Title:
GAMING MACHINE AND PLAYING METHOD OF PERMITTING BET WHILE PERFORMING GAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a gaming machine. The gaming machine comprises a display that arranges a plurality of symbols and a game controller. The game controller is programmed to operate, rearrange the symbols by executing a unit game, display a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and not to display a possibility that a second winning will be made until the unit game is over, accept a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made until the unit game is started, accept a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game, and award a payout determined based on the winning made when at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made.



Inventors:
Okada, Kazuo (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
11/932683
Publication Date:
07/24/2008
Filing Date:
10/31/2007
Assignee:
ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/42
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
DOSHI, ANKIT B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
POLSINELLI PC / WATCHSTONE LLP (Houston, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A gaming machine comprising: a display that arranges a plurality of symbols; and a game controller programmed to operate as in (a1)˜(a5), wherein the game controller, (a1) rearranges the symbols by executing a unit game, (a2) displays a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and does not display a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over, (a3) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, until the unit game is started, (a4) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game, and (a5) when at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, awards a payout determined based on the winning made.

2. A gaming machine comprising: a plurality of terminal devices that accept a bet and award a payout; a display that arranges a plurality of symbols and is commonly used or provided to each of the terminal devices; and a game controller programmed to operate as in (b1)˜(b5), wherein the game controller, (b1) rearranges the symbols by executing a unit game, (b2) displays a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game, and does not display a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over, (b3) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, in the terminal devices until the unit game is started, (b4) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, in the terminal devices until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game, and (b5) when at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, awards a payout determined based on the winning made, in the terminal device in which the bet is made.

3. A gaming machine comprising: a plurality of terminal devices that accept a bet and award a payout; a memory device that stores a game value about the bet; and a display that arranges a plurality of symbols; and a game controller programmed to operate as in (c1)˜(c7), wherein the game controller, (c1) subtracts some from the game values bet in each of the terminal devices and accumulates the some game values in the memory device, (c2) rearranges the symbols by executing a unit game, (c3) displays a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and does not display a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over, (c4) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, in the terminal devices until the unit game is started, (c5) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, in the terminal devices until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game, (c6) when the first winning bet is made, awards a payout determined based on the first winning made, in the terminal device in which the bet is made on the first winning, and (c7) when the second winning bet is made, awards a payout determined based on the game values accumulated in the memory device, in the terminal device in which the bet is made on the second winning.

4. A playing method of a gaming machine comprising: rearranging symbols by executing a unit game; displaying a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and not displaying a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over; accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, until the unit game is started, accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game, and when at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, awarding a payout determined based on the winning made.

5. A playing method of a gaming machine comprising: rearranging symbols by executing a unit game, displaying a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game, and not displaying a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over; accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, in terminal devices until the unit game is started, accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, in the terminal devices until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game, and when at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, awarding a payout determined based on the winning made, in the terminal device in which the bet is made.

6. A playing method of a gaming machine comprising: subtracting some from game values bet in each of a plurality of terminal devices and accumulating the some game values; rearranging symbols by executing a unit game, displaying a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and not displaying a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over, accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, in the terminal devices until the unit game is started, accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, in the terminal devices until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game, when the first winning bet is made, awarding a payout determined based on the first winning made, in the terminal device in which the bet is made on the first winning, and when the second winning bet is made, awarding a payout determined based on the game values accumulated in the memory device, in the terminal device in which the bet is made on the second winning.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/881,482 filed on Jan. 22, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a gaming machine and a playing method thereof.

2. Description of Related Art

A gaming machine has been known which allows many players to make a bet from a client terminal while using a common screen in common, thereby playing a game. For example, US2005/0059474 A1, US2005/0282618 A1 and US2005/0218590 A1 disclose a gaming machine having a number of consoles, a central controller and a common display unit connected thereto.

The invention provides a gaming machine a having entertainment characteristic, which is not provided to the conventional gaming machine, and a playing method thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a gaming machine comprising a structure as described below and having a display that arranges a number of symbols and a game controller programmed to operate as described in (a1)˜(a5).

The game controller,

(a1) rearranges the symbols by executing a unit game,

(a2) displays a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and does not display a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over,

(a3) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, until the unit game is started,

(a4) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game, and

(a5) when at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, awards a payout determined based on the winning made.

According to the gaming machine of the invention, with respect to the first winning having a possibility that it will be made during the execution of the unit game, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until the unit game is started. In the mean time, with respect to the second winning that its possibility that it will be made is not displayed until the unit game is over, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game after the unit game is started. When at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, a payout is awarded which is determined based on the winning made.

The invention provides a gaming machine comprising a structure as described below and having a number of terminal devices that accept a bet and award a payout, a display that arranges a number of symbols and a game controller programmed to operate as described in (b1)˜(b5).

The game controller,

(b1) rearranges the symbols by executing a unit game,

(b2) displays a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game, and does not display a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over,

(b3) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, in the terminal devices until the unit game is started,

(b4) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, in the terminal devices until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game, and

(b5) when at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, awards a payout determined based on the winning made, in the terminal device in which the bet is made.

According to the gaming machine of the invention, a series of operations as described below are respectively performed in each of the terminal devices. In other words, with respect to the first winning having a possibility that it will be made during the execution of the unit game, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until the unit game is started. In the mean time, with respect to the second winning that its possibility that it will be made is not displayed until the unit game is over, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game after the unit game is started. When at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, a payout is awarded which is determined based on the winning made.

The invention provides a gaming machine comprising a structure as described below and having a number of terminal devices that accept a bet and award a payout, a memory device that stores a game value about the bet, a display that arranges a number of symbols and a game controller programmed to operate as described in (c1)˜(c7).

The game controller,

(c1) subtracts some from the game values bet in each of the terminal devices and accumulates the some game values in the memory device,

(c2) rearranges the symbols by executing a unit game,

(c3) displays a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and does not display a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over,

(c4) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, in the terminal devices until the unit game is started,

(c5) accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, in the terminal devices until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game,

(c6) when the first winning bet is made, awards a payout determined based on the first winning made, in the terminal device in which the bet is made on the first winning, and

(c7) when the second winning bet is made, awards a payout determined based on the game values accumulated in the memory device, in the terminal device in which the bet is made on the second winning.

According to the gaming machine of the invention, a series of operations as described below are respectively performed in each of the terminal devices. In other words, with respect to the first winning having a possibility that it will be made during the execution of the unit game, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until the unit game is started. In the mean time, with respect to the second winning that its possibility that it will be made is not displayed until the unit game is over, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game after the unit game is started. Some of the game values bet are accumulated. When the first winning bet is made, a payout is awarded which is determined based on the first winning. When the second winning bet is made, a payout is awarded which is determined based on the game values accumulated.

The invention provides a playing method of a gaming machine having a structure as described below. The symbols are rearranged by executing a unit game. A possibility that a first winning will be made is displayed during the execution of the unit game and a possibility that a second winning will be made is not displayed until the unit game is over. A bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made is accepted, until the unit game is started. A bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made is accepted, until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game. When at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, a payout is awarded which is determined based on the winning made.

According to the playing method of the gaming machine of the invention, with respect to the first winning having a possibility that it will be made during the execution of the unit game, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until the unit game is started. In the mean time, with respect to the second winning that its possibility that it will be made is not displayed until the unit game is over, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game after the unit game is started. When at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, a payout is awarded which is determined based on the winning made.

The invention provides a playing method of a gaming machine having a structure as described below. The symbols are rearranged by executing a unit game. A possibility that a first winning will be made is displayed during the execution of the unit game and a possibility that a second winning will be made is not displayed, until the unit game is over. A bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made is accepted in the terminal devices until the unit game is started. A bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made is accepted in the terminal devices until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game. When at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, a payout determined based on the winning made is awarded in the terminal device in which the bet is made.

According to the playing method of the gaming machine of the invention, a series of operations as described below are respectively performed in each of the terminal devices. In other words, with respect to the first winning having a possibility that it will be made during the execution of the unit game, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until the unit game is started. In the mean time, with respect to the second winning that its possibility that it will be made is not displayed until the unit game is over, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game after the unit game is started. When at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, a payout is awarded which is determined based on the winning made.

The invention provides a playing method of a gaming machine having a structure as described below. Some of the game values bet in each of the terminal devices are subtracted and accumulated in the memory device. The symbols are rearranged by executing a unit game. A possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game is displayed and a possibility that a second winning will be made is not displayed, until the unit game is over. A bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made is accepted in the terminal devices until the unit game is started. A bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made is accepted in the terminal devices until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game. When the first winning bet is made, a payout determined based on the first winning made is awarded in the terminal device in which the bet is made on the first winning. When the second winning bet is made, a payout determined based on the game values accumulated in the memory device is awarded in the terminal device in which the bet is made on the second winning.

According to the invention, a series of operations as described below are respectively performed in each of the terminal devices. In other words, with respect to the first winning having a possibility that it will be made during the execution of the unit game, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until the unit game is started. In the mean time, with respect to the second winning that its possibility that it will be made is not displayed until the unit game is over, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game after the unit game is started. Some of the game values bet are accumulated. When the first winning bet is made, a payout is awarded which is determined based on the first winning. When the second winning bet is made, a payout is awarded which is determined based on the game values accumulated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an operating state of a gaming machine;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a gaming machine;

FIG. 3 illustrates a playing method of a gaming machine;

FIG. 4 illustrates a playing method of a gaming machine;

FIG. 5 illustrates a playing method of a gaming machine;

FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing a control circuit in a main body of a gaming machine;

FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing a control circuit in a terminal of a gaming machine;

FIG. 8 shows symbols and code numbers thereof;

FIG. 9 shows a scatter object symbol determining table;

FIG. 10 shows a set threshold value determining table;

FIG. 11 shows a terminal device managing table;

FIG. 12 is a flow chart of a main process in a main body;

FIG. 13 is a flow chart of a payout number calculating process;

FIG. 14 is a flow chart of a bet process; and

FIG. 15 is a flow chart of a process in a terminal.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, it will be described a gaming machine and a playing method thereof according to embodiments of the invention.

As shown in FIG. 1, a gaming machine 10 has a display 101 that arranges a number of symbols 180 and a game controller 100. The game controller 100 is adapted to execute a program operating as described in steps of (a1)˜(a5).

In the step (a1), the game controller rearranges the symbols 180 by executing a unit game. In the step (a2), it displays, on the display 101, a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and does not display a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over. In the step (a3), it accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, until the unit game is started. In the step (a4), it accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game. In the step (a5), when at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, it awards a payout determined based on the winning made.

Herein, the “unit game” is a game until rearrangement of the symbols 180 is ended after the rearrangement starts. The “arrangement” means a state enabling symbol 180 including a scatter symbol 182 to be visible with naked eyes of an exterior player. In other words, in FIG. 1, the symbols 180 are under state of being displayed in display windows 151˜155. In the mean time, the “rearrangement” is meant by arranging the symbols 180 again after dismissing the arrangement of the symbols 180.

In addition, the “first winning” is a winning that a possibility of winning realization is expected by a player during the execution of the unit game. For example, it includes a combination of symbols 180 rearranged on a payline L or a scatter symbol 182.

The “payline” L is provided to determine a combination of the symbols 180. In other words, when the symbols 180 are rearranged on and out of the payline L, a combination is determined for only the symbols 180 rearranged on the pay line. As a result of the determination for a combination, when it is made a winning combination, it is carried out, for example, a process of paying out a coin based on the winning combination.

In addition, the “scatter symbol” 182 is a symbol making it a condition that a winning is made through only the arrangement thereof, irrespective of the payline L. In other words, when the scatter symbol 182 is rearranged, a winning is made and it is carried out, for example, a process of paying out a coin on the basis of the number of all the scatter symbols 182 rearranged on and out of the payline L.

The structure of “displaying, on the display 101, a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game” means a state that the symbols 180 are sequentially stopped to allow a player to expect a possibility that a first winning will be made. For example, when a winning is made by a combination of the symbols 180, the symbols 180 are sequentially stopped, so that a process of completing the combination is displayed. In addition, while the scatter object symbols 181 of a predetermined number or more are displayed, when the scatter object symbols 181 are set as a scatter symbol 182, the symbols 180 are sequentially stopped, so that it is expected a possibility that the scatter symbol 182 will appear.

The “scatter object symbol 181” is a symbol serving as a scatter symbol on condition that the predetermined number of the symbols are rearranged. For example, in case that the scatter object symbol is “Bell” and “3” is set as a rearrangement number (set threshold value), when three or more “Bells” are rearranged, Bell serves as a scatter symbol, and when two or less “Bell” is rearranged, it serves as a normal symbol. Furthermore, the “symbol 180” is meant by all symbols used in the gaming machine 10 and includes the scatter symbol 182 and the scatter object symbol 181. The payline L, the symbol 180, the scatter symbol 182 and a winning combination will be more specifically described later.

The “second winning” is a winning that a possibility of winning realization is not expected by a player until the execution of the unit game is over. For example, it includes a winning determined just after the unit game is over or a jackpot. Meanwhile, the “jackpot” is a state that subtracts and accumulates some of game values and awards the game values accumulated when a winning is made. When the “predetermined time during the execution of the unit game” is time of until a unit game is over after the unit game is started, it may be a fixed time, a time depending on gaming states, a time randomly varied and the like. The “game value” includes a medal, coin, gaming ball, money, bill, magnetic card and the like.

The gaming machine 10 structured as described above executes a playing method having steps of rearranging the symbols 180 by executing a unit game; displaying a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and not displaying a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over; accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, until the unit game is started; accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game; and when at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, awarding a payout determined based on the winning made.

Thereby, according to the playing method of the gaming machine 10, with respect to the first winning having a possibility that it will be made during the execution of the unit game, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until the unit game is started. In the mean time, with respect to the second winning that its possibility that it will be made is not displayed until the unit game is over, it is possible to accept a bet therefor until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game after the unit game is started. As a result, even after the unit game is started, it is possible to bet on the second winning, so that a player can further enjoy the bet. In the mean time, regarding the second winning, since its possibility that it will be made is not displayed until the unit game is over, a probability that a payout will be higher is not increased even when a bet is made after the unit game is started.

Furthermore, the gaming machine 10 has a number of terminal devices 400 accepting a bet and awarding a payout. In other words, the gaming machine 10 is a multiplayer-type. Meanwhile, although the gaming machine 10 of the embodiment is a multiplayer-type comprising the terminal devices 400, the display 101 and the game controller 10, the invention is not limited thereto. For example, the gaming machine 10 may be a single player-type comprising a bet device and a payout device having functions of the terminal devices 400, the display 101 and the game controller 100 in a single cabinet. Alternatively, the gaming machine 10 of a multiplayer or single player-type may be connected to perform data communication via an Internet, it may constitute a huge game system enabling many players to play a game.

In the case of the gaming machine 10 having the terminal devices 10, the game controller 100 is adapted to execute a program operating as described in steps of (b1)˜(b5). In the step (b1), the game controller rearranges the symbols 180 by executing a unit game. In the step (b2), it displays, on the display 101, a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and does not display a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over. In the step (b3), it accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, in the terminal devices 400 until the unit game is started. In the step (b4), it accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, in the terminal devices 400 until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game. In the step (b5), when at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, it awards a payout determined based on the winning made, in the terminal device 400 in which the bet is made.

Thereby, the gaming machine 10 executes a playing method having steps of rearranging the symbols 180 by executing a unit game; displaying a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and not displaying a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over; accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, in the terminal deices 400 until the unit game is started; accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, in the terminal devices 400 until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game; and when at least one of the first and second winnings bet is made, awarding a payout determined based on the winning made, in the terminal device 400 in which the bet is made.

According to the gaming machine 10 having the terminal devices 400 and the playing method thereof, the operations by the gaming machine 10 and the playing method executing the steps of (b1)˜(b5) can be performed in each of the terminal devices 400.

Furthermore, the gaming machine 10 may have a second winning that is a jackpot. In this case, the gaming machine 10 further has a memory device 401 that stores the game values relating to the bet. Meanwhile, the gaming machine 10 may be a multiplayer-type or single player-type. The game controller 100 of the multiplayer-type is adapted to execute the program operating as the steps of (c1)˜(c7).

In the step (c1), the game controller subtracts some from the game values bet in each of the terminal devices 400 and accumulates the some game values in the memory device 401. In the step (c2), it rearranges the symbols 180 by executing a unit game. In the step (c3), it displays a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and does not display a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over. In the step (c4), it accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, in the terminal devices 400 until the unit game is started. In the step (c5), it accepts a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, in the terminal devices 400 until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game. In the step (c6), when the first winning bet is made, it awards a payout determined based on the first winning made, in the terminal device 400 in which the bet is made on the first winning. In the step (c7), when the second winning bet is made, it awards a payout determined based on the game values accumulated in the memory device 401, in the terminal device 400 in which the bet is made on the second winning.

Thereby, the gaming machine 10 executes a playing method having steps of subtracting some from game values bet in each of the terminal devices 400 and accumulating the some game values in the memory device; rearranging the symbols 180 by executing a unit game; displaying a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and does not display a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over; accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, in the terminal devices 400 until the unit game is started; accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, in the terminal devices 400 until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game; when the first winning bet is made; awarding a payout determined based on the first winning made, in the terminal device 400 in which the bet is made on the first winning; and when the second winning bet is made, awarding a payout determined based on the game values accumulated, in the terminal device 400 in which the bet is made on the second winning.

Like this, according to the gaming machine 10 having the terminal devices 400 and the jackpot as second winning and the playing method, the operations by the gaming machine 10 and the playing method executing the steps of (c1)˜(c7) can be performed in each of the terminal devices 400. Furthermore, when the second winning (jackpot) bet is made, a payout determined based on the game values accumulated is awarded in the terminal device 400 in which the bet is made on jackpot.

Furthermore, the gaming machine 10 executes a playing method having steps of randomly selecting to determine a scatter object symbol 181 among the symbols 180; rearranging the symbols 180 in the display; awarding a payout determined by a combination of the symbols rearranged on the payline L; and when the scatter object symbols 181 of a predetermined number or more are rearranged, setting the scatter object symbol 181 as a scatter symbol 182 and awarding a payout determined based on the scatter symbol 182.

Further, the gaming machine 10 executes a playing method having steps of providing a display area (scatter object symbol display unit 163) to a part different from an arrangement area (display windows 151˜155) for arranging the symbols 180 and displaying the scatter object symbol 181 in the display area; and when the scatter object symbols 181 of a predetermined number or more are rearranged, notifying that the scatter object symbol 181 is set as a scatter symbol 182.

(Display 101)

As shown in FIG. 2, the gaming machine 10 executing the above playing method is provided with the display 101 and the game controller 100. The display 101 is structured to have the payline L and to arrange the symbols 180 including the scatter symbol 182. In addition, the display 101 is structured to provide a scatter object symbol display unit 163 (display area) to a part different from display windows 151˜155 (arrangement area) for arranging the symbols 180.

The display 101 may be a mechanical structure with a reel device for arranging the symbols 180 by rotation of a reel or electrical structure with a video reel on which an image is displayed for arranging the symbols 180. Further, the display 101 may be a structure of combining a mechanical structure (reel) and an electrical structure (video reel). The electrical structure may include a liquid crystal device, a CRT (cathode-ray tube), a plasma display and the like. A detailed structure of the display 101 will be described later.

(Game controller 100)

The game controller 100 comprises a scatter object symbol memory 105 for storing the scatter object symbol 181, a scatter symbol memory 106 for storing the scatter symbol 182, a symbol memory 108 for storing all the symbols including the scatter symbol 182, and a display symbol memory 107 for storing the symbols in the respective memories 105, 106, 108 as a display symbol. The display symbol memory 107 can be accessed by a display control unit 102. The display control unit 102 sets the arrangement area 101a for arranging the plural symbols 180 and the display area 101b for displaying the scatter object symbol in the different parts of the display 101. In addition, the display control unit 102 reads out the symbols 180 in the display symbol memory 107 under control of a game executing unit 110 and displays the plural symbols 180 in the arrangements area 101a and the scatter object symbol 181 in the display area 101b. A detailed display state will be described later.

Further, the game controller 100 is connected to a game start unit 109. The game start unit 109 has a function of automatically outputting a game start signal at a predetermined time interval. The game controller 100 comprises a game executing unit 110 for executing a unit game rearranging the symbols with an input of a game start signal, as trigger, from the game start unit 109, a combination payout determining unit 111 for determining a payout based on a combination of the symbols rearranged on the payline in a unit game, a scatter symbol payout determining unit 112 for determining a payout on the basis of the scatter symbols rearranged on and out of the payline, a jackpot payout determining unit 117 for determining a distribution of a coin, which is a game value stored, when a winning of jackpot is made and a payout award unit 113 for awarding the respective payouts, which are determined in the combination payout determining unit 111, the scatter symbol payout determining unit 112 and the jackpot payout determining unit 117, to the terminal devices 400.

Furthermore, the game controller 100 has a symbol determining unit 104 which is operated when a game start unit is inputted from the game start unit 109. The symbol determining unit 104 randomly selects to determine the scatter object symbol 181 among the plural symbols 180. The symbol determining unit 104 outputs the scatter object symbol 181 to a rearrangement-number determining unit 114 and the scatter object symbol memory 105. The rearrangement number determining unit 114 sets the scatter object symbol 181 as the scatter symbol 182, when predetermined number of the scatter object symbols 181 are rearranged. In other words, the rearrangement-number determining unit 114 enables the scatter object symbol memory 105 to transmit the scatter object symbol 181 stored therein to the scatter symbol memory 106, thereby setting it as the scatter symbol 182.

Further, the game controller 100 has a communication unit 115 that is connected to the terminal device 400 to perform data communication. The communication unit 115 is connected to the game executing unit 100, a participation notifying unit 116, a bet processing unit 118 and a memory device 401. The participation notifying unit 116 executes a process of notifying that a player participates in a bet in each of the terminal devices 400. Specifically, the participation notifying unit 116 executes a process of notifying that a player takes part in a bet for receiving a payout when a winning of scatter symbol 182 or payline L is made, until a unit game is started, and a process of notifying a bet for receiving a payout when a winning of jackpot is made until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game.

The bet processing unit 118 executes processes of storing the number of coins bet in each of the terminal devices 400, as a bet number, in the memory device 401, subtracting some from the bet number and accumulating some coins in the memory device 401. The memory device 401 stores data of a terminal device managing table in FIG. 11. In other words, the memory device 401 stores each data of terminal numbers of each terminal device 400, a typical bet number, a jackpot bet number, a typical payout number and a jackpot payout number. Meanwhile, each block of the game controller 100 may be structured in hardware or software manner, as required.

(Operation of Game Controller 100)

In the above structure, an operation of the game controller 100 is described.

A notifying signal is outputted to each of the terminal devices 400 through the communication unit 115 from the participation notifying unit 116. Thereby, a process of notifying a bet participation is performed in each terminal device 400. Specifically, as shown in FIG. 3, before a unit game is started, it is displayed a notification that permits a participation in a bet for receiving a payout when a scatter symbol 182 or winning of the payline L is made and at the same time it is displayed a notification that permits a participation in a bet for receiving a payout when a winning of jackpot is made. In addition, it is displayed a notification that permits a bet for receiving a payout when a winning of jackpot is made, until a predetermined time elapses after a unit game is started.

When a bet is made in the terminal devices 400, a bet number is stored in the memory device 401 and some of the bet number is accumulated as a payout of jackpot. After that, when a predetermined standby time elapses and a game start signal is outputted from the game start unit 109, the symbol determining unit 104 starts a process and the game executing unit 110 starts a unit game, so that the symbols 180 are rearranged. The symbol determining unit 104 randomly selects to determine a scatter object symbol 181 among the symbols 180 stored in the symbol memory 108. The determined scatter object symbol 181 is stored in the scatter object symbol memory 105 and is also used for a determination process in the rearrangement-number determining unit 114.

The scatter object symbol 181 stored in the scatter object symbol memory 105 is outputted to the display symbol memory 107 and then used for an image process in the display control unit 102, so that it is displayed in the display area 101b of the display 101. In other words, the game controller 100 provides the display area 101b to a part different from the arrangement area 101a for arranging the symbols 180 and displays the scatter object symbol 181 in the display area 101b. Thereby, a player can easily recognize the scatter object symbol 181 since the scatter object symbol 181 is displayed in the display area 101b separated from the arrangement area 101a.

In addition, when the symbols 180 are rearranged as a unit game is executed, a rearrangement-number determining unit 114 specifies the scatter object symbol 181 among the rearranged symbols 180 and calculates a rearrangement-number of the scatter object symbol 181. Then, when the predetermined number or more of the scatter object symbols 181 are rearranged, it sets the scatter object symbol 181 as a scatter symbol 182. In other words, it transmits the scatter object symbol 181 stored in the scatter object symbol memory 105 to the scatter symbol memory 106. Thereby, the scatter object symbol 181 serves as a scatter symbol 182. Then, a payout is awarded which is determined on the basis of the scatter symbols 182 rearranged on and out of the payline L.

In addition, when the scatter symbol 182 is stored in the scatter symbol memory 106, the scatter symbol 182 is displayed in the display 101 by an information process in the display control unit 102. In other words, when the predetermined number or more of the scatter object symbols 181 are rearranged, the game controller 100 notifies that the scatter object symbol 181 is set as a scatter symbol 182. Thereby, as shown in FIG. 5, since the display is changed from the scatter object symbol 181 to the scatter symbol 182, the player can easily recognize that a condition of the scatter symbol 182 has been fulfilled, and can enjoy that the player will be provided with a payout for the scatter symbol 182.

Then, a payout determined by a combination of the symbols 180 rearranged on the payline L is awarded by the scatter symbol payout determining unit 112 and the payout award unit 113. Thereby, the game controller 100 rearranges the symbols to award a payout determined by a combination of the symbols 180 rearranged on the payline L.

Further, when the rearrangement of the symbols 180 is completed, i.e., the unit game is over, a jackpot is determined by lot in the game executing unit 110, as shown in FIG. 4. When a jackpot is made, a payout for each of the terminal devices 400 in which the bet on jackpot is made is determined in the jackpot payout determining unit 117, based on the data of the memory device 401 and the payout is awarded to the terminal device 400.

As described above, the gaming machine 10 is adapted to execute a game in which a possibility that a first winning of the payline L or scatter symbol 182 will be made during the execution of the unit game is displayed and a possibility that a second winning of a jackpot will be made is not displayed until the unit game is over, and realizes the playing method of accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, until the unit game is started, and accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game.

(Display State of the Display 101)

It is specifically described an example of a display state of the display 101, with respect to the operation processes of the gaming machine 10 and the playing method. In the mean time, as shown in FIG. 1, the display state is described with reference to a structure in which the display 101 arranges the symbols in a video reel manner.

The display 101 has display windows 151˜155 as the arrangement area for arranging the plural symbols. The display windows 151˜155 are arranged in a central part of the display 101. In the display windows 151˜155, symbol columns consisting of the plural symbols 180 are scroll-displayed. In addition, each of the display windows 151˜155 is divided into upper, center and lower stages 151a, 151b and 151c. Each of the symbols 180 is stopped (arranged) in the respective stages 151a, 151b and 151c. For example, “ORANGE” is stopped in the upper stage 151a of the display window 151, “STRAWBERRY” is stopped in the center stage 151b of the display window 151 and “BLUE 7” is stopped in the lower stage 151c of the display window 151. As a result, the display windows 151˜155 display a symbol matrix consisting of 5 columns and 3 rows. In the mean time, the symbol matrix is not limited to 5 columns/3 rows.

In addition, the display 101 has a scatter object symbol display unit 163 as the display area for displaying the scatter object symbols 181. The scatter object symbol display unit 163 is arranged in a right-handed upper part of the display 151 so as not to overlap with the display windows 151˜155. In the mean time, the scatter object symbol display unit 163 may be provided to an arbitrary position on condition that it can avoid the overlapping with the display windows 151˜155.

A selection object window 165 is provided to a lower part of the scatter object symbol display unit 163. The selection object window 165 displays a symbol which will be a candidate for the scatter object symbol 181. Accordingly, the player can intuitively recognize that a scatter object symbol 181 is randomly selected among the candidate symbols displayed in the selection object window 165 and then displayed in the scatter object symbol display unit 163.

In addition, the display 101 has a scatter symbol display unit 171. The scatter symbol display unit 171 is basket-shaped, and displays the scatter symbol 182 as a received thing. The scatter symbol display unit 171 is provided to a central upper part of the display 101. In the mean time, the scatter symbol display unit 171 may be provided to an arbitrary position on condition that it can avoid the overlapping with the display windows 151˜155 and the scatter object symbol display unit 163. Further, the display 101 has a jackpot display unit 172. The jackpot display unit 172 displays a total number of coins to be paid out when a winning of jackpot is made. In addition, the display 101 displays a jackpot character 173 when a winning of jackpot is made, as shown in FIG. 4.

(Display State of the Terminal Device 400)

As shown in FIG. 1, a display panel 411 of the terminal device 400 displays a display window unit 412 that imitates the display windows 151˜155 of the display 101. When various winnings are made, the display window unit 412 performs a color display or lighting corresponding to a content of the winning made. Thereby, a player can recognize that a winning is made through the display of the display panel 411, in addition to the display of the display 101.

In addition, the display panel 411 displays a first bet display unit 413 and a second bet display unit 414. The first bet display unit 413 displays whether a bet of the payline L can be accepted. Specifically, as shown in FIG. 3, the first bet display unit 413 displays “you can participate in the payline L” until a unit game is executed, and displays “participation in the payline is over,” until a unit game is over after the unit game is executed. The second bet display unit 414 displays whether a jackpot acceptance can be or not. Specifically, the second bet display unit 414 displays “you can participate in the jackpot,” until a predetermined time period elapses after a unit game is executed and displays “participation in the jackpot is over,” until a unit game is over after a predetermined time period has elapsed. In addition, the display panel 411 displays a jackpot character 173 when a winning of jackpot is made, as shown in FIG. 4.

(Symbol, Combination, etc.)

As shown in FIG. 8, the symbols 180 to be displayed in the display windows 151˜155 of the display 101 constitute columns of symbols, each of which consists of 22 symbols. The symbols constituting the respective columns of symbols are given with one code number of 0˜21. Each of the columns of symbols is constituted with a combination of symbols of “BLUE 7,” “BELL,” “CHERRY,” “STRAWBERRY,” “PLUM,” “ORANGE” and “APPLE.”

The three successive symbols in the columns of symbols are displayed (arranged) in the upper, center and lower stages 151a, 151b, 151c of the display windows 151˜155, respectively, so that they constitute a symbol matrix of 5 columns/3 rows. When a predetermined bet acceptance time period elapses after a unit game is over, the symbols constituting the symbol matrix start the scroll automatically. When the scroll starts, the scrolls of the respective symbols are stopped (rearranged) after a predetermined time period elapses.

In addition, various winning combinations are predetermined with regard to the respective symbols. The winning combination is a combination that a combination of symbols stopped on the payline L becomes an advantageous state to the player. The advantageous state is a state in which a coin is paid out in accordance with the winning combination, a state in which the payout-number of coins is added to a credit, a state in which a bonus game is started, and the like.

Specifically, when a combination of “APPLE” symbol is stopped on the payline L, a bonus is triggered and a gaming state is shifted to a bonus game from a basic game. In addition, when a symbol of “CHERRY” is stopped on the payline L, 20 coins (game medium) are paid out per one bet. When a symbol of “PLUM” is stopped on the payline L, 5 coins are paid out per one bet.

In the mean time, a bonus game is a gaming state that is more advantageous than a basic game. In one embodiment, the bonus game is a free game. The free game is a gaming state allowing a player to play a game for a predetermined number of times, without betting a coin. The bonus game is not particularly limited as long as it is a gaming state advantageous to the player, i.e., it is more advantageous than the basic game. For example, the bonus game may include a state in which it is possible to obtain more game values than the basic game, a state in which it is possible to obtain a game value in a higher probability than in the basic game, a state in which a game value is less consumed than in the basic game, and the like. Specifically, a free game, a second game and the like are examples of the bonus game.

(Mechanical Structure: Gaming Machine Main Body 1)

In the followings, it will be described an example of the gaming machine structured in a mechanical and electrical manner.

As shown in FIG. 1, the gaming machine 10 is provided in a game arcade. The gaming machine 10 executes a unit game by using a game medium which is a game value. The game medium is a coin, bill or electronic negotiable information corresponding to them. Meanwhile, in the invention, the game medium is not particularly limited. For example, a medal, token, electronic money, ticket and the like can be used. The ticket is not particularly limited and may be a ticket with a barcode which will be described later.

As shown in FIG. 1, the gaming machine 10 has a gaming machine main body 1 and a gaming machine terminal 2. The gaming machine main body 1 comprises the game controller 100 having a calculation device, memory device and the like and the display 101 that its display is controlled by the game controller 100, such as liquid crystal display. The display 101 is large-sized so that many players can see it while surrounding it.

The display 101 displays a video reel and a variety of information and effect images relating to a game. Specifically, the display 101 displays the display windows 151˜155 of 5 columns/3 rows, the scatter object symbol display unit 163 and the scatter symbol display unit 171 and other effect images, as required.

In the mean time, in this embodiment, it is exemplified a case where the symbols of 5 columns/3 rows are displayed. However, the invention is not limited thereto. For example, a mechanical reel having symbols provided to a periphery thereof may be rotated and stopped to display symbols beyond a display window 15.

One activated payline L is displayed in the display 101. The payline L is set to horizontally traverse the center stages 151b of the display windows 151˜155. Meanwhile, in this embodiment, although the payline L traverses the center stages 151b of the display windows 151˜155, it may traverse the other stages of the display windows 151˜155. For example, the payline L may traverse the upper stages 151a or lower stages 151c of the display windows 151˜155. Alternatively, the payline L may traverse the lower stage 151c of the display window 151, the center stage 151b of the display window 152 and the upper stage 151a of the display window 153. Further, the payline L may be 2 or more. When two or more paylines L are provided, all paylines L may be activated and the number of paylines L relating to a predetermined condition such as bet-number of coins may be activated.

(Mechanical Structure: Gaming Machine Terminal 2)

A gaming machine terminal 2 is disposed in front of the display 101. The gaming machine terminal 2 has a cabinet 3, a number of terminal devices 400 provided to the cabinet 3 and a number of chairs 4 disposed adjacent to the cabinet 3. The cabinet 3 is fan-shaped around the display 101. The terminal devices 400 are disposed at an equal interval on the cabinet 3. In addition, coin trays 416 are disposed at a side of the cabinet 3.

The terminal device 400 has a liquid crystal display device that forms the display panel 411, an operating panel 415 and the coin tray 416. The operating panel 415 has a coin receiving slot and a bill validator. A control panel 20 is provided with a variety of buttons. The buttons allow instructions, which are related to a game progress by a player, to be inputted. The coin receiving slot enables a coin to be received in the cabinet 3.

The operating panel 415 is provided with a change button, a cash out button, a 1-BET button (payline button), a MAX-BET button (payline button) and a jackpot button. The change button is a button to be used when a player asks a staff in the game arcade for exchange of money. The cash out button is a button for inputting an instruction to pay out the coins of total credit-number into the coin tray 416. The 1-BET button is a button for inputting an instruction to bet one coin, among coins of the total credit-number, per one game. The MAX-BET button is a button for inputting an instruction to bet maximum coins (for example, 50 coins), among coins of the total credit-number, per one game. The jackpot button is a button for inputting a bet on a winning of jackpot.

The bill validator validates whether bill is normal or not and receives the normal bill into the terminal device 400. In addition, the bill validator can read a ticket having a barcode attached thereto. When the bill validator reads the ticket, it outputs a reading signal relating to the content read.

Furthermore, the operating panel 415 is provided with a ticket printer, a card reader, a data displayer and a keypad. The ticket printer prints a barcode having data encoded thereto, such as credit-number, date and time, identification number of the gaming machine 10 and the like, onto a ticket, thereby outputting the ticket having the barcode attached thereto. A player can play a game in another gaming machine with the ticket having a barcode and exchange the ticket having a barcode with bill in a change booth of the game arcade.

The card reader reads and writes the data from and into a smart card. The smart card is a card carried by a player, into which data for identifying the player and data relating to a game history of the player are memorized.

The data displayer consists of a fluorescent display and the like, and displays the data read by the card reader and the data inputted by the player through the keypad. The keypad inputs instructions or data relating to a ticket issue.

A belly glass is provided around the operating panel 415 or to the side of the gaming machine terminal 2. A character of the gaming machine 10 and the like are drawn on the belly glass. In addition, the terminal device 400 is adapted to display an image representative of an effect image, introduction of game contents and explanation of game rules. Furthermore, the cabinet 3 is provided with a speaker for voice output.

(Electric Structure: Gaming Machine Main Body 1)

A control unit in FIG. 6 is mounted in the game controller 100 of the gaming machine main body 1. The control unit comprises a motherboard 40, a main body PCB (Printed Circuit Board) 60, a gaming board 50, a sub CPU 61, various switches, a speaker 29 and a memory device 401.

The gaming board 50 is provided with a CPU (Central Processing Unit) 51, a ROM 55 and a boot ROM 52 which are connected to each other by an internal bus, a card slot 53S corresponding to a memory card 53 and an IC socket 54S corresponding to a GAL (Generic Array Logic) 54.

The memory card 53 stores a game program and a game system program therein. The game program includes a stop symbol determining program. The stop symbol determining program is a program for determining a symbol (code number corresponding to the symbol) to be stopped on the payline L. The stop symbol determining program includes symbol weight data corresponding to each of plural payout rate (for example, 80%, 84%, and 88%). The symbol weight data is data representing a correspondence relation between the code number of each symbol and 1 or plural random numbers belonging to a predetermined numerical range (0˜256) for each of the display windows 151˜155.

The payout rate is determined on the basis of data for setting a payout rate, which data is outputted from the GAL 54, and a stop symbol is determined on the basis of the symbol weight data corresponding to the payout rate.

Further, the memory card 53 stores various data used for the game program and the game system program. Specifically, the data representing a relationship between the symbols 180 displayed in the display windows 151˜155 of FIG. 1 and the range of random numbers is stored in a scatter object symbol-determining table form shown in FIG. 9. The data of the data table in FIG. 9 is used to randomly select a scatter object symbol 181 among the plural symbols 180. Further, the data representing a relationship between a set threshold value and a range of random numbers is stored in a set threshold value determining table form shown in FIG. 10. The data of the data table in FIG. 10 is used when a set threshold value of whether to determine the scatter object symbol 181 as the scatter symbol 182 is randomly selected among “2”˜“6.” The detailed contents of the respective data tables will be described later. In the mean time, these data are transmitted to a RAM 43 of the motherboard 40 when executing the game program.

In addition, the card slot 53S is structured to insert and remove the memory card 53 and connected to the motherboard 40 through an IDE bus. Accordingly, it is possible to change a type or content of a game to be executed in the gaming machine, by removing the memory card 53 from the card slot 53S, writing another game program and game system program in the memory card 53 and inserting the memory card 53 into the card slot 53S.

The game program includes a program relating to a game progress and a program for shifting a gaming state into a bonus game. In addition, the game program includes image data and voice data to be outputted during the game.

The GAL 54 is provided with plural input and output ports. When the data is inputted into the input ports, the GAL 54 outputs data corresponding to the inputted data from the output ports. The data outputted from the output ports is the data for setting a payout rate which has been described above.

The IC socket 54S is structured to attach and detach the GAL 54. The IC socket 54S is connected to the motherboard 40 through a PCI bus. Accordingly, it is possible to change the data for setting a payout rate which is outputted from the GAL 54, by detaching the GAL 54 from the IC socket 54S, rewriting the program stored in the GAL 54 and then attaching the GAL 54 to the IC socket 54S.

The CPU 51, the ROM 55 and the boot ROM 52, which are connected to each other by the internal bus, are connected to the motherboard 40 through the PCI bus. The PCI bus carries out a signal transfer between the motherboard 40 and the gaming board 50 and supplies power to the gaming board 50 from the motherboard 40. The ROM 55 stores nation identification information and an authentication program. The boot ROM 52 stores a preliminary authentication program and a program (boot code) enabling the CPU 51 to execute the preliminary authentication program.

The authentication program is a program (falsification check program) for authenticating the game program and the game system program. The authentication program is a program for confirming and verifying that the game program and the game system program are not falsified. In other words, the authentication program is described in accordance with a procedure for authenticating the game program and the game system program. The preliminary authentication program is a program for authenticating the authentication program. The preliminary authentication program is described in accordance with a procedure for verifying that the authentication to be authenticated is not falsified, i.e., for authenticating the authentication program.

The motherboard 40 is provided with a main CPU 41 (controller), a ROM (Read Only Memory) 42 and a RAM (Random Access Memory) 43. The main CPU 41 has functions of a controller for controlling the whole gaming machine 10. In particular, the main CPU 41 carries out a control for scrolling the symbols 180 after a unit game is over and then a predetermined time period elapses, a control for determining symbols to be stopped after the symbols 180 are scrolled and a control for stopping the determined symbols 180 in the display windows 151˜155.

In other words, the main CPU 41 has functions of an arrangement controller for selecting and determining arrangement symbols in a symbol matrix from several types of symbols 180 so as to rearrange them, as a new symbol matrix after scrolling the symbols 180, and executing an arrangement control which will be stopped at the determined symbols from the scroll state.

Furthermore, the main CPU 41 has functions of the game controller 100 for executing processes of subtracting some from a bet-number of coins in the terminal device 400 and accumulating the some bet-number in the memory device 401; rearranging the symbols by executing a unit game; displaying a possibility that a first winning will be made during the execution of the unit game and not displaying a possibility that a second winning will be made, until the unit game is over; accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the first winning is made, in the terminal device 400 until the unit game is started; accepting a bet for receiving a payout when the second winning is made, in the terminal device 400 until a predetermined time during the execution of the unit game; when the first winning bet is made, awarding a payout determined based on the first winning made, in the terminal device 400 in which the bet is made on the first winning; and when the second winning bet is made, awarding a payout determined based on the game values accumulated in the memory device, in the terminal device 400 in which the bet is made on the second winning.

In addition, the main CPU 41 has functions of the game controller 100 for executing a process of randomly selecting to determine the scatter object symbol 181 among the plural symbols 180, a process of rearranging the symbols 180 in the display, a process of awarding a payout determined on the basis of a combination of the symbols 180 rearranged on the payline L and a process of when the predetermined number or more of the scatter object symbols 181 are rearranged, setting the scatter object symbol 181 as the scatter symbol 182, awarding a payout determined on the basis of the scatter symbol 182.

Further, the main CPU 41 has functions of the game controller 100 for executing a process of providing the display area (scatter object symbol display unit 163) to a part different from the arrangement area (display windows 151˜155) for arranging the symbols 180 and displaying the scatter object symbol 181 in the display area and a process of when the predetermined number or more of the scatter object symbols 181 are rearranged, notifying that the scatter object symbol 181 is set as the scatter symbol 182.

The ROM 42 stores a program such as BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) executed by the main CPU 41, and data that is permanently used. When the BIOS is executed by the main CPU 41, each of peripheral devices is initialized and the game program and the game system program stored in the memory card 53 are read out through the gaming board 50.

The RAM 43 stores the data or program which is used when the CPU 41 carries out a process. For example, in the RAM 43, the scatter object symbol memory 105, the scatter symbol memory 106, the symbol memory 108 and the display symbol memory 107 are provided in a data area form. The data area of the scatter object symbol memory 105 stores the scatter object symbols 181. The data area of the scatter symbol memory 106 stores the scatter symbol 182. The data area of the symbol memory 108 stores the symbols 180 in the data table form shown in FIG. 8. The data area of the display symbol memory 107 stores the symbols 180, the scatter object symbols 181 and the scatter symbols 182.

The motherboard 40 is connected to a communication interface 44. The communication interface 44 is provided to communicate with the terminal devices 400, a host computer and the like through a communication line, which are mounted in the game arcade. Further, the motherboard 40 is connected to a power unit 45. When power is supplied to the motherboard 40 from the power unit 45, the main CPU 41 of the motherboard 40 is operated and the power is supplied to the gaming board 50 through the PCI bus, so that the CPU 51 is also operated.

(Electric Structure: Gaming Machine Terminal 2)

Each terminal device 400 provided to the gaming machine terminal 2 has a control unit shown in FIG. 7. The control unit has a motherboard 240, a first PCB 280, a second PCB 260, various switches and a speaker 229. The motherboard 240 has a terminal CPU 241, a ROM 242 and a RAM 243. The terminal CPU 241 has a function of a controller controlling the overall terminal device 400.

The ROM 242 stores a program such as BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) executed by the terminal CPU 241, a process routine of the terminal shown in FIG. 15 and data that is permanently used. When the BIOS is executed by the main CPU 41, each of peripheral devices is initialized. The RAM 243 stores data that is used when the terminal CPU 241 performs a process.

The terminal CPU 241 is connected to a communication interface 244. The communication interface 44 is provided to communicate with the gaming machine main body 1 through a communication line. Further, the motherboard 240 is connected to a power unit 245. When power is supplied to the motherboard 240 from the power unit 245, the terminal CPU 241 of the motherboard 240 is operated.

The motherboard 240 is connected with the first PCB 280 and the second PCB 260 via a signal bus. The first PCB 280 is connected to a device or apparatus for producing an input signal which will be inputted to the terminal CPU 241, and a device or apparatus which is controlled by a control signal outputted from the terminal CPU 241. The terminal CPU 241 executes the game program and the game system program stored in the RAM 243, based on the input signal inputted to the terminal CPU 241, to carry out an arithmetic process, thereby storing a result thereof in the 2RAM 43 or transmitting a control signal to each device or apparatus.

The second PCB 260 is connected with a lamp 230, a hopper 266, a coin sensor 267, a graphic board 268, the speaker 229, a bill validator 222, a ticket printer 235, a card reader 236, a key switch 238S and a data displayer 237.

The lamp 230 is turned on/off on the basis of the control signal outputted from the terminal CPU 241. The hopper 266 is mounted in the cabinet 3 and pays out predetermined number of coins to the coin tray 416, based on the control signal outputted from the terminal CPU 241. The coin sensor 267 detects that the predetermined number of coins are paid out and outputs an input signal to the terminal CPU 241.

The graphic board 268 controls an image display in the display panel 411, based on the control signal outputted from the terminal CPU 241. In addition, the graphic board 268 is provided with a VDP for producing image data on the basis of the control signal outputted from the terminal CPU 241, a video RAM for temporarily storing the image data produced by the VDP, and the like.

The bill validator 222 reads an image of the bill and accommodates the normal bill in the cabinet 3. In addition, when accommodating the normal bill, the bill validator 222 outputs an input signal to the terminal CPU 241, based on an amount of the bill. The terminal CPU 241 stores a credit-number, which corresponds to the amount of the bill transmitted by the input signal, in the RAM 43, and transmits the credit-number to the gaming machine main body 1 through the communication interface 244.

The ticket printer 235 prints a barcode having data encoded thereto, such as credit-number stored in the RAM 43, date and time, identification number of the gaming machine 10 and the like, on a ticket, based on the control signal outputted from the terminal CPU 241, thereby outputting the ticket having the barcode.

The card reader 236 reads the data from the smart card to transmit it to the terminal CPU 241, and writes the data into the smart card, based on the control signal outputted from the terminal CPU 241. The key switch 238S is mounted to the keypad, and outputs an input signal to the terminal CPU 241 when the player manipulates the keypad. The data displayer 237 displays the data that is read by the card reader 236 or the data which the player inputs through the key switch 238S, based on the control signal outputted from the terminal CPU 241. In the mean time, the data is transmitted to the gaming machine main body 1 via the communication interface 244.

The first PCB 280 is connected with a control panel 220, a reverter 221S, a coin counter 221C and a cold cathode tube 281. The control panel 220 is provided with a change switch 224S corresponding to the change button, a cash out switch 225S corresponding to the cash out button, a 1-BET switch 226S corresponding to the 1-BET button and a MAX-BET switch 227S corresponding to the MAX-BET button. Further, the control panel 220 is provided with a jackpot switch 232S corresponding to the jackpot button. Each of the switches 223227232S outputs an input signal to the terminal CPU 241 when each of the corresponding buttons is pushed by a player.

The coin counter 221C validates whether a coin, which is inserted by the player, is normal or not. A coin except the normal coin is discharged from the coin tray 416. In addition, the coin counter 221C outputs an input signal to the terminal CPU 241 when it detects a normal coin.

The coin counter 221C is operated on the basis of the control signal outputted from the terminal CPU 241 and distributes a coin, which is recognized as a normal coin by the coin counter 221C, to a cash box or hopper 266 mounted in the gaming machine 10. In other words, when the hopper 266 is fully filled with the coins, the normal coin is distributed into the cash box by the reverter 221S. In the mean time, when the hopper 266 is not fully filled with the coins, the normal coin is distributed into the hopper 266. The cold cathode tube 281 functions as a backlight mounted to rear sides of the display panel 411 and is turned on, based on the control signal outputted from the terminal CPU 241.

(Data Table)

In the followings, it will be described a scatter object symbol-determining table in FIG. 9. The data in the table is stored in the RAM 43 of the motherboard 40. The table has a column of symbols and a column of ranges of random numbers. The column of symbols stores 5 types of symbols consisting of “BELL,” “CHERRY,” “ORANGE,” “STRAWBERRY” and “PLUM.” The column of ranges of random numbers stores 5 types of range data consisting of “0˜50,” “51˜100,” “101˜150,” “151˜200” and “201˜255.” With respect to each column, the column of symbols and the column of ranges of random numbers correspond to each other. Thereby, the scatter object symbol-determining table enables a random number value to be randomly selected within a range of “0˜255” and a symbol to be randomly selected through a relationship between the selected random number value and the range data. Specifically, when “120” is selected as a random number value, “STRAWBERRY” corresponding to “101˜200” is selected.

In the followings, it will be described a set threshold value determining table in FIG. 10. The data in the table is stored in the RAM 43 of the motherboard 40. The table has a column of set threshold values and a column of ranges of random numbers. The column of set threshold values stores 5 types of set threshold values consisting of “2,” “3,” “4,” “5” and “6”. The column of ranges of random numbers stores 5 types of range data consisting of “0˜50,” “51˜100,” “101˜150,” “151˜200” and “201˜255.” With respect to each column, the column of symbols and the column of ranges of random numbers correspond to each other. Thereby, the set threshold value determining table enables a random number value to be randomly selected within a range of “0˜255” and a set threshold value to be randomly selected through a relationship between the selected random number value and the range data. Specifically, when “72” is selected as a random number value, “3” corresponding to “51˜100” is selected.

In the followings, it will be described a terminal device managing table shown in FIG. 11. The data in the table is stored in the memory device 401 of the gaming machine main body 1. The table has a column of terminal numbers, a column of typical bet numbers, a column of typical payout numbers and a column of jackpot payout numbers. The column of terminal numbers stores specific terminals numbers given to the respective terminal devices 400. Specifically, “1,” “2,” “3,” “4” and “5” are stored. The column of typical bet numbers stores bet numbers bet on the payline L or scatter symbols 182. The column of jackpot bet numbers stores bet numbers bet on the jackpot.

The column of typical payout numbers stores coin numbers to be paid out when a winning of the payline L or scatter symbol 182 is made. In the mean time, when the winning thereof is not made, “0” is stored which indicates that a payout is not performed. The column of jackpot numbers stores coin numbers to be paid out when a winning of jackpot is made. Meanwhile, when the winning thereof is not made, “0” is stored which indicates that a payout is not performed.

(Processing Operations: Gaming Machine Main Body 1)

In the followings, it will be described a process that is carried out in the gaming machine main body 1. When the main CPU 41 of the game controller 100 reads to execute a game program, a game is started. As shown in FIG. 12, in the main process of the main body, a start of a unit game is hold until a bet acceptance time elapses (S1). During the waiting period of the bet acceptance time, the terminal device 400 performs a bet acceptance carried out by pushing the 1-BET button, MAX-BET button, jackpot button and the like. An operation of the terminal device 400 will be specifically described later.

Then, a unit game start signal indicating a start of a unit game is outputted to the terminal device 400 (S2). Thereby, the terminal device 400 can detect that a unit game has started in the gaming machine main body 1. After that, a symbol determining process is executed (S3). In other words, the symbols 180 are determined which will be stopped in the fifteen respective stages of the display windows 151˜155. Thereby, it is determined a combination of symbols to be stopped on the payline L.

Then, as shown in FIG. 5, the symbols 180 are scroll-displayed in the display windows 151˜155 of the display 101 (S4). Meanwhile, the scroll process is such that the symbols 180 are scrolled in an arrow direction and then the symbols 180 determined in the step of S3 are stopped (rearranged) in the display windows 151˜155.

After that, a scatter object symbol determining process is executed (S5). Specifically, the scatter object symbol determining table of FIG. 9 is referred to. Then, a scatter object symbol 181 is randomly determined among the symbols 180 of “BELL,” “CHERRY,” “STRAWBERRY,” “PLUM,” “ORNAGE” and “APPLE.” Then, the determined scatter object symbol 181 is displayed in the scatter object symbol display unit 163. After that, it is referred to the set threshold value-determining table of FIG. 10 and a set threshold value is randomly selected.

Thereby, all players sitting on the terminal devices 400 can intuitively recognize a symbol which can be a scatter symbol 182, by seeing a state where a received thing is not displayed in the scatter symbol display unit 171 and a state where a scatter object symbol 181 is displayed in the scatter object symbol display unit 163.

Then, the scrolls of the symbols 180 are stopped (S6). A unit game ending signal is outputted to the terminal device 400 (S7). Thereby, the terminal device 400 can recognize that the unit game is over in the gaming machine main body 1. After that, a jack is determined by lot (S8) and a payout number calculating process is executed (S9).

When the payout number calculating process is executed, it is obtained a rearrangement number of the scatter object symbol 181, as shown in FIG. 13 (A1). It is determined whether the rearrangement number is a set threshold value or more (A2). When the rearrangement number is not a set threshold value or more (A2, NO), it is determined whether a combination of the symbols 180 stopped on the payline L is a winning combination or not (A7). When it is not a winning combination (A7, NO), it is continued to determine whether a winning of jackpot is made (A8).

In the mean time, when the rearrangement number is a set threshold value or more (A2, YES), the scatter object symbol 181 is set as a scatter symbol 182. Specifically, the scatter object symbol 181 is moved to the scatter symbol display unit 171 from the scatter object symbol display unit 163 and is then received in the scatter symbol display unit 171. Then, the symbol is displayed with being received in the scatter symbol display unit 171 as a received thing (A3). Meanwhile, a character of “scatter” may be displayed adjacent to the scatter symbol 182. Thereby, a player can easily recognize that the scatter object symbol 181 is set as a scatter symbol 182.

After that, a typical payout number is calculated for the terminal device 400, based on the scatter symbol 182, a winning combination and a typical bet number, and then stored in the terminal device managing table of FIG. 11 (A4). Then, it is determined whether the calculations of the typical payout number for all the terminal devices 400 are completed (A5). When the calculations of al the terminal devices 400 are not completed (A5, NO), the step of A4 is repeated until the calculations for all the terminal devices 400 are completed. When the calculations for al the terminal devices 400 are completed (A5, YES), data of typical payout number is transmitted to each of the terminal devices 400 (A6). Thereby, each of the terminal devices 400 pays out a predetermined number of coins, based on the data of typical payout number.

Then, through the lot of jackpot in the step of S8, it is determined whether a winning of jackpot is made or not (A8). When a winning of jackpot is not made (A8, NO), this routine is ended and the process is returned to the main process of the main body in FIG. 12. In the mean time, when a winning of jackpot is made (A8, YES), a jackpot payout number for each terminal device 400 is calculated, based on the jackpot payout numbers (A9). After that, data of the jackpot payout number is transmitted to the respective terminal devices 400 (A10) and this routine is ended. Thereby, each of the terminal devices 400 pays out a predetermined number of coins, based on the data of jackpot payout number.

When the process of calculating a payout number is ended as described above, the process is returned to the main process of the main body in FIG. 12. Then, it is determined whether a bonus trigger is made as a winning combination. In other words, it is determined whether a combination of “APPLE” is arranged on the payline L (S10). When it is determined that a bonus trigger is made (S10, YES), a bonus game executing process is executed (S11). Meanwhile, when a bonus trigger is not made (S10, NO), it means a losing. As a result, this routine is ended.

In addition, the game controller 100 executes a bet process, independent of the main process of the main body, so as to manage a bet situation in each of the terminal devices 400. As shown in FIG. 14, when a bet process is executed, it is determined whether a bet signal is received from the terminal device 400 (B1). When a bet signal is not received (B1, NO), this routine is ended. Meanwhile, when a bet signal is received (B1, YES), it is obtained a variety of data such as bet number, bet types, terminal number and the like included in the bet signal (B2). Then, the data of the terminal device managing table (FIG. 4) in the memory device 401 is updated using the obtained data (B3). After that, it is determined whether a unit game is over or not (B4). When a unit game is not over (B4, NO), this routine is ended. In the mean time, when a unit game is over (B4, YES), the terminal device managing table is initialized (B5) and then this routine is ended. Thereby, the game controller 100 manages the bet number and the like of the respective terminal devices 400, so that it can calculate a payout number when a winning is made.

(Processing Operations: Terminal Device 400)

In the followings, it will be described a process that is performed in each of the terminal devices 400 of the gaming machine terminal 2 interlocking with the gaming machine main body 1. When each of the terminal devices 400 executes a process of the terminal in FIG. 15, it is informed a permission to participate in the payline L and the jackpot (C1). In other words, as shown in FIG. 3, the notification data of “you can participate in the payline” is displayed in the first bet display unit 413 of the display panel 411 and the notification data of “you can participate in the jackpot” is displayed in the second bet display unit 414.

After that, it is determined whether a unit game is started in the gaming machine main body 1 (C2). When a unit game is not started (C2, NO), it is continued to determine whether there is a bet (C3). When there is no bet (C3, NO), the process is re-executed from the step of C1. When there is a bet (C3, YES), it is determined whether there is a bet on the payline L (C4). When there is no bet on the payline L (C4, NO), the process is re-executed from the step of C1.

In the mean time, when there is a bet on the payline L (C4, YES), “typicality” is set for each type of the bet (C7) and then a bet signal including the bet type is outputted to the game controller 100 of the gaming machine main body 1 (C8). In addition, when there is a bet on the jackpot (C5, YES), “jackpot” is set for each type of the bet and then a bet signal including the bet type is outputted to the game controller 100 of the gaming machine main body 1 (C8).

Then, when a unit game is started in the gaming machine main body 1 (C2, YES), it is notified an end of participation in the payline L and it is notified a permission to participate in the jackpot (C9). In other words, as shown in FIG. 3, the notification data of “participation in the payline is over” is displayed in the first bet display unit 413 of the display panel 411 and the notification data of “you can participate in the jackpot” is displayed in the second bet display unit 414.

After that, it is determined whether a predetermined time period elapses (C10). When a predetermined time period does not elapsed (C10, NO), it is determined whether there is a bet (C11). When there is no bet (C11, NO), the process is re-executed from the step of C10. Meanwhile, there is a bet (C11, YES), “jackpot” is set for each of the bet types (C12) and then a bet signal including the bet type is outputted to the gaming machine main body 1 (C13).

When a predetermined time period elapses after a unit game is started (C10, YES), it is notified an end of participation in the jackpot (C14). In other words, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the notification data of “participation in the jackpot is over” is displayed in the second bet display unit 414 of the display panel 411. Then, the bet acceptance is stopped (C15) and then it is under standing by state until a unit game is over (C17). When a unit game is over, the bet acceptance is again started (C17).

After that, it is executed a payout process of paying out coins based on the payout number data outputted from the gaming machine main body 1 (C18). At this time, as shown in FIG. 4, when a winning of jackpot is made, a jackpot character 173 appears in the display 101 and the display panel 411, thereby notifying a winning of jackpot. After that, this routine is ended and it is started a bet acceptance for a next unit game.

In the mean time, although the above descriptions have been provided with regard to the characteristic parts so as to understand the invention more easily, the invention is not limited to the embodiment as described above and can be applied to the other embodiments and the applicable scope should be construed as broadly as possible. Furthermore, the terms and phraseology used in the specification have been used to correctly illustrate the invention, not to limit it. In addition, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the other structures, systems, methods and the like included in the spirit of the invention can be derived from the spirit of the invention described in the specification. Accordingly, it should be considered that the invention covers equivalent structures thereof without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims. Further, the abstract is provided so that an intellectual property office and a general public institution or one skilled in the art who is not familiar with patent and legal or professional terminology can quickly analyze the technical features and essences of the invention through a simple investigation. Accordingly, the abstract is not intended to limit the scope of the invention that should be evaluated by the claims. In addition, it is required to sufficiently refer to the documents that have been already disclosed, so as to fully understand the objects and effects of the invention.

In addition, the above descriptions include a process that is executed on a computer or computer network. The above descriptions and expressions have been provided so that the one skilled in the art can understand the invention most effectively. In the specification, the respective steps used to induce one result or blocks having a predetermined processing function should be understood as a process having no self-contradiction. In addition, the electrical or magnetic signal is transmitted/received and written in the respective steps or blocks. Although the processes in the respective steps or blocks embody the signal as a bit, value, symbol character, term, number and the like, it should be noted that these have been used for the convenience of descriptions. Further, although the processes in the respective steps or blocks have been often described as an expression common to a human action, the process described in the specification is executed by a variety of devices in principle. In addition, the other structures necessary for the respective steps or blocks are apparent from the above descriptions.