US20080070671A1 - Slot machines and playing method thereof - Google Patents

Slot machines and playing method thereof Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080070671A1
US20080070671A1 US11/725,446 US72544607A US2008070671A1 US 20080070671 A1 US20080070671 A1 US 20080070671A1 US 72544607 A US72544607 A US 72544607A US 2008070671 A1 US2008070671 A1 US 2008070671A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
game
cellular phone
slot machine
games
credit data
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11/725,446
Inventor
Kazuo Okada
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Aruze Gaming America Inc
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Aruze Gaming America Inc
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Priority to US84238506P priority Critical
Application filed by Aruze Gaming America Inc filed Critical Aruze Gaming America Inc
Priority to US11/725,446 priority patent/US20080070671A1/en
Assigned to ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC. reassignment ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: OKADA, KAZUO
Publication of US20080070671A1 publication Critical patent/US20080070671A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3204Player-machine interfaces
    • G07F17/3211Display means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3216Construction aspects of a gaming system, e.g. housing, seats, ergonomic aspects
    • G07F17/3218Construction aspects of a gaming system, e.g. housing, seats, ergonomic aspects wherein at least part of the system is portable

Abstract

A slot machine has an external connecting unit connectable to a cellular phone. A controller of the slot machine is connected to the cellular phone via the external connecting unit, to receive an operation signal from an operating part of the cellular phone and perform control of a game based on the received operation signal.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to slot machines and a game control method of the slot machines.
  • 2. Related Art
  • Networking of slot machines has been proposed in recent years. For example, WO2003/090886 (PCT/US2003/010969), or Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2005-523668, discloses a networked computerized game system, and in particular, a technique concerned with security. As performance of cellular phones improves, the number of players performing slot games on the cellular phones is increasing.
  • The present invention provides new slot machines with new entertainment value, the machines being adapted for use with cellular phones familiar to a user, when the slot games are performed with the actual slot machines in a casino.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to a first aspect of the present invention, a slot machine includes a connecting terminal connectable to a cellular phone of a player, and a game controller receiving an operation signal from an operating part of the cellular phone by a connection with the cellular phone via the connecting terminal, and performing control of a game based on the operating signal received.
  • This slot machine is connectable with the cellular phone and subjected to the control of the game by receiving the operation signal from the operating part of the cellular phone.
  • According to a second aspect of the present invention, the game controller can perform a game identical with a game performable on a display of the cellular phone, by using the cellular phone, when the cellular phone and the slot machine are not connected to each other via the connecting terminal.
  • This slot machine performs the game identical with the game the cellular phone can perform alone.
  • According to a third aspect of the present invention, the game controller reads credit data and performs control of a game with the read credit data by establishing a connection between the cellular phone and the slot machine via the connecting terminal, the credit data being provided by a game, performed with the cellular phone not connected with the slot machine, and identical game to game performed with the slot machine, and then being stored in a memory of the cellular phone.
  • This slot machine performs a game using credit data provided when a game is performed with the cellular phone alone.
  • According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, the game controller reads credit data and performs control of a game with the read credit data by establishing a connection between the cellular phone and the slot machine via the connecting terminal, the credit data being provided by a game performed with the cellular phone that is connected with the slot machine and being stored in a memory of the cellular phone.
  • In this slot machine, the credit data provided by the game is stored in the memory of the cellular phone connected.
  • According to a fifth aspect of the present invention, the slot machine is connected so as to establish communication with a management server storing data of a plurality of games, and the game is one game received from the management server from among the plurality of games stored in the management server.
  • In this slot machine, the plurality of games stored in the management server connected so as to establish communication can be performed by using the operating part of the cellular phone.
  • According to a sixth aspect of the present invention, a memory is provided storing data of the plurality of games, and the game is one game read from the memory, from among the plurality of games stored in the memory.
  • In this slot machine, the plurality of games can be stored in the slot machine.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing the relationship between slot machines 13 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention and cellular phones 300 or the like;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view when the slot machine 13 and the cellular phones 300 are connected to each other in the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the slot machine 13 in the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 4 is an enlarged front view showing in enlarged dimension a display area of the slot machine 13 in the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view, when viewed from the back side, of the outline of the construction of a liquid crystal display 30 of the slot machine 13 in the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view showing the construction of part of the liquid crystal display 30 shown in FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing the electrical configuration of a controller 100 of the slot machine 13 in the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 8 is a diagram showing the configuration of a game program storage table stored in a management server 500;
  • FIG. 9 is a block diagram showing the electrical configuration of the cellular phone 300;
  • FIG. 10 is a diagram showing the configuration of a credit data storage table stored in the cellular phone 300;
  • FIG. 11 is a flow chart showing the flow of a main process of the slot machine 13 in the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 12 is a flow chart showing the flow of an operation signal receiving process of the slot machine 13 in the preferred embodiment; and
  • FIGS. 13 to 15 are examples of display of the liquid crystal display 30 of the slot machine 13 in the preferred embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The construction of the slot machine 13 of a preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described in outline with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2.
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing the relationship between the slot machines 13 of the present invention and cellular phones 300 or the like. FIG. 2 is a diagram showing a situation where a game is performed with the slot machine 13 of the present invention when the slot machine 13 and the cellular phone 300 are connected to each other.
  • In the block diagram of FIG. 1, a plurality of the slot machines 13 are connected to the cellular phones 300, respectively, via an external connecting unit 170 (refer to FIG. 2). The slot machines 13 and the cellular phone 300 are connected to a management server 500 over the network 600.
  • The management server 500 stores a plurality of game programs. Each of the slot machines 13 is capable of performing a plurality of kinds of games by receiving the game programs from the management server 500.
  • Each of the cellular phones 300 is also capable of performing a game with the cellular phone 300 by receiving its game program from the management server 500 over the network 600. Credit data obtained from this game can be stored in a predetermined memory of the cellular phone 300. When the slot machine 13 and the cellular phone 300 are connected to each other, the player can perform the game with the slot machine 13 by using the credit data.
  • Referring particularly to FIG. 2, when the slot machine 13 and the cellular phone 300 are connected to each other via the external connecting unit 170, the player can perform the game on the slot machine 13 by operating an operating part 350 of the cellular phone 300.
  • The operating part 350 is provided with a center button 351, an upper button 352, a right button 353, a lower button 354, a left button 355, and an end button 356. The player can perform games with the slot machine 13 by operating the various buttons 351 to 356 by a hand 200.
  • When the center button 351 is operated, the cellular phone 300 supplies a middle operation signal to the slot machine 13. Upon receipt of the middle operation signal, the slot machine 13 repeats the game without changing the number of coins bet on winning lines, to be described later, in the previous game, as in the case where a spin-repeat-bet switch 24 (refer to FIG. 3), to be described later, is operated.
  • When the upper button 352 is operated, the cellular phone 300 supplies an upper operation signal to the slot machine 13. Upon receipt of the upper operation signal, the slot machine 13 bets a coin on the later-described winning lines, as in the case where a BET switch 23 (refer to FIG. 3), described later, is operated.
  • When the right button 353 is operated, the cellular phone 300 supplies a right operation signal to the slot machine 13. Upon receipt of the right operation signal, the slot machine 13 shifts a cursor 94 (refer to FIG. 13), described later, to the right.
  • When the lower button 354 is operated, the cellular phone 300 supplies a lower operation signal to the slot machine 13. Upon receipt of the lower operation signal, the slot machine 13 starts the game as in the case where a start switch 25 (refer to FIG. 3), described later, is operated.
  • When the left button 355 is operated, the cellular phone 300 supplies a left operation signal to the slot machine 13. Upon the receipt of the left operation signal, the slot machine 13 shifts the later-described cursor 94 (refer to FIG. 13) to the left.
  • When the end button 356 is operated, the cellular phone 300 supplies an end signal to the slot machine 13. Upon receipt of the end signal, the slot machine 13 sends credit data stored in a RAM 110 (refer to FIG. 7) to be described later to the cellular phone 300.
  • Thus, the present invention is capable of enhancing operability for the player because the player can perform the games by using the operating part of the cellular phone the player is accustomed to using, enabling the provision of a slot machine 13 having a new entertainment value.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the slot machine 13 in the preferred embodiment of the present invention. The slot machine 13 includes a cabinet 20 and a main door 42. The cabinet 20 has a surface opening toward the player. The cabinet 20 houses various components including a controller 100 (refer to FIG. 7) for electrically controlling the slot machine 13, and a hopper 44 (refer to FIG. 7) for controlling the insertion, storage, and payout of coins (game media), and the like. The game media are not limited to coins. For example, the media may include medals, tokens, electronic money, or electronic information of value (credits) equivalent to these.
  • The main door 42 is a member with which the interior of the cabinet 20 is covered so as not to be exposed to the outside. A liquid crystal display 30 is disposed at substantially the center of the main door 42.
  • The liquid crystal display 30 provides a variety of images related to games including produced images and the like. The player advances the game while observing the variety of images displayed on the liquid crystal display 30. The liquid crystal display 30 includes a transparent liquid crystal panel 34 (refer to FIGS. 5 and 6). The transparent liquid crystal panel 34 can be brought partly or entirely into its transparent or non-transparent state, and can also display a variety of images. The construction of the liquid crystal display 30 will be described in detail later.
  • On the back side of the liquid crystal display 30, five mechanical reels 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, and 3E (refer to FIG. 4), each having a plurality of kinds of symbols on its outer peripheral surface, are rotatably laterally aligned. The mechanical reels 3A to 3E are constructed as a plurality of symbol displaying means, together with stepping motors 45A, 45B, 45C, 45D, and 45E (refer to FIG. 7) to be described later. The mechanical reels 3A to 3E have on their respective outer peripheral surfaces a plurality of kinds of symbols necessary for a basic game. These symbols of the mechanical reels 3A to 3E are made visible when the transparent liquid crystal panel 34 is in its transparent state.
  • A substantially horizontal operating part 21 is disposed below the liquid crystal display 30. Disposed on the right side of the operating part 21 is a coin slot 22 through which a number of coins are inserted into the slot machine 13. On the other hand, disposed on the left side of the operating part 21 are a BET switch 23 and the spin-repeat-bet switch 24. The BET switch 23 is used to choose the number of coins as game media to be bet on lines L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, L6, L7, L8, and L9 for awarding nine prizes to be described later (hereinafter referred to simply as “winning lines”), any one of which can be decided to be activated, and the activated prize is awarded. The spin-repeat-bet switch 24 is used to repeat the game without changing the number of coins bet on the winning lines in the last game. The number of coins to be bet on the winning lines can be selected by pushing the BET switch 23 or the spin-repeat-bet switch 24.
  • In the operating part 21, a start switch 25 for accepting for each game the player's operation of starting the basic game is disposed on the left side of the BET switch 23. Pushing either the start switch 25 or the spin-repeat-bet switch 24 triggers the start of the game, and the above-mentioned five mechanical reels 3A to 3E are then rotated.
  • Also in the operating part 21, a cash-out switch 26 is disposed in the vicinity of the coin slot 22. When the player pushes the cash-out switch 26, the inserted coins can be paid out from a coin discharge slot 27. The discharged coins can be collected on a coin tray 28. Sound permeable openings 29, through which sound effects outputted from a speaker 41 (refer to FIG. 7) housed within the cabinet 20 are propagated to the outside of the cabinet 20, are disposed on the right and left sides with the coin discharge slot 27 interposed therebetween above the coin tray 28.
  • A connecting surface 121 extending substantially vertically is disposed below the operating part 21. The external connecting unit 170 is disposed on the right side of the connecting surface 121. The external connecting unit 170 is configured so as to be connectable to the cellular phone 300 of the player.
  • FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of a display area of the slot machine 13. The liquid crystal display 30 of the slot machine 13 includes a front panel 31 and the transparent liquid crystal panel 34 (refer to FIGS. 5 and 6), which is disposed on the back surface of the front panel 31. The front panel 31 can be constructed by incorporating a transparent display surface 31 a and a symbol forming area 31 b where a symbol can be formed. Image information displayed on the transparent liquid crystal panel 34 disposed on the back surface of the front panel 31 can be observed through the display surface 31 a of the front panel 31. On the other hand, when the area of the transparent liquid crystal panel 34 is in its transparent state, the symbols on the five mechanical reels 3A to 3E arranged to the rear of the transparent liquid crystal panel 34 can be observed through the display surface 31 a. Display parts 48 to 50 are disposed above the mechanical reels 3A to 3E.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, the slot machine 13 has the lines L1 to L9 for awarding nine prizes. These lines L1 to L9 extend so as to pass through a symbol of each of the mechanical reels 3A to 3E when all of the rotations of the mechanical reels 3A to 3E come to a stop.
  • For example, a one-push operation of the BET switch 23 activates the line L3 for awarding a third prize, the line L5 for awarding a fifth prize, and the line L7 for awarding a seventh prize, and also takes up a coin as a credit medal.
  • A two-push operation of the BET switch 23 activates, for example, the line L3 for awarding a first prize, the line L4 for awarding a fourth prize, and the line L8 for awarding an eighth prize, in addition to the above-mentioned three lines, and also take up two coins as credit medals.
  • A three-push operation of the BET switch 23 activates, for example, the line L2 for awarding a second prize, the line L6 for awarding a sixth prize, and the line L9 for awarding a ninth prize, in addition to the above-mentioned six lines, and also take up three coins as credit medals.
  • A game executable in the present embodiment is the basic game to align symbols on the winning lines. If a number of predetermined symbols can be aligned on the winning line, the player can receive a prize.
  • A display part 48 displays the number of credits of coins stored in the slot machine 13. A display part 49 displays the number of BETs, namely the number of coins bet on the winning lines. A display part 50 displays the number of coins paid out when a combination for awarding a prize is established on the winning lines. The display parts 48 to 50 may be displayed with images on the transparent liquid crystal panel 34. Alternatively, a seven-segment indicator may be included.
  • FIGS. 5 and 6 show the construction of the liquid crystal display 30 of the slot machine 13. The liquid crystal display 30 displays game images and the like related to the basic game. Therefore, the liquid crystal display 30 is constructed of the front panel 31 including a touch panel 32 and a display board 33, the transparent liquid crystal panel 34, a light guide plate 35, a reflecting film 36, fluorescent lamps 37 a, 37 b, 38 a, and 38 b, being so-called white light sources, lamp holders 39 a, 39 b, 39 c, 39 d, 39 e, 39 f, 39 g, and 39 h, and a table carrier package (TCP) mounting thereon ICs for driving the transparent liquid crystal panel. The TCP, not being shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, is constructed of a flexible substrate (not shown) connected to a terminal part of the transparent liquid crystal panel 34.
  • The liquid crystal display 30 is disposed in front of the display areas of the mechanical reels 3A to 3E (in front of the display surface 31 a) so as to cross over the mechanical reels 3A to 3E. Predetermined spacing is provided between the mechanical reels 3A to 3E and the liquid crystal display 30.
  • The touch panel 32 is formed of a transparent member. The display board 33 is formed of a transparent member, and a symbol or the like can be formed at a predetermined position on the display board 33. In this case, the area where the symbol or the like is formed on the display board 33 corresponds to the symbol forming area 31 b on the front panel 31. On the other hand, the area where neither symbol nor the like is formed on the display board 33 corresponds to the display surface 31 a on the front panel 31 (refer to FIG. 4). Alternatively, the entire surface of the front panel 31 may be the display surface 31 a, without forming the symbol forming area 31 b on the front panel 31. In this case, the display board 33 may be omitted.
  • The transparent liquid crystal panel 34 can be achieved by sealing liquid crystal in a clearance part between a transparent substrate such as a glass plate with a thin film transistor layer formed thereon, and another transparent substrate opposed thereto. The display mode of the transparent liquid crystal panel 34 is set to normally white. The term “normally white” means a mode in which a white display is provided with no liquid crystal being driven (the light transmitted to the display surface side can be observed from the outside). By employing the transparent liquid crystal panel 34 set to normally white, the player can continue the game because the variable displays and the stop displays of the respective symbols on the mechanical reels 3A to 3E can be observed in the event that the liquid crystal cannot be driven. That is, even in that event, it is possible to perform a game comprised mainly of rearrangement of the symbols on the mechanical reels 3A to 3E.
  • The light guide plate 35, which guides the light from the fluorescent lamps 37 a and 37 b to the transparent liquid crystal panel 34 (in other words, illuminates the transparent liquid crystal panel 34), is disposed on the back side of the transparent liquid crystal panel 34, and formed of a transparent member such as acrylic resin (with a light guiding function) having a thickness of about 2 cm.
  • The reflecting film 36 can be obtained by forming, for example, a silver deposition film on a white polyester film or an aluminium thin film, and it reflects the light introduced in the light guide plate 35 toward the front side of the light guide plate 35. The reflecting film 36 is constructed of a reflecting area 36A and a non-reflecting area (a permeable area) 36B. The non-reflecting area 36B is formed of a transparent material and disposed in an area including a part of the front panel 31 which covers the front parts of the mechanical reels 3A to 3E.
  • The fluorescent lamps 37 a and 37 b are disposed along the upper end and the lower end of the light guide plate 35, respectively, and both their ends are supported by lamp holders 39 a and 39 b, and lamp holders 39 g and 39 h, respectively. The light irradiated from the fluorescent lamps 37 a and 37 b is reflected from the reflecting area 36A of the reflecting film 36 and irradiates the transparent liquid crystal panel 34. On the other hand, the fluorescent lamps 38 a and 38 b are disposed at upper and lower positions of the back side of the reflecting film 36, respectively, and directed to the mechanical reels 3A to 3E. Both ends of the fluorescent lamps 38 a and 38 b are supported by lamp holders 39 c and 39 d, and lamp holders 39 e and 39 f, respectively. The light emitted from the fluorescent lamps 38 a and 38 b is reflected from the surfaces of the mechanical reels 3A to 3E to the non-reflecting area 36B, and illuminates the transparent liquid crystal panel 34. Thus, in the liquid crystal display 30, the light irradiated from the fluorescent lamps 37 a and 37 b and reflected from the reflecting area 36A of the reflecting film 36, as well as the light irradiated from the fluorescent lamps 38 a and 38 b and reflected from the surfaces of the mechanical reels 3A to 3E to the non-reflecting area 36B illuminates the transparent liquid crystal panel 34. Hence, the area of the liquid crystal display 30 corresponding to the non-reflecting area 36B of the reflecting film 36 is an area switched between the transparent state and the non-transparent state, depending on whether the liquid crystal is driven or not. On the other hand, the area of the liquid crystal display 30 corresponding to the reflecting area 36A of the reflecting film 36 is brought into the non-transparent state, irrespective of whether the liquid crystal is driven or not.
  • Although in the slot machine 13 only a partial area of the display surface of the liquid crystal display 30 is subjected to switching between the transparent state and the non-transparent state, the entire area of the display surface of the liquid crystal display 30 may be subjected to switching between the transparent state and the non-transparent state. In this case, the reflecting film 36 may be entirely formed as the non-reflecting area 36B, or the reflecting film 36 may be omitted.
  • FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing the electrical configuration of the controller 100 of the slot machine 13. The controller 100 is a microcomputer and is provided with an interface circuit group 102, an input-output bus 104, a CPU 106, a ROM 108, a RAM 110, an interface circuit 111 for communication, a random number generator 112, a motor drive circuit 120, a speaker drive circuit 122, a hopper drive circuit 124, and a display/input controller 140.
  • The interface circuit group 102 is connected to the input-output bus 104 performing input and output of data signals or address signals with respect to the CPU 106.
  • A start switch 25 is connected to the interface circuit group 102. A start signal outputted from the start switch 25 is converted to a predetermined signal by the interface circuit group 102, and then supplied to the input-output bus 104.
  • The BET switch 23, the spin-repeat-bet switch 24, and the cash-out switch 26 are also connected to the interface circuit group 102. Switching signals outputted from the switches 23, 24, and 26, respectively, are also supplied to the interface circuit group 102, and converted to predetermined signals by the interface circuit group 102, respectively, and then supplied to the input-output bus 104.
  • A coin sensor 43 is also connected to the interface circuit group 102. The coin sensor 43 is a sensor for detecting coins inserted into the coin slot 22, and provided in relation to the coin slot 22. A sensing signal outputted from the coin sensor 43 is also supplied to the interface circuit group 102, and converted to a predetermined signal by the interface circuit group 102, and then supplied to the input-output bus 104.
  • A reel position detection circuit 46 is also connected to the interface circuit group 102. The reel position detection circuit 46 is a circuit for detecting the rotational positions of the mechanical reels 3A to 3E, based on pulse signals from a reel rotational position sensor (not shown). The detection signals from the reel position detection circuit 46 are also supplied to the interface circuit group 102, and converted to predetermined signals by the interface circuit group 102, and then supplied to the input-output bus 104.
  • The external connecting unit 170 is also connected to the interface circuit group 102. The connection of the external connecting unit 170 to the cellular phone 300 permits communication between the cellular phone 300 and the slot machine 13.
  • The ROM 108 and the RAM 110 are connected to the input-output bus 104.
  • Upon acceptance of the start operation of the basic game through the start switch 25, the CPU 106 reads a basic game program to execute the basic game. The basic game program is programmed as follows. That is, all of the stepping motors 45A to 45E are driven to rotate all of the mechanical reels 3A to 3E so as to start the scrolls of the symbols on the reels 3A to 3E. Thereafter, the drives to the stepping motors 45A to 45E are stopped, to stop the rotations of all of the mechanical reels 3A to 3E so as to rearrange the reels 3A to 3E. If a combination of symbols stopped at this time is displayed on the winning lines, and the combination corresponds to a specific combination for which a prize is awarded, a number of coins associated with the specific combination are paid out.
  • The ROM 108 stores a control program for regulating and controlling the slot machine 13, a program for executing routines as shown in FIGS. 11 to 12 (hereinafter referred to as “routine execution program”), and initial data for executing the control program, and various data tables used in decision processes. The routine execution program includes the above-mentioned basic game program and the like. The RAM 110 temporarily stores the values of flags and variables, and the like used in the control program.
  • The interface circuit 111 for communication is also connected to the input-output bus 104. The interface circuit 111 for communication is a circuit for communication with the management server 500 or the like, over the network 600 including a variety of networks of LAN.
  • The random number generator 112 for generating random numbers is also connected to the input-output bus 104. The random number generator 112 generates random numbers included in a certain range of numerical values, for example, “0” to “65535 (216−1).” Alternatively, the random numbers may be generated by the arithmetic processing of the CPU 106.
  • The motor drive circuit 120 for driving the stepping motors 45A to 45E is also connected to the input-output bus 104. In response to the occurrence of a predetermined event, the CPU 106 controls the operations of the stepping motors 45A to 45E via the motor drive circuit 120.
  • The speaker drive circuit 122 for driving the speaker 41 is also connected to the input-output bus 104. The CPU 106 reads sound data stored in the ROM 108, and sends the read sound data to the speaker drive circuit 122 via the input-output bus 104. This enables the speaker 41 to generate predetermined sound effects.
  • The hopper drive circuit 124 for driving the hopper 44 is also connected to the input-output bus 104. If inputted a cash-out signal from the cash-out switch 26, the CPU 106 outputs a drive signal to the hopper drive circuit 124 via the input-output bus 104. This enables the hopper 44 to payout a number of coins corresponding to the remainder of credits at that point, which is stored in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110.
  • The display/input controller 140 is also connected to the input-output bus 104. The CPU 106 generates an image display instruction according to the game state and the game result, and outputs the generated image display instruction to the display/input controller 140 via the input-output bus 104. If inputted the image display instruction from the CPU 106, the display/input controller 140 generates a drive signal for driving the liquid crystal display 30 based on the inputted image display instruction, and outputs the generated drive signal to the liquid crystal display 30. This enables a predetermined image to be displayed on the transparent liquid crystal panel 34 of the liquid crystal display 30.
  • FIG. 8 shows a game program storage table to be stored in the management server 500. In this table, game IDs and game names and game programs are stored in association with each other.
  • Thus, the management server 500 stores a plurality of game programs, and the slot machines 13 and the cellular phones 300 perform games by receiving the game programs over the network 600.
  • In an alternative, the plurality of the game programs may be stored in a predetermined memory of the controller 100 of the slot machine 13. In cases of storing the game programs in the management server 500, small volume memory is sufficient for each of the slot machines 13. In cases of storing the game programs in the slot machine 13, it is unnecessary to separately provide the management server 500.
  • FIG. 9 is a block diagram showing the configuration of the cellular phone 300.
  • The cellular phone 300 is provided with an input-output bus 304, a CPU 306, a ROM 308, a RAM 310, a wireless equipment 320, a liquid crystal display 330, an operating part 350, and an external connecting unit 370.
  • The CPU 306, the ROM 308, and the RAM 310 are connected to the input-output bus 304.
  • The CPU 306 performs the overall control of the cellular phone 300. When a game program is received from the management server 500, the game program is read from the RAM 310 to perform the game with the cellular phone 300.
  • The ROM 308 stores programs for executing various functions of the cellular phone 300, and the RAM 310 temporarily stores the values of flags and variables to be used in the above-mentioned programs. When a game program is received from the management server 500, the game program is stored in a predetermined memory area. The RAM 310 also temporarily stores credit data (refer to FIG. 10) of slot games performed with the cellular phone 300.
  • The wireless equipment 320 and the liquid crystal display 330 are also connected to the input-output bus 304.
  • The wireless equipment 320 exchanges radio waves during talking, namely performs sending and receiving of radio waves with a base station, as well as the modulation and demodulation of calling and incoming signals. The wireless equipment 320 also receives the game programs from the management server 500 over the network 600. The liquid crystal display 330 displays predetermined images, and if a slot game is performed with the cellular phone 300, it displays predetermined images used in the slot game.
  • The operating part 350 is also connected to the input-output bus 304.
  • The operating part 350 performs a dial input operation in normal talking and the like. The operating part 350 is provided with various buttons such as the above-mentioned center button 351, the upper button 352, the right button 353, the lower button 354, the left button 355, and the end button 356. The buttons 351 to 356 execute input operations when performing a slot game.
  • An external connecting unit 370 is also connected to the input-output bus 304.
  • The external connecting unit 370 is configured so as to be connectable to the slot machine 13 via the external connecting part 170 provided in the slot machine 13. The connection between the cellular phone 300 and the slot machine 13 enables the cellular phone 300 to communicate with the slot machine 13 via the external connecting unit 370.
  • FIG. 10 shows a credit data storage table stored in the RAM 310 of the cellular phone 300. In this table, game IDs and game names and credit data are stored in association with each other. It can be seen from this table that the player having the cellular phone 300 obtains credit data of “4683” related to the game ID “0001” and the game name “A.” It is noted that the credit data stored in the credit data storage table have no minus values.
  • FIG. 11 is a flow chart showing the flow of a main process of the slot machine 13 performed by the controller 100 of the slot machine 13.
  • In the following, it is assumed that the slot machine 13 is activated in advance, and the variables used in the CPU 106 are initialized to predetermined values, so that the slot machine 13 is in its normal operation.
  • The CPU 106 decides the presence or absence of a connection to a cellular phone (step S1). Specifically, the CPU 106 decides whether the slot machine 13 and the cellular phone 300 are connected to each other via the external connecting unit 170. If connected (if the result is YES in step S11), the CPU 106 moves the procedure to step S2. If not connected (if the result is NO in step S11), the CPU 106 terminates the present routine.
  • In step S2, the CPU 106 performs a game selection process. Specifically, the CPU 106 receives an operation signal from the operating part 350 of the cellular phone 300, and receives a game program from the plurality of the game programs stored in the management server 500. In other words, the player selects a game from a selection screen (refer to FIG. 13) displayed on the liquid crystal display 30 of the slot machine 13 by using the operating part 350 of the cellular phone 300. The CPU 106 then moves the procedure to step S3.
  • In step S3, the CPU 106 performs a credit data receiving process. Specifically, from among the credit data (refer to FIG. 10) stored in the RAM 310 of each cellular phone 300, the CPU 106 receives credit data corresponding to the game program that the slot machine 13 received from the management server 500, and stores it in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110 via the external connecting unit 170. The CPU 106 then moves the procedure to step S4.
  • In step S4, the CPU 106 performs an operation signal receiving process to be described later with reference to FIG. 12. The CPU 106 then moves the procedure to step S5.
  • In step S5, the CPU 106 performs a game control process. Specifically, the CPU 106 instructs the random number generator 112 to generate a random number in order to decide a combination of symbols in the basic game, and also instructs the motor drive circuit 120 to rotate and then stop the mechanical reels 3A to 3E. If the combination of symbols is a predetermined combination, the CPU 106 instructs the hopper drive circuit 124 to award a prize via the hopper 44. According to the game result, the CPU 106 updates the credit data stored in the predetermined memory area of the RAM 110 in step S3. The CPU 106 then moves the procedure to step S6.
  • In step S6, the CPU 106 decides whether an end signal is received or not. Specifically, the CPU 106 decides whether the end signal is received from the cellular phone 300 via the external connecting unit 170. If received (if the result is YES in step S6), the CPU 106 moves the procedure to step S7. If not received (if the result is NO in step S6), it returns the procedure to step S4. As used herein, the end signal is a signal to be supplied from the cellular phone 300 by the player's operation of the end button 356 (refer to FIG. 2).
  • In step S7, the CPU 106 performs a credit data sending process. Specifically, the CPU 106 sends the credit data stored in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110 to the cellular phone 300 via the external connecting unit 170. The CPU 106 then terminates the present routine.
  • FIG. 12 is a flow chart showing the flow of an operation signal receiving process that is a subroutine of the main process in FIG. 11.
  • In the following, it is assumed that the slot machine 13 is connected to the cellular phone 300 via the external connecting unit 170.
  • The CPU 106 decides whether an upper operation signal is received or not (step S11). Specifically, the CPU 106 decides whether the upper operation signal is received from the cellular phone 300 via the external connecting unit 170. If received (if the result is YES in step S11), the CPU 106 moves the procedure to step S12. If not received (if the result is NO in step S1), it returns the procedure to step S16. As used herein, the upper operation signal is a signal supplied from the cellular phone 300 by the player's operation of the upper button 352 (refer to FIG. 2).
  • In step S12, the CPU 106 performs a bet process. Specifically, the CPU 106 performs the process of betting a coin on the winning lines. The CPU 106 then moves the procedure to step S13.
  • In step S13, the CPU 106 performs a credit data subtraction process. Specifically, in reply to the one coin betting on the winning lines in step S12, the CPU 106 performs the process of subtracting, from the credit data stored in the predetermined memory area of the RAM 110. The CPU 106 then moves the procedure to step S14.
  • In step S14, the CPU 106 decides whether a lower operation signal is received or not. Specifically, the CPU 106 decides whether the lower operation signal is received from the cellular phone 300 via the external connecting unit 170. If received (if the result is YES in step S14), the CPU 106 moves the procedure to step S15. If not received (if the result is NO in step S14), it returns the procedure to step S16. As used herein, the lower operation signal is a signal supplied from the cellular phone 300 by the player's operation of the lower button 354 (refer to FIG. 2).
  • In step S15, the CPU 106 performs a start process. The CPU 106 then terminates the present subroutine.
  • In step S16, the CPU 106 decides whether a middle operation signal is received or not. Specifically, the CPU 106 decides whether the middle operation signal is received from the cellular phone 300 via the external connecting unit 170. If received (if the result is YES in step S16), the CPU 106 moves the procedure to step S17. If not received (if the result is NO in step S16), it returns the procedure to step S11. As used herein, the middle operation signal is a signal supplied from the cellular phone 300 by the player's operation of the center button 351 (refer to FIG. 2).
  • In step S17, the CPU 106 performs a repeat bet process. Specifically, in reply to the operation of the center button 351 of the cellular phone 300, the CPU 106 starts the game without changing the number of coins bet on the winning lines in the last game. The CPU 106 then moves the procedure to step S18.
  • In step S18, the CPU 106 performs a credit data subtraction process. Specifically, the CPU 106 performs the process of reducing the credit data stored in the predetermined memory area of the RAM 110 by the number of the coins bet on the winning lines in step S18. The CPU 106 then terminates the present subroutine.
  • FIGS. 13 to 15 show display examples to be displayed on the liquid crystal display 30 when a game is performed with the operating part 350 of the cellular phone 300.
  • The upper drawing of FIG. 13 is a display example displayed on the liquid crystal display 30 at the time of the game selection process in step S2 in FIG. 11.
  • In the upper drawing of FIG. 13, game selection blocks 410, 410, and 430, and a cursor 94 are displayed on the upper part of the liquid crystal display 30. That is, the player can choose his/her desired game from a plurality of games (games A to C in this embodiment) by operating the cursor 94. At this time, the player can choose the game with the operating part 350 of the cellular phone 300 connected via the external connecting unit 170. More specifically, when the player operates the right button 353 of the operating part 350, the cursor 94 shifts by 1 to the right. When the player operates the left button 355 of the operating part 350, the cursor 94 shifts by 1 to the left.
  • The lower drawing of FIG. 13 is a display example to be displayed on the liquid crystal display 30 when the game A is selected in the upper drawing of FIG. 13, and the credit data receiving process in step S3 in FIG. 11 is performed.
  • In the lower drawing of FIG. 13, a display part 48 and a representation image 411 are displayed on the upper part of the liquid crystal display 30. As used herein, the representation image 411 is a representation image associated with the game A. The credit data of the game A, “4683”, stored in the RAM 310 of the cellular phone 300 is displayed on the display part 48 (refer to FIG. 10). That is, the data of “4683” can be displayed on the display part 48 in the following manner that the slot machine 13 receives the credit data of the gate A stored in the RAM 310 of the cellular phone 300, and the credit data is stored in the RAM 110.
  • Although the present embodiment has been made assuming that the reels of the slot machine 13 are the mechanical reels, video reels may be used instead of the mechanical reels. This enables the player to perform a plurality of games with different reels, thus increasing enthusiasm for the games.
  • The upper drawing of FIG. 14 shows a display example displayed on the liquid crystal display 30 when the slot machine 13 receives the upper operation signal in the process of FIG. 12.
  • In the upper drawing of FIG. 14, the mechanical reels 3A to 3E are stopped. The player can confirm by the display part 49 that the number of coins bet on the winning lines is one, and that the line L3, line L5, and line L7 are activated by betting the one coin. The player can also confirm by the display part 49 that the credit data is changed to “4682” by betting the one coin. That is, the player can confirm that the one coin was bet on the winning lines by operating the upper button 352 of the cellular phone 300.
  • The lower drawing of FIG. 14 is a display example to be displayed on the liquid crystal display 30 when the slot machine 13 receives the upper operation signal three times and then receives the lower operation signal.
  • In the lower drawing of FIG. 14, the mechanical reels 3A to 3E are rotating. The player can confirm by the display part 49 that the number of coins bet on the winning lines is three. The player can also confirm that the credit data is changed to “4680” decreased by “2” from that in the upper drawing of FIG. 14. That is, the player can confirm that the three coins were bet on the winning lines by operating the upper buttons 352 of the cellular phone 300 three times, and then the mechanical reels were rotated by operating the lower button 354.
  • The upper drawing of FIG. 15 shows a display example to be displayed on the liquid crystal display 30 when a representation occurs in the game control process in step S4 in FIG. 11.
  • The games to be performed on the slot machine 13 provide various representations to please the player. In the upper drawing of FIG. 15, a leading character 81 and an enemy character 82 are displayed. A whip 91, a torch 92, and dynamite 93 are displayed above the characters 81 and 82. The cursor 94 is displayed below the whip 91. Here, the player can see situations where the leading character 81 fights with the enemy character 82 by using the whip 91, the torch 92, and the dynamite 93.
  • In the upper drawing of FIG. 15, the player can select the whip 91, the torch 92, or the dynamite 93 by operating the cursor 94. That is, the cursor 94 shifts by 1 to the right when the player operates the right button 353, and shifts by 1 to the left when the player operates the left button 355. As a result, if the player selects the dynamite 93 by using the operating part 350 of the cellular phone 300, the leading character 81 takes action against the enemy character 82 by throwing the dynamite 93, as shown in the lower drawing of FIG. 15.
  • As shown in FIGS. 13 to 15, in the present invention the player is capable of performing the games executable with the slot machine 13 by using the operating part 350 of the cellular phone 300 of the player. The games executable with the slot machine 13 are games executable only by the cellular phone 300. In some cases, the player may be accustomed to perform the games with the operating part 350 of the cellular phone 300. In such a case, the player may perform the games with the operating part 350 of the cellular phone 300 the player is accustomed to using, instead of the operating part 21 of the slot machine 13. Hence, the present invention can provide the slot machine 13 which enhances the operability for players and provides a new entertainment value.
  • While the preferred embodiments of the slot machine of the present invention have been described and illustrated above, it is to be understood that they are exemplary of the invention and are not to be considered to be limiting. Additions, omissions, substitutions, and other modifications can be made thereto without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be considered to be limited by the foregoing description and is only limited by the scope of the appended claims.
  • For example, when performing a game with the credit data stored in the RAM 310 of the cellular phone 300, though the foregoing embodiment has described that only the same game in the plurality of the games could be used, a different game may be used. This further improves convenience for the players.

Claims (18)

1. A slot machine comprising:
a connecting terminal connectable to a cellular phone of a player; and
a game controller receiving an operation signal from an operating part of the cellular phone by a connection with the cellular phone via the connecting terminal, and performing control of a game based on the operating signal received.
2. The slot machine according to claim 1, wherein the game controller can perform a game identical with a game performable on a display of the cellular phone, by using the cellular phone, when the cellular phone and the slot machine are not connected to each other via the connecting terminal.
3. The slot machine according to claim 2, wherein the game controller reads credit data and performs control of a game with the read credit data by establishing a connection between the cellular phone and the slot machine via the connecting terminal, the credit data being provided by a game, performed with the cellular phone not connected to the slot machine, and identical to a game performed with the slot machine, and the credit data being stored in a memory of the cellular phone.
4. The slot machine according to claim 1, wherein the game controller reads credit data and performs control of a game with the read credit data by establishing a connection between the cellular phone and the slot machine via the connecting terminal, the credit data being provided by a game performed with the cellular phone connected to the slot machine and being stored in a memory of the cellular phone.
5. The slot machine according to claim 1, wherein
the slot machine is connected so as to establish communication with a management server storing data of a plurality of games; and
the game is one game received from the management server from among the plurality of games stored in the management server.
6. The slot machine according to claim 1, further comprising a memory storing data of the plurality of games, wherein
the game is one game read from the memory, from among the plurality of games stored in the memory.
7. A slot machine comprising:
a connecting terminal connectable to a cellular phone capable of performing a game identical to a game of the slot machine; and
a game controller, by being connected to the cellular phone via the connecting terminal, receiving:
(a) an operation signal from an operating part of the cellular phone;
(b) credit data provided by the identical game performed with the cellular phone and then stored in a memory of the cellular phone; and
(c) credit data provided by a game on the slot machine via the connecting terminal and then stored in a memory of the cellular phone, new line and the game controller performing control of the game based on the operating signal received and the credit data received.
8. The slot machine connected so as to establish communication with a management server storing data of a plurality of games, the slot machine comprising:
a connecting terminal connectable to a cellular phone capable of performing games identical to the plurality of games; and
a game controller receiving one game from among the plurality of games, from the management server, the game controller, by being connected to the cellular phone via the connecting terminal, receiving:
(a) an operation signal from an operating part of the cellular phone;
(b) credit data provided by the identical games performed with the cellular phone and then stored in a memory of the cellular phone; and
(c) credit data provided by one game on the slot machine via the connecting terminal and then stored in a memory of the cellular phone, new line and the game controller performing control of the one game based on the operating signal received and the credit data received.
9. A slot machine comprising:
a memory storing data of a plurality of games;
a connecting terminal connectable to a cellular phone capable of performing games identical to the plurality of games; and
a game controller reading one game from among the plurality of games from the memory, the game controller, by being connected to the cellular phone via the connecting terminal, receiving:
(a) an operation signal from an operating part of the cellular phone;
(b) credit data provided by the identical games performed with the cellular phone and then stored in a memory of the cellular phone; and
(c) credit data provided by one game on the slot machine via the connecting terminal and then stored in a memory of the cellular phone, new line and the game controller performing control of the one game based on the operating signal received and the credit data received.
10. A game control method in which a game controller advances a game in a slot machine having a connecting terminal connectable to a cellular phone of a player, the method comprising the steps of:
establishing a connection with the cellular phone via the connecting terminal;
receiving an operation signal from an operating part of the cellular phone connected; and
performing control of a game based on the operation signal received.
11. The method according to claim 10, wherein the step of controlling the game performs control of a game identical with a game performable on a display of the cellular phone, by using the cellular phone, when the cellular phone is not connected to the slot machine via the connecting terminal.
12. The method according to claim 11, further comprising the steps of:
reading, from a memory of the cellular phone that is connected, credit data provided by a game identical to a game performed with the slot machine, the identical game being performed by the cellular phone in a state not connected to the slot machine.
13. The method according to claim 10, further comprising the steps of:
reading, from the cellular phone that is connected, credit data provided by a game performed with the cellular phone connected to the slot machine; and
performing a control of a game by using the read credit data.
14. The method according to claim 10, wherein
the slot machine is connected so as to establish communication with a management server storing data of a plurality of games; and
the game controller includes the steps of:
receiving one game of the plurality of games from the management server; and
performing control of the one game received.
15. The method according to claim 10, wherein
the slot machine has a memory storing data of a plurality of games; and
the game controller includes the steps of:
reading one game of the plurality of games stored in the memory; and
performing control of the one game read.
16. A game control method of a slot machine in which the slot machine has a connecting terminal connectable to a cellular phone capable of performing a game identical to a game of the slot machine, and a game controller advances a game, the method comprising the steps of:
establishing a connection with the cellular phone via the connecting terminal;
receiving (i) credit data provided by the identical game performed with the cellular phone and stored in a memory of the cellular phone; (ii) credit data provided by a game on the slot machine via the connecting terminal and stored in a memory of the cellular phone; and (iii) an operation signal from an operating part of the cellular phone; and
performing control of a game based on the operation signal received and the credit data received.
17. A game control method of a slot machine in which a game controller advances a game, the slot machine being connected so as to establish communication with a management server storing data of a plurality of games, and having a connecting terminal connectable to a cellular phone capable of performing games identical to the plurality of games, the method comprising the steps of:
receiving one game of the plurality of games from the management server;
establishing a connection with the cellular phone via the connecting terminal;
receiving (i) credit data provided by the identical game performed with the cellular phone and stored in a memory of the cellular phone; (ii) credit data provided by a game on the slot machine via the connecting terminal and stored in a memory of the cellular phone; and (iii) an operation signal from an operating part of the cellular phone; and
performing control of a game based on the operation signal received and the credit data received.
18. A game control method of a slot machine in which a game controller advances a game, the slot machine having a memory storing data of a plurality of games, and a connecting terminal connectable to a cellular phone capable of performing games identical to the plurality of games, the method comprising the steps of:
reading one game of the plurality of games from the memory;
establishing a connection with the cellular phone via the connecting terminal;
receiving (i) credit data provided by the identical game performed with the cellular phone and stored in a memory of the cellular phone; (ii) credit data provided by a game on the slot machine via the connecting terminal and stored in a memory of the cellular phone; and (iii) an operation signal from an operating part of the cellular phone; and
performing control of a game based on the operation signal received and the credit data received.
US11/725,446 2006-09-06 2007-03-20 Slot machines and playing method thereof Abandoned US20080070671A1 (en)

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US10217317B2 (en) 2016-08-09 2019-02-26 Igt Gaming system and method for providing incentives for transferring funds to and from a mobile device
US10332344B2 (en) 2017-07-24 2019-06-25 Igt System and method for controlling electronic gaming machine/electronic gaming machine component bezel lighting to indicate different wireless connection statuses
US10360763B2 (en) 2017-08-03 2019-07-23 Igt System and method for utilizing a mobile device to facilitate fund transfers between a cashless wagering account and a gaming establishment retail account
US10373430B2 (en) 2017-08-03 2019-08-06 Igt System and method for tracking fund transfers between an electronic gaming machine and a plurality of funding sources
US10380843B2 (en) 2017-08-03 2019-08-13 Igt System and method for tracking funds from a plurality of funding sources
US10360761B2 (en) 2017-08-03 2019-07-23 Igt System and method for providing a gaming establishment account pre-approved access to funds
US10529175B2 (en) 2017-12-28 2020-01-07 Igt Method and apparatus for offering a mobile device version of an electronic gaming machine game at the electronic gaming machine

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AU2007205801A1 (en) 2008-03-20

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