Title:
Gaming machine and method for providing baccarat game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming machine provides a player a baccarat game and includes: a display device; a storage device that stores an award odds table that defines an award to be paid out to a player when the player wins the baccarat game; an operation unit that allows the player to input commands for playing the baccarat game; and a processor that operates to: control the display device to display a progress of the baccarat game that provides the player bet targets including a BANKER, a PLAYER, a TIE, and an additional betting target; allow the player to input commands through the operation unit to bet on the bet targets; determine an award to be paid out to the player in reference to the award odds table when the player wins the baccarat game; and pay out the determined award to the player.



Inventors:
Yoshizawa, Kazumasa (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
11/822142
Publication Date:
02/07/2008
Filing Date:
07/02/2007
Assignee:
ARUZE CORP. (Tokyo, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050215313Communal gaming jackpot methodSeptember, 2005O'halloran
20040204247System and method for providing products to game playersOctober, 2004Walker et al.
20080132320GAMING SYSTEM AND METHOD HAVING WAGER DEPENDENT DIFFERENT SYMBOL EVALUATIONSJune, 2008Rodgers
20070087796Mass storage in gaming handheldsApril, 2007Varma
20090227335Gaming Machine Arranging Symbol Based on Rearranged Symbol and Playing Method ThereofSeptember, 2009Inamura
20100016071Wagering Game With Triggering Feature For Special EventJanuary, 2010Jaffe et al.
20020115488System and method for conducting an online competitionAugust, 2002Berry et al.
20070072683GAMING DEVICE BUTTONMarch, 2007Seelig et al.
20060111164Wagering game with bonus gameMay, 2006Hornik et al.
20090253514Gaming system having large display and plural gaming machinesOctober, 2009Nagano
20050181857Gaming Apparatus and MethodAugust, 2005Moshal



Primary Examiner:
D'AGOSTINO, PAUL ANTHONY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCGINN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW GROUP, PLLC (VIENNA, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A gaming machine that provides a player a baccarat game, the gaming machine comprising: a display device; a storage device that stores an award odds table that defines an award to be paid out to a player when the player wins the baccarat game; an operation unit that allows the player to input commands for playing the baccarat game; and a processor that operates to: control the display device to display a progress of the baccarat game that provides the player bet targets including a BANKER, a PLAYER, a TIE, and an additional betting target; allow the player to input commands through the operation unit to bet on the bet targets; determine an award to be paid out to the player in reference to the award odds table when the player wins the baccarat game; and pay out the determined award to the player.

2. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the additional betting target is configured as a betting target similar to the PLAYER.

3. The gaming machine according to claim 2, wherein the additional betting target is configured as a second PLAYER, and wherein the processor operates to: control the display device to display an image of cards dealt to card dealing objects including the BANKER, the PLAYER, and the second PLAYER; determine which one of the BANKER, the PLAYER, the TIE, and the second PLAYER wins in consideration of a score and detail of the cards dealt to each of the BANKER, the PLAYER, and the second PLAYER; and determine that the player wins the baccarat game when the player has made the bet on one of the card dealing objects that is determined to win.

4. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the additional betting target is configured as a betting target similar to the TIE.

5. The gaming machine according to claim 4, wherein the processor operates to: control the display device to display an image of cards, including JOKER, dealt to card dealing objects including the BANKER and the PLAYER; determine which one of the BANKER, the PLAYER, the TIE, and the JOKER wins in consideration of a score and detail of the cards dealt to each of the BANKER and the PLAYER; and determine that the player wins the baccarat game when the player has made the bet on one of the card dealing objects that is determined to win.

6. A method for providing a player a baccarat game, the method comprising: displaying a progress of the baccarat game that provides the player bet targets including a BANKER, a PLAYER, a TIE, and an additional betting target; allowing the player to bet on one of the bet targets; determining an award to be paid out to the player in reference to the award odds table when the player wins the baccarat game; and paying out the determined award to the player.

7. The method according to claim 6, wherein the additional betting target is configured as a betting target similar to the PLAYER.

8. The method according to claim 7, wherein the additional betting target is configured as a second PLAYER, and wherein the method further comprises: displaying cards dealt to card dealing objects including the BANKER, the PLAYER, and the second PLAYER; determining which one of the BANKER, the PLAYER, the TIE, and the second PLAYER wins in consideration of a score and detail of the cards dealt to each of the BANKER, the PLAYER, and the second PLAYER; and determining that the player wins the baccarat game when the player has made the bet on one of the card dealing objects that is determined to win.

9. The method according to claim 6, wherein the additional betting target is configured as a betting target similar to the TIE.

10. The method according to claim 9 further comprising: displaying an image of cards, including JOKER, dealt to card dealing objects including the BANKER and the PLAYER; determining which of the BANKER, the PLAYER, the TIE, and the JOKER wins in consideration of a score and detail of the cards dealt to each of the BANKER and the player; and determining that the player wins the baccarat game when the player has made the bet on one of the card dealing objects that is determined to win.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO THE RELATED APPLICATION(S)

The present application is based upon and claims priority from prior Japanese Patent Application No. 2006-187119, filed on Jul. 6, 2006, the entire content of which are incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a gaming machine that allows a player to play a baccarat derivative game, and more particularly to a gaming machine that provides a baccarat derivative game that provides the player with another betting target in addition to a PLAYER side and a BANKER side, which are common in a regular baccarat game.

BACKGROUND

The word “baccarat” comes from the Italian word “baccarà” which means “zero”. In traditional baccarat, face cards and ten-spots are counted as zero. In European countries, a baccarat, a modified version of a game similar to the baccarat, and a traditional baccarat are called “chemindefer: railroad”, and they are the most popular game played in casinos.

General rules of baccarat will be described hereafter.

Baccarat is one kind of card game, and is a game in which two to three cards are dealt to each of a PLAYER side and a BANKER side, which of the PLAYER side and the BANKER side wins is determined, players participating in the baccarat game predict which of the PLAYER side and the BANKER side will win, or that they will tie, and make a bet on one of them, and a player whose prediction is correct receives a payment of an award corresponding to the bet.

1. Result of PLAYER Side Against BANKER Side

Regarding which of the PLAYER side and the BANKER side has won, cards are dealt to each side, a side whose card score is closer to nine wins, and a player who has bet on the winning side obtains an award of the same amount as an amount bet but, when a player has won by betting on “BANKER wins”, he or she has 5% deducted as a commission. When both sides have an equal total score on the dealt cards, they “tie”, in which case the player, when he or she has bet on the “tie”, obtains an award eight times as much as the amount bet. When both sides “tie”, the bet made on “BANKER wins” or “PLAYER wins” is returned intact to the player.

2. How to Determine Card Score

In baccarat, points of each card are handled in the following way. That is, face cards (jacks (J), queens (Q) and kings (K)) and “ten-spots” are of zero points, aces (A) are of one point, and all the other cards (two to nine) are of the same points as their numbers. A score of the dealt cards on each of the PLAYER side and the BANKER side is a last digit of a total of points of the dealt cards. For example, in a case of two dealt cards “nine” and “Q”, 9+0=9 points, and the score is nine. In a case of three dealt cards “four”, “Q” and “nine”, the total sum is 4+0+9=13 and, as the score is the last digit of 13 points, the score is three.

3. Natural

Regarding which of the PLAYER side and the BANKER side wins, as a possibility of winning becomes higher as the score is made closer to nine, when the score of the two cards first dealt is already eight or nine, it can be said to be a fairly good hand. This is called a “Natural”. When a hand of either the PLAYER side or the BANKER side is the “Natural”, both the PLAYER and the BANKER must call “stand”. The “stand” means to draw no more cards.

4. Flow of Game

First, two cards are dealt to each of the PLAYER side and the BANKER side. At this point, the PLAYER side or the BANKER side wins when a hand of one of them is the “Natural”. When both sides hold the “Natural”, a side having a higher score wins. When both sides hold the “Natural” and have the same score, they draw.

When neither the PLAYER side nor the BANKER side holds the “Natural”, the game is continued in the following way.

4.1. PLAYER Side

When a score of the two cards dealt to the PLAYER side is six or seven, the PLAYER side must call “stand”, and could not take a third card.

When the score of the two cards dealt to the PLAYER side is zero to five, the PLAYER side draws the third card. A score of a final hand is determined by adding the newly drawn third card.

4.2. BANKER Side

4.2.1. In Event that Score of PLAYER Side is Six or Seven, and PLAYER Side Stands

When the score of the PLAYER side is six or seven, and the PLAYER side calls “stand”, the BANKER side implements the game in the following way.

(1) When a score of two cards dealt to the BANKER side is any of zero to five, the BANKER side draws a third card. A score of a final hand is determined by adding the newly drawn third card.

(2) When the score of the two cards dealt to the BANKER side is six or seven, the BANKER side stands (does not draw a third card).

(3) When the score of the two cards dealt to the BANKER side is eight or nine, the BANKER side holds a “Stand Natural” (does not draw a third card).

4.2.2. In Event that Score of PLAYER Side is any of Zero to Five, and PLAYER Side Draws Third Card

The BANKER side, in response to a size of the third card of the PLAYER side, implements the game in accordance with the table shown in FIG. 20. FIG. 20 is a diagram showing rules of the BANKER side when the PLAYER side has drawn the third card.

The BANKER side, in accordance with the rules, determines whether or not to draw the third card and, in accordance with a result of the determination, a score of the cards is determined, thereby determining an outcome.

Many gaming machines that provide heretofore described kind of baccarat game have been proposed in order that it is possible to easily enjoy the baccarat game anytime at a game hall, game arcade, home or the like without a need of going to a casino.

Examples of such gaming machine is described in the below listed publications.

1. JP-A-10-015247 (U.S. Pat. No. 6,062,979)

2. JP-A-11-267264

3. JP-A-2003-220169

4. JP-A-2005-168664 (US 2006/0071429 A1)

In the gaming machine on which is played the heretofore described kind of hitherto known baccarat game, bets are only made on three kinds, which of the PLAYER side and the BANKER side wins, or that they tie, and betting targets which form a player's selection range are limited, so there has been a fear of the game being monotonous.

Also, in the gaming machine on which is played the heretofore described kind of hitherto known baccarat, as the betting targets are limited to three kinds, there is no betting target that can be expected to bring a high award, for example, a selection option such as a single zero (0) or a double zero (00) in a roulette game, making it inadequate in motivating the player to play.

SUMMARY

One of objects of the present invention is to provide a gaming machine in which, by making a number of betting targets (options) larger than that of the hitherto known baccarat game, it is possible to, as well as imparting a variety to the game, give a chance for a player to be able to obtain a high award.

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a gaming machine that provides a player a baccarat game, the gaming machine including: a display device; a storage device that stores an award odds table that defines an award to be paid out to a player when the player wins the baccarat game; an operation unit that allows the player to input commands for playing the baccarat game; and a processor. The processor operates to: control the display device to display a progress of the baccarat game that provides the player bet targets including a BANKER, a PLAYER, a TIE, and an additional betting target; allow the player to input commands through the operation unit to bet on the bet targets; determine an award to be paid out to the player in reference to the award odds table when the player wins the baccarat game; and pay out the determined award to the player.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for providing a player a baccarat game, the method including: displaying a progress of the baccarat game that provides the player bet targets including a BANKER, a PLAYER, a TIE, and an additional betting target; allowing the player to bet on one of the bet targets; determining an award to be paid out to the player in reference to the award odds table when the player wins the baccarat game; and paying out the determined award to the player.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is an external perspective view of a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a player terminal provided in the gaming machine;

FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing a control system of the gaming machine;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing an example of an elevation mechanism;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing another example of the elevation mechanism;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing still another example of the elevation mechanism;

FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing a main configuration of the gaming machine;

FIG. 8 is a functional block diagram showing a configuration example of a main controller;

FIG. 9 is a functional block diagram showing a configuration example of the player terminal;

FIG. 10 is a flowchart showing an example of a main process of the gaming machine;

FIG. 11 is a view showing a screen example displayed on a front display or a liquid crystal display in a first embodiment;

FIG. 12 is a diagram showing a data configuration example of an award odds table used in the example shown in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a diagram showing a data configuration example of an award odds table used in a regular baccarat game;

FIG. 14 is a view showing a screen example displayed on the front display or the liquid crystal display in a modification example of the first embodiment;

FIG. 15 is a diagram showing a data configuration example of an award odds table used in the example shown in FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a view showing a screen example displayed on the front display or the liquid crystal display in a second embodiment;

FIG. 17 is a diagram showing a data configuration example of an award odds table used in the example shown in FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a view showing a screen example displayed on the front display or the liquid crystal display in a modification example of the second embodiment;

FIG. 19 is a diagram showing a data configuration example of an award odds table used in the example shown in FIG. 18; and

FIG. 20 is a diagram showing rules which fix whether or not a BANKER is to draw a third card in the regular baccarat game.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Hereafter, a detailed description will be given, while referring to the drawings, of preferred embodiments of a gaming machine according to the present invention.

First Embodiment

Hereafter, a gaming machine according to a first embodiment will be described. The gaming machine provides a player a game that differs from a regular baccarat game, which is called baccarat derivative game. However, in the following description, the game provided by the gaming machine may be simply referred to as a “baccarat game” or “baccarat”.

The baccarat game performed in this embodiment includes a “JOKER” in addition to regular BANKER, PLAYER and TIE as betting targets which are options which a player can select when determining a target to bet on. In the first embodiment, the JOKER is dealt with cards based on rules identical to those of the PLAYER, and becomes a winner or a loser similarly as the PLAYER and the BANKER. Regarding a handling of the TIE, it is also acceptable that the TIE wins when three parties, the BANKER, the PLAYER and the JOKER, have an equal score, or it is also acceptable that the TIE wins when a score of the BANKER is equal to a score of at least one of the PLAYER and the JOKER.

FIG. 1 shows an external view of an example of the gaming machine according to the first embodiment. Note here that the present invention is not limited to the gaming machine to be described hereafter, but is also applicable to a gaming machine of any configuration as long as the gaming machine is capable of performing a game using cards.

As shown in FIG. 1, a gaming machine 100 is provided with a table 102 on which player terminals 101 called satellites are disposed in an approximate fan shape, and a panel 103 positioned posterior to the table 102. In the example shown in the figure, five player terminals 101 are disposed in the fan shape, each facing the panel 103.

The panel 103 has a front display 104, which is a display device such as a liquid crystal display device, speakers 105, lamps 106 and LED's 107. The front display 104 relays information relating to a whole of a game in which players operating the player terminals 101 participate to each player simultaneously. The front display 104 displays a notification of a start of a time period in which a bet can be made, a notification of a finish of betting, a notification of a game outcome and the like by means of an animation of a dealer 108.

FIG. 2 shows an enlarged view of the player terminal 101. Hereafter, a description will be given, while referring to FIG. 2, of the player terminal 101. The player terminal 101 has in a top surface a liquid crystal display 201 for providing information relating to the game to the player. The liquid crystal display 201 is covered by a transparent touch sensitive screen 202, and a group of buttons 203, such as a PAYOUT button and a BET button, which the player uses in the game in cooperation with an input interface screen displayed by the liquid crystal display 201, is disposed in front of the liquid crystal display 201 for the player. Also, a coin slot 204, for the player to insert a token such as a coin, a medal or a chip (hereafter called simply a “coin”), is provided to the right of the group of buttons 203. A bill acceptor 205, for the player to insert a bill, is provided below the coin slot 204. A coin sensor (not shown) is disposed inside the coin slot 204 and, when the coin is inserted in the coin slot 204, a coin detection signal is transmitted to the player terminal 101 via the coin sensor. Also, a bill sensor (not shown) is disposed inside the bill acceptor 205 and, when the bill is inserted in the bill acceptor 205, a bill detection signal is transmitted to the player terminal 101 via the bill sensor.

A coin payout opening 206 is provided in a lower front portion of the player terminal 101. When the PAYOUT button, which is a button included in the group of buttons 203, is pressed by the player, a number of coins corresponding to all or a part of a credit value owned by the player stored in the player terminal 101 is paid out from the coin payout opening 206 to the player.

A transparent acrylic panel 207 is provided in an inverted, squared U-shape beyond the liquid crystal display 201 (on the panel 103 side), and a three-dimensional model chip presentation section 208 is provided in an area surrounded by the transparent acrylic panel 207. The three-dimensional model chip presentation section 208 includes three-dimensional model chips 209, a presentation section plate 211, on which are provided apertures 210 for the three-dimensional model chips 209 to project from an interior of the player terminal 101 to an exterior, or to store the projected three-dimensional model chips 209 in the interior of the player terminal 101, and an elevation mechanism for raising and lowering the three-dimensional model chips 209.

The three-dimensional model chips 209 are a model of a pile of chips, and are manufactured by molding a resin or the like. It is acceptable that the three-dimensional model chip presentation section 208 has a plurality of three-dimensional model chips 209 of differing units. It is acceptable that, for example, three-dimensional model chips representing a pile of chips worth one credit each, a pile of chips worth ten credits each, as well as a pile of chips worth one hundred credits each, etc., are prepared.

These three-dimensional model chips 209 are raised and lowered by the elevation mechanism in accordance with a number of chips which the player, who operates the player terminal 101 provided with the three-dimensional model chip presentation section 208, credits to the gaming machine 100, that is, an owned credit value. For example, when a credit value currently owned by the player is “251”, the three-dimensional model chips representing a pile of chips worth one credit each are raised and lowered in such a way that they project from the presentation section plate 211 to a height equivalent to a thickness of one chip, a raising and lowering operation of the three-dimensional model chips representing a pile of chips worth ten credits each is performed in such a way that they project from the presentation section plate 211 to a height equivalent to five chips, and a raising and lowering operation of the three-dimensional model chips representing a pile of chips worth hundred credits each is performed in such a way that they project from the presentation section plate 211 to a height equivalent to two chips.

All the players are ascertained promptly and intuitively a credit value owned by other the players by looking at a height to which the three-dimensional model chips 209 project from the presentation section plate 211, and are able to experience a sense of reality just as though actual chips are increasing and decreasing in front of their eyes.

FIG. 3 shows a schematic block diagram showing an example of an internal structure of the gaming machine 100. A main controller 301 is stored in the gaming machine 100. The main controller 301 includes an information processing device, which executes a game program, and peripheral devices. The main controller 301 is connected in such a way as to enable two-way communication with each player terminal 101, and receives a notification of a player's selection of a number of coins bet, a betting target and the like from each player terminal 101, starts an execution of the game when prescribed conditions have been met, determines an outcome of the game, and relays a result to each player terminal 101. Each player terminal 101 performs an increase or a reduction of the credit value owned by the relevant player in accordance with the notification from the main controller 301. For example, when the player wins the game, each player terminal 101, in accordance with the notification from the main controller 301, adds a credit value equivalent to a number of coins obtained to the credit value owned, and updates a memory while, when the player loses the game, each player terminal 101, in accordance with the notification from the main controller 301, subtracts a credit value equivalent to a number of coins bet from the credit value owned, and updates a memory.

The main controller 301 also performs a transmission of an image signal to be displayed on the front display 104, a drive control of the lamps 106 and the LED's 107, and a drive control of the speakers 105.

An elevation mechanism 302 and a light source 303 are connected to the player terminal 101.

The elevation mechanism 302 being a means for raising and lowering the three-dimensional model chips 209, in this embodiment, a stepping motor is used as a raising and lowering power, but it is also acceptable to use a regular motor combined with a positioning system.

A description will be given, while referring to FIG. 4, of a specific configuration of the elevation mechanism 302.

The elevation mechanism 302 shown in FIG. 4 has a rotary drive shaft 402 attached to a stepping motor 401, abutment members 4031 to 4035, which, being fixed to the rotary drive shaft 402, rotate along with a rotation of the rotary drive shaft 402, arms 4051 to 4055, which are pivotably attached to a support shaft 404 in a position in which their one-side ends abut against abutment surfaces 4031P to 4035P included in the abutment members 4031 to 4035, and tables 4061 to 4065 attached to the other ends of the arms 4051 to 4055. The three-dimensional model chips 209 are mounted secured on upper surfaces of the tables 4061 to 4065. The tables 4061 to 4065, being guided by a sliding rail 407, are regulated in such a way that the three-dimensional model chips 209 pass properly through the apertures 210.

In the example shown in FIG. 4, a configuration being such as to raise and lower five kinds of three-dimensional model chips 209, five abutment members 4031 to 4035, five abutment surfaces 4031P to 4035P, five arms 4051 to 4055 and five tables 4061 to 4065 are prepared. Although they are described with suffix added thereto in order to distinguish one from another, hereafter, when the distinction between them is not necessary, they will be described with no suffix, simply as the abutment member 403, the abutment surface 403P, the arm 405 and the table 406.

Next, a description will be given of an operation of the elevation mechanism 302 shown in FIG. 4.

When the stepping motor 401 driven by the player terminal 101 rotates the rotary drive shaft 402, the abutment member 403 rotates. When the rotation progresses, the abutment surface 403P abuts one end of the arm 405. In this embodiment, the abutment surface 4035P first abuts against one end of the arm 4055 and, after that, the abutment surface 4034P, the abutment surface 4033P, the abutment surface 4032P and the abutment surface 4031P abut in that order against the one-side ends of the corresponding arms 4054 to 4051.

After the abutment surface 403P abuts against the one end of the arm 405, when the abutment member 403 further rotates, the abutment surface 403P pushes down the one end of the arm 405.

The arm 405 having its one end pushed down pivots about the support shaft 404, and the other end is pushed upward. As a result, the table 406 affixed to the other end is also pushed upward, and the three-dimensional model chips 209 mounted on the table 406 also move up simultaneously. As a result, it becomes possible, in accordance with an amount of rotation of the rotary drive shaft 402 by the stepping motor 401, to cause all or part of the three-dimensional model chips 209 to pass through the apertures 210, and project it from and expose it above the presentation section plate 211.

Also, it is also possible, by rotating the stepping motor 401 in a reverse direction, to temporarily store the all or part of the three-dimensional model chips 209, which have been projected from and exposed above the presentation section plate 211, below the presentation section plate 211.

In the configuration example shown in FIG. 4, as shapes of the abutment members 4031 to 4035 are set in such a way that timings, at which the one-side ends of the arms 4051 to 4055 corresponding to the abutment surfaces 4031P to 4035P differ from one another, the three-dimensional model chips 209 at the right end in the figure first start to move up and, after that, the remaining three-dimensional model chips 209 start to move up, in the order of from right to left. Using this feature, by making the three-dimensional model chips different in color or pattern in such a way that the rightmost three-dimensional model chips 209 have a lowest value per chip (for example, one credit per chip) and, after that, the farther left, the higher value per chip (for example, five credits per chip, ten credits per chip, a hundred credits per chip, and a thousand credits per chip), it becomes possible to describe owned credit values of a wide range, such as 1 to 100,000 credits, according to an amount of projection of the three-dimensional model chips 209.

Next, another configuration example of the elevation mechanism 302 is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a basic unit of another configuration example of the elevation mechanism 302. One elevation mechanism 302 is configured by collecting a plurality of the basic units.

The basic unit of the elevation mechanism 302 has a table 503 attached to a rotary drive shaft 502 which is rotationally driven by a stepping motor 501.

In the same way as in the heretofore described example, the three-dimensional model chips 209 are mounted on an upper surface of the table 503. In FIG. 5, a pile of three-dimensional model chips 209 is formed by pasting hollow semi-cylinders together left and right, and the figure shows a one-side hollow semi-cylinder to be pasted. Although not shown in the figure, the three-dimensional model chips 209 move up or down in such a way that they project or retract through the apertures 210 of the presentation section plate 211, which configuration is identical to that of the heretofore described example.

A nut 504 is secured to a bottom of the table 503. A thread ridge and a thread groove (which are not shown) are formed on an outer periphery of the rotary drive shaft 502, and the nut 504 and the rotary drive shaft 502 are threaded together.

The table 503 is regulated in such a way as not to rotate along with a rotation of the rotary drive shaft 502. For example, it is also acceptable that, as in the heretofore described example, a guide rail is provided, regulating a rotation of the table 503 (an upward and downward movement is not regulated), or it is also acceptable that the rotation of the table 503 is regulated by slidably abutting the table 503 against an inner wall or the like of the gaming machine 100 (the upward and downward movement is not regulated).

By rotating the rotary drive shaft 502, the table 503 is screwed forward or screwed backward. That is, by regulating a rotational drive of the stepping motor 501, it is possible to control a raising and lowering of the table 503, that is, the three-dimensional model chips 209 mounted thereon.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing an example of a case in which the elevation mechanism 302 is configured by using a plurality of the basic units. In this example, the elevation mechanism 302 is configured of a row of five basic units, on which is mounted one pile of three-dimensional model chips 209, and another row of five basic units, on which is mounted one pile of three-dimensional model chips 209. As each basic unit has the stepping motor 501, it becomes possible to perform a raising and lowering control of the three-dimensional model chips 209 independently for each basic unit.

For this reason, in the event of using the elevation mechanism 302 having this kind of configuration, it becomes possible not only to use a raising and lowering of the three-dimensional model chips 209 as a display of owned credit values, but also to perform another display, for example, an operation for performing effects, such as by raising and lowering the three-dimensional model chips 209 like a rolling of waves from right to left or from left to right, when the player on that player terminal has obtained a big win.

Returning to FIG. 3, a further description will be given of the schematic configuration of the gaming machine 100.

The player terminal 101, being connected to the light source 303, controls a light emitting operation of the light source 303. The light source 303, being a circuit having a light emitting source such as a plurality of LED's, serves as a light source which can change differing colors (for example, red, blue, green, white etc.) and luminance. Light projected from the light source 303 is guided by the acrylic panel 207, and projected to the exterior of the gaming machine 100, particularly in a direction visible to the player.

Next, a description will be given of a configuration example of the main controller 301, while referring to FIG. 7. FIG. 7 is a block diagram of the gaming machine 100, centered around the main controller 301.

The main controller 301 being basically configured to have as its nucleus a microcomputer 705, which includes a CPU 701, an RAM 702, an ROM 703, and a bus 704 for performing a reciprocal data transmission between them, the ROM 703 and the RAM 702 are connected to the CPU 701 via the bus 704. Various kinds of program, data table and the like for performing processes necessary for a controlling of the gaming machine 100 are stored in the ROM 703. Also, the RAM 702 is a memory which temporarily stores various data calculated by the CPU 701.

The microcomputer 705, more specifically, the CPU 701 being connected to an image processing circuit 707 via an I/O interface 706, the image processing circuit 707 is connected to the front display 104, and controls a drive of the front display 104.

The image processing circuit 707 includes a program ROM, an image ROM, an image control CPU, a work RAM, a VDP (Video Display Processor), a video RAM and the like. An image control program relating to a display on the front display 104, and various selection tables, are stored in the program ROM. Also, dot data (bitmap data) for forming an image such as, for example, dot data for forming an image on the front display 104, are stored in the image ROM. The image control CPU, based on parameters set by the CPU 701, in accordance with the image control program stored in advance in the program ROM, determines an image to be displayed on the front display 104 from among the dot data stored in advance in the image ROM. The work RAM is configured as temporary storage means for when performing the image control program in the image control CPU. The VDP generates image data corresponding to the display details determined by the image control CPU, and transmits them to the front display 104. The video RAM is configured as temporary storage means for when forming the image in the VDP.

The speakers 105, being connected to the microcomputer 705 (CPU 701) via a sound circuit 708, generate various sound effects, background music and the like when performing various effects based on an output signal from the sound circuit 708.

The lamps 106 and the LED's 107 are connected to the microcomputer 705 (CPU 701) via a lamp drive circuit 709. The lamps 106 and the LED's 107, being disposed in a large quantity on a front of the gaming machine 100, are controlled as to illumination, when performing the various effects in the gaming machine 100, by the lamp drive circuit 709 based on a drive signal from the CPU 701.

Each of the player terminals 101, being connected to the microcomputer 705 (CPU 701) via a communication interface 710, a two-way communication can be performed between the CPU 701 and the player terminals 101. The CPU 701, by means of the communication interface 710, performs a transmission and reception of a command, a transmission and reception of a request and the like with each player terminal 101, and the main controller 301 and the player terminals 101 cooperate in controlling an implementation of the game.

Functions of the main controller 301 according to this embodiment are realized by the microcomputer, more specifically the CPU 701, performing the programs stored in the ROM 703. Hereafter, a description will be given of the functions realized by the microcomputer 705 performing the programs.

FIG. 8 is a functional block diagram of the main controller 301. In the example shown in the figure, the CPU 701 serves as a process management unit 801, a bet management unit 802, which performs an exchange of data with the process management unit 801, a card dealing processor 803, an outcome determination unit 804 and an award processor 805.

The process management unit 801 overall controls the circuits 707 to 709 and the communication interface 710 in the main controller 301. More specifically, the process management unit 801, receiving each kind of signal, command, request or the like from the bet management unit 802, the card dealing processor 803, the outcome determination unit 804, the award processor 805 and each player terminal 101, in accordance with the received signal or the like, commands the bet management unit 802, the card dealing processor 803, the outcome determination unit 804 and the award processor 805 to start up and perform a process.

The process management unit 801, while performing communication with each player terminal 101, determines a start, an execution or a finish of the game and, based on the determination, sends the command, the request, the notification or the like to each player terminal 101.

The process management unit 801 transmits an image generation command to the image processing circuit 707 in such a way as to cause the front display 104 to display an effect image including the dealer 108 and dealt cards. In order to perform an effect corresponding to a progress of the game, the process management unit 801 transmits a drive command to the lamp drive circuit 709 and the sound circuit 708, drives the lamps 106, the LED's 107 and the speakers 105, and causes them to produce a visual and audial effects.

The bet management unit 802, the card dealing processor 803, the outcome determination unit 804 and the award processor 805, which are all controlled by the heretofore described process management unit 801, have the following functions.

The bet management unit 802, the card dealing processor 803, the outcome determination unit 804 and the award processor 805 are booted up according to the game start determination of the process management unit 801 so as to execute the game program stored in advance in the ROM 703, allowing the players to play the game in conjunction with the player terminals 101. Also, an award odds table 808 which the award processor 805 uses in a payout process (S1005), to be described hereafter, is stored in the ROM 703. The award odds table 808 may be stored in the RAM 702.

The bet management unit 802 receives information as to which betting target (a BANKER, a PLAYER, a JOKER or a TIE) each player has bet on, and how much an amount bet (a coin quantity or a credit value) is, from each player terminal 101 via the communication interface 710 and the process management unit 801, and stores it in the RAM 702 as betting condition information 807.

The card dealing processor 803 determines cards to be dealt in accordance with the implementation of the game. The cards to be dealt, in a case in which the game is baccarat, referring to an up card and a hole card to be dealt to the BANKER, and two cards to be dealt to each of the PLAYER and the JOKER, the card dealing process 803 determines details (a suit and a rank) of each of them. The determined details of the cards dealt are stored in the RAM 702 as dealt card information 806. When there is a need to deal a third card to the BANKER, the PLAYER or the JOKER in accordance with rules, the card dealing processor 803 determines details (a suit and a rank) of the third card for each of them. Images representing the determined card details are made known to the players by the process management unit 801 instructing the image processing circuit 707 and the communication interface 710 to display images of these cards on the front display 104 and the displays 201 of the player terminals 101.

After the card dealing processor 803 has determined all cards to be dealt in a unit game, the outcome determination unit 804 determines a betting target which has won the unit game (which refers to one round of the baccarat game).

The process management unit 801 sends an image display instruction to the image processing circuit 707 in such a way as to cause the front display 104 to display a game screen changing constantly in accordance with the implementation of the game. The image processing circuit 707, in accordance with the instruction, generates image data using a background image, a stripe or the like stored in the image ROM, and causes the front display 104 to display an image based on the image data.

The award processor 805, based on the determined details of the outcome determination unit 804 and the betting condition information 807, commands a player terminal 101 corresponding to a player, who has bet on the betting target which has won, to perform a payment of an award corresponding to winning details.

Next, a description will be given of a configuration example of the player terminal 101, while referring to FIG. 9. FIG. 9 is a functional block diagram showing a control system of the player terminal 101.

The player terminal 101 being basically configured to have as its nucleus a microcomputer 905, which includes a CPU 901, an RAM 902, an ROM 903, and a bus 904 for performing a reciprocal data transfer between them, the RAM 902 and the ROM 903 are connected to the CPU 901 via the bus 904. Various kinds of program, data table and the like for performing processes necessary for a controlling of the player terminal 101, for example, an operation control of the elevation mechanism 302, an on/off control of the light source and the like, are stored in the ROM 903. Also, the RAM 902 is a memory which temporarily stores various data calculated by the CPU 901.

The microcomputer 905, more specifically the CPU 901, is connected to a liquid crystal panel drive circuit 907 via an I/O interface 906, and the liquid crystal panel drive circuit 907, being connected to the liquid crystal display 201, controls a drive of the liquid crystal display 201.

The microcomputer 905 (CPU 901) is connected to a touch sensitive screen drive circuit 908 via the I/O interface 906, and the touch sensitive screen drive circuit 908 outputs coordinate data for a contact position on the touch sensitive screen 202.

A hopper 914 is connected to the microcomputer 905 (CPU 901) via a hopper drive circuit 909. When a drive signal is transmitted from the CPU 901 to the hopper drive circuit 909, the hopper 914 pays out a prescribed number of coins from the coin payout opening 206. A coin detector 915 is connected to the CPU 901 via a payout completion signal circuit 910. The coin detector 915 is disposed inside the coin payout opening 206 and, when detecting that the prescribed number of coins has been paid out from the coin payout opening 206, a coin payout detection signal is transmitted from the coin detector 915 to the payout completion signal circuit 910, based on which the payout completion signal circuit 910 transmits a payout completion signal to the CPU 901.

The microcomputer 905 (CPU 901) is connected to a motor drive circuit 911 which rotationally drives a stepping motor 401 (or 501) for driving the elevation mechanism 302. When a motor drive signal is transmitted from the CPU 901 to the motor drive circuit 911, the stepping motor 401 (or 501) is rotationally driven by the motor drive circuit 911. By this means, the elevation mechanism 302 operates, performing a raising and lowering operation of the three-dimensional model chips 209.

The microcomputer 905 (CPU 901) is connected to an LED drive circuit 912 for driving the light source 303. In this embodiment, the light source 303 including a plurality of LED's, the LED drive circuit 912, in response to an LED drive command from the CPU 901, supplies drive power to the LED from among all the LED's which is the subject of the drive command. By this means, it is possible to perform an on/off control of the LED's in a desired pattern under the control of the CPU 901.

In this embodiment, the light source 303 includes five red LEDs, five blue LEDs and five white LEDs, and the LED drive circuit 912 is a circuit which can selectively supply power in such a way as to individually and independently turn on and off the five red LEDs, the five blue LEDs and the five white LEDs.

Further still, the microcomputer 905, more specifically, the CPU 901 being connected to the main controller 301 via a communication interface 913, a two-way communication can be performed between the CPU 901 and the main controller 301. The CPU 901 can perform a transmission and reception of a command, a transmission and reception of a request and the like with the main controller 301, and the main controller 301 and the player terminals 101 cooperate in controlling the implementation of the game.

Next, a description will be given of an operation example of the gaming machine 100, while referring to FIG. 10. FIG. 10 is a flowchart showing an example of a main process of the gaming machine 100.

In the main process, the gaming machine 100, more specifically, the main controller 301 or the bet management unit 802 first performs a bet reception process (S1001). The bet reception process is a process which waits for a betting operation (an insertion of a coin, a depression of the BET button or the like) of the player and, when the betting operation is performed, stores the amount bet. Specifically, the bet reception process is completed when each player inserts a number of coins to be bet on a unit game through the coin slot, or depresses the BET button when he or she has any credits accumulated in the gaming machine 100, more specifically, the player terminal 101.

When the bet reception process is completed, the gaming machine 100, more specifically, the main controller 301 or the card dealing processor 803 executes a dealt card determination process (S1002). The dealt card determination process is a process which determines cards necessary for a game implementation or determination in the game. In a case of this embodiment, it is a process which determines cards to be dealt to the “BANKER”, cards to be dealt to the “PLAYER” and cards to be dealt to the “JOKER”.

Next, the gaming machine 100, more specifically, the main controller 301 and/or the player terminal 101 executes a dealt card display process (S1003). The dealt card display process is a process which, in accordance with the cards determined in the previous dealt card determination process (S1002), displays the card images on the front display 104 and/or the liquid crystal display 201. FIG. 11 shows a screen example which is displayed on the front display 104 and/or the liquid crystal display 201 in the dealt card display process. As shown in the figure, cards are dealt to three parties, the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER” and the “JOKER”.

When the dealt card display process (S1003) finishes, the card dealing processor 803, based on the details of the dealt cards, determines whether or not there is a need to deal a third card to the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER” or the “JOKER” (S1004). If the card dealing processor 803 determines that there is a need to deal the third card, the process returns to S1002 and performs a determination of the third card and a display of the determined card (S1003). Meanwhile, if the card dealing processor 803 determines that there is no need to deal the third card, the process proceeds to an outcome determination process (S1005).

The outcome determination process (S1005) is a process in which the gaming machine 100, more specifically, the main controller 301 or the outcome determination unit 804, based on the details of the cards dealt to each of the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER” and the “JOKER”, determines which betting target, from among the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER” and the “JOKER”, has won in the unit game. The main controller 301 or the outcome determination unit 804, based on the dealt card information 806, calculates a score of each of the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER” and the “JOKER”, and determines a betting target which is to win.

When the outcome determination process (S1005) finishes, the gaming machine 100, more specifically the main controller 301 or the dealing processor 805, executes a payout process (S1006). The payout process, based on the betting target determined by the outcome determination unit 804, on an amount bet and a betting target bet on by each player, which have been described in the heretofore described betting condition information 807, and on the award odds table 808, calculates an amount to be paid out to each player terminal 101 and, when there is an amount to be paid out, transmits a command to the relevant player terminal 101 to execute the payout process.

FIG. 12 is an example of the award odds table 808 used in this embodiment. Award odds when the “TIE”, the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER” and the “JOKER” are determined to have won are described in the award odds table 808. That is, the award odds are 16 times when the “TIE” is determined to have won, 2.95 times (5% is deducted as a commission) when the “BANKER” is determined to have won, 3 times when the “PLAYER” is determined to have won, and 3 times when the “JOKER” is determined to have won. The award processor 805 calculates an amount to be paid out by multiplying the award odds by an amount bet on a betting target determined to have won. FIG. 13 shows, for the sake of comparison, an award odds table used in a regular baccarat game which is not included in this embodiment. It can be seen that the award odds for any one of the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER” or the “TIE” applied to this embodiment are higher than those used in the regular baccarat game shown in FIG. 13.

Returning to FIG. 10, a further description will be given of the main process of the gaming machine 100.

When the main process (S1006) finishes, the unit game finishes. The gaming machine 100, more specifically, the main controller 301 returns to step S1001 again, and operates in such a way as to be able to start a new unit game. Hereafter, by repeatedly performing steps S1001 to S1006, the gaming machine 100 continues to provide the players with the baccarat game.

Modification Example of First Embodiment

A number of betting targets equivalent to the “JOKER” or a number of betting targets in the first embodiment, not being limited to one, may also be two or more. FIG. 14 shows a screen example displayed on the front display 104 and/or the liquid crystal display 201 in the dealt card display process in a case of having two betting targets equivalent to the “JOKER” in the first embodiment. As shown in the figure, cards are dealt to four parties, the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER”, a “BLACK JOKER” and a “RED JOKER”. The player can bet on five kinds of target, the “TIE”, the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER”, the “BLACK JOKER” and the “RED JOKER”. The “BLACK JOKER” and the “RED JOKER” being prefixed with “BLACK” and “RED” in order to distinguish one from the other, the rules are the same as in a case of the “JOKER” in the first embodiment.

FIG. 15 is an example of the award odds table 808 used in the above modification example. Award odds when the “TIE”, the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER”, the “BLACK JOKER” and the “RED JOKER” are determined to have won are described in this award odds table 808. That is, the award odds are 32 times when the “TIE” is determined to have won, 3.95 times (5% is deducted as a commission) when the “BANKER” is determined to have won, 4 times when the “PLAYER” is determined to have won, 4 times when the “BLACK JOKER” is determined to have won, and 4 times when the “RED JOKER” is determined to have won.

According to this kind of modification example, it is possible to provide higher award odds and a variety of options.

Second Embodiment

A description will be given of a second embodiment according to the present invention. A difference lies in that the rules are applied to the first embodiment by which a betting target to be added to the “TIE”, the “BANKER” and the “PLAYER” is equivalent to the “PLAYER”, while the rules are applied to the second embodiment by which a betting target to be added to the “TIE”, the “BANKER” and the “PLAYER” is equivalent to the “TIE”. As an outline, a configuration and a function of a gaming machine 100 according to the second embodiment are the same as those of the first embodiment, a description of them will be omitted.

Although eight sets of 52 cards without a joker are used in the regular baccarat game, this embodiment provides a game played using cards to which are added one or a plurality of joker cards. In the second embodiment, one or a plurality of the “JOKER”s are added to the cards used in the game. Consequently, it can happen that the “JOKER” is played among cards dealt to the “BANKER” and the “PLAYER”.

In the second embodiment, the “TIE”, the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER” and the “JOKER” are prepared as objects on which the player bets. However, unlike the case of the first embodiment, the “JOKER” not being an object to which cards are dealt, the objects to which cards are dealt are only the “BANKER” and the “PLAYER”. When one of cards dealt to the “BANKER” and the “PLAYER” includes the “JOKER”, it constitutes a winning in the unit game.

FIG. 16 shows a screen example displayed on the front display 104 and/or the liquid crystal display 201 in the dealt card display process. As shown in the figure, cards are dealt to two parties, the “BANKER” and the “PLAYER”. A right hand card, from among two cards dealt to the “BANKER”, is the “JOKER”. In this way, when the “JOKER” is included in the cards dealt (whenever it is dealt), only a player who has bet on the “JOKER” can receive an award.

FIG. 17 is an example of the award odds table 808 used in the second embodiment. Award odds when each of the “TIE”, the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER” and the “JOKER” is determined to have won are described in the award odds table 808. That is, the award odds are 16 times when the “TIE” is determined to have won, 1.95 times (5% is deducted as a commission) when the “BANKER” is determined to have won, 2 times when the “PLAYER” is determined to have won, and 16 times when the “JOKER” is determined to have won. In the example shown in FIG. 16, as the right hand card, from among the two cards dealt to the “BANKER”, is the “JOKER”, it is the “JOKER” which has won the unit game, and the payout process (S1006) is performed with 16 times as the award odds.

According to the second embodiment, it is possible to provide the higher award odds and the variety of options.

Modification Example of Second Embodiment

A number of betting targets equivalent to the “JOKER” or a number of betting targets in the second embodiment, not being limited to one, may also be two or more. In a case of making this modification, a plurality of kinds of the “JOKER” corresponding to a number of betting targets added are added to the cards used in the game. FIG. 18 shows a screen example displayed on the front display 104 and/or the liquid crystal display 201 in the dealt card display process in a case of having two betting targets equivalent to the “JOKER”. In the example, as the plurality of kinds of “JOKER”, two kinds, a “BLACK JOKER” and a “RED JOKER”, are added to the cards used. It can happen that the “BLACK JOKER” or the “RED JOKER” is played among cards dealt to the “BANKER” and the “PLAYER”. “BLACK” and “RED” in this example mean a difference in color of ink used in a joker symbol.

As shown in FIG. 18, the cards are dealt to two parties, the “BANKER” and the “PLAYER”. The player can bet on five kinds of target, the “TIE”, the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER”, the “BLACK JOKER” and the “RED JOKER”. In the example, a right hand card, from among the two cards dealt to the “PLAYER”, is the “BLACK JOKER”.

FIG. 19 is an example of the award odds table 808 used in the above modification example. Award odds when the “TIE”, the “BANKER”, the “PLAYER”, the “BLACK JOKER” and the “RED JOKER” are determined to have won are described in the award odds table 808. That is, the award odds are 32 times when the “TIE” is determined to have won, 1.95 times (5% is deducted as a commission) when the “BANKER” is determined to have won, 2 times when the “PLAYER” is determined to have won, 32 times when the “BLACK JOKER” is determined to have won, and 32 times when the “RED JOKER” is determined to have won.

According to the modification example, it is possible to provide the higher award odds and the variety of options.

As described above with reference to the embodiments, there are provided gaming machines that provides a so-called baccarat derivative game in which a player is allowed to bet on bet targets including a BANKER, a PLAYER, a TIE, and an additional betting target (for example, a JOKER, or a BLACK JOKER and a RED JOKER).

In the above described embodiments, the front display 104 and the liquid crystal display 201 serve as a display device. The RAM 702 or the ROM 703 serves as a storage device that stores the award odds table 808 that defines an award to be paid out to a player when the player wins the baccarat game. The buttons 203 provided in the player terminal 101 serve as an operation unit that allows the player to input commands for playing the baccarat game. The main controller 301 serves as a processor that operates to perform a process for providing the baccarat game, the process including: controlling the display device to display a progress of the baccarat game that provides the player bet targets including a BANKER, a PLAYER, a TIE, and an additional betting target; allowing the player to input commands through the operation unit to bet on the bet targets; determining an award to be paid out to the player in reference to the award odds table when the player wins the baccarat game; and paying out the determined award to the player.

In the gaming machines according to the embodiments, a number of betting targets (options) on which the player is allowed to bet is configured to be larger than that of the conventional baccarat game. Accordingly, the gaming machines can provide a game that is improved with variety, and additionally, provide the player a chance to obtain higher award.

In the gaming machines, it is also acceptable that the additional betting target is configured as a betting target similar to the PLAYER. For example, the additional betting target may be a card dealing object as a second PLAYER named the “JOKER”, and, based on the score of cards dealt to the additional betting target, determine which one of the BANKER, the PLAYER, the TIE or the betting target has won. When thus configured, a payout to a player who bet on the betting target which has won is performed in the same way as in the hitherto known baccarat game.

Alternatively, in the gaming machines, it is also acceptable that the additional betting target may be configured as a betting target similar to the TIE (for example, the JOKER, the BLACK JOKER and the RED JOKER are included in cards dealt to the BANKER or the PLAYER). In this configuration, the details of the cards dealt to the BANKER or the PLAYER is configured as the betting target, instead of adding the card dealing object. That is, in this configuration, the player is allowed to bet on whether or not a special kind of cards (JOKER, BLACK JOKER and RED JOKER) that are not used in a conventional baccarat game will be dealt to the BANKER or the PLAYER.