Title:
GAMING MACHINE EXECUTING CARD GAME AND GAMING METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The gaming machine of the present invention places player's cards face down when a bonus game is determined to be executed in a normal game that uses the player's cards and dealer's cards; and offers a special payout in the case where a card selected by an input device out of the placed player's cards is a specific card.



Inventors:
Yoshizawa, Kazumasa (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
12/405111
Publication Date:
09/24/2009
Filing Date:
03/16/2009
Assignee:
Aruze Corp. (Tokyo, JP)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/25
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRANT, MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NDQ&M WATCHSTONE LLP (1300 EYE STREET, NW, SUITE 1000 WEST TOWER, WASHINGTON, DC, 20005, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by letters patent of the United States is:

1. A gaming machine, comprising: a display capable of displaying a plurality of cards; an input device; and a controller, said controller programmed so as to execute the processing of (a) displaying player's cards and dealer's cards to said display, (b) executing a normal game that determines winning or losing based on said player's cards and said dealer's cards, (c) determining whether or not to execute a bonus game different from said normal game, (d) displaying said player's cards face down to said display, when it is determined in said processing (c) that the bonus game is to be executed, (e) selecting a card out of the player's cards displayed face down to said display, based on input from said input device, and (f) offering a special payout, when the card selected in said processing (e) is a specific card.

2. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein said controller is further programmed so as to execute the processing of (g) determining said specific card, and said processing (f) is the processing of offering a special payout, when the card selected in said processing (e) is the specific card determined in said processing (g).

3. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein said processing (d) is the processing of displaying said player's cards and an additional card face down to said display, when it is determined in said processing (c) that the bonus game is to be executed, said processing (e) is the processing of selecting a card out of the player's cards and the additional card displayed face down to said display, based on input from said input device, and said processing (f) is the processing of offering a special payout, when the card selected in said processing (e) is said additional card.

4. A gaming machine, comprising: a display capable of displaying a plurality of cards; an input device; and a controller, said controller programmed so as to execute the processing of (a) accepting a BET from said input device, (b) cumulatively accumulating a predetermined ratio of game media betted from said input device, (c) displaying player's cards and dealer's cards to said display, (d) offering a normal payout based on a result of a normal game and said BET, after executing said normal game that determines winning or losing based on said player's cards and said dealer's cards, (e) determining whether or not to execute a bonus game different from said normal game, (f) displaying said player's cards face down to said display, when it is determined in said processing (e) that the bonus game is to be executed, (g) selecting a card out of the player's cards displayed face down to said display, based on input from said input device, and (h) offering a special payout from the game media cumulatively accumulated in said processing (b), when the card selected in said processing (g) is a specific card.

5. The gaming machine according to claim 4, wherein said controller is further programmed so as to execute the processing of (i) determining said specific card, and said processing (h) is the processing of offering a special payout from the game media cumulatively accumulated in said processing (b), when the card selected in said processing (g) is the specific card determined in said processing (i).

6. The gaming machine according to claim 4, wherein said processing (f) is the processing of displaying said player's cards and an additional card face down to said display, when it is determined in said processing (e) that the bonus game is to be executed, said processing (g) is the processing of selecting a card out of the player's cards and the additional card displayed face down to said display, based on input from said input device, and said processing (h) is the processing of offering a special payout from the game media cumulatively accumulated in said processing (b), when the card selected in said processing (g) is said additional card.

7. A playing method of a card game, the method comprising the steps of: (a) dealing cards to a player, as player's cards, and dealing cards to a dealer, as dealer's cards; (b) executing a normal game that determines winning or losing based on said player's cards and said dealer's cards; (c) determining whether or not to execute a bonus game different from said normal game; (d) placing said player's cards face down, when it is determined in said step (c) that the bonus game is to be executed; (e) selecting a card out of the player's cards placed face down; and (f) offering a special payout, when the card selected in said step (e) is a specific card.

8. The playing method of a card game according to claim 7, wherein said method further includes the step of (g) determining said specific card, and said step (f) is the step of offering a special payout, when the card selected in said step (e) is the specific card determined in said step (g).

9. The playing method of a card game according to claim 7, wherein said step (d) is the step of placing said player's cards and an additional card face down, when it is determined in said step (c) that the bonus game is to be executed, said step (e) is the step of selecting a card out of the player's cards and the additional card placed face down, and said step (f) is the step of offering a special payout, when the card selected in said step (e) is said additional card.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of priority based on U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/037,404 filed on Mar. 18, 2008. 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 machine executing a card game and a gaming method.

2. Discussion of the Background

Among gaming machines that execute a card game, there conventionally exist gaming machines that execute a bonus game as disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 7,000,921. Such gaming machines are configured so as to execute the bonus game and conduct a payout, when a predetermined trigger is established during a main game that uses cards.

Further, as disclosed in US 2006/0287043-A1 and US 2006/0009283-A1, there exist gaming systems where a plurality of gaming machines (player terminals) are linked so that a plurality of players can play a common game.

However, the conventional gaming machines that execute the bonus game in the card game have not been capable of realizing both addition of high gaming properties to the bonus game and increase of the possibility of conducting a high-amount payout such as a progressive jackpot in the bonus game. For example, there has been a problem in that, even when the bonus game is conducted, a player's interest in and expectation for the bonus game cannot be enhanced in the case that an amount of payout to be conducted in the bonus game is small or that the bonus game itself lacks interesting factors.

The present invention was made in view of the foregoing problems, and has an object to provide a gaming machine and a gaming method which are capable of increasing a player's interest in and expectation for a bonus game in a card game.

The contents of U.S. Pat. No. 7,000,921, US 2006/0287043-A1, and US 2006/0009283-A1 are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A first aspect of the present invention provides a gaming machine having the following configuration.

Namely, the above-mentioned gaming machine comprises a display capable of displaying a plurality of cards; an input device; and a controller. The controller is programmed so as to execute the processing of (a) displaying player's cards and dealer's cards to the display, (b) executing a normal game that determines winning or losing based on the player's cards and the dealer's cards, (c) determining whether or not to execute a bonus game different from the normal game, (d) displaying the player's cards face down to the display, when it is determined in the processing (c) that the bonus game is to be executed, (e) selecting a card out of the player's cards displayed face down to the display, based on input from the input device, and (f) offering a special payout, when the card selected in the processing (e) is a specific card.

According to the above gaming machine, in a normal game using player's cards and dealer's cards, when it is determined that a bonus game is to be executed, the player's cards are placed face down, and a special payout is offered in the case that a card selected using an input device (e.g. touch panel), out of the face-down cards, is a specific card (e.g. playing card of Ace of Spades).

Since the bonus game is conducted using the player's cards dealt in the normal game, it is possible to increase an interest of the player having an interest in the normal game, in the bonus game.

Further, since the special payout is offered when the specific card is found out of the face-down cards in the bonus game, it is possible to increase an expectation of the player for the bonus game (special payout).

Consequently, it is possible to increase the player's desire for playing the bonus game, and thus to make the player spend a larger amount of game media in the normal game.

Further, it is desirable that the above-mentioned gaming machine has the following configuration.

Namely, the controller is further programmed so as to execute processing of (g) determining the specific card, and the processing (f) is the processing of offering a special payout, when the card selected in the processing (e) is the specific card determined in the processing (g).

According to the above gaming machine, since the specific card is not a previously-set fixed card but a card determined each time, it is possible to enhance the gaming properties of the bonus game and also increase the expectation of the player for the bonus game (special payout).

Further, it is desirable that the above-mentioned gaming machine has the following configuration.

Namely, the processing (d) is the processing of displaying the player's cards and an additional card face down to the display, when it is determined in the processing (c) that the bonus game is to be executed; the processing (e) is the processing of selecting a card out of the player's cards and the additional card displayed face down to the display, based on input from the input device; and the processing (f) is the processing of offering a special payout, when the card selected in the processing (e) is the additional card.

According to the above gaming machine, since an additional card (e.g. playing card of Joker) is also placed face down along with the player's cards when the cards are placed face down in the bonus game, a card is selected out of a larger number of cards, thereby enabling further enhancement of the gaming properties of the bonus game.

A second aspect of the present invention provides a gaming machine having the following configuration.

Namely, the gaming machine comprises: a display capable of displaying a plurality of cards; an input device; and a controller. The controller is programmed so as to execute the processing of (a) accepting a BET from the input device, (b) cumulatively accumulating a predetermined ratio of game media betted from the input device, (c) displaying player's cards and dealer's cards to the display, (d) offering a normal payout based on a result of a normal game and the BET, after executing the normal game that determines winning or losing based on the player's cards and the dealer's cards, (e) determining whether or not to execute a bonus game different from the normal game, (f) displaying the player's cards face down to the display, when it is determined in the processing (e) that the bonus game is to be executed, (g) selecting a card out of the player's cards displayed face down to the display, based on input from the input device, and (h) offering a special payout from the game media cumulatively accumulated in the processing (b), when the card selected in the processing (g) is a specific card.

According to the above gaming machine, in a normal game using player's cards and dealer's cards, when it is determined that a bonus game is to be executed, the player's cards are placed face down, and a special payout is offered in the case that a card selected using an input device (e.g. touch panel) out of the face-down cards is a specific card (e.g. playing card of Ace of Spades).

Moreover, part of the game media betted in the normal game is cumulatively accumulated for example as a progressive jackpot, and the special payout in the bonus game is offered from the accumulated game media.

Since the bonus game is conducted using the player's cards dealt in the normal game, it is possible to increase an interest of the player having an interest in the normal game, in the bonus game.

Further, since the special payout is offered when the specific card is found out of the face-down cards in the bonus game, it is possible to increase an expectation of the player for the bonus game (special payout).

Further, since the special payout is part of the game media betted in the normal game which has been cumulatively accumulated, there is a possibility that the player will acquire a high-amount payout in the bonus game.

Consequently, it is possible to increase the player's desire for playing the bonus game, and thus to make the player spend a larger amount of game media in the normal game.

Further, it is desirable that the above-mentioned gaming machine has the following configuration.

Namely, the controller is further programmed so as to execute processing of (i) determining the specific card, and the processing (h) is the processing of offering a special payout from the game media cumulatively accumulated in the processing (b), when the card selected in the processing (g) is the specific card determined in the processing (i).

According to the above gaming machine, since the specific card is not a previously-set fixed card but a card determined each time, it is possible to enhance the gaming properties of the bonus game and also increase the expectation of the player for the bonus game (special payout).

Further, it is desirable that the above-mentioned gaming machine has the following configuration.

Namely, the processing (f) is the processing of displaying the player's cards and an additional card face down to the display, when it is determined in the processing (e) that the bonus game is to be executed; the processing (g) is the processing of selecting a card out of the player's cards and the additional card displayed face down to the display, based on input from the input device; and the processing (h) is the processing of offering a special payout from the game media cumulatively accumulated in the processing (b), when the card selected in the processing (g) is the additional card.

According to the above gaming machine, since an additional card (e.g. playing card of Joker) is also placed face down along with the player's cards when the cards are placed face down in the bonus game, a card is selected out of a larger number of cards, thereby enabling further enhancement of the gaming properties of the bonus game.

A third aspect of the present invention provides a playing method of a card game, the method having the following configuration.

Namely, the playing method of a card game comprises the steps of: (a) dealing cards to a player, as player's cards, and dealing cards to a dealer, as dealer's cards; (b) executing a normal game that determines winning or losing based on the player's cards and the dealer's cards; (c) determining whether or not to execute a bonus game different from the normal game; (d) placing the player's cards face down, when it is determined in the step (c) that the bonus game is to be executed; (e) selecting a card out of the player's cards placed face down; and (f) offering a special payout, when the card selected in the step (e) is a specific card.

According to the above playing method of a card game, in a normal game using player's cards and dealer's cards, when it is determined that a bonus game is to be executed, the player's cards are placed face down, and a special payout is offered in the case that a card selected using an input device (e.g. touch panel) out of the face-down cards is a specific card (e.g. playing card of Ace of Spades).

Since the bonus game is conducted using the player's cards dealt in the normal game, it is possible to increase an interest of the player having an interest in the normal game, in the bonus game.

Further, since the special payout is offered when the specific card is found out of the face-down cards in the bonus game, it is possible to increase an expectation of the player for the bonus game (special payout).

Consequently, it is possible to increase the player's desire for playing the bonus game, and thus to make the player spend a larger amount of game media in the normal game.

Further, it is desirable that the above-mentioned playing method of a card game has the following configuration.

Namely, the method further includes the step of (g) determining the specific card, and the step (f) is the step of offering a special payout, when the card selected in the step (e) is the specific card determined in the step (g).

According to the above playing method of a card game, since the specific card is not a previously-set fixed card but a card determined each time, it is possible to enhance the gaming properties of the bonus game and also increase the expectation of the player for the bonus game (special payout).

Further, it is desirable that the above-mentioned playing method of a card game has the following configuration.

Namely, the step (d) is the step of placing the player's cards and an additional card face down, when it is determined in the step (c) that the bonus game is to be executed; the step (e) is the step of selecting a card out of the player's cards and the additional card placed face down; and the step (f) is the step of offering a special payout, when the card selected in the step (e) is the additional card.

According to the above playing method of a card game, since an additional card (e.g. playing card of Joker) is also placed face down along with the player's cards when the cards are placed face down in the bonus game, a card is selected out of a larger number of cards, thereby enabling further enhancement of the gaming properties of the bonus game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a flowchart showing card game processing executed in a station provided in a gaming machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1B is a flowchart showing the card game processing executed in the station provided in the gaming machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view schematically showing an appearance configuration of the gaming machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view schematically showing an appearance configuration of the station in the gaming machine.

FIG. 4 is a view showing an example of images displayed to a front display provided in the gaming machine.

FIG. 5 is a view showing an example of images displayed to a liquid crystal display provided in the station.

FIG. 6 is a view showing an example of images displayed to the liquid crystal display provided in the station.

FIG. 7 is a view showing an example of images displayed to the liquid crystal display provided in the station.

FIG. 8 is a view showing an example of images displayed to the liquid crystal display provided in the station.

FIG. 9 is a view showing an example of images displayed to the liquid crystal display provided in the station.

FIG. 10 is a block diagram showing an internal configuration of the gaming machine.

FIG. 11 is a block diagram showing an internal configuration of the station in the gaming machine.

FIG. 12 is a flowchart showing main processing performed in a main control portion and the station.

FIG. 13 is a flowchart showing a procedure of activation processing.

FIG. 14A is a flowchart showing card game processing executed in the main control portion in the gaming machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 14B is a flowchart showing card game processing executed in the main control portion in the gaming machine according to one embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

An embodiment of the present invention is described based on the drawings.

In the following embodiment, the case of playing Pai Gow Poker is described. First, the rule of Pai Gow Poker is described.

In Pai Gow Poker, a deck (52 cards) of playing cards is used, and a single or a plurality of players play against a dealer.

First, seven cards each are dealt to the dealer and the player. The dealer and the player divide their seven cards into a set of five cards and a set of two cards. At this time, the five-card hand (high hand) must rank as high as or higher than the two-card hand (low hand). Next, the dealer's five-card hand and the player's five-card hand are compared to determine which ranks higher. In the same manner, the dealer's two-card hand and the player's two-card hand are compared to determine which ranks higher. When both the dealer's five-card hand and two-card hand rank higher, the dealer wins. When both the player's five-card hand and two-card hand rank higher, the player wins. When, out of the five-card hand and the two-card hand, one of the player's hands ranks higher than the dealer's corresponding hand and the other of the dealer's hands ranks higher than the player's corresponding hand, the game ends in a tie. Further, when both the player's five-card hand and two-card hand rank as high as the dealer's respective corresponding hands, the dealer wins. It is to be noted that, as the five-card hand, 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 order of strength. As the two-card hand, there are One Pair and No Pair in order of strength.

In the following embodiment, a case will be described where Pai Gow Poker accepting a BET of game media (coins) is executed as a normal game and where part of the betted game media is cumulatively accumulated as a jackpot (hereinafter also referred to as “JP”) In the present embodiment, when a bonus game generation condition (that the player wins in Pai Gow Poker and that the player's high hand ranks as high as or higher than Straight) is satisfied, a bonus game is executed. In the bonus game, the player's cards used in the normal game and a “Joker” card are displayed face down and shuffled. When a specific card is selected out of those cards, the JP (special payout) is offered. The specific card (hereinafter also referred to as “payout card”) is determined in each bonus game.

First, processing executed by a station 3 (see FIG. 2) in a gaming machine 1 according to the present embodiment is described.

FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B are flowcharts each showing card game processing executed in the station in the gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

First, a CPU 51 (see FIG. 11) in the station 3 transmits to a main control portion 40 (see FIG. 10) a signal indicating that Pai Gow Poker is to be played, upon detection of contact from a touch panel 11 (see FIG. 3) or receipt of a signal indicating detection of coin insertion from an inserted coin detecting portion 68 (see FIG. 11). Thereby, in the main control portion 40, card game processing that is described later using FIG. 14A and FIG. 14B proceeds.

In step S201 in FIG. 1A, the CPU 51 accepts input of a BET. This enables the player to input a BET via the touch panel 11 in the station 3.

Next, in step S202, the CPU 51 transmits BET information, which is information on the inputted BET, to the main control portion 40. Upon receipt of the BET information, the main control portion 40 determines cards to be dealt to the player and the dealer (see step S103 in FIG. 14A).

Next, in step S203, the CPU 51 receives to-be-dealt cards information showing cards to be dealt to the player and the dealer, from the main control portion 40.

Next, in step S204, based on the to-be-dealt cards information received in step S203, the CPU 51 displays a card image showing seven player's cards in a dealt card display portion 83 (see FIG. 5) of a liquid crystal display 10.

Next, in step S205, the CPU 51 accepts input for selecting a high hand and a low hand. This enables the player to operate a high hand determination button 84 and a low hand determination button 85 (see FIG. 5) via the touch panel 11 so as to determine a high hand and a low hand out of the dealt cards.

Next, in step S206, the CPU 51 transmits selection information based on selection of the high hand and the low hand, to the main control portion 40. Upon receipt of the selection information, the main control portion 40 determines a high hand and a low hand of the dealer's card, and executes processing of determining winning or losing (step S108 in FIG. 14A).

Next, in step S207, the CPU 51 receives winning/losing information from the main control portion 40. Subsequently, based on the received winning/losing information, the CPU 51 displays an image showing any one of “You won”, “You lost”, or “Tie” to the dealt card display portion 83 of the liquid crystal display 10 for a predetermined period (10 seconds in the present embodiment) Next, in step S208, the CPU 51 receives payout information from the main control portion 40. The payout information is information showing the number of coins to be paid out in the normal game. Upon receipt of the payout information, the CPU 51 stores credit data based on the payout information into a RAM 52 (see FIG. 11).

Next, in step S209, the CPU 51 pays out credits based on the payout information received in step S208. Processing of paying out credits based on the payout information from the main control portion 40 corresponds to the processing of offering the normal payout in the present invention.

Next, in step S210 in FIG. 12B, the CPU 51 determines whether or not to have received a bonus-game-generation commanding signal from the main control portion 40. When determining that the bonus-game-generation commanding signal has not been received, the CPU 51 completes the present subroutine.

On the other hand, when determining that the bonus-game-generation commanding signal has been received, the CPU 51 displays to the liquid crystal display 10 a bonus screen for executing the bonus game, in step S211 (see FIG. 6). The bonus screen includes a payout reel (image 102) for determining the payout card (specific card).

Next, in step S212, the CPU 51 displays the seven player's cards used in the normal game and the “Joker” card face down and shuffles these cards.

Next, in step S213, the CPU 51 determines the payout card. Specifically, by means of a random number, the CPU 51 determines one card as the payout card, out of the seven player's cards used in the normal game.

Next, in step S214, the CPU 51 controls scroll of the payout reel shown by the image 102, based on the determination result in step S213. Specifically, the CPU 51 scrolls the payout reel, and displays the payout card determined in step S213 after a predetermined time has elapsed.

Next, in step S215, the CPU 51 accepts selection of cards by the player. The player can select via the touch panel 11 one card, out of a total of eight cards displayed face down to the liquid crystal display 10.

Next, in step S216, the CPU 51 determines the type of the card selected in step S215.

Next, in step S217, the CPU 51 determines a JP (special payout) to be offered, based on the determination result in step S216.

Three types of JPs “MEGA”, “MAJOR”, and “MINI” are prepared as the JPs to be offered in the bonus game; “MEGA” is an entire amount of the game media accumulated as the JP, “MAJOR” is 60% of the entire amount, and “MINI” is 30% of the entire amount.

In step S217, specifically, the CPU 51 determines, as the special payout, the JP of “MEGA” in the case where the card selected by the player is “Joker”, the JP of “MAJOR” in the case where the selected card is the payout card determined in step S213, and the JP of “MINI” in the case where the selected card is neither “Joker” nor the payout card (when it is a losing card)

Next, in step S218, the CPU 51 executes an effect notifying the player of the result (see FIGS. 7 to 9), and pays out coins in number corresponding to the special payout determined in step S217.

Next, in step S219, the CPU 51 transmits result information to the main control portion 40. The result information is information showing the amount of the JP offered.

After executing the processing of step S219, the CPU 51 completes the present subroutine.

Next, the gaming machine 1 according to the present embodiment is described.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view schematically showing an appearance configuration of the gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

As shown in FIG. 2, the gaming machine 1 basically includes a main monitor 2 and five stations 3 (stations 3a to 3e) . It is to be noted that, although the case of the gaming machine 1 including a plurality of (five) stations 3 in the present embodiment, the gaming machine may include only one station in the present invention.

A front display 21 is provided at the central portion of the main monitor 2 to which images showing a dealer, cards and an amount of a JP are displayed. The front display 21 corresponds to the display in the present invention. Above the main monitor 2, there are provided: speakers 22 that output music or an effect sound in accordance with progress of a game being executed on the gaming machine 1; and LEDs 23 lighted at times of a variety of effects.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view schematically showing an appearance configuration of the station in the gaming machine shown in FIG. 2.

As shown in FIG. 3, a later-described liquid crystal display 10 that displays images regarding operations (see FIGS. 5 to 9) and the like is provided at the center of the upper surface of the station 3. The liquid crystal display 10 corresponds to the display in the present invention. Further, a touch panel 11 for inputting operations for placing a BET and the like are provided on the upper surface of the liquid crystal display 10. The touch panel 11 corresponds to the input device in the present invention.

In front of the liquid crystal display 10 are provided operation buttons 12 for performing a payout operation and a coin insertion slot 13 into which coins or medals are inserted.

On the upper right end of the front surface of the station 3, there is provided a bill insertion slot 14 into which a bill is inserted. Below the bill insertion slot 14 is provided a coin payout exit 15, from which coins or medals corresponding to the accumulated credits are paid out to the player when the payout operation is performed.

FIG. 4 is a view showing an example of images displayed to the front display in the gaming machine.

As shown in FIG. 4, a JP display portion 33 for displaying an amount of a JP is provided on the upper side of the front display 21. Further, a dealer image 30 that shows a dealer, a table image 31 that shows a table, and card images 32 that show seven dealer's cards are displayed to the front display 21. The card images 32 are displayed face down when the cards are dealt to the dealer. When a high hand and a low hand are determined, the card images 32 are displayed face up. When facing to FIG. 4, the five cards on the left side show the high hand and the two cards on the right side show the low hand.

FIGS. 5 to 9 are views each showing an example of images displayed to the liquid crystal display in the station.

FIG. 5 shows an example of images displayed when the player selects a high hand and a low hand after the player's cards have been displayed to the liquid crystal display 10.

As shown in FIG. 5, a high hand display portion 80 that displays the high hand of the player and a low hand display portion 81 that displays the low hand are provided on the upper side of the liquid crystal display 10. In the high hand display portion 80 and the low hand display portion 81, card images 82 respectively showing the high-hand cards and the low-hand cards are displayed face up. The dealt card display portion 83 is provided below the high hand display portion 80. In seven portions surrounded by dotted lines in the dealt card display portion 83, card images showing seven player's cards dealt to the player are displayed face up. The high hand determination button 84 and the low hand determination button 85 for determining cards constituting the high hand and the low hand are provided to the right of the dealt card display portion 83. The player selects cards with which he or she wishes to create the high hand out of the cards displayed in the dealt card display portion 83, via the touch panel 11, and operates the high hand determination button 84 via the touch panel 11, so as to determine the high hand. The cards determined as the high hand are displayed in the high hand display portion 80. Similarly, the player selects cards with which he or she wishes to create the low hand out of the cards displayed in the dealt card display portion 83, via the touch panel 11, and operates the low hand determination button 85 via the touch panel 11, so as to determine the low hand.

A BET button display portion 86 is provided under the dealt card display portion 83. BET buttons 87 for inputting the number of BETs is displayed in the BET button display portion 86. The player operates the BET buttons 87 via the touch panel 11, so as to input the number of normal BETs and the number of side BETs.

A number-of-BETs display portion 89 that displays the number of betted coins is provided to the right of the BET button display portion 86. FIG. 5 shows that 28 coins have been betted. It is to be noted that, when the BET with 28 coins is inputted, the player may operate the BET button 8710” twice, the BET button 875” once, and the BET button 871” three times. A number-of-credits display portion 90 is provided to the right of the number-of-BETs display portion 89. In FIG. 5, it is shown that 500 coins have been credited.

FIG. 6 shows an example of bonus screens displayed to the liquid crystal display when the bonus game is generated.

In the bonus game, an image 100 showing that the bonus game is in execution is displayed to the upper side of the liquid crystal display 10, and below the image 100, a total of eight face-down card images 101, which consist of the seven player's cards used in the normal game and the “Joker” card, are displayed.

Further, an image 102 showing the payout reel is displayed to the lower left portion of the liquid crystal display 10. The image 102 includes a card image 103 showing the payout card. At the start of the bonus game, the payout reel is scrolled, and the image showing a card determined as the payout card is displayed. In the example of FIG. 6, the payout card is “5 of Hearts”.

Further, an image 104 that prompts the player to select one card out of the foregoing eight face-down cards is displayed to the right of the image 102.

When the card is selected by the player, as shown in FIGS. 7 to 9, effects are performed in accordance with the type of the selected card.

First, around the selected card, a frame image 105 showing the selection of that card is displayed.

When the card selected by the player is “Joker”, as shown in FIG. 7, an image 106 is displayed which notifies the player that “Joker” has been found and the JP for “MEGA” is to be offered.

Similarly, when the card selected by the player is the payout card, as shown in FIG. 8, an image 107 is displayed which notifies the player that the payout card has been found and the JP for “MAJOR” is to be offered. When the card selected by the player is neither “Joker” nor the payout card, as shown in FIG. 9, an image 108 is displayed which notifies the player that the bonus game is lost and the JP for “MINI” is to be offered.

FIG. 10 is a block diagram showing an internal configuration of the gaming machine shown in FIG. 2.

As shown in FIG. 10, the main control portion 40 in the gaming machine 1 has 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 that is for mutually transmitting data thereamong. The main control portion 40 corresponds to the controller in the present invention.

The ROM 43 stores a variety of programs for performing processing necessary in controlling the gaming machine 1, a data table, and the like. The RAM 42 is a memory that temporarily stores a variety of data calculated in the CPU 41. Further, the RAM 42 stores as credit data an amount of a JP to which part of betted credits is cumulatively added.

Moreover, the timer 95 performs time measurement.

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

The image processing circuit 47 is connected with the front display 21 forming the main monitor 2; the sound circuit 48 is connected with the speakers 22 forming the main monitor 2; and the LED driving circuit 49 is connected with the LEDs 23 forming the main monitor 2. The communication interface 50 is connected with five stations 3.

The CPU 41 proceeds with games (Pai Gow Poker and the bonus game) that progress on the gaming machine 1, based on game programs (including game programs for Pai Gow Poker and the bonus game) stored in the ROM 43 and on a variety of signals received from the stations 3. Further, based on the game programs, the CPU 41 displays an image to the front display 21, outputs a sound from the speakers 22, and lights the LEDs 23. Moreover, the CPU 41 transmits a variety of signals to the respective stations 3 based on the game programs.

FIG. 11 is a block diagram showing an internal configuration of the station in the gaming machine shown in FIG. 2.

As shown in FIG. 11, the station 3 has a microcomputer 55 as the core, which basically includes a CPU 51, a RAM 52, a ROM 53, and a bus 54 that is for mutually transmitting data thereamong.

The ROM 53 stores a variety of programs for performing processing necessary in controlling the station 3, a data table, and the like. Further, the RAM 52 temporarily stores the number of credits currently accumulated in the station 3 and a variety of data calculated in the CPU 51.

Moreover, the CPU 51 is connected, through an I/O interface 56, 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.

The liquid crystal panel driving circuit 57 is connected with the liquid crystal display 10, the touch panel driving circuit 58 is connected with the touch panel 11, the hopper driving circuit 59 is connected with the hopper 62, the payout completion signal circuit 60 is connected with the coin detecting portion 63, the inserted coin detecting signal circuit 67 is connected with the inserted coin detecting portion 68, the bill detecting signal circuit 64 is connected with the bill detecting portion 65, and the operation signal circuit 66 is connected with the operation buttons 12.

The hopper 62 is provided inside the station 3, and pays out coins from 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 when detecting that coins in a predetermined number have been paid out from the coin payout exit 15.

When detecting insertion of coins from the coin insertion slot 13, the inserted coin detecting portion 68 detects the amount of the coins, and transmits a detecting signal showing the detected amount to the CPU 51. The detected coins are stored in the RAM 52, with a predetermined amount as one credit.

The bill detecting portion 65 detects an amount of a bill when receiving the bill, and transmits a signal showing the detected amount to the CPU 51. The detected bill is stored in the RAM 52, with a predetermined amount as one credit.

The operation buttons 12 are buttons for performing the payout operation when payout of coins is determined.

Next, processing performed in the main control portion 40 and the station 3 is described.

FIG. 12 is a flowchart showing main processing performed in the main control portion and the station.

The following main processing is performed in the main control portion 40.

The CPU 41 of the main control portion 40 executes activation processing (step S500) . The activation processing performed in step S500 is described later using FIG. 13. After executing the activation processing, the CPU 41 executes card game processing (step S501). The card game processing executed in step S501 is described later using FIG. 14A and FIG. 14B.

Meanwhile, the following main processing is performed in the station 3.

The CPU 51 of the station 3 executes activation processing (step S600). The activation processing performed in step S600 is described later using FIG. 13. After executing the activation processing, the CPU 51 executes card game processing (step S601). The card game processing executed in step S601 is the processing that has been described using FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B.

FIG. 13 is a flowchart showing a procedure of the activation processing.

This activation processing is processing performed in the main control portion 40 and the station 3, as triggered by power-on (see step S500 and step S600 in FIG. 12).

At power-on, first, the CPU 41 of the main control portion 40 executes a BIOS stored in the ROM 43, and expands compressed data incorporated in the BIOS into the PAM 42 (step S1-1) . The CPU 41 then executes the BIOS expanded into the RAM 42, and diagnoses and initializes a variety of peripheral devices.

Specifically, the CPU 41 diagnoses and initializes the main monitor 2 (step S1-2). In this processing, the CPU 41 transmits a request signal to the main monitor 2 and determines whether or not to have received a predetermined response signal, and conducts clearance of a predetermined storage region, and the like.

Next, the CPU 41 diagnoses and initializes the other peripheral devices connected to the CPU 41 (step S1-3).

Next, the CPU 41 reads an authentication program stored in the ROM 43, and also performs processing of storing the read authentication program into the RAM 42 (step S1-4). At this time, the CPU 41 obtains a checksum by ADDSUM system (standard checking function) in accordance with the standard BIOS function of the BIOS, and stores the authentication program into the RAM 42 while performing processing of checking whether or not the storage is performed without an error.

Next, the CPU 41 reads the card game program from the ROM 43. In this case, the CPU 41 reads data constituting the card game program by four bytes at a time. Subsequently, the CPU 41 performs authentication for checking and verifying that the read authentication program is authentic (not broken) in accordance with the authentication program stored in the RAM 42 (step S1-5). When properly completing this authentication processing, the CPU 41 writes and stores the card game program having been an object to be authenticated (having been authenticated) into the RAM 42 (step S1-6).

Meanwhile, the CPU 51 of the station 3 first executes a BIOS stored in the ROM 53, and expands compressed data incorporated in the BIOS into the RAM 52 (step S2-1). The CPU 51 then executes the BIOS expanded into the RAM 52 and diagnoses and initializes a variety of peripheral devices.

Specifically, the CPU 51 diagnoses and initializes the liquid crystal display 10 (step S2-2). In this processing, the CPU 51 transmits a request signal to the liquid crystal panel driving circuit 57, and determines whether or not to have received a predetermined response signal.

Next, the CPU 51 diagnoses and initializes the touch panel 11 (step S2-3). In this processing, the CPU 51 transmits a request signal to the touch panel 11, and determines whether or not to have received a predetermined response signal.

Next, the CPU 51 diagnoses and initializes the other peripheral devices connected to the CPU 51 (step S2-4).

Next, the CPU 51 transmits an initial setting signal to the main control portion 40 (step S2-5). The initial setting signal is a signal showing completion of diagnosis and initialization of the variety of peripheral devices in the station 3.

After executing the processing of step S2-5, the CPU 51 completes the present subroutine.

The CPU 41 of the main control portion 40 receives the initial setting signal transmitted by the station 3 in step S2-5 (step S1-7). Subsequently, the CPU 41 determines whether or not to have received the initial setting signals from all the stations 3 (step S1-8).

When determining that the initial setting signal has not been received from some station 3, the CPU 41 returns the processing to step S1-7. On the other hand, when determining that the initial setting signals have been received from all the stations 3, the CPU 41 completes the present subroutine.

Next, the card game processing performed on the gaming machine 1 is described. However, since the processing performed in the station 3 has already been described in FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B, only processing performed in the main control portion 40 is described here.

FIG. 14A and FIG. 14B are flowcharts showing card game processing executed in the main control portion in the gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

First, in step S101 of FIG. 14A, the CPU 41 in the main control portion 40 receives BET information from the station 3. The BET information is information on a BET, including information on whether or not the BET has been placed and information on an amount of the BET.

Next, in step S102, the CPU 41 cumulatively stores 50% of betted credits, as a JP, based on the BET information received in step S101.

Next, in step S103, the CPU 41 determines seven cards each to be dealt to the player and the dealer, out of a deck of playing cards, by means of random numbers. The seven cards determined to be dealt to the player in step S103 correspond to the player's cards in the present invention, and the seven cards determined to be dealt to the dealer correspond to the dealer's cards in the present invention.

Further, card images showing the seven dealer's cards are displayed face down to the front display 21 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 showing types (ranks and suits: Hearts, Clubs, Spades, Diamonds) of the cards determined to be dealt to the player and the dealer. In the station 3, the card images showing the seven player's cards are displayed to the liquid crystal display 10, based on the received to-be-dealt cards information, and input for dividing the cards into a five-card hand (high hand) and a two-card hand (low hand) is accepted.

Next, in step S105, the CPU 41 receives selection information from the station 3. The selection information is information showing which card is selected to be in the high hand and which card is selected to be in the low hand.

Next, in step S106, the CPU 41 executes processing of dividing the cards dealt to the dealer into the high hand and the low hand.

Next, in step S107, the CPU 41 displays card images showing the high hand and the low hand determined in step S106 face up to the front display 21.

Next, in step S108, the CPU 41 executes processing of determining winning or losing based on the selection information received in step S105 and on the high hand and the low hand determined in step S106. Specifically, the CPU 41 compares the ranks of the player's high hand and the dealer's high hand so as to determine which is higher, and compares the ranks of the player's low hand and the dealer's low hand so as to determine which is higher; based on these determination results, winning or losing is determined. More specifically, the player wins when the player's high hand ranks higher than the dealer's high hand and the player's low hand ranks higher than the dealer's low hand. The dealer wins when the dealer's high hand ranks higher than the player's high hand and the dealer's low hand ranks higher than the player's low hand. The game is tied when one of the player's hands ranks higher than the dealer's corresponding hand and the other of the dealer's hands ranks higher than the player's corresponding hand.

Next, in step S109, the CPU 41 transmits information showing winning or losing determined in step S108 (hereinafter also referred to as “winning/losing information”) to the station 3. In the station 3, when the winning/losing information is received, any one of images “Yon won”, “You lost” and “Tie” is displayed to the liquid crystal display 10, based on the winning/losing information.

Next, in step S110, the CPU 41 transmits payout information to the station 3. The payout information is information showing an amount of credits (game media) to be paid out with respect to the BET. Specifically, the CPU 41 transmits information showing credits in amount twice as large as the amount of the BET when the player wins, and transmits information showing credits in the same amount as the amount of the BET when the game is tied. Further, when the dealer wins, the CPU 41 transmits information showing that the amount of credits to be offered is 0.

The game conducted during execution of the processing of step S101 to step S110 corresponds to the normal game in the present invention.

Next, in step S111 of FIG. 14B, the CPU 41 determines whether or not a bonus game generation condition has been satisfied at any of the stations 3. Specifically, the CPU 41 determines whether or not the player at any of the stations 3 wins in the normal game and the player's high hand ranks as high as or higher than Straight, based on the selection information received in step S105 and the determination result in step S108.

When determining that the bonus game generation condition has not been satisfied at any of the stations 3, the CPU 41 completes the present subroutine.

On the other hand, when determining that the bonus game generation condition has been satisfied at some station 3, the CPU 41 transmits in step S112 a bonus-game-generation commanding signal to the station 3 having satisfied the bonus game generation condition. The bonus-game-generation commanding signal is a signal to command generation of the bonus game.

Next, in step S113, the CPU 41 receives result information from the station 3 having satisfied the bonus game generation condition. The result information is information showing an amount of the JP offered in the bonus game.

Next, in step S114, the CPU 41 executes processing of subtracting credits corresponding to the amount of the JP offered in each station from the credits stored in the RAM 42, based on the result information received in step S113.

After executing the processing of step S114, the CPU 41 completes the present subroutine.

As described above, the gaming machine 1 according to the present embodiment comprises: the front display 21 and the liquid crystal display 10 (display) which are capable of displaying a plurality of cards; the touch panel 11 (input device); and the main control portion 40 (controller). The main control portion 40 is programmed so as to execute the processing of (a) accepting a BET from the touch panel 11, (b) cumulatively accumulating a predetermined ratio of game media betted from the touch panel 11, (c) displaying player's cards and dealer's cards respectively to the liquid crystal display 10 and the front display 21, (d) offering a normal payout based on a result of a normal game and the BET, after executing the normal game that determines winning or losing based on the player's cards and the dealer's cards, (e) determining whether or not to execute a bonus game different from the normal game, (f) displaying the player's cards face down to the liquid crystal display 10, when it is determined in the processing (e) that the bonus game is to be executed, (g) selecting a card out of the player's cards displayed face down to the liquid crystal display 10, based on input from the touch panel 11, and (h) offering a special payout from the game media cumulatively accumulated in the processing (b), when the card selected in the processing (g) is a specific card.

According to the above gaming machine 1, since the bonus game is conducted using the player's cards dealt in the normal game, it is possible to increase an interest of the player having an interest in the normal game, in the bonus game.

Further, since the special payout is offered when the specific card is found out of the face-down cards in the bonus game, it is possible to increase an expectation of the player for the bonus game (special payout).

Further, since the special payout is part of the game media betted in the normal game which has been cumulatively accumulated, there is a possibility that the player will acquire a high-amount payout in the bonus game.

Consequently, it is possible to increase the player's desire for playing the bonus game, and thus to make the player spend a larger amount of game media in the normal game.

In the present embodiment, the case has been described where the payout card in the bonus game is determined every time the bonus game is conducted. However, the specific card in the present invention may be a previously set card. Further, the specific card may be determined previously or every time the bonus game is conducted, based on input by the player.

Further, in the present embodiment, the case has been described where the bonus game generation condition is that the player wins in the normal game (Pai Gow Poker) and that the player's high hand ranks as high as or higher than Straight. However, in the present invention, the bonus game generation condition is not particularly restricted. For example, whether or not to generate the bonus game may be determined regardless of a result of the normal game.

Further, in the present embodiment, the case has been described where Pai Gow Poker is played as the normal game. However, in the present invention, the normal game is not restricted so long as being a game that determines winning or losing based on player's cards and dealer's cards, by comparing hands of player's cards with hands of dealer's cards, or the like.

Further, in the present embodiment, the case of using playing cards has been described. However, the cards (player's cards and dealer's cards) in the present invention are not restricted to playing cards, and for example, tarot cards may be used.

Further, in the present embodiment, the case has been described where the player plays Pai Gow Poker while viewing the main monitor 2 and the liquid crystal display 10 that is provided in the station. However, the gaming machine in the present invention should only be provided with either the main monitor or the liquid crystal display (display provided in the station). With such a configuration, it may be configured such that both the dealer's cards and the player's cards are displayed to the main monitor or the display in the station.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to embodiments thereof, these embodiments merely illustrate specific examples, not restrict the present invention. The specific 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 has been described processing 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.