Title:
Gaming Machine Providing An Insurance Payout And A Playing Method Thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A slot machine 10 as a gaming machine executes a unit game, after accepting a bet, counts the number of times a unit game is executed, and, in a case where the number of times counted is a predetermined number, determines an insurance payout amount on the basis of an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted.



Inventors:
Inamura, Yukinori (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
12/486526
Publication Date:
12/31/2009
Filing Date:
06/17/2009
Assignee:
ARUZE CORP. (Tokyo, JP)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/25
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KIM, KEVIN Y
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEX IP MEISTER, PLLC (CHANTILLY, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A gaming machine comprising: a symbol display device for displaying a plurality of symbols; and a controller for executing processing of: (a) after accepting a bet, rearranging the plurality of symbols by the symbol display device and executing a unit game providing an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols after rearrangement; (b) counting a number of times the unit game is executed; (c) in a case where the number of times counted in the processing (b) is a predetermined number, determining an insurance payout amount on the basis of an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted; and (d) providing the insurance payout amount determined.

2. A gaming machine comprising: a symbol display device for displaying a plurality of symbols; and a controller for executing processing of: (a) after accepting a bet, rearranging the plurality of symbols by the symbol display device and executing a unit game providing an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols after rearrangement; (b) counting a number of times the unit game is executed; (c) in a case where the number of times counted in the processing (b) is a predetermined number, determining an insurance payout amount on the basis of an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted and a predetermined standard bet amount; and (d) providing the insurance payout amount determined.

3. A gaming machine comprising: a symbol display device for displaying a plurality of symbols; and a controller for executing processing of: (a) after accepting a bet, rearranging the plurality of symbols by the symbol display device and executing a unit game providing an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols after rearrangement; (b) counting a number of times the unit game is executed; (c) in a case where the number of times counted in the processing (b) is a predetermined number, determining an insurance payout amount on the basis of a ratio between an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted and a predetermined standard bet amount; and (d) providing the insurance payout amount determined.

4. A playing method of a gaming machine providing an insurance payout, the method comprising steps of: after accepting a bet in a unit game, rearranging a plurality of symbols; providing an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols after rearrangement; counting a number of times the unit game is executed; in a case where the number of times counted is a predetermined number, determining an insurance payout amount on the basis of an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted; and providing the insurance payout amount determined.

5. A playing method of a gaming machine providing an insurance payout, the method comprising steps of: after accepting a bet in a unit game, rearranging a plurality of symbols; providing an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols after rearrangement; counting a number of times the unit game is executed; in a case where the number of times counted is a predetermined number, determining an insurance payout amount on the basis of an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted and a predetermined standard bet amount; and providing the insurance payout amount determined.

6. A playing method of a gaming machine providing an insurance payout, the method comprising steps of: after accepting a bet in a unit game, rearranging a plurality of symbols; providing an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols after rearrangement; counting a number of times the unit game is executed; in a case where the number of times counted is a predetermined number, determining an insurance payout amount on the basis of a ratio between an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted and a predetermined standard bet amount; and providing the insurance payout amount determined.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/076,350, filed Jun. 27, 2008, 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 machine providing an insurance payout and a playing method thereof.

2. Related Art

In a gaming hall with a gaming machine such as a slot machine (for example, see U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,459, U.S. Pat. No. 6,695,697, U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2003/0069073, European Patent Application Publication No. 1192975, U.S. Pat. No. 6,254,483, U.S. Pat. No. 5,611,730, U.S. Pat. No. 5,639,088, U.S. Pat. No. 6,257,981, U.S. Pat. No. 6,234,896, U.S. Pat. No. 6,001,016, U.S. Pat. No. 6,273,820, U.S. Pat. No. 6,224,482, U.S. Pat. No. 4,669,731, U.S. Pat. No. 6,244,957, U.S. Pat. No. 5,910,048, U.S. Pat. No. 5,695,402, U.S. Pat. No. 6,003,013, U.S. Pat. No. 4,283,709, European Patent Application Publication No. 0631798, German Patent Application Publication No. 4137010, U.K. Patent Application Publication No. 2326830, German Patent Application Publication No. 3712841, U.S. Pat. No. 4,964,638, U.S. Pat. No. 6,089,980, U.S. Pat. No. 5,280,909, U.S. Pat. No. 5,702,303, U.S. Pat. No. 6,270,409, U.S. Pat. No. 5,770,533, U.S. Pat. No. 5,836,817, U.S. Pat. No. 6,932,704, U.S. Pat. No. 6,932,707, U.S. Pat. No. 4,837,728, European Patent Application Publication No. 1302914, U.S. Pat. No. 4,624,459, U.S. Pat. No. 5,564,700, PCT International Publication No. 03/083795, German Patent Application Publication No. 3242890, European Patent Application Publication No. 0840264, German Patent Application Publication No. 10049444, PCT International Publication No. 04/095383, European Patent Application Publication No. 1544811, U.S. Pat. No. 5,890,963, European Patent Application Publication No. 1477947, and European Patent Application Publication No. 1351180), a player can play a game provided by the gaming machine by betting a wager such as coins in the gaming machine.

For example, each time a player bets a wager in a slot machine and pushes a start switch, the slot machine executes a unit game that variably displays symbols, and then statically displays the symbols in a new combination in a plurality of regions in a display. In a case where the combination of the symbols displayed on the display is a predetermined winning combination, the slot machine pays out an amount corresponding to the winning combination.

In addition, conventional slot machines are known that provide a cashback service. With the cashback service, in a case where the amount of credits thus spent by the player reaches a predetermined amount, the player can receive the cashback service. That is, when the amount of credits thus spent by the player reaches a so-called upper limit, a predetermined amount of credits are paid out.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine includes: a symbol display device for displaying a plurality of symbols; and a controller for executing processing of: (a) after accepting a bet, rearranging the plurality of symbols by the symbol display device and executing a unit game that provides an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols rearranged; (b) counting a number of times the unit game is executed; (c) in a case where the number of times counted in the processing (b) is a predetermined number, determining an insurance payout amount on the basis of an average of the bet amounts specified in the games counted; and (d) providing an insurance payout of the determined amount.

In a second aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine includes: a symbol display device for displaying a plurality of symbols; and a controller for executing processing of: (a) after accepting a bet, rearranging the plurality of symbols by the symbol display device and executing a unit game that provides an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols rearranged; (b) counting a number of times the unit game is executed; (c) in a case where the number of times counted in the processing (b) is a predetermined number, determining an insurance payout amount on the basis of an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted and a predetermined standard bet amount; and (d) providing the insurance payout amount determined.

In a third aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine includes: a symbol display device for displaying a plurality of symbols; and a controller for executing processing of: (a) after accepting a bet, rearranging the plurality of symbols by the symbol display device and executing a unit game that provides an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols rearranged; (b) counting a number of times the unit game is executed; (c) in a case where the number of times counted in the processing (b) is a predetermined number, determining an insurance payout amount on the basis of a ratio between an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted and a predetermined standard bet amount; and (d) providing the insurance payout amount determined.

In a fourth aspect of the present invention, a playing method of a gaming machine providing an insurance payout includes steps of: after accepting a bet in a unit game, rearranging a plurality of symbols; providing an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols rearranged; counting a number of times the unit game is executed; in a case where the number of times counted is a predetermined number, determining an amount of the insurance payout on the basis of an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted; and providing an insurance payout of the amount determined.

In a fifth aspect of the present invention, a playing method of a gaming machine providing an insurance payout includes steps of: after accepting a bet in a unit game, rearranging a plurality of symbols; providing an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols rearranged; counting a number of times the unit game is executed; in a case where the number of times counted is a predetermined number, determining an insurance payout amount on the basis of an average of the bet amounts specified in the games counted and a predetermined standard bet amount; and providing the insurance payout amount determined.

In a sixth aspect of the present invention, a playing method of a gaming machine providing an insurance payout includes steps of: after accepting a bet in a unit game, rearranging a plurality of symbols; providing an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols rearranged; counting a number of times the unit game is executed; in a case where the number of times counted is a predetermined number, determining an insurance payout amount on the basis of a ratio between an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted and a predetermined standard bet amount; and providing an insurance payout of the amount determined.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a flow chart showing an outline of a processing operation of a slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a control circuit of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a flowchart showing a processing operation of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a flowchart showing a processing operation of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a flowchart showing a processing operation of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a flowchart showing a processing operation of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a standard bet amount/standard credit amount table showing standard bet amounts and standard credits amounts of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a payout table showing a relationship between winning combinations and payouts of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a display example of a liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a display example of a liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a display example of a liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a display example of a liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a display example of a liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 15 is a display example of a liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 16 is a display example of a liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 17 is a display example of a liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An embodiment of the present invention will be described below with reference to the accompanying drawings.

As described later in detail, after accepting a bet, a CPU 106 rearranges the plurality of symbols and executes a unit game providing an award in accordance with a state of the plurality of symbols rearranged (Step S100), counts the number of times the unit game is executed (Step S200), in a case where a game providing an award of at least a predetermined amount has been executed (Step S300), resets a game counter to zero (Step S400) and advances to Step S100. On the other hand, in a case where a game providing an award of at least a predetermined amount has not been executed (Step S300), the CPU 106 advances to Step S500.

In a case where the number of times counted is a predetermined number (Step S500), the CPU 106 determines an insurance payout amount on the basis of an average amount of the bet specified in the games counted (Step S600) and provides the insurance payout amount determined (Step S700). On the other hand, in a case where the number of times counted is smaller than the predetermined number (Step S500), the CPU 106 advances to Step S100.

Next, the configuration of the slot machine 10 according to the present embodiment is described in detail. As shown in FIG. 2, the gaming machine 10 according to the present embodiment includes a cabinet 11, a top box 12 disposed on the cabinet 11, and a main door 13. A lower liquid crystal display (display) 16 is disposed on a front face of the cabinet 11. The cabinet 11 contains various components including a controller 40 (refer to FIG. 3) for electrically controlling the slot machine 10, and a hopper 44 (refer to FIG. 3) for controlling the insertion, storage, and payout of coins, and the like.

It should be noted that, medals are used as a wager in the present embodiment; however, the wager is not limited to medals, and it may be, for example, coins, tokens, electronic money, or electronic valuable information equivalent to these.

A main door 13 is attached to the cabinet 11 and is openable and closable. The lower liquid crystal display 16 is provided substantially in the center of the main door 13. As described later, the lower liquid crystal display 16 displays images relating to a wide variety of games including a slot game. In the slot game, symbols displayed in each of display regions Q1 to Q3, which are arranged widthwise, are sequentially switched to any one of a plurality of symbols, and finally statically displayed. As a result, each of the display regions Q1 to Q3 displays any one of the plurality of symbols statically. In a case where a combination of the symbols statically displayed in the display regions Q1 to Q3 are a winning combination (see FIG. 9), an award corresponding to the winning combination is provided and medals are paid out, of which the amount is determined in accordance with the award. It should be noted that data representing a value of the award can be stored in memory, instead of paying out medals. A player can select any one of these operations. The amount stored in memory can be paid out as medals in response to a predetermined operation by the user.

A medal slot 21 for accepting medals for playing a game and a bill validator 22 for validating and accepting valid bills are provided below the lower liquid crystal display 16. In addition, various operational switches are provided in the vicinity of the medal slot 21 and the bill validator 22.

The operational switches include a cash out switch 23, a max bet switch 24, a bet switch 25, a spin repeat bet switch 26 and a start switch 27.

The bet switch 25 is used for determining an amount of a wager for a slot game executed on the lower liquid crystal display 16. A player can bet one medal by pushing the bet switch 25 once.

The spin repeat bet switch 26 is used for betting the same amount of medals bet by way of the bet switch 25 in the previous game, for the slot game.

The start switch 27 is used for starting the slot game on the lower liquid crystal display 16, after making a bet. By pushing the start switch 27 after inserting medals into the medal slot 21 or after betting a wager by the bet switch 25, a slot game is started in the display regions Q1 to Q3 on the lower liquid crystal display 16.

The cash out switch 23 is used for paying out inserted medals. The medals are discharged from a medal payout opening 28 provided in the lower portion of the front face of the main door 13 and accumulated in a medal tray 18.

The max bet switch 24 is used for betting the maximum amount possible for a slot game (for example, 3 medals) at one operation. The maximum amount possible for a slot game can be changed by an administrator and, for example, can be up to 50 medals.

A foot display 34, for displaying various images related to a game of the slot machine 10, is provided in a lower front of the main door 13. The images include, for example, characters used in the slot machine 10.

On both sides of the foot display 34, a lamp 47 is provided for emitting light in a predetermined pattern in accordance with operation of the slot machine 10. Below the foot display 34, the medal payout opening 28 is provided.

An upper liquid crystal display 33 is disposed in the front face of the top box 12. The upper liquid crystal display 33 displays the number of medals to be paid out for each of the symbol combinations and other rendered images.

The top box 12 has a speaker 29. A ticket printer 35, a card reader 36, a data display unit 37, and a key pad 38 are disposed below the upper liquid crystal display 33. The ticket printer 35 prints on a ticket a bar code in which the data related to the bet amount, date and time, and the identification number of the gaming machine 10 are coded, and outputs this as a bar coded ticket 39.

The player can have another slot machines read the bar coded ticket 39 in order to play a game at the slot machine, and exchange the bar coded ticket 39 for bills or the like, at a predetermined location in the gaming facility (for example, a cashier within a casino).

The card reader 36 allows the player to insert a smart card, and reads data from the smart card and writes data to the smart card. The smart card is carried by a player and used to store, for example, data for identifying the player, and data related to the history of the games played by the player.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating the electrical configuration of the controller 40 and various devices connected thereto, provided in the slot machine 10 of the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 3, the controller 40 of the slot machine 10 is a micro computer, and includes an interface circuit group 102, an input/output bus 104, a CPU 106, ROM 108, RAM 110, a communication interface circuit 111, a random number generator 112, a speaker driving circuit 122, a hopper driving circuit 124, a counter 128, and a display controller 140.

The interface circuit group 102 is connected to the input/output bus 104, which inputs and outputs data signals and address signals to a CPU 106.

The start switch 27 is connected to the interface circuit group 102. A start signal output from the start switch 27 is converted to a predetermined signal by the interface circuit group 102, and is then submitted to the CPU 106 via the input/output bus 104.

In addition, the bet switch 25, the max bet switch 24, the spin repeat bet switch 26, and the cash out switch 23 are connected to the interface circuit group 102. Each of the switching signals output from the switches 25, 24, 26 and 23 is also supplied to the interface circuit group 102, and is converted into a predetermined form of signal by the interface circuit group 102, and is then submitted to the CPU 106 via the input/output bus 104.

In addition, a medal sensor 43 is connected to the interface circuit group 102. The medal sensor 43 is a sensor for detecting medals inserted into the medal slot 21, and is provided in association with an opening of the coin slot 21. A detection signal output from the medal sensor 43 is supplied to the interface circuit group 102, and is converted into a predetermined form of signal by the interface circuit group 102, and is then submitted to the CPU 106 via the input/output bus 104.

ROM 108 for storing system programs and RAM 110 for storing various data are connected to the input/output bus 104. Furthermore, a random number generator 112, a communication interface circuit 111, a display controller 140, a hopper driving circuit 124, a speaker driving circuit 122, and a counter 128 are connected to the input/output bus 104.

Upon acceptance of the start operation of a game from the start switch 27, the CPU 106 reads a game execution program to execute a slot game. The game execution program is used to execute a slot game on the lower liquid crystal display 16 via the display controller 140.

In other words, the game execution program is programmed so as to: scroll (variably display) the symbols in the display regions Q1 to Q3 (see FIG. 2); display the symbols statically; and execute a slot game providing payout in a case where the symbols statically displayed form a winning combination.

The communication interface circuit 11 is connected to a hall server and the like, and submits play history data and the like of the slot machine 10. The communication interface circuit 11 also receives various data submitted from the hall server.

The random number generator 112 generates a random number to determine whether a winning combination is to be formed or not, in a slot game executed on the lower liquid crystal display 16.

The counter 128 has functions of: counting the number of unit games executed, in other words the number of slot games executed in the display regions Q1 to Q3; counting the number of medals inserted for each of the slot games consecutively executed; and counting the difference between the number of medals inserted for each of the slot games consecutively executed and the number of medals paid out. “The number of medals inserted for each of the slot games consecutively executed” is an accumulated total of the number of medals inserted. For example, in a case where 10 slot games are executed with 3 medals for each, “the number of medals inserted for each of the slot games continuously executed” is 30. In addition, “the difference between the number of medals inserted for each of the slot games continuously executed and the number of medals paid out” is a number obtained by subtracting the number of medals paid out from the accumulate total of the number of medals inserted. For example, in a case where 10 slot games are executed with 3 medals for each and 10 medals are paid out in these games, the difference is 20 medals. It should be noted that the counter 128 can be implemented within the RAM 110.

The speaker driving circuit 122 outputs sound data to the speaker 29. In other words, the CPU 106 reads sound data stored in the ROM 108, and transmits the sound data to the speaker driving circuit 122 via the input/output bus 104. Thus, predetermined sound effects are output from the speaker 25.

The hopper driving circuit 124 outputs a payout signal to the hopper 44 when cash out is requested. In other words, upon receipt of a cash out signal input from the cash out switch 23, the CPU 106 outputs a driving signal to the hopper driving circuit 124 via the input/output bus 104. This enables the hopper 44 to pay out medals, of which the number corresponds to the remaining credits at that point stored in a predetermined memory region in the RAM 110.

The display controller 140 controls display of a slot game on the lower liquid crystal display 16. In other words, the CPU 106 generates an image display instruction according to the state of the slot game and the results of the slot game, and outputs a signal of the image display instruction to the display/input controller 140 via the input/output bus 104. Upon receiving the image display instruction being output from the CPU 106, the display/input controller 140 generates a driving signal for driving the lower liquid crystal display 16 based on the image display instruction, and outputs the driving signal thus generated to the lower liquid crystal display 16. As a result, various images such as rendered images and game instructions are displayed on the lower liquid crystal display 16.

In addition, a touch panel sensor 19 is provided on the surface of the lower liquid crystal display 16. When a player touches the touch panel sensor 19, a position on the lower liquid crystal display 16 touched by the player is detected and submitted to the CPU 106.

The display controller 140 further controls the display of various images such as rendered images and game instructions on the upper liquid crystal display 33.

Next, a processing operation of a unit game, which triggers a slot game, executed on the slot machine 10 as the gaming machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention is hereinafter described with reference to the flow charts shown in FIGS. 4 to 7.

Once the unit game is executed, the CPU 106 (FIG. 3) accepts bets in Step S31 of FIG. 4. More specifically, the CPU 106 detects operations of: inserting medals from the medal slot 21; and making a bet by pushing the max bet switch 24 or the bet switch 25.

In Step S32, the CPU 106 accumulates the bet amount. In this processing, the CPU 106 adds the bet amount accepted in Step S31 to the bet amount accumulated from each unit game executed. More specifically, the CPU 106 adds the bet amount accepted to the bet amount accumulated from each unit game executed and stored in a predetermined area of the RAM 110.

Subsequently, in Step S33, the CPU 106 determines whether the start switch 27 has been activated or not, and, in the case of a YES determination, advances to Step S34.

In Step S34, the CPU 106 executes the slot game. In this processing, the CPU 106 rearranges the symbols arranged in the three display regions Q1 to Q3. Details are later described in a flow chart shown in FIG. 5.

In Step S35, the CPU 106 executes processing of counting a unit game. In this processing, the CPU 106 increments a value of the counter 128 each time the unit game is executed. Details are described later in a flow chart shown in FIG. 6.

In Step S36, the CPU 106 executes a rescue payout. In this processing, in a case where a payout amount is smaller than a predetermined number (for example, 60 medals) for a predetermined number of games (for example, 400 times), the CPU 106 pays out medals of which the number corresponds to an average bet amount for the predetermined number of games (for example, 400 times). Details are later described in a flow chart shown in FIG. 7.

In Step S37, the CPU 106 executes payout processing. In this processing, in a case where the symbols displayed in the three display regions Q1 to Q3 form a winning combination, the CPU 106 pays out medals of which the number corresponds to a value of an award provided. The CPU 106 then advances to a subsequent unit game.

FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing steps of the slot game execution processing of Step S34 in FIG. 4. The slot game execution processing is hereinafter described with reference to FIG. 5.

First, in Step S71, the CPU 106 determines symbols to be statically displayed in the display regions Q1 to Q3 on the basis of random numbers generated by the random number generator 112 (see FIG. 3). Then, in Step S72, the CPU 106 scrolls (variably displays) symbols in the display regions Q1 to Q3, and, after a predetermined amount of time (for example, 5 seconds), statically displays the symbols determined in Step S71. Afterwards, the CPU 106 advances to Step S73.

In Step S73, the CPU 106 determines whether the symbols statically displayed in the display regions Q1 to Q3 form a winning combination, which provides a payout, or not. The winning combination is defined in a payout table, later shown in FIG. 9. More specifically, with three DOUBLE symbols displayed in the display regions Q1 to Q3, a payout of 800 medals is provided for one medal bet; and, with three triple BAR symbols displayed in the display regions Q1 to Q3, a payout of 60 medals is provided for one medal bet. In addition, a payout rate for three double BAR's, three CHERRY's, three single BAR'S, three BAR's of any number (any of single BAR, double BAR, triple BAR), two CHERRY's, and one CHERRY are defined.

In Step S74, the CPU 106 provides a payout in accordance with the abovementioned winning combinations. In Step S75, the CPU 106 determines whether three specific symbols are statically displayed in the display regions Q1 to Q3 or not. The three specific symbols in the present embodiment are winning combinations providing a payout of at least 60 medals for one medal bet. In other words, three DOUBLE symbols and three triple BAR symbols as shown in FIG. 9 are considered to be the three specific symbols.

In Step S76, the CPU 106 sets a specific symbol flag to “1” in a case where the three specific symbols are determined to be displayed. Then, the CPU 106 terminates the processing.

In other words, in the slot game execution processing shown in FIG. 6, in a case where a winning combination is formed, payout is provided in accordance with the winning combination. Furthermore, in a case where the three specific symbols (in the present embodiment, three DOUBLE symbols or three triple BAR symbols) are displayed, in addition to providing a payout in accordance with the winning combination, the specific symbol flag is set to “1”.

Next, the counting operation of unit games, shown in Step S35 of FIG. 4, is hereinafter described with reference to a flow chart of FIG. 6.

First, in Step S91, the CPU 106 increments a unit game count value Ta. In other words, Ta=Ta+1. The value Ta is 0 in the initial state (power-on state) and is reset to 0 in the processing of Step S93 (described later). The value Ta is a value obtained by counting how many times the unit game is executed. After this processing, the CPU 106 advances to Step S92.

In Step S92, the CPU 106 determines whether the specific symbol flag is “1” or not. In other words, the CPU 106 determines whether the specific symbol flag described in Step S75 of FIG. 5 has been set to “1”. In a case where the specific symbol flag is “1” (in the case of a YES determination in Step S92), the CPU 106 resets the value Ta in the processing of Step S93.

Furthermore, the CPU 106 resets the specific symbol flag in Step S94 and resets the accumulated bet amount in Step S95. In other words, in a case where a high return (at least 60 medals for one medal bet) is provided to the player, the CPU 106 resets the value Ta and the bet amount accumulated in Step S32 of FIG. 4.

Alternatively, in a case where the specific symbol flag is determined not to be “1” (in the case of a NO determination in Step S92), the CPU 106 terminates the processing. In other words, in a case where the specific symbol flag is not “1”, a subsequent unit game is started with the value Ta incremented. Then, the CPU 106 terminates the processing.

In the abovementioned unit game counting processing, in a case where a winning combination providing a payout of at least 60 medals for one medal bet is not formed (in a case where the three specific symbols are not displayed), the value Ta is incremented; furthermore, in a case where a winning combination providing a payout of at least 60 medals for one medal bet is formed (in a case where the three specific symbols are displayed), the value Ta is reset. The number of consecutive unit games, not displaying the three specific symbols, is thus counted.

Next, the rescue payout execution processing, shown in Step S36 of FIG. 4, is hereinafter described with reference to a flow chart of FIG. 7.

First, in Step S101, the CPU 106 determines whether the value Ta for counting the unit games is equal to a predetermined upper limit Tamax (for example, Tamax=400) or not. In a case where Ta is equal to Tamax, the CPU 106 advances to Step S102. In a case where Ta is not equal to Tamax, the CPU 106 terminates the present processing.

In Steps S102 to S105, the CPU 106 executes processing for providing a rescue payout. In other words, in a case where the three specific symbols are not displayed (more specifically, in a case where a winning combination providing a payout of at least 60 medals is not formed) for a predetermined number (upper limit Tamax) of consecutive unit games, the CPU 106 calculates an average bet amount in Step S102. More specifically, the bet amount accumulated in Step S32 of FIG. 4 is divided by Tamax (for example, Tamax=400). For example, in a case where the accumulated bet amount is 52500, the average bet amount is 131.25 (52500/400).

In Step S103, the CPU 106 calculates the proportion of the average bet amount to the standard bet amount, in other words how many times the average bet amount is greater than the standard bet amount. The standard bet amount is 25, as shown in FIG. 8. Therefore, the average bet amount 131.25 is 5.25 times greater than the standard bet amount 25.

In Step S104, the CPU 106 determines an amount of the insurance payout on the basis of the calculated proportion and the standard credit amount. The standard credit amount is 100, as shown in FIG. 8. The CPU 100 obtains the insurance payout amount by multiplying the calculated proportion 5.25 by the standard credit amount 100. Therefore, the insurance payout amount is 525 credits.

In Step S105, the CPU 106 pays out the insurance payout amount thus determined. More specifically, the CPU 106 pays out 525 credits as determined in Step S104. The CPU 106 then advances to a processing routine of FIG. 4.

A standard bet amount and standard credit amount table are hereinafter described with reference to FIG. 8.

The standard bet amount and standard credit amount table are referenced by the CPU 106 in Steps S103 and S104 of FIG. 7. The table is stored in the RAM 110. In the present embodiment, the standard bet amount is 25 and the standard credit amount is 100. In Step S103, the CPU 106 reads the standard bet amount 25 by referencing the standard bet amount and standard credit amount table. Furthermore, in Step S104, the CPU 106 reads the standard credit amount 100 by referencing the standard bet amount and standard credit amount table.

It should be noted that the standard bet amount is the lowest standard for providing an insurance payout. In other words, in a case where an average bet amount for Tamax (for example, 400) unit games is lower than the standard bet amount, the insurance payout is not provided.

Therefore, in a case where the average bet amount is not at least 1 time greater than the standard bet amount (in a case where the average bet amount is smaller than 25) in Step S103 of FIG. 7, the insurance payout amount determined in Step S104 is 0 and payout is not executed in Step S105.

FIGS. 10 and 11 are display examples of the upper liquid crystal display 33 (FIG. 10) and the lower liquid crystal display 16 (FIG. 11) when the first unit game is executed.

As shown in FIG. 10, an image 230 “RESCUE ON” is displayed on the upper liquid crystal display 33 and, as shown in FIG. 11, an image 236 “If there are not at least 60 payouts in 400 games, credits will be paid out according to an average bet amount” is displayed on the lower liquid crystal display 16.

FIGS. 12 and 13 are display examples of the upper liquid crystal display 33 (FIG. 12) and the lower liquid crystal display 16 (FIG. 13) when the Ta is approaching the upper limit Tamax. In a case where the value Ta is 392, an image 224 is displayed for notifying that 8 games are left before a rescue payout will be provided. In addition, an image of an angel with wings folded 225 is displayed on the lower liquid crystal display 16.

FIGS. 14 and 15 are display examples of the upper liquid crystal display 33 (FIG. 14) and the lower liquid crystal display 16 (FIG. 15) when the value Ta is 399. In this example, an image 226 is displayed on the upper liquid crystal display 33 for notifying that 1 game is left before a rescue payout will be provided. In addition, an image of an angel with wings spread 227 is displayed on the lower liquid crystal display 16.

FIGS. 16 and 17 are display examples of the upper liquid crystal display 33 (FIG. 16) and the lower liquid crystal display 16 (FIG. 17) when the value Ta is 400. In this example, images 316 and 252 are displayed on the upper liquid crystal display 33 and the lower liquid crystal display 16, respectively, for notifying that 525 credits will be paid out as a rescue payout.

The rescue payout is thus triggered by Steps S102 to S105 of FIG. 7.

As described above, the slot machine 10 provides an insurance payout of an amount corresponding to the average bet amount, in a case where a specific advantageous result is not obtained for a predetermined number of unit games.

As described above, the greater the average bet amount is, the greater the amount of the insurance pay becomes. This can encourage players to play a game without lowering the bet amount.

In addition, the average bet amount must be at least the standard bet amount, for receiving the insurance payout, whereby a gaming machine is provided that encourages players to place a bet of at least the standard bet amount.

The gaming machine and the playing method thereof according to the present invention have been described above with reference to the embodiments shown in the diagrams; however, the present invention is not limited thereto and components can be replaced with other components of similar function.

For example, in the abovementioned embodiment, the number of games executed is reset in a case where a payout is provided with at least a predetermined number of medals (for example, 60) in a predetermined number of games (for example, 400); however, the number of games executed may not be reset. The insurance payout can be provided for each predetermined number of games (for example, the insurance pay can be provided for the 500th game, 1000th game, and so on).

In addition, credits are paid out as the insurance payout in the abovementioned embodiment; however, the present invention is not limited thereto and a free game can be executed as the insurance payout and a payout of the free game can be provided to players. Furthermore, the insurance payout can also be a combination of paying out credits and executing a free game.

In addition, the insurance payout is not provided in a case where the average bet amount is smaller than the standard bet in the abovementioned embodiment; however, the present invention is not limited thereto and the insurance payout can be provided in this case. In this case, the insurance payout amount can be obtained in Step S104 of FIG. 7 by multiplying the calculated proportion (for example, 0.90) by the standard credit amount 100.

Furthermore, the number of unit games is counted from the first unit game in the abovementioned embodiment; however, the present invention is not limited thereto and an extra bet (for example, referred to as a second bet) can be accepted, besides a bet for the unit game (for example, referred to as a first bet), for starting counting the unit games for providing the insurance payout.

Moreover, the number of unit games is counted from the first unit game in the abovementioned embodiment; however, the present invention is not limited thereto and the counting of the number of unit games for providing the insurance payout can be started after a predetermined number of unit games (for example, 100 games).

In addition, in the abovementioned embodiment, the slot game is executed in the display regions Q1 to Q3, provided in the lower liquid crystal display 16; however, the present invention is not limited thereto and various display regions can be applied thereto such as one with 3 rows by 5 columns.

Furthermore, the slot machine 70 described in the abovementioned embodiment executes a slot game by displaying an image of symbols on the lower liquid crystal display 16; however, the present invention is not limited thereto and the slot game can be executed with drums with a plurality of symbols printed on the periphery thereof.

Moreover, the present invention is described as a slot machine 10 as an example; however, the present invention is not limited thereto and can be other gaming machines such as a horse racing game.





 
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