Title:
Gaming Method And Gaming Machine Accepting Side Bet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A playing method of a card game according to the present invention comprises the steps of: (a) dealing a predetermined number of cards to a player as player's cards and dealing a predetermined number of cards to a banker as banker's cards; (b) placing a side BET different from a normal BET; (c) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards and the predetermined number of the banker's cards into two sets of cards, respectively, using a strength-determination ranking which is the strength ranking of hands to be referred in a step of determining winning or losing of a game, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards, and also dividing the predetermined number of said banker's cards into two sets of cards; (d) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing hands of the player's cards divided into two sets with hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking; (e) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards into two sets of cards without applying the basic condition thereto and/or without using the strength-determination ranking, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in the step (d) and that the side BET is placed in the step (b); and (f) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of the player's cards divided into two sets in the step (e) with the hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking.



Inventors:
Okada, Kazuo (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
11/875305
Publication Date:
09/11/2008
Filing Date:
10/19/2007
Assignee:
ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/292
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HALL, ARTHUR O
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
POLSINELLI PC / WATCHSTONE LLP (1000 Louisiana Street Suite 6400, Houston, TX, 77002, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A playing method of a card game comprising the steps of: (a) dealing a predetermined number of cards to a player as player's cards and dealing a predetermined number of cards to a banker as banker's cards; (b) placing a side BET different from a normal BET; (c) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards and the predetermined number of said banker's cards into two sets of cards, respectively, using a strength-determination ranking which is the strength ranking of hands to be referred in a step of determining winning or losing of a game, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards; (d) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing hands of said player's cards divided into two sets with hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets, using said strength-determination ranking; (e) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into two sets of cards without applying said basic condition thereto and/or without using said strength-determination ranking, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in said step (d) and that the side BET is placed in said step (b); and (f) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of said player's cards divided into two sets in said step (e) with the hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets, using said strength-determination ranking.

2. The playing method of a card game according to claim 1, wherein said step (e) includes a step of: (e′) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into two sets of cards, using a side-BET division ranking different from said strength-determination ranking, under said basic condition, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in said step (d) and that the side BET is placed in said step (b).

3. The playing method of a card game according to claim 1, wherein said step (e) includes a step of: (e″) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into two sets of cards, using said strength-determination ranking, under a special condition different from said basic condition, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in said step (d) and that the side BET is placed in said step (b).

4. The playing method of a card game according to claim 1, wherein said step (f) includes a step of: (f′) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of said player's cards divided into two sets in said step (e) with the hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets in said step (c), using said strength-determination ranking.

5. The playing method of a card game according to claim 1, wherein said step (e) includes a step of: (e′″) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards and the predetermined number of said banker's cards into two sets of cards, respectively, without applying said basic condition thereto and/or without using said strength-determination raking, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in said step (d) and that the side BET is placed in said step (b), and said step (f) includes a step of: (f″) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of said player's cards divided into two sets in said step (e′″) with the hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets in said step (e′″), using said strength-determination ranking.

6. A playing method of a card game comprising the steps of: (a) dealing a predetermined number of cards to a player as player's cards and dealing a predetermined number of cards to a banker as banker's cards; (b) placing a side BET different from a normal BET; (c) cumulatively accumulating a predetermined ratio of a side-BET currency value; (d) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards and the predetermined number of said banker's cards into two sets of cards, respectively, using a strength-determination ranking which is the strength ranking of hands to be referred in a step of determining winning or losing of a game, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards; (e) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing hands of said player's cards divided into two sets with hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets, using said strength-determination ranking; (f) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into two sets of cards without applying said basic condition thereto and/or without using said strength-determination ranking, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in said step (e) and that the side BET is placed in said step (b); (g) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of said player's cards divided into two sets in said step (f) with the hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets, using said strength-determination ranking; and (h) providing an award from the cumulatively accumulated currency value, when determining that the game results in winning of the player in said step (g).

7. A playing method of a card game comprising the steps of: (a) dealing a first predetermined number of cards to a player as player's cards and dealing a first predetermined number of cards to a banker as banker's cards; (b) placing a normal BET; (c) placing a side BET different from said normal BET; (d) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into cards for a first game and cards for a second game, using a strength-determination ranking which is the strength ranking of hands to be referred in a step of determining winning or losing of a game, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards; (e) dividing the predetermined number of said banker's cards into cards for said first game and cards for said second game, using said strength-determination ranking, under said basic condition; (f) determining a result of said first game by comparing the hand of said player's cards for said first game with the hand of said banker's cards for said first game, using said strength-determination ranking; (g) determining a result of said second game by comparing the hand of said player's cards for said second game with the hand of said banker's cards for said second game, using said strength-determination ranking; (h) providing an award based on the normal BET and the result of the games, when both said first game and said second game result in winning of the player; (i) restoring said player's cards divided in said step (d) to the predetermined number of cards, when both said first game and said second game result in losing of the player and the side BET is placed in said step (c); (j) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards acquired in said step (i) into cards for a third game and cards for a fourth game without applying said basic condition thereto and/or without using said strength-determination ranking; (k) determining a result of said third game by comparing the hand of said player's cards for said third game with the hand of said banker's cards for said first game acquired in said step (e), using said strength-determination ranking; (l) determining a result of said fourth game by comparing the hand of said player's cards for said fourth game with the hand of said banker's cards for said second game acquired in said step (e), using said strength-determination ranking; and (m) providing an award based on the side BET and the result of the games, when both said third game and said fourth game result in winning of the player.

8. A gaming machine comprising: a display capable of displaying a plurality of cards; an input device; and a controller, said controller programmed to conduct the processing of: (a) displaying a predetermined number of player's cards and a predetermined number of banker's cards to said display; (b) accepting an input of a side BET different from a normal BET, from said input device; (c) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into two sets of cards, using a strength-determination ranking data which is indicative of the strength ranking of hands to be referred in processing for determining winning or losing of a game, based on an input from said input device, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards, and also dividing the predetermined number of said banker's cards into two sets of cards using said strength-determination ranking data, under said basic condition; (d) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of said player's cards divided into two sets with the hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets, using said strength-determination ranking data; (e) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into two sets of cards based on the input from said input device, without applying said basic condition thereto and/or without using said strength-determination ranking data, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in said processing (d) and that the side BET is placed in said processing (b); and (f) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of said player's cards divided into two sets in said processing (e) with the hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets, using said strength-determination ranking data.

9. The gaming machine according to claim 8, wherein said processing (e) includes processing of: (e′) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into two sets of cards based on the input from said input device, using a side-BET division ranking data different from said strength-determination ranking data, under said basic condition, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in said processing (d) and that the side BET is placed in said processing (b).

10. The gaming machine according to claim 8, wherein said processing (e) includes processing of: (e″) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into two sets of cards based on the input from said input device, using said strength-determination ranking data, under a special condition different from said basic condition, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in said processing (d) and that the side BET is placed in said processing (b).

11. The gaming machine according to claim 8, wherein said processing (f) includes processing of: (f′) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of said player's cards divided into two sets in said processing (e) with the hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets in said processing (c), using said strength-determination ranking data.

12. The gaming machine according to claim 8, wherein said processing (e) includes processing of: (e′″) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards and the predetermined number of said banker's cards into two sets of cards, respectively, based on the input from said input device, without applying said basic condition thereto and/or without using said strength-determination ranking data, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in said processing (d) and that the side BET is placed in said processing (b), and said processing (f) includes processing of: (f″) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of said player's cards divided into two sets in said processing (e′″) with the hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets in said processing (e′″), using said strength-determination ranking data.

13. A gaming machine comprising: a display capable of displaying a plurality of cards; an input device; and a controller, said controller programmed to conduct the processing of: (a) displaying a predetermined number of player's cards and a predetermined number of banker's cards to said display; (b) accepting an input of a side BET different from a normal BET, from said input device; (c) cumulatively accumulating a predetermined ratio of a side-BET currency value; (d) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into two sets of cards, using a strength-determination ranking data which is indicative of the strength ranking of hands to be referred in processing for determining winning or losing of a game, based on an input from said input device, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards, and also dividing the predetermined number of said banker's cards into two sets of cards, using said strength-determination ranking data, under said basic condition; (e) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of said player's cards divided into two sets with the hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets, using said strength-determination ranking data; (f) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into two sets of cards based on the input from said input device, without applying said basic condition thereto and/or without using said strength-determination ranking data, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in said processing (e) and that the side BET is placed in said processing (b); (g) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of said player's cards divided into two sets in said processing (f) with the hands of said banker's cards divided into two sets, using said strength-determination ranking data; and (h) providing an award from the cumulatively accumulated currency value, when determining that the game results in winning of the player in said processing (g).

14. A gaming machine comprising: a display capable of displaying a plurality of cards; an input device; and a controller, said controller programmed to conduct the processing of: (a) displaying a predetermined number of player's cards and a predetermined number of banker's cards to said display; (b) accepting a normal BET from said input device; (c) accepting a side BET different from said normal BET from said input device; (d) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards into cards for a first game and cards for a second game, using a strength-determination ranking data which is the strength ranking of hands to be referred in processing for determining winning or losing of a game, based on an input from said input device, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards; (e) dividing the predetermined number of said banker's cards into cards for said first game and cards for said second game, using said strength-determination ranking data, under said basic condition; (f) determining a result of said first game by comparing the hand of said player's cards for said first game with the hand of said banker's cards for said first game, using said strength-determination ranking data; (g) determining a result of said second game by comparing the hand of said player's cards for said second game with the hand of said banker's cards for said second game, using said strength-determination ranking data; (h) providing an award based on the normal BET and the result of the games, when both said first game and said second game result in winning of the player; (i) restoring said player's cards divided in said processing (d) to the predetermined number of cards, when both said first game and said second game result in losing of the player and the side BET is placed in said processing (c); (j) dividing the predetermined number of said player's cards acquired in said processing (i) into cards for a third game and cards for a fourth game based on an the input from said input device, without applying said basic condition thereto and/or without using said strength-determination ranking data; (k) determining a result of said third game by comparing the hand of said player's cards for said third game with the hand of said banker's cards for said first game acquired in said processing (e), using said strength-determination ranking data; (l) determining a result of said fourth game by comparing the hand of said player's cards for said fourth game with the hand of said banker's cards for said second game acquired in said processing (e), using said strength-determination ranking data; and (m) providing an award based on the side BET and the result of the games, when both said third game and said fourth game result in winning of the player.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of priority based on U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/905,024 filed on Mar. 6, 2007. The contents of this application are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a gaming method and a gaming machine accepting side BETs.

2. Discussion of the Background

Conventionally, there have been gaming machines capable of accepting side BETs different from normal BETs. For example, in blackjack, when an upcard is an “A” card out of dealer's two cards, a player can place a side BET called insurance, in addition to a normal BET. In a case of placing insurance, the player adds the wager by half of an initial wager. When the dealer's hand is “Natural 21”, the amount twice the value of the side BET (insurance) is paid out. Further, for example, in Caribbean stud poker, a side BET is cumulatively accumulated as a progressive jackpot. When a player places a side BET in addition to an ante (a normal BET), he or she can acquire a part of or the entire progressive jackpot, according to the established hand. A game capable of accepting side BETs of this kind is disclosed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,789,801, U.S. Pat. No. 5,711,525 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,874,786.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a gaming method and a gaming machine capable of accepting side BETs, thus exhibiting new entertainment.

The contents of U.S. Pat. No. 6,789,801, U.S. Pat. No. 5,711,525 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,874,786 are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a playing method of a card game having the following structure.

Namely, the above mentioned playing method of a card game comprising the steps of: (a) dealing a predetermined number of cards to a player as player's cards and dealing a predetermined number of cards to a banker as banker's cards; (b) placing a side BET different from a normal BET; (c) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards and the predetermined number of the banker's cards into two sets of cards, respectively, using a strength-determination ranking which is the strength ranking of hands to be referred in a step of determining winning or losing of a game, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards; (d) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing hands of the player's cards divided into two sets with hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking; (e) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards into two sets of cards without applying the basic condition thereto and/or without using the strength-determination ranking, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in the step (d) and that the side BET is placed in the step (b); and (f) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of the player's cards divided into two sets in the step (e) with the hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a playing method of a card game having the following structures.

Namely, the above mentioned playing method of a card game comprising the steps of: (a) dealing a predetermined number of cards to a player as player's cards and dealing a predetermined number of cards to a banker as banker's cards; (b) placing a side BET different from a normal BET; (c) cumulatively accumulating a predetermined ratio of a side-BET currency value; (d) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards and the predetermined number of the banker's cards into two sets of cards, respectively, using a strength-determination ranking which is the strength ranking of hands to be referred in a step of determining winning or losing of a game, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards; (e) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing hands of the player's cards divided into two sets with hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking; (f) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards into two sets of cards without applying the basic condition thereto and/or without using the strength-determination ranking, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in the step (e) and that the side BET is placed in the step (b); (g) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of the player's cards divided into two sets in the step (f) with the hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking; and (h) providing an award from the cumulatively accumulated currency value, when determining that the game results in winning of the player in the step (g).

According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a playing method of a card game having the following structures.

Namely, the above mentioned playing method of a card game comprising the steps of: (a) dealing a first predetermined number of cards to a player as player's cards and dealing a first predetermined number of cards to a banker as banker's cards; (b) placing a normal BET; (c) placing a side BET different from the normal BET; (d) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards into cards for a first game and cards for a second game, using a strength-determination ranking which is the strength ranking of hands to be referred in a step of determining winning or losing of a game, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards; (e) dividing the predetermined number of the banker's cards into cards for the first game and cards for the second game, using the strength-determination ranking, under the basic condition; (f) determining a result of the first game by comparing the hand of the player's cards for the first game with the hand of the banker's cards for the first game, using the strength-determination ranking; (g) determining a result of the second game by comparing the hand of the player's cards for the second game with the hand of the banker's cards for the second game, using the strength-determination ranking; (h) providing an award based on the normal BET and the result of the games, when both the first game and the second game result in winning of the player; (i) restoring the player's cards divided in the step (d) to the predetermined number of cards, when both the first game and the second game result in losing of the player and the side BET is placed in the step (c); (j) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards acquired in the step (i) into cards for a third game and cards for a fourth game without applying the basic condition thereto and/or without using the strength-determination ranking; (k) determining a result of the third game by comparing the hand of the player's cards for the third game with the hand of the banker's cards for the first game acquired in the step (e), using the strength-determination ranking; (l) determining a result of the fourth game by comparing the hand of the player's cards for the fourth game with the hand of the banker's cards for the second game acquired in the step (e), using the strength-determination ranking; and (m) providing an award based on the side BET and the result of the games, when both the third game and the fourth game result in winning of the player.

According to the first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gaming machine having the following structures.

Namely, the gaming machine comprising: a display capable of displaying a plurality of cards; an input device; and a controller. The controller is programmed to conduct the processing of: (a) displaying a predetermined number of player's cards and a predetermined number of banker's cards to the display; (b) accepting an input of a side BET different from a normal BET, from the input device; (c) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards into two sets of cards, using a strength-determination ranking data which is indicative of the strength ranking of hands to be referred in processing for determining winning or losing of a game, based on an input from the input device, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards, and also dividing the predetermined number of the banker's cards into two sets of cards using the strength-determination ranking data, under the basic condition; (d) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of the player's cards divided into two sets with the hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking data; (e) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards into two sets of cards based on the input from the input device, without applying the basic condition thereto and/or without using the strength-determination ranking data, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in the processing (d) and that the side BET is placed in the processing (b); and (f) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of the player's cards divided into two sets in the processing (e) with the hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking data.

According to the second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gaming machine having the following structures.

Namely, the gaming machine comprising: a display capable of displaying a plurality of cards; an input device; and a controller. The controller is programmed to conduct the processing of: (a) displaying a predetermined number of player's cards and a predetermined number of banker's cards to the display; (b) accepting an input of a side BET different from a normal BET, from the input device; (c) cumulatively accumulating a predetermined ratio of a side-BET currency value; (d) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards into two sets of cards, using a strength-determination ranking data which is indicative of the strength ranking of hands to be referred in processing for determining winning or losing of a game, based on an input from the input device, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards, and also dividing the predetermined number of the banker's cards into two sets of cards, using the strength-determination ranking data, under the basic condition; (e) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of the player's cards divided into two sets with the hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking data; (f) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards into two sets of cards based on the input from the input device, without applying the basic condition thereto and/or without using the strength-determination ranking data, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in the processing (e) and that the side BET is placed in the processing (b); (g) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of the player's cards divided into two sets in the processing (f) with the hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking data; and (h) providing an award from the cumulatively accumulated currency value, when determining that the game results in winning of the player in the processing (g).

According to the third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gaming machine having the following structures.

Namely, the gaming machine comprising: a display capable of displaying a plurality of cards; an input device; and

a controller. The controller is programmed to conduct the processing of: (a) displaying a predetermined number of player's cards and a predetermined number of banker's cards to the display; (b) accepting a normal BET from the input device; (c) accepting a side BET different from the normal BET from the input device; (d) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards into cards for a first game and cards for a second game, using a strength-determination ranking data which is the strength ranking of hands to be referred in processing for determining winning or losing of a game, based on an input from the input device, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards; (e) dividing the predetermined number of the banker's cards into cards for the first game and cards for the second game, using the strength-determination ranking data, under the basic condition; (f) determining a result of the first game by comparing the hand of the player's cards for the first game with the hand of the banker's cards for the first game, using the strength-determination ranking data; (g) determining a result of the second game by comparing the hand of the player's cards for the second game with the hand of the banker's cards for the second game, using the strength-determination ranking data; (h) providing an award based on the normal BET and the result of the games, when both the first game and the second game result in winning of the player; (i) restoring the player's cards divided in the processing (d) to the predetermined number of cards, when both the first game and the second game result in losing of the player and the side BET is placed in the processing (c); (j) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards acquired in the processing (i) into cards for a third game and cards for a fourth game based on an the input from the input device, without applying the basic condition thereto and/or without using the strength-determination ranking data; (k) determining a result of the third game by comparing the hand of the player's cards for the third game with the hand of the banker's cards for the first game acquired in the processing (e), using the strength-determination ranking data; (l) determining a result of the fourth game by comparing the hand of the player's cards for the fourth game with the hand of the banker's cards for the second game acquired in the processing (e), using the strength-determination ranking data; and (m) providing an award based on the side BET and the result of the games, when both the third game and the fourth game result in winning of the player.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a flow chart illustrating main-control-portion-side processing conducted in a main control portion included in a gaming machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1B is another flow chart illustrating main-control-portion-side processing conducted in the main control portion included in the gaming machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a view illustrating exemplary hand-ranking tables.

FIG. 3 is a view illustrating exemplary card-ranking tables.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view schematically illustrating the external structure of the gaming machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view schematically illustrating the external structure of a station included in the gaming machine illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a view illustrating an exemplary image which is displayed to a front display included in a gaming machine.

FIG. 7 is another view illustrating an exemplary image which is displayed to a front display included in a gaming machine.

FIG. 8 is a view illustrating an exemplary image which is displayed to a liquid crystal display included in a station.

FIG. 9 is another view illustrating an exemplary image which is displayed to a liquid crystal display included in a station.

FIG. 10 is a block diagram illustrating the internal structure of the gaming machine illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 11 is a block diagram illustrating the internal structure of a station included in the gaming machine illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 12A is a flow chart illustrating a subroutine of station-side processing conducted in a station according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 12B is another flow chart illustrating a subroutine of station-side processing conducted in the station according to the first embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

There will be described an embodiment of the present invention with reference to the drawings.

In the following embodiment, there will be described a case where Pai-Gow poker is played. First, the rule of Pai-Gow poker will be described.

In Pai-Gow poker, a banker, and a single player or a plurality of players play a game against each other, using a single set of playing cards (53 cards) including a single joker.

At first, 7 cards are dealt to each of the banker and the players. The banker and the players divide their dealt seven cards into a set of five cards and a set of two cards. At this time, the hand of five cards (a high hand) must be as strong as the hand of two cards (a low hand) or stronger than the hand of two cards. Next, by comparing the banker's hand of five cards with the player's hand of five cards, which of them is stronger than the other is determined. Similarly, by comparing the banker's hand of two cards with the player's hand of two cards, which of them is stronger than the other is determined. When both the banker's hands of five cards and two cards are stronger than those of the player's, the game results in winning of the banker. When both the player's hands of five cards and two cards are stronger than those of the banker's, the game results in winning of the player. When one player's hand, out of the hands of five cards and two cards, is stronger than the banker's corresponding hand and the other banker's hands is stronger than the player's corresponding hand, the game is tied. Also, when both the player's hands of five cards and two cards are as strong as the banker's hands, the game results in winning of the banker. Further, as hands of five cards, there are Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two pair, One pair and No Pair, in the order of strength. As hands of two cards, there are One Pair and No Pair, in the order of strength. Further, when the strengths of the player's hand and the banker's hand are equal, which hand is the stronger of the two is determined by comparing the numbers and the alphabets drawn on the cards constituting these hands. As numbers and alphabets drawn on cards, there are A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2, in descending order of strength. The above-mentioned order of hand strength (including the order of strength of numbers and alphabets drawn on cards) corresponds to the strength-determination ranking according to the present invention. The strength-determination ranking will be described later.

In the following embodiments, Pai-Gow poker (hereinafter, also referred to as basic Pai-Gow poker) is played, wherein, a normal BET and a side BET are accepted. Here, a normal BET is a BET placed on the winning or losing of basic Pai-Gow poker, while a side BET is a BET placed on a game (hereinafter, also referred to as side-BET Pai-Gow poker) which is played in the event that the game of basic Pai-Gow poker results in losing of the player. A predetermined ratio (50% in the present embodiment) of a side-BET currency value is cumulatively accumulated as a jackpot (hereinafter also referred to as “JP”).

In the basic Pai-Gow poker, the player's cards and the banker's cards are divided into two sets of cards, respectively, under a basic condition. The basic condition is a condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards (for example, a condition that the hand of a certain set of cards must be stronger than the hand of the other set of cards). In the present embodiment, the basic condition is a condition that the hand of five cards must be as strong as the hand of two cards or stronger than the hand of two cards. Further, in the basic Pai-Gow poker, when dividing the cards into two sets of cards under the above-mentioned basic condition, the strength-determination ranking is used as the hand strength ranking. The strength-determination ranking is the hand strength ranking which is used when determining winning or losing of a game in a game of Pai-Gow poker (in comparing the player's hands with the banker's hands to determine which hand is the stronger of the two). As described above, winning or losing of a game of basic Pai-Gow poker is determined using the strength-determination ranking, by comparing the hands of player's cards divided into two sets with the hands of banker's cards divided into two sets.

When the game of basic Pai-Gow poker results in losing of the player, on condition that the side BET is placed, the player's cards are divided into five cards and two cards again. At this time, the player divides the cards using a side-BET division ranking under the above-mentioned basic condition. The side-BET division ranking is a ranking of hand strength different from the above-mentioned strength-determination ranking. Namely, when dividing the player's cards into two sets of cards, the condition imposed on the strength of hands is not changed, but only the hand strength ranking is changed. Winning or losing of a game of side-BET Pai-Gow poker is determined using the strength-determination ranking again, by comparing the hand of player's cards, divided as described above, with the banker's cards divided into two sets in the game of basic Pai-Gow poker. When the game results in winning of the player, a JP is offered. Further, in the following embodiment, there will be described a case where a dealer serves as a banker.

FIGS. 1A and 1B are flow charts illustrating main-control-portion-side processing conducted in a main control portion included in a gaming machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.

First, there will be described processing conducted in the main control portion 40 (see FIG. 10) included in the gaming machine 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

First, in step S101 in FIG. 1A, the CPU 41 included in the main control portion 40 receives BET information from a station 3 (see FIG. 4). The BET information relates to BETs and includes information about whether or not a normal BET and a side BET are placed and the values of the normal BET and the side BET.

Next, in step S102, the CPU 41 cumulatively stores 50% of a side-BET credit as a JP in a RAM 42 (see FIG. 10) based on BET information received in step S101.

Next, in step S103, the CPU 41 determines seven cards to be dealt to each of the player and the banker, out of a single deck of playing cards, using random numbers. The seven cards determined to be dealt to the player in step S103 corresponds to a predetermined number of player's cards according to the present invention, while the seven cards determined to be dealt to the banker corresponds to a predetermined number of banker's cards according to the present invention. Further, card images indicative of the seven cards to be dealt to the banker are displayed facing down to a front display 21 (see FIG. 4) included in the gaming machine 1.

Next, in step S104, the CPU 41 transmits to-be-dealt cards information to the station 3. The to-be-dealt cards information includes information indicative of the types of the cards determined to be dealt to the player (ranks and suits [heart, club, spade, diamond]). The station 3 displays card images indicative of the seven cards to a liquid crystal display 10 (see FIG. 5), based on the received to-be-dealt cards information, and accepts an input for dividing the cards into a set of five cards (a high hand) and a set of two cards (a low hand).

Next, in step S105, the CPU 41 receives selection information from the station 3. The selection information is information indicating which cards are selected as the high hand and which cards are selected as the low hand.

Next, in step S106, the CPU 41 conducts processing for dividing the cards dealt to the banker into a high hand and a low hand. The high hand (five banker's cards) acquired in the processing in step S106 corresponds to banker's cards for a first game according to the present invention, while the low hand (two banker's cards) corresponds to a banker's cards for a second game according to the present invention.

Next, in step S107, the CPU 41 displays card images indicative of the high hand and the low hand determined in step S106 with their faces up, to the front display 21.

Next, in step S108, the CPU 41 conducts processing for determining winning or losing of the game, based on the selection information received in step S105 and the high hand and the low hand determined in step S106. In the processing in step S108, the CPU 41 determines winning or losing of the game based on the results of determination, in which the CPU 41 determines which hand is the stronger of the two by comparing the player's high hand with the banker's high hand using the strength-determination ranking and the player's low hand with the banker's low hand using the strength-determination ranking. More specifically, when the player's high hand is stronger than the banker's high hand and the player's low hand is stronger than the banker's low hand, the player wins, and when the banker's high hand is stronger than the player's high hand and the banker's low hand is stronger than the player's low hand, the banker wins. When one player's hand, out of the high hand and the low hand, is stronger than the banker's corresponding hand and the other banker's hand is stronger than the player's corresponding hand, the game is tied. It should be noted that, in a comparison between high hands and a comparison between low hands, when the strength of the player's hand and the banker's corresponding hand are equal, it is determined that the banker's hand is the stronger of the two.

In step S108, determining which hand is the stronger of the two by comparing the player's high hand with the banker's high hand corresponds to a first game according to the present invention, while determining which hand is the stronger of the two by comparing the player's low hand with the banker's low hand corresponds to a second game according to the present invention.

Next, in step S109, the CPU 41 transmits information indicative of the winning or losing of the game determined in step S108 (hereinafter, also referred to as winning/losing information) to the station 3. The station 3, on receiving the winning/losing information, displays a single image describing any one of “you win”, “you lose” and “tie” to the liquid crystal display 10, based on the winning/losing information.

Next, in step S110, the CPU 41 transmits normal BET payout information to the station 3. The normal BET payout information is information indicative of the value of a credit (currency value) to be paid out for a normal BET. More specifically, when the player wins, the CPU 41 transmits information indicative of a credit value which is twice the value of the normal BET, and in the event of a tie, the CPU 41 transmits information indicative of the same credit value as the value of the normal BET. Also, when the banker wins, the CPU 41 transmits information indicating that the value of a credit to be offered is 0.

Next, in step S111 in FIG. 1B, the CPU 41 determines whether or not a signal indicative of the basic Pai-Gow poker game resulting in losing of the player and a side BETs being placed (hereinafter, also referred to as a side BET signal) is received from the station 3. When the CPU 41 determines that no side BET signal is received, the present main-control-portion-side processing ends.

On the other hand, when the CPU 41 determines that it has received a side BET signal, the CPU 41 conducts processing for determining a hand-ranking table and a card-tanking table for use in division of the player's cards in step S112. The hand-ranking table (see FIG. 2) is a table indicative of the correspondence between hands and the strength ranking of the hands, while the card-ranking table (see FIG. 3) is a table indicative of the correspondence between numbers or alphabets drawn on cards and the strength ranking of these numbers and alphabets. A plurality of hand-ranking tables and card-ranking tables are stored in a ROM 43 (see FIG. 10) in the gaming machine 1, and are referred to as a reference target when dividing cards into two sets of cards and when determining winning or losing of a game (when determining winning or losing of a game by comparing the hands of the player's cards with the hands of the banker's cards). When determining winning or losing of the game, a hand-ranking table and a card-ranking table that are corresponding to the strength-determination ranking are always referred to as the reference target. As the hand-ranking table and the card-ranking table to be referred to in division of the cards, when a basic Pai-Gow poker is executed, a hand-ranking table and a card-ranking table that are corresponding to the strength-determination ranking are set as the reference target.

In the processing of step S112, the CPU 41 selects a single hand-ranking table different from the hand-ranking table corresponding to the strength-determination ranking, out of the plurality of hand-ranking tables, using random numbers, and sets the selected hand-ranking table as the target to be referred to in division of the cards, and further, the CPU 41 selects a single card-ranking table different from the card-ranking table corresponding to the strength-determination ranking, out of the plurality of card-ranking tables, using random numbers, and sets the selected card-ranking table as the target to be referred to in division of the cards.

Further, the hand-ranking tables and the card-ranking tables will be described in more detail later with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3.

Next, in step S113, the CPU 41 transmits, to the station 3 which has transmitted the side BET signal, information indicative of the hand strength ranking determined in step S112 (hereinafter, also referred to as ranking information).

The station 3 displays, to the liquid crystal display 10, an image relating to the ranking of hands based on the received ranking information (see FIG. 9).

Next, in step S114, the CPU 41 displays, to a player's cards display portion 34 (see FIG. 7) in the front display 21, card images indicative of the cards of the player who is taking part in the side BET Pai-Gow poker. This enables players who are not taking part in the side BET Pai-Gow poker to know the progress of the side-BET Pai-Gow poker.

Next, in step S115, the CPU 41 receives selection information from the station 3 after the re-division of the cards.

Next, in step S116, the CPU 41 displays card images indicative of the player's high hand and low hand resulted from the re-division of cards, based on the selection information received in step S115, with their faces up, to the player's cards display portion 34 in the front display 21.

Next, in step S117, the CPU 41 conducts processing for determining winning or losing of the game, based on the selection information received in step S115 and the banker's high hand and low hand determined in step S106. In the processing of step S117, the CPU 41 determines which hand is the stronger of the two based on the results of the determination, in which the CPU 41 determines which hand is the stronger of the two by comparing the player's high hand with the banker's high hand using the strength-determination ranking and by comparing the player's low hand with the banker's low hand using the strength-determination ranking. More specifically, when the player's high hand is stronger than the banker's high hand and the player's low hand is stronger than the banker's low hand, the player wins, and when the banker's high hand is stronger than the player's high hand and the banker's low hand is stronger than the player's low hand, the banker wins. When one player's hand, out of the high hand and the low hand, is stronger than the banker's corresponding hand and the other banker's hand is stronger than the player's corresponding hand, the game is tied. It should be noted that, in a comparison between high hands and a comparison between low hands, when the strength of the player's hand and the banker's corresponding hand are equal, it is determined that the banker's hand is the stronger of the two.

In step S117, determining which hand is the stronger of the two by comparing the player's high hand with the banker's high hand corresponds to a third game according to the present invention, and determining which hand is the stronger of the two by comparing the player's low hand with the banker's low hand corresponds to a fourth game according to the present invention.

Next, in step S118, the CPU 41 transmits information indicative of the winning or losing of the game determined in step S117 (hereinafter, also referred to as winning/losing information) to the station 3, and sets a hand-ranking table and a card-ranking table to be referred to in the division of player's cards to a hand-ranking tangle and a card-ranking table corresponding to the strength-determination ranking.

The station 3, on receiving the winning/losing information, displays an image describing any one of “you win”, “you lose” and “tie” to the liquid crystal display 10, based on the winning/losing information.

Next, in step S119, the CPU 41 transmits JP payout information to the station 3. The JP payout information is information indicative of the value of a JP credit (the currency value) to be paid out for the side BET. More specifically, the CPU 41 transmits information indicative of a credit value corresponding to a full amount of a JP in the case of the player's win with Royal Flush in high hand, information indicative of the credit value corresponding to 50% of the JP in the case of the player's win with Straight Flush in high hand, and information indicative of the credit value corresponding to 10% of the JP in the case of the player's win with a hand other than the above-mentioned hands in high hand. Further, the CPU 41 transmits information indicative of the same credit value as the value of the side BET in the event of a tie. Also, when the banker wins, the CPU 41 transmits information indicating that the value of credits to be offered is 0.

In the present embodiment, there is described a case where a full amount of the JP for the high hand with Royal Flush, 50% of the JP for the high hand with Straight Flush, and 10% of the JP for the high hand with a hand other than the above-mentioned hands is offered when the player wins in the game of side-BET poker. However, in the present invention, the correspondence between the amount of JP to be offered and the hand is not limited thereto. Further, in the present invention, all the currency value cumulatively accumulated as the JP may be offered regardless of the hand, when the player wins the game of side-BET poker.

Further, in the present embodiment, there has been described a case where the correspondence between player's hands and payouts (JPs) to be offered in the side-BET Pai-Gow poker is previously set. However, in the present invention, the correspondence between player's hands and payouts to be offered may be randomly changed, every time the side BET Pai-Gow poker is executed.

Further, while, in the present embodiment, there will be described a case where a credit as same the value as the side BET is paid out in the event of a tie, no payout may be offered in the event of a tie. After the execution of the processing in step S119, the present main-control-portion-side processing ends.

Next, the hand-ranking tables and the card-ranking tables according to the present embodiment will be described.

FIG. 2 is a view illustrating exemplary hand-ranking tables.

In each of the hand ranking tables, ten hands of Pai-Gow poker are associated with the strength ranking of these hands. For example, a hand-ranking table A is the hand-ranking table corresponding to the strength-determination ranking according to the present embodiment, and the defined strength ranking of hands thereof is: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, and No pair, in descending order of strength. Further, a hand-ranking table B defines the hand strength ranking which is opposite in strength from that of the hand-ranking table A.

In the present embodiment, the hand-ranking table to be referred to in determining winning or losing of a game is always the hand-ranking table A (the hand-ranking table corresponding to the strength-determination ranking). Further, the hand-ranking table to be referred to in dividing cards is the hand-ranking table A in the basic Pai-Gow poker, and in the side-BET Pai-Gow poker, the hand-ranking table to be referred to in dividing cards is a single hand-ranking table (a hand-ranking table corresponding to the side-BET division ranking) selected out of the hand-ranking tables other than the hand-ranking table A, using random numbers.

It should be noted that, in the present invention, the method for determining the hand-ranking table for use in the side-BET Pai-Gow poker is not limited to the example using random numbers. For example, the hand-ranking table may be determined according to a predetermined order, such as according to the order of the hand-ranking table B, a hand-ranking table C, a hand-ranking table D and so forth.

FIG. 3 is a view illustrating exemplary card-ranking tables.

In each of the card-ranking tables, the numbers or alphabets drawn on cards are associated with the strength ranking of these numbers and alphabets. For example, a card-ranking table A is the card-ranking table corresponding to the strength-determination ranking according to the present embodiment, and the defined strength ranking of the numbers and alphabets thereof is: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2, in descending order of strength. Further, a card-ranking table B defines the strength ranking of the numbers and alphabets which is opposite in strength from that of the card-ranking table A.

In the present embodiment, the card-ranking table to be referred to in determining winning or losing of a game is always the card-ranking table A (the card-ranking table corresponding to the strength-determination ranking). Further, the card-ranking table to be referred to in dividing cards is the card-ranking table A in the basic Pai-Gow poker, and in the side-BET Pai-Gow poker, the card-ranking table to be referred to in dividing cards is a single card-ranking table (a card-ranking table corresponding to the side-BET division ranking) selected out of the card-ranking tables other than the card-ranking table A, using random numbers.

It should be noted that, in the present invention, the method for determining the card-ranking table for use in the side BET Pai-Gow poker is not limited to the example using random numbers. For example, the card-ranking table may be determined according to a predetermined order, such as according to the order of the card-ranking table B, a card-ranking table C, a card-ranking table D and so forth.

The data which defines the hand-ranking table and the card-ranking table, which are corresponding to the strength-determination ranking data, corresponds to the strength-determination ranking data according to the present invention. The data which defines the hand-ranking table and the card-ranking table, which are corresponding to the side-BET division ranking, corresponds to the side-BET division ranking data according to the present invention.

Next, there will be described the gaming machine 1 according to the present embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view schematically illustrating the external structure of a gaming machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, the gaming machine 1 is basically comprised of a main monitor 2 and five stations 3 (stations 3a to 3e). Further, while, in the present embodiment, there will be described a case where the gaming machine 1 comprises a plurality of (five) stations 3, the number of stations included in a gaming machine may be one, in the present invention.

At the center portion of the main monitor 2, there is provided a front display 21 for displaying images indicating a dealer, cards and an amount of JP. The front display 21 corresponds to a display according to the present invention. Further, on the upper side of the main monitor 2, there are provided a plurality of speakers 22 for outputting music and an effect sound along with the progression of a game executed in the gaming machine 1 and a plurality of LEDs 23 which are lighted during various types of effects.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view schematically illustrating the external structure of a station included in the gaming machine illustrated in FIG. 4.

As illustrated in FIG. 5, at the center of the upper surface of the station 3, there is provided a liquid crystal display 10 for displaying an image relating to an operation (see FIGS. 8 and 9) and the like as will be described later. The liquid crystal display 10 corresponds to a display according to the present invention. Further, on the upper surface of the liquid crystal display 10, there is provided a touch panel 11 for inputting an operation for a BET and the like. The touch panel 11 corresponds to an input device according to the present invention.

In front of the liquid crystal display 10, there are provided a plurality of operation buttons 12 for performing a payout operation, and a coin insertion slot 13 for inserting a coin or a medal thereto.

At the right end of the upper portion of the front surface of the station 3, there is provided a bill insertion slot 14 for inserting a bill thereto. Below the bill insertion slot 14, there is provided a coin payout exit 15 for paying out the number of coins or medals corresponding to the accumulated credit to the player, when a payout operation is performed.

FIGS. 6 and 7 are views illustrating an exemplary image which is displayed to the front display included in a gaming machine.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary image displayed to the front display 21 when executing a game of basic Pai-Gow poker. As illustrated in FIG. 6, at an upper portion of the front display 21, there is provided a JP display portion 33 for displaying an amount of JP. Further, the front display 21 displays a dealer image 30 indicating a dealer (banker), a table image 31 indicating a table, and card images 32 indicating seven banker's cards. The card images 32 are displayed facing down, when cards are dealt to the dealer. When the high hand and the low hand are determined, the card images 32 are displayed facing up. The five cards on the observer's left side in FIG. 6 indicate the high hand, while the two cards on the right side indicate the low hand.

FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary image displayed to the front display 21 when executing a game of side-BET Pai-Gow poker. As illustrated in FIG. 7, on a lower side of the front display 21, there is provided the player's cards display portion 34 for displaying the cards dealt to the player, wherein alphabets A to E displayed to the player's cards display portion 34 correspond to the stations 3a to 3e (see FIG. 4) included in the gaming machine 1, respectively. In the portions “A” and “B” of the player's cards display portion 34, there are displayed player's card images 35 indicative of the cards dealt to the player, showing that the players at the station 3a and the station 3b are taking part in the game of side BET Pai-Gow poker.

FIGS. 8 and 9 are views illustrating an exemplary image which is displayed to a liquid crystal display included in a station.

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary image displayed to the liquid crystal display 10 when executing a game of basic Pai-Gow poker. As illustrated in FIG. 8, at an upper portion of the liquid crystal display 10, there are provided a high-hand display portion 80 for displaying the player's high hand and a low-hand display portion 81 for displaying the player's low hand. To the high-hand display portion 80 and the low-hand display portion 81, there are displayed card images 82 indicating the cards of the high hand and a card images 82 indicating the cards of the low hand, respectively, with their faces up. Under the high-hand display portion 80, there is provided a dealt-card display portion 83. To the seven dotted boxes in the dealt-card display portion 83, card images indicating the seven player's cards dealt to the player are displayed with their faces up. On the right side of the dealt-card display portion 83, there are provided a high-hand determination button 84 and a low-hand determination button 85 for determining the cards constituting the high hand and the low hand. The player can determine a high hand by selecting cards that he or she desires to have in his or her high hand out of the cards displayed to the dealt-card display portion 83 through the touch panel 11 and operating the high-hand determination button 84 through the touch panel 11. The cards determined to be included in the high hand are displayed to the high-hand display portion 80. Similarly, the player can determine a low hand by selecting cards that he or she desires to have in his or her low hand out of the cards displayed to the dealt-card display portion 83 through the touch panel 11 and operating the low-hand determination button 85 through the touch panel 11.

Under the dealt-card display portion 83, there is provided a BET button display portion 86. To the BET button display portion 86, there are displayed BET buttons 87 for inputting the number of BETs. The player can input the number of normal BETs and the number of side BETs by operating the BET buttons 87 through the touch panel 11.

At the right side of the BET button display portion 86, there is provided a number-of-normal-BETs display portion 88 for displaying the number of coins being betted as a normal BET. FIG. 8 illustrates that 28 coins are betted. Further, in order to input a BET of 28 coins, the player can operate a “10” BET button 87 twice, “5” BET button 87 once and a “1” BET button 87 three times.

At the right side of the number-of-normal-BETs display portion 88, there is provided a number-of-side-BETs display portion 89 for displaying the number of coins betted as a side BET. FIG. 8 illustrates that 10 coins are betted. At the right side of the number-of-side-BETs display portion 89, there is provided the number-of-credits display portion 90. FIG. 8 illustrates that 500 coins are being credited.

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary image which is displayed to a liquid crystal display, when a station has received, from a main control portion, ranking information indicative of the hand strength ranking set as a reference target.

As illustrated in FIG. 9, when the station 3 has received the ranking information from the main control portion 40, a hand-ranking table image 91 and a card-ranking table image 92 based on the received ranking information are displayed below the dealt-card display section 83 in the liquid crystal display 10.

FIG. 10 is a block diagram illustrating the internal structure of the gaming machine illustrated in FIG. 4.

As illustrated in FIG. 10, the main control portion 40 provided in the gaming machine 1 comprises a microcomputer 45 as the core, which basically includes a CPU 41, a RAM 42, a ROM 43, a timer 95, and a bus 44 for transferring data mutually among these devices. The main control portion 40 corresponds to a controller according to the present invention.

The ROM 43 stores various types of programs for conducting processing necessary for controlling the gaming machine 1, a data table and the like. The data tables include the hand-ranking tables and the card-ranking tables to be the reference target in dividing cards and in determining winning or losing of the game in the basic Pai-Gow poker and the side-BET Pai-Gow poker. Further, in the present embodiment, although there is described a case where the hand-ranking tables and the card-ranking tables are pre-stored in the ROM 43, in the present invention, the gaming machine 1 may be configured in a way that the hand-ranking tables and the card-ranking tables are read from an external storage medium (for example, a nonvolatile memory or a control device capable of performing communication through a network). Also, the ROM 43 stores data which defines the basic condition.

The RAM 42 is a memory for temporarily storing various types of data calculated in the CPU 41. Further, the RAM 42 cumulatively stores credit data corresponding to a predetermined ratio (50% in the present embodiment) of a side-BET credit. Further, the timer 95 conducts time measurement.

Further, the CPU 41 is connected to an image processing circuit 47, a sound circuit 48, an LED driving circuit 49 and a communication interface 50 through an I/O interface 46.

The front display 21 included in the main monitor 2 is connected to the image processing circuit 47. The plurality of speakers 22 included in the main monitor 2 are connected to the sound circuit 48. The LEDs 23 included in the main monitor 2 are connected to the LED driving circuit 49. The five stations 3 are connected to the communication interface 50.

The CPU 41 progresses a game (basic Pai-Gow poker and the side-BET Pai-Gow poker) which is executed in the gaming machine 1, based on game programs (including a game program for basic Pai-Gow poker and a program for side-BET Pai-Gow poker) stored in the ROM 43 and various types of signals received from the stations 3. Further, the CPU 41 displays an image to the front display 21, outputs sound from the plurality of speakers 22 and lights the LEDs 23, based on the above-mentioned game programs. Further, the CPU 41 transmits various types of signals to the respective stations 3, based on the above-mentioned game programs.

FIG. 11 is a block diagram illustrating the internal structure of a station included in the gaming machine illustrated in FIG. 4.

As illustrated in FIG. 11, the station 3 includes, as the core, a microcomputer 55 which is basically comprised of a CPU 51, a RAM 52, a ROM 53, and a bus 54 for transferring data mutually among these devices.

The ROM 53 stores various types of programs for conducting processing necessary for controlling the station 3, data tables and the like. Further, the RAM 52 temporarily stores the number of credits currently accumulated in the station 3 and various types of data calculated in the CPU 51.

Further, the CPU 51 is connected to a liquid crystal panel driving circuit 57, a touch panel driving circuit 58, a hopper driving circuit 59, a payout completion signal circuit 60, an inserted-coin detecting signal circuit 67, a bill detecting signal circuit 64, an operation signal circuit 66 and a communication interface 61, through an I/O interface 56.

A liquid crystal display 10 is connected to the liquid crystal panel driving circuit 57. A touch panel 11 is connected to the touch panel driving circuit 58. A hopper 62 is connected to the hopper driving circuit 59. A coin detecting portion 63 is connected to the payout completion signal circuit 60. An inserted-coin detecting portion 68 is connected to the inserted-coin detecting signal circuit 67. A bill detecting portion 65 is connected to the bill detecting signal circuit 64. An operation button 12 is connected to the operation signal circuit 66.

The hopper 62 is provided inside the station 3 and pays out a coin through the coin payout exit 15 based on a control signal outputted from the CPU 51.

The coin detecting portion 63 is provided inside the coin payout exit 15 and transmits a signal to the CPU 51 on detecting a predetermined number of coins being paid out through the coin payout exit 15.

The inserted-coin detecting portion 68, on detecting a coin being inserted from the coin insertion slot 13, detects the value of the coin and transmits a detecting signal indicative of the detected value to the CPU 51. The detected value of the coin is counted regarding a predetermined value defined as 1 credit and is stored in the RAM 52.

The bill detecting portion 65, on accepting a bill, detects the value of the bill and transmits a detecting signal indicative of the detected value to the CPU 51. The detected value of the bill is counted regarding a predetermined value defined as 1 credit and is stored in the RAM 52.

The operation button 12 is a button for performing payout operations, when payout of the coin is determined.

Next, there will be described processing conducted in the main control portion 40 and the station 3. The processing in the main control portion 40 has been already described with reference to FIGS. 1A and 1B. Therefore, only the processing conducted in the station 3 will be described.

FIGS. 12A and 12B are flow charts illustrating the station-side processing which is conducted in a station.

First, in step S201 in FIG. 12A, the CPU 51 included in the station 3 accepts an input of a normal BET and a side BET, on receiving a signal from the touch panel 11, indicative of the detection of a contact, or a signal from the inserted-coin detecting portion 68, indicative of the detection of the coin insertion. This enables the player to input a normal BET and a side BET through the touch panel 11 included in the station 3.

Next, in step S202, the CPU 51 transmits BET information on the inputted BET to the main control portion 40. The main control portion 40, on receiving the BET information, cumulatively stores 50% of the side-BET credit as a JP in the RAM 42 (see step S102 in FIG. 1A).

Next, in step S203, the CPU 51 determines whether or not a side BET has been placed. When determining that no side BET has been placed, the CPU 51 shifts the processing to step S205.

On the other hand, when determining that a side BET has been placed, the CPU 51 sets a side BET flag in step S204. The side BET flag is a flag indicating that a side BET has been placed.

Next, in step S205, the CPU 51 receives to-be-dealt cards information indicative of the cards to be dealt to the player, from the main control portion 40.

Next, in step S206, the CPU 51 displays card images indicative of the seven cards to the dealt-card display portion 83 in the liquid crystal display 10, based on the to-be-dealt-cards information received in step S205.

Next, in step S207, the CPU 51 accepts inputs of selections of a high hand and a low hand. This enables the player to determine a high hand and a low hand in the dealt cards by operating the high-hand determination button 84 and the low-hand determination button 85 through the touch panel 11. Among the player's cards divided into two sets of cards according to the player's input at the time of the reception of selection in step S207, the five player's cards correspond to player's cards for a first game according to the present invention, while the two player's cards correspond to player's cards for a second game according to the present invention.

When the player makes a selection which does not comply with the basic condition (i.e. a selection such that the hand of two cards is stronger than the hand of five cards) during the reception of selection in step S207, the CPU 51 displays, to the liquid crystal display 10, an image notifying the player that this selection is an inappropriate selection.

Next, in step S208, the CPU 51 transmits selection information based on the selection of the high hand and the low hand to the main control portion 40. The main control portion 40, on receiving the selection information, conducts processing for determining a high hand and a low hand of the banker's cards and determining the winning or losing of the game (see step S108 in FIG. 1A).

Next, in step S209, the CPU 51 receives winning/losing information transmitted in step S109 in FIG. 1A, from the main control portion 40.

Subsequently, the CPU 51 displays an image indicating any one of “you win”, “you lose” and “tie” to the dealt-card display portion 83 in the liquid crystal display 10, for a predetermined time period (10 seconds, in the present embodiment), based on the received winning/losing information.

Next, in step S210, the CPU 51 receives normal BET payout information from the main control portion 40. On receiving the normal BET payout information, the CPU 51 stores, in the RAM 52, credit data based on the normal BET payout information.

Next, in step S211, the CPU 51 pays out a credit based on the normal BET payout information received in step S210. The processing for paying out a credit based on the normal BET payout information from the main control portion 40 corresponds to processing for offering a payout based on a normal BET and the result of the game, according to the present invention.

Next, in step S212 in FIG. 12B, the CPU 51 determines whether or not the game of basic Pai-Gow poker has resulted in losing of the player. When the CPU 51 determines that the game has not resulted in losing of the player, the present subroutine ends.

On the other hand, when determining that the game has resulted in losing of the player, the CPU 51 determines whether or not the side BET flag is “ON” (the side BET flag is set) in step S213. When the CPU 51 determines that the side BET flag is not “ON”, the present subroutine ends.

On the other hand, when determining that the side BET flag is “ON”, the CPU 51 transmits, in step S214, a side BET signal indicating that the basic Pai-Gow poker game has resulted in losing of the player and that the side BET is placed, to the main control portion 40.

Next, in step S215, the CPU 51 receives, from the main control portion 40, ranking information indicative of the hand strength ranking determined to be the reference target.

Next, in step S216, the CPU 51 displays, to the liquid crystal display 10, an image based on the ranking information received in step S215 (see FIG. 9).

Next, in step S217, the CPU 51 rearranges cards. More specifically, the CPU 51 displays the card images displayed to the high-hand display portion 80 and the low-hand display portion 81 in the liquid crystal display 10, to the dealt-card display portion 83, again. Namely, the CPU 51 restores the player's cards divided into the high hand and the low hand to a set of seven cards.

Next, in step S218, the CPU 51 accepts inputs to select the high hand and the low hand. The processing in step S218 enables the player to select the high hand and the low hand through the touch panel 11. Among the player's cards divided into two sets of cards according to the player's input at the time of the reception of selection in step S218, the five player's cards correspond to player's cards for the third game according to the present invention, while the two player's cards correspond to player's cards for the fourth game according to the present invention.

When the player makes a selection which does not comply with the basic condition (i.e. a selection such that the hand of two cards is stronger than the hand of five cards), the CPU 51 displays, to the liquid crystal display 10, an image notifying the player that this selection is an inappropriate selection.

Next, in step S219, the CPU 51 transmits selection information resulted after the re-division of the cards to the main control portion 40. The main control portion 40, on receiving the selection information, conducts processing for displaying the player's high hand and low hand to the front display 21 and determining winning or losing of the game (see steps S116 to S117 in FIG. 1B).

Next, in step S220, the CPU 51 receives winning/losing information transmitted in step S118 in FIG. 1B, from the main control portion 40. Then, the CPU 51 displays, to the dealt-card display portion 83 in the liquid crystal display 10, an image describing any one of “you win”, “you lose” and “tie” for a predetermined time period (10 seconds, in the present embodiment), based on the received winning/losing information.

Next, in step S221, the CPU 51 receives JP payout information from the main control portion 40. On receiving the JP payout information, the CPU 51 stores, in the RAM 52, credit data based on the JP payout information.

Next, in step S222, the CPU 51 pays out a credit based on the JP payout information received in step S221.

The processing for paying out a credit based on the JP payout information from the main control portion 40 corresponds to processing for offering a payout based on the side BET and the result of the game according to the present invention.

After the execution of the processing in step S222, the present subroutine ends.

As described above, the gaming machine 1 according to the present embodiment includes the front display 21 and the liquid crystal display 10 (the display) which are capable of displaying a plurality of cards. Further, the gaming machine 1 includes the touch panel 11 (the input device). Further, the gaming machine 1 includes the main control portion 40 (the controller) programmed to conduct processing of: (a) displaying seven player's cards to the liquid crystal display 10 and also displaying seven banker's cards to the front display 21; (b) accepting a normal BET from the touch panel 11; (c) accepting a side BET different from the normal BET, from the touch panel 11; (d) cumulatively accumulating as a jackpot a predetermined ratio of the side-BET currency value; (e) dividing the seven player's cards into a set of five cards for a first game and a set of two cards for a second game, using a strength-determination ranking data which indicates the strength ranking of hands to be referred in processing for determining winning or losing of a game, based on the input from the touch panel 11 under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards; (f) dividing the seven banker's cards into a set of five cards for the first game and a set of two cards for the second game, using the strength-determination ranking data, under the basic condition; (g) determining a result of the first game by comparing the hand of the five player's cards with the hand of the five banker's cards, using the strength-determination ranking data; (h) determining a result of the second game by comparing the hand of the two player's cards with the hand of the two banker's cards, using the strength-determination ranking data; (i) offering a payout based on the normal BET and the result of the games, when both the first game and the second game result in winning of the player; (j) restoring the player's cards divided in the processing (e) to the set of seven cards, when both the first game and the second game result in losing of the player and the side BET is placed in the processing (c); (k) dividing the set of the seven player's cards acquired in the processing (j) into five cards for a third game and two cards for a fourth game using a side-BET division ranking different from the strength-determination ranking data, based on the input from the touch panel 11, under the basic condition; (l) determining a result of the third game by comparing the hand of the five player's cards with the hand of the five banker's cards acquired in processing (f), using the strength-determination ranking data; (m) determining a result of the fourth game by comparing the hand of the two player's cards with the hand of the two banker's cards acquired in the processing (f), using the strength-determination ranking data; and (n) offering a jackpot based on the side BET and the result of the games, when both the third game and the fourth game result in winning of the player.

While, in the present embodiment, there has been described a case where the card game is played using the gaming machine 1, the card game may be played without using a gaming machine (for example, a banker and a player play a game around an actual table) in the present invention. In this case, there may be employed a playing method of a card game comprising the following steps of: (a) dealing a predetermined number of cards to a player as player's cards and dealing a predetermined number of cards to a banker as banker's cards; (b) placing a side BET different from a normal BET; (c) cumulatively accumulating a predetermined ratio of a side-BET currency value; (d) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards and the predetermined number of the banker's cards into two sets of cards, respectively, using a strength-determination ranking which is the strength ranking of hands to be referred in a step of determining winning or losing of a game, under a basic condition imposed on the strength of respective hands consisting of the cards in the respective sets resulting from the division of cards into two sets of cards; (e) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing hands of the player's cards divided into two sets with hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking; (f) dividing the predetermined number of the player's cards into two sets of cards without applying the basic condition thereto and/or without using the strength-determination ranking, when determining that the game results in losing of the player in the step (e) and that the side BET is placed in the step (b); (g) determining winning or losing of the game by comparing the hands of the player's cards divided into two sets in the step (f) with the hands of the banker's cards divided into two sets, using the strength-determination ranking; and (h) offering a payout from the cumulatively accumulated currency value, when determining that the game results in winning of the player in the step (g).

In the present embodiment, there has been described a case where only the strength ranking of hands is changed, without changing the condition imposed on the strength of the hands in division of the cards into two sets of cards, in the side-BET Pai-Gow poker. However, the present invention is not limited to this example. For example, only the condition imposed on the strength of the hands may be changed in division of the cards into two sets of cards, without changing the ranking of the hand strength. Examples of this case may include a case where the basic condition is changed to a condition that the hand of two cards must be stronger than the hand of five cards or to a condition that the two respective hands of cards acquired by the division must have respective predetermined strengths.

Also, for example, both the condition imposed on the strength of the hands in division of the cards into two sets of cards and the strength ranking of hands may be changed, in the side-BET Pai-Gow poker.

While, in the present embodiment, a single hand-ranking table and a single card-ranking table are selected out of a plurality of hand-ranking tables and a plurality of card-ranking tables, respectively, for changing the strength ranking of hands, the method for changing the strength ranking of hands is not limited to this example. For example, the ranking of respective hands may be changed by acquiring random numbers, in the present invention.

Also, in the present invention, the strength ranking of hands may be determined according to an input of operations by the player. Examples of such a structure may include a structure in which a plurality of cards for determining the correspondence between hands and the strengths of the hands are displayed to the liquid crystal display in the station, and the correspondence between hands and the strengths of the hands is determined based on the card selected by the player.

Further, although in the present embodiment, there has been described a case where only the player re-divides cards in the side-BET Pai-Gow poker, the banker may also re-divide cards, in the present invention.

While, in the present embodiment, there has been described a case where a dealer serves as a banker, one of the players may serve as a banker when a plurality of players take part in a game, in the present invention.

In the present embodiment, there has been described a case where seven cards are divided into a set of five cards and a set of two cards. However, in the present invention, the number of cards before the division into two sets of cards (a predetermined number) and the numbers of cards constituting the each of the two sets of cards after the division are not limited to this example.

While, in the present embodiment, there has been described a case where Pai-Gow poker is played, there is no particular limitation on the game to be played in the present invention, provided that player's cards and banker's cards are respectively divided into two sets of cards in the game and the game is played using the respective two sets of cards.

While, in the present embodiment, there has been described a case where playing cards are used, the cards used in the present invention are not limited to playing cards, and for example, tarot cards may be employed.

Also, in the present embodiment, there have been described cases where 50% of side-BET credits are cumulatively accumulated as jackpot. However, in the present invention, the ratio (predetermined ratio) of a cumulatively accumulating currency value to the side-BET currency value is not limited thereto, but may be set as appropriate.

Further, in the present embodiment, credit data corresponding to 50% of a side-BET credit is cumulatively stored in the RAM 42 included in the main control portion 40. However, in the present invention, credit data corresponding to a predetermined ratio of the side-BET credit may be cumulatively stored in a RAM included in each station.

Further, in the present embodiment, there has been described a case where the side-BET credit is cumulatively accumulated and a payout for the side-BET Pai-Gow poker is offered from the credits cumulatively accumulated. However, the present invention is not limited to this example. For example, a payout may be offered from the banker's currency value, without accumulating the side-BET currency value.

Further, in the present embodiment, a payout for a normal BET and payout for a side BET are separately offered. However, in the present invention, the result of a game subject to a normal BET may be reflected in the payout for a side BET.

Further, in the present embodiment, the cards of players who take part in the side-BET Pai-Gow poker are displayed to the front display 21, which enables players who do not take part in the side-BET Pai-Gow poker to know the progress of the side-BET Pai-Gow poker. However, in the present invention, it is not necessarily required to display, to the main monitor, the progress of the game subject to side BETs. In this case, for example, the progress of the game subject to side BETs may be displayed to only the displays of the stations at which players take part in the game, while displaying an image relating to a game subject to normal BETs to the main monitor and enabling players who do not take part in the game subject to side BETs to play the next game.

While, in the present embodiment, there have been described cases where players play Pai-Gow poker by viewing the main monitor 2 and the liquid crystal displays 10 included in the stations, the gaming machine according to the present invention is only required to include either a main monitor or liquid crystal displays (displays included in the stations). In the case of this structure, the dealer's cards (the banker's cards) and the player's cards may be displayed together to the main monitor or the displays in the stations.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to embodiments thereof, these embodiments merely illustrate concrete examples, not restrict the present invention. The concrete structures of respective means and the like can be designed and changed as required. Furthermore, there have been merely described most preferable effects of the present invention, as the effects of the present invention, in the embodiments of the present invention. The effects of the present invention are not limited to those described in the embodiments of the present invention.

Further, in the aforementioned detailed description, characteristic portions have been mainly described, for ease of understanding the present invention. The present invention is not limited to the embodiments described in the aforementioned detailed description, but can be also applied to other embodiments over a wider range of applications. Further, the terms and phrases used in the present specification have been used for clearly describing the present invention, not for limiting the interpretation of the present invention. Further, those skilled in the art will easily conceive other structures, systems, methods and the like which are included in the concept of the present invention, from the concept of the present invention described in the present specification. Accordingly, the description of the claims is intended to include equivalent structures that fall within the technical scope of the invention. Further, the abstract aims at enabling engineers and the like who belong to the present technical field but are not familiar with the patent office and public institutions, the patent, law terms and technical terms to immediately understand the technical content and the essence of the present application through brief studies. Accordingly, the abstract is not intended to restrict the scope of the invention which should be evaluated from the description of the claims. It is desirable that literatures and the like which have been already disclosed are sufficiently studied and understood, in order to sufficiently understand the objects of the present invention and the specific effects of the present invention.

In the aforementioned detailed description, there have been described processes to be executed by computers. The aforementioned description and expressions have been described for the sake of enabling those skilled in the art to understand the present invention most effectively. In the present specification, each step for deriving a single result should be understood to be self-consistent processing. Further, each step includes transmission, reception, recording and the like of electric or magnetic signals. Although, in the processing at each step, such signals have been expressed as bits, values, symbols, characters, terms, numerical characters and the like, it should be noticed that they have been merely used for convenience of description. Further, although the processing at each step was described using expressions common to human behaviors in some cases, the processes described in the present specification are to be executed by various types of devices, in principle. Further, other structures required for conducting each step will be apparent from the aforementioned description.