US20090239606A1 - Slot machine with wild symbol feature and control method thereof - Google Patents

Slot machine with wild symbol feature and control method thereof Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090239606A1
US20090239606A1 US12/136,517 US13651708A US2009239606A1 US 20090239606 A1 US20090239606 A1 US 20090239606A1 US 13651708 A US13651708 A US 13651708A US 2009239606 A1 US2009239606 A1 US 2009239606A1
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symbol
display
display area
displayed
symbols
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US12/136,517
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Fumiya ABE
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Aruze Gaming America Inc
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Aruze Gaming America Inc
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Assigned to ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC. reassignment ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ABE, FUMIYA
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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
    • G07F17/34Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting depending on the stopping of moving members in a mechanical slot machine, e.g. "fruit" machines

Abstract

In a slot machine, symbols are scrolled in plural display areas provided on a display at an execution of a slot game and then stopped in the display areas respectively. Furthermore, if a “JOKER” symbol has come to a stop in a central display area, a “WILD” symbol(s) displayed in the remaining display areas is activated. If a “JOKER” symbol has not come to a stop in the central display area, a “WILD” symbol(s) displayed in the remaining display areas is deactivated. Therefore, since dividends may vary largely according to a symbol displayed in the central display area, a slot machine producing a superior entertainment feature with a “WILD” symbol can be provided.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is based upon and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/038,857, filed on Mar. 24, 2008; the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to a slot machine for playing games using medals and so on, and a control method of a slot machine.
  • 2. Description of Related Art
  • Each slot machine disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,459, U.S. Pat. No. 6,695,697, United States Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2003/0069073, European Patent Application Laid-Open No. 1192975, U.S. Pat. No. 6,254,483, U.S. Pat. No. 5,611,730, U.S. Pat. No. 5,639,088, U.S. Pat. No. 6,257,981, U.S. Pat. No. 6,234,896, U.S. Pat. No. 6,001,016, U.S. Pat. No. 6,273,820, U.S. Pat. No. 6,224,482, U.S. Pat. No. 4,669,731, U.S. Pat. No. 6,244,957, U.S. Pat. No. 5,910,048, U.S. Pat. No. 5,695,402, U.S. Pat. No. 6,003,013, U.S. Pat. No. 4,283,709, European Patent Application Laid-Open No. 0631798, German Patent Application Laid-Open No. 4137010, United Kingdom Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2326830, German Patent Application Laid-Open No. 3712841, U.S. Pat. No. 4,964,638, U.S. Pat. No. 6,089,980, U.S. Pat. No. 5,280,909, U.S. Pat. No. 5,702,303, U.S. Pat. No. 6,270,409, U.S. Pat. No. 5,770,533, U.S. Pat. No. 5,836,817, U.S. Pat. No. 6,932,704, U.S. Pat. No. 6,932,707, U.S. Pat. No. 4,837,728, European Patent Application Laid-Open No. 1302914, U.S. Pat. No. 4,624,459, U.S. Pat. No. 5,564,700, International Patent Application Laid-Open No. 03/083795, German Patent Application Laid-Open No. 3242890, European Patent Application Laid-Open No. 0840264, German Patent Application Laid-Open No. 10049444, International Patent Application Laid-Open No. 04/095383, European Patent Application Laid-Open No. 1544811, U.S. Pat. No. 5,890,963, European Patent Application Laid-Open No. 1477947 and European Patent Application Laid-Open No. 1351180, is known as a relevant slot machine.
  • In the slot machine, for example, total fifteen symbols in a three-rows by five-columns arrangement start scrolling in display areas on a display provided on a front face of a cabinet after a player has inserted monetary value(s), such as a medal(s), a coin(s) or a bill(s), into an insertion slot of the slot machine and has pressed a start switch, and then the symbols automatically come to stops. After the fifteen symbols has come to stops, appearing a prescribed number of scatter symbols causes an award.
  • In the slot machine, since there is a case where a wild symbol(s), that can acts as any symbol, may come to a stop in the display area(s), a probability for more awards will increase if the wild symbol(s) has come to a stop. In the slot machine like this, since a pay out amount is much affected by the number of the displayed wild symbols, it becomes difficult to control whether or not to stop the wild symbol(s) in the display areas. A slot machine having a new entertainment feature by wild symbols is desired to be produced.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • A first aspect of the present invention provides a slot machine that includes a display including a fixing display area and plural varying display areas, in which symbols are arranged, and a controller. The controller is operable to (A) rearrange symbols had been displayed in the varying display areas after receiving an input from an external, (B) change a symbol being arranged in the fixing display area to a wild symbol when a specific symbol has been displayed in any of the varying display areas, and (C) provide an award according to a symbol combination displayed in the fixing display area and the varying display areas.
  • A second aspect of the present invention provides a slot machine that includes a display including a first display area composed of a fixing display area and plural varying display areas and a second display area, in which symbols are arranged, and a controller. The controller is operable to (A) rearrange symbols had been displayed in the varying display areas and the second display area after receiving an input from an external, (B) change a symbol being arranged in the fixing display area to a wild symbol when a specific symbol has been displayed in the second display area, and (C) provide an award according to a symbol combination displayed in the first display area.
  • A third aspect of the present invention provides a slot machine that includes a display including a first display area and a second display area, in which symbols are arranged, and a controller. The controller is operable to (A) rearrange symbols had been displayed in the first area and the second display area after receiving an input from an external, (B) activate a wild symbol had been rearranged in the first area when a specific symbol has been displayed in the second display area, and (C) provide an award according to a symbol combination displayed in the first display area.
  • A fourth aspect of the present invention provides a control method of a slot machine that includes, rearranging symbols had been arranged in plural varying display areas provided on a display, changing a symbol in a fixing display area provided on the display to a wild symbol when a specific symbol has been rearranged in any of the varying display areas, and providing an award according to a symbol combination displayed in the varying display areas and the fixing display area.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a flow-chart showing an outline of process procedures in embodiments of a slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is an overall view showing a configuration of the slot machine in a first embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing an internal configuration of the slot machine in the first embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a diagram showing display areas provided on a display of the slot machine in the first embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 is an example of an awards setting table used in the first embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 6 is a flow-chart of slot game execution processing in the first embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 7 is a flow-chart of image effect control processing in the first embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 8 is a flow-chart of pay out processing in the first embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 9 is a screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in the first embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 10 is another screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in the first embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 11 is yet another screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in the first embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 12 is an overall view showing a configuration of the slot machine in a second embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 13 is a flow-chart of slot game execution processing in the second embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 14 is a flow-chart of image effect control processing in the second embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 15 is a screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in the second embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 16 is another screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in the second embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 17 is yet another screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in the second embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 18 is a screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in a modified example of the second embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 19 is another screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in the modified example of the second embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 20 is yet another screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in the modified example of the second embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 21 is a flow-chart of slot game execution processing in a third embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 22 is a flow-chart of image effect control processing in the third embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 23 is a screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in the third embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 24 is another screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in the third embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 25 is yet another screen example showing symbols displayed on the display of the slot machine in the third embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 26 is an overall view showing a configuration of the slot machine in a fourth embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 27 is a block diagram showing an internal configuration of the slot machine in the fourth embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 28A is a perspective view of a spinning reel device of the slot machine employed in the fourth embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 28B is a side view of the spinning reel device of the slot machine employed in the fourth embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 29 is an arrangement diagram of symbol rows drawn on each reel of the slot machine in the fourth embodiment according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 30 is a flow-chart of slot game execution processing in the fourth embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 31 is a flow-chart of reel control processing in the fourth embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention; and
  • FIG. 32 is a flow-chart of image effect control processing in the fourth embodiment of the slot machine according to the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS
  • FIG. 1 is a flow-chart showing an outline of process procedures of the slot machine according to the present invention. FIG. 2 is an appearance view of the slot machine according to the present invention. FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing an electrical configuration of the slot machine according to the present invention. FIG. 4 is an explanatory diagram showing arrangements of display areas q1 a to q3 e on a display 16. The outline of the process procedures of the slot machine according to the present invention will be explained hereinbelow with reference to the flow-chart shown in FIG. 1.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, a CPU 106 of a controller 40 shown in FIG. 2 judges whether or not a start switch 27 has been pressed after starting a slot game (step S11). If the start switch 27 has been pressed, the CPU 106 determines symbols to be stopped in varying display areas (fourteen areas other than a center display area q2 c) among fifteen display areas q1 a to q3 e shown in FIG. 4 (step S12).
  • Next, the CPU 106 scrolls symbols in the fourteen varying display areas other than the fixing display area q2 c and then stops symbols (step S13). In other words, symbols had been arranged in the fourteen varying display areas are rearranged.
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not a specific symbol has appeared in any of the varying display areas (step S14). If the specific symbol has appeared (YES in step S14), a wild symbol is displayed in the fixing display area q2 c (step S15). Specifically, a “SUN” symbol had been displayed in the fixing display area q2 c is changed to a “WILD” symbol.
  • Subsequently, the CPU 106 executes pay out processing for providing an award according to symbols displayed in the display areas (the fixing display area and the varying display areas) q1 a to q3 e (step S16). In this manner, it is determined whether or not to change a symbol in the fixing display area q2 c to the “WILD” symbol based on a condition whether the specific symbol appears in any of the fourteen varying display areas q1 a to q3 e (except q2 c). Since dividends may vary largely due to that result, a slot machine with a superior entertainment feature can be provided.
  • Next, a configuration of a slot machine 10 in the present embodiment will be explained in detail. As shown in FIG. 2, the slot machine 10 in the present embodiment includes a cabinet 11, a top box 12 provided on top of the cabinet 11 and a main door 13. The cabinet 11 has a display 16 disposed on its plane facing a player. In addition, various component devices are disposed within the cabinet 11, such as the controller 40 (see FIG. 3) for electrically controlling the slot machine 10 and a hopper 44 (see FIG. 3) for controlling an insertion, pooling, and a cash-out of medals.
  • Here in the present embodiment, medals are used for gaming media used at game executions. However, gaming media are not limited to medals only. For example, coins, tokens, electronic money or other equivalent electronic value information (credits) may be also used as gaming media.
  • The main door 13 is attached to the cabinet 11 so that it can be opened and closed. The display 16 is disposed on an upper portion of the main door 13. As explained later, images relating to various games including a slot game are displayed on the display 16. As shown in FIG. 4, in a slot game, scrolled and then stopped are symbols which had been displayed in the fourteen display areas (varying display areas) other than the central display area q2 c (fixing display area) among the total fifteen display areas q1 a to q3 e disposed in a three-rows by five-columns matrix manner (symbols had been arranged are rearranged). And then, a predetermined amount of a payout will be awarded in appearing a prescribed number of identical specific symbols in the fifteen display areas q1 a to q3 e (the fixing display area and the varying display areas) as defined in an awards setting table shown in FIG. 5.
  • Here, as shown in FIG. 4, suffixes “a” to “e” attached to the display areas “q” are represent columns and suffixes “1” to “3” are represent rows. Therefore, the central display area is indicated as “q2 c”. Note that, in the present embodiment, a slot game is executed with the three-rows by five-columns display areas. However, the present invention is not limited to this.
  • In addition, a payout counter 48 for displaying a payout amount is disposed at the lower-left area on the display 16 shown in FIG. 2.
  • A medal insertion slot 21, into which medals are inserted at game plays, and a bill validator 22, which validates bills and accepts valid ones, are disposed beneath the display 16. Various operational switches are disposed nearby the medal insertion slot 21 and the bill validator 22.
  • A cash-out switch 23, a max-bet switch 24, a bet switch 25, a spin/repeat-bet switch 26 and the start switch 27 are provided as the operational switches.
  • The bet switch 25 is a switch for determining a bet amount on each slot game executed by on the display 16. Each time the bet switch 25 is pressed, one credit corresponding to one medal is bet.
  • The spin/repeat-bet switch 26 is a switch for placing a bet again on a current slot game without changing a bet amount had been placed by the bet switch 25 on the last slot game.
  • The start switch 27 is a switch for starting a slot game after a bet with desired credits has been placed by the bet switch 25. A slot game is started with the display areas q1 a to q3 e on the display 16 after a bet has been placed by a medal(s) insertion into the medal insertion slot 21 or by the bet switch 25 and then the start switch 27 has been pressed.
  • The cash-out switch 23 is a switch for cashing out medals being inserted. The medals to be cashed out are discharged from a medal cash-out chute 28 opened in the front lower part of the main door 13 and then pooled on a medal tray 18.
  • The max-bet switch 24 is a switch for betting maximum credits amount (e.g. equivalent to thirty medals) that can be bet on a single game by one pressing.
  • A foot display 34 is disposed on the lower front of the main door 13 to display various images relating to games of the slot machine 10. These images are, for example, characters of the slot machine 10 and so on.
  • Lamps 47 are disposed on both side of the foot display 34 to be illuminated based on preset illuminating patterns for the slot machine 10. The medal cash-out chute 28 is disposed beneath the foot display 34.
  • An upper display 33 is disposed on the front of the top box 12. The upper display 33 has a display panel to display relationships between the number of displayed symbols and awards, etc.
  • In addition, speakers 29 are provided on the top box 12. A ticket printer 35, a card reader 36, a data display 37 and a keypad 38 are disposed beneath the upper display 33. The ticket printer 35 prints a bar-code, which contains data, such as a credit amount, time and date and an identification number of the slot machine 10, on a ticket and outputs it as a bar-code ticket 39.
  • A player can play games at another slot machine with the bar-code ticket 39 being read by the other slot machine, and can exchange the bar-code ticket 39 for bills and so on at a predetermined site in an amusement facility (e.g. a cashier in a casino).
  • A smart card can be inserted into the card reader 36, and the card reader 36 reads data from the inserted smart card and writes data onto the smart card. A smart card is carried by a player and stores the player's identification data, gaming history data of games played by the player and so on.
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing an electrical configuration of the controller 40 and various components connected to the controller 40, which are provided within the slot machine 10 of the present embodiment. The controller 40 of the slot machine 10 shown in FIG. 3 is a microcomputer and includes interface circuits 102, an input/output (I/O) bus 104, a CPU 106, a ROM 108, a RAM 110, a signal communication interface (I/F) circuit 111, a random number generator (RNG) 112, a speaker drive circuit 122, a hopper drive circuit 124, a display control circuit 128 and a display controller 140.
  • The interface circuits 102 are connected to the I/O bus 104 and the I/O bus 104 transmits data signals and address signals with the CPU 106.
  • The start switch 27 is connected to the interface circuits 102. A start command output from the start switch 27 is transmitted to the CPU 106 via the I/O bus 104 after converted into a predetermined signal by the interface circuits 102.
  • Furthermore, the bet switch 25, the max-bet switch 24, the spin/repeat-bet switch 26 and the cash-out switch 23 are connected to the interface circuits 102. A switching signal output from each of the switches 25, 14, 26 and 23 is transmitted to the CPU 106 via the I/O bus 104 after converted into a predetermined signal by the interface circuits 102.
  • In addition, a medal sensor 43 is connected to the interface circuits 102. The medal sensor 43 is a sensor for detecting a medal(s) has been inserted into the medal insertion slot 21 and disposed inside the medal insertion slot 21. A detection signal output from the medal sensor 43 is transmitted to the CPU 106 via the I/O bus 104 after converted into a predetermined signal by the interface circuits 102.
  • In addition, the ROM 108 for storing system programs and the RAM 110 for storing various data are connected to the I/O bus 104. Furthermore, the RNG 112, the signal communication I/F circuit 111, the display controller 140, the hopper drive circuit 124, the speaker drive circuit 122 and the display control circuit 128 are connected to the I/O bus 104.
  • The CPU 106 is triggered by the start switch 27 receiving a game start operation and then reads out the game execution programs to execute a slot game. The game execution programs are programs for executing a slot game on the display 16 via the display controller 140.
  • Specifically, the game execution programs are programmed to execute a slot game, in which symbols are scrolled and then stopped in the fourteen varying display areas (see FIG. 4) and an award is provided based on symbols displayed in the fourteen varying display areas q1 a to q3 e (except q2 c) and the fixing display area q2 c.
  • The signal communication I/F circuit 111 is connected to a hall server etc. and transmits gaming history data of the slot machine 10 etc. to the hall server. In addition, the signal communication I/F circuit 111 receives various data transmitted from the hall server.
  • The RNG 112 generates random numbers for determining whether or not to achieve a winning combination in a slot game executed on the display 16.
  • The display control circuit 128 controls displaying a payout amount on the payout counter 48 provided at the lower-left area on the display 16.
  • The speaker drive circuit 122 outputs sound data to the speakers 29. Specifically, the CPU 106 reads the sound data stored in the ROM 108 and transmits the sound data to the speaker drive circuit 122 via the I/O bus 104. As a result, predetermined effect sounds are output from the speakers 29.
  • The hopper drive circuit 124 outputs a cash-out command to the hopper 44 when providing a cash-out. Specifically, the CPU 106 outputs a drive command to the hopper drive circuit 124 via the I/O bus 104 when receiving the cash-out command from the cash-out switch 23. As a result, the hopper 44 cashes out medals equivalent to current credits stored in a prescribed memory area within the RAM 110.
  • The display controller 140 controls displaying executions of slot games on the display 16. Specifically, the CPU 106 generates an image display command according to a status and a game result of a slot game and then outputs the image display command to the display controller 140 via the I/O bus 104. On receiving the image display command, the display controller 140 generates a drive command for the display 16 based on the image display command and then outputs the drive command to the display 16. As a result, prescribed images are displayed on the display 16.
  • Next, relationships between symbols displayed in the display areas q1 a to q3 e on the display 16 and awards to be provided to a player will be explained with reference to FIG. 5.
  • Any one of seven symbols “LIGHTING”, “$”, “A”, “K”, “Q”, “J” and “UMBRELLA” will be displayed in each of the fourteen varying display areas on the display 16. In addition, the “SUN” symbol, which has no relationship with awards, is being displayed in the central fixing display area q2 c ordinarily. The “SUN” symbol is changed to the “WILD” symbol when the specific symbol (a symbol with a star in q1 b shown in FIG. 11) has appeared in any of the varying display areas. The relationships between symbols displayed in the fifteen display areas q1 a to q3 e and awards are defined as shown in FIG. 5.
  • For example, an award with twenty medals is provided when four “LIGHTING” symbols have appeared. An award with thirty medals is provided when the five symbols have appeared. An award with forty medals is provided when the six symbols have appeared. An award with fifty medals is provided when the equal-to or more-than seven symbols have appeared. In addition, a “WILD” symbol can act as an alternative to all other symbols. For example, it is regarded that four “LIGHTING” symbols have appeared if three “LIGHTING” symbols have appeared in the varying display areas q1 a to q3 e (except q2 c) and also a symbol had been displayed in the fixing display area q2 c has been changed to a “WILD” symbol. In this case, an award with twenty medals will be provided.
  • Next, operations of the slot machine 10 in the first embodiment will be explained with reference to flow-charts shown in FIG. 6, FIG. 7 and FIG. 8. FIG. 6 is a flow-chart showing procedures in slot game execution processing executed by the slot machine 10 in the first embodiment.
  • First, the CPU 106 shown in FIG. 3 accepts a player's bet with medals or credits (step S31). Specifically, when the player placed a bet with a desired credit amount by pressing the bet switch 25 or inserted medals corresponding to a desired medal amount into the medal insertion slot 25, the amount is input as a bet amount.
  • The CPU 106 reduces current credits by the credits amount when the bet has been placed by pressing the bet switch 25 (step S32). For example, if a ten-credit bet has been placed under thirty credits, the credits become twenty by reducing.
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not the start switch 27 has been pressed (step S33). If the start switch 27 has been pressed (YES in step S33), stop symbol determination processing is executed for the fourteen varying display areas (step S34). In this processing, determined are symbols to be displayed in the fourteen display areas (varying display areas) other than the center display area q2 c (fixing display area) among the fifteen display areas q1 a to q3 e, based on random numbers generated by the RNG 112.
  • The CPU 106 executes image effect control processing (step S35). In this processing, the stop symbols determined in step S34 are displayed in the varying display areas q1 a to q3 e (except q2 c). The image effect control processing will be explained later in detail.
  • Subsequently, the CPU 106 executes payout processing based on the symbols had been displayed in the fifteen display areas q1 a to q3 e (step S36) The payout processing will be explained later in detail.
  • Next, the image effect control processing of step S35 in FIG. 6 will be explained with reference to FIG. 7.
  • First, the CPU 106 transmits a command signal to start symbol scrolling to the display controller 140. The display controller 140 starts symbol scrolling in the fourteen varying display areas on the display 16 on receiving the command signal (step S50).
  • The CPU 106 counts an elapsed time since the symbol scrolling has been started and judges whether or not a predetermined time (e.g. five seconds) has elapsed (step S51). If the predetermined time has elapsed (YES in step S51), the CPU 106 stops symbols sequentially in the fourteen varying display areas other than the central fixing display area q2 c (step S52). As a result, as shown in FIG. 9, the “SUN” symbol is still displayed in the central fixing display area q2 c and symbols are displayed in the other fourteen varying display areas, respectively.
  • Subsequently, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the specific symbol has appeared in the fourteen varying display areas (step S53). If the specific symbol has not appeared (NO in step S53), this processing is terminated. Specifically, as shown in FIG. 10, the “SUN” symbol is still displayed in the fixing display area q2 c when the specific symbol (the symbol with a star in q1 b shown in FIG. 11) has not appeared in the fourteen varying display areas.
  • On the other hand, if the specific symbol has appeared (YES in step S53), The “WILD” is symbol is displayed in the fixing display area q2 c (step S54). Specifically, the “SUN” symbol in the fixing display area q2 c is changed to the “WILD” symbol when the specific symbol (the symbol with a star) has appeared in the varying display area q1 b as shown in FIG. 11. And then, this processing is terminated.
  • Next, the payout processing of step S36 in FIG. 6 will be explained with reference to FIG. 8.
  • First, the CPU 106 judged whether or not a winning combination has been achieved according to symbols displayed in the fifteen display areas q1 a to q3 e (the fixing display area and the varying display areas) (step S71). At this time, it is judged whether or not a winning combination has been achieved with the “WILD” symbol considered into the judgment when the “WILD” symbol is being displayed. In the example shown in FIG. 11, since three “A” symbols are displayed and then it is regarded that four “A” symbols are displayed with the “WILD” symbol included, a five medal award is provided as defined in the awards setting table shown in FIG. 5 (step S72).
  • Subsequently, the CPU 106 judges whether or not another winning combination has been achieved (step S73). For example, in an example shown in FIG. 11, since three “K” symbols are displayed other than the “A” symbols and it is regarded that four “K” symbols are displayed with the “WILD” symbol included, a three medal award is provided as defined in the awards setting table shown in FIG. 5. As a result, a combined eight medal award is provided with three medals added to five medals due to the “A” symbols (step S74).
  • If no more winning combination has been achieved (NO in step S73), the CPU 106 provides credits or medals corresponding to the summed-up award (step S75). In this manner, the eight medal award is provided in the example shown in FIG. 11 and then a payout with credits or medals is provided.
  • On the other hand, if no “WILD” symbol has appeared as shown in FIG. 10, an award is provided according to symbols displayed in the fourteen varying display areas. In an example shown in FIG. 10, since four “UMBRELLA” symbols is displayed, a two medal award is provided as defined in the awards setting table shown in FIG. 5. In this manner, the payout processing is executed.
  • As explained above, in the slot machine 10 according to the first embodiment of the present invention, the “WILD” symbol is displayed in the fixing display area q2 c when the symbol with a star (specific symbol) has appeared in the fourteen display areas (varying display areas) other than the fixing display area q2 c among the fifteen display areas q1 a to q3 e. Therefore, since a winning amount of an award is varied, an entertainment feature is advanced.
  • Next, a slot machine in a second embodiment according to the present invention will be explained. FIG. 12 a perspective view showing a configuration of the slot machine 10 a in the second embodiment according to the present invention. As shown in FIG. 12, in the slot machine 10 a in the second embodiment, three-rows by five-columns first display areas q1 a to q3 e are provided on the display. In addition, a second display area Q1 is provided on an upper-right area to the first display areas q1 a to q3 e. Furthermore, its electrical configuration is the same as the configuration of the block diagram shown in FIG. 3.
  • After starting a slot game, symbol scrolling is started in the varying display areas (other than the fixing display area q2 c) among the first display areas and also in the second display area Q1 and then symbols come to stops. And then, the “SUN” symbol had been displayed in the fixing display area q2 c is changed to the “WILD” symbol when a “JOKER” symbol (the specific symbol, see FIG. 17) has appeared in the second display area Q1.
  • Hereinbelow, slot game execution processing in the slot machine 10 a according to the second embodiment will be explained with reference to a flow-chart shown in FIG. 13.
  • First, the CPU 106 shown in FIG. 3 accepts a player's bet with medals or credits (step S111). Specifically, when the player placed a bet with a desired credit amount by pressing the bet switch 25 or inserted medals corresponding to a desired medal amount into the medal insertion slot 25, the amount is input as a bet amount.
  • The CPU 106 reduces current credits by the credits amount when the bet has been placed by pressing the bet switch 25 (step S112). For example, if a ten-credit bet has been placed under thirty credits, the credits become twenty by reducing.
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not the start switch 27 has been pressed (step S113). If the start switch 27 has been pressed (YES in step S113), stop symbol determination processing is executed for the varying display areas q1 a to q3 e (except q2 c) (step S114). In this processing, determined are symbols to be displayed in the fourteen varying display areas based on random numbers generated by the RNG 112.
  • Furthermore, the CPU 106 determines a symbol to be displayed in the second display area Q1 based on a random number generated by the RNG 112 (step S115).
  • The CPU 106 executes image effect control processing (step S116). In this processing, the stop symbols determined in steps S114 and S115 are displayed in the varying display areas and the second display area Q1. The image effect control processing will be explained later in detail.
  • Subsequently, the CPU 106 executes payout processing based on the symbols had been displayed in the first display areas q1 a to q3 e (step S117). Detail of the payout processing is the same as the above-mentioned processing shown in FIG. 8.
  • Next, the image effect control processing of step S116 in FIG. 13 will be explained with reference to FIG. 14.
  • First, the CPU 106 transmits a command signal to start symbol scrolling to the display controller 140. The display controller 140 starts symbol scrolling in the fourteen varying display areas q1 a to q3 e (except q2 c) and the second display area Q1 on the display 16 on receiving the command signal (step S130).
  • The CPU 106 counts an elapsed time since the symbol scrolling has been started and judges whether or not a predetermined time t1 (e.g. five seconds) has elapsed (step S131). If the predetermined time t1 has elapsed (YES in step S131), the CPU 106 stops symbols sequentially in the fourteen varying display areas (step S132). As a result, as shown in FIG. 15, symbols are displayed in the fourteen varying display areas, respectively. At this time, the “SUN” symbol is still displayed in the central fixing display area q2 c and the second display area Q1 is still under symbol scrolling.
  • Subsequently, the CPU 106 judges whether or not a predetermined time t2 (e.g. eight seconds) has elapsed (step S133). If the predetermined time t2 has elapsed (YES in step S133), the CPU 106 stops a symbol in the second display area (step S134). As a result, there are cases where the second display area Q2 become blanked as shown in FIG. 16 and where the “JOKER” symbol (specific symbol) appears in the second display area Q1 as shown in FIG. 17.
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not the “JOKER” symbol (specific symbol) appears in the second display area Q1 (step S135).
  • If it is determined that the “JOKER” symbol (specific symbol) appears in the second display area Q1 (Yes in step S135), the CPU 106 changes the “SUN” symbol displayed in the fixing display area q2 c to the “WILD” symbol (step S136). For example, the “WILD” symbol is displayed in the fixing display area q2 c when the “JOKER” symbol has appeared in the second display area Q1 as shown in FIG. 17. The “WILD” symbol can act as an alternative to all other symbols. And then, this processing is terminated.
  • On the other hand, if it is not determined that the “JOKER” symbol appears in the second display area Q1 (NO in step S135), the symbol in the fixing display area q2 c is not changed. For example, the “SUN” symbol in the fixing display area q2 c is still being displayed when the second display area Q2 has become blanked as shown in FIG. 16. And then, this processing is terminated.
  • As explained above, in the slot machine 10 a according to the second embodiment of the present invention, the “SUN” symbol had been displayed in the fixing display area q2 c is changed to the “WILD” symbol when the “JOKER” symbol (specific symbol) has appeared in the second display area Q1. Therefore, since a winning amount of an award is varied due to an appearance of the “JOKER” symbol in the second display area Q1, an entertainment feature is advanced.
  • Next, a modified example of the second embodiment will be explained. In this modified example, two display areas “q2 b” and “q2 d” are defined as the fixing display areas among the fifteen display areas q1 a to q3 e and other thirteen display areas are defined as the varying display areas. Therefore, symbols are scrolled in the thirteen varying display areas q1 a to q3 e (except q2 b and q2 d). Specifically, symbols are scrolled in the thirteen varying display areas other than the two fixing display areas q2 b and q2 d as shown in FIG. 18 just after the symbol scrolling has been started. At this time, the “SUM” symbol is displayed in each of the two fixing display areas q2 b and q2 d.
  • And then, symbols come to stops in the thirteen varying display areas and the second display area Q1 displays the “JOKER” symbol or becomes blanked. If the second display area Q1 has become blanked as shown in FIG. 19, the “SUN” symbols had been displayed in the two fixing display areas q2 b and q2 d are still being displayed. Therefore, an award is determined based on the symbols displayed in the thirteen varying display areas other than the two fixing display areas q2 b and q2 d.
  • Otherwise, if the second display area Q1 has displayed the “JOKER” symbol as shown in FIG. 20, the “SUN” symbols had been displayed in the two fixing display areas q2 b and q2 d are changed to the “WILD” symbols. Therefore, an award is determined based on the “WILD” symbols displayed in the two fixing display areas q2 b and q2 d and the symbols displayed in the thirteen varying display areas.
  • As explained above, in the modified example of the slot machine 10 a according to the second embodiment, the “WILD” symbols are displayed in the two fixing display areas q2 b and q2 d when the “JOKER” symbol (specific symbol) has appeared in the second display area Q1. Therefore, since a winning amount of an award is varied due to an appearance of the “JOKER” symbol in the second display area Q1, an entertainment feature is advanced.
  • Next, a slot machine in a third embodiment according to the present invention will be explained. The overall configuration of the slot machine in the third embodiment is the same as that shown in FIG. 12. In addition, its electrical configuration is the same as the configuration of the block diagram shown in FIG. 3.
  • After starting a slot game, symbol scrolling is started in the first display areas q1 a to q3 e and also in the second display area Q1 and then symbols come to stops. And then, if the “JOKER” symbol (specific symbol, see FIG. 25) has appeared in the second display area Q1, the “WILD” symbol(s) had been displayed in the first display areas q1 a to q3 e is (are) activated.
  • Hereinbelow, slot game execution processing in the slot machine 10 a according to the third embodiment will be explained with reference to a flow-chart shown in FIG. 21.
  • First, the CPU 106 shown in FIG. 3 accepts a player's bet with medals or credits (step S211). Specifically, when the player placed a bet with a desired credit amount by pressing the bet switch 25 or inserted medals corresponding to a desired medal amount into the medal insertion slot 25, the amount is input as a bet amount.
  • The CPU 106 reduces current credits by the credits amount when the bet has been placed by pressing the bet switch 25 (step S212). For example, if a ten-credit bet has been placed under thirty credits, the credits become twenty by reducing.
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not the start switch 27 has been pressed (step S213). If the start switch 27 has been pressed (YES in step S213), stop symbol determination processing is executed for the first display areas q1 a to q3 e (step S214). In this processing, determined are symbols to be displayed in the fifteen first display areas based on random numbers generated by the RNG 112.
  • Furthermore, the CPU 106 determines a symbol to be displayed in the second display area Q1 based on a random number generated by the RNG 112 (step S215).
  • The CPU 106 executes image effect control processing (step S216). In this processing, the stop symbols determined in steps S214 and S215 are displayed in the first display areas q1 a to q3 e and the second display area Q1. The image effect control processing will be explained later in detail.
  • Subsequently, the CPU 106 executes payout processing based on the symbols had been displayed in the first display areas q1 a to q3 e (step S217). Detail of the payout processing is the same as the above-mentioned processing shown in FIG. 8.
  • Next, the image effect control processing of step S216 in FIG. 21 will be explained with reference to FIG. 22.
  • First, the CPU 106 transmits a command signal to start symbol scrolling to the display controller 140. The display controller 140 starts symbol scrolling in the fifteen first display areas q1 a to q3 e and the second display area Q1 on the display 16 on receiving the command signal (step S230).
  • The CPU 106 counts an elapsed time since the symbol scrolling has been started and judges whether or not a predetermined time t1 (e.g. five seconds) has elapsed (step S231). If the predetermined time t1 has elapsed (YES in step S231), the CPU 106 stops symbols sequentially in the fifteen first display areas q1 a to q3 e (step S232). As a result, as shown in FIG. 23, symbols are displayed in the fifteen first display areas q1 a to q3 e, respectively. The second display area Q1 is still under symbol scrolling.
  • Subsequently, the CPU 106 judges whether or not a predetermined time t2 (e.g. eight seconds) has elapsed (step S233). If the predetermined time t2 has elapsed (YES in step S233), the CPU 106 stops a symbol in the second display area (step S234). As a result, there are cases where the second display area Q2 become blanked as shown in FIG. 24 and where the “JOKER” symbol (specific symbol) appears in the second display area Q1 as shown in FIG. 25.
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not the “WILD” symbol(s) appears in the first display areas q1 a to q3 e (step S235). And then, if no “WILD” symbol appears (NO in step 235), this processing is terminated. If the “WILD” symbol(s) appears (YES in step S235), the CPU 106 judges whether or not the “JOKER” symbol appears in the second display area Q1 (step S236).
  • If it is determined that the “JOKER” symbol appears in the second display area Q1 (YES in step S236), the CPU 106 changes activates the “WILD” symbol(s) displayed in the first display areas q1 a to q3 e (step S237). For example, the “WILD” symbols had been displayed in the two first display areas q1 a and q2 d are activated when the “JOKER” symbol has appeared in the second display area Q1 as shown in FIG. 25. The activated “WILD” symbol can act as an alternative to all other symbols.
  • On the other hand, if it is not determined that the “JOKER” symbol appears in the second display area Q1 (NO in step S236), the symbol(s) had been displayed in the first display areas q1 a to q3 e is deactivated (step S238). For example, the “WILD” symbols had been displayed in the two first display areas q1 a and q2 d are deactivated when the second display area Q1 has become blanked as shown in FIG. 24. The deactivated “WILD” symbol cannot act as an alternative to all other symbols. And then, this processing is terminated.
  • As explained above, in the slot machine 10 a according to the third embodiment of the present invention, the “WILD” symbol(s) had been displayed in the first display areas q1 a to q3 e is activated when the “JOKER” symbol (specific symbol) has appeared in the second display area Q1. Otherwise, the “WILD” symbol(s) had been displayed in the first display areas q1 a to q3 e is deactivated when the “JOKER” symbol has not appeared in the second display area Q1. Therefore, since a winning amount of an award is varied due to an appearance of the “JOKER” symbol in the second display area Q1, an entertainment feature is advanced.
  • Next, a slot machine in a fourth embodiment according to the present invention will be explained with reference to FIG. 26. As shown in FIG. 26, the slot machine 10 b in the fourth embodiment includes a cabinet 11, a top box 12 provided on top of the cabinet 11 and a main door 13. The cabinet 11 has a display 16 disposed on its plane facing a player. In addition, various component devices are disposed within the cabinet 11, such as the controller 40 (see FIG. 27) for electrically controlling the slot machine 10 b and a hopper 44 (see FIG. 27) for controlling an insertion, pooling, and a cash-out of medals.
  • Here in the present embodiment, medals are used for gaming media used at game executions. However, gaming media are not limited to medals only. For example, coins, tokens, electronic money or other equivalent electronic value information (credits) may be also used as gaming media.
  • The main door 13 is attached to the cabinet 11 so that it can be opened and closed. The display 16 is disposed on an upper portion of the main door 13. In addition, five windows 16 a to 16 e, through which the inside behind the display 16 can be seen, are provided on the display 16. The display 16 is configured by a transmissive liquid crystal panel, with which each of areas within the five windows 16 a to 16 e is set in a transmissive state and a remaining area is set as an image-displaying area.
  • In addition, a display area Q1 for displaying a symbol is provided on an upper-right area on the display 16. Furthermore, as explained later, a spinning reel device 53 including five reels 53 a to 53 e is provided within the cabinet 11 behind the display 16. Therefore a player at the slot machine 10 b can see the reels 53 a to 53 e provided behind the windows 16 a to 16 e. Tree symbols drawn on each of circumferential surfaces of the reels 53 a to 53 e can be seen when the reels 53 a to 53 e are being stopped. In other words, the player can see total fifteen symbols in a three-rows by five columns matrix manner through the windows 16 a to 16 e when the reels 53 a to 53 e of the spinning reel device 53 are being stopped.
  • The spinning reel device 53 includes the five reels 53 a to 53 e each corresponding to the windows 16 a to 16 e on the window 16 as shown in FIG. 28A and FIG. 28B. In addition, the reels 53 a to 53 e are coupled with driving motors 56 a to 56 e, respectively. Furthermore, as shown in FIG. 29, twenty-one symbols are drawn at even intervals on each circumferential surface of the reels 53 a to 53 e. These symbols are composed of eight symbols “WILD”, “LIGHTING”, “$”, “A”, “K”, “Q”, “J” and “UMBRELLA”.
  • And then, three symbols on each of the reels 53 a to 53 e can be seen through the corresponding windows 16 a to 16 e by the player. Therefore, symbols are arranged and then rearranged by spinning/being-stopped of the reels 53 a to 53 e.
  • In addition, a payout counter 48 for displaying a payout amount is disposed at the lower-left area on the display 16 shown in FIG. 26.
  • A medal insertion slot 21, into which medals are inserted at game plays, and a bill validator 22, which validates bills and accepts valid ones, are disposed beneath the display 16. Various operational switches are disposed nearby the medal insertion slot 21 and the bill validator 22.
  • A cash-out switch 23, a max-bet switch 24, a bet switch 25, a spin/repeat-bet switch 26 and the start switch 27 are provided as the operational switches.
  • The bet switch 25 is a switch for determining a bet amount on each slot game executed by on the display 16. Each time the bet switch 25 is pressed, one credit corresponding to one medal is bet.
  • The spin/repeat-bet switch 26 is a switch for placing a bet again on a current slot game without changing a bet amount had been placed by the bet switch 25 on the last slot game.
  • The start switch 27 is a switch for starting a slot game after a bet with desired credits has been placed by the bet switch 25. A slot game is started with the spinning reel device 53 after a bet has been placed by a medal(s) insertion into the medal insertion slot 21 or by the bet switch 25 and then the start switch 27 has been pressed.
  • The cash-out switch 23 is a switch for cashing out medals being inserted. The medals to be cashe dout are discharged from a medal cash-out chute 28 opened in the front lower part of the main door 13 and then pooled on a medal tray 18.
  • The max-bet switch 24 is a switch for betting maximum credits amount (e.g. equivalent to thirty medals) that can be bet on a single game by one pressing.
  • A foot display 34 is disposed on the lower front of the main door 13 to display various images relating to games of the slot machine 10 b. These images are, for example, characters of the slot machine 10 b and so on.
  • Lamps 47 are disposed on both side of the foot display 34 to be illuminated based on preset illuminating patterns for the slot machine 10 b. The medal cash-out chute 28 is disposed beneath the foot display 34.
  • An upper display 33 is disposed on the front of the top box 12. The upper display 33 has a display panel to display relationships between the number of displayed symbols and awards, etc.
  • In addition, speakers 29 are provided on the top box 12. A ticket printer 35, a card reader 36, a data display 37 and a keypad 38 are disposed beneath the upper display 33. The ticket printer 35 prints a bar-code, which contains data, such as a credit amount, time and date and an identification number of the slot machine 10 b, on a ticket and outputs it as a bar-code ticket 39.
  • A player can play games at another slot machine with the bar-code ticket 39 being read by the other slot machine, and can exchange the bar-code ticket 39 for bills and so on at a predetermined site in an amusement facility (e.g. a cashier in a casino).
  • A smart card can be inserted into the card reader 36, and the card reader 36 reads data from the inserted smart card and writes data onto the smart card. A smart card is carried by a player and stores the player's identification data, gaming history data of games played by the player and so on.
  • FIG. 27 is a block diagram showing an electrical configuration of the controller 40 and various components connected to the controller 40, which are provided within the slot machine 10 b of the present embodiment. The controller 40 of the slot machine 10 shown in FIG. 22 is a microcomputer and includes interface circuits 102, an I/O bus 104, a CPU 106, a ROM 108, a RAM 110, a signal communication I/F circuit 111, an RNG 112, a speaker drive circuit 122, a hopper drive circuit 124, a display control circuit 128, a display controller 140, a motor driving circuit 51 and a reel position detecting circuit 52.
  • The interface circuits 102 are connected to the I/O bus 104 and the I/O bus 104 transmits data signals and address signals with the CPU 106.
  • The start switch 27 is connected to the interface circuits 102. A start command output from the start switch 27 is transmitted to the CPU 106 via the I/O bus 104 after converted into a predetermined signal by the interface circuits 102.
  • Furthermore, the bet switch 25, the max-bet switch 24, the spin/repeat-bet switch 26 and the cash-out switch 23 are connected to the interface circuits 102. A switching signal output from each of the switches 25, 14, 26 and 23 is transmitted to the CPU 106 via the I/O bus 104 after converted into a predetermined signal by the interface circuits 102.
  • In addition, a medal sensor 43 is connected to the interface circuits 102. The medal sensor 43 is a sensor for detecting a medal(s) has been inserted into the medal insertion slot 21 and disposed inside the medal insertion slot 21. A detection signal output from the medal sensor 43 is transmitted to the CPU 106 via the I/O bus 104 after converted into a predetermined signal by the interface circuits 102.
  • In addition, the ROM 108 for storing system programs and the RAM 110 for storing various data are connected to the I/O bus 104. Furthermore, the RNG 112, the signal communication I/F circuit 111, the display controller 140, the hopper drive circuit 124, the speaker drive circuit 122, the display control circuit 128 the motor driving circuit 51 and the reel position detecting circuit 52 are connected to the I/O bus 104.
  • The CPU 106 is triggered by the start switch 27 receiving a game start operation and then reads out the game execution programs from the ROM 108 to execute a slot game. The game execution programs are programs for executing a slot game by driving the driving motors 56 a to 56 e of the spinning reel device 53 via the motor driving circuit 51.
  • Specifically, the game execution programs are programmed to execute a slot game, in which the reels 53 a to 53 e are stopped (symbols had been arranged are rearranged) after scrolling symbols drawn on the circumferential surfaces of the reels 53 a to 53 e by spinning the reels 53 a to 53 e of the spinning reel device 53 and an award is provided based on symbols visible trough the windows 16 a to 16 e (total fifteen three-rows by five-columns symbols).
  • The signal communication I/F circuit 111 is connected to a hall server etc. and transmits gaming history data of the slot machine 10 b etc. to the hall server. In addition, the signal communication I/F circuit 111 receives various data transmitted from the hall server.
  • The RNG 112 generates random numbers for determining whether or not to achieve a winning combination in a slot game executed on the display 16.
  • The display control circuit 128 controls displaying a payout amount on the payout counter 48 provided at the lower-left area on the display 16.
  • The speaker drive circuit 122 outputs sound data to the speakers 29. Specifically, the CPU 106 reads the sound data stored in the ROM 108 and transmits the sound data to the speaker drive circuit 122 via the I/O bus 104. As a result, predetermined effect sounds are output from the speakers 29.
  • The hopper drive circuit 124 outputs a cash-out command to the hopper 44 when providing a cash-out. Specifically, the CPU 106 outputs a drive command to the hopper drive circuit 124 via the I/O bus 104 when receiving the cash-out command from the cash-out switch 23. As a result, the hopper 44 cashes out medals equivalent to current credits stored in a prescribed memory area within the RAM 110.
  • The display controller 140 controls displaying executions of slot games on the display 16. Specifically, the CPU 106 generates an image display command according to a status and a game result of a slot game and then outputs the image display command to the display controller 140 via the I/O bus 104. On receiving the image display command, the display controller 140 generates a drive command for the display 16 based on the image display command and then outputs the drive command to the display 16. As a result, prescribed images are displayed on the display 16. In addition, The “JOKER” symbol (specific symbol) may be displayed in the display area Q1 on the display 16.
  • The motor driving circuit 51 executes a control to spin the reels 53 a to 53 e when receiving a drive command signal from the CPU 106 by the start switch 27 being pressed after a slot game has been started and then stop the reels 53 a to 53 e when a predetermined time (e.g. five seconds) has elapsed.
  • The reel position detecting circuit 52 receives detecting signals from sensors 54 a to 54 e provided nearby the reels 53 a to 53 e to detect stop positions of the reels 53 a to 53 e. Specifically, identification data is allocated to each symbol on the reels 53 a to 53 e as magnetic data, a bar-code and so on. The stop positions of the reels 53 a to 53 e can be detected by reading out the identification data by the sensors 54 a to 54 e provided correspondingly to the reels 53 a to 53 e, respectively. As a result, total fifteen three-rows by five-columns symbols displayed in the windows 16 a to 16 e can be detected.
  • Next, operations of the slot machine 10 b in the fourth embodiment will be explained with reference to flow-charts shown in FIG. 30, FIG. 31 and FIG. 32. FIG. 30 is a flow-chart showing procedures in slot game execution processing executed by the slot machine 10 b in the fourth embodiment.
  • First, the CPU 106 shown in FIG. 27 accepts a player's bet with medals or credits (step S151). Specifically, when the player placed a bet with a desired credit amount by pressing the bet switch 25 or inserted medals corresponding to a desired medal amount into the medal insertion slot 25, the amount is input as a bet amount.
  • The CPU 106 reduces current credits by the credits amount when the bet has been placed by pressing the bet switch 25 (step S152). For example, if a ten-credit bet has been placed under thirty credits, the credits become twenty by reducing.
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not the start switch 27 has been pressed (step S153). If the start switch 27 has been pressed (YES in step S153), stop symbol determination processing is executed (step S154). In this processing, stop positions of the reels 53 a to 53 e are determined based on random numbers generated by the RNG 112.
  • Subsequently, the CPU 106 determines a symbol to be displayed in the display area Q1 (step S155). In this process, it is determined whether the “JOKER” symbol is to be displayed in the display area Q1 or the display area Q1 is to become blanked.
  • The CPU 106 executes reel control processing to stop the reels 53 a to 53 e sequentially at the determined symbols (step S156). The reel control processing will be explained later in detail.
  • The CPU 106 executes image effect control processing (step S157). In this processing, the symbol determined in step S155 is displayed in the display area Q1. The image effect control processing will be explained later in detail.
  • Subsequently, the CPU 106 executes payout processing based on the symbols had been displayed on the front sides of the reels 53 a to 53 e (the symbols in positions corresponding to the display areas q1 a to q3 e in the second embodiment) and the symbol in the display area Q1 (step S158). The payout processing will be explained later in detail. This payout processing is the same as the processing shown in FIG. 8 and explained in the first embodiment.
  • Next, the reel control processing of step S156 in FIG. 30 will be explained with reference to FIG. 31.
  • The CPU 106 shown in FIG. 27 transmits a spinning drive command for the reels 53 a to 53 e to the motor driving circuit 51 when the start switch 27 has been pressed. Furthermore, a timer is set within the RAM 110 to count the elapsed time T from a spinning start of the reels 53 a to 53 e (step S171).
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not the elapsed time T has reached a predetermined time T1 (step S172). If T is equal-to or more-than T1 (YES in step S172), the reel 53 a is stopped (step S173).
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not the elapsed time T has reached a predetermined time T2 (step S174). If T is equal-to or more-than T2 (YES in step S174), the reel 53 b is stopped (step S175).
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not the elapsed time T has reached a predetermined time T3 (step S176). If T is equal-to or more-than T3 (YES in step S176), the reel 53 c is stopped (step S177).
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not the elapsed time T has reached a predetermined time T4 (step S178). If T is equal-to or more than T4 (YES in step S178), the reel 53 d is stopped (step S179).
  • The CPU 106 judges whether or not the elapsed time T has reached a predetermined time T5 (step S180). If T is equal-to or more than T5 (YES in step S180), the reel 53 e is stopped (step S181). In this manner, the five reels 53 a to 53 e are stopped sequentially from the left side.
  • Next, the image effect control processing of step S157 in FIG. 30 will be explained with reference to FIG. 32.
  • First, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the elapsed time from the spinning start of the reels 53 a to 53 e has reached the predetermined time T5 (step S191). In other words, it is judged whether or not all of the five reels 53 a to 53 e have come to stops.
  • If the predetermined time T5 has elapsed (YES in step S191), a symbol is stopped in the display area Q1 (step S192). As a result, the “JOKER” symbol (specific symbol) is displayed in the display area Q1 or the display area Q1 becomes blanked. These displays are the same as the above-mentioned displays shown in FIG. 24 and FIG. 25.
  • Subsequently, a payout is awarded according to the symbols displayed by the reels 53 a to 53 e and the symbol displayed in display area Q1. In this manner, a slot game is executed.
  • As explained above, in the slot machine 10 b according to the fourth embodiment of the present invention, total fifteen three-rows by five-columns symbols are displayed in the windows 16 a to 16 e on the display 16 by spinning and then being-stopped of the reels 53 a to 53 e. In addition, a symbol is displayed in the display area Q1 provided at the upper-right area on the display 16. And then, the “WILD” symbol(s) is activated when the “WILD” symbol(s) had been displayed in the windows 16 a to 16 e and also the “JOKER” symbol has displayed in the display area Q1. Therefore, since a winning amount of an award is varied due to an appearance of the “JOKER” symbol, an entertainment feature is advanced.
  • In addition, since a symbol is stopped in the display area Q1 after all of the reels 53 a to 53 e have come to stops, a player can feel a sense of expectant.
  • Although embodiments of the present invention have been described as above, they are only presented as concrete examples, without particularly limiting the present invention. Concrete arrangements of respective units may be changed in design as appropriate. In addition, the effects set forth in the embodiments of the present invention are merely an enumeration of the most preferred effect which occurs from the present invention, and the effects by the present invention is not limited to those set forth in the embodiments of the present invention.
  • In the above detailed description, mainly characteristic portions have been set forth so that the present invention can be understood more easily. The present invention is not limited to the embodiments set forth in the above detailed description and can be applied to other embodiments, with a wide range of applications. In addition, terms and wordings used in the present specification are used to precisely explain the present invention and are not intended to limit the interpretation of the present invention. Also, those skilled in the art will easily conceive, from the concept of the invention set forth in the present specification, other arrangements, systems or methods included in the concept of the present invention. Therefore, it should be appreciated that the scope of the claims includes equivalent arrangements without deviating from the scope of technical ideas of the present invention. In addition, the purpose of the abstract is to facilitate the Patent Office and general public institutions, or engineers in the technological field who are not familiar with patent and legal terms or specific terms to quickly evaluate technical contents and the essence of this application by simple investigation. Therefore, the abstract is not intended to limit the scope of the invention, which should be evaluated by descriptions of the scope of the claims. Furthermore, it is desirable to take into consideration the already disclosed literatures sufficiently in order to completely understand the objects and specific effects of the present invention.
  • The above detailed description includes processes executed by a computer. The aforementioned descriptions and expressions are described with a purpose that those skilled in the art will understand them most efficiently. In the present specification, each step used for deriving one result should be understood as a self-consistent process. Also, transmission, reception and recording of electric or magnetic signals are executed in each step. In the processes in respective steps, although such signals are expressed as bits, values, symbols, characters, terms or numerals, it should be noted that these are merely used for convenience of explanation. Additionally, although the processes in respective steps may be described using an expression common to human activities, the processes described in the present specification are executed, in principle, by a variety of devices. Furthermore, other arrangements required to execute respective steps are self-evident from the aforementioned description.

Claims (8)

1. A slot machine comprising:
a display including a fixing display area and plural varying display areas, in which symbols are arranged; and
a controller operable to:
(A) rearrange symbols had been displayed in the varying display areas after receiving an input from an external,
(B) change a symbol being arranged in the fixing display area to a wild symbol when a specific symbol has been displayed in any of the varying display areas, and
(C) provide an award according to a symbol combination displayed in the fixing display area and the varying display areas.
2. The slot machine according to claim 1, wherein
the controller is operable to rearrange the specific symbol last in case where the specific symbol is rearranged in any of the varying display areas.
3. A slot machine comprising:
a display including a first display area composed of a fixing display area and plural varying display areas and a second display area, in which symbols are arranged; and
a controller operable to:
(A) rearrange symbols had been displayed in the varying display areas and the second display area after receiving an input from an external,
(B) change a symbol being arranged in the fixing display area to a wild symbol when a specific symbol has been displayed in the second display area, and
(C) provide an award according to a symbol combination displayed in the first display area.
4. The slot machine according to claim 3, wherein
the controller is operable to rearrange a symbol in the second display area after rearranging symbols in the first display area.
5. A slot machine comprising:
a display including a first display area and a second display area, in which symbols are arranged; and
a controller operable to:
(A) rearrange symbols had been displayed in the first area and the second display area after receiving an input from an external,
(B) activate a wild symbol had been rearranged in the first area when a specific symbol has been displayed in the second display area, and
(C) provide an award according to a symbol combination displayed in the first display area.
6. The slot machine according to claim 5, wherein
the controller is operable to rearrange a symbol in the second display area after rearranging symbols in the first display area.
7. A control method of a slot machine, comprising:
rearranging symbols had been arranged in plural varying display areas provided on a display,
changing a symbol in a fixing display area provided on the display to a wild symbol when a specific symbol has been rearranged in any of the varying display areas, and
providing an award according to a symbol combination displayed in the varying display areas and the fixing display area.
8. The control method according to claim 7, wherein
the specific symbol is rearranged last in case where the specific symbol is rearranged in any of the varying display areas.
US12/136,517 2008-03-24 2008-06-10 Slot machine with wild symbol feature and control method thereof Abandoned US20090239606A1 (en)

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