Title:
Gaming machine and operation method thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming machine having bonus games which start depending upon game outcomes of a normal game, the gaming machine comprises a display control unit for displaying visual information including plural symbols on a display monitor, an array determination unit for determining symbol arrays to be displayed on the display monitor by a lottery at the time of stationary reel display, a judgment unit for judging the game outcomes to compare determined symbol arrays with predetermined judgment data, a bonus game number determination unit for determining the total number of the bonus games to be output when the determined game outcomes give a trigger to start the bonus games and a bonus game number allocation unit for dividing the determined total number of the bonus games and allocating the number of the bonus games every divided unit respectively. The display control unit is characterized in that the display control unit displays the numbers of the bonus games on the display monitor every divided unit sequentially with intervals. The present invention provides the game machine realizing a presentation which is possible to enhance the player's expectation.



Inventors:
Majima, Shiro (Zama-shi, JP)
Yoshimura, Toshiyuki (Zama-shi, JP)
Application Number:
11/647554
Publication Date:
07/19/2007
Filing Date:
12/29/2006
Assignee:
Konami Gaming, Incorporated (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
WONG, JEFFREY KEITH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARRITY SNYDER, LLP (11350 Random Hills Road, SUITE 600, FAIRFAX, VA, 22030, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A gaming machine for performing moving reel display and stationary reel display of plural symbols on a display monitor and for determining game outcomes in an array of said plural symbols in said stationary reel display, said gaming machine carries out games including a normal game started by a player's betting operation and bonus games started depending on the game outcomes of said normal game, and comprising: a display control unit for displaying visual information including said plural symbols on said display monitor; an array determination unit for determining, by lottery of symbol arrays which are displayed on said display monitor at said stationary reel display; a judgment unit for judging said game outcomes by comparing determined said symbol arrays with predetermined judgment data; a bonus game number determination unit for determining a total number of bonus games to be awarded when judged said game outcome provides a trigger to start said bonus games; and a bonus game number allocation unit for dividing determined said total number of bonus games into a plurality of divided units, and allocating a number of bonus games respectively to each of said divided units, wherein said display control unit displays each of said number of bonus games on said display monitor sequentially for each of said divided units with intervals.

2. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein graphical presentations are provided in said intervals.

3. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein said display control unit finally displays said total number of bonus games on said display monitor.

4. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein said number of bonus games to be displayed in “k”-th time is “mk” according to equations (1) and (2) when said total number of bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of said divided units, and each said number of bonus games is displayed. X=k=1nmk(1)mk<mk+1(2)

5. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein said number of bonus games to be displayed in “k”-th time is set randomly according to the equation (1) when said total number of the bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of said divided units, and each said number of bonus games is displayed. X=k=1nmk(1)

6. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein colors displayed on said display monitor are varied whenever said number of bonus games is displayed when said total number of bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of said divided units, and each said number of bonus games is displayed.

7. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein sound is varied whenever said number of bonus games is displayed when said total number of bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of said divided units, and each said number of bonus games is displayed.

8. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein images displayed on said display monitor are varied whenever said number of bonus games is displayed when said total number of bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of said divided units, and each said number of bonus games is displayed.

9. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein images displayed on said display monitor are varied whenever said number of bonus games is displayed by player's operations when said total number of bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of said divided units, and each said number of bonus games is displayed.

10. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein additional number of bonus games is determined following a changeover from said normal game to said bonus games.

11. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein said bonus games are free games which start without a player's operation of an insertion of additional coins.

12. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein at the time of said changeover from said normal game to said bonus games, an award in said bonus games is determined.

13. An operation method for a gaming machine comprising: starting a normal game on the basis of an operation by a player; determining an array of symbols to be displayed on a display monitor according to an award lottery table on a stationary display of symbols; judging a game outcome by comparing a determined array of symbols with a judgment data table; judging whether said determined array of symbols is on a predetermined award line or not and whether said outcome, which is said determined array of symbols, is a trigger array of symbols or not; moving display of said symbols displayed on reels by rotating said reels; stopping display of said symbols displayed on said reels by stopping said reels; changing over to bonus games from said normal game when said determined array of symbols is said trigger array of symbols; determining a total number of bonus games to be displayed; determining a divided display number of said determined total number of bonus games; allocating a number of bonus games to every divided unit respectively; and displaying said number of bonus games allocated every said divided unit on said display monitor.

14. The operation method for the gaming machine according to claim 13, wherein said number of bonus games “mk” to be displayed in “k”-th time is determined and displayed according to equations (1) and (2) when said total number of bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of said divided units, and each said number of bonus games is displayed. X=k=1nmk(1)mk<mk+1(2)

15. The operation method for the gaming machine according to claim 13, wherein said number of bonus games “mk” to be displayed in “k”-th time is randomly set and displayed according to equation (1) when said total number of bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of said divided units. X=k=1nmk(1)

16. The operation method for the gaming machine according to claim 13, wherein at the time of a changeover from said normal game to said bonus games, an award of said bonus games is determined.

17. The operation method for the gaming machine according to claim 13, further comprising judging whether said divided display number of bonus game “k” which is displayed separately has reached “n” or not, displaying a number of bonus games “mk+1” to be displayed next when said divided display number of bonus games “k” which is displayed separately has not reached “n”, and completing a divided display of bonus games and starting said bonus games when said divided display number of bonus games “k” which is displayed separately has reached “n”.

18. The operation method for the gaming machine according to claim 13, further comprising setting up an executed number of bonus games, determining said array of symbols to be displayed on said display monitor on a stationary display of symbols of bonus games according to an award lottery table in the bonus games, judging a game outcome by comparing a determined array of symbols of bonus games with a judgment data table in the bonus games, and judging whether said determined array of symbols of bonus games is on a predetermined award line of bonus games or not during said bonus games.

19. The operation method for the gaming machine according to claim 13, further comprising judging whether said executed number of bonus games has reached “X” or not, starting next bonus game when said executed number of bonus games has not reached “X”, and completing all said bonus games and changing over to said normal game when said executed number of bonus games has reached “X”.

20. The operation method for the gaming machine according to claim 13, wherein said number of bonus games to be displayed separately is displayed with intervals by presentations such as images and sound when said total number of bonus games “X” is displayed separately.

21. The operation method for the gaming machine according to claim 13, wherein said total number of bonus games “X” is divided into multiple time and separately displayed every said divided unit when said total number of bonus games “X” is not less than a certain number, and said total number of bonus games “X” is not divided into multiple time and not separately displayed when said total number of bonus games “X” is smaller than said certain number.

22. The operation method for the gaming machine according to claim 13, wherein said number of bonus games to be displayed becomes more than said number of bonus games displayed last on said display monitor.

23. The operation method for the gaming machine according to claim 13, wherein after a display of some number of bonus games, once numbers less than that of last displayed bonus games are displayed, and then, numbers more than that of last displayed bonus games are displayed.

24. The operation method for the gaming machine according to claim 13, wherein, after said bonus games start, said total number of bonus games are re-drawn in an internal lottery and a number of bonus games which is obtained by said internal lottery is added to said total number of bonus games.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based on and claims the benefit of priority from the prior Japanese Patent Application No. 2006-008376, filed on Jan. 17, 2006, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a gaming machine for displaying moving reel display and stationary reel display of symbols on a display monitor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

So-called slot machines are widely known as gaming machines in casinos and game centers. Among slot machines, mechanical slot machines using physical reels on which patterns and numbers are displayed have been conventionally used. Other than the mechanical slot machines using physical reels, there are slot machines using video reels which display patterns and numbers on a display monitor.

Slot machines using the video system reels on the display monitor differ from mechanical slot machines in that not only rotating and stationary reels displaying patterns and numbers but various presentations can be performed on the display monitor. With the advancement of computer technology in recent years, the development of new machines has increased significantly.

Various methods to pay awards won in the slot machine are proposed. The payment of the allotment which includes the generally known “free game” which does not require additional bets is disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 6537150 official gazette.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a gaming machine which realizes a presentation effect capable of enhancing the expectation of a player.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, a gaming machine for performing moving reel display and stationary reel display of plural symbols on a display monitor and for determining game outcomes in an array of the plural symbols in the stationary reel display, the gaming machine carries out games including a normal game started by a player's betting operation and bonus games which depend on the outcomes of the normal game, and comprising:

    • a display control unit for displaying visual information including the plural symbols on the display monitor;
    • an array determination unit for determining, by lottery of symbol arrays which are displayed on the display monitor at the stationary reel display;
    • a judgment unit for judging the game outcomes by comparing determined symbol arrays with predetermined judgment data;
    • a bonus game number determination unit for determining the total number of bonus games to be awarded when it is judged that the game outcome provides a trigger to start the bonus games; and
    • a bonus game number allocation unit for dividing the determined total number of bonus games into a plurality of divided units, and allocating the number of the bonus games respectively to each of the divided units,
    • wherein the display control unit displays each of the number of bonus games on the display monitor sequentially for each of the divided units with intervals.

The graphical presentations may be provided in the intervals.

The display control unit may finally display the total number of the bonus games on the display monitor.

When the total number of the bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of the divided units, and each number of bonus games is displayed, the numbers of the bonus games to be displayed in the “k”-th time may be “mk” according to the equations (1) and (2). X=k=1nmk(1)mk<mk+1(2)

When the total number of the bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of the divided units, and each number of bonus games is displayed, the numbers of the bonus games to be displayed in the “k”-th time “mk” may be set randomly according to the equation (1). X=k=1nmk(1)

When the total number of the bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of the divided units, and each number of bonus games is displayed, the colors displayed on the display monitor may be varied whenever the number of the bonus games is displayed.

When the total number of the bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of the divided units, and each number of bonus games is displayed, a sound may be varied whenever the number of the bonus games is displayed.

When the total number of the bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of the divided units, and each number of bonus game is displayed, the images displayed on the display monitor may be varied whenever the number of the bonus games is displayed.

When the total number of the bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of the divided units, and each number of bonus games is displayed, the images displayed on the display monitor may be varied whenever the number of the bonus games is displayed.

Following a changeover from the normal game to the bonus games, the additional number of bonus games may be determined.

The bonus games may be free games which start without a player's operation of an insertion of additional coins.

At the time of the changeover from the normal game to the bonus games, an award in the bonus games may be determined.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, an operation method for a gaming machine comprising:

    • starting a normal game on the basis of an operation by a player;
    • determining an array of symbols to be displayed on a display monitor according to an award lottery table on a stationary display of symbols;
    • judging a game outcome by comparing a determined array of symbols with a judgment data table;
    • judging whether the determined array of symbols is on a predetermined award line or not and whether the outcome, which is the determined array of symbols, is a trigger array of symbols or not;
    • moving display of the symbols displayed on reels by rotating the reels;
    • stopping display of the symbols displayed on the reels by stopping the reels;
    • changing over to bonus games from the normal game when the determined array of symbols is the trigger array of symbols;
    • determining a total number of bonus games to be displayed;
    • determining a divided display number of the determined total number of bonus games;
    • allocating a number of bonus games to every divided unit respectively; and
    • displaying the number of bonus games allocated every the divided unit on the display monitor.

In the gaming machine of the present invention, when the total number of bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of the divided units, and each number of bonus games is displayed, the number of bonus games “mk” to be displayed in “k”-th time may be determined and displayed according to the equations (1) and (2). X=k=1nmk(1)mk<mk+1(2)

In the gaming machine of the present invention, when the total number of the bonus games “X” is divided into “n” of the divided units, the number of bonus games “mk” to be displayed in “k”-th time may be randomly set and displayed according to the equation (1). X=k=1nmk(1)

In the gaming machine of the present invention, at the time of a changeover from the normal game to said bonus games, an award of the bonus games may be determined.

The gaming machine of the present invention may carry out performances of judging whether the divided display number of bonus game “k” which is displayed separately has reached “n” or not, displaying a number of bonus games “mk+1” to be displayed next when the divided display number of bonus games “k” which is displayed separately has not reached “n”, and completing a divided display of bonus games and starting the bonus games when the divided display number of bonus games “k” which is displayed separately has reached “n”.

The gaming machine of the present invention may carry out performances of setting up an executed number of bonus games, determining the array of symbols to be displayed on the display monitor on a stationary display of symbols of bonus game according to an award lottery table in the bonus games, judging a game outcome by comparing a determined array of symbols of bonus games with a judgment data table in the bonus games, and judging whether the determined array of symbols of bonus games is on a predetermined award line of bonus games or not during the bonus games.

The gaming machine of the present invention may carry out performances of judging whether the executed number of bonus games has reached “X” or not, starting next bonus game when the executed number of bonus games has not reached “X”, and completing all the bonus games and changing over to the normal game when the executed number of bonus games has reached “X”.

In the gaming machine of the present invention, the number of bonus games to be displayed separately may be displayed with intervals by presentations such as images and sound when the total number of bonus games “X” is displayed separately.

In the gaming machine of the present invention, the total number of bonus games “X” may be divided into multiple time and may be separately displayed every divided unit when the total number of bonus games “X” is not less than a certain number, and the total number of bonus games “X” may not be divided into multiple time and may not be separately displayed when the total number of bonus games “X” is smaller than the certain number.

In the gaming machine of the present invention, the number of bonus games to be displayed may become more than the number of bonus games displayed last on the display monitor.

In the gaming machine of the present invention, after a display of some number of bonus games, once numbers less than that of last displayed bonus games may be displayed, and then, numbers more than that of last displayed bonus games may be displayed.

In the gaming machine of the present invention, after the bonus games start, the total number of bonus games may be re-drawn in an internal lottery and a number of bonus games which is obtained by the internal lottery may be added to the total number of bonus games.

According to one embodiment of the gaming machine of the present invention, by informing the player that the total number of the bonus games are divided into plural times, the player can obtain a sense of expectation that the total number of the bonus games gradually increases, and the idea of the gaming machine can be enhanced.

In addition, according to one embodiment of the gaming machine of the present invention, it is also possible that a re-lottery of the number of the bonus games occurs in the middle of the bonus games which can enhances the player's expectation that there is a probability that the total number of bonus games increases and the idea of the gaming machine can be enhanced.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an appearance of the gaming machine of the present invention according to one embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a display example showing an image display window 8 of a display monitor 4 in the gaming machine of the present invention according to one embodiment.

FIG. 3 is a flow chart showing a schematic of a system of the gaming machine according to one embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a flow chart showing the operations of the gaming machine of the present invention according to one embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing the operations of the gaming machine of the present invention according to one embodiment.

FIG. 6 is an image display example showing an image display window 8 of the gaming machine of the present invention according to one embodiment.

FIG. 7 is an image display example showing an image display window 8 of the gaming machine of the present invention according to one embodiment.

FIG. 8 is an image display example showing an image display window 8 of the gaming machine of the present invention according to one embodiment.

FIG. 9 is an image display example showing an image display window 8 of the gaming machine of the present invention according to one embodiment.

FIG. 10 is an image display example showing an image display window 8 of the gaming machine of the present invention according to one embodiment.

FIG. 11 is an image display example showing an image display window 8 of the gaming machine of the present invention according to one embodiment.

FIG. 12 is a flow chart showing the operations of the gaming machine of the present invention according to one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiments of the gaming machine of the present invention are described with reference to the attached drawings hereinafter. The gaming machines of the present invention concerning the embodiments shown in the following are examples of the gaming machines of the present invention and the gaming machines of the present invention are not limited to these embodiments.

EMBODIMENT 1

An appearance of a gaming machine of the present invention in the present embodiment is shown in FIG. 1. In FIG. 1, the gaming machine 1 has a housing 2, and a front panel 3 attached to the front surface of the housing 2 and can be opened and closed freely. A display monitor 4 is incorporated in the front panel 3. A liquid crystal display or a CRT may be used for the display monitor 4. In addition, the front panel has plural buttons 5, a coin insertion slot 6, a coin pay out slot 7, a pool coin insertion button 9, a start button 10, and the like. When an inserted coin becomes stuck, a coin return button 6a may be arranged near the coin insertion slot 6 to return the coin.

FIG. 2 is a display example of an image display window 8 of the display monitor 4. The display monitor 4 comprises the image display window 8 as shown in FIG. 2. Symbols such as numbers or patterns are displayed on five reels 8a1-8a5. As a video reel method using the display monitor 4 is adopted to display the symbols such as numbers or patterns in the present embodiment, five reels are displayed on the image display window 8 by execution of a computer program. Alternatively, the symbols such as numbers or patterns may be displayed using physical reels without using the display monitor 4.

As shown in FIG. 2, the image display window 8 has the 5 reels 8a1-8a5 on which is displayed the symbols on moving reels and on stationary reels in a column direction (upper and lower direction on the image display window 8). Each reel is enabled to display various kinds of moving or stationary symbols. While the image display window 8 displays the plural kind of symbols in a column direction on moving, the symbols displayed on moving reels turn into stationary reels based on the outcomes of an internal lottery. In the present embodiment, each of the reels 8a1-8a5 has 30 pieces of the symbols respectively. In the image display window 8, 3 out of the 30 symbols of each reel 8a1-8a5 (8a11, 8a12, 8a13; 8a21, 8a22, 8a23; 8a31, 8a32, 8a33; 8a41, 8a42, 8a438a51, 8a52, 8a53) are displayed. In addition, the number of reels, the number of symbols of each reel, and the display number of the symbols are not limited to the present embodiment. Alternatively, the numbers of the symbols may be changed to 8a1=30, 8a2=30 , 8a3=31, 8a4=33, and 8a5 =38 on every reel 8a1-8a5.

The gaming machine 1 of the present embodiment has display areas (a multi-line video system slot by 3×5 reels) composed of 3 stages such as “top”, “middle” and “bottom” in the five reels 8a1-8a5 in normal games. The symbols are displayed on the three stages such as “top”, “middle” and “bottom”. In the normal games, a judgment of an award of a winning combination is viewed within the range of the 3×5 display areas. When a predetermined bonus game starting combination is displayed in a stationary reel within the display areas based on the outcomes of the internal lottery, the normal game mode is changed over to the bonus game mode and the bonus games are started. The image display window 8 has areas 8b and 8c displaying the numbers of the winning lines. In addition, the image display window 8 may be further provided with the area that displays the number of “BETs” and the number of the acquired “CREDITs”, as shown in FIG. 2. Alternatively, the area which further displays the number of winning games and an award for a winning game may be arranged.

In the gaming machine 1 of the present embodiment, the normal game is started by the player's betting operations. A winning line is a line for realizing an award when a combination of predetermined symbols is displayed upon the line, and which makes it possible to set a plurality of lines. The betting operations are performed by inserting a coin into the coin insertion slot 6, or by betting coins pooled (the coins are credited) by the pool coin insertion button 9. In addition, betting is enabled by using these betting operations together.

As described above, awards may be determined not only when the winning line is set in advance at game start-off but also by the stationary reel display of pre-selected winning symbol combinations. For example, in the normal game, when at least one specified symbol is arranged in the stationary reel display on any of the reels 8a1-8a5 on the image display window 8, the normal game may be shifted to the bonus games as bonus games. In this way, when the awards are determined according to the stationary reel display of the predetermined symbols regardless of the winning line, a degree of freedom of the award realization is raised and the player's expectation is enhanced greater in comparison with the case that a winning line is set in advance in a definite line.

When a winning line is specified by the betting operations of the player and start button 10 (it may be a start lever) is operated, the image display window 8 displays the turning symbols which are in the moving reel display. When a predetermined time is passed, the image display window 8 turns each reel 8a5-8a5 displaying the symbols, which are in the moving reel display, sequentially into the stationary reel display. The stationary reel display of the symbols may be automatic like a casino machine or it may be hand operated by an input of a stop signal by an operator like a pinball-style slot machine. For example, a stop order may be arranged to stop from left sequentially towards the image display window 8. For example, in the case of the stationary reel display, the symbols may stop with a time interval of 0.5-1 sec. When a combination of a predetermined symbol is displayed on any of the winning lines at the time of this stationary reel display, the award is acquired in response to the symbol combination.

In addition, the gaming machine 1 comprises speakers 11a and 11b which generate audio prompt, music, and sound effects.

FIG. 3 is a schematic of a system of the gaming machine according to the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 3, the gaming machine 1 is comprised of a main system A and a subsystem B. The main system A performs controlling performances of the gaming machine 1 , medal pay out, the image display window and subsystem B controls the display monitor 4 and the speakers 11a and 11b based on control signals from main system A.

In main system A, a CPU 30 is equipped with a ROM 31 and a RAM 32, and the CPU 30 performs controlling performances of the whole gaming machine according to preset programs. The ROM 31 performs not only prior determination of the award (internal lottery) but also controls the operations of the gaming machine 1 , and the ROM 31 stores an award lottery table used for determining an array status of symbols to be displayed on the image display window 8 at the time of the stationary reel display, an award lottery table in the bonus games used for determining an array status of symbols in the bonus games, a judgment data table used for judging game outcomes in comparison with the determined array of the symbols, a bonus game judgment data table of the bonus games used for judging game outcomes in comparison with the determined array of symbols at the time of the bonus games, a bonus game number determination table for determining the number of times of the bonus games, a division allocation table used for dividing and displaying the number of the bonus games and so on other than a control program to control operations of the gaming machine 1.

In the gaming machine of the present embodiment, the CPU 30, the ROM 31 and the RAM 32 comprise an array determination unit, a judgment unit, a bonus game number determination unit, a bonus game number allocation unit and so on. The array determination unit performs operations for determining the array of symbols to be displayed on the image display window 8, according to the award lottery table, at the time of the stationary reel display of symbols. The judgment unit judges the game outcomes by comparing the determined array of symbols with the judgment data table. The bonus game number determination unit performs operations for determining the total number of the bonus games to be output when the determined game outcomes trigger the start of the bonus games. And the bonus game number allocation unit performs operations for dividing the total number of the determined bonus games and for allocating the number of the bonus games to every divided unit respectively.

In addition, the CPU 30 is connected to a clock pulse generating circuit 33 for generating reference clock pulses and a random number generating circuit 34 for generating random numbers. The CPU 30 and the random number generating circuit 34 comprises the array determination unit, the bonus game number determination unit and a part of the bonus game allocation unit. A control signal transmitted from the CPU 30 is output to a display window control circuit 37 for controlling the image display window 8 of the display unit 4 and a coin pay out unit 36 for paying out coins through an output port 35. The image display window 8 comprises a display monitor 4 and the display window control circuit 37 comprises a display control unit.

In addition, the signals, which are output from a coin discrimination device 38 for determining the propriety of a coin, a coin pay out counter 40 for counting the number of coins to be paid out and a start button 10 for starting a game, are input to the CPU 30 through an input port 43. The CPU 30, the ROM 31, the RAM 32 and the start button 10 comprises a selection unit.

Signals, which are output from the CPU 30, are controlled by a transmission timing control circuit 45 for controlling the timing of signal transmission to the subsystem B and the signals are output to the subsystem B through a data transmission circuit 46.

In the subsystem B, the signals, which are output from the data transmission circuit 46, are input to a data input circuit 47. Signals, which are input to the data input circuit 47, are processed in a CPU 48. The CPU 48 is connected to a clock pulse generating circuit 49 for generating reference clock pulses, a ROM 50 which records various programs and various image data, and a RAM 51. Data related to the images are output to the display unit 4 through a display circuit 52 for processing images from the CPU 48. In the image display window 8 of the display monitor 4, characters, static images, animated images and so on are displayed. Data related to audio are output to an amplifier circuit 56 through a sound LSI 54 for processing audio from the CPU 48. The sound LSI 54 extracts necessary audio data from an audio ROM 55 and processes the audio data. The audio data amplified by the amplifier circuit 56 is output to speakers 11a and 11b through an audio adjustment circuit 57 for performing audio adjustment.

The performances of the gaming machine of the present invention according to the present embodiment constructed as above are described referring to FIG. 4 to FIG. 11. FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 are flowcharts showing the performance of the gaming machine according to embodiment 1 of the present invention and FIG. 6 to FIG. 11 are examples showing the image displays in the image display window 8.

Referring to FIG. 4, a description is made of the performances of the gaming machine in the present embodiment according to the present invention. First, a player inserts a coin into the coin insertion slot, or a coin in credits is cast by a BET button, then the player pushes the start button, the normal game starts (step S1). In a standby mode of the normal game, the five reels 8a1-8a5 are displayed as shown in FIG. 2 in the image display window 8 of the display monitor 4. In the present embodiment, three symbols are displayed on the reels 8a1 -8a 5 each, but not limited to thereto. Another display example of the normal game is shown in FIG. 6. Symbols such as numbers or patterns on the five reels 8a1-8a5 are not limited to the symbols shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 6, various symbols can be employed.

When the normal game starts, the five reels 8a1-8a5 rotate upward and downward, 3 symbols on the reels 8a1-8a5 each are displayed in a moving reel state respectively (step S2). The array determination unit of system A determines the array of symbols to be displayed on the image display window 8 at the time of the stationary reel display of symbols according to the award lottery table. The judgment unit judges the game outcomes by comparing the determined array of symbols with the judgment data table. After the predetermined time passes, the reels 8a1-8a5 stop their rotations sequentially and 3 symbols of each of the reels 8a1-8a5 are stopped (step S2). When the judgment unit judges that the determined array of symbols has been arranged on the preset winning line, the game outcome is determined as a win and the corresponding distribution is paid to the player (step S3).

Next, the judgment unit judges whether the game outcome by the determined array of symbols is a trigger array of symbols which provides a trigger to start the bonus games (step S4). When the determined array of symbols is a trigger array of symbols, the game is shifted to the bonus games (step S5). FIG. 7 is a display example of the trigger array of symbols showing a win in the bonus games. In the present embodiment, “FEATURE GAME WON!” showing the win in the bonus games is displayed, as shown in FIG. 7, indicating to the player that the bonus games have been won. In addition, on a changeover to the bonus games, an award in the bonus games may be determined. On the other hand, when the determined array of symbols is not the trigger array of symbols the game returns to the normal game again (step S1).

Next, referring to FIG. 5, a description is made of the performances of the gaming machine in the present embodiment according to the present invention when the game shifts to the bonus games. In the present embodiment, the bonus games are free games to start without a player's operation of inserting additional coins. First, when the normal game changes over to the bonus games (step T0), the bonus game number determination unit in the main system A determines “X”, which is the total number of times, (repeatable number of times) of the bonus games to be output (step T1). And the bonus game number allocation unit determines “n” which is the number of times for dividing the total number of the bonus games “X” and for displaying, and allocates “mk” (“k” has integral numbers from 1 to “n”) which is the number of the “k”-th time of the bonus games allocated to every divided unit respectively. In the gaming machine of the present invention according to the present embodiment, the “mk” which is the number of the bonus games to be displayed in “k”-th time and the “X”, which is the total number of the bonus games, are associated with the following equations (1). X=k=1nmk(1)

In addition, in the present embodiment 1, the “mk” which is the number of the “k”-th time of the bonus games is determined randomly.

Next, “k =1” is set by the bonus game number allocation unit (step T3), the “m1” which is the number of the 1st bonus game is displayed in the image display window 8 of the display monitor 4 (step T4). When, for example, by display of the 1 st bonus game number of “m1”, it is assumed “m1=15 ”, “15 FREE GAMES WON” is displayed in the middle of the image display monitor 8, or “15 FREE GAMES” is displayed at the top (8d) as shown in FIG. 8. By displaying “m1(=15)” of the 1st bonus game number, for example, the player finds that 15 bonus games have been acquired. In this condition, when “X”≠“m1” that is to say “n>2”, the said effect is displayed in the image display monitor 8 and the player is notified that the bonus games acquired is more than the “m1” times, thereby enhancing the player's sense of expectation.

Next, the judgment unit inspects whether a divided display number of the bonus games have reached “n” (step T5), if the number is not in “k=n”, it is done with “k=k+1” (step T6), and the 2nd bonus games “m2” is displayed in the image display window 8 of the display monitor 4 (step T4). By the display of the 2nd bonus games “m2”, similarly as shown in FIG. 18, for example, when the number of times are assumed “m2=20”, “20 FREE GAMES WON” is displayed in the middle of the image display monitor 8 or “20 FREE GAMES” is displayed at the top (8d) of the image display window 8. For example, by the display of the 2nd bonus games number “m2 (=20)”, the player can see the bonus games of “m2 (=20)”, that is to say, 35 bonus games including the first bonus games of times “m1 (=15)” have been acquired. Thus, the processes from step 4 to step 6 are repeated until the divided display number of the bonus games reaches “n”, the player is informed that the bonus games of a sum total “X” times have been acquired. FIG. 9 is a display example when the bonus games of 100 times are acquired in total. As such, the total number of the bonus games are divided into multiple times, and are represented by the directions of images and sounds with intervals, so as to inform the player of the total number of the bonus games, thereby enhancing the player's expectation that the total number of the bonus games gradually increases, and the idea of the gaming machine can be enhanced.

On the other hand, in the case of “k =n” in a step (step T5) for inspecting whether a divided display number of the bonus games has reached “n”, a divided display of the total number of bonus games “X” is completed, and the bonus games are started (step T7). In order to notify the player that the divided display of the total number of bonus games “X” is completed and the bonus games are started, as shown in FIG. 10, image 8e(represented by a big wave surge in the present embodiment) preset in the image display window 8 may be displayed.

When the bonus games start, the executed number of “r =1” times of the bonus games are set by the bonus game number allocation unit (step T7), so that the first bonus games start. In the bonus games, the five reels 8a1-8a5 rotate upward and downward, and 3 symbols on the reels 8a1 -8a5 each are displayed in a moving reel state respectively (step T8). The array determination of the system A determines an array of symbols to be displayed in the image display window 8 on the stationary reel display of symbols according to the award lottery table of the bonus games. And the judgment unit judges the game outcomes by comparing the determined array of symbols with the award judgment data table. After the predetermined time passes, the reels 8a1-8a5 stop their rotations sequentially, and the three symbols of the reels 8a1, -8a5 each stop (step S2). When the judgment unit determines that the determined array of symbols has been arranged on the preset winning line, the game outcomes are judged as a win and the corresponding distributions are paid to the player (step S9). A display example of the bonus game is shown in FIG. 11.

Next, the judgment unit inspects whether the executed number of the bonus games “r” has reached “X”, if the number is not in “r=”, it is done with “r=r+1” (step T11), and the following bonus games start (step T8). The processes from step T8 to T11 are repeated until the executed number of the bonus games “r” reaches “X”.

On the other hand, if the executed number of the bonus games “r” has reached “X”, all the bonus games are completed (step T11), and the game is shifted to the normal game (step S0 (FIG. 4)).

When the total number of the bonus games “X” is not less than a certain number (e.g., 10, 20), the total number of the bonus games “X” is divided into multiple times and displayed. When the total number of the bonus games “X” is smaller than the certain number, the total number of the bonus games may be not divided into multiple times and displayed.

As described above, in the gaming system of the present invention, by informing the player that the total number of the bonus games is divided into multiple times, the player's expectation that the total number of the bonus games gradually increases is enhanced, making the gaming machine more attractive.

EMBODIMENT 2

In the embodiment 1 above, the number of the bonus games “mk” is allowed to be determined randomly and the number of each bonus game “mk” is not particularly limited. However, in the present embodiment 2, when the total number of the bonus games “X” is divided into “n” times and displayed, a description is made of an example which provides a determined limit for the number of the “k”-th time of the bonus games “mk” and the number of the “k+1”-th time of the bonus games “mk+1”.

The number of the “k”-th time of the bonus games “mk” and the number of the “k+1”-th time of the bonus games “mk+1” are provided with a limit such as the following numerical expression (2). Namely, the number of the “k+1”-th time of the bonus games “mk+1” becomes more than the number of the “k”-th time of the bonus games “mk”. However, it should be readily apparent that the total number of the bonus games “X” and the number of the “k”-th time of the bonus games “mk” are associated with the numerical expression above (1).
mk<mk+1 (2)

By displaying the number of the bonus games within such a limit, the player can obtain an expectation of the increasing total number of the bonus games and the gaming machine is more attractive.

EMBODIMENT 3

In the above embodiment 1, the number of the bonus games “mk” is allowed to be determined randomly, and the number of each bonus game “mk” is not particularly limited. However, in the present embodiment 3 when the total number of the bonus games are divided into “n” times and displayed, after notification of the number of the bonus games, once the numbers less than that of the last notified bonus games are notified, the numbers more than that of the last notified bonus games are then notified. Such steps are allowed to be included at least once during changeover to the bonus games.

In the gaming machine of the present embodiment 3, it should be readily apparent that the numerical expression (1), which is described above, is associated with the total number of the bonus games “X” and the number of the “k”-th time of the bonus games “mk”.

By displaying the total number of the bonus games with this limit, the number of the bonus games which are divided and displayed is decreased once. Therefore the player may have the feeling that the total number of bonus games does not increase further, however, due to the increase of the number of the bonus games which are divided and displayed, the player can obtain an expectation of the increasing total number of the bonus games and the gaming machine is more attractive.

EMBODIMENT 4

Furthermore, in the embodiments 1-3 described above, when the total number of the bonus games “X” is divided into “n” times and displayed on the image display window 8, images and colors may be changed and also sounds may be varied whenever the numbers of the bonus games are displayed.

When the total number of the bonus games “X” is divided and into “n” times and displayed on the image display window 8, when the images to be displayed are changed whenever the number of the bonus games are displayed, narrative images which are illustrate a scene of a story may be displayed over a “n” times period.

The images to be displayed on the image display window 8 may be changed by the player's operation whenever the number of the bonus games is displayed.

EMBODIMENT 5

In the present embodiment 5, after the bonus games start, when the game is further awarded in trigger symbols, the total number of the bonus games are re-drawn in the internal lottery and the number of the bonus games which are obtained by the re-lottery may be added to the total number of the bonus games.

A description of to step T7 when the bonus games starts is similar to the above embodiment 1 and thus is omitted here.

Referring to FIG. 12, When the bonus games start, “r=1” is set by the bonus game number allocation unit (step T7) and the 1st bonus games start. In the bonus games, the five reels 8a1-8a5 rotate upward and downward and three symbols of the reels 8a1-8a5 are displayed in a moving reel state respectively (step T8). The array determination unit of the system A determines an array of symbols to be displayed on the image display windows 8 at the stationary reel display of symbols according to the award lottery table. And the judgment unit judges the game outcomes by comparing the determined array of symbols with the award judgment data table in the bonus games. After the predetermined time passes, each of the reels 8a1-8a5 stops rotating sequentially and the three symbols of each reel 8a1-8a5 stop (step T8). When the judgment unit judges the determined array of symbols has been arranged on the preset winning line of the bonus games, the player wins, and the corresponding distributions are paid to the player (step T9).

Next, the judgment unit judges whether the game outcomes by the determined array of symbols is a trigger array of symbols for providing an opportunity for the start of the bonus games or not (step T10′). When the determined array of symbols is a trigger array of symbols, to give further bonus games, the step is shifted to the determination step to determine the total number of the bonus games (step T1). And the “Y” which is the number of the bonus games to be added is re-drawn in the internal lottery and is added to the remaining number of the bonus games “X-r”. Namely, the total number of the bonus games become “Z=(X+Y)”. The step following determination of the “Y” which is the number of the bonus games to be added is described in the above embodiment 1. That is to say, a point of time that the “Y”, which is number of the bonus games to be added, is determined and the bonus games until now are discontinued once, the divided numbers to be division displayed and the allocation numbers of the bonus games every divided unit are determined to the “(X-r)+Y” of numbers of the bonus games in such a manner as done to the prior numbers “X and the determined number of the bonus games are displayed with intervals on the image display window 8 every divided unit, thereafter, the game is shifted to the bonus games again.

On the other hand, the judgment unit judges whether the game outcomes of the determined array of symbols are trigger arrays of symbols for providing an opportunity for the start of the bonus games or not (step T10′). When the game outcomes determine that the game outcome is not to be awarded in the trigger symbols, the judgment unit inspects whether the executed number of the bonus games “r” has reached “X” or not (step T11′), if not “r=X”, “r=r+1” is arranged (step T12′), then the next bonus games are started (step T8). Step T8-step T12′is repeated until the executed number of the bonus games “r” reaches “X”.

However, when the executed number of the bonus games “r” reaches “X”, all the bonus games are completed (step T13′), and the game is shifted to the normal game (step S0 in FIG. 4).

As described above, in the gaming machine of the present invention according to the present embodiment, a re-lottery of the number of the bonus games can occur in the middle of the bonus games which can enhance the player's expectation of the probability that the total number of the bonus games may be increased and the gaming machine is more attractive.

The gaming machines of the present invention divide the total number of the bonus games and display with intervals every divided unit. This increases player's expectation and the gaming machines are more attractive. The gaming machines of the present invention can be applied as gaming machines for use in various locations including game centers and casinos.