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Publication numberUS3876208 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 8, 1975
Filing dateSep 20, 1973
Priority dateSep 20, 1972
Also published asDE2245969A1, DE2245969B2
Publication numberUS 3876208 A, US 3876208A, US-A-3876208, US3876208 A, US3876208A
InventorsWolfgang Straszer, Russi Tschernev, Peter Uri, Gunter Wachtler
Original AssigneeWolfgang Straszer, Russi Tschernev, Peter Uri, Gunter Wachtler
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming machine
US 3876208 A
Images(8)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Wiichtler et al.

Apr. 8, 1975 [541 GAWNG MACHINE FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLlCATlONS 1 lnvenwrsr Gunter Wiichtler Fischersmlsse 1 268,377 6/1966 Australia v. 273/[38 A Rottach-Egern; Wolfgang Straszer, gi g g ia Primary Exunu'ner-Paul E. Shapiro 552; a f s g Attorney. Agent, or Firm--Brisebois & Kruger l2. Neukeferioh, all of Germany 122 Filed: Sept. 20. 1973 {57} ABSTRACT [2]] App No 399 333 An electronically controlled gaming machine having poker-like rules of play, the machine comprises a matrix of card memory stages in rows and columns, each [30] Foreign Application Priority Data memory stage having three conditions and an output Sam 20 1972 Germany H 2245969 which is energised in one of the conditions. An indicator device includes a plurality of indicators one con- [52 115, CL 273 133 373 E nected to each memory stage for illumination, when 1511 Int. Cl. A63f 9/00 the Output of the associated memory Stage is s 5 pi of Seamh H 273 1 5 1 R 1 M 13 A ised. A dealing unit provides five sequential impulses 273/139 142 B 143 R 143 A 143 B [43 C to energise a random selection of five of the memory 143 D 143 E stages to represent five cards being dealt A card return unit allows up to three of the memory stagesso [56] Ref Ci d energised to be de-energised and subsequently UNITED STATES PATENTS blocked from re-energisation and the dealing unit can 2998757 8196' M v 773 I R then be reoperated randomly to energise different 197! A memory stages until five stages are energised Control 2 1 3 M971 'g' z 5 R circuits connected to the rows and columns of the 1,5 3/1972 jjj Ia X memory stage matrix then determine the score in ac- 3.733.075 5/1973 Hooker et al. .l 273 143 R x cordanfie with P rules- 3135382 5/l973 Gerfin i t 1 1 1 273M E 3.770.269 11/1973 Elder 273/1 E Drawmg J5 (F 37 J9 i ?ffifi? 53% F -I ffiir? STAKE U/V/T 5 L4 l l J I 25 age r504 353 I} 27;, 25 g rm 77' fit/3 s 1.1 1

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GAMING MACHINE The present invention relates to a gaming machine with poker-like rules of play, in accordance with which firstly five cards are dealt, then there is the possibility of returning up to three cards again and in return buying a corresponding number of new cards and finally the score is determined in accordance with the final distribution of the points and suits of the cards which has been dealt.

One aim of the present invention is to provide a gaming machine which so imitates the game of poker, the most-played card game of the World, in a simplified form that each individual player can play against chance, there is the greatest possible urge to play further games and cheating is practically impossible,

According to the present invention an electronically controlled gaming machine adapted to play card games with poker-like rules of play, comprises an indicating unit having a plurality of selectively operable cardrepresenting indicator devices, one for each card of a group of possible cards; a card memory having a plurality of memory stages one for each indicator device, each card memory stage having an input thereto and an output connected to the associated indicator device, and being operable to assume one of three memory conditions, a reception condition, a memory condition, and a blocking condition, each said memory stage operating to produce an output signal when in said memory condition and no output signal when in said reception condition or said blocking condition, and switching to said memory condition on the occurrence of a signal on said input if it is in said reception condition but not if it is in said blocking condition; a dealing unit having a plurality of outputs each connected to the inputs of a respective card memory stage, said dealing unit comprising in combination, a random signal generator, means connecting said random signal generator to all said outputs from said dealing unit, means for cyclically enabling said outputs from said dealing unit whereby an output signal on one of said output lines is produced if a random signal occurs when said one of said output lines is enabled, said output signal operating to switch the card memory stage connected to said one of said output lines to its memory condition if it is in its reception condition, a counter circuit connected to the outputs of all said memory stages and operable to produce an output pulse when a predetermined number of memory stages have been switched to their memory conditions, and means interconnecting said counter and said random signal generator to inhibit the generation of further random signals upon the occurrence of said output signal from said counter indicating that said predetermined number of memory stages have been swtiched to their memory condition to represent the dealing of a predetermined number of cards, a card return unit having a plurality of operating members each connected to a respective memory stage and operating, when actuated, to switch the associated memory stage to its blocking condition from its memory condition, and a new deal operating member connected to said dealing unit and operable to energise said dealing unit, when actuated, to randomly switch further memory stages to their said memory conditions until the said predetermined number of memory stages in the memory condition is re-established, a stake unit having a coin or token receiving mechanism and means for producing an output signal when coins or tokens are held in said stake unit, inhibit means interconnecting the output of said stake unit and said dealing unit, operating to inhibit said dealing unit, unless there is an output from said stake unit, and result read-out means connected to said memory stages and operating to indicate the score obtained in dependence on which of said memory stages are in said memory condition.

The stake unit comprises preferably a token input and checking device, for example a coin checker, and a credit balance memory, which stores the credit balance and indicates what credit balance can be made up from the amount placed by the player in the form of tokens in the gaming machine and also from the winnings.

The gaming machine can furthermore comprise a pay-out unit with an operating element, which makes it possible for the player to have paid out the credit balance present or a desired part of it.

The principle of the invention and further advantages, forms and further developments of it are described in detail in what follows with reference to an embodiment shown in the drawings.

FIG. I shows a block circuit diagram ofa gaming machine in accordance with the invention, comprising a card memory, an indicating unit, a card return unit, a dealing unit, a result read-out unit, a controlled unit, and a paying out unit.

FIG. 2 shows a somewhat simplified circuit of the card memory, the indicating unit and the card return unit.

FIG. 3 is a block circuit diagram of dealing unit.

FIGS. 4a to 4f show circuit diagrams of parts of the result read-out unit.

FIG. 5 shows a circuit of the control unit.

FIG. 6 shows a diagrammatic representation of the credit balance unit and the paying out unit.

In the case of the following embodiments of the in vention the player pays his stake by inserting coins of money, which are checked by a coin checker and which on receipt of the inserted coins supplies corresponding count signals to a credit balance memory. It is naturally possible to use other tokens, such as chips or banknotes and the like. Instead of the coin checker use will then be made of a suitable token input and checking device, which can be constructed in a conventional manner.

The gaming machine shown in block form in FIG. 1 comprises a stake unit 11 with a coin checker l3 and a credit balance register 14, and furthermore a card memory 15 with a card indicating device 17, and also a dealing unit 19, a card return unit 21, a result readout unit 23, a control unit 25, which controls the course of the game in as far as it is not to be influenced by the player himself, and a paying out unit 27, which comprises a coin store 29 and a coin delivery device 31. The coin store 29 preferably accepts the coins accepted by the coin checker 13.

The indicating unit 17 comprises fields 18, which can be illuminated, for the 32 cards of a skat game. The card memory 15 correspondingly comprises 32 memory stages and the card return unit 21 comprises 32 card return buttons or switches.

Before giving a detailed description of the construction of the various units of the gaming machine only shown diagrammatically in FIG. 1, the rules of play and the general manner of operation of this gaming machine are to be explained.

Before commencing play all circuit units of the gaming machine are set in their resting conditions with the exception of the card memory. The card memory still stores the results of the preceding game and correspondingly the indicator unit 17 indicates the cards drawn in the preceding game. In the case of an objection by a player this makes possible a check of the result of play by the supervisiing staff.

For playing a game it is necessary for the credit balance memory 14 to have a sufficient credit balance. In the case of the embodiment described for the initial dealing of five cards one coin unit (for example 1 DM) is required and a further coin unit is required for each newly bought card after card return. The necessary credit balance in the credit balance memory 14 can be built up by inserting coins 35 into the stake unit 11 or can be drawn from an earlier win.

The commencement of play takes place by actuating a start button 37, which is coupled with the control unit 25. The actuation of the start button 37 ensures that all stages of the card memory 15 are returned to the resting condition and correspondingly all fields 18 of the indicating device are dark, that is to say switched off. After a certain delay (for example 0.5 seconds) the control unit then gives a dealing command to the dealing unit 19, which in a purely statistical manner sets five memory stages of the card memory 15 in sequence. The cards dealt in this manner in a completely random fashion are indicated by illuminated fields 18 of the indicating device 17. The dealing unit will be explained in more detail presently. Within a certain period (in this case for example 20 seconds), which is determined by the control unit 25, the player has the possibility, after issue of the first five cards, of returning up to three of the cards dealt by actuation of corresponding return buttons in the card return unit 21. By operation of the card return button the memory stage associated with the return card is switched over from the first memory condition into the second one and the associated field 18 in the indicating device 17 becomes dark.

After actuation of a new dealing button 39 (on the assumption that the credit balance in the balance memory I4 is sufficient) the same number of new cards are dealt as have been returned. The card memory is so constructed that the return cards cannot be dealt a second time. Therefore, in any event the player receives cards different to those which he has surrendered.

If the player does not require to return any cards, he actuates the new deal button 39 without having previously actuated a card return button.

When following the actuation of the card return button in the card memory 15 five memory stages are in the first memory condition, the result read-out unit 23 is caused to check the memory stages which are in the first memory condition, that is to say the dealt cards, to see whether a score has been obtained or not.

In the case of the present embodiment of the invention the following card combinations win. They are given in the order of increasing win quotas:

1 Three of a kind (three cards of the same value, that is to say for example three kings).

2 Full House (respectively three and two cards of the same value, for example three queens and two nines).

3 Flush (five cards of the same suit, which however do not form a sequence).

4 Ordinary poker (four cards of the same value, for example four queens, but not however four aces).

5 Ace poker (four aces).

6 Straight Flush (five sequentially following card values of the same suit, for example seven of hearts to jack of hearts) without an ace.

7 Royal Flush (five card values in sequence of the same suit including the ace).

The means for carrying out the above-mentioned functions and the course of play described are explained in what follows with reference to FIGS. 2 to 6.

In the case of the following description of the manner of operation of the present gaming machine with reference to a typical game it is to be assumed that the credit balance memory 14 is empty, that the coin store 29 contains a certain amount of coins, and that in the card memory the five cards drawn in the preceding game are stored. The indicating unit 17 therefore shows the views of these five cards by means of the corresponding illuminated fields l8, and preferably also any score or winning obtained.

At the beginning of the game the player should preferably insert several coins 35 into the coin checker 13. The coin checker can be of a conventional construction (see for example the German Pat. No. 2,029,751) and on accepting a coin passes an electrical pulse to the coin gate which is normally comprised in a coin checker so that the accepted coin passes through a receiving channel 41 (FIG. 6) into the coin store 29, which can consist for example of a vertically placed tube. The pulse produced on acceptance is also supplied to a forward count input VZ of a reversible counter 43 contained in the credit balance memory 14 and the counter 43 is provided with an indicating device 45, which indicates the credit balance. The credit balance unit 14 furthermore comprises a decoder connected with the counter 43 which supplies an output signal at an output line 49 when the counter 43 is at zero. The line 49 leads to an inverter 51, at whose output, therefore, a credit balance signal GU is produced when the counter 43 stores a credit balance different from zero.

After the insertion of one or more coins the player then actuates the starting button 37 (FIG. 5) which cuases a monostable multivibrator (referred to below as "monoflop") 53 which on actuation supplies a pulse of predetermined length at one of two inputs of an AND- gate 55. At the second input of the AND-gate the credit balance signal GU is present and, since it was assumed that the credit balance differed from zero, the pulse from the monofiop 53 can pass through the AND-gate 55. The output pulse of the AND-gate serves as a resetting pulse RS, which resets the card memory and the score determining circuit with the associated indicating means at zero. The output pulse RS furthermore passes through a delay member 57 and an OR-gate 59 and then passes to the setting input of the flip-flop 61, which is accordingly set. When the flip-flop 61 has been set, there appears at its l-output a dealing command signal AB, which is supplied to an AND-gate 63 (FIG. 3) in the dealing unit 19. The AND-gate 63 has two further inputs, of which one receives clock pulses (with the frequency of for example 10 kHz) from an oscillator 65, while at the third input a dealing termination signal is present, which vanishes when five cards have been dealt. The production of the dealing termination signal will be described presently in conjunction with FIG. 2.

At the point in time in consideration all three input signals are present at the AND-gate 63 so that the clock pulses are allowed to pass through and can pass on the one hand to a random signal generator 69 and on the other hand to a five stage counter 67.

The five stages of the counter each have a respective l-output and a O-output. At the l-output the signal L (binary number 1) occurs when the stage is set, while when the stage is reset an L" occurs at the 0-output".

The random signal generator 69 consists of a conventional circuit arrangement, for example a shift register provided with feed-back loops, which supplies a quasistatistical binary sign sequence with a very large cycle duration (see for example Gernam Pat. Nos. 1,188,123, 1,054,491 and 1,095,876). The quasistatistical sign sequence produced by the random signal generator 69 is supplied to frequency divider 71, which reduces the frequency of the quasi-statistical pulse sequence to such a degree that the dealing" of the cards can be carried out with a sufficiently low speed in order to be observed. The quasi-statistical pulse sequence divided as to frequency is shaped in a pulse-shaping and delay circuit 73 and brought into such a phase position with respect to the clock pulses TP fed to the counter 67 that the respective quasi-statistical pulses only occur after the counter 67 has terminated the switching over operation which was initiated by the corresponding clock pulse TP. The quasi-statistical pulses (referred to in what follows as random pulses) Z are supplied from the output of the pulse-shaping and delay circuit 73 to a respective input of 32 AND-gates, which are arranged so as to correspond to a respective stage of the card memory (FIG. 2). FIGS. 2 and 3 show only one such respective AND-gate 75, which is associated with the memory stage for the card T7 (seven of clubs). THe AND-gates each have 8 inputs, of which five are connected with corresponding outputs of the stages of the counter 67, as is indicated in the table contained in FIG. 3. The relevant five inputs of the AND-gate 75 of a first memory stage (that is to say in this case the memory stage T7) are connected therefore with the 1- output of the counter-stage l and with the O-outputs of the counter-stages 2 to 5. At the relevant five inputs of the AND-gate 75 signals only of the value L are present when the counter 67 is at (decimal) 1. On switching on the counter 67 further by the clock pulses CP therefore the five inputs of the 32 AND-gates 75 are switched first into the enabled condition.

The remaining inputs of the AND-gate 75 are connected with the O-outputs of two flip-flops FFla and FFlb (FIG. 2) which together form the memory stage T7. The card memory comprises 32 memory stages, which are arranged in four lines and eight columns, as shown in the following table and which respectively comprise two flip-flops corresponding to the flip-flops FFla and FF).

Table l-Continued Column 7 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 It is therefore a question of abbreviations of the designations of a pack of 32 cards.

Since the 32 memory stages of the card memory 15 are identical in construction, it is sufficient to explain the memory stage T7.

The setting input 8 of the flip-flop FFla is connected with the output of the associated AND-gate 75. The flip-flop FFla is thus set if 1 the counter 67 is at the number coordinated with the relevant memory stage,

2 a random pulse Z occurs, and

3 both flip-flops of the respective memory stage are reset.

Owing to the setting of the flip-flop la the signal L occurs at its l-output, while the signal at the O-output becomes zero and the AND-member is in the blocking condition. The signal from the l-output of the flipflop FFla firstly switches an indicating device 79, for example an incandescent lamp of the corresponding field 18 of the indicatinig unit 17, which then indicates that the card in question has been dealt. Furthermore, the signal passes from the l-output of the flip-flop 1a to one of 32 inputs of an OR-gate 81, whose output is connected with the forward counting input VZ ofa reversible counter 83. The counter 83 can count to 5 and then always switches on one step it counts, one each time one of the first flip-flops of a memory stage is set (that is to say one of the flip-flops corresponding to the flip-flop FFla).

In the above-mentioned manner in sequence five random cards are dealt" from the store or magazine of 32 cards in a statistical sequence in accordance with the random pulses Z one after the other. When the five cards have been dealt, that is to say when the first flipflops of five memory stages have been set, the counter 83 is at 5. The counter 83 is connected with a decoder 85, which in the case of the counter condition 5 provides a signal 5k (five cards), which passes via an OR-gate 87 to the set input of the flip-flop 77 and sets the latter. When the flip-flop 77 has been set, the signal AS vanishes and the card dealing is terminated by blocking of the AND-gate 63.

The signal AS can control an indicating means in a manner which is not shown. The indicating means informs the player that he can return three of the dealt five cards and buy new cards in exchange. For this he is allowed a certain period of time, which in the case of the present example amounts to 20 seconds. If within 20 seconds the player does not return any card, the reading out of the result is started, as will be described presently.

In the present case it is, however, assumed for the present time that the player desires to return cards. The return of cards assumes that at least a credit balance of one coin unit is contained or stored in the credit balance memory.

Card return is carried out by actuating card return ittons 91 in the card return unit 21 (bottom of FIG. The card return buttons 91 respectively drive or )ntrol a single-pole reversing switch 93, which are so )nnected in series in the manner shown in FIG. 2 that simultaneous return of two cards is impossible. By aclation of the return card switch 93 associated with the 1rd which is to be returned (for example T7) the :ttng operation S of the second flip-flop of the releint memory stage, that is to say of the flip-flop 1b of ie memory stage T7, a card return signal KRS is sup lied, which sets the relevant second flip-flop. If therere the reversing switch 93 associated with the memreset state (due to the 2K signal from decoder 85), the clock pulses TP from the oscillator 65 are allowed to pass by the AND-gate 63 and the above-described dealing operation begins again. When again the number of cards dealt equals the number which has been returned, that is to say when in all five cards have been dealt, the flip-flop 77 is set by the signal 5K again and the dealing operation is again terminated.

The determination of the score by means of the score determining circuit shown in FIGS 4a to 4f can now begin.

The determination of the score is carried out on the basis of the criteria given in the following table:

Threc Number of the Poker Num' her of Sequ hlfld in in l ucc Z of columns encc column column ices lines Threc of the kind no yes no i Full House 2 no )Bs no Flush 5 no no no l Poker 2 no yes es no Ace Poker 2 no yes yes yes Straight Flush 5 yes no no no l Royal Flush 5 yes no no yes i l ry stage T7, is actuated, the flip-flop lb is set and at s l-output a signal ocurs, which via an OR-gate 95 asses to the resetting input R of the first flip-flop FFla f the corresponding stage and resets this flip-flop. Acordingly the indicating device 79 in the indicating unit ecomes dark. Owing to the setting of the flip-flop 'Flb the signal L now vanishes at its -output and the ssociated AND-gate 75 can therefore still not allow he passage of any pulse for setting the first flip-flop Fla, if the relevant memory stage is selected by the ounter 67 and simultaneously a random pulse Z is pro- IUCfid during the new deal stage of operation which folows.

The lines (for example line 97) leading from the reersing switches 93 to the setting inputs S of the second lip-flops of the memory stages are connected with the nputs of an OR-gate 99, which for each returned card upplies an output pulse. This putput pulse is supplied ifter shaping by a pulse shaping circuit 101 to the reerse count input of the counter 83 as a reverse count .ignal RZS. The counter 83 therefore makes one backyard count for each returned card amounting to one .tep. The return of more than three cards is prevented iy the fact that the decoder 85 supplies a signal 2K two cards") in the case of the count 2 and this signal ,witches off the card return signal KRS from the card 'eturn unit 21. The signal KRS is produced by the cir- :uit shown in FIG. 5.

After card return the player actuates the new deal )utton 39 (FIG. which sets a flip-flop 103. The sigial occurring at the l-output of the flip-flop when the atter is set is differentiated in a differentiating circuit l05 and supplied via the OR-gate 59 to the setting nput of the flip-flop 61, which has previously been eset by the signal 5K. Owing to the setting of the flip- 1op 61 the dealing command signal AB again occurs and since furthermore the flip-flop 77 is again in the For determining the number of lines and the presence of a sequence (five sequentially following values) use is made of the circuit arrangement shown in FIG. 4a. It comprises an ANDgate 105 at whose output the signal NAS from the l-output of the flip-flop 103 the signal 514 of the decoder and the clock pulses TP of the oscillator 65 are present. The clock pulses are therefore only allowed to pass when the flip-flop 103 is set and five cards have been dealt.

The clock pulses allowed to pass by the AND-gate 105 are passed to the setting input of a flip-flop 107, which is set by the first clock pulse allowed to pass. The leading edge of the pulse occurring at its l-output triggers a monostable multivibrator 108 or monoflop, which supplies a memory signal to all eight stages of an eight-stage shift register 109. The inputs of the eight stages of the shift register 109 are respectively connected with the output of an OR-gate 111a to 11112. The inputs of each OR-gate are coupled with the loutputs of the first flip-flops of the memory stages of a column (see table 1). The input, denoted T7, of the OR-gate 111a is thus connected with the l-output of the flip-flop FFla (FIG. 2). At the output of the OR- gate 111a a column signal SP1 therefore occurs when a card which has been dealt is found in the first column (see table 1), that is to say when a seven has been dealt. The same applies for the other OR-gates, that is to say the column signal SP8 thus occurs when an ace has been dealt.

The column signals SP1 to SP8 are stored by the memory signal produced by the monoflop 108, in parallel in the eight stages of the shift register 109.

The clock pulses from the output of the AND-gate 105 are furthermore supplied via a delay member 113 to shift inputs of the eight stages of the shift register 109. The delay member is so dimensioned that the first clock pulse only occurs at the shift inputs when the storing operation of the column signals SP1 to SP8 is terminated. The clock pulses then shift the content of the shift register into a counter 115, which can count to and is provided with a decoder 117, which has three outputs, at which a respective signal 28, 3S and 58 occurs when the cards dealt are in two, three and five columns respectively.

The column signals SP1, SP2, SP3, SP6, SP7 and SP8 are futhermore inverted by an inverter 119 and supplied in groups of three to the four NAND-gates 121 to 124 shown in FIG. 4a and these gates then only all supply an output signal L to an AND-gate 125, if the unoccupied columns are so distributed that a sequence is possible. The AND-gate 125 has furthermore the signal 58 supplied to it as a fifth input signal; it therefore only supplies a sequence signal SQ when a sequence (independent of the suit of the cards), is present.

The circuit arrangement shown in FIG. 4b serves for determining poker, that is to say four cards of the same value (corresponding to a full column). The output signals of the first flip-flop of the memory stages are supplied respectively in accordance with the columns to eight AND-gates 127a to 127h. The AND-gate 127a therefore only supplies a signal VSl (column 1 full), when all four sevens have been dealt. The outputs of the AND-gates 127a to I27): are connected with corresponding outputs of an OR-gate 129, at whose output a poker signal PS only occurs when a full column is present.

The circuit shown in FIG. 4C consists of an AND- gate 131 and supplies a signal 2A (two aces signal) when the ace of clubs and the ace of spades have been dealt. The inputs of the AND-gate 131 could be connected with any two ace memory stages, since the circuit in accordance with FIG. 4c only serves for determining the ace poker.

The circuit in accordance with FIG. 4d serves for determining whether the cards dealt are distributed in one or more lines. This circuit supplies a signal 1 ZS (1 line) only when all cards dealt are to be found in a single line. The circuit in accordance with FIG. 4d comprises for each line of the memory stage matrix (see table I) an OR-gate with eight inputs, of which only the upper gate 133 for the first line is shown. The inputs of the OR-gate 133 have the signals of the l output of the first flip-flop of all memory stages of the first line supplied to them. A line signal Z1 is always supplied when the first line (clubs) comprises a dealt card. For the other OR-gates which are not shown much the same applies.

The line signals Z1 to Z4 are supplied to corresponding inputs of a threshold gate 135, which supplies an output signal when two or more line signals are present at its outputs. The output signal of the threshold gate .135 is inverted by an inverter 137. At the output of the inverter 137 a signal of the value L is therefore only present when all drawn cards are located in a single line.

The circuit in accordance with FIG. 42 serves for determining whether three of a kind have been dealt. In this case the four signals of each column in groups of three are supplied to three respective AND-gates I39, I40, 141, as is shown in FIG. 4e. The outputs of the AND-members 139 to 141 are connected with the inputs of an OR-gate 143, which always supplies a signal D1 (three of a kind in column 1) when the first column comprises a three of a kind, that is to say when three sevens have been drawn.

For each of the eight columns a circuit in accordance with the ANDgates 139 to 141 and the OR-gate 143 is provided. These circuits are, however, only hinted at in FIG. 4e. There are therefore in all eight OR-gates which are connected in accordance with the 0R-gate 143 and these OR-gates supply signals D1 to D8. The signals D1 to D8 are supplied to the eight inputs of an OR-gate 145, at whose output a three of a kind signal DR occurs when a three of a kind hand is to be found in any column.

The evaluation of the score criteria signals produced in the above-described manner is carried out by means of the circuit shown in FIG. 4f, which consists of inverters and AND-gates. The construction and the manner of operation of these circuits is obvious, and they supply the following score signals:

GDR Three of a Kind winning score GFH Full House winning score GFL Flush Winning score GPI-I Poker winning score (single) GAP Ace poker winning score GSF Straight Flush winning score GRF Royal Flush winning score The winning scores can be indicated.

Preferably, however, besides or instead of the indication there is a winning score payment or winning score credit in the credit balance memory 14. For this purpose the score signals can be respectively supplied for example to a coder 147 (FIG. 6), which comprises a counter 149 with respect to a number corresponding to the win quota. The count of the counter is then transferred into the counter 43 of the credit balance unit 14, as is indicated by the connection xx. In the case of very large winning scores there is preferably no payment or crediting but instead an optical or acoustic indication is provided by means of an alarm device 151 (FIG. 4f), since very large sums are difficult to pay out using coin.

In the case of the present gaming machine the player can cause his credit balance registered in the counter 43 to be paid out completely or partly at any time. For this purpose he actuates a paying out button 153, by means of which a circuit 155 is closed and a voltage U is supplied to an input of the AND-gate 157. At the other input of the AND-gate the credit balance signal GU is present. When a credit balance is present, the voltage U passes to a paying out device 159, which for example can comprise a reciprocating slight 161, which ejects the coins 35 stored in the coin stored 29 one after the other into a delivery pan. The ejected coins are detected by a photoelectric light beam device and pulses produced as a result pass through a pulse shaping circuit 167 and an OR-gate 169 to the reverse count input of the counter 43. Therefore for each coin delivered the counter 43 is set back by one step. When the count reaches zero, the credit balance signal GU vanishes and the AND-gate 157 blocks and further delivery of coins is thus prevented.

The delayed signal from the output of the delay member 113 is supplied to a further delay member 170, which delivers a end of game reset signal RSS for the resetting circuit units of the gaming machine (with the exception of the card memory and the score indication means, which on resetting of the counter 115 is put out by the signal RS). The duration of the delay is so selected that the above-described determination of the winning score is terminated before the signal RSS occurs.

If the player does not return any cards, the win or score is determined after the expiry of seconds, after the card return signal KRS (FIG. 5) has disappeared. The signal KRS is then supplied for this purpose via an inverter 172 and an OR-gate 174 to the AND-gate 105 and starts the same operation as after card return by the NAS-signal (which is supplied via the second input of the OR-gate 175 to the AND-gate 105).

We claim:

1. An electronically controlled gaming machine adapted to play card games with poker-like rules of play, comprising:

an indicating unit having a plurality of selectively operable card-representing indicator devices, one for each card of a group of possible cards;

a card memory having a plurality of memory stages one for each indicator device, each card memory stage having an input thereto and an output connected to the associated indicator device, and being operable to assume one of three memory conditions, a reception condition, a memory condition, and a blocking condition, each said memory stage operating to produce an output signal when in said memory condition and no output signal when in said reception condition or said blocking condition, and switching to said memory condition on the occurrence of a signal on said input if it is in said reception condition but not if it is in said blocking condition,

a dealing unit having a plurality of outputs each connected to the inputs of a respective card memory stage, said dealing unit comprising in combination; a random signal generator, means connecting said random signal generator to all said outputs from said dealing unit,

means for cyclically enabling said outputs from said dealing unit whereby an output signal on one of said output lines is produced if a random signal occurs when said one of said output lines is enabled, said output signal operating to switch the card memory stage connected to said one of said output lines to its memory condition if it is in its reception condition,

a counter circuit connected to the outputs of all said memory stages and operable to produce an output pulse when a predetermined number of memory stages have been switched to their memory conditions, and

means interconnecting said counter and said random signal generator to inhibit the generation of further random signals upon the occurrence of said output signal from said counter indicating that said predetermined number of memory stages have been switched to their memory condition to represent the dealing of a predetermined number of cards, a card return unit having,

a plurality of operating members each connected to a respective memory stage and operating, when actuated, to switch the associated memory stage to its blocking condition from its memory condition, and

a new deal operating member connected to said dealing unit and operable to energise said dealing unit, when actuated, to randomly switch further memory stages to their said memory conditions until the said predetermined number of memory stages in the memory condition is re-established,

a stake unit having a coin or token receiving mechanism and means for producing an output signal when coins or tokens are held in said stake unit,

inhibit means interconnecting the output of said stake unit and said dealing unit, operating to inhibit said dealing unit unless there is an output signal from said stake unit, and

result read-out means connected to said memory stages and operating to indicate the score obtained in dependence on which of said memory stages are in said memory condition.

2. The gaming machine of claim 1, wherein said dealing unit includes a plurality of multiple input AND gates the outputs from which constitute the outputs of said dealing unit and are connected to the inputs of corresponding card memory stages, and wherein each said card memory stage comprises first and second bistable circuits each having set and reset inputs and set and reset outputs, the set input of said first bistable circuit being connected to said dealing unit and the set input of said second bistable circuit being connected to a corresponding operating member of said card return unit, said set output of said first bistable circuit being connected to the corresponding indicating device, said reset outputs of both said first and said second bistable circuits being connected to respective inputs of the corresponding multiple input AND gate, whereby said memory stage is in said reception condition when both said bistable circuits are in their reset state, in said memory condition when said first bistable circuit is in its set state and said second bistable circuit is in its reset state, and in its blocking condition when said first bistable circuit is in its reset state and said second bistable circuit is in its set state.

3. The gaming machine of claim 2, wherein said means for cyclically enabling said outputs of said deal ing unit comprise:

an oscillator producing a train of output pulses,

a counter having a serial input connected to the output from said oscillator, said counter having a plurality of parallel binary outputs on which appear, in binary form, signals representing the number of pulses counted by said counter,

means interconnecting said parallel outputs of said counter and some of the inputs of each of said multiple input AND gates the remaining input of said multiple input AND gates being connected to said random signal generator whereby, when said first and second bistable circuits of the corresponding card memory stages are both in a reset state said multiple input AND gates are enabled by said counter when it has counted at corresponding number of pulses from said oscillator circuit.

4. The gaming machine of claim 2, wherein said dealing means additionally comprises a reversible counter having a forward input and a reverse input, and an output connected to a first decoder circuit having two outputs, one energised on a forward count of five signals and the other energised on a forward count of two signals,

means interconnecting the set output of the first bistable circuit of each said memory stage of said card memory to said forward input of said reversible counter, and

means interconnecting said one output of said first decoder circuit with said inhibit means whereby said dealing unit is stopped after five memory stages have been switched to their memory condition, representing five cards dealt.

5. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein said inhibit means includes a third bistable circuit having set and reset inputs and set and reset outputs, means connecting said set input to said one output of said first decoding circuit, means connecting said reset input to said other output from said decoding circuit, and

an AND gate having one input connected to said oscillator and an output connected to said counter, another input of said AND gate being connected to said reset output of said third bistable circuit whereby said AND gate is enabled when said third bistable circuit is in its reset state, and disabled when said third bistable circuit is switched to its set state upon the occurrence of an output signal on the said one output of said decoder circuit.

6. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein said operating members of said card return unit each comprise a single pole reversing switch for each memory stage, resilient biasing means biasing each reversing switch to one position, all said reversing switches being connected in series in a line when in said one position, and

means applying a card return signal to the movable contact of the reversing switch at one end of said line of switches for a predetermined time after the dealing unit has stopped.

7. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the memory stages of said card memory are arranged in a matrix of lines and columns, said lines corresponding to the suits, and said columns corresponding to the card values in sequential order, and wherein said result readout unit has a flush determining circuit comprising in combination a column member determining circuit including eight first OR gates each having four inputs, the inputs of each said first OR gate being connected to the outputs of the memory stages of a corresponding column,

an eight stage shift register having a serial input, a serial output, and a parallel input to each stage, said parallel inputs being connected to the output of a corresponding first OR gate whereby a stage is switched to a binary 1 state by an output from the corresponding first OR gate indicating that one of said memory stages in the associated column is in a memory condition, means for providing a train of clock pulses to the serial input of said shift register,

a counter connected to said serial output of said shift register, and

a second decoder circuit connected to the output of said counter circuit, said second decoder having first, second and third outputs respectively energised with an output signal, when said counter has counted the contents of said shift register, if said counter output indicates 2,3 or 5 stages of said shift register in a binary 1 condition,

a sequence determining circuitcomprising six first invertor circuits, three of which are connected to the outputs of the three first OR gates connected to the three columns at a first end of said memory stage matrix and three of which are connected to the three first OR gates connected to the three columns at a second end of said memory stage matrix,

four first NAND gates each having three inputs, the

outputs of said first invertor circuits being connected in different groups of three to said inputs of said first NAND gates whereby each NAND gate produces an output signal if the corresponding columns of said memory stage matrix having no memory stage in said memory condition leave five remaining columns in which it is possible for memory stages to be in said memory condition to form a se quence of five, and no signal if the distribution of columns having no memory stage in said memory condition is such that no sequence of five different adjacent columns can have memory stages in said memory condition, and

a first AND gate having five inputs, four of said inputs being connected to the outputs of said first NAND gates and the fifth being connected to said third output of said second decoder circuit whereby said first AND gate produces an output signal when said memory stages of said matrix in said memory condition all lie in five different adjacent columns,

a line number determining circuit operating to produce an output signal when all the memory stages of said matrix in said memory condition are disposed in a single line, said circuit comprising eight second OR gates each having eight inputs connected to the outputs of respective memory stages in a corresponding line,

threshold circuit having eight inputs connected to the outputs of the eight second OR circuits and operating to produce an output signal if there is a signal on two or more inputs thereof, and

a second invertor circuit connected to the output of said threshold circuit, the output of said second invertor circuit producing an output signal only when a signal is present on one input only of said threshold circuit,

a third invertor circuit connected to the output of said first AND gate,

a fourth invertor circuit connected to the output of said second invertor circuit, and

a second AND gate having three inputs respectively connected to the outputs of said second and third invertor circuits and said third output of said second decoder circuit.

8. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the memory stages of said card memory are arranged in a matrix of lines and columns, said lines corresponding to the suits, and said columns corresponding to the card values in sequential order, and wherein said result readout unit has a straight flush determining circuit comprising in combination a column number determining circuit including eight first OR gates each having four inputs, the inputs of each said first OR gate being connected to the ouputs of the memory stages of a corresponding cloumn,

an eight stage shift register having a serial input, a serial output, and a parallel input to each stage, said parallel inputs being connected to the output of a corresponding first OR gate whereby a stage is switched to a binary l state by an output from the corresponding first OR gate indicating that one of said memory stages in the associated column is in a mamory condition, means for providing a train of clock pulses to the serial input of said shift register,

a counter connected to said serial output of said shift register, and

a second decoder circuit connected to the output of said counter circuit, said second decoder having first, second and third outputs respectively energised with an output signal, when said counter has counted the contents of said shift register, if said counter output indicates 2, 3 or 5 stages of said shift register in a binary 1 condition,

a sequence determining circuit comprising six first invertor circuits, three of which are connected to the ouputs of the three first OR gates connected to the three columns at a first end of said memory stage matrix and three of which are connected to the three first OR gates connected to the three columns at a second end of said memory stage matrix,

four first NAND gates each having three inputs, the

outputs of said first invertor circuits being connected in different groups of three to said inputs of said first NAND gates whereby each NAND gate produces an output signal if the corresponding columns of said memory stage matrix having no memory stage in said memory condition leave five remaining columns in which it is possible for memory stages to be in said memory condition to form a sequence of five, and no signal if the distribution of columns having no memory stage in said memory condition is such that no sequence of five different adjacent columns can have memory stages in said memory condition, and

a first AND gate having five inputs, four of said inputs being connected to the outputs of said first NAND gates and the fifth being connected to said third ouput of said second decoder circuit whereby said first AND gate produces an output signal when said memory stages of said matrix in said memory condition all lie in five different adjacent columns,

a fifth invertor circuit connected to the output of that one of said first OR gates the inputs of which are connected to the column of said matrix of memory stages representing aces, and

a third AND gate having three inputs respectively connected to said third output of said second decoder circuit, said output of said first ANd gate and the output of said fifth invertor circuit.

9. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the memory stages of said card memory are arranged in a matrix of lines and columns, said lines corresponding to the suits, and said columns corresponding to the card values in sequential order, and wherein said result readout unit has a royal flush determining circuit comprising in combination a column number determining circuit including eight first OR gates each having four inputs, the inputs of each said first OR gate being connected to the outputs of the memory stages of a corresponding column,

an eight stage shift register having a serial input, a serial output, and a parallel input to each stage, said parallel inputs being connected to the output of a corresponding first OR gate whereby a stage is switched to a binary 1 state by an output from the corresponding first OR gate indicating that one of said memory stages in the associated column is in a memory condition,

means for providing a train of clock pulses to the serial input of said shift register,

a counter connected to said serial output of said shift register, and

a second decoder circuit connected to the output of said counter circuit, said second decoder having first, second and third outputs respectively energised with an output signal, when said counter has counted the contents of said shift register, if said counter output indicates 2, 3 or 5 stages of said shift register in a binary 1 condition,

a sequence determining circuit comprising six first invertor circuits, three of which are connected to the outputs of the three first OR gates connected to the three columns at a first end of said memory stage matrix and three of which are connected to the three first OR gates connected to the three columns at a second end of said memory stage matrix,

four first NAND gates each having three inputs, the

outputs of said first invertor circuits being connected in different groups of three to said inputs of said first NAND gates whereby each NAND gate produces an output signal if the corresponding columns of said memory stage matrix having no memory stage in said memory condition leave five remaining columns in which it is possible for memory stages to be in said memory condition to form a sequence of five, and no signal if the distribution of columns having no memory stage in said memory condition is such that no sequence of five different adjacent columns can have memory stages in said memory condition, and

a first AND gate having five inputs, four of said inputs being connected to the outputs of said first NAND gates and the fifth being connected to said third output of said second decoder circuit whereby said first AND gate produces an output signal when said memory stages of said matrix in said memory condition all lie in five different adjacent columns, and

a fourth AND gate having three inputs respectively connected to said third output of said second decoder circuit, said output of said first AND gate and the output of that one of said first OR gates the inputs of which are connected to the column of said matrix of memory stages representing aces.

10. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the memory stages of said card memory are arranged in a matrix of lines and columns, said lines corresponding to the suits, and said columns corresponding to the card values in sequential order, and wherein said result readout unit has a poker determining circuit comprising in combination a column number determining circuit including eight first OR gates each having four inputs, the inputs of each said first OR gate being connected to the outputs of the memory stages of a corresponding column,

an eight stage shift register having a serial input, a serial output, and a parallel input to each stage, said parallel inputs being connected to the output of a corresponding first OR gate whereby a stage is switched to a binary 1 state by an output from the corresponding first OR gate indicating that one of said memory stges in the associated column is in a memory condition,

means for providing a train of clock pulses to the serial input of said shift register,

a counter connected to said serial output of said shift register, and

a second decoder circuit connected to the output of said counter circuit. said second decoder having first, second and third outputs respectively, energ ised an a output signal, when said counter has counted the contents of said shift register, if said counter output indicates 2, 3 or stages of said shift register in a binary 1 condition,

eight fifth AND gates each having four inputs connected to the outputs of respective memory stages in corresponding columns of said matrix whereby a fifth AND gate produces an output signal if all said memory stages in the corresponding column are in said memory condition, and

a third OR gate having eight inputs connected to the outputs of said eight fifth AND gates, said third OR gate producing an output signal when all the memory stages of any column of said matrix are all in said memory condition,

a sixth AND gate having two inputs connected to the outputs of two of the memory stages in the column of said memory matrix representing aces,

a sixth invertor connected to the output of said sixth AND gate, and

a seventh AND gate having two inputs respectively connected to the outputs of said sixth invertor circuit and said second OR gate, said seventh AND gate producing an output signal representing poker.

11. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the memory stages of said card memory are arranged in a matrix of lines and columns, said lines corresponding to the suits, and said columns corresponding to the card values in sequential order, and wherein said result readout unit has an ace poker determining circuit comprising in combination a column number determining circuit including eight first OR gates each having four inputs, the inputs of each said first OR gate being connected to the outputs of the memory stages of a corresponding column,

an eight stage shift register having a serial input, a serial output, and a parallel input to each stage, said parallel inputs being connected to the output of a corresponding first OR gate whereby a stage is switched to a binary 1 state by an output from the corresponding first OR gate indicating that one of said memory stages in the associated column is in a memory condition,

means for providing a train of clock pulses to the serial input of said shift register,

a counter connected to said serial output of said shift register, and

a second decoder circuit connected to the output of said counter circuit, said second decoder having first, second and third outputs respectively energised with an output signal, when said counter has counted the contents of said shift register, if said counter output indicates 2, 3 or 5 stages of said shift register in a binary 1 condition,

eight fifth AND gates each having four inputs connected to the outputs of respective memory stages in corresponding columns of said matrix whereby a fifth AND gate produces an output signal if all said memory stages in the corresponding column are in said memory condition, and

a third OR gate having eight inputs connected to the outputs of said eight fifth AND gates, said third OR gate producing an output signal when all the memory stages of any column of said matrix are all in said memory condition,

a sixth AND gate having two inputs connected to the outputs of two of the memory stages in the column representing aces, and

an eighth AND gate having two inputs connected respectively to the output of said sixth AND gate and to the output of said second OR gate and producing an output signal representing ace poker.

12. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the memory stages of said card memory are arranged in a matrix of lines and columns, said lines corresponding to the suits, and said columns corresponding to the card values in sequential order, and wherein said result readout unit has a full house determining circuit comprising in combination a column number determining circuit including eight first OR gates each having four inputs, the inputs of each said first OR gate being connected to the outputs of the memory stages of a corresponding column,

an eight stage shift register having a serial input a serial output, and a parallel input to each stage, said parallel inputs being connected to the output of a corresponding first OR gate whereby a stage is switched to a binary 1 state by an output from the corresponding first OR gate indicating that one of said memory stages in the associated column is in a memory condition,

means for providing a train of clock pulses to the serial input of said shift register,

a counter connected to said serial output of said shift register, and

a second decoder circuit connected to the output of said counter circuit, said second decoder having first second and third outputs respectively energised with an output signal, when said counter has counted the contents of said shift register, if said counter output indicates 2, 3 or 5 stages of said shift register in a binary 1 condition,

eight fifth AND gates each having four inputs connected to the outputs of respective memory stages in corresponding columns of said matrix whereby a fifth AND gate produces an output signal if all said memory stages in the corresponding column are in said memory condition, and

a third OR gate having eight inputs connected to the outputs of said eight fifth AND gates, said third OR gate producing an output signal when all the memory stages of any column of said matrix are all in said memory condition, a seventh invertor circuit connected to the output of said third OR gate,

eight groups of three ninth AND gates each having three inputs, the inputs of each group being connected to the memory stages of a corresponding column whereby an output signal from one of said ninth AND gates of a group is produced if any three of said memory stages in said corresponding column are in said memory condition,

a group of eight fourth OR gates connected to the outputs or respective groups of said ninth AND gates,

a fifth OR gate connected to the outputs of said fourth OR gates, and

a tenth AND gate having three inputs respectively connected to the outputs of said seventh inverter circuit, the output of said fourth OR gate and the first output of said decoder circuit, said tenth AND gate producing an output signal representing full house.

13. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the nemory stages of said card memory are arranged in a natrix of lines and columns, said lines corresponding to :he suits, and said columns corresponding to the card lalues in sequential order, and wherein said result read- )ut unit has a three-of-a-kind determining circuit com- )rising in combination a column number determining :ircuit including eight first OR gates each having four nputs, the inputs of each said first OR gate being coniected to the outputs of the memory stages ofa corre- ;ponding column,

an eight stage shift register having a serial input, a serial output, and a parallel input to each stage, said parallel inputs being connected to the output of a corresponding first OR gate whereby a stage is switched to a binary 1 state by an output from the corresponding first OR gate indicating that one of said memory stages in the associated column is in a memory condition,

means for providing a train of clock pulses to the serial input of said shift register,

a counter connected to said serial output of said shift register, and

a second decoder circuit connected to the output of said counter circuit, said second decoder having first second and third outputs respectively energised with an output signal, when said counter has counted the contents of said shift register, if said counter output indicates 2, 3 or 5 stages of said shift register in a binary 1 condition,

eight groups of three ninth AND gates each having three inputs, the inputs of each group being connected to the memory stages of a corresponding column whereby an output signal from one of said ninth AND gates of a group is produced if any three of said memory stages in said corresponding column are in said memory condition,

a group of eight fourth OR gates connected to the outputs of respective groups of said ninth AND gates,

a fifth OR gate connected to the outputs of said fourth OR gates, and

an eleventh AND gate having two inputs respectively connected to said second output of said second decoder circuit and the output of said fifth OR gate.

14. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein said stake unit comprises,

a coin or token checking device having an output which is energised upon insertion of a valid coin or token into said coin or token checking device,

a coin or token payout device,

a credit meter having a reversible counter and an indicator showing the count in the counter, said counter having a forward input connected to the output of said coin or token checking device and a backward input connected to said coin or token payout device and to said card return unit,

a decoder circuit having an output which is energised when the count in said counter is zero, and

a payout inhibit device connected to said output of said decoder and operating to inhibit payout when the count in said counter is zero.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/13, 463/26, 273/292
International ClassificationG06F19/00, G07F17/32, A63F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/32, A63F1/00, A63F2001/008, G07F17/3293
European ClassificationG07F17/32P6, A63F1/00, G07F17/32