Title:
Gaming Apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming machine comprises a first presentation unit for presenting a first multiplayer game and a second presentation unit for presenting a second multiplayer game. The gaming machine displays a first display screen for placing a bet on the first multiplayer game, a second display screen for placing a bet on the second multiplayer game and a third display screen for placing a bet on combined outcomes of the first and the second multiplayer games. According to the gaming machine, an entertaining feature of multiplayer games can be enhanced.



Inventors:
Yoshizawa, Kazumasa (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
11/944845
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
11/26/2007
Assignee:
Aruze Corp. (Tokyo, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24; A63F5/00; A63F5/02; A63F13/26
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LIM, SENG HENG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
POLSINELLI PC / WATCHSTONE LLP (Houston, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A gaming machine comprising: first and second multiplayer games to be playable by a plurality of players, the second multiplayer game being different from the first multiplayer game; a first presentation unit for presenting the first multiplayer game; a second presentation unit for presenting the second multiplayer game; operating devices provided for each player for accepting a first betting operation to place a bet on the first multiplayer game, a second betting operation to place a bet on the second multiplayer game, and a third betting operation to place a bet on combined outcomes of the first and the second multiplayer games; and a controller operable to provide a payout to each player according to betting status based on whole betting operations having been received by each of the operating devices and outcomes of the first and the second multiplayer games, respectively.

2. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein each of the operating devices further receives a determining operation to predetermine the betting status for the first and the second multiplayer games to be played subsequently, and a quick-bet operation to place a bet based on the betting status predetermined by the determining operation

3. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein each of the operating devices further receives a re-betting operation to place a bet with the same betting status as the last betting status.

4. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the controller is operable to: (a) store a first accumulative payout amount awarded for past first multiplayer games and a second accumulative payout amount awarded for past second multiplayer games in respect to each player, respectively, and (b) display the first and the second accumulative payout amounts to the player.

5. The gaming machine according to claim 4, wherein each of the operating devices further receives a reset operation to reset the first and the second accumulative payout amounts.

6. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the controller is operable to: (a) store a first odds table for the first multiplayer game, a second odds table for the second multiplayer game and a third odds table for betting on the combined outcomes, and (b) define odds of the third odds table relatively higher than the odds of the respective first and the second odds tables.

7. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the first and the second presentation units are communal to the plurality of players, respectively.

8. The gaming machine according to claim 7, wherein the first multiplayer game is a roulette game and the second multiplayer game is a horse racing game.

9. A gaming machine comprising: first and second multiplayer games to be playable by a plurality of players, the second multiplayer game being different from the first multiplayer game; a first presentation unit for presenting the first multiplayer game; a second presentation unit for presenting the second multiplayer game; operating devices provided for each player for accepting a first betting operation to place a bet on the first multiplayer game, a second betting operation to place a bet on the second multiplayer game, and a third betting operation to place a bet on combined outcomes of the first and second multiplayer games only when a predetermined condition has been met; and a controller operable to provide a payout to each player according to betting status based on whole betting operations having been received by each of the operating devices and outcomes of the first and the second multiplayer games, respectively.

10. The gaming machine according to claim 9, wherein each of the operating devices further receives a determining operation to predetermine the betting status for the first and the second multiplayer games to be played subsequently, and a quick-bet operation to place a bet based on the betting status predetermined by the determining operation

11. The gaming machine according to claim 9, wherein each of the operating devices further receives a re-betting operation to place a bet with the same betting status as the last betting status.

12. The gaming machine according to claim 9, wherein the controller is operable to: (a) store a first accumulative payout amount awarded for past first multiplayer games and a second accumulative payout amount awarded for past second multiplayer games in respect to each player, respectively, and (b) display the first and the second accumulative payout amounts to the player.

13. The gaming machine according to claim 12, wherein each of the operating devices further receives a reset operation to reset the first and the second accumulative payout amounts.

14. The gaming machine according to claim 9, wherein the controller is operable to: (a) store a first odds table for the first multiplayer game, a second odds table for the second multiplayer game and a third odds table for betting on the combined outcomes, and (b) define odds of the third odds table relatively higher than the odds of the respective first and the second odds tables.

15. The gaming machine according to claim 9, wherein the first and the second presentation units are communal to the plurality of players, respectively.

16. The gaming machine according to claim 15, wherein the first multiplayer game is a roulette game and the second multiplayer game is a horse racing game.

17. A gaming machine comprising: first and second multiplayer games to be playable by a plurality of players, the second multiplayer game being different from the first multiplayer game; a first presentation unit for presentation the first multiplayer game; a second presentation unit for presentation the second multiplayer game; operating devices provided for each player for accepting a first betting operation to place a bet on the first multiplayer game, a second betting operation to place a bet on the second multiplayer game, and a third betting operation to place a bet on combined outcomes of the first and second multiplayer games only when a predetermined condition has been met; and a controller operable to: (a) close the first to third betting operations at the same time, and (b) provide a payout to each player according to betting status based on whole betting operations having been received by each of the operating devices and outcomes of the first and the second multiplayer games, respectively.

18. The gaming machine according to claim 17, wherein each of the operating devices further receives a determining operation to predetermine the betting status for the first and the second multiplayer games to be played subsequently, and a quick-bet operation to place a bet based on the betting status predetermined by the determining operation

19. The gaming machine according to claim 17, wherein each of the operating devices further receives a re-betting operation to place a bet with the same betting status as the last betting status.

20. The gaming machine according to claim 17, wherein the controller is operable to: (a) store a first accumulative payout amount awarded for past first multiplayer games and a second accumulative payout amount awarded for past second multiplayer games in respect to each player, respectively, and (b) display the first and the second accumulative payout amounts to the player.

21. The gaming machine according to claim 20, wherein each of the operating devices further receives a reset operation to reset the first and the second accumulative payout amounts.

22. The gaming machine according to claim 17, wherein the controller is operable to: (a) store a first odds table for the first multiplayer game, a second odds table for the second multiplayer game and a third odds table for betting on the combined outcomes, and (b) define odds of the third odds table relatively higher than the odds of the respective first and the second odds tables.

23. The gaming machine according to claim 17, wherein the first and the second presentation units are communal to the plurality of players, respectively.

24. The gaming machine according to claim 23, wherein the first multiplayer game is a roulette game and the second multiplayer game is a horse racing game.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is based upon the prior Japanese Patent Application No. 2006-326105, filed on Dec. 1, 2006, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a gaming apparatus which can execute plural types of multiplayer games such as a roulette game and a horse racing game.

2. Description of the Related Art

Multiplayer games include a roulette game and card games such as baccarat or the like. In a casino, where these multiplayer games are assisted by a dealer, many players are enjoying the games. In addition, a gaming apparatus is proposed which executes a multiplayer game without a dealer (US Patent Application Publication No. 2005/0282623).

Although a multiplayer game on the above-mentioned gaming apparatus has a relatively high entertaining feature because it is played by plural players, it is desired that its entertaining feature is further enhanced.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a gaming apparatus which can enhance an entertaining feature of multiplayer games.

A first aspect of the present invention provides a gaming machine which comprises: first and second multiplayer games to be playable by a plurality of players, the second multiplayer game being different from the first multiplayer game; a first presentation unit for presenting the first multiplayer game; a second presentation unit for presenting the second multiplayer game; operating devices provided for each players; and a controller. Each of the operating devices accepts a first betting operation to place a bet on the first multiplayer game, a second betting operation to place a bet on the second multiplayer game and a third betting operation to place a bet on combined outcomes of the first and the second multiplayer games. The controller is operable to provide a payout to each player according to betting status based on whole betting operations having been received by each of the operating devices and outcomes of the first and the second multiplayer games, respectively.

According to the first aspect of the present invention, the first and the second multiplayer games are provided. The second multiplayer game is different from the first multiplayer game. They are playable by a plurality of players. Each of the operating devices accepts the first and the second betting operations. Furthermore, each of the operating devices accepts the third betting operation to place a bet on combined outcomes of the first and the second multiplayer games.

Therefore, each of the players can select, on his/her own will, to play only the first multiplayer game, only the second multiplayer game, or both of them. Furthermore, since the third betting operation can be accepted, each of the players can enjoy not only the outcome of one of the first and second multiplayer games but also both outcomes in a coupled manner and thereby an entertaining feature of the gaming apparatus is enhanced.

A second aspect of the present invention provides a gaming machine which has all features of the first aspect of the present invention and has a feature that each of the operating devices receives the third betting operation only when a predetermined condition has been met.

According to the second aspect of the present invention, entertaining feature is enhanced same as the first aspect. In addition, since the third betting operation can be accepted only when the predetermined condition has been met, a special feeling is created whereby the entertaining feature is further enhanced.

A third aspect of the present invention provides a gaming machine which has all features of the second aspect of the present invention and also has a feature that the controller is operable to close the first to third betting operations at the same time.

According to the third aspect of the present invention, the entertaining feature is further enhanced same as the second aspect. Furthermore, since the first to third betting operations are closed at the same time, it is impossible to do the third betting operation with taking account of an outcome of the first or the second multiplayer game, and the players can not grift. As a result, degradation of the entertaining feature by grifting can be prevented.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A illustrates a display screen in one embodiment of a gaming apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 1B illustrates a first area of the display screen in an enlarged manner;

FIG. 1C illustrates a second area of the display screen in an enlarged manner;

FIG. 1D illustrates a third area of the display screen in an enlarged manner;

FIG. 1E illustrates a fourth area of the display screen in an enlarged manner;

FIG. 2 is an external perspective view of the gaming apparatus of the present embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a partially enlarged plan view of the gaming apparatus of the present embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating an internal configuration of the gaming apparatus of the present embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a schematic view illustrating a storage area of a ROM of the gaming apparatus of the present embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a schematic view illustrating a storage area of a RAM of the gaming apparatus of the present embodiment;

FIG. 7 is a block diagram illustrating an internal configuration of a roulette device of the present embodiment;

FIG. 8 is a schematic view illustrating a storage area of a ROM of the roulette device of the present embodiment;

FIG. 9 is a block diagram illustrating an internal configuration of a horse racing gaming apparatus of the present embodiment;

FIG. 10 is a schematic view illustrating a storage area of a ROM of the horse racing gaming apparatus of the present embodiment;

FIG. 11 is a block diagram illustrating an internal arrangement of a station of the present embodiment; and

FIG. 12 is a flow chart illustrating processing of a controller of the present embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

One embodiment of a gaming apparatus of the present invention will be described, referring to the drawings.

As shown in FIGS. 1A to 1E and 2, a gaming apparatus 1 of the present embodiment is enabled to execute a game by one or more game media being inserted (or by accumulated credits being used). The game media include coins, bills, or electronic value information corresponding to them, medals, tokens, electronic money, tickets or the like.

The gaming apparatus 1 can execute two types of multiplayer games (first and second multiplayer games). Here, a multiplayer game is a game in which a plurality of players can participate. In a multiplayer game, a plurality of players predicts an outcome of the game and places a bet thereon, and then a payout is awarded to each player according to the outcome and the bet on the game. Here, each player can select, on his/her own will, to play only the first multiplayer game, only the second multiplayer game, or both of them. In the present embodiment, one of the two types of multiplayer games is a “roulette game” (first multiplayer game) and another is a “horse racing game” (second multiplayer game).

Furthermore, with the gaming apparatus 1, a bet can be placed on the outcomes of the roulette game and the horse racing game coupled together (a coupled game can be played). Detailed description as to this point will be given in the following.

A display screen of the gaming apparatus 1 is shown in FIGS. 1A to 1E. The display screen is displayed on a display device 8 of respective stations 4 shown in FIG. 2. The display screen comprises, as shown in FIG. 1A, a first area P1 relating to the roulette game, a second area P2 relating to the horse racing game, a third area P3 relating to the game coupling the both, and a fourth area P4 showing the player's betting status. Here, a touch screen (operating device) 149 (see FIG. 11) is attached onto a front surface of the display screen of the gaming apparatus 1. The player can place a bet and make other operations by touching the screen, referring to the content on the screen.

On the first area P1 (FIG. 1B), a table-type betting board 20 is displayed. On the betting board 20, thirty-eight numerals (“0” “00”, and “1” to “36”) are arranged in a grid. In addition, special bet areas 21 are similarly arranged in a grid to specify “odd or even”, “color of number (red or black)”, “a certain range of numbers (e.g., “1” to “12”)” for betting one or more chips thereon.

When going to place a bet on the roulette game, the player first specifies a bet area 21 (number-areas, mark-areas such as “ODD”, or lines defining the grid) by touching the screen directly with his/her finger. As a result, a cursor 22 moves to the touched point.

Subsequently, the player touches bet buttons 23 (a 1-bet button 23A, a 5-bet button 23B, a 10-bet button 23C and a 100-bet button 23D), and thereby a specified amount of chips are bet on the bet area 21. For example, if the player touches the 10-bet button 23C four times, the 5-bet button 23B once, and the 1-bet button 23A three times, forty-eight chips will be bet. Here, as shown in FIG. 1A, chip mark “7” placed on the number “18” area indicates that seven chips are bet on the number “18”.

As described above, the touch screen 149 of the gaming apparatus 1 is configured to accept a first betting operation for placing a bet on the roulette game.

The second area P2 (FIG. 1C) displays a horse information display area 30 in which informations of the horses of the race, a “Quinella” ticket betting area 31, and a “Win” ticket betting area 32. The horse information display area 30 displays horse numbers, horse names, jockeys, favorites, and racing result histories. The “Quinella” ticket betting area 31 displays a plurality of the betting ticket buttons so that the player can place a bet by selecting two horses to finish First and Second in either order. The “Win” ticket betting area 32 displays a number of the betting ticket buttons corresponding to the number of running horses so that the player can place a bet by selecting one horse to finish First.

When going to place a bet on the horse racing game, the player first operates bet buttons 33 (a 1-bet button 33A, a 5-bet button 33B, a 10-bet button 33C and a 100-bet button 33D) to determine a bet amount.

Next, the player touches one of the betting ticket buttons in the “Quinella” ticket betting area 31 or the “Win” ticket betting area 32 on the screen directly with his/her finger. Here, if the 1-bet button 33A has been touched before touching the betting ticket button, a 1-bet ticket is purchased by touching the betting ticket button once.

Subsequently, the same 1-bet ticket can be purchased additionally by touching the same betting ticket button once more. A different 1-bet ticket can be purchased by touching another betting ticket button. Furthermore, if the 5-bet button 33B has been touched before touching the betting ticket button, a 5-bet ticket can be purchased by touching the betting ticket button. It is similar to the case in which the 10-bet button 33C or the 100-bet button 33D has been touched before touching the betting ticket button.

As described above, the touch screen 149 of the gaming apparatus 1 is configured to accept a second betting operation for placing a bet on the horse racing game.

The third area P3 (FIG. 1D) displays six select buttons 40 relating to a coupled game in which the roulette game and the horse racing game are coupled together. In the following, an example shown in FIG. 1D will be described. A first select button 40A allows the player to bet on that a ball 77 falls into one of pockets “1” to “6” and a number “1” horse finishes first. A second select button 40B allows the player to bet on that the ball 77 falls into one of pockets “7” to “12” and a number “2” horse finishes first. A third select button 40C allows the player to bet on that the ball 77 falls into one of pockets “13” to “18” and a number “3” horse finishes first. A fourth select button 40D allows the player to bet on that the ball 77 falls into one of pockets “19” to “24” and a number “4” horse finishes first. A fifth select button 40E allows the player to bet on that ball 77 falls into one of pockets “25” to “30” and a number “5” horse finishes first. A sixth select button 40F allows the player to bet on that the ball 77 falls into one of pockets “31” to “36” and a number “6” horse finishes first.

In FIG. 1D, although six select buttons 40 (40A to 40F) are displayed. However, the number of the select buttons 40 is not limited to six. In addition, betting contents are not limited to “the ball falls into one of pockets “1” to “6” and a number “1” horse finishes first” and so on. Various betting contents are possible such as “the ball falls into one of the red pockets, and a number “3” horse finishes first and a number “5” horse finishes second.”

When going to place a bet on the coupled game, the player first operates bet buttons 41 (a 1-bet button 41A, a 5-bet button 41B, a 10-bet button 41C and a 100-bet button 41D) to determine a bet amount.

Next, the player touches one of the select buttons 40. Here, if the 1-bet button 41A has been touched before touching the select button 40, a 1-bet is placed on the content of the select button 40 selected by the player.

Subsequently, an additional 1-bet is placed on the same content by touching the same select button 40 once more. A different 1-bet can be placed by touching another select button 40. Furthermore, if the 5-bet button 41B has been touched before touching the select button 40, a 5-bet is placed on the content of the select button 40 selected by the player. It is similar to the case in which the 10-bet button 41C or the 100-bet button 41D has been touched before the select button 40 being touched.

As described above, the touch screen 149 of the gaming apparatus 1 is configured to accept a third betting operation for placing a bet on the coupled game (on combined outcomes of the roulette game and the horse racing game, on a combination of the roulette game and the horse racing game).

The fourth area P4 (FIG. 1D) displays a bet time display area 50, a MINI JP display area 51, a MAJOR JP display area 52, a MEGA JP display area 53, a first betting status display area 54, a second betting status display area 55, a third betting status display area 56, a result display area 57, and a credit display area 58.

The bet time display area 50, which is provided to display a remaining time available for the player to place a bet, has a numeral “20” displayed thereon at the beginning of accepting the betting operations. The numeral of the bet time display area 50 is decremented by one every second, and acceptance of the betting operations is closed when it has reached “0”. In addition, a ball launching device 104 is activated in the roulette game and the ball 77 is launched onto the roulette board when the remaining betting time has reached five seconds. At the same time, the horses are set into respective gates in the horse racing game.

An accumulated credit amount of the MINI jackpot (JP) is displayed on the MINI JP display area 51. An accumulated credit amount of the MAJOR JP is displayed on the MAJOR JP display area 52. An accumulated credit amount of the MEGA JP is displayed on the MEGA JP display area 53. An amount accumulating 0.30% of all bet amounts on each of the games in all the twelve stations 4 is displayed on the MINI JP display area 51. Similarly, an amount accumulating 0.20% of all bet amounts is displayed on the MAJOR JP display area 52. An amount accumulating 0.15% of all bet amounts is displayed on the MEGA JP display area 53.

The numeric values displayed on the MINI JP display area 51, the MAJOR JP display area 52, and the MEGA display 53 are common across all the stations 4. If one of JP's is awarded by the JP bonus game, accumulated credits of the awarded JP are provided as a payout, and an initial value is displayed on the display area of the corresponding JP after the payout has been provided to the awarded player. Here, the initial values are 200 credits for “MINI”, 5000 credits for “MAJOR”, and 50000 credits for “MEGA”, respectively.

The betting status relating to the roulette game (selected pocket number(s), betting type(s), and bet amount(s)) is displayed on the first betting status display area 54. The betting type indicates, for example, straight bet, corner bet, split bet or the like in the roulette. The betting status relating to the horse racing game (purchased betting ticket(s), and bet amount(s)) is displayed on the second betting status display area 55. The betting status relating to the coupled game (betting content(s) relating the outcomes of the roulette game and the horse racing game, and bet amount(s)) is displayed on the third betting status display area 56.

A bet amount (BET) and a payout amount (WIN) in the last game (first, second and coupled games) are displayed on the result display area 57. Here, the number calculated by subtracting the bet amount from the payout amount is the credit amount newly obtained by the player in the last game.

The credit amount held by the player is displayed on the credits display area 58. The credit amount decreases according to a bet amount placed by the player. In other words, the credit amount decreases by one when the player places a 1-bet. Additionally, the credit amount increases according to a payout amount when the payout is provided to the player in each game. Here, game play is terminated when the credits held by the player has reached zero.

Furthermore, the fourth area P4 displays a determination button 59, a quick-bet button 60, re-bet button 61, an accumulative result display area 62, and a reset button 63. The determination button 59 is a button for an operation to preliminarily determine the betting status for a game(s) to be played subsequently (determining operation). The quick-bet button 60 is a button for an operation to quickly place a bet according to the betting status which has been preliminarily determined by the determining operation (quick-bet operation).

The determining operation must be preliminarily conducted for the quick-bet operation. In the determining operation, the determination button 59 is first touched. Next, an operation similar with the normal betting operations is conducted. Since the determination button 59 has been touched preliminarily, a bet is not actually placed by this similar betting operation. Next, the determination button 59 is touched again, whereby the betting status for a game(s) to be played subsequently is determined. A bet is placed based on the content of the determined betting status when the quick-bet button 60 has been touched after the determining operation.

Since the player can conduct the above-mentioned quick bet operation, the player could quickly place a desired bet without the need of the normal betting operation in haste at around the end of the betting time.

The re-bet button 61 is a button for an operation to place a new bet with the same betting status of the last game (re-bet operation). According to the re-bet operation, a new bet with the betting status of the last game can be placed only by touching the re-bet button 61.

The player can easily place a new bet with the betting status of the last game successively only by the above re-bet operation.

Accumulative credit balances in previous games are displayed on the accumulative result display area 62. In the gaming apparatus 1 of the present embodiment, the credit balance of the roulette game and the credit balance of the horse racing game are stored, respectively. Each of the balances is displayed on the accumulative result display area 62, respectively.

As described above, since each of the credit balances of the first and second multiplayer games is displayed on the accumulative result display area 62, the player can know which multiplayer game he/she is good at and take advantage of the credit balances to place a subsequent bet(s).

The reset button 63 is a button for an operation to reset the credit balances (balances of game media) which are cumulatively stored (reset operation). The reset button 63 is provided for a new player because the credit balances of a previous player is no longer useful as a reference for the new player. In other words, the stored credit balances can be reset to “zero” by touching the reset button 63.

Therefore, the new player can know which multiplayer game he/she is good at and take advantage of the credit balances of his/her own to place a subsequent bet(s) by resetting the credit balances and updating them for his/her own.

Note that, the reset button 63 can also function to reset the determined betting status by the determining operation.

As described above, the touch screen 149 of the gaming apparatus 1 of the present embodiment is provided with the first multiplayer game in which a plurality of players can participate, and the second multiplayer game which is different from the first multiplayer game. Then, the first betting operation to the first multiplayer game and the second betting operation to the second multiplayer game are accepted. Furthermore, in the touch screen 149, the third betting operation is accepted, which places a bet on the outcomes of the first multiplayer game and the second multiplayer game coupled together.

Therefore, the player can select, on his/her own will, to play only the first multiplayer game, only the second multiplayer game, or both of them, and thereby the entertaining feature of the gaming apparatus 1 can be enhanced. Furthermore, the player can enjoy not only an outcome of one of the first and second multiplayer games but also both outcomes in a coupled manner by the third betting operation, and thereby the entertaining feature of the gaming apparatus 1 can be enhanced.

Next, the detailed configuration of the gaming apparatus 1 will be described. As shown in FIG. 2, the gaming apparatus 1 comprises a main unit 2 and a roulette device 3 provided approximately in the center of the top of the main unit 2. The gaming apparatus 1 further comprises a horse racing gaming device 16 provided so as to surround the roulette device 3, twelve stations 4 provided so as to surround the horse racing gaming device 16, and an electroluminescence display 5 provided above the main unit 2.

Each of the stations 4 comprises at least an insertion slot 6, a console 7, and a display device 8. Game media such as coins, chips or medals are inserted into the insertion slot 6. The console 7 has a plurality of control buttons by which the player inputs some game instructions. The display device 8 displays images relating to the roulette game, the horse racing game and the coupled game, as stated above. The player can play the game by operating the touch screen 149 and the console 7, while watching the images on the display device 8.

In addition, a cashout chute 9 through which the game media such as chips or medals are cashed out is provided on the lower side face of the main unit 2 at the lower part of each of the stations 4. Furthermore, a speaker 10 for outputting music or sound effects is provided at the upper right part of the display device 8 of each of the stations 4.

A WIN lamp 11 is provided on the display device 8 of each of the stations 4, respectively. If an award is provided (a bet placed on the roulette number or the horse is won) at any of the stations 4, the WIN lamp 11 of winning station 4 lights up. In addition, the WIN lamp 11 of the station 4 which obtained JP also lights up. Here, the WIN lamps 11 are provided at positions which are visible from all of the stations 4, whereby all players playing with the gaming apparatus 1 can always watch the lighted WIN lamp 11.

A medal sensor 151 (see FIG. 11), which is provided inside the insertion slot 6, counts the number of inserted medals as well as validating the value of the inserted medals. In addition, a hopper 147 (see FIG. 11), which is provided inside the cashout chute 9, cashes out medals to the cashout chute 9.

A server 13 (see FIG. 4) is provided inside one corner 12 of the main unit 2. The server 13 is usually accommodated inside of the corner 12 so that the player can not operate it. An administrator can open a door 14 provided on the corner 12 using a key switch to operate the server 13. And then, the administrator can configure various settings of the gaming apparatus 1 by operating the server 13.

The electroluminescence display 5 includes a JP amount display 15 which displays the JP amount. In the gaming apparatus 1 of the present embodiment, three types of JP are configured: “MEGA”, “MAJOR”, and “MINI”. The JP amount display 15 displays the “MEGA” JP amount among the three JP's. Here, the JP amount display 15 is provided on the top of the electroluminescence display 5, whereby all the players who are playing with all the stations 4 can watch a displayed content.

The roulette device 3 comprises, as shown in FIG. 3, a base 71, a roulette wheel 72, number pockets 73, number plates 75, a ball launching port 76, a ball 77, and a guide wall 79. Here, the parts of the roulette device 3 which are visible from the players, namely, the base 71, the roulette wheel 72, the number pockets 73, the number plates 75, the ball 77 and the guide wall 79 correspond to a presentation unit (first presentation unit) of the roulette game.

The base 71 is fixed to the main unit 2. The roulette wheel 72 is provided on the base 71 and can spin on the base 71. There are thirty-eight number pockets 73 formed on an upper surface of the roulette wheel 72. Furthermore, the number plates 75 indicating “0”, “00”, and “1” to “36” are provided correspondingly outside each of the number pockets 73 on the roulette wheel 72.

The ball launching port 76 is provided inside the base 71. The ball launching device 104 (see FIG. 7) is coupled to the ball launching port 76. The ball 77 is launched onto the roulette wheel 72 from the ball launching port 76 by driving of the ball launching device 104. In addition, the entire roulette device 3 is covered by a hemispherical transparent acryl cover 78 (see FIG. 2).

A wheel driving motor 106 (see FIG. 7) is provided beneath the roulette wheel 72. The roulette wheel 72 spins by driving of the wheel driving motor 106. In addition, a plurality of metal plates is provided on an underside surface of the roulette wheel 72, spaced apart with a predetermined interval. The spinning positions of the number pockets 73 are detected by sensing the metal plates by a proximity sensor of a pocket position detecting device 107 (see FIG. 7).

The base 71 is moderately inclined to its center. The guide wall 79 is formed around a circumferential upper end of the inclined surface. The launched ball 77 travels along the guide wall 79 by its centrifugal force. As its velocity slows down, the ball 77 loses its centrifugal force and rolls down on the inclined surface of the base 71. And then, the ball 77 reaches the spinning roulette wheel 72 and gets across the number plates 75. The ball 77 falls into one of the number pockets 73. As a result, the number of the number pocket 73 (number plate 75) into which the ball 77 has fallen is detected by a ball sensor 105 (see FIG. 7) and determined as a winning number.

The horse racing gaming device 16 comprises, as shown in FIG. 2, a racetrack 17, frames 18, and horse-and-jockey miniatures 19. Here, the parts of the horse racing gaming device 16 which are visible from the players, namely, the racetrack 17, the frames 18, and the horse-and-jockey miniatures 19 correspond to a presentation unit (second presentation unit) of the horse racing game.

The frames 18 are provided along the inner and outer circumferential edges of the racetrack 17 as guardrails. The frames 18 segment the annular racetrack 17. The miniatures 19 are installed on the racetrack 17. In addition, traveling routes (guide rails) are arranged beneath the racetrack 17. Each of the miniatures 19 is driven by a traveling motor 132 and a steering motor 133 (see FIG. 9) provided inside thereof to travel along the traveling routes.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating the internal configuration of the gaming apparatus 1. As shown in FIG. 4, the gaming apparatus 1 comprises the server 13, the twelve stations 4 connected to the server 13, the roulette device 3, the electroluminescence display 5, and the horse racing gaming device 16.

The server 13 includes a server CPU 81 which totally controls the server 13, a ROM 82, a RAM 83, a timer 84, a liquid crystal display (LCD) 86 connected via an LCD drive circuit 85, and a keyboard 87.

The server CPU 81 executes a variety of processings based on input signals supplied from each of the stations 4 or data and programs stored in the ROM 82 and the RAM 83. The server CPU 81 transmits command signals to each of the stations 4 based on the processing results. Each of the stations 4 is controlled at the initiative of the server CPU 81. In addition, the server CPU 81 transmits control signals to the roulette device 3 and the horse racing gaming device 16 to control launching of the ball 77, spinning of the roulette wheel 72, and traveling of the miniatures 19.

The ROM 82 is composed of a semiconductor memory, for example. The ROM 82 stores programs for executing basic functionalities of the roulette device 3 and the horse racing gaming device 16, and settings relating to maintenance notifying timings and maintenance notifying conditions. The ROM 82 also stores programs for executing management and programs for controlling each of the stations 4. In addition, the ROM 82 stores, as shown in FIG. 5, a roulette odds table (first odds table), a horse race odds table (second odds table, and a coupled game odds table (third odds table) for the coupled game. The coupled game is a game in which the outcomes of the roulette game and the horse racing game are coupled together. Here, odds of the third odds table are set to be relatively higher than the odds of the first odds table and the second odds table.

The RAM 83 temporarily stores the bet information supplied from each of the stations 4, the accumulated JP amounts and data relating to the processing result of the server CPU 81.

In addition, the timer 84 is also connected to (or implemented in) the server CPU 81. The time information of timer 84 is transmitted to the server CPU 81. The server CPU 81 executes spinning of the roulette wheel 72, launching control of the ball 77, and counting of the bet time of the roulette game and the horse racing game, based on the time information.

Furthermore, the server CPU 81 executes illuminating control of the electroluminescence display 5 by light emission of the LED and control of displaying predetermined characters or the like. In addition, the server CPU 81 displays the accumulative “MEGA” JP amount on the JP amount display 15 of the electroluminescence display 5.

FIG. 5 is a schematic view illustrating the storage area of the ROM 82 of the gaming apparatus 1. As shown in FIG. 5, a roulette odds table storage area 82A is provided in the ROM 82. Note that, predetermined odds of “x2” to “x36” are stored in the roulette odds table storage area 82A according to betting types for bet areas 21 of the first area P1. Here, the betting types are “straight bet”, “corner bet”, “split bet” and so on.

In addition, a horse race odds table storage area 82B is provided in the ROM 82. Odds of the horse racing game vary for each game. Therefore, a plurality of odds tables is stored in the horse race odds table storage area 82B. The server CPU 81 reads one odds table among the plurality of odds tables at the start of the horse race, and executes image display control, etc., based on the read-out odds table.

Furthermore, a coupled game odds table storage area 82C is provided in the ROM 82. Since the coupled game is executed in conjunction with the horse racing game, the odds of the coupled game also vary for each game. Therefore, a plurality of odds tables is stored in the coupled game odds table storage area 82C, too. Accordingly, the server CPU 81 reads one odds table among the plurality of odds tables at the start of the game. In the present embodiment, one odds table is read among the coupled game odds table storage area 82C in association with the one odds table that has been read from the horse race odds table storage area 82B, to which, and the invention is however not limited thereto.

FIG. 6 is a schematic view illustrating the storage area of the RAM 83 of the gaming apparatus 1. As shown in FIG. 6, a bet information storage area 83A, a “MINI” JP accumulation storage area 83B, a “MAJOR” JP accumulation storage area 83C and a “MEGA” JP accumulation storage area 83D are provided in the RAM 83. Bet information of the current player is stored in the bet information storage area 83A. The credit amount accumulated for the “MINI” JP is stored in the “MINI” JP accumulation storage area 83B. The credit amount accumulated for the “MAJOR” JP is stored in the “MAJOR” JP accumulation storage area 83C. The credit amount accumulated for the “MEGA” JP is stored in the “MEGA” JP accumulation storage area 83D. Here, the bet information is, for example, information relating to bet amounts on the roulette game and the horse racing game, the betting type of the roulette game, the purchased betting ticket or the like.

In addition, the RAM 83 is provided with a roulette awarded credit storage area 83E and a horse race awarded credit storage area 83F. The credit amount awarded in previous roulette games is cumulatively stored in the roulette awarded credit storage area 83E. The credit amount awarded in previous horse racing games is stored cumulatively in the horse race game awarded credit storage area 83F.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram illustrating the internal configuration of the roulette device 3. As shown in FIG. 7, the roulette device 3 comprises a control unit 109, the pocket position detecting circuit 107, the ball launching device 104, the ball sensor 105, the wheel drive motor 106, and a ball collecting device 108.

The control unit 109 includes a CPU 101, a ROM 102, and a RAM 103. The CPU 101 controls launching of the ball 77 and spinning of the roulette wheel 72 based on control signals supplied from the server 13 and data and programs stored in the ROM 102 and the RAM 103.

The pocket position detecting circuit 107, including the proximity sensor, detects the metal plates attached to the roulette wheel 72 and thus detects the spinning positions of the roulette wheel 72.

The ball launching device 104 launches the ball 77 onto the roulette wheel 72 from the ball launching port 76. The ball launching device 104 launches the ball 77 with an initial velocity which has been defined in the control data. In addition, the ball launching device 104 launches the ball 77 according to a launch delay time which has been defined in the control data. In the present embodiment, the ball 77 is launched when the launch delay time has elapsed after the pocket position detecting circuit 107 detected that the “00” number pocket 73 passed the front of the ball launching port 76.

The ball sensor 105 detects the number pocket 73 into which the ball 77 has fallen. The wheel drive motor 106 spins the roulette wheel 72. The wheel drive motor 106 stops when a motor drive time defined in the control data has elapsed. The ball collecting device 108 collects the ball 77 on the roulette wheel 72 after the roulette game has ended.

FIG. 8 is a schematic view illustrating the storage area of the ROM 102 of the roulette device 3. As shown in FIG. 8, the ROM 102 is provided with a control data storage area 102A. The control data includes, for example, the motor drive time, the ball initial velocity, and the launch delay time or the like. The motor drive time is the time during which the wheel drive motor 106 is being driven. The roulette wheel 72 is spun by the wheel drive motor 106 for the motor drive time with a predefined spinning velocity. After the wheel drive motor 106 has stopped, the roulette wheel 72 gradually slows down its spinning velocity and eventually stops. The ball initial velocity is the initial velocity when the ball 77 is launched from the ball launching device 104. The launch delay time is the time, during spinning of the roulette wheel 72, from a time point when a predetermined number pocket 73 passed a predetermined position to a time point when the ball 77 is launched.

FIG. 9 is a block diagram illustrating the internal configuration of the horse racing gaming device 16. As shown in FIG. 9, the horse racing gaming device 16 comprises a control unit 110 and a position detecting plate 120. The control unit 110 includes a CPU 111, a ROM 112, a RAM 113, a position detecting unit 114, and an infrared ray (IR) emitting device 115.

The CPU 110 totally controls the horse racing gaming device 16 based on control signals supplied from the server 13 and data and programs stored in the ROM 112 and the RAM 113.

FIG. 10 is a schematic view illustrating the storage area of the ROM 112 of the horse racing gaming device 16. As shown in FIG. 10, the ROM 112 is provided with a race pattern storage area 112A. A plurality of race patterns is stored in the race pattern storage area 112A. The CPU 111 selects one race pattern among the plurality of race patterns stored in the race pattern storage area 112A and controls the horse racing game according to the selected race pattern.

The position detecting unit 114 detects positions of the miniatures 19. The IR emitting device 115 transmits IR control signals to each of the miniatures 19. The position detecting plate 120 transmits signals relating to the actual positions of the miniatures 19 to the position detecting unit 114.

According to such a configuration, the CPU 111 transmits control signals to each of the miniatures 19 from IR emitting device 115 after selecting the one race pattern among the plurality of race patterns to control movements of the miniatures 19. In addition, when the position detecting unit 114 has detected a deviation of a miniature 19, the CPU 111 transmits a control signal to the miniature 19 via the IR emitting device 115 to compensate its position.

Each of the miniatures 19 (19a, 19b . . . ) includes an IR receiver 130, a controller 131, a traveling motor 132, a steering motor 133, and an oscillation coil 134. The IR receiver 130 receives control signals from the control unit 110 and transmits them to the controller 131. The controller 131 transmits driving signals based on the received control signals to the traveling motor 132, the steering motor 133 and the oscillation coil 134.

Each of the miniatures 19 travels and steers by the traveling motor 132 and the steering motor 133 which are driven based on the received driving signals. The oscillation coil 134 oscillates with different frequencies specific for each of the miniatures 19 upon receiving a control signal from the controller 131. The position detecting unit 114 can detect the positions of the miniatures 19 by detecting oscillation positions of the oscillation coils 134 via the position detecting plate 120.

FIG. 11 is a block diagram illustrating the internal configuration of the station 4. Here, since the twelve stations 4 have the same configuration basically, one of the stations 4 taken as an example will be described below.

The station 4 includes, as shown in FIG. 11, a station CPU 141, a ROM 142, and a RAM 143. The ROM 142 has, for example, a semiconductor memory or the like. The ROM 142 stores programs for executing basic functionalities of the station 4, and a variety of other programs and data tables required for controlling the station 4. In addition, the RAM 143 temporarily stores a variety of data processed in the station CPU 141, the credit amount accumulated in the station 4, the betting status of the station 4 or the like.

In addition, a bet fixing button 144, a payout button 145, and a help button 146 are provided on the console 7 and connected to the station CPU 141, respectively.

The bet fixing button 144 is pressed when fixing the bet content after the betting operation on the display device 8 (touch screen 149).

The payout button 145 is usually pressed at the end of the game. When the payout button 145 is pressed, the station CPU 141 determines a payout amount according to the credit held by the player, with reference to the odds tables stored in the RAM 143. Then, game media according to the payout amount is cashed out from the cashout chute 9. Here, a special odds table (third odds table), which is different from the odds tables (the first and the second odds tables) of the roulette game and the horse racing game, is referenced for a payout of the coupled game. This special odds table is defined to provide a relatively larger payout than a payout awarded by a winning in the roulette game or the horse racing game.

The help button 146 is pressed when the player wants to know how to operate the game and so on. After the help button 146 is pressed, a help screen showing a variety of operational information is displayed on the display device 8.

The station CPU 141 controls execution of various corresponding operations based on the operation signals which are output by pressing down respective buttons. Specifically, the station CPU 141 executes a variety of processings based on input signals supplied from the console 7 when the respective buttons are operated and data and programs stored in the ROM 142 and the RAM 143. And then, the station CPU 141 transmits the results of the processings to the server CPU 81. In addition, the station CPU 141 receives command signals from the server CPU 81 and executes the games by controlling peripheral devices composing the station 4.

In addition, the hopper 147 is connected to the station CPU 141. The hopper 147 cashouts a predetermined amount of game media out from the cashout chute 9 according to a command signal from the station CPU 141. Furthermore, the display device 8 is connected to the station CPU 141 via a LCD drive circuit 148. In the present embodiment, the display device 8 is a liquid crystal display (LCD). The LCD drive circuit 148 includes a program ROM, an image ROM, an image control CPU, a work RAM, a VDP (video display processor) and a video RAM.

The program ROM stores image control programs and a variety of selection tables relating to a screen display on the display device 8. The image ROM stores, for example, dot data for forming the images to be displayed on the display device 8. The image control CPU determines the data to be displayed on the display device 8 among the dot data preliminarily stored in the image ROM based on parameters set by the station CPU 141 and the image control programs preliminarily stored in program ROM.

The work RAM is used as a temporary storage during executions of the image control programs with the image control CPU. The VDP forms images according to display contents determined by the image control CPU and outputs them to the display device 8. Here, the video RAM is also used as a temporary storage for forming the images by the VDP.

In addition, the touch screen 149 is provided on the front surface of the display device 8 as stated above. The operational information of the touch screen 149 is transmitted to the station CPU 141. Then, the player's bet information is occasionally stored in the RAM 143 based on the operational information. Furthermore, the bet information is transmitted to the server CPU 81 and stored in the bet information storage area 83A of the RAM 83.

Furthermore, a sound output circuit 150 and the speaker 10 are connected to the station CPU 141. The speaker 10 outputs a variety of sound effects based on an output signal from the sound output circuit 150 when producing various effects.

In addition, the medal sensor 151 is connected to the station CPU 141. The medals are inserted into the insertion slot 6 in case that medals are used as the game media. The medal sensor 151 detects the inserted medals and counts the inserted medals. And then, the medal sensor 151 transmits detection results to the station CPU 141. The station CPU 141 increases the credit amount stored in the RAM 143 based on the received results.

In addition, the WIN lamp 11 is connected to the station CPU 141. The station CPU 141 illuminates the WIN lamp 11 with a predetermined color when a winning is awarded in the roulette game, a winning is awarded for the purchased betting tickets or a JP winning is awarded.

In the above-mentioned configuration, the server CPU 81, the ROM 82, the RAM 83, the station CPU 141, the ROM 142, and the RAM 143 compose the controller.

Next, a processings executed by the controller of the present embodiment will be described. FIG. 12 is a flow chart illustrating the processing. As shown in FIG. 12, the server CPU 81 first starts counting the betting time (step S1).

Next, the server CPU 81 determines whether or not a predetermined condition has been met (step S2). For example, when (i) a predetermined time has elapsed after the game started or (ii) a payout amount to the player has been smaller than a predetermined amount, it is determined that the predetermined condition has been met. In respect to the smaller payout amount, it may be determined that the predetermined condition has been met in case where a payout amount to a specific player is small. Alternatively, it may be determined that the predetermined condition has been met in case where total payout amounts to all players is small.

If it is determined that the predetermined condition has been met (step S2: YES), the station CPU 141 displays screen images for betting on the roulette game, the horse racing game and the coupled game on the display device 8 (step S3). The station CPU 141 then starts accepting the betting operations (step S5).

On the other hand, if it is determined that the predetermined condition has not been met (step S2: NO), the station CPU 141 displays screen images only for betting on the roulette game and the horse racing game on the display device 8 (step S4). The station CPU 141 then starts accepting the betting operations (step S5).

As described above, since the third betting operation on the coupled game can be accepted only when the predetermined condition has been met, a special feeling can be created whereby an entertaining feature of the gaming apparatus 1 can be further enhanced. Note that, the determination in step S2 may be judged separately at each of the stations 4. Conceivably, it may occur that the determination in step S2 has been affirmative for some stations 4 and negative for other stations 4. Then the third betting operation can be conducted at the some stations 4 and can not at the other stations 4. Conceivably, the determination in step S2 may be notified by the WIN lump 11 to all of the stations 4.

Subsequently, the server CPU 81 determines whether or not the remaining betting time reaches five seconds (step S6). If it is determined that the remaining betting time has not reached five seconds (step S6: NO), the processing of step S6 is repeated until it is determined that the remaining betting time has reached five seconds. On the other hand, if it is determined that the remaining betting time has reached five seconds (step S6: YES), the server CPU 81 controls the roulette device 3 to launch the ball 77 onto the spinning roulette wheel 72 (step S7).

Next, the server CPU 81 determines whether or not the betting time has expired (step S8). If it is determined that the betting time has not expired (step S8: NO), the processing of step S8 is repeated until it is determined that the betting time has expired. On the other hand, if it is determined that the betting time has expired (step S8: YES), acceptance of the betting operations is terminated to prevent the players from placing bets. Here, expiration of the betting time in step S8 is common across all of the roulette game, the horse racing game and the coupled game. In other words, the expiration time points of the betting time of these games coincide with one another.

Therefore, it is impossible to place a bet on the coupled game with taking account of an outcome of the roulette game or the horse racing game. As a result, the player can not grift, whereby degradation of the entertaining feature by grifting can be prevented.

Subsequently, the server CPU 81 controls the horse racing gaming device 16 to start the miniatures 19 (gate open) (step S9). The server CPU 81 then determines whether or not to execute the JP bonus game (step S10). If it is determined not to execute the JP bonus game (step S10: NO), the processing proceeds to step S12.

On the other hand, if it is determined to execute the JP bonus game (step S10: YES), the server CPU 81 executes the JP bonus game (step S11). Subsequently the processing proceeds to step S12.

Next, the server CPU 81 executes a winning judgment based on the betting status in each of the stations 4, the number pocket 73 into which the ball 77 has fallen, finishing order of the horses in the horse racing game, and an outcome of the JP bonus game (step S12). Subsequently, each of the station CPU's 141 provides a payout to the player according to the winning judgment result of step S12 (step S13).

Subsequently, the processing shown in FIG. 12 returns to step S1. Note that, in the flow chart shown in FIG. 12, placing a bet on the coupled game is allowed when the predetermined condition has been met. On this occasion, only one player (or some players) may be allowed to place a bet on the coupled game, or all players may be allowed to place a bet on the coupled game.

As described above, the gaming apparatus 1 of the present embodiment comprises the first multiplayer game in which a plurality of players can participate, and the second multiplayer game which is different from the first multiplayer game. In addition, the touch screen 149 accepts the first betting operation, the second betting operation and the third betting operation. The third betting operation is conducted for placing a bet on the coupled game (on outcomes of the first multiplayer game and the second multiplayer game coupled together).

Therefore, since the player can enjoy game play by selecting, on his/her own will, to play only the first multiplayer game, only the second multiplayer game, or both of them, the entertaining feature of the gaming apparatus 1 can be enhanced. Furthermore, since the third betting operation is acceptable, each of the players can enjoy not only single outcome of one of the first and the second multiplayer games but also combined outcomes of both multiplayer games, whereby the entertaining feature of the gaming apparatus 1 can be further enhanced.

In addition, since the touch screen 149 accepts the quick-bet operation according to the gaming apparatus 1 of the present embodiment, the player can easily place a desired bet without the need of the normal betting operation in haste at around the end of the betting time.

In addition, since the touch screen 149 accepts the re-bet operation according to the gaming apparatus 1 of the present embodiment, the player can easily place a new bet with the same betting status in succession.

In addition, since the accumulative result display area 62 displays the accumulative credit balances in previous games of the first and the second multiplayer games, each of the players can know which multiplayer game he/she is good at and take advantage of the credit balances to place a subsequent bet(s).

In addition, according to the gaming apparatus 1 of the present embodiment, since the touch screen 149 accepts the reset operation, a new player can know which multiplayer game he/she is good at and take advantage of the credit balances to place a subsequent bet(s) by resetting the credit balances of previous player and updating them for his/her own.

In addition, according to the gaming apparatus 1 of the present embodiment, the odds defined in the third odds table for the coupled game are set relatively higher than the odds of the first odds table for the first multiplayer game. Furthermore, the odds defined in the third odds table for the coupled game are set relatively higher than the odds of the second odds table for the second multiplayer game, too. Therefore, the players can expect a larger payout by the coupled game, whereby the entertaining feature can be further enhanced.

In addition, since the third betting operation can be accepted only when the predetermined condition has been met according to the gaming apparatus 1 of the present embodiment, the special feeling can be created whereby the entertaining feature can be further enhanced.

In addition, since the expiration time points of the bet acceptance time of the first to the third betting operation are set to coincide with one another according to the gaming apparatus 1 of the present embodiment, it is impossible to place a bet on the coupled game with taking account of the outcome of the first multiplayer game or the second multiplayer game. As a result, the players can not grift, whereby degradation of the entertaining feature by grifting can be prevented.

Although the gaming apparatus of the present invention has been thus described based on the embodiment thereof, the present invention is not limited to the above embodiment and can be changed without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

For example, the gaming apparatus 1 of the embodiment can execute the first multiplayer game, the second multiplayer game and the coupled game. However, three or more multiplayer games and two or more coupled games may be prepared for execution.

Additionally, with the gaming apparatus 1 of the embodiment, the presentation unit of each multiplayer game is mainly configured by mechanical components. However, the presentation unit may be a large-screen display on which the multiplayer game(s) is displayed.