notifies the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B of the qualification that the progressive bonus payout condition is satisfied (step S322). Thereafter, the payout controller 3 terminates the payout notification process.

As apparent from the above description, in this embodiment, the payout controller 3 and the common display 4 collectively constitute a common display unit.

According to the slot machine 10, 10A, and 10B of this embodiment configured as described above, the credits counted by the respective counters 127 in the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B are individually provided as the payouts for the progressive bonus upon receipt of the notification, from the payout controller 3, that the progressive bonus payout condition is qualified.

Here, the numbers of credits individually counted by the counters 127 of the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B as the resources for the progressive bonus are not at all influenced by the amount of the wagers that are bet on the previous slot games with other slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B by other players.

For this reason, the different contents of payouts for the progressive bonus can be provided to the players of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B, when the payout controller 3 commonly notifies the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B that the progressive bonus payout condition is satisfied.

Accordingly, even when the players bet in different amounts on the games, each player can receive the payout for the progressive bonus without being influenced by the contents of the bets on the slot games made by other players. In this way, it is possible to provide the slot machine 10 and the playing method thereof having higher entertainment properties by providing variation in the payout amounts for the progressive bonus to be provided to the player at the slot machine 10 by the trigger that is common to the gaming machines 10, 10A and 10B.

Here, the configuration to accumulate part of the credits bet on the respective slot games at slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B by the players in the counters 127 of the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B is extremely advantageous from the viewpoint of setting the resources of the progressive bonus to the amounts of credits corresponding to the contents of the bets (bet amounts) of credits on the slot games at the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B made by the individual players. Nevertheless, this configuration is not always essential and may therefore be omitted.

Meanwhile, when the payout controller 3 judges whether or not to generate the payouts for the progressive bonus at the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B in the process of step S320 in FIG. 12, the notifications that the counted values of the counters 127 for counting the resources for the progressive bonus from all the slot machines 10, 10 a, 10B become the predetermined value or more is not necessarily a prerequisite.

For example, the payout controller 3 may be configured to judge whether or not to generate the payouts for the progressive bonus when at least one of the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B notifies the payout controller 3 that the counted value of the counter 127 for counting the resources for the progressive bonus reaches the predetermined value or more. Alternatively, the payout controller 3 may also be configured to judge whether or not to generate the payouts for the progressive bonus at certain timing (such as timing of a winning of an internal lottery) irrespective of the accumulation conditions of the resources for the progressive bonus in the respective slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B.

In the above-described first embodiment, the display 16 is made of a transparent member and the rotatable reel device disposed behind the display 16 is used for rearranging the symbols in the respective partitioned regions q11 to q53.

Instead, it is also possible to execute the rearrangement of the symbols in the respective partitioned regions q11 to q53 on the display 16 may be achieved in the form of a display on a liquid crystal panel included in the display 16.

Now, a slot machine according to a second embodiment of the present invention configured to rearrange the symbols in the form of the display on the liquid crystal panel will be described below. FIG. 15 is a perspective view of the slot machine according to the second embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 16 is a block diagram showing a control circuit of the slot machine according to the second embodiment of the present invention.

Now, as shown in FIG. 15, the windows 16 a to 16 e of the display 16 and the rotatable reel device 53 (see FIGS. 6A and 6B) provided with the rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e that are disposed behind the windows 16 a to 16 e are omitted in the slot machine 10 of the second embodiment in comparison with the slot machine 10 of the first embodiment.

Moreover, in the slot machine 10 of this embodiment, the machine controller 40 omits the motor driving circuit 51 and the reel position detection circuit 52 as shown in FIG. 16. Here, along the omission of the rotatable reel device 53, the respective driving motors 56 a to 56 e of the rotatable reel device 53 which are driven by the motor driving circuit 51, and the sensors 54 a to 54 e for detecting rotation, stops, and stopped positions of the respective rotatable reels 53 a to 53 e of the rotatable reel device 53 by using the reel position detection circuit 52 are also omitted.

In the slot machine 10 of this embodiment, the display controller 140 performs display control to execute the slot game and an effect corresponding to an outcome of the slot game on the display 16. Specifically, the CPU 106 generates an image display instruction signal in response to the state of the slot game and the outcome of the slot game and outputs the image display instruction signal to the display controller 140 through the input-output bus 104. Upon receipt of the image display instruction signal outputted from the CPU 106, the display controller 140 generates a driving signal for driving the display 16 on the basis of this image display instruction and outputs the generated driving signal to the display 16. In this way, an effect image corresponding to the slot game and the outcome thereof is displayed on the display 16.

Therefore, the CPU 106 outputs the image display signal for displaying an image of the slot game and the effect image corresponding to the outcome thereof on the display 16 to the display controller 140 at the timing corresponding to the progress of the slot game. In this way, the effect image corresponding to the slot game and the outcome thereof is displayed on the display 16.

Moreover, the ROM 108 stores correlations between code numbers representing the respective symbols and one or more random values that belong to a predetermined numerical value range (0 to 255) in the form of weighted data. The data are formed for each of the partitioned regions q11 to a53. For example, regarding a certain symbol, when a plurality of random number values corresponding to the symbol are set, the symbol becomes more likely to be selected compared to the case where only one random number value is set.

Moreover, as for the stopped symbol determination process of step S17 in FIG. 9 executed by the CPU 106 of the slot machine 10 of the first embodiment, the CPU 106 of the slot machine 10 of the second embodiment determines the symbols to be stopped in the respective partitioned regions q11 to q53 by selecting a random value from the numerical values ranging from 0 to 255 for each of the partitioned regions q11 to q53 by executing a random number generation program, and then referring to the correlations between the random values and the symbols stored in the ROM 108.

Moreover, the CPU 106 executes the process to judge whether or not the symbols rearranged in the partitioned regions q11 to q53 form a winning combination in step S19 of the slot game process in FIG. 9, on the basis of the contents of rearranged symbols that are determined in the stopped symbol determination process in step S17.

Here, the slot machines 10A and 10B of the second embodiment, which share a jackpot managed by the payout controller 3 with the slot machine 10, have similar configurations to the slot machine 10 of the second embodiment described referring to FIG. 15 and FIG. 16.

According to the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B having the above-described configurations and representing the second embodiment and the playing method thereof, it is also possible to achieve similar effects to the effects produced by the slot machines 10, 10A, and 10B of the first embodiment and the playing method thereof.

The slot machine of the present invention and the playing method thereof have been described with reference to certain illustrated embodiments. However, the present invention is not limited only to the embodiments expressly stated herein and configurations of the respective constituents may be replaced by any other configurations having similar functions.

For example, in the above-described embodiments, the display 16 is configured to have the 15 partitioned regions q11 to q53 defined by the five columns and the three rows. However, the numbers of the rows and columns of the partitioned regions in the matrix constituting the display may be any numbers in the column direction and in the row direction.

In addition, in the detailed description above, the characteristic portions are mainly described in order to make the present invention easily understandable. The present invention is not limited to the embodiments described in the detailed description above, and can be applied to the other embodiments, and its range of application is wide. Also, the terms and the terminology used in the present specification are used only for the purpose of explaining the present invention precisely, and not used for the purpose of limiting the interpretation of the present invention. Also, for those skilled in the art, it should be easy to contemplate other configurations, systems, methods, etc., that are contained in the concept of the present invention, from the content of the invention described in the present specification. Consequently, the description of the scope of claims should be construed as containing equivalent configurations within a range of not deviating from a range of the technical ideas of the present invention. Also, the purpose of the abstract is to make it possible for the patent office, the general public organizations, and technicians and the like who belong to the present technical field and who are not thoroughly familiar with patent and law terms or specialized terms, to quickly judge the technical content and its essence of the present application by a simple search. Consequently, the abstract is not intended to limit the scope of the invention which should be evaluated by the description of the scope of claims. Also, in order to sufficiently understand the purpose of the present invention and the effects specific to the present invention, they should preferably be interpreted by sufficiently referring to the documents and the like that are already disclosed in public.

Also, the detailed description above contains the processing to be executed by a computer. The explanations and expressions in the above are described for the purpose of facilitating the most efficient understanding by those skilled in the art. In the present specification, each step used in deriving one result should be understood as a processing without a self-contradiction. Also, at each step, transmission and reception, recording, etc., of electric or magnetic signals will be carried out. In the processing at each step, such signals are expressed by bits, values, symbols, letters, terms, numbers, etc., but it should be noted that they are used simply because they are convenient for the purpose of explanation. Also, there are cases where the processing at each step is described by an expression common to the human behavior, but the processing described in the present specification is to be executed by various devices in principle. Also, the other configuration required in carrying out each step will be obvious from the above description.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8027899 *Jun 25, 2010Sep 27, 2011Bgc Partners, Inc.System and method for forming a financial instrument indexed to entertainment revenue
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/25
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3211, G07F17/34, G07F17/3258
European ClassificationG07F17/34, G07F17/32C2F, G07F17/32K12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 26, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: ARUZE CORP., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:INAMURA, YUKINORI;REEL/FRAME:022454/0104
Effective date: 20090309