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US20080254858A1 - Gaming machine for providing an award for insurance and playing method thereof - Google Patents

Gaming machine for providing an award for insurance and playing method thereof Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080254858A1
US20080254858A1 US12023591 US2359108A US2008254858A1 US 20080254858 A1 US20080254858 A1 US 20080254858A1 US 12023591 US12023591 US 12023591 US 2359108 A US2359108 A US 2359108A US 2008254858 A1 US2008254858 A1 US 2008254858A1
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Prior art keywords
game
slot
step
rescue
machine
Prior art date
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
Application number
US12023591
Inventor
Jun Fujimoto
Yukinori Inamura
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Universal Entertainment Corp
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Universal Entertainment Corp
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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
    • 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
    • G07F17/3244Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes

Abstract

In a gaming machine, when a slot game displayed on a screen of a lower liquid crystal display is executed with a maximum wager betted thereon by a player, the controller has the slot game counted by a counter for counting rescue-setting games. When the count value, by the counter, for rescue-setting games reaches a thousand games and no payout of sixty times or higher ever occurs by that time, the controller causes, for executing a free game, the lower liquid crystal display to display the free game on a screen thereof. In addition, the controller provides, as a rescue pay, a payout corresponding to a winning combination that occurs in the free game. The controller provides the payout of the rescue pay by paying out medals to the medal tray.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority to co-pending U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/907,676 filed on Apr. 13, 2007, and which is incorporated by reference herein for all purposes.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to a gaming machine for providing an award for insurance and playing method thereof.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    In a facility with gaming machines, such as slot machines, set up therein, a player bets a wager of coins, credits or the like in a gaming machine to play a game that the gaming machine offers. Such gaming machines are disclosed in: U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,459, U.S. Pat. No. 6,695,697, US Patent Application Publication No. 2003/0069073, EP 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, EP Patent Application Publication No. 0631798, German Patent Application Publication No. 4137010, UK 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, EP Patent Application Publication No. 1302914, U.S. Pat. No. 4,624,459, U.S. Pat. No. 5,564,700, WO Patent Publication No. 03/083795, German Patent Application Publication No. 3242890, EP Patent Application Publication No. 0840264, German Patent Application Publication No. 10049444, WO Patent Publication No. 04/095383, EP Patent Application Publication No. 1544811, U.S. Pat. No. 5,890,963, EP Patent Application Publication No. 1477947, EP Patent Application Publication No. 1351180.
  • [0006]
    A slot machine, for example, executes a slot game. When playing a slot game, a player bets a wager in a slot machine. Every time the player presses a switch, a plurality of symbols arranged on a display are rearranged. When the combination of the plurality of symbols rearranged on the display is a predetermined winning combination, the slot machine provides a payout to the player corresponding to the winning combination.
  • [0007]
    In addition, a payout called Jackpot is also carried out in the slot machine. The slot machine accumulates a part of wager that the player bets on the slot machine to a Jackpot-payout pool, and determines whether or not the payout of Jackpot is carried out at a predetermined timing. When the slot machine determines the carrying-out of the Jackpot, the slot machine pays out a part of, or the whole of, the accumulated wagers to the player.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    An object of the present invention is to provide a more entertaining gaming machine and a method of playing the gaming machine.
  • [0009]
    A first aspect of the present invention provides a gaming machine comprising: a bet switch capable of betting in a plurality of patterns with different amount of wagers; a display adapted to display: a primary game operable upon a wager made by a player; and a secondary game operable without an additional wager made by the player; a counter in which a count value of the counter is incremented by an execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager and the count value of the counter is reset when a reset condition is established; and a controller configured to: (a) execute the secondary game when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value; (b) provide an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and (c) reset the count value of the counter when the secondary game is finished, the finish of the secondary game being identified with the establishment of the reset condition.
  • [0010]
    A second aspect of the present invention provides a gaming machine comprising: a bet switch capable of betting in a plurality of patterns with different amount of wagers; a display adapted to display: a primary game operable upon a wager made by a player; and a secondary game operable without an additional wager made by the player; a counter in which a count value of the counter is incremented by an execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager and the count value of the counter is reset when a reset condition is established; and a controller configured to: (a) execute a predetermined number of the secondary games when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value; (b) provide an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and (c) reset the count value of the counter when the predetermined number of the secondary games are finished, the finish of the predetermined number of the secondary games being identified with the establishment of the reset condition.
  • [0011]
    A third aspect of the present invention provides a gaming machine comprising: a bet switch capable of betting in a plurality of patterns with different amount of wagers; a display adapted to display: a primary game operable upon a wager made by a player; and a secondary game operable without an additional wager made by the player; a counter in which a count value of the counter is incremented by an execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager and the count value of the counter is reset when a reset condition is established; and a controller configured to: (a) determine a number of the secondary games to be executed, and execute the determined number of the secondary games, when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value; (b) provide an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and (c) reset the count value of the counter when the determined number of the secondary games are finished, the finish of the determined number of the secondary games being identified with the establishment of the reset condition.
  • [0012]
    A fourth aspect of the present invention provides a method of playing a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of: accepting a betting of a wager made by a player; executing a primary game in response to the betting of the wager made by the player; incrementing a count value of a counter with the execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager; executing a secondary game when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value, the secondary game being operable without an additional wager made by the player; providing an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and resetting the count value of the counter when the secondary game is finished.
  • [0013]
    A fifth aspect of the present invention provides a method of playing a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of accepting a betting of a wager made by a player; executing a primary game in response to the betting of the wager made by the player; incrementing a count value of a counter with the execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager; executing a predetermined number of a secondary game when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value, the secondary game being operable without an additional wager made by the player; providing an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and resetting the count value of the counter when the predetermined number of the secondary games are finished.
  • [0014]
    A sixth aspect of the present invention is a method of playing a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of accepting a betting of a wager made by a player; executing a primary game in response to the betting of the wager made by the player; incrementing a count value of a counter with the execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager; determining a number of secondary games to be executed, and executing the determined number of the secondary games, when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value, the secondary game being operable without an additional wager made by the player; providing an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and resetting the count value of the counter when the determined number of the secondary games are finished.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    FIG. 1 is a flowchart showing an outline of a procedure for processing in a slot machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing a control circuit in the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 4 is a flow chart showing a procedure for processing in the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing a procedure for processing in the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 6 is a flow chart showing a procedure for processing in the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 7 is a flow chart showing a procedure for processing in the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 8 is a flow chart showing a procedure for processing in the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 9 is a flow chart showing a procedure for processing in the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 10 is a flow chart showing a procedure for processing in the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 11 is a flow chart showing a procedure for processing in the slot machine according to a modified example of the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 12 is a flow chart showing a procedure for processing in the slot machine according to another modified example of the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 13 is a payout table showing relations between winning combinations in a slot game and payouts according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0028]
    FIGS. 14A to 14E are respectively examples of stop symbols in a free game according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 15 is a payout table showing relations between winning combinations in the free game and payouts according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0030]
    FIGS. 16A and 16B are examples of display on the screen of a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) of the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 17 is an example of display on the screen of an LCD of the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0032]
    FIGS. 18A and 18B are examples of display on the screen of an LCD of the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0033]
    FIGS. 19A and 19B are examples of display on the screen of an LCD of the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0034]
    FIGS. 20A and 20B are examples of display on the screen of an LCD of the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0035]
    FIGS. 21A and 21B are examples of display on the screen of an LCD of the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0036]
    FIGS. 22A and 22B are examples of display on the screen of an LCD of the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENT
  • [0037]
    What follows is an outline of the operation of a slot machine, which is an example of a gaming machine according to the present invention with reference to a flowchart shown in FIG. 1 and a perspective view of a slot machine 10 shown in FIG. 2. An outline of a method of playing the slot machine is also provided below.
  • [0038]
    With the slot machine 10 according to this embodiment and by a method of playing the slot machine 10, a player can play a slot game (a primary game) once by betting a wager. Specifically, the player can make a bet of wager by throwing a medal, which is a cashable credit, or a coin into the slot machine 10. Another method of making a betting of a wager is to use restricted credits. The restricted credits are computerized credits, and are stored in the slot machine 10. The player can continue to use the restricted credits as wagers until they get cashed. The player can allocate restricted credits as many as he/she specifies for wagers, by operating the slot machine 10.
  • [0039]
    In the description that follows, a unit of wager that the player can bet with cashable and restricted credits is called “credit.” For example, when the player throws a wager of a single medal, or a single coin, into the slot machine 10, the player bets a wager of “one credit.” Alternatively, when the player operates the slot machine 10 to allocate two restricted credits for wagers, the player bets a wager of “two credits.”
  • [0040]
    With the slot machine 10 according to this embodiment and by a method of playing the slot machine 10, a condition is set under which the player can get an insurance pay, a payout (an award) as an insurance. A description of the insurance pay will be given later. (The “insurance pay” is hereinafter called a “rescue pay.” Both “insurance pay” and “rescue pay” are currently applied for trademark registration.) Establishment of such a condition allows the player to play a free game (a secondary game), in which the player does not have to bet a wager, until the paying out of the rescue pay is finished.
  • [0041]
    As described later, the “rescue pay” is a payout as an insurance to be paid out in the following case. A slot game in which the player makes a wager of MAXBET, and no payout is generated in response to the outcome of the game or the payout in response to the outcome of the corresponding slot game is less than a predetermined amount (for example, a payout of 60 or more credits for a bet of 1 credit), is played as many times as a maximum number of games (for example, a thousand games).
  • [0042]
    The slot machine 10 according to the embodiment, to begin with, accepts a betting of a wager made by a player on a single game to be executed next (step S11).
  • [0043]
    Subsequently, the slot machine 10 checks whether the accepted betting of a wager is MAXBET, which is the condition for player's getting a rescue pay (step S12). Here, MAXBET is a bet of a three-credit wager on a single slot game. Accordingly, a wager of three credits is a maximum wager in the embodiment.
  • [0044]
    Here, when the accepted wager is MAXBET, the bet is identified to be made not only on the slot game but also actually for a rescue pay. When, on the other hand, the accepted wager is not MAXBET, the bet is identified to be made only on the slot game without accompanying any actual wager for rescue pay.
  • [0045]
    When the accepted betting of a wager is MAXBET, (YES at step S12), the slot machine 10 sets the next slot game that is to be executed to be a rescue setting game (step S13), and then counts the number of rescue setting games that have been already played (step S14). When, on the other hand, the accepted betting of a wager is not MAXBET, (NO at step S12), the slot machine 10 does not set the next slot game that is to be executed to be a rescue setting game, nor does count the number of rescue setting games that have been already played. Accordingly, when the player makes a MAXBET, reaching the above-mentioned maximum number during the slot game causes the rescue pay to be executed.
  • [0046]
    Subsequently, the slot machine 10 executes the slot game (step S15). In the slot game, when the player presses a start button 27, the symbols start to scroll in each of three display areas Q1 to Q3, and eventually stop. The symbols displayed in the display areas Q1 to Q3 when the scrolling stops, in other words, the outcome of the slot game, form a winning combination, a payout is provided in accordance with the winning combination.
  • [0047]
    Thereafter, the slot machine 10 determines whether or not the outcome of the slot game is a particular outcome (step S16). The “particular outcome” here is, for example, a case where the game with a bet of a one-credit wager results in a payout of 60 or more credits. Specifically, it is a case where, as FIG. 13 shows, either “DOUBLE” symbols (particular symbol) or “Triple BAR” symbols (particular symbol) are displayed in all of the three display areas Q1 to Q3.
  • [0048]
    When the slot game results in the particular outcome (YES at step S16), the slot machine 10 resets the number of rescue setting games that have been already played, which number is counted in the processing at step S15 (step S21).
  • [0049]
    When, on the other hand, the slot game does not result in the particular outcome (NO at step S16), the slot machine 10 determines whether or not the current game is a rescue setting game. When the current game is a rescue setting game, the slot machine then determines whether or not the maximum number (a predetermined number) of rescue setting games have been already played (step S18). In a case where the maximum number of rescue setting games have been already played, a free game is executed to determine the amount of payout for the rescue pay (step S19). Then, the slot machine 10 provides, as a rescue pay, a payout corresponding to the outcome of the executed free game (step S20).
  • [0050]
    The slot machine 10 may execute the free game either only once or a plurality of times at step S19. When a plurality of free games are executed, the number of free games may be pre-set, or may be determined on a case-by-case basis by lottery or the like before the execution of the free game.
  • [0051]
    The rescue setting game is thus set up. When the number of rescue setting games already played reaches to the maximum number during the rescue setting game, the rescue pay is executed.
  • [0052]
    With the slot machine 10 according to this embodiment and by a method of playing the slot machine 10, the slot machine 10 increments the value of the counter for counting a number of the slot games on which the player bets wagers for rescue pay, that is, the rescue setting games, that have been already played. The incrementing of the count value is done every time a slot game with a wager of MAXBET betted by the player is executed during the repeated execution of slot games with wagers betted by the player.
  • [0053]
    Here, in the slot machine 10, if a number of payouts do not occur over a number of consecutive slot games (for example, a thousand slot games) with wagers of MAXBET, the count value of the counter for the rescue setting games already played reaches a predetermined value (for example, a thousand counts).
  • [0054]
    When the count values of the counter for counting the number of the rescue setting games already played reaches the predetermined value, the slot machine 10 of this embodiment with its playing method also of this embodiment, executes a free game on which the player does not have to bet an additional wager. The slot machine 10, then, provides a payout as the rescue pay in accordance with the outcome of the executed free game, while resetting the count value of the counter for counting the number of rescue setting games that have been already played.
  • [0055]
    With the slot machine 10 according to this embodiment and by a method of playing the slot machine 10, when a considerable number (for example, a thousand) of the slot games with wagers of MAXBET betted by the player are executed, the player receives, in addition to the payout for the slot games, the payout which varies in accordance with the outcome of the free game as the rescue pay.
  • [0056]
    With the slot machine 10 according to this embodiment and by a method of playing the slot machine 10, the betting of a MAXBET wager on a slot game entails, by definition, an actual betting of wager to be the conditions for getting the rescue pay, that is, the betting for turning the rescue ON.
  • [0057]
    What follows next is a detailed description of the configuration of the slot machine 10 according to the embodiment. As FIG. 2 shows, the slot machine 10 according to the embodiment includes a cabinet 11, a top box 12 provided on top of the cabinet 11, and a main door 13. A lower liquid crystal display 16 (display) is provided to the cabinet 11, precisely in a surface thereof facing the player. Various components provided inside the cabinet 11 include a controller 40 (see FIG. 3) for electrically controlling the slot machine 10. Also included is a hopper 44 (see FIG. 3) for controlling the throwing-in, the accumulation, and the paying-out, of the medals.
  • [0058]
    The betting of wager for playing the game is made using medals in the example of this embodiment, but the betting of wager can be made using, in addition to medals, coins, and cashable credits such as tokens. Moreover, what can also be used for betting wager are restricted credits. The restricted credits are computerized, like electronic money, or some electronic information with values, which is equivalent to the electronic money. The restricted credits are stored in the slot machine 10, and the player can continue to use the restricted credits as the wager until the restricted credits get cashed.
  • [0059]
    The main door 13, which can be opened and closed, is attached to the cabinet 11, and the lower LCD (liquid crystal display) 16 is installed approximately in the center portion of the main door 13. As described later, the lower LCD 16 displays images related to various games including slot games. In slot games, the symbols arranged in the three, horizontally-arranged display areas Q1 to Q3 are changed, and then are rearranged. When the combination of the symbols rearranged in the display areas Q1 to Q3 form a winning combination (see FIG. 13), a payout of a predetermined amount is provided in accordance with the content of the winning combination. In this embodiment, the payout corresponding to the winning combination (the outcome of a slot game) is carried out by, as described in detail later, increasing the number of restricted credits, which number is stored in the slot machine 10. The number of stored restricted credits is, as described in detail later, displayed on the screen of the LCD 16.
  • [0060]
    Provided below the lower LCD 16 are a medal insertion slot 21 into which medals are thrown, and a bill-validator 22, which determines the adequacy of bills, and which accepts only authentic bills. In addition, various operation buttons are provided in the vicinity of the medal insertion slot 21 and of the bill-validator 22.
  • [0061]
    Provided as the above-mentioned operation buttons are a cash-out button 23, a MAXBET button 24, a BET button 25, a spin-repeat-bet button 26, and a start button 27.
  • [0062]
    When the player makes a betting of a wager using restricted credits on a slot game executed in the lower LCD 16, the player uses the BET button 25 for determining the number of restricted credits to be betted as the wager. One credit is betted by every single press of the BET button 25.
  • [0063]
    The player operates the spin-repeat-bet button 26 when he/she bets on the current game a wager of the same number of credits as those betted, using the above-described BET button 25, on the previous game. With this spin-repeat-bet button 26, the player can make, on the current slot game, a betting of a wager of the same number of credits as those betted on the previous slot game. A single operation of the spin-repeat-bet button 26 replaces, and eliminates the trouble of, as many operations of the BET button 25 as the number of credits to be betted on the current slot game.
  • [0064]
    The player presses the start button 27 to start a slot game in the lower LCD 16 after the player makes a betting of a wager. After the wager is betted on the current slot game either by throwing medals into the medal insertion slot 21, or by determining the number of credits using the BET button, the player presses this start button 27 to start the slot game displayed in the display areas Q1 to Q3.
  • [0065]
    The cash-out button 23 is provided for paying out the number of restricted credits, which number is stored and displayed on the lower LCD 16. The restricted credits are paid out while being converted into medals. The paid-out medals are discharged through an opening formed in a lower portion of the front face of the main door 13, that is, through a medal-paying-out opening 28, and are accumulated in a medal tray 18.
  • [0066]
    By a single operation of the MAXBET button 24, the player bets the maximum wager (for example, of three credits) that the player can bet on a single slot game. The maximum wager that is allowed to be betted on a single slot game can be changed by an operation of an administrator.
  • [0067]
    A foot display 34 is installed in a lower portion of the front face of the main door 13, and displays various images related to slot games. Examples of these images include characters of the slot game executed in the slot machine 10.
  • [0068]
    Lamps 47 are provided on the left and right sides of the foot display, and emit light in pre-set light-emitting patterns. The above-described medal-paying-out opening 28 is provided below the foot display 34.
  • [0069]
    An upper LCD 33 is installed in the front face of the top box 12. This upper LCD 33 displays the numbers of paid-out medals for combinations of symbols and other effect images.
  • [0070]
    A speaker 29 is installed in the top box 12. A ticket printer 35, a card reader 36, a data display 37 and a key pad 38 are provided below the upper LCD 33. The ticket printer 35 prints bar-coded data on each of the number of credits, the date and time, the identification number of the slot machine 10 and the like on a ticket, and then outputs the bar-corded ticket 39.
  • [0071]
    The player can have the bar-coded ticket 39 read by another slot machine, and can play this slot machine. In addition, the player can bring the bar-coded ticket 39 to a predetermined place within the game facility (for example, a casher in the casino), and can exchange the ticket 39 for bills or the like.
  • [0072]
    The card reader 36 can read data from and write data in a smart card that is inserted into the card reader 36. The player carries the smart card with him/her, to store therein data on the identification of the player, data on the history of the games that the player has played.
  • [0073]
    FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing an electric configuration of the controller 40 and various devices connected to the controller 40 provided to the slot machine 10 according to this embodiment. The controller 40, shown in FIG. 3, of the slot machine 10 is a microcomputer, and includes interface circuits 102, an input/output bus 104, a CPU 106, a ROM 108, a RAM 110, a communication-interface circuit 111, a random-number generating circuit 112, a speaker driving circuit 122, a hopper driving circuit 124, a counter 128 and a display controller 140.
  • [0074]
    The interface circuits 102 are connected to the input/output bus 104. Through the input/output bus 104, data signals and address signals are inputted into, or outputted from, the CPU 106.
  • [0075]
    A start switch 27A is connected to the interface circuits 102, and detects an operation on the start button 27. The start switch 27A outputs a starting signal. The starting signal is converted into a predetermined signal in the interface circuits 102, and then is transmitted to the CPU 106 through the input/output bus 104.
  • [0076]
    Moreover, connected to the interface circuits 102 are: a BET switch 25A, which detects an operation on the BET button 25; a MAXBET switch 24A, which detects an operation on the MAXBET button 24; a spin-repeat-bet switch 26A, which detects an operation on the spin-repeat-bet button 26; and a cash-out switch 23A, which detects an operation on the cash-out button 23. The switching signals outputted from these switches 23A to 26A are supplied to the interface circuits 102, and converted into predetermined signals in the interface circuits 102. The converted signals are then transmitted to the CPU 106 through the input/output bus 104.
  • [0077]
    Furthermore, a medal sensor 43 is connected to the interface circuits 102, and detects the medal that is thrown into the medal insertion slot 21. To this end, the medal sensor 43 is disposed in the medal insertion slot 21, precisely, in a portion thereof into which medals are thrown. The medal sensor 43 outputs a detection signal. The detection signal is then supplied to the interface circuits 102, and converted into a predetermined signal in the interface circuits 102. After that, the converted signal is transmitted to the CPU 106 through the input/output bus 104.
  • [0078]
    A ROM 108 for storing a system program and a RAM 110 for saving various data are connected to the input/output bus 104. Also connected to the input/output bus 104 are the random-number generating circuit 112, the communication-interface circuit 111, the display controller 140, the hopper driving circuit 124, the speaker driving circuit 122 and the counter 128.
  • [0079]
    When the player operates the start button 27, the CPU 106 receives a signal from the start switch 27A. With the reception of the signal, the starting operation for the game is accepted, and the accepting of the starting operation triggers the reading of a game-execution program by the CPU 106. Thus, the slot game is executed. Note that the game-execution program is a program for executing a slot game on the lower LCD 16 with help of the display controller 140.
  • [0080]
    Specifically, what is programmed in the game-execution program is the execution of a slot game. In the game, symbols in each of the display areas Q1 to Q3 (see FIG. 2) are scrolled, and then are stopped (symbols that have been arranged are rearranged). In a case where the symbols displayed when the scrolling stops are of a winning combination, a payout is generated.
  • [0081]
    The communication interface circuit 111 is connected to a hall server and the like. Through the interface circuit 111, data on history of plays executed by this slot machine 10 is transmitted to the hall server, and various data transmitted from the hall server is received.
  • [0082]
    The random-number generating circuit 112 generates random numbers for determining whether or not a winning combination occurs in a slot game executed on the lower LCD 16.
  • [0083]
    The function of the counter 128 is to count the number of executed slot games (the number of slot games already played) with MAXBET, that is, slot games on each of which the player bets a wager of three credits, the maximum wager that the player can bet on a single slot game. The counter 128 can be set in the RAM 110.
  • [0084]
    The speaker driving circuit 122 outputs audio data to the speaker 29. Specifically, the CPU 106 reads audio data stored in ROM 108, and transmits the audio data to the speaker driving circuit 122 through the input/output bus 104. Thus, the speaker 29 emits predetermined effect sound.
  • [0085]
    The hopper driving circuit 124 outputs a pay-out signal to the hopper 44 when a cash-out occurs. Specifically, when the player operates the cash-out button 23, the CPU 106 receives a cash-out signal from the cash-out switch 23A. The CPU 106, then, outputs a driving signal to the hopper driving circuit 124 through the input/output bus 104. With this driving signal, the hopper 44 pays out medals equivalent to the number of restricted credits remaining at the time. The number of remaining restricted credits is stored in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110, and is displayed on the screen of the lower LCD 16.
  • [0086]
    The display controller 140 performs a display control for executing a slot game on the lower LCD 16. Specifically, the CPU106 generates a signal giving instructions that images should be displayed in response to the state of, and to the outcome of, the slot game. The CPU 106 outputs the signal of the image-display instruction to the display controller 140 through the input/output bus 104. When the display controller 140 receives the signal of the image-display instructions outputted from the CPU 106, the display controller 140 generates a driving signal for driving, in accordance with the image-display instructions, the lower LCD 16, and outputs the generated driving signal to the lower LCD 16. With this driving signal, the lower LCD 16 displays various images, such as effect images and images for explaining the game.
  • [0087]
    Incidentally, a touch panel sensor 19 is provided on the screen surface of the lower LCD 16. When the player touches the touch panel sensor 19, data on the contact position on the screen of the lower LCD is detected, and is transmitted to the CPU 106.
  • [0088]
    The display controller 140 also performs control for displaying, on the screen of the upper LCD 33, various images, such as effect images and images for explaining the game.
  • [0089]
    Subsequently, with reference to flowcharts shown respectively in FIGS. 4 to 10, a description will be given of a procedure for processing at the time when a game is executed on the slot machine 10 as a gaming machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0090]
    Firstly, the CPU 106 shown in FIG. 3 accepts a betting of a wager on a slot game that is about to be executed at step S31 in FIG. 4. Specifically, when a medal is thrown into the medal insertion slot 21, or when a betting of a wager is made with a restricted credit by the player's pressing the MAXBET button 24 or the BET button 25, the CPU 106 detects these operations.
  • [0091]
    As described above, the BET switch 25A detects the operation on the BET button 25, and the MAXBET switch 24A detects the operation on the MAXBET button 24. The medal sensor 43 is provided in the portion into which the medal is thrown of the medal insertion slot 21, and detects the medal thrown into the medal insertion slot 21. The BET switch 25A, the MAXBET switch 24A and the medal sensor 43, together, function as a switch for betting in a plurality of patterns with different wagers in this embodiment.
  • [0092]
    Subsequently at step S32, the CPU 106 executes a processing for determining whether or not the slot game that is to be executed next is a rescue-setting game, that is, a game involved in the rescue pay. The rescue-setting game determination is processed by referring to the content of the wager, the betting of which is accepted at step S31. A detailed description of the processing will be given later using a flowchart shown in FIG. 5.
  • [0093]
    Then, at step S33, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the start switch is turned ON by an operation by the player on the start button 27. When it is determined that the start switch is ON, the flow of control goes to the processing step S34.
  • [0094]
    At step S34, the CPU 106 performs the execution processing of the slot game. In this processing, the symbols arranged in the respective three display areas Q1 to Q3 are rearranged. A detailed description of the processing will be given later using a flowchart shown in FIG. 6.
  • [0095]
    At step S35, the CPU 106 performs the processing of counting the rescue setting games. In this processing, every time a slot game that is set to be a rescue setting game is executed, the CPU 106 increments the count value of the counter 128. A detailed description of the processing will be given later using a flowchart shown in FIG. 7.
  • [0096]
    At step S36, the CPU 106 performs the processing of executing the rescue pay. In this processing, a free game for determining the amount of the rescue pay to be paid out is executed in the following case. Specifically, no slot game among a predetermined number, which is pre-set, of consecutive slot games (for example, over a thousand slot games) that have been executed as rescue-setting games generates a predetermined amount of payout (for example, a payout of 60 or more credits for a bet of 1 credit). A detailed description of the processing will be given later using a flowchart shown in FIG. 8.
  • [0097]
    At step S37, the CPU 106 executes the processing of payout. In this processing, when the stop symbols for the respective three display areas Q1 to Q3 form a winning combination, or when a rescue pay occurs, the CPU 106 executes a payout with the medals or the restricted credits. Thereafter, the next game starts. A detailed description of the payout processing will be given later using a flowchart shown in FIG. 10.
  • [0098]
    FIG. 5 is a flowchart showing a detailed procedure of the rescue-setting-game determination processing at step S32 in FIG. 4. Firstly, at step S51, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the wager content of the bet accepted at step S31 is the MAXBET. Specifically, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the accepted bet is of a three-credit wager, which is the maximum wager that can be betted on a single slot game. When the wager content of the accepted bet is the MAXBET (YES at step S51), the flow of control goes to the processing at step S52. When the wager content of the accepted bet is not the MAXBET (No at step S51), the rescue-setting-game determination processing is finished.
  • [0099]
    At step S52, the CPU 106 switches what is displayed on each of the screens of the respective upper and the lower LCDs 33 and 16 from a display indicating that the current game is not a rescue-setting game to another display indicating that the current game is a rescue-setting game. Specifically, on the screen of the upper LCD 33, the CPU switches from a display of an image 200 with letters “RESCUE OFF” as shown in FIG. 16A to another display of an image 230 with letters “RESCUE ON” as shown in FIG. 18A. Also on the screen of the lower LCD 16, the CPU 106 switches a display of a selected image 210 with letters “RESCUE OFF” as shown in FIG. 16B to a display of the selected image 210 with letters “RESCUE ON” as shown in FIG. 18B.
  • [0100]
    When the player touches the selected image 210 on the screen of the lower LCD 16, the touch panel sensor 19 (see FIG. 3) detects the touching operation. Then the CPU 106 causes the lower LCD 16 to display an image 220, as shown in FIG. 17, for a detailed description of the rescue pay. Specifically, displayed in this example are letters of “What is rescue pay? You have played a thousand slot games with MAXBET, but have never got a payout of sixty times or higher. Then, you are entitled to rescue pay. Free game determines credits of payout to be provided in rescue pay.” The display of the explanatory image 220 is automatically terminated by the CPU 106 in a certain length of time.
  • [0101]
    Subsequently at step S53 shown in FIG. 5, the CPU 106 sets the current slot game to be a rescue-setting game. Thereafter, the CPU 106 finishes the rescue-setting-game determination processing.
  • [0102]
    FIG. 6 is a flow chart showing the procedure for processing of the executing the slot game shown as step S34 in FIG. 4. A description will be given below of the slot-game execution processing with reference to FIG. 6.
  • [0103]
    Firstly, at step S71, the CPU 106 uses random numbers that the random number generating circuit 112 (see FIG. 3) generates, and determines the stop symbols for the respective display areas Q1 to Q3. Subsequently, at step S72, symbols are scroll-displayed in each of the display areas Q1 to Q3, and are stopped to be displayed in a predetermined length of time (for example, 5 seconds). The stop symbols that are displayed are the symbols determined at step S71. Thereafter, the flow of control goes to the processing at step S73.
  • [0104]
    At step S73, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the stop symbols in the display areas Q1 to Q3 form a winning combination, which generates a payout. A payout table shown in FIG. 13 defines winning combinations. Specifically, when each of the three display areas Q1 to Q3 has a symbol of “DOUBLE,” an 800-credit payout occurs for a bet of one credit. When each of the three display areas Q1 to Q3 has a symbol of “Triple BAR,” a 60-credit payout occurs for a bet of one credit. For a case where each of the three display areas Q1 to Q3 has a symbol of “Double BAR,” another case where each of the three display areas Q1 to Q3 has a symbol of “CHERRY,” and still another case where each of the three display areas Q1 to Q3 has a symbol of “Single BAR,” the amounts of the corresponding payouts are set. Payouts are set likewise for a case where each of the three display areas Q1 to Q3 has any one of the above-mentioned symbols of “Triple BAR,” “Double BAR” and “Single BAR” (ANYBAR), for a case two of the three display areas Q1 to Q3 have symbols of “CHERRY” and for a case one of the three display areas Q1 to Q3 has a symbol of “CHERRY.”
  • [0105]
    At step S74, the CPU 106 executes a processing for generating a payout that corresponds to the above-described winning combinations. At step S75, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the stop symbols in three display areas Q1 to Q3 form a particular symbol combination. In this embodiment, a winning combination for which a payout of 60 credits or higher occurs is defined as a particular symbol combination. Accordingly, when the three display areas have three symbols of “DOUBLE” or three symbols of “Triple BAR,” as shown in FIG. 13, it is determined that a particular symbol combination is established.
  • [0106]
    Then, at step S76, when it is determined that one of the above-mentioned particular symbol combinations is formed, the CPU 106 sets a particular-symbol-combination flag at “1.” Thereafter, the slot-game execution processing is finished.
  • [0107]
    Briefly, in the slot-game execution processing shown in FIG. 6, when a winning combination is established, a payout corresponding to the winning combination is generated, at the same time, when a particular symbol combination, which gives a higher return to the player (in this embodiment, three symbols of “DOUBLE” or those of “Triple BAR”), a payout corresponding to the particular symbol combination is generated, and, additionally, the particular-symbol-combination flag is set at “1.”
  • [0108]
    Subsequently, with reference to a flowchart shown in FIG. 7, a description will be given of a processing for counting rescue-setting games shown as step S35 in FIG. 4.
  • [0109]
    Firstly, at step S91, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the next slot game to be executed is a rescue-setting game. When it is determined that the next game is not a rescue-setting game (No at step S91) in this determination processing, the rescue-setting-game count processing is finished. When, on the other hand, it is determined that the next game is a rescue-setting game (YES at step S91), the flow of control goes to the processing at step S92.
  • [0110]
    At step S92, the CPU 106 increments the count value Ta for slot games as rescue-setting games. To put it simply, the count value Ta=Ta+1. Here, the count value Ta is initially (when the slot machine 10 is turned ON) is set at zero, and is reset in the processing at step S95, which will be described later. Note that the count value Ta, here, is a value obtained by counting how many rescue-setting games have been executed. When the processing is finished, the flow of control goes to the processing at step S93.
  • [0111]
    At step S93, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the particular-symbol-combination flag is “1”. In other words, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the particular-symbol-combination flag described at step S76 in FIG. 6 is “1.” When it is determined that the particular-symbol-combination flag is “1” (YES at step S93), the CPU 106 resets the count value Ta in the processing at step S94, and resets also the particular-symbol-combination flag in the processing at step S95.
  • [0112]
    Alternatively, when it is determined that the particular-symbol-combination flag is not “1” in the determination processing at step S93, the processing of counting the rescue-setting games is finished. In other words, when the particular-symbol-combination flag is not “1,” the current slot game moves on to the next slot game while the count value Ta is kept at the incremented value. Thereafter, the processing is finished.
  • [0113]
    In the above-described processing of counting the rescue setting games, the counting of the consecutive slot games with MAXBET in each of which no particular symbol combination is established is carried out in the following way. Suppose a case where the wager betted on the current slot game is MAXBET. When no winning combination that generates a payout of 60 credits or higher for a wager of 1 credit (where no particular symbol combination is established) occurs, the count value Ta is incremented. Meanwhile, when one of the winning combinations generating a payout of 60 credits or higher for a wager of 1 credit (where a particular symbol combination is established) occurs, the count value Ta is reset.
  • [0114]
    Subsequently, with reference to a flowchart shown in FIG. 8, a description will be given of the procedure of a processing for executing a rescue pay shown as step S36 in FIG. 4. Firstly, at step S101, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the current slot game is a rescue-setting game. In other words, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the current game is a slot game that is set to be a rescue-setting game in the processing at step S53 in FIG. 5. Then, when the current game is a rescue-setting game, the flow of control goes to step S102. When, on the other hand, the current game is not a rescue-setting game, the rescue-pay execution processing is finished.
  • [0115]
    At step S102, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the count value Ta for the slot games as rescue-setting games is an maximum value Tamax (for example, Tamax=1000) that is set in advance (a predetermined value). When Ta=Tamax, the flow of control goes to processing at step S103. When, on the other hand, Ta≠Tamax, the rescue-pay execution processing is finished.
  • [0116]
    At step S103, the CPU 106 resets the count value Ta for the slot games as rescue-setting games, and, additionally, executes a processing for generating a rescue pay. Specifically, when no particular symbol combination is established over a maximum number Tamax of consecutive rescue setting games, or to be more precise, when no winning combination with a payout of 60 credits or higher for a bet of one credit occurs over the above-mentioned number of rescue-setting games, a rescue pay occurs. A detailed description of rescue-pay generation processing will be given later using a flowchart shown in FIG. 9.
  • [0117]
    FIGS. 19A and 19B are examples of images displayed respectively on the screens of the upper and the lower LCDs 33 and 16 when the count value Ta approaches the maximum value Tamax. When the count value Ta is “992,” an image 224, which notifies the player that 8 games remain before a rescue pay occurs, is displayed on the screen of the upper LCD 33. Meanwhile, an image 225 of an angel with her wings folded is displayed on the screen of the lower LCD 16.
  • [0118]
    FIGS. 20A and 20B are examples of images displayed respectively on the screens of the upper and the lower LCDs 33 and 16 when the count value Ta is “999.” An image 226, which notifies the player that 1 game remains before a rescue pay occurs, is displayed on the screen of the upper LCD 33. Meanwhile, an image 227 of an angel with her wings unfolded is displayed on the screen of the lower LCD 16.
  • [0119]
    FIGS. 21A and 21B are examples of images displayed respectively on the screens of the upper and the lower LCDs 33 and 16 when the count value Ta reaches its maximum value Tamax, that is, “1000.” Images 316 and 252, which indicate that a rescue pay occurs, are respectively displayed on the screens of the upper and the lower LCDs 33 and 16. Specifically, the image 316 with letters of “RESCUE PAY START” is displayed on the screen of the upper LCD 33 as FIG. 21A shows. Meanwhile, an image 251 with letters of “PRESS START BUTTON,” which urges the player to operate the start button 27, and the image 252 with letters “RESCUE PAY 0 CREDITS,” which indicates the amount of credits to be provided as a rescue pay, are displayed on the screen of the lower LCD 16, as FIG. 21B shows. The numeric value that appears in this image 252 is increased by a free game which is executed in the rescue-pay generation processing shown as step S103 in FIG. 8, and on which the player has to bet no additional wager.
  • [0120]
    Here, with reference to a flowchart shown in FIG. 9, a description will be given of the procedure of a processing for generating a rescue pay shown as step S103 in FIG. 8. Firstly, at step S111, the CPU 106 determines, in accordance with the random numbers generated by the random generating circuit 112 (see FIG. 3), the symbols to be stopped in the respective display areas Q1 to Q3 for the free game that is about to be executed. The stop symbols to be displayed in the display areas Q1 to Q3 in a free game differ from those stop symbols to be displayed in the display areas Q1 to Q3 in a slot game. Specifically, each of the three display areas Q1 to Q3 has a stop symbol of one of image symbols with an angel in the background and the number (10, 50, 100, 300 or 500) of credits to be provided being displayed, such as those shown in FIGS. 14A to 14E respectively.
  • [0121]
    Subsequently, at step S112, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the start switch 27A is turned ON by an operation of the player on the start button 27. When the start switch 27A is turned ON, the flow of control goes to a processing at step S113.
  • [0122]
    At step S113, the CPU 106 causes the symbols in each of the display areas Q1 to Q3 to be scroll-displayed, and a symbol is stopped to be displayed in each of the display areas Q1 to Q3 in a predetermined length of time (for example, 5 seconds). Here, the stop symbols to be displayed in the three display areas Q1 to Q3 are the symbols that are determined at step S111. Thereafter, the flow of control goes to the processing at step S114.
  • [0123]
    At step S114, the CPU106 determines whether or not the stop symbols in the respective display areas Q1 to Q3 form a winning combination, which generates a payout. The winning combinations are defined in a payout table for rescue pay shown in FIG. 15. When no winning combination to generate a payout is formed by the stop symbols (No at step S114), the rescue-pay generation processing is finished. When one of the winning combinations to generate a payout is formed by the stop symbols (YES at step S114), the flow of control goes to the processing at step S115.
  • [0124]
    Specifically, when three of a symbol including letters “10 CREDITS” are displayed in the three display areas Q1 to Q3 respectively, a 10-credit payout is generated as a rescue pay. When three of a symbol including letters “50 CREDITS” are displayed in the three display areas Q1 to Q3 respectively, a 50-credit payout is generated as a rescue pay. When three of a symbol including letters “100 CREDITS” are displayed in the three display areas Q1 to Q3 respectively, a 100-credit payout is generated as a rescue pay. When three of a symbol including letters “300 CREDITS” are displayed in the three display areas Q1 to Q3 respectively, a 300-credit payout is generated as a rescue pay. When three of a symbol including letters “500 CREDITS” are displayed in the three display areas Q1 to Q3 respectively, a 500-credit payout is generated as a rescue pay.
  • [0125]
    At step S115, the CPU 106 executes a processing for determining a payout for the rescue pay in accordance with the above-described winning combinations. Subsequently, at step S116, the CPU 106 causes the payout for the rescue pay thus determined to be displayed on the screens of the upper and the lower LCDs 33 and 16. Thereafter, the rescue-pay generation processing is finished.
  • [0126]
    FIGS. 22A and 22B are examples of images displayed respectively on the screens of the upper and the lower LCDs 33 and 16 when three of the symbol including the letters of “300 CREDITS” are displayed in the three display areas Q1 to Q3 respectively in the processing at step S113.
  • [0127]
    Specifically, as the display on the screen of the upper LCD 33, the image with letters of “RESCUE PAY 300 CREDITS” shown in FIG. 22A replaces the image with the letters of “RESCUE PAY START” shown in FIG. 21A. As the display on the screen of the lower LCD 16, the image 252 with letters of “RESCUE PAY 300 CREDITS” shown in FIG. 22B replaces the image 252 with the letters of “RESCUE PAY 0 CREDITS” shown in FIG. 21B while the display of the image 251 with the letters of “PRESS START BUTTON” shown in FIG. 21B does not appear.
  • [0128]
    The processing of generating a rescue pay shown as step S103 in FIG. 8 is executed in this way.
  • [0129]
    Subsequently, with reference to a flowchart shown in FIG. 10, a description will be given of a payout processing shown as step S37 in FIG. 4. Firstly, at step S121, the CPU 106 determines whether or not a payout is generated in a slot game, that is, whether or not a winning combination is displayed in a slot game. Specifically, the CPU 106 determines whether or not a payout is generated in the processing at step S74 in FIG. 6. When a payout is generated in the slot game (YES at step S121), the CPU 106 increments, by the amount equivalent to the generated payout, the stored number of the restricted credits displayed on the screen of the lower LCD 16 (step S122). Thereafter, the flow of control goes to the proceeding at step S123. When, on the other hand, no payout is generated in the slot game (NO at step S121), the CPU 106 causes the flow of control to go to the processing at step S123.
  • [0130]
    At step S123, the CPU 123 determines whether or not a payout is generated in the process of executing a rescue pay, that is, whether or not a winning combination is displayed in a free game in the rescue-pay execution processing. Specifically, the CPU 106 determines whether or not it is determined, in the processing at step S114 in FIG. 9, that the stop symbols form a winning combination, which generates a payout. When a payout is generated in the free game (YES at step S123), the CPU 106 drives the hopper driving circuit 124, and pays out medals that are equivalent to the payout determined in the processing at step S115 in FIG. 9 from the hopper 44 to the medal tray 18 (step S124). Thereafter, the flow of control goes to step S125.
  • [0131]
    At step S125, the CPU 106 switches the displays on the screens of the upper and the lower LCDs 33 and 16 from displays indicating that the current game is a rescue-setting game to displays indicating that the current game is not a rescue-setting game. Specifically, the CPU 106 switches the display on the screen of the upper LCD 33 from a display of the image 230 with the letters “RESCUE ON” shown in FIG. 18A to another display of the image 200 with the letters “RESCUE OFF” shown in FIG. 16A. The CPU 106 also switches the display on the screen of the lower LCD 16 from a display of the letters of “RESCUE ON” appearing in the selected image 210 as shown in FIG. 18B to another display of the letters of “RESCUE OFF” appearing in the selected image 210 as shown in FIG. 16B. Thereafter the payout processing is finished.
  • [0132]
    As described above, in the slot machine 10 according to this embodiment, when the count value reaches its maximum value Tamax (a predetermined value) in a rescue-setting game, a payout for a rescue pay is provided.
  • [0133]
    In the slot machine 10 according to this embodiment, when the player makes, on a slot game, a bet of three-credit wager, which is the maximum wager on a single slot game, that is, when the player makes a MAXBET on a slot game, the slot game is set to be a rescue-setting game.
  • [0134]
    In this embodiment, when a payout is generated in a slot game, the stored number of restricted credits displayed on the screen of the lower LCD 16 is incremented. Meanwhile, when a rescue pay is generated, the wagers to be paid out are converted into coins or medals, and then are paid out from the medal-paying-out opening 28.
  • [0135]
    As a result, the generation of a payout by rescue pay is more appealing to the player and the gallery around the player than the generation of a payout in a slot game.
  • [0136]
    Note, however, that the payout generated in a slot game can be performed either by incrementing the stored number of restricted credits displayed on the screen of the lower LCD 16 or by paying out the coins or medals from the medal-paying-out opening 28, and so can the payout generated as rescue pay. Accordingly, the way of providing the payout for the slot game and the way providing the payout for the rescue pay can be switched arbitrarily.
  • [0137]
    Subsequently, a description will be given of a modified example of the embodiment described above. The modified example is different, only in the rescue-pay generating processing shown as step S103 in FIG. 8, from the embodiment whose rescue-pay generating processing is shown in FIG. 9. Now, with reference to a flow chart shown in FIG. 11, a description will be given of a processing of generating a rescue pay according to this modified example.
  • [0138]
    Firstly, because the processing from step S131 to step S133 is similar to the processing from step Sill to step S113 in FIG. 9, no detail description of the processing for these steps will be given. At step S134, the CPU 106 determines whether or not a predetermined number (for example, three), which is preset, of the free games have been executed. When the number of the free games that have been executed does not reach the predetermined number (NO at step S134), the flow of control returns to step S131. When, on the other hand, the number does reach the predetermined number (YES at step S134), the flow of control goes to the processing at step S135.
  • [0139]
    At step S135, the CPU106 determines whether or not a winning combination, combination of symbols that generates a payout is formed by the stop symbols in the respective display areas Q1 to Q3 during the predetermined number of the free games. Note that the payout table for rescue pay shown in FIG. 15 defines winning combinations. In a case where no winning combination has ever been formed by the stop symbols (NO at step S135), the rescue-pay generation processing is finished. In a case where one of the winning combinations has been formed at least once (YES at step S135), the flow of control goes to step S136.
  • [0140]
    At step S136, the CPU 106 executes the processing for determining the payout for the rescue pay in accordance with the above-mentioned winning combinations. The payout for the rescue pay is determined as a sum of the payouts for the respective winning combinations, which payouts are generated in the free games that have been executed the predetermined number of times. Subsequently, at step S137, the CPU 106 displays the payout thus determined on the screens of the upper and the lower LCDs 33 and 16. Thereafter, the rescue-pay generation processing is finished.
  • [0141]
    As described above, in this modified example, the payout for the rescue pay is determined as the sum of the payouts for the respective winning combinations that occur in the predetermined number of the free games.
  • [0142]
    Subsequently, a description will be given of another modified example of the embodiment described above. The another modified example is different, also only in the rescue pay generating processing shown as step S103 in FIG. 8, from the embodiment whose rescue-pay generating processing is shown in FIG. 9. Now, with reference to a flowchart shown in FIG. 12, a description will be given of a processing of generating a rescue pay according to this another modified example.
  • [0143]
    Firstly, at step S141, the CPU 106, with random numbers that the random-number generating circuit 112 (see FIG. 3) generates, determines the number of the free games that will be executed now. Subsequently, at step S142, the CPU 106, with random numbers that the random-number generating circuit 112 (see FIG. 3) generates, determines stop symbols to be displayed in the display areas Q1 to Q3 in the free games that will be executed now. In the free games, any of the symbols shown respectively in FIGS. 14A to 14E can be the stop symbols displayed in the display areas Q1 to Q3.
  • [0144]
    Subsequently, at step S143, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the start switch 27A is turned ON by the player's operation on the start button 27. When it is determined that the start switch 27A is turned ON, the flow of control goes to step S144.
  • [0145]
    At step S144, the CPU 106 causes the symbols to be scroll-displayed in each of the display areas Q1 to Q3. The scrolling is stopped in a predetermined length of time (for example, 5 seconds), and thus symbols are displayed in the respective display areas Q1 to Q3. The stop symbols displayed at this time in respective display areas Q1 to Q3 are the symbols having been determined at step S142. Thereafter, the flow of control goes to the processing at step S145.
  • [0146]
    At step S145, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the number of free games that have been executed reaches the number determined at step S141. When the number of the free games having been executed does not reach the number having been determined at step S141 (NO at step S145), the flow of control returns to step S142. When, on the other hand, the number does reach the number having been determined at step S141 (YES at step S145), the flow of control goes to the processing at step S146.
  • [0147]
    At step S146, the CPU 106 determines whether or not a winning combination, combination of symbols that generates a payout is formed by the stop symbols displayed in the respective display areas Q1 to Q3 during the free games having been executed the number of times determined at step S141. Note that the payout table for rescue pay shown in FIG. 15 defines winning combinations. In a case where no winning combination has ever been formed by the stop symbols (NO at step S146), the rescue-pay generation processing is finished. In a case where one of the winning combinations has been formed at least once (YES at step S146), the flow of control goes to step S147.
  • [0148]
    At step S147, the CPU 106 executes the processing for determining the payout for the rescue pay in accordance with the above-mentioned winning combinations. The payout for the rescue pay is determined as a sum of the payouts for the respective winning combinations, which payouts are generated in the free games that have been executed the number of times determined at step S141. Subsequently, at step S148, the CPU 106 displays the payout thus determined on the screens of the upper and the lower LCDs 33 and 16. Thereafter, the rescue-pay generation processing is finished.
  • [0149]
    As described above, in this modified example, the payout for the rescue pay is determined as the sum of the payouts for the respective winning combinations that occur in the number of the free games while the number is determined on a case-by-case basis every time the rescue pay occurs.
  • [0150]
    In the above-described embodiment of the present invention and also in the above-described modified examples of the embodiment, a part of the wager can be added to the payout for the rescue pay, when the player bets, on a slot game, a wager of MAXBET.
  • [0151]
    In this case, when the CPU 106 performs the processing of determining the payout for the rescue pay at step S115 in FIG. 9, at step S136 in FIG. 10 and at step S147 in FIG. 11, a part of the wager of MAXBET that the player bets on a slot game is added to the payout for the rescue pay determined in accordance with the winning combinations that occur in the free games.
  • [0152]
    For example, when one credit of every MAXBET wager that the player bets on a slot game is added to the payout, the adding may be carried out in the following way. When the count value Ta reaches the maximum value (a predetermined value) Tamax (for example, Tamax=1000), the counter 128 counts the number of slot games that have been executed (the number of slot games that have already been played) with a wager of MAXBET being betted on each of the slot games by that time. The above-mentioned number that the counter 128 counts is added to the payouts for the rescue pay determined in accordance with the winning combinations that occur in the free games.
  • [0153]
    The gaming machine of the present invention and the method of playing the gaming machine have been described thus far using the illustrated embodiment. The present invention, however, is not limited to this. The configuration of each part can be replaced by any configuration with similar functions.
  • [0154]
    For example, in the example of the above-described embodiment, three display areas Q1 to Q3 are provided to the lower LCD 16, and slot games are executed with these display areas Q1 to Q3. The present invention, however, is not limited to this, and is applicable to a case with various types of display area arrangements, such as those of three rows and of five columns.
  • [0155]
    In the above-described configuration, the player arbitrarily chooses an option by touching the touch panel sensor 19. The arbitrary choice, however, may be made by operation on switches without using the touch panel sensor 19.
  • [0156]
    In the slot machine 10 described in this embodiment, slot games are executed by displaying images of symbols on the screen of the lower LCD 16. The present invention, however, is not limited to this. A possible configuration may have drums each of which has a circumferential surface with a plurality of symbols printed thereon, and slot games are performed by rotating the drums.
  • [0157]
    In this embodiment, the slot machine 10 is described as an example of a gaming machine, but the present invention is not limited to this. The present invention is applicable to other gaming machines such as one performing a horse racing game.
  • [0158]
    For an easy understanding of the present invention, the detailed description thus far has been given by focusing on characteristic portions. The present invention is not limited to the embodiment described in the above detailed description, and is applicable to other embodiments. Various applications are conceivable. The terms and wordings used in this specification are used for explaining the present invention accurately. They are not used for limiting the interpretation of the present invention. A person skilled in the art may conceive other configurations, other systems and other methods included in the scope of the present invention on the basis of the concept of the invention described in this specification. Accordingly, the description in the scope of claims has to be read as including any equivalent configuration without departing from the scope of the technical idea of the present invention. An object of the abstract is to make a person skilled in the art judge technical contents of this application and its essence quickly, with a simple examination even for a person not familiar with the Patent Office and general public institutions, and with terminologies of patent, of law and of the art. Accordingly, the abstract is not provided to limit the scope of the invention, which should be assessed by the description in the scope of claims. To understand better objectives and advantageous effects peculiar to the present invention, documents that have already been disclosed and the like are preferably consulted sufficiently.
  • [0159]
    The detailed description that has been given above includes a processing executed by a computer. The description and the expression used in the detailed description have an object, specifically, to facilitate an efficient understanding of the person skilled in the art. In this specification, the steps used to obtain a result should be understood as self-consistent processing. In the steps, electrical, or magnetic, signals are transmitted, received, and stored. The signal is expressed, in the processing at each step, by bit, value, symbol, letter, terms, numbers and the like. It should be, however, noted that these are employed only for the explanatory convenience. The processing at each step is sometimes described with an expression that is also used to describe an activity of a human being. Nevertheless, the processing described in this specification is basically executed by various devices. In addition, other configuration necessary for the execution of each step becomes self-evident from the description given above.

Claims (18)

  1. 1. A gaming machine comprising:
    a bet switch capable of betting in a plurality of patterns with different amount of wagers;
    a display adapted to display:
    a primary game operable upon a wager made by a player; and
    a secondary game operable without an additional wager made by the player;
    a counter in which a count value of the counter is incremented by an execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager and the count value of the counter is reset when a reset condition is established; and
    a controller configured to:
    (a) execute the secondary game when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value;
    (b) provide an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and
    (c) reset the count value of the counter when the secondary game is finished, the finish of the secondary game being identified with the establishment of the reset condition.
  2. 2. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the controller increases the award for insurance by an amount equivalent to a part of the maximum wager that the player bets on the primary game.
  3. 3. The gaming machine according to claim 1, further comprising:
    a credit display adapted to display a number of remaining restricted credits, the restricted credit being stored in the gaming machine and continuing to be usable as a wager until the restricted credit is converted into cash; and
    a tray to which cashable credits are provided, the cashable credit being usable as a wager by being thrown into the gaming machine,
    wherein the controller is configured to
    discriminate between the cashable credit and the restricted credit,
    provide an award corresponding to an outcome of the primary game by an increment of the number displayed on the credit display, and
    provide the award for insurance by providing the cashable credit to the tray.
  4. 4. A gaming machine comprising:
    a bet switch capable of betting in a plurality of patterns with different amount of wagers;
    a display adapted to display:
    a primary game operable upon a wager made by a player; and
    a secondary game operable without an additional wager made by the player;
    a counter in which a count value of the counter is incremented by an execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager and the count value of the counter is reset when a reset condition is established; and
    a controller configured to:
    (a) execute a predetermined number of the secondary games when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value;
    (b) provide an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and
    (c) reset the count value of the counter when the predetermined number of the secondary games are finished, the finish of the predetermined number of the secondary games being identified with the establishment of the reset condition.
  5. 5. The gaming machine according to claim 4, wherein the controller increases the award for insurance by an amount equivalent to a part of the maximum wager that the player bets on the primary game.
  6. 6. The gaming machine according to claim 4, further comprising:
    a credit display adapted to display a number of remaining restricted credits, the restricted credit being stored in the gaming machine and continuing to be usable as a wager until the restricted credit is converted into cash; and
    a tray to which cashable credits are provided, the cashable credit being usable as a wager by being thrown into the gaming machine,
    wherein the controller is configured to
    discriminate between the cashable credit and the restricted credit,
    provide an award corresponding to an outcome of the primary game by an increment of the number displayed on the credit display, and
    provide the award for insurance by providing the cashable credit to the tray.
  7. 7. A gaming machine comprising:
    a bet switch capable of betting in a plurality of patterns with different amount of wagers;
    a display adapted to display:
    a primary game operable upon a wager made by a player; and
    a secondary game operable without an additional wager made by the player;
    a counter in which a count value of the counter is incremented by an execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager and the count value of the counter is reset when a reset condition is established; and
    a controller configured to:
    (a) determine a number of the secondary games to be executed, and execute the determined number of the secondary games, when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value;
    (b) provide an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and
    (c) reset the count value of the counter when the determined number of the secondary games are finished, the finish of the determined number of the secondary games being identified with the establishment of the reset condition.
  8. 8. The gaming machine according to claim 7, wherein the controller increases the award for insurance by an amount equivalent to a part of the maximum wager that the player bets on the primary game.
  9. 9. The gaming machine according to claim 7, further comprising:
    a credit display adapted to display a number of remaining restricted credits, the restricted credit being stored in the gaming machine and continuing to be usable as a wager until the restricted credit is converted into cash; and
    a tray to which cashable credits are provided, the cashable credit being usable as a wager by being thrown into the gaming machine,
    wherein the controller is configured to
    discriminate between the cashable credit and the restricted credit,
    provide an award corresponding to an outcome of the primary game by an increment of the number displayed on the credit display, and
    provide the award for insurance by providing the cashable credit to the tray.
  10. 10. A method of playing a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of:
    accepting a betting of a wager made by a player;
    executing a primary game in response to the betting of the wager made by the player;
    incrementing a count value of a counter with the execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager;
    executing a secondary game when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value, the secondary game being operable without an additional wager made by the player;
    providing an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and
    resetting the count value of the counter when the secondary game is finished.
  11. 11. The method of playing a gaming machine according to claim 10, further comprising a step of increasing the award for insurance by an amount equivalent to a part of the maximum wager that the player bets on the primary game.
  12. 12. The method of playing a gaming machine, according to claim 10, further comprising the steps of:
    displaying a number of remaining restricted credits on a credit display, the restricted credit being stored in the gaming machine and continuing to be usable as a wager until the restricted credit is converted into cash; and
    providing an award corresponding to an outcome of the primary game by an increment of the number displayed on the credit display,
    wherein the step of providing an award for insurance is executed by providing cashable credits to a tray, the cashable credit being usable as a wager by being thrown into the gaming machine.
  13. 13. A method of playing a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of:
    accepting a betting of a wager made by a player;
    executing a primary game in response to the betting of the wager made by the player;
    incrementing a count value of a counter with the execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager;
    executing a predetermined number of a secondary game when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value, the secondary game being operable without an additional wager made by the player;
    providing an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and
    resetting the count value of the counter when the predetermined number of the secondary games are finished.
  14. 14. The method of playing a gaming machine according to claim 13, further comprising a step of increasing the award for insurance by an amount equivalent to a part of the maximum wager that the player bets on the primary game.
  15. 15. The method of playing a gaming machine, according to claim 13, further comprising the steps of:
    displaying a number of remaining restricted credits on a credit display, the restricted credit being stored in the gaming machine and continuing to be usable as a wager until the restricted credit is converted into cash; and
    providing an award corresponding to an outcome of the primary game by an increment of the number displayed on the credit display,
    wherein the step of providing an award for insurance is executed by providing cashable credits to a tray, the cashable credit being usable as a wager by being thrown into the gaming machine.
  16. 16. A method of playing a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of:
    accepting a betting of a wager made by a player;
    executing a primary game in response to the betting of the wager made by the player;
    incrementing a count value of a counter with the execution of the primary game on which the player bets a maximum wager;
    determining a number of secondary games to be executed, and executing the determined number of the secondary games, when the count value of the counter reaches a predetermined value, the secondary game being operable without an additional wager made by the player;
    providing an award for insurance in accordance with an outcome of the secondary game; and
    resetting the count value of the counter when the determined number of the secondary games are finished.
  17. 17. The method of playing a gaming machine according to claim 16, further comprising a step of increasing the award for insurance by an amount equivalent to a part of the maximum wager that the player bets on the primary game.
  18. 18. The method of playing a gaming machine, according to claim 16, further comprising the steps of
    displaying a number of remaining restricted credits on a credit display, the restricted credit being stored in the gaming machine and continuing to be usable as a wager until the restricted credit is converted into cash; and
    providing an award corresponding to an outcome of the primary game by an increment of the number displayed on the credit display,
    wherein the step of providing an award for insurance is executed by providing cashable credits to a tray, the cashable credit being usable as a wager by being thrown into the gaming machine.
US12023591 2007-04-13 2008-01-31 Gaming machine for providing an award for insurance and playing method thereof Abandoned US20080254858A1 (en)

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